The people of the earth delight in favorable predictions. In the days following the close of the World War (has it closed?) it was said that peace had come, and that such prosperity as the world had never witnessed was near at hand. And the world rejoiced.
Individuals made generous plans for new clothing, better food, more entertainment, less work, for the great day of freedom from fear, and freedom from want was already dawning. Nations planned for great expansion, new homes for all the people, highways in all directions, faster means of transportation to all lands would create markets for all the goods that could be produced, and this would necessitate the building of a new and better world, and the United Nations was already rolling up its sleeves, apparently preparing for its self-appointed task.
But the United Nations were not united; the Dove of Peace which men had seen in the smoke of battle, and the ruins of great cities was being pursued by the vultures of aggression, and greed, and peace was driven farther away than before the war. The extravagant plans of men to build a new world did not get beyond the boastful declarations of their plans, for the work of building was not theirs, but belonged to their God. He had said: “In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate. I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the House of Israel to do it for them.”
They Do Not Know. And the House of Israel do not know their God, neither do they know that they are Israel. We are today as the Prophet Isaiah saw us: “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib, but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” Our people, under the blind leadership of their religious teachers, insist that we are Gentiles, when all history, Scriptural and profane, proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Anglo-SaxonCeltic people of today are THE ISRAEL OF GOD.
We are occupying the geographical position, and performing the consecrated services for humanity, and are marked by the characteristics attributed to Israel by the Apostle Paul, and if there were no other marks of identification it should not be difficult for a blind man to see who we are, and what we are, yet we are blind and deaf to every appeal to know our God and return to Him.
But we will yet enquire of Him concerning these things. God, Himself, has declared it. Let us consider Paul’s description of the things that were naturally associated with Israel. To them “pertaineth the adoption, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises.
The fact that we have distributed the Bible to every land on earth, and have sent our missionaries to every kindred and tribe, and that Israel was charged with the responsibility of preaching Christ to the Gentiles ought to convince the most prejudiced mind, but it will not, God has proclaimed the only condition which will cause His people to seek Him. Hear Him say: “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence and seek my face; in their affliction they will seek me early … Israel shall cry unto me, My God we know thee.” And the Day of Affliction will come.
It is not pleasant to contemplate the coming night-time of worldwide distress, nor is it popular to discuss it. Some people plunge into pleasure for no other reason than that they may forget the coming trouble, some attempt to drown their sorrows in a mad indulgence in strong drink, but the wise man faces the difficulties that he knows are coming, and makes preparation for it.
Jesus Counsels His Followers—Our Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers ample warning of the times of sorrow and distress that were coming upon the earth, and advised them to be prepared for it. To His Disciples He said: “I must work the works of him that sent me, for the night cometh when no man can work.”
He foretold the wars and rumours of wars that would bring sorrow and desolation to the whole world and then said: “See that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Since these signs were to precede the coming of the Christ, and would give warning that the better day was near at hand, they were really intended to bring joy rather than sorrow to the hearts of those who know Him . . . they were a message of Hope and Assurance for these last days. Luke records the Lord’s description of these days in the following: “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven … And it shall turn to you for a testimony … And there shall not an hair of your head perish.”
This testimony, consisting of many signs from heaven, should cause the faithful heart to thrill with joyous anticipation, for it is but the darkness of midnight that so surely foretells the dawning of the day.
Let the heavens crash with their roaring thunders, and the earth quake until the mountains are moved from their places; let the man who has denied his God cry unto the rocks and the hills to fall upon him to hide him from his approaching doom, but he who believes in Christ has naught to fear in these signs from heaven; his eyes behold the glory of the coming of his Lord. Hear the counsel of Israel’s Redeemer, and the world’s Saviour, the only Hope in the days of tribulation: “Be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.”