STUDY 7: THE TIME OF OUR LORD’S RETURN
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
IN our previous Study, we discussed the three stages of Jesus’ Second Advent: (1) the parousia;
(2) the epiphaneia, or apokalupsis; and (3) the basileia.
There are strong Scriptural proofs that our Lord’s parousia (presence) began in the Fall of 1874,
and His epiphaneia in the Fall of 1914. We have not seen Him with our natural eyes; only with
the eyes of our understanding, only in the light of the “more sure word of prophecy”
(2 Peter 1: 19).
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Jesus evidently gave the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25: 1-12) to throw special light
upon the time of His parousia and epiphaneia. This parable implies that there would be a false
announcement of the Bridegroom’s arrival, which was given as due in 1844, and which brought
considerable reproach to the subject of Jesus’ Second Advent. However, it proved to be of great
advantage to the “virgin” class (the pure, the consecrated), to fresh trimming of the lamp of truth,
to an investigation of the sure word of prophecy.
The parable also shows that the “virgins” in general fell asleep, but that in due time all would be
re-awakened by the prophetic time knocking and the knocking of the signs of the times, which
would indicate the Bridegroom’s presence. And the parable shows that the result would depend
upon how much oil (holy spirit) the “virgins” may have in their vessels (in their own hearts), as
well as in their lamps (the Scriptures).
Applying this parable, we may conclude that some of the Lord’s true people, like the ten virgins,
have temporarily fallen asleep on the subject of our Lord’s Second Advent, and that they will get
their lamps trimmed, burning and ready to enable them to discern the signs of His parousia and
epiphaneia, when once their attention is brought to these subjects.
We will now proceed to provide seven lines of prophecy that indicate that the parousia
[presence] of our Lord began in the Autumn of 1874, and His epiphaneia in the Autumn of 1914.
“The Last One of the Days”
(1.) The first argument does not give the exact time of our Lord’s Return as October 1874, but it
does indicate that as the approximate time. The Bible teaches that God’s Kingdom is to be
established in the seventh 1,000-year day after Adam’s fall into sin. This is shown in Isaiah 2: 2:
“It shall come to pass in the last one of the days [the word for last is singular in the Hebrew and
therefore does not modify the plural Hebrew word for days, as the Authorized Version implies],
that the mountain [kingdom] of the LORD’S house [Christ and His faithful] shall be established
in the top of the mountains [be put over all absolute monarchies], and shall be exalted above the
hills [limited monarchies and republics]; and all nations shall flow unto it.”
The last one of God’s days, each of which is a thousand of our years (2 Peter 3: 8), would be the
seventh day, the seventh thousand-year period; for while man uses the decimal system, counting
as he does by tens, God uses the septimal system, counting as He does by sevens, as may be seen
from many cases of the use of seven as the number of Divine completeness in the Bible.
Therefore, the expression, “the last one of the days” means the seventh day, the last day of the
week. But a week of God’s days is equal to 7,000 years of our time. Therefore, this passage
proves that the Kingdom of God, which Christ returns to set up (Acts 3: 19-21) (Acts 15: 14-17),
is to be established over the earth during the seventh 1,000-year day.
God has pictured this seventh 1,000-year day by the Sabbath day arrangement following the six
days of labor, which was given to Israel to keep holy by resting from the labor of the six week
days. Likewise, mankind in sin and the curse has been laboring and heavy laden during the
antitypical six days (Matthew 11: 28) (Romans 8: 20-22). This is pictured by the six days of
labor, each day typing a thousand-year period. But a rest day from the curse, the great antitypical
Sabbath, the Millennium, is coming after these six 1,000-year days of sorrow.
“In the Days of these Kings”
(2.) King Nebuchadnezzar had an inspired dream, and Daniel gave its inspired interpretation
(Daniel 2). It showed the four earthly governments that would bear rule over the earth, during
the interim between the overthrow of the typical kingdom of God (whose last king was
Zedekiah), and the installation of the true King, in His Millennial Kingdom. These four universal
empires of earth are pictured as a great image: (1) Babylon, being represented by the head of
gold; (2) Medo-Persia, the breast and arms of silver; (3) Greece, the belly and thighs of brass;
and (4) Rome, the legs of iron, and the feet, which were partly iron and partly clay. And “in the
days of these kings” (v. 44), represented by the ten toes of the image, God Himself would
establish His Kingdom.
In the dream, a stone was taken out of the mountain without hands (by Divine power). This stone
represents God’s Kingdom (Christ and the Church). The disaster which shall come to the
kingdoms of this world comes through the smiting of the image by the stone (vs. 34, 35).
Daniel’s explanation is given in v. 45: “Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of
the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver,
and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter.”
“The Times of the Gentiles”
The total lease of power to the Gentiles is in the Scriptures referred to as “the times of the
Gentiles” (Luke 21: 24). There are seven of these “times,” and each one of them is a period of
360 years, consequently the complete period of the seven times is 2,520 years. Hence, from the
time the Lord removed the diadem from Zedekiah (Ezekiel 21: 25-27) in October 607 B.C., we
find that the 2,520 years expired in October 1914 A.D.
Our Lord connected “the times of the Gentiles” with Israel’s punishment for violation of the Law
Covenant (Luke 21: 24). In Leviticus 26: 18, 21, 24 and 28, after indicating that lesser
punishments would not reform them, God threatens and prophesies as a final chastisement, a
punishment of seven times upon Israel at the hands of the Gentiles, for their national sins against
the Law Covenant. These punishments began when Nebuchadnezzar desolated Jerusalem and
Palestine, taking Israel captive to Babylon, October 607 B.C.
A time in the Scriptures represents a prophetic year of either literal or symbolic duration. A
literal prophetic year would be an ordinary year. A symbolic prophetic year is based upon a year
just midway between the length of a lunar and a solar year (360 days) and counts each of these
days a year (Numbers 14: 33, 34); therefore, a symbolic prophetic year would be 360 literal
years (Daniel 7: 25) (Daniel 12: 7 [360 X 3½ = 1260]). Hence, “the times of the Gentiles”
expired in 1914, 2,520 years after its beginning in October 607 B.C. And World War 1, which
broke out in the Fall of 1914, is the external evidence that their lease has ended.
But we ask, When did the “stone” Kingdom begin to smite the image upon its feet, preparatory
to its destruction? We answer, this smiting period is the period of the Parousia and Epiphany, in
which Christ is present, gathering and delivering His Church, smiting the nations and preparing
mankind for His Kingdom. Please note Daniel’s explanation that it would be “in the days of
these kings” that God would set up His Kingdom. The invisible phase of God’s Kingdom was
“set up” in October 1874, upon our Lord’s Return, and since 1914, it has been destroying all
these Gentile kingdoms.
Israel’s Experiences were Prophetic
(3.) The Scriptures show us that the Fleshly house of Israel and all of its institutions and affairs
were typical foreshadowings of the Spiritual house of Israel, and its higher institutions, better
sacrifices, etc. Additionally, the length of the Jewish Age was also typical, and gives us the exact
measurement of the Gospel Age. Some facts will prove this. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel,
meaning A Prince with God, and his descendants were termed Israelites. But the antitype of
Jacob is Christ, the true Prince with God, and His house is Spiritual Israel. Jacob’s twelve sons
typify Christ’s twelve Apostles. Typical Israel’s high priest was Aaron, whereas antitypical
Israel’s High Priest is Christ Jesus. The Fleshly house had a priesthood under Aaron, so the
Spiritual house has “a royal priesthood” under Christ.
Let us note the time correspondencies. The Jewish Age, from the death of Jacob to the death of
Christ in 33 A.D., was 1,845 years long; and from the death of Christ until the Spring of 1878,
was 1,845 years. Additionally, from the beginning of our Lord’s ministry in the Autumn of 29
A.D. until the Autumn of 1874, when our Lord was due to Return, was 1,845 years.
Furthermore, from the Autumn of 69 A.D., when the beginning of preparations for the
destruction of Israel’s capital took place, until the Autumn of 1914, when the “Gentile times”
came to an end and World War 1 began, was also 1,845 years. Surely this cannot be accident, it
must be design.
The Jubilee Prophecy
(4.) According to the Mosaic law, Israel was to have a Jubilee Year every fiftieth year, in which
every person and family had restored to them every lost possession and all personal liberties, and
were freed from all debts. This was intended to be a type of the coming times of restitution, in
which all will have an opportunity to regain everything that was lost through Adam’s
transgression. The Scriptures indicate, in connection with these Jubilees, a system of counting by
squaring; and that a Jubilee of Jubilees, or fifty times fifty years (2,500 years) adds up to a Great
Jubilee cycle, and that such a cycle began to count after Fleshly Israel had observed her last
typical Jubilee. Israel’s nineteenth Jubilee year, October 627 to October 626 B.C., was her last.
Measuring the cycle of the Great Jubilee 2,500 years from Israel’s last typical Jubilee brings us
to the antitypical Great Jubilee of Jubilees in October 1874 to October 1875. However, instead of
one year, the antitypical Jubilee is 1,000 years long – the Millennium, the times of restitution of all things.
The Prophetic Days of Daniel
(5.) In Daniel 12, the 1,260 days (v. 7), the 1,290 days (v. 11) and the 1,335 days (v. 12) have had
fulfillments: the 1,260 days (years) ending in 1799, the 1,290 days (years) ending in 1829 and
the 1,335 days (years) ending in 1874. Concerning this last period, the angel declared, “Blessed
is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
And since that prophetic date, October 1874, when our Lord was due to Return, a great blessing
has come to God’s consecrated people. Since then, the Word of God has opened up in a most
marvelous manner. It has shown us many evidences that we are in the end of the Age; it has
revealed the error respecting eternal torment; it has revealed to us the true character of our
Heavenly Father; it has made plain to us the necessity of the great atonement for sin; it has
shown us the object of the permission of evil; and it has revealed the high calling of the Church
to the Divine nature and to joint-heirship with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom, and the
resulting blessing of restitution to human perfection for the world of mankind in general.
Signs of the Times
(6.) Other prophecies and types in the Scriptures are being fulfilled in the signs of the times,
which show that we are living in the parousia and epiphaneia of the Son of Man, but we will
wait to cover that subject in Study 8.
(7.) The dates 1874 and 1914 are marvelously corroborated by the Great Pyramid measurements.
God tells us that He has made a witness of His Word and Plan in Egypt (Isaiah 19: 19, 20). The
Great Pyramid, by its location, structure, passages, rooms and measurements, proves itself to be
this witness to the Lord. In the Grand Galley, one of the measurements shows that 1874 would
be the time of our Lord’s Return; and at the meeting place of the descending passage and the pit,
the Pyramid measurements point out 1914 as the date when the overthrow of Satan’s empire was
due to begin, at the beginning of World War 1.
“Behold the Bridegroom”
In the parable of the ten virgins, please note that there were five wise and five foolish virgins
(Matthew 25: 2). The wise virgins were not only consecrated, but were also faithful unto death.
But the foolish virgins, overcharged with the cares of this life, or the deceitfulness of riches
(Matthew 13: 22), did not have within themselves (“in their vessels”) a sufficiency of the oil
(holy spirit); and consequently were unable to get the light in time to go in with the wise virgins
before the elect number was completed, and the door of opportunity to become a part of the
Bride of Christ was forever closed.
The foolish virgins, although obliged to pass through the great tribulation with the world,
cleansed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7: 14). They
with joy in heaven partake as bridesmaids at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19: 9).
Whom do the Foolish Virgins Represent?
Some have mistakenly thought that the foolish virgins represent the wicked, so let us examine
this parable further. The Scriptures prove that the foolish virgins are Christians – a part of those
who belong to the Great Company class. A virgin, whether she is wise or foolish, is a pure
maiden, and therefore in Bible symbols is used to represent consecrated people, and therefore
cannot be wicked people.
To properly understand the parable, the story of Matthew 25: 1-12 has frequently been enacted in
oriental countries, so Jesus used that occurrence to picture what would take place in the Time of
the End. The Prophet Daniel’s use of the expression “the time of the end” marks Napoleon’s
return from Egypt in 1799 as beginning that period (Daniel 11: 40), and as a period it reaches
from 1799 until the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom (Daniel 12: 1). We should therefore
look for a movement in that period in which Christians would go forth in the spirit of their minds
to meet the Lord in His Second Advent. And such a going forth began in the Miller Movement in
The wise virgins represent those who were fully faithful, who understood and acted upon the
Truth as due; while the foolish virgins represent overcharged Christians who did not understand
the Truth as due. While Christians began to go forth to meet the Lord increasingly from 1829
onward, the Lord did not come in 1844, as they expected Him. As a result, they somewhat lost
interest in and zest for the Second Advent. Eventually the cry, “Behold, the bridegroom” came
out shortly after 1874. Since then, an ever-increasingly number of consecrated Christians have
recognized the Lord’s Second Presence.
Those who did not have the spirit of understanding in their minds and hearts desired the holy
spirit of understanding to be given them by the others; but this cannot be communicated from
one to another; it must be acquired in the market of experience, by holy living, self-denying
service and Christlike suffering (Matthew 25: 8, 9).
Matthew 25: 10 reads, “While they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready
went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” The Epiphany stage of our Lord’s
Return seems to be referred to in this verse. When the Time of Trouble began in 1914, there was
no further opportunity for doing reaping work (John 9: 4), and suffering with Christ for
preaching the Harvest message as due. Others sought later to enter, but were unable.
As Great Company members, Jesus did not recognize them as being a part of His prospective
joint-heirs, though they did receive a lesser spiritual glory (Revelation 7: 15).
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