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We do not say that the prophecy of Joel and that of the Saviour are identical, only in this that both relate to living nations, and not to the dead. The prophecy of Joel no doubt refers to the great Antichristian confederacy, and is identical with the slaughter of Gog as described in Ezek. xxxix., and the battle of Armageddon described in the Revelation, and which will end in the total defeat of the assembled hosts, and the casting of the Antichristian beast and false prophet alive into the lake of fire.
But in immediate connection with this, there are other nations to be dealt with, namely, those who in the time of Jacob's trouble sympathised with them, and those who withheld their sympathy. In Ezek. xxxix., after describing the great slaughter of the open enemies of Israel, it is added : “And I will set My glory among
the heathen, and all the heathen shall see My judgment that I have executed, and My hand that I have laid upon them.” And in verse 27, the Lord, referring to Israel, speaks of being sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. And the same thing is said at the close of the preceding chapter : so that even after the great slaughter, there will be many nations still in existence. And these we submit are the persons referred to, and not the dead, by the Lord when He says of Himself; “Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them, the one from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats," &c. This gathering it is fair to assume will be a national gathering, but whether the separation will be national is not stated. But as soon as the separation is made, those on the right are called “ sheep,” and those on the left are called “goats,” to denote their conduct towards those whom Christ calls His “ brethren.”
To those on the right hand He says, as the King : “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” A great deal might here be said about " the kingdom" in relation to which we are persuaded there are very great errors in the minds of millions of professing Christians. Here is a subject which would furnish matter for many articles. All we understand here by the expression “ the kingdom," is what the disciples meant when they said to their Master; "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel ?" Mark the word “ again," and you are carried back to the days of David and Solomon, when the kingdom of Israel was high above all other kingdoms, was in fact the head of all other kingdoms, and was as much an outward literal kingdom as are the kingdoms of England, France, and Russia in our day. That this kingdom of Israel will be restored, or again restored, ought to be no matter of doubt to any man who takes the Scriptures for his guide. The prophecies on this head are too numerous to be quoted or even referred to. And there never would have been any doubt on this subject had it not been for the practice of “ spiritualising " the proper names of persons and places to answer sectarian and pre-conceived views on this head. We understand by the kingdom of which the Saviour speaks the kingdom of Israel restored, and that not in mystery but in open manifestation, as in the days of David and Solomon.
The disciples asked Jesus about the restoration of the kingdom ; no one need be at any loss to understand what they meant. Unquestionably they meant the literal kingdom of Israel upon earth, as it existed in the days of David and Solomon, both of whom were illustrious types of Him who is destined to be the King of the restored kingdom, and at the same time the King of all the kingdoms of the earth. If such a restoration literally was never intended we are perfectly satisfied the Saviour would have told the disciples so. But such a restoration does not rest upon the silence of the Saviour; there are hosts of prophecies which prove that such will be the case. But the restoration of the kingdom implies something more than the restoration of the Jews to their own land, something more than the building of the City of Jerusalem, and the Temple. All this may be done in their own strength, or under the patronage of the Antichrist, whom, coming in his own name, they will receive. All this then is evidence from prophecy to show what they will do in a state of self-righteousness, and unbelief, and thereby bring upon themselves the trouble spoken of by Daniel, and alluded to by the Saviour Himself, through the instrumentality of which, under the mighty working of the Holy Spirit, they will be enlightened as a people ; and then comes the restoration of the kingdom with all the earthly blessings promised. Israel will again be recognised as the people of God, again he received into God's favour and friendship. And what will such a receiving of them be, but life from the dead, both to them and the Gentile nations who shall survive the great slaughter which shall introduce the millennial age ?
A. B. C.
THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS."
REVELATION i. 1.
No. XI. (continued from December.)
BINDING OF SATAN.
VHILE these have been the transactions in the heavenlies, the
Antichrist has been maturing in the earthlies. Satan has brought forth his man. The Antichrist has become personified in some Napoleon" of the time. If man at his best estate has all along the ages been altogether vanity, man at his worst estate has become at length altogether blasphemy. Concerning him, Daniel heard it said, “The king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every God, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper, till the indignation be accomplished, for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers ” —from this we incline to think he will be of Abrahamic descent," nor the desire of women, nor regard any god, for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel xi. 36, 37.) And what then? “He shall come to his end, and none shall help him." (Ver. 45.) While his power lasts he “shall stand up a vile person ”-vile in principle, and of vile or mean origin, the people's man, and therefore not a prince of royal blood—" to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom ”—he shall not be crowned by the people, as once they offered the crown to Cromwell, nor shall he care to crown himself, as did Napoleon--" but he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries," promising to relieve the people oppressed by taxation, abolishing civil lists and national debts, and restoring down-trodden nationalities. Then, in all probability, Poland will be wrested from Russia, Hungary from Austria, Nice and Savoy from France, Alsace and Lorraine, and who shall say how much more ? from the newly constituted Empire of Germany; and lastly, or perhaps before all other, Palestine from the Turk, and given to the Jew. The professed mission of this now dominant power will be to emancipate the people from the costly and oppressive yoke of emperors, kings, lords, and especially landlords, the proprietors of the soil, so that the right of private property and lineal descent will be no longer respected. Any appeal to the book that declares “the powers that be are ordained of God," or the New Testament coupling of “Fear God” with “honour the king,” will be laughed to scorn. The fools that long have said in their heart, “No God,” will now, with unfaltering lip, declare boldly, “ There is no God," and “because they like not to retain God in their knowledge, God shall give them over to a reprobate mind, to become filled with all unrighteousness; and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,—the liar,—that they all may be condemned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.”. For, together with the Bible, has gone the Sabbath, and all religious fasts and festivals, and thus “he shall think to change times and laws, and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and the dividing of time," three years and a half.
But God who hath not forsaken the earth, nor forgotten His promise, has wisely and graciously decreed that the worst rule that ever the earth has seen shall be one of the briefest, for the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end." (Dan. vii. 25, 26.)
But prior to this cousummation, and during the reign of the Antichrist, Palestine having become restored to the Jews, the political changes of the times shall be such as to induce their return in great numbers to the land of their fathers, not perhaps as a nation, but in such numbers and with such resources that Jeru
salem and its temple shall become restored to somewhat of its former estate. And after a brief season of prosperity wherein Jerusalem restored shall become a centre of political importance, the time must arise when, for some reason and by some means, that shall be fulfilled which is written, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem & cup of trembling (in the margin, poison, a deadly influence) unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people, all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zech. xii. 2, 3.) What war and bloodshed has not the possession and protection of the socalled Holy Places already occasioned in the world's history! A century before Zechariah’s day, Zephaniah had been inspired to say to the waiting ones of these times,—for devout Jews are still found, and will continue to be found, " waiting for the consolation of Israel” until it comes, Therefore, wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zeph. iii. 8.) Now, in order that the judgments recorded in Rev. xvi. may be poured out upon the men that have the mark of the beast and that worship his image, “ three unclean spirits, like frogs, shall come out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet,”—three mouths opened in blasphemy against the God of heaven ; the devil, the Antichrist, and the harlot; a triunity of evil on earth, defying a triune Jehovah in heaven,-spirits of devils working miracles shall go forth unto the kings of the earth to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. And he gathered them together into a place called, in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon (after Megiddo, where Deborah and Barak overthrew the Canaanitish kings. See Judges v. 19). From which we understand that rival powers will meet in deadly conflict in the valley of Jehoshaphat in close neighbourhood to Jerusalem,-possibly Great Britain in alliance with others, leagued against Russia in alliance with Germany and others,-the hollow pretence of the man of sin to institute and secure the universal brotherhood of nations having failed as completely as the dreams of better, even the best of men ; for the mouth of the Lord hath declared it: “I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel iü. 2.)
Thus shall be brought about the coming struggle” for supremacy in Europe and Asia Minor. What part, or whether any, the Eastern and Western Continents of America and Australia, allied as they are to us by various ties, may take in that struggle, does smite every
not appear revealed; but if the kingdom of the beast extends to them they must in some way share his destruction. For now must the prophecy, two thousand four hundred years old, be fulfilled, “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee, for I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity. And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die ; but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them, as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name, and I will hear them ; I will say, It is My people, and they
2 shall say, The Lord is My God." For in their extremity“ the Lord shall go forth and fight against those nations as when He fought in the day of battle. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness, and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and I will
horse of the people with blindness. And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem : Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them, and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold and silver and apparel in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.” (Zech. xii., xiii., xiv.) “ And it shall come to pass in that day that I will give unto Gog”—a people from the North, possibly Russia and Germany in league—"a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea, and it shall stop the noses of the passengers, and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude, and they shall call it the valley of Hamon-Gog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them that they may cleanse the land. And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land, to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it, after the end of seven months. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them, and it shall be to them a renown, the day that I shall be glorified saith the Lord God. Thus shall they cleanse the land." (Ezek. xxxix. 11-16.)
Here also let us note how the language of the following verses, 17-20, agree almost word for word with Rev. xix. 17, 18. For this going forth of the Lord to fight against those nations in Zechariah is the selfsame going forth shown to John in Patmos. “I saw