|Event 1 - Final Signs
|End of the World
The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the
word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced
upon the last king of Israel is given the message:
to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance
on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" 2
"Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: . .
. exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn,
overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I
will give it Him." Ezekiel 21:26, 27.
The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon,
Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, "It shall be no more, until He
come whose right it is; and I will give it Him." That time is at hand. Today
the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great
and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is
fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of the events to precede His coming: "Ye
shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . . Nation shall rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and
earthquakes, in divers places." Matthew 24:6, 7.
The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen,
men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all
classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They
are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They
observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and
they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place--that
the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.
Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, that they may not blow until
the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready
to burst upon the earth; and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there
will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.
The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are
revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, events that already
are casting their shadows before, the sound of their approach causing the earth
to tremble and men's hearts to fail them for fear.
"Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth
it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. . . . They have
transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are
desolate. . . . The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice
endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth." Isaiah 24:1-18.
"Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction
from the Almighty shall it come. . . . The seed is rotten under their clods,
the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is
withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because
they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate." "The
vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the
palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are
withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men." Joel
after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners
of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should
not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw
another angel... Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor
the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Revelation
"I am pained at my very heart; . . . I cannot hold my peace, because thou
hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction
upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled."
"I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens,
and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all
the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds
of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness,
and all the cities thereof were broken down." Jeremiah 4:19, 20, 23-26.
"Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time
of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." Jeremiah 30:7.
"Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about
thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." Isaiah
"Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge,
Even the Most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee,
Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
Psalm 91:9, 10.
"The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, And called
the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our
God shall come, and shall not keep silence."
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this
is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save
us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will
be glad and rejoice in his salvation. " Isaiah
"He shall call to the heavens above,
And to the earth, that He may judge His people. . . .
And the heavens shall declare His righteousness;
For God is judge Himself." Psalm 50:1-3; 50:4-6, R.V.
"O daughter of Zion, . . . the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine
enemies. Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be
defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the
Lord, neither understand they His counsel." "Because they call thee
an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after," "I will
restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord." "I
will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling
places." Micah 4: 10-12; Jeremiah 30:17, 18.
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us:
This is the Lord; we have waited for Him,
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."
"He will swallow up death in victory; . . . and the rebuke of His people
shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah
"Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem
a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down. . . . For the
Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king." Isaiah
"With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for
the meek of the earth." Isaiah 11:4. Then will the purpose of God be fulfilled;
the principles of His kingdom will be honored by all beneath the sun.
"Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,
Wasting nor destruction within thy borders;
But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation,
And thy gates Praise."
"In righteousness shalt thou be established:
Thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not
fear: And from terror; for it shall not come near thee."
Isaiah 60:18; 54:14.
The prophets to whom these great scenes were revealed longed to understand their
import. They "inquired and searched diligently: . . . searching what, or
what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify. . . .
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister
the things, which are now reported unto you; . . . which things the angels desire
to look into." 1 Peter 1:10-12.
To us who are standing on the very verge of their fulfillment, of what deep moment,
what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come--events for
which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God's children have
watched and waited, longed and prayed!
At this time, before the great final crisis, as before the world's first destruction,
men are absorbed in the pleasures and the pursuits of sense. Engrossed with the
seen and transitory, they have lost sight of the unseen and eternal. For the
things that perish with the using, they are sacrificing imperishable riches.
Their minds need to be uplifted, their views of life to be broadened. They need
to be aroused from the lethargy of worldly dreaming.
"Though Noah, Daniel,
and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver
neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their
righteousness." Ezekiel 14:20
From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the pages of Holy Writ, they
need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with
all its power and its magnificence, the like of which our world has never since
beheld,--power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable
and enduring, --how completely has it passed away! As "the flower of the
grass" it has perished. So perishes all that has not God for its foundation.
Only that which is bound up with His purpose and expresses His character can
endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows.
It is these great truths that old and young need to learn. We need to study the
working out of God's purpose in the history of nations and in the revelation
of things to come, that we may estimate at their true value things seen and things
unseen; that we may learn what is the true aim of life; that, viewing the things
of time in the light of eternity, we may put them to their truest and noblest
use. Thus, learning here the principles of His kingdom and becoming its subjects
and citizens, we may be prepared at His coming to enter with Him into its possession.
The day is at hand. For the lessons to be learned, the work to be done, the transformation
of character to be effected, the time remaining is but too brief a span.
"Behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for
many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore
say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of My words be prolonged
any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God." Ezekiel