1906 Bible students, Convention, Asbury Park
Discourse by Bro. John Edgar, of Scotland, who was introduced by Bro. Williamson, as follows:
BRO. JOHN EDGAR, of Scotland, is with us to day and will present some features of the Lordís truth along the lines of time and its relation to the Divine Plan. In the Lordís providence Scotland has made an exchange with America on this occasion, and while we have sent our dear Bro. Barton to Scotland, and he is today no doubt preaching to the dear friends there, we have with us a representative of Great Britain to take his place. I believe I am safe in saying that if Bro. Barton was not there, and if the Lordís providence permitted him to be in this country, and la health, he would be here; so we are glad to have such a substitute for him as our beloved Brother Doctor Edgar."
Bro. Edgarís discourse was in substance as follows: DEAR Brethren and Sisters in the Lord: It gives me great pleasure Indeed to meet you in the flesh. I trust we shall be able by the Lordís grace to impart rich blessings to each other, which shall be not only for ourselves but also for dear ones we have left. in our respective homes.
Our subject this morning is "Time and Its Relation to the Plan of God." I suppose you are all aware that our motto for this year is "In Due Time." There are none who can appreciate the significance of these words so much as we can. When we begin to study the plan of God in this matter of the relation of its time features, we find such a mass of details interwoven that it requires careful and reverential study of these details and their relationship to each other in order to perceive the harmony which exists. It is just as if we were to take one horizontal line representing 7,042 years and then arrange upon it all of the curves you see in these charts. The result would be complex and very confusing. If, on the other hand, we were to isolate the details, as has been done in these charts the harmony, and, as we study it, the simplicity of the plan of God, will be seen.
Now, dear friends, I have not time to discuss each of these charts in detail. I shall refer to a few of them, and then describe once two more particularly.
This chart (No. 1) represents the bible chronology as a chain. The different links of this chain will stand the closest investigation, although at first some of them might appear to be rather weak. Take for example the period of 430 years from the Abrahamic Covenant to the giving of the Law. The latter half of this link is generally regarded as a very weak period; that is to say, most authorities think that a period of 215 years is far too short for the great multiplication of the Israelites during their residence in Egypt. It is for that reason that on the Revised Version the translators have adopted the Septuagint version of Ex 12:40. They say there very emphatically: "The sojourning of the children of Israel, which they sojourned in Egypt, was 430 years." If this were correct, it would completely nullify Bro. Russellís explanation of that verse which we find in the second Vol. of Millennial Dawn; but it is not correct. It is an example of the mistakes into which men, however wise and good they may be, will be sure to fall whenever they think they are wiser than the Word of God. The Old Testament gives its own refutation of that statement, as we shall see in the chart which represents the period from Jacobís entrance into the land of Egypt until the exodus. According to the Revised Version and many other authorities, this was a period of 430 years, but according to the Old Testament it was only half of that period, viz., 215 years.
This chart (No. 10) shows the genealogy of Moses. His mother, Jochebed, was the daughter of Levi. As Joseph had entered upon his fortieth year when Jacob came into Egypt, and Levi was older than Joseph, it follows, that if the period of residence of the Israelites in Egypt were 430 years, Jochebed must have been at the very least 253 years old when Moses was born. Again, Mosesí father, Amram, was the son of Kohath, and Kohath was one of the 70 who entered Egypt..Now Kohath lived 133 years, and Amram lived 137 years. therefore, if we were to imagine that Kohath was just a new born babe when he entered the land of Egypt, an, ,-" Amrarn was not born until the year after his fatherís death, there would still remain if the whole period were 430 years, a gap of 80 years between the death of Amrarn and the birth of Moses. In other words, it would mean that Moses was born 80 years after his fatherís death.
The next chart I wish to draw your attention to is No. 9: This large arch represents Godís Sabbath day, the Rest Day, or the 7,000 years. Before that there were six similar days of 7,000 years, so that altogether the seven days of God have lasted seven times seven or 49,000 years, . This represents the forty ninth thousand year, and the next one the fiftieth thousand year. We know that each day had an evening and a morning, and here we find the evening and the morning represented in this way, the junction being just here at the last typical jubilee year.
This day of seven thousand years is also compared in the scriptures to a week, each day of which represents one thousand years. The first day of one thousand years is the First Adamís day, and the seventh or last day of one thousand years is the Last Adamís day, the Sabbath Day for man. It is during this Sabbath Day that the Times of Restitution of all things will take place.
Chart No. 9 Now, God arranging all of this beforehand and desiring to show us his purpose, arranged that the Israelites, his typical people, would mark time in weeks of years, and that after a cycle of seven of these weeks -forty nine years in all-the next year, the fiftieth year, would be a jubilee year, a year of great rejoicing and a time of restitution. It was a great time of rejoicing for the poor and oppressed This means that at the end of each cycle there were two rest years together; the forty-ninth year was a Sabbath year, and the next, the fiftieth, or jubilee year, was also a rest year, and a period of much more rejoicing. In this way God showed beforehand this great rest year, the forty-ninth from the beginning of creation, a time of rest for the world, followed by the fiftieth or grand jubilee of jubilees. In addition God so arranged his plan that there would be nineteen jubilees observed, then the last jubilee would just give time for the great antitypical cycle, 50x50, which would terminate in the antitypical jubilee, or time of restitution, which began in 1874 AD
We will not take up much time with this chart because the majority have studied the second and third volumes of Millennial Dawn, but I want to direct your attention particularly to this: That God so arranged his plan that the last typical jubilee year, with its preceding Sabbath year, the forty-ninth year, would fall just exactly in the center of the seven thousand year period, as shown on the chart. He so restrained evil in this typical kingdom that that was the result. In the same way we have two rest years at the beginning; these are the two rest years from the creation of Adam till the fall. Thus are these two rest years in the beginning and two rest years in the middle, both point forward to the two great rest years at the end. In the first of the two rest years at the beginning Adam was created and began to learn the use of his faculties; he began also to learn his environment, the animals and plants, etc., and to take possession of all things.
This matter of learning the use of our faculties is a thing we do not appreciate very well, because we learned to use our faculties in childhood and cannot remember, but I will give you an example which will enable you to appreciate it. In Glasgow last year there was a man who was blind from birth, owing to a cataract in each eye.
He was a young man of between twenty and thirty years of age. Last year an operation was performed on his eyes and he saw for the first time. He was unable to use his eyes at first; he could only distinguish light and darkness and some objects vaguely before him. He had to learn to appreciate the size and shape of objects and the measurement of distance. It was very curious to see him when he was walking toward an obstacle how he would notice it and stop when it was still some distance from him, because he had yet to learn the measurement of distance. Now we can understand that it would be just the same with Adam at the beginning; that he would require to learn the use of the faculties God had given him, and to learn the appearance and use of all the different things around him, and to take possession of all things. We can understand that as he was a perfect man he would learn quickly. Soon he began to appreciate what many of us have learned to appreciate-the need of companionship; the need of some one with whom to share his joys, some one with whom to enter into his various schemes, some one. who would be a. help-mate unto him, and God in his love gave him this help-mate.
He sent him into a deep sleep and after a short period of trouble Eve was presented to him, and so we can understand that the second year was a much more joyous year than the first one, although we cannot appreciate the degree of joy that the perfect man and woman would have in their companionship with each other.
It is evident that God must have so restrained matters that the fall did not take place until two years had elapsed, in order that these two years might prefigure the two great last years at the end.
Exactly in the center of the seven thousand year period there are again two rest years, the years 627 and 626 BC , the former a Sabbath year and therefore a time for rest and refreshment, and the second a jubilee year, or times of restitution, a great time of rejoicing for the poor and oppressed, and especially for the humble and the pure hearted, but eventually for every one. At the beginning of the jubilee year there must have been a considerable amount of trouble. In the same way, at the end we have two great rest years. The former, the time of Christís reign upon the earth, is the time of which Christ spoke when he said he was the Lord of the Sabbath, a time of rest for the world.
Chart No. 9. In it man will begin to learn the use of his new-found faculties. The faculties we possess are insignificant compared to the faculties a perfect man will possess, and the perfect man will require to learn the use of these faculties just as Adam did at the beginning. He will also require to learn his environment, the perfect earth, and he will require to take possession of all things in that great millennial day. Then will follow the second great rest year, at the beginning of which there will be a short time of trouble, when Satan is let loose to test the perfect man, and then the dominion will be handed over to all the obedient under the sovereignty of God. That will be the grand jubilee of jubilees, the time of unalloyed rejoicing, because of the knowledge that there will never be an end to the happiness of that time, -no more death, sorrow or sighing.
Just as God has shown that he has devoted a period of seven thousand years for man to learn first the lesson of evil, then the lesson of righteousness, and to bring about the restoration of the earth and of human perfection lost by Adam, so he has also shown forth the fact that the dominion would be handed over to man after a certain time.
Chart No. 9 is the Rest and Restitution Chart, but this other chart (No. 3) is the Dominion or Kingdom chart. It may be regarded as probable that God has set apart a period of 7040 years from the fall to the time when man will get complete dominion over the earth under the sovereignty of God. This period of 7040 years God marked exactly in the center in the year 606 BC by causing the typical dominion of the typical people of God to cease in that year, just as he marked the center of the 700 years period by the last typical jubilee or year of restitution.
At the beginning Adam had dominion over the earth under the sovereignty of God, but at the end of two years, owing to his, disobedience, he lost the dominion. The period of 1,000 years which followed is the first Adamís day towards the end of which he died. Next follows a period of 2,520 years called "Seven Times," in the latter part of which Israel held her typical dominion under God, and "Seven times more," the "Times of the Gentile," and lastly the last Adamís day which, like the first is to be a period of 1,000 years.
Chart No. 3 In passing I would like you to notice the fact that the number 2520 is a very peculiar number. It is the least common multiple of the figures from one to ten. That is to say, it Itís the smallest number which can be evenly divided by each and all of the numbers from one to ten.
After the Kingdom of Israel was overthrown in 606 BC the land "enjoyed her sabbaths" for 70 years. We are to understand that when God promised the Holy Land to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession, he meant not only the literal land of Canaan, but over and above that the whole world of which the promised land was a type (Ro 4:13). Just as the typical land of Canaan was the kingdom of the typical children of God, so will the whole earth be the kingdom of Abraham and his seed in the Millennial Age, and thereafter the kingdom of all men when they have been delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of God. The 70 yearsí rest which the land enjoyed after the transfer of the dominion from Israel to Nebuchadnezzar, the head of gold, I understand to be typical of both these periods of rest. It is made up of two numbers, seven and ten.
Seven represents perfection, particularly the perfection of time, as shown in the week, and ten represents numerical completeness. When we measure by numbers, after we reach ten then we must begin at the beginning and use the multiples of ten. Moreover, the number ten seems to be usually associated with the idea of government, as the 10 toes of the image, the 10 horns, etc. So with the number seventy: 7x10 represents a complete period of government, during which in the type we are considering, the land, the world, will enjoy her rest.
With the overthrow of the dominion of Israel in the year 606 BC the Seven Times of the Gentiles began.
These seven times last 2520 years, from the year 606 BC until October AD 1914, when we expect that Christ will take his great power and reign. During this period of the Gentiles there have been four universal empires, holding dominion over Israel
(1) Babylon for 70 years,
(2) Medo-Persia, from 536 BC till the time Alexander the Great;
(3) the Grecian period from Alexander the Great till the beginning of the Roman empire;
(4) after that the Roman empire till the end. Springing from the Roman Empire is Christendom, the great church-state system which professes to be, as its name indicates, the kingdom of Christ on earth, but which is really the last phase and a very Important phase of the Gentile Kingdoms. This is indicated by the name "Babylon the Great," given by God (Re 17:5), and by the fact that it is symbolized by the feet of the goat image (Da 2:41-43), and by the little horn which grew from the head of the fourth boast and whose "look was eventually more stout than his fellows" (Da 7:20-27).
The First Babylon A Type of Christendom
THIS is shown by the name "Babylon the Great," given to it by God in Re 17:5.
One of the most prominent features of all forms of insanity is an exaggeration of egotism, either in the form of self-exaltation or of self-depression. Egotism implies a want of judgment. Every one in this world has more or less of this form of insanity; and it is one of the great objects of the children of God to endeavor by the grace of God to subdue self, to develop the spirit of a sound mind and realize our dependence on God. Nebuchadnezzar had the insane idea that he could rule the world, and God knowing that he could not do so in his fallen condition, nevertheless allowed him to attempt it. The result was confusion, misery and death. Just in the same way the apostate church, tired of waiting for the coming of the great King, had the insane idea that she could rule the world, and God knowing that she could not do it nevertheless allowed her to attempt it. The result in her case also has been confusion, misery and death. God has allowed all of the phases of the gentile powers to attempt to rule the world in order that man may learn a valuable. and lasting lesson, namely, his dependence on God. Just as Nebuchadnezzar, after seven years of insanity, was able to appreciate the almighty power and loving beneficence of God, so man after the Seven Times of the Gentiles have passed, will learn under the rule of Christ their own weakness and dependence upon, God and will have their reason restored to them.
Babylon Also Represents the Whole Times of the Gentiles There are several proofs for the statement:
(1) that Babylon was the head of gold, and the head represents the whole in the same way that Jesus, the Head, represents the whole Christ;
(2) the duration of her universal empire was 70 years. It seems strange at first why this great power should have such a short period of dominion over Israel, so much shorter than the others; but the reason is plain when we Understand the symbolic significance of the number 70. The 70 yearsí government of Babylon typified the whole period of Gentile government.
(3) In Da 4:16, 25 we read that by Godís command "seven times" of insanity passed over Nebuchadnezzar and then his reason returned to him.
(4) During the whole Babylonian reign the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, and the holy land of promise -was left desolate; so prefiguring that during the whole times of the gentiles the Israelites, the people of God, will be in captivity under the Gentile powers and during all that time the world, Christís inheritance, will be lying desolate. With the establishment of the millennium things will be different and Christ will reign and set the captives free.
(5) The events at the end of the Babylonian empire foreshadow closely the events at the end of the Times of the Gentiles, and so prove that Babylon represents the whole "Seven Times" and also typifies the closing phase of the Gentile Kingdoms, Babylon the Great.
In the 44th and 45th chapters of Isaiah (Isa 44-45) we find it recorded that Babylon would be overthrown and the captive Israelites would be set free by a certain one Cyrus who was called by his name before he was born. I suppose everyone here understands that while this prophecy referred to that heathen King of Persia who in 536 BC overthrew the first Babylon, it referred through him to a greater Cyrus, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in due time, in the year 1915 AD, will overthrow Babylon the Great. The parallelism is remarkable. The name Cyrus means sun. Cyrus, King of Persia, was a "suit" to the captives in Babylon, shedding light and warmth on them, allowing them to go free. from captivity and return to their land, but the greater Cyrus is the great Sun of Righteousness, who will arise with healing in his wings, shedding light (truth) and the Ďwarmth of love on the whole race, giving life to all, and sustaining life in all.
Just as Cyrus liberated the Israelites from Babylon, but did not compel them to come out, so when the time comes the greater Cyrus will liberate his people, Israel, from their captivity in Babylon, but it will not be compulsory-it will be voluntary.
When the Israeliteó, left Babylon and returned to the land, they built the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. So, in October, 1914, the spiritual Israelites will return to the promised land and will build the great andtypical temple and the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem.
When Cyrus overthrew Babylon he became King over the whole world-king of kings, lord of lordswith the dominion over Israel included, and so the greater Cyrus will become King of Kings and Lord if Lords over the whole world, Israel included. Lastly, just as the kingdom of the first Cyrus was a dual kingdom, formed of two parts, which were not divided but united, so the Kingdom of Christ will be a dual kingdom composed of two phases, the heavenly and the earthly. As shown by the fact that in the vision of the bear, representing the Medo-Persian kingdom, the bear was raised on the one side, and in the vision of the ram with two horns which also represented the MedoPersian empire, the one horn was higher than the other, the one power, the Persian power, to which Cyrus belonged, was a far greater power than the other, the Kingdom of the Medes. In this way was prefigured the fact that in the dual kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one power, the spiritual phase of that kingdom, to which Christ belongs, will be so much higher than the earthly phase as the heavens are higher than the earth. In the Old Testament we read and it has passed into a common proverb, that the laws of the Medes and Persians were unchangeable. However true this may have been of the original MedoPersian Kingdom, it will be certainly true of that time when "out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem- (Isa, 2:3.) Thus, dear friends, we see that the short period of the Babylonian Empire represents the whole period of t I times of the gentiles; that the heathen king Cyrus represents the true King; and that the Medo-Persian Empire represents the Kingdom of Christ. When this I, appreciated we are able to understand the significance of the three ribs in mouth of the bear which represents the Medo-Persian Kingdom (Da 7:5). The mouth represents speech. This bear was speaking forth concerning three ribs. A rib undoubtedly represents a woman (Ge 2:2-23). This power, then, the Medo-Persian Empire, under Cyrus the Great, was speaking forth concerning three women. Who were they? Our dear Bro. McPhail was telling us last night how in Eastern countries marriages were arranged by the parents who selected the bride for their son, and so we understand that God has been selecting a bride for his Son, Jesus Christ. The first one he selected was the first Jerusalem, the old Jerusalem. We know how these people were selected to be the bride of Christ, how they fell into idolatry and were chastised by God, and how in this year 536 BC they were released from Babylon and returned with rejoicing to their land, and a great period of reformation took place. God was long suffering with these people.
We know how during the seventy weeks of special favor, they fell away gradually, with the result that when the king, the bridegroom, came unto his own, his own received him not (Joh 1:11). They saw no beauty they could desire in him; he was not their ideal, and so they despised and rejected him. They were in consequence cast off from being the bride of Christ. And shortly after, in the year 70 AD, this city or government, the old Jerusalem, was destroyed. After Israel was cast off God "did visit the gentiles to take out them a people for his name," I. e., to be the bride of Christ (Ac 15:14). These people became the Church. But the Church likewise fell away and God was long suffering with them; he tried means time and again to reform them, but matters got worse. In the year 539 AD the apostate church took to herself a new head, a new husband, the pope; but still God was longsuffering-, with her and in due time the reformation came, w like Israel, she fell away gradually with the result that when the King, the Bridegroom, in 1874, she despised and rejected him and in consequence was cast off. The third rib is the true church, the despised remnant of both the Houses of Israel. She has been chaste and faithful to the Lord all down the age and will become "the holy city, the new Jerusalem," "the bride, the Lambís wife" (Re 21:2, 9). As the last Eve, síhe will become the mother of all living. The reason why God selected the two houses of Israel to be espoused to the Lord and then cast them off was to demonstrate the fact that Godís ways and thoughts are as much higher than manís as the heavens are higher than the earth.
Now, dear friends, we have shown how Babylon, in its limited aspect, is the head of and so represents the whole period of the Times of the Gentiles. In the same way "Babylon the Great" in its limited aspect from the beginning of its power in 539 AD till its partial overthrow in 1309 AD is the head of and represent., the whole period of Christendom.
The Various Phases of Gentile Powers Typical of the Various Phases of Christendom Just as the Gentile Powers went through various phases during the Jewish Age from 606 B, C. till the end in the year AD 70, so Christendom, Babylon the Great, has also gone through various phases, and these. phases are chronologically parallel.
This is spoken of in the 13th chapter of Revelation (Re 13). There we read that a peculiar beast rose up out of the sea, and it was like a leopard with four heads; it had the feet of a bear, and spoke with the voice of a lion. Now we know that in Daniel, Babylon is represented as a lion. The lion is the king of animals, as the eagle is the king of birds. This Babylon had the voice of a. lion which represents the spirit of kingly power, and which was really the spirit of Satan, the Old Dragon-the spirit of pride and arrogance. Now that is the spirit which dominated the first Babylon, and that is the same spirit which dominates Babylon the Great. Then the second animal was like a bear, and the third animal like a leopard with four heads, arid the fourth animal was like an animal which could not be harmed, it was so ferocious, and so peculiar in many respects. Here Ďwe have the four empires shown.
The animal that was like a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion represents a certain phase in Christendom. The first period I have already mentioned -where Babylon represented Babylon the Great. The second is the Medo-Persian period.
I have already mentioned that the downfall of Babylon and the setting up of the Medo-Persian Empire typified the downfall of Babylon the Great and the setting up of the Kingdom of Christ. That will be the complete fulfillment of this type. But you all know that in the scriptures there is often a complete fulfillment, and a partial fulfillment also. To give you one good example of that, you know that Elijah typifies the Church in the flesh during the Gospel Age; and that is the complete fulfillment; but there was also a par fulfillment in John the Baptist. And so this Babylonian empire was completely fulfilled in the whole period of Christendom, and partially fulfilled in the time of the power of papacy. The papacy began to assume the temporal power in 539 AD, in 799 AD the papal millennium began, and after 840 AD the pope became king of kings and lord of lords. Then in 1309, the year in the Gospel Age which corresponds with the year 536 13. C., the power of the Papacy began to be broken, and the events of this time form the partial fulfillment of the events connected with the overthrow of Babylon in 536 BC
How do Ave find out the corresponding datesí! How do we find the date in the Gospel age which will correspond with a certain date in the Jewish age" The way to do it is to remember that each period, the Jewish and the Gospel, lasted exactly 1845 years; therefore if we take any date in the, Jewish period and add on 1845 years to that date, we -shall get the corresponding date of the Gospel period. For instance, if we take the first year of this Jewish age and add on 1845 years, we get the first year of the Gospel age. And if we start ten years after the beginning of the Jewish age, and add 1845 years*, we get ten years after the beginning of the Gospel age. 1845 years after 536 BC give you the year 1309 AD, because 536 and 1309 added together equal 1845.
This is one way to find corresponding dates. It is a very simple matter, and you can find any number of them.
To have chronological parallels, the events must correspond as well as the dates.
The year 1309 is just in the middle of the papal millennium; five centuries of papal supremacy had passed by this time; and so we understand that the popes were at the height of their power. In that time there was a certain pope, Boniface the Eighth, -who was extremely arrogant, although a very clever man. He claimed to be king of kings and lord of lords; to be over not only the spiritual affairs of this world, but also over the temporal affairs of the world, over king... as well as people. This man published a famous bull called "Unarn Sancti," in which he claimed it -was not possible for anyone fit this world to gain eternal salvation except by his permission. This was towards the end of the Dark Ages when men were beginning to get enlightened. The king of France, Philip the Fair. repudiated the bull and ... as excommunicated. Philip then did something which had never been done before: During the period of papal supremacy lie made the pope a prisoner, just as Napoleon did five hundred years later. Yet the result was that the pope, being an aged man, died from the indignities and injuries received.
Then a new pope was appointed who died within a year, and finally another pope who had sold himself to the king of France was appointed. This man, Clement V, was afraid to set up his seat of empire in Rome, because the people would have risen up against him on account of the fact that he was under the king of France, so he had to retreat to Avignon, -which was under the dominion of France; and there the power of the papacy was broken, not completely, as the Pope still had temporal power, but he was not now king of kings and lord of lords as he had been before, because the people of Britain, Germany and other countries would no longer refer to the pope as their umpire or arbitrator. Before that whenever they had any quarrels among themselves they brought them before the pope and he settled them, but now they knew that if they did that, they would be knuckling to the king of France, because the pope was under the king of France. This meant that affairs were just the opposite from what they had been before, Till then the spiritual head, the pope, had been over all, but now the civil power was fit the ascendancy. It means then that Babylon was overthrown, and that there was an opportunity given to the spiritual Israelites indeed to escape from Babylon and build the temple of the reformation, and it means that from that time onward until the time of Martin Luther, Christendom was a dual empire-double but not divided; there was a spiritual and a civil power there, just as there will be a heavenly and an earthly phase fit the millennial kingdom. But here the temporal or civil power was the higher and the spiritual the lower, just the reverse of what it will be during the millennial kingdom of Christ. Why? Because this is the period of the times of the Gentiles. Cyrus in this partial fulfillment of the type was the king of France.
He was the great deliverer who freed the captive spiritual Israelites. During this time we know that the power of the people was small. The laws of the civil and spiritual (papal) power of the time were unchangeable, the people could riot interfere. It was different after the time of Martin Luther. The people were only beginning to emerge from the dark ages at that time. In the parallel of the 70 weeks we see that course of this second period, the Medo-Persian, or bear period, in the two ages, the Jewish and Gospel, there was a period of Reformation in both the Houses of Israel beginning with the freedom from-Babylon and the laying the foundation of And the temple in the corresponding years 536 BC , 1309; then the building of the, temple in the years 521-517 BC and 1324-28 AD ; next the bringing of the golden vessels back to the temple from Babylon I in 467 BC and 1378 AD, and finally the commission to build the walls of Jerusalem in 454 BC and 1391 AD
The Dual Kingdom
The dual kingdom, ĎThe Medo-Persian Empire, which had permitted the Reformation of the fleshly House of Israel, was brought to an end by Alexander the Great, who originated the Grecian Empire, the leopard with the four heads. The corresponding dates in the Gospel Age bring us to the time of Martin Luther, who overthrew the preceding dual kingdom corresponding to the Medo-Persian empire, which had permitted the Reformation of the Spiritual House of Israel, and was brought to an end by Martin Luther, who originated the third phase of Christendom corresponding to the Grecian period, the leopard with the four heads. Alexander the Great was crowned in the year 336 BC He was only 20 years of age at the time. Immediately he began his series of conquests and in 12 years he had the world at his feet. in the year 324, when he was at Babylon, he received embassies front all parts of the world. Then early in the next year, 323, while projecting an expedition into Arabia, he sickened of a fever and (lied. His four generals at once began to strive against each other, and the result was that in a year or two the great Medo-Persian Empire of Alexander the Great was divided into four main parts and many smaller parts, as predicted in the book of Daniel Here was the leopard with four heads as we read in Daniel. Now that prefigures, exactly what occurs in the Gospel age. The years 336 to 324, the 12 years of conquest of Alexander the Great have their corresponding period fit the Gospel Age from 1509 to 1521 AD, as you can easily reckon for yourselves. It AN-as in 1,509 AD that Martin Luther received his comission as a reformer. It was in 1521 that he brought his conquest to an end. Shortly before the year 1509 Luther, at that time a monk, had been appointed as professor of philosophy in the University of Wittenberg. Being required to teach philosophy day after day, he had no time to study his bible, in much distress wrote to a friend that he was longing for some appointment by which he would be able to study the Word of God for himself. It was in 1509 that he received the degree of B. D. with an appointment as professor of biblical theology, with the stipulation that he was to teach the bible. Like many of us, he began with one of the difficult books of the bible-the Psalms, but very soon found he could not make much headway with them-they were too strong meat for him. Accordingly, in the same year, 1509, he took up the Epistle to the Romans and gave his lectures on this Epistle day by day. All of the rest of his time he studied in his cell. In this year in the very first chapter and the 17th verse, he was struck with the phrase, "the just shall live by faith."
These words burned into his mind, and became the keynote of the Reformation. He there received his commission as reformer. From that period his conquests went on, and it was in October, 1517, that he nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg; but the conquests were not yet at an end. In the year 1520 he was excommunicated by the pope, but that was only the first bull. A second was required, and was promised to be sent in two months if he did not recant. Two months elapsed and still another and still another, and the second bull did riot come. Why? Because it was not Godís due time. In December, 1520, Martin Luther took the matter into his hands and built a great fire in the public square and cast into it the bull of excommunication and the book of canon law. This was an act of defiance, an open throwing off of allegiance to Rome. The result was that on the 3rd of January, 1521, the pope sent him the second bull of excommunication and he was there formally put under the ban of the church. Then in April, 1521, just exactly three and a half years after the 95 theses had been nailed up on the church door at Wittenberg, Martin Luther was summoned before the Diet of Worms, and there refused to recant, with the result that he was now not only under the ban of the church but also under the ban of the Emperor. But the result was not as Rome had anticipated. Rome had anticipated now that this Reformation was overcome, but it was not so. The people of Germany, Switzerland and England were looking to this great leader and were following him. The result was very great, a new empire had been established, the old dual (Medo-Persian) empire had come to its end, and then the next year, 1522, Martin Luther died as a reformer-not actually, as he lived for several years after that, but he died as a reformer, lie ceased to be any longer a reformer. He began to strive with other reformers who had been hitherto in the background. As a result, in a very short time Christendom was divided into four great parts (the leopard with the four heads), Roman Catholicism, Lutherianism, Presbyterianism and Anglicanism. These we understand were not merely church systems, but church-states; they were four Gentile powers. Here we have the leopard with the four heads.
Martin Lutherís work had been work which is detailed in the 13th chapter of Revelations as a fatal wound to one of the heads of the beast, but owing to this division and strife among the reformers, the wound had healed: a marvelous recovery took place. This was just the opportunity for papacy to regain its power, and all the world wondered after the beast.
You will notice that Martin Luther remained a Roman Catholic up till the time of his excommunication. He was not one of those spiritual Israelites who had been previously freed from Babylon the Great and had been building the temple walls of the spiritual Jerusalem. His work, however, would not have been possible but for the preceding work of Marsiglio, Wycliffe and Huss, That is why the leopard in the 13th chapter of Revelations (Re 13) stands on the feet of a bear, meaning by that that this period from Martin Luther onward was resting on the foundation of the previous period, the dawn of the Reformation, but still through it all the voice was the same; it was the voice of the old Babylon, the voice of pride and arrogance. Like the original Babylon the Great the four great Church-State systems of the time stated that they were Christendom, etc., that Christís kingdom was set up on the earth, though this is quite contrary to the Word of God, which asserts that the church should be under the powers that be, and that the time when Christ shall reign is at the end of the times of the Gentiles, the end of the "seven times."
You remember that Alexander the Great, when visiting Jerusalem, was received by the High Priest and others, and you remember the vision he had and how it was fulfilled. It was just the same with Luther. When he appeared before the Spiritual Israelites as a Reformer he was received by them. The four parts of Christendom claimed to be Reformed Churches, the spiritual Jerusalem, although God recognized them still as Babylon the Great.
Now during the time of Babylon we know that Rome, the fourth empire, was in existence, but was a, very feeble power. In the time of Medo-Persia it was growing in strength; in the time of Greece it was still-stronger, and then the due time came when Greece was overthrown by Rome in 197 BC ; at first peace was established between them, but shortly afterwards Greece was absorbed by Rome, and the conquests went on little by little.
In the time of Julius Caesar great conquests were made, and the world was practically at the feet of Rome.
Then, in the time of Caesar Augustus, the zenith of her power was reached. After that she began to diminish. It was during the time of the Roman Empire that our Lord Jesus Christ came, suffered and died and then was resurrected. It was at that time that Israel was cast off, and it was in the year 70 AD that Israel was destroyed because the Israelites had fallen away from the faith.
I understand, dear friends, that Rome, this ferocious animal with ten horns and iron teeth, represents the power of the people. In the time of Babylon the Great the people had very little power. During the time of this period from Avignon up to the time of Martin Luther their power was stronger; then after the time of Martin Luther their power increased much more because of the work Martin Luther had done. And in this leopard period the four great church-state systems were quarreling among each other and not only allowing papacy to get stronger, but also allowing the power of the people to get stronger; eventually the Protestants and the Papists got into conflict with each other and war broke out between them. This was called the "Thirty Yearsí War," because it lasted for the long period of thirty years-from 1618 to 1648 AD-with the result that the people were completely sickened of all religious differences, and the outcome of that was that the war was brought to an end by the peace of Westphalia in the year 1648. From that time onward religion ceased to be the dominant factor in politics in the Gentile powers, quite different from the preceding times, and the power of the people has increased more and more-the power of Rome, this ferocious animal.
In the original Rome the power of the people was very much greater than in any of the other preceding kingdoms. "Vox populi" (the voice of the people) was the watchword of ancient Rome, but after the Papacy gained its power it ceased to be true till the 17th century AD There is no doubt that the power of Ďthe people began to be manifest at that time. One of the first manifestations was in the year 1620, when a band of pilgrims sailed from England to this land, which is called the land of the free, the land of the people. By the middle of the 17th century, immigration to this country had become steady; the power of the people was showing itself; they were sick of the restriction of their liberty in Europe, and they wanted to assert themselves. A Century later there arose the great War of Independence, by which they threw off the fetters of Europe. Following their example, the people of France rose up in the year 1789 and overthrew the church state system of France. There was the power of the people asserting itself. The period of the French Revolution, the end of the power of the papacy, corresponds to the time of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar made many conquests and added greatly to the power of Rome, just as the people at the end of the eighteenth century made many conquests and added to their power.
In Revelations 9 a period of five months (150 years) is, referred to during which men would be tormented but God would not suffer them to be killed. It is suggestive that the period from 1648 to l798, during which Babylon was tormented by the increasing power of the people, due to their growing intelligence, was exactly 150 years. In the following year, 1799 AD, the lease of power of the Papacy came to an end. This may or may not be the true explanation. No doubt we shall find out later on.
We shall now consider the end of the Jewish Age and compare it with the end of the Gospel Age. Natural Israel Ďwas under the dominion of the Gentile kingdoms, just as in the Gospel Age spiritual Israel has been under the dominion of the Gentile kingdoms. In 29 AD Christ came to his own, but his own received him not, and they were cast off. In AD 70 Jerusalem was destroyed. So in the corresponding year 1874 AD, Christ came to his own-Christendom -this church-system which claimed to be his bride, but his own received him not and they were cast off. In 1915 Babylon, that Great City, which pretends to be spiritual Jerusalem, will be overthrown.
Now I would like to mention a few points with regard to the history of these later years to show the possible correspondency. There can be no doubt -whatever, dear friends, that this year 70, with the event-, that happened in it, corresponds to the year 1915 with the events which shall happen in it. It is shown not only by this parallel but also wonderfully by this other parallel which I have not time to enter into. Just as the papal millennium began in 799 AD, so the true millennium began in 1874; and just as at the end of the 40 year period, in 840 AD, the pope became king of kings and lord of lords, with the complete dismemberment of the great Western empire of Charles the Great, so in the corresponding year, 1915, there will be, a dismemberment of Christendom when Christ shall become the king of kings and lord of lords.
We are told that this Day of the Lord will come as travail upon a woman with child. That is to say, it will come in spasms with intervening periods of peace, and each spasm will be worse than the preceding one. Now we find in studying this parallel that in the year 830 AD, and again in the year 833, the sons of Louis the son of Charles the Great and Emperor of the whole of Western Europe rose up against their father and imprisoned him.
The trouble of 833 was greater than that of 830. The corresponding dates now are 1905 and 1908. Now we know that 1905 was a year of great trouble in Christendom. For instance, we know that in France the church and the state became separated; that in Russia the people rose up in revolt against the power of the Government; that in Norway the people refused any longer to be under the King of Sweden and asserted their own rights; that in Austria-Hungary the same thing was demanded; that in Germany and Britain the power of the socialists became very great, much greater than ever before; and in the United States the people began to protest against corruption and graft. This year is a period of comparative peace, but we may expect in the year 1908 that there will be a time of greater trouble, which will be followed again by a period of comparative peace.
Let us come back to events at the end of the Jewish Age. In December of the year 66 AD, which corresponds to December of the year 1911 AD, Cestius Gallus came with a Roman army and besieged insurgent Jerusalem. The city seemed as if it were within his grasp, when for some mysterious reason, no one can understand why, the Roman army retreated. The Jews could scarcely believe their eyes at first, but when they realized the position of affairs they rushed from the city after the Romans and converted the retreat into a rout.
Six miles west in the Pass of Bethhoron six thousand of the Romans were slain. It was the most disgraceful defeat ever experienced by Roman arms in the East. In the next two years, 67 and 68, the Roman general Vespasian, came with his army and invaded Palestine, but did not attack Jerusalem directly. He captured many of the smaller towns. In the year 69 he was made emperor, Nero having died the previous year, and in that year Vespasian said "Let the wild beasts tear each other to pieces in their dens, there will be less work for the Romans." There were three factions in Jerusalem at the time. These united against the common enemy, Rome, but in the intervening periods they were warring against each other. The three factions were: one in the temple, one on Mount Zion, and the third in the lower city. Then the next year, 70, Titus, son of Vespasian, came with his army and in the course of six months besieged and utterly destroyed Jerusalem, with the result that the Israelites were scattered among all nations. As the Jewish Age was a type of this age, it is possible that these events may have corresponding events in the close of this age. What I am about to say is given more in the nature of a suggestion than as a positive statement.
Just as Rome was the master, and the City of Jerusalem was the servant of Rome, so now the people are the real masters, and the governments are the servants of the people. The Jews, in their boldness and arrogance, constantly asserted "we have no lord nor master but God," and would not acknowledge the power of Rome over them; just so we find the governments of this day saying that the people have not any rule over them, that they have no lord nor master but God. It was in consequence of this rebellious spirit of the Jews that Castius Gallus besieged Jerusalem in December, 66.
So it is possible that, for the same reason, in December, 1911, the corresponding date now the people may rise up against the governments, under their leaders, and when the governments (represented by the city of Jerusalem are within their grasps, they may retreat, perhaps because they are still partially under the power of the old superstitious dread of the divine right of governments.
The governments not believing their eyes at first when they come to realize the situation will come down upon the people and restrict their liberties. In the next two years, 1912 and 1913, the leaders of the people Ďwill see that they have made a partial mistake, and will not attack the governments so directly. Then in the following year, 1914, they will leave the different parts of the government a one, saying "let the wild beasts tear each other to pieces in their dens, there will be the less work for the people."
What do the three factions, one in the temple, one in Mount Zion, and one in the lower city, represent? We know that a city represent-, a government and that Jerusalem represents the millennial government of Christ.
The temple represents the church glorified as priests unto God. Mount Zion, where Davidís palace was built, represents the church glorified askings unto God. These two parts were joined by bridges, so representing the fact that these two in the millennial kingdom will be one. The church glorified will be the Royal Priesthood, Kings and Priests unto God. The lower city will represent the lower phase of the government, the earthly phase, because the law is to go out of Zion and the word from Jerusalem. This lower phase will be composed of the Old Testament worthies and those associated with them. They will not enact the laws, but carry them into effect.
Now in Christendom we have a counterfeit of this. The temple is represented by the ecclesiastical powers, Mount Zion is represented by the kingly powers, kings and parliaments or senators who enact the laws, and the lower city represents the lower parts of the governments, from the judges down to the common policemen and soldiers-those who carry out the law passed by the kings and parliaments and presidents and congresses. These three parts are even now striving against each other, although united against the people. We saw in France last year the church and the state separated. But in the year 1914 we may expect that these three parts of the government will be at great enmity with each other, destroying one another, and so there will be less work for the people to do in 1915. In that year Ave know that the people under their leaders will rise up in their might and demolish all governments. This will be a time of anarchy and trouble such as never was since there was a nation.
In the 9th chapter of Revelation we read that "four angels were loosed which were prepared for an hour and a (lay and a month and a year, for to slay the third part of men." A prophetic year represents 360 days or years and a prophetic month 30 days or years. Accordingly a day, a month and a year equal 391 years.
It is possible that this period of years represents the period from the time of Martin Luther to this time. If so, let us see what it means. In October, 1517, Martin Luther nailed up his 95 theses. Three hundred and ninety-one years after that brings us to October, 1908. That corresponds with what we have seen, that in the year 1908, the people will protest against the government. Martin Luther represented the voice of the people in his time. He was one of the people, protesting against the government of the time, the Medo-Persian empire; I would understand_ then, that in the year 1908, possibly October of that year, the people will enter a protest against the, government very forcibly. From there to Oct., 1915, is exactly seven years, and the middle point of that time is April, 1912, three and a half years after Oct., 1908, the date when Martin Luther appeared at the Diet of Worms.
Here Ave have Martin Luther from Oct., 1517, to April, 1521, three and a half years. What happened during those three and a half years? Possibly what happened there during those three and a half years may correspond with what will happen during the three and a half years from Oct., 1908, to April, 1912. The protest was nailed up in Oct., 1517, corresponding to Oct., 1908; then followed a short period during which a growing work was going on, but no open manifestation. The next act was in Julie, 1520, when the first bull of excommunication was sent to Martin Luther. This corresponds to June, 1911, when we might understand that the ecclesiastical systems will warn the leaders of the people to desist. In Dec., 1520, Martin Luther publicly burned the bull of excommunication, the book of Canon Laws, and the Forged Decretals. This was an open act of defiance against the government. The corresponding date to this is Dec., 1911, which, as I have said, corresponds to the year when Cestius Gallus brought his army against Rome. These two events exactly correspond. Then we may expect in Dec.. 1911, the people will rise up and openly defy the governments, with the result that the governments will come down u poll the leaders of the people, just as the governments came down upon Martin Luther. First of all the church in January, 1521, excommunicated Martin Luther, so possibly the ecclesiastical systems will pass their ban upon the leaders of the people in January, 1912; then in April, 1912, corresponding to the Diet of Worms, there will be an open rupture between the two, the governments and the people, and just as the emperor put his ban upon Martin Luther at that time, so I would understand that all liberties will be restricted in April, 1912, and there possibly the night wherein no man call labor will begin. Now you will understand that I am only giving this as a suggestion and not as a positive statement; it seems probable that something like this will be the course of events. Doubtless all who advocate the present truth will be included by church and state as leaders of the people.
I trust that what I have said to-day will help to establish our faith in the power and the wisdom and the love of God. I do not want you to be troubled about remembering figures or to worry about them; the point is to see that God knew all these things beforehand and that he brought them about or permitted them to happen for our instruction.
Then, dear friends, when we realize the loving favor of our Father, our hearts go out to him in more faith and love, as it is evident that he so overruled past events that they should correspond in the wonderful way we have seen, we can look forward with confidence to 1915, and see that his plans will just as surely come to pass then.
The time is very short; there remain only eight years at the most before us. Thirty-two years of this harvest are already gone and possibly there will be only five or six years of reaping work, So it means that there remains very little time for us to make our calling and election sure, and very little time for us to gather the Lordís saints together unto him, those who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. We are not to be over anxious, however. but in quietness and confidence, relying not on ourselves, but oil the Lord, who is our strength. The time till the marriage is now very short. Whatever comes during the interval of waiting, we can lift up our hearts and rejoice, knowing that the time of our deliverance is very nigh. I would like in closing to quote the 46th Psalm (Ps 46):
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; . 3. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
5. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.
6. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he bath made in the earth.
9. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; be breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.