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TRACT NO. 14
WAR NEWS FORECAST
DIGEST OF NAHUM’S PREDICTION
When the chariots rage in the streets, when they jostle one against another in the broadways, when they speed like lightning, and glare like torches, in that day shall one who dashes in pieces prepare himself and come up before your face, O king of Assyria. He shall make you empty, void, and waste. Your heart shall melt, your knees shall smite together. There shall be much pain in your loins, and the faces of all shall gather blackness. Woe to your bloody city that is like Nineveh of old! for it is full of lies and of robbery; the prey departs not. The noise of the whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots, are in its midst.
Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace! that says, O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows, for the wicked shall no more pass through you, he is utterly cut off. For now will the Lord break the Assyrian yoke from off your neck, burst your bonds in sunder, and set you free.
God is slow to anger, and great in power. His way is in the whirlwind and in the storm. The clouds are the dust of His feet. He is jealous and will take vengeance on His adversaries. He is also a stronghold in the day of trouble, and knows them that trust in Him. But He will make an utter end of the wicked; darkness shall pursue His enemies. Affliction shall not rise up a second time.
* * *
Nahum beholds two great powers in conflict projected to a day when everything on wheels moves like “lightning.” Then by way of sharp contrast, he focuses attention on one who walks openly on the mountains, not obscurely in the valleys, and who publishes peace rather than war. He urges Judah to be faithful in order to effect that peace, assuring her that the wicked will no longer be in her midst, and that she will be set free from the Assyrian yoke. At the same time, he beholds God’s great power, His jealousy over His people and His vengeance on their enemies.
While envisioning the might of these two belligerent powers, Nahum at the same time envisions the liberation of the church from the Assyrian yoke, recorded in chapter 1, verses 12-15, and in chapter 2, verse 2; and also the vengeance of God recorded in chapter 1, verses 1-9. To facilitate the reader’s comprehension of these three all-inclusive aspects of this forecast, this tract deals separately with each.
Now then, who, specifically, are the actors in this dramatized forecast? Especially who, under the present or future set-up of nations could these two belligerents possibly be? And have they yet come to grips? If not, when are they destined to do so.
If we desire to know for a certainty the answers to these inevitable questions, we shall find them in---THE OUTLINE FOR ANALYSIS.
Two powers are seen rising in their might against each other. Indeed, the all-consuming concern of Nahum’s entire book, but three short chapters in all, centers in the preparation for this conflict, the conflict itself, and the titles of the powers involved.
The first clue to this solution is that the war preparation takes place when chariots with flaming torches “rage in the streets,…justle one against another in the broad ways,” and “run like the lightnings,” Nah. 2:3, 4. It is self-evident that these preparations are made when the thoroughfares of city and countryside are congested with vehicular traffic.
The second clue is that the conflict itself takes place when mechanized power is developed to such a degree that vehicles are driven at a speed which seems lightning-like.
The war itself, consequently, is to be fought by mechanized armies.
The third clue is that the one power, being called “Assyria,” has a hereditary title, which reveals that it is the modern counterpart of the once widespread empire of ancient Assyria even as modern Babylon of Revelation 17, verse 5, is the modern counterpart of ancient Babylon, and as “spiritual Egypt” of Revelation 11, verse 8, is the modern counterpart of ancient Egypt. (See The Great Controversy, pp. 269, 270.) All of these counterparts, then, are but another Scriptural intimation, and confirmation, of the age-old truth that history repeats itself, and on much broader scale than in the original.
“We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth.” – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 116.
The clincher is that the other power, “He that dasheth in pieces,” has an acquired title earned by virtue of his exploits. Manifestly, therefore, it designates a nation that is headed by a ruler of no royal line, but of anomalous character and unprecedented might, whose military genius scatters and destroys all who dare oppose him.
Regardless of whether this four-way key discloses these two camps to be the “Axis” and the “United Nations” today, one’s only safety from being caught and ruined sooner or later in this predicted struggle, is to follow strictly the path which God has prophetically mapped out. Indeed, the prophecies are given for no other reason than to illumine the traveler’s steps to safety. “…through knowledge shall the just be delivered.” Prov. 11:9.
Now with key in hand, we shall be able to unlock the mystery, beginning with---THE BELLIGERENTS’ STRUGGLE Nahum, Chapter One
VERSES 10, 11. “For while they be folden together as thorns [united with others to protect themselves], and while they are drunken as drunkards [filled with theory], they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry [as when fire sweeps through it]. There is one come out of thee [out of a nation characterized by ancient Assyria], that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor.”
In the light of these passages, it becomes clear from the outset that though “Assyria” is armed and allied with other strong nations (“folden together as thorns”), yet neither her armament nor her alliance will save her. For having become drunken as a drunkard, and having received wicked counsel of one that has come out of her, she shall “be devoured as stubble fully dry.” “Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he [that dasheth in pieces] shall pass through.” Verse 12, first part.
VERSE 1. “He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.”
Coming face to face with the might of him “that dasheth in pieces,” Assyria is driven furiously to fortify herself. And though in addition to her fortifications, her allied strength numerically is greater than the allied strength of him “that dasheth in pieces” (if indeed he be allied at all), yet even his very title indicates that against his might all the Assyrian “strong holds shall be like fig trees with the first-ripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.” Nah. 3:12.
VERSE 3. “The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.”
Very evident it is that this aggressor power who “dasheth in pieces,” girds himself for war in the day when the chariots have such blazing lights (powerful electric headlights) that they resemble “flaming torches”! In the day of this phenomenon, “the fir trees [the great rulers of earth – Ezek. 31:1-14] shall be terribly shaken.”
VERSE 4. “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.”
Again, there is no escaping the conclusion that these two powers plunge into war with each other at a time when everything vehicular is geared to unprecedented speed, and that their feverish preparations for combat must therefore include an intensified implementing of their fighting forces with fast-moving “chariots.” Daniel also, was told that in “the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Dan. 12:4.
Since the setting for this deadly clash is in a day of advanced mechanization, it could not have been World War I, because the preparation for that conflagration was in process when the machine age was but in its infancy. Even when the war was on, the chariots were too few, too feeble, and too slow to jostle one against another in the manner envisioned. To fulfill the prediction, these two powers must prepare when the chariots are many and mighty and fast, as they are today.
This is not to say that the former World War is excluded from prophecy, but simply that an entirely different Scriptural background is given for it. The Saviour Himself predicted with terrible exactness that fearful conflict climaxing nineteen centuries of wars and rumors of wars, when He declared: “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matt. 24:7, 8.
Indeed then (1914-1918), for the first time since the dawn of history, the nations and the kingdoms rose against each other, famine stalked the war-ravaged countries, the death’s- head of pestilence followed after, and earthquakes in quick succession flung abroad their devastation to heap higher the woes of mankind. All these calamities but led up to World War II, the most terrible one of all time. Truly, indeed the sorrows of World War I did signalize only the beginning of sorrows!
VERSES 5-8. “He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk [that is, though he exults in them, they, too, nevertheless, shall fall]; they shall make haste to the wall [fortress] thereof, and the defense [by Assyria] shall be prepared. The gates of the rivers [nevertheless] shall be opened and the [Assyrian’s] palace shall be dissolved. And Huzzab [of Assyria] shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids [nations under her rule] shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts. But Nineveh[the capital city] is of old like a pool of water: yet they [her citizens] shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.”
Unlike flowing or undulating waters, water in a pool stands still. But in this instance, the waters (peoples) in the capital city of the present-day “Assyrians,” contrary to all expectations and their fighting tradition, flee away. And even when they hear the command to stand, they shall be so anxious to get out of the way of him “that dasheth in pieces” that they shall not dare look back.
Hence, to him “that dasheth in pieces,” the command is: “Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.” Nah. 2:9.
Subsequent to giving this command to despoil Assyria, the Lord turns to the “bloody city” and pronounces upon her the resulting doom:
VERSES 10-13. “She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness. Where is the dwelling of the lions [the kings’ palaces], and the feeding-place of the young lions [the dominion of his princes], where the lion, even the old lion [the head king] walked, and the lion’s whelp [the king’s son], and none made them afraid? The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses [queens], and filled his holes with prey, and his dens [treasuries] with ravin [riches].
“Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.”
VERSES 1-19: “Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; the noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses; because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
“Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock. And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee? Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
“Thou [Assyria] also shalt be drunken; thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy. All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater. Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars. Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln [the manufacturing plants]. There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away. Thy crowned [under-lords] are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are [they are lovers of ease and of pleasure]. Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous; all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?”
Nevertheless, “at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” Jer. 18:7, 8.
Seeing that the Lord is about to humiliate “Assyria” for her own good, but that He would forbear doing so if only she would repent as did Nineveh of old at Jonah’s warning, obviously this Forecast is published to benefit not the church alone but “Assyria” and her allies also, and even their enemy.
Nevertheless, if these belligerents will not voluntarily awaken to the fact that Destiny is not in their own hands but in the mighty hands of the Infinite and Omnipotent God, then will He bring them involuntarily to that realization, and spare only their God-fearing citizens, as He declares:
“In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance.” Isa. 19:23-25.
Thus in His infinite mercy would the Lord lift “the burden of Nineveh” today, even as He did in the ancient day. Indeed, it is for “a blessing in the midst of the land,” even to all nations, that He is to effect---THE CHURCH’S LIBERATION FROM “ASSYRIAN” YOKE.
CHAPTER 1, VERSES 12, 13. “Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.”
This person (“thee”) whom the Lord has already chastened, obviously cannot be the Assyrian king or nation aforementioned, because the Lord is delivering this one, while He is beating the Assyrians to their knees at the hands of him “that dasheth in pieces.” Just who this third character (“thee”) here introduced may be, is immediately established by Isaiah in his correlative prophecy concerning this same Assyria:
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” declares the prophet, “that his [Assyria’s] burden shall be taken away from off thy [Judah’s] shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” Isa. 10:27.
Immediately we see that in the revealing light of this scripture, the one (“thee”) who, in both cases, is set free in the time of Assyria’s fall, proves to be the church (Judah) liberated from Gentile (Assyrian) rule. Conclusively, therefore, Isaiah clarifies Nahum’s prophecy as referring to the church’s liberation from the last-day Assyrian yoke. The fact, though, that the church, as Nahum says, is not only to be relieved from affliction and freed from bondage but is also to be sentenced to death (Nah. 1:14), creates a paradox! Inspiration, however, quickly clears it, again through Isaiah. Speaking of the church, he declares:
“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.” Isa. 65:15.
Plainly, therefore, in the time when Assyria crumbles, the Lord is to perform a dual work among His professed people, some of whom will be made free because of their faithfulness, and some of whom will be slain because of their wickedness. The delivered ones will then be called by another name.
The time of this “work” is termed “harvest.” Matt. 13:30. Therefore, up to this separation, the tares (those who are to be slain) and the wheat (those who are to be delivered) together comprise the membership of Laodicea (the last of the seven churches – Rev. 3:14-18), the church just before the “tares” are forever separated from the “wheat” (Matt. 13:30). Very obviously, then, the penitent Laodiceans are separated from the impenitent ones during Assyria’s fall, and then are liberated from her rule.
VERSE 14. “And the Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.”
Thus, at this time, forever perishes the idolater and his idols.
A detailed demonstration of this purification of the church is projected in Ezekiel’s prophecy. There the Lord commands him who records the life history, the angel with the writer’s inkhorn, to go through the city and to set a mark (seal) on those only who sigh and cry for the abominations that are therein. Then five others go after him to slay all who have not the mark. (See Ezekiel 9; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266, and Vol. 5, p. 211.)
“The city” is figurative of Judah and Israel, the church in which are to be found the 144,000 servants of God (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445) those who are to be called by another name after the unworthy servants are slain. And as the 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) of the harvest, they are the “escaped” of the Isaiah 66:19 and of Ezekiel 9. This separation of the tares from the wheat in the church is to signalize the beginning of the final harvest of earth – the end of the world. Then will have come the time for the denominational name to cease, for all her idols to be cut off, and for a new name (Isa. 62:2) to be given to those who escape. Then will these escaped ones proclaim God’s glory and His fame to the Gentiles, and bring out of all nations all their brethren (all that will be saved) to “the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:16, 19, 20.
For such judgment to be averted, the entire church will have to repent of her erroneous thinking, begin to feel discomfort in her lukewarmness, become either cold or hot (dissatisfied), and emptied of self and filled with the Spirit. (Rev. 3:14-18).
VERSE 15. “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”
The term, “Judah,” attaches to the Christian church not only because of antitypical significance but also because of hereditary factor. This will be seen as we review Judah’s history:
The ten tribes (the Kingdom of Israel) were by ancient Assyria dispersed throughout the cities of the Medes, and assimilated by the Gentiles of that day, but it was not until years later that the two tribes (the Kingdom of Judah) were carried into Babylon, remaining there until the expiration of the seventy years of Jeremiah’s prophecy, then returning to their homeland. Thus it was only the descendants of the Kingdom of Judah who became so unfaithful that they rejected and crucified the Lord. But the faithful from among them accepted Him, and became the Christians, the founding members of the New Testament church. The church herself therefore, is the daughter of the Kingdom of Judah. Hence she is appropriately still called Judah.
While she is by virtue of parentage, faithfulness, and purity (absence of tares) entitled to be called “Judah,” still because of their last-day lukewarmness and the resultant infiltration of “tares” into her membership, she is, of necessity, additionally termed “Laodicea.”
Applying the “eyesalve” (Rev. 3:18), they shall “behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!” And beholding Him, they shall accept His message and know the truth and the truth shall make them free, and shall save them from being spued out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).
Therefore, only as they awake and give heed to the voice of the True Witness, and turn their steps toward the gates of the Kingdom, may they ever hope to participate in the divine eventuality: “O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”
Here in prophetic utterance is not only a promise to purify the church when modern Assyria is being crushed, but also a suggestive statement as to what constitutes “meat in due season” for men today; and as to what movement they are to enlist in if they would make sure of salvation. They are enjoined to fix their vision upon the feet of him who brings “good tidings” (message from the Lord), who publishes “peace” (the peace of Christ’s Kingdom), and who declares that while the powers of earth are engulfed in a gigantic war, the wicked in the church shall be cut off, no more to pass through her. Specifically, the prophet exhorts all penitently to turn unto the house of Judah (the latter-day Kingdom of Judah – Mic. 4; Ezek. 37:16-22), the church in the purification of which are to be sealed 12,000 out of each of the 12 tribes, as firstfruits.And he urges the subjects of the kingdom to perform their religious duties and to keep their promises to the Lord. In short, he admonishes them to give heed to the message of the hour – the message which announces the imminence of the church’s purification, after which, as the promise is, “the wicked shall no more pass through” her, for “he is utterly cut off.” (See also Matt. 13:30, 47-50, Isa. 66:16, 19, 20).
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” Jer. 23:5-8.
The only way for the “angel” of Laodicea (upon whom is the condemnation of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” and yet satisfied) to enter into this glorious kingdom, is for him voluntarily to yield the reins of control over the church, as he sees the Lord Himself taking them into His Own hands (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300). Arouse, therefore, O “angel” of the Laodiceans, to Heaven’s stirring cry:
“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Isa. 52:1, 2, 8.
If the present World War is the one predicted by Nahum, and if the sealing or marking of the “servants of God” is to be completed without the angels’ having again to tighten their hold on the winds (Rev. 7:1, Early Writings, p. 38), then the time to restore the excellency of Jacob and of Israel is at hand. At long last has come the hour for Zion’s deliverance from Gentile bondage, and for her children to return to the land of their fathers (Ezek. 36:23-38), the vineyard of the Lord of hosts. So let her stand ready and eager, awaiting her Lord’s order to start marching thitherward.
It is at this time that Assyria falls, the reason being:
CHAPTER 2, VERSE 2. “For the Lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.”
Having already (through the emptiers) chastened His people, the Lord will chasten them no more, but will now free them.
Sharing with the nations the guilt for marring the branches of His vineyard (His Kingdom), this modern Assyria must now share in the divine retribution while God is taking His people back to their own land. Inferentially, with the fall of the “Assyrians” (the Gentiles in possession of the Promised Land), “the time of the Gentiles” is fulfilled (Luke 21:24).
Looking forward to this time of deliverance the angel explained to Daniel: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” Isa. 27:13.
Glorious promise! Is your heart set upon it Brother, Sister? Then without delay respond to the divine injunction: “Turn ye unto Him from Whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword not of a mighty man, and the sword, not of a mean man; shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.” Isa. 31:6-9.
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Dan. 12:10.
Nahum makes clear that in this conflict God interposes against Assyria, and that as a result she is unable to withstand him who “dasheth in pieces.” Having set Himself to humble her, He therefore strengthens the arms of her enemy. Accordingly, Assyria falls, not because she is weak and small nor because she is out-numbered and out-matched, but because God’s purpose determines her downfall. In other words, the coalition which may have the greater resources and man-power, and which from the human point of view may seem sure to win, is in this case sure to lose.
Such is the ironic pattern of history. Always has God visited judgment upon enlightened nations or peoples who have become so self-righteous and self-sufficient that their lights have gone out and their works become wicked and hypocritical. Ever has He punished them by the sword of the unenlightened and outright wicked barbarian. This He does for two reasons: first, that they might see the folly of professing themselves to be a righteous people, when they are in fact worse than barbarians; and second, that while these hypocritical ones are thereby led to repent, their conquerors may thereby be led to see that their victory is not of their own strength. Thus both victor and vanquished are brought to a place where they may surrender to God and give glory to Him.
After defeating Ancient Babylon, Cyrus, a barbarian, found that his victory and even his name had been recorded in sacred prophecy years before he was born (Isa. 44:28; 45:1-4). Whereupon “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he make a proclamation throughout all his kingdom…. Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth let the men of his place help him with silver and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem…. “Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:1-4, 7-11.
At the same time, those whom Cyrus freed from the Chaldean captivity, knew that God had wrought their deliverance. Hence, “the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, and offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is at Jerusalem; as it is written in the book of Moses. And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the Lord God of Israel, did eat, and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy.” Ezra 6:16-22.
That “Assyria” and her allies, folded together as thorns, might today learn this same lesson, God permits them to become robbed and spoiled. Then, that they may be healed of their ailment, the Lord through Isaiah gives---THE BACKGROUND OF THEIR PLIGHT, AND THE DIETETIC CURE.
ISAIAH, CHAPTER 7, VERSES 1-16. “And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind….
“Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. For the head of Syria is Damascus [not heaven], and the head of Damascus is Rezin [not the Lord]; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim [the ten-tribe kingdom] be broken, that it be not a people. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria [not heaven], and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son [not the Lord]. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.
“Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land [Syria and Israel] that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings [Rezin and Pekah].”
ISAIAH, CHAPTER 8, VERSES 1-8. “Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
“The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, Forasmuch as this people [Israel] refuseth the waters of Shiloah [the protective host of heaven] that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son [glory in their national government]; now therefore, behold the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of Thy land, O Immanuel.”
That is, though ancient Judah was not to suffer defeat by the confederacy of Israel and Syria, she was, nevertheless, also to be brought under tribute to ancient Assyria. And, as we shall see, the spirit of this confederacy did not end with that of ancient Israel and Syria.
The high points of this confederacy, some of which are still unfulfilled, fall into sequence thusly:
- The overthrow of both ancient Israel and Syria by ancient Assyria, as a divine judgment especially upon Israel for confederating against her own brethren, the kingdom of Judah (Isa. 7:2-9).
- The birth of a man-child (Immanuel) to a virgin, for “a sign” to “the house of David” (Isa. 7: 13, 14).
- The birth of a son (Maher-shalal-hash-baz) to the prophet himself, “for signs and for wonders” in Israel (Isa. 8:18).
- The overthrow of Israel to occur before Immanuel could learn to differentiate evil from good, and before Maher-shalal-hash-baz could say “my father, and my mother” (Isa. 7:16; 8:4).
In amplification of this cluster of events, several facts stand out in unmistakable self-interpretation: (1) “Immanuel,” by virtue of his virgin birth and his name,
“God with us” (Matt. 1:23), can only be Christ with us. (2) He was born for a sign that the unholy alliance between Israel and Syria was to come to naught. (3) The lands, Israel and Syria, which Judah abhorred, were to be forsaken of both their kings – conquered by the king of Assyria – before Immanuel was to be able to refuse evil and choose good, and before Maher-shalal-hash-baz was to be able to say “my father and my mother.”
But the simple historical fact that these two kingdoms were overthrown centuries before Immanuel was even born, brings a time-discrepancy which can be reconciled only by the conclusion that all four nations (Judah, Israel, Syria, and Assyria) involved in this historical action, were typical of four others that were to arise sometime following Immanuel’s birth; for after His birth, Israel and Syria were to be conquered by Assyria.
Necessarily, then, there must be found in the Christian dispensation a backslidden Christian power (Israel) confederated with a pagan one (Syria), to the end of assimilating or annihilating the orthodox Christians (Judah). And the only such confederacy in the Christian era was the unholy union of Church and State which ruled during the Dark Ages, and which sought the destruction of the “born again,” who refused to depart from the Apostolic faith and submit to a Christian-Pagan (Israel-Syrian) confederacy.
Foretelling, to Daniel, the work of this wicked power, the angel declared: “And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Dan. 7:25. As a natural consequence, therefore, the type, ancient Assyria, finds its “double” in the power which in the Middle Ages broke up that church-state union. And as that union was dissolved by the present Protestant nations, the conclusion inescapably follows that modern Assyria reaches down to our day, thus certifying the fact that Isaiah’s prophecy is correlative with Nahum’s.
But since ancient Assyria overthrew the Israelite-Syrian confederacy centuries before Immanuel was born, and since modern Assyria overthrew the church-state alliance of the Middle Ages centuries after He was born, logic demands that as Syria, Judah, Israel, and Assyria are types, so also Immanuel must be. Wherefore, the virgin-birth prophecy does not refer alone to the birth of Christ, but even more significantly to His followers – the birth and development of Christendom. Correspondingly, Maher-shalal-hash-baz must be symbolical of another group in the Christian era. And as he knows only to say “my father, and my mother,” while Immanuel (Christ in the person of His people) knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, Maher-shalal-hash-baz manifestly cannot symbolize any who lived before Immanuel.
Still further, the fact that both were to be born into Judah (the church), one of the Spirit and the other of the flesh, is conclusive evidence of their being, as the prophet says, for “wonders” and for “signs” of two classes of church members, living at the same time.
Having been pre-existent with His Father (Heb. 1:1, 2; John 1:1, 2), and then having been re-born in Bethlehem, Immanuel manifestly represents the “born again” Christians (John 3 :3); whereas never having been pre-existent, Maher-shalal-hash-baz can only symbolize those not “born again” – that part of the church membership which cannot be represented by Immanuel. A parallel is found in the allegory of Ishmael and Isaac, typifying the “born after the flesh” and the “born after the Spirit” – the non-Christian Jew and the Christian Jew. (See Galatians 4:22-31.)
In the clear focus of these facts, there comes to light the truth that the “born again” Christians who lived when Ecclesiastical Rome fell, and who are represented by Immanuel, were spiritually too “young,” not far enough along in time and corresponding Bible knowledge and spiritual progress, to discriminate the evil from the good. Consequently, they must attain to this knowledge in the Assyrian (Protestant) period, for the confederacy of Israel and Syria, let us remember, was to be broken by Assyria after Immanuel was born but before He could “refuse the evil and choose the good”; and not only after Maher-shalal-hash-baz was born but also before he could say “my father and my mother.” And the fact that the church is still imperfect, shows that even the “born again” Christians are to this day unable to choose consistently between good and evil, and that those who are merely born after the flesh are so undeveloped as to be unable even to lay positive claim to knowing their father (God) and their mother (the Church).
“young,” not far enough along in time and corresponding Bible knowledge and spiritual progress, to discriminate the evil from the good. Consequently, they must attain to this knowledge in the Assyrian (Protestant) period, for the confederacy of Israel and Syria, let us remember, was to be broken by Assyria after Immanuel was born but before He could “refuse the evil and choose the good”; and not only after Maher-shalal-hash-baz was born but also before he could say “my father and my mother.” And the fact that the church is still imperfect, shows that even the “born again” Christians are to this day unable to choose consistently between good and evil, and that those who are merely born after the flesh are so undeveloped as to be unable even to lay positive claim to knowing their father (God) and their mother (the Church).
The obvious lesson is that at the time one is converted (born again) to Christ, he is but a babe in the Christian life, and needs for the time being to be fed, as a new born babe, on the “sincere milk of the Word,” that he “may grow thereby.” 1 Pet. 2:2.
Through the apostle Paul, Inspiration interprets this milk to be “the first principles of the oracles of God.” Heb. 5:12. And through Isaiah, It asks: “Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?” Then, answering Its own questions, It declares: “Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” Isa. 28:9.
But the main lesson of Isaiah, chapters 7 and 8, teaches that the church collectively, born in the first century A.D., is today about to pass from her childhood and be fed “strong meat” so as to empower her to choose the good and refuse the evil. “For every one that useth milk,” Inspiration declares, “is unskillful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Heb. 5:13, 14. Obviously, as time progresses, so the Truth and the Christian advance commensurately with it.
Having fed on “milk” only – on the simple, elementary revelations of the Word – through the long years of her infancy and childhood, the church has finally come to the stage where she must take “strong meat” also – the advanced, latter day revelations of the Word .
This becomes all the more obvious as we consider that when “Assyria” in the Middle Ages dealt the deadly blow to the church-state union of that day, neither Maher-shalal-hash-baz, the flesh-born Christian, nor Immanuel, the Spirit-born Christian, were mature enough, as we have seen, to “refuse the evil and choose the good.” Now, though, they must be coming into full maturity, for not only have many years passed since the Assyrian dealt the blow to the church-state union, but also has come the time for Assyria, herself, to fall. Besides that, the “strong meat,” too, is already here.
Christian, were mature enough, as we have seen, to “refuse the evil and choose the good.” Now, though, they must be coming into full maturity, for not only have many years passed since the Assyrian dealt the blow to the church-state union, but also has come the time for Assyria, herself, to fall. Besides that, the “strong meat,” too, is already here.
Unquestionably the time has come for all church members to realize that they are now passing from Christian childhood into Christian maturity, and should, therefore, no longer try to reach the stature of the full grown by continuing to feed on the food of babes. Hence each one, even the younger members (the born after the flesh), can now be enabled to recognize their spiritual parents, so as intelligently to say, “my Father and my Mother”: for to know their God aright through the Son, and to know their church aright through timely Truth, is what brings life eternal. And as each assimilates the “strong meat,” he will thereby become wise and strong “to refuse the evil and choose the good.”
Of necessity, therefore, the “special work” for the church, predicted in The Great Controversy, page 425, has been ordained to bring every honest member to Christian maturity.
Accordingly, also the two foods which Immanuel was to eat in order to “refuse the evil, and choose the good” must be symbolical; for butter and honey in themselves possess no virtue or efficacy to transmit moral discernment, vitalize the will, and purify the heart. Besides, He ate of all lawful foods in general (Matt. 11:19). These two points therefore witness that the “butter and honey”, are symbolical of the Scriptures unfolded – “meat in due season,” – the only food that gives one the knowledge and the will to do right instead of wrong. Thus Christ said: “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” John 4:32. Hence, the Christian who would truly know his God and his church in order to be emptied of evil and be filled with the good, must now feed on Present Truth, – the progressive Truth of the living Word revealed through Inspiration. (For the interpretation of the remainder of Isaiah seven, see our Tract No. 6.)
As one sinks the shaft deeper into the mine of Truth, he finds that when Inspiration makes grass figurative of the people, It accordingly makes “rain” figurative of their spiritual nourishment, timely Truth. Thus when the terms grass, wheat, or corn are employed to designate the people in the latter days, then the spiritual food necessary to bring them to their full Christian stature is appropriately termed “latter rain” (Zech. 10:1). And to show that it is for the uplifting of humanity, Joel gives it personification in the term, “teacher of righteousness” (Joel 2:23, margin).
In this advanced light, we see that the latter rain (Joel 2:23) and the latter pentecost (Joel 2:28) are two distinctly separate and successive but intimately related manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
The one gift is a special truth, “a teacher of righteousness,” arousing the church from her Laodiceanism and fitting her members for the final gospel work in all the world. Foreseeing them actively engaged in this work, the Spirit of Truth declares: “All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them…. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’ ” – Early Writings, p. 271.
The other gift is a special power, transmitting to each recipient the dynamic virtue of a seer, enabling them to proclaim the special truth to all the world. “I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power,” continues the Spirit of Prophecy. “It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it.” – Ibid.
The special truth, or knowledge of the Scriptures, is obtained as a result of praying, “hungering and thirsting,” for it at the right time (Zech. 10:1). Then “the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel.” – Id., p. 86. Thus while the gift of the latter rain – the additional message – gives power and force to the old message, the gift of the latter pentecost – the addition of the Spirit’s power – subsequently gives power and force to the latter day messengers. This miracle-working power, accordingly, comes not because of praying for it, but because the messengers, through the latter rain, have met the conditions for receiving it.
Uninformed human beings as we are though, we determine to get the special power instead of the special knowledge, which alone will enable us to use the power aright. So we find men praying out of season, ignorantly or presumptuously, for that which they are not asked to pray for, and not praying for that which is in season, and for which they are admonished to pray!
“ ‘Light is sown for the righteous.’ And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure.” – The Great Controversy, p. 522.
For God to give the pentecostal power to one before he comes to full spiritual growth, would be as injudicious as for a State Board to give a physician’s license to a medical student before he earns his doctor’s degree! And should the Lord invest us with the miracle-working power, the experience which we desire, before He endues us with the miracle knowledge of the Scriptures, which we need, He would thereby be doing us no more favor than would the state in issuing a driver’s license to any and all applicants regardless of their qualifications to drive an automobile. Both being injudicious acts, they could, of course, but result in casualty to one’s self and to others.
This is why those who seek the miracle power of the Spirit, while not themselves men with miraculous knowledge of the Bible, obtain either nothing or a fatal counterfeit; whereas those who seek to know themselves and the Truth, are filled with knowledge beyond their expectation. And having learned what they actually are, and what they ought to be, they too, like Isaiah and Paul (Isa. 6:5; Rom. 7:22, 23), become humble in their own estimation but powerful and faithful servants in the Lord’s vineyard.
Hence, by the timely unfoldment of these simple yet profound figures, no one should now fail to recognize the signs of the time, and no one should now cheat himself of the Truth they proffer. For, It alone can fit the saints for the pentecostal power, as says the Lord: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophecy your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
No longer wait, therefore, but now “ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zech. 10:1; Joel 2:28.
The urgent lesson here to be learned is that those who are ever-progressing, keeping pace with the march of Truth, are the only real Christians. And though even the most advanced of these have not yet reached the high standard (the full growth) set for them by the Lord, yet Inspiration in this latest feast of butter and honey (the latter rain), proffers character-building material to all. As a result of this, thousands of faithful ones at first (Rev. 7:3-8; 14:1, 5) and millions at last (Rev. 7:9; Mic. 4:1-3; Isa. 60:5, 6) will having finally matured for harvest, actually achieve the Lord’s standard, and come “in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:13. What a bountiful harvest of full grown Christians to be garnered in!
VERSES 9, 10. “Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces…. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.”
The statement, “God is with us,” implies that He is not with the nations that are affiliating themselves for mutual protection, and that therefore they shall be broken, whereas His followers shall then be delivered. Nevertheless, for God to be “with us” in this special sense, we must of course make a special effort to be with Him. And to do this, we must sincerely study His way and follow joyously in His stately steps, which lead us to a full knowledge of the prophetic mysteries, enabling us to avoid the pitfalls, and to stand though all others fall. So, following on to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we continue our inquiry into Isaiah’s prophecy.
VERSES 11-22. “For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary [to the followers of the truth]; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel; for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem [even as He was at His first advent]. And many [therefore] among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples [followers in truth]. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him. Behold [it is now plain to see], I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you [to the ‘sealed’ ones], Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law [Ex. 20:3-17] and to the testimony [Rev. 19:10]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. And they [those in darkness] shall pass through it hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves [of famine], and [some shall] curse their king and their God, and [some shall] look upward [and be converted]. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they [the rejecters of the latter rain] shall be driven to darkness” in the day of---THE POWER WHICH DESTROYS THE WICKED AND DELIVERS THE RIGHTEOUS.
NAHUM, CHAPTER 1, VERSES 1-9: “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth; and is furious [for His enemies have destroyed His vineyard]; the Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm [whereas the aircraft of the nations do not], and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers [but men and their ships go down therein to rise no more] Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire and the rocks are thrown down by Him. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him. But with an overrunning flood He will make an utter end of the place thereof [the place of the wicked], and darkness shall pursue His enemies. What do ye imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time [because the wicked are cut off, and His Kingdom now stands forever]."
From the glorious supply house from which Immanuel received butter and honey long ago, the Spirit of Truth is herewith seen ladling out its soul-nourishing food more lavishly than ever before. May everyone who so freely receives, not only lift his heart in thanks to the Great Giver of all good gifts, “the Father of lights,” but also freely give his best efforts to cooperate with the Comforter Who has come, by freely---GIVING TO ALL WHO ASK.
Finally, to create greater appetite for more “butter and honey” (lest we fail to recognize the latter rain as it falls in great drops all around us for the final harvest – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 507), or, in other words, to implement a thorough study of this all-important revelation, the publishers of this booklet will present a gift set (*–See p. 55) of Present-Truth publications to everyone who submits an idea, correct or incorrect, as to which one of the nations is the “Assyria” of today and who “he” is “that dasheth in pieces;” also as to when the clash of these two mortal enemies takes place. The set is composed of a series of thirteen booklets, aggregating 1000 pages, containing many long-sealed prophetic mysteries now unfolded – the “strong meat.” Those who already have this thirteen-piece set, may upon request receive free of charge (*See p. 55) a valuable new three-piece companion set of special Present Truth publications. “…for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.” Isa. 7:22.
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Now that the heavenly watchman has done his part, there remains but for those addressed to do theirs – assume their---PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
“Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman sees the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou doest not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezek. 33:2-9.
“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.” Ezek. 33:11-16.
To you who take heed to this timely warning, will come this glorious reward:
“And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for; upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isa. 4:3-6.
But to you who do not take heed to this warning, “thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.” Isa. 3:25
Time and chance are still the most trustworthy witnesses, as well as the best disclosers of mysteries. They now give the answers to the questions: Which one of the nations is “Assyria” of today? Who is “he that dasheth in pieces”? When does the clash of these two mortal enemies take place (p. 47.)?
Now that considerable time has passed since this tract came off the press (4 years), and since many important events have shaped themselves to maturity since then, our readers of advancing Truth are doubtless now in a more favorable position to see the truth even more clearly and more realistically than before. Hence, for the benefit of all, we are adding these paragraphs. They express the Tract’s view on the subject as time and events are now able to exhibit.
The trend of World War II leaves no doubt that it is the one foretold by the prophet Nahum. This is made manifest by several facts:
Inspiration makes clear that Nahum’s war is fought in the time the chariots rage in the streets, while they justle one against another in the broad ways, while they seem like torches and run like the lightnings, in our day (Nah. 2:4).
The prophet, moreover, states that after the one that “dasheth in pieces” (Nah. 2:1) comes up before Assyria’s face, then it is that Assyria makes her “loins strong,” fortifies her “power mightily” (Nah. 2:1) – which, as the whole world knows, is just what took place when Hitler came against the allies: The allies, being unprepared to fight Hitler when he started dashing in pieces, they necessarily fortified their power mightily after the war began. All these facts prove that World War II is the war prophesied by Nahum, and that Hitler is the one that “dasheth in pieces.”
Though Nahum predicts the “fall of Assyria” in connection with “he that dasheth in pieces,” it does not say that he that dashes in pieces is himself to finish off Assyria, as one would naturally be inclined to conclude. It is now seen, though, that he that dasheth in pieces, himself was only to break or cause to be broken in pieces not only the allied nations, but his own nation, too. In fact, the prophecy says that “his worthies” (the worthies of the one that dasheth in pieces), were not to win, but that they were to “stumble in their walk,” stumble while on their march to victory (Nah. 2:5).And what happened in Hitler’s armies? – They stumbled while endeavoring to defeat Russia.
After Nahum 2:5 there is no more mention of him that dasheth in pieces, showing that he is out of the way. Add to this fact the truth that the war has split the whole world – practically all nations and peoples – into opposing chips of all sizes, and we have solid anchors to the proof that World War II is Nahum’s war, and that Hitler is the one whom inspiration entitled “he that dasheth in pieces.” Indeed, he divided the nations and peoples so that so far no one has been able to weld them together.
Furthermore, by the outcome of the war, England actually has not won. Yes, she has lost far beyond what she would have lost had she let Hitler have what he wanted in the first place – only a part of Poland.
Then too, the defeat of Japan and of Germany has by no means ended the war. It has only deepened the international deadly wound. Thus the possibilities of fulfilling every phase of truth contained in Tract No. 14, WAR NEWS FORECAST, are now brighter than before. As far as Inspiration is concerned, World War II has not ended.
This in itself is evidence enough that the world now, during this period of international unrest such as it has never before had – unrest that is caused by every existing element – is to give birth to something. As so far as we see it now, all the things of which we read in Tracts No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and No. 14, War News Forecast seem to be on the way to quick fulfillment.
“they shall seem like torches"
“they shall run like the lightnings”