How Optimistic Was Charles H. Spurgeon The Prince of Preachers ?

“Paul does not paint the future with rose-colour: he is no smooth-tongued prophet of a golden age, into which this dull earth may be imagined to be glowing. There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better and better, until, at the last this present age ripens into a millennium. They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture give them no solid basis to rest upon. We who believe that there will be no millennial reign without the King, and who expect no rule of righteousness except from the appearing of the righteous Lord, are nearer the mark. Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and, indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the situation. We look to the darkening down of things; the state of mankind, however improved politically, may yet grow worse and worse spiritually.

If I read the word aright, and it is honest to admit that there is much room for difference of opinion here, the day will come, when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God. Some think that this descent of the Lord will be post-millennial — that is, after the thousand years of his reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be pre-millennial; that he will come first; and then will come the millennium as the result of his personal reign upon earth

Just as the twelve tribes, serving God day and night, looked for the first coming, so ought all the tribes of our Israel, day and night, without ceasing, to wait for the Lord from heaven. We are looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” is the desire of every instructed saint. I shall not go into any details about when he will come: I will not espouse the cause of the pre-millennial or the post-millennial advent; it will suffice me just now to observe that the Redeemer’s coming is the desire of the entire church; and “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

To my mind the doctrine of the coming of Christ ought to inflame the zeal of every believer who seeks the conversion of his fellow men, and how can he be a believer if he does not seeks this end? The Lord cometh quickly: O sinner come quickly to the Lord, or it may be too late for you to come. We who call you may soon be silenced by his advent, and mercy may have no more to say to you. . . Stand in a Popish country and see them altogether given to their idols, and worshipping crosses and relics, and you will soon cry, “Come Lord Jesus. Let antichrist be hurled like a millstone into the flood, never to rise again.” The vehemence of your desire for the destruction of evil and the setting up of the kingdom of Christ will drive you to that grand hope of the church, and make you cry out for its fulfillment.

There are some men who have not seen Elias yet; they do not understand the prophecies. They think they perceive in the future a great progress of civilization, and they expect to see the spread of the gospel; they expect to hear of great agencies employed, of multitudes of ministers going forth to preach the Word, and a gradual conversion of the world to the religion of Christ; but he who understands the prophets, and has seen Elias, believes not in the immediate conversion of the world, nor in universal peace; he believes in “Jesus Only;” he expects that Jesus will first come; and, to him, the great hope of the future is the coming of the Son of man

We expect a reigning Christ on earth; that seems to us to be very plain, and put so literally that we dare not spiritualise it. We anticipate a first and second resurrection; a first resurrection of the righteous, and a second resurrection of the ungodly, who shall be judged, condemned, and punished for ever by the sentence of the great King.

It is also certain that the Jews, as a people, will yet own Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, as their King, and that they will return to their own land, “and they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the old cities, the desolations of many generations. There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic; a state shall be incorporated, and a king shall reign. Israel has now become alienated from her own land. Her sons, though they can never forget the sacred dust of Palestine, yet die at a hopeless distance from her consecrated shores. But it shall not be so for ever, for her sons shall again rejoice in her: her land shall be called Beulah, for as a young man marrieth a virgin so shall her sons marry her. “I will place you in your own land,” is God’s promise to them. . . They are to have a national prosperity which shall make them famous; nay, so glorious shall they be that Egypt, and Tyre, and Greece, and Rome, shall all forget their glory in the greater splendour of the throne of David. . . I there be anything clear and plain, the literal sense and meaning of this passage [Ezekiel 37:1-10] —a meaning not to be spirited or spiritualized away— must be evident that both the two and the ten tribes of Israel are to be restored to their own land, and that a king is to rule over them.

The coming of Messiah was the desire of the godly in all ages, and though he has already come with a sin-offering to purge away iniquity, we look for him to come a second time, to come without a sin-offering unto salvation. O that these weary years would come to an end! Why tarries he so long? He knows that sin abounds and that his people are down-trodden; why does he not come to the rescue? His glorious advent will restore his ancient people from literal captivity, and his spiritual seed from spiritual sorrow. Wrestling Jacob and prevailing Israel shall alike rejoice before him when he is revealed as their salvation. O that he were come! What happy, holy, halcyon, heavenly days should we see! But let us not count him slack, for behold, he comes, he comes quickly. Blessed are they that wait for him.

On Matthew 24 he said…… Our Lord appears to have purposely mingled the prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and his own second coming When he comes, we shall know who he is, and why he has come. There will be no longer any mystery or secret about, “the coming of the Son of man.” There will be no need to ask any questions then; no one will make a mistake about his appearing when it actually takes place. “Every eye shall see him.” Christ’s coming will be sudden, startling, universally visible, and terrifying to the ungodly: “as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west.” His first coming to judgment at the destruction of Jerusalem had terrors about it that till then had never been realized on the earth; his last coming will be more dreadful still.”

I would say he was pretty optimistic that the Word of God is a good place to base your beliefs concerning the end times.

Thoughts on the Old and the New

The purpose of the Old Testament is to reveal God and His ways. If it does not give an accurate portrayal of God then it was written in vain.
Likewise….the New Testament.
The Old is not inferior to the New.
The New is not superior to the Old.
I am talking about the writings…the books…NOT the Covenants. The Book of Joshua is as God-breathed as the Book of Acts. The Book of Ezekial is as God-breathed as the Book of John. Remember…

2 Timothy 3:15-17
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Paul was talking about the Old Testament. The Old Covenant Writings.

Of course the New Covenant is superior to the Old.

Hebrews 7:19
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
Hebrews 7:22
“By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
Hebrews 8:6
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

But the actual books, whether New Testament or Old Testament are fully inspired. Taken as a whole, they show an integrated design and an unfolding of the Lamb of God and the full picture of redemption.

When people pick and choose Scriptures according to their own philosphy or agenda, without the context of the whole Bible, error ensues. By picking the verses that work for them, while choosing to reject the ones that don’t, pride is allowed to formulate theology. Here’s an example.

God is love.
1 John 4:8“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Now, if I take this truth and run with it according to my human reasoning without the whole Word of God, this is what happens…

I begin to remove all references to God and His ways that don’t line up with my understanding of love. Or I formulate foolish statements that sound theologically right but are really just man made declarations that sound “deep”.

I quote Romans 6:23 “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

But when I quote it, I leave out or don’t mention the fact that it also says “for the wages of sin is death.”
Why are the wages of sin death if God is only love ?

Or I quote John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”
But what about the last part? “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Could it be that in His Holiness He must turn away from sin ? That in Himself, as Love, He has to react against sin ?
The point is that the atonement, the cross of Christ, can not be understood without the Old (fully inspired) Testament writings. The Old Testament lays the foundation for our understanding of the character and nature of God. God must punish sin. The wrath of God is the barrier between the sinner and acceptance with God.

An understanding of God, that begins with man, removes the wrath of God.

An understanding of the nature of God, that removes the wrath of God, is based upon pride.

An understanding of Jesus Christ, which removes foundational truths (from the Old or New Testaments) is idolatry.

John 3:36
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Romans 2:1-11
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”

Even Ephesians, the most “spiritual” and “lofty” of New Testament writings speaks of wrath.

Ephesians 5:3-6
” But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

The Old Testament presentation of God is the foundation on which the amazing love of God, in the Cross, emits it’s full light.

The difference between the Old and the New Testaments is found in the arrangement of subjects.

The Old Testament says it this way…

God is Holy….You are sinful….therefore the wrath of God is upon you….Oh that the Redeemer would come and deliver you !

The New Testament says it this way…

He has come….He has redeemed you…. now understand how holy God is who could not save you except through the blood of Jesus Christ and understand how great and evil sin is…so great and evil that it required the astonishing sacrifice of God’s own Son to remove it.

There is no changing of the character or nature of God. It didn’t change between Malachi and Matthew.

The God of judgment in the Old Testament…
who judged Adam and Eve
who judged through the Flood
who judged at the tower of Babel
who judged the Egyptians
who judged the Canaanites
who judged even His own people
is the God of Love of the New Testament. Remember 1 Peter 1:17-21

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

Every act of judgment in the Old Testament was executed throught the “filter” of what was foreordained before the foundation of the world. Mercy was the root…even in the OLD days. It all pointed to the Cross.

The Old Testament is full of beautiful and loving expressions of God’s love.
-I will abundantly pardon…
-Can a woman forget her child…
-My thoughts of peace for you can not be removed…
-Ho everyone that thirsteth, come to the waters…
-With the Lord our God there is forgiveness…
-The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth…
-The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

Did you realize that the New Testament reveals a new level of sin not seen in the Old ? In the Old Testament, He told us of the evil of sin. In the New Testament, He told us what sin is….what it does…and what it leads to. Sin was exposed, defined, and remedied at the cross. Jesus Christ layed down His life. It was His to give. But man wanted to eradicate Him, erase Him, and all that He stood for. We crucified the Son of God. All of Mankind did. In our pride and our outrage…we had to kill Him. We wanted to erase God manifested in the flesh. Even in that horrible revelation of the prideful and sickening state of the heart of man…He still redeemed us. Regardless of our folly and our evil desire to destroy the Light of the world, He triumphed on our behalf…anyway. When we crucified Him, the nature of sin was truly revealed. We were the enemies of God but He still destroyed the enmity between us and Him. That is a new level, beyond the Old Testament writings.

In the New Testament, our understanding of the severity of the judgment of God increases.

Mark 9

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands,than to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where
‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.’
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— where
‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.”

In the New Testament, those outside of Christ are called sons of disobedience and by nature the children of wrath. There are no statements similar to this in the Old Testament.

Ephesians 2:1-3
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

In the book of Revelation, we are introduced to a level of judgment and wrath that exceeds the Old Testament. He came the first time as Servant and Saviour, this time He returns as King and Judge. The Lamb of God who first came as Servant and Savior now reveals a level of judgment that man cannot fully comprehend. How do you understand the wrath of the Lamb ? Lambs don’t have wrath. They are incapable of wrath. It’s like calling peanut butter….napalm. But the whole book is an unveiling of Jesus Christ and His final judgment of the nations and kings, the systems and rulers, and the earth and it’s inhabitants. To fully understand it and see Him revealed in the midst of such terrifying events, you must use both the Old and the New Testament writings or (again) error will ensue.

The Old and the New combine to declare that God is love.
But what is God ?
The Old Testament answers that.
What is Love ?
The New Testament does a pretty good job of answering that.
But unless you know the Old Testament when you read or hear that God is love, that statement doesn’t have a foundation and therefore could mean anything.

Jesus said…”You believe in God (Old Testament), believe also in Me.”

Credit for this article goes to Adolph Saphir for his incite into end-time deception and false teaching.

Why Not The Big Stuff Too ?

All the prophets in the Old Testament predicted a combination of little things and big stuff. It’s amazing how some of these seemingly little things were fulfilled right down to the smallest detail. Here’s some examples from Isaiah.

He predicted the voice of John the Baptist. Isaiah 40:3-5
He predicted that the Messiah would be a suffering Servant.
He would be pierced.
He would be scourged.
He would be cut off. Isaiah 53
He even predicted that Messiah would make “His grave with the wicked and the rich.” Isaiah 53:9 Jesus was buried in a rich man’s tomb.

So if those things were fulfilled … why don’t we believe that the big stuff will be fulfilled ?

Isaiah 24 A world wide judgment ?
Isaiah 35 The complete restoration of Zion’s blessings to the world ?
Isaiah 60 A fully restored Israel, living in its land with the Son of Righteousness ruling and reigning ?

He fulfilled the (seemingly) smaller things….why wouldn’t He fulfill the big stuff ?

Why do we switch to allegorizing the “big stuff” ?

Zechariah 9:9

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.”

We read about the fulfillment of this in Matthew 21

“When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Here’s another one.

Zechariah 11:12-13

“So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.”

We read about the fulfillment of this in Matthew 27

“Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”

Two seemingly little prophecies that were fulfilled. Literally.

If these “little things” were so perfectly fulfilled, shouldn’t we expect the big stuff to be literally fulfilled too ?

Zechariah got the donkey part right.
He got the thirty pieces of silver right.

Maybe we should trust him on the “big stuff” he prophecies in chapters 12-14. Here are a few excerpts from those chapters.

“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him. In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.

And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.

Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. It will come about in that day that a great panic from the Lord will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.

Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.”

Let’s trust Him to fulfill His Word. Period.