TIME IS AT HAND
TIMES OF THE GENTILES
What are Gentile Times?--Their Beginning; Their Length; Their
End A.D. 1914--Attendant Events--Events to Follow--Literal and
Symbolic Time--A Remarkable Type--Present Indications--God's
Kingdom to Overthrow Gentile Rule--Therefore Organized Before
It Ends--Before A.D. 1914--Why Opposed by Gentile Kingdoms--How
and Why All will Finally Accept it Joyfully--"The Desire
of All Nations Shall Come."
[Since the topic considered in this chapter is very closely related
to that of chapter xiii of Vol. I, the reader will be greatly
assisted by a review of that chapter before commencing this.]
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the
Gentiles be fulfilled." `Luke 21:24`
term "Times of the Gentiles" was applied by our Lord
to that interval of earth's history between the removal of the
typical Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Israel (`Ezek.
21:25-27`), and the introduction and establishment of its
antitype, the true Kingdom of God, when Christ comes to be "glorified
in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that
this interval, the dominion of earth was to be exercised by Gentile
governments; and Israel, both fleshly and spiritual, have been
and are to be subject to these powers until their time is expired.
While God does not approve of nor commend these governments, he
recognizes their dominion. In other words, he has for wise ends
permitted their dominion for an appointed time.
dominion of earth was originally given to Adam, to subdue and
possess and rule it in righteousness. (`Gen.
1:28`) Adam failed, and the dominion forfeited by sin was
taken from him. Angels were next permitted to have the control.
Instead, however, of lifting up the fallen race, some of them
"kept not their first estate," but fell into transgression.
<PAGE 74> the flood, God declared to Abraham
his purpose to bring the needed help for the sinful, dying race
through his posterity, by raising up from among them a great deliverer,
ruler and teacher, saying, "In thy seed shall all the families
of the earth be blessed."
was the earliest suggestion of a national, universal dominion
over earth. And this suggestion, coming from God, implied a special
fitness, a peculiar superiority of this ruler over and above all
others, and that it would be to the advantage of all mankind to
be subject to such a ruler. That this promise to Abraham filled
the hearts and minds of his posterity, Israel, and was well known
by their relatives, the Moabites and Edomites, there can be no
doubt. That such a national hope would become known to other nations
is probable; and, if known, we cannot doubt that pride would beget
in them the desire to be the chief nation, and to have universal
dominion, as being in every way as able and as fit to rule, and
teach, and thus bless the nations, as any of Abraham's posterity.
hope of attaining universal dominion, not by the choice of the
nations to have it so, but by God's choice and power manifested
in their favor, seems to have spread to other nations also. At
all events, we find that these Gentile kings and peoples accepted
their dominions as favors from the gods whom they worshiped. And
the same thought still clings to every petty ruler and prince,
as well as to the more powerful kings and emperors. No matter
how weak mentally or physically, and no matter how vicious and
unfit to rule either themselves or others, they possess to an
almost insane degree the idea that God specially chose them and
their families to rule over and "BLESS" (?) all the
earth. This theory, accepted by the masses of the people, is blazoned
forth on medals, coins and papers of state in the words, "King--------by
the grace of God."
while Israel was waiting and hoping for the promised dominion
of earth, and often supposed they were just within reach of its
realization, particularly under kings David and Solomon, the desire
for universal empire became general among other nations. And when
God was about to remove the crown from Israel until the true seed
of promise should come to take the dominion, he determined to
let the Gentile kingdoms take control and try the experiment of
ruling the world, that thus the world might also learn the futility
of its own efforts at self-government while in its present sinful
condition. As he had given the dominion forfeited by Adam to the
angels, to demonstrate their inability to rule and bless the world,
so he now delivered that dominion over to the Gentiles, to let
them try their various methods, unaided by him. These various
experiments God permits, as so many valuable and necessary
lessons, filling the intervening time until the Lord's Anointed,
whose right it is, shall come and take the dominion and accomplish
all his gracious purposes.
Israel after the flesh was typical of spiritual Israel, the Gospel
Church, which is also called in this higher sense "a royal
priesthood and holy nation" (`1 Pet.
2:9`), and which in due time is to rule and bless all nations,
so their kingdom was typical in some respects of the Kingdom of
Christ. Consequently, when God's time came to turn over the dominion
of earth to Gentile rule, it was appropriate that he should first
remove the typical crown from Israel, and that the typical kingdom
should no longer be recognized. This he did, declaring that they
had proven themselves unfit for exaltation to universal
dominion, having become corrupt, vain and idolatrous in proportion
as they had attained national distinction. This was in the days
of King Zedekiah; and the divine decree was expressed in the words
of the prophet: "Thus saith the Lord God, remove the diadem
<PAGE 76> and take off the crown: this shall
not be the same: exalt him that is low and abase him that is high.
I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more
until he comes whose right it is, and I will give it him."
overturning of the crown, or dominion, has been accomplished.
It was first turned over to Babylon, then to Medo-Persia, then
to Grecia, and then to Rome. The character of these empires, as
recorded on the pages of history, we have found to agree perfectly
with the prophetic descriptions, as portrayed in Nebuchadnezzar's
vision of the great image and in Daniel's vision of the four beasts.
This overturned condition of Israel's dominion was to continue
until Christ, the rightful heir to the throne of Israel and all
the earth, who purchased it with his own precious blood, would
come and take control. His, as we have seen, will be the fifth
universal empire of earth, the Kingdom of God under the whole
heavens. But unlike the preceding four dominions which were permitted
for an appointed time, and therefore recognized, though not approvingly,
this one will be approved and established by God, as his representative
in the earth. It will be God's Kingdom, the Kingdom of Jehovah's
Anointed. It will be established gradually, during a great time
of trouble with which the Gospel age will close, and in the midst
of which present dominions shall be utterly consumed, passing
away amid great confusion.
this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full
end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their
lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that
date will see the disintegration of the rule of imperfect men.
And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly
established by the Scriptures, it will prove:
That at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught
us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will begin to
assume control, and that it will then shortly be "set up,"
or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.
It will prove that he whose right it is thus to take the dominion
will then be present as earth's new Ruler; and not only so, but
it will also prove that he will be present for a considerable
period before that date; because the overthrow of these Gentile
governments is directly caused by his dashing them to pieces as
a potter's vessel (`Psa. 2:9`;
`Rev. 2:27`), and establishing in their stead his own righteous
It will prove that some time before the end of the overthrow the
last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ, the "royal
priesthood," "the body of Christ," will be glorified
with the Head; because every member is to reign with Christ, being
a joint-heir with him of the Kingdom, and it cannot be fully "set
up" without every member.
It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer
be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust
of divine disfavor, to honor; because the "Times of the Gentiles"
will be fulfilled or completed.
It will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel's blindness
will begin to be turned away; because their "blindness in
part" was to continue only "until the fulness
of the Gentiles be come in" (`Rom.
11:25`), or, in other words, until the full number from
among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride
of Christ, would be fully selected.
It will prove that the great "time of trouble such
<PAGE 78> as never was since there was a nation,"
will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy; and
then men will learn to be still, and to know that Jehovah is God
and that he will be exalted in the earth. (`Psa.
46:10`) The condition of things spoken of in symbolic language
as raging waves of the sea, melting earth, falling mountains and
burning heavens will then pass away, and the "new heavens
and new earth" with their peaceful blessings will begin to
be recognized by trouble-tossed humanity. But the Lord's Anointed
and his rightful and righteous authority will first be recognized
by a company of God's children while passing through the great
tribulation--the class represented by m and t on
the Chart of the Ages (see also pages 235 to 239, Vol. I); afterward,
just at its close, by fleshly Israel; and ultimately by mankind
It will prove that before that date God's Kingdom, organized
in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile
image (`Dan. 2:34`)--and fully consume
the power of these kings. Its own power and dominion will be established
as fast as by its varied influences and agencies it crushes and
scatters the "powers that be"-- civil and ecclesiastical--iron
The Beginning of Gentile Times, 606 B.C.
Lord's words, "until the times* of the Gentiles be
fulfilled," imply that the times of the Gentiles must
have a definitely appointed limit; because an unlimited, indefinite
period could not be said to be fulfilled. So, then, Gentile rule
had a beginning, will last for a fixed time, and will end
at the time appointed. ---------- *The Greek word here rendered
"times" is kairos, which signifies a fixed
time. It is the same word translated "times"
in the following passages: `Mark 1:15`;
`1 Tim. 6:15`; `Rev. 12:14`;
`Acts 3:19; 17:26`. The word "seasons" in
`Acts 1:7` is from the same Greek word.
beginning of these Gentile Times is clearly located by the Scriptures.
Hence, if they furnish us the length also of the fixed
period, or lease of Gentile dominion, we can know positively just
when it will terminate. The Bible does furnish this fixed period,
which must be fulfilled; but it was furnished in such a way that
it could not be understood when written, nor until the lapse of
time and the events of history had shed their light upon it; and
even then, only by those who were watching and who were not overcharged
by the cares of the world.
Bible evidence is clear and strong that the "Times of the
Gentiles" is a period of 2520 years, from the year B.C. 606
to and including A.D. 1914. This lease of universal dominion to
Gentile governments, as we have already seen, began with Nebuchadnezzar--not
when his reign began, but when the typical kingdom of the Lord
passed away, and the dominion of the whole world was left in the
hands of the Gentiles. The date for the beginning of the Gentile
Times is, therefore, definitely marked as at the time of the removal
of the crown of God's typical kingdom, from Zedekiah, their last
to the words of the prophet (`Ezek. 21:25-27`),
the crown was taken from Zedekiah; and Jerusalem was besieged
by Nebuchadnezzar's army and laid in ruins, and so remained for
seventy years--until the restoration in the first year of Cyrus.
(`2 Chron. 36:21-23`) Though Jerusalem
was then rebuilt, and the captives returned, Israel has never
had another king from that to the present day. Though restored
to their land and to personal liberty by Cyrus, they, as a nation,
were subject successively to the Persians, Grecians and Romans.
Under the yoke of the latter they were living when our Lord's
first advent occurred, Pilate and Herod being deputies of Caesar.
these facts before us, we readily find the date for the
<PAGE 80> beginning of the Gentile Times of
dominion; for the first year of the reign of Cyrus is a very clearly
fixed date--both secular and religious histories with marked unanimity
agreeing with Ptolemy's Canon, which places it B.C. 536. And if
B.C. 536 was the year in which the seventy years of Jerusalem's
desolation ended and the restoration of the Jews began, it follows
that their kingdom was overthrown just seventy years before B.C.
536, i.e., 536 plus 70, or B.C. 606. This gives us the date of
the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles--B.C. 606.
God's lease of power to these worldly or Gentile governments,
we know, not only that they will fail, and be overthrown, and
be succeeded by the Kingdom of Christ when their "times"
expire, but also that God will not take the dominion from them,
to give it to his Anointed, until that lease expires--"until
the Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Consequently, we
are guarded right here against the false idea into which Papacy
has led the world--that the Kingdom of God was set up at
Pentecost, and more fully established when, as it is claimed,
the Roman empire was converted to Christianity (to Papacy), and
it attained both temporal and spiritual empire in the world. We
see from this prophecy of the Times of the Gentiles that this
claim made by the church of Rome, and more or less endorsed by
Protestants, is false. We see that those nations which both Papacy
and Protestantism designate Christian Nations, and whose dominions
they call Christendom (i.e., Christ's Kingdom), are not such.
They are "kingdoms of this world," and until their "times"
are fulfilled Christ's Kingdom cannot take the control, though
it will be organizing and preparing to do so in the few years
which close the Gentile Times, while these kingdoms will be trembling,
disintegrating and falling into anarchy.
the Gospel age, the Kingdom of Christ has existed
<PAGE 81> only in its incipient stage, in its
humiliation, without power or privilege of reigning--without the
crown, possessing only the scepter of promise: unrecognized by
the world, and subject to the "powers that be"--the
Gentile kingdoms. And the heirs of the heavenly kingdom must so
continue, until the time appointed for them to reign together
with Christ. During the time of trouble, closing this age, they
will be exalted to power, but their "reign" of
righteousness over the world could not precede A.D. 1915--when
the Times of the Gentiles have expired. Therefore it is the duty
of the Church to await patiently the appointed time for its triumph
and glorious reign: to keep separate from the kingdoms of this
world as strangers, pilgrims and foreigners; and, as heirs of
the Kingdom to come, to let their hopes and ambitions center in
it. Christians should recognize the true character of these kingdoms,
and, while they keep separate from them, should render to them
due respect and obedience, because God has permitted them to rule.
As Paul teaches, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher
powers; for there is no power but of God."
can fleshly Israel come into their long promised inheritance until
that time, though preparatory steps will previously be taken;
for God will not fully establish either the earthly or the spiritual
phase of his Kingdom until this lease to the Gentiles expires.
crown (dominion) was removed from God's people (both the spiritual
and the fleshly seed) until the Times of the Gentiles shall end--at
the glorious presence of Messiah, who will be not only "King
of the Jews," but "King over all the earth, in that
day." Some may think that this removal of the crown from
Israel was a violation of the promise, "The Scepter shall
not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet,
until Shiloh come." (`Gen. 49:10`)
Note, however, a distinction between the crown and the
<PAGE 82> for, though the crown passed away
in the days of Zedekiah, the scepter, as we shall see, did not
depart until six hundred and thirty-nine years afterward--when
our Lord Jesus, of the tribe of Judah and seed of David according
to the flesh, being approved of God, became the rightful and only
heir of the long-promised scepter of earth.
promise to Abraham, renewed to Isaac and to Jacob, was that from
their posterity should come the great deliverer who should not
only bless and exalt their family in the world, but who should
"bless ALL the families of the earth." It looked
for a time as though Moses, the great Lawgiver and deliverer,
was the one promised; but he prophetically declared to the people,
"A Prophet like unto me shall the Lord your God raise
up unto you of your brethren," thus indicating that he was
but a type of him that was to come; and Moses died. Next, the
promise, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah,"
narrowed down the expectation to that tribe. And all the other
tribes in a measure clung to Judah in proportion as they had faith
in God's promises, expecting a blessing in conjunction with Judah,
in due time.
King David arose from the promised tribe, his victories led to
great expectations of an extended kingdom, whose influence would
spread and embrace the world, and subject all nations to
the Law. And when Solomon's world-renowned wisdom and greatness
were at their height, it surely looked as though the crown of
universal dominion was almost within their grasp. The Lord's
promise to David, that of the fruit of his loins he would
raise up one to sit on his throne forever, had narrowed down the
promise in the tribe of Judah to one family, and that family
already on the throne of Israel. And when the grand Temple of
Solomon was erected, and its hundreds of singers and priests were
an imposing spectacle; when Solomon's fame for wisdom and riches
was world-wide; when kings sent him presents and
<PAGE 83> desired his favor; and when the queen
of Sheba came with gifts to see this most renowned and wonderful
king the world had yet known, no wonder the Jewish bosom swelled
with hope and pride as the long expected moment for the exaltation
of the seed of Abraham, and the blessing of all nations through
them, seemed just at hand.
was their disappointment when, after Solomon's death, the kingdom
was torn, and finally utterly overturned, and the people who had
expected to rule and bless all nations as God's holy nation were
carried captives to Babylon. "By the rivers of Babylon there
we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion."
though the crown was removed, i.e., though the power to
govern even themselves was taken from them, the right to
rule (the scepter), conveyed originally in God's promise, was
not removed. Though universal dominion was given to Nebuchadnezzar
and his successors, as illustrated in the great image, and by
the four great beasts, yet it was to continue only a limited period.
The original promise to Israel must be fulfilled--the crown was
removed, but the scepter remained until Shiloh came. This was
even pointed out in the decree against Zedekiah: Take off the
crown--I will overturn it, till he come whose right
it is, and I will give it unto him.
the covenant made with Abraham promised the ruling and blessing
of the world through his seed, the covenant of the Law made with
Israel, Abraham's children, limited and restricted that Abrahamic
Covenant, so that only such as would fully and perfectly obey
the Law could claim, or had any right to hope for, a share in
the ruling and blessing promised in the Abrahamic Covenant. Seeing
this fact led to the formation of the sect of the Pharisees, who
claimed to fulfil every particular of the Law blamelessly, and
"trusted in themselves that they were righteous
<PAGE 84> and despised others," calling
others "publicans and sinners" and themselves the "children
of Abraham," heirs of the promised dominion which was to
bless the world.
clear, forcible teaching of our Lord Jesus was in part directed
against the errors of the Pharisees, who supposed that their careful
performance of some of the outward ceremonies of the Law was a
full compliance with its letter and spirit. Our Lord taught what
all Christians now know, that the Law, when seen in its fulness,
is so majestically perfect, and man so fallen and imperfect,
and so beset with temptations from without as well as by weakness
from within, that none of them could possibly keep that Law perfectly
nor claim the Abrahamic blessing. Our Lord's censures of Pharisaism
must not therefore be understood as objections to their endeavor
to keep the Law blamelessly; nor did he blame them for failing
to keep the Law fully, which no imperfect man can do. But he did
blame them for hypocrisy, in deceiving themselves and others with
a claimed perfection and holiness, which they as well as others
could see was merely a cleansing of the outside, while their hearts
were still impure and unconsecrated. He censured them for having
a mere form of godliness, and a lip service, while their hearts
were far from God. So, then, as our Lord and Paul declare, none
of them really did or really could keep the Law perfectly
`Rom. 3:20`), though they might have come much nearer to
a perfect observance of its requirements than they did.
Lord not only declared in words the full import of the Law to
be, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself,"
but he illustrated this in his full surrender of himself
to the will and plan of God, in his avoidance of any plan and
ambition of his own, and of all self-seeking--a most hearty doing
<PAGE 85> will of God with all his heart,
mind, soul and strength, and loving his neighbor as himself--all
this even unto death.
by fulfilling its conditions--by obeying the Law perfectly, as
none of the imperfect human family could do-- our Lord
Jesus became heir of all the blessings promised in that
Law Covenant made with Israel at Mount Sinai; and thus also
he was proved to be THE SEED OF ABRAHAM to whom
the entire Abrahamic promise now applied. Our Lord
thus secured to himself the scepter (the promised right
or authority of earth's dominion) which for centuries had been
promised should be merited by and given to some one in the tribe
of Judah and family of David. The great prize, for which Israel
had been hoping and striving and longing for centuries, was won
at last by the Lion (the strong one) of the tribe of Judah. Shiloh,
the great Peacemaker, had come: he who not only made peace
between God and man by the blood of his cross, when he redeemed
mankind from the condemnation of death justly upon all, but he
who also, when he takes his great power and reigns King of kings
and Lord of lords, will overthrow all wrong and evil and sin,
and establish peace upon a sure basis of holiness. He is the Prince
the scepter (the right) under the covenant passed to our
Lord Jesus, that Law Covenant ended; for how could God
continue to offer to others, on any conditions, the prize
which had already been won by Shiloh? Hence, as the Apostle declares,
"Christ made an end of the Law [covenant], nailing it to
his cross." `Col. 2:14`
the "Prince of Peace" secured for his subjects both
forgiveness of sins and restitution, and established an everlasting
kingdom on the basis of righteousness, such as could in no other
way have been brought about. Thus was fulfilled the prediction,
"The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver
from between his feet [loins], until Shiloh come."
Then it did depart from Judah, being given
<PAGE 86> to "the Lion [the strong one,
the highly exalted spiritual creature, the Lord of glory] from
the tribe of Judah," who now holds this scepter (or title
to authority) as King of kings and Lord of lords.
after the seventy years captivity in Babylon, when some returned
and built again the Temple and the walls of the city, it was such
as had respect to the promise of God, and who "waited for
the consolation of Israel." These gathered about the tribe
of Judah, remembering God's promise that the Lawgiver, the Deliverer,
the great Shiloh or peacemaker, should come in that tribe. But
alas! when the peaceful one who made peace and reconciliation
for iniquity by the blood of his cross came, they despised and
rejected him, expecting not a great High Priest, but a great general.
having received the scepter and "all power" at his resurrection,
because of his obedience unto death, will indeed bless Israel
first--but not fleshly Israel, for they are not all true Israelites
who are called such according to the flesh. (`Rom.
9:6`) Shiloh, the heir, is seeking and finding children
of Abraham according to the spirit--such as share the Abrahamic
disposition of faith and obedience, both from his natural posterity
and from among the Gentiles--to be a people for his name. (`Acts
15:14`) And "after this" [after the gathering
of his elect Church is accomplished--in the harvest or end of
the Gospel age, at the close of the Gentile Times] he will turn
again his favor and will build again the ruins of Israel, and
finally of all the families of the earth, upon a better basis
than has ever entered into the heart of man to conceive. He who
now holds the scepter--"whose right it is" to rule--will
at the expiration of the Gentile Times receive the crown also;
"and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
(`Gen. 49:10`) The scepter, or title
to "all power in heaven and in earth," was given unto
<PAGE 87> his resurrection, but he awaits the
Father's appointed time--the limit of the Gentile Times--before
he will take his great power and begin his glorious reign. See
bear in mind the date already found for the beginning of these
Gentile Times--viz., B.C. 606--while we proceed to examine the
evidence proving their length to be 2520 years, ending A.D. 1914.
must not expect to find this information stated in so many words.
Had it been so stated, it would have been known before it was
due. It is given in such a way as to conceal it until "the
time of the end." `Dan. 12:4,10`
Lord's words, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles
until the Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," not only suggest
a limit and definite period of Gentile domination, but they also
suggest the thought that though spiritual as well as fleshly Israel
has been subject to these Gentile powers, yet these "times"
are somehow connected with and measured upon the earthly city,
Jerusalem, and the fleshly house of Israel. And the thought occurs--Can
it be that God foretold concerning Israel's history something
which will give us the exact measure of these "times"
to which our Lord refers? It is even so.
to Leviticus we find recorded blessings and cursings of an earthly
and temporal character. If Israel would obey God faithfully, they
would be blessed above other nations; if not, certain evils would
befall them. The conclusion is stated thus: "And I will walk
among you and be your God, and ye shall be my people;...but if
ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments,
...I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before
your enemies; they that hate you shall reign over you." "And
ye shall sow your seed in vain; for your enemies shall eat it."
"And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me,
<PAGE 88> WILL PUNISH YOU SEVEN TIMES more
[further] for your sins." `Lev.
threat of "seven times" of punishment is mentioned
three times. The various punishments mentioned before the "seven
times" refer to the several captivities to the Assyrians,
Moabites, Midianites, Philistines, etc., etc., during all of which
God's care continued over them. His dealings were to them "line
upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little";
yet he kept hold of them, and when they repented and cried unto
him, he heard them and answered, and delivered them from their
enemies. (`Judges 3:9,15`) But these
chastisements having failed, he applied the threatened seven times:
the crown was permanently removed, and Israel, as well as the
whole world, was subject to the beastly powers for seven times.
Thus it befell them according to God's warning--"If ye will
not yet for all this [previous chastisements] hearken unto me,
then I will punish you seven times."
connection in which the "seven times" (more,
further, or additional) are threatened indicates that they include
a final and conclusive punishment upon that people after
the other chastisements had repeatedly failed to reform them permanently.
The punishment of these "seven times" will have
the designed effect of thoroughly humbling them before the Lord,
and thus preparing them to receive his blessings. These seven
times therefore refer to the length of time during
which the Gentiles should rule over them. And to this period of
"seven times" our Lord undoubtedly referred when speaking
of "the Times of the Gentiles."
time when the lesser captivities and chastisements gave place
to this final great national chastisement of "seven times"
was, as already shown, when their last king Zedekiah was removed--since
which there has been one
<PAGE 89> long period of chastisement--the
predicted "seven times" or 2520 years.
the Bible a "time" is used in the sense of a
year, whether the year be literal or symbolic; but at the time
of the utterance of any prophecy, it could not be known whether
the time referred to was literal or symbolic. The prophets
searched diligently, but in vain, to learn what time, or manner
of time (literal or symbolic), the Spirit did signify.
(`1 Pet. 1:11`) A symbolic
year as used in prophecy is reckoned on the basis of a lunar year--twelve
months of thirty days each, or three hundred and sixty days--each
day representing a year. Consequently, a "time" or year,
if symbolic, signifies three hundred and sixty (360) symbolic
days, and "seven times" represent twenty-five hundred
and twenty (7 x 360 = 2520) symbolic days, or 2520 literal years.
question here presenting itself is, Were these "seven times"
literal or symbolic? Did they refer to seven years, or twenty-five
hundred and twenty years? We answer, they were symbolic times,
2520 years. They cannot be understood as seven literal years;
for Israel had many captivities of longer duration--for instance,
they served the king of Mesopotamia eight years (`Judges
3:8`), the king of Moab eighteen years (`Judges
3:14`), King Jabin twenty years (`Judges
4:2,3`), the Philistines one period of forty years and
another of eighteen years (`Judges 10:7,8;
13:1`), besides their seventy years in Babylon. All these
periods being far longer than "seven times" or years
literal, yet the "seven times" being mentioned as the
last, greatest and final punishment, proves that symbolic, not
literal time is meant, though the Hebrew word translated "seven
times" in `Leviticus 26:18,21,24,28`,
is the same word so translated in `Daniel
4:16,23,25,32`, except that in Daniel the word iddan
is added, whereas in Leviticus it is left to be understood. And,
<PAGE 90> peculiarly, too, it is repeated four
times in each case. In Nebuchadnezzar's case they were literal
years, but, as we shall yet see, both Nebuchadnezzar and his "seven
times" were typical.
"seven times" of Nebuchadnezzar's degradation
(`Dan. 4:16,23-26`) proved
to be seven literal years, when actually so fulfilled; and so
the humiliation of Israel and the world under the "powers
that be" has proved to be seven symbolic times--twenty-five
hundred and twenty literal years. This period now lacks but twenty-six
years of being fulfilled, and agencies are at work on every hand
pointing to a termination of Gentile dominion, and the bringing
in of everlasting righteousness and all the blessings of the New
Covenant to Israel and to all the groaning creation.
The End of Israel's Seven Times
long period ("seven times," or 2520 years) of Israel's
punishment is the period of Gentile dominion--the "Times
of the Gentiles." Since, as we have already shown, the "Gentile
Times" began B.C. 606, and were to continue twenty-five hundred
and twenty years, they will end A.D. 1914 (2520-606=1914). Then
the blessings recorded in the latter part of the same chapter
(`Lev. 26:44,45`) will be fulfilled.
God will remember and fulfil to Israel the covenant made with
their fathers. `Rom. 11:25-27`
may be shown more clearly to some thus: Israel's "seven times"
of chastisement = 2520 years. They began when the lease of power
was given to the Gentiles, which, as we have shown, was 606 B.C.
Consequently, in A.D. 1, 606 years of their period had passed,
and the remainder ---- would indicate the A.D. date, viz., 1914
proof that a day for a year is Bible usage in symbolic
prophecy, we cite the following instances thus fulfilled: (a)
The spies were caused to wander forty days searching Canaan, typical
of Israel's forty years wandering in the wilderness. (`Num.
14:33,34`) (b) When God would announce to Israel
by Ezekiel a period of adversity, he had the prophet symbolize
it, declaring, "I have appointed thee each day for a year."
(`Ezek. 4:1-8`) (c) In that
notable and already fulfilled prophecy of
`Daniel 9:24-27`, examined in the preceding chapter, in
which the time to the anointing of our Lord is shown, and also
the seven years of favor to Israel thereafter, in the midst of
which Messiah was "cut off," symbolic time is used:
Each day of the seventy symbolic weeks represented a year, and
was so fulfilled. (d) Again, in `Dan.
7:25 and 12:7`, the period of Papacy's triumph is given
as three and a half times, and this we know (and will show in
this volume) was fulfilled in twelve hundred and sixty years (360
x 3 1/2 = 1260). The same period is mentioned in the book of
`Revelation: In chapter 12:14` it is called three and a
half times (360 x 3 1/2 = 1260); in chapter
`13:5` it is termed forty-two months (30 x 42 = 1260);
and in chapter `12:6` it is called
twelve hundred and sixty days. The fulfilment of these prophecies
will be particularly examined hereafter. Suffice it now to note
that the use by the Spirit of the word "time," elsewhere,
agrees with the present use of that term--that in symbolic prophecy
a "time" is a symbolic year of three hundred and sixty
years; and the fact that three and a half times, applied as a
measure to the triumph of the apostate church, has been fulfilled
in twelve hundred and sixty years, establishes the principle upon
which the seven times of Gentile dominion are reckoned
(360 x 7 = 2520) and proves their end to be A.D. 1914; for if
three and a half times are 1260 days (years), seven times will
be a period just twice as long, namely, 2520 years.
Israel's "seven times" been fulfilled in literal time
(seven years), the blessing guaranteed to them by God's unconditional
covenant with their fathers would have followed. (See
`Lev. 26:45`; `Rom. 11:28`.)
But this was not the case. They have never yet enjoyed those promised
blessings; and that covenant will not be fulfilled, says Paul
(`Rom. 11:25,26`), until the elect
Gospel Church, the body of Christ, has been perfected as their
deliverer, through whom the covenant will be put into operation.
"This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house
of Israel after those days [i.e., the seven times
of punishment], saith the Lord: I will put my law in their inward
parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and
they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man
his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord;
for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest
of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and
I will remember their sin no more." (`Jer.
31:33,34`; `Heb. 10:16,17`)
"In those days [the days of favor following the seven times
of punishment] they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten
a sour grape and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every
one [who dies] shall die for his own iniquity; every man that
eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge."
restoration at the end of the seventy years in Babylon was not
a release from Gentile rule; for they were a tributary people
ever after that. That restoration served merely to keep together
a people to whom Messiah should be presented. It was while Gentile
rule was already holding Israel in subjection, and in view of
that fact, that our Lord declared that they would continue to
be trodden down until the Times of the Gentiles expired, or were
fulfilled. The world is witness to the fact that Israel's punishment
under the dominion of the Gentiles has been continuous since B.C.
606, that it still continues, and that there is no reason
<PAGE 93> to expect their national reorganization
sooner than A.D. 1914, the limit of their "seven times"--2520
years. But as this long period of their national chastisement
draws near its close, we can see marked indications that the barren
fig tree is about to put forth, showing that the winter time of
evil is closing, and the Millennial summer approaching, which
will fully restore them to their promised inheritance and national
independence. The fact that there are now great preparations and
expectations relative to the return of Israel to their own land
is of itself strong circumstantial evidence corroborative of this
Scripture teaching. As to the significance of such an event, see
Vol. I, pages 286-298.
Another Line of Testimony
view of the Gentile Times is presented by
`Daniel--Chapter 4`. Here man's original dominion over
the whole earth, its removal, and the certainty of its restitution,
to begin at the end of the Gentile Times, is forcibly illustrated
in a dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, its interpretation by Daniel,
and its fulfilment upon Nebuchadnezzar.
his dream, Nebuchadnezzar "saw, and behold a tree in the
midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree
grew and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven,
and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth; the leaves
thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat
for all: and the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and
the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh
was fed of it. And, behold, a watcher and a holy one came down
from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus, Hew down the tree and
cut off his branches; shake off his leaves and scatter his fruit;
let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his
branches. Nevertheless, leave the stump of his roots in the
<PAGE 94> earth, even with a band of iron and
brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with
the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the
grass of the earth. Let his heart be changed from man's and let
a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times
pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and
the demand by the word of the holy ones, to the intent that the
living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men,
and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the
basest of men."
remarkable tree, in its glory and beauty, represented the first
dominion of earth given to the human race in its representative
and head, Adam, to whom God said, "Be fruitful, and multiply,
and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every
living thing that moveth upon the earth." (`Gen.
1:28`) The original glory of man and the power vested in
him were indeed sublime, and were over the whole earth, to bless,
and feed, and protect and shelter every living thing. But when
sin entered, the command came to hew down the tree, and the glory
and beauty and power of mankind were taken away; and the lower
creation no more found shelter, protection and blessing under
his influence. Death hewed down the great tree, scattered his
fruit and foliage, and left the lower creation without its lord
far as man was concerned, all power to recover the lost dominion
was hopelessly gone. But it was not so from God's standpoint.
The dominion originally sprang out of his plan, and was his gracious
gift; and though he had commanded it to be hewn down, yet the
root--God's purpose and plan of a restitution--continued, though
bound with strong fetters so that it should not sprout until the
divinely appointed time.
in the dream the figure changes from the stump of a tree to a
man degraded and brought to the companionship and likeness of
beasts, with reason dethroned and all his glory departed, so we
see man, the fallen, degraded lord of earth: his glory and dominion
have departed. Ever since the sentence passed, the race has been
having its portion with the beasts, and the human heart has become
beastly and degraded. How striking the picture, when we consider
the present and past half-civilized and savage condition of the
great mass of the human race, and that even the small minority
who aspire to overcome the downward tendency succeed only to a
limited degree, and with great struggling and constant effort.
The race must remain in its degradation, under the dominion of
evil, until the lesson has been learned, that the Most High ruleth
in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And
while men are in this degraded condition God permits some of the
basest characters among them to rule over them, that their present
bitter experience may prove in the future to be of lasting benefit.
to Daniel's interpretation, we are told that "All this came
upon the king, Nebuchadnezzar," and that in this insane,
degraded, beastly condition he wandered among the beasts until
seven times (seven literal years in his case) passed over
him. Daniel's interpretation of the dream relates only to its
fulfilment upon Nebuchadnezzar; but the fact that the dream, the
interpretation and the fulfilment are all so carefully related
here is evidence of an object in its narration. And its remarkable
fitness as an illustration of the divine purpose in subjecting
the whole race to the dominion of evil for its punishment and
correction, that in due time God might restore and establish it
in righteousness and everlasting life, warrants us in accepting
it as an intended type.
dream in its fulfilment upon Nebuchadnezzar is specially noteworthy
when we remember that he was made the representative ruling head
of human dominion (`Dan. 2:38`),
and, as lord of earth, was addressed by the prophet in almost
the same words which God at the first addressed to Adam--"The
God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength,
and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts
of the field and the fowl of heaven hath he given into thy hand,
and hath made thee ruler over them all." (`Dan.
2:37,38`. Compare `Gen. 1:28`.)
Afterward, because of sin, Nebuchadnezzar received the "seven
times" of punishment, after which his reason began to return,
and his restitution to dominion was accomplished. He was re-established
in his kingdom, and majesty was added unto him after he had learned
the needed lesson to which he referred in the following language:
the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto
heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed
the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever,
whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is
from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the
earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will
in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand or say unto him, What doest thou? At
the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of
my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me...and I
was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added
unto me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the
King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment:
and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."
degradation of Nebuchadnezzar was typical of human degradation
under beastly governments during seven
<PAGE 97> symbolic times or years--a year for
a day, 2520 years--from his day onward. And be it observed that
this corresponds exactly with the seven times foretold upon Israel,
which, as we have just seen, end A.D. 1914. For it was under this
Nebuchadnezzar that Israel was carried away captive to Babylon,
when the crown of God's kingdom was removed, and the seven times
is in perfect harmony with this that God, in representing these
governments of the Gentiles, portrayed them to Daniel as so many
wild beasts, while the kingdom of God at their close is represented
as given to one like unto a son of man.
it was thus to foreshadow the degradation and the duration of
Gentile Times, we know of no reason for the recording of this
scrap of the history of a heathen king. That his seven years of
degradation fitly illustrated human debasement, is a fact; that
God has promised a restitution of earth's dominion after humanity
has learned certain great lessons, is also a fact; and that the
seven symbolic Gentile Times (2520 years) end at the exact
point when mankind will have learned its own degradation and present
inability to rule the world to advantage, and will be ready for
God's kingdom and dominion, is a third fact. And the fitness of
the illustration forces the conviction that Nebuchadnezzar's seven
years, while literally fulfilled on him personally, had a yet
greater and broader significance as a figure of the seven symbolic
times of Gentile dominion, which he represented.
exact date of Nebuchadnezzar's degradation is not stated, and
is of no consequence, because the period of his degradation typified
the entire period of Gentile dominion, which began when the crown
of the typical kingdom of God was removed from Zedekiah. It was
beastly from its very start, and its times are numbered: its boundaries
are set by Jehovah, and cannot be passed.
refreshing the prospect brought to view at the close of these
seven times! Neither Israel nor the world of mankind represented
by that people will longer be trodden down, oppressed and misruled
by beastly Gentile powers. The Kingdom of God and his Christ will
then be established in the earth, and Israel and all the world
will be blessed under his rightful and righteous authority. Then
the root of promise and hope planted first in Eden (`Gen.
3:15`), and borne across the flood and transplanted with
Israel the typical people (`Gen. 12:1-3`),
will sprout and bloom again.
began to sprout at our Lord's first advent, but the appointed
season had not arrived for it to bloom and bring forth its blessed
fruitage in the restitution of all things. But at the end of the
Gentile Times the sure signs of spring will not be lacking, and
rich will be the summer fruitage and glorious the autumnal harvest
to be reaped and enjoyed in the eternal ages of glory to follow.
Then the original lord of earth, with reason restored, will be
fully reinstated, with added excellence and glory, as in the type,
and will praise and extol and honor the King of heaven.
we begin to see reason returning to mankind: men are awakening
to some sense of their degradation, and are on the lookout to
improve their condition. They are thinking, planning and scheming
for a better condition than that to which they have been submitting
under the beastly powers. But before they come to recognize God
and his dominion over all, they will experience one more terrible
fit of madness, from which struggle they will awake weak, helpless,
exhausted, but with reason so far restored as to recognize and
bow to the authority of him who comes to re-establish the long
lost, first dominion, on the permanent basis of experience and
knowledge of both good and evil.
it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that
<PAGE 99> within the coming twenty-six years
all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but
we are living in a special and peculiar time, the "Day of
Jehovah," in which matters culminate quickly; and it is written,
"A short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (See
Vol. I, chap. xv.) For the past eleven years these things have
been preached and published substantially as set forth above;
and in that brief time the development of influences and agencies
for the undermining and overthrow of the strongest empires of
earth has been wonderful. In that time Communism, Socialism and
Nihilism sprang into vigorous existence, and already are causing
great uneasiness among the rulers and high ones of earth, whose
hearts are failing them for fear, and for looking after those
things which are coming on the earth; for the present powers are
being mightily shaken, and ultimately shall pass away with a great
view of this strong Bible evidence concerning the Times of the
Gentiles, we consider it an established truth that the final end
of the kingdoms of this world, and the full establishment of the
Kingdom of God, will be accomplished near the end of A.D. 1915.
Then the prayer of the Church, ever since her Lord took his departure--"Thy
Kingdom come"--will be answered; and under that wise and
just administration, the whole earth will be filled with the glory
of the Lord--with knowledge, and righteousness, and peace (`Psa.
72:19`; `Isa. 6:3`;
`Hab. 2:14`); and the will of God shall be done "on
earth, as it is done in heaven."
statement, that God's Kingdom will be set up, not after these
kingdoms of earth are dissolved, but in their days, while they
still exist and have power, and that it is God's Kingdom which
shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms (`Dan.
2:44`), is worthy of our special consideration.
<PAGE 100> So it was with each of these beastly
governments: it existed before it acquired universal dominion.
Babylon existed long before it conquered Jerusalem and obtained
the dominion (`Dan. 2:37,38`); Medo-Persia
existed before it conquered Babylon; and so with all kingdoms:
they must first have existed and have received superior power
before they could conquer others. So, too, with God's Kingdom:
it has existed in an embryo form for eighteen centuries; but it,
with the world at large, was made subject to "the powers
that be," "ordained of God." Until their "seven
times" shall end, the Kingdom of God cannot come into universal
dominion. However, like the others, it must obtain power adequate
to the overthrow of these kingdoms before it shall break them
in this "Day of Jehovah," the "Day of Trouble,"
our Lord takes his great power (hitherto dormant) and reigns,
and this it is that will cause the trouble, though the world will
not so recognize it for some time. That the saints shall share
in this work of breaking to pieces present kingdoms, there can
be no doubt. It is written, "This honor have all his saints--to
execute the judgments written, to bind their kings with chains,
and their nobles with fetters of iron"--of strength. (`Psa.
149:8,9`) "He that overcometh, and keepeth my works
unto 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 [the empires] be broken to shivers."
`Rev. 2:26,27`; `Psa. 2:8,9`
our examination, in the preceding volume, of the great difference
in character between the Kingdom of God and the beastly kingdoms
of earth, prepares us to see also a difference in modes of warfare.
The methods of conquest and breaking will be widely different
from any which have ever before overthrown nations. He who now
takes his great power to reign is shown in symbol (`Rev.
19:15`) as the one
<PAGE 101> whose sword went forth out of
his mouth, "that with it he should smite the nations;
and he shall rule them with a rod of iron." That sword is
the TRUTH (`Eph. 6:17`); and the
living saints, as well as many of the world, are now being used
as the Lord's soldiers in overthrowing errors and evils. But let
no one hastily infer a peaceable conversion of the nations
to be here symbolized; for many scriptures, such as
`Rev. 11:17,18`; `Dan. 12:1`;
`2 Thes. 2:8`;
`Psalms 149 and 47`, teach the very opposite.
not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs
that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that
it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of
power in A.D. 1878, and that the "battle of the great day
of God Almighty" (`Rev. 16:14`),
which will end in A.D. 1915, with the complete overthrow of earth's
present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the
armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's Word.
our vision be unobstructed by prejudice, when we get the telescope
of God's Word rightly adjusted we may see with clearness the character
of many of the events due to take place in the "Day of the
Lord"--that we are in the very midst of those events, and
that "the Great Day of His Wrath is come."
sword of truth, already sharpened, is to smite every evil system
and custom--civil, social and ecclesiastical. Nay, more, we can
see that the smiting is commenced: freedom of thought, and human
rights, civil and religious, long lost sight of under kings and
emperors, popes, synods, councils, traditions and creeds, are
being appreciated and asserted as never before. The internal conflict
is already fomenting: it will ere long break forth as a consuming
<PAGE 102> and human systems, and errors, which
for centuries have fettered truth and oppressed the groaning creation,
must melt before it. Yes, truth--and widespread and increasing
knowledge of it--is the sword which is perplexing and wounding
the heads over many countries. (`Psa. 110:6`)
Yet in this trouble what a blessing is disguised: It will prepare
mankind for a fuller appreciation of righteousness and truth,
under the reign of the King of Righteousness.
men shall eventually come to realize that justice is laid to the
line and righteousness to the plummet (`Isa.
28:17`), they will also learn that the strict rules of
justice alone can secure the blessings which all desire. And,
thoroughly disheartened with their own ways and the miserable
fruitage of selfishness, they will welcome and gladly submit to
the righteous authority which takes the control; and thus, as
it is written, "The desire of all nations shall come"--the
Kingdom of God, under the absolute and unlimited control of Jehovah's
"We are living, we are dwelling,
In a grand and awful time.
In an age on ages telling,
To be living is sublime.
Hark! the rumbling in the nations,
Iron crumbling with the clay:
Hark! what soundeth? 'Tis creation
Groaning for a better day.
"Scoffers scorning, Heaven beholding,
Thou hast but an hour to fight.
See prophetic truth unfolding!
Watch! and keep thy garments white.
Oh, let all the soul within you
For the truth's sake go abroad!
Strike! let every nerve and sinew
Tell on ages--tell for God!"
TIME IS AT HAND