BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
The Approaching Trouble Variously Symbolized by the Prophets--Typified
in Israel's Fall, A.D. 70, and in the French Revolution--Its
General Character and Extent--The Lord's Great Army--"The
Worst of the Heathen"--"The Time of Jacob's Trouble"--His
Deliverance--The Discomfiture of Gog and Magog.
lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name
["Christendom"--"Babylon"];...I will call
for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord
of hosts... The Lord will call aloud from on high, and utter his
voice from his holy habitation; he shall cry out very loudly over
his [nominal] habitation [Christendom]; he shall give a shout,
as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of
tumultuous noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for
the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he holdeth judgment
over all flesh: he will give them that are wicked to the sword,
saith the Lord.
saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation
to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest
ends 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." `Jer.
25:29-38` SO COMPLEX and peculiar will be the conflict
of this Day of Vengeance that no one symbol could describe it.
In the Scriptures, accordingly, many forceful symbols are used,
such as battle, earthquake, fire, storm, tempest and flood.
is the "Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty,"
when he shall gather the nations and assemble the kingdoms to
pour upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger; for
the Lord of hosts himself mustereth the hosts of the battle.
`Rev. 16:14`; `Zeph. 3:8`;
is "a Great Earthquake such as was not since men were
upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great," which
shall "shake, not the earth only, but also heaven."
`Rev. 16:18`; `Heb. 12:26`
is "The Fire of Jehovah's Jealousy, which shall devour
all the earth." Both the present heavens (the ecclesiastical
powers of Christendom) and the earth (the social organization
under both church and state influence) are reserved unto fire
against this day of judgment. "The heavens shall pass away
with a great noise, and the elements [of present ecclesiasticism]
shall melt with fervent heat; the earth [society] also and the
works that are therein shall be burned up...The heavens, being
on fire, shall be dissolved." All the proud and all that
do wickedly shall be stubble, and this fire shall burn them up.
It shall leave them neither root nor branch.
`Zeph. 3:8`; `2 Pet. 3:10,12`;
way is in the Whirlwind and in the Storm." "Who
can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness
of his anger?" `Nahum 1:3,6,7`
it cometh mighty and strong from the Lord, as a Tempest of
Hail and a Destroying Storm, as a Flood of Mighty
Waters overflowing, and shall cast down to the earth with
power the crown of pride." "He rebuketh the sea and
maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers...The mountains quake
at him, and the hills melt, and the earth [symbols of the entire
present order of things] is burned at his presence; yea, the world
and all that dwell therein...With an overrunning flood will he
make an utter end of the place
<PAGE 529> thereof, and darkness shall pursue
his enemies." `Isa. 28:2`;
these are not to be literal floods and fires, destructive of our
planet Earth, and its population, is evident from the statement
(symbolic) that the present order of things, when destroyed, will
be followed by a new order--"a new heavens [ecclesiasticism,
God's glorified Church] and a new earth [human society reorganized
under God's Kingdom on a basis of love instead of selfishness]."
Referring to that new order of things after the fire of God's
retributive vengeance shall have burned up present evils, God,
through the Prophet, says: "Then will I turn to the people
a pure language [the truth], that they may all call upon the name
of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."
Two Remarkable Types of the Impending Catastrophe
let no one conclude because these various descriptions are not
literal, but symbolic, that they may therefore represent merely
a battle of words, a quaking of fear, or a trivial storm of human
passion. For though controversy, and words of passion and arguments
will be and are among the weapons used in this battle, especially
in the beginning of it, yet it will not end with these. Every
prophetic detail indicates that before it ends it will be a most
sanguinary conflict, a fierce and terrible storm. We have already
observed* the typical character of the great tribulation which
came upon fleshly Israel in the end of the Jewish age; and now,
having come to the parallel period--the harvest of the Gospel
age, we see all the indications of a similar, though much greater
trouble, upon "Christendom," its antitype. While the
judgments visited upon Judea and Jerusalem ---------- *Chap. 3,
and Vol. II, Chap. 7.
<PAGE 530> were terrible in the extreme, they
were only on a small scale as compared with the great tribulation,
now fast approaching, upon Christendom, and involving the whole
Roman army and regular warfare caused but a small portion of the
trouble in the end of the Jewish age, noted as the most terrible
on the pages of history, and approached only by the French Revolution.
It sprang mainly from national disintegration, the overthrow of
law and order --anarchy. Selfishness apparently took complete
control and arrayed every man against his neighbor--just as is
predicted of the coming trouble upon Christendom (in the midst
of which the great spiritual temple, God's elect Church, will
be completed and glorified). "Before those days there was
no hire for man, nor any hire for beast [see margin]; neither
was there any peace to him that went out or came in, because of
the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbor."
times have not so changed as to make such a calamity either impossible
or improbable in our day is too manifest to require proof. But
if any should be inclined to doubt it, let them call to mind the
great Revolution that only a little over a century ago brought
France to the verge of social ruin and threatened the peace of
have the erroneous idea that the world has outgrown the barbarities
of earlier days, and they rest in fancied security and assume
that such calamities as have occurred in the past could not befall
the world again; but the fact is that our twentieth century refinement
is a very thin veneer, easily peeled off: sound judgment and an
acquaintance with the facts of even recent history and with the
present feverish pulse of humanity are sufficient to guarantee
the possibility of a duplication of the past, even without the
sure word of prophecy, which foretells a time of trouble such
as never was since there was a nation.
the symbolic language of Revelation, the French Revolution was
indeed a "great earthquake"--a social shock so great
that all "Christendom" trembled until it was over; and
that terrible and sudden outburst of a single nation's wrath,
only a century ago, may give some idea of the fury of the coming
storm, when the wrath of all the angry nations will burst the
bands of law and order and cause a reign of universal anarchy.
It should be remembered, too, that that calamity occurred in what
was then the very heart of Christendom, in the midst of what was
regarded as one of the most thoroughly Christian nations in the
world, the nation which for a thousand years had been the chief
support of Papacy. A nation intoxicated with Babylon's wine of
false doctrines in church and state, and long bound by priestcraft
and superstition, there vomited forth its pollution and spent
the force of its maddened rage. In fact, the French Revolution
seems referred to by our Lord in his Revelation to John on Patmos
as a prelude to, and an illustration of, the great crisis now
should be observed also that the same causes which operated to
bring about that great calamity, are now operating to produce
a similar, but far more extensive revolution, a revolution which
will be world-wide. The causes of that terrible convulsion have
been briefly summed up by the historian as follows:*
immediate and most effective cause of the French Revolution must
be referred to the distresses of the people and the embarrassments
of the government occasioned by the enormous expenses of the war
in which France supported the independence of the American colonies.
The profligacy of the court, the dissensions of the clergy, the
gradual progress of general intelligence, the dissemination of
revolutionary principles occasioned by the American contest, and
the long established oppressions to which the ---------- *Campaigns
of Napoleon, p. 12.
<PAGE 532> masses of the people were subjected,
all contributed to the same effect...Exhausted by oppression,
irritated by the continual presence of insulting tyranny, excited
to resentment of their wrongs, and instructed in the knowledge
of their rights, the people of France awakened to one universal
spirit of complaint and resentment. The cry of Liberty! resounded
from the capital to the frontiers, and was reverberated from the
Alps to the Pyrenees, the shores of the Mediterranean and the
Atlantic. Like all sudden and violent alterations in corrupt states,
the explosion was accompanied by evils and atrocities, before
which the crimes and the miseries of the ancient despotism faded
among the causes of the revolution in France was the hostility
felt toward the privileged classes--the king, the nobles and the
clergy--on account of the disabilities and burdens which law and
custom imposed on the classes beneath them.
Land--Nearly two-thirds of the land in France was in the hands
of the nobles and of the clergy. A great part of it was illy cultivated
by its indolent owners. The nobles preferred the gayeties of Paris
to a residence on their estates. There were many small land-owners,
but they had individually too little land to furnish them with
subsistence. The treatment of the peasant was often such that
when he looked upon the towers of his lord's castle, the dearest
wish of his heart was to burn it down with all its registers of
debts [mortgages]. The clergy held an immense amount of land,
seigniorial control over thousands of peasants, and a vast income
from tithes and other sources. In some provinces there was a better
state of things than in others; but in general, the rich had the
enjoyments, the poor carried the burdens.
and trades, although encouraged, were fettered by oppressive monopolies
and a strict organization of guilds.
government--The administration of government was both arbitrary
of respect for royalty--Respect for the throne was lost. ----------
*Universal History (by Prof. Fisher, of Yale College),
Essays at Reform--The efforts at political and social reform
in France and in other countries, emanating from sovereigns after
the great wars, produced a restless feeling without effecting
their purpose of social reorganization.
Speculation--The current of thought was in a revolutionary
direction. Traditional beliefs in religion were boldly questioned.
Political speculation was rife. Montesquieu had drawn attention
to the liberty secured by the English constitution. Voltaire had
dwelt on human rights. Rosseau had expatiated on the sovereign
right of the majority.
of America--Add to these agencies the influence of the American
Revolution, and of the American Declaration of Independence, with
its proclamation of human rights, and of the foundation of government
in contract and the consent of the people."
all those leading causes which culminated in the terrors of the
French Revolution we see a strong resemblance to similar conditions
today which are rapidly and surely leading to the foretold similar
results on a world-wide scale. Mark the growing animosity between
the privileged classes (royalty and aristocracy) and the working
classes, the discussions of the rights and wrongs of the people,
and the decline of respect for both civil and ecclesiastical authority.
Note also the revolutionary current of popular thought and expression--the
increasing dissatisfaction of the masses of the people with the
ruling powers and the institutions of government. And if the American
Declaration of Independence with its proclamation of human rights
and of the foundation of government in contract and the consent
of the people, inspired the masses of the French with a desire
for liberty and independence, it is not surprising that the successful
experiment of this government of the people and by the people,
for a century past, and the measure of liberty and prosperity
here enjoyed, are having their effect upon the peoples of the
old world. The ever-continuous tide of
<PAGE 534> emigration from other countries
to this country is another evidence of the impression which this
experiment has made upon the peoples of other nations.
yet, the liberty and prosperity here enjoyed are far from satisfactory
to the people here. They crave a still better condition and are
seeking measures to attain it. Nowhere throughout Christendom
does this determination assert itself more positively and boldly
than here. Every man is on the qui vive to assert his real
or fancied rights. The trend of thought here, as elsewhere, is
in the current of revolution, and is daily becoming more so.
French Revolution was a struggle of a measure of light against
gross darkness; of the awakening spirit of liberty against long
established oppression; and of a measure of truth against old
errors and superstitions, long encouraged and fostered by civil
and ecclesiastical powers for their own aggrandizement and the
people's oppression. And yet, it exhibited the danger of liberty
unguided by righteousness and the spirit of a sound mind. (`2
Tim. 1:7`) A little learning is indeed a dangerous thing.
of Charles Dickens' stories, the scene of which is laid in the
troublous times of the French Revolution, begins thus, and aptly
fits the present time, as he suggests:
was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age
of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of
belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of
light, it was the season of darkness; it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we
had nothing before us; we were all going direct to heaven, we
were all going direct the other way; in short, the period was
so far like the present period that some of its noisiest authorities
insisted on its being received for good or for evil, in the superlative
degree of comparison only."
we see the same causes operating throughout the world today, to
produce similar results on a more extended
<PAGE 535> scale, we cannot console ourselves
with ideas of fancied security, and proclaim Peace! Peace! when
there is no peace; especially in view of the warnings of prophecy.
In the light of the foretold character of coming events of this
battle, we may regard the French Revolution as only the rumbling
of distant thunder, giving warning of an approaching storm; as
a slight tremor preceding the general earthquake shock; as the
premonitory click of the great clock of the ages, which gives
notice to those already awake that the wheels are in motion, and
that shortly it will strike the midnight hour which will end the
present order of affairs and usher in a new order--the Year of
Jubilee, with its attendant commotion and changes of possession.
It did arouse the whole world and set in operation the
mighty forces which will eventually utterly overthrow the old
order of things.
the conditions are fully ripe for the great Revolution a most
trivial circumstance may serve as a match to set on fire the present
social structure throughout the whole world; just, for instance,
as in the case of the French Revolution, the first overt act,
it is said, was the beating on a tin pan by a woman whose children
were hungry. Soon an army of mothers was marching to the royal
palace to ask for bread. Being refused, they were joined by the
men, and soon the wrath of the nation was kindled and the flames
of revolution swept the whole land.
yet, so oblivious was royalty to the conditions of the people,
and so surrounded with plenty and luxury, that, even when these
outbreaks came, the queen could not comprehend the situation.
Hearing from her palace the commotion of the mob, she inquired
what it meant, and being told that the people were clamoring for
bread, she replied, "It is foolish for them to make such
an ado about bread: if bread is scarce, let them get cake,
it is cheap now."
striking is the similarity of the present to those times, that
the alarm is being sounded by many thoughtful discerners of the
signs of the times, while others cannot realize the situation.
The cries which preceded the French Revolution were as nothing
in comparison to the appeals now going up from the masses all
over the world to those in power and influence.
Prof. G. D. Herron, of Iowa College, some years ago:
are the signs of universal change. The race is in attitude of
expectancy, straitened until its new baptism is accomplished.
Every nerve of society is feeling the first agonies of a great
trial that is to try all that dwell upon the earth, and that is
to issue in a divine deliverance [though he fails to see what
the deliverance will be, and how it will be brought about].
We are in the beginning of a revolution that will strain all existing
religious and political institutions, and test the wisdom and
heroism of earth's purest and bravest souls...The social revolution,
making the closing years of our century and the dawning years
of the next the most crucial and formative since the crucifixion
of the Son of Man, is the call and opportunity of Christendom
to become Christian."
alas! the call is not heeded; indeed is not really heard
by any but a helpless minority in power, so great is the din of
selfishness and so strong are the bonds of custom. Only the agonies
of the coming great social earthquake--revolution --will effect
the change; and in its dread course nothing will be more manifest
than the signs of the just retribution which will reveal to all
men the fact that the just Judge of all the earth is laying "judgment
to the line and righteousness to the plummet."
retributive character of the great tribulation upon fleshly Israel
in the harvest of the Jewish age was very marked; so also was
that of the French Revolution; and so it will be manifest in the
present distress when the climax is reached. The remarks of Mr.
Thomas H. Gill, in his work,
<PAGE 537> The Papal Drama, referring
to the retributive character of the French Revolution, suggest
also the retributive character of the coming trouble upon Christendom
as a whole. He says:
more deeply the French Revolution is considered, the more manifest
is its pre-eminence above all the strange and terrible things
that have come to pass on this earth... Never has the world witnessed
so exact and sublime a piece of retribution...If it inflicted
enormous evil, it presupposed and overthrew enormous evil...In
a country where every ancient institution and every time-honored
custom disappeared in a moment; where the whole social and political
system went down before the first stroke; where monarchy, nobility
and church were swept away almost without resistance, the whole
framework of the state must have been rotten: royalty, aristocracy
and priesthood must have grievously sinned. Where the good things
of this world-- birth, rank, wealth, fine clothes and elegant
manners-- became worldly perils, and worldly disadvantages for
a time, rank, birth and riches must have been frightfully abused.
nation which abolished and proscribed Christianity, which dethroned
religion in favor of reason, and enthroned the new goddess at
Notre Dame in the person of a harlot, must needs have been afflicted
by a very unreasonable and very corrupt form of Christianity.
The people that waged a war of such utter extermination with everything
established, as to abolish the common forms of address and salutation,
and the common mode of reckoning time, that abhorred 'you' as
a sin, and shrank from 'monsieur' as an abomination, that turned
the weeks into decades, and would know the old months no more,
must surely have had good reason to hate those old ways from which
it pushed its departure into such minute and absurd extravagance.
demolished halls of the aristocracy, the rifled sepulchres of
royalty, the decapitated king and queen, the little dauphin so
sadly done to death, the beggared princes, the slaughtered priests
and nobles, the sovereign guillotine, the republican marriages,
the Meudon tannery, the couples tied together and thrown into
the Loire, and the gloves made of
<PAGE 538> men's and women's skins: these
things are most horrible; but they are withal eloquent of retribution:
they bespeak the solemn presence of Nemesis, the awful hand of
an avenging power. They bring to mind the horrible sins of that
old France; the wretched peasants ground beneath the weight of
imposts from which the rich and noble were free; visited ever
and anon by cruel famines by reason of crushing taxes, unjust
wars, and monstrous misgovernment, and then hung up or shot down
by twenties or fifties for just complaining of starvation: and
all this for centuries! They call to remembrance the Protestants
murdered by millions in the streets of Paris, tormented for years
by military dragoons in Poitou and Bearn, and hunted like wild
beasts in the Cevennes; slaughtered and done to death by thousands
and tens of thousands in many painful ways and through many painful
no work of the French Revolution is this, its retributive character,
more strikingly or solemnly apparent than in its dealings with
the Roman Church and Papal power. It especially became France,
which after so fierce a struggle had rejected the Reformation,
and perpetuated such enormous crimes in the process of rejection,
to turn its fury against that very Roman Church on whose behalf
it had been so wrathful,...to abolish Roman Catholic worship,
to massacre multitudes of priests in the streets of her great
towns, to hunt them down through her length and breadth, and to
cast them by thousands upon a foreign shore, just as she had slaughtered,
hunted down and driven into exile hundreds of thousands of Protestants;...to
carry the war into the Papal territories, and to heap all sorts
of woes and shames upon the defenseless Popedom...The excesses
of revolutionary France were not more the punishment than the
direct result of the excesses of feudal, regal, and Papal France...
one of its aspects the Revolution may be described as a reaction
against the excesses, spiritual and religious, of the Roman Catholic
persecution of Protestantism. No sooner had the torrent burst
forth than it dashed right against the Roman Church and Popedom...The
property of the Church was made over to the state; the French
<PAGE 539> from a proprietary to a salaried
body; monks and nuns were restored to the world, the property
of their orders being confiscated; Protestants were raised to
full religious freedom and political equality...The Roman Catholic
religion was soon afterwards formally abolished.
unsheathed the sword of France against the helpless Pius VI...The
Pontiff sank into a dependent... Berthier marched upon Rome, set
up a Roman Republic, and laid hands upon the Pope. The sovereign
pontiff was borne away to the camp of infidels...from prison to
prison, and was finally carried captive into France. Here... he
breathed his last, at Valence, where his priests had been slain,
where his power was broken, and his name and office were a mockery
and a byword, and in the keeping of the rude soldiers of the commonwealth,
which had for ten years held to his lips a cup of such manifest
and exceeding bitterness ....It was a sublime and perfect piece
of retribution, which so amazed the world at the end of
the eighteenth century; this proscription of the Romish Church
by that very French nation that slaughtered myriads of Protestants
at her bidding; this mournful end of the sovereign pontiff, in
that very Dauphine so consecrated by the struggles of the Protestants,
and near those Alpine valleys where the Waldenses had been so
ruthlessly hunted down by French soldiers; this transformation
of the 'States of the Church' into the 'Roman Republic'; and this
overthrow of territorial Popedom by that very French nation, which,
just one thousand years ago, had, under Pepin and Charlemagne,
conferred these territories.
imagined that the Papacy was at the point of death, and asked,
would Pius VI be the last pontiff, and if the close of the eighteenth
century would be signalized by the fall of the Papal dynasty.
But the French Revolution was the beginning, and not the end of
the judgment; France had but begun to execute the doom,
a doom sure and inevitable, but long and lingering, to be diversified
by many strange incidents, and now and then by a semblance of
escape, a doom to be protracted through much pain and much ignominy."
must expect that the approaching trouble will be no
<PAGE 540> less bitter and severe than these
two illustrations, but rather more terrible as well as more general;
because (1) present day conditions render each member of the social
structure more dependent than ever before, not only for new and
increased comforts and luxuries, but also for the very necessities
of life. The stoppage of the railroad traffic alone would mean
starvation within a week in our large cities; and general anarchy
would mean the paralysis of every industry dependent on commerce
and confidence. (2) The Lord specially declares that the coming
trouble will be "such as was not since there was a
nation"--nor ever shall be hereafter.
`Dan. 12:1`; `Joel 2:2`;
while there is no hope held out that this trouble can be averted,
there are instructions given in the Scriptures to such individuals
as would hide from the coming storm.
The faithful of the Church are promised deliverance before the
full force of the storm breaks. (2) All who love justice and pursue
peace should diligently set their house in order, as directed
by the Word of the Lord, which says-- "Before the decree
is brought forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before yet
there be come over you the day of the anger of the Lord, seek
ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth who have fulfilled his ordinances:
seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye
shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."
all such may be awakened to the situation the Prophet Joel calls
upon those who see these things to sound an alarm, saying, "Blow
ye the trumpet, sound an alarm in my holy mountain [Christendom--professedly
the holy mountain or kingdom of the Lord], let all the inhabitants
of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is
nigh at hand." (`Joel 2:1`)
"Upon the wicked," says the Psalmist, God "shall
rain snares, fire and brimstone [symbols of trouble and destruction]
and a horrible tempest: this
<PAGE 541> shall be the portion of their cup;
for the righteous Lord loveth righteousness."
battle of this great day of God Almighty will be the greatest
revolution the world has ever seen because it will be one in which
every principle of unrighteousness will be involved; for as truly
in this judgment of the nations, as in the judgment of individuals,
"there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and
hid that shall not be known." (`Matt.
10:26`) Behold, how, even now, the searchlight of general
intelligence is discovering the secret springs of political intrigue,
financial policies, religious claims, etc., and how all are brought
to the bar of judgment, and by men, as well as by God, declared
right or wrong as judged by the teachings of the Word of God--by
the golden rule, the law of love, the examples of Christ, etc.,
all of which are coming into such remarkable prominence in the
discussions of these times.
battle of the great day, like every other revolutionary war, has
its stages of gradual development. Back of every indication of
strife are the inspiring causes, the real or fancied national
and individual wrongs; next comes a keen appreciation of those
wrongs by those who suffer from them; then generally follow various
attempts at reform, which, proving abortive, lead to great controversies,
wars of words, divisions, strife of opinions, and finally to revenge
and strife of arms. Such is the order of the Battle of the Great
Day of God Almighty. Its general character is that of a struggle
of light against darkness, of liberty against oppression, of truth
against error. Its extent will be worldwide --peasant against
prince, pew against pulpit, labor against capital: the oppressed
in arms against injustice and tyranny of every kind; and the oppressors
in arms for the defense of what they have long considered to be
their rights, even when seen to be encroachments upon the rights
The Lord's Great Army
previous chapters we have noted the work of preparation for the
conflict of this evil day--the organizing, equipping and drilling
of immense armies, the building of great navies, the invention
of new and wonderful engines of war, the making of new and powerful
explosives, and the draining of the national resources in every
land for purposes of military equipment; and we have noted the
mutterings of the angry nations as they all stand armed to the
teeth, scowling upon one another.
we view these millions of armed and disciplined warriors we inquire,
Which of all these mighty hosts is that army to which the prophets
point as the Lord's great army? Can the prophetic references be
to any of these? And if so, in what sense could they be considered
the Lord's army, since none of them are actuated by his spirit?
Or can this reference be to the people of God, the soldiers of
the cross, whose weapons are described by the Apostle Paul as
not carnal, but mighty, through the pulling down of strongholds?
(`2 Cor. 10:3-5`) Can it be that
"the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God"
(`Eph. 6:17`), in the hands of the
people of God, who are filled with his spirit, shall accomplish
the great work of overthrowing all the kingdoms of this world
and giving them to Christ for an everlasting possession?
that it might be so! but that such will not be the case we have
already seen, both from the prophetic foreview and from the signs
of the times. On the contrary, the protests and the warnings of
the righteous are steadily ignored by the world, and the nations
walk on in darkness, and in consequence all the foundations of
the earth (of the present social structure) are out of course
(`Psa. 82:5`), so endangering
<PAGE 543> the whole social superstructure
which is now being terribly shaken. "We would have healed
Babylon," says the prophet, "but she is not healed;
forsake her ['Come out of her my people'--`Rev. 18:4`]; for her
judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies."
is evidently not the saints who are to constitute the Lord's great
army, referred to by the prophets, for the overthrow of the kingdoms
of this world: nor are the weapons of their warfare sufficient
to this end. Their weapons are indeed mighty, as the Apostle says,
among those who are influenced by them. Among the true people
of God, who diligently apply their hearts unto instruction, his
Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, truly "casting
down imaginations [human reasonings] and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into
capitivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (`2
Cor. 10:4,5`); but not so do the weapons of this warfare
operate upon the world. The army of the saints is, moreover, not
a "great army," but a "little flock," as our
Lord himself designated it. Compare `Luke
12:32`; `Joel 2:11`.
the prophetic description of this army:
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. A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame
burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind
them a desolate wilderness, yea, and nothing shall escape them.
The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as
horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots, on the
tops of mountains [kingdoms] shall they leap; like the noise of
a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people
set in battle array.
their face the people shall be much pained; all faces shall gather
blackness. They shall run like mighty
<PAGE 544> men; they shall climb the wall
like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and
they shall not break their ranks. And they do not press one another;
every one on his beaten track do they go forward: and they pass
through between warlike weapons, and change not their purpose.
Into the city they hasten forward; they shall run upon the wall;
they shall climb into the houses; through the windows they make
their entrance like a thief. The earth [the present social order]
shall quake before them: the heavens [the ecclesiastical powers]
shall tremble: the sun and the moon [the illuminating influences
of the gospel and of the Mosaic law] shall be dark [general infidelity
having become widely prevalent], and the stars [the apostolic
lights (`Rev. 12:1`) shall be obscured]
shall withdraw their shining [the dark night will have come wherein
no man can labor-- `John 9:4`;
`Isa. 21:9,11,12`]. 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?"
army of the Lord must face the terrible conditions of the evil
day, when the dread elements now preparing for the conflict, the
fire, shall have reached the climax of readiness. This army it
is that under the Lord's overruling providence will overthrow
the throne of kingdoms and destroy the strength of the kingdoms
of the nations. (`Hag. 2:22`) But
where is there such an army? Will it be the German army? the French,
the English, the Russian or the United States army? So great an
army as is here described by the Prophet, and one which is to
accomplish such marvelous things, and that, as indicated, within
the few years that yet remain of this notable harvest period,
is probably in existence at the present time, and under some course
of preparation for the coming work of carnage. The description
of the Prophet is not of an undisciplined mob, which might be
easily dealt with by those educated in the arts of war; but it
is of a mighty host under a high degree of discipline.
then, we inquire, is there such an army, under present instruction
and training? an army before which the earth [society] shall quake
and the heavens [ecclesiasticism] shall tremble (`Joel
2:10`); which shall boldly array itself against the conservative
forces of Christendom, both civil and ecclesiastical, and hope
even to cope with its present strength? Where is the army that
in the near future will dare deny Christendom's time-honored doctrines,
its statecraft and priestcraft? that will sullenly ignore all
its anathemas, spurn its orders, and hurl back its thunderbolts
of authority and organized power? that will face the roar of its
Vesuvian artillery, defy its missiles of shot and shell, plow
through its fleets of naval armaments, and, snatching the diadems
from crowned heads, topple the kingdoms into the midst of the
sea? that will set the heavens on fire, and melt the earth with
fervent heat, thus making one vast universal wreck of the old
order of things as predicted by the prophets?
such an army is coming into existence and preparing for the desperate
conflict we are none the less forcibly assured by the signs of
the times than by "the sure word of prophecy." And it
is the recognition of this fact (without any reference to or knowledge
of the word of prophecy that is now filling the heart of Christendom
with fearful foreboding, and impelling statesmen everywhere to
take extraordinary measures for protection and defense.
in these very measures for self-defense devised by "the powers
that be," there is probably a snare which they do not realize.
The armies upon which they depend for defense, be it remembered,
are the armies of the common people: these millions of disciplined
warriors have wives and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters
and cousins and friends in the ranks of the common people, with
whose interests their own are linked by nature's strong ties;
<PAGE 546> and their service of thrones and
kingdoms is only secured by imperative orders, and made endurable
by a remuneration which they are fast coming to consider as no
satisfactory compensation for the hardships and privations which
they and their families must undergo, not to mention perils to
life and limb and health and fortune. Year by year these armed
hosts are less and less infatuated with the "glory"
of war, more keenly alive to its sufferings and privations, and
less and less devoted to the sovereign powers that command their
services, while the armies of toilers, of the common people at
home, are becoming more and more irritated and dissatisfied with
their lot, and more and more apprehensive of the future.
of these things are indications of at least a possibility that
in the crisis approaching the mighty armed and disciplined hosts
of Christendom may turn their power against the authorities that
called them into being, instead of to uphold and preserve them.
That such a possibility has not been entirely unthought of by
the rulers is witnessed by the fact that in Russia, when the famine
prevailed, and led to riots among the common people, the facts
concerning it were diligently kept from their friends and brothers
in the Russian army, and the soldiers detailed for the suppression
of the riots were from remote districts.
what conditions and circumstances will be used of the Lord as
his "voice" of command to marshal this mighty army we
may not now be able to clearly surmise; but we live in a day which
makes history rapidly; and on general principles it would not
be unreasonable to expect movements in this direction at any time.
But in our previous studies (Vols. II and III) we have seen that
God has a set time for every feature of his plan, and that we
are even now in this "Day of Vengeance," which is a
period of forty years; that it began in October, 1874, and will
end very shortly. The ominous years already past of this "day"
<PAGE 547> laid a broad and deep foundation
in church, in state, in finances and in social conditions and
sentiments for the great events predicted in the Scriptures. These
are already overshadowing the world, and are as sure to come as
that they are foretold. A very few years would seem to be abundant
space for their full accomplishment. Already "men's hearts
are failing them for fear and for looking after [forward to] those
things coming upon the world."
prophecies brought to our attention and publicly proclaimed since
the beginning of this "Day of Vengeance" are rapidly
culminating; and, as shown in the preceding chapters, all men
are able to see something of the dark outlines of the trouble
coming closer and closer until now, apparently, society is like
a tinderbox all ready for the match--like a powder magazine, ready
for explosion any moment--like an organized army, ready for the
assault at the word of command. But Shakespeare truly wrote:
"There is a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how we will."
in general is unconscious of the Lord's interest in this battle:
and almost all the contestants gird on the armor for personal
and selfish interests in which they rightly realize the Lord could
not share; and hence, while all on every side are ready to invoke
the Lord's blessings, few count on it--all seem to rely upon themselves--their
organization, numbers, etc. None will be more surprised than the
"powers of the heavens," the great ones of present ecclesiastical
control, who, going about to establish a plan of their own for
the Lord, have neglected his plan as revealed in his Word. To
these the Lord's work of the next few years will indeed be a "strange
work." Hear the Lord's Word on this subject:
Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be
<PAGE 548> wroth as in the valley of Gibeon;
that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to
pass his act, his strange act... For I have heard from
the Lord God of hosts a consumption [an expiration, a consummation]
even determined upon the whole earth."
social system, "the earth," "the elements,"
"the course of nature," cannot be set on fire until
the Lord permits the match to be struck: the great decisive battle
cannot begin until the great "Michael," "the Captain
of our salvation," stands forth and gives the word of command
(`Dan. 12:1`), even though there
will previously be frequent skirmishes all along the lines. And
the great Captain informs his royal legion, the Church, that the
catastrophe, though imminent, cannot occur until "the King's
Own," the "Little flock," "the Elect,"
have all been "sealed" and "gathered."
let us remember the Apostle's inspired description of this trouble--that
it will be as travail upon a woman with child, in spasms or throes
of trouble, with shortening intervals between. It has been just
so thus far; and each future spasm will be more severe, until
the final ordeal in which the new order will be born in the death-agonies
of present institutions.
asmuch as the Lord has generally let the world take its own course
in the past six thousand years--except in the case of Israel--his
interference now will seem all the more peculiar and "strange"
to those who do not understand the dispensational changes due
at the introduction of the seventh millennium. But in this "battle"
he will cause the wrath of men (and their ambition and selfishness)
to praise and serve him, and the remainder he will restrain. With
much long-suffering he has permitted the long reign of sin, selfishness
and death because it could be overruled for the trial of his elect
Church, and in teaching all men "the exceeding
<PAGE 549> sinfulness of sin." But seeing
that the world in general despises his law of love and truth and
righteousness, he purposes a general discipline before giving
the next lesson, which will be a practical illustration of the
benefits of righteousness, under the Millennial Kingdom of his
the Lord forbids his people to fight with carnal weapons, and
while he declares himself to be a God of peace, a God of order
and of love, he also declares himself to be a God of justice,
and shows that sin shall not forever triumph in the world, but
that it shall be punished. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay,
saith the Lord." (`Rom.
12:19`; `Deut. 32:35`)
And when he rises up to judgment against the nations, taking vengeance
upon all the wicked, he declares himself "a man of war"
and "mighty in battle," and having a "great army"
at his command. And who can give assurance that the multitudes
who now compose the marshalled hosts of Christendom will not then
constitute the great army that will throw its mighty force against
the bulwarks of the present social order.
`Exod. 15:3`; `Psa. 24:8; 45:3`;
`Rev. 19:11`; `Isa. 11:4`;
Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy
like a man of war: he shall cry, yea roar: he shall prevail against
his enemies." The cry and roar of his great army, and their
success in accomplishing his purpose of revolution, he thus attributes
to himself; because they are accomplishing, though ignorantly,
his work of destruction. He says: "I have long time holden
my peace; I have been still and refrained myself: now will I cry
like a travailing woman: I will destroy and devour at once."
in the Scriptures there are also intimations that there may be
others beyond the revolting hosts of Christendom who will also
form a part of the Lord's great army. And the Lord, through the
Prophet Ezekiel, referring to this same time, and to the approaching
calamities of Christendom, says:
I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey,
and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil: and they shall
pollute it...Make a chain [bind, unite them together; let them
make a common cause], for the land is full of bloody crimes, and
the city [Babylon, Christendom] is full of violence. Wherefore
I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess
their houses: I will also make the pomp of the great to cease,
and their honored places [their sacred places, their religious
institutions, etc.] shall be defiled."
may be understood to signify that the uprising of the masses of
Christendom in anarchy will, during the prevalence of lawlessness,
be so extremely brutal and savage as to outrival the barbarities
of all heathen invasions-- as was the case in the French Revolution.
Or it may signify an uprising of the peoples of India, China and
Africa against Christendom--a suggestion already made by the public
press anent the revival of Turkey and the uprising of the millions
of Mahometans. Our opinion, however, is that "the worst of
the heathen" are those in Christendom who are "without
God" and without Christian sentiments or hopes; who hitherto
have been restrained and held in check by ignorance, superstition
and fear, but who in the dawn of the twentieth century are rapidly
losing these restraining influences.
Lord, by his overruling providence, will take a general charge
of this great army of discontents--patriots, reformers, socialists,
moralists, anarchists, ignorants and hopeless--and use their hopes,
fears, follies and selfishness, according to his divine wisdom,
to work out his own grand purposes in the overthrow of present
institutions, and for the preparation of man for the Kingdom of
Righteousness. For this reason only it is termed "The Lord's
great army." None of his saints--none who are led by the
spirit of God as sons of God are to have anything to do with that
part of the "battle."
The Conditions of This Battle Unprecedented
to the predictions of the prophets the conditions of this battle
will be without historic precedent. As already suggested, this
final struggle is graphically portrayed in symbols in the forty-sixth
Psalm. (Compare also `Psa. 97:2-6`;
`Isa. 24:19-21`; `2 Pet. 3:10`.)
The hills (the less high, less autocratic governments) are already
melting like wax; they still retain their form, but as the earth
(society) gets hot they yield to its requirements, little by little
coming down to the level of popular demand. Great Britain is a
good illustration of this class. High mountains (representing
autocratic governments) will be "shaken" by revolutions,
and ultimately "carried into the midst of the sea"--lost
utterly in anarchy. Already "the sea and the waves roar"
against the bulwarks of the present social system: ere long the
earth (the present social structure) will reel and totter as a
drunken man, vainly endeavoring to right itself, maintain a footing
and re-establish itself: by and by it will be utterly "removed,"
to give place to the "new earth" (the new social order)
wherein righteousness, justice, will prevail.
will be impossible to re-establish the present order, (1) because
it has evidently outlived its usefulness, and is inequitable under
present conditions; (2) because of the general diffusion of secular
knowledge; (3) because the discovery that priestcraft has long
blinded and fettered the masses with error and fear will lead
to a general disrespect for all religious claims and teachings
as of a piece with the discovered frauds; (4) because religious
people in general, not discerning that God's time has come for
a change of dispensation, will ignore reason, logic, justice and
Scripture in defending the present order of things.
will be of little consequence then that the ecclesiastical heavens
(the religious powers, Papal and Protestant) will
<PAGE 552> have rolled together as a scroll.
`Rev. 6:14`) The combined religious power of Christendom
will be utterly futile against the rising tide of anarchy when
the dread crisis is reached. Before that great army "all
the host of heaven [the church nominal] shall be dissolved, and
the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll [the two great
bodies which constitute the ecclesiastical heavens; viz., Papacy
and Protestantism, as the two distinct ends of the scroll are
even now rapidly approaching each other, rolling together, as
we have shown]; and all their host shall fall down [fall off,
drop out; not all at once, but gradually, yet rapidly] as the
leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the
fig tree" (`Isa. 34:4`); and
finally these "heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved,
and the elements [of which they are composed] shall melt with
fervent heat." `2 Pet. 3:12`
they be folden together as thorns [for Protestantism and the Papacy
can never perfectly assimilate; each will be a thorn in the other's
side], and while they are drunken as drunkards [intoxicated with
the spirit of the world], they shall be devoured [they shall be
overwhelmed in the great tribulation, and, as religious systems,
be utterly destroyed] as stubble fully dry"; for the Lord
"will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the
second time." Blessed promise! "For behold, the day
cometh that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and
all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh
shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave
them neither root nor branch [for further development]."
"The Time of Jacob's Trouble"
the trouble and distress of this day of the Lord will be first
and specially upon Christendom, and eventually upon all nations,
the final blast, we are informed by the
<PAGE 553> Prophet `Ezekiel
(38:8-12)`, will be upon the people of Israel regathered
in Palestine. The prophet seems to indicate a much larger gathering
of Israel to Palestine within this harvest period than has yet
taken place. He represents them as gathered there out of the nations
in great numbers, and, with considerable wealth, inhabiting the
formerly desolate places; and all of them dwelling safely at the
time when the rest of the world is in its wildest commotion.
men are witnesses to the fact that such a gathering of Israel
to Palestine is begun, but it is quite manifest that their exodus
from other lands will have to receive some great and sudden impulse
in order to accomplish this prophecy within the appointed time.
Just what that impulse will be remains yet to be seen; but, that
it will surely come is further indicated by the words of the Prophet
the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said,
The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of
the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the children
of Israel from the land of the north [Russia?], and from all the
lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again
into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold I will
send for many fishers, and they shall fish them; and after will
I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain
and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For mine
eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from my face, neither
is their iniquity hid from mine eyes...I will cause them to know
my hand and might; and they shall know that my name is Jehovah."
the Lord is abundantly able to accomplish this we have no doubt.
In every nation the question, "What shall be done with the
Jew?" is a perplexing one, which, in some crisis of the near
future brought about suddenly by the Lord's overruling providence,
will doubtless lead, as indicated by the prophet, to some concerted
action on the
<PAGE 554> part of the nations for promptly
conveying them to the land of promise. And, as they went out of
Egypt in haste, with their cattle and goods, and aided by the
Egyptians who said, "Rise up and get you forth from among
my people,...also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have
said, and be gone"; and as the Lord gave the people favor
in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them whatsoever
they required, of silver and gold and raiment (`Exod.
12:31-36`), so in the next exodus, foretold by the prophets,
they will not be sent away empty, but apparently some pressure
will suddenly be brought to bear upon the nations which will result
thus favorably to Israel, so fulfilling the above prophecy of
enterprising race, once re-established in the land of promise,
and thus separated, for a time at least, from the distress of
nations so prevalent everywhere else, will quickly adapt itself
to the new situation, and the hitherto desolate places will again
yet one more wave of anguish must pass over that chastened people;
for, according to the prophet, the final conflict of the battle
of the great day will be in the land of Palestine. The comparative
quiet and prosperity of regathered Israel near the end of this
day of trouble, as well as their apparent defenseless condition,
will by and by stimulate the jealousies of and invite their plunder
by other peoples. And when law and order are swept away Israel
will finally be besieged by hosts of merciless plunderers, designated
by the prophet as the hosts of Gog and Magog (`Ezek.
38`), and great will be the distress of defenseless Israel.
"Alas!" says the prophet Jeremiah, "for that day
is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's
trouble, but he shall be saved out of it."
one man the hosts of Gog and Magog are represented as saying,
"I will go up to the land of unwalled villages, I will go
to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them
<PAGE 555> dwelling without walls, and having
neither bars nor gates." "Thou wilt go," says the
prophet, "to take a spoil and to take a prey; to turn thine
hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon
the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten
cattle and goods and that dwell in the midst of the land."
(`Ezek. 38:11-13`) The prophet foretelling
these events as though addressing these hosts, says, "Thou
shalt come from thy place out of the north parts [Europe and Asia
are north of Palestine], thou and many people with thee, all of
them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army: And
thou shalt come up against my people of Israel as a cloud to cover
the land; it shall be in the latter days [apparently the
closing scene of the day of trouble], and I will bring thee
against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be
sanctified in thee [set apart, distinguished as thy conqueror],
O Gog, before their eyes." `Ezek. 38:15,16`
the midst of the trouble God will reveal himself as Israel's defender
as in ancient times, when his favor was with them nationally.
Their extremity will be his opportunity; and there their blindness
will be removed. We read, "For I will gather all nations
[as represented in the hosts of Gog and Magog] against Jerusalem
to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled,
and the women ravished; and half the city shall go forth into
captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off
from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against
those nations as when he fought in the day of battle." (`Zech.
14:2,3`) `Isaiah (28:21)`,
referring to the same thing, instances the Lord's deliverance
of Israel from the Philistines at Perazim, and from the Amorites
at Gibeon, saying, "For the Lord shall rise up as
in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of
Gibeon." See `2 Sam. 5:19-25`;
`1 Chron. 14:10-17`; `Josh. 10:10-15`
--how God was not dependent upon human skill or generalship,
but fought his battles in his own way. So in
<PAGE 556> this great battle God will bring
deliverance in his own time and way.
`Ezekiel's prophecy (38:1-13)` the Lord names the chief
actors in the struggle in Palestine; but we may not be too positive
in our identifications. Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomar, Togomar,
Javan and Tarshish were names of children of Noah's son Japheth--supposed
to be the original settlers of Europe. Sheba and Dedan were descendants
of Noah's son Ham--supposed to be the original settlers
of northern Africa. Abraham and his posterity (Israel) were descendants
of Noah's son Shem, and are supposed to have settled Armenia--Western
Asia. (See `Gen. 10:2-7`.) This would
seem to indicate in a general way that the attack will come from
Europe--the "north quarters"--with allied mixed peoples.
overwhelming destruction of these enemies of Israel (bringing
the end of the time of trouble and the time for the establishment
of God's Kingdom) is graphically described by the Prophet
`Ezekiel. (38:18 to 39:20)` It can be compared only to
the terrible overthrow of Pharaoh and his hosts, when essaying
to repossess themselves of Israel, whom God was delivering. In
this particular also Israel's deliverance is to be "according
to [like] the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt"--"marvelous
things." `Micah 7:15`
describing that the coming of this army from the north quarters
against Israel (regathered to Palestine "in the latter day,"
"having much goods" and "dwelling peaceably")
will be suddenly, and "as a cloud to cover the land"
(`Ezek. 38:1-17`), the message is,
"Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou he of whom I have spoken
in olden time by my servants, the prophets of Israel, which prophesied
in those days many years, that I would bring thee against them?"
The Lord then declares his purposed destruction of the wicked
host; and the description seems to indicate that it will be accomplished
by an outbreak of jealousy, revolution
<PAGE 557> and anarchy amongst the various
elements composing the great mixed army: a revolution and strife
which will involve whatever may still remain of the home governments
of the various peoples, and complete the universal insurrection
and anarchy--the great earthquake of `Revelation
testimony of all the prophets is to the effect that the power
of God will be so marvelously manifested in Israel's deliverance,
by his fighting for them (incidentally for all), with weapons
which no human power can control--including pestilence and various
calamities--poured upon the wicked (Israel's enemies and God's
opponents) until speedily all the world will know that the Lord
has accepted Israel again to his favor, and become their King,
as in olden times; and soon they as well as Israel will learn
to appreciate God's Kingdom, which shall speedily become the desire
of all nations.
Prophet `Ezekiel (39:21-29)`, as
the Lord's mouthpiece tells of the glorious outcome of this victory,
and the results to Israel and to all the world, saying:
I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations
shall see my judgments that I have executed, and my hand that
I have laid upon them. And the house of Israel shall acknowledge
that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward. And the
nations shall know that for their iniquity did the house of Israel
go into exile: because they trespassed against me [in rejecting
Christ--`Rom. 9:29-33`]: therefore hid I my face from them, and
gave them into the hand of their enemies [for all the centuries
of the Christian dispensation; and] so fell they all by the sword.
According to their uncleanness, and according to their transgressions,
have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
[now that this punishment is completed], thus saith the Lord God,
Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy
upon the whole house of Israel [living and dead, the "times
of restitution" having
<PAGE 558> come--`Acts
3:19-21`], and will be jealous for my holy name; after
that they have [thus] borne their shame, and all their trespasses
whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely
in their land and none made them afraid. When I have brought them
again from the Gentiles, and gathered them out of their enemies'
lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations.
Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused
them to be exiled among the nations, but gather them now unto
their own land, and leave none of them any more there. Neither
will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out
my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God."
"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and
his glory from the sunrising. When the enemy shall come in like
a flood, the spirit of the Lord [throughout the Gospel age--at
the hands of Spiritual Israel] shall lift up a standard against
him. And the Deliverer shall come to Zion [the Church, "the
body of Christ"] and unto them that turn from transgression
in Jacob, saith the Lord."
`Isa. 59:19,20`. Compare `Rom. 11:25-32`.
Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth
them that trust in him." But "who can stand before his
indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?...He
will make an utter end [of iniquity]: oppression shall not rise
up the second time." `Nahum 1:7,6,9`
by the battle of the great day of God Almighty the whole world
will be prepared for the new day and its great work of restitution.
Though the waking hour be one of clouds and thick darkness, thanks
be to God for his blessed assurance that the work of destruction
will be "a short work," (`Matt.
24:22`), and that immediately after it the glorious Sun
of Righteousness will begin to shine forth. "The earth [the
present old social structure] shall [thus]... be removed like
a cottage" (`Isa. 24:19,20`),
to clear the way for the new building of God, the new heavens
and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
`2 Pet. 3:13`; `Isa. 65:17`
the foregoing is in type, an article in an old N. Y. Tribune
(June 26, 1897), quite to the point, has come to our notice. It
is so fully in accord with our suggestions respecting "the
Lord's great army" now in preparation, that we make room
for an extract, as follows:
"Crown or People?
What Some Armies of Europe May Be Asked to
Choose Between in the Near Future
than forty years ago troops, in obedience to the commands of their
sovereigns, turned their guns upon the people, and shot and bayoneted
men, women and even children until blood flowed like water in
the streets of Berlin, Vienna, and many other of the capitals
of the Old World. It was not a mere mob of tramps and toughs with
whom the military was called upon to deal, but well-to-do and
highly educated citizens--professional men, merchants, manufacturers,
politicians and legislators--in fact, all that element which goes
to make up what is known in the Old World as the 'Bourgeoisie'
and middle classes, who were endeavoring to secure the political
rights solemnly promised to them by the terms of the constitutions
decreed by their respective rulers, but which the latter declined
to put into force until compelled by the people.
"Brought to the Front in Italy
the troops, if called upon today to fire upon their fellow-countrymen,
manifest similar obedience to the behest of the 'Anointed of the
Lord?' That is a question which at the present moment is occupying
to a far greater degree than people in this country might be inclined
to believe the attention of the crowned heads of Europe, and it
has within the last few days been brought before the public through
a resolution submitted to the Italian Parliament providing for
the substitution of the word 'national' for that of 'royal' in
the official description of the army. The arguments put forward
by the supporters of the motion, which was eventually defeated
by the Ministerial party, which possesses a
<PAGE 560> majority in the Legislature, were
not only logical, but also powerful, and cannot fail to appeal
strongly to the people of Italy, as well as every other civilized
nation, and must assuredly have afforded very serious grounds
for reflection to King Humbert and to his brother and sister monarchs."
article points out that, without special commotion, the command
of the English army had within the preceding three years been
given to Parliament, as represented in the Minister of War, whereas
previously the army had been directly attached to the crown by
reason of its commander being a prince of the royal blood, who
held his office as the Queen's representative. The Queen, it appears,
and not unnaturally, sought for a considerable time to retain
this remaining prop of sovereignty, but without avail. In France,
also, the jealousy of the people for the control of the army is
shown by the fact that the appointment of a general as commander-in-chief
was refused, and the control held in the hands of a changeable
Secretary of War, who represents the party put in power by the
ballots of the people. The article proceeds:]
"A Conflict Imminent in Germany
conflict of this kind is no longer regarded as imminent in Italy.
But it cannot be denied that something of this nature is apprehended
in Germany, and more especially in Prussia, where monarch and
people are daily drifting further apart. That Emperor William
anticipates some such struggle is apparent from all his recent
utterances whenever he has occasion to address his troops, notably
at Bielefeld last week, his favorite theme being the duty of the
soldiers to hold themselves ready to defend with their life's
blood their sovereign and his throne, not so much against the
foreign foe as against the enemies within the frontiers of the
empire, and of the kingdom. In presiding at the ceremony of the
swearing in of the recruits, he never fails to remind them that
their first duty is toward himself, rather than to the people
who pay them, and he is never tired of expatiating
<PAGE 561> on what he describes as the 'King's
cloth'; that is to say, the uniform, which he, like many other
sovereigns, chooses to regard as the livery, not of the State
nor of the Nation, but of the monarch, to whom the wearer is bound
by special ties of allegiance, loyalty and blind, unquestioning
obedience. Nor must it be forgotten that in all instances of dispute
and strife between civilians and military men the Emperor always
upholds the latter, even when they are shown to be the aggressors,
and actually to the extent of either pardoning or commuting the
always lenient sentences that have been inflicted upon officers
who, while drunk, have seriously wounded, and in some cases killed,
unarmed and inoffensive civilians.
"Attitude of the German Army
will be the attitude of the army should the anticipated struggle
between Crown and people take place? In court and official circles
at Berlin it is believed that the Emperor will be able to rely
upon his troops. But this opinion is in no way shared by the people
themselves, nor yet by the leading German politicians of the day.
The rank and file of the army is no longer composed, as in former
days, of ignorant boors, unable either to read, write or even
think for themselves, but of thoughtful, well-educated men, who
have been taught at school what are the rights and constitutional
prerogatives for which their grandfathers and fathers fought in
vain. They know, too, enough of history to appreciate the fact
that in every struggle between the Crown and the people it is
always the latter that has ended by carrying the day."
The Wrath of God
"The wrath of God is Love's severity
In curing sin--the zeal of righteousness
In overcoming wrong--the remedy
Of Justice for the world's redress.
"The wrath of God is punishment for sin,
In measure unto all transgression due,
Discriminating well and just between
Presumptuous sins and sins of lighter hue.
"The wrath of God inflicts no needless pain
Merely vindictive, or himself to please;
But aims the ends of mercy to attain,
Uproot the evil and the good increase.
"The wrath of God is a consuming fire,
That burns while there is evil to destroy
Or good to purify; nor can expire
Till all things are relieved from sin's alloy.
"The wrath of God is Love's parental rod,
The disobedient to chastise, subdue,
And bend submissive to the will of God,
That Love may reign when all things are
"The wrath of God shall never strike in vain,
Nor cease to strike till sin shall be no more;
Till God his gracious purpose shall attain,
And earth to righteousness and peace restore."
BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON