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"The Times of Restitution of All Things" Foretold by Moses—The Date of Their Beginning Indicated—They Cannot Begin Until the Great Restorer Has Come—Evidence from the Law—Corroborative Testimony from the Prophets—Logical Conclusions Drawn from these as Separately and Unitedly Considered—Harmony of Present Indications.
"VERILY I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled." Matt. 5:18
It is only when we recognize the typical character of God's dealings with Israel that we can rightly appreciate the wonderful history of that people, or understand why their history, in preference to that of all other nations, is so particularly recorded by the Prophets and the New Testament writers. In them, as the New Testament writers show, God has given striking illustrations of his plans, both for the Church and for the world. Their Tabernacle service, so minutely prescribed in the divinely given Law, with its bleeding beasts and all its peculiar appointments, their festivals and holy days, their Sabbaths, and all their ceremonies, as types pointed forward to antitypes, larger, higher and grander far than those shadows. And the Apostle Paul assures us that those antitypes will be laden with blessings for mankind, when he says that the Law foreshadowed "GOOD THINGS to come" (Heb. 10:1; 8:5; Col. 2:17); while our Lord, in the above expression, assures us that all the good things foreshadowed are sure of fulfilment.
However, in considering types, we should carefully avoid the error of many well-meaning people, who, when they begin [B174] to see that there are significant types in the Scriptures run to the extreme of treating every Bible character and incident as typical, and are thus led into error by mere curiosity and ingenuity. On no such unsafe ground do we build when examining the ceremonies of the Jewish Law, given specially as types and declared by the apostles to be such. Nor can we afford to let these types pass without due consideration and careful study of the lessons they teach, any more than we can afford to spend time in speculating, and in building faith upon mere conjecture.
When our Lord said that not one jot or tittle of the Law should pass away until fulfilled, he referred not only to the fulfilling of its covenant obligations for all under that Law Covenant, finishing its hold upon them, by meeting its demands against them in full with his own life, but he meant more than this: He meant, further, that all the blessings expressed in it typically would also be sure of fulfilment upon an antitypical scale. In all the Jewish ceremonies, God caused no type to be made which will prove meaningless, or pass unfulfilled; and the observance of all types was kept up until their fulfilment at least began. All types must be continually repeated until their antitypes appear; for the keeping of a type is not the fulfilling of it. The fulfilling is reached where the type ceases, being displaced by the reality, the antitype.
Thus, for instance, the slaying of the paschal lamb was fulfilled in the death of Christ, the "Lamb of God," and there began the special blessing upon the antitypical firstborn, the believers of the Gospel age. The blessing, foreshadowed in that type, is not yet completely fulfilled, though the fulfilment began with the death of Christ, our Passover Lamb. In like manner, every ceremony prescribed in the Law proves to be full of typical significance. And the particularity with which the observance of every detail of [B175] the types was enforced throughout the Jewish age gives emphasis to our Lord's words quoted above—that every minute particular, every jot and tittle, must be as particularly fulfilled as it was carefully enforced in the ceremonies of the Law.
In this chapter we propose to examine that typical feature of the Mosaic Law known as the Jubilee, and to show that it was intended to foreshadow the great Restitution, the recovery of mankind from the fall, to be accomplished in the Millennial age; that in its character it was an illustration of the coming Restitution; and that in the manner of its reckoning it furnishes time regulations which, when understood and applied, indicate clearly the time for the beginning of the antitype, the "Restitution of all things." Acts 3:19-21
Since the Jubilee was a part of the Law, and since repeating does not fulfil it, and since our Lord declared that the type could not pass away without fulfilment; and moreover, since we know that no such restitution of all things as that foretold "by all the holy prophets since the world began," and prefigured in this type, has ever yet occurred, we know that it must be fulfilled in the future.
The year of Jubilee was a Sabbath of rest and refreshing, both to the people and to the land which God gave them. It was the chief of a series of Sabbaths or rests.* They had a Sabbath day every seventh day; and once every year these typical Sabbath days reached a climax—i.e., a cycle of seven of these Sabbaths, thus marking a period of forty-nine days (7 x 7 = 49), was followed by a Jubilee day, the fiftieth day (Lev. 23:15,16), known among the Jews as Pentecost. It was a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving.
The Sabbath year occurred every seventh year. In it the land was allowed to rest and no crops were to be planted. A climax of these Sabbath (rest) years was reached in the same manner as the Pentecost or fiftieth day-Sabbath. Seven of the Sabbath years, embracing a period of seven times seven years, or forty-nine years (7 x 7 = 49), constituted a cycle of Sabbath years; and the year following, the FIFTIETH YEAR, WAS THE YEAR OF JUBILEE.
When Israel came into Canaan, the land was divided among them by lot, according to their tribes and families. Success thereafter might increase, or adversity decrease, their individual possessions, as the case might be. If a man became involved in debt, he might be obliged to sell a part or even all of his property, and with his family go into servitude. But God made a bountiful provision for the unfortunate: He arranged that such adverse circumstances might not continue forever, but that all their accounts—credits and debts—must be reckoned only to the Jubilee Year, when all must be freed from old encumbrances, etc., to make a fresh start for the next term of fifty years.*
*A somewhat similar arrangement under a Bankrupt Law has been found expedient in our day and land, thus endorsing the principle then enunciated. Nor does it follow, that a cancellation of debt every fifty years, and the Jewish form, would serve us better than the methods of today; for in their case, the time, circumstances, etc., were not specially for themselves, their convenience, and their circumstances, but specially as prophetic figures and lessons relating to God's plan in its future development.
Thus every fiftieth year, counting from the time of their entrance into Canaan, was to Israel a year of Jubilee, a time of rejoicing and restitution, in which broken families were reunited and lost homesteads were restored. No wonder [B177] that it was called a Jubilee. If property had been sold for debt, it was to be considered merely as a grant of such property until the Jubilee year; and the price it would bring if sold depended on whether the coming Jubilee was near or far distant.
The account of this observance is found in Leviticus 25. Verses 10 to 15 read thus: "Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof. It is a Jubilee unto you, and ye shall return every man unto his possession and ye shall return every man unto his family....And if thou sell aught to thy neighbor, or buyest aught of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not oppress one another. According to the number of years after the Jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee. According to the multitude of the years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of the years thou shalt diminish the price of it."
This arrangement provided by God through their leader and typical mediator, Moses, though itself a blessed boon, foreshadowed a still greater blessing which God had in view—the release of all mankind from the debt of sin and its bondage and servitude, through Christ our Lord, the greater Mediator and Deliverer, whom Moses typified. (Deut. 18:15) It was thus, in types, that Moses wrote of Christ and the blessings to come through him (John 5:46; 1:45)—the Great Restitution and Jubilee to come to all the race, now groaning under the bondage of corruption and slavery to Sin.
If the shadow brought happiness and joy to the typical people, the substance, the real restitution, will cause boundless joy and will indeed be a grand Jubilee to all people—all the world, including Israel, being typified by that people, [B178] even as their priesthood represented the Church, the "royal priesthood." Even if we were not definitely informed, what would be more reasonable than to surmise that the same infinite love which provided for the temporary welfare of Israel, a "stiff-necked generation," would much more make provision for the lasting welfare of the whole world, which God so loved as to redeem while yet sinners? And here it may be well to note what will be more fully shown hereafter, that while in one aspect the Israelites were typical of the believers of the Gospel age, in another they represented all who, in any age, shall believe God and accept his leading. And in this character we are now viewing them. Their covenant, sealed with the blood of bulls and goats, was typical of the New Covenant, sealed with the precious blood of Christ, under which the reconciling of the world shall be effected in the next age. Their day of atonement and its sin-offerings, though in type to that people, and for their sins only, typified the "better sacrifices" and the actual atonement "for the sins of the whole world." But note that the Jubilee applied not to Israel's priesthood (typical of the Gospel Church), but to the others only; for the priesthood was given no possessions, and hence could neither lose any nor have any restored. The Jubilee was for all the people except the priestly tribe, and hence typifies, not those blessings which are to come to the Church, the "Royal Priesthood," but the restitution blessings—earthly blessings—in due time to come to all those who become believers in and followers of God.
The teaching of this type is in perfect accord with what we have learned in our examination of the divine Plan of the Ages. It points unmistakably to "The Times of Restitution of all things, spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Moses was one of the prophets; and here particularly he speaks to us of the coming restitution of man's first estate and liberty, long lost, [B179] sold under sin. By the failure of our first parents all was lost: all rights were forfeited, and all became slaves to the tyrant Sin and were unable to free themselves. The family circle has been sadly broken by the bondage of corruption—death. Thank God for the promised time of release! The Jubilee is at hand, and soon the captives of Death and slaves of Sin shall have back their first estate, perfect manhood, and their first inheritance, the earth—the gift of God through Jesus Christ, the mediator and ratifier of the New Covenant.
While in the typical Jubilee Year many restored liberties and blessings were at once entered upon, yet probably most of the year was required to straighten out affairs and get each one fully installed again in all his former liberties, rights and possessions. So, too, with the antitype, the Millennial age of Restitution. It will open with sweeping reforms, with the recognition of rights, liberties and possessions long lost sight of; but the work of completely restoring (to the obedient) all that was originally lost will require all of that age of restitution—a thousand years.
It is certain that no antitype of the Jubilee answering to the features of this type has yet occurred; and, on the strength of our Lord's assertion, we are equally sure that the type could not pass away unfulfilled: "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the Law to fail." (Luke 16:17) But, apparently, this feature of the Law has failed. As a matter of fact, the type, which was observed regularly every fiftieth year as long as the Israelites were in their own land, has not been observed since their captivity in Babylon. Apparently, therefore, this feature of the Law did "pass away" without even beginning a fulfilment. What shall we answer in the face of this apparent contradiction of the Lord's statement? But is it really so? or can any antitype of the Jubilee be found, beginning where the last observance [B180] of the typical Jubilee ended? Yes, we answer; a clearly defined antitype had its beginning at that exact point, and on a larger and grander scale, as antitypes always are. We see, by actual fulfilment, that the cycles, as well as the Jubilee Years in which they culminated, were included in the type; and that the same method by which the typical Jubilee was pointed out (by multiplying) was to be observed in calculating the time for the antitype—Earth's Great Jubilee. When the last typical Jubilee had been observed and had passed away, the great cycle began to count, the close of which will usher in the antitypical Jubilee or Restitution age.
We have already referred to the method of counting the Sabbaths—that the multiplying of the Sabbath or seventh day by seven (7 x 7 = 49) pointed out Pentecost, the Jubilee Day which followed; and the multiplying of the seventh year by seven (7 x 7 = 49) made the cycle which pointed out and led to the fiftieth or Jubilee Year. And the same system carried out would indicate that to reach the great antitype which we seek we should in like manner square the Jubilee—i.e., multiply the fiftieth year by fifty. That is to say, the antitypical cycle, by the method of multiplying here taught us, should be reckoned by multiplying the typical Jubilee or fiftieth Sabbath year by fifty, just as in reaching it we multiplied the seventh year Sabbath by seven. Lev. 25:2-13
Following this divinely indicated method of reckoning, wonderful results open before us, which assure us that we have the correct key and are using it as was intended by him who formed this treasure-casket. Fifty times fifty years gives the long period of twenty-five hundred years (50 x 50 = 2500), as the length of that great cycle, which began to count when Israel's last typical Jubilee ended, and which must culminate in the great antitypical Jubilee. We know that such a cycle must have begun to count where the type [B181] ceased; because, if not one jot or tittle of the Law could pass away without a fulfilment at least commencing, then the Jubilee type, which was far more than a jot or tittle, indeed a large and important feature of the Law, would not have been permitted to pass away until the right time for its antitype to begin. That the antitype of the Jubilee did not in any sense begin when the Israelites ceased to observe it, is evident; hence that a grand cycle began to count then, we may be certain. The new, long cycle began there, though Israel and all the world are ignorant both of the fact that a great cycle has been counting and also of the great antitypical Jubilee by which it will be terminated. We are not to look for the great Jubilee of Jubilees to begin after this cycle, but as the antitype to take the place of the fiftieth or last Jubilee of the cycle. An antitype never follows its type but takes its place upon the same date. Hence the 2500th year, which would be the great 50th Jubilee, must be the antitype, the real Jubilee or Restitution. But instead of being a year, as in the type, it will be larger; it will be the beginning of the great thousand-year Jubilee—the Millennium. Just so it has been in the fulfilment of every type in which time was a feature. Thus the Pentecostal outpouring of the holy Spirit came upon the typical day of Pentecost—or fiftieth day. Christ, our Passover sacrifice, died in the same night in which the typical lamb was appointed to be killed—a day before or a day after would not answer. So here, not the year after nor the year before the 2500th, or closing of the typical cycle, would do; but that very year, beginning October, 1874, must have begun the antitype of Restitution times.
The observance of the type could not cease until the great cycle (50 x 50) began to count. The important point to be ascertained, then, is the exact date when the last typical Jubilee was observed by Israel. With that date definitely established, [B182] it becomes a very simple matter to count the great cycle of fifty times fifty or twenty-five hundred years, and thus locate definitely the date of the beginning of the great Jubilee of Earth—the "Times of Restitution of all things."
But we must look for beginnings only of this stupendous work of restoring all things. The first few days in the typical Jubilee Year would see comparatively little accomplished; and so we must expect in the first few years in the dawning of the great Millennial Jubilee to see but little accomplished. The first work in the typical Jubilee Year would naturally be a searching out of former rights and possessions and the ascertaining of present lacks. Tracing the parallel of this, we should expect in the antitype just what we now see going on all about us; for, as will shortly be shown, we have already entered upon the great antitypical Jubilee period, and have been in it since October, A.D. 1874. What do we see about us? We see investigation on the part of the people of their original, God-given inheritance, and their present lacks, rights, etc., many in ignorance and selfishness claiming what others have; and the attempt to hold on to as much as possible on the part of those who have possession—causing disputes, controversies, strikes and lock-outs, with more or less justice and injustice on both sides, which must finally be left to Christ's adjudication, as disputes under the Law were settled by Moses, and after his death by those who sat in Moses' seat. (Matt. 23:2) With these fixed conclusions and expectations, let us seek the date which God evidently hid for us in this type, "that we might know the things freely given unto us of God," now due to be understood.
We have no direct Bible record of Israel's observance of their typical Jubilees which would show which was the last one observed. We fix upon the date for the Jubilee immediately [B183] preceding the Babylonian captivity and seventy years desolation of their land, as the last one, for two reasons: First, It could not have been this side of that desolation, because there, surely, the type ceased, "passed away"; for the land being desolate seventy years and the people in captivity in a foreign land, a Jubilee must have been due somewhere in the midst of those seventy years and must have gone unobserved. A glance is sufficient to show that the commands and provisions relative to the Jubilee Year could not be complied with while they as a nation were in captivity and the land was desolate. Hence we say the type either passed away then, or before that interruption: it could not be this side of it. And whenever the observance of the type ceased, the cycle of the great antitype must have begun to count. One such failure to observe the type would indicate that the type had ceased and that the cycle leading to the antitype had begun. Besides, never since the Babylonian captivity has Israel had full control of the land: they and their land have ever since been subject to Gentile dominion.
Secondly, In every captivity previous to that one, God evidently delivered them from their enemies in time to get back into their own land to celebrate the Jubilee Year, and thus to perpetuate it as a type until the right time for the great (50 x 50) cycle to begin counting; for their previous captivities, though frequent, it seems never lasted longer than forty years, thus permitting them, according to the Jubilee arrangement, to go free and to receive back every man his inheritance every Jubilee Year. Besides, when we shall shortly show that, reckoned from the beginning of the seventy years desolation under Babylon, the great cycle ends with the year A.D. 1875, it will be manifest to all that it could not have commenced at an earlier date, prior to that Babylonian captivity; for if we place it even one Jubilee earlier, it would locate the termination of the cycle fifty [B184] years earlier than A.D. 1875, namely A.D. 1825; and surely no Jubilee age of restitution began with that year.
Satisfied thus that the last typical Jubilee, from which the great (50 x 50) cycle counts, was not earlier, and could not be since the captivity in Babylon, and hence that the one immediately preceding that captivity was the last typical Jubilee Year, and that at its close the great, silent cycle began to count, we proceed to locate the exact time of that last typical Jubilee, thus:
The system of year Sabbaths being identified with their land, Canaan, and their inheritance in it, the first cycle of forty-nine years, leading to the first Jubilee, should begin to count from the time they entered Canaan. This reasonable inference is made positive by the Lord's words—"When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath [observe the Sabbath system] unto the Lord: Six years shalt thou sow thy field, and six years shalt thou prune thy vineyard and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year [from entering the land] shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land." So, then, the cycle of seven times seven, or forty-nine years (7 x 7 = 49), began to count at once, and the fiftieth year after entering Canaan was the first typical Jubilee.*
*Some have suggested that as there were six years consumed in war before the division of the land was finished, therefore the counting of the Jubilee cycles did not begin until then. But no, the land was entered upon when they crossed over Jordan, and the command reads, "When ye come into the land," and not, When ye have divided the land. It was divided parcel by parcel during the six years, but they did not get possession of all of it during those years, nor for an indefinite time afterward—until the enemies were driven out, which in some cases was never done. (See Joshua 18:2,3; 17:12,13; 23:4,7,13,15.) Hence, had they waited for full possession before beginning to count the cycles, they would never have begun.
To the division of the land........................
Period of the Judges...............................450 "
Period of the Kings................................513 "
We may know how many Jubilees they had observed up to that time by dividing 969 years by 50. There are 19 fifties in 969, showing that number of Jubilees, and the remaining 19 years show that their nineteenth, which was the last of the typical Jubilees, occurred just nineteen years before the beginning of the seventy years of desolation of the land while they were in captivity in Babylon, and nine hundred and fifty years after entering Canaan.
There, then, just nineteen years before the "seventy years desolation" of their land, at the close of their last Jubilee—the nineteenth—the great cycle of 2500 years (50 x 50 = 2500) began to count; and it becomes a very simple matter to reckon where those 2500 years terminated, and consequently where the twenty-five hundredth year, the beginning of the great antitypical Jubilee, began. Thus: From the last or nineteenth Jubilee to the
beginning of the desolation of the land.........
Period of the desolation.......................... 70 "
From the restoration of Israel by Cyrus, to
the date known as A.D. (Anno Domini—
the year of our Lord)........................... 536 "
Hence, from their last Jubilee to A.D. 1.......... 625 "
The number of years since A.D. 1, necessary
to complete the cycle of 2500 years.............1875 "
From the last observed Jubilee—Total.............2500 years
see page 184
Jubilee type dates from entering
To the division of
the land............... 6 yrs.
Period of Judges......... 450 "
Period of Kings.......... 513 "
To the desolation........ 969 "
19 Jubilees.............= 950 "
Remainder:............. 19 yrs.
From last Jubilee to
the desolation......... 19 yrs.
Period of desolation,
and captivity of
all in Babylon....... 70 "
to their land by
Cyrus, to A.D. 1....... 536 "
From year A.D. 1 to
A.D. 1875 (Jewish
Oct. 1874).............1874 "
Thus, the year which began October 1874 was the 2500th year, but since the antitype is larger than the type—1000 years instead of one year—1875 (beginning Oct. 1874), instead of being a Jubilee year was the first of the 1000 years of Jubilee.
Thus we find that the twenty-five hundredth year began with the beginning of the year A.D. 1875, which in Jewish civil time, by which this is reckoned (Lev. 25:9), began about October 1874. So, then, if the great Jubilee were to be only a year, like its type, it would have commenced October, A.D. 1874, at the end of 2499 years, and would have ended October, A.D. 1875. But this is not the type, but the reality: it was not a Jubilee Year, but the antitypical Thousand years of Restitution of all things, which commenced October, A.D. 1874.
Thus we see that not only did Israel's Jubilee clearly and forcibly prefigure the great "TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," but that also the manner of its reckoning just as clearly indicates the date of the beginning of Earth's Great Jubilee. If we fail to accept these conclusions, we see no other alternative than that this type passed away without fulfilment, notwithstanding the most positive assertions of our Lord that it could not—that it would be easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one jot or tittle of the Law to pass away without reaching a fulfilment. (Matt. 5:18) We accept the facts thus divinely indicated, however astounding the conclusions which we must reasonably draw therefrom.
But what are the reasonable conclusions from these Bible teachings? Let us consider what must follow, from the standpoint of reason, and then see if any other scriptures will either warrant or contradict those conclusions. First, we infer that when the "Times of Restitution" are due to begin, the presence of the GREAT RESTORER is also due. This would be a very reasonable inference, but it amounts to much more than inference when it is endorsed by the Apostle's positive inspired statement, that "When the [appointed] times of refreshing shall come from the [B188] presence* of the Lord [Jehovah],...he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must retain until THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21
*The word here rendered presence is not parousia, but prosopon; and apo prosopon, rendered from the presence, does not signify as a result of presence, but rather out from the face of. The thought is common to us, and was much more common in eastern countries long ago: To show the face was a mark of favor, while to turn the back was a mark of disfavor. Thus of our Lord at his first advent it was written, "We hid as it were our faces from him." i.e., we were ashamed of and would not acknowledge him. Thus, too, Jehovah "would not look upon sin," and hid his face from sinners. Now, however, since the ransom has been given, Jehovah waits to be gracious, until the appointed time. Then he will no longer disregard men and treat them as sinners, turning his back upon them, but will send them refreshment from his face, his favor, and will send Jesus, his agent in the restitution of all things. We have the same thought in our hymns: "Show thy reconciled face"; and "Show thy face and all is bright."
On the strength of this inspired statement alone, we have clear evidence of the fact that our Lord's second advent was due when the Times of Restitution were due to begin, viz., in October, A.D. 1874, as marked by the Jubilee arrangement. It seems evident, indeed, that the Jubilee, like all other things of that dispensation, was arranged "for our admonition [our instruction] upon whom the ends of the ages are come." (1 Cor. 10:11) One thing seems clear—if they do not profit us, they have been thus far almost profitless; for the Scriptures inform us that the Jews never fully and properly observed the type, even during the first nineteen Jubilees. (Lev. 26:35) They no doubt found it almost impossible to restrain their love of wealth. It, like all prophecies and types, was no doubt arranged to cast light when and where needed on the path of the just—to guide the "feet" of the body of Christ.
Now call to mind what was shown in the preceding chapter concerning the manner of our Lord's return and appearing, lest you stumble here because of erroneous ideas on that point. Remember, that "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the presence [Greek, parousia] of the Son of man be; for as in the days that were before the flood they... knew not,...so shall also the presence of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:37-39) Remember, also, what we have already gathered from the inspired teaching—that only those faithfully watching unto the sure word of prophecy, and loving and looking for his appearing, will be able to discern his presence, until he makes it manifest to the world "in flaming fire, taking vengeance"—in the great time of trouble. The fact, then, that his presence is not known and generally recognized by the world, or even among Christians, is no argument against this truth. The world has no faith in prophecy, and of course cannot see anything in its light. And lukewarm Christians (and such are the large majority) are paying no attention to the "sure word of prophecy"; and many who profess to be watching are reading the prophecies through the colored glasses of old and long cherished errors, and with their eyes miserably crossed by prejudice. All such should go to the Great Physician for some of the "eye salve" or meekness (Rev. 3:18), and forever discard the colored glasses of the traditions of men, and all theories of their own and of others which will not harmonize with every testimony of God's Word.
But neither the world's ignorance and unbelief nor the lukewarm indifference and prejudice of the great majority of professed Christians shall prove stumbling blocks to God's elect—to those who in simple, child-like faith accept the testimony of his blessed Word. Such cannot stumble; nor is it possible that they should be deceived. By their faith and God's leading such will overcome all. Fear not, precious [B190] Jewels of the Lord's own choosing: lift up your heads and rejoice, knowing that your deliverance, your exaltation and glory, draweth nigh. Luke 21:28; 12:32
Another reasonable expectation, if the Times of Restitution actually began with October, A.D. 1874, and if our Lord's second presence was then due, would be, that those watching should see some distinguishable indications of what the Scriptures explain to be the first work of his presence, viz., the harvesting of the fruit of the Gospel age, the gathering together of his elect (in mental association and spiritual communion), and at least some preparatory steps toward the establishment of Christ's Kingdom. Some of these evidences we have already briefly hinted at; but there is so much to be observed on this point that we must leave its consideration for a subsequent chapter. The harvest of the Church is indeed upon us; the wheat is being separated from the tares; and affairs in the world are rapidly shaping themselves, making ready for the permanent establishment of the Redeemer's Kingdom. The foretold signs, in the exact manner and order of their prediction, are made clearly manifest to those watching; but this we leave for the present—because we wish first to bring other prophetic testimonies to view. Suffice it to say here that the sickle in the "harvest" of this age, as in the Jewish "harvest," is the truth; and that the "messengers" who use the sickle now are disciples or followers of the Lord, though many of them now, as then, realize but slightly the magnitude of the work in which they are engaged.
While the foregoing evidence is strong and clear just as it stands, we now present prophetic testimony which proves that we began counting the Great Cycle (50 x 50) at the right point. Our Heavenly Father knew the fear and trembling [B191] with which our faith would grasp these exceeding great and precious promises, and hence he has doubled the already strong cord of evidence, furnished in the Law, by additional testimony through the prophet. And our dear Redeemer and Lord, who hands us this cord, and whose presence this testimony points out to us, as he comes to us in the early dawn of the Millennial Day, seems to say, as he once said to Peter (Matt. 14:25-32), "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Learn that I am a spirit being, no longer visible to human sight. I thus reveal myself by the lamp of the Word to the eyes of thine understanding, that as in coming days I shall walk upon the stormy sea of the world's unparalleled trouble, thou needst not fear, but "Be of good cheer." Remembering that it is I, be not afraid.
This truly marvelous prophetic corroboration, which we now proceed to consider, lay hidden in its own simplicity until the appreciation and application of the Jubilee type, as above, gave it significance.
The seventy years, usually referred to as the seventy years captivity in Babylon, is Scripturally styled the "seventy years desolation of the land." This desolation God had predicted by Jeremiah the Prophet, thus: "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and...shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." (Jer. 25:11) "Thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you in causing you to return to this place." (Jer. 29:10) In 2 Chron. 36:17-21 the fulfilment of this prophecy is recorded; and the reason why it was just seventy years, and why it was made completely desolate, is stated thus: "He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees [Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon],...and them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon, where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfil the word of the [B192] Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths; for AS LONG AS SHE LAY DESOLATE SHE KEPT SABBATH, to fulfil threescore and ten  years."
From this we see that Israel had failed to observe properly the Sabbatic years, of which the Jubilees were the chief. It certainly was a severe test of obedience toward the Heavenly King, to a people so notably avaricious, to be commanded to let the land rest, to restore to former owners lands acquired and possessed for years, and to restore to servants their liberty—especially when obedience was only commanded, and not summarily enforced by compulsion. God had forewarned them, through Moses, that if they were disobedient to the laws to which as a nation they had pledged themselves, he would punish them for it. In the same chapter in which he tells them of the punishment of seven times under Gentile rule, he tells them, also, that if they would neglect the year Sabbaths he would punish them for it by desolating their land. (And, as a matter of fact, the seventy years desolation was also the beginning of the seven Gentile Times, as already shown.) The Lord's threatening reads thus: "Your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate and ye be in your enemies' land,... because it did not rest in your Sabbaths when ye dwelt upon it." Lev. 26:34,35,43
God permitted for a while their half-hearted and half-way obedience, but finally removed them entirely from the land, made it desolate, without an inhabitant, and gave it the full number of its Jubilee Years—not only for those they had imperfectly observed, but also for the entire future number which would elapse, according to his arrangement, before the antitypical Jubilee, the Restitution or Millennial age, would be due.
And since the entire number of typical Jubilees, designed to precede the antitype, is thus proved to be seventy, we are thus furnished another means of calculating when the antitype is due to begin. The calculating of this prophetic statement of the entire number of Jubilees is simple and easy; and, as we should expect, its results agree exactly with those already obtained by the method of counting furnished by the Law.
The entire number being seventy, and nineteen of these having been observed in a half-hearted way by Israel before the desolation, it follows that the remaining fifty-one (70-19=51) mark the period from the last Jubilee which Israel imperfectly observed, down to the great antitype. But here note a difference in the manner of counting. Under the Law reckoning, we counted the future as well as the past cycles of forty-nine years with the fiftieth or Jubilee Year added; for the Law shows things as they would have been, had Israel carried them out properly. But prophecy records things just as they will actually occur. We are now examining the prophetic statement, remember, and hence should now reckon these cycles as they have occurred—cycles of forty-nine years, without Jubilees; for Israel did not observe a Jubilee since their nineteenth one. The first nineteen cycles had Jubilee Years, but the fifty-one since have had none; hence we must reckon fifty-one cycles of forty-nine years each, or 2499 years (49 x 51 = 2499), from the last typical Jubilee observed by Israel to the antitype. This calculation, though entirely distinct from the other, ends exactly as shown by the Law method of reckoning previously examined—October, A.D. 1874.
Let us state this last proof in another form, for the benefit of some, thus: The full number of Jubilee cycles which God had ordained was seventy, as shown by the plain statements [B194] relative to the reason for the seventy years desolation of their land. This was to include those that Israel had observed in an unsatisfactory manner, which we have seen were nineteen, as well as all the cycles to follow, up to the antitype. We will now reckon all these from their commencement on entering Canaan, and see where they end.
19 Cycles with Jubilees added (50 years each)= 950 years
51 Cycles without Jubilees (49 years each) =2499 "
70 Cycles, therefore, cover a period of 3449 years
This period of 3449 years, reckoned from the entering of
Canaan, ends as the foregoing, October, A.D. 1874, thus:
From entering Canaan to division of the land.. 6 years
Period of the Judges to Saul the king......... 450 "
Period of the kings........................... 513 "
Period of the desolation...................... 70 "
From the restoration to A.D................... 536 "
Total number of years before the date
known as A.D..................................1575 "
Years since A.D., to complete above
period of 3449 years, are 1874 full years,
which would end (Jewish time) October.........1874 "
The period of the 70 cycles, as shown
above, from the beginning of the Jubilee
system, on entering Canaan, until
the antitype, the Great Jubilee, or Times —--
of Restitution, began, Oct., A.D. 1874........3449 years
The logical conclusion, if these matters are accepted as of divine arrangement, is easily drawn. And if not divinely arranged, whence came they? We do not put them into the inspired Word: we merely find them there in all their simplicity and beauty, and, like all the other precious and rich food from the storehouse, which our Lord is now serving us
From entering Canaan:
To the division of
the land........... 6 yrs.
Period of Judges..... 450 "
Period of Kings...... 513 "
To the Desolation.... 969 "
19 Jubilees........ = 950 "
Remainder:......... 19 yrs.
Thus their last Jubilee was
observed 19 years before the
PERIOD SINCE LAST JUBILEE.
Before the "Desolation"
as above........... 19 yrs.
Years of Desolation.. 70 "
From the Restoration
by Cyrus to
A.D. 1............. 536 "
Years from A.D. 1
to A.D. 1874,
Oct. 10th (the
end of year—
Jewish time).......1874 "
51 cycles (without Jubilees)
as they actually occurred
and were mentioned in prophecy,
49 years each = 2499
years. Or, total years from
entering Canaan to October
1874 = 3449 years.
The Period of 19 cycles
and Jubilees (950 years) and
51 cycles alone (2499 years)
= 3449 years.
Cycles of 7 x 7 = 49 years each,
after the Desolation of the Land,
when no Jubilees were attempted,
51 x 49 = 2499 years
To 950 years of Jubilee Observance add 2499 years since = 3449 years;
The full Period from the Commencement of this Typical
Jubilee System to the Antitype—Earth's Great
Jubilee, the Times of Restitution of All Things—October, A.D. 1874
Oct. A.D. 1874, date of beginning of
Earth's Great Jubilee
according to his promise (Luke 12:37), this is nourishing "strong meat"—not especially intended for "babes in Christ," but for those more developed, "who have their senses exercised" (Heb. 5:14) to discern and appreciate this meat now in "due season." If not of divine arrangement and intended for our instruction, how and why come the double proofs, matching and corroborating each other so perfectly? To convince yourself of their divine arrangement, notice that in no other place and way can these seventy years of Sabbaths in desolation be made to harmonize with the (50 x 50) cycle of the Great Jubilee. Try it. Prove it. Suppose either a mistake, or a change of one of the nineteen Jubilees kept by Israel: Suppose that eighteen (one less) or twenty (one more) had elapsed before the seventy years desolation began. Calculate, and you will see that these two lines of evidence, which so perfectly unite in the testimony that 1875 (beginning October, A.D. 1874) is the date of the beginning of the Times of Restitution, and the date, therefore, from which we may know that the heavens no longer retain our Lord, the great Restorer, cannot be united elsewhere, without doing violence to themselves, to the chronology, and to other prophecies yet to be examined.
If these time prophecies teach anything, it is that the Great Jubilee, the Times of Restitution of all things, has begun, and that we are already in the dawn of the Millennial age, as well as in the "harvest" of the Gospel age—which ages lap one upon the other for forty years—the "day of wrath." We are already fourteen years into this forty-year-day of wrath; and preparations for the struggle are progressing rapidly. The coming twenty-six years, at the present momentum, will be quite sufficient for the accomplishment of "all things written."
Let no reader hastily conclude that there are no evidences of Restitution about us, nor that the Sun of Righteousness is not already gilding the watch towers of Zion and enlightening the world. Let him, on the contrary, reflect that we are already in the day when the hidden things are being made manifest; and let him remember that the first work of Restitution is properly a breaking down of the old and decaying structure which stands in the place which the new is to occupy. Remember that the first work of the tenderest physician is often to open the wounds, and to cleanse and amputate according to the necessities of the patient, in order to make thorough work of the healing. That such service causes pain and is seldom appreciated by the patient at the time, none need be told; and so it is with the work of the great Physician, the Restorer, the Life-giver: He wounds to heal, and the trouble and sifting in the Church and the world are but the lancing and cleansing needful, and a most important part of the Restitution work.
In the type, the Trumpet of Jubilee was to be sounded when the Jubilee Year began, to proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof. (Lev. 25:10) The antitype is ushered in with the sounding of the (symbolic) "Seventh Trumpet," the "Trump of God," the "Last Trump." It is indeed the great trumpet: it announces liberty to every captive; and while at first it means the surrender of many expired claims and privileges, and a general time of disturbance and unsettling of usages, habits, etc., its full import, when rightly appreciated, is "good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."
In the early commotion, each one who hears the Jubilee Trumpet of the new dispensation is forcibly struck by some one of its many features and heeds no other. One sees the propriety of, and calls for, governmental reforms, the abolition of standing armies and their burdensome tax. Another [B198] calls for the abolition of titled aristocracy and the recognition of every man by his manly qualities. Others call for the abolition of landlordism, and demand that landholding shall be as at first, according to necessity, and ability and willingness to use. Others call for temperance reform, and by prohibitory and other laws, by Law and Order Societies, seek to chain this great evil, and begin to restrain men who for the love of money would ensnare, enslave and destroy fellowmen, and who, fastening their fangs into their weaknesses, would fatten and luxuriate upon their blood. Others form Humane and Anti-Cruelty Societies, to prevent those who have the ability from injuring the weak and dependent. Others form societies for the suppression of vice and of demoralizing literature. Others form Anti-Adulteration Societies to examine into adulterations of food, and to expose and prosecute and punish those who for love of greater gain adulterate food and make it even injurious to health. Laws are enacted for the protection of the lives and the health of the people. Miners must have pure air, no matter what the cost; they must have two ways of escape in case of fire. Working people, powerless to help themselves or to choose their places of work, are cared for by the public laws. They can no longer be paid when the employer may please, and in store-orders, but the law now demands that pay-day shall be at least every two weeks and in cash. They can no longer be crowded into buildings where in case of fire they would be liable either to burn to death or to maim themselves for life by jumping; for "fire-escapes" are compulsory, and for any death or injury traceable to carelessness on the part of the employer, he is held responsible, and is punishable, either by fines, damages or imprisonment. Wealthy corporations, such as own railroad and steam-ship lines, are compelled to care for the lives and interests of the people, the poor as well as the rich. These reforms [B199] are the result of the awakening of the people by the Jubilee Trump of knowledge and liberty, and are not traceable to pure benevolence on the part of the more favored class. For though all in the favored or wealthy class who are benevolent, and such as love righteousness, can and do rejoice in these beginnings of reform, others, and the majority, regretfully yield from necessity. True, such laws and arrangements are not yet perfected, nor are they universal; but the beginnings noticed rejoice our hearts, and give evidence of what may be expected in the exalting of the humble and lowly, and the abasing of the proud, when the Jubilee regulations are fully in operation. All these things are parts of the reform commotion ushering in Earth's Great Jubilee; and though much has been demanded, and much has been gradually conceded, yet kings, and emperors, and queens—political, social, ecclesiastical and financial—will not submit to the great leveling process of this Jubilee or Restitution age without a great and severe struggle, such as the Scriptures point out as just before us, and which, though severe, is unavoidable, and will work out ultimate good.
The spirit of "liberty throughout all the land" is indeed sometimes carried to an unreasonable extent by the ignorant and the hot-headed; and yet it is all part of the great unavoidable Jubilee excitement, occasioned by the ignorance and oppression of the past. None but the Lord's "little flock" is fully and correctly informed as to the grand scope of the Restitution. These see the minor changes, the straightening out of the lesser affairs of men, but they see also what can be seen from no other standpoint than God's Word—that the great enslaver, Sin, is to be shorn of his power, that the great prisonhouse of Death is to be opened and a release presented to each prisoner, signed in the precious blood of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin [B200] of the world, the great Redeemer and Restorer. Glad tidings indeed it shall be to all people, not only to the living, but also to all that are in their graves. Before the end of this great Jubilee every human being may go entirely free—may get back to man's first estate, "very good," receiving back through Christ all that was lost in Adam.