"Israel will not be snatched away at all,"
I said in Chapter One. A brother reminds me that a company of
Israelites - the 144,000, represented by the son of the woman mentioned
in Un. 12 - will be snatched away.
I think he is correct. If the woman is symbolic
of those believing Jews who are to find refuge in the mountains, Matt.
24:16, the son born of her must be symbolic of a company of
persons. There would be no point in saying, "she brought
forth a son a male," Un. 12:5, if the expression were not intended
to convey the thought of a company of persons, all males. And this
is just what is true of the 144,000 mentioned in Un. 14. In verse
4, we are told that they "were not polluted with women, for they
are celibates." The "son a male," could not be just
one person, for it is said he "is about to be shepherding all the
nations with an iron club." If it were just one person, it
would have to be Christ. And the scene is much too late for the
birth of Christ. Moreover, His mother did not go into the
mountains, nor was He snatched away as soon as He was born. No;
the woman, the birth and the son, are all symbolic.
The company - the 144,000 - is mentioned in Un. 7,
and again in Un. 14. That the same company is mentioned
symbolically in Un. 12. I have no doubt. The time is the
beginning of the 1,260 days of affliction, Un 12:6. The group
represented by the male son, will be snatched away TOWARD God and TOWARD
the throne - not necessarily TO God and TO the throne. See the
Greek, where the word is PROS, meaning toward.
But this is not permanent, nor is it for the
eon. In Un. 14 we see the company on Mount Zion with the
Lambkin. Any student of the scriptures can easily ascertain that
Mount Zion is on earth. It is in Jerusalem. If the reader
doubts this, let him read II Kings, 19:31; Ps. 48:2; etc. Look up
the word in a concordance, and notice its every occurrence. So, I
say, while this company is snatched away, the same company is seen later
on Mount Zion. This is, perhaps, a preview of the kingdom, just
as, in Un. 7, we are granted a preview of the blessings of this same
company in the kingdom.
Members of the ecclesia which is the body of Christ
will be snatched away and will be in the heavens eonian, II Cor.
5:1. The company out of Israel will be snatched away, 1,260 days
before Christ comes to the nation. They will be taken toward God
and the throne. This is not eonian, for they are later seen on
Mount Zion, on earth.
Why not make Mount Zion symbolic? It is a
mistake to MAKE anything symbolic. Statements are recognized as
being so, only when a literal interpretation would not be in line with
the facts. A company will flee to the mountains, Matt. 24:16; and
a company shall shepherd the nations with an iron club, Un. 2:26.
Therefore, to interpret the woman and her son literally, would be out of
line with the facts. We are forced to recognize them as
On the other hand, if Mount Zion is to be the joy of
the whole earth, Ps. 48:2, why should we symbolize the fact that the
Lambkin is seen there, in Un. 14: His being there is in accord
with the facts.
Seeking a symbol is the wrong way to study the
scriptures, and especially the Unveiling, or Revelation.
Arbitrarily making a passage symbolic just to teach some theory of ours,
is decidedly wrong, and is lawlessness. There must be some
standard, and here it is: Literal, so long as this accords with known
facts; otherwise, symbolic.
A brother tells me that our prior expectancy is a
matter of 75 days, only. It is true, according to Dan. 12, that
Christ is to come to the earth 75 days before the dead of Israel are
roused. But there is no proof that we shall be roused at His
coming. That shall take place when He comes in the air, I Thess.
4:13-18. Besides, if we are to be roused when He comes to earth,
the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ must go through the
"great affliction," Matt. 24:21. The opposite is
Paul says, in II Thess. 2, that the day of the Lord
will not come until the man of lawlessness be unveiled. The man of
lawlessness will be operating during the great affliction, which will be
in the day of the Lord. He must be unveiled before that day comes,
and of course, before the great affliction begins.
Concerning the man of lawlessness, Paul says to the
Thessalonian saints, "And now you are aware what is detaining, for
him to be unveiled in his own era. For the secret phase of
lawlessness, already in operation, is only till that which is detaining
at present may be coming to be out of the midst," II Thess. 2:6,
7. What is it that is detaining? What is it that must be
taken out of the midst before the man of lawlessness can be
unveiled? Paul said to the saints, "You know."
Well, if they knew, it must have been because Paul had told them.
And when was that? Evidently in his first epistle to them.
Paul had not said to them, in so many words,
"So-and-so is detaining at present." But he had told
them this: "Now concerning the times and the eras, brethren,
you have no need to be written to, for you yourselves are accurately
aware that the day of the Lord is as a thief in the night - thus is it
coming. Now whenever they may be saying, 'Peace and security!'
then extermination is standing over them unawares, even as trail over
the pregnant, and they shall by no means escape. Now you,
brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should be overtaking you as
a thief, for you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We
are not of the night nor of darkness. Consequently then, we should
not be drowsing, even as the rest, but we may be watchful and
sober. For those who are drowsing are drowsing at night, and those
who are drunk are drunk at night. Yet we, being of the day may be
sober, putting on the cuirass of faith and love, and the helmet, the
expectation of salvation, seeing that God did not appoint us to
indignation, but to the procuring of salvation through our Lord Jesus
Christ, the One dying for us, that, whether we may be watching or
drowsing, we should be living at the same time together with
Him." I Thess 5:1-10.
We are not appointed to indignation, but if we should
be on earth during the affliction period, we would be in the midst of
The day of the Lord will come upon somebody as a
thief, but it will not overtake us as a thief. The only reason is,
we will not be here. If that day should come on the ecclesia, it
certainly would come on most of the saints as a thief - that is
What may we expect - indignation, or salvation?
We are to put on the helmet, the expectation of salvation, says the
Fearful that the doctrine of grace will encourage sin
in saints, some teach that only the wide-awake ones will escape the
affliction. Not so; whether we may be watching or drowsing, we are
to be living at the same time together with Him.
Paul certainly meant to teach, in the passage quoted
above, that the ecclesia will not be here when the day of the Lord comes
as a thief, and the saints so understood it. This is why the
apostle could say, "You are aware what is
Our prior expectancy, instead of being merely a
matter of 75 days, will be a matter of several years. We must be
taken out of the way, before the man of lawlessness can be
The man of lawlessness may be living, now. If
he is, no one knows who he is. There are thousands of lawless
men. There are scores of lawless leaders. But the man of
lawlessness is a certain man. No doubt he will operate as a
deceiver for a while before being unveiled.
It seems that his unveiling will be a public
ceremony. It will be after the temple has been built, for he will
sit in it. This means that the worship of the Jews will be
restored before the unveiling takes place.
Many things are to take place before the unveiling of
that man. But we do not know that God has any event on his
program before we shall be snatched away for meeting the Lord in the
air. It may come any day. Surely it cannot be long, for we
see matters shaping up for the last days of the eon. Let us be
wide awake. Let us be watching. Oh, how the saints do need
the blessed evangel! How they do need to be awakened!
Perhaps more than 999 out of every thousand are asleep. But, grace
being what it is, the sleepy ones will not be left behind. Thank
God for that!
A brother accuses me of teaching thus, because I am
holding to a creed, and my mind is not open to the truth. From
1903 until 1932 I was a member of a denomination that had a creed.
That creed did not teach the prior expectancy. It spoke of a
general resurrection and general judgment. In 1909 I learned that
the scriptures teach that we are to be taken away to be with the Lord
some time before Christ comes to establish the kingdom on earth.
This was contrary to the creed and subjected me to many hurtful slights
on the part of my fellow saints, and especially the preachers.
This was before I came into the truth of the salvation of all mankind,
and the reconciliation of the universe. Since leaving the
"church" I have held to no creed. I believe in the prior
expectancy because the scriptures teach it - not because any creed
I mentioned that some are afraid to go the limit in
teaching grace, for fear it will lead saints into sin. They feel
that I am doing great harm in saying all members of the ecclesia will be
snatched away when the Lord descends in the air. Lest any reader
of the Messenger might get that idea, let me say that when we are
snatched away, we are taken before the dais of Christ, "that each
one should be requited for that which he puts into practice through the
body, whether it is good or foul," II Cor. 5:10. Those who
have put foul deeds into practice will suffer loss. But it will
not interfere with their salvation. They are already saved and
glorified, before being manifested before the dais of Christ. Paul
said that he was persuading men, because of the fact of our
manifestation before the dais. This is sufficient grounds for
persuasion. Let us all, as teachers, do the same thing. Let
us be diligent in telling saints that there is loss for them at the
dais, if they do foul things. For, despite the fact that grace
changes the disposition, yet saints are likely to yield to the flesh
thousands of times in life. But when we persuade them, let us be
careful to not dim the blessed doctrine of grace - God's unmerited
BAPTISM AS A FIGURE OF SPEECH - This is the
title of the editorial in the January, 1940, issue of the
Messenger. I think it is instructive. Two copies may be had
for five cents, or a dozen for 25 cents. Perhaps your friends need
it. A nickel may safely be sent an envelope and the same is true
of a quarter. I want this article widely read.