“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it (the end) is near, even at the doors.”—Matthew 24:33
I do not want to give you men’s words to start with, but God’s Word on this subject. If we make any deduction, if we draw any conclusion, we have no right to start with anything as a premise but the Word of God, Who alone holds the future in His hand. Man has been calling himself splendid names because he has been able to preserve something of the past. He points to the pyramids, swells his chest and says, “Look what man has done: how long his building has lasted!”
Man has kept mummies for thousands of years; he has learned the secret of preserving fruits for his larder; photography has revealed processes for preserving pictures of children from babyhood through all the years of development; through the mechanism of the phonograph the human voice may now be encased in wax, the wax indentations made by sound are preserved in the harder material of the revolving disc, and the pressure of the needle upon its grooves causes the sound to be rehearsed. All this achievement is splendid, but it pales into insignificance compared with the fact that God preserves the future.
Fulfillment Of Prophecy
It would be one thing for you to talk to Mr. Edison and have him tell you he could reproduce the human voice, but his statement stands or falls upon whether or not he produces what he has promised. In the Bible the history of the world is written in advance by men, and the whole Book stands or falls on whether its prophecies come to pass.
If you are a Higher Critic, you have not covered your field when you go back into this volume and assert that Isaiah did not write Isaiah, that you do not believe Moses wrote the first give books of the Bible, that there is a thousand years’ difference between one portion of it and another. The Higher Critic tries to tear the Word apart and claims that what the Word says about itself is not true. He brings evidences of old manuscripts, with which to puzzle common ordinary folks; but this Book stands of falls—not upon the edicts of science, not upon their data, not upon the findings of archaeology; but upon the fulfillment of prophecy.
If we try to follow the Higher Critics we end in chaos, because they do not agree in their conclusions; each one has a different theory, but the men of God who believe the Book stands together as a body. Brainy men, educated men, Holy Ghost-filled men from every denomination gather together at conferences and exclaim with one voice, “I believe that every bit of this Book in the original is the Word of God.” They do not come together simply because of their theory, but they are brought together by the unity of the teaching of the Book.
“By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them”
The Higher Critic may be a splendid scholar, but there is no reason for a man’s becoming a scholar unless he produces something. There would be no sense in Edison’s hiding himself in a laboratory unless he were coming out once in a while with a bulb or a record as a result. These Higher Critics do not seem to produce anything as a fruit of their study, but simply tear things down.
Suppose we should grant their deduction that parts of certain books were written at one time, the balance at another: when we get it all pieced together it stands as one unanimous whole on the way of salvation, and from first to last has only one method of salvation to offer, and that is by the blood of Jesus Christ. The writers of the Bible display more unity than any band on Earth. They are all playing the same tune from the first of Genesis to the last of Revelation, and Jesus—the Son of God, Saviour, and mighty King—is the theme. We who have studied it and who love it, find it perfectly harmonious in every part, with no contradiction and no discord.
No matter how it came together, the Book is here, it has predicted certain things that were to come to pass, and it is a fact that they have come to pass up to date, just as prophesied. We have absolute, scientific proof that the predictions were written before their fulfillment. God has said that not one jot nor tittle shall in anywise pass from this book of the law until all be fulfilled: and His Word stands or falls on whether or not His Word has been fulfilled event by event. If we admit that prophecy has been fulfilled up to date as written, I think we had better run on the same schedule, and not switch to another because a bunch of highbrows in a laboratory have run a new bug into a corner and named it, or think they have discovered a new Isaiah.
God has here set forth His plan for beast, vegetable and mankind, and all the salvation of the world and the universe depends on the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He shed His blood on Calvary and is coming back to execute His own program, and that before long.
Men Admit A Supreme Being
There was a time when some of our scientific men were infidels, but that time is past. All real scientists believe in a supreme intelligence which controls the system of the universe. They believe it no more jumped together than did the wheels of this watch light on each other and started to go.
The same deduction applies to the Book. Only the Holy Ghost Himself could have drawn it forth and made men write it and put it together as it is today. It was superintended by God, inspired of the Holy Ghost, written under His direction and leadership. The Book itself says, “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” When the Holy Ghost got through letting one fellow write, he let another man continue the narrative, and it all agreed. Isaiah did not contradict John, David did not contradict Solomon, Peter did not contradict anything Paul said, Joshua did not contradict anything Moses had to say, Noah did not contradict anything Abraham said; you can march them by fours, wheel them about in platoons, and in regiments, and Hallelujah, they all keep step. Generals, captains, lieutenants, majors, and privates, and all fit into the program, and come to a perfect climax in Christ Jesus, that He might be all in all.
Jerusalem And Palestine
What did Jesus say to His disciples about the end of the age? His disciples had just been talking to Him about the temple at Jerusalem, with all its wonderful architecture, and Jesus had told them, “See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Is that a fact? Yes, there was not one stone left upon another, the whole thing trampled under foot.
The book also tells about the land and the character of the land. Have you stopped to think of the miracle in the land of Palestine itself? They are now negotiating a proposition to run water by a pipeline from the Mediterranean Sea and drop it into the Dead Sea, a sheer drop of over three thousand feet. About 1400 feet is the drop they want at the falls to make power. They plan to pump irrigating water from the rivers. The Zionist movement is on, and the Jews are going back, and you will hear more of this later.
Can you tell me why everything does not grow in that wonderful climate when Palestine was formerly a land “flowing with milk and honey?” In that land grew the cedars of Lebanon, the pomegranate, the grapes that were borne on a pole on the shoulders of Caleb and Joshua, it was the land of the vine and the fig-tree; but it is barren today, and this Book foretold it.
Jesus goes on to tell of the destruction of Jerusalem, speaking of “The abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” He refers not only to the destruction in 70 A.D., but other Scripture shows that He also referred to one coming later, after the rebuilding of the city. This Book tells us that the Jews are going back to settle there, under a covenant with the other nations, and under military protection. There they will build their university, their government, and Jewish money will flow to Palestine. Jerusalem, when rebuilt, will be one of the most magnificent cities of the world. Three and one-half years after they make their contract with the antichrist who sits at the head of the League of Nations, there will come a break, and the Jews will be hated as they always have been, and will be terribly persecuted.
Jesus is looking toward the time when Jerusalem shall be destroyed again, and gives them as a sign of the nearing of the end of the age:
“Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences; and earthquakes, in divers places.
“All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
Unpopularity For The Christian
It is not going to be easy to be a Christian; not going to be easy to believe that Jesus is coming back to Earth again, as the days go on. It is not going to be easy, with the colleges in our day teaching evolution and leaving out the blood of Jesus Christ, and informing the children of the world in the schools, that we came from protoplasm, up through the monkey stage, and are going on up. They have thrown the Bible out of the school and laughed at the Blood, and they are going to laugh at Jesus Christ, and salvation is going to be “poohpoohed.” It is scorned in many churches now, oh so many! They talk about people joining the church and living a better life, but as far as the cross of Jesus Christ is concerned, it is left out as utterly as if it never happened, and yet it is the whole center of salvation. Without this blood there is no remission of sin, and no salvation; but it is going to become more unpopular all the time.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the birth of Jesus Christ even of a virgin, is not so much objected to. Science does not go so far as to say for a moment that you have to have male and female in order to get life, although it is out of the ordinary. There is no objection to Jesus as a good man, no objection to His miracles, for many are saying “We will be just like that when we evolve. He was a few thousand years ahead of His time; but when we get a few thousand years more of civilization this species will develop. These species spring up early, and then the whole race follows after a while.”
There is no objection at all to preaching anything about Jesus except the cross. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us who believe it is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” They do not believe this race is fallen; our modern age laughs at the idea that a man is doomed. They have laughed at hell; but this old Book that never can be changed does not laugh at all at hellfire or eternal damnation, but says, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and they shall go away into outer darkness.”
These are the words of the very Jesus who wrote the delightful Golden Tule. People accept that, but leave what He has said about the judgment of nations, and of individuals, and His own return to the world. They pick out what will suit their own theories.
I had that kind of rot long enough in college, but Hallelujah, I threw it up and now believe the blood of Jesus Christ, and it is good to get away from those theories long enough to see God once face to face. I pity the college crowd with all my heart, but hold them up to ridicule because so many people are petting them and pinning blue ribbons on them, and maybe the only way they can be waked up is by ridicule, to take a real look at the crimson flow that makes us white as snow.
When you come to the popular church, and preach this blood, trouble will start and you will be hated and despised, and persecuted: but don’t let the devil bluff you for a moment, you have something coming that is worth suffering for.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
Because of the lust that is in the world, because of the broken-up families, the awful passion of our day and voluptuousness portrayed by moving pictures and the other shows and books, full of the wiggle of passion, the rot of lust, and the triangle plots, the love of many shall wax cold. Our age, sees the fulfillment of the prophecy, “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were changing in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
Awful stories are written in this Book, but God tells the truth in order to show us ahead of time what we are going into. We have all kinds of horrible lust in our day, and the eyes of people are becoming vile. Men who want to be pure will confess that their eyes are constantly assailed by the devil. The devil himself is telling women how to dress, and the crowds of them are doing exactly what he tells them to do. He knows how to work the whole scheme, this longing for pleasure, fancy dress, high living, licentiousness.
God talks about it in His Book, and it is going to be hard for men to cling to their faith, easy for them to quit and fall by the wayside. The devil is trying to get you discouraged so you will quit a life of faith. Some of you have not asked a man or a woman to come to Jesus in the last year, and haven’t spent a night in prayer. Some of your lives are almost prayerless. Maybe you have a habit of spending a little time once a day, or saying grace at the table, but you have put prayer on the shelf as far as having a dynamic Holy Ghost life filled with the power of God is concerned. You are drifting away like a sheep, that sees a little daisy over there, nibbles at a little bunch of grass farther on, and pretty soon looks around, finds itself alone, begins to bleat and has quit.
Thousands of Christians find their only comfort and joy in a theatre. If you want to make me suffer the pangs of hell stick me in one of those things. Thank God, I can have more joy spending an hour in prayer with the saints, and you would think by the noise we make there were fifty lions yelling. I can get more fun, and joy, and satisfaction, and wisdom and foresight in an hour alone with God than in anything this world has to offer. If you just drink of the water that Jesus can give you, you will never thirst, never have to substitute a show or anything the world has to offer, for the joy of Jesus.
If you are going to live a half-hearted business, trying to take the world on one side and going with a worldly crowd, and walking with the Lord on the other, you are going to fall by the wayside. There is only one way to live this life, and that is out-and-out for Jesus Christ.
The Missionary Call
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Because I believe that verse with all my heart, I get everybody I can to give money for missions. That is why, busy as I am as the pastor of this church, with all the obligations that are upon me, I dared to take the presidency of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, to do what I can in raising funds for missions. I believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be preached in all the world as a witness before Jesus comes back. I want Him back. He told us to go and preach, and if we had done it as the church of God, the heathen would already know about Jesus Christ, and he would have been back long ago.
I believe the Gospel is to be preached in all nations before His kingdom comes. I do not know how long that will take, or whether it is yet accomplished, but I am going to see to it that the Gospel goes as far as my powers can make it, preached in the regions a little farther beyond, not that the world may be Christianized but that it may be evangelized. Oh that the people may have one chance to hear! When I get reports that twenty-two millions of people in India, only seventeen days from London, have never heard the Gospel, of great territories upon which a Christian has never set foot, I want to leave for India at once. It is not fair. God wants to get the Gospel to the utmost bounds, and it is going fast. Missionaries are doing a great work, pushing on, pushing on, and perhaps within a few days, a few months, word will come that the Gospel has reached the last province, the last community. When it has reached, as a witness (that does not mean that everyone will be converted), but when it has reached every nation as a witness, then shall the end be. I do not know how long it is going to take, but we had better be pouring our money in and going to the fields ourselves, as God told us to go.
The day is not far away when the antichrist shall sit in the temple at Jerusalem, showing himself that he is God, asserting that he is the highest product of evolution. When you see that, Christ goes on to say:
“then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
“Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
“and woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
That word “tribulation” or “tribulum,” is nothing in the world but a threshing machine. In oriental [sic] countries they have a big handle with a flail-like affair at the end. They slap that on the wheat. The word “tribulation” comes from this word, for God is going to smite the earth, beat out the wheat and garner it into His own garner. The whole period of the tribulation is (a week, meaning seven years, according to Daniel and the Revelation) seven years; “But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened,” and the Great Tribulation seems to be put into three and one-half years, or half of the “week.”
Remember that this is God’s world, and that body in which you live is God’s body, that pair of lungs is God’s loaned property, and you belong to God. Just because you have a college diploma is no sign you can make a human body. Just because you think it dragged its way up from protoplasm and through the monkey stage, is no sign you can do as you please. From God you came, and to God you are accountable.
What we ought to plead for in America is an awful sense of the sovereignty of Almighty God, and a recognition of the fact that all judgment is given into the hands of Jesus Christ. He sent servants to His vineyard to water and care for it, but they persecuted them and ejected them. Then the owner of the vineyard said, “I will send my own Son, and they will reverence Him.” But the dwellers in the vineyard took Him, and killed Him. When Jesus told that story the Pharisees knew He was talking about them.
In His own vineyard, God Almighty’s Son was slain, in this world, by human hands. We are mindful of that day when one great nation plunged into war against another because of the treatment of one of her royalty. We would have plunged into war against Mexico if they had not given up Consul Palmer. Our whole army would have plunged across the borders for one man. We have rejected the Son of God. Men are still blaspheming Him and keeping Him out of their hearts. Many have not surrendered themselves to the Son of God and taken Him as their Saviour. He is coming in awful tribulation. He is not coming again as a lowly man, but the clouds will open, and He will come as the Son of God to shake this world.
The world is trying through evolution to work up to a god-man. That God-man has already been here and shed His blood, and bought my soul, and will give anyone eternal life who will take it; but the next time He shows up it will be with power from heaven.
If folks come and tell you there is a Christ in America, or a Christ over in Syria, you may recognize the great antichrist sitting there as God in the temple, the most miraculous creature that ever lived. Why? Because the devil will crawl inside of a man and give his powers to him. God will let men see all they want of that kind of power.
If it is this world you want, Jesus may see that you get your fill, but in the day when you stand before Him, the blood of Jesus Christ will be against you and the blood of every martyr, the blood of every preacher who ever preached the Gospel; for the tender heart of God has provided a way of salvation, and told His preachers to preach it and give their lives to do it. God has made every effort to win your soul, and if you reject Jesus Christ as your substitute, your Saviour from sin, you will not only have to stand for the judgment of your sin before Him, but you will have to answer for turning away from salvation when it was offered you.
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Why can they not deceive the elect? Because we know Christ has already died, and that when He comes again He will come in glory. We are not looking to the earth, we are looking up there, and before we have time to look, scarcely, one of these days or nights, He will come for us.
“Behold, I have told you before.
“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
“For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
Wherever that is upon which we feed, there we will be. We who feed upon Him, who belong to Him, will be with Him. “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.”
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
The fig-tree in the Scripture always means the Jew. Whenever you see them putting forth leaves, and the Jews getting together, take a look at them, for you know that summer is nigh. We see a robin, and although there may be snow on the lawn, we know it will only be a little while until warm weather comes. Whenever you see a crowd of Jews heading toward Jerusalem as Jews, the time is near.
The scientists may take a telescope and squint at the planets and tell folks the world is coming to an end, but, thank God, I am not looking at the planets, I am looking at the Book. Planets may come, and planets may go, but the Word of God goes on forever. We are not looking for planets. He says after the tribulation time we will get that star story.
They are just beginning to move around in heaven, just setting the stage. We see a little glimpse as they move the furniture, and the curtain opens a tiny bit, and they say, “Whoo, what are they doing up there?” But it doesn’t bother those who are in Christ, for “He ever liveth to make intercession for the saints.” You cannot scare me with planets or anything else. My soul is bathed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and I am looking for the King. The time is short; it is even at the doors, but the opportunity is yours now who are outside of Christ, to close in with the offer of salvation.
Think of it, that you, a sinner, are offered a chance to become a new creation in Christ Jesus, with the past all put away. Christ has been there, and died for men’s sin, and has risen again, and is in the Glory, and is coming again; but what about you? He says, “He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” He is coming, my friend, and you had better have the sin washed away, and know God. You have been given life by God, and are accountable to Him. Will you say, “I will have this Jesus as my Saviour?”
“What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be.
Some day your heart will be asking,
‘What will He do with me?’”