Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

The Probability of the Second Coming of Christ About A.D. 1843

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    CHAPTER VIII

    Chapter 20. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven; having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon; that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”PSC 196.1

    In the above passage we have the true doctrine of the Millennium. It is the only place in all the Bible where the thousand years of Christ’s reign on earth (either literally or spiritually) is so much as named. What then is to be the character of the reign here spoken of? When I first commenced writing these pages, my mind was in doubt on this point. Not can I say even now, that it is perfectly settled. But yet it does appear very evident to me, that the Millennium will not take place until after the resurrection of the just, and that it will be in the glorified and immortal state. It appears also to be the doctrine of the foregoing passage, that not the martyrs only will have a part in the first resurrection, but also, all who have gained the victory over the beast and his image, his mark and name. I am inclined to the opinion that my doubts on the subject are not for the want of evidence on the point, but from the prejudice of education. Until recently, I have been accustomed to believe that the reign of Christ would be spiritual, and brought about through the instrumentality of Christian effort in spreading the Gospel, until all nations should be converted to Christ, and all should know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. But this cannot consist with the testimony of Christ. He does indeed assert, that this gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations. But the very language of that verse proves almost any thing rather than such a state of the world as has been so generally anticipated. The Saviour adds, “Then (as soon as this is done,-the Gospel has sounded on the last heathen shore,) shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. It is frequently objected against the doctrine maintained in these pages, that the above passage has not yet been fulfilled. But those who maintain that the text refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, contend that it was fulfilled even before that event. If so, it most certainly cannot be an objection now. But even admitting that it never has been fulfilled, who will say that it will not be, within the allotted time for the reign of grace, according to the calculations in this book? If one day is with the Lord as a thousand years; if he can do the work of a thousand years in a single day,-he surety cannot want for time to do all he has engaged to do before the end. How many languages are there, now on earth, where, and in which, the story of a crucified Saviour has not been told? And how long, with the present facilities for extending the Gospel, and the recent eagerness with which the Gospel is received in heathen lands, will it take to extend the triumph of the cross, and tell of a Saviour’s love in all the world, for a witness unto all nations? As soon as this is done, then shall the end come. So says Christ, and who will dare dispute it.PSC 196.2

    There are several objections, which I will here present against the doctrine of the spiritual reign of Christ.PSC 198.1

    1. Neither Christ nor his apostles have ever intimated any thing of the kind. All the scripture which it is pretended points out any thing of the kind, is taken from the Old Testament; and the very passages which Christians believe to refer to the Millennium, the Jews as firmly believed would be fulfilled when the Messiah should make his first appearance. Those passages, I must think, have had their fulfillment under the reign of grace, or refer to the glorified state. It is not probable Christ would have left us in the dark in regard to an event so important as would be the conversion of the world, without one word of instruction on the subject.PSC 198.2

    2. Christ did most constantly declare, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”—“My kingdom is not of this world,” etc. Now, if there is to be a season when all on earth will be Christians, then his words will not be true, for the tribulation of the church will be ended.PSC 199.1

    3. Both Christ and his apostles do constantly testify of the wickedness which will exist in the world up to the time of the second appearing of Christ, at the end of the world.PSC 199.2

    From the above and other considerations, I conclude, that the Millennium will be after the Lord Jesus descends from heaven with the great sound of a trumpet, and those who sleep in Christ are raised and made immortal, the living saints changed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Then will come the conflagration of the world, as spoken of by St. Peter, (2nd Epist. chap. 3.) “We look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” After the earth is renewed, the New Jerusalem will come down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. See the description of this city in the 21st chapter. It is said to be twelve thousand furlongs, or fifteen hundred miles square. The length, breadth and height of it are equal. One would suppose a city with walls so high, would be an impassable barrier. But it is added, “the gates shall not be shut at all by day, for, there is no night there.” The whole earth will then be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God. The wicked, who are alive when Christ appears, will be burned up. See Malachi 4:1. “Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Ver. 3. “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” In this state the wicked will remain during the thousand years; their bodies dead, but their souls in hell. When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed for a little season, and go out to deceive the nations, Gog and Magog, and gather them together to battle; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. Who these nations are, has perplexed commentators in all ages. They cannot be those who live on the earth during the thousand years. For they have part in the first resurrection, and are declared to be blessed and holy. On them the, second death hath no power. Satan, then, will not be able to deceive them. The wicked, before the Millennium, are to be destroyed from the earth, so as to leave neither root nor branch. They must then be the wicked dead, who are now raised up, and appear on earth in the body, preparatory to their final and everlasting punishment. They will be deceived by the Devil, and go up and compass the beloved city. Then fire will come down from God out of heaven and consume them. The Devil, who deceived them, will then be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Death and hell will also he cast into the lake of fire. And whosoever is not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.PSC 199.3

    When the judgment spoken of, verses 12 and 13, will take place, whether before or after the Millennium, or whether, as some believe, that of the righteous will be before and that of the wicked after. I am unable to satisfy my own mind, therefore I must leave it until the event determines the meaning, or more light is reflected on the subject from some other source.PSC 201.1

    The twentieth and twenty-first chapters are principally occupied with a description of the glory of the New Jerusalem, and the final states of the righteous and the wicked. The state of blessedness here described, is infinitely desirable. Let it then be the earnest inquiry of each one, How may I secure an inheritance in that world of glory? What are the requisite qualifications for admission to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The only qualification which will gain us an entrance into the New Jerusalem, is, purity of heart and holiness of life. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” The above qualifications will stand the test of the great day, and this only; “for without holiness no man shall see God.”PSC 201.2

    The great scenes of trouble which are about coming on the earth as the precursor of the great day, are worthy of attention. How shall I act in view of and through these troubles? is an important question. In reference to this time God has said, by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 26:20-“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Zephaniah explains what is meant by entering into the chambers and hiding. Zephaniah 2:3. “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness; seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”PSC 202.1

    If we stand so near the verge of time, and there is so short a period at the longest, in which we can have the opportunity of laboring for God, and for the souls of men, how important that we awake and bestir ourselves in this work!PSC 202.2

    To those who have this world’s goods; Do you believe what you have read; or do you admit that there is even a distant probability that these things may be so? Then how ought you to act without delay, in making a disposition of your silver and gold, in sending the gospel to those who have not yet received it? How will you stand before God in judgment, if you profess to be a Christian, have this world’s goods, see millions perishing, and yet indulge your spirit of avarice, shut up your bowels of compassion, and see them perish in their ignorance and blood. If you do thus, rest assured, that when the day comes, your gold and silver which have cankered and rusted in your possession, will eat your flesh as it were fire. Would your Lord be likely to say, well done, good and faithful servant? Would you rejoice to see the Lord descending on his great white throne? Every farthing now appropriated in the cause of God does execution. There never was a period, when every effort was attended with such signal success, as at the present time. Let every one then, who professes any love for the cause of Christ and the souls of men, awake to their duty at once, and sow their seed by the side of all waters. The time is coming, if these calculations are correct, speedily, when judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it begin first with us, what shall be the end of those, who obey not the gospel of God? and if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?PSC 203.1

    My unconverted reader! suffer the word of exhortation. If you have not an evidence in your own heart, that you are unprepared to meet God, then set about the work without delay. Seek the Lord while he may be found. Strive to enter in at the strait gate. For when once the master of the house has risen up and shut to the door, admission will be impossible.PSC 204.1

    I have now done. What I have written, I have written in the fear of God; and to him I expect to give an account. Whether these things are so or not, time will very soon determine. Let me in view of the facts before us, repeat the language of Peter; The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer.” Amen.PSC 204.2

    THE END.PSC 204.3

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents