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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 witḥ 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; it 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 him, 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 Jeremian'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,40 one and indivisible,41 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 pointed 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. 4
(40) Eph. 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
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 Gen tiles, 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
And yet it is her blessed privilege, in all her affliction, to know that she travails in the birth of souls, 44 which are born from above by the Holy Ghost (John 3), and that the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom, which she preaches is the power of God unto salvation unto all who believe.45
The Bride of Christ. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
In this precious passage (Eph. 5) the Church, as the Bride of Christ, is typified by the most intimate, tender and sacred relationship known among the children of men.
Abraham's servant went into a far country (Gen. 24) to seek a bride for Isaac, who was the honored type of Christ as a sacrifice. Gen. 22. So has the Holy Spirit come into the world to seek a Bride for Jesus. The servant said, “Hinder me not." So the Holy Ghost is striving with the world, and pleading with cold-hearted professors, that He may hasten the presentation of the bride to the Bridegroom. See Mat. 22:2-10.
Rebekah said, “I will go. So the Bride should be
the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.
1 Tim. 4:1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
2 Tim. 3:1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of ihose that are good,
4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Also 2 Tim. 4:1-5.
(44) Gal. 4:19. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until
Christ be formed in you.
Also 1 Cor. 4:15; Phile. 10.
(45) Rom. 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: ior it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
yearning to go. God has made the wedding and prepared the feast, and all things (except the Bride) are ready for the rapturous meeting, and blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. Rev. 19:9.
O! that the Church would work a hundredfold more earnestly for the conversion of souls and the edifying of the body of Christ, that the bride might be complete, and thus hasten the coming of her Lord,16 ever listening to catch the midnight cry: “Behold the Bridegroom cometh!” and “so be ready to go out to meet Him." Mat. 25:6.
"O! I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine;
The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom's
face; I will not gaze at glory, but on my King of Grace; Not at the crown He giveth, but on His pierced handThe Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land."
(46) 2 Pet. 3:11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.
12. Looking for and hasting the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fer. vent heat?
We use this term to designate the whole period of earthly history, between the Rapture and the Revelation, or between the Church and the Millennial Kingdom. It will not altogether be a time of tribulation, for in it "they shall rejoice and send gifts one to another” (Rev. 11:10), and shall say "peace and safety.” 1 Thes. 5:3. We believe that it will be comparatively a short season, because the 6,000 years and the times, or year-days, of prophecy have nearly run out. Doubtless it embraces the last one of Daniel's seventy weeks, for the reason that then God begins to deal with Israel again, after He has taken the Church away, and yet it is probable that it includes much more than the seven years of that week.
It is certain that there will be in it a period of unequalled trial, sorrow and calamity,3 spiritual darkness and open wickedness. It is the night of the world.5 But the
(1) Dan. 9:27. And he shall down; and I will build again confirm the covenant with many
the ruins thereof, and I will set for one week: and in the midst
it up: of the week he shall cause the 17. That the residue of men sacrifice and the oblation to might seek after the Lord, and cease, and for the overspreading all the Gentiles, upon whom of abominations he shall make it
mv name is called, saith the desolate, even until the consum
Lord, who doeth all these things. mation, and that determined (3) Mat. 24:21. For then shall be poured upon the deso
shall be great tribulation, such late.
as was not since the beginning (2) Acts 15:13.
of the world to this time, no,
And after they had held their peace, James
nor ever shall be. answered, saying, Men
Also Dan. 12 :1. brethren, hearken unto me:
(4) 2 Pet. 3:3. Knowing this 14. Simeon hath declared how first, that there shall come in God at the first did visit the the last days scoffers, walking Gentiles, to take out of them
after their own lusts, à people for his name.
4. And saying, Where is the 15. And to this
agree the promise of his coming? for since words of the prophets; as it is
the fathers fell asleep, all things written,
continue as they were from the 16. After this I will return,
beginning of the creation. and will build again the taber
Also Luke 18:7. nacle of David, which is fallen (5) John 9:4. I must work