THE DAY DAWN OR, THE GOSPEL IN TYPE AND PROPHECY.

 

BY J. H. PATON, Almont, Mich.

 

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"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2Pe 1:19

 

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PITTSBURG, PA.:

 

PUBLISHED BY A. D. JONES

 

1880.

 

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†††† M. C. RICHARDSON & Co., Printers, Stereotypers and binders,

No. 91 MAIN STREET, LOCKPORT, N. Y.

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PREFACE

 

The object of writing this book is to spread the knowledge of what the writer believes to be important truth. We do not presume that it is above criticism, either as to matter or style. We are not infallible; we expect to learn more truth and unlearn error, as we still wait and watch; and wisdom will continue to increase when we are gone. Our aim, as to manner, has been to be understood, and we hope that the importance of the themes will cover all literary defect s. We know of no other book that presents just the same view of Godís plan, but we are indebted to both men and books, as the agencies by which the Lord has given us these things, and we rejoice to hive all due credit to the agent, whoever or whatever it may have been. As we have received from the Lord, so we give to others. "We have this treasure in earthern vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2Co 4:7.) "One soweth and another reapeth;" let both rejoice together. (Joh 4:36, 37)

 

We differ from some others in some things, but have not written in a spirit of strife. Our aim has been, not to oppose others, but, to present the subjects as they appear to us. Our motto is: "Malice toward none and Charity for all." While awake to the differences, we would still endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph 4:3.)

 

We all attention to the charts in the book as illustrations of the subjects presented.

 

We dedicate our work to the Lord, in the interests of all who know and love Him in any degree, and of humanity in general. That others may be blessed in reading, as we have been in writing, is the earnest prayer of the AUTHOR.

INDEX.

 

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Page

 

Chap. 1-God is Love, 7

 

Chap. 2-The Three Worlds, 17

 

Chap. 3-The Bible Progression, 25

 

Chap. 4-Gospel By Moses, 41

 

Chap. 5-Gospel by Moses, continued, 50

 

Chap. 6-Times and Seasons, 63

 

Chap. 7-Bible Chronology, 81

 

Chap. 8-Number Seven, 95

 

Chap. 9-Times of the Gentiles, 103

 

Chap. 10-The Kingdom of God, 113

 

Chap. 11-The Kingdom of God, continued, 125

 

Chap. 12-The Restitution , 132

 

Chap. 13-The Jubilee Cycles, 151

 

Chap. 14-The Coming of Christ, 161

 

Chap. 15-Trumpets and Voices, 176

 

Chap. 16-The Two Dispensations, 189

 

Chap. 17-Moses and Christ, 208

 

Chap. 18-Unity and Variety of the Church, 217

 

Chap. 19-The Spiritís Work, 225

 

Chap. 20-The Ten Virgins, 241

 

Chap. 21-The Twenty-three Hundred Days, 260

 

Chap. 22-Elijah and Elisha, 269

 

Chap. 23-The Wedding Guests, 282

 

Chap. 24-The Wedding Garment, 289

 

Chap. 25-Babylon, 297

 

Chap. 26-Revelation Seventeenth, 305

 

Chap. 27-Gospel and Salvation, 309

 

Chap. 28-Joseph and Christ, 318

 

Chap. 29-Summary, 323

 

DAY DAWN

 

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DD7

CHAPTER I.

"GOD IS LOVE"

 

This is the grand expression of the Bible-the key-note of Christianity. It is the foundation of the plan of creation and redemption, and the underlying principle in the structure of the word of God.

 

We therefore choose it as the text of our book. We purpose to prove and defend it, by a presentation of Godís revealed plan. All His attributes are moved and controlled by love, so that all His work, past, present and future, can but express His love.

 

Whatever is not in harmony with love must be false. God has a plan; He is not, as many seem to think, doing a haphazard work, or engaged in an uncertain struggle with contending powers, but is, by progressive steps, loving on toward complete success.

 

Godís plan is one of both revelation and salvation. He reveals Himself as a means of eternal life for man (Joh 17:3). To be loved and obeyed He must be known. As the tree is known by its fruit, so God makes Himself known by His works.

 

His wisdom, power and glory are in a measure revealed in the Book of Nature, but in addition to these, His love is revealed in the plan of salvation.

 

Godís love is the enlightening, elevating and saving power. Very few know that God loves all mankind, and these few but partially as yet. There is a vail of ignorance over the face of the nations, which must yet be removed. (Isa 25:7). Overlooking the plan has obscured the love, and sometimes even hidden it

 

DD8 entirely, so that many have regarded the Lord more as a Tyrant to be feared, than as a Father to be loved; and some seeing the terrible only, and out of its order, have readily drifted into infidelity.

 

Ignorance of God, and sin, go hand in hand, making the world as night. Godís love even in obscurity has done wonders, but when the vail is removed, light and righteousness will go hand in hand, and the day will have come. We purpose to prove, dark as the outlook is at present, that the "DAY DAWN" has come. We expect to find abundant proof of our position, in the Types and Prophecies of the Bible. This is indeed good news for mankind. Some, even among Christians, do not believe it, but the proof of which we speak, having been partially developed in the past, has given the glimmering hope of the "good time coming," which has comforted so many. And surely every heart inspired with Godís love, and therefore with love to His fellows, can only rejoice in the accumulation of evidence that there is hope for our race. A too narrow view of Godís love and plan must tend to an imperfect worship, and to injure or dwarf the character of the worshiper, as a man must become like to the object of his worship. "The Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship in spirit and in truth." (Joh 4:23, 24).

 

We may safely say that the ideas of God, and the destiny of mankind, which the nominal church held, during the dark ages, had much to do with the terrible persecutions of that time. Some of these ideas are still retained in the "articles of faith" of our day, but judging from the modern pulpit work we conclude that the hearts of many of Godís children are better than their creeds.

 

The most common view is that God purposes to save the Church, or all who can be saved before the Second Coming of Christ, but that the world, including the great mass of mankind, are to be eternally lost. We purpose to show that the Second Coming of Christ is Pre-Millennial, and that the great mass of mankind will be saved during the reign of Christ and His Church. In other words, that it is Godís plan to save the Church first,

 

DD9 and through them, as a Royal Priesthood to save the world afterward. With this view the Second Coming of Christ takes its place in our minds as of vary great importance, being not only the hope of the Church, but the key to the glorious destiny of the world.

 

If Christís coming were, as so many believe, the sunset of all hope for mankind, no wonder if even Christians desire its delay. But if, as we believe, it is the sun rise of hope for mankind, all who can see it, would of necessity, "love His appearing," and their prayer would be: "Come Lord Jesus, and come quickly." We do not teach that God ever did, or ever will, force any one to eat the bread of life and be saved, but that He, seeing the end from the beginning, has revealed the success of the good news. There is a flood of light in the statement of Christ, that "All manner of sin and blasphemy SHALL be forgiven unto men, except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, * * is shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." (Mt 12:31, 32). "The world to come" is a period of mercy for all but one sin, or the exception loses it force. No, it does not ignore repentance, but as repentance and forgiveness are inseparable, Christís statement is our assurance that all sin but one will be repented of. Doubtless the only reason that one sin is unpardonable, is that it is impossible to renew to repentance such as have committed it. (Heb 6:4-6). This great sin, be it observed, can not be committed without a good degree of light. The principle for which we content, is that light is the measure of responsibility: "To whom much is given, much is required."

 

The object of a revelation is never attained while those for whom it is intended remain in ignorance of the truth. To reveal is to make known. One of the great facts of the gospel, only dimly seen by many as yet, and for which, because obscure, we earnestly contend, is, that Christ is the Light of the world, as well as a ransom. (Joh 1:9).

 

A large and increasing body of Christians admit the love of God for all, and Christís death for all, as an expression of that

 

DD10 love, who do not see clearly that "in due time" it is "to be testified" to all. (1Ti 2:4-6).

 

A table loaded with food for the hungry can do them no good unless they know about it. Their responsibility to their benefactor would not begin until then. No man can either accept or reject Christ until he hears the gospel. Belief or disbelief are equally impossible before hearing. "Go preach the gospel to every creature," precedes the application of either the promise or the threatening. "Without faith it is impossible to please God," and "Faith cometh by hearing."

 

It requires as much truth to condemn a man as to save him. Truth is the "savor of life unto life, or of death unto death."

 

The angels, announcing the birth of the Savior, declared that the "good tidings" should "be unto all people." The antitype of the brazen serpent, in order to meet the type, must be brought within mental range of all for whom it is intended. Reason and scripture agree that man must be enlightened before he can either be saved or condemned. To say that all who have ever lived were enlightened by the Spirit, is to oppose both facts and the Bible. Strange light indeed, that leaves man in total ignorance of the only Savior. Why preach to man if the Spirit has done the work already? If men can be saved because of ignorance, as some maintain, what a pity that any one ever heard the gospel, especially if many hearers reject and are lost. But it is said, "The gospel heightens civilization, and fits men for the present life." True, but if men are left in ignorance, and so are unfit for this life, are they fitted for the heavenly kingdom? Better to be unfit for a short life like this, than to be consigned, for rejection of the gospel, as some teach, to eternal torment. The confusion of thought in so many minds on this subject arises from the supposition that men who die in ignorance of Christ, must either go to Heaven or Hell; and some seeing that they are not fit for Heaven, think they must be consigned to Hell, while others seeing the injustice of such a decision, think they must go to Heaven.

 

DD11 These and many other difficulties vanish before the light of the plan of God, which we are to consider. There is no evidence from scripture that the great mass of men who lived before the death of Christ, were enlightened by the Spirit or any other way, concerning the one and only way of salvation. Some had the light of nature, and others the light of law, as Paul teaches in the second of Romans. But neither made eternal life possible. "If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness would have been the law." (Ga 3:21.) Men may perish with or without law, but not without the gospel. It alone can give life, and it must be rejected before it condemns.*

 

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* Ro 5:18 is thought by some to be against the position that the nations were not enlightened. But the context, with Paulís quotation from Isa. 53; shows that it had reference to the Jews only. The scattered ones throughout the then so called world, were represented on Pentecost (Ac 2:5, 12); but even then the circumstances show that only a representation was there. _______

 

There are some very dark and strange things in the Bible-things which to many seem irreconcilable with the character of justice and love, which we ascribe to God. In view of the many expressions of love for all, and that Christ died for all, we might ask Why did Christ say to His disciples, "Go not in the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." (Mt 10:5.) Why not let those poor ignorant creatures have a crumb of the bread of life, if as some teach, without it there were in danger at any moment of dropping into Hell? Again, He always spoke to the multitude in parables, and explained them to His disciples: "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to them that are without, all these things are done in parables, lest they should see, hear, understand, be converted and their sins should be forgiven them." (Mr 4:11, 12.)

 

We can remember wishing such things were not in the Bible. Two great classes of the Christian church are about equally divided on what are known as the doctrines of "Election" and "Free Grace." Well, here is election with certainty.

 

The Calvinist rejoices at the confirmation of his theory, but my Arminian brother knows that he has an abundance of scripture to prove his theory, and he does not care much to look at

 

DD12 this. But facts cannot be set aside by shutting our eyes, and we must face them. If our theology has no room for such statements, and will not harmonize them, as the Bible is true, our theology is imperfect. If Christ had wanted the multitude to be converted, at that time, He would have preached so they would have understood Him. The same text implies that they could not be converted without the truth. He says He spoke to them in parables so they would not understand and be converted. Were these multitudes to be eternally lost, because Christ, the loving Son of the God of love, withheld from them the bread of life? In view of much which has been taught on this subject, is it any wonder that the church and the world are flooded with infidels? What is confusion when not understood, becomes, when explained, beautiful and harmonious.

 

If, as we affirm, God has a plan, and all who did not then hear the truth, because it was not the "due time," will, in their order, be brought to a knowledge of the truth, when justice and love are not violated. But why did the Lord choose a few? If we have no right to ask, the word will not answer, but things that are revealed we have a right to know. We freely affirm that God chooses the few for the good of the many in due time. If this is true, the Bible doctrine of election is not linked to the horrors of Calvinism.

 

The few are "Called according to His purpose." (Ro 8:28). Not merely because He purposed to call them; but He calls them for a purpose. Like a wise mechanic who makes an implement, He has an object in view, there is a use to which the people called have reference, and that object controlled the original choice. Among the chosen under the gospel, no irresponsible persons are found, for "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth." (2Th 2:13.) And yet it is nowhere taught, in the Bible, that irresponsible beings will be eternally lost. Adam was chosen to be father of the human race, and type of Christ. Abraham was chosen to be the typical "Father of the faithful."

 

DD13 Israel as a nation was chosen as head of nations. In each case blessing to others was the design. Christ is the "chosen of God and precious," and all Christians admit that He is exalted as Head of a new race, to be a "Prince and Savior." In Him the fullness of blessing dwells. The twelve apostles were chosen to go and bring forth much fruit. (Joh 15:16.) The Jewish "remnant," the "sheep" that heard and knew His voice (Joh 10.), and were His "according to the election of grace" (Ro 11:5), were the nucleus around which the gospel church was afterward gathered, and "salvation is of the Jews." (Joh 4:22). Paul was chosen of the Lord "to bear His name before the Gentiles," and to be for salvation to the end of the Earth. (Ac 9:15.) All the chosen, even the whole church, are "chosen in Him," and therefore for the same purpose, the blessing of others.

 

If any one thinks God has chosen him to light and salvation for his own sake, merely, he is greatly mistaken. If we have light, it is that it may shine for the good of others. What is true of each person is true of the whole church, and what is true of the church in this world is true of them in the next. The circumstances change, and the degree of light and power will then be greatly increased, but the principle will remain the same-the few for the good of the many.

 

The purpose for which the church is called is revealed, both directly and indirectly, in the New Testament. As Christ is both kings and priests, so when a glorified company sings the "new song" it is "Thou has make us kings and priests, and we shall reign on the Earth. (Re 5:10.) In this life they are "a royal priesthood" to offer up spiritual sacrifices, and to "hold forth the word of life," and their work does not change in kind in the future, but only in degree. Kings rule, and Priests mediate and bless. Mark, the stress is laid upon the blessing. It is not a priest-king, but a royal priest. The power is desired by the true Christian, as by his Lord, for a benevolent object. To do good to others:-this is our glorious calling, this is "the joy of our Lord."

 

DD14 In harmony with this idea the Savior says of the church, when the harvest is past: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Mt 13:24)

 

To shine then can mean no less than now, viz.: to give light. And if the church give, the nations are to receive, and "walk in the light of it." (Re 21:24). "It is more blessed to give, than to receive." The church are predestined to a work in the "ages to come." (Eph 2:7), and that is declared in the context to be the object of their exaltation to the official position and companionship of Christ in the "heavenly places." The church of the present time is declared to be, not a bride, but a chaste virgin, espoused to one Husband even to Christ. (2Co 11:2). She is engaged to be married, and while the spirit of the real union is now, and always has been, possessed by each Christian, the marriage is not due until the end of the gospel dispensation, and after the bridegroom has come. (Mt 25).

 

The Spiritís work during the past has been "to take out from among the Gentiles a people for His name." (Ac 15). As a woman when married takes the name of her husband, so the church bears the name of Christ. The solemn importance of being "baptized into Christ" may thus be seen. It is a beautiful symbol of the death to sin and mortality, and of the rising to holiness and immortality, which includes both conversion and the resurrection. Not until the bride is made ready (complete), does the marriage take place, (Re 19:7), and she cannot be called a bride until then. The angel said to Joan, "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lambís wife,"** "and he shewed me," says John, "that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God." (Re 21:9-11). From this it appears that the New Jerusalem is a symbol of the glorified or married church. And the glorious work of the church could not be more clearly shown than by the symbol of a "Mother," which Paul applies to the "Jerusalem which is above," (exalted), as her relation to Christ, the Father or head of a new race, is expressed by the intimate relationship of wife.

 

DD15 The stream of blessing which issues from that heavenly city is called "A river of water of life," and "Whosoever will" is, by "The Spirit and the Bride," invited to drink, and the "leaves of the tree," which grows abundantly in consequence of the waters of that river, "are for the healing of the nations." During the gospel dispensation the water of life which Christ gives to him that thirsts, is represented as a "well of water," in you, "springing up into everlasting life." (Joh 4:14) Now a well, then a beautiful flowing river. Now, the Spirit invites, then the Spirit and the Bride. This cannot be true until after the marriage; there is no Bride till then.

 

The work to which the church is predestined-and they cannot, in the proper sense, begin that work until they have reached their destiny-is "The adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto Himself" (Eph 1:5)-Christ being the father and the church the mother of the nations by the laws of spiritual generation. This, to some, novel application of this passage is warranted by the facts already presented. This work of the future is called "The mystery of His will which He hath purposed in Himself," "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ." In view of the purpose for which the few are chosen, even though it could be proved to be, as some think, an arbitrary or unconditional election, the doctrine is glorious instead of hideous, and the difficulties that have perplexed many vanish. Oh! That all Christians might have "the eyes of their understanding enlightened, that they might know what is the hope of His calling." They would no longer "grovel here" or go heavily in the heavenly journey.

 

With this view of "Election" there is also room for the glorious "Free Grace" doctrine; even a more full expression of favor than many of its advocates have dared to think possible. Instead of being opposed to each other, they are different parts of one grand system of truth, which would be marred without either of them. God is a God of order. The plan of salvation is under the laws of order. As in the natural, so in the spiritual

 

DD16 family. Christ, the Second Adam, as both husband and father is developed first. Next in order comes the church as both wife and mother. Then after the marriage the world will be regenerated. This view explains why He does not call all at once. We vindicate the plan, as revealed, by showing that it is in harmony with itself, and even the glimpse we have already, is, to us, a grand proof of the truth of the fundamental statement of the Bible-"God is Love."

 

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DD17

CHAPTER II.

THE THREE WORLDS.

 

THE past, present and future of mankind, as revealed in the Bible, are all included in Three Worlds, -the world that was before the flood, the world that now is, and the world to come. The history of mankind, and the history of the gospel of Christ are inseparable; hence the plan of salvation spans these three worlds. God arranged these and the ages, or lesser periods included in them, for Christ, as the Word of God, to make known His great love for mankind, and to bring them to Himself. These, being the outline of the plan, are the key to unlock the Bible, and make much plain that is otherwise obscure. If a statement of the Word belongs to any one of these worlds, it is a perversion to apply it to any other, and thus men fail to get the mind of the Spirit in the expression. Without an outline, or "birdís-eye view," of the plan, it is not at all surprising that men have failed to "rightly divide the word of truth," and that a too narrow view of Godís great love has prevailed. Many friends of the Bible, instead of regarding it as containing a system of truth, look upon it as a compilation of facts, commandments and promises, not at all susceptible of arrangement. And with this idea of its confusion as a weapon, the infidel points to the other sciences, and contracts their order and harmony with this supposed confusion. In such a contrast the odds is against the Bible. They say, "If the God of the universe were, as you claim, the author of the Bible, the same law of order would be found in it that is found in the sciences." We admit the fairness of the test, and are

 

DD18 prepared to prove that the Bible, reveals a science. We have a great respect for an honest man, though he may be an unbeliever, and we do not doubt the honesty of some men who are in real darkness on the teachings of the Bible. Most infidels are ignorant of the real teachings of the Bible, and judge of it, just as most Christians do, by what they have heard from the pulpit.

 

To understand any science, or book, it must be read according to its own principles of interpretation. Men seek to apply this rule in other study, but usually ignore it in reading the Bible. If it is, as we claim, inspired by one Spirit, it should be taken as a whole, and not disconnectedly. "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." (2Pe 1:20). If we would, in the light of the plan, compare scripture with scripture we would find that,

 

"God is His own interpreter,

 

And He will make it plain."

 

A man has as much right to reject Astronomy because he does not understand it, as he has to reject the Bible for the same reason. We freely affirm that a piece-meal interpretation is the cause of confusion in the Christian world, and has given rise to the profane proverb-"The Bible is just like an old fiddle, on which any tune can be played." Without the plan this may be true, but with it this is impossible. We admit that while men are learning, a difference of opinion is possible according to the degree of advancement. But this is just as true in other sciences as in the study of the Bible, and it should not be urged against one more than the other. Until absolute knowledge is gained on any subject, each ray of light will modify former ideas. From what we have seen, we are fully satisfied that, when rightly handled, the whole Bible will arrange itself into one grand system of truth, that will manifest Godís love as it has not yet been realized, and that under its influence men will grow up toward the grand ideal of a perfect character. Hence, as a key, we bespeak for the subject of the "Three Worlds" the closest attention.

 

The Greek word "Kosmos," translated world, as above, relates

 

DD19 to the order, or state of things in general, and not to the literal Heavens and Earth, as some suppose, The same word is often used, when the people are meant, as, "God so loved the world," "Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." The field is the world." (Mankind is Christís field of operation.) "He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world." Kosmos, then, refers sometimes to the order of things, or to the people, but we have yet to learn that it is ever translated Earth, or has that meaning. The nearest to it, perhaps, is when Peter speaks of these three conditions, or worlds, as three distinct "Heaven and Dearth." (2Pe 3.) The first came to an end, -"perished" at the flood; the second is "reserved unto fire" and will end also; but the third, or new heavens and new earth" is the "world without end." Now, all admit that the literal heavens (firmament, Ge 1:8) and earth, did not come to an end by the flood. The change was not so much physical as dispensational. The administration of God was changed, but the Earth with its mountains, and consequent valleys, still remains.

 

"The waters prevailed, and all the high hills were covered." (Ge 7:19). The ark rose above the mountains, carried on the face of the waters, and when the waters abated, "the ark rested upon the mountains [a district called the Highlands] of Ararat." (Ge 8:4). The waters rose and fell, but there was apparently no change in the form of the Earth itself, and certainly the firmament remained. The tress seem to have remained in place, for otherwise the dove sent out might have fond a place" for the sole of her foot," and "an olive leaf plucked off" would have been no evidence that the waters were abated. A few of these simple facts, might help to dispel from many minds, the exaggerated notions entertained as to physical changes in the "new heavens and earth" promised. There is a higher sense, doubtless, in which these things are true. We do not discard the literal, but believe the higher is represented and illustrated by the literal.

 

The visible world is ruled by invisible powers, in the past by

 

DD20 angels good and bad, and in the future by glorified men-Christ and the Saints. "This present evil world" in some special sense has been under the dominion of the Devil, who is the "Prince of the power of the air," or heaven. (Eph 2:2). "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, -against wicked spirits [margin] in the heavens." (Eph 6:12). Christ, when tempted, was offered possession of "all the kingdoms of the world;" and if there had been no truth in the Devilís claim, there could have been no temptation.

 

When, in due time, and in Godís order, Satan is overpowered, and the Kingdoms become the Lordís (Re 11:15), it is said, "The powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Mt 24:29). The things shaken are to be removed, "that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we received a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, etc. (Heb 12:27, 28). That which is removed is Satanís kingdom, and that which remains is Christís kingdom.

 

In each world there is high and low, a Heaven and Earth, rulers and ruled. When the kingdom of Christ is established, it will be a new Heavens indeed; the new and unfailing kingdom of Heaven. It is from this new or third heaven, that the new Jerusalem descends, with its river of life, and healing leaves, to remove the curse, and thus make all things new. (Re 21:1-5). "In the third Heaven where God resides," will be understood if it carries us forward to the descent of the new Jerusalem, when "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men."

 

It should be the Christianís ambition to reach the new Heaven, as a stone in Godís dwelling place, and therefore to be an assistant in the manifestation of God. Let men seek a home on the new Earth, who are content with earthly things.

 

The three worlds exist in the order of first, second, and third, no two at the same time; and the same planet-Earth-is the basis of all three. This fact well noted, would make plainer some important promises and scatter many superstitions and

 

DD21 traditions of men. "The world to come" is not the "spirit world," or state of the departed, in any sense, but a future state that does not begin until this world ends. As the first ended at the flood, so the second ends with the Second Coming of Christ, at which time Satan is bound, his kingdom overwhelmed, and the reign of Christ and the Saints begins. (Re 20.) Jesus says, "In the world to come eternal life," and "Ye shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." The resurrection is at the last trump (1Co 15), during which, Christ comes and all Godís people are rewarded. (Re 11:15-18). This division of the word, by the three worlds, gives an intensity of interest in the Lordís coming, for whatever manís state in death may be, it is clear that our reward is not due till He comes. Men wait for the world to come, as we wait for tomorrow. We cannot go to it; it comes to us. When it comes all will be in it whether living or dead. The heavenly state of the Saints as the "Bride, the Lambís wife," and the earthly state of the nations, as the blessed of the Lord, are both facts of the world to come and in harmony with each other.

 

If the overcomers are to "rule the nations," as promised, (Re 2:26) the nations must be there.

 

The idea that angels are disembodied spirits of men will not bear the test of the plan. And many superstitions have been based upon this idea. Angels exercise power in the present as we have seen, and good angels are the ministering spirits to the heirs of salvations. (Heb 1:14). "But not to angels hath he subjected the world to come [Oikoumenee-Future habitable] whereof we speak; but what is man, etc. (Heb 2:5-8).

 

The above passage teaches that man glorified-of which body Jesus is the Head-will supercede the angels in administration, which would not be true if angels are men. The church of the First-Born, exalted to the throne, will learn a song the angels cannot sing.

 

It is not necessary to suppose that the third world is to be absolutely free from sin from its beginning. "New" does not

 

DD22 necessarily mean perfect. The work of the new kingdom is to subdue all things to itself. The first order is called the "old world." (2Pe 2:5). Then "this present evil world" must have been new at first. This is an evil world, but there is some good in it, and when Satan is bound-chained, limited-it will be reversed. Righteousness will be the rule, and sin the exception. Sin and death go hand in hand, and neither shall be destroyed until after the thousand years. (Rev. 20). "The sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed." (Isa 65:20). "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1Co 15:26).

 

Having seen the outline of the three worlds, let us look at the subdivision into ages or dispensations. An age (aion) is a period of time; a dispensation is the work belonging to that period. We may, like others, sometimes use them interchangeably. There seems to have been but one age definitely marked in the world before the flood, but this present world is divided into three. The first is the Patriarchal, or one man age, (see chart), in which only one at a time represented the Lord as ruler of his family. In this it was similar to the period before the flood. It lasted until the death of the last patriarch-Jacob. The second, is the Jewish age, and lasted until the death of Christ. During that period, the twelve tribes of Israel, organized at the death of their father, Jacob, represented Godís cause, and were known as His people. Previous to that time they were simply "the sons of Jacob"; but when the dying father had blessed each son, making mention of the "scepter," a symbol of nationality, as belonging to Judah-the father of the royal line-he summed up in these words: "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel." (Ge 49:28). Mark it! That was their organization as a nation, and beginning of their national history.

 

During that period, the law was given, though not at the beginning of their history as a nation. They became a nation in Egypt (De 26:5) as already seen, but the law began in the institution of the Passover, the night they left Egypt. (Ga 3:17; Ex 12:41).

 

DD23 The giving of the law was one of the prominent events in their history as a nation.

 

The third age of this world began at the death of Christ, and reaches to His second coming. It is usually known as the Gospel dispensation. Just before His death Christ left the Jewish house desolate; "He came to His own and His own received Him not." (Joh 1:11). Because they rejected Him, they were given up as a nation, " until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Lu 13:34, 35).

 

Having given them up, save a "remnant," the Lord turns to the Gentiles to "take out from among them a people for His name." (Ac 15:14). And during this age that people-the gospel church-represents the Lord and His cause. When this people for His name is complete, "or the fullness of the Gentiles have come in," then blindness is to be removed and "all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: Out of Zion shall come the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." (Ro 11:25-32). The gospel dispensation is thus shown to be, not only the period for the "Bride to make herself ready," (Re 19:7,) but also the period of Jewish suspension, as a nation, from Godís favor.

 

This brings us to the beginning of the World to come, which is to be subjected, as we have already seen, to Christ and His Bride glorified together. The world to come is not, as some suppose, "one eternal age," but is also divided into ages, the first of which seems to be the one thousand yearí reign. (Re 20). Paul gives the object of the exaltation of the church to the heavenly places: "That in the ages [aions] to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace." The reign of Christ is what the world needs. It is the day for which Creation groans. As a glimmering ray of the day of day, we would call the readerís attention to the fact, which, may be noticed more fully hereafter, that the door has been legally opened by the Anglo-Turkish treaty of 1878, for the return of the suspended nation of Israel to their own land. This is one of the signs of returning to them

 

DD24 according to the statements of Jesus and Paul. The fig tree is putting forth its leaves, and we know that summer is near. There is to be a "restitution of all things" after Jesus returns, and hence in the world to come. (Ac 3:19-21).

 

In the three worlds, and their succession of ages, we have an outline of Godís plan; a birdís eye view of its development, and a glimpse of the glorious outcome. Who will say, after seeing these things, that the Bible does not reveal a science? W e may now be prepared for a more particular study of the work of the various ages, and to appreciate more fully the progressive character of revelation.

DD25

CHAPTER III.

THE BIBLE PROGRESSION.

 

THE Bible reveals a system of truth which is progressive in the character, and requires the ages for its development. From the lower to the higher, from the animal to the spiritual, is Heavenís revealed order. Each age is a stip in the plan, and each step is higher than the preceding one. "Onward and Upward," is a motto based on the spirit of Godís plan. Each age has its own peculiar work of God, and the work designed is always done in its time. When another age is added, it is not because the former was too short, but because another work is to be done. It is an important principle, however, that the change of dispensations is gradual, and not instantaneous. This is true of the change from kingdom to kingdom, (Da 2 and Da 6,) from season to season in the year, and from night to day. Every morning has a period in which it is neither light nor dark. The day coming crowds out receding night. This fact, in nature, Peter makes the figure of "Day Dawn" of which we speak. (2Pe 1:19) Let it be remembered, that it is the Lordís object, in the various dispensations of wisdom, power and love, to reveal Himself and to save mankind. The progressive character of the word of God is illustrated by "the path of the jut" which, as a light, "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Pr 4:18).

 

The principle of growth is true in the light of every faithful Christian, and also in the general plan. God deals with the whole race, in some respects, as with one person, and the various ages may be compared to the periods of a manís existence from

 

DD26 infancy to well ripened old age. In this view, all the just, from Abel down, have walked in one path, which extends from Paradise lost to Paradise regained. And the light of the former, as a type, is the spirit of Christ pointing forward to the antitype in the "perfect day." The penitent thief asked to be remembered by the Savior when He comes in His kingdom, and in answer the Savior promised that they would be together in Paradise. We have a beautiful type of Christ coming in His kingdom, and of His manifestation to mortals, in the transfiguration scene. (Mt 17:1-9). That is the time the thief asked to be remembered, and the Savior responded by a hearty "Verily"-(Gr. Amen). The apostle Peter, one of the witnesses on that occasion, applies the scene as a representation or type of the coming of Christ in His majesty, and adds: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn; and the day-star arise in your hearts." (2Pe 1:16-19.) Here our attention to these subjects finds its warrant and commendation. We also learn that both type and prophecy relate to the coming day, and by the text and context learn that the spirit of Christ, or the Holy Spirit, is there Author and Light. (See, also, 1Pe 1:10, 11).

 

To walk in the light of type and prophecy, is to walk in the light of God and Christ, as revealed by the Holy Spirit. Father and son are related to each other in the work of revelation and salvation as Fountain and Channel. All light and power unto salvation, come from God through Christ. "And no other knoweth the Father but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal Him." Jesus Christ is emphatically the "Way" of Godís approach to us, as well as our "Way" of approach to God. Through Him light and salvation flow within our reach, and "No man cometh to the Father but by Him."

 

As it pleased the Father that in Christ all fulness should dwell, when He makes Himself known He reveals His Fat her: "He that hath seen (understood] me, hath seen [understood] the

 

DD27 Father." (Joh 14:6-11). Jesus says of Himself: "I am the Truth;" and He is called "The Word;" in His pre-existence (Joh 1:1) in the flesh (ver. 14), and in His future glorious manifestation. (Re 19:13). The Word is the Truth expressed.

 

The Bible is Godís word, because it reveals the Lord Jesus Christ and the great plan of salvation. He is the golden thread of the whole book; the spirit of the word from end to end (2Co 3:17); and were He out of it, it would be as an empty shell. It contains and reveals Him, as He contains and reveals His Father: hence, "He that heareth my words and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life." (Joh 5:24). In all the ages of redemption the Truth in Christ, is as a stream from the eternal Fountain; proving that "the mercy of the Lord endureth forever;" and in its success, as His "arm" made bare "in the eyes of all the nations," until "all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." (Isa 52:10). The poet must have had a glimpse of the grandeur of the plan, and of Christís relation to it, when he penned the hymn entitled, "Rock of Ages." "By whom, also, He made the worlds [aions-ages]." (Heb 1:2). The plan and all things were formed not only by Him, but for Him. (Col 1:16). The plan of salvation, is truly the plan of the ages, which God formed for His Son. To know the Lord fully we must understand their plan and work. Their work is moved by and expresses their love; and the better we appreciate both, the greater will our love be in return. "We love Him because He first loved us." (1Jo 4:19). Gratitude and love are the springs of the best possible human life.

 

The progressive character of the Bible is adapted to the capacity of the race, as individuals; or, as a whole taken as a person in infancy, youth and manhood. "Milk for babes, and strong meat for them that are of full age," is an illustration of the principle of progression and adaptation. In dealing with the race, God has spoken to them as parents are compelled to address their children, coming down to their apprehension. For this

 

DD28 reason, some things are stated as they must appear to man, rather than the absolute truth, which can only be received by a mind made perfect. Thus the sun is said to move, or stand still; to rise and set; and the unchangeable God is said to repent, as if the work of infinite wisdom had proved a failure. Some call this lying, but we think not; it is making a vague impression rather than none. The Bible is not designed to teach the science of Astronomy, or anything else which man can discover by the use of his natural powers; hence, in referring to anything of this character, the Lord bends, so to speak, to the level of manís knowledge at that time. God helps us only when we cannot help ourselves.

 

The Bible is emphatically a revelation of Christianity, because this, man could not discover for himself. Whatever else it reveals has a bearing upon this subject. The truth must be adapted to manís finite condition, and to his growing necessities. It is on this principle of adaptation that God teaches by symbols, figures, types and shadows; representing the real or spiritual truth, by natural objects. The truth is in some respects hidden, that it may be revealed, contradictory as this may seem at first. It is hidden for a season and made plain in due time. Christ spoke in dark sayings and parables, to those whom He would for a time leave in blindness, and explained some of them to His disciples. The same thing that blinded, when explained, became the illustration. This method is very common in the teachings of Christ. Some have concluded that all His words have a double meaning. This is probably an extreme view. It is one which not even its advocates will maintain, when pressed. But they may well claim that there is a deep mine of truth in His words which is not seen by the casual or careless reader. The Savior, in his most literal teaching, made use of natural objects to illustrate spiritual truths, and the rich provisions of His love; -"I am the Bread of life;" and "If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink;"-illustrate His usage. He sometimes used the terms "flesh" and "blood" in the same figurative way, and staggered His hearers

 

DD29 by saying, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." (Joh 6:53).

 

Even in this day, it puzzles many and leads to opposite extremes. Some extreme literalists, in order to carry out this idea, go through what is known as the ceremony of "Transubstantiation," or turning bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus. Others seeing the absurdity of this, and taking another extreme, set aside entirely the value of Christís natural body and blood in relation to the plan of salvation, as taught by Paul and the other apostles. In order to be consistent, some go so far as to reject entirely the teachings of the apostles, but some pretend to retain them and yet virtually ignore them.

 

Truth is manís proper food, (Mt 4:4,) and the body of truth-"every word of God"-may well be represented by a body of flesh, or by a loaf of bread. The conversation of Christ with the Woman of Samaria brings before us a clear case, in which Christ used water as an illustration. As water is to the thirsty, so truth is to those who thirst after the living God. (Ps 42:1, 2). The woman thought He meant the water in the well, but nevertheless the Lord persevered, and gave her the living water. (See Jo 4). In all these cases the same that obscured the real truth was its illustration. With a smoked glass, which obscures the light, we can see the sun better than with the naked eye. God in Christ can be known, but without a Mediator He is unsearchable.

 

The pictorial method of teaching is effectual also from its brevity and, therefore, even natural things-as the history of nations which have been associated with Godís cause-are brought to view in the Bible in symbolic language. The history of the four universal kingdoms of Earth, could not have been given so concisely and effectively in any other way as by the "Image," (Da 1,) or the "Four Beasts," (Da 7). And the success of the fifth, or Godís kingdom, in conquering these powers, could not be more briefly or forcibly expressed than by the work of the symbolic "stone" or the "fire." The absurdity of breaking a

 

DD30 symbolic man with a literal stone, or of burning a symbolic beast with literal fire, will be apparent. It would be difficult to express so much gospel more concisely, than by the type of the Passover. The history of the whole gospel age is pictorially presented, from the slaying of the Lamb-"Our Passover"-until the fulfillment in the kingdom of God. (Lu 22:15, 16).

 

The progressive character of Godís approach to man, and the development from the lower to the higher, may be suggested to some, by the fact, that before the Jewish age the Lord appeared as a man; but the law was "by the disposition of angels," (Ac 7:53); and "in these last days He has spoken unto us by His Son." (Heb 1:1). With this advancement and consequent increase of light, manís responsibility increases: "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a jut recompense of reward; how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord," etc. (Heb 2:2, 3). The highest blessings and greatest curses, known under the law, were earthly in character and temporal in duration. Obedience secured "long life," and disobedience brought premature death "under two or three witnesses." But there is a higher reward and "sorer punishment" under the gospel. (Heb 10:28, 29).

 

When it can be realized that the Bible reveals a progressive science, and that the incarnation, or "God manifest in the flesh," was a culmination of the same method-of teaching spiritual things by the natural-as God had used from the beginning, the unity of the Bible will be vindicated, and confidence in it as a Divine revelation established. However much the stream of truth may have been soiled by handling, it only shows the nature of the soil through which it has flowed, while its sparkling jewels, which cannot be ignored, reveal its heavenly origin.

 

That man should, under such difficult circumstances, be expected to know the truth, or be condemned eternally, is an idea that does not commend itself to all intelligent minds; but when men can see that God has arranged and agreed to overcome all

 

DD31 the obstacles, and bring men to the knowledge of the truth, and that the eternal destiny of no human being can be fixed until, in his own case, this has been done, we are satisfied that such a plan will commend itself to all. Strange as it may seem, we affirm that God in ages past, has made no direct effort to enlighten and save the world. The effort, if it has been made, has been an almost absolute failure, and the "Prince of the power of the air," a creature of God, has frustrated the plans of his infinite Creator. The Divine energy has been applied through those ages to a work of preparation, which, of course has reference to the great work and success of the future. God knows no failure; what has, to man, seemed failure, so seems on account of manís ignorance of Godís plan. He has been choosing out a few, as the Power for blessing the many "in due time." The training and development of that number is an important work, and it is almost finished. Those ages have been used for the unfolding of the word to the true church in its various stages of growth. Another important point has been gained: Man in the flesh has been proved and found wanting. Man, left to himself, degenerates; and yet, for a wise purpose, the mass of mankind have been so left. The arm of flesh is too short and it cannot save. Only the power of the Spirit, as revealed in the Word, can elevate and save; but the mass have been allowed to pass down to the grave without a ray of light or hope. The light of nature they had, but their nature was the flesh; the light of the gospel, which alone can give eternal life, they had not. These facts prove the necessity of a "restitution of all things," in order that men may be enlightened, and so have an opportunity of being saved. That such a restoring is promised is proof of its necessity. (Ac 3:21 and Mt 17:11).

 

God will vindicate His universal love. The universality of the restitution cannot be limited by an appeal to the prophets. There could be no clearer statement of the fact of the resurrection of the dark, and now dead nations to a life of light and hope, than is given by Asexual, (16:44-63). Sodom, Samaria and

 

DD32 Jerusalem are coming back "to their former estate." This is restitution. There is hope for the Sodomites. They can yet become daughters of Jerusalem. Then all others, who, like them, have not heard and rejected the gospel, can on the same principle be blessed in the future. Not in the "spirit world" is this work to be done; but after the resurrection, in "the world to come."

 

It is significant that the Lord has chosen Sodom as a sample of restitution, of whom no "remnant" was spared. (Ro 9:27-29). Their restoration, whatever might be said of others, must be from death, and their conversion in a future life. By types and prophecies, all inspired writings point to that day of light and salvation.

 

We assert that the truth is revealed in a progressive manner, and coincident with the development of Godís plan of salvation. As an illustration let us take Ge 3:15, and follow the line of thought suggested. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The speaker is God. It is addressed to the Serpent. The language is both a type and a prophecy. Here is, confessedly, the whole plan in a nut-shell-the "Mystery of Iniquity"-the seed of Satan-and the "Mystery of God" in Christ. Here we see in type, as in a picture, a man standing with his heel upon the head of a serpent. How expressive! He means death to the serpent; and it can signify no less than the extirpation of all that hideous monster represents. The serpent is mighty; struggles desperately; and dies hard. But die he must. There is One stronger than he. Here we see the Conqueror, the foe, the struggle, the resistance and the final victory. The truth is mighty and will prevail. Prophetically this text points forward to a clean universe, when sin and death shall be no more. (Re 21:3-5). How could such a glorious gospel be so clearly and briefly stated, as in this pictorial prophecy?

 

But though meaning so much, it was then but a dim light, scarcely giving more than a single ray of hope, if even that.

 

DD33 What could Eve know about it, so far as we are told? Nothing. It was not addressed to her, but to the Serpent. It was a threatening against him, not a promise to mankind; though it contained, as in germ, the whole plan of salvation. The dimness of that light was the characteristic of the whole age. The Bible record gives no evidence that more than a very few knew anything of a Savior. We find in Paulís list of men of faith (Heb 11), three who lived before the flood, during a space of 1,656 years-Abel, Enoch and Noah. These were faithful to the Lord according to the degree of light; and through the typical sacrifices and the ark, doubtless foresaw the coming One, and so became "heirs of righteousness which is by faith." In this they must have been led of the divine Spirit, as aside from this leading there was nothing in the types themselves to suggest their true application. We do not say these were all who had light, but we are not certain of others, and it is evident that the mass were left in darkness, and by living out the natural tendencies of fleshly or animal life, manifested its inability to rise by its own powers, and brought upon themselves a terrible destruction.

 

They did not even have the light of revealed law, for it was not given until Mosesí time, nearly 2500 years after the creation of man, and though they were destroyed in their corruption, the Lord did not blame them as they have often been blamed by men. Paul says: "Until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law." (Ro 5:13). The law written upon their hearts by nature, had soon become so dim by depravity that its voice was very uncertain, and the consciousness of sin had almost died out; hence "Without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came sin revived, and I died"-Ro 7:8, 9. "The law was added because of sin," (Ga 3:19) to make it appear in its true light, "exceeding sinful." Ro 7:13: "I had not known sin, but by the law," (Ro 7:7), "for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Ro 3:20). The law, natural or written, had no power to

 

DD34 give righteousness or eternal life (Ga 3:19-21), and the greatest penalty known to the law was temporal death. Hence the necessity of the gospel, and that all should be brought under it before eternal conditions are fixed. We see, then, that in the world before the flood, neither the law nor the gospel was given to the mass, and that the light given to the few was very dim. Let us follow the light and observe its development.

 

Two thousand years pass before we find the promise: "In thy seed shall all kindreds of the Earth be blessed." This was made to Abraham, in the Patriarchal, or first age of "this present world." This is the same great plan. The threatening is converted, so to speak, into a promise. All Bible writers date the promise from Abrahamís time. The old was a curse, this is a blessing; but curse to the Serpent means blessing to the nations, as the destruction of the system of slavery means liberty to the slaves. The Seed shall bruise the Serpent, in order to bless the nations. We have in this fact a great increase of light on the same subject, and yet how dim. In order to appreciate this promise we must discriminate between the Seed and the Nations, and between the Seed and its work; for, until the Seed, as the power to bless is developed, the work of blessing cannot be done. Let this be borne in mind, and it will soon be seen that this work is not due to begin until the Millennium, or after the gospel age is ended, and the reign of Christ and the Saints begins. While the promised Seed is being developed, the nations pass down, and remain under the dominion of death, and the great work of blessing is to be done after the resurrection. Abraham is called "the father of many nations," and also "the father of the faithful,"-the promised Seed, (Ge 17:5) and (Ro 5:11, 12, 16). The blessing and the blessed, both came through Abraham. We living down here, in the great light of the gospel, know "that Seed was Christ." (Ga 3:16). This is the Holy Spiritís definition of it; but how could those who lived at the time of the promise was made know it. The wording of the promise only referred to Isaac, or, "the seed according to the flesh." We, with

 

DD35 gospel light, may say the promise had a double meaning-natural and spiritual-and referred to both Isaac and Christ. But how could they know it? The natural was all that could fairly be drawn from the words, and the spiritual was kept out of sight until the true Seed had come, and the Pentecostal dispensation of the Spirit.

 

That Abraham himself was favored with a glimpse of the spiritual phase of this and kindred promises is true. Christ says of him: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad." (Joh 8:56). That he looked for a "heavenly" country and a city "whose Builder and Maker is God," Paul assures us. (Heb 11:10-16). He was not confined to the natural, which was a type of the spiritual, but he did not learn the spiritual from the words. A few others, "Isaac and Jacob-heirs with him of the same promise," were in the same light, but so far as we can know the great mass of men in that age were in darkness. The cities of the plain, and specially Sodom, are given us as specimens of the corruption of an unrestrained animal life; and God, after describing their sin, says: "Therefore I took them away as I saw good." (Eze 16:48-50). One thing is true and in their favor, they never rejected Christ, and for a very good reason-He was never offered to them. Their time is coming-Godís "due time"-the Restitution age.

 

The promise is often spoken of as made to "the father"-Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Ps 105:48-50). Isaac, like Christ, was a miraculous child. (Heb 11:11, 12). And yet other children were given to Abraham after Isaac, so that they, in a sense, were supernatural too. This may foreshadow the fact that nations not in the regular line are to be blessed by the true Seed. Not even all the literal descendants of Abraham, through Isaac, are counted in the line of his seed "according to the flesh." Esau and all his offspring are as much descendants of Isaac, as was Jacob; are they not included in Godís promise? As we have seen before, the death of Jacob, the last of the fathers to

 

DD36 whom the promises were made, was the date of the organization of Godís typical nation.

 

We would call special attention to the fact, before noticed, that the Seed has two phases, and are related to each other as the "natural" and the "spiritual." Isaac and Christ are thus related to each other. Observe the order: First the natural; afterwards the spiritual. The natural being first, is the basis, and should not be ignored. The greater in this sense proceeds from the less. Christ came through Isaac. "The elder shall serve the younger," finds here an illustration, and all these facts illustrate the progression of the plan.

 

The Spirit also reveals the fact that the "Seed" is not one person only, but comprehends many persons united as one. Let special attention be given to this much neglected fact. Truths of great value are obscure on account of this neglect. This idea of many in one is true of the natural as well as of the spiritual. The twelve tribes were the natural seed, and the whole Jewish age was used for their development. The Christian church is the spiritual seed, and the gospel age is used for their development. Paul contrasts them thus: "They which are the children of the flesh, are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." (Ro 9:8). It is not one child, but children! Who are they? Paul answers: "Now we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise." (Ga 4:28). Then, "we brethren," are the seed. It is true, Isaac was the typical seed, before the nation was developed from him; and so Christ in Himself, representing the whole church, is called the Seed, while they are undeveloped: "And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Ga 3:16). The law "was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." (Ga 3:19). Some have, from these, inferred that the original promise is complete in the person of Jesus Christ and the work of the gospel age, and thus fail to see the glorious work of blessing the nations after the church is complete. As Adam was created two in one, " male and female," (Ge 1:27,) and was

 

DD37 not counted complete till his wife was formed, so Christ is not complete until His wife, the church, is formed. (Eph 5:30-32). "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ," and "Ye are all one in Christ; and if ye be Christís then are ye Abrahamís seed and heirs according to the promise." (Gal 3:27-29).

 

It is to be noted that the binding of Satan is located at the beginning of the thousand years, (Re 20,) and he is not completely disposed of until after "the thousand years are finished." And the statement: "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly," (Ro 16:20,) indicates that the church are to share in that work. The great work of blessing, or the "Restitution of all things," which is a part of the blessing, does not begin until the end of the gospel dispensation, at the return of Christ. (Ac 3:19-21). This facts is in harmony with the thought that the church is to do that work, as the church is complete and the marriage of the Lamb takes place at His coming. We believe the two phases of the seed are well established, and we would go back to trace the progression. During the Jewish age, while the natural seed was being developed, the law and the prophets bore witness and the light increased. The acorn having been planted has sprouted and its growth is apparent. The essential quality of the dispensation to the natural seed was legal. The types and shadows which pointed to Christ were abundant, but only a few, being led of the Spirit, saw the deeper meaning. To the mass they were mere ceremonies; and there was no law requiring them to see to the end, or antitype, of that which in due time, was to be abolished. (2Co 3:13). Even what is usually called the "Moral Law" was adapted to Earthly conditions, as their national law, and its blessings and curses were all temporal. All its blessings could be secured by obedience to the letter of the law. Many have given the Decalogue a higher place than was ever intended by the Lord. It was doubtless typical of the higher law of the gospel-"the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."

 

DD38 That was, "Thou shalt do" and "Thou shalt not do," or "Do, and have long life," or Do not and be cut off;" but the higher law is: Believe and liveí (eternal life) live and do. The law of the Spirit is the law of love. Yet the light was increasing, over that of any preceding age. During that age, all the Old Testament was written; but the light did not come through the law; it was borrowed, so to speak, from future ages. What was typified by the law, , was revealed to the prophets, and "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2Pe 1:21).

 

It was the "Spirit of Christ" in the prophets that signified and testified both the time and the manner of time to the sufferings of Christ, and to the glory which shall follow. (1Pe 1:11). The "sufferings of Christ" must refer to the gospel dispensation, introduced by the personal sufferings of Christ. During the gospel, the whole Body is developed, and they fill up what is behind in His afflictions. The glory to "follow" is the millennial reign, and "if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him" (2Ti 2:12).

 

The prophets gave many facts in reference to the reign and glory of Christ, and yet did not overlook His humiliation, suffering and death. (Isa. 53). They gave the circumstances and the place of His birth, the manner of His life and the time of His death. (Isa 7:14; Mic 5:2; Da 9:26). He came in the flesh and fulfilled all the prophecies that pertain to that life and death, but these were overlooked as not in harmony with their desires, and even this was foretold. (Isa 53:1-3). To them, in their blindness, it was as if He had not fulfilled them. They had their mind set on the glory, and that of an Earthly character, hence they rejected Him. "He came to His own [who, under Moses, were a house of servants, Heb 3:2-6] and they received Him not, but to as many as received Him, He gave power to become Sons." (Joh 1:11, 12). He came as a Jew, under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. (Ga 4:4, 5). Their rejection of Him, and His death in the flesh sealed the doom of

 

DD39 that nation, but His resurrection by the Spirit was the worldís hope-"life and immortality were brought to life." Only a "remnant" of Israel in the flesh were saved from the wreck. (Ro 9:27-29). Their house was left desolate for an age, or until "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." (Mt 23:38-39; Ro 11:25). Christ fulfilled, "first, the natural," and did not enter fully on the spiritual, until He was born of the Spirit, and was thence a "quickening spirit," the Second Adam. (1Co 15:44-47).

 

The true Seed, destined to "bruise the serpentís head" and "bless the nations," is both spiritual and immortal. Jesus is the first born into that condition, and is the Head of the church as the husband is head of the wife.

 

The gospel age is emphatically the dispensation of the Spirit. Under the law, the Spirit was given only to the prophets, but in this, or since Pentecost, it has been the Guest and guide of the church. The light shines luminously compared with all that preceded. Very few seem to realize the great contrast in our favor. We hear it said: "Oh if we had lived in their day." But on the principle that "To whom much is given much is required," our responsibility is much greater than theirís. "The former ignorance God winked at [overlooked], but now He commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Ac 17:30). As our responsibilities are greater, so are our privileges. They were servants, but Divine sonship is a gospel privilege, as many be seen by scriptures already given. In former dispensations God was revealed as Law-giver and Judge, but in the gospel He is revealed as a Father. He has not given us the spirit of bondage again to fear (as at Sinai), but He has given us the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abab-Father. (Ro 8:15). What we saw as an acorn, has now become a mighty oak, and soon the nations will find shelter beneath its wide-spreading branches.

 

The Gospel church is symbolized as a "woman clothed with the sun [light of this age], and with the moon [light of the Jewish age] under her feet." (Re 12:1). Here is the progression

 

DD40 illustrated. But it does not end with this age, for the church in her future glory, has "no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof,"-(Re 21:23)-"And the nations shall walk in the light of it." (Re 21:24).

 

Before the flood the gospel was conveyed indirectly, in a threatening; in the next age it was a promise; in the Jewish age the typical seed was developed; and in the Millennium the great work will be done-Satan bruised and the nations blessed. The Bible begins with the Creation and the entrance of sin and death, and it ends with the New Creation, when sin and death shall be no more, -a clean Universe. (Re 21:4).

 

Truly, Godís work is a progressive Science, and deserves our highest attention. How important the development and coming of Christ! How great our calling and hope as Christians! What a glorious destiny God has arranged for the world! Truly, "God is Love."

DD41

CHAPTER IV.

GOSPEL BY MOSES.

 

IN considering the progressive character of the Bible, it has doubtless been suggested to the reader, that some glimpses of the gospel of Christ are given us in the writings of Moses. This much has usually been admitted by Christians, but we are satisfied there is much more of it there than is generally supposed. It is not extravagant to say that more gospel can be found in Genesis than in Matthew. The former, it is true, is in type and prophecy, while the latter is in fulfillment; but it is only a small part of the great plan that is found in Matthew, while in Genesis is found the outline of the whole plan of the ages.

 

The gospel was preached unto Abraham, (Ga 3:8,) and it was, as we have seen, very comprehensive, including the Seed, the Heavenly city, the Heavenly country, and the work of blessing all the nations of the Earth. This is the gospel of the ages, and it is all given typically in Genesis. "Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness."- Ga 3:6. "He rejoiced to see Christís day: and he saw it and was glad." (Joh 8:56). He saw through the natural-the type, to what it meant-the spiritual.

 

Paul shows us that the gospel was preached unto ancient Israel as well as unto us: "but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." (Heb 4:2). In addressing that people, Jesus said, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses ye would

 

DD42 have believed me, for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings how shall ye believe my words." Joh 5:45-47. Here is a positive declaration of the Savior that Moses wrote of Christ, and yet, unless it be, as we claim, in types and allegories, Moses said not one word about Christ. This we claim as strong evidence in favor of our position. Their lack of faith consisted in not being able to see through the type to the antitype, and Christians are warned to beware, "lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." Heb 4:11. As near to a statement about Christ as can be found in the writings of Moses is: "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet * * * like unto me." De 18:15. We admit this means Christ, because the Spirit in Peter so applied it (Ac 3:22, 26); but it does not say Christ, and we would not be able to see this any more than they, were it not for the light of the New Testament. The expression, "like unto me," proves just what we claim, that Moses is a type of Christ, and it will be found interesting to trace the resemblance.

 

Further evidence of the typical character of Mosesí writings may be seen in the fact that the whole legal system was given as a pattern or "shadow of good things to come." Heb 10:1. It is "good things to come," that is gospel. Jesus makes this emphatic when He says: "It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away, than for one jot or tittle of the law to fail, until all be fulfilled." This proves that every jot and tittle of the law has a typical meaning. They point forward to something, and they can only be fulfilled in that to which they point.

 

Better that we admit our ignorance, when we cannot see the antitype, than to deny the typical character. We do not expect allegories to be fulfilled with the same exactness in every feature as Christ states of the law; they are fulfilled only on general principles. We have an illustration of the difference between the law and the allegory in the Passover, and the case of the free and the bondwoman and their sons, mentioned by Paul. Ga 4:22-31.

 

The Passover is admitted by all Christians to be typical in all

 

DD43 its parts-the slaying of the Lamb, the eating of the flesh, the sprinkling of the blood, and in the salvation of the first-born of Israel. (The first-born only was in danger). Of the two sons of Abraham, Paul says: "Which things are an allegory;" and yet it will be seen at once that every feature of their lives is not included. In the law each feature is typical, but in allegories the points of resemblance only are typical.

 

We would not, therefore, seek to prove a doctrine by an allegory alone, as some of its features never find an application; but when a doctrine is taught in other scriptures, it is illustrated and confirmed by the pictures of an allegory. We are by no means left to conjecture on this subject of the double meaning of Mosesí writings. Paul makes a strong argument in its favor in the third chapter of second Corinthians. He treats the two as "Letter" and "Spirit," (2Cor 3:6,) and says, "Now the Lord is that Spirit."-2Cor 3:17.

 

The truth concerning Christ and the great plan of the ages, is the underlying principle of the whole Bible. The letter is what it says; the Spirit is what it means. Mark! we do not, like some, ignore the historical value of the writings of Moses. The histories given of menís lives are literally true, but in addition to their literal meaning they represent a greater truth. They mean all they say, but mean much more than they say. This is certainly true of the Passover, as is admitted by all. When the Lord said, "Kill a lamb, eat its flesh and sprinkle its blood," He meant all He said. Did He not mean much more than that? He certainly meant all that was involved in the Lord, as our Passover. If it were so in this case, why might He not mean more than He said in many other cases? What Moses said, i.e., the "letter," was the "vail" which hid the deeper truth meant, from the mind of the Jews; and Moses put a vail over his own face, to represent that obscurity. (2Cor 3:13). "Their minds were blinded" by the vail; "which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord the vail shall

 

DD44 be taken away."-2Cor 3:14-16. As long as only the letter is admitted, there is blindness, but when the Lord can be seen in those writings, the vail is lifted.

 

It is not surprising that men should say that the story of Adam and Eve, for instance, is to them unimportant when only the letter is seen. But if in addition to the story itself, there can be seen in it an outline of the plan of salvation, it becomes a matter of absorbing interest. There is transforming power in the glorious gospel as it is illustrated by the types. "We all, with open face, [i.e., with the vail removed] beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord, the Spirit."-Verse 18, (margin).

 

We freely affirm that ignorance of God is the great cause of the sinful condition of mankind. Eph 4:17-19. Darkness and sin go hand in hand. While the truth remains vailed it is night, but there is a Day coming, and "the vail that is spread over all nations" is to be removed. Isa 25:7. Then the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the Earth, and righteousness instead of sin will prevail.

 

"If all the world my Savior knew.

 

Then all the world would love Him too."

 

"Acquaint now thyself with Him and be at peace." The common view of God and His plan tends to drive men farther from God. Fear may sometimes drive men to acts of outward obedience; but love appreciated, produces love and leads to loyalty. "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." Ro 2:4.

 

The narrow views of Godís plan cannot long last in a mind that can grasp the gospel according to Moses. The position we have taken that it is Godís plan to save the church first, that through them as a royal priesthood, He may save the world afterward, will be clearly illustrated. It is a strong circumstantial evidence that the day, of which we speak, is dawning, when the vail is being lifted from the eyes of so many. We may well say the day-star is rising in many hearts. 2Pe 1:19. If the dawn is here, the day will soon come, when the "Sun of righteousness

 

DD45 will arise with healing in His beams;" and the nations will walk in its light. Mal 4:2 and Re 21:24.

 

The gospel harvest is the dawn of the Millennium, and when the harvest is past, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Mt 13:43. "The Lord God is our Sun" (Ps 84:11); the sun gives both light and heat to the physical world, so the church are to be associated with Christ in giving spiritual light and heat to the world of mankind, "that the world may believe." Joh 17:21. Not light alone, is the world to receive, but light and heat. Truth and love are to each other as light and heat, or flesh and blood. As the body of flesh is full of blood, which is its life, so the body of truth ("every word of God"-Mt 4:4) is full of love, which is its life. "Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood ye have no life in you." Joh 6:53. Men must not only receive the truth, but "the love of the truth that they might be saved." 2Th 2:10. And though a man may understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and have all faith, and have not life, he is nothing. 1Co 13:2. We have great confidence in a full gospel, such as is revealed in the books of Moses, as a power not only to draw men to love God, but also to love all whom God loves. What a glorious day it will be,

 

"When each man shall love his fellow;

 

Justice give to great and small;

 

Dwell in love, and dwell in Jesus;

 

He in us, God all in all."

 

Before entering on the direct consideration of the typical character of the writings of Moses, we deem it necessary to call special attention to a fact before mentioned, viz.: That the plan of God is based on the principle of "first the natural and afterwards that which is spiritual." 1Co 15:46. This is not only true of the two bodies-the present and the future bodies-of the saint, but of the whole plan. It is true of the bodies, because it is true of the plan. Paul states the principle in reference to the two heads-Adam and Christ-from whom the natural and spiritual bodies

 

DD46 are developed, and hence the principle is true in the order of Creation.

 

The "Image of God" in the perfect sense is not reached, until man passes through two stages of development. In this state man is flesh, but "God is Spirit." Joh 4:24. "That which is born of flesh is flesh; that which is born of Spirit is Spirit. Joh 3:6. In harmony with the two stages of development, are these two births. The natural birth is the entrance upon independent natural life, and spiritual birth is the entrance upon independent spiritual life. In both natural and spiritual, the birth is preceded by a begetting, and a period of dependent life. At the begetting, the nature is imparted and the future form depends upon that nature. During the period of dependent life, in both natural and spiritual, the law of life must be obeyed. Whatever fails in coming to the birth, is never counted in either case. A perfect man as born of the flesh, has no germ of spiritual or immortal life, but he has the capacity of receiving such a germ, and in this sense only, can he be said truly to be a candidate for immortality. Man, when he has arrived at the perfect image of God, will be immortal, and therefore "cannot die any more." Lu 20:36.

 

At conversion, at which time we are begotten by the word and Spirit unto a lively hope (1Pe 1:3), or become "partakers of the Divine nature, (2Pe 1:4), the process of regeneration begins; but the perfect state, the image of God, is not reached until "this moral puts on immortality" at the resurrection. 1Co 15:54. Paul, speaking of the chosen, says: "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." Ro 8:29. And we are told that Christ, not as He was in the flesh, but as He is, in glory, is "the express image of His [Fatherís] person." Heb 1:3. When, therefore, we reach the image of Christ, we will have reached the image of God. "God is a Spirit;" Christ, when born of the Spirit, became "a quickening Spirit" (1Co 15:45); "Who taketh His angels spirits"-"ministering spirits-(Heb 1:7, 14); and when we are "born of the Spirit," we will be spirits (Joh 3:6), pure

 

DD47 and immortal; like the holy angels, like Christ, and like the Father-"the spirits of just men made perfect." "I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness." (Ps 17:15. With these facts before us, we may readily see that the creation of man in the flesh, was but a shadow of the New Creation in Christ Jesus.

 

It is worthy of note, that we find in the person of our Lord Jesus the combination of the two elements, the natural and the spiritual, and in the true order of their development. He was born twice, first of the flesh, and was called the Word "made flesh;" or, "God manifest in the flesh;" and was "put to death in the flesh; but His second birth was of the Spirit, by which He was "the first born from the dead." Col 1:18, and 1Pe 3:18. Thus, being the first and Head, He is our Forerunner and the "quickening Spirit."

 

The cross is the turning point between the natural and the spiritual, in the life of Christ; and also, because of this, the turning point and key of the plan of the ages. We shall find this point made prominent in the types-nearly all in some way foreshadowing the death of Christ. The death of Christ is a natural, not a spiritual event; or rather it was the end of His natural life. His natural life, like all else of the natural in Godís plan, foreshadowed His spiritual and endless life; but there can be no antitype to His death, because His spiritual life will never end. His death is the antitype of all typical deaths that preceded it. We should be careful not to make types, but to find them. The type foreshadows the antitype, hence the death on the cross could not be a type of the coming in the flesh, even if that can properly be called death (which we doubt); for the coming in the flesh preceded the death on the cross. The coming in the flesh-in "The body prepared"-was for the purpose of dying. Heb 2:9.

 

But can the types of the law, and others, all of which are confessed to be natural, foreshadow a natural event like the death on the cross? Are not the antitypes wholly spiritual? This is an important point-the proper dividing line between the natural and

 

DD48 the spiritual. Here is where many seem to stumble, and it is not surprising when dealing with so great a subject, and it is new, if men make mistakes. We admit that antitypes of the higher grade are spiritual, and we feel sure there are two grades of antitypes, and therefore two kinds of types which foreshadow them. The antitypes of the lower grade are in themselves types of a higher grade. There are many types in the Old Testament which, as all confess, relate to the natural life of Christ, and yet His natural life represents His higher life. The natural represents the spiritual, but Godís plan combines both the natural and the spiritual in their order; hence, if any type represents the whole plan, part of the antitype must be natural and part spiritual. There must be the same order in the type that obtains in the antitype. This must be evident to all who carefully examine the subject.

 

We expect to show that many of the types, or allegories in Mosesí writings, represent the natural life of Christ, or that which preceded His death; the spiritual life of Christ, or that which follows His resurrection; and also make prominent the death itself as the dividing line between them. Whoever can discern these facts may be saved from confusion, and from the extremes of making too much or too little of the death of Christ. Paul speaks of our being reconciled to God by the death of His Son, and of being saved by His life. Ro 5:10. Had Christ risen and afterward lived, on the same plane as that on which He lived before His death, then the death and life of this passage would not be contrasted, but would be of the same kind. But on account of his being put to death in the flesh and made alive by the Spirit, we must bear in mind the order of development from the lower to the higher. The death must have been natural, and His life must be spiritual.

 

The death of Christ was, as intimated by the word "reconciled," in the above passage, for the purpose of removing a legal encumbrance which came on mankind through Adamís sin. Ro 5:12, 18. That sin made them enemies (Ro 5:10); the removal of

 

DD49 that enmity is called at-one-ment, or reconciliation. This atonement makes all righteous to the same extent, and in the same manner that all are made sinners. Both are universal, but neither touch the question of immortality. This, Adam did not have, and therefore could not have lost; and the atonement here mentioned only secures the recovery of what was lost. This, it will be seen, does not secure eternal life for any, but it removes the encumbrances from all, and so makes eternal life attainable for all who obey the law of that life. The Jewish economy helps to make this plain, and was doubtless arranged for the purpose of doing so.

 

The ceremonial distinction between Jew and Gentile, was called "the enmity-the law of commandments contained in ordinance" Eph 2:15. The real enmity, or barrier between God and man, is the "carnal mind"-the flesh (Ro 8:7, 8); but it was represented ceremonially in the carnal ordinance. This law was nailed to the cross, and being dead, it had no more claim on anyone. Col 2:14, 15. While this distinction lasted, the Jew as counted all right, and the Gentile all wrong; but the moment the distinction was gone, both alike needed reconciliation, and it was accomplished by the cross. Eph 2:16. Hence the casting away of the Jews, was "the reconciling of the world"-both Jew and Gentile. Ro 11:15.

 

Manís legal necessities were met by the death of Christ. It was, as we have seen, a world-wide necessity, imposed upon all through Adam. The ceremonial law only represented the real, and Christís meeting was the necessity under that, showed that He had met the claims of the real, and hence, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." When all the good effects of the atonement are in force, then if a man shall die, it will be for the unpardonable sin, and not for the sin of Adam. It will not then be said, "the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the childrensí teeth are set on edge, * * * but the soul that sinneth it shall die." Eze 18:2-4.

DD50

CHAPTER V.

GOSPEL BY MOSES. (CONTINUED.)

 

IN the simple story of Adam and Eve, as given in Genesis, we have an outline of the great plan of salvation. Adam is a type of Christ. Eve is a type of the Church of Christ. There marriage is a type of the marriage of the Lamb. Their dominion is a type of the reign of Christ and the Saints, and the generation of mankind is a type of their regeneration. Whoever can see these things, can no longer look upon the plan as narrow, or upon God as unkind.

 

We have shown, in preceding chapters, that the ages which come before the marriage of the Lamb have been used as preparatory steps, only, of the plan, for the development of the church, as the "Bride, the Lambís Wife," and that the salvation of the world proper ("Ye are not of the world") does not begin until after the marriage of the Lamb. Re 19:7.

 

It is evident from the text, "Let us be glad, and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come," that others, besides the bride herself, are rejoicing. And, if our view be correct, that the marriage of the Lamb is the sunrise of hope for mankind, there is good reason for joy at the event; but, if the plan ends at the marriage, the church only are to be saved, and all the rest of mankind eternally lost, there would be room for mourning, instead of rejoicing. If, when God had given Adam a wife, no generation had followed, all will admit the plan of creation would have been a failure. And so if when Christ gets His wife, there follows no regeneration of the family of man, the plan of the new creation

 

DD51 would be a failure. As no human being, except Adam and Eve, entered upon this earthly life, until after the marriage of the typical pair, so no one, except Christ and His church, can enter the heavenly life until after their marriage. This agrees with the Bible teaching. When Christ was here, He said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven," &c. Joh 3:13. And when Christ had ascended, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit said, "David is not ascended into the heavens," but, "is both dead and buried." Ac 2:29, 34. Christ is the first fruits, and afterward, they that are Christís at His coming. Then is the marriage followed by the regeneration of the world. This is the plan, whether or not we find it in the types, but God has seen fit to illustrate these facts by a pictorial view of the plan. The great revealed facts are the standard, and God, foreseeing it all, has arranged the natural accordingly. The spiritual family, in the order of father, mother, and children-Christ, the church, and the world-gives the best of all reasons for the earthly family arrangement. It is an unanswerable Bible argument against the plurality of wives. The spiritual is the first in Godís purpose, but the natural is the first in fact, and is thus arranged, as "a shadow of good things to come."

 

The application of types has been condemned, as imaginary, but, as long as the correspondence actually exists, between the story of Adam and Eve, and the facts concerning Christ and the church, the objection can have very little force. It is much easier to believe that there is a Divine purpose in the arrangement, than that it came by chance. To us, this principle of correspondence, between types and antitype, is a strong evidence in favor of the Divine inspiration of the Bible, and it certainly exalts the history far above the level of mere story. But we are not left to mere inference in the application.í

 

Paul tells us that Adam "was a figure of Him that was to come." Ro 5:14. Adam was the first of the old creation, the father, or head, of mankind, on the plane of the flesh; and we know that Christ is the "First-born from the dead," and Head

 

DD52 of the spiritual family. This is why He is called the second Adam. 1Co 15:45-47. Being first in their orders, both were direct creations, the first from the ground, the second from woman. It was the "Seed of the woman" that should bruise the serpentís head. The Lord said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." Adam had a wife given him. Christ is to have a wife, as the New Testament abundantly teaches. The marriage is not due until the end of the gospel age, when the Bridegroom comes. (Matt. 25). During the gospel age, the church is not the bride; but is a "chaste virgin," espoused to Christ; engaged to be married (2Co 11:2); and, having the spirit of the true lover, she longs for the Bridegroom to come, and "makes herself ready" for the marriage. Re 19:7

 

Paul quotes the language used by Adam, when his wife was given him, and applies it to the relation of Christ and the church. "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh" (Ge 2:23-24, and Eph 5:30-31.) He then adds: "This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.: This is emphatic. A mystery is a truth under cover. But Paul takes the cover off. What is said, was the letter, or the vail; but now, the spirit in Paul has lifted the vail, and we know it meant Christ and the church.

 

It was after the marriage of Adam and Even that God said, "Be fruitful * * and have dominion." So the regeneration, and the united reign of Christ and the bride, are after the marriage. "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, * * then shall He sit on the throne of His glory." Mt 25:31. And, the regeneration is located when He "shall sit on the throne of His glory" Mt 19:28. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Col 3:4. It is not until He comes, that "there is given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him." Da 7:13-14. And the same promises

 

DD53 made to Christ, are made in almost precisely the same language to the saints. Da 7:27. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." 2Ti 2:12. They shall "sit with me in my throne," and have "power over the nations," are promises to the overcomers. Re 2:26, and 3:21. John, foreseeing it, says: "They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Re 20:4.

 

We see, then, the development of the church precedes the marriage, but the fruit of the marriage comes afterward. Next to the death and resurrection of Christ, which "brought life and immortality to light," and which are, therefore, the foundation of all our hopes, the marriage of the Lamb is thus shown to be the greatest event in the plan.

 

It is not only in the general features, but also in many details, that we find a correspondence. As Adam was alone for some time after his creation, so Christ was alone for a time, -He had no church. The Jewish church was only a type of the church of Christ. He always spoke of His church as future: "On this rock I will build my church." Mt 16:18. It is not, I have built, or am building, but "I will build."

 

The Lord, when He made Adam a wife, caused a deep sleep to come upon him. This clearly represents Christís death on the cross. Jesus said: "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Joh 12:24. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This He said, signifying what death He would die." Verses 32, 33. The life of all the family depended on what was then done, in both cases, but the wife in each is developed first.

 

Christís death was essential to our life in some sense, or He would not have died, and Adam would not have fallen into the deep sleep. When Adam was asleep, his side was opened, a rib removed, and from that rib his wife was made. So, when Christ was dead, His side was opened, pierced by the spear, and "forthwith there came out blood and water." Joh 19:34. There

 

DD54 was a prophecy that He should be pierced, and "not a bone of Him should be broken." But had He not been dead, His bones would have been broken, like the others crucified with Him, and neither the type in Adam, nor these prophecies, would have been fulfilled. All the facts in the case show the order in the Divine plan. The water and the blood bore witness to His death; and the Spirit in Paul adds this testimony: "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures." 1Co 15:3. "And there are three that bear witness in the Earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one." 1Jo 5:8.

 

By faith in the united testimony of these three, during the gospel age, the church is developed, then, as before seen, the marriage comes, and the regeneration of the world follows.

 

That period of Adamís life before he fell asleep, is a type of Christís natural life; the deep sleep is a type of His death; and Adamís after life is a type of Christís after, or risen, life. So this antitype is a combination of both natural and spiritual in their order. The stream of blood, -the natural life blood, -Pet. 1:4), as Adam imparted his human nature to his wife. What Adam imparted was created in him, and not given afterward. So Christ, in taking human form, left "the glory He had with the Father," but not His Divine nature. What He imparts was in Him from the first, and not begotten in Him afterward, as in us. Adam and Christ, as Heads, are exceptions to the family rule. We are sons by being begotten of the truth; He was the Son of God from His birth, as was Adam, -the type, -from his creation. (Lu 1:35, and Lu 3:38.) He did not become the Son of God by resurrection, but was "declared (to be) the Son of God * * by the resurrection from the dead." Ro 1:4. The resurrection proved and manifested what was true before. During the natural life, His Divine nature was hidden to the flesh, only glimpses of its presence being given by occasional manifestations of Divine power, but in due time, the nature was

 

DD55 manifested in form, and He became "the express image" of the Divine. Heb 1:13.

 

This life principle in Him was illustrated by the "corn of wheat," by which He represented Himself. The life-giving nature was in it from the first, but it could not be developed until it was planted; then, however, it animated new forms. Adam had the nature from which others could be developed, but he was not a life giver until the "deep sleep;" so, though Christ had the Divine life in Himself, He did not become "the quickening [life-giving] spirit" until He was born from the dead. The same principle holds good in all who are begotten of the Spirit. "Now are we the sons of God." 1Jo 3:2. We could not be the sons without the nature. But now the Divine nature is undeveloped. Here we bear the image of the Earthly, and hence it does not yet appear what we shall be. Our true nature has not yet been declared or manifested; but the nature, in due time, will be developed into form, and "we shall be like Him, and see Him," (not as He was, but) "as He is." "As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 1Co 15:49.

 

When the church is developed in character and image, like the risen and glorified Jesus, then she will be ready for the marriage. "I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness." Ps 17:15.

 

Adam was made from the ground, but Eve was made from Adam. He got his life direct from God, but Eve received herís from God, through Adam. Here is illustrated our dependence on God, through Christ, for our spiritual life and immortality. No immortality out of Christ, is a prominent truth of the gospel. A must be begotten, and led, and born, of the Spirit, in order to be immortal, and inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Adam was the head of Eve; both had the same nature, and imparted that nature to their offspring by the law of generation. So Christ is the Head of the church; both have the Divine nature, and after their marriage, will impart that nature to their offspring. The children of Adam and Eve can never be Adam or

 

DD56 Eve, though they have the same nature, and become fully developed men and women. So the children of the Divine pair can never be either Christ or His bride, but they will have the same nature, and in due time, will be "delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Ro 8:21.

 

Oh! how Godís love for mankind has been belittled by overlooking the plan of the ages, and the Divine order, in the development of the family. Instead of being "rightly divided," the Scriptures have been misapplied; and truth, applied out of its place, is made to teach untruth. Take, for instance, the glorious statement, "The spirit and the bride say come, * * and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Re 22:17. This is commonly applied in the present, or gospel age, regardless of the order of God, and of the fact that there is no bride, until the marriage of the Lamb. The Scriptures have thus been made to appear contradictory, and Arminian part of the Christian church has been set against the Calvinistic part. Election and free grace can only be harmonized by the various steps of the plan.

 

In the gospel age, the Spirit draws, for the purpose of getting a bride for Christ; and the water of life is but as a "well of water in you, springing up into everlasting life." Joh 4:14. But after the marriage, the New Jerusalem descends, and when its river of water of life is flowing, then, indeed, the Spirit and the bride will say come, and whosoever will may freely drink. Unless it can be shown that the "well" of water, and the "river of water," are different in quality, we must expect similar results from their use. If the one gives immortality, so will the other, to all who drink it. There is no more reason to suppose the river to be literal, and related to earthly life, than that the well is literal. The woman of Samaria thought the well was literal, and many think so of the river. The Saviorís answer to the woman, should be accepted as the key to the other. The life resulting from the use of the "water of life," is as much higher than the natural, as the water itself is higher than the natural.

 

DD57 So we conclude that a life of preserved mortality is not to be the destiny of the nations, but that in due time, they will become like their spiritual parents. The typical "tree of life" in Eden, would have preserved mortality, but Christ, the antitypical tree, gives immortality, and "neither can they die any more."

 

The type of Adam and Eve thus illustrates the plan of the ages; its progressive character from the lower to the higher; gives us the proper position in the plan, of the second coming of Christ, and the marriage; and shows that Godís object in saving the church is, through them, to save the world afterward. All who can see this, will be able to vindicate Godís impartiality and universal love.

 

We would now call attention to the history of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebekah, as an allegory of the same glorious plan. The same general outline is given, but with additional particulars. It is probable that no two types, prophecies, or parables, in the whole Bible are given to teach precisely the same thing. Each one will be found with one or more features peculiar to itself. The idea of restitution, for instance, is not taught in the one we have been considering, but types will be found that do teach it, in harmony with the prophets. Restitution is a giving back what was lost, and the impartation of spiritual and immortal life can not be included in that idea.

 

The particular feature of the plan which receive attention in the case we are about to consider, and not mentioned in the preceding one, are the Fatherhood of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit in calling the church.

 

Abraham, the "Father of many nations," as his name indicates, and in a peculiar sense the "Father of the faithful," represents in this allegory God the Father of all, and the "Father of the faithful" in the highest sense. "We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, but specially them that believe." 1Ti 4:10. Abraham had an only begotten son-Isaac-by his wife Sarah, and Christ is the "only begotten Son of God." Both were miraculously produced. Ge 18:9-14; Mt 1:20. Christ

 

DD58 was the Son of God from His birth, as has been shown, as well as the "Seed of the woman." "Wonderful One"-Son of God and Son of Man! Isaac, the promised seed of Abraham, is a type of Christ. Ga 3:16. This has been considered in a preceding chapter, and is generally admitted. Abraham offered his son Isaac as a typical sacrifice, and he was three days under the dominion of death, on the journey to Mount Moriah. Ge 22:4. So God gave His Son Jesus up to death, and He was three days under its power. The death of Christ is thus again typically recognized, and at its proper place, the end of His earthly life. Abraham saw the resurrection power, and received Isaac from the dead "in figure." Heb 11:19. Christ rose the third day, and God received Him from the dead, in fact. Here again is an antitype, both natural and spiritual, in their true order, and the death as the dividing line between them.

 

The next important event, in both type and antitype, after the resurrection is getting a wife for them. Be it observed that neither Isaac nor Christ finds his own wife. Abraham sent Eliezer, "his eldest servant, that ruled over all that he had," to get a wife for Isaac. Ge 24. The Holy Spirit stands in the same relation to God, and to the work of getting a wife for Christ, as did Eliezer in the type.

 

No person in either case could come without being drawn, (Joh 6:44) but no one is compelled to accept the invitation. "And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shall be free from this my oath, only bring not my son thither again." Ge 24:8.

 

Rebekah, the virgin, (Ge 24:16) is a type of the church as a "chaste virgin" espoused to Christ, (2Co 11:2) or of the church in its natural life, and Rebekah as a wife and mother fitly foreshadows the glorious position and work of the church after the marriage of the Lamb. Here, as elsewhere, both natural and spiritual are foreshadowed in type. As Eliezer first met Rebekah at the well, where she had come to draw water, and give her an "ear-ring" (or jewel for the forehead, margin) and "two

 

DD59 bracelets for her hands," which were the earnest of what she would possess as Isaacís wife (Ge 24:22), so the Holy Spirit first met the virgin church on the day of Pentecost, when she had come to draw the water of life, which the Savior had promised, and gave her the "earnest" of her inheritance as a "joint heir with Christ." Eph 1:13-14; and Ro 8:14-17. Both head and hands were adorned in the type; so the Holy Spirit helps both to know and so Godís will. Rebekah took special pains to entertain, as guests, Eliezer and the other servants with him; so the Holy Spirit is the guest of the church ("Grieve not the Holy Spirit"); and the angels are assistants as "ministering spirits unto the heirs of salvation." The urgency of the Spiritís work is clearly illustrated by the faithfulness of the servant to the object of his mission: "I will not eat until I have told mine errand." Ge 24:33. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Think of the inducement held out to Rebekah: Abraham is rich in "flocks, herds, silver, gold, menservants, maidservants, camels, and asses;" he has an only son Isaac, "and unto him hath he given all that he hath." (Ge 24:36.) By becoming Isaacís wife, all would be hers. Says Jesus: "All that my Father hath is min;" "All power in heaven and earth is given unto me." Says the Spirit to the church, "All things are yours;" "If children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ;" "He that overcometh shall inherit all things." These are but samples of the rich inheritance of the saints, presented as an inducement to leave the world and be joined to Christ. As soon as full consent was given, "the servant brought forth jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things." Ge 24:53. She was provided with riches and a wardrobe from the stores of Abraham; she needed nothing of her own. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the virgin church finds precious, and more precious jewels of truth, and the garments of holiness: "without which no man shall see the Lord." Joh 16:13 and Heb 12:14. "To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean

 

DD60 and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints." Re 19:8. The garment is the outward expression of the inward condition.

 

But Rebekahís brother and mother were enriched on her account. And are not the nations from among whom the Lord is selecting His bride, benefited on account of the church? Are not the improvements and intellectual attainments of Christian nations of today largely attributable to the presence of the true church, composed as it is of all who have the Spirit of Christ? And we may well ask, If the church with the small degree of the Spirit and light which she now possesses, and with the broken and scattered efforts of the past, has effected so much good, what may we not expect when the church reaches her glory, and "shines forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father?" Mother Earth, and the nations will be renewed. "Heaven is my throne; the earth is my footstool;" and says the Lord, "I will make the place of my feet glorious." Isa 60:13. After the engagement was complete "they did eat and drink, * * and tarried all night," and in the morning Rebekah was conducted away to meet her husband; so the church have had a long dark night of waiting for the day dawn, and the glorious meeting of the absent, but coming One, and soon, when the darkness is a little further receded, and it is a little brighter grown, she will be conducted away to meet the Lord in the Heavens.

 

But a great decision must be made, in both type and antitype, on the part of the prospective bride. There are inducements to stay, and inducements to go, and she must decide between them. Her friends and home surrounds would at least hinder, (Ge 24:55,) but Eliezer being anxious to go, they said, "We will call the damsel and inquire at her mouth, * * and they said unto her, ĎWilt thou go with this man.í" Ge 24:57-58. This was the critical moment. She had to decide between home, her friends, and the early associations on the one hand, and on the other, leaving all to be the wife of a man she had never seen. She had heard of him; she had the evidence of his honour and wealth, and, though not having seen him, she loved him, and her decision was,

 

DD61 "I will go." So we must decide between going and staying; Earth, friends, and all our associations would hold us back. We have never seen Christ, but we have heard of Him, of His wealth, His power, and His love. He has spoken to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and "Whom having not seen we love; in whom, though now we see Him not, [we expect to see Him soon,] yet believing we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1Pe 1:18. And when all is put in the balance against Him, we would decide for Him, and like Rebekah say: "We will go." We cannot suppose for a moment that any will be taken who would rather stay.

 

But Isaac met Rebekah on the way, and escorted her into the tent, and she became his wife. So when the church is caught away, Christ comes to meet her and conduct her into the mansions prepared. 1Th 4:17. "I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also." Joh 14:1-3. When Christ comes for His church, there is no evidence that he comes to the Earth or to Earthly conditions. There are two distinct events revealed in reference to the Lordís coming. He comes for His saints, and afterwards comes with them. Overlooking this makes confusion in the minds of many. How can He come with them in glory, or they with Him, before the harvest of the gospel is past, and the church glorified? There is a "gathering together unto Him," (2Th 2:1,) and also a promise that we shall, "appear with Him in glory." Col 3:4. This latter is "the manifestation of the sons of God," (Ro 8:19,) and is clearly typified in the transfiguration scene. Mt 17. Only the "gathering together unto Him" is foreshadowed in the Isaac and Rebekah type; and whoever waits here, until they see Christ, before they are changed, and made like Him, will be as the mortals, in the transfiguration, to whom He appeared and not as the immortals who appeared with Him in glory.

 

That Christ and the church will appear to mortals, in the future age, like men in the flesh, as angles have appeared on special occasions in ages past, there is no doubt, but the church are not

 

DD62 to know Him any more in that manner. 2Co 5:16. There is considerable evidence not yet presented, that while the church is one Body, composed of many members, there is variety and order in their condition and reward, and also a considerable period of time, covered by the "last trump," during which all the orders are to be rewarded. Re 11:15-18. It is probable that Rebekah is a type of the church complete, with all its orders in working relation to each other, some "in the throne," and others "before the throne" in the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem descending ready for work, is called the bride, and is therefore the mother of the nations. It seems clear, however, that when a representative company of the church, as "kings and priests," are exalted to the throne, (Re 5:9-10,) that they are the bride, on the principle that a part represents the whole. The elders of a church represent the church; the government of a city or nation represents that city or nation; and if, as is certainly true, the living mortal part of the church of Christ, represents the whole, it is not out of character that a part made immortal, should represent the whole. There is one more item in the type of Rebekah which is worthy of attention. "And they blessed Rebekah and said unto her * *í Be thou the mother of thousands of millions.í" Ge 24:60. If any one can think of an antitype in the future work of the church great enough to meet this statement, they will have a glimpse of the greatness of the plan of salvation. The church is to be the spiritual mother of a restored humanity. That such a work of blessing for mankind is to be done in the future, we think our readers are ready to admit. The evidence will increase, however, as we proceed. The day that brings such results, is, -it must be, -a day of light and gladness; and if evidences can be presented to prove that the dawn has come, they are surely worthy of our prayerful attention .And may the Spirit of Truth enable us to understand whatever the Father has seen fit to reveal upon this subject, -the times appointed.

DD63

CHAPTER 6.

TIMES AND SEASONS.

 

THERE is chronological and prophetic evidence that a change of dispensation is now transpiring; that the gospel age is ending, and the millennium dawning. There is a period of transition, or gradual change from one the one to the other, as illustrated by the day dawn. The end of night is the beginning of day; so the end of one age or dispensation is the beginning of another. The principle of gradual change is seen in the change of seasons of the year, and in nearly all Godís works. The succession of the kingdoms is by the same rule. Babylon existed as a kingdom before it was universal, and it had to conquer its way. It was not recognized fully until it had done this. So of each of the others. Medo-Persia conquered Babylon, Grecia conquered Medo-Persia and Rome conquered Grecia. The change from one to the other was gradual. The same is true of the kingdom of God. It is set up before the destruction of Rome, or "in the days of these kings," (Da 2:44)-and it conquers Rom and so becomes universal.

 

The same principal was manifest in the gradual change from the Jewish age to the gospel, and it will be seen that it was a pattern of the change here. The first ray of light of the gospel in fulfillment was the birth of our Savior, but it was a period of seventy years from then until the complete overthrow of the Jewish nation and the destruction of Jerusalem. That period might be considered the transition between the two dispensations. The gospel dispensation is the period of the suffering of Christ

 

DD64 -Head and body-introduced by the first advent and the personal sufferings of Jesus, the Head. The Millennium is the period of the glory that should follow, the glory of Christ, the same Head and body that suffered. "If we suffer we shall also reign with Him." 2Ti 2:12.

 

We have the assurance of the apostle Peter, that both the time, and the manner of time, to the sufferings of Christ, and to the glory that should follow, are revealed by the Spirit of Christ in the prophets. 1Pe 1:11. We know that the glorious reign does not begin until the thousand years, or the Millennium (Re 20), which is introduced by the second advent, the marriage of the Lamb, and the binding of Satan. So, Peterís statement is equivalent to saying that the time and manner of time are revealed to both advents.

 

A very great prejudice exists against searching for the time of the second coming of Christ, even among those who would readily quote Peter, as above, to prove that the prophets had revealed the time to His first coming. But it proves one, just as much as the other, and if the order of events, and the facts concerning the gradual change were clearly seen there would be no more objection to applying it to the second than the first.

 

The first advent of Christ covered the period of time from His birth to His death, and included all the events of that period. We say, Christ was born, grew up from youth to manhood, was baptized, preached, wrought miracles, suffered, died and rose again, all at the first advent; and no one thinks we are using too much liberty with language. Why not allow as much latitude in the use of language in reference to the second coming? If this were done, much cause of confusion would be set aside. God, as a God of order, does everything on time. "A time for everything and everything in its time "is a motto based on the Spirit of Godís plan. Christ was born at the right time, and baptized at the age of thirty to fulfill the law, (Nu 4.;) and the prophecy of the sixty-nine weeks of Da 9:25. Messiah means anointed, and at that time He was baptized both with water, and

 

DD65 that which the water represented, -the Holy Spirit. The first that Christ preached was, "The time is fulfilled;" and He called it gospel. Mr 1:15. Five days before the Passover He rode into Jerusalem, in fulfillment of the time the lamb had to be taken up. Comp. Joh 12:1-12 and Exod. 12:3-6. He kept the Passover at the right time; that was His hour. Previous to that time, much as they desired it, they could not take Him, for "His hour was not yet come." Joh 7:30 and Joh 8:20. No man could take His life from Him, but when the hour came He laid it down of Himself. John 10:18. After the Passover hour He never sought to defend Himself by disappearing, but gave Himself into their hands. "When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hand against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness." Lu 22:53. Christ died at the time appointed, after the sixty-nine weeks, [7+62,]( Da 9:25-26;) making the "sacrifice and the oblation" to cease "in the midst of the week," [the seventieth]. Da 9:27. From that time the sacrifices were abominations, and the typical temple ceased to be holy, by the rending of the vail. Christ rose at the right time, -"the third day according to the scriptures," fulfilling the type of the "Wave sheaf;" (Le 23:10-11;) and of Jonah, which Jesus says was a "sign" of the time. Mt 12:39-40. These types doubtless foreshadow the raising up of both the Jewish and gospel churches in the third thousand-year day from the Saviorís time. Ho 6:1-3 and Lu 13:34. The descent of the Holy Spirit was at the right time to fulfill the time of the "Wave loaf." Le 23:15-17. Pentecost means the fiftieth day. So we see that the spirit of both the law and prophets pointed to the first advent, giving definite time; but no two periods ended together. The same Spirit, and in the same manner, has revealed the time to the change due here. Nearly all who have either spoken or written on this subject have overlooked the order and manner of events connected with the second coming. They have expected the Lord to come, the dead to be raised, and the world to be burned in a very brief space of time; and have been

 

DD66 inclined to the idea that nearly all, if not all, the prophetic periods ended at the same time. Consequently the great effort made, has been to ascertain "The day and the hour," when the "Wreck of matter and crush of worlds," would take place. No wonder that mistakes have been made, when men were expecting what will never come; and no wonder that reproach has come upon all who dare study prophetic times. But we give those who made the mistakes and brought the reproach credit for honesty and courage; and also for doing a pioneer work in prophetic study, without which the increase of light we now claim would not have been attained. Godís Providence leads men from the crude, to that which is of great value; and far be it from us to reproach any honest effort in the search for what God has revealed. Because men have blundered is no reason for giving up investigation; though it may be well enough for us all to learn humility, and to avoid the spirit of dogmatism. Because some have poisoned themselves, shall we stop eating entirely? About as well to die of poison, as starvation; either is suicide if done voluntarily. Rather let us study more carefully the nature of what we are dealing with, and apply the rule, "Prove all things and hold fast that which is good;" and "Study to show ourselves approved unto God," whether men are pleased or displeased with us. Facts are stubborn, and to deny or ignore them cannot destroy them. God has given quite a number of prophetic periods in His word, as all must admit that believe and search the Bible. They are given to measure something, and God has never given anything in vain. Sooner or later all that is revealed must be understood and rightly applied by those for whom the Lord intended it. "Secret things belong to the Lord, but things revealed belong to us and to our children." De 29:29. It seems absurd to apply the term "secret" as some do, to what we can find in the Bible. All pertaining to the plan, God intends shall be known in due time. "The Lord God will do nothing but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Am 3:7. We have seen that the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, and the same Spirit which inspired them to foretell

 

DD67 future events is given to the church to lead into all truth. Joh 16:13. Every great change in manís history has been known by the Lordís people. When the flood was coming, Noah and his family knew it in time to build an ark. When Sodom was to be destroyed the Lord said: "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do." Ge 18:17. Abraham was the Father of the faithful, so this was equivalent to saying the Lord intended His people to be in the light. Lot and has family sojourning among the Sodomites were also warned. When the Savior was introduced, some received the light to tell to others. When Jerusalem was destroyed, the disciples were forewarned that they might "glee to the mountains." Lk 21:20, 21. Should this greatest of all changes, which we now anticipate, come unaware upon the church, it would be an exception to the universal rule of Godís dealing with His people. There can be no doubt that the Spirit of truth has done its work, and the church has always known the truth due in its time. The apostles represented the church in their time, and Jesus said to them: "Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." Joh 15:15. They had all the truth then due, and the same principle holds good all the way through. Not that each individual then or ever knew the whole truth, but the church as a body had it all. There are passages urged as objections to our knowing anything about the time which, when carefully examined, strengthen our position. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Mt 24:36. This is in every objectorís mouth; but it might be made stronger by quoting Mark, who records a little more of Jesusí statement on this subject. He adds: "Neither the Son." Now if these words prove that man and angels will never know anything about the time of Christís second coming, they also prove that Christ will never know anything about it. What proves too much on any subject, is never considered very good evidence. It does teach, however, that man, angel, and Christ (as a man)

 

DD68 are equally dependent on the will and revelation of the Father, and that the Father had not at this time made known to any one the exact time. And yet we claim that the time was in a certain sense revealed to Daniel centuries before, but in such a way that the understanding of it was made to depend on events that did not transpire until long after the Savior was on Earth. Peter declares that the Spirit of Christ in the prophets revealed the time, but adds: "Not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things, * * which things the angels desire to look into. 1Pe 1:11-12. This clearly shows that such prophecies were designed for the church, and not for the Jews only, as some maintain. Peter clearly refers to the twelfth chapter of Daniel, for there we find the events treated of which are to transpire at the coming of Christ and the attending change of dispensation. The standing up of Michael, the time of trouble, the return or deliverance of Danielís people, (the Jews, compare Da 9:24 "thy people") and the resurrection of the dead, are all referred to, and we hear the angel, who Peter says, "desired to look into these things, inquiring about the time." "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders." Da 9:6. The answer is given indefinitely, so that the prophet said, "I heard but I understood not,"-Da 9:8. It was given him in symbol and so recorded, but, as we have seen, was not designed for him, but for the church in a late day. Hence the answer to his earnest entreaty to know: "Go thy way Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end,"-Da 9:9. Then "many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased,"-Da 9:4. The "time of the end" is a period during which the events named were to transpire in their order, and not a moment as some suppose. The multiplicity of events, their succession, and also the increase of knowledge, prove that it is a period. That period, we believe, began in A.D., 1798, and will continue to A.D., 1914, giving a space of 116 years for the fulfillment of the events named. The key to this position is the "time, times and a half," given in answer to the angelís question. Da 9:7. But this could not be properly applied until 1798, and thus,

 

DD69 though revealed in Daniel, it was not understood in the Saviorís day.

 

The time was given to measure the period of the supremacy of the Papacy over the kings of the Earth, and the saints of the Most High, as represented by the work of the eleventh horn of the fourth beast. Da 7:24, 25. The character of that persecuting power entitles it to the appellation of "The Abomination that maketh desolate." Da 12:11. The date of the beginning of its supremacy, or its setting up, is the beginning of the period, "Time, times and a half;" and the Savior gives this as the key to the understanding of this subject. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place; (whoso readeth let him understand)." Mt 24:15.

 

This, then, is designed as a key. Ever since the vail of the typical temple was rent in twain, at the death of Christ, the church has been the holy place, sanctuary, or dwelling place of God. "Ye are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you." 1Co 3:16, 17. "Ye, also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house." 1Pe 2:5. "In whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." Eph 2:21, 22. This power as the "mystery of iniquity" which had begun to work in Paulís day, -(2Th 2:7,) was to be developed into a "man of sin" and take its seat in the temple of God (the church,)-2Th 2:3, 4. We have no right to look for it any where else, and we are sure the character and high claims of the Papacy justify the application. That power has a two-fold character, as a man and woman, but like husband and wife they are one. In Da 2; human governments are symbolized as a man, and a church is always symbolized as a woman, -a pure church as a "chaste virgin," and a corrupt church as a "harlot." Harlotry, in the symbolic language of the Bible, is the church and state combined, and this is the essential character of the Papacy. Man is not counted

 

DD70 complete without woman, as in the account of creation; Christ is not counted complete until His church is developed, -(Ga 3:16-29) and so Antichrist, the "Man of Sin" was not complete until there was a complete fusion of church and state as a ruling power. The "falling away" of which Paul speaks, -2Th 2:3,) consisted in the church becoming corrupt and therefore seeking favor with the world and its governments, but it was not complete until the church had become apostate, and succeeded in ruling the nations. The first Christian Emperor of Rome was Constantine, who reigned during the fourth century, but the Papacy itself, (through its Popes,) did not become Head of Rome, and take its seat in Rome the capital of the Empire, until about A.D., 538. That was the setting up of the "abomination that maketh desolate,"-Da 12:11. To set up is not to create, but to put in power, as when God sets up His own kingdom. The abomination existed before, but became supreme about 538. And the three divisions of Italy, overturned by the Papacy, viz.: Lombardy, Romania and Ravenna, are represented by the Tiara, or three crowned hat worn by the Pope. From 538 until 1798, the Papacy had the dominion of the world as represented by Rome. During those 1260 years, though others claimed to be the rulers of the Empire, they never held Rome as their seat of government; and the people of Rome and Italy recognized the supremacy of the Papacy. The union of church and state, and the supremacy of the church are clearly expressed by the symbol of the woman sitting on the ten-horned beast of Re 17. The beast is also a symbol of human government, -(Da 7;) and as the church united to the man is called the "Man of Sin," so the church united to the beast is called the beast. Re 13. The beast proper is the Roman Empire, the seven heads are seven mountains (successive forms of government,) and the ten horns are ten divisions. In the seventeenth chapter the relation of the woman to the beast is brought to view, and her character clearly described: "Upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."-(Re 17:5.)

 

DD71 This is not a description of the character of Catholics, but of that system, under which the Catholics themselves have been cruelly oppressed. Here is an abomination, and that she is the one that maketh desolate is clear by the next verse: "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and of the martyrs of Jesus." We need not call the terrible persecution by the Papal power during the days of its supremacy.

 

Our present object is to locate the beginning of "the time of the end," and by showing that we are in that time, justify our search for the truth which Jesus said no man knew in His day. The period called a "time, times, and half a time" in Daniel, is reduced to "forty and two months," (Re 13:5,) and reduced further to "a thousand two hundred and three score days,"-(1260 days.) Re 12:6. These are all applied to the duration of his dominion. This reduction counts twelve months in a time or year, and thirty days in a month. This is a Bible method of counting. The waters of the flood prevailed five months, (Ge 7:11, and Ge 8:4,) and the period is called "an hundred and fifty days," (Ge 7:24.) In the symbolic prophecy a day stands for a literal year, hence the period of 1260 days, means as many literal years. This rule is given in Eze 4:4-6. All admit that the "seventy weeks" of Da 9, were fulfilled in four hundred and ninth years, (70 x 7= 490,) and we claim that the "time, times and a half" were fulfilled on the same principle, and therefore reached from 538 to 1798. The Papacy took its seat in the former year, and its dominion was taken away by the French Revolution in the latter year. We admit the Papacy was partially restored in 1800, but never to her former dominion. The legal power to destroy menís lives for their faith, has never been herís since then, and her partial dominion has been consumed by the progress of light, "the spirit of His mouth," since then. Da 7:26, and 2Th 2:8. The terrible work of that long dark period is clearly marked in Da 11:31-35. "The abomination that maketh desolate," put in power and sustained by Roman armies, corrupt "by flatteries," "such as do wickedly

 

DD72 against the (gospel) covenant;" "but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people, shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days," (1260 years). This is a true history of that time when so many millions perish for no other reason than, because they would not submit to the dogmatic teaching of the church of Rome. "Now, when they shall fall, they shall be holden with a little help." The Lutheran Reformation proved a help to the suffering ones. Its influence was soon felt in Europe, and it put a check on the power of the church of Rome. In 1538, or just a thousand years from, the beginning of the Papal supremacy, the Holy League was formed to sustain the Reformation. "But," says the word, "many shall cleave to them with flatteries, and some of them of understanding, shall fall, to try them, to purge and make them white, even to the Time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."

 

Though help had come, the cruel power was not broken until the French Revolution. When that dominion over the consciences of men ceased, be it observed, "The time of the end" began. And with that great fact of the definite location of the "Abomination that maketh desolate" before them, and with the greater freedom resulting from its overthrow, it is no wonder that there should be a great increase of knowledge. Da 12:4. Both church and state were held down by the strong and cruel power. Since that power was broken, there has been a most remarkable increase in knowledge in all branches of science, and our century has been flooded with improvements and inventions. Think of the implements and machinery now in use, not thought of before; of railroads, steamboats, and of the other wonderful things controlled by stead; of how the lightning has been tamed, made to carry intelligence, to communicate sound, as in the use of the telephone, and now can be used ever to light up our cities.

 

The schoolboy of today can do many things that the most eminent men of a century ago never thought of doing. The improvement in the art of printing in this period is wonderful,

 

DD73 and it has been used for the circulation of truth as well as error. To keep men in ignorance, was the only hope of Papal success; and the increase of light scatters the shades of night. Nearly all the missionary work has been done in the present century; and the organization of Bible and Tract Societies, and even Sunday Schools has been almost, if not wholly confined to this century.

 

Men have had the freedom of conscience needed and in consequence have searched the Bible for themselves, without the fear of losing their lives, if they dared to think outside of the popular channel. The things which angels and men wanted to know but could not, because God had arranged that the book should be "Shut up and sealed unto the time of the end," may now, that the time has come, be a proper subject for investigation, and the words of Jesus taken in connection with these Scriptural facts, instead of hindering us, becomes our warrant for searching.

 

The exact time when the resurrection of the dead, or the translation of the living church is due, we do not pretend to know, but think we have good reason for believing that they will have taken place before "The time of the end" has expired, or before 1914. We will not in this chapter attempt to give our reason for fixing upon 1914 as the end of "the time of the end." The evidence will properly belong to the chapter on "The Times of the Gentiles." We are more interested now in the fact that we are in "The time of the end." The application of "the abomination that maketh desolate," not only shows us where "The time of the end" began, but also gives us a date, after which, and in this time the resurrection of Daniel is due.

 

In connection with what Daniel was told which we have already considered, we learn that a period of thirteen hundred and thirty-five (1335) years, from the setting up of the abomination referred to, reaches to the "end" of something. And a blessing is pronounced upon him "that waiteth and cometh" to that end. Da 12:12. "But go thy way [Daniel] till the end: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." Here Danielís resurrection is brought to view in contrast with his resting; and

 

DD74 with Daniel, comes the order to which he belongs, -(prophets, Re 11:18.) "Every man in his own order." From 538 where the abomination was set up, 1335 years would reach to the year 1873, or if prolonged to its utmost to 1874. It is three oíclock till it is four in law, and 1335 till it is 1336. There are cases mentioned in the Bible where time was prolonged a large fraction of a year. Compare 2Sa 5:4, 5, and 1Ch 29:27.

 

There is to be presented in other chapters the evidence that the end or harvest of the gospel age began in 1874. "The harvest is the end of the age,"-Mt 13:39. The harvest, or reaping the Earth, (Re 15:14-16,) would include the gathering together unto Christ, all the orders of His church, "prophets, saints, and them that fear His name, small and great,"-Re 11:18. Then we may read the statement to Daniel thus: "Go thy way till the harvest;" and where the 1335 days (years) end, "the time of the harvest" begins.

 

The statement "at the end of the days" has been taken as teaching that the resurrection must take place at the exact point where the 1335 ended, and our common version favors that view. But the Hebrew word, which in this verse is translated "at the end of," is several times rendered "after," and doubtless should be in this verse also. Then it would harmonize with the idea of the "end," or "harvest" being a period of time, ("In the time of harvest") and a work of order, ("I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, &c,"-Mt 13:30,) and would do violence to nothing. God is a God of order, and we find that the Jewish age ended with a harvest, which was introduced by the presence and ministry of Christ in the flesh. Mt 9:37, 38, and Joh 4:35-38. The light of that harvest was great as said Jesus, "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." That harvest was the dawn of the gospel age, and this harvest is the dawn of the millennial age. No if it was blessed to live to the end of the days, (Da 9:25,) which introduced that harvest, surely it is more blessed to live in this glorious dawn. "Blessed is he that waiteth and

 

DD75 cometh to the 1335 days." We believe that we are now enjoying that promised blessing, and can appreciate the poetís words:

 

"We are living, we are dwelling,

 

In a grand and awful time;

 

In an age, on ages telling;

 

To be living is sublime."

 

The words of Jesus to His disciples just before His ascension are sometimes urged against the idea of our knowing the time. They asked; "Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" Ac 1:6. They knew from the prophecies and from His own teaching that some time the kingdom would be restored to Israel, and they were in haste, and anxious to know the time. The Saviorís answer is an implicit admission, that there is a time, when what they expected would be done, but the Father had not yet made the time known. "It is not for you [the church of that day, as represented by them] to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you," &c., -(Ac 1:7, 8.) In view of what has been shown about the knowledge due at "the time of the end," and the mission of the Holy Spirit to lead the church into all truth as fast as it becomes due, we are compelled to look on this statement of Christ as saying: It is not for the church to know the time now, but the Spirit will make it known in the time of the end, when it is needed.

 

Mark, we do not claim or believe that the Spirit make it known now by direct revelation, but by the understanding of what was long ago revealed in the prophets. The truth is in the Bible, as oil is in a lamp. "Thy word is a lamp to my feet." But it must be as a lamp that burneth to do us the intended good. All the light is in the oil, which can be developed from it by the process of burning. The same Spirit which inspired "Holy men of old" to write the word, is given to the church, according to the Saviorís promise, to lead them to understanding the word. The leading of the Spirit is like the process of burning the oil, by which the light is brought out. "For as a snare shall it come on all them that

 

DD76 dwell upon the face of the whole earth." Lu 21:35. This is spoken by the Savior of the day of the Lord, and is often quoted as against knowing the time. To come as a snare is to come unaware, or without knowing it, and something is lost by all on whom it so comes. They lose the enjoyment of the light, which we regard as a great blessing. The context, usually overlooked, shows that it is not necessary that it should come upon us as a snare; in fact, it is the very thing against which the Savior warns us. "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, drunkenness, and the cases of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares."-Lu 21:34. It is evident that the subject requires attention, to enable us to know when the days comes. This clearly teaches that the day does not come like the grand wreck of worlds, so much expected by some or all would know it whether they were drunk or sober. To come unawares, it must come in an unexpected time and manner, and if we would be able to understand the deep things, our habits must be good, and consequently our minds clear.

 

No stronger argument can be made for temperance in all things, than the Savior here makes. But if there is no wreck so that everybody might know, and no time revealed, as some claim, how can any avoid it coming on them as a snare? A sleeping world passes from one day to another every night, and knows it not, but he who sits up watching and has a time-keeper, knows when he passes the midnight hour. But it would come unaware upon the watcher, too, if he had not the time. Now, we do not claim that only those who know the time when it commences, are within the reach of the blessing, but those also who learn the day of visitation before it is ended.

 

Not only those who stood ready to receive the Savior the very moment He was introduced, were blessed with the light of that period, but all who receive Him during His visit. And yet Jerusalem was overthrown, because they knew not "The time of their visitation." Lu 19:44. There are several Scriptures which will be better understood by the observation of an important

 

DD77 distinction made by the Savior. When addressing His church, as represented by His disciples, He used the personal pronouns "Ye," and "You," and in speaking to the world, He used "They" and "Them." "Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world." The living church of the whole dispensation was so addressed as one family. "Go ye into all the world * * and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." This is our commission and promise, as well as theirs. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." The whole church is included in this statement. It is the want of seeing this important principle of the unity of the church that has led many to suppose the apostles expected to live till the coming of Christ.

 

Now let us read the passage under consideration (Lu 21:34-36) in the light of this distinction, and it will be seen that it is in favor of our position, and not against it. "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged * * and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare will it come upon all them [the overcharged] that dwell upon the face of the whole earth. Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and stand before the Son of Man." No clearer combination could be made to show the importance of both knowledge of what God has revealed, and holiness of character. With the same distinction in mind, another Scripture, supposed to be against us, comes to our side as a witness. We refer to 1Th 5:1-7. "But of the time and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night; for when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober." Here,

 

DD78 again is the combination of knowledge and holiness. What God has thus joined together, let no man put asunder. From what is taught in the Bible in reference to variety of ability and knowledge in the church, we can not take the ground that each person must or can know the whole truth. But these facts considered, certainly justify our search, and determination to know all we can on this subject as well as others, and, at the same time, it condemns them who regard with indifference or contempt, either what is revealed or those who search for it.

 

Mark, we do not claim to know either the day or the hour when the resurrection or the change of the living church is due. On the other hand, there seems to be evidence that it will not be known, for Jesus says: "Two shall be in bed;" "Two shall be grinding together;" and "Two shall be in the field;" and of each pair, "One shall be taken, and the other left." These are found at their ordinary labor, or resting from it, and it seems as if either could not be, if they knew the hour or day when they would be taken.

 

This is also an evidence of the invisibility of the work of the harvest by the hands of the invisible reapers, ("The reapers are the angels, -Mt 13:39;) for, as we have seen, there is order in the harvest, and it is clear that the "gathering together unto Him" of the saints is not the first work in the order. Mt 13:39. Some have inferred from this, "Two in the field," &c., and some other Scriptures, that nothing should be known about the time, and others that the church were to be constantly expecting the return of Christ from the moment He went away. But it was utterly impossible for Him to return at once, on account of His work in the holy places, as the antitypical High Priest, of which so much is said in the letter to the Hebrews. The order of that work has to be observed in fulfillment, as well as the work itself.

 

Christ invariably placed a long series of events between His going away and His return, (Mt 24,) and never commanded His disciples to watch for His coming, but to give heed to what

 

DD79 He told them. The church had no more right to expect the return of Christ immediately, than a passenger from New York bound for Chicago has a right to expect Chicago before he has passed the intervening stations. If he were interested in his journey, he would watch for the stations, but not for Chicago, until he had seen the last station.

 

The scriptural watching, consists not in looking up into the sky to see if Christ is coming, but in giving heed to the sure word of prophecy, and seeking to conform to the Divine rule of life. Before Christ will be seen coming, the saints will have been taken away, for when "He shall appear ye also shall appear with Him in glory." Col 3:4.

 

The apostle Paul when speaking of the day of our "gathering together under Him," agreed with Christ that it was not to be expected immediately. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed," &c. 2Th 2:1-4. Unless this development of the "son of perdition," is in the past, we have no right to expect either Christ or the gathering. 2Th 2:1. This fact should answer those who expect this to be fulfilled in the development of the personal "Antichrist" or "Man of Sin," after the saints are gone. Whatever it means it must be fulfilled before that day. We are satisfied that the Papacy fills the picture of pride and audacious claims, and that as a supreme power it has received its death blow, and is in the past.

 

Our claim is that the period is revealed, during which Christ comes, the living generation will be judged, the dead in Christ raised, the living changed, the nations overwhelmed in a time of trouble, the Jews restored, and the whole church of Christ glorified, ready for the glorious millennial reign; but that we are left without definite time to the change of translation expected. We believe that period is one of forty years and commenced in 1874, and will reach to 1914. This period is the time for the disposal of the church and nations are now existing, and is in that sense the harvest. It is the time of exaltation of both Jewish and gospel churches to their position for millennial work, and hence is the day-dawn. The glorious light shining on Godís plan of the ages is in harmony with our claim as to the time.

 

The magnitude of the themes, the interests involved for both the church and the world, and the accumulating evidence from both fact and Scripture that we are on the track of truth, justify us in the effort to know, and help others to know, these things. DD80 [BLANK PAGE]

DD81

CHAPTER VII.

BIBLE CHRONOLOGY.

 

There is good evidence that the six thousand years from the creation of Adam, ended in the Autumn of 1973. It is a venerable tradition among both Jews and Christians, that the seventh thousand years of the worldís history will be the "Day of the Lord," or the worldís great sabbath. The term, "day," is used in the Bible, as also in ordinary language, in a variety of ways. Twelve hours make a day, as contrasted with night, but, including both, we reckon twenty four hours in a day. The period of the existence of anything is often called its day. Thus every king has his day, and every dynasty has its day. Properly, "a day is any specified period of time." The forty years of Israelís journey in the wilderness is called their "day of temptation." Heb 3:8, 9. The gospel age is called a "Day of salvation," (2Co 6:2), and the future age is called "The day of Christ." Php 1:6 and Php 2:16.

 

Christ quoted from Isaiah, (Isa 61:1, 2), "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because He hath anointed me to * * proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," and omitted, "the day of vengeance of our God." Lu 4:18, 19. The phrases, "day of the Lord," and "Day of wrath," are very common in the Bible. We believe they are identical, and are properly applied to a period of time at the introduction of the millennial age and do not cover the whole age. We believe the tradition is correct that fixes upon the seventh thousand as the great sabbath, and there is much evidence that it is an age of restitution

 

DD82 and blessing; but this period of transition on which we have entered, is everywhere in the Bible spoken of as day of wrath and trouble. "The day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come." Joe 1:15. It is "a day of darkness and gloominess, of clouds and of thick darkness." (Joe 2:2). "The day of the Lord is darkness, and not light." Am 5:18. "The mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress. * * And I will bring distress upon men; * * their blood shall be poured out as dusk, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lordís wrath," &c. Zep 1:14-18.

 

These are examples of a common expression of the Bible, and give us one prominent phase of this transition period. From one standpoint, all is dark, and a great many can see no further. But, however dark it is, or may become, there is light beyond it. In one respect, "It is the time of Jacobís trouble, but he shall be saved out of it." Jer 30:7. There is restitution beyond it, and this cheers us, as we see the dark cloud, like a pall, falling over the world.

 

Speaking of Israel, "Thus saith the Lord, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and she shall be called a city of truth; * * There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, * * and they shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets therefore." See Zec 8:3-9, for a description of the unparalleled prosperity of Jerusalem. "But before those days [of restoration] there was no hire for man, nor for beast, nor any peace to him that went out or came in, because of the affliction; for I set every one against his neighbor." This seems clearly to foretell a terrible and world-wide scene of desolation and trouble, connected with the dawn of the age of restitution. It is as the storm before the sunshine, or as the cleaning away of the rubbish in the Spring, that the green herbage of millennial peace may appear. "For all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy," (not a literal fire.) "For then will I

 

DD83 turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent." Zep 3:8, 9.

 

One important feature of this foretold trouble, is financial-or the conflict between labor and capital. "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

 

Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth Eaten.[it can only refer to that which is unused or excessive.] Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth [It is unjust gain that is condemned.]: And the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth [armies.]." Jas 5:1-4. This is a most remarkable prophecy, and a more perfect pen picture of the financial condition of the world, today, could scarcely be given. And that war in some form is inevitable, is indicated by the prophecy, and admitted by many. "Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lordís wrath." Zep 1:18

 

There is on all hands, throughout the civilized world, a peculiar and excessive agitation on this subject of capital and labor, which warrants us in believing that the Spirit in the prophets foresaw and foretold these days, and it is a fact to which we wish to call special attention, that the present financial crisis, which is so universal began in the Autumn of 1863, just where we claim the six thousand years ended.

 

We know that men have been expecting a healthy reaction, and a reaction, after several very dark years, has come, but whether it is healthy or not, remains to be seen. We would not desire to be sensational, or to make anything worse than it is, and will be glad to see any improvement that may come, but we regard it as only one of the waves trouble. With the Bible in our hands and the great facts of human selfishness, and the unsettled conflict between

 

DD84 labor and capital before us, we are confident that the worst has not come. But we will not speak dogmatically of the exact order or manner of future events. It becomes us, as Christians, to watch and be sober; to avoid extravagance, and any share in that which is unjust or oppressive. "Seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lordís anger." Zep 2:3.

 

This subject of chronology is important, not only because it is in itself a direct argument which locates us, but because it is the key to several others.

 

There are two or three lines of argument which show our position definitely on the stream of time that are not in any way connected with, or dependent on this chronology. Among them, is the one referred to in our last chapter, -"The Days of Daniel 12, -which deals exclusively with facts and dates within the limit of the gospel age; and some of these facts come within the range of our own generation. The harmony existing between several time arguments, some of which are, and some of which are not dependent on the chronology, is an evidence in favor of both.

 

Suppose you have an iron safe to open, and a bunch of keys from which to select, and you find that the only key which will open the safe, will also open its several drawers, you would at once decide that you had the right key. With us the safe is, "The day of the Lord," and the several drawers are the time arguments marking important points in that day. There are a great many chronologies of more or less merit, like the bunch of keys, but there is only one of the many on which there can be developed a harmonious ending of the prophetic periods, and that is

 

BOWENíS CHRONOLOGY

 

This stands in the estimate of many writers, simply on a par with several others, but Bishop Usherís is endorsed by the greatest number, and is the one found in the margin of our common reference Bibles. Bowenís has one peculiarity, however, which commends it to our judgment; it is the only one, we believe, that claims to be a Bible chronology. There are confessed difficulties

 

DD85 and apparent breaks, which other writers seek to overcome by reference to Josephus, but Bowen gives every year mentioned in the Bible, in the line between Adam and Cyrus, and adds no more. It must stand or fall on its own merits. If the Lord has given a chronology, as we claim, then when the due time for it to be understood has come, the Spirit will enable men to find it in the Bible.

 

We claim there is a revealed chronology from Adm to the first year of Cyrus, or B.C. 536, and no further. The Lord helps men only when they cannot help themselves; reveals only what cannot be discovered by the use of the natural powers. This time from Adam to Cyrus, is called the prehistoric period, in which events were recorded mainly by pictures or hieroglyphics, and dates could not be expressed. With the rise of the Persian power a system of writing was introduced, and since then the combination of history and Astronomy enables men to reckon time accurately. It is just as easy for Astronomers to reckon back as forward, and tell when eclipses have been as to tell when they will be. That they can do the latter we know, and this should give confidence as to the past.

 

"Ptolemyís Canon," a system of Astronomical calculations, compiled by a famous Greek Astronomer, Ptolemy Claudius, who flourished between A.D., 125 and A.D., 160, fixes upon B.C. 536 as the first year of Cyrus. This is generally accepted as correct, except by a few writers who seem anxious, or find it necessary, to modify history to fit their prophetic theories. Usher is therefore, like all others, right as far back as Cyrus, and we have B.C., 536 in the margin of our Bibles as the date of his first year. But further back then that we can accept of no chronology but what can be found in the Bible. We accept the Hebrew text from which our common Bible is translated, because God in His Providence has made it the basis of the principal Christian work and source of light, and recognized the two Testaments as His "Two Witnesses." Re 11.

 

The following is a statement of the six thousand years from Adam, according to Bowenís Chronology: DD86

 

From Adam to the end of the flood††† 1656 years

 

From the flood to the covenant††††††† 427†† "

 

From the covenant to the law††††††††† 430"

 

In the wilderness††††††††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

To the division of the land†††††††††††† 6†† "

 

To Samuel, the prophet†††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

From Samuel to David†††††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

Under the kings of Judah††††††††††††† 473†† "

 

The desolation of Jerusalem††††††††††† 70†† "

 

From Cyrus to Christian Era†††††††††† 536†† "

 

To end of Jewish year, in 1873†††††† 1873†† "

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total 6000†† "

 

This is reckoned on Jewish or Bible time. The Jewish nation had two years, which we call civil and ecclesiastical. The civil year begins in the Autumn, and the other in the Spring, but as the latter was not established until after leaving Egypt, this chronology is reckoned by the civil time. The Jewish year corresponding to our year, 1872, therefore reached to the Autumn of 1873. It will be observed that this chronology is not affected at all, whether the common era is, or is not, properly dated.

 

Whether Christ was born two, four, or five years before the common era, does not change the length of time from Adam to 1873, or any other point in time, any more than a point (.) At one place or another on a line (óóó-) changes the length of that line. The time would be the same length if Christ had never been born.

 

If any one will take the trouble of tracing the chronology as it is presented, referring to chapter and verse, he will be better able to appreciate its strength, and that of all the arguments based upon it. It may seem dry to some, but attention will make it interesting, and its importance will justify all the effort made to understand it.

 

We will present each period in its order, from Adam to Cyrus. From Adam to the day the flood was dried up, was 1656 years.

 

DD87 Ge 5 and Ge 8:13.

 

"This is the book of the generation of Adam." Ge 5:1.

 

From Adam to the birth of Seth (Ge 5:3)†††††††††††††††††††††† 130 years

 

From birth of Seth to birth of Enos (Ge 5:6)††††††††††††††††† 105†† "

 

From birth of Enos to birth of Cainan (Ge 5:9)†††††††††††††††† 90†† "

 

From birth of Cainan to birth of Mahalaleel (Ge 5:12)††††††††† 70†† "

 

From birth of Mahalaleel to birth of Jared (Ge 5:15)†††††††††† 65†† "

 

From birth of Jared to birth of Enoch (Ge 5:18)†††††††††††††† 162†† "

 

From birth of Enoch to birth of Methuselah (Ge 5:21)†††††††††††† 65†† "

 

From birth of Methuselah to birth of Lamech (Ge 5:25)†††††††† 187†† "

 

From birth of Lamech to birth of Noah (Ge 5:28-29)††††††††††† 182†† "

 

From birth of Noah to the day the waters were dried (Ge 8:13) 600†† "

 

†††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Total 1656"

 

The careful reader will readily see that in this line is no break, as we reckon from birth to birth, and need, therefore, pay no attention to the other portions of the lives of the men named. It is also stated to the day, as will be observed.

 

There is a difficulty here, for from Adam to the birth of Methuselah is 687 years, to which, if we add the length of his life-969 years, (Ge 5:27) it gives 1656 years. But he did not go into the ark; the flood lasted quite a large portion of a year, and yet it takes all of Noahís 600, as we have seen to complete the 1656. This is an example of the shortening of a period a fraction of a year, and this could be done without affecting the chronology, as the time of Methuselahís death is not needed in the line. Methuselah had entered on the flood year, and it was included in the statement of his age, but in the line of the chronology, Noahís age is stated to a day, at the end of the flood. This method of shortening or prolonging is not uncommon in the Bible, but we understand that fractions balance each other in the Lordís mode of stating the time. "Zedekiah reigned eleven years in Jerusalem." Jer 52:1. But, in verses six and seven, we learn that in the fourth month of his

 

DD88 eleventh year, the city was broken up. We accept the years, as stated in the direct line.

 

From the flood to the death of Terah, Abrahamís father, was 427 years. Ge 11:10-32.

 

From the flood to birth of Arphazad (Ge 11:10) †††††††††2 years

 

From birth of Aphaxad to birth of Salah (Ge 11:12)†††† 35 "

 

From birth of Salah to birth of Eber (Ge 11:14)††††††† 30 "

 

From birth of Eber to birth of Peleg (Ge 11:16)††††††† 34 "

 

From birth of Peleg to birth of Reu (Ge 11:18)†††† ††††30 "

 

From birth of Reu to birth of Serug (Ge 11:20)†††††††† 32 "

 

From birth of Serug to birth of Nahor (Ge 11:22)†††††† 30 "

 

From birth of Nahor to birth of Lamech (Ge 11:25)†††† 187 "

 

From birth of Lamech to birth of Terah (Ge 11:24)††††† 29 "

 

From Terahís birth to his death (Ge 11:32)††††††††††† 205 "

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total 427 "

 

We pass over the time of Terahís sons for the present, because there is a direct line without it. Up to the time of Terahís death, there is scarcely room for a difference of opinion among chronological writers. From the covenant with Abraham to the law, was 430 years. Ga 3:16-17. The covenant was made at the death of Tera, and included the promise of the land-both typical and antitypical Canaan. Ac 7:4-5. "And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said: Unto thy seed will I give this land." Ge 12:7. This same covenant made with Abram, was repeated afterward, "with an oath unto Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob." Ps 105:9-11. Its being thus repeated at later periods, cannot, as claimed by some, move the date of the covenant with Abraham, and that is the fact of which Paul gives us the date in Ga 3:16, 17. Because Isaac was a type, and the promises are all typical, as shown in a preceding chapter, this covenant is said to have been "confirmed of God in Christ.

 

Thus the end of the 427 years of the preceding period, and the beginning of this 430 years are at the same point, -Teraís death-and there is therefore no break in the chronology. That there

 

DD89 are what have appeared breaks, and insurmountable difficulties we know, but it looks plain to us as here stated, and we proceed with confidence. The 430 began with the covenant, and reached to the law, as Paul has stated.

 

The Passover was the first feature of the law, and was instituted on the night the children of Israel left Egypt. "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years, and it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the self same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord, went out from the land of Egypt. Ex 12:41. The context shows that the Passover was instituted at that time, as is well known. We thus have an unbroken line from the creation of Adam to the exodus from Egypt. The above passage does not say the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt four hundred and thirty years, but the sojourning of that people, who dwelt in Egypt, lasted that length of time.

 

The sojourning began in the person of Abraham, and continued in the others who dwelt in tabernacles, having no continuing place. Heb 11:9. As Levi, one of the tribes, paid tithes in Abraham, being yet in loins of his father, (Heb 7:9, 10,) so all the tribes sojourned in Abraham. This has caused some to stumble, but we are willing to let the Lord speak in a dark way, and then be His own Interpreter.

 

From the exodus they were forty years in the wilderness, and from the crossing of the Jordan to the division of the land was six years. There is a fraction over, but here of the "day of temptation," the Lord calls it "forty years" in round numbers, and we accept it, believing that He will make the fractions balance. Heb 3:8, 9. It was forty-five years to a day, from the sending of the spies until the division of the land. Caleb, one of the good spies, said: "Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-Barnea to espy out the land. * * And now the Lord hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, * * and I am this day four score and five years old." Jos 14:7-10. "And Joshua blessed him and

 

DD90 gave Caleb, Hebron for his inheritance,"-(Jos 15:13.) Why in this, as in some other cases, is it stated so pointedly, to a day, at the end, if not to give ending and starting points? It was a year and a fraction from leaving Egypt to the sending of the spies. They left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month. Nu 33:3. (Rameses or Goshen was the best land in Egypt. Ge 47:11.)

 

On the twentieth day of the second month in the second year, they journeyed from Sinai toward Paran. Nu 10:11, 12. From Kadesh-Barnea, in the wilderness of Paran, the spies were sent. Nu 13:3-26, and Nu 32:8. The forty-six years from leaving Egypt to the division of the land is confirmed by another fact. At the end of the "forty years," a system of Sabbaths begun, which required the land to rest during the seventh year. Le 25:2-4. From entering the land, the enemies had to be conquered before the land could be divided. Peace being restored, and the division made, the land could rest during the seventh year according to the law.

 

The next period to be considered, is from the division of the land to Samuel, the prophet, which this chronology makes four hundred and fifty years. This is the most difficult point to establish clearly in the whole chronology, and on which, perhaps there is the greatest difference of opinion. It is usually known as the period of the judges. This period as given in the Book of Judges, and 1 Samuel is made up of nineteen small period, which sum up four hundred and fifty years:

 

Israel served the king of Mesopotamia (Jud 3:8)†† 8 years

 

The land rested (Jud 3:11)†††††††††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

They served Moab (Jud 3:14)††††††††††††††††††††† 18†† "

 

The land rested (Jud 3:30)†††††††††††††††††††††† 80†† "

 

Jabin oppressed them (Jud 3:3)†††††††††††††††††† 20†† "

 

The land rested (Jud 5:31)†††††††††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

They served Midian (Jud 6:2)††††††††††††††††††††† 7†† "

 

The country was quiet (Jud 8:28)†††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

Abimelech reigned over them (Jud 9:22)††††††††††† 3†† "

 

DD91

Tota judged Israel (Jud 10:1-2)††††††††††††††††† 23†† "

 

Jair judged Israel (Jud 10:3)††††††††††††††††††† 22†† "

 

Philistines oppressed them (Jud 10:7-8)††††††††† 18†† "

 

Jephthah judged Israel (Jud 12:7)†††††††††††††††† 6†† "

 

Jbzan judged Israel (Jud 12:9)††††††††††††††††††† 7†† "

 

Elon judged Israel (Jud 12:11)†††††††††††††††††† 10†† "

 

Abdon judged Israel (Jud 12:14)†††††††††† ††††††††8†† "

 

Given over to Philistines (Jud 13:1)†††††††††††† 40†† "

 

Samson judged Israel (Jud 16:31)†††††††††††††††† 20†† "

 

Eli was their last judge (1Sa 4:18)††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total 450†† "

 

The rule of the judges did not cover all this space of time, but they were scattered over most of it, hence Paul could truly say they had judges "about the space of four hundred and fifty years," after He had "divided their land to them by lot." Ac 13:19-20. This seems clear and straight, but as the chronology stands in the Old Testament, there are difficulties. Between the division of the land and the first eight years there is a break, covered by the statement of Jud 2:7, which is indefinite. Then we learn from Jud 15:20, that Samsonís twenty years lapped on the forty years of the Philistines, both of which had been counted. But we accept Paulís statement as given to unravel the difficulty. The "space" was four hundred and fifty years between the division of the land and Samuel, and they had judges "about" all that time. It is worthy of attention that where there is obscurity in the Old Testament, the Spirit in the apostles comes to our aid, as in this period of the judges and the four hundred and thirty already considered. If this space is more than four hundred and fifty years, it only proves that we are further into the seventh thousand years than we claim. Bishop Usher makes it only three hundred and fifty, but admitting that Paul made an indefinite statement, as some claim, he could not reasonably call three hundred and fifty years "about four hundred and fifty." Paul certainly brings us nearer the "great day" than does Bishop Usher. Besides this

 

DD92 discrepancy of Usher, he shortens the reign of the kings of Judah six years, and begins the seventy yearsí captivity, or more properly the "desolation of Jerusalem," during which the land was to enjoy her sabbath, (2Ch 36:21) eighteen years sooner than the city was made desolate. He reckons it from the fourth year of Jehoiakim, instead of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, who was the last king on Davidís throne. 2Ch 36:11 to the end of the chapter.

 

Thus, in all, Usher puts off the end of the six thousand years, one hundred and twenty-four years, or until A.D. 1997. Weak or strong, we let the Bible chronology stand as it is, and confess that this is its weakest point, but comparing scripture with scripture, we find it strong enough to convince us that the Lord intended to give a connected chronology; and by comparing Bowenís with the facts of our day, we are satisfied that it is what it claims to be, a Bible Chronology.

 

Saulís period of forty years we shall include with that of the kings of Judah, making it all the period of five hundred and thirteen years.*

 

_______

 

*Samuel judged Israel contemporary with Eli and Saul, and during the interval between the death of Eli and the crowing of Saul, but God has seen fit not to reckon Samuelís life as a part of the chronology. The two spaces of 450 years, and 40 years reach from the division of the land to David. They had judges "about" all the first space, and Saul reigned in the second space. It is not necessary to prove just how long Saul reigned. _______

 

In this there is no difficulty.

 

Saulís†††††† "space," Ac 13:22††††††† 40 years

 

Davidís†††††† reign,1Ch 24:37†††††† 40†† "

 

Solomonís†††† reign,2Ch 9:30††††††† 40†† "

 

Rehoboamís††† reign,2Ch 12:13†††††† 17†† "

 

Abijahís†††††† " "††† 2Ch 13:2†††††††† 3†† "

 

Asaís††††††††† " "††† 2Ch 16:13†††† ††41†† "

 

Jehoshaphatís""††† 2Ch 20:21†††††† 25†† "

 

Jehoramís††††† " "††† 2Ch 21:5†††††††† 8†† "

 

Ahaziahís††††† " "††† 2Ch 22:2†††††††† 1†† "

 

Athaliahís†††† " "††† 2Ch 22:12††††††† 6†† "

 

DD93

Joashís††††††† " "††† 2Ch 24:1††††††† 40†† "

 

Amaziahís††††† " "††† 2Ch 25:1††††††† 29†† "

 

Uzziahís†††††† " "††† 2Ch 26:3††††††† 52†† "

 

Jothamís†††††† " "††† 2Ch 27:1††††††† 16†† "

 

Ahas톆††††††† " "††† 2Ch 28:1††††††† 16†† "

 

Hezekiahís†††† " "††† 2Ch 29:1††††††† 29†† "

 

Manassehís†††† " "††† 2Ch 33:1††††††† 55†† "

 

Amonís†††††††† " "††† 2Ch 33:21††††††† 2†† "

 

Josiahís†††††† " "††† 2Ch 34:1††††††† 31†† "

 

Jehoiakimís††† " "††† 2Ch 36:5††††††† 11†† "

 

Zedekiahís†††† " "††† 2Ch 36:11†††††† 11†† "

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total†† 513"

 

This brings us to the desolation of Jerusalem, or the beginning of the seventy years of "captivity," as it is usually called.** _______ _______

 

**The seventy years do not mark the captivity of the people, but the desolation of Jerusalem. They begin at the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, and not eighteen years sooner, as Bishop Usher claims. (See 2Ch 36:11-21; Jer 1:3, and Eze 21:25-27.) Usher shortens the time eighteen years, by confounding the time when the people began to go into captivity, with the time the process was complete when the seventy years began. _______

 

We add this seventy years, which brings us to "the reign of the kingdom f Persia," or "the first year of Cyrus." 2Ch 36:20-22. This brings us to 536 B.C., the time being fixed, as noticed before, by Astronomy. This is the historic period, in which Usher, Bowen, and, we believe, all other noted writers, are agreed. So we add five hundred and thirty six, which brings us to the Christian era. Then adding eighteen hundred and seventy two full years, we reach the end of the sic thousand years from the creation of Adam, reckoned by Jewish civil time, in the autumn of 1873, Roman time. On the strength of this chronology, we believe that the Day of the Lord has begun. "The Day of the Lord is a day of trouble," and judging from the condition of the nations at present, and the ominous outlook, no one can, we think, look upon the facts and not be impressed with the idea that our position may, at least, be correct.

 

DD94 Whoever reads and is out of Christ, may he flee to Him as the only Ark of safety from the coming storm.*** _______

 

***According to Bishop Usher, the six thousand years do not end until the year 1997, making a difference of one hundred and twenty four years; one hundred years in the period of the judges, the eighteen years mentioned in a preceding note, and six years in the period of the kings. These are the only differences between Usher and the Bible chronology. The cause of the difference of a hundred years was the attempt to reconcile certain statements of the Book of Kings with the history of the kings of Judah. 1Ki 6:1 gives the time from leaving Egypt until Solomonís fourth year as four hundred and eighty years, instead of five hundred and eighty, according to Chronicles. This gives three hundred and fifty, only, for the space of the judges instead of four hundred and fifty. We have seen that the nineteen small periods given in Judges, add up four hundred and fifty years, and that Paul says they had judges about that time. Ac 13:20. The reign of the kings of Israel was broken and disconnected, having no regular line of chronology, but there is, as we have seen, a regular line of the kings of Judah, by which Christ came. We, therefore, accept of the regular line, which is in harmony with Paulís statement, believing that an inaccuracy of a figure is of little consequence, where nothing important depends upon it. Usherís chronology corrected by the line through which Christ came, also makes the six thousand years end in the year 1873. __________

DD95 CHAPTER VIII. NUMBER SEVEN.

 

WHILE there is no positive statement of the Bible, that the seventh thousand years from Adam will be the worldís great sabbath, we believe the circumstantial evidence in favor of the idea is considerable. And in any court, a strong array of such evidence is regarded as substantial. The week, based on the number seven, is evidently a type of the seven thousand years. "One day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 2Pe 3:8. The term day is not only used in these two ways but in others, as mentioned before. We do not say that the creation week was made up of seven days, each twenty four hours long. It is the earthís revolution in the light of the sun that makes the evening and morning of a twenty-four hour day, and it was not until the fourth day of the creation week, that the sun shone on our earth; so the days were not measured by the revolution of the earth on its axis. The ordinary week may represent seven long periods of time, backward as well as forward. There are, in all these, six days of work, and the seventh day is the sabbath. Of each of the six days, it was said, "The evening and the morning" made the day, but not so of the seventh. It was an unlimited day so far as the record shows; so we think it not unlikely that "the thousand years" on which we are entered, may be a very long one. Perhaps, like the other periods connected with symbolic prophecy, it may be fulfilled "a day for a year," and so cover of literal time, three hundred and sixty thousand years. If that is true, as we suggest, it would give room for the "thousand

 

DD96 generations" (Ps 105:8) before mortality would cease. It is evident that during the six thousand years of the past, there could not have been more than two hundred generations, allowing thirty years to a generation, and that is a short average. Every word of the Lord will be fulfilled.

 

Though the seventh day was the sabbath, yet it is said: "On the seventh day God ended His work, and rested." Ge 2:2. The lapping of dispensations is here foreshadowed, and so the work of the six thousand reaches into the millennium before it is complete. As the last act of that creation was getting Adam and wife, it would seem as if that was the work extended, and the wife was not fully made ready until the beginning of the seventh day.

 

Though the church is said to reign with Christ, yet the bride is not complete until the morning of the great day. As Christ rose very early in the morning, so will the bride have given her the "Morning Star." This is promised to the overcomer. Re 2:28. Why is Christ called the "Morning Star," if not because He appears "to them that look for Him" very early in the morning? The presence of the star is a characteristic of the day dawn, while the sun makes perfect day. Christ will, doubtless, fill both positions in their order.

 

The prominence given to the number seven in the Bible is suggestive of the idea that the plan of God is based upon it. Seven is fundamental in the construction of the law. The system of sabbaths is based upon it. There is not only the seventh day but the seventh month, and the seventh year. Pentecost, the fiftieth day, is reached by a multiple of the seventh day; seven times seven, or forty-nine, brings us to the fiftieth. The fiftieth year, or great jubilee is reached in the same way, or by a multiple of the seventh year. This fact of the relation of the sevens is the basic of the jubilee argument which will be given in a chapter by itself. It has been urged by some in favor of the observance by Christians of the seventh day sabbath. But if it has any force, it is as much in favor of the observance of all the other sabbaths of the same system. And the most devoted to this

 

DD97 kind of service never thinks of letting his land rest each seventh year, or of having a jubilee each fiftieth year. The typical law is not fulfilled by its observance, but by the coming to pass of that to which it points. The day was fulfilled in the antitypical wave loaf offering, or descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, (Le 23:15, 16, and Ac 2,) and the year sabbath, based on the day, finds its fulfillment in the great jubilee or thousand-year sabbath.

 

In the New Testament the number seven is made very prominent, especially in the book of Revelation; nearly all things are complete by sevens. There are the "seven churches" of Asia, chosen to represent the seven stages of the history of the church of Christ during the gospel dispensation. There are the "seven stars," representing the angels of the church, or the complete gospel ministry. The "seven candlesticks," found in type under the law, in the holy place, also represent the seven churches. Re 1:20. Then we read of the "seven lamps of fire," which are the "seven Spirits of God." Re 4:5. There is a book in the right hand of God, and given to the Lamb to open, which is sealed with "seven seals,"-(Re 5:1.) The Lamb has "seven horns" and "seven eyes" which are the "seven Spirits sent forth into the earth." (Re 5:6.) Then we read of the "seven angels" to which are given "seven trumpets," (Re 8:2,) which, of course, are not literal, but fulfilled by events in the order of succession. The "seventh" is evidently what Paul, inspired by the same spirit as John, calls the "last trump," during which the great events of this change of dispensation are fulfilled. Then we read of other "seven angels" having "seven vials" in which are contained the "seven last plagues," which represent the wrath of God complete. (Re 15:1.) The Roman Empire is represented as a beast having "seven heads," which are "seven mountains" or "seven kings." (Re 17:9, 10.)

 

It would be a wonder if the seventh thousand did not complete the cycle, or week, which brings the world to the perfect state. There are several things in the prophecies and in the teachings of

 

DD98 Christ which seem to be in harmony with the thousand-year day idea, which we present. With this view, it was early in the fifth day (thousand) that Christ came in the flesh, offered Himself to the Jews, was rejected, and left their house desolate. Mt 23:38-39. The last verse shows there is a limit to that desolation, and Paul fixes that limit "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Ro 11:25. Let it be remembered that the gospel dispensation was given for the purpose of taking out from among the Gentiles a people for His name (Ac 15,) and it will not be difficult to see that the suspension of the nation of Israel is until the gospel age is complete. This is the point where we claim to be living, and there are today many indications favorable to the restoration of that nation.

 

Now turn to the sixth chapter of the prophecy of Hosea, and see the application of the thousand-year day. "Come let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn [left desolate] and He will heal us [restore]; He hath smitten and He will bind us up. After two days [fifth and sixth thousand years] He will revive us; in the third day [seventh thousand] He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord, &c." Hos 6:1-3. This prophecy of "days" is in harmony with our view, and we may safely say, is in harmony with no other.

 

This is not a spiritual truth we are presenting, but perfectly natural, and found by comparing scripture with scripture. There is no doubt in our mind that the time of our Saviorís death and resurrection was fixed with reference to the great facts involved in this prophecy. Why should He rise the "third day?" It was "according to the scripture." But what scripture foretold the length of time the Savior should be dead? We know of none more direct than this prophecy of Hosea. A similar one is given us in Jonahís case, which the Savior Himself applies as a "sign." There shall no sign be given them but the sign of Jonah, for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whaleís belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three

 

DD99 nights in the earth." Now if any one will carefully read the book of Jonah, they will find language far too strong to be applicable to Jonahís own case, and which indicates restitution. Let Jonah in "hell" represent the desolate state of Israel, from Christís time, and it is beautiful. "Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, and the floods compassed me about. * * Then I said, I am cast out of thy sightí yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. ["Ye shall see me no more, until ye shall say, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."] * * I went down to the bottom of the mountains; the earth with its bars was about me FOREVER; yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption." Chap. 2. "For ever" is an age, and in this case Jonahís three days foreshadowed the casting off of Israel for an age.

 

As Christ came in the fifth thousand, "the third day," "very early in the morning, while it was yet dark," brings us to our present position in the beginning of the seventh thousand. Though these things are natural because applied to the natural Israel and their restoration, yet there is another phase which applies to the gospel church, and her glorification. The same period of time is applicable to both. The suspension of Israel, and the calling out of the church, fill the same period, and there are many evidences that the same period in which Israel is restored, will see the glorification of the church. Jesus said: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

 

They thought He meant the temple in Jerusalem, and so He did in the same sense that God meant Isaac when He promised Abraham a seed. Isaac was a type of Christ, and so the temple in Jerusalem was a type of the church of Christ. "Christ spake of the temple of His body." the language He used was literally true of His own body. But "ye [the church] are the temple of God," not only, but also "the body of Christ." The church has been caused to suffer under the dominion of the same Gentile powers which crucified her Lord, and which has trodden down Israel, according to the flesh. The gospel dispensation

 

DD100 has been emphatically one of suffering, introduced by the personal sufferings of Jesus. As the New Testament teaches that every Christian is a member or part of Christ, (1Co 12:12) and that we are "to fill up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ," (Col 1:24,) we can see that "the sufferings of Christ and the glory that shall follow," (1Pe 1:11,) both refer to the church. One is a dispensation of suffering, and the other a dispensation of glory. We are promised that, "If we suffer we shall also reign with Him." 2Ti 2:12. This condition of the church during the gospel age is not wholly the result of the persecution by visible organized governments, but partly on account of a voluntary crucifixion of fleshly lusts, which brings us into more direct antagonism with the invisible powers of darkness which really are the rulers of the Gentile kingdoms. "We wrestle not with flesh and blood, [human beings,] but with * * the rulers of the darkness of this world * * wicked spirits in the firmament [High places.]." Eph 6:12. Therefore "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." But it is a great truth, and full of comfort to the weary suffering ones, that from whatever cause we suffer, Jesus recognizes our sufferings as His "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? * * I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." Ac 9:4, 5. Saul had been persecuting Christians. In the judgment of Mt 25, the same principle is seen. "Inasmuch as ye have done it, [or "done it not"] to me."

 

This state of suffering must end and the glory begin. Jesus says, "I will raise it up the third day." Again he says, "I will raise it up at the last day." Joh 6:39, 40, 44. Both refer to the seventh thousand years. The third thousand from Christís time is the seventh from Adam.

 

Jesus speaks on this principle of the thousand-year day on another occasion. "The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto Him, Get Thee out and depart hence: for Herod will kill Thee. And He said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox: Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures today, and

 

DD101 tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Lk 13:31, 32. The context shows the third day could not refer to the day of His death, even if that could bring perfection, for He had several days before reaching Jerusalem, and He adds, "It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." It could not refer to His own resurrection, for the reason just mentioned; but even if, when He uttered those words, it had been the day of His death, it could not be that Christ was casting out devils and doing cures while He was dead. During that interval, His work was suspended, for those to whom He came had been left desolate, and the ministry to the remnant under the gospel, did not begin till Pentecost. But, with the thousand-year day idea, all seems clear.

 

While Christ, in His church, is suffering, as we have seen the process of healing and casting out demons goes on. We refer especially to the victory gained by Christians in their warfare, for our weapons "are mighty to the pulling down of stronghold." This struggle of the dispensation goes on during the greater portion of two thousand years-the fifth and sixth thousands-the "today and tomorrow" of His statement, but the victory comes in the seventh thousand; "the third day I shall be perfected," i.e., the church, as Christís Body, shall be completed and glorified. The last struggle of the Satanic kingdom, previous to the reign of Christ, will be a desperate one, and comes in this transition between the ages, in the form of a time of trouble, but Satan must yield; his kingdom will be cast down, and the saints, long the subjects of the cruel administration, will enjoy the long promised rest, and, in their turn, reign with Christ.-Re 20. Satan, who has exalted himself, shall be abased, and Christians, who have humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God, shall be exalted.

 

But if the thousand years have chronologically commenced, (from 1873) and the reign of the saints has not commenced as yet, how can the saints be said to reign a thousand years? The period of time from where this transition begins, until 1914,

 

DD102 where it ends, and during which, we claim, the struggle will come in which Satan will be bound and the saints exalted to power, is a very brief space of time, compared to the thousand years, especially if, as we have suggested, this is a prophetic thousand, or three hundred and sixty thousand years. The period in the wilderness was called forty years, but a year of that time had passed before they entered the wilderness proper.

 

Godís kingdom is to be a stone at first, and conquer its way, until it becomes a great mountain, (a universal kingdom). Da 2:35-44. The kingdom of God was not set up (which means exalted at Pentecost, though it began to be developed then.) The elements of the kingdom must be prepared before it can be exalted to power.

 

The facts of today, in reference to the unrest of the nations, the restoration of the Jews, and the expectancy of the church, taken in connection with the growing evidences from the Bible that a great dispensational change is due here, seem to combine their voices in giving assurance that the seventh thousand is the great sabbath and restitution, and all proclaim that it is now beginning.

DD103

CHAPTER IX.

TIMES OF THE GENTILES.

 

IN this chapter we purpose to give our reason for fixing upon A.D. 1914, as the limit of Gentile dominion, and as the point from which Godís kingdom will be supreme upon the earth. Jesus said, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Lu 21:24. We purpose to show that the period referred to is 2520 years, reaching from B.C. 606, to A.D. 1914. This is called "the times of the Gentiles," because it is the duration of Gentile dominion, from the time they became universal rulers of the earth, until the kingdom of God shall have subdued them, and become universal. The Gentile governments mentioned in the Bible, on this prophetic line, are four-Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. These are symbolized in the second chapter of Daniel, as a great and mighty man, with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and sides of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. This as human government looked in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylonís first king. But mark its depreciation from gold to clay; this shows the downward career of human rule. In the seventh chapter of Daniel, the prophet records his vision of human government from the standpoint of Godís suffering people, and he saw them as four great and terrible beasts, -the lion, the bear, the leopard, and a fourth one, which was too terrible for Daniel to name. This was the Roman Empire taken as a whole. The three first, each in turn, had been universal and conquered by its successor. Rome had become master of the world before

 

DD104 Christ came; under it He was put to death, and the sufferings of His church, and Jerusalem its type, have been continued. Rome, in both Pagan and Papal forms, has been the cruel persecutor of both Jews and Christians. John, in the Isle of Patmos, saw this fourth beast which Daniel could not name, and he described and named it the Devil. Re 12:3-9. As the name of each of the others indicated its character, so of this. Because the Roman Empire is called the Devil, does not prove that there is no real Devil, any more than the fact that Babylon was called a lion proves that there is no real lion. We think the reverse is true in each case, for something real is the best basis for a symbol. The real kingdom of Satan is not flesh and blood, but an invisible spiritual kingdom, but it acts by visible instrumentalities, as in the case of the human empire.

 

The period of 2520 years is the length of Danielís great image, or the duration of the reign of the four beasts. The chronology given in a preceding chapter is the key to this, as to some other Bible arguments. This is, however, the least of any dependent on that portion based on the Bible itself. The seventy years "captivity," as it is usually named, but more properly the seventh years during which Jerusalem was made desolate, "until the land had enjoyed her sabbath," (2Ch 36:21) is the only portion of the chronology taken from the Bible, which is used in reckoning "the times of the Gentiles." The first year of Cyrus, where the seventy years desolation ended, is fixed at B.C. 536 by Astronomy, as shown before. By adding the 70 to the 536, we find the date where the desolation began-B.C. 606. This takes us back to the eleventh year of Zedekiahís reign, who was the last king on Davidís throne.

 

Usher and others made a mistake of eighteen years here, by confounding the captivity, with the desolation of Jerusalem. God had a kingdom on earth, a type of the kingdom of Christ. The throne of David was called the throne of the Lord in the same sense that Isaac was called the Seed. That typical kingdom was gradually subdued by the kingdom of Babylon, but

 

DD105 until it was wholly subdued, the throne cast down, and Jerusalem made desolate, Babylon was not universal. From the point of its complete victory, it is first recognized in the prophetic line, and called the "head of gold."

 

Nebuchadnezzar had the dream referred to, and Daniel, Godís prophet, gave the interpretation. "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, strength and glory, and wheresoever the children of men dwell, * * He hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art the head of Gold."da 2:37, 38. Thus we see Babylon was not recognized as head of gold until it was universal. Thus we are assured that the date of the desolation of Jerusalem is the date of the beginning of Gentile rule, viz.: B.C. 606. Some have supposed that "The times of the Gentiles" did not begin until the later destruction of Jerusalem, under Titus A.D. 70. Those have laid some stress on the fact that Jerusalem was rebuilt by the decree of Cyrus and others. We admit this partial restoration, of course, but the kingdom of Israel has never been an independent government since B.C. 606. It has always been tributary to the Gentile powers, and thus ruled over (or "trodden down") by them.

 

They understood this distinctly in the days of our Savior. Though they had a nominal ruler, he was subordinate to Caesar, "We have no king but Caesar," expresses their subjection; and though they were anxious to put Jesus to death, and are counted guilty of His blood, yet He had to be tried at a Roman tribunal, crucified by Roman soldiers on a Roman cross, and they had to beg His dead body from the Roman governor.

 

The prophet Ezekiel confirms our position. He refers to Zedekiah as the "Profane, wicked prince of Israel," cast down because of iniquity, and adds: "Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, take off the crown; * * I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; [the kingdom] and it shall be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it Him." Eze 21:25-27. That this refers to Christ, all admit; and to this

 

DD106 agree the words of Micah: "And Thou, Oh Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first dominion." (Mic 4:8.) Christ is the Tower of the flock, to which all other kings pointed.

 

That it was not to be fulfilled, or the kingdom given to Christ, at His first coming, the New Testament abundantly proves. Instead of gathering Israel then, as was expected, because foretold by many prophets, as connected with the kingdom, Christ left their house desolate, (Mt 23), and spoke of Himself as going into a far country "to receive for Himself a kingdom, and to return." Lu 19:12. In answer to the question of the disciples, as to when the kingdom of Israel would be restored, He did not seek to correct them, as if they had made a mistake, but said, "It is not for you to know the times and the seasons."

 

Simeon shows the object of the gospel, to take out from among the Gentiles a people for Christís name, and says: "To this agree the words of the prophet; * * After this, I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down." Ac 15:14-17. This is restoration, and is to be followed by blessing on the nation. Christ promised the twelve that they should sit on thrones, during the regeneration, and judge (rule) the twelve tribes of Israel. Mt 19:28. The kingdoms of this world (Jewish and Gentile) become the Lordís during the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Re 11:15-18. These combined, certainly teach that God did not intend to give the kingdom to Christ until the end of the gospel dispensation.

 

We have clear evidence given us of the date of the suspension of Godís kingdom, (B.C. 606), and if, as we have assumed, the length of time is revealed as 2520 years, during which Gentile powers are to rule over Jerusalem, then, of course, it is easy to determine where that period will end, viz.: A.D. 1914; because 606 full years before the beginning of the common era, and 1914 full years after it began, make a total of 2520 years. But is this 2520 a Bible prophetic number, given to mark the duration of

 

DD107 the Gentile rule over Jerusalem? We shall give our reasons for believing that it is.

 

The expression of Jesus, "Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," (Lu 21:24) suggests two thoughts: First, the period must have a limit; an unlimited period could never be fulfilled. It has both a beginning and an end. A promissory note without a date, or specified period of payment, would be worthless. Second, if a period is to be fulfilled, it suggests that it must have been foretold. This is emphasized by the fact that, "The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants, the prophets." Am 3:7. And we have seen that what he reveals to His prophets, is intended for His people, in due time. What man, of himself, cannot discover, the Spirit of God uncovers.

 

We do not find the revelation of the time on the surface, nor in such positive statements, that every person will see and acknowledge it, for had it been so revealed, it would have been known before it was due to the church; and that is not Godís order. But it seems clearly revealed, now that our attention has been called to it, and by comparing scripture with scripture. Combination and harmony make the strongest evidence. Turning first to the twenty-sixth chapter of Leviticus, we find the Lord promising all manner of temporal blessings to His people Israel, on the condition of their obedience to His commands. But the most terrible temporal curses He threatens upon them if they disobey. "Ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it; and I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall rule over you, and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins." Le 26:16-18. This expression "seven times," is repeated in four verses (see also Le 26:21, 24, 28) in reference to their chastisement under the power of their enemies. The circumstances forbid the idea that it means seven times repeated, or more severe. That would have been impossible, It refers to a

 

DD108 period during which their enemies, the Gentiles, would reign over them. This is a basis for the expression of the Savior, "The times of the Gentiles." There can be no doubt that it was introduced at B.C. 606, where, as we have seen the desolation of Jerusalem was accomplished, when we see that event connected with the threatening in this chapter. "And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors. And I will bring the land into desolation, and your enemies that dwell therein, shall be astonished at it. * * Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemiesí land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths." Le 26:31-34. Compare with 2Ch 36:17-23. This confirms our date for the beginning of the period under consideration, and we have seen that it is to last seven times. In prophetic language a "time" means a year, and it has been shown in a preceding chapter, that a Bible year is composed of twelve months of thirty days each. Then a time or year is composed of 360 days, and seven times would be 360 X 7, or 2520 days. It has also been shown that in symbolic prophecy, a day means a literal year, hence this period of Gentile rule over Jerusalem is 2520 years. And from B.C. 606, where the period began, until the end of A.D. 1914, is 2520 years. This Bible argument is a strong evidence in favor of the year-day idea. Had it been fulfilled on literal time, it would have lasted only seven years, but Jerusalem was desolate for seventy years. And while it is true that there was then a partial restoration, Jerusalem has never been free from the dominion of her enemies from that day to this. At this time-A.D. 1880-there remains only thirty-five years of the time to run, reckoning it on the year-day principle.

 

The present indications as to the restoration of Israel, so long under the dominion of their enemies, is strong evidence of the correctness of the theory and the application. Some of the arguments based on the chronology are built also on the year-day theory, and some are reckoned on literal time, and yet the most

 

DD109 perfect harmony exists between them. This confirms both the chronology and the year-day theory.

 

There are many prophetic students who accept the year-day idea as scriptural, and apply it as we have done to the duration of Papal dominion, who are not willing to allow its application to the times of the Gentiles. But if, as they admit, "a time, times and a half," that is three and a half times, have been fulfilled as 1260 literal years, they ought to admit that seven times means 2520. Here is at least one prophetic period that has not expired, and cannot as long as Jerusalem is under the dominion of her enemies. We do not claim that the Gentiles will hold Jerusalem with unlimited sway until A.D. 1914. The opposite is true. The principle of gradual change will find its application here as in the changes of the past.

 

Each successive kingdom, had an existence in the days of the preceding one, and conquered its way to universal dominion, and the kingdom of God, though it is higher in its character, is no exception to the rule of gradual success. The fourth kingdom as symbolized by the fourth beast of Da 7, is divided at a certain stage, into ten parts as shown by the ten horns. The same divisions are represented by the ten toes on the image of Da 2, and when speaking of these ten kingdoms, it is added: "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom * * and it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." Da 2:44. These ten represent the Gentile power in their day, just as the head of gold represented it in his day and from the moment the kingdom of God is set up in its "stone" form, the Gentile governments must begin to be consumed.

 

They do not, however, lose all their power until A.D. 1914, or until the kingdom of God is universal. We have, from a Bible standpoint, good reasons for fixing upon A.D. 1914, as a limit of the times of the Gentiles, and as the date from which Jerusalem, freed from her long bondage, will become "a praise

 

DD110 in all the earth." As a means to the breaking in pieces and removal of the Gentile powers, the kingdom of God is to be set up, as we have seen. This fact locates the coming of Christ and the exaltation of the saints, some by resurrection, and some by translation, long enough before 1914 to give time for the subjugation of earthís kingdoms, before the full time expires. This gives ground for expecting the foretold time of trouble, between now and 1914, during which Danielís people are to be delivered. Da 12:1. None who are familiar with these facts and arguments, can say that our position is imaginary, or speculative. Our claim is sustained by abundant testimony, gained by comparing scripture with scripture.

 

What is proved by these various scriptures, in reference to the suspension and restoration of the kingdom, is illustrated by the type of Nebuchadnezzar. Both in the type, and in the argument, the time is based on the number seven. The seven prophetic times, are typified by seven literal times, or years. Nebuchadnezzar, while in the glory of his kingdom, dreamed of a tree, high, strong, and wide spreading.

 

The leaves were fair, the fruit abundant, even meat for all, and the beasts and fowls were sheltered by it. Da 4:10-12. This dream was interpreted by the prophet Daniel, and applied to the kingdom. The heavenly decree, in consequence of the pride of the possessor of the kingdom, was, "Hew down the tree, cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit, * * nevertheless, leave the stump of his [the kingdom] roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, and let his portion [who possessed the kingdom] be with the beasts, in the grass of the earth; let his heart be changed from manís, and let a beastís heart be given him; and let seven times pass over him." Da 4:14-16. The object to be gained by this bitter experience has not only reference to those who had, and lost, and gained the kingdom, but to all: "To the intent the living might know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will." Da 4:17. "All this came upon

 

DD111 Nebuchadnezzar." Da 4:28. The cause of the suspension is stated: "Is not this great Babylon that I have built?" Da 4:30. It was sinful pride. The cause of Israelís suspension is often express: "Thou profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, that iniquity should have an end." Eze 21:25.

 

"Behold the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy it, saith the Lord." Am 9:8. Here is the same thought of preserving the root and final restoration as in the type. The bitter experience of Nebuchadnezzar among the beasts, during the suspension, is clearly a type of the experience of Israel under the dominion of the four great beasts, -human governments. Da 7. Their peculiar condition is also stated by Am 9:9 "for, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth." Thank the Lord, the restoring is kept in view, and they are not forgotten even in their wanderings and desolation. It is a fact worthy of notice, that the Jews, though scattered as by a sieve, have not become settled land owners. They are wandering as pilgrims; they are vigilant business men, and money-making to a fault, but providentially ready, on short notice, for the return so repeatedly promised. The Jews may well be considered the money kings of the world, and their characteristic in that direction may be foreshadowed by the manner in which they were permitted to get the jewels on the eve of their leaving Egypt.

 

They are not only promised restoration to their land and the kingdom, but spiritual blessings are to result. "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you * * and cause you to walk in my statue, an ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your

 

DD112 fathers." Eze 36:24-28. This could not apply to the church of Christ, for they never had either possession or promise of the land. And that both physical and spiritual promises are intended, is evident, for they are mingled. If only the spiritual were meant, and the passage should be spiritualized, as some claim, then the spiritual need not have been mentioned at all. The object to be gained by either physical curses or blessings, is spiritual good. Restoration is a physical blessing, as it brings back what was lost, but when the lesson of dependence on God is learned, the way is opened for spiritual and endless good. While this argument on the seven times has direct reference to Israel as a nation, the principle involved, of loss and restitution, with the object of spiritual good, is applicable to all who die in Adam and are made alive in Christ.

DD113

CHAPTER X.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

 

WE have seen that the Bible reveals the existence, in the regular order of succession, of five universal kingdoms, that bear rule over all the earth. The first four are human; the last is the kingdom of God. The kingdom in power at any given time, is not to be confounded with the kingdoms over which it rules. There were other kingdoms in existence when Babylon was supreme, but they were tributary to Babylon. So of each one following. Each supreme kingdom of earth had a limited territory of its own, but the dominion extended over all. The same will be true of the kingdom of God. It does not follow that because godís kingdom is universal, there will be no other kingdoms on the earth. The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and His anointed ones, during the sounding of the seventh trumpet. They do not become the kingdom of god, but become subject to it. Grecia did not become Rome when it was subjected to Rome, but became tributary.

 

Christ and the saints are to have power over the nations. Re 2:26, 27. True, they are to be "broken to pieces," as found organized at the time the Lord takes possession; the image of Dan. 1, representing the ruling powers of earth, is to be broken and removed, "as the chaff of a summer threshing floor," and "no place found for them." Da 2:34, 35.

 

But there is a reorganization, under the direction and control of the kingdom of God, for at a later period, when the incoming time of trouble is past, and peace restored, we find the nations

 

DD114 walking in the light of the New Jerusalem, and the kings of the earth bringing their glory and honor into it. Re 21:24. In preparation for this coming trouble and "the battle of the great day of God Almighty" (Re 21:4,) we can now see the nations fulfilling the prophecy of preparation for war. "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong." Joe 3:9-10. This is a prophecy often overlooked by men, in their haste to see the good time coming, but when the great battle is past, the prophecy of peace will be fulfilled.

 

The mountain of the Lord, (i.e., His kingdom,) will be the highest, -"exalted about the hills, and all nations shall flow into it;" and "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And the Lord shall judge [rule] among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn wear any more." Isa 2:2-4, and Mic 4:1-4.

 

Nothing can be clearer than the distinction between the kingdom of god, and the kingdoms over which it will rule. The four kingdoms as represented by the image, or the beasts, were earthly in character and location, but the kingdom of God is called "the kingdom of heaven," (or "the heavens,") in all the Saviorís teaching, and Paul calls it a "heavenly kingdom." 2Ti 4:18. When that reign comes the kingdom of the heavens will control the kingdoms of earth.

 

The fifth is not of the same kind as the preceding four. The rulers in those were morals but in this they (Christ and the saints) are immortal. Those kingdoms were visible to mortals, but the kingdom of God cannot be seen nor inherited by mortals. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." 1Co 15:50. Until men are born again, they are flesh and therefor mortal. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Joh 3:6. Conversion is not the second

 

DD115 or new birth, but only the begetting of the Spirit unto a lively hope. Christ says, "every one that is born of the Spirit" has power to come and go mysteriously, like the wind. Verse 8. The new birth, or birth of the Spirit, is the entrance upon the spiritual and immortal life, as the natural birth is the entrance upon mortal life. In either case the birth is preceded by a begetting. When Christ was quickened by the Spirit, He was said to be, "the first born from the dead." Col 1:18. Hence He was born twice: "first natural and afterward the spiritual." There are but two births mentioned in the Bible, hence conversion cannot be a birth; neither is baptism a birth. The Savior did not need to be converted, for He was not a sinner, being the Son of God from His birth; and baptism is only a type of the new birth. The fact that it is a type makes it important, however, and as our Example and Forerunner Jesus submitted to it.

 

No act could more fully express all that is meant by conversion and resurrection than the immersion in water. Let those who claim to have the spirit of it express their loyalty by submission to heavenís appointed form.

 

When Jesus had been born again, He gave us an illustration of the statement that every one born of the Spirit can move like the wind. He appeared and disappeared at pleasure, and no man could trace His movements. He would change His form, as a disguise; Mary took Him to be the gardener; and "He appeared in another form unto two of them," on their journey to Emmaus. Mr 16:12. He walked and talked with them, and they thought he was "a strange," and when His object was gained, "He vanished out of their sight." Lu 24:13-31.

 

Then he appeared in their midst, the doors being shut, and though "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit," yet He said, "Behold my hands, and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have; and He shewed them His hands and His feet." Lu 24:39-40. These mysteries attend Him who is the King of kings, and He promises that when we are born of the same Spirit, we shall be like Him.

 

DD116 Moreover He says, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God;" and "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Joh 3:3-5. These both refer to two births, and from the combined testimony, it may be seen that while earthly kingdoms are visible to mortals, the heavenly kingdom is not visible to them. With this view there is a fullness of meaning in the Saviorís answer to the Pharisees, when they demanded of Him when the kingdom of God should come. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there! for, behold the kingdom of God is among you." Lu 17:20-21 (margin). He refers to the time when it comes, and that it will be invisible is clear, or they would say lo here! or lo there! If it were at Jerusalem, with Palestine for its territory, mortals could both see and enter it; and they certainly could locate it, all of which are impossible for mortals. The same, of course, would be true if it should be located in any other part of the world. But is not the kingdom of God to reign over the earth like the other kingdoms preceding it? Certainly, but that does not necessitate its location as an earthly kingdom itself. To illustrate: Satan has a kingdom, not composed of "flesh and blood" beings, which is the invisible power, now controlling the kingdoms of earth. "We wrestle not with flesh and blood * * but against the rulers of the darkness of this world-wicked spirits." Eph 6:12 (margin). The New Testament clearly shows that Satan is the "god of this world" who "hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." 2Co 4:4. "All the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them," he claimed, and as a temptation offered them to the Savior. And had there been no truth in his claim, and as some say the Savior had them already, then it would have been no temptation. Had the Savior not been hungry, "command that these stones be made bread" cold not have been a temptation. Some people might say, all these things were Christís by creation, and soon after the temptation, by purchase, but it is clear that the kingdoms are not His by actual possession until the

 

DD117 seventh trumpet sounds. Re 11:15. Then the transfer is made of the kingdoms of the world from the dominion of the devil and his angels, into the dominion of Christ and His saints.

 

All must admit that, though the kingdoms ruled are visible, the kingdom of Satan, which rules them, is invisible. And, in view of this fact, it is easy to understand how the kingdom of the heavens, which is to supplant Satanís kingdom, can rule the kingdoms of the world, and remain itself invisible. We do not teach that the heavenly kingdom cannot make itself manifest to mortals, or that Christ and the saints will never be seen by them. We believe they will be seen occasionally, as special circumstances may require; but we claim that they are naturally invisible to mortals, and that a miracle would be necessary to make them visible.

 

As of Christ, so will it be of others associated with Him. Before His death, He was naturally visible to mortals, but could miraculously disappear; but after His resurrection, He was naturally invisible, but could miraculously appear. There is nothing, in our view, to conflict with any statement of the word, which shows that mortals will see Christ, in some form or other. We know of no scripture to warrant the idea that Christ will be seen by the natural eye of the saints, for in that case, He must appear in the flesh. Paul says: "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more." 2Co 5:16. We have the promise of being changed, so that we shall be like Him, and see Him as He is. 1Jo 3:2. We are not to see Him as He was, when He was the Word made flesh, or as He appeared in the flesh, with his wounds and scars, but "as He is,"-the "brightness of His [Fatherís] glory, and the express image of His person." Heb 1:2. The manifestation in the flesh is not in itself an impossibility, but such manifestations are not due until after the saints are with Him.

 

Instead of belittling the promised manifestations, we regard them as among the glorious facts of the future, by which the kingdom of God will accomplish its work for the enlightenment and salvation of mankind.

 

DD118 There are three distinct modes of the manifestation of spiritual beings taught in the Bible, to which we would call attention. All that is revealed directly or indirectly of the power of such beings, we have a right to use, as giving light upon the future of the glorified church of Christ. We are commanded to compare spiritual things with spiritual, in order that we may comprehend the deep things of God, -the things which God has laid up for them that love Him. 1Co 2:9-13. Angels, as Godís messengers of mercy, or of judgment, have done strange things, in the history of the world, as revealed in the Bible. The church of Christ are to be raised spiritual bodies, and made like the angels, so that they cannot die any more, and are then to supplant the angels in their administration. "For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak;" (Heb 2:5) and we need not here repeat the testimony that Christ and the saints are to be the future rulers of the world. Made like the angels in life and immortality, the saints will excel them in official dignity, and the glory of their work. All that the angels have done, or can do, the saints will then have power to do, -and power is not bestowed in vain. The three ways in which spiritual beings have manifested themselves are these: First, in glory; second, as men in the flesh; and third, by acting, through others: they themselves remaining invisible.

 

When, angels appeared in their glory, they were said to shine "as the lightning," or like fire; and the ordinary effect on man was to blind him, or cause him to fall as dead. Men naturally could not endure such light. Daniel saw "a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with the fine gold of Uphaz: his body was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude." Da 10:5-6. The men with Daniel did not see the vision, but great fear fell upon them, so that they fled to hid themselves. Daniel lost all his strength, and fell on the ground with face downward as in a deep sleep. Saul of Tarsus met the

 

DD119 glorified Jesus, while on the way to Damascus, and it caused blindness, so that they led him by the hand. His sight was restored to him at the time of his baptism. The description given of Him in this case is almost the same as given of the angel that appeared to Daniel, and the effect was about the same on John. He says: "when I saw Him I fell at His feet, as one dead." Re 1:17. While such an effect came upon unaided man, he could be strengthened to endure it. So it was in the case of both Daniel and John, after the natural effect was produced.

 

Elisha and his servants were surrounded by a host of their enemies with both horses and chariots. The servant was afraid, and said, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" "And he answered, Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Here is a case of the presence of angels, and yet invisible. Elisha know, and so was not afraid of his enemies. Elisha prayed "Lord, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." 2Ki 6:15-17. Another instance we would notice, is that of the martyr Stephen. "Being full of the Holy Spirit, he looked up and saw the glory of the God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." Ac 7:55.

 

The appearing of angels as men in the flesh, is more common than the former. In such cases, no change was needed on the part of man to enable him to see his visitor, and talk with him face to face. The change was wholly on the side of the angels, to adapt themselves to the capacity of men. Their glory was vailed by the flesh, or human conditions assumed, for the purpose of direct communications. Paul says the vail is the flesh. Heb 10:20. In this manner the Lord appeared to Adam and talked with him face to face. Ge 3:8-9. "And the Lord appeared unto Abraham, as he sat in the tent door, in the heat of the day, and he lifted up his eyes, and, lo, three men stood by him." Ge 18:1-2. They talked with him, and partook of the meal

 

DD120 provided on the occasion. This was the time of the promise of Isaac. Two of the "men," as they were called, went down to Sodom, to deliver Lot, and the third stood with Abraham, and heard his pleading for Sodom. Here is a most remarkable instance of what some men have in these days chosen to call "materialization." There is, however, a striking difference between this case and the effort of modern spirits. Their "materializations" are all when the lights are turned very low, but the angels appeared to Abraham in the heat of the day. We recall the answer given by a professed medium, when asked why such manifestations were always confined to darkness. He said: "The chemical conditions of light are such, as to make such manifestations very difficult."

 

But it seems that the light was no hindrance to the angels of God. Is not this distinction between the light and darkness in harmony with the character of the two classes of angels? We read of angels who are bound in "chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude 6. There is evidence a relation between physical and spiritual darkness. Men whose deeds are evil, love darkness in either sense; (Joh 3:19,) may it not be so with the angels also?

 

Modern Spiritism is based on the fallacy that angels are disembodied men, while the Bible teaches that angels existed before the human race, and that man was "made a little lower than the angels." Ps 8:4-6.

 

We need not enumerate instances of the manifestation of angels in the form of men; they are abundant in the Old Testament, and Paul exhorts his brethren not to be forgetful to "entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Heb 13:2. It is worthy of notice that when the angel appeared in glory to Daniel, he fell as a dead man, but later when one appeared to him like the appearance of a man, his strength returned. The fact concerning these two modes of manifestation, seems to be in keeping with the two forms of truth-the natural and the spiritual. The natural man receive the natural, but cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God,

 

DD121 for they are spiritually discerned. 1Co 2:14, 15. As the angels needed the vail of flesh to enable man to look upon them without falling, so the natural man needs that the should be vailed in order that he may receive it.

 

This fact is the one mentioned by Paul when speaking of the letter as the vail. 2Co 3. He also refers to Moses, who coming from the immediate presence of the Lord, had to cover his face with a vail, that the people might be able to talk with him. "And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he took the vail off until he came out." Ex 34:33, 34. This illustrates the vail of flesh assumed by spiritual beings, and also manís inability to see spiritual truth without the help of the Divine Spirit. 2Co 3:13-18. How good the Lord is in adapting Himself and His truth to the capacity of men. This is the grand principle underlying the coming of Christ in the flesh.*

 

_______

 

* Some claim that Christ ceased to be Divine when He came in the flesh. If this were so, then His flesh vailed nothing. As well claim that when the Lord appeared in human form to Adam and Abraham, He ceased to be God; or that Moses creased to be Moses when he put a vail on his face; or that spiritual truths ceased to be such, because presented under a natural cover. The blending of the Divine and the human in Christ, so that He could be Son of God and Son of man at once, may be difficult for man to apprehend, but it is none the less a revealed truth. He that took our nature, should not be confounded with the nature which He took. Heb 2:16. He that came down from Heaven, and Who said, "A body hast Thou prepared Me," which body was prepared for sacrifice, should not be confounded with the sacrifice itself. Joh 6:38 and Heb 10:5-10. The priest and the sacrifice were distinct in the type, (Le 16), but in Christ they are blended. Let them not, on that account, be confounded. The priest took the bullock to offer it; so Christ took the body prepared, and offered it. The flesh vailed His Divinity. _______

 

While there are many instances recorded of the two methods of spiritual manifestations already considered, doubtless the third method is more common than either; that is, when the angels remain invisible, but bring influences needed, to bear upon men. The ministration of angels, on this principle, is a prominent doctrine of the Bible, especially with reference to the New Testament church. But the turning of the hearts of men, the slaying of thousands of enemies, and the turning of the affairs of nations,

 

DD122 under the direction and control of angels, is taught in the Old Testament. The angel that came to Daniel, already noticed, had a conflict with the prince of the kingdom of Persia one and twenty days, and Michael came to his help. Da 10:13.

 

Danielís prayer was for his people, and in order to bring about the desired event, Persia had to be dealt with. "And now," said the angel, "will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, the prince of Grecia shall come." Verse 20. We may not explain how the angel did his work, or how he fought, but it is evident that Persia was manipulated by an unseen spiritual agent, and thus Godís word was fulfilled.

 

No Christian will deny the plain and positive teaching of the New Testament, in reference to the ministration of angels, "for them who shall be heirs of salvation." Heb 1:14. And yet this work is mainly, if not wholly, by invisible ministers. Some claim to have seen angels, on special occasions, and we are not disposed to deny the possibility. But "We walk by faith, not by sight," and yet rejoice in the promises. And who will say that the angels, who "always behold the face of our Father," (Mt 18:10), are not grieved because their services are not more fully recognized.

 

Let this fact of the presence of real, but invisible, friends, be once admitted, and great comfort will result. It will also serve as a key to the understanding of the "coming," or "presence" of Christ. That He can be present, and yet invisible, no one will deny, who will give these Bible facts their full weight. That all three methods, -"in glory," "under the vail of flesh," and "by influence, when invisible,"-will be used in the kingdom work, or "manifestation of the sons of God," we cannot doubt. And the result will be the deliverance of the groaning creation, "from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Ro 8:18-21.

 

Brethren, a glorious work awaits us! Before this glorious "manifestation of the sons of God" can take place, these sons must have been taken away from earthly conditions, and exalted to their royal station, as kings and priests, or made one with

 

DD123 Christ; and this involves the necessity of the coming of Christ, the resurrection, and the marriage of the Lamb. Remember, that it is not to be a manifestation of disembodied spirits, but of risen spiritual bodies.

 

Many have supposed that the Jewish nation restored to Palestine, with Jerusalem rebuilt as its capital, is the kingdom of God revealed in prophecy. We admit and urge as an important truth, the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, and that it was in a typical sense the kingdom of God. But when it is restored it will be an earthly kingdom still. And when the nations go up from year to year to worship at Jerusalem, they will both see and enter into that kingdom; but neither is possible in reference to the heavenly or real kingdom of God. Joh 3:3-5. The restored Jerusalem and kingdom of Israel, will be the highest of earthly nations, and will stand in relation to the New Jerusalem, and the kingdom of God, as Rome and the Roman Empire have stood in relation to the kingdom of Satan. It is called, the Dragon or the Devil, and Rome has been his seat. Re 12:3-9 and Re 13:2. Rome has been for many centuries the capital of the world, so to speak, both politically and religiously, and the center toward which men have worshipped. It has been the visible manifestation, in an organized form, of the invisible kingdom of the Devil. But the restoration of Israel will bring the transfer of the worldís capital from Rome to Jerusalem. It will then be, as of old, the center of earthly worship. From it the word shall go forth, and it will be the visible manifestation in an organized form, of the invisible kingdom of God. To men it will be the kingdom of God, as Moses was God to Israel. (Ex 4:16) until they have learned to look higher. There is an evidence which may be presented more fully hereafter, that the restoration of Israel and the exaltation of the church, as the New Jerusalem, will both be brought about between now and the end of the time of the Gentiles. And that from then onward both will be in existence, throne visible and the other invisible, and the invisible manifesting itself through the visible as the great Regenerator of the world. Then the work will be done which was foretold in Ps 102:16-22.

 

DD124 With this view of the double character of Jerusalem and the kingdom, we believe many seeming difficulties in the prophecies may be solved. The two Jerusalems are sometimes spoken of separately, and sometimes blended. Whatever in such prophecies related to mortality, is in reference to the earthly, or if to the heavenly, only in a typical sense, and whatever relates to immortality, refers to the heavenly Jerusalem.

 

The kingdom of God is an embodiment of Godís power for the government and well-being of mankind.

DD125

CHAPTER XI.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD, (CONTINUED.)

 

THERE is another scriptural view of the kingdom, which is seen by some; and they, not seeing that the two views are in harmony, or different parts of the same subject, urge this as an objection to what is presented in the preceding chapter. In the New Testament the church of Christ is repeatedly called the "kingdom of heaven," or "kingdom of God." This is clearly so in the parables of the Savior concerning the work of the gospel age. The kingdom of heaven is likened "to tares and wheat,"-to "a mustard seed,"-and near the close of the dispensation, "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which tool their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom." These severally refer to the condition, growth and movement of the church of Christ. To deny this seems a reckless abuse of the New Testament. The Savior used the terms "church" and "kingdom of heaven," interchangeably.

 

When Peter made the good confession, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," the Savior declared its value, and said: "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell [powers of darkness, or death] shall not prevail against it." Then for his good confession, Christ honored Peter: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Mt 16:16-19. Mark! the Savior spoke of the church as a building, and yet future from His standpoint. He does not say I have built, or am building, but, "I will build." That he Himself is the Foundation, all Christians will admit: "For other foundation can no

 

DD126 man lay, than that which is laid, -Jesus Christ." 1Co 3:11. That foundation was not laid until the death and resurrection of Christ, and the first building on the foundation was on the day of Pentecost. The church has never built upon a mortal or a dead Christ, but upon a risen and glorified Savior. His mortal career was necessary, in its place, as an example of loyalty in human life, and that He might learn to sympathize with humanity; and His death was necessary to meet manís legal necessities, as a ransom; but it is the risen and perfected Savior which imparts the Divine nature to man.

 

We build on a "Spiritual rock." To Peter Christ gave the keys. The key is a symbol of power to open; and Peter did the opening work for the Jews on the day of Pentecost, and later for the Gentiles, at the conversion of Cornelius and his family. Ac 10. No one need fail to see that, as Peter had the keys of the church, in fulfillment of the promise, "I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, "therefore the church and the kingdom are identical. The same idea runs through the apostolic writings. Christians are spoken of as having been "delivered from the power [kingdom] of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of Godís dear Son." Col 1:13. And John says, "I am your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ." Re 1:9. As Christ and the church built on Him, re called a kingdom, and as He is a "Spiritual Rock," and those built on Him are "loving stones, built up a spiritual house," (1Pe 2:5) we have a good basis for the idea of a future spiritual kingdom, such as mentioned in the last chapter.

 

The view that the church is the kingdom of Christ, is an eminently interesting and practical one. By comparing the commission of Christ with the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost, and also at the time of the conversion of Cornelius, it will be seen that the conditions of faith in Christ, repentance, or change of life, and baptism, are prominent and fundamental. What emphasis the Savior lays upon them when He says, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven!"

 

DD127 That many will urge to faith and repentance, but ignore baptism, is remarkable. The authority for the one , is the authority for all. What God has joined, let no man separate. He has left all the "non-essentials" out of the Bible. The neglect of one, gives good reason for calling special attention to it. We are not urging a mere formal obedience, but obedience from the heart. Ro 6:17. That some have obeyed the form, without the spirit of baptism, is doubtless true, as shown by their after lives. And, judging by the same rule, ("ye shall know them by their fruits;") some bear the "fruit of the Spirit," (Ga 5:22), who have not seen the importance of the form of doctrine. But he that is loyal-hearted, and sees and appreciates the spirit, or meaning of baptism, is not the one that will remain unbaptized.

 

If any one thinks the Spirit is all that is needed we would call his attention to the case of Cornelius and his family, who, as an exception, received the Holy Spirit before baptism. Instead of telling them it was enough, Peter urged the presence of the Spirit, as a reason why they should be baptized with water. "Who can forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit, as well as we?" No, it was not left at their option, for "He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Ac 10:47, 48. Let teachers and converts follow their example.

 

But, we are asked if the church is the kingdom, and began to be built on the day of Pentecost, why we persist in speaking of the setting up of the kingdom in connection with the second coming of Christ, and the end of Gentile rule. We see no difficulty, but, instead, a beautiful harmony, in the relation of the two facts. Let all discriminate between the beginning of the development of the kingdom, and its setting up, and the difficulty will vanish. There is quite a difference between the birth of a royal prince and his exaltation to the throne. He could not be enthroned before he was born. So the church, or kingdom, could not be "set up," or empowered to reign over the nations, before it had an existence. The abomination of desolation had an existence before it took its

 

DD128 seat on the beast. Re 17. But it was the same abomination, both before and after it was set up. Da 12:11.

 

Let us think of the church of Christ in the same way, and all is plain. The infancy and manhood of a human being, illustrates the same idea. He is the same person, both before and after maturity, but he does not bear the responsibility of a man in government until maturity. The church is in her minority until the Bridegroom comes, and the marriage takes place; but then she shares with Him the responsibility and glory of ruling the world. The setting up of the kingdom, and the beginning of the joint reign, are simultaneous. The church of the gospel age, is the kingdom in process of development, and the future kingdom is the perfected church. It is true that the church, in this time of preparation, is sometimes spoken of as having risen with Christ, as having eternal life, and all else that is her true prospect. This is on the principle that a process begun, is often spoken of as complete. God "calleth those things that be not, as though they were." Ro 4:17. But, in reality, we are at present only "heirs of God," "waiting" for maturity, "the adoption, -the redemption of our body." Ro 8:17, 23. Jesus, in harmony with this, says: "In the world to come, yet shall have everlasting life." The temple of the Old Testament gives us a beautiful illustration, being a type of the church: "Ye are the temple of God." The stones of the temple were all prepared by a masterly hand, for their proper place in the future building, before they were taken from the quarry, so that when the time came for the actual building, it went up without the sound of a hammer. Then the glory of the Lord filled the house.

 

The gospel dispensation is the period of the preparation of the living stones for the spiritual temple. We are in the quarry yet, undergoing the trimming and polishing to fit us for our places in the future kingdom. He that submits to the process, or discipline, "under the mighty hand of God, will be exalted in due time." The handling may seem rough, and the chiseling hurt us severely, but it is all necessary to fit us for the royal and priestly work of the future.

 

DD129 Many have been fitted, and have fallen asleep. They fought a good fight, finished their course, and await the crown. We, like them, must overcome if we would reign. From the many evidences the time cannot be far distant when the building will go up and the Lordís glory fill the heavenly temple. We might almost say, as said Jesus: "The time is coming and now is?"

 

During the period of preparation there is a mixed work going on, as represented in all the Saviorís parables. The tares and wheat, the good and bad fish, and the wise and foolish virgins, represent different classes in the church. It does not seem certain that each parable refers exactly to the same two classes. The wheat are the "children of the kingdom," and the tares are the "children of the wicked one." Mt 13:38.

 

The enemy "sowed the tares among the wheat,"-verse 25. That there is a variety among Christians, in capacity and degree of advancement, is abundantly taught in the New Testament. There are "babes in Christ," and others more mature, or "of full age." Heb 5:13, 14, and 1Co 3:1. But whoever is "in Christ," must be a child of the kingdom, whatever his degree of attainment, or consequent position in the kingdom. There are "least and greatest" in the kingdom, and "he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist." But we have never learned that a babe in Christ or any other Christian is a child of the Devil. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Ro 8:9.

 

With this important New Testament principle before us, it seems evident that the tares are not Christians at all, but natural men, who for selfish or other purposes, have crept into the church during the dispensation. But it seems that the variety among Christians, the "wheat," the "children of the kingdom," is brought to view in the parable of the "wise" and "foolish" virgins. The difference between them seems to be that some have more light than others. We believe the parable of the tares and

 

DD130 wheat is more general in its application to the nominal church, than the parable of the virgins, for the latter has special reference to a movement concerning the coming of the Bridegroom. But whatever may be true of the variety of the parables, one thing is clear, there is a mixed condition in the nominal church during the gospel dispensation. The parable of the tares and wheat, which covers the whole age, shows us that the mixed condition continues until the harvest. During the harvest there is a separation, and "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Mt 13:43. Both classes are spoken of as being in the kingdom, until the harvest; the separation is said to be fulfilled by the angels gathering "out of his kingdom all things that offend;" (verse 41) and then the righteous shine in the kingdom. The idea of the church being the kingdom in all its stages of development is preserved throughout.

 

With this idea in mind, we can see why the disciples should yet pray, "Thy kingdom come," having in mind the maturity and reign, or anything which would tend to the development of the church. We can see why the apostle could address the church, who are now said to be in the kingdom, with exhortations unto godly lives, and presenting, as an object of hope and motive of encouragement, "an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2Pe 1:4-11. No other view seems to explain why the kingdom, in one phase, is a present reality, and yet, something "which God hath promised to them that love Him," and of which they are heirs. Jas 2:5.

 

This is the period, not only of development, but of suffering. "If we suffer, we shall reign." The idea that the church has a right to reign now, is a fundamental error; one which underlies every effort on the part of the professed church to form a union with the State; and it resulted in the terrible and bloody persecutions so prevalent in the dispensation. The church is never exhorted to rule well, except in the family, and in church matters.

 

In reference to the State, we are commanded to be subject to the powers that be. Ro 13:1. Our kingdom is not of this

 

DD131 world, because Christís is not; and "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." God gave the government into the hands of the Gentiles, until their times run out. Soon He will vindicate His own plan, by casting down the thrones of kingdoms, by abasing him that is high, and exalting him that is low. He that would rule, must first learn to obey. If we allow Him to rule in us, in due time He will give us power over the nations. "Because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many." "Be thou over ten cities." "Be thou over five cities." God forbid that we should buy our talent, and receive no part in the kingdom to come. Humility and faithfulness will receive a rich reward. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time." 1Pe 5:6.

DD132

CHAPTER XII.

THE RESTITUTION.

 

IN order to appreciate the distinction between the kingdom of God, and the restored kingdom of Israel, it is necessary to discriminate between restitution and the glory promised to the church of Christ. Restitution is the act of restoring, or giving back, something that has once been in possession and lost; but the glory, honor, and immortality promised to believers in Jesus, is a much higher than any thing that man ever had, as the glorified Jesus, described in the first chapter of Revelation, ins higher than Jesus was in the flesh, as the Man of Sorrows. This distinction involves the relation between the natural and the spiritual in Godís plan. First, the natural, and afterward, the spiritual, is Godís law of development, and whatever is to be on the higher or spiritual plane, is brought to view first on the plane of the flesh. This is true of the family of man, of the Jewish and gospel dispensations, and the two kingdoms as related to those dispensations. The natural is temporal, and the spiritual is eternal. This of course, is not true of the two dispensations, as both are limited; they are evidently arranged in relation to each other, for the purpose of illustrating the relation between the natural and the spiritual.

 

The Jewish dispensation had the work of the development of the twelve tribes of Israel, the old Jerusalem, and the kingdom of God in type; and the gospel dispensation has the work of the development of the gospel church, the new Jerusalem, and the real kingdom of God. Each ends when its work is complete;

 

DD133 the Jewish kingdom and people being suspended during the gospel dispensation. (Ro 11:25), but afterward, the fruit of both will exist, in their relation to each other, as the natural and the spiritual, as long as the natural is needed.

 

The term restitution cannot apply to the gospel church, for it was never suspended or lost; but it does apply to the Jewish economy, and is the building again of "the tabernacle of David which is fallen down." Ac 15:16. The natural being first and temporal, could be lost or suspended, but the spiritual being the perfect and eternal cannot be lost. For this reason it will be seen that the term restitution can be properly applied only to the recovery of the natural.

 

This subject of restitution is very important, and one concerning which all the holy prophets have spoken. As there has been a time set apart for the rule of the Gentiles, so there is a period set apart for the restitution of all thing; and; that period does not begin until the return of Christ. Ac 3:20, 21. Its universality is clearly stated, and it is confirmed by the words of Jesus, "Elias truly shall first come and restore all things." Mt 17:11. Some have looked for a limited restitution, by reading the verse in the "Acts,"-"Restitution of all things which God hath spoken;" as if the Lord by His prophets had promised only a limited restitution. But an appeal to the prophets, and to the law, with its typical jubilee, or restitution of all that had been lost, gives abundant reasons for our faith in its universality. The prophets not only foretold the restoration of the nationality of Israel, with the remnant, that will be alive at the time the restoring begins, but declare the relieving, or the resurrection of the dead, including the "whole house of Israel." Eze 37. But it is claimed that it is only a parable and should not therefore be taken as teaching a real resurrection. But the Lord explained the parable, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel." "Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out

 

DD134 of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord when I have * * performed this." Eze 37:11-14. There is a lesson to be learned by these things; while restitution itself is a recovery of the natural, let no one suppose that there is no higher end to be gained. Spiritual good is the object the Lord has in view, whether He administers physical curses or blessings. Not only Israel is to be benefitted, but the Gentiles also, by the manifestation of Godís power. "And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord, their God, from that day forward. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they transgressed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hands of their enemies; so fell they all by the sword." Eze 39:21-23.

 

All this is a simple statement of facts concerning their loss, and the cause of it. The restoration cannot be spiritualized, while their being driven out remains a fact; and the above shows that the Lord includes in the promise those who were slain. "Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, when I have gathered them unto their own land and have left none of them any more there." Eze 39:28. It has been supposed by many that these promises related only to their recovery from Babylon, but all must be impressed with the idea that the language is too strong, in some instances, to have been fulfilled at that time.

 

They and the heathen did not then learn the great and permanent lesson. When this has been done, the Lord says: "Neither will I hide my face any more from them, for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord." Eze 39:29. Now, all know that the greatest sin that Israel ever committed, was long after their return from Babylon, when they rejected and caused the death of their Messiah. Jesus left their house desolate, and said, "Ye shall see me no more, until ye

 

DD135 shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Mt 22:38-39.

 

Paul tells us of their being cut off, and the Gentiles grafted in, and that "blindness in part is happened unto Israel unto the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Ro 11:25. He certainly locates the deliverance of Israel after the gospel age is ended, and speaks of it as an expression of the Lordís abounding mercy. Ro 11:31-33. It cannot mean spiritual Israel, or the church, for they were never blinded, -being always in the light, because led of the Spirit. It refers distinctly to those who were cut off, because of unbelief, and therefore sinners. "For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathersí sake, for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [i.e., without change, , on Godís part.] For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [Israelís] unbelief: even so have these [Israel] now not believed that through your mercy, they also may obtain mercy." Ro 11:27-31. This not only declares the blessing to come to Israel, but the instrumentality of the gospel church, complete and in her glory, for its accomplishment. "Out of Zion [the Heavenly Jerusalem, see Heb 12:22] shall come the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness form Jacob." Ro 11:26.

 

They do not deserve mercy, says one. True; who does deserve mercy? Mercy is an expression of love to the undeserving. But they crucified the Savior. Yes; but remember, Jesus, while in the dying agonies, prayed for His murderers, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." If He was willing to forgive them, let not His followers be vexed about it. No, it did not mean the Roman soldiers; they did only their duty as executioners, and had no responsibility in the case. Jesus had said that all the "righteous blood" shed should come upon that generation of Israel; and they had said, "His blood be upon us and on our children." Peter laid the matter to their charge.

 

DD136 "Him * * ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." Ac 2:23. And Paul says, "They both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets * * and the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost." 1Th 2:15-16. But the wrath has a limit, by the Lordís mercy, and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. Think you, Jesusí dying prayer was in vain? Will it remain unanswered? "I know," says Jesus, "that thou hearest me always." Joh 11:42. They were not forgiven immediately. Jesus did not ask His father to set aside His own dispensational plan, nor to forgive them without repentance on their part; but the prayer of Jesus indicated that the time was coming, when they would be led to the knowledge of the truth, repent, and be forgiven. This is foretold by the prophets, and in language that forbids the possibility of its having been fulfilled at the return of Babylon. There are doubtless many of the prophecies of restoration that were made before or during the captivity, and which referred to both that partial restoration and the much greater one we are considering, something as type and antitype are often blended. This has caused some to stumble, and to misapply. When they were in Babylon they were only in the hands of one nation. But the Lord had threatened that He would drive them from their land, and scatter them among all nations, and this was not fulfilled until the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. But "the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither He had driven them; and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers." Jer 16:13-15.

 

This has not yet been fulfilled, though there are evidences of its beginning at the present time; but from the fact that they were actually driven out of their land and that their history thus far has been just what was foretold, we have the best of reasons for expecting their restoration. Another fact worthy of notice,

 

DD137 is, that in all the past history of the nation of Israel since the prophecies were uttered, whenever the nations came against Jerusalem, she was the loser in the conflict; but there are clear prophecies which show her victorious in a coming struggle. Though the restoration of the living remnant is now beginning, it is not to be supposed that uninterrupted success and prosperity will attend them. For reasons of their own, but under the direction of Divine Providence, the Turkish and the British governments formed in the year 1878, what is known as the Anglo-Turkish treaty, which opens the door legally for the return of that people to their own land. This gives them much help, and is clearly a fulfillment of prophecy in our own day; but we cannot expect that the nations will give up their dominion over Jerusalem and Palestine fully until their "times" expire.

 

It is evident that the Jews themselves, not being in the light of their own prophecies, as to the "times and seasons," are deceived into the idea that their trouble is past, and make no provision to repel invaders. They will be abundantly prosperous, and have a sense of safety in their "unwalled villages." Eze 38:9, 11, 14.

 

This very condition becomes, in due time, an incentive to the "chief prince of Meshech and Tubal," to make Jerusalem and the land a prey. Verse 2. This, as usually understood, refers to Russia, and we do not doubt it, but it has little to do with our present object, who is meant. It has not been fulfilled, however, in the late war between Russia and turkey as so many thought. It seems strange that any should have entertained the idea for a moment. It cannot be fulfilled until the partial restoration of Israel, and a good degree of prosperity is attained by them. Not against the Turks, but, "Thou shall come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land." Eze 38:16. Thus saith the Lord; "It shall come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely,

 

DD138 all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey, to turn thine hand upon the desolated places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land." Eze 38:10-12.

 

How unlike the warrior Turk? How like the gathered Jews, who think their trouble is past? How could any one apply it to the late war? But while the Lord permits them to get into deep trouble, He is against their enemies, (Eze 38:3,) and Jerusalem will be victorious. This will be "the battle of the great day of God Almighty," to which the kings of the east and of the whole world shall be brought. Re 16:14. "Behold the day of the Lord cometh and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, * * and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle." Zec 14:1-3. The enemies have a temporary success, or what seems so, but it proves their utter ruin. It is worthy of note, that when the Lord thus frustrates the nations, "all the saints" are with Him, and therefore it is after the kingdom is set up, as a stone. Da 2:34, 44. As to the manner of the fighting, we may understand it, if we can tell how the angel that appeared to Daniel fought with the prince of Persia. Da 10:20. It seems probable that some cause of confusion among the armies gathered against Jerusalem, makes them turn upon each other and thus the prey escapes.

 

One cause is suggested in Joe 3:1-3. It is evident that drunkenness and licentiousness are the characteristics of those armies. But whatever may be the cause, Jerusalem is to be the conqueror. "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege, both against Judah and Jerusalem." Zec 12:2. He will make Jerusalem a "burdensome stone." Verse 3. "In that day, I

 

DD139 will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness." Zec 12:4. "In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf, and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand, and on the left; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again, in her own place, even in Jerusalem." Zec 12:6. "In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, * * and destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." Zec 12:8, 9.

 

Now, if at this stage of the proceedings, that people should be permitted to see their great Deliverer, or by any means should learn that He whom they had despised and rejected was their living and everlasting friend, it would not be difficult to understand the following verse; "And I will pour upon the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace, [favor], and of supplications, [prayer], and they shall look upon Me, whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him," &C. Zec 12:10. Here is the answer to the dying Saviorís prayer. This could not have been fulfilled before the first advent; they had not pierced Him till then. Jesus said they did it ignorantly; no wonder, then, if they mourn when they discover their sad mistake. This looking on Him whom they had pierced is after the second coming, and the saints are gone, for they appear with Him. Re 1:7. Col 3:4. Zec 14:5. It is not the mourning of despair, as is usually supposed, but of penitence, because it is caused by the spirit of favor and prayer.

 

How much better the Lord is than men have usually thought. Here we see a combination of restoration, and the beginning of a higher and spiritual work. The blessed state of Jerusalem, under the reign of Christ and the saints, is beautifully pictured by the same prophet. Zec 8:3-8. "Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and she shall be called a city of truth; the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain." Old men and women shall dwell there, and boys and girls shall play in the streets. "And

 

DD140 they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."

 

There is much more said in the prophecy about the restoration of Israel than of other nations, and some have given this prominence, and denied the restoration of the other nations. But the principle which underlies the restoration of one nation will secure the restoration of all nations. And the same provision of mercy which brings up to a life of hope, one mortal man who has not been previously enlightened, and committed the unpardonable sin, will bring up every other man who is in the same condition. The promises of universal restitution are clear enough to command our faith though we shall fail to understand the principle which underlies and secures it, but it is our privilege to know something more than the mere fact. There is a clear distinction between those who are to share in the blessings of the restitution age, and those who are to do the work of restoring; and there is also a distinction to be observed between restitution and the work of regeneration and consequent immortality. Without giving the proof in this chapter, we would say that it is the work of Christ and the saints, or of the heavenly kingdom, to restore all things. This will explain why the restitution age does not begin until the return of Christ at the end of the gospel age, it being used for the development of the heavenly kingdom. In the Old Testament, God is represented as the only Savior and Redeemer, and He says, "I will cause you to come up out of your graves, &c," without speaking of the agencies He would use in the accomplishment of His work. But in the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ is introduced, as the Son of the Highest, the representative of His Father, or "God Manifest,"-"Immanuel, -God with us." And in this way He becomes Mediator between God and man, and the Administrator of the work and will of God. Whatever is foretold that God will do for man, Christ does it. God is the only Savior; "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else." "A just God and a Savior; there is none beside

 

DD141 me." Isa 45:21-22. But Christ is the Savior; "Thou shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." Mt 1:21. And the name of Jesus is the "only name given under heaven, among men, whereby we must be saved." Ac 4:12. "God is the Judge of all;" (Heb 12:23) but Christ "will judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and kingdom." 2Ti 4:1.

 

"The Father judgeth no man [i.e., distinct from the Son] but hath committed all judgment unto the Son [as His Representative]." Joh 5:22. And yet God "hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness [but it is] by that man which He hath ordained." Ac 17:31. "God quickeneth the dead;" (Ro 4:17) but "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God;" even "all that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." Joh 5:25-28.

 

Restitution, or the giving back of natural life, is clearly foretold as the work of God, by all the holy prophets. Ac 3:21. But Christ and the saints are the antitypical Elias to do the work. Mt 17:11. Restitution is universal, but the gift of immortality is conditional, and God is giver of both: "We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, but especially of them that believe." 1Ti 4:10. "He that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." Ro 8:11. The "Spirit of God," the "Spirit of Christ," and "Christ in you," are used interchangeably in the context. The same Spirit that quickens and controls our mortal bodies in this life, will, in due time, change our vile bodies and make them spiritual. Php 3:21, and 1Co 15:44. And Christ says, "He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day." Joh 6:40.

 

These seeming contradictions are explained by Paul: "Knowing that He that raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." 2Co 4:14. We are under no necessity of either denying the pre-existence of

 

DD142 Christ, or claiming that Christ was Himself the eternal Father, in order to harmonize these various scriptures. We freely admit the mystery of the Word made flesh, but believe what the Bible teaches, that God has sent and appointed our Lord Jesus to do His work, and that He so fully represented His Father, that He could say: "I and My father are on;" "All that the Father hath are Mine;" and "He that hath seen [understood], Me, hath seen [understood] the Father." Merely seeing Jesus with the natural eye was not seeing the Father.

 

In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; because it pleased the Father to have it so; and all in heaven and earth bow to Christ, in due time, because He has, by inheritance, obtained the Name which is above every name. Col 1:19; Php 2:9, 10; and Heb 1:4-8. The church is an exception to the rule of restitution, in the coming age, because she is called out before hand, and counted as the body of Christ, to share with Him in the work of restoring.

 

In order to understand the subject of restitution, in its application to the individual members of the human family, we must know our loss in Adam. To gain what was lost is restitution; whoever gives it back is the restorer; and whatever we received more than was lost, is not properly called restitution. Adam was a natural, or flesh and blood man, both before and after he sinned. He need the aid of the tree of life, in order that his life might be sustained.

 

The sin did not change his nature, but caused him to be excluded from the life preserving tree, and consequently disease and death followed. "Dying thou shalt die," was the penalty pronounced upon him, and it was thus executed. God explained it to him thus: "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Ge 3:19. That the life preserving element was not in himself, and that his nature was not changed by sin, is proved by the fact that he was shut away from the tree of life to prevent his living forever. Ge 3:22-24. The tree of life had the element for preserving natural life.

 

DD143 Adam had no spiritual life, or immortality. We make this statement freely, because the Bible no where teaches that he had, and because it so fully reveals that Godís plan, which changes not, is to give spiritual life and immortality through a second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ. 1Co 15:45-47. Adam and Christ are related to each other as the natural and the spiritual. Their origin indicates their relation. "The first man is of the earth, earthly: the second man is the Lord from heaven." The apostle gives the following contrasts between them: "Natural body,"-"spiritual body;" "living soul," (animal,)" quickening spirit;" and "earthy,"-"heavenly."

 

But we are asked: "If Adam had no germ of spiritual life, wherein was he above the level of the brute creation?" We answer, first, that even considered as an animal, he is vastly superior to any other animal; but, second, man has a capacity for receiving the germ of spiritual life, and so for development into immortality, and while he lived, sin did not destroy that capacity. Adam, as a natural man, might be compared to an undeveloped egg, in that early stage before it has been impregnated with life. Such an egg has a capacity for receiving the germ of life, and if it receives it, will, under proper conditions develop into a living form; but if the egg should fail to be impregnated, it never becomes anything but an egg. Until the germ of life is imparted, the egg might, because of its capacity, be called a candidate for life, but it becomes more emphatically so after is has received the germ.

 

Though Adam had been allowed access to the tree of life, and so had been permitted to live on, even forever, there is no evidence that he ever would become a spiritual being. His life would simply, in such a case have been a preserved natural life, and the same would have been the case, so far as that typical tree is concerned, even if he had not sinned. Christ is doubtless the antitype of that tree, as He is the life giving Spirit, and when His life is perfected in us, we will not need preserving, for we will be immortal: "Neither can they die any more." Lu 20:36.

 

DD144 Having no germ of a higher life in himself, and being deprived of the life preserving fruit, Adam could but live out the natural life and so return to the dust. And when he had returned to the dust, he would have remained there, so far as any thing in him was concerned. Had no provision been made for his recovery from death, or for his restoration to life, all can see that death would have been eternal. In such a case Godís plan in creating man would have been a failure; and the Devil was permitted to gain this seeming victory. Some believe that Godís plan was merely to people the earth with a race of preserved mortals, and that a mere restoration of what was list, is all that the plan of redemption makes possible for mankind. We think it is clearly revealed, however, and has already been shown, that Godís plan was to make a race of immortals, after the nature of Christ; He being head of the immortals, even as Adam was the head of mortals. This being true, the object of manís recovery from death is to give him an opportunity for a higher life. But in ether case it is clear that a mere restoration of what was lost, would not make man immortal. It would not even secure to him the germ of immortality; but, our premises being correct, restitution would secure to man the capacity of receiving the spiritual germ, and so as before he sinned, make him a candidate for immortality. But the impartation of the spiritual germ is another work, had in view of restoring, but not to be confounded with restoration. When a man digs potatoes he purposes to have them washed and prepared for use, but the digging is one thing, and not to be confounded with what follows.

 

What is true of Adam is true of all mankind, because when created he was the race in one, -he being the head. When the wife was developed, they were still counted one-male and female. As Adam was a mere natural man, all that proceeded from him were natural; -the stream cannot rise higher than the fountain. "That which is born of [proceeds from] the flesh is flesh." Joh 3:6. As Adam was the head of his wife, so they were (as one) the head of the race. God dealt with them as with

 

DD145 the whole. What they did involved the whole family of man. When they lived, all lived; when they sinned, all were counted sinners; and when the death sentence, "Dying thou shalt die," was passed upon them, it was passed upon all. "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for in him all sinned." Ro 5:12, (margin.) The execution of the sentence was process, and it was during that process their children were brought into existence. All their descendants have, therefore, the same dying nature as their parents.

 

"God moves in a mysterious way." Though He allowed the entrance of sin, and the Devil, to gain a temporary advantage, or what seemed so, His plan was not to be frustrated. All that God has done, or arranged to do, He, of course, purposed from the first. This all who believe the Bible admit. When we say, "Had no provision been made for recovery, death would have been eternal," it is on the same principle that Paul Said:"if Christ be not risen, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins; and they who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished." He wanted to give emphasis to the fact that God has a plan to rescue the race of natural men from the dominion of death. "I have found a Ransom." "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; Oh grave, I will be thy destruction." Ho 13:14. "He will swallow up death in victory." Isa 25:8. The same thought, in part, is expressed in Eze 37:12, "Thus saith the Lord God, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves."

 

He says He will "ransom" them, and thus "cause" them to come up; but nothing is said as to how, or by whom, He will do it. But, as we have seen that God, Who alone can save, has sent Jesus to be our Savior, so we find that when God says He will ransom, or redeem from death, He sends Jesus as the Redeemer,

 

DD146 and He gives Himself a Ransom for all. Mt 20:28, and 1Ti 2:6. To ransom, is to bring back by paying an equivalent; so Christ must have to give that which Adam had forfeited, viz., natural life. In harmony with this, we find in the New Testament, "The Lord from heaven," (1Co 15:47), revealed as the Word made flesh, (Joh 1:14), or with a body prepared for sacrifice. (Heb 10:5-10). He by whom God created all things, in heaven and earth, took upon Himself our nature, "flesh and blood;" not "the nature of angels," but "was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." Heb 2:9.

 

The Divine took the human, to redeem humanity. Man had yielded to Satan, and hence, man, in death, is counted as in prison, and the Devil as having the keys, or the power of death. God had promised to deliver, by paying a ransom, and in order to pay the debt of man, Christ must have to give what man lost. All of which could not be more briefly and clearly expressed than by Paul: "Forasmuch, then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Heb 2:14, 15. The Devil had the power, but now Christ has the keys-a symbol of power. Re 1:18.

 

But how could the death of Christ change Godís plan; if God had a plan to raise the dead, would they not have been raised without Christís death? Some ask this. They might as well why, if God has a plan to save men, He does not save them without a Savior. He that arranged the one, arranged the other. It is as much a part of the plan of God to raise men by a Redeemer, as to raise them at all; and Christís work was to execute the Fatherís will. But does not this idea that Christ does a double work, restoring the natural man from death, and as the second Adam, giving spiritual life, introduce confusion, and ignore the distinction between the natural and the spiritual? It does not so appear to us.

 

DD147 Why should not Christ be both the Redeemer and the second Adam? Adam was a type of Christ as the Head of a race, but not in every respect. Christ is the antitype of many types. The natural and the spiritual are combined in Christ; it was not so in Adam. Christ took the natural life, that He might represent the race, and redeem them, by laying down His life. When He had done this work, He rose into the perfect spiritual life, and imparts the Divine nature to mankind. We, as the church of Christ, receive the new life now, before either death or resurrection, as exceptions. We are counted alive in Christ, as we are counted dead in Adam. But the rule is to save men from death first, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth afterward. 1Ti 2:4. But if Christís death was a ransom, and as such met the claims of the law for man, why do we continue to die? We answer, a ransom from death is not a ransom from dying. The ransom presupposes that men are dead, and to be made alive. "If one died for all, then were all dead." 2Co 5:14. This being true, the ransom would be valid if the Lord should see fit to wait till all that ever will live are dead, before He raises any.

 

But while the death sentence is passed on all the human family, they will not all actually die. Even in the past, a few exceptions are made, and the record given, as Enoch and Elijah. They that are alive and remain until the coming (or presence) of the Lord, shall not fall asleep. Now we die on account of Adamís sin; "The father has eaten sour grapes, and the childrenís teeth are set on an edge." Eze 18:2. But it will not always be so; when the "due time" comes according to Godís plan, for the dead to live again in the flesh, then if men die it will be for their own sins. "The soul that sinneth it shall die." Eze 18:4. At that time those who are in the prison shall come out, and those on the way thither will stay out, because their sentence will be revoked. When that time comes, it will be easier for men to see the value of the ransom of Christ than it is now, and it may be, in part, by its execution, that it will "be testified in due time." 1Ti 2:6. Should they read then as we do now, that death passed on all, and

 

DD148 yet realize that no danger of death for Adamís sin exists for them, they could readily appreciate their dependence on Christ as a Redeemer from the curse of death.

 

The terms enmity, sold, bought and ransom, are doubtless the best that can be used to express the ideas. The human race, by the sin of one man, were sold into the hands of an enemy, and are counted enemies; and this change wrought by the ransom is reconciliation in the same sense and degree. "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son." Ro 5:10. This cannot refer to the individual regeneration, for that in the same verse is called being "saved by his life." That the individual approach to God is sometimes called being reconciled, is true, as "Be ye reconciled to God." There are two phases of reconciliation, just as there are two phases of the whole plan. The one in Ro 5:10, which is by Christís death, relates to the natural, and is universal; but the other, which is by becoming sharers in the Divine life, is spiritual, and conditional. In the same sense that all men are made sinners by Adam, all men are made righteous by Christ. Ro 5:19. The terms "condemnation" and "justification" are contrasted in the same sense, and are universal. Verse 16. This universal atonement, or reconciliation, by the ransom Christ paid, is the principle that underlies the promised restoration of all. We have introduced it in this chapter for this reason: Some have believed it, and thought it taught the universal and eternal salvation of all. Others have rejected it for the same reason. Now, we would rejoice if we knew that all wold be eternally saved; but universal atonement does not teach it. It does teach, however, that all men will be saved from natural death, -the curse through Adam, -and thus have the way opened for the entrance of light, and the opportunity of gaining eternal life. In this we greatly rejoice. Until some can see the provision for restitution in the work of Christ, they find it difficult to believe the prophetic utterances as to the restoration of the nations to a life of hope.

 

For want of seeing that the restitution brings men back to a

 

DD149 natural earthly life, others seeing the promised blessings to the nations, get the idea of future probation muddled up with the spirit world. We believe it to be a well established principle of Bible truth that all probation for men is to be on the earth, and that men cannot enter a spiritual state, or "be delivered from the bondage of corruption," until they have been regenerated, the last act of which is birth into an incorruptible and spiritual state. All who are raised spiritual bodies, and therefore immortal, are such as have passed a successful trial in this life, -the church. 1Co 15:42-58. The nations of earth are to be brought back into "their former estate." Eze 16:55. The distinction between restitution and glory accounts for the distinction between the fleshly resurrection taught in the Old Testament, and that of the "spiritual body" taught in the New Testament. The prophets taught restitution plainly, and the higher blessings dimly; but the doctrine of immortality is clearly brought to light in the New Testament.

 

There could be no clearer statement made of the recovery of the dead nations of the past to a life of hope, that is made in the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel. The only reason that seems to explain why Christians have so long overlooked it, is that it was not due until the dawn of the day, and God, providentially, kept them from seeing it.

 

Many have seen something of the restoration of Israel in part, who have not seen that their dead were coming up in hope; and that Sodom and Samaria should be included has not occurred to them. That Sodomís state in eternal torment should be more tolerable than others, did not seem to satisfy many, as an explanation of the Saviorís language. Mt 10:15. "More tolerable," implies a better condition than that which is tolerable. But Jude has said (verse 7) that Sodom and Gomorrha are set forth as an example, "suffering the vengeance of eternal fire;" and is not that hopelessness and despair?

 

The term "aionian," translated everlasting or eternal, means simply age-lasting, and never means what is expressed by the

 

DD150 English word eternal, except when it is applied to immortal beings, as God, Christ, and the saints. The word depends on the nature of that to which it is applied. It is sometimes used in a very limited sense. This fact is well known by many scholars, but menís theology sometimes stands in the way of facts. Since the Sodomites were destroyed, the Jewish and gospel ages have intervened, and when the "times of restitution" comes, the limit of their curse expires.

 

Let any one, who is willing they should be blessed in the coming age, carefully read Eze 16:44-63, and their hearts will rejoice at the fullness of Godís mercy. Those who would rather they should be tormented eternally, or destroyed, will not get much comfort from reading it, and they might as well not read.

 

We sometimes meet those who seem to be angry at the suggestion of mercy for the Sodomites. Having mentioned this chapter before, we need say but little more now. We rejoice that God chose the Sodomites as a sample of the restitution, because they were all cut off-no remnant saved. Ro 9:29. Their restitution is from the grave, and their conversion in a future live. After restoration to their former estate, they are placed under the everlasting covenant, which, unlike the old one, relates to spiritual conditions; and all who obey it, will in due time "be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Ro 8:21.

 

This view of hope for our race does not lesson our present responsibility, nor belittle the Christianís hope, but the very opposite. We expect not only to be saved, but to share in the glorious work of Christ in restoring and regenerating a race. This will be entering into the joy of our Lord.

 

None who can see these glorious things, will for this cause think of turning back to the beggarly elements of the world, but rather be induced to "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Php 3:14.

DD151

CHAPTER XIII.

THE JUBILEE CYCLES.

 

THERE is evidence which seems clear and satisfactory that the restitution age began in the Spring of 1875, where the Jewish ecclesiastical year began. Their year, we believe, is reckoned from the first new moon after the Spring equinox. We think none who have read the preceding chapters with interest, will have any serious objection to our searching for the time as revealed in the Bible. If "the times of the restitution" are to bring such great blessings to mankind, it is a matter of thrilling interest to know when they begin. It will be understood by our readers ere this that we are not inquiring for the "day and hour" when this earth will be destroyed, or its inhabitants burned up, or of any such thing usually associated by men with "the end of the world." We want to know when the age began, during which the great restoring is to be brought about; believing it to be one of our Fatherís rules to have a time for everything, and do everything in its time.

 

This argument is based on the system of sabbaths given in the law, is reckoned by the Bible chronology, previously given, and is entirely independent of what is known as the "year-day theory." There is a respectable company of Bible students, who believe that all the prophetic "days," are to be understood as literal twenty-four-hour days, and that they are not applicable in any way to the measurement of time for Christians, but are to be fulfilled on the Jews. They allow one exception, which they, like all other Christians, apply a day for a year. We refer to the "Seventy weeks" determined on Danielís people, (Da 9:24)

 

DD152 which all agree was a period of four hundred and ninety years, instead of days. Why this should be an exception to the rule as to numbers associated with symbolic prophecy, does not appear. But whoever wants a definite time argument, reckoned on literal time, by a Jewish chronology, with Jewish years, and involving the interests of the Jewish nation, will find it in this, which we call the "Jubilee Argument." And yet it spans the gospel age, and gives light to the gospel church, on the subject of the Lordís coming, and the introduction of the great day. There is a peculiar harmony, which will become more apparent to the thoughtful as we proceed, between this and other arguments based on the same chronology. The chronology is the key; the day of the Lord is the safe which is opened; the different arguments are drawers in the safe, which the same key will open; and they cannot be opened by any other chronology.

 

Between the Spring of 1875 and the end of "the times of the Gentiles," which, according to this chronology, includes the year 1914, we have a period of forty years, which brings a day of wrath on the nations, and the restoration of Israel. This is the counteracting of an effect which came upon the Jewish nation at the first advent, and introduction of the gospel age. Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70; and reckoning back forty years from the Spring of that year, brings us to the time of the complete introduction of the Saviorís ministry in the flesh.

 

Christ was crucified in A.D. 33, in the middle of the seventieth week of Da 9:24-27, which made His ministry, from His baptism, where the sixty nine weeks were fulfilled (Da 9:26, and Mr 1:15) to His death, three years and six months long. As Christ was crucified in A.D. 33, at the time of the Passover, He must have been baptized in the Autumn of A.D. 29, and born in the Autumn of B.C. 2, as the law required that He should begin His ministry at the age of thirty. Nu 4. But Jesus, though introduced at His baptism, did but little openly until the Spring of the next year at the time of the first Passover. When asked by His mother, in her suggestive way, to furnish the wine at

 

DD153 the wedding in Cana, He said, "Woman, what have I to do with thee, mine hour is not yet come." Joh 2:4. What He did then was the exception, and for some reason He waited for a time before fully commencing His work. It seems that His real ministry to the Jews commenced in the Spring of A.D. 30, and they were not fully disposed of until A.D. 70. If we can prove that the "time of the restitution" began in the Spring of 1875, it will prove also that in some sense Christ was due at that date. Ac 3:21. The fiftieth year, or great jubilee, under the law, was a type of the "restitution of all things." The sounding of the jubilee trump took place in the forty-ninth year of the tenth day of the seventh month, -the atonement day. Le 25:9. That trumpet indicated that the jubilee was coming the next Spring.

 

The atonement day was evidently a type of the period our great High Priest was to be in the holy places, not made with hands. From the relation between that atonement day and the coming restitution in the type, we believe that our High Priest finished making the atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month (Jewish time) in the year 1874, and that then the end of the gospel age began. "The harvest is the end of the age." We say began, for the harvest is a period of time: "In the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, &c." Mt 13:30-39. We believe the end, or harvest of the gospel age, began in the Autumn of A.D. 29. But in each case the real proclamation of the presence of Christ, and the harvest message, was delayed about six months. That began in A.D. 30, this in A.D. 1875, where we claim the jubilee cycles reach; giving in each case the period of forty years above mentioned.

 

It required the forty years then to dispose of the Jewish nation; and there is evidence that it will require the forty years now to dispose of the gospel church. The church will not be complete in all its parts, until all are rewarded, and the seventh trumpet, appointed for that work, includes the day of wrath and angry

 

DD154 nations, and therefore reaches to the end of Gentile rule, or to A.D., 1914. Re 11:15-18. "The times of the Gentiles," and the "fullness of the Gentiles," (Ro 11:25,) are not identical. The former is the long period of Gentile dominion; and the latter is the complete gospel church taken out from among the Gentiles, to be the bride of Christ. But from the above evidences we believe that the "fullness of the Gentiles" will not have come in until the year 1914. While the return of the Jews is already begun, they are still blinded in part, and will continue so until Zion, the heavenly city, or bride of Christ, is complete. Then, "Out of Zion shall come the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." Ro 11:26. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom." Mt 13:43. Then shall the Jews look on Him whom they have pierced, and mourn in penitence." Zec 12:10. Then shall they see Him and say, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Mt 23:39. Then shall they say, "Lo this is our God, we have waited for Him and He will save us, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isa 25:9. Then shall we appear with Him in glory, (Col 3:4,) as prefigured in the transfiguration. Matt. 17. Then "the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." Isa 40:5. "Every eye shall see Him," and mourn. Re 1:7. And the arm of the Lord shall be made bare "in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." Isa 52:9, 10.

 

Then, evidently, will be open manifestations of both Christ and His saints; but until then, during the gathering together unto Him, the presence of Christ in His work, and the work of the angels, His assistant reapers, will be invisible to mortal eyes; and perceptible only by faith in the prophetic word. When we are made like Him, whether soon or late, we shall see Him as He is. Let no one be surprised than when we speak of the invisible presence of Christ.

 

But we are asked, "How can there be mercy for sinners, as

 

DD155 you claim, if the atonement? was fully made in 1874? To make atonement is one thing; to apply it is quite another. There was mercy for the penitent before Christ began to make the atonement; why not after it is complete? Is a promise to pay any better than the account settled? The atonement under the law was made on the tenth day of the seventh month, or about the middle of the year, but it was good for the whole year.

 

No, the door of mercy is not closed; the Bible speaks of a door to a marriage closing, (Mt 25,) but never of a "door of mercy," either open or shut. "The mercy of the Lord endureth forever," is an oft repeated statement of the Bible. The penitent will always find pardon; this the impenitent never found. We rejoice that a change of dispensation does not change the character of the Lord, nor shut off His mercy, but rather, brings a more glorious expression of Himself and all His attributes.

 

The jubilee argument is based on the system of sabbaths, a part of the law, which is a "shadow of good things to come." They point to the great jubilee, or restitution age, and can only be complete, or fulfilled, in that to which they point. The method of counting the sabbaths is also a part of the law; and it is by the application of that method of counting that we reach the Spring of 1875 as the beginning of the great jubilee. Christ did not fulfill all the law at the first advent, but only began the fulfillment; just as He began the fulfillment of the prophecies. He fulfilled only what introduced the age of suffering, and none of that which introduces the age of glory. "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say unto you, I will not any more eat therefore, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Lu 22:15, 16.

 

The sacrifice of the Lamb, the eating of the flesh and the sprinkling of the blood, reach from the first advent to the second, but the salvation of the church of the first born is in the dawn of the kingdom age. The Jews stumbled by seeing only the letter of the law, and not seeing that to which it pointed; and we are warned, lest we fall after the same example of unbelief. Heb 4:11.

 

DD156 The number seven is prominent in this system of sabbaths. There are seven sabbaths, including this great one, and the number seven is the basis of reckoning. There were six kinds in the law: the seventh day, Exod. 31:15; the seventh week, De 16:9; and the fiftieth day, or day of Pentecost. Le 23:15. This last is reached by a multiple of seven, or week of weeks, Pentecost being a day added. They also kept a sabbath peculiar to the seventh month, Le 25:4; and the fiftieth year, or jubilee, Le 25:10. This last is also reached by a multiple of seven, or week of years, the jubilee being an added year. This was the typical restitution. "In the year of jubilee ye shall return, every man to his possession." Le 25:13. Thus Moses, by the law, teaches what other prophets teach in plain words, -"the restitution of all things."

 

The whole system of sabbaths is one continuous round of cycles, and based on a system of multiples. As the greatest day cycle was formed by a multiple of the seventh day into itself, and the greatest year cycle was formed by multiplying the seventh year into itself, so we believe the greatest of all the sabbaths is reached by multiplying the fiftieth year into itself. "There remaineth a sabbath." Heb 4:9, margin. This seems like carrying out the same method of counting, -and the method itself is a part of the law. Fifty times fifty make two thousand and five hundred, and from the last jubilee kept under the law, that number of years includes the year 1875. This jubilee is a long one, and as we want to find its beginning, we deduct one year, which brings to the beginning of 1875. But how can we know when the last one under the law occurred? We first find out when they began to count. Some have reckoned from their leaving Egypt, but without authority. The Lord said, "When ye shall come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep her sabbath unto the Lord," and then gave them the rule for counting. Le 25:2. Here we have a definite starting point. Their coming into the land was at the end of the forty years in the wilderness. How long were they in the land? This is important, for they

 

DD157 have kept no jubilee since the captivity, and doubtless because they have been in the great cycle which reaches to the great sabbath, though they knew it not. From entering their land to the desolation of Jerusalem, as shown by the chronology, is as follows:

 

To the division of the land†††††††††† 6 years

 

Under the Judges††††††††††††††††††† 450†† "

 

Under the Kings†††††††††††††††††††† 513†† "

 

†††††††††††††††††† †††††††††Total††† 969†† "

 

After entering the land, their enemies had to be conquered, but God enabled them to do this, and have the land divided, that it might have rest in the seventh year according to the law. It will be seen at once that while they were in the land, they could have kept only nineteen jubilees. They had one each fiftieth year, and nineteen fifties make nine hundred and fifty. So from the end of the last jubilee

 

Until the desolation, was††††††††††† 19 years

 

The desolation lasted††††††††††††††† 70†† "

 

From desolation to Christian era††† 536†† "

 

To the beginning of 1875†††††††††† 1874†† "

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total††† 2499†† "

 

Then we see that from the last jubilee under the law until 1875 is fifty times, fifty, minus one. From entering the land to the beginning of 1875 is three thousand four hundred and forty-nine years, thus:

 

Nineteen full jubilee cycles††††††† 950 years

 

From last jubilee to 1875†† †††††††2499†† "

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total††† 3449†† "

 

 

This part of the argument is based on the law. The year 1875 would have been the jubilee year if they had continued to observe it throughout the long period. It may be noticed in passing, that the year was observed as a jubilee year according to a certain Catholic custom. This of course has no weight in our calculations.

 

DD158 In addition to the legal argument as above, there is another drawn from prophecy, which brings to the same conclusion. This coincidence is of value, and shows that the "Law and the Prophets," of which Jesus spoke connectedly, are one in spirit. The key to the prophetic part of this argument is the seventy years during which Jerusalem was desolate.

 

It is worthy of notice that though for nine hundred and fifty years they observed the form of the law, the Lord did not count the land as having enjoyed her sabbaths; and made it desolate for this reason. "And I will bring the land into desolation; * * Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemiesí land; then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it." Le 26:33-35. Jeremiah prophesied of this: "And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." Jer 25:11. So when the desolation came, it was, "To fulfill the word of the Lord, by the mouth of Jeremiah, the prophet," (and Moses also, as we have seen), "until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths; for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill three score and ten years." 2Ch 36:21. Thus it is evident the seventy years is the key to the number of sabbaths or cycles. Now, it is a most remarkable face, (and strange indeed, unless we are ready to admit that God arranged it for the purpose for which we are now using it) that from the time they entered the land, until the beginning of 1875, there have been just seventy jubilee cycles, as they have actually occurred. Prophecy speaks of things as they are to be rather than as they should be.

 

While they were in the land and observed the form, they kept nineteen jubilees. Taking the nineteen from the seventy, leaves fifty-one; and nineteen jubilee cycles, with the jubilee year added while they kept it, with fifty-one jubilee cycles, without an added year since they have not even tried to keep it, covers the

 

D159 full period of three thousand four hundred and forty-nine years between their entering the land and the beginning of 1875:

 

Nineteen fifties make†††††††††††††† 950 years

 

Fifty-one forty-nines make††††††† 2,499†† "

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total†† 3,449†† "

 

We know some who would like to have this a little different, but we endeavor to present it as it is, neither adding to nor taking from. Taking the starting point God gave them from which to reckon, and using the rule for counting, given them, for one part of the argument, and by another line entirely distinct from that, we reach exactly the same conclusion.

 

To us, it is easier to believe that God arranged these things in that peculiar way, to give light to the truth seeker in due time, than to believe they just happen to come out so. We are not living in a chance world, under the chance government of a chance God; and the more we study it, we become stronger in the faith that the Bible is not a chance book. Why should there be such a harmonious ending of different periods in such perfect keeping with the signs of the times, indicating that a great change is due here, if it is not true? And, be it observed, this harmony cannot be produced on the strength of any other chronology. Let any one try it, if they think another will do just as well.

 

Some would like it better if there were visible manifestations, to mark the beginning of the new age, or a sudden restitution. There is no reason to believe that the restitution under the law was all accomplished at once, or at the beginning of the year. If what is promised is brought about during the age, that is enough. If the demonstrations were such as to convince everybody, how could either Christ or His day come on anybody as a thief? And without the time, it would come in that manner even on the watchers. The want of open manifestations makes time a necessity, and God has given it. The signs of the times are valuable aids, in the search for truth on this great subject. But they are not enough in themselves. "Why," says an objector, "such, or

 

DD160 similar things, -wars and money panics-have happened before, how then can you count on these things?" And this objection must have force upon those who reject time. But having the "times," it is much easier to read correctly the "signs of the times," as it is easier to tell what a book contains when we have the book.

 

We present these facts and evidences with the assurance that they will a have a sanctifying influence on all who are able to receive them. "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth." Joh 17:17.

DD161

CHAPTER XIV.

THE COMING OF CHRIST.

 

THE Lordís coming is an important element of the plan of salvation and perhaps as little understood as any other subject. We do not mean simply His second coming, but His coming as revealed in the Bible taken as a whole. The terms "First Advent," and "Second Advent," though we use them because of custom, are not quite scriptural, and no doubt often convey an unscriptural impression. Sometimes even scriptural terms convey a wrong impression, because not understood.

 

In the prophecies of the Old Testament the distinction of first and second, is not recognized, in reference to the coming of Christ. It is there revealed as one great and comprehensive manifestation; but the process includes several lesser comings, or manifestations, as parts or stages of the whole. This fact was made the stone of stumbling to the mass of Jews, and it seems to be as much so to many Christians. The object of the coming of Christ is to make a revelation of God, and the coming is progressive in its character, like the plan of the ages and revelation. From the simple or lower, to the grand and comprehensive, is as true of the coming of Christ as of any other part of the plan.

 

We believe there are three distinct steps in the great manifestation: First, to the Jewish church; second, to the gospel church, and third, to the world, or all nations.

 

There are doubtless prophecies of all these in the Old Testament, but specially of the first and third. The coming to the gospel church, (or the second coming,) and their gathering

 

DD162 together unto Him are but dimly foretold. The idea of the church as the body of Christ, and the necessity of its development to complete the seed, are revealed only in the New Testament; and are said to be a "mystery," which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed, unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit." Eph 3:3-6. We admit what seems to be implied in the above quotation, that this mystery of the body of Christ was foreshadowed in the Old Testament; and that His coming to His church is typified in the law, by the high priest coming to them that look for him. Heb 9:28. But the gospel dispensation is in some respects like a parenthesis, between the Jewish rejection of Christ and their suspension by Him, (Mt 23:37-38), and their complete national restoration at the end of the times of the Gentiles, at A.D., 1914. It is emphatically the dispensation of the Spirit, for the taking out of a people for His name. Paul calls it a mystery in Ro 11:25 also: "I would not have you to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Doubtless prophecies which were suspended in fulfillment by the cutting off of the Jewish nation, will be taken up and completed at their restoration. The coming in the flesh at the time of His presence with the Jews, and of His personal sufferings, and the coming in glory, are the first and third comings, rather than the first and second; for when He "shall appear [to the world] we also shall appear with Him in glory." Col 3:4. "Behold the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of His saints," (Jude 12.) "Behold He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him," (Re 1:7). "And the Lord, my God, shall come, and all the saints with Thee, (Zec 14:5,) cannot refer to His coming to reap the harvest of the gospel age, and "our gathering together unto Him." 2Th 2:1. And yet He comes to gather His saints, as the last reference show; therefore the coming with His saints in glory, and in all the glory of His kingdom, must be a third coming. This is what is

 

DD163 prefigured in the manifestation on the mount of transfiguration, and often referred to by the Savior. The sitting on the throne, and the judgment of the world are later than the coming for the saints, for they are to be exalted to reign with Him, and share with Him in the judgment of the world. 1Co 6:2. Let the three comings-to the Jews, to the Christians, and to the nations-be clearly seen, and many prophecies will be more luminous, and hope for our race will become a well established fact in the minds of the inquirers after truth. Let any one with this in view, read Ps 102:16-22; and he will see mercy for mankind after the restoration of Jerusalem, and the exaltation of the church, both of which will be brought about this side of 1914.

 

"When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come, and the people that shall be created shall praise the Lord. For He hath looked down * * to hear the groanings of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms to serve the Lord." This must be the future. "For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord." Hag 2:6-7.

 

That this shaking of nations and kingdoms is in the future and after the kingdom of God is set up, (as a "stone" at least,) has already been shown; but Paul clearly locates it in the future, when he quotes the language. Heb 12:26-27. But it is after we receive the kingdom which cannot be moved, and after the shaking of every moveable kingdom, that the Desire of all nations will come. It is clear that the prophecies of Christís glory and kingdom were not fulfilled when He came in the flesh. That was what the Jews had in mind, and hence they overlooked His sufferings, and rejected Him. Isa 53.

 

DD164 It seems strange that any now should claim that in His incarnation and humiliation, He came as "The Desire of all nations." This, too, in the face of the fact that He Himself taught that He came only to one nation, and that even they despised and rejected Him. The limited commission: "Go not in the way of the Gentiles," found its sanction in Christís own words: "For I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Mt 10:5, 6, and Mt 15:24. What He did for the Gentiles at that time was an exception to the rule which He gave to the disciples. Can any one say, in view of the facts, that He then came to all nations? The first thing He did for the world, was to die for them, and that not until He had suspended from favor the nation to whom He was sent. "After the sixty-two weeks [and seven, just before mentioned] Messiah shall be cut off." Da 9:26. He tasted death for every man. In His flesh life, and to the Jew, He was "as a root out of dry ground, having no form nor comeliness, and having no beauty that they should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men." Isa 53. No clearer pen picture could have been given than is found in the prophecy, of the estimate His nation put upon Him, and the manner in which they treated Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." "We will not have this man to rule over us." "We have no king but Caesar;" "Away with Him; crucify Him." These and many other facts prove conclusively that Christ in the flesh, as the Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief, was not the Desire of any nation.

 

Then, will it not be fulfilled when He shall appear the "second time?" We answer, no; though if there were only two comings, this must be spoken of as the second. Heb 9:28, is, we believe, the only place in the Bible where the word second occurs in reference to the Lordís coming. And certainly nothing in this makes it necessarily the final coming. Mark! we do not say the second coming is no where else referred to. Wherever the

 

DD165 gathering of the church to Christ is mentioned, it is at the second coming, -that is, He comes for His church. But we wish it distinctly understood, that we are teaching that all the prophecies of Christís coming in glory and with His saints will be fulfilled after He has appeared the second time. This seems so reasonable, that we think it must be self-evident to all who will think a moment. His coming for His saints must precede His coming with them. Some regard the coming in glory, with the saints, as a later stage of the second advent, and to this idea there can not be the same serious objection, for the order of events being admitted, would prevent the blinding effect of the popular view, by which Christ is expected to come for them, and with them, and do a dozen other things "in a moment," with no regard for order or their relation to each other. But we believe that the second coming has reference only to the mystery of His body-the church, and that the coming to the world as its Ruler is the beginning of an entirely different work.

 

In view of these facts, we need scarcely say, what seems to evident, that the coming as the Desire of all nations cannot be the second. Paulís statement is, "To them that look for Him, will He appear the second time." Do the nations look for Him? Do they desire Him? No. Not even the professed church desire His coming. They say they love Him, but do not want Him to come "in our day." They say they care not if He come not for ten thousand years, or even if He should never come, for they expect to die and go to Him; but very few, if any, want to die.

 

God has given us the love of life, and the instincts of men are often better than their theology. It is wicked for men in health to wish to die. The confusion arises from a misapprehension of the plan. Christians ought to know that they cannot be with Him until He comes. He said, "I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am there ye may be also." Joh 14:3. "In the world to come, eternal life." Paul says, "I beseech yo therefore brethren by the coming of the Lord, and our gathering together unto Him." 2Th 2:1. No, these

 

DD166 cannot refer to death. Death is an enemy. The children "shall come again from the land of the enemy." Jer 31:15, 16. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." 1Co 15:26. The Lordís coming is always spoken of as a blessed hope. It is never associated with death in the Bible, but with the resurrection. "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that he sorrow not even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so [i.e., in the same manner.] them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring [from the dead, to be] with Him." The Lord descends, the dead in Christ rise first, then the living are caught up together with them, [it may mean at the same time; or where they are,] and so shall we ever be with the Lord." These are indeed comforting words. 1Th 4:13-18. Could all Christians realize their dependence on the second coming, and that after it "thereís more to follow," for the worldís good, they would surely "love His appearing." There is a company who want Him to come. Why should not the chaste virgin espoused, want to see the Bridegroom? They love His appearing, and Paul says, all such, as well as himself, shall receive a crown of righteousness in that day. 2Ti 4:8. There is no promise that He will come to them that do not look for Him, or who do not love His appearing. We know of no promise that any mortal eye shall see Him at His second coming. Those to whom He then appears, are to be changed; made like Him and see Him as He is. 1Jo 3:3. But even if He is to appear to the saints before their change, as some claim*;

 

_______

 

* Christ cannot come in the flesh to the saints, to complete their education, as some claim, without ignoring the agency of the Holy Spirit as Teacher, Comforter and Guide. Jesus said, "It is expedient for you, that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come; * * Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." Joh 16:7-13. Jesus in the flesh could only be in one place at a time, but the Holy Spirit, as the Representative of the glorified Savior can be in all places where two or three meet in His name. The principle that made the presence of the Spirit better for the church than the presence of Jesus in the flesh, has not changed., The church are begotten, led and fed by the Spirit, and His work for us will not be done until we are born of the Spirit. Then, being like Christ-spiritual-we shall see Him as He is. _______

 

DD167 this is not to be confounded with His appearing to the world-the saints with Him, -when "every eye shall see Him." All who see Him then, mourn because of Him. Re 1:7. He certainly is not the Desire of all nations at His second coming, for when the last trumpet is sounding, during which all grades of the church are to be rewarded, "the nations are angry and Thy wrath is come." Re 11:18.

 

It is by this wrath the nations are to be subdued, their proud spirit broken, and their need of an All Wise Ruler learned. If the mourning of the tribes when they see Him, were, as many suppose, the mourning of despair, it would be against our position, but it has been shown that at least one nation will mourn in penitence under the influence of the spirit of grace and supplication; (Zec 12:10,) and if this is true of one, why not of all nations? Many scriptures have been presented to show that the object of the administration of wrath is merciful, and that the nations will learn righteousness.

 

Read the forty-sixth psalm, and see that after the day of wrath is past, "He maketh wars to cease," and "will be exalted among the heathen," (nations.) And it is when the kingdom is the Lordís and He is the Governor among the nations, that "all the ends of the earth are to remember and turn to the Lord." Ps 22:27, 28. And the transfer of kingdoms with their subjugation is during the last or seventh trumpet.

 

The coming of Christ is progressive in various ways. The coming to the Jews was in the flesh, and that of one person only. When He had finished that work with the fleshly house of Israel, He was put to death in the flesh, and being quickened by the Spirit, He entered upon a higher life and work. The risen, spiritual Christ is the Rock on which the church builds. This spiritual condition is the characteristic of the whole gospel dispensation. It is spiritual work throughout. "Yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more." 2Co 5:16. We, then, cannot expect a second incarnation, or coming in the flesh. The second coming will be

 

DD168 in harmony with the spiritual character of the gospel dispensation, as the first coming was in harmony with the fleshly character of the Jewish dispensation. The first was the culmination of the great principle of teaching spiritual things through the natural, on which God had dealt with mankind from the beginning, and was therefore adapted to the childhood stage of mankind. Ga 4:3.

 

That was a condition of service by sight; but the sons of God, having the Spirit in their hearts, are expected to walk by faith. The Jewish house stumbled because He did not come as they expected Him, and the second house may stumble for a similar reason. Heb 3:2-6, and Isa 8:14. As He was then visible to the natural eye, we believe His presence now in the spiritual body must be recognized by the eye of faith. Until we see Him as He is, shall we, must we not continue to walk by faith?

 

"The light of the body is the eye," is as true of the body of Christ, as the natural body; and the sure word of prophecy indicated by the Spirit, is that which gives the light to those who are led by the same Spirit which inspired it. The coming of Christ is that of one Person, to both Jewish and Christian churches, but the two events are related to each other as the natural and the spiritual, and the difference between them may be better appreciated if we keep in mind the distinction between Christ as He was, and Christ as He is. The future, or third great manifestation to the world, is that of many persons united as one. The church wait for the return of the Son of God from heaven, (1Th 1:10) and for the consequent "redemption of our body." (Ro 8:23.) This may mean the individual bodies of the saints, as the whole includes all the parts, but most likely refers to the body of Christ, -the Sons of God. But the creature, the world of mankind, -as distinct from the church, who are not of the world, ("Preach the gospel to every creature") "Waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Ro 8:19. We wait for the Head, they wait for the Body. They do not understand this, but God has arranged it for them, having subjected them to vanity, in hope, instead of despair; (Ro 8:20) and the coming

 

DD169 judgments will teach the world a lesson, which will make them desire Him.

 

The glorious result could not be more emphatically stated in the English language, than in Ro 8:21. "The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." We rejoice for them "also." The church at that time will have been delivered and then manifested for the deliverance of the world. One glorified man-Christ Jesus-has been the power of the gospel age, but the power of the coming age will be the glorified church. God reaches down through Christ to make us like Himself, and then will reach down through the whole church to bring the world to the same level. If, mortality swallowed up of life" is our victory, it can mean no less for the world, when they reach the same glorious liberty. In due time then, though it has not been so at any time in the past, Christ will be the Desire and Consolation of all nations.

 

There are not only the three grand steps of the Lordís coming-to the Jewish church, to the gospel church and to the world, -but even these are again divided into lesser steps or stages. We can not speak so definitely of the steps of the manifestation to the world. That being yet some time in the future, the light is not so clear as on what is past or present. No prophecy can be understood as well, or in detail, before as after fulfillment. But the various steps of the first coming are clearly marked in the record given us, and they seem to be arranged as a pattern of the steps of the second coming, as many things in the Jewish dispensation are a pattern, or shadow of things in the gospel dispensation. It is because the gospel dispensation, and the second coming are spiritual in their character that a pattern is needed. Whoever keeps in mind the relation between the natural and the spiritual in the two dispensations will not look for Christ to come the second time in the flesh.

 

That the first advent was not a momentary work is admitted by all. It comprised a series of events, and covered more than

 

DD170 thirty-three years of time. Whatever occurred between Christís birth and death is spoken of by all as having happened at the first advent. If the same latitude were allowed in reference to the second advent, a door would be opened for the entrance of light to many hearts. But if we speak of the order of events at the second coming, some are alarmed, or ask contemptuously, "How many comings are there?" At the presence of Christ in the flesh, there were three distinct stages, comings, or manifestations. He came at His birth, in the body prepared for sacrifice. Heb 10:5. It was foretold by the prophets. Isa 9:6. That was one step; but He had to be developed. He had come, but not fully; that is, all the steps had not been taken. The second step was at His baptism. That was His introduction, or manifestation to Israel. This was foretold and the time fixed. "From the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks." Da 9:25. Messiah, or Christ means Anointed, and though He was the Son of God from His birth, He was formally set apart to His office at His baptism with water, and that which water represents-the Holy Spirit. This is called His coming. John preached "before His coming." Ac 13:24. John said, "There cometh one after me;" and again, "That He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water." Joh 1:31.

 

At that time God publicly introduced Him: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." There He entered on His public ministry. He was there in a double character-both as the Bridegroom and as Reaper, -"Lord of the harvest" Mt 9:38. John introduced Him as the Bridegroom. "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, that standeth and heareth him rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroomís voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled." Joh 1:29. "Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them. * *" The days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast." Mr 2:19, 20.

 

DD171 The true bride is the gospel church, and the Jewish church was only a type. The espousal of the virgin church did not take place until the day of Pentecost, and that was in the new dispensation, when He had rejected the house of Israel. The same invitation in form was given to them, as afterwards to the Gentiles. Mt 22:1-10. "He came to His own and His own received Him not." Yes, the Father claimed them as His, but Jesus said, "All that the Father hath are mine." Joh 16:15. He came in the flesh to a typical fleshly bride, and was rejected. When He come to the gospel church, the true bride, it will be in harmony with the higher character of both Christ and His church.

 

The closing work of the Jewish age was called a harvest, because it was a finishing work, during which the fruits of the dispensation was gathered, so far at least as pertained to the living generation. It was as true of that age as this; "The harvest is the end of the age." Seed-time and harvest is as true of some dispensations, at least, as of the seasons. The law and the prophets had done the sowing. Jesus and His apostles did the reaping. "Left up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest." "One soweth and another reapeth. I sent you to reap." Joh 4:35-38. "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest." Mt 9:37-38.

 

That this referred only to the closing work of the Jewish age, and not to the work of the gospel age, is evident by what follows. He called out the twelve, and sent them forth, but confined their labors to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The time had not come for the gospel to go to the Gentiles. They were, during that closing work, to preach the kingdom at hand. Mt 10:7. "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come." Mt 10:23. His coming was not complete until He had come in the character of King, in harmony with the proclamation they had been making. This, too, had been

 

DD172 foretold. "Behold thy King cometh unto thee; He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass." Zec 9:9. This was fulfilled at the close of the Saviorís ministry in the flesh, when He rode into Jerusalem. Mt 21:1-5.

 

He came as a Babe, next as Bridegroom and Reaper, and last as their King, but none of these could be called His coming from heaven. The coming of Christ is not always coming from heaven, but is usually His entering upon, or manifestation in a new position or office. This is as true at the second advent as at the first. His return from heaven is a coming, but every coming is not a return from heaven.

 

There can be no doubt that the second advent has it different stages, and covers a considerable period of time, as well as the first. We believe they are equal, and that the steps of the first are arranged as a pat tern of the second. Just as the coming out of the high priest in the type was a work of time, and had its steps all in order, so surely will our great High Priest fulfill them, even to the jots and tittles.

 

There were two apartments in the tabernacle, called the h oily and the most holy places. Heb 9:1-5: The tabernacle was also enclosed in a court. Ex 27:9 and onward. Into the first or holy place, "the priests went always, accomplishing the service of God, but into the second went the high priest alone once every year." Heb 9:6, 7. These holy places are types or figures of the true-"Heaven itself," where an invisible ministry is performed by our High Priest. Heb 9:24. The going in of the high priest was a shadow of Christís going in, and the coming out was a shadow of the second coming of Christ. Heb 9:28.

 

There are many features on which we cannot now speak, but it is clear that the coming out was a work of time and order. The first step was to leave the most holy place. Then he tarried in the holy place, and afterward appeared to them that looked for Him. The cleansing of the sanctuary, the scape-goat work, the washing of his flesh, and change of his garments,

 

DD173 were all done after he left the most holy place, and before he appeared to the waiting ones. Lev 16.

 

If the jubilee argument is of force, and its seems invulnerable, then Christ must have left the most holy place long enough to have tarried in the holy place to do the above mentioned things, or whatever they represent, before the autumn of 1874.

 

There is a prophetic argument yet to be given, which shows the first step was due in the autumn of 1844. This corresponds with the birth of Christ, or first step of the first advent. He was expected by many in 1844, but they were disappointed, because they understood little or nothing about the manner of His coming, and therefore expected too much. If this premise be correct, then the tarrying in the holy place, before manifestation, would be just thirty years long, or from 1844 to 1874, and would correspond as a parallel should, with the thirty years between His birth and His baptism. All the evidence which has been or can be produced to show that the harvest of the gospel age bean in 1874, is in harmony with this.

 

This at least is true, that on the strength of the evidences already presented, and some others, Christ as the Bridegroom of Mt 25, was expected at that time; and from the Spring of 1875 where the jubilee cycles terminated, till the Spring of 1878, His presence and the harvest message were proclaimed; and the effect seemed to correspond, wherever it was preached, with that produced at Christís presence in the flesh, -"There was a division among the people." Some believed Christ had come, and others that He still tarried, or delayed His coming. These outward expressions seemed to confirm the argument.

 

All that remained to make it a complete parallel to the first advent in its three stages, was the coming as King in the Spring of 1878. The prophetic argument that pointed there, we reserve for another chapter. But we still are confident that Christ came as King in that Spring, that is, entered upon the kingly office.

 

That this change in the official relationship of Christ must take place before the translation of the living church, is evident for

 

DD174 several reasons. There is the parable of the King inspecting the guests before the marriage. Mt 22. It may be said, and with some force, the Father, and not the Son, is the King in that parable. But this inspection is a work of judgment, and "the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son;" (Joh 5:22) and so in this, as in all else, the Son represents His Father. But whoever inspects the guests, one thing is clear, the inspection does not take place until the guests are assembled for the wedding. And that agrees with the idea that the Bridegroom had previously come, and those who were ready had received Him.

 

That the going in to the wedding is not going into the heavenly kingdom, is evident from the simple fact that one, or a class represented by that one, was cast out after being in. More of this anon.

 

The same idea of inspection of the servants after Christ enters upon the kingly office, and yet before reward is given, is found in Lu 19:15 and onward. "When He had returned, having received the kingdom;" then follows the inspection of the servants, the reward of the faithful, and cutting off the unfaithful. Let it be observed that the question of character, or righteousness is made prominent in this inspection.

 

The President has to be inaugurated before he can appoint his cabinet. So Christ has His official honor conferred upon Him, before He can share it with others.

 

As the work of Christ and the angels, in this harvest, is an unseen spiritual work, we may not be able to judge who are, or who are not counted in, and we are willing to leave the decision with Him. If these things are true, it does not follow that none can be benefited by them who had not received Him during the time before He became King. The remnant of Israel was gathered after the house of Israel was left desolate. We believe it will be so here.

 

There is one outward evidence of the truth of this position which is worthy of notice. That is, the beginning of the legal restoration of the Jewish nation, by the Anglo-Turkish treaty of 1878. Who but the King would or could restore the nation?

 

DD175 When the crown was removed from Zedekiah, the last king of Israel, the nation fell; and if the crown has, as we claim, been placed on Jesusí brow, it is time for the nation to begin to rise. From the time Jesus left their house desolate, they were thirty-seven years in falling, and from 1878 to 1914, (including both,) where Gentile rule over Jerusalem will completely end is also thirty-seven years. The King having come, the fig tree is putting forth its leaves, and we know that summer is nigh; and also that our redemption is at hand.

DD176

CHAPTER XV.

TRUMPETS AND VOICES.

 

THERE are several things spoken of in connection with the coming of Christ and the opening of the great day, that seem, to some, insurmountable difficulties in the way of accepting the invisible presence of Christ, and the silent transition from the gospel age to the millennium. The objections are based on the trumpets, voices and fire, which are said to attend the change. These objections are candidly offered by earnest Christian people, and are deserving of candid attention. We may not be able to satisfy everyone, but we offer such solutions as satisfy our own mind, and leave the results.

 

"The Lord Himself, shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 1Th 4:16. This is strong language, and it is thought cannot be fulfilled without the world knowing all about it. Christians will admit that Christ could be present and yet be invisible to mortals, if He so determined, as during the greater portion of the forty days after His resurrection. But they urge this as evidence that He means to be heard by mortal ears, if not seen by mortal eyes. It must be admitted that even if the above should be fulfilled in the most literal manner, as to trumpets and voices, there is nothing to appeal to the sense of the sight.

 

The Lord Himself is a "quickening Spirit," and the dead in Christ are to be raised "spiritual bodies" 1Co 15:44, 45. We are to be made like unto the angels, who are "ministering

 

DD177 spirits," (Heb 1:7-14,) and all Christians will admit their invisible presence and work. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about theme that fear Him, and delivereth them." So said the Psalmist, and we have a clear illustration of this truth in the case of Elisha and his servant. 2Ki 6:13-18. Now if the angels, because they are spiritual beings, can be our constant attendants, and not be seen by us, surely Christís descent is not necessarily visible.

 

There are other methods of speaking than by audible voice, and of being heard than through the ear. He speaks with a still small voice, which Christians all understand, but it is in effect louder than the loudest thunder.

 

"He speaks and listening to His voice,

 

New life the dead receive;

 

The broken contrite hearts rejoice;

 

The humble poor believe."

 

The blood of Abel spoke: "The voice of thy brotherís blood crieth unto me from the ground." Ge 4:10. The murder spoke. "Actions speak louder than words." But the "blood of sprinkling," under the "new covenant," speaketh better things than that of Abel; that cried for vengeance upon the murderer; this speaks in sweetest tones of mercy. Have you not heard it? Abel offered a sacrifice, which pointed forward to Christ the great "sacrifice," and by it, "he being dead yet speaketh." Heb 11:4. On the same principle that the murdered Labelís blood cried for vengeance, the souls under the altar, (not in heaven, but on earth, where they had been martyred), "Cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Oh! Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" Re 6:10. So we see that blood and dead men have voices, and are heard by the Lord and by men.

 

Signs have voices. The Lord would deliver Israel from Egypt, and in preparing Moses for his work gave two signs to show unto Pharaoh; that of the rod turned into a serpent, and then into a rod again, and the sign of the leprous hand. Ex 4:2-4, 6, 7. "And it shall come to pass if they will not believe thee, nor

 

DD178 hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign." Ex 4:8.

 

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world." Ps 19:1-4. Thus inanimate things are said to speak, and make wondrous revelations, -"even His eternal power and Godhead." Ro 1:20.

 

Trumpets have voices; a literal trumpet speaks to the natural ear of those who are not deaf, and a symbolic trumpet speaks to the understanding of those "who have ears to hear." There are deaf understandings, as well as deaf ears. As we have already seen, any expression of power is a voice. A literal noise could not wake the dead. There might be a literal voice in connection with raising the dead, as there was when Lazarus was raised, but it was doubtless for the benefit of the living rather than the dead; and all will see that Lazarus must have been alive before he heard the voice. The power of God in Christ was what brought him to life, and the voice attending was that the living might know Who raised him, and believe. This was the reason Jesus gave for an audible prayer on that occasion. Joh 11:42.

 

A momentís consideration will show that a literal trumpet or a voice loud enough to be heard by the living, and more especially the dead, all over the world, is out of character. And yet, "All that are in their graves shall heard His voice, and shall come forth." Joh 4:25-28. Christís voice is an expression of His power, which the Father hath given Him; and this is equally true whether of physical or spiritual resurrections. What Christ can do for men physically, is but a shadow of what He can do for them spiritually, -as the natural in all things represents the spiritual.

 

The trumpet and voice, of the passage we are considering, will be fulfilled in harmony with the higher character of the gospel dispensation, which is now ending. The trumpets and voices of the

 

DD179 typical dispensation were all literal, adapted to the natural ear; but the antitypical trumpets and voices are adapted to faith, which is emphatically the law of the gospel dispensation. The priests of the former dispensation, sounded trumpets that all could hear, but "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, all but the most extreme literalists will apply to the proclamation of the gospel.

 

"Sound the trump of jubilee;

 

Let it sound from shore to shore."

 

None will apply this literally.

 

What is true of trumpets and voices, as type and antitype, is also true of mountains and of fire. Paul gives us a clear application of the principle in Heb 12:18-29. (A mountain is a type of a kingdom, and is so used in symbolic prophecy. "The mountain of the Lordís house," all understand, is the kingdom of God). "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words * * But ye are come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, &c." Then Zion is a mountain which cannot be touched; there is a voice which is not of words, and a trumpet that is not literal; and the contrast clearly shows, that while the literal were associated with the legal dispensation, the gospel is attended by the higher kind.

 

There re seven trumpets mentioned in the Book of Revelation which are directly associated with the history of the gospel age. Re 8:2. They all have voices, and are said to sound. "And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared to sound. The first angel sounded * * and the second angel sounded." Re 8:6, 7, 8. The same is said of them all.

 

They all have voices: "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth, by reason of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels which are yet to sound!" Re 8:13. The word "other" refers to the preceding ones, and connects them with what follows. "But in the days [years] of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, [more literally, when

 

DD180 he shall be sounding,] the mystery of God shall be finished." Re 10:7. All agree that six of these trumpets are symbolic-not literal-and are fulfilled by historical events, and that each one has covered a considerable portion of time. Why then should the seventh one be an exception? If the six are symbolic, so is the seventh. No one need expect to hear a literal blast of a strumpet. "Gabrielís Trumpet," (why it should be called "Gabrielís" does not appear,) which has been used as a source of alarm to the superstitious, will soon lose its power in that way. But the real trump of God will cause menís heartís to fair them for fear, and looking after those things that are coming upon the earth, though they may not at first fully understand it.

 

We will not enter upon the history of the trumpets. This has long ago been given to the world by able men. A little work published by Josiah Litch, which we have in possession, seems very clear on that subject.

 

Dr. Adam Clark takes the same general view. Under the first four, scourges were brought upon the two western parts of the Roman Empire. The remaining three as we have seen are "woe" trumpets. The first of these three was under the Saracens; the second under the Mohamedans; and the third, and last, is "the time of trouble" of which we have spoken, and is connected with "the day of wrath."

 

The time mentioned in connection with the trumpets, like all connected with symbolic prophecy is fulfilled a day for a year. Five months is one hundred and fifty years, the duration of the fifth trumpet; and the sixth is on the same principle, three hundred and ninety-one years and fifteen days. During that long period the Mohammedans held the control of the East, and it terminated according to the estimate of the little work above mentioned on the eleventh day of August, 1840.

 

In August, 1840, the combined fleets of the allied powers of Europe, demanded the Sultanís signature to a paper which would transfer the control of the empire into the hands of the

 

DD181 Christian nations of Europe. That demand was acceded to, since which Turkey has been the "sick man" of the East.

 

There the sixth trumpet ceased to sound, and the seventh began. By a combination of the prophetic arguments already given, it is evident that this trumpet continues to sound till 1914.

 

The seventh trumpet is the last of the series, and from the nature of the events mentioned, it is evident that Paulís "last trumpet," is the same as the last, or seventh, of John. Why should they not be identical as they were both inspired by the same Spirit? What if Paul did write before John? Paul calls it the "last trump," in 1Co 15:52, and the "trump of God," in Thessalonians. By comparing what John and Paul say, it will be seen that they are the same. The coming of Christ, the resurrection, and the reward of Godís people are distinctly associated with the seventh and last trumpet; and Jesus says, "Ye shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." It seems hazardous to separate them; but if they are admitted to be the same, then the trump at, or during which Christ comes is not a literal sound on the air.

 

The events which fill this trumpet are a great proclamation concerning the kingdoms of this world becoming the Lordís and the day of wrath. Re 11:15-18. That such a proclamation has been in process during the last generation is well known. It had begun in a small way before 1840, but the fulfillment of the sixth trumpet, (as the application of Josiah Litch had been published to the world in 1838,) gave the movement a great impetus.

 

If our application given in last chapter is true, that Christ entered on the office in King in 1878, it divides the last trump into two equal parts. The voice of the archangel are the events that transpire under his supervision. He stands for Danielís people; so their restoration and a time of trouble, are the events due here. Da 12:1. We see the nations preparing for a grand struggle; and the legal restoration of the Jews began in 1878. The coming of Christ in its first stage began in 1844, and the work He comes to do will not be complete until 1914, when the Old and the

 

DD182 New Jerusalems will both be in existence; so that Christ comes with or during a shout, (the proclamation) and the voice of the archangel, (the restoration of Israel and time of trouble,) and the trump of God; and yet, on the world and sleeping church He comes as a thief in the night; because they cannot hear His voice. They are deaf to all that is not both natural and literal.

 

But God will rouse the nations. As the trumpets at Sinai sounded louder and LOUDER, (Ex 19:18,) so will these great events talk louder and louder, until all the nations will hear, and tremble and fall. The mountains (governments) will shake from center to circumference, and only one will stand the test, that is, the kingdom of God. "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom, which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Heb 12:28-29.

 

Peterís mention of a fire, the melting of the elements, and the burning of the earth and its works, in connection with the day of the Lord is often regarded as literal, and therefore as an argument against the view we present. 2 Pet. 3. The above quotation: "Our God is a consuming fire," should set some on their guard against such an extreme literalism. No one believes God is a literal fire; and yet whoever will read carefully the last part of the twelfth of Hebrews, and the third of second Peter, will see that both are speaking of the same great change. Fire is an appropriate symbol of judgments, or punishments, and is very often so used in the Bible. Whatever consumes a kingdom, is as much a fire as that which consumes wood, or other combustibles. We speak of a fiery horse, or a fiery-tempered man, and all understand it is figurative language. "And the tongue is a fire * * and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." Jas 3:6. Thus we learn that Gehenna fires are not literal.

 

Because the water was literal at the flood, does not prove that the fire is literal, any more than the trumpet of the Old Testament being literal, proves that the gospel trumpet is literal. There is a

 

DD183 progress of idea from the lower to the higher in this as in all else in the Bible.

 

"But," says one, "you make it difficult, and if we take it literally, the language is so simple that a child can understand it." The same might be said of all the parable of Jesus, and all the symbolic language of the Bible. A child would never think that a woman riding on a seven-headed beast (Re 17) meant a corrupt church united to the Roman Empire, and controlling it; but so it means. Some portions of the Bible are adapted to children, but much more of it requires the application of maturer minds, and the Spiritís help, to understand it.

 

Peter says himself, that when writing of these things concerning the coming of Christ and the burning of the world, he and "our beloved brother Paul also" said things "hard to be understood." 2Pe 3:15, 16. Now, if the trumpets, voices, and fire were all literal, it would be understood with ease, and Peter was mistaken. The truth does not, in these things, lie on the surface, and if we would get it, we must dig for it, as for hidden treasure. The rule in this, as in all other departments of Bible study, is to compare scripture with scripture.

 

The wrath, or judgment, that came on the Jewish nation which resulted in the complete destruction of Jerusalem and their polity, was called a fire, and yet all know it was not literal.

 

"Now also the axe is laid at the root of the trees: therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the Fire."mt 3:10. It has been shown that the work of John and of Christ had reference only to the Jewish nation. The fire of verses ten, eleven and twelve, are identical, and is called "the wrath to come," in the seventh verse. The axe, the root, the tree, the cutting down in our expression; and in the other, the fan, the floor, the wheat, the garner and the chaff, are all figurative; is the fire alone literal? Shall figurative trees or chaff be burned in a literal fire? The whole statement is clearly a representation of the manner in which Christ disposed of the Jewish nation, and is therefore a pattern of a similar state

 

DD184 of things at the end of the gospel age. See the parable of the tares and wheat. Mt 13. The term "fire," represents the judgments in both cases.

 

That "the wrath to come," here spoken of had primary reference only to the Jewish nation will be seen by comparing the statements of John the Baptist with those of Christ and of Paul. "For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled; * * for there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people." Lu 21:22, 23. "Who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; * * to fill up their sins alway; for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost." 1Th 2:15, 16. The judgments were temporal, -not eternal as we use the word, -and the same is true of the judgments here, as the restitution age is to follow.

 

We will not attempt to give all the many scriptures which prove the symbolic use of the term fire. We will mention but one more, and which clearly refers to the same fire of which Peter speaks, because of the stated results. "Therefore wait ye upon me saith the Lord, * * for my determination is to gather the nations * * to pour upon them all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." Zep 3:9. This language is very similar to Peterís; but the fire of Godís jealousy is not caloric.

 

This verse taken alone, like the other alone, would not teach the whole truth, but the next verse gives the glorious object of such judgments and the result. "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent."

 

This agrees with Isa 26:9: "For when His judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." "All nations shall come [certain, and future from standpoint of victors on the sea of glass] and worship before Thee, for Thy judgments are made manifest." Re 15:4. How like in result to Peterís "New heaven and new earth, wherein dwelleth

 

DD185 righteousness." The cause must be the same, as the result is the same, and therefore it cannot be literal fire, nor does it annihilate mankind. The nations or kingdoms, in their organized capacity, will be destroyed, but the people blessed.

 

There is no doubt that the fire by which this political and social revolution will be brought about, is already kindling, but only those who are walking in the light of Godís word on this subject, know anything about it; on all others it is coming "as a thief in the night."

 

Ac 1:11, is supposed to be against us: "This same Jesus * * shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Is this to the church, at His second coming, or is it one phase of the later manifestation to the world? Does the "manner" refer to His coming in the flesh; or to the spiritual state in which He lived after His resurrection? If it refers to His coming in the flesh, or under cover of the flesh, we must conclude that this is not the second coming, but the later manifestation to the world. It has been shown that the coming to the church, in all its parts, is in harmony with the spiritual character of the gospel dispensation. However He may appear to others, the church are not to see Him in the flesh, but "as He is." 2Co 5:16, and 1Jo 3:2.

 

If Ac 1:11 refers to the second coming, (we do not say it does not) then the "manner" must, we think, refer to a spiritual, though unglorified state; and therefore the eyes of the disciples were opened to see what ordinary mortals could not see. It does not say, "Ye shall see Him so come," but "He shall so come, as ye have seen Him go." This is a more important difference than some might think. There is good evidence, based on the prophetic numbers and the parallels of the two dispensations, that He has so come already, and though invisible to the natural eye, if our eyes were opened we could see Him as the disciples saw Him go; and the presence has been recognized by faith by all who believe the arguments. We must walk by faith until we are "absent from the body." 2Co 5:6-8.

 

DD186 If the coming in the flesh is to the church, all who see the force of the prophetic arguments will say He should have been visible from the beginning of the harvest, in 1874. If the coming in the flesh means, as some claim, His coming from the most holy in to the holy place, He should have been visible to mortals from 1844. The high priest coming into the holy place, and the changing his garments could not both typify Christís coming in the flesh, even if either did; they would not both be the coming in like manner. The cleansing of the sanctuary and the scapegoat work comes between them. Le 16.

 

We should discriminate between the glory of the spiritual life and the glory of the High Priest. We will have the former but not the latter. If Christ is not yet come through the vail between the holies, then the first step of the second advent has not been taken, and all the work of cleansing the sanctuary, and that of the scapegoat are yet future. Then all the arguments and parallels are worthless.

 

Of course facts are stronger than arguments that can be proved false, and those who claim that Christ must be seen when He comes into the holy place, will not, we hope, for their own sake at least, expect to see Him at any given time on the strength of these parallels. If the arguments are good, He came into the holy place long ago, and it is probable that the work of making atonement was done before the harvest began.

 

Sometimes new and erroneous ideas are advanced and received as "light," without the effect they will have on the arguments being considered. Let all beware.

 

We are not prepared to give us those arguments as fallacious. The harmony with each other and with the facts of our day, is too apparent for our faith to be shaken by the presentation of another theory that is not complete, nor consistent with itself.

 

It is sometimes easier to tell what is not true than what is true, and easier to ask questions than to answer. But truth when developed must be consistent with itself. We do not claim to

 

DD187 know all the truth, but rejoice and thank the Lord that the plan seems clearer and brighter than at any time in the past.

 

We are as yet satisfied that all fleshly manifestations are due, not to the church, but to the world, and that no trumpet, voice or fire, of a literal character, will arrest the eye or ear of mortal man, as related to the change from the gospel to the future age. The events will be startling, and in Godís due time will be convincing, and to this end will take louder than any literal trumpet. We believe and therefore speak. Others will believe when they are convinced. God will speed His own truth.

 

DD188 [CHART]

DD189

CHAPTER XVI.

THE TWO DISPENSATIONS.

 

WE have seen that the Lord uses natural things to represent the spiritual; and that first the natural and afterward that which is spiritual is Godís law of progress. Both of these principles find an illustration in the relation to each other of the Jewish and gospel dispensations. Not that nothing spiritual was manifest before or during the Jewish age, nor that nothing natural is connected with the plan during or after the gospel age, but the Lord has seen fit to concentrate many natural elements in the Jewish age, and to make them a pattern of corresponding things in the gospel age.

 

A very clear, strong and beautiful definite time argument is based upon these two dispensations. We believe they are equal in length, as well as parallel in many of their features. The chronology is the key to this time argument, as to the jubilee argument, and the times of the Gentiles. This one, like the jubilee argument, is not built on the year-day theory, but on literal Jewish time, -the year ending in April of our common year. This might be regarded, so far as time is concerned, as bearing directly on the history of the Jewish nation. But though indirectly, yet clearly, there is in it the measure of the gospel age, because the period of the suspension of Israel is the period of the development of the church taken out from among the Gentiles. Ro 11:25.

 

The harmony of this argument with those which are, and others which are not based on the chronology and the year-day theory,

 

DD190 seems to establish both. Harmony is one of the strongest kinds of evidence.

 

This concerning the "Two Dispensations," is the latest time argument in development. But while in some respects it is entirely independent of the others, in other respects it is like a combination of the several others. It is by this we fix upon the time for the beginning of the legal restoration of the Jewish nation, which was due in the Spring of 1878. And the "Times of the Gentiles" gives 1914 as the date when that restoration will be complete. Thus we have a period of thirty-seven years for the restoration of that nation, which is the same length of time covered by their fall, from the time Christ left their house desolate A.D., 33, to their complete overthrow in A.D., 70. According to these arguments, both based on the same chronology, but one only on the year-day system, as they were thirty-seven years in falling, so they will be thirty-seven years in rising again.

 

Christ as their King left their house desolate and caused their fall. If our position be correct, that Christ was due to enter on the kingly office in the spring of 1878, and that this fact was the invisible cause of the Anglo-Turkish treaty being made, which secures to them the legal right to return, then Christ as their King will cause their rise. "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother; Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." Lu 2:34. Why this harmony and equality? Is it all by chance? It is easier for us to believe that the Lord arranged them so.

 

The writer and several others proclaimed publicly for three years before 1878, that in that year the beginning of Jewish restoration was due. The reader will not be surprised when we say that the treaty above referred to, greatly confirmed our faith in the application of the prophecies, and also in the Bible itself.

 

In that Berlin congress, of which we may safely say Lord Beaconsfield, the Jewish Prime Minister of England, was the head

 

DD191 and shoulders, was exemplified the underlying principle of the coming age: "In that day ten men shall lay hold on the skirt of one that is a Jew, and say, We will go with you, for we have heard that the Lord is with you."

 

We will present first the naked and independent facts of this argument, so far as relates to the time of Jewish restoration, as if it had no bearing on anything else. And we doubt not some will see this most natural phase of the subject, who may not be able to appreciate the more spiritual part which relates to the gospel church. Let each one do the best he can, to understand. "To whom much is given much is required;" therefore the measure of ability his the measure of responsibility.

 

From the death of Jacob, where, as shown in the chapter on the "Three Worlds," the history of Israel as a nation began, until the Spring of 1878, was a period of three thousand six hundred and ninety years.

 

From Jacobís death to the Exodus††††† 198 years

 

In the wilderness††††††††††††††††††††† 40†† "

 

To the division of the land†††††††††††† 6†† "

 

Under the judges††††††††††††††††††††† 450†† "

 

Under the kings†††††††††††††††††††† ††513†† "

 

Desolation of Jerusalem††††††††††††††† 70†† "

 

To Christian era††††††††††††††††††††† 536†† "

 

To beginning of 1878†††††††††††††††† 1877†† "

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total1656†† "

 

This long period is divided by the death of Christ, in the Spring of A.D. 33, into two equal periods of eighteen hundred and forty five years. This will at once be seen by subtraction.

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† From†††††† 1878 "

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Take†††††† 1845 "

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Remainder††† 33 "

 

These two equal periods are the measure of two distinct phases of the national career of Israel. During the first half they were

 

DD192 the only recognized people of God, and though often chastised, they had His continual favor. Jesus came to them, as "His own, but His own received Him not;" and it was their rejection of Him that put an end to their favor. Since their house was left desolate, or during the second half, they have had no national favor. They have been out in the cold, so to speak, though in fact it has been to them as Dives in hell and tormented, while the gospel church have had Godís covenant favor, or like Lazarus, have found rest in Abrahamís bosom. We have seen that Abraham was, as the father of the "seed," a type of God. God having fixed the time, there was an impassable barrier between them and the favor which God had promised them by restoration. And the position enjoyed by the gospel church, as children of the heavenly kingdom, can never be enjoyed by them as a nation. Individually they could at any time break their connection with the flesh by becoming Christians, but the kingdom was taken from them, as a nation, and given to another people. In this sense their punishment is endless.

 

That this division of their history into two equal parts, one of favor, and the other without favor, is of God and not chance, should be admitted by all. That it was foretold, can be proved. The only point in the chronology of this argument that requires notice is the first period of one hundred and ninety-eight years, from the death of Jacob to the coming out of Egypt. We find the date of Jacobís death by a little chronology which seems to have been arranged for the purpose of giving us the date of their national organization, which is so essential to this time argument. Why else should there be given the time from the covenant to the death of Jacob, on a line of chronology that does no further? Abraham was seventy-five years old at his fatherís death, and his leaving of Haran, where it has been shown the covenant was made. Ge 12:4.

 

DD193

From covenant to birth of Isaac (Ge 21:5)†††† 25 years

 

Isaacís age when Jacob was born (Ge 25:26)††† 60†† "

 

Jacobís age at his death (Ge 47:28)††††††††† 147†† "

 

Total from covenant to Jacobís death††††††††††††† 232†† "

 

From covenant to Exodus†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 430 years

 

From covenant to Jacobís death††††††††††††††††††† 232†† "

 

Remainder, or from Jacobís death to Exodus††††††† 198†† "

 

So from Jacobís death to death of Christ ††††††††1845 years*

 

And from death of Christ to Spring of 1878†††††† 1845 years

 

_______

 

* See CHART-DD188 _______

 

We know their history has been divided into two equal parts; that the death of Christ was the turning point; and that they have now, since 1878, had legal favor. The prophecy of their being cast out of their own land into a land they knew not, where the Lord would show them no favor, is found in Jer 16:13. They were never left without favor until Christ left their house desolate. The following verses declare their restoration "from all the lands whither he had driven them;" "But first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double." Verse 18. Double means two equal parts; and the above shows the two equal parts were to be complete before the restoration to favor should begin. This agrees with the facts.

 

Isaiah foresaw the time in which we live, and speaks of a message of comfort to that people. "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her that her warfare [appointed time, margin] is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lordís hand double for all her sins." Isa 40:1-2. The marginal reading shows that the double was to be two equal parts of time. This is confirmed by Ps 102:13. "Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come." We are living in that time, and can see the fulfillment beginning.

 

DD194 They may not, in fact we are quite sure they will not, understand the voice of the Lord in these events until 1914, as shown in a preceding chapter, but nevertheless favor is coming upon them gradually, even as they gradually fell when Christ left them desolate.

 

A third prophetic witness-Zec 9:9-12-makes it sure that the rejection of that people by the Savior, was the turning point in history, and the beginning of the second half. It is the prophecy of His riding into Jerusalem, and all know that was the end of His ministry. They were then subject to the roman power, but "prisoners of hope," that is, they were expecting deliverance. He, -"the Stronghold of the daughter of Zion," (Mic 4:8-offered Himself as their King, but was rejected, and therefore, they were left desolate. Both the offer, and the consequence of their rejecting it, are foretold in one short verse. "Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee." Mic 4:12. In this place the Hebrew word rendered double, is more literally the "second part."

 

The beginning, middle, and end of the long period are clearly marked by both prophecy and facts, and even if it taught nothing more, still as an argument in favor of the national restoration of Israel in our day, we regard it as simple and yet unanswerable. But by giving us the length of the suspension of Israel, it gives, indirectly, the measure of the gospel age. And we believe the gospel age ended in the spring of 1878, in the same sense that the Jewish age ended at the death of Christ. Then the new dispensation began in both cases.

 

But though the Jewish house was left desolate in A.D., 33, not until thirty-seven years later, or until A.D., 70, was the nation entirely disposed of. The work of saving a remnant out of the fire, seems to have continued as long as the nation was in the consuming process. There is evidence that for many years, even after the gospel was being preached to the Gentiles, the apostles preached wherever they went, "to the Jew first." Ro 1:16.

 

DD195 This state of things evidently continued for at least seventeen years after the conversion of Saul. Ga 1:18, and Ga 2:1. There is a sense in which the Jewish dispensation lapped on to the gospel age until the destruction of Jerusalem. And it is evident that a similar state of things obtains here, or that there is a sense in which the gospel dispensation laps on to the millennium until 1914.

 

There are scriptures that seem to make these two endings a necessity in both cases. We have seen that "The harvest is the end of the age," in both cases. The harvest is the finishing work. He sent the disciples to reap, not to sow. "Other men labored [did the sowing,] and ye are entered into their labor." "And herein is that saying true. One soweth and another reapeth." Joh 4:34-38. Before He died, Jesus said, "It is finished;" and in sending His disciples to preach after He had risen, it was with a new commission, which certainly was the sowing of seed for a new dispensation, rather than the harvest work of the old one. It was not restricted as before "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," but was "Preach the gospel to every creature."

 

All these facts are in harmony with the idea that the closing work, or harvest, ended just before the death of Christ, when He left their house desolate. But when John speaks of the closing work of Christ, he includes the complete disposition of the Jewish nation, and the day of wrath which came on Jerusalem. "Whose fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into the garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable." Lu 3:17. This seems clearly to include the day of wrath with the closing work to the Jewish nation.

 

Isaiah in giving the work of Christ in the gospel age seems to include the day of vengeance, or the coming period to 1914. And the Savior Himself in speaking of the harvest of the gospel age uses language very similar to, and as comprehensive as Johnís in reference to the closing Jewish work. In that it was wheat and chaff, in this it is wheat and tares. But it will be observed

 

DD196 that the manner of disposal is the same in each. Separation, gathering and burning are distinctly mentioned in this as well as the former. "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world," (age.) Mt 13:30, 39, 40. So the day of wrath is included in the closing work.

 

The view of the harvest in Re 14:14-20, seems to be that which was not due until Christ had entered on His kingly office. Here He is brought to view as a crowned Reaper, though when Johns sees Him walking among the seven candlesticks, representing His ministry during the gospel dispensation, He has no crown. Rev. 1. This fact is significant. This in Rev. 14, certainly includes the day of wrath, and yet in some sense the age had ended when Christ took the position of royalty.

 

The same view is presented by the prophet Isa 63:1-6, And the gathering of the redeemed is here also associated with the day of wrath. "For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." Isa 63:4.

 

We are compelled to the conclusion that there is a sense in which the ages lap, and another sense in which they do not. With the former in view we would say the Jewish age reached to A.D., 70, and the gospel which in either case began at the cross, reaches to A.D., 1914. But in the sense marked by our prophetic outline in this chapter, the Jewish age ended at the cross, and the gospel age ended in A.D., 1878.

 

This latter view of the case is beautifully illustrated by the two cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat. They do not lap. This is an important point, inasmuch as Christ has declared that every jot and tittle of the law must be fulfilled. If these lapped, it would represent the lap of the dispensations. But as they only touch each other, there must be a sense in which the two dispensations do the same. Some might think that they would show that the dispensations do not lap at all, but this does not necessarily follow. We regard the two cherubim as a simple and beautiful type of the Jewish and gospel churches, and of the two

 

DD197 equal periods of eighteen hundred and forty-five years. They were made with wings extending from wall to wall, and meeting in the middle at the mercy seat. 1Ki 6:27. They looked inward toward the mercy seat. Ex 25:20.

 

The mercy seat was the meeting place between God and man. Verse 22. This is clearly a type of Christ. He is our Mercy Seat, and meeting place between God and man. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood." Ro 3:25. The Greek word, hilasterion, here rendered propitiation, is, in the Emphatic Diaglott, rendered mercy seat. The same word occurs in Heb 9:5, and is rendered mercy seat in our common version. Christ is the Mercy Seat for both the Jewish and gospel churches, and His death on the cross is the central point, the point of reconciliation. Ro 5:10, and Eph 2:13-18. The one cherub clearly represents the Jewish church looking back to the same point by faith, assisted by the simple and appropriate ordinance of the Lordís Supper. "This do in remembrance of me." "This is my body which is broken for you." "As oft as ye do it, ye do shew forth the Lordís death till He come."

 

Seeing the relation of the two churches to each other, and to the cross, represented by the cherubim, the fact of their equality has force with us. "Both the cherubim were of one measure and one size." 1Ki 6:25. This feature of the law is not to be overlooked more than others. Had we no prophetic facts and numbers by which to prove the equality, this might of itself suggest it, though in that case we could not lay as much stress upon it. But having the prophetic argument, we cannot help regarding the cherubim as designed to illustrate the equality of the dispensations, and so to confirm our faith. Another pont which adds beauty and interest to this type, is the fact that the cherubim were made of olive wood. 1Ki 6:23. The olive tree was to them the source of oil for light; so these cherubim

 

DD198 fitly represent Godís two witnesses to the people, the Old and New Testaments. We do not mean the books simply, which we call by these names, but the two dispensations of truth. The fact that the first cherub representing the first witness, which is an embodiment of all the types of the Old Testament, looked inward to the central point, should prove to us that the death on the cross was the antitype of those types, and not Christís coming down from heaven, as some would have us believe.

 

Some are expecting two persons to fulfill the work of the two witnesses, (Re 11:3 and onward) but the Lord says, "I receive not testimony from man." Joh 5:34. He also adds "Search the scriptures; for they are they which testify of me." Joh 5:39.

 

The Old Testament was all that was then written, but we know the New Testament testifies of Christ, and those who can see the gospel in type and prophecy, or that the New was in the Old as a kernel in a shell, will see the fulness of Christís statement.

 

We certainly cannot, in the face of these facts, look for two personal witnesses. How can two literal men be "two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, standing before the God of the whole earth?" Re 11:4, and Zec 4. The oil of truth comes to us by the word of the Lord, and the aid of the Spirit of truth.

 

The two phases of the truth are clearly illustrated by the two equal dispensations. The Jewish dispensation, though itself an antitype of the one cherubim, is also a type, or pattern of the gospel dispensation. This has been seen in part, by Christians always. The writerís attention was first called to this subject, and the progressive character of the ages by reading a little work entitled "the Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation, by an American Citizen." But when we saw, several years later, the element of time here presented, the subject began at once to loom up in beautiful form, and many parallels not before thought of became apparent. We have never ceased to be grateful to the Lord for these things, nor to honor, for their workís sake, the vessels by which the Lord brought us the truth.

 

DD199 The parallels are really wonderful. It is to be observed, that there are both a parallel and a contrast; that is, the corresponding facts are brought to view on opposite planes, -natural things in the former dispensation, representing spiritual things in the latter. This parallelism does not seem to hold good in the same manner, in the thirty-seven years extension at the end of each dispensation. From the death of Christ to the destruction of Jerusalem, was really the beginning of the Spirit dispensation, and this extension is into the millennial age, so that we have not the same warrant to look for parallels. The parallel of time hold good, and as the Jewish church was disposed of there, so the gospel church is disposed of here. The burning was just as symbolic there as here, and the means by which the remnant were saved, was the gospel, and not the law.

 

There were doubtless some things there which have no parallels here, and some things here which had no pattern there. For instance, the wonderful manifestation of miraculous power in the early church, has no parallel here; and the peculiar trial, the inspection of guests and the casting out of one without a wedding garment, had no pattern there. First the natural and afterward the spiritual, is not applicable to the thirty-seven years extension, as to the two periods of eighteen hundred and forty-five years each, as represented by the two cherubim.

 

The Jewish dispensation dated from the death of Jacob, and the gospel dispensation from the death of Christ. The date, of course, is not a part of either dispensation. Jacob had twelve sons on which the twelve tribes of Israel were based, and Christ had twelve apostles, which are associated with the foundation of the gospel church. Eph 2:20. In another figure they are represented as "a crown of twelve stars," upon the head of the church, as symbolized by a woman. Re 12:1. The stars are the angels or ministers of the church. Re 1:20. Just why God arranged to have twelve tribes of Israel, and twelve apostles of the Lamb, instead of another number we cannot now say, but there can be no doubt that it is in harmony with some grand

 

DD200 principle of order in His plan, for we find in the new Jerusalem, wherein is doubtless represented the fruit of both ages, twelve foundations and twelve gates. On the foundations are inscribed the names of the twelve apostles, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Re 21:12-14.

 

This city is the glorified church or bride of Christ. Re 21:9, 10. Those who obey the Lord in that age, are to enter in through the gates into the city. Re 22:14. Salvation are the walls of the city, through which the gates lead. Isa 26:1. It seems as if to be in the city is to be in the spiritual or heavenly state, and to be outside is the natural state. And these facts seem to be in harmony with the idea that the restored Israel will be the outward phase of the heavenly kingdom, and through them light will proceed to the nations, and the nations come to God. Isa 66:19.

 

But we proceed with the parallelism. The law of that dispensation, was "the law of sin and death," but this has "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Ro 8:2. The promises and threatenings under that were all earthly in character and temporal in duration; but "life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel." 2Ti 1:10. The "sorer punishment" is the "second death," which seems to be eternal. Heb 10:28-29. Their law was national and adapted only to a mortal state, but the law of love will always be in force. That people were "a kingdom of priests," and as all know, were constantly offering fleshly sacrifices; (Exod. 19:6), so the gospel church are "a royal priesthood," to offer up spiritual sacrifices. 1Pe 2:5-9, and Heb 13:15. Their circumcision was in the flesh, they being Jews in letter; but the true or antitype, is inward "and circumcision is in the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men but of God." Ro 2:29; Php 3:3 and Col 2:11.

 

It is therefore a great mistake to suppose that baptism with water took the place of circumcision. The antitype in this case is spiritual, and if baptism in any way is connected with it, only

 

DD201 converted ones should be baptized, for infants cannot worship God in the Spirit. A child on the earthly plane is a type of the man, or person, in whom the work of regeneration is begun. "Ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus." Ga 2:26, 27.

 

Their relationship was wholly of the flesh; "We be Abrahamís seed," was their boast and best recommendation; but the gospel knows "no man after the flesh." 2Co 5:16. It knows neither rank, wealth, ability, nationality nor denominationalism, "but a new creature." 2Co 5:17 and Ga 6:15. The possession, and "fruit of the Spirit," are the only basis and test of discipleship the New Testament knows. Ro 8:8-17 and Ga 5:18, 19. Oh that this grand fact were more fully recognized. Under the law they were servants; but Divine sonship is the characteristic of the gospel. They were a house of servants, over which Moses was faithful as a servant, and it is declared to be for a testimony (or type); but Christ as a Son superintends the house of sons. Heb 3:2-6.

 

These constitute the two houses of Israel. Isa 8:14. Even Christ took upon Himself the "form of a servant," (Php 2:7) to meet certain legal conditions of man; being "made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Ga 4:4, 5. Even those who had light enough to receive Him when He came, were until then only servants, but He gave them "Power to become the sons of God."joh 1:11, 12. The spirit of the servant is fear, engendered by the law from Sinai, (Ga 4:24 and Heb 12:18-21) but "ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, -Father." Ro 8:15. "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Ga 4:6, 7.

 

The distinction of "children of the flesh," and "children of the promise," as related to Isaac and Christ, is made very prominent in the New Testament, but it has been considered somewhat at

 

DD202 length, in another chapter. This has a direct bearing on the subject of our inheritance. There are two kingdoms, two Jerusalems, and two inheritances, all related to each other as the natural and the spiritual. "Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondswoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free." Ga 4:30, 31. Many who see the clear distinction between Isaac and Christ, can not apply the same rule to the inheritance, and are therefore expecting an earthly inheritance. They expect to "plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them;" and all kindred promises, that will be fulfilled on the nations in the restored state, they apply to themselves.

 

We are to be made like Christ and the angels; just imagine such glorious beings as appeared to Daniel and John, -who were like the lightning in motion, appearance, and work, -we say imagine such ones digging in the ground, as a means of support. There is nothing dishonorable in work, but such beings could speak or thin, and the work would be done, as Christ turned water into wine, and fed the thousands. We have shown that our city is one which man could not build, but "whose builder and maker is God," and that our country is not earthly but heavenly. Heb 11:10-16. It may not fully appear as yet what a spiritual or heavenly country is, as "it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that we shall be like Him;" (1Jo 3:2) and our home will be adapted to our condition.

 

There is a sense in which the saints shall inherit the earth, as they "shall inherit [or possess] all things." Re 21:7. "All things are yours." And they shall have universal dominion; "and we shall reign on [or over] the earth." Re 5:10. But this is very different from living on the earth, or tilling the ground. A prince may inherit Great Britain, Canada, and the islands of the ocean, and never set foot outside of his home. The dominion is his, but the people under him own and cultivate the land and enjoy the fruit of their labors. The earthly is a type of the heavenly.

 

DD203 There are two captivities, under two Babylons, literal and mystic. Here of course the progression is from bad to worse, instead of from good to better, as both Babylons are the oppressors of Godís people. But the law of type and antitype holds good. Babylon sat upon the literal river Euphrates, which was its source of revenue and strength; so "Mystery, Babylon the Great," is seated upon many waters, which are its support. Re 17:15. From this fact we know that the mystic Euphrates cannot refer to Turkey, for the Mohammedans never supported the church of Rome, but it must refer to the Christian nations of Europe. Literal Babylon fell by Euphrates being dried up, and so the mystic Babylon will fall. Re 16:12. The same prophecies point to both, having only a partial fulfillment in the type. Isa 44:27, 28; Jer 1:38 and Jer 51:32.

 

The drying in this type, was by turning the waters into a new channel, and when the Christian nations of Europe have wholly withdrawn their support from the mother church, she must go down to rise no more. Re 18:21.

 

The Lordís typical people served Babylon for many years, and afterwards were called out, but many idolatrous customs came with them. The Lord says of mystic Babylon: "Come out of her my people." Re 18:4. This may have begun at the Lutheran reformation, but Protestant churches have to a great extent merited the title of daughters of Rome, by the Babylonish customs and idolatries which they brought with them. We are warned not to worship the beast, nor his image nor receive his mark (characteristics). Re 14:9 and Jer 15:2.

 

The Jewish dispensation ended, in one sense, with the first advent, or presence of Christ in the flesh, though His work for that nation extended, as we have seen, thirty-seven years into the new dispensation. So the gospel dispensation ends in the same sense, with the presence of Christ in a spiritual body, and His work for the gospel church extends thirty seven years after He enters the office of King. Both end with a harvest, as has already been shown. Christ in the flesh was the Lord of that

 

DD204 harvest, (Mt 9:38) and the apostles were the under reapers. Joh 4:35-38. In this, spiritual beings-Christ and the angels-are reapers. Mt 13:30, 39. All this, concerning the manner of the two comings, and the two harvests, is in perfect keeping with the contrast between the two dispensations. Both are real and personal, but one is fleshly and the other is spiritual. We have seen that there were three stages of the first advent: first as a Babe, thirty years later as Bridegroom and Reaper, and three and a half years later still as a King. By the many evidences from prophecy, and the parallelism, we are compelled to believe that the first advent with its three stages, was designed as a pattern of the second advent and its three corresponding stages.

 

We believe, for reasons not yet given, that Christ took the first step of the second advent-leaving the most holy place-in the Autumn of 1844; that He tarried thirty years, and took the second step in the Autumn of 1874. The reason why we fix upon this latter date will be understood by all who appreciate the evidence of the jubilee cycles and the days of Da 12. The equality of these dispensations, with the law of correspondence between them, is our reason for believing that Christ entered upon the office of King in the Spring of 1878. The Autumn of 1844 is the parallel to the time of His birth; the Autumn of 1874 agrees with the time of His baptism; and the Spring of 1878 meets the time of His death, just before which He rode into Jerusalem as their King. Between the first and second stages in each, it will be observed, there is a tarrying of thirty years, and between the second and third stages in each there is a period of three years and a half. From the death of Jacob to the birth of Christ was eighteen hundred and eleven years and six months. And from the death of Christ where this dispensation began, to the Autumn of 1844 is an equal period. So with this view they are equal in every part. The first is the pattern of the second, and the first advent completes the pattern. The visible is the pattern of the invisible. They walked by sight, but we must walk by

 

DD205 faith. And yet we are satisfied the evidence we have of the truth of our position, is ten times as great as that upon which His presence in the flesh was based. Jesus said, "Blessed are your eyes for they see;" and if it was blessed to live then, how much more so to live now. "Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh," (Da 12:12) is realized by all who enjoy the present light. The blessing in either case is light. Jesus also said, "Blessed are they which have not seen and yet have believed."

 

The proclamation of the visible presence of Christ was confined to three years and a half, and to only a portion of the Jewish nation, and wherever it was preached, "there was a division among the people because of Him." Joh 7:43. Some believed, and others did not; and those who did not were inclined to disfellowship, or "cast out of the synagogue," all who believed. The proclamation of His presence in a spiritual body, and therefore invisible to mortals, was in like manner made in the three years and a half, and to only a portion of the gospel church, and the effect wherever it was preached was the same. Some accepted and other rejected. Those who preached it were blamed for making division, but the disbelieving were the only ones who ever, so far as we know, seemed disposed to disfellowship or "smite their fellow servants." Mt 24:49. The proclamation was: "The tarrying is past, the Bridegroom no longer delays, and the harvest has begun." This was presented as "meat in due season" to the household, (Mt 24:45) and we believe it was; but the opposers-and often in a bitter spirit-said: "It is not true, He has not come in any sense;" which seemed to fulfill Mt 24:48-"My Lord delayeth His coming." Of course He delayed or tarried, if He had not come, and it would not be the work of an evil servant to say He delayed, if that were true.

 

The facts connected with the proclamation, the prophetic arguments and the parallelism all combine to prove our position true. It should be known too, that as there was an awakening and expectation among the people at the time of Christís birth, so

 

DD206 there was in 1844. Both were followed by a tarrying or thirty years, and a settling down, to be roused again in connection with the beginning of the harvest. But we pass this, to give it more attention in the chapter on "The Ten Virgins."

 

At the end of His ministry of three and a half years Jesus left that house desolate, but the work of saving the remnant went on afterward, until, we may safely say, not a kernel of wheat was lost. Ro 9:27-29 and Ro 11:1-5. Only a few, comparatively, had received the message before His death, but those who had received it were counted sons, and it was their privilege to carry the message to others.

 

This double phase of the harvest seems to be foreshadowed in the law, where there was a "first fruits," and then the great ingathering. These were both, of course, applicable to one season and one crop. In this also there seems to be a parallel here. Those who were "ready," or able to receive Him, before 1878, received Him and might be counted as first ripened, but there are thousands of Christians who have not yet heard these things, and not one true Christian can be left ungathered. It is the privilege of those who first learned the truth to convey it to others, and this is a great privilege. Advanced truth will be used of the Lord in ripening the wheat, and one thing seems evident, that this closing period of the last trump, which reaches to 1914, cannot pass without bringing reward to the whole church, -"prophets, saints, and them that fear His name, small and great." Re 11:18.

 

As the Jewish church fell then, and the wheat were saved out of it, so Babylon, or the nominal church, falls now, and the wheat will be saved out of it. Now the building up of Zion, both earthly and heavenly, will be accomplished, -the earthly by restoration and the heavenly by glorification. The fall of Israel

 

DD207 during that thirty-seven years, and their rise now in the same length of time, though not properly a parallel, is an important fact. We see the outward proceeding; why should it not confirm our faith in the invisible phase? The wonderful combinations in the two dispensations, speak to us louder than a literal trumpet, proclaiming Christís presences as King.

DD208

CHAPTER XVII.

MOSES AND CHRIST.

 

MOSES was a type of Christ in some phases of His work. This is generally admitted by Christians, but the fullness of it may not be appreciated by all who admit it. We say in some phases of Christís work, because all types do not foreshadow the same things. Each parable, prophetic period, and type seems to have a point peculiar to itself. Adam as a type, for instance, does not teach the pre-existence of Christ, but it will be seen that Moses does. The same is true of other points. When Moses wrote of himself, in many instances he was writing of Christ. Of course, all the incidents in the life of any one who is a type of Christ, are not applicable. In tracing the points of resemblance, we are governed by the revealed facts in relation to Christ and His work. Aside from what seems thus clearly revealed, when any one asks what this or that in the life of Adam or Moses foreshadows, our answer is, "We do not know; perhaps nothing."

 

If any one denies the allegorical or typical character of Mosesí writings, we refer them to Christ. He says, "Moses wrote of me." Joh 5:46. And yet Moses said nothing directly about Christ. What! did he not say, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me"? Oh, yes; and this is perhaps the nearest to a direct mention of Christ in all his writings. But after all he did not say Christ; we admit he meant Christ, but how could we be sure of this, were it not for the Spiritís application in Ac 3:22, given above? It proves, too, that Moses was the type-"like unto me." The

 

DD209 object of this chapter is to trace the resemblance. The type will at least illustrate the truth elsewhere taught.

 

We can see in the type, the pre-existence of Christ, His great love and condescension in leaving the glory He had with His Father and taking the form of a servant. We can see the two advents of Christ in their relation to the house of Israel; -the first in weakness as a man, and being rejected, the second in power and glory, as God, at which He delivers them. We see the equality of the "Two Dispensations" illustrated, and the work of getting a wife between the two advents. We see the process of delivering Israel is not due till the double is complete; and the day of wrath is foreshadowed, with its seven last plagues, during, and by means of which, Israel is to be delivered.

 

This type does not seem to teach the regeneration of the world, as do some others, nor even the restoration of any nation but Israel. Some see difficulty in the way of believing in the personal pre-existence of Christ, and have endeavored to explain it away; but greater difficulties, to our mind, stand in the way of accepting any other view. We do not mean that Jesus in His human nature as son of Mary had a pre-existence, but He that "took upon Himself the seed of Abraham," (Heb 2:16,) and so "took upon Him the form of a servant," (Php 2:7,) must have had a previous existence. We do not attempt to explain the philosophy of either that existence or the incarnation, but we believe the facts. Jesus says He came down from heaven. Joh 6:33, 38, 50, 51, 62.

 

The Bible does not teach that Christ laid down the life He had with the Father, but the glory of that life. "Glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was." Joh 17:5.

 

That Christ when on earth was merely a perfect human being is contrary to the plain teaching of the New Testament. As a human being, He did not come down from heaven; besides there is something in His own language that indicates that there is a sense in which even while He was on earth He was also in

 

DD210 heaven. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven." Joh 3:13. Jesus says again, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world and go to the Father." Joh 16:28. "His disciples said unto Him: Lo now, speakest thou plainly, and speakest no parable." Joh 3:29. So we say; and let any man rather than deny the pre-existence, because it is mysterious, confess what the scriptures teach: "That no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father [knows], and no man knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him." Mt 11:27. The mission of the Son is to reveal the Father, but the Son does not as fully reveal Himself.

 

Lose sight of His pre-existence, and the love and condescension of Christ are belittled, if not ignored, and one important motive to repentance is lost. He who was rich, became poor that we might be rich. 2Co 8:9. His coming to earth was not His death, but He took our nature that He might die. Heb 2:9, 14-16. Our faith in this great fact, which has never wavered, is strengthened if possible by the type of Moses. Why else was Moses adopted into the family of Pharaoh, and place din royal honors, but that he might choose to leave the glory he had with his father, and choose to suffer affliction for his poor people-"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." Heb 11:24-26. How like Jesus, accepting poverty for manís sake, that He might redeem him. Though Lord of all, "He had not where to lay His head." Great condescension! Wondrous love!

 

Christís coming was to His own people, and they received Him not. Joh 1:11. This was clearly so with Moses. Ex 2. The object of both was to deliver Israel. "Moses supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not." Ac 7:25. The offer made by Moses was only to a few, and so it was with Christ.

 

DD211 Why the Lord saw fit in either case to let the fate of a nation rest for a time on the action of a few, we may not understand, but it was so. Both came in weakness, and there was nothing that seemed desirable in them, to those to whom they were offered. They were both "despised and rejected of men." Isa 53. Of Moses it was said: "Who made thee a ruler, and a judge over us?" Ex 2:14. And all know the general treatment of Christ by His own brethren was, "We will not have this man to reign over us." Lu 19:4. "We have no king but Caesar." Joh 19:15. "Crucify him, crucify him." Lu 23:21.

 

Moses had to flee for his life; (Ex 2:15) Christ actually died. The people were left desolate, and allowed to suffer on in bondage, -their deliverance being postponed until Moses returned; so Christ said: "Behold your house is left unto you desolate, for verily I say unto you, ye shall see me no more until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Mt 23:38, 39. In this type the importance of the death of Christ is not made so prominent as in the falling asleep of Adam, but its place in the plan is recognized in the case of Adam, Isaac, Moses, and we may add, of Joseph. During the interval between his leaving them, and his return to deliver them, Moses took him a wife-a Gentile, an Ethiopian. Ex 2:21, and Nu 12:1. So during the suspension of Israel, Christ gets His wife, taken out from among the Gentiles, as has been shown. The color of Mosesí wife may indicate the darkness of sin wherein Christís own are found, and from which they are elevated. We have known instances where men ridiculed the idea of Christ taking a Gentile wife, saying that the church was to be made up only of Israelites scattered among Gentiles. Should not such persons take warning from the case of Aaron and Miriam speaking against Moses because of his gentile wife? Nu 12:1. Nothing is clearer than the teaching of the New Testament, that the church is largely made up of Gentiles. Ro 9:30. Jew and Greek are equal under the gospel, (Ro 10:12) but the circumstances

 

DD212 have been much in favor of the Gentiles. Of course, on becoming Christians, such national distinctions cease. Ga 3:28. This is due to the fact that Christ Himself, though a Jew in the flesh, lost that relationship when He was born of the Spirit. What is true of the Head must be true of the Body. 2Co 5:16, 17.

 

At the first coming of Moses, he was forty years of age, and at the end of a second period of forty years, he came the second time. Ac 7:23-30. We have shown in the preceding chapter, that the two periods are equal at the end of which Christ makes His first and second advents. We do not make this, nor assert that it must mean just what it seems to mean. But we present them as they are, and say we believe that God arranged these things as types.

 

This type treats of Chris specially in relation to the fleshly Israel, the object being to deliver them. We have shown that the deliverance of Israel in a time of trouble is due to begin after the end of the two equal period, or from 1878. This could not be more fully illustrated by a type than it is in this. The Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and taught him the doctrine of the resurrection; so says our Savior. Lu 20:37-38. This does not teach, as some claim, that the dead are alive, but that they will live. All are said to live unto Him because of the certainty of His promise. The future is present to Him, "who quickeneth the dad, and calleth those things that be not as though they were." Ro 4:17. Why did God use that particular time to teach the resurrection? Was it to teach that the resurrection of one "order" of the dead was due at the time Christ entered upon the office of King? There are different orders even among the Lordís people, (Re 11:18) and every man is to be raised in his own order. 1Co 15:23. There is much proof that all the order that are Christís are to be raised somewhere during the forty years beginning with the harvest. "Go thy way till the end [harvest] be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot after [instead of "at the end of"] the days." Da 12:13. See

 

DD213 chapter on "Times and Seasons." We would not be dogmatic here, neither do we say this is our firm conviction, as we say on most that we have written, but these thoughts are suggested, and we would not be surprised if when clearer light comes, it will be found that the resurrection of Christ and others at the end of the Jewish age, has a parallel at the end of the gospel age. There may be a parallel without a contract, as in the case of the fire in the two days of wrath; -both are of the same kind.

 

That some representative saints should be present at the coronation of the King of kings does not seem to be inappropriate. The kingdom is to be as a sone at first, and grow until it becomes a great mountain. During this period the New Jerusalem is to be built and all the church gathered in. The Lord will "make up" His jewels. This implies a process. We believe this is the day in which He will do the work. Mal 3:17. Who will say the process had not begun? The invisibility is not proof against it. Spiritual beings are always invisible to morals, only when some special reason they choose to appear. Earthly cities may be congregated first, and a government be organized afterward, but the throne of this is established first. Re 4:2. The same scene seems portrayed in Da 7:9. The One in the throne, is God, -"The Ancient of days." Then the "Lamb," or "One like the Son of Man" comes to Him and receivers the book and the kingdom. Da 7:13, 14, compare Re 5:1-7. The throne in the New Jerusalem is called "The throne of God and the Lamb." Re 22:3. That some of earthís redeemed are present on that occasion seems evident. There are "four and twenty elder" crowned. Re 4:5. They are present before the Lamb appears in the character of the "Lion of the tribe of Judah." (Re 5:5). That there are men in heaven, that is, in the heavenly state, before the seals are broken is clear, for "No man in heaven nor in earth, neither under the earth was able to open the book," and hence the weeping. Re 5:3, 4.) "And when He had taken the book [but before the seals were opened] the four beasts [living ones] and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb. * * And

 

DD214 they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain and hath redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth." Re 5:9, 10.

 

These could not be the company who came up at the end of the Jewish age, or at the resurrection of Christ, even if they are included. The gospel had not then been preached to all nations, to take out a people. We believe the seals are future from the spring of 1878, and associated with the day of wrath. The events under the fifth seal lose their weight as an objection to this when this idea of order is maintained. With this in mind we may say the marriage of the Lamb is come and all in its light are enjoying the feast. The living generation of Christians are always called servants or guests. They represent the church, as a part represents the whole, but the whole church must be glorified before the real work for the nations begins. But if the living mortals represent the whole church on earth, why may not the living immortals (if this suggestion should be true) represent the whole church in heaven? The twenty-four elders may represent the twelve apostles and as many representatives of the twelve tribes. One thing is clear, when Babylon falls, the holy apostles and prophets are called upon to rejoice over her. Re 18:20. Will they not be present to witness its fall? A king represents his kingdom, and a priest his church. But we will return to what suggested, in part, what may have seemed a digression.

 

When the Lord appeared to Moses in the bush, in addition to teaching the resurrection, He declared His purpose to deliver Israel. "For I have surely seen the affliction of my people, which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry, by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them." Ex 2:7, 8. The deliverance follows the coming. As it was there, so it is here. Let no one confound this immediate result of the second coming to deliver Israel, with the later development as the "Desire of all nations." Because

 

DD215 Israel in the flesh is a type of the gospel church, some have thought the work of Christ here could not have reference to Israel. But this objection will be removed if we remember that the restoration of Israel and the exaltation of the church are both the work of Christ, and that they are simultaneous, both taking place during the same period. This relation between the two confirms us in the idea that the unseen work may have begun in an incipient stage, even as we see in the restoration of Israel.

 

When Moses was sent to deliver Israel, he did not go alone; Aaron went with him. Ex 4:14-17. Aaron was not the whole nation, nor a whole tribe even, but as a priest, represented the tribe of Levi and the nation of Israel. That representative man went with him. "And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him." Ex 4:27. The mountain here as elsewhere, is evidently a type of the kingdom. Does it not seem as if Aaron represented a company who are to be with Christ from the beginning of the restoration? Though Moses first came in weakness, and had to yield to the tide, now he comes clothed with power as God. 5:16. By Moses and Aaron together, signs and wonders were wrought. By stretching forth the hand, the earth would tremble, the heavens would gather blackness, the waters would turn into blood; plague after plague would come upon the Egyptians, until in due time, the proud and stubborn heart of Pharaoh was compelled to yield, and he was glad to let the children of Israel go. Christ came in weakness as a babe, and as a mortal man. "My kingdom is not of this world, else my followers would fight." Joh 18:36. Not in the second, but in the third world does Christís kingdom belong. Then He came to suffer and die; now He comes to restore, establish His kingdom and reign. And unwilling as the proud Gentile powers are to give up their dominion over Jerusalem, they must yield; and Israel will not go out empty handed. They are the money kings of the world, in spite of the oppression of their enemies.

 

DD216 By looking over the record given, the same remarkable agreement appears in reference to the plagues. There were in all, ten plagues in Egypt, -first, the waters turning to blood, (Ex 8:19); second, the frogs (Ex 8:5); third, the lice (Ex 8:16); fourth, the flies (Ex 8:21); fifth, the cattle died (Ex 9:6); sixth, the boils (Ex 9:9); seventh, the hail (Ex 9:22); eighth, the locusts (Ex 10:12); ninth, the darkness (Ex 10:21); and tenth, the death of the first born (Ex 11:5).

 

The first three came upon Israel and Egyptians alike, but from the "seven last plagues" Israel was exempt. Ex 8:22, 23. Now in connection with this change we find "seven last plagues," (Re 15,) representing the wrath of God on the nations, as it came on the Jewish nation when it fell. It came on them to the uttermost. 1Th 2:16. Seven last plagues indicate that others preceded them, but how many is not mentioned. The separation of Israel and their exemption from the seven last, then, suggests that those were a type of these. The events and the exact manner of their fulfillment will be better understood as they come along, and there is room for an increase of light to the watchers.

 

There is a peculiar prophecy in Mic 8:15-17: "According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt, will I shew unto him marvelous things. The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might." Terror shall lay hold upon them in consequence of the plagues. Some one has said that a period of twenty-six days elapsed while those judgments were brought upon Egypt. If these days should represent years, as is the rule in prophecy, these coming judgments will cover a considerable period of this day of vengeance, and give some time for the restoration of order when Jerusalem will be a praise in all the earth.

DD217

CHAPTER XVIII.

UNITY AND VARIETY OF THE CHURCH.

 

THE New Testament clearly teaches the unity of the church of Christ. All Christians are members of Christ, and consequently one of another, whether they realize it or not. The figures that are used in the Bible to illustrate the relation of Christ and His people, all show this. Christ is the Head and believers are the members of His body. Col 1:18; Eph 1:22, 23; 1Co 12:12. These are samples. Christ is a Vine, and Christians are the branches. Joh 15:5. There is one fold and He is the Shepherd. Joh 10:16. He is the Foundation, -a living Stone, -a spiritual Rock, -and believers are the living stones built up a spiritual house. Mt 16:18; 1Co 3:11, and 1Pe 2:4, 5. He is the "Head of the corner," or "chief corner Stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord." Ac 4:11, and Eph 2:20-22. This suggests the idea of a pyramid, which needs but one cap-stone, and which covers the whole building by its lines and angles. The cap-stone of a pyramid must, of necessity, be the same shape as the whole pyramid. In all these figures are illustrated both the unity and indivisibility of the church.

 

That there is variety, as well as unity, is also clearly taught, but variety cannot set aside the unity. The hand is not the foot; the eye is not the ear; and no one member, however exalted in ability or office, can say to another with impunity, "I have no need of thee." 1Co 12:14-27. Ro 12:3-6. And it is certainly true that the body would not be complete without its most

 

DD218 insignificant member. A branch in the vine may be young, small and tender, but the life of the vine flows in and through it as well as the strongest. The lamb as well as the older sheep is an object of the Shepherdís tender care. "He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom." Isa 40:11.

 

There are three distinct grades in the church mentioned by the apostle John, -little children, young men and fathers. 1Jo 2:12-14. Even if this should refer to the grades of physical life, it would not weaken our claim, for other things being equal, that distinction involves a corresponding gradation mentally, and in spiritual attainment. But we must all admit that old men physically, are often but babes in Christ. This is too often the case even when they have long been professed disciples. Paul writes of this and clearly marks two classes-babes, and those of full age. Heb 5:12-14. Milk, he says, is for babes, and strong meat for those more advanced. Of course the unity is not destroyed by this variety. God has manifested His love in the adaptation of the truth to the capacity of all. It was the command of Jesus to "feed my lambs," as well as to "feed my sheep." Joh 21:15, 16. And Peter, to whom Jesus addressed this, exhorts the church thus: "As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." 1Pe 2:2. He exhorts the elders, as under-shepherds, not to feed those only who can take strong meat, but "Feed the flock, * * and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory." 1Pe 5:1-4. And yet Paul in the passage above referred to sharply reproves some for not advancing from the condition of babes, and so be able to use strong meat. The milk, he says, is "the first principles of the oracles of God." He then exhorts to leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ, and go on to perfection; and specifies as these principles, -repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection and judgment. Heb 6:1, 2. In the following verses he implies that advancement is the only safeguard against falling away.

 

DD219 A babe in Christ is a partaker of the Divine life, as well as the more advanced, and all can see that while the apostle speaks of but the two general classes, there is great variety between the weakest and the strongest. No babe become a full grown man in a day, but with proper care and food, some grow very rapidly.

 

Paul speaks of the two classes in 1Co 2, as "natural," and "spiritual." That he is speaking of gradation among Christians, and not contrasting the world with the church, is evident from the context. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [natural, fleshly] even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with mean; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able." 1Co 2:1, 2. The evidence of their carnal state, Paul urges, was in their recognition of divisions, and human leaders. 1Co 2:3-5. He does not unchristianize them, but he sharply reproves them. "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" In this they walked too much as the world. "Who then, is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed?" Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but God gives the increase. Then recognize God in Christ, but not human leaders.

 

The spirit of sectarianism is thus sharply condemned. If it was wrong for the early Christians to say, "I am of Paulí and I am of Apollos; and I am Cephas;" where is our warrant for calling ourselves "Lutherans," "Arminians," "Calvinists," "Wesleyans," or for recognizing any name or sect but that of Christ? We would say, "Is Christ divided?" 1Co 1:13. Was Calvin crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Wesley? If we have believed that the Lord bought us, and we have been baptized in His name, let us call ourselves Christians and recognize one another as brethren.

 

"But we differ in opinion, and we must have some way of marking the distinction." Is this true? Have we any right to make a test of church fellowship, that which the Lord has not made a test of Christianity? These things are evidences of

 

DD220 carnality now as much as in Paulís day. We cannot suggest a plan of reform, better than by presenting the true basis of unity-the possession of the Spirit of Christ. Ro 8:9. The outward condition is but an expression of the inward. A thermometer does not make the weather; it is but an indicator. Let that which God makes a test be our only test, and denominationalism will soon consume into smoke.

 

The Divine nature, or indwelling Spirit of Christ, is the tie that binds Christians as one, as fully as a common human nature marks us one natural family. If my brother in the flesh for any reason denies the relationship, that cannot destroy it. So, if we are Christians, we are one, whether we recognize it or not. But not to know what is really true, is a source of trouble and serious wrong to all concerned. "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bonds of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith [not one opinion], one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Eph 4:3-6. Oh that we might live under the influence of these truths. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body * * and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." 1Co 12:13.

 

There is a letter and a spirit to baptism as to almost everything else. Let no one ignore either. He that possesses its spirit is not most likely to neglect its form. "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." Ro 6:5. "Buried with Him, by baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead." Col 2:12. He who has the Spirit will bear the fruit of the Spirit, -"Love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance" Ga 5:22-23. He who bears such fruit, God owns as His child; and let not one child reject another. The object of the vital, spiritual union with Christ is fruit bearing. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." Joh 15:8. "Every branch that beareth

 

DD221 not fruit, He taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Joh 15:2. "Ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Ro 6:22.

 

The union of the sects is like the union of staves in a barrel; rather would we enjoy the union of the vine and its branches. One body, one Spirit and one hope is the unity of true Christians.

 

As there is variety in the church now, so it seems there will be in the kingdom to come. "He that is least in the kingdom of God, is greater than He," (i.e., John]. So said Jesus. If John himself finds the humblest place in the kingdom, (and we expect he will be in the kingdom) his position will be far higher than as a prophet in the flesh, though Jesus said, "Among all that are born of women, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist." All Christians are to be rewarded with eternal life, and be in the same kingdom; and there, as here, the unity will be a great fact, but that does not shut out variety then, any more than now. "One star differeth from another in glory." 1Co 15:41. "They that be wise shall shine as the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever." Da 12:3. The stars are brighter than the firmament. To be in the family of God, is a glorious gift of grace, but it is evident that our position may vary according to ability and faithfulness. In this sense Christians are to be rewarded according to their works. This fact appreciated is a motive to faithfulness. To the one who with one pound has gained ten, Jesus says, "Well done thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities;" and to the one who has gained five, He says, "Be thou over five cities." Lu 19:16-19. Faithfulness in either case is recognized and rewarded, but he who has brought forth no fruit is cut off. When we bear in mind that the Christianís reward brings him something to do, it will be seen why the one who has gained five should not receive as much to do, as the other that has gained ten.

 

Paul speaks of two classes, already mentioned, who build on

 

DD222 Christ, but some with "gold, silver and precious stones," while others build with "hay, wood and stubble." 1Co 3:11-15. The difference is in their works. Both are saved, but one is rewarded as the other is not. The evil works are burned, the builder suffers loss, but is saved himself so as by fire. This seems to agree with the words of Jesus in reference to some, in the day of wrath, being "counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Lu 21:36. It suggests not only a difference, but also order as to time of reward. The first ready, seem to be taken first, and others go through the fire of judgment, and are saved afterward. Some are exalted to sit with Christ in His throne, and reign with Him. Re 2:26, 27; 3:21 and Re 5:9, 10. These seem to be a comparatively small number, "a little flock" who inherit the kingdom in the same sense that a prince inherits the kingdom. But there is another class, "a great multitude," who come up "out of [or during] the great tribulation," wash their robes, and serve day and night in His temple. To be in the church is to be a member of it. The "little flock" rule, but this "great multitude" serve.

 

That this great number does not refer to those saved in the next age, seems to be sustained by other facts. Under the last trumpet, various orders are rewarded; prophets, saints and them that fear Godís name, small and great. Re 11:18. The number that reverence the name of God seems much greater than the other two classes combined. This period is evidently the same as is covered by the coming, or rather the "presence" of Christ in the great reaping of the earth. Paul says: "They that are Christís at His coming" (Gr. Parousia, presence). Now it has been shown that the babes in Christ are included, and they are probably the "great multitude." When the New Jerusalem descends, to begin the millennial work of giving light to the nations, it seems to be complete. It is not all throne, but it has the two companies, the "little flock" and the "great multitude." It could no more be a city if it were all government, than if it had none. Here is a clear illustration of both the unity and variety in the kingdom.

 

DD223 The city, as a whole, is called the bride, the Lambís wife. Re 21:9, 10. But say some: "We thought it was only the few who were to be the bride." True, but you did not learn it from the Bible. This is the only place, of which we know, where the term bride is applied to the church. The Spirit, we have seen, turned to the Gentiles to take out from among them a people for His name. Acts 15. And the church is by the apostle spoken of as a chaste virgin espoused unto one Husband, even to Christ. Are not babes in Christ begotten by the Spirit, and therefore among those He is taking out to be a bride for Christ? Will He take out more than is needed? The Savior prayed for "them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they ALL may be one." Joh 17:20, 21. Does not this include the babes? Is not the climax of this unity of the Spirit the marriage? And the same glorious result on the world is implied here, that is to be brought about by the New Jerusalem. "The nations shall walk in the light of it." "That the world may believe that thou hast sent me." There is no middle class between the bride and the world.

 

The unity and variety of the Jewish nation, -the typical bride, may illustrate the same in relation to the gospel church. That was called "a kingdom of priests and an holy nation." Ex 19:6. This is called a royal priesthood and an holy nation. 1Pe 2:9. And yet only a few there or here actually serve in that high office. The priesthood represented the whole nation; so the throne in the New Jerusalem represents the whole city. Malachi says, "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and a book of remembrance was kept, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels." Mal 3:16, 17. This seems clearly to include all Christians, babes and full grown. They are the Lordís jewels. He will wear them as His crown of rejoicing.

 

To "make up," implies a process and order, such as is elsewhere indicated. Comparing this with Re 11:18, and the

 

DD224 many evidences, we conclude, that day has begun, and will reach 1914; and that during this period, the church, in all its variety, will be glorified, and thenceforward be ready for its glorious work on the nations. This unity of the church and its hope, is a great encouragement to every one who is striving to know the Lord more fully, and be faithful. These are the churchís proper representatives, and hence will reign with Christ.

DD225

CHAPTER XIX.

THE SPIRITíS WORK.

 

THE work of the Holy Spirit is one of the most important elements in the plan of revelation and salvation. He is always spoken of by the Savior as a Person, and is called the "Spirit of truth." Joh 14:17. We will follow the Saviorís example in this, though we do not propose to deal with the philosophy of that fact. He being the Spirit of truth, it is His mission to make known the truth. We have often heard men speak of "Holy Ghost Religion," in such a way as to belittle the truth that God, by His Spirit, has been pleased to reveal. But we may safely say that the only religion of any value to us, is that which is based on the truth; and he that despises the truth, does despite to the Spirit of truth and grace. There are two phases of revelation, both of which are within the province of the Holy Spirit: first, He inspired men to write or speak the truth; and second, He enables men to understand it. The first phase was the characteristic of the Old Testament times, and also of the introduction of the New Testament; and the second phase is known in the experience of the gospel church. Peter tells us that "The prophecy came not in old time by the will of men: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2Pe 1:21. By comparing this with 1Pe 1:11, it will be seen that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ are used interchangeably. In view of this, we may see the force of the statement, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Re 19:10. When Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice," (Joh 10:27) He

 

DD226 gave expression to the importance of the prophetic word; and in view of the above, we may safely say, that whoever neglects, or condemns the study of prophecy, to the same extent neglects, or condemns the study of the testimony of Jesus.

 

It is not to be supposed that the prophets in all cases, understood the truth which the Spirit communicated by them. The opposite of this is true. Peter tells us that they "enquired and searched diligently" to ascertain the meaning of some things which the Spirit of Christ, in them, testified; and that it was revealed to them, that these truths, though communicated by them, were not designed for them, but for the gospel church. 1Pe 1:10-12. In Da 12, this idea is clearly brought to view. An inquiry was made, and the answer was given so indefinitely, that the prophet exclaimed, "I heard, but I understood not;" and in answer to further inquiry, he is informed that "The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." Da 12:6-9.

 

To reveal, is to make know; and hence a truth not understood by those for whom it is designed, is even when written, only half revealed. "Light is sown for the righteous," in the prophecies of the Old Testament, but it has to be developed, or grown, before they can understand and use it. The same Spirit that inspired the prophets to write the truth, is given to the gospel church to lead them into all truth. Joh 14:26, and Joh 16:13.

 

The written word, in type and prophecy, may be compared to a lamp containing oil, which in due time is to give light to the people. The word is compared to a lamp, but it must be as a burning lamp before it can accomplish that whereto it is sent. All the light and heart that can be developed by burning are in the oil before it is burned. Philosophy calls them latent light and heat, when they are undeveloped. So the word of the prophets contains the light and heat of the gospel in a latent condition, and the Spirit makes it shine during the gospel age for the benefit of the church of Christ.

 

The truth is not given to the church, however, without reference

 

DD227 to a proper effort on their part. "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hidden treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Pr 2:1-5. According to this rule it is no wonder that only a few are familiar with the deep things of God. Things of value, whether natural or spiritual, are made difficult of attainment.

 

The duty and importance of searching for the truth are clearly presented in the New Testament. "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me." Joh 5:39. These words of Jesus lay stress upon the Old Testament, for the New Testament had not then been written. It is not mere reading that is inculcated, but searching. Men may read the Bible from beginning to end every year, from either the novelty of it, or a sense of duty-as a penance, -and know and care but little about it at last; but he that searches for the truth as for silver and other precious things, comparing scripture with scripture, will find the Bible a wonderful mine, and will become more and more interested as he proceeds.

 

Paul to Timothy gives the duty of all who are called to be teachers: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, {It makes less difference whether or not we please men] a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2Ti 2:15. The right division of the word gives milk to the babes, and strong meat to them that are further advanced. It also shows the same principle of progression in Godís dealings with His people as one person. In reference to this latter, we have seen that the key for rightly dividing is the plan of the ages.

 

The path from paradise lost until the antitype is gained, is a shining way. It is the path of the just, which "as the shining light, shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Pr 4:18. The light in this pathway is the sure word of prophecy revealed

 

DD228 by the Holy Spirit. Peter, inspired by that Spirit, was not much like some modern "Divines," who charge young men entering the ministry, not to pay any attention to prophecy, especially if it relates to the coming of Christ. When Peter was writing on that subject, after referring to the transfiguration as a type of the glorious appearing, he adds, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2Pe 1:19.

 

The light of prophecy is the light of the Holy Spirit; and it is evident that the Lord looks upon with favor, and helps by His Holy Spirit, those who earnestly desire and search for the truth. The truth is the Spiritís sword for the accomplishment of His work. Eph 6:17.

 

One says, "Give me the Bible-the Spiritís word, -that is all I need;" and another says, "Give me the Spirit to lead and guide me, and I do not need the Bible." These we regard as extremes; but the first position is safer than the second because it is less likely to lead to fanaticism. And yet we are quite sure that each Christian needs the Spiritís help to understand the written word.

 

This leads to the inquiry: To whom was the promise of the Holy Spirit made? Was it not promised to the apostles only? We believe it was promised to the church as the body of Christ, and to the apostles only because they represented the church in their time. "There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called with one hope of your calling." Eph 4:4. The Holy Spirit is the indwelling and animating power of the church of Christ. That the apostles were empowered by that Spirit to do a work needed then, and because done then, never needed since we cannot doubt. That work was to complete the canon of scripture. They stood as the tie between the ages. The Spirit in them finished the work of the first phase of revelation of which we have spoken; and also the work of unfolding what had been written before, was begun in them.

 

Whenever anyone comes to us with an idea as revealed to him

 

DD229 which cannot be found in the Bible, we say, "That may be worth something to you, but it is of no use to us." We believe the body of truth, or loaf of bread, (Mt 4:4) by which the body of Christ lives, is found in the Bible. But this does not set aside the necessity of the Spirit as the Guest and Guide of the church during the whole gospel age.

 

The Spirit was, as we have seen given to a few before the dawn of the gospel age; but He was not the Guest of the Jewish church, which was only a type of the gospel church, in which the Spirit dwells. Joh 14:17. The same verse tells us the world cannot receive this Spirit, "because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." And yet it is one part of the Spiritís work to "Reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment." Joh 16:8. He strives with the world, and it is His work, in which He cannot fail, to bring every human being to the knowledge of the truth; but He dwells in and is the Comforter, Teacher and Guide of the church.

 

The unity of the body of Christ, and the fact that Christ and the apostles addressed the church as "ye" and "you," while speaking of the world as "they" and "them," make it clear that the promise of the Spirit was not to the twelve alone, but to the whole church, of which the apostles were the representatives. "Go ye into all the world," and "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (age), are Christís commission to preach, and promise of aid to us as well as to those immediately addressed. The fact that the promise includes the whole gospel age, is in itself proof that it was intended for the whole church.

 

Have not the whole church needed and enjoyed the presence of the Comforter? Is it not as true now as ever that where two or three meet in Christís name, He is with them? All Christians must, we believe, answer these in the affirmative. Then the Spirit is the Teacher and Guide of the church as well as their Comforter. It is only a different part of the same promise. Joh 14:16-26. Indeed it seems that He is the Comforter because He is the Teacher. He takes of the things of Christ and

 

DD230 shews them unto us. Joh 16:12-15. The many exceeding great and precious promises applied by the Spirit of truth, being light in darkness, joy in affliction, strength in weakness, and indeed all our wants are anticipated and supplied. He has not only caused the word to be written, but He has illuminated our understanding, bringing to remembrance the things that are needed. "As thy day is, so shall thy strength be," is a promise that has been verified in the experiences of many a pilgrim.

 

There is a fullness in the promise of Christ to those who keep His commandments, that is not always recognized. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." Joh 15:15. This suggests the wonderful relationship and intimacy of the bride of Christ. "All things!!" "All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you." Joh 16:15. "Ye [not we, as if it were confined to the apostles] have an unction from the Holy one, and ye know all things," (1Jo 2:20) "and ye need not that any man should teach you." 1Jo 2:27.

 

This does not of course set aside the instrumentality of human teachers, as those appointed by the Spirit to edify the church. Eph 4:11, 12. But it does give force to the fullness of Godís word, and gives us authority to bring every word of man to the test of that word. "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isa 8:20.

 

The fullness of these promises suggests the idea to our mind, that in some cases they may prove a delusion and a snare. Much, we believe, depends on the answer to the following questions: Was the promise to guide into all truth, to each member or any one of the body of Christ, or to the body as a whole? Were all the gifts of the Spirit to each member, or any one, or to the body as a whole? We answer, Not to the individual, but to the whole church as one in Christ. This is clearly expressed in reference

 

DD231 to the gifts of the Spirit, in 2Co 12, and will be appreciated by all who will consider the unity of the church.

 

The idea that any one person may, because of these promises, gain a complete knowledge of all that God reveals to Christ, must invariably, where it is entertained, lead to the most perfect egotism, or to the wildest fanaticism, -perhaps to both. The idea that any one must gain a complete knowledge of all that Christ knows, in order to, and before he can, become a member of the heavenly bride, will, if entertained, be a source of terrible discouragement.

 

There can be no doubt that the Spirit has always done His work; and, therefore, we may claim that each generation of Christians, taken as a whole as the body of Christ on earth, have enjoyed all the light that was due in their day. And as we are at the close of the age, the church of this day, having walked in the path that shines more and more, ought to know more of Godís plans than any preceding generation, and we believe they do. But that any one now has, or may have, or at any time in the past, had or might have had all the truth of God, or even all due in his time, is a most unwarranted assumption.

 

As the body has many members, and there is great variety of capacity, some as new born babes, some as minds well matured, and many in the various degrees between the beginning and the end of the Christianís career, it cannot be expected that all will know alike, or that any one will know it all. A babe in Christ is no less a member of Christ, than one more advanced, and doubtless there are babes in Christ today as in all preceding times. It is in Christ, and not out of Him that babes become old men.

 

We go a step further. There is no scriptural evidence that even the last generation of Christians will know the whole truth while in the mortal state. While it is true that the living mortal generation represents the body or bride of Christ, still it is the glorified church that is the body or bride in all the fullness of the grand ideal; and the apostle in contrasting the present and future states, says, "We know in part and we prophesy in part,

 

DD232 but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away * * For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1Co 13:9-12.

 

The reason for this forcible statement of the apostle lies in the fact that the Spiritís work for the church will not be complete until she is born of the Spirit, or until she is made like her Head-both spiritual and immortal. It is the Spiritís work to get a bride for Christ, and she must be begotten, led, fed, and born of the Spirit, before she can be a help meet for Him. Combining the Saviorís promise, that the Spirit will lead the church into all truth, and Paulís statement that perfect knowledge is not reached until the future state, confirms us in the position that the mission of the Spirit for the church does not end until she is glorified.

 

This is an important pint, and one which if regarded may save some from delusion; or a terrible disappointment. We set these facts against the idea advanced by some that Christ is coming in the flesh to the church to complete her education, previous to the change to immortality. Christ cannot do this without setting aside the work of the Holy Spirit and His own promise. Christ was here in the flesh, and He said to His disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come; but if I depart I will send Him unto you. * * I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH. Joh 16:7-13.

 

These words clearly show that the church must graduate under the guidance of the Spirit; and also that the change of Teacher from Christ in the flesh to the Holy Spirit was expedient for the church. That law of expediency not having changed, Christ will not come back in the flesh to His church.

 

There is a good reason for His statement as to the expediency of the Spiritís presence. Christ in the flesh was confined to one place, and could only teach a few at a time; but the Holy Spirit as the Representative of the higher life of Christ, has been with

 

DD233 all companies at once who have met in His name, through all the age, and over all the earth. Should He come back in the flesh He would be limited in this respect as before.

 

It is clear by several scriptures that the Holy Spirit is the Representative of Christ with His church, otherwise there are peculiar contradictions in His statements. He went away, and yet He says, "Lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Mt 28:20. "Where two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst." This is all explained by the Spiritís work. "I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." Joh 14:16. "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." Joh 14:18. Of the obedient He says, "I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him." Joh 14:21. Again, "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Joh 14:23. The Father sends the Spirit in the name of Christ, or as His Representative. Joh 14:26. "He shall glorify me; for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." Joh 16:14. The fulfillment of these promises has been the life and power of the church from that day to this.

 

It seems that all who see these promises and appreciate the presence and vital energy of the Holy Spirit, would be ready to admit that the return of Christ in the flesh, could be a blessing neither to the church nor the world. A visible localized King in the restored Jerusalem or anywhere else wold not be as efficacious for the worldís good as the Spiritís work. All who can appreciate the evidence presented in this book, will see that the manifestation of Christ as a spiritual Person, in the various steps and offices required to complete the parallels of the Jewish age, does not necessitate His return in the flesh, or His visibility to the natural eye.

 

But is not the church the antitypical holy place, and when He comes from the most holy, it is not coming to the church, and therefore will they not see Him? There are two states of the

 

DD234 church, and of every member of it, -the natural and the spiritual, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Ro 8:9. We are actually in the flesh, but counted in the Spirit, because the life that we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God. Ga 2:20. A look at this passage confirms the idea that the risen Christ was in the holy place, and that it is only because we are counted dead and risen with Him that we are in that place. But now we are walking by faith, and must until we are absent from the body, (2Co 5:6-8) or until we are actually risen with Christ. The earnest of the Spirit is the pledge of the Spirit-birth in due time.

 

These facts confirm us in the idea that while we are in the flesh, we must receive Christís presence by faith, and that only when we are made like Him shall we actually see him-and not as He was, but "as He is."

 

An objection to the idea of the holy place being the spiritual state of the church and not the natural, is based upon the statement of Paul in reference to the man of sin taking his seat in the temple of God. 2Th 2:4. But we think the objection will lose its force if we remember that the Papacy, being apostate, was only a counterfeit. It is only in name, or professedly, and not in reality that that power sat in the temple of god. It is the presence of the Spirit of God that makes any place holy.

 

Because Jesus miraculously appeared to the disciples between His resurrection and ascension, does not necessitate His appearing to them so when He comes out of the most holy place. There was a special object to be gained by those manifestations, -to make them witnesses of His resurrection. Ac 2:32 and Ac 10:40-42.

 

But we are asked, Does not Christ instruct His church both going in and coming out, and so fulfill the washing of the flesh of the high priest in the type? The high priest in the type washed his own person, and not the flesh of the under priests, who represent the church. He that went in and came out was washed, not they who waited.

 

DD235 It seems that a perfect beast was chosen to represent the perfect humanity of Christ as a Sacrifice, and a washed man to represent His Divinity as a Priest. How else could a sinful man represent Him who knew no sin, and therefore needed no washing.

 

It has been assumed by some that Christ instructing His disciples between the resurrection and ascension was the washing of His flesh. As Christ is a spiritual Being, His body or His bride is spiritual, and the church now is that body or bride only in the sense in which she is clean, and therefore need no washing. "The washing with water by [or according to] the word," (Eph 5:26) seems to be the same as the "washing [or bath] of regeneration," (Ti 3:5) and has been in process through the whole dispensation.

 

Of the disciples and before His death, Jesus said: "Ye are clean, but not all; for He knew who should betray Him." Joh 13:10, 11. And again, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Joh 15:3. Whoever abides in Him is clean, and needs no washing.

 

Whatever Christ did before the Holy Spirit came, cannot in any way lead us to expect Him to do a work which would militate against the work of that Spirit: "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." It is only by the light of prophecy and the illumination of the Spirit that the presence of Christ or any other of these advanced truths can be realized.

 

But we are asked: "Are not these bodies of ours to be made incorruptible, and the dead saints to be raised incorruptible, before they are raised spiritual; and so meet Christ on the sea of glass?" It has been assumed that "raised" in one case meant bringing them out of their graves, and in the other an after change. The apostle is not speaking of different raisings for the same person, but contrasting the condition in this life, and that of the future and perfect life. "It is sown in corruption;" "dishonor;" "weakness;" "a natural body;" and "It is raised in incorruption;" "glory;" "power;" "a spiritual body."

 

If Paul and the other saints who have fallen asleep are to be

 

DD236 raised in the flesh to be washed, it would prove that their judgment is not past, and therefore Paul was mistaken when he said; "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown." 2Ti 4:7, 8. We may safely say that the idea of being raised incorruptible, and yet not spiritual, is a human imagination that does not even fit the idea for which it is invented, for if Paul is unwashed he is no more entitled to incorruptibility than he is to a spiritual body.

 

So far as the "sea of glass is concerned, no scriptural proof has yet been given by any one that the saints, or those who are to be kings and priests unto God will ever occupy that position. It has been assumed also, without proof, that the state of security mentioned in Ps 91 and the "sea of glass" state are identical. We have found only two places n the Bible where the "sea of glass" is mentioned. These are Re 4:6 and Re 15:2. The latter speaks of it as the position of a certain class of victors, without locating them. It has been much used by some, without any reference to the former passage, which really is the key to their true position. There we get the locality of the sea of glass, viz.: "before the throne."

 

When that "sea of glass" is seen it is after the throne is set, and the "four and twenty elders" and others, representing the king and priest company, (Re 5:8-10 have received their crowns of gold. Re 4:4. These, the overcomers, sit with Christ "in His throne," according to the promise. Re 3:21. These are to have power over the nations, and execute the judgments written. Re 2:26-27, and Ps 149. Typically, this was fulfilled by Davidís army, and all that suggests mortality or carnal welfare applied there.

 

It is not the little company of kings and priests, but "a great multitude which no man could number," which "stood before the throne," which as we have seen, is the "sea of glass" position. Re 7:9. There are not counted worthy to escape; "These are they which came out of great tribulation and have

 

DD237 washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne, and serve Him day and night in His temple." Re 7:14-15. The little company sit and rule; the great multitude stand and serve. These are victors, having white robes and "palms" of victory, but no crowns.

 

The distinction is clearly drawn, and the word interprets itself. By a careful reading of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation, we think it will be seen that the little company are exalted, before the proclamation of the judgment message, under which Babylon falls. Re 14:6-7. Those who continue to worship the falling church are tormented, and their condition is declared by the third angel. Re 14:9-10. Those who heed the call are the victors, and it is under these messages the "great multitude," or "sea of glass" company are developed. It does not seem to be an earthly state; but they are the inhabitants-not the rulers-of the heavenly city. It is when the church is complete and glorified, that "all nations shall come and worship before" the Lord, walking in the light of the New Jerusalem.

 

Certainly there is nothing in the scriptural idea of the victory, or the sea of glass, to necessitate the idea of Christís coming in the flesh to His church, to complete their education, and thus set aside the promise that the Holy Spirit should lead us into all truth.

 

If, as many believe, the coming and future reign of Christ are to be in the flesh, and He is to be located in Jerusalem; and if, as they also believe, the saints are to have just such bodies, and live all over the earth, to till the soil and enjoy its fruits; how, we would ask, can the grand Christian ideal of future union and reunion with the glorified by realized? How could the promise, "That where I am, there ye may be also," be fulfilled? Wilt the earthís circumference not be as great than as now? Will the fleshly eye not be limited in its vision by distance and physical obstructions than as now? Would a fleshly man tilling a beautiful farm on what we now call the American continent, be able at

 

DD238 the same time to be at Jerusalem enjoying the visible and tangible presence and companionship of earthís King?

 

If this idea of earthly condition, for the saints be true, they cannot "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth;" and the idea of meeting either Christ or the saved, "and never part again," is a fictitious dream never to be realized. But taking the Bible view of the spirituality of the bodies of Christ and the saints; and keeping in mind what is revealed of the powers of such beings, more than the grand anticipations of the Christianís heart may be realized.

 

The moment we cross the boundary between the natural and the spiritual, the limitation of earthly conditions cease. The law of gravitation is inferior to them; -they can ascend or descend at will. The solidity of matter is no obstruction; -they can appear the doors being shut. The earth will not be opaque to them; -they might see all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. Distance cannot separate them; mountains cannot obstruct their vision; darkness will be as light to them; thought may be their language, as they know what is in man, and there can be no fraud there. In short they shall see as they are seen and know as they are known.

 

Glimpses of this power are given us in the movements of our Savior after His resurrection; and even before His death, it was manifested, giving evidence of the indwelling though hidden Divinity. He knew what was in man, -even their thoughts. He knew where the colt was tied, on which He would ride into Jerusalem, and just what the inquiry and decision of its owner would be.

 

There is an interesting example of this given us in the case of Nathaniel. Joh 1:45-51. Philip finds Nathaniel, and invites him to come and see Jesus. "Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to Him and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile." In anser to Nathanielís question as to how He knew him, Jesus said, "Before that Philip called thee when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee." It is evident that Nathanielís

 

DD239 position was such that it was not possible for Jesus to have seen him with the natural eye, for Nathaniel exclaimed under the conviction of His Divinity, "Teacher, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel."

 

This case is specially interesting to us because associated with it is a promise, which is key to our blessed hope of the future. Jesus said, "thou shalt see greater things than these * * * Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." This is not, as usually thought, a promise of greater exhibitions of power on His part, but a promise of power to Nathaniel. In this case Jesus saw wondrously, but the promise is, "ye shall see."

 

This may indeed serve as a key, and it brings into our hearts a glad apprehension of the solution of many promises of the Word, and glorious realities of our future life. It gives the basis of the power of just judgment, which the saints will exercise over the nations. They cannot be deceived. Every man will be rewarded according to his works. And it seems in view of the necessity of such wisdom and spiritual discernment, that judgment or its execution would not be committed to the saints in the mortal life; neither would it be desirable.

 

That there may be a manifestation of miraculous, or superhuman power, -one of the gifts of the Spirit-before the translation of the saints, we do not deny. In fact it seems that there have been occasional evidences of the presence of such gifts in the church all thorough the dispensation. It would be difficult to prove from the scriptures that the common manifestation of such power was suspended for any other reason than lack of spirituality and faithfulness. The candlestick of the first stage of the church was taken away because they had forsaken their first love. Re 2:4-5.

 

Of one thing we are quite sure, however: the execution of judgments by carnal weapons never will be within the province of those who are led by the Spirit of God. That immortal saints can execute judgments, as described in Ps 149, without carnal weapons, as angels have done in the past, we cannot doubt; but if we must take the passage literally, and it is to be done by mortals, there seems no escape from the conclusion that the weapons are carnal; and from such a warfare may the Lord deliver us. That this Psalm refers to things that were done literally by David and his army, as a type, is doubtless

 

DD240 true and all in the language that makes mortality necessary, we may safely say was fulfilled in the type. The antitype being spiritual, the sword, fetters, and chains are not natural. Whoever will read Eph 6:10-17, will see a reason for the apostleís statement, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds." The spirit of our present and future work must be the same.

 

Before concluding this chapter, we feel constrained to call attention to a warning of our Savior Himself to somebody down here. "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not." This is locating Him, which could be done if He should come in the flesh. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets [teachers] and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch, that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." We believe the elect of God will heed this warning. "Behold I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chamber; [as after His resurrection] believe it not." Mt 24:23-27. All this we may reasonably expect if men believe that Christ will come in the flesh to the twos and threes, met here and there. The presence of Jesus is to be as the lightning which is visible only in its effects.

 

This warning of the Savior could be of little vale to such as believe in the visible open manifestation of Christ to everybody, at His second coming. They would be in no danger from a cry that locates Christ "here" or "there." It has force with a special class who believe in the invisible presence of Christ, and is their safeguard against the delusion of His manifestation in the flesh. Whoever expects such manifestations are preparing for themselves either a terrible disappointment, or a more terrible fraud. We raise the warning cry, in the Saviorís own words. Man may say we must believe it or we are foolish virgins, and will be shut out of the high calling; but Christ says, "Believe it not." Being forewarned, we should not be deceived.

 

If the reader is of the number who are begotten of the Spirit, we would say to him, Follow that Spirit as your Guide and He will be your Comforter; eat of the daily bread which He provides, and you will be strong; walk in the Spirit, and your path will shine more and more; and in due time He will bring you to the birth, -the entrance upon independent spiritual life. Till we reach that perfect life, the Spiritís work for us will not be done. Then being like Christ, our Head, we shall see Him as He is, and share with Him in the glorious work of restoring and regenerating the world.

DD241

CHAPTER XX.

THE TEN VIRGINS.

 

THERE has been in the present generation as movement among Christians in reference to the coming of Christ, which seems to be a fulfillment of the parable of the ten virgins, (Mt 25) and which in some important particulars, has been a parallel to the movement among the Jews at the first advent. That was in Judea, this mainly in America. The gospel rose in the East, and sets in the West preparatory to the beginning of another, and more glorious day. This movement, like that, has been divided into two parts, with an interval of thirty years, or night of tarrying, between them; and whoever will carefully read the parable will see that it is a prophecy, given by the Savior Himself of a double movement, with an interval of tarrying between the two parts. That there has been a great awakening, and expectation of the Lordís coming, which culminated in bitter disappointment in the Autumn of 1844, is well know. That the movement was an exact parallel, in time, to the movement in Judea at the birth of Christ is not so well known; yet so it was. If it were understood, the reproach of that movement would be taken away, and some who were in it, and still believe God was in it because of its power, but who do not understand why they were disappointed, would be encouraged.

 

With the equality and parallelism of the two dispensations in mind, it may be seen that from the death of Jacob, where that age began, to the birth of Christ, was a period of eighteen hundred and eleven years and six months, and from the death of Christ in

 

DD242 A.D. 33, where the gospel dispensation began, to the Autumn of 1844 is an equal period. The cause of the disappointment in this case was that the manner of His coming was not understood. He was expected openly, visibly, and with many loud noises and fiery demonstrations. It was not understood that the second coming in all its parts was to be invisible to mortal eyes, and that the open manifestations to the world were not due until after the church had been glorified, that they might appear with Him in glory. Neither was it seen that the first step of the second coming should be leaving the most holy place, in the heavenly tabernacle, in fulfillment of the high priest coming out of the most holy place in the earthy tabernacle; and that as the high priest tarried for a time in the holy place to do certain things, so our High Priest must tarry in the holy place to fulfill the typical work. No jot or tittle can pass unfulfilled, and the law only be fulfilled in that to which it points.

 

As the birth of Christ was the first stage of the first advent, so we believe the first stage of the second advent took place in the Autumn of 1844. We may say that the years 1843 and 1844 were connected in this movement, but it did not culminate till the latter year; so two years were connected by the begetting and birth of Christ. The movement of the people at the birth of Christ was considerable; the shepherds were roused, and the mothers of Israel were stirred on account of the cruel decree of Herod; but the great excitement quieted; only a few continued to ponder it in their hearts, and to wonder how it would come out, until the reawakening about the time of His baptism. The ruler thought he had nicely got rid of the candidate for royal honors, but he was mistaken. So when the time passed in 1844, the excitement quieted. The virgins, -wise and foolish alike, -slumbered and slept, and there was much confusion of thought; but a few pondered in their hearts, what it all should mean. Those who were simply afraid of the coming One, rejoiced that the matter was al over, supposing that they had escaped a terrible ordeal; but they were mistaken. In a little different way from what was

 

DD243 anticipated, yet surely and in due time, He will sift the hearts of men before His judgment seat.

 

We have seen that the thirty years tarrying between Christís birth and His baptism, finds a parallel in the thirty years between 1844 and 1874. Allowing, what we claim, that the prophetic evidences that pointed to 1874, constituted the midnight cry of the parable, and all must see a wonderful fitness. The going forth to meet the Bridegroom was fulfilled in the 1844 movement, followed by a tarrying, as the law, the parable, and the pattern dispensation, indicate should be; and the midnight cry movement looking to 1874 is a parallel to the movement connected with the baptism of Christ. The years 1873 and 1874 were linked in this latter movement as 1843 and 1844 were linked in the former.

 

Does it not seem that all this fitness of things must have been arranged by Him who sees the end from the beginning? It would be more credulous to believe that all these things were of chance, than to believe they were arranged of God. It is true there had been several other time movements, and people had been led to doubt all the applications, and many earnest Christians, some who had, and others who had not, been in one or more of the movements, concluded that men had no right to inquire into these things. This last objection has been answered by the evidence that God has revealed something about it, and given command to search. There is one fact deserving of special attention: this midnight cry movement is the only one, of the many, which recognized the general correctness of the foundation of the 1844 movement, and therefore is the only one which could consistently claim to be the second part, of what that was the first. When men, having began a building, fall asleep, on waking, they naturally begin where they left off, regardless of their wanderings in sleep.

 

The prophetic evidence, -based on Dan. 12; the jubilee cycles, and the general harmony of these with several others, which pointed to 1874 as the time for the Bridegroom to come-has already been given. These evidences were known to a few

 

DD244 for quite a number of years, but were first published to the world in 1870. They were known as the "Midnight Cry." It was some time after that when the writer of this became familiar with them. It will be remembered that the former movement received its great impetus from 1840, by the deathblow given to the Turkish Empire. We would lay no special stress upon it, but from 1840 to 1844, is the same length of time as from 1870 to 1874. It is to be observed, however, that during these four years, the midnight cry, in various forms, and based upon these evidences, was published to the world. Then the name was dropped, for the reason, as stated at the time, that it had done its work.

 

These same evidences have been published in various ways since then, but as referring to the fact of Christís presence, in a spiritual body since that time, but never as pointing to a time in the future. We regard this as Providential. If it can be proved that the coming of the parable is yet future, or in other words, that the tarrying of the parable is not yet ended, then, of course, the claim of these prophetic evidences to be in the midnight cry is false and should be discarded.

 

This movement in both parts has been, of necessity, based on definite time. This the parable itself indicates. The going forth was a definite expectation, and hence the great disappointment and reaction. All can see that without time, such conditions would have been impossible. As the light of the first part of the movement was definite time, analogy requires that the same should be true in the latter part; and hence the midnight cry must point to the time for the Bridegroom to come. We have shown in another chapter that Christ was recognized as both Bridegroom and Reaper in the end of the Jewish age, from the time of His baptism; -That he came, first as a Babe; second, after thirty years tarrying, as Bridegroom and Reaper; and third, after three and a half years ministry, as a King. So here He came first, from the most holy place; second, after tarrying thirty years, as Bridegroom and Reaper; and third, after three and a half years ministry, as a King. All that He did then was to complete the

 

DD245 pattern; and all that He has done now is to complete the parallels. These several arguments, the equality of the dispensation, and the beautiful parallelism, have been clearly presented on charts used by those who proclaim these things. The use of charts has been a specialty in both parts of this movement, and finds a scriptural warrant in Hab 2:2. "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." That the vision here referred to is of the prophecies that relate to the coming of Christ, is evident, because Paul quotes the language and applies it thus in Heb 10:35-37. This is an additional proof, too, of the double movement with a tarrying between the two parts. The same idea is probably referred to in Re 10. Here is a time proclamation which seems to include the whole movement. Re 10:5-7. Then there are the two parts mentioned. The little book is eaten, which is followed by a bitter experience; then comes the voice: "Thou must prophecy again." Re 10:8-11.

 

The parable does not reach to the end of the age, in the sense in which the age reaches to the year 1914; neither does it reach to the end of the Christian journey. The parables of the tares and wheat, and the good and bad fish, (Matt. 13,) evidently cover the whole age, including both phases of the harvest and the day of wrath. The parable of the Sower evidently does not include the harvest of the gospel age, but begins with the harvest of the Jewish age. The harvest of the Jewish age was the dawn of the gospel age, and while the fruit of that age was being gathered, the sowing for another was beginning. On the same principle, the gospel harvest is the dawn of the millennium, and while the harvest, or closing work, of the gospel age is being done, the sowing for another crop, in the millennium, is begun. There was a sense, then, in which the Jewish age ended and the gospel age began at the baptism of Christ. Jesus said: "The law and the prophets were until John, but since then the kingdom of God is preached." But while He and the apostles were preaching the gospel, He continued to enforce the law, thus: "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Mosesí seat: all therefore,

 

DD246 whatsoever they bid you observe that observe and do." Mt 23:2, 3. This certainly includes all the features of the law, types, shadows and circumcision, as well as the moral precepts. These were the shadow, and must continue till the substance came. They were therefore nailed to the cross. Col 2:14. And we never hear the apostles, after the resurrection of Christ, even when preaching to the Jews, enforcing the law. On the contrary: "If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

 

It is evident that the gospel age, in some sense, ended where the harvest began, or in 1874. We may not be able to tell so clearly the distinction here between the closing work of the old and the beginning of the new, as the millennial work is gospel work too. When we speak of the gospel age, we mean, of course, "the gospel of the kingdom," which is coming. It seems that the first principles of the gospel of Godís grace in Christ, will belong to the future age as well as to the past, but that the advanced prophetic truth in reference to the change of dispensations due here, is the instrument in the Lordís hand for the closing work.

 

There seems to be a harmonious relation between the different parables, which is made plainer by this analysis. In the parable of the Sower, the seed is the word, sown in the heart, (Mr 4:14, 15,) but in the parable of the tares and wheat, the good seed are persons sown in the world. Mt 13:38. This is the Saviorís own explanation. Then the sowing of the word should begin sooner than the planting of the church, and it did. The word was sown during Christís personal ministry, but the church was not organized until the resurrection of Christ. "On this rock [when laid in Zion] I will build my church"; and only those who had received the word were received or added to the church. As the wheat are persons, -"the children of the kingdom"; so, in the same verse, Jesus tells us, the tares are persons, -"children of the wicked one." The Lord did not arrange that any but converted persons should belong to His church; but the "enemy sowed tares among the wheat." Mt 13:25.

 

DD247 That is, unconverted persons, for various reasons, found their way into the church.

 

The child of the Devil cannot be even a babe in Christ; for, "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His." If the good work is even begun, the Spirit must be there, or there could be no warfare, and a man is no longer counted "in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in Him." Ro 8:9. Some of these tares might be hypocrites, and other might be deceived, but it is well known that many unconverted persons are known as "professors of religion," and true Christians could not avoid this. It has been at all times, as well as now, the duty of Christians to rid themselves of error in both faith and practice. "Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good," has always been the Christianís duty and privilege. So it has also been the duty of the church to bring to discipline those who walked disorderly, or who were guilty of outbreaking sin. But there are secret sins which man could not detect; besides, an unconverted man might be outwardly unimpeachable, so that it would be impossible for man to separate them without judging the motive, which man cannot do fairly or without mistake, to which men are so liable. So Paul says: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha;" that is, Let him be accursed, or cut off; the Lord cometh. 1Co 16:22; compare 1Co 4:5. With these facts in mind, we may understand why the Master should say, in answer to the question, Shall we gather up the tares?-"Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest." Mt 13:28-30. Then the angel reapers will separate them. Taking Paulís statement as above, together with Christís, is an additional evidence of the invisible presence of Christ while the angels are doing their work.

 

Be it observed that the tares do not mean all unconverted men or the world at large, but only such as find their way into the church, while still being of the world. And the burning of the

 

DD248 tares has no more to do with the world at large, than had the burning of the chaff at the end of the Jewish age. Even if it could be proved that all the tares would be eternally lost, there would still be the mass of mankind to be blessed under the reign of Christ. Let no one forget, that there is but one sin which cannot be forgiven. The same remarks are largely applicable to the parable of the net with its good and bad fish. The gospel net, cast into the great sea of men, has taken both good and bad (Mt 13:47-48) but there are millions as good by nature, who were never in the net at all. The good are the Christians of every grade, and will find their appropriate place in the kingdom (Re 11:18) but the bad are the unconverted, which are not fit for any place in the kingdom, and so are thrown away-Mt 13:48. It does not necessarily follow because they are unfit for the kingdom now that they will never be saved. They are simple cast out with the world at large, and will be dealt with accordingly.

 

The parable of the ten virgins, which is the special subject of this chapter, differs from these others in several particulars. The two classes are evidently two grades of Christians, differing from each other in the degree of light possessed. That it is a question of light, will be evident to anyone who will read the parable. Both had the lamps (Bibles) and oil (Spirit) enough to understand the simpler elements of the first part of the movement, but they failed in the deeper elements of the second part. This does not cover the whole dispensation as do the other parables we have been considering. It does not begin at the beginning, neither does it reach to the full end of the harvest, or 1914. It is located by the Savior at a future time from His standpoint. The two classes do not even include the whole living church, but it is a special representative movement in the church, in reference to the coming of the Bridegroom, which as we have seen is associated with the first stage of the harvest. In these respects it is clearly parallel to the movement in the Jewish church in reference to Christís visitation in the flesh. Thousands of Jews never heard

 

DD249 anything about Christ, until the beginning of the new dispensation, and yet were saved from the wreck that followed. So thousands of Christians never heard of this movement until it has closed, and yet they will be saved from the wreck that is now coming.

 

We do not claim that the parable of the virgins alone teaches this ingathering of others, after the door is shut; but it is drawn from the fact of the extension, or prolonging of the age, and therefore its harvest, as indicated by the other parables, and the parallels. To appreciate the force of some features of the parable, let this thought of extension, either of the Jewish or gospel ages be left out of kind for the present. In others words, let us think of the Jewish age as fully ended at the cross, and of the gospel age as ended in the Spring of 1878, which is the truth in the sense in which those two dispensations are represented by the two cherubim. With this in mind we will perhaps be understood, when we say, we believe the dispensation door was shut in the Spring of 1878, and the gospel nominal church left desolate, in the same sense in which the Jewish dispensation door was shut, and their house left desolate at the death of Christ. In neither case was it the door of mercy that was closed; "the mercy of the Lord endureth forever."

 

In order to locate the beginning of the parable, let it be remembered that the other parables are introduced by: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to," this or that, as if they were as applicable at one time as another, during the dispensation; not so with the ten virgins. The Savior gives the general history of the age from the destruction of Jerusalem down to the signs which immediately precede His coming, and locates this movement in the generation which would see those signs. "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom." This is certainly in harmony with the application we have presented.

 

There are physical signs mentioned by the Savior, to precede His coming. The darkening of the sun and moon in 1780, and

 

DD250 several meteoric showers, but especially the one in 1833, were evidently noticed by Him. We do not say these things were not the result of what men call natural causes; they probably were. They would have happened all the same, doubtless, if the dispensation had been eternal. We are interested in them because the Savior foretold them in this connection. He had been speaking of the great tribulation on the church, under the cruel persecutions of the abomination that maketh desolate, which power, as we have seen, was allotted 1260 years for its dominion, reaching from 538-1798. The force of the tribulation was spent, however, on account of the reformation in Europe, before the days ended. The Lord sent His poor suffering ones help. "But in those days [i.e., before 1798] after the tribulation, the sun shall be darkened." Mr 13:24. These facts and many others found by the prophetic study, led them to "look up, knowing that redemption draweth near."

 

Such a movement as the one we are considering could not possibly have taken place before the present century. They took their lamps (Bibles). "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet." Bibles were very scarce until this century. During the dark centuries of Papal rule, both the church and the world were kept down. They knew not, and therefore did not assert their power. Ignorance of the masses was the only assurance of Papal success. When the French Revolution, in the close of the last century, broke the dominion of the Papacy, both the church and the world began to rise. The general increase of knowledge, which followed, was a very legitimate result. With the improvement in printing, and the general freedom of conscience, Bibles soon became household books. Men sometimes wonder why the Bible is so little understood, but it is a greater wonder that in so short a time it is as well known as it is. An open Bible is the source of light for men, and of destruction to Antichrist, "Whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of His mouth." They have instinctively known this. It was an open Bible and the consequent investigation of prophecy, that led to this movement. We are not bound

 

DD251 to endorse all that has been associated with this movement, neither are we disposed to condemn any who made an honest effort to know the truth, though they failed. We do not believe it came by chance, but of God; and believing that in spite of much confusion, its underlying principles were of God, we stand by it, at all hazard of a share in the reproach.

 

In view of the location given by the Savior to the parable, and the general agreement and parallelism of the two dispensations, we feel justified in interpreting the parable by the movement and by the pattern at the end of the Jewish age. We consider ourselves justified in believing that Christ came in the character of a Bridegroom and Reaper in the Autumn of 1874. This parable says nothing about any other coming than that of the Bridegroom, and according to this parable He came as Bridegroom in 1874, even if He came in no other sense. But no prophecy is of any private interpretation; and by the other parables, with the pattern, we learn that He was due at the same time in the office of Reaper. The claim of His presence since then being true, the presentation of the evidence before hand that He was due then, might rightly claim to be the midnight cry. Whatever was not necessary to prove the time of that coming, could not properly be called a part of the midnight cry. For instance, The two dispensation argument in an incomplete form was presented with the midnight cry, but it was not developed fully, and its parallelism was not seen until after the time had passed to which the midnight cry pointed; hence the two dispensation argument could not properly be called a part of the midnight cry. Though it has become one of the strongest proofs that the evidence which pointed to 1874, were the midnight cry.

 

But if the night was thirty years long, and the cry was a midnight cry, should it not have commenced exactly at the middle of the night? That would have been in 1859. There is reason to believe that the first glimmering of the light on these evidences was seen by one person at that time; and soon after we have learned they were presented to others. That might be considered

 

DD252 the incipient stage of the movement, and with this view it covered the latter half of the night. But we do not consider its commencement at that exact time as vital to the argument, and will therefore lay no stress upon it. The Greek word, here translated midnight, is not the same as when the midnight hour is meant, as in Ac 16:25. "At midnight Paul and Silas prayed;" and Ac 20:7. "Paul * * continued his speech until midnight." The word "midnight" in the parable is not so definite. It has more the signification of in the night, or before morning. The same word is used elsewhere as among, or out in the sea. Jesus appeared in their midst. Joh 20:19. The ship was in the midst of the sea. This does not necessarily mean that the ship was at a point equally distant from all sides, but simply that it was out in the sea. All that seems necessary in the fulfillment of the parable is, that the cry should be made long enough before the coming of the Bridegroom, to give room for the needed preparation.

 

Who made the cry? It is evident that all the virgins were asleep, and the first result of the cry is their waking up. We believe the Holy Spirit is the prime mover of all the work of the gospel age. But as soon as that Spirit of truth finds a lodgment in one mind, that person, as an instrument, is used of God in calling others. This is true, whether applied to the general gospel call or to the special work in any department. To take the view that man made the cry, does not seem necessary, and yet in actual work, one woke another by calling attention to the evidence, and this, from the nature of the case, must have been simultaneous with the trimming of the lamps. The trimming of the lamps was the examination of the Bible to see whether these things were so. We do not ignore manís agency, but we believe that all should look higher than man, and give praise to the Lord for the teaching of the word and Spirit. 1Jo 2:20-27.

 

From what time should we reckon the cry made, from the time it began, or from the time it was complete? The conditions of the parable are such that it is necessary to reckon it from the

 

DD253 time it began, for the waking of the virgins, trimming of lamps, asking for oil, and going to buy are all the results of the cry; and yet they all precede the time to which the cry pointed. "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came." Does not the asking for oil and the going away to buy, fall due after the time is past to which the midnight cry pointed? No, it cannot. According to the terms of the parable, if this were so, the virgins would all be asleep until the cry was complete, and all the results of the cry would be unaccomplished. Let it be remembered that the cry must point to the time of the Bridegroomís coming, or it is not the true cry. If, as we claim, the Bridegroom came in 1874, (i.e., His presence began then) and therefore the midnight cry had then done its work, as a Herald of the coming One, then the waking, trimming and asking for oil, must all have been fulfilled before that time. It has not been difficult for those interested to see the waking of the virgins and trimming of the lamps, but some have found difficulty in applying the asking for oil. But dim or clear as they may be, one thing is evident, the midnight cry and all its direct results are due before the tarrying of the parable ends; and the coming of the Bridegroom, is what ends the tarrying time.

 

The "wise" and "foolish" do not represent the same persons, throughout the whole movement, as many of the old ones died before the second part began, and many of those in the second movement were not living at the time of the first part. But they represent two classes, who stand in a certain relation to each other, and to the truth, on this subject. It will be seen that the distinction between the two classes was not manifest, until they are awakened by the midnight cry. We say awakened, and call special attention to the fact. This parable, then, can only represent those whose attention was roused to the subject. Thousands of Christians never heard it at all: and only those who heard it could either obey it or disobey it. The "wise" represent those who hear it and obeyed the cry. The "foolish" represent those who heard it, and for want of sufficient light could not obey it.

 

As this is a special movement, not including all Christians, so

 

DD254 the light is special, and relates to the time of the coming of the Bridegroom. The light on the manner of His coming was not apparent in this movement until His presence was due. Both classes has their lamps burning in the 1844 movement. The light of the midnight cry was definite time, and the confession of lack, and asking for oil, must have reference to the same thing. There were some whose attention was called by the midnight cry, who, on examination could not find such light in their Bibles, and yet they wanted light on the Lordís coming. And while those who could see the light under the midnight cry, were obeying it in looking for the Bridegroom, their attention was given in another direction, as the parable intimates. The want of light prevented them from having any part in that procession. What the "wise" could see in the prophetic periods, -the time of the Bridegroomís coming, -they were seeking in the mazes of the "Eastern Question," and in some cases were expecting a direct voice from heaven. What is here said cannot apply to all who were interested in the "Eastern Question," but only to such of them as had been called by the midnight cry, and turned away from it.

 

It will be remembered by some that there was a great agitation among many who were looking for the Lord, on this question of definite time. A public discussion, by two prominent men, in 1873, was the entering wedge of division, which culminated in the clear separation between the two classes in the first stage of the harvest, or between 1874 and the Spring of 1878.

 

Some have found it difficult to accept the legitimate conclusion of the midnight cry argument, -viz.: That the Bridegroom came in the Autumn of 1874, -because they did not understand the manner of Christís movements, and because it was supposed that translation was due the very moment He came. It has been thought that going in to the marriage, and the translation of the living were identical. We are not translated, and therefore the coming of the Bridegroom must be future, is the substance of the thought in many minds. But on carefully looking at the parable, it is surprising that any should suppose that going in to the marriage

 

DD255 is translation, or that going into to a marriage, is marriage, itself. It has been shown that the bride is the whole church, dead, and living, while this is a double movement of a part of the living only, before the marriage begins. The going forth, before the slumbering, was not a literal movement from one place to another, but an act of faith; and the same is true of the going out under the midnight cry; why then should the going in of the same parable be a literal transfer? It is evidently a subject of light and faith throughout.

 

But if the Bridegroom came in 1874, must we believe that the door was shut then? Not at all. The going in, whatever it means, stands between the coming of the Bridegroom, and the shutting of the door. Even in a literal movement such as is described in the parable, the going in would require time. The movement of a short night finds a fulfillment in a period of many years. Now if the going out required years for its fulfillment, why may the same not be true of the going in? We believe that the readiness of the parable consists in the ability, by the truth and the Spirit, to receive Him, during His presence as the Bridegroom, before the marriage is due; just as all who believe Moses, and were taught of God, were able to receive Him when He came as Bridegroom to the Jews. Joh 5:45, 47 and Joh 6:44, 45. We feel justified in interpreting the presence of the Bridegroom, and the going in by the pattern. We have seen that He came at His baptism, all who were able, received Him, and then their dispensation closed. But three years and a half stood between His coming and their being given up. "He came unto His own, * * and to as many as received Him, gave He power to become the sons of God." Joh 1:11, 12. It would not be inappropriate to speak of His coming to His own as covering the whole period of that visit, for all who receive Him during that visit were blessed, and not those only who stood ready to receive Him, the moment He was introduced. "He came and they that were ready [able to receive Himí, went in with Him and the door was shut." Who can fail to be impressed with the similarity of the language and

 

DD256 circumstances? Why not allow as much latitude here as there? That was a "day of visitation" in the flesh; there is a day of visitation in the spiritual body: To them that were able to discern His presence then, He said, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear;" so of these days; "Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh" to them, is the prophetic utterance. Had we not the pattern, we might not be able to say that any who were not fully in the light before 1874 could be blessed by His presence. But we see that not only those who stood ready to receive Him when first introduced, were blessed, but all that received Him during His visit. And then, so now. A previous training under the law as essential to enable them to receive Him then. Joh 5:45, 47. So only those who had been trained in the gospel, could receive Him, by faith when invisible. This at least was the rule. The message of His presence, was not to the world, but to the church, -"meat for the household."

 

The going in of this parable seems to be the same as the gathering into the barn, by the angels, so far as it was fulfilled in the first stage of the harvest. We believe that all who receive Christ during His ministry, were counted in, before the house was left desolate. They were the fruit gathered by the apostles when Christ sent them to reap. Joh 4:35-38. So we believe that all who receive Him as the present Bridegroom, during the three years and a half ending in the spring of 1878, were counted in; and we believe there is something in Godís dealing with them, that recognized this fact.* That there is an extension of favor here, as there was on the Jews, and that others may come into the same attitude as those who received Him before the Spring of 1878, we fully believe. But we could not learn this from this parable. It is taught by the other parables and the parallelism. But we do not believe that any of the foolish virgins, or those who were in the movement before, and left it on account of time, _______

 

* We refer to a peculiar trial of faith, and inspection of character, to which they have been subjected since then. Blessed are they who are found with the wedding garment on. _______

 

DD257 will be able to receive this light concerning the presence of Christ. It would seem like a miracle if they should.

 

We will not attempt, however, to tell how "Lord, Lord, open to us," will be fulfilled, as it is yet future, but it will likely, as the rest, be fulfilled in a very natural way. And the barrier in their way will be their own inability to discern spiritual things. That it will not be asking the Lord to take them into the kingdom we are quite sure, for the going in of the wise was not translation. There is no reference whatever to translation in the parable of the ten virgins. That the expectation of translation is the proper attitude of those who are gathered in, is doubtless true, whether they come in before or since the Spring of 1878. But while the angels can gather the wheat into this state of expectation, the Lord alone can give immortality.

 

It is now evident that the going in of the parable, is not the end of the Christianís journey. After the gathering comes the inspection of the guests, followed by the casting out of one who lacked a "wedding garment." Mt 22:11-13. This one, probably, represents a small number. This is a fact not mentioned in the parable of the virgins, but it show clearly that going in is not being made immortal.

 

We believe this inspection of the gathered ones has been in process since the spring of 1878, when Christ entered upon the office of King. Since then the subject of the wedding garment has received much attention, by all who are interested in these things. This is significant. We regard it as additional evidence that we are right in the application of these things, and that the midnight cry movement is now in the past, as is the cry itself.

 

This sifting out seems to have no pattern. It teaches us that however right we may be in the application of prophecy or in any theory, righteousness alone can fit men for the kingdom. The wedding garment is character; the highest expression of the greatest effect produced in us by the faith and love of Christ. This is a time of peculiar trial, and if we have not already been shaken we may expect it. The object of a test is partly to

 

DD258 prove what we are, and partly to develop strength. A tree that stands the storm is made stronger by it, -sends its roots deeper and takes a stronger hold. Oh that all who are subjected to the trial might be able to overcome, and, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, ripen into the character of our Head, and so be prepared for the coming glory.

 

It is evident that all who are found in, and clothed with the wedding garment, at the time translation is due, will be translated. This of course has no pattern in the work of the Jewish harvest. This is the work, not of the angel reapers, but of the crowned Reaper, -the Lord of the harvest, Himself. Re 14:14-15. The wise virgins are the direct representatives of those who are to be accounted worthy to escape the plagues that are coming on the earth. Lu 21:36, and Re 15. And the foolish virgins represent those who are shut out of the temple during the pouring out of the seven last plagues, (Re 15:8) and "saved so as by fire." They come up after the trouble, purified by the fire, and serve in the temple.

 

There are, of course, many of both these classes, who never were in this movement, but the wise and foolish distinctively belong to the classes they represent. That the foolish are saved as by fire, is evidence that the parable does not reach to the end of the harvest. The judgment in the twenty-fifth of Matthew, is located after the exaltation of the saints-the "little flock"-to the throne, and before the full end of the harvest. "Inasmuch as ye did it," (or "did it not") "to these my brethren, ye did it" (or "did it not") "to me;" is language that in no sense could apply to the mass of men who never came in contact with Christís little ones. That is the judgment of the Christian nations only, and is parallel to the judgment on the Jewish nation in their day of wrath. The sheep of that parable are doubtless the "great multitude," and we believe the foolish virgins will be among them. We believe the goats are the same class as the tares, or the bad fish, in the other parables.

 

DD259 The fires of the judgment will prove what men are. Trouble will develop Christians of a low grade to the higher degrees of excellence, but those who are not begotten of the Spirit will be as dross. Place gold, mixed with dross, in a fire, and the gold will be purified, but that which has no gold will consume. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

DD260

CHAPTER XXI.

THE TWENTY-THREE HUNDRED DAYS.

 

"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Da 8:14.

 

THAT these days represent so many years, as in the case in other prophetic numbers, we assume as proven. The application of this number was the basis of the expectation of Christ in 1843, and certain types in the law carried them over to the tenth day of the seventh month in 1844.

 

We will not vouch for the absolute accuracy of their application, though we believe it was substantially correct. The movement based upon it, was, as we have seen, and that too without their knowing it, an exact parallel to the movement at the time of Christís birth. There were other arguments, partially developed, used with this in the 1844 movement, but this was fundamental.

 

The key to this argument is the "seventy weeks" of Da 9:24. That the angel gave it for this purpose they believed, and so do we. This seems too clear to be denied. Daniel had the vision of the three beasts, and the time was associated with it. Da 8:1-14. He sought for the meaning and the angel came to explain. To this angel, in the form of a man, came the instructions: "Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." Da 8:15-16. At that visit he named and described the three beasts, so that we know they were the governments of Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome. He explained all but the time. That part remained shut up for a time and none understood it. Da 8:26, 27.

 

DD261 Daniel was not satisfied; so he prayed for light until the angel returned. Da 9:21. He said, "Oh Daniel, I am now come to give thee skill and understand. * * * For thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Da 9:22, 23. God makes known His counsels to His beloved. The angel directed Danielís mind back to the vision, which he had explained, all but the time. At this visit he deals with the time only. This to us seems clear evidence that what follows is the key to the understanding of the twenty-three hundred days. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city," for the accomplishment of things specified." Da 9:24.

 

Danielís people are the Jews, and his holy city was Jerusalem, while God dwelt in it. Aside from its being the typical dwelling place of God, it was no more holy than any other place. The seventy weeks determined on the Jews and Jerusalem were the first part of the period mentioned in the vision, and reach to or about the time of the cross. That the things mentioned in reference to making an end of sin, making reconciliation for iniquity, etc., were fulfilled by our Savior at the first advent, the New Testament clearly teaches, and the church of Christ has always seen these facts.

 

The modern attempt to make the seventy weeks reach to the destruction of Jerusalem, we cannot endorse. Prophecy should be, and we believe is, understood by the church of Christ, or a leading part of it, when it is fulfilled. On this principle we must set aside the modern notion as an innovation. The time here is the basis of the first advent. The best evidence that Jesus was the Messiah lies in the fact that he came at the time appointed, and did the work foretold. With this in mind we see that the time which was the basis of His first coming is the key to the time of His second advent.

 

Some have attempted to make several distinct period of the weeks. There are seven, sixty-two and one (Da 9:25-27.) These make the seventy, and to make out that they are different, without relation to each other, seems desperate.

 

DD262 "From the going forth [i.e., from the execution] of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince" are sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. This reached to the baptism of Jesus. Messiah means anointed, and we know that Jesus was anointed both with water and that which water represents, -the Holy Spirit, at the entrance of His ministry. This is confirmed by the first proclamation of Jesus: "The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of heaven is at hand; repent, and believe the good news." Mr 1:15. Only one week of the seventy remained to be fulfilled after the baptism of Jesus. If Christís ministry was, as some suppose, seven years long, then the seventy weeks ended exactly at the cross, or in A.D. 33. This was the premise of the 1843-4 movement, and the problem was a simple one; so simple that it had mighty power. Seventy weeks equal 490 years, reckoning a day for a year; 2300 minus 1810, and 33 plus 1810 equals 1843. That shows that there were two parts to the long period? the first, or 490 years, measured the closing of the Jewish dispensation, and ended in A.D. 33; the second; or 1810 years, reached from the cross to 1843.

 

With the idea in their minds that Christ was to come openly and visibly at the end of those days, who that would think at all, could resist the conviction that He would come in 1843. Had they understood the manner of His coming, as we now see it, of course they would not have been disappointed, and the Saviorís prophecy of the virgins would not have been fulfilled.

 

The only point in which we can see an obscurity in that time argument, is in the length of Christís ministry. We believe that He preached only three years and six months instead of seven years, and that He was "cut off," (Da 9:26) thus making "the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" "in the midst of the week." Da 9:27. This would leave three years and a half of the seventieth week to be fulfilled after the cross, and would of course extend the time that must further. But it is a peculiar fact that the work set apart for that seventy weeks was complete in the

 

DD263 middle of the week. And at the same time the vail of the temple was rend, showing that Godís presence no longer dwelt there, and therefore Jerusalem ceased to be the holy city. Besides this, the Savior left their house desolate at that time, and no longer recognized them as a nation. Since the cross, Godís dwelling place has been the gospel church. It is clear that the second phase of work began three years and a half sooner than was contemplated, so far as the prophecy is concerned; and unless the gospel work is made as much longer, as that was made shorter, it should be measured from the cross, and end in 1843, as before reckoned.

 

We believe the Lord permitted that obscurity, and that practically they measured from the right place, as 1810 years was the measure of the gospel work, until the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary should begin. Of course the time went on, but the work changed, and this is the point of practical value.

 

If it be said that because the Lord set apart seventy seeks, for a specific work, He must therefore use the full period for that work, as will let those who say it, settle it with the Lord. The facts are against the claim, and so are the statements of the word. "Esaias also crieth concerning Israel: Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved; For He will FINISH THE WORK, and cut it short in righteousness, [an act of righteous judgment] because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." Ro 9:27, 28. Jesus said, He came to finish His Fatherís work; (Joh 4:34) and at the close of His ministry in the flesh, He said "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Joh 17:4. Now it could have been finished, but it could not have been both finished and cut short, if the whole time had been filled with that work. Paul makes it plain that the finishing and cutting short were due then, by the context. "Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed [remnant] we had been as Sodom and Gomorrha." Ro 9:29.

 

The saving work after the resurrection was not with the house

 

DD264 of Israel, or Danielís people, but with the remnant, only, "which He foreknew." Ro 11:2. He had given up that house, and began to build a new one, on a new Foundation. That was a house of servants; this is a house of sons. As great a contrast exists as between Moses and Christ. Heb 3:1-6. Paul says the case of Elias is in point. All seemed gone, but God had a reserve. "Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Ro 11:5.

 

But did not the Jews have special favor after the new age began? No; not the house, but only the remnant. It is true that Jesus said they were to begin at Jerusalem, and that there was an extension of favor, and many were brought into the gospel church that had not even heard of Jesus before His death; but this extension of favor was a very different thing from the work contemplated in the "seventy weeks," as anyone can see by reading the prophecy.

 

Many suppose that the conversion of Cornelius and his family took place at the end of three years and a half from the crucifixion and that this was the end of exclusive favor to the Jews. This may be true, but it seems to be the general impression of the students of the history of that time, that this conversion did not take place until several years after. Be that as it may, there is evidence from the Acts of the apostles, that "To the Jew first" was the rule of action long after that. By comparing Ga 1:18 and Ga 2:1, and reading the context, it will be seen that Paul took special pains to reach his brethren according to the flesh, even "privately to them of reputation," at least seventeen years after his own conversion. We think there is good reason for believing that this work of saving the remnant of Israel continued until the destruction of Jerusalem. But whether long or short, it was not in fulfillment of Da 9:24. That prophecy was exhausted when Jerusalem ceased to be the holy city.

 

Some have laid much stress on this three and a half years after the cross and made it the basis of a parallel reaching to 1881. We would remark that each of the other time parallels is fixed by

 

DD265 a prophetic argument, which is entirely independent of the parallels, while 1881 is only marked by a supposed parallel based upon this idea of three years and a half. Strange things may happen in 1881, however, but we would not anticipate too much.

 

Admitting that the "remnant" had exclusive favor for three years and a half after the cross, in fulfillment of Da 9:27, "He shall confirm the covenant with many [the "remnant," and not Danielís people, as in Da 9:24] for one week;" and assuming that there will be a parallel to that covenant week now, which is not impossible, the question arises, What shall we expect? Was there any coming of Christ at the end of that week? No; then we cannot expect him to come in 1881 as a parallel. Was there any change in the condition of believers at the end of that week? No; then we can not expect a change of the condition of believers in 1881 as a parallel. The only change that then took place, admitting the premise, was the advanced truth beginning to go to the Gentiles. It is possible the advanced truth here may begin to go to the Jews in 1881.

 

There is no pattern or definite time revealed for the translation of the saints. There is no Bible proof that the "little flock" will ever be on "the sea of glass." The sea of glass is "before the throne," (Re 4:6,) and that is the position of the "great multitude." Re 7:14-15. These are developed by the messages of Re 14:6-9, and so get the victory. The context shows that these messages are not due until a small company stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.

 

We present these thoughts on this subject of the twenty-three hundred days mainly for the purpose of giving the prophetic basis of the 1843-4 movement, which is, as we have seen, the parallel of the movement at the birth of Christ. What was first, as a time argument, we have given last, and that very briefly. This closes the definite time argument, so far as our present writing is concerned. It will be seen that the Two Dispensations argument is the central one of all presented, being framed by a combination of all the others. If such a parallelism is the result

 

DD266 of chance, then where could we look for evidence? Let it be remembered that these things cannot be made to fit each other on the strength of any other chronology. Any one can tell by trying. It will be found that one dispensation will be too long and the other too short for parallelism.

 

As to the cleansing of the sanctuary, a few words at least should be said here. It was not due until after the time expired, as indicated by our text. It did not mean the burning of the world. The sanctuary is Godís dwelling place. The earthly tabernacle had two holy places, -holy and most holy. The holy was the sanctuary. The high priest did the cleansing, and scapegoat work, after he left the most holy. Le 16. Christ is the antitypical High Priest. His ministry is out of sight, and has to do with heavenly things. According to the combination of evidences, Christís time for the cleansing of the sanctuary was the thirty years of tarrying. And we will believe that He did the work then, until the arguments are overthrown. We confess that there are things we have never understood, and we would stand ready to learn from the humblest, but we would be very cautious after receiving, as light what does not recognize, or make use of, the prophetic numbers as well as other prophecies.

 

It seems probable that place in a type, represented office or condition in the antitype. We do not teach that Christ came to earth, or to earthly conditions, in 1844, 1874, or that He has yet done so. But we believe that His official relationship to His church has changed at each point. We wait for further light, and believe that God may use others than ourselves in giving light on this theme.

 

One thing seems clear, that the church is the sanctuary of this dispensation in a very important sense. And while we believe Christ occupied in the heavens, an office, or it may be, as some claim, a place, corresponding to the type, yet the practical result of His work was to cleanse the church. To purify, to try and make white, has been one of the great objects of the movement.

 

DD267 And while we admit that there has been, since 1844, a great declension in the nominal church, we are convinced that true Christians have been growing in grace and in knowledge, and that a higher standard of holiness is aimed at than before. We need not write what everybody knows, that the doctrine of holiness has received special attention in the last generation.

 

The effect of the unseen ministration of Christ is not confined to the time of that ministration. It still goes on, and will be manifested more and more until the church is adorned with her perfect robes. Let it not be forgotten, either, that the world as well as the church are to be sharers in the benefit of each step of the atoning work of our great High Priest. "Not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." "Behold the Lamb of god, that taketh away the sin of the world." It is worthy of note that Christ did not enter upon the work of reaping the fruit of the earth, either dead or living, until he had finished the ministrations, by which atonement is secured. Not only while making atonement does he apply its benefits. The penitent will always find mercy. And the next age will have its highway of holiness, more fully manifested than it ever has been in the past.

 

"The unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon; it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa 35:8-10.

 

The salvation of the church precedes the salvation of the world, in order, but not in the ministration of Christ. The fact that we are made partakers of the benefits first, and for the purpose of becoming co-workers with Christ in the great work of reaching the world in due time, should serve as a motive to encourage us onward and upward. And while we are forming a

 

DD268 character which will please God, the unconscious influence, even, which we will exert upon others, will be as fragrance on the air, and will lead our fellows Godward. "Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1Co 15:58.

DD269

CHAPTER XXII.

ELIJAH AND ELISHA.

 

THESE two prophets stood related to each other in such a manner that they seem to be types of the two classes in the church, the elder and the younger. By the elder we mean advanced Christians, and by the younger babes in Christ. In the perfect or New Jerusalem state of the church these two classes are distinctly recognized. The overcomers, or saints, are the "little flock," exalted as "kings and priests," to sit with Christ in His throne, and the "great multitude," with washed robes and having no crowns, "serve God day and night in His temple."

 

The same variety in the church is recognized in the New Testament, in reference to the whole dispensation. The difference here is what makes the difference hereafter. The advanced element properly represents the whole, because it is the life and power of the whole. The elders of a church represent the church; the rulers of a nation represent the nation; the government of a city represents the city; in fact, the leading spirts in anything represent, the whole.

 

The characteristic of the whole is applied to a part as when the living generation of Christians are called the church of Christ; and the characteristic of a part is applied to the whole, when the whole church is called a royal priesthood. This, we have seen, was true of the Jewish church, and is true of the gospel church. Both are called a royal priesthood, yet only a few are actually found in that capacity. The New Jerusalem is to be a ruling city over the nations, but only those who are exalted to the throne

 

DD270 rule. The whole church are sons of God, because begotten of God by the Spirit, and yet very few reach the great privilege of sons, who as intimate friends are entitled to know the Fatherís will and plans. Joh 15:15.

 

The mass of Christians seems to occupy the position of the servants rather than the sons. In one sense, of course, all are servants. The apostles styled themselves the "Servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ," in the introduction of their letters. But to the advanced Christian, the service is that of love in a superlative sense:-not of a slave, but of a son. In the letters to the churches, the churches are addressed as saints, which means holy ones; and yet are exhorted to holiness by the strongest possible motives. And that all do not attain to the same degree is evident, because when the reward is given the distinction is made between saints and them that fear Godís name, small and great. Re 11:18.

 

We believe Elijah is a type of the saint, or son, in the advanced sense, and that Elisha is a type of the servant. Because Elijah is a type of the leading class of the church, he in that sense represents the whole. When Elijah was taken away, his mantle fell on Elisha. And because Elisha is a type of that class who are to be saved so as by fire, who are also the connecting link between the work of the gospel age, and the millennium, therefore Elijah may be regarded as a type of the church of the gospel age, and Elisha as the type of the people of God in the next age. The characteristic of that people will be servants, as in the Jewish age. The people of God then will include the Jewish nation, and all others who are brought to a knowledge of the truth. They will not only be servants, but in one sense servants of servants, because of the servants in the heavenly city. The lowest one in the kingdom will be greater than the greatest outside.

 

We will see that there are many features of Elijahís life that clearly represents the career of the gospel church. That career depended on its leading spirits throughout. Elijahís life was a miraculous one in many ways. The existence of the church as a

 

DD271 whole is dependent on supernatural causes. Such is the spiritual Rock on which it is built, and the begetting of the Spirit, or conversion, is supernatural. Of course there is something about it, as to the use of means, that man can do; Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but God giveth the increase. There were also at first, and perhaps occasionally through the whole dispensation, manifestations of spiritual gifts and miraculous power in the church. We say in the church, because the whole includes the parts, but it will be observed that the mass of believers never had such gifts of the Spirit. Even in the days of its most common manifestation they were to send for the elders of the church. Jas 5:14, 15.

 

Elijah was severely persecuted. So the church has suffered from its enemies. "If any man will live godly in Christ Jesus he shall suffer persecution." The mass of the church have usually lived so much in conformity to the world that they would have escaped persecution to a great extent, had it not been for the non-conformity of the faithful few. Here again the few represent the whole, and all share the suffering in a measure. Through the circumstances are different now, and the godly ones are not in danger of losing their lives, yet in some way the enemy makes a mark of the faithful.

 

Elijahís most bitter persecution was a woman-Jezebel, wife of Ahab, king of Israel, -and he had to flee for his life. So the most bitter enemy of the true church was the apostate church, called Jezebel, (Re 2:20) who sat as a queen, (Re 18:7) was united to the kings of the earth, and is called the mother of harlots, -church-state combinations. Re 17:1-6. From before that wicked woman the church had to flee for her life, and found shelter in the dens and caves of the earth. Jezebel used the power of the state to accomplish her cruel ends; so has it been in the antitype. During his exile, Elijah was cared for by the Lord, and the ravens fed him. So the church had a place prepared of God, "where they should feed her," (Re 12:6) and she was "nourished," (Re 12:14) for "the earth helped the

 

DD272 woman." Re 12:16. The non-professing, or heathen would have been kinder to the Christian than those who only professed to be the friends of Jesus; -the worst enemies of Christianity are apostates.

 

During Elijahís career there was a famine and terrible drouth for the space of "three years and six months," (Jas 5:17) after which came an abundance of rain. That period, applied a day for a year, is a type of the "time, times and a half," or twelve hundred and sixty years of Papal dominion, to which our attention has been called. During that period there was a spiritual famine, and lack of the water of life-the truth; (witnesses clothed in sackcloth. Re 11:3) but since those days ended, in 1798, there has been an abundance of rain. The Bible, tract and missionary societies, have done a wonderful work in spreading the gospel, and overcoming the power of the apostate woman. That power has been consumed by the spirit of the Lordís mouth, and will speedily be destroyed by the brightness of His presence.

 

We have seen how the parable of the ten virgins found a fulfillment as a direct result of the abundance of rain, or spread of Bible truth. Elijahís earthly life ended by translation: "And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into the heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal." 2Ki 2:1. So the earthly career of the church is to end by translation; "WE shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed." "The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air." Why should Elijah be translated? He was no better than his fathers. 1Ki 19:4. Being a typical character, he represents the church both in its humiliation and final victory.

 

The closing movement of Elijahís career, seems to be typical of the movement under the midnight cry. This is not out of character, in view of the relation of type and antitype throughout. From the time Elijah started for translation until he crossed Jordan, he made four distinct movements, and we may say met as

 

DD273 many partial disappointments. The hope of translation has always been prominent in the midnight cry movement, and until the Spring of 1878, it had as many partial movements, and disappointments as Elijah had. This it will be remembered was the closing of the dispensation in the sense in which it was represented by the cherub which covers the gospel age.

 

The names of the places to which Elijah went seem significant. He started from Gilgal, which means "rolling away the reproach." Jos 5:9. The first point to which he was directed to go was Bethel. That was where Jacob had the vision of the ladder; it was called "the house of God." The next point was Jericho, which means "his moon, or month." The third was the movement to Jordan, and the last point was crossing Jordan, which means "dividing, or judgment." The points in this movement which correspond to those places are 1873, 1874, 1875 and 1878.

 

The starting point of this movement was the basis of the 1843-4 movement. That movement had been, and is by many yet, looked upon with great reproach, on account of its supposed failure, but when it was seen that it was fundamentally correct, the reproach was rolled away. The evidences that pointed to 1873 were the 6000 years, and the days of Da 12. That any should have expected translation then may now seem surprising, but with the degree of light then enjoyed, it was the best they could do. "The day of the Lord" began then, but it was soon learned that a day of trouble was due, instead of translation. But still looking for light and the Lord, (Shall we say with over-anxiety? Will the Lord be displeased because we wanted to see Him?) the prolonging of the days of Da 12, and the prominence of the type in the law, carried forward to the tenth day of the seventh month in 1874. (His moon.) Then another phase of the Lordís coming was due, as we have seen, and the harvest began. But some of these facts were not seen until afterward. The next point was the Spring of 1878, where the jubilee cycles terminated, and surely, it was thought, translation would come then. But instead of that came the light on the two dispensations, the parallels and the harvest, and 1878 was the great point of interest.

 

DD274 From 1875 to 1878 we call crossing the Jordan. It was indeed a time of peculiar division, on account of the proclamation of the presence of Christ.

 

After crossing the Jordan Elijah and Elisha "still went on and talked," (2Ki 2:11) before the "chariot of fire" appeared and parted them asunder, and carried Elijah into heaven. They moved on, but, be it observed, they had no definite point of view. So in this movement, since the Spring of 1878; translation is still expected, but with no definite point of time in view. Those even who are looking to the year 1881 for some change to correspond with the gospel turning to the Gentiles three years and a half after the cross, are not expecting translation then. If there be a parallel at all it cannot affect those who accept these truths, but rather those who reject them, or it may be the whole nominal church, because there are no change in the condition of the believers at the full end of the seventy weeks, or three years and a half after the cross.

 

The confirmation of the covenant (Da 9:27) with the remnant of Danielís people seems to have secured to them the exclusive preaching of the gospel, before it turned to the Gentiles. So a parallel covenant week may end in 1881, in which the present truth may be proclaimed exclusively to the nominal gospel church, and then turn in some way to the Jews; as they fell yonder and the gospel church rose, so the nominal gospel church is to fall here and the Jews are to rise. We would not speak so confidently of the exact order or manner of future events as of the past, neither would we lay as much stress on 1881 as bringing a parallel, as we do of 1874, 1878, and 1914, because these are all fixed by prophetic periods, which are not in any way dependent on the parallels, while 1881 is not marked by a prophetic period, and any expectation of a change of any kind then, is based wholly on the parallelism.

 

But whatever is coming in 1881, we are not expecting translation. That has no pattern in the closing work of the Jewish age. We believe that the exact hour of this change is not revealed, but

 

DD275 there are many reasons, which will ere this be more or less apparent to the readers, for expecting it during this day of wrath, and long before 1914. From the standpoint of the world this period is a dark night, but from our standpoint it is light, and not dark. The Savior uses both phrases in reference to it: "In that day," and "In that night." Lu 17:31-34. And He shows that "One shall be taken and the other left," at an unexpected moment, when they are engaged in the ordinary duties of life, or resting from them. This ordinary condition would scarcely be possible, if it were known exactly when the change was due.

 

It certainly seems that our present position is typified by the going on of Elijah to an indefinite point. We do not wish to make more of anything in the Bible than was intended, but the existence of these corresponding features convince us that God arranged them. Some will say, the applications are fanciful; but let whoever things so, an who is a believer in the Bible as Godís word, account for these correspondencies in some other way. We cannot accept as a solution that "They just happen so." These long hidden and unused facts, are shining out now, as a new evidence of the truth of the Bible.

 

There are still other points in the relation of Elijah and Elisha, which may be of interest to some. As there are two classes in the church as a whole, so we find them in the representative movements. Because a few in a special movement represent the kings and priests, it does not follow that those few alone are the kings and priests; neither because a few in a special movement represent the servants does it follow that those few alone are all the servants.

 

The class in this latter movement represented by Elisha are not to be confounded with the foolish virgins. The foolish virgins never were in the movement at all, because they had not light enough. But there have been in this movement throughout, two classes, who, in their relation to each other, are clearly represented by Elijah and Elisha. Both were in the movement from Gilgal till

 

DD276 the translation of Elijah; both were interested, and Elisha would not leave Elijah to go on alone; (2Ki 2:2, 4, 6) and yet only Elijah expected to be translated. The one that expected it was taken, and the other was left. There has been all through this movement an interested class, who have cared more for this truth than for any other teaching, who have respected the spirit and faith of those who have expected to be taken, and yet did not lay hold on the promises for themselves. They have believed some would be taken, but have both said and acted, "That is too much for me to expect."

 

That Elisha believed that Elijah would be taken, and also that he held it as a sacred subject, are shown by his answer to the sons of the prophets. They said: "Knoweth thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?" And he said "Yea, I know it, hold ye your peace." 2Ki 2:3, 5. It seems from this answer that the question of the "sons of the prophets" was in a scoffing spirit. Their attitude to that movement seems to have been much the same, as the attitude of a certain class of prophetic students has been to this movement. In that, the last point to which they followed the prophets, was Jericho. 2Ki 2:5. After that they "stood to view afar off." 2Ki 2:7. In our application, Jericho was the Autumn of 1874, and a certain class followed this movement till then, but since then have given us a wide berth. The idea of the invisible presence, and the harvest was too spiritual for them. But Elijah and Elisha went on.

 

That Elisha commended the spirit of Elijah, is shown by his petition: "I pray thee let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me." 2Ki 2:9. This, Elijah said, was a hard thing, and the answer was to depend on whether or not Elisha saw him go. 2Ki 2:10. "And Elisha saw it, and cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." 2Ki 2:12. The rending of the clothes seems to express great sorrow, but does not suggest the idea of despair. When one is taken, and the other left, down here, why should we infer that the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (anguish and sorrow) mean hopeless

 

DD277 despair? Elisha was not proved to be a wicked man because he was not taken. His prayer was answered. With Elijahís mantle he returned, and in the name of "the Lord God of Elijah" smote the waters and returned to Jericho. 2Ki 2:13-15. And even the sons of the prophets owned his power: "The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha."

 

Now, admitting that our application is correct, and in due time it should be known by those not expecting translation, though in the movement, that those who were expecting it have been taken, what would be the legitimate result of the minds of those left? All who knew the facts would have their faith greatly increased. These, too, knowing something of the reasons for which translation had been expected, would say: "those men were right. The Lord was present as the Bridegroom from the Autumn of 1874, and the harvest began then." And as Elisha returned to Jericho to begin his work, so these would begin their work from the standpoint of 1874. Remember Jericho and the Autumn of 1874 are the corresponding points.

 

As the sons of the prophets did not believe what had taken place, but proposed to search for Elijah, so, doubtless, it will be when a company have been taken from the earth. If Jesus could be taken and the world remain in ignorance of it, so may the members of His body be taken and the world not know it. But as fast as it becomes known the effect will beneficial.

 

It seems that while the class that Elisha, as a servant, represents are a part of the gospel church, yet they are the connecting link for the introduction of the millennial age. The work of "healing the nations" (Re 22:2) seems beautifully typified, by Elisha healing the waters. 2Ki 2:19-22. Waters in symbol mean peoples. Re 17:15. As a means to the great end, Elisha used a new cruse with salt, which evidently foreshadows the new dispensation of truth which begins when the church is exalted.

 

Let it be remembered that as the moral part of the church is called the church or body of Christ on earth, so the immortal

 

DD278 part of the church may be called the church or Godís temple in heaven. There can be an "increase of the body" on earth, -Eph 4:16. Why may not the same principle of increase apply to the heavenly temple? It seems that some are to be counted worthy to escape the plagues, and stand before the Son of Man. Lu 21:36. This escape is probably the translation of the company represented by Elijah. There re some to be protected in the midst of these fiery judgments. Ps 91. These may be represented by Elisha, and a beautiful illustration of such protection is given in his case. Elisha is surrounded by enemies, -"a great host." 2Ki 6:14. His servant is afraid, and says, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" 2Ki 6:15. But he, knowing the facts, says, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." 2Ki 6:16. "And Elisha prayed: Lord, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." 2Ki 6:17. The enemies were smitten with blindness. 2Ki 6:18.

 

It seems reasonable that no person will ever be protected unless he seeks for it, and learns to expect it. That some will be in the light during the plagues, seems evident from many facts, one of which is that "when His judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Isa 26:9, and Re 14:7. But no man can enter into, (or become part of) the temple until the plagues are past. Re 15:8. We cannot doubt that it will require the judgments of God to convince some Christians even, that Christ is present in His kingdom, though He and it are only manifested by the effects. Such persons may be represented by the foolish virgins. We rejoice however, in the conviction which comes by a combination of many evidences, that whether by judgment or otherwise, the Lord will ripen all the children of the kingdom, and arrange them in proper order in the heavenly city. We believe that the expectation of translation is the proper attitude of Christians now, and that God is honored by

 

DD279 the faith that expects it. We cannot doubt that all who expect it, and are clothed with righteousness as with a wedding garment, will be counted in the Elijah company, and soon see Christ as He is.

 

The coming, or the development of Elijah, precedes the great and dreadful day of the Lord, but his work follows that coming. Mal 4:5, 6. The period for the development of Elijah is the gospel age. There is a sense in which the day of wrath is begun, and in a similar sense the gospel age is ended. The evidences of this have been presented. But it is evident that the Elijah company are not fully developed, until they are exalted to sit with Christ in His throne. Not until then can they have power over the nations. Re 2:26, 27. This fact is good reason for believing that the exaltation of the saints to the throne is due before the end of Gentile times, and before the judgments by means of which the Gentile governments are to be broken to pieces. "In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, and it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms." Da 2:44.

 

If the kingdom were not set up until the end of Gentile rule, of course the new kingdom could not be the means of breaking the old. That this kingdom of God is the kingdom of Christ and the saints is clear, because the work ascribed to the one is also ascribed to the other. Compare Da 2:44 and Re 2:26-27. The prophecy quoted above from Malachi only requires that the ruling element of the heavenly city be developed before the wrath, and is therefore in harmony with what has been presented as to the great multitude of servants coming up out of the great tribulation. Re 8.

 

Any one who can see clearly the typical character of the Old Testament histories, will not expect a personal Elijah to come and do the great work. Elijah is not only the great Restorer of all things, but the One who will convert the people. Compare Mt 17:11 and Mal 4:5-6. The world are not only to be brought back to what was lost, which includes natural life, but also to be brought up to the higher conditions of the heavenly

 

DD280 city. Re 22:14. This work is certainly too much for any mortal man to do, and there are many evidences that Christ and His church in the New Jerusalem state are to do the work of blessing the nations. The power of that city is the company in the throne.

 

It has been supposed by many, and not without some apparent good reasons, that the prophecies of the coming of Elijah (called Elias in the New Testament) were fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist. The words of Jesus seem clearly to apply them to him. Mt 17:12-13. The disciples so understood Him. And yet we all know that John the Baptist did not succeed in doing the work of restoring all things, and that such restitution is not due until the return of Christ. Ac 3:19-21. The angel said John should go before Christ in the spirit and power of Elias. Lu 1:16. This shows that the prophecy did not contemplate the coming of Elijah himself. There is a seeming contradiction between the statements of Christ and the angel on the one hand, and that of John himself on the other. When asked, "Art thou Elias?" he said, "I am not." Joh 1:21.

 

Jesus makes a peculiar statement which we regard as the key. "And if ye will receive [him] this is Elias, which was to come." Mt 11:14. It was conditional. If they had received John they would have received Christ, and the promises would have been fulfilled. Johnís mission was to pont to Christ-"Behold the Lamb of God." They could not therefore accept or reject either John or Christ without accepting or rejecting both. John was the Elijah in the same sense that Christ in the flesh was the worldís Savior. The relation of John and Christ to the fleshly house, was, like everything else, of a typical character. The real and perfect Savior of the world is the glorified Savior, and the mission of the royal priesthood, in the world to come, will be to point the world to the Lamb of God. It was the rejection of John, the consequent rejection of Christ, and the suspension of the Jewish church, which made the calling of the gospel church a necessity. Johnís failure made a vacancy, so to speak, in the Elijah office, and the gospel church fills the vacancy.

 

DD281 From this standpoint we may appreciate our high calling, and see a force in the following words of Jesus: "Among them that are born of women, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Mt 11:11. If to be the lowest servant in the heavenly kingdom is so great, to be exalted to the throne must be glorious indeed. Elisha will be great, but Elijah will be greater; both acting harmoniously for the salvation of the world.

DD282

CHAPTER XXIII.

WEDDING GUESTS.

 

THE idea of a wedding, or marriage, is made very prominent in the New Testament. Christ is the Bridegroom, the church is the bride, and the marriage is their union, in the perfect state. In the mortal state, or during the gospel age the church is said to be as a virgin espoused, -engaged to be married. 2Co 11:2.

 

Of course she is not the bride, proper, until she is married. The perfect, or married state of the church, is symbolized by the New Jerusalem, which is called the bride, the Lambís wife. Re 21:9, 10. In this age and state she rejoices "in hope of the glory of God." Ro 5:2. When married she will have that glory. Re 21:11 and Joh 17:21-23. The church are united to Christ in Spirit now, but the consummation of her union is future. She has the "Spirit of adoption," but "waits for the adoption" itself. Ro 8:15 and Ro 8:23. In the Spirit she is bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. Eph 5:30-32. In this sense she is clean, and white, and needs no washing. The above shows too that the body and bride of Christ are identical.

 

The question is raised: "If the church is the bride, who are the wedding guests?" Some say the Jewish church is the bride and the gospel church are the guests. At best, the Jewish church was only a typical bride, and so Christ came in the harvest of the Jewish age as a typical Bridegroom. Joh 3:29, and Mr 2:19, 20. Others say the gospel church is the bride, and the guests are Christians not included in the church proper. This view seems more plausible than the other, but it has difficulties. The unity

 

DD283 of all Christians because of the one Spirit they possess, seems against it. Eph 4:4. Whoever has not the Spirit of Christ is not even a babe in Christ; (Ro 8:9) and whoever has the Spirit is a member of the body. The little finger is controlled by the spirit of life, as really as the larger and in some respects more important members.

 

Against both views above presented we bring the fact that Christ spoke of both the Jewish people and the Christian church as guests. See Mt 22:1-10. The first part of this parable clearly represents the closing work of the Jewish age. The invitation was to a wedding, not as a bride, but in the character of guests. Mt 22:2. The mass, we know, refused the offer, (Joh 1:11) and in consequence Jerusalem was destroyed. Mt 22:7. The few who accepted were guests, because they occupy the same position as those gathered from the Gentiles. The work of the gospel dispensation for the Gentiles is clearly represented by the gathering from the highways; -the result of which is that "the wedding was furnished with guests." Mt 22:9-10.

 

From the terms of the parable, the fruit of the gospel age are guests. Then we may as well raise the question: "If the church are guests, who constitute the bride?" It is worthy of note that in the Saviorís parables, the bride is never mentioned. The church are called servants or guests. As servants, the church are to occupy till He comes. Lu 19:13. And that this includes the faithful-the overcomers, the ruling class, -is shown by the reward given: "Have thou authority over ten cities." Mt 22:17. The position of the ten virgins is clearly that of guests instead of the bride, and yet it is the kingdom of heaven that is likened to, or represented by them. Mt 25:1.

 

It seems clear that the inspection of guests (Mt 22:11) and the examination of servants (Lu 19:15-21) are identical, and that this inspection and casting out of one without the wedding garment, follows the going in of the virgins. Mt 25:10. "They that were ready went in to the marriage feast," (see Emphatic Diaglott.) There is a separation before the going in,

 

DD284 but the casting out must be after the going in. The one probably represents a small company, but in the division or separation of the wise and foolish, they seem to be about equally divided. We think the numbers used by the Savior must have some import.

 

How shall we account for the usage of Jesus in calling the church guests, when it is so clearly taught elsewhere that the church is to be the bride? We suggest a solution. The parables of the Savior relate only to the living mortal phase of the church, while the church is the bride only in the immortal phase. As soon as a Christian falls asleep he is no longer represented in the parables; so the inspection at the return of Christ only relates to the living generation. That the going in to the marriage feast is something that precedes going into the kingdom is evident, for once in the immortal state men cannot die. The bride is the whole church, made immortal and glorified, and the marriage is the process of placing the church in the official relationship to Christ as His bride. As He is the Everlasting Father, her relation to Him as His wife makes her the mother of the age to come, or the people of God in that age. "When Zion travails she shall bring forth children."

 

The living generation of Christians have always, under the leadership of the Spirit, enjoyed the light due in their day, and to be in the light when the Bridegroom comes, the process of glorification is due, is the privilege of the living generation, and because of this light they are guests. They understand when He takes to Himself His great power, "When He had returned, having received a kingdom," He inspects and rewards them. Once rewarded with the promised glory, we will be the bride, and no longer guests. It is evident that the inspection is a work done in reference to the living mortals, for two reasons; first, the reward follows the inspection, and second, the unfaithful is cast out. If going in were being made immortal, the casting out would be losing immortality, which is an absurdity. The being in is evidently a state of expectation of translation, which expectation

 

DD285 may be lost, for want of the qualifications represented by the wedding garment. In such a case darkness would result.

 

The binding hand and foot, seems to be a crippling of all effort to do good, and the "outer darkness," the condition of the rest of the world. The weeping and gnashing of teeth may refer to the disappointed expectations, or may be caused by the terrible things coming on the world. The servants gather, but they are not infallible, and the King sifts out those unfit for the kingdom. Let it not be forgotten that this inspection and sifting is after the King comes, and yet before the power over the nations is given. Lu 19:15-19.

 

The dead in Christ have no part in this light, and are therefore not guests, neither are they the subjects of this inspection and sifting. Their case was decided before they fell asleep. Therefore Paul could truly say: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown." 2Ti 4:8.

 

Nothing is more clearly taught in the New Testament than that the judgment, or trial of the church or house of God is the work of the gospel dispensation. 1Pe 4:17. The Head of the church was first "tried in all points, like as we are," and came off victorious. Next the church pass their trial, and whoever stands in Christ, cannot be brought to judgment with the world. Only those of the church who are alive and whose judgment is incomplete, are judged at the return of the King. The judgment of the world is the work of the age to come, and in that work the saints are to share. 1Co 6:2.

 

When Paul and other saints are raised, they will not need washing or cleansing; for this would imply that their judgment was incomplete. The dead in Christ are raised immortal, and when the living are changed, they too will be immortal, -both alike sharing in the position of the bride, or glorified church. If it be kept in mind, that the living mortals are guests, by being in the light, there can be no objection, we think, to our being guests now, and still in due time being a part of the bride, when we put on immortality.

 

DD286 We think it has been proved that the church will soon be represented in heaven, or the immortal state, while a part will remain to represent it on earth. When such a state of things is reached, we believe the heavenly company will be known as the bride, and the earthy company as guests. The marriage feast we understand to be for mortals, and not for immortals. The little flock will first be exalted to the throne, and will be called the bride because they are in the heavenly state, and represent all who will be there. As a part has represented all on earth, we see no good reason why a part may not be represent all in heaven.

 

Prophets, saints, and all that fear His name, small and great, are to be rewarded under the seventh or last trump. Re 11:18. The two first grades seem to be the little flock exalted to the throne. The "great multitude" seem to be the last class named. "Praise God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, small and great," (Re 19:5) seems to show that the saints and prophets have gone. Then the "great multitude" raise their voices, saying, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice * * for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready." 19:6, 7.

 

This seems the strongest objection to the view we present, that those left will be a part of the heavenly city, and therefore of the bride. Re 21:9, 10. We would say that if the church on earth can be considered as the "whole body fitly joined together," and yet be increased, ( Eph 4:16) we see no reason why the same may not be true of the heavenly company. We believe the unity and variety of the church are in harmony with each other.

 

During the closing work of the age, it seems that the recognition of the invisible presence of Christ is essential to the enjoyment of the feast. It is to the last or Laodicean phase of the church that Jesus says: "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me." Re 3:20. We cannot suppose the feast is of natural food; it is the spiritual bread,

 

DD287 or truth, and is akin to the blessing enjoyed by these who appreciate His presence. Jesus said, "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;" and if the presence of Christ in the flesh, and the dawn of the gospel age was such a blessed light, how much more blessed to live in the light of the millennial dawn.

 

There may be manifested an undue desire on the part of some to see Christ with the natural eye in these, His days, and to have Him sit down with them to an ordinary meal. This seems to be intimated by the Savior Himself in Lu 17:22, 23. If in the developments of the near future, it should transpire that any one should attempt to locate Christ in the "secret chambers," as it was before He ascended, and should say, "Lo here, or lo there," we are forewarned by the Savior not to go after them.

 

He says He is to be as the lightning in His day. Lu 17:24. Surely this is not as a man that can be located. But is not the lightning seen? We answer, only in its results. The lightning shineth; we see the effect but not the invisible cause. To illustrate: When the crown was removed from Zedekiah, the last king on Davidís throne, the nation of Israel fell; so when the crown is placed on the head f Jesus, -that is, when Jesus, -"whose right it is"-comes into the office of King, the nation of Israel, begins legally to rise. Only the King would or could restore the nation.

 

We recognize, then, the presence of the King, not because we see Him with the natural eye, but because the prophetic numbers and parallels say He is due now, and we see the effect of His presence in the rising to favor of the nation of Israel. The effect produced is the shining; and we are satisfied that whoever expects to see Christ with the natural eye, at least before the glorification of the church, will be disappointed. And whoever expects a feast of literal food, may yet learn better, by discerning more fully between the natural and the spiritual.

 

DD288 We may be guests by faith, but when we are gathered together unto Him, -caught away to meet him in the air, (heavens) we shall be with Him, be like Him, see Him as He is, (not as He was) and constitute a part of the bride. After which we will appear to the world with Him in glory. Col 3:4.

DD289

CHAPTER XXIV.

WEDDING GARMENT.

 

THE wedding garment is akin to the subject of the wedding guests, for the guests are the persons who were expected to have on the garment, and the one cast out for want of the garment was a guest. Mt 22:11, 12. As the mortal phase of the church are the guests, so the garment, whatever it may represent, must be worn by mortals. No person may ever expect to become a part of the bride, or heavenly company, who does not wear the white robe here.

 

If any one objects to the guests becoming, in due time, a part of the bride, we will leave lit for him to show why Christ, in speaking of the earthly phase of the church, calls them guests, while the scriptures teach so clearly that the church is to be the bride. The bride is clothed with "the righteousness of the saints." Re 19:8. The saints are sanctified, or holy ones. So that the subject of the wedding garment involves the subject of righteousness, or true holiness.

 

The apostle says: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Heb 12:14. This language is doubtless equally true, whether applied to our seeing Him as He is, when these vile bodies are changed, and we are made like Him, or to the discernment of His presence as the Bridegroom, before we are changed. A man may by intellectual power appreciate a mathematical argument which shows that the Bridegroom is due here, and on that principle accept it, but no one can enter into the spirit of the matter, and enjoy the feast of

 

DD290 communion with Him unless he is in sympathy with the Lord. In other words, unless the man is holy he will soon discard the idea of the presence of Christ and get into outer darkness, no matter how clear the argument may have seemed mathematically.

 

According to the prophetic position taken in these pages, such a tests is due here on all such as have accepted the idea of the presence of Christ, on the strength of these arguments. We believe that this test is the inspection of the guests of Mt 22:11-13. If any application is correct, some of those who have accepted the idea of the presence, will yet discard it, and, losing their light, will be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness. The outer darkness we understand to be the condition of the world at large in relation to these things. If none should pass through such an experience, we would gladly admit our mistake.

 

The question, What is the wedding garment, or in what does true holiness consist?-becomes a very important one in our estimation; and it is a significant fact, that this subject is receiving much attention by all who have accepted these prophetic arguments. A personís idea of holiness would naturally seem to be, in some sense, an index of the condition of his mind. An advanced Christian could not regard the subject with indifference, -much less treat it with contempt. We would not however, judge men on the strength of their theories about holiness, for we have learned to believe that some Christians are better than the theories which they hold. They are led by external circu