Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms – Part 2

As we continue with our extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 14 —


we come to pages 317-320.

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Mr Newton frequently had notes and comments attached to the bottom of many of the pages of his book. These comments are linked to some statement he had made in the main text. The notes often spread over the bottom portion of a number of pages while the main text continued at the top of the pages.

That is the case with this week’s extract. He makes some remarks on a sentence found on page 317, which continues on the bottom of pages 317- 320.

What I have done is copied this comment  and left out the ongoing main text of the book that is found on pages 317-320.

I will return to the main text found on those pages in our next extract.

He also has Greek words in his quotations. What I have done is to use Greek words, the transliteration and the phonics version of the Greek words as they are found in the ‘Online Bible Greek Lexicon’.

I trust that does not prove confusing.

The first visible intimation which the earth receives of “the Day of the Lord” having commenced in heaven is conveyed by the signs in the heavens, mentioned in the gospels. “There shall be signs in the sun and moon and stars.” “The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.” These signs will be the immediate precursor of the descent of the Lord Jesus into the air. All the holy angels will attend Him when he descends from heaven into the air; but His saints will not be with Him, because it is said, they shall be taken up “to meet Him in the air.” (1 Thess. iv. 17.) There His descent will be for a short period stayed. Thence He will send forth His angels to gather together all His believing people — “all who are Christ’s at His coming.” They shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, before He has reached the earth — and when He descends from the air to the earth, they come with Him, and surround Him when His feet stand on the mount of Olives. That is the moment of which it is said in Zechariah “The Lord my God shall come, and all the Saints with Thee.” *

Here is BWN’s note on the saints coming with Christ at His return.

* The word in Thessalonians translated, “meet” α’πάντησις, {apantesis}, (ap–an’–tay–sis) means properly, to meet and come back with the person met. It is used of those who went out to meet St. Paul at Appii Forum, and accompanied him back to Rome. Thus the saints meet the Lord in the air, in order to accompany Him in His further descent to the earth. Ap–an–tah’–o and its derivatives are never used in the New Testament in any other sense than that of “to meet and come with.” This will be seen if the corrected readings are observed. Thus, in Matt. xxv. 1, ν’παντησιν, not α’πάντησις, is the true reading.

It is very commonly said, that the rapture of the saints will take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye;” but this is not so. The resurrection of the saints who have fallen asleep, and the change of those who are alive, will take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye ;” but between the resurrection, or change, of the saints, and their rapture to meet the Lord in the air, a certain period is to intervene. The interval will be doubtless very brief — to be measured by minutes rather than by hours — nevertheless, there will be an interval. This is distinctly taught in the Scripture, by the use of the word ε’πειτα (epeita, ep’–i–tah), in l Thess. iv. 17. επειτα means “afterwards,” not then, as it is wrongly rendered in our version. “Afterwards, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up,” &c.

The existence of such an interval is necessary to the accomplishment of Matt. xiii. 49; for after the true professors of the name of Jesus are changed, holy angels descend, and separate from amongst them the false professors of the name of Jesus, who remain unchanged. “So shall it be at the end of the age : the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked out of the midst of the just.” These words, it must be remembered, are, by the context, limited to those who are found professedly “in the kingdom of heaven,” i.e., the professing church. It is of that body only that the parables in 13th and 25th of Matthew treat. The “tares,” “the bad fishes” enclosed in the same net as the good, the “foolish virgins,” “the goats,” do not represent either heathens, or Jews, or Mahomedans, or anti-Christian infidels. They represent only those who are professedly the subjects of Christ’s kingdom. He will gather “out of His kingdom [not out of the whole world] all things that offend, and them that do iniquity.” Matt. xiii. 41. He will not thus act towards the whole world, for He will spare and convert many Jews and many heathen.

If, in any part of the world, a true believer should in that day be found standing by the side of a heathen, the believer would be taken, the heathen left. If one of Christ’s true people were standing by a Jew, he would be taken to the Lord, the Jew left; if by the side of a Mahomedan, the believer would be taken, the Mahomedan left. Some of those left amongst the Jews, and amongst the heathen, and those of irresponsible age, would be spared and converted; the others would be destroyed by some visible judgment, inflicted on them before they were removed into the unseen world.

On the other hand, if ten professing Christians were at that time assembled together, of whom five had really, five nominally, believed, those who had truly believed would, at the sounding of the trumpet, be, “in the twinkling of an eye,” changed: the other five would remain unchanged. Immediately holy angels will appear, and separate those who are unchanged “out of the midst” of those who are changed, after which the latter will be caught up, together with the saints who have been raised, to meet and come with their Lord.

Moreover, after the true saints (“sheep”) have been thus separated from those who only nominally profess the name of Christ (“goats”), both will be presented before the Lord whilst He yet remains on the Throne of His Glory in the air.

He will then declare the reason why the one are adjudged to be “sheep,” and the others “goats.” The latter have never discerned, nor desired to discern, between those who are truly, and those who are nominally, Christ’s people ; and consequently never given even a cup of cold water to a disciple in the name of a disciple. On the other hand, each of the “sheep” will be found to have ministered, on some occasion or other, to Christ’s people, on the ground of their being His people. How important to mark well this principle! Mere philanthropy will not be recognised in that day; only such philanthropy as is combined with the recognition of Christ in His people.

It should further be remembered, that this is not the final judgment of those denominated “goats;” it is merely a declaration of the ground on which they are adjudged to be what they are. At the last resurrection (see Rev. xx., 11), each of those here denominated “goats” will be called before the Great White Throne, to be judged individually — each one according to his works. After having been adjudged to be “goats,” they will be taken to the unseen place of punishment, there to await the judgment of the final day. The saints, on the other hand, after having been adjudged to be sheep belonging to the fold of the Great Shepherd, will fall into the train of the Lord’s glory, and will come with Him.