By W. P. Mackay, M.D.



Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.  They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow. … All these men of war, that could keep rank, (“order the battle array,” R.V.) came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over Israel. … And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking…” (1 Chron. 12: 1, 2, 38, 39).



The warriors described in 1 Chron. 12. came to King David to Ziklag while he yet kept himself close, because of Saul.”  Our King likewise is on high, on the Father’s throne, [awaiting His inheritance (Ps. 2: 8) and] till His enemies are made His footstool, when He shall take His own throne.   He has gone to the Father, and thus the world is shown that the Father is righteous in giving a righteous throne to the Righteous One who had been cast out.  We rejoice to suffer shame and rejection for His name.  Better to be alone with David in the cave, with the frugal fare and handful of water, than to be with Saul in the sumptuous palace and feasting at a royal board!



These men, among the mighty, helpers of the war,” are described as armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left.”  We, in like manner, require to have both feet planted firmly for the battle.  So long as I saw merely the truth concerning the Cross, I felt like a man fighting on one foot, but when the glory of the Crown appeared, I felt sure footed.  We, too, require those who are ambidexter, who can foght on the right hand with Infidelity and on the left hand with Superstition; some who can hurl the heave and effectual, if rather clumsy-looking stone, and others who can shoot the sharp, swift, and sure arrow in the interests of David.  We find that these were even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.”  Correspondingly, were we not at one time, on Saul’s side, children of wrath, even as others?*


[* Being blinded by Satan to “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” and “of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, (2 Cor. 4: 4, 6, R.V). cf. Habakkuk 2: 14.]






And of the Gentiles, there separated themselves unto David, into the hold of the wilderness, men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountain” (verse 8).  Here we have men who were consecrated, skilled, bold and active.  As servants of Christ, likewise, we must present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.  We must have men who are skilled in the use of the sword and shield, not merely knowing the letter of the Word, but able rightly to divide the Word of Truth - able to use it for doctrine or reproof, for correction or instruction in righteousness.



We require that courage which comes from above, the faces like lions, conscious of the strength of the fortress we are in.  Not so much fighting for the Truth as letting the Truth fight for us, fearing neither man nor devil, but strong in the strength of the Lord.  Activity is to be ours in this evil day.  All around is active; and with our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, it is our blessed privilege to be (like the Gadites) swift as the roes upon the mountain,” carrying the proclamation of His grace and glory over hill and dale, in the energy of the Divine Spirit.  Undaunted and unchecked even by the overflowing of the banks of the rivers that cross our path of faith, we shall be in the company of Amasai, chief of the captains of the Benjamites, and say: Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers: for thy God helpeth thee” (verses 15, 18).






Besides these bold and devoted warriors, we find mention of others: And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (verse 32).  We require an intelligence department in our campaign.  In our conferences on the Second Advent we are studying in this department.  We require more of the men if Issachar: and the intelligence we gather is not to be locked up in a fire-proof safe, but is to be used in our campaign.  Down at the lonely stand-points, deep in the shade it may be, the work is to be done.  But it is by being in the current of God’s thoughts that we have intelligence and comfort in our work.



I am sometimes asked: “Are you thus at all times thinking that the Lord may return at any minute?”  Many such conscientious questions think that we desire to get people into a sort of star-gazing and ecstatic frame of mind, suited for dreamers and theorisers.  As a fact, we study these questions to know what we ought to do.  We wish not to be dreamers, but doers, and also intelligent doers – true sons of Issachar.  First, we wish to know what the Church of God should do.  And we find that a serious mistake has been committed for want of this intelligence.  Instead of gathering out a people for the Lord, the Church has been trying to gather all the people!  Instead of going with the drag-net through all the sea, the Church has been attempting to catch all the fish in a few favourite pools!  Instead of sowing the seed the wide world over, men have been high-farming little corners, and leaving the great part of the land untouched.  The failure to evangelise the world lies at the door of those who have been aiming at converting patch after patch.  The Saviour’s command, “Preach the Gospel to every creature,” can only be done as we enter into His intelligence concerning the present age, namely, that we are to be witnesses to Him to the ends of the earth.



Then, as to the government of this world we are to have intelligence.  Jew and Gentile have united in refusing the Suffering-King.  Man has thus been left to himself - the Gentile to Caesar, the Jew to Barabbas.  He has tried every form of government and failed, from the Caesarism of despotic government to the wildest Communism.  But the intelligent sons of Issachar are calm through all, and wait for a King to reign in righteousness, a King who can justly say: I know the best thing to do in judgment, and I can do what I know.”  In other words, we wait for a King who has perfect wisdom and perfect power - Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  This is our God: we have waited for Him.”






Before, through God’s grace, I saw these blessed truths, my reading of Scripture was considerably “mixed up.”  Awkward texts, ever and anon, would come up, for which I could make no place.  We should have no theology, past, present, or future, that has not room for all God’s texts.  When I bought a dissected map of the world for my boys, it took them considerable time to put it together, and one or two attempts were failures.  One day Fred got it nearly square, but with rather suspicious intervals, and he said: “Will this do?”  Not quite, my boy,” I said, as I saw he had something like this put up - a bit of America stuck north of Hindustan, Australia doing its best to find a home in the Atlantic, and Lake Superior adding to the volume of the Pacific!  I looked round and found the cause of all the confusion in a country that had fallen underneath the table!  Look here, Fred, where is the place for this?”  Fred did not like that country; he could have joyfully born its loss, or seen it buried; but that would not do, so we had to take down all his up-making, and find room for his left-out country, and then the map was correct.



Thus it is with most of our ordinary eschatology.  Text after text is found for which there is no place.  Entire dispensations are lost sight of.  Jewish truth gets hopelessly mixed up with Gentile truth, and the Church’s hope gets sadly crushed out of both.  We must look over our theological map and try to make room for all God’s texts.  Whether they are soldiers, sentinels, or scholars, we find, as to David’s mighty men, that one thing was characteristic of them all.  They could keep rank, and came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king.”  The unfaithful servant who says: My Lord delayeth His coming,” begins to smite his fellow servant and to eat and drink with the drunken.”  He keeps company with those whom he ought to shun, and quarrels with those whom he ought to love.  David’s loyal ones were men that kept rank; men who marched in line, because they took step from their captain; and their hearts were set upon obeying him only.  They had not two objects before them; they were not of double heart.  David only filled their thoughts.






What, in fact, was the one purpose that filled the hearts of those warriors during the three days’ feast?  To make David king over all Israel.”  In like manner, we confer in order to assert the crown rights of David’s Son - to put in our protest against the reign of the prince of this world, and to stimulate loyalty to our rejected Lord.  We exalt the person of Christ [= Messiah], we proclaim a personal Christ, and wait for a personal Christ.  Men talk about dying and [immediately] going to heaven.  There is no such hope before the Christian.  This “going to heaven” is a mere sentimental phrase invented by man’s mind.  To be with Christis too personal, too Scriptural, and has too much of God in it, to be popular with world-Christianity.  So the “going to heaven” phraseology has taken its place as being sufficient to look holy in talk, but not too far to commit one to a person.  How different is Scripture!  It knows of no heaven but with Christ.”  We shall never rest till our David is King over His own possessions - King over all nations - King of kings, King of Zion, King of glory.  The true Melchizedek, the Priest on the Throne, with heaven and [this restored]* earth under one reign of righteousness.  Meantime, we are content to suffer with Him; and we work, not for success, but as determined to be faithful.  He does not say: Well done, good and faithful servant,” but rather, Well done, GOOD AND FAITHFUL servant.”


[* See Romans 8: 21. cf. Isaiah 40: 5, 10; Jeremiah 23: 5; Psalm 82: 8, R.V.]


In a heavy storm, the captain of a vessel, if he wishes some important rope to be watched, and tightened, or slackened, at the word of command, does not employ some boy, lately shipped, but the veteran, trustworthy tar, who answers to all commands with the ready “Aye, aye, sir.”  Jack,” says he, “let go,” or “hold on,” just as told.  Aye, aye, sir.”  A mate comes along the deck, and says to Jack: “Why do you hold on there?”  Because I’m told,” is all the answer.  But you don’t see results; you don’t see where that rope goes over there to that you hold on by.”  No; but I know obedience.  The captain will run the ship.  I have only to do what I’m told.  Clear out, and let me mind my work!






Fellow Watcher!  Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”  The Son of David shall yet sit on David’s throne.  God. in Matt. 1, has proved it genealogically, and He will fulfil it genealogically, and not allegorically.  The Son of man is yet to sit on the throne of this world, with all nations blessed in Him, and calling Him blessed.  The usurper is to be cast into the bottomless pit, and then the Prince of Peace will reign.



Now we find God disowned, the [Holy] Spirit despised, Christ rejected, the Church broken up and corrupted by [false eschatology and] the cravers of worldliness, infidelity, and hypocrisy.  We wait for the time when Great Babylon shall be judged and burned, Antichrist consumed with the gleam of Christ’s coming, Beast and False Prophet cast into the lake of fire, the Jewish nation gathered, united and converted, Satan bound, all nations brought under the sway of righteousness, and the crown rights of David’s Son established in the sight of the universe.



The day of the Lord, it cometh,

It cometh like a thief in the night,

It comes when the world is dreaming

Of safety, and peace, and light;

It cometh, the day of sackcloth,

With darkness and storm and fire,

The day of the Great Avenger,

The day of the burning fire.



The day of the Lord, it cometh,

When virgins are all asleep,

And the drunken world is lying

In a slumber yet more deep;

Like a sudden lurch of the vessel

By night on the sunken rock,

All earth in a moment reeleth,

And goes down with the shock.



The flash of the sword of havoc

Foretelleth the day of blood,

Revealing the Judge’s progress,

The downward march of God;

The fire which no mortal kindles’

Quick seizes the quaking earth,

And labours the groaning creation

In the pangs of its second birth.*

[* What “second birth” might this be?

Read R. Govett’s excellent exposition.]

Then the day of the evil endeth,

And the righteous [millennial] reign comes in,

Like a cloud of sorrow evanish,

The ages of human sin;

The light of the morning gleameth

Adown, without cloud of gloom,

In chains lies the ruler of darkness,

And the Prince of light has come!






* “It is to this sojourn of the saints in Hades that I would refer a very difficult passage in the 139th Psalm, which speaks of a body curiously fashioned, in ‘the lower parts of the earth.’  Now [all] the saints are the body of Christ.  Eph. 4: 12, 16; Col. 1: 18, etc, and in that body each has its place.  But the saints, who are to them that body, are being [and have been] gathered [immediately after their death] in the lower parts of the earth; and ‘Hades’ is the womb from which they shall be born at the [time of their] resurrection.  Understood, thus, the passage presents no difficulty.  It is Christ who speaks - ‘My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see My substance, yet being imperfect; and in Thy book were all my members written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.’ Psalm 139: 15, 16.  Now there was a time when the saints existed as the elect in God’s purpose alone - ‘as yet there was none of them.’  Yet they were made members of Christ, and so are now ‘in continuance being fashioned,’ as time, and the purposes of God, to bring each to their natural and supernatural birth.  In God’s book also, are ‘all’ the [redeemed] members written.’  That book is the book of life, as it is written - ‘Rather rejoice because your names have been written in heaven,’ Luke 10: 20.  Clement also, and other of my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life,’ Phil. 4: 3.  Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire,” Rev. 20: 15.



“In this respect, the building of the real temple of Christ, answers to what is recorded of the typical temple of Solomon.  And the house, when it was building, was built of stone, made before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, not tool of iron, heard in the house while it was in building.’ 1 Kings 6: 7.  As, then, the stones were cut and squared in the quarry-depths before they were fitted to their permanent places in the temple, so are the saints of God preparing in Hades for their future place in the [millennial and] eternal kingdom and blessedness of Christ.  All advances noiselessly: till that day when the fulness of time shall have come, and the temple of Messiah shall be beheld in all its beauty, majesty, and perfection, to the praise of the glory of His grace.”