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all the world,28 when He shall recompense tribulation to them that have troubled her.20 And this spirit of rebellion and persecution will continue, even through the tribulation80 and up to the very day of the Lord,31 when Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire,32 with His Saints, to
(28) Rev. 3:10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
(29) 2 Thes. 1:6. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
(30) Rev. 16:9. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these.
11. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores', and repented not of their deeds.
14. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
21. And there tell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great
(31) 2 Pet. 3:1. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of rememl ranee;
2. That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up.
(32) 2 Thes. 1:7. And to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the antgels of his power in flaming fire,
8. Rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:
execute judgment upon the earth.33 So we see that there is no place in the whole earthly history of such a persecuted Church, for the Millennial Kingdom. For, in that time, "righteousness and peace" shall kiss each other, "truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look out of heaven." Psa. 85.
"A King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment." Isa. 32:1. With righteousness shall He judge the poor. Judah and Israel shall be restored and dwell safely. There shall be no harm nor destruction in all God's holy mountain, and even the animals shall be at peace.34
Again, from all of these passages, and especially Isa. 60, we see that restored Israel and Jerusalem are to be the very central glory of the Millennial Kingdom. But God does not restore Israel and rebuild Zion, or Jerusalem, until He appears in His glory.
"When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory." Psa. 102:16. And He does not build up
&. Who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
10. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day.
(33) Jude 14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints.
15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
(34) Isa. 11:4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the
breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Rom. 8 :21. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Zion or the tabernacle of David until He has taken out the Church.35
Thus we see a clear distinction between the suffering Church and the glorious Kingdom, which are separated by the Tribulation, to-wit:
THE CHURCH. \ Tribulation p THE KINGDOM.
See Diagram, page 72.
But, do you ask: "Is the Church always to suffer and be persecuted?"
Surely not. For she shall yet be married. And the light affliction shall work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the things which are not (yet) seen,36 and the church shall be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which she suffers, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.37 Therefore we glory in
22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Also Jer. 23:3-8 and 32:3644; Ezek. 34, 36 and 37 and many others.
(35) Acts 15:13. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written.
16. After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17. That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these things.
(36) 2 Cor. 4:17. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
(37) 2 Thes. 1:4. So that we ourselves glory in you in the tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Rom. 5:3-4. And when Christ, who is our hope (1 Tim. 1:1) and our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory.38 If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him.39 We shall reign on the earth. Rev. 5:10. Hence we conclude that the Church shall be recompensed in reigning, with Christ, over the Millennial Kingdom. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Lu. 12:32; Dan. 7:18-22-27. O! then, let us pray as Jesus taught us: "Thy kingdom come."
But, do you say, "The Church is not persecuted, and does, even now, enjoy comparative peace"?
We answer, it is because the professing Church (and by this we include Roman Catholics, Greeks and all nominal Christians—in all perhaps 400,000,000) has conformed so largely to the world that the world has little, if any, controversy with her.
Of what avail to God are nominal, cold-hearted, worldconforming Christians? He wants a separate and holy
churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5. Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
(38) Col. 3:4. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
(39) Rom. 8:17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
2 Tim. 2 :12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him; if we deny Mm, he also will deny us. people, and the command is, "Come out and be ye separate." 2 Cor. 6:14-18.
We believe that the birds of the air and the leaven in the parables of Mat. 13 represent the children of the wicked one, or hypocrites, which have lodged in the Church and the false doctrines which have crept in and so pervaded the professing Church that it has, in the main, become merely formal and nominal.
God wants zealous Christians, in whom the Word of Life shall burn as it did in Jeremiah's bones. And are not the number of these few, even today?
The professing Church is luke-warm, and, we fear, almost ready to be spued out of the Master's mouth. But, thanks be unto His name, there are those who are rebuked and chastened, and who are buying gold and white raiment and anointing their eyes that they may see, and who will overcome and sit down with Christ in His throne. Rev. 3:14-22.
The True Church.
There is truly a Church, and it is THE BODY OF CHRIST,*0 one and indivisible,*1 composed of all true believers in Him.42 It may be called a church within, or among the churches—the wheat among the chaff. And let us remember that this true Church of Christ is appointed unto affliction, and that the intervals of rest (Acts 9:31) only strengthen her to endure new and varied forms of persecution. This has been her history, and we may expect it will be her future, amid the scoffers, evil men and seducers of the last times.43
(40) Bph. 1:22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23. Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
(41) 1 Cor. 12:12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(42) Eph. 4:11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
(43) 2 Pet. 3:3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in