TREASURES OF TRUTH, VOLUME 8
PORTRAIT OF THINGS TO COME
BY: GEORGE R. HAWTIN
THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS
SOME THINGS THAT CONCERN US ALL
THE LAST DAYS
THE END OF THE DAYS
CONCERNING OUR TIMES
THE GATHERING STORM AND THE GLORY BEYOND
THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS
“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him; and that He was come from God and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. Then cometh He to Simon Peter; and Peter said unto Him, Lord, dost Thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shall know hereafter. Peter saith unto Him, Thou shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me. Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, not my feel only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith unto him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.” John 13:1-10
The earthly life of our blessed Lord and Christ was a life of parables from beginning lo end. Parable after parable flowed from His anointed lips teaching mankind all manner of truth concerning both Himself and the long awaited kingdom of God. Jesus came to proclaim the kingdom and at the end of this age He will take His seat on His exalted throne to reign unto the age of the ages. So frequent and diverse were the parables He spake that in one instance the statement is clearly made, “Without a parable spake He not unto them.” Matt. 13:34. The disciples, becoming aware of this method of instruction, asked Him plainly, “Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?” Matt. 13:10. The answer He gave them clearly shows that there are certain elect people who are ordained to see and believe the truth now, while others are left in darkness now to await their time of enlightenment in a coming age. His reply to their question was this: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Verse 11
The teachings of Jesus were continually filled with parables, understood only by those elect to whom God has given eyes to see and hearts to understand. And it must further be stated with the greatest possible emphasis that not only in word were His parables given, but every act of His anointed life contained in itself some great parabolic teaching concerning the coming kingdom of God. Consider, for instance, His miraculous birth, which made God alone to be His Father and Himself the Son of God. Does this not teach us all that unless a man be born from above, born again and renewed in the image of the great Creator, he is not a son of God at all? How then would it be possible for one to see the kingdom of God until that blessed birth from above takes place in response to living faith in his own heart?
The wilderness experience of Jesus Christ, in which he overcame Satan and all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh (appetite), the lust of the eyes (avarice), and the pride of life (ambition) – is surely a parable, teaching every prospective overcomer not only the way he ought to go, but the way he must go. We well know that Jesus paid it all. We are confident that He died for us and took upon Himself all our sins. We are assured that He is our victory and that He has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows and our cross, but what Christian has not found that there is a cross for everyone? What victorious Christian has not discovered that, before ever he came into victory, he also walked the dreary wilderness where at times it seemed that even God had forsaken him? What victorious Christian exists today who has never been faced with the evil of temptation and through many failures made the discovery that victory only comes by believing on Him? Do not tell me you have never faced the wilderness in your Christian experience, for you have, and if you have not, you will. Do not boast that you have never been tempted, for you have and you will be. The same temptations that were placed before the first Adam in the Garden of Eden were placed before the last Adam in the wilderness, but where the first man transgressed under the most favorable circumstances in God’s lovely Eden, the last man Adam was victorious amid the hunger, thirst, and loneliness of the wilderness.
We mentioned above the three words appetite, avarice, and ambition. All that is in the world, said John, is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The lust of the flesh is appetite – any appetite whether it be over-indulgence in food, over-indulgence in strong drink, promiscuous sex, or a hundred other appetites, which are common to mankind. Satan appealed to the appetite when he showed the woman the tree and she saw that it was good for food. The same Satan was appealing to the appetite when he said to the fasting Saviour in the wilderness, “Make these stones bread.” When Satan showed the tree to the woman, Eve, she saw that it was a tree to be desired. In this temptation he was appealing to one of the world’s most powerful passions, the desire to have and possess and make all things our own. Avarice, or greed, is the desire to possess the world. This passion is manifest universally in the world today and is, perhaps above all else, the source of the world’s dilemma. When therefore the last Adam was in the wilderness, Satan took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, saying, “All this will I give Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Many a man through the ages has set out to conquer the world and possess all things and make them his own. Twice in this twentieth century mighty armies have marched with this in mind – to conquer the world, and yet once more will they march, violently destroying at least two-thirds of every living thing, hoping to gain for themselves all things.
Once again in the garden the woman saw a third thing – that the fruit of the tree would make her wise. This is the pride of life. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, but worldly wisdom is the pride of life. Oh how men boast of the things they know and the things they think they know! Only yesterday I received a circular, requesting that I subscribe to a certain magazine that would take us back two million years into the past, showing where we came from and what we came from and the process of development through the ages. All this sounds very fascinating, a tree to be desired to make one wise, but why should I give heed to worldly wisdom and their theories of evolution, since the Lord Himself has told me from whence I came and from whom I came? More than that He has told us whither we go. The pride of life is expressed in ambition to be somebody special and to know and possess apart from God, to be the greatest man or woman in any given realm, the world’s best orator, the world champion boxer, the greatest preacher, to prove that one is non pareil. It was with this in mind that Satan, having placed Jesus on a pinnacle of the temple, challenged Him with these words: “If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest ^at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Prove now that you are the Son of God, the greatest man on earth. Show by this miracle that there is none your equal. But had the blessed Lord yielded to such a temptation, He would have yielded to that same ambition that Eve yielded to in the garden. All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. There is nothing more, and from these three sources all temptation springs forth.
You have surely noticed how frequently Jesus performed miracles on the Sabbath day. The millennial kingdom, my brethren, is the Sabbath day. It is God’s day. When Jesus therefore went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and found there a man with an unclean spirit and cast it out, He was showing by a parabolic miracle that in that wonderful kingdom Sabbath mankind will be delivered from the bondages of the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now rules in the hearts of them that believe not. It was on the Sabbath day that He healed the man who was born blind, showing by this miracle that in God’s great Sabbath day there will be no blind either literally or spiritually. In all past ages the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not, but in God’s great Sabbath day no blind shall be there and no veils of darkness will becloud the minds of men, for God shall lead the blind by a way they knew not. With open vision they will behold the glory of the Lord. The whole world is full of unbelievers and in this our day the god of this age has blinded the eyes of them that believe not. The church system is a seething mass of unbelief. Christians will believe God for justification, then refuse to see one step further than that. Well spake the prophet Isaiah of multitudes in our day, saying, “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Acts 28:27
Jesus is all this poor world needs today.
Blindly they strive, for sin darkens the way.
O to draw back the grim curtain of night
One glimpse of Jesus and all would be bright. So Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath day to show that in His great kingdom Sabbath there will be none who cannot walk. It is a blessing to be able to walk, but there are those who cannot walk; neither dare they run the race that is set before them, but in His Sabbath the lame man will leap as an hart and all will be whole. He healed the withered man, too, on the Sabbath day, and there are many Christians whose experience is withered and dried up by the roots. He raised the dead on the Sabbath day, because he is the resurrection and the life of that day. Of the many other wonders He performed we have not time to write, but if we will meditate in the Spirit upon each and every act of His eventful life, we will see in His works as well as in His words a parable of the glory of the millennial day when He shall reign as King of kings in the glory of His Father’s kingdom and we shall reign with Him.
In the scripture quoted at the beginning of this message we see a most remarkable picture of Jesus folding up and concluding all the things that belonged to the ages past and preparing Himself and His people for an entirely new era. The sacred record states that Jesus knew His hour had come that He should depart out of this world, that Satan had put into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Him, and that the Father had given all things into His hands. These words speak volumes to us. They bid us see that all the work of the past is at an end. Now preparation is to be made to enter into a new realm. In preparation for this He had broken bread, saying, “This is my body,” and He had given of the wine, saying, “Drink ye all of it,” or “All of you drink it.” The tabernacle of the past was folded up and the sacrifices done away. A new tabernacle, which is the body of Christ, was to be built and a new, incorruptible blood was to be given for an entirely new age. Well did Jesus know the things that were shortly to come to pass and in preparation for them He closed out the past and prepared Himself and His disciples for that which was at hand.
To the faithful in Christ Jesus we now proclaim this message. We are now at the end of the age that is known as the dispensation of the grace of God. The Lord is now phasing out the things of this present age. He is folding them up like a garment to proclaim the things, which are immediately at hand. The message in the following pages is to advise the people of God concerning those things we may now expect and the things that must shortly come to pass. The kingdom of God is at hand and that kingdom is sure and certain to us, but before the glory of its beauty appears, there will be yet one brief struggle twixt old systems and the Word in the darkness before the light shines that will know no darkness forever.
The study of the scripture clearly shows that every age from Eden until now has ended with some gigantic calamity and each new age was born in travail as the death pains of the former age became the birth pangs of the new. Now at long last we have come to the end of the six days of man’s labor and travail, but the seventh is the Lord’s Day of rest. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. The lame shall leap as an hart and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. In the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water. In the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it. The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon. It shall not be found there. The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. See Isaiah 35.
We are now seeing the old age passing away and it shall be no more, but its thrashings are like unto those of an infidel who, having walked this life in defiance and unbelief in God, now sees the damning vision of his own reward while he struggles to hold on to a few more minutes in this kingdom of darkness and unbelief. This age is rapidly passing away, but evil men and seducers will struggle as with the terror of perishing men to maintain their perilous hold on this realm of the shadow of death. Of the brief and awful struggle that is to come and that even now holds the world in its vise-like grip the scripture twice records that it will be a time of trouble such as the world has never known in all its tragic past and will never know again throughout the ages of the ages. As Daniel sought to know the meaning of the end time visions that had flooded his searching soul, he was told, “There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time, and at that time thy people (that is, Israel) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.“ Dan. 12:1. Likewise our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking of the days in which we live, said, “For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matt. 24:21–22
There seems to be agreement among almost all students of the word of God that the end time tribulation will be seven years in length, and I see no good reason to disagree with this understanding. Because seven years is but a very short period of time and because many ancient prophecies must be crammed into so short a space, we may now expect a great acceleration in the pace with which wickedness, rebellion, and unbelief will advance and manifest itself. Every saint should now remember the words of the Lord and of His apostles, who with much concern taught us all to watch and be sober. “For,” said they, “if the good man of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched. Watch ye, therefore, for ye know not in what hour your Lord doth come.”
Through the past decade or so great and ever increasing evil has moved like a sullen cloud over all the nations of the earth. Because people have not been watchful, they have allowed themselves to become partakers of many harmful and hurtful things. Evil teachings, incredible in their filth and degradation, have crept into the schools on every level. Prayer and the Bible have been thrown out and openly ridiculed. Children have been taught by the teachers that parents are old fogies and that they should rebel against them and the restraints of home. Under the guise of sex education in schools young people have been encouraged in all manner of promiscuous living. They have been told that their parents do not understand sex and homosexuality. The result of this corruption is that a generation has arisen who know not God, who have no respect for law and order and who seek only to partake as fully as possible of all the corruption of the flesh.
Not only have these corrupt influences come into the schools and into the text books, but television is systematically used to corrupt the morals of all people until we have a violence unparalleled in the history of the world, increasing every day in its ghastly horror. People have become so accustomed to hearing of murders, kidnappings, rapes, shootings, poisonings, guerrilla warfare, drunkenness, drug addiction, illicit sex, and every imaginable wickedness that they begin to take a ho-hum attitude toward it all. The police forces of the world, unable to get any support or backing from the law of the land, have in many cases thrown up their hands in despair, looking the other way when evil occurs and in a multitude of cases joining in with the corruption, accepting bribes and pay-offs in hope of gain. In all fairness to the police we must admit that much of the time they are the most abused people in our society. They are discouraged from carrying out their duties because of the weakness and corruption among judges and lawmakers in the land. We now see the horrible sight of criminals and thugs being turned out on the street to become a menace to society simply because there is no more room in the jails to hold them.
Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, and now that the tribulation is upon us and a time of trouble such as the world has never known is with us, we must expect a great acceleration of evil right up until the hour of the coming of Christ, when He shall come with the armies of heaven to put down all rule and authority and take the throne of David and reign over the house of Israel and the whole world for a thousand years in righteousness and peace.
This is not the time for God’s people to join in with the wickedness of the day, but it is time to watch and be sober and know that each succeeding vice and calamity that falls upon the earth is just one more infallible proof that the coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the just is at hand, even at the doors. The hour in which we live should be a time of watching, watching with diligence every sign of His coming, watching that our garments be kept clean and unsoiled by the vomit that fills all tables in our day. To the saints of God this must be a time of sanctification, of laying aside every weight and the sins that do so easily beset us. This is a time when all hatred, malice, envy, jealousy and evil speaking should be put away from all who name the name of Christ and who profess to be His disciples. This is a time when men and women should make sure they have repented of their sins with a godly sorrow that need not be repented of. It is a time when men should make sure they are born again. It is a time when every believer in Christ should search his own soul. See if you can find hatred in your heart. Go to your brother and do what you can to be reconciled to him. Do not even retain a dislike for people. We should realize that we ourselves would be as they were it not for the goodness of God.
In this time of waiting and watching for the coming of the Lord let us see to it that the lamp which we are is filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit and that our lamps are trimmed and burning brightly. My brethren, I want to warn you before it is too late. I want to tell you that it is impossible to maintain oil in your lamp and a high and blessed Christian experience if you insist upon joining the world to sit watching all manner of violence and filth on the boob tube. Your time is too precious for that kind of thing. If you thirst for an experience in God where living waters flow from your belly, then you must spend hours in prayer. You must read God’s word and meditate upon the things that concern Him and His kingdom. It is largely true that we are what we eat, and it is just as true that evil communications corrupt good manners. It is perfectly true that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also. By these evil means of communication good manners are corrupted, people learn violence, and hear the foulest of language and blasphemies against God. They are taught to believe that immorality is the new morality. They are forced to think that divorce, fighting, and every evil triangle is the normal way of life. The present evil age offers a flood tide of filth, often in the name of education and always in the name of entertainment, but those who are defiled by it will miss the greatest prize of all the ages – sonship and the hope of reigning in righteousness with Christ.
This is the hour, my friend, when the cry is ringing out through the corridors of the world for all mankind to hear, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; he that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Choose you this day whom you will serve, whether it be the world with its corruption or the Lord with His purity, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Let all those who have hope in Christ give heed to the apostles fearful cry, “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
In the articles concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse we spoke of the awful overspreading of false religion and false teaching that would settle like a dark mantle over the earth in the closing days of this age, a fact that is everywhere evident. We saw the red horse of war, bloodshed, and violence sent forth to slay the third part of mankind. We saw the black horse of famine ride forth with the measuring scales in his hand and heard the pitiful cry, “A measure of wheat for a penny, and two measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Now, as if the prophetic message were receiving an answering echo, we read that in 1974 eighty million people were crushed to death beneath the awesome hoofs of the black horse of famine. This black horse of famine was followed by the pale horse of death, and following hard on his heels come death and the grave to consume two-thirds of the world’s population. Even while we write, mankind is wrestling with the problem of what to do with the burgeoning populations of the world, but I tell you in sorrow that they will not need to worry much longer about that. There are certain inevitable calamities soon to appear on the world’s horizon, which will bring into focus many formerly obscure things that are recorded in the word of God.
Two great beasts are mentioned in the book of Revelation. Both of these are vitally connected with the present Babylon of the world system. Babylon is a great mystery never to be completely solved until the last days. There are two vital and integral parts to the Babylon system and these two vital parts form one system. They are not two separate entities. They belong as much to each other as the two arms of a man belong to his body, both working together for the good of the man. Of these two beasts of Babylon one is the political arm and the other is the religious arm, so that the final upshot of the Babylon system, which is the world system, will be one government and one religion, both forced upon the people in the same manner that the worship of Nebuchadnezzar’s image was forced upon the inhabitants of Babylon in the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
It seems very evident to me that this is the teaching of Revelation, chapter thirteen. Of course, there is much we do not understand and many details are hidden from our eyes, but he who will take time to search will clearly see that two great beasts are revealed in this chapter. The first beast was a many, headed creature (verse 1) which rose up out of the sea. (The sea here represents the masses of humanity.) You will notice as you read that this beast received his power from the dragon, which is the devil (verse 3), and that this beast was worshipped (verse 4). Furthermore, “there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” (Verse 5) “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them... and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life…” (Verses 6-8) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. I do not know how better one could visualize false religions than is here pictured by the first beast.
As John watched, he saw another beast, a second beast, rise up out of the earth. He had horns like a lamb and a voice like a dragon. This in our day would seem to be a very significant statement. Like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing he causes the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast (verse 12), forcing the people to make an image to the first beast as Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had done. In verse 16 we see the political nature of this second beast in that, after he had forced all mankind to worship the first beast, he then caused “small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Verses 16–17)
Many things have been written concerning the mark of the beast. We are plainly told here that a day is coming when no man will be able to buy or sell unless he has the mark of the beast in his right hand or in his forehead. Any thinking person must realize what a serious matter this will be. All that a man hath will he give for his life and it is certain man cannot live if he is unable to buy food, unless of course, that man is sustained by the power of God as Israel was sustained in the wilderness. In Revelation, chapter fourteen, three angels are seen flying through the midst of heaven, the first having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, and the second proclaiming the fall of the Babylon system. The third, as he flew, proclaimed this message: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” Rev. 14:9-10 We may not be certain as to the full meaning of this verse, but it certainly is a solemn warning, and all mankind must consider well how fatal a mistake it would be to worship the beast system or receive its mark. I trust that all God’s people will remember that there is a God in heaven who delivers His faithful saints. He who provided a table for two and a half million Israelites in the burning wilderness long ago will also deliver His people and preserve their lives when the hour conies that no man can buy or sell unless he receives the mark of the beast or the number of his name. This prophecy, brethren, is not a myth to be taken lightly, for as God is true and cannot lie, so this dread wonder will appear at the end of the age.
Now I will tell you briefly how this will come about. This is my own opinion and in writing this I am not laying claim to any special inspiration, but as the mystery unfolds, we will be able to decide whether these are mere human opinions or whether there was some inspiration from the Lord.
Though this is a most disconcerting thought, there is much evidence that the world is now heading toward what may be called a cashless society, the idea being that money as we have known it will soon be out of circulation altogether. Each person will have a bank account. All dealings will be done by computer and accounts will be debited and credited as the occasion demands. Every person will receive a card like a social security card upon which his number will be stamped. No other person in the world will have the same number. This card will be presented whenever a purchase of any description is made. The card will be placed in a computer and your bank account debited accordingly. What we are saying here is not news. There are many communities in America where this method of transaction is already in operation. It is a most amazing procedure to behold. The reader will have noticed that even now scarcely ever a purchase is made but the clerk asks the question, “Is this cash or credit!” The credit card system is rapidly taking over the business of the nation.
The remarkable thing about all these evils is that there is a certain amount of benefit with them. If men and women do not carry money, it cannot be stolen. If supermarkets do not have a till full of cash, they cannot be robbed. But let us never forget that the credit card system is slowly but surely preparing the people for the mark of the beast, which presently will come and which the vast majority of people will accept without question as a most useful and handy idea.
When the credit card and computer system becomes universal another problem will present itself, which the authorities will very easily solve. It will be found that thousands of people are either losing their credit cards or having them stolen. To solve this problem it will first be suggested, then tried, and finally enforced, that a person’s number be indelibly imprinted with invisible ink upon the right hand or forehead of every individual, thus insuring that no one will ever lose his number and that it can never be stolen or used by any other person. This in my opinion is the manner by which the mark of the beast will be brought in. Without doubt there will be other complications. The Bible is very clear in the thought that, before being thus stamped with the mark of the beast, the receiver must first swear allegiance to the beast. While this statement is not made directly in the Bible, it is certainly implied. If we compare Rev. 13:16 with Daniel 3:1-7, we will plainly see that the worship of the beast and his image is more than merely implied. It is not easy at present to say just how the number 666 will be incorporated into every person’s number, but no doubt this will be evident in its time.
As time goes on, there will be more evidence that the whole world is drawing nearer to these conditions. Not only are we coming closer to a cashless society, but more and more the frustrated leaders of the world are looking for a super-dictator who will be able to extricate the nations from the dreadful mess into which they have fallen through their own greed, corruption, and rejection of God. More and more we hear the thought expressed that we are citizens of the world.
In the light of the fact that the sixth chapter of Revelation plainly teaches us that war and violence will fill the earth in the last days and that this will be accompanied by the death of perhaps two-thirds of the earth’s population, we are perfectly safe in saying that we are now facing the worst depression the world has ever known. This depression will not be altogether like the great depression of the 1930’s. In that great calamity plenty of commodities were available at very low prices, but there was so much unemployment and shortage of cash that it was impossible to buy anything but the barest necessities of life. Many people were known to eke out a whole month’s existence on $5.00, and I myself often lived, paid tithes, and drove my car on $3.00 a week. It sounds impossible, I know, but that is the way it was. The depression into which we are now moving, however, will be accompanied by many shortages, unbelievably high prices, and much unemployment. It will be far more severe than anything that has ever been before. It will be as Daniel and Jesus plainly told us – a time of trouble such as the world has never known or ever will know again.
In the depression of the 1930’s there was very little violence. People maintained a much higher moral standard. Many revivals took place in those dark years and tens of thousands of people were added to the Lord. But, sadly, we are entering into the coming time of trouble with the lowest moral standards since the days of Noah, coupled with the highest crime rate and the poorest law enforcement ever known. Furthermore, the leaders of the nations, having become exceedingly corrupt themselves, are promoting lawlessness and corruption world-wide.
Make no mistake about it. Both the elected and non-elected governments of the world are purposely bringing about the present conditions of violence, drugs, depression, and lawlessness in the hope that it will bring both themselves and the world banking interests tremendous financial gain. But their greed and gain will be short lived, for it shall come to pass at the end of this age that rich men shall weep and howl for their miseries that shall come upon them. God has said, “Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered: and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” Jas. 5:1-3. Powerful international corporations whose wealth simply cannot be computed are bringing on world-wide depression, war, and famine in the hope of reaping further enormous wealth and bringing all mankind into slavery. But in their pitiful blindness they do not know that the very gold and silver that has become their idol will in the end burn up their own flesh as with fire. The great prophet Isaiah saw this same dreadful circumstance at the end of the ages and cried, saying, “The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Isa. 2:17-19
In the next two or three years there will be a series of wars and more or less minor skirmishes, but the great depression into which we are now moving will be followed by World War III, a war in which the whole world will be involved and which will be terminated by the coming of the Lord. This conflict is vividly described in Rev. 19:11-21.
In closing this brief and somewhat disconnected chapter, there is a thought which all people who dwell in North America should seriously consider. We read much in the scripture of the king of the north – the king of the north, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, which are the present clay cities of Moscow and Tobolsk. Beyond any possibility of doubt we must therefore conclude that Russia and all her hordes arc referred to here. In the book of Daniel, chapter 11, we have an account of the many exploits of this great power, and we see him entering peaceably into the Holy Land and becoming possessor of its great wealth. In Dan. 11:44 we read these strange words: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and to utterly make away many.”
Though the east has always been reckoned to be China and the north Russia itself, I would bring to the attention of every reader that there is another east other than China and another north other than Russia. There is the Near East where all the vast resources of oil are found and where also the wealth of the nations is steadily going. There is another north, which is vitally opposed to Russia, and that north is North America. These two places – the Near East and North America – are now a trouble to Russia, and it is North America above all others and the United States in particular that now stands in the way of the chief prince of Meshech (Moscow). Otherwise he would trample the world under his feet immediately. A few years from now the opposition from these sources will become such a trouble to him that, in my opinion, he will launch an atomic attack against Canada and the United States with the intention of utterly making away with them. Dan. 11:44. This, of course, will bring unbelievable retaliation.
Several times in these writings I have mentioned that the Anglo-Saxon nations are to be identified with Israel and that the United States is definitely an Israel nation. If this be so – and for my part I am certain that it is – then the attack on Israel, spoken of in Ezekiel, chapter 28, is in all probability made not only in the direction of Jerusalem, but in the direction of all the hated Israel nations.
From time immemorial it has always been found that the Israel nations, when wandering far away from their God, will turn in repentance and call upon His name in their times of great trouble and distress. So also will they do when this final time of unspeakable trouble comes upon them. When all is lost and they are completely defeated, they will call upon God as the prophet Joel has said. “Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people… I will remove far from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savor shall come up, because he hath done great things.” Joel 18:20. Thus shall he come to his end and none shall help him. Dan. 11:45. The prayer of God’s people will be answered by the coming of Christ, who will then set up His kingdom and reign with His faithful saints in peace and righteousness for one thousand years. These are things which must shortly come to pass.
SOME THINGS THAT CONCERN US ALL
Many centuries ago Solomon said, “Of the making of many books there is no end,” Eccl. 12:12, and it was John the apostle who stated, “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” As surely as the Lord is omniscient, there is no end to His understanding and the revelation of His truth. Month after month-and year after year truth flows like an ever widening river of life making the words of Jesus literally true: “He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given.” John 7:38. In this natural world “all the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full.” Eccl. 1:7. But in the spiritual world the opposite is true, for the boundless ocean, which is God Himself flows into all the rivers, filling them to the brim with an inexhaustible supply of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and reverence for the Lord. This is exactly what Jesus told us, for the rivers of living water that were to flow forth from the belly of believing man were to be the direct result of the indwelling Holy Ghost which was given to man, for He spoke of the Spirit which had never before been given in any measure of fullness, and even unto this day we have received but the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
We felt it to be the mind of the Lord to write a simple exhortation to all whom it may concern that by God’s grace we might better find our way in this most important hour when all the diseases, both physical and spiritual, of a sick, confused world are swelling up like a painful, malignant boil to fester into one diabolical head — antichrist himself, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is of God or that is worshipped so that he, as God, sitteth in the very temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 2 Thess. 2:4. Any man today with an ounce of understanding must certainly be able to see that the systems of this world, both political and religious, have been caught in the throes of an irresistible force that is sweeping them relentlessly on like dust and corruption caught up in a cyclone, that all the world might worship the beast that had the deadly wound and did live, and that no man might buy or .tell except he has the mark of the beast or the number of his name. This dread climax is sure and unalterable. No force of arms can stop it nor prayers of saints delay it, for God, in whose hands the nations of the world are but dust in the balance, has declared that thus it shall be. Let us not, then, waste our time trying to delay and hinder that which omniscient wisdom has declared must be, but let us rather take fast hold on that calling and election to which we are ordained that we may have one head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, whom God hath appointed the heir of all things, whose kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom which shall never be destroyed.
We have lived so long as natural men in a natural world with a natural environment that to be converted and begin to live as spiritual men requires nothing less than a birth from above, for, if we have spoken of earthly things and men believe not, how shall they believe when we speak of heavenly things? Nevermore shall we enter the womb of our mother to be born a second time of the flesh, but the Spirit of God, that bloweth where it lilteth, moves even now upon the face of the deep, rousing men to resurrection and life, unlocking the closed mind, and giving the mind of Christ to those who adore Him that men might speak the wisdom of God, which none of the princes of this world know, and dispel the dim shadows of night from men’s eyes that they might see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Then the lips of them that sleep shall speak, for from the cocoon of our death comes forth a new creature that no longer crawls as a worm upon its belly but, borne up on the winds of the Spirit, it inhabits a new and heavenly realm henceforth to live as spiritual men spiritually and not as natural men naturally.
Though some may disbelieve it, the truth is that all spiritual men must and will appear to be mystics. It is not because they try to be so, but it is because they are so. They cannot help being oddities and misfits here because they do not belong to this world. Jesus said, “Ye are not of this world, even as I am not of this world.” Therefore, because you are not of this world, you will always be a stranger to it. You are a foreigner and a wanderer in a strange country. Your speech will always betray you. Your actions and customs will always reveal you. Your communications with the spiritual realm will mark you. The things you love will unmask you. Your lack of interest in all that belongs to this present realm will give your identity away. You will always feel that you do not belong in this realm and that you neither can belong nor wish to belong. “They that speak such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city.” Heb. 11:14-17.
There are several definitions of a mystic, but the one I like best is this: One who has been initiated into a mystery. Now when we realize that a mystery is something incomprehensible in its nature, something that can never possibly be understood apart from divine revelation, then consider how wonderful a thing it is to be “initiated into a mystery.” Blessed be the man who has thus been enlightened by the Spirit of God! But such a man has no ability to disclose the truth revealed to him until the Holy Spirit in loving kindness draws aside the darkening veil and reveals the hidden truth that those who hear might understand. It is said of Jesus, “Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the scriptures.” Luke 24:45. The heavens are closed because our minds are closed. Thus we grope in darkness and thus we remain until by the miracle of divine revelation our understanding is enlightened. We have tried to teach, educate, instruct, and explain, but, whether we know it or not, we miss the mark, for nothing is revealed until the Lord reveals it and nothing lives until the Lord makes it live. We may earnestly preach that man should repent, but no man can feel his need of repentance until God reveals his sin to him and grants him a spirit of repentance. We have tried to make men believe, but a man cannot believe unless God gives him believing faith, for faith is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. Eph. 2:8. We have been exhorted to turn our faith loose, but we have no faith to turn loose unless and until it is given of God. Then nothing can withstand it.
A spiritual man will always be an oddity in this world, not because he tries to be so as some have foolishly done, but because he is different from all other men. While the world and most of the Christians walk after the dictates of the flesh, the spiritual man walks after the dictates of the Spirit. His whole life on earth clearly testifies that, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Such a man no longer seeks to please himself as others do, but his constant prayer both night and day is, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” He does not have a multitude of requests to continually present to God, for he knows that even the prayer that sounds best may have come from the selfishness of human desire, but, having brought himself into complete harmony with God’s will, he prays, “Not my will but Thine be done.”
The natural mind does not know what is good or what is evil. It does not know that the house of mourning is better than the house of feasting, or that sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. If such an evil as pain or sickness brings us nearer to God, then it is no longer evil, but good and is no more worthy of rebuke. To the spiritual man the will of God is not a cross but a crown, for it is his daily delight. It is his meat and drink, his joy and satisfaction. Withhold such a man from the will of God and he would die of utter longing. He has learned the meaning of the text, “As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, Oh God.” He has found that the soul who thirsts after God’s will does literally pant after God. He thirsts after the fountains of living water and hungers for the righteousness of the Lord. His soul is often sick with longing and he breaks out into all manner of exclamations even as Solomon who cried, “Stay me with flagons; comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love (love sick).” Songs of S. 2:5
As a spiritual man progresses in the will and understanding of God, the realities of Gethsemane are borne in upon him. No longer with eloquent oratory does he describe the crushing hour Jesus endured in the garden but, having himself borne some of its agonies, he is loath to speak of it at all except to those who understand, for, if he ventures to speak of such sacred things to those who understand not, his words will seem but idle tales and his voice, echoing from the hollow emptiness of their stony hearts, will return void in his face. Few men know the bitter agony of the crucifixion of the human will and neither do they see that from its dead and crucified self has one in the very image of God risen within henceforth to love and embrace only those things that belong to His divine purpose. Well did Paul say, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
Let not those who enter into the secret of God’s presence imagine even for a moment that other Christians will understand, for they will not. Tell them ever so earnestly, but they cannot hear. From this day forth the spiritual man will be a speckled bird. Jer. 12:9. Even while he tells them, their eyes will be heavy with sleep and he will seem to them as one who has taken leave of his senses. This in a measure is true, for the celestial realm is beyond the realm of time and sense. The people who listened to Paul cried, “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.” To which he replied, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.” Acts 26:24 Perhaps Paul had this same accusation in mind when he wrote to the Corinthians, “If we be beside ourselves, it is to God.” 2 Cor. 5:13
It is undeniable truth that all the world lives after the flesh. We have already pointed out in the book Two Realms that the flesh and the flesh alone is the motivating power of the present world order. Everything from pins to battleships is for the sake of the physical body of flesh and not one thing devised by man exists except for the satisfaction of one or all of the five senses of the human body. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not of the lusts that war in your members? Ye lust and have not. Ye kill and desire to have, and cannot attain.” The banquetings, feasts, and abominable idolatries of the heart are all for the sake of the five senses of the body, and who is so foolhardy that he would dare to deny that the physical, corruptible body is a body of flesh?
All the gold on earth is not enough to buy a spiritual experience. Therefore, all the wealth possessed by man is laid up for the flesh and the flesh alone. Wealth can cater so much to the comfort of the flesh and the poverty of the spirit that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. All the diamonds of Africa could not atone for one sin nor bring one moment of the peace that comes from faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
Let us not imagine that it is only the unbelieving world that lives after the flesh. The undeniable truth is that the vast majority of believers live far more after the flesh than after the Spirit. They hate to hear it and the majority of Christians refuse to admit it, but it is so. They sing “Sweet hour of prayer,” but most believers neglect to even hold family worship. They are conversant with their business affairs and even church affairs, but strangers in communion with God. They sing, “Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my Savior’s praise,” but their minds are filled with the latest hits, and while they sing, “Blest be the tie that binds,” they allow the least offense to sever them.
A man is not spiritual because he has quit all worldly pleasure. The reverse is true. The natural, the carnal, and the sinful have departed because of the abundance of his spiritual life. When his time becomes absorbed in the realm of reality, which is the realm of the Spirit, he does not have either stomach or heart for the weak and beggarly things of this life. If he tries for a moment to enter into them, he finds his heart drifting away from them because he belongs to a different realm and a different country, even an heavenly country. These light and frivolous things of the passing fail to interest him because they belong to the natural while he belongs to the Spirit. All his hopes and aspirations have fled from this world to lay hold on the things that belong to the realm of reality where he shall abide forever. Both the world and worldly Christians will think it strange that he runs not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of him, but they must give an account to God who is ready to judge both the living and the dead. Even the memory of the days in which we did the will of the flesh should be sufficient for us, for then we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries. See 1 Pet. 4:1-4. People who spend their time feasting their minds, their eyes, their stomachs, and their ears on the sordid things of this passing age are unaware that the man who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin that he should no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. The worldly minded find much of their transient pleasure by dishonoring their own bodies in every possible way, in eating and drinking to excess, by enflaming the body with strong drink, by doping it with foul-smelling tobacco, or by adventuring upon all manner of sex orgies. These are all enemies of the soul that endlessly and unremittingly WAR against the spirit. The man of God must purge himself from all these that he may be a vessel fit for the habitation of the Holy Spirit.
The spiritual man is peculiar because he has meat to eat that others know not of. So real was that heavenly meat in the experience of Jesus that, when weary and hungry He sat on the well in Samaria, He refused natural food, for His communion with God had supplied His need for both food and drink, and, when at last they offered Him food, saying, “Master, eat,” He needed it not, for hunger, thirst, and weariness had departed from Him as the indwelling Spirit of God quickened His mortal body. The life-giving Spirit was to Him both food and drink, though other men had still not discovered the truth of the words, “My Father giveth the true bread from heaven”. John 6:32.
The hour is coming and now is when the sons of God who are coming into the image of the firstborn Son, Jesus Christ, will find themselves living in a spiritual realm completely independent of the bondage of all that is earthly. It is clear to be seen that Jesus, even while He lived among men being found in fashion as a man, proved that sons of God are in all things independent of the bondage and power of this present world system. Always, after the hour of His baptism in the Jordan, the heavens were opened to Him and all the lasting and eternal benefits of that realm were His, never to depart from Him. When He ministered, the angels of God ascended and descended upon Him. Is it any wonder that no power of man or devil could stand before Him? He manifested His authority over every disease known to humanity. The might of the most terrible demons was overcome with no more than the touch of His finger. Cf. Luke 11:20. Howling winds were calmed to gentle breezes at His rebuke, and violent raging seas whimpered like babies and fell asleep at His bidding of peace. He paid not His taxes by the labour of His hands. The wild beasts of the wilderness were as pets in His presence. The soldiers who were sent to fetch Him returned without Him, saying, “Never man spake like this man!” The violent mob who accosted Him in the garden fell helplessly before Him, obeying His command to let the disciples go free. John 18:2-9. And, when at last Pilate demanded, “Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee”, He made him tremble with the words, “Thou couldst have no power at all against Me except it were given thee from above.” John 19:10–11. Of death also He said, “No man can take My life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself,” and, though death was permitted to hold Him for a little moment, He arose in exaltation, bearing in His omnipotent hands the keys of both death and hell. Now with triumphant voice He cries, “I am He that liveth and was dead and, behold, I am alive forevermore!” Was there ever a question He could not answer! Was there ever a cunning plot He did not discern? Did ever thoughts live in the hearts of men unknown to Him? No! He knew them all, for He was the Son of God. This, then, is the heritage of sons, and it is high time we ceased to grovel about as other men, living in bondage to all manner of corruptible things. It is time to realize that there is an heavenly realm where sons of God may live far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but in that which is to come.
The unspiritual Christian struggles to keep alive all the things that God has ordained must die. He lays fast hold on the temporal things of this passing world. He hates to be reminded that his years are passing and that age is increasing because he unconsciously knows that each passing year will mean a shortening of his stay in the realm of the flesh, which he dearly loves. He hates the thought of death because to him death is the end and not the beginning. Even Solomon himself could not convince such a man that the hour of death is better than the hour of birth. Neither could such an one be persuaded that the house of mourning is better than the house of feasting. Eccl. 7:1–2. His life after the flesh has convinced him that youth is better than old age and folly is better than wisdom. Ecc. 7:3–4.
In meditation I have come to the conclusion that the spirits of all men were with the Father before they came forth from the womb. When a tiny baby is born into this world, his spirit has recently come forth from the presence of the Lord, but he remembers it not because a veil has been drawn over his mind. Heaven has been closed to him by his incarnation or en-flesh-ment and he sees the realm of spirit and reality no more until his days of travail in the flesh are done and his spirit through death returns once more to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7. See then how much better is the hour of death than the hour of birth, for in birth we come forth from God’s presence, but in death we leave the world to go to the Father. John 16:28.
As long as our eyes remain closed to the celestial realm, we will always lay fast hold upon the fleeting things of this temporal world. Seeing nothing beyond this realm, we will struggle to hold fast to it. We will dread the appearance of every gray hair, knowing not that the hoary head is evidence of increasing wisdom and that the wrinkled face is the evidence that we have borne His yoke upon us, having passed through our wilderness, our Gethsemanes, and our Calvaries. The afflictions of this life leave upon our flesh and our spirits as well the marks of the Lord Jesus. The beloved Paul knew they were the marks of the Lord Jesus and he made no effort to hide or to erase them, but, bearing them with great pride, he said, “From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Gal. 6:17
When king Solomon described the heavenly bridegroom, he said His hair was as black as a raven, Songs of S. 5:11, but, when John beheld His glory on Patmos, he said His hair was white as wool. Rev. 1:14. How glorious that is, for between the vision of Solomon and the vision of John lay Gethsemane and the cross, a life of sorrow and acquaintance with much grief. Recently in our journey we stopped for lunch at a restaurant. Three women sat at a table nearby. From their appearance we judged that they were a mother and daughter and grandmother. The daughter looked young because she was only about eighteen. The mother looked matronly because she was, perhaps, fifty. But the grandmother looked ridiculous because she was evidently trying to look as young as the granddaughter. Her wrinkled face was smeared with rouge and lipstick to simulate youth, her gray hair was dyed, she had plucked and arched her eyebrows and used eye shadow in profusion. The clothes she wore were suitable for a twenty-year-old lass, and her efforts at animated and youthful conversation were sickening to behold. She deceived no one but herself, poor lady, and I am sure she did not deceive herself either. But that is what I mean. Not knowing the realities of the Spirit, mankind, believers and unbelievers alike, are loath to see the visible and unreal slipping away. If indeed there were any truth to the frequent tales of ghosts that inhabit cemeteries, I suppose it would be because these spirits, having known naught but the unreality of the flesh, desire to return to it again. Even the flesh of swine was more acceptable to the demons at Gadara than no flesh at all.
A wonderful experience awaits the child of (Jod when for the first time in life he sees that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” As long as man sees every difficulty, every adversity, set back, sickness and bereavement, or failure as nothing more than the wicked hand of the devil hindering his progress in life, that man will always be a disconsolate, miserable, faithless, and unbelieving Christian. Hut, when he learns that these afflictions are set in mercy and love from the hand of God and that they are not against him but for his eternal benefit, then the golden gates of a whole new realm of spiritual understanding and experience are wide open before him. There was a vast difference in the understanding of poor sorrowing Jacob and the oft stricken Paul. While Jacob mournfully wailed, “Joseph is not, Simeon is not, and you will take Benjamin away also and bring down my gray head with sorrow to the grave; all these things are against me,” Gen. 42:36, Paul, who knew affliction as few other men have known it, triumphantly exclaimed, “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28.
To see that your affliction is working for you and not against you is a most valuable revelation of truth. It is something that all people should learn and especially those who are the called in this particular hour. I suppose that many Christians were dismayed that such an indispensable man as Paul should spend years shut up in a dingy jail. Then, as now, no doubt the people thought this a master stroke of Satan to hinder the gospel, but it was not so. Paul’s frequent imprisonments were from the hand of God and not from the hand of Satan. It was from these dank prison cells that his choicest epistles were written to bless and enlighten the saints and leave a heritage of spiritual truth for all ages to come. Paul did not fear his years in prison, for he well knew that, when evil men fastened him securely in the inner prison, binding him with chains and putting his feet in stocks, the angel of the Lord would bring him out if that were God’s will, or that, when men left him for dead, God could raise him up again.
It is the visible things that are temporal. It is the invisible things that are eternal. Things, however thin, have two sides to them – the visible and the invisible. The visible side is what we see now – the pains, the tribulations, the distress, affliction, sickness, persecution, misunderstanding, and a thousand difficulties. But the invisible side, the thing that is hidden from us now, is the thing that affliction is producing. The invisible things are eternal things. While the outward man is suffering wear and tear and pain, the inward man is receiving fresh strength from God every day. The transitory troubles which we suffer are winning for us a permanent, glorious, and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain, for those who understand are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory, passing, and unreal, but the invisible things are permanent, enduring, and real. The man who spends his life bemoaning his afflictions is a loser, but the man who has learned that this affliction is producing an eternal weight of glory is a victorious winner indeed.
Evil cannot come to a good man either in life or in death. Evil only seems to come. “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.” The damning condemnations that men of ill will intend should do him harm, God intends for good. By His hidden and eternal wisdom God is ruling over all the forces of darkness, making the wrath of man to praise him, proving to such a rebel as Pharaoh that even he was raised up by the Lord for his ignoble task. Exod. 9:16. “What can ever separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? It is for God’s sake that we are killed all the day long and are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay! In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Rom. 8:35-39. Phillips Translation
Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unresearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him and it shall be recompensed to him again? For from Him everything comes, by Him everything exists, and in Him everything ends; glory to Him forevermore. Amen and amen!
It should not be necessary at this hour to have to prove to any man that we are living in momentous days. All men instinctively know this to be true whether they be men of God or men of the earth. As the stirrings of spring come to the trees of the wood and as the urge of migration comes to the birds of the wild, so the awesome sense of a coming age is settling down upon all mankind. The feeling that “something is going to happen” is expressed so often by many who make no profession of godliness whatsoever. It is like the troubled feeling that gripped Jerusalem at the time Jesus was born in the manger of Bethlehem. Matt. 2:3. Turmoil is everywhere. Like some phantom and evil spirit it has crept into all phases of life on a universal scale. The individual is confused. The homes are confused. The governments are confused. The United Nations is confused and has no more true unity than oil and water. Distrust, intrigue, and suspicion are rampant among them as they sit together and tell lies at one table, Dan. 11:27.
For the past years we have continually pointed out that the present visible church system with all its vast confusion of sects, denominations, ists and isms is not the true church at all, but is the confusion and disorder of Mystery Babylon, into which confusion the saints of God have been carried captive even as Israel was carried captive to Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon long ago. We have also pointed out continually that, as the end of this age draws near, more and more efforts will be made to unite all religious systems. The so-called Protestant denominations will find a confused and unholy union with Rome, that mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. This union is taking shape with ever increasing haste before our very eyes. Day after day new innovations will come until the day the sordid union is complete. Almost every day now one may read of united meetings, ecumenical councils, or papal pilgrimages in which countless throngs bow before this modern Belshazzar of Babylon. Small wonder Jesus said, “I have come in My Father’s name and ye received Me not. Another shall come in his own name; him ye shall receive.”
Not only do we hear of united gatherings, but already the harlot and her daughters are building temples together. Only recently I received a clipping through the mail which we here quote in full: “Britain‘s first inter-religious church with facilities for Anglican, Free Church, and Roman Catholic congregations will be dedicated next June at Keele University in Staffordshire. A similar “Unity Church” for the three bodies is also planned for London Airport at a later date. The Keele University church will have three chapels grouped around a central altar. The work is already well advanced on the building, which will cost about $235,000. Each church will contribute toward a University special fund which will finance the project.” We are not only to see union between Protestants and Catholics, but already overtures are being made to bring in the other religious systems of the world that they all may drink from the same cup of confusion and all commit fornication in one unholy bed.
Many Christian people who have had a real experience of justification and many more who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit are deceived into believing that their little group will escape the arms of this great octopus. But this is not so, for the whole visible religious system is going to be swept into the seething cauldron. Many of the so-called Full Gospel people will enter into this union because they will soon hear of high-ranking churchmen laying claim to all manner of miraculous power. They will profess to speak with tongues, heal the sick, and perform miracles. Bishops, cardinals, and perhaps even popes will make all manner of apostolic professions so that many thousands will be deceived, thinking a great revival has come, and thereby, if it were possible, even the elect themselves would be deceived. Christians, alas, have become so miracle minded that they imagine that anything supernatural is necessarily of God. Do not be deceived by this, for, when antichrist is revealed, he will be a miracle worker, and he will come with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they did not love the truth. 2 Thess. 2:6-12.
We are living in an hour of great deception. We are in a time when the world and the professing church system is stacked full of false prophets, false teachers, false apostles, false evangelists, false shepherds, and false miracle workers. Men with false gifts, claiming to be some great ones, are abroad everywhere. There is no end to their abominable claims. False prophets are forever predicting things that do not come to pass or prophesying in such a way that they would appear right whatever may transpire. False deliverers who are themselves helpless captives of some besetting sin are professing to deliver people from all manner of evil.
Did not Jesus tell us that in the last day there would be false prophets and false christs and that many would come in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘I am Christ?” Did He not tell us that they would say, “Lo, here, and Lo, there?” Did He not warn us that they would say He is in the wilderness, or He is in the desert or in the secret place? And did He not say, “Go not after them?”
Matt. 24:23-26. I am frankly amazed that I have heard of a number of different places being prepared in the United States and Canada as refuges for people in the great tribulation. The strange thing is that many are preparing to go to such places. Go, if you wish, but you will find it a farce in the end and no refuge at all. David had the true secret when he said, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (tribulation); therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed…” Psa. 46 And again he said, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” That is where no evil will befall you nor plague come nigh you. That is where ten thousand will fall at your right hand and a thousand at your left. That is where the terror by night will not alarm you nor the arrow by day slay you. Only with your eyes shall you behold the reward of the wicked. Psa. 91. Elisha knew this refuge when the hosts of the Assyrians came to take him. Jesus knew it, too, when He said. “Know ye not that I could now pray to My Father and He would send more than twelve legions of angels.” This is refuge we must have. Learn to dwell in the secret place of the Most High God and you will not be running to some false refuge in the desert when trouble starts. Remember the words of Jesus! When they say He is in the desert, go not forth.
In spite of all the years we have been in the church system, strangely enough very, very few people even remotely understand what the true church really is. We have been writing concerning the visible and the invisible, and we have considered at some length the words of Paul when he said, “The things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal.” This same truth applies to the church. Man has been prone to see the visible thing upon which is inscribed the letters C-H-U-R-C-H. This he divides into endless segments, giving each segment a different name until there are so many names that we would be hard put to it to count them all. This vast visible confusion man calls the church. But the thing which man calls the church is by no means the thing that God calls the church, for, while man is looking at some visible temple he has built, God sees the true church rising on the foundation stone which is Jesus Christ Himself.
The true church always has been a mystery, invisible to the eyes of man but clearly seen by the eyes of God. The word ‘ecclesia’ from which the word ‘church’ is derived simply means ‘called out’. It is called out of the world; it is called out of sin; it is called out of Babylon; and it is called out unto Christ. When Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice and they follow Me,” it should be perfectly clear that the ones who are the ‘called out’ are the ones who know His voice and who follow Him. The true church consists of the called out ones, the people who know the voice of Christ and are following Him and Him alone. “They are not all Israel who are of Israel, but in Isaac shall they seed be called.” Even so they are not all church who appear to be church, but those who are disciples of Jesus Christ. Until we see the church as a wheel within a wheel, we will never discern the true church nor the true body of Christ. The visible system means nothing. It is our hidden relationship to Christ that really counts. Man has placed tremendous emphasis on his association with sects, which erroneously called themselves the church. To be joined to them means absolutely nothing. If you could make yourself a member in good standing with every one of them at once, it still would mean less than nothing. The only thing that counts for anything is your union with Christ in the Spirit. Make certain of this above all else. Those who are united to Him, whether still in bondage to a system or whether they be free men, are the one true ecclesia, the one true church.
Jesus said, “I know My sheep and am known of Mine.” It is to them that eternal life is given. They alone have the promise that “no man can pluck them out of the Father’s hand.” Great blindness has come over the world in that only a very ‘little flock’ discerns that the true, mystical, and invisible body of Christ is a separate entity from all the man-made systems that parade under the banner of the church. So degenerate has the understanding become that it is commonly believed that, if a person is not a member of one of these organizations, he is no better than a heathen and is completely outside the pale of the church. My spirit, soul, and body fiercely rebel against all such crude and uninspired understanding, for the opposite is the truth. All who are made free by the Spirit of God, who know His voice and are joined to Him in the Spirit, are the church of God in truth. These are moving farther and farther away from the confusion of all human systems and human understandings which bind men in chains of traditions and blind their eyes with scales of unbelief.
Whether we wish to receive it or not, the hour is coming and now is when even the angels of God will proclaim through the heavens, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her plagues.” While man is building great Babylon on the one hand and mysterious power is rising to hitherto unheard of heights, God on the other hand is preparing her terrible judgment. All nations have drunk of the wine of her fornication and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. It is in this tremendous hour of her great triumph, when the religious leaders of the earth imagine in their carnal minds that they have at last solved the religious differences of the whole world by casting them all into a common melting pot, that God is calling to His people even as He called to Lot in Sodom, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she has rewarded you and double unto her double according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself and lived deliciously, so much sorrow and torment give her, for she saith in her heart, I sit as a queen and am no widow and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day; death and mourning and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” (Rev. Chapter 18 deals with the fearful destruction of the system that is so rapidly coming to its fullness in our day.)
In the world system and the existing church (I fear the two are wed) the day of the individualist is gone. Every body, every nation, every religion, is being thrown into one melting pot to be either melted together or frozen together in one vast sea of humanity from which the beast himself shall rise. But let us not forget that, while all this is going on, God has a chosen people, a peculiar people, an elect people who are joined to Him in perfect unity of spirit and mind, and who are joined to each other, not by physical presence, but by this omnipresent Spirit. Most of the people have never seen each other’s faces, yet they are one, for spiritual unity does not depend on the close proximity of physical beings but upon the unity of the Spirit in Christ. All who are one mind with Him are one mind with each other, regardless of distance. Paul once said to the Colossians, “Though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the Spirit, joying and beholding your order and the stedfastness of your faith.” Col. 2:5
In the days of Elijah the prophet all Israel was following the prophets of Baal, but unknown to Elijah and all unknown to each other there were seven thousand people who had never bowed the knee to Baal, but were sincere servants of the Lord. With which one of these two companies did Elijah belong? Was he one with that vast visible confused religious system which was preaching and prophesying all about him, or was he one in heart and soul and spirit with that hidden seven thousand whom he had never seen nor heard of before? Well do we know the answer to that question? Elijah was one heart and one soul with that invisible number in whose presence he had never been, for they were one spirit with the Father and therefore one spirit with each other. The physical unity of crowds and congregations means nothing. The unity of the spirit means everything.
We must now consider a matter of supreme importance. It is the truth concerning our harmony with God. The Lord is the author of all harmony. His whole majestic universe is a harmony far exceeding all earth’s symphonies. “Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee; or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” Job 12:7-10. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” Psa. 19:1-3
That we may have some idea of the vastness of the heavens, astronomers tell us that on a clear night the naked eye can detect only some three thousand stars from a given point and, though the great telescopes have discovered several million stars, astronomers estimate that there are enough galaxies in the celestial expanse to give one to every man, woman and child that ever was born. There is no way the human mind can begin to comprehend or imagine the vastness represented here. The nearest of those stars, Cygni by name, is more than thirty-six billion miles from earth, so that the light from the nearest star takes six and a quarter years to reach us. Other stars are so far distant that the mathematicians’ figures fail to describe the awesome distances. Our imaginations reel at the thought of light with its speed of one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second taking a thousand years to reach us.
There was a day in the long ago when the eloquent voices of Job and all his counselors fell silent as the Lord began to speak. At the presence of the Lord Job himself repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:1-6), because he found himself unable to answer any of the forty questions the Lord demanded of him. Among the baffling queries that came from the lips of God was one that even the astronomers in our day cannot answer with perfect satisfaction. It was this: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” Job 38:31 Pleiades is the name given by the Greeks to what is known as the seven stars, clearly visible in the heavens on a cloudless night. The name comes from the Greek word pleen, which means to sail. The appearance of these stars in the heavens indicated a favorable time to begin a voyage at sea. In the Chaldaic language the word for the seven stars of the Pleiades is chimak, meaning a hinge or a pivot. The astronomer Bradley in 1748 discovered that Alcyone (pronounced al-si-O-ne), the brightest star among these seven, is as far as can be determined the center of our entire solar system. It is the hinge or pivot around which the sun with all its attendant stars and planets is believed to revolve. If we now comprehend’ that our sun is three thousand billion miles from Alcyone, then we may have some idea of the sweet influence of Pleiades, which as a hub or axle of our universe swings these millions of heavenly bodies about itself at the rate of more than one hundred and fifty million miles a year in a circuit so vast that it would take thousands of years to complete it.
As the ages roll on endlessly and all the heavenly bodies are continually in motion – the moon revolving around the earth, the earth revolving around the sun, the sun with the entire solar system revolving around Alcyone, and Alcyone with its billions of attendants revolving around some still greater center, and these in turn revolving around that center of all centers, the throne of God -we can contemplate to some small degree what must be meant by the sweet influence of Pleiades. Engineers use the word sweet to describe the smooth working and humming of perfectly tuned machinery. Is it any wonder then that the perfect harmony of this perfectly timed universe is here described as sweet?
You will say this is all incredibly wonderful and I will certainly reply, Amen; but may I suggest that, wonderful as is this sweet influence of a perfectly tuned universe, all this is but dust, and sentence has been pronounced that the heavens will pass away as a body goes down to the dust of the grave. “Dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return.” While the Lord is speaking to us of things far transcending our understanding, He has not failed to tell us that even these will one day pass away and that, though the natural heavens will one day disappear, our Lord is building for Himself a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, which filleth all in all. Eph. 1:23. Weymouth in his translation expresses it thus: “God has put all things under His feet, and has appointed Him universal and supreme Head of the church, which is His body, the completeness of Him who everywhere fills the universe with Himself.” Eph. 1:22–23. (Weymouth) Ah, what unimaginable harmony that will be! A universe filled with living stars who shine as the brightness of the firmament forever, all in sweet accord with the sun of our souls, our Saviour dear, and all motivated and controlled by the sweet influence of God’s eternal throne!
If we are to love God as we ought to love Him, we must begin to understand and be gripped by the eternal purposes of God. It is not sufficient to say to a man, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God.” We are no more capable of loving God because we are told to do so than we are capable of loving some human being because we were told lo do so. There are millions of people in the world today who know the scripture, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart…”, yet they have no love for God at all, and, though some are able to say, “I love the Lord because He saved me,” even that falls far short of perfect love because in this they are loving the Lord, not for who He is or what He is, but because of something He did for them.
Though I was a denominational minister for some thirty years before the command of Christ, “Come out from among them and be separate”, reached my ears, and though I preached fervently all the doctrines and traditions of the elders as they had been taught to me, I am now one hundred percent convinced that, if any man is really going to come to the knowledge of the Holy, he is going to have to depart physically and spiritually from the presence of this association of blind guides and he will have to be taught of God concerning those great universal and eternal purposes which God, who cannot lie, who cannot change, and who cannot be deterred, purposed in His holy mind of wisdom and understanding before ever the ages were formed or time began.
It is beyond my ken and understanding how the existing church systems can possibly pretend to be bringing the good news of the gospel to the people who dwell on the earth. In spite of the plain teaching of scripture, which clearly states that God hath reconciled all things to Himself, the preachers shamelessly tell the people that ninety-nine people out of every hundred will be lost and go to a burning hell to suffer its raging fires and agonizing tortures ceaselessly, endlessly and eternally, without hope and without God for time unimaginable, for what creature of time can possibly imagine eternity? This they call gospel and this they call good news. I cannot possibly imagine any news that could be worse than this, no, not if my imagination were to run rampant day and night forever! And what is even worse, they willingly admit that God, being omniscient, must have foreknown all this harm and loss, and yet for all His love and omnipotence He did not deter or hinder it.
Furthermore we are asked to believe that the ignorance of the masses of mankind has no bearing on their fate. We are supposed to believe that, though billions of Chinese, Indians and Africans through no fault of their own have lived and died without knowing anything at all of God’s Son, still they are inexcusable. Then these poor, blind leaders of the blind try to tell us that this is the good news of which the angels sang at His nativity. It is not good news. It is dreadful news. It is completely out of harmony with all that God is and all that God does. He who said, “Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn,” must surely have some concern for an even higher creation. If no sparrow falls without His notice, are we not better than many sparrows?
Some three thousand years ago the world’s most eminent sage wrote, “Every purpose is established by counsel”, Prov. 20:18; and “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Eccl. 3:1. Isaiah, taking up the theme centuries later, wrote these harmonizing words: “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” Isa. 14:23. Our Lord and our God is a God of purpose. He who said, “Every purpose is established by counsel,” must certainly have taken counsel Himself. He who said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness, and let us give him dominion…“ must certainly first have taken counsel in His own heart as to how this mighty edict was to be accomplished. How hateful is the teaching that pictures man’s transgression and fall as an accident that the all-wise God had not foreseen! How I despise the insinuation that envisions Satan slyly slipping in a back door to bring ruin to God’s plan! I have heard world renowned preachers harping this kind of discord. If Satan was able to slip into Eden unnoticed by God, what fools we must be to affirm that God is either omniscient or omnipresent! How can omniscience fail to know or omnipresence fail to see? Furthermore, if our Lord was unable to hinder Satan, then He can no more be said to be omnipotent. The preachers of these falsehoods belittle the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, and the Omnipresent by teaching such abominable incongruities to be the doctrine of the Lord. Such contradictory humbug as this has no foundation either in truth or in fact. It is foreign to God’s word and a horrible caricature of God Himself. How much better it is to heed the blessed words of the apostle Paul, who in preaching the truth unashamedly described the lowly path that leads to sonship in this profound sentence: “The creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him (God) who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom. 8:20–21. Ah, there is truth. There is the revelation that fully explains the purpose of the fall of man. I know it is a staggering truth – meat indeed for men of full stature. Should these profound words stagger your imagination as they once staggered mine when first their truth burst upon my understanding, you will never recover from their profundity. Well do I remember when first the Spirit made them shine from out the sacred page? In astonishment of heart I cried out. “Lord, do you mean to say that you are taking responsibility for the fall of man?” And that is just exactly what is stated here. No accident here nor trick of a sly, unrelenting devil! Oh, no! Man’s subjection to the vanity of the fall was part of God’s infinitely wise counsel from the beginning. Through this awesome valley of the shadow of death He planned to lead His appointed sons along the path to perfection, by which the entire world would eventually come to the knowledge, not of evil only nor just the knowledge of good, but the knowledge of both good and evil.
Oh, how our love for God grows when once our eyes envision the wonders of His marvelous purposes, which were purposed in Christ before the world began! Have you noticed the precious understanding of Peter as he preached on the day of Pentecost, full of the Holy Ghost, his soul aflame with fresh anointing, and how he made known the way of God to his massive audience? These are his words: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
Acts 2:22–23. Take heed to those words, if you will – “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” This crucifixion was not the doing of man. This was the work of God. This was God’s determinate counsel. The death of God’s Son by crucifixion was planned and determined beforehand. This blessed Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. It is true that wicked men stretched out their violent hands to kill the Son of God and it is true they accomplished their evil design, but it was God who determined before the foundation of the world that it should be done. As Samson found honey in the dead carcass of the slain lion, so this Lion of the tribe of Judah has brought forth from His predetermined death the honey of everlasting life. Jesus Christ the Lord is eternal life. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. While He walked among us as a man, He gave eternal life to no one, but when by death He released His life, for the life is in the blood, He shed life abroad that all mankind may freely drink of its blessed fountain and never thirst again.
Some time ago I listened to a radio preacher bemoaning with plaintive voice the death of Christ. He told the people how sad it was that He was crucified by wicked men and that it need not have been. What? It did not have to be? Has not the Holy Spirit said that God determined before that it should be done? Jesus could have saved Himself at any moment during the whole tragic scene. At any time He could have called a legion of angels to His side and, were that not enough, He could have called ten thousand legions, but His reason for not doing so was manifest in that one meaningful question, “How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, and thus it must be?” Matt. 26:54. “As I (God) have purposed, so shall it stand,” Isaiah said, Isa. 14:23, and again “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?” And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isa. 14:26–27
The Jews have often been blamed for killing Jesus and, whatever the pope or the ecumenical movement may have to say to the contrary, Paul affirmed that it was true when he said to the Thessalonians, “Ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.” 1 Thess. 2:14–15. Though that statement is harsh, it is true, even to this very day. But Peter opened up a whole new realm of understanding when he said to the Jews, “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead. … And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.” Acts 3:13-15, 17–18. Then, after the apostles had been evil entreated and beaten, they gathered together for prayer and, having received a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, they lifted up their voices with one accord and said, “Lord, Thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done” Acts 4:24-28
Is it not plain to be seen that there is a marvelous harmony running through all these things? Not only are all things – even the worst of things – working together for good, but they are working for good according to a purpose. Therefore, whether a thing appears to be good or evil, it is good, because it is working for good. Tribulation may be an evil thing, but, if it is true that tribulation worketh patience and patience, experience and experience, hope and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, then it certainly has worked for good, for, though the tribulation was an evil thing, the patience, experience, hope, unashamedness and the resultant love of God that was shed abroad in the heart made the evil of tribulation work for eternal good. Furthermore by this we come to a more advanced knowledge of good and evil, even as it is written, “Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Heb. 5:14. “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Job 2:10. Verily I would say that such would seem almost to be impossible, since we know not good until we know its opposite, which is evil.
Because Paul said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” I set myself earnestly to seek how I might let the mind of Christ dwell in me. Somehow I seemed to expect that this would be an experience that would suddenly overtake me, wherein I would be conscious of a new mind dwelling in me, thus displacing my own. To have the mind of Christ is to have a renewed mind and to have a renewed mind, the scripture says, is the secret of having a healthy body, and, if my understanding is not amiss, it is the secret of incorruption as well. For this reason Paul wrote, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: (as almost all Christians totally are, taking their medicines and running to their doctors): but be ye transformed by the renewing of the mind.” Rom. 12:1-2. What a tremendous statement this is! The word transformed is from the Greek metamorphoo and is the same word used in Matt. 17:2 and translated transfigured. It is also the same word that is translated changed in 1 Cor. 15:51-52. If we can grasp the truth that is set forth here, then the Lord has put something in our possession, which will make a world of difference to us, not only spiritually, but physically as well. How good it would be if, when God’s people fall ill and the evil of sickness overtakes them, they would refrain from immediately seeking to be anointed with oil for healing! James has said, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.” Do not pray at once to be delivered from your affliction. More than likely God intends to work some great thing in you, if you will but hearken to His voice. Pray rather, not that you may be healed immediately, but that by prayer and reading and waiting on the Lord you may come to know the mind of Christ, and, Christ having revealed His mind to you, and you having your mind renewed, a transformation begins to take place. The renowned Dr. Charles S. Price, perhaps the greatest preacher of the twentieth century, a man who saw tens of thousands of lasting healings in answer to prayer, always taught the people to seek the Lord rather than to seek healing, and, because of this wise counsel, the most stubborn cases of infirmity were healed. Through his advice seekers usually became more concerned about their low spiritual estate than about their physical healing. Then, when God had adjusted their spiritual need, they found health and healing for their bodies as well. Dr. Price’s book, The Real Faith, written shortly before his death, is a gem that should be read by every Christian.
While in earnest prayer and meditation some days ago, the Spirit of the Lord made it clear to me just how simple it is to let the mind of Christ dwell in me. As the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray was going through my mind, I was forcefully impressed with the words, “Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.” Right there in these blessed words lies the sacred secret of having the mind of Christ. My dear brethren, why is it that, when Christians pray today, they still make long prayers as the Pharisees did in the long ago, thinking they will be heard for their much speaking and asking? But their prayers still go unanswered. We pray God to bless our church when God has no intention of blessing it. We pray God to extricate us from the mess in which we are involved, but God may intend to leave us there for years to come that we might learn some never-to-be-forgotten lesson. We plead with God to remove our physical affliction when He is far more concerned with our spiritual need. He does not afflict willingly, but “the curse causeless shall not come.” When Miriam spoke against Moses and was smitten with leprosy, Moses cried to the Lord, “Heal her now.” But the Lord said, No! Let her go outside the camp for the days appointed and then offer the proper sacrifice. Then she may come in. In other words, even though she was Moses’ sister, she needed to learn both her lesson and her manners.
If a man or a woman would have the mind of Christ dwelling within, the first requisite is to have no mind of one’s own. People who come with a program, which they present to God and then ask Him to bless it and to finance it, are defeated before they ever start, first because it is their program and second because it originated in their minds. Never present a program to God and ask Him to bless it. Let Him present His purpose to you. His purpose is His mind. Thus you will have good success. You may sow and you may water, but it is God who gives the increase.
The man or woman who hits on some big idea, then rushes out and tells people over the pulpit, through radio and by letters that God gave him the plan, that it is a great work of faith and therefore he must have your dollars to carry it out, is a deceiver, and the person he is deceiving most of all is himself. It is amazing to find how many people are daily deceived by this enthusiastic line of the self-styled preachers of righteousness. All letters that come through the mail begging for money to carry out some grandiose scheme should be thrown in the wastebasket and burned as soon as possible. All urgent appeals by radio, T.V. or magazine soliciting funds to finance great programs should be completely ignored. This is not God’s way and it is not God’s mind. It is not of faith and it is not God’s way of propagating His gospel.
So often people ask me this question: “What would happen to the world if it were not for all the denominational churches?” Well, I’ll tell you what would happen. God would then raise up true ministries as He did during the first three hundred years of this present age. Those mighty ministries who spurned all of our modern striving spread the marvelous gospel light all over the then known world until by 300 A.D. there were more Christians in the Roman world than heathen. It was only when the church became organized and a pope was set at the head that the fearful darkness of the dark ages began to cover the earth. The world is once again in dark ages, for darkness now covers the earth as it did in the days of Noah, when the people knew not until the flood came and took them all away.
So you see, to have the mind of Christ is to allow God to reveal His mind and purpose to you. Then when you act on that, you will find His mind dwelling in you, leading you and revealing His way, for thus saith the Lord, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” We have already made prominent the point that all God’s purposes are predestined, pre-arranged, and foreordained. Therefore if any man will seek to discover His purposes and walk in them, he will have the mind of Christ dwelling in him.
One of God’s purposes, possibly the greatest at present revealed, is His intention to restore the whole of His creation to Himself. I make no apology whatsoever for boldly asserting that according to God’s own word it is His will and intention to eventually restore the whole of creation. It is not His intention, however, to complete the work now nor in this dispensation nor yet in the age to come, but He, like a master craftsman, accomplishes one thing at a time. First He presents Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of man, perfected through suffering that He might be the merciful high priest of us all. Next He prepares and perfects the sons of God, a people for His name, and, having perfected a vast family of sons in the exact image and likeness of Jesus Christ insomuch that He speaks of them as in Christ, He will return to earth a second time to rebuild the tabernacle of David or, in other words, to set up the kingdom of God on earth, that the residue of men might seek the Lord and that the glorious bride, seen perfected in Rev. chapter 21, may be prepared. Then finally the gates are opened to all the nations. This marvelous plan was laid out in detail by the inspired apostle James when at Jerusalem he spoke these illuminating words: “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:14-18. Since it is the purpose and intention of the Lord to accomplish all these wonders, each in His appointed time, until the whole creation is restored, then why do energetic men, especially the preachers who should know better, insist on trying to save the whole world now? God will bring in each appointed number in its own appointed time and all the striving of men will not and cannot alter His purpose one iota. To know God’s plan and walk in it as He directs is certainly to have the mind of Christ. Thus to be led by His Spirit is to be a son of God.
I say again – I repeat it with the assurance of His word of truth – that it is God’s intention to restore the whole creation to Himself. If there were no other verses in the New Testament but those given in Ephesians 1:9-11, we would have abundant assurance that it is God’s intention in His own time to restore the whole creation to Himself. Because of the exceeding importance of this scripture as it displays the purpose of God, the intention of God and the counsel of His will, we take the liberty here to quote from several translations the beauty and forcefulness of this revelation. Eph: 1:9-11.
“Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” (King James Version) I ask all who read to dissect this passage clause by clause and phrase by phrase. As you do so, you will see clearly that a certain mystery of His will is spoken of, a certain good pleasure, a marvelous universal purpose, which He has purposed in Himself, and that mysterious purpose and good pleasure is to gather into Christ everything on earth and everything in heaven, and that this purpose and intention will be completed in all its wonderful entirety in the dispensation of the fullness of times. For our information this is the dispensation that follows the millennial kingdom. You will further see that this mighty, all-inclusive program was predestined before the ages began and is now working as the ages pass by according to the counsel of His will. Not the will of man, not the will of angels, but the will of God, who planned it before ever the ages began.
Let us now give earnest heed to the translation as given by the learned Richard Weymouth that our souls may bask in that blessed hope that is laid out here in the vivid words of his translation. “It is in Him, and through the shedding of His blood, that we have our deliverance – the forgiveness of our offences – so abundant was God’s grace, the grace which He, the possessor of all wisdom and understanding, lavished upon us, when He made known to us the secret of His will. And this is in harmony with God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it — the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in Him. In Him, too, we have been made heirs, having been chosen beforehand in accordance with the intention of Him whose might carries out in everything the design of His own will…”
No less vivid are the translations of Good-speed, Phillips, Young, and others, making assurance doubly sure that it is the intention of our all-wise heavenly Father to gather into Christ in the ages to come the “all things in heaven and on earth.”
Finally we quote this passage from the translation by Moffatt. “So richly has God lavished upon us His grace, granting us complete insight and understanding of the open secret of His will, showing us how it was the purpose of His design so to order it in the fullness of the ages that all things in heaven and earth alike should be gathered up in Christ — in the Christ in whom we have had our inheritance allotted to us as was decreed in the design of Him who carries out everything according to the counsel of His will…” Ah, what tremendous assurance is given here!
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, “the firstborn of every creature: for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.” Col. 1:15-19 And now Paul, having spoken of things visible and things invisible, of thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, all of which have tasted the bitterness and curse of the fall, makes this all inclusive statement: “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Col. 1:20. It is well worthwhile for anyone to count the number of times the term all things is used in the book of Colossians.
I have written these assurances with the hope and prayer that God’s dear saints may be made aware of the infinite harmony of His merciful purpose. If we will take time in reverent meditation and prayer to read His word and listen to His voice, we will become strangely acquainted with the secret of His will, not only for the ages to come, but for the present age and the things that concern our daily walk with Him. In the secret of His will we walk in the Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we are led by the Spirit, and, when we are led by the Spirit, we are the sons of God.
Nowhere in a thousand universes could a harmony be found like the harmony of God. From Him everything comes, by Him everything exists, and in Him everything ends. He is the master planner, the master architect, the wise master builder, the author and finisher of faith. He is the mighty maestro of a symphony whose well, tuned harmonies swell to the utmost reaches of His universe. He is the leader of a heavenly choir that is filling heaven and earth with the harmonies of God.
Men wrap themselves in smug cocoons
Of dogmas they believe are wise,
And look askance at those who see
In worms potential butterflies.
THE LAST DAYS
The holy men of God who by divine unction and verbal inspiration wrote the word of the Lord have given mankind a prophetic message that describes in great detail the works of God with man, His creation, during the “seven thousand year day” which extends from Adam in Eden to the end of the millennial kingdom. It was the sixth day when God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Five vast days, each seven thousand years long, had passed into history before Adam came. The sixth day now is and will continue until the end of the millennial kingdom. The seventh day is yet to come. Like its six predecessors it, too, will continue for seven thousand years. It is the dispensation of the fullness of times, spoken of by Paul in Ephesians 1:10. That will be the crowning age of all ages. It is in truth the age of the ages. In it God has promised to gather together all things in heaven and earth in His blessed Son, Jesus Christ. Eph. 1:10.
Fifty thousand years of time, lying in the heart of eternity, were determined upon this earth to create all things, to bring man, the predestined lord of the universe, to the image of God, and to restore all things and gather them together in Christ. This fifty thousand years is divided into seven days, each day being seven thousand years in duration. When this has been completed, then will follow the jubilee, the fiftieth day one thousand years long. In that day all things will return to their rightful owner, who is God Himself. This immense and wonderful plan of the ages is set forth in type in Leviticus 25:1-13. The man who lacks an understanding of God’s plan for the ages can never hope to comprehend God’s purpose. The days of the week are very typical. For this reason the apostle Peter emphasized the importance of days, saying, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Pet. 3:8. His divinely inspired statement embraces God’s plan for vast ages and for days, whether they be days twenty-four hours long, days one thousand years long, or days seven thousand years long.
The Spirit of God inspired His prophets and apostles to leave with us irrefutable evidence of the approaching end of our time. The last days of this our age are referred to in many and unmistakable terms. It was none other than Paul who wrote, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times will come,” 2 Tim. 3:1, of which we shall speak presently in greater particular. We may say with certainty that the greatest portion of the Bible is prophetic and was written for men who will live in the last days. If the wise of this world who waste their time trying to disprove the Bible would take time to compare the statements of 2 Tim. 3:1-7 with the events of the hour in which we now live, they would know for certain that God, who knows the end from the beginning, had spoken with infinite wisdom and prophetic exactness. As far back as the book of Genesis the Spirit of God undertook to tell us what would befall us in the latter days. Jacob, with the spirit of prophecy mightily upon him, called unto his sons, and said, “Gather yourselves together that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” Gen. 49:1
The apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, said, “This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Well may we who live in the last days of the twentieth century say with certainty, “Perilous times have come.” It would be a weariness to the reader should I now begin to recite those universal evils which encompass us. We are well aware of the international and world-wide confusion of our day, how nation rises against nation in accusation, misrepresentation, lies, and innuendo until the smoking flax of ever increasing hate and bitterness flames into open conflict, devouring culprit and innocent alike in its relentless inferno. It would be a waste of time and a heaviness to the spirit to repeat the weird stories of sadistic, senseless violence daily perpetrated on the streets, in the homes, on the highways, on fields of battle, and in the secret places of shame and despair. A few years ago the word violence was scarcely ever heard in the newscasts or seen in newspapers, but now it is used with ever increasing frequency, telling us with unmistakable voice that, as the earth was filled with violence in the days of Noah before the flood, Gen. 6:13, so also it is filled with universal tribulation that will leave nothing outside its engulfing wake. Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the heavens with power and great glory. Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, for He shall come to put down all rule and authority, 1 Cor. 15:24, and set up that kingdom of God for which all creation has been in travail.
Violence is everywhere. It is safe to be neither on the street nor on the highway. Jer. 6:25. Even the privacy of homes is invaded time and again by muggers and thugs and bandits who without regard to age or sex leave old and young alike beaten, bound, robbed, tortured, or dead, and all this for no reason at all. What more can we expect when violent scenes are continually enacted in the living rooms of millions of hoqies? We see soldiers being killed in battle. We see men being bound and bludgeoned, kicked and shot right on the newscasts, until the whole nation becomes violence conscious and accepts violence as our way of life.
Paul by the wisdom given unto him wrote, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient.” Rom. 1:28. Something very terrible has happened to the minds of the people. There is a sort of mental block that turns the thoughts of the wise from the paths of wisdom to the channels of foolishness and error until all their thinking is becoming reprobate and wrong, completely backward and upside down. Authorities are becoming possessed with the ridiculous notion that people should see crime to prevent them from becoming criminals. They imagine that people who watch will be informed and so turn away from it. Their corrupt minds reason that if people, young and old, see filth they will become pure-minded. Only recently one advocated that men and women should go nude on the bathing beaches to abolish the crime of rape. Others declare emphatically that LSD should be legalized so that people won’t be bothered experimenting with it. You see what I mean by a mental block? Why, that kind of reasoning is as foolish as would be the imagination that cigarette advertising encourages men to kick the habit, or that liquor advertising would produce abstainers. Because men do not want to retain God in their knowledge, they have inherited a reprobate mind and the Lord has turned all their wisdom to foolishness and hurt. When nations who once worshipped and honored the true God come to the place where they no longer want to retain God in their knowledge, they heap to themselves endless trouble, and the heavy hand of divine chastisement will be continually laid upon them in awesome blows until they are consumed.
The tragic trend that places men’s feet in the devouring quicksands of the reprobate mind begins with this attitude: “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” Rom. 1:28. The initial wedge of this folly began with the teaching of evolution, a teaching which not only contradicts the sacred word of the Creator but which in all the world has no foundation in fact. In all the entire creation of God we are unable to point to any creature that today is in the process of evolving. If man evolved from monkeys, how does it happen that all monkeys have not evolved until that species is extinct? It is not because men do not know the truth, but because their wicked hearts delight in denying it. Man cannot play with God for long, for, though His mercy is patiently extended toward us, those who dare to play on the quicksands of unbelief will certainly be swallowed by them. The inspired statement of the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul can scarcely be enlarged upon. Those who read it should certainly be advised and warned by it that they may flee from the vanities of unbelief and doubt to lay hold upon God, who not only tells the truth but who Himself is truth.
The translator, Phillips, has rendered Romans 1:18-32 in words so vivid that they seem to numb the mind with the certainty of their real and awful parallel in our day. “Now the holy anger of God is disclosed from heaven against the godlessness and evil of those men who render truth dumb and inoperative by their wickedness. It is not that they do not know the truth about God; indeed He has made it quite plain to them. For since the beginning of the world the invisible attributes of God, e.g. His eternal power and divinity, have been plainly discernible through things which He has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse. They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge Him as such, or to thank Him for what He is or does. Thus they became fatuous in their argumentations, and plunged their silly minds still further in the dark. Behind a facade of “wisdom” they became just fools, who would exchange the glory of the eternal God for an imitation image of a mortal man, or of creatures that run or fly or crawl. They gave up God: and therefore God gave them up – to be the plaything of their own foul desires in dishonoring their own bodies.
“These men deliberately forfeited the truth of God and accepted a lie, paying homage and giving service to the creature instead of to the Creator, who alone is worthy to be worshipped for ever and ever, amen. God therefore handed them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged the normal practices of sexual intercourse for something, which is abnormal and unnatural. Similarly the men, turning from the natural intercourse with women, were swept into lustful passions for one another. Men with men performed these shameful horrors, receiving, of course, in their own personalities the consequences of sexual perversity.
“Moreover, since they considered themselves too high and mighty to acknowledge God, He allowed them to become the slaves of their degenerate minds, and to perform unmentionable deeds. They became filled with wickedness, rottenness, greed and malice; their minds became steeped in envy, murder, quarrelsomeness, deceitfulness, and spite. They became whisperers-behind-doors, stabbers-in-the-back, God-haters; They overflowed with insolent pride and boastfulness, and their minds teemed with diabolical invention. They scoffed at duty to parents, they mocked at learning, recognized no obligations of honor, lost all natural affection, and had no use for mercy. More than this – being well aware of God’s pronouncement that all who do these things deserve to die, they not only continued their own practices, but did not hesitate to give their thorough approval to others who did the same.” Rom. 1:18-32. (Phillips)
This, then, explains the awesome progression of ever increasing wickedness that in these closing days of the age ascends as a blinding smoke from the bottomlessness of the bottomless pit. Because the high-mindedness of man has brushed aside the wisdom and truth of God, he has become vain in his imagination and his foolish heart is darkened. Professing himself to be wise, he has become a fool, and God has given him up to a reprobate mind. Man has sported with the wind and been carried away with the whirlwind. His intercourse with unbelief has conceived and brought forth the reprobate mind, and it in turn has filled the world with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, murder, deceit, back-bitings, boastings, evil inventions, disrespect for parents and all authority. It has produced a people devoid of natural affection for families or children, a people implacable and unmerciful who worship and serve the creature and not the Creator.
Do you know that divorce in England has increased fifty percent in the last five years? Do you know that in the last one hundred years the population of the United States has increased four hundred percent, but divorce has increased twenty-eight hundred percent, until today there are four hundred thousand divorces a year, leaving an indelible scar on the minds of millions of children that can never be healed or erased through life? Do you know that pregnancy is the number one health problem among teen-age girls? Do you know that every day fifteen hundred young people in the United States alone, mostly in their teens, are affected with venereal disease and that each year there are one million seven hundred thousand new cases? Do you know that the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke in the British House of Lords in support of the bill to legalize homosexuality? Do you know that homosexuals are organized and are actually procuring young boys for their illicit use?
This filthy disease that springs from the reprobate mind is engulfing millions in our day, and I would be an unfaithful servant of Christ if I did not warn every man and woman who will be warned that homosexuality was the final sin that brought the fire of God on Sodom. And every sodomite throughout all generations has been the namesake of that corrupt city. If you will read the account of events that preceded the flood in the days of Noah, you will find that every corrupt and harmful perversion was prevalent to bring the wrath of God upon an age so evil that it repented the Lord that He had made man. These are the last days, and they are days so terrifyingly perilous that only those who reach out for the mind of Christ will ever be able to escape them.
Queen Victoria of England, when asked by the German Kaiser to explain the secret of the world-wide power and success of the British Empire, is said to have handed him the Bible. This remarkable testimony, given by the reigning monarch of the greatest Empire the world has ever known, and the only commonwealth (or multitude) of nations the world has ever known, was also given by the fathers and great men of the mightiest and greatest individual nation the world has ever known. See Gen. 48:19–20. No less a person than George Washington, the father of the American Republic, declared, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” And that other immortal, American president, Abraham Lincoln, said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.” Also that man whose name is now a household word throughout the Anglo-Saxon world, Daniel Webster, declared, “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper, but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how suddenly catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury us.” Those last three words, “and bury us,” are certainly prophetic as a voice from God, speaking out of the distant past and uttering the very sentence of the ungodly Khrushchev, “We will bury you.”
Woe to us that the leaders of our nation no longer honor the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but honor the god of forces, of armies, tanks, and bombs. It is unconstitutional for a Roman Catholic sovereign to reign on the throne of the British Commonwealth. The monarch must be a protestant, and it is not the will of God that the United States should have a Roman Catholic president. The moment this happens, the nation is brought under the control and authority of a foreign potentate, that power of Rome which in centuries past reigned over the kings of the earth and is preparing to do so again. This is the power that would deny the people the right to read the Bible and worship God as individuals. This is the power that during its brief reign from 1960 to 1963 took the Bible and prayers from the American classroom, turning a well-ordered, well disciplined educational system into one of confusion and anarchy, rebellion, insolence, riot, and licentiousness. How well did Theodore Roosevelt say, “Mere education without divine guidance is like handing a gun to an irresponsible man.” Lyon Phelps said, “I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible.” We might all well shout amen to these remarkable statements, for what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
The underlying cause of all the abominable confusion in the world today is that man has tried to forget God. Our nation, once God-fearing, has come to the place where it does not want to retain God in its knowledge. The greatest criminal of them all in its godless thinking and rejection of truth is the system that is everywhere falsely known as the church, that desolating abomination whose puppeteers cry, “God is dead. The Bible is a myth. Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary. Man came from a monkey. The miracles of the Bible are fakes. Jesus did not die; He only fainted.” With them it has come to pass that “even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God has given them up to a reprobate mind” to do all manner of things that are not convenient.
Now when Paul wrote, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come”, he gave a very definite reason for their coming, “For,” he said, “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:1-5. These, then, are the reasons that perilous times have come upon us! The opening statement, “Men shall be lovers of their own selves,” is the key note of the whole prediction. While love for God has grown cold and dead, love of self abounds on every hand. Though man is generally a lover of self, he hates to admit that he is basically and fundamentally selfish. But who can deny that selfishness and the love of self are one and the same thing? It is a deplorable testimony, but a true one nevertheless, that in our age it is a most difficult thing to find a man who has more concern for others than he has for himself. “How does this affect me?” is the question in the mind of every man. Where do “I” come out in the bargain? The same people who delight in willfully damaging the property of others, vandalizing, breaking, burning, stealing, always squeal like pigs the moment harm befalls them.
But let us not speak only to the riff-raff, the thugs, and the plunderers. Let every man examine his own heart. Time and experience is a great teacher, teaching us lessons we often hate to know. I was seventeen years old when I gave my heart to Christ and I have been walking in His grace and mercy ever since then. Vast and varied beyond all expectation have been the experiences of the way. With great joy I can testify to many miracles of God’s grace and power wrought in the lives of men and women, but with great sadness of heart and with deepest sorrow of spirit I must confess that a truly unselfish man is hard to find. If in my pilgrimage I have found one or two unselfish people that would be good indeed, for they are scarcer than the jewels of wisdom and knowledge. Many people have listened to sermons about the cross, but far too few have ever faced it or embraced it for themselves. Many have heard sermons about Gethsemane, but few have ever waited there in the deep agony of its shadows until their own will, their own self and selfishness drifted away like an evil spirit into obscurity to be replaced by the will of God that henceforth the “I” element should no longer be a consideration, but an eternal loss.
Men have said to me, “We want God, brother; we want God. We want God’s will”, and many other such high-sounding phrases; but when the test comes and their “self faces the cross, they show in no uncertain way that, should God’s will be found to conflict with their own, then they want no part of it at all. The loud affirmations of devotion to God’s service and God’s will made by countless preachers in their pulpits usually is as meaningless as the squeaking of a door on its hinges, for lurking behind the statements of utter abandonment and devotion is the crafty old enemy of self, deceiving the people and above all deceiving self. Search in the dark and secret places and you will find self there. You will find him like Judas, valiantly stating the case of the poor, while he covets the money that was put in the bag. You will see him like Simon the sorcerer, coveting the gifts of the Holy Spirit that he might himself be a great one. Or perhaps you will see him as the rich young ruler who, finding that eternal life would affect his prized possessions, went sadly away. The old Jacob nature, that treacherous supplanter called self, must, must, be taken to Gethsemane and from thence to the cross, never to be considered or heard of ever more.
If there was ever a day when men were saying, “Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” surely that day is now. But unto them it shall be spoken.” “I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” “Men shall be lovers of their own selves,” said Paul. Therefore, whether it be in politics where men climb to power over the assassinated characters of their opponents, or whether it be in the homes where natural affection and love has fled away, leaving behind only flophouses devoid of love, affection, and unity, or whether it be in the confused system that calls itself the church where hireling professionals vie for sheep and for prominence, self sitteth in every temple of God, claiming man’s heart as its throne and showing itself to be his God.
The prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:9. It is always putting on a false front. It is always acting with ulterior motives. We cannot understand the deceitful working of our own hearts; how then can we understand the heart of another? “It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, be boasteth.” Prov. 20:14. “It is good, it is good,” saith the seller; and when you have bought, he winketh! We are living in a deceitful age when men are lovers of their own selves, and it is extremely hard to find a man who, taking no thought for himself, has dedicated his life to the will and to the glory of God. It is love of self that has brought the perilous times upon the world, nor will there be any change until the day that Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Lord Jesus Christ.
We can no longer say the last days are at hand. We can only say we are now living in the last days. Let us watch, therefore, and be sober!
By His question, “When the Son of man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?” our Lord Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear that in the last days there would be little true faith on the earth. We may well ponder the Lord’s meaning, but the question leaves no doubt that faith will be very limited and almost non-existent. Faith in Christ, so important for our justification, is in the final analysis simply believing God, believing that He is, and that He is the rewarder of all who seek Him, believing that everything He said is true and that He will stand faithfully behind His word. The only important element in faith is believing, and the only important element in believing is the will or mind of God. The man who truly walks in God’s will need scarcely ask anything of God since God has obligated Himself to fully meet the needs of those who walk according to His bidding and His will. Christians who imagine they are in the will of God while they continually solicit the aid of men to carry on their affairs are deceiving themselves. Loath I am to say it, yet truth demands the sorry confession that the church system is overflowing with this artificial and useless faith. The man who with his right hand raised to heaven loudly proclaims his faith in God while with his heft hand he begs from the public is not only a deceiver of the people, but a deceiver of himself as well.
There was faith in the earth on that memorable day that Noah entered into the ark, even as the Spirit testified, saying, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet (rain), moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Heb. 11:7. Faith there was, but it was very, very scarce. There is little reason to believe that faith was present even in Noah’s family, but that his faith was the salvation of his household. There was faith in the earth on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, but it was so scarce that in that whole city there could not be found ten people who had faith, that Abraham’s prayer could be answered. Gen. 18:32. Yet He delivered “Just Lot” whose soul was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. 2 Pet. 2:7.
Abounding faith will not be found on the earth when Jesus comes. In the elect of God alone will faith be found. When Jesus comes, even the elect will no longer be found in companies or congregations, but they will be found scattered to the four winds of heaven, whence the Lord will call them on that day. Matt. 24:31. I most seriously doubt that in all the world there will be any group of people gathered together on any kind of scriptural grounds. Those who in the end of the age vividly discern the mystical body of Christ will not see it in the groups or sects or congregations, but as a mystical,, many-membered body on which rests “the Head”, rising like a spirit from the four winds of heaven to take its place in Him. There will, indeed, be faith on the earth when Jesus comes, but only in the elect, and the elect have always been few. The systems of earth are a faithless lot, sinking ever deeper in the morass of unbelief.
With the ever, increasing unbelief of this hour, there has arisen an abundance of false teachers, false prophets, and false christs. We will certainly see, if we trouble to look, that in our day that which is false greatly outweighs that which is true. Jesus further stated that the false teachers and false prophets of the end of the age would deceive many. We need little more than the natural mind to teach us that those who are deceived would be unlikely to know that they are deceived. Thus it is that thousands and millions walk in error. Neglecting their relationship to Christ, they follow men who in their pride have deceived even themselves.
It is the Spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profiteth nothing. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life,” said Jesus. We may conclude from this that only those things to which the Holy Spirit bears witness and which come forth from the Spirit can possibly be truth. You may find it difficult to receive this, but I am convinced that truth cannot be spoken except by the Holy Spirit. Thus we must conclude that those people who make correct statements and say correct words, yet being devoid of the Spirit, are indeed false prophets or false teachers and the words they speak, though technically true, bring forth fruit unto death rather than unto life. Why should anyone imagine that Satan could not speak the truth? But could you dare to believe that truth, coming from him, would bring forth fruit unto life? That is impossible simply because he is devoid of the Spirit and trutlh is not in him, and it is the Spirit that quickeneth. In the Acts of the Apostles we have the account of a girl who was a soothsayer, who followed the apostles for several days, crying to all, “These men are the servants of the most high God, who show unto us the way of salvation.” Acts 16:17 Now dare we say that this statement was untrue? Certainly not. It was as true a statement as could possibly be made. Why was it, then, that Paul, a man full of the Holy Spirit, was greatly grieved in spirit and, after suffering her words for some days, turned and rebuked the spirit and commanded it to come out of her? The answer is very clear and should be a tremendous lesson in our day. It is simply that her words, though correct, were not of the Spirit. Thus one who speaks, having not the Spirit of God, is a false prophet, bringing forth fruit unto death. Are we to believe that God is pleased that Satan should proclaim the cross or the blood or the Holy Spirit? Would not such a proclamation be an abomination in His sight? And dare we think that the Lord Almighty is pleased that the carnal mind of man should proclaim the cross, or the blood, or the Spirit, or that he should attempt to explain the truths of the Bible? The truth therefore remains that all men who dabble in the things of the Spirit, they themselves having not the Spirit, are false prophets, false teachers, false apostles, and false christs.
Not long ago I listened to a sermon by radio. The things being said were correct. The presentation was excellent, the diction good, and the English perfect. There was evidence of zeal. But, when the sermon was finished, it left my spirit dead, untouched, unmoved, and unfed. The listeners, it seemed, were left far more impressed with the ability of the speaker than with the Christ or the truth he presented. One thing was lacking; it was the Spirit, who alone can quicken and make alive. Because of this lack the sermon produces death rather than life. Have you not listened to sermons like that? – sermons which apparently were true and well presented, but which, when they were finished, left you spiritless and wondering what was missing? Time and again men and women have written enquiring, “What is the matter with me? Why is it that these sermons leave me feeling dead?” The only answer I can give is that, because they do not come forth from the Spirit of God, but from the spirit of man, therefore they bring forth fruit unto death. In our day there are many such preachers. Because a man stands shouting. “Thus saith the Lord”, until his voice is so husky he can hardly speak is no reason to believe he is speaking by the Spirit. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men and women in our day crying, “Thus saith the Lord”, yet God has spoken nothing.
In 1963 someone sent me a book entitled “Prophecy on the March”. It gave what was supposed to be a year-by- year prophetic preview of events from 1963 to 1968. Those predictions consisted mostly of earthquakes and violent storms in such varied places of the earth that almost any good guesser could have hit some of the things right. But all the great, important things and world, shaking events were never hinted at nor mentioned in any way. Had the prophet (??) told us that in 1963 the President of the United States would be assassinated, almost any of us would have been forced to give heed to his words. Had he foretold the dreadful war in Viet Nam, what man in the Christian world would have doubted that he spoke by inspiration? Or had he mentioned that great world-shaking event of 1967, the six-day war in Palestine, I for one could not have doubted his spiritual insight and understanding.
Let us conclude, then, that all religious functions and all religious talk – in fact, all things coming forth from the mind of man — belong to the realm of the false, whether it be in teaching, in prophesying, or in any other way. The false prophets and false christs, which Jesus warned would be many, are with US today. They are legion. If you will closely examine that which in our day is heralded as revival, you will find that the results in most cases are completely artificial. Evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Mercenary-minded men, hungry for quick wealth, have grasped the spectacular atmosphere of the meeting as a fitting place to proclaim their pseudo miracles and their imaginary signs and wonders before a gullible public, who in turn have loaded them with excessive financial benefit, vainly imagining that their idol will and my work is in His plan and purpose for me, then God is enough. He will supply all the need according to His riches in glory without my begging for a penny. If God is not sufficiently interested in the work you are doing to carry it on without your financial machinations, then let the work die. It isn’t worth the doing and God is preacher will use the wealth to convert the world. Every man who has big programs for your money should be regarded as false. However big the project may be, a life-time of experience has taught me that if I am in God’s not concerned about it.
We are indeed living in perilous times. The times are perilous because of the explosive situation in all the world, because of the violence on every hand, because of the incredible and phenomenal rise of false ministries and false christs. Our lives are in jeopardy everywhere we go and in everything we do. We have never had so much talk of peace and never so many wars. We have never had so many doctors, medicines, and hospitals, and never so many sick, insane, and infirm. Never so many schools and universities and never so much ignorance. Never so much food and never so many hungry. Never so much preaching and never so much godlessness and false religion. Is it any wonder that the Spirit warned us with no uncertain voice, saying, that in last days perilous times should come, that, as it was in the days of Noah, so should it be when the Son of man came, that evil men and seducers should wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, that men should be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, and that when the Son of man came, would he find faith on the earth? We are living in perilous times. It is best that we believe it. Is it any wonder that the Holy Spirit, seeing our day with all its Babel of confusion, sent forth this message to His people, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4
There is but one place of safety. It is not in the systems of religion. It is in our Lord Jesus Christ. The blood that He shed for the remission of the sins of the whole world is available in our day to all who will believe in Him. It still retains its ancient power to cleanse from all sin. It still is efficacious to deliver from every abominable sin of the past. It is able still to give victory for the future. The blood of Jesus Christ is better than the blood of Abel, better far than all other sacrifice and offering. It is able, not only to sprinkle the unclean, but to purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God, making pure as angels the vilest sinner who believes in its power.
The hour has come to turn from the vanities of earth’s religions and all the masquerading they have done in the name of church. “Behold,” saith Christ, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. He that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Rev. 3:20-22
THE END OF THE DAYS
That we are living in the final days, if not the closing hours, of this age there can be no reasonable doubt, and as we see the long awaited day approaching, our hearts are mightily stirred to reveal from scripture just how near the end of the age must be.
It will not be my purpose here to recount those oft repeated signs which God’s word sets forth as evidence of the last days, such as the recurrence of the universal wickedness of the days of Noah or the abounding sin and lawlessness which Paul sets forth as clear evidence of the last days. 2 Tim. 3. I will endeavor, however, to set forth as clearly and simply as possible a form of evidence which to most Christians has become almost an anathema to be avoided as much as possible by those who endeavor to expound the mysteries that concern the end of the age.
The understandable apprehension we justly display concerning any form of date setting has, I fear, become somewhat an obsession with most of us, causing us to immediately shun any effort to estimate the time of His coming as a totally unscriptural endeavor that should not be countenanced, even in the least degree. Whenever reference is made to the time of the Lord’s coming, we are promptly reminded that “No man knoweth the day or the hour when the Son of man cometh.” That one statement is supposed to preclude and abolish every honest attempt that might be made to interpret those very definite prophetic utterances which concern the end of the age, the time of the Lord’s coming, and the resurrection of the just.
In my opinion there is not a man on earth who knows the day or the hour of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I will certainly not try to solve the riddle in this message because I frankly confess I do not know. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul wrote to the saints of God in these words: “But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thess. 5:1-6
If these solemn words mean anything at all, they must certainly mean that in the world today there are children of light who are not asleep, but wide awake and fully aware of the nearness of the coming of the Lord. Just as some watchful, well-informed person might know the hour in which a thief would come, so these enlightened ones should also know the time of the advent of Him who likened His coming to the stealthy approach of a thief in the night. Let us then ask ourselves one very important question. If the Lord did not want us to know almost the exact time of the end of this age and of the resurrection of the dead, why did He inspire the prophet Daniel to fill so large a part of his marvelous prophecy with days, weeks, years and times, which, when carefully reckoned, bring us to certain exact dates which, if correctly computed and properly understood, point with unerring certainty to the time in which this present age will end?
As in the fear of God we examine the scriptures given by Daniel the prophet, foretelling the time of the coming of Christ, the end of the age and the resurrection of the just, it will surely become evident that the Lord on several occasions has placed in His word the exact date of the end of the age and the resurrection of the just. It may very well be that our understanding of the scriptures is painfully faulty; thus would our understanding become misunderstanding. Nevertheless, regarding this momentous event of the ages, the prophet Daniel was clearly told, “None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” Dan. 12:10
There is a holy wisdom that is always hidden from the world of the ungodly and the realm of the careless. It is a secret wisdom, which God imparts to those who are possessors of His mind. The wicked and the careless cannot partake of the riches of this spiritual understanding because it is a secret wisdom, the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost. Concerning this hidden wisdom which God imparts to His mature saints, a very vivid description is set forth in the Revised Standard Version of 1 Cor. 2:6-14. “Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” Is it any wonder, then, that the apostle said we have no need to be in darkness that that day should come upon us unawares?
Never in the history of the world was there an age of greater self-conceit, materialism, pride, arrogance, selfishness, greed, corruption and false religion! Mankind in our day is filled with all unrighteousness, which is manifest in all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, gossip, slander, hatred of God, insolence, haughty pride, evil inventions, disobedience to parents, lawlessness, foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness and ruthlessness, and with all this disregard for all righteousness, women are changing their natural relations with men for that which is unnatural and men in their degradation and corruption are leaving their natural relations with women to burn in their filthy lusts one for another and are receiving the just judgment of God, which manifests itself in diseased bodies and reprobate minds that delight only in evil.
Our Lord Jesus Christ likened this wicked generation in which we now live to the days of Noah, saying, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark and the flood came and took them all away. Vivid as was the description Jesus gave concerning the corruption that is to abound at the end of the age, it was not more cogent than the words written by Moses concerning the universal corruption that abounded in the days of Noah. The conditions extant in the pre-flood world are forcefully left for our learning in these vivid words of instruction: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Gen. 6:5, 11-13
The signal for the downfall of the Adamic race, the rampant sinfulness, the degrading corruption and defiance of God that followed was manifested when the sons of God began to intermarry with the daughters of men. Gen. 6:1. The sons of God referred to here are not fallen angels as the preachers are so fond of saying. Angels, whether fallen or otherwise, are sexless beings and cannot co-habit with humanity. The sons of God here mentioned are the Adamic race. The scripture distinctly states that Adam was the Son of God. Luke 3:38. Therefore his descendants were also sons of God. The daughters of men were the people of the pre-Adamic races. It was among these pre-Adamic people that the wicked Cain found his wife. All forms of intermarriage with any of these other races are strictly forbidden time and again in scripture. This “going after strange flesh” (Jude 7) and taking strange wives from other races is always condemned by God and brings the participants under wrath and condemnation. Nowhere in all the scripture do we ever find justification for intermarriage among the races. God separated them and commanded kind to produce after his kind. Those interested in the subject should study 1 Kings 11:8; Ezra 10:2,10,11,14,17,18,44 and Neh. 13:27. When the prophet Baalam could not find a way to curse Israel, but only bless them, he slyly cast a stumbling block before them and taught them to sin so that the wrath of God would come upon them. This diabolical and crafty stratagem of his is clearly disclosed in Christ’s message to the church of Pergamos: “I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Baalam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Rev. 2:14. Now it is evident from the Genesis account that their fornication was not illicit intercourse between Israelitish men and women, but they went after strange flesh, intermarrying and committing fornication with the Canaanitish women round about them. The Old Testament does not tell us that this promiscuity was the result of Baalam’s teaching, but Jesus discloses that sordid fact in His message to Pergamos.
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifice of their gods: and the people did eat and bow down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-peor. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” Num. 25:1-9.
I do not ask what your opinion may be concerning the intermarriage of Adamites with non-Adamites, for neither your opinion nor mine is of any importance. The only opinion that is worth a moment’s consideration is the opinion of God. He it was who said that kind should be after his kind and, though I personally have the deepest respect for all races of men as also has the Lord, our intermarriage with them is always the beginning of sorrows. The blatant disregard for this fact in our day is one of the chief contributing causes for all the turmoil, lawlessness and violence we find among us. No Christian should ever consent to such a union. It is not only a sin on the part of the Adamite, but it is a grave sin against the non-Adamite and the chief sufferers in the days to come will be the mongrel children of such a union. Flee from all thought of such intermarriage, for God’s word everywhere condemns it. It was Solomon’s intermarriage with the heathen princesses of the nations round about that not only turned his heart away from God, but also brought the idolatrous worship of these women into the nation Israel.
I am one hundred percent convinced that we are an Israel nation, possessors of all the promises given to our father Abraham. Because of this it is one hundred percent wrong to invite heathen people of other nations to come to our country to teach our children in our schools and universities and to introduce their heathen gods and practices into our midst. What blessing has Mohammedanism ever brought to the world? It has brought nothing but filth, squalor and desolation. Has Buddha ever lifted the deep darkness from the begging, benighted millions of India? The more this evil in going after strange flesh is practiced in our land the greater will become the depravity of the human mind, Rom. 1, until even now in our day men do not want to retain God in their knowledge at all because they know that everything that God is or does condemns their evil practices and brings them into judgment.
When the prophet Daniel with much fasting and prayer earnestly sought the Lord for a clear understanding of the visions that had been entrusted to him, the Lord gave him no reply that he could understand, but said, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shall rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Dan. 12:12-13
Every honest heart, seeking for truth, will face the very evident fact that in verse 11 the Lord spoke of a period of one thousand two hundred and ninety days and in verse 12 He spoke of one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. Then Daniel was told that he would rest, evidently in death, and “stand in his lot” or be resurrected at the end of the days. It must surely become evident that, if the Lord told His servant Daniel that he would rest and after thirteen hundred and thirty-five days (years) he would stand in his lot, the Lord was certainly telling him the exact time of his resurrection. Since the just shall be resurrected at the time of Christ’s coming, then the Lord was telling us all what time the resurrection would occur, that is, at the end of the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days. This knowledge increases the forcefulness of the words of Paul: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:4
The twelve hundred and ninety days of Daniel 12:11 and the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days of verse 12 are not the only days given us in this great prophetic book. In chapter 8:14 we are given another period of twenty-three hundred days, after which the sanctuary would be cleansed, and again in chapter 9:24 we are told of a period of seventy weeks that were to pass, encompassing the entire history of Israel up to the time of the bringing in of everlasting righteousness, which undoubtedly refers to the kingdom of God. Then once again we are given a period of twenty-five hundred and twenty days, during which Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles and after which Jerusalem would once again become the possession of the Israel people.
When we consider all these “days”, described with such emphasis in Daniel’s prophecy, it becomes quite easy to see that, when the Lord told Daniel he would stand in his lot at the end of the days, it was to the above mentioned days he was referring and to none other. If, therefore, by the help of God we can discover what these days mean, where they begin and where they end, we will certainly not be ignorant as to when the end of the days will come and when the end of the present age will arrive. If your friend should tell you that he plans to visit you twenty-five days after Christmas, then it should be a simple matter to count the days on your calendar and conclude exactly what day he will arrive. In like manner, when the Lord tells us He will come twenty-five hundred years after a certain date or thirteen hundred and thirty-five years after another date, we also should be able to compute almost exactly the time of His coming.
No one on earth realizes more than I do how easy it is to make mistakes or be found wanting in our understanding of these things, but of this I am certain: The Lord in His faithfulness caused these days to be recorded for our edification that the wise might understand. Dan. 12:10. If, therefore, we understand these days correctly, we will be aware of the time of the Lord’s coming and, should our understanding be found faulty, sooner or later God will reveal the correct interpretation. It is well for us to remember that, when Daniel sought to know the meaning of these time visions he had seen, he was refused the information on this significant ground: “The vision is closed up and sealed till the time of the end”. Dan. 12:9. Since Daniel lived twenty-five hundred years before the end of the days and the fulfillment of his vision, it would seem to be unnecessary for him to understand the details. The truth is that like all prophets he was ministering to us, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. Let us, then, seek to know, not the day or the hour, but most certainly the time when we will arrive at the end of the days.
When architects draw blue prints for a new building, they always use scales of measurement. The scale they use is plainly indicated on the blue print so that the builders will know exactly how to read it. The scale he uses may be one inch to ten feet, or for greater detail he may make an inset using a larger scale. For instance, on a map of the state of Illinois the scale may be an inch for one hundred miles, but on the same there is an inset of the city of Chicago with a scale of one inch for a mile.
In exactly the same manner as an architect uses a convenient scale of measurement to represent the dimensions of a building, so the Holy Spirit uses time scales to represent the length of time that will pass before certain prophecies are fulfilled. Perhaps the simplest example of a time scale may be found in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Here the prophet was told to lie upon his left side three hundred and ninety days to bear the iniquity of the house of Israel and then to lie upon his right side forty days to bear the iniquity of Judah. Then in Ezekiel 4:6 the Lord said to the prophet, “Thou shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” This then is the Bible time scale wherever days are indicated as a time scale. One day represents one year. Thus, when a period of twenty-three hundred days was indicated to Daniel, the meaning is twenty-three hundred years. When the scale measures twenty-five hundred and twenty days, the time is twenty-five hundred and twenty years and, when the scale measures twelve hundred and ninety days, the time will be twelve hundred and ninety years. Days, however, are not the only time scales given in the Bible. We also have a scale of weeks, which, of course, are made up of seven days. There is also a week of weeks, a week of years, and a week of weeks of years, which is forty-nine years. See Lev. 25:1-13. There is also a week of millenniums, which is seven thousand years. But, as our primary interest now is to deal with the scale of days, we need not confuse our minds by trying to grasp the meaning of these older time measurements.
As the prophet Daniel was earnestly seeking the Lord for an understanding of the great events that would concern Israel before the time of the end of the days, he says, “Whilst I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplication the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: …” Dan. 9:21-25
Two time scales are used here to show the coming of great events. Both are called weeks. In verses 24 and 25 the time week used is the week of weeks of years, that is, a week forty-nine years long, or the jubilee cycle. This seven Sabbaths of years unto the jubilee is clearly stated in Lev. 25:8-10. “And thou shall number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years: and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shall thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his own possession, and ye shall return every man unto his own family.” It will be seen, then, that we have here a week forty-nine years long, composed of seven days, each day being seven years long. Now let us remember that Gabriel, in his message to Daniel, showed him that seventy weeks were determined upon his people and that in this time the Lord would accomplish six very outstanding things. He would (1) finish the transgression, (2) make an end of sins, (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) seal up the vision and prophecy, and (6) anoint the most Holy. The bringing in of everlasting righteousness and the anointing of the most Holy brings us right down to the end of this age and the beginning of the millennial kingdom.
It is not my wish to try lo over-simplify a matter that has puzzled men from Daniel’s day until now, but it seems perfectly clear that, by using the forty-nine year week of the jubilee here, the seventy weeks of which Daniel speaks in chapter 9:24 actually embrace the entire history of Israel from the day of the exodus from Egypt (Exod. 12:2) unto the end of the days and the bringing in of aionian righteousness, which, of course, is the kingdom of God. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people”, each week being forty-nine years long as we have already seen. Thus seventy times forty-nine equals three thousand four hundred and thirty years. Since the international geophysical year of 1957, when such a wealth of new knowledge was discovered, the date of Israel‘s departure from Egypt has been definitely set as 1453 B.C. in the month of Nisan, which is April. Thus three thousand four hundred and thirty years after April, 1453 B.C., plus the final jubilee year, brings us to the period between 1978 and 1979. It is not unreasonable, then, to expect that the seventy weeks, which Gabriel said were determined upon Israel before everlasting righteousness would be brought in, come lo their end some lime in 1978.
The prophecy of the seventy weeks, which we have briefly considered, is most sweeping and all embracing in its dimension since it includes the entire existence of Israel as a nation from year one (Exod. 12:2, the beginning of months) when the nation departed from Egypt in 1453 B.C. down lo 1978-79 A.D., the end of the seventy weeks. Though undoubtedly there remains much about these final times that we will not have wisdom to understand, there need be no doubt in our minds that this prophecy of the seventy weeks brings us right down to our time and the end of the days.
Following the large scale seventy weeks prophecy, which covers a period of three thousand four hundred and thirty years, we have another prophecy which also embraces a very long period of time, two thousand five hundred and twenty years.
Two years after Nebuchadnezzar came to the throne of Babylon, he had a perplexing dream, which none of the wise men of his realm could interpret for him except Daniel the prophet Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream definitely showed that the dream embraced the entire period of world history from the time Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon in 604 B.C. to the time of the end when the entire Babylon system of world government would be destroyed and the God of heaven would set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed. This is the dream and the interpretation Daniel gave: “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall rise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of iron forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. .. . And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:37-42, 44
This is indeed a very extensive prophecy. There is no possible way that we can read it and not be convinced that it covers the whole gamut of history as it proceeds from the coronation of Nebuchadnezzar as king of Babylon through the empires of Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and Papal Rome right down to the time when the kingdom of God shall take over all the kingdoms of earth and the stone cut from the mountain without hands, which is Christ, will become King of kings and Lord of lords.
Though Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the image, of which he was the head, is in itself a very remarkable prophecy, it would do little more than give us a pre-written account of world history were it not for a second awesome event that took place in his life. The fourth chapter of Daniel records another disquieting dream that overawed the king and seemed to make his blood run cold. Though the dream was from God, it must certainly have seemed to him to have been a literal nightmare. The reader should familiarize himself with the entire fourth chapter of Daniel that its full significance may be the more clearly understood.
In his dream Nebuchadnezzar had seen a tree of great height grow out of the earth. The tree was strong. The height thereof reached to heaven and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth. The leaves thereof were fair and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all. The beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and ail flesh fed of it. Dan. 4:10-12. Then the vision changed, and Nebuchadnezzar continued, “I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit; let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.” Dan. 4:13-16. In the remaining verses of the fourth chapter the prophet explained to Nebuchadnezzar the ominous import of the vision and the fearful consequence it invisioned. At the end of twelve months (Dan 4:11) all the calamities Nebuchadnezzar had seen actually came upon him until this mighty monarch learned from God’s omnipotent hand that it is the Most High that ruleth in the kingdoms of men and giveth them to whomsoever He pleases.
Now, while the seven times which passed over Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:32) may or may not have represented seven full years of calamity in his own life, I am confident that this vision concerned itself with far more than Nebuchadnezzar. The vision actually indicated the entire length of time through which the Babylon system of world government would hold its power and dominion over the earth. We must not forget that, whether it be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, pagan Rome or papal Rome, all these systems are the very quintessence of Babylon. Every form of world government, whether it be democracy, monarchy, Nazism, Facism, Communism or any other human system, all are Babylon. All are confusion. All belong to the beast system (see Daniel 7) and all carry and support the drunken harlot with whom the kings and rulers commit fornication. Rev. 17:2. Whereas Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was the head of gold, all lesser forms of government come under that Babylon head. All nations have fully drunk of the wrath of the wine of her fornication. See Rev. 17. Babylon is the mysterious harlot, drunken with the blood of the saints, who in her drunken corruption rides majestically upon the back of the beast of this world’s systems, whether they be religious or political.
The seven times indicated in the king’s dream presupposes the exact length of time this Babylon system will endure. A time in scripture is another of God’s time scales by which the great architect of the universe indicates the interval that will endure before the end of the days and the end of the age. The word times here is from the Hebrew word iddan, meaning a set period of time. It does not mean a point in time. In Daniel’s interpretation of the vision he spoke of seven times that would pass over Nebuchadnezzar “till thou shall know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” Dan. 4:32. The world events that were to take place during this long period of seven times are fully described in chapter seven, which envisions the rise and fall of the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. All these world empires were to be Gentile powers that would dominate the world, overrun Jerusalem, and desolate the Promised Land until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled.
It was our Lord Jesus Christ who first used the term, the times of the Gentiles. He was telling His disciples of the terrible tribulation that would follow His death, when Jerusalem would be compassed with armies, and there would be great distress in the land and wrath upon the people. He said, “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.” Luke 21:20-24. The times of the Gentiles of which Jesus spoke are identical with the seven times of which Daniel spoke. When Daniel saw his vision about 607 B.C., Jerusalem was already trodden down by the might of the Gentile power of Babylon, and when Jesus spoke the words of Luke 21:20-24, Jerusalem was under the domination and iron rule of the Gentile power of Rome. This treading down of Jerusalem by Gentile power was to continue under one oppressor after another – Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and finally Mohammedanism – until the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled. THE LAST Gentile power to crush Jerusalem under its feet was the Turkish Empire, which lost its control when Jerusalem was captured by the British in 1917 to later become capital of the State of Israel.
It will now be our task to discover how long a period is indicated by “a time.” If we can discover the length of one time, then immediately things that have puzzled us for centuries begin to fall into place. There does not seem to be any instruction in the Old Testament that would indicate the length of a time. This absence of understanding is significant because the Lord did not intend that the Old Testament saints should know the full meaning of these things. Thus, when Daniel sought the interpretation of his visions, he was distinctly told that the vision was sealed until the time of the end Hence the things Daniel wrote were not for him to understand, but were given for our edification to be understood by those of us who would be on the earth at the end of the days and also at the end of the times of the Gentiles.
For this reason the key to the length of a time is not found in the Old Testament at all, and without that key none could ever interpret the vision. But in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, the key to the length of a time is given. In Revelation, chapters eleven and twelve, we have the use of three very significant terms. The first has to do with months (11:2), the second with days (11:3), and the third with times (12:14). IF we place these three terms side by side, we discover the true length of a time. We read, “And to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.” Rev. 12:14. The John Knox translation says, “A year, two years, and half a year,” and Moffatt uses the expression, “a time, two times, and half a time.”
Then much more light is thrown on the subject when in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 we have the same time broken down into days by the expression “a thousand two hundred and three score days (1260) days.” This is exactly three and one-half lunar years, or time, times and half a time, or a year, two years, and half a year. Again in 11:2 we have another useful expression that greatly helps us to understand the length of a time, for here we read forty and two months. The months referred to here are undoubtedly the lunar months of thirty days each, used by the Gentile powers who controlled Palestine right up to the end of the times of the Gentiles in 1917. The lunar month was thirty days. Therefore forty-two lunar months equal one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Thus from the following three expressions we discover the definite length of a time:
The first, Rev. 11:3 and 12:6, reads twelve hundred and sixty days, = 1260 days
The second, Rev. 12:14, time, times, and half a time,= 1260 days
The third, Rev. 11:2, forty-two months (lunar).= 1260 days
From this evidence we can scarcely come to any other conclusion than this: If three and one-half times equal twelve hundred and sixty days, the one time must equal twelve hundred and sixty divided by three and one-half, which is three hundred and sixty days. Thus, if one time equals three hundred and sixty days, then the seven times of Daniel’s prophecy must certainly mean three hundred and sixty times seven, which is two thousand five hundred and twenty days. And whereas the time scale reads a day for a year (Ezek. 4:6), then the seven times referred to in Daniel undoubtedly means two thousand five hundred and twenty years.
We should digress from our subject for a moment to consider a thought of great importance. For centuries the preachers have been saying that Jesus spoke in parables to make the gospel so simple that everybody could understand what He was saying. This is a teaching I do not believe, because it is unscriptural. The opposite is the truth. Jesus spoke in parables so that very few could understand what He was saying. This was made abundantly clear when His disciples asked Him, “Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?” His reply was this: “Because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Vs. 13 Now does that sound as though He was trying by His parables to make everybody understand? It certainly does not. Then again He said, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.“ Mark 4:11, 12
If we will but remember this very important fact, we will understand why the Lord uses these difficult terms such as time, times and half a time, forty-two months, twelve hundred and sixty days, seven times, and the end of the days, and then, as if to complicate the parable further, He left us to discover from Ezekiel’s prophecy that a day on His time scale may represent a year, or even a thousand years. 2 Pet. 3:8. These things were done so that none of the wicked would understand, but the wise shall understand. Dan. 12:10. Even Daniel himself, who wrote these things and sought so earnestly for the solution of the mystery, was told only, “Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shall rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Dan. 12:12–13. Though that may have seemed like a brush-off to poor Daniel, it was really a blessed promise that he would be resurrected at the end of the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days mentioned in verse 12. We will consider these days presently.
Let us first, however, consider the meaning of the seven times or the twenty-five hundred and twenty days during which time the empires of world, all as integral parts of the image of Babylon, would rise in their successive order of power and might and suddenly come to their end exactly at the end of the seven times or the twenty-five hundred and twenty years. So exact is their rise and fall at the time appointed that one cannot imagine how it would be possible for anyone to doubt the absolute accuracy of the word of God or the inspiration of the prophet who gave us these things. Let us recall here that Jesus said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,” (Luke 21:24), and that Daniel had told Nebuchadnezzar that seven times would pass over him. Please remember that the times of the Gentiles, spoken of by Jesus, and the seven times of Daniel’s prophecy are one and the same thing.
The Assyrian Empire fell in 607 B.C. and the Babylonian Empire with Nebuchadnezzar as its head came into the ascendancy that same year. In 604 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar captured the city of Jerusalem and Jerusalem for the next twenty-five hundred and twenty years was literally trodden down of the Gentiles. Now is it not most noteworthy to find that exactly twenty-five hundred and twenty years after 607 B.C, when Babylon became a world power, we arrive at the momentous year A.D. 1914? This was the year the first World War began, the war that was to end with the destruction of the Turkish Empire, the deliverance of Jerusalem from Gentile power, and the end of the times of the Gentiles. Though this is a most remarkable thing, it is not more phenomenal than the fact that Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in the year 604 B.C. and twenty-five hundred and twenty years after 604 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1917, when the British army under General Allenby captured Jerusalem, December 11, 1917, and marched into the city without firing a shot, while the massed bands of the British army played
“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.”
Thus exactly and perfectly on schedule the seven times prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. Seven times, or twenty-five hundred and twenty years, after Babylon rose to power in 607 B.C., the war that was to liberate Palestine began, and seven times, or twenty-five hundred and twenty years, after Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in 604 B.C., the city was recaptured by the British forces (which are Israel). The times of the Gentiles were fulfilled and Jerusalem was to be trodden down by Gentiles no more.
In connection with this historic event, the re-capture of Jerusalem, I would like to make special mention of the prophecy of Isaiah 31:4–5. “For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey … so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hills thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it.”
As the British war planes like birds flew low over Jerusalem on this momentous occasion, the Turks fled and the British army marched unresisted into the city. Every commentator I have read or heard in the last fifty years admits that this momentous event was the fulfillment of Isa. 31:5, “As birds flying, so will the Lord defend Jerusalem; defending He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it.” Remarkable as is this dramatic fulfillment of prophecy, we cannot miss the pertinent fact that in verse four those conquering forces were definitely identified as “the lion and the young lion roaring on the prey.” No forces in the world other than British can be identified as the lion and the young lion. These symbols are not only British, but Israelitish as well, and do in my opinion form a mind-numbing proof that the conquering British armies were the armies of Israel. Otherwise Jerusalem would still have been trodden down of Gentiles.
World War I was the most fearful convulsion the world has ever known. In its bloody wave 65,038,810 men were mobilized of whom 9,538,315 were killed, 21,219,452 were wounded. 7,750,919 were taken prisoner or missing. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the total casualties were 37,404,186, No wonder our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking of the day when nation would rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, said this would be the beginning of sorrows. This devastating conflagration was followed by the Spanish influenza 1918-1919, in which plague it is estimated that twenty million people perished and fifty times that number were stricken with the disease.
The appalling conflagration of 1914-1918 and the desolating plague of influenza that followed it were the true beginning of sorrows and the time of Jacob’s trouble. After twenty years of world-wide unrest and international sabre rattling and bloodshed the already reeling world was struck another staggering blow by the outbreak of World War II. Into this raging sea of blood and tears and incredible devastation waded the armies, the air forces, the navies and the civilians of fifty-seven nations, and when at last the guns fell silent and bombs ceased to fall, another 15,000,000 men had lost their lives besides an incredible number of men, women, and children of the nations involved. The cost in money and equipment could not possibly be estimated. The cost to the United States alone was estimated to be three hundred and fifty billion dollars. This unspeakable conflagration saw the dropping of the first atomic bomb and the unbelievable incineration of two great cities and their inhabitants.
Since the closing of World War II, there has not been a day of peace on earth. Devastating local wars have been fought by many nations, and even now all signs point to the final holocaust that will end with the coming of Christ to take the government of the world. In our day we are seeing the literal fulfillment of the words of Jesus, “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…” Matt. 24:22
Speaking of these days of sorrow and trouble, our Lord Jesus gave us a faithful promise when He said, “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” Luke 21:32. The words this generation evidently have reference to the generation that would be living when these things begin to come to pass. That, of course, is our own generation. As our life expectancy is three score and ten years, then a generation must be considered to be between sixty-five and seventy years. Many among us who were small children when this beginning of sorrows began in 1914 may yet live to see all things fulfilled.
In a writing such as this, when we walk in unknown paths that lead over unfamiliar ground, it is easy for us to become confused as our minds begin to swim with figures and statements of facts. We should not, however, be too surprised at our apparent lack of understanding since Daniel, noted in scripture for wisdom and understanding, could not in spite of all his effort comprehend the wonders he had seen, but remained to his death in doubt as to their meaning. Thus he writes, “I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Dan. 8:27. The Lord had said that these things were sealed up until the time of the end, and, were it not for those promising words, until the time of the end, it would be vain for us to endeavor to search them out. But we who live at the end of the days will surely find their meaning. If, however, in our earnest search we find our calculations to be imperfect by a few years, we may rest assured that the time of the end and the end of the days are very near at hand.
Another direct Bible prophecy concerning the end of the days is found in Daniel, chapter 8. In this vision, which occurred in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, Daniel was given a vision of the destruction of the Babylonian Empire by Medo-Persia and the subsequent destruction of the Medo-Persian Empire by Greece. Here in symbol Medo-Persia is characterized as a ram having two horns, pushing north and south and westward so that no beasts could stand before him. Compare Dan. 8:1-4 with verse 20. In the midst of these mighty Medo-Persian conquests another beast appears in the form of a rough he-goat with a notable horn between his eyes. This he-goat is the kingdom of Greece (verse 21), which rose to the height of its power under Alexander the Great.
In the vision Daniel saw the he-goat (Greece) with the notable horn between his eyes come from the west. He came against the ram in the fury of his power, and smote him, broke his horns (power), and stamped on him. Verse 7. Then the he-goat waxed very great, and when he was strong, suddenly the great horn between his eyes was broken. This evidently is a prophecy concerning the death of Alexander the Great, who had become so great in power that his empire extended from India to Ethiopia. It is doubtful if any conqueror who ever lived could equal his prowess as a general. Alexander died suddenly in 323 B.C. at the height of his power at the age of thirty-two years, having never once been defeated in battle. The death of Alexander was undoubtedly one of the most outstanding events in the history of the Grecian Empire and was the great turning point in her history. It was after Alexander died that the nation was divided into four heads according to the prophetic words of Daniel 8:8, and from one of the four horns came forth the little horn (verse 9) by whom Jerusalem was trodden down and the daily sacrifice was taken away. Dan. 8:12
As Daniel was seeking to understand the vision, he “heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Dan. 8:13, 14. This twenty-three hundred days, which on the time scale would be twenty-three hundred years, from the time the daily sacrifice was taken away is described in verse 19 as the last end of the indignation. The indignation is the desecrating of God’s holy place, “for at the time appointed the end shall be.” Verse 19
It is not completely possible to say with dogmatic certainty just exactly what year we should begin counting the twenty-three hundred years, but we may say with a good deal of certainty that, because the vision concerned the Grecian Empire, and because after the death of Alexander the daily sacrifice was taken away, the approximate time to begin counting the twenty-three hundred days would be at the time of Alexander’s death. If, then, the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.), clearly foretold in Dan. 8:8, is to be the starting point of the twenty-three hundred days, twenty-three hundred years after 323 B.C. brings us once again to the year 1978 A.D. as the approximate time of the end of the days. Whether this reckoning is exact or not makes little difference to the indisputable fact that we are now living at the very time of the close of this age and the beginning of the kingdom of God.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Dan. 12:11–12
As we have considered different periods of days as stated in this book of Daniel, we have, I trust, come to realize more clearly the meaning of the expression the end of the days. Should we who live at the end of the days find ourselves puzzled or frustrated in our endeavors to understand such tremendous end time prophecies, then surely we should feel the stricture and perhaps embarrassment Daniel felt in his endeavor to comprehend the meaning of the riddle that confronted him, since he had not yet seen the beginning of days, let alone the end of them. But this man of God was plainly told that the message was sealed until the time of the end and could not be understood until then. Therefore the Lord dismissed him with these words: “Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
While the words must have been disappointing to the prophet, they should be reason for great rejoicing to us who live in the end of the age. Since history has left us some definite dates to indicate the time these thirteen hundred and thirty-five days actually began, we are now able to begin our counting of these days with some certainty. Let us then rejoice in the perfect assurance that we are drawing near to that time of blessedness which was promised in these words: “Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” These final words, spoken to Daniel, were intended to be both a great comfort to him and a refreshing source of knowledge and inspiration to us. “Thou shall rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” was a promise to him of the date of his own resurrection and the resurrection of all the righteous in Christ. “Go thou thy way until the end be: for thou shall rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” This lo Daniel was a sure and certain promise of the resurrection. Though he has been at rest for more lean twenty-five hundred years, he is now nearing the end of Ice days and, as it is a glorious hope for him, it is also a sure and certain hope for us, for “they without us shall not be made perfect.”
As the twenty-five hundred and twenty days had lo do with the Babylonian Empire and the twenty-three hundred days had lo do with the Grecian Empire, so also now the twelve hundred and ninety days and the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days have to do with the desolating power of Mohammedanism.
Grattan Guiness, that great and learned man who lived in the latter part of the nineteenth century and who possessed a wonderful understanding of the end of the age, foretold in his day that the end of the limes of the Gentiles would come in the year 1917. Al the time he predicted the beginning of World War I, which was to bring about the end of Gentile power over Jerusalem. Writing in his book, The Approaching End of the Age, page 431, he said, “The Papacy does not stand out more distinctly as the great apostasy of the west than does Mohammedanism as the great parallel apostasy of the east. The one originated from within the church, the other from without; but they rose together… They have run chronologically similar courses; they have both based their empire on religious pretensions; the one defiled and trampled down the church, the other defiled and trod down Jerusalem. The Holy Roman Empire under the control of the Papacy dominated nearly all of Europe whilst the Mohammedan Empire at its zenith extended all the way from Spain to India.”
In one of His many serious talks with His disciples Jesus foretold the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem and the setting up of an “abomination that maketh desolate” in its place. One of the signs He gave as an indication of His coming and the end of the age was, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Matt. 24:15–16. When Jesus spoke these words, He was referring to the prophecy of Daniel 12:11, which says, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” That is, there will be twelve hundred and ninety years left until the end of the days.
Mahomet was born at Mecca 570 A.D. and died 632 A.D. The temple of the Lord at Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Romans just as Jesus had prophesied in Matt. 24:2 and as Daniel had prophesied in Dan. 9:26. But unknown to Daniel more than twelve hundred years were to elapse between the giving of the prophecy and the actual time the abomination of desolation was to be set up as he had foretold. In 622 A.D. Mohammed fled from Mecca, where he had preached and established some of his doctrines. The Mohammedan calendar begins from this date. Therefore A.D. 622 is year one on their calendar, which is reckoned, not by solar years, but by lunar years. After the death of Mohammed in 622 Omar became caliph. He came to Jerusalem and in the year 643 to 644 erected a temporary wooden mosque on the temple site. Just as the temple of the Lord had been the center of Israelitish worship, so now this abomination became the centre and symbol of Mohammedanism. The Christian patriarch at Jerusalem, upon seeing the building of the mosque, exclaimed, “The abomination of desolation is in the holy place!” No truer word was ever spoken; and there it must remain until the end of the thirteen hundred and thirty-five years, which will be the end of the days.
This building of the mosque of Omar in the year 643-644 was a very important event and should definitely be considered the starting point of the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days of Dan. 12:11. That its erection in the holy place is connected with the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days and the consequent end of the days there can be no reasonable doubt, for the scripture clearly indicates that following this event there would be thirteen hundred and thirty-five days (years) from that time until Daniel would stand in his lot at the end of the days. If this be correct, then it is only a matter of simple addition to compute that thirteen hundred and thirty-five years after 643-644 brings us to the year of 1978-79 as the time of the end of the days spoken of in Daniel’s prophecy.
Now there appears to be a double confirmation here, for, while Omar built the wooden mosque in 643-644 A.D. and it remained on the site for some forty-four years, the present structure, The Dome of the Rock, commonly called the Mosque of Omar, was begun in the year 688 A.D., the work continuing until 691 A.D. These are the figures given by the Encyclopedia Britannica.
You have already noted that Daniel was given two sets of figures concerning this abomination of desolation — twelve hundred and ninety days and thirteen hundred and thirty-five days. In Dan. 12:11 he was told that from the setting up of the abomination of desolation to the end there would be twelve hundred and ninety days (years), and then in verse 12 he was further mystified by the baffling expression, “Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days.” How was Daniel to know what the abomination of desolation would be and how much less was he to know that two structures would be built, the first one temporary to be begun in 643 A.D., almost twelve hundred years after his day, the second to be commenced in 688 A.D.? My readers must already have come to the conclusion that twelve hundred and ninety years after the erection of The Dome of the Rock in 688 brings us to the year 1978, and thirteen hundred and thirty-five years after the beginning of the temporary Mosque of Omar in 643 also brings us to the same date. Thus 688 plus 1290=1978 and 643 plus 1335=1978.
I have no desire whatever to be guilty of juggling figures like some dishonest accountant, and probably no one on earth realizes more than I do how overly easy it is to make mistakes or be in error. Even an error of a year or two might appear to make a shambles of all our reckoning. But of this one thing I am positive: Once the correct dates can be rightly computed to begin the counting of the days as given to Daniel for our benefit, we will know of a certainty the exact time when the days will end. As the Lord gave these days to Daniel, he was given the wonderful promise that the end of them would be the time of his resurrection. “Thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” I shall never apologize for truth. The only thing for which we need to apologize is our ignorance and inability to understand the things, which God has stated.
To recapitulate and show again the things which we have considered we must conclude that the years 1978 and 1979 must of necessity be years of great importance concerning the end of the age, for we have already endeavored to show to the best of our understanding that the long series of days and times given to Daniel all bring us to 1978-79 as the approximate time of the end of the days. Seventy weeks or thirty-four hundred and thirty years, determined upon God’s people Israel, when added to the date of the exodus, which was the beginning of days for them, brings us to 1978. The twenty-three hundred days after the death of Alexander in 323 B.C. brings us again to 1978. Thirteen hundred and thirty-five years after the first mosque was built in 643 brings us to 1978, and twelve hundred and ninety years after the commencement of the Dome of the Rock in 688 B.C. brings us also to 1978-79.
In the great vision concerning Nebuchadnezzar and the succeeding Gentile powers twenty-five hundred and twenty years were to pass before Jerusalem would be delivered from Gentile power. Seven times or twenty-five hundred and twenty years after the capture of Jerusalem in 604 B.C. brings us to 1917, which is the year that Jerusalem was captured by the British forces to end the domination of Mohammedanism and all Gentile rule in that city. Speaking of the beginning of sorrows and the time of trouble that would be at the end, Jesus said, “This generation shall not pass away until all be fulfilled.” From 1917 until 1978 is sixty-one years, which is well within the scope of a generation.
I leave these thoughts with you for your earnest consideration. I do not infer that 1978-79 is the exact date of the end of the age, but, in the face of all the multiplied signs that point to the end of the age, now appearing on every hand in ever increasing numbers, we would be very foolish and very unbelieving if we did not see in this simple evidence both that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh and that we are in truth at the end of the days.
CONCERNING OUR TIMES
There are limitless ways to be wrong, but only one way to be right; therefore it behooves us all to recognize the frailty of our understanding and be ready, if necessary, to say, “I may be wrong,” and in some cases, “I was wrong.” The vast capability for human error was probably the reason the apostle James exhorted the saints with this pertinent observation: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. For we all make many mistakes, and if anyone makes no mistakes in what he says, he is perfect.” Jas. 3:1–2. Revised Standard That piece of inspired advice should make us all take second thought before we presume to be teachers of the word or before we insist that we are right in what we say. I may therefore be wrong, but I am very much of the opinion that September-October 1979 brought us to the end of the days as they are set forth in the book of Daniel. We now appear to be in the interim period of disintegration when all the systems of the world are crumbling and falling apart just as we would expect them to do, since the feet of the image Daniel saw are an unstable mixture of iron mingled with clay.
The great nations of the world are falling apart. The mighty empires are no more. In a day not long ago, when the British lion roared, tyranny trembled, and when the American eagle screamed, nations bent on evil slunk away and all the world took heed. Now these two powerful brothers have lost their will to lead. They have abdicated their power to resist evil. Through the abundance of their riches they have corrupted themselves. They seem to have lost their souls. The prophet Isaiah, speaking of the last days of our age, said. “Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” The people referred to here are the Israel people, and I declare that their gross darkness, their spiritual blindness, has become so incredible that in many cases heathen nations are showing more moral fiber than the so-called
Christian world. These nations, among whom it once was true that Christ was the glory of His people Israel, now have sunk so low that many of them do not know that Christ is God’s Son. They do not know that He was God manifest in the flesh or that He died, was buried and rose again for our justification. The prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ our Lord, together with the apostles He chose, have all joined their inspired words to affirm with one voice that the final days of this age of grace will be times of great trouble, unrest and tribulation. “This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come,” and to such an extent that men’s hearts will literally fail them for fear and for looking after the things that are coming upon the earth, for even the powers of heaven will be shaken.
The prophet Daniel spoke of an un-named beast that would arise before the end of the age, a beast dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly with great iron teeth. It devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. It was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Dan. 7:7-8. This reign of terror was to continue until the Ancient of days came, whose garment is as white as snow, and He took the kingdom. Bless His name!
The prophet Isaiah, foretelling the glory of the coming kingdom age, in chapter 60, verse 2 uttered one short sentence that vividly portrays the spiritual condition of the world immediately before the setting up of the long-awaited and glorious kingdom of Christ. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Darkness like a black mantle hangs over all the world at the present time. The light of Israel shines no more and the light of the church is that of a flickering, sputtering candle.
Our Lord Jesus Christ in strict harmony with the prophets asked this sobering question: “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” The Emphatic Diaglott has it this way: “Will He find the faith on the earth?” This, I feel, is the true meaning of the passage. The world is full of preachers preaching every imaginable doctrine, but the faith, which was once delivered to the saints is sadly lacking and for the most part is not being preached at all. If you speak to the existing church about sects or denominations, they can identify with you immediately. Preach about church tradition and they know what you mean. Fill your sermons with soul-winning, missions, Sunday Schools, crusades, seminars, creeds, assemblies, doctrines, meetings, communions, baptisms, programs, campaigns, tract distribution, healings, gifts, personal work, radio, T.V., offerings, drives, buildings and building funds, invasions, publications, Bible Schools, alms, temples, special numbers and on and on ad nauseum, and with these things the people can identify. But, when you start to talk about the faith once delivered to the saints, the eternal purposes of God, the restitution of all things, reconciliation, repentance, regeneration, justification, the atonement, sanctification, the mind of Christ, election, predestination, the kingdom of God and sonship, and many other words of faith which the Holy Ghost teaches (2 Cor. 2:13), then the veil is upon their faces and they stagger in amazement and think the preacher has taken leave of his senses. With sympathetic tones and knowing glances they whisper, “He has gone off the deep end,” or “He is away out in left field,” and other such expressions of infantile understanding. The existing church system of our day with its vast array of petty sects and vainglorious denominations has a form of godliness, but is in every sense denying the power of it. From all such God commands us to turn away.
Then again the infallible Lord Jesus taught us, “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. 24:37. The sixth chapter of Genesis gives the reader a vivid picture of world conditions in the days of Noah. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Gen. 6:5. And again, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt: for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, / will destroy them with the earth.” Gen. 6:11-13
There was also another evil rampant in Noah’s day, and this same evil is becoming rampant in our day, but, alas, it is being passed over with a careless shrug. Adam was a Son of God (Luke 3:16-38) and the sons of God spoken of in Genesis 6:4 were the descendants of Adam. They were Adamites. Though the Bible deals in particular only with the seed of Adam, or the sons of God, by definite, unmistakable inference it becomes perfectly clear that races of men other than Adamites were on the earth, not only at the same time as Adam, but in all probability long before he came. These other races are not called sons of God, but are referred to as men.
An inference in scripture is as strong as, or perhaps stronger than, a direct statement. Thus, when the Lord banished Cain from His presence, Cain complained, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the earth; and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.” See Gen. 4:13–14. At the time this statement was made, only Adam and Eve and Cain remained of the Adamites. Abel had already been slain. Before whom, then, was Cain to be a fugitive in the earth? To whom did he refer when he said everyone who found him would slay him? If no other races existed, why did he fear that someone would slay him? Nay, but other races did exist and the indisputable inference is that Cain, being an Adamite and undoubtedly white of skin, was afraid that all these blacks and browns and yellows, who dwelt outside of Eden, would seek to kill him. Then, too, is it not a singular thing that Cain, having departed to the land of Nod, which means the land of wanderings, found a wife? The old question, “Where did Cain get his wife,” vexes and befuddles all who fail to see that pre-Adamic races existed. Without doubt Cain married one of these daughters of men and was the first Adamite to begin the wicked practice of intermarrying with these forbidden tribes. Then not only did Cain marry a wife in his wanderings, but, the story goes on to relate, he also built a city. Verse 17. None of these wandering tribes had ever thought of building a city; neither had any of them ever tilled the ground. Gen. 1:5; 4:2. They were just as the savages are in our day.
By the time of Noah the earth had corrupted itself to such an extent that the sons of God – that is, the Adamites – were freely mingling with the daughters of men and taking them wives of all that they chose. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Gen. 6:1-4 The idea advanced by some that the sons of God were the angels who married Adamites is in my opinion too ridiculous for comment. Angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. They are sexless beings and do not possess the powers of incarnation. Such jejune statements are made because of prevailing and perverse ignorance of the fact that there were other man-like beings on the earth as well as Adam and concurrent with him. We should dismiss all such artful dodging of the truth and open our minds to the fact that Adam was a special creation in God’s image, destined to have dominion over all else in the world and eventually, when fully sharing God’s image, to govern the universe, but that he was not alone in the earth there is abundant evidence.
The moment you understand this truth, it is a simple matter to grasp why it is that the scripture, speaking of the last days, plainly tells us, “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men.” Dan. 2:43. This forbidden act of Adamites inter-marrying with non-Adamites is a sign of the end of the age now just as it was a sign of the flood in Noah’s day, and just as the wickedness of the earth was vastly increased by this wicked fornication with other races, so today the more this practice of “going after strange flesh” (Jude 7) is pursued so much the more evil and darkness comes upon the face of the earth. I verily believe it is a great sin against light for any child of Adam to intermarry with any pre-Adamic race. The Old Testament scriptures abound with warnings and judgments against any such thing to such an extent that both Ezra and Nehemiah forced the Israelites to put those wives away. See Ezra 10:10-19; Neh. 13:23-31; See also Deut. 7:1-4. A bastard in the language of the Old Testament is not a child born out of wedlock, but a child born of one of these illegitimate unions.
To talk about sin and corruption has never been a delight of mine. I would much sooner spend my time considering the incorruptible realms of the Spirit, but, since Jesus and His apostles and the prophets taught us to be watchers lest the great day of the Lord should come upon us unawares, it behooves us at times to pause in our flight to the celestial realms to examine ourselves and take particular notice that all the signs about us are pointing to the end of the age and the coming of our long awaited Lord. For this reason Jesus warned us that in the end of the age the world would be as wicked and violent, as adulterous and barbaric, as it was in the days of Noah and that the thoughts and imaginations of men’s hearts would be only evil continually.
In like manner He warned of another sordid evil of the last days when He said that as it was in the day that Lot went out of Sodom, so should it be when the Son of man would be revealed. Luke 17:20-30. The sin that ran rampant in Sodom was homosexuality in all its debasing, degrading, defiling debauchery. Sodom was a city situated on the Dead Sea, destroyed with its neighboring city, Gomorrah, because of the wickedness of the people. Gen. 18:10. From the proper noun, Sodom, comes the noun sodomy, which means unnatural sexual relations, especially between male persons or between a human being and an animal. This filthy, barbaric crime was the sin that caused the overthrow of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone from heaven so that not one person save righteous Lot and his two daughters escaped. Gen. 19
It is a tragedy of enormous proportions that in our day this sin is again rampant in the earth. The significant thing is that it has only become rampant in the last twenty years. To earth’s unspeakable shame so-called homosexual churches now claim over fifty thousand members. In their towering blasphemy they even profess to hold what they imagine to be “Holy Ghost conventions.” I can think of nothing more blasphemous than this! This vile dissipation with all its devitalizing, debilitating corruption is present, not only among members of congregations, but also among an effeminate Protestant and Catholic, dissolute and immoral clergy, not excluding many so-called evangelical denominations. We have no delight in disclosing these evils, but let the unrestrained ragings of these crimes warn us that the day of vengeance and judgment and the end of the age is even at our doors, for as it was in the days of Sodom, so shall it be when the Son of man comes.
In his second epistle to Timothy Paul warned that “in the last days perilous times shall come, for,” said he, “men shall be lovers of their own selves.” From this love of self all the other evils of our day apparently spring. While considering this present day love of self, a few lines from the poetry of Macaulay comes to mind:
Then none was for the party;
Then all were for the state.
Then the great man helped the poor
And the poor man loved the great.
Then lands were fairly portioned;
Then spoils were fairly sold.
The Romans were like brothers
In the brave days of old.
Now Roman is to Roman
More hateful than a foe.
The Tribunes beard the high;
The Fathers grind the low.
As we wax hot in faction,
In battle we grow cold;
Wherefore men fight not as
In the brave days of old.
Proceeding from the love of self, evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Men became covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high, minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. 2 Tim. 3:1-4. To this conspicuous list of end time evils the apostle James adds still another sign of the last times in his reference to the enormous fortunes that would be amassed in the last days. If Adam had earned ten thousand dollars a year from his day until now, he would have earned sixty million dollars, but in these last days many men have amassed fortunes of that magnitude in much less than a lifetime. But says James, “Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you.” Then to the faithful brethren he offers these comforting words: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:3,7.
Before His departure out of this world our Lord briefed His disciples concerning the abounding iniquity of the last days. He made it clear that this great resurgence of sin would be due to an unprecedented falling away from the faith. So great was this regression and backsliding to be that it would be a question whether or not the faith would survive until He returned. I cannot agree in the least with those people who are predicting a world, wide revival before the end of this age and before the Lord returns. It is most evident that the entire body of Holy Scripture loudly proclaims an ever, increasing corruption, not only in the world and its corrupt systems, but in professed Christendom as well. If our age is going to end in a world shaking revival, as so many preachers are so fond of predicting, then why did Jesus ask, “When the Son of man cometh, will He find the faith on the earth?” The indisputable evidence is that He will not, except it be in a few elect. Again, if the days of the coming of the Son of man are going to be a repetition of the days of Noah, then how would this substantiate the idea that there will be a world-wide, earth-shaking revival? In Noah’s day the whole world was full of scoffing and unbelief and in the days of Sodom, in spite of Abraham’s fervent intercession, not even ten righteous could be found. Gen. 18:23-33. The idea of a great revival before the end of the age is not founded on fact. The scripture that describes our time gives evidence in these words: “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Tim. 3:3. Considering the facts, we can scarcely avoid the conclusion that those who are persuading themselves and the people who follow them that a mighty revival is on the way are themselves the true deceivers.
The present generation is seeing a clear vindication of the foreknowledge of God and His apostles and prophets. Those who today devoutly accept and believe the full counsel of the Lord are a tiny fraction of the human race. Even in the so, called Christian west the number of truly faithful is declining lamentably. As the older generation, who knew somewhat of the glory of God, is passing away, a new generation is rising with its hard rock music, its lightness and frivolous pretense, its mingling the things of God with the things of the world, its ecumenical spirit and its relentless drift back into pagan Rome with all her idols and abominable enormities. The furious hurricane of evil both in the existing church and outside of it receives so little attention from the so-called shepherds of the flock that a tide of sheer Satanism has set in, a corrosive, rotting condition so degrading that the normal decencies of community life have become the subject of jest, derision, and hilarity.
Is it not a tragedy that big strong men are so afraid of becoming “involved” that they will hear screams for help from a fourteen year old girl who is being raped and turn a deaf ear and like craven dastards slink into the darkness instead of coming to the rescue? What hope is there for a so-called Christian community whose citizens are as spineless as this? Though we know all these things are so, we have become so calloused, so seared as with a hot iron, that abominable crimes scarcely cause the raising of an eyebrow. It seems clear from all the predictions of the word of God that this foulness will not only continue to the end of the age but will grow worse and worse.
During the great, earth-shaking revivals of George Whitefield, Benjamin Franklin, himself not a believer, remarked, “It seemed as though the whole world had suddenly become religious.” That is the kind of result that follows a true revival, but the imagined revivals of our day are not born of God. They do not produce such results as this, the reason being that they are the result of man’s engineering and not the moving of the Spirit of God. One world, renowned evangelist, who claimed thirty thousand souls were saved in one of his campaigns, upon returning six months later admitted he could not find thirty. That is not a revival. It is a farce and a dreadful indictment against modern evangelism. The sooner we wake up to this shameful sham and turn away from such falsities and failure the sooner we will discover God’s glory and enter His presence in sincerity and truth. A generation ago every pulpit in the land would have been fulminating against the wickedness and rottenness we see everywhere about us, including the backslidden church. It is to the eternal shame of the church system that condemnation of viscous, venal rottenness all about us does not come as much from the preachers as from the worldly media, which are usually concerned with other things.
Some fifty years ago Dr. Spock, to his eternal shame, introduced and advocated the despicable doctrine of self-expression. His teaching, among other things, was that children should not be inhibited by their parents. They should be allowed to freely express themselves in whatsoever manner they wished. As a result of this stupidity the Bible exhortation, “Bring up a child in the way he should go, and, when he is old, he will not depart from it,” was laid aside in favor of the new theory, which he supposed would develop much superior men and minds. The result has been a generation of undisciplined, rebellious, insecure and disturbed youngsters. The world now faces the horrible spectacle of seeing a rebellious, undisciplined generation, often dependent upon mind changing drugs, taking over the government of the world. Thus the world rushes like a loaded toboggan into destruction and tribulation. Man has sowed to the wind and he is now reaping the whirlwind. No wonder the cry in the book of Revelation echoes all across the world: “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth!”
It is not my intention in any way to enter into argument with people who hold beliefs other than my own. Often times they have come to their conclusions sincerely enough, but sometimes, of course, our firmest beliefs have not come to us either by study or by revelation, but are simply traditions that have been handed down to us. Many thousands of people are preaching the tradition that the church will be taken out of the world before the tribulation comes. Not long ago, L. E. Maxwell, in one of his articles, warned of the danger that lies in embracing false hopes. Mr. Maxwell, as you may know, has been largely responsible for the sending out of some fourteen hundred missionaries to many heathen nations on every continent in the world. In warning against the no tribulation doctrine, he cited how the Chinese and Koreans had been taught that, before tribulation came upon them, they would all be raptured, but, he said, terrible tribulation and fierce persecution came to these saints and so caught them unawares. Being thus thrown into great persecution and death, they were made to wonder about the truth of other things they had been taught.
I am firmly convinced that this same unexpected persecution and tribulation is going to come upon the Christian in every part of the world. The preachers have been lulling the Christians to sleep by telling them that they will never see tribulation; but they are misinforming the people and filling them with a false hope. Now, if the elect are all going to be taken out of the world before the great tribulation, can you explain to me why it was that Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, (the last trump. Cf. 1 Cor. 15:52), and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt. 24:29-31. The question then is this: If the elect are to be gathered after the tribulation, then what ground does any man have to affirm that they will be raptured before the tribulation takes place? The idea is not founded on fact. It is, to say the least, a very shaky doctrine that is bound to leave people confounded and amazed when trial and great tribulation shall come.
Jesus taught us that in the last days iniquity would abound and, because of this, the love of many would wax cold. Matt. 24:12. The Bible meaning of iniquity is lawlessness and rebellion. We will not now concern ourselves with the flagrant lawlessness that fills the whole world with depredation and woe. There is another lawlessness, however, that has crept in upon the world and into the hearts of believers as well, and, though it is a sinister thing full of subtle evil, it is everywhere looked upon as good. It is simple for anyone to see that the world is full of people who are covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, high minded, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. It does not take much thought to know that this kind of lawlessness abounds in the world, but what do the scriptures teach about family life? What do they say about husbands and wives and children? It is in this realm that rebellion has its beginning.
We hear a great deal in our day about women’s lib and other feminist movements in which women are taught to rebel against the authority of their husbands. Do they not know that in so doing they are rebelling against the commandment of God, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord, For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church... Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Eph. 5:22-24. We may be certain that Paul is directing this command to women who have husbands who are worthy to be called husbands and fathers – not to the violent, the abusive, the drunken, the dissolute, the demanding and overbearing. I do not say that any woman need submit to a devil incarnate, but there are many women who are rebelling against good husbands. Many are deserting their God-given responsibility to their families in favor of being a career woman. Women who refuse to be in subjection to their husbands never need imagine that they are in subjection to Christ.
On the other hand there are countless men who are lawlessly rejecting their responsibilities as husbands. Instead of being faithful husbands and fathers, they opt to spend endless hours in the office trying to heap up riches and make themselves a success, but take no time at all to love their wives and children and be a father and a head to them all. It is an enormous tragedy that the average American father, sometimes called the vanishing father, spends an average of thirty seconds a day playing with his children and being a father to them. The remainder of his hours are spent at work, on the golf course, or in any one of a dozen other ways. He leaves for work before the children are up and comes home after they are in bed, or else he sits with his eyes glued to the television and hardly sees them or talks to them. If home life is the bulwark of the nation, is it any wonder the world is full of woe!
If any man should think that God has forgotten his iniquity and rebellion against His laws, he might well consider the warning of Peter. “The Lord knoweth how to… reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” 2 Pet. 2:9–10
We see the spirit of lawlessness manifest in modern music, and in that continual savage uproar that is completely against nature and opposed both to the rhythm of the physical body and the harmony of the universe. Modern music has a tremendous grip on the young people of the day. Its weird rhythm and jungle beat urge its listeners to cast off restraint and morality and abandon themselves to the depravity of the drug culture, the sex craze, drunkenness and so many other evils of our day. The devil has been careful to introduce the “rock beat” into the modern church service under the false and shameful disguise of “gospel rock”, and this is little else than a blasphemous revolt against all that is sacred. This evil is constantly promoted by singing groups, who themselves have never had a sound experience with God. From all such evil let us turn away.
In all the world there is no power that is such a rebel against the authority of Christ as in the carnal mind. The carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be, so that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. It is impossible to walk in the flesh and walk in the Spirit, too. We will be found either obeying the desire of our physical man or walking after the leading and holiness of the Spirit of God. The carnal mind is the body mind. It is the mind that is bent on fulfilling and satisfying the demands and lusts of the body. It is the mind that does the wish and will of the physical man, obeying his lusts and walking after his corrupt desires. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 5:19-21
Notice now the contrast between the manifestations of the carnal mind, which is motivated by the flesh, and spiritual mind, which is motivated by the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Not even in Communist countries.) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another and envying one another.” Gal. 5:22-26
In our day there is much indiscriminate use of the Biblical term “born again.” Tens of thousands of people are claiming to be born again who have never known true repentance, who have never wept over their sin, known the depths of godly sorrow or turned away from the world with its lusts, its corruption, its filth and its pleasure. They cannot say in truth that they are new creatures. The expressions Hey! and Wow! I’ve found it! and Honk if you love Jesus! Are as sounding brass and tinkling cymbal to those who dwell in the depths of His Spirit, and they are foreign to Him whose name is above every name and in whose presence cherubim and seraphim cover their faces and cry, “Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory.” God is not in their abominable gospel rock nor yet in their food, fun and fellowship. “Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you.” 2 Pet. 2:13. He commands all men everywhere to repent of these vanities and turn to God with a pure heart for the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
In the face of the abounding corruption, the lightness, the frivolity and make believe that overflows in the church system, no man need deem it a mystery when he hears the Lord’s stern rebuke to the church of Laodicea, the church of the twentieth century. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear:” Neither need any man wonder that our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking of this Laodicean mass of corruption that calls itself the church, scolded and reproached them thus: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou weren’t cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” Rev. 3:15–16 Such forceful words of remonstration and rebuff are not statements to be taken lightly. They are fearful indictments against the careless professors of our day. It is no hand-clapping matter of exuberance to be told by Christ Himself, “I will spue thee out of My mouth.” Neither is it any light matter of minor importance to be told, “Thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Yet these dire statements of truth come from the lips of Christ and they are spoken to the entire church system as it exists in our day. Can we wonder, then, that God sees it as mystery Babylon the great or that He calls to His elect, “Come out of her, My people?”
That which is wretched is unsatisfactory. It is worthless in ability and quality, despicable, contemptible, dejected and unhappy. To be miserable is to be in a state of misery, poor health, unhappiness and discomfort. It is something of inferior quality, paltry, meager and skimpy. That which is blind cannot see, and to this we may say that in all the history of the world the professing church has never walked in greater blindness than now. Well did Jesus say, “Because ye say, We see, therefore your sin remains.” Can we wonder that the message of Jesus to this lukewarm, blind, naked, miserable, wretched church system at the end of the days includes the melancholy picture of the Lord Himself, standing on the outer side of that which professes to be His temple and His body. To add to the disconcerting portrayal the Lord is not seen asking admittance to the system, for that would be useless in the extreme, but addressing the individual, saying, “If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him.”
We are living in an appalling hour of unbelief and blindness. We dwell in the Laodicean age and know it not. This is the end of the age and we know it not. Ours is an hour of gross darkness when the Christian conscience is seared as with a hot iron. Concerning this dread hour Jesus Christ counsels, “Buy of Me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:18. It is pitiful to be blind, but lamentable to be blind and not know it. It is shameful to be naked, but it is appalling for one who is naked to imagine himself well clothed. It is pathetic to find one wretched, but sad indeed when the miserable imagines he has need of nothing. But thus it is in our day. Jesus himself stands outside, and there from His exterior position He calls to you, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues, for strong is the Lord that judgeth her.” “Let us go therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Heb. 13:13
The term the antichrist is not strictly a scriptural term. We need not say it is unscriptural, but it is, to say the least, misleading. God’s people have been tragically misled by the traditions that have been foisted upon them until today, as in the days of Jesus, we make the truth of God of none effect by our tradition. Mark 7:13. So much of what has been taught as gospel truth is in fact a caricature of the truth. All of us are inclined to use terms that are supposed to be scriptural but which are in fact little more than hackneyed cliches and trite phrases, handed down from generation to generation. These expressions are supposed to be long established truth, but so often they darken truth and withhold from us any true searching after real understanding. Expressions such as the antichrist, the rapture, spiritual Israel, eternal torment and many others are heard readily on the lips of God’s people, yet none of these terms are actually scriptural terms. Therefore, instead of serving to reveal truth, they cast a shadow over it and become definite obstacles in the path of truth and understanding.
Whenever the term the antichrist is used, our minds immediately conjure up the specter of some hideous creature who in the future is going to arise on the world scene. Indeed, such a hideous creature may very well appear, but we are deceiving ourselves if we think that antichrist belongs only to the future. The real truth of the matter is that both the antichrist spirit and the antichrist system have been with us for a very long time. We could scarcely be wrong in believing that the antichrist spirit was manifested when Cain killed his brother Abel, or earlier still when the serpent deceived Eve. It was manifested in evil Athaliah, who wickedly sought to murder all the seed royal and thus destroy the line through which Christ would come. 2 Kings 11:1-3. The spirit of antichrist was manifested in Herod when he killed all the boys two years old and under in the vain hope of murdering the Christ child. It was manifested in Judas Iscariot when he betrayed the Lord, and has been obvious on an ever increasing scale all through the church age. In our day it is openly evident to those who are aware of its working.
Centuries ago the Holy Spirit gave us some definite indications concerning what and who antichrist would be. John, writing in his day, said, “As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists.” Then significantly he adds, “They went out from us, but they were not of us.” 1 John 2:18–19. Doubtless those who went out still called themselves Christian, but their teaching was against Christ rather than for Him. In chapter four John, continuing his exhortation regarding antichrist, points out in verses 1-3 some definite identifying marks of antichrist. These identifying marks were not to be so evident in the things men say as they are in the spirit of the person who says them. Therefore John’s exhortation is: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” If God’s people will take time to consider the wide scope of professing Christendom, we will be forced to conclude that in our day there are far more false prophets in the existing church than true ones. It is very easy for a preacher to wave a Bible over his head and shout, “I believe this book from cover to cover.” It is an easy statement to make and, of course, it sounds convincingly fundamental, but quiz that man a little and you will find that he denies far more truth than he believes. Does he believe in election? Does he believe in predestination? Does he believe in the reconciliation of all things? Does he believe that God hath reconciled all things to Himself? Does he believe in a literal kingdom of God? Does he believe that God had a purpose for the world and all things in it and that all things, absolutely all things, are working according to the purpose? The spirit that denies any truth in favor of church tradition is the spirit of antichrist. Let us make no mistake about that.
It was Dr. Price who once said that, while he was surveying the world scene for a man who would fit the description of antichrist, he found that the real antichrist was within himself. That is a very true statement, for all and everything that belongs to the carnal mind is of a certainty antichrist.
John continues to disclose the unmistakable fingerprints of antichrist in these words: “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:3. I thoroughly believe that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh, but is it possible that we have entirely missed the truth that John was faithfully trying to teach us? If Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh, which He certainly was, then would we not be right in saying that Jesus Christ manifest in the flesh refers, not to Christ’s incarnation, but to the Spirit of Christ living and dwelling in you and me? “Christ in you is the hope of glory,” but there are many who deny that this is true and that Jesus Christ is come in His people. These same people, thus manifesting the spirit of antichrist, spend their whole earthly existence trying to climb up some other way, hoping to gain heaven by their good works. They know not that in so doing they are thieves and robbers. They rob Christ of His place in themselves and they rob themselves of eternal life. The prophets long ago proclaimed the message, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Cor. 6:16. The apostle Paul in like manner proclaimed the truth of this when he testified, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20
It is almost two millenniums ago that the apostle John wrote to the saints, saying, “As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists.” 1 John 2:18. From the analysis of this solemn warning it is right to conclude that the antichrist spirit was manifest in many people in John’s day and in all periods of the church age. The distinction between antichrist and many antichrists indicates that many antichrists will find their head in one master antichrist, who would rise in the church so that “he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (The temple of God, of course, is the church — not Solomon’s temple, as many imagine.) Now, while the majority of Christians rightly believe that a great master antichrist will arise, these same Christians have been deceived by the teaching that this antichrist is a personage who will appear in the future and who has not yet appeared on the world scene. This in my opinion is a gross error, the result of which will be that millions of Christians will unite themselves with the mother of harlots, over which antichrist now reigns.
At the beginning of the Reformation, in which under God Martin Luther played such an important part, this great reformer made the unqualified statement that the Pope is antichrist. In his Smalcald articles Luther laid special stress upon one declaration of the apostle Paul, which in his opinion pointed unerringly to the Pope and his successors. From 2 Thess. 2:3, 4 he fastens upon the following mark of identification as unquestionably the true finger print of antichrist. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth Himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Martin Luther saw this statement concerning antichrist as definitely fulfilled in the papal system. The Pope raised his head above all. The teaching of Paul shows forcefully that the Pope exalted himself above and opposed himself against Christ because he would not permit Christians to be saved without his power. This, properly speaking, is to exalt himself above all that is called God, as Paul stated in 2 Thess 2:4. For confirmation of the above statement by Luther we quote the following from Bull Unam Sanctum of Pope Boniface 8th. “To submit to the Roman Pontiff we declare, say, define and pronounce to be absolutely necessary to every human creature to salvation.” Then again, from the Council of Trent, we have the following: “If any one says that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified, let him be accursed.”
Centuries ago Israel, particularly that segment of Israel known as Jews, was expecting the Messiah to come, but her people were not expecting Him to come as He did, lowly and riding upon an ass, despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief – born to be crucified and die, not for His own sins, but for the sins of the world. They expected Him to come as a mighty conqueror who would destroy their enemies and bring them to an hitherto unheard of prominence and glory. The prophecies that are to be fulfilled at Christ’s second coming they expected to be fulfilled at His first coming. They could neither understand nor believe nor accept the fact that their long awaited Messiah would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and that the chastisement of our peace was to be upon Him or that by His stripes we were to be healed. Such thoughts as these were the farthest from their imagination. What they wanted was pomp and prominence in the earth not tears of repentance or humility of heart. They saw no need of conversion. They understood not that a man must be born again before he can see the kingdom of God.
No man can see the kingdom until his life has been touched and moved upon by the Holy Spirit. It is true, not only that man cannot enter the kingdom in his unregenerate state, but that he cannot even see it. As heaven is higher than earth, so the kingdom of God is of an order so much higher than the kingdoms of this world that the natural man cannot see it, perceive it or understand it. He has no insight into it or any cognizance of it. His soul and mind are unenlightened concerning its heavenly nature. No glimmer of light pierces his understanding. Indeed, such a carnal man may have great theories about the kingdom of God, as was true of the dissenting and blinded Israelites of long ago, but to behold the kingdom of God as an age of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost is something beyond the ken of the natural mind. For this cause our Lord Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus, a good man with a natural mind, went about to show him what all men need to know, that if we are to so much as see the kingdom of God, we must be moved upon by the Holy Spirit from above. Our spirits must be touched and transformed by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. We must be made new creatures in Christ Jesus. We must be born again. John 3:3. We must be born of that incorruptible seed, the word of God that liveth and abideth forever.
In the light of such truth as this it is small wonder that Israel, blinded by the darkness of the natural mind and cursed by the willfulness of an unconverted heart, could not see the kingdom of God. They could comprehend the workings of the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Rome or even the kingdom of David, but the higher realm of the kingdom of God with its transformation of man and earth and all things therein, its incorruption, its glory, its justice, equity, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost they could never be expected to see until they were born from above and received in themselves that eternal life which is the life of the kingdom and of the ages to come.
Now in the same way that Israel in the flesh was unable to see the kingdom of God or the true Messiah, but looked instead for a Messiah after the vain imagination of their own carnal minds, so also the church, knowing that antichrist will come, has looked for a tyrant to appear at the end of the age to tyrannize and oppress the whole world. The real truth is that antichrist is an ever present, deceiving pseudo Christ. Just as Christ came and the people of his day knew Him not, so antichrist has been in our midst from the beginning and we knew him not. As John in his epistle warned, “Even now there are many antichrists.” 1 John 2:18
According to Paul the mystery of iniquity was already at work in his day, 2 Thess. 2:7, and this was to be the manner of his coming and moving among the people. He was to come with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. He was not to come as a world conqueror, but as a deceiver of great power and authority, whose spurious gospel, miracles and speaking with tongues would be a crafty imitation of the real workings of Christ. He will come with power and signs and lying wonders. 2 Thess. 2:9–10. Because so many Christians follow like dumb sheep after every spectacular thing and will not endure sound doctrine, God allows them to be deluded so that they might believe a lie. Verse 11 In the book of Revelation we find this beast performing great signs and wonders, even calling down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Furthermore, we are told that he deceived the people who dwelt on the earth by the miracles he had power to do.
I am a firm believer in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in gifts, in ministries, in baptisms, in the working of miracles, in signs and wonders, in helps, governments and diversities of tongues, all of which are given to bring the saints to perfection; but I would be a fool indeed if I closed my eyes to the indisputable fact that in our day – even as in the days of the apostles – there are false prophets, false apostles, false miracle workers, false pastors, false healers, false baptisms, pseudo gifts and even false conversions. The world is thronging with false ministries and false prophets who exalt not Christ, but self and serve not Christ, but “their own bellies.” As the beautiful word love has been desecrated and defiled, its true meaning completely lost as blind and craven people dare to associate that sublime word with adultery, fornication and illicit sex, so the heavenly truth that fell from the lips of Christ, “Ye must be born again,” has largely lost its meaning because the pompous and unregenerate play with the term and profess the experience while their lives remain absorbed in the things of earth and the lusts of the carnal mind and still find their glory in the kingdoms of this world.
Christian brethren, never set your hearts on miracles and signs and wonders. Set your hearts on Christ and the glorious light of life that streams from His heavenly face. Ardently refuse to honor men except it be where honor is due. Refuse to let men exalt and adore you lest you be like Herod, who gladly received the acclaim of the people as they shouted, “It is the voice of a god and not a man.” Wherefore God smote him and he was eaten of worms and died.
As we come nearer to the consummation of this age, we are going to see an ever increasing move among the churches, both modernistic and evangelical, toward unity with Rome and the Pope. The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican church, is unquestionably in favor of union with Rome. Many among the Lutheran congregations are not only in favor of reunion with Rome, but condemn themselves for ever having separated in the first place. What are we to conclude when we see all manner of Protestant denominations (and I mean all manner) gathering together for charismatic meetings with the Church of Rome? Is this not a means of uniting them under one head? But that “one head” is not our Lord Jesus Christ! Perhaps you think this is good. The truth is that this is the deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they love not the truth. 2 Thess. 2:10. If Paul had not warned the saints of this dreadful deception of the last days, I would not be repeating the warning now. Many Christians apparently imagine that this antichrist leopard has changed his spots and the mother of harlots is not the enemy of Christ she once was, but this is not so and, if you examine the countries where Rome holds sway, such as the nations of South America, you will see she has not changed; and she has emphatically stated that she has no intention of doing so. It is never my joy to write such things as these, but if the antichrist spirit of this, the end of the age, is to come with all deceivableness of unrighteousness to such an extent that, were it possible, even the very elect would succumb to his devilish wiles, then with all longsuffering I exhort God’s people to look only to Christ for their instruction, their knowledge and their wisdom. Ask of Him bread and He will not give you a stone. Ask of Him an egg and He will not give you a scorpion. Let the fervent exhortation of Paul ring continually in your mind: “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” Furthermore give fervent heed to these inspired words from the book of Revelation, which above all previous words are given for the admonition of all who live in the end of this perilous age. “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4. These are solemn warnings. They are given for the age in which we live, but, though God has spoken so often in calling His people to come out of the systems of religion so prevalent in our day and remain no longer in touch with the unclean thing, for all His admonition only an elect few ever heed the call to separation that Christ may be all and in all and that God may be our Father and we may be His sons and daughters.
Many heart stirring and almost terrifying messages were spoken by inspired men concerning the last days of this age. Our Lord Jesus, foremost among them, bore faithful witness that the last days of this age, the time just preceding His second coming, would be as the days of Noah, days described vividly in Gen. 6 as days of violence that filled the earth, a time of universal corruption when the thoughts and imaginations of men’s hearts were only evil. He told us that the end of this age would be a time when faith had fled from the earth as it had in Noah’s time, who alone walked with God. The days of Noah were days of indiscriminate racial desegregation when the sons of God, the Adamites, were intermarrying with all colors and races as they are now doing, bringing swift and terrible judgment on the world. Furthermore Jesus said that as it was in the days of Sodom, so would it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. In our day sodomy is rampant from the high places to the low. The appalling result of this sordid crime is that men and nations receive a reprobate mind to do those things that are inconvenient and wrong, even as Paul taught us in Romans, chapter 1.
Perhaps the saddest picture of all is found in the letter to the church of Laodicea, that church, which above all others represents the church system at the end of the age. There at Laodicea we see the Lord Jesus Christ standing without – both outside the system and outside the hearts of the lukewarm multitude. From His position without Christ is seen knocking, not at the door of the Laodicean church – never could He hope to find admission there – but rather He stands before each troubled heart, knocking and saying, “If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with Me.” This is the final promise of our age. It is the promise for you and me. God never leaves Himself without a witness. There are yet seven thousand in Israel who have not bowed the knee either to Baal or to Babylon, but if you are bowing to the system or adhering to it in any way, then you are still in it and awaiting its condemnation. The call of the hour is, “Come out of her, My people.”
Saints of the Lord, has the Holy Spirit ever impressed upon you the astonishing truth of who and what you are? As I was kneeling this morning with the Bible before me, my spirit was absorbing with reverent joy the almost incredible statements made by the beloved Peter to the saints of the Most High. After Peter had honored our Lord Jesus Christ by telling us that He was a living stone disallowed of men, but that He was chosen of God and precious, he went on to say that we also are living stones, and that, being living stones, we are being built up into a spiritual house. Peter stated further that we are a holy priesthood, ordained to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. These truths we find in 1 Peter 2:4–5.
Never before as today did the truth of what we really are dawn upon me so forcefully. The stones of Solomon’s temple in all its costly glory were nothing but hard, cold, lifeless rock, unable to speak or feel or see. The stones which compose the temple of Christ‘s glorious body are not as these. The temple of His body is a living temple composed of living stones, each one throbbing and alive with the eternal life, which Christ is, each stone endowed with the seven Spirits of God. Not flickering lights burning olive oil, but each one blazing more brightly than the glory of the noonday sun. Ah, what a temple of glory and beauty God is building! A temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens! The habitation of God through timeless ages! As God has said, “Ye are a building which is rising upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom the whole building, fitly framed together, is rising to form a fixed abode for God through the Spirit.” This building, of which Paul spoke in his letter to the Ephesians, is the spiritual house of which Peter was speaking when he revealed that we are living stones, standing in order upon a foundation of glory. “Fade, fade each earthly joy! Jesus in mine!” I would not barter my place on that foundation for all the temples that have ever been built. “Break every tender tie,” for no joy of earth can have the slightest appeal to those who know that through His marvelous grace we are the habitation oJ God forevermore.
But, lest our lives should be momentarily swept away by the fun and foolishness of this present world or by the vanity of its treasure, its gold or silver or costly array, or lest we should be swamped with the cares of this world or the deceitfulness of riches or the lusts of other things entering in, forget not, but rather call to remembrance, that you who are living stones in God’s living temple are therefore separated from all others unto God as an holy priesthood. How those words of inspiration enlightened my heart as the light of the Spirit streamed upon them today! Here in the realization of the meaning of this truth we come to the parting of the ways. Here we priests of God become separated from the noisy, capricious throng with their food, fun and fellowship, their giddy religious culture with its hand clapping, back slapping merriment to the accompaniment of hard rock music, which has everything in common with earth and nothing in common with Christ.
The holy priesthood of God is ordained to draw nigh to Him, not only on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of whatsoever and whomsoever the Spirit will lay upon their hearts. Unto this priest the way into the most holy is wide open. The veil has been rent asunder, and now henceforth the only veil that can hinder the priest from entering is the veil of his own flesh. Yet, if he will reckon it to be crucified with Christ and reckon himself dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God, there is nothing that can hinder his entrance into His presence. Did not the great apostle plainly tell us, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh… let us draw near…” Heb. 10:19-22. When the flesh of Christ was rent on Calvary, my flesh was rent with His. In that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God, ever to make intercession as a priest for the saints of the Most High.
Herein lies the joy of the Lord. Without like a restless sea is the frivolity of a religion born of the flesh and not of the Spirit. The flesh, I find, is one of the most religious things in creation. Even Cain brought his offering to the Lord, unacceptable as it was, but this holy priesthood, these living stones, are ordained of God to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. The revelation and the realization of what we are and who we are and what we are called unto comes to us as a tremendous awakening, even as life from out the tomb. Here old things die and new are born. Here the world with its vanity recedes and the life in Christ matures and grows exceedingly.
There is today, as there has been in all the ages that have passed, an elect company of saints who are not satisfied with anything less than the true glory and the true presence of God. Self-centered sermons do not satisfy these elect saints. The lightness and frivolity of the Charismatics leave them cold. The devilish rock beat that now holds sway in so many supposedly full gospel churches leaves them appalled and repulsed in spirit. The “Hey, let’s give God a clap” crowd incites grief and pain to their hearts. The repugnant greed of the money grabbers with their multitudinous human programs repels their spirits. The elect according to the foreknowledge of God are sanctified by the Spirit and their belief of the truth. Therefore the manipulating and maneuvering of all modern forms of religion become a devastating abomination in their sight. Have you never read the awesome words of Isaiah the prophet, who spoke of these times of religion without God in the following words? “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes.” Isa. 1:13-16
Saints of God, the conditions in the church system will not change. They will grow worse and worse until it will be literally true that, when the Son of man comes, it will be an open question as to whether or not there is faith on the earth. When the Son of man cometh, the elect of the Lord will be scarce, as they were in the days of Noah, but violence, greed and spoil will fill the earth as it did then; and as judgment followed the days of Noah and fire followed the days of Sodom, so judgment and fire are about to fall upon the hosts of mankind. As the darkness gathers and the shades of night are descending upon this final stage of man’s rule, the Spirit of God sends forth His final call to the saints who still dwell in the Babylon of the existing church system. It is this: “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” And unto you who still pause on the brink of decision, I ask with all humility, “Why are you so afraid to walk with Christ alone.” When at last your frail bark is borne from out the realm of time and place, is it not He who will guide you across your Jordan of death? Why then do you fail to heed His warning now and come out and walk with Him before judgment falls on the Babylon system and upon all who are within? You may indeed be “disallowed of men,” but if you are chosen of God and precious, how little does the disfavor of the harlot matter! If we as living stones are built up a spiritual house, destined to become habitation of God forever, let us then strip for the race and leave the cunning devices of the harlot behind to run with patience the race before us.
I have endeavored to make this chapter a simple exhortation, knowing full well that the end of the age is upon us and the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
“Never give your hearts to the world, little children, or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time; for the whole world system, based as it is on man’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions, and the glamour of all they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself. The world with all its passionate desires will one day disappear; but the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die.”
THE GATHERING STORM AND THE GLORY BEYOND
The signs around in earth and air
And painted on the starlit sky,
God’s faithful witnesses, declare
That the coming of the Master draweth nigh.
In ages and dispensations past God’s people lived to see many wonders wrought by God. In times of meditation we have thought how good it must have been to have seen the mighty arm of God made bare as signs and wonders were performed in the midst of His people. Can we imagine the abounding joy that Noah felt when, after six centuries of enduring the doubt and unbelief of godless people and after one hundred years of faithfully preaching the incredible message that God would soon destroy the world with a flood, he built an ark to the saving of his house, and now, safely sheltered in its kindly fold with beasts and birds and creeping things, which seemed to have more faith than men, he saw the storm clouds gather like angry portents in the heavens? The thunders roared as lightnings raced from sky to sky and tiny raindrops, never before seen in all earth’s history, began to fall. Gently, perhaps, at first, then with increasing tempo and fury it came until the floods rose, first to the ankles, then to the waist as the fountains of the deep were broken up, until the ark itself was born aloft upon the mighty deep. Trees once stately and tall floundered helplessly in the waters until they sank beneath the waves to be seen no more. Hills and mountains to whose safety men and beasts had fled soon were buried in their watery grave and tongues that once had scorned God fell cold and silent and still, too late now to partake of His mercy.
What child of God could refrain from rejoicing to see the might of the Lord displayed as it was in Egypt when God’s time had fully come to release from bondage His people, whose hopes were almost dead through the demeaning effect of two centuries of slavery? But could their unbelief make the faith of God of none effect? God forbid! This could never be! His purposes do not depend on the strength or weaknesses of man. He who has promised will surely bring it to pass, even when all hope that we should be saved has fled away. In God’s own time He sent a deliverer, a man once learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians but now taught in all the wisdom of God. From the sheepfolds God took him, a man of fourscore years, so lacking in eloquent speech that God sent his brother to be a mouthpiece for him. These two brothers were sent by the Lord to stand before the mightiest monarch of the earth with the message, “Let My people go.” Then with signs and wonders never seen before nor since they led God’s people forth with a high and mighty hand. Even the waves of the sea rolled back at the Father’s omnipotent command, and Miriam, a woman of ninety years and more, led the ransomed hosts in singing this redemption song: “I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath He cast into the sea; his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.” Exod. 15:1-5
How good it would have been to see the works of Christ as He spoke as never man before had spoken and performed mighty signs and wonders never before seen or heard or known by mankind! Though He was crucified through weakness, He arose by the power of God and ascended up into heaven in the sight of more than five hundred brethren who both saw Him go and heard the word of promise made by men in white raiment, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10–11
Great and marvelous have been the events of the past and I should like to have seen them all, but I speak forth words of truth and soberness when I tell you that the greatest and most glorious of all events are reserved for those who now live in these final hours of the age. The hour is at hand when all who are in the graves will hear the voice of the Son of God and will come forth, they that have done good unto aionian life and they that have done evil to aionian destruction. The mighty events which are sure to take place within the next few years will include the great tribulation, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the defeat of the armies of Antichrist, the revelation of Christ to His people, Israel, and the setting up of the millennial kingdom, in which Christ, the head, with all the elect members of His body will reign over the earth for one thousand years.
There was a day when the disciples led their master about the temple grounds, proudly showing Him all the great and beautiful buildings that were there. “See,” said they, “what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” Mark 13:1. But the Lord, knowing that these were temples made with hands, and that all things belonging to this realm of darkness must be destroyed, answered them and said, “See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matt. 24:2. And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, (1) “Tell us, when shall these things be? (2) and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, (3) and of the end of the world (age)?” Matt. 24:3. These three questions have been paramount in the minds of millions from time immemorial. No generation since the days of our Lord Jesus Christ has lacked its array of faithful saints who possess a heartfelt longing for the coming of the Lord. Not all those who believed in the Lord’s coming have desired to see it. Many people who have believed that the end of the age is near have not anticipated that glorious event with pleasure and hope, but with doubt and fear, hoping that it would not come in their day.
If mankind could know the answer to the age old problem voiced by the disciples of Jesus – “When shall these things be?” – I am sure they would be willing to go to great lengths to find it. “When shall these things be?” was the earnest question of the disciples, “and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?” Almost all prophecies have a double or triple fulfillment, first the small and local meaning, secondly, the larger and more general meaning, and finally, the fulfillment in all its power. Therefore, when they asked, “When shall these things be?” He gave them at first signs of immediate impending disaster. He spoke of certain local events, now long passed into history. Then, leaving the immediate future, He spoke of things, which were to happen in the latter days that would tell us clearly that the coming of the Master was drawing nigh. “Ye can discern the face of the sky,” Jesus said to the Pharisees. “When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Matt. 16:2–3
The signs of the times are all about us on every hand. Not only are they appearing in all the world, but they are pressing hard upon the heart and the conscience of all mankind. All people seem to know that the end of the present system is at hand. Never before has there been such a universal sense among the godly and the ungodly, the wise and the unwise, warning that some event of surpassing importance is about to take place. I do not mean to say that all men know what that event will be, but, as birds stop their singing minutes before earthquakes and volcanoes strike and rats forsake a ship that will be lost at sea, so God has placed in the minds of millions the consciousness that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
It hardly seems essential that one should repeat the ever, increasing signs of the times along with statistics to prove that we are in the end of the age. I doubt that there are very many who are unaware of them. Nevertheless, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days when the Son of man shall come. They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark and the flood came and took them all away. In that evil day men and women were marrying and divorcing and inter-marrying with people of strange flesh. Even the sons of God took the daughters of men and the result of that corrupt union was that “there were giants in the earth.” Their sordid union was loathsome to God and the offspring of it were wicked men of renown, bent on every evil purpose. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.” The earth was corrupt then as it is now from the lowest den to the highest offices in all the land, for all flesh had corrupted his way. The earth itself became filled with violence of every kind. Violence always follows when those in high places become corrupt. So loathsome had the condition become that naught but total destruction could serve to cleanse the earth of the degraded works of men. “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” “My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.”
I see no difference between their condition and our own, nor are the sins of our day of lesser weight than theirs. All flesh has corrupted God’s way upon the earth. Men are more polluted in mind than they are in body and the thoughts and imaginations of their hearts are only evil continually, as they eat and drink, marry and divorce, murder, commit adultery and sodomy, and lightly murder millions of unborn children, while all unknown to the world at large the elect are gathering into the ark of safety.
For many centuries the world has known wars and rumors of wars as great armies have fought their battles and raised their banners over the new territory they had won, but Jesus gave one faithful word concerning the wars that will curse the world at the end of the age. He declared that nation would rise against nation — not merely army against army, but whole nations against whole nations. It was not until 1914 that we saw this for the first time as mighty nations and empires girded for war and locked themselves in furious and mortal combat. Peaceful men were summoned from the hilltops and called in from the glens. They left their farms, their merchandise and their professions to learn the dreadful arts of war. Not only in the front lines did men battle and die, but every person was in the war and in the front lines as devastating weapons of destruction fell upon innocent men, women, and children in the towns and cities, wreaking untold havoc everywhere.
Jesus told us there would be a rise of false prophets in the last days, men not sent of God, but trained in the arts of public preaching, hirelings who were false because God had not sent them and His Spirit had not led them. I will incur the wrath of many well-meaning people when I declare that false prophets in our day are innumerable. Thousands of preachers now occupying the pulpits of our land are further from truth and sincerity than were the prophets of Baal. False christs have arisen in the form of denominations and sects, telling the people that except they follow their way and their group they cannot be saved. Some of these deceived persons are requiring their people to go out into the wilderness places and propounding many other such schemes, hoping to escape the coming judgment. Had they inquired of the Lord, He would have told them, “Go not forth.” Matt. 24:26.
When iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold, but there is an elect people who know in their hearts that the awful conditions of these present times are portents, warning us that the great day of tribulation is upon us to try the heart of man who lives upon the earth. We have often spoken of the coming of the great tribulation and, though I may be wrong, I have an inner conviction that we are even now in the very early part of that earth shaking event, which will end with the revelation of the Lord and the destruction of all this world’s governments, systems, and religions.
Even now the mighty hosts of Gog and the land of Magog (Russia) are poised and ready to strike. During the 1973 Palestinian war Russia‘s seven air born divisions were on high alert and ready to cover the land of Israel as with a cloud. Ezek. 38:9. Her ninety ships were steaming in the Mediterranean Sea, loaded with infantry, deadly weapons, and men of war. We may look for the European Common Market to shortly find political union through the good offices of the Pope or some other superman, and the nations who are now in such turmoil and disarray will gladly put their future in his hand, because they will see no other salvation from the whirlpool into which the world is now sinking in despair. The crisis of the moment tells us clearly either political union of many nations or else total disintegration is near at hand. The nations of Europe will gladly choose political union. Then will come a struggle for power as Gog with all his forces, together with the armies of the Orient, march with their many millions against Palestine to seize her vast resources, which today exceed that of almost any other nation.
It may seem late in the day to relate the things which the prophets of old declared would come to pass. Little that is new can be said about the signs of the times. All that was written is present with us now. The signs will no doubt increase in intensity and numbers, but the signs of the end of the age are all about us. Our blessed Lord spoke of famines and pestilences and earthquakes that would greatly increase along with the general unrest of the people. One only need look at his newspaper or listen to his radio to know that earthquakes have greatly increased. A very large portion of the world is feeling the ravages of famine and many others see its skinny finger pointing their way. Should the crops fail in this present year, whole continents would face its stark reality. Everywhere on earth there is talk of shortages. Even the affluent nations are feeling the pinch. Instead of hope that things will improve, every passing month sees the shadows thicken as the clouds grow darker and descend lower.
My prayer to God is that the eyes of God’s elect may be opened wide to see that the world is swarming with false prophets, just as Jesus said it would be. Men who know nothing of regeneration are standing in pulpits like the prophets of Baal, instructing the people in error. I do not refer to the pagan religions often imported from heathen countries. I refer to the false prophets in the church system. Many know nothing of Christ, redemption, the blood, or the Spirit, yet they stand as teachers of the people. But far more serious than this is the fact that vast moves are afoot to hastily bring together into one harlot union all sects and denominations of professing Christians. People who live like the devil in private, who themselves have never known true repentance, are claiming to be the proud possessors of spiritual gifts. Young people pride themselves in their ability to speak with tongues, but have never gone home to their parents to repent of their fierce rebellion and hatred toward them. It is true that some parents are not worthy to own a dog, let alone a son or a daughter; yet, if that son or daughter has really found the Lord and is a possessor of the experience they claim, then they will earnestly desire the redemption of their parents just as Christian parents earnestly pray for the redemption of their children.
Among professing Christians today there is a woeful lack of repentance. They have not repented. Godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death. They would like to have the good things of heaven and still live after the flesh, but that just simply cannot be done. Everywhere we see what one has described as salvation without repentance, baptism without separation, and communion without discipline.
I make mention of these things because Paul warned us that in the last days men would come working miracles who would be “of that wicked one,” “even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish: because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned (condemned) who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thess. 2:9-2. Think of the dreadful import of this scripture! There were signs and wonders and miracles among those who did not love the truth, and for that reason God – not Satan, but God – sent them strong delusion that they might believe the lie and so all might be condemned.
Many times I have warned the people that the days of revival as we have known them in the past are over and gone. With regret I say that I stand almost alone in this belief; nevertheless, it is true. Everywhere people are talking of one great final revival before the Lord comes, but they do not know that the rain is over and gone and now the sound of the turtledove is in the land. The people who love Christ more than life itself are gathering unto Him within the ark of safety. The so-called “breath of fresh air” and the “pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh” is largely a counterfeit revival. If it were a true outpouring, the world would not be sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand of iniquity. The next great revival will be at the end of the tribulation, when Christ reveals Himself to His people, Israel. There will be no other revival except a false one. The Ecumenical Movement, the Interchurch Renewal, the Jesus Movement, and all such kindred things are not true revivals. They herald the rising of Mystery Babylon to her dizziest heights in preparation for her fall. See how she swaggers in pride and filth at the end of the age, full of names of blasphemy, drunk with the blood of saints, decked with riches and wealth, but full of the filth of her fornication! Rev. 17:1-7.
When John in Revelation saw the seals opened, the living creature bade him, “Come and see,” and, when he looked, he saw a white horse go forth. His rider had a crown on his head and a bow in his hand, but no mention is made of an arrow. He went forth conquering and to conquer. There is very little similarity between this one and the glorious rider of the white horse in Rev. 19, who came forth with the armies of heaven. “He that sat on him is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but Himself. And He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God … And out of His mouth went a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations…” Rev. 19:11-15 The horseman in Rev. 6 with the crown and the bow is, in my opinion, the false religious movements of this present hour of deception. Take, for instance, Key 73 with all its wasteful pomp and human show. What has become of it? I need not answer that question. The answer is only too obvious. If there were even one genuine revival in all North America, the effects would be evident immediately as they were in the days of Finney, Moody, Billy Sunday, and during the mighty Pentecostal outpouring beginning in 1901 and continuing for almost forty years. Paul spoke of our age when he said, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” That is what we see all about us forms of religion denying the power thereof and others professing to have the power, but producing no fruits of repentance. Remember the word of Jesus, who said, “When the Son of man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?”
Eloquent words of wisdom fall far short in their ability to express or explain those things, which the eyes of the faithful shall soon see. The six days of man’s labor and travail are almost over and then will follow the seventh day, the kingdom day, which will endure for one thousand glorious years. What man can describe the power and glory of the resurrection? Even the raising of one man, Lazarus, from the dead back to the corruption of this present realm was an event of earth-shaking importance, but the hour cometh and now is at hand when all that are in the graves will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will come forth. The resurrection now at hand is not the act of raising men from the dead to return to their former corruption. The resurrection, which our Lord Jesus Christ has promised is a resurrection like unto His very own when we, as He, shall see no more corruption. Acts 13:34. Christian men and women should treat their corruptible bodies with great respect because God’s word has given us abundant assurance that this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. This same corruptible body that has been compassed by infirmity and has held us in bondage for so many years will be changed like unto His glorious body. The word changed is from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which comes our English word metamorphosis. The same word is translated transformed in Rom. 12:2, transfigured in Matt. 17:2, and changed in 1 Cor. 15:51,52. So often have I heard God’s people say that the resurrection body has nothing to do with our present body, but is something entirely different and apart from this body of our humiliation! No, my brother, that is not the meaning of the words changed, transfigured, or transformed. Neither is it the meaning of metamorphosis. The beautiful butterfly that flies through the heavens on starry wings is the same body that was once a worm, crawling on its belly and satisfying its voracious appetite with the corruptible things of the earth. This same creature fashioned itself a cocoon, entered into the chrysalis stage, then the pupa stage, and finally came forth from its cocoon of death a transformed creature of the heavenlies, flitting about on starry wings, bearing the rich hues of all glorious things.
“There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one (thing), and the glory of the terrestrial is another (thing). There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It (the body) is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Cor. 15:40-45, “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Verses 47-49
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal 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…. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:51-58
Great were the glories seen by Moses and Enoch and Noah. Heavenly were the visitations that swept the Judean hills when our Lord spoke as never man spoke and healed as never man healed. Sublime beyond imagination were the holy visitations at Pentecost and in the days that followed as multitudes, both of men and women, were added to the Lord, and the Lord added to His church daily such as should be saved, and by the hands of the apostles God wrought special miracles and special signs and wonders until the world was literally turned upside down with the glory of the heavenly visitation. It would have been wonderful to have dwelt there then and to have rejoiced with them for all the wonderful works of God. Wonderful were the works of God as He instituted His infant church! Blessed as were all those things and glorious as were the results, yet “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.” We have seen them afar off in the Spirit, but within millions of hearts in our day there is a rising wave of assurance, bidding us to believe that the ineffable wonders once seen afar off are soon to be revealed.
The supernal glories that lie like untrodden snow before us are beyond compare. The grandest event of all time is now at our doors. The resurrection of the inChristed is now at hand. The trumpet soon shall sound, the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Centuries ago the eyes of poor, suffering Job looked far beyond the turmoil and pain of his wretched despair. His vision caught a glimpse of things far beyond the law with its bondage and far beyond the dispensation of grace in which we live. Beholding as with transfixed gaze, he saw the hour now but a step before us, the hour in which God would raise the inChristed in like manner as He raised Jesus the Christ from the dead. As Christ the Head, was raised from death’s dark gloom, so also will He raise Christ, the body, that that multitude of sons of God composing Christ, the body, might be forever joined to their heavenly head, thus forming one Christ – many members, yet one body. Job saw these wonders afar off and, knowing that beyond his awful hurt and despair, he too would be among the glorified throng, he lifted his voice in ecstasy of the hour to utter these immortal words: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job 19:25-27. Yea, and, glory be to God, many ten thousands of souls now living and waiting are taking up the glad refrain, for they know that their Redeemer liveth. Nothing is more certain than that. The Spirit witnesses that in the latter days this same Redeemer that was taken up to heaven long ago shall so come in like manner as He was seen to go. Once upon a time He said, “I am He that liveth and was dead, and, behold, I am alive forevermore, and hold the keys of death and of Hades,” Nothing is more certain, dear saint, than the fact He lives. Mohammed is dead. Buddha is dead. Confucius is dead. The multi-million gods of India and Africa are dead; but Jesus Christ the Lord is alive forevermore and holds in His omnipotent hand the keys of death and of hell.
Millions who now live, together with millions who long ago passed from the earthly scene of corruption, having won the victory and overcome through the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, are saying, “He shall stand in the latter days upon the earth.” The cry of the groaning creation and the prayer of the travailing saint are joined with the unutterable longings of the Holy Spirit, all crying in unison and harmony for the manifestation of the sons of God. Their prayer, praise God, is soon to be answered. The long awaited revelation is at hand. The glorious Lord is soon to be revealed from heaven, and, when He comes, the cry will go up from all creation, “the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints,” for every eye shall see Him. Those who pierced Him will mourn and those who ministered unto Him will rejoice. And one shall say unto Him, “What are these wounds in Thy hands?” Then He will answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” And those who thus enquired of Him will remember that once it was prophesied, saying, “Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” Zech. 13:6–7. “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; … And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and winter it shall be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up and inhabited… And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.” Zech. 14:4-11
“In that day the Lord will be king over all the earth.” Zech. 14:9. That will be the time of the long awaited kingdom of God. No more shall the inhabitants of the earth endure the misrule and treachery of ages past. The six thousand years of human injustice will be ended, and that forever. The Lord with His inChristed saints will reign upon the throne of David. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David to order and establish it with justice and judgment from this time forth, even unto the age. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
A rod has come forth from the stem of Jesse, and the branch, which is the body of Christ, has grown out of His roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord; and the Lord shall make Him of quick (living) understanding in all the fear of the Lord. He shall never judge by what He sees; neither shall He reprove according to things He hears, but with righteousness shall He judge the poor and reprove with equity the meek of the earth. And He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, which is the word of God, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. So glorious will be the rest and peace of that wonderful day that the wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the falling together; and a little child shall love them and lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed.
Their young ones shall lie down together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp; the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Read Isa. 11.
Never again shall there be such utter destruction as has cursed God’s earth from that day when in his fratricidal rage Cain lifted up his hand and slew his bother. In the kingdom day shall all the swords be beaten into plowshares and all the spears into pruning hooks, for man shall not lift up his hand against his brother; neither shall they learn war any more, and Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. “And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all people (those nations) that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague. And it shall come to pass that everyone 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. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” Zech. 14:12-17. He who now rules with a rod of iron will not permit His glorious kingdom to be filled with rebels as all kingdoms of the past have been. “And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain, there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zech. 14:18–19. The feast of tabernacles signifies the coming of the Lord. He dwells among His people and reigns over all the earth.
All will be holy in that reign of lasting peace. Upon the bells of the horses shall there be holiness unto the Lord, and the pots in the temple of the Lord shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts, and there shall be no more Canaanites in the house of the Lord. In that glorious day, the acceptable year of the Lord, the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. The lame man shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb man shall sing the songs of Zion. In the wilderness, long parched with dreadful thirst, shall waters break out and streams in the desert. “And the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty ground springs of water. In the habitations of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass and reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35
The Lord God will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys. He will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water. In the wilderness He will plant the cedar tree and the pine and the box tree together that men may see and know and understand together that the hand of the Lord hath done this and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. Isa. 41:18-20. “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isa. 40:3-5. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord your God will come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for him:… He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isa. 40:9-11
“In that day thou shall say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” Isa. 12
From north and south the people meet.
To lay their trophies at His feet,
While western empires own their Lord.
And savage tribes attend His word.
These are the things our eyes shall behold. We shall see them for ourselves and shall not hear them from another. These are the things the Lord Jesus came to preach when He came with a message sweet as the breath of heaven, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Entering into the synagogue, He stood up to read and, finding the place from Isaiah the prophet, He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach to gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18–19. The acceptable year of the Lord is the kingdom age. There is a special gospel of peace for that dispensation. All other ages of the past have been but a preparation for that kingdom hour when men will know God from the least to the greatest as the waters cover the sea. This is the age in which all previous ages find their culmination. The inhabitants of this kingdom will enjoy an innocence far beyond that of Adam, a conscience void of offence, a human government that knows only the mind of Christ, a people in whose hearts is written with ink indelible all the laws of the Lord. No more will men need to say, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest. Neither shall men say, “Love the Lord,” for the love of God is shed abroad in every heart by the Holy Ghost that abides in them and they in Him. None shall covet or murder or steal. How can he who loves his neighbor do anything to work him harm? Men shall lust no more, having passed beyond the realm of the flesh when they reckoned it crucified long ago in the days of their temptation. These are they who in the days of their sojourn were poor in spirit, but now the kingdom of God is their portion. These are they who often mourned, entering into the feelings and infirmities of the Lord, but now they are comforted. This is the company of the meek of the earth, who once walked among ravening wolves, trusting only to the grace of God for their preservation, but now they have inherited the earth as their portion forever. Hunger and thirst were once their portion – not a hunger for bread or a thirst of water, but for righteousness they hungered, a righteousness much higher than their own. Now they by their God are filled with that for which they hungered and thirsted. These are they who, though cruelly treated and often mercilessly judged, were themselves both merciful and righteous, because they knew the ignorance of those who hated them, often praying, “Father, forgive them and lay not their sins to their charge,” and, having been merciful, they obtained mercy of Him who sees and knows all and will have all to be like Himself. How blessed are the pure in heart, because God has been their portion! No unclean thing can see His face or approach unto Him, but saith He, “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” The peacemakers shall inhabit the kingdom, bringing the fruits of their peace to all the earth. These are God’s children. Yea, they are sons of God and in His image who is the Prince of Peace. Many for their righteousness have been persecuted. They have been accounted as sheep for the slaughter, but in all these things they were more than conquerors and their portion is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you when men shall revile and persecute you in this life, for great is your reward in heaven. Men revile and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely because they are from beneath and you are from above. If you were of the world, the world would love his own. Because you are not of the world, but He has chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you and speaks all manner of evil against you falsely. But rejoice in this with exceeding joy, for great shall be your reward in that heavenly kingdom of God.
TREASURES OF TRUTH, Volume 8, Portrait of Things to Come [George R. Hawtin] ~ BOOK 1