CHAPTER IV

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

ON ONE occasion some Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and asked that He show them a sign from heaven. Since He had wrought miracle after miracle, all of which were manifest to the multitude, they doubtless made this request, not to have their faith strengthened, but to ensnare Him in some error:

"16 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and trying him asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But he answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the heaven is red. 3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day: for the heaven is red and lowering. Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of Jonah. And he left them, and departed (Matt. 16:1-4).

According to this testimony of Matthew, Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of His opponents by calling their attention to the fact that they could forecast the weather by the appearance of the sky, but could not read the signs of the times—the fulfillment of prophecy and the miracles wrought by Him to attest His message. Then He uttered a scathing denunciation of these, His contemporaries: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of Jonah." Though Jesus labeled His generation in general as an evil and adulterous one, there were many notable exceptions as the Gospel Records clearly show.

As one sees from the reading of the Gospels, Jesus performed many miracles and wonders—both before and after this clash with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but all of them had a special local situation in view. There was, however, but one sign wrought by Jesus which was beamed, not to some local situation, but to the entire nation. This one miracle was the "sign of Jonah"¹ (Matt. 12:39,40).


I. THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES OF THE FIRST CENTURY

A. The Virgin Birth Of The Messiah

One of the first signs of the times indicating the dawn of the Messianic Age was the miraculous conception and virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The record of certain facts pertaining to the birth and early life of the Babe of Bethlehem is found in Matthew, chapters 1 and 2, and in Luke, chapters 1 and 2. These records have a ring of sincerity, simplicity, and divine revelation. Nothing bizarre is to be found in connection with them. No special efforts were used to spread the glad announcement of the Messiah's birth. After the flight to Egypt and the return to the land of Israel, Jesus lived in obscurity in the village of Nazareth in Galilee. When He began His public ministry, nothing was said about His birth—by either friend or foe, until the last year of His life. Jesus usually attended the set feasts at Jerusalem. When He attended the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:1—10:21), He had several clashes with the Jerusalem authorities.

At this time, certain Jews believed² that Jesus was the Messiah, to whom He said, "If ye abide in my word,
then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31b, 32). This statement was the occasion of a sharp word battle with the Jerusalem authorities. This discussion is of such importance that it must be reproduced here:

They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. 35 And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever. 36 If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed: yet ye seek to kill me, because my word hath not free course in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with
my Father: and ye also do the things which ye heard from your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Our father is Abraham. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard from God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the works of your father. They said unto him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. 45 But because I say the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convicteth me of sin? If I say truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth the words of God: for this cause ye hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:33-47)

The discussion rose to the boiling point on the part of some of the opponents of Jesus when He said, "Ye do the works of your father." Then the pent-up animosity, hatred, misinformation, and ignorance concerning the facts regarding the birth of Jesus boiled over in the explosive utterance, "We were not born of fornication; we have one father,
even God." Straws, we are told, show which way the wind is blowing. This unguarded expression tells volumes. The authorities at Jerusalem knew about the birth of Jesus—that it was supernatural in that it was not a normal natural one. They might not have understood the implications of the facts which they knew, and which they explained on a naturalistic and immoral basis.

Rumor, superstition, and ignorance circulated an infamous lie concerning the birth of Jesus which claims that His mother was a Jewish harlot and His father a Roman soldier. It is quite probable that this statement "We were not born of fornication [as you were]" was an echo of this libelous report.

B. John The Baptist

The second sign of the times which proved that the Messianic Era was dawning was John the Baptist—the herald announcing the coming of King Messiah and His establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth. Concerning John the Baptist and his ministry, the Apostle Matthew speaks of his life and labors in the following passage:

3 And in those days cometh John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, 2 Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight. 4 Now John himself had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan; 6 and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance: 9 and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And even now the axe lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire: 12 whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor; and he will gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:1-12)

According to Matthew's testimony, there "went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan; and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins" (Matt. 3:5,6).

Flavius Josephus, the well-known Jewish historian of the first century, gives the following testimony concerning John and his ministry:

"Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it should be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him." Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. XVIII, Ch. V, Par. 2 (Winston Ed.)

According to the unimpeachable testimony of Matthew, the nation was temporarily awakened by the preaching of this bold, courageous herald of the Messiah. Many of the people confessed their sins and were baptized in the Jordan by John, in expectation of Messiah's soon coming. Their repentance, however, was soon forgotten; and the nation fell back into its spiritual lethargy. Nevertheless, John the Baptist was one of the signs of the times.

C. The Baptism Of Jesus

A third sign of the times consisted of events connected with the baptism of Jesus. He "went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:16,17). As stated in this quotation, the heavens were opened when Jesus was baptized, and the Spirit of God visibly, in the form of a dove, descended out of the heavens upon Jesus, and a voice from the Almighty declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." As is indeed evident, these events did not take place in a corner.

D. Jesus' Galilean Teaching And Healing Ministry

A fourth sign of the times of Jesus consists of His Galilean teaching and healing ministry, recorded in Matthew 4:23-25:

And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people. 24 And the report of him went forth into all Syria: and they brought unto him all that were sick, holden with divers diseases and torments, possessed with demons, and epileptic, and palsied; and he healed them. 25 And there followed him great multitudes from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judaea and
from beyond the Jordan.

From this passage, one sees that the country was greatly shaken by the ministry of Jesus, for "there followed Him great multitudes from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judaea and from beyond the Jordan."


E. Jesus As A Teacher

On one occasion, the Jerusalem authorities sent officers to take Jesus: "And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. 45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why did ye not bring him? The officers answered, Never man so spake" (John 7:44-46). The officers who had been sent to arrest Jesus would not lay hands on Him because never had man spoken as He did. These men had spiritual discernment because they recognized that Jesus could not be classed with other men. They revered Him and dared not lay hands on Him.

If one considers the great teachers of the world, he will find only a very few. All their teachings are marred more or less by imperfection and basic errors. Few, if any, have ever dug down to a solid foundation of real facts and basic principles and consistently stood thereupon.

The cornerstone of the foundation of the temple of knowledge and understanding is the fear of Jehovah.³

Wherefore David blessed Jehovah before all the assembly; and David said, Blessed be thou, O Jehovah, the God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11 Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth
is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. (I Chronicles 29:10-12)

To fear Jehovah is to recognize one's absolute and utter dependence upon the Almighty; for it is "in him we live, and move, and have our being ..." (Acts 17:28). To fear Jehovah is to recognize that God "would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4). To fear Jehovah is to render adoration and praise to Him, which are correct expressions of principles, facts, and reality.4 Concerning the attitude of God toward the human family, His providential activities in behalf of those for whom He can consistently work, and His glorious plans for the future regarding them, one should meditate upon the following passage:

    4 Jehovah is high above all nations,
    And his glory above the heavens.
    5 Who is like unto Jehovah our God,
    That hath his seat on high,
    6 That humbleth himself to behold
    The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
    7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
    And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill;
    8 That he may set him with princes,
    Even with the princes of his people.
    9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house,
    And to be a joyful mother of children.
    Praise ye Jehovah (Ps. 113:4-9).

Jehovah, being the God of truth, seeks those to worship Him who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. In asking men to worship Him, He does so because He wishes them to acknowledge principles, facts, and truths as they are.

To fear Jehovah in the ways just described is the proper perspective from which to view all things; Jesus of Nazareth, the God-man, took His stand and stood firmly on these fundamental principles.

An examination of the life and teachings of Jesus shows that on all occasions and at all times He stood upon the basic principle of the life just discussed: "The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge."

At the age of twelve He went to Jerusalem to the feast of the Passover with Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His foster father. At the conclusion of the festivities, the pilgrims started homeward. The parents of Jesus supposed that He was among them; but, when they could not find him, they returned to Jerusalem:

And it came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions: 47 and all that heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house? (Luke 2:46-49).

The respectful and profound reply of Jesus to the reprimand of Mary shows that at this early age He realized that He sustained a special, yes, a unique, relationship to God the Father. With Him, at this time, as always, the fear of Jehovah was the beginning of knowledge.

50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them: and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:50-52).

The Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7, is acclaimed by some Biblical and literary critics as one of the greatest pieces of literature in existence. The depth of thought, the breadth of vision, the terseness and pointedness of every utterance, and the comprehensiveness of eternal issues prevent anyone's classifying Jesus as a mere man.

II. THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY


As has been seen, certain events of the First Century showed that the coming of Messiah was close at hand. Although the evidence was crystal clear and unmistakable, the bulk of the nation of Israel rejected Him when He did appear. In a manner similar to this situation God has pointed out certain events and movements that characterize the Twentieth Century, and that point most definitely to the conclusion that the Second Coming of the Messiah is at hand. Though the prophets have delineated the last days of the present era, only seven predictions will be discussed here.

A. Increase Of Wickedness

When man yielded to temptation and sinned, his nature was corrupted: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). Regarding the sinfulness of man, this statement appears in Ecclesiastes 7:29: "Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." After the Fall the bulk of the human race plunged headlong into sin and wickedness. An inspired account of man's turning away from God and following the phantoms of his sinful nature appears in Romans 1:18-32:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made,
even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: 21 because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: 25 for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. 28 And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: 32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practice them.

A careful examination of history shows that man's nature has remained the same through the centuries. Some have erroneously thought that education, culture, and refinement can change the nature of man, but they cannot. Men and women are as wicked today as they have ever been, as all right-thinking, people will admit. The only thing that can change man's nature is the work of regeneration in the heart of the believer accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

A passage which throws a bright light on the moral and spiritual conditions of the world in the end time is found in Psalm 92:6-9:

    6 A brutish man knoweth not;
    Neither doth a fool understand this:
    7 When the wicked spring as the grass,
    And when all the workers of iniquity do flourish;
    It is that they shall be destroyed for ever.
    8 But thou, O Jehovah, art on high for evermore.
    9 For, lo, thine enemies, O Jehovah,
    For, lo, thine enemies shall perish;
    All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

When the wicked spring as the grass and the workers of iniquity flourish, it will then be time to destroy them from the face of the globe forever. The springing up of the wicked on every hand and the flourishing of the workers of iniquity constitute one of the signs of the end time. Another significant statement bearing upon the lawlessness of the end time is in Psalm 119:126: "It is time for Jehovah to work; For they have made void thy law." Whenever men make null and void the Word of God, it is time for God to act—drastically. Ever since rationalism invaded the Christian and Jewish ranks, there has been a growing sentiment and tendency to discount the Word of God. This underrating of the Word of God is likewise one of the signs of the times.

Another passage which deals with the conditions of the end time is Matthew 24:37-39:

37 And as were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. The civilization of Noah's day was godless, pleasure-loving, and utterly indifferent to all spiritual values. Materialism was the order of the day. At that time, Jehovah, looking down upon man, "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). The civilization of Noah's day is typical of that of the end time. The average person today is little interested in spiritual values. Pleasure and material gains seem to engross largely the thinking of humanity. The present time is rapidly taking on the complexion of the times of Noah. This fact is pointing directly to the last days. The trend of our civilization, therefore, is one of the signs of the times.

A detailed statement of the attitude and the actions of men and women in general is set forth in the following prophecy:

3 But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away. 6 For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, 7 ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (II Tim. 3:1-7).

B. Increase Of Knowledge And Travel

In the Book of Daniel, chapters 10-12, is the last vision that was granted to Daniel the Prophet, who foretells, in a very brief manner, World War II of the Tribulation (Dan. 11:36-45). In Daniel 12:1 the Prophet begins his sentence by saying, "And at that time ..." Since in the two preceding paragraphs Daniel is talking about the events of the Tribulation, what he says in chapter 12 pertains to the same time and events.

12 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Dan. 12:1-4).

Though this passage is replete with fundamental eternal truths which should be emblazoned on the skies because of their importance, they must be passed over here for lack of space. According to verse 4, Daniel was instructed to "shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end ..." His shutting up the words and sealing the book were symbolic acts indicating that the knowledge would not be accessible to people in general until the time of the end. The Book of Daniel, as also the Book of Revelation, has been the happy hunting ground of guessers and speculators. In this time of the end, with centuries of Christian history serving as a background, the messages of the Book of Daniel become bright and shining lights. To study, to trace, and to interpret the Book of Daniel—especially chapters 2, 7, 9 and 10-12—are to see in a new and a logical way the absolute inspiration and infallibility of this Book. Since we are in the time of the end, the Book of Daniel furnishes the general background for the understanding of the Book of Revelation. Each of these Books supplements the other.

In the time of the end "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4b). This utterance, without doubt, foretells the increase of travel in the end time.

It is likely that to certain of the prophets some of the methods of present-day travel were revealed. Ezekiel, for instance, seems to speak of an air-borne armada from Russia that will swoop down upon the Holy Land. In addressing Gog, the generalissimo of a great aerial armada, Ezekiel says, "And thou shalt ascend, thou shalt come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy hordes, and many peoples with thee" (Ezek. 38:9). Note that the language is very specific—"Thou shalt ascend." To ascend is to go up. "Thou shalt come like a storm." After ascending, Gog, with his hordes and many peoples, comes like a storm. How would military men of today interpret such language? Gog with his hordes comes thundering down from the North upon the Holy Land. "Thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land." Probably there is echoed in this language a vast number of planes involved in this operation, because "thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land."

Isaiah probably saw the Jews returning to their land by air, as well as by ships. "Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?" (Isa. 60:8). The Prophet says that they fly, and he compares their flying to a floating cloud and to doves flying to their nests. It is likely that in this passage the Prophet foresaw the Jews returning to their home by air.5

Nahum, the Prophet, was given a vision concerning Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria. In this oracle he foretells the siege and fall of Nineveh. This prophecy may have had a partial fulfillment in the past. There are indications, however, that it awaits its complete and full realization. This interpretation is based upon facts in the context.

The following verse is of special significance: "The chariots rage in the streets; they rush to and fro in the broad ways: the appearance of them is like torches; they run like the lightnings" (Nahum 2:4). Nahum sees what he calls chariots dashing to and fro at tremendous speeds in the streets and the public squares of the city, having lights which remind him of torches. Their movements are indeed rapid, because he compares their speed to flashes of lightning.


Footnotes:

¹ For a discussion of the sign of Jonah the Prophet, see Messiah: His Historical Appearance by David L. Cooper, Chapter XXIV.

² The word in the original rendered
believe is a broad term. Its significance in a given case must be determined by the facts of the context. Its meaning ranges from intellectual assent to absolute trust. The facts of the present passage show that on this occasion those who are said to have believed simply for the time being accepted in a superficial manner the position that Jesus was the true Messiah and acted accordingly.

Jesus was at Jerusalem during the Passover season mentioned in John 2:13-25. At that time He performed many miracles and many people believed on Him.

But He did not trust Himself to them because He knew the fickleness and the unreliability of man. "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did. 24 But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men" (John 2:23, 24).

³ "The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction" (Prov. 1:7). To fear Jehovah is to recognize the existence of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Creator of the universe. To fear Jehovah is to recognize, along with King David, His absolute sovereignty.

4 God is not, as some unbelievers have thought, a self-centered tyrant whose egotism feasts upon seeing His creatures groveling in the dust before Him and begging for mere existence; but He is "the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite" (Isa. 57:15).

5 Many of the Yemenite Jews returned to the land of their fathers by air. When I was in the State of Israel in December, 1949, and January and February, 1950, this transportation was called the magic carpet. One morning I was at the Lydda Airport and saw eight big transport planes that had arrived the night before from Yemen. I happened to look on the inside of these planes and discovered that all the seats had been removed. I was told that each of these brought one hundred Yemenite Jews. The seats had been removed to make more room for the largest number of passengers and to accommodate them to their regular manner of sitting on the floor.



(Continued on the next page)