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deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb." Therefore these nations have flourished round Israel in the past, and will be found there still in the latter days. Ten of these nations will be crowned and join Gog's confederacy, and will be allowed to satisfy in a great measure their old grudges against Israel in the day of her calamity when, as it is testified. both in the Old and New Testament Scriptures, they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire, and take away her fair jewels, strip her of her clothes and leave her naked and bare.
Now the battle of the great day of God Almighty does not come until after this confederation will have wrought God's judgments upon his own rebellious family, even as it is testified by the prophet saying, "Wherefore it shall come to pass that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria and the glory of his high looks." This is where the battle of the great day of God Almighty comes into view. When the Assyrian begins to glory, and attribute his great success to his own skill and power, then as the Lord says, "mine anger shall cease in their destruction." Then the Lord will consume him and his legions in battle in one day, and he shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.
When the Assyrian has trampled the house of Israel under foot like the mire of the streets, they prepare to go still farther. There will yet remain unsubdued the hundred forty and four thousand, the remnant of Israel called the Lord's hidden ones, which are thus referred to in the eighty-third Psalm, saying, "They have taken crafty counsel against thy people and consulted against thy hidden ones; they have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance." This evil purpose will bring them into collision with him whose the hundred and forty and four thousand are, and him whom they serve, and whom they follow, which is Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, for it is said of them, "They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." This people were redeemed from among men, that is, from among the rebellious and idolatrous tribes of Israel, and they are not defiled with the women, Aholah and Aholibah, nor with the lewd women of the nations in whose sight Aholah and Aholibah will be punished. They are the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb, and in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God. They are the beginning of God's new nation who are written among the living in Jerusalem, and are spared to people the land again after it has been bereft of its inhabitants in the judgment.
Now when the combined powers of this great confederation of nations undertake the task of annihilating this remnant of the house of Israel, a people with which God's declared purpose is to found a new nation in the earth unto which all nations of the earth, great and small, are to be made subject and tributary, they enter upon a task which ends in their utter discomfiture; for this attempt brings on the last battle of the great day of the Lord between the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and the beast and kings of the earth and their armies. This will be the battle of the great day of God Almighty, and the three unclean spirits like the frogs that Jannes and Jambres employed will be manifested in the false prophets of the king of Israel, the
Assyrian, and the king of Judah, that will go forth to gather all these great and mighty armies to battle in the last great contest in the valley of decision, when the great question will be settled that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, when all the kindreds of the nations shall fear and obey him; when he and his brethren shall reign in Jerusalem and Mount Zion, and before his ancients gloriously, when the law to govern the nations shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Christ's coming will be sudden and unexpected to the wicked, as Paul says, "When they (the false prophets of Israel and Judah) shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape." The point of time when Christ will appear in the clouds of heaven above Jerusalem is spoken of by the Lord himself as follows, saying (Matt. 24: 29), “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (that is the tribulation of the righteous which continues three years and a half), shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." These luminaries are here used to symbolize the kings, princes, priests, and false prophets of the rebellious houses of Israel and Judah, who will be overwhelmed with consternation and dismay. "And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Paul also interprets the word of the Lord by Haggai saying, "whose voice then shook the earth, but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven." Now Paul explains the meaning of this saying, and says that this word yet once more "signifies the removing of those things that are shaken (the Mosaic heavens and earth) as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."
Now the means by which the old heaven and earth are to be shaken and removed, is by the famine, by the pestilence, and by the sword, because of the wickedness of those that dwell therein, and Christ's coming stands immediately connected with these judgments upon the ungodly, even as Jesus himself said (Matt. 24: 36-39), “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
The warning that is written under the sixth vial, saying, "Behold I come as a thief, Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame," this warning is for the churches which will flourish in the land of Israel and among the people of Israel in the latter days and in the day of Christ's coming. They are called spiritually "the seven churches," or rather all the churches in Israel at the time of Christ's coming. As the number seven is a complete mystical number and signifies the whole, therefore this warning also is embodied in the letters to the churches, saying, "Repent and do the first works or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent"; and again, "Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the
sword of my mouth." Again, "That which ye have already, hold fast till I come." Again, "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Again, "Behold I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown"; and again, “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me."
These words and warnings are addressed to the saints that will live in the land of Israel and will be alive on the earth at the time of Christ's third coming. Christ's first coming is in the past, and is now a matter of history. His second coming will be when he comes to raise the righteous dead of past ages and to translate the righteous living, those that are then alive, who will ascend into the heavens as Elijah did to meet the Lord in the air and to be presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. His third coming will be with all his saints, as it is written, "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." They come to execute the judgments written, even as Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied, saying, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all that are ungodly."
It is his third coming, therefore, that is referred to under the sixth vial, and in the letters to the churches. Moreover there is one important feature in the Scriptures to which we must needs call especial attention, a feature which cannot be overlooked if we would rightly divide the Scriptures, and that is this; there are two periods of Israel's history, their former days, and their latter days, under the law of Moses. These two periods are separated the one from the other by a long interval of thousands of years, during which time the people of Israel are buried among the nations of the earth and are like a dead man out of mind. But their bones will come together again when the spirit of God shall blow upon them, and life and breath will enter into them, and they will come up out of their graves an exceeding great army and will live again in God's sight, in their own land. The prophets of the Lord who spake to Israel in their former days disregard this long blank period that lies between their former and latter day histories, and speak of the two periods as though they were but one.
Moreover, when the works and doings of the house of Israel in their former days and again as they will be manifest in their latter days, are put together, then there is abundant scope and abundant material to warrant all the strong language that the Lord has made use of in speaking by the former prophets to his people and of his people. Therefore if a man be ignorant of Israel's work and history in the future, or if we strike out of our calculations the doings of Israel in the latter days and have only before our minds their former history and doings, then the words of the former prophets would indeed appear to be very much strained and hard to interpret; but when we put the two histories together, then all is clear, and the interpretation easy and natural. We who seek for the Kingdom of God must learn to view things as God views them, and to count time as he counts it, for with him a thousand years in his sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. He calls things which be not as though they were, and we must learn to do likewise.
Now to understand the words of Christ and his apostles to the churches, the same rule must be observed; we must view the churches of the apostles' days as being a part of, and as being blended with the churches in Israel in the latter days which will be on the earth when Christ and his saints come to execute judgment and to reign on the earth. Therefore what Christ and his apostles said to the churches that was not fulfilled in the past, will all, to the last jot or tittle, be fulfilled in the future. These things we regard as of such importance that although we have already spoken of them, we deem it desirable to speak of them again in this place.
ARMAGEDDON (REV. 16:16)
"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon." One needs to be careful in this place to rightly divide these Scriptures, as there are two gatherings of peoples spoken of under the sixth vial, one consisting of Gentiles, the other of the people of Israel. The kings of the earth and the whole world and their armies are gathered for the last great battle through the agency and influence of the spirits of devils working miracles by the hand of false Christs, and false prophets. But there is also another gathering together of the people upon whom the seven vials are poured out, but who repent not, but continue to blaspheme the name of God which hath power over these plagues. This people is God's own rebellious people whose day is come when iniquity shall have an end. This evil family will be gathered together and will make their last stand against their destroyers in the fortified city of Jerusalem. They will go up and fall there, even as Josiah fell at Megiddo. The Book of the Lamentations speaks in strong and impressive language of the miseries and calamities of the people of God's curse, in the day when as the prophet saith, "Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory" (Isa. 3: 8),- when as Amos testifies, "the virgin of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise; she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up" (5:2).
Touching their gathering together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon, it is said, "He gathered them "; but we ask, Who is the person referred to by the word "he"? The prophets inform us who "he" is, as it is written in Ezekiel, "And the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because ye are all become dross; behold, therefore, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem (that is, into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon, but in the English tongue it is called Jerusalem), as they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger, and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you: yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you" (22: 18-22).
Thus the Armageddon into which the children of Israel are to be gathered
for punishment is Jerusalem. And he who gathers them there is the Lord, who doeth this by the hand of Jesus Christ and his brethren, for they are the persons that the Lord sends to and fro through the earth to execute the judgments written. And the manner in which they proceed to gather the children of evil into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon, is spoken of by the Prophet Jeremiah saying (4:5), "Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem, and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land; cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves and let us go into the defenced cities; set up the standard toward Zion, retire, stay not."
But why this great haste, and why is the trumpet of alarm sounded throughout the land, warning the people to flee for safety into the defenced cities, and especially into Jerusalem? The Lord himself tells us the reason saying in continuance," For I will bring evil from the north and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate, and thy cities shall be laid waste without an inhabitant. For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned back from us. And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the Lord, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes, and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder" (Jer. 4: 6-9).
Moreover, Moses speaks expressly of this gathering together of the rebellious house into their defenced cities for safety, and speaks of what shall befall them there, as the Lord testified by him saying, "And I will bring a sword upon you that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant, and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you, and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy, and when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight; and ye shall eat and not be satisfied. And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but will walk contrary unto me, then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury, and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat; and I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries into desolation. . . . And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste" (Lev. 26: 25-33).
THE SEVENTH ANGEL AND THE SEVENTH AND LAST VIAL (REV. 16:17–21) "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.”
"9 THE AIR
The air is that element above the earth in which fowls fly, and hence they are called the fowls of the air. These fowls of the air, such as the eagle, the hawk, and many others both clean and unclean, are employed to represent kings, princes, great lords and renowned, great military commanders, and many others in high positions in the world. The Lord speaks of Cyrus as a