THE 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.
“The Harvest is the end of the age.” Matt. 13:39
The 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.”
This 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 C_page 122 Church of Christ, and such as are more or less
associated with it — “Christendom.”
But 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
Since 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 C_page 123
In 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.
A 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 C_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.
Not 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
After 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
In 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 are to C_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.
The 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 convincing.
The 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 C_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.
Again, 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]” (Dan.
11:22; 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 C_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. vi.
year as reckoned by the Jews begins in October; hence October 1874
was really the beginning of 1875.
But 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 times?
This 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 C_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.
Recalling 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
Again, 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,
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 C_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.
While 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.
We 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 C_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 glory.
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 them.
Thus 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. C_page 131
For 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
And 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.
“end” of the harvest will probably include the burning of the tares.
As 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 C_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.
While 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
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
“He’ll rule the world with truth
And make the nations prove
The strictness of his
And wonders of his love.”