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fliction."25 And they shall arise and shine, for Their
LIGHT SHALL COME.26
Arise and shine in youth immortal,
Beyond the centuries' swinging portal,
We might fill a book with comments upon how Israel shall be restored, but all we have desired to do was to show that it is an incontrovertible fact of prophecy, and that it is intimately connected with our Lord's appearing, and this we trust we have satisfactorily accomplished.
The detail of the manner of their restoration, and of their repentance and acceptance of Christ, is not so important to us. For those who are of the Church are to be taken away first, in the Rapture, and escape all these things through which Israel must pass.27
True, many have found the study of this detail a rich blessing, and we give the result which one has reached on pages 187 to 195, and yet we believe that we cannot now discern the order of these things so clearly as Israel will in the great rush of events, after the Church is taken away, and when the Book is more completely unsealed and opened. Dan. 12:4.
It is enough for us to know that it will be in the Latter Days (Isa. 2:2) that Antichrist is to be revealed and destroyed by Jesus the King of the Jews, who is coming (2 Thes. 2:8), and that Israel, His people, "are at hand to come." Ezk. 36:8.
(25) Isa. 48:10. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Psa. 66 :10. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
(26) Isa. 60 :1. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
2. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
(27) Luke 21:36. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
It may be you disapprove the study of prophecy, because Jesus said: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Mat. 24:36), and, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Acts 1:7.
Dear reader! do not conceive that the study of prophecy consists merely in the setting of dates or forecasting future events. For wise reasons the Master has withheld from us "the day and the hour" when He will come, but He called the Pharisees hypocrites, because they could not discern the signs of the times, and He has commanded us to Watch, and he has pronounced a blessing upon the study of prophecy.1
Peter exhorts us to Give Heed unto the sure word of prophecy.2 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Tim. 3:16.
The greater part of this Scripture consists of prophecy, and if Christians would give more attention to it, they would not find themselves distracted from present service, but "they would find much light thrown on their present path, much practical encouragement given to their ministry." Their faith would rest upon a broader and deeper comprehension of God's character and ways, and their spiritual horizon would stand out in clearer outline than before.
(1) Rev. 1:8. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Rev. 22:7. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Luke 11:28. But he said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
(2) 2 Pet. 1:19. And we have the word of prophecy made more Eure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.
"But to perceive and understand all this requires much more than a surface study of Scripture, or the mere forecasting of future events. It must be read in its profounder teachings, in those wonderful depths of meaning that underlie its illustrations, its metaphors, its history, as well as sparkle up to the sunlight, in its bright prophetic announcement of coming glory." Such a study of God's word will be found of paramount importance to meet the skepticism of the day, "for it furnishes us out of God's own armory, and trains us in His school of warfare." See how God uses prophetic truth to confound the philosophers and skeptics.3 And He points to the prophecies fulfilled as an assurance of the accomplishment of the new things declared by Him. "Before they spring forth I tell you of them."4 And He sets forth Israel as the Witnesses before all nations of the Word He has declared and that He is God.5
And such they are to-day.
Prophecy is their history.
Who but God could thus preserve them?
(3) Isa. 41:21. Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.
22. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.
23. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods; yea, do good, or do evil that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.
(4) Isa. 42:8. I am the Lord; that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
(5) Isa. 43:9. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
10. Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11. I, even I, am the Lord; and besides' me there is no saviour.
12. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.
Who but God could foretell their history?
"This weapon alone out of God's armory can cut through all the sophistries and opposition of men."
God forbid then that we should despise prophecies. 1 Thes. 5:20. (jrpo^ip-eias—Prophecies.)
"O Earth, Earth, Earth, hear the Word of the Lord." Jer. 22:29.
A Practical Doctrine.
We have asserted that this truth of the coming of the Lord is eminently practical. In proof of this, we here append the following references, to show how Jesus and the Apostles used the prophecies of His coming again as a motive to incite us.
1. To watchfulness,—Mat. 24:42-44; 25:13; Mark 13:32
37; Lu. 12:35-38; Rev. 16:15.
2. To Sobriety,— 1 Thes. 5:2-6; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.
3. To repentance,— Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 3 :3.
4. To fidelity,— Mat. 25:19-21; Lu. 12:42-44; 19:12-13.
5. Not to be ashamed of Christ,— Mar. 8:38.
6. Against worldliness,— Mat. 16:26-27
7. To moderation or mildness,— Phil. 4:5.
8. To patience,— Heb. 10:36-37; James 5:7-8.
9. To mortification of fleshly lusts,— Col. 3:3-5.
10. To sincerity,— Phil. 1:9-10.
11. To the practical sanctification of the entire
being,— 1 Thes. 5:23.
12. To ministerial faithfulness,— 2 Tim. 4:1-2.
13. To induce obedience to the Apostle's in
junctions,— 1 Tim. 6:13-14.
14. To pastoral diligence and purity,— 1 Pet. 5:2-4.
15. To purify ourselves,— 1 John 3:2-3.
16. To abide in Christ,— 1 John 2:28.
17. To endure manifold temptations and the
severest trial of faith,— 1 Pet. 1:7.
18. To bear persecution for the sake of our
Lord,— 1 Pet. 4:13.
19. To holy conversation and godliness,— 2 Pet. 3:11-13.
20. To brotherly love,— 1 Thes. 3:12-13.
21. To keep in mind our heavenly citizenship,—
22. To love the second coming of Christ,— 2 Tim. 4:7-8.
23. To look for Him— Heb. 9:27-28.