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Studies in the Scriptures Series III - Thy Kingdom Come, 1891(1917)

STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES

"The Path of the Just is as the Shining Light,

Which Shines More and More

Unto the Perfect Day."

SERIES III

Thy Kingdom Come

"And the Kingdom and Dominion, and the Greatness

of the Kingdom Under the Whole Heaven,

Shall be Given to the People of the Saints of the

Most High, Whose Kingdom is an Everlasting

Kingdom, and All Dominions Shall Serve and

Obey Him." Dan. 7:27; Rev. 5:10

To the King of Kings and Lord of Lords IN THE INTEREST OF HIS CONSECRATED SAINTS, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION,

- and of - "ALL THAT IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE LORD,"

"THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH,"

- and of - THE GROANING CREATION, TRAVAILING AND WAITING FOR THE

MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD,

THIS WORK is DEDICATED.

"To make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning

of the world has been hid in God." "Wherein He has abounded toward

us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known into us the

mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which

He has purposed in Himself; that in the dispensation

of the fullness of the times He

might gather together in one all

things, under Christ."

Eph. 3:4,5,9;1:8-10

Written in 1890 by Pastor Russell

[Ci]

"Thy Kingdom Come"

THE AUTHOR'S FOREWORD Edit

THIS volume was written in 1890 and has since passed through many editions in many languages, and still more editions are in prospect. We have testimonials from thousands of God's consecrated people to the effect that they have, through this Volume, drunk deeply of the Fountain of Living Waters - the Word of God. We trust that the blessing will continue to flow, until finally through the Kingdom, the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth as the waters cover the depths of the seas.

Although we disclaim anything akin to inspiration in connection with these STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, nevertheless we are glad that because we are in the dawning of the New dispensation, the light of Truth is shining so clearly and the Divine Plan is so manifest that scarcely a word of the Volume would need to be changed if it were written today-26 years later.

The Time of the End has emphasized this more and more as the years have gone by, especially since we entered chronologically the great Seventh Day. The work of Harvest has progressed and is still progressing - even though at one time we supposed that the Harvest work would have been fully accomplished with the ending of the Times of the Gentiles. That was merely a supposition, which proved to be without warrant, for the thrusting in of the sickle of Truth and the gathering in of the ripe grain has been progressing since October, 1914, as never before. Indeed, the great World War has awakened humanity in a remarkable degree, and more independent thinking is being done than ever before. All this contributes to the breaking of the shackles of ignorance, superstition, and prejudice, and the freeing of those who desire to know and to do the Lord's will and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

We are glad for further opportunities of service to our great King in the gathering of the Elect to Himself, to the Truth. We are glad to see others coming into the Truth and preparing for the "Wedding." Evidently the "door" is not yet shut, although we anticipate that before a very long time - perhaps a year or two or three - the full number of the Elect will be completed, and all will have gone beyond the Veil and the door will be shut.

We are free to say that the restoration of Israel has not been accomplished as rapidly as we had anticipated. Nevertheless, the Jews in Palestine seem to be thus far wonderfully sheltered; and doubtless many of their co-religionists in the war districts, especially in Poland, would be glad if they had gone to Palestine when they had opportunity. It is difficult to say how the conclusion of the war may affect the interests of Israel. We should be in a waiting, expectant attitude. It looks as though the trying experiences of the Jews would arouse considerable numbers of them eventually to go to their home land. We have never expected, however, that all the Jews would return thither, but rather a representative company of them, just as in the case of the return from Babylonish captivity - only about 52,000 returned, notwithstanding the great hosts that went to Babylon in the captivity.

The returning ones represent those fullest of faith in the Lord and His promises, and doubtless will be dealt with as representative of the whole. We remind our readers that when this Volume was written, the Jews themselves had little thought of going to Palestine. Now Zionism has sprung up, and has taken a deep hold upon the hearts of the Israelites. Although it was a secular Zionism at first, it has gradually turned to religious sentiment and hope.

The Great Pyramid of Egypt discussed in this Volume has not lost any of its interest to the author. Its Descending Passage still represents figuratively the downward course of mankind under the reign of sin and death. The First Ascending Passage still represents the Law dispensation - God's Covenant with Israel made at Sinai and the course of that people under the domination of that Law. The Grand Gallery still represents the lofty heights of the teachings of Christ and His followers during this Gospel Age. The step in the upper end of the Grand Gallery still represents a marked change in the affairs of the world, lifting man to a higher plane. The connection between the top of the Grand Gallery and the spaces above the King's Chamber still represents the [Ciii] spiritual presence of our Lord in the Harvest of this Age, beginning with 1874.

We have never attempted to place the Great Pyramid, sometimes called the Bible in Stone, on a parallel or equality with the Word of God as represented by the Old and New Testament Scriptures - the latter stand pre-eminent always as the authority. We do, however, still believe that the structure of this Pyramid, so different from that of all other pyramids, was designed of the Lord and intended to be a Pyramid and a witness in the midst and on the border of the land of Egypt. (Isaiah 19:19) It certainly tells a very different story from any other art or relic handed down from its remote times.

Its wonderful corroboration of the Divine Plan of the Ages is astounding to everybody who really grasps it. It should be read with just as fresh interest as in the first edition, because its lessons have not altered or changed. We trust that new readers will get the same rich blessings from this Volume that old readers have received, and that thus we may glorify God together and rejoice in His provision of light and comfort on the way to the full ushering in of the glorious Kingdom of God's dear Son.

Messiah's Kingdom is sometimes styled the Kingdom of God, because, although it is strictly under the management of Messiah, all of its laws, regulations, judgments, etc., are in strict conformity to the Divine arrangement, which is unchangeable. Hence when we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth even as in Heaven," our thought should be that the grand perfection of the Heavenly Father's Rule and Government is our desire and that we are hoping and waiting for the thousand-year Reign of Christ to conquer the rebellion of earth and to bring humanity back into as full accord with God as are all the angels of Heaven in their perfection.

Messiah's Kingdom has various stages of inauguration. First, in His Parousia the glorified Jesus quickens, or resurrects, the sleeping members of the Body of Christ. This is the first executive act of the Great One whom God has so highly exalted - the Heir of the great Abrahamic promise. His members must be completed before He will officially take His position as the King of the world. Assurance of this fact is given by the inspired Word: "When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory." (Col. 3:4) Next in order the Master [Civ] deals with the living members of His Body, the Church. As shown in the parables of the pounds and the talents, the Master's judgment concerning worthiness or unworthiness in the Kingdom must pass upon all of His consecrated ones and the full number of the Elect must be found and be glorified by the resurrection "change" - because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 15:50) Then the dominion of the world will be assumed. The glorified One will ask of the Father, and He will give Him the heathen for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. "He will rule them with a rod of iron. As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken into shivers." Psa. 2; Rev. 2:27

This revealing of the Son of Man to the world by His assumption of power and His permission of the world to pass into the great ordeal of anarchy is evidently nearing. For a little while there will be a great triumph of Churchianity, after the war. Both Catholics and Protestants will share in this triumph and both political and financial princes will encourage it, hoping for the prolongation of their own power. At that time we may expect strong opposition from Churchianity upon the true, faithful followers of Jesus, resulting in serious persecutions - perhaps even into death. But the triumph of Babylon will be short. Soon the sentence already pronounced will be executed and she shall fall like a great millstone into the sea - into anarchy - into destruction, never to rise again.

Not long after, according to the Bible picture, we may expect the total collapse of our present civilization. But the darkest moment of man's extremity will be God's opportunity. The Messiah, the Elect of God, will take the control and speak peace to the tumultuous peoples and bring order out of confusion, joy out of tears, praise out of despair. Thus the Kingdom of Messiah will be born in a terrible travail; but the glorious results will more than compensate for the "Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation." Thus we are told, "The desire of all nations shall come." Haggai 2:7

May these pages continue to be a blessing to the Lord's people and an honor to His name, is the prayer of the author,

Charles T. Russell

Brooklyn, N.Y.,

October 1, 1916

SCRIPTURE STUDIES

STUDY I "THY KINGDOM COME" Edit

Importance of The Kingdom-Classes of Men Interested in It - Classes Opposed to It, and Why Opposed - Proximity of the Kingdom - Its Glory Heavenly - Its Present Establishment.

THE most momentous event of earth's history is the establishment of God's Kingdom among men, in the hands of our Lord Jesus and his selected joint-heirs, the overcomers of the Gospel Church. This great event, toward which, as shown in previous volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, all of God's promises and types point, we now see to be not only at hand, but just upon us. None of those awake to these facts, and who properly or even partially realize them, and whose hearts are in full sympathy with God's great plan of the ages, and who see that God's panacea for the sin and misery and dying of the groaning creation is to be applied by this Kingdom, can possibly feel other than an absorbing interest in the fact, the time and the manner of its establishment.

All who trust implicitly for the fulfilment of the prayer our Lord himself taught us to offer - "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven" - must feel the liveliest interest in the fulfilment of their request, if they prayed from the heart - in spirit and in truth.

We can see that even the world, if it could but realize the true character of this Kingdom, would hail it at once, as they finally will, as the long sought blessing, bringing with it the precious favors of the golden Millennial age, so long desired.

But one general class could possibly be opposed to this rule of righteousness. This class embraces all who love not the golden rule of love, and who, instead of loving others as themselves, are willing to see others crushed, oppressed and denied their rights and the reasonable rewards and comforts of toil in order that they may luxuriate extravagantly, "wantonly" (James 5:1-9), in more than heart could wish or reason ask. These hold to the present arrangement of society with a death clutch, and seem instinctively to dread the promised kingdom of Messiah. And, with these, the wish is father to the thought, that it will never come. As David said, "Their inward thought is, that their houses [families] are to be forever, their dwelling-places from generation to generation; they call them by their own names in [various] countries.... This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings." Psa. 49:11,13

Disbelieving or ignoring the multiplied testimony of the prophets touching this Kingdom - for it was always the theme of them all: "Spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21) - many seem to dread the Kingdom, and to instinctively feel the truth, that if God should establish his Kingdom it would rule in justice; and that if justice were meted out, many of earth's rulers would change places with their subjects, or, perhaps, be put into prison; and many of the great and lordly and purse-proud and flattered would be stripped of glory and honor and wealth ill-gotten, and be seen in their true light, as ignoble. These dread, though they do not believe the testimony, that "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and hid, that shall not be known." (Matt. 10:26) And with these ignoble ones - unjust stewards of wealth and power, in the final use of which they are not "wise" as the one commended for prudence in the parable (Luke 16:1-9) - stands a yet larger class, without whom they would fall. This large class, which has not, perhaps, at present more than its reasonable share of honor, office, wealth and comfort, has hope, however slim, of some day being able to roll in luxury, the envied patrons of the "common herd." Ignoble these: the slaves of selfish vanity and toys of fickle fortune. and of these - alas! 'tis true - are some who wear the name of Christ, the poor man's friend, and who with their lips ask only daily bread, and pray with solemn mockery, "Thy Kingdom come," while in their every look and act and dealing with their fellowmen they show how much they love the present unjust rule, and how, rejoicing in unrighteousness, they would not gladly have Christ's Kingdom come.

Strange it is - in marked contrast to the attitude of many of God's professed children - that not infrequently we find some "Socialists" and others - who reject "Churchianity," and with it too frequently the Bible, and all faith in a revealed religion, yet who really grasp some of the fundamental principles of righteousness - recognizing man's common brotherhood, etc., as some of their writings most beautifully show. They seem to be expecting and striving for the social equality and generally favorable conditions repeatedly promised in Scripture as the result of the establishment of Christ's Kingdom among men, when God's will shall be done on earth. And yet, poor Socialists, it would appear that often their advocacy of liberal dealings and equality is largely the offspring of their poverty and appreciated lack of the average comforts and advantages, rather than the outgrowth of principle; for, let one of them inherit or acquire great wealth, and he is almost sure to abandon his socialistic theories.

Very circumspectly ought those saints to walk who pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth," lest their prayers be mere mockeries of lip-service, to which their hearts and lives do not consent. "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee," represents one of the most searching and severe reproofs which the Judge will pronounce against some who have professed to be his servants and to long for his Kingdom of love and justice. Let all who thus pray for and believe in the coming reign of righteousness even now square their actions and words by its just precepts, as far as in them lies.

Those who have caught the force of the lessons of the preceding volumes will see that God's Kingdom will not be one of outward, visible, earthly splendor, but of power and divine glory. This Kingdom has already come into executive authority, although it has not yet conquered and displaced the kingdoms of this world, whose lease of power has not yet expired. Hence it has not yet come into full control of earthly dominion. Its establishment is in progress, however, as indicated by the signs of the times, as well as by the prophecies considered in the previous volume and others examined in this volume.

Succeeding chapters will present prophecies marking various stages of the preparation of the nominal church and the world for the Kingdom, and call attention to some of those most momentous changes foretold to take place during the time of its establishment - than which nothing could be more important or more deeply interesting to those living saints who are longing for the promised joint-heirship in this Kingdom, and seeking to be engaged in cooperation with the Master, the Chief-Reaper and King, in the work now due and in progress.

STUDY II "THE TIME OF THE END," OR "DAY OF HIS PREPARATION" Edit

- DANIEL XI - Edit

The Time of the End - Its Commencement, A.D. 1799 - Its Close, A.D. 1914 - What is to be Prepared, and the Object - The World's History Prophetically Traced Through its Chief Rulers - From B.C. 405 to This Day of Preparation - The Beginning of the Time of the End Definitely Marked, yet Without Names or Dates.

THE "Time of the End," a period of one hundred and fifteen (115) years, from A.D. 1799 to A.D. 1914, is particularly marked in the Scriptures. "The Day of His Preparation" is another name given to the same period, because in it a general increase of knowledge, resulting in discoveries, inventions, etc., paves the way to the coming Millennium of favor, making ready the mechanical devices which will economize labor, and provide the world in general with time and conveniences, which under Christ's reign of righteousness will be a blessing to all and aid in filling the earth with the knowledge of the Lord. And it is a day or period of preparation in another sense also; for by the increase of knowledge among the masses, giving to all a taste of liberty and luxury, before Christ's rule is established to rightly regulate the world, these blessings will gradually become agencies of class - power and will result in the uprising of the masses and the overthrow of corporative Trusts, etc., with which will fall also all the present dominions of earth, civil and ecclesiastical. And thus the present is a day of preparation (through such an overthrow) for the establishment of the universal dominion of the Kingdom of God so long prayed for.

The last forty years of the Time of the End is called the "End" or "Harvest" of the Gospel age, as we read, "The HARVEST is the END of the age." (Matt. 13:39) To the foretold general character and events of this period we will shortly call particular attention, reserving the special features of the harvest, however, for a subsequent chapter.

Though our information pointing out the date of this period is furnished in Daniel's prophecy, we know that he understood nothing at all concerning it, as he said: "I heard, but I understood not." (Dan. 12:8) In answer to his anxious inquiries he was told that the words were closed up and sealed until the Time of the End. It follows, therefore, that no one could understand the prophecy before 1799; and before leaving the subject we shall show that the prophecy indicates that it would not begin to be understood before 1829, nor reach a clear unfolding until 1875.

Chapter xi of Daniel's prophecy is devoted to the notable events leading down to this period, the Time of the End, while chapter xii leads on from there to the End or Harvest. Students of prophecy will notice the peculiar manner in which the date of the beginning of the Time of the End is given - a manner remarkable both for its exactness in fixing the date, and also for its concealment, until the appointed time for it to be understood. And after this point of time is thus peculiarly marked in chapter xi, without a name or a date being stated, chapter xii produces three periods of time, 1260, 1290 and 1335 prophetic days, which corroborate and establish the lesson of chapter xi, that the beginning of the Time of the End was in the year 1799.

And, although chapter xi touches upon some of the most prominent characters and events of history, as we shall show, yet its testimony is still sealed to very many prophetic students because the central item of the prophecy, upon which much depends, has already had a seeming fulfilment. This manner of covering or hiding a prophecy until its due time to be revealed is by no means uncommon. And so confident have some prophetic students of the past felt that this central item has already been fulfilled, that in our English Bibles, common version, the marginal reference reads - "Fulfilled 171 to 168 B.C." The passage (Dan. 11:31) reads, "Arms shall stand on his part, and they shall defile the Sanctuary of strength and shall take away the daily [literally, the continual] sacrifice, and they shall place [or set up] the abomination that makes desolate [or the desolating abomination]."

The claim is that this prophecy was fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, a Syrian king, when he forcibly entered Jerusalem and stopped the sacrificings to God in the Temple, and placed in the temple the idol of Jupiter Olympus.

This seeming fulfilment of the prophecy is sufficient to satisfy the general student, contented to believe what he is told; and it causes him to lose interest in the prophecy as one fulfilled in the far past and of no special interest to him. But the earnest student will note that it was foretold (verse 14) that the robbers of Daniel's people would indeed attempt to fulfil the vision (or would seemingly fulfil it), but would fail; and, further, that the Time of the End was a fixed time (verse 35); and that a full and correct interpretation could not be had until then. Hence such will not expect correct interpretations from the past. And neither will the careful student overlook the fact that our Lord drew attention to this very prophecy two hundred years after its claimed fulfilment, and told us to expect its fulfilment future, saying, "Ye shall see [future] the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place." (Matt. 24:3,15) Our Lord even added a caution, that we should take heed and not be mistaken regarding the real abomination, saying, "Whoso reads let him understand."

We trust that the evidences presented in the preceding volume have made clear the fact that the great Papal system is the desolating abomination which for centuries has despoiled both the world and the Church, in the name of Christ's kingdom. Truly it has long been "standing in the holy place" - in the temple of God, the Christian Church. Thank God for the privilege of seeing its abominable characteristics more and more clearly, that we may flee from all its errors. Thank God that its days are numbered, and that the cleansed sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) will soon be exalted and filled with the glory of God.

With this introduction, we proceed to examine Daniel xi in consecutive order.

Verse 2begins with the Medo-Persian empire, the fourth and last king being Darius III Codomanus.

The mighty king of verse 3is Alexander the Great, of Greece, concerning whom the following scrap of history from Willard will be read with interest. He says:

"Alexander the Great, having invaded Judea, sent a mandate to Jerusalem to furnish his army with provisions and troops. Jaddus, then the high priest, returned for answer, that he had sworn allegiance to the king of Persia, and could not desert his cause while he lived. Alexander, as soon as the siege of Tyre was completed, marched to Jerusalem to take vengeance for this refusal. Apprised of his purpose, and utterly unable to contend with him, the high priest in his distress cried to heaven for protection. Being instructed by a vision in the night, he threw open the gates of the city and strewed the way with flowers. Clothing himself in the splendid vestments of the Levitical priesthood, he went forth to meet the conqueror, followed by all the priests robed in white. Alexander met him, bowed, and worshiped. Being asked by his astonished friend, why he, whom others adored, should adore the high priest, he answered, 'I do not adore him, but the God whose minister he is. I knew him, as soon as I saw his habit, to be the same whom I saw in a vision in Macedonia, when I meditated the conquest of Persia; and he then assured me that his God would go before me and give me success.' Alexander then embraced the priests, walking in the midst of them, and thus entering Jerusalem; where, in the most solemn manner, he offered sacrifices in the temple. The high priest then showed him the prophecy of Daniel, and interpreted it to foreshow that the Persian power should be overthrown by him."

Though Alexander conquered the world in the short period of thirteen years, the kingdom did not continue as one nation in his family after his death, but was divided by his four generals and broken into fragments generally, as stated in verse 4.

Notice here the correspondence of this prophecy with that of Dan. 8:3-9,20-25. Here it is shown that out of one of the divisions of Alexander's empire (compare verses 8,9 and 21) would come forth a "little horn" or power, which would become exceedingly great. This evidently refers to Rome, which rose to influence upon the ruins of Greece. From being an insignificant subject whose ambassadors hastened to acknowledge the Grecian supremacy, and to become part of the empire at the feet of Alexander the Great, Rome rose gradually to supremacy.

The history which is told in few words in Dan. 8:9,10is related with greater detail in chapter 11:5-19. In this detailed account, Egypt is spoken of as the King of the South; while the Grecians, and afterward the Romans, their successors in power, or the new horn out of Greece, are designated the King of the North. Woven between these, linked now with the one and again with the other, is the history of God's people - Daniel's people - in whose ultimate blessing, as promised by God, Daniel trusted. It is tedious and unnecessary to trace this history in its many details of conflicts between Alexander's generals and their successors, until verse 17, which refers to Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. And since all are agreed thus far, we need go no farther into the past.

At verse 18 those who claim that verse 3 1applies to Antiochus Epiphanes continue to apply the prophecy to the little squabbles and battles between Seleucus, Philopater, Antiochus Epiphanes and Ptolemeus Philomater down to the end of the chapter - as the Jews were evidently accustomed to apply it. The Jews, continuing this interpretation into chapter xii, would have strong grounds for expecting deliverance by Messiah speedily; and so we read that at the time of our Lord's birth "all men were in expectation" of him, and through him, of their deliverance from the Roman yoke. But from verse 18 onward, we who see the real "abomination," part company from them, and understand the prophecy merely to touch prominent characters down to Papacy; and then, touching and identifying it, to pass on to the end of its power to persecute, and to mark that date by a detailed account of one of the most noted characters of history - Napoleon Bonaparte.

But it may be asked, why this change of the particular method of the preceding verses, to touch only prominent features of history? We answer, that this has been part of God's method of sealing and closing the prophecy. Besides, everything in prophecy was so arranged as not to stumble Israel at the first advent. Had the minutiae and detail of twenty centuries been spread out as is that prophecy contained in verses 3 to 17 of this chapter, it would have been long, tedious and beyond comprehension; and it would have given the Jews and the early Christian church an idea of the length of time before the Kingdom of God should come; and this was not God's purpose.

Proceeding, then, we understand verses 17-19 to apply to the times and incidents in which Mark Antony and Cleopatra figured, when Antony fell, and Egypt ("King of the South") was swallowed up in the Roman empire. Verse 20 we apply to Augustus Caesar, who was noted for his systematic collection of large taxes from all tributary nations, and whose exactions of taxes, in Judea and throughout the then civilized world, are noted in Scripture in connection with the birth of our Lord. (Luke 2:1) The statement, "Caesar Augustus sent forth a decree that all the world should be taxed," corresponds faithfully to the description - "There shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom." This latter part of the description also fits exactly; for the period of Augustus Caesar's reign is noted in history as the most glorious epoch of the great Roman empire, and is called "the golden age of Rome."

Another translation of verse 20 reads: "There will stand up in his place one who will cause the exactor of taxes to pass through the glorious land of the kingdom." This would seem to apply specially to Palestine, and would make this fit exactly to the record in Luke. But both applications are correct: It was the glorious time of the Roman Empire, and tax collectors were caused to pass through the land of Palestine - the glorious land of the kingdom. Furthermore, be it noted that Augustus Caesar was the first ruler to introduce to the world a systematized taxation.

We read further of this prominent ruler - "Within few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle." Of Augustus Caesar it is recorded that he died a quiet death, while his predecessor and his seven successors in imperial power died violent deaths. His death was within a few years after he had reached the zenith of his power and had caused "the exactor of taxes to pass through the glorious land of the kingdom."

Verse 21fitly describes Tiberius Caesar, the successor of Augustus: "There will stand up in his place a despicable person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom; but he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries." Let us here note how the historic account of Tiberius agrees with the above by the prophet.

Says White: "Tiberius was fifty-six years old when he ascended the throne, professing great unwillingness to take upon him its important cares.... All restraint being now removed, the tyrant gave loose reign to his cruel and sensual passions."

Says Willard: "At first he dissembled and appeared to govern with moderation; but the mask soon dropped.... The senate, to whom he transferred all the political rights of the people, had become degraded, and thus obsequiously sanctioned his acts and offered the incense of perpetual flattery to the man who filled their streets with blood. It was under the administration of this most debased of men, that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified in Judea."

These pictures fit exactly the prophet's description, and are further confirmed by the next verse-22. "With the powers of an overflow [flood] will they [all opposers] be swept away before him, and be broken; yea, also the Prince of the Covenant." This last statement seems unmistakably to refer to our Lord Jesus, who, as above noted by the historian, was crucified under the administration of Tiberius by his representative, Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and by Roman soldiers.

"And after the league made with him [the Senate recognizing him as emperor] he shall work deceitfully; for he will come up and become strong with a small number of people. [Tiberius organized the Praetorian Guard, at first of 10,000, afterward doubled. This small number of people, as the emperor's bodyguard, was continually at Rome and under his control. By it he overawed the people and the senate, abolished popular elections, assemblies, etc.] He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province, and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his father's fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: and he shall think thoughts against the strongholds, even for a time." Verses 23,24

It was the policy of both Augustus and his successors to preserve peacefully the control of the dominions previously gained, rather than to seek by conquest further additions; and, to secure this hold, it was their policy to divide the spoil by appointing local governors, with dignity and authority, whose tenure of office was made to depend upon the preservation of order in their provinces, their fealty to the Caesars and the prompt collection of taxes. They no longer, as at first, pursued the policy of sacking and plundering the world merely to carry the spoils as trophies to Rome. By this diplomatic policy, by thus "forecasting devices," Rome now ruled the world more completely and with greater prestige than when her armies went hither and thither.

It should be recognized that while the prophecy has particularized, and in the cases of Augustus and Tiberius has almost individualized the account, yet this has been only a means to an end. The end to be accomplished is to mark the time of transfer of universal dominion, from Greece to Rome, from the four generals of Alexander the Great, representing four divisions of that empire (the "four horns" of the Grecian "goat" mentioned in Daniel 8:8), to the Roman empire which was at that time and previously a part of Grecia. These four generals who succeeded Alexander the Great are no less distinctly marked in history than in prophecy. * The historian+ says:

  • The division among these four is distinctly referred to in Daniel 8:8 and 11:4,5.

+Willard's Universal History, page 100.

"The [Grecian] empire was now divided into four parts, and one part assigned to each of the generals who formed the league. Ptolemy assumed the regal power in Egypt; Seleucus, in Syria and Upper Asia; Lysimachus, in Thrace and Asia Minor as far as Taurus; and Cassander took as his share Macedonia."

In this division Italy belonged to Cassander's department, which was the northern division, designated "King of the North," while Egypt was the southern division, or "King of the South." Gradually the Roman influence prevailed, and piece by piece the territory originally held by Seleucus, Lysimachus and Cassander was brought into subjection to Rome, which was part of the northern division, and left only Egypt, the southern division. This king of the south, Egypt, became subject to the power of the northern division, as above narrated, in the days of Cleopatra, Antony and Augustus Caesar, partly by the will of the father of Cleopatra, who dying while his children were young, left the kingdom under the protection of the Roman Senate, and partly by Mark Antony's defeat. For a while, indeed, the "King of the South," Egypt, was quite as powerful as the "King of the North," Rome. Historians tell us that "it was the greatest mercantile nation then existing"; that it had "33,000 cities"; and that its annual revenue "amounted to 14,800 silver talents," about $20,000,000.

Recognizing the sense and design of the prophecy, we should not expect detailed, personal accounts of the monarchs of these kingdoms, but by "King of the North" we should understand the Roman empire's representative, and by "King of the South" a representative of Egypt's kingdom. With this explanation we proceed with the prophecy.

Verse 25: "And he [Rome] will stir up his power and courage against the King of the South [Egypt], with a great army; and the King of the South shall be stirred up for the war with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand; for they will [treacherously] devise plans against him."

From the year B.C. 30, when Augustus Caesar made Egypt a Roman province, no hostilities occurred between the two countries until Queen Zenobia, a descendant of Cleopatra, about A.D. 269, claimed and exercised its control. Her reign was short; Aurelian, the Roman emperor, conquering her in A.D. 272. The historian says: "Syria, Egypt and Asia Minor acknowledged the sway of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. But she had to cope with the superior force of the empire and the military skill of the first captain of the age. Yet Aurelian writes of her, 'The Roman people speak in contempt of the war, which I am waging against a woman. They are ignorant both of the character and fame of Zenobia. It is impossible to describe her warlike preparations and her desperate courage.'" Firmus, the ally of Zenobia in Egypt, was speedily vanquished and put to death, and Aurelian returned to Rome covered with honor and with great wealth as described in verse 28 - "Then will he return into his land with great riches, and his heart will be against the holy covenant, and he shall do [various exploits] and return to his own land."

As an evidence of the riches he accumulated, note an extract from Gibbon's account of his march of triumph through the streets of Rome. He says:

"The wealth of Asia, the arms and ensigns of conquered nations, and the magnificent plate and wardrobe of the Syrian queen, were disposed and in exact symmetry or artful disorder.... The beautiful figure of Zenobia was confined in fetters of gold; a slave supported the gold chain which encircled her neck, and she almost fainted under the intolerable weight of jewels. She preceded on foot the magnificent chariot in which she once hoped to enter the gates of Rome."

As to the Prophet's statement, that on his return his heart would be against the holy covenant [Christianity], Mosheim says:

"Aurelian, although immoderately given to idolatry, and possessing a strong aversion to the Christians, yet devised no measure for their injury during four years. But in the fifth year of his reign, either from his own superstition, or prompted by the superstition of others, he prepared to persecute them: and, had he lived, so cruel and ferocious was his disposition, and so much was he influenced by the priests and the admirers of the gods, that his persecution would have been more cruel than any of the preceding. But before his new edicts had reached all the provinces he was assassinated; and therefore only a few Christians suffered for their piety under him." *

  • History of Christianity, Vol. II, page 101.

This persecuting spirit against Christianity was manifested after his return from the conquest, as indicated in the prophecy. Aurelian was a worshiper of the sun, and he ascribed his victory over Zenobia to the sun; and immediately after the battle he repaired to the magnificent temple, dedicated to the sun, to acknowledge the favor. As the Christians deemed the sun unworthy of worship, it is presumed that their refusal to participate in this sun-worship was the provocation of his sudden and violent opposition.

Verse 26: "Yea, they that eat of his food will bring his downfall: and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain." Aurelian was assassinated by his own generals; his army was successful, though many were slain.

Verse 27applies not to Rome and Egypt, but to two kings or powers in the Roman empire - the Imperial power gradually dying, and the Clerical power slowly coming to life and ambition. Each sought to use the other for its own selfish ends, while denying such designs. It reads: "And the heart of the two kings shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper [then], because as yet the end is into another time." Or, to express the thought more plainly, a certain period of 1260 years had been appointed of God as the length of Papacy's persecuting power; hence the union or league between the clergy and the civil power could "not prosper" then, because the 1260 years counted from that date would bring "the end" too soon; therefore it must be put off, or held back, and allowed to come about gradually by the decay of the empire in Italy. We see on the pages of ecclesiastical history the scheming of the Christian bishops for power in the Roman empire; and evidently the emperors debated much whether it would not be to their advantage to recognize the new religion. Apparently Constantine merely acted out, at a riper time, what others had more or less thought of. But even Constantine was hindered by the temper of the people from accomplishing at once and as rapidly as was desired a union of the forces of church and state.

We regard verses 29 and 30as a parenthesis, thrown in to conceal the meaning for a time by breaking the order of the narrative, and believe it to apply to a then far future collision between the representatives of the Roman empire and Egypt. No further conflict between these would occur except one, and it would be just at "the time appointed" - the time of the end, 1799. For this reason we will leave the examination of these verses until considering that last battle between them, as detailed in verses 40-45.

Verse 31connects with the thought of verse 27, and we recognize it as referring to the more successful of the two powers in the Roman empire - Papacy. Having traced history through notable individual rulers down to Aurelian, and having introduced us to the two antagonistic rulerships - civil and ecclesiastical - which arose shortly after, the predominance of Papacy, its character and its work, as related to God's truth and Church, are next pointed out - being represented as one king or power, regardless of its various and changing popes or heads. We know that in the contest between the civil and religious rulers Papacy was victorious; and the prophecy reads, "Arms shall stand on his part [or, "strong ones out of him stand up" - Young's translation], and shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they will SET UP the desolating abominations."

This we interpret to mean that, though neither the church nor the civil power succeeded in swallowing up the other, as at one time seemed probable, yet "strong ones" arose, who polluted the fundamental principles both of the civil government and also of true religion. The "sanctuary of strength," the sacred precincts of civil authority, which for the time God had delivered over to the Gentiles, to the kingdoms of this world, was undermined by those in the Church who thirsted for present dominion, and who sought by every device to obtain civil power to help forward their ecclesiastical schemes; and the sanctuary of God (his sacred dwelling - the Church) was defiled and degraded by the persistent efforts of these "strong ones" to obtain power with the civil rulers, and numbers, and influence with the people. This was Papacy in embryo, scheming to set itself up in power as a sacerdotal empire.

We cannot wonder that these heady, "strong ones," having disregarded God's plan, which provides for our present submission to "the powers that be" (which are ordained of God for our present trial and our preparation for future exaltation to power, glory and the dominion of the world), and having decided to reign, if possible, before God's time, were so far out of harmony with God's plan that they lost the very essence and kernel of the truth, and retained only the form, the outward appearance. A most decisive step of the apostasy was to "remove the continual sacrifice." This, the climax of doctrinal degeneracy, represented in the Romish doctrines of Transubstantiation and the Sacrifice of the Mass, we merely name here, leaving it for fuller examination in connection with another prophecy in a later chapter. From the introduction of this fatal and blasphemous error, God calls the system an abomination; and its subsequent exaltation to power is here referred to as, "the desolating abomination set up." How well Papacy has earned this name, and how blighting has been its baneful influence, are well attested by the history of the "dark ages," glimpses of which we have given in the preceding volume.

Verse 32: "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries." Those in the Church who failed to live up to their covenant with the Lord fell an easy prey to the flatteries, honors, titles, etc., held before them by the Papal hierarchy as it began to have influence. But though many yielded to the errors, all did not; for we read, "But the people that do know their God shall be strong and deal valiantly; and they that understand among the people shall instruct many." Thus is shown a division of the Church into two marked classes, distinguished in Dan. 8:11-14 as the sanctuary and the host: one class, corrupted by the flattering honors of the world, violated its covenant with God, while the other class was really strengthened by the persecutions to which their loyalty to God exposed them. Among the latter class were some who understood the situation, and taught the faithful that thus it was written in the Scriptures that the Antichrist, or Man of Sin, would develop from a great falling away in the Church.

Numbers and power were in the hands of the forsakers of the covenant, who became joined to the empire; and the faithful few were persecuted - hunted, imprisoned, racked, tortured, and put to death in hundreds of revolting forms, as the pages of history plainly attest, and as here foretold by the prophet, who said, "Yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity and by spoil-days," [Here another parenthesis of verse 34 and part of 35interrupts] - "to the time of the end; because it is yet [future] for a time appointed." The length of time this persecution was to continue is not stated here, except that it will be concluded as appointed, at the Time of the End. From other scriptures we learn that it was a period of 1260 years, which ended with A.D. 1799, a date prominently noted by Daniel and the Revelator as well as in history.

Verses 34,35: "Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help." The full period of the persecutor's (Papacy's) power, 1260 years, would not end until 1799; but before its end God granted a little help through the Reformation movement, which, though at first it rather increased persecution, afterward gave some comfort and protection to those falling because of fidelity to God's Word. The Reformation prevented the complete crushing out of the truth from the world. But, alas! with the little help came the "flatterers" again. As soon as persecution began to abate the adversary resorted to the same device, by which he had formerly succeeded in corrupting and degrading the church, to now overcome the reform movements. Kings and princes began to give honors and titles to Protestants and to unite with Protestantism; and this led to serious evil results and deflection from the covenant, as we read: "But many shall cleave to them with flatteries; and some of them of understanding [leaders, reformers, teachers, who had been able to instruct many concerning Papacy's errors] shall fall; to try them [the faithful few] and to purge and to make them white."

Tracing the prophecy further, we find that as the previous verses pointedly describe the leading characters prominently connected with the transfer of dominion to Greece and then to Rome, and then craftily, gradually, stealthily to Papacy as a power which grew up out of civil Rome, so also when it comes to the very important point of noting where Papal dominion was broken, * it is but reasonable to expect that Napoleon, the leading character associated with this change, should be marked out; and that, too, not by a description of his personal appearance, but by a description of his peculiar characteristics, just as Augustus and Tiberius Caesar were indicated. Such a description we do find; and Napoleon Bonaparte's career corresponds exactly with that description. Verses 31-35describe Papacy, its errors and abominations, and the Reformation and its "little help" yet partial failure through flatteries; and these verses bring us down to the "Time of the End," and show us that, notwithstanding the little help afforded, some would fall by persecution until the Time of the End. And so it was: in all the countries subject to Papacy - Spain, France, etc. - persecution through the terrible Inquisition continued, until broken effectually by Napoleon.

  • It is proper to say that Papal dominion passed away at the beginning of the present century; for after the French Revolution the authority of Rome over rulers and kingdoms (and even over its own territory in Italy) was only nominal and not real. It should be remembered, too, that until that time France had been, of all the nations, the most faithful and subservient to the Papal authority. It was her kings and princes and nobles and people who most readily obeyed the behests of the pope-organized crusades, went to war, etc., etc., in obedience to the pope's command, and who were so loyal as not to permit a Protestant to live on her soil after the massacre of St. Bartholomew's night. No other nation, therefore, could have struck Papacy so stunning and destructive a blow as the French.

Next follow the verses descriptive of Napoleon, the instrument employed by Providence to break Papacy's power and to begin her torture, which will end in utter destruction, to be accomplished later on; as it is written, "Whom the Lord shall destroy with the bright shining of his presence." 2 Thess. 2:8

The public career of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was recognized even in his own day as "the man of destiny," is so clearly portrayed by the prophetic statement as to positively fix the date of "the time appointed." This method of fixing a date is accurate. And if we shall show that the events here mentioned in prophecy agree with Napoleon's career in history, we can determine the date as certainly as we could the beginning of the reign of Augustus Caesar, or Tiberius, or Cleopatra - described in verses 17, 20 and 21. Napoleon's career, in the light of prophecy, marked A.D. 1799 as the close of the 1260 years of Papal power, and the beginning of the period called the "Time of the End." The prophetic description runs thus:

Verse 36: "And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the god of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath is accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done." Napoleon was not a king, but the term king is a general one to indicate a powerful ruler. He did, perhaps, as nearly "according to his will" as any man that ever lived; he was noted for his wilfulness and determination, which conquered almost insurmountable difficulties. To get the proper meaning of the above verse, it must be remembered that the word "god" signifies a mighty one; and that it is frequently used in Scripture in referring to kings and rulers, as in this verse: "god of gods." * Here the word "gods" refers to rulers, kings and princes, and the expression, "god of gods," or ruler of rulers, refers to the pope. Most men have acknowledged some religious superior, but Napoleon acknowledged none. He had a will of his own, and a plan of his own, which was to exalt himself above every other ruler. Even the "god of gods" (i.e., the ruler of rulers - the pope) he addressed in a marvelous way; commanding his obedience as his servant, in a manner which shocked the superstitions of the world at that day, and the dignity of the papal hierarchy as well. And, as here declared, he prospered until he had accomplished his mission of scourging Papacy and breaking its influence over the minds of the people. In proof of this, history * says:

  • See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. II, pp. 274 and 275.
  • Campaigns of Napoleon, pp. 89,95,96.

"Whilst the secular princes who had concluded treaties with the French adhered to them in good faith, and paid the contributions stipulated, the sovereign Pontiff was guilty of the most unwise violations of his engagements. Surrounded by priests who were his only counsellors, the pope had resource to his old expedients of artifice and pious frauds; and great efforts were made to inflame the minds of the people against the French.... The priests pretended that heaven had interfered, and it was positively asserted that various miracles had been performed in the different churches in vindication of the holy catholic faith of Papal supremacy, showing the displeasure of heaven at the conduct of the French. Bonaparte, perceiving that such was the infatuation of the Court of Rome that all his efforts for peace would be unavailing, took immediate steps to bring 'His Holiness' to his senses.

"He ordered General Victor to invade the Papal territories, who scattered the army of the pope 'like chaff before the wind,' and spread a general panic through the ecclesiastical states.... 'His Holiness,' finding that St. Peter afforded him no assistance in this emergency,...dispatched plenipotentiaries to Bonaparte to supplicate for peace. Peace was obtained, but upon conditions sufficiently humiliating: In addition to complying with the provisional treaty previously entered into and infracted by the pope, he was obliged to cede a part of his territory and pay a sum of money amounting to about thirty millions of French livres [about six million dollars], as an atonement for the last rupture."

This, added to the first assessment, made in all over ten million dollars that the pope paid to France in gold and silver, besides other valuables - statuary, paintings, etc. A Roman Catholic writer declares that "The fulfilment of these conditions brought the pope to the verge of ruin." This treaty was concluded February 19, 1797.

It may be thought that this summary and successful overturning of Papal power would be sufficient to prove to the world that its claims to divine right to rule kings, etc., were mere assumptions; but if not, surely the final touches were added the following year, when the French general, Berthier, entered Rome, organized there a Republic, on February 15, 1798, and five days later carried the pope a prisoner to France, where he died the following year. From that time until the present, Papal dominion over the kingdoms of earth has been merely a shadow of its former self. Since then, it has scarcely mentioned its assumed right to make and unmake kings. In fact, the pope who succeeded in 1800, under the title Pius VII, "published an address in which he declared it to be the doctrine of the gospel that all should obey established governments," which of course included himself.

Verse 37: "He shall neither regard the god [ruler] of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god [ruler]; for he shall exalt himself in opposition to all."

Not only did Napoleon not respect the god of his fathers, Papacy, but neither did he regard favorably any of the Protestant sects, here represented as women. * In fact, nothing but his own personal ambition controlled him.

  • As the one true Church is symbolically called the Bride of Christ, and as the Church of Rome in unfaithful alliance with earthly empire is called a harlot, so the various Protestant sects are called "women."

Verse 38: "But in his place [instead of any of these gods] he shall honor the god of forces [military power]: and a god whom his fathers knew not, shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and things desired."

Other great warriors made some acknowledgment to some supernatural powers for victories achieved. Alexander the Great visited the heathen temples, and thus celebrated victories; so did the Caesars; and in later times, under Papacy, it was the custom for both sides in a war to appeal to God, to saints, to the Virgin and to the popes for blessings and victory; and at least to pretend to accept victory as God-given. But Napoleon did nothing of the sort: he ascribed his success to himself and his own genius. Armies were his reliance; in brave men, quick maneuvering and able generals he put his trust; and to these he addressed his petitions. The form of his oath to the French "Council of the Ancients," on assuming command of the armies of France upon his return from Egypt, shows that his reliance was upon himself and his armies. He swore neither by God, nor by the Bible, nor by the pope, nor by France; but he said: "I swear it! I swear it in my own name, and in the name of my brave comrades!" While serving his own ambition, he claimed to serve the people; and the treasures of Rome, and of other cities and countries which he spoiled, were turned over to the people of France, of whom himself and his soldiers were a part.

Verse 39: "And he shall do this to strengthen his hold with the strange [new] god: Whoever will acknowledge him, him will he give much honor; and he will cause such to rule over many, and he will divide the land gratis."

Napoleon put his friends and trusty generals into places of power among all the conquered nations of Europe. These offices were his gifts, yet they were held upon condition of fealty to him. They were "gratis," and yet the price of their loyalty to him. Of this history * says:

  • Williard's Universal History, page 452.

"The ambitious views of Napoleon became still more apparent. Holland had the previous year been formed into a kingdom, of which his brother, Louis Bonaparte, was made king. Naples was now given to Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother, who was also invested with the title of King of the two Sicilies. Several provinces were constituted duchies or grand fiefs of the empire, and given to the Emperor's relations and favorites. His sister Pauline was made princess of Guastalla; his brother-in-law, Murat, grand duke of Berg and Cleves; while Eugene Beauharnais, the son of his Empress Josephine by a former marriage, was sent viceroy to Italy. Fourteen provinces in the south and west of Germany were formed into the Confederation of the Rhine. They were separated from the Germanic body, and recognized Napoleon as their head, under the title of Protector.... Switzerland was also brought under the dominion of France, Napoleon declaring himself its 'Mediator.'"

The policy of Napoleon also led him to establish various honorable and honorary orders among the officers and soldiers, such, for instance, as the "Legion of Honor," "The Order of the Iron Crown," etc., etc.

Having thus furnished grounds for establishing the identity of this character (Napoleon), whose deeds mark the beginning of the "Time of the End," the prophecy proceeds to show which particular event of that time is to be understood as definitely marking the exact date of the beginning of the "Time of the End." This event is shown to be Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, which covered a period of a year and nearly five months. He sailed May, 1798 and, returning, landed in France Oct. 9, 1799. This campaign is graphically described in a few words in verses 40-44.

Verse 40: "And at the [fixed] Time of the End shall the king of the South [Egypt] fight against him, and the king of the North [England] shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots and with horsemen [the Egyptian Mamelukes, etc.] and with a great navy. [The English forces consisted of a navy under Admiral Nelson.] And he [Napoleon] shall enter into the countries, and shall destroy and pass through [victoriously]."

History informs us that the Egyptian army under Murat Bey "after a most determined struggle was repulsed;... the success of the French struck terror far into Asia and Africa; and the surrounding tribes submitted to the conqueror... But fortune was preparing for him a terrible reverse. His fleet, consisting of thirteen ships of the line [war vessels], besides frigates, was found in Aboukir Bay by Nelson, the English admiral, who had long been in pursuit, and was attacked on the evening of Aug. 1, 1798, with a degree of vigor and activity ["like a whirlwind"] which was never surpassed in naval warfare."

Verses 41-43: "He shall enter also into the glorious land [Palestine], and many shall fall: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the principality of the children of Ammon. [Napoleon kept to the coast, and did not enter but passed by these lands.] He shall stretch forth his hand upon the countries, and Egypt shall not escape. And he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians will follow at his steps."

Verses 44-45: "And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace [his palatial tents] between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain." This statement might refer to either of two mountains - Mt. Tabor or Mt. Sinai - both of which might be called glorious and holy. On Mt. Tabor, glorious and holy as the place of our Lord's transfiguration, and called by Peter "the holy mount," Napoleon's tents were pitched, one of his most important battles being fought there. Mt. Sinai, holy and glorious as being the place where the Law Covenant between God and Israel was ratified, was visited by Napoleon and his "scientific corps" and select guard.

"But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many [nations]. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."

While in Egypt tidings of fresh alliance against France reached Napoleon, and he at once set out for France. With reference to this history * says, "Intelligence from Europe now induced him to abandon Egypt; and, leaving his army under Kleber, he returned to France with secrecy and dispatch. ... A reverse of fortune had taken place in French affairs, a second coalition had formed against France, composed of England, Russia, Naples, the Ottoman Porte and Austria." Compare these words of history with those of prophecy: "But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him; therefore shall he go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many [nations]." Napoleon's great fury, and his attempted destruction of all the nations of Europe, are too well known to require repetition here. He almost succeeded in his ambitious designs; yet, as predicted by the Prophet, in a few years this most notable man of his day died an exile, forsaken by all.

  • Willard's Universal History, page 446.

As verse 40 declares that this invasion of Egypt would be "at the Time of the End" or (as the Douay version renders it) "at the time prefixed," so do verses 29 and 30, which refer to the same event and which were previously introduced as a parenthesis. It will be remembered that we have found verses 25-28 to refer to a previous invasion of Egypt; and in verses 29 and 30 it is intimated that the next great invasion of Egypt would be "at the time appointed," i.e., at the "Time of the End," as described in verses 40-45.

"At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former or as the latter" invasions. Napoleon's invasion of Egypt did not result either like that in the days of Cleopatra, or like that in the days of her descendant, Queen Zenobia. Napoleon, though successful as a general in Egypt, achieved no such victories as his predecessors; and the reason is described in the next verse - "For the ships of Chittim ["of the Romans" - Douay] shall come against him." The English navy harassed Napoleon and hindered his conquest. Since England as well as France had been a part of the old Roman Empire, and since France was at war with the remainder of that empire, endeavoring to conquer it, we see the propriety of these being called Roman ships. "Therefore he [Napoleon] shall be grieved, and return and have indignation against the holy covenant: and he shall succeed."

On his return from Egypt, Napoleon abandoned his former policy of violent opposition to Papacy, and signed a Concordat or agreement with the pope, by which the Roman Catholic religion was re-established in France. This was an action against the truth; but he seemed to see that by this policy he could best succeed in overturning the Republic and in establishing himself in power as Emperor. And he did "succeed." But this policy did not last long after he obtained imperial power: he soon began again to work against that system called the "Man of Sin," as the prophecy describes in the following words: "And he [Napoleon] shall return [change about] and shall devise against them that have forsaken the covenant of the sanctuary"; i.e., he began to scheme and operate against the apostate church of Rome. In this also he succeeded.

Thus pointedly does Daniel xitrace the world's history, by its most notable characters, from the kingdom of Persia down to the overthrow of Papal dominion. Though covering the long period of twenty-four hundred years, it accomplishes its purpose of clearly marking the very year of the beginning of the Time of the End-1799. With that year terminated the limit of Papacy's 1260 years of power to oppress, and the Time of the End began. And let it not be overlooked that this was also the last year of Papacy's millennium, or one thousand years' reign, which began, as shown in the previous volume, with the year 800. But 1799 was only the beginning of the period known as "the Time of the End," within the limits of which every vestige of that system shall pass away.

Notice how in the few words of verses 34 and 35 the decline of the Reformation and its cause are described. The love of the world and a desire to be in power, influence and ease were the snares which first seduced the church and brought forth Papacy; and the same desires and endeavors interrupted the Reformation. Luther and his companions at first boldly denounced, among other of the papal errors, the union of church and state; but when, after some years of brave resistance to powerful opposition, the Reformation began to have some influence because of numbers, when kings and princes began to flatter the reformers, and avenues to social and political preferment opened before them, the evils of church and state union, which once they saw and opposed in Papacy, were lost sight of. The reformed churches in Germany, Switzerland, etc., stepped into the very shoes of Rome, and stood ready to unite with and favor any political party, or prince, or government, willing to own and recognize them. Thus some of understanding fell, and from being leaders of reform they became leaders into temptation. Thus the reform movement, well begun, was greatly checked.

But all this could not frustrate God's plan. By his wisdom it was overruled for good. It served, as Papacy's error had done, to further test the true saints, to prove whether they were really followers of men or of God. It has served this purpose all the way down, from that time to this - "to try them, and to purge, and to make them white."

If we are correct in placing the beginning of the Time of the End at 1799, we should expect that there the falling into the error of church and state union would measurably cease, though it might require long years for the full recovery out of that snare of the devil. Looking back, we find that facts exactly correspond with this. Since that date there have been separations between empires and churches, but no new unions. Really, this date marks a new reformation on a more substantial basis. The influence of Papacy over the kingdoms of Europe had previously been so great that its curses were dreaded by the nations as a withering blight, and its blessings desired for national prosperity. When Protestants separated from Papacy, they were received by the world as being merely a less corrupt substitute for the Papacy; and their favor, advice or sanction was often very similarly sought. But when Napoleon boldly ignored both the blessings and the curses of Papacy, and yet prospered phenomenally, his course not only greatly weakened the Papal influence over civil governments, but it also weakened the influence of the various Protestant systems, in matters civil and political - which influence had grown very strong in two and a half centuries.

The new reformation, which dated from Napoleon's day, was no less thorough than the reformation brought about by Luther and his colleagues, though it was not a religious movement, nor in any way animated by a religious zeal; nor were the actors in it aware of the fact that they were accomplishing a work marked out for them in prophecy centuries before. Napoleon and his co-workers were godless men, animated by their own selfish ambitions for power; but God, unknown to them, was overruling their course and causing it to work out his own designs, which it effectually did. Had the reformation which God first started within the Church itself continued, had the reformers and their descendants continued faithful to the Truth, his great designs might have been accomplished through their honored instrumentality. But when they succumbed to the flatteries of the world, God showed that he had other ways and means for accomplishing his purposes.

Napoleon's work, together with the French Revolution, broke the spell of religious superstition, humbled the pride of self-exalted religious lords, awakened the world to a fuller sense of the powers and prerogatives of manhood and broke the Papal dominion against which the religious Reformation had previously struck a death-blow, but which its after course had healed. (Rev. 13:3) The era closing with A.D. 1799, marked by Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, sealed and defined the limit of Papal dominion over the nations. There, the time appointed (1260 years of power) having expired, the predicted judgment against that system began, which must finally "consume and destroy it into the end." Dan. 7:26

This date also clearly marks the beginning of a new era of liberty of thought, and the realization of individual rights and privileges, and has already been distinguished by its rapid strides of progress toward the full accomplishment of the work mapped out for this Time of the End. As a single illustration, notice the rise and work of the various Bible Societies - "pestiferous Bible Societies," Rome calls them, though it cannot now hinder them. And the sacred volume which once she confined in chains, kept covered in dead languages, and forbade her deluded subjects to read, is now scattered by the million in every nation and language. 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 extent of the work done by these societies during this century is wonderful. Bibles by the million are published yearly and sold at low prices, and many thousands are given away to the poor. It is difficult to estimate the wide influence of this work. While much is doubtless lost, the result in general is to break the bonds of slavery and superstition, political and ecclesiastical. Its quiet teaching - that popes, priests and laity, as well as kings, generals and beggars, must all render an account to one Lord - is the greatest of all levelers and equalizers.

Though the religious reformation movement throughout Europe had severely shaken Papacy's influence, yet the reformed churches had so closely imitated her policy of statecraft, affiliation with earthly empires, and claims of clerical authority over the people (that the "clergy" constitute a special and divinely appointed rulership in the world), that the first effect of that reformation became greatly modified, and left the people and the civil rulers largely under superstitious awe and subserviency to every thing called church authority. The reform divided among several sects much of the superstitious and unwholesome veneration formerly concentrated upon Papacy alone. But the political reform witnessed during the Nineteenth Century, dating particularly from 1799, the "Time of the End," though very different from the former, is none the less a reformation. The revolution and independence of the American colonies - the successful establishment of a prosperous Republic, a government by the people and for the people, without the interference of either royalty or priest-craft - had set a new lesson before the now awaking people, who for so many centuries had slumbered in ignorance of their God-given rights, supposing that God had appointed the church to the supreme rulership of earth, and that they were bound to obey those kings and emperors sanctioned by the church, no matter how unjust their demands, because she had declared them to be appointed by God, through her.

To a long down-trodden and priest-ridden people, America became a source of wonderment. Truly it was "Liberty enlightening the world." Finally, oppressed by priest-craft, royal extravagance, etc., augmented by repeated failures of the crops, which impoverished and almost famished them, the people of France arose in desperation and accomplished that most terrible revolution which lasted for fourteen years, from 1789 to 1804.

Awful as were those scenes of anarchy and violence, they were but the legitimate fruit, the reactionary effect, of the awakening of a long oppressed people to a realization of their shame and degradation. It was the reaping of a whirlwind by the civil and religious powers, which in the name of God and of truth had been blinding and binding, for their own aggrandizement, people for whom Christ died.

Of course such a reaction from such a cause would be to infidelity. France suddenly became thoroughly infidel under the influence of Voltaire and his associates, who deluged the country with their writings, hurling contempt and ridicule upon Christianity, or rather upon the apostate Church of Rome, which was the only Christianity with which the French people were acquainted. They pointed out its falsehoods, its absurdities, its hypocrisies, its immoralities, its cruelties and all its wickedness, until the French people became as inflamed in their zeal to exterminate Catholicism and all religion as they had formerly been zealous to uphold it. And miserable, deluded France, for a thousand years completely under the influence of the Papacy, supposing that the real Christ and not the Antichrist had been her despicable master, cried out in the words of Voltaire, "Down with the wretch"; and their efforts to down the execrable Antichrist resulted in all the horrors of the French Revolution - a wonderful illustration of retributive justice when viewed in comparison with the dreadful massacres of St. Bartholomew's day, and similar occasions incited and rejoiced over by the Papacy.

Infidel France suddenly rose in its might, destroyed the Bastile, issued its declaration of the rights of man, executed the king and queen and declared war against all kings and sympathy with all revolutionists everywhere. Meanwhile the rulers of the world with bated breath dreaded lest the revolutionary contagion should break out among their subjects; and, fearful of world-wide anarchy, they organized alliances for their mutual protection against their subjects, who indeed were scarce restrained. The French renounced Christianity, and confiscated all the vast estates and revenues of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the estates of the king and the nobility. The streets of Paris again ran with blood, but it was the blood of priests and nobles and their supporters, instead of that of Protestants. The number of the executed is estimated at 1,022,000. These perished by hundreds of processes invented for the occasion. During the hunting and the slaughter, the priests were taunted with reminders of the similar course of Papists toward Protestants, and of their own doctrine - that "the end justifies the means." The Revolutionists claimed the end sought to be human liberty, political and religious; and that the death of those opposed to this was needful, as the only sure means.

Like all such things, the French Revolution was a great evil, and caused much distress to millions of people; yet like some others, too, it was a partial redress of a great wrong; and, like some others, it was overruled by God for good, for the increase of knowledge and the forwarding of his plans as pointed out in prophecy. We here intrude the remark that the French Revolution is prominently pointed out in the Book of Revelation, which clearly shows that the closing trouble upon all the nations of "Christendom" was illustrated in that reign of terror. That pestilence of Infidelity and Anarchism, which spread from France the world over, was fed and fattened upon the false, unscriptural doctrines and practices of "Christendom," represented not only in Papacy but in "Orthodoxy" generally. Nominal Christianity has not cured this malady, and is powerless to avert its further outbreak, predicted in the Scriptures to be the greatest trouble ever to be known to earth.

The influence of the French infidels was carried over Europe by the armies under Napoleon, and greatly undermined the power both of kings and priests. But the rough handling of Papacy by Napoleon, acting as the head and representative of Infidel France, capped the climax, and more than all else helped to break the fetters of superstitious veneration, by which the "clergy" class had so long held the "common people" under them. But when the intrepid Napoleon not only defied the anathemas of pope Pius VI but laid penalties upon him for violation of his (Napoleon's) orders, and finally compelled him to cede back to France the papal territories granted a thousand years before by Charlemagne (whose successor Napoleon claimed to be), it opened the eyes of the people as well as of the monarchs of Europe to the falsity of Papacy's claim to authority. The great revolution of public opinion at this time, regarding papal authority, may be seen in the fact that Napoleon, upon assuming the title and proclaiming himself Roman Emperor as successor of Charlemagne, * did not go to Rome to have the pope crown him, as did Charlemagne and others, but commanded the pope to come to France to attend his coronation. And even then the successful chief, who more than once had pillaged, impoverished and humbled the Papacy, would not consent to be crowned by the pope, and thus to accept the imperial dignity with any acknowledgment of papal authority, but merely had the pope (Pius VII) present, to sanction and acknowledge the ceremony, and to bless the crown which Napoleon then took from the altar and put upon his own head. The historian says, "He then put the diadem on the head of his empress, as if to show that his authority was the child of his own actions" - the result of his own civil and military successes. Nor has the pope ever been since requested to bestow the crown of the Roman empire. A Roman Catholic writer * says of this coronation:

  • Napoleon's great European wars were but his attempts to re-unite that empire as it existed under Charlemagne.
  • Chair of St. Peter, page 433.

"Acting differently from Charlemagne and other monarchs, who had repaired to Rome on similar occasions, he [Napoleon] insisted in his arrogance that the holy father should come to Paris to crown him. The pope felt extreme reluctance to depart thus from the ancient usage. In fact, he considered it derogatroy to his exalted office."

Concerning the humiliations heaped upon Papacy by Napoleon, history+ says:

+Campaigns of Napoleon, pp. 89,90.

"An armistice was concluded [June 23, 1796] with the pope [Pius VI], the terms of which were sufficiently humiliating to the head of the church, once the most powerful sovereign in Europe. The pontiff, who once trod on the necks of kings, made and unmade sovereigns, disposed of states and kingdoms, and, as the great high-priest and vicegerent of the Almighty on earth, established an authority as lord paramount, and reigned over the heads of other sovereigns, was constrained to drink to the very dregs the cup of humiliation. If the draught was bitter, it was one which his predecessors had liberally dealt out to others. He was compelled to open his ports to French vessels, and to exclude the flags of all nations at war with that Republic; to permit the French army to continue in possession of the legations of Bologna and Ferrara; to surrender the citadel of Ancona; to give to the French 100 paintings, busts, vases or statues to be selected by commissioners sent from Paris to Rome; also 500 (ancient and valuable) manuscripts to be selected in the same way; and, to sweeten the whole, his holiness was to pay to the Republic 21,000,000 French livres, most of which was to be in specie, or gold and silver ingots."

For the nonfulfilment of these penalties promptly, the money fine was increased to 50,000,000 livres, and certain papal territories were compelled to be ceded to France; and the pope was finally made a prisoner and taken to France, where he died.

Even Pius VII, who had been restored to pontifical honors, and who in 1804 attended the crowning of Napoleon, was afterward by decree of Napoleon (1808-1809) bereft of every shred of temporal power; and the monuments and art treasures of Rome were taken under French protection. The language used by Napoleon was that "the donation of territories by our illustrious predecessor, Charlemagne, to the Holy See,...Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, be forever united to the Kingdom of Italy."

The import of this is thus told by a Roman Catholic writer * :

  • Chair of St. Peter, pp. 439,440.

"To this it was added, that the pope should continue to be the bishop of Rome, exercising his spiritual functions as his predecessors had done in the early ages, down to the reign of Charlemagne. The following year, emboldened by the successes of his arms, the Emperor resolved that the pope should be deprived of his now nominal sovereignty - the mere shadow of temporal power, that still remained to him in his capital and the adjacent districts. [These Papacy held for years before Charlemagne's gift - from A.D. 539.] Accordingly he issued a new decree, from the palace of the Austrian Caesars, that Rome should be an Imperial Free City; that its civil administration should be conducted by a council then nominated by the Emperor; that its monuments and art treasures should be taken under French protection; and that the pope, having ceased to reign, an income should be settled on his holiness."

Following this, Pius VII issued a bull of excommunication against Napoleon, and was taken a prisoner to France, where he finally signed the Concordat of Fontainebleau, dated Jan. 25, 1813, in which he placed in Napoleon's hands the nomination of Bishops and Metropolitans, and virtually rescinded his own authority to veto such appointments. Thus he in effect gave Napoleon the authority of a pope, which was what Napoleon had long desired.

Nor have Roman Catholics failed to note the importance of the events which introduced the present century. They not only admit the losses and indignities inflicted, as above quoted, but they claim that the Millennial reign of Papacy (the thousand years from the time of Charlemagne's present of the before mentioned states to the Papacy - A.D. 800) ended with the taking away of its dominions by Napoleon; from which time it has at no time had more than a skeleton of power. It is Papacy's claim that, as the Kingdom of Christ, it has accomplished the predicted reign over the nations, mentioned in Rev. 20:1-4, and that the present period of trouble upon that system is the "little season" in which Satan is loosed, mentioned in the 7th and 9th verses. Only such as see in Papacy Satan's counterfeit of the true Christ, and who recognize the true Church and the true reign, can fully appreciate this.

We have, perhaps, cited enough to convince the reader that the period of the French Revolution and Napoleon's power was a very marked period in Papacy's history; and Papal influence, broken then, has never been regained. Though at times some favors were granted, they were only for a short time, and were followed by renewed indignities, until in 1870 all temporal authority of the popes again ceased - we believe never to be revived. Remember, too, that it was Napoleon's soldiers who broke open the Inquisitions, and put an end to public tortures and executions for religious convictions.

The effect of the partial breaking down of the priest-craft and superstition, while it has led to more open infidelity, has also, in thus overthrowing a superstitious reverence for men, led to more intelligent thought on the part of the consecrated people of God - many of whom previously scarcely dared to think, or study the Scriptures for themselves. Thus, this revolution was favorable to the development of the truth and of true Christianity, by stimulating Bible study. It really carried forward the good work begun in the Reformation of Luther's day, which had been checked by the ignorance and servility of the masses, and the love of power, dignity, authority and ease on the part of the "clergy."

We have thus shown that 1799 began the period called the Time of the End; that in this time Papacy is to be consumed piece-meal; and that Napoleon took away not only Charlemagne's gifts of territory (one thousand years after they were made), but also, afterward, the Papacy's civil jurisdiction in the city of Rome, which was recognized nominally from the promulgation of Justinian's decree, A.D. 533, but actually from the overthrow of the Ostrogothic monarchy A.D. 539 - just 1260 years before 1799. This was the exact limit of the time, times and a half of its power, as repeatedly defined in prophecy. And though in some measure claimed again since, Papacy is without a vestige of temporal or civil authority today, it having been wholly "consumed." The Man of Sin, devoid of civil power, still poses and boasts; but, civilly powerless, he awaits utter destruction in the near future, at the hands of the enraged masses (God's unwitting agency), as clearly shown in Revelation.

This Time of the End, or day of Jehovah's preparation, beginning A.D. 1799 and closing A.D. 1914, though characterized by a great increase of knowledge over all past ages, is to culminate in the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known; but it is nevertheless preparing for and leading into that blessed time so long promised, when the true Kingdom of God, under the control of the true Christ, will fully establish an order of government the very reverse of that of Antichrist. Since this period prepares for and leads to the Kingdom, it leads also to the great conflict between the old and the new order of things by which the latter will be introduced. And though the old order of things must pass away, and the new must supersede it, the change will be violently opposed by those advantaged by the present order. Revolution, world-wide, will be the outcome, resulting in the final and complete destruction of the old order and the introduction and establishment of the new.

All the discoveries, inventions and advantages which make our day the superior of every other day are but so many elements working together in this day of preparation for the incoming Millennial age, when true and healthful reform, and actual and rapid progress in every direction, will be the order, to all and for all.

AWAKE FROM THY SADNESS!

"Daughter of Zion, awake from thy sadness!

Awake! for thy foes shall oppress thee no more.

Bright o'er the hills dawns the day-star of gladness:

Arise! for the night of thy sorrow is o'er.

"Strong were thy foes, but the arm that subdued them,

And scattered their legions, was mightier far:

They fled like the chaff from the scourge that pursued them;

Vain were their steeds and their chariots of war.

"Daughter of Zion, the power that has saved thee,

Extolled with the harp and the timbrel should be.

Shout! for the foe is destroyed that enslaved thee,

Th' oppressor is vanquished and Zion is free."

STUDY III DAYS OF WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM Edit

- DANIEL XII - Edit

The Kingdom Work Epitomized - The Waiting Period to be Marked by Great Increase of Knowledge and of Travel - Sir Isaac Newton's Foreview of Railroading - The 1260 Days - The Flood from the Mouth of the Dragon - The 1290 Days Mark the Spread of an Understanding of the Vision, Partially Correct - The Disappointment, Trial and Consequences - The 1335 Days - The Blessing Then upon the Faithful "Waiting" Ones - The Lord's Reference to These Waiting Days, in The Parable of The Ten Virgins.

THE "Time of the End" having been pointed out in chapter eleven, chapter twelve points to the Kingdom, and tells of waiting, etc., which would precede its establishment, during the "Time of the End." The first three verses express in few words the grand outcome of God's plan.

"And at [in] that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands 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. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to lasting life, and some to shame and lasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament [the Sun - Matt. 13:43]; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, for ever and ever."

If, in the eleventh chapter, the summary of 2,300 years of the world's history was brief and pointed, yet clear, this summary of Messiah's Millennial reign, in three verses, is still more so. And yet it is all there. Michael (which signifies "Who as God," or one representing God) is the name here applied to our great Redeemer, who is indeed the great Prince ordained of God to stand forth and deliver Daniel's people, God's people - all who love God in truth and sincerity - Israelites indeed. (Rom. 9:6,25,26; Gal. 6:16) He will deliver them from sin, ignorance, pain and death, and from all the persecutions and besetments of Satan's blinded servants, which have in the past almost overwhelmed them. All found written in the Lamb's Book of life will be delivered forever, from all enemies: those written as worthy during the Jewish and Patriarchal ages as well as those written during the Gospel age, and those who will be written during the Millennial age. Though all God's people (all who, when brought to a knowledge of him, love and obey him) will be delivered, yet the degrees of honor to be granted to some - the overcomers - are carefully noted; also the fact that some of the great ones of the past-Alexander, Nero, Napoleon, the Caesars, the popes, etc. - whose talents, misused, crushed while they dazzled the world, will be seen in their true characters, and be ashamed and dishonored during that Millennial age. Nor does this brief synopsis of Christ's reign omit mention of the great time of trouble by which it will be inaugurated - a time of trouble in comparison with which no past revolution will compare, a trouble with which even the French Revolution will be small, a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, no, nor ever shall be; for this great Prince, Michael, will not only conquer the whole world, but his dominion is to be an everlasting dominion. Justice is the foundation of his throne, and when mankind has once tasted of its benefits the great majority will never consent to another, for his Kingdom will be "the desire of all nations."

Here the thread of this prophecy, having run its full length, stops, and the remaining verses of the chapter are for the purpose of furnishing (not to Daniel and his fellow servants in his day, but to God's children, Daniel's fellow servants living in the Time of the End) certain periods of 1260, 1290 and 1335 symbolic days, respectively, by which, in the due time, we may be convinced, concerning the time in which we are living that it is indeed the Harvest time or "End" of the Gospel age.

Daniel, who had heard the long account of the strifes between the kingdoms of this world, and now finally of the triumph of God's Kingdom in the hands of Michael, the great Prince, was anxious to know when it would deliver the Lord's people. But he is told (verse 4): "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the Time of the End: [then] many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increase."

Not only does the general increase of knowledge experienced confirm the teachings of Daniel xi, that the Time of the End began in 1799, but the predicted running to and fro - much and rapid traveling - also confirms it. These all belong to the Time of the End. The first steamboat was operated in 1807; the first steamcar in 1831; the first telegraph in 1844; yet today thousands of mammoth cars and steamships are carrying multitudes hither and thither, "to and fro."

Sir Isaac Newton, the celebrated astronomer of the seventeenth century, was greatly interested in this statement by the Prophet Daniel, and declared his belief that in fulfilment of it human knowledge would so increase that men would possibly travel at the rate of fifty miles an hour.

Voltaire, the noted French infidel, got hold of this statement and scornfully remarked:

"Now look at the mighty mind of Newton, the great philosopher who discovered the law of gravitation: when he became an old man and got into his dotage, he began to study the book called the Bible, and in order to credit its fabulous nonsense he would have us believe that the knowledge of mankind will yet be so increased that we shall by-and-by be able to travel fifty miles an hour! Poor dotard!"

Both of these men died long before the Time of the End had brought its wonderful increase of knowledge, which more than fulfils the prediction of the Christian philosopher, based upon the divine revelation.

Not for Daniel, but for God's children living during the Time of the End, was the conversation, etc., related in verses 5-7: "And I, Daniel, looked, and behold there were two others standing, one on this side of the bank of the flood [Young's translation], and the other on that side of the bank of the flood. And one said to the man who was above the waters of the stream, 'How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?' Then heard I the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the flood; and he lifted up his right hand and his left into the heavens and swore by the Everliving One that [the end should be] after a time, times and half a time."

The matter of special inquiry was the "abomination of desolation," of chapter 11:31-33, which Daniel rightly associated with the terrible character seen in his previous visions, recorded in chapters 7:8-11,21,24-26 and 8:10-12, 24-26.

The time, times and half a time, or three and a half times or years (360 x 3 1/2 = 1260 days, symbolic time-1260 literal years), here mentioned, are elsewhere shown to be the period of Papacy's power. Compare Dan. 7:25; 12:7and Rev. 12:14 with Rev. 12:6; 13:5. The "flood" in or during which these 1260 years of Papal power terminated - as shown by the angel standing upon the flood, declaring the limit of the times - symbolized a condition of things during the French revolution already referred to. This is the same "flood" mentioned in Rev. 12:15,16, where it is shown more fully, as coming out of the mouth of the serpent or dragon, and where its real object, from Satan's standpoint, is explained to be to overwhelm the "woman" (the protesting Church of God), as her three and a half times (1260 years) of wilderness-hiding were about closing, and she was coming forward into prominence "leaning on [the arm of] her beloved," The Word of God. Songs of Solomon 8:5

In symbol, water generally represents truth, and the symbol preserves its meaning even though it be said to issue from the mouth of the dragon or serpent. The thought conveyed by this symbol is that truth would issue forth through evil agencies, and with an evil intent. And just this we find: the strength of the French revolution lay in the fact that it was instigated by many stern truths, regarding priest-craft and king-craft, and regarding the individual rights and liberties of all. "The Rights of Man" was indeed the watchword of that revolt against civil and ecclesiastical oppression. Truths regarding human rights were seen and expressed there which cause us surprise when we consider the ignorance, superstition and servility of that day, under which the masses had so long rested. Many of the truths which then swept as a "flood" over France, deluging it with blood, are now very generally accepted among all civilized peoples; but they were too strong, and too suddenly put, for that time.

Indeed, the prophecy clearly shows that the serpent, Satan, did not intend what under God's providence has resulted, but the reverse. In this he overreached himself, as he has done on other occasions. Satan will never send forth the waters of truth to bless and refresh and release from bondage: on the contrary his effort has all along been to blind and securely bind mankind under ignorance and superstition; and this sudden flood of waters (truth) was designed to act as an emetic, to lead to the casting out of the food of liberty already being received by the people from the Bible, as the result of the Reformation, and thus to force rulers and teachers to oppose the truth through fear of anarchy.

Satan's design in instigating the French revolution was to create an alarm throughout Europe, especially among the influential class, unfavorable to liberty and to illustrate in France the theory that, were the superstitions of Rome to be overthrown and liberty to be given full sway, all law and order would speedily end. This was a master - stroke of policy, worthy of its author, and designed, as the prophet shows, to overwhelm the "woman" (the reformed Church), and to drive all conservatives and peace-lovers - rulers and ruled - back to union and harmony with Papacy. The failure of the scheme was not due to lack of craftiness in its designer, but to the overruling power of God, whereby he is able to cause all things to work together for good.

In this case God's plan, for the protection of the "woman" (Church) from Satan's wiles and for causing the intended ill to work out good, may be clearly traced, in exact fulfilment of the prediction made seventeen hundred years before, viz: "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." The "earth," in symbol, as already explained, represents society - order - loving people; and it is a fact of history that the flood of truth which spread over France - arraigning Papacy and its priest-craft, and monarchy and its parasitic aristocracy, as the responsible causes of much of the ignorance, poverty and superstition of the people - was swallowed up, or absorbed by the people of Europe generally (the Roman "earth"). To such an extent was this the case, that though Papacy and royal aristocracy were thoroughly alarmed, they were also thoroughly separated, by the fall of Papal influence as well as by Napoleon's armies. And when the "man of destiny" was finally crushed, and the rulers of Europe formed what was called "The Holy Alliance," for the suppression of the liberties of the people and the perpetuation of their own thrones, it was too late to fetter the people; for, having drunk up the flood of waters, they would not submit. It was also too late to think of re-establishing Papacy, which had been so terribly humiliated and whose anathemas against liberty and the French had so reacted against itself; so the pope was not even invited to join the "Holy Alliance," of which before he would have been the recognized head. Thus the "woman," the reformed and progressing Church of God, was helped, spared from being overwhelmed, and liberty and truth stepped out to prominence before men; and from that time forward the spirit of liberty and God's Word have led all who were willing to follow, into more and more light and truth.

Here, then, was the "flood" which marked both the end of Papal power and the beginning of the Lord's "Day of Preparation" or "Time of the End." It was on this flood that the Lord's messenger was prophetically seen to stand, to announce the close of the time, times and half a time. And this announcement was made in reply to the query, "How long to the end of these strange things?" The "strange things" or "wonders" referred to were not the things of chapter 12:1-3, relating to the Kingdom of God. Those were not strange, but expected. The "strange things" were the intervening troubles, persecutions and trials of God's holy people, especially during, and as a result of, the supremacy of the peculiar power or "horn," Papacy; concerning which Daniel had before specially inquired. (Dan. 7:19-22) The query was, How long will God permit these wonderful perversions of the truth, this wonderful deception of his children and the nations? The answer given measures the Papal power, giving definitely the time of its close, and adds, "When the crushing of the power of the holy people is [thus] ended, all these [strange] things shall be finished."

In verse 5, Daniel is shown a person on each side of the "flood," asking jointly when the strange things would end. This seems to indicate that even when Papal power had ended, people would be in doubt as before, as to whether or not its persecuting and crushing power was really at an end. And no wonder, when we remember that even after its power was broken, after its "dominion was taken away," and even while it was being consumed, this "horn," as recently as 1870, uttered great words concerning its infallibility. Daniel, representing the saints, says (Dan. 7:11), "I watched it then [after its dominion was gone and it was powerless longer to crush the truth, the power of the holy people], because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke, and I saw that [it got no power over the holy saints and the truth, but it did have another effect] the beast was slain, the body thereof destroyed and given to the burning flame" - general anarchy. The destruction of the remnant of governments in the old Roman empire, caused by the misleading influence of Papacy's continued bombastic utterances, even after its dominion is gone, is thus shown.

Since the close of the times of Papal power are not only thus clearly fixed, as occurring during the French Revolution, but also by the events of chapter 11:40-44, which mark the very year 1799, we can readily measure backward 1260 years to note whether Papal power had its beginning there. If we find that it had, we have our evidence as clear and strong as faith could ask. Let us thus verify.

Measuring back 1260 years from 1799 would bring us to A.D. 539, where we shall show the Papal power began. But the Papal system has been such a mixture of state-craft and priest-craft, and had such a small and gradual beginning, as well as gradual ending, that a variety of opinions as to its commencement and close would be reasonable as well as possible, until we obtain God's fixed dates for its rise and fall, and see how very correct they are. Papacy claimed supremacy in church and state affairs, and mixed in politics, before it was recognized by opponents; even as it has also attempted to exercise civil authority, and has declared its head infallible, since the period at which prophecy shows its power was broken and its consumption began. But Papacy has not been recognized by the Italian people of the province of Romagna since the spell of ignorance and superstitious reverence was broken during the French Revolution. Though at times, between revolutions, the pope has sat as nominal ruler of the Papal states, it has been merely as a foreign invader, the representative of Austria or France, whose troops by turns protected him in office.

Now, knowing that the 1260 years began at A.D. 539, we are enabled to find what would not before have been recognized. Papists themselves are more inclined to date their beginning of power either at the conversion of Constantine and the nominal Christianizing of the Roman empire in A.D. 328, or from the presentation of the Papal states to the church by Charlemagne in A.D. 800. The fact stands, however, that Constantine in no wise recognized civil power as a right or possession of the church. On the contrary, though he favored Christianity, it was rather the church that made the emperor at least its associate head, so that the emperor called church councils and meddled in church affairs, though the church was not permitted to meddle in civil matters. The date A.D. 539, shown by the prophetic measuring rod of 1260 years, is nearly midway between this union of church and empire in A.D. 328, and its full, complete recognition by Charlemagne, as the head of all authority - the dispenser of civil as well as religious authority - A.D. 800.

From the time of Constantine, the bishops of Rome had held a most prominent position before the world, and they began ere long to claim an authority over all others - in the church as well as in the world - demanding that some one person should be recognized as an authority or head in the church, and that the bishops of Rome should be that one. They claimed that Peter as well as Paul had lived in Rome, and that Rome was thus constituted the seat of apostolic authority, and also that, by reason of its long having been the seat of the Caesars and the seat of civil government, it held a place of authority in the minds of the people.

These pleas for supremacy were not readily conceded, however. The spirit of rivalry was abroad, and other bishops in other large cities claimed supremacy also, some upon one and some upon another ground. It was not until A.D. 533 that the bishop of Rome was thus recognized by the emperor, Justinian I. This was in connection with a warm religious discussion in which the emperor took sides with the bishop of Rome, recognizing the Virgin Mary's worthiness of adoration, and disputing with the Eutychians and Nestorians regarding distinctions and blendings of natures in our Lord Jesus. The emperor feared that the discussion might divide the church, and thus divide the empire which he was desirous of more firmly uniting; for even at that early day the nominal church and the empire were one and the same-"Christendom." And desiring to have some authority as a standard to settle the dispute, and to tell the people what to believe and what to disbelieve, and finding the bishop of Rome already the most popular of the claimants to primacy (popedom or headship), as well as the one most "orthodox" - the one most nearly in harmony with the emperor's views on the questions - Justinian, by documents, not only condemned the doctrines of the Eutychians and Nestorians, but, addressing the bishop of Rome as the Head of all the holy churches, and of all the holy priests of God, thus acknowledged him, and desired to assist the pope in putting down the heresy and in establishing the unity of the church.

In conjunction with this edict, the emperor thus addressed pope John, patriarch of Rome * :

  • "Victor Justinianus, pius, felix, inclytus, triumphator, semper Augustus, Joanni sanctissimo Archiepiscopo almae Urbis Romae et Patriarchae. "Reddentes honorem apostolicae sedi, et vestrae sanctitati (quod semper nobis in voto et fuit et est), et ut decet patrem honorantes vestram beatitudinem, omnia quae ad ecclesiarum statum pertinent festinavimus ad notitiam deferre vestrae sanctitatis; quoniam semper nobis fuit magnum studium, unitatem vestrae apostolicae sedis, et statum sanctarum Dei ecclesiarum custodire, qui hactenus obtinet, et in commote permanet, nulla intercedente contrarietate Ideoque omnes sacerdotes universi Orientalis tractus et subjicere et unire sedi vestrae sanctitatis properavimus. In praesenti ergo quae commota sunt (quamvis manifesta et indubitata sint et secundum apostolicae vestrae sedis doctrinam ab omnibus semper sacertotibus firme custodita et praedicata) necessarium duximus, ut ad notitiam vestrae sanctitatis perveniant. Nec enim patimur quicquam, quod ad ecclesiarum statum pertinet, quamvis manifestum et indubitatum sit, quod movetur, ut non etiam vestrae innotescat sanctitati quae caput est omnium sanctarum ecclesiarum. Per omnia enim (ut distum est) properamus honorem et auctoritatem crescere vestrae sedis."

"The victorious Justinian, the devout, the fortunate, the renowned, the triumphant, the ever august, to John, the most holy archbishop of the fostering city of Rome, and patriarch. Rendering honor to the Apostolic See and to your Holiness (as always was and is our desire), and reverencing your Blessedness, as befits a father, we have hastened to bring to the notice of your Holiness everything which concerns the condition of the churches, since it has always been our great desire to guard the unity of your Apostolic See, and the standing of the holy churches of God, which still maintains itself and endures unshaken, with nothing to prevail against it. And so we have hastened to make subject to the See of your Holiness, and to unite with it, all the priests of the whole Eastern district. At present, then, we have held it necessary that there come to the notice of your Holiness the matters which are in commotion, however plain and certain they are, and however firmly they have always been guarded and declared by all the priests according to the doctrine of your Apostolic See. For we do not permit that any question be raised as to anything which concerns the state of the churches, however plain and certain it be, that be not also made known to your Holiness, who is the Head of all the holy churches. For in all points (as has been said) we are eager to add to the honor and authority of your See."

The epistle next refers to certain views, styled heretical, which were causing the commotion, and gives the emperor's faith as in harmony with that of the Church of Rome. It concludes as follows * :

  • "Suscipimus autem sancta quatuor concilia: id est, trecentorum decem et octo sanctorum patrum qui in Nicaena urbe congregati sunt: et centum quinquaginta sanctorum patrum qui in hac regia urbe convenerunt: et sanctorum patrum qui in Epheso primo congregati sunt: et sanctorum patrum qui in Chalcedone convenerunt: sicut vestra apostolica sedis docet atque praedicat. Omnes ergo sacerdotes sequentes doctrinam apostolicae sedis vestrae ita credunt et praedicant.

"Unde properavimus hoc ad notitiam deferre vestrae sanctitatis per Hypatium et Demetrium, beatissimos episcopos, ut nec vestram sanctitatem lateat, quae et a quibusdam paucis monachis male et Judaice secundum Nestorii perfidiam denegata sunt. Petimus ergo vestrum paternum afectum; ut vestris ad nos destinatis literis, et ad sanctissimum episcopum hujus almae urbis, et patriarcham vestrum fratrem (quoniam et ipse per eosdem scripsit ad vestram sanctitatem, festinans in omnibus sedem sequi apostolicam beatitudinis vestrae), manifestum nobis faciatis, quod omnes qui praedicta recte confitentur, suscipit vestra sanctitas, et eorum qui Judaice aussi sint rectam denegare fidem, condemnat perfidiam. Plus enim ita circa vos omnium amor, et vestrae sedis crescet auctoritas; et quae ad vos est unitas sanctarum ecclesiarum inturbata servabitur, quando per vos didicerint omnes beatissimi episcopi eorum, quae ad vos relata sunt, sinceram vestrae sanctitatis doctrinam. Petimus autem vestram beautitudinem orare pro nobis, et Dei nobis adquirere providentiam."

"Now we admit [the validity of] four sacred councils: that is, of the 318 holy fathers who gathered in the city of Nicae [Council of Nice], and of the 140 holy fathers who assembled in this royal city [Council of Constantinople], and of the holy fathers who first gathered in Ephesus [Council of Ephesus], and of the holy fathers who assembled in Chalcedon [Council of Chalcedon], as your Apostolic See teaches and affirms. All priests, therefore, who follow the doctrine of your Apostolic See, so believe, and confess, and affirm. Hence we have hastened to bring to the notice of your Holiness, through Hypatius and Demetrius, most blessed bishops, that it may not lie hidden from your Holiness what [doctrines] have been wickedly denied by some few monks, after the Jewish manner, according to the heresy of Nestorius. We therefore seek your paternal regard, [praying] that by a letter addressed to us and to the most holy bishops of this fair city, and to the patriarch, your brother (since he himself, too, has written by the same to your Holiness, hastening in all points to follow the Apostolic See of your Blessedness), you make manifest to us that your Holiness accepts all who duly confess what is ordained, and condemns the heresy of these who have dared, after the Jewish manner, to deny the true faith. For thus the love of all for you and the authority of your See will grow the greater; and the unity of the holy churches, which has been disturbed, will be preserved to you, since through you all the most blessed bishops will have learned the genuine doctrine of your Holiness, as to those points which have been referred to you. Now we entreat your Blessedness to pray for us, and to obtain for us the protection of heaven."

pope John replied to the above, under date of March 24th, A.D. 534. *

  • We quote as follows from his reply:

"Gloriosissimo et clementissimo filio Justiniano Augusto, "Johannes Episcopus Urbis Romae. "Inter claras saptentiae ac mansuetudinis vestrae laudes, Christianissime principum, puriore luce tanquam aliquod sydus irradiat, quod amore fidei, quod charitatis studio edocti ecclesiasticis disiplinis, Romanae sedis reverentiam conservatis, et ei cuncta subjicitis, et ad ejus deducitis unitatem, ad cujus auctorem, hoc est apostolorum primum, Domino loquente praeceptum est, Pasce oves meas: Quam esse omnium vere ecclesiarum caput, et patrum regulae et principum statuta declarant, et pietatis vestrae reverendissimi testantur affatus...Proinde serenitatis vestrae apices, per Hypatium atque Demetrium, sanctissimos viros, fratres et coepiscopos meos, reverentia consueta sescepimus: quorum etiam relatione comperimus, quod fidelibus populis proposuistis edictum amore fidei pro submovenda haereticorum intentione, secundum apostolicam doctrinam, fratum et coepiscoporum nostrorum interveniente consensu. Quod, quia apostolicae doctrinae convenit, nostra auctoritate confirmamus."

Upon the same occasion the emperor wrote to the patriarch of Constantinople. The first paragraph of his letter we quote, as follows * :

"Epiphanius, the most holy and most blessed Archbishop of this royal city, and Ecumenical Patriarch: - Wishing your Holiness to know all matters which relate to the condition of the church, we have held it necessary to make use of these ecclesiastical compends, and through these to make manifest what movements are already started, although we are persuaded that you also know of these. And since we had ascertained that certain ones, aliens from the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, had followed the heresy of the impious Nestorius and Eutyches, we promulgated an ecclesiastical edict (as your Holiness also knows) in which we censured the madness of the heretics. In no manner whatever have we changed, or shall we change, or have we (as your Holiness also knows) passed beyond that position of the church which, by the favor of God, has as yet been preserved; but in all respects the unity of the most holy churches with his SUPREME HOLINESS, THE pope OF ANCIENT ROME (to whom we have written in like manner), has been maintained. For we do not suffer that any of those matters which relate to the state of the church be not also referred to HIS BLESSEDNESS, since he is the head of all the most holy churches of God; even especially for this reason, that as often as heretics have sprung up in those parts, they have been repressed [literally, pruned off, as the sprouts of a tree] by the wisdom and righteous decisions of that venerable See."

  • "Epiphanio sanctissimo et beatissimo Archiepiscopo Regiae hujus Urbis et Ecumenico Patriarchae.

"Cognoscere volentes tuam sanctitatem ea omnia quae ad ecclesiasticum spectant statum: necessarium duximus, hisce ad eam uti divinis compendiis, ac per ea manifesta eidem facere, quae jam moveri coepta sunt, quamquam et illa eandem cognoscere sumus persuasi. Cum itaque comperissemus quosdam alienos a sancta, catholica, et apostolica ecclesia, impiorum Nestorii et Eutychetis sequutos deceptionem, divinum antehac promulgavimus edictum (quod et tua novit sanctitas) per quod haereticorum furores reprehendimus, ita ut nullo quovis omnino modo immutaverimus, immutemus aut praetergressi simus eum, qui nunc usque, coadjuvante Deo, servatus est, ecclesiasticum statum (quemadmodum et tua novit sanctitas) sed in omnibus servato statu unitatis sanctissimarum ecclesiarum cum ipso S. S. Papa veteris Romae, ad quem similia hisce perscripsimus. Nec enim patimur ut quicquam eorum, quae ad ecclesiasticum spectant statum, non etiam ac ejusdem referatur beatitudinem: quum ea sit caput omnium sanctissimorum Dei sacertotum; vel eo maxime quod, quoties in eis locis haeretici pullularunt, et sententia et recto judicio illius venerabilis sedis coerciti sunt."

The letters from which we have given the foregoing extracts may be found complete, together with the Edict of Justinian * referred to, in the Volume of the Civil Law. Codicis lib. I tit. i

  • An extract from this edict reads as follows:

"Imp. Justinian. A. Constantinopolitis.

"Cum Salvatorem et Dominum omnium Jesum Christum verum Deum nostrum colamus per omnia, studemus etiam (quatenus datum est humanae menti assequi) imitari ejus condescensionem seu demissionem. Etenim cum quosdam invenerimus morbo atque insania detentos impiorum Nestorii et Eutychetis. Dei et sanctae catholicae et apostolicae ecclesiae hostium, nempe qui detrectabant sanctam gloriosam semper virginem Mariam Theotocon sive Deiparam appellare proprie et secundum veritatem: illos festinavimus quae sit recta Christianorum fides edocere. Nam hi incurabiles cum sint, celantes errorem suum passim circumeunt (sicut didicimus) et simpliciorium animos exturbant et scandalizant, ea astruentes quae sunt sanctae catholicae ecclesiae contraria. Necessarium igitur esse putavimus, tam haereticorum vaniloquia et mendacia dissipare, quam omnibus insinuare, quomodo aut sentiat sancta Dei et catholica et apostolica ecclesia, aut praedicent sanctissimi ejus sacerdotes; quos et nos sequuti, manifesta constituimus ea quae fidei nostrae sunt; non quidem innovantes fidem (quod absit) sed coarguantes eorum insaniam qui eadem cum impiis haereticis sentiunt. Quod quidem et nos in nostri imperii primordiis pridem satagentes cunctis fecimus manifestum."

This, the first official recognition of Papacy's claims, was afterward confessed more and more pointedly by Phocus and succeeding emperors.

But even after being recognized as a ruler, a sacerdotal emperor, for the time it was of no special advantage to Papacy, beyond the empty name; for Justinian was far from Rome, with his capital at Constantinople. Rome, and Italy in general, was under the sway of another kingdom - the Ostrogoths - who did not recognize the bishop of Rome as supreme pontiff; for they were mainly Arians in faith. Papacy, therefore, was exalted and advantaged in name only, by the emperor's recognition, until the fall of the Ostrogothic Monarchy, when its exaltation became an actual fact. Indeed, as if by a preconcerted arrangement, the emperor at once (A.D. 534) sent Belisarius and an army into Italy, and in six years after the pope's recognition by the emperor, the Ostrogothic power was vanquished, and their king Vitiges and the flower of his army were taken with other trophies to Justinian's feet. This was in A.D. 539, which is therefore the point of time from which we should reckon the "Desolating Abomination set up." Papacy there had its small beginning. There the little, peculiar "horn" noted in Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 7:8,11,20-22,25), just began to push itself up, upon the Roman beast. It began to form or take root two centuries before, and in two centuries after its small appearance its "look was more stout than its fellows" - the other horns, authorities or powers, in the territory of the old empire - and its eyes, and its mouth speaking great swelling words, began to develop; and it lorded it over the other horns, claiming divine right to do so.

The Prophet had said that three horns would be plucked up, or rooted out, to make room or prepare the way for this peculiar power or "horn." And so we find it: Constantine built Constantinople, and removed his capital thither; this, though favorable to Papacy's development in the seat of the Caesars, was unfavorable to the empire; and soon it was found expedient to divide the empire, and Italy was thenceforth known as the Western Empire, whose seat or capital was at Ravenna. This was one of the "horns": it fell, A.D. 476, at the hands of the Heruli, another of the horns, which established itself on its ruins. Next came the Ostrogothic kingdom, another "horn," overthrowing the Heruli and establishing itself as ruler of Italy, A.D. 489. And, as we have just seen, it was during the power of this "horn" (the third to be rooted out to make way for the papal horn) that Justinian acknowledged the papal supremacy; and it was by his orders, and by his general and his army, that it was plucked up. And, as we have seen, its plucking up was necessary to the advancement of Papacy to power, as a peculiar blending of political and religious power - a peculiar "horn," differing from its fellows. Indeed, it seems not improbable that the Papacy was secretly favorable to the fall of each of these "horns" or powers, hoping thus to open the way to its own exaltation, just as it finally resulted.

With the overthrow of the Ostrogoths, the Roman emperor was recognized for some time as the ruler of Italy, and was represented by Exarchs; but since these had their capital at Ravenna, and not at Rome, and since they had come to recognize the Papacy in the manner shown, it follows that from A.D. 539 Papacy was recognized as the chief authority in the city of Rome; and that from that date (when it was "set up") it began to grow and thrive as a "horn" or power among the other "horns" or powers, representing the formerly united power of Rome. The fact of the greatly disturbed condition of Italy, and especially of Rome, about this period, subject to the pillage of invaders from the North, as well as to heavy taxes by whichever master was nearest at the time, helped to break up political loyalty to the imperial power at Constantinople; so that the church-rulers, always with them, speaking the same language, and sharing their advantages and losses, were readily accepted by the people as the advisers, protectors and rulers of the city of Rome and its environs.

No doubt, indeed, the object of Justinian in acknowledging the claims of the bishop of Rome to superiority over others was also in part to gain his cooperation in the war he was about to wage against the Ostrogoths, to regain Italy as a part of the Eastern Roman Empire; for the influence of the pope and the church was by no means inconsiderable even then; and to have them on his side in the war was half the conquest won, at the very outstart.

Though the Goths rebelled against the empire, and sacked the city of Rome, they did not re-establish their rule, and its only government was that of the church. And though the Lombard kingdom soon came in and established its rule over most of Italy, even overthrowing the rule of the Eastern empire established by Justinian in the hands of the Exarchs, yet be it carefully noted that the Lombards recognized the authority of the Papacy in Rome. It was not until near the end of that kingdom, in the eighth century, that any serious attempts were made against the Papal authority, the narrative of which only serves to establish the fact that the popes in turn were Rome's real rulers, the claimed "successors of the Caesars" - "the spiritual Caesars" - though they claimed the protection of the government at Constantinople as long as it advantaged them to do so. When the Lombards finally sought to take possession of Rome, the pope appealed to the French king to protect the church (Papacy), and to maintain them in their long uninterrupted control of what they called "The Patrimony of St. Peter," which they claimed * had been bestowed upon the church by Constantine.

  • That those claims were false, and based upon forgeries - "The Forged Decretals" - is now freely acknowledged, even by Roman Catholics. Constantine made no such gift: Papacy grew into its power and control of Rome, as we have here described.

The French kings, Pepin and Charlemagne, each in turn brought his army for the protection of Papacy's dominion, and vanquished the Lombards. It was the latter of these who in A.D. 800 formally presented to Papacy several states known as the "Papal States," already referred to - additional to the city and suburbs of Rome, actually held by Papacy from A.D. 539. So, then, the Lombard Kingdom or "horn" did not hinder, nor occupy the place of, the papal horn, as some have surmised, even though it did sometimes crowd it.

Of this attack by the Lombards upon Rome, Gibbon says:

"A memorable example of repentance and piety was exhibited by Lutiprand, king of the Lombards. In arms, at the gate of the Vatican, the conqueror listened to the voice of Gregory I, withdrew his troops, resigned his conquest, respectfully visited the church of St. Peter, and, after performing his devotions, offered his sword and dagger, his cuirass and mantle, his silver cross and crown of gold, on the tomb of the apostle." But "His successor, Astolphus, declared himself the equal enemy of the emperor and the pope:... Rome was summoned to acknowledge the victorious Lombard as her lawful sovereign.... The Romans hesitated; they entreated; they complained; and the threatening barbarians were checked by arms and negotiations until the popes had engaged the friendship of an ally and avenger beyond the Alps."

The pope (Stephen III) visited France, and succeeded in getting the needed assistance; and, says Gibbon, returned as a conqueror at the head of a French army which was led by the king [Pepin] in person. The Lombards, after a weak resistance, obtained an ignominious peace, and swore to restore the possessions and to respect the sanctity of the Roman Church.

As an illustration of the claims of the popes and of the kind of power by which they claimed and held dominion, we quote again from Gibbon a letter of pope Stephen III, sent at this time to the king of France. The Lombards had again assaulted Rome, shortly after the French army had retired, and the pope desired fresh assistance. He wrote in the name of the Apostle Peter, saying:

"The Apostle assures his adopted sons, the king, the clergy and the nobles of France, that, dead in the flesh, he is still alive in the spirit; that they now hear, and must obey, the voice of the founder and guardian of the Roman church; that the Virgin, the angels, the saints, the martyrs, and all the host of heaven unanimously urge the request, and will confess the obligation; that riches, victory and paradise will crown their pious enterprise, and that eternal damnation will be the penalty of their neglect, if they suffer his tomb, his temple and his people to fall into the hands of the perfidious Lombards." And Gibbon adds, "The second expedition of Pepin was not less rapid and fortunate than the first: St. Peter was satisfied; Rome was again saved."

As this beginning of Papacy's dominion was obscure, and yet important to be recognized clearly, it has seemed to us to require careful marking as above. And in concluding the proof, that A.D. 539 was the date prophetically pointed out, we quote corroborative testimony from Roman Catholic writings, as follows:

"After the downfall of the Western Roman empire the political influence of the popes in Italy became of still more importance, from the fact that the popes had to take under their protection the unfortunate country, but particularly Rome and its environs, which were so often changing masters and continually exposed to the invasions of coarse and brutal conquerors. While the successors of St. Peter were so energetically interesting themselves in the welfare of the inhabitants of Italy, the latter were totally neglected by the Eastern Roman emperors who still laid claim to rule the land. Even after Justinian I had reconquered a part of Italy [A.D. 539] and converted it into a Grecian province, the lot of the inhabitants was no better; for the Byzantine emperors could only exhaust by taxation the subjects of the Exarchate of Ravenna, but in no way could they afford her the necessary protection.

"Under these circumstances it happened that the...emperors ...lost all actual power, and remained only in name masters of the government, while the popes, in virtue of the needs of the moment, came practically in possession of that supremacy over the Roman domain.... This spontaneous result of generous exertion was in after times acknowledged as a lawful acquisition [by Pepin and Charlemagne].... Pepin, as contemporary writers express it, 'restored' the conquered territory to the Apostolic See. This donation or restitution of Pepin was confirmed and enlarged by his son Charlemagne, who in A.D. 774 put an end to the Lombard rule in Italy. In this legitimate way, the TEMPORAL POWER AND SOVEREIGNTY OF THE popeS was, by divine providence, gradually established."

The above quotations are from "The History of the Catholic Church," by H. Brueck, D.D., Vol. I, pp. 250,251. As this is a standard work among Roman Catholics, used in their colleges and seminaries, and approved by papal dignitaries, its testimony is of value, touching the gradual rise of the temporal power of Papacy, and the time when its beginning was favored by circumstances. It proves that the fall of the Ostrogothic kingdom in A.D. 539 was, as clearly indicated by the prophetic measure (1260 years), the exact point of time when this desolating and, in the sight of God, abominable system was "set up."

In harmony with the same line of thought, and in the endeavor clearly to establish the fact that Papal authority began before the day of Charlemagne, another Catholic work, The Chair of St. Peter, in a chapter on "The growth of the temporal power" (page 173), says: "Rome was ruled nominally only by a Patrician appointed by the emperor, but in reality, through the force of circumstances, the popes became the supreme lords of the city." In proof of this authority and rulership, the writer proceeds to cite historic proofs of the power of the popes, and of the powerlessness of the nominal rulers. He refers to pope Gregory the Great (A.D. 590 - only fifty years after Papacy was "set up") as an illustration of power already possessed by the popes, saying:

"We find him dispatching Leontius as governor to Nepi in Etruria, enjoining on the inhabitants that they should obey him as they would himself. Again he appoints Constantius to the important post of governor of Naples. Next he writes to the bishops about the defense and provisioning of their respective cities; issues orders to the military commanders. ...In a word, he becomes the actual ruler and protector of Italy; so that he is fully justified in saying, 'Whoever fills my place as pastor is gravely occupied with external cares, so that it frequently becomes uncertain whether he discharges the functions of a pastor or of a temporal prince.'"

So great as this was the growth of temporal power in the short space of fifty years from its small beginning, A.D. 539. We may therefore feel assured that the 1260 years, or three and a half times, of papal dominion, are well and clearly marked at both ends.

Daniel, who had heard the limit placed upon the power of the abomination to desolate the Church and to crush the truth, the power of the Lord's people, saw that this would not still usher in the kingdom of Michael (Christ), and the exaltation of the saints to power, but that it would merely grant them release from their oppressor. This, therefore, was still not the understanding which he desired: "I heard, but I [still] understood not. Then said I, O my lord, what shall be later than [or after] these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel [it is useless for you to try to comprehend the matter], for the words are closed up and sealed till the Time of the End. From the time that the continual sacrifice shall be taken away and the desolating abomination set up [A.D. 539] shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days [years. Then] many shall purify [separate] themselves, yea, make themselves white, yea, be tried as by fire; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand [then]. Oh! the blessedness of him who is waiting earnestly when the thousand three hundred and five and thirty [1335] days touch. And thou, go [thy way] till the end: and thou shalt rest, and rise again for thy lot [portion, reward] after the end of the days." Dan. 12:8-13

The careful student will note that these 1290 and 1335 prophetic days, literal years, have the same starting point as the 1260 years of papal power to crush, viz., from the time the desolating abomination was "set up" - A.D. 539. Where two events occurring at different times are mentioned, as in this case - the taking away of the "daily" (or, more correctly, the continual sacrifice), and the setting up of the abomination - we must always reckon from the time that both were true. The taking away of the "continual sacrifice," we will show in the next chapter, occurred some years before the setting up of the abomination in 539; and it was the important item which caused it to be named "the abomination." We should and do, therefore, reckon the "setting up" of the abomination from the last of these two events.

And note, further, that both of these measures are given in answer to Daniel's question as to what would occur to God's holy ones after their power (the truth) would be released from Papal crushing, (that is, after 1799), and before the setting up of the kingdom of Messiah-Michael. The reply in substance is that Daniel need not hope to understand further, but that in thirty years after the beginning of the Time of the End (1260 + 30 = 1290), a purifying, cleansing, refining work would begin among the holy people, in connection with which an understanding of the prophecy would be granted to the wise among this tried, cleansed, separated class; yet the knowledge would be so communicated that the ungodly and unpurified would not receive or believe it. It was shown, further, that the right understanding of the vision would be far from complete or full; in fact it would be deficient in some of its chief elements until 45 years later (1290 + 45 = 1335), or 75 years after the beginning of the Time of the End, A.D. 1799 (1260 + 75 = 1335). This is clearly indicated by the Hebrew text, which represents the matter as though the watchers, who already have seen something, and are waiting patiently, would suddenly (when "1335 days" had passed) get a full, clear view, far beyond their expectations. "Oh! the blessedness of him!"

Reckoning from A.D. 539, the 1290 symbolic days ended in 1829, and the 1335 days in the close of 1874. Let the reader judge carefully how accurately these dates mark the understanding of the vision, and all the prophecies connected with the Time of the End, and the separating, cleansing, and refining as by fire, to bring God's children to the childlike, humble, trustful condition of mind and heart, needful that they might be ready to receive and appreciate God's work in God's way and time.

A religious movement culminated in 1844, the participants in which were then, and since, generally known as "Second Adventists" and "Millerites," because they expected the second advent of the Lord to occur at that date, and because a Mr. William Miller was the leader and prime mover. The movement, which began about 1829, had before 1844 (when they expected the Lord's return) attracted the attention of all classes of Christian people, especially in the Eastern and Middle States where it amounted to an excitement. A long while before this, Prof. Bengel, in Tubingen, Germany, began to call attention to the prophecies and the coming Kingdom of Messiah, while the celebrated missionary Wolff did the same in Asia. The center of the work, however, was America, where social, political and religious conditions have favored, more than elsewhere, independence in Bible study as well as in other matters; just as the first advent movement was confined to Judea, though all the devout Israelites, everywhere, heard more or less of it. Acts 2:5

All know something of the failure of Brother Miller's expectations. The Lord did not come in 1844, and the world was not burned up with fire, as he had expected and taught others to expect; and this was a great disappointment to those "holy people" who had so confidently looked for Christ ("Michael") then to appear and to exalt them with him in power and glory. But, notwithstanding the disappointment, the movement had its designed effects - of awakening an interest in the subject of the Lord's coming, and of casting reproach upon the subject by reason of mistaken expectations. We say designed effects because without a doubt the hand of the Lord was in it. It not only did a work corresponding to that of the first advent movement, when our Lord was born, when the wise men came from the East and when "all men were in expectation of him" (Matt. 2:1,2; Luke 3:15), but it corresponded with it in time also, being just thirty years before the anointing of our Lord, at thirty years of age, at the beginning of his work as Messiah. That "Miller movement," as it is slightingly called, brought also an individual blessing to the "holy people" who participated in it: it led to a careful searching of the Scriptures, and to confidence in God's Word above the traditions of men; and it warmed and fed and united the hearts of God's children in unsectarian fellowship; for those interested were of all denominations, though principally Baptists. It is since that movement ended, that some of these have organized and bound themselves as new sects, thus blinding themselves to some of the blessings due in the "harvest."

While, as the reader will have observed, we disagree with Mr. Miller's interpretations and deductions, on almost every point - viewing the object, as well as the manner and the time, of our Lord's coming, in a very different light - yet we recognize that movement as being in God's order, and as doing a very important work in the separating, purifying, refining, and thus making ready, of a waiting people prepared for the Lord. And not only did it do a purifying and testing work in its own day, but, by casting reproach upon the study of prophecy and upon the doctrine of the Lord's second advent, it has ever since served to test and prove the consecrated, regardless of any association with Mr. Miller's views and expectations. The very mention of the subject of prophecy, the Lord's coming and the Millennial Kingdom, now excites the contempt of the worldly-wise, especially in the nominal church. This was undoubtedly of the Lord's providence, and for a purpose very similar to the sending of the infant Jesus for a time to Nazareth, "that he might be called a Nazarene," though really born in the honorable city of Bethlehem. That evidently was in order that the truth might separate the "Israelites indeed" from the chaff of God's chosen nation. The chaff was driven off by the statement that our Lord was a Nazarene; for they reasoned, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Just so some now contemptuously inquire, "Can any good thing come out of Adventism?" and dismiss unconsidered the testimony of the Lord and the apostles and prophets. But the humble, holy ones, wise in God's sight though foolish in the world's estimation, take no such attitude.

But the "Miller movement" was more than this: it was the beginning of the right understanding of Daniel's visions, and at the right time to fit the prophecy. Mr. Miller's application of the three and a half times (1260 years) was practically the same as that we have just given, but he made the mistake of not starting the 1290 and 1335 periods at the same point. Had he done so he would have been right. On the contrary, he started them thirty years sooner - about 509 instead of 539, which ended the 1335 days in 1844, instead of 1874. * It was, nevertheless, the beginning of the right understanding of the prophecy; for, after all, the 1260 period, which he saw correctly, was the key; and the preaching of this truth (even though in combination with errors, and misapplications, and false inferences) had the effect of separating and purifying "many," and at the very time the Lord had foretold.

  • We have been unable to secure Mr. Miller's writings to compare his interpretations. We have merely learned the dates at which he applied the prophetic numbers.

Not understanding the manner nor the object of the Lord's return, but expecting a sudden appearance, and the end of all things in one day, he supposed all the time prophecies must end there; and it was his aim and effort to force them all to this common terminus: hence his failure - beyond which God did not then enlighten any, further enlightenment not being then due.

Mr. Miller was an earnest and esteemed member of the Baptist Church; and, being a careful student of the Scriptures, the prophecies began to open before him. After becoming thoroughly convinced himself, as to the correctness of his applications, he began to disseminate his views among ministers, chiefly Baptists at first, but afterward among all classes and all denominations. As the work spread, he, with many colaborers, traveled and preached extensively. The beginning of this work among the Baptist ministers was, as nearly as can be learned from his memoirs, in 1829, Elder Fuller of the Baptist Church at Poultney, Vt., being the first convert to preach his views in public. In a letter written about three years after, Mr. Miller says:

"The Lord is scattering the seed. I can now reckon eight ministers who preach this doctrine, more or less, besides myself. I know of more than one hundred private brethren who say that they have adopted my views. Be this as it may, 'The truth is mighty and will prevail.'"

Thus it will be seen that the separating work of the "Miller movement" had its beginning at the time foretold - at the end of the 1290 days, 1829.

Now, how about the waiting earnestly until the 1335 days had been touched? Who have thus waited?

Some of God's children, the "holy people," the writer among the number, though not associated with the "Miller movement," nor with the denomination subsequently organized, which calls itself the "Second Advent Church," have been looking and "earnestly waiting" for Michael's Kingdom; and gladly we bear testimony to the "blessedness" of the wonderfully clear unfoldings of our Father's plan, at and since the fall of 1874 - the end of the 1335 days.

Words fail us to express this blessedness! Only those who have been refreshed in spirit with this new wine of the Kingdom could appreciate it, if we could describe it. It is therefore something to be felt, rather than told. It was at and since the ending of those 1335 prophetic, symbolic days that the precious views of the Lord's presence, and the fact that we are even now living in the time of the "harvest" of this Gospel age, and in the time of the setting up of Michael's (Christ's) Kingdom, came to be known.

Oh, the blessedness of this favored time! Oh, the harmony, the beauty, the grandeur of the divine plan as it began to unfold when the 1335 days were "touched!" It is to express, as far as lies within our power, this "blessedness" and fuller unfolding of the divine plan, now due to be understood by all the "holy people" now living, that this SCRIPTURES STUDIES series is being published. None but the "holy people" will understand it. It is granted as a favor. "None of the wicked shall understand"; and those of the "holy people" who have fellowship with the worldly, who unwisely stand in the assemblies of the wicked, and sit in the seat of the scorner, shall not understand, and shall not be able to experience this blessedness, now due only to those "holy" ones, truly "wise," who delight in the Law of the Lord and meditate [study] therein day and night. Psa. 1:1,2

This message concerning Michael's Kingdom, gradually opening from 1829 onward, is symbolically represented in the book of Revelation (chap. 10:2,8-10)as a "little book," which the "wise" of the "holy people," represented by John, are instructed to eat. And John's experience, as expressed in verse 10, is the experience of all who receive these truths. They bring wondrous sweetness: Oh, the blessedness! But the after effects are always more or less a blending of the bitterness of persecution with the sweetness. And the effect upon those who patiently endure to the end is to purge, purify and refine, and thus to make the bride of Christ ready for the marriage and exaltation, due toward the close of the Day of Preparation.

Concerning this disappointment, which we have shown was nevertheless a blessing and a beginning of the correct interpretation of the vision, the Prophet Habakkuk is caused to write a word of encouragement, saying (chap. 2:2), "Write the vision, make it plain upon tables [charts], that he [desiring] may read it readily...Though it tarry, wait for it ["Oh, the blessedness of him that waits into the 1335 days!"], for it will surely come; it will not tarry." Its seeming tarrying or delay was not so, but a partial mistake on the part of Mr. Miller, foreknown and permitted by the Lord for the testing of his "holy people."

As an evidence of the consecration, Bible study and faith engendered by this movement, we quote from a letter written by Mr. Miller, after the disappointment of 1844, to those who had been disappointed with him, as follows:

"We thank God always on your behalf, when we hear, as we already have, that your and our late disappointment has produced in you, and we hope in us also, a deep humiliation, and a careful inspection of our hearts. And though we are humbled, and in a measure pained, by the jeers of a wicked and perverse generation, we are not terrified nor cast down. You can, all of you, when inquired of for the reasons of your hope, open your Bibles, and with meekness and fear show the inquirer why you hope in the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. You need not in a single instance refer the inquirer to your minister, for the reason of your faith. Your creed is the Scriptures;... your philosophy is the wisdom which comes down from God; your bond of union is the love and fellowship of the saints; your teacher is the Holy Spirit; and your professor is the Lord Jesus Christ.... We exhort you, by all the love and fellowship of the saints, to hold fast to this hope. It is warranted by every promise in the Word of God. It is secured to you by the two immutable things - the council and oath of God, in which it is impossible for him to lie. It is ratified and sealed by the death, blood, and resurrection, and life of Jesus Christ.... Never fear, brethren; God has told you what to say. Do as he bids you, and he will take care of the consequences. God says, 'Say into them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.' [See Ezek. 12:22,23]...It is to me almost a demonstration that God's hand is in this thing. Many thousands have been made to study the Scriptures by the preaching of the time.... God's wisdom has in a great measure marked out our path, which he has devised for such good as he will accomplish in his own time and manner."

One of our Lord's parables was given expressly to illustrate this period of waiting, from the disappointment of 1844 to the realizations at the end of the "1335 days." We refer to -

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

- Matt. 25:1-12 -

This parable begins with "then," thus indicating that it was not applicable at once, in the Lord's day, but sometime in the future. "Then shall the Kingdom of heaven [in its embryo condition - represented by some or all of the holy people, probationers for heirship in that Kingdom] be likened into ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. And five of them were wise and five were foolish."

The numbers are not significant; neither are the proportions. The parable teaches a movement among the heirs of the Kingdom, in expectation of meeting the Bridegroom - a movement in which two classes would be manifested, here styled "wise" and "foolish." The word "virgin" signifies pure; so these represented in the parable, both the wise and the foolish, represent "holy people." In fact, no lovers of the Bridegroom, longing to meet him, can be lovers of sin, even though many of them are "foolish."

The movement noted by our Lord in this parable corresponds exactly to one which began with the "Miller movement," and which is still in progress. That, though begun by a Baptist, was an undenominational movement, joined in by the most devout and faithful of all denominations. Accounts of those times, of their fervency of zeal, etc., fill our hearts with admiration for men and women who had the honesty to act out their convictions, even though we cannot coincide with those convictions. Money was poured out like water, in printing tracts and papers in various languages, and in sending the message the world over. It is said that in the churches of all denominations a revival spirit spread, and that in some congregations, where all were under the influence of this teaching, those who had money to spare piled it upon a table in front of the pulpit, where it was free to all needing it; and the sincerity and zeal of believers at that time were such that, it is said, the money thus consecrated to the Lord needed no guarding, as those who did not need it would not touch it.

The virgins of the parable are shown as all having lamps trimmed and giving them light. These lamps represent the Scriptures ("Thy word is a lamp to my feet"); and such a general trimming of lamps - searching the Scriptures - by all classes of Christians probably never before took place. The oil represents the spirit of the truth. It was manifest, then, in the lamps of all; but all had not the spirit of the truth in themselves - the "vessels."

The disappointment of 1844 is briefly recorded in the parable, by the statement that "the Bridegroom tarried" - i.e., he seemed to the expectant ones to tarry. And the confusion and darkness experienced by all, and the many false and visionary views entered into by some who were there disappointed, are shown in the parable by the statement: "While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept." Yea, and in their darkness and slumber many of them dreamed strange, unreasonable things.

But the parable shows a second movement, similar, and yet different, among the same virgins. The same general class is referred to but not necessarily the same individuals. As the first movement was the result of light upon the prophecy, regarding the time for Messiah's second advent as the Bridegroom of the Church, so was the second movement. But there are several differences. In the first, the lamps of all the virgins burned alike, and the company expecting the Bridegroom was mixed; whereas in the second movement, while all will be aroused, only those will be led out who have the spirit of the truth in their hearts, as well as a knowledge of the Bible - a trimmed lamp. Disappointment was predicted for the first movement, and waiting for the 1335 days was necessary; but the second was not a disappointment, and a waiting was no longer necessary; for fulfilment came exactly at the close of the 1335 prophetic days - in October 1874. It was just following the close of the 1335 years, the period of "waiting," that the fact of our Lord's presence, as taught by the foregoing prophecies, began to be recognized. It was very early in the morning of the new age, but it was the "midnight" hour, so far as the deep slumbering of the virgins was concerned, when the cry (which is still ringing) went forth, "Behold the Bridegroom!" - not Behold the Bridegroom comes, * but Behold he has come, and we are now living "in the [parousia] presence of the Son of man." And such has been the character of the present movement, since that date: a proclamation of the Lord's presence and of the kingdom work now in progress. The writer, and colaborers, proclaimed the fact of the Lord's presence, demonstrating it from prophecy, and on charts or tables, such as are used in this book, until the fall of 1878, when arrangements were made for starting our present publication, "ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and Herald of Christ's Presence." By the Lord's blessing, millions of copies of this publication have carried abroad the tidings that the time is fulfilled, and that the Kingdom of Christ is even now being set up, while the kingdoms and systems of men are crumbling to their utter destruction.

  • The oldest Greek manuscripts (Sinaitic and Vatican) omit comes, and read, "Behold the Bridegroom!"

The parable forewarns us that, though all the virgin class trim their lamps, all cannot see. Only those who have the oil in their vessels (in themselves - the fully consecrated) can get the light from their lamps, and appreciate the facts. The others (all the pure, the virgins) will get the oil and the light sometime, and be greatly blessed by it; but only those filled with the oil, the spirit of the truth, will have the light in season and get the great blessing. Only these go in with the Bridegroom to the marriage. The oil, or spirit of consecration, and its attendant light cannot be communicated from one virgin to another. Each for himself must be filled with the spirit; each must get his own supply of this oil (the Truth, and its spirit of consecration and holiness); and the cost is considerable in the way of self-denial and misrepresentation and fiery trial. Experience in the great time of trouble will be the market in which the foolish virgins will purchase their oil. But it will then be too late to go into the marriage, as members of the Bride, the Lamb's wife. The Scriptures point out, however, that, as vessels into "less honor," these, repentant of their folly, will not be destroyed; but, being thus fitted for the Master's use, they shall yet serve him in his temple.

Recurring to the angel's words to Daniel - verse 13reads: "But go thou thy way till the end; for thou shalt rest, and arise again for thy lot [portion, reward] at [after] the end of the [1335] days" - during the harvest then beginning.

In the expression, "Go thou thy way till the end," the "end" should be noticed as of very different significance from the "Time of the End." "The harvest is the end of the age"; and the harvest, as already shown, is the period of 40 years from the fall of A.D. 1874, the termination of the "1335 days," to the fall of A.D. 1914. And Daniel is to receive his portion, reward or lot in the Kingdom of Michael (Christ), together with all the holy prophets, as well as the saints of the Gospel age, at the end of this "harvest" period; the saints being first in order, as well as in honor, in that Kingdom. (Heb. 11:40) See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. I, page 288.

STUDY IV THE CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY 2300 DAYS - DAN. 8:10-26 Edit

The True Sanctuary - The Defilement - The Base or Foundation - How "Cast Down" - Evidences of This Cited from Roman Catholic Writings - The Cleansing will not be Accomplished Until 2300 Years After the Vision - How and Where Begun, and When Due to be Completed - "Golden Vessels," Truths, Must be Replaced.

IN preceding chapters we saw the identity of the presumptuous, peculiar "little horn" of Dan. 7:8,11,20-26, with the "Man of Sin" of 2 Thess. 2:3, and with the "Abomination of Desolation" foretold by our Lord in Matt. 24:15; and also that the same papal power is referred to in Dan. 8:9,10,23-25. We have examined, sufficiently for our present purposes and limited space, its rise, its character, the breaking of its crushing power, and its final complete destruction, which is yet future.

We wish now to examine another prophecy which points out distinctly the one special false doctrine, or fundamental error, which led to the full rejection of that system by our Lord, and made it in his sight the desolating abomination. The prophecy now to be considered shows, further, the time at which the true Church, the consecrated class - the Sanctuary - will be cleansed of the abominable defilements introduced by Papacy.

While the preceding chapter pointed out to us certain days of waiting, and a purifying of this holy or Sanctuary class, this prophecy points out a date at which a nucleus of holy believers would get entirely free from papal defilements, errors, etc., and at which the misappropriated "golden vessels," or precious truths, would begin to be restored to this holy or Sanctuary class.

We quote Dan. 8:10-26, as follows:

"And it became great even into [controlling] the host of heaven [the entire Church], and it caused some of the host and of the shining lights to fall to the earth, and trod them under foot. Yea, it magnified itself even up to the Prince of the host. [It assumed to itself honors and dignities, and applied to itself prophecies and titles, which belong to Christ Jesus, the true Chief or Prince or Head of the Church.] And it took away from him [Christ] the CONTINUAL SACRIFICE, and the BASE OF HIS SANCTUARY was overthrown. And the host [people] was given over to it against the continual sacrifice, through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and its doings prospered.

"Then did I hear a certain holy one speaking, and a holy one said into another, I know not to whom he was speaking: 'For how long shall be the vision, concerning the continual sacrifice and the transgression that makes desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?' And he answered, 'Until two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings [days], then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'

"And it came to pass when I, even I, Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the [river] Ulai, which called and said, 'Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.' So he came and stood near where I stood; and when he was come, I fell upon my face, trembling, and he said into me, 'Mark well, O son of man! because for the Time of the End is the vision.' Now as he was speaking into me, I fell down in amazement on my face to the ground; but he touched me and set me upright, where I had been standing. And he said, 'Behold, I will make known to thee what is to come to pass to the end of these evil predictions; for it pertains to the appointed Time of the End.'

"The ram which thou hast seen, him with the two horns, (signifieth) the kings of Media and Persia. And the shaggy he - goat is the king of Greece; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. But that it was broken, and that four sprung up in its stead, (signifies that) four kingdoms will spring up out of the nation, but not with his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have filled their measure of guilt [Compare Gen. 15:16], there will arise a king [Papacy] of an impudent [or shameless] face, and understanding deep schemes. And his power shall be strengthened [made mighty], but not with his own force. [Papacy strengthened itself by using the force of the various nations of Europe.] And he will destroy wonderfully, and do more than can be believed; and he shall destroy [or corrupt] the mighty ones and the holy [saintly] people. And by his cunning skill he shall cause deceit to prosper (him) in his power; and in his heart he shall magnify himself, and by prosperity shall he corrupt [destroy] many: he shall also stand up [as Antichrist] against the Prince of princes; and he shall be broken without hand. And [that part of] the vision concerning the evenings and mornings which has been told [that there would be 2300, till the cleansing] is correct; but shut thou up the vision, for it will be fulfilled after many days."

We do not enter into a detailed explanation of the ram, goat, horns, etc., mentioned in these and the preceding verses believing that they have already been made clear. (See page 27) We have already seen that Rome, which is treated as a separate beast with its own horns, in chapter vii, and as the legs and feet of the image, in chapter ii, is here (chapter viii) treated as one of the horns of the Grecian "goat," which, after becoming great toward the South and toward the East, as civil or imperial Rome, underwent a change, and, becoming papal Rome, "became great even into the host of heaven; i.e., it became an ecclesiastical power or empire, over the host or people. And this same method of treating the Roman empire as a branch or development out of one of the divisions of the Grecian empire, is followed in the historical prophecy of chapter xi.

The continual sacrifice here mentioned is generally supposed to refer to the daily or continual burnt-offerings of the Jews at Jerusalem. And this taking away of the continual sacrifice has been laid to the charge of Antiochus Epiphanes, as already narrated. The prophecy, however, passes by the typical temple or Sanctuary, and the typical burnt-offerings, and deals with the antitypical Sanctuary or Temple of God, the Christian Church (2 Cor. 6:16), and with the antitypical burnt-offering, Christ's meritorious sacrifice once for all and forever - a continual, ever-efficacious sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world.

Christ's continual sacrifice was not actually canceled or abolished by Papacy, but it was set aside by a false doctrine advanced by that system - which gradually, but in the end fully and completely, set aside the merit of Christ's sacrifice as a continual and ever-efficacious one. This false doctrine is known as the Mass, or Sacrifice of the Mass.

Protestants in general totally misunderstand this so-called sacrament. They suppose it to be merely a different form of celebrating the Lord's Last Supper, adopted by Roman Catholics. Others get the idea that it is a sort of special prayer. But these ideas are quite erroneous. The Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass is this: The death of Christ, they claim, canceled Adamic or original sin, but is not applicable for our daily shortcomings, weaknesses, sins and omissions; it is not a continual sacrifice, ever meritorious for all our sins, ever sufficient and efficacious to cover as a robe every sinner and every sin, so as to permit the contrite one to come back into union and fellowship with God. For such sins the Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted: it is esteemed by Papists as a further development of the Calvary sacrifice. Each time the Mass is offered in sacrifice it is, they claim, a fresh sacrifice of Christ, for the particular persons and sins to which the priest offering it mentally applies it.

The Christ to be thus sacrificed afresh is first "created" from wheat - bread and wine by the officiating priest. They are ordinary bread and wine until laid upon the altar, when certain words of consecration, it is claimed, change the bread and wine into the actual flesh and blood of Christ. Then they are bread and wine no longer, though they still have such an appearance. This change is called transubstantiation - change of substance. The five magical Latin words which, it is claimed, effect this change of bread and wine into actual flesh and blood, are, "Hoc est autem corpus meum." It is claimed that any priest can thus create Christ in the flesh, afresh, to be sacrificed afresh. And having thus created Christ, a bell is sounded, and priests and people fall down and worship and adore the bread and wine, which now they recognize as the very Christ. This done, the bread (the real flesh of Christ, veiled from the senses, they say) is broken. Christ is thus slain or sacrificed afresh, repeatedly, for the special sins sought by this means to be canceled.

Carrying out this absurd theory, and endeavoring to have it consistent with itself, Roman Catholic councils have issued numerous and long decrees and explanations, and wise (?) theologians have written thousands of books. In these it is taught that if a drop of the "blood" (wine) be spilled, it must be carefully preserved and burned, and the ashes buried in holy ground; and likewise the bread ("the flesh of Christ"): not a crumb of it must be lost. Provision is carefully made lest a fly should get into the "blood" (wine), or lest a mouse or dog should get a crumb of the broken "flesh" (bread). And Dr. Dens, one of their leading theologians, explains that, "A mouse or a dog eating the sacramental species, does not eat them sacramentally; yet this proves that then the body of Christ does not cease to exist under the species." * The Roman Catholic (American) Catechism states the doctrine thus:

  • Dens, Tract. de Euchar., No. 20, p. 314.

"Ques. What is the holy eucharist?

Ans. It is a sacrament which contains the BODY and BLOOD, the SOUL and DIVINITY, of Jesus Christ, under the forms and appearances of bread and wine.

Q. Is it not bread and wine which is first put upon the altar for the celebration of the Mass?

A. Yes, it is always bread and wine till the priest pronounces the words of consecration during the Mass.

Q. What happens by these words?

A. The bread is changed into the BODY of Jesus Christ, and the wine into his BLOOD.

Q. What is this change called?

A. It is called transubstantiation, that is to say, a change of one substance into another.

Q. What is the Mass?

A. The Mass is the perpetual ["daily" or "continual"] sacrifice of the new law, in which Christ our Lord offers himself by the hands of the priest, in an unbloody manner, under the appearances of bread and wine, to his Heavenly Father, as he once offered himself on the cross in a bloody manner.

Q. What is the difference between the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrifice of the Cross?

A. The sacrifice of the Mass is essentially the same [kind or sort of] sacrifice as that of the Cross; the only difference is in the manner of offering.

Q. What effects has the Mass as a sacrifice of propitiation [satisfaction]?

A. By it we obtain from the divine mercy, first, Graces of contrition and repentance for the forgiveness of sins; and second, Remission of temporal punishments deserved for sins.

Q. To whom are the fruits [benefits] of the Mass applied?

A. The general fruits are applied to the whole Church, both the living and the dead; the special fruits are applied, first, Chiefly to the priest who celebrates the Mass; next, To those for whom in particular he offers it up; and, thirdly, To those who assist at it with devotion [i.e., those who attend Mass as worshipers]."

The same authority says: "He who sacrifices is a priest; the sensible thing which is sacrificed is called the victim; the place where it is sacrificed is called the altar. These four - priest, victim, altar and sacrifice - are inseparable: each one of them calls for the others."

Again, explaining the ceremony, it says of the priest:

"Then he pronounces the mysterious words of Consecration, adores, making a genuflection, and elevates the Sacred Body and the Sacred Blood above his head. At the ringing of the bell the people adore on their knees, and strike their breasts in token of repentance for their sins. The priest begs of God graciously to ACCEPT THE SACRIFICE."

We close the testimony on this subject by a brief quotation from the Canons of the Council of Trent * as follows:

  • Concil. Trid., Sess. 22. De Sacrificio Missae.

Canon 3. "If any one shall say that the Mass is only a service of praise and thanksgiving, or a bare commemoration of the sacrifice made on the Cross, and not [in itself] a propitiatory offering [i.e., a sacrifice which itself makes satisfaction for sins]; or that it only benefits him who receives it, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities: let him [who so denies the power of this sacrifice] be accursed."

Thus we see clearly that Papacy has substituted a false or sham sacrifice, in the place of the one everlasting, complete and never-to-be-repeated sacrifice of Calvary, made once for all time. Thus it was that Papacy took away from Christ's work the merit of being rightly esteemed the Continual Sacrifice, by substituting in its stead a fraud, made by its own priests. It is needless here to detail the reason why Papacy denies and sets aside the true Continual Sacrifice, and substitutes the "abomination," the Mass, in its stead; for most of our readers know that this doctrine, that the priest makes in the Mass a sacrifice for sins, without which they cannot be canceled, or their penalties escaped, is at the very foundation of all the various schemes of the Church of Rome for wringing money from the people, for all her extravagancies and luxuries. "Absolutions," "indulgences," and all the various presumed benefits, favors, privileges and immunities, for either the present or the future life, for either the living or the dead, are based upon this blasphemous doctrine of the Mass, the fundamental doctrine of the apostasy. It is by virtue of the power and authority which the sacrifice of the Mass imposes upon the priests, that their other blasphemous claims, to have and exercise the various prerogatives which belong to Christ only, are countenanced by the people.

As an evidence of the fundamental character of this error, let it be noted that, though the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland began with opposition to indulgences, it soon became a question concerning transubstantiation - the sacrifice of the Mass. The corner stone of the Reformation was, that the forgiveness of sins was effected by Christ alone, as a consequence of his sacrifice at Calvary, and not by indulgences, confessionals and Masses. In fact, this question of the Mass lay at the bottom of nearly all of Rome's persecutions. Bishop Tilotson remarks, "This [transubstantiation - the Mass] has been in the Church of Rome the great burning article; and, absurd and unreasonable as it is, more Christians have been murdered for the denial of it, than perhaps for all the other articles of their religion."

Of course, Romanists claim that the Mass was instituted by Christ and the apostles; but the earliest mention of it we have been able to find was at the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381. However, the date of the introduction of this defiling error is not particularly referred to in the prophecy, except that by reason of this fundamental error Papacy became the "Abomination of Desolation," before it was, as such, "set up" in power, which, we have seen, was in A.D. 539.

The prophecy declares, "It took away from him [Christ] the continual sacrifice," and then adds, "and the base of his Sanctuary was overthrown." The base, or foundation-truth, upon which the truly consecrated or Sanctuary class is built, is that our Lord Jesus, by the sacrifice, of himself, has redeemed all, and will save to the uttermost all who come into God by him, without any other mediator, without priest, or bishop, or pope, and without any other sacrifice - any other being an abomination in God's sight, as teaching by implication the insufficiency of Christ's great ransom-sacrifice. Heb. 7:25; 10:14

This doctrine of the ransom is the base of the Sanctuary or holy temple - the consecrated Church. And when this "continual" was displaced, made void or overturned by the Mass, then followed the evils predicted by the prophet. The host (nominal Christians) was given over to the error, easily led by the false system which exalted itself (in the person of its head, the pope) even to be the Prince or ruler over the host. "And it cast down the truth to the ground," together with such of the host, and of the shining lights, or teachers, as held fast to the truth, and would not unite with it in its course of transgression. And, as we have seen in preceding chapters, it prospered marvelously in its doings.

The very foundation of the true Christian faith being thus cast aside, is it any wonder that the great apostasy fell into such depths of iniquity as it did? One error led to another, until only outward forms of truth and godliness remained; and the desolating abomination seated itself in the temple of God, defiling both the Sanctuary and the host, and exalting its head as Christ's vicar or representative.

In the midst of these scenes of the success of the Abomination of Desolation, Daniel hears the saints, holy ones, ask, "For how long shall be the vision, concerning the Continual Sacrifice and the transgression which makes desolate, to give both the Sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" All along since the abomination was set up, there have been saints who more or less distinctly recognized its character and its defilements, and anxiously have such sought to know, crying to God, How long, O Lord! shall the truth be trodden in the mire, and error, blasphemy and abominations be allowed to prosper? How long shall Antichrist, "intoxicated with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus," and with its phenomenal success, continue to intoxicate and deceive the nations? (Rev. 17:2,6; 14:8; 18:3) And, anticipating their inquiry, and Daniel's and ours, God gave the answer in advance, through his messenger. And though the terms could not even begin to be understood before the Time of the End, yet the fixing or limiting of the time gave to others as well as to Daniel the assurance that God has full control of the situation, so that naught can happen which he cannot and will not control, and ultimately overrule for good. This answer marks, not the beginning of the cleansing work, but a period when it would be in a measure finished. It reads as follows:

"Until Two Thousand Three Hundred Days,

Then Shall the Sanctuary be Cleansed"

In the examination of this period of time the student is at once struck with the fact that literal days cannot be meant; because 2300 literal days would be less than eight years, and yet the prophecy evidently covers all the long period of the defiling of the Sanctuary and the treading down of the truth. Again, we note that it is foretold that these 2300 days will terminate sometime in the period called the "Time of the End"; for Gabriel said, "Mark well, O son of man! because for the Time of the End is the vision"; and again, "Behold, I will make known into thee what is to come to pass to the end of these evil predictions; for it [the fulfilment] pertains to the appointed Time of the End."

In his explanation, Gabriel traverses the entire vision, explaining in part the various symbols, and finishes with the assurance that the 2300 days is the correct measure of it all.

Daniel, who was thinking specially of Israel, and of the fulfilment of God's promises to the fathers, perceived that all that he had heard could not occur in 2300 literal days, especially when Gabriel said to him, "But shut thou up the vision, for it will be fulfilled after many days." And though he knew not how long each symbolic day would be, he was made sick at heart by the thought of so many evils as were coming upon God's people - though he saw not the change of that name from fleshly to spiritual Israel. We read, "And I, Daniel, languished and was sick for some days"; and "I was astonished at the vision, but none could interpret it." And well it was for Daniel, and for all God's children from then to the Time of the End, that the dread significance of that vision of papal power and persecution, and of saintly suffering, was not more clearly revealed in advance. Our merciful Heavenly Father, while willing to prove his people in the furnace of affliction and persecution, in order to prepare a people for the exceeding and eternal weight of glory promised, deals with us upon the principle - "Sufficient into the day is the evil thereof."

Daniel, who was more interested in Israel than in the Persian "ram," or the Grecian "goat," knew from Jeremiah's prophecy that the seventy years of captivity in Babylon was a punishment upon Israel for sins, and so now he judged from the vision of coming persecutions (instead of exaltation and glory as he had expected) that it betokened Israel's sin and God's wrath; hence he prayed earnestly for forgiveness of Israel's sins, and for the fulfilment of the promises made to the fathers. This is told in few words in Dan. 9:2-19. Daniel saw not the scope of the divine plan as we may now behold it; nevertheless, his earnestness and faith in the promises were pleasing to God, who therefore revealed to him something more concerning this vision - an increase or further elaboration of it, in those features which specially pertained to fleshly Israel. Daniel supposed that the end of the seventy years' desolation of the land of Israel, while its people were in Babylon, was to be thus prolonged, or continued, for many (2300) days. God corrects this error by sending Gabriel to inform him that the captivity would end when the seventy years were complete, and that the city of Jerusalem and the temple would be rebuilt, though in a troublous period, etc.

It was while Daniel was praying over the vision of the 2300 days, which he misunderstood to mean a prolonging of the 70 years captivity in Babylon, that Gabriel was sent to further explain that misunderstood vision, thus (Dan. 9:21-27):

"And he talked with me and instructed me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to teach thee, that thou mayest understand. From the beginning of thy prayers the [further] declaration [of God's plan, now to be communicated] went forth, and I am come to tell it; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand this [further] matter, and have understanding of the vision [of the 2300 days]. Seventy weeks [70 x 7 = 490 days] are cut off [or set apart, fixed, or determined] upon thy people [Israel] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem]," etc. *

  • For an examination of this prophecy see Vol. II, chapter iii, page 63.

The point to be here noticed specially is, that the 490 days are a part of the 2300 days - a part marked off as of special interest to Daniel, in answer to his prayer about the restoration of Israel from Babylon. (See verses 12,16-18.) As these seventy weeks, or 490 days, were the forepart of the 2300, their fulfilment not only serves to show us when the 2300 began, but also to show what manner of time (literal or symbolic) was signified. (See 1 Pet. 1:11.) And, more than this, the fulfilment of this prophecy of "seventy weeks" would serve to set a seal upon Daniel as a true prophet, and upon all his prophecies; and especially would it seal this "vision" of the 2300 days. And thus it was foretold that the seventy weeks should among other things serve to "seal the vision and prophet."

So then, recognizing the symbolic seventy weeks, or 490 days, as fulfilled in years, to be the forepart of the 2300 days, and God's seal or mark of approval to that full vision, we begin there to measure, to see where the whole period will be fulfilled. Deducting from the 2300 the 490 fulfilled at the first advent, we have a remainder of 1810. Then, 1810 years (prophetic, symbolic days) must be the measure from the close of the seventy weeks to the time when the Sanctuary class will be cleansed from the various defilements of Papacy - the desolating abomination which has for so many centuries defiled the temple of God.

The death of Messiah, as shown, was in the spring of A.D. 33; * and this was the midst or middle of the last week of the seventy, the full end of which was therefore a half week, or three and a half years later - in the autumn of A.D. 36. Therefore, 1810 years from the autumn of A.D. 36, viz., the autumn of 1846, marks the end of the vision of the 2300 days, and the date when the Sanctuary was due to be cleansed.

  • See Vol. II, page 68.

This prophecy being fulfilled, we should expect, in this as in other cases of fulfilled prophecy, to find the facts proving its fulfilment clearly set forth on the pages of history; for, though historians are often unbelievers in the Bible and the God of the Bible, yet, unknown to them, God has overruled their work, so that wherever a prophecy has been fulfilled, the facts have unmistakably passed into history, and always on good and reliable authority. And so it has been in this case of the cleansing of the Sanctuary.

We find, on the authority of all modern historians, that what they all term a Great Reformation had its beginning in the sixteenth century - except Roman Catholic writers, who call it the great sedition. And with this reformation the cleansing of the Sanctuary may be dated as commencing. Let us bear in mind that the Sanctuary was defiled by the bringing in of various errors with their corresponding evil tendencies, that the climax of these was reached in the introduction of the Mass, and that following in the wake of this error came the deepest degradation of the host (the masses of the church nominal), culminating in the shameless sale of "indulgences," which measurably provoked the reform movement. Though the Sanctuary class, too, was in a measure defiled, i.e., deceived into this error, the dreadful results opened their eyes to it. And, accordingly, we find that the keynote of the Great Reformation was, Justification by faith in the "continual sacrifice" of Christ that needs no repetition - as opposed to forgiveness assumed to be secured by penances and Masses, at the polluted altars of Antichrist.

This was the right place for reformation to begin: at the foundation - justification [cleansing] by faith in "the continual." Yet, notice, the prophecy does not indicate a cleansing of the host at this time, but of the Sanctuary class only. Nor was the host cleansed. They still retained the error, and do to this day; but the consecrated class, the Sanctuary, renounced the error and suffered for the truth's sake, many of them even into death.

But this was only the beginning of the cleansing process; for this class, now awakened, soon discovered that the defiling errors had been multiplied while Papacy had practiced and prospered. Luther, the leading spirit of the reformation, did not stop with one error, but attempted to throw out many others, and nailed upon the church door at Wittenberg, Oct. 31st, 1517, ninety-five theses, all of which were objections to the doctrines of Papacy, the twenty-seventh being a denial of the claimed inherent immortality of man. These propositions having been denounced as heresy by pope Leo X, Luther in his response (A.D. 1520) denounced in unmeasured terms the doctrines of transubstantiation, human immortality, and the claim of the pope to be "Emperor of the world, king of heaven, and God upon earth," and referred to them as "MONSTROUS OPINIONS TO BE FOUND IN THE ROMAN DUNGHILL OF DECRETALS."

But, alas! the "cleansing" work so nobly and courageously commenced was too radical to be popular, and the friends and admirers of Luther and his associates conquered in a measure, overpowering them with policy, prudence, "flatteries," and promises of help and success, provided their course were shaped according to the dictates of the wisdom of this world. (See Dan. 11:34,35.) Several of the German princes became ardent admirers of the bold reformers, who had both the understanding and the courage to attack the system before which kings had for centuries trembled. These princes aided the reformers, and their aid seemed to them to be indispensable to the success of the movement. And in return for the aid they received from the reformers recognition of their kingly rights(?).

We should remember also that the reform movement was a revolt not only against religious tyranny, but against political tyranny as well. And the two classes of reformers were brought into more or less sympathy and cooperation. Concerning this era of the Reformation, Professor Fisher * says:

  • Fisher's Universal History, pp. 402-412.

Of Switzerland - "Zwingli's exertions as a church reformer were mingled with the patriotic zeal for the moral and political regeneration of Switzerland."

Of John Calvin's time and the Genevan government - "The civil was followed by an ecclesiastical revolution. Protestantism was legally established (1535). Calvin became the virtual law-giver of the city. It was an ecclesiastical state."

Of Scandinavia - "In Scandinavian countries monarchical power was built up by means of the reformation."

Of Denmark - "The new [Protestant] doctrine had come into the land and was spreading. The nobles who coveted the possessions of the church [Roman Catholic] espoused it."

Of Sweden - "A great political revolution occurred, which involved also a religious revolution."

Of Germany - "The threats against the Protestant princes induced them to form the League of Smalcald, for mutual defense. It was found impracticable to carry out the measures of repression against the Lutherans." "At the Diet of Augsburg in 1555, the Religious Peace was concluded. Every prince was to be allowed to choose between the Catholic religion and the Augsburg Confession [of the Reformers]; and the religion of the prince was to be that of the land over which he reigned: that is, each government was to choose the creed for its subjects."

In fact, the political circumstances of the time, combined with the fact that even the leaders of the reform were only beginning to get awake to some of the moral and a few of the doctrinal errors of Papacy, lead us to wonder at the rapid strides taken toward the right, rather than to harshly condemn them for not making the cleansing more thorough. But when the Protestant churches united with the state, progress and reform came to a standstill. Soon creeds were formed which were almost as unyielding and opposed to growth in knowledge as the decrees of Rome, though nearer to the truth than Rome's-bondages of greater latitude.

Thus, the same kind of union between church and state which had worked such injury to the truth before, in Papacy, was the snare by which the adversary impeded and obstructed the "cleansing of the sanctuary," so nobly begun. Reformation and cleansing for a time ceased, and, instead of progressing with the cleansing, the reformers gave attention to organizing themselves, and to revamping and repolishing many of the old papal dogmas, at first so loudly condemned. Thus did Satan decoy the reformers into the very "harlotry" (union of church and state) which they had denounced in the Church of Rome. And thus the deadly wound which Papacy had received was for a time healed. Rev. 13:3

But the "cleansing," thus begun and thus interrupted, must start afresh and go on; for by the end of the 2300 years the Sanctuary must be cleansed. And so it has been. The recurrence to the Bible as the only authority for faith, by which the reformation was begun, planted deeply seeds which have since sprouted time and again, and brought forth one and another reform, in spite of the fact that the leading reformers speedily attempted to hinder the spread of reform beyond their own measure, by establishing creeds and bulwarks of faith beyond which, regardless of the teachings of the Bible, none were permitted to go, without drawing down upon themselves the anathema of "heretic."

Glancing along the pathway of the Church, from Luther's day until now, we can see that, step by step, reform or cleansing has progressed; and yet the same tendency is marked at every step; for each set of reformers, as soon as they accomplished their own little item of cleansing, stopped and joined the others, in opposition to all further reform or cleansing.

Thus the Church in England, casting aside some of the grosser doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome, claimed, and still claims, that it is the only true Church, and that its bishops have apostolic succession, and hence supreme control of God's heritage. This "daughter" of Rome, leaving the "mother," took the proffered arm of England, and made the sovereign of the empire the head of that church. Yet, as with the Lutheran daughter, even this was a reform, and in the right direction - a partial cleansing. Calvin, Knox and others discovered that God's foreknowledge of transpiring events had been largely lost sight of under the papal rubbish; and, casting out the idea that the success of God's plans were made wholly dependent on the efforts of fallible men, their doctrines helped to show that the Church was not dependent on the arm of the state to win success for it by carnal weapons. These men did a great and valuable work which has since borne more good fruit than many seem to see. Nevertheless, blinded by other defiling errors not recognized as such, they were led to advocate the error that all not elected to the heavenly state were reprobated to eternal torture. Soon their doctrines became crystallized under the name Presbyterianism; and, beyond the first enunciation of the immutability of the divine decrees, little has been done by them to aid reformation or cleansing. And, like its sister sects, Presbyterianism has also done much to obstruct and hinder the cleansing work.

The Wesleys and their colaborers, oppressed by the prevalent coldness and formality of their day, endeavored to cast out some of the cold formalism naturally resulting from the union of church and state, and to show the necessity of individual holiness through personal faith in and union with Christ-teaching that the fact of being born under a so-called Christian government, and reckoned from birth a member of such state - church organization, is not Christianity. This was excellent so far, and a necessary part of the "cleansing" work; but, instead of going on toward perfection in the simplicity of the early church, Wesley, too, soon concluded that the cleansing and reforming work was completed, and proceeded with others to organize Methodism, and so to hedge it about with the creed, formulas and standards of Methodism as to effectually hinder further progress and cleansing. Unitarianism and Universalism, though likewise embodying errors, have also been attempts to cast out defiling errors, which perhaps have been proportionately as successful and as unsuccessful as others.

Those called Baptists represent another effort at cleansing the Sanctuary, by casting out another error introduced by Papacy with reference to baptism, and denying that the sprinkling of an unbelieving infant is the baptism of a believer, or that sprinkling in any manner even symbolizes any doctrine of Christ. Yet, beyond the teaching of a correct outward form or symbol, Baptists have made little progress, and now are often found standing with others as objectors to, and hinderers of, any further cleansing.

A later reform is known by the name of "The Christian Church" or "The Disciples." This sect was organized in 1827 by Alexander Campbell. The reforms they specially advocated at their organization were, Apostolic simplicity in church government; the Bible only for a creed; the equality of all members of Christ under Him as the head of all; and, consequently, the abrogation of ecclesiastical titles, such as Reverend, Doctor of Divinity, etc., as Romish, and contrary to the spirit of Christ and pure Christianity, which says: "All ye are brethren, and one is your master, even Christ." The design, and the cleansing so far as it went, were good, and have borne fruit in the minds and liberties of some in all denominations. But this denomination, like the others, has ceased to attempt further reform, and the spirit of its reform is already dead; for, while claiming the Bible as the only creed, it has stopped in the rut, and there it revolves without making progress in the truth. Claiming liberty from the creeds and shackles of human tradition, it fails to use the liberty, hence is really bound in spirit, and consequently fails to grow in grace and knowledge. Though bound by no written creed, yet by its respect for the traditions and the honor of men, as well as by self-complacency, it soon became fixed, and asleep to the work of the further cleansing of the Sanctuary, and is even retrograding from its former position.

While we have mentioned but a few of the reformers and reform movements, we must not be understood as rejecting or ignoring others. Far from it: the reform has been general, and all true, earnest Christians have had some share in the work of cleansing. The great difficulty lies in the fact that, prejudiced by early training and awed by the loud and boastful claims of error, few can see the great amount of error, and the consequent necessity for going forward with the cleansing. And these, his advantages, our great adversary, Satan, has not been slow to use in binding the saints and hindering the cleansing work.

Another reform, and in some respects the most thorough of all, had its start shortly after the last mentioned, as referred to briefly in the preceding chapter. Mr. William Miller, of Massachusetts, connected with the Baptist denomination, who was the instrument used to start this reform, brought to the attention of the Church the fact that the Bible reveals something of the time, as well as the order, of God's plan. He saw periods recorded by the prophets, accompanied by the statement that at the due time the truly wise should understand them, and he sought to be of the class described. He searched, and found some things of great interest, long lost sight of under the traditions of Rome, among others that the second coming of our Lord was for the bestowment of God's blessing of life, to believers, as the first coming was for the purchase of the world; in fact, that ransom and recovery are two parts of the one redemptive plan.

For an honest, earnest heart to realize such good news could mean no less than to proclaim it; and this he did. The uncovering of this truth led to the rejection of certain errors, and hence he did a cleansing work in all who came under its influence. For instance, since our Lord's second coming is to "set up" his Kingdom and to exalt his Church, it is evident that the claims of churches associated with earthly kingdoms (which severally claim to be the kingdoms of God, and that they therefore are now authorized to reign and rule over the world) must be mere assumptions; for, if the Kingdom of Christ has not yet been "set up," these now "set up" must have been so exalted by "the prince of this world" (Satan), and must be working largely in his interest, however ignorant of the fact their rulers may be.

Another error, to the removal of which Mr. Miller's preaching led, was the natural immortality of man. The idea had long obtained that man is inherently an immortal being; that is, that once created he can never die, and that death is merely a deceptive illusion; that man only appears to die, and does not really do so, but merely changes form and takes another step in "evolution." Mr. Miller believed like others on this subject; yet the truths to which he called attention, particularly the doctrines of the Lord's coming and the resurrection of the dead, first pointedly exposed this baneful error - which denies the resurrection by teaching that none are dead, and hence that the Lord's second coming and a resurrection of the dead are not necessary. But the critical examination of this subject we leave for a future volume of this work, in which it will be shown that immortality and everlasting life are favors, obtainable only through Christ, and neither promised nor to be granted to the wicked. Based upon and growing out of the idea of human immortality, is the Romish doctrine of purgatory, and the still more awful Protestant doctrine of eternal misery in a place of unending tortures; for they reason, If man must live forever (and if immortal, even God could not destroy him), he must live in either everlasting happiness or everlasting misery. And since, say they, he is at death remanded to his everlasting condition, the vast majority must then begin an eternity of torture, because in the few years of the present life they either failed to get a knowledge of the right way, or, obtaining the knowledge, they were, through inherited weaknesses, etc., unable to walk in it.

This great root of many blasting errors began to be torn up and cast out by the preaching of the second coming of Christ and the resurrection declared to be then due. Intelligent and thinking people began to wonder why the Lord would resurrect the dead, if they were in either heaven or hell, and their portion forever unalterably fixed. Then they began to wonder why the dead were called dead, if really alive. Then they wondered why our Lord and the apostles said nothing about the dead being still alive, but on the contrary always pointed to a resurrection as the only hope; even declaring that if there be no resurrection all have "perished." (1 Cor. 15:13-18) Then our Lord's words, promising an awakening to "all that are in their graves," began to have a meaning; and it gradually came to be seen that the dead are not alive, but that death signifies the opposite of life. And those who sought found that the Scriptures are in perfect harmony with themselves on this subject, but in direct opposition to the common traditions of today, received from Papacy.

The root of error being thus removed, the various branches soon began to wither; and soon it was seen that instead of everlasting life (in misery) being the punishment of the wicked, the reverse is the Bible statement of God's plan; that everlasting life is the reward for righteousness, and that death, a cutting off from life, is the punishment for wilful sinners.

Then came to be seen what was meant by the curse of death which came upon all the race through Adam's disobedience - that the whole race was condemned to extinction. Then, too, the veil began to lift, showing the object and value of our Redeemer's death, as the payment of the penalty upon the race, in order that there might be a resurrection, a restoring to life and its rights. Ah! then the meaning of ransom began to be appreciated, as it was seen that he who knew no sin was treated as the accursed; that, being willingly substituted in our stead, he was made a curse for us, treated as a sinner for us, and died, the just for the unjust.

Thus, finally, the great system and network of defiling error, which began with the taking away of the continual sacrifice, was removed; and, the Sanctuary being relieved or cleansed of it, the value of the "continual sacrifice" of Jesus was seen in renewed freshness and beauty and power.

When we say that the Sanctuary was cleansed of this defilement, we must remember that in Scripture a part of the Church not infrequently stands for the whole. A company, a few, had been relieved from the defiling error; and to these few, God has been adding daily of those who are fully under his leading and taught of him.

In his calculation of what would occur, Mr. Miller was far from correct-supposing that the cleansing of the Sanctuary meant a cleansing of the earth from evil, by literal fire in which the earth would be burned up. The failure of his predictions, which ensued, was a sore trial to those who under his teachings had learned to expect the Lord from heaven and the fulfilment of the prayer, "Thy kingdom come." But, though disappointed by the Bridegroom's tarrying, they were greatly blest. Their experience in searching the Scripture was valuable, and they had learned to place the Word of God above the traditions of men. They had measurably gotten free from servility to the honor and respect of men in the various denominations from which they had been cut loose, for they had been separated from their company by reason of obedience to their convictions relative to the subject of the Lord's coming. Honesty to conviction always brings some blessing: even as Paul going to Damascus, we meet the Lord on the way.

Consequently, we find that among these were some who took a more advanced stand in the cleansing or reformation work than any who preceded them. Thus A.D. 1846, the end of the 2300 days, as above shown, found an unorganized nucleus of Christians, who not only agreed with the "Disciples" regarding simplicity of church government, the discarding of all creeds but the Bible, and the abolition of all titles by its ministers, but with the "Baptists" relative to the outward form of baptism, and with Luther in regarding the Papal system as the Man of Sin, and the degenerate church the mother of harlots and abominations. These, standing aloof from any compromise or affinity with the world, taught vital piety, simple trust in the omnipotent God, and faith in his unchangeable decrees; and, in addition, while recognizing Christ as Lord of all, and now partaker of the divine nature, they were guarded against the unscriptural * as well as the unreasonable theory that Jehovah is his own Son and our Lord Jesus is his own Father; and they began to see that eternal life and immortality are not present possessions, but are to be expected only as gifts of God through Christ in the resurrection.

  • These subjects are fully discussed in Volume V of this SCRIPTURE STUDIES series, and all the scriptures bearing upon them are there fully examined and found to be in absolute harmony.

And, as though God would arrange that thereafter there should always be a class representing his Sanctuary cleansed, kept separate from the various sects, this very year 1846 witnessed the organization of Protestant sects into one great system, called The Evangelical Alliance. This organization, mindful of the new views (of the cleansed Sanctuary) clearly defined its faith in human immortality, adding it as the ninth article of its creed. Thus it separated, and has since kept separate from other Christians, a company of God's children - the Lord's cleansed Sanctuary - a sanctuary of truth. And to this cleansed Sanctuary class other meek and faithful children of God have been added daily ever since; while from it have been eliminated such as lose the spirit of meekness and love of the truth. To maintain their standing as the cleansed Sanctuary, against organized opposition and great numbers, becomes a severe test of courage and faith, which only a few seem able to endure: the majority follow the course of their predecessors, and endeavor to make themselves respectable in the eyes of the world. Becoming somewhat numerous, and seeking less odium, some of these organized another system, formulated a creed, and adopted another sectarian name, calling themselves Second Adventists. And, settling down to the belief that what they had learned was all that could be learned, they have not made progress since; and, in common with others who failed to follow on in the path that shines more and more into the perfect day, many of them have fallen into foolish errors.

But though many of those who at first represented the cleansed Sanctuary thus became again entangled with the yoke of bondage, those who still kept free and followed on to know the Lord still represented his cleansed Sanctuary, and have since been owned and greatly blessed by his leading.

If the rubbish and defiling abominations were entirely removed in 1846, the time since should be a season for the setting in order of the things which remain, and for the unfolding and developing of God's glorious plan - which truths should reoccupy the places vacated by the errors removed.

This work of opening up the truth, and examining and appreciating its beauty, is properly due now, and is being accomplished. We thank God for the privilege of being engaged with others in this blessed work of bringing the golden vessels of the Lord's house (precious truths) back from the captivity of (symbolic) Babylon the Great (Ezra 1:7-11; 5:14; 6:5), and replacing them in the Sanctuary. And in this great work we offer fraternal greetings to all colaborers and members of the Anointed Body. Blessed those servants whom their Lord, when he has come, shall find giving meat in due season to the household.

STUDY V THE TIME OF HARVEST Edit

The Chronological Location of the Harvest - Its Object and Great Importance - The Focus of Time Prophecies - Preparations for the Harvest - Significance of the Convergence of Prophetic Testimony - The Lord's Presence - Reasonable Objections Answered - Entering the Joys of Our Lord.

"The Harvest is the end of the age." Matt. 13:39

THE careful student will have observed that the period designated "The Time of the End" is very appropriately named, since not only does the Gospel age close in it, but in it, also, all prophecies relating to the close of this age terminate, reaching their fulfilments. The same class of readers will have noticed, too, the special importance of the last 40 of those 115 years (1874-1914), called "The End" or "Harvest."

This brief period is the most momentous and eventful period of the entire age; for in it all the fruitage of the age must be gathered and disposed of, and the field, which is the world (Matt. 13:38), must be cleared, plowed and prepared for another sowing and reaping time - the Millennial age. The importance of the events of this harvest period can scarcely be overestimated; and yet the world will not be aware of it, until its potent though unrecognized agencies have accomplished their appointed work. Indeed, it is well to remember that this is not a harvesting of the whole world, but of the Christian Church; and it affects not Mohammedans, Brahmins, Buddhists, etc., but only the true Church of Christ, and such as are more or less associated with it - "Christendom."

But while the world during the entire period will be in total ignorance of its character, yet in dread and fear of the outcome of its strange events (Isa. 28:21), the Lord's little flock of consecrated followers, now living, enjoy greater enlightenment than was ever the privilege of any of their forerunners; for in this period all the rays of prophetic testimony reach a grand focus, illuminating to the eye of faith the plan of God, including its developments, past, present and future.

Since the beginning (1799) of the Time of the End, God has been preparing his consecrated "holy people," his "Sanctuary," for the great blessings he intended to pour upon them during these forty years of harvest: which blessings are also intended as special preparation for their entering with Christ into full joy and joint-heirship with him, as his bride. At the exact "time appointed," 1799, the end of the 1260 days, the power of the Man of Sin, the great oppressor of the Church, was broken, and his dominion taken away. With one stroke of his mighty hand, God there struck off Zion's fetters, and bade the oppressed go free. And forth came, and are coming, the "Sanctuary" class, the "holy people," weak, and halt, and lame, and almost naked, and blind, from the dungeon darkness and filth and misery of papal bondage. Poor souls! they had been trying to serve God faithfully in the very midst of the lurid flames of persecution, clinging to the cross of Christ when almost every other truth had been swept away, and courageously endeavoring to emancipate God's "Two Witnesses" (the Old and New Testaments), which had so long been bound, and which had prophesied only under the sackcloth of dead languages. Rev. 11:3

In his wisdom, God did not overpower them with the great flood of light now granted to the saints. Gently he led them on, step by step, cleansing them first from the papal pollutions which still clung to them. And as God thus drew them, the Sanctuary class followed on, recognizing the voice of the Good Shepherd in the accents of truth which exposed the old errors, until 1846, which prophecy marks as the date when a nucleus of the "holy people," the "Sanctuary," would become free from the errors of Papacy, cleansed of defilements, and ready to replace the unclean theories of men with the clean and beautiful principles of truth, on which the Lord and the apostles had founded the Church. Gradually they were led to expect the great culmination of blessing when the Lord himself should come, in the harvest of the age. Their diligent study of God's Word, and commendable desire to know what even the angels desired to look into (1 Pet. 1:12), were greatly blessed, though their desires were not fully granted.

A faithful few were thus instructed in the Word of truth, filled with its spirit, purified and more fully separated from the world, purged of pride and, through the discipline of the disappointment of 1844, brought to more humble reliance upon God; and the foretold tarrying of thirty years developed in the holy ones patience, humility and loving submission, until the watchers at the end of the "1335 days" (1874, harvest time) received, and were sent forth to announce to all the Sanctuary class, the glad message, "Behold the Bridegroom!" And all of this class who hear, when they recognize its import, lift up their voices also, saying, "Behold the Bridegroom!" And this harvest message to the saints continues to go forth, and will do so, until it has reached all the consecrated and faithful. This intelligence is not for the world now, but only for the prospective bride of Christ. Our Lord is not the Bridegroom to any other class. The knowledge of his presence will come to the world in another way, and at a later time. None are now prepared to receive this truth, except the consecrated, the Sanctuary class. To the "host" of nominal Christians, as well as to the world, it is foolishness; nor will they be disposed to test the proofs set forth in the volumes of this series.

Not only thus has the Lord prepared the hearts of his people and led them by ways which they knew not, but for this special time of need he has furnished wonderful helps to Bible study, such as concordances, and varied and valuable translations of the Scriptures, as well as wonderful facilities for printing, publishing and mailing the truth; and the advantages of general education, so that all can read and study for themselves, and prove to their own satisfaction all the doctrines advanced; and these under conditions of peace, so that none can molest them or make them afraid to exercise full liberty of conscience in so doing.

After a careful perusal of the foregoing chapters of this and the preceding volume, the thoughtful reader will observe that while each of the time prophecies accomplishes a separate and distinct purpose, the central object of their united and harmonious testimony has been to mark, with definiteness and precision, by either direct or indirect evidence, or corroborative testimony, the date of our Lord's second advent, and of the establishment of his Kingdom in the earth; and also to mark the various stages and means of its establishment, during the harvest period.

In order that we may realize the force of these various lines of prophecy in their bearing on these central truths, let us draw them to a focus, and note how these rays of testimony unitedly and harmoniously blend, clearly revealing the blessed fact, not that the Lord is coming, nor that he will soon come, but that he has come; that he is now present, a spiritual king, establishing a spiritual empire, in the harvest or end of the Gospel age, which laps upon the now dawning Millennial age. We have seen that there are to come "Times of Restitution of all things" - "Times of Refreshing" (Acts 3:19); we have seen also that the Lord Jehovah "hath appointed a day [the Millennial age] in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained, whereof he has given assurance into all men, in that he has raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31); we have seen that the Gospel age has been the trial time or judgment day of the Church, and that it ends with a harvesting, and the glorification of those who are to live and reign with Christ a thousand years - during the world's judgment day, the Times of Restitution; and we have also seen that the kingdoms of this world, under the prince of this world, Satan, must give place to the Kingdom of God, under the King of glory. All of these great events must tarry until the second advent of our Lord, the King, Bridegroom and Reaper, whose presence and work are to accomplish them, as foretold.

The typical Jubilee cycles pointed out A.D. 1874 as the date of our Lord's return; and yet the date was therein so ingeniously hidden, as to make its discovery impossible until the "Time of the End." And this testimony was made doubly strong by proofs from two standpoints - the Law and the Prophets - the two being entirely independent of each other, and yet equally clear and convincing.

The wonderful parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel dispensations taught us the same truth with additional features. The second advent of our Lord in the end or harvest of the Gospel age, occurring in the fall of 1874, proves to be at a point of time exactly parallel to the time of his first advent, in the end of the Jewish age. (See Table of Correspondencies, Vol. II, pages 246 and 247.) As every prominent feature of the Gospel dispensation is marked by a corresponding parallel in that typical dispensation, so we find that this most noteworthy event taught by the jubilee has its corresponding parallel. Our Lord's presence as Bridegroom, Reaper and King is shown in both dispensations. Even the movement on the part of the virgins going forth to meet him, their disappointment and the tarrying time of thirty years find their parallel both in time and circumstances. And the parallelism continues to the full end of the harvest of this dispensation - until the overthrow of the professedly Christian kingdoms, really "kingdoms of this world," and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth after 1914, the terminus of the Times of the Gentiles. (See Vol. II, chapter iv.) This coming trouble and overthrow, we have seen, had its parallel in the destruction of Jerusalem and the complete overthrow of the Jewish polity, A.D. 70 - another parallel, corresponding in both time and circumstances.

Again, we have found the second advent of our Lord indicated by the prophet Daniel (12:1), yet in such a manner as to be under cover until the events foretold to precede it had transpired and passed into history, when we were led to see that the one veiled under the name Michael is indeed that which the name indicates - God's representative - "The Great Prince." Yes, we recognize him: "The Prince of the Covenant," the "Mighty God [ruler]," the "Everlasting Father [life-giver]" (Dan. 11:22; Isa. 9:6), who is to "stand up" with power and authority, to accomplish the great restitution of all things, and to offer everlasting life to the dead and dying millions of mankind, redeemed by his own precious blood. And, having traced the 1335 days of Dan. xii, down to their ending at this same date, we can now understand why the angel who thus pointed out the date referred to it in such exultant terms - "Oh, the blessedness of him that waits [who is in a waiting or watching attitude] and comes to the thousand, three hundred, five and thirty days!" - A.D. 1874. * And in our reckoning of the symbolic times here given, let it not be overlooked that we used the key furnished us by the manner in which the first advent was indicated - a symbolic day representing a literal year. Thus we found the time of our Lord's second advent clearly proven to be 1874 - in October of that year, as shown in Vol. II, chap. vi.

  • The year as reckoned by the Jews begins in October; hence October 1874 was really the beginning of 1875.

But this is not all. Certain reasonable obstacles to faith in Christ's presence might yet appear to the minds of even careful students, and we wish to see these all removed. For instance, it might reasonably be inquired, How is it that the exact Bible Chronology points to October 1872 as the beginning of the seventh thousand years, or Millennium, while the Jubilee Cycles show October 1874 to be the date of our Lord's return and the beginning of restitution times?

This apparent inharmony of the date of the second advent with the beginning of the seventh thousand years seemed at first sight to indicate "a screw loose" somewhere in the chronological reckoning, and led to careful re-examination of the subject, but always with the same result. Closer thought, however, proves that God is an exact timekeeper, and that this point is no exception to his mathematical precision. It will be remembered that the reckoning of chronology began with the creation of Adam, and that some time was spent by Adam and Eve before sin entered. Just how long we are not informed, but two years would not be an improbable estimate. Before the creation of Eve, Adam was permitted to live long enough to realize his lack of a companion (Gen. 2:20); he had become acquainted with and had named all the animals; he had become acquainted with the various trees and plants of Eden. Then followed the creation of Eve; and some time must have elapsed in the enjoyment of their delightful surroundings, before the blight of sin entered.

Recalling all these circumstances, we can scarcely imagine that a shorter time than two years elapsed in that sinless condition; and the interval between the close of the six thousand years and the beginning of the times of Restitution leads to the inference that the interval between the creation of Adam and the entrance of sin, during which God's Kingdom was in the world, represented in Adam, is not counted as part of the six days of evil. The six thousand years in which God has permitted evil to dominate the world, prior to the beginning of the great seventh or sabbatic thousand, or Times of Restitution, dates from the entrance of sin into the world. And since the Times of Restitution began with October 1874, that must be the end of the six thousand years reign of Sin; and the difference between that and the date shown in the chronology from Adam's creation represents the period of sinlessness in Eden, which really belongs to the reign of righteousness.

Again, what might at first thought have appeared a discrepancy - that the Lord would be present in the close of 1874, and yet that Gentile Times would not end until 1914 - is found, on the contrary, to be in fullest harmony with the unfoldings of God's plan for the campaign of the Battle of the Great Day, and exactly as foretold by Daniel (2:44), who declared, "In the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, and it shall break in pieces and consume all these." It must, therefore, be just as we have found it: our Lord must be present, must test the living members of his Church, must exalt them, glorify them and associate them with himself in the power and authority to be exercised during the Millennium (Rev. 5:10; 20:6), and must put in motion those instrumentalities and agencies which (though unconscious of it themselves) will carry out his orders - thus doing their share in the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" - undermining and finally overthrowing all the present "Christian Nations," so-called. The "kingdoms of this world," even while being crushed by the Kingdom of God, will be quite ignorant of the real cause of their downfall - until, in the close of this "day of wrath," the eyes of their understanding shall open, so that they will see that a new dispensation has dawned, and learn that Immanuel has taken to himself his great power, and has begun his glorious and righteous reign.

While the time prophecies thus point to and harmonize with 1874 as the date of our Lord's second presence, assuring us of the fact with mathematical precision, we find ourselves overwhelmed with evidence of another character; for certain peculiar signs, foretold by the Lord and the apostles and prophets, which were to precede his coming, are now clearly recognized as actually fulfilled. We see that the promised Elias has indeed come; that his teachings have been rejected, just as predicted; and that therefore the great time of trouble must follow. The predicted Man of Sin, the Antichrist, has also made his appearance, and accomplished his long and terrible reign; and at the exact "time appointed" (1799) his dominion was taken away. The cleansing of the sanctuary was also accomplished as predicted, and at a time sufficiently in advance of 1874 to make ready "a people prepared for the Lord" - a people in devout expectancy of his coming - just as a similar work prior to the first advent made ready a people to receive him then.

We find that the date 1874 is also in harmony with the prophecy of Daniel (12:1), which fixes the advent of "Michael" in the "Time of the End" - that is, somewhere between 1799 and 1914 - and as the cause and precursor of the great time of trouble. When seventy-five years of this "Day of Preparation" had developed the proper conditions for the beginning of his great work, then the Master stepped upon the scene - quietly, "without outward show" - "in like manner" as he went away. And the remaining forty years of this "Day of Preparation," sixteen of which are already in the past, will accomplish the setting up or establishment of his Kingdom in power and great glory.

The focus of time prophecy upon the harvest and matters connected with the Lord's presence and the establishment of the Kingdom, will be impressed upon the mind by a careful study of the accompanying diagrams, one of which shows the parallels or correspondencies between the Gospel age and its type, the Jewish age, and how the various prominent features in this harvest are marked by the great prophecies, while the other concisely shows the history of the world as related to that of God's typical and real churches (Jewish and Gospel), and points out the prophetic measures relating to them.

Thus all the rays of prophecy converge upon this "Time of the End," the focal point of which is the "Harvest" - the time of our Lord's presence and the establishment of his long promised Kingdom. And when we consider the great importance of these events, the stupendous dispensational changes which they introduce, and the amount and character of the prophetic testimony which marks them; and when we see how carefully we have been instructed as to the manner of his manifestation, so that no stumbling block to our faith should stand in the way of our recognition of his presence, our hearts rejoice with joy unspeakable. Fully tenfold greater testimony is now given to the fact of his second presence than was granted to the early disciples at the first advent, though that was quite sufficient then for the "Israelite indeed," who waited for the consolation of Israel.

THE SCROLL OF CHURCH HISTORY

as Related to National History and Prophecy

"BOTH THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL"

- Time Parallels -

For nearly two thousand years, the suffering, persecuted, self-sacrificing, consecrated ones have anxiously waited for the Master's coming. Faithful Pauls, ardent Peters, loving Johns, devoted Stephens, gentle Marys and tender and generous Marthas, a long line of brave confessors of the truth at the risk of torture and death, and suffering martyrs, and some of the faithful fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters in Israel who humbly walked with God in less stormy times, neither ashamed nor afraid to confess Christ and to bear his reproach, nor to be the companions of those who were reproached for his truth's sake (Heb. 10:33) - these, after fighting the good fight of faith, laid down their armor to await their promised reward at the Master's appearing. 2 Tim. 4:8

And now he has come! The Lord is indeed present! And the time is at hand for the setting up of his Kingdom, and the exaltation and glorification of his faithful bride. The days of waiting for his presence are now in the past, and the blessedness of the waiting ones, long foretold, is ours. To the eye of faith he is now revealed by the prophetic lamp (2 Pet. 1:19); and, ere the harvest is fully ended, * faith, and the present joys of faith, will give place to the rapturous joys of the full fruition of our hopes, when those counted worthy will all have been made like him, and will see him as he is, face to face.

  • The "end" of the harvest will probably include the burning of the tares.

As shown in the parable illustrating it (Matt. 25:14-30), the first thing done by the Lord on his return is to call his servants and reckon with them. In reckoning with the servants who had made faithful use of their talents, seeking to know and to do his will, the parable shows that each one, as soon as examined, tested, is caused to "enter into the joys of his Lord," before he receives the dominion promised. Now we see that parable fulfilling, and that before our share in the reign begins. Even before the enemies are conquered, each faithful one is permitted to get a clear view of the coming Kingdom and glory and of the great work of the dawning Millennial day; and this view of the great restitution shortly to be accomplished for all mankind, through the instrumentality of Christ and his glorified Church, is the joy of the Lord in which they are permitted to participate.

While we thus stand, as it were on Pisgah's heights, and view the grand prospect just before us, our hearts rejoice in the Lord's great plan, with an unspeakable joy; and though we realize that the Church is still in the wilderness of her humiliation, and that the hour of her actual triumph has not yet fully come, yet, seeing the indications of its rapid approach, and by faith already discerning the Bridegroom's presence, we lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing that our redemption draws nigh. Oh, what fullness of blessing and cause for joy and thanksgiving this truth contains! Truly, the Lord has put a new song into our mouths. It is the grand anthem, the first note of which was sung by the angelic choir, at the birth of the infant Jesus - "Behold, I bring you good tidings, of GREAT JOY, which shall be into all people." Thank God, its harmonious strains will ere long fill heaven and earth with eternal melody, as the blessed work of salvation - restitution - which he comes to accomplish progresses toward its glorious culmination.

"Joy to the world! the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing.

"He'll rule the world with truth and grace,

And make the nations prove

The strictness of his righteousness,

And wonders of his love."

STUDY VI THE WORK OF HARVEST Edit

Character of the Harvest Work - Gathering the Wheat - Bundling and Binding and Burning the Tares - Their Origin and Prolific Growth - Consumed Like the Chaff of the Jewish Harvest - Time Correspondencies Noted - The Casting off, Gradual Fall and Final Destruction of Babylon - The Sealing of the Servants of God Before the Plagues Come upon Babylon - Judgment or Trial, Both as Systems and Individually - The Test of the Jewish System Typical - The Testing and Sifting of the Wheat - The Wise, Separated from the Foolish Virgins, Go in to the Feast - "And the Door was Shut" - A Further Inspection, and the Casting Out of Some - Why? and How? - The Close of the "High Calling" - The Time is Short - "Let no Man Take Thy Crown" - Eleventh Hour Servants and Overcomers.

"HARVEST" is a term which gives a general idea as to what work should be expected to transpire between the dates 1874 and 1914. It is a time of reaping rather than of sowing, a time of testing, of reckoning, of settlement and of rewarding. The harvest of the Jewish age being a type of the harvest of this age, observation and comparison of the various features of that harvest afford very clear ideas concerning the work to be accomplished in the present harvest. In that harvest, our Lord's special teachings were such as to gather the wheat, who were such already, and to separate the chaff of the Jewish nation from the wheat. And his doctrines became also the seeds for the new dispensation, which opened (shortly after the nation of Israel was cast off) at Pentecost.

Our Lord's words to his disciples as he sent them forth, during his ministry to that church-nation, should be carefully remembered, as giving proof that their special work then was reaping, and not sowing. He said to them, "Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest: and he that reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit into life eternal." (John 4:35,36) As the chief reaper in that harvest (as he also is in this one), the Lord said to the under-reapers, "I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men [the patriarchs and prophets and other holy men of old] labored, and ye are entered into their labors" - to reap the fruits of those centuries of effort, and to test that people by the message, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand," and the King is present - "Behold, thy King comes into thee." Matt. 10:7; John 12:15; Zech. 9:9

In the Jewish harvest, the Lord, rather than to make goats into sheep, sought the blinded and scattered sheep of Israel, calling for all who already were his sheep, that they might hear his voice and follow him. These observations of the type furnish an intimation of the character of the work due in the present harvest or reaping time. Another and a larger sowing, under the more favorable conditions of the Millennial age and Kingdom, will soon be commenced: indeed, the seeds of truth concerning restitution, etc., which will produce that coming crop, are even now being dropped here and there into longing, truth-hungry hearts. But this is only an incidental work now; for, like its Jewish type, the present harvest is a time for reaping the professed church (so-called Christendom), that the true saints gathered out of it may be exalted and associated with their Lord, not only to preach the truth, but also to put into operation the great work of restitution for the world.

In this harvest, wheat and tares are to be separated; yet both of these classes, previous to the separation, compose the nominal church. The wheat are the true children of the Kingdom, the truly consecrated, the heirs, while the tares are nominally, but not really, Christ's Church or prospective bride. The tares are the class mentioned by our Lord, who call him Lord, but who do not obey him. (Luke 6:46) In outward appearance, the two classes are often so much alike as to require close scrutiny to distinguish between them. "The field is the world," in the parable, and the wheat and tares together (the tares more numerous) constitute what is sometimes called "The Christian World," and "Christendom." By attending religious services occasionally or regularly, by calling themselves Christians, by following certain rites and ceremonies, and by being identified more or less directly with some religious system, the tares look like, and sometimes pass for, God's heart-consecrated children. In so-called "Christian lands," all except professed Infidels and Jews are thus counted Christians; and their numbers (including the few fully consecrated ones - the saints) are estimated at about one hundred and eighty millions of Greek and Roman Catholics, and about one hundred and twenty millions of Protestants.

During the Gospel age, our Lord's instructions have been not to attempt a separation of the true from the imitation children of the Kingdom; because to accomplish a complete separation would occasion the general turning of the world (the field) upside down - a general unsettlement of the wheat, as well as of the tares. He therefore said, "Let both grow together until the harvest." But he added, "In the time of harvest I will say into the reapers [angels, messengers], Gather ye together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13:30) Hence, in the time of harvest we must expect a general separating work, hitherto prohibited. While those symbolized by the wheat are ever encouraged to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ made them free, and to avoid entangling alliances with open transgressors and with wolves in sheep's clothing, yet they were not to attempt to draw the line between the fully consecrated class (the wheat, the saints), and the tares who profess Christ's name and doctrines, and who to some extent allow these doctrines to influence their outward conduct, but whose heart desires are far from the Lord and his service. This judging of hearts, motives, etc., which is beyond our power, and which the Lord commanded us to entirely avoid, is the very thing which the various sects have all along endeavored to accomplish; attempting to separate, to test the wheat, and to keep out as tares or heretics, by rigorous creeds of human manufacture, all professors of Christianity whose faith did not exactly fit their various false measurements. Yet how unsuccessful all these sects have been! They have set up false, unscriptural standards and doctrines, which have really developed many tares and choked and separated the wheat; for instance, the doctrine of the everlasting torment of all not members of the Church. Though now becoming greatly modified, under the increasing light of our day, what a multitude of tares this error has produced, and how it has choked and blinded and hindered the wheat from a proper recognition of God's character and plan. Today we see what a mistake the various sects have made in not following the Lord's counsel, to let wheat and tares, saints and professors, grow together, without attempting a separation. Honest men in every sect will admit that in their sects are many tares, professors not saints, and that outside their sectarian bars are many saints. Thus, no sect today either can or does claim to be all wheat, and free from tares. Much less would any earthly organization (except Christadelphians and Mormons) be bold enough to claim that it contained all of the wheat. Hence, they are without any excuse for their organizations, theological fences, etc. They do not separate wheat from tares, nor can anything completely and thoroughly accomplish this separation of hearts except the method which the Lord has ordained shall be put into execution in the time of harvest. This shows the necessity for knowing when the time is at hand and the harvest work of separating is due to begin. And our Lord, true to his promise, has not left us in darkness, but is giving the information now due, to all whose hearts are ready for it. "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness [nor sleep] that that day should overtake you as a thief." 1 Thess. 5:4

The truth now due is the sickle in this harvest, just as a similar sickle was used in the Jewish harvest. The reapers, the angels * or messengers, now, are the Lord's followers, just as a similar class were the reapers in the Jewish harvest. And though others, throughout the age, were told not to attempt the separation of the wheat from the tares, yet those now ready, worthy and obedient will be shown the Lord's plan and arrangement so clearly that they will recognize his voice in the time of harvest, saying, "Thrust in the sickle" of present truth, and "gather my saints together into me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." "They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." Psa. 50:5; Mal. 3:17

  • The word "angel" signifies messenger.

Not only is this the time for the gathering of the saints by the truth (into oneness with their Lord and each other, and out of fellowship with mere professors, tares), but it is also a time for cleaning up the field by consuming the tares, stubble, weeds, etc., preparatory to the new sowing. In one sense the "wheat" is gathered out from among the tares - because of the greater abundance of tares - as when the Lord says, "Come out of her, my people." Yet, in another sense, the separation is properly represented by the tares being gathered from the wheat. Really, the wheat has the place by right; it is a wheat-field, not a tare-field (the world of mankind being counted the ground out of which the wheat and also the tares grow or develop); so it is the tares that are out of place and need to be removed. The Lord started the wheat-field, and the wheat represents the children of the Kingdom. (Matt. 13:38) And since the field or world is to be given to these, and already belongs to them by promise, the parable shows that really it is the tares that are gathered out and burned, leaving the field, and all in it, to the wheat. The tares are returned to the ground (world) whence they came, and the first-fruits of the wheat are to be gathered into the garner, so that the earth may bring forth another crop.

The wheat was not to be bundled: the grains were originally planted separate and independent, to associate only as one kind, under similar conditions. But the parable declares that one of the effects of the harvest will be to gather and bind the tares in bundles before the "burning" or "time of trouble." And this work is in progress all around us. Never was there a time like it for Labor Unions, Capitalistic Trusts and protective associations of every sort.

The civilized world is the "field" of the parable. In it, during the Reformation, the winds of doctrinal strife, from one quarter and another, threw wheat and tares together into great batches (denominations), inclining some in one direction (doctrinally), and some in another. This huddled wheat and tares closely together, and took away much of the individuality of all. The doctrinal storms are long past, but the divisions continue from force of habit, and only here and there has a head of wheat attempted to lift itself to uprightness from the weight of the mass.

But with the harvest time comes the release of the wheat from the weight and hindrance of the tares. The sickle of truth prepares this class for the freedom wherewith Christ originally made all free, though the same sickle has an opposite influence upon the tares. The spirit of the tares is toward sectarian greatness and show, rather than toward individual obedience and allegiance to God. Hence, present truths, the tendency of which they at once discover to be to condemn all sectarianism, and to test each individual, they reject and strongly oppose. And, though disposed to unite with each other, all the sects unite in opposing the disintegrating tendencies of present truth, to such an extent as to draw the cords slowly, cautiously, yet tightly upon all individual thought and study on religious subjects, lest their organizations should fall to pieces and, all the wheat escaping, leave nothing but tares.

Each of the tare class seems aware that, if examined individually, he would have no claim to the Kingdom promised to the close followers of the Lamb. The tares would prefer to have the various sects judged as so many corporations, and in comparison one with another, hoping thus to glide into the Kingdom glory on the merits of the wheat with whom they are associated. But this they cannot do: the test of worthiness for the Kingdom honors will be an individual one - of individual fidelity to God and his truth - and not a trial of sects, to see which of them is the true one. And each sect seems to realize, in the greater light of today, which is scattering the mists of bigotry and superstition, that other sects have as good (and as little) right as itself to claim to be the one and only true church. Forced to admit this, they seek to bind all by the impression that it is essential to salvation to be joined to some one of their sects - it matters little to which one. Thus they combine the idea of individual responsibility with sectarian bondage.

As an illustration of a popular cord recently drawn tightly by sectarianism upon its votaries, we cite the seemingly harmless, and, to many, seemingly advantageous, International Sunday School Lessons. These lend the impression of unsectarian cooperation in Bible study, among all Christians. They thus appear to be taking a grand step away from, and in advance of, the old methods of studying with sectarian catechisms. These uniform lessons have the appearance of being an abandonment of sectarianism and a coming together of all Christians to study the Bible in its own light - a thing which all recognize to be the only proper course, but which all sectarians refuse to do actually; for, be it noticed, these International S. S. Lessons only appear to be unsectarian: they only appear to grant liberty in Bible study. Really, each denomination prepares its own comments on the scriptures contained in the lessons. And the committee which selects these lessons, aiming for the outward appearance of harmony and union, selects such passages of scripture as there is little difference of opinion upon. The passages and doctrines upon which they disagree, the very ones which need most to be discussed, in order that the truths and errors of each sect may be manifested, that a real union might be arrived at upon the basis of "one Lord, one faith and one baptism" - these are ignored in the lessons, but still firmly held as before by each sect.

The effect of these and other similar "union" methods is to make Protestantism more imposing in appearance, and to say to the people in fact, if not in words: You must join one of these sects, or you are not a child of God at all. Really, it is not a union as one church, but a combination of separate and distinct organizations, each as anxious as ever to retain its own organization as a sect or bundle, but each willing to combine with others to make a larger and more imposing appearance before the world. It is like the piling of sheaves together in a shock. Each sheaf retains its own bondage or organization, and becomes bound yet more tightly by being wedged and fastened in with other bundles, in a large and imposing stack.

The International Lesson system, in connection with modern methods of "running" Sunday Schools, greatly aids sectarianism, and hinders real growth in the knowledge of the truth, in yet another way. So general a lesson is presented in connection with the "exercises" of the school, that there is scarcely time to consider the guarded, printed questions, with prepared answers; and no time is left for the truth-hungry Bible student, or the occasional earnest teacher, to bring out other questions of greater importance, containing food for thought and profitable discussion. Formerly, Bible classes met to study such portions of the Bible as they chose, and were hindered from obtaining truth by the bondage of their own prejudice and superstition only, and the earnest, truth-hungry ones were always able to make some progress. But now, when increasing light is illuminating every subject and dispelling the fogs of superstition and prejudice, it is hindered from shining upon the Bible class student by the very International Lessons which claim to aid him. His time for Bible study is skillfully directed, so that he may get no new ideas, but be so continually occupied in the use of the "milk of the word" (greatly diluted with the traditions of men), as to take away all appetite for the "strong meat" of more advanced truth. (Heb. 5:14) In such classes, all time and opportunity for tasting and learning to appreciate "meat" is sacrificed, in obedience to the words, "We must stick to our lesson; for the hour will soon expire." Well has the prophet, as well as the apostle, declared that, to appreciate the great doctrines of God, so essential to our growth in grace and in the knowledge and love of God, we must leave the first principles and go on into perfection - "weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." Heb. 6:1; Isa. 28:9

While Sunday School methods have recently been considerably improved, they still leave much to be desired. They contain some of the best of the Lord's people - who, anxious to serve the Master, are more or less bewildered by the show of numbers and appearance of "work for the Lord." Some good is accomplished, we admit, but it has its offsets. The earnest are hindered from personal duty and progress, in the doing of that which God committed to the parents, the neglect of which is an injury to the parents as well as to the children. The immature find the brief session and "exercises" more agreeable than Bible study. They are let to feel that they have performed a duty; and the sacrifice of the few moments is repaid by the social gossip and interchange which it affords. The little ones, too, like the "exercises," the singing, story-books, picnics, treats and general entertainment, best; and they and their mothers feel well repaid for the labor of dressing, by the opportunity thus afforded for showing their fine clothing. And the parental responsibility of religious home-training is very largely resigned in favor of the sham and machinery of the Sunday School. The Sunday School has been well named the nursery of the church and the little ones thus brought up in the nurture and admonition of the worldly spirit are the young shoots of that abundant crop of tares with which great Babylon is completely overrun.

Wherever, here and there, an adult Bible class does exist, and the teacher is candid and independent enough to leave the prescribed lesson, and follow up more important topics, giving liberty for the truth to be brought forward, whether favorable or unfavorable to the creed of the sect, he is marked by the worldly-wise pastor or superintendent as an unsafe teacher. Such teachers are indeed dangerous to sectarianism, and are very soon without classes. Such teachers, and the truths they would admit to candid investigation, would soon cut the cords and scatter the sectarian bundles, and hence are not long wanted. Others are therefore preferred, who can hold the thoughts of their classes, divert them from "strong meat," and keep them unweaned babes, too weak to stand alone, and bound to the systems which they learn to love, and believe they would die without. The true teacher's place, and the true Bible student's place, is outside of all human bondage, free to examine and feed upon all portions of the good Word of God, and untrammeled to follow the Lamb whithersoever he leads. John 8:36; Gal. 5:1

While individual liberty must outwardly be recognized as never before, we see that really there never was a time when the bands were so thoroughly drawn, to bind all wheat and tares into the many bundles. There never was a time when arrangements were so close, and so restraining of all personal liberties, as now. Every spare hour of a zealous sectarian is filled by some of the many meetings or projects, so that no time for untrammeled thought and Bible study can be had. The principal design of these meetings, entertainments, etc., is sectarian growth and strength; and the effect is the bondage mentioned, so detrimental to the real development of the consecrated children of God, the wheat. These bands are being made stronger, as the prophet intimates. (Isa. 28:22) Some wheat and many tares constitute these bundles, from which it daily becomes more difficult to get free.

From what we have seen of the small quantity of truly consecrated wheat, and the great mass of "baptized profession" (as a Methodist bishop has forcibly described the tare class), it is evident that the burning of the tares will be a momentous event. It is a mistake, however, which many make, to suppose that the burning of the tares in a furnace of fire, where there shall be wailing and gnashing of testh (Matt. 13:42), refers either to a literal fire, or to trouble beyond the present life. The entire parable belongs to the present age. Not only is this fire a symbol, as well as the wheat and the tares, but it symbolizes the destruction of the tares, in the great time of trouble with which this age is to close, and from which the wheat class is promised an escape. (Mal. 3:17; Luke 21:36) The great furnace of fire symbolizes the "great time of trouble" coming, in the close of this harvest, upon the unworthy tare class of "Christendom."

Nor does the destruction of the tares imply the destruction, either present or future, of all the individuals composing the tare class. It signifies rather a destruction of the false pretentions of this class. Their claim or profession is that they are Christians, whereas they are still children of this world. When burned or destroyed as tares, they will be recognized in their true character - as members of the world, and will no longer imitate Christians, as nominal members of Christ's Church.

Our Lord explains that he sowed the good seed of the Kingdom, the truth, from which springs all the true wheat class, begotten by the spirit of truth. Afterward, during the night, the dark ages, Satan sowed tares. Doubtless the tares were sown in the same manner as the wheat. They are the offspring of errors. We have seen how grievously the sanctuary and the host were defiled by the great adversary and his blinded servants, and how the precious vessels (doctrines) were profaned and misapplied by Papacy; and this is but another showing of the same thing. False doctrines begat false aims and ambitions in the Lord's wheat-field, and led many to Satan's service, to sow errors of doctrine and practice which have brought forth tares abundantly.

The field looks beautiful and flourishing to many, as they count by the hundreds of millions. But really the proportion of wheat is very small, and it had been far better for the wheat, which has been choked and greatly hindered from development by the tares, if the worldly-spirited tares had not been in the Church, but in their own place in the world, leaving the consecrated "little flock," the only representatives of Christ's spirit and doctrine, in the field. Then the difference between the Church and the world would be very marked, and her growth, though apparently less rapid, would have been healthy. The great seeming success manifested by numbers and wealth and social standing, in which many glory so much, is really a great injury, and in no sense a blessing, either to the Church or to the world.

As we examine this subject, we find that many of these tares are little to blame for their false position as imitation wheat. Nor do many of them know that the tares are not the real Church; for they regard the little flock of consecrated wheat as extremists and fanatics. And, when compared with the tare multitude, the Lord and the apostles and all the wheat certainly do appear to be extremists and fanatics, if the majority, the tares, be in the right.

The tares have been so thoroughly and so often assured that they are Christians - that all are Christians except Jews, infidels and heathens - that they could scarcely be expected to know to the contrary. False doctrines assure them that there are but two classes, and that all who escape everlasting torment are to be joint-heirs with Christ. Every funeral discourse, except in the case of the miserably degraded and the openly wicked and immoral, assures the friends of the peace and joy and heavenly glory of the deceased; and, to prove it, passages of scripture are quoted, which, from the context, should be seen to apply only to the fully consecrated, the saints.

Naturally inclined to reprove themselves, to conscientiously deny that they are saints, and to disclaim the rich promises of the Scriptures to such, they are persuaded to claim them, by their no better informed fellow-tares, both in pulpits and pews. They conscientiously feel - indeed they are certain - that they have done nothing which would justly merit everlasting torture; and their faith in the false doctrines of "Christendom" leads them to hope, and to claim, that they and all moral people are members of the Church to which all the rich promises belong. Thus they are tares by force of false doctrines, and not only occupy a false position themselves, but misrepresent the truly high standard of saintship. Under the delusion of the error, they feel a sense of security and satisfaction; for, measuring themselves and their lives with those of the majority in the nominal church, and with their deceased friends to whose funeral eulogies they have listened, they find themselves at least average - and even more consistent than many of loud profession. Yet they are conscious that they have never made any real consecration of heart and life, time and means, talents and opportunities, to God and his service.

But as the "chaff" class of the Jewish nation was consumed in the close of that harvest (Luke 3:17), so this "tare" class will be consumed in this harvest. As the chaff ceased from all pretention to divine favor as the triumphing Kingdom of God, before that harvest closed in the great fire of religious and political contention, which consumed that system, so it shall be with the tare class of so-called "Christendom." They will be consumed; they will cease to be tares; they will cease to deceive either themselves or others; they will cease to apply to themselves the exceeding great and precious promises which belong only to the overcoming saints; and, when their various so-called Christian kingdoms, and their various religious organizations, rent by discords induced by the increasing light of truth, will be consumed in the fire already kindled, "the fire of God's zeal" (the great time of trouble with which this age will end - Zeph. 3:8), they will cease to claim for their worldly systems the name "Christendom."

After telling of the burning of the tares, the parable further declares, "Then shall the righteous [the wheat] shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." [What better testimony than this could we have, that the true Church is not yet set up in power, as God's Kingdom, and that it will not be thus exalted until this harvest is ended?] Then shall this sun of righteousness (of which Christ Jesus will always be the central glory) arise with healing in his beams, to bless, restore, purify and disinfect from sin and error the whole world of mankind; the incorrigible being destroyed in the second death.

Let the fact be remembered that, in the typical Jewish harvest, Israelites indeed, as well as imitation Israelites, constituted the Jewish or Fleshly House of Israel; that only the true Israelites were selected and gathered into the gospel garner, and honored with the truths belonging to the Gospel age; and that all others of that nation ("chaff") were not physically destroyed (though of course many lives were lost in their trouble), but were cut off from all Kingdom favors in which previously they trusted and boasted. Then trace the parallel and counterpart of this, in the treatment of the "tares" in the present burning time.

Not only has the Lord shown us what to expect in this "harvest," and our share in it, both in being separated ourselves and, as "reapers," in using the sickle of truth to assist others to liberty in Christ and separation from false human systems and bondages, but in order to render us doubly sure that we are right, and that the separating time of the harvest has arrived, he provided us proofs of the very year the harvest work began, its length, and when it will close. These, already examined, show that the close of 1874 marked the beginning, as the close of 1914 will mark the end, of this 40 years of harvest; while all the minutiae of the order and work of this harvest were portrayed in that of the Jewish age, its type. Some of the marked time-features of that typical harvest we will now examine, and note the lessons which they teach, which are applicable now, and which our Lord evidently designed for this purpose, so that we might not be in either doubt or uncertainty, but might know of his plan, and be able to act accordingly, with strength, as cooperators with him in carrying out his revealed will.

All the time-features connected with the Jewish harvest (though they sometimes indirectly related to the faithful), had their direct bearing upon the great nominal mass, and marked periods of its trial, rejection, overthrow and destruction as a system or church-nation. Thus the Lord, as the Bridegroom and reaper, came (A.D. 29) not to the true Israelites only, but to the entire mass. (John 1:11) The progress of the harvest work there disclosed the fact that the grains of ripe wheat fit for the garner (the Gospel dispensation) were few, and that the great mass was wheat merely in appearance - in reality only "chaff," devoid of the real wheat principle within. When, three and a half years later (A.D. 33), our Lord assumed the office of King, and permitted (what before he had refused - John 6:15) that the people should mount him upon an ass and hail him King, it marked a point in this antitypical, Gospel harvest more important far than that of the type. The parallel to this, as we have seen, points to 1874 as the time of our Lord's second presence as Bridegroom and Reaper, and to April 1878 as the time when he began to exercise his office of King of kings and Lord of lords in very deed - this time a spiritual King, present with all power, though invisible to men.

The doings of our Lord, while there for a few hours typically acting as King of Israel, are deeply significant to us, as unquestionably indicating, and shadowing forth, what must be expected here. What men saw him do at that time, such as riding on an ass into Jerusalem as king, and scourging the money-changers out of the temple, we recognize as typical - as done here on a larger scale, though the King, and the scourge of cords, and the proclamation of kingly authority, are now manifested in a very different way, and to the eye of faith only. But the Jewish type serves to call attention to this fulfilment, which otherwise we would not be able to appreciate. The first work of the typical King was to reject the entire church-nation of Israel as unworthy to be his Kingdom, or longer to be treated as his special heritage. This was expressed thus: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent into thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left into you desolate!" Matt. 23:37-39

This, when applied to the present harvest, teaches that as in A.D. 33 typical Israel, after being recognized as God's people for 1845 years by favors, chastisements, etc., was cast off, rejected by the King, because found unworthy, after a trial and inspection of three and a half years, so in the present harvest, after a similar three and a half years of inspection, and at the close of a similar period of 1845 years of favor and chastisement, nominal Christendom would be rejected by the King as unworthy longer to receive any favors from him, or to be recognized in any manner by him.

But, as the rejection of nominal Fleshly Israel did not imply the rejection, individually, of any "Israelite indeed," in whom was no guile, but rather a still greater favor to such (who were set free from the "blind guides," and taught more directly and perfectly through new spiritual channels - the apostles), so here we must expect the same. The spiritual favors, formerly bestowed upon the nominal mass, belong henceforth only to the faithful and obedient. Henceforth the light, as it becomes due, and "the meat in due season for the household of faith," must be expected, not through former channels, in any degree, but through faithful individuals outside of the fallen, rejected systems.

During his ministry, and up to the time when, as King, he cast off the Jewish system, our Lord recognized the scribes and Pharisees as the legitimate instructors of the people, even though he often upbraided them as hypocrites who deceived the people. This is evident from the Lord's words (Matt. 23:2) - "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; whatsoever therefore they bid you do, that observe and do." So, likewise, for a time the great religious rulers of nominal Christendom in Synods, Conferences, Councils, etc., measurably sat in Christ's seat as instructors of the people, as the Jewish Sanhedrin once occupied Moses' seat. But as, after A.D. 33, the scribes and Pharisees were no longer recognized by the Lord in any sense, and the true Israelites were no longer instructed by these, but by God himself, through other, humbler, untitled and more worthy instruments, who were raised up among the people and specially taught of God, so we must expect and do find it here, in this parallel harvest.

The taking of the kingly office by our Lord in A.D. 33, and his first official act in rejecting the national church of fleshly Israel, taken in connection with all the striking parallels of the two ages, indicate very clearly that at the parallel point of time in the present harvest, i.e., 1878, mystic Babylon, otherwise called Christendom, the antitype of Judaism, was cut off; and there went forth the message, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Rev. 18:2

The fall, plagues, destruction, etc., foretold to come upon mystic Babylon, were foreshadowed in the great trouble and national destruction which came upon fleshly Israel, and which ended with the complete overthrow of that nation in A.D. 70. And the period of falling also corresponds; for from the time our Lord said, "Your house is left into you desolate," A.D. 33, to A.D. 70 was 36 1/2 years; and so from A.D. 1878 to the end of A.D. 1914 is 36 1/2 years. And, with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy.

Judaism was a divinely appointed type of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ which will control and regulate all matters; hence Judaism was properly a union of church and state - of religious and civil government. But, as we have already shown, the Gospel Church was in no sense to be associated in, or to have anything to do with, the government of the world, until her Lord, the King of kings, comes, assumes control, and exalts her as his bride to share in that reign of righteousness. Neglecting the Lord's words, and following human wisdom, theories and plans, the great system called Christendom, embracing all governments and creeds professing to be Christ's (but a miserable counterfeit of the true Kingdom of Christ), was organized before the time, without the Lord, and of wholly unfit elements. The fall of Babylon as an unfit church-state system, and the gathering out of the worthy wheat, therefore, can be and is well illustrated by the fall of Judaism.

The name Babylon originally signified God's gateway; but afterward, in derision, it came to mean mixture or confusion. In the book of Revelation this name is applied specifically to the church nominal, which, from being the gate-way to glory, became a gate-way to error and confusion, a miserable mixture composed chiefly of tares, hypocrites - a confused mass of worldly profession in which the Lord's jewels are buried, and their true beauty and luster hidden. In symbolic prophecy, the term Babylon is applied at times only to the Church of Rome, called "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots." The name could apply only to her for centuries, so long as she was the only mixed system and would tolerate no others; but other ecclesiastical systems, not so great as the "mother," nor yet so wicked, nor so radically wrong, sprang up out of her, through various attempted though imperfect reforms. Errors, tares and worldliness in these also largely predominating, the name Babylon is used as a general or family name for all the nominal Christian systems, and now includes not only the Church of Rome, but all Protestant sects as well; for, since Papacy is designated the mother system, we must regard the various Protestant systems which descended from her as the daughters - a fact very generally admitted by Protestants, and sometimes with pride.

Previous to the harvest time, many of God's people in Great Babylon discovered her real predominant character to be grossly antichristian (notably the Waldenses, the Huguenots and the reformers of the sixteenth century); and, calling attention to the fact, they separated from the mother system and led others with them, many of whom were tares, as the prophet had predicted, saying, "Many shall cleave to them with flatteries." (Dan. 11:34) Here were the separatings of the politico-doctrinal storms before the harvest time. Among these the tares, still predominating, formed other, though less objectionable, Babylonish systems.

Thus the wheat, though from time to time endeavoring to free themselves from the incubus of the tares (and especially from the grosser errors which fostered and produced the tares), and though blessed by these efforts, were still under their influence, still mixed with large predominance of the tare element. But for the wheat's sake God's favor extended even to these mixed bunches or Babylonish systems; and not until God's time for effecting a complete and final separation - in the time of harvest, 1878 - were those systems completely and forever cast off from all favor, and sentenced to swift destruction, and all of God's people explicitly and imperatively called out of them. In the very beginning of the age, God's people were warned against the deceptions of Antichrist, and taught to keep separate from it; and yet, for their trial and testing, they were permitted to be in a measure deceived by it and more or less mixed up with it. Every awakening to a realization of unchristian principles, doctrines and doings, which led to reform measures, tested and proved the wheat class, and helped to purify them more and more from the pollutions of Antichrist. But this last testing and positive call, coupled with the utter rejection of those systems, no longer to receive divine favor (as they had formerly received it, for the sake of the wheat in them), is to effect the final separation of the wheat class from all antichristian systems and principles. What truths those systems formerly held are now fast being swept away from them, being displaced by theories of men, subversive of every element of divine truth; and vital godliness and piety are being rapidly displaced by the love of pleasure and the spirit of the world.

With the declaration that Babylon is fallen comes also the command to all of God's people still in her, to come out - "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4) The expression, "Babylon is fallen: Come out of her, my people," clearly marks two thoughts which should be distinctly remembered. It indicates that at one time Babylon was not fallen from divine favor; that for a time she retained a measure of favor, notwithstanding her mixed character; that, however large the proportion of error which she held, and however little of the spirit of Christ which she manifested, she was not entirely cast off from God's favor until the harvest time of separation. It indicates that at some time a sudden and utter rejection is to come upon Babylon, when all favor will forever cease, and when judgments will follow - just such a rejection as we have shown was due in 1878. It indicates, also, that at the time of Babylon's rejection many of God's people would be in and associated with Babylon; for it is after Babylon's rejection, or fall from favor, that these are called to - "Come out of her, my people."

The contrast between the many gradual reform movements of the past four hundred years and this final complete separation should be clearly discerned: they were permitted attempts to reform Babylon, while this recognizes her as beyond all hope of reform - "Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad [intoxicated with her errors]. Babylon is suddenly fallen and broken: wail for her; take balm for her wound, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country [to the true Church, or to the world, as the case may be, according as each is thus proved to be of the wheat or the tares]: for her punishment reachs into heaven." Jer. 51:7-9. Compare Rev. 17:4; 14:8; 18:2,3,5,19.

Unhealed Babylon is now sentenced to destruction: the whole system - a system of systems - is rejected, and all of God's people not in sympathy with her false doctrines and practices are now called to separate themselves from her. The prophet gives the reason for this sentence of rejection, and the failure of some to comprehend it, saying:

"The stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming home; but my people know not the arrangement of the Lord. [They do not recognize that a harvest time of full and complete separation of wheat, from chaff and tares, must come. In this they show less discernment than the migratory fowls.] How can ye say, We are wise, and the Law of the Lord is with us [when you cannot discern the harvest time and the change of dispensations then due]? Truly, behold in vain wrought the pen, in vain the writers [because the word of the Lord by his prophets and apostles is made void, and set aside without attention, and creeds formed in the past "dark ages" are the lightless lanterns of them that walk in darkness]. The wise (?) [learned] men are ashamed; they are disheartened [by the failure of their cherished human schemes] and caught: lo, the word of the Lord have they rejected, and what wisdom have they [now]? [Compare Isaiah 29:10.] Therefore will I give their wives [churches] into others, and their fields [of labor] to the conquerors; for, from the least even to the greatest, every one [of them] is seeking his own personal advantage - from the prophet [orator] even into the priest [minister], every one practices falsehood. [Compare Isa. 56:10-12; 28:14-20.] And they heal the sore of the daughter of my people [nominal Zion-Babylon] very lightly, saying, Peace, peace: when there is no peace [when her whole system is diseased, and needs thorough cleansing with the medicine of God's Word - the truth]. They should have been ashamed of their abominable work; but they neither felt the least shame, nor did they know how to blush: therefore shall they [the teachers] fall among them that fall; in the time of their visitation [or inspection - in the "harvest"] they shall stumble, saith the Lord. I will surely make an end of them, saith the Lord; there shall be left no grapes on the vine, and no figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall wither; and the things that I have given them [all divine favors and privileges] shall pass away from them." Jer. 8:7-13

The succeeding verse shows that many of the rejected will realize the troubles coming, yet will still be blind to their real cause. They will say, Let us unite ourselves and entrench ourselves in the strong cities [governments], and keep silence. They somehow realize that neither reason nor Scripture supports their false doctrines, and that the wisest method is to keep silent, in the shadow of old superstitions and under the protection of so-called Christian governments. They are here represented as saying very truly: "The Lord has put us to silence, and given us bitter poison-water to drink." The only refreshment they may have is the cup which they have mixed (the poison of bitter error, the "doctrine of devils," mingled with the pure water of life, the truth of God's Word). Shall not such as are of and who love Babylon, and who are therefore unready to obey the command, "Come out of her," be forced to drink the cup of their own mixing? Shall not such be forced to admit the falsity of their doctrines? They surely shall; and they will all be thoroughly nauseated by it. The next verse tells of the disappointment of their expectations, which were that their bitter (poison-water) doctrines would have converted the world and brought about the Millennium. They say, "We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!" - The disease of nominal Zion will grow rapidly worse from the time of her visitation and rejection, when the "Israelites indeed," obeying the divine call, begin to come out of the nominal systems.

Some wonder why the Lord does not institute a still greater reform than any of the past, which have proved so futile and short-lived. They ask, Why does he not pour out a blessing upon all the great sects and amalgamate them all into one, or else upon some one and purify it of dross, and draw all others into it? But, we ask, Why not also amalgamate all the kingdoms of earth into one, and purify it?

It should be sufficient for all of God's children to know that such is not what he reveals as his plan. And a little further reflection, from the standpoint of God's Word, shows us the unreasonableness of such a suggestion. Consider the number of the professed church (four hundred millions) and ask yourself, How many of these would themselves claim to be fully consecrated, mind and body, to the Lord and the service of his plan? Your own observation must lead you to the conclusion that to separate the "wheat" from the "tares," by removing the "tares," would in almost every instance leave but a small handful even in the largest church buildings or cathedrals.

The reason for not attempting to purify the nominal systems is that no amount of cleansing would make the unconsecrated mass of "Christendom" and their organizations, civil and ecclesiastical, suitable to the Lord's work, now to be commenced in the earth. During the past eighteen centuries he has been selecting the truly consecrated, the worthy ones, and now all that remains to be done is to select from among the living those of the same class - and they are but few - as only a few are lacking to complete the foreordained number of members in the body of Christ.

The reason for discarding all human organizations, and not reforming the least objectionable one and calling out of all others into it, now, is shown by our Lord's treatment of the various Jewish sects in the harvest or close of their dispensation; for then, as now, all were rejected, and the "Israelites indeed" were called out of all, into freedom, and taught the will and plan of God by various chosen vessels of God's own selection.

Illustrating this subject to the Jews, the Lord in two parables explained the wisdom of his course: first, that a patch of new cloth upon a very old garment would only make the weakness of the garment more noticeable, and from the inequality of strength the rent would be made greater; second, that new wine put into old wine-skins, out of which all the stretch and elasticity had gone, would be sure to damage, rather than benefit, for the result would be not only to speedily burst and destroy the old wine-skins, but also to lose the valuable new wine.

Our Lord's new doctrines were the new wine, while the Jewish sects were the old wine-skins. Suppose that our Lord had joined one of those sects and had begun a reform in it: what would have been the result? There can be no doubt that the new truths, if received, would have broken up that sect completely. The power of its organization, built largely upon sectarian pride, and cemented by errors, superstitions and human traditions, would forthwith have been destroyed, and the new doctrines would have been left stranded-hampered, too, by all the old errors and traditions of that sect, and held responsible for its past record by the world in general.

For the same reasons, the Lord here, in the present harvest, in introducing the fuller light of truth, at the dawn of the Millennial age, does not put it as a patch upon any of the old systems, nor as new wine into old skins. First, because none of them are in a fit condition to be patched, or to receive the new doctrines. Second, because the new truths, if received, would soon begin to work, and would develop a power which would burst any sect, no matter how thoroughly organized and bound. If tried, one after another, the result would be the same, and, in the end, the new wine (doctrines) would have none to contain and preserve it.

The proper and best course was the one followed by our Lord at the first advent. He made an entirely new garment out of the new stuff, and put the new wine into new wine-skins; i.e., he called out the Israelites indeed (non-sectarian), and committed to them the truths then due. And so now: he is calling out the truth-hungry from nominal spiritual Israel; and it becomes them to accept the truth in the Lord's own way, and to cooperate with him heartily in his plan, no matter which, or how many, of the old wine-skins are passed by and rejected as unfit to contain it. Rejoice, rather, that you are counted worthy to have this new wine of present truth testified to you, and, as fast as proved, receive it and act upon it gladly.

Those who at the first advent waited to learn the opinion and follow the lead of prominent sectarians, and who inquired, "Have any of the scribes or Pharisees believed on him?" did not receive the truth, because they were followers of men rather than of God; for prominent sectarians then did not accept of Christ's teaching, and the same class always have been, and still are, the blindest leaders of the blind. Instead of accepting the truth and being blessed, they "fall" in the time of trial. The old garment and the old wine-skins are so out of condition as to be totally unfit for further use.

Since it is the Lord who calls his people out of Babylon, we cannot doubt that, whatever may be his agencies for giving the call, all truly his people will hear it; and not only will their obedience be tested by the call, but also their love of Babylon and affinity for her errors will be tested. If they approve her doctrines, methods, etc., so as to be loathe to leave her, they will prove themselves unworthy of present truth, and deserving of her coming plagues. But the words of the call indicate that God's true people in Babylon are not to be considered as implicated in her sins of worldliness and ignoring of divine truth, up to the time they shall learn that Babylon is fallen - cast off. Then, if they continue in her, they are esteemed as being of her, in the sense of approving her wrong deeds and doctrines, past and present, and shall be counted as partakers of her sins, and therefore meriting a share of their punishment, the plagues coming upon her. See Rev. 18:4.

How strong the expression, "She is become the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." How true it is, that the most execrable of society seek and wear the garb of Christian profession and ceremonialism, in some of the various quarters (sects) of Babylon. Every impure principle and doctrine, somehow and somewhere, finds representation in her. And she is a "cage" which holds securely not only the Lord's meek and gentle doves, but also many unclean and hateful birds. Of all the defaulters, and deceivers of men and of women, how many are professedly members of Christ's Church! and how many even use their profession as a cloak under which to forward evil schemes! It is well known that a majority of even the most brutal criminals executed die in the Roman Catholic communion.

Babylon has contained both the best and the worst, both the cream and the dregs, of the population of the civilized world. The cream is the small class of truly consecrated ones, sadly mixed up with the great mass of mere professors and the filthy, criminal dregs; but under favorable conditions the cream class will be separated in the present harvest, preparatory to being glorified.

As an illustration of the proportion of the unclean and hateful birds, in and out of Babylon, note the following official report of the condition of society in a quarter of the wheatfield where "Orthodoxy" has for centuries boasted of the fine quality and purity of its wheat and the fewness of its tares, and where "The Church," so-called, has been associated with the government in making the laws and in ruling the people:

The Status of Society in England and Wales

Parliamentary Report Made in 1873

Population by Religious Professions

Roman Catholics.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .1,500,000

Church of England.... .... .... .... .... .... .... ...6,933,935

Dissenters [Protestants other than Episcopalians]

.... .... .... .... .... .... .7,234,158

Infidels.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... ....7,000,000

Jews.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 57,000

Total Number of Criminals in Jails

Roman Catholics.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... . 37,300

Church of England.... .... .... .... .... .... .... ... 96,600

Dissenters.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .. 10,800

Infidels.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 350

Jews.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 0

-

145,050

Criminals to Every 100,000 Population

Roman Catholics.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... . 2,500

Church of England.... .... .... .... .... .... .... ... 1,400

Dissenters.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .. 150

Infidels.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 5

Jews.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 0

Proportion of Criminals

Roman Catholics.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... . 1 in 40

Church of England.... .... .... .... .... .... .... ... 1 in 72

Dissenters.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .. 1 in 666

Infidels.... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... . 1 in 20,000

The cause of this mixed condition is stated: "Babylon made all the peoples drunk with the wine [spirit, influence] of her fornication" - worldly affiliation. (Rev. 18:3) False teachings concerning the character and mission of the Church, and the claim that the time for her exaltation and reign had come (and particularly after the great boom of success which her worldly ambition received in the time of Constantine, when she claimed to be the Kingdom of God set up to reign in power and great glory), led many into Babylon, who would never have united with her had she continued in the narrow way of sacrifice. Pride and ambition led to the grasping of worldly power by the early Church. To obtain the power, numbers and worldly influence were necessary. And to obtain the numbers, which, under present conditions, the truth never would have drawn, false doctrines were broached, and finally obtained the ascendancy over all others; and even truths which were still retained were disfigured and distorted. The numbers came, even to hundreds of millions, and the true Church, the wheat, still but a "little flock," was hidden among the millions of tares. Here, as sheep in the midst of devouring wolves, the true embryo Kingdom of God suffered violence, and the violent took it by force; and, like their Lord, in whose footprints they followed, they were despised and rejected of men, men of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

But now, as the Millennial morning dawns, and the doctrinal errors of the dark night past are discovered, and the real gems of truth are lighted up, the effect must be, as designed, to separate completely the wheat from the tares. And, as false doctrines produced the improper development, so the unfolding of truth in the light of harvest will produce the separation. All of the tares and some of the wheat are fearful, however. To them it seems that the dissolution of Babylon would be the overthrow of God's work, and the failure of his cause. But not so: the tares never were wheat, and God never proposed to recognize them as such. He merely permitted, "let," them both grow together until the harvest. It is from Babylon's "cage" of unclean birds that God's people are called out, that they may both enjoy the liberty and share the harvest light and work, and prove themselves out of harmony with her errors of doctrine and practice, and thus escape them and their reward - the plagues coming upon all remaining in her.

These plagues or troubles, foreshadowed in the troubles upon the rejected Jewish house, are pictured in such lurid symbols in the book of Revelation that many students have very exaggerated and wild ideas on this subject, and are therefore unprepared for the realities now closely impending. They often interpret the symbols literally, and hence are unprepared to see them fulfilled as they will be - by religious, social and political disturbances, controversies, upheavals, reactions, revolutions, etc.

But note another item here. Between the time when Babylon is cast off, falls from favor (1878), and the time when the plagues or troubles come upon her, is a brief interval, during which the faithful of the Lord's people are all to be informed on this subject, and gathered out of Babylon. This is clearly shown in the same verse; for with the message, "Babylon is fallen," is coupled the call, "Come out of her, my people, that ye...receive not of her [coming] plagues." This same interval of time, and the same work to be accomplished in it, are also referred to in symbol, in Rev. 7:3. To the messenger of wrath the command is given, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have SEALED the servants of our God in their foreheads." The forehead sealing indicates that a mental comprehension of the truth will be the mark or seal which will separate and distinguish the servants of God from the servants and votaries of Babylon. And this agrees with Daniel's testimony: "The wise [of thy people] shall understand; but none of the wicked [unfaithful to their covenant] shall understand." (Dan. 12:10) Thus the classes are to be marked and separated before the plagues come upon rejected, cast off Babylon.

And that this knowledge is to be both a sealing and a separating agent is clearly implied in the verse before considered; for the declaration is first made, that "Babylon is fallen," and that certain plagues or punishments are coming upon her, before the Lord's people are expected to obey the command, "Come out," based upon that knowledge. Indeed, we know that all must be well "sealed in their foreheads" - intelligently informed - concerning God's plan, before they can rightly appreciate or obey this command.

And is it not apparent that this very work of sealing the servants of God is now progressing? Are we not being sealed in our foreheads? and that, too, at the very proper time? Are we not being led, step by step, as by the Lord's own hand - by his Word - to an appreciation of truth and affairs in general from his standpoint-reversing our former opinions derived from other sources, on many subjects? Is it not true that the various divisions or sects of Babylon have not been the channels through which this sealing has come to us, but rather that they have been hindrances which prevented its speedier accomplishment? And do we not see the propriety of it, as well as of the Lord's declaration, that a separation of wheat and tares must occur in the harvest? And do we not see it to be his plan, to reveal the facts to his faithful, and then to expect them to show their hearty sympathy with that plan by prompt obedience? What if to obey and come out obliges us to leave behind the praise of men, or a comfortable salary, or a parsonage home, or financial aids in business, or domestic peace, or what not? - yet let us not fear. He who says to us "Come!" is the same who said "Come!" to Peter when he walked on the sea. Peter, in obeying, would have sunk, had not the Lord's outstretched arm upheld him; and the same arm supports them well who now, at his command, come out of Babylon. Look not at the boisterous sea of difficulties between, but, looking directly to the Lord, be of good courage.

The command is Come, not Go; because in coming out of bondage to human traditions, and creeds, and systems, and errors, we are coming directly to our Lord, to be taught and fed by him, to be strengthened and perfected to do all his pleasure, and to stand, and not to fall with Babylon.

God's Word reveals the fact that the nominal church, after its fall from his favor and from being his mouthpiece (Rev. 3:16), will gradually settle into a condition of unbelief, in which the Bible will eventually be entirely ignored in fact, though retained in name, and in which philosophic speculations of various shades will be the real creeds. From this fall the faithful sealed ones will escape; for they will be "accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand" - not fall, in the time of the Lord's presence. (Luke 21:36) In fact, many are already thus settling-retaining the forms of worship, and faith in a Creator and in a future life, but viewing these chiefly through their own or other men's philosophies and theories, and ignoring the Bible as an infallible teacher of the divine purposes. These, while retaining the Bible, disbelieve its narratives, especially that of Eden and the fall. Retaining the name of Jesus, and calling him the Christ and the Savior, they regard him merely as an excellent though not infallible exemplar, and reject entirely his ransom-sacrifice - his cross. Claiming the Fatherhood of God to extend to sinners, they repudiate both the curse and the Mediator.

It has not been generally observed that at the first advent our Lord's ministry of three and a half years, up to the casting off of the Jewish nation (their church and nation being one), was a trial or testing of that polity or system as a whole, rather than of its individual members. Its clerical class - Priests, Scribes and Pharisees - represented that system as a whole. They themselves claimed thus to represent Judaism (John 7:48,49), and the people so regarded them; hence the force of the inquiry, Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed on him? And our Lord so recognized them: he rarely rebuked the people for failure to receive him, but repeatedly held responsible the "blind leaders," who would neither enter into the Kingdom themselves, nor permit the people, who otherwise would have received Jesus as Messiah and King, to do so.

Our Lord's constant effort was to avoid publicity - to prevent his miracles and teachings from inciting the people, lest they should take him by force, and make him king (John 6:15); and yet he constantly brought these testimonies or evidences of his authority and Messiahship to the notice of the Jewish clergy, up to the time when, their trial as a church-nation being ended, their house or system was cast off, "left desolate." Then, by his direction and under the apostles' teachings, all efforts were directed to the people individually; and the cast off church-organization and its officers, as such, were wholly ignored.

In evidence that during his ministry, and until their system was rejected, the teachers and priests represented it, note the Lord's course with the cleansed leper, as recorded in Matt. 8:4. Jesus said to him, "See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony into THEM." The evidence or testimony was to be hidden from the people for a time, but to be promptly given to their "rulers," who represented the Jewish church in the trial then in progress.

We should notice particularly the object and results of the trial of the Jewish church as a system, because of their typical bearing upon the present trial of the Gospel Church, as well as their relationship toward the entire plan of God. They professed, in harmony with God's promises, to be the people ready for the coming Messiah, the people whom he would organize, empower, direct and use as his "own people," in blessing all the other nations of the earth, by bringing all to a full knowledge of God and to opportunities of harmony with his righteous laws. God, though by his foreknowledge aware that Fleshly Israel would be unfit for the chief place in this great work, nevertheless gave them every opportunity and advantage the same as though he were ignorant of the results. Meanwhile he disclosed his foreknowledge in prophetic statements which they could not comprehend, lest we should suppose that he had experimented, and failed, in his dealings with the Jewish people.

So long as Israel as a church-nation claimed to be ready, waiting and anxious to carry out their part of the program, it was but just that they should be tested, before God's further plan should go into effect. That further plan was, that when the natural seed of Abraham should, by their testing, be proved unfit for the chief honor promised and sought, then an election or selection should be made, during the Gospel age, of individuals worthy of the high honor of being the promised seed of Abraham, and joint-heirs with Messiah in the promised Kingdom, which would lift up and bless all the families of the earth. Gal. 3:16,27-29,14

The "seventy-weeks" (490 years) of divine favor promised to the Jewish people could not fail of fulfilment; and hence in no sense could Gentiles, or even Samaritans, be invited to become disciples, or in any sense to be associated with the Kingdom which Christ and the apostles preached. (Acts 3:26) "It was necessary that the word of God [the invitation to share the Kingdom] should first have been preached to you," said Paul, addressing Jews. (Acts 13:46) "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"; and again: "I am not sent, except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," said the Master, sending forth his disciples. Matt. 10:5; 15:24

The entire "seventieth week," in the midst of which Christ died - the seven years from the beginning of our Lord's ministry to the sending of Peter to preach to Cornelius, the first Gentile convert - was set apart by God's arrangement for the Jewish trial. But instead of testing them as a whole (as a church-nation) all of those seven years, that testing was "cut short in righteousness" - that is, not to their disadvantage, but to their advantage. Because it was evident, not only to God but to men also, that the Pharisees, priests and scribes not only rejected, but toward the last hated, the Lord Jesus and sought to kill him; therefore, when the time had come for him to offer himself publicly as King, riding to them on the ass, when not received by the representatives of the church-nation, the King promptly disowned that system, though the common people received him gladly and insisted on his recognition as king. (Mark 12:37) Thus our Lord cut short the further useless trial, in order that the remainder of that "seventieth week" might be spent specially and exclusively upon the people, the individuals of that cast-off system - before the efforts of the ministers of the new dispensation should be distributed broadcast to all nations. And it was so; for our Lord, after his resurrection, when telling his disciples that their efforts need no longer be confined to Jews only, but might be extended to "all nations," was particular to add - "beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47) And he knew well that their Jewish ideas would hinder them from going beyond the Jews until he should in due time open the way - as he did at the end of their favor, by sending Peter to Cornelius. Since that time, individual Jews and Gentiles have shared the privileges of God's favor equally, both being alike acceptable, in and through Christ; for in the present call "there is no difference" so far as God is concerned - the difference unfavorable to the Jew being his own prejudice against accepting, as a gift through Christ, the blessings once offered him upon condition of his actual compliance with the full letter and spirit of God's law, which none in the fallen state could fulfil.

That "seventieth week," with all the particulars of the testing of Fleshly Israel, not only accomplished the purpose of testing that system, but it also and specially furnished a typical representation of a similar testing of the nominal Gospel Church or Spiritual Israel, called "Christendom" and "Babylon," during seven corresponding years, which began the harvest of the Gospel age - the period from October 1874 to October 1881. "Christendom," "Babylon," professes to see the failure of its prototype, Fleshly Israel, and claims to be the true spiritual seed of Abraham, and to be ready, waiting and anxious to convert the heathen world, and to righteously rule and teach and bless all nations, just as the Jewish system professed. The present is like the typical age, also, in the fact that the leaders then had generally come to regard the promises of a coming Messiah as figurative expressions; and only the commoner class of the people expected a personal Messiah. The learned among the Jews, then, ignored an individual Messiah, and expected that their church-nation would triumph over others by reason of its superior laws, and thus fulfil all that the common people supposed would require a personal Messiah to accomplish. (And this is the view that is still held by "learned" Jewish teachers, or Rabbis, who interpret the Messianic prophecies as applicable to their church-nation, and not to an individual Savior of the world. Even the prophecies which refer to the sufferings of Christ they apply to their sufferings as a people.) Carrying out their theory, they were sending missionaries throughout the world, to convert the world to the Law of Moses, expecting thus to reach and "bless all the families of the earth," aside from a personal Messiah. To such an extent was this the case, that our Lord remarked it, saying, "Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte."

How similar to this is the theory of nominal "Christendom" today. The common people, when their attention is drawn to the fact that the Lord promised to come again, and that the apostles and prophets predicted that the Millennium, or Times of Restitution, would result from the second coming of the Lord (Acts 3:19-21), are inclined to accept the truth and to rejoice in it, just as a similar class did at the first advent. But today, as eighteen hundred years ago, the chief priests and rulers of the people have a more advanced (?) idea. They claim that the promises of Millennial blessedness, of peace on earth and good will among men, can and must be brought about by their efforts, missions, etc., without the personal coming of the Lord Jesus; and thus they make void the promises of the second advent and the coming Kingdom.

The present chief priests and rulers, the "clergy" of "Christendom," deceiving themselves as well as the people, claim, and seemingly believe, that their missionary efforts are just about to succeed, and that, without the Lord, they are now upon the eve of introducing to the world all the Millennial blessings portrayed in the Scriptures.

The foundation of this delusion lies partly in the fact that the increase of knowledge and of running to and fro in the earth, incident to this "Day of His Preparation," have been specially favorable to the spread of the commerce of civilized nations, and the consequent increase of worldly prosperity. The credit of all this Babylon coolly appropriates to herself, pointing out all these advantages as the results of her Christianizing and energizing influences. She proudly points to the "Christian nation" of Great Britain, and to her wealth and prosperity, as results of her Christian principles. But what are the facts? Every step of progress which that nation or any other nation has made has been only to the extent of the effort exercised to cast off the yoke of Babylon's oppression. In proportion as Great Britain threw off the fetters of Papal oppression, she has prospered; and in proportion as she continued to hold and to be influenced by the Papal doctrines of church and state union, of divinely appointed kingly and priestly authority and oppression, and to submit to the tyranny of greed and selfishness, to that extent is she degraded still.

Greed for gold and ambition for power were the energies by which the ports of heathen lands were reluctantly opened up to the commerce of so-called Christian nations, to English and German rum and opium, and to American whiskey and tobacco. The love of God and the blessing of the heathen nations had no place in these efforts. Here is an apparently small item of current history that ought to startle the consciences of so-called Christian nations, if they have any. The Mohammedan Emir of Nupe, West Africa, recently sent the following message to Bishop Crowther, of the Niger mission:

"It is not a long matter; it is about barasa [rum]. Barasa, barasa, barasa! It has ruined our country; it has ruined our people very much; it has made our people mad. I beg you, Malam Kip, don't forget this writing; because we all beg that he [Crowther] should ask the great priests [the committee of the Anglican Church Mission Society] that they should beg the English Queen [Head of the Church of England] to prevent bringing barasa into this land.

"For God and the Prophet's sake! For God and the Prophet, his messenger's sake, he must help us in this matter - that of barasa. Tell him, may God bless him in his work. This is the mouth word from Malike, the Emir of Nupe."

Commenting on this a Baptist journal remarks:

"This humble negro ruler reveals in this letter a concern for his people which Christian monarchs and governments have not yet reached; for no European Christian ruler, and no President of the United States, has ever yet so appealed in behalf of his people. In all the addresses opening Parliaments, in all the Presidential messages, no such passage has ever been found. All shame to our Christian rulers! Gain, the accursed hunger for gold, is the law with merchants; and these are the darlings and lords of governments."

Then, in the name of truth, we ask, Why call these Christian governments? And the government of the United States is no exception, though so many persist in denominating it a Christian government, while properly it does not recognize the undeserved title, though urged to do so by zealous sectarians. From Boston, vast cargoes of rum are continually sent to Africa, unchecked by the government, and with its full permission, while it grants licenses to tens of thousands to manufacture and deal out to its own citizens the terrible "fire-water," made doubly injurious and seductive by what is called rectifying, that is, by the legalized mixture of the rankest poisons. All this, and much more, is justified and defended by "Christian" statesmen and rulers of so-called Christian nations, for revenue - as the easiest way of collecting from the people a share of the necessary expenses of the government. Surely this is prostitution of the lowest and worst type. Every thinking man must see how out of place is the name Christian, when applied to even the very best of present governments. The attempt to fit the name Christian to the characters of "the kingdoms of this world," ruled by the "prince of this world" - Satan - and imbued with the "spirit of the world," has perplexed all truly Christian hearts, deluded by this error of supposing the present governments of the world to be in any sense Christ's Kingdom.

Says Cannon Farrar in the Contemporary Review:

"The old rapacity of the slave-trade has been followed by the greedier and more ruinous rapacity of the drink-seller. Our fathers tore from the neck of Africa a yoke of whips: we have subjected the native races to a yoke of scorpions. We have opened the rivers of Africa to commerce, only to pour down them the raging phlegethon of alcohol, than which no river of the Inferno is more blood-red or accursed. Is the conscience of the nation dead?"

We answer, No! The nation never was Christian, and consequently never had a Christian conscience or a Christian spirit. The most that can be said of it is, that the light from God's truly consecrated children has enlightened, refined and shamed into a measure of moral reform the public sentiment of those nations in which they "shine as lights."

In like manner a similarly horrid traffic was forced upon China and Japan, against their earnest protest, by the same Christian (?) governments. In 1840 Great Britain began a war with China, called the "Opium War," to compel the Chinese government, which wished to protect its people from that terrible curse, to admit that article. The war resulted favorably to the devil's side of the question. British warships destroyed thousands of lives and homes, and forced the heathen Chinese ruler to open the empire to the slower death of opium - the intoxicant of China. The net revenue of the British government from this drug, after paying large expenses for collecting the revenue, amounted, according to official reports published in 1872, to over $37,000,000 for the preceding year. This, $37,000,000 per year, was the inspiring cause of that war, the very reverse of love for either the present or future welfare of the Chinese. The clause in the treaty providing protection to Christian missionaries was merely a morsel cunningly thrown in to appease the consciences of justice-loving people - to make a great crime appear to be a mercy, in kindness done. In the treaty at the end of the war, certain ports were made free to British trade, and similar treaties with other nations followed, and some good results were thereby secured. One of these was the opening of China to civilizing influences. But the fact that a few Christian men and women stepped to the front to teach the people some of the principles of righteousness is not to be reflected to the credit of the British nation, whose object was trade, and which, for greed of gold, and not for the good of the Chinese or the glory of God, waged an unholy and unjust war upon a people not so skilled in the devilish art.

Along with other vices, "Christendom" has taught the nations the worst form of idolatry, the idolatry of self and wealth and power, for which professedly Christian men and nations are willing to defraud, to injure and even to kill one another. It has also taught them blasphemy and sacrilege in every language; for every ship's crew, from every professedly Christian nation, blasphemes the name of Christ. But, while such has been the influence of the so-called Christian nations, from their midst have also gone some noble missionaries of the cross, some real servants of God, and also some less noble, the servants of men - in all, however, but a mere handful - to tell the heathen about Christ and real civilization.

It is not the earnest missionaries but the sanguine home officers of missionary societies, who have little idea of, and often little actual interest in, the real situation in foreign lands, and whose views are based mainly upon the large sum annually collected and expended, who think the heathen world almost converted, and their efforts about to eventuate in the promised Millennial blessings, without the Lord's second coming. Missionaries who have been to the front confess, generally, to great discouragement, except when they can stimulate their hope out of all proportion to actual experience and sound judgment. Thus, one such - Rev. J. C. R. Ewing, D. D. - who had spent nine years in mission work in India, in delivering a discourse recently before the Young Men's Christian Association of Pittsburgh, Pa., admitted that the present effect of civilization and missionary effort is not only to break down the heathen religions, but to abolish all religious faith and to make the people infidels. But his strong hope is that the next step will be from Infidelity to Christianity - an unreasonable hope, surely, as all experience here, in civilized lands, most certainly proves. We extract from the public press reports of his discourse, as follows:

"India owes more to the direct and indirect influences of Christianity than to any other one thing. It has done much to break down the old idea of material gods, and in its stead to set up the idea of a single supreme God, that the people of the West [Europe and America] entertain. [A more explicit statement would be that they are receiving the idea, common to Atheism, that Nature is the supreme and only God.]

"Among the 263,000,000 of people in that country there are 10,000,000 young men who speak the English language and are instructed in the Western ideas that we are taught. The higher caste are thoroughly learned in the literature, the religion and the sciences that are the basis of the education of the people of this country. The old idea of a vengeful God, who must be propitiated by numerous gifts and many prayers, has given way to the modern spirit of Infidelity. The educated men of the East no longer believe in the gods of their fathers. They have abandoned them forever, and replaced them with the teachings of Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, of Paine, of Voltaire, of Bradlaugh and of every other atheistical and pantheistical teacher. This skeptical age will soon pass away, and the West, just as it has given India her ideas, will give her the religion of the Christian God.

"The young men of India are well educated, acute observers, intelligent, well posted in all the affairs of other nations besides their own, and, though it may seem strange, well acquainted with our Bible. Indeed, they know it so well that none but a man thoroughly conversant with its teachings, and the Christian theology, could hope to be able to successfully answer all the objections they bring forward against it. The popular idea, that a missionary sits in the shade of a tree and teaches naked savages who gather around him, is an exploded one. In India the missionary meets intelligent and educated men, and he must be well equipped to influence them. They are, besides being intelligent, a fine looking people, amiable, courteous, gentlemanly, and treat all foreigners with the greatest consideration and respect."

The obstinate facts he cites certainly do not warrant the gentleman's unreasonable hopes. Experience has surely proved that the bungling arguments of sectarianism, whose errors distort and vitiate what truth they possess, seldom make converts of either honest or scoffing skeptics. Surely, all but the blind can see that if the ten hundred millions of heathendom were converted to the condition of the four hundred millions * of so-called Christendom, the question would be an open one, as it was in the Jewish age (Matt. 23:15), whether they would not be two-fold more fit for destruction than they were in their original heathen superstitions. Surely no sane mind could claim that conversion to such a condition as that of so-called Christendom would fulfil the description of the Millennial peace and good will, foretold by the prophets, and briefly summed up in our Lord's prayer, in the words, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven." Luke 11:2

  • Of these 400,000,000, Roman and Greek Catholics together claim 280,000,000, while Protestants claim 120,000,000.

Is it at all surprising that this mass of four hundred millions, professedly constituting the Church of Christ, and calling itself his Kingdom - "Christendom" - is disowned by the Lord, and by him given the more appropriate name, Babylon (mixture, confusion)? And is it any wonder that with their ideas of the Kingdom of Christ, and of the manner and results of its spread throughout the world, these should be unprepared for the real Kingdom, and unwilling to receive the new King, as, for similar reasons, the rulers of the typical house were unprepared at the first advent? Nor can it be doubted that those emperors, kings and princes who now use influence and power chiefly for self-aggrandizement, and who equip and maintain millions of armed men to protect and to continue them in their imperial extravagances and lordly positions, would rather see millions slaughtered, and other millions made widows and orphans, as in the past, than that they should part with their present advantages. Is it any wonder that these should neither desire, nor expect, nor believe in the kind of Kingdom promised in the Scriptures? - a kingdom in which the high and lofty and proud shall be brought low, and the lowly lifted up to the general, proper and designed level? Is it any wonder that all in sympathy with any kind of oppression, extortion, or grinding monopoly, by which they obtain, or hope to obtain, unjust advantage over their fellow-creatures, would be slow to believe in the Kingdom of righteousness in which no injustice and overreaching will be permitted? Especially, can we wonder that such are slow to believe this Kingdom nigh, even at the doors?

Nor can we wonder that the great ones, the chief priests and rulers of "Christendom," looking each to gain from his own quarter or sect (Isa. 56:11), fail to recognize, and therefore reject, the spiritual King now present, as the teachers of the fleshly house rejected him when present in the flesh. And as the Lord rejected, cut off and cast away from favor, into a fire of trouble, many of the "natural branches" of the olive tree, preserving only the Israelites indeed as branches, do we not see that, in the harvest of this age, the same wisdom tests the "wild branches" also (Rom. 11:21,22), and cuts off from favor and fatness of the root [the Abrahamic promise] this great mass of professed branches, whose character and aims and dispositions are foreign and wild indeed - very different from the promise and plan of God represented in the root?

It is not strange that the present harvest witnesses the separation of true Christians from mere professors, as in the Jewish harvest a separation of Israelites indeed from mere professors was accomplished. It is only what we might reasonably have expected, even had there been no revelation made to us in God's Word, showing the fact of the rejection of the mass, as Babylon. Compare Rom. 11:20-22with Rev. 3:16; 18:4.

The rejection of Babylon ("Christendom"), in 1878, was the rejection of the mass of professors - the "host," as it is termed by Daniel, to distinguish it from the sanctuary or temple class. The sanctuary class will not be given up, nor left desolate. No, thank God, the sanctuary is to be glorified; the glory of the Lord is to fill his temple, when its last living stone is polished and approved and set in place. (1 Pet. 2:5,6) We have seen how such a sanctuary class has existed throughout the age, how it was defiled, and its precious vessels (doctrines) profaned, and how its cleansing from error has been gradually effected. This class had all along been the real Church, even while the nominal systems were still in a measure recognized and to some extent used. After the rejection of the nominal systems, however, now as in the Jewish harvest, the real Church or Sanctuary class alone is recognized and used as God's mouthpiece. Caiaphas, a chief-priest of Fleshly Israel, was used as the agent of God to deliver a great lesson and prophecy only a few days before that system was cast off. (See John 11:50,51,55; 18:14.) But we have no intimation in the Scriptures, nor any reason for supposing, that God ever used or recognized that church-nation, its rulers and representatives, after it was cast off. And this same lesson should be recognized, here, in connection with Babylon. She is "spewed out" of the Lord's mouth; and neither the voice of the Bridegroom nor of the bride shall be heard in her any more forever. Rev. 18:23

It is in vain that some attempt to make a plea for their quarter of Babylon, and, while admitting the general correctness of the prophetic portrait, to claim that their sect, or their particular congregation, is an exception to the general character of Babylon, and that, therefore, the Lord cannot be calling upon them to withdraw from it formally and publicly, as they once joined it.

Let such consider that we are now in the harvest time of separation, and remember our Lord's expressed reason for calling us out of Babylon, namely, "that ye be not partakers of her sins." Consider, again, why Babylon is so named. Evidently, because of her many errors of doctrine, which, mixed with a few elements of divine truth, make great confusion, and because of the mixed company brought together by the mixed truths and errors. And since they will hold the errors at a sacrifice of truth, the latter is made void, and often worse than meaningless. This sin, of holding and teaching error at the sacrifice of truth is one of which every sect of the Church nominal is guilty, without exception. Where is the sect which will assist you in diligently searching the Scriptures, to grow thereby in grace and in the knowledge of the truth? Where is the sect which will not hinder your growth, both by its doctrines and its usages? Where is the sect in which you can obey the Master's words and let your light shine? We know of none.

If any of God's children in these organizations do not realize their bondage, it is because they do not attempt to use their liberty, because they are asleep at their posts of duty, when they should be active stewards and faithful watchmen. (1 Thess. 5:5,6) Let them wake up and attempt to use the liberty they think they possess; let them show to their fellow-worshippers wherein their creeds fall short of the divine plan, wherein they diverge from it and run in direct opposition to it; let them show how Jesus Christ by the favor of God tasted death for every man; how this fact, and the blessings flowing from it, shall "in due time" be testified to every man; how in "the times of refreshing" the blessings of restitution shall flow to the whole human race. Let them show further the high calling of the Gospel Church, the rigid conditions of membership in that body, and the special mission of the Gospel age to take out this peculiar "people for his name," which in due time is to be exalted and to reign with Christ. Those who will thus attempt to use their liberty to preach the good tidings in the synagogues of today will succeed either in converting whole congregations, or else in awakening a storm of opposition. They will surely cast you out of their synagogues, and separate you from their company, and say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for Christ's sake. And, in so doing, doubtless, many will feel that they are doing God service. But, if thus faithful, you will be more than comforted in the precious promises of Isaiah 66:5and Luke 6:22- "Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his Word: Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified [we do this for the Lord's glory]: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in like manner did their fathers into the prophets." But, "Woe into you when all men shall speak well of you; for so did their fathers to the false prophets."

If all with whom you worship as a congregation are saints - if all are wheat, with no tares among them - you have met a most remarkable people, who will receive the harvest truths gladly. But if not, you must expect present truth to separate the tares from the wheat. And more, you must do your share in presenting these very truths which will accomplish the separation.

If you would be one of the overcoming saints, you must now be one of the "reapers" to thrust in the sickle of truth. If faithful to the Lord, worthy of the truth and worthy of joint-heirship with him in glory, you will rejoice to share with the Chief Reaper in the present harvest work - no matter how disposed you may be, naturally, to glide smoothly through the world.

If there are tares among the wheat in the congregation of which you are a member, as is always the case, much will depend upon which is in the majority. If the wheat preponderates, the truth, wisely and lovingly presented, will affect them favorably; and the tares will not long care to stay. But if the majority are tares - as nine-tenths or more generally are - the effect of the most careful and kind presentation of the harvest truth will be to awaken bitterness and strong opposition; and, if you persist in declaring the good tidings, and in exposing the long established errors, you will soon be "cast out" for the good of the sectarian cause, or have your liberties so restrained that you cannot let your light shine in that congregation. Your duty then is plain: Deliver your loving testimony to the goodness and wisdom of the Lord's great plan of the ages, and, wisely and meekly giving your reasons, publicly withdraw from them.

There are various degrees of bondage among the different sects of Babylon-"Christendom." Some who would indignantly resent the utter and absolute slavery of individual conscience and judgment, required by Romanism, are quite willing to be bound themselves, and anxious to get others bound, by the creeds and dogmas of one or another of the Protestant sects. True, their chains are lighter and longer than those of Rome and the Dark Ages. So far as it goes, this surely is good-reformation truly - a step in the right direction - toward full liberty - toward the condition of the Church in the apostolic times. But why wear human shackles at all? Why bind and limit our consciences at all? Why not stand fast in the full liberty wherewith Christ has made us free? Why not reject all the efforts of fallible fellowmen to fetter conscience and hinder investigation? - not only the efforts of the remote past, of the Dark Ages, but the efforts of the various reformers of the more recent past? Why not conclude to be as was the apostolic Church? - free to grow in knowledge as well as in grace and love, as the Lord's "due time" reveals his gracious plan more and more fully?

Surely all know that whenever they join any of these human organizations, accepting its Confession of Faith as theirs, they bind themselves to believe neither more nor less than that creed expresses on the subject. If, in spite of the bondage thus voluntarily yielded to, they should think for themselves, and receive light from other sources, in advance of the light enjoyed by the sect they have joined, they must either prove untrue to the sect and to their covenant with it, to believe nothing contrary to its Confession, or else they must honestly cast aside and repudiate the Confession which they have outgrown, and come out of such a sect. To do this requires grace and costs some effort, disrupting, as it often does, pleasant associations, and exposing the honest truth-seeker to the silly charges of being a "traitor" to his sect, a "turncoat," one "not established," etc. When one joins a sect, his mind is supposed to be given up entirely to that sect, and henceforth not his own. The sect undertakes to decide for him what is truth and what is error; and he, to be a true, staunch, faithful member, must accept the decisions of his sect, future as well as past, on all religious matters, ignoring his own individual thought, and avoiding personal investigation, lest he grow in knowledge, and be lost as a member of such sect. This slavery of conscience to a sect and creed is often stated in so many words, when such a one declares that he "belongs" to such a sect.

These shackles of sectarianism, so far from being rightly esteemed as shackles and bonds, are esteemed and worn as ornaments, as badges of respect and marks of character. So far has the delusion gone, that many of God's children would be ashamed to be known to be without some such chains-light or heavy in weight, long or short in the personal liberty granted. They are ashamed to say that they are not in bondage to any sect or creed, but "belong" to Christ only.

Hence it is that we sometimes see an honest, truth-hungry child of God gradually progressing from one denomination to another, as a child passes from class to class in a school. If he be in the Church of Rome, when his eyes are opened, he gets out of it, probably falling into some branch of the Methodist or Presbyterian systems. If here his desire for truth be not entirely quenched and his spiritual senses stupefied with the spirit of the world, you may a few years after find him in some of the branches of the Baptist system; and, if he still continues to grow in grace and knowledge and love of truth, and into an appreciation of the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, you may by and by find him outside of all human organizations, joined merely to the Lord and to his saints, bound only by the tender but strong ties of love and truth, like the early Church. 1 Cor. 6:15,17; Eph. 4:15,16

The feeling of uneasiness and insecurity, if not bound by the chains of some sect, is general. It is begotten of the false idea, first promulgated by Papacy, that membership in an earthly organization is essential, pleasing to the Lord and necessary to everlasting life. These earthly, humanly organized systems, so different from the simple, unfettered associations of the days of the apostles, are viewed involuntarily and almost unconsciously by Christian people as so many Heaven Insurance Companies, to some one of which money, time, respect, etc., must be paid regularly, to secure heavenly rest and peace after death. Acting on this false idea, people are almost as nervously anxious to be bound by another sect, if they step out of one, as they are if their policy of insurance has expired, to have it renewed in some respectable company.

But no earthly organization can grant a passport to heavenly glory. The most bigoted sectarian (aside from the Romanist) will not claim, even, that membership in his sect will secure heavenly glory. All are forced to admit that the true Church is the one whose record is kept in heaven, and not on earth. They deceive the people by claiming that it is needful to come to Christ through them - needful to become members of some sectarian body in order to become members of "the body of Christ," the true Church. On the contrary, the Lord, while he has not refused any who came to him through sectarianism, and has turned no true seeker away empty, tells us that we need no such hindrances, but could much better have come to him direct. He cries, "Come into me"; "take my yoke upon you, and learn of me"; "my yoke is easy and my burden is light, and ye shall find rest to your souls." Would that we had given heed to his voice sooner. We would have avoided many of the heavy burdens of sectism, many of its bogs of despair, many of its doubting castles, its vanity fairs, its lions of worldly-mindedness, etc.

Many, however, born in the various sects, or transplanted in infancy or childhood, without questioning the systems, have grown free in heart, and unconsciously beyond the limits and bounds of the creeds they acknowledge by their profession and support with their means and influence. Few of these have recognized the advantages of full liberty, or the drawbacks of sectarian bondage. Nor was the full, complete separation enjoined until now, in the harvest time. Now the Lord's words are heard, Come out from among them: be ye clean (free, both from wrong practices and from false doctrines), ye who bear the vessels (truths-doctrines) of the Lord. Isa. 52:11

Now the ax is laid to the root of the nominal Christian system - Babylon, "Christendom" - as it was to the nominal Jewish system at the first advent; and the great system in which the "fowl of heaven" delight to roost, and which they have grievously befouled (Luke 13:18,19), and which has in fact become "a cage of every unclean and hateful bird" (Rev. 18:2), is to be hewn down, and shall deceive the world no longer. Instead, the true olive tree, whose roots are the true promises of God, and whose branches are the truly and fully consecrated and faithful ones of this Gospel age, whose names are "written in heaven," will be seen to be the true and only joint-heir and Bride of the Lamb. Rev. 17:14

The Testing and Sifting of the Sanctuary Class

Though coming out of Babylon is one step, and a long one, in the direction of complete overcoming, it is by no means the last one; and we should be careful to guard against a disposition to rest after every advance step of the way.

"Ne'er think the victory won,

Nor once at ease sit down:

Thine arduous work will not be done

Till thou hast gained thy crown.

"A cloud of witnesses around

Hold thee in full survey.

Forget the steps already trod,

And onward urge thy way."

The step out of Babylon has generally been preceded by other steps of obedience, which in turn have exercised and strengthened the character for subsequent conflicts and victories. And it will be followed by various other tests and opportunities for overcoming, in view of which Paul (Gal. 5:1) wrote, "Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Every one who comes to realize the liberty of the sons of God and full freedom from Babylon's bondage should expect to meet other attempts of the great adversary to bring him into other bondages, or to stumble him. The Lord permits these severe testings, that the class now sought may be manifested, and prepared for his service in the Kingdom of glory.

An illustration of this testing and sifting took place in the Jewish harvest, foreshadowing what we may expect here. The temple or sanctuary class at the first advent was represented by the Lord's disciples, of whom he said, "Ye are clean, but not all [of you]"; and following the casting off of nominal Israel (A.D. 33) came a severe testing to those representing God's temple, the clean and the unclean, to separate them. Peter was sifted, and almost failed (Luke 22:31; Matt. 26:74,75; John 21:15-17); but, being "clean," true at heart, he was enabled to come off victorious. Judas also was tested, and he proved to be unclean, willing to sell the truth for earthly advantage, to deny the Lord for money, even while kissing him in profession of love.

Just so there is here, in this harvest, a cleansed sanctuary, and, closely associated with it, some who are not clean. And since the casting off of Babylon in 1878, and the call there made, to come out of her, a testing and sifting work has been going on amongst those who have come out. Doubtless Peter and Judas were illustrations of similar classes here, among those who have come out of Babylon, and who have been cleansed from many of her doctrinal pollutions - a class which remains faithful to the Lord and the truth, and another class which proves unfaithful, which does not follow on to know the Lord, but which turns aside to evil and false doctrines, often worse than those from which they had escaped.

This testing and sifting of the temple class, in this harvest since 1878, were foreshadowed by our Lord's typical act of cleansing the typical temple after assuming the office of King and pronouncing judgment against the nominal Jewish church. After declaring their house left into them desolate, he proceeded to the temple in Jerusalem, typical of the true temple or sanctuary, and, making a scourge of small cords, he used it in driving out the money changers; and he overturned the tables of them that sold doves.

The scourge of small cords used in that typical act represented the various truths, used in the present harvest among the temple class, to correct and prove, and to separate the unclean. The truths now made manifest reveal so clearly the perfect will of God, the import of full consecration to his service, and the narrowness of the way which must be traveled by those who walk in the Master's footprints, that those who have joined themselves to this class from any unclean motives are continually scourged by the truth, until constrained to separate themselves from the sanctuary class.

Though several of our Lord's parables show the general separation of the "sanctuary" class from the "host," or general mass of professing Christendom, there are two which go still further and show the testing and sifting, afterward, of the sanctuary class - the separation of the overcomers, who shall inherit the Kingdom (Rev. 3:21), from others of the honestly consecrated, who, overcome by the spirit of the world, neglect to sacrifice present advantages and honors of men, for the higher honors of God.

The parable of the Ten Virgins, while it shows the entire virgin or consecrated class being separated from Babylon, marks distinctly a testing and separation to take place in this class also - a separation of wise virgins, full of faith and fervent love and the spirit of prompt obedience, from foolish virgins, who allow their first love and fervency of spirit to cool, and their faith and promptness of obedience consequently to abate. The wise, living in full harmony with their covenant of entire consecration to God, and earnestly watching for the Lord's promised return, are prepared to appreciate the glad harvest message, to recognize the foretold indications of the Master's presence, and to stand whatever tests he may see fit to apply, to prove their loyalty and faithfulness. These, awake and watching, hear the Master's knock, through the words of the prophets, announcing his presence; and to them present losses and crosses, meekly borne for the truth's sake, are welcomed as the harbingers of a more lasting peace and joy and glory and blessing to follow.

When the knock of prophecy was heard announcing the Lord's presence in the autumn of 1874, almost immediately it began to be recognized; and quickly the cry was raised, "Behold the Bridegroom! go ye out to meet him." And this cry still goes forth, and will continue until all of the consecrated virgin class have heard, and have had their faith and loyalty tested by it. The wise, with lamps (the Word of God) trimmed and burning, and with oil (the holy spirit) in their vessels (their hearts), will all recognize the Lord's presence; and, by ordering their conduct and affairs in harmony with their faith, they will go "forth" to meet the beloved Bridegroom, and sit down with him at the marriage feast.

The marriage custom of the Jews formed a beautiful illustration of the Church's betrothal and marriage with Christ, her Lord. The espousal or betrothal was a formal agreement made with solemn covenants of fidelity on each side. The woman continued in her father's house until she was taken to the home of her husband, usually about a year after betrothal or marriage. The consummation of the union consisted in the receiving of the wife to the home prepared for her by the husband, and was celebrated with a great feast lasting several days - called the Nuptial Feast. At a fixed hour the bridegroom set out for his bride, who was waiting in readiness to receive him and to accompany him to their future home and to the feast which he had provided, followed by her virgin companions with lamps and all the necessary preparations.

In the parable no mention is made of the bride, but all of the "wise virgins" are mentioned as those for whom the Bridegroom comes, and who accompany him and enter to the feast of joys prepared. And this is both proper and necessary; because the Bride of Christ is composed of many members or persons, most beautifully represented in the wise virgins. The foolish virgins who obtain the light and experience later, but who will fail to obtain the high exaltation of the "wise," faithful Bride class, will no doubt be the class mentioned (Psa. 45:14,15) as "the virgins her companions which follow her," who in due time will be favored, but not so highly, by the King.

The attitude of the wise virgins, ready, waiting and anxious for the Bridegroom's coming, fitly represents the only proper attitude of the Lord's betrothed, the truly consecrated Church. For a bride to neglect or to be unprepared for this, the most eventful moment of life, would prove her unfitness for the honor; and so it is with the Church: "He that has this hope in him purifies himself," seeks to be in an attitude of heart and life pleasing to the Bridegroom, and is longing and waiting for the blessed union and feast promised by him who said, I go to prepare a place for you, and will come again and receive you into myself.

Two things are evident from this parable: first, that this special feature of truth (the knowledge of the Bridegroom's presence) is not intended for the world in general, nor for the nominal church in general, but only for the virgin or consecrated class; second, it is evident that this message of the Bridegroom's presence will cause the separation which will test and prove each individual of the virgin class and clearly manifest the wise, faithful, worthy ones from the unfaithful, unwise virgins.

Oh, what riches of grace are contained in this glorious message, "Behold the Bridegroom!" As yet it is a great secret known only among the saints; for the world cannot receive it. It is foolishness into them, and will be, until the virgins have all heard, and the wise among them have fully entered in; until "the door is shut," and the "flaming fire" of the great time of trouble then to ensue will cause every eye to see (recognize) the Lord's presence and reign begun.

With what kingly grace the message of Jehovah comes to his humble servants and handmaidens - "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people and thy father's [Adam's] house [the human relationships, hopes, aims and ambitions]; so shall the King [the Lord Jesus] greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him." (Psa. 45:10,11) And who are these who will receive such favor? They are the "called, and accepted, and faithful." "The King's daughter [Jehovah's daughter; for as such the Bride of Christ is owned] is all glorious within." Her beauty is the beauty of holiness. Outwardly, before the world, she is not glorious; and, like her Lord in his humiliation, she is despised and rejected of men. But she will not always be so: having followed him in his humiliation, she shall also share in his glory. As a new creature, she will in due time be clothed with his divine nature - "Her clothing [when glorified] is of wrought gold" - gold being a symbol of the divine nature. "She shall be brought into the king in raiment of needle work" - in the simple white robe of her Lord's own furnishing, the robe of his righteousness, upon which she will have wrought, with much carefulness, the beautiful adornments of the Christian graces. And great will be the rejoicing in heaven and in earth at her abundant entrance into the King's palace (2 Pet. 1:5-8,11): many will say, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready." (Rev. 19:7) "And the daughter of Tyre [the strong ones of earth] shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor.... I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee forever and ever." Psa. 45:12-17

Truly "wise" will those of the consecrated prove to be who, neglecting worldly enchantments, and earthly hopes and prizes, and with hearts yearning and waiting for the Beloved, are found ready and proved worthy of the great exaltation promised, as the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

"Bride of the Lamb, thy charms,

Oh, may we share."

Since taking their lamps and following the Bridegroom represents leaving all else to follow Christ in this time of his presence, it is equivalent to leaving Babylon, where the virgins have mainly been; because the truth manifested in the light of harvest clearly indicates this separation of wheat from tares. Careful trimming reveals this fact to the wise virgins possessing the holy spirit of consecration and obedience. Such as have this "oil" will have the light also; and such, appreciating the privilege, will gladly and promptly "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."

The foolish virgins, on the contrary, lacking sufficiency of oil, fail to get clear light on the subject of the Bridegroom's presence; and, being overcharged with the cares, plans, etc., of the present life, they fail to investigate the subject fully, and consequently are halting and undecided about leaving Babylon, and are measurably indifferent to, and incredulous of, the whole subject. And even if, urged by others, they reluctantly take their departure, like Lot's wife, they are constantly inclined to look back. For such the Lord left the injunction, "Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:32) And again he said, "No man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.

There is nothing in the parable to indicate that the foolish virgins will be aware of their foolishness, until the opportunity of going in to the feast has passed by. Then they will realize how foolish they were in expecting to be owned of the Lord as his Bride and joint-heirs, when they were at most but lukewarm and distant followers. Many now "highly esteemed among men," and noted for their "wonderful works," will be among the disappointed.

And the Door was Shut

The proclamation of the Bridegroom's presence, the going forth to meet him, and the entering in with him to the marriage, still continue, and will continue, until all the wise virgins are "sealed in their foreheads" with a knowledge of harvest truth sufficient to separate them from Babylon, and to enable them to enter in with the Bridegroom to the feast prepared. Then, when all the virgins have been tested by this present truth, the door of opportunity will be shut, and no more will be permitted to enter to the feast; for, said the Master, I am "he that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutts and no man openeth." (Rev. 3:7) And when the foolish virgins come knocking and seeking admittance, after the door is shut, saying "Master, Master, open it for us," he will answer them, saying, "Indeed, I say into you, I recognize you not." Those who are ashamed of him and of his words now, and therefore indifferent to them, of such will he then be ashamed, when he is about to appear in glory and power with all his holy, faithful messengers - the wise virgins exalted and glorified with him.

The shut door, it will be perceived, has nothing whatever to do with the worldly. It is the door to the marriage feast; and it never was open to any except the consecrated, the virgin class. No other class was ever invited to enter it; and it closes when the harvest truths have sifted and separated all the warm, earnest covenant-keepers from the cold, lukewarm and overcharged, who neglect to fulfil their covenant. Thank God, it is not the door of mercy that here closes, nor even the door of all favor; but it is the door to that one chief favor of joint-heirship with Christ as his Bride. But when it closes against the foolish virgins, and will never again open to their knock, though it leave them standing without, exposed to the great tribulation of the "evil day," where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, it still leaves them in the arms of God's love and mercy, and even under his favor and special care; for the great tribulations through which they shall pass are designed to purify and purge those then repentant virgins, and thereby to fit them as vessels of honor for the Master's use, though not for the chief honor to which they were originally called, but of which they proved themselves unworthy. Partaking to some extent of the spirit of Babylon, giving to her the weight of their influence, however small, they are reckoned of God as partakers of her sins and therefore as unworthy to escape the plagues coming upon her. These plagues are necessary, not only for Babylon's destruction, but also for the purification and separation of the hitherto unripe wheat remaining in her; the foolish virgins, measurably intoxicated and overcome with the wine of Babylon.

The going in with the Lord to the marriage was beautifully illustrated by the happy bridal procession which escorted the Jewish bride to her husband's home, with music and lighted lamps and every demonstration of joy. Thus she entered in to the joy of her Lord and to the feast which he had provided. Thus the wise virgins are now entering in. The joy begins when they first hear of the Bridegroom's presence. Gladly they leave all else for his company and the prepared feast. Already by faith they are enjoying the coming feast, as the present Bridegroom makes known to them the exceeding great and precious things in reservation for his elect Bride, and reveals to them his great work of blessing and restoring the world, in which it will be the privilege of the Bride to share. Surely, as we enter the reception room and see evidences of the coming feast of Kingdom favor, we are already entering into the joys of our Lord. Already we have a foretaste of the good things to come. Already we are feasting, mentally, upon the richest bounties of his grace. By faith we are already seated at the Master's table, and he himself, according to promise (Luke 12:37), has come forth and is serving us.

This feasting by faith on the precious truths disclosed during this harvest time began in 1875, at the close of the 1335 days (Dan. 12:12), in the beginning of the harvest, and is the blessedness foretold by the prophet, saying, "Oh, the blessedness of him that waits earnestly, and comes into the thousand three hundred five and thirty days!"

The Wedding Garment Test

Another of our Lord's parables (Matt. 22:1-14) shows a still further testing of the sanctuary class - a testing and separation even among those who have heard and recognized the harvest message. The "wise virgins" of the one parable, who enter with the Bridegroom to the wedding, and the "guests" of this parable, are the same class of consecrated ones, who thus far have shown themselves faithful and obedient. In fact, this class is represented by many different figures, each of which has, as an illustration, its own peculiar force. They are represented as wise virgins, as servants waiting for their Lord's return from a wedding, as guests at a wedding, and as a bride. They are the body of Christ, the prospective bride of Christ, soldiers under Christ their Captain, branches in Christ the vine, olive branches in Christ, living stones in a temple of which Christ is the chief corner stone, pupils under Christ as their teacher, sheep over whom he is Shepherd, etc., etc. In considering these figures, we must remember that they are distinct and separate illustrations, entirely independent of each other, and seek to gather from each the lesson which it was designed to impart. If we endeavor to blend the illustrations, and wonder how a stone in a temple can be a branch in a vine, how sheep can be soldiers, or how the guests at a wedding can be the servants, or the bride, we fail entirely to comprehend them. Actually we are not called to be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb, nor servants waiting for his return from the wedding, but we are called to be the bride, though in some respects we must be like servants and like these guests - like faithful servants in our vigilance and watchfulness, and like guests in another respect.

This parable serves to show what could not be illustrated under the figure of the bride, which represents the elect church collectively as Christ's joint-heir. This shows both the character of the readiness required, and also the inspection of each individual which shall reject some and accept others. Those thus inspected are represented as already in the guest chamber. They are the wheat reaped or gathered out from amongst the tares, the wise virgins separated from the foolish. They have heard and received the harvest truths, and are rejoicing by faith in anticipation of the glory and blessing to follow their full union with the Lord. Hitherto they all have run well; but until he reach the end of his course, "let him that thinks he standeth, take heed lest he fall."

The condition of acceptableness and readiness for the marriage is symbolized in this parable under the figure of the wedding garment. It was a custom at Jewish weddings for the host to provide dresses of ceremony - white linen robes - for all the guests; and for any guest to discard the wedding robe presented by the host on such an occasion, and to appear in his own clothing, would have been considered a shameful impropriety, significant of pride and of disrespect for his entertainer.

As a symbol, the wedding garment clearly illustrates the righteousness of Christ, provided by our host, Jehovah (Rom. 8:30-34), imputed to every one believing and trusting in him, without which no one is acceptable at the marriage of the Lamb, and without which no guest is admitted. The invitation and the wedding robe are both necessary, and the parable shows that only those so attired are admitted even to the Ante-Chamber of special preparation - into the light of present truth, where the bride makes herself finally ready. (Rev. 19:7) The robe and the invitation received and accepted, these guests spend the short time just prior to the marriage feast (the harvest time) in adjusting their robes and giving to themselves and to each other the finishing touches of preparation. And, while thus engaged, they are together feasting already, by faith, on the prospect before them. The Bridegroom, the grand future work, the glorious inheritance and the present work of preparation are the constant themes of their thoughts and conversation.

In this ante-chamber (this favored time and condition), brilliantly lighted with the clear unfolding of divine truth now due, both the facilities for, and the inspiration to, the final adornment and complete readiness for the marriage feast are granted. But, nevertheless, the parable shows that even under these specially favorable conditions, some, here represented by "one," will insult the host, the King, by despising and taking off the wedding garment.

The unmistakable teaching of this parable then is, that the final general test of those "wise virgins," who have thus far been found ready and worthy, and who have therefore been ushered into much of the harvest light, will be a test of their appreciation of the fact, often testified to in the Scriptures, that they are accepted to the feast, not in their own merit, solely, but primarily because their nakedness and many imperfections are covered by the merit of him who gave his life as their ransom price, and whose imputed righteousness, as a robe, alone makes them presentable and acceptable before the King. All must wear the robe. Each may embroider his own with good works.

How remarkable and significant that this should be the great, general, closing test. Our Heavenly Father is evidently determined that none shall be of the bride company except such as realize clearly their own nothingness, and that the great Bridegroom is their Redeemer, as well as their Lord and Teacher.

It seems strange, too, that any who had run well so far along the course should fall when so near the fruition of their hope; yet, when warned of such a possibility, it behooves all the consecrated to watch and pray, lest they enter into temptation; for in these last days come the perilous times foretold by the Apostle. (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1; 4:3-5) And yet the times are not so perilous that divine grace is unable to sustain those who lean confidently upon the Omnipotent Arm. Indeed, those who humbly keep the narrow way of sacrifice were never before so well sustained, or so fully equipped with the whole armor of God. But, strange as it may seem, the very abundance of God's favors, the very clearness of the unfoldings of the Lord's gracious plans (for using the Church during the Millennium to bless all the families of the earth), instead of leading to humility and a greater appreciation of the wonderful ransom price, through which release from condemnation is accomplished, and our call to the divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ is secured, seems to have the opposite effect upon some. Such seem to lose sight of their personal unworthiness, as well as of the Lord's unblemished perfection; and, instead of realizing themselves to be at best "unprofitable servants," they seem to see, in their own little self-denials for the truth's sake, something wonderful - the equivalent of what our Lord Jesus did - and feel that they as much as he are indispensable to the execution of the great plan of the ages which the Scriptures reveal. Such are guilty of "not holding the Head," and his great work of redemption, in proper respect. (Col. 2:19) These stand condemned of "counting the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified" (and accepted) a common or ordinary thing. (Heb. 10:29) These do despite to the very spirit of God's favor, when they reject the "way" - the only way - and the only name given under heaven and among men, whereby we must be saved from Adamic condemnation and fully reconciled to God.

These are represented in the parable by the one "bound," hindered from making further progress toward the feast, or even toward a further appreciation of its blessings and joys; and these will finally be cast out of the light entirely, into the "outer darkness" of the world, to share in the anguish and vexations of the great time of trouble. To these, therefore, the very truths now unfolding, designed for our good and development, become an occasion of stumbling, because they are not rightly exercised by them. And as Israel, so long specially favored of God, became proud, and began to think themselves actually worthy of those favors, and indispensable to the divine plan, so that God cast them off from all favor, so now it will be with those who, though they have hitherto run well, fail to keep humble, and begin to think themselves worthy to stand before God in their own righteousness, and who assume a right to partake of the feast without the wedding robe of Christ's imputed righteousness.

Peculiarly sad though it be, this feature of prophecy, shown in the parable under consideration, is also fulfilling before our eyes, forming another link in the great chain of evidence that we are in the "harvest." Some of those enjoying present spiritual favors have thus disdained and cast aside the wedding robe; and, though still speaking of Christ as Lord, they despise and deny the importance and efficacy of the very transaction by which he became Lord, and on account of which they were counted worthy of an invitation to the marriage. (Rom. 14:9; 5:2) They boldly claim to need no Redeemer; and with subtle sophistries and misapplications of Scripture they convince themselves and others that they get into the sheepfold by another way without being ransomed - in their own righteousness, which the Apostle terms "filthy rags"; and some claim that they need no Advocate or Ransom, but were unalterably elected by God to heavenly glory.

This taking off of the wedding garment, by a rejection of the value of Christ's ransom-sacrifice, first made its appearance amongst those in the light of present truth in the summer of 1878; and since that time it has been testing all who entered into the light of the guest-chamber, the harvest light. In the very presence of the Bridegroom the error has gained a footing; and some are casting aside the indispensable wedding robe. And what a commotion it has caused among the guests! what division! what sifting! Those who discard the robe seem anxious to have others do the same; and these strive while the faithful remonstrate; and the work of division goes on, even in the very guest-chamber; and doubtless it will continue up to the very last hour prior to the marriage.

Meanwhile, the invisible but present Bridegroom-King marks the faithful worthy ones who shall taste of his supper; and he permits, and in the parable foretold, this final test. Of those who have discarded the robe he inquires, "Friend [comrade], how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment?" - a gentle but very forcible reminder that the wearing of the robe was the very condition of his admission to the favors enjoyed, and that he had been provided one gratis. And we challenge any who now deny the value of Christ's death as their ransom-price, to say that they came into the present light - the knowledge of the Lord's presence and the other deep things of God, now so clearly seen - without, at the time of entrance, being clothed in this garment. No one ever entered in without the robe: others cannot see the deep things of God. (1 Cor. 2:7-14) Just as in the parable, so now, when this question is put to those who have rejected the robe, they are "speechless." They cannot deny that it was while wearing the robe they were admitted; and they do not like to acknowledge it.

"Then said the King into his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness." The "outer darkness" is the darkness that envelops the worldly-wise, the darkness of human reasoning undirected by God's Word and unsquared by his revealed plan of ransom and restitution. The binding or restraining makes an example of such before the company of the consecrated, and helps all the truly loyal ones to see most clearly the necessity and value of the robe in the King's estimation. The servants who are directed to do the binding are those who have the truth on the subject, and who can bind the influence of such with Scriptural testimonies on the value and necessity of the precious blood and the robe of righteousness which it purchased for us. In struggling against these arguments of Scripture, the disrobed ones are forced, by their own arguments and efforts to justify themselves, out of the light into the "outer darkness." To them, as to the world, the cross of Christ is now a stumbling-block and foolishness; but to the faithful, consecrated ones it is still "the power of God and the wisdom of God."

But let it not be overlooked that those of the parable who are "bound" and "cast into outer darkness" must first have been in the light of harvest truth; and consequently their responsibility and penalty are greater than the responsibility and penalty of those who never enjoyed such favor. Thousands in the nominal Church will doubtless follow the teaching of prominent leaders among them, in discarding faith in the efficacy of the precious blood of Christ as the sinner's ransom-price, who will not be accountable for the step to the fullest extent; because they have not been sufficiently enlightened with reference to it.

Thousands of professed Christians have never believed in Christ as their ransom or substitute, and have never worn the robe of his imputed righteousness. These, of course, are not noticed in the parable. The parable refers only to a very limited class, all of whom have once clearly appreciated the ransom, and while so appreciating it had, under the favor which it secured, entered into the special light of the harvest time - the time of the King's presence, just before the feast. With what care should those who have been once enlightened, and who have tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, guard against the merest suggestion to a step so disloyal, unjust and disastrous. Heb. 10:26-31; 6:4-8

In considering these parables, we must not make the mistake of presuming that all the wise virgins have already gone into the marriage - to the guest - chamber of special and final preparation - and that the door is shut before the inspection referred to in this parable begins. The door of opportunity still stands open to all the consecrated, robed by faith in the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness; the message, "Behold, the Bridegroom!" is still going forth; the wise virgins are still going out to meet him, and entering in with him to the marriage; and the foolish have not yet returned with oil in their vessels. But, since "the King came in" (since 1878, the parallel in time to our Lord's typical assumption of the office of King of the Jews - Matt. 21:1-13), the inspection of the guests and the testing of their appreciation of the wedding robe have been in progress. And while more of the wise virgins are still learning of the Bridegroom's presence and joyfully coming in to the feast, some of those already in are proving themselves unworthy to stay in, and have been, and are being, bound hand and foot; and their appreciation and apprehension of present truth - of the Lord's presence and the present and future work - begin to grow more and more dim, as, borne along by false reasonings upon false premises, they gradually or rapidly, according to temperament, gravitate toward worldly views of things - the "outer darkness" of the world, when contrasted with the inner light, now accessible to the properly robed saints. And, doubtless, all the virgins who come in must be tested upon this subject. Happy and fearless, in this testing, will be all who from the heart can say:

"My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand."

And such can exultantly sing:

"The Prince of my peace is now present,

The light from his face is on me.

O listen! beloved, he speaketh:

'My peace I now give into thee.'

The cross well covers my sins;

The past is under the blood;

I'm trusting in Jesus for all;

My will is the will of my God."

The End of the High Calling is Not

The Closing of the Door

The Scriptures do not give the exact date at which the door to the marriage feast will close, though they show plainly that it will not be closed until all the "virgins" shall have had an opportunity to enter, and after all the "wise" or ready ones have done so.

An open "door" symbolizes an opportunity of entrance to certain conditions and privileges; a shut door represents the termination of such privilege or opportunity. The privilege, invitation or opportunity of the Gospel age, granting, under restrictive conditions, to believers in Christ, entrance into joint-heirship with him in the heavenly Kingdom and to the divine nature, is the "door" by which we "have access into this grace [favor] wherein we stand"; namely, into the hope of sharing the glory of God. (Rom. 5:2) This door, which has stood open throughout the entire age, is sometime to be closed; and the door in the parable of the virgins marks this close - the termination of all such opportunities and privileges. This parable of the virgins merely portrays the events in the close of this age among those of the true Church living at that time. The "door" of this parable represents that certain special privileges, the consummation and goal of all the favors of the Gospel age, will be open to the "wise virgins" in the time of harvest; and the closing of the door when all of this class shall have availed themselves of such privileges represents the close of all the favor and privileges of the Gospel age; because the feast represents in full the Gospel advantages and privileges, being a representation of the grand consummation to which all other favors lead - the promised Kingdom glories.

Consider this "door" of opportunity and privilege, soon to close. Our Lord called it a gate, and said that during the Gospel age it would be difficult both to find and to enter it, and advised us to make great effort to enter, if we would share the immortality and Kingdom honors, to which it and no other door leads. He said, therefore, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say into you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able, when once the Master of the house has risen up and shut to the door." (Luke 13:25) This narrow way, as we have already seen, * is the way of self-sacrifice in the interest of the Lord's plan and work. The way is made narrow by the circumstances of the present time, by the opposition of the worldly spirit against truth and righteousness, so that whoever walks in the footprints of our Leader and Forerunner will find the way narrow or difficult and must suffer persecution. To walk in this way, as our Lord set us an example that we should follow in his steps, implies not only a passive conformity to his disposition or spirit, but also an active, energetic zeal in the promulgation of his truth at all hazards. And all who walk in this narrow way, faithful as he was faithful, into death, have fellowship in his sufferings, and will also in due time have fellowship in his glory, at the marriage feast - in the glory to be revealed at his appearing and Kingdom. Phil. 3:10; 1 Pet. 4:13

  • Vol. I, page 203.

In view of its glorious termination, the opportunity to walk in this narrow way of self-sacrifice for the truth's sake is the grandest privilege that was ever offered to any creature. The privilege of suffering with Christ and in his cause, after first recognizing him as our Redeemer, is therefore the door, and the only door of opportunity, by which the glory to follow, as the bride and joint-heir of Christ, can be reached.

There are three ways in which the closing of this door might be indicated: first, by a definite Bible statement of the exact date; second, by such a reversal of public sentiment with reference to the truth, that fidelity and zeal in its service would no longer meet with opposition, and when suffering with Christ for the truth's sake (Rom. 8:17) would be no longer possible; or third, by such a condition of affairs obtaining in the world that all opportunity for such service would be effectually obstructed, thus leaving no opportunities for candidates to enter into the work and to develop and prove their love and faithfulness by their activity and endurance.

Though we are definitely informed that the door will be shut sometime within this harvest period or end of the age, the Bible does not give the exact date; and, although after the great time of trouble there will be a grand reversal of public sentiment in favor of truth and justice, we have no intimation whatever that such a condition of affairs will obtain until after the harvest period is fully ended. But we have a clear intimation that the door will be shut in the manner last named; for, before the Millennial day breaks, we are forewarned of a dark night wherein no man can labor - "The morning comes, and also the night." Isa. 21:12. See also Vol. II, chap. viii.

The narrow way opened to us is the privilege and opportunity of cooperating with our Lord now, when to manifest his spirit of meekness and zeal and loyalty to God and his truth will be at the cost of earthly advantage; when to champion his cause and the truths which he advanced will make us, to say the least, very unpopular; and when our endeavors to honor his name and bless our fellow-men with the truth, by letting our light shine, bring upon us reproach, misrepresentation and persecution in some form. And if, as we have seen, the narrow gate-way opened means the privilege of thus sacrificing, faithfully, into death, at whatever cost, it follows that the closing of all such opportunity for such fellowship of service and suffering would be the closing of the door, the barring of the narrow way to the future glory and joint-heirship; our reign with Christ being conditioned on our faithfulness in his service, which now means suffering with him. Rom. 8:17; 6:8

And suffering with Christ, we have seen, is not the ordinary suffering, common to all in the fallen state, but only such sufferings as are the results, more or less directly, of the following of Christ's example, in advocating unpopular truths and in exposing popular errors. Such were the causes of the sufferings of Christ; and such will be the causes of persecution, suffering and loss to all who follow in his footsteps. They will have fellowship in his sufferings now, and in the end will be accounted worthy to share in the reward of such faithfulness to principle. This, throughout the Gospel age, has meant self-sacrificing labor and endurance of reproach in the sowing and watering of the seed of Christ's doctrines; and now, in the close of the age, it means a similar fidelity and endurance in the harvest work now in progress - even to the laying down of life, whether it be required by the gradual process of working it out in the Master's service, a dying daily, or by being brought more abruptly to a martyr's sudden death.

The worthiness of the espoused virgin Church to be the bride, the Lamb's wife, consists not merely in sinlessness, though she will be holy and "without blemish" - "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing" (Eph. 5:27), made "whiter than snow" in the great fountain of redeeming love, her Redeemer's merit. This much is necessary to all who will ever be accounted worthy of lasting life on any plane. But to be the bride of the Lamb, she must not only be a virgin in purity, and in addition be free from sinful alliance and coquetry with the world, but she must be more, much more than this. She must so closely resemble her Lord, and so closely follow his footsteps and his counsel, that she will on this account be a sufferer, a martyr, as he was, and for the sake of the same principles of truth and righteousness. She must prove that she possesses a consuming love for the Bridegroom, and an untiring devotion to his name and principles, so as to be willing to be despised and rejected of the worldly, as he was, for the sake of obedience to his doctrines.

To develop and demonstrate this character, she must be tried and tested. Her confidence, her endurance, her fidelity to her Lord, through evil as well as good, must be developed and proved. And only such as are thus developed and tested and by the test proved faithful, will ever be owned and recognized as the bride and joint-heir of the Lord, the heir of all things. As it is written, "Blessed the man that endures under temptation: because, having become [thus] approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to them that love him" - thus intensely. Thus, rightly understood, every trial of our fidelity should be joyfully met as a fresh opportunity to show the Bridegroom the depth and strength of our love, and another proof of worthiness of his love and confidence and of the promised exaltation. Those who will share with the Lord the coming glory must not only be called and accepted, but also faithful, even into death. Rev. 17:14

Thus the door of opportunity to engage, with Christ our Lord, in the work of the Gospel age, will be closed when "the night comes wherein no man can work." And all who have not previously by faithful service, developed the necessary character and proved their sympathy, devotion, love and zeal for the Lord and his truth (Matt. 10:37; Mark 8:38), will then be too late to do so. As represented in the parable, they will thus be proved to be "foolish virgins," for letting slip the great and glorious opportunity to suffer with and on behalf of him with whom they would gladly reign. By that time, the full number predestinated by God to constitute and complete the Church will have been called, chosen, and by trial proved faithful-"copies of the likeness of his Son." (Rom. 8:29) The harvest will be past, the summer time of favor ended, and only the burning of the tares will remain, to clear the field (the world of mankind) and to prepare it fully for the much more extensive sowing of the Millennial age.

The closing in of this night will evidently put a stop to any further labor to disseminate the truth, which, misunderstood by the public generally, will probably be accused of being the cause of much of the anarchy and confusion then prevailing, instead of being seen in its true light as a foreshadowing of the divine mind and revelation concerning coming troubles of the world and their true causes. Nor should we expect that the coming of night and the closing of the door will be sudden, but rather that it will be a gradual obstructing and closing down of the harvest work.

The present is the time for the sealing of the servants of God in their foreheads, before the storm of trouble bursts (Rev. 7:2,3); and every wise virgin should appreciate this privilege of the present, both for his own intellectual sealing with the present truth, and also for engaging in the harvest work of sealing others of the wheat class and gathering them into the barn of security, before the night comes and the door of opportunity to labor is shut.

That the present, most favorable opportunity is but a brief one, is manifest from the fact that only twenty-four years of the harvest period remain, the close of which will witness the end of the reign of evil and the ushering in of the glorious Millennial Day; and within this period the dark night of the world's greatest tribulation must find place. The great darkness which must precede the glorious day is drawing on: "the morning comes, and also the night" - "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."

Observe that, when this night comes, when the reapers must cease their labors, it will prove that this final work of the Gospel age is accomplished; that the elect number of the Bride of Christ have all been "sealed," and "gathered" into a condition of separateness from the worldly - into the barn condition (Matt. 13:30); for God will not permit anything to put an end to his work until it is finished. Then, all the true and faithful servants of God will have been sealed in their foreheads; and, the work of the Gospel age being finished, no more can enter into that work or reap its rich reward, foretold in the "exceeding great and precious promises" as the reward of the faithful who enter while the "door" is open. 2 Peter 1:4

But we are not to gather from this that all, as quickly as proved faithful, will at once enter into their reward. Possibly some such may live on, far into that dark night of trouble - though our expectation is to the contrary. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Having put on the whole armor of God, and boldly withstood error by clear and fearless presentation and defense of the truth, during this evil day, when giant errors so boldly and defiantly stalk abroad, the saints are exhorted, "Having done all, to stand," clad in full armor, with the sword of the spirit ever ready for defense, and with watchfulness and perseverance and prayer for all saints. All will have need of patience, that after having done the will of God they may receive the promise. Rev. 14:12; Eph. 6:13; Heb. 10:36

The ending of the high calling to joint-heirship with our Lord Jesus in the Kingdom of God, it should be distinctly understood, is not the shutting of the door in the parable of the virgins. Though the general "call" to this favor ceased in 1881, the "door" is yet open. The call is the general invitation of God, to all justified believers in the Redeemer, to follow in his footsteps of self-sacrifice, even into death, and thereby prove their worthiness to reign with him in glory. This favor had a definite time for beginning: the waiting disciples were accepted to it on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 33. And it has had, as already shown, a definite time of ending; viz., October 1881. *

  • See Vol. II, Chapter vii.

On the other hand, the closing of the "door," in the parable of Matt. xxv, marks the full end of all opportunity for any, even of the "called" ones, thereafter to attain the prize of the high calling. It marks the end of all opportunity to prove worthy of the prize by faithfulness in the service: all opportunity for service will there terminate, in the "night" wherein no man can work. (John 9:4) It is manifest, therefore, that the door, or opportunity, thus to make our calling and election sure, does not necessarily close when the call, or general invitation to all believers to enter, ceases to go forth. And, while the door stands open, it indicates that any believer who is anxious to enter and ready to comply with the conditions may yet do so, even though the general "call" or invitation to enter is no longer sent out. As a matter of fact, the door or opportunity to labor and sacrifice has not yet closed, though the general call ceased in 1881.

The Gospel age has been the calling time - first, for calling sinners to repentance and to faith in Christ the Redeemer; and, second, for calling these justified ones to the high privilege of joint-heirship with Christ in his Kingdom, on the condition of following now in his footprints of self-sacrifice, even into death - as the condition of acceptance to the Kingdom work and honors of the coming Millennial age. When, therefore, the Lord tells us that the closing period of the age will be a harvest time, it indicates clearly a radical change - from sowing to reaping, from calling to testing the called and closing the work begun by the call.

As an illustration of the change in the character of the work at the close of the Gospel age, our Lord gave the parable of the drag-net. (Matt. 13:47-50) "The Kingdom of heaven is like into a net that was cast into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; which, when it was full, they [the fishermen] drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels and cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the age [the harvest, Matt. 13:39]: the angels [messengers, servants of God] shall come forth and separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire [the great time of trouble]: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

This parable represents the nominal Christian Church as the nominal prospective Kingdom of God - the net cast into the sea (the world), which gathered fish (men - Matt. 4:19) of every kind (real Christians, half deceived and deluded Christians, and multitudes of hypocrites); which, when it is full (in the fullness of God's time), is drawn to shore. It shows that the "every sort" gathered into the nominal Church are not fit for the Kingdom, whatever else they may be fit for; that at the close of the age - in the harvest time - the call or invitation to a place in the Kingdom would cease by God's arrangement, as represented by the dragging of the net to shore; and that then a different work would be commenced by the fishermen-namely, a separating, a dividing work, which will accomplish the gathering of the desired sort and the rejection of others who are unworthy of the favor to which they had been called; for "many are called, but few chosen." Matt. 22:14

The separating work of this parable is the same as that shown in the parable of the wheat and the tares, which teaches us to expect a discontinuance of the sowing (the calling), and a change from that work to the work of reaping. The Lord's servants, who, under his direction, will thus change the work, are in both parables called angels - special messengers of God. They are his faithful disciples who, walking very humbly, and near to the Lord, and very earnestly seeking to know his plan and to cooperate in his work, are not left in darkness concerning his times and seasons. (Matt. 13:11; 1 Thess. 5:4; Jer. 8:7-12) Of course, this reaping and gathering relates only to those living in the harvest time, and not to those who died previously; each of whom, as he finished his course, was noted, and separated to await his proper position in or out of the glorified little flock, the Kingdom proper. 2 Tim. 4:8

The net was not intended to catch all the fish of the sea. Our Lord, the great Chief Fisherman, designed to catch a particular number of fish of a particular kind, no matter how many of other varieties went into the net with them; and when the full number of the desired, peculiar kind, have entered the net it is ordered ashore for the purpose of sorting and separating. When the net is thus ordered ashore, the commission given at the beginning of the age, to cast the net into the sea (Matt. 28:19; 24:14), should be understood as at an end; and all who would continue to be coworkers with the Lord must give heed to his directions, and no longer give their time to general fishing, but to the present work of selecting and gathering. And as the truth then due was the agency for calling, so truth, "present truth," harvest truth, is now the Lord's agency for testing and dividing.

When, therefore, the Lord's servants hear his voice, through his Word, declaring that the time has come to stop sowing and to begin reaping, to stop catching and go to sorting the fish, to stop calling and to preach the harvest message now due to those already called, they will, if faithful, gladly and promptly obey. Such, therefore, instructed of the Master concerning his plan of the ages, and not in darkness as to the times and seasons in which we are living, should no longer be going forth seeking to sow the good seed of the Kingdom in the field or world of mankind, but should be "giving meat in due season to the household of faith" - scattering among the Lord's professed children the good tidings of the Kingdom at hand, and of the great joy and blessing it will soon bring to all people.

And, strange to say, it is this message of God's loving provision, in the ransom, for the restitution of all things, by and through Christ Jesus and his glorified body, the Church, God's Kingdom (this message, which should rejoice, refresh and unite all loving Christian hearts), that is to develop and draw into heart-union the true class only, to test them and to separate them from the nominal mass.

Shortly the harvest will be ended, and then both he that sowed and he that reaped will rejoice together. Now, the reapers must hasten the work, and should feel so concerned about its full accomplishment as to pray the Lord of the harvest, the Chief Reaper, to send forth more laborers into his harvest. It will not be long before the plowman of the next dispensation (the great trouble foretold, which will prepare the world for the Millennial seed-sowing) shall overtake the reaper of this dispensation. Amos 9:13

Israel's Seventieth Week a Figure of

The Close of Gospel Favor

It will be remembered that Israel's "seventieth week" - the last seven years of their favor - was very exactly marked at its beginning, middle and close; and we believe for the very purpose of giving us clearly defined dates in the close of the Gospel age of favor to Spiritual Israel. We have seen that the beginning of that week was to Fleshly Israel the date of the beginning of their harvest testing, in A.D. 29. It was marked by our Lord's baptism and recognition as Messiah at Jordan, when the reaping work began - the parallel to which, here, is the recognition of the presence of the Lord, in A.D. 1874, at the beginning of this harvest.

The middle of that covenant week, A.D. 33, was the date of the rejection of Israel as a system or church-nation, and was marked by our Lord's death on the cross, and by his words just before his death, "Your house is left into you desolate." And the parallel to that, here, is the rejection from favor and the fall of the sectarian systems, called Christendom or "Babylon," in 1878.

The last half of Israel's covenant week (3 1/2 years, from A.D. 33 to 36) was not a period of national or sectarian favor, but of individual favor, granting the Israelites (not as formerly through the channels of the nominal Church, but individually, if they would receive it) all the favors and special privileges of the Abrahamic covenant, down to the end of those seventy symbolic weeks, the limit of their favor, marked by the sending of favor to Cornelius and Gentiles in general. So in the parallel, here: the 3 1/2 years from April, 1878, where so-called Christendom, or "Babylon," was rejected from favor, to October, 1881, was the closing period of the favor of the high calling to individual believers. Thus, the general "call" (the favor of this Gospel age) ceased with October, A.D. 1881, just as the corresponding date, October, A.D. 36, witnessed the end of Jewish favor.

The Jewish favor consisted in the offer to Israel of the Kingdom - the call of the natural children of Abraham to avail themselves of the privileges and opportunities granted them under their Law Covenant. This call, favor or privilege ceased totally and forever with the end of their covenant week. The Gospel favor consisted in the offer of the Kingdom (exclusively) to believers in Christ - the "high calling" of all reconciled to God under the Grace Covenant, who might avail themselves of the opportunities thus granted (and become members of the Abrahamic "seed" which is to bless the world) by joining with Christ Jesus, their Redeemer, in his covenant of self-sacrifice; the test which must demonstrate their worthiness to share in Christ's coming work and glory. And it is this favor, this "call" or invitation, which we have seen ceased, totally and forever, in October 1881, the parallel point of time to the end of the Jewish call or favor.

Be it noted, that the stopping of the Jewish favor or call was followed by another general call, which, ignoring them and their past favor, nevertheless included any of them who afterward, by becoming believers, became worthy of that world-wide call to the honor of the Kingdom. The stopping of their past favor was just as actual as though they had not been invited to anything after their favor ceased; just as actual as though they had afterward been invited to a lower favor; but it is not as noticeable, because the general Gospel call, which did not exclude them, was the same call broadened and deepened; made applicable to all believers in Christ, of every nation.

The stopping of the favor or "call" here, in 1881, is followed, or rather lapped upon, by the general call of the whole world to the Millennial blessings and favors upon conditions of faith and willing obedience (not however a sacrifice into death). This however, is a lower call, a lesser favor than that which ceased; a call to enjoy blessings under the Kingdom, but not to be parts of the anointed, Kingdom class. And this change - this stopping of the higher favor and beginning of a lesser favor will be little noticed in the present time, by reason of the fact that the great prize of the Kingdom and joint-heirship with Christ as partakers of the divine nature, has been generally lost sight of in the Church. The highest conception of reward generally held by Christians for centuries past is, that in their resurrection they will be given perfect bodies; and, freed from sickness, pain and sorrow, will enjoy God's favor and have everlasting life. And this conception, though far short of the real privileges under the "high calling" of the Gospel age, is really a fair conception of the blessed privileges to be granted during the Millennial age to the world in general - to as many of them as will then yield obedience and come into harmony with God.

As a matter of fact, then, the only ones who see clearly the peculiarly high and grand features of the call of the Gospel age - the only ones, therefore, who could announce or explain this calling - are the very ones who are also shown from God's Word that the time limit of this call was reached in October, 1881. Others, while quoting the Apostle's words concerning a "high calling of God in Christ," really explain the lower call which belongs to the Millennial age. Hence the general Gospel call, the true one, is ended. None can extend it. Some cannot because they do not understand it and could not give it, and some because they know it to be at an end.

But though the general "call" has ceased, the "door" is not yet shut. The end of the "call" and the shutting of the "door" are distinct and separate. The "door" stands open for some to enter the race, for the great prize of joint-heirship in the Kingdom, after the general "call" has ceased. God had predetermined a fixed number to constitute the Church, "the body of Christ"; and there can be neither one member superfluous nor one lacking. (See this typically taught in Lev. 21:17-23.) It follows that he could not call or invite to that honor more than would complete the number he had determined. And, in October 1881, his Word shows, this full number had been secured. But, since some of those who responded under the general call and made the covenant with him will fail to keep their covenant, fail so to run as to obtain the prize, the "door" stands open after the general call has ceased, to permit the entrance to the race, to self-sacrifice in the service of the truth, of some to take the places of such as may, during the inspection, cast aside the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness; and also of such others as, having made the covenant of self-sacrifice in the service, love the present world, become overcharged with its cares or pleasures, and fail to perform the requirements of their covenant.

And, again, it should be noted that the ending of the call in 1881 in no way interfered with the privileges of the thousands who had already accepted the call and become God's consecrated servants: it put none out who were in. Nor does it imply that no more can come in: it was merely the stopping of God's general invitation.

The fact that you may only recently have come to a clear knowledge of the exceeding great and precious promises of the things which God has in reservation for them that love him does not prove that you were not called and accepted as a runner for this great prize long before you understood how great and grand is the prize. The fact is, not one who accepts the call is able, at first, to comprehend fully either the roughness and narrowness of the way or the grandeur of the prize to be attained at its farther end. The clearness of our comprehension of the promises is to us the power of God working in us to strengthen us and to enable us to overcome present obstacles and trials. The exceeding great and precious promises are unfolded to us gradually, as we prove faithful and go on, in order that by these - by the strength and courage which they infuse - we may be enabled so to run as to obtain the prize. 2 Pet. 1:4

The class to receive the prize is not only called and chosen (accepted), but also faithful. And though the general call has ceased, it is evident that the testing of the faithfulness of the called ones is not yet finished. The faithful are being sealed, and separated from those who are unfaithful to their covenant of self-sacrifice; and the wise virgins are being separated from the foolish, whose folly consists in supposing that they can run for and win the world's prizes of honor, wealth, etc., and at the same time run faithfully the race for the great prize of glory, honor and immortality - the very conditions of which render such a dual course impossible. "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Jas. 1:8, Matt. 6:24

When all the faithful "wise virgins" have been proved so, and have entered in to the joys of the Lord, the "door" of opportunity to become of that class will close; and no more can enter it. When all the wise have entered in, the number predestinated will be complete; and then the Master will rise up and shut the door. (Luke 13:24,25; Matt. 25:10) Our Lord himself tells us that then many will begin to see matters differently - to see what privileges and opportunities for sacrifice they once enjoyed and missed. But when they seek entrance, the Master will tell them, I do not recognize you as my bride - she is complete, and I have but one. But, thank God, other scriptures show that the foolish virgins, though thus rejected from the high calling, for which their conduct when on trial will have proved them unworthy, will nevertheless be favored, and will be known in a humbler capacity in the Lord's household.

Therefore, before the door shuts, before the full number of the faithful is completed, let each strive to make his calling and election sure; and to this end let us permit the Lord, by these precious promises and these explanatory parables, to work in us to will and to do his good pleasure.

But some may yet say, I fear that I am not one of those called before the general call ceased in 1881, because I was then not only wholly ignorant of the deep things of God's promises, but more: I was wholly a stranger to God, and even an enemy of his, far from any covenant with him to do him service, and far from any such desire. Only recently I came to know God, at all; recently I took Christ's yoke upon me to learn of him; and still more recently I learned of the privilege of suffering with Christ now, by self-denials in his service, and that such joint - sacrificers are by and by to be made joint-inheritors with him in the glorious work of the Millennium. And now, after seeing these glories, after admiring these precious things, and after setting myself to run this race for this wonderful prize, must I conclude that it is not open to me, because enough to fill the number had already been called? I would not think to change the divine arrangement, or to ask that another be added beyond the limit determined by divine wisdom, but I shall feel keenly my misfortune.

To such we answer: Run on. Your case is not so dark as it seems to you. The "door" is not yet "shut." Remember that if all who had accepted the call when it closed should prove faithful to their covenant, there would be none too many, but just enough. Remember, too, that your observation as well as the Scriptures, indicates that of the many who accept the call few will be chosen, because but few prove faithful to their covenant when on trial. As one after another some of the called ones prove unfaithful, their opportunities, their places of labor and their crowns of reward are transferred to others. One of these places of labor and one of these crowns of reward may be transferred to you, and your name may be written on the scroll of life as a probationary member of the Bride of Christ, in the place of one erased as unworthy. See Rev. 3:5; Heb. 12:23.

Those who can grasp these precious promises and who have the desire to work in the vineyard have a strong evidence that they have been begotten of the spirit; * for the human mind, even when justified, is unable to grasp the deep things intended by God for those only who have consecrated themselves and been accepted. (1 Cor. 2:6-16) And the Lord is too loving and too just to authorize in the hearts of any hopes which could never be realized. To be begotten of the spirit, through the Word of truth, implies an ultimate birth to spirit conditions, unless the one as begotten prove himself unworthy-unfaithful. "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which has great recompense of reward."

  • See Vol. I, page 226.

The Eleventh Hour

Matt. 20:1-16

This parable seems to have been given specially to teach a lesson for this time. The laborers are those earnest, consecrated children of God who throughout this Gospel age - the "day" of the parable - are faithfully spending their time and energy, not in the service of self, the service of mammon, but in the service of God. Only the faithful therefore are represented by the laborers, all of whom get the same reward, the Kingdom honors represented in the parable by the "penny."

The generality of the call and the need of laborers are represented by the four calls - early in the morning, at nine o'clock, at noon, and at three o'clock in the afternoon. Yet the exact, clear understanding of what the wages should be was mentioned only at the beginning: the householder then "agreed" to give them a penny for the service. So the promise of the Kingdom was clearly understood by the early Church, but afterward was in the main lost sight of and not clearly enunciated. The living members of Christ's Church laboring in his vineyard at any time during this Gospel age represent all the laborers. And the parable shows, as its particular feature, a class who enter this service of the Lord when the day's work is about done, at the "eleventh [the last] hour." They are represented as some desirous of engaging in the Master's service, but too late, the general call having ended. They say - "No man has hired us," we were too late to get into the service under the call.

The Master responds by pointing to the door of opportunity for doing and suffering in his service not yet "shut" the close of which will be indicated by the coming of "the night in which no man can work." But he says nothing about what the reward will be; though in employing the others under his general call, he said, "Whatsoever is right I will give you" * - a portion of the pay at first "agreed" upon.

  • The oldest Greek Manuscripts, the Sinaitic and the Vatican, omit from Matt. 20:7the words, "and whatsoever is right that shall ye receive."

So, during the Gospel age, our Lord has continually, through his mouthpieces in the Church, invited all believers to enter into his service. The full reward, the divine nature and Kingdom glory, was clearly stated and well understood at first; but, although repeated throughout the age, it has not since been clearly understood because of the great falling away from the truth. But now we have come to the close of the Gospel day of service - to the "eleventh hour." It is past the time for calling laborers for this day. Yet, some are now standing by and saying, We have not been called into the work; "no man has hired us"; we have no promise of labor, nor of a reward if we should find work; the call is ended, the day's work is nearly done; there are enough laborers without us. But to these the Master would have us say, as his mouthpieces, "Go ye also into my vineyard"; I promise nothing, the general call is ended, the time is short, the time for labor is nearly ended, "the night comes wherein no man can work"; but go in, show your love and zeal, and leave the rewarding to my generosity.

And this is all we can say; the only hope we can hold out is that no man ever labored for our Master who will not receive abundantly more than he could ask or expect. And then we know that some of the places in the work will be vacated by reason of some not continuing faithful, and that the crowns of reward set apart for such will be given to others who, by faithfulness and self-sacrifice, prove themselves worthy of the work and the reward.

So, then, if any have but recently come to know and love our Lord, and desire to serve him and his truth, let not such be discouraged because the general call ended in 1881. If you see the "door" of opportunity for sacrifice and service open before you, enter in. But enter quickly; for the night of darkness and of intense opposition to the truth will ere long be upon us and will hinder you from engaging in the service. "The morning comes, and also the night." "The night comes in which no man can work." When that is true, you may know that "the door is shut," that all the wise virgins have entered in, that all have been proved, and that all vacancies have been acceptably filled. All the special "servants of God" having by that time been "sealed in their foreheads" (given an intellectual appreciation of God's plan), the four winds will be loosed (Rev. 7:1-3), and will produce the great "whirlwind" of trouble in the midst of which the remnant of the Elijah class will be "changed," and exalted to Kingdom glory.

What a lesson is here for those who have covenanted with the Lord to serve him first and chiefly, and who are neglecting his work to strive with time and thought and means for the transient joys and prizes which the world offers. These the Lord urges, saying, "Be thou faithful into death, and I will give thee a crown of life." "He that overcomes [who conquers in himself the spirit of the world], the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his holy servants." "Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Rev. 2:10; 3:5,11

Let Us Go Forth

- Hebrews 13:13 -

"Silent, like men in solemn haste,

Girded wayfarers of the waste,

We pass out at the world's wide gate,

Turning our back on all its state;

We press along the narrow road

That leads to life, to bliss, to God.

"We cannot and we would not stay;

We dread the snares that throng the way;

We fling aside the weight and sin,

Resolved the victory to win;

We know the peril, but our eyes

Rest on the splendor of the prize.

"No idling now, no wasteful sleep,

From Christian toil our limbs to keep;

No shrinking from the desperate fight;

No thought of yielding or of flight;

No love of present gain or ease;

No seeking man or self to please.

"No sorrow for the loss of fame;

No dread of scandal on our name;

No terror for the world's sharp scorn;

No wish that taunting to return.

No hatred can to hatred move,

And enmity but kindles love.

"No sigh for laughter left behind,

Or pleasures scattered to the wind;

No looking back on Sodom's plains;

No listening still to Babel's strains;

No tears for Egypt's song and smile;

No thirsting for its flowing Nile.

"What though with weariness oppressed?

'Tis but a little and we rest.

This throbbing heart and burning brain

Will soon be calm and cool again;

Night is far spent and morn is near -

Morn of the cloudless and the clear.

"'Tis but a little and we come

To our reward, our crown, our home!

Another year, or more, or less,

And we have crossed the wilderness;

Finished the toil, the rest begun,

The battle fought, the triumph won!"

- H. Bonar

STUDY VII THE DELIVERANCE AND EXALTATION OF THE CHURCH Edit

The Deliverance of the Church Near - It will be the Harbinger of Deliverance to all Mankind - Its Date Approximated - How the Saints will Escape Those Things Coming on the World - How and When God will Help Her - The Manner and Circumstances of Her Final Deliverance - The Deliverance First of Those Who Sleep in Jesus - The Change of the Living Members of the Church - Will They Die? - Blessed are the Dead Who Die in the Lord from Henceforth.

"Look up, and lift up your heads; for your deliverance draws nigh." Luke 21:28

BY THE lamp of prophecy we have traced the wonderful events of the "harvest" down to their culmination in the great time of trouble; and, as we remember that within this eventful period the promised deliverance and exaltation of the Church are due, the central points of interest to the saints now are the time, manner and circumstances of their deliverance.

Our Lord taught us that as soon as we should begin to see the events of the harvest come to pass, then we should expect a speedy realization of our glorious hope. And, therefore, as we now mark the accumulating evidence of these signs, we do lift up our heads and rejoice in hope of the glory to follow; for the morning comes, although a brief, dark night must intervene. Nor is this rejoicing selfish in its character; for the deliverance and exaltation of the Church of Christ will be the harbinger of a speedy deliverance to the whole race, from the tyranny and oppression of the great enslaver, Sin, from the shadow and pains of sickness, and from the prison-house of death: "For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain,...waiting for the...deliverance of OUR BODY" - the "body of Christ" (Rom. 8:22,23); because, according to Jehovah's arrangement, the new order of things cannot be established until the great ruler, the Christ complete, Head and body, has come fully into power.

That the deliverance of the saints must take place very soon after 1914 is manifest, since the deliverance of fleshly Israel, as we shall see, is appointed to take place at that time, and the angry nations will then be authoritatively commanded to be still, and will be made to recognize the power of Jehovah's Anointed. Just how long after 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed; but it certainly will not be until their work in the flesh is done; nor can we reasonably presume that they will long remain after that work is accomplished. With these two thoughts in mind, we can approximate the time of the deliverance.

While there are clear indications that some of the living members of the body will witness the gathering of the storm and share in some of the troubles it will bring, there are also indications that none of these will pass entirely through it, nor even far into it. The Master's words, "Watch, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape those things that shall come to pass" (Luke 21:36), seem to indicate this. And yet we know that we are already passing through the beginning of these troubles (the troubles upon the nominal Church incident to its testing), and that we are escaping, while many on every hand are falling into error and infidelity. We escape, not by being taken from the scene of trouble, but by being supported, strengthened and kept in the very midst of it all by the Word of the Lord, our shield and buckler. (Psa. 91:4) While admitting that in like manner some members of the body might remain to the very end of the time of trouble, and pass through it all, and yet thus escape all the trouble coming, it is nevertheless clear, we think, that all the members of the body will be fully delivered - exalted to the glorious condition - before the severest features of the trouble come - after the body is complete and the door shut.

We have seen the storm gathering for years past: the mighty hosts have been mustering and preparing for the battle, and each successive year witnesses more rapid strides of progress toward the foretold crisis; yet, although we know that unparalleled disaster must soon dash all law and order into the abyss of anarchy and confusion, we do not fear; for "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth [the present organization of society] be removed [unsettled and disorganized], and though the mountains [kingdoms] be carried into the midst of the sea [the lawless and ungovernable people]; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled [with the disputings of contending factions]; though the mountains [kingdoms] shake [tremble for fear and insecurity] with the swelling [the threatening and rising power] thereof." Psa. 46:1-3

"There is a river [God's Word, a fountain of truth and grace], the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God [the Kingdom of God, the Church - even in its present embryo condition, before its exaltation to power and glory], the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High [the sanctuary - the Church wherein the Most High is pleased to dwell]. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her." Psa. 46:4,5

At the present time we are realizing this promised help, to the full extent of our present necessities, by being taken into our heavenly Father's confidence, made acquainted with his plans and assured of his favor and sustaining grace, and even being made co-workers with him. This help we shall realize to the full end of our course; and then we shall be helped still more by being "changed" to the higher sphere to which we are called, and toward which we diligently urge our way.

Though we may be sure that this "change" of the last living members of the body of Christ will not take place until the work committed to them in the flesh is accomplished, we are informed, as shown in the preceding chapter, that ere long our work will be cut short-gradually at first, and then completely and finally, when "the night comes, when no man can work." (John 9:4) And the gloom of that "night" will be dispelled only by the Millennial sunrise. When our work is done, and that night closes in around us, we may expect not only to see the storm-clouds grow much darker, but also to hear and to feel the rising "winds" which will culminate in a wild hurricane of human passion - a whirlwind of trouble. Then, having finished our appointed work, it will be our part to "stand," patiently, until our "change" comes. Eph. 6:13

How long the Lord may be pleased to let his saints stand in enforced idleness so far as his work is concerned, we do not know, but probably only long enough to let faith and patience have their perfect work. Here these virtues will be most fully developed, tested and manifested. This test of patience will be the final trial of the Church. Then "God will help her, at the dawning of [her] morning" (Psa. 46:5, Leeser's translation) - not the morning which is to dawn on the world at the brightness of her rising with her Lord as the sun of righteousness, but at the dawning of her morning in which she is to be changed to the nature and likeness of her Lord. Her morning is to precede the Millennial morning.

That this dark night is already approaching we are made aware, not only from the Scriptures but as well from the ominous signs of the times; and the fate of the Church then, so far as her human career is concerned, seems outlined in the closing pages of the lives of Elijah and John the Baptist, already referred to. * The beheading of the one, and the whirlwind and fiery chariot which bore away the other, probably indicate violence to the last members of the body of Christ. Yet Zion need not fear; for God is in the midst of her, and will help her. Her consecration is into death, and her privilege is to prove her faithfulness: "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord." Matt. 10:24,25

  • Vol. II, pages 260-263.

It will probably be in an effort at self-preservation on the part of "Great Babylon" - "Christendom" - when she sees her power in politics, priest-craft and superstition waning, that the work of truth - spreading will be stopped as detrimental to her system. And probably at this juncture the Elijah class, persisting in declaring the truth to the last, will suffer violence, pass into glory and escape from the severest features of the great time of trouble coming - just in the crisis of affairs when men begin to feel that desperate measures must be resorted to, to sustain the tottering structure of Christendom.

Although the exact time of the deliverance or "change" of the last members of the body of Christ is not stated, the approximate time is nevertheless clearly manifest, as shortly after the "door" is shut (Matt. 25:10); after the truth, which Babylon now begins to regard as her enemy, and as calculated to accomplish her destruction, shall have become more generally known and widely circulated; after "the hail" has to a considerable extent swept away the refuge of lies; and after the now smoldering and menacing hatred of the truth is thereby roused to an opposition so violent and so general as to effectually stop the further progress of the great work in which the saints are engaged. And God will permit this as soon as all the elect are "sealed." But, whatever of trouble or seeming disaster may await the saints while they remain in the flesh, and put a stop to the work which it is their meat and drink to do, let us take comfort in remembering that nothing can befall us without our Father's notice and permission, and that in every trial of faith and patience his grace shall be sufficient for those who abide in him, and in whom his Word abides. Let us look beyond the veil, and keep the eye of faith fixed upon the prize of our high calling, which God has in reservation for them that love him - for the called and faithful and chosen according to his purpose. Rev. 17:14; Rom. 8:28

While we may thus reasonably and Scripturally approximate the time and circumstances of the full deliverance of the Church, the manner of her glorification becomes all the more a question of deepening interest. And again we come to the divine oracles to make inquiry.

First, Paul declares, "We must all be changed [the living no less than the dead saints]: this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." And this "change" from mortality to immortality, he assures us, will not be accomplished by gradual development, but it will be instantaneous - "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," under the sounding of the "last trump" - which is already sounding. * 1 Cor. 15:53,50,52

  • See Vol. II, Chapter v.

Furthermore, order will be observed: some will be glorified or "changed" first, and others afterward. Precious in the sight of the Lord has been the death of his saints (Psa. 116:15): and though most of them have slept long, none have been forgotten. Their names are written in heaven as acceptable members of the Church of the Firstborn. And the Apostle declares that the living, who are left over to the presence of the Lord, will by no means precede those who fell asleep. (1 Thess. 4:15) Those who sleep in Jesus are not required to wait in sleep for the living members to finish their course, but are resurrected at once, as one of the first acts of the Lord when he takes his great power. And thus those members of the Christ who have slept will take precedence in entering into glory.

The exact date of the awakening of the sleeping saints is not directly stated, but may be clearly inferred from our Lord's parable of the young nobleman. After having received the kingdom and returned, the first work of the nobleman (who represented our Lord Jesus) was the reckoning with the servants (his Church) to whom his vineyard had been entrusted during his absence, and the rewarding of the faithful. And since the Apostle tells us that the dead in Christ will be reckoned with first, we may reasonably conclude that the rewarding of these took place as soon as our Lord, after his return, took into himself his great power.

To learn the date at which our Lord began the exercise of his power would therefore be to discover the time when his sleeping saints were awakened to life and glory. And to do this we have but to recall the parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel dispensations. Looking back to the type, we see that in the spring of A.D. 33, three and a half years after the beginning of the Jewish harvest (A.D. 29), our Lord typically took into himself his power and exercised kingly authority. (See Matt. 21:5-15.) And evidently the only object of that action was to mark a parallel point of time in this harvest, when he would in reality assume the kingly office, power, etc.; viz., in the spring of 1878, three and a half years after his second advent at the beginning of the harvest period, in the fall of 1874. The year 1878 being thus indicated as the date when the Lord began to take into himself his great power, it is reasonable to conclude that there the setting up of his Kingdom began, the first step of which would be the deliverance of his body, the Church, among whom the sleeping members are to take precedence.

And since the resurrection of the Church must occur some time during this "end" or "harvest" period (Rev. 11:18), we hold that it is a most reasonable inference, and one in perfect harmony with all the Lord's plan, that in the spring of 1878 all the holy apostles and other "overcomers" of the Gospel age who slept in Jesus were raised spirit beings, like into their Lord and Master. And while we, therefore, conclude that their resurrection is now an accomplished fact, and hence that they as well as the Lord are present in the earth, the fact that we do not see them is no obstacle to faith when we remember that, like their Lord, they are now spirit beings, and, like him, invisible to men. The facts that they are invisible, that tombs were not found opened and empty, and that none were seen going from the cemeteries, are not objections to such as have learned what to expect - to such as realize that our risen Lord left no hole in the walls of the room which he entered and left while the doors were shut; who remember that none saw the risen Redeemer except the few, to whom he specially and miraculously showed himself, that they might be witnesses of his resurrection; who remember that he appeared in various forms of flesh to prevent these witnesses supposing that he still was flesh or that any of the forms they saw was his glorious, spirit body. Such as remember that only Saul of Tarsus saw Christ's spirit body, and that by a miracle, while others around saw it not, and then at the expense of his sight, will readily see that their not having seen the risen saints with their natural eyes is no more of an objection to the fact of their resurrection than that they have not seen the Lord during this harvest, and have never seen angels, who, all through the Gospel age, have been "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation." *

  • See Vol. II, Chapter v.

Our belief that the Kingdom began to be set up, or brought into power, in April, 1878, be it observed, rests on exactly the same foundation as our belief that the Lord became present in October, 1874, and that the harvest began at that time. There "the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord's house," the Church, began to be "exalted above the mountains [kingdoms] of earth, and there the work of judging "Babylon," Christendom, and all the nations of the whole world, began, preparatory to their final overthrow.

Nor is it out of harmony with this thought, that the majority of the Church are exalted, while a few of the last members of that royal priesthood are yet "alive and remain"; for, as we have seen, the Apostle foretold this very order. To be among those who remain is no dishonor; and to be the very last one of those to be "changed" will be no discredit. Several scriptures show that there is a special work for the last members of the body to do on this side the veil, as important and as essentially a part of Kingdom work as that of the glorified members on the other side the veil. While the glorified Head and those members of the body on the other side the veil have the complete supervision of the great changes now in progress and about to be inaugurated in the world, the fellow-members who remain in the flesh are the agents of the Kingdom in publishing, by word, by pen, by books and by tracts, the "good tidings of great joy which shall be into all people." They tell the world the blessed tidings of God's gracious plan of the ages, and that the time is at hand for the glorious consummation of that plan; and they point, not only to the great time of trouble impending, but also to the blessings which will follow it as the results of the setting up of God's Kingdom in the world. A great and important work, then, is given to the remaining members: Kingdom work it is indeed, and accompanied also by Kingdom joys and blessings. Although yet in the flesh and pursuing their appointed work at the expense of self-sacrifice, and in the face of much opposition, these are already entering into the joys of their Lord - the joys of a full appreciation of the divine plan and of the privilege of working out that plan, and, in conjunction with their Lord and Redeemer, of offering everlasting life and blessings to all the families of the earth.

These with their message are clearly pointed out by the prophet Isaiah (52:7)as the "feet" or last members of the body of Christ in the flesh, when he says: "How beautiful upon the mountains [kingdoms] are the feet of him that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation [deliverance]; that saith into Zion, Thy God reigneth. [The reign of Christ, which shall bring deliverance, first to Zion, and finally to all the groaning creation, is begun.] Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice: with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see [clearly] eye to eye, when the Lord returns into Zion."

Poor, bruised "feet," now despised of men, none but yourselves fully appreciate the joy you have in proclaiming present truth, in saying into Zion that the time is at hand for the setting up of the Kingdom, and in declaring that Immanuel's reign of righteousness, soon to be inaugurated, is to bless all the families of the earth. But, though despised of men, the "feet" of Christ and their present mission are highly esteemed on the other side the veil by the glorified fellow-members of the body and by their glorious Head, who is willing to confess such faithful ones before his Father and all his holy messengers.

The mission of the feet, which is no insignificant part of the Kingdom work, will be accomplished. Though their message is popularly hated and discredited and they are despised by the world as fools (for Christ's sake) - as all his faithful servants have been throughout the Gospel age - yet, before they all are "changed" and joined to the glorified members beyond the veil, they, as agents of the Kingdom, will have left such records of that Kingdom and its present and future work as will be most valuable information to the world and to the undeveloped and overcharged children of God who, though consecrated to God, will have failed to so run as to obtain the prize of our high calling.

And let it not be forgotten that all who are of the "feet" will be thus engaged in publishing these good tidings and in saying to Zion, "Thy God reigneth!" - The Kingdom of Christ is begun! And all who are true watchmen can at this time see clearly, as one man, and can together harmoniously sing the new song of Moses and the Lamb - the song of Restitution, so clearly taught, not only in the law of Moses, which was "a shadow of the good things to come," but also in the clearer revelations of the Lamb of God contained in the writings of the New Testament - saying, "Just and true are thy ways." "All nations shall come and worship before thee." Rev. 15:3,4

One by one the "feet" class will pass from the present condition, in which, though often weary and wounded, they are always rejoicing, to the other side the veil; "changed" in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from mortality to immortality, from weakness to power, from dishonor to glory, from human to heavenly conditions, from animal to spirit bodies. Their work will not cease with this change; for all those who will be counted worthy of that change to glory will be already enlisted in the service of the Kingdom on this side the veil: only the weariness, the labor feature, will cease with the change - "They shall rest from their labor, but their works follow with them." Rev. 14:13

The "change" to these "feet" members will bring them into the same fellowship and glory and power already entered by the members who slept: they will be "caught away" from earthly conditions to be united "together" "with the Lord in the air" - in the spiritual rulership of the world. As already shown, * the "air" here mentioned symbolizes spiritual rule or power. Satan has long occupied the position of "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), and has used for his co-workers and joint-rulers in it many of the great ones of Babylon, who, under his blinding errors, verily think they are doing God service. But in due time the present "prince of the air" shall be bound, and shall deceive no more; and the present heavens, the great Antichrist system, will "pass away with a great noise," while the new prince of the air, the true spiritual ruler, Christ Jesus, will take the dominion and establish the "new heavens," uniting with himself in this power or "air" his bride, the "overcomers" of the Gospel age. Thus the "new heavens" will supersede the present "air" powers.

  • Vol. I, page 318.

But must all die? all of the "feet" who will be alive and remain until the presence of the Lord? Yes; they all consecrated themselves - "even into death"; and of these it is distinctly written that they must all die. No scripture contradicts this thought. God declares by the Prophet - "I have said, Ye are gods [mighty ones]! All of you sons of the Highest [God]! Yet ye shall ALL DIE like men, and fall like one of the princes." Psa. 82:6,7

The word here rendered "princes" signifies chiefs or heads. Adam and our Lord Jesus are the two heads or princes referred to. Both died, but for different reasons: Adam for his own sin, Christ as a willing sacrifice for the sins of the world. And all the Church of Christ, justified by faith in his sacrifice, are reckoned freed from the sin of Adam, and also from the death penalty attached to that sin, in order that they may share with Christ as joint-sacrificers. It is as such joint-sacrificers with Christ that the death of the saints is esteemed by God. (Psa. 116:15) The fellow-members of the body of Christ, when they die, are recognized as "dead with Christ," "made conformable into his death." They fall like one of the princes - not like the first, but like the second Adam, as members of the body of Christ, filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. Col. 1:24

That the term "gods," mighty ones, in this passage is applied to all the Sons of the Most High God, who will be joint-heirs with Christ Jesus, the heir of all things, is clearly shown by our Lord's reference to it. John 10:34-36

"Ye shall all die like men"; but, "behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep." To die is one thing, to "sleep" or remain unconscious, dead, is quite another. God's testimony, then, is that all the saints must die, but that they shall not all sleep. Our Lord died, and then slept until the third day, when the Father raised him up. Paul and the other apostles died, and thus "fell asleep," to rest from labor and weariness, to "sleep in Jesus," and to wait for the promised resurrection and a share in the Kingdom at the Lord's second advent. Accordingly, when the setting up of the Kingdom was due, their awakening from the sleep of death was due. Why should their waiting and sleep continue after the Lord is present and the time for His Kingdom has come? There can be no reason for it; and we believe, therefore, that they "sleep" no longer, but are now risen, and with and like their Lord. And if their continuance in the sleep of death is no longer necessary, neither is it necessary that any of the saints who now die in this time of the presence of the Lord and the setting up of his Kingdom should "sleep" or wait in death for a resurrection at some future time. No, thank God! the Life-giver is present; and, since 1878, when he took his great power and began the exercise of his authority, none of his members need to sleep. Hence, with all of "the feet" who die since that date, the moment of death is the moment of change. They die as men and like men, but in the same instant they are made like their Lord, glorious spirit beings. They are caught away from earthly conditions, to be forever with the Lord - "in the air" - in Kingdom power and glory.

It was after our Lord had accomplished the sacrifice of his human nature and had been raised from death, changed to a spirit being, that he declared, "All power in heaven and on earth is given into me." (Matt. 28:18) And not until all the members of the Christ have followed the example of the Head, and finished the sacrifice in death, will the Christ be complete and fully empowered for the great subsequent work of restoring all things.

In view of these things, how full of meaning is the statement, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors, but their works follow with them." (Rev. 14:13) Nowhere in the Scriptures is death represented as in any sense a blessing, except in this one instance; and here it is particularly limited and made applicable to a certain specific time * - "from henceforth." And even then, notice, it is blessed only to a special class - "the dead who die." This expression must not be considered a blunder, but as a very pointed and forcible description of the small class to whom death will be a blessing. This class constitutes "the feet of Him." And, as already shown, each member of the body of Christ must finish his sacrifice in actual death.

  • When, in a succeeding volume, we examine the wonderful visions of the Revelator, it will be clearly seen that the time here pointed out by the word "henceforth," as marked by events, synchronizes closely with 1878 as indicated by the prophecies herein noted.

These alone are the dead who die. They are reckoned of God as being already dead, and they are exhorted so also to reckon themselves: "Reckon ye yourselves dead indeed into sin." No other dead men can be said to die but this class of dead ones, who must finish their course of sacrifice in actual death.

Thus will God help Zion in the dawning of her morning - in the morning of the eternal day of Christ's triumph. Thus he is already helping her. One by one, imperceptibly to the world, the saints are now being changed, and are joining the company of the Church triumphant; and those who remain to the last proclaim the everlasting gospel until the door is shut and all opportunity to labor is at an end. Then they will "stand" in faith and patience and await their change accepting deliverance joyfully through whatsoever agency God may be pleased to permit its accomplishment.

Thus they will be saved from that great hurricane of trouble which will follow their departure, as well as preserved in the forepart of the battle in which a thousand will fall into infidelity, and be overcome by the various pestilences of error, to one who will stand. Psa. 91:7

As the time of trouble draws on, we must therefore expect the true Church in its present condition, the Elias, the John class, to decrease in influence and numbers, while the Christ in triumph and glory, the same body on the other side of the veil, will increase, as John prophetically indicated. John 3:30

A Little While

"A little while, our fightings will be over;

A little while, our tears be wiped away;

A little while, the power of Jehovah

Will turn our darkness into heaven's bright day.

"A little while, the fears that oft surround us

Will to the memories of the past belong;

A little while, the love that sought and found us

Will change our weeping into heaven's glad song.

"A little while! 'Tis ever drawing nearer -

The brighter dawning of that glorious day.

Blest Savior, make our spirits' vision clearer,

And guide, Oh! guide us in the shining way.

"A little while, O blessed expectation!

For strength to run with patience, Lord, we cry.

Our hearts up leap in fond anticipation:

Our union with the Bridegroom draws nigh."

STUDY VIII THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL Edit

The re-establishment of Israel in Palestine, an Event to be Expected Within This Harvest Period - How, and to What Extent, and With What Class, We Should Expect This Restoration - Date of its Beginning, and Evidences of its Actual Progress Since - Why Millennial Blessings, Intended for All Mankind, Will Reach and Revive the Jew First - The Revival of Jewish Hopes - Observations of Leading Jewish and Gentile Writers - The Harmony of These with Prophecy - Israel's Blindness Respecting Christ Already Turning Away - The Spread and Momentum of the Movement - God Will Help Them.

"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." Amos 9:11,14,15

AMONG the relics of antiquity that have come down to our day, there is no other object of so great interest as the Jewish people. The searchers after ancient lore have untiringly questioned every inanimate object that could give a mite of historic or scientific information. Monuments, altars, tombs, relics of public and private edifices, paintings, sculptures, hieroglyphics and dead languages have all been appealed to; and some have even endeavored patiently to discover the line of actual truth which probably inspired the many fanciful traditions, legends, songs, etc., that have come floating down the centuries, in order to learn all that it is possible to know of human origin, history and destiny. But the most interesting relic, and the one whose history can be most easily deciphered and understood is the Jewish people. In them we have a monument of antiquity of inestimable value, upon which are recorded, in clearly legible characters, the origin, progress and final destiny of the whole human race - a living and intelligent witness of the gradual outworking of a wonderful purpose in human affairs, in exact conformity with the predictions of their divinely inspired prophets and seers.

As a people, they are marked as distinct and peculiar by every circumstance of their history and by their common religious faith, as well as by every element of their national character, and even by their physiognomy and their manners and customs. The national characteristics of many centuries ago are still prominent, even to their fondness for the leeks and onions and garlic of Egypt, and their stiffnecked obstinacy. As a people, they truly had much advantage every way, in having committed into them the oracles of God, developing among them poets, lawyers, statesmen and philosophers, and leading them up step by step from being a nation of slaves to be - as in the time of Solomon, the zenith of their glory - a people distinguished and honored among the nations, attracting the wonder and admiration of the world. Rom. 3:1,2; 1 Kings 4:30-34; 10:1-29

That the re-establishment of Israel in the land of Palestine is one of the events to be expected in this Day of the Lord, we are fully assured by the above expression of the prophet. Notice, particularly, that the prophecy cannot be interpreted in any symbolic sense. It is not a Canaan in heaven to which they are appointed, but a Canaan on earth. They are to be planted upon "their land," the land which God says he had given them, the land which he promised to Abraham, saying, "Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land WHICH THOU SEEST, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. [An intimation of a then far distant period, giving ample time for such a multiplication of his seed.] Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it into thee." "And I will give into thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger - all the land of Canaan, for an EVERLASTING POSSESSION." (Gen. 13:14-17; 17:8) It is a land into which they were once privileged to enter, and in which they dwelt for centuries. But during that time they were many times plucked up and carried into captivity in other lands, while strangers wasted their cities, drank the wine of their vineyards, and ate the fruit of their gardens. And finally they were completely rooted out, their cities laid waste and desolate, and they were driven as wanderers and exiles from country to country the world over. But when replanted in their land according to this promise, "they shall no more be pulled up out of their land," which God gave them; and "they shall build the waste cities [cities in which they had formerly lived], and inhabit them." A scattered, homeless, desolate and persecuted people, they are still a distinct and homogeneous people. United by the strong ties of blood relationship, by common hopes inspired by a common faith in the wonderful promises of God, though they have but dimly comprehended those promises, and still further bound together by the bond of sympathy growing out of their common sufferings and privations as exiles, they, to this day, look and long for the hope of Israel.

As a people they still have faith in God, though in their blindness and pride of heart they have stumbled over the humility of God's appointed messenger for the world's salvation; so that, instead of receiving him, they crucified the Savior, the Lord of glory. And yet the apostles and prophets show us that even this flagrant crime, to which their pride and self-will drove them, was not one which could never be forgiven them. Because of it, they have been punished, and that severely. When they condemned the Just One and said, "His blood be upon us and upon our children," they little expected the fearful recompense which followed.

The terrible trouble and loss of life, the destruction of their holy city and temple, the full end of their national existence, and the scattering of the surviving remnant as exiles into all nations, completed the work of their harvest period. It began in factious civil strife and was completed by an invading Roman army. Fire, sword and famine accomplished upon them a fearful recompense.

And since that time Israel has truly been a nation scattered and peeled. Driven as exiles from country to country, and from province to province, they have been deprived of almost every right and privilege which other men enjoyed. Rejecting Christianity, as well in its corrupted as in its pure form, they became the objects of the contempt and relentless persecution of the Church of Rome. Says the historian:

"In Germany, France, England and Italy, they were circumscribed in their rights by decrees and laws of the ecclesiastical as well as the civil powers, excluded from all honorable occupations, driven from place to place, compelled to subsist almost entirely by mercantile occupations and usury, overtaxed and degraded in the cities, kept in narrow quarters, and marked in their dress with signs of contempt, plundered by lawless barons and penniless princes, an easy prey to all parties during the civil feuds, again and again robbed of their pecuniary claims, owned and sold as serfs by the emperors, butchered by mobs and revolted peasants, chased by monks, and finally burned in thousands by the crusaders, who also burned their brethren at Jerusalem in their synagogues, or tormented them by ridicule, abusive sermons, monstrous accusations and trials, threats and experiments of conversion.... They could own no land, belong to no guild of mechanics and engage in no form of art; they were shut up almost exclusively to trading. And, finding all mankind at war with them, their national pride and arrogance were by no means softened, and the breach consequently widened between the Jews and their Gentile neighbors everywhere."

Thus estranged from God and from their fellowmen of every nation, sad and pitiable indeed has been their miserable condition. During the relentless Papal persecutions, they have suffered in common with the saints and martyrs of Jesus - the Christian for his rejection of Antichrist, the Jew for his rejection of both Christ and Antichrist. While God has permitted these afflictions and persecutions to come as a penalty for their national crime of rejection of the gospel and crucifixion of the Redeemer, he will nevertheless in due time reward the constancy of their faith in his promises, to which they have so long and so perseveringly held. God foreknew their pride and hardness of heart, and foretold it as well as the evils which have come upon them; and no less pointedly has he foretold a departing of their blindness and the ultimate fulfilment to them of all the earthly promises declared long ago to Abraham and repeated by one after another of the holy prophets.

As the time for the promised restoration of God's favor to Israel draws on, we see a preparation being made for it. Within the present century a sifting and separating process is manifest among them, dividing them into two classes, the Orthodox and the Non-orthodox Jews. The former still hold to the promises of God, and still hope that God's set time to favor Zion may soon come. The latter are losing faith in a personal God, as well as in the Abrahamic promises, and are drifting toward liberalism, rationalism, infidelity. The Orthodox include most of the poor, oppressed Jews, as well as some of the wealthy and learned, and are vastly more numerous than the Non-orthodox; though the latter are by far the more influential and respected, often merchants, bankers, editors, etc.

The following is a brief summary of the faith of the Orthodox Jews:

"I believe with a true and perfect faith (1) that God is the creator, governor and maker of all creatures, and that he has wrought all things; (2) that the Creator is one, and that he alone has been our God, is, and forever shall be; (3) that the Creator is not corporeal, not to be comprehended with any bodily properties, and that there is no bodily essence that can be likened into him; (4) that nothing was before him, and that he shall abide forever; (5) that he is to be worshiped and none else; (6) that all the words of the prophets are true; (7) that the prophecies of Moses were true; that he was chief of all wise men that lived before him or ever shall live after him; [We may consider them somewhat excusable for this overestimate of such a noble and worthy character.] (8) that all the law which at this day is found in our hands was delivered by God himself to our master, Moses; (9) that the same law is never to be changed, nor any other to be given us of God; (10) that God understands all the thoughts and works of men, as it is written in the prophets - 'He fashions their hearts alike, he understands all their works'; (11) that God will recompense good to them that keep his commandments, and will punish them who transgress them; (12) that the Messiah is yet to come; and, although he retard his coming, yet 'I will wait for him till he come'; (13) that the dead shall be restored to life when it shall seem fit into God, the Creator, whose name be blessed and memory celebrated without end. Amen."

Since the destruction of their temple and their dispersion, the sacrifices have been discontinued; but in all other respects the Mosaic requirements are still observed among the Orthodox Jews. Their worship, as of old, consists in the reading of the Scriptures, prayer and praise. On the second day of their feast of trumpets they read the account of Abraham's offering of his son Isaac and God's blessing on him and his seed. Then they blow the trumpet and pray that God would bring them to Jerusalem.

The Non-orthodox or Reformed Jews, "Radicals," differ widely from the Orthodox: many of them are avowed atheists, denying a personal God. They deny that any Messiah is to come; and if they do not deny prophecy entirely, they explain that the Jewish nation is itself the Messiah and is reforming the world gradually, and that the sufferings predicted of Messiah are fulfilled in their persecutions and sufferings as a people. Others of them declare that civilization is the only Savior of the world they expect.

It will be the former class, no doubt, that will be regathered and blessed when Messiah comes a second time, in glory and power; who will say, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." (Isa. 25:9) And in the clearer light of Messiah's teaching, all faith in the vain traditions which they still hold as valuable additions to the law of God will vanish away. The time is fast approaching when God will speak peace to Israel and comfort them and fully turn away their blindness. We do not by this mean to intimate that those who have wandered far off into infidelity will never have their blindness removed. God forbid. The blind eyes of all, and of every nationality, will be opened; and all the deaf ears will be unstopped. But no special favor will come to these infidel Jews at the time of the returning favor; for "he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly" - merely by family relationship and facial expression. The Jews recognized by God as children of Abraham are those who hold to the faith of Abraham and trust in the divine promises.

Anglo-Israelites

And here we must express our dissent from the views of those who claim that the Anglo-Saxons are the Israel of promise, in the Scriptures. Briefly stated, they claim that the Anglo-Saxons, the people of the United States, etc., are the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel which separated from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, after Solomon's death, and which are often termed "the ten lost tribes"; because, after the captivity (of the entire twelve tribes) in Babylon, the ten tribes never re-established themselves in the land of Canaan, as "Israel," but became scattered as tribes and as individuals among the various nations. Those whose theory we criticize claim that they can trace their journey toward Great Britain, and that the greatness and influence of the English speaking peoples of the world are traceable to the fact that they belong to Israel, and are inheriting the promises made to Israel.

To this we answer: Some of the evidences offered in proof that they are of the "lost tribes" seem far from strong; but if we should admit all they claim in this, it would not prove their position, that the greatness and influence of the Anglo-Saxon race are attributable to their being Israelites by natural generation, any more than to their being "lost." Their greatness is attributable to their freedom and intelligence, which are traceable, not to their being lost, nor to their being born Israelites according to the flesh, but to the doctrines of Christ - to the light which some of the spiritual seed of Abraham let shine among them.

The fact that the ten tribes strayed away from the two is not to their credit, but otherwise. It is an evidence that they were disposed to reject God's promises; it is a sign of infidelity, of unbelief; for they well knew that God had predicted that the Lawgiver, the Savior, the Deliverer, the King, in whom and by whom the promises were to be fulfilled, was to come out of Judah. The tribe of Benjamin was the only tribe, therefore, aside from Judah, which, at the time of the revolt, manifested faith in God's promises. But at the time of the return from the Babylonian captivity, though those who showed their continued faith in God and his promises, by returning to the land of Canaan, were mostly of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, yet all who came back were not of these two tribes. Among them were some from the various tribes, who loved the Lord and sought him with repentance, still relying upon his promises. However, the vast majority of the ten tribes, as well as of the two tribes, did not avail themselves of the opportunity to return to the land of promise, preferring Babylon and other lands, many among them having fallen into idolatry and lost their respect for God's promises.

We must remember that but a few of those who returned to their land under the lead of Ezra and none of those who returned under Nehemiah were of those who had been taken captive, the vast majority having died years before in Babylon. These were their children, in whose hearts the faith of their fathers still burned, who still hoped for the blessings and honors promised to Abraham's seed. Thus the returning little band of less than fifty thousand were all the Israelites then remaining, of all the tribes, who by the act of returning to the land of promise showed that they still held to the faith of Abraham. It was to the descendents of these fittest ones, sifted out of all the tribes of Israel - though principally of the two tribes, and all called Jews, after the royal and predominating tribe - that our Lord presented himself and the Kingdom at the first advent, as representing the holy nation, Israel entire.

Our Lord referred to them as Israel, and not as a part of Israel, not as Judah merely. He speaks of even those who had clung to the promises, and to each other, as the "lost sheep of the house of Israel," in that they had wandered far from the truth, after the traditions of false shepherds who had led them in their own way and not as God directed. He says: "I am not sent save [except] to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." To the house of Israel consequently his ministry was confined, in harmony with the foregoing, showing that the Jews of his day were the only recognized representatives of the "house of Israel," as the terms, "all Israel," "our twelve tribes constantly serving God," and many similar expressions of our Lord and the apostles indicate. And it will be remembered that our Lord, in connection with this statement, that his ministry was to Israel, forbade his disciples going to any outside the Jews of Palestine. Matt. 10:5,6; 15:24

Notice also how the apostles used the word "Israel," and not "Judah," when speaking of those who were living at that time in Palestine (Acts 2:22; 3:12; 5:35; 13:16; 21:28), and how they apply the words of Isaiah concerning the remnant of Israel to the comparatively few who received the gospel (Rom. 9:4,27,29,31-33; 10:1-4; 11:1,7-14,25,26,31), and speak of all the rest as stumbling and being blinded. So, then, even if it could be demonstrated that the Anglo-Saxon peoples were part of "the ten lost tribes," we see clearly that no favor could have come to them upon that score, under that covenant; for they deserted the Israelitish covenant and became idolaters, unbelievers, and practically Gentiles. Besides, as already noted, * all recognized as the natural seed of Abraham, who would continue to reject Christ, were cast off from all favor from the time of Christ's death to the year 1878, when, chronologically, divine favor was due to return to them, and their blindness to begin to be removed. Consequently, the prominence of the Anglo-Saxons for the past centuries could in no sense have been Israel's returning favor. Those from whom the favor was taken for the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord are the ones to whom the favor is to return now. At that time, and ever since, Israel has been represented by "the Jew" (Rom. 2:9,10), and it is the Jew that will now be restored to favor as the natural "seed of Abraham." These, with the spiritual "seed" (selected during the Gospel age - a remnant from Israel, Jews, and the remainder gathered from the Gentiles), are to be God's agencies for blessing all the families of the earth.

  • Vol. II, Chapter vii.

Nor will the coming favor to Israel be exclusive. All believers in the covenant promises may share those returning favors with the natural seed, just as during the Gospel age any Jew who accepted Christ was eligible to all the spiritual blessings and advantages offered during the Gospel age. As only a small remnant believed in and accepted the gospel favors at the beginning, so, aside from the Jews, only a small number of mankind will be ready for the new laws and conditions of the Millennial age, under the righteous administration of the glorified Lord and his glorified Church; and hence, at first, few but Jews will be blessed under it.

The Jew, long accustomed to striving to do, and to trusting to works of obedience to the Law to secure for him the divine blessing, stumbled over the first feature of the Gospel dispensation - the remission of sins, without works, to every one that believes in Jesus' perfect work and all - sufficient sacrifice for sin. But the Jew's respect for the Law will turn to his advantage in the dawn of the Millennial age, and none will be more ready for the strict requirements and laws of that age than he, after his blindness, relative to Christ and the value of his sacrifice for sins, shall have passed away; for works are required after faith in Christ, though not accepted before. And the Jew, in accepting the love and favor of God in Christ, will not be so inclined to lose sight of God's justice as are many others of today. Others, on the contrary, will be blinded for a time and unready to recognize the rules of the Kingdom, in which justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet.

As the Jew was blinded by a false view of the Law, which was made void through false teachings, so now, many Gentiles will be hindered from taking hold of the conditions of favor during the Millennial age, by reason of the false presentation of the doctrine of grace in the forgiveness of sin, made by false teachers of the present time, who make void the gospel of the grace of God through sophistical reasonings - "even denying that the Lord bought them" (2 Pet. 2:1), and that there was any ransom-price given or necessary for man's recovery. They claim that to err is human, to forgive, divine; and hence, inferentially, that occasional sin is quite excusable, and that strictness of punishment, a ransom, etc., are not supposable, since if there were no sins to forgive it would take away God's pleasure and office of forgiving. Losing sight of God's justice, they fail to see the philosophy of his plan of reconciliation through the blood of the cross, granting remission of sins through a ransom-sacrifice, to such only as accept Christ and strive against sin. Blinded by their lax ideas of God's justice and strictness, few will be so well prepared as the Jew for that strict obedience according to ability, which will be required of all in the next age.

As an illustration of the preparation of the Jew to recognize Christ Jesus' death as his ransom - corresponding price - the legal atonement for man's sin, we quote below, from the pen of a young Hebrew converted to Christ, an account of the yearly commemoration of the "Great Day of Atonement," as observed at the present time by Orthodox Jews. The article appeared in The Hebrew-Christian, as follows:

"Yom Kippur, or the Great Day of Atonement, was a remarkable day with my father; for he not only fasted, prayed and mortified himself on this holy day of expiation, but he actually spent the whole night at the synagogue in devotion. I have often seen my devout parent weep on this great day, when he repeated the pathetic confession following the enumeration of the sacrifices which were appointed by God to be offered up for the sins of omission and commission; and many a time have I shed sympathetic tears as I joined him in lamenting that we have now no temple, no high priest, no altar and no sacrifices. The day before that solemn day, he, in company with the rest of the Jews, took a cock; and, during the repetition of certain forms of prayers, he moved the living fowl round his head three times, repeating these words: 'This be my substitute, this be my exchange, this be my atonement; this fowl shall go to death, and I to a blessed life.' Then he laid his hands on it, as the hands used to be laid on the sacrifices, and immediately after it was given to be slaughtered. This is the only blood that is shed in Israel now. The blood of bulls and goats no longer flows beside the brazen altar.

"My father took the greatest pains to procure a white cock, and avoided a red one altogether; and when I asked him his reason for doing so, he told me that a red cock is already covered with sin, for sin itself is red, as it is written: 'Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' (Isa. 1:18) He continued: 'You will find that the Rabbis have laid it down in the Talmud, if the cock be white, he is infected with no sin, and can therefore bear the sins of the Jews; but if he be red, he is altogether covered with sins, and is unfit for bearing our iniquities.'

"The reason why they use a cock rather than any other creature is this. In Hebrew man is called gever. Now if gever (man) has sinned, gever must also sustain the penalty thereof. But since the punishment is heavier than the Jews can bear, the Rabbis have substituted for them a cock, which in the Chaldee dialect is called gever, and thus the divine justice is assumed to be satisfied: because, as gever has sinned, so gever, i.e., a cock, is sacrificed.

"This vain invention may be viewed as a remarkable evidence of a most striking fact, that, while many among the Jews at the present day deny the atonement altogether, the body of the nation still have some feeling of the absolute necessity of a sacrifice for sin, and that without an atonement repentance is of no avail for salvation. If, instead of reading Rabbinical fables, the Jews would study the Bible, they would find that the Lord Jesus, the true Messiah, in His own blessed person made that very atonement for sin which they in their ignorance imagine may be made by the sacrifice of a cock. Gever (man) has sinned, and gever (man), even the man Christ Jesus, has made his soul an offering for sin." Isaiah 53:10

To The Jew First

We see, then, that God's prediction, that Israel (except the faithful few) would be blinded by their Law (Rom. 11:9), was fulfilled in a natural way; and also that his further prediction, that the favors and conditions of the Millennial age will bless many of them more quickly than others, is also to come about in a perfectly natural way and to result from reasonable causes.

Thus the Millennial favors will be to the Jews first, even as by reason of the covenants, etc., the gospel favors were offered to them first. And so it shall be finally as Simeon prophesied: "This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel." And the time for raising up that nation, so long fallen from favor, is at hand.

But let us guard against a too common mistake, made by many who see something of these promises, of supposing that the statements should be taken literally, which say: "After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle [house] of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up." "And the Lord shall give him the throne of his father David." "And David, my servant, shall be king over them." (Acts 15:16; Luke 1:32; Ezek. 37:24) While the literalness of the promised return of Israel to their own land, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem upon her own heaps, cannot be questioned, we may be equally confident that by the house and throne of David, not the literal stones, timbers, etc., are meant. The re-establishment of the house of David refers to the re-establishment of royalty and dominion in the hands of some of David's posterity. Christ Jesus is the promised scion of David's house, and the heir of his throne; and when his authority begins to be established, that will be the beginning of the raising up (permanent establishment) of the formerly temporary house or tabernacle of David, which was overthrown, and which for many centuries has lain in the dust. So, likewise, the "throne of David," upon which Messiah will sit, refers not to the wood and gold and ivory bench upon which David sat, but to the dignity, power and authority of office which he exercised. That authority, office or throne, which David occupied for some years, is to be filled on a much grander scale by Jehovah's Anointed, our Lord Jesus.

But what authority did David have and exercise? We answer, it was Jehovah's authority: David "sat upon the throne of Jehovah" (1 Chron. 29:23); and this is the very authority which will support Christ in his Millennial Kingdom. And when rightly seen it is evident that David and his throne or divine authority, established in the typical nation of Israel, were merely typical illustrations of Christ and his Kingdom; and David's chief honor will be, if he be counted worthy, to be one of the "princes" to whom Immanuel will entrust the earthly phase of his Kingdom. Psa. 45:16

David's name as well as his Kingdom was typical. The name David signifies Beloved; and it is God's Beloved Son who will be king over all the earth in that day, and not the typical beloved David of old. It is well also to distinguish clearly between the New Jerusalem, the heavenly or spiritual city of which the apostles are the twelve foundations, and the old Jerusalem which is to be rebuilt upon her old heaps. The old Jerusalem's promised restoration implies not merely the reconstruction of the buildings, etc., but specially the reorganization of Israel's government; for a city in prophecy is always the symbol or representation of a government. Hence the promised reconstruction of Jerusalem upon her old foundations implies a national reorganization of Israel upon a basis similar to that which it formerly had, as a people over whom Jehovah's Anointed held the authority. The New Jerusalem represents the Gospel Church in glory and Kingdom power, spiritual, and invisible to men, yet all-powerful. Its descent to earth (Rev. 21:2) marks the fulfilment of that petition of our Lord's prayer which says, "Thy Kingdom come"; and its "coming" will be gradual, and not sudden. It is already "coming down," coming into control, and as a result we see the preliminary steps leading to the re-establishment of the old Jerusalem; and ultimately the result mentioned in our Lord's prayer will be realized - God's will will be done on earth as in heaven. The New Jerusalem and the New Heavens are synonymous, signifying the new spiritual ruling power.

Prophecies already examined point to the year 1878 as the date at which Israel's "double" time of waiting for the King was fulfilled, and from which their return to favor and the turning away of their blindness were due to date: the time after which it would be due to "speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry into her that her appointed time [of waiting - her "double"] is accomplished and her iniquity pardoned; for she has received of the Lord's hand [her] double for all her sins." Isa. 40:1,2

From that date onward, therefore, we see, as we should expect, marked indications of returning favor to that people - a movement toward their actual planting again in their own land and their rebuilding as a great nation, according to God's multiplied promises to that effect; for, "Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans [Babylon - mystic Babylon, Christendom, as shown in verse 9; for since their overthrow they have been dispersed among all the nations of so-called Christendom] for their good [for their discipline and punishment: a good thing in disguise]. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. [This could not refer to the return from the captivity to literal Babylon, since after that return they were again pulled down and plucked up.] And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their god; for they shall return into me with their whole heart." Jer. 24:5-7

"Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city [Jerusalem] shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace [the temple] shall remain after the manner thereof. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them. Behold, I will bring them from the north country [Russia, where nearly two-thirds of all the Jews now living reside], and gather them from the coasts of the earth.... A great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping; and with supplications will I lead them.... Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock; for the Lord has redeemed Jacob and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore, they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all." Jer. 30:18,20,21; 31:8-12

Not only will the great Redeemer, once rejected by them, thus restore and lift up the living generations of that people, but the dead also are to be restored; for "Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves,...and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord." Ezek. 37:12-14

These wonderful promises will not be fulfilled in a twenty-four-hour day, but during the Millennial day. They had a marked beginning with the year 1878, as the result of the Berlin Congress of Nations. The Jews now enjoy greater privileges in the land of their fathers than had been accorded them for centuries. They are no longer merely "dogs" to the insolent Turks.

It is not generally known, we think, that England has already assumed a protectorate over Palestine, and, indeed, over all of Turkey's Asiatic provinces, of which it is one. England has for a long time felt a necessity for protecting Turkey for three reasons: first, her wealthy classes are large holders of Turkish bonds; second, if Turkey should go to any one of her neighboring nations, or were divided among them, England would get little or none of the spoil; and the other rival nations would thus be lifted more than England into prominence and power in the control of the affairs of Europe; third, and mainly, England realizes that with the Turkish government out of the way, Russian influence in southern Asia would be greatly increased, and would ere long absorb the Indian Empire, of which England's Queen is Empress, and from which England draws rich revenues in commerce, etc. Hence we find the Royal or Tory party in England strenuously supporting the Turks; and when, in 1878, Russia was about to enter Constantinople, England interposed and sent a fleet of gunboats into the harbor. The result was the Berlin Conference of June 13, 1878, in which the chief figure was a Hebrew, Lord Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of England; and Turkey's affairs were then settled so as to preserve her national existence for the present, and yet so to arrange her provinces that in the event of final dismemberment the great powers would know which portion each would be expected to seize. It was at this time that all the provinces of Turkey were granted greater religious freedom, and England by secret treaty with Turkey became protector of the Asiatic provinces. In the language of the historian, Justin McCarthy:

"The English government undertook to guarantee to Turkey her Asiatic possessions against all invasion,...formally pledged herself to defend and secure Turkey against all invasion and aggression, and occupied Cyprus in order to have a more effectual vantage-ground from which to carry on this project."

It will be seen, then, that Palestine, as one of those Asiatic provinces, is already under England's care; and this accounts for the greater laxity on the part of the Turkish government in the enforcement of its laws unfavorable to Jewish interests. And this providential opening of Palestine to the Jews was followed by renewed persecutions in the "north country" - Russia and Roumania - certain to induce emigration from those countries to their own land. As a result of this combination of circumstances, Palestine, and especially Jerusalem, is rapidly increasing in Jewish population of the "orthodox" type. Already the Jews in Jerusalem outnumber all other nationalities combined, whereas for centuries they have been a small minority.

The New York Herald, commenting some time ago upon the acquirement by England of the island of Crete, her occupancy of Egypt and the condition of Turkey and her provinces generally, said:

"We live in a fast age, and even history is manufactured at a greater speed. Wars used to last decades of years; civilization advanced slowly; communications between nations and consequent mutual benefit proceeded correspondingly tardily. Now what is invented in one country is known forthwith thousands of miles away, and the whole world can profit simultaneously by the invention. Notably in politics is the spirit of haste evident. Statesmen's schemes once required generations for completion; now the boldest plans are carried out by the planners, and the map of a continent is changed in a week. How quickly events march and history is created is evident with special clearness in the magnetic Eastern question.... In the very midst of the scene of conflicting interests lies Palestine - dear to Jew, Christian and Mohammedan. The statesman says it is the key to the position; and looking to his countrymen's advantage he declares that in view of its wonderful fertility, which of old supported millions; in view of its grand possibilities for commerce, which in former days made its sea-ports scenes of activity and wealth, and which have rendered Tyre and Sidon proverbial to this day; in view of its being at the junction of Europe and Asia, and in location, therefore, most admirable, the possession of Palestine is to his patriotic heart most desirable. The historian says, The first international episode on record was the invasion of Palestine; from that day to this it has been a center of interest; therefore, he on his part is concerned for Palestine's future. The religionist cannot find words to express the interest which he from his point of view takes in what he calls the Holy Land: for him every stone is an epic, every tree a poem. The shrewd commercial man notes that when the Asian railway system is built up, as built up it will be as soon as stable government is established, the geographical position of Palestine will make it the State to which the great railway lines will converge to carry the productions of Asia to European and American markets and vice versa; for, as the commerce of three continents met in its borders in the days of Solomon, so will the future commerce of the same continents flow again to that favored spot. Nor will he abate his hopes in the least degree because their realization seems distant. Remembering the swift growth of a Chicago or a San Francisco, the rapid turning of wastes into populous States, he simply remarks, 'Events follow quickly nowadays,' and waits.

"While, however, the great Christian Powers stand with mail-clad hands to grasp the coveted and tempting bit when the moribund Turk lets go his hold, a historic figure steps forward and declares, 'The land is mine!' And when the powers turn to look at the speaker, they recognize the Jew - the child of the patriarch who lived in Palestine when it was first invaded, and who would himself fain be present to receive it as his own when its possession is disputed thirty-six centuries after!

"What a wonderful coincidence! 'Not so,' says the Jew; 'it is not a coincidence, it is my destiny.' Let us now briefly glance at the position of the Jew in this question of the future of Palestine. Nations are born from ideas. From the idea of German unity grew the German empire into actual fact, proclaimed to the world from Versailles, with French cannon to answer amen to German prayer for its welfare. From the cry of 'Italia irridenta' was born the new Italy of today, whose thunder will again wake the Mediterranean shores. From the tradition of ancient Greece the modern Greece was created. So Christians understand how the long cherished aspirations of the Jew may yet be realized; and while they fully concede that to the Jew, above all, belongs Palestine, while he above all is specially qualified to develop the future of that teeming country, while his possession of it would solve the fears of the jealous Powers, the establishment of the Jew in it would be an act of justice, and a worthy atonement for the fearful wrongs perpetrated upon him - the martyr of history.

"As for the Jews themselves, to say how they long for restoration is hardly necessary. On the 9th of their month Ab, they fast for the destruction of their temples and the national calamities attending those events. There is not a morning or an evening but what they pray, 'Gather us together from the four corners of earth'; 'Restore our peoples as of old'; 'Dwell thou in the midst of Jerusalem'; and these words are uttered in every city where the Jew is found - that means throughout the world. Such constancy is almost beyond all bounds, and to this day the Spanish Jews in all lands (even in this distant country) put some of the dust of Palestine or 'tierra santa,' as they call it, on the eyes of their dead - a poetic and pathetic evidence of their love for the sacred soil.

"'When the railway reaches Jerusalem, Messiah comes,' alludes to Isaiah 66:20, where the prophet in his vision sees the exiles returning by all manner of conveyances, among them what he calls 'kirkaroth.' The English version translates it 'swift beasts,' which is, of course, too indefinite, or 'dromedaries,' which is certainly incorrect. Philologists are not wanting who derive the word from kar, 'a furnace,' and karkar 'to sway' - asserting that the prophet sought thus to coin a word for what was shown him in his vision, a train in rapid motion. 'When Nicholas reigns redemption comes,' is an allusion to Isaiah 63:4, from which verse Hebraists evolve, by what they term 'Rashe Teboth,' the sentence, 'All Judah shall hear and behold the fall of Nicholas, Emperor of Muscovy, on account of the oppression of the children of Judah, and after happening our fall, will happen our real redemption, and near at hand for the children of Judah will be the good tidings of the Tishbite prophet [Elijah].' These, and such as these, are important, insomuch as they indicate Jewish thought."

We are forcibly reminded of how near worldly men sometimes come to the truth, without knowing it, by the above expression that the patriarch Abraham "would himself fain be present to receive" the land of promise as his own and that of his posterity, thirty-six centuries after his death. This, which some might consider a flight of poesy, the Scriptures declare shall be an actual fact. For, as we have already seen, * Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with Daniel and all the holy prophets, will be "made perfect" - awakened from death to perfect manhood, after the Gospel Church has been glorified (Heb. 11:40); and they will constitute the "princes in all the earth" (Psa. 45:16), the earthly and visible representatives of the Christ, the spiritual, invisible ruler. To Abraham as well as to his seed the land of promise was given for an everlasting possession; and he must receive it in the future, for as yet he has never possessed a foot of it. Acts 7:5

  • Vol. I, Chapter xiv

A letter published in a Chicago journal bears remarkable testimony to the gradual progress of restitution in Palestine, and the preparations for God's promised future blessing upon it and its people, as follows:

Jerusalem, Nov. 23, 1887

"I am very glad to tell you of the glorious things that we have been witnesses of during the six years we have lived here. When we arrived here, six years ago, we numbered fourteen adults and five children. As we drove up from Jaffa we were deeply impressed with the desolation of the land. Not a spear of green could be seen anywhere; the olive trees and vines were so covered with the gray dust of a hot, dry summer, that you never could imagine there could be any green underneath; and the whole earth seemed dried to its foundations. But we have never seen it look like that since that time. Every year it looks greener, and now many of those barren hill-sides are covered with vineyards and olive yards, quite changing their appearance.

"You will ask, What is the cause of this great change? God has promised that, like as he brought all this evil upon this land, so he will bring great blessings into it, and these have evidently begun by the sending of more rain than for many centuries past. He sends beautiful showers and heavy dews, where there used not to be any; and he sends clouds in summer, which were never known even twenty years ago. This tempers the heat, so that it does not dry up the ground so. Five years ago he sent, in July and August (months in which it never used to rain), three hours of rain in Jaffa, and sixteen hours in Damascus, and much all around, so that the American papers remarked upon it as a proof that the climate of Palestine is changing. Also when we came here, there were very few Jews coming back to this land, but the persecutions in Russia and Germany and other places began to drive them out; and, in spite of the edicts of the Sultan, they began returning to this land, buying land, planting and building, and getting possession of the trade of the city; and so today there are many thousands more than when we came.

"Jerusalem is in reality now in the hands of the Jews, so far as trade is concerned; and the Jew is no longer under the heel of the Mohammedan as he once was. They are also rapidly building up a new city, exactly on the line of the description in Jer. 31:38-40; 32:43,44, so that even the Turks, who are in power, are taking notice of it, and are saying one to the other, 'It is God; and what can we do?' And what can we say to all this, but that God is rapidly fulfilling in our day his Word and the covenant he made with Abraham? And we are witnesses of these things."

Notwithstanding the oppression and tyranny which have ground them down in the very dust, we find many of them of late years rising to wealth and distinction far beyond their Gentile neighbors. And with such means and distinction, in many instances, rises the benevolent ambition to expend it for the elevation of the Jewish race; and wise and well directed efforts are accomplishing much in this direction. The attention of thinking men among both Jews and Gentiles is being drawn to this turn in Jewish affairs.

It is evident from the expressions of leading Jewish journals, and from the various movements now in progress for the colonization of Palestine, and for the assistance and advancement of those already settled there, that thousands are now turning with eager eyes to the land of promise. This turn in Jewish affairs has been since 1878; and the shaping of events since that date has caused and is causing a remarkable awakening on this subject, which in itself is a significant sign of the times. From the Jewish World (Aug. 20th, 1886) we quote, for example, the following:

"There are rifts in the clouds which have hitherto cast so dismal a shadow over the Holy Land. The future of that unhappy country, so long wrapped in impenetrable darkness, is beginning faintly to brighten; and the glimmerings of a happier state of things are almost within measurable distance of our forecasts.... Two institutions are destined to play a conspicuous part in the amelioration of the condition of the Jews of Palestine - the Agricultural School at Jaffa, and the Lionel De Rothschild institution in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. We might add a third in the shape of the Montefiore Testimonial Fund, which, by its promotion of building societies and its erection of cheap dwellings, has done much to foster thrift and to reduce the miseries and hardships of domestic life in the Holy City.... What we are concerned at this moment in noting is, that the prospects of the Jews in Palestine are no longer gloomy. There are, on the one hand, forces at work for the improvement of the condition of our brethren, which have been wisely devised and ingeniously organized, and which are now being assiduously applied; on the other hand, the people are getting tired of their misery and inactivity, and are showing an increasing tendency to take advantage of the efforts made for their rehabilitation. This is a state of things which is fraught with happy consequences, and no Jew will fail to contemplate it with pleasure."

In a succeeding number of the same paper a leading article on "The Future of Palestine" closed with these words:

"With the late influx of an agricultural element in colonies planted by the Montefiore, Hirsch, and Rothschild funds, willing hands should be found to labor at the transformation scene, when 'the desert shall blossom as the rose'; willing hands and willing hearts that shall reclaim the Holy Land from its long night of death, and restore to life and light the national home of the Jews."

Another journal, The Jewish Messenger, says:

"While men are absorbed in their little cares, alternately moved by hopes and fears, the grand and stately march of human events progresses onward and irresistibly to completion, in the fulfilment of an inevitable law which controls all human action. Men here and there raise their puny voices as if to stay this tide of advancement, and arrest this fiat of the Eternal. As well might they attempt to stay the law which governs the universe. Races have as fixed a course to run as have the stars that dazzle in the blue vault above us, and the race of Israel is the bright fixed star amongst them. In all its wanderings it has been true to its course. Its mission has been foreseen and foretold, and its final restoration to the Holy Land prophesied. That this prophecy is being fulfilled, the signs of the times indicate. It is being accomplished so quietly, and so gradually, that only those who have given the subject attention realize the importance of the work done.

"Palestine is a political necessity to the Jewish race. The founding of a nation in the Holy Land once more means the exaltation of all Israel. It places her as a nation amongst the nations of the earth. It gives to the Jew that political power and sovereign right which mean protection. It makes him a citizen of his country, and gives him a passport amongst the nations of the earth...This may look impracticable to the man in the counting-room absorbed in his books, to the man in his store absorbed in figuring up his profits and losses, to the man steeped in the bliss of social pleasures, but it is as clear as the noonday's sun to whoever makes a study of the political horoscope.

"The political autonomy realized, the Jews scattered throughout the world will not flock to Palestine in a body. There are 300,000 Jews in Asia, 400,000 in Africa, and 5,000,000 live in Europe. It is from these that Palestine will draw its life of restoration. The American-born Jew will undoubtedly remain an American; and if he should ever visit the Holy Land it would be for pleasure and travel, and to see a land so famous as the chief birthplace of his heroic race.

"It may be said that, geographically speaking, Palestine is too small to exert much influence as a political, intellectual or moral power among the nations of the earth. We reply that in ancient times Greece was a power, and that in modern times the little island of Britain is a power. Geographically speaking, what are they? It is intellect, moral force and pride of nationality that make nations great, and not the extent of territory. It is intellect and moral power that will make Israel renowned among nations."

The Jewish Chronicle says:

"The movement is irresistible. We cannot suffer ourselves to stand by with folded hands when this new exodus is taking place. We Jews have held, for nearly two thousand years, that the consummation of the ages of suffering we have passed through will be reached only when we again possess the land of our fathers. Is that trust to die away just at the moment when it appears about to be fulfilled? Or, is it to be expected that the return will be brought about by means so mysterious as to be beyond the co-operation of human beings? God works his will through the wills of men; and if the prophecies are to be fulfilled, it will be by human wills and energies. These may seem to be high topics to drag into connection with a practical plan for placing a few Jewish colonies in Palestine. But it is from small beginnings, such as these, that great events often arise; and the return of a small body of Jews to the Holy Land can never fail to bring to mind the possibility and the practicability of the larger return to which all Jewish history and all Jewish aspirations have hitherto pointed."

Others, besides Jews, men of prominence in the world, see and comment upon the rising prominence of Israel. For instance, note the following from the Central Presbyterian:

"Instead of dying out, the Jewish body shows increasing vitality. They cannot be stamped out or swallowed up. They pass from country to country to become practically masters wherever they go. They get the land in Germany and Hungary, and grow rich in Russia; they are the great bankers in London and Paris and the centers of European commerce. In ten (recent) years the Rothschilds furnished #100,000,000 in loans to England, Austria, Prussia, France, Russia and Brazil."

Lord Shaftesbury of England said recently:

"There is a great jealousy of that wonderful people who are now coming to the front. And what a sign of the times it is, that, wherever the Jews are, they are either the most prominent people to be persecuted, or the most prominent people to take a lead in all the various professions! A prominent citizen of Berlin was asked, 'What is the history of this strong anti-Jewish feeling which you have in Berlin and throughout Germany?' He replied, 'I will tell you: These Jews, if they go into commerce, become the first merchants; if they go into the banking line, they become the first bankers; if they go into law, they become the first lawyers; or if they go into literature, they beat us all. Whatever career they undertake, they drive out the Gentiles; and I tell you, sir, we won't stand it.'

"The persecution of the Jews in Russia and Poland does not depend upon religion or nationality. These have nothing whatever to do with it. The Russians would persecute any people in the same position as the Jews. Bear this in mind, that the Jews hold in mortgage a very considerable part of the landed property of Russia; that they hold in their debt a very large proportion of the peasantry, and very many of the shopkeepers in different parts of the empire. Every single opportunity which now presents itself to the Russian people for plunder and spoilation of the Jews is almost sure to be seized. In the destruction of the Jews, and of their papers, Russians get rid of documents by which they are bound, and which might be brought as evidence against them; and so long as there is property to be laid hold of, so long will you find the Russian people rising against the Jews."

The following is an extract from a letter in an English paper by Mr. Charles Reade, the novelist, well known in literary circles, whose conversion to Christ and the Bible occurred a few years ago:

"The Jewish nation, though under a cloud, will eventually resume their ancient territory, which is so evidently kept waiting for them. The prophecies are clear as day on two points: That the Jews are to repossess Palestine, and, indeed, to rule from Lebanon to Euphrates; and that this event is to be the first of a great series of changes leading to a vast improvement in the condition of poor, suffering mankind, and of creation in general. Now, we have here in prospect a glorious event, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. The only difference is, that the sun will rise at a certain hour, and the Jews will occupy Syria and resume their national glory at an uncertain day. No doubt it is the foible of mankind to assume that an uncertain date must be a distant one. But that is unreasonable. Surely it is the duty of wise and sober men to watch precursory signs and lend their humble cooperation, should so great a privilege be accorded to us.

"This sudden persecution of the Jews in the very nation where they are most numerous - may it not be a precursory sign, and a reminder from Providence that their abiding city is not European Tartary? Palestine can be colonized effectually from Russia alone, where there are three millions of Jews trembling for life and property; and the rest would follow. History is a looking-glass at our backs. Whatever Jews have done, Jews may do. They are people of genius; and genius is not confined by nature, but by will, by habit or by accident. What have these people tried and failed in? Warriors, writers, builders, merchants, lawgivers, husbandmen; and supreme in all! In this, history repeats itself.

"They shall be great in the arts of peace and war, and their enemies melt away before them like snow off a dyke. Should they seem to require help from any other nation at starting, blessed will be the nation that proffers it; and the nation that persecutes them will be made an example of in some way or other. Therefore, if by any chance recent outrages should decide the Jewish leaders to colonize Palestine from Russia, let us freely offer ships, seamen, money - whatever we are asked for. It will be a better national investment than Egyptian, Brazilian or Peruvian bonds."

A Jewish proverb of recent years declares: "When the railway reaches Jerusalem, Messiah comes"; and this is in harmony with the symbolic representation of the railway by the prophets Nahum (2:3-5)and Isaiah (66:20). And, sure enough, the proverb has not much missed the mark; for the railroad will reach Jerusalem "in the day of his preparation" - in the time of the presence of Messiah. The following, which we clip from the daily press, has an interesting bearing upon this subject:

"Galileo was right: the world does move. A railroad is to be built from Jerusalem to Jaffa, on the Mediterranean, 31 miles distance, the ancient port of the Jewish capital, and the landing place of the cedars with which the temple was constructed. A Jerusalem Jew, Joseph Nabon by name, who is an Ottoman subject, has obtained from the Sultan a charter for this purpose. The charter holds good for 71 years. The estimated cost of construction is $250,000. So, then, hereafter civilization is to be domesticated in Palestine. The nineteenth century will arrive in those parts when the first locomotive puffs into Jerusalem."

The following letter, from a correspondent of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, which recently appeared in that journal, is confirmatory of present progress in Palestine and especially in Jerusalem:

Jerusalem, July 12, 1889

"Thirty thousand out of the forty thousand people in Jerusalem are Jews. The Turkish government, which has for ages prohibited them from living longer than three weeks at a time in the Holy Land, is, under the influence of foreign governments, relaxing its restrictions; and at present the Jews are coming here by the hundred. They are engaging in business, and they now control a great part of the trade of Jerusalem. Some of them feel that the day when the prophecy of the Bible that they shall again inhabit their land shall be fulfilled is at hand; and one curious tribe from southern Arabia claims to have received a revelation that they must leave the desert country and come back to Palestine. These Jews have lived in Yemen Arabia for the past 2,500 years. They are of the tribe of Gad, and they left Palestine 700 years before Christ was born. They are bringing with them many valuable documents which prove their origin, and are engaging in agriculture near Jerusalem. The persecution of the Jews in Russia and Austria is driving many of them here, and there are also large numbers of Polish and Spanish Jews in Jerusalem. The time of Jews remaining in Palestine has been extended, and the restrictions upon their residence in Jerusalem have been practically removed. A half century ago there were only 32 Jewish families in all Jerusalem, and the number in all Palestine was only 3,000. Now there are nearly 50,000 in the Holy Land, and three-fourths of the population of Jerusalem is made up of them.

"A curious people they are! Like no other Jews on the face of the earth. They are nearer the type that existed here in the past. The numbers who have been forced here by persecution are supported almost entirely by the different Jewish churches over the world.

"One of the great sights of Jerusalem is the Jews' wailing place, where every Friday certain sects meet on the outside of the walls of the Mosque of Omar, which occupies the site of Solomon's temple, and with their heads bent against the stones, sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem, and pray God to give the land back to his chosen people. This custom has been observed since the days of the middle ages, and it is one of the saddest sights. I visited it last week. In a narrow alley surrounded by miserable houses - on stone flags which have been worn with the bare feet of thousands of Jews - against a wall of great blocks of marble, which reached for fifty or more feet above them, a long line of men in long gowns and of women with shawls over their heads bowed, praying and weeping. Many of the men had white beards, and long curly locks of silver. Others were just in their prime; and I could not but wonder when I saw the forms of these at times almost convulsed with emotion. Each had a well-thumbed Hebrew Bible in his hand, and from time to time the party broke out into a kind of chant, an old gray-haired man acting as leader, and the rest coming in on the refrain. The chant was in a strange tongue, but was translated as follows:

Leader - For the palace that lies desolate -

Response - We sit in solitude and mourn.

Leader - For the walls that are destroyed -

Response - We sit in solitude and mourn.

Leader - For our Majesty that is departed -

Response - We sit in solitude and mourn.

Leader - For our great men who lie dead -

Response - We sit in solitude and mourn.

Leader - For our priests who have stumbled -

Response - We sit in solitude and mourn.

Leader - For our kings who have despised him -

Response - We sit in solitude and mourn.

"The effect of this chant cannot be appreciated without hearing it. The old men and weeping women, who kiss the stones of the wall that separates them from what was once the site of Solomon's temple, and which is even now the holiest part of the earth to the Jew; the genuine feeling expressed by all; and the faith they show in thus coming here, week after week, and year after year, are wonderfully impressive. It is indeed one of the strange sights of this strangest of cities.

"There are eight agricultural colonies in different parts of Palestine. One of these schools near Jaffa has more than seven hundred pupils, and a farm of twenty-eight thousand acres. It is situated on the plains of Sharon, where the Philistines lived, and it has tens of thousands of vines and olive trees. The Turks are very much averse to selling land to the Jews, but the latter show themselves to be as good farmers as they are business men; and the terraced condition of the hills about Jerusalem shows that the Holy Land was far better cultivated under them than it has been under their conquerors. A large amount of land just outside of the city of Jerusalem is now in the hands either of the Jews or of their charitable institutions. Mr. Behar, the head of the Rothschild schools, tells me they have just bought the Jerusalem Hotel, and will add it to their school. Sir Moses de Montefiore, who managed the fund left by a rich New Orleans Israelite, built many good houses for Jews on the road between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and there are a number of Jewish hospitals.

"Among the people who confidently believe that the Jews will soon again own Palestine is a colony of fifteen persons, who live in a fine house built on the very walls of Jerusalem, and who are known as 'the Americans.' These people are not Jews. They are Christians who have come here from different parts of the United States, and more especially from Chicago, to await the fulfilment of the prophecy that God will regenerate the world, beginning at Jerusalem. [They do not see that the selection of the Gospel Church must first be accomplished.]

"There is no doubt, whatever, that Jerusalem is improving. The most of its streets are now well paved and the sanitary condition of the city has been greatly improved. The Jerusalem outside the walls is now almost as large as the city within, and I am told that land has risen in value to such an extent that the holy city may be said to have a real estate boom. I learn that along the Jaffa road, just outside of the gate, property has gone up within a year or so several hundred per cent. One piece which belongs to a charitable institution was bought a short time ago for $500. It is now worth $8,000, and cannot be bought for that amount. A telegraph line now runs from here to the sea coast, and a railroad company has been organized to build a line from Jaffa to Jerusalem. For the first time in its history, Jerusalem has a police force, and its order is now as good as that of New York."

The following, clipped from The Hebrew Christian of July '89, is another interesting account of an American Jew's visit to the wailing place of the Jews at Jerusalem. He says:

"Having spent several hours visiting Jews, my aged friend, a Rabbi from Kovno, Russia, asked me if I would go with him to the wailing place to mourn over the desolation of Jerusalem and pray for Israel's restoration to her former glory. 'I will go with you,' I replied, 'and pray very earnestly that God may hasten the day when Judah will return to the Lord.' Being Friday afternoon, the time when many Jews assemble for prayer at the wall of the ancient temple, I joined their company. It was, indeed, a most memorable sight. Here were Jews from among all nations in their peculiar Oriental costumes, and some dressed in their Talith (praying garments). As loud as they possibly could they read the 22nd Psalm. Women with great earnestness cried aloud, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.' The men also were weeping and rehearsing psalms, litanies and prayers. Most of these earnestly pressed their lips against the stones and kissed them. As I listened to their pathetic prayers I remembered what the rabbins have said in the Talmud - that 'Since the destruction of the Temple, the gates of prayer have been closed, and only the gates of tears are open.' The rabbi in sad tones repeated:

"'For the palace that lies desolate,' etc.

"The most touching wailing over Jerusalem is also to be witnessed in the homes of the pious Jews. At midnight they wrap themselves in their prayer garments, put ashes on their heads, and prostrate themselves on the ground. Then in melancholy tones they rehearse:

"'A voice of woe from Ramah's hoary tower,

A voice of wail from Zion's sainted hill;

Alas! my diadem and queenly dower,

The youthful honors I remember still.

Dark is to me the solitary bower

Who did of old a throne of splendor fill.

"'I was surnamed Jehovah's fairest bride;

But now am forced, forlorn, disconsolate,

His heavy wrath and vengeance to abide;

My joys are flown, my heart is desolate.

Come, weep, ye daughters, at my faltering side,

For none draws near my sorrows to abate.

"'Degraded from a peerless eminence,

Victim of pride and wanton vanity,

My beating heart in trembling violence

Strikes at her cage of hopeless misery.

Judah laments in tearful penitence,

A widow mourning in captivity.

"'I was in Solyma a radiant queen,

A golden cloud was I, the mount of God;

But now by infidels despoiled, I ween,

No poorer pilgrim o'er the desert trod,

Wrenched from the bosom all my babes have been,

The elders murdered, steeped the soil in blood.

"'Doth no one lay my wretchedness to heart?

And no one check the swiftly rolling tear?

And no one soothe the soul-empiercing smart?

And no one say, 'The heathen shall not dare

Call him my husband?' Oh, the poisoned dart.

The cruel mockings I am bound to bear!

"'Father of mercies, come, return with grace

To Zion's dwelling beautified again.

Let Israel's eye behold Thy dwelling place

Restored; then list the hallelujah's strain,

The hymning voices of a ransomed race,

Greeting the rising wall of that eternal fane.'

"After this several Psalms are read and prayers offered. When rising from the ground, they say, 'Shake thyself from the dust; arise and sit down, O Jerusalem. Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.'

"A remarkable prayer offered on these occasions, and having reference no doubt to Isaiah 7:14, is:

"'In mercy, Lord, Thy people's prayer attend:

Grant his desire to mourning Israel.

O shield of Abraham, our Redeemer send,

And call His glorious name Immanuel.'"

Not until further persecutions shall have driven more of the poorer Jews to Palestine, and modern civilization shall be still farther advanced there, will the wealthier classes of Jews be attracted thither; and then it will be in great measure from selfish motives - when the general and great time of trouble shall render property less secure in other lands than it is now. Then Palestine, far away from socialism and anarchism, will appear to be a haven of safety to the wealthy Jews. But at the present rate of progress, in these various directions, the coming fifteen years will witness much in Palestine.

Israel's Blindness Departing

There is another feature of prophecy relating to Fleshly Israel, the fulfilment of which we should now begin to see. The Apostle Paul declared: "Blindness, in part, is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in - that is, until the elect number from among the Gentiles, who, together with the remnant of Israel, are to constitute the spiritual phase of the Kingdom, shall all have come in to that highest favor, from which Israel as a nation was cast off, and to the advantages of which they as a people have continued to be blind. In the fullest sense, therefore, the blindness of Fleshly Israel, otherwise called Jacob, will not be due to pass away until the selection of Spiritual Israel has been completed. And we are expressly advised (Rom. 11:26) that their recovery and deliverance from blindness and prejudice will come out of (mount) Zion, the glorified Church or Kingdom. But as the Kingdom of Zion to some extent began in 1878, when our King took to himself his great power to reign, although the "feet" class were not yet fully developed and glorified, so the favor of God toward "Jacob," through Zion, properly had a beginning there, though it will not reach them in fullest measure until the "feet" members of Christ's body are also glorified. And as 1881 was the time parallel to the turning of the light from Jacob to the Gentiles, so it marks the time for the beginning of the turning back again of special light upon the long blinded Jews. And, true to its Jewish pattern, the nominal Christian Church is now blindly stumbling, while only a small remnant of it is being blessed. How forcible and applicable the words of the Apostle, here: "Be not high minded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed, lest he spare not thee," etc.

But Israel's general recognition of the true Messiah and his Kingdom will doubtless come about under and through the restored patriarchs and prophets, whose perfect restoration will be the first work of the Christ after all the "body" has been glorified. But their blindness will begin to pass away before; and already a great movement toward Christ has set in, especially among the Russian Jews.

Looking in this direction, the signs of the times are so pronounced as to be startling. The remarkable religious movement in progress among the Jews in Southern Russia is bringing thousands of that people to a recognition of Jesus Christ as the long promised Messiah, and to an acknowledgment of their national sin, in rejecting and crucifying him. And this is in no sense the result of Christian missionary activity: it is an independent movement, springing up out of soil entirely Jewish. The leader of the movement is a Jew, Mr. Joseph Rabinowitch, formerly a merchant, and later a lawyer, and a man of high reputation among his people. Mr. Rabinowitch was not a Jewish rabbi, and neither he nor any of the leading men of the movement were clergymen of any sect or creed. Concerning this movement, we quote from an article in Harper's Weekly, and from other reports, as follows:

"Its development has been such that it can confidently be pronounced no longer a mere experiment with doubtful chances of permanent existence. It has manifested a remarkable vitality; its growth has been steady and healthy, positive in character, yet avoiding all unnatural haste and dangerous extremes. Having been recognized by the Russian authorities as a religio licita, it now has a legal existence and legal rights. Its character stamps it as one of the most unique phenomena in the variegated kaleidoscope of national, social and religious interests that divide the hearts and minds of the Czar's one hundred and sixteen millions of subjects.

"The faith of this new communion is further peculiar in this, that they propose not to form any organic connection with any existing form of Christianity, but, with the avowed aim of ignoring the historical development of doctrines since the Apostolic age, to draw their teachings directly from the New Testament source, without having any special regard for the formulas of doctrines found in the orthodox churches of our times. It claims to be modeled after the Jewish-Christian congregations in the days of the apostles.

"Energetic in character and ambitious in self-improvement and the advancement, politically, socially and morally, of his people, Mr. Rabinowitch years ago became known as a zealous friend of reform among the Eastern Jews. With an education and enterprise far beyond his brethren, he set about to devise ways and means to attain his ideals and ends. He did what he could to secure for them better political rights, but was unable to protect them against the fierce persecutions that set in against the unfortunate Israelites in Russia, Roumania and neighboring countries. He acquainted himself with the advanced philosophical thought of the West, in the hope that its adoption by his people would elevate them to a higher plane, and thus secure for them higher ideals and nobler ends. But he soon learned to doubt both the efficiency of the means and the possibility of applying them to a people whom centuries of persecution and ultra-conservatism had been hardening to principles so at variance with their traditional ideas. He again attempted to win them away from their greed for gain, which, next to their formalistic religious exercises, is the all-controlling and all-degrading factor in the mind of the oriental Jew. But his endeavors to establish agricultural colonies for them both at home and in the Holy Land, proved abortive. While in Palestine, the conviction ripened in him, through an independent study of the New Testament in its relations to the Old, that Israel had made the mistake of its national life, and had become untrue to its historic mission, by the rejection of Jesus Christ.

"This conviction concerning Christ, as the embodiment and fulfilment of the prophecies of old, and of the ideals and aims of Israel as a nation, is the central thought around which the whole movement circles. The principles enunciated by the humble Nazarene are recognized as those which alone can accomplish the destinies of the people, and enable them to attain the end for which they were set apart as a chosen people. It is thus regarded as a serious break in the normal and historical development of Israel, that eighteen hundred years ago this people as a nation refused to accept those tenets and principles which are regarded by all Christians, and now also by Mr. Rabinowitch and his followers, as the legitimate and only correct outcome of the whole previous historical development of Israel. To heal this breach is the ideal aim of the Kischinev reformer, by setting anew there, where first the chosen people entered upon an erroneous path of national development. In 1880 he published a program in which he advocated a complete reorganization of the rabbinical system. He was further active in the work of a society for the promotion of agriculture among the Jews of Southern Russia; and during the days of persecution in 1882 he earnestly advocated the return of his people to Palestine. During that period the change in his religious conviction took place. It was not the result of Christian mission work, nor is he a convert in the ordinary sense of the word. The change was gradually effected, and only after long deliberation did the thought of organizing Christian congregations of the Jewish nationality assume maturity in his mind. After his return from Palestine his conviction was: 'The key to the Holy Land lies in the hand of our brother Jesus.' In the words, 'Jesus our Brother,' lies the kernel of his religious views. His work has been successful, and many are accepting his teachings."

When Mr. Rabinowitch began to think that he ought to be an avowed and open believer in Christ, he was much perplexed with the number of sects amongst Christians, and hesitated to join any of them. He says, "As the Jordan must be crossed to reach Canaan, so Jesus is the way to spiritual possession and rest." As to the Lord's Supper, he says that the members of the New Covenant do not celebrate this, except as a Passover Supper. They (like us) do not yet see their way to celebrate it at other times. He says the Lord Jesus Christ did not command his disciples to remember his resurrection, but to remember him. Neither he nor his followers keep Sunday as the Sabbath, but continue the observance of the Jewish Sabbath. Circumcision is still observed; but it is not considered necessary to salvation.

It is reported that a Lutheran pastor proposed to a committee in London that Mr. Rabinowitch should be employed by their Society as missionary to the Jews. The committee declined, though only on the ground that he was not then baptized. He has, however, since then been baptized in Berlin, not into the Lutheran Church, nor into the Anglican Church, but simply into the Church of Christ. Mr. Rabinowitch is in possession of letters received from Jews in all parts of Russia and Roumania, inquiring into the movement, its rules and its doctrines, with a view to joining it, or starting another and similar one.

"Mr. Rabinowitch possesses a very gentle, humble, loving spirit, and quickly responds, even to tears, to assurances of Christian affection. He does not desire to identify himself with any sect, but wishes to take his Christianity from the New Testament, and grow out of old habits and doctrines into new ones, as the Holy Spirit may teach him in his continued and prayerful study of the entire Word of God."

Prof. Franz Delitzsch, of Leipzig, the leader of the Jewish missions in Germany and editor of the Saat auf Hoffnung, a quarterly devoted to this work, published a pamphlet of about seventy-five pages on this new religious development, the largest space in which is occupied by original documents, in both the Hebrew and the German translation, on this movement. These documents embrace thirteen theses; a Confession of Faith of the National Jewish Church of the New Testament; Explanation of the Faith in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, in the sense of this congregation; a Haggada for the Israelites believing on the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth; and, finally, an Order of the Lord's Supper. As appendices are added a declaration of a teacher, Friedmann, to the Jewish believers in Christ, and a declaration adopted by a conference of the latter, held in Kischinev. The little pamphlet contains all the materials for a study of the new movement.

These theses, which are to be regarded as the basis of the new faith, start out with an account of the deplorable state of the Jews in Russia, maintain that the endeavors at improvement on the part of the Jews themselves have all proved futile, and proceed to say:

"There is need of a deep and inner moral renewal, of a spiritual regeneration. We must cast aside our false god - the love of money - and in the room thereof must establish in our hearts a home for the love of truth, and for "fear of evil." For this, however, a leader is necessary. Who is he to be? In Israel none can be found. "The man who possesses all the qualifications of a leader - love of Israel, sacrificing of life, pureness, deep knowledge of human nature, earnestness in the exposal of the sins and evils of his people - we have, after a careful research in all the books of the history of our people, found only in one man, in Jesus of Nazareth." The wise Israelites in his day could not understand him; "but we can say with certainty that he, Jesus, he alone has sought the welfare of his brethren. Therefore we should sanctify the name of our Brother Jesus." "We should receive the Gospel books into our houses as a blessing, and unite them with all the Holy Scriptures which were handed down to us by our wise men."

One of the most noteworthy of a series of articles of faith which they have drawn up is the following:

"According to the decree of the inscrutable wisdom of God, our fathers were filled with hardness of heart, and the Lord punished them with the spirit of deep sleep, so that they opposed Jesus Christ and sinned against him until the present day. But by their unbelief they led other nations to greater zeal, and they thus contributed to the propitiation of mankind, who have believed in Jesus Christ, the son of David, our king, when they heard the good tidings through the peace-promising messengers (Isa. 52:7), who had been disgracefully expelled from communion with Israel. In consequence, however, of this our sin against the Christ of God, the world has grown rich by its faith in Christ, and the nations in fullness have entered the Kingdom of God. [They are not clear here. It is the full number of the "little flock" out of the nations, and not the full nations falsely called Christendom, that Paul refers to in Rom. 11:25.] Now, too, the time of our fullness has also come, and we, the seed of Abraham, are to be blessed by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and the God of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will take pity upon us and replant the branches which have been torn out, into our own Holy Root - Jesus. And thus all Israel shall share the eternal salvation, and Jerusalem, our Holy City, shall be rebuilt, and the throne of David be established forever and evermore."

The following is an extract from a letter of Mr. Rabinowitch, dated Jan. 2nd, 1885, to a gentleman in London:

"Your valuable letter, etc., were received. My heart rejoiced when I read them and perceived how great and strong the love of your heart is toward the brethren of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, according to the flesh, and how precious the salvation of the Israelitic nation is in your eyes.

"I prostrate myself before Jehovah, the God of our Lord Jesus; and from the depth of my heart stream forth the words of the sweet singer of Israel (Psa. 35), 'Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt. Let them shout for joy and be glad that favor my righteous cause; yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.' Amen.

"Herewith I send you my opinions and statements in reference to those children of Israel in Southern Russia who believe in Jesus as the Messiah. From them you will learn to know the origin of our faith in Jesus (our brother bodily), the Messiah. He is the innermost desire and longing of our hearts. Our English friends and brethren in Jesus, our Savior, may be convinced by the above pamphlet that after the Lord has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all nations, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God, that now the time has come when there shall depart from the midst of Israel all unclean persons, and the bearers of the vessels of the Lord shall be cleansed.

"True, the salvation of the Lord cannot go out and come into the world with haste (Joshua 6:1), nor can it walk with rapidity; but now as Jehovah, the Avantguard and King of the Universe, has passed on before the people of Israel, the God of Israel shall come also as Rearguard, as Gatherer of the outcasts of Israel. I devote my time and name to the welfare of my stubborn and unhappy nation, to testify into them with a brazen forehead, in the strength of God, the gospel of promise, which our fathers had received; viz., that God has raised Jesus of Nazareth, out of the seed of David, as Savior of Israel.

"Through the depth of the riches and wisdom of God, the highest, our fathers, who were incumbents of the promise, rebelled against Jesus, so that grace might be bestowed upon the heathen nations, not through any promise, but through grace in the gospel of the Messiah. Now, after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, the time has arrived for us, the sons of Israel, to return to the God of Israel and his King, and be his beloved children. We should accept our heritage of Jacob, which is without limit; for we are the legitimate heirs, children of Abraham, disciples of Moses, servants of the house of David in eternity. Thus our fullness (i.e., the coming of many Israelites to Christ) will be our riches and the riches of the nations, according to the words of Jehovah by St. Paul, a firstborn of Israel, and at the same time the foremost among the returning heathen.

"Among my brethren, and in large meetings, I earnestly admonish, 'Shake thyself from the dust; arise, put on thy beautiful garments, my people; through the son of Jesse, Jesus of Nazareth, has the Lord done great things with thee, O Israel, that he might also work great things among the nations of the earth, who were blessed in our fathers.'

"I greatly thank God that I see thousands who cheerfully listen. Many and worthy sons of Israel are waiting and longing for the hour, the hour of the grace of our God. I implore you, in the name of our brethren in Russia who seek the salvation, that the friends of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherever they be, may not be silent, but that they give counsel and speak out boldly, until Immanuel be with us also, until Jehovah show us him and his dwelling.

"These are humble words written from afar off."

Joseph Rabinowitch

In addition to this remarkable awakening, a similar movement has been progressing in Siberia, of which we have the following account from the Presbyterian Witness:

"News comes from ice-bound Siberia of a gospel movement essentially the same as that of Mr. Rabinowitch's. The leader is Jacob Scheinmann, a Polish Jew, who, twenty years ago, through independent thought, came to the conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, was the true Savior. The strict Talmudic Jews got him transported to Siberia, where for fifteen years he labored, almost unheeded, to awaken faith in his fellow-exiles. Among the uncalled - for mail matter which was found at Tomsk, where he was engaged in business, was a pamphlet by Rabinowitch, with whom he at once communicated. He has been busy disseminating his views through pamphlets called 'The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness.' Delitzsch's Hebrew translation of the New Testament is being eagerly read and studied by the Siberian Jews. It is said that fully 36,000 copies have been thus used."

Thus we see remarkable indications of God's returning favor to Israel: in driving them out of other countries by great persecutions, in opening up Palestine to receive them, inviting them thither by special providences in their favor in the way of benevolent enterprises for their improvement and assistance, and also in this significant movement which is the beginning of the turning away of Israel's blindness. And how evidently it is all of God! In this work for the restoration of Fleshly Israel, as well as in the great harvest work for the gathering of Spiritual Israel, the agency of the now cast-off nominal church is entirely ignored. In both of these great works now in progress the various organizations of nominal "Christendom" are quietly set aside; and in his own time and way, and by new, humble, untitled instruments, as in the Jewish harvest, God is causing his great work to prosper and progress.

And now we inquire, What does it signify? What will be the outcome of this strange and wonderful work, the marked beginnings and rapid strides of which are so manifest in this harvest period? The Apostle Paul distinctly shows that the regathering of Israel signifies a regathering, or restitution, for all mankind: "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles [as it was in the turn of divine favor to them], how much more their fulness." Through the casting away of Fleshly Israel the Gentiles received the favor of the high calling, and the "few" who appreciate it, and who overcome the obstacles in the way of attaining it, will be exalted to joint-heirship with Christ. They will constitute the body of Christ, the great Deliverer. This was the intent and will be the result of the casting away of Fleshly Israel; but their gathering again and their re-establishment in the land of promise mark another step in the great divine plan: they declare that the restitution of all things, "to the Jew first," but ultimately to "all the families of the earth," is about to begin. Earth's Great Jubilee is about to be introduced, and it begins in God's order with the Jew. Thus seen, Brothers Rabinowitch and Scheinmann and their co-laborers are God's instruments in preparing his ancient people for restitution, even as it is our privilege to be co-workers with the Lord in the reaping work connected with the harvesting period of the Gospel age and its select, spiritual class. Surely, Israel's full return to their own land and to divine favor will mean that the great Deliverer, Head and body, through whom restitution is to be accomplished, has been exalted to power, that the Kingdom has come, and that the work of restitution, of which Fleshly Israel will be the first fruits, has already begun. Therefore, "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" - restitution - not only for the living, but for the dead also, according to the promise; and not only for Israel, but for all mankind, of which Israel was a type, and is to be the first fruits. The present beginnings of favor to Israel are only droppings before a mighty shower which will refresh, not only Israel, but all mankind. And though the surgings of strife will yet beat heavily against Israel, and for a time bring them into still greater tribulation and distress, in the midst of it all God will be with them, and in due time will help and exalt them.

In this connection the following item from the public press dispatches is certainly very significant. The outcome of the movement will be watched with deep interest by all who are walking in the light of present truth, and who realize from God's Word that the time has come which God announced through the prophet Isaiah, saying: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry into her that her warfare [margin, her appointed time] is accomplished, for she has received of the Lord's hand double * for all her sins." Isaiah 40:1,2

  • Vol. II, Chapter vii.

The dispatch referred to runs as follows:

A Jewish Kingdom Proposed

Washington, D.C., March 5th, 1891

"William E. Blackstone, of Chicago, today visited the President of the United States in company with Secretary Blaine, and presented a memorial in behalf of the Russian Jews.

"He explained that the memorial was the result of a Conference of Christians and Jews recently held in Chicago, and called special attention to the fact that it did not antagonize Russia, but sought in a peaceable way to give the Jews control of their old home - Palestine.

"He pointed out many evidences of the possibility of great development of that country, both agriculturally and commercially, under an energetic government, and said that the railroad now building from Joppa to Jerusalem, if extended to Damascus, Tadmor and down the Euphrates, cannot fail to become an international highway.

"He said that the poverty of the Turkish Government gives emphasis to the proposed indemnity, by funding a portion of the Turkish national debt through Jewish capitalists, and that only peaceable diplomatic negotiations are asked for, to the end that all private ownership of land and property be carefully respected and protected. In closing he said that, being on such friendly terms with Russia and having no complications in the Orient, it is most fitting and hopeful that our government should initiate this friendly movement, to give these wandering millions of Israel a settled and permanent home.

"The President listened attentively to Mr. Blackstone's remarks, and promised to give the subject serious consideration."

The Memorial

The text of the memorial is as follows:

"What shall be done for the Russian Jews? It is both unwise and useless to undertake to dictate to Russia concerning her internal affairs. The Jews have lived as foreigners in her dominions for centuries, and she fully believes that they are a burden upon her resources and prejudicial to the welfare of her peasant population, and will not allow them to remain. She is determined that they must go. Hence, like the Sephardim of Spain, these Ashkenazim must emigrate. But where shall two millions of such poor people go? Europe is crowded, and has no room for more peasant population. Shall they come to America? This would be a tremendous expense and would require years.

"Why not give Palestine back to them again? According to God's distribution of nations it is their home - an inalienable possession from which they were expelled by force. Under their cultivation it was a remarkably fruitful land, sustaining millions of Israelites, who industriously tilled its hillsides and valleys. They were agriculturists and producers as well as a nation of great commercial importance - the center of civilization and religion. It is said, to, that rains are increasing, and there are many evidences that the land is recovering its ancient fertility.

"Why shall not the powers which, under the treaty of Berlin, in 1878, gave Bulgaria to the Bulgarians and Servia to the Servians, now give Palestine back to the Jews? These provinces, as well as Roumania, Montenegro and Greece, were wrested from the Turks and given to their natural owners. Does not Palestine as rightfully belong to the Jews?

"If they could have autonomy in government, the Jews of the world would rally to transport and establish their suffering brethren in their time - honored habitation. For over seventeen centuries they have patiently waited for such a privileged opportunity. They have not become agriculturists elsewhere because they believed they were sojourners in the various nations, and were yet to return to Palestine and till their own land. Whatever vested rights, by possession, may have accrued to Turkey can be easily compensated for, possibly by the Jews assuming an equitable portion of the national debt.

"We believe this is an appropriate time for all nations, and especially the Christian nations of Europe, to show kindness to Israel. A million of exiles, by their terrible sufferings, are piteously appealing to our sympathy, justice and humanity. Let us now restore to them the land of which they were so cruelly despoiled by our Roman ancestors.

"To this end we respectfully petition His Excellency, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, and the Hon. J. G. Blaine, Secretary of State, to use their good offices and influence with the governments of their imperial majesties - Alexander III, Czar of Russia; Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India; William II, Emperor of Germany; Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austro - Hungary; Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey; Her Royal Majesty, Marie Christina, Queen Regent of Spain; with the government of the Republic of France; and with the governments of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Roumania, Servia, Bulgaria and Greece, to secure the holding, at an early date, of an international conference to consider the condition of the Israelites and their claims to Palestine as their ancient home, and to promote in all other just and proper ways the alleviation of their suffering condition."

[The memorial is signed by prominent men of all professions and creeds from Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.]

The Anglo-Israelitish Question

Since the publication of the first edition of this volume, a criticism of it and especially of this chapter appeared in an English journal - The Banner of Israel - devoted to the theory that the Anglo-Saxon peoples are representatives of the "ten lost tribes" of Israel. The following appeared in the December, 1891, issue of our magazine. We publish it here, believing that it will be of interest, as it touches additional points, as follows:

To the Editor of The Banner of Israel -

Dear Sir: A recent article in your journal, reviewing Scripture Studies, Vol. III, and especially its reference to the Anglo-Israel Question in connection with the return of the Jews to Palestine, has come to my attention; and as it seems to inquire for a reply, I hasten to answer it briefly.

The point of discussion turns upon the question whether, after the separation of the ten tribes from the two tribes of Israel, in the days of Rehoboam, they ever again became united, either actually or reckonedly. Your correspondent claims that there was no reunion and that the name, Israel, from that date forward belonged exclusively to the ten tribes, and not to the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, known as the Jews. This error seems necessary to his theory: that the Anglo-Saxon people are those ten tribes, and that their prosperity is due to this fact. We hold that from the period of the seventy years desolation, and especially from the return from Babylonian captivity, the nation of Israel has been recognized by God as one, including all of every tribe who respected God's promises and returned to Palestine when Cyrus issued his decree of permission. We hold that all who did not return were not of the commonwealth of Israel, not Israelites indeed, but that they were thenceforth reckoned as Gentiles. We affirm, too, that those "lost" ones who were not Israelites indeed will require recognition and blessing under the New Covenant during the coming Millennial age, and not during the Gospel age. Upon some points there seems to be a slight misunderstanding of our position. We do not deny that the ten tribes separated from the two tribes, nor that the ten, representing the majority, retained as such the original name of all (Israel), nor that the two tribes became known as Judah, nor that there was considerable cause for the separation, nor that it was in accord with God's plan for their chastisement, nor that the ten tribes went into captivity some seventy years before the two tribes, nor that God possibly has some portion of blessing for the descendants of the ten tribes, as well as for those of the two tribes and for all the families of the earth, during the "times of restitution of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21

What we do claim is, that the Great Teacher was right when he declared that "Salvation is of the Jews," and that the great Apostle was right when he declared that God's order is - "Glory, honor and peace to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God." (Rom. 2:10,11) Our understanding of this is, that after the Babylonish captivity the name Jew became synonymous with Israelite, and included all who held to the Law and hoped for the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promises - including some from the ten tribes as well as proselytes from the Gentiles - all who were circumcised. Moreover, even at the time of the revolt of the ten tribes, all the individual members of those tribes did not join in it. Some continued faithful to the Kingdom of Judah, and continued to live among the Jews. 1 Kings 12:17

We have found, and pointed out the significant fact, that our Lord and the Apostles addressed the "twelve tribes" under one name - "the House of Israel" - and this, too, in speaking directly to the people living in Jerusalem, who, as all admit, were chiefly of the tribe of Judah, but partially of all the twelve tribes. The fact that the Lord and the Apostles thus addressed the twelve tribes as one nation, and applied prophecies to them as such, seems to us quite sufficient reason for our doing the same.

To quote the texts of Scripture bearing on the different phases of the subject would require much space; but whoever will take a copy of Young's Concordance, turn to page 528 and note the various instances in which the word Israel is used in the New Testament, will have what seems to be overwhelming evidence that the House of Israel was no longer regarded by our Lord and the Apostles as the "ten tribes" merely, but, as it is expressed, "all Israel." Note especially the following texts: Matt. 8:10; 10:6; 15:24,31; 27:9,42; Mark 12:29; 15:32; Luke 1:54,68, and especially verse 80; also 2:25,32,34; 24:21; also note carefully John 1:31,49; 3:10; 12:13; also Acts 2:22,36; 3:12; 4:10,27; 5:21,30,31,35; 13:16,24; 21:28; Rom. 9:6,31; 10:19; 11:25,26; 1 Cor. 10:18; Gal. 6:16; Eph. 2:12; Phil. 3:5; Heb. 8:8.

"Salvation is of the Jews," or covenant-keeping Israelites, in the sense that (1) our Lord Jesus, the Savior, came in this line; (2) in that a remnant of these Jews (the Apostles and most of the early Church), called a remnant of Israel (Rom. 9:27; 11:1,5,7), became ministers of reconciliation to bear the message to the Gentiles; and (3) in that the Lord's provision is that, in the restitution work of the future, fleshly Israel, recovered from blindness, shall be used as a medium through whom the streams of salvation, issuing from the glorified, spiritual Israel, shall flow to all the families of the earth; as it is written, "Out of Zion [the Gospel Church, or spiritual Israel glorified] shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [the re-established fleshly Israel]." Isa. 2:3

But in any case the ten tribes are left out of this and all such promises; for neither Zion nor Jerusalem (neither the typical nor the real) belonged to them. To have a share at all in the covenant made with Abraham, they must either be united to the spiritual Israel, of which the Lion of the tribe of Judah is the head, or they must become associated with the literal Judah at Jerusalem, in order to share his portion in the coming times of restitution; for "the Lord shall save the tents of Judah first." Zech. 12:7

The arguments of your correspondent seem to be summed up in the following extracts, which we quote from your journal. He says:

"As to the non-return of Israel, a comparison of Jer. 29:1,4,10 with Ezra 1:1shows that the edict of Cyrus was in fulfilment of a prophecy which referred exclusively to the Jews; and from Ezek. 4:3-8 it is patent that Israel's term of captivity had to extend far beyond Judah's. There is no proof whatever that the ten tribes were embraced in the offer of Cyrus."

We must take exceptions to these statements, and ask your readers to examine more carefully the texts cited. Jeremiah (29:1-10) does not advise the people to settle down contentedly, never expecting to return to Jerusalem, but that they should make themselves comfortably at home in the land of Babylon, because there would be no deliverance for seventy years - a much longer period of captivity than they had ever before experienced.

Ezra 1:1does not limit to the members of Judah and Benjamin the privilege or liberty to return. On the contrary, verse 3declares that Cyrus extended the offer to "Whoever among you that is of all his people"; verse 4repeats the "whosoever," and makes the invitation world-wide, as was Cyrus' dominion, by the words "in every place"; and verse 5declares that not only the chiefs of Judah and Benjamin responded, but also "the priests and the Levites, with all those whose spirit God had awakened" - i.e., all whose hearts, like Simeon's, were "waiting for the consolation of Israel." Among such were some from the ten tribes, even though they were fewer. For instance, among those who with Simeon waited in the temple for the consolation of Israel was Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. Luke 2:36

As for the citation from Ezekiel (4:3-8), no suggestion is offered as to when the forty years upon Judah, or the three hundred and ninety years upon the remainder of Israel, were fulfilled. Your correspondent overlooks the fact that although this trouble is divided into two portions it is all represented as coming against one people, as illustrated by the one capital city, Jerusalem, which was portrayed by the prophet as a part of his tableau teaching. Some suppose the lesson taught to be that God's wrath against the ten tribes dated from the time of the revolt, when they went into idolatry, about 390 years before the desolation of Jerusalem, and that the wrath against the two tribes dated from forty years before the desolation, when, under King Manasseh, the two tribes became idolaters, and that God's wrath ceased, or was assuaged, by the expiation for their sins in the utter desolation of Jerusalem and the land. If this be correct, his favor returned, while they were in Babylon, to all who revered his promises and waited for the seventy years of desolation to expire, that they might return to God's worship in his holy city and temple.

We answer, then, that there is no evidence that the willing, faithful ones of the ten tribes were hindered and did not return to the holy land after its seventy years of desolation. On the contrary, the evidence shows that they had the liberty to return and that some of them exercised it.

After quoting from Scripture Studies, Vol. III, "They [the ten tribes] deserted the Israelitish covenant, and became idolaters, unbelievers, and practically Gentiles," your correspondent continues:

"This is perfectly correct: the ten tribes did apostatize, and were formally divorced from the Mosaic covenant. (Jer. 3:8) But he overlooks the companion jewel-namely, they were to be remarried in a new and better covenant. (Isa. 54:4-8; Hos. 2:7,19; Jer. 31:31-33) The Israelites were indeed practically Gentiles, and are esteemed Gentiles to this day; but that is concordant with prophecy; for Ephraim's 'multitude of nations' are goyim or nominal Gentiles (Gen. 48:19); and the children of Ephraim - Israel, 'which cannot be measured nor numbered,' are the offspring of Loammi, or nominal Gentiles. Hos. 1:9,10."

We beg to differ regarding the above statement. The Lord has not remarried, nor will he ever remarry the ten tribes. The citations prove nothing of this kind. Hosea gives some hard pictures of a bad people. Chapter 1:4,6,7seems to mention the ten tribes separately from the two, but promises no more mercy, but, instead, an utter taking away of the ten, and mercy upon Judah. Verses 9 and 10show the rejection (for a time) of all Israel (the natural branches of the olive), and the grafting in of spiritual Israel upon the original root or promise - those from among the Gentiles who formerly had not been recognized by the Lord as his people, who had been strangers and foreigners and aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, but who are now brought nigh and made partakers through Christ. This application of this scripture is made by the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 9:23-26) Verse 11declares that "then," at the time of their rejection and at the time of the recognition of spiritual Israel, Judah and Israel would be reunited under one head.

Hosea 2:1-7includes one of the proofs offered; but the most careful search in these verses discloses no promise from the Lord that he will remarry them. Reading down to verse 13 proves to the contrary. Then verses 14-18show the "door of hope" for these rebellious people, which the Millennial reign of the true spiritual seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16,29) will open; for verse 18locates the date of this "door of hope," by declaring it to be after the time of trouble, when wars shall be no more.

Verses 19 and 20, if applicable to the fleshly seed at all, should be applied to "all Israel" (last before mentioned) - see Chapter 1:11 - and in that case would not call for fulfilment before the close of the Gospel age, when wars shall be no more. But there is good reason for believing that these verses (19 and 20)relate to the spiritual class, selected during the time when fleshly Israel has been cast off. To this view the 23rd verseas well as Chapter 1:10gives support, both being quoted in Rom. 9:23-26, and agreeing well with the Apostle's other statement, "Israel has not obtained that which he seeks for, but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded." Rom. 11:7

As for Isaiah 54:1-8, the Apostle Paul has thrown the light of superhuman wisdom upon it, and has applied it to spiritual Zion, our mother or covenant, symbolized by Sarah. The fleshly seed of Abraham had been cast out from being heir of the promise, and the true seed, Christ (typified by Isaac and Rebecca), had been received as the only seed of promise. Gal. 4:22,24,26-31

Jeremiah 31:29-33is quite to the point. It was written at a time when the ten tribes, called Israel, were separate from the two, called Judah; and hence it was necessary for the prophet to mention both, in order not to be misunderstood to mean the ten tribes only. But here, in verse 31, he puts the two together; and, after thus joining them as one, he uses the one name for all, in verses 33 and 36; and this is confirmed by verses 38-40, which describe places lying in the portion of the two tribes, in and about Jerusalem.

But next let us notice that this is a prophecy not yet fulfilled; so that the ten tribes, even if they could clearly identify themselves now, have as yet no cause for boasting. They would do better to wait until the New Covenant is made with them, and until the law of that New Covenant has been written in their hearts. Then surely they will no longer boast themselves of their old covenant, but of the new.

During the Gospel age the New Covenant and its blessed heart - writing and spirit - teaching is not for the ten tribes, nor for the two. It must first be sealed by the blood (death) of the Mediator - Head and Body, from Jews and Gentiles. The fleshly seed (Ishmael) must wait until the spiritual seed (Isaac) has inherited all, and must then get his portion through Isaac. In those days - when the fleshly seed receives its portion - the blessed Millennial privileges, mentioned in verses 29 and 30, will be realized.

Beloved, let us make our calling and election sure by the obedience of faith, and not hope for spiritual blessings to come to us because of fleshly connections - which the Lord's Word clearly shows us cannot be. If the Anglo-Saxon races are the literal descendants of the ten lost tribes, it certainly is to their advantage that the Lord will overlook the relationship and count them as Gentiles; for his favor was withdrawn from the natural seed when the remnant had been selected, and he turned to take out the people for his name from among the Gentiles, who previously were not his people; and, as we have seen, no return of his favor is promised until the elect Church shall have been completed, in the Millennial dawn.

Nothing in our understanding of the teachings of the Scriptures is in opposition to the idea that Great Britain, Germany and the United States may contain some of the descendants of the ten tribes which separated from the two tribes in the days of Rehoboam. It could not be claimed, however, by any one who is familiar with the radical mixture which prevails, especially in the United States, that any of these nations are of pure Israelitish stock. Neither do we debate the question whether the prosperity of these nations, more than that of some other nations of the world, is due to their lineage. Perhaps this is true. What we do maintain, however, is that, so far as the Lord's "high calling" of his Church is concerned, the middle wall of partition having been broken down, the Israelitish origin of an individual or a nation would, under the terms of the Grace Covenant, gain the individual or the nation no advantage over other individuals or nations of a different race. From it "all Israel," "the natural branches," were broken off, except a "remnant" which accepted Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant; and that "remnant" had no pre-eminence over others because of nationality. God, through the Apostles, has preached no favors to Israel according to the flesh during the period of the selection of spiritual Israel; but he has declared that when the company of spiritual Israel is complete, his favor will return to the fleshly house.

Because we believe that the spiritual Israel is nearly complete, therefore we are expecting blessings upon the Israelites who are according to the flesh, and the turning away of their blindness, anticipating that they will be the first of the restitution class to be blessed by spiritual Israel, and so "obtain mercy through your mercy." (Rom. 11:31) After they have thus received mercy through the complete and glorified Church of Christ, they will indeed be used as the Lord's instruments for blessing all the families of the earth, and thus the Abrahamic promises will be fulfilled into both the seeds - both that which is according to the flesh, and that which is according to the spirit - "To the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham." Rom. 4:16. Yours respectfully,

The Author of Studies in the Scriptures.

Those who claim that "the term Israel applies only to the ten lost tribes" and that "Judah is the only name properly applicable to those who returned to Palestine after the Babylonian captivity" should cease such assertions until they can answer the following simple facts. Our Lord declared, "I am not sent but into the lost sheep of the House of Israel." (Matt. 15:24; 10:6) He said not one word about the House of Judah; yet all of his preaching was done in Palestine to what the Anglo-Israelites tell us was not the House of Israel at all, but the House of Judah. Then, again, according to this same theory, St. Peter made a great blunder when, speaking under the direct plenary inspiration of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he declared: "Let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom YE have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36) Anglo-Israelites tell us that not the House of Israel, but the House of Judah, was guilty of crucifying Christ. Let whoever likes conclude that our Lord and his Apostle blundered and that Anglo-Israelitish ideas are correct, we shall let God be true - we will take the view that is consistent with the word of our Lord and St. Peter and with all the New Testament teachings and with reason.

The curses, mentioned by Moses, (Deut. 28:15,46,49,63-67) that would befall Israel (the twelve tribes) if unfaithful to the Lord, seem to have had a very literal fulfilment upon the Israel of our Lord's day (chiefly the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, but including also representatives of the other ten tribes who reverenced the Lord) upon whom our Lord declared all things written in the Law and Prophets shall be fulfilled, and upon whom the Apostle Paul declares that those predictions were fulfilled to the uttermost. See 1 Thess. 2:15,16.

But if the British nation be any part of the Israel here mentioned verses 64 and 65do not appear to be fulfilled.

STUDY IX THY GOD REIGNETH! Edit

A Resume of the Prophetic Evidences Which Show the Presence of Immanuel, and that His Kingdom is in Process of Establishment.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace, that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that saith into Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Isa. 52:7

IN view of all the evidences presented in this and the preceding volumes of this work, we have no hesitancy in proclaiming to the Lord's loyal and faithful people, his beloved Zion, this glorious intelligence: "Thy God Reigneth!" The oft-repeated prayer of the Church has been answered: the Kingdom of God has indeed come. In the days of the present kings of earth, before their lease of dominion expires, it is being set up. The dead in Christ are even now risen and exalted with our Lord and Head. And the "feet" members of the body of Christ, who still tarry in the flesh, catching the inspiration of the glorified throng who have already ascended into the mount (kingdom) of God, reflect a measure of that transcendent glory, as did Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai. The faces of these messengers shine with that heavenly joy which fills their hearts and overflows their lips as they commune together and with the Lord, and go heralding to every nation (mountain) the good tidings of Immanuel's reign begun. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him (the feet of the Christ) that brings good tidings of Millennial joy and peace, assuring Zion that the reign of our Lord is begun!

Wonderful truths are these! the Kingdom of God in process of setting up; the Lord Jesus and the risen saints already here and engaged in the great harvest work, with whom we also, as members of that honored body, as the "feet of him," though still in the flesh, are permitted to be co-workers, to herald the good tidings among men and to apprise them of the significance of the wonderful and troublous events which must prepare the way for and introduce the glorious reign of righteousness.

These are they of whom the prophets foretold, saying, "The Lord comes with ten thousand of his saints"; "The Lord, my God, shall come, and all the saints with thee"; "The Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels [the saints, his holy messengers] with him"; "A fiery stream [symbolic of severe judgments - a time of trouble] issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered into him [not only of his saints, but of numerous other agents and agencies], and ten thousand times ten thousand [all mankind] stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Jude 14; Zech. 14:5; Matt. 25:31; Dan. 7:10

Such is the present situation: the great Judge has come - not as at the first advent, in a body of humiliation, for sacrifice, but in the plenitude of his power as a spirit being, clothed with the glory of divine authority, as the representative of Jehovah, completely and forever to put down evil and all unrighteousness, and to restore all who will of the redeemed race to harmony with God, perfection of being and lasting life. The plan of God is now made manifest: we are made to understand it now as never before. The opening of the books of the divine revelation will soon be completed. The judgment of the world is already commencing upon the institutions of nominal Christendom, and the great work thus begun in a manner unsuspected by the world will progress to the grand consummation foretold by the Lord and the apostles and prophets, until all the world shall be led to look upon the pierced One as the Redeemer and Deliverer sent of God, even as the saints have long been "looking into Jesus" as the author and finisher of their faith. * The reckoning or judgment which begins with the Church will quickly spread to and include all the living nations; and in due time and order all the mighty hosts of the dead shall be brought upon the scene.

  • See Vol. II, Chapter v.

While the glorified members of the Kingdom beyond the veil are doing a work in shaping the current of present events and preparing for the glorious reign, those on this side the veil have also an important work. It is their mission to gather together the elect and to seal them in the forehead (intellectually) with the knowledge of the truth (Rev. 7:3); to separate the wheat from the tares with the sickle of present truth; and to proclaim into Zion this important message - "Thy God reigneth!" This work, too, is going rapidly forward, and all the faithful, sealed ones are in turn busily engaged in sealing others; and soon the great work will be accomplished - the elect all gathered and glorified.

Blessed was the promise to the early members of the Church, that he whom they saw go away should indeed come again; and blessed has been the hope of his appearing all through the age to the tried and persecuted, faithful ones, who anxiously looked for his coming until they fell asleep with the prospect of awaking in his likeness; but still more blessed are your eyes, O ye saints of today; for your eyes see and your ears hear the signs of the presence of the long - looked - for Hope of Israel.

While in nominal Zion, as the Prophet Isaiah predicted, the sinners who have forgotten or failed to keep their covenant with the Lord are afraid of the dark clouds that obscure the brightness of his face, and fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites, true Zion with eyes of faith sees the King in his beauty, and beholds the land that is yet far off - the land of corn and wine, the glorious inheritance into which this mighty King and great Deliverer has come to lead the fallen race - a land wherein the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick; for the people that dwell therein shall be one whose iniquity is forgiven. Isa. 33:14,17,24

That glorious land, that Paradise restored, we now clearly discern beyond the vista of a thousand years; and with joy and singing, under the leadership of this greater Prophet than Moses, who is even now in our midst, shall the triumphant hosts of the redeemed be led along the grand highway of holiness toward that fair land of rest from sin and death and every evil thing.

"O, sing into the Lord, ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger [which must necessarily be manifested in the great trouble that will soon overwhelm the world] endures but a moment. In his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." And soon the chastened and converted world shall catch the strain of praise and sing, "Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing; thou has put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee and never be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks into thee forever." Psa. 30:4,5,11,12

Now call to mind the steps, well founded in the "sure word of prophecy," by which we have come to this heart-cheering and soul-stirring knowledge. Behind us are all the prophetic landmarks which point to this time as the most wonderful period in all the history of the world. They have shown us that since 1873 we have been living in the seventh millennium; that the lease of Gentile dominion, "The Times of the Gentiles," will expire with the year 1914; and that the advent of him whose right it is to take the dominion was due in 1874. They have shown us that in the days of these Gentile kings, before their lease of power expires, the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom, and that the setting up of that Kingdom has actually been in progress since the year 1878; that there the resurrection of all the dead in Christ was due; and that therefore, since that date, not only is our Lord and Head invisibly present in the world, but all these holy messengers are also with him. And observe, further, that this date of the resurrection of the dead in Christ parallels the date of the resurrection of the Head of the body. Our Lord's resurrection occurred three and a half years after his advent as the Messiah, in A.D. 29; and the resurrection of his body, the Church, we have seen, was due in the year 1878, three and a half years after his second advent, in October 1874.

Prophecy has also indicated the manner of our Lord's return, so that, though he is present, we should not expect to see either him or the risen saints, who are now in his likeness except by the eye of faith - faith in the "sure word of prophecy"; though we have learned that those who now constitute "the feet of Christ" shall also shortly be changed to the same glorious likeness. They shall then be spirit beings, like him, Christ, and like all the risen saints who are now with him, and will in due time see him as he is. (1 John 3:2) We have also seen that the coming of the foretold Elias and of the predicted Man of Sin, which were to precede his advent, are accomplished facts.

We have marked, too, the fixed dates to which the Prophet Daniel calls attention. The 2,300 days point to 1846 as the time when God's sanctuary would be cleansed of the defiling errors and principles of Papacy; and we have noted the cleansing there accomplished. We have noted the fulfilment of the 1,260 days, or the time, times and half a time, of Papacy's power to persecute, and the beginning there, in 1799, of the Time of the End. We have seen how the 1,290 days marked the beginning of an understanding of the mysteries of prophecy in the year 1829, culminating in the great movement of 1844 known as the Second Advent movement, when, according to the Lord's prediction, the wise virgins went forth to meet the Bridegroom, thirty years prior to his actual coming. We have seen the fulfilment of the predicted tarrying; and for fifteen years the midnight cry, "Behold the Bridegroom!" has gone forth. We have marked with special delight the 1,335 days, pointing, as they do, to 1874 as the exact date of our Lord's return; and we have since that time experienced the very blessedness promised - through the clearer unfoldings of the wonderful mysteries of the divine plan.

Then we have seen the great harvest work, in its appointed time and order, beginning in the autumn of the year 1874, gradually and silently, but rapidly, progressing. We have marked the bundling and binding of the tares, and the gathering of the wheat. And what blessing and joy come to us in the assurance that since the summer of 1878, when the King took his great power and began his reign by the resurrection of those who slept in Jesus, it is no longer needful that his members should "sleep" and wait for glory, but that for each the moment of finishing his course in death is the moment of the joyful "change" to the full perfection of the divine nature and likeness. Indeed, "blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth" forever. They rest from their labors, but their works continue; for the work on the other side the veil is the same work in which all the overcomers are engaged on this side the veil; except that with those who have entered into the glory of the divine nature, the work is no longer laborious, and no longer costs fatiguing sacrifice.

In addition to all this, we see the beginnings of the return of divine favor to fleshly Israel already manifested in the beginning of a turning away of their blindness and prejudice against Christ Jesus, in the opening up of the land of promise and their expulsion from other lands, and also in the returning fruitfulness of Palestine itself. These outward signs alone, aside from all prophetic dates and times, would be strong evidences that we are living in the close of the age appointed for the selection of the Church or Kingdom class, because of the positive assurance of the Scriptures that their blindness and cast-off condition would continue only until the members of the body of Christ had been selected.

Standing thus, as we do, at this late date in the Time of the End, and in the very midst of the harvest of the age, and looking forward for the settlement of all the complicated questions of these feverish times within the brief space of the next twenty-three years, how solemn and intense are the feelings of those who have faith in the sure word of prophecy. The momentous and perplexing questions which will culminate in the great trouble, of which Daniel forewarns us, are now agitating the public mind, and are fast approaching the terrible crisis. But this great crisis of the "day of vengeance" and "wrath" upon the nations we must leave for consideration in the succeeding volume, as the subject is too large and too important for our present space. But let us rejoice in the fact that beyond the trouble, and even beyond the helpful discipline of the reign of Christ, we see the glorious land of rest, the blessed and eternal inheritance of a redeemed and restored race.

Wonderful times indeed are these, yet few heed the sure word of prophecy; and consequently the future is viewed by most men only from the standpoint of present indications. Men see the rapidly gathering clouds, but can know nothing of their silver lining except from the Word of God.

Yes, dear Redeemer and Lord, we recognize thy beloved presence, and rejoice in the evidences of the establishment of thy gracious Kingdom in this our day. Our hearts overflow with gratitude as we see the converging rays of divine testimony - from the law, the prophets, the apostles and thine own hitherto dark sayings, and even from the long-hidden mysteries of Egypt's wonderful "Witness" - now drawn to a glorious focus showing thy believing followers that the glorious day is soon to break, although clouds and thick darkness yet obscure thy glory from all eyes except the eyes of faith of thy betrothed. In this radiant focal light, gem after gem of thy precious truth now gleams with a luster hitherto unknown, and thy majestic presence is reflected by them all.

"Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness." "O, clap your hands, all ye people: shout into your God with the voice of triumph; for the Lord most high is a great King over all the earth."

THE

CORROBORATIVE TESTIMONY

OF

GOD'S STONE WITNESS

AND

PROPHET

THE GREAT PYRAMID IN

EGYPT

PREFACE TO STUDY X

A KINDLY COMMENT ON THIS CHAPTER

WHEN IN MANUSCRIPT, FROM THE PEN

OF THE ESTEEMED

PROF. C. PIAZZI SMYTH, F.R.S.E., F.R.A.S.

EX-ASTRONOMER ROYAL FOR SCOTLAND

Brother William M. Wright, on learning that this chapter on the Great Pyramid was written, requested that he might have the reading of it before it would be put into type, as he had already considerable knowledge of the Pyramid. This we gladly granted, assuring him of our desire for all the criticism possible. After reading the MS., Bro. Wright concluded that, as we desired criticism, the higher the standing of the critic the better. Accordingly he made a typewritten copy of the MS., and by permission mailed it to Prof. C. Piazzi Smyth, who is generally accorded a greater knowledge of the Great Pyramid's construction and measurements than any other man in the world, requesting that he examine the MS. carefully and note upon it any criticism he might have to offer in the interest of the truth. The Professor's answer to that letter, together with the MS. copy sent him, which bore his marks of criticism, when received were sent to the author. We thank Bro. Wright and Prof. Smyth for their kindness, and have followed the corrections indicated; which, however, only three in all, we were pleased to note were not of special importance. Only one of the criticisms was upon measurements, and it showed a variance of only one inch, which we gladly corrected.

Thinking it might be interesting to our readers we give below

Prof. C. Piazzi Smyth's Letter

Clova, Ripon, England, Dec. 21, 1890

Wm. M. Wright, Esq.,

Dear Sir: I have been rather longer than I could have wished in looking over the MS. of your friend, C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., but I have now completed a pretty careful examination, word by word. And that was the least I could do, when you so kindly took the pains to send it with such care between boards by registered parcel, with every page flat, and indited by the typewriter in place of the hand.

At first I could only find slips of the said typewriter, but as I progressed through the pages, the powers, the specialties and the originalities of the Author came out magnificently; and there were not a few passages I should have been glad to take a copy of for quotation, with name, in the next possible edition of my own Pyramid book. But of course I did nothing of that sort, and shall wait with perfect patience and in most thankful mood of mind for when the author of Scripture Studies shall choose his own time for publishing. So I merely remark here that he is both good and new in much that he says on the chronology of various parts of the Pyramid, especially the First Ascending Passage and its granite plug; on the Grand Gallery, as illustrating the Lord's life; on the parallelisms between the King's Chamber and its granite, against the Tabernacle and its gold; and generally on the confirmations or close agreements between Scripture and the Great Pyramid, well commented on.

In the meanwhile, it seems that I am indebted to you for your kind gift of long ago of the first two volumes of Scripture Studies. I did not at the time get further than the first half of the first volume, finding the matter, as I thought, not quite so new as I had expected. But after having profited, as I hope, so much by a thorough reading of this advanced pyramid chapter of the third volume, I must take up the first two volumes again, de novo.

The parcel will go back between its boards, registered. I remain, with many thanks,

Yours respectfully,

C. Piazzi Smyth

STUDY X THE TESTIMONY OF GOD'S STONE WITNESS AND PROPHET, THE GREAT PYRAMID IN EGYPT Edit

General Description of the Great Pyramid - Why of Special Interest to Christians - The Great Pyramid a Storehouse of Truth - Scientific, Historic and Prophetic - Bible Allusions to It - Why, When and by Whom Built - Importance of Its Location - Its Scientific Lessons - Its Testimony Concerning the Plan of Redemption - The Plan of the Ages - The Death and the Resurrection of Christ Indicated - The Downward Course of the World, Ending in a Great Time of Trouble - The Nature of the Trouble - The Great Reformation Movement Marked - Length of the Jewish Age Indicated - The "High Calling" of the Gospel Church Shown - The Course of the Church's Consecration - The End of the High Calling Marked - Date of the Second Advent of Christ - How Restitution Blessings for the World are Indicated - The Course of the World During the Millennial Age - Its End - Contrast of the Two Conditions, Human and Spiritual, as Indicated in the Pyramid - The Pyramid Refutes Atheism, Infidelity and all Evolution Theories, and Verifies both the Plan of the Bible and Its Appointed Times and Seasons.

"In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness into the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt." Isa. 19:19,20

THE ancients recounted seven wonders of the world, and at the very head of the list named the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. It is situated in Egypt, not far from the present city of Cairo. No other building in the world equals it in size. One of the leading granite men of this country, who made a personal inspection of the Great Pyramid, says: "There are blocks of stone in the Pyramid which weigh three or four times as much as one of the obelisks. I saw a stone whose estimated weight was 880 tons. There are stones in it thirty feet in length which fit so closely together that you may run a penknife over the surface without discovering the breaks between them. They are not laid with mortar, either. There is now no machinery so perfect that it will make two surfaces thirty feet in length which will meet together as these wonderful stones in the Great Pyramid meet." It covers an area of about thirteen acres. It is 486 feet high and 764 feet broad at its base. It is estimated that the Great Pyramid weighs six million tons, and that to remove it would require six thousand steam engines, each drawing one thousand tons. In fact, the wealth of Egypt is not sufficient to pay laborers to demolish it. From these facts it is evident that, whoever was its great designer, he intended that it should be an enduring monument.

Viewed from whatever standpoint we please, the Great Pyramid is certainly the most remarkable building in the world; but in the light of an investigation which has been in progress for the past thirty - two years, it acquires new interest to every Christian advanced in the study of God's Word; for it seems in a remarkable manner to teach, in harmony with all the prophets, an outline of the plan of God, past, present and future.

It should be remembered that, aside from the Great Pyramid here referred to, there are others, some of stone and some of brick; but all of them are mere attempts to copy it, and are in every way inferior - in size, accuracy and internal arrangement. And it has also been demonstrated that, unlike the Great Pyramid, they contain no symbolic features, but were evidently designed and used as sepulchers for the royal families of Egypt.

The Great Pyramid, however, proves to be a storehouse of important truth - scientific, historic and prophetic - and its testimony is found to be in perfect accord with the Bible, expressing the prominent features of its truths in beautiful and fitting symbols. It is by no means an addition to the written revelation: that revelation is complete and perfect, and needs no addition. But it is a strong corroborative witness to God's plan; and few students can carefully examine it, marking the harmony of its testimony with that of the written Word, without feeling impressed that its construction was planned and directed by the same divine wisdom, and that it is the pillar of witness referred to by the prophet in the above quotation.

If it was built under God's direction, to be one of his witnesses to men, we might reasonably expect some allusion to it in the written Word of God. And yet, since it was evidently a part of God's purpose to keep secret, until the Time of the End, features of the plan of which it gives testimony, we should expect that any reference to it in the Scriptures would be, as it is, somewhat under cover - to be recognized only when due to be understood.

Isaiah, as above quoted, testifies of an altar and pillar in the land of Egypt, which "shall be for a sign and for a witness into the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt." And the context shows that it shall be a witness in the day when the great Savior and Deliverer shall come to break the chains of oppression and to set at liberty Sin's captives - of which things our Lord preached at his first advent. (Luke 4:18) The scope of this prophecy is but dimly seen, however, until Egypt is recognized as a symbol or type of the world of mankind, full of vain philosophies, which only darken their understandings, but ignorant of the true light. As Israel typified the world which shall be delivered from the bondage of Sin by the great antitype of Moses, and whose sin-offering has been given by the antitype of Aaron, so Egypt represents the empire of Sin, the dominion of death (Heb. 2:14), which for so long has held in chains of slavery many who will be glad to go forth to serve the Lord under the leadership of one like into but greater than Moses. Acts 3:22,23

In many passages of Scripture the symbolic character of Egypt is indicated; for instance, Hosea 11:1and Matt. 2:13-15. Here, aside from the fact that our Lord as a babe was for a time actually in the land of Egypt, and Israel also for a time actually in Egypt, there is evidently a typical significance as well. The Son of God was in the world for a time for the sake of those he came to redeem and deliver; but he was called out of it - Egypt - to the higher, divine nature. Likewise those who are called to be his brethren and joint-heirs, the "members of his body," the true Israel of God, are called out of Egypt; and the Master testifies, "They are not of this world, even as I am not of this world."

Isaiah (31:1,3), referring to the great trouble now impending, says, "Woe into them that go down to Egypt [to the world] for help [for worldly ideas and plans, and for counsel as to how they should act in the crisis of this great day]; and stay on horses [who endeavor still to ride the old, false doctrinal hobbies], and trust in chariots [worldly organizations] because they are many; and in horsemen [the great leaders in false doctrines] because they are very strong; but who look not into the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord [for the safety and victory in this day of trouble will not be with the multitude]!...Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand [his power - the power of the truth and other agencies - as he will do shortly], both he that helps shall fall, and he that is helped [by the powers of Egypt - the world's ideas] shall fall down, and they all shall fail together."

It will be after all human plans and schemes have failed them, and when men shall have learned their own sinfulness and helplessness, that they will begin to cry into the Lord for help. Then Jehovah will show himself a great Savior; and he has already prepared the Great Pyramid as a part of his instrumentality for convincing the world of his wisdom, foreknowledge and grace. "It shall be for a sign and for a witness into the Lord of hosts [a witness to his foreknowledge and to his gracious plan of salvation, as we shall presently see] in the land of Egypt: for they [the Egyptians - the poor world, during the great time of trouble coming] shall cry into the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a Savior, and a great one; and he shall deliver them. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt [the world], and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day [in the Millennial day - at the close of the time of trouble], and shall do service with sacrifice and oblation: yea, they shall make vows into the Lord and perform them. But the Lord shall smite Egypt [the world - in the great time of trouble just at hand]. He shall smite and heal it. And they shall return into the Lord, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them." Isa. 19:19-22

While the additional, corroborative evidence given by the Great Pyramid to the written Word of God will be a fresh cause of rejoicing to the saints, it is manifest that its witnessing is chiefly intended for the world of mankind during the Millennial age. The testimony of this peculiar and remarkable witness will give to mankind fresh ground for faith and love and zeal, when in due time their hearts are prepared for the truth. It is remarkable, too, that (like the Plan of the Ages in the written Word) this stone "Witness" kept silence until now, when its testimony shall shortly be delivered to (Egypt) the world. But the saints, the friends of God from whom he will hide nothing, are privileged to hear the testimony of this witness now, before the worldly mind is ready to appreciate its testimonies. Only when ready to obey the Lord can any appreciate his witnesses.

Jeremiah (32:20), when speaking of God's mighty works, declares that he has "set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even into this day." God showed signs and wonders in Egypt when he brought Israel out in triumph; but he also "set signs and wonders" there, which remain "even into this [our] day." The Great Pyramid, we believe, is the principal one of these very signs and wonders; and it now begins to speak to scientists in their own language, and through them to all men.

The Lord's questions and statements to Job (38:3-7), concerning the earth, find a remarkable illustration in the Great Pyramid, which is believed, in itself and by its measurements, to represent the earth and God's plan with reference to it. The illustration used is that of a building, and we believe that it fits only to a structure of pyramid shape. The language, while it applies primarily to the earth, is framed to fit the illustration given in the Great Pyramid. First, the preparation of the foundation, the rock on which the Great Pyramid is built, is noted. Second, the arrangement of its measures, a feature very prominently shown in the Great Pyramid, which abounds in significant measurements. "Who has stretched the line upon it?" The perfection of the shape of the Great Pyramid, and its exactness in every respect, prove that its construction was guided by some master architect. "Whereupon are the sockets thereof made to sink?" The Great Pyramid has four corner socket-stones sunk into the solid rock. "Or who laid the corner-stone thereof?" A pyramid has five corner-stones, but the reference here is to one particular corner-stone - the top stone. The four sunk as socket-stones into the rock have already been referred to, and the remaining one is the top corner-stone. This is the most remarkable stone in the structure - itself a perfect pyramid, the lines in the entire structure conform to it. The question, therefore, with reference to it is significant, and calls attention to its peculiar fitness, and the wisdom and skill which prepared and placed it as the top stone.

This ancient structure being thus repeatedly referred to in the Scriptures, we cannot doubt that, if questioned, this "Witness" of the Lord in the land of Egypt will bear such testimony as will honor Jehovah, and fully correspond with his written Word. We thus introduce this "Witness" because the inspiration of its testimony will doubtless be as much disputed as that of the Scriptures, by the prince of darkness, the god of this world, and those whom he blinds to the truth.

Why, When and by Whom

was the Great Pyramid Built?

This question has been much discussed of late years, from both scientific and Scriptural standpoints. For thousands of years no satisfactory answer to the question was discovered. The old theory that it was built as a vault or tomb for an Egyptian king is unworthy of credence; for, as we shall see, it required more than the wisdom of the present day, to say nothing of that of Egypt four thousand years ago, to design such a structure. Besides, it contains nothing in the way of casket, mummy or inscription. It was not until we had come into the time called in Daniel's prophecy "the Time of the End," when knowledge should be increased, and the wise should understand God's plan (Dan. 12:4,9,10), that the secrets of the Great Pyramid began to be understood, and our questions began to have a reasonable answer.

The first work of importance on the subject, proving that the Great Pyramid possessed scientific features, was by Mr. John Taylor, of England, A.D. 1859, since which time the attention of many able minds has been given to the further study of the testimony of this wonderful "Witness"; especially since Prof. Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer - Royal for Scotland, visited it, for several months made its peculiarities a study and gave to the world the remarkable facts of its construction and measurements, and his conclusions therefrom. To his scholarly and scientific work, "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid," we are mainly indebted for the data made use of in this chapter. Our illustrations are copies of a few of the twenty-five plates with which the latest edition of that work is embellished.

A few years after Prof. Smyth's return, came the suggestion that the Great Pyramid is Jehovah's "Witness," and that it is as important a witness to divine truth as to natural science. This was a new thought to Prof. Smyth, as well as to others. The suggestion came from a young Scotsman, Robert Menzies, who, when studying the scientific teachings of the Great Pyramid, discovered that prophetic and chronological teachings coexist in it.

Soon it became apparent that the object of its construction was to provide in it a record of the divine plan of salvation, no less than the record of divine wisdom relating to astronomical, chronological, geometrical, and other important truths. However, not having discerned the scope and completeness of the plan of salvation revealed in the Scriptures, these gentlemen have thus far failed to note the most wonderful and beautiful features of the Great Pyramid's testimony in this direction, which we now find to be a most full and complete corroboration of the plan of the ages and the times and seasons therewith associated, as taught in the Scriptures and presented in this and the preceding volumes of the Scripture Studies series. And, further, we see that this storehouse of knowledge, like the major part of the Bible store, was kept purposely sealed until its testimony should be needed and appreciated. Does this imply that its great Architect knew that a time would come when its testimony would be necessary? In other words, that a time would come when God's written Word would be lightly esteemed, and even his very existence questioned? when human philosophy, under the name of science, would be lauded and every proposition subjected to its tests? Has God decided to prove himself and his wisdom by those very tests? So it would appear. This structure will yet confound the wisdom of the wise as a "Witness" for the Lord of hosts - "IN THAT DAY" - which is already begun.

Prof. Smyth has concluded that the Great Pyramid was built in the year 2170 B.C., reaching this conclusion, first, from astronomical observations. Perceiving that the upward passage angles correspond to a telescope, and that the "Entrance Passage" corresponds to an astronomer's "pointer," he set about to investigate to what particular star it could have pointed at any time in the past. Calculations showed that a Draconis, the dragon-star, had occupied a position in the heavens which looked directly down the entrance, at midnight of the autumnal equinox, B.C. 2170. Then, considering himself as an astronomer at that date, with his pointer fixed upon a Draconis, and considering the ascending passages as though they were a telescope, which they much resemble, he calculated what constellation or what notable star would have been before his telescope thus fixed at the particular date indicated by his pointer, and found that it must have been the Pleiades. So wonderful a coincidence convinced him that the date of the Great Pyramid's building was thus indicated; for a Draconis is no less a symbol of sin and Satan than Pleiades is a symbol of God and the center of the universe. The Great Pyramid thus indicates that its Architect knew of the prevalence of evil and of its domination over the downward course of mankind, and indicates also what lies beyond all human sight - that the only hope for the race is in Jehovah.

This conclusion of Prof. Smyth's as to the date of the Great Pyramid's building, was most abundantly corroborated, later, by certain measurements by which the Great Pyramid indicates its own date of construction. A realization of the fact that the Great Pyramid exhibits a wisdom of design which the Egyptians could not have possessed - a divine wisdom which must have been worked out under the supervision of some inspired servant of God - has led to the conjecture that Melchizedek was its builder. He was "king of Salem [that is, king of peace] and priest of the Most High God," and as a person and type occupied so high a position as to be a blesser of Abraham, who also paid him tithes. Of this we can know little, except that Melchizedek was a great and peaceful king, and that he lived about that time, and not far distant from the site of the Great Pyramid.

It is conjectured that Melchizedek, though not himself an Egyptian, used Egyptian labor for the construction of the Great Pyramid. And to some extent the traditions of Egypt support such a theory. They reveal the fact that Egypt had a peculiar invasion about this date by a people whom tradition merely denominates Hyksos (i.e., Shepherd Kings or Peaceful Kings). These invaders seem not to have attempted to disturb the general government of Egypt, and, after staying a time for some purpose not recognized by the tradition, they left Egypt as peacefully as they had come. These Hyksos or Peaceful Kings are supposed to include Melchizedek, and are assumed to have been the builders of the Great Pyramid - God's altar and "Witness" in the land of Egypt.

Manetho, an Egyptian priest and scribe, is quoted by Josephus and others as saying: "We had formerly a king whose name was Timaus. In his time it came to pass, I know not how, that the deity was displeased with us; and there came up from the East, in a strange manner, men of ignoble race [not warriors], Hyksos, who had the confidence to invade our country and easily subdue it by their power without a battle. And when they had our rulers in their hands, they demolished the temples of the gods."

Its Peculiar Location

The Great Pyramid is situated on an elevated rocky plain, overlooking the river Nile, not far from the city of Cairo, in Egypt. A remarkable thing in connection with its situation is, that the delta of the Nile forms a seacoast which in shape is a true quarter circle, with the Great Pyramid marking the inner angle.

This relationship of the Great Pyramid to the coast was discovered by Mr. Henry Mitchell, Chief Hydrographer of the United States Coast Survey, who visited Egypt in 1868 to report the progress of the Suez Canal. His observation of the regularity of the curvature along the whole of Egypt's northern coast led him to conclude that some central point of physical origination was indicated. On searching for this grand center, he found it marked by the Great Pyramid, which led him to exclaim: "That monument stands in a more important physical situation than any other building erected by man."

A line drawn from the entrance passage due north would pass through the northernmost point of Egypt's coast; and lines drawn in continuation of the northeast and northwest diagonals of the structure would enclose the delta's either side, thus embracing the fan-shaped country of Lower Egypt. (See illustration, page 323.) Built upon the northernmost edge of the Gizeh cliff, and looking out over this sector, or open fan-shaped land of Lower Egypt, it may be truly said to be at the very border thereof, as well as in its nominal center, as described by the prophet Isaiah. "In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar [pyramid] at the border thereof, to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness into the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt." Another fact worthy of notice is that the Great Pyramid is located in the geographical center of the land surface of the world - including North and South America, unknown for centuries after the location and construction of the Great Pyramid.

Its Scientific Lessons

The Great Pyramid speaks to us, not by hieroglyphics, nor by sketches, but only by its location, its construction and its measurements. The only original marks or figures found were in the "Construction Chambers" over the "King's Chamber"; there are none whatever in the passages and rooms of the Pyramid proper. The scientific lessons of the Great Pyramid we omit for economy of space, because not one in a hundred ordinary readers would understand the scientific terms, so as to appreciate the demonstrations, and especially because they would be no part of the gospel which it is our mission to present. Suffice it, therefore, that we merely suggest the manner in which it teaches the scientist. For instance: The measure of the base of the four sides, at the level of the "sockets," added, is found to be as many pyramid cubits as there are days in four years, to the fraction - including the leap year fraction. The measures diagonally across the base from northeast to southwest, and from northwest to southeast, added, give as many inches as there are years in the precessional cycle. This cycle astronomers had already concluded to be 25,827 years, and the Great Pyramid corroborates their conclusion. The distance to the sun it is claimed is indicated, by the height and angle of the Great Pyramid, to be 91,840,270 miles, which almost exactly corresponds with the latest figures reached by astronomers. Astronomers until recently had calculated this distance to be from ninety to ninety-six millions of miles, their latest calculation and conclusion being ninety-two millions. The Great Pyramid has also its own way of indicating the most correct standard of all weights and measures, based upon the size and weight of the earth, which it is also claimed to indicate.

Commenting upon the scientific testimony and the location of this majestic "Witness," Rev. Joseph Seiss, D.D. suggests:

"There is a yet grander thought embodied in this wonderful structure. Of its five points there is one of special pre-eminence, in which all its sides and exterior lines terminate. It is the summit corner, which lifts its solemn index finger to the sun at midday, and by its distance from the base tells the mean distance to that sun from the earth. And if we go back to the date which the Pyramid gives itself and look for what that finger pointed to at midnight, we find a far sublimer indication. Science has at last discovered that the sun is not a dead center, with planets wheeling about it, and itself stationary. It is now ascertained that the sun also is in motion, carrying with it its splendid retinue of comets, planets, its satellites and theirs, around some other and vastly mightier center. Astronomers are not yet fully agreed as to what or where that center is. Some, however, believe that they have found the direction of it to be the Pleiades, and particularly Alcyone, the central one of the renowned Pleiadic stars. To the distinguished German astronomer, Prof. J. H. Maedler, belongs the honor of having made this discovery. Alcyone, then, as far as science has been able to perceive, would seem to be 'the midnight throne' in which the whole system of gravitation has its central seat, and from which the Almighty governs his universe. And here is the wonderful corresponding fact, that at the date of the Great Pyramid's building, at midnight of the autumnal equinox, and hence the true beginning of the year * as still preserved in the traditions of many nations, the Pleiades were distributed over the meridian of this Pyramid, with Alcyone (A Tauri) precisely on the line. Here, then, is a pointing of the highest and sublimest character that mere human science has ever been able so much as to hint, and which would seem to breathe an unsuspected and mighty meaning into that speech of God to Job, when he demanded, 'Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?'"

  • The beginning of the Jewish year, introduced by the Day of Atonement, as shown in Scripture Studies, Vol. II.

Its Testimony Relating to the Plan of Redemption

While every feature of the Great Pyramid's teaching is important and of interest, our greatest interest centers in its silent but eloquent symbolism of the plan of God - the Plan of the Ages. It would be impossible, however, to understand God's plan as illustrated by it, had we not first discovered that plan in the Bible. But having seen it portrayed there, it is strengthening to faith to see it again so beautifully outlined here; and to notice, further, that both the truths of Nature and the truths of Revelation are owned and testified to by the same great Author in this wonderful stone "Witness."

In this aspect of its teaching, the Great Pyramid, viewed from without, has a beautiful significance, representing the plan of God completed, as it shall be at the end of the Millennial age. The crowning feature will be Christ, the acknowledged Head over all; and each other stone will be fitly framed into the glorious building, complete and perfect. All this chiseling, polishing and fitting process will then be completed, and all will be bound and cemented together, to each other and to the Head, with love. If the Great Pyramid, as a whole, represents the plan of God complete, its top corner-stone should represent Christ, whom God has highly exalted to be Head over all. And that it does represent Christ is indicated, not only by its exact fitness as a symbol of Christ, * but also by numerous references to the symbol by prophets and apostles and by our Lord Jesus himself.

  • See Vol. I, Chap. v; also the Chart of the Ages, Vol. I, x,y,z,W.

Isaiah (28:16) refers to Christ as the "precious corner-stone." Zechariah (4:7) refers to its placement at the top of the completed edifice, with great rejoicing, saying, "He shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, 'Grace, grace into it.'" Doubtless when the head-stone of the Great Pyramid was laid there was great rejoicing among the builders and all interested in it, to see this crowning feature of the finished work. Job also (38:6,7) speaks of the rejoicing when the chief corner-stone was laid, and he specifies the head, or crowning corner-stone, by mentioning the other four corner-stones first, saying, "Whereupon are the socket-stones made to sink? or who laid the corner-stone thereof, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (See margin.) The Prophet David, too, refers to our Lord, and uses a figure of speech exactly corresponding to that of this stone "Witness" of Egypt. He says, prophetically, from the standpoint of the future, "The stone which the builders rejected is become the head-corner-stone. This is Jehovah's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day [the Millennial day of Christ's glory as the Head and Ruler of the world] which Jehovah has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psa. 118:22-24) Fleshly Israel failed to accept Christ as their head-stone, and hence were rejected from being the special house of God - Spiritual Israel instead being built up into Christ the Head. And we remember that our Lord applied this very prophecy to himself, and showed that he was the rejected stone, and that Israel, through their builders, the priests and Pharisees, were the rejecters. Matt. 21:42,44; Acts 4:11

How perfectly the head-stone of the Great Pyramid illustrates all this! The head-stone, being first finished, would serve the workmen as a pattern or model for the whole structure, whose angles and proportions must all be conformed to it. But we can readily imagine that, before this top-stone was recognized as a pattern for the whole structure, it would be rejected, set at naught, by the builders, some of whom could think of no place suitable for it; its five sides, five corners and sixteen different angles making it unsuitable to the structure until the very top-stone was needed, and then no other stone would do. During all the years in which the building work progressed, this Chief Corner-stone would be a "stone of stumbling" and a "rock of offense" to those not acquainted with its use and place; just as Christ is, and will continue to be, to many, until they have seen him exalted as the Head-Corner-Stone of God's plan.

The pyramid figure represents perfection and completeness, and speaks to us in symbol of the plan of God, showing that "in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he will gather together [into one harmonious family, though on different planes of being], under one Head, all things in heaven and on earth, under Christ" - all not being conformable being cut off. Eph. 1:10; 2:20-22 - Diaglott

How the Internal Construction of the

Great Pyramid Outlines the Plan of Redemption

But while the outward testimony of this great structure is thus complete, and in accord with God's written revelation, its inner construction is even more wonderful. While its outward form illustrates the completed results of God's Plan of Redemption, * the inner construction marks and illustrates every prominent feature of that plan as it has developed from age to age, down to its glorious and complete consummation. Here the stones upon the various levels or planes represent the perfection of all who, under Christ Jesus our Head, shall become conformed to God's perfect will, as we have already seen from Scripture testimony. Some will be perfected on the human plane and some on the spiritual and divine planes or natures. Thus the floor of the "King's Chamber" is described as being on the fiftieth course of masonry, that of the "Queen's Chamber" on the twenty-fifth course, and the lower end of the "First Ascending Passage," if extended by the "Plug," as will presently be shown, would reach down to the basal line of the Pyramid. Thus from its base-line upward the Great Pyramid seems to stand as an emblem of God's plan of salvation, or lifting up out of sin and death, provided for all mankind. The base-line thus corresponds with the date of the confirmation of God's promise to typical Israel - the beginning of the uplifting or saving process.

  • See the Chart of the Ages in Vol. I.

A careful study of the accompanying diagram, showing the interior arrangement of this wonderful structure, is suggested. The Great Pyramid has but one proper "Entrance Passage." This passage is regular, but low and slanting, and leads down to a little room or "Subterranean Chamber," cut in the rock. This room is of peculiar construction, the ceiling being well finished, while the sides are only commenced and the bottom is rough and unfinished. This to some minds has suggested the thought, "bottomless pit," which term is used in the Scriptures to represent disaster, oblivion and extinction. This "Entrance Passage" fitly represents the present downward course of mankind toward destruction; while the "Subterranean Chamber," by its peculiar construction, illustrates the great trouble, disaster, destruction, the "wages of sin," to which the downward course leads.

The "First Ascending Passage" is of about the same size as the "Entrance Passage," from which it branches off. It is small, low and difficult of ascent, but opens at its upper end into a large, elegant hallway, called the "Grand Gallery," the ceiling of which is at seven times the height of the passages leading to it. The low "Ascending Passage" is supposed to represent the Law dispensation, and Israel as a nation, from the going out of Egypt. There they left the nations of the world and their downward course, to be God's holy nation and under his law - proposing thenceforth to walk an upward and more difficult path than that of the heathen world, viz., to keep the Law. The "Grand Gallery" is understood to represent the period of the Gospel call - still upward and difficult, but not hampered as that behind it. The loftiness and greater width of this passageway well represent the grander hopes and greater liberties of the Christian dispensation.

On a level with the floor of the "Grand Gallery" at its lower end, there starts a "Horizontal Passage" under it, which leads to a little room commonly termed the "Queen's Chamber." At the upper end of the "Grand Gallery" is another low passageway, leading into a little room called the "Ante-Chamber" which is of very peculiar construction, and which to some has suggested the idea of a school - a place for instruction and testing.

But the chief room of the Great Pyramid, for both size and importance of location, is a little farther along, and separated from the "Ante-Chamber" by another low passageway. This room is known as the "King's Chamber." Over it are a number of small apartments called "Construction Chambers." The significance of these, if they have any significance, relates not to man, nor to any other creature which walks, but to spirit beings; for it will be observed from the diagram that though the sides and the top are squared and finished, there is no floor surface to any of them. The "King's Chamber" contains a "Coffer" or stone box, the only piece of furniture found in the Great Pyramid. Ventilation is provided in the "King's Chamber" by two air - passages which pierce its walls on opposite sides and extend to the outer surface - left for this purpose by the builders. It has been speculated by some that there are yet other rooms and passages for future discovery; but we do not share this opinion; to us it seems that the passages and rooms already discovered fully serve the divinely intended purpose in witnessing to the entire plan of God.

From the west side of the lower or north end of the "Grand Gallery," extending downward, there is an irregular passage called the "Well," leading into the descending "Entrance Passage." Its route passes through a grotto in the natural rock. The connection between this passage and the "Grand Gallery" is very disordered. It would appear that originally the passageway into the "Queen's Chamber" had been concealed, being covered by the flooring slabs of the "Grand Gallery"; and also that a stone slab covered the mouth of the "Well." But now the whole lower end of the "Grand Gallery" is torn away, opening the passage to the "Queen's Chamber," and leaving the "Well" open. Those who have been there and who have examined it say that it looks as though an explosion had taken place at the mouth of the "Well," bursting it open from beneath. It is our opinion, however, that no such explosion ever occurred; but that things were left by the builders as they are, purposely, to indicate the same thing that would be indicated by the supposed explosion, which will be referred to later. As a matter of fact, none of these stones are now to be found, and it would have been very difficult to remove them.

At the upper or south end of the "Grand Gallery," the floor-line of the "Ante-Chamber" and the "King's Chamber" extends into the "Grand Gallery," forming an abrupt barrier, or high step at its upper end. This step projects from the south wall sixty-one inches. This south end wall of the "Grand Gallery" has a peculiarity also: it is not vertical, but leans northward - at the top 20 inches * - and at its very top there is an opening or passageway connecting with the so-called "Construction Chambers" over the "King's Chamber."

  • Dr. J. Edgar's report.

The passageways and floors of the Pyramid are of limestone, as indeed is the entire structure, except in the "King's Chamber," the "Ante-Chamber" and the passage between them, where the floors and ceilings are of granite. The only piece of granite elsewhere in the structure is the granite "Plug," which is tightly wedged in the lower end of the "First Ascending Passage." As originally left by the builders, the "First Ascending Passage" was sealed with a close - fitting angular stone at its lower end, where it connects with the "Entrance Passage"; and this was so neatly done that the "First Ascending Passage" was unknown until, in "due time," the stone fell. Close to the lower end of this "First Ascending Passage," and just behind the sealing stone, was the granite "Plug," made slightly wedge-shaped, and evidently intended to remain there, as it has thus far resisted all efforts to remove it.

Though the "Entrance Passage" was well known to the ancients, as attested by historians, yet Al Mamoun, an Arabian Caliph, was evidently ignorant of its exact situation, except that tradition located it on the north side of the Pyramid, when, in A.D. 825, at great expense he forced an entrance, as shown on the diagram, in the hope of finding wonderful treasures. But though it contained vast intellectual treasures, now being appreciated, it contained none of the kind sought by the Arabs. Their labor, however, was not wholly in vain; for, while they worked the stone which sealed the upward passage jarred from its position, fell into the "Entrance Passage" and told the secret, thus disclosing the "First Ascending Passage." The Arabs supposed that they had at last found the way to secreted wealth, and, unable to remove the granite "Plug," they forced a passage along - side quarrying much more easily the softer limestone.

The Great Pyramid's Testimony

Concerning the Plan of the Ages

In a letter to Prof. Smyth, Mr. Robert Menzies, the young Scotsman who first suggested the religious or Messianic feature of the Great Pyramid's teaching, said:

"From the north beginning of the Grand Gallery, in upward progression, begin the years of our Savior's life, expressed at the rate of an inch to a year. Three and thirty inch-years, therefore, bring us right over against the mouth of the Well."

Yes, that "Well" is the key, so to speak, to the whole story. It represents not only our Lord's death and burial, but also his resurrection. This last is shown by the feature already noted, that the mouth of the "Well" and its surroundings look as though an explosion had burst it open from beneath. Thus our Lord burst the bonds of death, thereby bringing life and immortality to light-opening up a new way to life. (Heb. 10:20) It was not possible for him to be holden of death (Acts 2:24), is the seeming language of the torn rocks surrounding the upper opening of this "Well." As the "Well" was the only way of access to each of these upward passages of the Great Pyramid, so by the death and resurrection of our Redeemer is the only avenue to life on any plane for the fallen race. As the "First Ascending Passage" was there, but impassable, so the Jewish or Law Covenant stood as a way to or offer of life, but a useless or impassable way to life: none of the fallen race ever could or ever did reach life by walking its prescribed course. "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified" to life. (Rom. 3:20) That which the "Well" symbolizes, viz., the ransom, is the only way by which any member of the condemned race can reach the grand provision of the divine plan-lasting life.

Years before this suggestion, that the "Grand Gallery" represents the Christian dispensation, Prof. Smyth had, by astronomical observation, fixed the date of the building of the Pyramid at B.C. 2170; and when Mr. Menzies suggested that the floor-line inches of the "Grand Gallery" represent years, it occurred to some one that, if that theory were true, the measuring of the floor-line backward from the lower edge of the "Grand Gallery," down the "First Ascending Passage" to its junction with the "Entrance Passage" and thence upward along the "Entrance Passage" toward the Pyramid's entrance, should discover some mark or indication in the passageway to correspond, and thus prove the date of the Pyramid's construction, and the correctness of the inch-year theory. This, though not unreasonable, was a crucial test, and the service of a civil engineer was obtained to visit the Great Pyramid again and make very accurate measurements of passages, chambers, etc. This was in 1872; and the report of this gentleman was confirmatory to the last degree. His measurements show the floor-line just described to be 2170 1/2 inches to a very finely ruled line in the walls of the "Entrance Passage." Thus the date of its construction is doubly attested, while the floor-lines of its passages are shown to be scrolls of history and chronology, which shall yet be generally heard as "a witness into the Lord in the land of Egypt."

Here, thanks to the very accurate measurements of all the passages, furnished by Prof. Smyth, we are enabled to reach what to us are by far the most interesting features of the testimony of this "Witness" yet delivered.

When we first came to appreciate what we have already mentioned of the testimony of the Great Pyramid, we said at once, If this, indeed, prove to be a Bible in stone; if it be a record of the secret plans of the Great Architect of the universe, displaying his foreknowledge and wisdom; it should and will be in full accord with his written Word. The fact that the Pyramid's secrets were kept until the close of six thousand years of the world's history, but that it now begins to give its testimony as the Millennial Dawn draws on, is in perfect harmony with the written Word, whose abundant testimony relative to the glorious plan of God has likewise been kept secret from the foundation of the world, and only now is beginning to shine forth in its completeness and glory.

We have already presented, in previous volumes, and in previous chapters of this volume, the clear testimony of the written Word, showing that we stand on the threshold of a new age - that the Millennial Day is dawning, with its change of earth's rulership from the control of the "prince of this world" and his faithful, to the control of him "whose right it is" (by purchase) and his faithful saints. We have seen that though the result of this change will be a great blessing, yet the time of the transfer, while the present prince, the "strong man" is being bound and his household driven out of power (Matt. 12:29; Rev. 20:2), will be a time of intense trouble. The Scriptural time - proofs which we have considered show that this trouble was due to date from the time of Christ's second advent (October, 1874), when the judging of the nations would commence, under the enlightening influences of the Day of the Lord. This is shown in the Great Pyramid thus:

The "Descending Passage," from the entrance of the Great Pyramid, leading to the "Pit" or "Subterranean Chamber," represents the course of the world in general (under the prince of this world), into the great time of trouble (the "Pit"), in which evil shall be brought to an end. The measuring of this period and determining when the pit of trouble shall be reached are easy enough if we have a definite date - a point in the Pyramid from which to start. We have this date-mark in the junction of the "First Ascending Passage" with the "Grand Gallery." That point marks the birth of our Lord Jesus, as the "Well," 33 inches farther on, indicates his death. So, then, if we measure backward down the "First Ascending Passage" to its junction with the "Entrance Passage," we shall have a fixed date to mark upon the downward passage. This measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year B.C. 1542, as the date at that point. Then measuring down the "Entrance Passage" from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of the "Pit," representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. This calculation shows A.D. 1915 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1915 years A.D. equals 3457 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation - no, nor ever shall be afterward. And thus it will be noted that this "Witness" fully corroborates the Bible testimony on this subject, as shown by the "Parallel dispensations" in Scripture Studies, Vol. II, Chap. VII.

Nor should any doubt the fact that the forty years of "harvest" began in the fall of 1874 because the trouble has not yet reached so portentous and unendurable a stage; and because, in some respects, the "harvest" period since that date has been one of great advancement in knowledge. Remember, too, that the Great Pyramid figures and illustrations including the diagram of the "Pit" were drafted by Prof. Smyth without any reference to this application.

Besides, we should remember that the Word of the Lord clearly shows that the judgments of this time of trouble will begin with the nominal Church, preparatory to its overthrow, and in the strife of selfishness between capital and labor, both of which are now organizing for the culminating trouble.

The shape and finish of this lowest room or "Pit" are peculiarly significant. While the top and parts of the sides are regular, it has no floor - its rough, unfinished bottom dropping lower and lower to its eastern side, giving reason for the name, "Bottomless Pit," sometimes applied to it. This room speaks of liberty and freedom as well as of trouble, of elevation as well as of degradation; for, as the traveler reaches it, cramped and weary from the crouched position enforced by the smallness of the "Entrance Passage," he here finds not only a step downward into greater depths, and upon "a troublesome floor," very uneven and broken, but he finds a great elevation also, part of this room being much more lofty than the passageway to it, which is suggestive of greatly enlarged room for his mental organism.

How true this is to facts, too. Can we not already see that the spirit of liberty has reached the masses of civilized nations? We do not pause here to consider the consistencies and inconsistencies of the liberties being felt and claimed by the masses - both are suggested in this room by the elevation of the top and the depression of the bottom: we merely note the fact that the light of our day - the Day of the Lord - induces the spirit of liberty; and the spirit of liberty, coming in contact with the pride, wealth and power of those still in control, will be the cause of the trouble which the Scriptures assure us will eventually be very great. Though as yet it has scarcely begun, kings and emperors and statesmen and capitalists, and all men, see it coming, and "men's hearts are failing them for fear, and for looking after the things coming"; for the powers of the heavens are being shaken, and shall ultimately be removed. The evil systems - civil, social and religious - of "the present evil world" will there sink into oblivion, into destruction, which the subterranean chamber or "Pit" also symbolizes, for we regard the "Pit" as not only a symbol of the overwhelming trouble which will involve the present order of things in an overthrow and destruction (because of their inconsistency with the better order of things to be established under God's Kingdom), but also as a symbol of the certain end of every being who continues to pursue the downward course, and who, under the full enlightenment of the Millennial age, will refuse to break off his sins and pursue righteousness.

Notice another item in this connection: The "Entrance Passage" has a regular slope downward until it nears the "Pit," when it ceases to slope and runs horizontally. Measuring backward from the entrance of the subterranean chamber or "Pit" to the juncture of the horizontal with the angling portion of the passage, we find the distance to be 324 inches; consequently, the beginning of the level portion of the passage marks a date 324 years before 1915, viz., the year 1590. This would seem to say that at that date (A.D. 1591) something transpired which had a great influence upon the course of civilization, and which in some measure arrested its downward tendency. What transpired at that time? What great movement, marked by that date, has had such an influence?

Unfortunately we find no exact measurements of this portion of this downward passage and we are convinced that Prof. Smyth's diagrams are not sufficiently accurate to justify confidence in "paper measurements" based upon them. An unconfirmed measurement is 324 Py. inches, which measured backward would indicate about the year A.D. 1590, or "Shakespeare's day." However, we attach no weight to this suggestion.

One thing is certain - that low downward passage represents the course of the world, as the upward passages represent the course for the "called" Church. The change from a downward to a horizontal path would therefore seem to imply moral or political enlightenment, or favorable restraint from the downward course.

The Protestant Reformation of the Sixteenth century certainly did accomplish much for the uplift of the world in every way, indirectly. It purged the moral atmosphere of much of its ignorance and superstition, and is admitted by Roman Catholics as well as Protestants to have marked a new era of universal advancement.

We are not claiming, as some do, that everything of our day is upward rather than downward. On the contrary, we see many things in our day to which we cannot give assent as even civilized, not to say in accord with the divine will. We see a broader "humanitarian" view prevalent in the world which, while far from the religion of our Lord Jesus, is far in advance of the ignorant superstitions of the past.

Indeed it is this social improvement of the world that has given rise to the "Evolution Theory" and caused many to conclude that the world is growing rapidly better and better, that it needed no Savior and his redeeming work, and needs no Kingdom to come with restitution work. Very soon the poor world will realize that uplift and the basis of pure selfishness means increasing discontent, and eventually anarchy. Only the Lord's people, guided by his Word, are able to see these things in their proper light.

But while the above measurements were giving their harmonious testimonies, another measurement seemed quite out of harmony with the Bible account; viz., that of the "First Ascending Passage," which presumably represented the period from the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt to the birth of our Lord Jesus. * The Bible account of the time, as already given,+ we could not doubt, having demonstrated its correctness in so many ways. It showed the time from the exodus from Egypt to the year A.D. 1 to be exactly 1614 years, while the floor-line of the "First Ascending Passage" measures only 1542 inches. Then, again, we knew beyond a doubt, from the words of our Lord and the prophets, that the Law age, and the "favor" to Israel after the flesh, did not cease at the birth of Jesus, but three and a half years after his death, at the close of their seventy weeks of favor, A.D. 36. * This would make the period from the exodus to the full end of their favor (1614 plus 36) equal 1650 years. And though, in a sense, the grandeur and blessing of the new dispensation began at the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:10-14,25-38), yet the Great Pyramid should, in some way, indicate the full length of Israel's favor. This we finally found to be most ingeniously shown. The granite "Plug" proved to be the exact length to fill out this period to the very limit. Then we knew why that "Plug" was so securely fixed that none had succeeded in displacing it. The great Master-Builder had placed it there to stay, that we might hear its testimony today corroborating the Bible, as to both its plan and its chronology.

  • This period is not the same as that which, in Vol. II, Chap. vii, we have denominated and described as the Jewish age. The latter began 198 years before the Exodus, at the death of Jacob, and did not end until the Lord, whom they rejected, left their house desolate, five days before his crucifixion.

+Vol. II, pages 230-232.

  • See Vol. II, Chap. vii.

In measuring this passage with its "Plug," we should consider it as though it were a telescope, with the "Plug" drawn out until the upper end reaches the place originally marked by the lower end of it. The distance downward from the north entrance of the "Grand Gallery" to the lower end of the granite "Plug" is 1470 inches, to which if we add the length of the "Plug," 179 inches, we have a total of 1649 inches, representing 1649 years; and the one inch-year of difference between this and the 1650 years shown by the Bible chronology of that period is easily accounted for when we remember that one end of this granite "Plug" had been considerably chipped by those who endeavored to force it from its fixed position in the passageway.

Thus, exactly, does the stone "Witness" corroborate the testimony of the Bible, and show that the period from the exodus of Israel from Egypt until the full end of their national favor, * A.D. 36, was 1650 years. But let none confound this period with the period shown in the Parallels of the Jewish and Christian dispensations - showing the two ages to be each 1845 years in length, the one from the death of Jacob to A.D. 33, and the other from A.D. 33 to A.D. 1878.

  • See Vol. II, Chap. iii.

And not only was this an ingenious way of hiding and yet furnishing the length of the period from the exodus to the birth of our Lord (to be, in due time, a corroboration of the Bible testimony), but the careful reader will readily see that it could have been done only in some such way, for two reasons: First, because the Jewish dispensation and favor not only began at the death of Jacob, before the exodus from Egypt, but also ran into and parallel to the Christian dispensation for the thirty-three years of our Lord Jesus' earthly life; and, second, because to have made the "First Ascending Passage" long enough to represent fully the Jewish age in year - inches would have necessitated the making of the Pyramid still larger, which in turn would have destroyed its scientific features and lessons.

Let us now examine the "Grand Gallery," at the end of the "First Ascending Passage," noting also its symbolic testimony. It is seven times as high as the "First Ascending Passage." It has seven courses of overlapping stones in its walls, of smooth, highly polished and once beautiful, cream - colored limestone. It is twenty-eight feet high, though very narrow, being only six feet broad anywhere, but contracted to three feet at the floor and less at the roof. Prof. Greaves, an Oxford professor of the Fifteenth century, describing it, wrote:

"It is a very stately piece of work, and not inferior, either in respect of the curiosity of art or richness of materials, to the most sumptuous and magnificent buildings.... This gallery, or corridor, or whatsoever else I may call it, is built of white and polished marble (limestone), the which is very evenly cut in spacious squares or tables. Of such materials as is the pavement, such is the roof, and such are the side walls that flank it; the knitting of the joints is so close that they are scarce discernible to a curious eye; and that which adds grace to the whole structure, though it makes the passage the more slippery and difficult, is the acclivity and rising of the ascent.... In the casting and ranging of the marbles (limestone) in both the side walls, there is one piece of architecture, in my judgment, very graceful, and that is that all the courses or ranges, which are but seven (so great are these stones), do set and flag over one another about three inches; the bottom of the uppermost course overflagging the top of the next, and so in order the rest as they descend."

And Prof. Smyth declares that it would be impossible fairly to represent it by pictures, saying:

"The circumstances are above the scope of orthodox pictures by reason of the narrow breadth, the lofty, vaulting height, and the very peculiar sloping angle of the long floor; a floor, when one looks from its north end southward, ascending and ascending through the darkness, apparently forever; and with such steepness that no artist's view of it, painted on a vertical plane, could ever hope to represent more than a small part of that floor, rising upward through the whole canvas and going out at the top. While, on looking northward from the south end of the Gallery, you lose the floor instantly, and see on the level of your eyes, in the distance, part of the steeply descending ceiling. Otherwise, it is the solemn overlappings of the high, dark walls, passing you by on either side; but all on an uneasy slant, speaking of toil in one direction, danger in another, and a mountain of strength everywhere."

What a wonderful illustration is given in this "Grand Gallery" of the course of the true Christian Church and of the path of the little flock of overcomers during the long period of the Gospel age. Its once beautiful, cream-white walls and ceiling, formed of regular overlapping stones, all sloping upward, give not the history of the nominal Church, as some have supposed - else they would be far from regular and upward - but they tell of God's great favor bestowed during the Gospel age, the "high calling" to certain liberties and privileges, offered conditionally to all the justified during the Gospel age, opened up by the Well - the ransom.

The lofty height of this "Grand Gallery" - seven times the height of the passage representing the Jewish dispensation (seven being a symbol of completeness or fulness) - represents that fullness of blessing contained in the Abrahamic promise, which is actually set before the Gospel Church. The "King's Chamber," at the end of the "Grand Gallery," represents the end of the race to which the present high calling leads all the faithful; and this "King's Chamber," as we shall shortly see, is a most apt symbol of the ultimate destiny of the Church. By the "Well" (which represents the ransom), at the very entrance of this Gallery, and which all must recognize who enter upon this way, our justification is beautifully symbolized. Thus the Great Pyramid tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus."

The apparently interminable length of the "Grand Gallery" shows how long the Gospel age has appeared to individual members of the Church, while its narrowness well represents the "narrow way to life"; and its steepness, the difficulty with which the way is pursued, and the continual danger of backsliding to those who fail to watch vigilantly their steps. Yet, within the confines of these walls of divine favor is the safety and security of all those who continue in well-doing, who continue to grow in grace, to ascend the difficult way, to "walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit."

Looking upward along the "Grand Gallery," we see that it has an end as well as a beginning. Thus we are told that the exceeding great and precious privileges extended during this Gospel age will some time cease - the wonderful high calling to joint-heirship with Christ, as his "bride," will terminate when a sufficient number to complete the "little flock" shall have accepted the call. That which this stone "Witness" thus points out in illustration, the written Word makes very plain, showing, as we have seen, that the privilege of running for the great prize of the "high calling" belongs exclusively to the Gospel age. It was never granted to any before - our Captain, Jesus, being the first to whom it was offered, the first to accept its conditions of sacrifice and the first to enter into its rewards. The south end of the "Grand Gallery" as positively marks the end or limit of the call to the divine nature as the north end of it marks the beginning of the offer of that great favor.

But since the "Grand Gallery" represents our "high calling" of God, let us look beyond and note what this call leads to in the case of each individual. We have already seen in the Scriptures that we are called to suffer with Christ, to become dead with him, and afterward to enter into his glory. And all this we find strikingly symbolized in the peculiar manner by which entrance is gained to the "King's Chamber," at the end of the "Grand Gallery." The way by which those who accept the "high calling" may enter the heavenly glory, represented by the "King's Chamber," is not direct. They must first be tested in all points and be found obedient to the will of God, else they cannot enter into the rest that remaineth. This, the Scriptural teaching, and the experience of all running for the great prize, is thus forcibly illustrated by the Great Pyramid. As the call leads to consecration and lessons of sacrifice, so the "Grand Gallery" leads to certain low passages which symbolize these. Having arrived at its upper end, the traveler must stoop very low at the doorway or passage which leads into the "Ante-Chamber." This stoop symbolizes the consecration or death of the human will, the beginning of the self-sacrifice, whereunto all are called who would attain to the divine nature. How much this self-sacrifice means is known only to those who have accepted the call, and who have actually surrendered the human will.

This low passage, representing consecration, being passed, we are in what is known as the "Ante-Chamber." Here the floor ceases to be limestone: from this point onward the tread is to be on solid granite, which may be interpreted as a new standing, or a standing as "new creatures." But when placing foot upon the granite floor, to enter upon the new standing as new creatures, a huge obstruction of granite is noticed: it is known as the "Granite Leaf." This, like a drop-door, partly closes the way, leaving only a low passage like the one just passed, forty-four inches high, so that we must stoop again before we can enjoy fully the privileges represented in the "Ante-Chamber." This "Granite Leaf" represents the divine will, and seems to say to one who has just passed the low passage representing the surrender of his own will, "It is not enough that you should sacrifice your will, plans and arrangements; you might do all that, and then take up the will and plan of another; you must not only sacrifice your own will, but you must bow to the divine will, and accept it instead of your own, and become active in God's service, before you can be counted a new creature and an heir of the divine nature."

The "Granite Leaf" passed, we stand unhampered upon the granite floor in the "Ante-Chamber." (See illustration.) This is a peculiar room: its walls are different from each other; it seems to have a kind of wainscoating on parts; and in some of its walls grooves are cut. It certainly seems to be full of lessons not yet fully deciphered. However, the suggestion of those who have visited it, that it resembles a schoolroom, seems in perfect harmony with what we should expect as representing the experiences of those sanctified ones begotten of the Truth. This "Ante-Chamber" symbolizes the school of Christ, and the discipline - the trials of faith, patience, endurance, etc. - to which all are subjected who have made a full consecration of themselves to the will of God; which affords them opportunities for overcoming, and for proving their worthiness of a place, as overcomers, with Christ in his coming reign of glory. If we be without such lessons and trials, we are not sons and heirs on this divine plane. (Heb. 12:8) It is in the present life, after our consecration to his service, that God schools and disciplines us, and thereby not only tests our fidelity to him, according to our covenant, but also prepares us to sympathize with others in trial and trouble, over whom he wills shortly to make us rulers and judges. 1 Cor. 6:2,3

And not only the death of the will, but also actual death, must be passed before we enter fully and actually the conditions of our "new," "divine nature." And this, too, is shown by the stone "Witness"; for at the farther end of the "Ante-Chamber" is a very low passage through which entrance to the "King's Chamber" is gained. Thus the "King's Chamber," the grandest and highest room of the Pyramid, becomes the symbol of the perfection of the divine nature to be gained by the "little flock," the few overcomers chosen out of the "many called" (whose calling is symbolized by the "Grand Gallery"), who pass through self-sacrifice and trial (symbolized by the "Ante-Chamber," and the low passages into and from it). The call to the "divine nature" came first to our Lord Jesus, whose mission to earth was for a twofold purpose: (1) to save sinners by paying the ransom price for Adam, and all in him, and (2) that by that obedience into death he might be proved worthy of the divine nature and glory. Hence it is that the "Grand Gallery" is shown as commencing at our Lord's birth. It does not, therefore, symbolize the Gospel age, for that did not commence until Jesus had made an end of the Law age by his sacrifice on the cross, thirty-three years after his birth; but it does symbolize the high or heavenly calling (through sacrifice) to the divine nature - the "King's Chamber." Our Lord Jesus was thus called from the moment of his birth; and, since Pentecost, all justified believers are called to the same high privilege, however few accept the call to sacrifice, and however few make their calling and election sure by hearty compliance with the conditions - walking in the Master's footsteps. And the length of time during which this "high calling" to the divine nature lasts, and when it ceases, is what is indicated by this "Grand Gallery's" length and termination, as already shown.

The "King's Chamber," which can be reached only by way of the "Grand Gallery" and the "Ante-Chamber," is in every way the highest and noblest apartment in the Great Pyramid, and fitly symbolizes the divine nature. Mr. Henry F. Gordon, describing it, says:

"It is a very noble apartment, 34 feet long, 17 feet broad, and 19 feet high, of polished red granite throughout; walls, floor and ceiling in blocks squared, true, and joined together with such exquisite skill that no autocrat emperor of modern times could desire anything more solidly noble and refined. The only thing this chamber contains is an empty [granite] coffer [or stone box] without a lid; and it is worthy of notice that this coffer corresponds with the sacred ark of the Mosaic Tabernacle in capacity."

In the Great Pyramid granite is used to symbolize divine things or the divine nature, just as gold symbolized it in Israel's typical Tabernacle and Temple: the low passages leading into the "Ante-Chamber" and into the "King's Chamber" correspond to the veils before the Holy and the Most Holy; and the granite coffer, the only furniture in the "King's Chamber," corresponds to the Ark of the Covenant, which was the only furniture in the Most Holy of the Tabernacle and the Temple. What in the one was gold, in the other is granite, and of the same symbolic significance.

Nor is this all: we find that the same great truths which were symbolically represented in the two apartments of the Tabernacle and the Temple, the Holy and the Most Holy, and their separating veils, are exactly matched in the Great Pyramid by the teachings of the two apartments, the "Ante-Chamber" and the "King's Chamber," and their low separating passages. The "Ante-Chamber," like the Holy of the Tabernacle, represents that condition of relationship to God, as a reckoned new creature, and joint-heir with Christ of the divine nature and glory, which the believer enters when, after accepting forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God through the ransom, he presents his justified self a living sacrifice to God's service. As the first veil of the Tabernacle represented the consecration or resignation or death of our own will, and the full submission to God's will, so the low entrance to the "Ante-Chamber" symbolizes this same great event, which begins the newness of life in all who will ever be members of the royal priesthood.

This test, representing the laying of our all upon the altar, having been passed, the believer is no longer reckoned as a human being, but as a "new creature," a "partaker of the divine nature." Though, as a matter of fact, he will not be made an actual sharer of the divine nature until he shall have faithfully learned the lesson of obedience to the divine will, in the actual experiences and daily sacrifices and schoolings of the present life (represented in the "Ante-Chamber" walls, of peculiar construction, and in the Table of Shew - bread, the Golden Candlestick and the Incense Altar in the Holy of the Tabernacle); and not until he shall have passed through death itself (represented by the second veil of the Tabernacle and by the second low passage leading into the "King's Chamber" of the Pyramid); and until, by a share in the First Resurrection, he shall have entered with Christ into the fullness of the promised divine nature and glory - his everlasting portion, symbolized in the "King's Chamber."

Thus the Great Pyramid witnesses, not only the downward course of man in sin, but also the various steps in the divine plan by which preparation is made for his full recovery from the fall, through the way of life, opened up by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

It will be noticed from the illustration that the granite floor does not reach quite to the front of the "Ante-Chamber," while the granite of the ceiling reaches the full length of the room. This seems to teach a lesson in harmony with what we have already seen to be a feature of the divine plan, as it relates to those called - out ones who are seeking to enter upon the divine nature. The first low passage symbolizes the consecration of the believer's human will, which really gives him entrance into the "Holy" or sanctified condition as a prospective heir of glory and immortality, represented in the "Ante-Chamber," whose granite ceiling now covers him; yet such a one is not to be considered as having entered fully into the new nature until "quickened" into activity and newness of life; and this test is represented by the "Granite Leaf," which, from its peculiar position, hanging, as though ready to drop and thus block all further progress, seems to say, "Pilgrim, even though you have come thus far and have consecrated yourself to God, unless you become quickened by the spirit of the truth to activity in his service, you will still have no real standing in the divine nature to which you have been called or invited." The three steps by which the called ones of the Gospel age are to enter the glory of their Lord are thus marked in the Great Pyramid as well as in the Scriptures. They are (1) Consecration, or begetting of the spirit through the Word of truth, symbolized by the low passage into the "Ante-Chamber"; (2) Quickening to active service and sacrifice through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth, symbolized by the low passage under the "Granite Leaf"; (3) Birth of the spirit into the perfect likeness of our Lord by a share in the First Resurrection, symbolized by the low passageway into the "King's Chamber."

The Natural and Spiritual Natures Shown

By reference to the illustration, page 333, it will be noticed that an imaginary line drawn through the vertical axis of the Great Pyramid would leave the "Queen's Chamber" and its "Horizontal Passage," the "Entrance Passage," the "First Ascending Passage" and the "Grand Gallery," all on the north side of that line or axis, and only the "Ante-Chamber" and the "King's Chamber" on the south side of it. By this arrangement the designer of the Great Pyramid (Jehovah) points out to us the distinction of natures, as noted in Vol. I, Chap. x.

The "Queen's Chamber," representing the perfection of humanity after the Millennial age shall have restored all the obedient and worthy ones to the moral likeness of the Creator, teaches, by the fact that its back or farthest wall is on a line with the Pyramid's axis, that, thus restored to God's image and likeness, though still human, mankind will be close to the divine nature - as close as one nature could be to another nature of which it is a likeness. And all the upward passages leading in the direction of that axis teach that the desires and efforts of God's people are all to be toward human perfection, while those of the called - out Church of the Gospel age are to go beyond human perfection. They, as joint-heirs with Christ, are to enter into the fullness of the divine nature.

The fact that the "Subterranean Chamber" or "Pit," representing trouble and death, does not lie wholly on the same side of the vertical axis as the "Queen's Chamber" and its passage does not militate against this interpretation; for, strictly speaking, it is no part of the Pyramid structure at all. It lies under the Pyramid, far below its basal line. But it may have another lesson to impart. A vertical line from its farthest wall would pass exactly along the farthest wall of the "Ante-Chamber"; and the lesson drawn might be, in harmony with the Scriptural warning, that it is possible for some who have entered the "Holy" or sanctified condition (who have been begotten by the word of truth, and who have even been quickened by it) to commit the sin that is into death - the second death.

So, then, the relation of the location of the "Pit" to the axis, if it have any significance in connection with the arrangement of the Pyramid above it, would seem to indicate that the second death - endless, hopeless destruction - will be the penalty, not only of the wilful sinfulness of men who, during the Millennial age of blessed opportunity, will refuse to go on to human perfection, but also of any of those sanctified during the Gospel age, who wilfully reject Christ's proffered and previously accepted robe of imputed righteousness.

Another item worthy of note in connection with the vertical axis of the Great Pyramid's structure above its basal line is this: our Lord's first advent and his death, marked by the "Well's" mouth, are on that side of the Pyramid's axis which represents the human nature; and its location on the same level as the passage leading to the "Queen's Chamber," which symbolizes human perfection, is also noteworthy. The Great Pyramid thus seems to say: "He was made flesh" - the man Christ Jesus gave himself "a ransom for all"; yet he knew no sin, was holy, harmless, separate from sinners, and had no part whatever in the downward, sinful course of Adam's race (symbolized in the passage to the "Pit"). Moreover, the location of the "Grotto" and the fact that it was natural and not hewn are significant. It evidently symbolizes the death of our Lord Jesus. The fact that it was natural teaches that the Lord's sacrifice of himself was not an expediency, but a foreordained, prearranged matter in Jehovah's plan, before the outworking of the plan symbolized by the Pyramid began. The fact that it is located above and not below the basal line of the Pyramid seems to teach another lesson in harmony with the Scriptures - that though our Lord died as a ransom for sinners, he did not descend into sin and degradation, but even in his death was within the limits and bounds of the divine plan, as symbolized in the Pyramid structure above the basal line.

Now a question of great interest arises: Will the Pyramid's testimony concerning the time of the close of the high calling corroborate the testimony of the Scriptures on this subject? Will it show the end of the "Grand Gallery" at the exact time the Scriptures assure us that God's call to this favor ceases? Or will it contradict what we have learned from the Scriptures, and show either a longer or a shorter period of calling to the divine nature?

This will be another "crucial test," not however a test of God's Word and its wonderful testimony, which is paramount to all others, but a test of this stone "Witness." Will it further prove its divine architecture by confirming the Scripture testimony? or will it show more or less of a discrepancy? Should it corroborate the Bible account particularly and minutely, it would indeed well merit the name given it by Dr. Seiss - "A Miracle in Stone."

Well, we can say nothing less of it; for its testimony agrees fully and in every detail with the entire plan of God as we have learned that plan from the Scriptures. Its wonderful correspondencies with the Bible leave no room for doubt that the same divine inspirer of the prophets and apostles inspired this "Witness" also. Let us examine some of these harmonies particularly.

Call to mind that the Scriptures showed us that the full end of Gentile power in the world, and of the time of trouble which brings its overthrow, will follow the end of A.D. 1914, and that some time near that date the last members of the Church of Christ will have been "changed," glorified. Remember, too, that the Scriptures proved to us in various ways - by the Jubilee Cycles, the 1335 days of Daniel, the Parallel dispensations, etc. - that the "harvest" or end of this age was due to begin in October, 1874, and that the Great Reaper was then due to be present; that seven years later - in October, 1881 - the "high calling" ceased, though some will be admitted to the same favors afterward, without a general call being made, to fill the places of some of the called ones who, on being tested, will be found unworthy. Then look at the manner in which the stone "Witness" testifies to those same dates and illustrates the very same lessons. Thus:

The floor-line of the "Grand Gallery," from the north to the south wall, has been twice very carefully measured in recent years, and three distinct sets of measures have been obtained. One measure (a) is from the wall at the north end, measured to the "Step" and then - omitting its riser or front - along its upper surface, the walking surface of the "Grand Gallery's" floor; another measure (b) shows the length measured through the "Step," as though the "Step" were not there; another measure (c) gives the entire surface of the floor and up the front or riser of the "Step" and along its top surface. Prof. Smyth found the first of these measures (a) to be 1874 Pyramid inches, the second (b), 1881 Pyramid inches, and the third (c), 1910 Pyramid inches; while Mr. Flinders Petrie reports these measures eight-tenths of an inch longer. A reasonable estimate, therefore, and undoubtedly very nearly a correct one, would be to call these figures (a) 1875, (b) 1882 and (c) 1911 Pyramid inches.

Now we inquire, If the inches of the floor-lines of these passages represent a year, each, as claimed and admitted by Pyramid students, what date would these measures of the "Grand Gallery" indicate as the end of the high calling to the divine nature, which the "Grand Gallery" symbolizes? We answer, that in applying these inch-years to our present reckoning of time, we must remember that our date A.D. is one year and three months behind the actual date, as shown in Vol. II, pages 54-62. And while this would make no difference in calculating a period from a fixed date B.C., or from a fixed date A.D., it should be recognized in this case. Where the same event, the birth of Jesus, is the starting point, the error in our date A.D. must be allowed for, to reach correct results. For simplicity we will take our erroneous A.D. as the standard, and will scale down the Pyramid figures to correspond, by deducting one and one-fourth inches from them, so that they will correspond with our common reckoning. Thus reduced, they would show (a) 1875 less 1 1/4 equal 1873 3/4; (b) 1882 less 1 1/4 equal 1880 3/4; and (c) 1911 less 1 1/4 equal 1909 3/4, and give the dates (a) October, 1874, (b) October, 1881 and (c) October, 1910 A.D.

This threefold ending is in full accord with what we have found taught in the Scriptures: that the "harvest, the end of the age," was reached in October, 1874, and that the "call" proper ended in October, 1881, while a period would follow during which, though the general call had ceased, the same privileges would be extended to some worthy ones, in order to supply the places of some already among the called who, under trial, will be found unworthy of the crowns allotted to them when they accepted the call. How long this sifting of the consecrated will last, during which some will be granted the crowns of those adjudged unworthy, and their names written instead of some whose names will be blotted out (Rev. 3:5,11), the Scriptures do not, so far as we have yet seen, indicate; but this date, 1910, indicated by the Pyramid, seems to harmonize well with the dates furnished by the Bible. It is but a few years before the full close of the time of trouble which ends the Gentile times; and when we remember the Lord's words - that the overcomers shall be accounted worthy to escape the severest of the trouble coming upon the world we may understand the reference to be to the anarchous trouble which will follow October, 1914; but a trouble chiefly upon the Church may be expected about 1910 A.D.

Is not this a most remarkable agreement between this stone "Witness" and the Bible? The dates, October, 1874, and October, 1881, are exact, while the date 1910, though not furnished in the Scriptures, seems more than a reasonable one for some important event in the Church's experience and final testing, while A.D. 1914 is apparently well-defined as its close, after which the world's greatest trouble is due, in which some of the "great multitude" may have a share. And in this connection let us remember that this date limit - A.D. 1914 - may not only witness the completion of the selection and trial and glorification of the entire body of Christ, but it may also witness the purifying of some of that larger company of consecrated believers who, through fear and faint-heartedness, failed to render acceptable sacrifices to God, and who therefore became more or less contaminated with the world's ideas and ways. Some of these, before the end of this period, may come up out of the great tribulation. (Rev. 7:14) Many such are now being closely bound in with the various bundles of tares for the burning; and not until the fiery trouble of the latter end of the harvest period shall burn the binding cords of Babylon's bondage shall these be able to make their escape - "saved so as by fire." They must see the utter wreck of Great Babylon and receive some measure of her plagues. (Rev. 18:4) The four years from 1910 to the end of 1914, indicated thus in the Great Pyramid, will doubtless be a time of "fiery trial" upon the Church (1 Cor. 3:15) preceding the anarchy of the world, which cannot last long - "Except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved." Matt. 24:22

Nor is this all of the wonderful symbolism of the Great Pyramid. Its marvelous harmony with the divine plan is still further shown in another remarkable feature. We should expect that the date of the two great events connected with the close of this age, viz., (1) our Lord's second advent and (2) the beginning of the harvest, would in some manner be marked at the upper end of the "Grand Gallery," even as his death and resurrection are marked by the "Well" at its lower end. And in this we are not disappointed. In the upper or south end of the east wall, at its top, high above the step, there is an opening connecting with the unfinished space above the "King's Chamber," as shown on the diagram. In the Pyramid's symbolic language that opening says, "Here a heavenly One entered - One who needs no floors to walk upon, but who can come and go like the wind." And Prof. Smyth's careful measurements of this south wall of the "Grand Gallery" inform us that it is not exactly perpendicular, but leans over at the top seven inches. * The Pyramid thus says to us, "Seven years before the close of the high calling [before October, 1881] the great One from the heavens will enter." And it further indicates that from that time - October, 1874 - gradually, as indicated by the sloping of the south wall, the call would be drawn to a close and fully end in October, 1881. This, it will be noticed, is in exact accord with the Bible's testimony as outlined in this and preceding volumes of Studies in the Scriptures.

  • Prof. Piazzi Smyth's report.

And let it be remembered, too, that we who understood the Scriptural presentation of these times and seasons had nothing to do with the taking of these measurements of the Great Pyramid; and that they who took the measurements knew nothing of our application of the prophecy at the time the measurements were taken, nor do they yet, so far as we know. We ask, therefore, Could such exactness in matters which concern six thousand years of history on the one hand, and thousands of inches of Pyramid measurements on the other, be a mere accidental coincidence? Nay; but verily truth is stranger and more wonderful than fiction. "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."

Further, where the special favor of the general Gospel call ceased (October, 1881), the blessing upon the world would seem to be due to have a beginning. The "Well," which marks at its upper end the ransom which secures the coming blessing, should, it would seem, at its lower end (where it connects with the downward passage) mark the date when restitution blessings would begin to reach the world. It seems to say, Here the benefits of the ransom will begin to bless all the families of the earth, when the elections or selections of the Jewish and Gospel ages are completed.

Now if we adopt the clearly marked close of the special call and favor of the Gospel age, 1881, as the date at which the call to restitution blessings was due to have a beginning, and if we regard the lower terminus of the "Well" as marking that date (1881), we find something of interest by measuring back along that "Entrance Passage" to the original entrance of the Pyramid. This distance we find to be 3826 pyramid inches, thus representing 3826 years. And if our supposition be well founded, 3826 years before A.D. 1881 some notable event must have occurred. And as we search the historic records of God's Word to see if any notable event occurred at that time, we find a remarkable confirmation of our supposition; for, just 3826 years before A.D. 1881, which would be B.C. 1945, Isaac, the typical seed of promise, became the heir of all his father Abraham's wealth, and was thus in position to bless all his brethren - Ishmael, the son of Hagar (type of fleshly Israel), and the many sons and daughters of Keturah, Abraham's second wife (typical of the world in general).

Thus the "Entrance Passage," from the outside edge down to the nearest edge of the passage connecting with the "Well," marks in year-inches the period of time from the day the typical Isaac (in whom typically centered the promise of blessing to the world) became heir of all, B.C. 1945, to A.D. 1881, when the blessing was actually due to the world through the antitypical Isaac - the Christ, the heir of all things. Gal. 3:16,29

We measure the time from the date of Isaac's inheritance, and consequent privilege of blessing his brethren, to the year A.D. 1881, thus: Isaac came into possession of his inheritance at the death of his father Abraham, which occurred 100 years after the Abrahamic Covenant was made (for Abraham was 75 years old when the Covenant was made, and he died at the age of 175 years). Then from the Covenant to the death of Jacob, Isaac's son, was 232 years; * and from the time that Isaac came into his inheritance-100 years after the Covenant was made - to the death of Jacob would be 132 years (232 years less 100 years). To this we add the 1813 years from the death of Jacob to our Anno Domini, and we have the date 1945 B.C., the date when the typical Isaac came into possession of all that Abraham had. (Gen. 25:5) And this 1945 years B.C. added to the 1881 years A.D. makes the 3826 years indicated in the Pyramid inches as the length of time that must elapse between the typical blessing of his brethren by the typical seed, Isaac, and the blessing of the whole world through the antitypical Isaac, the Christ.

  • See Vol. II, pages 231,232.

Does the question arise with any, what beginning of restitution work was marked by October, 1881? We answer: Nothing occurred which the world could discern. We still walk by faith and not by sight. All the preparatory steps toward the great restitution work since the date 1881 are to be reckoned as droppings of the great shower of blessing which shall ere long refresh the whole earth. That which occurred in 1881, like that which occurred in 1874, can be discerned only by the eye of faith in the light of God's Word. It was the date of the close of the high calling, and hence the date for the beginning of restitution announcement - the Jubilee trumpet. About that date the author, and, so far as he knows, no one else, had noticed the distinction between the call to the divine nature, open during the Gospel age, and the opportunity for restitution of human perfection and all that was lost in Adam, due at the close of the Gospel high calling. *

  • Although we had not thought of the coincidence until now, while writing this chapter, it is not a little remarkable that it was during the last six months of the year 1881 that Food for Thinking Christians, a book of 166 pages, was issued, and circulated to the extent of one million four hundred thousand copies throughout the United States and Great Britain.

Three items connected with that book and its wide and sudden distribution contribute to mark it as at least peculiar: (1) Perhaps no other book ever reached so large a circulation in so brief a space of time, or by the same methods. It was distributed gratuitously at the church doors in all the largest cities of the United States and Great Britain by the messenger boys of the District Messenger Service on three successive Sundays, and in the smaller towns through the mails. (2) The money to defray this expense ($42,000) was voluntarily donated for the purpose, without solicitation. (3) It was, so far as we know, the first book ever published which pointed out the distinction between the high calling of the Gospel Church and the Restitution favors for the world in general, and it pointed out the date of the close of that high calling as October, 1881.

Another point to be noticed is, the pathway upon which the world will be invited to come and receive life everlasting in the Millennial age.

As the upper apartment, known as the "King's Chamber," represents the divine nature, and the "Grand Gallery" represents the call to it, so the one under it (the "Queen's Chamber") represents the perfect human nature; and the way to it illustrates the path to life in which the world must walk to reach human perfection during the Millennium. Both of these ways, and hence both of these ultimate results, were opened up and made possible by the ransom-sacrifice which the Mediator gave on behalf of all: all of which is forcibly indicated in the Pyramid by the "appearance of an explosion," which opened the mouth of the "Well," and gave access to the two passageways (intended to symbolize the call of the Church now, leading to the divine nature, and the call of the world during the Millennium, leading to the restitution of human perfection).

Thus the Great Pyramid, in harmony with the Scriptures, declares that "Christ brought life [restitution to human life, represented in that called the "Queen's Chamber"] and immortality [the divine nature, represented in that called the "King's Chamber"] TO LIGHT, through the Gospel" - the good news of redemption. 2 Tim. 1:10

The only entrance to the "Queen's Chamber," or to the "Grand Gallery," was by way of the "Well," the "First Ascending Passage" having been originally impassable by reason of the granite "Plug." Thus the stone "Witness" testifies that by the Law Call or Law Covenant none of the fallen race could reach either life (human life) or immortality (the divine nature). Though the "First Ascending Passage" was a way, yet none could walk in it. So the Law Covenant was a passageway to life; but because of the weakness of the flesh, none could walk in it so as to attain the life offered. (Rom. 3:20) The cross, the sacrifice, the ransom, is thus specially marked by this stone "Witness," just as in the Scriptures it is more prominently marked than any other feature of the plan. "No man comes to the Father but by me," said Jesus. "I declared into you first of all that which I also received [first of all], how that Christ died for our sins," said Paul. (1 Cor. 15:3) "The 'Well' [representative of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection] is the only way to life and immortality," says the Great Pyramid.

The passage to the "Queen's Chamber" is low, and the traveler must humbly bow his head to its requirements. The path of right - doing has always been one of humility and will be so in the Millennium, when all will be required to bow to the strict regulations of Christ's Kingdom. He will rule with an iron rod. (Rev. 2:27) He will then lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and to his greatness and power every tongue must confess, and to his rule and law every knee must bow; so that in his day the humble and righteous, and they only, shall flourish. Isa. 28:17; Rom. 14:11; Psa. 92:12,13

The "Queen's Chamber" symbolizes the end of the restitution work - human perfection - in that it has seven sides, counting the floor one side, and the roof two sides, as shown in the diagram. The path to it tells the same story of sevenness, or perfection, for the floor of it is depressed for one-seventh of its length. And not only is the number seven a general symbol of perfection and completeness, but it is specially suggestive in this connection, since the Millennial age is the seventh thousand years of the earth's history, and the one in which perfection is to be attained by the willing and obedient of the race.

Prof. Smyth remarks the peculiarity of the floor of this "Queen's Chamber" and the passageway leading to it, that it is rough and entirely unfinished, thus differing from the other passages, which were originally very smooth, probably polished. This, he suggests, may indicate that its floor is not subject to measurement by year-inches as are the other passages - as if the Pyramid by this unevenness would say, "Time-measures are not recorded here."

But though the Pyramid inch-year is not observed in the passage to the "Queen's Chamber," nor in its floor, another matter did require to be shown, namely, the way of restitution to perfect life and perfect human organism. As this perfection of human nature is illustrated in the "Queen's Chamber," so the way to it represents the seven thousand years of experience and discipline through which the fallen human race must pass before full restitution to perfection can be gained. Inasmuch as the first six-sevenths of the passageway to the "Queen's Chamber" is extremely low, it represents the six thousand years past, and illustrates the extreme difficulty and humility necessary to walk a justified life, even on the part of such as sought so to walk - the patriarchs, prophets and others, justified through faith - during this six thousand years of the reign of sin and death. On the contrary, the last seventh of the way represents the Millennial age, just dawning upon men. Its height being nearly twice as great indicates that during the coming thousand years of grace and peace on earth men can progress with comfort and ease toward full perfection.

Is it asked whether any have walked in this way during the past six thousand years? We answer, Yes; by faith some have walked in it. It is the way of justification of human nature, though wholly different from the way and calling of the Gospel Church, which, though through justification, is to the new, divine nature. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the faithful prophets walked that way - entering by the "Well" - by faith in the ransom-sacrifice of Christ, which they represented by typical sacrifices before our Lord's death, and before the stone "Witness" pointed to it; for in God's purpose and revelation Christ was the slain Lamb of atonement from before the foundation of the world.

And this way to the "Queen's Chamber" agrees well with the Bible record concerning the way to perfect human nature and life during the Millennium. The length of time needed to reach perfection will differ in individual cases, according to the rapidity or slowness of the individual to submit his heart and life to the conditions of the New Covenant. It will no longer be a struggle upward, continually opposed by downward tendencies within and without, as it has been during the Law and Gospel dispensations; but it will be a way in which everything will favor the traveler, and facilitate his rapid progress toward full perfection of restitution-life, with all its resultant blessings.

As the "King's Chamber," by its ventilating tubes, indicates that it symbolizes a permanent residence, an everlasting condition, so the "Queen's Chamber" symbolizes the fact that the condition of human perfection, when reached, may be made an everlasting state; for it also has similar ventilating tubes or air passages provided. In one case we may say it symbolizes a permanent condition, and in the other that it may be made a permanent or everlasting condition, because this is the fact as indicated both by the Scriptures and by the testimony of the stone "Witness." The Scriptures say of those who attain the condition represented by the "King's Chamber," that they partake of the divine nature, and are immortal, or proof against death - that they cannot die thereafter. And they show that those others who reach the full restitution, and stand the last test of loyalty, at the end of the Millennial age, though they will not possess that quality termed Immortality, which is essentially an element of the divine nature only, will be supplied with life everlasting under provisions already arranged by the great Architect of the plan of salvation. If they abide in harmony with God and in obedience to his will, they will live forever.

The Great Pyramid declares these same truths; for while the "King's Chamber" had open ventilators, the ventilators in the "Queen's Chamber" were originally peculiarly covered. The air-tubes were complete from the outside of the Great Pyramid to within about five inches of the surface of the inner walls of the "Queen's Chamber," the stones on either side of the "Queen's Chamber," except the said five inches in thickness, having been chiseled out, showing design on the part of the Great Pyramid's Architect, just as every other feature shows it. Mr. Waynman Dixon made this discovery while examining the walls of the "Queen's Chamber." He noticed that the wall at a certain spot sounded hollow, and, breaking through the surface, he found one ventilating tube; and then by the same process he found its mate in the opposite wall. Thus the Pyramid, in harmony with the Scriptures, declares that ample provision has been made, whereby the perfect human condition, represented by the "Queen's Chamber," may be an everlasting condition to each one who conforms to its regulations and laws.

And now, having heard it speak, what shall we think of the stone "Witness" and its testimony? Such testimony would be peculiar and striking indeed, even if there were no scriptures found to bear on the subjects examined; but when the Scriptures had already clearly and positively declared to us these same circumstances and dates, before the Pyramid's testimony was heard, its wonderful agreement with and corroboration of the same become doubly significant and striking. Now, when the worldly-wise are repudiating God's Word as "obsolete" and "unscientific," to have this stone "Witness" speak, and corroborate the testimony of the Bible, is truly astounding. To hear its testimony as to man's fall at the very time that the worldly-wise are claiming that man never was perfect, never was in God's image, and consequently never fell from it, is remarkable. To hear its testimony that none could enter either the Gospel high calling to the divine nature or the state of human justification and life through the Law Covenant or passageway, at a time when so many are preaching that the Law of Moses is the only way to life, is certainly gratifying. Surely in the Great Pyramid "The invisible things [plans] of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen; being understood by the things that are made." Rom. 1:20

Some may scoff at the testimony of this stone "Witness," as they also scoff at God's written Word; but to their scoffs we answer: Account for this peculiar fitness of things, or else venture to prophesy of the future, and see how your prophecies will result. Prove to us that it requires no inspiration to foretell future events. Show us a sample of worldly wisdom. "Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods [mighty ones]." Isa. 41:21-23

Not only does the Great Pyramid confound atheistical scientists, but it refutes utterly their modern and anti-Scriptural theory of "Evolution" - on which subject we cannot do better than quote the following words of Dr. Joseph Seiss, from his excellent treatise on the Great Pyramid, entitled "A Miracle in Stone." He says:

"If the primeval man were nothing but a gorilla or troglodyte, how, in those prehistoric times, could the builders of this mighty structure have known what our profoundest savants, after a score of centuries of observation and experiment, have been able to find out only imperfectly? How could they know how even to make and handle the tools, machines and expedients, indispensable to the construction of an edifice so enormous in dimensions, so massive in its materials, so exalted in its height and so perfect in its workmanship that to this day it is without a rival on earth? How could they know the spherity, rotation, diameter, density, latitude, poles, land distribution and temperature of the earth, or its astronomical relations? How could they solve the problem of the squaring of the circle, calculate the proportions or determine the four cardinal points? How could they frame charts of history and dispensations, true to fact in every particular, for the space of four thousand years after their time, and down to the final consummation? How could they know when the Mosaic economy would start, how long continue, and in what eventuate? How could they know when Christianity would be introduced, by what great facts and features it would be marked, and what would be the characteristics, career and end of the Church of Christ? How could they know of the grand precessional cycle, the length of its duration, the number of days in the true year, the mean distance of the sun from the earth, and the exact positions of the stars at the time the Great Pyramid was built? How could they devise a standard and system of measures and weights, so evenly fitted to each other, so beneficently conformed to the common wants of man, and so perfectly harmonized with all the facts of nature? And how could they know how to put all these things on record in a single piece of masonry, without one verbal or pictorial inscription, yet proof against all the ravages and changes of time, and capable of being read and understood down to the very end?

"Men may sneer, but they cannot laugh down this mighty structure, nor scoff out of it the angles, proportions, measures, nature references and sacred correspondencies which its Maker gave it. Here they are in all their speaking significance, stubborn and invincible beyond all power to suppress them."

The voice of this wonderful "Witness" brings forcibly to mind the words of our Lord on that notable occasion of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when he typically presented himself to Israel as their king, amidst the acclamations of the whole multitude of his disciples, who were loudly praising God for the mighty works that had been done, saying, "Blessed be the king that comes in the name of the Lord! peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." And when the Pharisees were urging him to rebuke them, he answered, "I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:37-40) And so it is today: while the King of glory has actually come, and while the great majority of his professed living witnesses, who should be loudly rejoicing, and saying, Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord, are dumb - some from fear of being put out of the synagogue, and some from drowsy slothfulness, or from the intoxication of worldliness which keeps them in ignorance of the time of our visitation - lo, the very stones of this Great Pyramid of Testimony are crying out in no uncertain tones. Every inch of this massive structure is eloquently proclaiming the wisdom and power and grace of our God.

Firmly incased in this solid rocky structure, beyond the power of nature's storms or of the ruthless hand of the destroyer, the outline drawings of God's great plan have stood for four thousand years, prepared to give their testimony at the time appointed, in corroboration of the similarly revealed, but for ages hidden, testimony of the sure Word of Prophecy. The testimony of this "Witness to the Lord in the land of Egypt," like that of the written Word, points with solemn and unerring precision to the final wreck of the old order of things in the "Pit" of oblivion, and to the glorious establishment of the new, under Christ Jesus, the great Chief Corner-stone of God's eternal building, in conformity with the lines of whose glorious character all things worthy of everlasting existence must be built up under him. Amen! Amen! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven!