In the last chapter we considered seven of the Churchward Results of the Redeemer's Return. We saw that the One who left His disciples almost nineteen centuries ago, is coming back again, that the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout; that this Shout will be heard by all the saints whether alive on the earth or asleep in their graves, and that at the time He gives this Shout our Lord will exert a miraculous |drawing| power which shall |catch up| His people unto Himself so that they meet Him in the air, after which they come before the Bema in order that their works may be examined and their service rewarded; subsequently, after an interval of seven years or more, the Lord returns to the earth accompanied by His people in glory. It is concerning the Interval which follows the Rapture and some of the things which shall occur during this period of time which are now to engage our attention. What is to take place on earth after the Church has been removed from it? What are the conditions that will obtain in this world during the interval which divides the two stages in the second advent of Christ? What is the course of events which shall culminate in the Return of the Redeemer to the Mount of Olives to usher in the long-promised Millennium? The Scriptures which make answer to these questions are exceedingly numerous and our chief difficulty is to select and classify.
What will occur on earth after the saints have been removed? In seeking to summarize the predictions which bear upon this time, we shall confine ourselves again to seven of the most prominent items, namely, the Consternation of the world at the removal of the Church, the Hopeless condition of those left behind, God's dealings with the earth in judgment, the character and career of the Antichrist, the situation of the Jews during this period, the Battle of Armageddon, and the Return of Christ to the earth itself. Before we study these seriatim, a further word or two is necessary to prepare the reader for what follows.
The length of time which separates between the secret coming of Christ to the air for the purpose of catching up His people and His subsequent and public return to the earth itself is not clearly defined in Scripture. It is certain, however, that this interval will last at least seven years and if, as the writer believes and an increasing number of prophetic students conclude, a goodly proportion of the Jews are to return to Palestine, if their Temple in Jerusalem is to be re-built, if Babylon is to be restored until it becomes again the metropolis of the world, then it will last much longer, possibly seventy years in all. For the sake of convenience we shall refer to this interval as the Tribulation period, though to be strictly accurate the |great Tribulation| is but three and a half years in length, the final three and a half years before the Lord Jesus returns to the earth.
Anyone who has given himself at all seriously to the study of Prophecy will immediately recognize the difficulty of seeking to arrange in chronological order the things which are shortly coming to pass. Concerning the exact sequence of details we cannot be absolutely dogmatic, but so far as the general outline is in question that is plain. With these explanatory remarks let us now turn directly to the subject before us. And,