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    March 17, 1887

    “Is It Peace and Safety?” The Signs of the Times 13, 11, p. 167.

    IN spite of the rapid increase of crime and violence on every hand; in spite of the most gigantic preparations for war that the world has ever seen; in spite of the increasing worldliness of the church, the pulpit and the religious press continue to talk of peace and safety, of a millennium in which there shall be no war, and in which the world will be converted. In the midst of violence and crime, it seems a strange proceeding to talk of peace and safety. In the presence of the greatest possible preparations for war, it seems rather incongruous to announce the speedy approach of a time when there shall be no war. In the face of the increasing worldliness of the church, and the loss of her power of godliness, the prospect does not appear very flattering for the conversion of the world to Christ. Yet under these very circumstances, in these very times, these very things are preached.SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.1

    But is such preaching, the preaching of the truth? Is it so that through the practice of violence and crime there is to be developed an era of peace and safety for those safety for those who commit these things as well as for those who do not? Is it true that by these immense preparations for war, by this constant readiness for war, and this increasing jealousy and warlike spirit amongst nations, there is to be brought about a time when all nations shall voluntarily lay down their arms and make no more preparation for war, and when there shall nevermore be either jealousy or warlike spirit? Is it a fact that through a world-loving church seeking for worldly power and worldly favor, there shall flow such a flood of divine grace that it shall irresistibly overwhelm the world? Such results from such causes or by such means, are moral impossibilities. Then why is it that from one end of Christendom to the other the pulpits ring with it? Is it because the Scriptures say that this shall be? Let us see.SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.2

    There are certain scriptures quoted to prove that these things are so. Let us read them.SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.3

    Psalm 2:7, 8. “I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” There, does not that say that the world shall be converted? Well does it? Plainly it does not. It says that the heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth shall be given to the Son of God. But it does not say that this shall be by conversion nor for conversion. Before the conversion of the heathen or the uttermost parts of the earth can be found in that scripture it has to be put into it by the one who wants to find it there. And that is not the best way to interpret Scripture. It is not the best way to read into Scripture what we want there, rather than to read the Scripture to find what really is there. But it may be asked, Is not conversion the necessary conclusion from the text? It is not, because the next verse shows the contrary: “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” That is certainly anything else then their conversion. This is shown further by the remaining verses: “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.”SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.4

    This shows that the time is coming when the Son will be angry, and his wrath will be kindled; and that now men must make their peace with him, that they be not broken and dashed in pieces when his wrath shall be kindled, for that is to be done with the heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth when they are given to him. This is confirmed by another scripture in which this wrath is spoken of. Revelation 6:16 speaks of “the wrath of the Lamb.” And when that wrath is revealed, “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” It is certain therefore that the second psalm does not teach the conversion of the world; nor will it allow any such teaching to be read into it.SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.5

    Another scripture quoted in proof of the conversion of the world is,SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.6

    Revelation 11:15: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” But this text is much the same as the other. It does not say that these kingdoms become his by conversion nor for conversion. It is evident that this text bears the same meaning as that in the second psalm. Read the two together: “I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.” These two texts certainly speak of the same time and the same event, and we have seen that these heathen are given him to be dashed in pieces. And that this is the same with “the kingdoms of the world,” is evident from the context. The whole verse reads, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.7

    “The seventh angel” here spoken of, is the seventh of the seven trumpet angels of the eighth to the eleventh chapters of this book. And each of the last three trumpets is accompanied by woe, for Revelation 8:13 says, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” There were three trumpets yet to sound and there were to be three woes because of the three trumpets. This is further shown by Revelation 11:14: “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” Then follows the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the announcement that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. Now as the seventh trumpet is accompanied by the third woe, and as it is under the seventh trumpet that the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, it is certain therefore that it is in the midst of a time of woe that the kingdoms of this world do become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.8

    This is further shown by verse 18: “And the nations were angry [precisely the attitude of the nations at this moment], and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which corrupt [margin] the earth.” The time of reward of the saints, etc., is at the coming of the Lord, for he says, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. Then it is that his wrath is kindled and the angry nations are given him, and in the midst of a time of woe they are dashed in pieces, and destroyed because they corrupt left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.9

    It is evident that in none of these texts is the conversion of the world, nor a millennium of peace, spoken of at all nor even suggested. Instead of the nations being at peace, they are “angry;” instead of there being safety on the earth there is “woe;” instead of the conversion of the world there is to be destruction that shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. And yet in the face of these plain declarations of the word of God, and of the events that mark their fulfillment, men will preach directly the opposite. But even this is shown by the word of God as that which will be at this time. In the last verse of 1 Thessalonians 4, the coming of the Lord is spoken of. Then in the first verses of the fifth chapter it is said: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.10

    This shows that at the time when destruction is impending there will be men saying, “Peace and safety,” and then sudden destruction comes upon them. Therefore if there is any one thing that men should disbelieve, it is the preaching of peace and safety, the preaching of a millennium of peace and the conversion of the world. The very preaching of it is evidence of its falsity, because the word of God says that then “destruction cometh.”SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.11

    There are other texts upon this subject, the examination of which we defer till next week.SITI March 17, 1887, page 167.12

    J.

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