The Signs Of The Times—Part 2
This is part 2 of a two-part article. Part 1 can be found here.
The Time is Upon Us
In God’s name, let the star shine out to the wise men and see why these awful times are upon us! These are the days of His preparation—Jesus Christ is coming to judge the earth. It is not my business to scare you, but if I am an honest man and have found these things in the Book, I am a poor low cur unless I tell you about it. I am not asking people to follow me on some kind of a new cult; I have to be honest with you, as I see it fulfilled from the book of God, that Jesus is on His way back to this Earth, and that judgments are round about us. These are the signs of our times.
Now he says to Daniel, of another sign of our time: “Seal up the book, even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
“Many shall run to and fro.” When your grandmother was living, if she had been suddenly told that you could go from New York City to San Francisco in the time that we can today, she would have fainted. When in the days of our fathers they left the east and went out west, they told them good-by as if they never expected to see them again, but what was way out west then is only three days away now.
You meet people in jams at the depot and you say to yourself: “Where are all these people going?” I don’t know, but they are on their way. How many of you have been in New York City? How many of you in San Francisco? How many of you in Denver? How many of you in Kansas City? How many down South? How many of you up in Canada? See? Many of you have raised your hands on each question. We are going “to and fro” aren’t we? Another sign of the end times.
Then Daniel says what else—“Knowledge shall increase.” When our fathers were boys they could hardly get an education. They picked up all they could find in their neighborhood, learned all they could from “Old School Master,” who was the only fellow who taught “larning [sic] to nobody,” and he taught country school and gave the “three R’s” is a good tryout. But now “knowledge is increased”—and that is what Daniel says, way back there—in what time? In the end time!—universities; schools on every corner; high schools, grammar schools, colleges, then the P.G. School; get all you can in the United States and then go over to Europe and plug up over there. “Knowledge shall increase.”
O, we think we are smart, but I tell you, these men who watch God’s signs are the wise men; and if you are wise tonight you will see “God knows our day.” God knows the beginning and the end. He knows where we are going; and He tells us in the Book. Like the star in the East for His first coming there are the signs of our time all about in these days in which we live. You don’t have to be ignorant—God help you to take it in!
War rages in Europe tonight. Why? God knew that when learning would increase, men would thirst more than ever for power. God knew that we would make bigger ships, better ships; God knew we would make armament; God knew we would make the best kind of guns, that would go off the greatest number of times in a minute; and God knew that as soon as we got all that stuff, like any other small boy, we would like to put it in action. He knew it. And He says in the last time, “when learning shall increase,” you will find out they will reward a man greatly because he is a great scientist, they will clap their hands because he has made their government efficient; they will forget about God and applaud men as they open up new ways of power for man.
Oh, if I were you, if there was any idea in my heart or in my brain that I would ever come to God through the work of men or that the world was to be reduced by the work of men, I would throw it down like sin, and connect up with God’s plan, follow these stars and come out to meet Him and greet Him. I would never let Him say: “Behold the bridegroom cometh”—and I not be ready to come out and meet Him and crown Him King.
These are the words of Jesus: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilence and earthquakes in divers places.” From the time that old San Francisco thing hit us, and the one in Italy, I guess we have had some, haven’t we? Look around from the Dayton flood, and the Galveston flood, to the pestilence over all the Earth, and you will say “His star is in the east, and it isn’t going to be long until the king appears.”
Time to Awake
It is time for the world to wake up to the fact that Jesus, who was born in the manger two thousand years ago, will soon be coming in the glory and come to Earth to take His rightful place. This is the message to our age: “Behold the bridegroom cometh; Go ye out to meet Him!” Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Is He your Saviour? Have you taken Him as your Saviour? If you have, then you can take Him as your King, and await His arrival with hope, and go speedily into the harvest, for the time is short.
In the Last Days
In 2 Timothy 3:1–3, God says: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come”—why? Listen: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves.” Say, friends, did I have it right before? What of the books you see men reading on the car—“Self-development; hypnotism; new thought; believe that you are going to have a million dollars and you will get it.” That is the rule of our time. I wish you thought it was as foolish as that. “Set your will like a flint to be the thing you want to be, and you will be it”—that is the thing they are teaching. Christian Science is teaching that it is all mind. Pantheism in other words, of the worst brand—that we are God, and all is God, and all is good; there is no evil; nothing can touch you; nothing can beat you. Who is the emphasis on? Self! Looking at our own development—walking over everybody in front of us. Success at any price—but success!—that is the spirit of our day, my friend. Self needs no God.
Again in Timothy, same place, God says: “Men shall be lovers of their own selves.” There never was a day when they made so much money, never wore such fine clothes—and is God thanked for it? No. Men are thanked.
Where are you going to spend eternity? O, they say, “I hate a preacher that preaches about hell—we won’t listen to him.” Why? Men are lovers of their own selves, and don’t want to meet God in judgment. God help us! I want to preach to men and women about hell because Jesus came to save them from it.
Then God says that in the last days perilous times shall come because “they shall be covetous.” Did you ever read a little book “Keeping up with Lizzie?” It is a foolish little story, but it hits our time. I heard a story not very long ago, about a prosperous little town where every fellow had his own farm, and a young automobile salesman came to town with a lovely car. He got hold of one of the young fellows in town, whose dad was the richest fellow in the city, and put the boy inside the car and ran down the country road. He said, “Say, isn’t this great? Just sit over in my place here. Turn the wheel like that—that’s right. Now you put your foot like that—then work the gas around here and the sparker here.”
The first thing you know they had been out an hour and a half, and the boy got so he knew something about it. “Dad, I ran it, I ran it myself!” he yelled when he got home. “And she is a hummer, believe me, she is all right. Say, Dad, we ought to have one of those things; aren’t you going to loosen up and get one of them?”
“Well,” Dad says, “I don’t know about that.”
So the boy kept going riding with the salesman, who seemingly didn’t care to sell his automobile, he was just taking folks out for a ride. The first thing you know the boy could run it himself. And one day the salesman said: “Get your Dad in it.” So they took Dad out, and by and by the salesman says to Dad, “Wouldn’t you like to see how this runs? Just come up and sit here.”
They went out on a nice little stretch of road. “You just handle it like this.” They stayed out for an hour and a half, then two hours, and the next day the automobile desire got him—it got him right here, right here in his pocket. So they sold the first one; and inside of a month there wasn’t a farmer around there who hadn’t mortgaged his farm to buy one. Wife would come along and say, “Mrs. So-and-So has a car; and I have never seen you loosen up with any car—I thought you said you loved me.”
Every fellow wants to beat the next fellow. We are living in a covetous age. Whatever people have, we want; if it is the style. O, die, but you have to be in style. It is the “rage”—it is “the style.” Friends, we have the disease; the marks are on us; and you cannot deny the diagnosis of the Holy Ghost in His book. We are guilty before God, and the spots are on us.
God’s next sign is “boasters.” O, my friends, was there ever such a day when men and women were doing business on bluster and bluff? God just wants to show you the different specks on the body of humanity today that He said would break out; He knew the disease way back there; like the doctor who comes into the room and feels the boy’s pulse, and turns around to his mother and says, “He has the smallpox.” “Why, there isn’t a mark on his body!” yells the mother. “Well, he has the smallpox,” says the doctor, “put him in the pest-house.” “The idea! Our boy with the smallpox!” shouts the mother, and she goes and gets another doctor. The other doctor comes in and looks him over and says the same thing; they send the city officer in. He has all the symptoms of it, and in a few days it all breaks out on him.
You think it is funny because Daniel could tell what we were going to have, and when the disease was going to break out on the Earth; but God knew how it was going to break out in our day, so he chooses to talk about what God told him about the end time from God’s Word.
“Disobedient to parents.” Ask any school teacher that is here—you school teachers here tonight, I will ask you an honest question: Isn’t it an honest fact that children are more disobedient to parents today than they ever were before? And you parents know about your own children, that it is harder to make them obey. The children are running the homes, not the parents; calling them the “old man” and “the old woman”—no respect; “what do we care what Dad says, what Mother says?”
Some of you young girls here tonight—sin has gotten you, and the fashion, and the lust, and the things of your own time, have their grip on you. You won’t mind your mother or pay any attention to what she says, much less to God.
And you young fellows, who have gotten into sin tonight—you know you thought your folks were old-fogey; didn’t know anything about the temptations of your time. “Disobedient to parents”—laughing at what Father knows, and what Mother knows. Again another mark of the last days.
Without Natural Affection
“Unthankful, unholy, without natural affection.” You let any doctor come on this platform tonight and talk on that last subject, and it will drive every man and woman out of this house; it would make men and women sick at their stomachs to hear that subject discussed, of unnatural affection, the dirty, filthy, hellish lust that is in our times. It is broadcast everywhere. It is no wonder that homes are broken up, that families are broken up.
You men here tonight, you know as well as you know your own name, that you have to fight the devil every day on the proposition. It is the outstanding sin of our times as it was of Noah’s. And I tell you, women have to go along and keep their eyes shut. God help you men and women to get under the blood of Jesus tonight, and let this filthy thing be washed from your heart, and be clean in Christ Jesus! Listen to me: There isn’t a hope under God’s heaven for you fellows, not a hope, outside of Jesus.
Young Women Tempted
Young women, I pity you today. The men, the hellish men, that are after you; the presents they give you; the things they do to allure you. We have the slickest set of liars ever born in the world today. What liars men have been to women! And since I have been in this work for God and have gone with other men and women to help young women and young men—O, the liars I have seen!
Young women, there isn’t a chance for you, outside of Jesus. If you are looking to the pleasure ahead of you, O, you will be awfully disappointed, but if you take Jesus, praise God, He will pull you through with exceeding joy. He will give you a joy, a peace the world will never take away from you, and He will keep you pretty for God, clean on the inside. Is there anything sweeter in all the world than to know that your mother is true? O, my God, I am so glad for a good mother. Girls, in God’s name, let Jesus save you tonight, won’t you? You that are to be wives and mothers, God keep you pure tonight. I don’t know what the next generation will be, if Jesus tarries, if we go on like we are going today.
I was talking to four boys only a week ago, and three out of the four said to me, “Mr. Rader, my parents parted, and I never knew what it was to have the love of either one of them.” O, the number of them that are kept in institutions tonight, herded in like poor little cattle, with their little garments all alike. I have gone out to talk to them, and broken down—their parents out in the world somewhere, spending their time, and their offspring herded in the institutions. God pity our time! God pity us! Unnatural affection—women who don’t love their children, and have lost the mother-love. God pity us! O, women, I don’t want to say anything that will hurt your heart—I want to say something that will turn you to Jesus—where you will say: “O, God, let Jesus give me a natural heart, a heart that has love in it.” What is home going to be, if it keeps on as it is going in the divorce courts. God help us to see the times in which we live, these awful days, and turn to our wonderful Saviour.
The Bible says next that men shall be “truce-breakers, false-accusers, incontinent”—no power to resist. If the world says “Come on,” we say, “Let it go.” Like the girl who sits at the table and the wine is before her, and she knows she ought not to touch it, and they say to her, “What a fool you are, a little bit of a sissy.” We even have phrases for it—“When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do.” And after a while she gives up. “Incontinent”—friends, you see it all around you; I feel it, don’t you, in the atmosphere—the tendency to “let things go.”
O, how lovely it is to every once in a while meet a man who just stands like a rock in the power of Jesus and won’t bend for any of the calls of the world.
The Good Folks
God’s next accusation is “Despisers of those who are good.” O, the fun that is made of women who are good, because they don’t dress “up-to-date;” the fun that is made of the old-fashioned mother, because she wore that old dress, and let her children have better. I have seen it time and time again—mother going without, and that little upstart of sixteen or seventeen, ashamed of her mother; and mother had washed the dishes to keep the girl’s hands a little bit better, and the girl turns around and says: “What do I care for her? Who wants to obey her?” God pity us tonight for the sin that is in the world. “Despisers of those that are good.” All sorts of fun made of people who profess to be filled with the Spirit, by nominal church members.
The men who profess a good life of victory in Jesus tonight are hated, counted the off-scouring of the world. A young preacher was invited to a platform three weeks after God’s Holy Spirit came in His fullness into his heart. He began to tell of it, with the tears running down his cheeks—and the pastor stood up and flatly contradicted him.
The young fellow said, “Praise the Lord—but I thought you asked me to talk, and I am telling what I know.” He thanked God he had something in his heart; if it had been in another day, that pastor would have had a physical settlement. Praise God, that had all gone and he was glad of it, and was telling folks how to get rid of it; and the young preacher had so much of the victory on hand the pastor didn’t like it. It was hitting him right in between the eyes. Come to find out, he had been in a big fuss of anger the week before. So the young preacher just said, “All right, you get up and preach,” and he sat down as sweetly as he could, by God’s grace.
Yes, “despisers of those who are good.”
The good-haters have little expressions like this: “If you are good, you’ll be lonesome.” No, you won’t, “you’ll be lonesome if you aren’t good.” The devil always did lie about happiness. Jesus has it cornered, and will let you into it.
Lovers of Pleasure
“Traitors, heady, high-minded. Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” Friends, you know the way the amusement craze is going in our time. People are amusement mad. There was a time when churches took their stand against theaters, and against all things of that kind. Then they began to tell us, “Theaters have improved.” Friends, instead of improving, they are way down at the heels. The thing that is the juiciest subject for all kinds of plays today is the triangle—the husband and the wife and then the man or the woman who comes in between—that is the interesting triangle. And your children are reading these things, seeing these things, in the movies.
O, the slick tricks the devil works to put it over and break up the atmosphere of purity—and that is what we call amusement! We think it is amusement to talk about these risqué things; about how the husband went astray; how the wife went astray; the problems of illegitimate children; these are the things before the public; they like the smut—they wouldn’t admit it for a minute, but nevertheless the theater men know what they want, and put before the people the kind of thing they will pay for. “We are lovers of pleasure, more than lovers of God”—that is the indictment God has against us. Friends, I have tried my best, by the help of God, to show you where the world is drifting tonight. O, men will sell their souls for pleasure.
In a little coal mining town where we were holding revival meetings, we went down in the mines, sight-seeing. As we were looking at the different veins, we came to a black spot in the ceiling, and one of the fellows stopped for just a minute. I asked why, and he said, “Because of that black cross up there. The fellows always stop there.”
“Why?” I said. “Well,” he said. “I couldn’t tell it good. You will have to ask somebody that is a Christian to tell you.”
When we went home to lunch there was a young waitress waiting on the table; I had seen her in the meetings the night before, and I said to her: “Can you tell me what the cross is?”
“Oh,” she said, “yes I can. It dates back to the time we were having a revival service here; it was one of the sweetest campaigns; some of our young people were saved. I was saved myself in that campaign. One of our girls was converted; she was a waitress right here, and she belonged to a coal miner’s family. She had the most wonderful voice; she was a Welsh girl. She was wonderfully saved; and she went home and told the folks about it. Then her father was saved, and her mother was saved; and they were as happy as could be. One night they had prayed and talked to the boys in the family, and said to the boys: Won’t you go to the meeting tonight?”
“Frank, the eldest boy, said, ‘No—we won’t go to your show—we are having a dance tonight; we are having some good old time. This preaching stuff makes me sick.’
“The mother got up at the table and said, ‘Frank, don’t you say another word. Do you mean to tell me you love pleasure more than you love God?’
“‘Yes, I’ll take the pleasure every time.’
“But as they left the door that night, the other boy came back and said, ‘I am going with Frank—I feel he is reckless; but I am coming back to the meeting later.’
“They met the other fellows of the town, swearing and reckless. The boy could stand their language no longer, and he said to them, ‘Fellows, I am not saved, but it is wrong for you to talk like you have about the boys who have been saved. You have been blaspheming down in the mine, making fun of the fellows. Now you are going off to a dance to have hell’s own kind of a time, but this is where I leave you.’
“They gave him a shove, and he landed on all fours. ‘You are going back to stay,’ they yelled, making all kinds of fun of him, but finally he broke loose. He ran back to the meeting, and he came in just as they were giving the altar call. His mother looked back at him, and just beckoned to him in the way she used to call him in the days of his childhood—and he came right down and gave himself to Jesus.
“The next morning the boys got home from the dance about four o’clock. They changed their clothes and went to the mine without sleep. The converted brother went along with them, praising God in spite of their taunts and blasphemy. The two brothers were mule-drivers and worked on the long incline. This morning Frank took out the first string of cars and for some unknown reason his brother rode down the incline with him on the front car.
“Half way down the incline, when the train had begun to move swiftly, it was Frank’s business to reach down and pull out the pin on the single-tree. There was a siding where the mule had been taught to jump and get himself out of the way and let the swift moving train fly by, but this morning Frank never pulled the pin and the mule jumped, but the train knocked him down and ran over him and piled up all the cars, pinning the two brothers up against the rock roof. When the men got to them they were both dead, but they could hear them both, long before they could pull the cars apart and reach them. One was praising God, the other was cursing God. They had both had the same chance. The end had come.”
Oh, turn and seek the Lord now. The stars that shine at which we have been looking, tell plainly that we are in the last days. Jesus Christ is coming to wind it all up before long! “God is not mocked.” Turn from this cursed world of sin and put your hope in Him and rejoice that soon there will be an end of sin.