The Great Awakening
"Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
The twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew lays before us the picture of a great people--God's people--lost in spiritual slumber--dead to the cry for reapers; blind to the fields white for the harvest. The midnight darkness of sin and tradition had lulled them to sleep, and they ALL slept--there was no voice to awaken.
"But at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him."
From whence the cry?
Plainly NOT from the sleepers. More surely not from the evil and unbelieving. Only one source remains and that from the realm of Him who "fainteth not, neither is weary," and by the voice of his messengers the angels.
God has made angelic contact with man in every age and at the hour of his greatest need. His messengers were of human form, having body and personality, and who many times mingled with men in their activities. They came to Abraham to proclaim the beginning of a chosen race; to Moses to rescue that race from bondage; to Elijah to call it to repentance; to Joseph and Mary to announce its coming Redeemer; to Cornelius, Peter, John and Paul that the message of redemption and the gospel of the great Millennial Kingdom might go to Israel and the Gentiles.
"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Mal. 3:6.
Has the unchangeable One changed? Or has he wearied with the wavering and disobedience of His people? We all say "No." Does this day hold the promise of heavenly visitation as in the ages past? The bigot, the unbeliever, the false shepherd, say "No"! But what saith the "more sure word of prophecy"?
"Behold, I will SEND my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before ME, and the Lord, whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant... he shall come . . . he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver." Mal. 3:1-3.
The ME who here speaks can be no other than the Christ for he says he will "suddenly come."
But who is this MESSENGER of whom He speaks, "he shall prepare the WAY before ME"?
Malachi 4 records the promise of a messenger who was to appear just "before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." His arrival was to be the great signal for the beginning of the consumption of "all that do wickedly" and for the rising of the "Sun of Righteousness . . . with healing in his wings" for those that fear the Lord.
John the Revelator saw the sunset of righteousness in the primitive church, 1,260 years previous to this latter day event, when the Woman, Zion, (the righteous of the earth) fled from the dragon, debauched and denuded of her glory. Rev. 12.
The record of Malachi is the only one in the scripture, recording in exact language, the rising again of the "Sun of Righteousness" to glorify the "Woman" whose seed are just ones of the earth.
Who is this "Messenger of the Covenant" the "Elijah"? Let the true Christians' only unquestioned authority answer. Christ, speaking of John the Baptist in Matthew 11 says, "For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before thee . . . and if ye will receive it, this is Elias (Elijah in Hebrew) which was for to come." And again; some time after the death of John the Baptist, the disciples questioned Christ concerning the promised Elijah to precede His second coming, He replied, "Elias truly SHALL first come, and RESTORE ALL THINGS." Matt. 17:11; Mal. 4:5.
John bore witness to the latter day coming, for when questioned by the priest and Levites, "Art thou Elias?" he, knowing that the scriptures promised such an event only just preceding the judgments, replied, "I am not." John 1:20-21.
The mission of John the Baptist as the promised Messenger is five fold, ie. 1. The Messenger of the Covenant. 2. The Restorer. 3. The Preparer of the WAYS. 4. The Herald of the judgments. 5. The Purifier of the sons of Levi (the ministry.)
John the Revelator saw his coming to restore "the everlasting gospel," to cry repentance, and to warn of the impending judgments. Rev. 14:6-7. If "the everlasting gospel" were here in its fullness, then the angel's mission would be impossible.
In Luke 1:76, Zacharias prophesies that John should "prepare" the "WAYS" of the Lord. In the days of old, John in the flesh, prepared the WAY for Christ in the flesh. In this day the resurrected John is preparing the WAY for the resurrected Christ.
The "'Day of his preparation" of Nahum, 2:3-4, a day of raging chariots jostling one another in "the broad ways" marks as plainly the time of the coming of the angel as does the time of judgments and destruction of Mal. 4 and Rev. 14:6.
Again we find the promised MESSENGER in the person of the "servant" sent out to gather the guests for the great supper." Luke 14.
Isaiah reveals him as "a mighty and strong one" bringing the judgments in the day when "the Lord shall rise up . . . and do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." Isa. 28. Because of the latter day mockers the Lord has said, "Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among his people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men SHALL PERISH . . ." Isa. 29:13-14. Fellow man, look about you,--everywhere man is failing-chaos is upon us,--desolation is near. If you would endure, temporally and spiritually, incline your ear to "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" for he speaks in living tones today as in days of old.
The Messenger appears in Dan 7 as the "Ancient of Days" with "thousands thousands" ministering unto him and a great host standing before him in judgment. Christ, the embodiment and finisher of the "covenant of peace" God made with Israel (Isa: 42:6; 49:8; 54:10-13; Ezek. 34:23-28; 37:26) appears in the clouds of heaven, and, in the glory of his humility, stands before the great Preparer to receive this people,--a nation prepared in righteousness. Then shall the resurrected and raptured Saints, those who in all ages FREELY give their all for His sake, begin their glorious reign with Him.
Mal. 3:3-4, reveals the great work of purging and purifying the sons of Levi, for the Lord has promised, "I will give the pastors according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." (Jer. 3:15.) A ministry IS being purged of selfishness and the traditions of men.
Are events of these days verifying the promises? In Rev. 11 and 13, the gentile beast power headed by the "man of sin", was given power to overcome the "saints" for forty and two months or 1,260 days, (years in prophecy).* In 569 A.D. the "man of sin" exalted himself as head of The Church of Christ, --thus completely denying Christ, the true head. Just 1,260 years later, in 1829 A.D., the Messenger, John the Baptist, was sent to earth, and by the laying on of hands restored the priesthood and authority of the Son of God to men. That authority find priesthood was never removed, but the power from Heaven was in large measure lost because of disobedience and transgression.
In 669 A. D., the glorious sun clothed "woman" of Revelation 12 had completed her 100 year flight into the "place prepared of God" where she was "nourished" for 1,260 years "from the face of the serpent." In this year the last portion of the true Church of Christ, in the British Isles, whither God had gathered many of the Israel race, succumbed to the power of the "man of sin." Nowhere upon the earth was Christ longer acknowledged as the "Head" of the church. The "great falling away" was complete.
On February 4, 1927, the Messenger come, the second time, bringing the "Word of the Lord" and giving warning of the impending judgments. Rev. I4:6. Instructions were given for the restoration of The Church of Christ as it was in former years. On July 18, 1929, the Messenger laid his hands upon the head of Otto Fetting, of Port Huron, Michigan, and restored the source of "greater power" to all who would obey, and established "The Church of Christ" anew. Once again, and for all times, Christ, the "one mediator" is the accepted HEAD and director of His people.
Exactly 1,260 years (669-1929 A. D.) from the final "falling away," the church was re-established and the "Woman" began to prosper again under the "healing" rays of the "Sun of Righteousness" (Mal 4:2) and one by one the twelve stars of her crown are being replaced; her "seed" gathered and purified.
The promise is "For then (in the days of the judgments) will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." Zeph. 3:9.
The "great and dreadful day of the Lord" is at hand. The "midnight cry" has gone forth. The trumpet call to the righteous has sounded, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18.
The "cry" has gone to Israel and to all the world, "Arise, shine, for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. 60.
"Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion." Isaiah 62.
*569 A.D. was the initial date. 570 A.D. was the date of the first open declaration of assumption of authority and 607 A.D. was the date of the formal and legal assumption of headship of the Church by the Roman Pontiff.