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But Antichrist will not be revealed - as we understand from 2 Thes. 2:7,-until after the Rapture. Neither is it probable that the restoration of Israel (except partially in unbelief, Zeph. 2:1-2), will take place until after that event. For “Jerusalem shall be trodden down
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24), and the tabernacle of David shall not be rebuilt until He has taken out of the Gentiles a people to His name. Acts 15:14-16.
It has pleased God to give signs, or evidences, of the approach of these events and by which we might know that the day was drawing near, but, as we have before said, they have been of such a character that the Church could see them repeated in each generation. And this we believe was purposely designed, in order to give the church NO DATE and NO SIGN which might so definitely indicate the time of her Rapture, that she should in any interval cease to be vigilant. It was evidently all planned, so that the unfolding of events should be, to her, a constant incentive to watchfulness.
The High Priest went into the Holy of Holies alone, and the whole congregation waited in expectation without until he had made the offering and came forth to bless them. Lev. 16; Nu. 6:23-26; Lu. 1:10. So has our High Priest entered once for all into the TRUE HOLY PLACE, and the Church should look for Him in fervent expectation, until He appears the second time without sin unto salvation.8 She must watch "with loins girded about and lights burning, like men that wait for their Lord.”
(7) Heb. 10:25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another : and so much the more as ye seo the day approaching.
(8) Heb. 9:24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the
but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us :
25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth
into the holy
place every year with blood of others;
26. For then must be often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him
Yet we have the blessed assurance that every passing day brings our salvation nearer than when we believed.9 And, while it is true that the church, during all her history, has had repeated evidence that the day was approaching, we ask, what are these evidences in our time? Surely they are of especial significance.
We believe, if we can rightly read the signs of the times, that the godless, lawless trio of communism, nihilism and anarchy, so alarmingly permeating the nations today, are unclean spirits preparing the way for Antichrist.
The Jews Returning. And, again, the Jews are, even now, returning to Jerusalem.
It is said that, “At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Porte allowed no more than three hundred of the hated people to live in the city. Forty years later that restriction was removed, but another still remained, by virtue of which they were permitted only to reside in a particular quarter of the town, which was much too small for them. It was in the year 1867 this last regulation was removed and since then the progress made by the Jews in peopling their ancient capital has been extraordinary. Almost every one of the old houses as it fell vacant has been bought by them while they have built a prodigious number of new ones in all parts of the town. Schools, hospitals and religious associations have been started on a grand scale, as also a school for manual training and of agriculture.”
At the present time, 1908, the city of Jerusalem has spread over a large extent of ground outside the walls. Great hospices, hotels, churches, stores, etc., have been erected, but most notable of all, a multitude of dwellings for the Jews.
The number of Jews now residing in the inner and outer
shall be appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
(9) Rom. 13:11. And that, knowing the time, that now it is
high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
city is estimated at from 40,000 to 50,000, being more than half the entire population. Besides these, there are large colonies at Tiberias, Safed, Joppa and Hebron, and several other smaller ones in various parts of the country. The entire Jewish population of Palestine is said to be more than 80,000, so that a greater number have already returned than the 49,697 who went up with Zerubbabel from Babylon. Ezra 2:64-65.
The anti-semitic agitations in Germany, Austria and France, and the fierce persecutions in Russia and Roumania, have stirred up the Jews of the world as the eagle doth her nest. Deut. 32:11.
National hopes and aspirations have found vent in the organization of Chovevi Zion (Lovers of Zion) societies, and Shova Zion (colonization) societies throughout Europe and America. Land is being purchased and funds raised, on installment plans, to send back the members by lot.
A railroad has been completed from Joppa, and the engine speeds up to Jerusalem like one of Nahum's “flaming torches,” (Nahum 2, 3) which, the prophet says, "shall be in the day of His preparation," over the roadway which the Arabs call “Trek el Kods," significantly coinciding with the Hebrew “Derech Hakodesh" (Way of Holiness) of Isa. 35:8.
This "highway," cast up as the Hebrew “Maslol” indicates, is a special preparation for the return of the people to Zion. Isa. 35:10.
Other lines of railway are projected or actually under construction to Hebron, Jericho, Acre, Tiberias and Damas
The Turkish hold upon the country is continually weakening, and there is considerable talk of a Jewish state. May we not conclude that the Lord is even now setting “His hand again the second time" for the restoration of His people 910
(10) Isa. 11:11. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his band again ne second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, aus
from Egypt, and from Pathros,
“He that scattereth Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock.” Jer. 31:10.
Besides these, we have other evidences. Many are run. ning to and fro upon the highways of travel, or searching diligently through and through the prophetic Word, which is doubtless the true meaning of the passage (Dan. 12:4) and which is a sign of "the time of the end."
The awful dearth of spiritual life in the great nominal church is another evidence.
The restless and perplexed condition of the nations is also suggestive. And there are several other evidences of which we might speak, all of which substantiate the fact that the day is "approaching." Heb. 10:25.
And lastly, while it is entirely unscriptural and wrong to put the second coming of our Lord any distance into the future, and likewise unscriptural and wrong to fix a date, or name the time when He shall come for His bride, yet there will be a privileged company of saints living upon the earth11 at the time when He shall descend from heaven,12 and who shall say that they will all be taken by surprise ? Every generation that has lived since He went away, however dark and unspiritual it may have been, has had its band of faithful watching ones.
Shortly previous to the first coming of Christ, the Holy Ghost, although He had given, through Daniel, the definite prophecy of the seventy weeks, gave a special revelation unto the devout Simeon,- who was "waiting for the consolation of Israel,” to-wit : "that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Luke 2:26. And this leads us to ask: May not the same blessed Spirit, who thus revealed this mighty event to Simeon of old (and probably to the aged Anna, also) 13 likewise give unto a
(11) 1 Cor. 15:51. Behold, I shew you a mystery ; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised in
corrruptible, and we shall be changed.
(12) 1 Thes. 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
(13) Lu. 2:36. And there
favored one, or a chosen few of the faithful watching ones, to know that their glad eyes shall see His appearing, and that they shall never taste of death.14
Even so now, many of the most devout and faithful of God's people, in all denominations, both in this and foreign lands, are seriously impressed with the conviction, that the coming of the Lord is near.
These are certainly sufficient evidences to enforce the apostle's injunction, that we should exhort one another "and so much the more as” we "see the day approaching." Heb. 10:25.
For, if the day, or Revelation, is near, the Rapture is still nearer. And again the general conviction among Bible students and earnest Christians, that the great prophetic periods, which point to the Revelation are nearly ended, and the deep conviction expressed by many, including even statesmen and scientists, that some great event is near, may well lead us to enquire,
Watchman, What of the Night? Ever since the sin of Adam and Eve this world has been a DARK PLACE,15 a moral “Night.' By faith the believer looks forward, through prophecy, to the Day, 16 the. glorious Day, which is coming, when salvation, which is now by
was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel; of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and bad lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;
37. And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from
the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
(14) John 11:26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never
die. Believest thou this?
(15) 2 Pet. 1:19. We have
also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts.
(16) John 1:5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
John 3:19. And this is the condemnation, that light is conie into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20. For every one that doetb evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest bis deeds should be reproved.