DELIVERANCE AND EXALTATION
OF THE CHURCH
The Deliverance of the Church Near--It will be the Harbinger
of Deliverance to all Mankind--Its Date Approximated--How the
Saints will Escape Those Things Coming on the World--How and
When God will Help Her--The Manner and Circumstances of Her
Final Deliverance --The Deliverance First of Those Who Sleep
in Jesus--The Change of the Living Members of the Church--Will
They Die?-- Blessed are the Dead Who Die in the Lord from Henceforth.
up, and lift up your heads; for your deliverance draweth nigh."
THE lamp of prophecy we have traced the wonderful events of the
"harvest" down to their culmination in the great time
of trouble; and, as we remember that within this eventful period
the promised deliverance and exaltation of the Church are due,
the central points of interest to the saints now are the time,
manner and circumstances of their deliverance.
Lord taught us that as soon as we should begin to see the events
of the harvest come to pass, then we should expect a speedy realization
of our glorious hope. And, therefore, as we now mark the accumulating
evidence of these signs, we do lift up our heads and rejoice in
hope of the glory to follow; for the morning cometh, although
a brief, dark night must intervene. Nor is this rejoicing selfish
in its character; for the deliverance and exaltation of the Church
of Christ will be the harbinger of a speedy deliverance to the
whole race, from the tyranny and oppression of the great enslaver,
Sin, from the shadow and pains of sickness, and from the prison-house
of death: "For we know that the
<PAGE 228> whole creation groaneth and travaileth
in pain,...waiting for the...deliverance of OUR BODY"--the
"body of Christ" (`Rom. 8:22,23`);
because, according to Jehovah's arrangement, the new order of
things cannot be established until the great ruler, the Christ
complete, Head and body, has come fully into power.
the deliverance of the saints must take place very soon after
1914 is manifest, since the deliverance of fleshly Israel, as
we shall see, is appointed to take place at that time, and the
angry nations will then be authoritatively commanded to be still,
and will be made to recognize the power of Jehovah's Anointed.
Just how long after 1914 the last living members of the body of
Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed; but it
certainly will not be until their work in the flesh is done; nor
can we reasonably presume that they will long remain after that
work is accomplished. With these two thoughts in mind, we can
approximate the time of the deliverance.
there are clear indications that some of the living members of
the body will witness the gathering of the storm and share in
some of the troubles it will bring, there are also indications
that none of these will pass entirely through it, nor even far
into it. The Master's words, "Watch, that ye may be accounted
worthy to escape those things that shall come to pass"
(`Luke 21:36`), seem to indicate
this. And yet we know that we are already passing through the
beginning of these troubles (the troubles upon the nominal Church
incident to its testing), and that we are escaping, while many
on every hand are falling into error and infidelity. We escape,
not by being taken from the scene of trouble, but by being supported,
strengthened and kept in the very midst of
<PAGE 229> it all by the Word of the Lord,
our shield and buckler. (`Psa. 91:4`)
While admitting that in like manner some members of the body might
remain to the very end of the time of trouble, and pass through
it all, and yet thus escape all the trouble coming, it
is nevertheless clear, we think, that all the members of the body
will be fully delivered--exalted to the glorious condition--before
the severest features of the trouble come--after the body is complete
and the door shut.
have seen the storm gathering for years past: the mighty hosts
have been mustering and preparing for the battle, and each successive
year witnesses more rapid strides of progress toward the foretold
crisis; yet, although we know that unparalleled disaster must
soon dash all law and order into the abyss of anarchy and confusion,
we do not fear; for "God is our refuge and strength, a very
present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the
earth [the present organization of society] be removed [unsettled
and disorganized], and though the mountains [kingdoms] be carried
into the midst of the sea [the lawless and ungovernable people];
though the waters thereof roar and be troubled [with the disputings
of contending factions]; though the mountains [kingdoms] shake
[tremble for fear and insecurity] with the swelling [the threatening
and rising power] thereof." `Psa. 46:1-3`
is a river [God's Word, a fountain of truth and grace], the streams
whereof shall make glad the city of God [the Kingdom of God, the
Church--even in its present embryo condition, before its exaltation
to power and glory], the holy place of the tabernacles of the
Most High [the sanctuary--the Church wherein the Most High is
pleased to dwell]. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be
moved: God shall help her." `Psa. 46:4,5`
the present time we are realizing this promised help, to the full
extent of our present necessities, by being taken
<PAGE 230> into our heavenly Father's confidence,
made acquainted with his plans and assured of his favor and sustaining
grace, and even being made co-workers with him. This help we shall
realize to the full end of our course; and then we shall be helped
still more by being "changed" to the higher sphere to
which we are called, and toward which we diligently urge our way.
we may be sure that this "change" of the last living
members of the body of Christ will not take place until the work
committed to them in the flesh is accomplished, we are informed,
as shown in the preceding chapter, that ere long our work will
be cut short--gradually at first, and then completely and finally,
when "the night cometh, when no man can work." (`John
9:4`) And the gloom of that "night" will be dispelled
only by the Millennial sunrise. When our work is done, and that
night closes in around us, we may expect not only to see the storm-clouds
grow much darker, but also to hear and to feel the rising "winds"
which will culminate in a wild hurricane of human passion--a whirlwind
of trouble. Then, having finished our appointed work, it will
be our part to "stand," patiently, until our "change"
comes. `Eph. 6:13`
long the Lord may be pleased to let his saints stand in enforced
idleness so far as his work is concerned, we do not know, but
probably only long enough to let faith and patience have their
perfect work. Here these virtues will be most fully developed,
tested and manifested. This test of patience will be the final
trial of the Church. Then "God will help her, at the dawning
of [her] morning" (`Psa.
46:5`, Leeser's translation)--not the morning
which is to dawn on the world at the brightness of her rising
with her Lord as the sun of righteousness, but at the dawning
of her morning in which she is to be changed to the nature
and likeness of her Lord. Her morning is to precede the
this dark night is already approaching we are made aware, not
only from the Scriptures but as well from the ominous signs of
the times; and the fate of the Church then, so far as her human
career is concerned, seems outlined in the closing pages of the
lives of Elijah and John the Baptist, already referred to.* The
beheading of the one, and the whirlwind and fiery chariot which
bore away the other, probably indicate violence to the last members
of the body of Christ. Yet Zion need not fear; for God is in the
midst of her, and will help her. Her consecration is unto death,
and her privilege is to prove her faithfulness: "The disciple
is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is
enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the
servant as his lord." `Matt.
will probably be in an effort at self-preservation on the part
of "Great Babylon"--"Christendom"--when she
sees her power in politics, priest-craft and superstition waning,
that the work of truth-spreading will be stopped as detrimental
to her system. And probably at this juncture the Elijah class,
persisting in declaring the truth to the last, will suffer violence,
pass into glory and escape from the severest features of the great
time of trouble coming--just in the crisis of affairs when men
begin to feel that desperate measures must be resorted to, to
sustain the tottering structure of Christendom.
the exact time of the deliverance or "change" of the
last members of the body of Christ is not stated, the approximate
time is nevertheless clearly manifest, as shortly after
the "door" is shut (`Matt.
25:10`); after the truth, which Babylon now begins to regard
as her enemy, and as calculated to accomplish her destruction,
shall have become more generally known and widely circulated;
after "the ---------- *Vol. II, pages 260-263.
<PAGE 232> hail" has to a considerable
extent swept away the refuge of lies; and after the now smoldering
and menacing hatred of the truth is thereby roused to an opposition
so violent and so general as to effectually stop the further progress
of the great work in which the saints are engaged. And God will
permit this as soon as all the elect are "sealed." But,
whatever of trouble or seeming disaster may await the saints while
they remain in the flesh, and put a stop to the work which it
is their meat and drink to do, let us take comfort in remembering
that nothing can befall us without our Father's notice and permission,
and that in every trial of faith and patience his grace shall
be sufficient for those who abide in him, and in whom his Word
abides. Let us look beyond the veil, and keep the eye of faith
fixed upon the prize of our high calling, which God has in reservation
for them that love him--for the called and faithful and chosen
according to his purpose. `Rev. 17:14`;
we may thus reasonably and Scripturally approximate the time and
circumstances of the full deliverance of the Church, the manner
of her glorification becomes all the more a question of deepening
interest. And again we come to the divine oracles to make inquiry.
Paul declares, "We must all be changed [the living
no less than the dead saints]: this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality; for flesh and blood cannot
inherit the Kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."
And this "change" from mortality to immortality, he
assures us, will not be accomplished by gradual development, but
it will be instantaneous--"in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye," under the sounding of the "last trump"--which
is already sounding.* `1 Cor. 15:53,50,52`
---------- *See Vol. II, Chapter v.
order will be observed: some will be glorified or "changed"
first, and others afterward. Precious in the sight of the Lord
has been the death of his saints (`Psa.
116:15`): and though most of them have slept long, none
have been forgotten. Their names are written in heaven as acceptable
members of the Church of the Firstborn. And the Apostle declares
that the living, who are left over to the presence of the Lord,
will by no means precede those who fell asleep. (`1
Thess. 4:15`) Those who sleep in Jesus are not required
to wait in sleep for the living members to finish their course,
but are resurrected at once, as one of the first acts of the Lord
when he takes his great power. And thus those members of the Christ
who have slept will take precedence in entering into glory.
exact date of the awakening of the sleeping saints is not directly
stated, but may be clearly inferred from our Lord's parable of
the young nobleman. After having received the kingdom and returned,
the first work of the nobleman (who represented our Lord Jesus)
was the reckoning with the servants (his Church) to whom his vineyard
had been entrusted during his absence, and the rewarding of the
faithful. And since the Apostle tells us that the dead in Christ
will be reckoned with first, we may reasonably conclude that the
rewarding of these took place as soon as our Lord, after his return,
took unto himself his great power.
learn the date at which our Lord began the exercise of his power
would therefore be to discover the time when his sleeping saints
were awakened to life and glory. And to do this we have but to
recall the parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel dispensations.
Looking back to the type, we see that in the spring of A.D. 33,
three and a half years after the beginning of the Jewish harvest
(A.D. 29), our Lord typically took unto himself his power and
exercised kingly authority.
<PAGE 234> (See `Matt.
21:5-15`.) And evidently the only object of that action
was to mark a parallel point of time in this harvest, when he
would in reality assume the kingly office, power, etc.; viz.,
in the spring of 1878, three and a half years after his second
advent at the beginning of the harvest period, in the fall of
1874. The year 1878 being thus indicated as the date when the
Lord began to take unto himself his great power, it is reasonable
to conclude that there the setting up of his Kingdom began, the
first step of which would be the deliverance of his body, the
Church, among whom the sleeping members are to take precedence.
since the resurrection of the Church must occur some time during
this "end" or "harvest" period (`Rev.
11:18`), we hold that it is a most reasonable inference,
and one in perfect harmony with all the Lord's plan, that in the
spring of 1878 all the holy apostles and other "overcomers"
of the Gospel age who slept in Jesus were raised spirit beings,
like unto their Lord and Master. And while we, therefore, conclude
that their resurrection is now an accomplished fact, and hence
that they as well as the Lord are present in the earth, the fact
that we do not see them is no obstacle to faith when we remember
that, like their Lord, they are now spirit beings, and, like him,
invisible to men. The facts that they are invisible, that tombs
were not found opened and empty, and that none were seen going
from the cemeteries, are not objections to such as have learned
what to expect--to such as realize that our risen Lord left no
hole in the walls of the room which he entered and left while
the doors were shut; who remember that none saw the risen Redeemer
except the few, to whom he specially and miraculously showed
himself, that they might be witnesses of his resurrection; who
remember that he appeared in various forms of flesh to prevent
these witnesses supposing that he still was flesh or that any
of the forms they saw was his
<PAGE 235> glorious, spirit body. Such as
remember that only Saul of Tarsus saw Christ's spirit body, and
that by a miracle, while others around saw it not, and then at
the expense of his sight, will readily see that their not having
seen the risen saints with their natural eyes is no more of an
objection to the fact of their resurrection than that they have
not seen the Lord during this harvest, and have never seen angels,
who, all through the Gospel age, have been "ministering spirits,
sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation."*
belief that the Kingdom began to be set up, or brought
into power, in April, 1878, be it observed, rests on exactly the
same foundation as our belief that the Lord became present in
October, 1874, and that the harvest began at that time. There
"the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord's house," the Church,
began to be "exalted above the mountains [kingdoms] of earth,
and there the work of judging "Babylon," Christendom,
and all the nations of the whole world, began, preparatory to
their final overthrow.
is it out of harmony with this thought, that the majority of the
Church are exalted, while a few of the last members of that royal
priesthood are yet "alive and remain"; for, as we have
seen, the Apostle foretold this very order. To be among those
who remain is no dishonor; and to be the very last one of those
to be "changed" will be no discredit. Several scriptures
show that there is a special work for the last members of the
body to do on this side the veil, as important and as essentially
a part of Kingdom work as that of the glorified members on the
other side the veil. While the glorified Head and those members
of the body on the other side the veil have the complete supervision
of the great changes now in progress and about to be ----------
*See Vol. II, Chapter v.
<PAGE 236> inaugurated in the world, the fellow-members
who remain in the flesh are the agents of the Kingdom in publishing,
by word, by pen, by books and by tracts, the "good tidings
of great joy which shall be unto all people." They tell the
world the blessed tidings of God's gracious plan of the ages,
and that the time is at hand for the glorious consummation of
that plan; and they point, not only to the great time of trouble
impending, but also to the blessings which will follow it as the
results of the setting up of God's Kingdom in the world. A great
and important work, then, is given to the remaining members: Kingdom
work it is indeed, and accompanied also by Kingdom joys and blessings.
Although yet in the flesh and pursuing their appointed work at
the expense of self-sacrifice, and in the face of much opposition,
these are already entering into the joys of their Lord--the joys
of a full appreciation of the divine plan and of the privilege
of working out that plan, and, in conjunction with their Lord
and Redeemer, of offering everlasting life and blessings to all
the families of the earth.
with their message are clearly pointed out by the prophet
`Isaiah (52:7)` as the "feet" or last members
of the body of Christ in the flesh, when he says: "How beautiful
upon the mountains [kingdoms] are the feet of him that
bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation [deliverance];
that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. [The reign of Christ,
which shall bring deliverance, first to Zion, and finally
to all the groaning creation, is begun.] Thy watchmen shall lift
up the voice: with the voice together shall they sing; for they
shall see [clearly] eye to eye, when the Lord returneth unto Zion."
bruised "feet," now despised of men, none but yourselves
fully appreciate the joy you have in proclaiming present truth,
in saying unto Zion that the time is at hand for the setting up
of the Kingdom, and in declaring that
<PAGE 237> Immanuel's reign of righteousness,
soon to be inaugurated, is to bless all the families of the earth.
But, though despised of men, the "feet" of Christ and
their present mission are highly esteemed on the other side the
veil by the glorified fellow-members of the body and by their
glorious Head, who is willing to confess such faithful ones before
his Father and all his holy messengers.
mission of the feet, which is no insignificant part of the Kingdom
work, will be accomplished. Though their message is popularly
hated and discredited and they are despised by the world as fools
(for Christ's sake)--as all his faithful servants have
been throughout the Gospel age--yet, before they all are "changed"
and joined to the glorified members beyond the veil, they, as
agents of the Kingdom, will have left such records of that Kingdom
and its present and future work as will be most valuable information
to the world and to the undeveloped and overcharged children of
God who, though consecrated to God, will have failed to so run
as to obtain the prize of our high calling.
let it not be forgotten that all who are of the "feet"
will be thus engaged in publishing these good tidings and
in saying to Zion, "Thy God reigneth!"--The Kingdom
of Christ is begun! And all who are true watchmen can at this
time see clearly, as one man, and can together harmoniously sing
the new song of Moses and the Lamb--the song of Restitution, so
clearly taught, not only in the law of Moses, which was "a
shadow of the good things to come," but also in the clearer
revelations of the Lamb of God contained in the writings of the
New Testament--saying, "Just and true are thy ways."
"All nations shall come and worship before thee."
by one the "feet" class will pass from the present condition,
in which, though often weary and wounded, they are always rejoicing,
to the other side the veil;
<PAGE 238> "changed" in a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from mortality to immortality,
from weakness to power, from dishonor to glory, from human to
heavenly conditions, from animal to spirit bodies. Their work
will not cease with this change; for all those who will be counted
worthy of that change to glory will be already enlisted in the
service of the Kingdom on this side the veil: only the weariness,
the labor feature, will cease with the change--"They shall
rest from their labor, but their works follow with them."
"change" to these "feet" members will bring
them into the same fellowship and glory and power already entered
by the members who slept: they will be "caught away"
from earthly conditions to be united "together" "with
the Lord in the air"--in the spiritual rulership of
the world. As already shown,* the "air" here mentioned
symbolizes spiritual rule or power. Satan has long occupied
the position of "prince of the power of the air" (`Eph.
2:2`), and has used for his co-workers and joint-rulers
in it many of the great ones of Babylon, who, under his blinding
errors, verily think they are doing God service. But in due time
the present "prince of the air" shall be bound, and
shall deceive no more; and the present heavens, the great Antichrist
system, will "pass away with a great noise," while the
new prince of the air, the true spiritual ruler, Christ Jesus,
will take the dominion and establish the "new heavens,"
uniting with himself in this power or "air" his bride,
the "overcomers" of the Gospel age. Thus the "new
heavens" will supersede the present "air" powers.
must all die? all of the "feet" who will be alive and
remain until the presence of the Lord? Yes; they all consecrated
themselves--"even unto death"; and of these it is ----------
*Vol. I, page 318.
<PAGE 239> distinctly written that they must
all die. No scripture contradicts this thought. God declares by
the Prophet--"I have said, Ye are gods [mighty ones]! All
of you sons of the Highest [God]! Yet ye shall ALL DIE
like men, and fall like one of the princes." `Psa.
word here rendered "princes" signifies chiefs or heads.
Adam and our Lord Jesus are the two heads or princes referred
to. Both died, but for different reasons: Adam for his own sin,
Christ as a willing sacrifice for the sins of the world. And all
the Church of Christ, justified by faith in his sacrifice, are
reckoned freed from the sin of Adam, and also from the
death penalty attached to that sin, in order that they may share
with Christ as joint-sacrificers. It is as such joint-sacrificers
with Christ that the death of the saints is esteemed by God. (`Psa.
116:15`) The fellow-members of the body of Christ, when
they die, are recognized as "dead with Christ," "made
conformable unto his death." They fall like one of
the princes--not like the first, but like the second Adam, as
members of the body of Christ, filling up that which is behind
of the afflictions of Christ. `Col. 1:24`
the term "gods," mighty ones, in this passage is applied
to all the Sons of the Most High God, who will be joint-heirs
with Christ Jesus, the heir of all things, is clearly shown by
our Lord's reference to it. `John 10:34-36`
shall all die like men"; but, "behold, I show
you a mystery: we shall not all sleep." To die is
one thing, to "sleep" or remain unconscious, dead, is
quite another. God's testimony, then, is that all the saints must
die, but that they shall not all sleep. Our Lord died, and then
slept until the third day, when the Father raised him up. Paul
and the other apostles died, and thus "fell asleep,"
to rest from labor and weariness, to "sleep in Jesus,"
and to wait for the promised resurrection and a share in the Kingdom
at the Lord's
<PAGE 240> second advent. Accordingly, when
the setting up of the Kingdom was due, their awakening from the
sleep of death was due. Why should their waiting and sleep continue
after the Lord is present and the time for His Kingdom
has come? There can be no reason for it; and we believe, therefore,
that they "sleep" no longer, but are now risen, and
with and like their Lord. And if their continuance in the sleep
of death is no longer necessary, neither is it necessary that
any of the saints who now die in this time of the presence
of the Lord and the setting up of his Kingdom should "sleep"
or wait in death for a resurrection at some future time.
No, thank God! the Life-giver is present; and, since 1878, when
he took his great power and began the exercise of his authority,
none of his members need to sleep. Hence, with all of "the
feet" who die since that date, the moment of death is the
moment of change. They die as men and like men, but in the
same instant they are made like their Lord, glorious spirit
beings. They are caught away from earthly conditions, to be forever
with the Lord--"in the air"--in Kingdom power and glory.
was after our Lord had accomplished the sacrifice of his human
nature and had been raised from death, changed to a spirit being,
that he declared, "All power in heaven and on earth is given
unto me." (`Matt. 28:18`) And
not until all the members of the Christ have followed the example
of the Head, and finished the sacrifice in death, will the Christ
be complete and fully empowered for the great subsequent work
of restoring all things.
view of these things, how full of meaning is the statement, "Blessed
are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; yea,
saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors, but their
works follow with them." (`Rev. 14:13`)
Nowhere in the Scriptures is death represented as in any sense
a blessing, except in this one instance; and here it is particularly
<PAGE 241> limited and made applicable to
a certain specific time*--"from henceforth." And even
then, notice, it is blessed only to a special class--"the
dead who die." This expression must not be considered
a blunder, but as a very pointed and forcible description of the
small class to whom death will be a blessing. This class constitutes
"the feet of Him." And, as already shown, each member
of the body of Christ must finish his sacrifice in actual death.
alone are the dead who die. They are reckoned of God as
being already dead, and they are exhorted so also to reckon themselves:
"Reckon ye yourselves dead indeed unto sin."
No other dead men can be said to die but this class of dead ones,
who must finish their course of sacrifice in actual death.
will God help Zion in the dawning of her morning --in the morning
of the eternal day of Christ's triumph. Thus he is already helping
her. One by one, imperceptibly to the world, the saints are now
being changed, and are joining the company of the Church triumphant;
and those who remain to the last proclaim the everlasting gospel
until the door is shut and all opportunity to labor is at an end.
Then they will "stand" in faith and patience
and await their change accepting deliverance joyfully through
whatsoever agency God may be pleased to permit its accomplishment.
they will be saved from that great hurricane of trouble which
will follow their departure, as well as preserved in the forepart
of the battle in which a thousand will fall into infidelity,
and be overcome by the various pestilences of error, to one
who will stand. `Psa. 91:7` ----------
*When, in a succeeding volume, we examine the wonderful visions
of the Revelator, it will be clearly seen that the time here pointed
out by the word "henceforth," as marked by events,
synchronizes closely with 1878 as indicated by the prophecies
the time of trouble draws on, we must therefore expect the true
Church in its present condition, the Elias, the John class, to
decrease in influence and numbers, while the Christ in triumph
and glory, the same body on the other side of the veil, will increase,
as John prophetically indicated. `John
A Little While
"A little while, our fightings will be over;
A little while, our tears be wiped away;
A little while, the power of Jehovah
Will turn our darkness into heaven's bright day.
"A little while, the fears that oft surround us
Will to the memories of the past belong;
A little while, the love that sought and found us
Will change our weeping into heaven's glad song.
"A little while! 'Tis ever drawing nearer--
The brighter dawning of that glorious day.
Blest Savior, make our spirits' vision clearer,
And guide, Oh! guide us in the shining way.
"A little while, O blessed expectation!
For strength to run with patience, Lord, we cry.
Our hearts up leap in fond anticipation:
Our union with the Bridegroom draweth nigh."