348 A friend is one who loves you all the time; one who even without your knowing it makes a great sacrifice in order that you might be the recipient of some real good. The greatest friend that you have had, or any one else has had, is the Lord Jesus, because he left all of his riches and glory, became a man, and laid down his life in ignominious death in order that all men might have one fair and full opportunity for the blessings of life everlasting. — John 15:13.
349 The facts show that nineteen hundred years ago, Jesus went away on a long journey, even into heaven itself; that when he went away he promised his disciples that he would return and that, when returning, those who loved his appearing would receive many precious gifts. If the facts show that this precious friend has returned and we begin to see that all the fond hopes of Christians are about to be realized and that even the world is soon to be blessed,
216what unspeakable joy this brings! Those who have watched and waited for his coming necessarily break forth in singing the praises of the Lord. In this chapter we hope to prove the fact of the Lord's return, hew he would return, when, and for what purpose, and that he has already come.
350 For centuries Jews have been hoping, looking, and praying for the coming of a Messiah. For nineteen hundred years Christians have been hoping, watching, and praying, and waiting for the coming of Christ Jesus the Lord. Messiah and Christ mean the same. The term means The Anointed One. The whole world of mankind, groping in darkness, laden with grievous burdens, has been groaning and still groans in pain, waiting for some relief, but not knowing how it will come. (Romans 8:19, 22) The world in fact is waiting for the Messiah, the Christ, and his kingdom of righteousness. When the world comes to a knowledge of the fact that the Lord, the great deliverer and benefactor of man, has returned, every honest soul will be filled with joy and every grateful heart will respond in songs of gladness.
351 To the Christian the Lord's return is one of the most wonderfully precious strings upon the harp of God. It yields music of unsurpassed sweetness. Blessed are the eyes of those who see and the ears of those who hear and learn that the Lord has come and is now present.
352 The suffering and groaning of the whole creation daily increases, and this condition is putting the people in an attitude of mind to take heed to the evidence of the meaning of these present events. The time has come for all to awaken and diligently inquire concerning the presence of the King of kings.
FACT OF HIS COMING353 The reasons why we should expect the Lord's second coming are numerous, but unless we call these to mind, even though we once knew them, we overlook their importance. If we have never known them, then an examination of these reasons is satisfying to the hungry soul. Reason should always be employed in the examination of Scriptural questions. Sound reasoning and the Scriptures are necessarily in accord. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 1:18) As our vision of the divine plan enlarges, we can see a reason and a scripture for every step and every development in the divine arrangement.
354 The scriptures thus far examined prove conclusively that Jesus Christ died and was raised from the dead that he might be the Redeemer of mankind; that he ascended on high and presented the value of his human sacrifice in behalf of man, and that at some time all men must have an opportunity to receive the benefit of his great sacrifice. (1 Timothy 2: 5, 6) If mankind in general is to be benefited by the Lord's sacrifice after coming to a knowledge of that fact, then it follows that there must be some relationship established between the world of mankind and the Lord Jesus in order that the world might be brought to a knowledge of the arrangement of Jehovah and brought back into harmony with God. If, as the Scriptures declare, God formed the earth for man's habitation, that he made it not in vain, and that the earth abideth for ever; and if, according to the promise to Abraham, through the seed, the Christ, a blessing shall come to all mankind, it follows that the Lord must establish an order of things in the earth that man might enjoy the things which God
218intended for him to have, and that he must be present to establish such a righteous order on earth.
355 But the student is not left to theory nor conjecture. The Scriptural evidence is given in such abundance that all doubt is for ever removed. God's prophet long ago foretold the coming of a mighty one and said that this mighty One should have a government of righteousness; that "his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace; of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end". (Isaiah 9:6,7) An 'everlasting Father' presumes that there shall be some offspring who will have everlasting life. Hence this promise indicated that a government would be established wherein man would be granted the privilege of life everlasting.
356 As we have heretofore observed, Jehovah made a covenant with the nation of Israel, to the exclusion of all other nations. He gave them a law to shield them from the influences and machinations of the adversary and to lead them to Christ, their great Messiah. The Jews as a nation did not keep this law, because they were imperfect; but some of their rulers were especially wicked. The time came when God said concerning Zedekiah, the last king of Israel: "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.
357 It follows that at some future time there would come a mighty one who would establish a kingdom of
219righteousness, having full authority and right thus to do.
358 At the overthrow of Zedekiah God permitted the Gentiles to establish a universal dominion in the earth. The Lord through the Prophet Daniel pictured the development of four world empires or kingdoms, which would exist for a certain period of time, and which would continue until he should come whose right it is and then he, the Righteous One, should take possession of earth's affairs and rule. It is to be expected, of course, that the unrighteous governments would hold on to their power in earth as long as possible, and that they would still be thus doing at the coming of the great King, and that he would oust these earthly kingdoms of unrighteousness and establish a righteous government. Thus says the Lord through the Prophet Daniel: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2: 44) It follows, then, that this righteous King must be present before he breaks to pieces and consumes the other kingdoms. The Scriptures speak of the righteous kingdom as the kingdom of heaven, because it is in accord with the heavenly Father's will and ruled by the invisible power of the great Messiah.
359 The term kingdom is used in a twofold sense, as referring (1) to the king or ruler, the dominating or controlling factor; and (2) to the dominion and subjects of that kingdom. Almost all the parables of Jesus were concerning the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven. So great is that kingdom in importance in the Lord's arrangement that Jesus taught
220his disciples to pray: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) From that time until now Christians have been praying this prayer and hoping for its fulfilment. The foregoing scriptures definitely establish the fact that such a kingdom of righteousness is to be put into operation. Who, then, will be the king of that great and glorious kingdom? The Scriptures answer, Jesus Christ the Son of God. — Luke 22: 30; Colossians 1:13; 2 Peter 1:11; Matthew 28:18.
360 When Jesus stood before Pilate accused of sedition because he taught concerning his kingdom coming, Pilate asked him: "Art thou the King of the Jews?" And Jesus answered: "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18: 33,36) By the word "world" here is meant Satan's organized power. The Scriptures show that from the time of Zedekiah's overthrow until he whose right it is sets up his kingdom, the Gentiles are in power and that these lie in the wicked one, Satan, who is the god or invisible ruler of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) Jesus speaks of him as the prince of this world. (John 12:31) Satan's rule has been unrighteous, wicked, and devilish; and when he comes whose right it is, he will establish a righteous kingdom in the place or stead of the unrighteous order of Satan. By these words, then, addressed to Pilate, we would understand the Master to mean that his kingdom from that time is future, yet definitely showing that in the future time he would have a kingdom.
361 Jesus gave to his disciples a parable designated the parable of the pounds, in which he pictured himself as a certain nobleman going into a far country to receive a kingdom and to return; and he shows that this nobleman does return. "He said therefore,
221A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. . . . And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money." (Luke 19:12-15) A similar picture and lesson is taught by the parable of the talents. (Matthew 25:14) As further evidence of his return, Jesus said: "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations." — Matthew 25: 31, 32.
362 Just a short time before his crucifixion he was teaching his disciples. They understood, though imperfectly, that he was to be taken from them. His disciples were troubled at this information. Then Jesus, speaking plainly to them, said: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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 14:1-3) This is indisputable proof of his second coming.
363 After his resurrection he had stated that he would ascend unto God the Father in heaven. (John 20:17) Forty days after his resurrection he was with his disciples on the Mount of Olives, instructing them to go to Jerusalem and there wait until they should receive the power of the holy spirit, that they might thereafter be witnesses for him. "And when he had
222spoken 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) Without a doubt these men who here stood by the disciples in white apparel were angels or messengers sent of the Lord thus to witness to them, which angels doubtless materialized in human form for that very purpose and afterward de-materialized and disappeared. This additional testimony was given, however, that the faith of the disciples might be complete that the Lord would come again.
364 This fact was so definitely established in the minds of the apostles that they often spoke and wrote of the second coming of the Lord. In fact, it is the great event to which they and all other true followers of the Master have looked forward. (1 Corinthians 1:7; 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 5:7,8; 2 Peter 1:16; Acts 3:19-21; Philippians 3: 20) Of his coming again and the blessings his presence will bring to those that love him, further testimony was given by the Apostle Paul when he wrote to Timothy: "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 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.
223365 The book of Revelation in our Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ which he gave after his glorification. He concludes this revelation by stating to John: "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly"; to which John replies, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." — Revelation 22: 20.
366 That the Lord is to have a kingdom of righteousness, that Jesus Christ is to be the great King of that kingdom, and that he is coming a second time for the purpose of thus reigning, is so abundantly established by the Scriptures that all possible doubt is removed. An important question, therefore, for us to determine is
HOW HE COMES367 We must make up our minds at once that the Bible testimony concerning the manner of our Lord's coming is to be taken as conclusive. A careful examination of this will disclose the fact that the Bible does establish definitely and reasonably the manner of his appearing. Many have supposed and yet suppose that the Lord will come again in his body of humiliation, the very body in which he was crucified and which has the marks upon it, and that such is to be visible to human eyes. The words of Jesus disprove this conclusion. When instructing his disciples just before his crucifixion, Jesus said: "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) Thus he establishes the fact that his faithful disciples will see him as he is, but that the world will see him no more. And why is this true? We answer, Because Jesus was raised from the dead not a human but a spirit being, with divine nature or organism. The nature is determined by the organism or body. He now has a glorious body, which no man hath seen
224nor can look upon and live. (1 Timothy 6:15, 16) We have heretofore examined the Scriptural evidence showing that no one of the different organisms or bodies in which Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection was his glorious body, but that such bodies were created by him for the purpose at the time.
368 He was put to death a human being. He was raised from the dead a spirit. (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:45) John definitely shows that the body in which Jesus will appear is not his human body, because he says: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but ... we shall be like him." (1 John 3:2) Jesus is no longer human, but divine; therefore we could not expect human eyes to see him. He is now the express image of Jehovah. (Hebrews 1:3) Because he is no longer human and has not a body of flesh, but a spirit body, the Apostle Paul under inspiration wrote: "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him [so] no more." — 2 Corinthians 5:16.
369 After his resurrection Jesus was exalted and given a name above every name (Philippians 2:9) and sat down at the right hand of the Father in glory and in power. (Revelation 3:21) Of him the Apostle Paul writes: "Now the Lord is that Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:17) Jesus explained to Nicodemus concerning a spirit, saying, "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. . . . 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 3:4-8.
225370 Seeing, then, that Jesus Christ is a glorious spirit being with a divine organism, and that as the wind can not be seen, but comes and goes, so a spirit can thus come and go without being discerned by human eyes, could not our Lord be present and yet not observable by any natural eyes? That is exactly according to the facts. Satan is a spirit being. For many centuries Satan has been the god or invisible ruler of the present evil world (2 Corinthians 4: 3, 4); yet no human eyes have seen Satan, although men have felt his influence and still feel it. Satan is not only the god of this world, but he is the chief one of his wicked organization, which is invisible and which is called "heaven", being composed of Satan and the other fallen angels who exercise power over human beings. The Apostle Peter said: "We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5) The coming kingdom of the Lord is the new heavenly kingdom. This new ruling power, the Messiah, is invisible, and will be invisible to human eyes, but will establish in the earth visible agencies and representatives of his government of righteousness. We should not, therefore, expect the Lord's second coming to be in a body visible to human eyes, but should expect that he would be present, exercising his power in his own sovereign way.
371 In many places in our Bible referring to the second coming of the Lord the word translated into the English as "coming" is properly translated presence. The proper meaning is distinguished by the Greek word used, from which the English is translated. The Greek word parousia (pronounced par-oo-seé-ah) means presence, and refers to the invisible presence of the Lord and is used in the following
228Scriptural texts. We here quote the texts as they appear in the King James Version, putting in brackets the proper word immediately following the word "coming".
372 "What shall be the sign of thy coming [presence]?" — Matthew 24: 3.
373 "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming [presence] of the Son of man be." — Matthew 24:37,39.
374 "They that are Christ's, at his coming [presence]." — 1 Corinthians 15: 23.
375 "Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming [presence]?" — 1 Thessalonians 2:19.
376 "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming [presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ." — 1 Thessalonians 3:13.
377 "We which are alive, and remain unto the coming [presence] of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep." — 1 Thessalonians 4:15.
378 "I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming [presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ." — 1 Thess. 5:23.
379 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming [presence] of our Lord Jesus Christ." — 2 Thess. 2:1.
380 "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [presence] of the Lord." — James 5:7.
381 "For the coming [presence] of the Lord draweth nigh." — James 5: 8.
382 "Where is the promise of his coming [presence]?" — 2 Peter 3:4.
383 When Jesus was taken up into heaven, the angels standing by the disciples said to them: 'He shall come in like manner.' The manner of his going
227or being taken away was quiet, without observation, except by a few. In a similar manner we should expect his return. Those watching for his/ coming necessarily would be the first to observe his presence. This is in exact harmony with the thought expressed by the Apostle Paul when he wrote: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." (1 Thessalonians 5: 2) The same thought the Apostle Peter expressed; "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." (2 Peter 3:10) And of his coming Jesus said: "Behold, I come as a thief." "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." (Revelation 16:15; 3:3; Matthew 24:43) A thief comes usually in the night time when all are asleep, and none see him except those who are watching or those who may be awakened by his presence. Even so the Lord comes in the night-time of the end of the world, just before the dawn of the new day; and none discern his presence except those who watch and who have the eye of faith.
384 The Lord spoke in symbolic phrase, and speaking concerning the manner of his appearing he said: "Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." (Matthew 24: 25, 26) Here he is warning and safeguarding against the error of believing that he will appear in the desert or that he will appear in some secret chamber, as spiritists claim they have come in contact with him. Then he says: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming [presence] of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24: 27) The
228word "lightning" here is translated from the Greek word astrapee and means bright shining, or bright shiner. We know that lightning does not come out of the east and shine even unto the west, because flashes of lightning come from all directions, and more often from the west than from the east. The bright shining or bright shiner here really means the sun. The sun begins to shed forth its light in the east before it is fully up; and when it comes over the eastern horizon it shines everywhere from the east to the west. Just so the presence of the Lord. He quietly appears and his presence begins to shed light in all parts of the earth.
385 The prophet of the Lord also used the sun to illustrate the Lord Jesus, saying: "The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings." (Malachi 4:2) Again Jesus likened his faithful followers unto the sun when he said: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." — Matthew 13:43.
386 In examining the evidence, then, with reference to the Lord's second appearing, if we will keep always in mind that his appearance is not, and will not be, visible to human eyes, but that it will be gradually discernible in the physical facts which will occur in fulfilment of prophecy, we shall be better enabled to understand the various Scriptural texts bearing upon the subject.
TIME OF HIS COMING387 The time of the Lord's second appearing is of great importance to all, and Christians, since the days of the apostles, have been watching for some evidence of his presence and asking the question, When will the Lord appear? While those who love the Lord dis-
229cuss the important question, some have answered saying, 'The Lord is likely to come any moment. He may come tonight.' These expect the Lord's appearing in a visible body. Others, who have no real desire for his coming, because it would interfere with their selfish plans, say: 'He will not come in my time; he will not come for fifty thousand years or more; hence there is no reason for our concerning ourselves about his coming.' Still others, who fear his coming and who do not desire to see him, say: 'No one can possibly know the time. Why, therefore, should one spend his time in discussing the question?'
388 The last-named class, in support of their contention, cite the words of Jesus when he said: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:36) It is assumed, because he used these words, that no one would ever know, except Jehovah. We should remember that Jesus spoke those words while he was yet a man on the earth. He had not been glorified then. He did not say that no one would ever know of the hour or the day of his coming. If we conclude from these words that no man would ever know, we might as well conclude that Jesus would never know, because he said at that time that only the Father knew. Paraphrasing his words we note he said this: ' The day of my coming no one now knows, except my Father. Neither man nor angel knows anything about it; nor do even I know.' At the same time, his words implied that conditions would change, so that others would know, because he said: "Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24: 42) Why watch unless they would know when the time would arrive? When Jesus was raised from the dead he said: "All
230power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matt. 28:18) He must have known then the time of his coming, because now as the creature divine everything was committed into his hands for the outworking of God's plan. At the time of his appearing surely the angels of heaven would know about it; and the day must come when the watchers would know.
389 His last message to the disciples just before his ascension on high clearly indicated a time coming when the watchers would know. He said unto them: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the holy spirit is come upon you." (Acts 1:7,8) Those who are begotten of the holy spirit have the promise that the Lord will reveal to them his great truths when due to be understood. (1 Corinthians 2:9,10) These are they that walk in the light, and for them the light shines with increasing brilliancy unto the perfect day. In harmony with this, Paul wrote: "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," (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4) Plainly the apostle here tells the followers of Jesus that if they are watching the things which the Lord told them to watch, the day of the Lord will not come upon them unawares, but they will mark the fulfilment of prophecy, and in the light of its fulfilment they will discern the time of the presence of the great King. Furthermore he says to them; "Ye
231are 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." — 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 6.
390 We shall find that Jesus gave much evidence which enables the watcher to determine the Lord's presence. Jesus spoke in prophetic language. Prophecy means a foretelling of future events before they take place; and when they are taking place the watcher can ascertain that they are thus fulfilling the prophetic words previously spoken.
391 Jesus gave us the positive evidence as to when to expect him. He gave a parable of the wheat and the tares, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 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 13:24-30.
392 Interpreting his own parable, Jesus said that he was the man who had sown the good seed; that the field is the world; and that the good seed are the children of the kingdom, and that the tares are the children of the wicked one; that the enemy who sowed
232them is the Devil; and that the harvest is the end of the world. — Matthew 13:37-39.
393 From this statement of the Master it is clearly shown that at the end of the age or world there must be a harvest; that Jesus Christ must be present as the Master of that harvest, and that the harvest will consist of gathering together the true followers of Christ in one body and of binding together the counterfeit or tare class for destruction. Stated in other phrase, there will be a gathering of the true vine class, true Christians, and the harvesting of the vine of the earth, namely, the nominal Babylonish systems of the world. Since the Master himself stated that he would come at this time to receive his own, the truly consecrated Christians, to himself, and that he, as the Master of the harvest, would direct what should be done, it follows that he must be present before the beginning of the harvest and during the time of the harvest. It would also follow that he would be present before the end of the world or age.
394 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 be in existence 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 happening of certain events, which of itself shows 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 7 to 12, inclusive. Daniel himself said: "I heard, but I understood not; then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
233And 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 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.
395 The fulfilment of this prophecy fixes the beginning of the "time of the end", because 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 show. 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 great 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
234it and returned to France on October 1, 1799. The campaign is briefly, yet graphically, described in the prophecy, verses 40 to 44; and being completed in 1799 marks, according to the prophet's own words, the beginning of the "time of the end".
396 Prom 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 by God's prophet as "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 beginning of this beast dates from the overthrow of the Ostrogothic monarchy, which occurred in 539 A. D.
397 The Prophet Daniel was given a vision of the events following, yet he did not understand them; and he says: I "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 hand 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
235a 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, equal to 1260 years. The prophet then was shown that the 1260 years would mark the beginning of the time of the end of this beastly order. Twelve hundred sixty years from 539 A. D. brings us to 1799, 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.
398 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, without question, are 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 is due. If this calculation is correct, from that time forward we ought to be able to find some evidences marking the Lord's presence.
399 It is not the purpose of this writing to enter into a detailed statement of Biblical chronology. The searcher for truth can find an extensive treatment of this question in Volumes 2 and 3 of Studies in the
236Scriptures. The purpose here is to call attention to certain important dates and then see how much, if any, prophecy has been fulfilled within these dates. Chronology, to some extent at least, depends upon accurate calculations and there is always some possibility of mistakes. Fulfilled prophecy is the record of physical facts which are actually existent and definitely fixed. Physical facts do not stultify themselves. They stand as silent witnesses whose testimony must be taken as indisputable.
400 There are two important dates here that we must not confuse, but clearly differentiate, namely, the beginning of "the time of the end" and of "the presence of the Lord". "The time of the end" embraces a period from 1799 A. D., as above indicated, to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. The time of the Lord's second presence dates from 1874, as above stated. The latter period is within the first named, of course, and in the latter part of the period known as "the time of the end".
401 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 that the end had come, but told him to look for such evidences as could be seen and understood by men familiar with the prophecies, and who in the light of the prophecies
237should be watching for their fulfilment. He did riot expect Daniel to understand it in his day, because he said: "Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." — Daniel 12:9.
402 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 and 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, it was made a crime under the Roman law, subjecting the offender to heavy penalties for having in possession a copy of the Bible. 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 people, to the fact that Papacy did not possess the divine right it claimed.
403 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
238Society, 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 it 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.
404 From that time forward there has been a great corresponding increase of knowledge in all the sciences; and in fact, 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 world. With the increase of knowledge on various lines have come the numerous inventions that man now has, time and labor-saving machines, etc.
405 Before 1799 the means of transportation were such that a man could travel only a short distance in a day. He must go either by a vehicle drawn by horses or oxen, or afoot; and when he would cross the sea he must go in a sailboat that made little progress. In 1831 the first locomotive steam engine was invented. 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 a railway train. Later came the electric engines and electric motor cars and gas engines; and now there is a tre-
239mendous amount of travel in every part of the earth. It is no uncommon thing for one to travel at the rate of 75 and 100 miles an hour; and particularly is this true by means of the flying machine, which is a very modern invention.
406 The aforementioned inventions are related to 'the day of God's preparation' during Christ's presence. — Nahum 2:1-6.
407 In 1844 the telegraph was invented, and later the telephone. These instruments were first used with wires, and by electricity messages were conveyed throughout the earth; but now by later invention wires are dispensed with and messages are flashed through the air by the use of instruments all over the earth.
408 This great increase of knowledge and the tremendous running to and fro of the people in various parts of the earth is without question a fulfilment of the prophecy testifying as to "the time of the end". These physical facts can not be disputed and are sufficient to convince any reasonable mind that we have been in "the time of the end" since 1799.
409 The latter part of "the time of the end" Jesus designates as a time of harvest, because he says: " The harvest is the end of the world [age]." He stated that he would be present at that time. From 1874 forward is the latter part of the period of "the time of the end". From 1874 is the time of the Lord's second presence, as above stated. The Apostle Paul, enumerating many things done concerning Israel, states that "they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [ages] are come". (1 Corinthians 10:11) It must be presumed, then, that these things would be understood at "the time of the end".
240410 The laboring classes 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 for us to mention all of them here, but mention is made of some of those that have come to light since 1874, as 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, correspondence schools, cream separators, Darkest Africa, disk plows, Divine Plan of the Ages, dynamite, electric railways, electric welding, escalators, fireless cookers, gas engines, harvesting machines, illuminating gas, induction motors, linotypes, match machines, monotypes, motion pictures, North Pole, Panama Canal, pasteurization, radium, railway signals, Roentgen rays, shoe-sewing machines, skyscrapers, smokeless powder, South Pole, submarines, subways, talking machines, telephones, television, typewriters, vacuum cleaners, and wireless telegraphy.
THE HARVEST411 The Lord used the natural harvest to illustrate the harvest of his people at the end of the age. There was a harvest of certain of the Jews at the end of the Jewish Age. (John 4: 35, 36) There is a parallel
241harvest period in the Christian era; and since the Lord used the natural wheat harvest of Israel as a picture of the harvest of his people, it might not be out of place here to say that from the time of the beginning of the Jewish harvest until Pentecost was fifty days; and carrying out the Biblical rule of a day for a year, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that the harvest of the Christian era would cover a period of fifty years.
412 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 outside of all churches. They have not sought members, but they have been drawn 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, "In the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, . . . Gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13: 30) During this period of time these Christians have gone throughout the earth proclaiming that the kingdom of heaven is at hand; and now they are particularly announcing to the people the presence of the Lord, that his kingdom is at hand and that millions now living will never die.
413 The Master gave a parable illustrating how the Christians merely in name and the true Christians would grow 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
242into 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 now reached a climax, until the Federation of Churches is a common expression which means the uniting of the various denominational systems, which teach everything except the Word of the Lord. In these various denominational systems are professional politicians and conscienceless profiteers, who are designated in Scripture 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 shall take. 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.
414 While this work has been going on, 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 clearly means that which was foretold by the Lord Jesus. It has never been the purpose of these Christians to assemble themselves as Bible Students to induce any one 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
2431874; for this gathering work has been in progress particularly since that date.
415 The Scriptures identify the temple class as composed of those consecrated Christians who are faithful unto God. "Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (2 Corinthians 6:16) Addressing the same consecrated class the apostle says: "For through him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the spirit." — Ephesians 2:18-22.
416 The Apostle Peter refers to the same ones as living stones in the temple of God:" Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5) Christ Jesus is the head of the temple class, otherwise spoken of as the house of sons. (Hebrews 3:6) The temple of God is holy unto the Lord because those who compose the temple class are devoted to him. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." — 1 Cor. 3:16,17.
417 These scriptures would warrant the conclusion that the time of the Lord's exercising his power against Satan's organization would be at the end of
244the Gentile times. The period of the Gentiles is 2,520 years and ended in the autumn of 1914. That date should mark the time when Christ Jesus assumed his power to reign, in fulfilment of prophecy. At that time he must become active: "The Lord [Jehovah] shall send [forth] the rod [sceptre of authority] of thy strength out of Zion [saying]: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." (Psalm 110:2) Jesus himself testified that the end of the Gentile times would mark the time for him to begin the exercise of his regal authority. Then the nations would become angry and a great world war would follow. — Revelation 11:17,18; Matthew 24: 7,8.
418 The events that came to pass during the closing days of the Jewish Age undoubtedly find a parallel in the closing events of the Christian era. The evidence is clear that the Lord Jesus began his ministry at the time of his first advent, in the autumn season. Three and one-half years thereafter, to wit, in the spring of 33 A. D., Jesus presented himself unto Israel as her King but was rejected by that people as King. At the same time he entered the temple at Jerusalem and began to cleanse it. (Matthew 21:1-13) About the same time God, through Christ Jesus, formally cast off the house of Israel. — Matt. 23: 38, 39.
419 The Gentile times ended in the autumn of 1914. The evidence is quite conclusive that here the Lord Jesus Christ, in obedience to God's command, stood up and began to exercise his power. (Daniel 12:1; Psalm 110:1,2; Revelation 11:17,18; Matthew 24:7,8) If we are warranted in applying the rule of the parallels, then we should expect that the Lord would come to his temple three and one-half years thereafter, to wit, in the spring of 1918. If this is true, then we should expect also to find some evidence
245that the Lord there began to cleanse the antitypical temple; and that shortly after that nominal Christendom, or nominal spiritual Israel, would be completely rejected by the Lord.
EVIDENCE IN PROOF420 Evidence is that which is submitted to ascertain and establish the truth upon a question at issue or for determination. Positive evidence is that which is given by witnesses who testify to things which they have seen and know to be true. Circumstantial evidence is a combination of harmonious circumstances which naturally lead to a certain result, as effect from cause. Where things transpire in accordance with God's fixed laws, and such facts we know to be true, these may be said to be physical facts. If God has caused his holy prophets to testify that certain things would come to pass at some unknown time, and then such events do transpire which we see and know to be true, such facts are properly called physical facts, and such proof is properly called circumstantial evidence.
421 The reliability of positive evidence depends much upon circumstances which are known to be true. If therefore we find that certain events have come to pass in our day and that these events are known to us and known to be true, and that such events and facts are exactly in harmony with divine prophecy, then we may say, These are physical facts which we may confidently rely upon as competent proof to establish the question for determination. The question now at issue and for determination is, When did the Lord come to his temple, and what is the proof thereof?
246422 In the autumn of 1914 the nations became angry; the World War came, followed quickly by famine and pestilence and earthquakes; then occurred persecution of Christians, and other things foretold by Jesus Christ as marking the end of the world. That was the time, as shown by the Scriptures, when he would take his power and begin his reign. The date parallels exactly with the time when he began his ministry at his first advent. Then three and one-half years after the autumn of 1914, to wit, in the spring of 1918, there came upon the consecrated people of God a great fiery trial, now well known to all Christians. This came exactly in harmony with prophecy, fitting exactly the prophecy of Malachi as to what would come to pass when the Lord suddenly comes to his temple. "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi." (Malachi 3:3) Such are the words of the prophet. The sons of Levi picture the household of faith, that is to say, those who are really consecrated to the Lord and spirit-begotten. In harmony with this the Apostle Peter says that "judgment must begin at the house of God". (1 Peter 4:17) The real purpose of this cleaning or refining is that the ones who are found approved, who abide the fiery trial, should offer thereafter unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. It follows then that if any of the consecrated fail to stand the test, thereafter they would not bring to the Lord an offering in righteousness; that is to say, they would not joyfully engage in serving and praising the Lord in harmony with his holy will.
423 The trial that came upon the church in the spring of 1918 was a very severe one. Some of the consecrated were arrested and cast into prison. Some
247who had been engaged in the service of the Lord, professing full consecration, conspired with the enemy and betrayed their brethren, even as Jesus had foretold would be done. (Matthew 24:10) Others became fearful and fled from giving an open witness to the Lord. Others formed themselves into companies claiming to be followers of Christ Jesus, yet refused to have any further part in the service of announcing his kingdom.
424 So far as the facts appear they conclusively meet the requirements of the prophecy. These facts constitute circumstantial evidence or physical facts which are thoroughly reliable. These facts are known by Christians to be true, and known to be in harmony with the prophecy; therefore they may be taken as competent and reliable evidence establishing the fact that Christ Jesus came to his temple in the spring of the year 1918.
425 Within the period of time from 1875 to the present there has been a wide proclamation of the truth concerning God's plan of salvation. The purpose of such proclamation has not been to obtain joiners nor with a view to converting the peoples of the world. It has been done in obedience to God's command and done by those consecrated to him for the purpose of enabling the people who are seeking the truth to have an opportunity of understanding it. Naturally this work has brought together those devoted to the Lord. This is in harmony with the words prophetically uttered by Jesus: "For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together." (Matthew 24: 28) The carcass refers to the spiritual food which the Lord has provided for his people. The eagles represent those who have a keen vision and a sharp appetite and who are anxious to
248know the Lord's Word and feed upon it and to do his will. These earnest Christians therefore have gathered themselves together in groups in various parts of the earth without regard to nationality or citizenship of earthly governments. They have studied the Lord's Word and, grasping an understanding of it, have been anxious to go out and tell it to others that the name of the Lord God might be magnified and that the people might know of his means of salvation. This work is especially a work to be done by Christians at the second presence of the Lord Jesus as he foretold.
SCOFFERS426 It might be reasonably expected that the clergy of various denominations would be anxious to know and anxious to tell the people about the presence of the Lord, and would therefore joyfully receive any news concerning his presence. We find the facts to be just to the contrary, however, and we again notice that this is one of the evidences given by Jesus himself marking his second presence. He said: "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming [presence] of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not, until the flood came, and took them all away: so shall also the coming [presence] of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:37-39) Instead of these clergymen as a class joining in the proclamation, 'Behold the Bridegroom! the Lord has returned, the kingdom is at hand,' they scoff and jeer, and if they say anything concerning the Lord's second presence, even though they get all their information from what Pastor Russell wrote,
249they discredit him and mock and scoff at what he wrote or said. Of course the Lord foreknew this and therefore he caused the apostle under inspiration to write: "There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming [presence]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." — 2 Peter 3: 3,4.
END OF THE WORLD427 Jesus having taught his disciples concerning his second coming, and having informed them that the world would end at or during that time, they desired to know how they might be able to ascertain the fact of his presence and what would be the indication or proof of it to them or to any one. He was sitting on the side of the Mount of Olives when his disciples came to him privately and propounded the question: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign [proof or indication] of thy coming [presence], and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24: 3) The word "world" as here used does not mean the earth. The earth will never end or pass away, because "God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited." (Isaiah 45:18) "The earth abideth for ever." — Ecclesiastes 1:4.
428 The word "world" means the evil organization of governments of which Satan is the invisible ruler. From Adam to the time of the deluge was the first world, which passed away in a great flood, during which only Noah and his family, consisting in all of eight persons, were carried over from the old to the other or new world, and were saved. (2 Peter 3:6; 1 Peter 3:20) There began with Noah and his family
250a new world, which in the time of the apostle's day and before that time had grown evil, and which he designated as "this present evil world". (Galatians 1:4) The apostle clearly shows that such evil world must pass away to make way for the new and righteous kingdom, which will rule and govern and bless the people.
428 It was during the early part of this world that God made promise to Abraham that through his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. Later, at the death of Jacob, God organized the nation of Israel or the Jews into a nation and at Mount Sinai confirmed his covenant with them. Jehovah dealt with the nation of Israel exclusive of all other nations for a number of years. They had many kings, some good and some bad. Zedekiah was their last king, and because of his wickedness God said concerning him: "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand. 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 [to] him." — Ezekiel 21: 24-27.
480 In the year 606 B. C., Zedekiah was overthrown. He was taken a prisoner, carried away to Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar established in the earth the first universal empire and the Gentile times dated from that time forward. The length of the Gentile times
251is definitely fixed in the Scriptures as a period of seven symbolic times of 360 years each, or a total of 2,520 years. This period beginning with the year 606 B. C. necessarily must end in 1914 A. D. God had declared that he would overturn the right of the descendants of Abraham to rule, thereby permitting the Gentiles to have an uninterrupted sway until he should come whose right it is. The one whose right it is, is the great Messiah, Christ Jesus the Lord. It would be reasonable to expect him to be present some time before he would take unto himself his great power to reign. His presence beginning in 1874, he has carried on his harvest work from 1878 forward, but has not interrupted the Gentile dominion until that dominion should end. The end of the Gentile rule, therefore, would mark necessarily the end of the world. We should expect, then, to find 1914 as the beginning of the end of the old world or Satan's organization. And that this would take place during the presence of the Lord he definitely stated.
431 When the Gentile dominion legally ends, that organization being a wicked one under the supervision of Satan, the god of the evil world (2 Corinthians 4:3,4), and all these nations lying in the wicked one (1 John 5:19), it would be expected that the Gentile kingdoms and nations would strive to hold on to their power. But when the proper time should come it would also be expected that the Lord, whose right it is, would take over the affairs into his own hands. And so he said: "We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou
252shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." — Revelation 11:17,18.
432 It will be observed that the Lord does not do all of his work in a twenty-four-hour day, but that gradually he performs his sovereign will. Specifically answering the question concerning the end of the world during the time of his presence, Jesus said: "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes [literal and symbolic, revolutions] in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24: 7, 8) Exactly on time, at the end of the Gentile dominion, at the beginning of the end of the world, nation rose against nation and kingdom against kingdom in the most devastating war that man ever dreamed would come to the world. There followed in its wake a great pestilence, the Spanish influenza, which swept the earth; and the famine is still raging amongst many peoples and kindreds of the earth; and there have been revolutions, as well as many literal earthquakes in various parts of the earth. And these, said the Master, mark the beginning of the end of the world, which takes place during the time of his presence. The evidence here is overwhelming, proclaiming his presence and the end of the world.
433 These facts mark a corroboration and a clear fulfilment of the words of Jehovah's prophet announced centuries before, namely: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall
253stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44) This prophecy must have a complete fulfilment in the complete destruction of every part of Satan's organization. Even now nearly all the kings of earth are gone and their kingdoms are broken in pieces and are being consumed. This is being done because the Lord is present, because the old world has ended and he is clearing away the unrighteous things to make way for his new and righteous government.
434 Furthermore Jesus said concerning the end of the world within the time of his second presence: "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) "But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils [courts]; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9) "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony." (Luke 21:12,13) Literally did these scriptures have fulfilment in the years 1917, 1918, and 1919. The World War furnished the excuse for the world-wide persecution of humble and honest and faithful Christians.
435 The Christian truly consecrated to the Lord believes and follows the Lord's teachings: "Thou shalt not kill." (Matthew 5: 21) And again: "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal)." (2 Corinthians 10:.3,4) During the World War many of the nations passed laws to govern conscientious objectors, that is, those who object to taking human
254life. The officers of the present evil organization upon whom devolved the duty and obligation of construing and enforcing this law, disregarded it; and at the instance of an apostate and dishonest clergy, truly consecrated Christians, particularly those known as Bible Students, were, in fulfilment of Jesus' utterances, hated, beaten, persecuted, haled into the courts and imprisoned, and some of them killed. But the Lord's protecting care has been about them through it all.
436 In Germany they were persecuted, some put in the front ranks of the assaulting army. One Christian man, for instance, who refused to take human life because of his faith in the Lord, was placed in the front line of attack during a battle. A soldier was placed on either side of him with gun and bayonet and instructed to kill him if he attempted to escape. He went through the battle. Most of his regiment was annihilated, including the two guards by his side. When the battle was over this Christian brother had not a scratch. Again he was put in a similar position; and again he went through another battle without injury. He was then charged with being insane because he would not fight, and placed in an insane asylum and kept there for a period of time, until he was turned out; and then he proceeded with proclaiming the message of the Lord's presence and his glorious incoming kingdom.
437 The persecution in Great Britain of the same class of Christians, and in Canada, and in the United States, long boasted of as the land of the free and the home of the brave, was so terrible that words are inadequate to describe it. Number 27 of the Golden Age magazine, issued September 29, 1920, gives a de-
255tailed description of many of these wicked persecutions, which mark a clear fulfilment of these prophetic utterances of the Lord. The ones who had the privilege of passing through them and who had the many evidences of the Lord's blessings, rejoice because accounted worthy to suffer as our Lord had suffered, remembering his words: "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." — John 15: 20.
438 Jesus furthermore said: "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 the year 1919 many of the Bible Students in different parts of the earth, emerging from army camps and prison dungeons, rejoicing in their privileges, again assembled together and with united action went forth to proclaim the message of the presence of the Lord; and particularly the message, "The World Has Ended — Millions Now Living Will Never Die," clearly in fulfilment of the words of the Master in the text last above quoted. Numbers of public lectures delivered upon this subject throughout Christendom have gladdened the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people, comforting those that mourn. In 1920 this message was put into printed form in the book entitled Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and in the lands where the greatest persecution prevailed against the people of the Lord, greatest has been the witness. Within eight months 2,500,000 copies of this book were placed in the hands of the people; and yet the message goes on, giving a wider and wider witness, looking forward to the full consummation of "the time of the end", the end of the old world and the incoming of Messiah's kingdom.
REGATHERING OF ISRAEL439 Jesus furthermore said that the regathering of Israel to Palestine (Luke 21: 24) would be one of the, most conclusive proofs of his presence and of the end of the world. A full discussion of this point, together with many other points concerning the end of the world, is set forth in detail in the book entitled Comfort for the Jews. Therein is shown conclusively that the prophecies have been fulfilled exactly on time; that Israel is now being regathered and is rebuilding Palestine exactly as the Lord foretold. Jesus said: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." — Luke 21:28.
440 Jesus, speaking further through his chosen vessels, refers to the harvest of the tare class, saying, "The harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." (Revelation 14:15,16) This gathering and the reaping of it for destruction is now in progress. It is one feature of the Lord's work, which proves his presence at this time.
441 There are many other corroborative evidences of the presence of the Lord, but space will not permit the examination of all of them here. We leave the reader to find a more detailed explanation of these great corroborative truths set forth in Volumes 2 and 3 of Studies in the Scriptures.
442 Why should any one deceive himself by being induced to cease an investigation of this subject because some self-constituted wise one will say: 'You can never know when the Lord will come'? Jesus himself said to his faithful followers: "Watch therefore; for
257ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matthew 24:42) "And what I say unto you, I say unto all, "Watch." (Mark 13: 37) The clear inference here is that the watchers in due time would recognize the evidences of his presence, and recognizing these, would rejoice.
443 Suppose we admit, for the sake of the argument, that no man knows the day nor hour of the Lord's appearing. What difference does that make? The hour and the day have already passed. He is here! And let all truly consecrated Christians rejoice. "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you," says Paul. (1 Thessalonians 5:1) The times and seasons are clearly established by the overwhelming proof that the Lord is now present. Therefore, "ye, brethren, are not in darkness, ... ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness." Why quibble now about dates, days or hours? The physical facts, the fulfilled prophecy and prophecy further in course of fulfilment, prove overwhelmingly and beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord is present, that the world has ended, that the kingdom of heaven is at hand! And the true watchers are joyfully exclaiming: "Behold the Bridegroom!" As faithful members of his body, as the feet of him, they are standing upon the mountains, that is, upon or above the kingdoms of earth, singing out to the peoples of Zion: 'Thy God reigneth! The kingdom of heaven is at hand!' The prophet of the Lord describes them thus: " How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the
258voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion." — Isaiah 52:7,8.
444 These are they who, having the harps of God, are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, harmonizing the great truths of the Old and New Testaments, the Mosaic law and the gospel of Christ Jesus, singing: "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." — Revelation 15:2-4.
WHY THE LORD COMES445 There are three primary purposes or reasons why the Lord appears the second time. These are: (1) To bind Satan and destroy his kingdom and all the false systems inaugurated by his agencies; (2) to receive unto himself his bride, the church, which includes the work of the harvest of gathering them unto him; and (3) to set up his kingdom, for which he taught his followers to pray.
446 The purpose of our Lord's second coming has been much misunderstood and misrepresented. Some have said that he is coming to burn up the earth. The Scriptures answer this charge: "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's; but the earth hath he given to the children of men." (Psalm 115:16) How then can we harmonize this statement of the Scriptures with Peter's words? "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
259works that are therein shall be burned up. . . . The heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." — 2 Pet. 3:10,12.
447 It is manifest that the apostle is here using symbolic language. He states that the Lord comes as a thief, illustrating how quietly and unobservedly his second coming or appearing takes place, as we have already noted. Then we must conclude that the other main elements here mentioned are symbolic. "The heavens," symbolically, means the invisible part of Satan's organization. "The earth" symbolically represents the visible part of Satan's organization. "The elements" here meant are the various selfish elements of the earth, composed of ecclesiasticism, political parties, lodge systems, etc., that go to make up the various elements of human society; and we can see that these are all discordant and warring amongst themselves. They shall all be dissolved and shall melt with fervent heat; that is to say, during the heated time of trouble.
448 But the apostle states in the thirteenth verse of this chapter: "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness"; meaning thereby that we look for a new invisible power of control, Messiah's kingdom, and a new visible government, to take the place of the old. The words here have no reference to the mundane sphere or globe upon which the human race resides.
449 The symbolic fire is now beginning to burn in the troublesome time that we see amongst the peoples and nations of the earth; and it will continue to burn until all the false systems of Satan's empire are completely destroyed. This is a further evidence of the
260Lord's presence at this time, as well as one of the purposes for which he comes.
450 In speaking of the proof of his presence, Jesus further stated that at that time there would be "upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea [restless humanity] and the waves [various organized parts of it] roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see [discern] the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory"; that is to say, they will discern the Lord's presence through the "clouds", symbolic of his presence, and "glory", the manifestation of his justice and power. (Luke 21: 25-27) No one will attempt to gainsay the fact that just now, in the year 1928, all the nations are in distress and that the people in all branches of business, socially, politically and otherwise, are in perplexity and know not what to do. And men of earth who are engaged in business affairs are so fearful that their hearts are failing them, not knowing which way to turn nor what to do.
451 On one hand we observe the employers who own the factories and the mills and who employ the laboring element to do the work, striving to curtail their expenses, reducing wages and discharging men, resulting in millions' being out of employment with no means of earning a livelihood for themselves or families. On the other hand is the laboring class of men, who have received their employment at the hands of the wealthier, who are distressed in mind. And because of the injustices heaped upon them they are becoming more restless each day and are threatening to take complete possession and control of the factories and mills and mines and to operate these them-
261selves. The political class, striving always to do the will of the financial powers, are perplexed and frightened as to what they shall do, yet constantly acting in a vain attempt to help their allies in the great beastly organization; while the apostate clergy, which goes to make up the third element of the beastly organization, is trying to induce the order-loving people to unite themselves with church systems and thereby support the employing class.
452 These various elements, selfishly exercising what power they have, are going from bad to worse, leading on to a great disaster for the unrighteous systems of earth. Jesus points this out as the final and conclusive evidence of his presence and of the end of the world, saying: "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) The Prophet Daniel corroborates the words of the Master to the effect that in this time of trouble the great Messiah will manifest himself and put into operation his kingdom. He says: "And at that time shall Michael [God's representative, the Messiah] stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." — Daniel 12:1.
453 The world is madly rushing on now to this time of trouble. It is the time spoken of by the Prophet Haggai, who says: "And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." (Haggai
2622:7) And when this great shaking is over, then the desire of all nations and peoples will come, namely, an honest, righteous government, administered in behalf of mankind under the supervision of the great Messiah. The Apostle Paul refers to this time as a time of great shaking, which immediately precedes the full establishment of the Messianic kingdom. (Hebrews 12:18-28) The Lord by his presence is bringing to light every hidden thing. The apostle foretold it would be thus, saying: "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts." — 1 Corinthians 4:5.
454 Thus the Lord is letting the light of truth shine out, and by the truth is exposing Satan, which means the great adversary, the Devil, and his various agencies and influences in the earth. And this is further evidence of the Lord's presence. Hence Satan is now gathering his forces for the final battle, in which his power will be destroyed. Jesus in his revelation to John caused to be written these words: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." (Revelation 20:1-3) This is the time that Jesus foretold when the nations shall be as "vessels of a potter . . . broken to shivers". (Revelation 2: 27) Satan soon shall be restrained and his empire completely and for ever destroyed. (Isaiah 34:1-4;
26351: 6) Thus shall the Lord be revealed to the world, and they shall know of his presence by the fiery time of trouble which shall take vengeance upon the unrighteous systems and things of the earth. (2 Thessalonians 1: 7, 8) This is the day of God's vengeance, and his fire will continue to burn until all parts of the Satanic organizations are destroyed. The prophet wrote concerning this first work of the Messiah: "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." — Psalm 2:9.
TO RECEIVE HIS BRIDE455 Jesus is likened unto a bridegroom, while the church is likened unto a bride. (John 3: 29; Revelation 21: 9; 2 Corinthians 11:2) Many beautiful word pictures or types appear in the Old Testament, which God caused to be made for the purpose of teaching his great plan to those who would search for the truth. One of these pictures is that of Isaac and Rebekah. Abraham the father of Isaac sent his servant Eliezer into a distant land to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant took ten camels and went into Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. There he found Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, a virgin very fair to look upon. Eliezer "took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold". Rebekah agreed to accompany Eliezer to become the wife of Isaac. "And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man [Eliezer]," who brought her unto Isaac. "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife," after his mother Sarah's death. See Genesis 24.
264456 In this picture Abraham is a type of Jehovah; his wife Sarah, a type of the Abrahamic covenant, from which the Messiah springs; Isaac, the son, a type of Jesus Christ; while Rebekah is a type of the church, the bride of Christ. Eliezer, Abraham's servant, is a type of the holy spirit, whose mission it is to invite the church and to assist her, and ultimately to bring her and her companions to the antitypical Isaac, the Lord Jesus, the Bridegroom. Before Jesus departed from the earth he said to his disciples: "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, . . . even the spirit of truth. ... I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:16-19) Eliezer here pictures the comforter, the holy spirit, which was given at Pentecost, at which time the way was opened and the invitation was given to men who love the Lord to become followers of the Lord Jesus and be of the bride class. The ten camels which Eliezer took with him represent the Word of God, the ten strings of the harp. The golden earring presented to Rebekah represents the blessed and pleasing effect of hearing the call to be the bride of Christ; while the two bracelets picture the happy effect of responding to the divine call and doing with our might what our hands find to do.
457 The call to become members of this glorious bride class is beautifully pictured by the psalmist thus: "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him." (Psalm 45:10,11) Responding to that call, one consecrates his all to the Lord, is begotten of the
265holy spirit, and henceforth being borne up by the spirit of the Lord through his Word grows in the likeness of his Master and prepares for the coming of the beloved Bridegroom. The death of Sarah, Abraham's wife, pictures the end of the Abrahamic covenant, from which springs the bride of Christ; and Isaac receiving Rebekah and taking her as his wife after his mother's death foreshadowed the complete union of Christ Jesus the bridegroom and the church his bride at the end of the world.
458 Throughout the entire Christian era from Pentecost until now the Lord has been preparing his bride, the church. Many have been called, but few have been chosen, and still fewer will be faithful; but only the faithful ones will he receive. Just before his departure at the time of his first advent he said: "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.
459 Here, then, is one of the positive statements that one of the chief purposes of the Lord's return is to receive unto himself his bride. Since his appearance, therefore, he has been doing the harvest work, namely, gathering unto himself those who will constitute the bride class.
460 The Lord gives a picture of this kingdom class. (Matthew 25:1-13) He speaks of ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. A virgin means a pure one. Lovers of the Lord Jesus, the Bridegroom, long for his return. These took their lamps. The lamp represents the Word of God; as the psalmist says: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet." (Psalm 119:105) Part of these
266virgins were wise; therefore they took oil in their vessels. The wise represent the bride class, the faithful ones; while the foolish ones picture a class of greater numbers who will not be of the bride class, but will be born on the spirit plane. While these have waited for the coming of the Lord, the foolish ones have been indifferent. They have had no oil in their vessels, which means they have no real, inward joy in serving the Lord and his cause; hence they have been negligent. Whereas the wise virgins have been watching and have kept their lamps trimmed and burning; which means they have studied the Word of God and watched the fulfilment of prophecies, have rejoiced in the fact of his presence and delighted in telling others thereof, and have prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom. As these, then, of the bride class come to a knowledge of the fact that the Bridegroom is present, they join in the cry: "Behold the Bridegroom!" And they hasten to prepare to meet him. During the time of the harvest of the Christian age and during the second presence of the Lord, members of the wise virgin class coming to a knowledge of the truth of his presence have rejoiced greatly because the Lord has returned; and the joy of the bride class has increased as the members have marked the ever-increasing evidence manifesting the Lord's presence and the preparation for his kingdom. With gladness they have learned of his presence and have been zealous in presenting the message of truth to others, that their hearts might be refreshed. The Lord has a special reward for those who love his second appearing, as the apostle plainly stated. (2 Timothy 4:8) There will not be a great number of this bride class. On the contrary, they are small in number. Jesus said there would be but a
267little flock. (Luke 12: 32) Through the Apostle John he designates the number as 144,000. — Rev. 14:1.
461 Some of these dear saints, however, have been selected from time to time throughout the Christian age, beginning with the apostles at Pentecost. These have died and waited for the return of the Lord. Since the Scriptures show that the dead know not anything until the resurrection, it would be reasonable to expect the Lord to do something for these who had died faithful to their covenant and that he would do something for them in the time of his presence. Paul says: "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." — 1 Thess. 4:15-17.
462 Some have misconstrued this text to mean that the Lord will appear the second time and at that time give a great shout whereby the dead shall be awakened. Manifestly the text above quoted refers to the time when Christ Jesus comes to his temple. He comes clothed with all power and authority. He comes triumphantly. He has ousted the enemy from heaven and gathered unto himself those who have been faithful. It is the time for an expression of his own joy; and coming to his temple, and finding some faithful, he invited them to enter into his joy. It is the time for the forward and triumphant movement of those who love God and when they must give proclamation concerning the kingdom of heaven. It is
268the time for these, as the Lord's instruments, to serve notice upon the nations that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
463 At that time, then, we should expect the resurrection of those saintly ones who died before the second coming of the Lord; and should expect that these would be awakened out of death and gathered unto the Lord, thus to be for ever with him. And therefore those believers who were alive at his coming, when the time comes for their death, would experience an instantaneous change from human to spirit beings. And finally, when all the members of the bride class shall have finished their course and all have passed from the human into the spiritual condition, with glorious bodies, they will enjoy peace and happiness for evermore. The Lord is taking unto himself his bride class, because the promise is that these shall be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus in his kingdom and that they shall reign with him. — Romans 8:16,17; Revelation 20: 6.
ESTABLISHING HIS KINGDOM464 Before the foundation of the world God foreordained that he would have a kingdom and a royal family who would have charge of the kingdom. The kingdom necessarily embraces the royal house or royal family, as well as the dominion. Foreknowing the end of all things, God provided in his great plan not only for the redemption of the human race, but for the selection from amongst men of a certain number whom he would transform into the image and likeness of his beloved Son. God provided also that these should constitute the royal family of heaven. The Apostle Peter says of this class: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for
269a purpose; that you may declare the perfections of him who called you from darkness into his wonderful light; who once were not a people, but now are God's people." — 1 Peter 2:9,10, Diaglott.
465 To his disciples, and to those who should thereafter become such, Jesus said: "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me." (Luke 22: 29) And again: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne." (Revelation 3: 21) From these scriptures it is to be seen that the church constitutes with Jesus the royal family, the kingdom class, otherwise called the seed of Abraham, through which the blessings shall flow out to mankind. This is the kingdom for which he taught his disciples to pray. This is the kingdom which the Prophet Daniel declares shall be set up to have no successor, and which shall be established during the last days of the kingdoms of this wicked world. — Daniel 2:44; 7:14,27.
466 The truly consecrated followers of Jesus, obedient to his admonition, have been watching and waiting; and those who were permitted to live at the time of his second presence and since have experienced that blessedness spoken of by Daniel the prophet at the end of the 1335 symbolic days or years. As the great divine plan has been revealed to these they have learned that the Lord has returned and is here, invisible to human eyes, yet exercising his great power in exposing Satan and dashing to pieces the present unrighteous order, gathering unto himself his saints, and putting in order the affairs of his kingdom; that he has taken unto himself his great power to reign, and that soon all the saints shall participate with the Lord in glory in carrying out the further divine
270arrangement. As this string upon the harp of God is revealed to them, they sing with exultant joy:
"Our lamps are trimmed and burning,467 And these saints while yet on earth, beholding with the eye of faith the marvelous fulfilment of prophecy, are patiently waiting for the time of their glorification, when they shall each be clothed upon with a new and beautiful body, like unto Jesus, the beloved Bridegroom, and when they shall each see him as he is.
Our robes are white and clean;
We've tarried for the Bridegroom,
And now we'll enter in.
We know we've nothing worthy
That we can call our own,
The light, the oil, the robes we wear,
Are all from him alone.
Behold, behold the Bridegroom!
And all may enter in,
Whose lamps are trimmed and burning,
Whose robes are white and clean."
Our robes are white and clean;
We've tarried for the Bridegroom,
And now we'll enter in.
We know we've nothing worthy
That we can call our own,
The light, the oil, the robes we wear,
Are all from him alone.
Behold, behold the Bridegroom!
And all may enter in,
Whose lamps are trimmed and burning,
Whose robes are white and clean."
What effect is produced upon one by the return of a very dear friend long absent? ¶ 347.
Define the term "friend". ¶ 348.
Who is mankind's greatest friend, and why? ¶ 348.
How long since Jesus journeyed to a far country? and what did he say about returning? ¶ 349.
If the facts show that this dear friend has returned for the blessing of mankind, what effect should this have upon those who have been expecting his return? ¶ 349.
Would his returning constitute one of the strings upon the harp of God? ¶ 349.
For what have the Jews been long hoping and praying? ¶ 350.
For what have Christians been looking and waiting for the past nineteen centuries? ¶ 350.
271For what is the world of mankind groaning and waiting? ¶ 350.
What effect will be produced upon mankind when they learn that their benefactor is present to bestow blessings upon them? ¶ 350.
Is the returning of the Lord to Christians a precious string upon the harp of God? and if so, why? ¶ 351.
What conditions in the earth are preparing the people for a knowledge of our Lord's return? ¶ 352.
Are the reasons for our Lord's return few or many? and Should they be kept in mind? ¶ 353.
Should we reason upon the Scriptures? and if so, why? ¶ 353.
In the advancement of the divine plan, do we find reason and the Scriptures harmonizing? ¶ 353.
What points are conclusively proven by the scriptures thus far examined? ¶ 354.
Why is it necessary for relationship to be established between the world and the Lord Jesus? ¶ 354.
What reason do we see for the Lord's establishing in the earth a righteous order of things? ¶ 354.
Must he be present to establish that order? ¶ 354.
Is there Scriptural evidence to support these reasonable conclusions? ¶ 355.
What did the Prophet Isaiah say about the coming of this mighty One? ¶ 355.
What presumption follows the term "everlasting father"? ¶ 355.
What blessing, then, should we expect man to receive through the promised government? ¶ 355.
What presumption must be indulged concerning the coming of the Lord from the utterance of Jehovah to King Zedekiah through the Prophet Ezekiel when God overturned the government of Israel? ¶ 356.
What is to be expected that the coming of this mighty One would do in the earth? ¶ 357.
When Zedekiah was overthrown, what did the Gentiles do, by the Lord's permission? ¶ 358.
Through the Prophet Daniel, what world empires did the Lord Jehovah foretell? and how long would they last? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 358.
Would we expect the righteous King to be present when this breaking to pieces of the old kingdoms occurs? ¶ 358.
272Why do the Scriptures speak of this righteous kingdom as the kingdom of heaven? ¶ 358.
In what twofold sense is the term "kingdom" used? ¶ 359.
To what did most of the parables of Jesus relate? ¶ 359.
What did Jesus teach the disciples indicating the importance of the Lord's coming kingdom? ¶ 359.
Should Christians expect the fulfilment of their prayers? ¶ 359.
Since this coming King must have a kingdom, do the Scriptures indicate who is to be the king of this new order? Quote the Scriptural proof. ¶ 359.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, of what crime was he accused? ¶ 360.
What question did Pilate ask him? and what was the Lord's reply? ¶ 360.
What is meant by the term "world" as used in this and other scriptures? ¶ 360.
What peoples were to have dominion in the earth from the time of Zedekiah's overthrow until the second coming of the Lord? ¶ 360.
Who is the invisible ruler of that social order of things? ¶ 360.
By what other terms is Satan designated? ¶ 360.
What has been the nature of Satan's rule through his earthly representatives? ¶ 360.
What do we understand, then, to be the meaning of the Master's words to Pilate? ¶ 360.
Did the parable of the pounds taught by our Lord to his disciples indicate his return? ¶ 361.
What is also indicated by the parable of the talents? ¶ 361.
What did Jesus say to his disciples just before his crucifixion, about his second coming? Quote his words. ¶ 362.
Where were Jesus and his disciples when Jesus ascended into heaven? ¶ 363.
Give the Scriptural account of what occurred at the time of his ascension. ¶ 363.
Who were the men who stood by and spoke to the disciples at that time? ¶ 363.
Why did these angels thus materialize and speak to the disciples? ¶ 363.
Were the disciples thoroughly convinced of the second
273coming of the Lord? and if so, how did it influence their teachings? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 364.
What did Paul say to Timothy about the time of the end of his earthly career concerning the second coming of the Lord? ¶ 364.
What special promise is indicated for the benefit of those who would love his appearing? ¶ 364.
What is the book of Revelation? ¶ 365.
What is stated in the latter part of that book concerning the Lord's return? ¶ 365.
Can there be any doubt about the Lord's second coming? and if not, why not? ¶ 366.
What, then, is one of the important questions to be first determined concerning his coming? ¶ 367.
From what should we expect to get the evidence concerning the manner of the Lord's return? ¶ 367.
Is it reasonable to suppose that he would return in the body in which he was put to death? and if not, why not? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 367.
In what manner will the faithful followers of Jesus see him? ¶ 367.
Has any human being seen the Lord Jesus' glorious body? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 367.
Why shall the disciples see him as he is? ¶ 368.
Why could not human eyes see him? ¶ 368.
Is he like Jehovah? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 368.
In what manner did Paul say the Christian should henceforth know Christ Jesus? ¶ 368.
After the ascension of Jesus on high, what was his position with reference to the Father? ¶ 369.
Give Scriptural proof that he is a spirit being. ¶ 369.
What did Jesus say to Nicodemus about a spirit being? and how does this illustrate that human eyes can not see the glorious Lord? ¶ 369.
Should we expect, then, our Lord to be present, not seen by human eyes, but discernible by those who are his true followers? ¶ 370.
Satan is the god of this present evil world. Have human eyes seen him? ¶ 370.
What will constitute the new heavens and new earth? ¶ 370.
Will the ruler of those new heavens, the Messiah, be visible or invisible? ¶ 370.
274Is there any reason for us to expect human beings to see the Lord? ¶ 370.
Is it always proper to use the word "coming" with reference to our Lord's second appearance? If not, what other word is properly used? ¶ 371.
Quote a number of scriptures in which the word "coming" is properly translated "presence". ¶ 372-382.
When Jesus ascended on high, what did the angels standing by advise his disciples as to the manner of his return? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 383.
What does this suggest as to the manner of his return? ¶ 383.
What is meant by coming as a thief in the night? and how does this illustrate the second coming of the Lord? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 383.
What does the night illustrate? ¶ 383.
What did the Lord say concerning those who would report his return in the desert or in the secret chambers? ¶ 384.
Explain the Lord's statement of his second appearing wherein he said, "As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall the presence of the Son of man be." ¶ 384.
What heavenly planet or body is used to picture the second appearing of the Lord? ¶ 385.
Why is it important to keep in mind that the Lord's second appearing will be invisible to human eyes? ¶ 386.
Is the time of his coming important to Christians? ¶ 387.
State the various opinions expressed by some concerning the Lord's second coming. ¶ 387.
Why do some of these desire him not to come? ¶ 387.
Are we justified in assuming that no one could ever know the time of his second appearing? and if not, why not? ¶ 388.
Is it reasonable to suppose that Jesus himself would know some time before? ¶ 388.
Why would he tell his disciples to watch if they would never know of his coming? ¶ 388.
When Jesus arose from the dead, what did he say about the power committed to him? ¶ 388.
Is it reasonable to conclude that he then knew of his second appearing and when it would take place? ¶ 388.
Should we expect the angels in heaven to know when that great event takes place? ¶ 388.
Did the Lord promise the disciples that after they re-
275ceived the holy spirit they might know concerning his second coining? ¶ 389.
What Scriptural promise is given the Christian that he shall have revealed to him these things in due time? ¶ 389.
What did Paul, after he had received the holy spirit, writing under inspiration to the Thessalonians, say about the times and seasons and the second coming of the Lord? ¶ 389.
Should we expect the watching Christians to be in darkness as to the time of the Lord's appearing? ¶ 389.
How did Jesus speak concerning his second coming? ¶ 390.
What is the meaning of prophecy as relating to the Lord's presence? ¶ 390.
Does the fulfilment of prophecy enable the watcher to determine about the Lord's presence? ¶ 390.
In what way did Jesus use the natural harvest to illustrate his second coming? ¶ 391.
Repeat the parable of the wheat and the tares, and give the Scriptural interpretation of it. ¶ 391, 392.
What definite conclusion must be drawn from this statement of the Lord relative to his second presence? ¶ 393.
Would it be necessary for the Lord to be present before the harvest? ¶ 393.
Would it be necessary for him to be present some time before the end of the age or world? ¶ 393.
What great historical facts were written prophetically by the Prophet Daniel? ¶ 394.
Could these statements of the Prophet Daniel leading up to the "time of the end" be understood by him? ¶ 394.
What did Daniel himself say about understanding his prophecy? ¶ 394.
Who did he say would understand in due time? ¶ 394.
What is meant by the term "time of the end"? ¶ 394.
What did the Prophet Daniel definitely state would take place at the "time of the end"? Quote the scripture. ¶ 394.
State the fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy (11:40, 41 ¶ 395.
In connection with Napoleon's campaign, who was meant in this prophecy by the "king of the south" and by the "king of the north"? ¶ 395.
When did Napoleon's campaign end, as in this prophecy described? ¶ 395.
276How is the "time of the end" definitely fixed and stated? ¶ 395.
From what time in the world's history have governments been pictured by beasts? ¶ 396.
What did the Prophet Daniel say about a fourth beast? ¶ .396.
What constitute the three principal component parts of the "beast"? ¶ 396.
Give the historical date of the beginning of this great "beast". ¶ 396.
Quote Daniel's words in Daniel 12: 5-7. ¶ 397.
In Biblical symbology, what is meant by a "time"? ¶ 397.
How much time was indicated by the Prophet Daniel in this prophecy as elapsing from the beginning of this beastly order to the "time of the end"? ¶ 397.
How is the beginning of the "time of the end" definitely fixed at 1799 A. D.? ¶ 397.
What other periods of time does the Prophet Daniel mention in the twelfth chapter? ¶ 398.
From what date must these prophetic days be counted, as shown by the foregoing facts? ¶ 398.
What was the most important thing to which the prophet pointed? ¶ 398.
Applying the above rule, a day for a year, when would the 1335 days of Daniel's prophecy end? ¶ 398.
What should be expected at that date? ¶ 398.
If we are correct in reaching this date of 1874, should we expect corroborative evidence of the Lord's presence? ¶ 398.
Why is fulfilled prophecy conclusive proof concerning the question at issue? ¶ 399.
What is the value of physical facts in examining any question? ¶ 399.
Is there a difference between the date of the beginning of the "time of the end" and that of the presence of the Lord? ¶ 400.
What period of time is covered by the "time of the end"? ¶ 400.
From what time does the Lord's second presence date? and during what period of the "time of the end" does his presence occur? ¶ 400.
Was there any reason why these important dates should be concealed for a time? Give Scriptural reason. ¶ 401.
Is it reasonable to expect that Jehovah would indicate
277something by which the event could be determined in the future? ¶ 401.
For what did he tell Daniel to look as evidence of the "time of the end"? ¶ 402.
If 1799 marks the beginning of the "time of the end", should we expect a specific fulfilment of this prophecy of Daniel shortly thereafter? ¶ 402.
Who had access to the Bible prior to 1799? ¶ 402.
What penalties were attached to common people for having a Bible in possession? ¶ 402.
What happened in 1799 that caused a change of conditions? ¶ 402.
Who had taught the doctrine of the divine right of kings and the divine right of the clergy? ¶ 402.
What historical event occurred to open the minds of the people to the truth concerning these doctrines? ¶ 402.
How did this mark a beginning of the fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy? ¶ 402.
State when and how soon after 1799, the beginning of the "time of the end", the great Bible societies were organized. ¶ 403.
Give approximately the number of Bibles that were distributed amongst the people thereafter. ¶ 403.
Did the Papal system gladly participate in distributing the Bible amongst the people? ¶ 403.
When did the people begin to learn that God makes no distinction between persons, whether they are priests or of the "common herd"? ¶ 403.
Relate something concerning the increase of knowledge generally since 1800 A. D. ¶ 404.
Prior to 1799, what was the means of travel through the countries? ¶ 405.
Was there any increase of travel shortly after 1799 A. D.? ¶ 405.
When was the steam locomotive put in operation? and how have means of rapid transit increased since that time? ¶ 405.
Do these relate to the 'day of God's preparation'? ¶ 406.
When was the telegraph invented? and what other means of communication have followed since? ¶ 407.
Can there be any doubt about these physical facts' marking a fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy concerning the "time of the end"? ¶ 408.
278What did Jesus say concerning the latter part of the "time of the end" and in what way it would be indicated? ¶ 409.
Did the Apostle Paul indicate that greater light would come to the people at the "time of the end"? ¶ 409.
What other evidence have we of increasing light at that time? ¶ 410.
What class of people have been trodden down for centuries? and when did they begin to get their eyes opened as to their privileges? ¶ 410.
When was the first labor organization in the world formed? ¶ 410.
Enumerate some of the great inventions and discoveries since 1874, marking the fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy, and the Lord's presence, and the "time of the end". ¶ 410.
How long is the harvest of the Christian era? Where and how is this pictured? ¶ 411.
Why have true Christians been gathered together during the past fifty years, and in what work have these been engaged? ¶ 412.
Give the distinction between wheat and tares referred to by the Lord in the parable of Matthew 13:30. ¶ 413.
What has been the Lord's purpose in gathering together his people during the harvest period? ¶ 414.
Identify the temple class. Give Scriptural proofs. ¶ 415.
Why is the temple of God holy? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 416.
Do the Scriptures indicate at what time the Lord Jesus begins exercising power against Satan? When and how? ¶ 417.
When was Jesus presented to Israel as King? ¶ 418.
What important event of the Lord's second presence occurred in 1918? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 419.
Define evidence, circumstantial and positive. Give instances of each. ¶ 420.
What constitutes physical facts upon which we may rely as competent evidence? ¶ 421.
When did the Lord come to his temple, and what is the proof thereof? Whom do the sons of Levi picture? What is the real purpose of the refining? What is an offering in righteousness? ¶ 422.
What happened to the church in 1918 and which Jesus foretold? ¶ 423.
279What conclusion may be reached from the foregoing facts? ¶ 424.
Why have Christians particularly since 1875 been proclaiming the Scriptural proof of the divine plan? How did Jesus illustrate the gathering together of his followers? ¶ 425.
Do we find the clergy of various denominations anxious to tell of the Lord's second presence? and if not, why not? ¶ 426.
Why do these distinguished gentlemen scoff and jeer at those who teach that the Lord is now present? ¶ 426.
Did the Lord foretell this? Quote the apostle's language with reference to it. ¶ 426.
Why did the disciples want to know what would be the proof of the Lord's presence and of the end of the world? ¶ 427.
Repeat the question that they propounded to Jesus on the Mount of Olives. ¶ 427.
Will the physical earth ever be destroyed? Give Scriptural proof for answer. ¶ 427.
What is meant, then, by the end of the world? ¶ 428.
What became of the first world? ¶ 428.
How many persons were carried over from the first world to that designated as the 'present evil world'? ¶ 428.
What period of time is designated in the Scriptures as the 'present evil world'? ¶ 428.
What Scriptural proof is there as to how the 'present evil world' shall pass away? ¶ 428.
In what world and what part of that world did God make the promise to Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed? ¶ 429.
What was God's declaration to Zedekiah, the king of Israel? Repeat it. ¶ 429.
When was Zedekiah overthrown? ¶ 430.
Who established the universal Gentile empire then? ¶ 430.
When did the "Gentile times" begin? and how long must that period last? ¶ 430.
Who is the one here spoken of by the prophet as "he whose right it is"? ¶ 430.
Would it be reasonable, then, to expect the presence of this mighty One before the overthrow of the old order or present evil world? ¶ 430.
Why was the year 1914 A. D. an important date? ¶ 430.
280What would be reasonably expected to be the conduct of the Gentile nations after 1914 with reference to continuing in power? ¶ 431.
What does the apostle say would be the condition of these nations at that time? Quote the scripture. ¶ 431.
What did Jesus say would mark the beginning of the end of the world? Quote his answer to the question. ¶ 432.
What fulfilment of this prophecy began in 1914? ¶ 432.
How does the fulfilment of this prophecy also mark the fulfilment of the prophecy of Daniel (2: 44)? ¶ 433.
Why are these kingdoms of earth being broken to pieces? ¶ 433.
Quote the words of Jesus given by various apostles concerning the persecution of his followers at the end of the world. ¶ 434.
What fulfilment of these prophetic utterances of the Master took place in 1917, 1918, and 1919? ¶ 434.
Give some instances of the Lord's protecting care of his followers during this period of persecution. ¶ 435-437.
Why should Christians not complain but rejoice because of these trying experiences? ¶ 437.
Quote the Master's words in Matthew 24:14, in answer to the question propounded to him. ¶ 438.
What evidence is there of a fulfilment of these prophetic words? ¶ 438.
What did Jesus say relative to the regatherlng of Israel to Palestine as evidence of his second presence? ¶ 439.
What did Jesus tell his followers to do when they should see these things coming to pass, and why? ¶ 439.
How is the Lord's presence and the end of the world Shown by the reaping of the "vine of the earth"? ¶ 440.
Why would Jesus admonish his followers to watch for his second coming? ¶ 442.
Suppose it were true that 'no man knows the day nor the hour' of the Lord's appearing, what difference would it now make? ¶ 443.
Is there any reason why a Christian should be in darkness concerning the times and seasons of the Lord's presence? ¶ 443.
Should we waste our time to quibble about dates, or days, or hours? ¶ 443.
What do fulfilled prophecy and the physical facts establish relative to this question? ¶ 443.
281How does the Prophet Isaiah describe this class of faithful watchers? Quote his words. ¶ 443.
Describe those who now have the harp of God. ¶ 444.
Give the three primary purposes of the Lord's presence. ¶ 445.
Is the Lord's second presence for the purpose of destroying the earth? ¶ 446.
What is the proper explanation of Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:10-12? ¶ 447.
What did the apostle mean when he said that 'we look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness'? ¶ 448.
What evidence is there that the fire is now burning? How long will it continue to burn? ¶ 449.
What bearing has this on the presence of the Lord? ¶ 449.
What Scriptural explanation is given for the distress of nations and perplexity at this time? ¶ 450.
Describe the actions of the employing and the laboring classes. How are all these perplexed? ¶ 451.
To what is this disturbed condition leading? ¶ 452.
Is there greater trouble just ahead? and if so, what proof have we? Quote the scriptures. ¶ 453.
What will follow this shaking of the nations? ¶ 453.
How is the Lord's presence revealing the hidden things? Quote the Scriptural authority for your answer. ¶ 453.
What effect is this light having upon Satan and his kingdom? What effect is the Lord's presence having upon the nations of the earth? ¶ 454.
Quote Isaiah 34:1-4 and 51: 6 and explain. ¶ 454.
How will this trouble bring to the minds of the people the presence of the Lord? ¶ 454.
What is meant by the "day of God's vengeance"? and what did the Lord say he would do with the nations at this time? ¶ 454.
What is meant by the Bridegroom and bride? Give the picture of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebekah, stating what each typified, and what the whole picture shows. ¶ 455.
In this picture, what did Eliezer represent? ¶ 456.
Quote the words of the Master with reference to sending a comforter to his followers. ¶ 456.
What was pictured by the ten camels which Eliezer took with him? What was pictured by the golden ornaments presented to Rebekah? ¶ 456.
282Quote the words of the psalmist inviting the church to become the bride of Christ, ¶ 457.
What do the called ones do in response to the call? ¶ 457.
What did Sarah picture with respect to the covenants? What is pictured by Isaac receiving Rebekah and making her his wife after the death of his mother Sarah? ¶ 457.
During what period of time has the Lord been preparing the bride of Christ? What did Jesus say about preparing a special place for these, and his return to receive his bride? ¶ 458.
What do his words show with reference to one of the principal reasons for his second coming? ¶ 459.
Explain the parable of the virgins, Matthew 25:1-13. How has knowledge of the Lord's presence affected the wise virgin class? ¶ 460.
What proof is this that his presence is one of the strings of the harp of God? ¶ 460.
Do the Scriptures indicate how many will be in the bride class? If so, give the proof. ¶ 460.
What do the Scriptures show the Lord does for the faithful saints who died long ago when he first returns? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 461.
To what period of time does the apostle refer in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17? ¶ 462.
Should we expect the resurrection of the saints during this time? How is he gathering unto himself the saints who are still on earth during his presence? ¶ 463.
Give some Scriptural promises concerning the church being for ever with the Lord. ¶ 463.
What is meant by the kingdom of God? Who constitute the royal family of heaven? ¶ 464.
What promise did Jesus make to this class concerning a kingdom? Where will these be associated with the Lord Jesus in his kingdom? ¶ 465.
For what kingdom did the Lord teach his disciples to pray? and is it the same spoken of by the prophets of old? ¶ 465.
Who have enjoyed and are enjoying the blessedness spoken of by Daniel the prophet in Daniel 12:12? ¶ 466.
As these appreciate this string of the harp, what song is appropriate to them? ¶ 466.
While the saints thus rejoice, for what do they patiently wait? and to what do they look forward? ¶ 467.