What I say unto you I say unto
BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
BROOKLYN ,N. Y., U.S.A.
* * *
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any
hear my voice [knock], and open the door, I will
to him and sup with him, and he with
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OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Subsequent Apokalupsis and Epiphania at his
Watch, therefore; for ye know not the day*
your Lord doth come.
What I say unto you, I say unto all
Matt. 24:42; Mark 13:37.
WHATEVER the character of the watching, and whatever
the thing to be l ooked for, there can be no question that the exhortation to watch for an
event whose precise time is not stated implies that the watching ones w ill know when the
event does take place. Watch, because ye know not, in order that at the proper time ye may
know, is the thought; and the intimation clearly is, that those who do not watch w ill not
know that the vents which are to be known in due time to the Watchers w ill be recognized
by them, and not recognized by others, at the time of accomplishment.
This, the only logical interpretation of our
Lords exhortation, is fully corroborated by several of the
* Thus read the oldest Greek MSS.
4 The Parousia of Our Lord
apostles. The Apostle Paul urges us, saying
Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the
night, and when they[the world, unbelievers] 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 Thes. 5:3, 4); because, being children of the light, ye brethren will be
watching and be enlightened and taught of the Lord. The Apostle Peter suggest the means by
which the Lord will teach us and inform us respecting our location upon the path of the
just which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. He shows that it will not be by
miraculous revelations, nor by dreams, but through the Word of testimony, the Bible. He
says We have a more sure word of prophecy, to which ye do well that ye take heed, as
unto a light which shineth in a dark place, until the Day dawn and the Day-star arise in
your hearts.2 Pet. 1:19.
The united testimony of these Scriptures teaches us
that, altho it was not proper nor possible for the Lords people to know anything
definite in advance, respecting the exact time of the second presence of the Lord Jesus
and the establishment of his Kingdom, yet when the due time would come the faithful ones,
the watchers, would be informed,would not be left in darkness with the world. It is
in vain to urge, as contradicting this, our Lords statement, Of that day and
hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but my Father
only. Those who use this Scripture to prove themselves and to others that no man
will ever know anything respecting the
5 At His Second Advent.
time of the second advent find it to prove too much,
and thus spoil their own argument; for if it means that no man will ever know, it
must similarly mean that no angel will ever know, and that the Son himself will never
know. This evidently would be an absurd construction to place upon the passage. The
Son did not know at the time he uttered this statement, the angels did not know then, and
no man knew then but the Son certainly must know of the time of his own second advent, and
at least a little while before it takes place; the angels must also know a little while
before it takes place, and the true children of God, the watchers, as we have
seen above, are to watch in order that they also may know at the proper season, and not be
in darkness, in ignorance, with the world; and that their watching shall be rewarded is
guaranteed: None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise [in heavenly
wisdom] shall understand.Dan. 12:10.
FOR WHAT ARE WE WATCHING?
This is an important question. Many of Gods
people have been offended, unstumbled, as respects the doctrine of the second
coming of our dear Redeemer, by reason of peculiar, extravagant, unreasonable, illogical
and unscriptural views on the subject, presented by some, who professedly love the
Lords appearing, knows as Second Adventists. But this is all wrong; we are not to
reject one of the grandest and most prominent doctrines of the Scriptures, simply because
some fellow-Christians have erred egregiously respecting the matter, and brought a certain
amount of worldlywise contempt upon everything connected with this subject. On the
contrary, this doctrine, as a glorious gem, should
6 The Parousia of Our Lord
be given the first place among the precious jewels of
divine truth, where it can cast its halo and splendor and brilliancy over all connected
and related promises and blessings. It should not be left in the imperfect setting which
hides its glory and beauty, but should be recovered, remounted, set in its true place, to
the glory of God and to the blessing of all who are sincerely and truly his people.
We need offer no apology for the interest which we
feel in this grand subject, which is the center upon which all the testimony of divine
grace, through all the holy prophets, is focused. Rather do they need to apologize who,
knowing that the second coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the dead hold the most
important places in the Scriptures, next to the doctrine of the atonement for sin, have
nevertheless neglected this while they have quarreled, skirmished, fought and bled over
trifling things of no real importance, doctrinally or otherwise.
Our watching is to be for the second coming of him
who redeemed us, who said, If I go away, I will come again and receive you unto
myself. The watching is to be specially with the thought that our Lord Jesus comes
at his second advent in the majesty and glory of the Father, King of kings and Lord of
lords. The watching not only includes the thought of the second presence of our Lord, as
King, but it has attached to it the wonderful results which are promised to flow from the
coming of the King; for the coming of the King means the coming of the kingdom for which
he taught us to pray, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in
heaven. And the coming of our Master, the King, and the establishment of
7 At His Second Advent.
this glorious Kingdom means the fulfilment of the
long-waited-for promise made to the seed of Abraham; the promise which Israel after the
flesh was not found worthy to inherit; the promise for which God has been selecting the
members of the Bride of Christ during this Gospel age, to be with the Lord Jesus and his
joint heir in carrying out its beneficent provisions; the promise which is sure, but which
has never yet had, in any sense of the word, a fulfilment; the promise which reads,
In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Watching implies hoping, and it also implies waiting.
We are waiting for what the Apostle terms that blessed hope, the glorious appearing
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who shall transform his Church to his own
spiritual image and likeness, in order that we (changed) may be like him, see
him as he is, and share his glory, and be associated with him in his great work of
bringing in the Millennial blessings to the world of mankind. Nevertheless, this waiting
time and hoping time is a time of more or less tribulation, not only on the world, which
lies still under the yoke of sin and under the blinding influences of Satan, but also to
the waiting, hoping and watching Church, of whom the Apostle says, We ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the deliverance [from death] of
our bodythe body of Christ, of which we are members in particular.Rom.
HOW ARE WE TO WATCH?
Our watching consists not in looking up into the
sky for those who study the Lords Word to any purpose soon learn that
the the day of the
8 The Parousia of Our Lord
Lord so cometh as [like] a thief in the night,
and that its dawning cannot be discerned with the natural eye. If the Lords people
would discern anything by watching the sky with their natural eyes, could not the world
discernthe same thing? If the second advent of our Lord were to be an open, outward
manifestation, would not the world know of it just as soon as the saints, the watchers? In
such event it could not be true that the day of the Lord should come as a thief, as a
snare, unawares, upon the world, while the Church would have foreknowledge
thereofnot be left in darkness.
We are to watch the signs of the times, in the
light of the Lords Word, our lamp as the Apostle declares, We have a more
sure Word of prophecy, . . .as a light shining in a dark placeuntil the Day
dawn. The Gospel age has been a night-time, and the Lords people have been
waiting for the dawn of the Millennial morning, with the promise ringing in their ears,
God will help her [the church] early in the morning. (Psa. 46:5.) The word of
the Lord, through the prophets, has been the lamplight all through this Gospel age, upon
the Churchs pathway, as the Lord expressed it through the Prophet David, Thy
word is a lamp to my feet, a lantern to my footsteps. The lamp of the truth of
revelation has guided all the faithful, watchful pilgrims in their journey toward the
Celestial Citythe Heavenly Kingdom. O, what a comfort it has been, and how dreary
would have been our pilgrimage without it!
Looking back, we praise the way
God has led us, day by day!
Those who have taken heed to the landmarks,
9 At His Second Advent.
pointed out by the Lord through Daniel and Isaiah and
Jeremiah, and all the holy prophets, realize that we have come already a much longer
journey than was expected by the Church when first she started out; but we realize also
from these landmarks that we have approached very closely to the end of the journey, very
near to the time when the great blessing, for which Gods people have so long waited
and prayed, is at hand. For instance, the Watchers have noted the Lords testimony
through the Prophet Daniel that the time of the end would be a period of time
(more than a century), and that in this time of the end there would be
a great increase of travel, running to and fro throughout the earth, and a great increase
of general intelligence, increased knowledge, as it is written, In the time of the
end many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.Dan. 12:4.
Watching carefully respecting our whereabouts,
hopeful and solicitous respecting the gracious things which God has promised, none of the
Watchers are indifferent to these fulfilments of prophecy, which are to be seen on every
hand to-day. All men discern these things, but not all alike the faithful, the Watchers,
discern them not only as facts, but also as fulfilments of prophecy; as proofs that we are
already in the period termed the time of the end. Further
investigations and applications of the prophetic measurements prove to the watchers that
we have been in the time of the end since 1799, and that it is also termed
the day of his [Jehovahs] preparation. Looking about them, they see the preparation
that Jehovah God is making for the Kingdom of his dear Son. They see the lifting of
the curtain of ignorance, and the letting in of
10 The Parousia of Our Lord
the light, and that thus God is using mankind at the
present time to make ready in a natural way the mechanical and other arrangements and
conveniences which ultimately shall be so great blessings to the world, when the Sun of
Righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams, and the Millennial Day shall be
ushered in, with all its multiplied blessings and mercies and opportunities;
the times of restitution of all things, spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets
since the world began.Acts 3:21.
Watching intently, earnestly, interestedly, because
they know of the good things God hath in reservation 1 Cor. 2:10-13), the Watchers note
that Daniels prophecy further points out that, as the increase of knowledge, so the
increase of knowledge will bring an increase of discontent to the world of mankind in
general; and the result will be as prophetically stated, that there shall be a time
of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. The Watchers, seeking to note
whether these things have yet a fulfilment or not, look about them and behold on every
hand discontent, unhappiness; far more than when the world enjoyed far fewer of the
mercies and blessings of heaven. These latter day gifts of Providence (preparations for
the Millennial age), instead of provoking thankfulness, gratitude and love to God and
generosity to man, produce in unregenerate hearts ambition, greater avarice, selfishness,
envy, hatred, strife, and other works of the flesh and of the devil. Yes; the Watchers can
clearly discern the great approaching climax of human trouble in which the Scriptures
distinctly declare that all the present human institutions shall go down in anarchy, in
confusion, in chaos,
11 At His Second Advent.
But the Watchers do not lose sight of God and his
providence. They see that, while the approaching social and ecclesiastical catastrophe
will be the natural result of the operation of selfishness under highly favored
conditions, nevertheless they remembered that God is at the helm, and that he is able to
cause the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of mans wrath (which would
not praise him) he will restrain.
The Watchers look not merely at the outward signs, as
seen in the world. They scrutinize carefully and repeatedly their chart, the
Bibles prophetic outline of the worlds history, furnished by the King himself.
It is because they see the time of trouble outlined in the prophetic chart that they know
that it is sure to come, and are able in advance of others to discern the signs of
the times, and not to be in darkness respecting the things to come.
It was in respect to this that the Lord promised the Watchers that the holy spirit should guide
them into all truth, as each feature becomes due, and would show them things to
comefuture thingsin advance of the worlds knowledge, and in advance of
the facts themselves. (John 16:13.) But the same chart which shows the downfall of all
earthly institutions, political, social and ecclesiastical, shows also that their fall is
so timed in the great plan of Jehovah that it shall be the very hour in which he will
establish in the hands of the elect Church (who then shall be a royal priesthood
glorified priests upon their thronesthe religious as well as the civil rulers
of the world), whose exaltation shall be to the glory of God and to the blessing of every
The Watchers remember well that the King gave them an
outline of the history of the Gospel age at the
12 The Parousia of Our Lord
very time he told them to watch, intimating to them
that they were to watch for the things which he therein noted. The Watchers are those who
are in harmony with the King and who have respect to his promises, and they, therefore, do
not neglect the words which he spoke. And as they note this very prophecy in connection
with which he tells them to watch, they see in it clearly that the day of the Lord will be
ushered in at the close of this Gospel age, secretly, quietly, unobtrusively, as a
thief in the night,unaware to the world, and known only to the Watchers.
PAROUSIA VS. EPIPHANIA, APOKALUPSIS.
Because not heedless, careless, indifferent servants
of the King, but faithful and earnest, the Watchers have scrutinized every little
particular which fell from the lips of him who spake as never man spake; and all the
messages which he has sent them through his faithful apostles and prophets. And
discriminating carefully, they discern that there are three words of distinctly different
signification used in the respect to the Lords second advent; namely, parousia and
epiphania and apokalupsis. Parousia is used in respect to the earliest stage
of the second advent, while apokalupsis and epiphania relate to another or a
third advent, but merely to a later feature of the second advent. These Greek words, it is
true, are somewhat obscured or hidden in the Common Version of the Bible, and probably for
a purpose. The Lords purpose evidently was to keep the world and the wicked in
ignorance of his gracious plan until his due time; nor did he wish the particulars to be
understood by the Watchers until nearly the
13 At His Second Advent.
time of the fulfilment. But now we are in the
time of the end, in the day of his preparation, in the time which it was
foretold that then the wise [not the worldlywise but the humble Watchers who are
wise enough to take heed to the Word of the Lord] shall understand. (Dan. 12:10.)
And hence, since many of the Watchers are not Greek scholars, God has made gracious
provision through valuable helps (such as Youngs Analytical Concordance and
the Emphatic Diaglott), so that the very humblest of his people may have a clear
and discriminating understanding of the meaning of certain features of his Word which
hitherto have been kept hidden under imperfect translations and these matters God himself
has been bringing to the attention of his people, through SCRIPTURE STUDIES, THE WATCH
TOWER and the PEOPLES PULPIT. The Watchers all over the world are being reached by these
Helping Hands for Bible students, which the Lord himself is extending to them.
By these helps, the Watchers are rapidly coming to
see that the word parousia, translated in our Common Version
coming, does not mean what our English word signifies; namely, to be on the
way, approaching; but that on the contrary it signifies presence, as of one who has
already arrived. The Watchers note also that the Scriptures predicate certain things
respecting the Lord and respecting his parousia (his presence), which clearly intimate
that he will be present and doing his works, his great work (of setting up his Kingdom
and smiting the nations with the sword of his mouth) wholly unknown to the world,
as a thief in the night. The Watchers also notice that the Scriptures clearly
indicate that after the Lord has done certain things
14 The Parousia of Our Lord
during his presence (parousia) and unknown to
the world, he will later make a manifestation of his presence;a manifestation
which will be discerned by all mankind and the outward manifestation is designated his
epiphania which signifies shining forth or bright
The Watchers get the two thoughts respecting the
Lords second coming that first, altho really present a spirit being, like the angels
who, we are told, encamp them that fear God and deliver them, and who are all
ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of
salvation, and whose ministry is an invisible one (Psa. 34:7; Heb. 1:14),so
also our Lord, now a glorious spirit being, of the divine nature, will not be manifest to
the natural eye during his presencehis parousia. Hence the necessity
that the Lords faithful ones shall watch, because they, no more
than the world, can discern a spirit being with their natural eyes. The Watchers in due
time are to discern the presence (parousia) of their Lord by the eye of faith. The
sleepless eye of faith will in due time take note of the sign of the Son of
Man,the indications of the presence of the King.
During the period of the parousia (presence)
preceding the epiphania (shining forth) a certain work will be accomplished,
unknown to the world, unknown to the nominal Church, known only to the Watchers. Ah, how
important to us the words of our Master, exhorting us to be Watchers!
And, by the way, this watching includes a watching of
our own hearts as well as of the Lords Word and the outward signsto insure our
worthiness to be continued in the light, and under the instructions of the great Teacher,
15 At His Second Advent.
man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of
his; and if any man lose the spirit of Christ he ceases to be his; and hence we all
need to watch that we may, as the Scriptures direct, Keep our garments
unspotted from the world; and Keep ourselves in the love of God, while
looking for the grace [aid] of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is able to keep us from
falling and to present us faultless in the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
For whoever has the spirit of Christ may be a Watcher, and as a Watcher may know of the
gracious things connected with the great salvation which shall be brought unto us at
the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but whoever ceases to have the
spirit of Christ must of necessity cease also to be a Watcher and shall be in ignorance of
the things of the day of the Lord like the world, of which he then probably would be a
As the light by which the eye of faith may discern
the parousia, we have the more sure word of prophecy to which we do well to
take heed. It has shone upon the pathway of the Watchers all along through this
night, but now its various prophetic rays have focussed and clearly indicate that we are
already living in the days of the Son of Man, while, as he expressly
foretold, the world in general goes on as usual, in utter ignorance of his presence, and
of his harvest work, and of the beginning of the Day of the Lord; it continues as
usualeating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, planting and building. It
is a mistake to suppose that our Lord, in giving this information respecting the events of
the time of his presence, meant us to understand that it would be wicked for the
world to eat, drink, plant, build and marry; these are
16 The Parousia of Our Lord
not improper things and any such interpretation is
strained and faulty and results from an utter misconception of the subject. Our Lord
wished merely to show that the world would be in ignorance of his presence in
the days of the Son of Man, and in utter ignorance of the great time of trouble or
Day of Vengeance which his inauguration of his Kingdom will signify to the
kingdoms of this world, which are to be dashed to pieces as potters vessels. The ignorance
of the impending trouble here will be similar to that of the people who lived in the
days of Noah.
As it was in the days of Noah, so also
shall it be in the days of the Son of Man.Luke 17:26.
As the days of Noah were not days
before Noahs time, neither are the days of the Son of an days
before the Son of Mans presence. The days of the Son of Man are the days of his parousia,
or presence,invisible and unknown to the world, known only to the Watchers and seen
by them only with the eye of faith. As in the days that were before the flood they
were eating, drinking marrying, . . . and knew not, . . . so shall also the
[parousia] presence of the Son of Man be:the world will simply go on about its
usual affairs, and know not of the Lords presence.Matt. 24:38.
But why should our Lord be thus present? What
will be his work during the period of presence preceding his epiphania or
manifestation to the world?
His work is clearly outlined in various of his
parables which were given that the Watchers might knowmight not be in darkness. The
parable of the wheat and the tares shows this period of the parousia (presence)
preceding the epiphania (manifestation), and
17 At His Second Advent.
represents it as the harvest time of this
age. The Son of Man sowed the good seed, and his servants followed, doing work in the
field down through the age; finally the end of the age comes when the full crop of wheat
is ripe, and then the harvest is reaped. The parable shows the separation of the two
classes of the nominal church during the harvest. For be it noted that the
wheat field is not the entire world, but merely the professedly Christian part of the
world Christendom much of the field is not yet sown. And the parable relates only to
the wheat field, and particularly to the wheat. The tares (spurious Christians) are dealt
with only incidentally. The tares choke the wheat, yet nevertheless the Master will obtain
a sufficiently large crop, for All his purposes shall be accomplished.
The separation of the tares from the wheat, and the
gathering of the wheat into the garner of heavenly conditions precedes the work of
cleansing the wheat field of its symbolic tares by symbolic fire; and this
entire harvest work is to take place during the parousia (presence) of our Lord,
before his epiphania manifestation). He is the Chief-Reaper, and all the
under-reapers will work under his direction and eye; and every kernel of true symbolic
wheat will be gathered into the glorious symbolic garner by
resurrection and change.
The truth will be separation medium, and not until
the separation is complete and the wheat all garnered into the glory of the
heavenly nature, will the fire the great time of trouble mentioned by the
Prophet and by our Lord, burn and consume, symbolically, all the tares: so
that thereafter none will make
18 The Parousia of Our Lord
false professions of being Christians while really of
the world possessed of its spirit.
The parables of the Pounds and of the Talents cover
this same period of time. In both of these the Lord represents himself as a great
householder and heir to the throne, who has gone into a far country to be invested with
kingly powers and to return to use those powers. Departing, he left with his servants
various riches of grace and privilege, to every man according to his several
ability, saying to them, Occupy till I come. The return of the nobleman
of the parables unquestionably represents the second coming of our Lord and Master. Now
note the work first due to take place upon his return as King, as shown by these parables.
He does not first deal with the rebellious world,those who would not have him to
rule over them; but first calls his own servants, and reckons with
themrejecting some from further service because of unfaithfulness, and accepting
others to a participation in the joys of the Kingdom which he at one establishes.
This reckoning with the servants signifies a
reckoning with the Church first, after his return; corresponds to the separating of the
wheat and tares, in the other parable. It is comparatively easy for anyone to realize that
this part of the Lords work at his second advent is the work which precedes the epiphania
or manifestation to the world. It is during this period that the Watchers are to be
aware of the presence (parousia) of the Lord, and of his scrutiny or
judgment of them, which will then be in progress. Only the faithful will know,
however,only they will be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of
Man in that judgmentall found unworthy shall (stumble. The
19 At His Second Advent.
wicked [and slothful servants] shall not stand in
the assembling of the righteous. (See Psa. 1:5,) It is of the period of his presence,
and this feature of his work, that the world is to be in total ignorance, and
not know, until, having finished reckoning with his servants, and having
glorified the faithful, the judgment of the world shall begin with a time of trouble
such as was not since there was a nation. That trouble is symbolically pictured as a
fire, and we are told by the Apostle that our Lord shall be revealed (apokaluptouncovered,
disclosed, made manifest) in flaming fire (judgments), taking vengeance.
All who are Watchers, all who have taken heed to
the more sure word of prophecy. including the Masters description of the
events of the days of the Son of Man, can readily discern that the
world would not go on its usual routineeating, drinking, planting, building,
marrying, etc. if they knew of the Lords presence, and the progress of
the harvest of the Gospel age. If they knew of the Lords presence and
that the reckoning with the servants had commenced, and that the next thing in order would
be judgments upon themselves, they would change their usual order of affairs considerably
they would be in great trepidation; because only those who are in sympathy with the Lord
and the righteous government which he is about to establish, when he shall lay judgment to
the line and justice to the plummetonly these can in any degree be ready to welcome
him all others have the spirit of fear, and are under the blinding influences and
misrepresentations of Satan. The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them
that believe not, lest the glorious light [of the gospel of
20 The Parousia of Our Lord
Christ] should shine on them. Because of
ignorance therefore, the world would be in great fear, if they knew the fact of the
beginning of the day of the Lord, which is to be to them the day of
vengeance.* Very evidently, therefore, this reckoning with the Church and the reward
of the faithful will precede our Lords epiphania or apokalupsis. To
use one of his own figures, we might say that his day or time of presence
the day of the Lordwill come as a thief in the night; and in this time
he will gather his virgin Church discriminatingly, and take her as his Bride to
himself,changing her from earthly nature and conditions to spiritual or heavenly
conditions, to be like him, see him as he is, and share his glory. And since the saints
have always been the salt of the earth, we may readily discern that the taking
away of the salt of the earth would leave mankind in a very deplorable condition, in which
corruption would spread rapidly and this is exactly what the Scriptures indicate.
The change of the last member of the
elect Church will probably be followed by their being ushered into the Divine
presence,presented faultless before the father. (Jude 24.) Then a little later, when
the tribulation saints, the Great Company, shall have finished
their course, they too will be presented. (Psalm 45:14, 15.) Then will follow the nuptial
festival styled, The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
We are not to suppose that all this will require long
time, but the contrary. The only thing to guide us is the time that elapsed after our
Lords ascension, before the Pentecostal blessing which marked the acceptance
* SCRIPTURE STUDIES, VOL. IV., The
Day of Vengeance.
21 At His Second Advent.
of the sin offering on our behalf. Meantime the
world, every mans hand against his neighbor, will be permitted to reap
the whirlwind of its own selfishness in anarchy. The epiphania of the new Ruler and
of his reign of righteous retribution will then gradually be discerned, The full
revealment or apokalupsis will be at the close of the storm, when, all hearts
humbled, Every knee shall bow and every tongue acknowledge Him.
This fact is abundantly proved by the Lords
statement of what shall be the reward to the overcomers, a part of which is, He that
overcometh, and keepeth my words to the end, to him will I give power over the nations and
he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken
in pieces even as I have received of my Father. (Rev. 2:26, 27.)
Again, the same matter is mentioned by the Prophet
David, saying, This honor have all his saints,to execute the judgments
written. It is manifest, therefore, that the Church, altho absent from the world
during the period of the tribulations in the sense of being changed from human
to divine nature, will be present in it with Christ, as associate executors of the divine
justice, breaking to pieces the present order of affairs, and ready to heal the hearts of
the world as soon as they shall be broken in their pride, and prepared for the Balm
THE TIME OF THE PAROUSIA.
It will doubtless surprise many to learn that there
is much Scripture proof that we are already in the time of the presence (parousia)
of the Son of Man,that we are already living in the days of the Son of
22 The Parousia of Our Lord
At first some will be inclined to say, Where is
the promise of his [parousia] presence, while all things continue as they
were from the beginning? Peter foretold that some would thus question and be
surprised at this information, that we are living in the days of the Son of man, while
there is as yet no outward manifestation of his presence, but the affairs of the world
continue in their ordinary channels. (2 Pet.3:4.) The answer to the question is, as we
have just pointed out, our Lords own declaration that in his days of presence the
world would be eating, drinking, planting and building, and know not. That is the
promise of his presence, while all things continue as they were. Could it be more
explicit? A totally different question, however, is
WHAT ARE THE PROOFS OF HIS PRESENCE?
This is a reasonable inquiry. We would not be
justifies in believing that the Lord is present upon any slight evidence, even tho we know
in advance that he is a spirit being, whose presence would be invisible without a
miracle;and even tho we know in advance, from the parables, that he will be present,
but invisible, in the harvest time of this age, in the time of reckoning with his
servants, preparatory to their glorification. We have a right to expect clear, reasonable
ground for faith, before accepting any matter which implies evidences to natural sight if
we are of the watchers, who have the eyes of their understanding opened to see
wonderful things in the divine Word, then these eyes of our understanding must also be the
eyes of our faith. Hence, the true Watchers are to
23 At His Second Advent.
expect reasonable, satisfactory evidence for faith,
and not ocular demonstrations of an invisible parousia. As the Apostle explains,
We walk by faith, not by sight.
To our understanding there are strong proofs that
our Lords parousia began in the autumn of 1874. We have seen nothing with our
natural eyes; only with the eyes of understanding, only in the light of the more sure word
of prophecy, do we know this, which we sincerely believe and affirm, and which is
important news to all who claim to be Watchers. The fact that any Watcher should have
remained in ignorance of this important event for now twenty-four years would seem of
itself to be an indication that he had not been properly awake to the use of his
privileges and opportunitiesthat he had not been sufficiently watchful of the sure
word of prophecy to which he was instructed to take heed; and that therefore he had
been left at least partially ignorant of the important things transpiring throughout the
world during these years. To this extent many of the Lords people have been with the
world and similarly ignorant and yet we may reasonably assume that the Lord did not expect
all of his watching servants to discern the matter at the same instant of time. True,
those who saw early have had special blessing for the longer time; but, as we saw above,
the preparation for the knowledge of the time lies largely in the right attitude of
heartin its humility and possession of the various graces of the spirit of Christ.
Lest we should get a misapprehension respecting this
matter of the discerning the Lords parousia, we do well to take heed of the
parable of the ten virgins,
24 The Parousia of Our Lord
which evidently was given to throw special light upon
this point. That parable shows a false announcement of the arrival of the Bridegroom in
1844, which brought to the subject considerable reproach, but which nevertheless was of
great advantage, as stirring up the virgin class (the pure, the consecrated)
to fresh trimming of the lamp of truthinvestigating the sure word of prophecy. The
parable shows, also, that the virgins in general fell asleep, yet,
nevertheless, in due time all would be reawakened by the prophetic knocking, and
the knocking of the signs of the times which indicate the Bridegrooms presence. And
the parable shows that the result will depend upon how much oil (holy spirit) the
virgins may have in their vessels (in their own hearts), as well as in their
lamps (the Scriptures). Applying this parable, then, we may reasonably suppose that some
of the Lords true people have temporarily fallen asleep on this subject of his
second coming, and that the sleeping ones will include some who have his spirit in their
hearts, and who Will be fully ready to welcome the Master when they shall awake, and whose
lamps will be duly trimmed and burning and ready to enable them to discern the signs of
his parousia, when once their attention is brought to the subject. In harmony with
this we find that many who get awake on this subject now come into the clear
light of present truth much more rapidly than did some in the past doubtless partly
because present truth can now be presented to them more concretely than ever before
through the printed page. It is in the interest of this true virgin class that
we now write we have no desire to awaken the worldly; this knocking of the prophecies
announcing the Parousia is not
25 At His Second Advent.
for thembesides, the worldly are so soundly
asleep that it will require the terrific crashing of present institutions and earthquake
shakings of social revolution to thoroughly awaken them to a realization of the presence
of the great JudgeImmanuel. The true Watchers on the contrary, if they slumber
at all, sleep lightly, being on the qui vive of expectancy and hope for the
longwaited- for Bridegroom. We would merely whisper in the ears of this class the one
word, Parousia! assured that all true Watchers (and not the Lord alone knoweth
them that are his) will be aroused by that word, and trim their lamps on the subject.
Is the question asked,What portions of the sure
word of prophecy indicate that the presence of our Lord began in the Autumn of
1874? We answer that there are several lines of prophecy which interlace and corroborate
each other in this testimony; but, as might be expected, since the entire matter was to be
hidden from the world, and none of the wicked, but only the wise
are to understand (Dan. 12:10), and these wise only to understand when the due time would
come, for these reasons, it must be evident to all that these prophecies, while
clear and forcible and positive, are nevertheless somewhat under cover. We cannot
here attempt to give a complete and comprehensive statement of these prophecies; that has
already been done in six volumes aggregating three thousand pages.* Here we can only give
a brief resume, leaving it for the true Watchers to seek that they may find; to knock if
they would have the door of divine revelation opened to them; to use the keys which God
has provided, if they are interested in penetrating into the
STUDIES, VOLS. I.-VI.
26 The Parousia of Our Lord
deep things of the divine Word, now due to
be understood; to eat of the meat of present truth, things new and old,
if they hunger and thirst after righteousness and true knowledge.
IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS.
(1) We have a number of general prophecies,
indicating that we are living in about the time of the Masters second presence. We
have already referred to Daniels testimony respecting the time of the
end. in which many will run to and fro, and acknowledge will be increased, and the
wise understand, and which the time of trouble follows. Then we have the inspired dream of
Nebuchadnezzar, and its inspired interpretation by Daniel, showing the earthly governments
which would bear rule over the earth;during the interim between the overthrow of the
typical Kingdom of God, whose last king setting upon the throne of David was Zedekiah, and
the installation of the true King, Emmanuel, in his Millennial Kingdom glory. These
different governments of earth are here pictured as a great image; Nebuchadnezzars
government, the first universal empire of earth, being represented by the head of gold;
the Metro-Persian Empire, which according to history, was the second universal empire, is
here shown as the breast and arms of silver; the Grecian empire, which overthrew the
Persian, and became the third universal empire, is represented by the belly and thighs of
brass; the Roman empire, which succeeded the Grecian, and constituted itself the fourth
universal empire of earth, was represented in the image by the legs of ironstrong
exceedingly; and the later development of the same Roman empire with the inter-mixture
27 At His Second Advent.
of papal influence is represented in the image by the
feet, which were partly iron (civil government), and partly of clay (ecclesiastical
governmentPapacy). These were to constitute the sum total of Gentile dominion; and
in the days of these kings (represented by the ten toes of the image), Jehovah
God himself would establish his Kingdomthe very Kingdom for which we pray, Thy
We are all witnesses that the heavenly Kingdom has
not yet come,that we are still under the dominion of the prince of the
worldthe prince of darkness. All the efforts to prove to us that the greedy
and bloody governments of Christendom, so-called, are the Kingdom for which we prayed, and
were taught to pray, could not prevail we could never recognize these as Immanuels
Kingdom they are only the kingdoms established by Antichrist Christendom.
The true Kingdom waits for establishment at the hands of him whose right it is; and he has
promised that, when he sits upon his throne, all his faithful ones, the little
flock of the Gospel age, shall sit in that throne with him, and be associates in the
work and in the honor of blessing the world.
The Church is not neglected in the picture of earthly
dominion given to Nebuchadnezzar, and interpreted by the Prophet Daniel. She is shown
therein as a stone taken out of the mountain without hands (by divine power). This stone
represents Gods Kingdom (Christ and the Church), and the inspired dream and
explanation show that the disaster which shall come to the kingdoms of this world,
represented in the image and in the toes of its feet, would come
28 The Parousia of Our Lord
through the impact or smiting of the image by the
stone. Daniel says A stone was cut out, which without being in hands, smote the
image upon his feet. . . . Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold
broken into pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, and
the wind carried them away that no place was found for them and the stone that smote the
image became a great mountain [kingdom], and filled the whole earth.
The explanation is that The great God
hath made known to the king [and indirectly more particularly to the Watchers] what shall
come to pass hereafter. In these 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; [it shall have no successors, for the others will all be destroyed] it
shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Here is a prophecy which gives a full delineation of the empires of earth, to which God
granted dominion during the interim between the removal of the typical crown from his
typical kingdom, and the institution of the crown of righteousness and glory upon the true
King in the inauguration of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Even the surface evidences are that human empire has
nearly run its course, and that heavenly empire is needed to deliver the world from its
own selfishness. But the sure word of prophecy, if carefully scrutinized by the Watcher,
reveals still more. It shows that the next universal empire, will be the kingdom of
Gods dear Son, and further the interesting fact that the total lease of power to the
Gentiles, is in the Scriptures
29 The Parousia of Our Lord At His Second Advent.
known as the times of the Gentiles; and
that these times are seven times, and that each of the seven times is a period
of three hundred and sixty years, and that consequently the complete period of the seven
times is 2520 years. Hence the Watchers may reckon that Gentile rule will terminate and
Immanuels rule be fully set up in 2520 years from the time the Lord removed the
diadem from Zedekiah, saying Oh thou profane and wicked prince, . . . take off the
diadem, remove the crown; I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, until he comes whose
right it is, and I will give it unto him. The period of overturning of the
Lords typical Kingdom and the removal of the crown must correspond to the period of
the lease of empire to the Gentiles and be 2520 years. And measuring this period, we find
that 2520 years will expire with the close of the year 1914, A. D. and consequently that
by that time Gentile rule will be no more while Gods Kingdom will then hold sway.
But the scrutinizing Watcher will readily perceive
that it is one thing to know the time when earthly dominion shall cease, and give place to
the completed Kingdom of God, while it would be a totally different matter to know
when the stone Kingdom would begin to smite the image upon its feet,
preparatory to its destruction. This period of smiting of the image, which precedes its
destruction, must also precede the full establishment of Gods Kingdom to fill the
This smiting period is the period of the parousia;
the period in which Christ is present, gathering his jewels, his
elect, and it which he will smite the nations with the rod of iron and with
the two-edged sword of his mouth, dashing them in pieces as a potters
30 The Parousia of Our Lord At His Second Advent.
vessel, and preparing mankind for the royal majesty
of the heavens. Let the Watchers note critically the Prophet Daniels explanation
that it will be in the days of these kings (the kingdoms represented in
the feet and toes of the imagethe divisions of Papal Rome) that the God of heaven
will set up his kingdom. God began the selection of his Kingdom class in the days
of Civil Romerepresented by the legs of iron he has continued the selection ever
since, and the setting up or bringing of his Church (Kingdom) into power comes
toward the close of Gentile power, but before it ends; for it is to be in the
days of these kings and not after their days. Now note the similarity of the
expressions in the days of the Son of man and in the days of these
kings, and give both the same significance and remember that, as we have proven,
they will be the same daysdays before the lease of Gentile power expires, in
which the Son of man will be present to set up his Kingdom, which shall
a little later destroy all these Gentile kingdoms.
TYPICAL ISRAELS EXPERIENCES WERE
(2) Take another line of prophecy, concealed, and yet
very simple and easy of appreciation when once the mind grasps it. The Scriptures show us
that the fleshly house of Israel and all of its institutions and affairs were typical
foreshadowings of the spiritual house of Israel, and its higher institutions, better
sacrifices, etc. It need not therefore, surprise us to find that the length of the Jewish
agethe length of the divine favor to fleshly Israel,was typical also, and that
it gives us the exact measurement of the Gospel
31 The Parousia of Our Lord At His Second Advent.
age,Gods dealings with and favor toward
Jacobs name was changed to Israel, which
signifies A Prince with God, and his descendants were therefore termed
Israelitesthe people of the Prince with God. But the antitype of Jacob is Christ,
the true Prince with God, not after the flesh, but after the spirit; and his house is
spiritual Israel. Jacobs twelve sons first inherited his name and blessing, and
through them it descended to all the fleshly house of Israel Christs twelve Apostles
inherited his name and blessings, and through them it has descended to all the spiritual
house of Israel. As the typical house had a high priest, Aaron, so the antitypical house
has a greater high priest, Christ Jesus our Lord, the high priest of our profession. As
the fleshly house had a priesthood under Aaron, so the spiritual house has a royal
priesthood under Christ, to whom the promise is made that they shall be kings and
priests unto God, who shall reign on the earth, after their present time of sacrificing
is ended. So we might proceed with everything that fleshly Israel had and find its
duplicate on a higher plane, in spiritual Israel, but we will not go into details here
suffice it to notice further that the Jewish age or period of fleshly Israels favor
ended with a harvest period of forty years. This began with our Lords
baptism, lasted three and a half years, as a national test, and when that nation
was rejected at the time of our Lords crucifixion, the harvest work proper
begana separation of the wheat from the chaffa time of gathering out that
rejected nation such as were Israelites indeed, previous to the great time of
trouble which came upon the nation
32 The Parousia of Our Lord
and which utterly destroyed their national polity
A.D. 70. All of this is likened to a harvest season, and its first garnering
of the wheat and subsequent burning of the chaff. And our Lord gives instructions to us
(Matt. 13) that this Gospel age of spiritual Israels favor will likewise end with a
harvesting time, gathering the wheat together and ultimately destroying the tares. In the
harvesting of the fleshly house our Lord, in the flesh, was the Chief reaper, and his
Apostles were co-laborers in the harvesting of the spiritual house our Lord, a spirit
being, is to be present as the Chief Reaper, and members of the spiritual house are
to be also reapers.
Now note the time correspondencies. The Jewish age,
from the death of Jacob to the death of Christ, was 1845 years longto the beginning
of our Lords ministry 1841½ years long. Notice how the Gospel age corresponds to
this. The Gospel age did not begin with our Lords birth it began after our
Lords death and resurrection, when he commissioned his disciples to preach
the Gospel to every creature. (Our Lords previous work during the three
and a half years of his ministry was the offering of the Kingdom to the fleshly house, to
test them, and to prove that they were unready to receive the true Kingdom.) Applying the
foregoing measurements of the Jewish age to the Gospel age, beginning it at the time of
our Lords death and resurrection and the Pentecostal blessing, in the Spring A. D.
33, we find that the period of 1841½ years from the death of our Lords ministry,
would measure from the Spring of A.D. 33 to the
33 At His Second Advent.
Autumn of 1874; and the 1845 years of the Jewish age,
from the death of Jacob to the rejection of fleshly Israel, applied here, measuring from
the Spring of A.D. 33, would reach to the Spring of 1878; and the 1881½ years from the
death of Jacob to the full destruction of Israels polity in A.D. 70, finds it
correspondence in this Gospel age by measuring 1881½ years from the Spring of A.D. 33,
which would bring us exactly to (Autumn) 1914 A.D.the very year and time shown us by
Daniels prophecy to be the full end and limit of the Gentile times. Can
this be accidental?
Nay; it is design. What stronger testimony could be
asked by the eye and ear of faith. Surely, anything plainer or clearer would be sight and
leave no room for faith.
THE JUBILEE PROPHECY.
(3) Note another prophecy, similarly hidden in type
in the Mosaic law,Israels Jubilee Year. No one is prepared to understand this
line of prophecy who has not first learned that the second coming of our Lord is not for
the purposes of destroying the world, but for the purpose of blessing it according to the
promise made to Abraham, in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be
blessed,with the favors lost in Adam. These will be offered to all and
will be made perpetual to those who will accept them on the terms of the new Covenant.
None can see any beauty or typical significance in Israels Jubilee who have not
learned that God has provided times of restitution of all things which are to begin
in connection with the second advent of the Redeemer.See Acts 3:19-23.
We find that Israels Jubilee years, in which
every person and family had restored to them every lost possession
34 The Parousia of Our Lord
and all personal liberties, was intended to be a type
of the coming time of restitution, when a full opportunity for attaining freedom from sin
and from Satan, and from the hereditary weakness of the flesh shall be presented to all,
and when the earth shall again revert to the human family in general, for whom it was
created, and for whom it was redeemed by Christ, after being lost through Adams
transgression. We find that the Scriptures indicate, in connection with these Jubilees, a
system of counting by multiples; and that a Jubilee, of Jubilees, or fifty times fifty
years (2500 years) constitutes a Great Jubilee cycle and that such a cycle began to count
after fleshly Israel had observed her last typical Jubilee. We find from the Scriptures
that Israels nineteenth Jubilee year was her last, in the year B.C. 626. Knowing
that the Jubilee was a part of the Law, and that no feature of that Law, not one jot or
title, can pass away without reaching a fulfilment or antitype, we measure the cycle of
the Great Jubilee 2500 years from the date when the last typical Jubilee was kept, 626 B.
C., and find accordingly that the antitypical Jubilee or Great Jubilee of Jubilees
should have begun in October, 1874. Thus,625 years B. C. plus 1875 years A.D. are
2500 years, which would include the Jubilee year consequently, with the end of the
year 1874, Jewish time, October, the antitypical Jubilee of 1,000 years instead of one year
was due to begin.
Watchers will note carefully the correspondency of
this date, and the character of the event to be expected, with the finding of our previous
35 At His Second Advent.
this age was due to begin, and when the Lord himself,
as the Chief Reaper, was due to be present. The only thing necessary to connect this
Jubilee prophecy with the others is the statement of the Apostle Peter in Acts 3:21, which
shows that our Lord must be present (at his second advent) at the beginning of the times
of restitution of all things, and as already seen, these restitution times are the
Antitypical Jubilee times typified by Israels Jubilees. Thus we have two very simple
but clear and very important lines of Scripture testimony which indicate clearly that the
parousia of our lord was due to begin in October,1874, and both show us the character of
the work which we should expect would be in progress during the time of his presence,
preceding his open manifestation to the world, his epiphania, his apokalupsis.
THE DAYS OF WAITING ARE FULFILLED.
(4) Take another line of prophecy we find that the
1260 days, and the 1290 days, and the 1335 days, so particularly set forth in
Daniels prophecy, and corroborated in Revelation, have had fulfilments,the
1260 days ending in 1799, the 1290 days ending in 1829, and the 1335 days ending in 1874.
Our friends known as Second Adventists were wont to use these days of
Daniel, and once applied them as we do here but they abandoned them after 1874
passed and they failed to see Jesus with their natural eyesight, in a body of flesh and
with Calvarys scars.
They have dropped these days of
Daniels entirely because they find no way of applying them which would prolong
them beyond 1874. The fault is not with the days nor with their application as above; but
36 The Parousia of Our Lord
with the wrong things expected. They, in common with
others who look for the Second Advent, err in expecting that the Gospel age which has been
a spirit and faith epoch will end with a flesh and sight deteriorationin expecting
that the spiritual kingdom of Satan will be followed by a fleshly kingdom of Christ. But
the Watchers amongst the Adventists as well as in other denominations, are getting the
eyes of their understanding opened by the anointing of the promised eyesalve.Rev.
It was concerning this last period that the angel
declared to the Prophet, Oh, the blessedness of him that waiteth, and cometh to the
1335 days. . . Thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. What
blessedness? We answer, a joy of heart and rejoicing to the Watchers is what is here
intimated. It is since this date, October, 1874, where Daniels 1335 days intimated
that a great blessing would begin, where the Jubilee types indicated that the restitution
of all things would begin, (which implies the second presence of the great Restorer),
and where the parallelism of the two houses of Israel shows that the second presence of
our Lord as the Great Reaper is duefrom this date a great blessing has
come to the Watchers. Since then the Word of God has opened before us in a most
marvelous manner. Since then the sure word of prophecy as a lamp to our feet has
shown us many evidences that we are in the end of the age. Since then the
day-star has been rising in the hearts of the Watchers, and has illuminated our
minds, releasing us from the terrible nightmare of error reflecting eternal torment,
revealing to us the true character of our Heavenly Father, making plain to us the
37 At His Second Advent.
of the great atonement for sin, and showing us
distinctly the object of the permission of evil and revealing, one by one, various
features of the divine plan,the high calling of the Church of the divine nature, and
to joint-heirship with Christ in his Millennial Kingdom and the resulting blessing of
restitution to human perfection for the world of mankind in general. Ah yes! all who have
been brought out of darkness into this marvelous light can appreciate the
words of the angel, and heartily say, Blessed are our ears, for they hear, and our eyes,
for they see, for many prophets and many righteous persons have desired to know these
things, and have not known them.
(5) We might refer to other prophecies and types in
the Scriptures, which show that we are living in the harvest time of this age,
in the parousia of the Son of Man, but our space forbids. The fact that this world,
as he predicted, continues in its usual course, eating, drinking, planting and building,
etc., and knows not of his presence, so far from being an evidence against these
prophetic testimonies, quite to the contrary, shows us that the fulfilment is coming, just
as the Master predicted that the day of the Lord, the day of his presence, has come upon
the world as a thief in the night, secretly, quietly, stealthily, unknown;the only
ones favored with a knowledge of events transpiring on the other side of the veil being
the Watchers who, if they have slumbered at all, have nevertheless maintained a waiting
attitude of readiness for the announcement,
BEHOLD THE BRIDEGROOM
This is the announcement which we are now
givingNot, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, but Behold
38 The Parousia of Our Lord
the Bridegroom! already here, present, knocking
gently with the prophecies to arouse the Virgins, but not to arouse the world. (Rev.
3:20.) This is the reading of the oldest Greek Manuscripts, which omit cometh.
Our Lord says, If any man hear my voice [knock] and open the door, I will come in to
him and sup with him. This message to the present Laodicean phase of
the Church, intimates very clearly (1) that the knock and voice
will be inaudible to natural ears, and heard only by the ears of the understanding, the
hearing of faith; (2) that it will not be a denominational knock (as to Adventists,
Presbyterians, etc.), but (3) that it will be a knock that must be heard individually and
responded to individually any man who hears the knock or
voice, if he so wills, may exercise faith and open the door of his
understanding and realize his Lords second presence.
The man who never hears the knock is not
counted worthy to hear it. But those who hear are evidently not compelled to respond and
to accept the present, knocking King hence he says, if the hearing one open the
door, I will come in. However, only those who recognize the knock and who
respond and by faith open to the Lord and receive him as their present Kingonly
these are to have the great blessing of spiritual nourishmentthe feast of meat
in due season, things new and old, which the master promised to provide
at that time, to strengthen the faithful for the judgments, trails, testings and siftings
which must begin with the house of God.
I will come in to him and sup with him and he
with me,Compare Rev.3:20, and Luke 12:37.
39 At His Second Advent.
As therefore we softly whisperBehold the
Bridegroom! it is not with any hope of arousing the world to faith in the
Lords presence, etc. They are not worthy to know and would only misuse the knowledge
now. By and by, in the Lords due time, they shall knowin the period of the epiphania
and apokalupsis of the Son of man. They will be awakened by the great crash of
the day of trouble. We do, however, promulgate the message, Behold the Bridegroom
[present]! with the confident expectation that all who are of the Virgin class
(the pure, the justified and consecrated), will be permitted to hear the message, will be
aroused by it, and will trim their lamps (examine the Scriptures, investigate the
subject), and find the message true, before-the door is shut and the great
trouble begun. We well know, however, from the Lords prophetic parable, that among
those who will be aroused to investigation, there will be two classes, because there are
both wise and foolish Virgins.The wise are those who have not only
consecrated their all to the Lord, but who are living accordingly,not unto sin, nor
unto self, nor unto sectarianism, but unto the Lord these, as intimated in the parable,
will find no difficulty in trimming their lamps and recognizing the presence of the
Bridegroom. But the foolish Virgins, overcharged with the cares of this life, or the
deceitfulness of riches (wealth, reputation, influence, etc.),will not have within
themselves (in their vessels) a sufficiency of the oil (holy spirit); and
consequently they will be unable to get the light in time to go in with the wise virgins
before the elect number shall be completed, and the door of opportunity to become part of
the Bride of Christ, shall forever
40 The Parousia of Our Lord
close. True, they will later obtain the oil shown in
the parable, but too late to be of the little flock who shall be accounted
worthy to share the Kingdom and to escape the great time of trouble coming upon the world
the foolish virgins will be obliged to pass through the trouble with the world, and will
share thus in its distress, represented in the parable by the words, wailing and
gnashing of teeth.
PAROUSIA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The word parousia occurs in the following text
of the New Testament, in each of which it should be properly translated
What shall be the sign of thy presence?Matt.
So shall also the presence of the Son of
Man be.Matt. 24:27, 37, 39.
They that are Christs at his presence.1
What is our hope, or joy, or crown of
rejoicing? Are not even ye, presented before our Lord Jesus Christ at his presence?1
That he may establish your hearts unblamable in
holiness before the Lord, even our father, at the presence of our Lord Jesus
Christ.1 Thes. 3:13.
We which are alive and remain unto the presence
of the Lord shall not hinder them which are asleep.1 Thes.4:15.
Be preserved blameless unto the presence of
our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thes 5:23.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the presence
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him.2 Thes. 2:1.
41 At His Second Advent.
Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the presence
of the Lord.James 5:7.
Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for
the presence of the Lord draweth nigh,James 5:8.
There shall come in the last days scoffers [in
the Church] walking after their own lusts [desires], and saying, Where is the promise of
his presence?2 Pet. 3:3, 4.
The word parousia is properly translated
(presence) in 2 Cor. 10:10, and Phil. 2:12.
EPIPHANIA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The Greek work epiphania signifies bright
shining or manifestation. it is rendered appearing and
brightness, and occurs as follows:
Keep this commandment without spot unrebukable
until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his times he shall show who
is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.1 Tim.
I charge thee, therefore, before God and the
Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his
Kingdom.2 Tim. 4:1.
There is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness which he shall give me at that day and not to me only, but unto all them
also that love his appearing.2 Tim. 4:8.
Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing
of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ.Titus 2:13.
Then shall that Wicked One be exposed, whom the
Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness [epiphaniabright
42 The Parousia of Our Lord
shining] of his coming [parousiapresence].2
APOKALUPSIS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The Greek words apokalupsis and apokalipto signify
revealment, uncovering, unveiling (as of a thing previously present but hidden).
The name of the last book of the Bible is from the same rootApocalypse or
Revelation. Apokalupsis is rendered revealed, revelation, appearing, coming and
manifestation, in the following text which relate to the Lords second presence
and power and glory, as these shall be made known,uncovered or revealed to the
world. Many of these texts also show that when he shall thus be revealed, his Church will
be with the Lord and be revealed or manifest at the same time and in the same manner
Thus sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.Rom. 8:18.
Rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of
Christs sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad
also with exceeding joy.1 Pet. 4 13.
An inheritance incorruptible, and
undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power
of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last
time.1 Pet. 1:4, 5.
A partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.1
Every mans work shall be made manifest
for the day shall declare it, for it shall be revealed by fire. 1 Cor.
3:13.) Here the reference evidently is to the testings of the Lords people during
the period of
43 At His Second Advent.
his presence in the end of the age. The
Apostles words thus agree with our Lords prophecy of the same testings, saying
that there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed
Hope to the end for the grace that is to be
brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 1:13.
The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from
heaven in flaming fire [judgments against all unrighteousness], taking
vengeance.2 Thes. 1:7, 8.
So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for
the coming [apokalupsisrevealment] of our Lord Jesus Christ.1
Cor. 1:7. [The Lords people will need to keep active, watching and waiting for the
great blessing until the manifestation or revealment of the Lord; but if Watchers,
they shall be made aware of his presence (parousia) and the work of
harvest beforehand and share in the revealment.]
That the trial of your faith. . . might be
found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing [apokalupsisrevealment]
of Jesus Christ.1 Pet. 1:7.
For the earnest expectation of the creature
[mankind] waiteth for the manifestation [apokalupsisrevealing] of the
sons of God [the church].Rom. 8:19.
The same day that Lott went out of Sodom it
rained fire and brimstone out of heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus it shall be in
the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:29, 30.) That is to say,
the judgments of the coming time of trouble as predicted will begin soon as
the salt of the earth, the saints, have all been changed; and thus the Son of
man will be revealed a present Judge, who
44 The Parousia of Our Lord
already had for some time been present sealing and
gathering his elect.
PRESENCE GRADUALLY REVEALED.
Foregoing we drew the line of distinction between the
parousia and the epiphania or apokalupsis of our Lord quite sharply,
to assist the reader in noting their difference of signification. As a matter of fact,
however, the bright shining of the present One is due to begin shortly after the parousia
begins; and again as at the first advent it will be true that the Light shineth
in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. The revealing of the
Lords presence begins with the faithful of the Church speedily, and gradually extend
to the world in general. Up to the time when the strength of the trouble breaks forth,
only the faithful Watchers discern the parousia, and only by them can the
bright-shining of the Lords presence be appreciated. To these the bright-shining of
the Lords presence, the increased brilliancy of the light of truth respecting the
Word and character and plan of God is an ever increasing joy and pleasure thus it is that
ye, brethren, are not in darkness, but know in advance that its tribulation
will come upon the world as travail upon a woman,1 Thes. 5:3, 4.
While the revealment of our Lords presence thus
illuminates the hearts of his faithful ones as the Day-star (2 Pet. 1:19) and causes them
to understand, and not be in darkness with the world in respect to his plans, present and
future, the bright-shining of the Lords presence shall affect nominal Christians,
and the civilized world in general also, but in a totally
45 At His Second Advent.
different manner, for the character of Christs
harvest work, during this period of his presence, is such as to cause a
general opening of eyes along the lines of justice and injustice, righteousness and
sin, the rights of mankind and the wrongs of mankind. The light which has been shining out
for the past twenty years, is awakening the world to a realization of its rights and its
wrongs, to a realization that the earth belongs to mankind in general and not exclusively
to a few who have seized it and fenced it. This same light is exposing the corruption and
falsity of many longvenerated theories and institutions, monarchical, religious, political
and financial. It was in reference to this light of his presence at the second advent that
our Lord declared that this day of his presence would bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and make manifest the secret counsels of the heart,for
there is nothing hidden that shall not be uncovered. (Luke 8:17.) And in this connection
let it not be overlooked that the Apostle declares that Satans power to deceive the
world through Antichrist is to be consumed by the bright-shining [epiphania]
of his presence [parousia].2 Thes. 2:8.
Thus seen the bright-shining of the present One
is causing great joy to the hearts of the faithful, who wait patiently for him and the
deliverance which he has promised, but the bright-shining, as it affects the worldly, has
the effect of quickening their selfish propensities, producing discontent, and is thus
preparing the world for the great climax of catastrophe, predicted in the Word of the
Lord, as the consummation of this age;the overthrow of all the governments and
institutions of this present order of things in anarchy,
46 The Parousia of Our Lord
a time of trouble such as was not since there
was a nation.
We noticed that it was predicted 2500 years ago,
through the Prophet Daniel that in the days of these kings the
representatives of the fourth universal empire, Rome, ecclesiastically conglomerated,
shown in the feet and toes of the image, the God of heaven would cause the Kingdom of God
to smite the image upon its feet. to utterly crush it; and that it would be after smiting
the image that Gods Kingdom, represented by the stone, would wax great and fill the
whole earth. As we have just shown, we are now in this time in which the Kingdom of God is
exerting its force against the kingdoms of this world the King himself is present, must be
present before he could destroy present kingdoms and take their power; he is already
exerting the influences which will eventuate in their destruction; and he is prepared,
backed by all the power of God, to quickly establish upon their ruins his own glorious
Kingdom, consisting of himself the King, and his faithful ones of the Gospel Church as his
Bride and joint-heir.
The influence exerted by our present Lord, the
Light, the Truth, is already breaking the power of ignorance and superstition, which for
long centuries has held the masses of mankind in subserviency to Papacy; and the same
bright-shining is likewise dissolving the lighter shackles of ignorance and error forged
for their faithful by the various sects of Protestantism. Ultimately all superstition and
false reverence will be dissolved, and false institutions will fall, and then will be
manifest the fact that error and falsehood and fear never truly sanctify the heart,
47 At His Second Advent.
and the world of mankind being released from its
servility to fear will speedily manifest its true character of selfishness and
ungodliness, and will speedily precipitate the great trouble predicted.
But it would be a mistake to suppose that the parousia
of our Lord is merely or chiefly in connection with the world and its preparation for
the chaos of the present order of things. On the contrary, the chief work of the Lord
during this period of his parousia is for and in connection with his Church. As we
saw above, he foretold that on his return he will first reckon with his servants, to whom
he entrusted the pounds and talents, before manifesting his wrath against evildoers in the
trouble of this day of vengeance,in the slaughter of all who would not
have him to reign over them. That slaughter time, in which all who will not accept the
reign of righteousness will be destroyed from among the people (Acts 3:23), begins with
the burning of the tares in the end of this age, when there shall be great
trouble weeping and gnashing of teeth; and to some extent it will continue
throughout the Millennial Age for all the way to the very last (Isa. 65:20; Acts 3:23;
Rev. 20:8, 9) all who wilfully oppose the Lord will perish.
The Kingdom which we are expecting, and which we
believe is now in process of establishment, and is soon to smite the kingdoms of this
world and to supplant them, is not an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly one, not a fleshly
kingdom, but a spiritual one, not a kingdom which will be visible to the natural eye, but
an invisible yet powerful kingdom. We find nothing in the Scriptures to corroborate the
48 The Parousia of Our Lord
by some that this Gospel age having begun in the
spirit is to culminate in a reign of Christ and his Church in the flesh with an earthly
throne, etc. Quite to the contrary, the King and his joint-heirs, the Church, as spirit
beings, will have a spiritual empire, tho their subjects to whom they will offer the
blessings of the restitution purchased at Calvary will be men in the flesh, whose highest
hope and ambition will be restitution to the grand perfection of the human nature
lost in Eden, redeemed at Calvary,an earthly image of the Heavenly Father. We hold
that Christ and his saints during the Millennial Age will be no more visible to mankind
than is the Prince of this world, Satan, whose associates in the misrule of the present
evil world, the fallen angels, are likewise invisible.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN COMETH NOT WITH
The Pharisees at the first advent made the mistake of
supposing that the Kingdom, which Christ proclaimed, would be a visible kingdom, composed
of himself and his followers in the flesh and seeing no army or other evidences of
temporal power for the establishment of an earthly kingdom, they thought to expose the
hollowness of our Lords claims before his followers, by asking him the
question,When will your Kingdom of God appearwhen will we see it? Mark well
our Lords reply, which, if the Pharisees had understood it, might have been a great
revelation to them. He answered, The Kingdom of God cometh not with
observation. How strange they must have thought this answer! The Kingdom of God,
49 At His Second Advent.
then, would be a Kingdom which could not be observed
or seen;an invisible kingdom. But our Lord continued the explanation and increased
their perplexity by adding, Neither shall ye say, Lo here, or, Lo there. Then
our Lord gave the key to the matter by adding, Because the Kingdom of heaven is [to
be] in the midst of you. That is to say, when the Kingdom of Heaven shall come it
will be amongst mankind, everywhere present but wholly invisible; so that they
cannot observe it with the natural eye, nor can they point it out or locate it, altho it
will be everywhere present amongst men, an omnipresent and omnipotent rule or reign of
In our Common Version of the true thought is obscured
by the words within you, which would better be among you. Anyone,
however, can see that it could not have been our Lords intention to say that the
Kingdom of God was then or ever would be within the hearts of the class addressed, and
which elsewhere he styled hypocrites, whited walls and sepulchers, full of all
manner of corruption.
THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS
We call to mind also our Lords explanation of
spiritual things to Nicodemus, in which he declared plainly that only those who are born
again can either enter into or see the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3, 6.) Nor does this merely
refer to the begetting of the spirit, as at consecration; it includes also the birth
of the spirit in resurrection born from the dead. The Apostle Paul
gives the same assurance, saying, Flesh and blood [human nature] cannot inherit the
Kingdom of God. Hence he informs us that all those who
50 The Parousia of Our Lord
shall be the sharers of that heavenly Kingdom must be
changed from human or flesh conditions to spirit conditions, from weakness to
power, from animal to spiritual conditions.1 Cor. 15:42-44.
One matter which more than any other seems to hinder
the Lords people from grasping this subject clearly is the prevalent but mistaken
view which is entertained respecting the resurrection of the dead. We shall not attempt to
discuss this subject at length here, and we shall omit entirely reference to the
worlds resurrection, which will be the human conditions, nature, etc.; but it is
necessary that we notice something respecting the first [chief, best, highest]
resurrection, which appertains only to Christ Jesus and the Church which is his
bodythe Kingdom class. These all are sacrificers, who present their bodies
living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. In view of this sacrifice of the human
nature, the gift of God to these in exchange is a spiritual nature, and hence
they are termed new creatures. Their exaltation in nature is very high lifted
out of the human nature, which is a little lower than that of angels (the lowest order of
spirit beings) they are to be exalted to the nature and likeness of their Lord, far
above angels, principalities and powers, and to be made partakers of the highest
form of the spirit nature, namely, the divine nature, with its wonderful peculiarity,
namely, immortality, or inherent life.*2 Pet.1:4.
The one point which more than any other seems to
confuse the student of this subject is our Lords resurrection. They note the fact
that he appeared in a
* Send for our tract, The Hope
of Immortality,samples free.
51 At His Second Advent.
body of flesh and bones, after his resurrection, and
they therefore conclude that he still has a body of flesh and bones bearing all the scars
of Calvary; hence, in thinking of his second advent they invariably expect to be another
advent as a human being (in flesh and bones), a little lower than the angels.
These expectations are wrong, as we shall show from the Scriptures. Our Lord after his
resurrection was a spirit being, and his manifestations of himself to his disciples in various
fleshly bodies, then, were similar exactly to manifestations made before he became
the man Christ Jesus, while he still possessed the glory which he had with the Father
before the world was,the glory of a spirit being. For instance, are we not
particularly told that the Lord and two angels appeared as men in bodies of flesh and
blood and bones, and in ordinary human garb, to Abraham and Sarah? And the record is that
they did eat and talk with Abraham. On
another occasion the Lord appeared to Moses, not in a
body of flesh, but as a flame of fire in a bush which apparently burned, and
from which he spoke to Moses. We contend that such a power to appear in any kind of a body
is a power which in the past was considerably used in communicating the divine will to
mankind, and that it is only discontinued now because the canon of divine revelation is
complete, so that in it the man of god is thoroughly furnished unto every good word and
work, and needs no special message or revelations.2 Tim. 3:17.
In reading the narrative of our Lords
appearance to his disciples after his resurrection, the fact seems generally to be
overlooked that he appeared only a few times, in all, and that these visits were always
52 The Parousia of Our Lord
and that between these visits, after the day of his
resurrection, there were long periods of days and weeks in which the disciples saw nothing
of him. It is generally overlooked, also, that he appeared in various forms, one of which
was identical with the body that was crucified, because Thomas had said he would not
believe unless he could have such a demonstration. Even then our Lord rather upbraided
Thomas, assuring him that there was a still greater blessing in store for those who ask
not for such ocular demonstration. It is generally forgotten that none of the world ever
saw our Lord after his resurrection, but merely his disciples, to whom, it is said, he
showed himself. This was in harmony with his statement made before his
death, Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more.John
The change of nature which our Lord experienced in
his resurrection was no less a step upward from the earthly to the heavenly condition than
was the change of nature which he experienced at his birth a step downward from heavenly
to the earthly condition, called humbling himself, laying aside his
glory. As he laid aside the glory of his spirit being to become a man, so he in turn lay
aside his humanity in death in order to assume the glory and dignity of the divine nature,
far above. Concerning the change which he experienced at his resurrection, the
Apostle declares, God hath highly exalted him. It should be manifest to all
that, since our Lord left his rich condition as a spirit being, and humbled himself and
became comparatively poor in the taking of the human nature, that this was for some
particular reason and object, and that when that object would be accomplished, the
53 At His Second Advent.
riches of the spiritual condition would be fully
restored to him. But instead, the general thought that our Lord Jesus not only is
encumbered in heaven with a body of flesh, wholly unsuitable to heavenly conditions, but
in addition to this that body of flesh has all the marks of mental and physical suffering
which it received through contact with sin and sinners as our ransom price.
Such a view is dishonoring to the heavenly Father,
for it should not be supposed that he would tolerate a loss to all eternity on the part of
his well beloved One, because of his faithfulness and obedience to the divine will. The
Scripture declaration is to the contrary, namely, that our Lord was made
flesh, took upon him our nature for the suffering of death; and
not for to be encumbered with fleshly conditions to all eternity. Besides, if our Lord
must bear the scars of his wounds to all eternity, the implication would be that his
people would also bear all their blemishes and scars to all eternity. Surely, if such were
the divine arrangement, that which is perfect would never come, for we should be
encumbered with the imperfect forever.1 Cor. 13:10.
When we get the correct view of this matter, every
difficulty and objection ceases. As the Scriptures declare, so it was, He was put to
death in flesh, he was quickened in spirit. Tho we have known
Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him to more [so]. (2 Cor.
It was at his resurrection that he became the second
Adam the last Adam, a quickening spirit. (1 Cor. 15:45.)
Now the Lord is that spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17.) After appearing to his
disciples under various peculiar conditions after his resurrection,
54 The Parousia of Our Lord
various bodies, the Lord invariably vanished,as
soon as he had communicated to them the appropriate lessons, causing, as they declared,
their hearts to burn within them. He appeared in these various forms for two
(1) They could best receive his instructions under
such conditions, whereas, if he had appeared to them in the glory of his spirit being, and
had performed a miracle upon their eyes by which they could have discerned his spiritual
glory, they would have been too much affrighted to have benefited by what he would have
(2) They were still natural men, not fully begotten
of the holy spirit, because Pentecost was not yet come (John 7:39), and hence they were
unprepared to understand spiritual things; for the natural man receiveth not the
things of the spirit of God, neither can he know [appreciate] them, because they are
The Apostle Paul was the only one of the disciples
who saw the Lord as he is. He tells us that the Lords real
spiritual presence, so far from being fleshly or human-like, shone with a brightness
above the brightness of the sun at noonday. The effect upon Pauls eyes
was serious, and, we may readily believe the effects remained with him to his dying day,
notwithstanding the miraculous removal of the callous scales, which permitted him to see,
tho indistinctly. Very evidently our Lords design was to educate his apostles up to
the thought of his resurrection being not to former conditions, limited by the flesh, but
to new conditions, in which he (as he had already explained to Nicodemus)
55 At His Second Advent.
could come and go like the wind, and none could know
whence he came nor whither he went; He could appear in one body or in another body, or be
present with them without their being aware of it, just as the angel of the Lord
encampeth round about them that fear him, yet is invisible to them, because a spirit
WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM
AS HE IS.
When the right conception of our Lord, in his
glorified condition, is gained, and when the Apostles statement is remembered, that
his Church shall be like him, and see him as he is, it is comparatively
easy to understand that the entire glorified Church will be as invisible to the world as
the heavenly Father is, and as our Lord Jesus was after his resurrection; and when it is
remembered that this Church constitutes the Kingdom of God, the royal
priesthood, which is to rule and bless the world during the Millennial age, our
Lords words to the Pharisees are quite intelligible,The Kingdom of God
cometh not with observationneither shall ye say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for
behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of youa present but invisible
authority, government, rule of righteousness.
THEY KNEW NOT THE TIME OF THEIR VISITATION.
Our Lord reproved the teachers of Israel because they
did not discern the signs of the times, because they knew not the time of
their visitation. His words imply that their ignorance was a mark of carelessness
and unworthiness, and of divine disfavor.
56 The Parousia of Our Lord
He said Ye can discern the face of the sky; how
is it that ye cannot discern the signs of the times? There was a reason, and the
realization of that reason might have meant, to some at least, a correction of ita
drawing near to God to be taught of him. So now in the time of our Lords second
presence we find the world largely increasing in wisdom along the various lines, and many
hearts in perplexity and wonderment looking for those things which are coming upon the
world, their hearts failing them for fear of the impending dissolution of the social
structure in anarchy, and yet none are so blind respecting the times in which we live and
the great changes impending, as the leaders of religious thought.
They are blinded by their false theories. They have
declared that the Lords commission to his Church is that she should convert the
world into a Kingdom of God, and thus bring about the reign of righteousness; and they are
so determined that their theories must not fail that they cannot see what is rapidly
becoming apparent even to the worldly, namely, that the numbers even nominally converted
every year are increasing far less, proportionately, than the natural increase of the
worlds population so that if they had millions of years before them the conversion
could never be hoped for, but in the end of millions of years true Christianity could not
expect to claim as large a percentage as at present. Their theory also blinds them to the
fact that much of the increase of Church membership in civilized lands is merely for
popularitys sake, and for the sake of worldly prosperity, social standing, etc., and
not the result of love for God and righteousness, nor significant of a consecration
57 At His Second Advent.
to walk in the narrow way of self-denial,
The worldly, therefore, we are really in a better
condition to discern the signs of the times than many prejudiced nominal Christians. But
none can see these things from the true standpoint except as they take that
standpoint, and it is only granted to those who are fully consecrated to the Lord and who
hearkened to his Word. These shall not be in darkness, the Lord will not hide from them
either his good purposes as respects the blessing of the Church and subsequently of the
world, or his purposes respecting the chastisement of the world in a great time of
trouble, preparatory to its blessing, after it has been humbled.
THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST.
The chief work of our Lord during this
harvest time, and especially in the forepart of it (when he calls his faithful
servants of the Gospel age and reckons with them and rewards them), respects his Church as
a whole, and not merely its living members. And here we should note the Apostles
statement respecting this time and work. He informs us that the Lords dealings
during this harvest will be first with the dead in Christ, saying,
We which are alive and remain to the coming [presence] of the Lord shall not prevent
[precede] them which are asleep [those of the Church already dead], . . .for the dead in
Christ shall rise first. Taking this statement in connection with our Lords
parable, it means that the faithful sleeping in death will be reckoned with, rewarded,
resurrected, before the reckoning with and rewarding of the living members of the Church
58 The Parousia of Our Lord
if it be true, as we have briefly presented it,
foregoing,that we are now living in the days of the Son of Man, and that
his presence began in the Autumn of 1874, then we should also believe that the
resurrection of the saints which were asleep was due and took place at some
period not long after our Lords parousia began. And we are able to fix upon a
date for this with comparative certainty, altho the entire matter is invisible to natural
eyes and can be discerned only with the eye of faith and by the light of our lamp, the
Our lamp, as we have already seen, shows us that the
Jewish age was in every particular a pattern or illustration of this Gospel age; and
keeping this in mind, we can judge something respecting the order of the divine
arrangement in the harvest of this age, from the order of the divine
arrangement in the harvest of the Jewish age. Observing the Jewish age, we
find that the first three and a half years of their harvest were devoted to
the simple announcement of the masters presence, and an offer to the nominal Church
then living, and that they ended by the rejection of the nominal Church at the time of our
Lords death; and that afterward while their nominal system of Church was ignored,
the Israelites indeed were called out of it into fellowship with the Lord, through
his spirit. We note also, that it was at the very time of the rejection of the Jewish
house that our Lord assumed before them typically his office of King, and rode upon the
ass as the King of the Jews and looking for the time when our Lord, in the end of the age,
should assume his full regal power and authority as the King of kings, we find it should
be at the corresponding
59 At His Second Advent.
date in this harvest, namely, in the
Spring of 1878. And as the first work of our Lord, after taking the kingly office, in the
typical harvest, was to reject the nominal house of Israel, that he might
begin the work of gathering out of it the Israelites indeed, so we understand that in the
present harvest time the first work of our King is the rejection of the nominal Gospel
house of sons,to the intent that he may gather out of it the wheat, his
elect, from one end of the ecclesiastical heavens to the other. (Matt. 24:31.)
This rejection of the nominal Church, and the call of his people to Come out of
her, we understand to be symbolically styled the fall of Babylon, and the spewing
out of Laodicea. See Rev. 3:16-20-22; 18 2-4.
Here, then, we have an indication of the time when
the judgment of the Lords servants was due to begin, represented in the
parable by the King calling to himself his own servants to hear their reports; and in the
light of the Apostles statement just noticed, namely, that the living will not
precede those that are asleep, it is clear that at that time, and before the reckoning
with the living began, them that sleep, the dead in Christ, were
awakened, granted a part in the first resurrectionraised in glory, honor, power,
spiritual bodies, invisible to mankind. Nor would the resurrection of the spirit bodies
necessitate any disturbance of graveyards or tombstones, or anything earthly. That
which is born of the spirit is spirit, and as our Lord after his resurrection was
invisible to the world, and invisible also to his Church (except as he miraculously
manifested himself), so with these they are invisible, nor is there any necessity for
60 The Parousia of Our Lord
manifestation, nor has been made, neither is any
expected. We walk by faith, and not by sight.
To all who understand the necessity for the sleep of
the saints (namely, that it was because the call of the Church took place before the time
divinely arranged for the establishment of the Kingdom), it will seem eminently proper
that the King should immediately on taking office as King, liberate from the
prisonhouse of death his faithful followers, who during his absence manifested their
faithfulness, and for whom have been set aside crowns of righteousness, to be given them
at his return in power and great glory. It would be unreasonable indeed to suppose any
prolonged delay of their resurrection, after our Lord takes to himself his great power and
begins his reign. We hold, therefore, that the resurrection of the dead in Christ was due
to take place in the Spring of 1878.
Futhermore, we note a beautiful analogy here; for,
thus considered, our Lords resurrection a few days after his taking office as King
in typical Israel corresponds to or parallels the resurrection of the Church, the
body of Christ a few days after his taking to himself honor and glory and power as
the King of nations in the Spring 1878. Not only so, but the Book of Revelation, in a
scene which belongs to that particular time and description of the opening of the
harvest of this Gospel age shows one like unto the Son of Man, having on
his head a golden crown and in his hand a sharp sickle, beginning the work of
reaping the harvest of this age and there we find the significant statement, Blessed
are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea,
61 At His Second Advent.
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their
labors, for their works follow them.Rev. 14:13, 16.
This text has been so frequently misapplied by
theologians that its true significance will be apt to elude all who have not their senses
exercised by reason of use, and who do not closely discriminate. It signifies that from
time to time of the beginning of the reaping of the harvest of this age by the
crowned reaper (the Spring of 1878) there will be a wonderful blessing not previously
possible, upon the certain class described. From this particular date onward those of this
particular class who die will be favored or blessed in a manner in which none of the
preceding members of this same class were blessed; namely, in that their death will not
interrupt their works, which will continue right along, the labor and weariness alone
ceasing, the work itself continuing under more glorious and more favorable conditions.
This means that since 1878 the fully consecrated of
the Lords people, those who are completely dead with him, will not sleep
in death, as has been necessary with all the preceding members of the body of Christ
throughout the Gospel age it means that from 1878 onward the dead who die in the Lord will
in the moment of dying experience their change, or share in the first
resurrectionin a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, pass from mortality to
immortality, from weakness to power, from dishonor to glory, from natural to spiritual
It is to this that the Apostle referred when he said,
Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.
To our understanding,
62 The Parousia of Our Lord
the last trump, the seventh of the series of
symbolical trumpets. began in 1874, just before our Lord took to himself his great power
and began its exercisebegan his reign its sound is to continue until the close of
the Millennial Age, a thousand years.
This change in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye, that is to occur to the living members of the body of Christ will indeed be a
momentary change as respects each individual after he shall have rendered his accounts
before the great King, and been accepted of him as a joint-heir in the Kingdom; but it
does not imply that all of these will be changed in a moment. Quite to the contrary, the
judging of the living members of the Church, the going in of the wise virgins in the end
of this age, will be a gradual work, and has already been in progress for twenty years,
and is not yet finished. It will include the rejection of the foolish virgins,
and the utter casting out of any who may take off the wedding garment of
Christs righteousness, as shown in one of the parables.
Thus we see that immediately after this taking of the
crown in the Spring of 1878, our Lord gathered to himself those of his saints, his
jewels, who had already been polished and fitted and prepared, and who slept,
awaiting the time for the establishment of the Kingdom; and that since then, one by one,
his faithful saints of the same class of jewels are being gathered to himself,
as they finish their course. But as it was necessary that our Redeemer should not only
consecrate his life to death, but that he should actually die, so it is necessary that every
member of the body of Christ shall not only consecrate himself to be dead with him,
but that each also shall actually die.
They are already
63 At His Second Advent.
reckoned dead, but this is not sufficient; our
Lords words are, Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a
crown of life, and again, Blessed are the dead in the Lord [reckonedly dead,
consecrated unto death], dying from henceforth. So also it had been foretold
in other Scriptures, that all who would be of the body of Christ must, like the Head, pass
through the portals of death; thus it is written, I have said, Ye are gods[mighty
ones], all of you sons of the Most High; ye shall ALL DIE like men, and fall like
one of the princes. The two princes of our race were Adam and Christ Jesus. Adam
went into death because of disobedience; Christ as a sacrifice for the sins of others,
entered death in obedience; and the Church, the body of Christ, his brethren,
being justified out of the Adamic death by faith in his sacrifice, are reckoned as
joint-sacrificers with him in his death of obedience, that they may be accounted
also sharers in his resurrectionthe first resurrection, to the
divine nature and glory and joint-heirship.Psa. 82:6; Rom. 5:12, 17; 2 Pet. 14.
We have given here only the briefest possible summary
of the Scriptural evidences that we are living in the parousia, the presence,
the days of the Son of Man, in the harvest time of this
age, and that the work which he, directly and through his apostles, instructed us to
expect is now in progress, namely, the sealing of the saints of the Most High
God in their foreheads (Eph. 1:13, 14), and giving them a mental appreciation of the
divine plan and its times and seasons, together with a judgment or testing of all who have
covenanted themselves to be the Lords and to lay down their lives in his service.
And all who
64 The Parousia of Our Lord
refuse to live up to their covenant, even tho sealed
and blessed, and enlightened with present truth, will, we understand, be rejected from it,
and cast again into outer darkness with the world, to share in the great time
of trouble coming upon it. We understand also that the elect number will soon be
completed, and the last one of the class who shall be blessed by the glorious
change from mortality to immortality, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
shall soon obtain that blessing, and that then the great time of trouble will fully burst
upon the world, and speedily bring down the high, and lofty and the proud, and prepare the
world for the reign of the Prince of Peace.
Here we have consistency, at least, and harmony of
Scriptures which have never been harmonized in the past, and which cannot now be
harmonized from any other standpoint or with any other interpretation. Here we have the
spiritual Kingdom of Messiah, with all power, displacing the spiritual kingdom of Satan,
and establishing order and righteousness through earthly agents of it own, and
overthrowing the earthly agents of the prince of darkness, many of whom are his servants
merely because the god of this world [age] has blinded the minds of them that
THEY WITHOUT US SHALL NOT BE MADE
We remark incidentally that following the gathering
of the Church of glory, as above outlined, will come the resurrection of the holy ones of
the past, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the holy prophets, whose
resurrection will be to perfect earthly conditions, and who shall be the
princes in all the earth,
65 At His Second Advent.
seen of men, and representatives of the invisible but
all-powerful spiritual Kingdomthe glorified Christ. Thus, chosen representatives of
fleshly Israel will indeed rule the world, and bless it, as the representatives and
agencies of the Spiritual Israel, and to the standard of the Lord thus set up the nation
of Israel will be first to respond.Psa. 45:16; Rom. 11:25-31; Czech. 12:10.
Our Lords parousia (presence in the
world) begun in 1874, will continue till the end of the Millennial age. The word is not
applicable merely to a little period of presence at the beginning of the Millennial age
Christs parousia and that of his Church will continue throughout the age. Nor
will the epiphania and apokalupsis be a sudden burst of glorious light; nor
do these words signify a visible showing to mankind of the Lords person, of the
persons of his Church. Let us remember his words, Yet a little while, and the
world seeth me no more. Let us remember also that, as his Church is to be in his
likeness, so his likeness is declared to be an express image of the Fathers
person; it is written that he is the King eternal, immortal, invisible. (1
Nor will it be any more necessary that the world
should see with their natural eyes the Lord and his glorified ones, than that they should
see the Heavenly Father the world will see the earthly representatives of God and of
Christ and of the Church, when they see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the
holy prophets, for they will be samples of perfect manhood, which is the earthly
image of the invisible God.
Our Lords epiphania (bright shining) and
his apokalupsis (unveiling) began shortly after his parousia
66 The Parousia of Our Lord
began; the bright shining of his presence is now
visible to those who are walking in the light to those who are not
in darkness with the world. It is a mental illumination, an illumination to the eyes
of our understandings, and not to our natural eyes, The eyes of our understanding have
been opened to see him that is invisible to the natural sight. The epiphania of our
Lord is already affecting the world also, tho not through the eyes of the understanding,
for they have no eyes for such spiritual things nevertheless, the bright shining of our
Lords presence is influencing and affecting the whole course of the world, through
an increase of knowledge on every subject specially noticeable since 1878.
Eventually all the blinded shall have opened eyes of understanding and
EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM.
Many even who are not of the Watchers are noting the
signs of our times and are startled, and led to exclaim, What do these things
mean?This remarkable latter-day advance in science, art and mechanical
invention?This latter-day discontent in the midst of plenty and luxury?This
latter-day growth of giant corporations of world-wide power and influence?Why are
national policies and public men and their utterances and doings criticized (judged) by
the masses as never before?And what means it that with an apparent growth in wealth
and numbers in all denominations of Christians there is a growing dissatisfaction,
discontent in them all a growing tendency to criticise the creeds and the preaching and
everything?How comes it that ninetenths of the preachers in all denominations
67 At His Second Advent.
know that their hearers desire a change, and would
gladly move on, if they knew how to better themselves even at smaller
The Scriptural answer is, The hour of Gods
judgment is come; the time when Christendom, political, financial, social and
ecclesiastical is being judgedbeing tried in the divine balances.
And the Scriptures declare that she will be found
wanting, and will be adjudged unworthy to further administer the affairs of the earth,
which will be turned over to the elect little flock, according to the divine
The secret of the matter now is the same as in the
Jewish harvest, which John explained, saying,
THERE STANDETH ONE AMONG YOU WHOM YOU KNOW
Mine eyes can see the glory of the presence of
He is trampling out the winepress where the grapes of wrath are stored;
I see the flaming tempest of his swift descending sword;
Our King is marching on.
I can see his coming judgments as they circle all the earth
The signs and groanings promised, to precede a second birth;
I read his righteous sentence, in the crumbling thrones of earth;
Our King is marching on.
The Gentile Times are closing, for their kings have had their day;
And with them sin and sorrow will forever pass away;
For the tribe of Judahs Lion now comes to hold the sway;
Our King is marching on.