--The "Day of Jehovah," the "Day of
Vengeance," the "Day of Wrath"
--A Time of Great Trouble
--The Bible's Testimony Regarding it
--Its Fire and Storm, Its Shaking and Melting, Shown to be Symbolic
--The Revelator's Testimony
--The Present Situation and the Future Outlook
as Viewed by the opposing Parties, Capitalists and Wage-Workers
--A Remedy Which Will Not Succeed
--The Veil Lifted and Light Admitted Just in Due Time
--The Proof of This
--The Condition of the Saints During the Trouble,
and Their Proper Attitude Toward It.
those days should
no flesh be saved;
but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened."
Christ will be
The "Day of Jehovah" is the name of that period of time in which God's
kingdom, under Christ, is to be gradually "set up" in the earth, while
the kingdoms of this world are passing away and Satan's power and influence over men are
being bound. It is everywhere described as a dark day of intense trouble and distress and
perplexity upon mankind.
And what wonder that a revolution of such proportions, and necessitating such great
changes, should cause trouble. Small revolutions have caused trouble in every age; and
this, so much greater than any previous revolution, is to be a time of trouble such as
never was since there was a nation --no, nor ever shall be.
Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21,22
It is called the "Day of
Jehovah" because, though Christ, with royal title and power, will be present as
Jehovah's representative, taking charge of all the affairs during this day of trouble, it
is more as the General of Jehovah, subduing all things, than as the Prince of Peace,
Meantime, as false and imperfect
views and systems fall, the standard of the new King will rise, and eventually he shall be
recognized and owned by all as King of kings. Thus it is presented by the prophets as
Jehovah's work to set up Christ's dominion:
"I will give thee the Gentiles for thine
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." Psalms 2:8
"In the days of these kings shall the God of
heaven set up a kingdom." Daniel 2:44
The Ancient of days did sit, and
there was brought before him one like unto a son of man, and there was given him a
dominion, that all kingdoms should serve and obey him. Daniel 7:9,13,14,22,27 Added
to these is Paul's statement that, when Christ shall accomplish the object of his reign,
"Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto
him [the Father] that put all things under him."
1 Corinthians 15:28
This period is called the "Day of Vengeance of our God," and a "Day
of Wrath." Isaiah 61:2; 63:1-4; Psalms 110:5 And yet the mind that grasps only
the idea of anger, or supposes divine malice, seriously errs.
God has established certain laws, in
harmony with which he operates, and those who from any cause come into conflict with these
reap the penalty or wrath of their own course. God's counsel to mankind has been
continually rejected, except by the few; and, as we have shown, he permitted them to have
their own way and to drop him and his counsels from their hearts. Romans 1:28
He then confined his special care
to Abraham and his seed, who professed to desire his way and his service. Their hardness
of heart as a people, and the insincerity of their hearts toward God, not only naturally
prevented them from receiving Messiah, but just as naturally prepared them for and led
them into the trouble which terminated their national existence.
The "time of trouble"
the natural consequence of unrighteousness.
And so the light borne in the world during the Gospel age by the true Church of Christ
(the class whose names are written in heaven) has borne witness to the civilized world of
the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and of a coming time in which the
one will be rewarded and the other punished. John 16:8-11; Acts 24:25
This would have had a wide influence upon men
had they heeded the Lord's instruction, but, willful as ever, they have profited little by
the advice of the Scriptures, and the trouble of the Day of the Lord will come as a
consequence of the neglect.
Again, it may be said to be the
wrath of God inasmuch as it comes through disregard of his counsels, and as a reward of
unrighteousness. Nevertheless, viewed in another light, the trouble coming upon the world
is the natural or legitimate result of sin, which God foresaw, and against which his
counsels would have protected them, had they been followed.
has disregarded Gods counsel.
The "voice of avarice"
--Get all you can...
While God's message to the Church has been, "Present your bodies a living
sacrifice" (Romans 12:1), his message to the world has been,
"Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from
speaking guile; depart from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it." Psalms 34:13,14
Few have heeded either message.
Only a little flock sacrificed; and as for the world, though it nailed up the motto,
"Honesty is the best policy," it has neglected in general to practice it. It
heeded rather the voice of avarice--Get all you can of riches and honor and power in this
world, no matter what the method by which you obtain it, and no matter who loses by your
In a word, the trouble of this
Day of the Lord would not come, could not come, if the principles of God's law were
observed to any considerable extent. That law briefly summed up is--Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself. Matthew 22:37-39
It is because the depraved or carnal
mind is opposed to this law of God, and is not subject to it, that, as a natural
consequence, the trouble will come, as reaping after sowing.
The selfish, stony heart of man
a heart of flesh.
The carnal or depraved mind, so far from loving its neighbor as itself, has always been
selfish and grasping--often leading even to violence and murder to get for self the things
possessed by others. However exercised, the selfish principle is always the same, except
as governed by circumstances of birth, education and surroundings.
It has been the same in every age of the
world, and will be, until, by the force of the iron rule of Messiah, not might nor
greed, but love, will decide what is RIGHT, and enforce it, until
all may have opportunity to learn the superior benefits of the rule of righteousness and
love as compared with that of selfishness and might. Until, under the influence of the
sunlight of truth and righteousness, the selfish, stony heart of man will become once more
as when God pronounced it "very good"--a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
How did the
change from Godlike love
became the principal aim
and interest of life.
Looking back, we can see without difficulty how the change from Godlike love and kindness
to hard selfishness came about. The circumstances tending to promote selfishness were
encountered as soon as man, through disobedience, lost the divine favor and was exiled
from his Eden home, where his every want had been bountifully supplied.
As our condemned parents went forth and
began the battle of life, seeking to prolong existence to its farthest limit, they were
met at once with thorns and briers and thistles and sterile ground. And the contending
with these produced weariness and the sweat of face which the Lord had declared.
Gradually the mental and moral
qualities began to dwarf from lack of exercise, while the lower qualities retained fuller
scope from constant exercise. Sustenance became the principal aim and interest of life;
and its cost in labor became the standard by which all other interests were estimated, and
Mammon became master of men.
Can we wonder that under such
circumstances mankind became selfish, greedy and grasping, each striving for most--first
of the necessities, and secondly of the honors and luxuries bestowed by Mammon? It is but
the natural tendency of which Satan has taken great advantage.
During past ages, under various influences (among others, ignorance, race prejudices, and
national pride), the great wealth of the world has generally been in the hands of the
few--the rulers--to whom the masses rendered slavish obedience as to their national
representatives, in whose wealth they felt a pride and an interest as their own
the time drew near in which Jehovah designed to bless the world through a Restitution at
the hands of Messiah, he began to lift up the veil of ignorance and superstition, through
modern facilities and inventions; and with these came the general elevation of the people
and the decreasing power of earthly rulers. No longer is the wealth of the world in the
hands of its kings, but chiefly among the people.
Though wealth brings many evils,
it also brings some blessings: the wealthy obtain better educations--but thus they are
lifted intellectually above the poorer people and become more or less associated with
royalty. Hence an aristocracy exists which has both money and education to back it, and to
assist in its avaricious struggle to get all it can and to keep self in the front rank at
of educational facilities, they
begin to think
But, as intelligence spreads, as the people take advantage of educational facilities, now
so abundant, they begin to think for themselves.
With the self-esteem and selfishness in them led
on by a little learning--sometimes a dangerous thing--they fancy that they see ways
and means by which the interests and circumstances of all men, and especially their own,
can be promoted at the cost of the fewer numbers in whose hands the wealth now lies.
Many of these, doubtless,
honestly believe that the conflicting interests of Mammon's worshipers (themselves on one
side, and the wealthy on the other) could be easily and fairly adjusted; and no doubt they
feel that were they wealthy they would be very benevolent, and quite willing to love their
neighbors as themselves.
But they evidently deceive
themselves; for in their present condition very few indeed manifest such a spirit, and he
that would not be faithful in the use of a little of this world's goods would not be
faithful if he had greater riches. In fact, circumstances prove this; for some of the
hardest hearted and most selfish among the wealthy are those who have risen suddenly from
the humble walks of life.
On the contrary, while by no means excusing but reproving covetousness and grasping
selfishness on the part of all classes, it is but proper to notice that the provision made
for the sick and helpless and poor, in the way of asylums, hospitals, poor-houses, public
libraries, schools and various other enterprises. These, for the good and comfort of
the masses, rather than of the wealthy, are maintained mainly by taxes and donations from
institutions almost always owe their existence to the kindhearted and benevolent among the
rich, and are matters which the poorer classes have neither the time, nor generally the
necessary education or interest, to bring into successful operation.
There has been
Capital vs. Labor
The increase of
Nevertheless, today sees a growing opposition between the wealthy and laboring classes--a
growing bitterness on the part of labor, and a growing feeling among the wealthy that
nothing but the strong arm of the law will protect what they believe to be their rights.
Hence, the wealthy are
drawn closer to the governments; and the wage-working masses, beginning to think that laws
and governments were designed to aid the wealthy and to restrain the poor, are drawn
toward Communism and Anarchy, thinking that their interests would best be served thereby,
and not realizing that the worst government, and the most expensive, is vastly better than
no government at all.
Many scriptures clearly show that
this will be the character of the trouble under which present civil, social and religious
systems will pass away; that this is the way in which increase of knowledge and liberty
will result, because of man's imperfection, mental, moral and physical.
These scriptures will be referred
to in due course; but here we can only call attention to a few of the many, advising our
readers meanwhile that in many of the prophecies of the Old Testament in which Egypt,
Babylon and Israel figure so largely, not only was there a literal fulfillment intended,
but also a secondary and larger one.
Thus, for instance, the predictions
regarding the fall of Babylon, etc., must be considered extravagant beyond measure, did we
not recognize a symbolic and antitypical as well as a literal Babylon.
The book of Revelation contains
predictions recorded long after literal Babylon was in ruins, and hence evidently
applicable only to symbolic Babylon; yet the close resemblance of the words of the
prophets, apparently directly addressed to literal Babylon, are thus shown to belong in an
especial sense to symbolic Babylon.
In this larger fulfillment, Egypt
represents the world; Babylon represents the nominal Church, called Christendom; while, as
already shown, Israel often represents the whole world in its justified condition,
as it will be--its glorious Royal Priesthood, its holy Levites and its believing and
worshiping people, justified by the sacrifice of the Atonement, and brought into a
condition of reconciliation with God.
To Israel the blessings are
promised, to Egypt the plagues, and to strong Babylon a wonderful, complete and
everlasting overthrow, "as a great millstone cast into the sea"
(Revelation 18:21), never to be recovered, but to be held in everlasting odium.
Egypt = World
To receive plagues
Babylon = Nominal Church
To be overthrown and destroyed
Israel = Justified World
To receive blessings of reconciliation with God
of the laborers
who have reaped down your fields,
which is of you
unto the ears
of the Lord
The Apostle James points out this day of trouble, and tells of its being the result of
differences between capital and labor. He says:
"Come now, ye wealthy! wail ye, howling at your
hardships that are coming upon you.
"Your wealth has rotted [lost its value],
and your garments have become moth-eaten: your gold and silver have become rusted out, and
their rust for a witness to you shall be, and shall eat your flesh as fire.
"Ye treasured it up in the last days.
"Behold! the wages of the workers who cut down
your fields--that which has been kept back by reason of you [of your hoarding] is
and the outcries of those who reaped, into the ears of the Lord of the whole people have
He adds that the class coming
into trouble has been used to luxury, obtained largely at the cost of others, among whom
were some of the righteous, and out of them, because they resisted not, the very life had
been crushed. The Apostle urges the "brethren" to bear patiently whatever their
part may be, looking beyond, and expecting deliverance through the Lord.
This very condition of things can
now be seen approaching; and in the world, among those who are awake, "men's
hearts are failing them for looking after the things that are coming on the earth."
All know that the constant
tendency of our times is toward lower wages for labor, unless where the prices are
artificially sustained or advanced by labor combinations, strikes, etc. With the present
sentiment of the masses, all can see that it is but a question of time when the lowest
point of endurance will be reached, and a revolt will surely result.
1930 Bread Line NYC
1931 4 Million Jobless
1933 Soup Line
in the streets,
and their gold
and their gold
shall not be able
to deliver them
in the day
of the wrath
of the LORD..."
| This will alarm capital, which will be
withdrawn from business and manufacturing channels and hoarded in vaults and treasuries,
to eat itself up with charges for its protection in idleness, to the great annoyance of
This in turn will
certainly produce bankruptcy, financial panic and business prostration, because all
business of magnitude is now conducted largely on credit.
The natural result of all this
will be to throw out of employment tens of thousands who are dependent on their wages for
daily bread, and to fill the world with tramps and persons whose necessities will defy all
Then it will be as described by the
prophet Ezekiel 7:10-19, when the buyer need not rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for
trouble will be upon the entire multitude and there will be no security of property.
Then all hands will be feeble and
helpless to turn aside the trouble. They will cast their silver in the streets, and their
gold will be removed. Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the
day of the Lord's wrath.
Jerusalem - 70 A.D.
A picture of trouble
It should not be forgotten that though the last forty years of the existence of Israel as
a nation was a day of trouble, a "day of vengeance" upon that people,
ending in the complete overthrow of their nation. Yet, their day of wrath was but a
shadow or type of a still greater and more extensive trouble upon nominal Christendom,
even as their past history as a people during their age of favor was typical of the Gospel
age, as will be conclusively shown hereafter.
All then will see why these prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord should be, and are,
addressed to Israel and Jerusalem more or less directly, though the connections show
clearly that all mankind is included in the complete fulfillment's.
The trouble involves
Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates
November 10, 1989
symbol of Communist
December 25, 1989
Communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu executed
All Classes to Be Punished
Take another prophetic testimony
"The Lord hath prepared a slaughter, he hath bid
his guests. [Compare Revelation 19:17.]
And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's
slaughter that I will punish the princes and the king's children, and all such as are
clothed in imported clothing.
And I will inflict punishment [also] on all
those [marauders] who leap over the threshold on that day, who fill their masters'
houses with violence and deceit.
[This shows not only that there
will be a great overthrow of wealth and power in this time of trouble, but that those who
will for the time be the instruments of heaven in breaking down present systems will also
be punished for their equally unjust and unrighteous course; for the coming trouble will
involve all classes, and bring distress upon all the multitude.]
"Nigh is the great Day of the Lord: it is nigh.
Nearer and louder comes the uproar of the Day of the Lord. There the mighty shall shriek
"That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and
anxiety, a day of wasting and desolation, a day of darkness and obscurity
[uncertainty and foreboding, as well as present distress], a day of clouds [trouble]
and tempestuous gloom, a day of the trumpet [the seventh symbolic trumpet,
which sounds throughout this day of trouble--also called the trump of God, because
connected with the events of this Day of the Lord] and shouting against the
fenced cities and the high battlements [clamorous and conflicting denunciations of
strong and well-entrenched governments].
"And I will bring distress upon men, and they
shall walk about as blind men [groping in uncertainty, not knowing what course to
pursue], because they have sinned against Jehovah.
"Their blood shall be poured out as the dust, and
their flesh shall be as dung.
"Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able
to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath [though previously wealth could furnish
ease and every luxury], but the whole land shall be devoured by the FIRE of his zeal;
for destruction, yea, quite sudden, will he prepare for all them [the wealthy] that
dwell in the land."
This destruction will destroy
many of the wealthy in the sense that they will cease to be wealthy, though doubtless it
will also involve the loss of many lives of all classes.
We shall not attempt to follow
the prophets in their details, from various standpoints, of the trouble of that day, but
shall follow briefly the thought last suggested by the prophet above, namely, the devouring
of the whole earth with the FIRE of God's zeal.
This prophet refers to the same
fire, etc., again (Zephaniah 3:8,9), saying:
then will I turn to the people
a pure language,
that they may
all call upon the name of the LORD,
to serve him with one consent."
of Gods zeal
not a literal fire.
"Wait ye upon me, saith Jehovah, until the day
that I rise up to the prey; for my decision is to gather the nations [peoples], to
draw together the kingdoms, to pour upon them [the kingdoms] my indignation, even
all my fierce anger.
[The gathering of the peoples of
all nations in common interest in opposition to present governments is growing; and the
result will be a uniting of the kingdoms for common safety, so that the trouble will be
upon all kingdoms, and all will fall.]
"For all the earth shall be devoured with the fire
of my zeal. Yea [then, after this destruction of kingdoms, after this
destruction of the present social order in the fire of trouble], then will I turn unto
the people a pure language [the pure Word--uncontaminated by human tradition], that
they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one accord."
This fire of God's zeal is a
symbol, and a forcible one, representing the intensity of the trouble and the destruction
which will envelop the whole earth. That it is not a literal fire, as some suppose, is
evident from the fact that the people remain after it, and are blessed.
That the people who remain
are not saints, as some would suggest, is evident from the fact that they are then turned
to serve the Lord, whereas the saints are turned (converted) already.*
|*We mention this as an offset to the argument
of some who regard the fire as literal, and who claim that the literal earth is to be
melted, etc. These, to fit their theory, claim that "the people," here
mentioned, are the saints, who, after the earth has melted and cooled off, will return to
earth and build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them, and
long enjoy the work of their hands.
the present few years as a training or preparation for inheriting, and forget that it
would be completely lost in the aerial experiences of the thousand or more years of
waiting for the earth to cool off--according to their theory.
This is a serious mistake, and results from too literal an
interpretation of the figures, parables, symbols and dark sayings of our Lord and the
apostles and prophets. Following up the same error, these claim that there will be no
mountains and seas after this fire, failing to see that all these, as well as the fire,
Mountains = Kingdoms
Throughout the Scriptures, earth, when used symbolically,
represents society; mountains represent kingdoms; heavens, the powers of
spiritual control; seas, the restless, turbulent, dissatisfied masses of the world.
Fire represents the
destruction of whatever is burned--tares, dross, earth (social organization), or whatever
it may be.
And when brimstone is added to fire
in the symbol, it intensifies the thought of destruction; for nothing is more deadly to
all forms of life than the fumes of sulfur.
Earth = Society
Seas = Restless
Masses of People
Brimstone = Deadly Destruction
With this thought in mind, if we turn to Peter's symbolic prophecy of the Day of Wrath, we
find it in perfect accord with the above testimony of the prophets. He says:
"The world that was, being overflowed with water,
perished. [Not the literal earth and literal heavens ceased there, but that
dispensation or arrangement of things, existing before the flood, passed away.]
But the heavens and the earth which are now [the
present dispensation] by the same word [of divine authority] are kept in store,
reserved unto fire."
The fact that the water was
literal leads some to believe that the fire also must be literal, but this by no means
The temple of God once was of literal
stones, but that does not set aside the fact that the Church, which is the true temple, is
built up a spiritual building, a holy temple, not of earthly material. Noah's ark was
literal, too, but it typified Christ and the power in him which will replenish and
That Was" =
before the Flood
Temple of God
Present Ecclesiastical and Social Order
will pass away
in the great trouble.
to his promise, look for
a new earth, wherein
II Peter 3:13
"The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the
night [unobservedly], in the which the heavens [present powers of the air, of which
Satan is the chief or prince] shall pass away with a great [hissing] noise, and
the elements shall melt with fervent heat;
"The earth [social organization] also, and
the works that are therein [pride, rank, aristocracy, royalty], shall be burned up.
"The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and
the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look
for new heavens [the new spiritual power--Christ's kingdom] and a new earth"
[earthly society organized on a new basis--on the basis of love and justice, rather than
of might and oppression]. 2 Peter 3:6,7,10-13
It should be remembered
that some of the apostles were prophets as well--notably Peter, John and Paul. While as
apostles they were God's mouthpieces to expound the utterances of preceding prophets for
the benefit of the Church, they were also used of God as prophets to predict things to
Prophecies which, as they
become due to be fulfilled, become meat in due season for the household of faith, to
dispense which, God in his own time raises up suitable servants or expounders. (See our
Lord's statement of this fact Matthew 24:45,46.)
as prophets were moved upon to write things which, not being due in their day, they
could but imperfectly appreciate, even as it was with the Old Testament prophets. 1 Peter
1:12,13 Though, like them, their words were specially guided and directed so
that they have a depth of meaning of which they were not aware when using them.
the Church is ever guided and fed by God himself, whoever may be his mouthpieces or
channels of communication.
A realization of this must
lead to greater confidence and trust in God's Word, notwithstanding the imperfections of
some of his mouthpieces.
The Prophet Malachi (4:1) tells of this
Day of the Lord under the same symbol. He says:
"The day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and
all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that
cometh shall burn them up...that it shall leave them neither root nor branch."
Pride, and every other cause from
which haughtiness and oppression could again spring forth, will be entirely consumed by
the great trouble of the Day of the Lord and by the after disciplines of the Millennial
age--the last of which is described in Revelation 20:9.
will be entirely consumed.
But, while pride (in all its forms sinful
and detestable) is to be utterly rooted out, and all the proud and wicked are to be
utterly destroyed, it does not follow that there is no hope for a reformation in this
No, thank God: while this
fire of God's just indignation will be burning, the Judge will grant opportunity for pulling
some out of the consuming fire (Jude 23). Those only who refuse the aid will
perish with their pride; because they have made it part of their character, and refuse to
The same prophet gives another description of this day
(Malachi 3:1-3), in which again, under the figure of fire, he shows how the Lord's
children will be purified and blessed and brought nigh to him by having the dross of
"The Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight
in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who
shall stand [the test] when he appeareth? for he is as a refiner's
fire:...and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:
"And he shall purify the sons of Levi [typical
of believers, of whom the chief are the Royal Priesthood] and purge them as gold and
silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
will utterly destroy every error.
Gold, Silver and
Precious Gems symbolize Divine Truths and Corresponding Character
Paul refers to this same fire, and this refining process affecting believers in the Day of
the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:12-15), and in such a manner as to leave it beyond all question
that the symbolic fire will destroy every error, and thus effect purification of
After declaring that he
refers only to those building their faith upon the only recognized foundation, Christ
Jesus' finished work of redemption, he says:
"Now if any man build [character] upon this
foundation, gold, silver, precious stones [divine truths and corresponding character,
or] wood, hay, stubble [traditional errors and corresponding unstable characters],
every man's work shall be made manifest;
"For THE DAY shall declare it, because it shall be
revealed by FIRE; and so every one's work
[2 Peter 1:5-11], whatever it is, the same fire will prove."
Surely even the most prejudiced
will concede that the fire which tries a spiritual work is not literal fire; fire is an
appropriate symbol to represent the utter destruction of conditions represented here by
wood, hay and stubble. This fire will be powerless to destroy the faith-and-character
structure built with the gold, silver and precious stones of divine truth, and founded
upon the rock of Christ's ransom-sacrifice.
The Apostle shows this, saying:
"If any man's work abide which he hath built
thereupon [upon Christ] he shall receive a reward. [His reward will be
in proportion to his faithfulness in building, making use of the truth in the
development of true character--putting on the whole armor of God.]
"If any man's work shall be consumed, he shall
suffer loss [loss of the reward, because of unfaithfulness], but he himself shall
be preserved so as through a fire"
--singed, scorched and alarmed. All who build on the rock
foundation of Christ's ransom are sure: none that trust in his righteousness as their
covering will ever be utterly confounded.
But those who willfully reject
him and his work, after coming to a clear, full knowledge thereof, will be subject to the
second death. Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31
of the Day
of the Lord.
In yet another way is this trouble of the Day of the Lord symbolically described. The
Apostle shows (Hebrews 12:26-29) that the inauguration of the Law Covenant at Sinai was
typical of the introduction of the New Covenant to the world at the opening of the
Millennial age, or reign of Christ's kingdom.
He says that in the type God's voice shook the literal earth, but now he hath promised,
"Yet once for all [finally], I will shake
not only the earth, but the heaven also." Concerning this the Apostle explains,
"Now this [statement], Yet once for all,
denotes the removal of the things shaken, because they are fabricated [false, made up,
not the true], so that the unshaken things [true, righteous things, only] may
"Wherefore, seeing that we are to receive a
kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us hold fast the favor through which we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and piety; for [as it is written], Our God is a consuming
Thus we see this apostle uses a
storm to symbolize the trouble of this Day of the Lord, which he and others elsewhere
refer to under the symbol of fire. The same events are here noted that are described under
the fire symbol, namely, the sweeping away of all falsities, both from believers and from
the world--errors regarding God's plan and character and Word, and also errors as to
social and civil affairs in the world.
It will be good indeed for all to
be rid of these fabrications, which came to man largely through his own depraved desires,
as well as by the cunning craftiness of Satan, the wily foe of righteousness; but it will
be at great cost to all concerned that they will be swept away.
It will be a terribly hot fire, a
fearful storm, a dark night of trouble, which will precede the glorious brightness of that
Kingdom of Righteousness which can never be shaken, that Millennial day in which the Sun
of Righteousness will shine forth in splendor and power, blessing and healing the sick and
dying but redeemed world. Compare Malachi 4:2 and Matthew 13:43.
A dark night
will precede the glorious brightness of the kingdom
David vividly describes this Day
| David, the prophet through whose Psalms
God was pleased to foretell so much concerning our Lord at his first advent, gives some
vivid descriptions of this Day of Trouble by which his glorious reign will be introduced.
He uses these various symbols--fire, storm and
darkness--alternately and interchangeably, in his descriptions. Thus, for instance, he
says (Psalms 50:3):
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a
fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him."
In Psalms 97:2-6: "Clouds
and darkness are round about him: righteousness and justice are the support of his throne.
"A fire goeth before him and burneth up his
enemies round about. His lightnings give light to the world; the earth seeth it and
"The mountains melt away like wax at the presence
of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The [new] heavens [then]
tell of his righteousness, and all the people see his glory."
Psalms 46:6: "The peoples raged, the kingdoms were
moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted."
Again (Psalms 110:2-6), "Rule
thou in the midst of thine enemies....The Lord at thy right hand shall crush kings in the
day of his wrath.
"He will judge among the nations--there shall be a
fullness of corpses. He crusheth the heads [rulers] over many countries."
Again (46:1-5), "God is our
protection;...therefore we will not fear when the earth [society] is
transformed, and when the mountains [kingdoms] are swept into the midst of the sea
[swallowed up by the turbulent masses],
"When the waters thereof roar and are troubled [infuriated],
when the mountains shake with the swelling thereof....God will help her [the Bride,
the faithful "little flock"] at the dawning of the morning."
And in the same Psalm, verses
6-10, the same story is restated in other symbols:
"The peoples rage, kingdoms are displaced: he
letteth his voice be heard, the earth [society] melteth. Jehovah of hosts is with us,
a Tower for us is the God of Jacob."
Then, viewing the results of that time
of trouble from beyond it, he adds:
"Come ye, behold the deeds of the Lord--what
desolations he hath made in the earth....
"Desist [from your former ways, O people] and
know [come to the knowledge] that I am God. I will be exalted among the peoples, I
will be exalted in the earth."
The "new earth"
or new order and arrangement of society will exalt God and his law, as over and
The Book of Revelation is
a symbolical prophecy.
Beast cast into
a lake of fire.
Another testimony in proof of the fact that the Day of the Lord will be a great day of
trouble and of destruction to every form of evil (yet not a time of literal burning
of the earth) is furnished in the last symbolic prophecy of the Bible.
Referring to this time when the Lord will take
his great power to reign, the storm and fire are thus described
"And the nations were enraged and thy wrath
came." Revelation 11:17,18
And again, "And out of his mouth proceeded a
two-edged broadsword, that with it he should smite the nations:
"And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he
treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God....
"And I saw the beast [symbolic], and the
kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on
the horse, and against his army.
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false
prophet....These were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
The variety of symbols helps us appreciate the various features of the Day of the Lord.
We cannot here digress to examine these symbols "beast," "false
prophet," "image," "lake of fire," "horse," etc.,
etc. For this the reader is referred to a succeeding volume.
Now we would have you notice that the great
symbolic BATTLE, and the harvesting of the vine of the earth here described as
closing the present age and opening up the Millennial age (Revelation 20:1-3), are but
other symbols covering the same great and troublous events elsewhere symbolically called
fire, storm, shaking, etc.
In connection with the battle and
winepress figures of Revelation, note the striking harmony of Joel 2:9-16 and Isaiah
13:1-11, in describing the same events by similar figures. The variety of symbolic figures
used helps us to appreciate more fully all the features of that great and notable Day of
one side-- Ignorance
on the other
The Present Situation
We here leave the prophetic
statements regarding that day, to mark more particularly the present aspect of affairs in
the world, as we now see them shaping themselves for the rapidly approaching conflict--a
conflict which, when its terrible climax is reached, must necessarily be a short one, else
the race would be exterminated.
The two rival parties to this
battle are already visible. Wealth, arrogance and pride are on one side, and
widely-prevailing poverty, ignorance, bigotry and a keen sense of injustice are on the
other. Both, impelled by selfish motives, are now organizing their forces all over the
With our eyes anointed with
truth, wherever we look we can see that the sea and the waves are already roaring and
lashing and foaming out against the mountains, as represented in the threats and attempts
of anarchists and discontents whose numbers are constantly increasing.
We can see, too, that the friction
between the various factions or elements of society is rapidly getting to the point
described by the prophets, when the earth (society) will be on fire, and the elements will
melt and disintegrate with the mutually generated heat.
The two rival
feel a right
to the fruit
of their efforts.
It is of course difficult for people, on whichever side of this controversy they may be,
to see contrary to their own interests, habits and education.
The wealthy feel that they have a right to more
than their proportional share of this world's goods; a right to purchase labor and every
commodity as low as they can; a right to the fruit of their efforts.
They feel that they have a right to use
their intelligence so to run their business as to make profit for themselves and to
increase their hoarded wealth, no matter who else may be compelled by force of
circumstances to drag through life with few of its comforts, even if with all of its
They reason thus: It is the
inevitable; the law of supply and demand must govern; rich and poor have always been in
the world; and if the wealth were evenly divided in the morning, some would, through
dissipation or improvidence, be poor before night, while others, more careful and prudent,
would be rich.
Besides, they will argue with effect,
Can it be expected that men of greater brain power will undertake vast enterprises,
employing thousands of men, with the risks of large losses, unless there be hopes of gain
and some advantage?
The artisan and the laborer, on the
contrary, will say:
We see that while labor
enjoys many advantages today above any other day, while it is better paid, and can
therefore procure greater comforts, yet it is in this enjoying only its right, from which
it has long been debarred to some extent. Labor is thus properly deriving a share
of the advantages of the inventions, discoveries, increasing knowledge, etc., of our time.
We recognize labor
as honorable, and that, when accompanied with good sense, education, honesty and
principle, it is as honorable, and has as many rights, as any profession. And, on the
contrary, we esteem idleness a discredit and disgrace to all men, whatever their talent or
occupation in life.
All, to be valued
and appreciated, should be useful to others in some respect. But though realizing our
present improvement and advancement, intellectually, socially and financially, we realize
this to be more the result of circumstances than of human design on the part of either
ourselves or our employers.
We see our improved
condition, and that of all men, to be the result of the great increase of intelligence,
invention, etc., of the past fifty years particularly. These came up so rapidly that labor
as well as capital got a lift from the tidal wave, and was carried to a higher level; and
if we could see a prospect that the flood tide would continue to rise, and to benefit all,
we would feel satisfied; but we are anxious and restless now because we see that this is
not the case.
We see that the
flood tide is beginning to turn, and that whereas many have been lifted high in wealth by
it, and are firmly and securely fixed upon the shore of ease, luxury and opulence, yet the
masses are not thus settled and secured, but are in danger of being carried as low as
ever, or lower, by the undercurrent of the now ebbing tide. Hence it is that we are
disposed to grasp hold of something to insure our present state and our further
advancement before it is too late.
To state the matter in other words, we (artisans and laborers) see that while all mankind
has largely shared the blessings of the day, yet those who by reason of greater talent for
business, or by inheritance, or by fraud and dishonesty, have become possessors of tens of
thousands and millions of dollars, have not only this advantage over all others,
but, aided by the mechanical inventions, etc., they are in a position to continue the
ratio of their increase in wealth, in proportion to the decrease in the wage-workers'
We see that
unless we take some steps toward the protection of the increasing number of artisans
against the increasing power of monopoly, combined with labor-saving machinery, etc., the
cold-blooded law of supply and demand will swallow us up completely. It is against this
impending disaster, rather than against present conditions, that we organize and
seek protective arrangements.
Each day adds largely to our
numbers by natural increase and by immigration; and each day adds to the labor-saving
machinery. Each day, therefore, increases the number seeking employment and decreases the
demand for their service.
The natural law of supply and demand,
therefore, if permitted to go on uninterruptedly, will soon bring labor back where it was
a century ago, and leave all the advantages of our day in the hands of capital. It is this
that we seek to avert.
One invention has followed another very rapidly.
This ultimate tendency of many real blessings to work injury, unless restrained by wise
and equitable laws, was long since seen. But the rapidity with which one
invention has followed another, and the consequent increased demand for labor in providing
this labor-saving machinery, has been so great that the ultimate result has been delayed.
Instead, the world has had a "boom"--an inflation of values, wages,
wealth, credits (debts) and ideas--from which the reaction is now commencing gradually to
Machinery enables one man to accomplish
as much as many did formerly
In the last few years there have been produced in vast quantities agricultural implements
of every description which enable one man to accomplish as much as five could formerly.
This has a two-fold effect: first, three times
as many acres are worked, giving employment to three out of the five laborers, thus
setting two adrift to compete for other labor; secondly, the three who remain can, by the
use of the machinery, produce as great a crop as fifteen would have done without it.
The same or greater changes are
wrought in other departments by similar agencies; for instance, in iron and steel making.
Its growth has been so enormous that the number of employees has greatly increased,
notwithstanding the fact that machinery has enabled one man at present to accomplish about
as much as twelve did formerly.
One of the results will be that
very shortly the capacity of these extensive works will more than meet the present
enormous demands. The demands, instead of continuing to increase, will probably
decrease; for the world is fast being supplied with railroads beyond present needs.
The yearly repairs on these could probably be supplied by less than one-half the present
number of establishments.
Thus we are brought in contact with the peculiar condition in which there is an
over-production, causing idleness occasionally to both capital and labor, while at the
same time some lack the employment which would enable them to procure necessities and
luxuries and thus in a measure cure the over-production.
And the tendency toward both over-production and
lack of employment is on the increase, and calls for a remedy of some kind which society's
physicians are seeking, but of which the patient will not make use.
While, therefore (continues the wage-worker), we realize that as the supply begins to
exceed the demand, competition is greatly reducing the profits of capital and
machinery. Throughout the world, competition is distressing the rich by curtailing
their profits, and in some cases causing them actual loss instead of profit.
Yet we believe that the class which benefited
most by the "boom" and inflation should suffer most in the reaction,
rather than that the masses should suffer from it.
To this end, and for these
reasons, wage-workers are moving to obtain the following results--by legislation if
possible, or by force and lawlessness in countries where, for any cause, the voice of the
masses is not heard, and the interests of the masses are not conserved:
It is proposed that the hours of labor be shortened in proportion to the skill or severity
of the labor, without a reduction of wages, in order thus to employ a greater number of
persons without increasing the products, and thus to equalize the coming over-production
by providing a larger number with the means of purchasing.
It is proposed to fix and limit the rate
of interest on money at much less than the present rates, and thus compel a leniency
of the lenders toward the borrowers or poorer class, or else an idleness or rusting of
It is proposed that railroads shall
either be the property of the people, operated by their servants, government officials, or
that legislation shall restrict their liberties, charges, etc., and compel their operation
in such a manner as to serve the public better.
As it is, railroads built during a period of inflated values,
instead of curtailing their capital to conform to the general shrinkage of values
experienced in every other department of trade, have multiplied their originally large
capital stocks two or three times (commonly called watering their stocks), without
real value being added.
Thus it comes that great railroad
systems are endeavoring to pay interest and dividends upon stocks and bonded debts which
on an average are four times as great as these railroads would actually cost today new.
As a consequence the public suffers.
Farmers are charged heavily for
freights, and sometimes find it profitable to burn their grain for fuel; and thus the cost
of food to the people is greater without being to the farmer's advantage.
It is proposed to remedy this matter,
so that railroads shall pay to their stockholders about four per cent on their present
actual value, and not four to eight per cent, on three or four times their present value,
as many of them now do, by preventing competition through pooling arrangements.
We well know, says the artisan, that in the eyes of those who hold watered railroad
stocks, and other stocks, this reduction of profits on their invested capital will seem
terrible, and will come like drawing teeth. They will feel that their rights
(?) to use their franchises granted by the people, to squeeze from them immense profits,
based upon fictitious valuations, are being grievously outraged, and that they will resist
it all they know how.
we feel that they should be thankful that the public is so lenient, and that they are not
required to make restitution of millions of dollars already thus obtained.
We feel that the time has come
for the masses of the people to share more evenly the blessings of this day of blessings.
To do this it is necessary so to legislate that all greedy corporations, fat with money
and power derived from the public, shall be restrained, and compelled by law to
serve the public at reasonable rates. In no other way can these blessings of Providence be
secured to the masses.
Hence, while great corporations,
representing capital, are to a large extent a blessing and a benefit, we are seeing daily
that they have passed the point of benefit and are becoming masters of the people, and if
unchecked will soon reduce wage-workers to penury and slavery.
Corporations, composed of numbers of
people all more or less wealthy, are rapidly coming to occupy the same relation to the
general public of America that the Lords of Great Britain and all Europe occupy toward the
masses there, only that the corporations are more powerful.
To accomplish our ends, continue the wage-workers, we need organization. We must have the
cooperation of the masses or we can never accomplish anything against such immense power
and influence. And though we are organized into unions, etc., it must not be understood
that our aim is anarchy or injustice toward any class.
We, the masses of the people, simply
desire to protect our own rights, and those of our children, by putting reasonable bounds
upon those whose wealth and power might otherwise crush us which wealth and power,
properly used and limited, may be a more general blessing to all. In a word, they
conclude, we would enforce the golden rule--
"Do unto others as you would that they should do
Workers organize for reform
Selfish Men Will Not
Observe Golden Rule
Happy would it be for all
concerned if such moderate and reasonable means would succeed; if the rich would rest with
their present acquirements and cooperate with the great mass of the people in the general
and permanent improvement of the condition of all classes; if the wage-workers would
content themselves with reasonable demands; if the golden rule of love and justice could
thus be put in practice. But men in their present condition will not observe this rule
Though there be some among the
artisans of the world who would be thus moderate and just in their ideas, the majority are
not so, but will be extreme, unjust and arrogant in their ideas and demands, beyond all
reason. Each concession on the part of capitalists will but add to such demands and ideas;
and all having experience know that the arrogance and rule of the ignorant poor are doubly
And so among those of
wealth--some are fully in sympathy with the laboring classes, and would be glad to act out
their sympathy by making such arrangements as would gradually effect the needed reforms;
but they are greatly in the minority and wholly powerless in the operating of corporations
and to a great extent in their private business.
If they be merchants or manufacturers,
they cannot shorten the hours of labor or increase the wages of their employees; for
competitors would then undersell them, and financial disaster to themselves, their
creditors and their employees would follow.
the great trouble
of the "Day of Jehovah"?
Thus we see the natural cause of the great trouble of this "Day of Jehovah." Selfishness,
and blindness to all except their own interests, will control the majority on both sides
of the question.
Wage-workers will organize and unify their interests, but selfishness will destroy the
union; and each, being actuated mainly by that principle, will scheme and conspire in that
direction. The majority, ignorant and arrogant, will gain control, and the better class
will be powerless to hold in check that which their intelligence organized.
Capitalists will become convinced
that the more they yield the more will be demanded, and will soon determine to resist all
demands. Insurrection will result; and in the general alarm and distrust capital will be
withdrawn from public and private enterprises, and business depression and financial panic
Thousands of men thrown out of
employment in this way will finally become desperate. Then law and order will be swept
away--the mountains will be swallowed up in that stormy sea.
Thus the social earth will melt, and the governmental heavens (church and state) will pass
away; and all the proud, and all who do wickedly, will be as stubble. Then the mighty men
will weep bitterly, the rich will howl, and fear and distress will be upon all the
Even now, wise,
far-seeing men find their hearts failing them as they look forward to those things coming
upon the world, even as our Lord predicted. Luke 21:26
The Scriptures show us that in
this general rupture the nominal church (including all denominations) will be gradually
drawn more and more to the side of the governments and the wealthy, will lose much of its
influence over the people, and will finally fall with the governments. Thus the heavens
[ecclesiastical rule], being on fire, will pass away with a great hissing.
which will enforce the principles
All this trouble will but prepare the world to realize that though men may plan and
arrange ever so well and wisely, all their plans will prove futile as long as ignorance
and selfishness are in the saddle and have the control.
It will convince all that the only feasible way
of correcting the difficulty is by the setting up of a strong and righteous government,
which will subdue all classes, and enforce principles of righteousness, until gradually
the stony-heartedness of men will, under favorable influences, give place to the original
image of God.
And this is just what God
has promised to accomplish for all, by and through the Millennial Reign of Christ, which
Jehovah introduces by the chastisements and lessons of this day of trouble. Ezekiel 11:19;
36:25,36; Jeremiah 31:29-34; Zephaniah 3:9; Psalms 46:8-10
seek righteousness will suffer less
Though this day of trouble comes as a natural and unavoidable result of man's fallen,
selfish condition, and was fully foreseen and declared by the Lord, who foresaw that his
laws and instructions would be disregarded by all but the few until experience and
compulsion force obedience, yet all who realize the state of things coming should set
themselves and their affairs in order accordingly.
Thus we say to all the meek--the humble of the world, as well as the body of
"Seek ye the Lord, ye meek of the earth which
have wrought his judgment [his will]; seek righteousness; seek meekness,
that ye may be partially hidden in the day of the Lord's anger." Zephaniah 2:3
None will entirely escape the
trouble, but those seeking righteousness and rejoicing in meekness will have many
advantages over others.
Their manner of life, their habits of
thought and action, as well as their sympathies for the right, which will enable them to
grasp the situation of affairs, and also to appreciate the Bible account of this trouble
and its outcome, will all conspire to make them suffer less than others--especially from
harassing fears and forebodings.
ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment;
it may be ye shall be hid in the day
of the LORDs anger."
with each new spasm of trouble.
The trend of events in this Day of the Lord will be very
deceptive to those not Scripturally informed. It will come suddenly, as fire consuming
chaff (Zephaniah 2:2), in comparison to the long ages past and their slow operation; but
not suddenly as a flash of lightning from a clear sky, as some erroneously expect who
anticipate that all things written concerning the Day of the Lord will be fulfilled in a
twenty-four hour day.
will come as "a thief in the night," in the sense that its approach will
be stealthy and unobserved by the world in general. The trouble of this day will be in
spasms. It will be a series of convulsions more frequent and severe as the day draws on,
until the final one.
The Apostle so indicates when he
says--"as travail upon a woman." 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3 The relief
will come only with the birth of the NEW ORDER of things--a new heavens (the
spiritual control of Christ) and a new earth (reorganized society) wherein dwelleth
righteousness (2 Peter 3:10,13)--in which justice and love, instead of power and
selfishness, will be the law.
in the birth
of a new era
Each time these labor pangs of the new era come upon the present body politic, her
strength and courage will be found less, and the pains severer. All that society's
physicians (political economists) can do for her relief will be to help, and wisely direct
the course of the inevitable birth--to prepare gradually the way for the event. They
cannot avert it if they would; for God has decreed that it shall come to pass.
Many of society's physicians will,
however, be totally ignorant of the real ailment and of the necessities and urgency of the
case. These will undertake repressive measures; and as each paroxysm of trouble passes
away, they will take advantage of it to fortify the resistive appliances, and will thereby
increase the anguish.
While they will not long delay the
birth, their malpractice will hasten the death of their patient; for the old order of
things will die in the labor of bringing forth the new.
To lay aside the forcible figure suggested by the Apostle, and speak plainly: The efforts
of the masses for deliverance from the grasp of Capital and machinery will be immature;
plans and arrangements will be incomplete and insufficient, as time after time they
attempt to force their way and burst the bands and limits of "supply and demand"
which are growing too small for them.
Each unsuccessful attempt will increase the confidence of Capital in its ability to keep
the new order of things within its present limits, until at length the present restraining
power of organizations and governments will reach its extreme limit. The cord
of social organism will snap asunder, law and order will be gone, and widespread anarchy
will bring all that the prophets have foretold of the trouble "such as was
not since there was a nation"--and, thank God for the assurance added--"nor
ever shall be" afterward.
of the world
at the hands
The deliverance of Israel from Egypt and from the plagues which came upon the Egyptians
seems to illustrate the coming emancipation of the world, at the hands of the greater than
Moses, whom he typified. It will be a deliverance from Satan and every agency he has
devised for man's bondage to sin and error.
And as the plagues upon Egypt had a hardening effect as soon as removed, so the temporary
relief from the pains of this Day of the Lord will tend to harden some, and they will say
to the poor, as did the Egyptians to Israel, "Ye are idle," and therefore
dissatisfied! and will probably, like them, attempt to increase the burden.
But in the end such will wish, as did
Pharaoh in the midnight of his last plague, that they had dealt more leniently and wisely
long ago. Exodus 12:30-33
To mark further the similarity, call to
mind that the troubles of this Day of the Lord are called "seven vials of
wrath," or "seven last plagues," and that it is not until the
last of these that the great earthquake (revolution) occurs, in which every
mountain (kingdom) will disappear. Revelation 16:17-20
The Day of Trouble
is right on time -- Gods due time.
Another thought with reference to this Day of Trouble is that it has come just in due
time--God's due time. In the next volume of this work, evidence is adduced from the
testimony of the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament, as well as from Jesus and the
apostolic prophets of the New Testament, which shows clearly and unmistakably that this
Day of Trouble is located chronologically in the beginning of the glorious Millennial
reign of Messiah.
It is this
necessary preparation for the coming work of restitution in the Millennial age that
precipitates the trouble.
"In the sweat
of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
till thou return unto the ground."
During the six thousand years interim of evil, and until the appointed time for the
establishment of the righteous and powerful government of Christ, it would have been a
positive injury to fallen men had they been afforded much idle time, through an earlier
development of present labor-saving machinery, or otherwise.
Experience has given rise to the proverb
that "Idleness is the mother of vice," thus approving the wisdom of God's
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread
till thou return unto the dust."
Like all God's arrangements, this
is benevolent and wise, and for the ultimate good of his creatures.
The trouble of the Day of the Lord,
which we already see gathering, confirms the wisdom of God's arrangement; for, as we have
seen, it comes about as the result of over-production by labor-saving machinery, and an
inability on the part of the various elements of society to adjust themselves to the new
circumstances, because of selfishness on the part of each.
knowledge come sooner,
would have come sooner.
An unanswerable argument, proving that this is God's due time for the introduction of the
new order of things, is that he is lifting the veil of ignorance and gradually letting in
the light of intelligence and invention upon mankind, just as foretold, when foretold, and
with the results predicted. Daniel 12:4,1
Had the knowledge come sooner, the trouble would have come sooner; and though society
might have reorganized after its storm and melting, it would have been not a new
earth [social arrangement] wherein righteousness would prevail and dwell, but a new earth
or arrangement in which sin and vice would have much more abounded than now.
The equitable division of the
benefits of labor-saving machinery would in time have brought shorter and shorter hours of
labor; and thus, released from the original safeguard, fallen man, with his perverted
tastes, would not have used his liberty and time for mental, moral and physical
improvement, but, as the history of the past proves, the tendency would have been toward
licentiousness and vice.
The partial lifting of the veil now prepares thousands of conveniences for mankind,
and thus furnishes, from the outstart of the age of restitution, time for education and
moral and physical development, as well as for preparation for the feeding and clothing of
the companies who will from time to time be awakened from the tomb.
And furthermore, it locates the time of
trouble just where it will be of benefit to mankind, in that it will give them the lesson
of their own inability to govern themselves, just at the Millennial dawn, when, by the
Lord's appointment, he who redeemed all is to begin to bless them with the strong rule of
the iron rod, and with full knowledge and assistance whereby they may be restored to
original perfection and everlasting life.
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
"He shall cover thee with his feathers,
shalt thou trust:
Duty and Privilege of the Saints
An important question arises
regarding the duty of the saints during this trouble, and their proper attitude toward the
two opposing classes now coming into prominence.
That some of the saints will
still be in the flesh during at least part of this burning time seems possible. Their
position in it, however, will differ from that of others, not so much in that they will be
miraculously preserved (though it is distinctly promised that their bread and water shall
be sure), but in the fact that, being instructed from God's Word, they will not feel the
same anxiety and hopeless dread that will overspread the world.
They will recognize the trouble
as the preparation, according to God's plan, for blessing the whole world, and they will
be cheered and comforted through it all. This is forcibly stated in Psalms 91;
Thus comforted and blessed by the
divine assurance, the first duty of the saints is to let the world see that in the midst
of all the prevailing trouble and discontent, and even while they share the trouble and
suffer under it, they are hopeful, cheerful and always rejoicing in view of the glorious
outcome foretold in God's Word.
The Apostle has written that
"Godliness with contentment is
and though this has always been true, it will have double
force in this Day of the Lord, when discontent is the chief ailment among all worldly
classes. To these the saints should be a notable exception.
There never was a time when
dissatisfaction was so widespread; and yet there never was a time when men enjoyed so many
favors and blessings.
Wherever we look, whether into the
palaces of the rich, replete with conveniences and splendors of which Solomon in all his
glory knew almost nothing, or whether we look into the comfortable home of the thrifty and
temperate wage-worker, with its evidences of taste, comfort, art and luxury, we see that
in every way the present exceeds in bountiful supply every other period since the
creation, many-fold. Yet the people are unhappy and discontented.
Provide things decent
The fact is that the desires of a selfish, depraved heart know no bounds. Selfishness has
so taken possession of all, that, as we look out, we see the whole world madly pushing and
driving and clutching after wealth. A few only being successful, the remainder are envious
and soured because they are not the fortunate ones, and all are discontented and
miserable--more so than in any former time.
But the saint should take no part in that struggle. His consecration vow was that he would
strive and grasp and run for a higher, a heavenly prize, and hence he is weaned from
earthly ambitions, and labors not for earthly things, except to provide things decent
and needful; for he is giving heed to the course and example of the Master and the
Therefore they have contentment with their godliness, not because they have no
ambition, but because their ambition is turned heavenward and absorbed in the effort to
lay up treasure in heaven and to be rich toward God; in view of which, and of their
knowledge of God's plans revealed in his Word, they are content with whatever of an
earthly sort God may provide. These can joyfully sing:
"Content, whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis God's hand that leadeth me."
But alas! not all of God's children occupy this position. Many have fallen into the
discontent prevalent in the world, and are robbing themselves of the enjoyments of life
because they have left the Lord's footsteps and are casting their lot and taking their
portion with the world --seeking earthly things whether attaining them or not,
sharing the world's discontent, and failing to realize the contentment and peace which the
world can neither give nor take away.
We urge the saints, therefore, to abandon the strife of greed and vainglory and its
discontent, and to strive for the higher riches and the peace they do afford. We would
remind them of the Apostle's words:
"Godliness with contentment is great gain; for we brought
nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having [needful]
food and raiment, let us therewith be content."
"But they that will [to] be rich
[whether they succeed or not] fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish
and hurtful lusts which drown [sink] men in ruin and destruction.
"For a root of all vices is the love of money [whether
in rich or poor], which some being eager for were led away from the faith and pierced
themselves through with many pangs.
"But thou, O man of God, flee from these, and be
pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, meekness; be contesting in the noble
contest of the faith, lay hold on everlasting life, unto which thou wast called and
didst make a noble covenant." 1 Timothy 6:6-12
and be content
as ye have..."
If the example of the saints is thus one of contentment and joyful anticipation, and a
cheerful submission to present trials in sure hope of the good time coming, such living
examples alone are valuable lessons for the world. And in addition to the example, the
counsel of the saints to those about them should be in harmony with their faith.
It should be of the nature of ointment and
healing balm. Advantage should be taken of circumstances to point the world to the good
time coming, to preach to them the coming Kingdom of God, and to show the real cause of
present troubles, and the only remedy. Luke 3:14; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11
of the Kingdom -- Ambassadors
Christians Should Counsel Contentment
The poor world groans, not only
under its real, but also under its fancied ills, and especially under the discontent of
selfishness, pride and ambitions which fret and worry men because they cannot fully
Hence, while we can see both
sides of the question, let us counsel those willing to hear to contentment with what they
have, and to patient waiting until God in his due time and way brings to them the many
blessings which his love and wisdom have provided.
By probing and inflaming either
real or fancied wounds and wrongs, we would do injury to those we should be helping and
blessing, thus spreading their discontent, and hence their trouble. But by fulfilling our
mission, preaching the good tidings of the ransom given for ALL, and the
consequent blessings to come to ALL, we shall be true heralds of the kingdom
--its ambassadors of peace. Thus it is written,
"How beautiful upon the mountains [kingdoms]
are the feet of him [the last members of the body of Christ] that bringeth good
tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good." Isaiah 52:7
is the only
The troubles of this "Day of Jehovah" will give opportunity for preaching
the good tidings of coming good, such as is seldom afforded, and blessed are they who will
follow the footsteps of the Master, and be the good Samaritans binding up the wounds and
pouring in the oil and wine of comfort and cheer
The assurance given such is that their labor is not in vain; for when the judgments of the
Lord are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
The sympathy of the Lord's children,
like that of their heavenly Father, must be largely in harmony with the groaning creation,
striving for any deliverance from bondage. Although they should, like him, remember
and sympathize with those of the opposing classes whose desires are to be just and
generous, but whose efforts are beset and hindered, not only by the weaknesses of their
fallen nature, but also by their surroundings in life, and their association with and
dependence upon others.
But the Lord's children should
have no sympathy with the arrogant, insatiate desires and endeavors of any class. Their
utterances should be calm and moderate, and always for peace where principle is not at
They should remember that this is the
Lord's battle, and that so far as politics or social questions are concerned, they have no
real solution other than that predicted in the Word of God.
The duty of the consecrated,
therefore, is first of all to see that they are not in the way of Jehovah's chariot, and
then to "stand still and see the salvation of God," in the sense of
realizing that it is no part of their work to share in the struggle, but that it is the
Lord's doing, through other agencies.
Regardless of all such things, they
should press along the line of their own mission, proclaiming the heavenly kingdom at hand
as the only remedy for all classes, and their only hope.
"Be still, and know
that I am God:
I will be exalted
among the heathen,
I will be exalted
in the earth."
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