Matthew Chapter 24
VERSE 29 continued, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
In our Lord's prophecy these true star-lights (mentioned in our previews post) are reckoned in as part of the Gospel Sunlight, darkened, withdrawn from shining; while the false stars, the worldly-wise, man-ordained lights of the present heavens are represented as making a great display in coming down (falling from heaven) to earthly conditions-- abandoning their once somewhat spiritual eminence, and in their teachings coming down to the level of earthly moralists and philosophers--to the Christian-citizenship-politics level.
The shaking of the symbolic ecclesiastical heavens mentioned in the same connection (Joel 2:10) has somewhat to do with these lights of Christendom coming to a lower plane of public teaching. This shaking would signify just what we see on every hand--a shaking up of the creeds and dogmas of Christendom, which, because of their mixture of errors, produce confusion whenever referred to--as, for instance the doctrine of elect and the non-elect infants; the doctrine of the eternal torment of all who are not saints, over-comers, etc.
As a consequence, many of the worldly-wise men who are starring before the public are already making every effort to distract attention from all such subjects. What other subjects can they find than either the true or the false doctrine of election; and the true or the false idea of God's provision for the future life of mankind? Not knowing of the true, divine plan of the ages, and not wishing to awaken controversy along the lines of hell and infant damnation, what can these star preachers preach, that will attract to them the attention of the world?
They can abandon spiritual themes entirely, and descend to the plane of the natural man, to moral and political reform questions. They can go "slumming," and preach the anti-slum gospel. They can join in Christian-citizenship Crusades, etc. And these things will more and more engage these pulpit stars; while others will create sensations by outdoing the most celebrated Infidels in statements of what they do not believe; in making sport of the Bible record of an Adamic fall into sin, and the idea of being saved out of something which is a myth, according to their Evolutionary theory.
Who cannot see these signs fulfilling on every hand today! But the sun and moon and twelve stars are only partly obscured as yet; nevertheless many of the false stars have fallen from every pretense of Gospel shining to the level of the comprehension of the masses (the natural man) to whom they shine.
Coincidentally, Luke (21:25,26) adds other signs of this time: "Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves [the restless and lawless elements of society] roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth [society]: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."
The roaring sea and waves symbolize the restless masses of humanity, curbed, but not fully restrained, by the laws and regulations of society. Everyone has heard some of this "roaring" for the past twenty years, with occasional stormy outbreaks dashing like tidal waves against the earth [social order] and seeking to swallow it up. (Especially now in our day)
Restrained for a time, these waves are gathering weight and force; and, as prophetically shown, it is only a question of a few years until all the mountains [kingdoms, governments] are "removed and carried into the midst of the sea," in anarchy. (Psa 46:1, 2)
Every news source, not under the control of wealth, voices the roar of the restless "sea" class; and the others, though unwillingly, must give the echo of the roaring as matters of news.
This it is, that in a period of comparative peace, is causing "distress of nations with perplexity."
And it is as men begin to realize that the sea-roar and unrest is due largely to the wane of superstition and of ecclesiastical influence (religious control), and as they more and more see the powers of heaven (sectarian creeds and systems) shaken, that their hearts are failing them for fear--in apprehension of the things coming upon the earth (society); but the strenuous efforts now being made to re-establish and unify sectarian power and influence, will be in great measure successful only for a short time; for it will surely disintegrate completely as prophetically foretold.” D583-597
Continued with next post.
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