Last Updated on : November 23, 2014

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The Signs Of The Times Will Not Be Found In The Literal Heavens, In the Stars, or In The Zodiac.
It Totally Rules Out Astrology



In this introduction to the article entitled "The Political Aerial or 'Air'," Bro. Thomas answers a question that is often found floating around Christadelphian circles. No one who calls himself a Christadelphian should be trying to locate signs of the times amongst occurrences in the literal heavens. All signs of the times will be unquestionably found in the political heavens presented in the Bible. Having stated this, let us now see what he says in his introduction and then apply what he says in our studies and preaching efforts. - JBS


The Political Aerial, and the Signs thereof.

John Thomas, The Herald Of The Kingdom And Age to Come,
Nov. 1860, page 241, Vol. X, No.11

HE "whom Jehovah [Yahweh] hath made both Lord and Anointed," or Christ, when executing the work of preaching "the gospel of the kingdom to the poor," upbraided the clergy of his day for their stupidity in not being able to discern "THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES." They desired him that he would show them a sign from the heaven; upon which be exclaimed, "Oh! ye hypocrites, ye know how to discern the face of the heaven, but the signs of the times ye are not able!" Like the pagans, they sought an omen in the sky--an eclipse, a shooting star, a darkening, or something of the sort. They demanded this upon the principle that Jehovah's [Yahweh's] signs were in the constellations of the physical universe. True, it is written that God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and between the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years." Every astronomer, and navigator, agriculturist, and business man, knows practically the meaning of this. The use of them for these purposes of life, however, never suggests to them any thing connected with the things of the Kingdom of God, and of the name of Jesus Christ. They who are instructed in these things, would as soon look for their signs (and they have their signs) in a coal pit, where darkness may be felt, as expect to find them in the firmament, or atmosphere, that surrounds our globe. The signs of the Son of man are not there; and as Jesus told the clerical hypocrites of his day, they who look for them in that direction are "a wicked and adulterous generation," of whose doctrinal leaven men should diligently beware. The heathen, and all whose principles are heathenish, look for signs in the sky as indications of the coming of the Son of man, of an approaching conflagration of the earth, and of a destruction of the world of nations! "Christian Philosophers (!) are deeply embued with this folly; so that a comet of unusual length and brilliancy of tail will set them all agog for a collision, a shivering of the earth to fragments, and a fiery combustion of the rubbish! And if the seducing spirits or demoniacs, as Paul appropriately styles teachers of this class, who profess and are generally accounted to be the wise, have such notions, what marvel that the people who have blindly surrendered themselves to their direction, should abandon themselves to the same foolishness. Children are imbeciles, where men are fools; and they are fools, says Jesus, "who believe not ALL that the prophets have spoken;" for they have uttered the words of God.

Now, concerning signs in the sky, Jehovah [Yahweh] hath commanded his people not to trouble themselves about them. In Jeremiah 10:2, "Thus saith Jehovah [Yahweh], Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens; for the heathen are dismayed at them; for the customs of the people are vain." An eclipse was enough to postpone an expedition, and to throw an army of veteran idolaters into a panic. We would commend the words of the prophet to the heathen of Yankeedom, who pretend to see in the alleged darkening of the New England sky in 1780 the sign of the coming of the Son of man to Mount Olivet on the east of Jerusalem in 1843, '44, and all the several times they have appointed since. When the children of Antichrist go stargazing for the signs of God, it is proof positive to all enlightened in the Scriptures, that they are ignorant of the principles of the oracles of truth. No one "taught of God," looks for his signs among the Pleiades, Orion, Arcturus, and his bands. It is not in the signs and constellations of the universe; but in the sun, moon, and stars of the heavens politic, that he has placed his signs.

And this is both rational and scriptural. It is rational, that the signs of a great political revolution should be manifested in the political heavens. The coming of the Son of man is a great political event, and the necessary occasion of a complete overthrow of the existing constitution of the world. If he were merely coming to lead forth his chosen from their graves, and to fly away with them to a transkyanian country, no disturbance of things political need ensue; and no signs political would be seen. But the resurrection of the saints is only an incident, though an indispensable incident, indeed, of the situation formed. The Son of man comes to settle the celebrated "EASTERN QUESTION," which becomes a knot too difficult for the horns of the Gentiles to untie; and which their swords even are not sharp enough to sever. He comes to overturn the empire of Constantinople, that it may no longer lord it over Jerusalem and the Holy Land; he comes, in other words, to checkmate the policy of Great Britain, in destroying the integrity and independence of that dominion. He comes to expel the Gentiles out of the country covenanted to Abraham and his Seed; and to set up there a kingdom, that in the hands of its rulers shall subdue Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, in short, all the kingdoms and empires, republics and principalities of the habitable; and overrule them, in all the departments of their affairs, to the glory of the God of heaven, and the benefit of the world. Such an apocalypse, or revelation, of the Son of man, is therefore a grand political phenomenon; and as its manifestation is made consequent upon the formation of a special and well-defined situation of the political heavens and earth, the signs given of the times of this notable crisis are not in Ursa Major, or Orion's Belt, or over the land of Puritan fanaticism, but in the POLITICAL AERIAL of the European World--a world that has its sun, moon, stars, air, earth, mountains, hills, fountains, rivers, and sea; with thunders, lightnings, earthquakes, hailstorms, and tempests; trees, grass, vines, wild beasts, and so forth.