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´╗┐Title: Why I Preach the Second Coming
Author: Haldeman, Isaac Massey, 1845-1933
Language: English
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WHY I PREACH THE SECOND COMING

by

I. M. HALDEMAN, D. D.

Pastor First Baptist Church, New York City



New York Chicago
Fleming H. Revell Company
London and Edinburgh

Copyright, 1919, by
Fleming H. Revell Company

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 75 Princes Street



Foreword


THE subject of this volume is an address delivered by the Author
before the World's Conference on Christian Fundamentals at
Philadelphia, May 30, 1919.

The reasons for preaching and teaching the Second Coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ are manifold and each one worth while.

The Author has contented himself with presenting a few as follows:

The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the one event most
often recorded in Holy Scripture.

It is bound up with every fundamental doctrine, with every sublime
promise and every exhortation to high, to holy and practical
Christian living.

Only at the Second Coming of our Lord will redemption be complete
and the blood of the cross be justified.

Not till our Lord Jesus Christ comes the Second time will the Church
be exalted into her true function of rulership over the world.

Only at the Second Coming will the solemn and covenant promises of
God to Israel be fulfilled.

Only at the Second Coming of the Christ of God will a government of
everlasting righteousness and peace be established on the earth.

It is at the Second Coming of Christ alone that the earth will be
delivered from the bondage of corruption and transformed into the
paradise of God.

The Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ FOR His Church is the most
imminent event on the horizon of time.


I. M. H.


_New York, 1919._



Contents


I. THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONE EVENT MOST
OFTEN RECORDED IN HOLY SCRIPTURE

II. THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS BOUND UP WITH
EVERY FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINE, EVERY SUBLIME PROMISE AND EVERY
EXHORTATION TO HIGH, TO HOLY AND PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING

III. ONLY AT THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL REDEMPTION BE
COMPLETE AND THE BLOOD OF THE CROSS BE JUSTIFIED

IV. NOT TILL OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST COMES THE SECOND TIME WILL THE
CHURCH BE EXALTED INTO HER TRUE FUNCTION OF RULERSHIP OVER THE WORLD

V. ONLY AT THE SECOND COMING WILL THE SOLEMN AND COVENANT PROMISES
OF GOD TO ISRAEL BE FULFILLED

VI. ONLY AT THE SECOND COMING OF THE CHRIST OF GOD WILL A GOVERNMENT
OF EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE BE ESTABLISHED UPON THE EARTH

VII. IT IS AT THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT THE
EARTH WILL BE DELIVERED FROM THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION AND
TRANSFORMED INTO THE PARADISE OF GOD

VIII. THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR HIS CHURCH IS THE MOST
IMMINENT EVENT ON THE HORIZON OF TIME



I


The Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the One Event Most
Often Recorded in Holy Scripture


IT is recorded in type, in figure, in symbol, in analogue, in
parable, in hyperbole and metaphor, in exalted song, in noblest
poetry and in rarest rhetoric. It is set before us in dramatic and
dynamic statement, in high prophetic forecast, in simple narrative,
close linked logic, expanded doctrine, divine exhortation and far
-reaching appeal.

The first promise of the Second Coming was made in Eden. It was made
in the promise given to the woman that her seed should bruise the
serpent's head. On the cross the serpent bruised the heel of the
woman's seed, but her seed did not bruise the serpent's head. Never
was his head more uplifted and unbruised than now. The promise of
the bruising is of God and must be fulfilled. The record of that
fulfillment is to be found in the twentieth chapter of the book of
the Revelation where our Lord descends and in the plenitude of His
power by the hand of an angel binds Satan for a thousand years
beneath His feet and the feet of His saints. As the bruising of the
serpent's head takes place at the Second Coming, and the promise of
the bruising is made in Eden, then the first promise of the Coming
is made in Eden; and as you see rising above the figure of the
fallen first man the figure of the Second man, you hear for the
first time the story of the Second Coming of the Second man; and
thus the story and the doctrine of the Second Coming begin with the
very beginning of the Book.

For three hundred years Enoch walked amid the slime, the slush and
the uprising tide of human iniquity in a God-hating and God-defying
world. Then one day God took him out of all the riot and wrong of it
without dying into the heaven of His glory; and the Apostle Paul
writing to the Corinthians of the Second Coming affirms there will
be a generation who will continue alive till the Lord comes; and
thus Enoch is a type of that deathless generation and by so much a
prophecy of the Second Coming.

For one hundred and twenty years Noah preached righteousness to a
world from which the death penalty had been removed, a world
surrendered to conscience (and let it be well remembered conscience
is not the gift of God nor evidence of grace but mark of fallen man,
the shadow of God's throne before which the "accuse" and "excuse" of
the soul witness to human guilt), a generation given over to
unrestrained fallen nature; a generation of murder, assassination,
violence, war, utter brutality, sickening sensualism, the invasion
of fallen and lust-seeking angels, rank spiritism, diabolism and
mocking laughter at God and the things of God.

Suddenly, without warning, God called Noah into the ark (the
building of which had awakened the derision of the revellers in sin
and the would-be wise men of the hour) shut the door and bolted him
in. At the end of seven ominous days in which the darksome clouds
hung low and threatening, the windows of heaven were opened, the
fountains of the deep broken up and the flood fell, sweeping away
all save Noah and his family in the ark. When the judgment waters
had subsided Noah and his family came forth to set up a new and
distinct dispensation in the world.

Seated yonder on the Mount of Olives in the shadow of the cross,
looking forward to His Second Coming and backward for an
illustration that should forecast the times and leave no excuse for
exegetical and interpretative theological blundering our Lord said
as it was in the days of Noah so should it be when the Son of man
should come the Second time.

Without warning, out of a world of increasing materialism, self
-sufficiency, boasting, pride, violence, war and multiplied peril, a
world that under the guise of general indifferentism and cultivated
cynicism mocks at the things of God and denies we have a written,
final and sure revelation from Him, the Lord will snatch away the
genuine, regenerated Church (the dead raised, the living changed)
and take them to Himself, into the place prepared. For at least
seven years spiritual blackness, measureless woe and indescribable
anguish will fall upon a Devil-deceived and Devil-ruled world. Then
will the Lord come with His previously gathered Church, execute
judgment on the ungodly, sweep away all iniquity and set up the new
administration of righteousness and truth. Noah is therefore a
figure, a prophecy of the closing hours of this age and its climax
in the Second Coming of the Lord.

One day Lot went into Sodom, took office, tried to reform the evil
city, succeeded in vexing his righteous, but unspiritual soul with
the filthy conversation of the wicked, got down to the level of the
natural man, lost his testimony and seemed to his friends and
intimates like a madman or the most excuselessly inconsistent
trifler when he attempted to take up once more his damaged
testimony.

Then there was a night when God's angels came and snatched him out
of the doomed city. The next morning the fire of God fell and Lot
"saved so as by fire" looked on at the blaze and the burning of all
his works of righteousness as wood hay and stubble, big in bulk but
rejected of God.

Looking forward to His Second Coming and backward for an
illustration the Son of God declared as it was in the days of Lot so
should it be when the Son of man should come again.

There are good and righteous Christians--righteous enough but wholly
unspiritual who are seeking to make spotless town of a world God has
judged and doomed, failing to see the cross is not only the judgment
of the individual, but equally the judgment of the world; that not
only does the cross reveal the end of all flesh but the end in God's
sight of that system of things which men call the world; that on the
cross the world is crucified to the Christian and the Christian to
the world; and failing to see this, failing to get the mind of God
are daily descending to the plane of the natural man, are losing and
in many cases deliberately setting aside the testimony once for all
delivered to the saints.

Without warning, they will be snatched away to meet a descending
Lord (if they be real and regenerated Christians) and this alone
because their faith be it never so small holds them securely in the
bonds of the covenant. After that the Lord will be revealed in
flaming fire to execute judgment on the world and all the works of
misguided social reformers because these works are built, not upon
the righteousness of God, but the righteousness of man.

According to the Word of the Lord Himself therefore Lot is a picture
and prophecy of the closing hours of the present age with its climax
the Coming and Appearing of the Lord.

After Abraham had typically offered up his son on Mount Moriah and
typically received him from the dead on the third day the son for a
number of chapters in the record disappears from view. Then Abraham
the father sends his servant Eliezer into a far country to get a
bride for this now invisible son. Eliezer meets the intended bride
at a well from whence she is drawing water, goes with her into her
brother's house, takes out a pack of precious things sent from the
father in the name of the son, displays them to her and invites her
to become the bride of the son. She consents. The servant leads her
forth. On the way he talks to her of the promised bridegroom.
Suddenly she beholds him coming to meet her. He receives her, takes
her into his prepared tent and she becomes his wife.

On the same mount nearly two thousand years later God the Father
offered up His only begotten Son. On the third day He raised Him
from the dead. For two thousand years He has disappeared from view.
The Father has sent forth the Spirit to obtain a bride for His Son.
He meets her at the Gospel well from whence we draw the waters of
salvation. He is calling her through individual selection that she
may become the corporate bride. He has brought spiritual gifts which
He seeks to display in all her assemblies. He is endeavouring to
lead her along the highway of time and to speak to her in the heaven
speech of the Coming Bridegroom. Suddenly the Lord will come to meet
her and take her into the place prepared and keep her for the
marriage hour. In this simple story the analogue finds its prophetic
climax in the Second Coming of our Lord.

Jacob fled from his home, the brother he had outwitted and the
father whom he had deceived. As night drew on footsore and weary he
cast himself upon the plain with a stone for his pillow. Visions
came to him in the night. A ladder of gold reached from earth to
heaven. At the top of it was a host of angels and the Lord Himself
in glory. The Lord spoke to him and assured him he and his posterity
should have the land on which he was lying for an everlasting
possession. It was a confirmation of the oath to and the covenant
with Abraham and Isaac. As the covenant can find its fulfillment
only at the actual Second Coming of our Lord as the God of Jacob,
this vision is the prophetic anticipation of that hour and the
heaven-proclaimed assurance the Lord is coming a Second time.

Joseph was sent by his father to his brethren. They despised and
rejected him. They cast him into the pit of death. He was taken out
alive. He was carried away into a far country--even into Egypt.
There he was exalted to become co-ruler with Pharaoh. In the hour of
famine he became the bread giver, the saviour of a hungry world. At
the same time he got a Gentile bride. In the hour when tribulation
and sorrow came upon his brethren he revealed himself to them the
second time and was owned and acknowledged by them. With his wife he
came in his chariot of kingly glory and established his father and
his brethren in the promised land of Goshen.

The application is so simple it applies itself.

God the Father sent His Son to His brethren in the flesh. They
despised and rejected Him. They put Him in the place of death. He
was raised up alive. He has gone into a far country--even into
heaven itself. He is there now as one who has been exiled from
earth. He has been exalted to the throne of His Father. For two
thousand years of spiritual famine and hunger in the world He has
been the giver of the bread of life, the saviour of men. During
these years of His exile He has been obtaining a bride from among
the Gentiles--that is the Church. When the hour of tribulation and
anguish shall come upon His brethren in the flesh, even as He
Himself has warned, He will appear in His glory, the scales will
fall from their eyes as they did from Paul and they will own Him as
their Messiah and Lord, the Holy One of Israel. With His Church in
associate power and glory He will deliver them and place them
forever in the promised land--the land of their fathers.

No sooner has Moses with the host of Israel crossed dry shod through
the divided waters of the Red Sea than he lifts up his voice and
sings, not of the first, but the Second Coming of the Lord. He sings
of Him as a man of war, as the head of celestial armies, coming to
execute judgment, overthrow iniquity and establish His reign and
rule of righteousness.

When you open the historic pages of the Bible, along the seemingly
driest and coldest paragraphs you may if you will behold the wheels
of the King's chariot flashing by and catch a gleam of His radiant
features, now as the man of war in David, and then as the Prince of
peace in Solomon.

Yonder, under the far-away stars, Job sat at his tent door and as he
meditated on the brevity and vanity of human life, its hopes
deferred that make the heart sick, the sound of the clods as they
fall upon the coffin lid, he asked the question that has quivered
down the ages--"If a man die, shall he live again?"

He answers his own question. He says he knows he will die. He knows
his soul will go into the underworld of the dead. His body will be
laid away in the dust. It will become nothing more than a bundle of
skin and bones. He knows, also, this bundle of skin and bones is the
work of God's hand. The Lord will have respect to His work. He will
remember He wrought it. At a given time He will call to Job and Job
will answer; then in anticipation of the supreme moment he cries out
exultantly he knows his redeemer liveth; that he shall stand in the
latter day upon the earth and covered with his own flesh once more
shall see his incarnate God.

Thus in those wondrous days of the long ago Job caught the shining
of the morning star, heard the trumpet of the first resurrection and
caught the vision of the Second Coming of his Lord.

David sweeps his fingers across the answering chords of his golden
harp and sings of that hour when the Lord shall come in His glory;
when the trees of the wood shall clap their hands; when the
mountains shall flow down at His presence, the waves of the sea
fling their hallelujahs on the resounding shore; and when the earth
shall own the Lord is coming, coming not the first time to die, but
the Second time as the risen one to live and reign and with none to
dispute Him.

In the Song of Songs we who believe are by nature before God as
black and uncomely as the sun-burned tents of Kedar, but by grace in
God's sight as beautiful as the Tyre-woven curtains of Solomon.

The breath of the spring time is in the air. The voice of the turtle
dove is to be heard in the land. It is the time of love and for
hearts to find their mates. The leaves of the fig tree of Israel are
beginning to put forth. The seeds of hope sown in the graves of the
Christian dead and watered with tears from the anguish of the living
are ready to bud and blossom forth in the full flower of their
assured immortality. The voice of the Bridegroom may be heard saying
to the Church: "Come away my beloved. Come thou rose of Sharon and
thou lily of the valley," and presently we see the Bridegroom
Himself descending and the Church going up out of the wilderness
leaning on the arm of her Beloved.

So we may learn and quickly if we will, that the Song of Songs which
is Solomon's is the celebration of the nuptial hour when our Lord
shall come the Second time to take His affianced Church to Himself
and make her the heavenly bride of His unfolding and unfading glory.

The prophet Isaiah hears the seraphs sing their "holy, holy, holy is
the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory" till the
posts of the door are moved at the wonder of the song. He sees the
glory of the Coming of the Lord. He tells us the Lord is coming with
fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger
with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.

Jeremiah announces the Lord is coming the Second time. When He comes
He will make Jerusalem the throne of His glory. Unto it shall be the
gathering of the nations. They shall gather unto it in the name of
the Lord, and neither shall they walk any more after the
imaginations of their evil heart.

Ezekiel beholds the Lord seated on a throne high and lifted up. He
sees Him coming out of the purple dawning of the east. He restores
Jerusalem. He builds the temple till the shining spendour of it
shall fill the promised land; and in a voice as the sound of many
waters He says this temple shall be the place for the soles of His
feet and thus rebukes those who try to keep Him from dwelling bodily
in the land as though forsooth He should lose His heavenliness by so
doing, forgetting that earth is His rightful home and is to be His
eternal dwelling place. Yea and Amen when He comes to His own again
He shall dwell in the midst of His ransomed forever. And the nations
of the earth as they ascend to the heights of Jerusalem to behold
His glory and to worship Him in His holy temple as they catch the
first glimpse of the city, its gardens like unto the garden of the
Lord, the temple with its shekinah cloud by day and the flaming fire
by night that shall make it to be no more night but day, shall cry
out, not "Jerusalem," but "Yaveh Shamma--the Lord is there." And
from henceforth this shall be the name of the city.

Daniel has visions in the night. He beholds the Lord as the Son of
man, as eternal judge and king of all the earth. He sees Him coming
to the Father to receive His title deeds and then descending in
clouds of glory to establish the kingdom that shall never pass away.

From Hosea to Malachi the Minor Prophets echo with the declaration
the Lord is coming and always this coming is the Second.

Hosea foresees Israel will forsake the Lord and for many days be as
a dead man out of sight and forgotten. But in the latter times when
the Lord Himself shall return Israel will awaken and own Him as Lord
and king.

Joel tells us the armies of the world league shall be gathered
against Jerusalem and under their godless, Devil-incarnate head
shall defy the Lord of hosts; that the Lord will come, overthrow
them with a great slaughter and deliver the holy city from the
treading down of the Gentiles forever.

In Amos the Lord is coming to restore the kingdom to Israel and set
up and establish the throne of David.

Obadiah warns us of the day of the Lord, the day that is introduced
by the Second Coming of the Lord.

Joel teaches us under the madness and folly of Gentile rule
ploughshares are to be beaten into swords and pruning hooks into
spears and the nations are to give themselves to war and all the
horror and desolation of it. But this Scripture is never quoted by
those who preach peace where there can be no peace. Always they
quote Micah who tells us the swords will be beaten into
ploughshares, the spears into pruning hooks and the nations shall
learn war no more.

The two prophets seem to stand in absolute opposition to each other.

They do not.

Joel tells us what will happen just before the Lord comes.

Micah tells us what will take place after the Lord comes.

In Joel the Lord will come, meet the armies of the League in the
valley of decision, the valley of Jehoshaphat, and overthrow them;
then will the implements of war be beaten into the implements of
peace and war be at an end forever.

Micah announces the end of war and the beginning of lasting peace
will come as the consequence of the Lord's appearing in glory and
not till He does so appear.

Nahum proclaims the Second Coming. The Lord's way shall be in the
whirlwind and the storm, the clouds shall be the dust of His feet,
the mountains shall quake at Him, the hills shall melt and the very
earth burn at His presence.

In Habakkuk the Spirit carries human language to its loftiest height
till it glows on peaks of thought sublime.

The prophet sees the Lord coming the Second time. His brightness is
as the shining light. In His hands once pierced for such as we is
the hiding of His power. Pestilence and burning coals are His
vanguard. He stands and measures the earth. He drives asunder the
nations. The everlasting mountains are scattered. The perpetual
hills bow before Him and the inhabitants of the onlooking worlds
lift up their voices and sing: "His ways are everlasting."

Zephaniah proclaims the Second Coming.

The Lord will come and smite the world league in the pitifulness of
its gathering and the pigminess of its might. He will pour forth His
indignation and fierce anger upon all the exaltation and pride of
man. He will devour the earth with the fire of His jealousy, deliver
Jerusalem, turn to the people the pure speech of the old Hebraic
tongue, bid Zion to sing, Israel to shout and calling Jerusalem her
daughter, bid her to rejoice. He will overthrow the false Christ and
as the true Messiah will Himself dwell in the midst of Jerusalem
forevermore.

Haggai declares the Lord will come and will shake all nations so
that only the things which are of God may remain.

Zechariah tells us in terms so plain, so clear no one need
misunderstand nor be in darkness for a moment that the Lord is
coming the Second time.

He will come with all His saints. His feet shall stand in that day
on the Mount of Olives; and that no false teacher nor wilful
perverter of the truth about the reality of the Lord's bodily
presence on the earth at that time may have even the shadow of a
shadow to rest on, and as a proof that this coming is not spiritual
but actual and the testimony of His very feet under the most
pronounced topographical conditions, the prophet says the mount on
which those blessed and real feet shall descend is not only on the
Mount of Olives, but that "Mount of Olives, which is before
Jerusalem on the east."

At the touch of the Lord's feet this wondrous and sacred Mount of
Olives will split in twain. One half of it will roll like a wave
northward. The other half will roll to the south. A great valley
will be formed. That valley is named in Scripture, but never has
been found on any map and cannot be found in Palestine to-day. It is
the valley of Jehoshaphat, the valley of decision, the valley of
judgment of the nations. And into this valley pell-mell shall rush
the Antichrist-led and Devil-deceived armies of the league of ten
nations to find their overthrow at the hand of the Lord and the
inauguration of that hour when the once despised and crucified
Christ shall be the revealed and recognized God of the whole earth;
when there shall be one Lord and His name one--even that name which
is above every name whether in heaven or on earth--the name of
Jesus.

Malachi closes the book of the Old Testament. He beholds our Lord
Jesus Christ coming the Second time. He sees Him coming as the
rising sun filling the heavens and flooding the earth with the
benediction of His majesty and might.

From Malachi to the New Testament we pass over four hundred years of
prophetic silence and then we are in the book of the Gospel
according to Matthew.

Here we are face to face with the night of nights.

The stars like silver squadrons sail close to the waiting earth. The
angels fling down their wreath of natal song and the virgin mother
cradles upon her white and unsullied breast the Christ of God.

We follow Him in the days of His unfolding ministry. Every time He
touches the earth His footsteps leave a benediction. Each time He
breathes the air He sweetens it. His low and modulated voice starts
a note of music whose rhythmic accents have not done sounding and
whose heavenly harmony outsings the discords of earth. He looks
daylight into blind eyes. He cools the fever pulse to quiet beating.
He makes the lame man to leap as a hart. He hushes the storm on
Galilee till the ruffled, windswept waters are as calm and peaceful
as a babe upon its mother's breast. With a word He raises the wept
-for dead. Everywhere and at all times His miracles are wrought, not
merely that He may do good and bring needed blessings as He passes
by, but as the credentials and sign warrant of the truthfulness of
His claim that He is Son of God, God the Son, the Anointed of the
Lord and Israel's king.

But in all His ministry of hand or word never does He speak save
incidentally of His first coming. Always and in fullest degree He
speaks of His Second Coming. Seated upon the Mount of Olives He
affirms, after the cross shall have slain and stained Him and the
grave shall have briefly held Him He will come again; but, just
before He comes it will be as it was in the days of Noah--a time of
materialism, sensualism, the culture of self-consciousness, an hour
of boasting, pride, lawlessness and war; and when He is revealed it
will be as with the driving judgment of the flood.

In the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew and the first part of the
chapter He declares He is coming as the bridegroom comes--seeking
the marriage hour of his bride.

In the last part of the chapter and as the climax of His bridegroom
coming He will appear as the king of glory and the judge of the
living nations.

When He stands before His guilty judges and their suborned witnesses
and while they mock and deride Him He breaks His hitherto amazing
silence not to demonstrate to them the truth of His incarnation nor
the proof of His preexistence, but in calm and measured utterance to
tell them that after they shall have put Him to death He will come
the Second time; and they shall see Him descending from heaven
seated upon the cloud of shekinal glory and with the power of God.

In Mark He is the householder who goes into a far country, gives to
each of His servants a work to do, puts the porter on guard to watch
the door of the house and announces that no one in heaven nor on
earth knows when He will return. He will return, He will come the
Second time. It will be in one of the four watches of the spiritual
night. It may be at even, it may be at midnight, it may be at
cockcrowing and it may be in the morning. Because it is certain He
will come, but uncertain when He will come, each one who claims to
be His servant is under bond to watch. The whole household must be
in the attitude of watching, of readiness and expectation; and His
word of exhortation and warning to His Church is:

"What I say unto you, I say unto all--watch."

In Luke He is the nobleman who goes into a far country to get the
title deeds of His kingdom and return. When He returns He comes
first to His servants, gathers them to Himself and rewards them.
After that with them He executes judgment on His enemies and then
sets up His kingdom.

In the Gospel of John He eats with His disciples the last and
memorial supper. He goes out with them, bids them lift their glances
to the wide, extended sky where the jewelry of the night as the
scattered largess of a king burns in the fire of opal, the purple
and violet of amethyst and the white splendour of uncounted
diamonds. He assures them these gleaming things are no fiction fire
-flies of gaseous worlds in the making, but illuminated dwelling
places in His Father's house. He is going thither. He will ascend
into that congeries of inhabited worlds and will prepare a place for
them, a glorious palace home befitting their high estate; when all
is ready He will come back and receive them in corporate unity to
Himself.

His words are simple, but the simplicity is the simplicity of light
and every accent is as the touch of peace to troubled hearts; for
this is what He said:

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would
have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

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."

In the book of Acts, in the first chapter you have a scene no artist
has really ever painted, no writer ever fairly portrayed and no
mortal tongue can fittingly describe.

Our Lord is going up from the Mount of Olives. He is going up from
the midst of His disciples. He is going heavenward. The disciples
watch Him as He ascends. He enters a cloud. Do not, I beseech you,
imagine for a moment this cloud is a fog bank, a mass of watery mist
and vapour; it is the shekinal cloud which once covered the
tabernacle in the wilderness and was the vehicle of His presence
when Israel in that far time marched on their way to the promised
land. It is His chariot of state. In this chariot sent to meet Him
He passes between the onlooking worlds ever higher and higher till
at last He takes His seat upon the throne of the Highest at the
right hand of the invisible majesty.

Then, as through the dimness of their tears the disciples watch Him
disappear, they hear a voice which says to them:

"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same
Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."

"This same Jesus."

Mark that well!

The Jesus who on the Sunday night of His resurrection did meet these
disciples in the upper room and said to them as they shrank back
into a frozen silence of hope and fear:

"Peace be unto you."

"Why are ye troubled?"

"And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?"

"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and
see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."

Still these disciples were afraid, afraid it could not be true.

Then He showed them His hands and His feet that they might see where
the nails had gone in, torn through the flesh and left eternal
wounds as the chevrons of glory.

And still the silence of hope mingled with fear.

Then he said:

"Have ye here any meat?"

And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

And He took and did eat before them.

He had said to them He was flesh and bones, not flesh and blood.

He was not flesh and blood because in the sin-offering all the blood
must be poured out at the bottom of the altar, and He was Himself
the antitypical sin-offering. He had poured out His blood. It had
run as a living stream from every vein and artery.

Because He was the sin-offering in death, in resurrection He became
for the first time a priest--high priest after the order, not of
Aaron, but Melchisedec.

That very morning as the high priest He had ascended to heaven,
within the vail, and sprinkled His redeeming blood (how is not
revealed) on the eternal throne, changing it from the throne of
judgment to a throne of grace. That night He stood before them He
was their high priest, not of earth, but heaven. He breathed upon
them, imparted to them the Holy Spirit--the Comforter--linking them
to His immortal body. He remained with them, going and coming,
during forty days, operating with them officially by and through the
Holy Spirit as His unseen executive; for we are told that, "until
the day he was taken up he through the Holy Ghost had given
commandments unto the apostles;" and then, finally, as this scene in
the book of Acts shows us, ascended to His high-priestly function
and unceasing service of intercession.

He is seated in heaven now, seated there as the same Jesus who met
His disciples that first Sunday night, the same Jesus who ascended
out of their midst from Olivet. This same Jesus! The same not only
in realistic, human body, but the same in character, full of the
same measureless compassion and grace as when He sat on the well
curb in Samaria and though thirsting as a real man for real water
offered to give to the sinful woman who by divine and eternal
ordination met him there, the water that should be in her as a well
of water springing up into everlasting life.

This same Jesus is coming again, not a phantom, not an impalpable
spirit, not a ghost Christ, but a Christ who is a real man of real
flesh and real bones.

This is the key-note of the book of Acts.

He who died for men, who has sanctioned the Holy Spirit to operate
in His name, speak in His name, reveal to us the things that are His
and show us things to come concerning Him, He is coming again,
coming not only as very God, the Holy One of Israel, He who has been
exalted to be both Lord and Christ, but as this loving, tender,
compassionate Jesus, and in a body that may be seen and handled--a
body of flesh and bones.

In Romans we have the promise the Lord is coming to bruise Satan
under His feet and the feet of His saints; and according to the
calendar of heaven and the way in which they measure time there this
great event must come to pass, as it is written, "shortly."

In First Corinthians the Lord is coming to raise the dead who shall
be His "at his coming."

In Second Corinthians He is coming to transfigure the living who
believe in Him and thus clothe them with their "house from heaven,"
give them the body that shall be the handiwork of God and not man.

In Philippians our citizenship is in a country which is in heaven
from whence we are to look for a Saviour, even the Lord Jesus
Christ, who shall change this body of our mortal humiliation that it
may be fashioned like unto His immortal and glorious body, a change
which He will effectuate by that mighty power according to which He
is able to subdue all things unto Himself.

In Colossians our life is hid with Christ in God, a double
environment of security, and when Christ who is our life shall
appear, we shall appear with Him also in glory.

In the epistles to the Thessalonians each chapter closes with a
testimony to the Second Coming.

In the first epistle in the first chapter the Apostle commends the
Thessalonian Church because they had turned to God from idols to
serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven.
From the beginning the Apostle Paul taught the new converts the next
possible event might be the Coming of that Lord whom he had declared
had been sacrificed for them, was now risen and in heaven. This was
the one supreme thing for which they were to be in readiness every
day--the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the second chapter he assures the Thessalonians he will meet them
in the presence of the Lord at His Coming; when He comes and they
are all gathered before Him, saved through the Gospel Paul has
preached to them in the demonstration of the Spirit and power, they
will be the guarantee and occasion of the crown he shall receive.

In the third chapter he exhorts them to increase and abound in love
to one another that their hearts may be established unblameable in
holiness before the Lord when He shall come the Second time with all
His saints.

In the fourth chapter he announces as a special revelation from the
Lord that the Lord Himself is coming to awaken those whom He has put
to sleep in His name. He will descend from heaven with a shout, with
the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. The dead in Him
shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught
up with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; so shall we ever
be with the Lord and with one another.

In the fifth chapter the Coming of the Lord for His saints as just
noted in the fourth and preceding chapter will bring in the day of
the Lord; and we further learn this coming for the saints not only
precedes the day of the Lord, but as the introduction to it will be
as secret, sudden and unknown to the world as is in general the
coming of a thief.

In the second epistle, in the first chapter the Lord is seen coming
with all His saints to execute judgment on the ungodly and the
unbelieving.

In the second chapter we learn the word, "Rapture," so often given
as the name and title for the translation of the Church to meet the
Lord, while it may be a deducible truth and exegetically, or, rather
philologically sustained, is not the Holy Ghost title. The true and
Scriptural title is: "Our gathering together unto Him."

In this chapter we learn also when the Church has been gathered to
the Lord in heaven the man of sin, the Antichrist will be revealed;
then will the Lord appear in glory, overthrow him and his league of
nations and set up the heaven-ordained kingdom of righteousness and
peace.

In the third chapter the Apostle prays the Lord may direct their
hearts into the love of God and into--patient waiting for Christ.

In the First Epistle to the Thessalonians the Lord comes FOR His
Church.

In the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians He comes WITH His Church.

In First Timothy He is coming that He may be shown forth as the
blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

In Second Timothy He is coming to judge the quick and the dead and
to give reward to all those who love His appearing.

Titus gives us the inspired and official title of the Coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ as, "That Blessed Hope."

In Hebrews we see this age is the antitypical Day of Atonement; just
as at the close of the day in Israel the people were waiting for the
man who led away the scapegoat into the wilderness to come back
without it as evidence their typical redemption was complete and
secure for another year; just so our Lord Jesus Christ having
appeared in the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of
Himself, reconcile the world to God and bring in the day of grace
and salvation, to them that look for Him shall He come the "second
time, without sin, unto salvation"; that is, He will come back not
as the sin offering, but as the triumphant Redeemer and as witness
that our redemption will then be completed by Him in the immortal
bodies He shall give us.

James testifies that in the closing hours of this age Capital and
Labour will look at each other with wrinkled brows, clenched hands
and nervous, impatient expectation.

He exhorts the Christian labourer to be patient because, as he says,
"the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh," is so near, so imminent He
standeth as a judge--verily "at the door"--and ready to intervene.

In the First Epistle of Peter the Lord is coming to justify the
faith of His elect.

In the Second Epistle He is coming to bring in the new heavens and
the new earth.

In the First Epistle of John we who believe are sons of God. It is
not yet manifested to the world what we really are, nor what we
shall be; but we know when He shall appear we shall be like Him for
we shall see Him as He is. When He shines out we shall shine out
with Him.

We are told every one who has this hope in him, purifieth himself
even as he is pure.

And thus in this special fashion the Holy Spirit affirms the Second
Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is not only the climacteric of our
avouchment as sons of God, but, when held as a hope in the heart,
will keep us pure and clean as the Holy Christ Himself.

In the Second Epistle of John we are warned false teachers will
abound; teachers who shall deny the eternal incarnation of the Son
of God. They will deny He is coming the Second time; but, above all,
they will deny He could possibly come in the flesh.

The Apostle unhesitatingly affirms those who hold and teach this
falsehood are nothing less than antichrists; and he warns us as
faithful followers of the true Christ not to receive them into our
houses, nor bid them Godspeed.

Jude is the smallest, that is to say, the shortest, of all the
epistles. It is a clasp between the Old and the New Testaments.

Jude tells us Enoch the seventh man who lived on the earth
testified, not of the first, but the Second Coming, saying:

"Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints."

Then we find ourselves in the Revelation.

This is the book of the Consummation.

The supreme subject is the Second Coming.

There are twenty-two chapters.

Each of the chapters portrays conditions and circumstances leading
up to the great climax--the Second Coming and the immense and
measureless consequences--the millennial reign and the eternal
state.

The book is like the roof of a great cathedral, like the interior of
the roof, groined and panelled--each panel a chapter.

It is like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in which, however, may
be found figures and forms such as Michel Angelo never drew nor such
even as his imperial and suggestive mind could conceive.

You will find in these chapters the figures of wild beasts, the
dragon, fallen angels, fiends from the pit, that old Serpent called
the Devil and Satan. If you will read and listen you will hear the
blast of trumpets, the breaking of vials, the sounds of woe, the
tramp of marching feet, the clash of battle, fire falling out of the
heavens, trees and grass in flame, the waves of the sea turned to
blood, fountains and streams become as wormwood and gall, the sun as
black as a starless midnight, the moon hanging in the lowering
heavens like a clot of blood, earthquakes, the scarlet tongues of
outpouring volcanoes, thunderings and lightnings, all manner of
wickedness and pervading sin, a world quivering as a ship in the
storm, the bending heavens as though unbolted and insecure, all
foundations apparently shattered and the universe itself as though
rushing forward to its funeral pyre.

Heaven opens and the Lord comes forth riding a white horse, followed
by armies on white horses, the horses the symbols of His power, each
hoof beat as it smites the slant of heaven the sound of swift
descending judgment.

On the Lord's head are many crowns.

He is wrapped in a garment dyed in blood.

His eyes are as a flame of fire. His glances penetrate to the secret
intents and purposes of the heart. They get behind every cloak of
deception and every pretense. All the spotted nakedness of interior
and intensive sin is revealed. Nothing remains in shadow, everything
is illuminated to bareness, and the searching light of His looks
goes through every fibre of being.

He is coming to reign and rule.

All the things the chapters record have been driving us to look
forward to that; the woe, the anguish and the hell on earth have
been pleading and crying out for a master to master and put an end
to the cataclysms of catastrophic iniquity; the very nature of
things has been testifying that He must come.

He is responding to the demand that lies in the nature of things.

He is coming to reign and rule as a king. He is not coming with an
olive branch in one hand and a cooing dove on His shoulder.

Nay!

He is coming with a rod of iron. He is coming to trample all
opposition beneath His feet, put down all rule and authority, break
to pieces and shatter as a potter's vessel the pride of nations and
the self-exaltation of man.

He is coming to establish peace, but not by means of compromise, by
gentle and persuasive ways, but by war and as a man of war, as the
man who is very God and judge omnipotent.

The book closes with the thrice repeated announcement from the Lord
Himself:

"Behold, I am coming quickly."

This is the last utterance of the Lord from heaven.

To this the Church replies with its last recorded prayer:

"Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus."

When you close the book you feel the next thing is--the Coming of
the Lord.

If the value of a statement or doctrine is to be measured by the
number of times repeated, then, since from Genesis to Revelation, in
every form of human language the Second Coming is proclaimed, is
stamped upon almost every page of the Bible, is inwrought with every
fibre of truth it finally presents; since in the New Testament alone
it is mentioned directly and indirectly more than three hundred
times, as there is no other theme in the Bible that approaches it in
frequency of repetition, it should seem that this event and doctrine
of the Second Coming with all its promises and certified
consequences should easily be of supreme and all-compelling
importance; and because the Holy Spirit has made it of such
importance I am under bonds to preach it.

Those who persist in saying it is incidental, secondary and sporadic
might well be said to be of that class of theological disputants who
never study their Bible; for the fact is should you cut out every
reference to the Second Coming, its cognate truths and all the
events to which it gives emphasis, you would have but a fragment of
the Bible; and the Book upon which faith is founded, from which hope
casts its glances heavenward, sees light in the grave and
immortality assured, would be but as a broken reed, a garment of
beauty torn and shredded, or as a harp whose main chord had been
snapped asunder.



II


The Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ is Bound up With Every
Fundamental Doctrine, Every Sublime Promise and Every Exhortation to
High, to Holy and Practical Christian Living


IT is bound up with every fundamental doctrine.

The resurrection from the dead, the transfiguration of the living,
the judgment seat of Christ, the judgment of the living nations, the
consequent judgment of the white throne, the rewards of the
righteous and the punishment of the wicked.

It is bound up with every sublime promise.

The recognition of the dead, the overthrow of Satan, the deliverance
of creation, the triumph of God and Christ and the eternal felicity
of the saints.

It is bound up with every exhortation to high, to holy and practical
Christian living.

We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the
manner of some is. On the Lord's day we are to break bread and drink
the fruit of the vine, show forth the Lord's death and make known to
heaven and to earth that the only ground of approach to a holy God
is the sacrificial offering and vicarious sufferings of the Son of
God and God the Son, and that on the ground of His atoning blood as
our sin offering and personal substitute we claim Him as redeemer,
saviour and interceding priest.

We are to love God and love one another.

We are not to judge one another.

We are not to cast stumbling blocks in each other's path.

We are to walk worthy of our vocation.

We are to let our moderation be known to all men.

We are to be patient, long-suffering and forbearing.

We are to engage continually in prayer and supplication.

We are to live blamelessly before men and holily before God.

As pastors we are to shepherd the sheep over whom God has made us to
be overseers.

We are to feed the flock, not with the philosophies and fictions of
men, but with the truth of God.

We are to restore the wandering, sustain the weak and comfort the
sorrowing.

We are to go to the house of mourning and give consolation to those
who are Christians and who weep above their Christian dead.

As preachers we are to preach the Word. We are to preach in season
and out of season, and to exhort with all long-suffering and
doctrine.

We are exhorted to this high, this holy, this exalted and practical
Christian living, this reincarnation of Christ in daily experience,
this translation of His character, this manifestation of His guiding
and ruling presence, not by the fact that we must die and appear
before God, but by the fact the Lord Himself is coming, may come at
any time, that any moment we may meet Him at His judgment seat.

In all the universe of God there is nothing so impressive as the
thought that you, that I, that we must give a personal account to
God for the manner in which we have used our time, our talent, our
opportunity and substance; and when we are told--as we are told in
Holy Scripture--that any moment we may be summoned to give an
account of our stewardship, and that without dying, just suddenly,
without a moment's warning, translated bodily and with all the sense
of the daily life we have been living upon us into the presence of
Him whose name we have been professing--impressiveness has reached
its ultimate and exhortation the fullest leverage of appeal.

And he who says the Coming of Christ considered as a doctrine, as a
truth or a motive, is not intensely practical and all-compelling to
Christian devotion and service, is either blindly and excuselessly
ignorant of the Word of God or brutally and perversely guilty of
denying a truth that flashes like lightning from one end of the
Bible to the other and illuminates every hortative passage in the
Word of God.

When thus you are face to face with the indisputable fact that every
basic doctrine of the Christian faith, every outshining promise of
hope, of comfort, of consolation, of abiding peace, every appeal to
the noblest and purest life as a Christian, every demand that the
Christian shall unceasingly be the light of heaven in the spiritual
darkness of earth is bound up inextricably with the fact of the
Second Coming, it carries with it the inevitable corollary that the
Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as a certified and imminent
event is the very sum and substance of all available motives that
can lead to a life of practical service to God and man.



III


Only at the Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ Will Redemption be
Complete and the Blood of the Cross be Justified


OUR Lord Jesus Christ did not come into this world that He might go
through the unspeakable horror of the cross; He did not hang on that
brutal and torturing instrument of death as the criminal of the
universe; He did not receive the down sweep of the essential
antagonism of a holy God against the sin He represented; He did not
cry the cry of the lost, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken
me?"; He was not flung out like a derelict thing into the black,
starless night of God's inexorable law, measureless wrath and
indignation where His humanity unanchored and alone was forsaken
both by God and man; He did not hang there in the torment of His
body, suffering all the agony the most exquisitely wrought, nerve
-centered body of the universe could suffer of physical pain and
anguish; God did not make Him to be sin and treat Him as the
blackest and most repulsive thing in existence; He did not lay upon
Him the weight and demerit of a world's guilt that He might suffer
in His innocence, His purity and innate sinlessness on behalf of the
vilest outcast this side of Gehenna, the lake of fire, just that He
might keep us from lying, cheating, swearing, getting drunk, giving
ourselves up to immorality, licentiousness and sensualism; He did
not send Jesus Christ His only begotten and well-beloved Son to die
a spectacle to heaven, to earth and hell that He might make us
merely decent and right and morally correct in our relations to one
another. All that is involved in the fact of redemption just as
fragrance is involved and included in the rose, as harmony is
expected to be a part of music and rhythm as well as metre a part of
verse and song.

Cleanness and morality are involved quantities in a Christian. The
moment the new life of the risen Christ is wrought in a believer and
he is linked up by the Holy Ghost to the glorified body of the Son
of God he has in him all the impulse and power of the highest
morality, the most exalted purity, the rarest spirituality and the
discernment of spiritual things. All that is self-evident--but the
Son of God came into this world and went through the amazing tragedy
and sacrifice of the cross to do something more than to make us
merely moral and good. He came into the world, He died the
foreordained death of the cross that He might deliver us from death
and the grave.

Death is the blackest and most shameful blot on the face of the
earth, the grave the most repulsive of scandals, drawing the trench
of its corruption and stain round the girdle of the globe.

To bring a human being into the world, give him no choice of father
or mother, of place, of time and circumstance, endow him with a
brain to think, a heart to feel and love and then set him face to
face with death, hide from him the hour of his going like a criminal
who knows not the hour of his execution; to allow the old to live
till they are withered, shrivelled and helpless, a burden to others
and a still greater burden to themselves, cursing the fact they must
live and yet afraid to die; to take a young man in the splendour of
his youth, on the threshold of assured success, snatch him away
without warning from the parents devoted to him, the wife who loves
him and the children dependent on him; and then leave them both, the
decrepit and useless old and the needed young to drop into the
tongueless silence of the grave, that silence broken only by the
sound of the clods as they fall on the coffin lid or the plash of
tears, or the choking sob; to allow the living whose hearts are torn
and twisted and smashed by the robbery that death brings upon them
to stand there and strangle themselves with the unanswered and
unanswerable questions: "Whence," "What," and "Whither," and then
say all this is the work of a good, a compassionate, a tender and
loving God, and that death is as natural as birth?

Nay!

Those who say and teach that death is as natural as birth are guilty
of pure unintellectualism and are unwarranted deniers of the facts.

The birth of a child is like the coming of the dawn. It is like the
note of a new and joyous song. It is the revelation of a new world,
a world of life, of hope, of promised and larger activities. No one
who is sane and true and wise will deliberately seek to hinder
birth; but death! ah! everything is against death and by right
against it.

Every fibre in the body repudiates death. Pain is the protest of
life against it and the scout that brings in news of its approach.
The brain, the mind, the heart shiver at it, not merely because of
the native fear at the unknown, but at the mockery it makes of life,
the uselessness of living a time, at the longest, so brief, so full
of disappointment and bitterness, a life where plans are never
accomplished nor hopes fulfilled, where tears and sorrow outweigh
laughter and song.

Every remedy taken from materia medica, every operation of the
surgeon's knife that adds even a day to the sufferer's existence,
every hospital, every precaution and invention to prevent accident,
all the genius exercised by man to conserve health and strength are
a protest against death and a proclamation that it is unnatural, a
discord and a wrong.

Every human being who has the slightest pulse of sentiment, who is
not sunken in the soddenness of moral unconsciousness feels that
death is the shadow shutting out the sun of day and hiding the stars
of night, the false note that breaks the lilt in any song, the thief
who takes the treasure no money can replace, the mocker who bids us
readjust our days and live as though those whom we have loved and
lost had never been a part of us, so that their going has put more
of death in those of us who remain to live than life--even the brute
beast feels and knows death is--an enemy.

Nor does God Himself leave us in any doubt about it.

He says death is an enemy; even as it is written:

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

And since in itself it is an enemy, it is, necessarily, the work of
an enemy.

It is the work of an enemy who has the power of death.

He who has the power of death is--the Devil; even as it is written:

"Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

The Son of God came into the world that He might destroy the Devil
and his work of death.

He came to abolish death and bring life and immortality to light.

He came to make us something more than--just moral.

He came to make us--immortal.

There is only one man in the universe who has immortality; and that
man is He who is our Lord Jesus Christ, very God and yet true and
actual man.

There is not an immortal human being on earth to-day.

There is no such thing as an immortal soul.

But here I bid you halt!

Let no one take up this statement and go hence and say I teach the
final annihilation of the soul.

He who should go forth and say that would be, after what I shall
further tell you, a robber of truth and character.

On this round earth at this hour there is no man who has spoken
more, written more and, under God, done more to rebuke and smite
this slavering, slobbering, unintellectual and Devil-inspired
deception known as Russellism, Christadelphianism and Seventh Day
Adventism than the man who now speaks to you.

I affirm here that by the will of God the soul must exist forever
whether it be in heaven or in hell; but, I say to you the preacher
who seeks to deny and overthrow the doctrine of annihilation by
defending the immortality of the soul is beaten before he begins. He
has his pains for his labour. He can find no such expression as
"immortal soul" in the Bible nor any such doctrine taught there.
Above all, he is guilty of excuseless philological blundering. The
soul is immaterial. Immortal is applied to that which is material.
The words, "immortal," and "immortality" are never applied in the
New Testament to the soul--never! but always and exclusively to the
body.

To be immortal means to have a deathless, incorruptible body like
unto that of the Son of God.

This, and this alone--as related to man--is Scriptural immortality.
The Son of God came into the world to give this boon of immortality
to men.

This is the supreme objective of redemption.

Till that objective is obtained redemption is not complete and the
blood of the cross is not justified.

Do you call the redemption of Paul complete so long as his body lies
mingled with the dust of the highway by the banks of that yellow
Tiber where he was slain?

Do you call complete the redemption of those you love and I love so
long as the Devil like the strong man armed with the law holds the
mortgage on their bodies and keeps them in his dark and worm-filled
house--the grave?

It is true, blessedly true, thank God, the moment a believer dies he
is absent from his home in the body and immediately present at his
home with the Lord in the third heaven, in the beautiful country of
Paradise, in the Holy City, the place prepared.

It is true the dear departed ones are clothed with the white robe of
immaculate light woven on the unjarring looms of heaven, a temporary
clothing which preserves their form and makes them visible and
recognizable to one another; but with it all they are disembodied,
and in spite of the comfort and the consolation of it, in spite of
the fact that their state is "far better" than this at its best,
still they are souls whose vehicle is no longer body, but spirit
(wherefore after death they are sometimes spoken of as spirits);
nevertheless, the Son of God did not come to make us eternal, even
if happy--ghosts.

If Christians should continue to die and should remain as white
clothed ghosts in heaven forever they would be an incongruous
environment and abiding scandal to the immortality of the Son of God
Himself. A living, immortal man shining in a glorified human body
surrounded by bodiless souls forever! What a contradiction that
would be, what a scandal, indeed. It would be the declaration that
the Son of God had power to rise from the dead, make His own body
immortal, impervious to death, but in respect to those for whom He
died and who died trusting in His promise He either did not have the
power or did not care to keep His promise.

Such a conclusion in either member of the proposition is impossible.
It is impossible, for no such postulate as inability or
faithlessness can be laid against the Son of God.

By His own immortality as the first-fruits of them that slept, as
the ordained forerunner and sample of all those whom He has redeemed
He is, and in the nature of things, under bonds to give immortality
to each, to raise the dead and transfigure the living in His
likeness.

As the dead can be raised and the living changed only when He is
personally present then He must come to this world again to give
that immortality of which seated on yonder throne in heaven He is
the promise and the pledge.

He made this promise by the grave of Lazarus.

Standing there with His cheeks wet with tears of sorrow over the one
He loved and in profound sympathy with the grief-stricken sisters,
groaning in Himself, not merely as one who was under the spell of
sorrow and heartache, but full of "indignant protest" (this is the
meaning of the word "to groan") against the havoc of death as the
work of that being whom we so familiarly call "Devil," without
stopping to measure his dignity, malignity and power, He said:

"I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though
he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

Wondrous, gracious, far reaching and full of measureless comfort is
the promise, but nine out of ten who repeat it seem never to have
comprehended the full import of it.

For this is what He meant.

Listen to it as I quote it in its fullness of intent:

"I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though
he were dead, yet--when I come again--shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me--when I come again--shall
never die."

Nor is this a fictional fancy of mine, but the direct declaration of
the Holy Spirit to the Church speaking through the Apostle Paul; for
he says:

"Behold, I shew you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall
all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and
we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must
put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this
mortal shall have put on immortality, then (and not till then--not
when we die and go to heaven, but when the dead are raised and the
living are changed--then--and not till then) shall be brought to
pass the saying that is written (written by the Prophet Isaiah in
the twenty-fifth chapter of his prophecy), death is swallowed up in
victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

And mark it well, the context of this Holy Ghost promise is the
declaration that the resurrection of the dead, the transfiguration
of the living, this changing from mortality to immortality will be
the resurrection and the transfiguration of those who are "Christ's
at His coming."

Yes! He will come.

He will descend from heaven with a shout of command. He will pass it
on to the archangel. The archangel will pass it to the angel who is
called the "trump of God." He will cause a sound, a blast, an
utterance of power at which the doors of graves of every sort shall
open outward, every secret hiding place of the purchased dead will
be revealed and the sacred dust will bloom with life; for, in the
body of every regenerated soul there is planted the germ of the new
body; and just as the buried seed is linked by the unseen air to the
fructifying sun in heaven and as at a given moment we call the
germination is quickened and at last comes forth in new form yet the
same essential embodiment as when planted; so, the regeneration
nucleus of the new body is held by the Holy Spirit (of which the air
is the symbol) to the risen, glorified body of the Son of God in
heaven; and no matter what may befall the body in which it was
buried it will abide to that hour we call the resurrection and
transfiguration and at the shout, the voice and action of the trump
of God will come forth in the glow of unfolded and eternal beauty as
the sheath, the house, the home, the perfect dwelling place, the
royal robe of the souls the Lord shall bring with Him; while the
living shall flash forth in the same immortality and glory.

Yes! the dust of death shall bloom and mortality shall put on
immortality at the Coming of the Lord.

And I for one want Him to come.

I have loved ones waiting within the gates of the upper city for
that morning hour.

I have one there my heart in these days yearns to see.

But a short time ago death with rude and sudden hand snatched from
me my only child, the son of my heart; a son grown to splendid young
manhood; a son who loved me, reverenced me, believed as I believe, a
member of my own Church, baptized by my own hand in early days: a
son on whom I hoped to lean in peace if the shadows should deepen
round me ere my Lord might come. And in the going of that beloved
son of mine the light of day has seemed at times to fail, the stars
of heaven have grown so dim and far away I think of them often as
tears of distant eyes that pity me. There are moments when I crave
him as a hungry man does food and as a thirsty man in desert ways
yearns for a draught of limpid waters. I have a hurt here in the
heart of me no medicine of earth can cure; but because I know when
the Lord comes this son of mine shall rise and I shall meet him and
the old glad life renew in larger, richer, fuller measure; and
because I know there is only the sound of the trump between me and
that longed-for hour; that the door of heaven is always ajar and my
Lord may come at any moment and bring us to the hand clasp and the
love embrace again, I bear my hurt, I rest in the Lord and preach
this blessed hope to other hearts that ache--the Coming of Him who
is the resurrection and the life and whose last earthward utterance
to His Church is:

"Behold, I come quickly."



IV


Not Till Our Lord Jesus Christ Comes the Second Time Will the Church
be Exalted into Her True Function of Rulership Over the World

THE Church was not sent into the world to convert or Christianize
it.

It was sent into the world to preach the Gospel to every creature.

It was not to condone the world but to condemn it.

With its twin doctrines of Incarnation and Regeneration it was to
ring the knell of evolution and deny the hope of any saving energy
in the flesh.

It was not to flatter, to paint, to gild nor endeavour in any wise
to reform or organize the world.

It was to deal with the world, with the system called the world, as
a ship pounding to pieces, and pounding helplessly, upon the rocks
of fallen human nature, the dethronement of God in the soul and the
enthronement and exaltation of self-interest in the soul.

The Church in its ministry and widely commissioned effort was to
plunge, as a well-equipped and perfectly manned life-boat may do,
into the sea and surf of natural and Satanic things and get men out
of an old system under the doom and judgment of God into Christ as
the head of a new system under grace and the coming glory of God.

The Church was not to build up a kingdom during the absence of the
Lord.

On the contrary, she was to recognize herself as the affianced bride
of a rejected king and coming bridegroom.

She was to walk in separation from the world, refusing the seductive
enticements of her would-be lovers and with an upward and heavenly
look serve while she waited for a returning Lord.

The Lord did not come.

The Church grew weary of her vigil.

She exchanged the heavenly for the earthly look.

She met the Devil and felt the magic of his bewitching glances.

He had led her Lord to the mount of temptation. He had shown Him all
the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He offered them to Him on
condition that He would turn His feet out of the pathway that led to
the sacrificial cross. He offered them on condition that He should
refuse to go to the cross and there in the agony of His soul and
body and on the loom of His vicarious sufferings weave the seamless
robe of divine righteousness for sinful men.

The Lord refused.

The Devil turned and slew Him.

He now led the willing Church to the same mountain height of
temptation.

He tempted her with the same temptation he had offered her Lord: The
rulership of the world.

If she would turn aside from a heaven-ordained bridegroom and a king
whose face she could not see, she might win the world as her kingdom
and rule it in spite of the cross.

The offer of world rulership sounded pleasant in her ears.

She yielded.

She fell into the arms of the world.

The world became her paramour.

She became the world's mistress.

Out of that ungodly and sensual alliance was born the illegitimate
child, that woful ecclesiastical offspring, we call the Roman
Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church became the Holy Roman Empire.

The Empire was the Church.

For long and dismal ages the Roman Church exhibited to perfection
the evil, the folly and fatality of that false and deceptive
proposition that the Church is the kingdom of Christ on earth.

Then came the Reformation. It so smote the Catholic Church that men
imagined the tiara to be broken, crushed and scattered to the winds
forever.

They were mistaken.

It came from underneath that blow almost as if it had risen from the
dead.

To-day it is more populous than ever, having a membership of at
least two hundred millions. It has a more intensely emphasized
solidarity. It is filled with enthusiasm, with ever-increasing
arrogance and persistent aggression.

It is the religious incubus of the hour, the spiritual paralysis of
nations and their most dangerous political menace.

With brazen effrontery and calculating boldness it has its clutch
upon the throat of this Republic, controls its government from the
Presidential office down through army and navy, has open mass in the
shipyards of the latter, in camp and barracks its priests are
masters and its wily knights of Columbus have obtained governmental
favours and consideration the Young Men's Christian Association
would not dare to claim.

It rules your cities, holds the balance of political power and can,
when it will, elect a President, and will promptly do so when the
candidate for that high office shall be willing, as already it has
been done by the present occupant of that office, to visit the
Vatican or officially recognize the civil as well as religious
authority of the Pope or receive the Apostolic delegate of the Papal
See.

The clutch of Romanism with its strangle hold is on the throat of
what remains of Protestantism.

Protestantism is the after birth of the Reformation.

Protestantism repudiated all the temporalities of Rome but held on
to the proposition that the Church is the kingdom of Christ on
earth.

Protestantism is to-day broken up into multiplying fragments. If
there be any unity remaining in it it is the unity that comes from
the compromising denial of the convictions that led to the original
break into fragments; a unity that hopes to maintain itself by
classifying many of its former convictions as "non-essentials" and
thus constitutes a combination that must become more and more
colourless and inefficient in respect to doctrine.

Some of its theological institutions are nothing better than
clearing houses of infidelity and the curricula made up of Jericho
theology. It has universities in which many of the professors have
been graduated in Germany, having passed through the poison gas
factory of the Berlin university, and under the camouflage
department of "sacred literature" are sending out the mentally and
spiritually asphyxiating poison of German rationalism, inoculating
every fresh lot of newly made ministers and would-be missionaries
with rank unbelief and Bible repudiation, distributing the poison
into the back counties as well as municipal centers until there are
scores of men who once stood for a whole Gospel and a certified Word
of God who now stand first on one foot then on the other debating
with themselves whether this Scripture that was once considered holy
and sufficient is after all a revelation from God or an invention of
man.

A large number of men who are at the front in the teaching, the
management, the organization and control of the churches of the
different denominations repudiate practically every fundamental
doctrine of the Christian faith.

They deny the Virgin birth.

The denial of the Virgin birth puts a stain upon the mother of Jesus
as of a woman who has broken wedlock and sends her son forth as a
bastard, an illegitimate who had no legal right to come into the
world; and then illogically, if not hypocritically, those who deny
it bid us take this son and make Him the exemplar of righteousness,
forgetting or ignoring the self-evident fact that if, indeed, He had
but a human and natural father then was He bred in sin and unfit to
be set up as the supreme standard of righteousness and holiness
among men.

There are those who deny the sacrificial character of the death of
the cross.

They repudiate atonement by the shedding of blood.

When we tell them it is written without shedding of blood there is
no remission and it is the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, that
alone cleanseth from all sin they fling up their hands in protest,
tell us we are to be numbered among the figures of the past and that
the theology we seek to maintain is the theology of the butcher
shop, the barbarous doctrine of the shambles and the shadow of old
-time tribal gods whose vengefulness and wrath could be appeased only
by the murder of a victim.

They repudiate the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the Lord.

His body has long ago mingled with the dust of Palestine and been
blown afar by careless winds. If He rose at all it was as the
principle of righteousness and truth, whatever such a resurrection
may mean. They will no longer tolerate the insistent need of
regeneration. It has been said that "if a man is well born the first
time he does not need to be born the second time."

In the nature of the case such teaching rejects our Lord's bodily
ascension to heaven and His session as a glorified man who is very
God at the right hand of the Father.

Above all, and as a further consequent of such an attitude, teachers
of this class repudiate with an almost hysterical outcry, not only
the thought that the Lord will come a second time to this world, but
that those who love Him and yearn to see Him will ever behold Him
coming in visible glory so that they may stand face to face with Him
and get the very touch of His hands upon them in the vital
benediction for which they are longing.

These advanced teachers repudiate the Bible as the inspired,
infallible, inerrant Word of God,

The Pentateuch, the writings of Moses, is a bundle of folk lore,
Moses himself a fiction no more substantial than Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob. The historic books of the Old Testament are unreliable and
therefore not history at all. The book of the prophet Isaiah instead
of one author has many, each in turn contradicting the other. The
book of Ezekiel from its incomprehensible wheels as they flash by
the banks of the river Chebar to the impossible temple and its
animal offerings with the ever-deepening river flowing out of it, is
as mystic as the amazing cherubim which the prophet seeks, but
apparently fails, to describe. The prophecies of Daniel were written
long after the events they pretend to foretell. From Genesis to
Malachi the Old Testament is in reality the mixed history of a
tribal people with a national god whose attributes and demands are
no more authentic and authoritative than those of the gods of Greece
and Rome.

The New Testament while a degree of advance on the Old by reason of
the progress of the times and the more cultivated environment of its
origin is not a whit more divinely inspired. The three Synoptic
Gospels are witnesses summoned to court where their success is the
contradiction and confusion of the story they attempt to tell. The
book of Acts is a combination pamphlet put together by the followers
of Peter and Paul as an attempt to compromise between the one who
was the Apostle to the Circumcision and the other who was the
Apostle to the Gentiles.

The epistles of Paul are filled with the pernicious influence of
apocalyptic, Jewish fictions and the crass concept the Apostle had
of the kingdom of Christ. Page after page is filled with proof that
he expected the Lord to come in his day and was sorely mistaken,
making that confession at the close of his writings and turning his
attention to death and the grave, no longer having expectation of
the Coming of the Lord as the daily hope of the Church.

It is these palpable errors of Paul, his honest, but undoubted
mistakes that are wholly responsible for that strange thing (so the
Post-millennialists think it) known as Pre-millennialism, a system
of teaching which stands for a whole Bible, a Gospel of redeeming
blood, a risen and actually coming Saviour, coming again in the
flesh, and seeks with an insistent and constant "thus saith the
Lord" to win the souls of men to a grace-given and grace-dealing
Saviour. (And I may say in passing that Paul, under God, is
undoubtedly responsible for this doctrine so persistent and
aggressive, this doctrine of Premillennialism.)

To the advanced theological professor Revelation is a piece of crazy
quilt patchwork, so full of symbols that have no intelligent
meaning, symbols that can be interpreted by twenty different
expositors in twenty different ways, is so full of monsters and
nightmare doings that only an unbalanced mind could have written it
and one equally unbalanced would alone attempt to decipher it.

To these teachers and leaders who count themselves as progressive
followers of the Christ of God, who practically set aside the matter
of miracles as no more worthy of credence than the stories of Alice
in Wonderland, the final place of the deposit of authority is in the
individual and subconscious mind.

These professors, teachers and leaders to a large degree are an
expression of Protestantism.

Protestantism to-day stands for everything in general and nothing in
particular, except its protest against being definite and
particular.

It has thrown eschatology overboard.

It no longer has any interest in hereafter things.

There may be a holy city in heaven; it does not know, it will not
affirm for nor against; but it does know there are unholy cities on
earth.

The streets of the upper city may be paved with gold; it will not
enter into controversy about it; but it is certain the streets down
here are paved with poor asphalt and trodden by footsore and weary
men.

Heaven may be more desirable than earth. The condition there may be
a great advance on this. Advanced thinkers in Protestantism will
neither affirm nor deny that; but they are convinced the conditions
down here should be made much better and if possible even that of
heaven on earth.

The truth is, both heaven and hell, like angelology, have fallen out
of modern theology. Heaven is too high and hell too deep. No
telescope has ever revealed the one and modern sweetness, gentleness
and light repudiate the cruelty and sufferings of the other.

The Gospel for the individual soul, the soul the Son of God once
outweighed against a whole world in all that the world might stand
for of wealth and riches and power and attained ambitions, saying
the profit in the gain of a whole world would not equal the loss of
one soul, has been set aside.

Instead we have that modern and amazing evangel known as the "Social
Gospel."

Here for illustration are two old people living in a miserable cabin
in a reeking, malarial swamp with a dozen children drinking in the
poison of their environment. What folly to spend time and money on
the father or mother. How inefficient any effort to save the
children just one by one. Get to work at once and drain the swamp,
drive out the poisonous and infectious insects with which the place
is swarming, fill in the land with fine clean earth, plant flowers
and sow seeds of fruitful harvests, let the salt sea blow in and
breathe across the spot.

The old people may die, in all probability they will, but under
right and sanitary conditions the children will grow up into
vigorous elements of a strong and worthful society.

Why spend time, money, heart and enthusiasm in seeking to overcome
or straighten out and make correct the bent lives that have come
down to us through the unsanitary moral conditions of a previous
generation? We have had wretched laws, desperate customs, children
have grown up under them to become fathers and mothers of
generations no better than themselves.

It is neither economy of mind nor matter, so the modernists teach,
to build mission houses, gather the people, old and young, and
frighten them with the thought that when they die they shall pass
into an environment worse than the one in which they are
endeavouring to eke out a handicapped existence. Let us do the wise
thing--go not so much to the prayer meetings, but to the
legislatures, get bills passed, laws made that will drive out the
false and disastrous conditions now obtaining; legislate so that it
will no longer be possible for people to drink themselves drunk,
steep themselves in drugs, smoke themselves yellow with tobacco,
yield to the fascination of gambling in any form. Let society be
cleaned from these evils and the result will be certain. A
generation that shall never see a saloon, a bottle of wine or
whiskey; a generation that will never know the meaning of rum and
tobacco and will never see a house of ill fame will be a generation
that must grow up in righteousness and truth. There will be no more
drunken brawls, no multiplied lawlessness, no diseased bodies, no
moral leprosy. The world will be safe for each individual. Each
individual will have a saved, moral life here, a life lived in
obedience to the laws of nature, and as the laws of nature are the
laws of God, in obedience to God. And what danger can the hereafter,
if there be such a thing as the hereafter, hold for any one who is
so obeying the laws of God?

Get society right and the individual will become right.

That is the modern Gospel.

That is the message to a needy world:

"Get society right and the individual will become right."

I do not interject here in full testimony the nevertheless fact that
such a pagan city as Rome, or licentious Corinth or idolatrous
Ephesus were lifted into cleanness and moral decency, not by
legislative action, by reorganization of local conditions, but by
the regeneration of one individual at a time until the divine sanity
and personal spirituality enthroned in them built up societies,
assemblies of such heaven-given health that the old social
conditions were overthrown; so overthrown by the personal Gospel
Paul preached that throughout Asia Minor the people had been turned
away from the worship of their gods, in Ephesus the temple of Diana
was largely deserted and the craftsmen who made the silver, souvenir
images of the goddess complained their business was almost at an
end.

Strangely enough the advocates of this social Gospel set up the
individual life of the Son of God as the means by which society is
to be made right; but they set up, not the life He is living now as
the risen, glorified God-man; on the contrary the life He lived
before He died, the character He exhibited as a social reformer and
an exemplar in righteousness. Men, they say, are not to be saved by
the death Christ died, but by the life He then lived. He is to be
taken as the proof of the doctrine of evolution and the
possibilities in the natural man. He is the most advanced son of God
who ever lived. All other men are innately sons of God, but
undeveloped.

The fact of Christ, it is said, is a sublime encouragement to any
man. He has only to copy Him in His words and deeds to find the
divine life unfolding. Get away from the sacrificial Christ, this
modern Gospel teaches, to the social Christ, the Christ who was
interested in the poor and needy and who arraigned wrong social
conditions; take the attitude of Christ in relation to the evil of
His times and with Him as the inspiration institute right
legislation and right social conditions and the world will soon
approach the condition of heaven on earth.

This is the infidellic drive of Protestantism today.

Protestantism has come down from the plane of the supernatural to
the plane of the natural.

Every day Protestantism is becoming more and more a society for
competitive morality.

In short, the Protestantism of the hour is a combination of
religiousness, civilization, Christianity, socialism, pagan
philosophy, unitarianism and the energy of the flesh.

Nor need we be startled at this as though some strange thing had
taken place. Long ago the Apostle warned us that it would be
necessary to preach the Word in season and out of season--just as a
watchman is under bonds to flash light in the darkness--because the
time would come when the Church should have a form of godliness, but
denying the power thereof; when it would not endure sound doctrine,
but in obedience to the itching of the flesh should heap to itself
teachers who should endeavour to respond to these worldly demands;
teachers who in the end should turn the people away from the truth
and turn them to the fictions and fables of men; teachers of whom
the Apostle Peter warned who should bring in damnable heresies, even
denying the Lord who had bought them, teachers whom Jude foresaw
would creep in unawares.

Men who consult the chart of a seacoast which marks the place of
breakers and treacherous, hidden ledges, now and then thrust out
through the white foam like the gleaming sharp teeth of waiting
sharks, are not startled when they see the surf breaking at the
indicated spot and hear the roar of the waters where it was
announced they should lift up their thunder; they are not surprised,
instead their confidence in the accuracy of the chart is emphasized.

Likewise when those who have read the forecast in Holy Scripture,
while they may feel a certain grief at the facts as they are,
rejoice when they see these things that even the failure of man as
man and the betrayal of committed trust bear witness to the accuracy
of Holy Writ.

With all its failure the professing Church still claims to be the
kingdom of Christ on earth and asserts its determination to rule the
world. Rome holds to the idea with unfailing faith and with
consistent Jesuitical and political scheming is moving forward with
united front to temporal sovereignty. Protestantism with its new
watchword of a "reorganized world" is making all its plans to attain
the place of power by social, moral and political means.

What would be said of a queen who entered into partnership with men
whose hands were still red with the blood of her murdered husband
and rejected king? What could be said but that she had wholly
forgotten or proved totally false to the principles for which her
husband had died?

What shall be said of a Church which seeks to enter into partnership
with a world that slew her Lord; which under all the smile and
smoothness of moral, social and philosophical phrases and all the
hypocritical laudations of His human character rejects His deity and
hears in His cry of agony on the cross the proof that He was only a
man who failed as other men have failed at the last.

Such a Church as that has lost the vision of its true attitude
during the absence of its rejected Lord and is well-nigh to
forfeiting its commission.

Over the professing Church is sounding to-day with ominous
significance the Apostolic words of warning:

"What, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with
God; and that whosoever will be the friend of the world, is the
enemy of God?"

The Corinthian Church attempted to take the place of rulership in
the world.

With keen and biting words the Apostle rebukes them.

Thus he writes to them:

"Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without
us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we might also reign with
you."

Then he adds by way of contrast:

"I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were
appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and
to angels and to men."

It is this same apostle who under the inspiration of the Spirit in
his second epistle writes to Timothy:

"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him."

It is not while her Lord is the crucified and rejected that the
Church is to reign and rule over the world. Not while He is seated
on His Father's throne in heaven and His own throne on earth is cast
down and trampled in the dust. Nay! if the Church is faithful she
will walk in separation from the world. If the Church is faithful
she will testify against the world, not testify merely against
certain abuses, but against the world as a system, that it is built
upon the principle of the enthronement of self and not God, the
exaltation of the flesh and not spirit.

If the Church shall be faithful and like Noah in the building of his
ark condemn the world; if the Church will take up earnestly the
solemn truth of God and warn men that no matter how good a
government may be established by human means, no matter what culture
and morality may fill the earth, no matter to what extent advance
may be made in art, in science, nor no matter how safe a place the
world may be made to live in, no matter to what heights of natural
morality and righteousness man as man may attain, the judgment of
God against this system of man called the world is certain, and that
He will arise in His majesty to shake terribly the earth, and that
only the things that are built on God can remain, the Church will
suffer and be rejected even as was her Lord.

The Church is to be faithful to the testimony of Christ and enter
into the fellowship of His sufferings.

The day of her triumph will come.

She is yet to rule over the world.

The hour and the circumstances are fixed.

Listen, I pray you, to the words of the Spirit as He speaks through
the Apostle Paul:

"When Christ who is our life shall appear--then (and not till then)
shall ye also appear with Him in glory."

Only when Christ shall come to take to Himself His long deferred
rulership can the Church enter into her rulership over the world. In
the fifth chapter of the Revelation you have the new song of the
Church, the song of redemption and rule.

This is the triumphant song; it is a song of praise addressed to the
Son of God Himself:

"Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of
every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation:

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign
on the earth."

But mark the moment when that song is sung, the occasion of
occasions!

It is at that supreme moment when as the Lion of the tribe of Judah
yonder in His risen and glorified humanity in heaven He steps
forward, Son of man, king of the Jews and king of Israel to take the
title deeds of His kingdom from the hand of the Father; that moment
when He is getting ready to cast His judgments on the earth and come
forth as in the days of Noah to sweep away all iniquity and
unrighteousness. It is at this moment when He is about to take to
Himself His great power and descend in judgment glory that the
Church bursts forth into her song of redemption and rule.

It is at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ alone that the
Church will enter upon her function of rulership over the world. She
cannot reign till He comes and puts her in the place of His queen
and in associated power with Himself.

And because I want to see the Church lifted up out of social,
political and fleshly partnership with the world; because I want to
see the Church in the place of authority and power making and
fulfilling the edicts of God; because I want to see the Church so
exalted into the place of rulership that all the nations shall walk
in the light of her excellency, her righteousness and holiness; and
because this high and glorious state will be attained alone at the
Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ I preach His Second Coming.



V


Only at the Second Coming Will the Solemn and Covenant Promises of
God to Israel be Fulfilled


GOD sware to Abraham that he and his posterity should have the land
of Palestine for an everlasting possession.

Abraham never got a foot of the land under covenant promise.

The only bit of ground he was able to call his was the burial plot
he purchased with his own money.

The children of Israel never entered the promised land under the
Abrahamic covenant.

The Lord redeemed them from Egypt, brought them through the divided
waters of the Red Sea, led them by His presence, bore them up as on
eagle's wings and dealt with them in pure, unconditional grace till
they came to Sinai.

There in all the pride and self-sufficiency of the flesh they took
themselves off the ground of grace and unconditional covenant and
put themselves under the covenant of the law.

This covenant was a covenant of good behaviour.

They were to possess the land as long as they fulfilled the terms of
the covenant under the seal of its blessing and cursing.

After the first generation had perished in the wilderness because of
their unbelief, the second generation crossed the Jordan dry shod as
their fathers had crossed the Red Sea and entered the land under
pledge and bond of good behaviour.

They were not able to keep the covenant of their own suggestion. Ten
tribes went into an abomination of organized and politically
inspired idolatry.

In judgment and according to His warning He caused them to be
carried away captives and buried nationally among the people whither
they were led and for twenty-five hundred years have been nationally
lost to view.

For two thousand years because of similar and aggravated offenses
and finally, because as a nation guilty of manslaughter in slaying
the Lord their covenant king, the Jews have been the wanderers of
the earth, the people of the restless foot, finding a home in every
land but their own.

Has God failed to keep His promise?

Has He been unable or unwilling to keep His promise?

Neither postulate is possible.

God's counsel is immutable.

He confirmed it by an oath. And since He could swear by nothing
greater He sware by Himself.

In the nature of the case then scattered Israel and wandering Judah
must be gathered. They must return to their own land.

God has so promised.

These promises are to be found upon the pages of Holy Writ like the
leaves of autumn--so many, so thickly strewn, now in single phrase,
in connected passages, in whole chapters that should I attempt to
read them slowly and distinctly, giving the sense, it would take me
till the morning light.

The Lord declares He has written their names upon the palms of His
hand.

They are as near and sensitively dear to Him, He says, as the apple
of His eye. He is so interested, so determined concerning their
restoration that He uses the most intensive language to express it,
language that almost thunders aloud from the page as you read it.

He uses language no less intense than this:

"Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant
them in this land (the land of Palestine) assuredly with my whole
heart and with my whole soul."

Try and think of that! Let it penetrate your mind. The Lord who made
heaven and earth, whose very name is omnipotence, says He will put
the whole of His omnipotent heart and the whole of His omnipotent
soul into the execution and the accomplishment of His determination
and purpose to plant the children of Israel once more and forever in
their own land.

In the face of that registered will and purpose what power is there
of man or Devil; what force is there in all the sweep of the
universe that can hinder the chosen and covenant people of God from
going back to Palestine and possessing that land as theirs and
theirs alone, forever?

But what evidence have we, what demonstration and proof that God
will fulfill this postscript promise and plan?

What evidence have we from the bare statement of God that He will
keep this promise?

The evidence is manifold and overwhelming.

Before even the children of Israel crossed the Jordan the Lord
warned them in language which burns and blisters that if they did
not keep the law covenant and walk in the ways of righteousness and
truth He would cause them to fall before their enemies. They should
go out one way before them and flee seven ways. Their cities should
be taken and their wives ravished. They should be led captives into
every land. They should become a proverb, a byword, a hissing and a
scorn. Every hand should be against them to do them ill. They should
find no ease whither they went, nor should the soles of their feet
have rest. Amidst those nations the Lord should give them a
trembling heart, failing eyes and sorrow of mind. Their life should
hang in doubt. They should fear night and day, and have no assurance
of life. In the morning they should say, Would God it were even, and
at even they should say, Would God it were morning.

Their land should be made desolate and be an astonishment to the
passer-by. In its desolation it should keep the sabbaths they should
fail to give it. If they would not allow the land to rest in its
sabbatic years, the Lord would cause it to have its ordained and
natural rest by driving them out of it and allowing wind and rain
and sun to take care of it and keep it fruitful.

Later on all this warning of woe and terror of judgments was
emphasized by the prophets against the Jews.

They should become a nation of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

But while the Lord should use the nations to correct them He would
not make a full end of His own people.

He would use the nations as the rods of His anger, as the
instruments of discipline. He would use them by taking advantage of
their own aggressive desires and ambitions, then after using them He
would turn upon them, punish them for their pride and godless enmity
to His people and make a full end of them.

Then as the hour should draw nigh for the restoration to the land He
would cause the Jews as the national representatives of all Israel
to bud, to blossom and fill the face of the whole world with fruit.

They should be the first to be restored to the land.

They would go back in unbelief.

And mark how the prophecies have been fulfilled!

The illustration of this fulfillment finds its most tragic emphasis
in the history of the Jews since that day when their king, the Son
of God and the Holy One of Israel was hung as a malefactor on a
Roman cross.

They have not only been wanderers in every land, but they have
suffered an agony no tongue can fittingly tell.

The men have been robbed. They have been broken on the wheel. They
have been stretched on the rack. They have been flayed alive. They
have been burned alive. They have been sent to sea by thousands as
herded cattle; and they have been sent thither in rotting and
sinking ships. Their wives and daughters have suffered worse than
torture or death. Their children have been mutilated; and when they
failed to bring a full and satisfactory price in the public market,
men, women and children have been given away as worthless slaves,
not worth even the price of a kennel dog.

They have been hunted like wild beasts of the mountain. Like
frightened beasts they have trembled at the sound of approaching
footsteps and the sound of a shaken leaf has caused them to flee.

If their Lord was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, truly
may it be said of them that they have been through the centuries a
nation of sorrows and acquainted with grief; but the sorrows were
unlike those of their Lord. He carried the sorrows, the griefs and
woes of others that He might relieve them; they carried their own
sorrows put upon them by the wickedness and cruelty of others until
tears were their meat and drink night and day.

Behold how the prophecies have been fulfilled in respect to their
land.

For centuries it has kept a sabbath of rest.

It has rested from the toil of man; harvests have neither been sown
nor reaped, nor the vintage gathered save here and there as with the
sword in one hand and the sickle in the other.

The land is there as a land just as it was in the days when the man
of Nazareth walked by the shores of blue Galilee or trod the hills
of Judah. The mountains of Moab draw their lines of beauty against
the measureless deeps of an orient sky. The valleys lie between like
fruitful bosoms where wheat and barley may grow. The olive trees
stand dusky in the deepening shade. Pomegranate and apricot stretch
forth their weighted boughs and the grapes in Eschol clusters hang
purple in the slant of westering suns. It is even yet a land of
brooks and fountains of waters and men may still dig iron and brass
from out of its rugged hills.

Yonder in Bashan within the range of your eyes you may count sixty
cities of stone, walls and roofs and windows of stone, great
swinging doors of stone. The centuries have beaten the wind, the
rain, the storms and flying sand upon them. They remain. They have
outworn the centuries. They are silent. No footfall is heard upon
the threshold. The houses are empty save for a fox, a swiftly
gliding viper, or a belated Bedaween who may stable his horse in a
deserted room where once a happy family dwelt in the long ago.

The stone cities are waiting and every stone in door and window
seems to be crying out:

"We are waiting till they return whose right alone it is to live and
dwell here."

But what of the nations that scattered them and made them to suffer?

Where is Babylon the proud empire that took them captive; where is
Babylon the golden city that saw them hang their harps upon the
willows, sit down upon the banks of the strange river and give way
to weeping as they yearned for their own land again?

Where is Greece whose phalanxes swept through their fields and
spoiled their vineyards?

Where is Rome whose iron legions took their city, put thousand on
thousands to the sword, destroyed the beautiful temple once hallowed
by a Saviour's feet and then drew a ploughshare over Zion that it
might become a ploughed field as foretold? The Rome that sculptured
on its triumphal arches the figures of the captive Jews it had led
in boastful mockery at the chariot wheels of returning conquerors?

These nations in their ancient glory have disappeared, the Lord as
He promised has made a full end of them.

But what of Israel?

The Jews have answered for them.

There are fifteen millions of Jews to-day.

They are the most vital and vigorous race on the earth. They are
five times the number of all Israel who left Egypt; and they are but
a sixth part of them--two tribes, Judah and Benjamin.

They are the money makers and money loaners of the world. They are
the merchants, the bankers, the musicians, the professors in school,
in college and university. They are the philosophers, the
scientists, the electricians and chemists. They have furnished prime
ministers, statesmen, judges and generals. Such a statesman as
Disraeli who glorified England, such a general as Massena whom
Napoleon characterized as the "child of victory."

If to-day you should seek a representative in every department of
human genius and endeavour you would find that representative to be
either a Jew or a Jewess.

Fifteen millions of Jews!

What are these fifteen millions of Jews but fifteen millions of
proofs that the book we call the Bible is true, is inerrant,
infallible?

Fifteen millions of demonstrations and fifteen millions of
indubitable proofs.

By so much as they prove that God keeps faith with His warnings of
woe and judgment, by so much will He keep faith with the promise of
good He has made; by so much is it sure He will yet plant them as He
has said in their own land and will do so with His whole heart and
His whole soul.

Already the sound of their footsteps may be heard on the homeward
march.

Zionism is now an immense fact.

The spirit of nationalism has come back to Judah.

The blue and white flag of David has been unfurled.

Diplomats in the nations' counsels agree there can be no settled
peace between Europe and the East till the Jew is back in his own
land and Judah once more a recognized political state; that the Jews
are the only people all the nations will agree should have
Palestine, and the words, "Jewish State" are words repeated in
common speech round the globe.

England has driven the Turk out of Jerusalem.

The corner-stone of a five million dollar university has been laid
upon that Mount of Olives where once the Son of God amid its lonely
shades prayed and agonized, a begun fulfillment of the prophecy of
Zephaniah that in the latter days the Lord would execute judgment on
the Gentile nations that should be gathered there and to His
restored and delivered people turn again a pure speech, no longer
the stuttering and smattering phrase of Yiddish, but the old Hebraic
tongue of their fathers.

Already there are papers in Jerusalem published in Hebrew, schools
are taught and many speak in the ancient language.

Many Jews are going back to Palestine.

Many more are there now than returned from Babylon.

They are going back as the Word of God foretold, in utter and
absolute unbelief and bitter repudiation of the idea that Jesus of
Nazareth was their foretold and foreordained Messiah.

They are going back with the vail upon their eyes and as blind as in
the day when their fathers caused Him to be crucified by Roman
hands.

They are going back to a time of anguish of which Jeremiah solemnly
warns as "the day of Jacob's trouble," and our Lord describes as the
tribulation, "the great one," the like of which the world has never
seen and will never see again.

They are going back to be set up by a league of ten nations and to
enter into an alliance and covenant with its godless head as their
political and false Messiah.

They will suffer until there shall come upon that generation all the
righteous blood shed upon the earth from the blood of righteous Abel
to the blood of Zacharias, the son of Bacharias who was slain
between the temple and the altar, and the blood of the Son of God
which they invoked in judgment on themselves and their children in
that fatal hour when Pilate convinced of the innocence of Jesus and
wishing to let Him go had washed His hands in water, putting the
responsibility of the crucifixion upon them as a people. Then it was
they cried that terrible cry:

"His blood be on us, and on our children."

But then as now, and always since the days of Elijah, there was and
is an elect remnant in Israel.

For their sakes the Lord will come.

He will descend with His host to Mount Sinai, the place of the law;
the spot where Israel rejected grace and sought that covenant which
neither they nor their children have ever been able to keep.

He will sweep with His mighty army to Jerusalem.

He will overthrow the Gentile nations gathered there under the
Devil-incarnate Antichrist.

He will stand upon the Mount of Olives.

The elect remnant will behold Him come.

They will look upon Him whom their fathers pierced.

They will fall down in anguish before Him.

They will mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son.

They will take up the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah and make it
their confession of faith and bitter, self-accusing lamentation.

They will say:

"We did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his
stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his
own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

And in that hour, in that day of days shall there be a fountain
opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
for sin and uncleanness.

The Lord will cause Jerusalem to be rebuilded "upon her own heap."
He will ordain the erection of that temple in which He shall
establish the throne of His holiness.

Like David He will reign first over Judah. After that He will send
Gentile messengers like "fishers" to seek out and find the
descendants of the ten lost tribes. They will respond to the
proclamation that will be made and to the search that will be
instituted in that eastern land and among those peoples whither they
were first carried away. There will be many impostors among them;
but the Lord will make them to "pass under the rod" as when the true
sheep are struck with the owner's mark and as they take up their
journey Zionward all who are not of Israel will be purged from their
midst.

Those who are really of the covenant people will be quickened,
regenerated, and when they enter the land will be welcomed by Judah
and Benjamin.

They shall become one nation in the land upon the mountains of
Israel. One king shall be king to them all. They shall not be two
nations any more, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms at
all. The Lord will make a covenant of peace with them and multiply
them and set His sanctuary in the midst of them forever. His
tabernacle shall be with them. He will be their very God as He shall
be the God of the whole earth. They shall be His peculiar people.
All the Gentiles shall know that He has set them apart for Himself
when they behold His temple erected in their midst, the most
wonderful building in all the earth.

And thus will be fulfilled the prophecy concerning Israel quoted and
emphasized by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul that the
Deliverer should come to Zion and turn away ungodliness from Jacob
and that all Israel--that is--Israel united and as twelve tribes,
should be saved.

It is at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, then and not till then
that the solemn and covenant promises of God made to Abraham, to
Isaac and to Jacob will be fulfilled and united, redeemed,
regenerated and saved Israel set in their own land as the center and
channel of blessing to the earth.

And because there can be no permanent peace in the world till Israel
has been restored; and because I wish to see, not only peace among
the nations and Israel reaping the blessings of the unconditional
covenant of God's grace and unchanged faithfulness, but because I
yearn to see the hour when the Lord shall enter upon His own
inheritance and justify Himself before heaven and earth as Judah's
Lord, as Israel's God and turn the accusation of His cross: "This is
Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews" into the pean of His
coronation as such, I preach the Second Coming.



VI


Only at the Second Coming of the Christ of God Will a Government of
Everlasting Righteousness and Peace be Established Upon the Earth


IT was the original purpose of God to make the people of Israel the
head of nations, place them in Palestine as the geographical center
of the earth, make them its political center, send His own Son to be
their incarnate king, use them as a channel of earthly and spiritual
blessing and make this world the most perfect and happiest spot in
all the wide universe.

They failed to meet their opportunity.

Then the Lord transferred the possibility of world rulership from
the Jews to the Gentiles.

He did this by handing political power and authority to
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.

This rulership and sway of the world descended in its ordained and
foretold succession down through Medo-Persia with its incorporation
of Babylon, through the temporary but immensely extended empire of
Greece which under Alexander included both Babylon and Medo-Persia,
and after that the colossal and magic empire of Rome, swallowing up
as it did the three empires or kingdoms which preceded it.

Since the division of Rome into Western and Eastern empires the
rulership of the world has been maintained by the various nations
composed of those people dwelling in the territory once occupied by
Rome.

The world has been ruled by Turks, Spaniards, Germans, by the French
and by the English.

The Gentile nations in this special and prophetic territory have
been the world rulers.

It has been peculiarly Gentile rulership and in Scripture is called,
"The times of the Gentiles."

Gentile times, Gentile rulership has lasted for twenty-five hundred
years.

It has been an amazing rule.

It has been a rulership that has revealed the genius, the brilliance
and the God-given powers of man.

It has been a rulership that has revealed the iniquity, the sin, the
mad ambition and devil-inspired policies of man.

In all the twenty-five hundred years of this Gentile rule there have
not been one hundred consecutive years of universal peace.

It has been twenty-five hundred years of war, of rapine, murder and
measureless lust.

Cities have been destroyed, fields have been laid waste, women have
endured the last outrage. Children have been orphaned, right has
been upon the scaffold and wrong upon the throne, prison chains have
been for virtue, silk and velvet for vice, civilization after
civilization has been destroyed, the earth has been filled with
anguish beyond the power of tongue or pen to describe, and blood
enough has been shed through man's inhumanity to man to float all
the navies of the world, and money and treasure enough wasted to
have provided a palace for every man and woman on earth.

A little less than five years ago men everywhere were talking of
peace and safety.

Christianity and civilization were walking hand in hand.

Christianity or that which professed to be Christianity had accepted
all the claimed benefits of civilization.

Rapid transit, the telephone, all the triumphs of applied science
were announced as the by-products of the Gospel. Even though the
churches were becoming more or less empty and the people were
turning away to other centers of instruction or enlightenment or
consolation or hope, preachers were everywhere and with great
insistence announcing that the world was growing better every day
and that we were rapidly approaching the purple and the gold of
millennial times. The hour was not far distant when the lion and the
lamb should lie down together. There was much talk about the
fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. People were coming
together and having a better and more disinterested estimate of each
other. Religion was ceasing to be dogmatic and precise and becoming
more and more a profession that was free from restraint.

Christian ministers in the pulpit and supposedly wise men in the
counsels of the nations with optimistic utterance announced that the
days of barbarism had passed away, the brutality of war was at an
end. Men and nations would no longer adjourn their differences to
the field of battle. A magnificent palace of peace had been erected
in that country that had for centuries been the bloody ground where
Europe settled its political issues. In this splendid home of
arbitration the nations were to meet as friends and brothers and
calmly arrange and solve all matters that had hitherto kept them
menacingly apart.

War had become so abhorrent to what was called the Christian sense
of the nations that mothers were exhorted to banish from the
nurseries anything that might suggest the thought of war, such as
trumpets, drums or toy guns. So completely had the peace idea
pervaded the mind of the people, the idea that peace had come to
stay and nothing must be tolerated that would even hint at war, that
a soldier or a sailor wearing the uniform of his country was no
longer acceptable in a public place, were it a restaurant, a music
hall or even a church.

Men who were opposed to spending a dollar to make a nation ready for
the possibility of war were hailed as the advanced thinkers and the
men worthy of the suffrage of the people; while those who contended
human nature had not been changed, that a nation was simply the
individual grown large and the jealousies, the covetousness and
ambitions of governments would always make it possible for the
strong to prey upon the weak and for the unprincipled under the
guise of national necessity to attack their unprepared neighbours
and therefore just as much as a city rests in confidence with the
presence within it of a well-equipped police force, equally so the
comfort and security of peace could be best maintained by a nation
governed by right principles whose army and navy were ready to
resist successfully any unjust assault upon its honour or integrity,
were treated with pity, if not scorn, as still under the spell of
benighted and barbaric days.

"Peace and safety!" these were the pleasant words that lulled a
pleasure-seeking and money-making generation into self-satisfied
rest and the mirage of millennial days already arrived.

Then, suddenly, like a bolt out of a clear sky, or the overflow in
raging lava tide of an unsuspected volcano, the most stupendous,
ghastly and brutally devilish war the world has ever known was on in
all its fiendish fury, sweeping from England to the Euphrates and
from the Rhine and Danube on the north to the glittering sands of
Africa on the south, rolling its waves of blood and sending its
sickening and indescribable horrors through those lands and among
those people at one time constituting the four kingdoms to whom God
had committed the rulership of the world; that region occupied by
Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome and whose administration of
world affairs is called "the times of the Gentiles."

To-night ten millions of the world's flower of manhood lie rotting
in their graves. Six millions of women and children have been
starved to death. Women have been unspeakably ruined, children
mutilated and flung as helpless debris upon the charity of
strangers, suffering their orphaned estate and not knowing why.

All the genius, the science and invention of man with poured out,
unlimited wealth, have been drafted to produce the most terrifically
destructive means of war. All the boasted progress and culture of
the preceding centuries were called upon to wage the contest until
it should affright even the participants themselves. Clouds of
poison gas filled the once sweet and vital air of spring time and
summer mornings. Human beings wearing hideous masks and looking like
other world monsters rushed in mad onslaught upon one another. They
burrowed in holes and trenches like wild beasts concealed in their
lair and waiting for the prey. Through the startled heavens winged
things like huge vampires vomiting fire and blood took their way
over cities, towns and unprotected hospitals, leaving behind them
the dead, the dying and the tortured. Hunger with its sunken cheeks,
and pestilence with its green eyes, its slavering lips have trod the
earth till horror with wordless anguish has kept vigil by the
blackened hearthstones of ruined homes and deserted firesides.

To-night, the fields of Flanders where the poppies grow and where
the dead who died too soon and lie almost too thick to count, are as
though a mighty juggernaut had rolled its fearful wheels over them,
crushing both man and earth together into one monstrous pulp of
hopeless ruin.

To-night France, where the lilies were wont to bloom, is torn and
ripped in all the one-time beauty and fascination of her white and
winding roads, poplar fringed, in the culture of her fruited
gardens, her orchards and her royal forests, as though some
monstrous creation of pre-Adamite days had survived and broken
through all restraint of all the ages to riot and gorge himself with
unlimited delight of destruction.

All this after two thousand years of professed Christianity and the
constant iteration that the Church was slowly winning its way to the
ruler-ship of the world; that each hour the world was growing better
and more and more the principles of the Christ of God dominating the
universal heart of man.

The world awoke to find its heart unchanged and war with aggressive
animalism still the underlying and primal force in man.

To-night in face of all this, in face of the solemn declaration of
the Son of God that during the whole time of His absence there would
be war and rumours of war, and specially within the territory once
occupied by Rome; that there would be distress of nations with
perplexity, men's hearts failing them for fear for looking after the
things that should be coming on the earth; that the people like the
waves of the sea should be roaring, uttering their discordant voices
in the thunder of protest and bitter discontent, breaking the bonds
of old customs and lashing the times with lawlessness and
unprecedented crime; in face of the warning of the Apostle Paul that
in the last days, that is to say in the closing hours of this age,
there should be, not peaceful but perilous times; that evil men
should wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived; in the
face of the inspired assurance of the Apostle James that as this
dispensation should draw to its close Capital and Labour should
stand in bitter attitude to each other; that the accumulated wealth
of a special class called "rich men" should be "heaped together"
that they might be spoiled and that miseries should come upon them;
that on the one side should be the aggression of the profiteers and
on the other the violence of those who would refuse to be exploited;
in face of this assurance of industrial and class war; in face of
the fact that the softest toned apostle whose pen is always
transcribing the word "love," and who has reached the highest and
most sublime definition of God as love; in face of the fact that
this apostle affirms the hour will come when the whole world under
religious, political and devilish inspiration will rush to conflict,
that everywhere will be heard the tramp of armed men and the
gathering of the nations for a war such as the world has not yet
seen; in face of the picture which this apostle of love paints where
the armies of the world are seen gathered in battle array against
the Lord Christ and His right to reign; in the face of this divine
warning the statesmen of the world are assembled in counsel at
Paris, the world's capital of pleasure, in a palace once dedicated
to lust and wanton self-gratification, whose panelled ceiling and
mirrored walls are filled with and reflect the scenes and
glorification of war, that by the stroke of a pen, by a series of
resolutions, they may constitute a league of nations bulking so big
that every threatened wave of future war may be flung back as when
the dykes of Holland reject the sea.

The astonishing and suggestive thing is that in the making and
remaking of the map of Europe and Asia undertaken by the framers of
the league, they are, all unconsciously, restoring the outlines of
the old Roman Empire and preparing the way for the final and
desperate revival of Rome under the form of ten confederate nations,
with its last kaiser, that dark and woful figure, the man of sin,
the son of perdition, the Antichrist.

And there are Christian teachers who see in this league another
herald of the millennium before Christ comes which they so
sedulously preached previously to the war. They see in this league
an evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace is in
reality reigning over the earth and bending the nations to His will
for the reign of peace.

In the whole history of theological exegesis and interpretation I
know of nothing so utterly faulty, illogical and wholly unscriptural
as that exegesis which teaches the angel song at Bethlehem to be the
announcement of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Prince of
Peace and that as such He should establish it among the nations
after His ascension to heaven and during His absence from the world.

The angels sang glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to
"men of good will."

The angel who spoke to the shepherds keeping the temple sheep for
the morning and the evening sacrifice was testifying to them that
there was no longer need to keep the sheep for such a purpose. The
day of animal sacrifices had passed, the living God had provided the
true sacrifice, He who was born beneath the chaplet of heaven's
music, the Lamb of God ordained before the foundation of the world.
He had been born into the world that He might make peace by the
blood of His cross, not between man and man, not between nation and
nation, but between man and God. He had been born to die and by His
death reconcile a rebel world to God; on the basis of this sacrifice
yet to be and when He should have risen from the dead as witness of
the efficacy of His death He would bring peace to every soul that
should be of good will--every soul that should surrender to the will
of God by believing on Him, offering Him by faith as a sacrifice and
claiming Him as a substitute. Every such soul should be at peace
with, and have the peace of, God.

This was the meaning of that natal hour at Bethlehem.

The angels were not singing over Him as the Prince of Peace who had
come to abolish war among the nations, but as the ordained sacrifice
who should bring peace between the individual man and his God. And
yet--He is to be the Prince of Peace and reign and rule as such over
the earth, putting an end to war and establishing perfect peace
among the nations.

The promise of His reign and rule as the Prince of Peace is clearly
set forth in Scripture; as it is written in the book of the prophet
Isaiah:

"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. His name shall be
called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his peace and
government there shall be no end."

But when? Where?

Listen:

"Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it."

And hear what Gabriel says to Mary when he comes to announce to her
that she has been chosen of Almighty God to give birth to the
Messiah of Israel.

The angel says:

"Thou shalt call his name Jesus . . . He shall be great, and shall
be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto
him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his
kingdom there shall be no end."

He is to be the Prince of Peace when He sits upon the throne of
united Israel in their own land and not before.

He was born in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah.

He was a Son given. The Son of God who was God the Son.

He was a Son given and became a child born.

He grew up to the station of manhood.

He entered upon His pre-arranged ministry.

At the appointed hour and to the very second foretold by Gabriel to
Daniel and in the exact manner announced by the prophet Zechariah He
rode into Jerusalem, went into the temple, claiming it as His
Father's house of prayer and by so much declaring Himself to be the
Son of the Highest and the heir of David's throne.

The shout of the multitude had announced Him officially.

They had said:

"Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of
the Lord."

In crying this aloud they were fulfilling the prediction of
Zechariah.

He had, under the vision of God, looked forward to this hour and
with the Spirit of God upon him had exhorted the people who should
be alive when Jesus should come to acclaim him.

He said:

"Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy King cometh unto thee;
he is just, and having salvation (political as well as spiritual
salvation); lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal
of an ass."

The multitude were shouting as Zechariah said they should shout.
They were confessing that He who came that day up the slopes of Zion
was the Prince of Judah and King of Israel.

He came to His own, but His own received Him not.

Instead of the diadem of David He got a crown of thorns. Instead of
the sceptre of Israel He got the vine stick of a Roman centurion
thrust through His rope-tied hands. Instead of a throne He got a
malefactor's cross. Instead of a robe of royal purple He got the
winding sheet of the dead. Instead of a palace He got a borrowed
grave.

The Jews have paid the price of that blindness and betrayal. The
man-slayer who unwittingly slew his neighbour or was even ignorant
of it at the moment sooner or later found he had to flee from the
avenger of blood instantly upon his track. He became an exile from
his home, forced to dwell in a provided place called the city of
refuge. He could not return to his home till the second coming of a
priest.

The Jews were guilty, as a nation, of manslaughter.

They were deceived and involved by their leaders. They really did
not know that He whom they hounded to death at the last was not only
the covenant king of Israel, and the Holy One of their fathers, but
the Prince of life.

Because of their blindness, blunder and sin they were cast out of
the land. Because, even though in ignorance, they slew their King,
they were exiled by the judgment of God from their home. They
deprived the Lord of that land that was His through the covenant of
Abraham, and the Lord in turn deprived them of the right of dwelling
in the land. They should be exiles so long as He was an exile. Nor
can they return till He comes the second time as a priest, not after
the order of Aaron, but Melchisedec; for it is written that He shall
be both a king and priest upon His throne.

Only can the Jews return and be owned nationally of the Lord when He
shall come.

He will come and He will come as the Prince of Peace.

He will not come, I repeat, with the olive branch in His hand and
the cooing dove nestling upon His shoulder.

Nay! not at all!

He will come as the Avenger of His elect, as the Son of man, as the
judge of all flesh.

He will come to overthrow the combination of Devil and man.

His Coming will be the climax of old and outworn ages, the beginning
of the new.

The glory of His Coming cannot be described.

Through years of meditation and continued effort at description I
have exhausted my vocabulary and worn to tatters the oft-repeated
phrases with which I have sought with heart full of adoring
enthusiasm to announce the wonders of that hour.

If all the suns and systems were turned into speech till every
flaming center of light were an adjective with increasing emphasis
of qualification and expression the attempt to put into words the
glory of that Coming would be a pitiful and overwhelming failure.

He will come surrounded by an innumerable host whose hallelujahs
shall so vibrate that the very heavens will roll apart at their
soundings.

The Lord will come in His threefold glory, the glory of the Father,
the glory of the angels and His own glory: the glory of His eternal
and unbegun sonship with the Father, as chief of the angels and as
that man who is very God, as that God who is real and immortal man.
Then will He set up the kingdom, the government for which the ages
have dreamed and groaned and guessed and prayed.

That hour of hours!

Satan bound, iniquity overthrown, God and Christ and the Holy Spirit
ruling in the lives of men. The very air surcharged with the
righteousness of God; so surcharged that he who thinks a lie shall
fall dead in the tracks where he meditated it. No longer need of
judge, of jury, of prison bars, nor hangman's rope, nor electric
chair.

An hour when no longer the scarlet poppies of hate, of jealousies
and mad ambition shall bud and blossom into war. War over forever,
swords beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. Every
man the same right as any other man, the right to sunshine, to air,
to water, the beauty of the landscape and all the usufruct of earth.

That hour when no man shall call another his master; when no longer
a man shall toil and bend his back and break his heart for a stipend
of bread; for a hole in the ground and the worm of corruption as
mistress of his bed.

That hour when life shall be worth while and when the centuries of
peace and perfectness of actual being shall pass on till they are
counted as eternity.

And because this government of peace and splendour and all the
outflowing possibilities of a world in which righteousness shall
reign and God shall be first can be brought about only by and at the
Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; because until He does so
come wars and sorrows and the darkness of sin will continue; because
all the legislation of man and all the leagues of nations will
utterly fail to establish permanent peace; because in spite of the
best endeavours of all the merely moral forces in the earth there is
nothing can keep this system called the world from going on the
rocks; because only the hand of God's Christ can break the bands of
iniquity, quiet earth's fever pulses and putting down all authority
bring in the peace that never can be broken; because when He comes
the government of right and truth and the life that is really worth
while shall come; and because from my heart I want to see that
longed-for hour of heaven on earth, I preach the Second Coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ.



VII


It is at the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the Earth
Will be Delivered from the Bondage of Corruption and Transformed
into the Paradise of God


WHEN man fell creation fell.

It fell because creation in respect to this earth was headed up in
him.

God placed a ban upon it, a restraint of its fruitfulness.

Instead He gave liberty to thorns and briars and poisonous, creeping
things.

You may plant your garden, you may plant your orchard, set your
vines and sow your fields. You may go to sleep and rest and think
your work is done, that nothing remains but to awake again and
receive the looked-for fruit and harvest.

When you do awake you will find the poisonous, creeping things have
climbed over your wall and fence, have glided in among the good
seed, flung their tentacles of death about them and are slowly,
surely strangling the life out of them.

If you would have your garden to grow, your orchard to yield its
fruit, your vineyard to hang out its purple clusters, your harvests
to ripen in the kiss of sun and developing touch of caressing winds,
then you must rise early and toil late. For every acre of worthful
land you must crown your brow with the sweat of unceasing and
exacting toil.

The earth is in bondage. It is held in the close, the gripping and
relentless bonds of corruption.

Everywhere and in all things is the corruption of the dead.

The very air you breathe is dust from the mingled bones of the dead.
The earth is crammed with the dead of man and beast. The grain that
is reaped and the flowers that bloom grow forth from the fatness of
the grave and the impulse of corruption, watered by tears distilled
from the heartache of the generations old who have sorrowed above
that grave and wept and hoped in vain.

Put your ear to the bosom of old mother earth and you will hear a
moaning and lament like unto women in travail who seek to bring to
the birth.

I am told the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain
together until now; that it is on the tiptoe of expectation with
neck and head stretched out waiting for the Coming of the Son of God
and all the sons of glory.

O yes! creation in all her borders is crying out for the Son of God
to come.

It is crying out from all its rivers, from the moan of the sea, in
the shiver of earthquake and the rush of the lava tide from the red
throat of the flaming volcano. It is crying out in the heat of
burning deserts, in every pain that is felt, in every tear of
anguish that stains the face and speaks the agony of the heart, in
every clod that falls with its accent of woe upon the coffin lid, in
all the bitterness, the shame and tragedy of a sin-smitten and
Devil-hurt world; everything in nature from rock and worm to man is
crying out: "Come, Lord Jesus, and build again this broken and
ruined earth of thine."

He will hear the cry.

When He comes He will take off the ban.

He will deliver from corruption.

The earth will no longer shiver as an aspen.

Fear will no longer walk forth like a tyrant and set the pulses
beating or hold them strangling.

Briars and thorns and fiend-like weeds and smothering, choking
things that have kept the earth in barrenness where Eden-like
gardens should have bloomed, and, thank God, all graves, will
disappear. The desert shall bloom as the rose, the earth shall be
renewed, made beautiful, and all creation loosened from its prison
bonds shall sing and echo with unending harmonies in every freely
fruiting and growing thing throughout all its delivered and happy
borders.

For a thousand golden years under a new heavens and beneath a pure
sky where the air shall flow round it as a river of crystal from the
throne of God the earth will roll onward to the music of its sister
spheres keeping time in the great diapason of the universe that owns
and celebrates the glory of God; then, at last, it will pass through
gates of fire and come forth into that new orbit, as that new earth
wherein is no more dividing sea, storm swept and full of the wrecks
of ships, of greater wrecks of hopes, and tiled with the white bones
of the dead; that new earth where there shall be no more night with
its hidden evil and its long and darksome hours in which the
sufferer yearns for morning light, no more tears, nor sorrow, nor
pain, nor any more that black and ever multiplying horror they call
death; that new earth that shall be no longer the footstool, but the
exalted and special throne of God--the center of the universe.

Into this new and perfect earth the Church shall descend--a company
of redeemed, blood-washed, immortal sons of God.

The Son of God and God the Son Himself shall descend and dwell
there. Then for the first time shall the children of God behold in
Him the full lineament of their Father's face; for, though He be the
eternal Son He shall be seen and known as the "everlasting Father,"
or "the Father of the everlasting age."

The onlooking worlds as they swing in their chorus of adoration
about this radiant and omnipotent center will learn and proclaim the
immense truth that this earth was created, not merely as an
expression of the wisdom, genius and might of God in His function as
a creator, but as the arena of redemption, as the spot whence in all
the wide empire of His power might be known and felt the pulse beat
of His heart. As the innumerable hosts of heaven sweep around this
center of grace and redemption, as they behold beings who once were
lost in sin, wrecked and ruined beyond human hope or angelic aid,
now immortal, holy, happy sons of God, they will break forth in ever
increasing songs of adoration and shall say as they sing till the
universe shall repeat it again and again:

"Behold, the glory of God is not alone in his majesty and might, in
his holiness and omnipotence, but in his love."

They shall take up that marvellous passage in John 3: 16 and cry it
aloud so that it will ring with accumulating praise to Him who first
uttered it:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life."

And all the host of heaven shall proclaim:

"God is love. God is love."

All this consummation is to find its initial at the Second Coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ.

And because I want to see this earth freed from the stain of sin,
the torture of pain, the accents of sorrow, the terror of tears, the
hour of dying, the black and shameful grave, the trench of
corruption and the Devil's ministry of death; because I want to see
a worth-while world where no longer the earth shall turn from night
to morn and then from morn to disappointing night again, but shall
glow forever in the light of an endless morn; because I want to see
a world where the purposes of God in love, in benediction and
unfailing grace are no longer seemingly contradicted by untoward
events and conditions, by problems that with the best apologies for
the divine character no human genius can solve or balance, but are
written in high and lifted testimony brighter than the stars of any
night and stronger shining than any sun of day; because I want to
see a world where man shall be the enthronement of God and shall
glorify Him as such, and where every atom of earth shall be full of
His love and redolent with His praise, and where life shall be only
another name for joy and the unending and the ever new unfoldment of
it, the actual joy of unreserved, unlimited living; and because this
desire in all its full accomplishment can come and the first notes
of infinite triumph alone be struck and the song begin by the Coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ--I preach His Second Coming.



VIII


The Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ for His Church is the Most
Imminent Event on the Horizon of Time


BETWEEN us and the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory to Mount
Zion to set up and establish His kingdom there are many predicted
and consecutively fixed events.

Between us and the moment when our Lord shall suddenly and secretly
descend to take the Church to Himself into the place prepared, hold
her in security above the woe hour coming on all them that dwell on
the face of the earth and then bring her back to reign and rule with
Him in glory, there is not a single, predicted event; and this--in
the very nature of the case.

In the nature of the case because this age in which we live is a
parenthesis between the kingdom postponed upon the one side and the
kingdom to be brought in upon the other.

In this age God is not seeking to convert the world, but to take out
of it a people for His Name.

It is an age of selection and therefore an age of election.

When you take some things out of the midst of other things there
will be, not only a first one, but necessarily a last one.

As there was a first one elected, called out and taken into union
with a risen Lord, so must there be a last one who shall be called
through the Gospel, quickened by the Spirit and bound up in
indissoluble union with a living Lord.

When that last one is called and responds to the life-giving power
of the Spirit the Lord will descend into the upper air and take the
completed and corporate Church to Himself--the dead raised, the
living changed.

When that last elect one will be called you do not know, it is not
known to a single soul on earth.

Since you do not know when the last elect of God shall be called,
and it is sure the Lord will come when that last elect one is
called, then you do not know when the Lord will come; and so far as
you are concerned, and so far as any revelation otherwise is given,
it may be any hour and, therefore, "any moment"; consequently the
Coming of the Lord for His Church is--imminent.

Thus the imminency of the Lord's Coming for His Church is grounded
on election.

Imminency is so absolutely linked up with election that you cannot
deny imminency without denying election; and to deny election is to
deny God Himself, deny Him in the very essence of His own
prerogative, the prerogative of foreordination, of decree.

The imminency of the Lord's Coming for His Church is grounded on the
Lord's own declaration that He is coming for her as a thief comes.

This is His declaration and warning to the Church at Sardis, that
Church which is the symbol of Protestantism in the closing hours of
the age. The warning is given to the pastor, through the pastor to
the Church and through the local assembly at Sardis to the whole
Church.

This is what the risen Lord actually says:

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard; and hold fast,
and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will arrive over
thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will arrive
over thee."

The characteristics of thief coming are marked and clear.

The thief does not come with strident voice, with thunderous noise,
nor in open daylight, but between the midnight and the morn, with
shodden feet, silently, softly, and takes the treasure while all in
the house are sunken in the depths of sleep.

When the sunbeams of the morning pelt the eyelids of the laggard
sleepers they awake to find the thief has come and gone and in his
going has taken the treasure with him.

If the symbol be of avail and not a mere exercise in logomachy then
will the Lord, indeed, descend in the moral and spiritual night of
the world while men are sleeping and in fancied security pleasantly
dreaming.

He will descend unseen, unnoted. If men shall hear the sound of a
trump it will have no greater significance to their spiritually deaf
ears than any other passing sound. He will take, not the "great
house" of religious profession, but those alone in that profession
who have been regenerated and are indwelt by the Spirit, the dead
who have fallen asleep in His name and the living who abide in Him.

Above all--imminency is grounded in the integrity of the Son of God
and His apostles.

Unless all language is a deception; unless the promises of God are a
baited lie; unless the apostles of Christ are the most shameless of
all wanton tricksters; unless the Son of God Himself is the coolest
traitor to truth who ever fooled the trusting hearts of needy men;
unless He is the one being of all others who had the subtle and
effective genius of making promises that fill the ear and are broken
to the heart; unless He was the most skillful of all deceivers and
rejoiced with malignant delight in deceiving the souls of men and
thus proved Himself to be not the Son of God at all but the very son
of falsehood, then seeing He is the reverse of all that, is in truth
the very Son of God and truth itself, by His own unqualified
statement, by its very character as exhortative warning His Coming
must be and is--imminent. It is on the threshold of unfolding
history and the gates of heaven are ajar ready for His Coming. So
imminent is it that there is nothing between us and that event of
events but the shout of command, the voice of the archangel and the
shattering sound of the trump. So imminent that there is not the
thickness of an eyelash between us and that moment when the door in
heaven shall open wide and His voice with all compelling power shall
say, "Come up hither."

Listen to what He says:

"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

Watch! because He is coming.

Watch! because you do not know what hour He will come.

Watch! because as the householder He said He might come in any one
of the four watches, at even, at midnight, in the cockcrowing or in
the morning.

He did not come at even.

Surely the midnight has come. It is dark enough spiritually. There
is not only enough of sorrow, sin, confusion and unbelief in a
godless world, but rank treason to the truth and repudiation of the
written Word in the professing Church to call it spiritual midnight.

It seems sometimes like the cockcrowing.

There are sounds of chanticleer, blasts of trumpets, changing of the
guards and sentinels of old customs and ways, and echoes in the
events now unrolling that prelude the great morning and the great
day.

There is nothing certain about the hour but its--uncertainty.

Watch! because you may be alive at His Coming.

That is the word of Holy Scripture and not my suggestion.

Listen to the Apostle: "We which are alive, and remain unto the
coming of the Lord."

The Apostle said that for his generation.

He said it not under his own mistaken idea as the Chicago department
of "sacred literature" would suggest, but under the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit of the Holy God.

Paul as a mere man might make mistakes just as the modern
theological professor not infrequently does.

The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul could not make a mistake
Himself, neither could it be possible for Paul under the direction
of the Holy Spirit to make a mistake.

Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to believe it possible the Son of
God might come in his day.

What Paul under inspiration said for his generation, he said for our
generation.

He said it for you and for me.

Because no man knows the hour when the Lord will come it might be in
your hour and my hour.

The Master Himself said:

"You know not what hour your Lord doth come."

Who is he who will have the hardihood to fix the hour when the
Master has said no man knows?

Who is he who will put a thousand years between the Church and her
returning Lord?

Where is the difference between a thousand years' delay and one
moment that can be fixed by any man?

If the Lord says you do not know the hour and necessarily do not
know the minute of the hour, if you fix a minute between us and the
Coming you deny the words of the Son of God Himself that the minute
and the hour are unknown.

Who is he who has it all fixed and polished and pumice stoned to the
exact date?

The Lord has said no man on earth knows, not an angel in heaven
knows. He Himself took the place of a servant and by the exercise of
His omnipotent will residing in His eternal and unchanged
personality as Son of God and God the Son, shut out the knowledge of
it from His humanity, from Himself as man, and said He did not know
when He should come.

Admit that a revelation has since been given to Him as a man or that
He has taken the ban off His human side Himself and that He knows
when He will come for the Church and the exact hour of His appearing
in glory; admit this if you like and for the sake of argument
(although there is not the slightest shade of a shadow of evidence
for such an argument) it still remains that no such revelation has
ever been given to the Church; neither has the restriction of the
Son of God to His disciples been removed. You remember what He said
just before He ascended!

This is what He said:

"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the
Father hath put in his own power."

That this restriction was for the Church is the declaration of the
Apostle. This is what he said to the Church at Thessalonica:

"Of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I
write unto you."

Why had he no need to write to them?

Because the day of the Lord, he said, should come as a thief, and as
that day is introduced by the Coming of the Lord for His Church,
then His coming for the Church was, as He Himself afterwards
declared in his letter to Sardis, like the coming of a thief. This
Coming Paul had described in the fourth chapter of his first letter
to the Thessalonians.

It was not for the Church to know in Paul's day when the Lord should
come as the bridegroom for His bride.

No revelation has been given in any epistle to the Church since.
What was true in Paul's day as to the attitude of the Church is true
in this day. Listen to the commended attitude of the Thessalonian
Church:

"Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God; and
to wait for his Son from heaven."

There you have it.

The Church is to wait; that means to watch, to expect, to be ready.

This is what the Apostle said.

This is what the Son of God Himself said and still says to-day.

He affirms we do not know the hour.

He exhorts us to watch.

The affirmation and the exhortation hold for this hour.

If therefore the Son of God be not incarnate falsehood; if He seek
not to play with my heart and make me a spectacle to the lost souls
of the pit as well as to the mockers among men--He means what He
said.

If He meant what He said, then He means that any day, and any hour
of the day so far as I know I may meet Him at any turn of the road.

And what would that mean if He should come to-night or to-morrow?

I have told you what it would mean to me.

What would it mean to you, to some of you who have so much invested
in Laurel Hill, in that white and beautiful city of the dead, by the
banks of your winding river?

When I was a boy my father took me there and I watched as the winds
rippled through the long grasses, and I could hear the wash of the
river below, I was startled and sometimes shivered as I walked under
the shadow of tall monuments, carved figures, and by stately tombs
of marble. And once I started back and broke into tears at the sight
of the sculptured form of "Old Mortality" bending above a slab with
chisel and mallet in hand--and I suppose is there still, grown older
in his stony face because more stained with the passing years.

What would it mean to you whose loved ones are lying in that
cemetery or any other of the sleeping places of the dead?

Ah! it would mean the home-coming, the greeting, the rapturous kiss
and hand-clasp of recognition, the joy of that heaven life that
shall know no end and that immortality that shall compensate for all
the weariness and the heartache of the mortal path here below.

Yes! it would mean to those of us who by faith in Christ Jesus are
children of the living God, the gathering to our arms again of those
who have left us and for whom our arms still ache to enfold them
once more. And O my soul! it would mean the seeing of Him whom our
soul loveth and who unfailingly has loved us; it would mean that
boon of boons--seeing Him face to face.

Do you wonder the Holy Spirit who is the finger of God has written
over against the word "hope," that qualification, "blessed," and
affixed to it the demonstrative, "that," so it doth read: "That
blessed hope"?

And yet! and yet! there are men who call themselves the ministers of
Christ who would blot out that hope and take away the vision of it
from our souls.

With cold, acute, metallic voices in which you may hear the sound of
the wheels of machinery and the buzz of business, they tell us that
should the Lord suddenly come it would paralyze all industry, put an
end to commerce and to trade, overthrow all progress, make worthless
every high endeavour for the betterment of man, shut the doors of
school, of college and university, render useless the architect's
and builder's plans, throw down the mechanic's tools, the artist's
brush, the sculptor's chisel, the writer's pen, still the orator's
tongue, make null and void the legislator's high emprise and draw a
line of atrophy across the unfolding processes of human life.

Oh, foolish, blind and slow to believe, do you not see that if the
Lord should come it would lift our so-called civilization out of the
slime and shame of its brazen folly and reeking, though perfumed sin
into the glory of eternal righteousness and peace?

Do you not see that it would, at last, make men immortal and give
them such beauty of form, such sanity and such culture and worth of
being as all the gymnasia and all the eugenics of the hour have
failed and will ever fail to achieve?

Do you not see that if the Lord should suddenly come it would at
once open the gates of knowledge and bring us face to face with the
secrets of the universe and make us masters under God of all natural
laws such as all the curriculae of all the institutions of learning,
of applied science and philosophy have failed to impart?

Do you not see it would be the fulfillment of the highest ideals and
aspirations and would make man what the creator of heaven and earth
originally intended man should be--not an animal working with tools
and breaking his heart in vain finally to achieve--but a very God
who should speak and it should be done, command and it should stand
fast; and who should be the incarnate revelation, the eternal
enthronement of the invisible God, in power, in character and
holiness?

Do you not see it would change this old earth from the swinging
cemetery of the dead into the home of deathless men, the home of the
eternal and worth-while life?

Oh, listen to me all who hear me!

The hope for this world of daily toil and tears, of graves and
unceasing tragedy, of pitiful woe, is not that slow creeping thing
called evolution, wallowing on its serpentine belly amid the dust of
death and the crime and sin of unchanged and unchangeable human
nature--but God Himself--God in Christ, the personal Coming of Him
who is the maker of heaven and earth, coming to bring in the new
dawn, the new day, the new earth and the new empire of God and man.

Oh, tell me those of you who have been redeemed by blood,
regenerated by the Spirit, made partakers of the divine nature,
turned heavenward by the power of God, who see cloudless daylight in
the Bible, even in the darkness of a spiritual night, hear music in
its promises and whose souls are filled with love to God and love to
man, tell me would you like Him to come, would you like to see your
Lord face to face?

Oh, you who have had the vision of His cross behold it, I beseech
you, there!

The head crowned with thorns, the nailed hands, the nailed feet, the
pierced side, the blood pouring out of those hands, gliding round
His body, weaving itself in its sinuous course over the white flesh
into a robe of crimson, and then streaming out into a fringe of
intense scarlet as it drops, drop by drop to the thirsty ground,
dripping, dripping there. Oh, I can see it and I seem to feel the
warm touch of it, the strange, the wonderful cleansing touch of it,
the only thing that can make a blackened sinner white; and as it
drops each drop seems to say till it turns to very music in the
soul:

"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Listen to the dropping of that blood out of the heart of God, every
drop the price current of the merchant, the half shekel of the
sanctuary, the purchase price of your redemption and mine and the
seal of infinite love, of measureless grace.

Oh, tell me would you like Him to come, transfigure you into the
beauty of His likeness and put the benediction of His peace upon
this old sin-smitten, tear-stained earth?

Do you ever pray the last prayer recorded in Holy Scripture, the
last prayer of the Holy Apostolic Church?

Listen to it! Listen to it well!

"Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Is this prayer in your heart?

Does it ever come to your lips?

Do you ever genuinely and openly offer it, wishing with all your
heart it might be so, might be answered in your time; or, have you
forgotten it like the Church at large?

Do you feel ashamed or afraid to offer it in public?

When you try to offer it in private or public does unbelief smother
it?

I once heard a boy say to his mother:

"O mother, don't do so much for me; love me more."

I tell you the truth whether you hear or forbear: as preachers and
teachers many of you are doing too much for the Lord. You are busy,
morning, noon and night in His name, running here and there,
tinkering religiously and morally, putting things together and
increasingly active; so busy doing for the Lord that like Martha you
have no time to sit still at His feet as did Mary and hear His Word,
hear what He has to say to you; so busy doing for Him that you are
losing sight of Himself. This was the "somewhat" He had against the
Ephesian Church.

That Church was full of works and labours. They had tested false
doctrines and false teachers. They stood squarely for fundamentals
and were theologically sound; but they had left their "first love,"
love to Himself, love to His person, devotion to His person, a
flaming, outbreaking, overflowing enthusiasm for a personal, a
realistic Saviour and Lord. They were taken up with what they were
doing for Him rather than with Himself. They had got away from the
loving, impelling touch and contact with Himself.

The personal touch with Christ!

That is what He wants from us. Not so much what we are doing for
Him, but what He is to us personally. He wants to be the first and
the last, the chiefest among ten thousands and the one altogether
lovely. This is the definition of true and efficient Christianity
--personal devotion to a living and loving Saviour.

Looking down from heaven He is saying to us, no matter how much we
may be doing for Him, He is saying this to us:

"Love me more."

And until there is this flaming, burning, out-flowing enthusiasm for
and devotion to a personal Lord, to Him for what He is as well as
for what He has done for us, there can be no sweeping, wide,
resultant revival and ingathering of the elect of God. You may plan
and organize and get together, you will have only a flame that will
flare for a time and then go out.

Nay! only when we are on fire for Him can we make the hearts of men
to burn with the faith that shall turn them to Him and make them
hate and forsake whatever does not honour and glorify Him.

Over all the noise and rush of things, and all the machinery well
motived men sometimes set going in His name He is saying:

"Love me more! love me more!"

When some one you love with this intense personal love is absent you
are not satisfied till that absent one returns, fills your vision
and responds to the touch of your greeting and your love.

If you love the very person of the Son of God; if you have a
quivering, all-pervading enthusiasm for Him so that He is, indeed,
above all personalities in the universe to you, you will want Him to
return where you may look upon Him--not as Thomas did for doubt's
sake and stumbling hope's sake--but for the very joy of it until the
print of the nails in His hand and the print of the nails in His
feet shall be to you as the apocalypse of His glory and the
illumination of your soul.

Do you really want Him to come--this long absent Redeemer and Lord?

He is listening to hear whether you want Him to come; whether above
every plan and scheme you may have been building in His name; above
any religious, even spiritual ambition you may have, you want Him to
come for--Himself.

He is very still. He is listening to hear whether you will say that
one little word that has in it such vibrant meaning, that one word:

"Come."

The Church as a Church has long ago ceased to say--"Come."

But the old prayer is still written here in the closing page of Holy
Scripture:

"Amen. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus."

Are you willing to-night to put your faith and your heart into that
old prayer and bid Him come?

Have you the faith and sincerity to do it?

You say, "Yes."

Then rise to your feet as one person and say that prayer as I line
it out to you until it shall roll upward like a wave on the infinite
shore and break on our Lord's listening ears with the music of
love's unfailing appeal:

"AMEN. EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS."



In response to Dr. Haldeman the great audience filling the building
from pit to dome rose to its feet as in a flash and repeated the
prayer as he gave it out. It was a moving sight and full of
impression as the mighty volume of united voices rose and swelled
upward to that throne where our Lord sits as Bridegroom as well as
King and yearns in these days to hear His true Bride in all the
wonder of her spiritual beauty and the strength of her essential
unity say--"Come."



_Printed in the United States of America_





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