"HOW LONG, O LORD?"
This is a question doubtless that many ask themselves, viz: "How soon will our change come?" This change many of us have looked forward to for years, and we yet with much pleasure, think of the time when we shall be gathered unto Jesus and see Him as he is. In the article concerning our change, in December paper, we expressed the opinion that it was nearer than many supposed, and while we would not attempt to prove our change at any particular time, yet we propose looking at some of the evidences which seem to show the translation or change from the natural to the spiritual condition, due this side or by the fall of our year 1881. The evidence that our change will be by that time, increases since we have seen that the change to spiritual bodies is not the marriage. While we thought the marriage to be the change, and knowing there was three and a half years of special favor to the Nominal Church (now left desolate) from 1878, we could not expect any translation this side of 1881, or during this three and a half years. But since we recognize that going into the marriage is not only being made ready (by recognizing His presence) for the change, but also, that going in includes the change itself, then the evidences that we go in (or will be changed) inside of the time mentioned are strong, and commend themselves to all interested as worthy of investigation. Aside from any direct proof that our change is near, the fact that the manner of the change can now be understood, is evidence that we are near the time of the change, for truth is "meat in due season," and understood only as due. It will be remembered that after the spring of 1878, (when we understand Jesus was due as King) that the subject of holiness or the wedding garment, was very much agitated. And aside from the parallel to the end of the Jewish age, and favor at that time being shown to the Jewish nation, which implied the presence of the King, the consideration of the wedding garment, was also proof of the correctness of the application, for "the King had come in to see the guests," [Matt. 22:11] and hence all were interested in knowing how they stood before Him. Now as the inspection of guests is the last thing prior to our change, which precedes the marriage and we are all now considering the change. It would seem that the time for it, is nigh.
We shall now present what we adduce from the types and prophetic points as seeming to indicate the translation of the saints and closing of the door to the high calling by 1881. We first notice the building of the Temple, by Solomon which seems to be a type of the spiritual as indicated in Acts 7:4-7. The time occupied in building is found by comparing 1 Kings 6:1,37 and 38, which was seven years and six months, yet called seven years. Verse 38. "The house when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer, nor ax, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building." Verse 7. The quiet manner of building suggests to our mind the noiseless resurrection of the dead in Christ and change of the living, and if so the resurrection and change would cover a period of seven years, thus bringing to our mind, order. First the foundation laid and so on until completion, and this would be in harmony with statement in Rev. 11:18, viz: "Give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints," that is, "Every man in his own order." In 1 Kings 5:17, we read, "The king commanded and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones to lay the foundation of the house." Those we would understand to represent the "Apostles and Prophets, which are the foundation, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together," groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord (Eph. 2:20-21).
The laying of the foundation-stone, we think, would fitly represent the resurrection of the prophets, which resurrection would seem to be indicated by God's statement to Daniel, viz: "Go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." (Dan. 12:13.) The days here referred to are mentioned in the 12th verse as "The thousand, three hundred [R181 : page 4] and five and thirty days," and from 538 when the abomination was set up, (so mentioned in verse 11,) 1335 years, if prolonged to their utmost, would reach to the year 1874. [For argument, see "Day Dawn."] This is one of the arguments which prove the presence of Christ at that time for Daniel could not stand in his lot or be resurrected, until Christ came. Besides it is also a parallel to the baptism of Jesus in the Jewish age, at which time the harvest of that age begun and he was recognized as Lord of the harvest and bridegroom. So we understand the bridegroom came at a parallel point in this age and those that were ready went in. (Matt. 25:10.) Since we find that going in includes the change to spiritual bodies, it is significant that the days of Daniel and the presence of the bridegroom occur at the same time, viz: autumn of 1874, and if Daniel stood in his lot at that time, he was raised a spiritual body, and as he represents the order of prophets and their resurrection is shown by the laying of the foundation-stones of the temple, then it would seem that the temple began to be built at that time. If this be a correct application (and it seems harmonious) and the time of building is seven years, then we would expect our change by or before the fall of 1881, as from 1874 to then would be the time given for building. It is true that the parable of Matt. 25is only in reference to the living phase of the Church. Yet we believe that while those living "virgins" go into the wedding by coming into a knowledge of the Bridegroom's presence, etc., during the seven years harvest [from 1874 to 1881] yet the parable is having as it were a fulfillment on a still higher plane during the same seven years, viz.: The going into the condition of readiness for marriage [R181 : page 5] of all the chaste virgins, the dead (by resurrection) and living (by translation or change.) In going into the spiritual condition "We cannot precede them." (E. Diaglott, 1 Thess. 4:15.) As Daniel's time was up in 1874 it is reasonable to suppose that the order he represented went in at that time, since which the "dead in Christ" are being raised; and as the seven years are about complete, that we will soon follow by being changed. Matt. 25 and the parallelism of the Jewish and Gospel ages, seem to teach that the wise of the virgins "who are alive and remain" must all come in, to a knowledge of the bridegroom's presence, by the fall of 1881, when the door--opportunity to become a member of the bride--will close.
But it is possible that the change to the spiritual condition--the "going in to the marriage on the higher plane--may not occur at the same moment to each individual. We suggest as quite possible, that the change may come to some prepared before that time.
If the dead are to be raised before we are changed it can as well take place some time before as a moment, and if the temple is any type it is evident that some will be raised at least seven years before the last are changed. The fact that the body or mass of the saints are assembled together when we are gathered, is intimated by Luke 17:34-37, and Paul in Heb. 12:22-23, says: "Ye are come [coming] unto Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the first born, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." We come to these.
The next point we will consider is that of Noah entering the Ark. It seems that the flood of forty days in the destruction of the old world is a type of the forty years' trouble here at the end of this world, (age) and as Noah entered there and escaped, so some shall enter here and escape.
"The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou, and all thy house, into the Ark. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights." And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him; and it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. (Gen. 7:1-10.) The language in connection with this circumstance seems to suggest the idea that Noah and those with him were seven days going in, and if so, then, this would harmonize with the seven years [a day for a year] building of the temple or time of going in, commencing with 1874. There is one point, however, we will notice, viz: It rained forty days after Noah entered, which would represent forty years' trouble after we enter. From 1881 to 1914 inclusive, is only about thirty-three years, hence in this respect the time differs. This is not when considered an objection to the position, for though the time of harvest and end of this age commenced Chronologically in 1874, yet the trouble cannot break, in the full sense, until the saints have been taken. "Yet seven days [years] and I will cause it to rain upon the earth," should be significant, because we have expected trouble, in a special sense, about 1881, and, according to the type, we must enter in by that time. Not only has that time been looked forward to by many as a point when there would be some great change, but the parallel to the end of the Jewish age demands that there be a change for the worse, in reference to the nominal Christian Church, it being a parallel to when favor ended with the Jews in a marked manner, shown by the seventy weeks of years mentioned by Daniel 9:24, which time ended three and a-half years after they were left desolate. Just as 1881 is three and a-half years from the point when the Jews began to receive favor. While this trouble is due, in the actual sense, from 1881 on, and is due chronologically to end in 1914, leaving only a space of thirty-three years; yet the trouble cannot end actually at that time, for there would be a gradual decrease "while the nations were beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks." (Isa. 2:4.) Hence there could be forty years of trouble even after 1881 and not interfere with our general position, for this would only carry us seven years beyond 1914, as this now does seven years beyond 1874. We used to think it would be in the midst of a great trouble that we would be changed, but now we do not. Noah went in before it rained, and "the Lord shut him in." (Gen. 7:16.) So now, while all things remain as in "the days of Noah," we will be changed and then the flood--trouble will break on those who know not and are in darkness. [1 Thess. 5:1-5.]
This is shown also in the type of Moses and Aaron, for not one of the ten plagues came until after they met in the Mount. And as that meeting shows our change, then in order here, there would be none of the plagues come till after we are gathered unto Jesus, by which we would "escape all these things that shall come to pass and stand before the Son of man." [Luke 21:36.] It is in connection with this last type that we find additional proof of our speedy change.
Stephen says: "When he [Moses] was full forty years old it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel." Moses at this time came to deliver his brethren, but they rejected him, saying: "Who made thee a ruler and judge over us?" After his rejection, "he fled and was a stranger in the land of Midian," when he took the daughter of Jethro, priest of Midian, to wife. (Exo. 3:1.) And when forty years were expired there appeared to him "an angel of the Lord," at which time he was informed of God's intention to "send him into Egypt," and "this Moses, whom they refused did God send to be a ruler and deliverer." (Acts 7:23-36.) Moses seems clearly in this case to be a type of Christ. Jesus came to deliver his brethren (according to the flesh) and was rejected, after which he takes a Gentile wife and returns, showing favor to natural Israel. (Acts 15:14-16.) As Moses, in the first instance, Jesus came as a man, but the second time as a God, at which time He effects their deliverance. While there is a similarity in these general features, it is the time we would look at, more particularly now. The two periods in the life of Moses, at the end of which he came each time, seem to foreshadow the Jewish and Gospel ages, (each represented by forty years of Moses' life) at the end of which Jesus comes, first at the end of the Jewish as a man; now, in the end of the Gospel as a God.
This being true, one forty would end in A.D. 33, when he was rejected as king and left their house desolate. (Luke 19:30-44.) Then the parallel to the end of the second forty would be 1878, when he came as king and the work of restoring them to favor began. Now, with this thought, let us turn to Ex. 7:7. "And Moses was fourscore years old and Aaron fourscore and three years old when they spake unto Pharaoh." The fourscore, or twice forty, would bring us to 1878, in the antitype when Christ spake to Pharaoh (the world) by an act, in restoring Israel to favor. But it says: "Aaron was fourscore and three years old." As Aaron represents us, the living saints, it would seem to indicate that we come into a position of power three years after the time, represented by the fourscore of Moses. Aaron did not speak until after he met Moses, so we would not in the sense here referred to until after our change. If the three years mentioned in connection with Aaron has any bearing, then it would teach our change as coming this side of 1881, as three years from 1878 would bring us inside of that time. We do not think it well to base too much on types or allegories, but when we find them in harmony with prophetic points they add additional evidence, and while we would not present any of these things as absolute, yet there is a harmony which commends them to an intelligent mind. They call for the exercise of faith on our part, especially when we remember that in reference to the coming of Jesus and our change, the apostles, "Say some things hard to be understood." (2 Pet. 3:14-16.) We now have taken prophetic measurements and allegories together, [R182 : page 5] five different points seeming to teach the resurrection of the dead in Christ and change of the living between the fall of 1874 and 1881. Two or more witnesses are enough to prove any case, as a rule, and certainly God has given us abundant evidence. We are also glad to notice that all these things only corroborate previous truths, thus proving to a certainty each application as correct and causing the old jewels to shine brighter. The five lines of argument briefly stated are these:
1st. The days of Daniel ending in 1874, at which time the resurrection commenced, and since which, the dead have been going in to the marriage.
2d. The end of the seven years from that time, as marked by the parallel, of the end of the "seventy weeks" in the Jewish age ending in our year 1881, at which time we all should be in and the door closed, being the end of time of special favor to the nominal church before commencement of trouble which follows our change.
3d. The building of temple, covering seven years time, and hence in harmony with the above arguments.
4th. Entering of Ark by Noah and his house, occupying seven days (typical of years.)
5th. The last mentioned allegory in the life of Moses and Aaron.
Thus we find the types of days and years are in harmony. In view of these things let us watch and be sober, for "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Lam. 3:26. A. D. J.