7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith Yahweh hosts.
"the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,"
repeated the Lord Jesus.
This was to accompany the introduction of the desires of all the nations. The shaking was to precede, and be contemporary with the coming Abrahamic blessing, but did not attend Christ's birth, for he was born in a period of profound peace.
The shaking at the destruction of Jerusalem, nor any national convulsions since did at all result in his manifestation, or the coming of any object of Gentile desire. Hence, then, the prophecies of Haggai, Joel, and Jesus, look to the future for their full terminal accomplishment, and as Israel has no longer any heavens and earth to be shaken, the shaking predicted must relate to other heavens, which can therefore only be the heaven of the Gentiles.
The conclusion, then, to which we are led is this: that in the Gentile world in its heavens and earth, will be displayed wonders and signs, attended with
"blood and fire, and pillars of smoke,"
or bloody and destructive war; and that their sun shall be turned into darkness, and their moon into blood, as Judah's has been; that is, that its existing supreme secular sovereignty shall be set aside by the overshadowing of a new power, whose vengeance will be disastrous to the ecclesiastical orders; and that all this shall come to pass
"before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."
Synchronous with these "wonders" and "signs" is the period alluded to by the Lord Jesus in these words, saying,
"And there shall be signs in sun, and moon, and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear and anticipation of the things coming upon the habitable; for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And afterwards shall they (who pierced him-the Jews, then hereafter in Palestine) see the Son of Man coming in cloud, with power and great glory."
This period is a time of great trouble, but not the greatest that will be. The coming of the Son of Man is the end of one period, and the beginning of another. His appearing is the standing up of "Michael, the great Commander," who stands for Judah.
Before this standing up there is a period of great trouble; but after the appearing is "the great and terrible day of the Lord," when
"there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation to that same time;" it will also be "the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it;" for "at that time Daniel's people shall be delivered and many of them who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."
The nations have already entered the pre-adventual time of trouble, in which the "wonders" and "signs" in the sun, moon, and stars of the Gentile heavens, and "the blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke," upon the habitable, are being displayed to the eye of enlightened faith, for whose benefit they are alone revealed. The work is begun which Joel did foresee, as well as the apostle John. "The nations are angry;" but not yet so enraged as they will be before "the wrath of the Lord God Almighty comes."
"Secret diplomacy," against which there is so much indignation in Europe, is effectually at work upon "the kings of the earth and of the whole habitable;" and will not intermit its labours until it have involved them all in war, the crowning event of which will be the rushing of the roaring sea and waves-"the upwakened nations"-into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where they will be encountered and rolled back with terrible disaster by the mighty ones of God.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, April 1855