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    April 14, 1887

    “Who Shall Stand When He Appeareth?” The Signs of the Times 13, 15, pp. 231, 232.

    LAST week we showed by the plain reading and evidence of Scripture that the millennium begins at the second coming of Christ and the consequent resurrection of the righteous dead. We showed that when the righteous are raised by the Lord Jesus at his coming, they are then taken to Heaven, where judgment is given unto them, and where they reign with Christ a thousand years, that is, during the millennium; while the rest of the dead—the wicked—live not again till the thousand years—the millennium—are finished. We then stated the legitimate conclusion, that any preaching that promises a millennium before the second coming of Christ, is contrary to Scripture. We further stated that any preaching that promises a millennium of peace and joy on this earth even after the second coming of Christ, is likewise contrary to Scripture. This we shall now prove by scriptures so abundant that to doubt it will be but to doubt the truth of the Bible.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.1

    Let us read again 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This shows as clearly as language can that all the righteous, both dead and living, are taken away from the earth when the Lord comes, that is, at the beginning of the millennium. They are “caught up together,” “in the clouds,” “to meet the Lord in the air;” and they are not found upon earth again till after the thousand years are finished. As therefore the righteous, whether dead or living, are all taken away from the earth when the Lord comes, the question fairly presents itself, What becomes of the wicked on the earth when the Lord comes?SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.2

    The answer is not far to seek, and it is clear and explicit. 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8, says, “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.”SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.3

    The vengeance of the Lord on the wicked is destruction. For says Christ, “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26, 27. As the flood destroyed all who in the days of Noah obeyed not the Lord; and as the days of Noah were so shall the days of the Son of man be; it is certain that when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, it will be the destruction of every soul of man that stands in wickedness. Again: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:28-30.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.4

    But were they not warned in the days of Noah? Oh yes! they all had ample warning. Noah preached to them all about it. The trouble was not that they could not know about it, but that they would not know. They would not believe what was told them. It was thus also in Sodom, they would receive nothing, and believe nothing, about the destruction that hung over their guilty city. They could have escaped, had they believed and obeyed; but they would not believe, nor obey, and the fire and brimstone from heaven destroyed them all; and even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. Christ sends a message to the world, that his coming is at the doors, and that this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. This message will make ready a people prepared for the Lord; but it will be believed by but a few, compared to earth’s millions. For instead of believing it and acting accordingly, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” 2 Peter 3:3-6. There is where lies the difficulty, not that they are ignorant of these things, but that they are willingly ignorant. It is told them but they will not know nor believe.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.5

    Again we read of the coming of the Lord, and the destruction of the wicked on the earth at his coming, “I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, 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 and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.... And I saw the beast, 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 that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11-21.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.6

    The beast here spoken of is the same as the “little horn” of Daniel 7; it is the “man of sin,” “the mystery of iniquity,” “the son of perdition,” named by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, of which he says, “That Wicked shall be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” And the “army” here referred to as following the King of kings and Lord of lords is the same as that mentioned in Joel 2:2-11. “A great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.... The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining; and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” And all these refer to the same time and people, that Paul mentions in the text before quoted, “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.”SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.7

    Speaking of this same time, Revelation 6:14-17 says: “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And 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?” This corresponds exactly to the pouring out of the last of the seven last plagues when the voice of God announces the end of the world: “The seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of Heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great... And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Joel speaks of the same time, saying, “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.8

    Jeremiah also, tells of this time and what shall be to the wicked when the day of the Lord comes. “The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jeremiah 25:30-33. They shall not be lamented, for there are none left to lament them. They shall not be gathered nor buried, because there are none left to gather nor buried, because there are none left to gather or bury them. All are destroyed as at the flood, and as at the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.9

    These scriptures certainly show as plainly as the scriptures can, that at the coming of the Lord, that is to say, at the beginning of the thousand years, all the living wicked upon the earth are slain. And right here is where the views set forth in the Prophetic Conference, lately held at Chicago, are utterly at fault and terribly misleading. There is was preached, according to the Scripture, that the coming of the Lord will be before the millennium. It was likewise preached according to the Scripture, that wickedness will increase, that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,” until the coming of the Lord. And then, contrary to all Scripture, it was preached that when the Lord comes, the conversion of the world will begin in reality, and will be accomplished during the thousand years! That is to say, Men will mock at the law of God, and despise the gospel of Christ, and grow worse and worse at it, till the Lord Jesus comes in the glory of his Father and all the holy angels with him, and then they all become willing to be converted; even then they are so slow about it that it takes a thousand years to accomplish it.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.10

    Such doctrine will never do. The Scripture is wholly against it, not only when speaking directly upon the subject, but also when showing the very consciousness of men when they realize the presence of the divine. The most righteous of men have always been smitten with fear at the appearance of an angel of God, and needed to be reassured by the words of the angel, “Fear not.” How much more terrible then to the wicked would such an appearance be. The wicked Belshazzar in the midst of his lascivious feast, was filled with dread and alarm at the sight of only the fingers of a man’s hand writing on the wall. And what will be done by the wicked of this world when the heaven is torn asunder and there is revealed the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, is shown by a text already quoted, but we will repeat it. “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.... And 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.” Revelation 6:14-16.SITI April 14, 1887, page 231.11

    The fact is, that the wicked would rather have a mountain on them than to be obliged to stand in the presence of Christ when he appears in his glory. To the wicked in that day a falling mountain will be counted a refuge if it will only hide them from the penetrating gave of the righteous Son of God. “Our God is a consuming fire,” and such will he be in that day to ever soul of man who does not have grace whereby they may serve him with reverence and godly fear. (Hebrews 12:28, 29). Nothing can live in the presence of God, except it be imbued with life from God, and made like unto him in his glory. In that great day when Christ shall appear in his glory, every one who is righteous will be imbued with immortality, in the twinkling of an eye, and made like him (Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 John 3:2); and every one who is wicked, will be destroyed with the brightness of his glory, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, and shall not be lamented neither gathered nor buried. “I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:32.SITI April 14, 1887, page 232.1

    As therefore the righteous, both living and dead, are all taken away from the earth, and the wicked are all slain upon the earth, when the Lord comes, and as the wicked live not again till the thousand years are finished, it would reasonably follow that the earth would then be left without inhabitants. That is exactly what the Scripture declares, but the proof of it we must defer until next week. J.SITI April 14, 1887, page 232.2

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