THE peoples of earth have passed through great adversity. Through it all they have suffered, groaned, and prayed for relief. The Devil, with his organization, has made their burdens grievous to be borne. With malicious design he has formed an alliance by uniting the heartless rich, the dishonest politicians, and the faithless clergy, and has used that unholy alliance to defame God's holy name and to oppress the people. Truly it is written that "the love of money is the root of all evil". (1 Timothy 6:10) Satan has played upon this insatiable desire of imperfect men, to further his wicked schemes. With covetous design to have the other man's land and goods the rich have fomented war between peoples and nations, upon the false pretext that such was necessary to protect their own interests.
The dishonest politicians, desirous of pleasing the rich that they, too, might have some of the ill-gotten gains, have repeatedly raised the cry of patriotism and have called upon the people to rally around the colors of war. The clergy, ambitious for more power and influence resulting from being associated with the rich and influential, have in the name of God hypocritically declared war to be a holy thing and urged the people to engage therein. Great sums of money, produced by the laborious efforts of the common people, have been wrung from them in the form of taxation to manufacture guns and poison gas, and to build war-ships and forts, aircraft and other devilish instruments of destruction.
The fomenters of war see to it that at the psychological time bands march through the streets, dispensing military music to arouse the passions of imperfect men. The political orator harangues the people in the public forum, telling them that it is their patriotic duty to uphold the honor of their country by force of arms; and this is done when there is no danger. The pious hypocrites preach from their pulpits, telling the people what glory shall be theirs if they die upon the field of battle. These wicked instruments of Satan busy themselves amongst the contending nations, both sides claiming to represent the Lord and both representing the Devil. Moved by this wicked influence the nations go to war. After great destruction of human life and property one side is pronounced the victor, but in fact both sides are losers. The supposed victor receives some empty glory. But what is the price of that glory?
The young man with his bride has just begun to carry out his life's plans. This happy couple have hopes for a beautiful and happy home, graced by lovable and obedient children. While such unsuspecting ones are laying their plans for personal happiness the agencies of Satan enact a military law compelling men to fight, and an espionage law forbidding any one to question the right of a nation to take human life. At the psychological moment these same fomenters of strife cause the cry of war to be sounded. The young husband is commanded to report for action. The young wife with her babe in arms bids a sad goodbye to her beloved husband; and he marches off to war, never to return. The young wife dies of a broken heart, and the babe is cast upon the cold charities of the world.
A fond mother has carefully taught and guided her beloved son, and watched him grow from babyhood to man's estate. He is kind, considerate, honest and true, and desires to do good to his fellow man. The selfish
and cruel law bids him or commands him to go to war, and he must respond. Torn from his mother's side, both mother and son suffer great sorrow and distress. Soon the son is wallowing in the muck of the field of death, stained with the blood of his fellow men. The prayers of his fond mother daily ascend that her beloved son may be spared and restored to her. In such prayers the son also joins. He is forced on into action, and his young life is poured out as a sacrifice to satisfy the greed of wicked men, and the boy is buried as the beast of the field.
Strong, vigorous, stalwart, sober and industrious men, the very highest type of manhood and the real supporters of the nation, are drafted and march to the war to make fuel for the cannon's fire and to satisfy the schemes of those who wait behind to reap the pecuniary benefits of slaughter. The storm of shot and shell sweeps the field of carnage. The account is taken, and upon the field of battle lie the broken forms of what once were vigorous men. Again the earth has been baptized with the blood of innocents, shed in violation of God's everlasting covenant with man. (Genesis 9: 3-12) Following quickly in the wake of war come famine, disease, pestilence, suffering and distress such as no human words can describe. Asylums and hospitals are filled with those whose minds and bodies have been wrecked, while millions of others suffer unattended. A multitude of widows and orphans becomes an added burden, to be cared for by the honest taxpayers of the land.
Throughout all this wicked scheme to produce war, and to carry it on, the clergy have played their part; and at the same time they have posed as the representatives of the Lord and as preachers of the gospel of peace. Therefore not only have the clergy been guilty of leading the people into war and suffering, but by
their hypocrisy they have served as the Devil's instruments to turn the minds of the people away from Jehovah God, who is their only true Friend and Comforter.
At various periods of time such wars have been fomented. The common people have suffered, and the few selfish ones have reaped a temporary benefit therefrom. Amidst it all the whole creation has groaned and continues to suffer. Without just cause or excuse the men have been forced to fight and die, and the women and children have been left in sorrow and distress. The earth has been drenched time and again with blood unjustly shed; and the blood of these innocents cries out against the wearers of skirts and other sanctimonious garb; and to them Jehovah says: "In thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these." — Jeremiah 2: 34.
The course of man has been a long period of darkness, sorrow and suffering. Turned away from their true Friend and Benefactor by Satan and his agencies, the peoples have been without God and without hope in the world. (Ephesians 2:12) And still the whole creation groans. Shall this condition of wickedness and suffering continue for ever? No; because a better and happier time is at hand. To those who desire a better day of peace and righteousness Jehovah says: "Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:4) But how will God come to the relief and rescue of the people? He will come, and does come, by and through his beloved Son, his Executive Officer, the Prince of Peace, who brings salvation to the people and who will establish peace on earth and good will toward men. But can we be sure of his coming?
Coming a Certainty
When Jesus arose from the dead he ascended into heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:4; Ephesians 4:8, 10) That he comes again in power and great glory is certain, because such is the promise of God as stated in his Word. (Daniel 12:1; Acts 3:20, 21; Titus 2:13) Jesus died to provide the ransom price. He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, in order to present that ransom price as a sin offering for man. He must come again in God's due time, to carry out the divine program. These things Jesus had learned from his Father.
Jesus could not tell the details to his disciples when he was with them, because it was not God's due time and because they could not then understand and appreciate the same. Just before his crucifixion, however, he did say to them: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." — John 14: 2, 3.
After his resurrection, and before he ascended to his Father, Jesus said: "I am not yet ascended to my Father." (John 20:17) Forty days thereafter he did ascend into heaven. Appearing in a body suitable for the occasion he assembled his disciples on the Mount of Olives. He gave them instructions. "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven, as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come
in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." — Acts 1:9-11.
After his disciples were begotten and anointed by the spirit of God and made witnesses for the Lord, they frequently testified concerning the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said that in due time the Lord Jesus would descend from heaven. (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:16; 5:23) When instructing Timothy, Paul said to him: "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Timothy 6:14) That the coming of the Lord was some time future to the Apostle Paul's death is clearly shown by his testimony to this effect: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.... Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." — 2 Timothy 4: 6, 8.
That the followers of Jesus might be encouraged, James, as a witness of the Lord, wrote: "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." (James 5:7, 8) The Apostle Peter testified to his coming. (2 Peter 1:16) The Christian must now see and appreciate that nearly all the parables of Jesus related to his second coming.
It is evident that Jesus desired to impress his followers with the great importance of the event of his coming again. The only means of carrying out the divine program and fulfilling the promises of God is by and through the second coming of the Messiah. The word Messiah means the Anointed One of God. For
more than 4000 years Jews have hoped and prayed for the coming of the Messiah. Time and again the prophets foretold of his coming. The promise made at the death of Jacob, that Shiloh should come and that unto him should the gathering of the people be, must be fulfilled. (Genesis 49:10) Since this was not fulfilled at the first coming of the Lord, it is manifest that he must come again in power and great glory.
How He Comes
Jesus died as a man and arose from the dead as a divine being, possessing immortality, and is alive for evermore. (1 Peter 3:18; John 5: 26; Revelation 1: 18) "Now the Lord is that Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:17) As a man he must remain dead, because it is the man Jesus whose life is given for the world. (John 6: 50, 51) Human eyes cannot see a spirit. (1 Timothy 6:15, 16) Concerning this Jesus said: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the spirit." (John 3: 6-8) No man can see the wind, yet he observes that it is powerful and that it is present with him.
A spirit being may be present with a human being and unobserved. Before Jesus' death he said to his disciples: "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19) This is proof conclusive that only those who are changed from human to spirit beings in the resurrection will ever see the Lord Jesus in his glorious body. This does not mean, however, that the world will not discern his presence and observe the operation of his just and righteous power.
No man has ever seen the Devil, but every man has had some experience with the Devil and felt the influence of his unrighteous power. No man has seen God; yet God is the great Giver of every thing that is good, and exercises his power in behalf of his creatures. In God's due time every eye will discern the presence of Christ Jesus, but only those who partake of the spirit resurrection will see him "as he is". (1 John 3:2) All members of the new creation will be with the Lord ultimately; therefore they will see him "as he is", because they will have the same nature that he has. (2 Peter 1:4) To his disciples who form a part of the new creation he said: "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." — John 14:3.
It is manifest from these scriptures, and in the light of reason, that the second coming of the Lord does not mean that he appears as a man and walks about amidst the people as he did when he was on earth as a man. His second coming or presence has to do with the affairs of men, which he takes charge of and will control for the good of mankind. As Satan the Devil has been the invisible overlord of the world for many centuries (2 Corinthians 4:3,4), even so Christ shall be the invisible Overlord of the world after ousting Satan; and although invisible to human eyes he shall control the affairs of the new world, which will be the organization of mankind into a righteous government.
When Jesus ascended on high, and his disciples stood gazing upward as he disappeared, the angel of the Lord standing by said to them: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) The emphasis here must be put upon the words "in like manner". It was only a small number of people who saw the Lord ascend. It is only a small number
who will discern his presence for some time after his return. He went away quietly and unobserved but by a few, and the testimony of these witnesses was preserved to prove that he did ascend on high. His return is also quietly, and unobserved by human eyes. — 1 Corinthians 15: 6.
The Book of Revelation is a testimony of Jesus Christ, showing his servant what should come to pass, and is written in sign or symbolic language. It is therein stated that he sign-i-fied it to John. (Revelation 1:1) In this testimony Jesus said: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Revelation 16:15) It is manifest here that the word "thief" is used symbolically to represent the manner of the Lord's coming. A thief appears, not with the sound of trumpets, but quietly, when others are asleep.
This text indicates that the beginning of the Lord's second presence will be while the whole world is asleep, figuratively speaking: that is to say, ignorant of what is transpiring. Those who are awake would know of the thief's approach, and even so those who are spiritually awake, watching for the coming of the Lord, would begin to discern his presence. For this reason Jesus said: "Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." — Matthew 24:42, 43.
The apostles had this same understanding. Paul, who often wrote and spoke of the Lord's coming as "the day of the Lord", said: "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 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." (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6) The Apostle Peter, referring to the same thing in almost the identical language, says: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up." — 2 Peter 3:10.
The Lord Jesus in discussing the matter of his second coming, according to the King James Version of our Bible, said: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:27) It must be manifest to the thoughtful person that the "lightning" here mentioned does not refer to the explosion or burning of electricity in the air during a thunderstorm; for that does not come out of the east and shine unto the west. It comes from every direction, and the shining is only instantaneous.
The word "lightning" here is translated from the Greek word which means "bright shining", or "that which shines". There is but one body which fills this description, and that is the sun, which rises in the east and shines unto the west. It comes stealthily in the morning, and there is twilight for a time. None will observe it except those who are awake; but those who are awake and watching can see the darkness gradually being dispelled and the light appearing. This well illustrates the second appearing of our Lord and the manner in which he comes. The time of the coming of Christ has provoked much discussion. Many have
thought that there could be no way of seeing him except he appear in a body visible to human eyes. Because Christ is "that Spirit" human eyes can never see him, but the human sense can discern his presence at God's appointed time.
When Jesus ascended into heaven God exalted him unto the highest position of authority. (Revelation 3:21) It was then that God said to his beloved Son: "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1) That command did not mean that Jesus Christ must do nothing at all, but it must be understood as meaning that he was to remain inactive insofar as taking charge of the world was concerned until God's due time should arrive. Before that time members of his body must be selected and taught, and this he has been doing throughout the Christian era.
With Jesus Christ distance or space is of no moment; therefore he could and did occupy his high position in heaven, and at the same time he was with his followers throughout the entire age. (Matthew 28: 20) The time must come when he would be sent forth to oust the enemy and to rule. (Psalm 110: 2) Prior to that specific time Christ Jesus must prepare his church, and also the environments for his great act of ousting the enemy and establishing his own government. It must be during that specific period that he gathers together those who make a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice. (Psalm 50: 5) That period of time is described in the Scriptures as "the day of his preparation", during which time Christ, as the Messenger of God, prepares the way. — Malachi 3:1.
During that period of time Christ Jesus must be present. That presence does not mean that he must
leave heaven to be on the earth; but what it manifestly means is that his special attention is given to the gathering together of his true followers and separating them from the nominal followers, and making ready conditions to take charge of the world's affairs. The Scriptural proof is that the period of his presence and the day of God's preparation is a period from A. D. 1874 forward. The second coming of the Lord therefore began in 1874; and that date and the years 1914 to 1918 are specially marked dates with reference to his coming.
The "world" includes both visible and invisible governments; hence it means heaven and earth. For centuries Satan has been the invisible ruler of governmental organizations on earth; and, being invisible to man, he has also ruled man's heaven. The time must come when Satan's world must end, and when he is ousted from heaven; and the Scriptural proof is that the beginning of such ousting took place in 1914.
The temple of the Lord means his approved followers, those constituting the body of Christ. The time must arrive when Christ Jesus comes to his temple to take an account with his followers. The Scriptural proof supports the conclusion that the coming to his temple was in the year 1918. Later there must follow the complete overthrow of Satan's organization, both visible and invisible, and the establishment of an invisible and visible government of righteousness.
Jehovah caused his prophets to write concerning the coming of Christ, and their writings were couched in "dark sayings" or prophetic phrase. Prophecy cannot be understood until it has been fulfilled or is in the course of fulfilment. From 1874 to 1914 the prophecy concerning the Lord's coming was being fulfilled and could be understood, and was understood, by those who were faithful to the Lord and who were watching the development of events; but not by others. With the com-
ing of 1914 the outward events or physical facts made known in fulfilment of prophecy were so clear and plain that all who study the Word of God with a desire to understand could understand, whether they were consecrated to the Lord or not.
The great time of trouble, known as Armageddon, will so dearly reveal the plan of God concerning the establishment of a new government that all men can then see it. To this end it is written: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." (Revelation 1:7) Clouds symbolically represent trouble, and it will be in the great and final overthrow that all the peoples of earth will understand or discern the presence of Christ.
For the purpose of enabling the student to more fully and easily understand the proof of the Lord's second coming, the time of his coming is here divided into separate periods, to wit: (1) The day of preparation, (2) the end of the world, (3) coming to his temple, and (4) Armageddon. These periods of time collectively are embraced within what is designated in the Scriptures as "the time of the end", which is here first considered.
Time of the End
Jesus said to his disciples concerning his second coming: "Of that day knoweth no man." That was true, because he said so. It is equally true that the faithful followers of the Lord would in due time understand the times and seasons concerning his second coming. This does not mean the exact day nor the exact hour; but the events transpiring during specific times and seasons would enable them to see, as it is written: "But of the times and the 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. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night." — 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7.
It is equally certain that the clergy would not understand these times and seasons, because they form a part of Satan's organization, to wit: the ecclesiastical part. They love the plaudits and approval of men and give themselves titles, such as D. D. God foreknew and foretold through his prophet that they would thus do, and that they would be so concerned with these worldly things that they could not understand. (Isaiah 56:10, 11) All along they have claimed that no one could understand about the presence of the Lord, because they claim that the Book is sealed. God foretold this very condition concerning them. — Isaiah 29:10-14.
To understand the events concerning the Lord's second presence from 1874 to 1914 requires one to be spiritually minded; and the clergy are not spiritually minded. — 1 Corinthians 2:10-14.
The phrase "time of the end" of course does not mean "end of time", because time never ends. What then does it mean? For many long centuries Satan has been the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4) He has been the invisible ruler of man. That time must come to an end, to be followed by the righteous reign of Christ. The last years of the time of Satan's rule therefore are called "the time of the end". It is that period of time in which God is shaping the affairs for the overthrow of unrighteousness and the establishment
of righteousness by and through his beloved Son. The governments of earth, aside from God's organization of Israel, have always composed Satan's visible organization. It matters not that the people did not so understand.
Jehovah caused the Prophet Daniel to write the salient features of events that would come to pass during the rule of the world powers that would exist from the time of the empire of Persia until "the time of the end". That which Daniel wrote was prophecy; that is to say, guided by the divine power, he recorded long in advance the happenings of certain events, which of themselves show that this prophecy could not be understood until the events had transpired. Daniel wrote concerning these events, but did not understand them. They are set forth in his prophetic utterances recorded in the book of Daniel, chapters seven to twelve, inclusive.
Daniel himself said: "I heard, but I understood not; then said I, 0 my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:8-10) The "wicked" are those who claim to represent the Lord, but who are a part of the Devil's organization. They cannot understand. The wise are those who humbly exercise faith in the promises of God and apply their knowledge in harmony with his will. The Lord had caused Daniel to record specifically what would happen when the time of the end should begin. The "time of the end" means a specific period at the end of Gentile dominion.
"And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north
shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown." (Daniel 11:40, 41) The fulfilment of this prophecy fixes the beginning of the "time of the end"; for the prophecy definitely so states. The campaign of the great warrior Napoleon Bonaparte is clearly a fulfilment of this prophecy, as reference to the historical facts concerning his campaign plainly shows. The "king of the south" mentioned in the prophecy refers to Egypt; the "king of the north" means Great Britain, which was then an integral part of the Roman empire.
Napoleon was in Egypt, fighting the Egyptian armies, which were led by Murat Bey, and which he defeated. His victory struck terror not only to the Egyptians, but far into Africa and Asia; and all the surrounding tribes submitted to the conqueror. While he was doing this, the British in the north, under the leadership of Lord Nelson, were making an effective attack upon Napoleon's forces at sea. Napoleon began this Egyptian campaign in 1798, finished it, and then returned to France on October 1, 1799. The campaign is briefly, yet graphically, described in the prophecy, verses 40-44; and its being completed in 1799 marks, according to the prophet's own words, the beginning of "the time of the end".
From the time of the overthrow of Zedekiah (606 B. C.) and the establishment of the Gentile universal empire under Nebuchadnezzar, the organizations of the world powers or governments have been designated in the Scriptures under the symbol of "beasts". The Prophet Daniel (7:7, 8) describes a "fourth beast, dreadful and terrible". This terrible beast was a form of government composed of three elements or component
parts; namely, professional politicians, great financiers, and ecclesiastical leaders. This Satanic organization became dreadful and terrible from the time that these three forces were united. Of this unholy "trinity" we see the Papacy, the ecclesiastical element, in the saddle, riding and directing everything. The date of its beginning was at the overthrow of the Ostrogothic monarchy, which occurred in A. D. 539.
The Prophet Daniel was given a vision of the events following. Yet he did not understand them; and he says: "I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times and an half." — Daniel 12: 5-7.
In Biblical symbology a "time" means a year of twelve months of thirty days each, or 360 days. Each day is considered for a year, as the prophet says: "I have appointed thee each day for a year." (Ezekiel 4:6) Here are mentioned, then, three and a half times of 360 prophetic days each, or a total of 1260 prophetic days, which would mark the beginning of the time of the end of this beastly order. Twelve hundred and sixty years from A. D. 539 brings us to 1799, which is another proof that 1799 definitely marks the beginning of "the time of the end". This also shows that it is from the date 539 A. D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted.
The understanding of the prophecies with reference to "the time of the end" and the Lord's presence was purposely concealed by Jehovah until the due time.
Daniel desired to know what would be the end of these things, but God said to him: "But thou, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." (Daniel 12:4) It is reasonable to expect that Jehovah would indicate something by which "the time of the end" could be discerned when it arrived. He did not say to Daniel to look for some words emblazoned across the sky telling that the end had come, but told him to look for such evidences as could be seen and understood by men who were familiar with the prophecies, and who in the light of the prophecies should be watching for their fulfilment. God did not expect Daniel to see and understand these prophecies in his day, for he said: "Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." — Daniel 12:9.
When that time should arrive, what was to be expected? Jehovah answers: "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4) From shortly after 1799, the date of the beginning of "the time of the end", we should expect to find an increase of knowledge, particularly with reference to the Bible. Prior to that time the people had been kept in ignorance of the Bible. It was the practice of the Papacy to forbid any one aside from the clergy class to have access to the Bible; in fact, to have in possession a copy of the Bible was made a crime under the Roman law, subjecting the offender to heavy penalties.
In 1799 the beastly power of Rome, predominated by the Papal system, received a deadly wound. The people had been taught to believe in the divine right of kings to rule and the divine right of the clergy to dominate the conscience of the people. When Napoleon took the pope a prisoner and carried him away to France, and when later he refused to permit the pope to crown
him as king but put the crown on himself and treated the Papal claimed authority with contempt, this began to open the eyes of the peoples of earth, kings as well as vassals, to the fact that Papacy did not possess the divine right which it claimed.
A short time thereafter the first Bible societies that ever existed were organized. The British and Foreign Bible Society was established in 1803; the New York Bible Society in 1804; the Berlin-Prussian Bible Society in 1805; the Philadelphia Bible Society in 1808; and the American Bible Society in 1817. The Bible was translated and published in many different languages, and sold at such low prices that the poor could have access to it; and within a short time millions of Bibles were in the hands of the people. The Papal system denounced these Bible societies as "pestiferous Bible societies". The time had come, however, for an increase of knowledge; and the Lord was fulfilling his promise by putting the Bible within the reach of those who were hungry for truth. The people began to learn that God is no respecter of persons; that kings and popes, priests and the common people, alike must all render their account to the Lord and not to man.
From that time forward there has been a great corresponding increase of knowledge in all lines of learning. The common school, always opposed by the Papacy, has afforded a means of general education and increase of knowledge for people in all walks of life. Colleges and universities have sprung up throughout the earth. With the increase of knowledge on various lines have come the numerous inventions that man now has, time-saving and labor-saving machines, etc.
Before 1799 the means of transportation were such that a man could travel only a short distance in a day. He must go either in a vehicle drawn by horses or
oxen, or afoot; and when he would cross the sea he must go in a sailboat that made slow progress. In 1803 the steamboat was invented, and in 1831 the first locomotive steam-engine was built. Such wonderful progress has been made in this regard that now one can travel through almost any part of the earth at a rapid rate, upon land or sea. Later came the electric engines and electric motor cars and gas engines; and now there is a tremendous amount of travel in every part of the earth. It is no uncommon thing for one to travel at the rate of seventy-five to one hundred miles an hour; and particularly is this true by means of the flying machine, which is a modern invention.
The Lord's illustration of the sun's rising in the east and shining across to the west, which would occur at the time of his presence, true to prophecy has taken place. The common people have always been downtrodden, and kept in subjection to the financial, ecclesiastical and political princes. It was in the year 1874, the date of our Lord's second presence, that the first labor organization in the world was created. From that time forward there has been a marvelous increase of light; and the inventions and discoveries have been too numerous to mention here. But mention is made of some of those things that have come to light since 1874, as a further evidence of the Lord's presence since that date, as follows: Adding machines, aeroplanes, aluminum, antiseptic surgery, artificial dyes, automatic couplers, automobiles, barbed wire, bicycles, carborundum, cash registers, celluloid, cream separators, disc ploughs, electric railways, electric welding, elevators, escalators, fireless cookers, gas engines, harvesting machines, illuminating gas, induction motors, linotypes, monotypes, motion pictures, pasteurization, radium, railway signals, Roentgen rays, skyscrapers, smokeless powder, submarines, subways, talking machines, telephones,
typewriters, vacuum cleaners, and wireless telephony, wireless telegraphy and television.
The most important thing to which all the prophecies point, and for which the apostles looked forward, has been the second coming of the Lord. It is described by the prophet as a blessed time. Daniel then says: "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty  days." (Daniel 12: 12) The watchers here are, without question, those who were instructed by the Lord to watch for his return. This date, therefore, when understood, would certainly fix the time when the Lord is due at his second appearing. Applying the same rule then, of a day for a year, 1335 days after 539 A. D. brings us to 1874 A. D., at which time, according to Biblical chronology, the Lord's second presence was due. If this calculation is correct, from that time forward we ought to be able to find evidence marking the Lord's second presence.
There are two important dates here that we must not confuse, but clearly differentiate; namely, the beginning of "the time of the end" and the beginning of the presence of the Lord. "The time of the end" embraces a period from 1799 A. D to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of Messiah. The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874 and is during the latter part of the period known as "the time of the end".
"Day of Preparation"
Jehovah chooses what men call commonplace things to teach the wise. Concerning the day of his preparation it is written: "The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his prepara-
tion, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken." (Nahum 2:3) Here is a description of the system of rapid transit which has come to pass particularly within the last fifty years, and specifically marks the 'day of God's preparation'. In this period of time, God declared, Christ shall prepare the way before him for his kingdom. (Malachi 3:1) That God intended these great truths to be understood by his people during that period of time is plainly testified to by his inspired witnesses, and that time has come for these things to be understood. — 1 Corinthians 10:11.
A harvest is a time of gathering that which has been growing or developing. The Lord used the natural harvest to illustrate a harvest work which he would do in the end of the age. During that period of harvest, according to the Master's words, he would he present directing the same. — Matthew 13: 24-30, 37-40.
During the period of time since 1874 there has been a great gathering together of Christian people from different quarters of the earth, without regard to creed or denomination. These have come from both Catholic and Protestant churches, and from outside of all churches. They have not sought members, but they have drifted together for the study of God's Word, and they love the Lord and love his cause above everything else. This seems to be a fulfilment of the prophetic words written concerning the harvest, namely, "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (Psalm 50: 5) During this period of time these Christians have gone throughout the earth proclaiming the message that the kingdom of heaven is at hand; and now they are particularly announcing to the people the presence of the Lord, and
that his kingdom is at hand, and that millions now living will never die.
The Master gave a parable illustrating how those who are Christians merely in name and those who are true Christians would develop side by side throughout the Christian era. He said: "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matthew 13:30) During the past fifty years in particular there has been a tendency on the part of denominational systems to get together and bind themselves in federations and other compacts. This tendency has at last reached a climax, until the "Federation of Churches" is now a common expression, meaning the uniting into one body of the various denominational systems which teach anything and everything except the Word of the Lord.
In these various denominational systems are professional politicians and conscienceless profiteers, who are designated in the Scriptures as "the principal of the flock", and who indeed are the principal ones in the congregation, because their influence directs the clergyman or pastor in the course which he takes. They do not profess full consecration to the Lord; but they look upon the denominational church, as it is, as an organization for social enjoyment and political purposes.
While this "binding" work has been going on amongst the "tares", the Lord has been gathering together the truly consecrated Christians without regard to creed or denomination; and he has designated them as "wheat". This great work of gathering together Christian people can be designated in no other way than as a harvest, and fully means that which was foretold by the Lord Jesus. It has never been the purpose of these Christians to assemble themselves as Bible Students in order to
induce anyone to join them; in fact, they have no membership roll. Their purpose is to enlighten men and women concerning the Divine Plan, and by this means to enable them to see that God has something better for mankind than the creeds of Christendom have taught. This circumstantial evidence fulfilling prophecy is what constitutes the physical facts, and is proof corroborative of the Lord's presence since 1874; for this gathering work has been in progress particularly since that date.
These saintly Christians, coming together from all denominations, have rejoiced in making proclamation to the people that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Many of the people have gladly heard, while others have been in doubt. The clergy have been the responsible ones for causing doubt in the minds of men. It would have been expected ordinarily that clergymen, who claim to be Christians, would rejoice in any evidence of the Lord's return and the setting up of his kingdom. Instead of rejoicing they have scoffed at those who have taught the second presence of the Lord, and have resorted to all manner of slander and persecution of the meek and humble people who have been telling the message of the kingdom. With self-assumed wisdom they look with scorn upon anyone who talks about the Lord's second presence.
Of course our Lord knew that this would be so; and he caused the apostle to write prophetically the following words: "There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts [desires], and saying, Where is the promise of his coming [presence]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continues they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Peter 3: 3, 4) This of itself is proof of the Lord's presence.
The apostle, after having uttered the words above, then adds: "For this they [the scoffers] willingly are ignorant of", that is, of the Lord's presence and the end of the world. This is corroborated, furthermore, by the words of the Master, who said: "But as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming [presence] of the Son of man be." — Matthew 24: 37-39.
We are witnessing a fulfilment of these prophetic statements daily. The clergy and the principal of their flock are oblivious to the cumulative evidence concerning the Lord's second presence; and, as it was in Noah's day, they go recklessly on, giving no heed to the fact that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and that the great King has begun his reign.
End of the World
When God placed man in Eden he made Lucifer man's overlord. When Lucifer became a traitor, and therefore Satan, God did not take away from him that position of man's overlord. Lucifer has therefore always been the invisible overlord of mankind, including all the nations except, however, the nation of Israel so long as that nation endeavored to keep its covenant with Jehovah. When Israel was cast off because of disobedience to the Law Covenant Satan became the god of the whole world. (2 Corinthians 4:4) "World" means an organization, visible and invisible, which has control over the affairs of man. It is an organization of men into forms of government under the supervision of the invisible overlord; and therefore it includes both heaven, the invisible, and earth, the visible part of that organization.
After God had cast off Israel he permitted the Gentile nations to have uninterrupted sway thereafter, for a specific period of time. In overturning the right and
privilege of Israel as a nation God said: "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." (Ezekiel 21: 25-27) This is proof that a definite time was set apart for the Gentile dominion; and that such time would end with the coming of Christ, "whose right it is" to rule and upon whose shoulder must rest the righteous government. This divine decree overthrowing Israel is in fulfilment of the "seven times" of punishment about which God had forewarned them. — Leviticus 26:18.
A "time", as used in the Scriptures, is a year of 360 days. Seven times therefore would mean a period of 2520 days. "Time" in the Scriptures is used both literally and symbolically. The facts show that it was here meant to be understood symbolically, because the Gentiles ruled long after the end of 2520 literal days. The divine rule announced in the Scriptures in determining a symbolical time is "each day for a year". (Numbers 14: 34) Therefore the "times of the Gentiles" certainly are the period of 2520 years from the overthrow of Zedekiah, Israel's last king. Zedekiah was overthrown in 606 B. C. Hence the period of the Gentile times must end in 1914 A. D. That marks the due time for the coming of him "whose right it is" to take over the affairs of the world. That of course would mean the presence of the Lord, taking action in things pertaining to the world.
Jesus had stated that his "kingdom is not of this world", of which Satan has long been the god. (John 18:36) He taught his disciples that the end would
come to the world, at which time he would be present. The disciples were familiar with the prophecies foretelling the coming of Christ. With these things in mind they sought further information from Jesus. "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24: 3) The word "sign" used in this text has the meaning of indication, or the pointing out of proof. Otherwise stated, the disciples' question was: 'What may we expect to see, indicating your presence and the end of the world?'
Note the two things mentioned in this question: (1) "The sign of thy coming"; and (2) "the end of the world". This would indicate that at the end of the world there would be some specific manifestation of the presence of Christ, because that would mark the time of his right to take possession of the world. The facts hereinbefore considered show that the Lord was present from 1874 forward, in this, that he was doing a special work concerning his church, to wit: gathering together the saints (Psalm 50:5), and restoring to them the great fundamental truths that had been covered and hid by the ecclesiastical part of the Devil's organization. — Matthew 17:11; Luke 11:52.
The facts show that 1914 marked the legal end of the Gentile times and therefore the end of the world, at which time something different from preparatory work is to be expected. It was concerning the latter point that the disciples made inquiry; and the answer of Jesus was given in prophetic phrase; and that proof could not be so clearly understood until 1914 and thereafter. He told his disciples that there would be many wars before the end came, but they should not be disturbed about that. Then he added: "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earth-
quakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." — Matthew 24: 7, 8.
In all the history of man the World War, which began August 1st, 1914, was the only war of "nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom". Every branch of the nations involved was required and compelled to have a part in that war. Women and men, money and preachers, all had their part. Even the babies must have their food supply curtailed in order that the soldiers at the front might have plenty and the profiteers get their graft. Quickly following on the heels of the World War came the great famine and the pestilence in many parts of Europe and Asia, which destroyed millions more than died in the World War. These combined calamities Jesus declared would mark "the beginning of sorrows".
These physical facts began exactly on time, in 1914, proving both the presence of the Lord and the end of the world. These facts have been seen by all the people, and are understood by those who have considered the Scriptures in connection therewith. Prior to 1914 Jesus Christ must take no action against the Devil's organization, because God had commanded him to wait. (Psalm 110:1) From 1874, the beginning of his presence, until 1914 he was doing a preparatory work concerning his church; and when 1914 arrived, then began the fulfilment of God's command, as it is written: "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." — Psalm 110: 2.
Jesus then said to his disciples: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." (Matthew 24:9) The word "you" here undoubtedly refers to a class, which class means the truly consecrated and faithful ones of the Lord. The apostles of Jesus of course were not on earth during
the fulfilment of this prophecy, during the World War. Members of the same class were, however, to wit: faithful Christians who, believing and obeying God's commands, were hated by all the nations involved in the war and were persecuted and imprisoned, and many of them killed.
The Master showed that about this same time professed Christians would betray and hate one another, and that many would be turned away from following after the Lord because of false teachers and because of hatred, but that some would faithfully endure until the end. These conditions have obtained, particularly since 1917 and thereafter. This is but corroborative proof of the Lord's presence at the end of the world.
Jehovah having promised Abraham and his "seed" the land of Palestine when the Gentile times should end and when "he whose right it is" should come, we should now expect some manifestation of God's favor toward Israel in returning that people to the possession of the land of Palestine. Jesus referred to this same matter in connection with his presence at the end of the world, when he said: "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21: 24) The Lord's presence began in 1874, as heretofore stated. It was in 1878 that there was the first manifestation of God's favor returning to Israel. This was marked by reason of the efforts made on behalf of the Jews by Disraeli, then the prime minister of the British Empire. A few years thereafter a movement designated "Zionism" began to restore the people of Israel to their land.
During the World War, to wit, November 2nd, 1917, which was the beginning of the Jewish year 1918, the British Empire expressed its willingness for the Jews to establish in Palestine a government of their own.
Other leading nations have acquiesced. In the spring of the year 1918, the Jews began to rebuild Palestine; and now it is a commonly known fact that thousands of Jews have returned to Palestine and they are buying the land and building houses and otherwise improving the country exactly as the Lord foretold. This is another physical fact or circumstantial proof of the Lord's presence at the end of the world.
Another evidence mentioned by Jesus was the fact that following the War, and during his presence at the end of the world, there should be "upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; . . . men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth". (Luke 21: 25, 26) He had stated that the World War was the "beginning of sorrows", and now he shows that the distress must continue. It needs no proof that all the nations are today in perplexity, and that men are distrustful one of another and fearful of what they see approaching. This is another strong corroborative proof of the Lord's presence and of the end of the world, beginning in 1914.
Coming to His Temple
The new creation is likened unto a building or temple, and is called "the temple of God". (Ephesians 2: 18-22; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:5) It is the house of God, of which Christ Jesus is the Head. (Hebrews 3:6; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17) It is this temple class to whom the Lord committed his goods, to wit, the interests of his kingdom during the Christian era. Jesus taught often by parables; and by at least two parables he described himself as a man taking a long journey, and then after a long period of time returning to take account with his servants. (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-26) These are known as the parables of the
talents and the pounds. The events transpiring in fulfilment of these prophetic parables show the Lord coming to his temple.
The events transpiring during the three and one-half years of the ministry of Christ Jesus, from 30 to 33½ A. D., find a parallel in events at the close of the Christian era and during his second presence. Jesus was anointed as King at the Jordan. Three and one-half years thereafter he appeared in the literal temple of Jerusalem and cleared out the impostors and approved the faithful. (Matthew 21:1-13) As hereinbefore stated, Christ took his power to reign in 1914; at which time, he had said, the nations would be angry. (Revelation 11: 17, 18) Three and one-half years thereafter, to wit, in 1918, he was due to come and did come to his temple. Circumstantial evidence, which constitutes the physical facts, proves the correctness of this conclusion.
Jehovah sent his beloved Son as his great Deputy or Ambassador, called his "Messenger", to do his preparatory work. That work must be done, and it was done, from 1874 to 1914 in particular; and then followed a period of expectancy in which the members of the body of Christ on earth were anxiously waiting for him to set up his kingdom; and while they were so waiting, he suddenly came to his temple. This order of procedure was foretold by God through his prophet. "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." — Malachi 3:1.
Exactly as the prophet foretold, the events did transpire. From 1914 to 1918 the true followers of Jesus on earth were saying that the time for the King's reign is here, and were eagerly waiting for the fulfilment of their hearts' desires. And then in 1918 suddenly fell
upon them a time of great testing. God through his prophet had foretold that the coming of the Lord to his temple would be a time of trial and testing upon the members of the new creation. "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." — Malachi 3: 2, 3.
It is manifest that the word "silver" in this text is used as a symbol of truth. (Psalm 12:6) This prophecy would indicate that the true followers of Christ would have a clearer vision of the truth after the Lord's coming to his temple in 1918. This is also corroborated by Revelation 11:19. The facts show that following that time they did have a clearer understanding of God's plan. The "sons of Levi" mentioned in the above prophecy foreshadowed and represent the new creation, and the 'purifying' of these shows that the coming of the Lord to his temple would be a time of trial for his true followers. This parallels and was foreshadowed by the purifying of the literal temple in Jerusalem in 33 A. D. The purpose of purifying the temple class is that the Lord might have a faithful and true class of witnesses to testify to his name and his work, before the final demonstration of his power in the great time of trouble.
Another prophet of God corroborates the above and shows the purpose of the Lord's coming to his temple. "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men." (Psalm 11:4) If the known physical facts fit the prophecy such must be a fulfilment thereof; and if such have occurred since 1918, that would be further proof that the Lord came to his temple at that time.
The judgment must begin at the house of God. (1 Peter 4:17) It may continue upon the true house of God, and at the same time be directed against the nominal house of the Lord. "Hear, all ye people; hearken, 0 earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple." (Micah 1:2) "But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." (Habakkuk 2: 20) A fulfilment of the prophecies last above quoted is now in progress. The clergy have organized many bodies of people on earth which they call "the church", but which is the church in name only. These take the name of the Lord, but do not serve him. The test or judgment must come to them also. God foreshadowed this through the prophets, and the facts show the fulfilment of these prophecies.
The Prophet Isaiah had a vision of the Lord in his temple, seated upon his throne. "I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." (Isaiah 6:1-11) Undoubtedly the throne here referred to means Christ in his position of judgment when he comes to his temple, and does not mean his Millennial throne upon which he sits to judge the tribes of the earth. Quoting from this prophecy of Isaiah Jesus applied it to the ecclesiastics of natural Israel. (John 12:40) This prophecy must also apply to professed Christians of the denominations, particularly to the clergy who are the counterpart of Jewish clergy.
Even the circumstances stated by this prophecy, the death of King Uzziah, fix the time of the Lord's being in his temple. Isaiah says that his vision was in the year that King Uzziah died. Uzziah clearly pictured the nominal church systems, which have for a long time claimed to represent the Lord. Uzziah was a king of Israel for more than fifty years. For a long
while he did right in the sight of God. He prospered and became very rich. He fought many successful battles. He was a great builder. He became a mighty ruler. Self-conceit and presumptuousness led to his fall. He died a leper, symbolic of sin.
Ecclesiasticism, or spiritual Israel, was organized for a righteous purpose. (Jeremiah 2: 21) For some time the people of that system spoke the message of God. She builded many churches, schools and hospitals. She did much toward the moral uplift of mankind. Self-conceit and presumptuousness have led to the fall of ecclesiasticism. The Apostle Paul warned against this very thing. — Romans 11: 25.
Uzziah, as king, had no authority to act as a priest. He became so impressed with his own importance that he considered himself above the rules of the temple, and in violation thereof he went in to offer incense. The duly constituted priest tried to prevent him from so doing. Uzziah became angry and insisted that he would offer the incense, and was immediately stricken with leprosy. — 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
For a number of years prior to 1918 the message of present truth was proclaimed throughout Christendom. The ecclesiastics, however, boasted of their riches and power. When the World War came in 1914, nominal Christendom supported the war; and her leaders preached the young men into the trenches and even told them that if they died upon the battlefield they would be a part of the vicarious atonement of Christ. Although the evidence was repeatedly presented to them that this World War, and attending circumstances, proved the end of the age and the presence of the King, they refused to heed it. Although a number of leading ministers among them issued a manifesto that these events proved the presence of the King and the nearness of the kingdom, this manifesto was not heeded;
and the ones who issued it afterwards repudiated it. Nominal Christendom failed to learn her lesson. Drunken with the commercial and political powers of the earth, she became greatly exalted, self-conceited and presumptuous.
When the political and commercial powers brought forth the League of Nations, which is clearly a product of the Devil's arrangement, ecclesiasticism, instead of repudiating it, became its advocate and hailed it as "the political expression of God's kingdom on earth". Here they became presumptuous, and assumed to say to Jehovah: 'Now by reason of this League of Nations we will set up your kingdom on the earth for you.' By their repudiating the Lord, the Lord for ever rejected them. That took place in January, 1919, and parallels the time when Jesus as God's representative cast off Israel at the first advent.
The parable of the talents shows that the Lord when he comes to his temple takes account with his servants and finds some faithful, and to these he says: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:21) Following the World War, and the famine, pestilence, earthquakes and persecution of Christians, the next thing in order mentioned by Jesus as proof of his presence and of the end of the world was that a work must be done by his faithful followers, under his supervision. This undoubtedly is the class mentioned in the parable of the talents, who are invited to take over all his "goods" and to enter into his joy.
To such who love the coming of the Lord the proof of his coming constitutes good news and would cause them to rejoice. The good news of his presence and the end of the world must now be told to the nations as a witness. This does not mean an attempt to convert
the world, but merely that his faithful followers must be his witnesses. To such he says: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14) In fulfilment of this prophetic utterance by Jesus Christ the following facts are cited:
There is a small company of Christian people scattered throughout the earth who love and who serve Jehovah God and his beloved King, Christ Jesus. There is no virtue in a name, but as a means of identification this company of Christians is called International Bible Students. They come from all nations and all denominations. They have separated themselves from all worldly alliances. They have but one purpose, and that is to obey and to glorify God. After the World War ceased and the persecution of these Christians abated, they again took up a vigorous campaign of giving testimony to the name of the Lord.
To this end millions of books containing testimony of the divine plan have been published, and put into the hands of the people. Great numbers of public lectures have been delivered and the people informed that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. At his proper time God has brought into use the radio, and this has been employed to broadcast the good news of the kingdom throughout the land. By the wide distribution of free papers notice has been served on the kings and rulers of the earth that God has placed his King upon his throne, as he had foretold. (Psalm 2:6) In the year 1926 at London a resolution was adopted, and shortly thereafter it was translated into many languages, and upwards of fifty million copies were distributed freely amongst the people and to the rulers of the earth. Said resolution adopted by the International Bible Students follows:
To the Rulers of the World:
"The International Bible Students Association in general convention assembled declare their unqualified allegiance and devotion to the Almighty God, and believing it to be their privilege and duty so to do, in obedience to the commandments of God, send this testimony to the governing powers of the world, to wit:
"FIRST. That it is of paramount importance that all recognize that Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and earth, is the true and Almighty God, besides whom there is none other; that his plan for man is set forth in the Bible, which is his Word of Truth, and that Christ Jesus is the Executor of Jehovah's plan; that it is now apparent to all that the nations of the world are in dire distress and perplexity, and great trouble more terrible than any heretofore experienced is now threatened; that the efforts of the rulers to establish a desirable government or world power have failed; and, now be it known unto you, that the outworking of God's plan concerning man, and that alone, can and will stabilize the world, and bring lasting peace, prosperity and happiness to the peoples, and that the time has come for those who are exercising governing power over the peoples to recognize these great truths.
"SECOND. That the reason for the prevailing condition of perplexity and distress is that man disobeyed the true God and yielded to the wicked influence of Satan, the false god; that Lucifer, originally the rightful overlord of man, because of his disloyalty to God became Satan the Devil, the instigator of all evil, and the adversary of God, and the arch enemy of man; that the Evil One alienated man from the true God, and caused him to sin, by reason of which man lost his perfect home and his right to life and happiness; that since then man has organized governments and world powers in an attempt to govern himself, but in so doing has ignored the Word of God and sub-
mitted to the control of Satan the Devil; that until now God has not interfered with Satan to the end that man might be free to choose right or wrong and by experience learn the baneful effects of evil, but now the time has come when God will interfere in behalf of the peoples.
"THIRD. That Christ Jesus, by his faithfulness unto death, became the Redeemer and Deliverer of mankind; that when on earth he taught that the time for the deliverance of the peoples would begin when the evil world under the rulership of Satan shall end, and that he, Christ Jesus, would return and set up God's kingdom of righteousness that the peoples might know and follow the right way; and for this reason he taught his followers to pray, 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as in heaven'; that in the meantime world powers have been organized and carried on for the purpose of ruling and controlling the peoples, and these world powers are designated in the Scriptures under the symbol of 'beasts' for the evident reason that they are the result of the combined efforts of the commercial, political and ecclesiastical leaders of men and are influenced and dominated by Satan, the god of this world, and have been, and are, military, harsh, cruel and oppressive, and manifest the spirit of Satan, their invisible ruler, or god; and now the repeated cries of oppressed humanity have reached unto the God of heaven, who will hear and deliver them.
"FOURTH. That divine prophecy now fulfilled, and in the course of fulfilment, bears testimony to the fact that Satan's lease of power is done, and that the old world has ended, and that the time is at hand when Christ Jesus, the Executive Officer of Jehovah and the rightful King of earth, will oust Satan the evil one and begin his righteous government, which shall establish God's will on earth; that beginning with 1914 divine prophecy in the course of fulfilment gave testimony that the end of the evil world had begun in this, to wit, the World War, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, revolutions, the return of the Jews to Palestine, and later followed by general distress and perplexity of the nations of the world; that this testimony of the fulfilment of the
divine prophecy having been plainly given to the governing powers of the world, there is placed upon the shoulders of the rulers a responsibility that cannot be avoided.
"FIFTH. That although Jehovah God furnished conclusive proof that the evil world had ended and that the time for the reign of his beloved Son had come, yet this testimony was ignored and pushed aside by those who should have known better; and contrary to the Word of God the commercial, political and ecclesiastical rulers attempted to stabilize the world and keep the peoples under control by adopting that makeshift which is called the League of Nations and which was wrongfully and blasphemously hailed as the political expression of God's kingdom on earth; that the real author and father of the League of Nations compact is Satan the Devil, the god of this world, which was put forward by him as his last desperate effort to deceive the peoples, turning them away from the true God, and holding them under his own wicked control; that now after seven years of laborious effort on the part of the proponents of that compact to establish peace and prosperity, it is practically conceded that the League of Nations is a complete failure and that its utter collapse is a matter of only a brief space of time; that even now while its advocates are striving to re-assemble their forces and maintain that disintegrating and unholy alliance, the peoples are hearing the solemn warning of God's prophet concerning the federation, saying, 'Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces: and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. . . . Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand.' — Isaiah 8: 9, 10.
"SIXTH. That by reason of the blinding influence of Satan the minds of the rulers and the ruled are turned away from the true God, and the evil forces are gathering the whole world unto the great battle of the Lord God Almighty; that there is now impending a time of trouble such as the world has never known, during which conflict Satan's powerful organization shall fall never to rise again, and there shall be such a demonstration of divine power that all the
nations will learn that Jehovah is God and that Christ Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.
"SEVENTH. That the great tribulation will reveal to the people the kingdom of God, which kingdom shall rest upon the shoulder of his beloved Son the Prince of Peace, and of the peace of that kingdom there shall be no end; it will bring the heart's desire of all peoples of good will, and in that kingdom the blind ignorance with which the people have long been afflicted will be for ever removed, and with the knowledge of and obedience to God there shall come to the people everlasting peace, prosperity, health, life, liberty and happiness; and that the kingdom will be the complete fulfilment of the prophetic song of the angels, 'Peace on earth, good will toward men.'
"Therefore we earnestly bear before you this testimony: That Jehovah is The God, and that he has installed Christ his Son, as The King of the earth, and bids you to give full obedience to earth's rightful King. Do so and use your influence to turn the minds of the people to THE TRUE GOD, that disaster may not befall you. — Psalm 2:2-12."
Jehovah manifestly intends that no one shall have excuse to say that he had no opportunity to know of the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just how much longer he will cause the world-wide witness to be given no man knows. After this witness is completed, Jesus testifies that then shall come the final end, and that this end shall be marked by the greatest trouble the world has ever known. His words are: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24: 21, 22) This is undoubtedly the same time referred to by the Lord, when he said:
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." — Revelation 1: 7.
The evidence showing the second coming of the Lord has been progressive, and has been gradually given to the people. The Scriptures, and the circumstantial evidence in fulfilment thereof, which is called the physical facts, prove that the second coming of the Lord dates from 1874; that from that date to 1914 was God's "day of preparation"; that in 1914 the Lord Jesus Christ took unto himself his power and ousted Satan from heaven; that in 1918 the Lord came to his temple; that now the world-wide witness declaring the good news of the King and his kingdom is progressing, and that when completed there shall be such a demonstration of divine power that all the peoples of the earth may know that God is acting through his King, whom he has placed upon his throne. And this will be in fulfilment of the prophecy of Jesus above quoted.