EVIDENCES OF THE LORD’S SECOND PRESENCE

Br. Leon H. Norby

 

Our Lord said, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ {# Mt 28:20} Thus, in a limited sense the Lord has been present with his church all down through this gospel age. He indicated, however, that this would not be a personal presence because he said, ‘If I go away. I will come again to receive you unto myself.’ {# Joh 14:3} He also gave several parables indicating that he would go away to receive a kingdom and would return. He further stated that ultimately his second presence would be manifest to the whole world. This is known as the ‘apokalupsis’ (revealing), and is the exact Greek word used by our Lord. {# Lu 17:30} However, there is an intermediate phase of the Lord’s presence which our Lord indicated would be recognized only by those who would be watching—’Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.’ {# Lu 17} Again in # Re 3:20, we read, in Christ’s message to the Laodicean stage of the church, ‘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 sup with him, and he with me.’ The following are some proofs that we are living in this early stage of the Lord’s second presence:

 

(1) The symbolic heavens and earth are declared to pass away during the thief-like presence of the Lord, and they are unmistakably passing away now. # 2Pe 3:7,8,10-12.

 

(2) The expression ‘in the days of’ found in # Lu 17:26 gives an inspired definition of the Greek word ‘parousia’ (presence) used in the parallel passage. {# Mt 24:37} No one would claim that Noah was not presence in ‘the days of Noah.’

 

(3) Noah was revealed to all as a prophet of God when the flood came, {# Lu 17:27} and so it will be when Christ is ‘revealed’ (apokalupsis), verses 29 and 30. See also # 2Th 1:7,8. Since the people ‘knew not’ their respective prophets for years, it indicates that Christ would be present before revealed in the time of trouble.

 

(4) In # Mt 13:24-30 and 37-43 (see Also # Re 14:15,16), the Lord is declared to be the chief reaper in the harvest or end of the age.

 

(5) Nahum 2:3-4 associates the steam train with the ‘day of his preparation.’ (See also # Job 41:1,14-21,31,32) The diesel train or airplane is the symbol of modern transportation. Electric lights are used instead of the old ‘flaming torches.’ Hence this remarkable sign of the Lord’s coming is definitely in the past.

 

(6) The spiritual feasting which we have enjoyed since 1874 can best be explained in relation to Christ’s presence. # Lu 12:36,37 Da 12:12 .

 

(7) Feasting is associated with the bridegroom’s presence and fasting with his absence. # Lu 5 34,35.

 

(8) To the Philadelphia church our Lord said, ‘Behold I come quickly’,

 

 {# Re 3:7,11} but to Laodicea he says, ‘Behold I stand at the door.’

 

 # Re 3:14,20.

 

(9) Isaac (type of Christ) was in the field (the world—Matt. 13:38) before Rebecca (type of the church) finished her journey at ‘even-tide.’ {# Ge 24:62,63} Rebecca left the bridesmaids and camels to commune with Isaac while still on this side the ‘veil.’ (Verses 64 and 65)

 

(10) The Lord could not properly judge the civil powers until the lease expired in 1914, but he could and did judge his ‘house’ before that. # 1Pe 4:17.

 

(11) Dan. 2:34, 35, 44 shows that the kingdom of God would. begin to be ‘set up in the days of these kings.’

 

(12) The ‘stone’ was to smite the ‘iron and clay’ feet. {# Da 2:36-45} This combination of hereditary ruling houses and state churches has largely disappeared. The image especially represents UNIVERSAL rule. {# Da 2:38,39} ‘Colonialism’ was repudiated in 1955 The image is nearly pulverized and will soon be blown away by the winds of anarchy.

 

(13) Christ promised that the overcomers would have part in breaking the nations. {# Re 2:26,27} Is this not another proof that Christ has returned and that the sleeping saints are raised?

 

(14) The anti-Christ is to be consumed with the ‘epiphania’ (bright shining) of Christ’s ‘Parousia’ (presence), and this is already partly accomplished. # 2Th 2:8.

 

(15) Various agencies are used, but Christ and the church are credited with taking the dominion from the anti-Christ. {# Da 7:13,14,18,21,22} The anti-Christ is losing out even in its home territory and people.

 

(16) The time of trouble results from Michael standing up. # Da 12:1.

 

(17) The nations are angry after Christ’s rule begins. # Re 11:15,18 Ps 2.

 

(18) Paul asserts that the object of Christ’s presence is to ‘put all enemies under his feet.’ {# 1Co 15:22-28} Many enemies, especially rival kings are already destroyed.

 

(19) ‘Desolation’ is declared to be the first ‘work’ of the Lord with the world in his kingdom. {# Ps 40:8} Christ has been ordained to carry out God’s judgment. # Ac 17:31.

 

(20) Another evidence that we are in the new day is the fact that the church has received special enlightenment, and God promised to ‘help her and that right early.’ # Ps 46:5

 

(21) The Psalmist (110:1, 5, 6) declares ‘He shall wound the heads over many countries’ and surely this is being fulfilled.

 

(22) Jesus implies that Satan could continue indefinitely unless a ‘stronger than he’ should interfere. The sudden disorder in Satan’s ‘palace’ is, therefore, conclusive proof of Christ’s presence. # Lu 11:21,22.

 

(23) God said to Zedekiah that the kingdom would be no more ‘until he come whose right it is. {# Eze 21:25-27} The first visible step toward the re-establishment of Israel was in 1878 at the Berlin Congress. Vol. II, page 219

 

(24) The present chastisement of the nations is best explained by association with the winepress features of God’s plan in which Christ assumes the chief role. # Isa 63:1-6 Re 19:11-21.

 

(25) Satan ‘the god of this world’ {# 2Co 4:4} has occupied the invisible throne of earth and has been manifest by conditions of toil, bondage and oppression. Christ, the rightful ruler is being manifested through the struggle for freedom and the introduction of marvelous laborsaving devices and other potential blessings since 1874.

 

(26) ‘The Lord of the Sabbath’ {# Mr 2:28} must supervise the jubilee work. Seven of Israel’s sabbaths culminated in pentecost—the 50th. Likewise seven sabbath years introduced the 50th or jubilee year. Since there was a missed jubilee during the 70 years captivity in Babylon, a great cycle of 50 x 50 must have started, to prevent the failure of fulfillment of the law. Twenty-five hundred years starting 625 B.C. ends in 1875 A.D. which begins the antitype. Vol. II, page 180.

 

(27) The Lord indicated that 70 jubilees were intended, and the land was desolated for 70 years to fulfill the 19 imperfectly kept as well as the remainder. Thus 51 jubilee cycles remained but without jubilees51 x 49, equaling 2499 years ending in 1874. (Vol. II, page 195) The blare of the jubilee trumpet has awakened the under-privileged world ever since 1874.

 

(28) Christ was to return with the beginning of the ‘times of restitution’ {# Ac 3:21} rather than after 6,000 years from creation. There is no discrepancy between the dates 1872 and 1874. To illustrate: the course of obedience advised by God could be likened to a by-pass highway which avoids the congestion of a large city. But man chose the road leading through the slums, rough streets and detours of the City of Experience. Let a mile represent each 1,000 years of human history. After six miles the human family is hopelessly lost and is guided the last mile (the 7th) by Christ. The date 1872 would mark 6,000 years from creation on the by-pass highway. The date 1874 would mark 6,000 years from the turn-off on the road of sin. We should not expect them to correspond—they are not even on the same road. The ‘detour’ will merge with the main road after the Millennium.

 

(29) Christ, like a good physician and surgeon, is now performing a necessary operation in order to a thorough healing. He says he will bruise and heal Egypt and Israel. {# Isa 19:22 Ho 6:1 Eze 20:33,34 ; Vol. II, page 197} Babylon’s physicians are the ‘quack’ doctors who say ‘peace, peace, when there is no peace.’ # Jer 8:11.

 

(30) The greatly lengthened life-span of man, even before the main restitution processes have begun, is a strong evidence that we are in the early dawn of the new age. As with education and invention, the Lord permits man to progress at the appointed time.

 

(31) The bacteria causing typhoid and pneumonia were isolated in 1880. Tuberculosis, hydrophobia, cholera, diphtheria, and lock-jaw were isolated in 1882. This opened a new era in the conquest of disease and while these are only ‘stop-gap’ remedies, as are anesthetics and other pain-killers, they did not appear until the ‘good physician’ arrived.

 

(32) Leprosy is virtually a living death. It has always been a symbol of sin. Only the Lord could heal it. Much progress has been made in curing it. He who cured it during one period must be here again!

 

(33) A special curse was placed on man in connection with the production of food: ‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.’ {# Ge 3:19} The introduction of the twine binder in 1873, the automatic binder in 1879, and the combine harvester in 1886, along with other labor-saving machinery has largely rolled away this curse. Neither Satan nor man did anything about it for 6,000 years—it must be Christ!

 

(34) Christ was to return in like manner to his departure. {# Ac 1:11} Only his close followers knew of his departure. The pronouns ‘ye,’ ‘we,’ and ‘us’ are reserved for the church; while ‘they,’ ‘them,’ etc., refer to the world. The latter pronouns are conspicuously absent in this scripture.

 

(35) The Lord indicated he would not be present in a place as you would expect of a human being, but would make his influence felt everywhere like the sun. {# Mt 24:23,26-28} This accounts for the increase of education and general enlightenment in the world.

 

(36) We see the ‘sign of the Son of man in heaven’—in the blessing of the true church and the rejection and plagues of Babylon. # Mt 24:30.

 

(37) The 1260 days of # Da 12:7 (1799) were marked by four remarkable events:

 

a) The Persecuting power of the antichrist was broken—Dan. 7:21, 25.

 

b) Bible societies sprang up. # Re 11:3,11 Mt 25:l) Work was begun on steam locomotives. # Da 12:4.

 

d) Knowledge of the Bible greatly increased.

 

The 1290 days were marked by other outstanding events. # Da 12:11:

 

a) In 1829 Wm. Miller discovered the key to Bible prophecy—that a day represents a year—and preached the second coming of Christ based on these very time prophecies. # Da 12:10.

 

b) The most devout Christians were ‘purified and made white.’ # Da 12:10)

 

c) On Aug. 8, 1829, the ‘Stourbridge Lion’ pulled the first train on a passenger run in the U.S. (where nearly all the signs have been most in evidence.)

 

The 1335 days lead up to the grandest event of all (1874)—’O, the blessedness,’ etc. Only the coming of Christ would be a fitting climax to this series of time prophecies and events.

 

(38) The return of the Jews to Palestine from the ‘land of the north and all the lands’ is proof that the Lord has resumed his rule over them. # Eze 20:33,34 Jer 16:14-16. (From a brother in Germany.)

 

(39) Since ‘the days of the Son of Man’ are to be similar to ‘the days of Noah,’ the evil of the present time is further proof of Christ’s presence. This is secondary to the point that ‘they knew not’ stressed in #3. But these features parallel also: ‘the earth was full of violence; {# Ge 6:11} little ‘faith in the earth’;{# Lu 18:8} ‘in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be. . despisers of those that are good... lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.’ ‘Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse.’ # 2Ti 3:1-5,13.

 

(40) The miracle of Christ in quieting the sea of Galilee {# Mr 4:36-41} is sometimes taken to mean that his first act upon his return will be to stop the time of trouble; but let us look more closely. Christ was in the boat before the storm broke, suggesting that Christ would be present before the time of trouble started. In fact, since Satan is the ‘prince of the power of the air’ {# Eph 2:2} he probably thought he saw an opportunity to destroy Christ and his disciples in one stroke by raising the storm. Christ’s apparent lack of concern reminds us of # Ps 2:4. His speaking to the winds reminds us of the ‘still small voice.’ # 1Ki 19:12.

 

(41) While ‘the Lord was not in’ the three phases of trouble in the sense that they represented his established kingdom, nevertheless the word declares that he was present—Elijah stood ‘before the Lord,’ And behold the Lord passed by and a wind rent the mountains..’ # 1Ki 19:11,12.

 

(42) Israel’s restoration as a nation constitutes an inverse cycle to their decline in connection with Christ’s first advent, hence Christ must be present again. He was set for the ‘fall’ (first advent) and ‘rising again’ (second advent) of Israel—Luke 2:34.

 

B.C. 2—(Fall) Missed first opportunity (# Mt 2:2 Lu 2:25-38

 

A.D. 29 Rejected John’s testimony {# Lu 3:15}

 

A.D. 33 ‘House desolate’ {# Mt 23:37,38}

 

A.D. 36 End of 70 weeks {# Da 9:25} Favor to Gentiles {# Ac 10:30- 48}

 

A.D. 69 Jerusalem besieged (# Lu 21:20-22

 

A.D. 73 Last fort fell (Masada)

 

1948 (May) Israel reborn.

 

1918 Balfour declaration; Jews drew up constitution in Pittsburgh for prospective Jewish state.

 

1914 World War.

 

1911 Pastor Russell’s sermons and tracts to Jews starting Jewish new yearHippodrome and ending spring of 1911.

 

1878 Berlin Congress (Vol. II, page 223)

 

1874 ‘He comes whose right it is’ Ezek, 21:25-27.

 

(43) Satan has promoted darkness and ignorance, hence the great enlightenment along all lines ‘in the time of the end’ and particularly since 1874 constitutes proof of the Lord’s return to earth. In all previous history Satan did not bring education. # Da 12:4.

 

(44) ‘The work of the Lord’ must have started in the earth because ‘the mountains (autocratic governments—Russia, Germany, Austria, etc.)’ have been ‘carried into the midst of the sea’ (overthrown in revolution). {# Ps 46:3,8—see Berean comments} By contrast, ‘the hills (less autocratic governments such as England, France, etc.) melted like wax at the presence of the Lord (have kept their form but have gradually settled to the level of the people).’ Psalm 97:5.

 

(45) The testing, sifting, and deception of the Lord’s people are but conclusive signs of Christ’s presence. ‘Who shall stand when he appeareth?’ {# Mal 3:1-3} ‘False prophets.. shall show great signs and wonders insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.’ # Mt 24:24.

 

(46) This is the ‘hour of temptation’ which Christ says the Philadelphia church would escape but by implication indicates that the Laodicean period of the church would experience. The subtle deceptions characteristic of our day, instead of the physical suffering of earlier periods, therefore constitutes additional proof that we are in the Laodicean period when Christ would be present to serve a special feast. # Re 3:10, 20.

 

(47) Christ introduced ‘subject study’ at his first advent. {# Lu 24:21,25-27} The devil quoted scripture but did not consider all of them on the subject. Is it not reasonable to think, therefore, that the topically arranged ‘Studies in the Scriptures’ are the best text-books and that He who first introduced this form of Bible study must have revived it at his second advent.

 

(48) ‘The poor have the gospel preached unto them.’.{# Mt 11:3-5} This constituted proof of our Lord’s first advent. ‘Seats free—no collection’ policy plus the low cost of truth literature and free distribution of tracts has been a unique feature of the ‘truth movement.’ We submit this as another evidence of Christ’s presence.

 

(49) Rain upon Palestine was a manifestation of God’s favor to Israel. {# De 11:17 28:23} Since 1861, when the Bible reached publication in all basic languages (spiritual rain), the natural rainfall in Palestine has doubled.

 

(50) Isaiah 19:20-23 speaks of a highway between Egypt and Assyria during the kingdom. While this is symbolic, it is literally true also today.

 

(51) God’s various challenges to Job imply that neither Job nor any other man could achieve them alone. It seems that many of these things are being accomplished or at least approached today. Would not this seem to indicate that we are living in the day of the Lord? This would be sacrilege unless we ascribe credit to the Lord:

 

a) Job 38:22’Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow-which I have reserved against the day of battle and war?’ seems to be fulfilled by chemical science and nuclear research.

 

b) ‘Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters (huge river dams and flood control)? or a way for the lightning of thunder?’ (man-made lightning?) Job. 38:25

 

c) ‘Canst thou bind the sweet influence of Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion?’ (The gates of the Chicago Century of Progress were opened by the light from a distant constellation, etc.) Job. 38:31.

 

d) ‘Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds?’ (Radio waves, loudspeakers with tremendous range, ground to aircraft communication, rain-making achievements?) Job 38:34.

 

e) ‘Canst thou send lightnings?’ (Transmission of electric power; telephone, telegraph, etc.?) Job 38:35.

 

f) ‘Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands ‘of the wild ass?’ (Freeing beasts of burden through introduction of tractors, automobiles, etc.) Job 39:5.

 

g) ‘Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook?’ (Stringing out railroad coaches by means of automatic coupler hooks?) Job 41:1; see verses 14-21.

 

(52) ‘Great earthquakes shall be in divers places.’ {# Lu 21:11; see Berean comments} It is reported that there were 22 revolutions between world war 1 and 2. There were more devastating earthquakes in the 25 years between 1914 and 1939 than in the previous 500 years, which would be a literal counterpart to the primary symbolic fulfillment in the revolutions afore mentioned. In Italy in 1914, 200,000 persons were killed by earthquake; in Japan, 300,000 in 1923; in China 90,000 in 1932; in India, 30,000 in 1934.

 

(53) ‘Distress of nations is prophesied as a sign of Christ’s presence. {# Lu 21:25,26} The Greek word translated ‘distress’ in addition to the usual meaning also suggests ‘union or crowding.’ This also has been fulfilled since 1874 in labor unions, large corporations, insurance companies for mutual protection—also World Court, League of Nations, United Nations, etc. Let us remember that these things were to take place ‘in the days of the Son of Man.’

 

(54) Mohammedan Turkey, traditional foe of Israel, dominated the eastern Mediterranean and North African countries in 1799. She lost 9 countries between 1820 and 1897, Egypt in 1914 and Palestine in 1918—the first World War ending at the precise time that General Allenby drove the Turks out of Palestine. Is this not further evidence that the 19th century was indeed in the ‘time of the end’ {# Da 12:4-12} and ‘day of his preparation’ {# Na 2:3-5} and that World War I was a blow struck by the kingdom of God against Gentile powers and in favor of his people—Israel?

 

(55) The ‘altar’ and ‘pillar’ in Egypt ‘in that day’ clearly refer to the Great Pyramid. {# Isa 19:19,20} It began to speak to the scientists in their own language when John Taylor discovered scientific features in it in 1859, and later through the research of Piaza Smyth. But it really began to ‘witness unto the Lord of hosts’ when in 1891 Vol. III of Scripture Studies explained how its passages and measurements corroborated the plan of God as presented in His written word—the Bible. This, however, is only background to the point we wish to make here, for it is in connection with this witness by the pyramid that God will ‘send them a saviour.

 

(56) The midnight cry ‘Behold the Bridegroom’ is shown to have started shortly after the ending of the 1335 days (Vol. III, page 93; Vol. II, page 223). About the first statement that Christ had actually returned is found on page 149 in Vol. II, which was published in 1889. This is about half way (midnight) between the beginning of the evening (1799) when the virgins ‘took their lamps’ (the individual Bibles furnished in abundance shortly thereafter) and the end of the parable, when the ‘foolish’ Virgins get the ‘oil’ from the ‘Time of Trouble,’ just before the sunrise (Mediatorial reign).

 

(57) Christ must undo in 1,000 years, the evil Satan has done in 6,000 years. The fast tempo of present life and events would therefore indicate that we are in the millennium—although not in the mediatorial reign.

 

(58) Christ indicated that sex distinctions would cease in his kingdom, thus solving the multiple marriage problem in the resurrection. {# Mt 22:30} The radical change in customs, dress, voting privileges and the prominence of women in almost every line of endeavor in the last 100 years are therefore evidences of the new order beginning.

 

(59) Christ comes to restore mankind to health and happiness, and He will make these benefits available to the poor. {# Ps 72:4,12} The first free hospital was established in New York in 1874, and wonderful provisions have been made for the poor since that time.

 

(60) The six thousand-year days of man’s toil under sin and its curse ended in 1874. Since then we are in the seventh day or sabbath which, as we have seen, has brought labor-saving machinery, etc. Man is not rested at the beginning of the rest day (6 P.M.—Israel’s reckoning), so we should not expect too much at this early hour of the millennium. Since Christ himself declared he was ‘Lord also of the sabbath,’ He must now be present.

 

(61) Israel was delivered from slavery and oppression under Moses. The whole world will be delivered from slavery and oppression under the ‘greater then Moses.’ As the ‘time of the end’ prepared the way of the Lord and brought the Bible to all nations by 1861, the Civil War started that very year which ended slavery in this land. The many land reforms, etc., surely point to the presence of the Great Deliverer!

 

(62) In the expression ‘The morning cometh and also the night,’ {# Isa 21:12} the word ‘cometh’ is translated from the Hebrew word ‘athah’ which means ‘arrived.’ This message has been proclaimed since 1876 and appeared on the front cover of the original present truth publication beginning in 1879; so the morning was not announced in advance as indicated by the scripture. The fact that the night of trouble followed the bright dawn of the era of science and invention proves this is the. time foretold.

 

(63) Rev. 1:7 reads, ‘Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him.’ To apply this literally would involve a fundamental contradiction; for in order for the natural eye to observe a physical being in the sky, it must be clear. But when we take the clouds to symbolize trouble, this passage is not only reasonable but in full harmony with the many other scriptures. See for example # Isa 63:1-6 Da 12:1, Re 19:11-13.

 

(64) The ‘wailing because of Him’ {# Re 1:7} would apply to this transition period. Notice that they ‘wail because of Him,’ indicating He is present and exposing and frustrating their evil and oppressive practices.

 

ADDENDA

 

(A few other interesting observations from the pen of Brother Norby.)

 

Perhaps we should review certain basic facts concerning the Nominal Churches—particularly the Papacy. It is also very important to harmonize the Scriptures and Bro. Russell to avoid EXTREME views. The Scriptures indicated that the Papacy would ‘wear out’, oppress God’s people and suppress the Bible for ‘time, times and half a time’—1260 years. {# Da 7:21,25 Re 11:2,3,11 12:6, l4} This power was exerted in 5 ways: 1) alone and exclusive; 2) over and through Catholic kings; 3) had the support of the masses—’many waters’;{# Re 17:15} 4) ruled without Protestant support; 5) ruled in spite of Protestant opposition. Through the Harvest Message given us by our Lord, we learned that this kind of power was broken forever in 1799. We quote from Vol. 3: ‘The length of time this persecution was to continue is not stated here.. From other Scriptures we learn that it was a period of 1260 years which ended in 1799.’ (C 38 top) ‘Notwithstanding the ‘little help’ (the reformation) in all the countries subject to Papacy (Spain, France, etc.), persecution through the terrible Inquisition continued until broken effectually by Napoleon (1799). Next follow the verses (36 and on, # Da 11) descriptive of Napoleon, the instrument employed by Providence to break Papacy’s power and to begin her torture, which will end in utter destruction.’ (C 39 middle) ‘1799—with that year terminated the limit of Papacy’s 1260 years of power to oppress.’ (C 48 top) ‘The French Revolution and Napoleon’s power was a very marked period in Papacy’s history; and Papal influence broken then, has never been regained.’ (C 58 top) ‘The Man of sin, devoid of civil power, still poses and boasts; but civilly powerless, he awaits utter destruction in the near future, at the hands of the enraged masses (God’s unwitting agency) as clearly shown in Rev.’ (C 59)

 

In the final stages it is united Protestantism—Salome, Image of the Beast, etc., which has the favor and power. Herod offered Salome anything up to half of the kingdom. He certainly was not offering HIS half, but that of Herodias. This was tantamount to a proposal of marriage and making Salome his queen in place of Herodias. Just so, the Papacy has the program and is active behind the scene, but does not have the power in any of the 5 ways listed above which she formerly had. She will continue to dominate Catholic countries like Spain and part of South America, but these countries count little in world power. It is the coalition of churches, supported mainly by civil power in Protestant nations which lashes out against the Truth and Truth people. (D, foreword, 1916, III, par. 1) This is put in good perspective in the chapter on ‘The Deliverance of the Church’ in Vol. 3. In one short paragraph (C 231: 2) there are 7 expressions indicating that Babylon will have been greatly damaged by the Truth and will have been deserted by many supporters when she makes this final attack: ‘It will probably be in an effort at SELF-PRESERVATION 1) on the part of ‘Great Babylon’—’Christendom’ —when she sees her power in politics, priest-craft and superstition WANING 2), that the work of truth-spreading will be stopped as DETRIMENTAL, (3 they must have suffered) to her system. And probably at this juncture the Elijah class, persisting in declaring the truth to the last (not as a result of an entirely different message), will suffer violence, pass into glory and escape from the severest features of the great time of trouble coming—just in the CRISIS OF AFFAIRS (life or death—#4) when men begin to feel that DESPERATE 5) measures must be restarted to, to SUSTAIN (#6) the TOTTERING (#7’.) structure of Christendom.’ (C 231:2) We might say that wounded Babylon, like a wounded animal becomes more dangerous.

 

Those who think the image of # Da 2 (including the clay) will still be intact when this persecution of the saints comes, naturally think they have a ‘great work’ to plague and destroy Babylon. Some who think the image has been struck still feel that Babylon must be plagued and destroyed in the future by the Church (both sides of the vail). According to Bro. Russell in C 231:2 quoted above, and in many other places, Babylon’s destruction will be well under way (it is now). And while religious truth is the point of the sword, the main and physical destruction is through the Lord’s Great Army and other agencies, and is to be accomplished as a result of ‘truth along EVERY LINE’.( B. 147:2; 358:2; B 101:3)

 

Jeremiah was GIVEN CREDIT for the destruction of all the nations, accomplished by other agencies. {# Jer 1:10} This is not entirely a future picture for the simple reason that many kings have already been destroyed, and God always gives warning IN ADVANCE. So, Bro. Russell, must have had a big share in the Jeremiah picture. Remember also that in addition to placing a mark on the faithful, {# Eze 9} the ‘man with the inkhorn’ was commissioned to ‘scatter coals of fire on the city’.{# Eze 10:2} However in the Jeremiah picture, the development of the ‘rod of an almond tree’ (Aaron’s rod and the ornaments on the Candlestick were almonds, representing the Church. See T. Shadows and especially Re. page 244:2) was the first and dominant vision. {# Jer 1:11,12} The vision of ‘the seething pot from the North’ (time of trouble) was mentioned second (Vs. 13, 14). The Pastor says that Jeremiah’s message is mostly good news (R. 3616:13). He emphasizes this in A 341. The time of trouble will give us greater occasion to give a message mainly of comfort. (A. 342:l) We believe the PHYSICAL FACTS confirm the above.