MATTHEW 24
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1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

The wrath to come...From Deut 28...

CONQUEST BY the Greco-Latin Horn of the Goat, commonly styled, THE ROMAN POWER-verses 48-52.

The siege and DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM-verses 53-57.

Expulsion from the Holy Land after destruction of the Capital and the Temple-verses 58-64.

General condition and distress of the nation while in dispersion in the lands of its enemies-verses 28, 29, 64-68.

The reason of so terrible a judgment befalling the nation-verses 15, 58, 62; 29:25-28.

The condition of the land while the nation is in dispersion-verses 22-23.

Last days of Judah's Commonwealth Ch 3



10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

It was a trying time in Israel to all who loved the truth. The crisis was favourable to the growth of tares. As Jesus had predicted, many were caused to fall, and betrayed one another, and hated one another. Many false prophets had shown themselves in the ecclesia, and had deceived many; and because iniquity abounded, the love of many had become cold.

Last days of Judah's Commonwealth Ch 2



The urgency of the warning is much clearer in the Revised Version:

"The love of THE many shall wax cold."

And the New Revised:

"MOST men's love will grow cold."

The literal meaning is not just an indefinite "many," as we might take from the Authorised Version, but "the many," -- that is, most, the majority.

"Because iniquity shall abound." Why would iniquity abounding make believers' love get less? Is it their own iniquity that is meant, or the prevalence of iniquity around them? Are they gradually and unconsciously tinged with the surrounding unbellef, or are they weakened and disheartened by the fewness of believers and the apparent prosperity of sin?

In considering these questions, and endeavoring to extract guidance and comfort from what is rather a sad subject, we must consider the meaning of "iniquity," and of "love."

The word here translated "iniquity" is anomia, which means "lawlessness." It is the word translated "without law" three times in 1st Corinthians 9:21, twice in Romans 2:12, and "lawless" in 1st Timothy 1:9.

The first epistle of John is a deep spiritual textbook on Love and Sin, the two great powers that contend for the mastery of the earth. All mankind are arrayed on one side or the other. We know that the final victory will go to Love, and to all who have faithfully arrayed themselves under its banner --

"His banner over me was Love" (S. of S. 2:4).

John says (3:4), "Sin is anomia -- lawlessness" -- this same word. Sin is everything that is natural -- all this is outside the direct guidance and control of the law of God.

Lawlessness -- lack of interest in God's Law -- ignorance of God's Law -- a deliberate ignoring of God's Law -- lack of love for God's Law -- lack of perception of the necessity and beauty and beneficence and blessing of God's Law.

God's Law is life and love. God's Law is the law of the Spirit of Life -- the shining light leading from death to life. Sin is lawlessness -- living according to blind selfishness and desire, like a natural, lawless, wild beast.

"The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul" (Psa. 19:7).

On this, the Psalmist further says (23:3) --

"He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake."

The Psalmist knew and rejoiced that God's Law was lovingly designed to restore the soul from the selfish ways of sadness and death, and to lead through the path of peace and righteousness to everlasting life and joy.

"Because iniquity -- anomia -- LAWLESSNESS -- shall abound, the love to the many shall wax cold."

We are concerned particularly with the positive aspect of the problem of the diminishing of love because of the increase of lawlessness -- how to guard against the dangers involved.

The first step is to clearly discern the difference between natural and spiritual things, and to fix our minds and allegiances on the spiritual.

What is the purpose of our life? What is our goal? The things of the Spirit are concerned with life and joy; the things of the flesh are related to sorrow and death. The things of the Spirit are the things of the Law of God; the things of the flesh are the things of natural darkness and lawlessness.

Increase of unbelief frequently, almost always, takes the form of an assumed increase of knowledge -- a knowing better, a feeling of being cleverer than the instruction of God's Word.

There is one scriptural fact that will give us a clearer and more living picture of the issues before us. That is that, scripturally speaking, belief is faith and faith is belief. They are not two things, but one. There is only one word for both in the New Testament, and the different translations are just translators' whims. To believe is to have faith; to have faith is to believe, and --

"Faith is the basis of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 1:1).

Faith, or belief, as the apostle goes to great lengths to illustrate in Hebrews 11, is a vital, living force, a way of life, a power that made men stand alone in the face of the most violent enmity and persecution, and that led them onward to every form of accomplishment and heroism --

"These all died IN FAITH."

So when the Scriptures speak of belief, let us not get a cold, flat, dead, powerless, insipid picture of mere passive mental assent. It is not a saving or pleasing belief in God's sight unless it completely dominates and transforms our lives. John says, as he begins his first epistle (1:4) --

"These things write we unto you that your joy may be full."

This is the key -- "That your joy may be full." God's great purpose is the manifestation of His glory through the joyful love of a redeemed multitude. The love of many shall wax cold.

The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, and peace. John wrote, God spoke, Christ came -- "that your joy may be full." The law of God is not a penal code, but "good tidings of great joy."

There is no joy like the deep and abiding joy of the Spirit -- the beauty of holiness -- the glory of the divine nature. Love cannot grow cold as long as this picture is kept fresh and clear. if we keep reading and rereading what John wrote, seeking to constantly live in its atmosphere of divine love, our hearts and minds will be drawn upward in the joy of the Spirit. If we are not constantly filled with an overwhelming joy, we have not yet found the truth in its fulness and beauty.

The love of the many shall wax cold because the shadows grow thicker -- the sadness and instability of natural things deepens. All things today -- industrial, economic, national, and international -- are at a constant crisis, a constant tension. No one is happy, no one is satisfied -- and we are in great danger of absorbing this atmosphere of tension and stress.

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"Because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:12 R.V.).

The latter days are to be days of unbelief. This is the testimony of prophecy. This is one of the great signs of the time of the end in the world and in the brotherhood.

For over one hundred years -- just about the period since the revival of the Truth by brother Thomas -- the churches of the world have been undermining the foundations of belief. The pretension of science, the speculations of evolution, the theories of the higher critics attempting to reduce the Bible to folklore, have all been directed against the authority of God and His Word.

The whole trend of current thought is to glorify man, and dim and discredit the creatorship and supremacy of God. There is an increasing worship of, and dependence upon, "science" and the human mind, which is still -- at its highest and best -- but the mind of the flesh, utterly incapable of reasoning correctly without specific divine instruction, as the Scriptures so plainly declare --

"The way of man is not in himse!f; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23).

"Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise ... that no flesh should glory in His presence."

The danger to ourselves is that it is so easy -- yea, almost inevitable --to be unconsciously influenced by the world, in relation to these things.

Modern man seems so accomplished and learned -- modern inventions and discovery so marvelous. But we must keep ever before us the simple scriptural picture --

"It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."

We must distinguish between natural and spiritual things. Brilliance in one means absolutely nothing in the other. The mind of the flesh, however brilliant or well-educated, knows only the things of the flesh.

The issue is between darkness and light -- let us keep this clear. The mind of the flesh at its best is but darkness -- brilliantly clever darkness, but still only darkness and leading to death, utterly incapable of reasoning about the real, spiritual facts of the universe (1 Cor. 2:14) --

"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

This is a pressing problem before us today. A large section of those using the name Christadelphian, who once stood on the old basis have been led down the same path that led to the apostacy in the first centuries -- over emphasis and glorification of worldly wisdom and learning.

Our pioneer brethren drew a sharp line between the true wisdom of God, and the "wisdom" of the world. Many think that brother Thomas was too severe in his remarks about the world's religious and scientific leaders, but the more we see this subtle danger invading the brotherhood, the more we realise that he spoke strongly because he clearly discerned the danger that has, in time, destroyed every past revival of truth.

His words were strong, but he was on the safe, true side, and the more we see and hear of current trends in the brotherhood, the more we are impressed with this fact.

"The fear of the Lord" -- as we have been so beautifully and impressively reminded in our readings lately -- "is the beginning of wisdom."

Nothing short of that is wisdom at all. How well and conclusively this sums up the futility of all the "wisdom" and activity of natural man!

"If thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding. If thou seekest for her as for hid treasures -- THEN shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God."

"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of HIS mouth cometh knowledge and understanding" (Prov. 1:3-6).

The unbelief of the world in a disguised form finds its reflection in the brotherhood. It is inevitable that this should be so. The pull of the flesh is strong, and unless the attraction of the Spirit is very powerful, brethren and sisters will naturally reflect the current views and outlook of the world. Baptism of itself is no insulation against the glitter of the world and the self-deception of the mind of the flesh.

Love Shall Wax Cold - Brother Growcott


12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

It is much easier to sell looseness and downhillness and let's-blur-the-edges-ness and compromise-ness, than it is to sell steadfastness and holiness and firmness of purpose and faithfulness to exclusive Truth. It's easy to become both popular and powerful and draw the crowds, if that is our stock in trade. But let us not be discouraged if what we have to sell does not have the common appeal of the broadly popular goods.

The Truth of God is a narrow, exclusive, flesh-crucifying, demanding, high-standarded thing. It is not designed for the masses, and it has never appealed to the masses, or the shallowly unthinking. It appeals only to the thoughtful, and the wholly dedicated, and those whom the masses call "extremists." The Truth is indeed a total, all-consuming, all-demanding "extreme" thing.

Bro Growcott - Search Me O God


26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Such was "the day of the Lord" which came upon Judah's commonwealth "as a thief in the night." The vengeance was terrible and complete. Everything Mosaic that existed contemporary with the apostles, "vanished away," as they and the prophets had foretold.

The Jews either rejected or perverted the Gospel of the Kingdom in "the glorious and fearful name, YAHWEH Elohim;" therefore, they were broken off by terrible judgment and subjected to the Mosaic curses of Mount Ebal for a long and "bitter day" of eighteen hundred years. Their power was broken by the Little Horn of the Goat; so that they could no longer persecute, and be contrary to all.

They have had practical experience of the import and truth of Paul's words, that-

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God; who is a consuming fire." (Heb. 10:31; 12:29)

Last days of Judah's Commonwealth Ch 4.


48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

Right from the days of bro. Thomas, the Christadelphian body has been on the verge of expectancy, eager for the Lord's return. And the gradual development of the prophetic picture toward Armageddon has heightened that expectancy. This has been a distinguishing mark of Christadelphians, quite amusing to the world.

But today we increasingly hear it said, almost apologetically, as if ashamed of the former simple enthusiasm, "It cannot be for some time yet, there is more prophecy to be fulfilled first, things are not ready" -- "My Lord delayeth his coming." This is becoming the fashionable viewpoint among the "many." Surely this in itself is one of the most striking signs of the end!

Love Shall Wax Cold - Brother Growcott



49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

Generally, this means an indulging in, and joining in, things outside the associations and principles of the Truth.

It speaks of joining with false doctrine, for that is often represented under the figure of wine and drunkenness.

It speaks of joining in the activities and amusements of the world, for these, too, come under the scriptural heading of drunkenness and revelry.

It is so easy in these prosperous days to be carried away by the intoxication of the present -- to eat and drink with the drunken -- not only by the world's endlessly increasing pleasures and entertainments, but also by the pressure of daily work and the endless complications of modern life.

Above all, perhaps, it speaks of a state of confusion and intoxication -- having the senses dulled and blurred -- losing the clear distinction of the Truth -- the fading of the recognition of the urgency of a clear, firm stand -- a general lowering of the standards and burial of differences and general amalgamation -- loss of the sense of the importance of clear separation from error.

Love Shall Wax Cold - Brother Growcott



50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

"They that sleep sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night..."

"But ye are all children of the light, and of the day. . .Let us watch and be sober."

"God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all."

The days are evil, but there will be a faithful remnant found awake to meet the Lord -- a strange, holy, separate few -- perfected in patience and love -- sober, grave and diligent in the midst of the general intoxication of the night, for Jesus says --

"Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching."

Love Shall Wax Cold - Brother Growcott



51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The false teachers, styled by Jesus and John false prophets, seemed for a time to have the advantage of the situation. Evil servants that they were, they said in their hearts, Our Lord delayeth to come; and came practically to the conclusion that he would not come. Having relieved themselves of this apprehension, they commenced the merchandise of souls, and smote those of their fellow-servants who would not be sold to work iniquity.

Thus they became lords of the heritages, and devoted themselves to eating and drinking with the drunken, in all the luxury of the day. But, though they found it convenient to ignore all but their own imaginations, their Divine Master was not unobservant of their abominations. Still he bore with them for a time, "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to a change of mind."

As he waited in the days of Noah, so he waited with them. But his long suffering and forbearance were ineffectual; so he came upon them in a day and hour they were not aware of, and cut them off, appointing them a portion with the hypocrites, where was weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 24:48-51).

Last days of Judah's Commonwealth Ch 2.