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Three Worlds

Part 11

"THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES."



Though the earth is now given up to the undisputed dominion of the Gentiles, the time was when God had a kingdom on earth. "Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation," (Exo. 19: 6). "And Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king, instead of his father, David," 1 Chron. 29: 23). "And ye think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hands of the sons of David," (2 Chron, 13: 8), But the Lord permitted his kingdom to be subdued by the Gentiles. Zedekiah was the last of the line of David, who reigned, and from his head the diadem was removed and the kingdom overthrown,but not forever. For it was said to him, "Thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come when iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, 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," (Ezek. 21: 25).
During this interregnum in God's kingdom, between Zedekiah's reign and that of Christ, the four Gentile kingdoms, as foretold by Daniel, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome, were to
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have their day. It was at the beginning of the seventy years captivity of Jerusalem, that God's kingdom ended, the diadem was removed, and all the earth given up to Babylon, the first of these four universal Gentile kingdoms. And to Nebuchadnezzar it was said: "Thou, 0 king, art a king of kings, for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory; and wheresoever the the children of men dwell, the beasts of the fields, and the fowls of heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all," (Dan. 2: 37).
So long as God had an organized reigning kingdom on earth, there could be no universal Gentile kingdom. But when his kingdom was broken up, and he gave all to the Gentiles, "the times of the Gentiles" began; and the times of the Gentiles will end only when God shall reorganize his kingdom and subdue them. "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever," (Dan. 2: 44); is the language used in reference to this second great change to occur at the end of the times of the Gentiles.
drawing of first beast - like a lion It is true the nationality of the Jews was maintained until after the first advent of Christ, for such was the prophecy, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver, [from his loins, lit.], until shiloh come, and unto him shall be the gathering of the people," (Gen. 49: 10), And although Jerusalem was in the hands of the Gentiles, and had been troden down by them since its total overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar, it was not entirely destroyed until after the advent of Christ.
The four Gentile kingdoms are called "four great beasts that came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagles wings; I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon its feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it."
This will be better understood when we see what Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon has to pass through, as a type of the human family, in its fall and rising again.
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"And second beast - like a bearbehold another beast, a second, like to a bear and it raised itself up on one side, and three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise and devour much flesh."
"And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear and it raised itself up on one side, and three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise and devour much flesh." second beast - like a leopard This one represents Medo-Persia, and the "three ribs," the three kingdoms it subdued.
"After this I beheld and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; and the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it."
The wings doubtless represent the rapidity of its movements under Alexander the great, its first king. And the four heads are explained in chapter 8: 8, to be four divisions of the empire, after Alexander's death.
fourth beast -terrible "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns." (Dan. 7; 3-8).
This fourth beast is the embodiment of both pagan and papal Rome, the beast under which the gospel church has suffered, the one under which Christ himself was put to death. And if Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Grecia, could be fairly represented by the lion, the bear, and the leopard; only such a terrible nondescript
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could represent Rome. And the human family were to be given up to the control of these beasts during "the times of the Gentiles." That is the nations are compared to what God, in these symbols, calls "wild beasts." And they have glutted themselves to the full with war, blood, rapine, and murder, which has been their pastime, and their glory, until history is one continuous stream of the details of "man's inhumanity to man."
God has chosen that this world's history, as foretold by his prophets, should be pictured out by types. If he would fortell the captivity of Jerusalem, he has his prophet portray a likeness of the city, lay siege to it, eat his bread with trembling, and go through with all the paraphernalia of a siege, captivity, &c. If there was a Babylon, there must be a mystic Babylon; a river Euphrates, also a mystic Euphrates. A Jerusalem earthly, has its antitype in a heavenly, or spiritual Jerusalem. An earthly kingdom is followed by a heavenly kingdom, which "flesh and blood cannot inherit." "Howbeit that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual." Type and antitype, runs through the law and the prophets, "see thou make everything after the pattern shown thee in the holy mount." Abraham was a type of God, the Father, and Isaac, the seed of promise, of Christ; and as God freely offered his Son, so Abraham offered his. Job was the type of the restitution, hence, the book of Job is first a loss, then a long and severe trial, ending with a complete restitution. Nebuchadnezzar was a type of the natural man, the first Adam and his race. Hence, as dominion was given to Adam, it was conferred on Nebuchadnezzar in almost the identical language used to Adam. Compare Gen. 1: 28, and Dan. 2: 25. As mankind have degraded themselves to the level of the beasts of the earth, so Nebuchadnezzar had his heart changed from man's, and a beasts heart was given him.
In the type, Dan. 4: "Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree root, thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shall have known that the heavens do rule." But before he learned this lesson, he had to be driven out. "They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and let a beasts heart be given him, and let seven times pass over him." All this came upon the king; but at the end of the days, his understanding returned, his heart was again changed, and he honored the God of heaven, and his kingdom was restored with additional majesty and glory. The "stump of the tree root," was left, that the tree might sprout
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again; that is, that there might be a restitution of the kingdom. That root was the life-giving principle left to the tree. Although the human "tree" has been cut down,and death passed upon all, yet the tree root still lives, "the root and offspring of David," is to be the bright and morning star; and as in Adam all die, so in Christ; "the root out of dry ground," shall all be made alive, "and the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High." And man will have his beasts heart changed, and learn war no more.
"Let seven times pass over him, until he shall have learned that the heavens do rule; and at the end of the days his understanding returned." Time has its type and antitype, like every other part. If God would have the children of Israel wander forty years in the wilderness, he has the spies wandering in their search of the land, forty days. If He would have Israel suffer captivity three hundred and ninety years, he has the prophet in the type, confined that number of days. "A day for a year," (Ezek. 4: 1-8). And in all symbolic Time, God has arranged for a day to represent a year, as in the seventy weeks of Dan. 9: 24; the persecution of the church, (Rev. 12: 6,) and other places.
Seven literal years, or "times" (Hebrew), passed over Nebuchadnezzar, and seven prophetic times or years, is the measure of the "times of the Gentiles." "I will punish you seven times more for your sins," (Lev. 26: 18). As in Dan. 4, this period of "seven times," is four times repeated, {verses 10, 23, 25, 32), so in Lev. 26, it is four times repeated of God's people, thus: "They that hate you shall reign over you," (verse 17), which we know was the Gentiles, and he would punish them "seven times," &c., in verses 18, 21, 24, 28. As in Nebuchadnezzar's case, although repeated four times it was the one period of seven years, so in this case, these "seven times," are but the one period of seven prophetic years. And it is a fact that Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles ever since the end of Zedekiah's reign. But the fig tree begins to bud, and there are many indications that the restoration of the Jews will not be much longer deferred.
Seven prophetic years, a day for a year, represent 2,520 years. The authority for using a day to represent a year, comes from God himself; that is, He has made the application. The Bible teaches truths, not directly, but by parables, dark sayings, and symbols. For instance: We are informed in Dan. 7, that a
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"horn" when used as a symbol, represents a kingdom. Now if I find a "beast" used as a symbol in the Bible, having two or more horns, I have the right to assume that those horns represent kingdoms, although in that particular case it might not be so stated. I grant you, that one who chooses to oppose, and is only desirous of pulling down, and is not searching for light has the privilege of demurring, and saying, as it does not say in this special case, that this horn means a kingdom, he will not accept of the application. But I care nothing for that man or his opinion. I have found a Bible precedent for such an interpretation, and choose to accept it. Others will do as they please. Now, I can produce a God-given precedent, for making a day stand for a year when it is associated with symbols. A symbol is anything used to represent another thing, no matter whether it be a beast, a picture, a type, or a parable. The particular case to which I now refer, may be found in Ezek. 4: 1-8, in which case the time used to measure the symbol, is itself symbolic, and each day, in such a case, represents a year.
I do not expect, nor do I desire to prove anything from the Bible in such a way as to convince a man against his will. God himself does not undertake such a work.
When, in the book of Daniel, or the Revelator, I find time used to measure symbols, whether it be a "woman," a "horn," a "beast," or any other thing, I have the right, from one God-given precedent, to assume that the time itself, is symbolic; and if so, that a day represents a year. Then if the facts of the case demand such an application, I am fully warranted in accepting it.
That the "seventy weeks," or seventy sevens, of Dan. 9: 24, represent that many years, the facts in relation to the coming of the Messiah, clearly support. That the vision of Dan. 8:, which is called the "vision of the evening and the morning," (verse 26), or the vision of the "days," giving it the same rendering as in verse 14, "Until two thousand and three hundred days, (Hebrew, evening morning, see margin), means a day for a year, is self-evident. The vision embraces three empires, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome, and is called "the vision of the days." [The Hebrew word here is boh-kar, and is the same in verses 14 and 26.] And Daniel called it the vision of the boh-kar; and when asked how long the vision? the saint answers: "until two thousand and three hundred days," and a little something to follow, viz: the cleansing of the sanctuary. And this we know, that a little more than six literal years, bears no proportion to the dur-
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ation of what the vision embraces; and as the time there is used to measure symbols, unity demands that the time should be symbolic also.
Thirty days is the Bible measure for one month, (see Gen. 7: 11, 24, and 8: 4), The fountains of the great deep were broken up on the seventeenth day of the second month, and the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days and the ark rested, in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day. And this one hundred and fifty days was exactly five months, thirty days to the month. And in Rev. 12, the woman, [church], fled into the wilderness for 1200 days, (verse 6); and in verse 14 it is called "a time, and times, and half a time," And in Rev. 13: 5, the power from which she suffered had power to continue "forty and two months." Forty-two months are three and a-half years, or "times" and 42 times 30 are 1260, Hence, as three and a half "times," represent twelve hundred and sixty years, so "seven times," represent twice twelve hundred and sixty, or 2520 years.
The seventy years captivity ended in the first year of Cyrus, which was B.C. 536. They therefore commenced seventy years before, or B. C. 606. Hence, it was in B.C. 606, that God's kingdom ended, the diadem was removed, and all the earth given up to the Gentiles. 2520 years from B. C. 606, will end in A. D. 1914, or forty years from 1874; and this forty years upon which we have now entered is to be such "a time of trouble as never was since there was a nation." And during this forty years, the kingdom of God is to be set up, (but not in the flesh, "the natural first and afterwards the spiritual)," the Jews are to be restored, the Gentile kingdoms broken in pieces "like a potter's vessel," and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and the judgment age introduced.
These are some of the events this generation are to witness. But the manner of accomplishing all these things, as well as the time of their fulfilment, are where the church are to stumble and fall as did the first house of Israel, "Because they knew not the time of their visitation."
The very fact that Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles, nearly all of this 2520 years, and that the indications are unmistakable that forces are at work to prepare the way for their restoration, is of itself, a powerful argument in favor of the correctness of the above application. It may be said, granting that in the main, you are right, still you do not know but
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you may be a few years, more or less, out in your calculation. Supposing I admit that, is that a good reason for you to turn your back on the whole thing, and again sink into the world, and become overcharged with the cares of this life?
But I am not willing to admit that this calculation is even one year out. Not from dogmatism, for I am ready to admit that my opinion, or my reasoning, may be as faulty as that of many others; and if, in the present case, there was but this one argument, I should say, it is quite possible errors may be found arising in some unexpected quarter. But there is such an array of evidence. Many of the arguments, most of them, indeed, are not based on the year-day theory, and some of them, not based even on the chronology; and yet there is a harmony existing, between them all. If you had solved a difficult problem in mathematics, you might very well doubt if you had not possibly made some error of calculation. But if you had solved that problem in seven different ways, all independent one of another, and in each and every case reached the same result, you would be a fool any longer to doubt the accuracy of that result. And this is a fair illustration of the weight of evidence that can be brought to bear on the truthfulness of our present position.
Forty years, or now, about thirty-eight years before the times of the Gentiles end, is none too much time, for the accomplishment of the many wonderful events that must transpire during their continuance. If our calculation showed that they were to end this year, or even during this decade, doubts might well arise as to the possibility of this being true. But there seems to be time enough, since events move rapidly in this age of the world.
After the saints are taken, and the gospel, dispensation ended; the "fullness of the Gentiles," who are to compose the bride of Christ, having come in, blindness is to be turned away from the Jews. "And God will set his hand a second time to restore the remnant of Israel." But after this remnant, that is, the living Jews of this generation have made their way back to Palestine, and the "waters of the Euphrates are dried up," that is, the christian nations of Europe, the kings of the East, and of the whole world are to be brought up to Jerusalem to battle, and the city is to be taken, as described in Zech. 14. Then the Lord shall appear with all his saints, and his feet shall stand upon the mount of Olives, which is a-half mile to the east of Jerusalem, and overlooks the city. And the Jews, who have been worsted in the battle, will cry out, "Lo, this is our God! we have waited for him, and he will save us." "Then shall the Lord go forth
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and fight against those nations," and the battle of the great day of God Almighty takes place. This state of things, however, may not, and evidently will not, obtain for many years, probably near the end of the forty years. For the Lord will make a short work on earth when he takes it in hand. "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paren. Before him went the pestilence, and burning diseases (margin) went forth at his feet. He stood and measured the earth; he beheld, and drove asunder the nations."
After the "seven last plagues, in which is filled up the wrath of Almighty God," are poured on this generation, and the battle of the great day is ended, the times of the Gentiles will terminate, and Jerusalem no longer be trodden down by its enemies. Then comes the completion of the restitution of, not a "remnant" but of "the whole house of Israel" "Behold! 0, my people, I will open your graves and bring you up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel." The present remnant of the Jews, may go back in railroad cars, if they take time enough; but when the whole house of Israel go back, the few railroads in the east will be of little account; and they will go in litters, on dromedaries, and other swift beasts, and be helped in every way by the Gentiles, who will then acknowledge that God is among them, (see Isa. 66; 20). And the Gentiles will go up from year to year, to keep the feast of tabernacles at Jerusalem. And the kingdom shall be the Lord's.


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