In presenting this book with its great message of certainty for the Christian and challenge to those who know not Christ, I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the tremendous influence of my parents and especially my father, whose poems I quote frequently herein. It was they who taught me the way of salvation and encouraged me to study Bible prophecy, and since my early teens this subject has enthralled me.
I would also express my appreciation to The Zondervan Corporation, The Bethany Fellowship, The Sword of the Lord Publishers, and various other copyright holders for permitting me to quote some of their material.
* * *
AUTHOR’S PREFACE – Page 5
INTRODUCTION – Page 7
CHAPTER 1 THE JEWISH SIGN - Page9
CHAPTER 2 THE INTERNATIONAL SIGN – Page 18
CHAPTER 3 THE RUSSIAN SIGN – Page 25
CHAPTER 4 THE EUROPEAN SIGN – Page 32
CHAPTER 5 THE ECUMENICAL SIGN - Page 40
CHAPTER 6 THE NUCLEAR SIGN - Page 48
CHAPTER 7 THE SATANIC SIGN – Page 54
CHAPTER 8 THE ECONOMIC SIGN – Page 61
CHAPTER 9 THE BEAST SIGN – Page 67
CHAPTER 10 THE SPACE SIGN – Page 74
CHAPTER 11 THE TECHNOLOGICAL SIGN – Page 78
CHAPTER 12 THE MILLENNIAL SIGN – Page 82
CHAPTER 13 A SOLEMN WARNING – Page 89
* * *
INTRODUCTION [Page 7]
Signs of the near return of the Lord Jesus Christ abound today on every hand. We live in times that are difficult, yet they are times which are thrilling and exciting! For the true Christian, the realisation that our Saviour’s return or His Own is at hand makes the prospect glorious and on the other hand, the outlook for those who have not been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ is gloomy and foreboding. They face the Great Tribulation and finally a lost eternity.
The signs of the times are apparent. We live in the last days - if not the last moments - of the Age of Grace. This period of time has lasted for nearly two thousand years. It has been the dispensation during which the Church has been formed and built up. It will finish when the trumpet sounds and all born-again believers are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.* Oh that people would repent of their sins and accept Christ as their Saviour NOW - while they have the opportunity!
[* See ‘Selected Quotations,’ - Numbers, 3, 9, 11, 286, 331, 434 and 609.]
The signs of the Saviour’s return constantly multiply. In the pages that follow we shall consider certain signs which deal with certain aspects of the Lord’s return. There are many other signs which space prevents us from considering.
* * *
THE JEWISH SIGN [Pages 9-17]
One of the greatest signs that the Saviour’s return is near is the Jew!
A. THE SCATTERING OF
After the Jewish nation’s dispersal in A.D.70 when Titus the
Roman commander captured
Today, the Jew is a sign!
Dr. M. R. DeHaan says: “First and foremost among the signs of the
Lord’s return is the miraculous restoration of the Israelite nation in the
The Scattering of Israel is Biblical. It was foretold in Scripture in chapters such
as Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy
28, 29 and 30. But, the restoration of
Years ago, Rev. E. L.
Langston wrote: “God in His Word has predicted
that in the last days certain things must happen to
THE SALVATION OF
Today many in
It is manifest today that the Lord is on the side of the Jews. In each conflict with the Arabs since 1948
they have been victorious - despite being heavily outnumbered by armies with
vast amounts of modern equipment. In 1967 there was the Six-Day War and
The so-called “problem”
regarding the Arab-Israeli dispute will continue until the Antichrist makes his
God’s dealings with His earthly people resume, in proper, AFTER the Rapture of the Church.* Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost has stated: “God today is calling out from among both Jew and Gentile a
people for His name (Acts 15: 14). God will not move
toward the fulfilment of these prophecies for
[* See ‘Selected Quotations,’ - Number 67.]
Yes, indeed, the Jewish sign is an important one! Christ is coming to reign for a thousand years on the throne of David at Jerusalem.* But, first, He must come for His Bride - the Church,** which consists of every born-again soul since the Day of Pentecost when the Church was born. The Bible says “The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Romans 13: 12). It also says “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5: 8).
[* For the Millennium, see ‘Selective Quotations,’ Number 397, 452. ** For the ‘Church,’- Number 75.]
Dr. Charles G. Trumbull, writing of the Jewish sign, says: “Christ is the theme of the Bible. Prophecy, centering about Christ, is the
dominant note of the Bible. The Second
Coming of Christ - being His personal, visible, bodily return to establish His
Kingdom on earth and to reign over Israel and the world for a thousand years,
after which will come ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ (Revelation 21: 1) - is the goal, climax and consummation of
Bible prophecy. As we study God’s greatest
sign, the Jew, let us remember that
Dr. John F. Walvoord, who is not only a great scholar but is also an authority on
prophecy, states: “The deliverance of ‘all
THE SYMBOLS OF
Three different plants are used in Scripture as Symbols of Israel. These are the Vine, the Fig Tree and the Olive Tree.
It is interesting to note that the Vine is
The Fig Tree is a symbol
Again quoting Dr.
Trumbull, he says: “The return of the Lord and
King is the great hope both of the Church and of
In 1917 when General Allenby captured
The other symbol is that of the Olive Tree. This
is one of the most fruitful and useful of all trees. Olive oil was used in Bible times for
lighting the home and for the healing of wounds. It was used for the anointing of kings and
prophets. It has refreshing as well as
healing properties. [Page 15] The wood of the Olive Tree was used
for making furniture for the
“The Fig Tree now is budding,
Acclaimed now as a nation,
Not just a scattered race.
The ‘Gentile Times’ are ending,
Full many signs this say;
The shout - the archangel’s summons
Perhaps may sound today!”
J. Danson Smith.
THE SOVEREIGN OF
The Sovereign of Israel will be none other than her rejected King of long ago - the Lord Jesus Christ! The Bible makes it clear that this ancient people who once cried “Away with Him! Crucify Him!” will crown Him King. He will be their Sovereign!
The Scriptures are being read and studied today in the
Dr. Oswald J. Smith of
Hearts are being prepared for the coming of Christ as King.
The Bible tells us that the Throne of David shall never be
destroyed (Luke 1: 31-33). The Lord Jesus Christ is to reign as
[* Keep in mind: The Bride is taken out from amongst the family of the redeemed, (Gen. Ch. 24.). See ‘Selected Quotations,’ - Number 461.]
George D. Beckwith, in his book God’s Prophetic Plan
writes: “In the Kingdom Age the Jews will possess
their land. They will build the temple,
and sacrifices will be offered again.
The government will be set up. The ‘Sheep nations’ of the earth will be blessed through
[* See ‘Selected Quotations’, - Numbers 457 and 580.]
As Sovereign of Israel Christ will be supreme. He will not only make the Jewish people a blessing, but He will bring peace to a warring world, and He will restore order out of chaos. Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon has said: “He must come back to the scene where the world at large thinks He was abjectly defeated. He must come back to the place where He was rejected in order to be acclaimed. He [page 17] must come back to the realm which is now dominated by Satan in order to bind the ‘strong man’ who has deceived the nations. He must come back to the scene where man has so miserably failed in governmental policies and procedures in order to reign supreme! And when He comes, it will be in power and great glory.”
The Sovereign of Israel is indeed coming. But, before then, He will come for His Church. This presents the Christian with a challenge to live in a manner that is worthy. Those outside of Christ are still in the Day of Grace, and can repent of their sin and be saved.
The Day is at hand of most wonderful glory;
The night of Earth’s darkness is now almost past;
The Saviour is coming! Oh, rapturous story!
Soon now shall have dawned the glad day that shall last.
The signs are abundant: the Scriptures foretold them -
Grave, perilous times have assuredly come:
And weapons most awesome (great nations now hold them)
Strike terror in hearts o’er their possible doom.
But Christians - we look for the Saviour from Heaven!
How blessed the hope grows as midnight draws near!
We cannot be blind to the growth of the leaven
But - looking for Him - will protect us from fear.”
J. Danson Smith.
The Jew is indeed a tremendous sign!
* * *
CHAPTER 2 [Pages 18-24]
THE INTERNATIONAL SIGN
In the Bible we are told in Matthew chapter 24, in Mark
chapter 13 and in Luke chapter 21
shall rise against nation”. This is a sign of the last
days. We are also told by the Lord Jesus
the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of
your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand” (Luke 21: 29, 30). This reference to “all the trees” is surely pointing to the “budding” and “shooting forth” of a vast
number of new nations. This very
thing has happened in recent times.
Since the close of World War Two the former
So, there is an International Sign which is quite significant.
A. POLITICAL TURMOIL
In Luke chapter 21 verse 25 we read that “There shall be ... upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring”. And, while this verse refers to events just prior to the return of the Lord in glory, we can see that this situation exists already. The national leaders are filled with fear and perplexity. They do not know which way to turn! There is trouble on [page 19] almost every hand. The “sea and the waves” are indeed roaring!
Dr. Oswald J. Smith writes in his book Prophecy - What Lies Ahead: “Men know not which way to turn. Nations are perplexed. Uncertainty characterizes the attitude of every statesman. The future is concealed in obscurity. That a terrible catastrophe lies just ahead is the conviction of all. But what, and from which direction will it come? National selfishness seems to have gripped the entire race. The worst that is in man is now manifesting itself. A spirit of greed and lust dominates human hearts. One wonders if the abyss has not already opened to release its myriads of demons for the ruin of man, both nationally and individually. Be that as it may, thousands, anxious and perplexed, are asking the question, ‘What next?’”
One thing is clear! The Saviour’s return is at hand!
Dr. W. Graham Scroggie once said: “The inter-relation of
the nations is such that the action of one directly or indirectly affects all”. That statement is true, for most of the world
is in one alliance or another, and political turmoil
increases daily. Most nations consult
their friends and associates. The Prime
Minister of Great Britain is in constant touch with the President of the
B. PEACE TALKS
Another matter concerning the International Sign is the Peace
Talks that constantly go on. After World War One the
Dr. M. R. DeHaan in his book Signs of the Times says: “A passage like that needs little comment in these days of peace and conferences and other organizations which have been set up for the express purpose of bringing world peace. Never before has there been more talk of peace. Yet, never before has there been more fear and threat of war. There are more men under arms throughout the world today than in any other period of so-called peace time in all of the world’s history. All we hear is peace, fighting to maintain peace and police protection to preserve peace. At the same time we hear of war and threatenings of war, bickering among the nations, manoeuvring for power, clever manipulations of power politics and a race for spheres of influence throughout the world. The international deliberations of today are following the pattern laid down in the Scriptures for these last days, ‘when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them’. The Bible clearly states that there can be no lasting world peace until the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns.”
The peace talks will continue, but the Bible makes it plain that wickedness and strife will increase. There can be no peace until the Saviour returns to reign. Unfortunately, this “peace-talk” attitude is affecting our civilisation in other ways, too. There has been a very marked softening in the moral fibre of our society. Criminals are no longer punished suitably, for that would be inhuman! Industrial strikes by trade unions are more frequent and “peace talks” with their leaders are constantly held. Truly, there is no peace!
[Page 21] Dr. John F. Walvoord and his son in their helpful book Armageddon,
Oil and the
Yes, indeed the peace talks are part of the international sign.
As we look further we notice distinct Power Blocs have emerged
in recent times. These are foretold in
the Bible, and, while the present Power Blocs may not be exactly the final
ones, nevertheless they are on the lines indicated by Scripture. Rev. Ian MacPherson
says regarding these Blocs: “The map of Biblical
prophecy may be said to be divided into four main sections, corresponding to
the four points of the compass, with Israel as centre, thus: (i) The Western Confederacy; (2) the Northern Dictatorship;
(3) The Southern Alliance; and (4) the Federation of the Far East. Dogmatically and precisely to identify these
power Blocs of Biblical prophecy with the great political aggregations of today
would be unwarranted and unwise; and yet students of the prophetic Scriptures
cannot but be impressed with the correspondence between them. The Western Confederacy would seem to be
foreshadowed by the European Community; the [page 22] Northern Dictatorship (the
self-styled ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’) by
The revival of the
The Russian Power Bloc is obvious. “The king of the North” without question is
The third Power Bloc is that of the Arab world.
The whole continent of
The fourth Power Bloc is that of China and the Far East. This,
also, is a sign of our Saviour’s soon coming! The Bible speaks of “the kings of the East”, and in Revelation
chapter 9 verse 16 we are told that an army of two hundred million men
will advance on
Again quoting Dr. Walvoord and his son, they write: “Hundreds of millions of men will be involved in a gigantic
world power struggle centred in the
The four Power Blocs are obvious and are all in keeping with Bible prophecy! The basic alignments are there today. Surely, these point to the fact that the coming of the Lord for His Own is at hand! Are we ready for the Rapture?
* * *
CHAPTER 3 [Pages 25-31]
THE RUSSIAN SIGN
“When it is evening ye say, fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16: 2, 3). John Ritchie many years ago said: “There is a weather-beaten old tag of our childhood days which says:-
‘A red sky at night is the shepherd’s delight,
A red sky in the morning is the shepherd’s warning.’
That old saying seems to be well-founded and would appear to have support both from Scripture and science. Few people were more adept at discerning the face of the sky than the Jews, and to them the RED DAWN was an acknowledged sign, as it is with us today, of foul weather ahead. ... The ‘red dawn’ is an expression used in a political sense in our day, as being the ultimate goal of the communist and others - the avowed enemies of the present state of society - of the time when the restraint of ordered government will no longer thwart their purposes.”
The above passage aptly describes the present world situation and the growing menace of Russian Communism. The Red Flag is the Communist’s song. Red is their colour. We speak today of Communists as “the Reds”, and so we are justified in speaking of “the Red Dawn” as a sign of the Saviour’s return.
The rapid growth of Communism, and its parent Socialism, has
been amazing. Today, more than a third
of the world is in the fiendish control of Communism.
Russian Communism has a world spy network with agents in every
land. Today, in the West, our nations
are constantly disrupted by strikes.
Many of these are “engineered” by
Russian agents. This desire for world
power will never be fulfilled, for the Bible tells of
Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost comforts us by saying: “Russian Communism is absolutely under the authority and control of God and can not go one step beyond that which God purposes. No matter how dark this world situation looks, it has not gotten out from under God’s sovereign authority, but God is letting all things progress according to His will. While men think they are developing their plans and purposes, it is all according to God’s plans, so that He may demonstrate that He is God without an equal.”
In a not too distant day the forces of
Richard W. DeHaan affirms: “First, the invasion of
The Russian fleet is already busy beyond words in the
Mediterranean and other
Again to quote Salem Kirban - he says: “We find
that the Russian forces move into
It is interesting to note in Ezekiel chapter 38 what happens. God will use an earthquake (v. 19) - so tremendous that the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, and [page 31] men and animals on dry land will acknowledge God’s hand in judgment. In verse 21 we find that the Russians will fight each other – “every man’s sword shall be against his brother”. Sickness, torrential rain, fantastic hailstones and fire will follow - and the Russian armies will be devastated! It will take seven months for the Israelites to bury the dead. People the world over will see that it is the Lord’s doing.
In closing this chapter I quote some challenging words from
the pen of Dr. Lchman
Strauss: “The rise of
[* See ‘Select Quotations” – Numbers, 673, 662, 661 and many more!]
* * *
CHAPTER 4 [Pages 32-39]
THE EUROPEAN SIGN
Age-end federations are a sign of the Saviour’s return. We have already mentioned various power
blocs. The most important of these is certainly
the European power bloc which is foretold in Scripture. This is often referred to as the Revived
Roman Empire. Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon, writing about Europe, says: “The present statehood of
The European Common Market certainly foreshadows the final world empire revealed in the books of Daniel and Revelation. The exact plan of the European Common Market is not economic, but POLITICAL union. This has been stated openly by French, German and Belgian politicians.
An unidentified European leader is quoted as saying, “The final aim is political union, and when this end is realized, a genius must be found to head it up”.
[Page 33] A. ITS DEVELOPMENT
In Daniel chapters 2 and 7, as well as in Revelation chapter 13, the European Sign is revealed. References are made to this great kingdom which will have a tremendous influence world-wide.
Dr. Pentecost has stated: “This
whole development is attributed to satanic power - Revelation 13: 4. As the
The ten toes in Daniel chapter 2
and the ten horns in Daniel chapter 7 and in
Revelation chapter 13 would clearly indicate
that this final world power will be a ten-kingdom federation of nations. The European Common Market today has nine
member countries with
Guy Duty in his book Christ’s Coming and the World Church writes: “The Common Market is fast emerging as an economic and
monetary world power, and it is the world’s most important trading unit. Europe is moving with greater unity in the
Market, and this time with
B. ITS DEFINITION
In the Book of Daniel chapter 2,
Nebuchadnezzar, we are told, was given a vision, and
in this vision the figure [page 34] of a man was revealed. From his description
God made plain His plan for various world empires, commencing with his own
Babylonian empire - the “head of fine gold”. Then
followed the “breast and arms of
silver” - the empire of Medo-Persia. After this came the “belly and thighs of brass” - representing
the Greek empire under Alexander the Great.
God is very clear in His infallible Word. He makes no mistakes. We can therefore be sure that His definition of the Revived Roman Empire is accurate and precise! Ten kingdoms - in a European Federation - these are forecast for the time just after the Lord Jesus Christ returns for His Own. Before our eyes today we see the stage being set. Jesus is coming - any moment! How we need to be ready!
C. ITS DFSTINY
The destiny of this Revived Roman Empire is to be the final
form of world power before the Saviour returns to set up His throne at
The European Sign is with us today. Can we doubt the fact that the Saviour’s return for His Own is at hand?
Many people in
The European Common Market came into being as a result of the
Treaty of Rome. This we believe is
significant. Why was it not the Treaty
of London, or
The destiny, then, of the European Federation is to rule the world for a very short period. Her strength politically and economically will be great. However, it is the leader or dictator who will really matter.
D. ITS DICTATOR
Chapter 7 verse 8 we read “I considered the (ten) horns, and, behold, there
came up among them [page 37] another little horn”. Daniel goes on to
say this horn or man has “a mouth speaking great things”. In Revelation chapter 13
verses 1-8 the apostle John describes the same person and he also says
in verse 5: “There was given unto him a mouth speaking
great things”. These passages describe the dictator or ruler
of the Revived Roman Empire. As we shall
deal with him in detail in a later chapter we need not say too much at this
point, except that he will be a mighty individual, a dynamic personality, and
the dictator of most of
It may well be that the Saviour’s return for His Own and His sudden removal of them will provide funds from the money and property they will leave behind them to clear up international debts and help the world’s economy. This man, however, will be dictator and leader for a period during what is known as the coming Tribulation [page 38] which will last about seven years. The second half of this seven-year period is known as the Great Tribulation.
Rev. C. W. Wesley Heming once said: “It is all
too evident from events now unfolding that democracy has had its day. It is DICTATORSHIP
that is the evil looming upon the world’s horizon.
E. ITS DESTRUCTION
In Daniel chapter 7 verses 21-27 we read that the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire will prosper for a period until it pleases the Lord to intervene when He returns in power and glory to set up His Own kingdom, and reign with His saints for a thousand years.* Then, the Antichrist and his European kingdom will be destroyed. Verses 26 and 27 say: “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”
[* See ‘Selected Quotations’ Page 396.]
The Bible teaches that the armies of the East and West, the
North and South, will eventually march on
* * *
THE ECUMENICAL SIGN [Pages 40-47]
The rapid growth in recent years of the Ecumenical Movement is a further indication that the coming of the Lord is near. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24 that when we saw things beginning to come to pass His return was at hand. His coming back as King of kings is not far away, but His return for His bride may be at any moment! The Bible foretells, in no uncertain way, this end-time sign, the sign of the Ecumenical Movement.
A. ITS PROGRESS
There has been, this century, an amazing trend towards a common world church. This is known as “the Ecumenical Movement”. In 1910 the first move toward this took place in the Edinburgh Missionary Conference. From this beginning there was developed in 1948 what we call the World Council of Churches. The purpose of this movement or organization is the uniting of all churches, and the establishment of a world religious system. Wim Malgo, in Shadows of Armageddon, states:- “The official church, represented by the Ecumenical Movement, is turning away from the Gospel, away from Jesus Christ the Crucified, towards the political world. ... Simultaneously, the World Council of Churches strives to become united with the Communists.”
From small beginnings, the World Council of Churches has grown quickly. Its stated purposes are “common action, co-operation, and ecumenical consciousness”. Today, we see many denominations, which stood apart on various grounds of doctrine or belief, coming together. Their old principles are being abandoned.
[Page 41] Dr. Lehman Strauss made this statement: “The most prominent leaders of the Ecumenical Movement have
repeatedly and emphatically stated that their one goal is a united church. They deplore the wild tempest in the churches
which has resulted in a disintegration into many small
sects which quarrel with one another and condemn each other. They maintain that church unity was broken by
selfish and sinful men. And so they
appeal for an ecumenical church on the ground of our Lord’s statement in His
high-priestly prayer, ‘that they may be one, even
as we are one’ (John
17: 22). As a matter of fact, those were the words
quoted in Latin by the late Pope John when he set in motion the ecumenical
wheels of the Roman Church. … But is
the unity which the Ecumenical Movement seeks the unity which Scripture
teaches? The answer to this question
is an emphatic No! This modern Ecumenical
Movement seeks a union which is organizational, visible and hierarchical, and
which ultimately will bring all religions under the authority of
The World Council of Churches continues to make progress steadily. The principles for which our forefathers
fought and died are being forgotten. Freedom
of worship, as well as Reformation principles are left aside in the mad rush
for a world church system. People
are brain-washed into believing that Roman Catholicism with its paganism and
idolatry is not so bad after all, and unity with
B. ITS PURPOSE
The purpose of the Ecumenical Movement
is the establishment of a world church.
This will take place. It is
probable, however, that the complete union of the [page 42] churches will not happen until AFTER the coming again of the Lord
Jesus Christ for His Own.* The Bible calls this united world church “Babylon”.
In Revelation chapter 17 we have a
whole chapter describing the Ecumenical Movement and what is going to happen to
[* See Luke 20: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10. ** In 1 Tim. 4: 16, we are told the importance of biblical doctrine, and the effect which false interpretations and teachings can have upon others. See (2 Tim. 2: 18). We must separate ourselves from these also. Note our Lord’s conditional promise – a promise which can only take effect upon those who fulfil the specified conditions. Note also the future salvation – ‘to be revealed in the last time,’ ‘the salvation of the soul’ (1 Pet. 1: 5, 9). This future salvation is attained only by God’s redeemed people who live to please Him by acting responsibly. See also ‘Freemasonry’ in ‘Perils of the Age’. See also 2 Thess. 3: 6, 14.]
The purpose is unity - a united world church, with
The apostle Paul warned Timothy in his Second letter chapter 4 verse 3 that “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine”. Peter, also, in his Second Epistle chapter 3 verses 3 and 4 said: “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?”
Dr. John F. Walvoord has also said: “The Bible has something very dramatic to tell us about what will happen to this professing church once the rapture of the [worthy members of His] Church takes place. While, no doubt, there are many sincere and earnest Christians who are supporting the Ecumenical Movement, it is obvious that when the rapture takes place [page 43] and every [enlightened and ‘able to escape’ (Luke 21: 36)] true Christian is caught out of the world, those who are merely professed [and ignorant] believers will be left behind. The church structure remaining will be without a single [obedient and Spirit indwelt (Acts 5: 32) and] born-again Christian. Its clergymen will never have known Jesus Christ; its liberal theology will deny the Word of God. It is obvious that such a church is headed for divine judgment.”
The purpose of the
C. ITS POSITION
we look now at its position in prophecy we find the Ecumenical Sign quite
apparent. We have already mentioned Revelation chapter 17 which describes the
This false church will be firmly
established after the Rapture. It is to be headed by the Church of Rome. It is interesting to look into the position
The position in prophecy of the Ecumenical Movement is “in the last days” - so we see it as an end-time sign present with us. The true Church consists of every soul who
has repented* of their sins, trusted Christ as
Saviour and been washed in His precious atoning blood. Not one member of this body will be part of
[* See Acts 8: 14-23.]
Dr. John Wesley White describes the dramatic situation in
these words: “This super church will become the haven
of hundreds of millions of others who will seek spiritual security in it. With the Holy Spirit no longer restraining
the mystery of iniquity, this ecumenical ecclesiastical amalgam will bear few resemblances
to today’s church. ... Being in
alliance with the political powers of the
D. ITS POWER
We can see from the Bible that the history of Christianity
begins with one church, founded on the Day of Pentecost, shortly after the
Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. The
Bible also reveals that it ends with two churches. There is the
Rev. Ian MacPherson, in News of the World
to Come, has written: “Men a
E. ITS POISON
In Revelation chapter 17 verse 4
we read of the “golden cup in her hand full of abominations”. This cup -
the cup of poison - is being used today in preparation for the day when the
F. ITS PORTION
Briefly, let us look at one more detail concerning the Ecumenical Movement. Its portion is disaster! The Rome-controlled world religious system is bound for destruction. The Word of God says it - therefore it will happen!
To quote again from Rev.
Ian MacPherson, he says: “The great
The next prophetic event in God's program, as revealed in His
infallible Word, is the Rapture‑or snatching away of the
“He is coming! He is coming! Yes, the certainty grows bright!
His voice shall sound love’s summons ‑ at morn, or noon, or night!
How blest if we are ready, through sovereign grace, to go,
And, unashamed, shall meet Him, and His wondrous welcome know.”
J. Danson Smith.
* * *
CHAPTER 6 [Pages 48-53]
THE NUCLEAR SIGN
Yet another sign of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus is that
of the nuclear age. In the course of the
last generation or two a whole new system of weaponry has been devised. For centuries the nations depended for safety
on military man-power - hoping by such strength to out-number and defeat the
enemy. Then came some
exciting advances in technology.
Rifles were replaced with machine-guns.
Tanks, armoured vehicles and other land weapons came along, while in the
air fighters and bombers became vital.
Towards the end of World War Two scientists invented “flying bombs”, and then giant rockets with
destructive warheads. Finally, the
Atomic Bomb was produced and its delivery upon
Guy Duty has said: “Satan is bringing the nations to the brink of destruction. Military experts tell about the horrible possibility of nuclear World War Three during the next few years, and they give frightful descriptions of hundreds of millions dying in the first attack. This is favourable to Satan’s peace plan as he skilfully weaves his net around the world. What nation would reject a peace plan that would save the world from nuclear destruction?”
“Peace at any price” may be a tempting slogan in view of the ghastly consequences which would come with a nuclear war, but peace cannot and must not be accomplished this way. The Communists would like to break down the West with fear - fear of bombing, fear of destruction, fear of the holocaust of a nuclear war. The nuclear age is surely another sign that the Saviour’s return is near.
The nuclear weapons today have ranges covering the [page 49] whole world. No longer do they require men to deliver the bombs by plane. By the pressing of a button rockets are launched carrying nuclear warheads which would unleash death and destruction in untold measure.
The born-again person need not fear a nuclear war for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ must take place soon. The destruction caused by atomic, hydrogen or neutron bombs, or other nuclear devices, would be so colossal that Scripture would almost certainly mention it, and the only devastating happenings recorded in Scripture as still in the future refer to the Great Tribulation when God’s judgments will be poured out on a Christ-rejecting earth.
Hamilton, in his book The Rapture and
the Great Tribulation says: “It is interesting to
note that General Douglas MacArthur said, ‘We
have had our last chance. The battle of Armageddon
is next’. What zero hour holds for the world of
mankind is vividly described by Professor
Harrison Brown. He says, ‘If the hydrogen bomb works, technically speaking, it is easy
to visualize a series of hydrogen bomb explosions carried along a North-South
line at about the longitude of
Many different nuclear weapons are being manufactured
today. Many different nations are
When one speaks of “nuclear war” the thought of the atomic bomb springs to mind. This word “atomic” occurs once in the New Testament although our English translations have not used it. Professor John C. Banks has said: “The word ‘atomic’ is an adjective, and it means ‘That which cannot be cut’ - that is, something indivisible, something so very small that it cannot be cut or divided into smaller parts. ... In 1 Corinthians 15: 52 we have the showing or the declaration of a mystery. We are informed that we shall all be changed (that is the members of the Body of Christ) ... ‘In a moment’ ... and there you have the Greek word ‘atomic’! That is to say, in a fraction of time so small that it cannot be split, in one dazzling moment, we shall be changed! We shall put on immortality, incorruption, and [for those who ‘able to escape’ the Great Tribulation (Luke 21: 36),] the age of grace as we know it will be over!* There will be no advance advertisement as the world is accustomed to have it. There will be no advance agent, as the world knows such, to prepare town after town, city after city, county, state or country. There will be no preliminary ‘come-in’ advertisements to get people ready. It will be all over ‘in a moment’, in a fraction of time so small that it cannot be divided any farther.”
[* Note. This must be at the time of the first rapture of watchful saints before the Great Tribulation commences; the second or last rapture is at its end, and will be for those “who are still alive” and “left till the coming of the Lord” (1 Thess. 4: 17). – Ed. ]
Today is the day of salvation. The Bible makes it clear that men and women, boys and girls must repent of their sins now and trust the Saviour while they may. Soon, the Day of Grace will be through. The message [page 51] is simply and clearly stated in these lines of my father,
“Only today is the day of salvation,
Only today is God’s offer to you.
Only today is the great invitation
Will you take Christ - today?”
J. Danson Smith.
Oh, that people would heed this call!
In 2 Peter chapter 3 verse 10 the great apostle speaks of “the day of the Lord”, and he says “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 burned up”. This would seem to be a perfect description of a nuclear explosion causing total world-wide destruction and devastation. This passage, and other similar ones in the Old Testament, until recent times must have sounded fantastic to many, although the Bible-believing Christian knows that what God states in His infallible Word will take place! The earth was once cleansed by water at the Flood. It is yet to be cleansed fire AFTER the Millennium. Years ago, it seemed possible for a world with so many oceans and so much water to go on fire - yet, today, we know it is a possibility - thanks to nuclear fission!
Dr. M. R. DeHaan, writing of the atom, says: “Scientists have warned us that man now is in possession of knowledge concerning atomic and cosmic energy which may well result in the destruction of this entire world. This age will go down in history as the atomic age, the age in which man, by God’s permission, has solved the secret of the universe, and now has in his hands a power by which, if God would permit it, completely to destroy himself and the world. ... According to Peter’s words in the Scripture we read man will not learn his lesson. According to the Word of God, this world will not continue in its present form for ever, for God plainly says that there is a coming when ‘the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the [page 52] earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’ (2 Peter 3:10). The word for ‘earth’ in this verse is ‘ge’, the word used not for the world of men but for the material earth, consisting of the soil and the physical elements. This, says God, is going to be burned up with everything in it.”
For those outside of Christ the future is indeed dark and gloomy. The final destruction of the world by fire is yet a long way off - but in the near future there will be terrible destruction - in the Great Tribulation period. Oh, how wonderful it is that a loving God sent His only-begotten Son to make a way of escape for sinners!
The nuclear weapons today are causing frequent peace conferences. The talk is of “peace, peace, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6: 14). Such talks will continue‑as men know what nuclear war will mean. Professor Walvoord in The Church in Prophecy has stated: “Millions of intelligent people today believe that the only hope of averting atomic suicide is to accept some form of international control in which individual nations will surrender some of their sovereignty in favour of international control. ... In a world brought close together by rapid means of travel and weapons of destruction which can reach any portion of the globe, the significant fact is that for the first time in history the concept of a world government has seized the minds of large masses of people. The world situation with its scientific improvements has developed to the point where such a world government becomes a necessity if future world conflicts should be avoided.”
We see today a willingness for world
control - yet another sign of the times!
It is interesting to note that the Bible mentions “wars and rumours of wars” (Matthew 24: 6) as
an end-time sign! This fear of war is going to remain - until finally the Prince of Peace
sets up His
So, wars and especially the danger of nuclear war will remain
- until the
“Momentous days are on us! Our eyes may soon behold
A mighty clash of nations which prophets have foretold;
A clashing and a cleaving of unmatched magnitude,
Wrought by some super-being with evil power endued.
Momentous! Yes, momentous! But shall we be afraid?
The mighty conflict cometh, yet may our hearts be stayed!
The Lord from Glory cometh - His Coming draweth nigh;
Earth’s most colossal conflict we’ll see yet from on high.
The nations all are arming! The worst is yet to be!
For Armageddon cometh, not
But brothers, Christian brothers, fear not of being there;
Before that awful carnage, Christ cometh to the air.
The days of tribulation are truly near at hand;
‘Perplexity of nations’ e’en now invades each land;
Yet not for woes and terrors, and earth’s onrushing night
Look we for, but the Morning of cloudless glory bright.”
J, Danson Smith.
* * *
CHAPTER 7 [Pages 54-60]
THE SATANIC SIGN
In recent times there has been a remarkable growth of interest in the occult. Along with this there has also been greatly increased Satanic activity.* This, we believe, is because the devil and his angels know that their time is short and that the Saviour’s return for His Own is near. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 7: “The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He Who now letteth (restraineth) will let (restrain), until He be taken out of the way.” This passage of Scripture teaches plainly that the activity of Satan is at present somewhat restricted by the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is the “Hinderer” or “Restrainer”, and He is here on earth to woo and to win a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One Who indwells the hearts of all who [obey and] put their trust in Christ as Saviour, and when the trumpet sounds and the Bride of Christ is “caught up to meet the Lord in the air” the Holy Spirit will go too in order to present the Bridegroom with His blood-washed Bride.* Until that moment, Satan’s agents will work harder than ever to hinder God’s work.
[* Keep in mind: The ‘Bride’ is not the ‘Church,’ but is taken out from amongst the members of His ‘body’ (the Church, i.e., regenerate believers) to rule and reign during the Millennium with Him. See Rev. 19: 7 – “… His bride has (by ‘righteous acts’) MADE HERSELF READY…”– there is therefore much for her to be doing now! See Matt. 5: 20, 44; 6: 3, 20, 33; 7: 21b, 24, etc. - Ed.]
Peter J. Pell has said: “Sinister forces of evil are at work in the world. They were active in Paul’s day. These activities are increased an hundredfold today. They will be strengthened in time to come and speedily reach the fearful climax. Satan has his programme, he has set his goal. ... Dark as the shadows are, the night will be darker. Awful apostasy marks the end of this age.”
Some people seem to doubt the existence of Satan, but all who are involved in the Lord's work are aware of his reality, and his deadly opposition to the Gospel.
[Page 55] John Ritchie helpfully says: “When we turn to the Word of God we find, not perhaps all we should like to know, but all we are intended to know of this strange and mysterious personage whose history is so closely interwoven with that of the human race. His existence, his personality, his power, his purpose, and his future are so plainly written on the sacred page that I have no hesitation in avowing there is as much convincing evidence for the existence of Satan as there is for the existence of God Himself.”
The Bible tells us that Satan was a created being - Ezekiel chapter 28:I5 - and that he was created perfect. He was, however, a free moral agent and through pride he fell - Isaiah chapter 14 verses 12-15. He and the angels that rebelled with him were cast out of heaven and await their eternal doom in the lake of fire - Matthew chapter 25 verse 41.
The increase in Satan’s activity today is quite noticeable. He knows he is defeated, for the Cross of Christ smashed his plans. Christ paid in full the penalty for sin and rose from the dead as proof that His death was sufficient. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians chapter 1: 5 verses 20-22: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The Cross was no defeat for the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a mighty victory! When He hung there in suffering and shame, before He gave up His life – for He did it voluntarily, for He could not be killed - He shouted “Tetelestai” which in English is the word “finished”. The Lord Jesus was not finished, but His work of redemption was! All Satan can do now is to hinder [regenerate believers from winning the ‘prize’ (1 Cor. 9: 24; 10: 11)] and lead men astray.
The authors of the
book Armageddon, Oil and the
The Bible says in 1 Timothy
chapter 4 verse 1 “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,
giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils (demons)”.
This growth of spiritism is unquestionably a sign of the last days - a
sign that the Saviour’s return is very near.
On every hand today we see the rapid growth of evil, immorality, sex-perversion, drug-taking and open sin. In
Dr. John Wesley Mite, writing about Satan, says: “The devil wants much more than recognition of his existence and powers in contemporary society. He wants [God’s] people to be his. Some ask: ‘Does the devil believe in conversion?’ Indeed he does. He wants people to give themselves over completely to his charge. Those who do, he strives to make over into ideal representatives of his. As the New York Times points out, ‘hundreds of thousands of witches’ confess to having made ‘compacts with Lucifer’, having ‘traded their immortal souls to Satan’. Millions, in all walks of life, are doing just this today, some of them being in the top echelons of society. Satan prefers his disciples to appear successful.”
In Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12 the Christian is warned [page 57] of the presence of satanic beings. Paul says- “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (the heavenlies)”. Thank God, the believer in Christ can be armed* for this warfare. The weapons and armour are described in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 13-18: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” The precious blood of Christ is the Christian’s protective covering.**
[* ‘Can be armed’ is not the same as ‘being armed’: we must put on the armour if we are to be victorious over the foe!
** See ‘Atoning Blood’ and what the blood does NOT do, by G. H. Lang. See also ‘War on the Saints’ in ‘Perils of the Age’ section. – Ed.]
The Satanic influence is not always apparent. In Paul’s day the Galatian church was influenced by him, for the Apostle wrote in his letter to them: “0 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth” (Galatians 3: 1). Guy Duty explains: “This ‘bewitched’ is a strong word and it signifies ‘fascination’, or to be brought under the spell of evil. The serpent had charmed them with false teachers who drew them away from the truth about Christ crucified. ... The apostle John told us about ‘the spirit of error’, and there is a spirit that goes with false teaching. Eve was deceived with it. The Corinthians were in danger of becoming beguiled with it, and the Galatians had been bewitched with it. And ‘the doctrine of Balaam’ which led to covetousness and fornication had corrupted the Pergamos church.* This leaven was also working through the prophetess Jezebel in the Thyatira church to ‘teach and seduce’ the people to commit spiritual fornication - see Revelation 2: 14-23.”
[* See also, - 1 Cor. 5: 1, 11, 12; 6: 8-10; Gal. 5: 13, 19-21; Eph. 5: 3-6; Col. 3: 25; 1 Thess. 4: 3-8; 2 Thess. 2: 13b-15; 2 Tim. 4: 3, 4; Heb. 10: 26-30, etc.]
As we survey the [Church and] world situation today we are aware of the Satanic sign - this [disobedience of many amongst the regenerate] and the rapidly growing interest in Satan and the occult. This, certainly, is a sign of the times, and we recall the words of the Saviour Himself in Matthew chapter 16 verse 3: “Can ye not discern the signs of the times?” The apostle Paul warned us that “in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3: 1). Our newspapers constantly reveal atrocities and cruel happenings, and back of all these is Satan - the master of lies, the arch-deceiver, and permanent enemy of God and His people. In many cities, it is unsafe to walk the streets alone in the evenings. The courts of our land have become lenient with sadistic monsters who attack, injure and sometimes kill innocent people. We are indeed in “perilous times”!
Hal Lindsey, in Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, asks the question: “Are we in a new age of Satan? Many people would be revolted by the so-called churches
which openly worship Satan. ... Satanic cults are expanding in every major
city in the
In closing this chapter, one must make mention of the [page 59] apostle Paul’s warning to the Church at Corinth in his second Epistle chapter 2 verses 3 and 4: “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent (Satan) beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Rev. John Douglas, in The Charismatic Movement explains: “Three times over in this verse we have the word ‘another’. Mark each occurrence carefully because this is what Paul fears. There is a threefold manifestation of the devil’s deception possible: another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel.* The modern ecumenical movement, which is being helped on by the charismatic tongues speaking experience, presents all three features of this devilish deception. Theirs is not the Christ of the Bible, nor the Gospel of the Bible. But the devil’s purpose is not only to counterfeit Christ and the gospel, he also counterfeits the Spirit and His work and gifts. A look at verse 14 shows us the way in which he does this: ‘And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light’. As an angel, he has power to communicate. As an angel of light, he has power to communicate spiritual sensations. He communicates spiritual sensations by counterfeiting the Holy Ghost. The ecumenical Charismatic movement is just such a counterfeit.”
[* That is, a ‘gospel’ without responsibility truths and conditional promises (Revelation chapters 2 & 3); without divine chastisement for the disobedience of family members; without any mention of a resurrection of reward, (Luke 14: 14), a Millennium (Rev. 20: 4), or of being “considered worthy of taking part in that age” (Luke 20: 35a, N.I.V.); without any mention of the intermediate state and place of the dead in ‘Hades’ - the underworld, (Luke 16: 22-31; 23: 43; Matt. 12: 40; 16: 18; Rev. 6: 9-11), or of ‘a just recompense of reward’; without a divine punishment for disobedient and unrepentant believers in this life (Rev. 2: 22, 23; Jude 5), or after death (1 John 5: 16) - when others will be enjoying an inheritance in the ‘kingdom of Christ and of God’ (Eph. 5: 5, 6)! – Ed.]
Yes, indeed, Satan will counterfeit the things of God, discredit the Word of God, and attack the child of God! But, we praise God that the Cross of Jesus saw him defeated. The words of P. P. Bliss in his hymn rejoice our hearts when we sing them:
“Fierce and long the battle rages,
But our help is near;
Onward comes our great Commander,
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!
‘Hold the fort, for I am coming!’
Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to heaven,
‘By Thy grace we will!’”
* * *
CHAPTER 8 [Pages 61-66]
THE ECONOMIC SIGN
In the beginning, when God made the earth, everything was beautiful. There were no deserts and there was no bad ground and no waste land. There were no weeds, no pests, no vermin and no disease. These things came into being because of Adam’s sin. Genesis chapter 3 verses 17 and 18 says: “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee”. Several thousand years have passed, and man still fights these products of sin. In fact, today the struggle is greater than ever, for the world’s population has become enormous! With growing numbers of people more food is required. Specialists are employed by many governments in their efforts to increase the world’s food supply, and yet weeds and disease, and vermin and pests are on the increase. The world today faces a major economic problem, and that problem will be solved only when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to reign. The Bible says in Romans chapter 8 verses 19 to 22: “For the earnest expectation of the creature [‘creation’] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature [‘creation’] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Before then, the Saviour will come for His Own. After He comes back to reign the world conditions will change. Nature will “be delivered” and will return to its former estate.
[Page 62] Today, however, we have this great Economic Sign pointing to
the fact that Christ must come soon! Otherwise - only disaster and death face
mankind. Guy Duty, in his book Escape
from the Coming Tribulation, points out that: “Industrial
nations, anxious to protect their foreign markets, have been weakened by
competitive nations who seek to strengthen their trading positions. The result has been a world chain reaction of
competitive reprisals. The world-trade
sign is taking shape. International
trade is important to world prosperity because it is related to the economic
and monetary problems of the nations.
Another Economic pointer is that of Oil. This is a commodity vitally needed by every
modern nation. It has been in increasing
demand ever since the last war, but in recent times it was discovered that only
limited reserves were left. Dr. Walvoord
and his son in their book on oil state: “The rapid
increase in consumption of energy throughout the world has been noted by
experts for years, but warnings of an impending crisis fell largely on deaf
ears. In industry oil had proved to be
cheaper and easier to use than coal.
Much of the electrical generating capacity of the
Much travel today depends upon oil. Cars, buses and planes all use this valuable
commodity. It is understandable, therefore, that there is a measure of alarm
and concern at this economic problem. Shortage
of fuel would create a vast number of other problems. The Arab nations, which for centuries were
largely sleepy and lazy, have suddenly awakened and they have “cashed in” on this oil crisis and now hold a gigantic
share of the world’s wealth. Other
nations are urgently hunting for new oil supplies, for without oil they could
quickly become bankrupt and powerless.
In describing the “last days” the Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew chapter 24 verse 7 that “there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places”. Today we read in the press of these things taking place. The Saviour, however, did not say that such conditions would be world-wide. He said that they would occur in different places. In other parts, today, away from the famine areas, there is a tremendous emphasis on pleasure. The keen Christian derives his pleasure from God’s Word, and from keeping company with the people of God - those who are separate from the world and its ways, and who seek to live holy lives. The unsaved - all who have never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour - find their pleasure in sin. The world today is pleasure mad and exceedingly sinful. Many people have one chief interest - eating, drinking and taking no thought for the future. This was mentioned by the Saviour as a sign of His return in Matthew chapter 24 verses 37 to 40. Drunkenness is fast on the increase. The love of money, [page 64] too, is most apparent. Trade union leaders are constantly nagging for more and more money - despite the fact that [some of] the so-called “working classes” are today’s rich!
Dr. John Wesley White has said in relation to the subject before us: “Before Christ returns, whole cultures will be caught up in a combination of an obsession with wealth, pleasure madness, and intemperance that will involve gluttony and drunkenness. ... It will be a time when there will be plenty of people with plenty of money - for a while - but with the apocalyptic events happening all around and the impending collapse of society nagging at them, they will worry about their insecurities and this will drive them to drink. ... Alcoholism (which plagues ten million Americans) is a chief contributing factor to seventy-five per cent of the divorces, sixty per cent of the fatal automobile accidents, fifty per cent of the homicides, and one third of the suicides. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reckons that alcoholism currently costs Americans forty billion dollars per year, enough money to feed all the people around the world who are starving to death. What is perhaps most tragic is that the very young are drinking as they never have before.”
One of the trends in recent decades has been the growth of gambling. This is caused by the desire of man to obtain wealth without working for it. The command of God to Adam has been forgotten, but Genesis chapter 3 verse 19 still stands: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread”! Man must work! Unfortunately governments sometimes encourage gambling. Rev. Ian MacPherson asks the question: “Is there anything in the New Testament to warrant the conclusion that wealth without work will be a sign of the times of the Second Coming of the Lord? Well, quite obviously, we must not expect to find in the pages of Holy Writ a detailed foreshadowing of the complex system of present-day gambling. But James [page 65] does speak of those who ‘heap up treasure for the last days’ (chapter 5:3).”
Many countries around the world have vast numbers of unemployed people. Thousands of young people, leaving school, find it difficult to obtain work. This is partly because governments and trade unions have insisted on “juniors” being paid high wages. Any serious employer, therefore, naturally prefers to employ someone with experience for a fraction more. Unemployment is on the increase, and it will continue to grow as machines take over jobs formerly done by people.
Again, Mr. MacPherson asks: “Is mass unemployment itself perhaps a social sign of Christ’s Second Coming? There are those who believe it is, and the Biblical passage on which they base that assumption is Zechariah’s description of things at the close of this age: ‘For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast’ (ch. 8 v. 10).”
F. THE FUTURE
Controls - national and international - are on the way. Many countries already have them and suffer from them. A world economic solution is planned. Hal Lindsey was up-to-date when he wrote: “Economic manipulations can be used to centralise control in the hands of a few; industry .aken from the free market economy and placed under State control; destruction of individual initiative through excessive taxation; regulatory laws which strangle private enterprise; government intervention into every aspect of private affairs. A future world ruler will have his stage set if a one-world economic system is within his grasp.”
Although many nations today are on the brink of disaster, in the very near future their economic problems will be solved - temporarily! The Antichrist is coming power soon, and he will solve in a short-term way the economic ills of the present day.
[Page 66] Dr. John Wesley White, speaking of the future, says: “In spite of the sicknesses and disparities in the economics of the world, or perhaps because of them, there has been a definite trend toward looking more and more toward unification and a central authoritarianism in economics. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been playing an even larger and more widening role in the precarious battle of balancing the international monetary movements, which at times have looked like a zigzag cardiogram after a human heart attack. Of course, the most dramatic post - World War II development in international frontiersmanship in the economic realm ... is the European Common Market. Out of ten such nations the Antichrist will arise and from this base will launch toward world conquest, until, in-so-far as the economic realm is concerned, he will seize a universal mandate of dictatorship that will galvanize all commerce into a centrally computerized control.”
Revelation chapter 13 describes the Antichrist and in verse 8 we read: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him”. This person is at hand - but the Bible says he will not be revealed until after the Saviour has come for His Own blood-washed people. See 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 7 and 8. The Bible predicts that things will “wax worse and worse”. That is the immediate prospect - except for all who are saved and looking for their Saviour from heaven!
“Deeper still will grow earth’s darkness
Still more awesome grows its night,
But for Christ our eyes are looking,
Quick may come the Rapture bright!”
* * *
CHAAPTER 9 [Pages 67-73]
THE BEAST SIGN
In concluding the last chapter we mentioned that the coming of
the Antichrist was at hand. He is “the beast” referred to in Revelation chapter 13 verses 1-10 as well as in
various chapters of Daniel. Chapters 7 and 8
of Daniel refer to him as a “little horn” ...
things”. This “little horn” is an end-time sign. In
Daniel chapter 7 the various world empires
through history are mentioned -
As we saw in chapter 4 the European Sign is already here in the shape of the European Common Market. This foreshadows man’s final world empire. Politicians are already talking of “political union”, and many are looking for a super-man to lead and control. Some years ago Pastor James F. Hardman wrote: “With the international relationships in a state of tension and chaos, it is suggested by some that the need of the hour is a superman who can steer the world into a haven of peace. Upon this point, the words of P. H. Spaak, former Premier of Belgium, in an article upon world conditions in ‘Le Soir’ are interesting. He wrote, ‘The truth is that the method of international committees has failed. What we need is a person, someone of the highest order, of great experience, of great authority, of wide influence. Let him come, and let him come quickly ... one who will cut out all the red tape, shove out of the way all the committees, wake up the peoples, and galvanise all governments into action. Let him come quickly, this man we need and for whom we wait.’”
The true Christian, of course, knows that there will only [page 68] be One Person Who can fully control things - the Lord Jesus Christ - when He comes to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Isaiah chapter 9 verses 6 and 7 remind us of this: “Of His government there shall be no end”. However, the Bible also states in 1John chapter 2 verse 18: “Antichrist shall come ... it is the last time”.
Let us think first of all about the Beast Sign - in relation to a Person.
A. THE PERSON
The Person of Antichrist is not yet known. The Bible gives him various titles as we have already noted. He will, we are told, be a remarkable person. The dragon (Satan) is to endue him with power and with great authority. He will fascinate the world in a remarkable way. John says in Revelation chapter 13 verse 3: “All the world wondered after the beast”. The world will go madly after him and will worship him. See Revelation chapter 13 verses 3 to 8.
Rev. Ian MacPherson, in News of the World
to Come, makes the following comparisons between Christ and Antichrist: “For weal or woe, the world today waits to welcome the best
of men and the worst of men. Christ is
coming! Antichrist is coming! And it is immensely significant that in the
original the New Testament uses the same term for both advents. It speaks of the Parousia of Christ and of the
Parousia of Antichrist. Here is its
reference to the former: ‘The coming of the Lord draweth nigh’ (James 5: 8); and here is its allusion
to the latter: ‘Then shall that Wicked be revealed whose coming is after the working of
Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders’ (2 Thessalonians 2: 8, 9). ‘The devil,’ says Martin
Luther, ‘is God’s ape.’ Satan is the master-copyist
of the cosmos. His age-long policy is to
counterfeit and caricature the divine. He
is a specialist in the spurious, an expert in fraud, fake, forgery.
Of everything the Almighty is and does
he is the impious imitator. It is an
astounding exercise to examine the [page 69] points of parallel between Christ and Antichrist. Christ is ‘the Son of Man’ - (John 12: 34 etc.). Antichrist
is ‘the man of
the earth’ (Revelation 13: 11). Christ is ‘the Good Shepherd’ (John 10: 14). Antichrist is ‘the idol shepherd’ (Zechariah 11: 17). The duration of Christ’s
public ministry was three and a half years: the period during which Antichrist
will be at his pernicious prime will be three and a half years. As to the nature of their respective
activities, of Christ Acts 2: 22 reports that it consisted of ‘miracles and wonders and signs’; of the activities of
Antichrist the N.T. uses much the same terms: ‘power and signs and lying wonders’ (2 Thessalonians 2: 9). Christ was ‘wounded for our transgressions’ (Isaiah 53: 5): of Antichrist Revelation 13: 12 speaks as ‘the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed’. And,
before Christ reigns in
Who is this Person? Some have said that the Pope was the Antichrist. Others have said that Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and others were possibly the Antichrist. But, none of these are. He is Satan’s special agent - the second person of the trinity of evil. The other two are Satan himself who counterfeits God the Father, and the False Prophet who counterfeits God the Holy Spirit. This evil Person is the counterfeit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will not be revealed until after the Rapture of [those ‘able to eascpe’ (Luke 21: 36) of]* the Church.
[* Note. Some disciples of Christ will ‘escape,’ while others (as judged not ‘able to escape’) must endure: ‘He who endures unto the end, shall be saved’ (Matt. 10: 22; 24: 13; Mark 13: 13): and the salvation mentioned by the Lord here, for those ‘left till the coming of the Lord’ (1 Thess. 4: 15), has nothing to do with their initial salvation by grace through faith in Christ as one’s personal Saviour – they already had that! This salvation is still future – at the ‘end’ of the Great Tribulation: and those who lose their life for their testimony of Christ down through the ages, and in that future time, will find it again in Messiah’s Millennial Age to come – i.e., after ‘the First Resurrection’. For rapture, see in ‘Selective Quotations,’ – Numbers 220, 240, 221, 286 and 228.] ]
B. THE PEOPLE
This war-weary world of ours is looking for a world leader - a man who will give them peace and
prosperity, and when the Beast is revealed they will worship him, and adore
him, and say: “Who is like unto the beast?” (Revelation 13: 4). The Bible says he will eventually sit in the
C. THE POWER
Daniel chapter 8 verse 24 says “His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power”. His power will come from Satan, but it will not last. Verse 25 of the same chapter says “He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand”. 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 8 says the Lord shall destroy him “with the brightness of His coming” when He comes back in power and glory to reign.
His power, as supreme world ruler, will only last three and a half years, but his rise to power will be during the previous three and a half years. His power will be so [page 71] great that all people will be required to receive his mark - “the mark of the Beast” - and without this mark there will be no buying or selling. There will be death for all* who refuse it. Revelation chapter 13 verses 17 to 18 makes this plain. Today the world is being conditioned for this. Most people already have a Social Security or National Insurance number. Without this, as a rule, there is no work, and certainly there is no Sick Benefit or Old Age Pension. Then, too, the demands of trade unions have made it that there is often no job unless one has a union card or number. People today are being prepared to accept the Beast and his mark. Dr. John Wesley White in his book Re-entry tells us: “There is now a process whereby a number can be imprinted invisibly and irremovably on your hand or forehead by an electronic device and with an instrument can be read at a glance. Increasingly, numbers are replacing names in our world.”
[* The word ‘all’ here, cannot be interpreted in its strictest sense to mean every disciple. See note above.]
The apostle Paul says in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 9 that the Beast with his great power will be “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”. The world will be deceived. The Bible says in verse 12 of the same chapter that all who reject the Gospel now - in the Day of Grace – will “be damned” [i.e., “destroyed”] - that is, lost eternally.* Today, all may repent of their sin and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. He is coming soon!
[* Note the very same phrase described as: (‘The present middle participle of Appollumi, to destroy’), and used in 2 Cor. 4: 3; and note also, in the following verse which informs us of the reason why they are destroyed, why they perish: - “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the GLORY OF CHRIST” – (not the gospel [good news] of the grace of God) – “who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them,” (2 Cor. 4: 4, R.V.). These people will perish because they will refuse to believe the good news about Christ’s coming glory. Therefore, they cannot be ‘lost eternally’. A-millennialists and apostates take note of this warning. See, Rev. 3: 17-19; Heb. 12: 14-17; Jas. 1: 12.]
D. THE PROGRAM
The Beast, along with his colleague the False Prophet, will
deceive the world. They will establish a
form of world government. They will
create a world religion. They will
appear to succeed even although during the last three and a half years of the
Tribulation Period God’s Judgments will be poured out on the earth. But - they are doomed! The Bible says that they will end in the
[* Note exactly - after the millennial age has ended - who are then resurrected and ‘cast alive into the lake of fire’ – “If anyone’s name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20: 15). These words suggest that not all resurrected at this time and who appear before God at that Great White Throne Judgment, will spend eternity in “the lake of fire.” This is why Paul placed so much emphasis upon “sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain (i.e., ‘to gain by effort’) to the resurrection [out] from the dead” (Phil. 3: 10, N.I.V. cf. Heb. 11: 35b; Luke 20: 35): and our Lord likewise, in His teachings stressed the same danger of not being judged an overcomer, and hence losing the ‘Crown of life’ (Rev. 2: 10; 3: 11. cf. Rev. 3: 21).]
Before this, the Beast will have destroyed the
[* How pitiful the Jews, who are blinded to a suffering Messiah but wide awake to a ruling Messiah: he will have to endure the persecutions of Anti-Christ; but the unbelieving Christian in a ruling Messiah (upon this earth), must escape the dreaded end time persecutions! This false teaching is so prevalent amongst those who teach and believe a holy and righteous God will overlook wilful sin and disobedience in His redeemed people today!! All the divine threats against disobedience must be transferred to the Jews; but the all Christians, irrespective of their lifestyle after conversion, must escape!! Is this what we find being taught by Christ and His apostles? NO. It is not!]
The coming of the King of kings will put an end to the trouble, and at last there will be peace. The program of the Beast is organized! It will take place soon! Dr. DeHaan, however, reminds us that: “There is One Who now hinders and withholds the revelation of the Man of Sin. That One is the Spirit of God, and at the Rapture, when He is taken out of the way* and with the Church, upon whom He came at Pentecost, rises to meet the Lord in the air - then and then only will the Antichrist be free to put his age-old schemes of the devil into operation. [Page 73] The spirit of the Antichrist is held in check now, while the Spirit is gathering out the bride.** The moment the bride is complete and Christ has gathered out of the Gentiles a people for His Name, then the hindrance will be removed, the personal Antichrist will be revealed and the Day of the Lord will be ushered in.”
[* If this theory is correct - (for there are other theories as to who the ‘Restrainer’ might be) - and it is the Holy Spirit Who is ‘taken out of the way,’ then only those who are living in OBEDIENCE to Christ will be included in this rapture of living saints. “We are witnesses of these things,” said Peter, “and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM” (Acts 5: 32, N.I.V.).] See also John 15: 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14. ** For ‘Bride’ see ‘Selective Quotations’ Numbers, - 261, 269.]
The Beast Sign is here with us today! The world wants this man! He is probably alive today - awaiting the signal to step forward. This surely is a reminder that Jesus is coming soon!
“Woes are coming - tragic, awesome,
When the Church from earth has gone;
When the One Who now restraineth
No more holds hell’s flood‑gates down.
When from out the ‘sea’ of nations
The arch-monster shall appear –
Oh, rejoice ye ransomed pilgrims
That ye will not then be here.
Watch the signs - they quick are showing;
All things say the end is near;
Even now, without our knowing,
Antichrist may now be here.
For earth’s week of crushing travail
Quick the stage is being set,
When, unleashed, hell’s awesome forces
Make their greatest onslaught yet.
But, beloved, be not shaken,
Christ the Conqueror first must come;
They who are His blood-bought children
He must safely have at Home:
Part they are - oh wondrous prospect –
Of His spotless, holy Bride;
Ere shall burst earth’s week of travail
She must be at His blest side.”
J. Danson Smith.
* * *
CHAPTER 10 [Pages 74-77]
THE SPACE SIGN
In Matthew chapter 16 verse 3 the Lord Jesus Christ said to the religious leaders of His day: “Can ye not discern the signs of the times?” This same question can be asked today, but this time in a more exciting situation. In recent times, man has learned the techniques of space travel. He is no longer bounded by planet earth. Astronauts have circled the moon and actually walked upon it. Men can stay in orbit now for months on end. “Can ye not discern the signs of the times?” We are obviously living in the last days before Christ comes back to take control of earth’s affairs, and before that happens He will come for His Own blood‑washed, redeemed people. Yes, we believe that Space travel is a sure sign of the Saviour’s return!
Hal Lindsey, in The Late Great Planet Earth, links the subject of space travel with the coming again of the Lord Jesus: “The world caught its breath. Science fiction had prepared man for the incredible feats of the astronauts, but when the reality of the moon landing really hit, it was awesome. ... Astounding as man’s trip to the moon is, there is another trip which many men, women, and children will take some day which will leave the rest of the world gasping. Those who remain on earth at that time will use every invention of the human mind to explain the sudden disappearance of millions of people. Reporters who wrote the historic story of Apollo II told how the astronauts collected rocks which may reveal the oldest secrets of the solar system. Those who are alive to tell the story of ‘Project Disappearance’ will try in vain to describe the happening which will verify the oldest secrets of God’s words. ... It will happen! Some day, a day [page 75] that only God knows, Jesus Christ is coming* to take away all those who believe in Him. He is coming to meet all true believers in the air. Without benefit of science, space suits, or interplanetary rockets, there will be those who will be transported into a glorious place more beautiful, more awesome, than we can possibly comprehend. Earth and all its thrills, excitement, and pleasures will be nothing in contrast to this great event.”
[* Did our Lord come to the air or to the earth when Enoch and Elijah were translated? No. Where do we read in Scripture that He ‘is coming’ to remove His saints? I cannot find it! There is only one coming to this earth of Messiah Jesus in the near future: and that coming is at the END of the Great Tribulation - (not at the end of the Millennium) - to resurrect the DEAD - (not all the dead as multitudes imply) - but only those ‘disciples’ - (judged on the standard of their personal “righteousness”) – who will ‘enter’ and reign with Him in “the kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 5: 20; 7: 14, 21;). “At that time” (Matt. 24: 30, N.I.V.), and not before that time, will He come to translate those who “are Left’ ALIVE, (1 Thess. 4: 14: 16).
The development of interest in Space has largely come about since the conclusion of World War Two. This war, with its Flying Bombs, Rockets, and finally the Atom Bomb, was beginning to show what could be done in earth’s atmosphere. Man has probed farther and farther, until today various countries have their Space programs. Rev. Ian MacPherson says: “Take the sign of the manned space-capsule. A. S. Wood has significantly pointed out that the Russians succeeded in putting a man into outer space at Ascensiontide. It would seem that, as the date of the Rapture draws near, humanity is becoming, for the first time in its history, exceedingly space-conscious. Ours is an ‘air-minded generation’. ... The manned space-capsule is a sign of the times. It will not need nuclear power to elevate the saints. They will rise by a heavenly gravitation to meet their returning Lord.”
Space scientists have many ideas and plans which eventually they propose to put into operation. At present, however, with the ever-present possibility of war between the West and the East, it is important to have space scientists concentrating on Spy Satellites and Space Craft which can observe and report back on the situation in unfriendly countries. Recently, the “Jewish Chronicle” reported that the United States Space Centre has a team of experts working on a project to place giant aluminium mirrors on the moon. These would be used for lighting at night, and vast savings of electricity and power would be effected. Other great developments are taking place. Dr. John Wesley White, writing on scientific developments, said: “One of the most fascinating advances in [page 76] technology, highlighted in the Apollo moon landings, is the planting of the laser beam reflector on the moon surface to get an exact measurement of its distance from the earth. ... The laser beam of light is revolutionizing many areas of science. It concentrates tremendous energy into a pinpoint of light and generates intense heat. Metals can be welded by it, machine guns and rockets fired by it. In medicine, laser beams are sent through glass fibres to treat growths in inaccessible parts of the body, and detached retinas are rejoined to the eye by their use. In space communication, laser beams are being used to bring television pictures from outer space in seconds, and in industry they have vaporised coal into gas, making hitherto uneconomical coal seams workable.”
Man now is talking seriously of the possibility of building large platforms in space with regular transport between earth and the “space village”. Things are advancing so rapidly today that Christ must come soon. Man will not be allowed by God to go too far in his explorations and inventions. Space, however, is the realm of the future and whatever happens there, that is not a top secret item, is generally reported with great excitement. Dr. White goes on to say: “Man has always longed to fly and eventually to ascend into space. In this last third of the twentieth century, man is not only flying billions of man-miles per year, he is ascending, not fictionally, but factually to the skies - into skylabs, on to the moon, and soon, he speculates, to Mars. ... In the space program, scientists have learned how to hurl man in his craft aloft from the earth and into orbit, at a speed of 19,000 miles per hour, sending him into outer space a quarter of a million miles straight away from the world to the moon. In the airlift of the ages, all the saints of all generations and nations will rise to meet Christ and with Him ascend into heaven. What an event!”
Much more could be written concerning things that are happening in outer space today. Sunspots, increased magnetic activity on the sun, Unidentified Flying Objects [page 77] and many other things all point to the fact that we live in the last days of the Age of Grace. The time is short for sinners to repent and receive the Saviour! The time is short for the Christian to work!
“Today perhaps! Perhaps today!
Yes, He may come! Then watch and pray!
This ‘Blessed Hope’ keep much in view;
Nor deem it dead tho’ taught by few.
And be as urgent as you may
In winning souls while ’tis ‘Today’.”
J. Danson Smith.
* * *
CHAPTER 11 [Pages78-81]
THE TECHNOLOGICAL SIGN
Technology, as shown in the last chapter, has been making very rapid strides forward. The Twentieth Century has seen the most fantastic developments take place. From the slow, jogging pace of life in the previous centuries man has invented and developed a vast number of wonderful things. The prophet Daniel long ago said “Knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12: 4). This was a very definite reference to the “end times”, and we are seeing the increase of knowledge today.
Dr. Walvoord and his son mention some of the recent developments: “By every standard of measurement, the twentieth century will go down in history as the incredible century. The century began with limited use of electricity, without radio, television, planes, missiles, electronic computers, modern weapons, and atomic bombs. Technology has moved man into a modern era which now witnesses more rapid change in the course of a year than formerly took place in a century. The phenomenal scientific developments of our age have exploded in parallel cultural changes. Gigantic manufacturing complexes have arisen; millions of people have moved from rural areas to the city; modern travel has shrunk the world so that everyone is everyone else’s neighbour; luxuries, comforts, and pleasures, unknown in previous generations, have become commonplace.”
We live in a constantly changing society, and the speed of change is almost frightening. Automatic machinery and computers now do tasks which formerly required many people to handle. As a result people have much more leisure time. Some use it to advantage, while others waste it. Then, again, machines sometimes make [page 79] workers redundant. In farming, in construction, in mining, and in much of industry technology has made great advances.
Again to repeat the words of Daniel in chapter 12 verse 4 he said: “Knowledge shall be increased”. Man may think he is clever but it is God Who has given man this increase in knowledge. He is at the back of the technological advancement. He is speeding things up as this old earth draws towards the end of its period of wickedness before the King of kings takes control.
Dr. M. R. Deffian, in Signs of the Times, says: “Only a few years ago travel was limited. Transportation was mostly by horse and buggy,
ox-teams and on foot. When I began
practising medicine I made my calls with horse and buggy,
or with a cutter in the winter. There
was not a mile of paved highway in the entire county. Automobiles were still a
novelty. Airplanes were unknown. Few people travelled more than a few miles
from their own homes. Then began the
travel age, and many began to run to and fro. Today,
people travel almost anywhere at will. Trains
travel at almost a hundred miles per hour, autos even faster. Fast ships cross the Atlantic in a few days,
planes make the trip to
[Page 80] It is remarkable to read in the Bible the words of James. In his Epistle chapter 5 verses 1 to 3 he says: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” Many people think that they must use technology to heap up riches. They find a measure of security in wealth, but they forget that the One Who gave the increase in knowledge also has the power to take away their possessions, and without the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour they will soon go to a lost eternity.
Again quoting Dr. John
Wesley White, he says: “The West and the
It is quite apparent to the thinking person that all these recent developments and discoveries are not “by chance”. They are indeed God-given - although one has to acknowledge the fact that the nations today are putting much emphasis on learning and education. Rev. Ian MacPherson mentions that: “Not long ago a radio commentator declared that in our day there has been what she called ‘a knowledge explosion’, and that ninety per cent of all discoveries and inventions date from the beginning of this century, the remaining ten per cent covering all the rest of human history. ... Man’s achievements in the fields of science and technology have been positively breath-taking. The race has leapt from the penny-farthing to the space-module in a single human lifetime.”
In the remaining time before the Lord Jesus comes back [page 81] for His Own technology will develop even faster. Exciting things are happening, but for the child of God none will compare with that moment when the trumpet sounds and he is “caught up to meet the Lord in the air”! Then, he shall see the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us.
“We look for the Saviour we look for His coming,
When living and sleeping shall meet in the skies;
When from every nation, with great jubilation,
The blood-bought unite at the wondrous assize.”
J. Danson Smith.
* * *
CHAPTER 12 [Pages 82-88]
THE MILLENNIAL SIGN
Men have spoken for centuries of the Golden Age that is to come. By their labours and inventions, as well as by God-given increase of knowledge, men have greatly reduced their “working week”, and also by the use of machinery they have lessened the need for heavy manual labour. However, these things, along with large increases in money and goods, have not brought to pass the Golden Age! Man is still sinful and wicked, and crime is much on the increase. Is the Golden Age, therefore, a hopeless dream?
The Word of God, which is our only authority, clearly and emphatically speaks of Earth’s Golden Age. It is to last for one thousand years, and it will be under the kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ. This kingdom age is mentioned in Revelation chapter 20 verses 4 to 6. It is known as the Millennium.*
[* For entrance see ‘Selective Quotations’, Numbers, - 127, 129, 136, 156, 169, 173, 211.]
Today, leaders of the
Jewish nation, which is back in the
Many great passages in the Bible speak of the Millennium. Take, for example, Isaiah
chapter 2 verses 1 to 4, also Psalm 72. Then,
Zechariah, in his prophecy in chapter 14 verse 9, says “The Lord shall be King over
all the earth”. He also describes how the nations will have to
Man today longs for peace, but there will not be and can not be real [lasting] peace until the Prince of Peace comes to reign. [Page 83] The Millennium will never come by negotiated peace treaties. It will never come through the work of church leaders. It cannot come until the Lord Jesus Christ returns in power and glory to the earth.
Satan and his demons will be bound for a thousand years. Their influence will not be felt. There will be a perfect political government under Christ. The world’s economy will be perfect. Truth and righteousness will prevail.
Professor J. Dwight Pentecost, in his tremendous work Things to Come, states: “A larger body of prophetic Scripture is devoted to the subject of the millennium, developing its character and conditions, than any other one subject. This millennial age, in which the purposes of God are fully realised on the earth, demands considerable attention. ... It is evident that there can and will be no earthly theocratic kingdom apart from the personal manifested presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. This whole age depends upon His return to the earth as promised. All that exists in the millennium has its origin in the King Who is revealed. ... The millennium will be the period of the full manifestation of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be the manifestation of glory associated with the humanity of Christ. There will be the glory of a glorious dominion, in which Christ, by virtue of His obedience unto death, is given universal dominion to replace that dominion which Adam lost. There will be the glory of a glorious government, in which Christ, as David’s son, is given absolute power to govern (Isaiah 9: 6; Psalm 45: 4; Isaiah 11: 4; Psalm 72: 4; Psalm 2: 9). There will be the glory of a glorious inheritance, in which the land and the seed promised to Abraham are realized through Christ (Genesis 17: 8; 15: 7; Daniel 11: 16; Daniel 11: 41; Daniel 8: 9). There will be the glory of a glorious judiciary, in which Christ, as the spokesman for God, announces God’s will and law throughout the age (Deuteronomy 18: 18, 19; Isaiah 33: 21, 22; Acts 3: 22; Isaiah 2: 3, 4; 42: 4). There will be the glory of a glorious house and throne, in which [page 84] Christ, as David’s son, shall fulfil that promised to David (2 Samuel 7: 12-16) in His reign (Isaiah 9: 6, 7; Luke 1: 31-33; Matthew 25: 21). There will be the glory of a glorious kingdom over which Christ reigns (Psalm 72; Isaiah 11: 10; Jeremiah 23: 6; Zechariah 3: 10; Isaiah 9: 7).”
Before all this the Great Tribulation will take place. The Man of Sin - the Antichrist - will have his period of world domination. The judgments of God will descend upon a Christ-rejecting world. Prior to all these things the Saviour will have come to the air and taken His Own out from the world. This coming will be secret. His return as King will be glorious and triumphant. Matthew 24 verse 27 says: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. Revelation chapter 1 verse 7 says “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him”. Matthew chapter 24 verse 30 says the whole world “shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”.
Dr. Oswald J. Smith describes the Lord’s return to the earth in this manner: “As He went, He returns. Amid the clouds of heaven He descends. Openly He left, openly He comes back. And all the power is His, while the glory no tongue can describe. ... Surely the hour is at hand. The Great Tribulation must be almost upon us, the fearful reign of the Antichrist about to commence. And then the battle of Armageddon, and then - the glorious revelation of our blessed Lord. And then, ah, then, at last, the Golden Age, the Millennium. Hasten, glad day! Hasten, judgment and tribulation! Hasten, oh hasten, Thou Christ of God, Thou mighty Prince of Peace!”
A. THE KING AND THE KINGDOM
It is interesting to note in studying the Bible how Matthew reveals
the Lord Jesus Christ as “King”. His Gospel frequently refers to the King and
the kingdom. The world knows that
Dr. Lehman Strauss helpfully explains that: “Some err greatly* in confusing the kingdom with the Church. Well-meaning Christians often fail to distinguish between the two. I have been in churches where pastors, or church officers, have prayed for the advancement of the kingdom. God’s purpose for this age is the building of His Church. The kingdom cannot be established until the King returns, and this He will not do until He has finished building His Church. ... The Church Age will end at the Rapture, when Jesus comes in the air to catch away the redeemed; the Kingdom Age will not commence until the King returns the second time* with His Own redeemed ones and all the holy angels with Him.”
[* See in ‘Selective Quotations” - Numbers, - 147, 129, 28, 60, 78, 109.]
The day is approaching fast when Christ’s kingdom will be here. Nearly three hundred years ago Isaac Watts reminded us that:
“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.”
His kingdom will be world-wide. Everyone will come under its control. The Bible says that Christ will “rule with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19: 15). In Philippians chapter 2 verses 10 and 11 we read “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ... and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
B. THE KINGDOM’S INFLUENCE
The Millennium will see vast changes on earth. Animal life, for instance, will return to Edenic conditions. It was because of man’s sin that the animal realm suffered. Isaiah chapter 11 describes the coming Kingdom and in verses 6 to 8 we read: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the [page 86] calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.”
Dr. John R. Rice describes the Kingdom’s influence in these words: “What a great change in animal nature! The wolf, leopard and young lion will no longer be beasts of prey and will do no harm to the lamb, the kid and the fat calf. A child can play, in that day, with the beasts of the field, as might today with a puppy. There will be no more carnivorous beasts, but ‘the lion shall eat straw like the ox’! ... We may be sure that that change will reach even to insects and disease germs. If the lion will eat straw like the ox, and wolves, leopards, and poisonous snakes will be safe playmates for the babies, we may be sure that people in that happy time will be safe from the sting of insects, from infection and bacteria or from harm by any of God’s creatures.”
Then, also, the Millennium will see the curse on the ground lifted. Weeds, thorns and thistles will cease to grow. Isaiah chapter 35, speaking of the Millennium, says “the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose”. Amos chapter 9 verse 13, speaking of the influence of the Kingdom, says that “the plowman shall overtake the reaper”. Crops will be most abundant. Human life, too, will be greatly prolonged in the Millennial Age, and life will be vastly different under the rule of the King. Dr. John Wesley White indicates some of the changes that are coming: “Under His universal reign, humanity will rise to heights of happiness never before realised, or even dreamed of, in the history of man on this planet. It is my belief that with science and technology yielding such unprecedented progress today, unhampered by crime, war and hate, as they will be under the benevolent reign of Jesus, every invention will be utilised for man’s freedom and fulfilment here on the earth - for a thousand years.” [Page 87]
C. THE BRIDE OF THE KING
[* See in ‘Selective Quotations” Number 3 for the ‘Bride’. ** Numbers 34, 80 and 117 for rapture.]
As Dr. Pentecost says: “When Jesus Christ comes to this earth to reign, He is not going to leave His beloved Bride behind. He is not going to separate Himself from the Church of which He is the living Head. He is going to bring this body of redeemed ones with Him, so that He might be glorified in the saints and that they might share His glory. As the bride of a king shares in the glory, the privileges, the honours of her husband’s throne, so we through the age of the King’s reign will share His glory, and His honour. Thus will be fulfilled His promise, ‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ (John 14: 3). As He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords for ever and ever, we shall share His glory.”
The Millennial reign of Christ is near. Soon, He will be seen by the world’s population
leading the armies of heaven - descending to the
“Oh, the glory of that coming,
When He comes as King of kings;
When ten thousand times ten thousand
Ransomed souls with Him He brings;
When, with them, we stand before Him,
Clothed, but in immortal dress,
Finite mind must fail to picture
Such exceeding gloriousness.”
* * *
CHAPTER 13[Pages 89-92]
A SOLEMN WARNING*
[* See ‘Selective Quotations’ Numbers – 286, 309, 318, 321, 322, 327, 341, 370, 372, 393, 452 and many more.]
In the foregoing chapters we have considered rather briefly some of the Signs of the Saviour’s Return. Without any doubt we live in momentous times. Down through the ages, some of the signs of Christ’s return were apparent, but today [almost] ALL the signs are present together! The Saviour Himself gave this solemn warning in Matthew chapter 24 verse 44 “Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh”.
The true child of God who reads His Word and believes it in its entirety is waiting and looking for the Saviour to come at any moment. His life, therefore, should be lived in the light of the Saviour’s return. This will affect his thinking, his working, his witnessing and his planning.
Dr. John R. Rice makes this challenge: “Those who know they are saved should so live that they will not be ashamed before Christ at His coming. This duty of all Christians to be ready for Jesus is expressed in 1 John 2: 28 which says: ‘And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming’. I know I am saved, and therefore when Jesus comes, I will go with Him. But a child of God who is not on duty, not winning souls, not living right will be ashamed before Christ when He comes. We will go with Christ to the wedding supper, but we should also remember that we go to the judgment seat of Christ. We must give an account of our stewardship and receive our reward.”
Many today who are members of churches - religious, baptized
people - are not “ready”. There is but one way to be “ready”, and that is by asking the Saviour into one’s
own heart. “He is able to save” - so the Bible says! He is waiting to save you as you read this - if only
you will acknowledge the fact that you are a sinner. His precious blood was shed on
[* The above paragraph would suggest the author is appealing to the unregenerate; but what is to become of us who are regenerate, if we are not “ready”? What “reward” will we receive from Jesus - our Righteous Judge - who will reward His redeemed people according to their works?]
Years ago, W. E.
Blackstone said in his book Jesus is Coming: “Dear friend, we point you to the crucified Saviour as the
only hope of salvation. We beg of you to
‘kiss the Son, lest ye perish from the way.
are all they that put their trust in Him’ (Psalm 2: 12). What
shall it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?* (Matthew 16: 26, 27). He is coming, and we know neither the day, nor
the hour when He may come, (Matthew 25: 13). What if He should come now? Would you be found of Him in peace (2 Peter 3: 14), or would you be
left behind to endure the terrible things which shall come upon the world (Luke 21: 25, 26), while the Church is with Christ in the
air (Luke 21: 36 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 17), and be made at
His appearing (2 Thessalonians 1: 7-10) to mourn (Matthew 24: 30) and pray to the
mountains and rocks to hide you from His face (Revelation
6: 16)? ‘Prepare to meet thy God’ was the solemn injunction
[* For ‘salvation of the soul,’ see God’s Pilgrims, chapter 16. ]
The signs of the Saviour’s return as King of kings and Lord of lords abound. The Lord Jesus Christ said in Luke [page 91] chapter 21 verse 28: “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up ... for your redemption draweth nigh”. No one can deny this. For the true Christian this is a “blessed hope”. For those not saved, His coming to the air will herald in the Great Tribulation and afterwards a lost eternity in hell.
Dr. John R. Rice, the great evangelist, warns: “If you are left here when the Christian people are taken away, you are likely to commit the unpardonable sin. Multitudes will, for every one whose name is not written in the book of life will take the mark of the beast, the Man of Sin; and when one does, he will be forever lost, with no chance to escape. When mother and sister and wife are taken away, when every true church is closed, and when every saved person is gone, what will you do? The most likely thing is that you will lose your soul. It is wicked to delay. The Scriptures say: ‘Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts’. Now is God’s time. You can be saved right now if you will in your heart put your trust in Jesus.”
I wish to close with the words of my father – J. Danson Smith - as he gives you, dear reader, a final invitation to “be ready”, and you can respond - even now!
“God has not promised to save you tomorrow,
But He has promised to hear you today;
Why risk salvation When you cannot borrow
One single moment, much less a new day?
God has not promised to save you tomorrow,
But He is waiting to save you today;
Why should you linger in sadness and sorrow,
Why do you tarry, oh, why still delay?
Yes, God has promised eternal redemption
For every soul who will trust Him today;
Freedom from guilt, and from sin full exemption,
But His great promise is just for today.
Only today is the day of salvation,
Only today is God’s offer to you;
Only today is the great invitation,
Will you take Christ – today?”