THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS. "THE LAST ONE OF THE DAYS." "IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS." THE CHURCH'S PART IN THE WORK. "THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES." ISRAEL'S EXPERIENCES WERE PROPHETIC. THE JUBILEE PROPHECY. THE PROPHETIC DAYS OF DANIEL. SIGNS OF THE TIMES. PYRAMID CORROBORATIONS. "BEHOLD THE BRIDEGROOM." WHOM DO THE FOOLISH VIRGINS REPRESENT? "AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT."
IN previous chapters we have given many generalities and details on the objects of our Lord's Return, and we have examined the Scriptures on the manner and stages of His Return; from this examination we have learned that there are three distinct stages in Jesus' Second Advent, viz., the parousia, the epiphaneia, or apokalupsis, and the basileia, and also that He is invisible to men's natural eyes in His Second Advent. The study of these subjects leads up to the understanding of the present subject; hence it is desirable to study them, if possible, before beginning our present study.
It will doubtless surprise many to learn that there is much Scriptural proof that we are already in the time of the presence (Greek, parousia) of the Son of Man, and that we have already lived through the first stage, into the epiphaneia, or apokalupsis, stage, which began with the outbreak of the World War, in 1914. At first, some will perhaps be inclined to say, "Where is the promise of His parousia [presence], while all things continue as they were from the beginning?" St. Peter foretold that some would thus question and be surprised at the information that we are living in the days of the Son of Man, while there is as yet no outward manifestation of His presence that appeals to the worldly, and while the affairs of the world continue in their ordinary channels (2 Pet. 3:4). The answer to the question is, as we have pointed out in connection with our examination of the manner and stages of our Lord's, Return, our Lord's own
declaration (Matt. 24:37-39) that in His days of presence the world would be eating, drinking, planting and building, and know not the promise of His presence, while all things continue as they were. Could it be more explicit? A totally different question, however, is, "What are the proofs of His presence?"
This is a reasonable inquiry. We would not be justified in believing that the Lord is present upon any slight evidence, even though we knew in advance that He is a spirit being, whose presence would be invisible without a miracle; and even though we knew in advance, from the parables, that He would be present, but invisible, in the harvest time of this Age, in the time of reckoning with His servants, preparatory to their glorification. We have a right to expect clear, reasonable ground for faith, before accepting any matter which implies so much. We are not, however, to ask or to expect evidences to natural sight. If we are of the Watchers, who have "the eyes of their understanding opened" to see wonderful things in the Divine Word, then these eyes of our understanding must also be the eyes of our faith. Hence the true Watchers are to expect reasonable, satisfactory evidence for faith, and not ocular demonstrations of an invisible parousia (presence). As the Apostle explains, "We walk by faith, not by sight."
To our understanding there are strong proofs that our Lord's parousia (presence) began in the Fall of 1874, and His epiphaneia in the Fall of 1914. We have seen nothing of Him with our natural eyes; only with the eyes of the understanding, only in the light of "the more sure word of prophecy" do we know this, which we sincerely believe and affirm, and which is important news to all who claim to be Watchers. The fact that any Watcher has remained in ignorance of these important events would seem of itself to be an indication that he has not been properly awake to the use of his privileges and opportunities; that he has not been sufficiently watchful of the sure word of
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prophecy to which he was instructed to take heed; and that therefore he has been left at least partially ignorant of the important things transpiring throughout the world during these years. To this extent many of the Lord's people have been with the world and similarly ignorant; and yet we may reasonably assume that the Lord did not expect all of His watching servants to discern the matter at the same instant of time. True, those who saw early have had a special blessing for the longer time; but, as we know, the preparation for the knowledge of the time lies largely in the right attitude of heart—in its humility and possession of the various graces of the Spirit of Christ.
THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
Lest we should get a misapprehension respecting this matter of discerning Jesus' parousia and epiphaneia, we do well to take heed to the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-12), which evidently was given to throw special light upon this point. That parable implies a false announcement of the arrival of the Bridegroom, which was given as due in 1844, and which brought to the subject considerable reproach, but which nevertheless was of great advantage, in stirring up the "virgin" class (the pure, the consecrated) to fresh trimming of the lamp of truth, i.e., investigating the sure word of prophecy. The parable shows, also, that the "virgins" in general fell asleep, yet, nevertheless, in due time all would be re-awakened by the prophetic time knocking and the knocking of the signs of the times, which indicate the Bridegroom's presence. And the parable shows that the result would depend upon how much oil (Holy Spirit) the "virgins" may have in their vessels (in their own hearts), as well as in their lamps (the Scriptures). Applying this parable, then, we may reasonably suppose that some of the Lord's true people, like the ten virgins, have temporarily fallen asleep on the subject of His Second Coming, and that they will get their lamps trimmed, burning and ready to enable them to discern the signs
of His parousia and epiphaneia, when once their attention is brought to these subjects. In harmony with this we find that many who get awake on this subject now come into the clear light of present Truth much more rapidly than did some in the past: doubtless partly because present Truth can now be presented to them more concretely than ever before through the printed page. It is in the interest of the consecrated that we now write; we have no desire to awaken the worldly; this knocking of the prophecies announcing the Lord's presence is not for them; besides, the worldly are so soundly asleep that it will require the terrific crashing of present institutions and the earthquake shakings of social revolution of the Epiphany period thoroughly to awaken them to a realization of the presence of the great judge, Immanuel. The true Watchers, on the contrary, if they slumber at all, sleep lightly, being on the qui vive of expectancy and hope for the long-waited-for Bridegroom. We would merely whisper in the ears of this class the one message, "The Lord is present!" (both in His parousia and epiphaneia) assured that all true Watchers (and the Lord alone knoweth them that are His) will be aroused by that message, and trim their lamps (diligently search the Scriptures) on the subject.
Is the question asked, "What portions of the sure word of prophecy indicate that the parousia [presence] of our Lord began in the Autumn of 1874 and His epiphaneia in the Autumn of 1914?" We answer that there are several lines of prophecy which interlace and corroborate each other in this testimony; but, as might be expected, since the entire matter was to be hidden from the world, and "none of the wicked," but only the "wise" are to understand (Dan. 12:10), and these wise to understand only when the due time would come; for these reasons, it must be evident to all that these prophecies, while clear and forceful and positive, are nevertheless somewhat under cover. We cannot here attempt to give a complete and comprehensive
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statement of these prophecies, which has been done in Vol. 2, "The Time is at Hand," and Vol. 3, "Thy Kingdom Come." We can supply both of these books. Here we can give only a very brief resume, leaving it for the true Watchers to seek that they may find; to knock, if they would have the door of Divine revelation opened to them; to use the keys which God has provided, if they are interested in penetrating into "the deep things" of the Divine Word, now due to be understood; to eat of the meat of present Truth, "things new and old," if they hunger and thirst after righteousness and true knowledge.
"THE LAST ONE OF THE DAYS"
(1) The first argument that we offer does not give the exact time of our Lord's Return as Oct. 1874, but does indicate that as the approximate time. The argument is this: The Bible teaches that God's kingdom is to be established in the seventh 1000-year day after Adam's fall into sin. This is shown in Is. 2:2: "It shall come to pass in the last one of the days [the word for last is singular in the Hebrew and therefore does not modify the plural Hebrew word for days, as the A.V. implies; for it would have to be plural to modify the plural Hebrew word for days in this text], that the mountain [kingdom, Dan. 2:44, 45] of the Lord's house [Christ and His faithful, Heb. 3:6] shall be established in the top of the mountains [be put over all absolute monarchies], and shall be exalted above the hills [limited monarchies and republics]; and all nations shall flow unto it." The expression "last one of the days" contains the proof of our proposition.
The last one of God's days, each of which is a period of a thousand of our years (2 Pet. 3:8), would be the seventh day or the seventh thousand-year period; for while man uses the decimal system, counting as he does by tens, God uses the septimal system, counting as He does by sevens. This is manifest from many cases of the use of seven as the number of Divine completeness in the Bible, e.g., seven days in a
week, seven weeks from the 16th of Nisan leading up to Pentecost, seven years in a Sabbath period, or seven Sabbath periods leading up to the Jubilee year, as we read in the Law. In the book of Revelation we read of the seven churches, seven angels, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven lights, seven eyes, seven spirits of God, seven horns, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, etc. Hence as man counts up to ten and then begins over again to reach the multiples of ten; so God counts up to seven, then begins over again to reach the multiples of seven. It is this fact that proves that the expression, "the last one of the days," means the seventh day, the last day of the week. But a week of God's days is equal to 7000 years of our time. Therefore this passage proves that the kingdom of God, which Christ returns to set up (Acts 3:19-21; 15:14-17), is to be established over all the earth during the seventh 1000-year day.
That this seventh 1000-year day is the seventh from Adam's fall into sin and the curse, God has pictured forth by the Sabbath day arrangement following the six days of labor, which was given to Israel to keep holy by resting from the labor of the six week days. Mankind in sin and the curse has been laboring and heavy laden during the antitypical six days (Matt. 11:28; Rom. 8:20-22). This is shadowed forth by the six days of labor, each day typing a thousand-year period. But a rest day from the curse, the great antitypical Sabbath, the Millennium, is coming after these six 1000-year days of sorrow; and during it mankind will rest from sin, error and death, with their entailment of woes. This is the last one of the days, the seventh 1000-year day, the antitypical Sabbath, of which Is. 2:2-4 so glowingly testifies, teaching as it does that the kingdom is to be established in the seventh 1000-year day from the fall of Adam, and that Christ's Return is to be in that period; for He returns to establish the kingdom and to offer restitution to all mankind, both dead and living (Acts
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3:19-21; 15:14-17; Dan. 7:13, 14; Is. 35:4-10). And He must return at the outstart of that antitypical Sabbath, because as "the Lord of the Sabbath" and the Rest-giver He must begin the antitypical Sabbath in order to be the Ruler and Rest-giver throughout its entire duration.
It has already been shown (Vol. 2, "The Time is at Hand," Chap. 2) that from Adam's creation to Oct. 1872 were 6000 years. While the Scriptures nowhere expressly state how long after his creation his fall into sin occurred, it is reasonable to assume that it was not over one or two years. And this assumption will be shown by indirect evidence to be a correct one; for a number of Scriptures, later to be examined in this treatise, show that Jesus has returned and that, therefore, Restitution (Acts 3:19-24) in its first faint expressions began in the Fall of 1874. Hence the fall of Adam occurred 6000 years before and therefore within a year or two from his creation; and therefore Is. 2:2 in connection with such Scriptures, proves that about Oct. 1874 our Lord's Second Presence set in. But we have other lines of pertinent Scriptural proof. We have a number of general prophecies, indicating that we are living in the time of the Master's Second Presence. One of these is the Prophet Daniel's testimony respecting "the time of the end," in which many would run to and fro, knowledge would be increased, and the wise would understand.
"IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS"
(2) The true Watcher will be blessed by studying the inspired dream of Nebuchadnezzar, and its inspired interpretation by Daniel, showing the earthly governments which would bear rule over the earth (Dan. 2), during the interim between the overthrow of the typical kingdom of God (whose last king sitting upon the throne of David was Zedekiah) and the installation of the true King, Immanuel, in His Millennial Kingdom glory. These different governments of earth are here pictured as a great image; Nebuchadnezzar's government,
the first universal empire of earth, being represented by the head of gold; the Medo-Persian empire, which, according to history, was the second universal empire, is here shown as the breast and arms of silver; the Grecian empire, which overthrew the Persian, and became the third universal empire, is represented by the belly and thighs of brass; the Roman empire, which succeeded the Grecian, and constituted the fourth universal empire of earth, was represented in the image by the legs of iron, strong exceedingly; and the later development of the same Roman empire with the intermixture of papal influence is represented in the image by the feet, which were partly iron (civil government), and partly of clay (ecclesiastical government, the Papacy). These were to constitute the sum total of Gentile dominion; and "in the days of these kings" (represented by the ten toes of the image), Jehovah God Himself would establish His Kingdom, the very Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come!" We are all witnesses that the heavenly Kingdom has not yet come, that mankind is still under the dominion of "the prince of this world," the prince of darkness. All the efforts to prove to us that the greedy and bloody governments of Christendom, so-called, are the Kingdom for which we prayed, and were taught to pray, could not prevail: we could never recognize these as Immanuel's Kingdom: they are only the kingdoms established by Antichrist, and recognized by Antichrist, and named by Antichrist "Christendom." The true Kingdom waits for establishment at the hands of Him whose right it is; and He has promised that, when He sits upon His throne, all His faithful ones, the "Little Flock" of the Gospel Age, shall sit in that throne with Him, and (with the Great Company and Ancient and Youthful Worthies, as subordinates) be His associates in blessing the world.
"THE CHURCH'S PART IN THE WORK"
The Church is not neglected in the picture of earthly dominion given to Nebuchadnezzar, and interpreted by
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the Prophet Daniel. She is shown therein as a stone taken out of the mountain without hands (by Divine power). This stone represents God's Kingdom (Christ and the Church), and the inspired dream and explanation show that the disaster which shall come to the kingdoms of this world, represented in the image and in the toes of its feet, would come through the impact or smiting of the image by the stone. Daniel says that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet … Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain [kingdom], and filled the whole earth.
The explanation is that, "The great God hath made known to the king [and indirectly more particularly to the Watchers] what shall come to pass hereafter." "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people [it shall have no successors, for the others will all be destroyed]; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." Here is a prophecy which gives a full delineation of the empires of earth, to which God granted dominion during the interim between the removal of the typical crown from His typical kingdom, and the institution of the crown of righteousness and glory upon the true King in the inauguration of the Kingdom of Heaven.
"THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES"
Even the surface evidences are that the human empire has run its course, and that the heavenly empire is needed to deliver the world from its own selfishness. But the sure word of prophecy, if carefully scrutinized by the Watcher, reveals still more. It shows that the next universal empire will be the kingdom of God's dear Son, and further, the interesting fact that the total
lease of power to the Gentiles is in the Scriptures known as "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24), and that these "times" are seven times, and that each of the seven times is a period of 360 years, and that consequently the complete period of the seven times is 2520 years. Hence the Watchers may reckon that the Gentile lease to rule terminated with the 2520 years from the time the Lord removed the diadem from Zedekiah, saying: "Thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, … Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown … I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it … until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [to] him" (Ezek. 21:25-27). The period of overturning of the Lord's typical kingdom and the removal of the crown must correspond to the period of the lease of empire to the Gentiles and be 2520 years. And measuring this period, which began Oct. 607 B. E. (see Vol. 2 on the Chronology of the Bible), we find that the 2520 years expired Oct. 1914 A.D. and consequently that since that time the Gentile rule is no longer Divinely legal, and God's Kingdom will shortly hold sway.
We desire to give the Scriptural proof that it would be 2520 years from the overthrow of Zedekiah, Oct. 607 B. C. until the lease of power to the Gentiles would expire, i.e., in 1914, viz., their legal privilege to rule the earth would terminate. "The times of the Gentiles," which is the Scriptural designation for the period of God's lease of dominion to Gentile powers to rule the earth, is by our Lord connected with Israel's punishment for violation of the Law Covenant, after which whatever sufferings would come to them would not be due to their national sins against their Law Covenant; for Jesus says, "Jerusalem [the capital of the Israelites standing for the people themselves] shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). In Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28, after indicating that lesser punishments would not reform them, Jehovah threatens and prophesies
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as a final chastisement, a punishment of seven times upon Israel at the hands of the Gentiles, for their national sins against the Law Covenant. These seven times of punishment we understand Jesus to have meant when He spoke of "the times of the Gentiles" being filled out with Israel's suffering at the hands of the Gentiles. These punishments began with the treading down of the Jews in their royal house, their capital city, and their land, on the part of Nebuchadnezzar, when he desolated Jerusalem and Palestine, taking Israel captive to Babylon, Oct. 607 B. C. The connection of Luke 21:24 shows that Jesus understood that the "times of the Gentiles" had begun before His day, and had yet many years to run; yea, He connects their ending with the period of His Second Advent, the deliverance of the Church and the establishment of the kingdom (Luke 21:24-31).
A time in the Scriptures represents a prophetic year of either literal or symbolic duration. A literal prophetic year would, of course, be a natural, ordinary year. A symbolic prophetic year is based upon a year just midway between the length of a lunar and a solar year (360 days) and counts each of these days a year (Num. 14:33, 34; Ezek. 4:1-8; Dan. 9:24-27); therefore a symbolic prophetic year would be 360 literal years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7 [360 ½ = 1260]; Rev. 12:14; 13:5; 12:6). From the fact that Israel often suffered chastisement longer than seven literal years in various of their punishments from the neighboring nations before the final one of seven times came, from the fact that the one of seven times is represented as longer and severer than any of those earlier periods of punishment, and in view of the fact that Jesus connects the progress of these times with Jerusalem's overthrow in 70 A.D. and their end with the end of this Age, we conclude that the seven times were symbolic times or years, i.e., 7 X 360 literal years, or 2520 years. Hence "the times of the Gentiles" (the period of the full lease of power to the Gentiles) expired
2520 years after its beginning, Oct. 607 B. C., i.e., in 1914 A.D. And the World War, which broke out in the Fall of 1914, is the external evidence of the fact that their lease has ended. The power that the Gentile governments have used since that time is not legal before God. They began therefore at His direction to suffer eviction proceedings in and by the World War, which eviction proceedings have continued and will continue until the Gentile governments are entirely displaced by God's kingdom.
But the scrutinizing Watcher will readily perceive that it is one thing to know the time when the earthly dominion of Gentile nations was due to cease legally, in order to make place for the completed Kingdom of God, while it would be a totally different matter to know when the "stone" Kingdom would begin to smite the image upon its feet, preparatory to its destruction. This period of smiting the image, which precedes its destruction, must also precede the full establishment of God's Kingdom, which is to fill the whole earth. This smiting period is the period of the Parousia and Epiphany, in which Christ is present, gathering and delivering His "jewels," His "elect," and in which He is smiting the nations with the two-edged sword of His mouth and with the rod of iron, dashing them in pieces as a potter's vessel, and preparing mankind for the royal majesty of the heavens. Let the Watchers note critically the Prophet Daniel's explanation that it will be "in the days of these kings" (the kingdoms represented in the feet and toes of the image, the divisions of Papal Rome) that the God of Heaven will set up His Kingdom. God began the selection of His Kingdom class in the days of Civil Rome, represented by the legs of iron (He has continued the selection ever since, until 1914); and the setting up or bringing of His Church (Kingdom) into power comes toward the close of Gentile power, but before it ends; for it is "in the days of these kings" and not after their days that the invisible phase of God's kingdom
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is set up. Therefore, before the lease of Gentile power expired, in 1914, the Son of Man was present to "set up" His Kingdom, not visibly, but in power. Since 1914 it has been destroying all these Gentile kingdoms. Hence the setting up of the invisible phase of the Kingdom preceded that date, occurring, as it did, by Oct. 1874.
"ISRAEL'S EXPERIENCES WERE PROPHETIC"
(3) Take another line of prophecy, concealed, and yet very simple and easy of appreciation when once the mind grasps it. The Scriptures show us that the Fleshly house of Israel and all of its institutions and affairs were typical foreshadowings of the Spiritual house of Israel, and its higher institutions, better sacrifices, etc. It need not, therefore, surprise us to find that the length of the Jewish Age, the length of the Divine favor to Fleshly Israel, was typical also, and that it gives us the exact measurement of the Gospel Age—God's dealings with and favor toward Spiritual Israel. Some facts will prove this. Jacob's name was changed to Israel, which signifies "A Prince, or Warrior, with God," and his descendants were therefore termed Israelites, the people of the Prince with God. But the antitype of Jacob is Christ, the true Prince with God, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and His house is Spiritual Israel. Jacob's twelve sons first inherited his name and blessing, and through them it descended to all the Fleshly house of Israel: Christ's twelve Apostles inherited His name and blessing, and through them it has descended to all the Spiritual house of Israel. As the typical house had a high priest, Aaron, so the antitypical house has a greater High Priest, Christ Jesus our Lord, the "High Priest of our profession." As the Fleshly house had a priesthood under Aaron, so the Spiritual house has "a royal priesthood" under Christ, to whom the promise is made that they shall be kings and priests unto God, who shall reign on the earth, after 'their sacrificing is ended.
In like manner we might proceed with everything
that Fleshly Israel had and find its duplicate on a higher plane, in Spiritual Israel, but we will not go into details here; suffice it to notice further that the Jewish Age or period of Fleshly Israel's favor ended with a "harvest" period of forty years. This began with our Lord's baptism, lasted three and a half years, as a national test, and when that nation was rejected at the time of our Lord's crucifixion, the harvest work on a larger scale began (a separation of the wheat from the chaff) a time of gathering out of that rejected nation such as were "Israelites indeed," previous to the great time of trouble which came upon the nation and which began to prepare utter destruction for their national capital, A.D. 69. All of this is likened to a "harvest" season, with its garnering of the wheat and subsequent burning of the chaff. And our Lord gives instructions to us (Matt. 13) that this Gospel Age of Spiritual Israel's favor will likewise end with a harvest time, gathering the wheat together and ultimately destroying the tares. In the harvesting of the Fleshly house, our Lord, in the flesh, was the Chief Reaper, and His Apostles were co-laborers; in the harvesting of the Spiritual house, our Lord, a spirit being, had to be present as the Chief-Reaper, and members of the Spiritual house were also to be reapers.
Now note the time correspondencies. The Jewish Age, from the death of Jacob to the death of Christ, was 1845 years long, to the beginning of our Lord's ministry 1841½ years long, and to the beginning of preparations for the utter destruction of their capital, in A.D. 69, 1881 ½ years long. Notice how the Gospel Age corresponds to this. The Gospel Age in respect to the Church did not begin with our Lord's birth; it began after our Lord's death and resurrection, when He commissioned His disciples to "preach the Gospel to every creature" (our Lord's previous work during the three and a half years of His ministry was the offering of the Kingdom to the Fleshly house, to test
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them, and to prove that they were as a nation unready to receive the true Kingdom). Applying the foregoing measurements of the Jewish Age to the Gospel Age, beginning it at the time of our Lord's death and resurrection and the Pentecostal blessing, in the Spring of A.D. 33, we find that the period of 1841½ years from the death of Jacob to the beginning of our Lord's ministry, would measure from the Spring of A.D. 33 to the Autumn of 1874; and the 1845 years of the Jewish Age, from the death of Jacob to the rejection of Fleshly Israel, applied here, measuring from the Spring of A.D. 33, would reach to the Spring of 1878; and the 1881½ years from the death of Jacob to the beginning of preparations for the destruction of Israel's capital in A.D. 69, finds its correspondence in this Gospel Age, by measuring 1881½ years from the Spring of A.D. 33, which would bring us exactly to (Autumn) 1914 A.D., the very year and time shown us by Daniel's and Moses' prophecy to be the full end and limit of the "Gentile times." Can this be accidental? Nay; it is design. What stronger testimony could be asked by the eye and ear of faith? Surely, anything plainer or clearer would be sight and leave no room for faith. The Scriptures show that the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age would be of the same length, when they teach, on the one hand, that Israel would be under God's disfavor in blindness during the time of the selection of the Church, i.e., during the Gospel Age (Rom. 11:25); and when they teach, on the other hand, that this time of their disfavor was a "double" (a duplication of time and events) of the time of their favor during the Jewish Age (Jer. 16:13-16); that this "double" (duplication of time and events) would end when the appointed time would be finished (Is. 40:2, see margin) and that this "double" (duplication of time and events) began the day Christ entered Jerusalem (Zech. 9:9, 10-12; Matt. 21:4-9, 43; 23:34-39; John 12:12-15; Luke
19:40-42). Thus the Scripturalness of the 1845 years as marking the parallel times and events in the Jewish and Gospel Ages is proven.
"THE JUBILEE PROPHECY"
(4) Note another prophecy, similarly hidden in type in the Mosaic law: Israel's Jubilee Year. No one is prepared to understand this line of prophecy who has not first learned that the Second Coming of our Lord is not for the purpose of destroying the world, but for the purpose of blessing it according to the promise made to Abraham, "in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," with the favors lost in Adam, hence a restitution of all things lost. These will be offered to all and will be made perpetual to those who will accept them on the terms of the New Covenant. None can see any beauty or typical significance in Israel's Jubilee who has not learned that God has provided "times of restitution of all things," which are to begin in connection with the Second Advent of the Redeemer (see Acts 3:19-23). We find that Israel's jubilee years, in which every person and family had restored to them every lost possession and all personal liberties, and were freed from all debts, were intended to be a type of the coming times of restitution, when a full opportunity for attaining freedom from sin and from Satan, from debt to Divine Justice, and from the hereditary weaknesses of the flesh, shall be presented to all, and when the earth shall again revert to the human family in general, for whom it was created, and for whom it was redeemed by Christ, after being lost through Adam's transgression. We find that the Scriptures indicate, in connection with these Jubilees, a system of counting by squaring; and that a jubilee of Jubilees, or fifty times fifty years (2500 years) constitutes a Great jubilee cycle and that such a cycle began to count after Fleshly Israel had observed her last typical jubilee. We find from the Scriptures that Israel's nineteenth jubilee year, Oct. 627 to Oct. 626 B. C., was her last. Knowing
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that the jubilee was a part of the Law, and that no feature of that Law, not one jot or tittle, can pass away without reaching a fulfillment or antitype, we measure the cycle of the Great jubilee 2500 years from the date when the last typical jubilee was kept, Oct. 626 B. C., and find accordingly that the antitypical Jubilee or Great Jubilee of Jubilees should have begun in Oct. 1874. Thus, 625¼ years B. C. plus 1874¾ years A.D. are 2500 years. This indicates Oct. 1875 as the end of the great cycle, including the jubilee year, which would consequently have started in Oct. 1874 had the type persisted. Therefore, since the antitype of a time type sets in always at the time the type would have been kept, if it had persisted, the antitypical jubilee of 1000 years, instead of one year, was due to begin in Oct. 1874.
But one may ask by what right do we square the years of the jubilee cycle to obtain the Great or Antitypical Cycle, leading up to and introducing the Great Antitypical Jubilee? We answer, the Lord indicates this to be the proper method. How so? By His squaring in every case the time of the lower period to obtain the next higher. Thus He squared the number of the days in a week of days, which culminated in the Sabbath, to lead up to and introduce the jubilee of weeks, Pentecost, the fiftieth day, the next higher festival than the Sabbath (Lev. 23:15-21). So, too, He squared the number of years in a week of years, which culminated in a Sabbath year, to lead up to and introduce the jubilee year, the fiftieth year, the next higher festival than the Sabbath year (Lev. 25:1-4, 8-13). Since the 50-year period of the seven Sabbatical years with their following jubilee year was the highest period in the type, the next higher would have to be the antitypical or great cycle. Hence by squaring the highest period of the type (50 years) we get the next higher period, 2500 years, as the time of the Great or Antitypical Cycle. Thus we see that the Sabbatical cycles of 49 years have as their antitype
the Great Cycle of 2500 years; that the jubilee year has as its antitype the Millennium, the times of restitution of all things, a period of 1000 years; and that the Great or Antitypical Cycle is the square of the next lower period, which was the highest period of the type, the last of which of necessity had to be followed by the Antitypical Cycle (Matt. 5:17).
Watchers will note carefully the correspondency of the date Oct. 1874, and the character of the events to be expected, with the finding of our previous examinations (1 and 3), which showed that this same date, Oct. 1874, was the time when the "harvest" of this Age was due to begin, and when the Lord Himself, as the Chief Reaper, was due to be present. The only thing necessary to connect this jubilee prophecy with the others is the statement of the Apostle Peter in Acts 3:21, which shows that our Lord must be present (in His Second Advent) at the beginning of the times of restitution of all things, and as already seen, these restitution times are the antitypical Jubilee times typified by Israel's jubilees, wherein all former privileges of freedom and possessions were restored. Thus we have three very simple but clear and very important lines of Scripture testimony which indicate clearly that the parousia of our Lord was due to begin in Oct. 1874; and they show us the character of the work which we should expect would be in progress during the time of His presence, preceding His open manifestation to the world, his epiphania [manifestation], His apokalupsis [revelation]. As shown in E Vol. 4, pp. 53-58, the Epiphany and the Time of Trouble are identical (Luke 17:29). Hence the end of the lease of power to the Gentiles, and the beginning of the Time of Trouble in 1914, indicate clearly the beginning of the Epiphany period at that time.
"THE PROPHETIC DAYS OF DANIEL"
(5) Take another line of prophecy: we find that the 1260 days, and the 1290 days, and the 1335 days, so particularly set forth in Daniel's prophecy (Dan.
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12:7, 11, 12), and corroborated in Revelation, have had fulfillments: the 1260 days ending in 1799, the 1290 days ending in 1829, and the 1335 days ending in 1874. Our friends known as "Second Adventists" were wont to use these "days of Daniel," and once applied them as we do here: but they abandoned them after 1874 passed, when they failed to see Jesus with their natural eyesight, in a body of flesh and with Calvary's scars. They have dropped these "days of Daniel" entirely, because they find no way of applying them which would prolong them beyond 1874. The fault is not with the days nor with their application as above; but with the wrong things expected. They, in common with other groups and individuals who look for the Second Advent to be visible to men's natural eyes, err in expecting that the Gospel Age, which has been a spirit and faith epoch, will end with a flesh and sight deterioration; in expecting that the spiritual kingdom of Satan will be followed by a fleshly kingdom of Christ. But the true Watchers among the Adventists, as well as in other denominations, are getting the eyes of their understanding opened by the anointing of the promised eyesalve (Rev. 3:18), and therefore have learned that Christ's Return is invisible to the natural eyes. It was concerning this last period that the angel declared to the Prophet, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days." What blessedness? We answer, a joy of heart and rejoicing to the Watchers is what is here intimated.
It is since this prophetic date, Oct. 1874, where Daniel's 1335 days intimated that a great blessing would begin, where the jubilee types indicated that the restitution of all things would begin (which implies the Second Presence of the great Restorer), and where the parallelism of the two houses of Israel shows that the Second Presence of our Lord as the Great Reaper is due,—from this date a great blessing has come to the Watchers. Since then the Word of God has opened before us in a most marvelous manner. Since then the
sure word of prophecy as a lamp to our feet has shown us many evidences that we are in the end of the Age. Since then the day-star has been rising in the hearts of the Watchers, and has illuminated our minds, releasing us from the terrible nightmare of error respecting eternal torment, revealing to us the true character of our Heavenly Father, making plain to us the necessity of the great atonement for sin, and showing us distinctly the object of the permission of evil and revealing, one by one, various features of the Divine plan: the high calling of the Church to the Divine nature and to joint-heirship with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom, and the resulting blessing of restitution to human perfection for the world of mankind in general. Ah, yes! all who have been brought "out of darkness into His marvelous light" can appreciate the words of our Lord, and heartily say, Blessed are our ears, for they hear, and our eyes, for they see; for many prophets and many righteous persons have desired to know these things, and have not known them.
"SIGNS OF THE TIMES"
(6) We could refer to other prophecies and types in the Scriptures, which are being fulfilled in the signs of the times, and which show that we are living in the "harvest" time of this Age, in the parousia and epiphaneia of the Son of Man, but we will not do so in this connection. The fact that this present world, as He predicted, continues in its usual course, eating, drinking, planting, building, etc., and knows not of His presence, so far from being an evidence against these prophetic testimonies, quite to the contrary, shows us that the fulfillment has come, just as the Master predicted: that the day of the Lord, the day of His presence, has come upon the world as a thief in the night, secretly, quietly, stealthily, unknown; the only ones favored with a knowledge of events transpiring on the other side of the veil being the Watchers, who if they have slumbered at all, have nevertheless maintained
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a waiting attitude of readiness for the announcement. The Lord is now present in His Second Advent!
(7) The six foregoing lines of proof (prophetic time and sign features) pointing out 1874 and 1914, are marvelously corroborated by the Great Pyramid measurements. See Chap. 10 in Vol. 3 of "Studies in the Scriptures." God Himself tells us that He has made a corroborative witness of His Word and Plan in Egypt (Is. 19:19, 20). The Great Pyramid, by its location, structure, passages, rooms and measurements, proves itself to be this very corroborative witness to the Lord. In connection with the Grand Gallery one of the measurements shows that 1874 would be the time of our Lord's Return; and at the meeting place of the descending passage and the pit the Pyramid measurements point out 1914 as the date when the overthrow of Satan's empire was due to begin, which we show elsewhere began with the World War. Thus, then, the Bible time and sign prophecies on our Lord's Return in 1874 and on the beginning of the destruction of Satan's empire in 1914, are remarkably corroborated by the Pyramid.
"BEHOLD THE BRIDEGROOM!"
This is the announcement which we are now giving, Not, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, but "Behold the Bridegroom!" already here, present, knocking gently with the prophecies to arouse the virgins, but not to arouse the world (Rev. 3:20). The passage as just quoted is the reading of the oldest Greek manuscripts, which omit "cometh." Our Lord says, "If any man hear my voice [knock] and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him." This message to the present Laodicean phase of the Church, intimates very clearly (1) that the "knock" and "voice" will be inaudible to natural ears, and heard only by the ears of the understanding, the hearing of faith; (2) that it will not be a denominational knock or call (as to Adventists,
Presbyterians, etc.), but (3) that it will be a knock that must be heard individually and responded to individually. "Any man" who hears the "knock" or "voice," if he so wills, may exercise faith and open the door of his understanding and realize his Lord's Second Presence. The man who never hears the "knock" is not counted worthy to hear it. But those who hear are evidently not compelled to respond and to accept the present, knocking King; hence He says, if the hearing one open the door, "I will come in." However, only those who recognize the "knock" and who respond and by faith open to the Lord and receive Him as their present King, are privileged to have the great blessing of spiritual nourishment, the feast of "meat in due season," "things new and old," which the Master promised to provide at that time, to strengthen the faithful for the judgments, trials, testings and siftings which must "begin with the house of God." "I will come in to him and sup with him and he with Me" (comp. Rev. 3:20 and Luke 12:37).
As therefore we softly whisper, "Behold the Bridegroom!" it is not with any hope of arousing the world to faith in the Lord's presence, etc. They are not worthy to know and would only misuse the knowledge now. By and by, in the Lord's due time, they, shall know, in the end of the period of the epiphaneia, or apokalupsis, of the Son of Man. They will be awakened by the great crash of the day of trouble. We do, however, promulgate the message, "Behold the Bridegroom [present]!" with the confident expectation that all who are of the "virgin" class (the pure, the justified and consecrated), will be permitted to hear the message, will be aroused by it, and will trim their lamps (examine the Scriptures, investigate the subject), and find the message true, before the great trouble is over. We well know, however, from the Lord's prophetic parable, that among those who are aroused to investigation, there are two classes, because there were both wise and foolish "virgins."
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The wise virgins not only consecrated their all, but also were faithful unto death, living not unto sin, nor unto self, nor unto sectarianism, but unto the Lord; these, as intimated in the parable, found no difficulty in trimming their lamps and recognizing the presence of the Bridegroom. But the foolish virgins, overcharged with the cares of this life, or the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22, wealth, reputation, influence, etc.), did not have within themselves ("in their vessels") a sufficiency of the oil (Holy Spirit); and consequently they were unable to get the light in time to go in with the wise virgins before the elect number was completed, and the door of opportunity to become a part of the Bride of Christ, was forever closed. True, they later do obtain the oil, as is shown in the parable, but too late to be of the "Little Flock," who are accounted worthy to share the Kingdom and to escape the greatest severity of the Time of Trouble which is upon the world: the foolish virgins are obliged to pass through the trouble with the world, and thus share in its distress, and in disappointment, represented in the parable by the words, "wailing and gnashing of teeth."
However, amid this great tribulation they will cleanse their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14); also, it will be their blessed privilege to proclaim the glorious message, "Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!" Despite their sorrows and sufferings incidental to the destruction of their flesh and their cleansing themselves, they will rejoice through their tears that the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, will have been completed in holiness and in number, and will proclaim her glorification with her Lord (Rev. 19:6-8). They with joy will in heaven partake as bridesmaids at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9; Ps. 45:14, 15). And, being then spirit beings like the angels, they will be privileged to serve the Lord in His Temple, i.e., as Levites (Rev. 7:15); while Jesus and His Bride, the wise virgins,
will be living stones of the Temple, and Priests (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
"WHOM DO THE FOOLISH VIRGINS REPRESENT?"
Some have mistakenly thought that the foolish virgins (Matt. 25:1-12) represent the wicked, instead of a class of Christians who will ultimately be saved, and become a part of the Great Company. To assist such we give here a further explanation of this parable; we include also some thoughts on the closing of the door.
Scriptural facts and symbols, as well as the fulfillment of the parable, prove that the foolish virgins are Christians—a part of those Christians who belong to the Great Company class. A virgin, whether she is wise or foolish, is a pure maiden, and therefore in Bible symbols is used to prefigure consecrated people (Ps. 45:14, 15; Rev. 14:4; Cant. 1:3; 6:8, compare with Rev. 7:9; 2 Cor. 11:2). It is because the Bible uses virgins to represent consecrated people that we understand the foolish as well as the wise virgins to be Christians. Certainly those who are not Christians do not go forth in the spirit of their minds to meet Christ in His Second Advent, as the foolish virgins are represented as doing. Certainly the wicked do not "love His appearing," as both sets of the parabolic virgins are represented as doing; and certainly the wicked do not prepare to meet Him, as both sets of virgins do. Therefore the foolish virgins cannot be wicked people, but are Christians; for they act as such, even if they are foolish.
Properly to understand the parable we must see its purpose and scope. By a scene that showed the difference between properly and improperly prepared virgins going forth to meet the return of an oriental bridegroom with his bride, two classes of Christians in the Time of the End, properly and improperly prepared to go forth to meet the Lord at His Second Advent, are set forth. The story of Matt. 25:1-12 has very frequently
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in oriental countries had an enactment; and Jesus therefore used that frequent occurrence to picture forth what would take place in the Time of the End, even as the word "then," with which the parable begins, referring to the time of the events of Matt. 24:13-51, proves that the fulfillment of the parable would take place during the time of those events, which are fulfilled during the Time of the End. From Daniel's use of the expression, "the Time of the End," as beginning at the time of Napoleon's return from Egypt, 1799 (Dan. 11:29, 30, 40), we understand that as a period it reaches from 1799 until the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom (Dan. 12:1). We are therefore to look in that period for a movement occurring in which Christians would go forth in the spirit of their minds to meet the Lord in His Second Advent. Such a going forth began in the Miller Movement in 1829, continuing from various standpoints ever since.
The wise virgins, we believe, represent those who were fully faithful, who understood and acted upon the Truth as due; while the foolish virgins, we understand, represent overcharged Christians who do not understand the Truth as due. The lamps or torches represent the Bible, which both classes have (Ps. 119:105). The oil represents the Holy Spirit of understanding (Ps. 23:5; 45:7; 133:2; Is. 61:1; 11:2; Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22). The vessels represent their brain faculties and hearts (2 Cor. 4:6, 7) where the spirit of understanding resides or does not reside. The difference between the two classes that made the one wise and the other foolish did not consist in this—that the one had Bibles (lamps) and the other had not (for both had them); but it consists in this: that the one had the Holy Spirit of understanding (the oil) in their brain faculties and hearts, and the other had not. And this difference is due to the fact that the wise have had the light as due because of their greater degree of faithfulness, while from the others the light
was withheld because of insufficient faithfulness.
While Christians began to go forth to meet the Lord increasingly from 1829 onward, the Lord did not come in 1844, as they expected Him. He delayed His Coming, as the parable indicates that He would (v. 5). As a result of their disappointment of 1844 they somewhat lost interest in and zest for the Second Advent ("slumbered and slept"). We understand the cry: "Behold the Bridegroom!" (the original Greek omits the word "cometh," as the later English translations also do) to have begun shortly after 1874, in a period (midnight) in which His presence was generally misunderstood as to its object, time and manner. Since that time an ever-increasing—number of consecrated Christians have recognized the Lord's Second Presence, as the message, "Behold the Bridegroom," has been studied by and become clear to them. And certainly since that time there has been much Bible study, resulting in removing previous errors on the object, manner and time of our Lord's Return ("and they trimmed their lams").
According to the account, a difference appeared among the virgins (vs. 8, 9). Those who had not the spirit of understanding in their mental faculties and hearts found their Bibles becoming more and more obscure ("our lamps are going out," Rev. Ver.), while the others found more and more light in their Bibles. Those who did not understand desired the Holy Spirit of understanding to be given them by the others; but this cannot be communicated from one to another; it must be acquired, "bought," in the markets of experience, by holy living, self-denying service and Christlike suffering (v. 9). The wise, in attempting to give it contrary to this principle, would have done wrong, and would have caused their own store of the spirit of understanding to decrease to such an extent as to prevent their having a sufficiency to gain the Lord's blessing in the Kingdom privileges (v. 9), symbolized by the marriage into which none were admitted without lighted
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lamps, showing that without the true understanding of the Bible none in the end of the Age could enter the Kingdom.
"AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT"
There are various stages in our Lord's Second Coming, viz., the Parousia, the Epiphaneia, or Apokalupsis, and the Basileia, or Kingdom. The Parousia stage is implied in the expression of v. 6, "Behold the Bridegroom!" i.e., Look at Him—recognize Him as present; while the Epiphany stage seems to be referred to in v. 10: "While they went to buy, the Bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage; and the door was shut." We note the reference to the "door" in this passage. This expression is used in at least three senses in the Scriptures, two of which, we believe, are applicable in this text: (a) It is used to represent the entrance into consecration and Spirit-begettal for high calling purposes. In this sense it is pictured by the entrance through the gate into the narrow way (Matt. 7:13, 14). Both the wise and the foolish virgins, as mentioned above, in order to be virgins, must be consecrated people, begotten of the Holy Spirit. Hence the "door" in this parable cannot represent the entrance into consecration and Spirit-begettal, for all the virgins entered into it. (b) It is used to represent the entrance into suffering with Christ for preaching the Harvest message as due (John 9:4). In this sense it was open until the beginning of the Epiphany stage. The wise virgins availed themselves of the privilege of entering it, but the foolish did not. When the dark night (the time of trouble) began, there was no further opportunity for entering into, or doing, reaping work, according to John 9:4. Others sought later to enter, but were unable. Hence the "door" in the parable may be used to represent the closing of the privilege of suffering with Christ for preaching the Harvest message as due. (c) It is used to picture the entrance into the ultimate Kingdom glories, the Divine nature and joint-heirship with
Christ, which are exclusively for the Body of Christ, the Church of glory. While, as mentioned above, the foolish virgins went away to buy the oil (spirit of understanding), the Bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with Him into the marriage; and the door in this third sense was shut; for it is during the Epiphany stage that the deliverance of the last members of the Bride occurs (1 Cor. 3:13, 14; 4:5; Mal. 3:2, 3; Col. 3:4; 1 Thes. 4:17). Immediately after the last of these entered into the privileges of the Kingdom, i.e., the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ, the door of entrance into the glorious privileges reserved for this class closed forever. Others not within the closed door will never enter it, i.e., they will not attain the Divine nature and joint-heirship with Christ implied by entrance within the door in this third sense.
The Great Company as a class first started to come into existence with the completion of the Little Flock in its final earthly membership, i.e., in the beginning of the Epiphany; and that section of the Great Company represented by the foolish virgins recognizes itself as a part of the Great Company, after all the wise virgins have passed away from the earth. As Great Company members Jesus does not recognize them as being a part of His prospective joint-heirs, even though as individuals they have entered the door of Spirit-begettal. While they were not faithful enough to be joint-heirs with Christ, they will have a lesser spiritual glory (Ps. 45:14, 15; Rev. 7:15; 19:9).