JESUS' SECOND ADVENT SEVENFOLD MISSION TO HIS OWN. IN ONE HOUR. SOME THOUGHTS ON REVELATION 17. THE HOUR OF REV. 17:12. GOD'S POST-APOSTOLIC MOUTHPIECES WHILE FALLIBLE ALWAYS GIVE THE TRUTH AS DUE. BEREAN QUESTIONS.
IN MAL. 3:1-3 we have a passage that undoubtedly applies to our Lord's Second Advent, though in some of its particulars it has a secondary application, i.e., to the First Advent. With the former thought before us we will examine this passage, particularly vs. 2 and 3. The messenger (v. 1) that goes before the Lord, preparing His way, is antitypical Elijah (Mal. 4:5, 6), who by the Holy Spirit, in rebuking the world for sin, righteousness and the judgment to come (John 16:8-11), sought to prepare the world for our Lord's Second Advent. The Lord who comes to His temple is Jesus Christ in His Second Advent, while the temple itself is the true Church (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-21). His coming to His temple occurred in 1874, as the first clause of v. 2 ("the day of His coming") and the signs of the times prove. The Lord is described as the one whom true Christians ("ye") seek and delight in; for they earnestly longed, waited for and searched for His coming, because He was the delight of their hearts. Long did He seem to them to tarry; and to them His coming was sudden, because they were beforehand unaware of its manner and did not know of it, until about a year after He had come. But all along they had assurance as to the certainty of His coming—"Behold, He cometh" (v. 1; Rev. 22:20). His coming, among other things, was as the Angel of the Covenant, the Administrator or Mediator of the New Covenant. Thus v. 1 gives us a brief
prophetic summary of the Gospel-Age mission of the Church and her ardent love for the Lord and her longing for His Second Advent. As such it is introductory to vs. 2 and 3. For this reason we have briefly commented on it as an introductory thought for more or less details to be brought out in this chapter on vs. 2 and 3, which prophetically describe our Lord's Second Advent mission to His own. Our study of these verses will show that His Second Advent mission toward them is sevenfold.
(2) In the two questions of v. 2 the first and second missions of His Second Advent are set forth: "But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth [literally, maketh manifest]?" Most Bible readers peruse it carelessly and superficially. To such these two questions mean the same thing; but a careful heed given to the exact wording of the questions soon reveals the fact that in each of them a different period and activity of our Lord's Second Advent is brought to our attention. These two periods are noted respectively by the expressions, "the day of His coming" and "when He maketh manifest." What is "the day of His coming"? We answer, the Parousia day; for that is the time, at its beginning, when His Second Advent set in. What is the period "when He maketh manifest" especially? We reply, the Epiphany day; for that is the special time when, by the bright shining of the Truth, He makes persons, principles and things manifest. Thus the terms of these two questions prove that different periods of time are respectively implied by them. This and additional matters are brought to our attention by the words abide and stand occurring in these questions. What is the force of the word translated abide in the first question? It means to sustain in the sense of enduring hardships amid which one perseveres in his course. Thus when we say that an army sustained an attack, we not only mean that it resisted that attack, but
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
resisted it and drove back the attackers, i.e., not only endured it, but beat it off in the defeat of the attackers. This is the force of the word translated abide in this text. This, question, therefore, asks who will persevere as new creatures in the word and work of the Lord amid the difficult trials, attacks of the devil, the world and the flesh, during the Parousia. This question implies several things: (1) that to exercise such perseverance as new creatures would be very difficult indeed; (2) that some, not being careful to resist and fight, would fail to persevere as new creatures therein; and (3) that the others only by dint of hard endeavor would succeed to persevere as new creatures therein. In ultimate analysis this implies that some would cease to exist as new creatures and that others would continue so to exist, or, in other words, some would lose, and others would retain the Holy Spirit.
(3) This the text shows will characterize "the day of His coming," i.e., the Parousia day. Looking back now at the Parousia period, we recognize, from a contemplation of its five gatherings and siftings (Matt. 20:1-16; 1 Cor. 10:1-14), that it was a period devoted to gathering the new creatures into the Parousia Truth and to testing them crucially, to the end that those who retained the Holy Spirit might continue to enjoy the Lord's favor and be manifest as such, and that those who failed to retain the Holy Spirit might be cut off entirely from the Lord's favor and be manifested as such, these activities effecting the separation of the Second Deathers from those retaining the Holy Spirit. Such trials and manifestations were generally, though not exclusively, enacted in and by the five harvest siftings—the No-Ransomism sifting beginning in 1878, the Infidelism sifting beginning in 1881, the Combinationism sifting beginning in 1891, the Reformism sifting beginning in 1901, and the Contradictionism sifting beginning in 1908. That
these siftings were calculated to manifest the Second Deathers as such is evident, when we consider, especially the first, in which the ransom was denied, the second, in which the Plan and Word of God, including the ransom, were denied, and the fifth, in which the hidden mystery and the Church's share in the sin-offering were denied (Heb. 10:26-29). Thus, then, the Lord's Parousia activities, from the standpoint of the first question of our text, was to separate the Holy Spirit retainers from the Holy Spirit losers, the persevering new creatures from the Second Deathers. Hence we infer that one of our Lord's Second Advent missions was to separate the Second Deathers from among His real people; and this He actually did, and that almost entirely by the five harvest siftings.
(4) Another one of our Lord's Second Advent missions is the separation of the Great Company from the Little Flock. This will, by a careful examination of the second question, be seen to be true. We have above called attention to the proper translation of the second question: "Who shall stand when He maketh manifest?" and to this proper translation as implying the special Epiphany period to be meant by the expression, "when He maketh manifest." Thus the question covers the main Epiphany purpose in contrast with the main Parousia purpose covered by the first question. That the second question implies the separation of the Great Company from the Little Flock to be an Epiphany activity, is indicated by the meaning of its word stand, in contrast with the meaning of the word translated abide in the first question. What does this word stand, as used in this verse, imply? Rom. 5:2 gives us help to answer this question. Having in v. 1 spoken of our faith justification as the first stage of the Gospel-Age salvation, St. Paul in v. 2 speaks of the high calling as its second salvation stage in these words: "By whom
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
[Christ] also we have access by faith into this [high calling] grace wherein we stand." Here St. Paul shows us that the Faithful have their standing before God in the high calling. Accordingly, those who retain the high calling stand, while those who lose the high calling no longer stand in, but fall from it. Therefore, according to the second question of v. 2, the special thing determined during the Epiphany is whether those who had sustained the day of Christ's coming, the Parousia, will stand in, or fall from the high calling during the Epiphany. This implies that the Epiphany is the period for the separation of the Great Company from the Little Flock. Hence we infer that our text sets forth as the second of our Lord's Second Advent missions, the separation of the Great Company from the Flock.
(5) Other Scriptures, also, show this thought. In view of the fact that the Time of Trouble and the Epiphany are identical (see Vol. IV, Chapter I), and in view of the fact that the Great Company as a class, as distinct from individual crown-losers living throughout the Age (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:19, 20), first comes into existence and is developed in the Time of Trouble (Rev. 7:14), we infer that the Epiphany is the period in which the Great Company is dealt with, and that as one of the first steps in such dealing, its separation from the Little Flock must be enacted. Thus Rev. 7:14, like our text, proves that the Epiphany is the time for the separation of the Great Company from the Little Flock. This thought is also given in 2 Tim. 4:1: "Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead during His Epiphany and Kingdom." By the dead of this verse Adam's condemned race is meant. These will get their judgment, separation into sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-47), during the Kingdom, or Millennium. Consequently, the living of this text must get their judgment during the Epiphany. Who are the living? Those not under the
Adamic death sentence, e.g., New Creatures are among the living (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14; 5:11-13). These consist of crown-retainers (Little Flock) and crown-losers (Great Company). The text says that they get their judgment, separation from one another (for that is what their judgment implies, Matt. 25:32) during the Epiphany. As during the Parousia time, looking about us at the siftings, we saw the Second Deathers being separated from those who retained New Creatureship; so now in the Epiphany, looking about us, we see the crown-losers (Great Company) being separated from the crown-retainers (Little Flock) by the Epiphany siftings. On all sides, by their revolutionism against the Lord's teachings and arrangements, the fall of the crown-losers can be seen; for they, antitypical Benjamin (son of the right hand), are the 10,000 who fall at the Church's right hand (Ps. 91:7). Now applies the second question of our text, "Who shall stand [retain his standing in the high calling] when He maketh manifest?" This question also implies three things: (1) that the Lord's people in the Epiphany will be sorely tried; (2) that some with difficulty will retain their standing in the high calling; and (3) that some by the difficulty will fall from the high calling as Great Company members.
(6) These two questions imply two negative things: (1) that it was not God's purpose to separate the Great Company from the Little Flock during the Parousia; and (2) that it is not God's purpose to keep united the Little Flock and the Great Company during the Epiphany. From these things several conclusions should be drawn. The first is the propriety of our Pastor's warning during the Parousia against the brethren pointing out this or that one as being of the Great Company. The propriety of that warning lay in the fact that at that time there was no Great Company as yet, the Great Company being an Epiphany development,
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
though there were then individual unmanifested crown-losers. It was, therefore, then wrong to "judge" this or that one as being of the Great Company, and that for two reasons: (1) none of us being able to read and test the heart, and the same act being committed by two might have led in one case to the forfeiture of one's crown and not of the other's, because of different spiritual abilities, etc., or to both losing it, or neither losing it, manifestly we could not then know what act would cause a person to lose his crown and thus could not know who lost it; and (2) God at that time not having manifested to us what the thing is that revealed Great Companyship, we did not know by what means one could decide as to who had forfeited his crown. Accordingly, we were not then equipped to know who among New Creatures was and who was not a crown-loser. Hence the impropriety of our then pointing out any New Creature as a crown-forfeiter and also the propriety of our Pastor's then warning against attempting so to do.
(7) Another conclusion to be drawn is this: that now it is proper to point out manifested crown-losers as such, since now is the time for the separation of the crown-losers and the crown-retainers, even as our Pastor told us that after antitypical Elisha would be manifested, separate and distinct from, antitypical Elijah, it would be proper to point out such manifested individuals of antitypical Elisha as members of the Great Company (Convention Report, 1916, 198, Question 10; Z '16, 264, 1). There must, therefore, now be some mark whereby we may recognize them, not known to us as such during the Parousia. This mark is not a matter of character; for we are as little able now as we were in the Parousia to decide this on the basis of character. The mark that God has given us as revelatory of Great Companyship is not character but revolutionism (Ps. 107:10, 11) against the teaching and arrangement, of the Lord, i.e., setting
aside the Lord's teachings and arrangements and putting others in their place. A third conclusion is that those who take over the Parousia rule, not to point out individuals as Great Company members, and make it applicable now, are violating the Lord's instruction on rightly dividing the Word of Truth; for they are applying to Epiphany conditions a rule that applies exclusively to pre-Epiphany times, and that contradicts Epiphany priestly duties of dealing with manifested crown-losers as Great Company members. Certainly, if the Church is now dealing with Azazel's Goat, they would have to know who are of it in order to deal consciously and wisely with them, and so as not to treat as such those who are not of it. It is as wrong not to judge after the time, as it was to judge before the time (1 Cor. 4:5). A fourth conclusion is that priests not only are not to endeavor to keep united with manifested Levites, but to force the separation of such Levites from the priests, and oppose all efforts for their reunion in priestly fellowship as being opposed to God's Epiphany purposes for these two classes of His people.
(8) In v. 2 there are two other parts of our Lord's Second Advent mission toward His own given: "For He shall be (1) like a refiner's fire and (2) like fullers' soap." The surface reader and student of the Word fails to see that two distinct things are set forth in the words just quoted; but when the two distinct things herein set forth are recognized, the third and fourth Second Advent missions of our Lord to His own are seen. We will study each in turn. To understand the expression, "for He shall be like a refiner's fire; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver," the figure implied in this language and the Biblical symbols connected with that figure must be understood. The figure is that of an ancient silversmith refining silver. He took the silver ore, which consisted of silver and dross, and putting it into a
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
crucible, lit and kept burning under it an ardent fire. Under the influence of the heat the ore began to disintegrate. Like figurative sweat the dross began to ooze out of the ore's pores. As a considerable quantity of this dross accumulated, the refiner scooped it out with a large spoon. Finally, the heat of the fire burned all the dross away from the silver; and when the dross was all scooped out, the pure silver was left in the crucible—the refining fire had completely refined the silver. What does this represent? We answer: In the symbols of the Bible silver is generally used to represent Truth (Prov. 10:20; 25:11; Cant. 3:10; Is. 1:22; 60:9; Joel 3:5; Luke 15:8; 1 Cor. 3:12). Silver ore, as a mixture of silver and dross, would fittingly represent a mixture of Truth and error. Accordingly, our Lord's being presented in the above words as a refiner's fire during the Parousia and Epiphany suggests the thought that He by figurative heat burns away the dross of error from the silver ore of Truth out of the minds of God's people. This He did in the Parousia and is now doing in the Epiphany.
(9) But, one may inquire, why has such an activity been necessary? A certain woman's work has made it necessary. Of course, we do not mean a literal, but a symbolic woman. That woman is referred to in Matt. 13:33 as the one who took leaven and hid it in three measures of meal, resulting in the whole lump becoming leavened. We understand this woman to be the nominal church, especially the Catholic Church, who mixed the leaven of error in the true faith, the true hope and the true love (the three measures of meal) given by Jesus and the Apostles, until these were permeated with error. When our Lord returned in the Parousia, in harmony with His question, "When the Son of Man cometh again, will He find the faith in the earth," He did not find it in the minds of His own, but found there a mixture of Truth and error, symbolic silver ore. And to purge the dross of
error out of our minds He had to put us into the crucible of various situations, wherein He lit an ardent fire under us, gave us many sore trials, severing from our Truth the intermixed error. The shocks that we got from our creeds, from our denominational ties and friends, from Truth defenders and opposers, from the process of our being undeceived, from the blasting of our pet theories, from the humbling of our opinion as to our past attainments—in error, not in Truth as we had supposed—from the difficulty of seeing some truths, especially truths due in siftings, and from the opposition of errorists, are some of the heat of the burning coals that made the crucible hot and burned out of our minds the dross of error. These were surely Parousia experiences.
(10) In the Epiphany there are three miniature Gospel Ages, one of them lasting as many days as there were years in the Gospel Age. This one we may call the small miniature Gospel Age, and the second the larger miniature Gospel Age; the latter beginning in 1918 has till about 1938 to run, and the third, the largest miniature gospel Age, which is from 1914 to 1954. The first was devoted to the manifestation under bad Levite leadership of the three major Levite divisions, in eight subdivisions. It began in 1915 and ended in 1920. In this one, the smaller miniature Gospel-Age nominal church mixed certain true teachings and right arrangements with certain errors and wrong arrangements, and thus in Levite circles there prevailed more or less symbolic ore in priestly minds. At our Lord's small miniature Gospel-Age Second Advent, which occurred in the early summer of 1920, a small miniature symbolic lump of leaven was found and trialsome conditions, similar to those mentioned above in connection with the Parousia, were applied by Him to burn out of those coming into the Epiphany Truth certain errors of doctrine and arrangement that they had imbibed
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
in the Levite movements. So, too, corresponding to trialsome Gospel-Age experiences between the Harvests, from the standpoint of the larger miniature Gospel Age, since 1918, have brethren coming into the Epiphany Truth had to undergo the symbolic silver-ore refining process under trials similar to those mentioned above, whereby the dross of error has been burned away from the silver of Truth in their minds, this mixture having been produced by the larger miniature Gospel-Age nominal church. This refining process will continue throughout the rest of this larger miniature Gospel Age, coming to a head in its Harvest period, when our Lord will do to Truth people in the Levite groups on a small scale what He did on a large scale from 1874 to 1914 as the refiner's fire. The largest miniature Gospel Age is to do the same refining work in the minds of the Levites who remain in Babylon until she is destroyed. But the purpose of these refiner's-fire experiences is to purge away the dross of error from the silver of Truth in the minds of God's Epiphany priests and Levites. And thus to refine them is the third part of the Lord's Second Advent mission to His own. And this has certainly gone on among God's people ever since 1874.
(11) The fourth part of our Lord's Second Advent mission is set forth in the following words: "and like fullers' soap," "lye," according to the E. & A.R.V. The average Bible reader sees no difference between the meaning of this expression and the preceding one, but the Scriptural symbols plainly indicate a difference, Whereas the preceding expression refers to the Lord's activity in severing errors from the truths in our minds; this expression refers to His ridding us of our faults and weaknesses. This will appear from a consideration of the symbols underlying these words. In Israel fullers did three things with the soiled and spotted clothes given them for
their attention: (1) they washed, (2) shrank and (3) bleached them. In this text reference is made to only the first of these three parts of a fuller's work. In washing the soiled garments he used soap or lye to cut the grease. Some of the grease spots yielded readily to his rubbing and others did not. Of the latter some were cleansed without any injury to the garment; others were by it worn rather thin where the spots were; and still other spots could not be removed without rubbing holes in the garment. The following explanation of the involved symbols will make this part of our text clear. In the symbols of the Bible water is used to picture God's Word, especially in its nourishing, thirst-quenching and cleansing effects (Deut. 32:2; Ezek. 36:25; John 4:10-14; 15:3); garments are used to represent our characteristics and characters (Col. 3:10-12; 1 Pet. 5:5; Rev. 16:15); clean white garments represent good characteristics and characters (Rev. 19:8; 3:4, 5); defiled and spotted garments represent characteristics and characters soiled by faults and sins (2 Cor. 7:1; Jude 23; Jas. 1:27; Eph. 5:27). The blood of Jesus washes us clean from the condemnation of these sins and faults (1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5); and the Word of God washes us clean from their power (Eph. 5:26; Heb. 10:22; Num. 8:7). The fuller washing the soiled garments in water and cleansing them from their grease and filth spots represents the Lord in the Word washing and cleansing our characteristics and characters from sins and faults. The soap and lye that the fuller used would respectively represent the mild and sore providences that the Lord combines with His Word to rid our garments of their filth and spots. Some of our grease and filth spots do not yield to the water of Truth alone. Therefore, sometimes mild, sometimes severe afflicting providences are added. These rid the faithful, whether readily or hardly, from their spots. With the measurably unfaithful considerable attenuating
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
of character and characteristics sets in before the spots are removed and with the entirely unfaithful their symbolic spots are not washed away, but the ruin of their symbolic garments is wrought by the rubbing process, so inseparable from their characters have these spots become therein.
(12) Looking back over the entire Parousia and over the 16 [now 24] years of the Epiphany now past, we see that our Lord has been as the fullers' soap and lye. For all the Truth people in both periods has He applied the cleansing Word, backed by more or less hard providential experiences, to cleanse their spotted and filthy garments. All the Truth that they have needed to recognize this uncleanness and these spots He has given them. All of the power that they have needed to energize them against such filthiness and spots He has put into the Word pertinent to the cleansing of these from their garments; and when these did not suffice, He put them into exacting situations and severe experiences calculated "to cut" the "grease" in this filthiness and in these spots. These experiences have come to us mainly in connection with the siftings amid which we have been, in our contact with the weaknesses of our brethren and of ourselves, in our relations with our families, neighbors, business associates and the nominal church; and we have felt the pinching and the restraints and other hardships of these situations and experiences. These have served to reinforce our knowledge of this filth and of these spots, as well as to arouse us to submit better to our Lord's cleansing work on us; for it has been He who has in all these things been working upon us to cleanse us. In so doing He fulfilled the prophecy of our text which tells us that in the Parousia and Epiphany periods of His Second Advent He would be like the fullers' lye or soap. All of us can testify to such experiences at His hands. We experienced them in the Parousia and
we are now experiencing them in the Epiphany. And blessed are we, if we have been like the garments that yielded up their filth and grease spots at the washing of the earthly fuller.
(13) It will be noticed that the refining and cleansing works are set forth as the reason for the great difficulty of sustaining the day of His coming and of standing when He maketh manifest. This is shown by the word "for" in the clause, "For He shall be like a refiner's fire and like fullers' lye." This clause, therefore, gives the reason why in the Parousia it would be so hard to retain the Holy Spirit, and in the Epiphany to stand in the high calling. Accordingly, in both periods the Lord's burning error out of the minds and cleansing faults from the hearts of His own have been the reason why it was so hard to abide as a New Creature in the Parousia and is now in the Epiphany so hard to stand in the high calling as a New Creature. These two works of our Lord have been so rigorous as to test to the utmost the Lord's people as to continuing or ceasing as New Creatures and as to standing in, or falling from the high calling. By no means are these two processes of our Lord in their Epiphany aspects finished. As they worked throughout the Parousia to a completion, so will they also do in the Epiphany. And they will do this so thoroughly as to manifest the fall of every crown-loser from the high calling, but will not avail to bring a single faithful one to a fall from the high calling. On the contrary, this will result in their refining from the dross of error and their cleansing from all filthiness of flesh and spirit without damage to their symbolic silver and garments, a thing that will not be true at all of the Second Deathers, and will be only measurably true of the Great Company class.
(14) Let us notice briefly how sharply and clearly the first four parts of Christ's Second Advent mission are set forth in our text as separate and distinct from
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
one another. As above remarked, superficial students fail to see the difference between the two questions of v. 2, taking them to mean the same thing; nor do they see the difference between the work represented by the refiner's fire and the fullers' soap or lye. But, as described above, we see four separate and distinct works set forth: (1) the Parousia separation of those who lost from those who retained the Holy Spirit; (2) the Epiphany separation of the Great Company from the Little Flock; (3) the Lord's purging of error from the Truth out of the minds of His own; and (4) His cleansing their heart characteristics from faults and sins. Certainly these distinctions are sharp and clear-cut and they make these four parts of our Lord's Second Advent mission to His own stand out with clarity as separate from one another.
(15) The fifth work of our Lord toward His own in His Second Advent is expressed in the first sentence of v. 3: "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Of course, literal silver is not meant in this sentence; for surely none of our Lord's Second Advent ministries has to do with His smelting and polishing literal silver. Here evidently the word silver is used in its ordinary symbolical sense of Truth. Nor are we to understand the word translated refiner to mean the same as the word translated purifier. Ordinarily our English words refine and purify as applied to a silversmith's work with silver ore are synonymous. But the connection of thought here in view of our Lord's Second Advent work toward the Truth, forbids such a thought in this instance. Undoubtedly the word translated refiner here is well rendered; but not so for the connection the word translated purifier. The word metaher, here translated purifier, which is one of its senses, has also another meaning, brightener, or polisher; and this second meaning, doubtless, is the one that should be here used; for our Lord does both of these things with the Truth, the second of
which would not be maintained here, if this sense is not given to the pertinent word. This being so, the sentence gives us the thought that the fifth work of our Lord's Second Advent is not only to purge the dross of error from the silver ore of Truth but also to brighten or polish it, i.e., unfold and bring out the beauties of the Truth. This implies the clear and full development of the secular and religious truths due during the Parousia and the Epiphany. But, one might ask, would this work not be the same as the third work of our Lord's Second Advent, as presented above? We answer, there are important differences: (1) The third work described above is limited to the Lord's ridding the minds of His own during the Parousia from the errors gotten in great Babylon and during the Epiphany from the errors gotten in little Babylon; while, so far as working against error is concerned, by His fifth work, not simply such error, but secular and other religious errors are likewise meant; (2) our Lord's third Second Advent work has been limited to errors in the minds of His own, whereas His fifth Second Advent work is for others as well; and (3) the third mission does not include the clear and full development of secular and religious Truth for Parousia and Epiphany purposes, whereas the fifth does. Thus, while in a certain limited respect they cover some common ground, in most respects they do not, and therefore may properly be viewed as separate parts of His Second Advent mission.
(16) Accordingly, in this work our Lord, set forth by the words "shall sit," i.e., officially administer, e.g., as a king sits on his throne, a judge sits on the bench, etc., is the official opponent of error and developer of Truth. Not only has Satan corrupted the religious Truth that Christ and the Apostles gave the early Church; but he has also corrupted secular Truth—political, sociological, economic, historical, scientific,
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
philosophical and moral Truth. In every domain of religious and secular Truth he has wrought this corruption. This he has done because Truth frees (John 8:32-36), while error enslaves (Eph. 4. 18; 2 Cor. 4:4); and therefore the former is inimical and the latter conducive to his enslaving mankind to himself. But Jesus returned to free both the Church and the world from Satan's influence. Therefore He finds it necessary to undermine the secular and religious errors that give Satan such influence and to develop secular Truth as the meat in due season variously ministered by Him to the Church and the world. During the Parousia the Lord attacked the errors then prevailing in the religious world mainly, but not exclusively, through the writings of that Servant, whose refutational religious thoughts, of course, were taken up and spread by others. If we look at the Studies, the booklets, the Towers, the sermons, the tracts, etc., we find that they contain very much of refutational matter. It is for this reason that the volumes are symbolized by the vials, literally bowls, of Rev. 15 and 16. When the Tower, as now edited, claims that it does not engage in controversy (it does write against our Pastor's views, but "prudently" avoids controversy with our replies to such attacks, its editors having from a number of experiences learned their inability to meet our refutations of such attacks), it unwittingly proclaims to the Church and the world that the Lord does not now use it anymore as one of His refining agencies, implied in His third and fifth Second Advent works. The same remark applies to the P.B.I. Herald, which has a similar policy.
(17) So, too, our Lord attacked the secular errors that Satan spread, not only before, but also during our Lord's Parousia. Against his political, sociological, economic, historical, scientific, philosophical and moral errors, the Lord not only used religious truths, again especially through that Servant's writings, but
He also raised up mainly a horde of secular writers, lecturers and others in the political, sociological, economic, historical, scientific, philosophical and moral domains, who during the Parousia greatly undermined such errors. Thus the rotten foundation and superstructure of Satan's empire were pitilessly exposed as such during the Parousia, with the result that as men became more and more enlightened on these subjects, the harder it became for Satan to keep them in subjection to his will. Thus by books, booklets, tracts, magazine and newspaper articles and by lectures, debates, conversational discussion and other agitations, the errors of Satan, both in the religious and secular domains, were during the Parousia mightily attacked and overthrown, to the increased liberation of mankind from Satan's power, e.g., on the Divine right of rulers, clergy, aristocrats, consciousness of the dead, eternal torment, etc., etc. It was these exposures that bound Satan to the degree that he was forced to resort to the World War, despite his knowing that it would weaken his empire, as a means of preventing a revolution which he feared would utterly overthrow it, choosing, as he thought, the lesser of the two evils. But the Lord "catcheth the wise in their own craftiness"; for the war, which Satan thought would prevent the ruin of his empire, has paved the way all the quicker and fuller for its certain ruin.
(18) During the Epiphany the Lord is likewise overthrowing secular and religious errors, either brought over from the past or freshly invented. In the refutation of the religious errors of the Epiphany time the Lord mainly, but not exclusively, uses the writings of that Servant and of the Epiphany messenger (Deut. 32:30, 31; compare with Ps. 91:7). This is why also The Present Truth and The Herald Of The Epiphany contain so much of refutational matter. These uses that the Lord has been making of such controversial writings should make us beware of being deceived by
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
such pledges as those of the Society and the P.B.I. editors, not to engage in controversy, as though it were an evil to be shunned, and into a dislike of such controversial efforts; for such pledges and effects are an effort at deception, and this effort at deception is evidently from Satan in the interests of his aims, and is evidently against God's design to overthrow through "the controversy of Zion" the religious errors that have been deceiving and enslaving mankind, bewildering some priests and blinding the Great Company and many Youthful Worthies. The attack on Satan's secular errors has in the Epiphany been by our Lord subordinately made by the two sets of writings just referred to, but mainly by more or less secular experts in the pertinent subjects, using the same means of expression employed during the Parousia. And under these attacks and exposures Satan's religious and secular errors are being undermined more and more. Our Lord, being the one who is managing this entire attack, both in its religious and secular respects, regardless of who the instruments are that He therein uses, is thereby fulfilling His office work as He who sits as a refiner of silver.
(19) But He also sits, functions officially, as the polisher, i.e., developer, of symbolic silver, Truth, as this fifth point also shows. This means that He functions as the one who during the Parousia and the Epiphany has been bringing advancing secular and religious Truth to the attention of His own and of others, that He has been constantly elaborating and increasing the contents of its various subjects, that He is ever clarifying, explaining and proving its new points as they become due to be understood and used. This results in the constant increase of the body of Truth made known and in the ever clearer unfolding of its various parts and details. In the religious domain we can see Him having done these things during the Parousia, as we read our Pastor's writings, which
constantly revealed new vistas of Truth, and constantly made them shine with greater brightness. In the Epiphany we can see Him doing the same thing through The Present Truth and The Herald Of The Epiphany. Doubtless He has done this through these writings, though in a considerably less degree through the writings and discourses of others also. While to some degree He has shed some light on secular Truth through these writings, especially through Vol. 4 and The Herald Of The Epiphany, He has unfolded secular truths during the Parousia and the Epiphany mainly through the lectures and writings of experts in the secular departments of learning indicated above. And for the spread of such Truth He has used instrumentalities similar to those noted above as used in overthrowing secular error.
(20) Let us, dear brethren, honor our Lord, and not the agents that He uses, as the One who sits—functions officially—as the Refiner and Polisher, Developer, of the silver of Truth. While we are to hold His pertinent agents as such in esteem, we are always to remember that they are not the source either of the secular or religious Truth to the Church and the World. The ultimate source of it is God and the proximate source of it is Christ. The highest honor that others can rightly have in this connection is that of being privileged religious or secular servants of God and Christ. Such an attitude will keep them humble and restrain others from the extremes of (1) worshiping messengers, as is done, e.g., by the Channelites, and (2) of despising dignities, as is done, e.g., by those who reject all human teachers (Col. 2:18; 2 Pet. 2:10); while it will enable us highly to love, honor and adore God and Christ as such sources of the Truth, and to esteem their agents no more than as their agents. Let us, therefore, ever remember that it is our Lord who sits as the Refiner and Polisher of
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
the Truth, and not His agents, however largely He may use them as His mouth and hand.
(21) The sixth part of our Lord's Second Advent mission toward His own is set forth in the following words: "He shall purify [thoroughly polish, develop] the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and as silver." The word translated purify is the verb from which is derived the noun translated in the preceding sentence, purifier, which we saw means, not to be one who purges out the dross of error, but to be one who develops the silver of Truth. Therefore the verb should be rendered here by the word polish, develop. The verb form here used in the Hebrew shows that the idea of thoroughly polishing, developing, is the thought. Above we saw under point four that the Lord rids us of our faults, which is the destructive part of character development. Here the other, the constructive side of such activity is brought to our view; for it means that our Lord enables His own to grow, become strong, balanced and crystallized in Christlikeness. The word purge, used in the second clause, does not contradict this. Rather it confirms it from the following point of view: That part of our constructive character development which is wrought already in us becomes an agency in us to destroy our faults and by such destructive work—exercise—is itself increased in character growth (Rom. 8:13; 12:21; Heb. 5:14; Gal. 5:16, 17). Hence this part of our text treats of our Lord's constructive work on our characters, as distinct from His destructive work thereon, brought to our attention above.
(22) By the sons of Levi in this text the Little Flock and Great Company are meant. This becomes manifest from the type. The typical sons of Levi were the descendants of Jacob through his son Levi. At Sinai these became divided into two classes, the sacrificers and their assistants, usually called priests and Levites. These took the place of the firstborn in
Israel (Num. 3:40-51), who, St. Paul assures us, type the Church of the firstborn—the Little Flock and the Great Company (Heb. 12:23; Rev. 7:1-8, 8-17). This is further suggested by their purging and development being pictured forth by the refining and developing of gold and silver. While ordinarily in Biblical symbols gold represents that which is Divine and silver represents the Truth (1 Cor. 3:12, 13), exceptionally gold is Biblically used to represent the Little Flock and silver to represent the Great Company (2 Tim. 2:20). According to this, our text teaches that the sixth part of our Lord's Second Advent mission to His own is to develop the Little Flock and the Great Company in character, growth, strength, balance and crystallization, among other ways of accomplishing which He uses their past attainments in this respect destructively against their faults ("purge them"). He accomplishes this through the Spirit, Word and providences of God. This text stresses mainly the providential experiences whereby He accomplishes these for His people, e.g., losses, disappointments, delays, restraints, shelvings, siftings, our and others' faults, mistakes and failings, chastisements, necessities, hardships, misunderstandings, oppositions, poverty, riches, sorrow, sickness, suffering, persecution, etc. He also ministers the Word to them to this end, in its enlightening, energizing, strengthening and cleansing capacities. He likewise ministers the Spirit to them in the sense of increasing it in them and in the sense of energizing what they have of it unto exercise for good and against evil. By so doing He fulfills the sixth part of His Second Advent mission, expressed in the words, "And He shall polish [develop] the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and as silver." Of course He has done this throughout the Age to the crown-retainers and crown-losers; but this part of His work is not touched on in our text, its view being restricted to a description, brief, but comprehensive,
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
of the works that He would do toward His own during the Parousia and Epiphany periods of His Second Advent.
(23) In the rest of v. 3 the seventh part of our Lord's Second Advent mission to His own is brought to our attention in the words: "that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness," literally, "that they may be bringers of a meat offering to Jehovah in righteousness." This part of the verse shows one of the reasons why the Lord Jesus develops the Little Flock and the Great Company in character and purges them from faults. It is, among other things, to qualify them righteously to serve the Lord in proclaiming the Truth, especially its deeper and fuller features—the meat offering. As we have already learned, the drink offering represents the setting forth of the easier truths of the Word, and the meat offering represents the setting forth of its harder features. The Truth is for both the crown-retainers and the crown-losers to set forth. The less conformed they are to the Lord's character and the more glaring their faults are, the less qualified are they to preach the Truth helpfully, and the more hindrances do they present to its spread and influence. They are not to say, "Do as I say, not as I do," as certain preachers have brazenly said. They are to be so much like the Lord as to be able to say, "Do as I do and as I say." The former is the presenting to the Lord of a meat offering in unrighteousness; the latter, in righteousness. Therefore, to enable the antitypical sons of Levi to be bringers of a meat offering to the Lord in righteousness, our Lord, whose high-priestly work it is to make our sacrifice acceptable, to offer it and to enable us to keep in the proper offering attitude, works on our characters to develop, strengthen, balance and crystallize them, as well as to purge out of them their faults. This is gradually and increasingly done by Him. Consequently, we are gradually and increasingly qualified
by Him as the seventh part of His Second Advent mission to His own, to be bringers of a meat offering to the Lord in righteousness. Such making of the antitypical sons of Levi acceptable for sacrifice, such sacrificing of them initially and such enabling of them to co-operate with Him in their sacrificings, our Lord certainly has wrought during the Parousia and the Epiphany. Surely without this character-developing and cleansing work, the Truth could be neither clearly seen nor unctuously preached; hence the offering could not be made in righteousness; and His work it is to qualify and enable them to bring the meat offering, preach the Truth, in righteousness to the Divine pleasing.
(24) That His ministry has in this way increasingly qualified the Little Flock to bring in righteousness a meat offering to God, both in the Parousia and in the Epiphany, is evidenced by the facts. Certainly during the Parousia they presented its glorious truths, not only the simpler, but the deeper ones, and did it in righteousness. As a result of this they did, not all, but the main part of the reaping work, and thus were very efficient in winning the bulk of the feet members of the Christ, as well as many crown-losers and individual Youthful Worthies. Their characters, by the Lord's ministry becoming increasingly like the Truth that they presented, lent power, weight and influence to their message, which thus, ever more effectively, accomplished the reaping work. His ministry to them qualified them for the work of witnessing to the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, the Kingdom to come. This same ministry of our Lord has enabled them to do effectively and fruitfully the work toward Azazel's Goat. As a proof of, and reward for their faithfulness in retaining their crowns, the Lord has given them the honor of confessing the sins of antitypical Israel over Azazel's Goat (Ps. 149:5-9; Lev. 16:20-22), leading it to the gate and fit man and abandoning it to the
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
wilderness condition. Qualified thereto by our Lord's Second Advent ministry on them, they successfully from 1914 to 1916 brought to a completion the preaching that confessed the pertinent sins over that Goat. And ever since the Fall of 1916 they have been doing their other work of setting forth the Truth as to the other parts of the message pertinent to Azazel's Goat. In due time this will lead to the latter's cleansing and thus this feature of their work will be successfully concluded. The same ministry of our Lord on their behalf will qualify them for, and enable them to preach the Word that will help the cleansed Great Company to do its real Epiphany work in righteousness. It likewise qualifies and enables them to preach the Word that gathers and develops Youthful Worthies for Epiphany purposes. Thus we see that our Lord's ministry to the Little Flock during the Parousia enabled it so to preach the Word in righteousness as to gather most of the wheat into the Truth and to develop it aright, and to deal helpfully with the world, the crown-losers not yet manifested as Levites and individual Youthful Worthies, as well as in the Epiphany to preach in righteousness effectively for its work toward the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies according to God's will.
(25) So far as the past and present condition of the Great Company has permitted His developing and purging ministry to work effectively in them, He has been assisting them to preach in righteousness. This they did better as crown-losers not yet manifested as Great Company members, i.e., during the Parousia, than they have been doing as manifested Great Company members in the Epiphany. Hence during the Parousia they righteously preached the Word to the winning of some of the feet members and some unmanifested Youthful Worthies. With the Youthful Worthies ("the strangers") they ("the poor") did most of the gleaning work (1914-1916), while the
Little Flock was mainly occupied in confessing the sins over Azazel's Goat. Their present work is done partly by the good side, but mainly by the bad side of their double minds, hence is not done in righteousness, and, therefore, will mainly have to be burned up. But after they are cleansed they will bring to the Lord a meat offering in righteousness. Theirs will be a glorious work, made real by our Lord's ministry toward them, after their cleansing. In the first place, they will convert the nominal people of God to the Truth in Studies Vol. 1. The Lord is now erecting His Epiphany Tabernacle, whose Most Holy is the Spirit-born part of the Little Flock, whose Holy is the crown-retainers, whose Court is the Great Company and Youthful Worthies and whose Camp will be those who will persist in believing in Jesus as Savior and King. The Epiphany Tabernacle proper is completed, and the Court is now in process of erection, i.e., the posts are being erected, some 40 of which, the Great Company divisions among Truth People, are already in place, and in a few years the rest of the 60 will be put up. Then the curtain will be hung upon the posts and will by them be held up to the view of all in the Camp. This curtain represents Christ as Savior and King. The contents of Vol. 1 may well be summarized in the expression, Christ as Savior and King. This will be the substance of the Great Company's message after they are cleansed (Rev. 19:5; Num. 8:20-22). That message will be given by lectures, colporteuring, sharp-shooting, volunteering, conversation and pastoral work, whose classes will study Vol. 1 of the Studies by the Berean method. Thus they will convert God's nominal people to the Truth of Studies Vol. 1—Christ as Savior and King—after the earthquake has destroyed the beast and his image and destroyed the influence of the nominal church clergy. Thus will the Lord's developing and cleansing work in them enable
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
them to bring this meat offering to Jehovah in righteousness, which insures its effectiveness.
(26) One other great work will Jesus' developing and purging ministry qualify and enable the Great Company to do—preach so effectively to the Jews as to convert them to Christ. We have already shown that this work is to be done by them in attestation of their purification as a part of the antitypical mother of a daughter (Lev. 12:5-8), from 1954 to 1956, paralleling the Little Flock's attestorial work as the mother of a son, forty years previous. That the Great Company is to do such a work is also shown in Cant. 5:8—6:1. Their preaching to Israel is described in vs. 10-16; and Israel's conversion is shown in 6:1. That Israel's national conversion is to take place in Palestine in, and at the end of Jacob's trouble, is evident from Zech. 12:2-14; Jer. 30:3-9; Ezek. 39:17-29. In converting Israel through preaching the Word to them, the Great Company will be bringing a meat offering to the Lord in righteousness, effective in its purpose. And our Lord's ministry in their character development and cleansing will qualify and enable them to preach so unctuously, clearly and convincingly as to win Israel to the Lord. Certainly this will be a glorious result of their "meat offering," and is devoutly to be wished.
(27) When we deeply and devoutly consider the above-described seven parts of our Lord's Second Advent ministry for His own, we may well cry out, "What an excellent ministry He hath obtained!" But such is only a part of His Gospel-Age work; for all through the Age He has been working on the crown-retainers and crown-losers, developing and cleansing them in character for their varied service, as well as fitting them for their future service. This age-long work of His manifests such tact, faith, hope, knowledge, self-control, patience, charity, kindness, longsuffering, forgiveness, forbearance, zeal, generosity and faithfulness as find no equals in any other being
except God. When we consider His wondrous character and great works displayed in His Age-long dealings with the Little Flock and Great Company, especially in His Parousia and Epiphany mission, we are lost in wonder, love and praise. In appreciative adoration at being beneficiaries of so great a ministry, we cry out, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing" (Rev. 5:12)! Let us unite every power of ours to show Him our appreciation for His loving kindness (O, how good!), by faithfulness to His Father, to Him, to His people and to His cause.
(28) Above we called attention to our Lord's sevenfold mission to His own in the Parousia and Epiphany. But His pertinent mission extends to others than His own. Among these others is Babylon, whose hour of judgment, wasting and destruction will now be briefly discussed [written March, 1922]. Lately we have been struck with the use of the expressions, "in one day," and "in one hour" (Rev. 18:8, 10, 17, 19), as describing the periods within which Babylon's judgment, wasting and destruction begin and end. We are all, of course, aware of the fact that a symbolic day may be a year (Rev. 11:3), or forty years (Ps. 95:8-11; Matt. 20:1-16), or a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:7, 8), and that there are also other Scriptural meanings for the word day, like an age, etc. It seems quite reasonable to assume that the day of Rev. 18:8 is not a year-day nor the Harvest day; for an hour of such days would be too short a time to fulfill the work described in Rev. 18:10, 17, 19. Moreover, the Harvest day is already past, and Babylon is not yet destroyed. The thousand-years day—the Millennial Age—as a day better fits the facts of these verses. We are all aware of the fact that that Age has several beginnings by reason of the lapping of the Gospel and Millennial Ages into one another—1874, 1878, 1881, 1914, etc.
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
(29) We already have pointed out (Chapter II) that an hour of such a day would be 41 years and 8 months, as we saw in the case of the hour of reaping, from Sept. 1874, to May, 1916, and in the case of the "hour of temptation," from April, 1878, to Dec. 1919. If our assumption is correct that the day of Rev. 18:8 is the Millennial Age, then the three hours of Rev. 18:10, 17, 19—one mentioned in each verse—would each represent a period of 41 years and 8 months. This being true, we know from the facts of the case that we must begin the hour of her judgment (Rev. 18:10) in Sept., 1874, and the hour of her wasting (Rev. 18:17) in April, 1878; but we could not start the hour of her destruction with either of those dates, because an hour from those dates ended in May, 1916, and Dec., 1919, respectively, and now is in the past, and has not witnessed the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction. If we should date the hour of her destruction (Rev. 18:19) as beginning with Oct. 1881 (Sept. 24th was the first day of the seventh month, lunar time, in 1881), that hour would end by June, 1923. (May 16, 1923, will be the date in lunar time, according to which time the hour of reaping and the hour of temptation were reckoned.) If this time-setting is correct, then by June, 1923, Mystic Babylon will begin to go out of existence, which would mean that the antitypical "earthquake" will begin between now and that date.
(30) It will be noticed that there are three kinds of experiences mentioned as coming to Babylon during the day of her overthrow. We believe that these three experiences are mentioned in their chronological order in Rev. 18:10, 17, 19, i.e., verse 10 refers to Babylon's judgment; verse 17 to her wasting; and verse 19 to her destruction. The items seem so to be stated in order to bring out these three beginning stages of her overthrow. The hour is also mentioned three times, in order to mark the three different time beginnings
and endings of these three works. We know that not only in October (to be exact, Sept. 12) 1874, the hour of reaping, but also Babylon's crisis—the initial stage of her judgment—began (Rev. 18:10); for just as our Lord in His First Advent (Oct., 29, to April, 33) by His ministry put the Jewish Church system into its crisis—the beginning of its judgment—so, as a parallel act, by His ministry in His Second Advent (Oct., 1874, to April, 1878), He put Babylon into her crisis—the beginning of her judgment. Thus when the hour of reaping began in 1874 Babylon's crisis also began (Rev. 14:15; 18:10).
(31) Again, just as our Lord in April, 33, at the end of the crisis feature of Israel's judgment as a system, declared Israel's house desolate—cast off and given up to wasting—and thereby ended her riches as the hand, eye and mouth of God and as the custodian of God's oracles and Covenant (Matt. 23:38, 39), and thereby began her wasting, so at the parallel time and as the parallel event in April, 1878, our Lord, at the end of the crisis feature of Babylon's judgment as a system, declared her desolate—cast off and given up to wasting and thereby ended her riches as the hand, eye and mouth of God and as the custodian of God's oracles and Covenant (Rev. 3:16; 18:17), and thereby began her wasting. Again, as in October 36 exclusive favor was withdrawn from all in the Jewish system, and nothing but destruction was left as the portion of that fallen system, from which every feature of special favor was thenceforth withdrawn, so at the parallel time and as the parallel event exclusive favor was in October, 1881, withdrawn from all in Babylon, and nothing but destruction was left as the portion of fallen Babylon, from which every feature of special favor was thenceforth withdrawn. As will be noticed, it is said that her judgment, which included her crisis, sentence and the final reading of her death warrant, would be within an hour, that her wasting
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
would be within an hour, and that her destruction, annihilation, would be within an hour. The first two already have been fulfilled, and we find that her judgment ended with the end of the hour of reaping—when the reaping of the last saint in Babylon, Apr. 18, 1916, occurred, though in each country this occurred just before it became involved in the World War; for the removal of the last saint from her midst was in each country a beginning of the final reading of Babylon's death warrant (Rev. 7:3). The wasting from its beginning to the beginning of its end occupied about the full hour allotted to it—from the time when the first sifting—1878—reached Babylon until the time that the sixth sifting—revolution in the Inter-Church and World movement—reached Babylon—1919. It will be noticed that these two hours were contemporaneous with the hour of reaping and the hour of temptation. The hour of her destruction has only a little over a year to run, if our understanding as just given is correct. And within this period the beginning of the end of Babylon's sudden destruction (1 Thes. 5:3) is to be expected, if the above viewpoint is a right one.
(32) The interpretation just given strikes us as reasonable. It may be that the hour of her destruction began later than October, 1881, but this seems improbable. There is no special event earlier than that date to begin it; for the time of an hour of 41 years and 8 months has ended already, if we should begin it either with Oct., 1874, or with April, 1878—the special dates preceding Oct., 1881. Nor does there seem to be any specially marked date later than Oct., 1881, at which to begin the hour of her destruction, unless we should take Oct., 1914, which would make the time of the "earthquake" come shortly before June, 1956—a date that seems to be too late to be entertained. Therefore Oct. 1881, seems to be the most reasonable date for the beginning of the hour of her destruction.
However, it is our recognition of the possibility of starting the hour of her destruction at a date between Oct. 1881, and Oct. 1914, that holds us back from positiveness in the matter. The most that we feel free in the Lord to say on the subject is that it is highly probable that the hour of her destruction began Oct., 1881; and with this very reasonable probability in mind, we would not be acting unwisely to look forward with some anticipation to Babylon's experiencing the beginning of the end of her overthrow by June, 1923. If this probability proves to be a fact, as it is quite likely to do, it means that antitypical John's rebuke and antitypical Elijah's letter are very near—yea, at the very doors. These considerations are so many exhortations from our Lord, who is leading us in our warfare, to renewed zeal in our public work, particularly in our special service. Brethren, let us renew our zeal and courage, and then press forward! Who is there among us that would not make for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren the best of the time yet left for this work?
(33) Over a year ago (written June, 1923) we wrote the above in P '22, 56. In it we set forth the thought of the probability of the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction, and that probably through the symbolic earthquake, coming by June, 1923—to be more exact, by May 17, 1923. We based this probability on the likelihood of the hour of her destruction (Rev. 18:19) being the period of 41 2/3 years lunar time from about Oct. 1881, to June, 1923—to be more exact from Sept. 25, 1881, to May 17, 1923. Knowing that prophecies usually fulfill in surprising manners, and also not being positive as to whether the date Oct., 1881—to be more exact Sunday, Sept. 25, 1881—when the distribution of the Food For Thinking Christians began at church doors (C 367, Note; compare Z '81, 293, col. 1, par. 2, Reprints) was the date with which that hour began, we cautioned the brethren
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
against being positive on the subject, since we ourselves saw that the thought was an inference based on what to us was not then entirely definite data. Knowing that the end of Babylon's destruction would be by the coming symbolic earthquake, we also inferred that that earthquake would probably begin before May 17, 1923. We continued to study Rev. 18:19, remembering that prophetic dates usually fix the beginnings and not the endings of the events to which they refer, and that they sometimes give the events that are Divinely causally connected with their fulfillments as such fulfillments.
(34) But May 17, 1923, came and went, and the [great] symbolic earthquake has not yet set in. From this we see that the thought of the probability of the symbolic earthquake preceding that date was not realized. Were we, therefore, wrong in suggesting as probably true the thought that by May 17, 1923, the hour of her destruction would be fulfilled? We reply, No. Not only were we not wrong, but fulfilled events demonstrate that that thought has proven correct. For by the beginning of the circulation of Elijah's letter, May 16, 1923, the last day of the hour of her destruction, the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction set in. This letter is certainly doing a destructive work as respects Babylon, and events will, we believe, yet prove that it is the thing that is Divinely causally connected with her destruction through the symbolic earthquake coming from non-Truth sources.
(35) Some explanations will clarify the thought that by the circulation of Elijah's letter, the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction set in. This will become clear, if we note what started Babylon's destruction, which set in, of course, with the beginning of the hour of her destruction. That event was the distribution of Food For Thinking Christians, at church doors, which began Sept. 25, 1881. That that booklet began the destruction of Babylon, we can
see from its destructive overthrow of Babylon's errors, and from what our Pastor said of it in the Nov., 1881, Tower, as found in the Tower Reprints, 291, par. 7: "The work … was impelled by an unseen hand and at such a special time, too, that we cannot doubt that it is all of the Lord … as … one of the many instruments to be used in the overthrow of 'Babylon'." Please also see Tower Reprints, 274, pars. 16, 17, which show her destruction was due to begin about Oct. 1881. Thus we see that it was by His Priesthood that the Lord began Babylon's destruction at the outstart of the hour of her destruction. God has always honored His Priests with the privilege of beginning each feature of His plan, after that Priesthood appeared on the scene, as typed by the priests, bearing the Ark, entering Jordan and encircling Jericho in advance of the others. Therefore, when the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction set in, it also naturally fell to the lot of that Priesthood to initiate that work. This it did by beginning the distribution of Elijah's letter at Philadelphia, May 16, 1923, the last day of "the hour of her destruction," which facts prove to be true.
(36) We desire now to set forth the main pertinent facts as a matter of record for the Church. As stated in our June, 1923 issue: In the first number of The Truth (P '18, 16, par. 1, reprinted among others in P '32, 130, ), we set forth the thought that Elijah's letter implied a future public ministry for the Church after its separation from antitypical Elisha. Later on we came to see that antitypical John's rebuke, though related to, would be somewhat different from antitypical Elijah's letter and would appear before the latter. This distinction is indicated by the contents of each as set forth in the pertinent types (2 Chro. 21:12-15; Matt. 14:4). In Luke 3:19, what types antitypical John's rebuke is set forth in the language, "Herod … being reproved by him for Herodias his
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
brother Philip's wife," and what types the same as Elijah's letter is set forth in the language of the rest of the verse, "and for all the [other] evils which Herod had done." As we continued to reason on this distinction, we fell into the thought that, unlike John's rebuke, Elijah's letter would probably not be a specially widespread public work; rather that it would probably appear exclusively in a regular issue of the Herald, and as such a few copies of that particular issue would be sent directly by ourself and other brethren, or indirectly by us and other brethren through some postal clerks, to certain prominent civil officials. We gave this as our understanding to not a few of the brethren, and in P '23, 60, col. 2, par. 1, stated that Elijah's letter would not apparently be widespread. This was our thought up to the day, May 1, that the May 15 Herald was taken to the printer, when the thought first struck our mind as a question: "Should Elijah's letter also be printed as a Volunteer Herald?" May 3, we definitely concluded for some of the reasons given in our June, 1923 issue that it was the Lord's will that this letter be published as a Volunteer Herald. Intermittently, i.e., from May 5 to May 7, we revised this letter for use as a Volunteer Herald. On May 7 we took this revised letter to the printer and ordered 200,000 copies of it printed.
(37) May 3, for the first time the thought struck our mind as a question: "May not Elijah's letter be related to Babylon's destruction?" Without our mind coming to any certain decision on the question, we, May 8, first began to wonder whether Elijah's letter might not be the act Divinely causally connected with the symbolic earthquake. Within two days we concluded that it would probably be so related to the symbolic earthquake; and with this thought in mind, we decided that we would recommend to the Philadelphia Church to begin the work of distributing this letter after 6 P.M., Standard Time, May 15, which was by
God's time, May 16, and which we had just definitely learned was the last day of the hour of Babylon's destruction. The work of distributing this letter was accordingly started on that date, so far as we ourself were concerned with the thought that it might in some way be connected with the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction and also with the symbolic earthquake; but if so connected, just how it was thus related to these two events we did not see at that time. It was not until just one week later, May 23, that we came to see it as so related in the sense that it started the end of her destruction and will yet prove to be Divinely causally related to the symbolic earthquake. We now recognize that it was the Lord working on our mind, May 1-10, to influence us to take the successive steps necessary to have Elijah's letter printed as volunteer literature in time to begin its distribution exactly at the close of the hour of Babylon's destruction, in order to enable the Priesthood to begin the end of that destruction on the Divinely designated date. Enemies of ours, of course, will say that we have prearranged the whole matter in order to force the fulfillment of our understanding of a prophecy. But the Lord who has been working out the Parousia and Epiphany events on exact dates, knows that the facts of the case are as given above; and they seem to be of His ordering.
(38) Our experience with the subject of the hour of her destruction is a splendid illustration of the Scripture, "The path of the just is as a shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." About 2 1/2 years ago [Dec., 1920], a question was asked on Rev. 18:19, based on the presumption that it had long since been fulfilled. This question providentially started our mind to think on that passage and its related thoughts in verses 10 and 17. By March, 1922, we had a general, but not thoroughly clear understanding of the subject, with a misunderstanding
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on the means especially to be used for what we later learned should be considered the beginning of the end of her destruction in that hour, which thoughts we set forth in P '22, 56. Further thought on the passage enabled us to see certain details more clearly, which we set forth in P '23, 59. Yet the subject was not entirely clear before our mind. It gradually cleared up before us from May 3 to May 23, from which we conclude that we do not now have sure data on the time when the symbolic earthquake will begin. And now we take pleasure in setting forth before the dear brethren what is clear to us, to enlighten their minds, to strengthen their faith, hope and love.
(39) Closely related to the thought given above, on Babylon's one hour of judgment, wasting and destruction, is the line of thought given in Rev. 17. We desire, therefore, by a study of Rev. 17 to call attention to some matters, which refer to the overthrow of the papal Antichrist and the Roman Catholic Church. It is not our design here to give a complete interpretation of Rev. 17. Rather it is our design to give some general thoughts on it to elucidate certain matters therein that have not until recently [written in April, 1929], (until about Feb. 1, 1929) become clear. In Studies, Vol. VII, 263 and 264, is a letter of Bro. Driscoll, Bro. Russell's publicity director, that gave Bro. Russell's latest thought on the probable meaning of Rev. 17:9-11. That letter shows that he had three probable thoughts on the passage; and then it proceeds to give the one which he thought the most probable of the three, but to which, however, he would not commit himself, being uncertain whether it would be the fulfillment or not. We suggest that all read this letter. In the late Summer of 1916, Bro. Russell stated in the Bethel dining room that he did not think it the due time for him to write his promised exposition on Revelation, because, if it were, he would understand everything
in it, whereas he did not yet understand four things in it: (1) its key; (2) the meaning of the number 666 [he thus indicated that he had given up the Adventist thought, once favored by him, that it stood for the sum of the Latin numerals in the title, Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God), engraved on the pope's crown]; (3) the 1600 furlongs; and (4) Rev. 17:9-11. He further said that until these matters would become clear to him, he knew that it was not God's will for him to write his long-promised exposition of that Book.
(40) Since his death all four of these matters have become clear to the author. He has in a tentative and general way been holding to the interpretation that Bro. Russell gave Bro. Driscoll, as outlined in the above-mentioned letter; but has kept silent on the matter, in imitation of our Pastor's example, not to teach it until its fulfillment, because until that time it could not be proven to be true, and might, as he suggested, be merely a speculation. But the events that have been connected with the pope's recently regaining temporal power give, we believe, the missing links in the fulfillment of Rev. 17:9-11; and therefore we feel safe in announcing that our Pastor's general forecast has been proven true by the fulfilled events—another proof that God favored him with special enlightenment, e.g., among other ways, on future things. He verily was that Servant, despite all denials coming from Great Company and Second Death sifters, whose denials really prove it.
(41) Much of this chapter, in general outline, has been made clear to us in Studies, Vols. II, III and IV, and in our Pastor's Tower articles. But many of its details were not by him made clear, and that because not yet due. We will find a summary of most of such thoughts of his in the Comments. But some of these things have been made more or less obscure to not a few of the Lord's dear people by erroneous
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interpretations set forth in the Society's, P.B.I.'s and Olsonism's books on Revelation. One of these darkenings is as to what is represented by the angel (v. 1) whose explanation forms the contents of Rev. 17. Our Pastor properly explained the seven angels with the seven bowls (mistranslated vials) as representing the Lord's people in the Harvest time, while, e.g., Vol. VII explains this particular angel to mean itself, i.e., Vol. VII (in its Revelation part). Like our Pastor, who gave us privately his thought, we understand the seven vials to represent the seven volumes. It was not in his day yet seen that bowls, as distinct from chargers, cups and spoons, represent refutational teachings, while chargers represent correctional teachings, cups, doctrinal teachings, and spoons, ethical teachings—instructions in righteousness (Is. 52:11; 2 Tim. 3:15-17). This became clear in 1923, as set forth in a special article thereon. Please see P '23, 133-138. Accordingly, we understand the angels' bearing and pouring out the seven bowls (Rev. 15:16) to represent the Lord's people in their capacities of giving out, explaining, discussing, elaborating, etc., the refutative teachings of the seven volumes. Not only is the angel of Rev. 17 not Vol. VII, but he is not even the Lord's people in their capacity of giving out, explaining, discussing and elaborating the refutative teachings of Vol. VII. Rather, he is the Lord's people in their capacity of giving out, explaining, discussing and elaborating the refutative teachings of Vol. III, as this chapter, we believe, will show conclusively.
(42) Our definition implies that the pouring out is not limited exclusively to the refutative contents of the volumes. It also includes, as we understand it, whatever is germane to the subject matter there treated. For example, neither Vol. III nor any other volume explains how long the hour will last during which the eighth king and the ten horns will exercise authority together. But further on in this chapter, in
our explanation of matters germane to Vol. III, we will, as one of the Lord's people pouring out that vial, give that duration; and others of the Lord's people will thereafter join us in continuing to pour out that part of the refutative teachings of, or germane to Vol. III. It—the duration of the hour—is to be announced as a forecast, according to the statement of the angel, and it is precisely for this reason and the reasons given in vs. 13-17 that we are now publishing this article; otherwise we would leave the subject matter of this article over until after the symbolic earthquake, when we, D.v., will write our promised exposition of Revelation. Not only in a general way does Vol. III, pages 19-226, cover the main features of Rev. 12, 13 and 17, but specifically on page 131 do we find a diagram that gives us a partial key to the seven-headed and ten-horned beast of Rev. 17 and a fairly full key to the seven-headed and ten-horned beasts of Rev. 12 and 13. Please see the diagram.
(43) The foregoing remark leads to another consideration that must be kept in mind to enable us to see daylight on the subject of Daniel's ten- (eleven, counting the little—papal—horn) horned beast and the three seven-headed and ten-horned beasts of Rev. 12, 13 and 17. While in general they represent Rome, they represent it from four not just identical standpoints. The ten horns of Daniel's beast are not the same ten horns as those of the three Revelation beasts. Again, the seven heads of the beast of Rev. 12 and 13 are not just the same as the seven heads of the beast of Rev. 17, though much alike. Our Pastor's diagram (Vol. III, 131) shows that he there counts Rome as a republic as the first head, and this is correct for the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13, but is not correct for the beast of Rev. 17. Why, one may ask, should we differentiate between the ten (eleven) horns of Daniel's beast and the ten horns of the three Revelation beasts? We answer that the ten horns of the Revelation
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beasts are contemporaneous (Rev. 17:12-17), while the fact that three horns were plucked up to make way for the little horn proves that all of the horns of Daniel's beast were not contemporaneous, but successive, just as the seven heads of the Revelation beasts are not contemporaneous, but successive. Again, most of Daniel's ten horns exist no more, while the ten horns of the Revelation beast all now exist. Briefly, we would say that we understand the horns of Daniel's beast to represent successive powers that ruled in Italy, either in or outside of Rome, while the ten horns of the Revelation beasts represent the ten language nations of Europe reigning for the most of the time contemporaneously (Zech. 8:23). The connection shows this passage to apply at the end of this Age. Europe for centuries has consisted of more than ten nations. There are now over twenty of them there. But for centuries Europe has consisted, and still consists (as Zechariah says) of ten language nations—"ten men of all the languages of the [European] nations," even as Israel, with Hebrew as its national language, though citizened in many nations, is spoken of as an eleventh man in the same verse. These ten language nations are as follows: Greek, Turkish, Slavic, Magyar, Scandinavian, English, Hispanian, French, Germanic and Italian. There is, apart from scattered Israel, no other language group in Europe than these ten. Thus Zech. 8:23 gives us the key to the ten horns of the three Revelation beasts.
(44) But why, one may ask, do we claim a difference between the seven heads of the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13 and the seven heads of the beast of Rev. 17? We reply: From our Pastor's diagram we see that Rome as a republic was the first head of Rev. 12 and 13. This cannot be true of the first head of Rev. 17; for Rome as a republic had ceased to be before our Lord's birth, Augustus being the first Roman Emperor and Tiberius, his successor, being on the throne years
before our Lord's baptism and death (Luke 2:1; 3:1-3), while, according to Rev. 17:9, 10, the Roman Catholic Church, which did not arise until nearly three centuries later, sat on all seven of the heads of the Rev. 17 beast, i.e., was supported by all seven of these heads. Hence its first head came after Rome as a republic ceased to exist. Moreover, it was only after the Dioclesian persecution ceased, 313 A. D., that the Roman Catholic Church began to be supported by the Roman Empire, i.e., after Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, came to the throne. Hence the Pagan Roman had changed into the so-called Christian Roman Empire, when the Roman Catholic Church began to sit on the first head on which she sat. Hence, from the standpoint of Rev. 17, we may call the first head of its beast, the so-called Christian Roman Empire. Its next five heads are the following: The Western Empire, the Kingdom of the Heruli, the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths, Papacy and the Kingdom of Italy founded by the house of Savoy in 1870, which, as our Pastor correctly taught, is the seventh head of the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13. A marked difference between the eleven horns of Daniel's beast and the seven heads of the three Revelation beasts is this: all of these heads ruled at Rome; but not all of Daniel's horns ruled at Rome. Some did, others did not, though all ruled in Italy.
(45) What is the seventh head of the beast of Rev. 17? It must have come into existence years after 1870; for the angel's statement (Rev. 17:10) that the sixth head—the Italian Kingdom as the seventh of the Rev. 12 and 13 beast—was in existence, was made from 1891 onward to 1914; and, as we will show that the State of the Vatican recently established is the eighth head, the seventh must have already come. What, then, is it? We reply: It is the Fascist Italian State, which, having overthrown the Italian Constitution adopted under the House of Savoy and having
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destroyed parliamentarianism, an essential part of the Italian Kingdom, has organized an entirely different form of government from the limited monarchy established by the House of Savoy. Its establishment followed the Fascist Revolution of late Oct. 1922, whose climax was the Fascists' march to, and occupation of Rome. Hence it is another kingdom and is the seventh head of the Rev. 17 beast. The viewpoints of the pictures of Rev. 12 and 13, beginning with the Roman Republic, when Rome first came to view in prophecy, and stopping short of the Time of Trouble, 1914, naturally do not contemplate the Fascist Italian State within their scope, while the Rev. 17 viewpoint, embracing exclusively the period of the Roman Catholic Church in its being supported by the Roman State (the woman seated on the seven heads), begins with the time of Constantine, shortly after 313, and ends with the harlot's annihilation in Armageddon. From this last viewpoint, we understand the Fascist Italian State to be the seventh and the Vatican State, recently created, to be the eighth head of the Rev. 17 beast.
(46) There are some contrasted expressions that should be kept in mind while thinking on the subject of the beasts in Revelation. One of these is this: Whereas in Rev. 12, 13 and 16 the Roman Empire as a political power in its various phases is exclusively meant by the dragon, beginning with Rev. 13, and always afterward, the expression, the beast, applies to it as it exists in the papacy, one of its heads. Hence from Rev. 12 onward, the civil power as distinct from the papacy is called the dragon, while in contrast the papacy invariably from Rev. 13 onward is called the beast. This contrast can be seen especially as between chapters 12 and 13 and also in chapter 13, and is very manifest in Rev. 16:13, as it is also in part seen in Ps. 91:13. This also applies to chapter 17. Thus the sixth head of the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13 and the fifth and eighth heads of the beast of Rev. 17, are
the papacy; and, while at the same time it thus is meant by certain heads, it also from Rev. 13 onward is called, the beast. Another peculiarity of contrasted expressions that should be kept in mind is the clear cut distinction that Rev. 17 makes between the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy, which most people look upon as the same. The Roman Catholic Church is a denomination. The papacy (in its full sense) is the hierarchy, which has as its head the pope, and which has usurped control of the Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church existed before the papacy. This distinction is shown in several ways in Rev. 17. The Roman Catholic Church is the harlot who sits on the beast (Rev. 17:3), which is the papacy. Again, she is the woman that sits on the seven heads, one of which, as well as the beast, is the papacy (Rev. 17:9). This proves the distinction.
(47) The seven heads are defined (v. 9) first in a figurative way, as seven mountains, and then, literally, as seven kings, which word in prophecy is frequently used for kingdoms (Dan. 2:44; 7:17, 24; 8:20; 11:5, 6, etc.), while in many passages the word, mountain, is used figuratively to represent a kingdom (Dan. 2:35; Is. 2:2, 3; 11:9; 25:6, 7, 10; 30:29; 56:7; 57:7, 13; 65:11, 25; 66:20, etc.). The time that God's people began to expound, etc., the message of Vol. III as to the Roman Empire in its various heads was especially from 1891, when Vol. III was published, onward, and since the papal head ceased to be in 1870, the beast from 1891 until just recently could truly be spoken of as having once been, as not longer being and as later coming to be again (vs. 8, 11). This was repeatedly done by them, as all of us know, from 1891 onward. All of us know that they spoke of the beast (papacy) being from 539 until 1870, then of its being out of existence as a temporal power, and then as coming again later into existence as a temporal power. Certainly the papacy originally, when it
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became the fifth head, ascended out of the abyss—error (Rev. 11:7); and in its second time becoming a head—the eighth—it came out of the abyss—the error of its claims to temporal power by Divine right, as an alleged necessity of its office requirements (v. 8); but God says it will shortly go down into destruction.
(48) At the time when God's people were expounding the message of, and matters germane to Vol. III, they taught that the so-called Christian Roman Empire, the Western Empire, the Kingdom of the Heruli, the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths and the Papacy—the five kings—had fallen—ceased to be—and that another (the sixth of the Rev. 17 kings or heads) reigned, viz., the Italian Kingdom of the House of Savoy. They also, without understanding its character, forecast the coming of another—the seventh—which has proven to be the Fascist Italian State. They did not know exactly the length of the stay of what proved to be the Fascist Italian State, but from v. 10, as well as from the chronology, they knew that its stay would be short. It will probably last until the symbolic earthquake, although it could fall before, and if it should, the papacy would get exclusive power in Rome; for if another power should do this before Armageddon, there would be nine heads—a thing contradictory to the Scriptures (vs. 9-11). They often mistakenly spoke of an eighth beast coming, calling it a headless beast, mistakenly understanding that it would be the form of government following the revolution. Their mistake on this is not shown in the angel's speech. On the contrary, the first time the angel says anything about the eighth (king, i.e., head) he speaks of it as an already existing thing—"The beast … is himself an eighth [king]." This proves that the true interpretation would not be clearly declared by the Lord's people until the beast as the eighth (king, i.e., head) would be here. The fulfillment has finally enabled us to understand its character
and the time of its coming, as we knew and declared beforehand, on the basis of Rev. 17:9-11, that some kind of an eighth power would come. The angel's statement, therefore, proves that now is the due time for the Lord's people to declare, especially to one another, the presence of its eighth king or head.
(49) The beast (v. 11)—the papacy—which was until 1870, and which, at least from 1891 onward until recently, was spoken of by God's people as not being, i.e., not existing as a temporal power, becomes the eighth king. We add the word king after the word ogdoos (masculine), eighth, because the masculine adjective ogdoos requires a masculine noun for completeness; and the connection (vs. 9, 10) shows that the angel is speaking of the heads as representing kings—basileis (plural), basileus (singular). The word beast (therion), being neuter in Greek, cannot be supplied after the word ogdoos, whose masculine form cannot be used with the neuter therion. If therion were to be supplied, the word form for eighth would be ogdoon. Moreover, the facts of the case disprove the reading, eighth beast; for nowhere do the Scriptures speak of such a thing, when treating on this subject. Nor can the word head (though it is the proper symbol for the thing meant—v. 9) be inserted after the word ogdoos; for the Greek word for head (kephale), used in this connection, is feminine, and to agree with it the Greek word for eighth would have to be feminine in form which, therefore, would have to read ogdoe. Hence, properly, the connection shows that basileus, king, must be supplied after the word ogdoos eighth. Hence the following is the proper translation: "And the beast which was, and is not, himself is also an eighth [king], and is [one] of the seven." The papacy, as the fifth king of the Rev. 17 beast is self-evidently, as the eighth, one of the seven kings—kingdoms. Praise be to God for the next clause: "and he goes down into destruction."
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(50) The first sentence of v. 12 refers to explanations of the ten horns already made by God's people, while the second refers to such as are now beginning to be made. The ten language nations of Europe (v. 12) are spoken of as receiving authority (exousia, here used, means authority or authorization, not power, whose Greek equivalent is dynamis). From the papal standpoint, unless recognized by the papacy, these ten kingdoms have no Divine right, exousia, to rule. And by papal recognition they allegedly, from the papal standpoint, are receiving (present tense in the Greek) such authorization, which will last one symbolic hour. We repeat a former statement: if it were not from this verse manifest that the Lord's people were to forecast the duration of such supposed ruling by Divine right, and to forecast the things of vs. 13-17, we would not have written on this subject; but the forecast being due to be made during the time the authorization was being received, as proved by the present tense, the Fascist government being the first to receive it, and the Lord having given us the understanding of the passage, we feel it to be the Lord's will to declare this matter that the rest of the Lord's people may join in with us in making this forecast; for, according to this Scripture, the antitypical angel—the Lord's people declaring, etc., the message of, and germane to Vol. III—forecast the duration of the alleged Divine right rule, after it had already started, as proved by the present tense: They are receiving authority one hour as kings. This we now proceed to do with the help of the Lord.
(51) Of course, the hour of this passage cannot be literal; for how could authority be conferred and exercised unto a completion throughout Europe in so short a time? Moreover, this authorization began with Fascist Italy some months ago; hence lasts more than a literal hour. Further, the fact that the word hour here occurs in a professedly symbolic book (Rev. 1:1)
implies that it is symbolic. In some Scriptures the word hour is used for the Gospel Age (John 5:25; 1 John 2:18), which sense cannot here apply. In some passages the word hour means a 24th of a year-day (Rev. 9:15) and, as such, stands for 15 literal days. This length of time has already been more than passed since the papacy gave Fascist Italy the recognition here referred to, so the hour of this verse cannot be a 15-days period. From the standpoint of the Millennial Day (1000 years) a symbolic hour is 41 2/3 years, as we have seen in Chapter II and above in this chapter in the case of the hour of temptation (Rev. 3:10), of the hour of reaping (Rev. 14:15, A.R.V.), and of the hour of her judgment, wasting and destruction (Rev. 18:10, 17, 19). But this period is entirely too long; for it would put off Armageddon until the middle of 1970, whereas the Scriptures place the anarchy at about 1954. There is another period called in some passages a day and in others a night, e.g., the 155 years from 1799 to 1954, which would give us hours of twelve years and eleven months. This, too, is too long a period, when we keep in mind the large eight wonderful days. The Gospel and Jewish Ages as days would, of course, be inapplicable here. In Matt. 20:1-16, we have the reaping period—the day working time of 12 symbolic hours—set forth as a period of 40 years (Chapter II). Of such a day, an hour is three years and four months. This, we believe, is the period meant in Rev. 17:12.
(52) Where will we begin this hour? With the general agreement of the papal and Fascist negotiators on the terms of the recent treaty and concordat between the Fascist government and the papacy, and with their signing of these documents; because the agreement on them and the signing of them were the essential thing. We know that the signing of these documents occurred Feb. 11, 1929. It has since leaked out that the agreement was reached before
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the American election of Nov. 6, 1928, and after Al Smith's nomination about July 1, 1928, and the fact was designedly left unconfirmed, though time and again rumored, as our Signs of the Times in our Sept. 15, 1928, Nov. 15, 1928, and Jan. 15, 1929, Heralds prove. The reason that this fact was not confirmed before the election is the pope's fear of its unfavorable effects on Al Smith's candidacy for the presidency. Hence we can now no more than approximate the date when this agreement was made—the agreement that made the pope, as a temporal sovereign and as Christ's alleged vicar, recognize Fascist Italy in a union of Church and State as ruling by Divine right. But with the act of signing the treaty and concordat the ten language nations of Europe in their Italian representative began to get the alleged Divine authorization to rule with the beast; and God says that this authorization to rule will last an hour (three years and four months, as we understand it). Parenthetically we remark that the fact of Fascist Italy being the first to be offered this authorization implies that the hour will end for her first, i.e., that Armageddon will begin there, as our Pastor taught it would. Doubtless the date for this agreement will yet be made known; but it seems to have taken place between July 1 and Nov. 1, 1928—which was before the U. S. election of that year. The signing of the Vatican treaty and the concordat occurred Feb. 11, 1929 and it is from this time that the hour of authority with the beast begins. Hence its period was from Feb. 11, 1929 to June 11, 1932. The hour beginning Feb. 11, 1929, it ends June 11, 1932. We set this forth not positively, nor dogmatically, but only suggestively as a likely view of the subject.
(53) That this period is approximately correct we infer also from the large eight wonderful days. Our Lord's death day types the ten years from Oct. 1924, to Oct. 1934 (see above). According to the setting
just referred to, the ninth hour (2 to 3 P.M.), the one during which our Lord died, corresponds to the period of five months from Feb. to July, 1933, during which the Little Flock will begin to be deprived from mouthpieceship, to the public, typed by our Lord's death. The type does not tell us at just what minute of the ninth hour our Lord died. Hence we can say nothing more definite as to the time of this cutting off than that it will be sometime between Feb. and July, 1933. We have also given it as our thought that the earthquake following our Lord's death quite likely represents the symbolic earthquake—Armageddon—in America, not in Europe, which begins earlier in Europe than in America (2 Kings 9:22-26, 27). It will be noted that the Bible (Matt. 27:51) does not tell us whether this earthquake occurred in the ninth hour or afterward; therefore we cannot say whether the symbolic earthquake will set in America between Feb. and July, 1933, or afterward, if it is typed by the earthquake of Matt. 27:51, as we think it likely is. Hence we cannot say definitely just when in relation to the antitypical ninth hour—Feb. to July, 1933—the antitypical earthquake in America will set in.
(54) In question meetings at conventions and at various ecclesias during pilgrim visits, we have suggested that the darkness that covered the land of Palestine from the sixth to the ninth hour, on the day of our Lord's death, quite likely types the shadow that the European Armageddon or pre-Armageddon events will cast over America. We know that the European War cast a shadow of trouble over America long before the latter entered the war; yea, almost immediately on its start was this so. It is, therefore, to be expected that the European Armageddon or pre-Armageddon events will do the same, and that in a greatly magnified form, inasmuch as America is now more closely related politically, economically, socially
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and financially to Europe than before the war. According to our setting of the sixth large wonderful day (Oct., 1924, to Oct., 1934), each hour of the 24 symbolizing 5 months, the sixth hour (11 A.M. to 12 M.) would be from Nov., 1931, to April, 1932; the seventh hour from April, 1932, to Sept., 1932; the eighth hour from Sept., 1932, to Feb., 1933. If our thought is correct on the darkness and the earthquake, then we are to expect Europe's Armageddon or pre-Armageddon events to commence during the antitypical sixth hour—sometime between Nov. 1931, and April, 1932. This, we note, is a period within which our time for the end of the hour of Rev. 17:12, given above, falls; for that time is from Nov. 1931, to March, 1932. It will thus be seen that the data that we derive from the large eight wonderful days and that we derive from Rev. 17:9-12, probably dovetail into one another. And the fact that the Lord's people are to know before the hour is ended, its general time, so as to announce it, is, we believe, the reason that moved the Lord to enlighten us on this subject, so as to enable us to give them the information necessary for them to tell it to one another before it happens, and thus fulfill the prophecy of the angel giving the symbolic explanation to John. At least the foundation seems strong enough for faith.
(55) It will be noted that the statements of vs. 13, 14, 16 and 17, may in part apply to the yet more distant future than those made in v. 12. This fact has likewise influenced us to write on Rev. 17. Therefore they require treatment here, which we will give briefly: The one will that the ten language nations of Europe will have, despite their many conflicting interests, is explained in v. 13: "and they will give their power [dynamis] and authority [exousia] to the beast." This can be done by these nations acting individually or in concert, e.g., in the League of Nations, or in both ways. We would not understand this passage to
mean, e.g., that they will do as King John Lackland, of England, did, when he gave Innocent III the power and authority to be the actual sovereign of England and himself thereupon received the kingdom as a fief from the pope; but rather that the European language nations will back with their power and authority the papacy in its advocacy and work of supporting the European order of affairs against the radicals, by accepting and putting into operation papacy's autocratic theories on governmental control of the nations. This will be, perhaps, only a part of the ten kings' giving to the beast their power and authority. The present and future stress in Europe will make this seem the thing to do, as the only means of averting communism and revolutionism.
(56) These European nations will make war with the Lamb (v. 14). Our Lord is now engaged in giving such truths as are more and more shaping matters toward the overthrow of Satan's empire, which will be accomplished by Armageddon. Additionally, He is also shaping the course of events and the general conditions so as to lead to the same result. The European nations are seeking now, and will increasingly seek to suppress, divert, distort and misrepresent such truths, and will send out contrary propaganda, with the view of maintaining the present state of affairs. Moreover, they will seek to suppress, divert, distort and neutralize the movements and events that tend toward bringing about the destruction of what actually is Satan's empire by Armageddon. Stricter laws and more violent prohibitions and enforcements will be set into operation to keep down the radical movements, which will be increasingly energized by the above-mentioned truths, events and movements. Suppression will become more and more active against the participants in such truth disseminations and their consequent movements and events. Thus, taking their stand against the Lamb's work in
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leading up matters to the overthrow of Satan's empire in Armageddon, they will be warring against the Lamb. But ineffectual will be their efforts, however arbitrary and liberty-curbing they may be; for the Lamb will overcome them, giving such vast and influential truths inimical to Satan's empire, and in consequence arousing such movements with their resultant events, disconcerting and frustrating and nonplussing to the European nations, that their every counter blow will only bring nearer the disaster upon their own heads and will force them to Armageddon. The faithful Little Flock—"the called, chosen and faithful"—on this and the other side of the vail, co-operate with the Lamb in this fight, and will be with Him victorious, though the faithful on this side of the vail will by the suppression of their mouthpieceship to the public seem to mankind to fail in the fight, even as our Lord in the type seemed to man to fail in His fight with the clergy of His day. But this will be only a seeming defeat. Their victory will be manifest in two ways: (1) they will maintain the Lord's Spirit through it all; and (2) they will scatter such truths as are Divinely intended to lead Satan's empire to Armageddon.
(57) V. 15 we pass by as already made clear above, and as not especially calling for treatment for our present purpose. The hating of v. 16 we take in the sense of: doing evil to. The reason we give it this meaning is because the original of v. 16 says, not only that the ten horns will hate the harlot (the Roman Catholic Church), but that the beast (see the A.R.V.) will do it also. How could the papacy be brought to hate, do evil to, the Catholic Church which it controls? On this we can now only surmise: Perhaps the stress to which that church will be exposed by the European nations turning against her, will move her to make such concessions to these nations as will oppose the papacy's theories and
plans and thus anger it against her, and make it spitefully forsake her to the spoliations that she will suffer from them. Or the papacy may make such blunders in dealing with the European language nations as will induce them to devastate the Romanist Church in their lands in reprisals on the papacy, which would mean that the papacy's course will bring on that church the same results as would come, if it would deliberately plan to bring them about. It is enough, however, for our present purpose to know and declare that such hatred as is above described will fall to her lot from both the ten horns and the beast. The ten horns will make her desolate in the sense of withdrawing their support from her, thus leaving her a symbolic widow. They will make her naked in the sense of so exposing her wrong doings as to make her shameful character known and despised. They will eat her flesh in the sense of taking away all her prerogatives and severing their union with her, thus depriving her of all advantages coming from a union of state and church. They will burn her utterly with fire in the sense of annihilating her. At least the last one of these evils will be reserved until Armageddon for these ten horns to inflict upon her, and will be brought upon her by the ten horns in their transition to the Jehu aspect of these ten horns; for antitypical Jezebel is to be destroyed by antitypical Jehu (2 Kings 9:30-37; Rev. 2:20-23).
(58) V. 17, in its first clause, shows that these ten horns will be manipulated by Divine providence into a willingness to become God's agents in the fulfillment of His decree that the Roman Catholic Church be annihilated. This is also implied typically in Elisha's arranging, in accord with the Divine will, for the anointing of Jehu for the corresponding typical purpose (2 Kings 9:1-10). At least on one subject these ten kings will have one will before Armageddon, that is: to favor such a policy—"to agree" literally, to execute one volition—even "to give their kingdom"
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—the deciding voice in their policy. Why will the Divine providence effect this result? Because in the stress of the conditions leading up to Armageddon papacy will impress these nations with the thought that her principles acted out will be the only thing that can enable the ship of state to weather the storm and to reach the haven of peace and prosperity. They will, therefore, accept the papal view of controlling the situation. But its dark-ages principles will be an anachronism amid modern conditions and peoples, enlightened out of the obscurity of the dark ages by the dawn of the Millennial Day, and accustomed to a large degree of liberty. Instead of controlling the situation, the application of papacy's repressive principles will make the dissatisfaction all the greater; and as a result the conservative labor group in great resentment will revolutionize, bringing Satan's empire to Armageddon for destruction. To manipulate such a situation into being, God will providentially influence the ten horns into the adoption of the above-mentioned policy—to execute one purpose. And this end will be pursued by God until His words as to the harlot's destruction will come to pass, "until the words of God shall be fulfilled," i.e., on this subject.
(59) Our understanding on these points of Rev. 17 given above, implies that the fulfillment of vs. 13-17 is, in part, as yet future. We will here comment no further on this chapter, our present design, by the above comments, being accomplished. For details we refer the brethren to the future, when, D. v., we hope to set them forth. We trust the study will be a blessing to all. We caution the brethren against being dogmatic on the above matters, and advise that they speak of these things as nearly as possible in a discreet manner to the Lord's people, mentioning only the more simple of them to non-Truth people.
(60) When first we wrote the above, especially on Rev. 17:9-12 [written in Feb., 1929], most of the
things in that passage were clear to us. We correctly understood the seven heads of the beast to represent the seven forms of the Roman government since the days of Constantine, with one of them, the fifth, the papacy, becoming the eighth. So, too, we correctly understood the ten horns to represent the ten language nations of modern Europe (Zech. 8:23). The duration of the hour as a period of three years and four months was also rightly apprehended by us at the time we wrote on these verses. We also saw aright the five fallen kings, the sixth existing and the seventh coming one; and we also correctly understood the beast that was, is not and shall be, as being the papacy. Thus the main things in this section were clear to us when we wrote on Rev. 17:9-12. But there were two things about the hour of Rev. 17:12 that were not clear to us. The first of these was positiveness as to the date at which the hour began and consequently the date of its end, as stated above, the treaty and concordat between Mussolini and the papacy. Therefore we suggested tentatively that, for definiteness of time, the date, Feb. 11, 1929, be taken as that by which the hour began, and that it would accordingly end on June 11, 1932, when Armageddon would set in, not in its narrow sense of fighting, but in its broad sense of embracing its conspiracy and following events up to and including its fighting. Further on we will set forth the factual proof that the hour ended June 11, 1932. The Lord let us see the truth as due on the beginning and ending of the hour before it ended. In 1917 He gave us the light on the duration of the hour, a fact that we told no one before Feb., 1929, when we wrote, as given above, on some thoughts on Rev. 17, for the May, 1929, Truth.
(61) The other point on the hour that was not clear to us; and that because not yet due when we wrote that article, was the thing that would end the hour.
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
When we wrote that article, we thought that it would be the fighting part of the European Armageddon that would come shortly after the end of the hour and sometime before the American Armageddon, which we expected before Oct. 1934. We came to this conclusion by thinking in the terms of the A.V. on Rev. 17:12. The A.V. renders the pertinent clause as follows: "The … ten kings … receive power as kings one hour with the beast." With the meaning of the word power in mind, we asked ourself the question, What will take away the power to reign from the ten language nations of Europe? The answer, of course, is, Armageddon's fighting (Rev. 16:18-20; 2 Kings 9:24-26). But the hour ended June 11, 1932, and Armageddon's fighting has not yet come [written in Oct., 1933]. Why did Armageddon's fighting not begin shortly after June 11? Because the verse in the Greek does not teach that the ten kings' power would last but one hour. It teaches that their authority, not their power, would last but one hour. The difference between the authority to reign and the power to reign is the following: the former means the right to rule as a king and the latter means the active ability to rule as a king. Ordinarily both the authority and the power to reign are in turn received, used and relinquished simultaneously. But there are cases in which one has the authority, but not the power to reign, and there are other cases in which one has the power, but not the authority to reign.
(62) God confers the authority to act as a priest or as a king by an anointing. Thus God conferred the right to act as Israel's priests upon Aaron and his sons by their anointing (Ex. 40:13-15; Lev. 8:12; Num. 3:2-4). Similarly, God bestows the right to act as the world's Kings and Priests on Jesus and the Church by Their anointing (Is. 61:1-3; Ps. 45:7; Matt. 3:16; Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 27). That
God by their anointing conferred authority on certain persons to act as kings in Israel can be seen from the cases of Saul (1 Sam. 10:1), David (1 Sam. 16:13), Solomon (1 Kings 1:39), Jehu (1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings 9:3, 6, 12) and Joash (2 Kings 11:2, 12). As we consider some of these kings, we see that they had the authority to reign for awhile without having the power to reign. Thus Saul had the authority to reign, some time before he had the power to reign (1 Sam. 10:1, 24-26). Again, David had the right, the authority, to reign years before he had the power to reign (1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 5:4, 5). So, too, Solomon obtained the authority to rule as king before his father died, but did not exercise the power of reigning until after his father died (1 Kings 1:39; 2:10-12). Thus in each of these three cases the authority to reign was possessed some time before the power to reign set in. On the other hand, the cases of Saul and David are examples of kings who exercised the power to reign some time after they had lost the authority, the right, to reign. For years after David had obtained the authority to reign over Israel, he was without the power to reign, which power Saul continued to use years after he had through David's anointing lost to David the authority to reign. Thus, too, David, after losing to Solomon, by the latter's anointing, his authority to reign, continued to have the power to reign. These examples prove that not always are the authority and the power to reign held simultaneously by those who possess them.
(63) When first we wrote on Rev. 17:9-12 we saw and called attention to the distinction between the authority and the power to rule as kings (see above); for the Greek uses two distinct words to represent the word for authority and the word for power, the Greek word exousia standing for authority and the Greek word dynamis standing for power. Despite the fact that in the paragraph just referred to we pointed
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
out that verse 12 in the Greek uses the word exousia (authority) and not the word dynamis (power); while treating of how the papacy conferred an alleged authority that God, but not the papacy, limited to an hour, when thinking of what would end the hour we forgot the Greek word here used and thought of the matter in the terms of the A.V., i.e., "ten kings … receive power as kings one hour with the beast." And this caused us to make the mistake that it would be Armageddon's fighting that would come shortly after the end of the hour. Such would have been the case had the word dynamis been used in this verse; for without any doubt, as proven above, Armageddon's fighting will take the power to reign from the ten language nations. Apart from the thought of our fallibility, the only way that we can account for our making this mistake when knowing and in this very connection calling attention to the distinction between the words exousia and dynamis, is that the Lord designed to withhold the Truth for a while on what would end the hour in order to test the Church and us—us as to whether we would be humble enough to acknowledge a mistake, and the Church as to whether it would stumble over the mistake, or whether it would wait upon the Lord until the due time would come to clarify the matter. Please note exactly what the mistake was. It was not as to the length of the hour: on that we saw the Truth since the early Fall of 1917. It was on what would come, came very shortly after the end of the hour. The hour was not to end by taking the power to reign from the ten kings, which the A.V. teaches, and which will be done by Armageddon's fighting; but the hour was to end, as the Greek teaches, by taking the authority to reign from them. And their papally alleged authority to reign God in every sense of the word took away from them by anointing another to have the real authority to reign, which falsely and counterfeitedly the papacy claimed to give
the ten kings—an authority that God tolerated, but did not own during the hour.
(64) How do we know this? Because the passage says that their papally alleged authority (not their power) to reign, which, we repeat, God only tolerated, would last but an hour; and that authority God completely annulled by anointing His choice to take the real authority, which was usurpatorially claimed for them by the pope, and which was for the hour tolerated, but not recognized by God. And how do we know this? We reply, the type of Jehoram of Israel and Jehu proves it. Jehoram of Israel typing Allianced Europe types, generally speaking, the same thing as the ten horns represent. But God by Jehu's anointing took away from Jehoram the authority to reign and gave that authority to Jehu, which types the fact that God would take away every semblance of authority to reign from antitypical Jehoram, the ten language nations of Europe, and give the real authority to antitypical Jehu, Conservative Labor, by the latter's anointing. Accordingly, we see that the anointing of antitypical Jehu ended the hour of Rev. 17:12.
(65) Despite the fact that we never put the matter of Armageddon's fighting as coming between Nov., 1931, and March, 1932, as more than a probable thing, and repeatedly by word and writing cautioned the brethren that it was a doubtful matter and was not to be presented dogmatically as a certainty, the Levite leaders have continually misrepresented us as putting it forth as a certainty. Some of them, like A. Stahn, did not even conceal their intention of waiting for the pertinent period to pass in order to pounce upon us as an alleged false prophet (Ps. 10:7-10; 71:10, 11; Prov. 24:15, 16).
(66) By way of emphasis it should be repeated that no actuality mistake on time was made on the matter in hand; it was a probability mistake on time. What we suggested as a probability did not materialize at
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
the suggested probable time. Had we set forth positively that the hour was one of 3⅓ years and that it began Feb. 11, 1929, then we would have made an actual mistake on the time of Armageddon's fighting, based on the mistake that Rev. 17:12, as the A.V. erroneously puts it, expresses by the duration of the hour the end of the power to reign. What actually emerges from the facts set forth above is this: Only about five months after June 11, 1932, i.e., after we had gotten proof that the post-anointing conspiracy was on, did we positively state that the hour was a period of 3⅓ years. We desire to emphasize the fact that always before June 11, 1932, we taught only tentatively that the hour was a period of 3⅓ years; and, therefore, even while holding the thought under the influence of the A.V.'s rendering of "power" in Rev. 17:12, that the hour would end the power of the ten kings to reign, our uncertainty as to the duration of the hour made us go no further than to say that Armageddon's fighting would probably, not surely, come between Nov., 1931 and Mar., 1932, a thought that we gave up as even probably true months before Nov., 1931, as shown by our dated publications.
(67) Hence our mistake was on a matter that we presented as a probability and not as a certainty. This raises the question, Why did God permit us to make a mistake even on a probability? The following we believe to be the reasons: (1) When we in Feb., 1929, wrote on Rev. 17, certainty as to the Truth on when the hour would begin and on what would end the hour were not due, and therefore any attempt to teach these even as probabilities would necessarily be immature and hence faulty; for not even Jesus could open a Scripture before it was due, as evidenced by His not knowing while in the flesh the date of the Judgment day (Mark 13:32), and after His resurrection and just before His ascension, the date of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:7). Hence our
attempting to explain these undue things necessarily resulted in misunderstandings on probabilities. (2) The Lord desired to test us as to whether we would be humble enough to acknowledge and set aside even a probability mistake, or whether we would seek to shield ourself by hiding it. (3) The Lord wished by this experience to manifest both the faithful and the unfaithful, well knowing that the faithful, not making haste, would wait on the Lord to clear up the matter in due time (Is. 26:3; 28:16) and thus be preserved in the test (Ps. 119:165), and that the unfaithful would be manifested as such and stumble (Is. 28:13). (4) The Lord desired that the oppositional might have an opportunity to mock, that the bands of error might bind them all the tighter (Is. 28:22). In these four designs the Lord's purposes were carried out to His good pleasure.
(68) Please note the similarities between our mistake in this matter and that of our Pastor on the deliverance of the Church by Oct., 1914: (1) In both cases the Truth came out only piecemeal, as Is. 28:10, 13 shows the Truth becomes due; for the Lord never gives the full Truth on any one subject all at once. (2) In both cases the involved thoughts contained partial truths. (3) In both cases the foundations that were laid down remained firm. (4) In both cases an attempt was made to clear up certain obscurities before the due time. (5) In both cases the time forecasts were made as probable, not as certain. (6) In both cases mistakes were made as to the undue things. (7) In both cases the Truth as due was given through the pertinent servants, and not through their hostile critics. (8) In both cases the mistake was seen and corrected before the mistaken time came. (9) In both cases before the mistaken time came, the pertinent Truth as then due became clear to them and was announced by them. (10) In neither case did the mistake result in the Lord giving the pertinent Truth through others.
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
(11) In each case due acknowledgment was made, and that before the forecast time came. (12) In both cases Truth enemies unjustly and maliciously accused them of being false prophets. But please notice how differently real false prophets have acted as to a mistakenly forecast date. When Mr. Barbour's dogmatic forecast on the Church's leaving the world Nisan 16, 1878, failed, instead of humbly acknowledging and correcting it; lest he might lose his influence as a teacher he sought to divert the Church's attention from the mistake by involving it into the no-ransomism controversy. When J.F. Rutherford's dogmatic forecasts as to 1925 failed, he sought even as late as in 1926 to make his pertinent teaching seem true by intimating that the Ancient Worthies had returned and were in hiding in some Palestinian cave as a test to the Societyites!
(69) Thus gradually as due the Lord cleared up to our mind the two involved uncertainties and enabled us to set the clear light thereon before the Church before the forecast date came. He did not leave us holding the bag until after the forecast date was passed, as He did with Mr. Barbour, J.F. Rutherford, Zion's Messenger, Elijah's Voice, C. Olson, C.J. Woodworth, Adam Rutherford, etc., etc. Accordingly, when March, 1932, came and when June 11, 1932, came, neither we nor our readers expected the fighting of Armageddon to come at one or the other of those dates. Only those who, without informing themselves on our exact thoughts and on their gradual clarifying, were watching these dates in order to pounce upon us as a false prophet were themselves caught in the trap of their own making. Accordingly, the Lord graciously enabled us before Nov. 1931, to see that antitypical Jehu's anointing, not Armageddon's fighting, would end the hour, and in Jan. 1932, enabled us to see that the hour would end June 11, 1932. These two points, the beginning of the hour and the means of its
ending, being thus clarified, we approached June 11, 1932, not dogmatically, but tentatively, in faith, as the right date for the ending of the anointing of Jehu, as the thing whose end ended the hour.
(1) What is the primary application of Mal. 3:1-3? Secondary applications of parts of Mal. 3:1-3? Which of these will we study in this lesson? Who is the messenger of v. 1? What was his mission? Who is the Lord referred to in v. 1? What is His temple? What proves His coming to His temple in 1874? How did the Church feel toward Him and His return? Why did it seem sudden to them? Why is He called the Angel of the Covenant? What does v. 1 summarize? What is its relation to verses 2 and 3? Why is it here commented on? Of what do verses 2 and 3 treat? How many fold is it?
(2) Of what do the two questions of v. 2 treat? How do these questions not stand related? How do they stand related? What double set of contrasted things proves this? What is the sense of the word translated abide? What illustrates this meaning? What does the first question mean? What three things does it imply? What do these three implications further imply?
(3) What four things did the five Parousia gatherings and siftings effect? Through what were the pertinent trials wrought? What are their names and beginning dates? What proves that they were intended to manifest the Second Death class? In summary, what does the first question of v. 2 teach? What is to be inferred therefrom?
(4) What is the next part of our Lord's Second Advent mission? Whence is this concluded? What is the proper translation of the second question of v. 2? To what period does it, accordingly, refer? What is the contrast between the two questions? What contrasting words prove this of the second question? What is the force of the word stand here? What light is shed on this meaning by Rom. 5:2? How so? What special thing, according to the second question, is determined in the Epiphany? What two things follow from this?
(5) What also proves these two things? How does Rev. 7:14 prove it? How does 2 Tim. 4:1 prove it?
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Who are its dead and living? How is this proved? When does each class get its judgment? What side light is thrown on the word judge in 2 Tim. 4:1 by Matt. 25:32? What is the contrast between the Parousia and the Epiphany work of Christ, according to the questions of v. 2? By what are the Great Company separated from the Little Flock? What three things are implied in the second question?
(6) What two negative things are implied in these two questions? What is the first conclusion to be drawn from these negative things? Why was this warning appropriate for the Parousia? What two reasons proved our unfitness during the Parousia to decide on who were crown-losers? What did this fact prove?
(7) What is the second conclusion to be drawn from these two negative things? Who said that this would be proper? Where did he say so? Why can we now decide this? What is not, and what is the mark revelatory of Great Companyship? What Scripture proves this? What is the third conclusion to be drawn from these two negative things? Why is this conclusion warranted? Why must the Priests know the Great Company as such? What conclusion on judging before and after the time should be drawn from 1 Cor. 4:5? What fourth conclusion should be drawn from these two negative things?
(8) What other parts of our Lord's Second Advent work are set forth in v. 2? What expressions give these? How does the surface reader regard these two expressions? What is necessary for an understanding of the expression, a refiner's fire? Please describe the figure. What in the symbols of the Bible is generally represented by silver? How do the cited Scriptures prove this? Of what is silver ore a symbol? By what is our Lord represented in this figure? By what is the Truth had by God's people cleansed from error? When has this work been done in them?
(9) Why has such an activity been necessary? What does Matt. 13:33 teach on this? On His return what did our Lord not, and what did He find in the minds of His people? What did He do to separate the error from the Truth in their minds? Of what did the symbolic heat and fire consist, whereby our dross of error was severed.
from our silver of Truth? In what period were such experiences undergone?
(10) How many miniatures of the Gospel Age are there in the Epiphany? What were the smaller one's duration, purpose, main works and experiences? What have been the larger one's past duration, main works, experiences and purpose? The largest one's? A part of what larger work of our Lord has His work in these miniature Gospel Ages been?
(11) Wherein is the fourth part of His Second Advent work set forth? What fact does the average Bible student fail to see? What is the difference between it and the preceding one? What shows this? What three processes constituted a fuller's work? To which of these does our text refer? Describe it in detail. What do the things involved in this process represent? What are the Scripture proofs for each point? What is the difference between the cleansing by the blood of Jesus and by the Word of God? Give Scripture proof for it. What is represented by the fuller's washing the spots away? What did his using soap and lye represent? Why were they used in the picture? Why used in the thing pictured forth? What are some of the features of this figurative lye? What are represented by the easy, hard and impossible yielding of the spots to the washing process?
(12) What in this respect has our Lord done since 1874? How has He proceeded in this work? In what relations have these washings come to us? To what end have they served? Of what prophecy are these experiences a fulfillment? To what can we testify on this point? What results from a proper undergoing of these experiences?
(13) How are the refining and cleansing experiences related to the sustaining and standing of our text? What proves this relation? What have these two processes done to all New Creatures? What have they effected in the three involved classes? What will they not effect in the Faithful? Why not?
(14) How does v. 2 distinguish between our Lord's four works described by it? What are these distinctions?
(15) By what words is the fifth part of His Second Advent mission to His own described? To what does
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this language not refer? Why not? How are the words refiner and purifier ordinarily used? How are they used in this connection? Why so? What, then, is our Lord's fifth Second Advent mission? What does its second part imply? What are the differences between the third and fifth part of our Lord's Second Advent mission to His own? What have they and what have they not in common?
(16) According to this, what is His relation to error and Truth? What word in v. 3 implies this? How so? What manifold work of Satan makes this work of our Lord necessary? Why has Satan corrupted every branch of Truth? Through whom did our Lord mainly attack religious error in the Parousia? In what are these attacks contained? How is this symbolized in Revelation as respects the Volumes? What is the claimed attitude of the Tower and P.B.I. Herald as to controversy? What does this attitude imply?
(17) What kind of secular errors did our Lord attack in the Parousia? Through what two kinds of agencies? By what means were these attacks made? To what did these attacks force Satan to resort? How did the Lord foil Satan's purpose?
(18) What work on this line is our Lord doing in the Epiphany? By what writings mainly is this done in the religious domain? Why do the Epiphany publications contain so much refutational matter? Against what should the Lord's course with these publications arouse us? Why? What is the relation of these two sets of writings to secular error now? What is especially now being used against secular error? What are these attacks effecting? What office work does our Lord perform in managing these attacks on error?
(19) What other function does He perform in this fifth work? What does this mean? In what does this result? How has this been brought to our view in the religious domain? In the secular domain? What instrumentalities has He used for this work in the Epiphany?
(20) Who should be honored for such refining and polishing work? How are His agents to be regarded? How not regarded? Who should be regarded as the Sources of the Truth? How are they related as such?
What is the highest honor of their agents therein? From what extremes will this attitude deliver us? In what proper attitude will it keep us? What should this thought make us remember?
(21) In what words is the sixth part of our Lord's Second Advent mission set forth? What does the word translated purify mean here? Why? What thought does its Hebrew verb form give it? What two forms of character work does our Lord perform? What does each effect? What is not contradicted by the word purge in this sentence? Why not? What Scriptures prove this? What is the difference between the fourth and sixth work of our Lord's Second Advent toward His own?
(22) Who are typed by the sons of Levi in v. 3? How is this Scripturally proved? What other thing in v. 3 proves this? Give Scripturally the two sets of symbolic meanings in the words gold and silver. Accordingly, what is the sixth part of our Lord's Second Advent mission? By what means does He accomplish this? Which of these is specially stressed in v. 3? Along what lines do God's providences work to this end? How does He use the Word in this work? The Spirit? In what other time has He done this to crown-retainers and crown-losers? To which time does the text limit His pertinent activities?
(23) In what words is the seventh part of our Lord's Second Advent mission described? What is its literal rendering? What does it show? What is this which it shows? What is the difference between the meat offering and the drink offering? Who are privileged to preach the Truth? What effects do blemished characters and deeds have on one's preaching ability and influence? What are they not and what are they to say? Why? What are our Lord's three high-priestly works in this respect? What does He do to the characters of the antitypical sons of Levi in this particular? How is this done by Him? What results to them therefrom? When has He done the above three high-priestly works in them? For what are they indispensable?
(24) What do facts prove of our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany ministry on the Little Flock along this line? What did they do in the Parousia with the Word? What
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
great effects did it work? What did their improving characters do to their message to the Church in its three elect classes and to the world? What has it been doing to their preaching as to Azazel's Goat? What work has the Lord given them for retaining their crowns? What separate works toward Azazel's Goat has the Lord qualified and enabled them to do? What future work toward the Great Company will He fit and enable them to do? What present and future work toward the Youthful Worthies does and will He qualify them to do? What is a summary of their Parousia and Epiphany work? Who has qualified and enabled them to do it?
(25) What has limited the effectiveness of the Great Company's past and present preaching? When was their work comparatively better than now? What did they do during the Parousia by preaching? What work in the lapping of the Parousia and Epiphany did they do with the co-operation of the Youthful Worthies? In fulfillment of what type? What is a sober estimate of their present work? What will they do after their cleansing? What will be their first great work after their cleansing? What is the Epiphany Tabernacle? Explain its erection. How may the contents of Vol. 1 be summarized? What will it constitute? How will it be given? What will the Great Company accomplish through this message? What events will pave the way for this work?
(26) What other great work will Jesus' ministry for the Great Company enable them to accomplish? How does Lev. 12:5-12 show this? How does Cant. 5:8—6:1 show this? Where and when will the Great Company convert Israel? How do Zech. 12:2-14; Jer. 30:3-9 and Ezek. 36:17-29 prove this? What in our text implies this? To whose character-building and cleansing work will this be due?
(27) What estimate of our Lord's ministry should the above study cause us to form? What work did He do throughout the Gospel Age for crown-retainers and crown-losers? What qualities of His character are manifest in these works? How do they compare with others' characteristics? How should these considerations influence us to think, feel, speak and do as to Him?
(28) Beside His Parousia and Epiphany sevenfold
mission to His own, what other pertinent missions does He have? Which of these will we here study? What things in Rev. 18:8, 10, 17, 19 have aroused study? Along what lines? What are some of the symbolic meanings of the word day in the Bible? Why is the pertinent day not a year day? What day seems to be the one meant? Why did this day have several beginnings? What are they?
(29) What has already been pointed out as the length of this day? By what examples? What results from this as to the hours of Rev. 18:10, 17, 19? What are the beginnings of the first two of these hours? How do we know this? Why may we not begin the third-mentioned hour at either of these dates? If it is begun Sept. 25, 1881, when will it end? According to what time? If this be correct, by when will Mystic Babylon begin to go into destruction?
(30) How many kinds of experiences will mark Babylon's overthrow? What is done with these chronologically in Rev. 18:10, 17, 19? To what does each verse refer? How do these items seem to be stated? Why is the hour mentioned three times? When did the hour of reaping begin? What also began then? Why is this true as a parallel?
(31) What did our Lord do in April, 33 A.D.? At the end of what? What did He thereby accomplish? Accordingly, what is the parallel to this? What was done in Oct. 36 A.D.? What is the parallel to this? What three things are said to await Babylon within an hour? What have we found already to have happened? When as to the judgment? What did the removal of the last saint from Babylon really constitute? About how long did the wasting last? By what was it ended? With what were these two hours contemporaneous? If the above understanding be correct, how long is the hour of her destruction to last? What is to be expected to begin within this time?
(32) What character does this interpretation have? What improbable thing is possible as to this thought? Why is it not to be thought that it began earlier than about Oct. 1881? After 1881? At 1914? How, accordingly, does the date, about Oct. 1881, seem? What restrains from dogmatism on this point? What is the most
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that should be said thereon? As a result, how may we regard the date, about June, 1923? If this is true, what does it imply as to John's Rebuke and Elijah's Letter? How should these considerations affect us? With what question does this paragraph close?
(33) How long before the following was the above written? In what year? What thought is presented in the foregoing? Probably through what? When, generally and exactly? On what was this based? What considerations admonished against positiveness on this subject? Why? Why was the symbolic earthquake expected to come probably by May 17, 1923? With what thoughts in mind was Rev. 18:19 continued to be studied?
(34) By what time held as a probability did the earthquake not come? Accordingly, what was not realized? What thought connected with May 17, 1923, was right? How so? What kind of a work does this letter do as to Babylon? What is believed as to the events and that work?
(35) What is needed to clarify this thought? What will clarify it? What was this event? When did it occur? What shows that Food For Thinking Christians began this destruction? What are our Pastor's two testimonies thereon? Who began this destruction? When? How has God always honored His Priesthood? How is this typed? What follows from this course of God? How and when did the Priesthood start the beginning of the end of Babylon's destruction? What would this seem to imply?
(36) Why are the main pertinent facts set forth? What pertinent thing was set forth in the first issue of The Truth? How do John's Rebuke and Elijah's Letter stand in relation and contrast? How do the cited passages show this? What was the author's first thought on the extent of the distribution of Elijah's Letter? How was this told? Until when? How did a change of view and practice develop between May 1 and 7? What was done May 7?
(37) What thought gradually developed between May 3 and 10? What did this thought prompt the author to do? Why was May 16 chosen as the day to begin this work? On what was he not definitely persuaded? What conviction set in May 23? What was thereupon recognized?
What will enemies say of this? Who knows that these are matters of fact?
(38) Of what is the experience with this matter a good illustration? What question, wrongly based, was asked on Rev. 18:19? What did it start? What had by March, 1922, set in? With what misunderstanding? Wherein were these thoughts set forth? What did further thought accomplish? When did the subject fully clear up? What conclusion flows from this? Why is that which is clear set forth before the brethren?
(39) What is closely related to the foregoing? What does this prompt us to do? What is and what is not designed in this study of Rev. 17? What is thereby designed? What letter would be helpful as to our present study? What kind of an interpretation did it offer on Rev. 17? Who was the giver of this interpretation? How did he hold it? What is the interpretation? What have facts proven it to be? What reason did Bro. Russell give in the late Summer of 1916 for not then giving his long-promised exposition of Revelation? On what four points did he then lack understanding? What does the second point prove he had done with the Adventist interpretation of the number 666? What did his lack of understanding these four points lead him to conclude?
(40) What has since happened with these four points? What has been the author's course on the interpretation that Bro. Russell gave Bro. Driscoll? Why did he follow this course? What recent events have fulfilled the bulk of Rev. 17:9-11? What does the fact prove of Bro. Russell?
(41) In what books and magazine has much of Rev. 17 been made clear? Why had the rest not yet been made clear? Where will we find a summary of most of his thoughts on this chapter? What has tended to make unclear many points in Rev. 17? Wherein was this done? What is one of these obscurings? How did our Pastor explain the angels who poured out the seven last plagues? How does Vol. VII explain the angel of Rev. 17:1? What do the seven bowls (vials) of Rev. 15 and 16 represent? What was not in Bro. Russell's day yet seen to be the antitypes of the bowls, cups, chargers and spoons? When and by what passages did this become clear? What do the seven angels' bearing and pouring out the bowls represent?
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What even does the angel of Rev. 17:1 not represent? What does he represent?
(42) To what is this definition not limited? What does it include? What illustration proves this? Where will this example be explained? By whom will it be further discussed? As what was this hour to be announced? What influence did that consideration have on the writing of this article? What otherwise would be our course in this matter? How does Vol. III cover the beasts of Rev. 12, 13 and 17? What does its diagram on page 131 furnish?
(43) What other consideration must be kept in mind for clearness' sake? What in general do Daniel's and the three Revelation beasts represent? How do their horns differ? How do the beasts of Rev. 12, 13 and 17 differ as to their heads? What do the ten (eleven) horns of Daniel's beast in general represent? What do the ten horns of the three Revelation beasts represent? How is this proved? What are the ten horns of the Revelation beasts? How many others are there than these? What is the key to this point?
(44) Why is there a difference between the seven heads of the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13 and those of the beast of Rev. 17? When did the Roman Catholic Church begin to be supported by the Roman Empire? What change from former times had set in? What, then, is the difference between the first head of the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13 and that of the beast of Rev. 17? What were the latter's next five heads? Which is the seventh head of the beasts of Rev. 12, 13 and the sixth head of the beast of Rev. 17? What other difference is there between Daniel's and the Revelator's beasts?
(45) Since what time must the seventh head of the beast of Rev. 17 have originated? What is the seventh head of the beast of Rev. 17? What is its eighth head? What does this prove of its seventh head? How is the Fascist Italian Kingdom the seventh head, as distinct from the sixth head-the Italian Kingdom of the House of Savoy? What follows from this? What is the viewpoint of the beasts of Rev. 12 and 13, as distinct from the viewpoint of the beast of Rev. 17? What follows from this last viewpoint?
(46) What is the first contrasted expression necessary for clearness on the Revelation beasts? What names
are applicable to the civil and the papal power in that book? Where are they contrasted? Which head in Rev. 12 and 13, and which heads in Rev. 17 represent the papacy? How do we harmonize the contrast that the papacy is the beast, and yet some heads of the beast? What third contrast should be kept in mind? How do we distinguish between the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy? How is this distinction shown in Rev. 17?
(47) In what two ways are the seven heads of Rev. 17 defined? How are the words, kings and mountains, used in prophecy and symbol? When did the antitypical angel of Rev. 17 begin to expound, etc.? What in Rev. 17:8 proves this? What expression was applied by this angel to the beast, as applying from 539 to 1870? As applying from 1870 until very recently? What expression is applicable to it at present? What is meant by its ascending from the abyss? How many times did it make ascent? What is its end?
(48) What did the antitypical angel say of five of the heads of Rev. 17? Of the sixth? What did they at that time say of a seventh? What two things of it did they not understand? What did they know of its length of stay? How? Until what may it stay? If it does not stay that long, what will not set in, and what will set in? What two mistakes did they make? Where is this mistake not shown? After what event does the angel first mention the eighth (king, i.e., head)? What does this prove? What has the fulfillment enabled us to do? On what basis did we know an eighth would come? What else does the angel's statement on the eighth (king) to John prove?
(49) What does Rev. 17:11 say the beast which was, and is not, would be? How do we prove that the Greek word for king, and not for beast, nor for head, is to be supplied after the Greek word for eighth? What else proves that the Greek word for beast is not to be supplied after the Greek word for eighth? What is the proper translation of Rev. 17:11? What proves that the eighth king is one of the seven kings? Into what does he go down?
(50) What is the time difference between the two sentences of v. 12? What do the ten kingdoms receive? What does the Greek word exousia not mean? What does
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
it mean? What Greek word means power? What, from the papal viewpoint, is necessary for kings to reign by "Divine right"? How long will they rule with such authorization? What former statement is here repeated? Why is this article written?
(51) How cannot the hour of v. 12 be understood? Why not? What further proves it to be symbolic? In how many senses is the word hour symbolically used in the Bible? What are they? Why do none of these fit here, except the one in Matt. 20:1-16? How long was it?
(52) With what does this hour begin? Why, in each case? When did the signing of these documents occur? When was the agreement on the treaty and concordat made? Why was the precise news of it withheld? What facts show this? What kind of a dating alone for the agreement is now possible for us to give? What did this agreement imply? What did recognizing Fascist Italy by the papacy mean as to its authorization to rule? What did this recognition begin? Where will Armageddon begin? What proves this answer? How long will this authorization to rule last? What will yet be made known? During what period was the agreement made? What would be the period of the hour's end? How is this to be set forth? Why?
(53) What general type proves this dating to be approximately true? According to this type, for what period does our Lord's death day stand? Its ninth hour? What will happen at that time? What does the type of the ninth hour not fix? What follows from this in the antitype? What does, and what does not the earthquake following our Lord's death likely type? What does the Bible not say of the earthquake in relation to the ninth hour? What follows from this in the antitype? How do we fix its time?
(54) What suggestion has been made as to the darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour of our Lord's death day? Where was this not stated? Where was it stated? What does that darkness likely type? What analogy makes this suggestion reasonable? What periods do the sixth, the seventh and the eighth hours type? According to these periods, if the above is true, when will the European Armageddon or pre-Armageddon begin? How does this period agree with our approximate date for the end of
the "hour" of Rev. 17:12? How do our data from the large eight wonderful days and the hour of Rev. 17:12 stand related? What fact corroborates our above-given setting of this subject? How will faith act toward this matter?
(55) How in time of fulfillment do vs. 13, 14, 16, 17 stand related to v. 12? What does this imply as to their being discussed here? What one will are the ten horns to have? In what three ways may this be done? What is not the degree of power and authority that the ten horns will give to the beast? What will it be? Of what will this perhaps be only a part? What will seem to make it necessary?
(56) What will the ten horns do, according to v. 14? What two things is our Lord doing in world affairs? What will the ten horns do in their war with the Lamb on these two points? By what means? How will they progress therein? Who will be the victor? Who will be His associates? In what two conditions do they act? How will those on earth appear? What two things will prove them victors?
(57) Why is v. 15 here left unexplained? What meaning does the word hate have in v. 16? Why? In what two ways may the beast be made to "hate the harlot"? What should suffice us on this point? How will the ten horns make the harlot desolate? Naked? Eat her flesh? Burn her utterly? When will this last act be accomplished on her? By what aspect of the ten horns? How is this proved?
(58) What does v. 17, in its first clause, show? How is this typically set forth elsewhere? What one policy will the ten horns favor? What is meant by giving their kingdom to the beast? Why will God affect this? What will be done as a result of this policy? Why will it fail of its intended results? What will be the actual outcome? Who actually will bring it about? Until what event will He pursue His course?
(59) What is implied, as to Rev. 17:13-17, by our understanding of the above-discussed items? Why are more complete comments on Rev. 17 not given here? What should we do for details? What trust should be cherished as to this study? What caution should be observed on this subject? And what advice?
Our Lord's Parousia and Epiphany Missions.
(60) When was the above on Rev. 17:9-12 prepared? What was then seen as to the seven heads? The fifth that became the eighth? The beast? The ten horns? The duration of the hour? How many things were not clearly seen as to the hour? What tentative dates for its beginning and consequent ending were suggested? What were to follow its end? When was the light on its duration first seen? What was done on this point until 1929?
(61) What other point on the hour was not clear in 1929? What was at first thought would come shortly after the end of the hour? How was this thought reached? How does the A.V. render the pertinent clause in Rev. 17:12? What will take away the power to reign from the ten horns? How is this Scripturally proven? When did the hour end? What did not by then come? What Greek word on this point does Rev. 17:12 not use? What one does it use? How do they differ in meaning? Accordingly, what does this verse teach would last an hour? On what is this verse silent? Ordinarily, how are the authority and power to reign received, used and relinquished? Exceptionally how do they sometimes exist?
(62) By what does God confer the authority to act as a priest or as a king? What Scripture examples prove this as to typical priests? How do the cited passages prove this? What Scriptural examples prove this of the antitypical Priests and Kings? How do the cited passages prove this? What five examples of typical kings prove this? How do the cited passages prove this? How is the distinction between the authority and the power to reign shown in the cases of Saul, David and Solomon? How do the cited passages prove this? How do Saul and David illustrate the thought of having the power without the authority to reign? What do these examples prove?
(63) To what distinction was attention called in P '29, 72, par. 12? What Greek word means authority? Power? Which of these words is used in Rev. 17:12? Despite this fact, what was done by the Editor while thinking on this matter? What occasioned him so to do? To what mistake did this lead? If that thought had been correct, what word would have had to be used in Rev. 17:12? Why? Why did God permit the mistake? What was not, and what was the mistake? What was not, and what was to end the hour? By what act did God take away even their
false authority? What was His attitude toward that false authority?
(64) How do we know this? What type proves this? How does it prove this, type and antitype? What, therefore, ended the hour of Rev. 17:12?
(65) How was the period of the beginning of Armageddon's fighting put in The Truth? What cautions were frequently put in The Truth thereon? How did the Levite leaders put our position? How did some of them, like A. Stahn, act therein? What Scriptures accurately represent their spirit?
(66) What, by way of emphasis, should here be repeated? What conditions would have had to be fulfilled to have made an actual mistake? On what was the tentative mistake based? What actually emerges from the stated facts? How, before June 11, 1932, had we always set forth the hour? What kept us back from saying positively that Armageddon's fighting would set in between Nov., 1931 and March, 1932? Despite what view even was this done? When was even this thought given up?
(67) On what kind of a matter was the mistake? What four reasons seem to have moved God to allow this mistake?
(68) What twelve points of similarity are there between this mistake and our Pastor's on the deliverance of the Church by Oct. 1914? What is the difference between the way these two brothers treated these mistakes and the way Mr. Barbour and J.F. Rutherford treated their mistaken date forecasts?
(69) How did the Lord clear up these uncertainties? What resulted therefrom before the forecast date came? How did the Lord's course toward the Editor differ from His course toward five individuals and the editors of two named periodicals? What did the Faithful not expect at the forecast dates? How did the oppositional approach them? With what results? What did the Lord permit the Editor to see in Jan. 1932, as to June 11, 1932? What not? How did not, and how did we approach the date June 11, 1932? With the two difficulties solved, what other difficulty arose? How could certainty thereon not be reached? Why not? What typical things prove this? What, then, was our new difficulty?