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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13 - Contents
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    February 3, 1887

    “Yet a Little While” The Signs of the Times 13, 5, pp. 71, 72.

    THE prophet Isaiah exclaims, “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” 59:14. We are not left in doubt as to when this is, for in immediate connection with these words is the statement that the Lord “put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,” and this time is shown by Paul to be at his second coming: “To you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8. And Isaiah continues: “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.” “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” Verses 18, 20. There can be no doubt therefore that the time to which Isaiah refers is the same to which Paul refers, and that the time is that which immediately precedes the second coming of the Lord.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.1

    Hosea speaks of the same time, saying, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel; for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” 4:1, 2. That the prophet in this perfectly describes the condition of things at the present time, can be proved by anyone who looks at any of the leading daily or weekly papers anywhere in all the land, or who to any extent moves about among men. Whole columns are filled with the reports of deeds of violence; with thievings and adulteries in high places and in low, and especially in the high places. Columns of iniquitous reports of adulterous proceedings are telegraphed at immense expense across the ocean and then across the continent in all directions, and the paper that bears the fullest account sells the best. Society is honeycombed with the canker of iniquity.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.2

    Now are we left in doubt as to whether these words of the prophet were meant to describe the times which now are. The next verse says, “Therefore shall the land mourn, and everyone that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.” This time when the beasts of the field languish is definitely shown by Joel 1:15-20; 2:1. “Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.... The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.... The beasts of the field cry also unto thee; for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.” Said Hosea also, “The fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.” The time when the fishes of the sea are taken away is in the time of the second of the seven last plagues. “The second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.” Revelation 16:3. When the seventh plague is poured out the voice of God declares the end of the world, and then comes the end of the world. Therefore by these evidences it is plain that the word of the Lord by Hosea, which we have quoted, describes the state of society at the time when the great day of the Lord and the end of the world are impending.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.3

    Micah also says: “The good man is perished out of the earth; and there is non upright among men; they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire; so they wrap it up. The best of them is as a brier; the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge.” And that this is in the last days is shown by the next clause, “The day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.” This is made positive by another verse in the same connection: “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.... He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” Micah 7:2-9.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.4

    Habakkuk too in vision, saw all this evil going on, and he cried out unto the Lord about it. He wanted to know how the Lord could stand it to see so much iniquity, when he hates iniquity; how he could bear to behold so much injustice when he is altogether just. He says, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me; and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth; for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.” “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity; wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” 1:2-4, 13.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.5

    After thus making his inquiries he waited for an answer, saying, “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me.... And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” Chap. 2:1-4. Now the Lord has made his own application of this text, and by reading that application there can be no mistake about the time to which the prophet refers when he speaks of this violence and failure of justice prevailing. Paul, in speaking of the coming of the Lord, quotes these words of Habakkuk, saying, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:36-38.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.6

    The vision, therefore, which Habakkuk saw was the concerning the coming of the Lord, when his coming would be so near that whatever delay there should seem to be would be but a tarrying and that for but a little while, when he should surely come and would not tarry. But the vision for an appointed time. It was to be written out and made plain upon tables, that he might run who should read it. The visions concerning the appointed time of the coming of the Lord have been written out; they have been, and are still being, made plain on tables, and many who read are running with the word to show to men that the appointed time is almost expired and that the coming of the Lord is at the doors. And he himself said, “Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:12, 13. Now the just shall live by faith, and there is no room for drawing back. For, says, the Scripture, to draw back is to draw back unto perdition, and we must not be of such but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.SITI February 3, 1887, page 71.7

    All the evidences of the Bible are in perfect accord with words of the prophets which we have here presented. All show that the last days—the days in which we live—will be times of fearful iniquity and outbreaking sin; of violence and bloodshed; of blasphemy and impurity; of injustice and oppression. As quoted at the beginning of this article, they will be times when “judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey [is accounted mad, margin].”SITI February 3, 1887, page 72.1

    But to those who do depart from evil the Lord promises that the Redeemer shall come. Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die, O house of Israel. To “them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28.SITI February 3, 1887, page 72.2