“ORDER OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE APPEARING OF CHRIST AND HIS MILLENNIAL REIGN”
Part 4 which covers from half way down page 324 to page 328.
It is thus that the Day of the Lord commences in the earth. It will commence by signs in the created heavens (Luke xxi.); by the withdrawal of all natural sources of light; by the descent of the Lord, accompanied by the holy angels, into the air; by the trumpet being blown; by the dead saints rising from their graves in glory, and by the living saints being changed and glorified whilst yet in the earth; by the instantaneous severance, through the instrumentality of angels, of the changed saints “out of the midst” (ε’κ ek ek) of their professing brethren who remain unchanged (see Matt. xiii.); by the taking up of all the glorified saints into the air, to meet and to come with their Lord. For as soon as His saints have been gathered to Him and have fallen into their appointed place in the train of His glory, and as soon as “the tares,” (i.e. those who are found to be mere professors of His name), have been borne away by angels to their place of punishment, the Lord will instantly descend to the earth. “His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives. * * * Jehovah, my God, shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Zech. xiv.
His object will be the rescue of Jerusalem, for the time of her forgiveness and glory will have come. Antichrist will have gathered all the strength of the Ten Kingdoms to Armageddon, not knowing, or not believing, that he will gather them there “for the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” See Rev. xvi. 14. Whilst encamped at Armageddon, he will assail and capture Jerusalem, which will have rebelled against him, will carry half of the people into captivity, (see Zech. xiv:1) and will destroy the two witnesses of God (Rev. xi. 7) when they shall have finished their sackcloth testimony. But not satisfied with this, he will further seek, in union with Moab, Ammon, and others of the ancient enemies of Israel, to crush Israel utterly, and to blot out their name from the earth. “They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation ; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” Ps. lxxxiii. 4.
But the Lord will interpose. He will, indeed, scourge Jerusalem and purge out thence the sinners; but He will also forgive and defend it. In that day shall “Jehovah of Hosts defend Jerusalem.” Isaiah xxxi. 5. In the second and third chapters of Joel we find the description of that great “day of battle and war.” See Job xxxviii. 23. “Assemble yourselves and come, all ye Gentiles, and gather yourselves together roundabout; thither cause thy mighty ones (saints and angels) to come down, 0 Jehovah. Let the Gentiles be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the Gentiles round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe ; come, get you down, for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened and the stars shall withdraw their shining. Jehovah also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but Jehovah will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel iii. II, 16.
The claim which the Lord has upon one city of the earth as the city “which He hath chosen to put His name there,” becomes the instrumental means of bringing the armies of earth into immediate conflict with the Hosts of Heaven. The very city which God hath chosen for Himself that He might make it the joy and the praise of the whole earth—that city to which He will say, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee,” is the very city around which men will gather in fierce fury that they might utterly destroy it, that they might cut off the remembrance thereof from under heaven. “Spirits of devils working miracles,” will have gathered the Kings of the whole Roman World (Rev. xvi. 14.) for this object.
But which shall triumph? Man leagued with Satan, or Jehovah? “Thus hath Jehovah said unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them; so shall Jehovah of Hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will Jehovah of Hosts defend Jerusalem; defending it also He will deliver it; passing over he will preserve it * * * And Jehovah shall cause His glorious voice to be heard and shall shew the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest and hailstones.” Isaiah xxxi. 4, and xxxii. 30.
Yet not even the knowledge that the Lord has come in manifested glory to take Jerusalem under the shield of His protection, will prevent Antichrist and those who are with him from continuing their assault upon it, and so rushing upon the thick bosses of the buckler of the Almighty. He, and the Ten Kings of the Roman Kingdoms that are with him, are distinctly described in the Revelation as daring to confront the majesty and the glory of Christ’s own presence. “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; because he is Lord of lords and King of kings ; and those that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Rev. xvii. 14. “And I saw the Beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to do battle with Him that sat upon the horse and with His army.”Rev. xix. 19. It will not, indeed be the first time that man will have dared to confront and resist the visible presence of the glory of God. Neither the miracle of the divided waters of the Red Sea, nor the presence of the fiery cloudy pillar spreading darkness over the Egyptians, but light over Israel, prevailed to stay the wrath of Pharaoh and to prevent him from rushing into the midst of the divided waters. There also the subject of the contest was the fate of God’s earthly people. Pharaoh said, “I will destroy them:” God said, “They are my people.” We cannot marvel therefore if like madness of fury should be manifested again; especially when we remember that Antichrist and his armies will be gathered into the land of Israel by the immediate agency of unclean spirits. Those spirits of evil that will just before have dared to struggle against Michael the Archangel and his angels even in the presence of God’s own glory in Heaven, (see Rey. xii. 7.) may well be expected to renew the struggle in the earth beneath, inhabiting the bosoms of mortal men, strengthening for the last time their tongues to blaspheme, and their hands to resist the God whom they hate.