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Prophecy Lost And Found  -  Prophecy In The News Magazine -  March 2007
Prophecy Lost And Found  -  Prophecy In The News Magazine -  March 2007
Prophecy Lost And Found  -  Prophecy In The News Magazine -  March 2007
Prophecy Lost And Found  -  Prophecy In The News Magazine -  March 2007
Prophecy Lost And Found  -  Prophecy In The News Magazine -  March 2007
Prophecy Lost And Found  -  Prophecy In The News Magazine -  March 2007
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Prophecy Lost And Found - Prophecy In The News Magazine - March 2007

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  • 1. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com Why was prophetic teaching abandoned in the 2nd and 3rd centuries? Prophecy: Lost and Found By Gary Stearman Today, many Christians take it for granted that we live in the time when Jesus will come to take the remnant of His body of believers home. Then, He will initiate a period of judgment called the “Tribulation.” Having completed that judgment, He will reestablish the Davidic Throne in Jeru- salem. Those who believe this are called “premillennial dispensationalists.” That is, we live prior to the Millennium, and the church will be taken be- fore these events become actualities. In fact, this is the subject of John’s Apocalypse. However, in the years following the death of the Apostle John … and for the next seventeen centuries … this view fell into disfavor. It was not taught. During those centuries, the church became politicized. It’s leaders maintained that it was the organization that would save the world and bring in the kingdom. The first-century prophetic plan of God simply disappeared. Israel was dispersed, and thought lost forever. The state church abandoned thousands of words of Scripture that prophesied the Jews’ return in the King- dom Age. Why would the Lord allow this to happen? For the answer, we must take a few steps backward and get the wide-angle John Nelson Darby was convinced that, after the death of the apostles, believers view of history. This, we propose to do, began wrongly to take Old Testament prophecies and apply them to themselves. He taking a look at a few of the key events of concluded that early Church fathers had made the mistake of thinking that Israel church history. It’s easy to get lost in the would no longer have a future. He started what became the Plymouth Brethren. details, so we will include only the barest outline. One thing is certain. The broad expectation of Christ’s return. “For they themselves shew of us what view of the Lord’s sovereign design is truly They believed that the world as they manner of entering in we had unto you, and breathtaking. knew it could end during their lifetimes. how ye turned to God from idols to serve Let’s go back to the first century. After Given the exhortations of the Apostles, their the living and true God; Christ’s ascension, the Apostles began to expectation was well founded. Paul wrote “And to wait for his Son from heaven, teach that His promised return had been to the Thessalonians, commending them for whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, foretold in Old Testament prophecy and their great faith and the steadfastness with which delivered us from the wrath to come” from the lips of Jesus, Himself. The events which they anticipated the Lord’s coming. (I Thess. 1:8-10). of His life, death and resurrection were He mentioned all the Macedonians and Note here that Paul’s letter, written so close to these men and their followers, Achaians, noting them as examples of the around A.D. 51, positions the Thessalonian that prophecy was a living reality. Doubt- Thessalonians evangelistic zeal: believers as faithfully waiting for Christ’s less, there was an air of excitement and “For from you sounded out the word of return from heaven. Not only that, he refers immediacy surrounding early Christianity. the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, to the “wrath to come,” which is a clear Men and women routinely gave their lives but also in every place your faith to God- reference to the Day of the Lord. In context, and fortunes for a faith that was more than ward is spread abroad; so that we need not Paul would have been understood as telling real to them. They lived in the imminent to speak any thing. them that His return was imminent, and that 8 Prophecy in the News Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com
  • 2. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com the day of wrath would come within a short ter would stimulate the watchful Christian time … within the span of their lifetimes. to look toward Jerusalem for signs that this Christianity Begins to Expand It’s difficult to think the way they did, evil man would soon stand in the Holy of By the end of the first century, all the living as they were, in a generation of signs, holies, even as Antiochus IV Epiphanes had precious New Testament scrolls had been prophecies and miracles, when the words of done two centuries earlier. written and circulated. Bishops and elders the Apostles were still regarded as coming Six years later, in about A.D. 57, Paul struggled to hold together a church besieged directly from the Lord. The air of expec- visited the Thessalonian s again, for the last by pagans on the outside and heretics who tancy must have been electrifying! time. No doubt, he reinforced many of the occasionally took the pulpit. Prophetically Again and again Paul gives the Thessalo- messages that he had imparted earlier. Then speaking, the church was beginning to be- nians the assurance of Christ’s soon return. he returned to Israel, where he remained come discouraged. Many could remember Their role is clearly stated: “… to wait for for a little over two years. After that, he how the Apostles looked for an early return. his Son from heaven.” journeyed to Rome, arriving there early in By now, the Romans were expanding their Paul’s great rapture passage is also writ- the sixth decade for his trial at the court of influence in every direction. ten with the assurance that those then alive Caesar. In the ten years or so that followed, Toward the end of the first century, in his would personally witness His coming: the church spread outward, toward “the ut- First Epistle to the Corinthians, Clement of “For the Lord himself shall descend from termost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Rome wrote words of both chastisement heaven with a shout, with the voice of the But toward the end of that decade, the and encouragement to those who were archangel, and with the trump of God: and church at large experienced its first major beginning to lose hope: the dead in Christ shall rise first: Roman persecution. Nero had come to “Wherefore let us not be double-minded, “Then we which are alive and remain power in A.D. 54, and at first, had treated nor let our hearts form vain imaginations shall be caught up together with them in Christians with some deference. But in A.D. concerning his excellent and glorious gifts. the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and 67, about a year before his death, he found Let not that scripture be applicable unto us so shall we ever be with the Lord. that they made excellent scapegoats for his which saith, Wretched are the double-minded, “Wherefore comfort one another with own failings as emperor, particularly after even they that doubt in their heart and say, these words” (I Thess. 4:16-18). the nine-day burning of Rome. We have heard these things in the time of our Here, as Paul writes these words in the He blamed the Christians, then set about fathers; and lo, we have grown old, and none middle of the first century, it would still be in a diabolical persecution that spread of them hath happened unto us. O foolish almost two decades before the Second Tem- across the whole of his empire. Torture ones! compare yourselves to a tree. Take, ple would be destroyed by the Romans. and endlessly imaginative new forms of for example, the vine: first it sheddeth its The Jewish heart longed for the Messiah brutal murder slaughtered Christians in the leaves, then cometh the bud, then the leaf, to return. It was easy for them to believe thousands. Many of the most noteworthy then the flower, after that the unripe grape, that He would come to consecrate Herod’s Christians were martyred in the most hor- then the ripe grape. See how in a little time Temple, and set up His Kingdom rule. In rific ways. How they must have prayed for the fruit of the tree attaineth to maturity. his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul the Lord’s quick return! Of a truth, quickly and suddenly shall his assured the Thessalonians that “the day At the same time, the Flavian household will be fulfilled; the scripture also bearing of Christ” had not yet come. Some were of Vespasian and Titus rose to power. They witness that he shall come quickly, and shall already teaching that the Tribulation Period lost no time in sacking Jerusalem, the Jews not tarry; and the Lord shall come suddenly was a present reality. and the Temple in A.D. 70. Imagine the into his temple, even the holy one, whom Paul then goes on to tell them that if that effect this must have had on Christians ye expect” (I Clement 23:2-5). day had already come, the Antichrist would looking for Christ’s return. Paul had written Clement died in A.D. 102. As his life have appeared in the Temple. Obviously, that the “man of sin” would make himself ended, the Roman Empire was beginning that had not yet happened. But it could known as a god in the Temple, and now to fitfully settle into almost a century of have, since the Temple was still standing. there was no Temple! Without a doubt, they relative quiet. But before peace came, there Contemplating this situation makes it obvi- must have begun to question their assump- was another wave of persecution. In A.D. ous that prophecy was a viable subject in tions about the quickness of His return. 107, Ignatius was martyred. In A.D. 108, the the days of the Apostles. Jews and Christians alike were forced to flee Emperor Trajan launched the third major “Let no man deceive you by any means: from the Romans. Thousands were killed, wave of anti-Christian persecutions, killing for that day shall not come, except there but those who escaped fled to far corners thousands of believers. Their only crime come a falling away first, and that man of of the Roman Empire. was refusing to worship the emperor and sin be revealed, the son of perdition; About ten years later, in A.D. 81, Titus other Roman deities as gods. After this, the “Who opposeth and exalteth himself died, and his vicious younger brother Domi- Christians found an era of peace. above all that is called God, or that is tian came to power. He was the cruelest of But for the Jews, there was one last battle. worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in tyrants, who made it a special point to wipe Following Trajan’s persecution, Hadrian the temple of God, shewing himself that out every last trace of Christian influence. (A.D. 117-138) and Antoninus Pius (A.D. he is God. His purges included anyone whom he per- 138-161) came to power. Sadly, during “Remember ye not, that, when I was ceived to be an enemy. His execrable reign Hadrian’s reign, the Jewish revolt under yet with you, I told you these things?” (II lasted until his death in A.D. 96, which Simeon Bar Kochba all but destroyed Jew- Thess. 2:3-5). closely coincided, by the way, with the ish society in Israel. In A.D. 135, they were Obviously, Paul went out of his way to passing of the Apostle John (c. A.D. 98), finally driven from the Middle East to the clarify the sequence of events leading up who had suffered Domitian’s torture, but four points of the compass. to the Tribulation. He reminds them that he ultimately, had escaped the evil emperor’s For the church, it was a different story. emphasized this very point when he taught death sentence. Life under these two emperors brought them face-to-face. Still, the effect of this let- And still, Christ had not returned. the beleaguered faithful forty-five years of Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com Prophecy in the News 9
  • 3. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com blissful growth. During this period, there Note that Augustine’s way of reckoning was no persecution of Christians. They the ages concludes with Christ’s First and thrived throughout the empire. Many in Second Advents. Israel and the Davidic the Roman government became Christians throne in the Kingdom Age are phased out themselves. Of this historical period Ed- of existence, which he reckoned to be set ward Gibbon wrote: aside forever. This left the church alone “In the second century of the Christian as God’s people. In so doing, he declared era the empire of Rome comprehended himself an amillennialist, teaching that the fairest part of the earth, and the most Christ’s reign was included within the ad- civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers ministration of the church, which he saw as of that extensive monarchy were guarded an extension of the state. by ancient renown and disciplined valor. Writing in The Rapture Question, John The gentle but powerful influence of laws F. Walvoord, says, “In Augustinian amil- and manners, had gradually cemented the lennialism, the present age is regarded as union of the provinces…the image of a the predicted Millennium; and inasmuch free constitution was preserved with decent Justin Martyr (c. A.D. 130) as the Tribulation is said to precede the reverance.” about A.D. 190, he makes this quite clear: Millennium by so much, it must already be Unfortunately, at the end of this period “And he will cause a mark [to be put] in past. Often it is identified with the troubles of calm Marcus Aurelius, (A.D. 161-180), the forehead and in the right hand, that no of Israel in connection with the destruction became emperor. He came to power in a one may be able to buy or sell, unless he of Jerusalem in A.D. 70” (p. 16). wave of terrorism against Christians, who who has the mark of the name of the beast or By the fifth century, Augustine, the most were once again subjected to torture and the number of his name; and the number is revered saint of the Roman Catholic church, execution in the most horrible manner. In six hundred and sixty-six,” that is, six times and its highest ranked theological doctor, this, the fourth major Roman persecution a hundred, six times ten, and six units. [He had formalized amillenial thought. He had of Christians, Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna gives this] as a summing up of the whole of essentially overthrown the Apostolic ex- and Justin Martyr were both killed for their that apostasy which has taken place during pectation of Christ’s imminent return. For faith. Polycarp was burned at the stake and six thousand years. For in as many days as approximately the next 1,400 years, his es- Justin was beheaded. this world was made, in so many thousand chatology would continue unquestioned. years shall it be concluded. And for this “God Delays” reason the Scripture says: “Thus the heaven Through the Reformation Around A.D. 130, Justin had declared and the earth were finished, and all their In the 14th and 15th centuries, John Huss, that God had delayed the judgments at the adornment. And God brought to a conclu- John Wycliffe, William Tyndale and others end of the world, because it was His desire sion upon the sixth day the works that He began the quest to bring the Bible to the that Christians expand to cover and preserve had made; and God rested upon the seventh common man. They faced incredible op- the earth. The belief in imminency was day from all His works.” This is an account position — even death. By the 16th century, quickly fading. of the things formerly created, as also it is Martin Luther, John Calvin and Huldrych In Chapter 7 of his Second Apology, a prophecy of what is to come. For the day Zwingi launched a series of public protests Justin writes: “Wherefore God delays caus- of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in against longstanding corruption in the Ro- ing the confusion and destruction of the six days created things were completed: it man Catholic church, giving rise to the whole world, by which the wicked angels is evident, therefore, that they will come word “protestant.” and demons and men shall cease to exist, to an end at the sixth thousand year” (Bk. Actually, the Reformation had really because of the seed of the Christians, who 5, Ch. 28). begun long before Luther’s public act of know that they are the cause of preservation By the early fifth century, with the writ- nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the Wit- in nature. Since, if it were not so, it would ings of Augustine (A.D. 354-430), the com- tenburg Church door on October 31st, 1517. not have been possible for you to do these ing of Christ had become wholly identified Nevertheless, the date of his revolutionary things, and to be impelled by evil spirits; with the church. He and others held that the challenge is remembered as the official but the fire of judgment would descend and state church would continue its expansion, beginning of the Reformation. utterly dissolve all things, even as formerly until it covered the whole earth. Then Christ His act was aimed at ending the many the flood left no one but him only with his would come, and the church would be co- corrupt practices of the Roman Church. family who is by us called Noah, and by regent with Him in the age of the Kingdom. Their “indulgences” were designed to you Deucalion, from whom again such vast The prophesied regathering of Israel was a forcibly extract money from hapless serfs numbers have sprung, some of them evil long-forgotten idea. National Israel had for- dominated by church authorities. Penance and others good.” ever been set aside. His eschatology viewed for sin was granted on the basis of money The presence of Christians, he says, is the the world as a pattern of six ages: collected. Fake relics were made and sold. only thing keeping God from destroying the Age One: Adam to Noah Absolution could be purchased from the whole world. Age Two: Noah to Abraham church. Purgatory – a place of temporary Irenaeus, who lived from A.D. 130 to Age Three: Abraham to David punishment after death – could suppos- A.D. 202, echoed the words of the early Age Four: David to the Babylonian edly be ended by still-living relatives who church in the millennial-day theory of cre- Captivity were convinced that they could purchase ation. In so doing, he put the coming of the Age Five: Babylonian Captivity to the freedom of these suffering souls. As a Lord in judgment at some distance into the Christ’s Advent result of such practices, the income of the future, no doubt beyond the extent of his Age Six: Christ’s Advent to His Second church was, of course, enormous. own lifetime. In Against Heresies, written Advent As the movements begun by the reform- 10 Prophecy in the News Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com
  • 4. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com ers gained momentum, various denomina- intellectual and spiritual gifts that would actual dispensation” (pp. 77,78). tions were born. The churches of Germany, take him to the very highest ranks in church He also saw the church as a failed in- France, Switzerland, Scotland and England leadership. stitution: were supported by various royal families But from the beginning, he began to have “As to the ruin of the Church, the theory of Europe. In general, they were united on doubts about the close allegiance between came for me after the consciousness of it, the restoration of the doctrine of salvation church and state. As Weremchuk writes, and even now, the theory is but a small by faith alone. Individuals in the reformed “Darby held Christ, and not the king, to thing to my mind; it is the burden one church were taught that every man could be the true head of the church. This charge bears. Some years after the conversion of make his own spiritual decisions. Once simply substituted the king for the pope” my soul I looked around to find where the again, just as the Apostles taught, the saved (p.46). He also began to ponder the degree Church was, but I could not find it. I could individual is seen as a believer-priest, able to which Christians should suffer for their find plenty of saints better than myself, but to approach God on the basis of his personal faithful witness, as did Christ. He saw this not the Church as it was set up with power salvation. as the logical outcome of true faith, not on the earth. Then I say the Church as thus As the reformed churches of Europe the finery, prosperity and respect accorded set up is ruined, and I cannot find a better became established, Apostolic doctrines of the typical bishop. In these early years, he word for it” (pp. 78,79). salvation prevailed. But after all was said became a passionate revolutionary. Yet, he Weremchuk then writes the following: and done, their doctrines of eschatology stayed in the church and held to his post. “Darby can be rightly called the father of remained unchanged. In this key area, it was Then, in his late twenties, he suffered a modern dispensationalism, for his view the thinking of Augustine and his successors trauma that changed his life: “Darby was of dispensations was different from views that controlled the ideas of the Kingdom. violently thrown from his horse against a previously expressed: ‘God has always Replacement theology — the idea that doorpost. He suffered severe injuries and begun by placing His creatures in a good Israel had forever been set aside after the had to be sent to Dublin for medical treat- position, but by infidelity the creature has diaspora — remained the norm. ment. The time of recuperation, which was invariably abandoned the position in which more than three months, he spent at his it as been placed by God. After long suffer- The Blessing of a Broken Leg brother-in-law’s house at 20 Fitzwilliam ance, God never reestablishes anyone in the As the European state churches became Street. It was there that he found rest in the position from which he has fallen. It is no formalized over the next three centuries, assurance of Christ’s completed work.” part of His ways to restore something that they arrived at a position that would allow With a badly damaged knee, apparently, a has been spoilt; He removes it and brings them to break forth in new and exciting broken leg and other injuries, he was forced in something entirely new, and much better ways. The European Reformed, Anabaptist, to lie in bed for an extended period. There, than what had gone before’” (p. 79). Lutheran and Church of England broke he read the Bible, not as a clergyman, but Here, it can be seen that Darby came to into denominations that numbered in the as a man seeking to expand his personal view history as God interacting with man dozens by the nineteenth century. By the relationship with Jesus Christ. And he found in a series of different ways. He saw God’s year 1800, Europe and America were poised what he was looking for. That, alone, is an plan as divided into distinct periods, each of for a wake-up call that had international interesting story. which tested man in a particular way. Also, repercussions. each of them ended in some sort of failure. One event in particular created a revolu- A Dispensational Discovery Darby’s insight, however, never extended tion that resounds to the present day. It is But far more significant is the fact that into the modern dispensational plan. That documented in the book, John Nelson Dar- he learned to read the Bible as the total is, he never named and laid out the vision of by – A Biography, by Max S. Weremchuk. expression of the Lord’s prophetic plan of the seven dispensations commonly depicted In 1800, Darby was born in London. Later, redemption. As a convalescent, he found by today’s dispensationalists. he lived in Ireland, and traveled throughout himself compelled to view Scripture as a Europe. He died in 1882. He was the son whole. Doing so, he discovered a consistent Regathered Israel of landed gentry who was given a classical pattern, developed in the Old Testament, But his exposition of Scripture was truly education in languages and philosophy. then completed in the New Testament. He revolutionary, when it came to his percep- As a youth, and into young manhood, resigned from the Church of England, and tion of national Israel. Before the nineteenth he was not a believer. But he was a gifted began a period of independent study. century, the belief that Israel would come student. At Trinity College, he received the In 1840, he gave a lecture in Geneva, back to its ancient land was nonexistent. gold medal as a scholar in the classics and Switzerland, entitled, “Progress of Evil on While recuperating from his riding acci- mathematics. Upon graduation, he decided the Earth.” He said, “What we are about to dent, prophecy began to leap from the pages to become a lawyer, and in 1822, was called consider will tend to show that, instead of of the Bible. Of this period, he wrote: to the Irish bar as a barrister. He quickly permitting ourselves to hope for a continued “Isaiah 32 it was that taught me about gained a reputation as a penetrating intel- progress of evil; and that the hope of the earth the new dispensation. I saw that there lectual, with a talent for bringing order to being filled with the knowledge of the Lord would be a David reign, and did not know the legal chaos that then characterized the before the exercise of His judgment, and the whether the Church might not be removed legal system in the British Isles. consummation of this judgment on the earth, before 40 years time… Isaiah 32 brought At approximately the same time, he was is delusive. We are to expect evil, until it me to the earthly consequences of the same converted to Christ. A short time later, in becomes so flagrant that it will be necessary truth, though other passages might seem 1825, he was ordained to the Anglican for the Lord to judge it … I am afraid that perhaps more striking to me now; but I saw clergy. On Sunday, February 19, 1826, he many a cherished feeling, dear to the children an evident change of dispensation in that was ordained as a priest in Christ Church of God, has been shocked, this evening; I chapter, when the Spirit would be poured Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. Many of his mean, their hope that the gospel will spread out on the Jewish nation, and a king reign contemporaries believed that he had the by itself over the whole earth, during the in righteousness” (p. 120). Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com Prophecy in the News 11
  • 5. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com Weremchuk’s summation of this mat- C. I. Scofield, editor of the famous On November 3, 1917, the Balfour Declara- ter is fascinating, indeed: “Darby said, Scofield Reference Bible, became an im- tion was awarded to Chaim Weizmann as ‘The Church, a lowly heavenly body, has portant contributor to this movement. Born thanks for coming to the aid of the British no portion on earth at all, as it was at the in America in 1843, his life overlapped Army. In World War I, this Jewish scientist beginning — suffering as its Head did, Darby’s, but the two never worked to- had given England a new way to manufac- unknown and well known — an unearthly gether, since Scofield didn’t even become ture enough guncotton to replenish their witness of heavenly things on earth.’ Darby a Christian until 1879. But he was heavily failing ammunition supply. believed that soon after the death of the influenced by the doctrine of the Plymouth Shortly after this, during the early days apostles, believers began wrongly to take Brethren. of the British Mandate in Palestine, it came Old Testament prophecies and promises After becoming a lawyer and politician, to light that the British were deceitfully and apply them to themselves. They had Scofield suffered great personal reversals abusing the terms upon which Israel sup- rightly seen that God had put His earthly that brought him to the Lord. He worked posedly had access to the Holy Land. In people aside, and that they, the Christian with the Dwight L. Moody evangelistic or- fact, they were deliberately creating crisis company (one new man in Christ, out of ganization. Then, by 1883, he was ordained after crisis there, for their own political and Jews and Gentiles, Ephesians 2:15) were as a minister, and headed the American financial ends. now the “people of God,” but Darby con- Home Missionary Society of Texas and Enter Colonel Ord Wingate. Serving cluded that they had made the mistake of Louisana. His small pamphlet, “Rightly in Palestine for the British, he person- thinking that Israel would no longer have Dividing the Word of Truth,” published ally witnessed the wrongs that were being a future” (p. 121). in 1888, set the theme of his life ministry committed against the Jews. Disgusted, he as a leader in the field of dispensational took it upon himself to train, organize and The Brethren premillennialism. help equip the Israeli Liberation Army. So The events around the year 1830 mark a The notes in his popular Scofield Refer- convinced was he of the Jews’ right to their distinct shift in the course of Christianity. ence Bible put dispensational theology into Land, that he went against his own com- By 1831, Darby’s friends began to be influ- the hands of millions of believers. He lived mand structure to aid the Jews. enced by his powerful new ideas. Francis long enough to see the beginning move- How amazing to discover that Wingate Newton and George Wigram encouraged ment of the Jews back to Israel, the Balfour has received his instruction in the Bible via him to begin teaching his new dispen- Declaration, and World War I before his the Plymouth Brethren movement! sational doctrine. In December of 1831, death in 1921. Wigram bought a small chapel in Plymouth, No Coincidences England. There, a few of the “brethren,” as Back to Israel It has often been said that in the things they referred to themselves, began to meet. In retrospect, it is amazing to think about of the Lord, there are no coincidences. Darby’s teaching was dramatically accepted the confluence of dramatic developments in Through His divine sovereignty, He was by a number of believers. Soon, an esti- nineteenth-century Christianity. New Testa- carefully structuring an unfolding history. mated congregation of about seven hundred ment prophecy and the dispensation of the To us, the world scene seems chaotic, even people had begun to gather there. church was rediscovered after 1,700 years mistaken. To put it in the vernacular of the The little church had no name. In fact, of slumber. In Eastern Europe, Jewish intel- old movies, “It looks like the bad guys are Darby expressed his desire that they not lectuals began to return to the Holy Land. winning.” But this is simply not true. The become a denomination, in the conventional In a series of aliyahs, or returns, they turned Lord is simply allowing man to fully de- sense, but simply a Bible study group. How- desert and swamp into arable land. velop the means and stratagems by which ever, the curious — newspaper reporters The first of these aliyahs came in 1882, he, himself, will be judged. To use another among them — believed that it must receive the very year that Darby passed on to his old movie expression, “He’s just givin’ ’em a name of some sort. Therefore, since they eternal reward. He had foreseen the com- enough rope to hang themselves.” were regularly meeting in the city of Plym- ing of the Jews to their Land, and just as it But on the other side of the coin, we outh, and they called themselves “the breth- began, he went home to be with the Lord. remember the millions who have suffered ren,” it soon followed that they came to be No doubt, this was no coincidence. A few and died for the faith … and for their faith known as the Plymouth Brethren. Darby years later, in 1897, the First Zionist Con- in Him. It started with Christ, Himself, was swept along by a tide of enthusiasm, gress met in Basel, Switzerland. who suffered and died for us. It continued and all Europe came to be influenced by his And here again, the Lord’s pattern of in the lives of the Apostles, who suffered translations of the Bible, his tracts and his destiny may be seen with clarity. This ostracism, torture and death. Paul offered dispensational view of prophecy. Congress was the result of a “chance” his own view of the Christian walk: Along the way, the Brethren published meeting between two important men. “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as hymnals, and George Wigram published the In 1880, the Rev. William Heschler, an a fool) I am more; in labours more abun- famous Englishman’s Hebrew and Greek Episcopal minister, who had studied with dant, in stripes above measure, in prisons Concordances of the Bible. the Plymouth Brethren, came to advocate more frequent, in deaths oft. A movement was born, and people began the reestablishment of the Jewish State. “Of the Jews five times received I forty referring to it as the “Bible Study Move- Because of his controversial pro-Jewish stripes save one. ment.” It was not sponsored as such by any position, the Church of England reassigned “Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was human institution, but arose in conjunction him to Europe. While there, he met Theodor I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night with the missionary movement that swept Herzl. Together, these two men spent their and a day I have been in the deep; across the globe during that same period. energies in the establishment of the World “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, At his death in 1882, Darby had witnessed Zionist Organization. in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own a period of the most exciting change since Two decades after that first Zionist meet- countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in the coming of Jesus in the first century. ing, an important milestone was reached. perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, 12 Prophecy in the News Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com
  • 6. Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com in perils in the sea, in perils among false Prophecy in the News brethren; “In weariness and painfulness, in watch- ings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. “Beside those things that are without, ... on LBN television network that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. “Who is weak, and I am not weak? who Sky Angel Satellite is offended, and I burn not? Channel 9716 “If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities” (II Sunday Afternoons Cor. 11:23-30). 4:00 P.M. Eastern Through it all, he taught the imminent 3:00 P.M. Central return of Christ. He also taught the fall and rising again of Israel: “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gen- tiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify Watch Prophecy in the News anytime on mine office: “If by any means I may provoke to emu- lation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. www.pitn.tv “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the re- ceiving of them be, but life from the dead?” We’re Podcasting (Romans 11:11-15). The Jews are back, and a few Chris- tians have proven themselves faithful and friendly in support of those prophesied to rise and become head of the nations. Only the Lord knew that for eighteen centuries, through iTunes! they would languish in the capitals of the world. Even there, they proved themselves Go to www.apple.com and to be a uniquely gifted people. During those download a free iTunes play- years, they were being tested. er for your computer. Then go The Gentiles too, were being tested, as to www.prophecyinthenews. a tiny remnant of the faithful were being com and click on the words called out as “a people for his name” (Acts 15:14). The testing continues and CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR will no doubt increase, just as prophesied PODCAST. The link will take by Paul. you to our spot in the Apple What a privilege to live in a day when Music Store where you can we, like the Apostles, can look for His subscribe to the Prophecy in imminent return! The Lord still delights in the News weekly video pod- testing His beloved, allowing them to fully develop their faith. And unlike the believers cast (FREE). You can collect of the first century, we have the perspective our TV programs on your hard of time, and the knowledge that He is near, drive and/or a Video iPod. even at the door. Now we know that it is out of love that He has extended — and continues to extend You will never have to miss — the days of the dispensation of grace. With him, there is no delay, but rather, an Prophecy in the News. extended invitation to receive the gift of It’s available - 24/7. eternal life. His coming is imminent. u Find us on the Internet - www.prophecyinthenews.com Prophecy in the News 13

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