Good News, vol. 18, no. 4, April 1927
THE CERTAINTY OF THE
SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST TO EARTH.
Remarkable Preparations in the Political World for His Coining, Showing How the STAGE is Now Being Set in Europe. An Address by Evangelist Fred. B. Van Eyk at Good News Hall.
Someone has recently said: "A dateless advent is the secret of perpetual watchfulness." The subject matter I am about to lay before you is certainly of such a nature, that it ought to stir every level-headed man and woman into action to get right with God. Men have tried to discredit the Truth of the second coming, by spiritualising the Word of God. But blessed be God, this glorious Truth is supported to-day by such an array of convincing facts that, without' dispute, it stands forth from the Word as a Mount Everest from among the mountain peaks of the Alps. Fact indeed is the highest form of argument, it is the invincible granite on which the wave of intellectual sublety is broken. The world's leading men are taking a vital interest in this wonderful truth, because they realise that the second coming of Jesus Christ is the only solution to the perplexity and multiplicity of problems confronting the world to-day.
I will endeavor to show you to-night, that, politically, Europe is in the very position that the Word of God declared she would be, when Jesus came to earth. I go further, and say that the movements of the nations are preliminaries to the final stage setting for the revelation of Jesus Christ from Heaven WITH ALL HIS SAINTS; this being so, the first event on the programme must be the rapture (Parousia) of the Church. We are on the verge of tremendous and far-reaching events. In explaining prophetic Scripture, it is necessary to lay down an axiom of interpretation, viz.: that fulfilled prophecy be our guide. There are hundreds of prophecies in connection with the first advent of our Lord as to the manner of His birth, life, and ministry, which we know were fulfilled to the very letter, and also many prophecies in connection with the Jewish nation which are now matters of history. So, with the same canon of Scripture before us, we should expect an equally literal and minute fulfilment regarding the Second Advent.
Up to very recently the old Bible lands were, practically speaking, a barren waste, such as Palestine, Mesopotamia, etc.—no great value at all. Their only importance was from a sentimental and religious viewpoint. But the Bible has a lot to say about them. If we look through the sacred pages of Holy Writ, their past is most interesting and important. Once they were the centre of civilisation, culture, and commerce; but, when they were thus in the heyday of their glory and power, God's prophets undertook to tell, twenty-five centuries ago, that these then flourishing lands would become a barren waste. They did not stop there, however, but gave important time reckoning, at the close of which they affirmed this desolation would cease, and we would again see them opened up to commerce, and that this would happen in the last days when the God of Heaven was about to set up a righteous kingdom on the earth. (Is. 11: 11): "And it shall come to pass in that day." What day? If you read this chapter carefully, you will notice that it speaks of millennial conditions, when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, etc.; (v. 6); therefore, we should expect that, when we see verse 11 fulfilled, we will certainly be in the days of inaugurating these conditions. Now, what does it say? That the Lord shall set His hand a "Second" time to recover the remnant of His people (verse 12). And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth; therefore, the gathering together of the outcasts of Israel—"the second time"—is to be a sign to the nations that the time has arrived for the carrying out of God's unconditional promise to Abram's seed, and for the second advent of Israel's Messiah. We know full well how they were gathered to their own land the "first" time after 70 years' desolations, but we have not yet seen the second gathering together, and the condition described by verse 11, viz.: Lamb and wolf dwelling together. We therefore expect it to be yet future.
There are two very important questions to be asked here. (1) Why must the land of Palestine awake? (2) Why must the Jew go back to Palestine? The Word of God is very emphatic about the fact that these lands must awake, and the Jews be restored to prepare the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Bible also gives in great detail and extraordinary minuteness the condition of the world politically when these old Bible lands begin to revive, and the Jews to return to their land. These, therefore, are the three points to be considered to-night:—
(1) Why must Palestine be reopened? And is it reopened to-day?
(2) Why must the Jew return to his homeland? And is he returning to-day?
(3) What is to be the condition of the world politically at this time? And does the world condition correspond with the prediction?
If we turn to the prophet Joel we find there in the first two chapters a graphic description of the land of Palestine during its centuries of desolations. Chap. 1: 4-16:—
4 That which the palmer-worm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the canker-worm eaten; and that which the canker-worm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.
5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree; he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackloth for the husband of her youth.
9 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the Lord's ministers, mourn.
10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted; the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.
11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husband-men; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests; howl, ye
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ministers of the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God; for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.
14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord.
15 Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
16 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
Is this not a true and graphic picture of the land during its centuries of thraldom? While in this state the prophet undertakes to tell us the condition of her people. (Ezek. 37.) Here we have the vision of the valley of dry bones. Verse 11 states:—
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
In the previous chapter, verse 19, we see the dispersion: "I have scattered them amongst the heathen." The Lord there promises (in verses 20-24) a re-gathering of the whole nation, not for their sakes, but for His great Name's sake. (Vs. 33-35.) God promised that they would again dwell in cities, and the waste land would be builded, the desolate land would be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. Now, in Chap. 37, God says:—
21 Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.
Verses 23 to 26:—
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
26 Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them.
Speaking to them at this time, He says (Joel 2):—
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
It is now abundantly clear from these Scriptures that when we see the re-gathering of Israel, the condition of the land changing, the wastes being re-built, and the former and latter rain restored, it will then be the time for God to set up an everlasting kingdom.
Now, what do we see? For many centuries the Jews were dispersed among the heathen; homeless strangers; the former and the latter rain in Palestine was a thing unknown, the land was a barren waste, answering to the foregoing description of Joel. But in the year 1897, to the great surprise of everyone but students of prophecy, the former and latter rain began to return in the form of a mist, until to-day it has become the regular order of the season. Let me give an extract here from the writings of an expert long resident in Palestine:— "There is not a shadow of a doubt," he writes, "as to the entire change of the climate here (Palestine); former and latter rains are becoming the regular order of the seasons, and this is doubtless due physically to the fact that the new colonists are planting trees everywhere they settle. The land for thousands of years has been denuded of trees. Compare the rainfall! For the last five years we find there has been about as much rainfall in April as in October. Going back a little further, we find that the rainfall is considerably less in April than in October; and if we go back still further we find that rainfall in April was unknown." What has brought about this remarkable phenomenon? Certainly not the fact of planting trees; we know it is the finger of God moving. Bless His Name! Verse 24 says: "The floors shall be full of wheat." It was only the year before last that Palestine, that once barren land, yielded 100,000 tons of wheat. The Jewish Missionary Magazine gives the following figures:—1923, 73,000 tons of wheat; 1924, 92,000 tons; 1925, 100,000 tons. The Commercial Bulletin, published by the Department of Customs of the Government of Palestine, says:—"The present season (1926) in Palestine has furnished almost ideal conditions both for winter and summer crops." So from this we gather that conditions are still improving. Now, verse 28 of this chapter tells us: "It shall come to pass afterward." After what? The things described by the preceding verses; that is, the restoration of the natural seasons: "That I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. ... I will show wonders in the heavens and the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke . . . and it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." What happened in the year 1897? The former and the latter rain returned. In 1906, God started to pour out His Spirit in America. Simultaneously, He poured it out in England, India, the Islands of the Sea, Africa, and Australia; since then, the work has been going on by leaps and bounds; the greatest revival the world has ever seen, mingled with the mightiest salvations of history. Glory to God! And it is still on in full swing, thousands are being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and prepared for the glorious rapture. Hallelujah!
Then in quick succession followed the other events described in this chapter, "Blood!" Why, for the first time in the history of the world, men stood fighting knee-deep in the blood of their fellow-men. A Belgian officer, not so long ago, described to a friend of mine how they fought knee-deep in human blood in the trenches. "Fire!" For the first time in history men fought each other in the late war with curtains and barrages of liquid fire. "Vapors of smoke!" For the first time in human history, men fought each other with smoke, vapors and poisonous gases, and curtained the ships at sea and in the air behind smoke screens.
Now Chap. 3: 1: "Behold, in those days." Which days? The days just described, when the Spirit shall be falling, "and in that time," the prophet is here referring to a definite point of time, then future, and he names it: "When I shall bring again the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah. I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down in the valley of Jehosaphat." I ask, "Is God to-day taking back the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah? And are the nations preparing for this terrible onslaught in Palestine? Jews are streaming back to Palestine to-day at the rate of nearly a thousand a week. Let me give you some official figures. The Jewish Magazine states:—"The total immigration into Palestine in 1925, exclusive of tourists and visitors, was officially stated as 33,801, a figure nearly equal to the combined total for the four preceding years. The nett immigration for 1925 was 31,660. The total immigrants for 1926 were 50,000." Then it goes on to say, "In the historic valley of Jez-reel, a land considered uninhabitable a few years ago
 Good News, vol. 18, no. 4, April 1927
because of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, 12 flourishing agricultural colonies have been established. Where 20 colonies now occupy land in the valley of Esdraelon, a few years ago there were only malarial swamps and marshes. Hebrew universities and public libraries are erected, and the Hebrew language, which for 2000 years was only the language of the Bible, is once more spoken and taught." The question may be asked, "What has brought the sudden change and made the valley of Jezreel so prolific?" I will just here quote you a verse from Amos 1: 2: "The top of Mount Carmel shall wither." And I will now ask Brother Buchanan to relate to you what he has handled and seen. Brother Buchanan said:—"Late in the 18th century, Dr. Hertzl, who, like Nicodemus of old was a secret disciple of Jesus Christ, discovered from the study of the Old Testament prophecies that the time was about due for his people to return to Palestine. After a gigantic task he managed to interest the Jews of America enough to send delegates to Palestine to see if the country was fit for re-colonisation. After the said investigation, they returned to America crestfallen, with the statement that Palestine was nothing but a barren wilderness. More recently, however, the Zionist movement which was subsequently inaugurated, sent other delegates for further investigation, who, when they returned to America, said that a most wonderful phenomenon had taken place, so much so that the stones on the top of Carmel were melting into limestone, and, being thus washed down to the plain below, had made it most prolific. I, personally, had the privilege of verifying this statement, as I have handled some of the stones of Mt. Carmel, and, although hard and flinty on one side, you can wipe the other side off like lime."
Now there are just a few other important prophecies to be considered before we leave this subject. Verse 24 speaks of an overflowing of oil. Between Haifa and Jerusalem, large quantities of oil have been discovered. In the valley of the Euphrates the Moslem oil pines are yielding such fabulous quantities of oil that it has warranted the laying of an 850 mile pipe line to convey the oil; this has its outlet in the ancient harbor of Haifa, where England is now spending the sum of over a million pounds sterling improving and enlarging the port, making it suitable for modern shipping. This port, therefore, will serve as Palestine's gateway to the world for tourist traffic, and a greatly increased volume of foreign trade. It is also the gateway of that vast territory north and east of Palestine, Syria, Trans-jordania, and Iraq (or modern Babylon). This naturally has a great international significance from an economic standpoint. All foreign trade with regard to oil, which is such an essential commodity in these days, will practically be cut off. Then Isaiah (60: 5), speaking about the return of the Jew to his own land, says, "Then thou shalt see and flow together, and thine heart shall fear and be enlarged; for the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces (R.V., wealth) of the Gentiles shall come unto thee." It is just recently that they discovered in the Red Sea mineral wealth to the value of twelve billion pounds sterling. This mineral wealth is mostly potassium and its products, which form the basic principle for the manufacture of explosives; this completely cuts off Germany's monopoly of the world markets. Not only is the Jew going back to Palestine, but he is also taking his money there, and, as we all know, he has become the financier of the world; thus, not only from a prophetic point of view, but also from an economic viewpoint, is Palestine becoming a centre of international importance.
It is believed that the prophecies indicate that the antichrist will be a king of Babylon. They also indicate that he will become the head of a great European confederacy of at least ten nations. Naturally, it will be of extreme importance to him, therefore, to have free access between this portion of country and Western Europe through a Mediterranean seaport. Hence, the improving and extension of Haifa with British capital! A railway line is also essential, and it is from Haifa that a railway line runs eastward across the burning sands of the Syrian desert, except for a short distance in North Syria. This 600-mile span has been completed to Bagdad, capital of modern Babylon. Thus we see, in summing up, Palestine has become a centre of international importance from a political, economic, religious and prophetical standpoint. The great cry of the world is for raw material, and we find in Palestine practically those commodities which are greatest in demand to-day. Thus the covetous eyes of all the nations are turned upon this veritable mine of wealth.
GREAT NORTHERN CONFEDERACY.
We will now, in short, consider the Great Northern Confederacy, which, according to prophecy, is to be formed just at this time. Reverting back to Joel, where we left off (Chap. 3: 1), the prophet tells us very distinctly that at this time, when the Spirit is being poured out, and when God is bringing back the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah, verse 2: "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosaphat, and I will plead with them there (or sit in judgment) for my people, for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
I would like to say just here, that, seeing all these converging signs, makes me doubly sure that the movement to-day known as Pentecost, is indeed the beginning of the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh according to Joel 2: 28. Mr. D. M. Panton, B.A., who is a rigid opponent of present Pentecost, recognises a dual fulfilment of this prophecy, at the beginning and close of the Christian Dispensation, just before the second coming of Christ Jesus, and exactly as seen in Apostolic times with tongues and signs following. This present outpouring is so interwoven and interlocked with all the other predictions in the second and third chapters of Joel that it is surprising that men of his intellectual calibre cannot see that "this is that." (Acts 2: 16.) Possibly it is the old story over again! Men rely upon their natural discernment and adroitness rather than upon the sincerity of Biblical statement; and, allowing themselves to be ruled, instead of standing out for the truth of God's Word and letting the paltry verdicts of the puny minds of men fall to the ground, they think with the masses, act on regulation patterns, and accept the axioms and platitudes of society, which keep them from God's blessing. These verses distinctly tell us that, when this outpouring of the Spirit happens there will be a tremendous preparation for war: "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat." If we will carefully note Joel 2, verses 9 to 14, we will get a graphic description of what is going to take place in the near future:—
9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:
10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.
12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
13 Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow: for their wickedness Is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord Is near In the valley of decision.
(Cutting off or "death.") The next question is whether there are any movements amongst the nations of Europe to-day, pointing to the possibility of such a
 Good News, vol. 18, no. 4, April 1927
grim struggle in the valley of Jehoshaphat in the near future as is depicted in the above Scripture? Let the statesmen of the world speak for themselves:—
"A new chapter opens in the history of Europe and the world, with a climax of horror such as mankind has never yet witnessed."—Lloyd George.
"Airplanes, poisonous gasses, and hatred mixed together are spelling the doom of civilisation. America is preparing for war on a scale so colossal that it has no parallel in the history of the world. Our civilisation will perish unless we can strive for international peace." —Frank L. Libby.
"War is imminent on the continent of Europe."— Senator Borah.
The following is an editorial published by the Los Angeles "Times." It gives a faithful and honest description of the world to-day:—
"Unrest, overturnings, changes, uncertainties stalk darkly through many nations. Azrael broods over a world in travail.
"Before crushed endeavors and broken ideals the League of Nations falters.
"On four continents the dragon's teeth are sprouting sabres and bayonets. The hemispheres are bathed in the red blood of a setting sun. Civilisation halts and shudders on its onward march.
"China is disrupted. North opposes South. A Manchurian war-lord sits before the gates of Peking.
"The stagnant Orient stirs mutteringly against the encroachments of the advancing Occident.
"Convulsions of Nature thwart the building of the new Japan. Congested with man-power she frets inside confining walls.
"Under the whips of denationalised anarchists, one-sixth of the earth's land surface falls into decadence and disuse. The dark cloud of Russia dims the skyline of many lands.
"Mexico trembles on the brink of revolution or religious war. New war-clouds lower above the Balkans. "French mobs stone Americans and jeer at the traditional friendship of the nations, the while France is tottering toward bankruptcy and repudiation.
"England, saved from debacle only by a fortunate chance, is a cauldron of unrest, with a. stubborn coal strike paralysing her industrial ganglia.
"In the Far East the Philippines clamor for "independence," the while rival world powers wait to fall to blows over possession of the islands the moment they forsake the aegis of America.
"Religious riots are spilling blood in the streets of Calcutta. Hindus and Mohammedans, Brahmans, Buddhists, Parsees, and Aryans wait only for the lifting of the restraining "white" hand to fly at each other's throats.
"Earth's oldest city, Damascus, lies in ruins where overlords and underdogs have clashed. France turns from a Pyrrhic victory in Morocco to fresh conflict in Syria.
"Egypt elects an abettor of assassins to premiership at Cairo as a red rag to the British bull. In the southern half of the dark continent the menace of the colored races keeps Cape Town and Johannesburg isolated outposts of colonial imperialism.
"Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, and Portugal grasp at the straw of military dictatorship. European democracies fumble and fail before financial emergencies."
In the light of the foregoing it is clear that war is inevitable and imminent on the continent of Europe; no man, unless he is drunk with optimism, can deny that the whole world is about to be plunged into a spasm of unprecedented horrors, such as the world has never seen, or will ever see again. The cause of this last grim struggle is clearly revealed in the Word of God. Ezek. 38 and 39 make plain the cause. We gather from these two chapters an account of the closing scenes of this age, given with such clearness arid lucidity that it is almost superfluous to comment on it. It is clear that this new Combine of nations is envious of Jewish wealth, and they want to establish themselves in Palestine and the near East. In giving you the details of this new combine of nations, I do not think I can do better than quote from the concise writings of E. L. Langston, M.A. Commenting on the nations named in this chapter, he states, inter alia:—"Ezekiel 38 and 39 (R.V.) reveals very clearly the"• details of this new combine. As we read through the first 13 verses of Ezek. 38 we find it is a combine under a personality called the "Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal." "Rosh" is the ancient word for Russia, "Meshech" the old word for Moscow, and. "Tubal" for Tobolsk. Allied with this great leader are (verse 5), Persia, Abyssinia, Libya (part of the Sudan); (verse 6), "Gomer . . . and Togarmah." Who are these nations? Ethnologists tell us that "Gomer" may be the forefather of the Teutonic races, and Togarmah the forefather of the Turkish race; (verse 2), "Gog of the land of Magog." Magog refers to Armenia, or part of it. It is thought that "Gog and Magog" are the general names of the northern nations of Europe and Asia, or the district north of the Caucasus on Mount Touris, colonised by Gog or Magog, another of the sons of Japhet. Gen. 10: 2: "Gomer." (In Lange's commentary on Gen. 10: 3, we get the following remarks on Gomer: G.M.R. These radical letters are found extensively combined in the history and geography- of Europe, as though some early roving people had left the mark of their names from the Pontus on the Black Sea to Ireland: "G.M.R.," "K.M.R.," "G.R.M." Germanica, and may represent Germany.
Ezek. 37: 4, 38: 6 reads:—"Gomer and all his bands (wings or forces) the house of Togarmah of the north quarters and all His bands; and many peoples with thee." Togarmah is held to refer to North Armenia, though generally applied by Jewish writers to Turkey. Armenians are still said to be called "The House of Torgom.?' Some see Togarmah in the Turk or "Tartar." Togarmah is to be combined with Gog in the last war— "Armageddon." Allied with this great combine of nations we are told that there are many other nations unnamed, and we are inclined to think, comparing these passages with Armageddon in Revelation, that the Northern League of Nations calls to its aid many Asiatic nations who are interested in Palestine and the near East, e.g., Moslem powers. Now here we see clearly a military alliance between Russia, Germany, and the Asiatic and Moslem powers. Is there, to-day, any indication of such a combine?
I quote from the "Argus," Melbourne daily paper, May, 1926:—"Russo - German Treaty Negotiations Started. Military Alliance.' London, Wednesday:— 'Times' says it has excellent authority for stating that the German Government is negotiating with the Soviet for the conclusion of a treaty designed to adapt the terms of the Rapallo Treaty with those of the Locarno Pact. The Soviet has always regarded the Locarno Pact as a weapon directed against it, which could only be counteracted by a closer Russo-German rapprochement," says the "Times" correspondent of Berlin. "As regards the German side, it has for a long time been considered probable, especially in Nationalist circles, that the present loose relations must ultimately develope into a military union. Each move Russia makes toward stability, strengthens the tendency towards a Russo-German alliance. Naturally, the German Government has never admitted this policy, but there are plenty of indications that official Germany is keeping the line open to the East while pursuing the prescribed policy in the West."
(To be continued.)
© Southern Cross College, 2004