THE TIMES OF THE
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
1914—Why Opposed by Gentile Kingdoms—How and Why
All will Finally Accept it Joyfully—“The Desire of All Nations
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be
fulfilled.” Luke 21:24
The 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 day.”
During 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.
The 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.
After B_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.”
This 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.
Israel’s 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.”
Thus, 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.
Since 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
B_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.” Ezek.
This 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
In 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:
Firstly, 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.
Secondly, 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
Thirdly, 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
Fourthly, 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.
Fifthly, 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.
Sixthly, It will prove that the great “time of trouble such B_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 in
Seventhly, 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 and clay.
Beginning of Gentile Times, 606 B.C.
Our 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.
Greek word here rendered “times” is kairos,
which signifies a
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. B_page 79
The 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.
The 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 king.
According 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.
With these facts before us, we readily find the date for the
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.
Recognizing 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
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.
During the Gospel age, the Kingdom of Christ has existed B_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.” Rom. 13:1
Nor 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.
The 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 scepter; B_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
God’s 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.
When 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
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.
Sore 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.” Psa. 137
But 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.
While 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
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.
The 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 (John 7:19; Rom. 3:20), though they might have come much nearer
to a perfect observance of its requirements than they did.
Our 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 of the
B_page 85 will of God with all his heart, mind, soul
and strength, and loving his neighbor as himself—all this even unto death.
Thus 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 of Peace.
When 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
Thus 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 B_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.
Even 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.
Shiloh 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 him at B_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 Rev. 11:17,18.
Now 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.
We 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
Our 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.
Turning 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, THEN I
WILL PUNISH YOU SEVEN TIMES more [further] for
your sins.” Lev. 26:17,18,24,28
This 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
The 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.”
The 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 B_page 89
long period of chastisement—the predicted “seven
times” or 2520 years.
In 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)
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.
The 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, B_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.
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
This 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
This may be shown more clearly to some thus:
“seven times” of chastisement
|They began when the
lease of power was given to the Gentiles, which, as we have shown, was 606
in A.D. 1
|of their period had
the re-mainder would indicate the A.D. date, viz.,
In 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)
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. B_page 92
Had 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.”
The 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 B_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
Another 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.
In 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
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.”
This 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 and benefactor.
So 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. B_page 95
As 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.
True 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.
The 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:
“At 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.”
The degradation of Nebuchadnezzar was typical of human degradation
under beastly governments during seven
B_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 began.
It 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.
Unless 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.
The 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.
How 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.
It 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.
Already 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.
True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that B_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
In 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.”
Daniel’s 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. B_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
So, 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
But 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 B_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.
Be 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.
If 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.”
The 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 fire, B_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.
As 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 Anointed.
“We are living, we are
In a grand and awful time.
In an age on ages telling,
To be living is sublime.
Hark! the rumbling in the
Iron crumbling with the clay:
Hark! what soundeth?
Groaning for a better day.
“Scoffers scorning, Heaven
Thou hast but an hour to fight.
See prophetic truth unfolding!
Watch! and keep thy garments
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!”
Signs of Christ's Presence
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