by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXVI

August, 1946

Number 1

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

This is being written on June 1.  It will not reach the readers before July 1. What conditions will be at that time, no one can tel.  They are, at this time, unfavorable.  Or, should I say, "favorable?"  It depends on the viewpoint. 

For more than a decade. "Security" has been mentioned thousands of times.  Social security. Labor security.  National security.  Individual security.  Lately, "Peace" has been another word that was repeated many thousands of times.  Man, having confidence in himself, had no doubt that his own wisdom would secure all the peace and security that would ever be needed. 

For more than ten years, they have been saying "Peace and security," First Thessalonians 5:2. 

Paul says that while men are saying these words, extermination is standing by, and they are not aware of it.  He explains that in this way the day of the Lord is coming - stealthily, as a thief.  

First Thessalonians does not describe conditions that shall obtain after the day of the Lord has been fully developed.  While conditions mentioned there are present, the day of the Lord is coming.  It is evidently near - even on the very threshold.  

Only recently have men become aware of the extermination that is standing by.  Atomic power was being developed, and the masses were not aware of it.  It was suddenly sprung on the world when two bombs were dropped on Japanese cities.  Immediately men's hearts began to fail for fear of what is coming on the earth.  

 Now comes another frightful piece of information - released within the last few days.  The United States have a germ spray that can wipe out whole cities without making any noise. It is said to be a certain producer of death.  

What other forms of extermination are standing by, the public does not know.. No doubt other things are being worked out in the laboratories of the earth.  I suggest that much of the destruction mentioned in the Unveiling, (Revelation), are manmade instruments.  I see no reason why they might not be.  Hail and fire with blood, cast into the earth, burning up, a third of the earth, and a third of the trees, and all the green grass, Unveiling 8:7.  Some invention of man might freeze the atmosphere, so that when it is dropped from a plane, it would come down with hail, and even with the blood of the men in the planes.  The gleamer, (star), mentioned in verse 10 of that chapter might be an atomic bomb.  I am merely suggesting this, but I see nothing unreasonable in the suggestion.  It would be quite fitting, that a race that has left God our of its calculations. should furnish the implements of its own destruction.  

God does not do many things directly.  He uses agents.  He uses Christ as the Savior, and the Adversary as the destroyer. These in turn, use human agents.  But it all goes right back to God, as the first Cause.  In the light of modern inventions, it is not hard to read the Unveiling and see that man is the immediate cause of much of the horror of the first few years of the day of the Lord. 

Paul does not say that the day of the Lord has actually arrived, when extermination is standing by unawares.  This will be the case when the day of the Lord is coming - is stepping on the portals.  That day cannot be fully developed until the man of lawlessness is unveiled, Second Thessalonians 2:15.  But it can be COMING before his unveiling.  Its stealthy steps, as those of a thief, can be at the door.  

The day of the Lord cannot come until the ecclesia - that which is now detaining the man of lawlessness - is taken our of the midst, Second Thessalonians 2:7.  But there is no reason why many of  the things that herald the COMING of that day might not be present while the ecclesia is yet here.  

We are in a crazy world.  Today, as on many other days, the front page of the newspaper is filled with accounts of strikes, murder, fighting, wickedness.  And there is no power among men to stay the steady and mighty onrush which, like a river with the dam broken, threatens government, business, indeed, the very economy of the earth. The President of the United States is without honor among who would destroy our civilization.  If he settles a strike, he must do it by giving the strikers what they demand. And, knowing that it is not within the power of industry to beet these demands, without higher prices for what is produced, he gradually allows price increases.  Thus inflation - which is bound to cause disaster - is slowly, but surely, coming. When prices have been raised, strikers will strike again.  There is no end in sight.  

The congress is afraid of the powers that control Labor.  Many members of both branches of our national legislature cringe before the threats of these who have power to paralyze the industry and the economy of the United States overnight. 

Nothing but a dictator or ship can bring order out of this chaos.  This will have to come.  The only nation that is now at peace internally, is the one that has an iron dictatorship—the Soviet Union.  Each nation will have to become totalitarian.  Then when it is found that separate totalitarian governments cannot cope with the situation, the international organization will be given a dictator over the nations.  This dictator will be the man of lawlessness—the man who will become a necessity by reason of the lawlessness that today afflicts the earth.  

No peace is in sight.  It is impossible to make treaties of peace.  Matters in relation to conquered nations may remain as they are now, for many years.  The attitude of the Soviet Union, unless it is relaxed, will effectually keep the nations in a state of war, until there is some central dictatorship to tell Stalin "where to get off."  When this will be, I do not know.  

As nations are made up of individuals, let us look at what Paul says will be the attitude of humanity in the last days.  He uses such words as selfish, fond of money, ostentatious, proud, calumniators, stubborn to parents, ungrateful malign, without natural affection, implacable, adversaries, uncontrollable, fierce, averse to the good, traitors, rash, conceited, fond of their own gratification rather than fond of God, Second Timothy 3:1-5.  This is very much like what he said about humanity before they were "evangelized," Romans1.  Under the benign influence of the evangel, people became better.  But now they have completed the cycle and are right back to where they were before, and they have taken their "religion" with them.  "Having a form of devoutness, yet denying its power."

As this is the attitude of people, we need not be astonished to find that orderly government has broken down the world over.  Surely we are living in the last days. 

This is not a pessimistic viewpoint.  True, matters will become worse until there is a time of trouble and affliction such as was never known before.  But here is a note of triumph in this, for it will last but a few years, and when it is over it will never recur.  

And before these afflictions reach their depth the ecclesia which is the body of Christ will enter upon its mission of usefulness in the heavens.  And the cessation of the horrors on earth will herald the beginning of the time when Israel will come into its own, and become a blessing to all nations.  

The glorious new "world" will not be man's making.  It will be the work of Christ, after man has done all possible to destroy the human race.  

All blessings in the future—not only the benefits of the so called millennium, but also the life, salvation and reconciliation of all—will be based on a series of events that transpired nineteen hundred years ago: "Christ died for our sins according to the scripture,—He was entombed, and —He has been roused the third day. 

When we think of present world conditions we sometimes don't feel like we would save such wicked people.  But this is the best way for our God to be victorious.  To condemn people to endless torment would be to promote sin.  But salvation also includes reconciliation and sinlessness.  In other words, salvation necessitates a change.  And when God changes those who now hate Him, and leave Him out of al their plans, and they come to love Him and to rejoice in the certainty that He will be included in all their doings in the future, He has won a great victory.  If He should either annihilate or torment those who don't love Him, He would be showing the same weakness that man has, and that has brought the world into its present condition.  But salvation and reconciliation shows Him to be GOD, with all that the word denotes.  

Let us lift our heads.  Our deliverance is near.  And the deliverance of all will follow.  For Christ died for our sins. 

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