Professor Martzinkovski’s With Christ in Soviet Russia,* already issued in seven languages, carries a warning and also a golden comfort.  The warning is of an anti-God crusade that can only ripen into the Great Tribulation: the comfort lies in his experience, in at least a section of the Russian horrors, of triumphant grace.  For while we are not appointed unto wrath (1 Thess. 5: 9), which proves that not all believers must pass through ‘the great and terrible day of the Lord,’ we can incur wrath (Eph. 5: 6), and it is difficult to see what Antichrist can do to believers which they have not already suffered in Russia. But, even so, the same Lord can supply the same grace.  Yet the warning remains.  Lifelong experience proves that nothing will wake the ordinary Christian in almost all the groups to a catastrophic Advent but the Day of Terror itself.  Professor Martzinovski now lives on Mount Carmel.


* The English Bookshop, 105 Jaffa Road, Jerusalem, Palestine.


- Ed. [D. M. Panton.]






There has been no fundamental change in the situation in Russia since I left that country.  The well‑known provision of the Soviet Constitution, that “the liberty of religious or anti-religious propaganda is recognized as belonging to every citizen,” of May 18, 1929 was changed by the Congress of Soviets to the following:- “The freedom of religious confession and anti-religious propaganda is recognized as belonging to every citizen  Thus, the law protects only the liberty of anti-religious activity, while to the religious believer there remains only the right to confess his faith, but not to propagate it.  The importation of the Holy Scriptures or any other form of religious literature is forbidden, as also the printing of the Bible in the U.S.S.R.  Religious workers, ‘ministers of a cult,’ are deprived of civil rights, such as the franchise, eligibility of employment, possession of a bread card, social insurance, and the right to live in the city of Moscow or any other big town.  In 1930 there were counted not less than 35 anti-religious universities with 7000 students, besides 15 anti-religious departments with 1500 students.  By May 1, 1937 there is to be no temple in the U.S.S.R. territory, and the word ‘God’ is to be extinguished even from the language.



In my examination before the Cheka it became evident that my examiner was chiefly interested in my relations with the Orthodox hierarchy.  “I believe,” I replied, “that there should be received through baptism as responsible members of the Church such persons only as have been enlightened through the teachings of the New Testament, have experienced conversion, and have made the decision to serve Christ alone, instead of pursuing worldly desires.  Because of this conviction, I myself submitted to baptism on September 1st, 1920, thereby virtually breaking with the present-day Orthodox Church, and excluding myself from the ranks of its orthodox members  The examiner was silent a moment.  Then, “I am surprised,” he said. “You are a philosopher  - and yet you ascribe that sort of significance to religious ceremonials  “That’s just it,” I said‑ - “baptism meant for me that I was burying in the river, in the name of Christ, my reputation and every opinion which people might hold of me



The most difficult thing to endure in the prison was not the physical discomforts - hunger, crowding and foul air - but the foul moral atmosphere of the place.  For I was forced to listen to ceaseless cursing, swearing, and the recounting of cynical anecdotes.  The room seemed filled with poison gas.  At one time I became very much distressed.  But at last I resolved to deal with fear in a proper manner.  I pictured vividly to myself the worst fate possible; namely, to be shot.  But, I said to myself, to die for Christ is the highest of all privileges.  Because everybody must die some time, and often death comes because of one’s own stupidity, or for some trivial cause.  And furthermore, death seemed easier and less repugnant to me than some experiences to which I had been subjected, in the morally filthy atmosphere in which I lived, or than the prospect of being sent to Archangel or Solofki.  And thus pouring out my heart in fervent prayer, I again went through the experience of dying with Christ inwardly.



I came more and more to realize that imprisonment represented not so much a form of suffering to which men wished to subject me, as a definite mission - a ‘detail’, as they say in army parlance - for the continuance of my own training, and to enable me to help those around me.  I was never so light-hearted anywhere else, in all my life, as I was in prison.  I used to love to sing in a choir: but here I would often sing alone.  Only suffering could impart to music such a spiritual quality.  Many of the members of the congregation would join in the singing, and out of the very depths of hearts mellowed by life’s most difficult trials came the words as they chanted: “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted ... “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven



My second source of strength was God’s Word.  If windows give us access, so to speak, to the wide open plains of the blue sky, the Word of God furnishes us a door to the infinite spaces of the spiritual heaven. “Hereafter ye shall see heaven opened,” said Christ.  And it was not mere empty words that Napoleon spoke, when on St. Helena he said, “When I read the New Testament I see heaven  I think I have never read the Bible anywhere so hungrily as I did in prison - nowhere else have I ever been so thirsty for the living waters.  Sometimes they will not permit prisoners to keep Bibles with them in their cells.  But he who loves the Word of God will learn it by heart.  A certain brother. S-, had his Bible taken from him when he entered the “Inside Prison  Very probably they thought that in this way they would stop him from propagandizing.  But he would repeat from memory a chapter out of the New Testament and explain it to the eagerly-attentive listeners.  The time will come when believers will become “living gospels,” “epistles of Christ ... written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God,” and “known and read of all men



I shall not stop even to speak of the many other gains, both spiritual and intellectual, which I received from prison life, except the revelation of that one truth which was engraved upon my heart in words of fire: “With Christ to be in prison is freedom; without Christ even freedom is a Prison  Praise God for such a trial!  And in exile I have learned yet another truth: though my fatherland is dearer to me than any other country, with Christ I am no orphan, even in a foreign land; whereas within Him, even in our own respective lands, we are but foreigner-nomads, surplus population.



We Russian exiles have come to the western world from Russia as out of a burning house.  This same fire shall try the whole world.  “The hour of temptation ... shall come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth,” as is said in Revelation (Rev. 3: 10).  We have come out of a burning house : but you, our Western Brethren, live in the same house - only in the next higher story. Have you not detected the smell of fire even in your own dwelling?  Have you not caught the odour of smoke in all this hazy theology and this cunningly built structure of bourgeois Christianity, the mad purpose of which is, not to subdue the world to Christ, but to conform the teachings of Christ to the demands of this world?  Such Christianity will not stand in the day of trial that is now coming - like a hurricane.  Every injustice in the sphere of social relations, or of domestic, colonial or international politics, is but another faggot to add to the burning pyre; and every voice of human jealousy and hatred raised ill the parliaments of the nations but fans the flames higher.



“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev. 12: 2).  And in Russia it is only this genuine and perfect Christianity - or better therefore say, Christ Himself, who is able to conquer.  Every other kind of Christianity, halfway religion, or abstract idealism burns up like straw in the furnace of such a great upheaval.  Listen to the voice of the Russian Revolution - listen with the ears of your heart, and strive to understand its lesson of warning, and the letters of fire which God (for He is the God of history, also) has traced upon the walls of the Babylon of to-day:‑ Mene, Tekel, Peres.  In the Place of the Revolution in Moscow, on a wall of the former Municipal Durna, appear the words:‑ Revolution is a hurricane, which sweeps away all who oppose its movement.










It must not be overlooked, that to Philadelphia alone is the unconditional promise of the rapture.  “I will keep thee from the hour of trial” (Rev. 2: 10).  To this Church alone does He unconditionally say, “Behold, I come quickly.”  The world in its present state will require something as sweeping as the Rapture of the Philadelphians, to awaken it.  So also the sleeping and dreaming Church.  And how few ever think of the tremendous nature of that event!  Should there be a catching away of saints from one city or two, the world in its self-confidence could ‘absorb’ such an event and be unmoved, even as she now is untouched by the lesser calamities that happen.  But at that Rapture millions will go, living and dead, and the graves may be left open.  No part of the evangelized world will escape its solemn testimony.  Those graves will probably in many cases stand open, often with their headstones to tell who came forth.  Christianity as a supernatural Faith, and the testimony of God’s despised people, will be vindicated.  Men’s mouths will for a few moments be stopped.



This will be Philadelphia’s vindication and Laodicea’s rejection, in a single event.  To go is acceptance, to remain is rejection.  Thus the nauseating lukewarm mass will be spued out of the mouth of Him whom they presumed to call Master and Lord.  But there are also among them those whom He loves.  He so says, and they are to be chastened (ver. 19) unto repentance.  They did not abide in Him, and now men are to gather them and cast them into the fires of tribulation, not for destruction, but for purging that they may bring forth fruit.  To this end He exhorts to zeal and repentance.  The overcomers from among them will yet sit with Him in His throne.  Chastening, repentance, zeal and even martyrdom, await them.



Teachers are distressed because some see the Church going to heaven in more than one company.  But Paul said every man would go in his own ‘order  This word is also translated ‘rank and means literally a series or succession (1 Cor. 15: 20-23).  Military men were not distressed because the First Division of the American Army in the world war went over the sea first, nor because it took many shiploads to take the millions across.  Neither did they count the army ‘ruptured’ because some remained for training while others were at the front.  And if, through the ages, God has taken generation after generation into His rest and comfort ahead of time, through death, and this has not ‘ruptured’ the body, what is so forbidding about the idea of a few of these who precede, doing so without death?  God will get the companies all there in due time, and this age will not end without some kind of transition events, as others have done.  The principle of a Double Rapture is sound.  All the parts put together will constitute ‘The Rapture’ - one event in two (or more) phases.



All ends with the visible appearance of Christ in the heavens, the crucial hour when for the first time in the whole Plan ALL the elect have been gathered from the ends of heaven.  The residue yet living must be raptured in order to be in the final gathering, and the martyrs of their number must be raised.  A final phase of the (one) Rapture!  How beautifully it fits in every detail!  That great last gathering of all the elect could not have been possible so long as the duties of some of them had not been accomplished. Almost up to the moment of His appearing there will be some of the elect still engaged in testimony, or else waiting in the grave or at its edge, for resurrection and rapture.  But with some called to Him from the ends of heaven, whence they were taken in the former phases, and some now taken in the final phase of the (one) Rapture, nothing remains lacking, and any seemingly unanswerable passage is made clear.



The reader will see in these studies, impartially considered, a way to reconcile the extreme views, which have seemed hopelessly far apart heretofore.  Nor is it in the slightest degree a compromise, as any mind willing and able to weigh the evidence will admit.  The Gospel outlines become clear and simple.  God prepare us for the great and fast approaching Day of Christ, both in knowledge of and submission to the inspired Word!


- From Suggested Solutions for Prophetic Problems.  Gospel Missionary Union, 1841 East 7th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.