Part 4 out of 7
promises, which is exercised and proven by making a surrender of
ourselves to the Lord; (2) receiving the merit of Christ, and his
presentation to the Father; and (3) the determination by Jehovah God
that the one thus presented is right. The following Scriptures show
these points in the order named: By faith are we justified (Romans 5:1);
by the blood of Jesus are we justified (Romans 5:9); "It is God that
justifieth". (Romans 8:33) Christ Jesus is the great High Priest. When
we make a consecration of ourselves, then he presents us to the Father.
(John 6:37) But in order to make us acceptable or presentable to the
Father, the merit of Jesus' sacrifice must be imputed to us. When he
ascended on high, he deposited with Jehovah the ransom-price, the merit
of his sacrifice, as we have seen, pictured by the blood. The second
step, then, is taken when Jesus imputes to the one thus coming to the
Lord the merit of his sacrifice, which makes him presentable to the
Father, Jehovah; then Jehovah, upon the merit, determines, as the great
judge, that the one thus presented is right, is justified, and is
acceptable as a part of the sacrifice of his beloved Son. Thus Jehovah
has been receiving sacrifices throughout the gospel age; but that
acceptable year or time will soon pass, as indeed it is now passing.
The one that is justified before Jehovah is then counted right or
justified that he might be a part of the great sacrifice of God's
beloved Son Jesus, to the end that he might be a part of the mystery
class and ultimately reign with Christ. The next thing indicated by the
Scriptures is the begetting of such a one as a new creature. Begetting
means the beginning. The begetting of the new creature, then, means the
beginning of a newness of life. When justified by Jehovah, there results
to him the right to live as a human being on earth, and this is what he
immediately sacrifices. At the same time Jehovah begets him to a hope of
life upon the high or heavenly plane, because he is called to a "high
calling", a "heavenly calling". (Philippians 3:14; Hebrews 3:1) This
begetting is in the nature of a contract or an agreement. Covenant is
also a word used for contract. In order to make a contract there must be
two or more parties, and there must be a consideration passing from one
to the other. Where there are mutual promises, made on both sides, this
is sufficient consideration. We will name the one whom we have been
discussing as coming to justification Honest Heart.
Honest Heart presents himself to the Lord Jesus the high priest,
fully surrendering himself and agreeing to do the will of God. There is
the promise on his part, then, and he is one party to the contract
through his advocate, the Lord Jesus. And when Christ Jesus the high
priest presents him to the Father, Jehovah, the Lord Jehovah in
substance says to Honest Heart: 'In consideration of the fact that you
have turned away from the wrongful course, and have come to Jesus, and
have made a full surrender of yourself in consecration, thereby
exercising faith in his blood shed for you and your faith in my plan;
and in consideration of the further fact that my beloved Son has imputed
to you his merit to make you acceptable before me, I accept you and
determine that you are right or justified, and accepting you as a part
of his sacrifice, I give to you my exceeding great and precious promises
that by these you might become partaker of the divine nature'.--2 Peter
This is in harmony with St. James' statement: "Of his own will
begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of
firstfruits of his creatures". (James 1:18) The Psalmist shows that this
begetting is in the nature of a contract when he says: "Gather my
saints together unto me; those who have made a covenant [contract] with
me by sacrifice". (Psalm 50:5) Honest Heart now being begotten has the
promise of life upon the highest plane, the divine nature. He is
begotten to a new hope of life. St. Peter thus writes: "Blessed be the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant
mercy hath begotten us again unto a hope of life by the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and
undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time". (1 Peter 1:3-5) The inheritance to which
Honest Heart is now begotten is an incorruptible inheritance, which is
the divine nature. This means that if he is faithful unto death,
faithful to his part of the contract, he is certain to be born upon the
divine plane, for the reason that Jehovah is always faithful to his part
of the contract; and so Jesus says: "Be thou faithful unto death and I
will give thee a crown of life".--Revelation 2:10.
Any one thus presented by Jesus to the Father, Jehovah, justified,
accepted and begotten, is designated in the Scriptures as a new
creature. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
There is now a newness of life, which does not result from being
transferred to another climate, but from being given a new dominating
factor in our lives, namely, the will of God. Honest Heart, or whoever
takes this step, now has new hopes, new aims, new ambitions, new
aspirations, and new ideas. He is not looking for earthly honor and
glory; but he is looking forward to the time when he might be forever
with the Lord in his kingdom and be a part of the seed of Abraham
according to the promise, through which the blessings of mankind will
This one is now dead from the standpoint of a human being, as the
apostle Paul puts it: "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in
God". (Colossians 3:3) The new creature now must be renewed, refreshed
and invigorated and strengthened by knowledge, not by ordinary
knowledge; but by an acquaintance with God's will and a deep
appreciation of his plan. (Colossians 1:9) The world cannot know
anything about this; only those who are in the relationship with the
Lord. The whole world lies in the wicked one. (1 John 5:19) But now the
new creature in Christ is admonished to be not conformed to this world,
but to be transformed by the renewing of his mind, that he might prove
what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.--Romans 12:2.
The one begotten is begotten by the spirit of God, the holy
spirit. He is also anointed. This anointing is received by reason of
coming into the body of Christ. He is baptized into Christ's death;
therefore baptized into Christ's body. To be baptized means to be
immersed. To be baptized into Christ's death means to be immersed into
the death of Christ. And so the Apostle puts it: "Know ye not, that so
many of us as are baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his
death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like
as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even
so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3,4) Baptism in
water is merely a symbol of the real baptism. It would do no one any
good to be baptized in water unless he had first undergone the real
baptism by being immersed into Christ.
All of those who are thus inducted into the body of Christ receive
the anointing through the head of the Christ, Jesus the beloved One.
This is illustrated or pictured by God's dealings with Israel. In the
type Aaron the high priest was anointed. "He [Moses] poured of the
anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him."
(Leviticus 8:12) This anointing oil was poured upon Aaron's head and ran
down upon his garment. (Psalm 133:2) Aaron the high priest was a type of
the entire Christ, head and body. As the oil was poured upon his head
and ran down to the skirt of his garments, so in antitype, Jesus the
head, at the time of his baptism in the Jordan, received the anointing
of the holy spirit without measure (Matthew 3:16,17); and at Pentecost
his disciples received the anointing of the holy spirit. And thereafter
during the gospel age all who come into Christ receive this anointing
through Christ Jesus the head by virtue of being inducted into the body
Those who are thus anointed have the spirit of the Lord and by
virtue of his spirit are able to understand the mystery of God and to
appreciate the fact that they have the promise of being joint-heirs with
Christ Jesus in his kingdom. To be anointed means to be assigned to a
place in the body of Christ. "The spirit itself beareth witness with our
spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs;
heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with
him, that we may be also glorified together."--Romans 8:16,17.
These new creatures in Christ, otherwise called members of his
body, must now be transformed and made into the image and likeness of
their Head. (Romans 8:29) They must be sanctified. Sanctification means
to be set apart for the use of Jehovah. It means the process of making
us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
(Colossians 1:12) It is the process of perfecting the saints. (Ephesians
4:12) This process begins when Jehovah accepts our consecration and
begets us; and must continue until birth upon the spirit plane.
Sanctification, then, is to be made holy, in the likeness of our
Lord. Concerning such Jesus said: "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy
word is truth". (John 17:17) The Christian now must feed upon or study
the Word of God, learn its principles, learn of Jehovah's character and
that of the Lord Jesus, and strive to conform his own life thereto. He
now has set before him the hope of being made like the Lord in glory;
and "every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he
is pure". (1 John 3:3) This process of sanctification is done by the
Lord through his Word. "Both he who sanctifies and those whom he is
sanctifying have all one Father, and for this reason he is not ashamed
to speak of them as brethren." (Hebrews 2:11, _Weymouth_) Here we see
the sanctifier is the Lord Jesus Christ, and those whom he is
sanctifying are the members of his body; and all of these have one
Father, Jehovah God; therefore all of the one body, constituting the
mystery of God.
All this work of sanctification is done in what we designate the
school of Christ; and it is only those who are in this school by being
in Christ Jesus that can be sanctified and ultimately be a part of that
glorious mystical body, the heavenly kingdom class that will constitute
the great prophet, priest, and king.
This mystery hid from ages and generations and made known only to
the saints is, says the apostle Paul, the Christ; and the Christ in you
is the hope of glory. Those who are in Christ and who have the spirit of
Christ in them have the glorious hope of being born on the divine plane
as members of the body of Christ. These are called to the obtaining of
the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ; and to them are given all the
exceeding great and precious promises contained in the Word of God. The
Prophet speaking of them and to them said: "The nations shall see thy
righteousness, and all the kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by
a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a
crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand
of thy God." (Isaiah 62:2,3) These have the promise: "When Christ, who
is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory".
(Colossians 3:4) And "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in
the kingdom of their Father".--Matthew 13:43.
The apostle Paul declares that he was made a minister, according to
the gift of God, that he should preach to the nations the unsearchable
riches of Christ, "and to make all see what is the fellowship of the
mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who
created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the
principalities and powers in heavenly places might be [made] known by
the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose
which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord". (Ephesians 3:7-11) Thus we
see that this great mystery is the Christ, and that for six thousand
years Jehovah has been preparing for, developing and completing this
great mystery; and that when completed, he will use the Christ as his
prophet, priest, and king to minister unto the people, to rule over the
people, and to bless the people, according to his promise.
The Apostle declares that the whole creation is groaning and
travailing in pain, waiting for the manifestation of this great
mystery. (Romans 8:19-22) The people do not know for what they are
waiting. But when the great mystery is complete and Messiah's kingdom
set up, then God will bring his long-promised blessings to mankind, and
ultimately his will shall be done upon earth as it is done in heaven.
What is a mystery? ¶ 298.
How could Jehovah hide or keep secret his plan from others? ¶ 298.
Has he kept his plan secret? ¶ 298.
When Jesus was on earth, why did he teach by parables? ¶ 299.
Did the disciples always understand his meaning? ¶ 299.
Did he instruct the disciples how they would be taught after his
departure? and if so, how? ¶ 299.
What is meant by the spirit of truth? ¶ 299.
When was the holy spirit given to the disciples? Give the Scriptural
proof. ¶ 300.
What is the meaning of the term "holy ghost"? ¶ 300.
When did God's mystery begin to be understood by the disciples? ¶ 301.
What effect has the mystery had on Jews and so-called Christians? ¶ 301.
Define the mystery of God. ¶ 302.
How did God foreshadow the mystery? ¶ 302.
What is man's great enemy? ¶ 302.
What is and always has been man's greatest desire? and how long has man
been seeking for this thing desired? ¶ 303.
Who was the cause of death? ¶ 303.
At the time when God pronounced the sentence in Eden, was the statement,
'The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head,' understood?
When did it begin to be understood? ¶ 303.
What great promise was made nearly two thousand years after the
expulsion from Eden? Quote the promise. ¶ 304.
Did that promise have reference to the mystery of God? and was it
understood then? ¶ 304.
Did Abraham understand the promise? ¶ 304.
Did Abraham have any children at that time? ¶ 304.
Through whom did Abraham expect the blessing to come to the people?
If the promise was renewed, to whom was it renewed? ¶ 304.
What was expected through the seed of Abraham? ¶ 304.
What effect did the Israelites' enslavement have upon their hopes? ¶ 304.
Whom did God send to deliver the Israelites from Egypt? and whom did he
typify? ¶ 304.
What effect did Moses' prophetic statement have upon the people with
reference to the One of whom he was a type? ¶ 304.
What is signified by the name Joshua? and of whom was Joshua a type? ¶ 305.
Who was the beloved king of Israel? and what did the Jews hope would
come through him? ¶ 306.
Who succeeded this king on the throne? ¶ 306.
For what was Solomon famous? ¶ 306.
What became the condition of Israel under the reign of Zedekiah? ¶ 307.
Did the prophets who testified of the coming of Messiah understand their
testimony? ¶ 308.
Were the angels of heaven permitted to understand? ¶ 308.
Why did God keep this mystery a secret? ¶ 308.
Who announced the coming of Jesus? and what was his particular message
or announcement? ¶ 309.
How many disciples did Jesus choose? ¶ 309.
How long did he teach them personally? ¶ 309.
What were the expectations of the disciples relative to Jesus? ¶ 309.
What effect did his death have upon them? ¶ 309.
What was their expectation after his resurrection, and why? ¶ 309.
What did Jesus say to them at the time of his ascension to heaven? ¶ 309.
Where did the disciples tarry after Jesus' ascension? and how long
before they received any manifestation from the Lord? ¶ 310.
How was God's power manifested toward them at Pentecost? ¶ 310.
How was the acceptance of the merit of Jesus as the sin-offering
manifested to men by Jehovah? ¶ 311.
May we believe that there was much joy in heaven when Jesus presented
the merit of his sacrifice? and if so, why? ¶ 311.
What effect did the understanding of the mystery have upon the
disciples? ¶ 311.
What did St. Paul say about the mystery of God? ¶ 312.
What is the meaning of the word "saints"? ¶ 312.
What does the word "Christ" signify? ¶ 313.
What is the meaning of "anointing"? ¶ 313.
Who compose the Christ? ¶ 313.
Who is the head? and who the body? ¶ 313.
Give Scriptural proof of who constitutes the Head and the body of
Christ. ¶ 313.
How does St. Paul use the human body to illustrate the body of Christ?
What is meant by the seed of Abraham? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 315.
What is the meaning of the term "church"? ¶ 315.
Who is meant by the "elect of God"? ¶ 316.
Give Scriptural proof that the members of the Christ are called "living
stones". ¶ 317.
Who is the chief corner-stone in the building of God? ¶ 317.
What great building on earth pictures this building of God? ¶ 317.
Who constitute the royal priesthood? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 318.
Why are the members of the church called footstep followers of Jesus?
What are these followers called upon to do? ¶ 319.
Define the term "Christian". ¶ 319.
Is every church member a Christian? and if not, why not? ¶ 319.
What promises are given to the Christian? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 319.
What particular reward is promised to the ones who are faithful unto
death? ¶ 319.
Can everybody understand these great truths? and if not, why not? ¶ 320.
What is essential in order to understand the mystery of God? ¶ 320.
What is meant by the prophet Joel's statement, 'the Servants and
handmaidens of God'? ¶ 320.
How was the mystery illustrated in the tabernacle furnishings? ¶ 321.
Could the priest be seen by the people while ministering in the
tabernacle? ¶ 321.
What did this concealing of the priest in the holy illustrate relative
to the mystery? ¶ 321.
What is the antitypical atonement day? ¶ 322.
How often did the atonement day occur with the Jews? ¶ 322.
On that day, who was in the holy and the most holy of the tabernacle?
What does this picture in the antitype? ¶ 322.
Why have the followers of Jesus been despised by the world? ¶ 322.
What counterfeit of the mystery of God has Satan organized? Give
Scriptural proof. ¶ 323.
What will be the ultimate end of the mystery of iniquity? ¶ 323.
Is it important to know how one becomes a member of the mystery class?
An understanding of the mystery involves what? ¶ 324.
In what condition have all the human race been born? ¶ 325.
Whom has Jehovah drawn to Jesus during the gospel age? ¶ 325.
What constitutes the beginning of wisdom? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 325.
What is the first essential to one's becoming a Christian? ¶ 325.
What constitutes repentance? ¶ 325.
How is one drawn to Jesus? ¶ 326.
When may it be said of one that he is converted? ¶ 326.
Define the difference between repentance and conversion. ¶ 326.
Do repentance and conversion bring one into relationship with God? and
if not, why not? ¶ 326.
Define faith. ¶ 326.
What is necessary to increase faith? ¶ 327.
What does Jesus say to those who are seeking after God and who are
weary? ¶ 327.
What is meant by being weary and heavy laden? ¶ 327.
How can one come to the Father? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 328.
What does Jesus say to the truth-seeker concerning the cost? ¶ 328.
What is the meaning of consecration? and how may one consecrate himself
to the Lord? ¶ 328.
Is it proper to compel consecration to the Lord? ¶ 329.
What does Jesus say in reference to becoming his follower? ¶ 329.
Define the meaning of self-denial. ¶ 329.
Why is any one justified during the gospel age? ¶ 330.
In connection with the tabernacle, when the high priest slew the Lord's
goat, what did that picture? ¶ 330.
The fact that the goat must be without blemish foreshadowed what? ¶ 330.
What is the meaning-of the term "justification"? ¶ 330.
When must justification for the purpose of sacrifice take place? Give
Scriptural proof. ¶ 330.
What assurance has one that his consecration will be accepted? ¶ 330.
Must the consecration be made before or after the consecrator is
presented to Jehovah? ¶ 330.
Who is the great Judge of the universe? and who justifies? Give
Scriptural proof. ¶ 331.
Give the steps essential to justification. ¶ 332.
Quote the Scriptures proving the steps leading to justification--the
first, second, and third steps, in the order named. ¶ 332.
For what purpose does God justify any one during the gospel age? ¶ 333.
What is meant by begetting one as a new creature? ¶ 333.
What results to the man who is justified by Jehovah? ¶ 333.
What does such a one sacrifice? ¶ 333.
To what does Jehovah beget this sacrificer? ¶ 333.
State the nature of this begetting. ¶ 333.
How many parties must there be to a contract? and what is the
consideration for begetting one as a new creature in Christ? ¶ 333.
State the terms of the arrangement between Honest Heart, the one who
presents himself to the Lord, and Jehovah, who justifies and begets him.
In this arrangement, what office does the Lord Jesus perform? ¶ 334.
What is meant by the word "advocate"? ¶ 334.
Give Scriptural proof that the begetting is in the nature of a contract,
both from the Old and the New Testament. ¶ 335.
To what is Honest Heart, or any sacrificer like him, begotten? ¶ 335.
Quote the Scripture with reference to the nature to which he is
begotten. ¶ 335.
Should the one thus begotten continue faithful unto death, what is his
certain reward? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 335.
One thus begotten is how designated in the Scriptures? Give Scriptural
proof. ¶ 336.
What is the great hope now of the new creature in Christ? ¶ 336.
Why is it said that he is now dead as a human being? ¶ 337.
As a new creature, does he need renewing? and if so, how is this done?
Why does not the world know about the development of the new creature?
How is the new creature transformed? ¶ 337.
What does it mean to be baptized into Christ? Give Scriptural proof.
What is the meaning of water baptism or immersion? ¶ 338.
Is there any virtue in water baptism? ¶ 338.
Who are the anointed ones in Christ? ¶ 339.
How did Aaron the high priest illustrate this? Give Scriptural proof.
Whom did Aaron the high priest typify? ¶ 339.
What does anointing mean? ¶ 339.
Give Scriptural proof of how one may know he has been begotten and
anointed of the Lord. ¶ 340.
What is the meaning of the term "sanctification"? Give Scriptural proof.
When does the process of sanctification begin? and how long must it
continue? ¶ 341.
How is one sanctified? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 342.
What influence has the hope of glory upon his sanctification? ¶ 342.
Why does Jesus call the members of his body brethren? ¶ 342.
Who is the Father of both the Head and the body of the Christ? ¶ 342.
In what school does this sanctification take place? ¶ 343.
Can any one outside of the school of Christ be sanctified? ¶ 343.
Those who are in Christ and have the spirit of Christ, what is the hope
set before them? ¶ 344.
What promises are given to them? ¶ 344.
Quote some of those precious promises as set forth in the Scriptures.
Give one of the reasons why St. Paul was made a minister. Quote his
words. ¶ 345.
The mystery class is known by what other titles? and what will be the
office of the mystery class, the Christ, in the future? ¶ 345.
How will God use this mystery class for the benefit of the people in the
future? ¶ 346.
String 8: _Our Lord's Return_
Suppose your dearest friend and benefactor is away on a long journey and
you expect him to return, because when he went away he promised to come
again; suppose that since that time you have been looking, hoping and
praying for his return, and that you were informed he had arrived. Such
news would fill your very soul with joy and you could not keep from
A friend is one who loves you all the time; one who even without
your knowing it makes a great sacrifice in order that you might be the
recipient of some real good. The greatest friend that you have had, or
any one else has had, is the Lord Jesus, because he left all of his
riches and glory, became a man, and laid down his life in ignominious
death in order that all men might have one fair and full opportunity for
the blessings of life everlasting.--John 15:13.
The facts show that nineteen hundred years ago, Jesus went away on
a long journey, even into heaven itself; that when he went away he
promised his disciples that he would return and that, when returning,
those who loved his appearing would receive many precious gifts. If the
facts show that this precious friend has returned and we begin to see
that all the fond hopes of Christians are about to be realized and that
even the world is soon to be blessed, what unspeakable joy this brings!
Those who have watched and waited for his coming necessarily break forth
in singing the praises of the Lord. In this chapter we hope to prove
the fact of the Lord's return, how he will return, when, and for what
purpose, and that he has already come.
For centuries Jews have been hoping, looking, and praying for the
coming of a Messiah. For nineteen hundred years Christians have been
hoping, watching, and praying, and waiting for the coming of Christ Jesus
the Lord. Messiah and Christ mean the same. The term means The Anointed
One. The whole world of mankind, groping in darkness, laden with grievous
burdens, has been groaning and still groans in pain, waiting for some
relief, but not knowing how it will come. (Romans 8:19,22) The world in
fact is waiting for the Messiah, the Christ, and his kingdom of
righteousness. When the world comes to a knowledge of the fact that the
Lord, the great deliverer and benefactor of man, has returned, every
honest soul will be filled with joy and every grateful heart will
respond in songs of gladness.
To the Christian the Lord's return is one of the most wonderfully
precious strings upon the harp of God. It yields music of unsurpassed
sweetness. Blessed are the eyes of those who see and ears of those who
hear and learn that the Lord has come and is now present.
The suffering and groaning of the whole creation daily increases,
and this condition is putting the people in an attitude of mind to take
heed to the evidence of the meaning of these present events. The time
has come for all to awaken and diligently inquire concerning the
presence of the King of kings.
FACT OF HIS COMING
The reasons why we should expect the Lord's second coming are
numerous, but unless we call these to mind, even though we once knew
them, we overlook their importance. If we have never known them, then an
examination of these reasons is satisfying to the hungry soul. Reason
should always be employed in the examination of Scriptural questions.
Sound reasoning and the Scriptures are necessarily in accord. "Come now,
let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 1:18) As our vision of
the divine plan enlarges, we can see a reason and a Scripture for every
step and every development in the divine arrangement.
The Scriptures thus far examined prove conclusively that Jesus
Christ died and rose from the dead that he might be the redeemer of
mankind; that he ascended on high and presented the value of his human
sacrifice in behalf of man, and that at some time all men must have an
opportunity to receive the benefit of his great sacrifice. (1 Timothy
2:5,6) If mankind in general is to be benefited by the Lord's sacrifice
after coming to a knowledge of that fact, then it follows that there
must be some relationship established between the world of mankind and
the Lord Jesus in order that the world might be brought to a knowledge
of the arrangement of Jehovah and brought back into harmony with God.
If, as the Scriptures declare, God formed the earth for man's
habitation, that he made it not in vain, and that the earth abideth
forever; and if, according to the promise to Abraham, through the seed,
the Christ, a blessing shall come to all mankind, it follows that the
Lord must establish an order of things in the earth that man might enjoy
the things which God intended for him to have, and that he must be
present to establish such a righteous order on earth.
But the student is not left to theory nor conjecture. The
Scriptural evidence is given in such abundance that all doubt is forever
removed. God's Prophet long ago foretold the coming of a mighty one and
said that this Mighty One should have a government of righteousness;
that "his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace; of the increase of his
government and peace there shall be no end". (Isaiah 9:6,7) An
'everlasting Father' presumes that there shall be some offspring who
will have everlasting life. Hence this promise indicated that a
government would be established wherein man would be granted the
privilege of life everlasting.
As we have heretofore observed, Jehovah made a covenant with the
nation of Israel, to the exclusion of all other nations. He gave them a
law to shield them from the influences and machinations of the adversary
and to lead them to Christ, their great Messiah. The Jews as a nation
did not keep this law, because they were imperfect; but some of their
rulers were especially wicked. The time came when God said concerning
Zedekiah, the last king of Israel: "And thou, profane wicked prince of
Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith
the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not
be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will
overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come
whose right it is; and I will give it him,"--Ezekiel 21:25-27.
It follows that at some future time there would come a mighty one
who would establish a kingdom of righteousness, having full authority
and right thus to do.
At the overthrow of Zedekiah God permitted the gentiles to
establish a universal dominion in the earth. The Lord through the
prophet Daniel pictured the development of four world empires or
kingdoms, which would exist for a certain period of time, and which
would continue until he should come whose right it is and then he, the
Righteous One, should take possession of earth's affairs and rule. It is
to be expected, of course, that the unrighteous governments would hold
on to their power in earth as long as possible, and that they would
still be thus doing at the coming of the great King, and that he would
oust these earthly kingdoms of unrighteousness and establish a righteous
government. Thus says the Lord through the prophet Daniel: "In the days
of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall
never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people,
but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it
shall stand for ever". (Daniel 2:44) It follows, then, that this
righteous King must be present before he breaks to pieces and consumes
the other kingdoms. The Scriptures speak of the righteous kingdom as the
kingdom of heaven, because it is in accord with the heavenly Father's
will and ruled by the invisible power of the great Messiah.
The term kingdom is used in a two-fold sense: (1) referring to the
king or ruler, the dominating or controlling factor; and (2) to the
dominion and subjects of that kingdom. Almost all the parables of Jesus
were concerning the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven. So great is
that kingdom in importance in the Lord's arrangement that Jesus taught
his disciples to pray: "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as
it is done in heaven". (Matthew 6:10) From that time until now
Christians have been praying this prayer and hoping for its fulfillment.
The foregoing Scriptures definitely establish the fact that such a
kingdom of righteousness is to be put into operation. Who, then, will be
the king of that great and glorious kingdom? The Scriptures answer,
Jesus Christ the Son of God.--Luke 22:30; Colossians 1:13; 2 Peter 1:11;
When Jesus stood before Pilate accused of sedition because he
taught concerning his kingdom coming, Pilate asked him: "Art thou the
King of the Jews?" And Jesus answered: "My kingdom is not of this
world". (John 18:33,36) By the word world here is meant a social and
political order. The Scriptures show that from the time of Zedekiah's
overthrow until he whose right it is sets up his kingdom, the gentiles
are in power and that these lie in the wicked one, Satan, who is the god
or invisible ruler of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) Jesus speaks of
him as the prince of this world. (John 12:31) Satan's rule has been
unrighteous, wicked, and devilish; and when he comes whose right it is,
he will establish a righteous kingdom in the place or stead of the
unrighteous order of Satan. By these words, then, addressed to Pilate we
would understand the Master to mean that his kingdom from that time is
future, yet definitely showing that in the future time he would have a
Jesus gave to his disciples a parable designated the parable of the
pounds, in which he pictured himself as a certain nobleman going into a
far country to receive a kingdom and to return; and he shows that this
nobleman does return. "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a
far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he
called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto
them, Occupy till I come.... And it came to pass, that when he was
returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants
to be called unto him, to whom he had given money." (Luke 19:12-15) A
similar picture and lesson is taught by the parable of the talents.
(Matthew 25:14) As further evidence of his return, Jesus said: "When the
Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,
then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be
gathered all nations."--Matthew 25:31,32.
Just a short time before his crucifixion he was teaching his
disciples. They understood, though imperfectly, that he was to be taken
from them. His disciples were troubled at this information. Then Jesus,
speaking plainly to them, said: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye
believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many
mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a
place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come
again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be
also." (John 14:1-3) This is indisputable proof of his second coming.
After his resurrection he had stated that he would ascend unto God
the Father in heaven. (John 20:17) Forty days after his resurrection he
was with his disciples on the Mount of Olives, instructing them to go to
Jerusalem and there wait until they should receive the power of the holy
spirit, that they might thereafter be witnesses for him. "And when he
had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud
received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward
heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in
like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11) Without a
doubt these men who here stood by the disciples in white apparel were
angels or messengers sent of the Lord thus to witness to them, which
angels doubtless materialized in human form for that very purpose and
afterward dematerialized and disappeared. This additional testimony was
given, however, that the faith of the disciples might be complete that
the Lord would come again.
This fact was so definitely established in the minds of the
apostles that they often spoke and wrote of the second coming of the
Lord. In fact, it is the great event to which they and all other true
followers of the Master have looked forward. (1 Corinthians 1:7; 15:23;
1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 5:7,8; 2 Peter 1:16;
Acts 3:19-21; Philippians 3:20) Of his coming again and the blessings
his presence will bring to those that love him further testimony was
given by the apostle Paul when he wrote to Timothy: "I am now ready to
be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the
good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth
there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto
all them also that love his appearing."--2 Timothy 4:6-8.
The book of Revelation in our Bible is the revelation of Jesus
Christ which he gave after his glorification. He concludes this
revelation by stating to St. John: "He which testifieth these things
saith, Surely I come quickly"; to which St. John replies, "Even so,
come, Lord Jesus".--Revelation 22:20.
That the Lord is to have a kingdom of righteousness, that Jesus
Christ is to be the great King of that kingdom, and that he is coming a
second time for the purpose of thus reigning, is so abundantly
established by the Scriptures that all possible doubt is removed. An
important question, therefore, for us to determine is
HOW HE COMES
We must make up our minds at once that the Bible testimony
concerning the manner of our Lord's coming is to be taken as conclusive.
A careful examination of this will disclose the fact that the Bible does
establish definitely and reasonably the manner of his appearing. Many
have supposed and yet suppose that the Lord will come again in his body
of humiliation, the very body in which he was crucified and which has
the marks upon it, and that such is to be visible to human eyes. The
words of Jesus disprove this conclusion. When instructing his disciples
just before his crucifixion, Jesus said: "Yet a little while, and the
world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live
also". (John 14:19) Thus he establishes the fact that his faithful
disciples will see him as he is, but that the world will see him no
more. And why is this true? We answer, Because Jesus was raised from the
dead not a human but a spirit being, with divine nature or organism. The
nature is determined by the organism or body. He now has a glorious
body, which no man hath seen nor can look upon and live. (1 Timothy
6:15,16) We have heretofore examined the Scriptural evidence showing
that no one of the different organisms or bodies in which Jesus appeared
to his disciples after his resurrection was his glorious body, but that
such bodies were created by him for the purpose at the time.
He was put to death a human being. He was raised from the dead a
spirit. (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:45) St. John definitely shows
that the body in which Jesus will appear is not his human body because
he says: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but ... we shall be
like him". (1 John 3:2) Jesus is no longer human, but divine; therefore
we could not expect human eyes to see him. He is now the express image
of Jehovah. (Hebrews 1:3) Because he is no longer human and has not a
body of flesh, but a spirit body, the apostle Paul under inspiration
wrote: "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth
know we him no more".--2 Corinthians 5:16.
After his resurrection Jesus was exalted and given a name above
every name (Philippians 2:9) and sat down at the right hand of the
Father in glory and in power. (Revelation 3:21) Of him the apostle Paul
writes: "Now the Lord is that spirit". (2 Corinthians 3:17) Jesus
explained to Nicodemus concerning a spirit, saying, "Except a man be
born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of
the spirit is spirit.... The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou
hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and
whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the spirit."--John
Seeing, then, that Jesus Christ is a glorious spirit being with a
divine organism, and that as the wind cannot be seen, but comes and
goes, so a spirit can thus come and go without being discerned by human
eyes, could not our Lord be present and yet not observable by any
natural eyes? That is exactly according to the facts. Satan is a spirit
being. For many centuries Satan has been the god or invisible ruler of
the present evil world (2 Corinthians 4:3,4); yet no human eyes have
seen Satan, although men have felt his influence and still feel it.
Satan is not only the god of this world, but he is the chief one of his
wicked, invisible heaven; that is to say, the invisible ruling order of
things composed of Satan and the other fallen angels who exercise power
over human beings. The apostle Peter said: "We, according to his
promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness". (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5) The coming kingdom of
the Lord is the new heavenly kingdom. This new ruling power, the
Messiah, is invisible, and will be invisible to human eyes, but will
establish in the earth visible agencies and representatives, namely, a
new social and political order of things. We should not, therefore,
expect the Lord's second coming to be in a body visible to human eyes,
but should expect that he would be present, exercising his power in his
own sovereign way.
In many places in our Bible referring to the second coming of the
Lord the word translated into the English as "coming" is properly
translated _presence_. The proper meaning is distinguished by the Greek
word used, from which the English is translated. The Greek word
_parousia_ (pronounced par-oo-see-ah) means presence, and refers to the
invisible presence of the Lord and is used in the following Scriptural
texts. We here quote the texts as they appear in the King James Version,
putting in brackets the proper word immediately following the word
"What shall be the sign of thy coming [presence]?"--Matthew 24:3.
"As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming [presence] of
the Son of man be."--Matthew 24:37,39.
"They that are Christ's at his coming [presence]."--1 Corinthians
"Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his
coming [presence]?"--1 Thessalonians 2:19.
"To the end that he may establish your hearts unblameable in
holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming [presence] of our
Lord Jesus Christ."--1 Thessalonians 3:13.
"We which are alive and remain unto the coming [presence] of the
Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep."--1 Thessalonians 4:15.
"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved
blameless unto the coming [presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ."
--1 Thessalonians 5:23.
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming [presence] of our
Lord Jesus Christ."--2 Thessalonians 2:1.
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [presence] of the
"For the coming [presence] of the Lord draweth nigh."--James 5:8.
"Where is the promise of his coming [presence]?"--2 Peter 3:4.
When Jesus was taken up into heaven, the angels standing by the
disciples said to them: "He shall come in like manner". The manner of
his going or being taken away was quiet, without observation, except by
a few. In a similar manner we should expect his return. Those watching
for his coming necessarily would be the first to observe his presence.
This is in exact harmony with the thought expressed by the apostle Paul
when he wrote: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord
so cometh as a thief in the night", (1 Thessalonians 5:2) The same
thought the apostle Peter expressed: "The day of the Lord will come as a
thief in the night". (2 Peter 3:10) And of His coming Jesus said:
"Behold, I come as a thief", "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will
come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come
upon thee." (Revelation 16:15; 3:3; Matthew 24:43) A thief comes usually
in the night time when all are asleep, and none see him except those who
are watching or those who may be awakened by his presence. Even so the
Lord comes in the night time of the close of the gospel age, just before
the dawn of the new day; and none discern his presence except those who
watch and who have the eye of faith.
The Lord spoke in symbolic phrase, and speaking concerning the
manner of his appearing he said: "Behold, I have told you before.
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."
(Matthew 24:25,26) Here he is warning and safeguarding against the error
of believing that he will appear in the desert or that he will appear in
some secret chamber; as spiritists claim they have come in contact with
him. Then he says: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east; and
shineth even unto the west; so shall also the presence of the Son of man
be". (Matthew 24:27) The word lightning here is translated from the
Greek word _astrapee_ and means bright shining, or bright shiner. We
know that lightning does not come out of the east and shine even unto
the west, because flashes of lightning come from all directions, and
more often from the west than from the east. The bright shining or
bright shiner here really means the sun. The sun begins to shed forth
its light in the east before it is fully up; and when it comes over the
eastern horizon it shines everywhere from the east to the west. Just so
the presence of the Lord. He quietly appears and his presence begins to
shed light in all parts of the earth.
The Prophet of the Lord also used the sun to illustrate the Lord
Jesus, saying: "The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his
wings". (Malachi 4:2) Again Jesus likened his faithful followers unto
the sun when he said: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun
in the kingdom of their Father".--Matthew 13:43.
In examining the evidence, then, with reference to the Lord's
second appearing, if we will keep always in mind that his appearance is
not and will not be visible to human eyes, but that it will be gradually
discernible in the physical facts which will occur in fulfillment of
prophecy, we shall be better enabled to understand the various
Scriptural texts bearing upon the subject.
TIME OF HIS COMING
The time of the Lord's second appearing is of great importance to
all, and Christians, since the days of the apostles, have been watching
for some evidence of his presence and asking the question, When will the
Lord appear? While those who love the Lord discuss the important
question, some have answered saying, 'The Lord is liable to come any
moment. He may come tonight,' These expect the Lord's appearing in a
visible body. Others who have no real desire for his coming, because it
would interfere with their selfish plans, say: 'He will not come in my
time; he will not come for fifty-thousand years or more; hence there is
no reason for our concerning ourselves about his coming'. Still others
who fear his coming and who do not desire to see him say: 'No one can
possibly know the time. Why, therefore, should one spend his time in
discussing the question?'
The last-named class, in support of their contention, cite the
words of Jesus when he said: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man,
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only". (Matthew 24:36) It is
assumed because he used these words that no one would ever know except
Jehovah. We should remember that Jesus spoke those words while he was
yet a man on the earth. He had not been glorified then. He did not say
that no one would ever know of the hour or the day of his coming. If we
conclude from these words that no man would ever know, we might as well
conclude that Jesus would never know, because he said at that time that
only the Father knew. Paraphrasing his words we note he said this: 'The
day of my coming no one now knows except my Father. Neither man nor
angel knows anything about it; nor do I even know,' At the same time,
his words implied that conditions would change, so that others would
know, because he said: "Watch therefore: for ye know not the hour your
Lord doth come". (Matthew 24:42) Why watch unless they would know when
the time would arrive? When Jesus arose from the dead he said: "All
power is given unto me in heaven and in earth". (Matthew 28:18) He must
have known then the time of his coming, because now as the creature
divine everything was committed into his hands for the outworking of
God's plan. At the time of his appearing surely the angels of heaven
would know about it; and the day must come when the watchers would know.
His last message to the disciples just before his ascension on
high clearly indicated a time coming when the watchers would know. He
said unto them: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons
which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power,
after that the holy spirit is come upon you." (Acts 1:7,8) Those who are
begotten of the holy spirit have the promise that the Lord will reveal
to them his great truths when due to be understood. (1 Corinthians
2:9,10) These are they that walk in the light, and for them the light
shines with increasing brilliancy unto the perfect day. In harmony with
this, St. Paul wrote: "Of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have
no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the
day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall
say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as
travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye,
brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a
thief." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4) Plainly the Apostle here tells the
followers of Jesus that if they are watching the things which the Lord
told them to watch, the day of the Lord will not come upon them
unawares, but they will mark the fulfillment of prophecy, and in the
light of its fulfillment they will discern the time of the presence of
the great King. Furthermore he says to them: "Ye are all the children of
light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of
darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and
be sober."--1 Thes. 5:5,6.
We shall find that Jesus gave much evidence which enables the
watcher to determine the Lord's presence. Jesus spoke in prophetic
language. Prophecy means a foretelling of future events before they take
place; and when they are taking place the watcher can ascertain that
they are thus fulfilling the prophetic words previously spoken.
Jesus gave us the positive evidence as to when to expect him. He
gave a parable of the wheat and the tares, saying, "The kingdom of
heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But
while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and
went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit,
then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came
and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from
whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.
The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them
up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the
wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the
time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the
tares and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into
my barn."--Matthew 13:24-30.
Interpreting his own parable, Jesus said that he was the man who
had gown the good seed; that the field is the world; and that the good
seed are the children of the kingdom, and that the tares are the
children of the wicked one; that the enemy who sowed them is the devil;
and that the harvest is the end of the world.--Matthew 13:37-39.
From this statement of the Master it is clearly shown that at the
end of the age or world there must be a harvest; that Jesus Christ must
be present as the Master of that harvest, and that the harvest will
consist of gathering together the true followers of Christ in one body
and of binding together the counterfeit or tare class for destruction.
Stated in other phrase, there will be a gathering of the true vine
class, true Christians, and the harvesting of the vine of the earth;
namely, the nominal Babylonish systems of the world. Since the Master
himself stated that he would come at this time to receive his own, the
truly consecrated Christians, to himself, and that he, as the Master of
the harvest, would direct what should be done, it follows that he must
be present before the beginning of the harvest and during the time of
the harvest. It would also follow that he would be present before the
end of the world or age.
Jehovah caused the prophet Daniel to write the salient features of
events that would come to pass during the rule of the world powers that
would be in existence from the time of the empire of Persia until "the
time of the end". That which Daniel wrote was prophecy; that is to say,
guided by the divine power, he recorded long in advance the happenings
of certain events, which of itself shows that this prophecy could not be
understood until the events had transpired. Daniel wrote concerning
these events, but did not understand them. They are set forth in his
prophetic utterances recorded in the book of Daniel, chapters 7 to 12,
inclusive. Daniel himself said: "I heard, but I understood not: then
said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said,
Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time
of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the
wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but
the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:8-10) The Lord had caused Daniel
to record specifically what would happen when the time of the end should
begin. The "time of the end" means a specific period at the end of
gentile dominion. "And at _the time of the end_ shall the king of the
south push at him; and the king of the north shall come against him like
a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and
he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He
shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be
The fulfillment of this prophecy fixes the beginning of the "time
of the end", because the prophecy definitely so states. The campaign of
the great warrior Napoleon Bonaparte is clearly a fulfillment of this
prophecy, as reference to the historical facts concerning his campaign
plainly show. The "king of the south" mentioned in the prophecy refers
to Egypt; the "king of the north" means Great Britain, which was then an
integral part of the Roman empire. Napoleon was in Egypt fighting the
Egyptian armies, which were led by Murat Bey, and which he defeated. His
victory not only struck terror to the Egyptians, but far into Africa and
Asia, and all the surrounding tribes submitted to the great conqueror.
While he was doing this, the British in the north, under the leadership
of Lord Nelson, were making an effective attack upon Napoleon's forces
at sea. Napoleon began this Egyptian campaign in 1798, finished it and
returned to France on October 1, 1799. The campaign is briefly, yet
graphically, described in the prophecy, verses 40 to 44; and being
completed in 1799, marks, according to the Prophet's own words, the
beginning of the "time of the end".
From the time of the overthrow of Zedekiah (606 B.C.) and the
establishment of the gentile universal empire under Nebuchadnezzar, the
organizations of the world powers or governments have been designated in
the Scriptures by God's Prophet as "beasts". The prophet Daniel (7:7,8)
describes "a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible". This terrible beast
was a form of government composed of three elements or component parts,
namely, professional politicians, great financiers, and ecclesiastical
leaders. This Satanic organization became dreadful and terrible from the
time that these three forces were united. Of this unholy trinity, we see
the Papacy, the ecclesiastical element, in the saddle, riding and
directing everything. The date of its beginning was at the overthrow of
the Ostrogothic monarchy, which occurred in A.D. 539.
The prophet Daniel was given a vision of the events following, yet
he did not understand them; and he says: "I looked, and, behold, there
stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the
other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man
clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall
it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen,
which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand
and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever
that it shall be for a time, times, and an half." (Daniel 12:5-7) In
Biblical symbology a time means a year of twelve months of thirty days
each, or 360 days. Each day is considered for a year, as the Prophet
says: "I have appointed thee each day for a year". (Ezekiel 4:6) Here
are mentioned, then, three and a half times of 360 prophetic days each,
or a total of 1260 prophetic days, equal to 1260 years. The Prophet then
was shown that the 1260 years would mark the beginning of the time of
the end of this beastly order. Twelve-hundred sixty years from A.D. 539
brings us to 1799--another proof that 1799 definitely marks the
beginning of "the time of the end". This also shows that it is from the
date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted.
The most important thing to which all the prophecies point and for
which the apostles looked forward has been the second coming of the Lord.
It is described by the Prophet as a blessed time. Daniel then says:
"Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred
and five and thirty  days". (Daniel 12:12) The watchers here,
without question, are those who were instructed by the Lord to watch for
his return. This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix
the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same
rule, then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A.D. brings us to
A.D. 1874, at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's
second presence is due. If this calculation is correct, from that time
forward we ought to be able to find some evidences marking the Lord's
It Is not the purpose of this writing to enter into a detailed
statement of Biblical chronology. The searcher for truth can find an
extensive treatment of this question in Volumes 2 and 3 of STUDIES IN
THE SCRIPTURES. The purpose here is to call attention to certain
important dates and then see how much, if any, prophecy has been
fulfilled within these dates. Chronology, to some extent at least,
depends upon accurate calculations and there is always some possibility
of mistakes. Fulfilled prophecy is the record of physical facts which
are actually existent and definitely fixed. Physical facts do not
stultify themselves. They stand as silent witnesses whose testimony must
be taken as indisputable.
There are two important dates here that we must not confuse, but
clearly differentiate, namely, the beginning of "the time of the end"
and of "the presence of the Lord". "The time of the end" embraces a
period from A.D. 1799, as above indicated, to the time of the complete
overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the
Messiah. The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874, as
above stated. The latter period is within the first named, of course,
and at the latter part of the period known as "the time of the end".
The understanding of the prophecies with reference to "the time of
the end" and the Lord's presence was purposely concealed by Jehovah
until the due time. Daniel desired to know what would be the end of
these things, but God said to him: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the
words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end". (Daniel 12:4)
It is reasonable to expect that Jehovah would indicate something by
which "the time of the end" could be discerned when it arrived. He did
not say to Daniel to look for some words emblazoned across the sky that
the end had come, but told him to look for such evidences as could be
seen and understood by men familiar with the prophecies, and who in the
light of the prophecies should be watching for their fulfillment. He did
not expect Daniel to understand it in his day, because he said: "Go thy
way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the
When that time should arrive, what was to be expected? Jehovah
answers: "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased".
(Daniel 12:4) From and shortly after 1799, the date of the beginning of
"the time of the end", we should expect to find an increase of knowledge,
particularly with reference to the Bible. Prior to that time the people
had been kept in ignorance of the Bible. It was the practice of the
Papacy to forbid any one aside from the clergy class to have access to
the Bible; in fact, it was made a crime under the Roman law, subjecting
the offender to heavy penalties for having in possession a copy of the
Bible. In 1799 the beastly power of Rome, predominated by the Papal
system, received a deadly wound. The people had been taught to believe
in the divine right of kings to rule and the divine right of the clergy
to dominate the conscience of the people. When Napoleon took the Pope a
prisoner and carried him away to France, and when later he refused to
permit the Pope to crown him as king, but put the crown on himself and
treated the Papal claimed authority with contempt, this began to open
the eyes of the peoples of earth, kings as well as people, to the fact
that Papacy did not possess the divine right it claimed.
A short time thereafter the first Bible societies that ever existed
were organized. The British and Foreign Bible Society was established in
1803; the New York Bible Society in 1804; the Berlin-Prussian Bible
Society in 1805; the Philadelphia Bible Society in 1808; and the
American Bible Society in 1817. The Bible was translated and published
in many different languages and sold at such low prices that the poor
could have access to it, and within a short time millions of Bibles were
in the hands of the people. The Papal system denounced these Bible
societies as "pestiferous Bible societies". The time had come, however,
for an increase of knowledge and the Lord was fulfilling his promise by
putting it within the reach of those who were hungry for truth. The
people began to learn that God is no respecter of persons; that kings
and popes, priests and the common people alike must all render their
account to the Lord and not to man.
From that time forward there has been a great corresponding
increase of knowledge in all the sciences; and in fact, in all lines of
learning. The common school, always opposed by the Papacy, has afforded
a means of general education and increase of knowledge for people in all
walks of life. Colleges and universities have sprung up throughout the
world. With the increase of knowledge on various lines have come the
numerous inventions that man now has, time-and labor-saving machines,
Before 1799 the means of transportation were such that a man could
travel only a short distance in a day. He must go either by a vehicle
drawn by horses or oxen, or afoot; and when he would cross the sea he
must go in a sailboat that made little progress. In 1831 the first
locomotive steam engine was invented. Such wonderful progress has been
made in this regard that now one can travel through almost any part of
the earth at a rapid rate upon a railway train. Later came the electric
engines and electric motor cars and gas engines; and now there is a
tremendous amount of travel in every part of the earth. It is no
uncommon thing for one to travel at the rate of 75 and 100 miles per
hour; and particularly is this true by means of a flying machine, which
is a very modern invention.
God's Prophet designates this same time as "the day of God's
preparation". In Nahum 2:1-6 the Prophet records his vision of a
railway train traveling at a high rate of speed, as another evidence of
the day of preparation for the establishment of Christ's kingdom.
In 1844 the telegraph was invented, and later the telephone. These
instruments were first used with wires and by electricity messages were
conveyed throughout the earth; but now by later invention wires are
dispensed with and messages are flashed through the air by the use of
instruments all over the earth.
This great increase of knowledge and the tremendous running to and
fro of the people in various parts of the earth without question is a
fulfillment of the prophecy testifying as to "the time of the end".
These physical facts cannot be disputed and are sufficient to convince
any reasonable mind that we have been in "the time of the end" since
The latter part of "the time of the end" Jesus designates as a
time of harvest, because he says: "The harvest is the end of the world
[age]". He stated that he would be present at that time. From 1874
forward is the latter part of the period of "the time of the end". From
1874 is the time of the Lord's second presence, as above stated. The
apostle Paul enumerating many things done concerning Israel states that
"they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world
[age] are come". (1 Corinthians 10:11) It must be presumed, then, that
these things would be understood at "the time of the end".
The Lord's illustration of the sun rising in the east and shining
across to the west, which would occur at the time of his presence, is
further proof of the increased light at the time of his presence; and
true to prophecy, this has taken place. The laboring classes have always
been down-trodden and kept in subjection to the financial, ecclesiastical,
and political princes. It was in the year 1874, the date of our Lord's
second presence, that the first labor organization was created in the
world. From that time forward there has been a marvelous increase of
light and the inventions and discoveries have been too numerous for us to
mention all of them here, but mention is made of some of those that have
come to light since 1874, as further evidence of the Lord's presence
since that date, as follows: Adding machines, aeroplanes, aluminum,
antiseptic surgery, artificial dyes, automatic couplers, automobiles,
barbed wire, bicycles, carborundum, cash registers, celluloid,
correspondence schools, cream separators, Darkest Africa, disk ploughs,
Divine Plan of the Ages, dynamite, electric railways, electric welding,
escalators, fireless cookers, gas engines, harvesting machines,
illuminating gas, induction motors, linotypes, match machines,
monotypes, motion pictures, North Pole, Panama Canal, Pasteurization,
railway signals, Roentgen rays, shoe sewing machines, smokeless powder,
South Pole, submarines, radium, sky scrapers, subways, talking machines,
telephones, typewriters, vacuum cleaners, and wireless telegraphy.
The Scriptures disclose a complete parallel concerning the Jewish
and gospel ages. The parallel exists with reference to time as well as
events. The Jewish age ended with a harvest, which harvest began with
the ascension of our Lord in the year A.D. 33. By the term "harvest"
here used is meant the gathering of the remnant of the Jews to Christ.
Jesus' statement plainly is that the gospel age will end with a harvest,
during which time he would be present, directing the work of that
harvest. In the earth three and a half years from the time of his
consecration and baptism, Jesus was preparing the Jews for the harvest
of that age. We should expect to find a parallel of this with reference
to the harvest of the gospel age, and we do find it. Counting three and
a half years from 1874, the time of his presence, brings us to 1878.
During the presence of the Lord from 1874 to 1878 he was making
preparation for the harvest of the gospel age. The Jewish harvest
covered a period of forty years, ending in A.D. 73. We should expect,
then, the general harvest of the gospel age to end in 1918.
The natural harvest was used by the Lord to illustrate his harvest
of Christians. In the Jewish natural harvest it was customary to glean
the field after the regular harvest was over. We should therefore expect
to find a harvest period from 1878 to 1918, and thereafter for a time a
gleaning work going on, in which a few Christians would be gathered in,
as well as another part of the harvest work to be done, which we will
indicate. The question now is, Do we find a period of harvest in the
gospel age after 1874 which serves as a fulfillment of the prophecy of
In addition to his words cited in Matthew 13:24-30, and in answer
to the specific question with reference to his presence, Jesus said:
"And he [the Lord] shall send his angels [messengers] with a great sound
of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four
winds, from one end of heaven to the other". (Matthew 24:31) The
following facts bear unmistakable testimony of the great harvest period
of the gospel age in fulfillment of prophetic utterances, which
fulfillment is one of the strongest proofs of the Lord's presence.
In this text the words "sound of a" are not contained in the oldest
manuscripts and should be omitted. The text is written, as will be
observed, in symbolic language.
Under the terms of the law covenant the Jews were required to keep
the fiftieth year as a jubilee, and the jubilee year was announced by
the blowing of a trumpet. In the text here under consideration the
trumpet symbolizes the message announcing the presence of the Lord,
proclaiming the fact that the harvest is due, that the time has come
when the saints should be gathered together, because the kingdom of
Messiah is at hand.
"Angels" in this text means messengers or servants who make
announcement of the presence of the Lord and the incoming of the
kingdom. Such messengers are the truly consecrated Christians who make
the announcements to other Christians and to all who have a hearing ear.
It would be reasonable to expect the Lord to have some special
messenger, as distinguished from others or general messengers in
announcing his presence and the time of the harvest. And such is the
case. Jesus said that an office had been provided for such a special
messenger and that at the time of his second appearing he would appoint
some one to that office and give him the responsibility of dispensing
meat to the household of faith in due season. The Christian's meat in
due season is a proper explanation of the Scriptures as they become due
to be understood. We mark a wonderful fulfillment of this statement of
the Lord as further corroborative proof of the Lord's second presence
from 1874 forward. He had said, in answer to the question relative to
his second presence: "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his
lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due
season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find
so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all
his goods."--Matthew 24:45-47.
About 1870 Charles Taze Russell, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, then
a truly consecrated Christian and a careful student of God's Word,
learned from the Scriptures that God has a great and harmonious plan for
the salvation and blessing of mankind. Like other earnest watchers, he
was watching for the evidences of the Lord's coming. About 1875, while
carefully and prayerfully studying the Scriptures, he became convinced
of the Lord's second presence, resulting in his writing and publishing a
booklet entitled, "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return," which
had a phenomenal circulation amongst the Christian people of the world.
In 1879 he began the publication of a journal, _The Watch Tower and
Herald of Christ's Presence_, which has since been issued regularly
twice each month. This is the first and only publication that for more
than forty years has announced the second presence of the Lord. This
journal is devoted exclusively to discussion of Scriptural questions,
being the means of carrying the food to the household of faith in due
Then followed the great work of gathering together the true
followers of Christ Jesus, regardless of denomination, sect, kindred, or
tongue. Charles Taze Russell, who afterwards became better known as
Pastor Russell, was the greatest preacher of modern times. He was
elected pastor of upwards of 1,200 congregations at one time. He
traveled all over the earth proclaiming the message of the divine plan
of the ages, particularly calling attention of Christians to the
presence of the Lord. Between the years 1881 and 1904 he wrote and
published in six volumes the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES giving a full and
detailed explanation of the various features of the divine plan. These
books were translated into about thirty languages and their combined
circulation exceeded 11,000,000 copies. In 1917 the seventh volume of
the series of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES was published, known as "The
Finished Mystery", which has had a very wide circulation. These books
are the first clear explanation of the divine plan ever published. In
addition to the above, he published and widely circulated various
booklets, "What Say the Scriptures About Hell?" "Spiritism," "The Bible
Versus Evolution," "Tabernacle Shadows," and many other tracts,
pamphlets, etc. He was the author of the Photo-Drama of Creation, as
well as the scenario used for this drama, which gives an outline of the
divine plan from the creation to the times of restitution. He organized
and conducted a lecture bureau which employed a large force of Bible
lecturers who traveled and who yet travel throughout the world,
proclaiming the message of the divine plan. For a period of time his
sermons were published weekly in more than 2,000 newspapers, with a
combined circulation of 15,000,000 readers; and in all about 4,000
different newspapers published his sermons. Some idea of the scope of
his work can be understood from the words written in _The Continent_, a
publication not friendly to him:
"His writings are said to have a greater newspaper circulation
every week than those of any other living man; greater, doubtless, than
the combined circulation of the writings of all the priests and
preachers in North America; greater even than the work of Arthur
Brisbane, Norman Hapgood, George Horace Lorimer, Dr. Frank Crane,
Frederick Haskins, and a dozen other of the best known editors and
syndicate writers put together."
Without a doubt Pastor Russell filled the office for which the
Lord provided and about which he spoke, and was therefore that wise and
faithful servant, ministering to the household of faith meat in due
season. Pastor Russell finished his earthly course in 1916.
In 1884 he caused to be incorporated the Watch Tower Bible and
Tract Society, intended by him to continue the work of the harvest
after his earthly career was finished, and which is yet carrying it on.
This great work of gathering together Christian people can be
designated in no other way than as a harvest, and fully meets that which
was foretold by the Lord Jesus. This work, which has covered a period of
about forty-five years, has never had for its purpose the forming of any
arrangement by which Christians join anything. Its purpose and work has
been and is to enlighten men and women concerning the great divine plan,
and by this means of proclaiming the message of truth has gathered
together Catholics and Protestants, Christians from all denominations in
all parts of the earth. These Christians are not the followers of Pastor
Russell, but are followers of the Lord and rejoice to feed upon the food
that the Lord has provided for them through his wise and faithful
Furthermore, Jesus said with reference to his second presence: "For
wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together".
(Matthew 24:28) And so it is. The carcass here refers to the spiritual
food provided for the household of faith. The eagles are those of keen
vision and sharp appetite, anxious to know of the Lord's Word, and
equally anxious to feed upon it. Hence we find gathering together many
earnest Christian people in groups in various parts of the earth, who
know no nationality, whose citizenship is in heaven, whose allegiance
and devotion is to the Lord and to his kingdom of righteousness.
Jesus defines the wheat class as the true followers of himself,
children of the kingdom, and the tares as the imitation Christians, who
are Christians in name only. He declared: "Let both grow together until
the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers,
Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn
them; but gather the wheat into my barn."--Matthew 13: 30.
It is a well-known fact that since 1878 there has been a tendency
on the part of all denominations to bind themselves into leagues and
combines, associations, Interchurch World Movement, etc., thus
fulfilling this prophetic statement of the Lord of binding together the
merely nominal Christians preparatory for the great fire, the great time
of trouble, which is now upon the earth. To the truly consecrated people
of God, who have been identified with these various sectarian or
denominational systems the Lord has been calling in this time of the
harvest, saying: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers
of her sins, and receive not her plagues". (Revelation 18:4) Concerning
his work with the others, the wheat class, Jehovah through his Prophet
long ago said: "Gather my saints together unto me, those who have made a
covenant with me by sacrifice". (Psalm 50:5) The great work of the
harvest, that is to say, the proclaiming of the second presence of the
Lord and the gathering together of those who truly love his appearing,
has been so remarkably fulfilled since 1874 that it is one of the most
striking and conclusive proofs of the Lord's second presence.
It might be reasonably expected that the clergy of various
denominations would be anxious to know and anxious to tell the people
about the presence of the Lord, and would therefore joyfully receive any
news concerning his presence. We find the facts to be just to the
contrary, however, and we again notice that this is one of the evidences
given by Jesus himself marking his second presence. He said: "But as the
days of Noah were, so shall also the coming [presence] of the Son of
man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating
and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah
entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them
all away; so shall also the coming [presence] of the Son of man be."
(Matthew 24:37-39) Instead of these clergymen as a class joining in the
proclamation, 'Behold the Bridegroom! the Lord has returned, the kingdom
is at hand,' they scoff and jeer, and if they say anything concerning
the Lord's second presence, even though they get all their information
from what Pastor Russell wrote, they discredit him and mock and scoff at
what he wrote or said. Of course the Lord foreknew this and therefore he
caused the Apostle under inspiration to write: "There shall come in the
last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is
the promise of his coming [presence]? for since the fathers fell asleep,
all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation".
--2 Peter 3:3,4.
END OF THE WORLD
Jesus having taught his disciples concerning his second coming,
and having informed them that the world would end at or during that
time, they desired to know how they might be able to ascertain the fact
of his presence and what would be the indication or proof of it to them
or to any one. He was sitting on the side of the Mount of Olives when
his disciples came to him privately and propounded the question: "Tell
us, _when_ shall these things be? and _what_ shall be the sign [proof or
indication] of thy presence, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)
The word world as here used does not mean the earth. The earth will never
end or pass away, because "God himself that formed the earth and made it,
he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be
inhabited". (Isaiah 45:18) "The earth abideth forever."--Ecclesiastes 1:4.
The word world means the social and political order or rule
governing the people. From Adam to the time of the great deluge was the
first world or social order of government; which was under the
administration of angels (Hebrews 2:5), and which passed away in a
great flood, during which only Noah and his family, consisting in all of
eight persons, were carried over from the old to the other or newer
world, and were saved. (2 Peter 3:6; 1 Peter 3:20) There began with Noah
and his family a new order or world, which in the time of the Apostle's
day and before that time had grown evil, and which he designated as "the
present evil world". (Galatians 1:4) The Apostle clearly shows that that
world must pass away to make way for the new and righteous kingdom,
which will rule and govern and bless the people.
It was during the early part of this world that God made promise
to Abraham that through his seed all the families of the earth should be
blessed. Later, at the death of Jacob, God organized the nation of
Israel or the Jews into a nation and at Mount Sinai made a covenant with
them. Jehovah dealt with the nation of Israel exclusive of all other
nations for a number of years. They had many kings, some good and some
bad. Zedekiah was their last king, and because of his wickedness God
said concerning him: "Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because ye have
made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are
discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I
say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.
And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when
iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem,
and take off the crown: this shall not be the same; exalt him that is
low and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it:
and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will
give it [to] him,"--Ezekiel 21:24-27.
In the year 606 B.C. Zedekiah was overthrown. He was taken a
prisoner, carried away to Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar established in the
earth the first universal empire and the gentile times dated from that
time forward. The length of the gentile times is definitely fixed in the
Scriptures as a period of seven symbolic times of 360 years each, or a
total of 2,520 years. This period beginning with the year 606 B.C.
necessarily must end in 1914 A.D. God had declared that he would
overturn the right of the descendants of Abraham to rule, thereby
permitting the gentiles to have an uninterrupted sway until he should
come whose right it is. The one whose right it is is the great Messiah,
Christ Jesus the Lord. It would be reasonable to expect him to be
present some time before he would take unto himself his great power to
reign. His presence beginning in 1874, he has carried on his harvest
work from 1878 forward, but has not interrupted the gentile dominion
until that dominion should end. The end of the gentile rule, therefore,
would mark necessarily the end of the present order; therefore, the end
of the world. We should expect, then, to find 1914 as the beginning of
the end of the old world or order of government. And that this would
take place during the presence of the Lord he definitely stated.
When the gentile dominion legally ends, the order being a wicked one
under the supervision of Satan, the god of the evil world (2 Corinthians
4:3,4), and all these nations lying in the wicked one (1 John 5:19), it
would be expected that the gentile kingdoms and nations would strive to
hold on to their power. But when the proper time should come it would
also be expected that the Lord, whose right it is, would take over the
affairs into his own hands. And so he said: "We give thanks, O Lord God
Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken
to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry,
and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be
judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the
prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and
great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."--Revelation
It will be observed that the Lord does not do all of his work in a
twenty-four-hour day, but that gradually he performs his sovereign will.
Specifically answering the question concerning the end of the world
during the time of his presence, Jesus said: "Nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and
pestilences, and earthquakes [literal and symbolic--revolutions] in
divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:7,8)
Exactly on time, at the end of the gentile dominion, at the beginning of
the end of the world, nation rose against nation and kingdom against
kingdom in the most devastating war that man ever dreamed would come to
the world. There followed in its wake a great pestilence, the Spanish
influenza, which swept the earth; and the famine is still raging amongst
many peoples and kindreds of the earth; and there have been revolutions,
as well as many literal earthquakes in various parts of the earth. And
these, said the Master, mark the beginning of the end of the world,
which takes place during the time of his presence. The evidence here is
overwhelming, proclaiming his presence and the end of the world.
These facts mark a corroboration and a clear fulfillment of the
words of Jehovah's Prophet announced centuries before, namely: "In the
days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which
shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other
people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and
it shall stand for ever". (Daniel 2:44) Literally the kingdoms of earth
are being broken in pieces, and any one who takes a map of Europe today
and looks it over can see how completely this prophecy is now in course
of fulfillment. Nearly all the kings of earth are gone and their
kingdoms are broken in pieces and are being consumed. This is being done
because the Lord is present, because the old world has ended and he is
clearing away the unrighteous things to make way for his new and
Furthermore Jesus said concerning the end of the world within the
time of his second presence: "Then shall they deliver you up to be
afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for
my name's sake". (Matthew 24:9) "But take heed to yourselves: for they
shall deliver you up to councils [courts]; and in the synagogues ye
shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my
sake, for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9) "But before all these,
they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up
to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and
rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony."
(Luke 21:12,13) Literally did these Scriptures have fulfillment in the
years 1917, 1918, and 1919. The World War furnished the excuse for the
world-wide persecution of humble and honest and faithful Christians.
The Christian truly consecrated to the Lord believes and follows
the Lord's teaching: "Thou shalt not kill". (Matthew 5:21) And again:
"Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the
weapons of our warfare are not carnal". (2 Corinthians 10:3,4) During
the World War many of the nations passed laws to govern conscientious
objectors, that is, those who object to taking human life. The officers
of the present evil order upon whom devolved the duty and obligation of
construing and enforcing this law, disregarded it; and at the instance
of an apostate and dishonest clergy, truly consecrated Christians,
particularly those known as Bible Students, were, in fulfillment of
Jesus' utterances, hated, beaten, persecuted, haled into the courts and
imprisoned, and some of them killed. But the Lord's protecting care has
been about them through it all.
In Germany they were persecuted, some put in the front ranks of the
assaulting army. One Christian man, for instance, who refused to take
human life because of his faith in the Lord, was placed in the front
line of attack during a battle. A soldier was placed on either side of
him with gun and bayonet and instructed to kill him if he attempted to
escape. He went through the battle. Most of his regiment was
annihilated, including the two guards by his side. When the battle was
over this Christian brother had not a scratch. Again he was put in a
similar position; and again he went through another battle without
injury. He was then charged with being insane because he would not fight
and placed in an insane asylum and kept there for a period of time,
until he was turned out; and then he proceeded with proclaiming the
message of the Lord's presence and his glorious incoming kingdom.
The persecution in Great Britain of the same class of Christians,
and in Canada, and in the United States--long boasted of as the land of
the free and the home of the brave--was so terrible that words are
inadequate to describe it. Number 27 of the GOLDEN AGE magazine, issued
September 29, 1920, gives a detailed description of many of these wicked
persecutions, which mark a clear fulfillment of these prophetic
utterances of the Lord. The ones who had the privilege of passing
through them and who had the many evidences of the Lord's blessings,
rejoice because accounted worthy to suffer as our Lord had suffered,
remembering his words: "The servant is not greater than his lord. If
they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you".--John 15:20.
Jesus furthermore said: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall
the end come". (Matthew 24:14) In the year 1919 many of the Bible
Students in different parts of the earth, emerging from army camps and
prison dungeons, rejoicing in their privileges, again assembled together
and with united action went forth to proclaim the message of the
presence of the Lord; and particularly the message, "The World Has
Ended--Millions Now Living Will Never Die," clearly in fulfillment of
the words of the Master in the text last above quoted. Numbers of public
lectures delivered upon this subject throughout Christendom have
gladdened the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people, comforting
those that mourn. In 1920 this message was put into printed form in the
booklet entitled "Millions Now Living Will Never Die", and in the lands
where the greatest persecution prevailed against the people of the Lord,
greatest has been the witness. Within eight months 2,500,000 copies of
this booklet were placed in the hands of the people; and yet the message
goes on, giving a wider and wider witness, looking forward to the full
consummation of "the time of the end", the end of the old order and the
incoming of Messiah's kingdom.
REGATHERING OF ISRAEL
Jesus furthermore said that the regathering of Israel to Palestine
(Luke 21:24) would be one of the most conclusive proofs of his presence
and of the end of the world. A full discussion of this point, together
with many other points concerning the end of the world, is set forth in
detail in the above mentioned booklet, "Millions Now Living Will Never
Die". Therein is shown conclusively that the prophecies have been
fulfilled exactly on time; that Israel is now being regathered and is
rebuilding Palestine exactly as the Lord foretold. Jesus said: "And when
these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your
heads; for your redemption draweth nigh".--Luke 21:28.
Jesus, speaking further through his chosen vessel, refers to the
harvest of the tare class, saying, "The harvest of the earth is ripe.
And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the
earth was reaped." (Revelation 14:15,16) This gathering of the elements
of Christendom, the vine of the earth, and the reaping of it for
destruction, is now in progress. It is one feature of the Lord's work,
which proves his presence at this time.
There are many other corroborative evidences of the presence of the
Lord, but space will not permit the examination of all of them here. We
leave the reader to find a more detailed explanation of these great
corroborative truths set forth in Volumes 2 and 3 of STUDIES IN THE
Why should any one deceive himself by being induced to cease an
investigation of this subject because some self-constituted wise one
will say: 'You can never know when the Lord will come'? Jesus himself
said to his faithful followers: "Watch therefore: for ye know not what
hour your Lord doth come". (Matthew 24:42) "And what I say unto you I
say unto all, Watch." (Mark 13:37) The clear inference here is that the
watchers in due time would recognize the evidences of his presence, and
recognizing these, would rejoice.
Suppose we admit, for the sake of the argument, that no man knows
the day nor hour of the Lord's appearing. What difference does that make?
The hour and the day have already passed. He is here! And let all truly
consecrated Christians rejoice. "But of the times and the seasons,
brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you," says St. Paul.
(1 Thessalonians 5:1) The times and seasons are clearly established by the
overwhelming proof that the Lord is now present. Therefore, "ye,
brethren, are not in darkness, ... ye are all the children of light, and
the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness". Why
quibble now about dates, days or hours? The physical facts, the
fulfilled prophecy and prophecy further in course of fulfillment, prove
overwhelmingly and beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord is
present, that the world has ended, that the kingdom of heaven is at
hand! And the true watchers are joyfully exclaiming: "Behold the
Bridegroom!" As faithful members of his body, as the feet of him, they
are standing upon the mountains, that is, upon or above the kingdoms of
earth, singing out to the peoples of Zion: 'Thy God reigneth! The
kingdom of heaven is at hand!' The Prophet of the Lord describes them
thus: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that
bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings
of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God
reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together
shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall
bring again Zion."--Isaiah 52:7,8.
These are they who, having the harps of God, are singing the song
of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, harmonizing the
great truths of the Old and New Testaments, the Mosaic law and the
gospel of Christ Jesus, singing: "Great and marvelous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who
shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art
holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy
judgments are made manifest."--Revelation 15:2-4.
WHY THE LORD COMES
There are three primary purposes or reasons why the Lord appears
the second time. These are: (1) To bind Satan and destroy his kingdom
and all the false systems inaugurated by his agencies; (2) to receive
unto himself his bride, the church, which includes the work of the
harvest of gathering them unto him; and (3) to set up his kingdom, for
which he taught his followers to pray.
The purpose of our Lord's second coming has been much misunderstood
and misrepresented. Some have said that he is coming to burn up the
earth. The Scriptures answer this charge: "The heaven, even the heavens,
are the Lord's; but the earth hath he given to the children of men".
(Psalm 115:16) How then can we harmonize this statement of the
Scriptures with St. Peter's words?--"But the day of the Lord will come
as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a
great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth
also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.... The heavens
being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with
fervent heat."--2 Peter 3:10,12.
It is manifest that the Apostle is here using symbolic language. He
states that the Lord comes as a thief, illustrating how quietly and
unobservedly his second coming or appearing takes place, as we have
already noted. Then we must conclude that the other main elements here
mentioned are symbolic. The heavens taken symbolically mean the
invisible power of control, consisting of Satan and his unseen agencies,
as well as his visible agencies in the earth. The earth symbolically
represents organized society under Satan's dominion. The elements here
meant are the various selfish elements of the earth, composed of
ecclesiasticism, political parties, lodge systems, etc., that go to make
up the various elements of human society; and we can see that these are
all discordant and warring amongst themselves. They shall all be
dissolved and shall melt with fervent heat; that is to say, during the
heated time of trouble.
But the Apostle states in the thirteenth verse of this chapter:
"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness"; meaning thereby that we look
for a new invisible power of control, Messiah's kingdom, and a new
earth, society organized along new lines, to take the place of the old.
The words here have no reference to the mundane sphere or globe upon
which the human race resides.
The symbolic fire is now burning fiercely in the troublesome time
that we see amongst the peoples and nations of the earth; and it will
continue to burn until all the false systems of Satan's empire are
completely destroyed. This is a further evidence of the Lord's presence
at this time, as well as one of the purposes for which he comes.
In speaking of the proof of his presence, Jesus further stated that
at that time there would be "upon the earth distress of nations, with
perplexity; the sea [restless humanity] and the waves [various organized
parts of it] roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for
looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers
of heaven shall he shaken. And then shall they see [discern] the Son of
man coming in a cloud with power and great glory;" that is to say, they
will discern the Lord's presence through the clouds, symbolic of great
trouble, and glory, the manifestation of his justice and power. (Luke
21:25-27) No one will attempt to gainsay the fact that just now, in the
year 1921, all the nations are in distress and the people in all
branches of business--socially, politically and otherwise--are in
perplexity and know not what to do. And men of earth who are engaged in
business affairs are so fearful that their hearts are failing them, not
knowing which way to turn nor what to do.
On one hand we observe the employers who own the factories and the
mills and who employ the laboring element to do the work, striving to
curtail their expenses, reducing wages, discharging men, resulting in
millions being out of employment with no means of earning a livelihood
for themselves or families. On the other hand is the laboring class of
men, who have received their employment at the hands of the wealthier,
who are distressed in mind. And because of the injustices heaped upon
them they are becoming more restless each day and are threatening to
take complete possession and control of the factories and mills and
mines and operate these themselves. The political class, striving always
to do the will of the financial powers, are perplexed and frightened as
to what they shall do, yet constantly acting in a vain attempt to help
their allies in the great beastly order; while the apostate clergy,
which goes to make up the third element of the beastly order, is trying
to induce the order-loving people to unite themselves with church
systems and thereby support the employing class.
These various elements, selfishly exercising what power they have,
are going from bad to worse, leading on to a great disaster for the
unrighteous systems of earth. Jesus points this out as the final and
conclusive evidence of his presence and of the end of the world, saying:
"Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of
the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days
should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's
sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:21,22) The prophet
Daniel corroborates the words of the Master to the effect that in this
time of trouble the great Messiah will manifest himself and put into
operation his kingdom. He says: "And at that time shall Michael [God's
representative, the Messiah] stand up, the great prince which 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".--Daniel 12:1.
The world is madly rushing on now to this time of trouble. It is
the time spoken of by the prophet Haggai, who says: "And I will shake
all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill
this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts". (Haggai 2:7) And when
this great shaking is over, then the desire of all nations and peoples
will come, namely, an honest, righteous government, administered in
behalf of mankind under the supervision of the great Messiah. The
apostle Paul refers to this time as a time of great shaking, which
immediately precedes the full establishment of the Messianic kingdom.
(Hebrews 12:18-28) The Lord by his presence is bringing to light every
hidden thing. The Apostle foretold it would be thus, saying: "Therefore
judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring
to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the
counsels of the hearts".--1 Corinthians 4:5.
Thus the Lord is letting the light of truth shine out, and by the
truth is binding Satan, which means the great adversary, the devil, and
his various agencies and influences in the earth. And this is further
evidence of the Lord's presence. Truly Satan's house is divided against
itself and cannot stand. It is going to pieces. Jesus in his revelation
to St. John caused to be written these words: "And I saw an angel come
down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain
in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is
the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into
the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he
should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be
fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season,"
(Revelation 20:1-3) This is the time that Jesus foretold when the
nations shall be "as vessels of a potter, ... broken to shivers".
(Revelation 2:27) Satan soon shall be restrained and his empire
completely and forever destroyed. (Isaiah 34:1-4; 51:6) Thus shall the
Lord be revealed to the world, and they shall know of his presence by
the fiery time of trouble which shall take vengeance upon the
unrighteous systems and things of the earth. (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8)
This is the day of God's vengeance and his fire will continue to burn
until all parts of the Satanic order are destroyed. The Prophet wrote
concerning this first work of the Messiah: "Thou shalt break them with a
rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel".
--Psalm 2: 9.
TO RECEIVE HIS BRIDE
Jesus is likened unto a bridegroom, while the church is likened
unto a bride. (John 3:29; Revelation 21:9; 2 Corinthians 11:2) Many
beautiful word pictures or types appear in the Old Testament, which God
caused to be made for the purpose of teaching his great plan to those
who would search for the truth. One of these pictures is that of Isaac
and Rebekah. Abraham the father of Isaac sent his servant Eliezer into a
distant land to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant took ten
camels and went into Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. There he found
Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, a virgin very fair to look upon.
Eliezer "took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two
bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold". Rebekah agreed
to accompany Eliezer to become the wife of Isaac. "And Rebekah arose,
and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man
[Eliezer]," who brought her unto Isaac. "And Isaac brought her into his
mother Sarah's, tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife," after
his mother Sarah's death.--See Genesis 24.
In this picture Abraham is a type of Jehovah; his wife Sarah, a
type of the Abrahamic covenant, from which the Messiah springs; Isaac,
the son, a type of Jesus Christ; while Rebekah is a type of the church,
the bride of Christ. Eliezer, Abraham's servant, is a type of the holy
spirit, whose mission it is to invite the church and to assist her, and
ultimately to bring her and her companions to the antitypical Isaac, the
Lord Jesus, the Bridegroom. Before Jesus departed from the earth he said
to his disciples: "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter, ... even the spirit of truth.... I will not leave you
comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth
me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also," (John
14:15-19) Eliezer here pictures the comforter, the holy spirit, which
was given at Pentecost, at which time the way was opened and the
invitation was given to men who love the Lord to become followers of the
Lord Jesus and be of the bride class. The ten camels which Eliezer took
with him represent the Word of God, the ten strings of the harp. The
golden earring presented to Rebekah represents the blessed and pleasing
effect of hearing the call to be the bride of Christ; while the two
bracelets picture the happy effect of responding to the divine call and
doing with our might what our hands find to do.
The call to become members of this glorious bride class is
beautifully pictured by the Psalmist thus: "Hearken, O daughter, and
consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy
father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is
thy Lord; and worship thou him". (Psalm 45:10,11) Responding to that
call, one consecrates his all to the Lord, is begotten of the holy
spirit, and henceforth being borne up by the spirit of the Lord through
his Word grows in the likeness of his Master and prepares for the coming
of the beloved Bridegroom. The death of Sarah, Abraham's wife, pictures
the end of the Sarah-Abrahamic covenant, from which springs the bride of
Christ; and Isaac receiving Rebekah and taking her as his wife after his
mother's death foreshadowed the complete union of Christ Jesus the
bridegroom and the church his bride at the end of the world.
Throughout the entire gospel age from Pentecost until now the Lord
has been preparing his bride, the church. Many have been called, but few
have been chosen, and still fewer will be faithful; but only the
faithful ones will he receive. Just before his departure at the time of
his first advent he said: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it
were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And
if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you
unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."--John 14:2,3.
Here, then, is one of the positive statements that one of the chief
purposes of the Lord's return is to receive unto himself his bride.