TIME OF HARVEST
The Chronological Location of the Harvest--Its Object and Great
Importance --The Focus of Time Prophecies--Preparations for
the Harvest --Significance of the Convergence of Prophetic Testimony--The
Lord's Presence--Reasonable Objections Answered--Entering the
Joys of Our Lord.
Harvest is the end of the age." `Matt.
careful student will have observed that the period designated
"The Time of the End" is very appropriately named, since
not only does the Gospel age close in it, but in it, also, all
prophecies relating to the close of this age terminate, reaching
their fulfilments. The same class of readers will have noticed,
too, the special importance of the last 40 of those 115 years
(1874-1914), called "The End" or "Harvest."
brief period is the most momentous and eventful period of the
entire age; for in it all the fruitage of the age must be gathered
and disposed of, and the field, which is the world (`Matt.
13:38`), must be cleared, plowed and prepared for another
sowing and reaping time--the Millennial age. The importance of
the events of this harvest period can scarcely be overestimated;
and yet the world will not be aware of it, until its potent though
unrecognized agencies have accomplished their appointed work.
Indeed, it is well to remember that this is not a harvesting of
the whole world, but of the Christian Church; and it affects not
Mohammedans, Brahmins, Buddhists, etc., but only the true
<PAGE 122> Church of Christ, and such as are
more or less associated with it--"Christendom."
while the world during the entire period will be in total ignorance
of its character, yet in dread and fear of the outcome of its
strange events (`Isa. 28:21`), the
Lord's little flock of consecrated followers, now living, enjoy
greater enlightenment than was ever the privilege of any of their
forerunners; for in this period all the rays of prophetic testimony
reach a grand focus, illuminating to the eye of faith the plan
of God, including its developments, past, present and future.
the beginning (1799) of the Time of the End, God has been preparing
his consecrated "holy people," his "Sanctuary,"
for the great blessings he intended to pour upon them during these
forty years of harvest: which blessings are also intended as special
preparation for their entering with Christ into full joy and joint-heirship
with him, as his bride. At the exact "time appointed,"
1799, the end of the 1260 days, the power of the Man of Sin, the
great oppressor of the Church, was broken, and his dominion taken
away. With one stroke of his mighty hand, God there struck off
Zion's fetters, and bade the oppressed go free. And forth came,
and are coming, the "Sanctuary" class, the "holy
people," weak, and halt, and lame, and almost naked, and
blind, from the dungeon darkness and filth and misery of papal
bondage. Poor souls! they had been trying to serve God faithfully
in the very midst of the lurid flames of persecution, clinging
to the cross of Christ when almost every other truth had been
swept away, and courageously endeavoring to emancipate God's "Two
Witnesses" (the Old and New Testaments), which had so long
been bound, and which had prophesied only under the sackcloth
of dead languages. `Rev. 11:3`
his wisdom, God did not overpower them with the great flood of
light now granted to the saints. Gently he led them on, step by
step, cleansing them first from the papal pollutions which still
clung to them. And as God thus drew them, the Sanctuary class
followed on, recognizing the voice of the Good Shepherd in the
accents of truth which exposed the old errors, until 1846, which
prophecy marks as the date when a nucleus of the "holy people,"
the "Sanctuary," would become free from the errors of
Papacy, cleansed of defilements, and ready to replace the unclean
theories of men with the clean and beautiful principles of truth,
on which the Lord and the apostles had founded the Church. Gradually
they were led to expect the great culmination of blessing when
the Lord himself should come, in the harvest of the age. Their
diligent study of God's Word, and commendable desire to know what
even the angels desired to look into (`1
Pet. 1:12`), were greatly blessed, though their desires
were not fully granted.
faithful few were thus instructed in the Word of truth, filled
with its spirit, purified and more fully separated from the world,
purged of pride and, through the discipline of the disappointment
of 1844, brought to more humble reliance upon God; and the foretold
tarrying of thirty years developed in the holy ones patience,
humility and loving submission, until the watchers at the end
of the "1335 days" (1874, harvest time) received, and
were sent forth to announce to all the Sanctuary class, the glad
message, "Behold the Bridegroom!" And all of this class
who hear, when they recognize its import, lift up their voices
also, saying, "Behold the Bridegroom!" And this harvest
message to the saints continues to go forth, and will do so, until
it has reached all the consecrated and faithful. This intelligence
is not for the world now, but only for the prospective bride of
Christ. Our Lord is not the Bridegroom to any other class. The
knowledge of his presence will come to the world in another
<PAGE 124> way, and at a later time. None
are now prepared to receive this truth, except the consecrated,
the Sanctuary class. To the "host" of nominal Christians,
as well as to the world, it is foolishness; nor will they be disposed
to test the proofs set forth in the volumes of this series.
only thus has the Lord prepared the hearts of his people and led
them by ways which they knew not, but for this special time of
need he has furnished wonderful helps to Bible study, such as
concordances, and varied and valuable translations of the Scriptures,
as well as wonderful facilities for printing, publishing and mailing
the truth; and the advantages of general education, so that all
can read and study for themselves, and prove to their own satisfaction
all the doctrines advanced; and these under conditions of peace,
so that none can molest them or make them afraid to exercise full
liberty of conscience in so doing.
a careful perusal of the foregoing chapters of this and the preceding
volume, the thoughtful reader will observe that while each of
the time prophecies accomplishes a separate and distinct purpose,
the central object of their united and harmonious testimony has
been to mark, with definiteness and precision, by either direct
or indirect evidence, or corroborative testimony, the date of
our Lord's second advent, and of the establishment of his Kingdom
in the earth; and also to mark the various stages and means of
its establishment, during the harvest period.
order that we may realize the force of these various lines of
prophecy in their bearing on these central truths, let us draw
them to a focus, and note how these rays of testimony unitedly
and harmoniously blend, clearly revealing the blessed fact, not
that the Lord is coming, nor that he will soon come, but that
he has come; that he is now present, a spiritual king, establishing
a spiritual empire, in the harvest or end of the Gospel age, which
laps upon the now dawning Millennial age. We have seen that there
<PAGE 125> come "Times of Restitution
of all things"--"Times of Refreshing" (`Acts
3:19`); we have seen also that the Lord Jehovah "hath
appointed a day [the Millennial age] in the which he will
judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained,
whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he
hath raised him from the dead" (`Acts
17:31`); we have seen that the Gospel age has been the
trial time or judgment day of the Church, and that it ends with
a harvesting, and the glorification of those who are to live and
reign with Christ a thousand years--during the world's judgment
day, the Times of Restitution; and we have also seen that the
kingdoms of this world, under the prince of this world, Satan,
must give place to the Kingdom of God, under the King of glory.
All of these great events must tarry until the second advent of
our Lord, the King, Bridegroom and Reaper, whose presence and
work are to accomplish them, as foretold.
typical Jubilee cycles pointed out A.D. 1874 as the date of our
Lord's return; and yet the date was therein so ingeniously hidden,
as to make its discovery impossible until the "Time of the
End." And this testimony was made doubly strong by proofs
from two standpoints--the Law and the Prophets--the two being
entirely independent of each other, and yet equally clear and
wonderful parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel dispensations taught
us the same truth with additional features. The second advent
of our Lord in the end or harvest of the Gospel age, occurring
in the fall of 1874, proves to be at a point of time exactly parallel
to the time of his first advent, in the end of the Jewish age.
(See Table of Correspondencies, Vol. II, pages 246 and 247.) As
every prominent feature of the Gospel dispensation is marked by
a corresponding parallel in that typical dispensation, so we find
that this most noteworthy event taught by the jubilee has its
corresponding parallel. Our Lord's presence as
<PAGE 126> Bridegroom, Reaper and King is
shown in both dispensations. Even the movement on the part of
the virgins going forth to meet him, their disappointment and
the tarrying time of thirty years find their parallel both in
time and circumstances. And the parallelism continues to the full
end of the harvest of this dispensation--until the overthrow of
the professedly Christian kingdoms, really "kingdoms of this
world," and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God
in the earth after 1914, the terminus of the Times of the Gentiles.
(See Vol. II, chapter iv.) This coming trouble and overthrow,
we have seen, had its parallel in the destruction of Jerusalem
and the complete overthrow of the Jewish polity, A.D. 70--another
parallel, corresponding in both time and circumstances.
we have found the second advent of our Lord indicated by the prophet
`Daniel (12:1)`, yet in such a manner as to be under cover
until the events foretold to precede it had transpired and passed
into history, when we were led to see that the one veiled under
the name Michael is indeed that which the name indicates--God's
representative--"The Great Prince." Yes, we recognize
him: "The Prince of the Covenant," the "Mighty
God [ruler]," the "Everlasting Father [life-giver]"
`Isa. 9:6`), who is to "stand
up" with power and authority, to accomplish the great restitution
of all things, and to offer everlasting life to the dead and dying
millions of mankind, redeemed by his own precious blood. And,
having traced the 1335 days of `Dan. xii`,
down to their ending at this same date, we can now understand
why the angel who thus pointed out the date referred to it in
such exultant terms--"Oh, the blessedness of him that waiteth
[who is in a waiting or watching attitude] and
<PAGE 127> cometh to the thousand, three hundred,
five and thirty days!"--A.D. 1874.* And in our reckoning
of the symbolic times here given, let it not be overlooked that
we used the key furnished us by the manner in which the first
advent was indicated--a symbolic day representing a literal year.
Thus we found the time of our Lord's second advent clearly proven
to be 1874--in October of that year, as shown in Vol. II, chap.
this is not all. Certain reasonable obstacles to faith in Christ's
presence might yet appear to the minds of even careful students,
and we wish to see these all removed. For instance, it might reasonably
be inquired, How is it that the exact Bible Chronology points
to October 1872 as the beginning of the seventh thousand years,
or Millennium, while the Jubilee Cycles show October 1874 to be
the date of our Lord's return and the beginning of restitution
apparent inharmony of the date of the second advent with the beginning
of the seventh thousand years seemed at first sight to indicate
"a screw loose" somewhere in the chronological reckoning,
and led to careful re-examination of the subject, but always with
the same result. Closer thought, however, proves that God is an
exact timekeeper, and that this point is no exception to his mathematical
precision. It will be remembered that the reckoning of chronology
began with the creation of Adam, and that some time was spent
by Adam and Eve before sin entered. Just how long we are not informed,
but two years would not be an improbable estimate. Before the
creation of Eve, Adam was permitted to live long enough to realize
his lack of a companion (`Gen. 2:20`);
he had become acquainted with and had named all the animals; he
had become acquainted with the various trees and plants of Eden.
Then ---------- *The year as reckoned by the Jews begins in October;
hence October 1874 was really the beginning of 1875.
<PAGE 128> followed the creation of Eve; and
some time must have elapsed in the enjoyment of their delightful
surroundings, before the blight of sin entered.
all these circumstances, we can scarcely imagine that a shorter
time than two years elapsed in that sinless condition; and the
interval between the close of the six thousand years and the beginning
of the times of Restitution leads to the inference that the interval
between the creation of Adam and the entrance of sin, during which
God's Kingdom was in the world, represented in Adam, is not counted
as part of the six days of evil. The six thousand years in which
God has permitted evil to dominate the world, prior to the beginning
of the great seventh or sabbatic thousand, or Times of Restitution,
dates from the entrance of sin into the world. And since the Times
of Restitution began with October 1874, that must be the end of
the six thousand years reign of Sin; and the difference between
that and the date shown in the chronology from Adam's creation
represents the period of sinlessness in Eden, which really belongs
to the reign of righteousness.
what might at first thought have appeared a discrepancy --that
the Lord would be present in the close of 1874, and yet that Gentile
Times would not end until 1914--is found, on the contrary, to
be in fullest harmony with the unfoldings of God's plan for the
campaign of the Battle of the Great Day, and exactly as foretold
by `Daniel (2:44)`, who declared,
"In the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven
set up a Kingdom, and it shall break in pieces and consume
all these." It must, therefore, be just as we have found
it: our Lord must be present, must test the living members of
his Church, must exalt them, glorify them and associate them with
himself in the power and authority to be exercised during the
Millennium (`Rev. 5:10; 20:6`), and
must put in motion those instrumentalities and agencies which
(though unconscious of it themselves) will
<PAGE 129> carry out his orders--thus doing
their share in the "battle of the great day of God Almighty"--undermining
and finally overthrowing all the present "Christian Nations,"
so-called. The "kingdoms of this world," even while
being crushed by the Kingdom of God, will be quite ignorant of
the real cause of their downfall--until, in the close of
this "day of wrath," the eyes of their understanding
shall open, so that they will see that a new dispensation
has dawned, and learn that Immanuel has taken to himself
his great power, and has begun his glorious and righteous reign.
the time prophecies thus point to and harmonize with 1874 as the
date of our Lord's second presence, assuring us of the fact with
mathematical precision, we find ourselves overwhelmed with evidence
of another character; for certain peculiar signs, foretold by
the Lord and the apostles and prophets, which were to precede
his coming, are now clearly recognized as actually fulfilled.
We see that the promised Elias has indeed come; that his teachings
have been rejected, just as predicted; and that therefore the
great time of trouble must follow. The predicted Man of Sin, the
Antichrist, has also made his appearance, and accomplished his
long and terrible reign; and at the exact "time appointed"
(1799) his dominion was taken away. The cleansing of the sanctuary
was also accomplished as predicted, and at a time sufficiently
in advance of 1874 to make ready "a people prepared for the
Lord"--a people in devout expectancy of his coming--just
as a similar work prior to the first advent made ready a people
to receive him then.
find that the date 1874 is also in harmony with the prophecy of
`Daniel (12:1)`, which fixes the advent of "Michael"
in the "Time of the End"--that is, somewhere between
1799 and 1914--and as the cause and precursor of the great time
of trouble. When seventy-five years of this "Day of Preparation"
had developed the proper conditions for
<PAGE 130> the beginning of his great work,
then the Master stepped upon the scene--quietly, "without
outward show"--"in like manner" as he went away.
And the remaining forty years of this "Day of Preparation,"
sixteen of which are already in the past, will accomplish the
setting up or establishment of his Kingdom in power and great
focus of time prophecy upon the harvest and matters connected
with the Lord's presence and the establishment of the Kingdom,
will be impressed upon the mind by a careful study of the accompanying
diagrams, one of which shows the parallels or correspondencies
between the Gospel age and its type, the Jewish age, and how the
various prominent features in this harvest are marked by the great
prophecies, while the other concisely shows the history of the
world as related to that of God's typical and real churches (Jewish
and Gospel), and points out the prophetic measures relating to
all the rays of prophecy converge upon this "Time of the
End," the focal point of which is the "Harvest"--the
time of our Lord's presence and the establishment of his long
promised Kingdom. And when we consider the great importance of
these events, the stupendous dispensational changes which they
introduce, and the amount and character of the prophetic testimony
which marks them; and when we see how carefully we have been instructed
as to the manner of his manifestation, so that no stumbling block
to our faith should stand in the way of our recognition of his
presence, our hearts rejoice with joy unspeakable. Fully tenfold
greater testimony is now given to the fact of his second presence
than was granted to the early disciples at the first advent, though
that was quite sufficient then for the "Israelite indeed,"
who waited for the consolation of Israel.
THE SCROLL OF CHURCH HISTORY
as Related to National History and Prophecy
"BOTH THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL"
nearly two thousand years, the suffering, persecuted, self-sacrificing,
consecrated ones have anxiously waited for the Master's coming.
Faithful Pauls, ardent Peters, loving Johns, devoted Stephens,
gentle Marys and tender and generous Marthas, a long line of brave
confessors of the truth at the risk of torture and death, and
suffering martyrs, and some of the faithful fathers and mothers
and brothers and sisters in Israel who humbly walked with God
in less stormy times, neither ashamed nor afraid to confess Christ
and to bear his reproach, nor to be the companions of those who
were reproached for his truth's sake (`Heb.
10:33`)--these, after fighting the good fight of faith,
laid down their armor to await their promised reward at the Master's
appearing. `2 Tim. 4:8`
now he has come! The Lord is indeed present! And the time is at
hand for the setting up of his Kingdom, and the exaltation and
glorification of his faithful bride. The days of waiting for his
presence are now in the past, and the blessedness of the waiting
ones, long foretold, is ours. To the eye of faith he is now revealed
by the prophetic lamp (`2 Pet. 1:19`);
and, ere the harvest is fully ended,* faith, and the present joys
of faith, will give place to the rapturous joys of the full fruition
of our hopes, when those counted worthy will all have been made
like him, and will see him as he is, face to face.
shown in the parable illustrating it (`Matt.
25:14-30`), the first thing done by the Lord on
his return is to call his servants and reckon with them. In reckoning
with the servants who had made faithful use of their talents,
seeking to know and to do his will, the parable shows that each
one, as soon as examined, tested, is caused to "enter into
the joys of his Lord," before he receives the dominion promised.
Now we see that parable fulfilling, and that before our share
in ---------- *The "end" of the harvest will probably
include the burning of the tares.
<PAGE 134> the reign begins. Even before the
enemies are conquered, each faithful one is permitted to get a
clear view of the coming Kingdom and glory and of the great work
of the dawning Millennial day; and this view of the great restitution
shortly to be accomplished for all mankind, through the instrumentality
of Christ and his glorified Church, is the joy of the Lord in
which they are permitted to participate.
we thus stand, as it were on Pisgah's heights, and view the grand
prospect just before us, our hearts rejoice in the Lord's great
plan, with an unspeakable joy; and though we realize that the
Church is still in the wilderness of her humiliation, and that
the hour of her actual triumph has not yet fully come, yet, seeing
the indications of its rapid approach, and by faith already discerning
the Bridegroom's presence, we lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing
that our redemption draweth nigh. Oh, what fulness of blessing
and cause for joy and thanksgiving this truth contains! Truly,
the Lord hath put a new song into our mouths. It is the grand
anthem, the first note of which was sung by the angelic choir,
at the birth of the infant Jesus--"Behold, I bring you good
tidings, of GREAT JOY, which shall be unto all people."
Thank God, its harmonious strains will ere long fill heaven and
earth with eternal melody, as the blessed work of salvation--restitution--which
he comes to accomplish progresses toward its glorious culmination.
"Joy to the world! the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
"He'll rule the world with truth and grace,
And make the nations prove
The strictness of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love."