by C. T. RUSSELL
Take heed to yourselves least at any time your
hearts be overcharged with.... the cares of this life; and so that day come upon you
unawares. Luke 21:34.
ROCHESTER, N. Y.
OFFICE OF HERALD OF THE MORNING
OUR LORDS RETURN
THE OBJECT OF THE SECOND ADVENT
That our Lord intended us as His disciples to
understand, that for some purpose, in some manner, and at some, time, He would come
again, is, we presume, admitted and believed by all familiar with the scriptures. But the
object of that coming is viewed from widely different standpoints, and seen in as various
colors as there are glasses; each observer honestly and sincerely desirous of seeing and
understanding the subject correctly. We shall not attempt in these few pages to give all
that can be presented upon this subject, but simply offer a sketch of what we understand
the events and their order to be; giving as far as space will permit, the scriptural
evidence favoring it. In doing so, we shall endeavor to exercise Christian courtesy, when
referring to the views of brethren who differ with us.
The writer believes that in order to an understanding
of this subject, it is necessary for us to have some clear conception of Gods plan
for the salvation of the world of mankind. If we can obtain this, it will unquestionably
give us information very valuable, in the consideration of our subject; for, in that plan,
not only the first but also the second advent has an important place. Here a vital
question arises, viz:
HAS GOD A PLAN?
Or, did He in an idle moment frame this world, and
bring us, His creatures, into existence simply to exercise His creative power; entirely
unmindful, or uncaring, what should be the result to us of that existence? Many who love
the Lord with all their hearts speak of Him and His work as though this were the case.
They think of the fall of Adam, by which Sin entered the world and death by [or, as
a result of] sin, (Romans 5:12) as an emergency entirely unexpected and unprovided
for by the Creator.
Such naturally regard the salvation provided through
our Lord Jesus Christ as an afterthought. God, having been thwarted by an agent of His own
creation, the Devil, now sought to repair the mischief by providing a way by
which a few of these creatures could be saved. They regard the present and past contest
between good and evil, as a race between God and the Devil, in which, so far, the Devil
has been the most successful.
They hope and trust, however, that before the winding
up of all things, the numbers of the saved will be greater than those of the lost: and so
God, even without any plan, come off conqueror.
But, Christian friends, He who would rebuke a man for
building a tower without first counting the cost, shall He build and people a world
without counting the cost? Nay, verily; God has, and always has had, a plan a
purpose; and all His purposes shall be accomplished. He works all things after the
counsel of His will.
Not only is this true, but He has revealed his plan
to us in the Scriptures, which are able to make us wise, and given us His
Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding, that we might know the things
that are freely given unto us of God. (1 Cor. 2:12.) Which things, neither the world
nor carnally minded Christians can see (v. 14); they are revealed by the spirit in
answer to diligent search. If thou seekest after wisdom, and liftest up thy voice
for understanding, yea: if thou searchest for her as men search for silver; then shalt
thou find the knowledge of God. When He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He shall guide
you into all truth.
The Spirit does this as we have seen through the
Word the lamp. But Gods word, the Bible, is a revelation not intended for one
decade or century, simply; but, to the conditions of His people, at all times and in every
age. It is continually unfolding to us some new, fresh beauty, of which but a short time
before we had not even dreamed. It is because of this continuous unfolding of truth, as it
becomes meat in due season to the household of faith, that under another
figure the same word is compared to a lamp to our feet; for, the path
of the just shines more and more until the perfect day. It shone some away back in
Enochs day, and has been increasing ever since; not, that light yesterday is
darkness today; but, there is more light today, by which we can still better appreciate
that of yesterday.
Have we, as a church, all the light now? Certainly
not; nor will we have until the perfect day. Whilst we remember, then, that
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; we should be ready and
watching for the earliest glimpse of the next unfolding of His revelation of Himself and
His plan; remembering that His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour.
We will now see that we can find of Gods plan
reveled in His word, therefrom to judge of the object of our Lords return.
We lay down as a foundation, then, whether the
plan is so far unfolded that we can fully comprehend it, and see the connection which must
exist between the past and present dealings of God and that plan, or not: First, God
has a purpose or plan. Second, That plan is based and founded upon love, for God is
love. (1 John 4:8.)
We do not cast aside Gods justice, etc.; but,
whatever His plan it must comport with His character Love for, He
cannot deny Himself. The Christian church is about equally divided upon the question
of Election vs. Free Grace, or Calvinism vs. Arminianism; a small number, proportionately,
believing in Universalism or the final eternal salvation of all mankind. Doubtless, all
familiar with Scripture know that each of these positions are supported by much scripture;
and yet, can they all be true?
Must there not be some connecting link which will
harmonize and reconcile them? Surely this is the case, for Gods Word is not yea and
Let us examine the first two, Calvinism and
Arminianism, separately; the last, Universalism, is so flatly contradicted by much direct
scripture, that we shall measurably pass it unnoticed. And what we have to offer on the
others is not designed as a fling against any of the branches of the true
vine; but strongly expressed, to call special attention to the more uncomely
features of those doctrines which their strongest advocates will concede are weak points.
Calvinism virtually says: God is all wise; He knew
the end from the beginning; He had a plan which was to save a few, not from any merit
in them, but of His sovereign choice He elected these to eternal life, all
others to eternal death. He could as easily save all men, but He does not want to: He is
able, but unwilling, to save any but a few.
Armenianism virtually says: God loves all His
creatures; His tender mercies are over all His works. His is trying His utmost to save
them all, but is not able: only the very few, the little flock. Sin slipped
past Him, entered the world at the outset, and has gained such a foothold that only by the
aid of His children can it be overcome, even in ages.
As before suggested, each of these, although
apparently, antipodes, have some scriptural basis, and we believe, when properly arranged,
are in harmony with each other.
We will now look at the Bible; first at a dark
picture, then at a brighter one. Here we find that though little light was given as to
mans salvation and future happiness at the first unfolding of the plan, even that
little was not given to the world at large the masses but to a few Patriarchs,
among whom were Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These were chosen,- elected,- not
alone from the world, but from among the other members of their families, as it is
written: Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated. [loved less.] Isaac alone of
all of Abrahams children was the child of promise. Of Abraham it is written
Thee only have I chosen of all thy fathers house.
At Jacobs death, the principle of election
changes, but the fact remains. All of Jacobs children are thereafter recognized as
Gods representatives, His church, or people.
There on his death bed, the old patriarch blesses
each of his sons and gives to Judah the sceptre, symbol of nationality,
saying: The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his
feet, until Shiloh come. This was fulfilled to the letter. That tribe represented
the nation until Christ came. To this one nation God gave the Law, in which was shadowed
forth the Gospel. This shadowy light, the Law, was given to no other nation or people; it
was exclusively to Israel, as we read: You only, have I known of all the families of
the earth. We will therefore designate this the Jewish or Law age.
At the death of Christ another change takes place.
The Law ends. He made an end of the Law, nailing it to the cross, and
introduced a new dispensation, the gospel of grace, under the law of the Spirit.
This is not restricted to one nation, as was the law, but is free to all, to be
preached in all the World, for a witness before this age ends. (Matt. 24:14).
But although we are to know no difference in our presentation of it to all people, God has
been guiding and directing its course. Under that direction, we of Europe and America,
have been more favored than the inhabitants of other parts of the earth. Why did the light
of truth and salvation, started by our Lord and His apostles in Palestine, travel
northward and westward through Europe and America, rather than southward and eastward
through Africa and Asia? Did it happen so? oh no! Our Father is at the helm; He is guiding
True, now the bible is published in the language of
every nation. It is now being preached to every nation:(not individual)
but this we may say, has all been done during the present century. Yet today, 4 out of 5
of the inhabitants of earth know not that Jesus died for them. Here is a sense in which
God is even now electing. He elected to send the gospel to you and me and our fathers, and
He chose not to send it to yonder Hottentot and his fathers. But says one, God works by
instrumentalities. He has been wanting His people to come to the work, any by giving of
the money and talents which He so freely bestowed on us, we may, through missions, which
He will bless, have the privilege of being coworkers with Him.
To much of this we can heartily assent. We believe
that through us God is working; that He is pleased with our zeal in His service. But we
cannot for one moment suppose that the eternal welfare of four- fifths of the human
family is made to depend entirely upon the zeal and liberality of the other one- fifth.
No! No!! The God of love, is not experimenting at the expense of the eternal happiness of
the great mass of His creatures.
We see, then, that in some sense God has so far been
electing the church. But why. He must have a purpose and object in so doing. He has a
plan, and doubtless it is far greater and grander than ever entered into the heart of man
to conceive. What saith the scriptures?
In the promise of God to Abraham: In thee and
in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed, Gods plan and
purpose is stated in one sentence. Paul, in an inspired comment upon this promise, (Gal.
3), says, He saith not to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which
Christ. Is it Christ Jesus individually that is here referred to as the one seed ?
No; the apostle continues (vs. 29) if ye [the church] be Christs, then are ye
Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise, (as originally made to
We learn that God has us comprehended in His plan
when speaking to Abraham. Not only Christ Jesus, the head of this seed, but they that are
Christs- the little flock- as members of His body: and this one seed will not
be complete until the last member of that body is perfected. This thought is maintained
throughout the Epistles - Christ, the head of the body, the church. (Col
1:18. Eph. 1:23, Eph 4:12; Eph 5:25- 32; 1 Cor. 12:12, 1 Cor. 12:27; Romans 12:5, etc.)
The figure is carried yet further. We, His disciples, are spoken of as filling up the
measure of Christs sufferings. (Col. 1:24; 2 Cor. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:10.) And we have the
promise, that if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.
The promise, to which we are heirs, declares that
when this seed is complete, all nations shall be blessed in it. A promise made away back
in Eden, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpents head, crush evil and
sin, is another to which we are joint heirs.
But did not Jesus do this (bruise Satan) when he
died? No; the death of Christ and the subsequent persecution of the church are the
bruising of the heel. Paul says, Satan is to be bruised shortly under the
feet of the church, head and body, (Rom. 16:20).
Again, the same thought is expressed under the figure
THE BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM
The church is represented as a chaste Virgin, espoused
to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). As such we are now betrothed, and have received the seal of
that engagement the first fruits of the Spirit. Not married, not the bride yet, but
waiting and longing for that union with the Bridegroom. When He went away He said,
I will come again and receive you unto myself. He expressed it so in the parable of the
Ten Virgins. When the Bridegroom came, they that were ready went into
the marriage. There and then we shall enter upon the full realization of the
things which God hath in reservation for those that love Him.
All, we presume, will agree with us, when we say,
that no matter how much enjoyment we have prior to the resurrection, we certainly wait
until then for the full measure. The whole church or body is complete before the final
rewards are given.
Hence, when recounting the ancient worthies, the
Apostle says:(Heb. 11:39, 40), They received not the promises that they without us
should not be made perfect. And, of Himself, when about to die, He said, I
have fought a good fight... henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but
unto all them, also, that love His appearing.:(2 Tim. 4:8) True, we now have and enjoy
many blessings in Christ. Now we have the peace that the world can neither give nor take
away. But all this is but a foretaste; the weight of glory comes over there. We now, in a
certain sense, have begun our office, as Kings and Priests, conquering self and the lusts
of the flesh, and offering up spiritual sacrifices unto God; but it is only
in the same sense that we are now spoken of as being risen with Christ, and seated with
Him in heavenly places. By faith in His promises we anticipate the glory and the rest that
remains; and although beset with trials and troubles in life, we have a peace to which the
world is a stranger.
When the Lord promises, saying, To him that
overcometh, I will give to sit with me in my throne, and to him that
overcometh I will give power over the nations, does He mean it? Is he to sit
on the throne of His glory? Will He take to Himself His great power and reign over
the nations? Surely, His word cannot fail; it will be as real a reign over the nations for
us (the church) as for Him. God gave Christ to be the head over the body; and
He that hath freely given us Christ, will He not with Him also freely give us all
things? Yea, verily, brethren, we have not realized our high- calling which
is of God in Christ Jesus. We are called to sonship of God, and not his alone, but
to be joint heirs with Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the little company whom God saw away
back in Eden, through whom He is shortly to bruise Satan and bless all the families
of the earth. It is this company to whom Peter refers, (Acts 15:14) saying,
God did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. We are the
Virgin, soon to receive the name of our Lord, a new name that no man knoweth save
he that receiveth it.
It was for these Jesus prayed:(John 17) I pray
not for the world but for them thou hast given me, and not for these only but
all them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all
may be one in me .
This oneness and unity the Lord did not expect in
this present time. He says He came to bring division. Consequently He is not disappointed
nor thwarted in His plans. In the parable of wheat and tares, He tells us that the enemy
would sow tares among the wheat, and they look so much alike that we cannot separate them.
Let both grow together until the harvest, the harvest is the end of
the world [aion - age] then He will have them separated by angels.
Yet, as Jesus says the Father heareth me
always, we may know that at some time they all will be one in Him. When? At the
resurrection, when we are united to our head, becoming the one seed, at the
marriage when we are united to the Bridegroom and they twain become ONE. But
although this prayer was mainly for the church, yet Jesus loved the whole world. Yes, he
dies for the World, and they have a place in this prayer. But notice where. He prays for
the church first, that they all may be made one in Him; then the object of the union is
that the world may believe. But the believing of, and prayer for, the World,
is after the marriage of the chaste Virgin. For this marriage, we ourselves, that
have the first fruits of the spirit, groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to
wit:the redemption of our body; this one body of which we each are members.
When we (the gospel church,) are redeemed, is
Gods plan accomplished? No. It is only begun. It is a grander, a more lofty plan.
Not only do we groan for this consummation, but we have seen from our Lords prayer
that the world has an interest in it, and Paul positively asserts, that the whole
creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together.
What are they expecting? Certainly not what we are
looking for. They do not expect to form part of the body. No: the earnest
expectation of the creature, waited for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Rom.
8:19) Not Son of God, but sons. Beloved, now are we the sons of God. What
interest has the world in our manifestation or shining forth? Simply this, Until we
are manifested although we are the light of the world, and it is blessed by
this light, which we are to let so shine that men may glorify Our Father in
heaven, yet how much more will it be blessed, when we shine forth as the sun
in the Kingdom, when separated from the world as well as from the tares in
the harvest. (Matt. 13:43) If we now are a blessing to the world as light-bearers, poor
and weak though that light often be, are we surprised that the hope of the world is this
shining forth of the church? Paul tells us why they wait and groan for our manifestation.
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. That is, when the church
has been delivered from the present condition (subject to death) the bondage of
corruption, then the world at large will have an opportunity in the same direction,
that the world may believe and as many as do so shall be delivered into
the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Sons, but not joint- heirs . This
will be the only distinction between them and us, the gospel church.
God loves all his creatures, not because we love Him,
but from pure benevolence. God so loved the world while we were yet
sinners. But He is a God of order. He has a plan, and is carrying it out. During the past
six thousand years, He has been getting ready, preparing the instrumentality
through which to bless the World. The time seems long to us mortals, but not so with Him
who is from everlasting to everlasting.
This little flock who receive the
Kingdom are but the first- fruits unto God of His creatures. (James 1:18.
Rev. 14:4) If there is a firstfruits there must of necessity, be more of a harvest,
else the language is senseless. Eph. 2:7, declares the object of God in our salvation to
be, That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His
But let us follow the church, the first-
fruits. We last saw her as the chaste virgin going into the marriage, when the bridegroom
came. We next hear the great voice of a multitude saying (Rev. 19:7) Let us be glad
and rejoice and give honor to God, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath
made herself ready. We have heard of the marriage listen! the angel says to John
(Rev. 21:9,10) Come hither, I will show thee the Bride, the Lambs
wife. We want to see her, let us follow. And he showed me that great city,
the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Are we to understand that
this city is a symbolic representation of the church? Yes, just as in another symbol she
is the Temple of God. But what of the precious stones of which it is built?
These are the same as the stones of the spiritual Temple; i.e., living stones, the
same that Paul speaks of as Precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12), or the jewels of
When this city shines the nations will
walk in the light of it. Now they are blest by the feeble light of the church; then they
will walk in the perfect light which will shine from her. (Rev. 21:24) there flows a river
from under the throne a river of the water of life. Not the
ordinary kind of water. No, this is water of life, the kind the Lord promised
to give us, and which He does give now to every one begotten. It shall be in you a well of
water. This kind of water would not flow in a natural river bed, but this same sort
is here brought to our view as flowing a broad, deep, mighty river. No longer the little
well, no longer confined to the few, the little flock, but whosoever
will may partake of it freely. There the Spirit and the Bride will say come, and he
that hearth will say come. It will be free to all. But, notice when, it is in the heavens
and new earth, (Rev. 21:1) in the next dispensation. The church is not the Bride
now, but a chaste Virgin. When she is married (united) she will be the Bride, and then it
is that she says come to whosoever will.
Oh, can we not pray from the depths of our hearts,
come, Lord Jesus! come quickly! Shall we not, since we and all creation wait for it,
rejoice at the sound of the Bridegrooms voice, as He nears our dwelling? We do
rejoice and lift up our heads, knowing that our redemption draweth nigh.
This is a glorious prospect for both the church and
the world. But how about those who died, not having heard the name of Jesus, who did not
enjoy the privileges of light? Must these all suffer the loss of eternal life and
happiness with not even an opportunity to lay hold on it? Must they all go to hell, simply
because they lived before Gods plan had so far developed as to embrace them? Or,
shall we go to the other extreme and say, God will save all those who have never had light
and truth? If this be true, we have made a great mistake in sending missionaries with this
light to the heathen. We know that when it is presented to them they do not all receive it
and become Christians, and if it ignorance they would all be saved, we not only do them a
positive injury but waste numbers of valuable lives and millions of money.
And further, if God can consistently give these
eternal life without a trial, or probation, why did He not give us all as good a
lot, and save us all without our coming into the present probationary condition; or why
did He not kindly leave us all in the dark, and thus save all?
Neither of these lines of human reasoning will stand
the test. We must see what Gods plan- book, the Bible, has to say on the subject.
But first let us take a glance backward, and see about what proportion of our fellow
creatures have a personal interest in the matter. We have seen that during the first 2100
years only a few Patriarchs were chosen.
This brings us down to the time that the nation of
Israel became Gods representatives, atthe death of Jacob, the last patriarch. Of all
others Paul declares, death reigned from Adam till Moses, or, until
the Law, which was given to but one people; and of these only a very few were saved; only
those who could rise above the type and discern the antitype. The value of the Law in
saving men may be gathered from St. Pauls teachings.
He says, that no man is justified by the Law
is evident. (Gal. 3:11) By the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be
justified in His [Gods] sight. (Romans 3:20) For if righteousness come
by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Rom. 2:21) If the Law given could
have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law. (Rom. 3:21.)
For the Law made nothing perfect. (Heb. 7:19) Wherefore then serveth
the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come, to whom
the promise was made. (Gal. 3:19) That is, the seed of Abraham not the fleshly
descendants, for says Paul, the children of the flesh, these are not the children
of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (Rom. 9:8)
Children of faith, Christ, and the church. (Gal. 3:29)
Thus we learn that nearly all of the little
flock is being gathered during the gospel age.
Today, about one individual in five knows that Christ
Jesus died for him. Until the present century, and during the dark ages, probably one in
forty knew it. A fair calculation of the numbers who have never heard the Gospel, from
creation to the present time, would be about 120,000,000,000 souls.
Whether we can understand Gods dealings or not
we may rest assured, the God of all the earth will do right. But we are
anxious to have the matter cleared up, if it can be, from Gods Word. For,
unquestionably, the facts already obtained from the Bible appear to clash directly
with some of the plainest statements of Scripture. For instance, we read of Jesus, this is
the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. How shall
we understand such a statement? Thousands of millions have not even heard of Him. Are we
certain that hearing of Christ is essential? May they not be saved by living up to the
light of nature? It is certain that they must hear of Christ before salvation, for, says
Paul, How shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard?
The conditions of salvation are Believe in
the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Again, there is no other name
given under heaven or among men, whereby we must be saved. Must; if
saved at all, it must be in Him . If they could even do by nature many things
contained in the Law, we have seen that the Law could not give life;
for by the deeds of the Law shall no man be justified. Again we read, Jesus
Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. But if they never hear of
it, and are never benefited by it, how can it be said to be for every man?
Again, There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ
Jesus: who gave Himself a ransom for all; to be testified in due time .
Ah! here we have it. God is a God of order. He has a
due time for everything He does, and when His due time for
everything He does, and when His due time comes, it will be testified to all
men that Christ died for the ungodly. That true light shall yet lighten every
man that ever came into the world. It certainly was not His plan to have it
testified to them in the ages past, else it would have been done. But it will be testified
in due time.
Now we see a meaning in the statement, As in
Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. I know that these are texts
used by Universalists, (but I am not a Universalist), but shall we not use them simply
because they do? No; all Scripture.... is profitable. This is the time
of restitution of all things, mentioned by Peter, (Acts 3:21) of which he says
God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began,
This is not for the church, but for the world. The church gets something far better than a
restitution:The whole human family get back in the second Adam all they lost in the first
Adam. They did not lose eternal life or a spiritual existence in the first Adam, for he
was a probationer for these himself, and as a stream cannot rise higher than the fountain
we could not lose more through his disobedience than he possessed. There are two lives 
natural and eternal; and two deaths, temporal and eternal. He lost natural
life and obtained temporal death. Consequently the restitution through Christ would only
give to the world natural life and a natural body, at their restitution, such as Lazarus
and Jairus daughter had when brought to life again. Of the church the dead in
Christ, at His coming alone it is said, Sown a natural body, raised a
spiritual body. All others rise fleshly, natural bodies and liable to die again. The
Law contains no higher promise than that of natural life. That thy days may
be long upon the land; and no threatening more severe than temporal death. They
that disobeyed were to be stoned or thrust through with a dart.
Eternal life or death are not mentioned in it. The
Jews had an idea of a future life in Christs day, but not from the law. The
heathen had an idea also without any revelation, simply a guess. For
Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Tim. 1:10)
If he brought it to light, it was not brought to light by Moses.
We find the matter clearly stated in Rom. 5:18,19;
as by the offense of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation;
[death] even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto
justification of life; for as by one mans [Adams] disobedience many were
made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous, (i.
e., justified to life as above).
They rise simply to have during the millennial age
what we have had during our lifetime, viz.: To hear of the love of God and death of
Jesus for them, and to have an opportunity to accept of Him. They will not all receive
Him, for we read of a great company being cast into the lake of fire, the second
death; even at the end of this millennial age (Rev. 20:9), when they have had a
knowledge of the truth, which will then have been testified to every man.
Now we can understand 1 Tim. 4:10. We trust in
the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.
All men are to be saved from all they lost in Adam: while those that believe (the church)
have an especial salvation - the eternal .
Not a second chance: it cannot be another or a
second chance unless they have had one, and we have just found that so far the masses have
had none; no! We advocate no second- chance for any man, but refer to Heb 6:4, 6 and Heb.
10:26, 28 - If we sin wilfully, turn our backs upon Gods salvation and the blood of
the covenant, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a
sacrifice for such. Christ died once for all, and it will be testified once,
but He will die a second time for no one. He dieth no more.
To the justice and mercy and love of this plan of
God, when realized, we think the church and world can say Amen. True and righteous
are thy judgments. Lord God Almighty.
It makes a harmony out of the various, heretofore
conflicting texts of scripture; we can see, now, how and why some were chosen or elected
in Christ; how and when God is no respecter of persons, and the grace for all who will
receive it with ample place for all the scripture supposed to teach universal eternal
salvation, and with it all, begin to see a depth and scope to Gods plan we never
before dreamed of.
With Cowper we would say Judge not the
Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace: Behind a frowning countenance He hides
a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every
hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.
When will this grand, glorious age of restitution
begin? Peter says, at the coming of the Lord: whom the heavens must receive until
the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy
prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21) We read of the restoration of Israel and
other nations in Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the minor prophets: and also of the earth being
restored to Edenic beauty, when the wilderness shall blossom as the rose, and the church,
in general, believe in the restoration of a living remnant of Israel to their own land and
to Gods favor, but as a rule they have never thought of the prophecy embracing the
dead as well as the living, and the other nations as well as Israel.
But these things are mentioned in the same Bible.
In Ezekiel 39:21- 29, God tells how He has cast off
Israel into captivity for their sins; and there fell they all by the sword;
(Ezek 39:23) but He promises to bring the whole house hack into their own land. Then
speaking of the gathering as accomplished, He says, I have gathered them into their
own land, and left none of them any more there (Ezek. 39:28) They fell by the sword,
died, and He brought them all back again into their own land.
But Israel was a peculiarly favored people, says one.
We remember Paul speaks of their restitution in Rom. 11:25 to end. (Read carefully.)
They are beloved for the fathers sakes: therefore, they are all
concluded in unbelief that God may have mercy upon all, and they are to
obtain [this] mercy through your [the churchs] mercy. Perhaps this restitution
refers only to this people: not to all nations. David says: All nations which thou
has made shall come and worship before thee; [Christ] Numbers of nations never yet
worshipped, either from love or fear. The sodomites were such a nation. Let us consider
their cast next.
Surely, they were a sample of the ungodly; there was
no special favor of God ever manifested toward them as a people, neither was there any
remnant of them left, when God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed
them all . And yet, of these Sodomites we read, (Ezek. 16:48-63) that Israel
shall return to her former estate at the same time that Sodom and Samaria
return to their former estate (vs. 53and 55). In verses 49 and 50 we are told what
Sodoms sin was; and, says the Lord, I took them away as I saw good. He
saw good to take them away without their coming to a knowledge of Christ, it was not due
time for that to be testified, but it will be in the future. God proposes to
bring them back to their former estate; what they lost by sin and death entering the world
through the first Adam is to be restored in the second and they will have the same
opportunity that he had, and better, in that the old serpent, the devil, Satan will be
bound [or evil restrained] that he may deceive the nations no more until the thousand
years are expired. But some one, not yet satisfied, says, perhaps God is speaking
ironically, and means that he would as soon think of bringing Sodom and Samaria back to
Israel. Friend, read carefully Ezek 16:60- 63, and you will no longer think so; remember
also that Sodom had been destroyed nearly a thousand years before this prophecy was made.
This helps us to understand God is His
own interpreter what Jesus meant when He said it would be more tolerable for
Sodom in the day of judgment than for the Jews whom He addressed; He declares that if the
same mighty works had been done in Sodom, she would have repented long ago. Well, Lord,
why were such mighty works not done there, so that they had repented? It was not
their due time; they were not on trial. In (their day of trial, when they are on probation
for eternal life) their day of judgment (not a 24-hour day, but the
millennial or judgment age) they will fare better than the Jews have fewer stripes.
It will be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.
All must be judged or tried, and judgment must
begin at the house of God the church. It did. Christ, the head, was tried in
all points, yet without sin. We, the members of that house, are now on trial. We will not
come into the judgment or trial with the world. We shall not come into
condemnation, (judgment - Krisis) but are passed from death unto life; because of
faith we are covered by Christs righteousness: because of the blood of Christ, our
Paschal Lamb, sprinkled on our hearts and having that Lamb in us, we the first born, are
passed over .
But after the House, all the world will come into
trial for life (judgment, Krisis). Those who accept of Gods conditions will be
delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God,
(Rom. 8:21); those who will not have the gift of God must die the second, the eternal
When the world is on trial we shall be the judges;
for, know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? It is here that the
parable or the sheep and goats is laid, when the son of man shall sit on the throne of
His glory .
It is during the millennial age that He does sit on
the throne of His glory:and the overcomers sit with Him in the throne. Then before
Him are gathered all nations, and the sheep will separated from the goats; they do not
stand in rows nor all at once any more than the church has while she has been on trial;
the separating being a gradual work dependent upon their acceptance or rejection of
Gods grace and truth. The things of their past lives for which they must answer
being inasmuch as ye have or have not done unto the least of these my brethren
(the church seated in the throne).
We conclude, then, that it was necessary that evil
should enter the world, so that by contact with it and its results misery and death
we might forever know good from evil. In no other way, perhaps, could God so fully
make known to His creatures His various attributes justice, mercy, love, etc.
In the age which ended with the flood, God measurably
left mankind to themselves, without law or control. In the results degeneracy and
corruption, demonstrating to us, that unassisted our tendency is downward. During the
Jewish age, the law was given not to give life, For the Law could not give
life but to show them and us how far short we come of perfection, even at our best;
that so we might realize the necessity of salvation as a gift of God which we
could not merit by the works of the Law.
It was given because of transgression until
THE SEED should come (Gal. 3:19 and 20). It was simply a system of types.
etc., a shadow of good things to come the gospel. and served as
a schoolmaster to [educate] bring us to Christ, in whom alone we can receive
eternal life. This brings us to the Gospel Age, when although the scope of the Law
in spirit, is broader, deeper and more comprehensive than the letter, yet we can be
justified through faith; For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh, God sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned
sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk not
after the flesh, but after the spirit. (Rom. 8:34)
All these various parts of Gods great plan we
find working in harmony with each other, and with His own nature. In no other way could
our minds recognize the justice of God in utterly destroying many nations before
Israel men, women and children except that He slew great kings, for His
mercy endureth forever. He overthrew Pharaoh and his host, for His mercy
endureth forever. Yes, the fact that His mercy endureth forever
explains all this; and it is twenty- six times repeated in this 136th Psalm. Now we can
realize more fully than ever before, His wondrous love; and as we kneel alone before Him
we can feel that He is worthy of all homage and worship, for not only God is Love
and His mercy endureth forever, but when our substitute
tasted death for all, He is just to forgive. Our feelings are well
expressed by St. Paul, when writing on the same subject (Rom. 11:33) O, the
depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His
judgments and His ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Truly
the plan of God does show us the object of our Lords return. He comes to organize
the one seed by which Satan is to be bruised evil restrained and in which
all the kindreds of the earth shall be blessed.
He comes to glorify or set up His kingdom the
church that as we have suffered with Him we may also reign with Him.
That the saints of the Most High may take the kingdom under the whole heavens and
possess it forever. In taking possession, it consumes and breaks in pieces all
these kingdoms [not the people but the governments] and it shall stand forever.
Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, for my determination is to gather the nations that
I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger,
for the whole earth shall be devoured with the FIRE of my jealousy . For
then will I turn to the people a pure language that they may all call upon the name
of the Lord to serve Him with one consent. (Zeph. 3:8). This chastisement of the
world is not because God takes pleasure in human suffering, for He doth not
willingly afflict the children of men, but for their good; and it is gratifying to
learn that when the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants
of the world will learn righteousness. When He hath made wars to cease unto the ends
of the earth, by the desolations which He hath made. (Ps. 46:8,10).
When He has established His kingdom; then
peace shall flourish. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither
shall they learn war any more. Now The devil is the prince of this
world. Jesus said, My kingdom is not of this world. but when He
shall take unto Him His great power and reign, when the kingdom is the
Lords and He is the Governor among the nations; [then, and not till then] all
the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the
nations shall worship Him.
He comes now as the desire of all
nations. At the first advent there was no beauty in Him that they should desire Him.
He comes to bring about the great restitution which
was so beautifully represented and shadowed forth under the Law in the year of
Jubilee, in which every man was restored to all His possessions, and to personal
liberty. (Lev. 25:13.) The millennial reign is the great antitypical jubilee, (the
substance which cast the shadow in the Law) in which every man will have restored to him
in the second Adam just what he lost in the first Adam, and have an opportunity to know
God and to learn of that only name by which they can be saved Jesus; who tasted
death for every man, to be testified in due time. Then the wilderness and the solitary
place shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose, the glory of
Lebanon shall be given unto it, they shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of
our God. (Isaiah 35:1, 2)
Now we can suffer from the sin of Adam, and the
errors of our ancestors, even the innocent babe of an hour old, but In those they
shall say no more, the fathers have eaten a sour grape and the childrens teeth are
set on edge: but every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour
grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. The soul that sinneth, it shall
die. (Jer. 31:20, 30; Ezek. 18:3)
Shall we not, then, take up the strain which employed
the apostles and prophets of old! Will the hope of the coming of the Bridegroom, which
inspired with zeal the early church, not now energize us to strive for the prize of our high
calling which is of God, in Christ Jesus? Verify He that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself. (I John 3:3)
Lift up your Heads, desponding Pilgrims, Give to the
winds your needless fears; He, who hath died on Calvarys mountain Soon is to reign a
Tell the whole world these blessed tidings, Speak of
the time of rest thats near; Tell the oppressed of every nation, Jubilee lasts a
What if the clouds do for a moment, Hide the blue sky
where morn appears; Soon the glad sun of promise given, Rises to shine a thousand years.
A thousand years earths coming glory, Tis
the glad day so long foretold; Tis the bright morn of Zions glory, Prophets
foresaw in times of old.
THE MANNER OF CHRISTS SECOND COMING
Having considered the object of our Lords
return, the manner in which He will come becomes to all who love His
appearing one of great interest, and invites your attention.
The reader will please bear in mind that the subject
is here treated abstractly, without the least reference to the time of the event, whether
it be nigh, even at the door, or thousands of years future; and further, that these pages
were not written for the world, but for the household of faith for those who
accept the Bible as Gods word, and who by reason of use have their senses
exercised. (Heb. 5:14).
Experience has proven what Scripture so plainly
declares, viz: that the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of
God; he can understand the arguments but they are foolishness unto him.
Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14) In
order that we may have a good foundation, and as a basis for further investigation, we
will first enquire, what is a spiritual body? what powers are theirs, and by what
laws are they governed?
We are here met by the objections we have no
right to pry into the hidden things of God; and, Eye hath not seen, ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those
that love him. To both of these propositions we assent, but believe we cannot find
out by studying Gods word and our investigation will be confined to it
what He has not revealed. The above quotation of scripture, (1 Cor. 2:8) refers to the
natural or carnal man, and by reading it, in connection with the three verses following
it, the objection vanishes: for, says the apostle, God hath revealed them unto us
by His spirit, which was given to us that we might know the things
freely given unto us of God, and in the last clause of vs. 13, he gives us the rule
by which we may know. viz.: Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. We are
very apt to invert this rule and compare spiritual things with natural, and thus get
darkness instead of light. Let us now use the apostles rule.
There is a spiritual body as well as a natural body;
an heavenly as well as an earthly body; a celestial as well as a terrestrial. They are
distinct and separate. (1 Cor. 15:38- 49.)
We know what the fleshly natural body is, for
we now have such a one; it is flesh, blood and bones; for that which is born of the
flesh is flesh, and as there are two kinds of bodies, we know that the spiritual is
not composed of flesh, blood and bones, whatever it is made of. It is a spiritual body,
and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. But as to what material a
spiritual body is made of, we know not, for it doth not yet appear what we shall
be; but we shall be like Him. [Christ]
Angels are spiritual bodies. Christ was raised from
the dead a spiritual body;this was His second birth. First, born of the flesh a
fleshly body for, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also
himself likewise took part of the same. (Heb. 2:14) He was Put to death in
the flesh but quickened [made alive] by the Spirit. He was raised a spiritual body.
This resurrection was His second birth. He was the first born  from the
dead, the first- born among many brethren. The church are those
brethren and will have a second birth of the same kind as His, viz.: to spiritual bodies
by the resurrection, when we shall arise in His likenessbeing made Like unto Christs
glorious body. But, this second birth  must be preceded by a begetting of the
spirit conversion just as surely as a birth of the flesh is preceded by a
begetting of the flesh. Begotten of the flesh born of the flesh in the
likeness of the first Adam, the earthy; begotten of the spirit in the resurrection
born of the spirit into the likeness of the heavenly, the second Adam. As we have
borne the image of the earthly we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. All who
are begotten of the spirit are in a sort of embryo condition waiting for the birth. The head
[Christ] has been born; we are waiting for the adoption, to wit: the redemption of the
body; and, the whole creation groans and travails in pain, waiting for
the birth of the church of the first- born . We hope, then, by examining facts
recorded of angels, and of Christ after His resurrection to gain general information with
regard to spiritual bodies; thus comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
First, angels can be, and frequently are, present,
yet invisible: for, the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that are His
and delivereth them, and are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to
minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Heb. 1:14) Are you an heir of
salvation? Then, doubtless, they have ministered to you; have they ministered visibly or
invisibly? undoubtedly the latter. Elisha is surrounded by a host of Assyrians, his
servant is fearful; Elisha prayed to the Lord and the young mans eyes were opened
and he saw the mountains round about Elisha full of chariots of fire and horsemen of fire
[or like fire]. The Lord also when raised a spiritual body was present but unseen
for thirty- three days and forty nights (only appearing seven times to His disciples).
Second, angels can and have appeared as men.
The Lord and two angels appeared to Abraham, who had a supper prepared for them, of which
they ate. At first, Abraham supposed them to be three men, and it was not
until they were about to go that he discovered one of them to be the Lord, and the other
two angels, who afterward went down to Sodom and delivered Lot. (Gen 18:1) An angel
appeared to Gideon as a man, but afterward made himself known. An angel appeared to
Samsons mother and father; they thought him a man until He ascended up to heaven in
the flame of the altar. (Judges 13:20). The angel of the Lord appeared to Moses as a flame
of fire:and, behold the bush burned, yet was it not consumed. The angel of
the Lord appeared to the children of Israel in the wilderness as a cloud by day and a
pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 13:21 and 14:19.) And doubtless many similar cases will
recur to the mind of the reader. In some of these cases given they appeared as men;
but the Lord is not a man neither are angels men.
Third, spiritual bodies are glorious in their normal
condition; frequently spoken of as glorious and bright. The countenance of the angel who
rolled away the stone from the sepulchre was as the lightning. Daniel saw a
glorious spiritual body whose eyes were as lamps of fire, his countenance as the
lightning, his arms and feet like in color to polished brass, his voice as the voice of a
multitude; before him Daniel fell as a dead man. (Daniel 10:6.) John, on the isle of
Patmos, saw Christs glorious body, (Rev. 1:14) and describes the appearance in
almost the same language His voice was as the sound of many waters, His eyes are
lamps of fire, His feet like fine brass as it burns in a furnace, (so bright that you can
scarcely look at it), John falls at His feet as dead; but He said to Him fear not; I am He
that was dead; behold I am alive forevermore. Saul of Tarsus saw Christs glorious
body. It shone above the brightness of the sun at noonday. Saul lost his sight and fell to
the ground, etc.
We have thus far found spiritual bodies truly
glorious; yet, without a miracle, either the opening of our eyes to see them, or their
appearing in the flesh as men, they are invisible.
This conclusion is further confirmed when we examine
the more minute details connected with these manifestations. The Lord was seen of Saul
alone, they that journeyed with him.... seeing no man. (Acts 9:7.) The men
that were Daniel did not see the glorious being he describes, but a great fear fell
on them and they ran and hid themselves. Again, this same glorious being
declares:(Daniel 10:13) The prince of Persia withstood me one and twenty days.
Daniel, the man greatly beloved of the Lord, falls as dead before this one
whom Persias prince withstands one and twenty days!
How is this? Surely, He did not appear in glory to
the prince; no; either He was invisibly present with him, or else He appeared as a
But Christ is also a spiritual body since His
resurrection. During the forty days of His presence before ascension, He appeared some
seven or eight times to His disciples; where was He the reminder of the time? Present, but
invisible. Notice, also, that in each instance He is said to have appeared, or He showed
Himself, language never used of Him before His change from a natural to a spiritual
body; now as angels He appeared . Not only so, but He appeared in different bodies:
as the gardener to Mary; after that, He appeared in another FORM, to two of
them as they went into the country.:(Mark 16:12.) Afterwards He appeared in a body, either
the same or like the one crucified, having the marks of the spear and the nails. He
came and stood in their midst, the doors being shut . On these various
occasions He appeared, talked with them, then vanished out of their sight as the
wind; they could not tell whence He came nor whither He went. So is every one that
is born of the spirit. When we are born of the spirit, (at the resurrection)
we can do so also.
All spiritual beings exhibit this same power. But
Jesus said: handle me; for a spirit [pneuma] hat not flesh and bones, as ye
see me have and He ate with them. True, I believe it. So did the angels [pneuma]
(Heb. 1:7), appear as men in flesh and bones; they ate also; their
spiritual bodies did not eat, nor were they flesh and bones, but the body in which they appeared
was flesh, and it ate. The disciples did not see Christs glorious spiritual
body; but as He appeared in a fleshly body. St. Paul teaches us distinctly that
Christ was raised from the dead a life-giving spirit, [pneuma, the same word used
by our Lord.] (1 Cor. 15:44,45). But where did He get the various bodies in which he
appeared? I cannot answer you; but I believe, as you do also, other things which we cannot
understand. I cannot understand how that grain of wheat grows. Yet I know it does.
I know not how Christ turned the water into wine, or healed the sick, or raised the
dead. Yet I believe that He did these things. Can you tell me where He got the clothes He
wore after His resurrection? They parted His raiment among them, and for His
vesture they cast lots the old were gone, and the linen cloths lay in the
sepulchre. Is it more difficult for spiritual beings, with their powers, to create a
covering of flesh than a covering of cloth? No; the same power can and did do both. Thus
we have found Christs spiritual body like those of angels; glorious, yet invisible
to mortals, with power to manifest the glory, or appear as a man or in any form He may
choose. In the resurrection we shall be like the angels; and like unto
Christs glorious body. We shall be like Him; for [not til then] we shall
see Him as He is, for though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet
now henceforth know we Him no more. [after the flesh.] (2 Cor. 5:16.) Such a
spiritual being was Christ, at the time of His ascension, and with what we have learned of
the powers of that spiritual body, we are now, we hope, prepared to enquire:
HOW WILL HE COME AGAIN?
Briefly stated, we believe the scriptures to teach,
that, at His coming and for a time after He has come, He will remain invisible; afterward
manifesting or showing Himself in judgments and various forms, so that every eye
shall see Him.  Every eye shall see Him as He will appear; but
without holiness no man shall see the Lord as He is. We shall see
Him as He is, for we shall be like Him .
SOME OF THE SCRIPTURE PROOF.
Behold, I come as a thief is the way He
frequently spoke of His coming to His disciples. He comes as a thief for the
church the waiting virgins; both they that sleep in Jesus the
first resurrection and we, who are alive and remain. shall be
caught up to meet the Lord in the air; so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Forever with the Lord, Amen, so
let it be; Life from the dead is in that word, Tis immortality.
In that day two shall be in the mill, two in
the field, two in bed; one be taken and the other left like Enoch, who
was not, for the Lord took him. The world will go on with its affairs, unconscious
of the great changes of dispensation. But will they not miss the church? So many? Nay, but
so few of the church. It is only the overcomers that sit on the throne. It is but a
little flock to whom it is the Fathers pleasure to give the
Kingdom. These are the Temple; these the Bride;
these follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth; these are redeemed from
among men, and are a first fruit unto God and the Lamb. (Rev. 14:6.)
These have obeyed the Masters injunction: Take heed, least your hearts be
overcharged with the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares; for
as a snare shall it come upon all them [who are over- charged] that dwell upon the face of
the whole earth. (Luke 21:35.)
These are accounted worthy to escape
all these things ( the day of wrath on the world; the time of trouble
such as was not since there was a nation) They stand before the son of
man. But there are numbers of overcharged Christians who will not be counted worthy
to escape (caught up to meet Him); servants, but not overcoming servants; not hypocrites,
but they shall have their portion with the hypocrites. They did not build
with gold, silver, precious stones, and do not have the abundant entrance; but
they built upon the rock and themselves shall be saved, as by fire.
Many will be purified of their dross in that fire. When the judgments of the Lord
are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
These, doubtless, constitute a part of the
great company that no man could number, who come up out of [ek, after] great
tribulation. This countless company is not the little flock, the
temple, nor do they sit in the throne, but these serve
God in His temple, and are around the throne; these washed their
robes, (Rev. 7:9- 17) while the little flock have white robes
granted or given to them, Christs righteousness. (Rev. 19:8) No; the
little flock, the bride, is a very select company. There will be so few
taken from the present generation that they will not be much missed. True, the foolish
virgins will miss them; (virgins, undefiled, but not wise); they will recognize the fact
that the others have gone into the marriage, when they say Lord, Lord, open unto
us. But Christ has but one bride; the door to that marriage is forever
Christian brethren will know, but the world will
not believe in translation; and in the time of trouble which follows the taking away of
the salt of the earth, newspaper reporters will have little difficulty in
accounting plausibly for their disappearance; for not many great, wise, rich, or
mighty, hath God chosen, but the poor of this world, rich faith, heirs of the kingdom .
The second advent, like the first, covers a period of
time, and is not the event of a moment. The first lasted nearly thirty- four years; and
the events connected with it His birth, baptism, sorrow death, resurrection, etc.,
as mentioned by the prophets, all took place at the first advent. The second
advent, as we have seen, lasts much longer. It includes the millennial reign, and prophecy
covers all the prominent features of that reign. He comes to reign must reign until
He has put down all enemies; the last being death. (1 Cor. 15:25)
In the application of prophecy to the events of the
first advent, we recognize order. Christ must be the child born and son
given before the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He
must die before He could rise from the dead, etc. So also in studying
prophecy referring to the second advent we must recognize order; we must judge of the
order somewhat by the character of the event. As the wife is the glory of the
husband, so the Bride is the glory of Christ, for we are called to eternal glory by
Christ Jesus; and are to be partakers of the glory that shall be
revealed, (I Peter 5:1- 10.) and as the glory shall be revealed in us .
(Rom. 8:18.) We know that Christ could not come in the glory of his kingdom [church] until
he has first gathered it from the world, and in harmony with this thought we
read When He shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in
glory. (Col. 3:4.)
The prophets foretold the sufferings of Christ [head
and body] and the glory that should follow. If the sufferings were of the whole body, so
is the glory we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together .
(Rom. 8:17.) Enoch prophesied saying the
Lord cometh with ten thousands of his
saints. [gr. hagios, never translated angel]. (Jude 14) Again, (Zech. 14:5)
we read the Lord my God shall come and all thy saints with thee .
Thus we learn that when He appears in glory we are with Him, and of course we must
be caught to meet Him before we could appear with Him.
We have further evidence to offer, proving that He
comes unknown to the world; but will attempt to answer two supposed objections first;
viz: This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into
heaven, (Acts 1:11.) and The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
should, with the voice of the arch- angel and the trump of God; and the dead in Christ
shall rise. (1 Thes. 4:16) These texts are supposed to teach that Christ will come
visible to every eye, while the air is rent with the blast of the arch- angels
trumpet; at which, mid reeling tombstones and opening graves the dead will be resurrected.
It certainly has that appearance on the surface, and doubtless was intended to be so
understood until due, [so also at the first advent] but look at it again; would that be
coming in like manner as they saw Him go?
He did not go with the sounding of a trumpet and
outward demonstration. It does not say you shall see Him coming, nor that any
one would see, but He shall so come. For instance, the Prince Imperial of the
French visits Paris under disguise as a civilian; as he leaves Paris his servant says to
you, privately, this same Prince shall so come again in like manner as you have
seen him go from Paris. Whether you or any one will see him is not mentioned, simply
the manner in which he will return. You would understand the servant doubtless to
mean that the Prince would come back privately. If he should return in all
the glory of the French Empire, bands playing, trumpets sounding and cannon roaring, with
thousands of soldiers in attendance, you would say that his servant had either ignorantly
or willfully misinformed you. Our Prince left the glory which he had with the Father, made
himself of no reputation, took upon Him the form of a servant, etc.
When He visited us He went away
unglorified; His servant, the angel, said He shall so come in like
manner. When he arrives it will be privately. He comes to organize us, as his
kingdom; to set us up. He comes to be glorified in his saints in that day. (2 Thes. 1:10.)
The world saw him not after His resurrection, they did not see him ascend. As He said,
yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, nor will they see him at
the second advent until His church is gathered, for when he shall appear we
also shall appear with him. What then does the trumpet mean? Let us see. We
are to be rewarded at the resurrection, we surely will not be rewarded twice
nor resurrected twice. We conclude, therefore, that the Trump of God, (1 Thes.
4:16) and the Last Trump, (1 Cor. 15:52,) are the same, differently
expressed; the same events are mentioned as occurring at each, viz.: the resurrection and
reward of the saints, and for the same reasons we believe the Trump of God
and Last Trump to be the Seventh Trump of Rev. 11:15- 18. Under
it also the dead are judged and the prophets and saints rewarded. Therefore the
Seventh Trump is the Trump of God, and the Last Trump.
These trumpets evidently are the same, but what? The
seventh angel sounded . A sound on the air? No, not any more than the six which
preceded it. They are each said to sound, and Sir Isaac Newton, Clarke, and all
commentators of note agree that five or six of these trumpets are in the past. They
have been fulfilled in events upon the Earth, each covering a period of time. They
certainly must all sound before the resurrection, for that is under the seventh. It is in
the days (symbolic time, all the other features are symbolic years) of the sounding
of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound [or fore part] the mystery [Gospel
Church] of God shall be finished.
If the Seventh trump were to make a sound on the air,
it would not only be out of harmony with the other six of the series, but also with all of
Gods past dealings with the children of men. That it covers the great day of
His wrath, the time of judgments upon the kingdoms of the world and of the pouring
out of the seven vials of His wrath, the time of trouble such as was
not since there was a nation seems more than probable, for we are told in the same
sentence of the wrath of God coming on the nations.
Each of these trumpets are sounded by an angel, i
e ., the events mentioned are directed or controlled by an angel; hence might well be
said to be their voce. We know that signs speak, and that sometimes events or
actions, speak louder than words . Of the names of the angels
directing the first six of the series we know nothing, but Paul seems to teach that the Seventh is under the control of the arch- angel; and
this seems to bring a connection between the time of wrath
under the seventh trump, and the time of trouble of Dan. 12:1, under
Michael; for Jude informs us that Michael, is the arch- angel .
Verse 2 connects this with the resurrection
also. We see then, that the sounding of the trumpets, and so coming in like manner, do not
conflict but rather add force to the fact that He comes unawares, as a
thief and steals away from the world His treasure, His jewels; remember too
that this is Christ the spiritual body, that could not be seen without a miracle, that was
present yet unseen during thirty- three days after his resurrection.
But will the world not see the saints when gathered
or gathering? No: they are changed (in the twinkling of an eye) from Natural to spiritual
bodies, like unto Christs glorious body, and will be as invisible as He and angels.
But those who arise from their graves? No, they were sown (buried) natural bodies,
they are raised spiritual bodies invisible .
Wont the world see the graves open and
tombstones thrown down? A spiritual body (remember we are comparing spiritual things with
spiritual not natural) coming out of the grave will not make any more of a hole in the
ground than Christs spiritual body made in the door when He came and stood in
their midst, the doors being shut. 
THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE
Christs personal presence and ministry of three
and a half years at the first advent, He terms The harvest . It
was the harvesting of the Jewish or Law age. Christ was present as the chief reaper. His
disciples as under-reapers; their work was the gathering of wheat into the higher or
Gospel dispensation; that harvest ceased at His death, and was the end of that age.
Jesus said to His disciples, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are
white already to harvest. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no
labor, other men have labored [the prophets] and ye are entered into their labors
(John 4:38.) That this work was not general, nor to the world we might presume from the
fact that He confined His labors to Judea, but it is settled beyond doubt by the
commission given to the disciples, viz: Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any
city of the Samaritans enter yet not: But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel, (Matt. 10:5) for I am not sent save to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel, and the work to them did not cease until five days before His death, when he
road on the ass into the city, wept over it, gave them up and their house was left
unto them desolate. Where Gods favor toward them as a nation ceased, it began toward
the world (Rom. 11:30) for Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every
man, and after His resurrection He sends the disciples to preach the Gospel
to every nation.
But it is no longer a harvest; the church does not
reap but sows the seed. Paul plants, Appollos waters, God gives increase, etc. But there
is to be a harvest in the end of this age, as illustrated in the parable of the
tares and wheat, and taught in the explanation of the same. Notice that both wheat
and tares, are in the kingdom of heaven,- the church- and that this parable,
as also the other six of the series, refers not to the nonprofessing world, but to two
classes in the church.
The Son of Man planted the church pure, all good
seed. During the days of the Apostles there were special gifts of the Spirit
such as discerning of spirits, etc., by which they were able to prevent tares
getting in among the wheat hypocrites getting into the church. (Instance
1 Cor. 5:3. Simon Magus Anannias and Sapphira. etc.)
but when the Apostles were dead, while men slept the enemy began to
sow tares, among the wheat. Paul says that the mystery of iniquity had begun to work even
in his day; now, they grow side by side in all our churches. Shall we separate them, Lord?
No, (we might make some mistake, pull up wheat and leave tares.) let both grow
together until the Harvest, (Matt. 13.) The harvest is the end of the
world [aion, age.] In the time of harvest I will say unto the reapers,
the reapers are the angels gather together just the tares, and bind
them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.
Notice, this Harvest is the end of this age,
yet, like the one ending, the Jewish age, it is a period of time, In the time
of harvest: secondly there is order, gather first the
There will come a time, then, in the end of this age,
when the reapers angels will be present doing some sort of a separating work
in the church; and yet it is an invisible presence, for when the wheat is gathered (after
the binding of the tares) translated, when we which are alive are caught up to meet
the Lord when taken they are in the field, mill and bed; would they be so engaged if
they had seen angels going about gathering tares? No: it is an invisible work, done by
beings invisible without a miracle.
Again, before the living are gathered, the dead in
Christ must have risen, whether it be but a moment before; the dead in Christ
rise first, then we which are alive, &c. (1 Thess. 4:16.) This harvest is
not of the living only, but also of the dead in Christ those
that sleep in Jesus. The angels gather the living, but our Lord, who is the chief
reaper here, (as He was in the Jewish harvest) gathers or raises the dead. I will
raise him up; I am the resurrection and the life; and in harmony with
this thought the harvest is brought to our notice in Rev. 14:15:One like unto the
Son of man, seated on a cloud, reaps the earth, Here, two harvests, or two parts of
one harvest, are shown, the second being the casting of the vine of the earth into the
wine- press of His wrath: doubtless the parallel to the burning of the bundled tares (time
of trouble) after the wheat is gathered. The special point to which your attention is
called, however, is the fact that the harvest will go on without outward demonstration,
the chief and under- reapers being present but unseen.
THE PRESENCE (PAROUSIA) OF CHRIST.
Some may have confounded our remarks on the presence
of Christ in a spiritual body, with the presence of the spirit of Christ; but they are
quite distinct. The latter never left the church; consequently in that sense He could not
come again. Of His spiritual presence He said: Lo, I am with you
always, even unto the end of the world. We refer to the personal presence which did
go away, and will come again, a spiritual body .
The Greek word generally used in referring to the
second advent Parousia, frequently translated coming invariably
signifies personal presence, as having come, arrived  and never signifies
to be on the way, as we use the word coming . This fact is recognizedby many
who are looking for the Lord, but the error under which the church in general is laboring,
is that of supposing that presence implies sight, manifestation, appearance. In the Greek,
however, other words are used to express revelation, appearing and manifestation, viz.: phaneroo
rendered shall appear in when He shall appear, &c., and
apokalupsis  rendered, shall be revealed 2 Thess. 1:7.
When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed.
But we have Christs own words to prove that He will be present in the world, and the
world will know not of it. Matt. 24:37. We read:As the days of Noah were so shall
also the parousia (presence) of the Son of man be.
The presence of Christ is not compared to the flood,
but to the days of Noah, the days that were before the flood, as verse 38 shows; as then
they ate, drank, married, etc., and knew not, so shall also the presence of the Son
of man be. The resemblance here mentioned is that of not knowing they will not
know of the presence of Christ. They may have been wicked then, and doubtless
were and may be similarly wicked in His presence; but wickedness is not the point of
comparison, as then they ate, drank, married proper enough things to be doing, not
sins; so shall it be in Christs presence.
Now, look at Luke 17:26. As it was in the days
of Noah so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. Verse 27 tells how it was
in the days of Noah; they were eating, drinking, marrying, etc. So shall it be in
the days of the son of man. Surely the days of the son of man are not before
His days, any more than the days of Henry Clay could be days before he was born. No;
the more we examine the more we are convinced that the world will go on as usual, and know
not, until the harvest is past, the summer ended, and they are not in the ark, not
with the little flock accounted worthy to escape. There will be no outward
demonstration of the second advent having begun, and Christ being present, until the
church is gathered, whenever it takes place soon, or in the distant future.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The Scriptures everywhere recognize the church as the
kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is likened to Ten Virgins, to Wheat and
Tares, to a net in which are caught both good and bad fish, etc. These figures or
parables represent the church in the present time, good and bad mixed, in the nominal
church of Christ; they so continue to represent the kingdom until the end of this age,
[world] the harvest time, then the wise and foolish virgins, good and bad
fish, and wheat and tares are separated. This kingdom is now subject to the powers
(governments, kingdoms) that be, for the powers that be are ordained of
God. This kingdom has promise of all authority and power, and the time will come
when The kingdom (ruling power) under the whole heavens shall be given to the
people of the saints of the Most High, and they shall possess it forever. The
little flock to whom it is the Fathers good pleasure to give the
kingdom is now being tried, being made perfect through suffering, being prepared by
contact with suffering and sin for the position to which they are to be exalted, that as
kings and priests they may be able to sympathize with those over whom in the
millennial age they are called to rule. We are to be joint heirs with Christ in His
kingdom and throne, and cannot enter upon our reign until He takes His great power
That will not be until the end of the world or age;
for Jesus says, My kingdom is not of this world, The devil is the
prince of this world. Christs kingdom and ours is of the next age; then
the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory. Now He is seated at the
right hand of God, sat down with the Father on His throne The setting
up of the kingdom is our separation from the world, foolish virgins and tares; the
glorifying of the wheat which then shines forth as the sun. But how will this kingdom rule
over the world?
Will it have Jerusalem for its capital or seat of
empire? Will Christ sit in Jerusalem upon the throne of David? Jerusalem shall be
rebuilt upon her old heaps as in the former time, Israel is not and never again will
be the kingdom of God. They were once, but it was taken from them and given
to another people, children of Abraham by faith the church. Under the sounding of
the seventh trumpet all the kingdoms of the world (now under the control of Satan) become
the kingdoms of our Lord. (They pass into the possession of Christ and
under the rule of His kingdom the devil being bound.) Rev. 20:2. Israel, with
their capital at Jerusalem, will doubtless be chief of these fleshly nations, but it will
no more be the Heavenly kingdom than they.
Jesus says unless a man be born again, born of the
Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God neither enter into it. (John 3:3- 5.) The
kingdom of heaven is a spiritual kingdom and cannot be seen mortals, any more than
Satans kingdom at the present time. We never see Satans kingdom nor his
throne, but we realize its power. This accords with our Lords statement when He was
demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come. He answered and said unto
them: the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, [margin, outward show] neither shall
they say, Lo. here! or Lo, there! For behold the kingdom of God is within you [in your
midst.] certainly not in the hearts of those Pharisees. The kingdom will be present
in the world, controlling it, yet unseen.
How, then, can Christ sit upon the throne of David?
None will argue that the throne of David, which is cast down and is to be raised, up,
means the pieces of wood, etc., on which David sat. What then? The word throne is there
used as the representative of power ruling authority. (we use it so to- day). When
Gods kingdom was on the fleshly plane, David represented Him. The throne was then
the Lords and David sat upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord. So
also of his son it is written. Solomon sat upon the throne of the Lord in the room
of his father David. It is not the piece of wood that is here referred to; words are
but symbols to represent ideas. The one here represented is, that the control once vested
in David, afterward thrown down, [removed] and the affairs of the earth given into the
hands of the Gentiles, (Luke 21:24) is to be restored in Christ, on a higher plane: first,
the natural, afterward, the spiritual, seems to be Gods order in everything.
Jerusalem, when rebuilt, will not be the kingdom of
God; for all, whether born again or not, could see it. It would have outward show: men
would say: Lo, here! and Lo, there! The heavenly city Jerusalem itself is the bride, the
church. Come hither and I will show thee the bride; and He showed me the Holy
Jerusalem . In Scripture a city is frequently used as the symbol of a
government or institution. (See Isa. 14:31; Jer. 33:5- 7; Rev. 11:2; Rev. 14:8; Rev.
16:19; Rev. 17:18)
But will the world not see Christ on His throne when
they shall say to the mountains and rocks fall on us and hide us from the face of
Him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his
wrath is come. Will they see nothing? The day of the Lord so cometh [on the
world and foolish virgins] as a thief a snare. The class here referred to are
represented as recognizing the fact, that the great day of His wrath has
come, the time of trouble; they now realize it. He shall be revealed [to
them] in flaming fire, [terrible judgments] taking vengeance, etc. What sort of
rocks and mountains do you suppose this will pray to have fall on them literal
mountains? No; few saints have the faith to pray for mountains to fall, while the wicked
have not faith to pray for small things; besides what would we think of a man who wanted
to die and could think of no more simple method than to be crushed by a mountain. But
these do not seek destruction: they want to be covered protected in
this time of trouble day of wrath when every mans hand is against
his neighbor, when the mountains [kingdoms] are moved out of their places:
for all the kingdoms [mountains] that are upon the face of the earth shall be
thrown down. The mountains [kingdoms] shall melt and flow down like wax at the
presence of the Lord. During the time of commotion and general national destruction,
the dashing in pieces of governments, men will seek protection
covering hiding in the great and strong kingdoms of the world. Men will say there is
Great Britain, Russia, etc.; they are strong, they protect their citizens, let us become
citizens of such. They will seek hiding, also, in such great rocks of worldly society as
Free Masonry, Odd Fellowship, etc., but none of these (can protect fully) shall be able to
deliver them in the day of the Lords anger. Every mountain shall be moved out of its
place. Then the stone [church] becomes a great mountain and fills the whole
earth. Although invisible it will be real; for, as Paul says, the things which
are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal. It will
be a peaceful kingdom: for He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth
Peace is established on a sure basis, by the breaking in pieces of the worldly
governments. Every man may then sit under his own vine and fig tree, with none to
molest or make him afraid.
Now the world is full of suffering,
Sounds of the woe fall on my ears,
Sights of wretchedness and sorrow
Fill my eyes with pitying tears;
Tis the earths dark night of weeping,
Wrong and evil triumph now;
I can wait, for just before me
Beams the mornings roseate glow.
If this is the character of the kingdom of God,
spiritual, invisible, how can we be kings and priests, or in any way teach or
minister to the world? If we are of this high order of beings, spiritual, glorious, like
Christ, men in the flesh would fall before us, as Saul, Daniel and John did before
glorious beings. True; but as in past ages, angels, when it was necessary, appeared as
men under the veil of the flesh, (Heb. 10:20) so we in the next age will appear to
men. Now and in the past ages angels have been the ministers, (Heb. 1:14) but unto
the angels hat He not put in subjection the world to come, (Heb. 2:5) but unto
Christ, head and body. (Compare Rev. 2:27, Psalm 2:8 and 8:4.) Moses, as a type of
Christ, illustrates this. The first tables of the law were broken in pieces, and now a
second was to be given. When Moses with two tables came down the mountain, from the
presence of the Lord, his face shone, so that the people could not look at him.
Afterward he put on a veil: then they came to him, he
conversed with them and delivered to them the law of God. Afterward when he talked with
the people he wore the veil, but when he went into the Lords presence he laid it
off. (Exod. 34:30.) Moses was the minister in the type. We are the ministers of the new
covenant the antitype. If the type was glorious, how shall not the
ministration of the spirit be rather [more] glorious? (2 Cor. 3:9). As he did so
will we do. When ministering to and teaching the people we will wear a veil,
the flesh the glorious body will be covered, tho veil of flesh seen. We will
appear as men, but when we go into the presence of the Lord we lay it
off enter into that within [beyond] the veil As in the type, Moses first
appeared in glory, and the people trembled and feared, so, during this time of trouble.
Which introduces the New Law, New Age, the Millennium, there will be outward
manifestations of the power and glory of the new kingdom; at which all faces
shall gather paleness, and their knees shall smite one against another.
Hell rule the world with truth and grace
And make the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
and wonders of His love.
WHAT I SAY UNTO ONE I SAY UNTO ALL, WATCH.
The positions taken we believe to be strong. They
commend themselves as strong to thinking Christians because of the vast amount of
scripture which favor them. Because they harmonize what has been to many minds
contradictory statements and teachings in the Bible; show a harmony between the character
of God and his works; and display His attributes, mercy, justice, love, etc ., to
perfection. We believe that the real object of the second advent has been presented.
The manner we think equally well established, whether
it be an event of our lifetime or not. But for the church to be left without light on so
important a subject, would seem strange, would it not? It would be contrary to precedent.
Noah knew of the flood; Lot of the fire, etc. They may not have know of DAY AND HOUR, but
they certainly had some knowledge of the nearness of the events before they came. Are we
who expect to be gathered utterly at sea without means of knowing anything whatever about
the time? Did Jesus not say, that day should not come upon those who watched, unawares?
[without their knowing]. He did; but he also said ye know not when the time is;
what I say unto one I say unto all, watch! Yes, but shall we suppose that He meant
watch, because you will never know or because you know not? Watch that you may know.
Let us look at the strongest of this class of texts; Of that day and hour knoweth
no man; no not the angels in heaven; neither the Son, but my Father only: Watch ye
therefore. Now notice: This does not read of that day and hour no man shall ever
know but no man knoweth . Jesus said that He himself did not know then; will
he never know until he comes? Will he not know the hour before he comes at least?
(The writer does not think the day or hour of our translation is or
will be known; but believes the scriptures to teach that we will have a general
knowledge of our whereabouts before that event occurs, if we are walking in the light
which shines from the word). Let us look at Bro. Bs illustration of
THE BESIEGED FORT
The fort is besieged. The General commanding the
attack sends word to all noncombatants living in and dangerously near it, that as he is
about to undermine and blow up the fort; they must remove or take the consequences. But it
will require some time to accomplish the work. He therefore gives them certain signals by
which they may know, and says: I will display a blue signal when the excavation is
complete; a red one when the powder is properly arranged; and when the fuses are laid and
everything ready, a green signal; and ye may know that at four oclock of that day,
the explosion will occur.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man; no not the
engineers who will do the work, nor myself; God alone knows the future. What I say unto
one I say unto all, watch, for ye know not when the time is. Now what would those people
fool for? Not the explosion but the signals. Did the General mean for them to watch
because they could never know, or in order that they might know? Undoubtedly the latter.
So our captain told us to watch.
Not to watch the sky, but our chart. We have a
more sure word of prophecy to which we do well to take heed as unto a light that shineth
in a dark place until the day dawn, says Peter. Now, hear Paul: turn to and read
carefully, 1 Thes. 5:1- 9; try to distinguish between the church and the world; ye and you
vs. they and them. Ye brethren know that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief
in the night [on all? No, on the world and over charged servant] when they
shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them . The next
clause tells how sudden. Not sudden like a flash of lightning, but as and they shall
But ye brethren are not in darkness that
that day should overtake you as a thief.
Although in the presence of the Son of man the world
will not know, yet the church, ye brethren, are expected to know; not from outward sign
but from the light shining upon the pathway. Our Father undertakes to furnish the light as
fast as it is due, but we must walk in it if we would not be in darkness.
The day of the Lord is frequently referred to as a
snare or trap into which those without light go unawares. As a thief it comes
stealthily. But some think as a thief means suddenly; we think not, but if it does, then
ye brethen are not in darkness that that day should come upon you suddenly .
When Jesus said: If therefore thou shalt not watch, thou shalt not know what hour I
will come upon thee. It seems as though he meant, if you are watching you shall
know. Does it not?
But it is not my object in this pamphlet to call your
attention more fully to the TIME of the second advent than I have above, in answering some
of the chief objections to the investigation of it. (Those interested in knowing the
evidences as to the time, I would refer to Dr. N. H. Barbour, editor of the Herald
of the Morning. Rochester, N. Y.) I simply add that I am deeply impressed and think
not without good scriptural evidence, that the Master is come and is now inspecting the
guests to the marriage. (Matt. 22:11).
That the harvest is progressing, the separated
at any moment, the wise virgins go into the marriage, and the door to the high calling be
Even the outward signs seen by the world seem to
point to the fact that a great dispensational change may be near. From their stand point
the last century would seem to be the day of [Gods] preparation.
Improvements and inventions progress as never before. Now we are beginning to realize that
these inventions, which in and of themselves are blessings, are, under present conditions
of society, a curse. Every machine made, after a certain limit, tends to decrease the
demand for each mechanics labor; supply and demand regulates the wages he receives.
Today there is employment for less than threeforths of the industrial labor of this as
well as other lands, and even this number average but half time; what will it be a few
years hence? The prophet, describing the time of trouble implies that it will be brought
about by lack of employment. There shall be no hire for man nor hire for beast,
every mans hand against his neighbor, etc.
Yet all these things which tend to decrease the
necessity of manual labor, and many more, yet undeveloped or unknown, will in the
millennial age minister to the comforts and necessities of the world. In fact, humanly
speaking the Millennial Era would be an impossibility without them. When the kingdom is
the Lords, right and justice will hold the reins, oppression and strikes will alike
give place to equity. These inventions will be used for the benefit not alone of a class
but of the whole, they will serve not merely to the accumulation of dollars, but to the
intellectual enrichment of all classes, and all shall know the Lord from the least
to the greatest.
Beloved, if it now fills our hearts to overflowing
even to think of the many, great, exceeding precious promises made to the bride, what will
the realization of them be? They all center in and have their fulfillment when we shall be
like Him, and see Him as He is. These are good tidings of great joy which shall
be to all people . (Luke 2:11).
Reader, are you Christs servant? If so, are you
a faithful, watching servant? Are you building on Christ, the rock? If so, with what?
Gold, silver, precious stones, or wood and stubble? Are you a virgin? a wise or a foolish
one? You was called and accepted to run a race; so run that you may obtain. The Master
saith to him that overcometh the prize shall be. Surely, that prize could be
no greater; it is the grandest that even God can offer; to make us His sons and give us a
joint- heirship with Christ. Like Paul, let us count all things as loss and dross, while
we press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling.
What can you do? Believe His word; walk in the light
which shines from it; live up to what you have and look for more. It will sanctify you;
set you apart; separate you from the world; your thoughts, your talents, your influence
and your purse. This is the Lords rule for our sanctification:
Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is
truth. If you fully realize how select this little flock is, and how
desirable a matter it is to attain it, your thought will probably be, it too high for me;
I am unworthy; I have never done anything to merit such high honors. Brother, sister,
there will not be one of that bride company there because they merited it, nor because of
their works. Their robes are not their righteousness; they could not appear in those. The
wedding garment is Christs righteousness imputed given unto us because
of faith. We must believe God if we would be accepted. Without faith it is
impossible to please God. We must come to Him as little children, anxious to know
and do His will if we would enter the kingdom.
The overcoming which is rewarded with a seat with Him
on His throne, is not of works, but of faith . This is the victory
that overcometh the world, even your faith. I would not speak disparagingly of
works, except as the ground of our acceptance . A fountain or living stream must
have an outlet; living faith will always produce works. We do not serve God to merit
eternal life, but accepting it of Him as a free gift, and realizing His loving kindness,
we desire to express our thanks and find an outlet, not only in speaking His praise but
also in doing those things which are pleasing to Him.
Behold I come as a thief: Watch!
Ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief!
Take heed least your hearts be over - charged with the cares of this life
and so that day come upon you unawares .
If thou shalt not watch thou shalt not know what hour I will come.
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 We of course recognize the fact that in the
Scriptures both Life and Death are used metaphorically.
 The first raised a spiritual body. Lazarus and
others arose, natural fleshly bodied and died again. The next to be raised spiritual
bodies are They that are Christs at His coming.
 The words translated begotten, begat and born
in our English Bibles, are all represented by the one word in the Greek, Genero; consequently
we must judge as to which is the proper word, by the connection in which we find it.
Now are we the Sons of God; although not yet born, we are begotten sons; so
in the natural the embryo is a son before birth.
 This scripture does not necessarily teach that
every eye will see Him at the same moment . A similar statement is made of the
Resurrection. All that are in their graves hear the voice of the Son of Man and
come forth. Taken by itself this seems to teach of the resurrection all at once .
Yet we learn that Blessed and holy are all they that have part in the
first resurrection. So all shall be cognizant of His presence though not all at
the same moment. He will be revealed in flaming fire taking vengeance:
whether this refers to the fire of His jealousy wrath by which the
whole earth is to be devoured, (Zeph. 1:18 and Zeph. 3:8) or an appearing in a
visible flame as the angel appeared to Moses in the bush, is not clear. We incline to the
 The writer believes that we are now
living under the sounding of the Seventh, that it has been sounding for more than
thirty years, and continues during the time of trouble, and until the Kingdom of the Lord
is Universal Empire.
 It should not be forgotten that only the church
is raised spiritual bodies, all others, natural fleshly bodies as Lazarus, etc.
 The emphatic Diaglott, a very
popular translation from the New Testament from Griesbach, we believe makes no
exception, always translating this word Parousia presence.
 A ministering brother in the M. E.
church has just called my attention to the following facts especially interesting to
readers familiar with the Greek: Apokalupto is formed from the verb kalupto,
which means I cover, conceal, compounded with the preposition apo . i. e.,
apokalupto; it means, I uncover, I reveal. In the middle voice it signifies, I uncover
or reveal myself . References: Luke 17:30, middle voice, when the son of
man uncovers or reveals himself. If it is claimed that the verb here is in the
passive voice, it does not alter the argument any, for then we should read, as in our
version, when the son of man is uncovered or revealed. The idea is the same in
either case, viz.: something covered up or invisible, is present and has been present for
some time, but now it is uncovered or revealed. So in the following references:Matt.
10:26 here both the simple and compound form is used: There is nothing covered
(kalupto) that shall not be uncovered (apokalupto). Matt. 11:27; 1 Cor. 2:10; Gal.
3:23; Eph. 3:5; 2 Thes. 2:3,6,8. In this last passage it will be noticed that the man of
sin is in existence, and just as much the son of perdition before as after he
is uncovered or revealed. But the day comes when he is stripped of his disguise, the
sheep- skin is removed, and he is shown to be a wolf; he is uncovered, revealed.
The ordinary word used for come, in the Greek, is erkomai,
meaning I come. It occurs over three hundred times in the New Testament. But the word ako,
also translated come, has a different meaning; it signifies completed action, as I
am come, am here, am arrived . With this in mind, examine Matt. 24:50: The lord
of that [evil] servant shall come [shall have come] in a day when he looketh not for him,
and in an hour that he is not aware of. Also, in Luke 12:46. These servants are
saying my Lord delayeth. There is no harm in this so long as He does delay, but there will
come a time when He no longer delays, and the servant who says He delays is called
wicked. For yet a little while, and He that shall come(erkomai, will
come ako, shall have come) and will not [longer] tarry. Heb. 10:37.
Another brother, also of the M. E. church, and for several years a professor in one of
their principal colleges, being convenient to me, I called his attention to the above.
After examining the text critically, he endorsed the above rendering, remarking that it
was very peculiar; then happening to glance at the 46th verse of Matt. 24 he called my
attention to the fact that the word there translated cometh is elthou, and
signifies after He has come . Read verses 45 and 46 with this thought in mind.
Is it possible that there will be faithful servants
giving meat in due season after the Lord has come? It is so stated, and at that
same time the evil servant will not be aware of His presence, (verse 50).