The Beginning of the End

It was a notable prophecy that fell from the lips of our Lord at the end of His wonderful life. Looking at the Temple, the most marvellous building the world has ever seen,* the most remarkable and sacred associations woven into its history, He said:
  “See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2).
{*The gold and silver used in Solomon’s Temple was worth nearly £900,000,000, and vast quantities of copper, iron, stone and wood were used as well. 150,000 men were employed in the building. [ed. This pamphlet was written in about 1930.]}

True to the letter came the fulfilment of the prophecy when Titus, at the head of the Roman army strove to preserve the building, but had to witness its complete destruction. The incendiary act of his soldiers, a high wind and subterranean upheavals, so it is said, combining to bring it about.

Evidently the prophecy sank deeply into the hearts of His disciples, for they came to Him privately and said,
  “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” [completion of the age, N.Tr.] (Matt. 24:4).

But before we comment on our Lord’s answer to this question, let it be clearly understood that it refers to the Lord’s return to the earth to reign over His earthly people as King of Israel and over the wide earth as Son of Man. There are events indicated in Scripture as the precursors of the Lord’s return to reign over the earth, but no signs are given in regard to the Lord’s coming for His church and rapturing it to heaven.

Signs are connected with the coming to reign; sounds, with the rapture. The Christian waits to hear the summoning shout, the voice of the arch-angel and the trump of God.

But seeing that the rapture precedes the coming to reign by some years, during which must happen all that is prophesied in Revelation 4:1 to 19:21, it follows, if signs indicate the near approach of Christ’s return to the earth, that His coming for His heavenly people must be still nearer. Just as Enoch was translated before the flood came, so will the Church be caught up before the tribulation of Revelation comes to pass.

The signs of the Lord’s coming to reign over the earth are in evidence as never before. The great war has brought many such signs startlingly to the front.

A Falling Away First

We are told in the Word that the day of Christ shall not come “except there come a falling away first” [literally, apostasy] (2 Thess. 2:3). That apostasy is well on its way, and warns us that the beginning of the end has set in.

It began with Higher Criticism, started by a Frenchman, Astruc, and fathered by Jews, who hated the name of Christ, and finally adopted by so-called Christian professors in Germany. It has spread to Britain, America, Australia, indeed, all over the world, and has undermined the faith of multitudes in the inspiration of Scripture. It made the success of Darwinism and New Theology possible. Alongside of this corruption of orthodox religion there is the swarm of anti-Christian cults which number their followers by the million. We refer to Christadelphianism, Seventh-Day Adventism, Millennial Dawnism (Jehovah’s Witnesses), Christian Science, Mormonism, and the like. Each with distinctive features, they all unite in denying the deity of Christ, the value of His atoning death and the eternal punishment of the wicked as described by Scripture. Then, again, The Tongues Movement with its extravagancies and more than suspicion of demon origin is significant. Whilst few will assemble to hear the Gospel faithfully preached, crowds will flock to hear these lies of the devil.

The Cruel Lie that Death in Battle Saves

Perhaps the saddest and most ominous sign that has been furnished by the great war is the revival of the pagan and Mohammedan idea that death in battle saves. Tens of thousands of brave lads have gone over the top with that dreadful lie of the devil offered them by their padres. Thank God, many chaplains preached the truth, but alas! many lent themselves to this deadly lie of the devil.

It only needs the extension of this idea to make every man his own saviour. It strikes a heavy blow at the Gospel. It denies the necessity of the atoning death of Christ. It gives the lie direct to the Scriptures, where it is clearly asserted that salvation is only through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

It is with the greatest pain and regret that we quote from an influential religious newspaper’s (February 27th, 1919) report of a sermon by a well-known evangelical preacher at a memorial service for eighty men connected with a London Church. He is reported to have said:
  “What matters it that instead of singing ‘Onward Christian soldiers!’ they happened to sing, ‘It’s a long, long way to Tipperary.’ They were saluting the flag! they were saluting the promises of God! they were handing in their allegiance to a Divine purpose.’”

Nothing reveals the strength of the swift current of the coming apostasy so clearly as this. That a well-known preacher, with a great reputation for sound evangelical fervour and noted for earnest Bible study, should have pandered so shockingly to the spirit of the age is truly alarming.

A Mutilated Bible

One of the terrible signs of the coming apostasy is the attempt to get rid of the Bible. Under the leadership of Professor Charles Foster Kent, of Yale University, “The Shorter Bible” has been produced. One endorsement of it praised it as “a thrilling account of the life of Jesus and His great social and economic teachings.” Everything about the blood of Jesus, redemption, the cross, salvation, eternal life has been expurgated, leaving it a little book you can slip into your vest pocket. The very vitals of the Gospel and Christianity are cut out. They have left but an empty husk.

The downgrade ministers are jubilant over it; the Y.M.C.A. press in. America is circulating it. Surely when men dare to lay their hands upon the very Word of God it is a most significant sign that the last grains of the hour glass of the present dispensation are fast running out. And then?

A Mutilated Hymn Book

One of the greatest bulwarks against the coming apostasy has been the good hymn books in general use. As long as such hymns as “Rock of ages,” “Just as I am,” “Jesu, Lover of my soul,” “Abide with Me” are sung, the great truths as to the Person and work of Christ are presented, and untold blessings flow from their use.

But there is arising a clamour for a revision of some of the well-known and venerable hymn-books in general use. Daring proposals are made. An organist of a well-known cathedral urges that all allusions to the sufferings of Christ and the doom of the impenitent should be expurgated. We are within measurable distance of a mutilated hymn book.

Evil Doctrines Abound

That the prospect is alarming to the last degree, the following will verify. “The Great Commission Prayer League” sounds an alarm as to the present condition and apostasy in Protestantism with no uncertain sound. It is stated:
  “There are over a quarter of a million Protestant congregations in the world, and it is safe to say that at least four out of every five have become tainted with evil doctrine, and that thousands of these congregations have gone almost bodily into apostasy.
  “This is why we say that the whole world is fast becoming one vast missionary field. It will soon be as necessary to send orthodox missionaries to a heterodox Protestantism as to send missionaries to Romanism or Mohammedanism or paganism. If you don’t believe this, read the following utterances quoted recently in the Alliance Weekly, of New York, the organ of the Christian and Missionary Alliance—remembering that these are the utterances of ministers ‘cradled and ordained in evangelical churches,’ and that there are multitudes of preachers who profess to believe and who talk as blatantly as these men:
  “Says one minister: I no longer preach the entire acceptance of the Bible. I do not preach the heaven and hell of the Bible, and I do not know any worthwhile preachers who do.
  “Says a second: I do not believe in the doctrine of salvation by blood. Thank God I am not saved by the blood of anyone. Salvation by blood is the gospel of the butcher-shop.
  “Says a third: Heaven is an antiquated theory that has long exploded. The Holy Spirit is but a shadowy, impersonal influence of negligible value, and the doctrine of a returning Christ is a foolish and forlorn hope.
  “We shudder to produce such blasphemies as the fore-going, and would not do it except to show how far the professing Christian world is getting from the cross of Christ, and how infinitely urgent is the need of a kind of prayer different from that which most Christians offer. . . . Thousands of Christians are discarding God’s substitution and accepting that of the devil. . . . Thousands in the pulpits have ‘departed from the faith,’ and millions in the pew have become ‘lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.’
  “A few weeks ago a despairing Christian father, a reputable business man, connected with one of the great financial institutions of the United States, wrote as follows to the Great Commission Prayer League:
  ‘It is certainly hard to raise children now when there is so much worldliness in the churches. Sunday-school teachers give dances to their classes and take them to picture-shows Sunday evenings; ministers’ children dance and play cards, so our children feel that they are almost ostracized if they do not do the same things. Pray that we may have grace and wisdom to meet the occasion.’”

It only remains for the coming of Christ to catch out of a corrupt Christendom the true Christians for the way to be cleared for professing but unbelieving Christendom to take one or two steps more, and the complete apostasy, foretold by Scripture, will have become a dread reality. Then all belief in Christ and the Bible, every trace of Christianity will be ruthlessly swept aside.

Spiritualism

Spiritualism, as over-running so-called Christian lands, is of recent growth, and seems to be widening on every hand. For instance, the Rev. R. J. Campbell, late of the City Temple, now a clergyman of the Church of England, wrote:
  “I am conscious of someone’s presence in the mysterious unknown at this moment. Who is it? I have always believed it to be Jesus; it is no vain abstraction, but a definite, living, personal being. I work under his orders. Am I wrong? If so, I have been deluded into doing many things which otherwise I would never have attempted. Someone is directing me from the spirit world; if not Jesus, who is it? To me it is a thing impossible of acceptance it should be anyone else.”

How gravely significant this is! Under the domination of a lying demon, as we assuredly believe, Mr. Campbell has been “deluded into doing many things which otherwise he would never have attempted.” Does this not reveal the source of the “New Theology?” Comment is needless. The extract speaks for itself,
  As the result of the great war Spiritualism has received an alarming impetus. Two well-known men, both of whom have lost sons in the war, have done much to popularize Spiritualism. We refer to Sir Oliver Lodge, late principal of the Birmingham University, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the well-known novelist. Hearts bereaved and sore are attracted by what Spiritualism offers, little realizing that the offer is as false as Satan, and that it is a bid to obtain demon-possession over its dupes.*
{*The reader is earnestly urged to obtain “Spiritualism, Meaning, Menace and Condemnation by Scripture,” by the Author of this pamphlet. It furnishes a clear exposure of this terrible system.}

Bishop Weildon, Dean of Durham, preaching in the Cathedral of that city, bid his hearers keep an open mind in regard to Spiritualism, as it might prove a help to Christianity. He is by no means alone in this encouragement of Spiritualism. The menace of Spiritualism is alarming; and we believe will prove to be the “strong delusion” (2 Thess. 2:11) of the last times.

Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism is on the increase in English-speaking lands. There are more monasteries and nunneries in England today than when King Henry VIII disbanded them. In 1851 there were 683 Roman Catholic churches; in 1906 they numbered 2,013. Recently the Vatican has elevated Great Britain and the United States from the category of missionary lands to the rank of Catholic countries.

The Coronation oath was altered on the occasion of the accession of King George V to the throne to suit the Roman Catholics, whilst, last of all, Protestant Britain has sent lately an accredited diplomatic agent to the Vatican. It is an evil sign full of sinister foreboding.

The Enabling Bill, which the ritualistic party in the Church of England has induced Parliament to give the sanction of law to, is designed to forward the Romish movement in the Anglican Church.

Boston, one of the best-known cities of New England, has 65 percent of its population Roman Catholic. Eight bishoprics are in the United States of America, where within living memory there was one. Archbishop Ireland says, in ten years America will be theirs. Scripture seems to indicate plainly the revival of Roman Catholicism at the end of the age, and it is said that Roman Catholics hold the balance of power in their hands already. That is to say, the Roman Catholic vote is a decisive factor.

Rome and The League of Nations

Senator Sherman, of Illinois, speaking in the U.S. Senate, gave a warning that the League of Nations may end the separation of church and state, and bring the civilized world under the domination of the Vatican. He declared the Roman Catholic church would be represented in the League Assembly by 24 votes out of 45. The original nations, which affixed their signatures to the proposed league, number 32. Of those, 28 are professing Christian nations, 17 of which are Roman Catholic, either a majority or an overwhelming preponderance of their population being of that religious faith. Eleven are Protestant.

Other nations will doubtless come in, but the significant fact is, that Rome will be able to outvote the whole Protestant minority. Though the symbolical woman riding upon the scarlet coloured beast (Rev. 17), we believe, will embrace more than Roman Catholicism, yet we believe Roman Catholicism, shedding all its Christian dogmas and becoming apostate, allying itself with one vast religious scheme of an apostate nature, will be the leading feature in the fulfilment of this prophecy. Roman Catholicism, able to control the League of Nations through its voting powers, is a very disquieting feature, and certainly foreshadows what will take place in the future according to Scripture.

“Let us go back to Rome”

Mr. Frank Cane wrote some time ago as to the “Capital of the World.” He asks, “When we have achieved our parliament of man, where will it sit? When we have formed our federation of the world, where will its capital be? “He then speaks of the Hague, Washington, Jerusalem and Constantinople.

He goes on to describe these cities as not fulfilling every condition, and finally says,
  “My own vote, however, will go to Rome. Rome has more sentimental value than any other site. It is as easily reached as Constantinople. It was the place where the first great effort was made to unite the whole world as a single government. The effort failed because it was based upon the idea of empire, or one nation conquering all the rest, his [Julius Caesar’s] great idea was world government. That idea had to be grafted on to the idea of federation. But now that it has been so grafted and practicable, LET US GO BACK TO ROME.”

Rome and Roll of Honours

Rome is a master of strategy and tactics. It knows how to organize big movements—it knows how to make use of every little advantage possible. The harmless Rolls of Honour, which perpetuate the names of the brave soldiers who have died fighting for their King and country, have been exploited by Rome and Ritualism, which is simply Rome thinly camouflaged. They have turned them into wayside shrines, Calvaries, so familiar in Roman Catholic lands. Some carry images of the Saviour on the cross, of the Virgin Mary, others are dedicated to St. Barnabas, St. Joseph, St. Anthony and set up in so-called Protestant church grounds and in various public places. Along with these is a call for prayers for the dead. Bishops of the established church have blessed (?) them. Idolatry is thus set up in high places. A Christ depicted as on the cross is the beclouding of the truth of a glorified Christ in heaven, even as the mass is a denial of the finished character of the work of Christ.

Romanizing Influence in Nonconformist Circles

Nor is this Romanizing influence confined to the ritualistic section of the Church of England. The Rev. Dr. Orchard, minister of the well-known Congregational King’s, Weigh House Chapel, London, advocates prayers for the dead. He has an Altar in his Chapel approached by seven steps, wears alb and chasuble, adopts the Eastward position, includes in his service such Romish ritualism as introit antiphon, Benedictus Qui Venit Agnus Dei and the Commemoration of the Dead. He elevates a large wafer over his head, as is done in Romish churches at high mass, and the congregation joins in the idolatrous adoration of it. He sneers at the glorious reformation as defection, and glories in the Romish practices. And this movement is spreading to some extent: that it should exist at all is amazing.

Wars and Rumours of Wars

  “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matt. 24:6)

The Great War came like a bolt from the blue, so unexpected was it. It lasted four years three months fifteen days.

The estimated number in casualties is as follows:
The Entente Allies
  Russia 7,000,000
  France 4,000,000
  Britain 2,900,000
  Italy 1,000,000
  Belgium 350,000
  Roumania 200,000
  U.S.A. 250,000
  Total 15,700,000
The Central Powers
  Germany 6,900,000
  Austria 4,500,000
  Turkey 750,000
  Bulgaria 200,000
  Total 12,350,000

This gives a grand total of over 28,000,000 of which the dead alone number about 10,000,000. The total cost of the war for the Entente Allies is approximately £34,500,000,000, for the Central Powers £15,500,000,000, or the staggering total of £50,000,000,000.

And since the Great War has ended is there a reign of universal peace? No; there are wars and rumours of war—in Russia, Poland, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Persia, etc., unrest and trouble are present.

There shall be Famines and Pestilences

A large part of the civilized world is short of food. The condition of Russia is appalling! It is said that 800,000 of the inhabitants of the once proud city of Petrograd have actually been eating grass.

The Spanish influenza has gone on its way unchecked, and in three years time has claimed more victims throughout the world than the Great War with its appalling death-roll. And yet men do not and will not recognize the hand of God.

The Revived Roman Empire

Is not the League of Nations an adumbration, a foreshadowing of this revival? Could any one in their senses in 1914 have foretold what the effect of the Great War would be? Could anyone ever have imagined that “splendid isolation,” however great or however small a nation might be, should be a thing of the past? Nations, unwillingly some of them, are banding themselves into this League of Nations. And farsighted men can see that the League, intended to protect small nationalities and make war impossible, will be obliged to become a defensive league against the threat of a combined Germany and Russia. Can France with her frontiers facing a beaten Germany ever feel safe from the menace of revenge? Can Italy with her frontiers facing Austria ever feel quite easy?

“The deadly wound is to be healed” (Rev. 13:3)

Revelation 13 gives us the prophecy of the revival of the Roman Empire. One of the heads of the seven-headed beast is wounded to death. It is a well-known fact of history that the Roman Empire received its coup de grace at the hands of the Huns and Goths some 450 years after the death of Christ, when these barbarians swarmed across the Alps into Italy, besieged Rome, and capturing it, struck the Empire a mortal blow at its very heart.

The deadly wound is to be healed, and all the world is to wonder at the beast. It appears as if that were being fulfilled under our very eyes. Out of a weak conglomeration of petty kingdoms, duchies, and republics, arose a united Kingdom of Italy in the days of Garibaldi—the head of the house of Savoy becoming its king.

Mussolini, a Portent

Little by little, Italy regained strength till she became one of the first-class powers of Europe. After her heroic efforts in the Great War she was threatened by communism and anarchy, when that remarkable man, Mussolini, arose upon the scene. With a Portent, his black-shirted Fascisti he marched on Rome, was received by the king, whose kingdom was thus saved, the king having to pay the penalty of being completely overshadowed by Mussolini, the dictator.

We quote from a recent copy of “The Advent Witness”:
  “The greatest personality in Europe today, at any rate in the political sphere, is Mussolini. He is shaping the destiny of Italy. But not only so, he is preparing the way for the staging of all the nations and their respective positions in the crisis of the end.”

Indeed, many people ask with bated breath, Can it be that Mussolini is to be the political and military head of the revived Roman Empire? Whatever he is, he is a portent, a sign of the last times.

The situation is well hit off in a caricature, sketching the throne of Italy, and Mussolini, a big, powerful man of commanding appearance, occupying the regal seat, whilst a little, pathetic figure, the king of Italy, half sat upon and crushed up in a corner, is made to cry out, “I should like just a little more room.”

Even politicians are expressing themselves in language, approximating to Bible description, as they review the situation.

Mr. D. Lloyd George writes:
  “He [Mussolini] has sailed to Tripoli, accompanied by such an imposing flotilla of armed ships as never escorted an emperor in the ancient or modern world on a peaceable mission to a part of their dominion. Were it all swagger, the world would laugh. But there is an uneasy feeling abroad that it signifies business of a portentous kind.
  “Italy certainly thinks so, and Italian Imperialism has been roused to a pitch of enthusiastic confidence in its destiny such as the Peninsular has not experienced since the days of the Caesars.
  “All Foreign Offices are asking either, ‘What is he up to?’ or, ‘What will he do next?’ Mussolini has set himself to revive the Imperial spirit of ancient Rome, and he is succeeding almost too well for the tranquillity of his neighbours. When he threatens to march his armies across the Dolomites, Germany is uneasy; when he talks of the destiny of Italy being on the sea, France must feel some disquiet.
  “The Tripolitan visit is not meant to be merely a glittering pageant to enable the Duce to show off. It has a real purpose. It is intended to rouse the old Roman sentiment in favour of expansion beyond seas and frontiers. Empire passed from Roman to Greek, Goth, French, Spaniard, and Briton. Mussolini means to restore its throne to Italy.
  “The man who laughs at his boasts as if they were the idle bravado of a mere poseur, may not have to live long ere he finds that a dream which is adopted as a vision by a brave and hard-working race of 40,000,000, with a glorious tradition behind them, may become a reality which overshadows the peace of nations.”

Mussolini is credited with the resolve in the near future to proclaim Italy an Empire under the name of the Roman Empire. Rome itself is to be transformed into a city of magnificent thoroughfares imposing architecture and wonderful beauty.

“I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast” (Rev. 17:3)

Thus does Scripture prophesy the prominent place Roman Catholicism, developing into apostasy, will have in the last days. It is very significant how cordial are the relations of Mussolini with the Vatican. Speaking of Italy being proclaimed an Empire, a leading London paper says:
  “It is further understood that the idea is not unfavourably viewed in Vatican circles, between whom and Signor Mussolini relations are so cordial that a new and friendly solution of the ‘Roman Question’ might possibly synchronize with the proposed change in the political status of the Peninsular.”

A French paper, “L’Homme Libre,” actually wrote:
  “Italy is going to take the lead of the Latin nations, and it is for us to follow her.”

Are all France’s difficulties with the franc a signal that she will have to take a secondary place in future, and if so, there is only one leader—Rome?

We dare not trespass on space any further, but there are many indications that Scripture is being rapidly fulfilled under our very eyes, and that we are on the very eve of the rapture of the saints.

All the Trees Shoot Forth

Our Lord prophesied, “Behold the fig tree [typical of Judah (Joel 1:7)] and all the trees [typical of the Gentile nations (Jud. 9:8-15)] when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise, ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:29-31). For a good many years the trees have been shooting forth, but never so vigorously and quickly and simultaneously as this Great War has brought about. Be it observed that the trees shoot forth in conjunction with the fig tree.

Czecho-Slovakia, Jugo-Slavia, Poland, Hungary, Armenia, Georgia, Lithuania, Finland, Syria, Meso-potamia, Persia—just to take a few at random—testify to the sudden awakening of a national life, once the Great War made these aspirations practicable. There are four new kings at least in the East, the kings of Hedjaz, Syria, Mesopotamia and the Sultan of Egypt. Britain has granted Egypt her independence, promising her defence in case of attack, in other words, guaranteeing her neutrality.

The Fig Tree Shoots Forth

No event in the Great War was quite so thrilling as the capture of Jerusalem by the British under General Allenby in December 1917. The clearing of Palestine of the domination of the Turk, the placing of it under British protection, has opened up the way for the fulfilment of many a glowing prophecy, viz: the return of the Jew to his own land, and all that flows from that.

Sir Herbert Samuel was the first British High Commissioner to be appointed to Palestine. Things are already shaping themselves in a surprising way. Since February 1919, about 80,000 Jews have entered Palestine. Most of these are settling on the land. This land-hunger is very marked, even among those emigrants, who come from a purely urban environment.

The Hehaluz (Pioneer) Organization has some 4,000 Jews of both sexes under instruction with a view to their entering Palestine. It maintains training farms in Poland, Lithuania, Rumania, Germany, and other parts of Eastern and Central Europe.

Small craftsmen and artisans, possessing a modest capital, brought into the country in 1924-1925, sums amounting to £500,000. In addition to this, businessmen of substantial means are entering in increasing numbers, and are being instrumental in launching a number of new and important industrial enterprises.

In the financial year the following sums were expended in Palestine:
  Zionist Funds £144,000
  Jewish National Fund £172,000
  American Zion Commonwealth £100,000
  Individual Settlers £150,000

The planning of a greater Jerusalem, providing for 250,000 inhabitants, whilst retaining the historical holy sites, will make of Jerusalem a modern city. It is to be divided into a number of zones, industrial, commercial, and residential, and a circular or ring system of roads has been planned to meet the requirements of the proposed city.

Lord Allenby said the other day that he sat on a sand-heap taking his tea in picnic fashion somewhere near Jerusalem; when he visited the spot five years later he found a thriving town of 22,000 inhabitants.

Our Hope” in a recent issue says:
  “It is said that nearly 75,000 Jews in Poland alone are ready to go to Palestine. There is no question whatever that the restoration movement is in full force. . . . The recent drive which netted about six million dollars for relief shows what the Jews can do.”

London and Copenhagen are the clearing houses through which the mass-immigration of the Jews to Palestine are directed, according to information made public through the Zionist organization. This covers every step from the point of departure till the emigrant arrives at his destination.

Emigration bureaus are established in the chief ports of departure, such as, Odessa, Trieste, Salonica, and Constantinople.

Hospitals, quarantine stations, and buildings to accommodate the emigrants are arranged for at all ports of entry.

Zionists are raising in the United States a fund of $10,000,000, which is to be used in the reclamation of thousands of acres of swamp land, the building of a modern harbour, an anti-malaria campaign, irrigation, railroads, highroads, etc. The following cutting comes from the financial column of a newspaper:
  “Haboneh, Ltd., is the name of a company formed for carrying on building industries in Palestine, where there is a demand for residential and commercial buildings. The share capital is £200,000, divided into 8,000 shares of £25 each, which are now offered for subscription. All the company’s operations will be carried on under the supervision of an Advisory Council.”

It only needs the machinery to be set in motion and we shall soon see a Jewish Republic, the Temple rebuilt, and everything in line for the appearance of the Antichrist, the false prophet. There have been no such ominous signs in Judaism since Christianity was first established.

Zionism

We have referred to Zionism, an infidel and political organization for the restoration of the Jews to their own land. At its first Congress in 1897, 117 societies were represented: in 1908, more than 1,000. Fifty journals in many languages advocate Zionism. “Zionism,” says Mr. A. E. Thompson, “has spread like a prairie fire, while the plain of rationalistic Judaism is ablaze, the mountain of orthodoxy, lifting its head Godward, is aglow with patriotic fire.”

Two movements outside Zionism are helping towards the fulfilment of its aims. First, there is a stream of emigrants from Palestine. During the last few years 25,000 Syrians have emigrated to North America, and many have gone to Mexico and South America. Second, the anti-Semitic feeling that has driven many Jews out of the countries in which they lived. Between 1880 and 1904 it is computed that 25,000 Jews were thus driven out of Russia into Palestine. Thousands have likewise been driven out of Persia.

Cannot we trace God’s hand in these two movements? He can control the movements of men in a way we little dream of.

Palestine

Of late years climatic conditions in Palestine have altered for the better. The latter rain—doubtless withdrawn by God to keep the land in a barren state, and thus prevent an alien population from taking a deep root in this country, and withheld as a punishment for the rejection of their Messiah by the Jews,—has been for some years gradually returning. The rainfall of Palestine now exceeds that of London and Berlin.

Coincident with and encouraged by the return of the latter rain, agricultural colonies have been established. When the war broke out some forty such colonies were operating.* Some of them were of great size, one, Rishon-le-Zion, covers 3,180 acres, supports 1,200 people, possesses its own roads, schools, irrigation works. 400,000 fruit trees and 3,000,000 vine slips were planted, fulfilling a prophecy more than 2,500 years old (See Isa. 17:10). This colony possesses the largest wine cellar in the world. Synagogues and schools are springing up all over the land. Land in some places is worth ten times more than it was a few years ago. Under the mandatory of Great Britain, Palestine is becoming very prosperous, but that prosperity will soon be overcast. The great tribulation will sweep over the nation, preparing it for the reception of their Messiah, without whom there can be no true prosperity.
{*Since the war the number is considerably increased.}

The Revival of the Hebrew Language

The revival, too, of the Hebrew language, which has been practically a lost language since the captivity in Babylon, is one of the most remarkable signs of the renaissance of this indomitable people.

The Temple to be rebuilt

Some years ago the Standard had an article, entitled, “Temple of Solomon to be rebuilt,” stating a far-reaching movement had been started among the world’s Freemasons to rebuild the famous temple in Jerusalem, and describing steps taken to forward the scheme, and giving the assurance that plenty of money would be forthcoming. Apart from the Freemasons we know how the Jew is the great master financier of the world.

In this connection it is remarkable that a magazine, the Co-Mason, was founded in 1909 to prove the vital connection of Freemasonry—the most gigantic secret society in the world—with the ancient mysteries, and to demonstrate its present relationship with Spiritualism and Theosophy.

A Modern Jewish Movement

A modern Jewish movement is rapidly gaining force, which is, if possible, more significant of the times. We hear in many quarters of a great Christ-ward movement among the Jews. In one foreign country we are told that they are being converted to Christianity in such large numbers that it is expected there will be no orthodox Jews left.

But those, who are fitted by an intimate knowledge of things to have a true judgment as to this, see in it only another, and, if possible, a more deeply significant, sign of the times. It is the outcome of the influence of a “modern” or “reformed” school of Judaism, which may be traced back to the influence of Moses Mendelssohn, who died in Berlin in 1786.

A well-known writer on Jewish subjects—Mr. S. H. Wilkinson—than whom none is more qualified to express an opinion—says:
  “Bulwark after bulwark of faith has been jettisoned, and now at last the evil germ is coming into full development. . . . The new attitude to the Lord Jesus, acknowledges, it is true, His incomparable position in ethics; but it is as radical in its denial of His divine claims as the most prejudiced orthodox fanatic. It is part of a group of rationalistic beliefs which include the treatment of the Old Testament Scripture as a non-divine literary product, the historical value of which is doubtful, and which sees in every human being an advance towards the highest and best. It is this rationalistic school which is willing to acknowledge the moral excellence—even supremacy—of the Lord Jesus, but they will never be found by any slip of the tongue to drop into the error [to them] of calling Him the Lord Jesus.”

And yet if Jesus were not the Lord Jesus, He was an impostor, the most daring and blasphemous ever known; and if so, how can He hold “an incomparable position in ethics?” The unbelieving Jew is hoisted on his own petard—impaled on the horns of a dilemma of his own making. Infidelity is always illogical, inconsistent, and credulous.

Solemn, intensely significant as the above is, the writer continues:
  “The new movement amongst the Jews runs side by side with the present-day apostasy in Christendom. It is probable that before many years pass there will be a fusion between the new school of Jewish thought and the apostate rationalism that is at present Christian in name. The germ will then come to its full development, and that short creed which dethrones God and enthrones man will be ripe for the recognition of the Antichrist.”

Not many steps have to be taken by an apostate Christendom, honeycombed with infidelity and dabbling with Spiritualism, before Mr. Wilkinson’s words come true; for come true they assuredly will, and that with startling rapidity.

Bahaism

Abdul Abbas, the head of this branch of Mohammedanism, who calls himself the Glory of God, and who is worshipped as a Saviour by more than a million followers, recently visited America. He was welcomed to the pulpits of Episcopal, Baptist and other “churches,” where he spoke in Persian, turning his face to the East as a sun-worshipper. Since then his cult has been growing in the States, numbering among its adherents many rich and cultured people. A movement is on foot to build an enormous temple on the shores of Lake Michigan, where “the people of all faiths and religions may unite in worship”—“a great modern institutional temple for universal worship.” From various points there are signs that an apostate Christendom, an apostate Judaism and heathen religions will unite in one worship, which will substitute man for God as the object of adoration, and man to be his own saviour, degrading Christ to the level of a great, but fallible, world teacher, denying His redemptive work on the cross. What matters it what praise they give Him if they deny His deity, true humanity and atoning work. Such praise is but the kiss of Judas over again.

Theosophy

Theosophy believes in the near advent of the Superman. Mrs. Besant, the most prominent Theosophist known to the public, writes of him:
  “The blessed Buddha yet to be, who shall shape the religions of the world into one vast synthesis. He loves all faiths, blesses them all alike, sends his messengers to every one of then, and is the heart and life of each. . . . He is waiting till his messengers have proclaimed his advent, and to some extent have prepared the nations for his coming.”

Mrs. Besant boldly proclaims his advent will take place about the middle of this century. The Rev. Dr. R. F. Horton, a prominent London dissenting minister, joins hands with her, and seems to uphold her statement of “the blessed Buddha yet to be,” loving all faiths, and blessing them all alike, when he writes:
  “It would almost seem . . . that Mrs. Besant has been brought back to Christ by the road of Theosophy.”

Is this not on the lines of the grave apostate step the great Edinburgh World Missionary Conference took when it instructed missionaries to build the super-structure of Christianity on the foundation of heathen beliefs, though the Scriptures say plainly, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”? (1 Cor. 3:11).

Heathendom

Heathendom expects the advent of a world-Saviour. A missionary in the Punjab writes:
  “In going in and out amongst the people during the past year, I have been struck by the universal expectation that exists of the coming of one who shall put an end to the present state of things, and establish a reign of universal peace and righteousness. All sorts and conditions of men—from the Hindu, who has his ‘gods many and lords many,’ down to the Moslem, who knows but one God—have these expectations.”

Another, writing from Ceylon, says:
  “The chief thing which appears to occupy people’s thoughts at the present time is the expected advent of some great one, not only among Christians, but Mohammedans, heathen, and Buddhists too.”

Yet a third writes from the East:
  “You may know that the Hindu believes that nine Incarnations have already appeared on the earth. There is a widespread belief all over the country that a tenth is about to appear. He is called the KALKI or NISHALANK AWATAR, i.e., the Sinless Incarnation. He is to be born of a virgin and will ride upon a white horse, slaying all the wicked, and establishing righteousness all over the earth.”

Islam

Islam, too, expects a world-Saviour. The appearance of the Mahdi in the Sudan, stirring up the expectations of the fanatical inhabitants of the Sudan, Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, etc., is significant in this connection. The Koran, their sacred book, says:
  “Jesus shall be a sign of the approach of the last hour” (Sura 43).

Y.M.C.A. and Downgrade

The Y.M.C.A. was begun as a strictly Christian movement having for its object the conversion and godly care of the youths flocking into the great cities of the empire. Here and there, under the influence of a godly, earnest secretary, this is maintained, but in many cases, alas! it has degenerated into mere worldly clubs.

The following, reported by a leading Daily, sadly confirms this. Some time ago a luncheon was given in London to inaugurate the scheme for raising £100,000 for the erecting of central Y.M.C.A. premises in London—a scheme which prostituted all that was professedly Christian to the world in its shameless methods of attempting to raise this sum.

The late Earl Grey was called upon to speak, and he is reported as having said:
  “I know there are some who believe that the Y.M.C.A. is nothing more than an evangelical association, chiefly remarkable for the texts upon the walls. I have been to several Y.M.C.A’s and I have never seen any texts in the rooms of the clubs. It is nothing more thin a young men’s club.”

A friend commenting on this says, if texts are objected to, it looks as if there were no room for the Word of God itself, for texts are but part of the Holy Scriptures, and as if the “C.” were superfluous, and Y.M.A. is all that is wanted.

That such a statement should have been made in front of the leading officials and supporters of the Y.M.C.A. in the largest city of the world, apparently without remonstrance or dissent of a public nature, is deeply significant.

During the war, many of the Y.M.C.A. huts were simply social clubs. Sing-songs, concerts, games, etc., were to the forefront, and in many cases the gospel was studiously kept in the background. An officer got up at the end of such an evening, expressed his gratitude for the efforts made to brighten their lives, but deplored that no attempt was made to present to them the gospel. “We are soon going to face the horrors of war,” he said with manly directness, “and we need to be prepared to die.” The gospel only could furnish that preparedness.

The Brotherhood Movement

The Brotherhood Movement is founded with its more recent Sisterhood offshoot, in the main, in the recognition of that awful deceit of Satan—‘the Universal Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man’—a denial of the fall of man in large measure, and Unitarian in its teaching oftentimes. No doctrine is more popular today, because none is more false. It has caught on like wildfire. In 1906 there were 9 Brotherhoods; in 1911, five years later, 1543, with 600,000 members. I gladly acknowledge that where locally godly leaders influence these societies the leaven of evil is arrested, but in the main the outlook is appalling, and most significant of the approaching end.

Labour Unrest

Add to the foregoing the present labour unrest. Men are talking openly of revolution and of the upsetting of the whole fabric of modern civilization. Led on by agitators the working man strikes for higher wages. Food prices go up and again they strike for yet higher wages, until the pursuit of the vicious circle tends to black ruin. At the bottom of all this is the giving up of God, and the consequence is the break-up of all law and order. We are living on the edge of a volcano, with every sign of a terrible eruption. Democracy, Socialism, Syndicalism, are vitally wrong in their leaving God out, and only Theocracy can be and will be successful in bringing about the longed-for Millennium.

We have concluded our task. Sad indeed is it to trace man’s utter ruin. But amid the dense gloom of the gathering clouds there is the bright beam of the hope of the near return of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Saviour who died to save us; our great High Priest, who lives to save us to the uttermost—from the threefold enemy of the world, the flesh and the devil, and who is coming to save us, to take us out of the world. We firmly believe we are on the very eve of His blessed return. Soon our ears shall hear His long-waited for summoning shout in the air, His coming MUST be near.

The travail of the world will be the birth throes of the Millennium. But before those throes the church will be with her beloved Bridegroom waiting on high for the marriage day—the day of public manifestation.

Meanwhile, amid such a scene of anarchy in the world, of apostasy, of lukewarmness and unfaithfulness in the church, may we be kept in humility of soul, in steadfastness of walk, in loyalty of heart to our absent, but quickly coming Lord.