Tower Publishing Co., Allegheny, Pa.


Dear Friends, we are met together as a company of the Lord's people-all interested, we trust, in God's great Plan of Salvation-THE PLAN OF THE AGES From the fact of our presence here we assume that all accept the Bible as God's Word. We will consider now such portions of the Word as outline the DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES Our talk on the Plan of God will be illustrated by this Chart. The Chart is designed as an aid to the mind through the eye in grasping the subjects to be presented.

We believe in the old theology of the Lord and the Apostles and Prophets. We have no new thing to present to you-no plan or theory of our own; and we do not wish you to receive anything that the speaker says simply because he has said it, but because he has shown it to you in the Word of the Lord. Much that we have to say we trust you will recognize as old and familiar truths, while some things will be recognized as truths forgotten or overlooked or never noticed heretofore; but we believe that all will be ready to accept without equivocation whatever shall be shown from the Scriptures to be the Word of the Lord-whatever has been "written for our learning," as the Apostle suggests. -Rom. 15:4

It is in order that we may be "thoroughly furnished" that we are told to "search the Scriptures" (John 5:39); and if we wish to be wise toward God, we must come as learners and receive the instruction which God gives us in His Word, which is "able to make us wise unto salvation," with the "Wisdom that cometh down from Above." (2 Tim. 3:15; Jas. 3:17, 18.) We want to put on the "whole Armor of God." -Eph. 6:11

(Point to Chart.) We will now consider some of the features of God's Plan as illustrated by this Chart. Let us dismiss from our minds for the present this lower part of the Chart-all below this upper horizontal line. (Point.) That part of it will be considered at future meetings. Now we wish to give our attention to these upper arches and these smaller ones within them.

We do not approach the subject of the Divine Plan from a scientific standpoint. The boasted philosophies of this world are often "falsely so-called," and tend more to confuse the mind than to help it. The Plan of God is not abstruse, but plain and simple; and yet it is really a Science; it is knowledge from the Highest Source. The word "Science" means simply Truth. And therefore when our Lord said, "Thy Word is Truth," it was equivalent to saying, "Thy Word is the Science." He also prayed, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth" - through this Science. We therefore direct careful attention to the study of this, the true Science-the Plan of the Ages, revealed in the Scriptures.

But some people object, saying that they see nothing scientific in the Bible. It is a common saying that "the Bible is an old fiddle upon which any tune can be played" - a Methodist tune, a Baptist tune, a Presbyterian tune, or any tune the player may desire. We are sorry to have to say it, dear friends, but it is nevertheless a fact, that the Bible, the greatest of all sciences, the testimony of the greatest of all Scientists, has suffered more at the hands of its friends than at the hands of any other class of people. They forgot to "search the Scriptures" and to "rightly divide the Word of truth," and went to creed-making, each according to his own liking. From the standpoint of infidelity, it is true that the Bible appears contradictory; but it appears so only because of the varied human misrepresentations, and not because it is so in fact. By observing order (Heaven's first Law) the whole Word now opens up to God's people who are hungering and thirsting for it; because God's time for unsealing it has come. In "the time of the End, the wise shall understand" - the wise in Christ Jesus. Having been thus blessed of God through observing His order in the study of His Word, we come together at this time. We are told to prove all things by God's Word, and to hold fast that which is good-that which we find in accord with the Bible, and that only.

We call attention first to these three large upper arches (pointing to the Chart). These arches represent Dispensations.

By dispensation is meant the order or general character of a certain period of time-God's course in reference to mankind during a certain time. The manner of His dealing in each of these dispensations is attested by the facts of history. The First Dispensation (point) extends from the creation of Adam to the Flood; the Second Dispensation (point) from the Flood to the Second Coming of Christ; and the Third Dispensation from the Second Coming of Christ onward.

But we fancy some one saying, "I thought there was some Second Adventism in this"; and therefore we will stop right here to disabuse the mind of any of you of that thought. I am not an Adventist-neither a "Second Adventist," nor a "Seventh Day Adventist." I know there is prejudice on this point. Let me say, however, that I do believe in the Second Coming of Christ. All Christians do! I know that the Roman Catholics believe in it, and the Methodists, and the Presbyterians, and many others. We may not believe in it exactly as they do, or as the Adventists do. Some are Pre-Millennialists, and others Post-Millennialists, the former believing that the Lord will come before the Millennium, and the latter that He will come after the Millennium. In our presentation of the Scriptures you will see that we take a Pre-Millennial view, and as we proceed we will give you our reasons therefor. But do not class us as Adventists with all the peculiarities of Adventism. You will have an opportunity to hear and can then decide for yourselves as to whether or not we present the Truth on the subject.

(Returning to the Chart.) This First Dispensation is called in the Scriptures "the world that was"; the Second Dispensation is called "the world that now is," or the "present evil world"; and the Third Dispensation is called "the world to come." All these "worlds" have reference to the particular order of things that existed within the period designated; i. e., each dispensation, or order of things is called a "world." Such use of the word "world" is not common at the present time; but what we wish is the [HGL153] thought of the original Scriptures, whatever the word. Order, or dispensation, is the thought; "world" is the name used by King James translators.

That First World, the Apostle Peter says, "being overflowed with water, perished." What world? That order of things, or "world," which existed from creation to the Flood, and which was terminated by the Great Deluge, which destroyed not only the whole social order of that time, but also the whole world of mankind, excepting Noah and his family. What was the then existing order of things? From the Scriptures we find that previous to the Flood God permitted the angels to have general supervision of mankind- permitted them, we say. Doubtless the angels, when they saw the condition of sin into which man had fallen, desired to reform him, to help him out of sin, but the results were the reverse of good; for we read that immediately preceding the Flood the thoughts of men were evil, and "only evil continually"; and God took them away as He saw good.

We must not, however, suppose that God's Plan was a failure during the First Dispensation. God was not trying an experiment. It was an experiment for the angels, and one by which they also were to be tried as to their loyalty and faithfulness to God; but God knew all the time that it would be a failure so far as accomplishing the reformation of man was concerned. God's Plan was formed "before the foundation of the world"; and so we read that in His Plan Christ was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8); and in the course of these talks it will be our purpose to show how the Plan of Redemption has been in process of accomplishment through the slain Lamb of God. The experiment of the angels was a lesson to them, as well as to mankind, who have observed the results of their efforts and who have accordingly been caused to look more carefully for the Remedy for sin which God has provided.

That dispensation having come to an end in the destruction of that "world" (or order of things), God carried over in the Ark Noah and his family, who had not become corrupt as had the rest of the world; and with them He began the Second Dispensation, or "world that now is." (Point.)

This second Dispensation is not under the control of angels; for it is written that Satan is the "Prince of this world." This Second Dispensation, or "world," has been left to man. God is not dealing directly with man, nor interfering directly with his affairs. When we say that it has been left to man to govern himself, we should add that man, by reason of the fall having become very weak, has become peculiarly susceptible to the influence and deceptions of Satan. The Lord said that Satan was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44); and, being the arch-deceiver, he has deceived all men, who, believing themselves free, have really been his slaves-the only exceptions being those who have been influenced by the Gospel and who have thus come to recognize Satan's power, and to put themselves into the hands of God. Yet even in this, our own favored land, he is "going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour"; and in Asia and Africa and other uncivilized lands we see him ruling with a high hand, the people being so blinded by superstition that fetish worship and sorcery and other devilments are openly practised; to such an extent is this true, that Satan is properly styled, as the Scriptures name him, "the god of this world" - not the god of that "world" (point to the first "world"), nor of that "world" (point to the third world), but of THIS "world" (point to second "world").

This is what is meant by "rightly dividing the Word of Truth," as advised by St. Paul. It would not do to apply to "this world" (point to second "world") the Scriptures which belong to that "world" (point to first "world"), nor to that "world" (point to third "world"), Scriptures which belong to this "world" (point to second "world") or to the first "world" (point); for instance it

would not be proper to say that Satan is the god or prince of the third "world." (Point.) Christ will be "King over all the earth in THAT Day," though He is not King over all the earth in this "world." (Point.)

What? Is not Christ the King of this world, the Ruler of this world? How is Satan the god of this world? We reply: The word "god" means "mighty one." Who is the mighty one of this world? Surely not Christ. We venture to say that if Christ were the God, or Prince, of this world, it would be a far better world than it is, and that there would be no world-war among the kingdoms of earth. He Himself said, "My Kingdom is NOT OF THIS world" - this world (point); and on another occasion He said, "The Prince of THIS world (Satan) cometh, and hath nothing in Me." -John 18:36; 14:30

But some might suppose that Satan is "the Prince of this world" by Divine right-that God has given him the power which he possesses; but not so. While God has allowed man to take his own course, and has permitted Satan to become his deceiver-as it is written, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not" (2 Cor. 4:4)-it has only been by reason of the depraved condition of men, and their willingness to be deceived, that Satan has succeeded in overpowering them. Satan is a Usurper. By reason of man's submission to him he rules as a tyrant; but not by God's authority. When Christ's time comes to reign, He will not have to buy out Satan's kingdom. Satan never had a right to rule. Why God permitted Satan to exercise such great power over men is a very interesting question, and one which the Scriptures answer very satisfactorily, but we will not go into it at present. We are not now studying the WHY, but the FACT But when we do come to the study of that question, we will find that although Satan's dominion has been permitted, all the while God's own Plan, purposed from the beginning, has been accomplishing that for which it was sent. -Isa. 55:11

This Second Dispensation, or "world that now is" (point), is also called by the Apostle Paul, "this present evil world," manifestly evil for the reason stated-the character of the "world" being determined by the character of the ruler; and Satan being "the Prince of this world," and working continually in the hearts of "the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2), the logical result is an evil "world" -an evil order of things. The New Dispensation, however (the "world to come"), will not be under the "Prince of this world" (point), nor under the angels (point to the first "world"), but under Christ. Christ is not now "the governor among the nations," as He will be then. (Psa. 22:28) In [HGL154] THAT day (point to third world), the Prophet Daniel says, "the God of Heaven shall set up a Kingdom." (Dan. 2:44) It is for this Kingdom that we have long prayed, saying, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven."

Notice, further, that while that Dispensation (point) ended with a Flood, this Dispensation (point) will end with a "fire." Such is the Apostle Peter's statement- "The heavens and earth which are now ( point), by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto FIRE against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men," in which "the ELEMENTS shall melt with fervent heat, . . . wherein the heavens being on FIRE shall be dissolved, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Our Adventist friends say that this is a literal fire; but there is nothing in the Apostle Peter's statement to show whether this fire is a literal or symbolic. In order to learn what the Scriptures say on the subject we must "compare Scripture with Scripture": and by so doing we shall see that it is NOT a literal fire, but a symbolic "fire." The President of the United States, when referring to the angry exhibition of passion by the nations at war and to the unrest of labor in general, employed this apt Scripture phase, "The World's on Fire."

To illustrate: You have perhaps heard some one say, "It is getting hotter and hotter between Capital and Labor!" Yes, the friction is increasing, and soon it will burst into flame. So we should understand the Apostle Peter's statement, "The ELEMENTS shall melt with fervent heat" -the elements comprising this present "world" or order of things, the present arrangement of society. What are the "elements" that compose society? The rich element and the poor element, the Capital and Labor elements, political, financial and religious elements. All these shall disintegrate, MELT, in this "day of the Lord," as it is elsewhere called.

But some say that such things have always been; that there have always been financial, religious and social troubles, and that those coming will be no different from those that are past. The Prophet Daniel, however, did not so express it. He said that the Time of Trouble which is coming in our day will be such as "never was since there was a nation, even to that same time"; and our Lord adds, "No, nor ever shall be." (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21) The trouble that is coming, and to some extent is already here, will not be an ordinary trouble. When the Word of the Lord says that it will be a trouble such as never was BEFORE, and never will be afterward, we may know that it WILL be so. Is there not all about us every indication that this trouble is beginning now, in which the elements of society shall melt

with fervent heat? We have reached new and peculiar conditions. These peculiar conditions are not found merely in one nation, nor in a small corner of a nation. They are world-wide, and are becoming more and more frequent in their recurrence.

The present terrible war was long ago foretold in Scripture (Jer. 25:15-38; Joel 3:9-13) and will be followed by revolution, then by anarchy. The Word of the Lord assures us that before the end all the kingdoms of the world shall be thrown down (Hag 2:22; Dan. 2:44); for the Lord "will judge among the nations." (Psa. 110:6.) This is the Day of the Lord's reckoning. It is the Day in which it will be said of some, "Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." (Jas. 5:3) From the expression one would think that this was written by one living in the present time, and familiar with the trend of events as we see them. But who wrote it? St. James, eighteen hundred years ago. And he goes on to say, "Behold the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Hosts," and the Prophet says, "They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed. Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the Day of the wrath of the Lord." (Eze. 7:19) This ( point to the "harvest," or end of "this world") is the Day of the Lord's anger, the "Day of Vengeance," the Day in which He will make manifest His principles of righteousness-in which He will lay judgment "to the line and righteousness to the plummet." (Isa. 28:17) This is the Day for which those who have suffered for righteousness' sake have been told to wait.

In the same connection in which this trouble is referred to, it is written, "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord" (Jas. 5:7); because that is the Day in which the Lord will fulfil His promise to His people, saying, "Vengeance is Mine; I will REPAY, saith the Lord." (Rom. 12:19) So also says the Prophet Zeph. (3:8, 9) "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord ['be patient therefore, brethren'], until THE DAY that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations [it is to be a national matter-a world-wide trouble], that I may assemble the kingdoms [to assemble the kingdoms is to bring them nearer together; this is being accomplished in our day by telegraphs, telephones, railroads and steamships; the nations of the world are already assembled; it is easier to communicate with the cities abroad than some time ago it would have been to communicate with a city ten miles away], to pour upon them My indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the FIRE of My JEALOUSY"

Ah! this is a peculiar kind of "fire" which is to devour the earth, and which will melt the "elements" with fervent heat-the fire of God's jealousy, the fire of God's anger, the fire of His justice. "And THEN," the Prophet continues (and this gives us assurance that the fire is not literal, but figurative)- "THEN will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent." THEN will be ushered in the "new heavens and earth" which St. Peter said would follow the dissolving of the present order of things- "the present evil world;" and then will have peculiar significance the expression of the Revelator, "and there was no more sea"; for the present heaven and earth will have passed away. -Rev. 21:1

What does the Apostle John mean when he says, "There shall be no more SEA"? Does he refer to the literal sea? No! We must remember that the entire book of Revelation is a book of symbols, and that many of the Prophecies and Psalms employ the same symbolic language. In this figurative language, "heavens" represents the ecclesiastical powers, or ruling religious systems. The angels constituted the heavens, or spiritual ruling power, of the First Dispensation (point) ; Satan, and the systems controlled by Satan, [HGL155] which rule the present evil world, are the present heavens; and Christ and His Bride, the true Church, will constitute the heavens of the future. Concerning this we will have more to say later.

"Earth" signifies organized society; "mountains" signify the governments, which are the backbones of society-its exalted representatives; the "sea" represents the restless elements of society, which beat up against it and against the governments, or "mountains," and which will finally envelop them in anarchy. (Psa. 46:2) Hence we may understand the Apostle John to mean that when the new heavens and earth are established there will be no more anarchy; or, as the Apostle Peter says, it will be a heavens and earth (or order of things) "wherein dwelleth righteousness." "The Lord will be King over all the earth in that Day." -Zech. 14:9

Thus, while it is shown that the symbolic heavens and earth of this present time shall pass away with a great noise-confusion and trouble-it is also indicated that the literal earth and its literal atmospheric heavens will continue to abide; for, "Thus saith the LORD that created the heavens, God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited; I am the Lord, and there is none else." -Isa. 45:18

Our next discourse will bring out some interesting details respecting the "ages" which have made up this "present evil world," represented by these under arches. (Point.)

We trust that already some are helped for all their lives in the matter of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" as it relates to the larger dispensations or "worlds"; and in our next discourse we will apply the same Scriptural rule to the ages, with even grandeur results. All are cordially invited to be present at the appointed hour.

"Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain."


(Introduce by brief recapitulation of Discourse 1, for new hearers, as well as for the refreshment of those who heard it.)

Now notice these semi-circles. (Point to them.) They represent ages. In what we have been saying with reference to the Dispensations we have not considered what God is doing, but merely what He has permitted Satan and the angels and mankind in general to do of their own pleasure. But now we will talk of what God has been doing, during the same periods, though the world knew it not and does not yet know His purpose. During all this time God has not recognized the world of mankind, nor dealt with them, but merely with a little handful of His own people. God lets the world and the Devil alone, unless they attempt to thwart or cross His purposes. Then He says, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further." (Job 38:11) But while the world and the Devil have been busy, WHAT has God been doing? Has He been like a man of whom our Lord spoke, who began to build a house, but had failed to count the cost, and whose neighbors consequently derided him, saying, "This man began to build, and was not able to finish"? (Luke 14:30) It would be very peculiar indeed if the Lord did not follow out the wisdom which He suggests to men. We find, however, that God did pursue the course of wisdom, and that not only will He be able to finish His work as He purposed it, but known unto the Lord are all His works from the beginning of the world. And He declares, "My Word shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it." -Isa. 55:11 Now let us inquire, What was God's purpose? Has He been trying to convert the world? If so, He has not succeeded. The First Dispensation was evil and only evil continually. The Second Dispensation surely has not witnessed the conversion of the world, and by inspiration it is called "the present evil world." Shall we say then, that God has been trying to convert the world and has not succeeded? No, for had He made the effort, had that been His Plan, He would have succeeded. "The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand." . . . "I am God, and there is none else: I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure. Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." -Isa. 14:24; 46:9-11

We conclude, therefore, that God has not been trying to convert the world! This assertion may be new to some, but we must admit that if God has been trying He has failed; whereas He says, "All My purposes shall be accomplished." This proves that God has not been attempting to convert the world; but, on the contrary, that if He has been accomplishing what He purposed, He must have purposed something else.

This first Age (point) is called the "Patriarchal Age," because in it God dealt with certain individuals or patriarches, ignoring entirely the rest of the world. First He dealt with Abraham. "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:1-3; 22:18) He did not select Abraham's father or his uncles or his cousins or his aunts, but Abraham; and although Lot, his nephew, went along, he had no share in the Covenant. Abraham waited until his father was dead (for that was the arrangement) before he moved into the Land of Promise. "Well," some may say, "that is election." Well, if it is, we cannot help it. That is what the Bible says, and we want to believe it just as the Bible says it.

Then God called Isaac-not his brothers. "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." (Gen. 21:12) Then Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau, and God selected Jacob. "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I loved less." (Rom. 9:13) We will not here go into the reason for God's preference for Jacob. That may come in further along.

With the death of Jacob that Age came to an end, and single individuals no longer were chosen. How do we know? The facts show it; for at the death of Jacob his twelve sons and all their children were chosen as those to whom the Lord's favor would be shown. His sons were prophetically blessed by him; and, being recognized as a [HGL156] NATION elected of God, were called "the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL" While Jacob lived God dealt only with him, and did not recognize his children and their families as a nation; but upon Jacob's decease God's favor passed to the Twelve Tribes of Israel as a nation, and a new Age began. You will remember that Jacob's name was changed to Israel, the meaning of the word being "a prince with God." And thus began what on this Chart we call the "Jewish Age." (Point.) It might have been called the Israelitish Age, but there was a reason for not giving it that title, since the Gospel Church are "Israelites indeed"; and to have called this the Israelitish Age (point to Jewish Age) would have led to some confusion.

That during this Age (point to Jewish Age) God dealt only with the Jews is clearly taught in the Scriptures; for He said to them on one occasion, "You ONLY have I known ( recognized or owned) of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2) The Apostle tells us that all others outside of Israel were "aliens and strangers, having no hope and without God in the world." (Eph. 2:12) "What advantage, then, hath the Jew?" the Apostle Paul inquired; and then he answered his own question- "Much every way: CHIEFLY because to them were committed the oracles of God." (Rom. 3:2) God had a reason for confining His favor to Israel for that long period of over 1800 years; and at a subsequent meeting we may inquire into these reasons and see how God's purposes were being accomplished. Now we merely note the facts.

In the end of the Jewish Age, Christ "came unto His own, and His own received Him not." (John 1:11) You see, therefore, that He called the Jews "His own." Their rejection of the Lord Jesus was, however, no surprise to God. He foretold it by the Prophets. "He (Jesus) was despised and rejected of men." "They hid as it were their faces from Him"; and He "had no beauty that they should desire Him." (Isa. 53:3, 2) Only a "remnant" received Him, as the Apostle states in the eleventh chapter of Romans; and it was to this "remnant" that He gave "liberty" to become "sons of God." SONS of God? Were not those of previous times "sons" ? No, only "friends" and "servants." "Moses verily was faithful as a SERVANT in all his House (a House, or nation, of servants), but Christ as a Son over His own House, whose House are we (the Gospel Church), if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."

We remember that Moses was the head, or ruler, of the House of Servants, the Law at Mt. Sinai being given at his hands to the people. He was the mediator of the Law Covenant made with that people; while Christ is to be the Mediator of the New and better Covenant; and the benefits of that mediation will, in due time, when the Church shall be glorified, be opened to the world. It was after the time of the crucifixion (point) that God's favor began to extend beyond Israel to all men.

Did God change His Plan? Had he become tired of dealing with the Jews only, and, on finding that they rejected Christ, conclude to experiment with the remainder of mankind? No; as we said before, God knew beforehand what the outcome of the Jewish Age would be, and He at this time merely turned over a new leaf, or took up another feature of His Plan. To illustrate this, we may suppose that we are looking through a book containing the architect's drawings for a fine building. On one page we see the plans for the basement, on the next the plans for the first floor, on the next for the second floor, etc. It would be very foolish for us to say on looking through the book, "Oh, the architect has changed his plans! Here he has concluded to build a basement; and then he changed his mind and concluded to build a house; and then he was not satisfied with this plan and drew another one here on the next page." In the same way we may say that God had His plans drawn before any part of His work was begun, though men, not appreciating what they have seen in the Plan-Book, the Bible, have been in ignorance of the progress of His work, and even of the fact that He has been working at all.

At the First Coming of Christ, therefore, we may say that a new leaf was turned in the Plan of God, a new order of dealing was begun. For awhile Christ confined His ministry to the Jewish people, and for a particular purpose, which we shall see later on. And here again came in the special favor to Israel which had been manifested throughout the Jewish Age. Not only did the Lord confine His ministry to them, saying, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matt. 15:24), but He would not permit His disciples to go outside of that nation. He said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." (Matt. 10:5.) This special favor continued to Israel until a few days before the Lord's crucifixion, when He wept over their city, saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold! your House is left unto you desolate." -Matt. 23:37, 38; Luke 19:41; 13:34, 35

Surely the House of Israel was left desolate, in harmony with the Master's words! While the gathering out of the spirit-begotten Israelites progressed, trouble came gradually upon the remainder, until, as fire, it consumed them nationally, in A D 70. Ever since the poor Jews have been in great trouble. Now, as the time for their complete restoration draws nigh, we find favor to the Gentiles waning. Many of the Jews are prospering. Some are hearkening to the message of the Prophets and looking interestedly toward the realization of their Zionist hopes. Persecutions in Russia and elsewhere in recent years have caused them to look toward Zion, and many Jews, having faith in God's promises respecting them, have gone to the Holy Land to remain.

Following our Lord's death and resurrection a NEW WORK began. When He died, He did not die for Israel only, but, thank God, also for the whole world. Jesus Christ was manifested "that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." (Heb. 2:9) And from Pentecost the special work of the Gospel Age dates; for the Lord's last words to His disciples were, "Go ye, therefore and teach ALL nations." (Matt. 28:19) The Gospel to be taught was indeed "good tidings of great joy to all people" -Jew and Gentile, bond and free, rich and poor, male and female- all people.

But how many have received the Gospel Message? has God been attempting to convert the world in this Age? If [HGL157] not, what work has He been doing? The Apostle Peter tells us that "God did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name." (Acts 15:14) He did not take all of them, but has been taking out or selecting from among them ( selection again, you see) a people to bear His NAME

(Illustration of a gentleman selecting a wife to bear his name-not any woman, nor every woman, but his choice. Make comparison of the Bride of Christ, said by the Apostle to be "espoused as a chaste virgin.")

Another figure used by the Apostles to signify the intimate relationship existing between Christ and those whom He selects to bear His name is that of the "head" and the "body." Christ is "the HEAD over all things to the Church, which is His Body." (Eph. 1:22, 23) But not all who name the name of Christ will bear His name and share His glory as "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ." Only the faithful overcomers will be so favored, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne." -Rom. 8:17; Rev. 3:21

(Refer to the type of Isaac and Rebecca, the latter as the bride becoming the joint-heir with Isaac of all his father's riches. So the Church is to be Joint-heir with Christ.)

This (Christ, and His Bride, bearing His name) is the "Seed of Abraham" to whom pertains the Promise made away back here (point) to Abraham- "In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply THY SEED as the stars of the heaven and as the sand upon the seashore; and in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Gen. 22:17, 18

The Apostle tells us, in referring to the type of Isaac and Rebecca, that those things were an "allegory" -not that such persons as Isaac and Rebecca did not exist, but that, while those events really transpired, they were typical, or representative, of the union between Christ and the Church; and that as Isaac was the "seed of promise" through whom a blessing would come, and through whose natural seed part of the Promise will be fulfilled, so Christ, as the real Seed of Abraham and Heir of the Promise, becomes the Agent through whom all the families of the earth will be blessed. This the Apostle shows in the third chapter of Galatians, verse 16 - "and to thy Seed, which is Christ;" and if we read down to the 29th verse we shall see that all who are Christ's (all who are of the people taken out for His name) become joint-heirs with him in the Abrahamic Promise. It reads, "If ye be Christ's, then are YE ABRAHAM'S SEED, AND HEIRS according to the Promise."

The object of the selection of this Seed is the blessing of all the families of the earth; and this will be the work of the incoming Millennial Age. (Point.) We have had enough of the Devil's kingdom; enough of the Devil's work; enough of evil, and we are glad that the time will soon be here when Christ's Kingdom will be fully set up and established in the earth-when He will take unto Himself His great power and reign.

Another figure, used by the Apostle Peter in referring to the Church selected in this Age and her close relationship to Christ, is that of "living stones" in God's Temple, Christ being the Chief Corner-Stone. The various members of the Church are now being tried and purified, chiseled and polished, for their places in that glorious Temple. (Compare with Solomon's temple, the preparation of the material beforehand, and its putting together noiselessly, without the sound of a hammer, ax or any tool of iron. 1 Pet. 2:4-8; 1 Kings 6:7)

The members of the Church, the "living stones" in the Temple, are not joined to Christ one by one thorughout the Age, but each is prepared and awaits the final putting together, when all the stones are ready, and when Christ receives them to Himself. So the Apostle Paul looked forward to the future for his reward, saying, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will give me AT THAT DAY" (point to Millennial Age)-the FIRST Age of the New Dispensation, at the beginning of which Christ commences His Millennial Reign. We believe that this Reign is just at hand.

Then will come the blessing upon all the families of the earth. "He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet." (1 Cor. 15:25) Hence His Coming MUST BE PRE-Millennial. Were He to wait until all things were put under His feet, and come at the close of the Millennium, this statement would not be true; for there would be nothing left for Him to subdue. One of the first acts of His reign will be to bind Satan-which is plainly stated in the 20th chapter of Revelation- "I saw an angel come down from heaven, having a great chain in his hand; and he laid hold on the dragon, that old Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, that he should deceive the nation no more." Then Christ's Reign begins; and all who gained the victory over the Beast and his image (apostate religious systems) and received not his mark-all the overcomers-will "live and reign with Christ a thousand years." -Rev. 20:4.

(Here call attention again to the necessity of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth," to the meaning of the word Millennium, and to the impropriety of applying passages relating to the Millinnial Age or to the Jewish Age to the Gospel Age, or vice versa.)

The "god," or "prince," of this world having been bound, Christ will turn unto the people the "pure Language" (Message) mentioned by the Prophet. Satan will no more be able to blind their eyes, but, on the contrary, "the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped"; and "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea"; and it will no longer be necessary for any man to say to his neighbor, "Know the Lord; for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord." -Isa. 35:5; 11:9; Jer. 31:34

The Prophet Isaiah overflows with enthusiasm when speaking of that glorious time (point to Millennial Age), when "the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall blossom as the rose," etc. -Isa. 35

Beyond the Millennium we know not whether there are several other Ages or only one Age, without end. The Word of God reveals nothing beyond the Millennium, which is one of the "ages to come," of which the Apostle Paul spoke. Nor will we inquire concerning that time, because, "Secret things belong to God; but things which are revealed belong to us and to our children." -Deut. 29:29 [HGL158] And now, dear friends, having looked into a part of the Plan of God, we would say that doubtless these things will not be appreciated by every one. We cannot expect the worldly-minded to understand or appreciate them, since they are not in the condition of heart which the Lord approves and to which He would reveal Himself. He Himself declares through the Apostle that not many great, not many wise, not many rich, after the course of this world, hath He chosen; but the poor, rich in faith, hath He chosen to be heirs of the Kingdom. And our Lord thanked the Father because He has "hid these things from the (worldly) wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes"-the meek, the humble, those willing to be taught of God through His Word. -1 Cor. 1:26-29; Matt. 11:25

In our next discourse we hope to look further into the things which the Lord is revealing to those of His people who have hearing ears and receptive hearts, and which were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, expressly for our learning.

The text of our next discourse will be a passage from which I suppose few if any of you have ever heard a discourse; vis., Acts 3:19-21; and it also will be illustrated by this Chart of the Ages.

"His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower."


Before entering upon the subject of our discourse for this evening, we will briefly recapitulate what we found in the two preceding discourses. We have been looking at the teachings of God's Word, endeavoring to dismiss from our minds all preconceived opinions and prejudices, natural or acquired. We have been endeavoring to find what the Word of God teaches, because we know that God is true and His Word interprets itself.

We found that the world's history is divided into three epochs, or dispensations. (Point.) The First Dispensation is entirely in the past. It reached from the creation to the flood, and is called by St. Peter "the world that was." The next, the Second Dispensation, we found to be mainly in the past, and now nearing its close, and called "the world that now is." We called attention to the significance of the word "world," its common use causing considerable confusion of thought, so that when we speak of the end of the world, the ordinary thought is that the earth upon which we are living will be destroyed. But we found that one world had passed away, and we are on the same earth.

We will not go into details on this subject; we merely touch upon it here to refresh your minds. This Dispensation, in the close, or Harvest, of which we are now living, is called "the present evil world" -not because it is entirely evil, not because it has no good in it, but because evil has predominated. We know there have been many good people, though they were few in comparison with the multitudes of evilly-disposed persons.

We also found that the Scriptures tell us (point) that there is to be a "world to come," or "world without end."

We found that the first world (point) ended with a flood, that this second world (point) is to end with fire, a Time of Trouble into which we have already entered, and which is to be "a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation." This Time of Trouble is to have a purging, a purifying effect, consuming the dross-fire fitly representing destruction. Hear the Apostle Peter- "The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. . . Nevertheless we look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." -2 Pet. 3:10-13

We saw that the First Dispensation was left in the hands of angels, and that their administration proved a failure. We saw that during the Second Dispensation God has permitted the world to take its own course, to do the best it could for itself, to see how good would be the governments it could devise, what arrangements it could make for its comfort, etc., knowing in His own mind that their experiments would all end in calamity.

We saw that the effect of light and liberty is good if the heart is right. The difficulty is that the hearts of people are not right. The only class of people that can safely be allowed to do as they please are those who are in full accord with God and His principles of love, truth and righteousness. Men are not in this attitude toward God, however. Men are selfish. The "prince of this world" is in command, and therefore all the blessings of light and liberty will work out the wreck of present institutions. Thus man will learn the futility of his efforts, just as angels learned the futility of theirs; and then comes God's remedy, "the world to come." The Prince of that world (point), we found, will not be Satan, but Christ. Christ will be "King over all the earth in that Day" (point)-not this Day, though He has the power. Evil prevails now, because God permits it, until it shall accomplish its lessons, and then He will usher in "that Day" ( point), with its Reign of Righteousness, the Kingdom. For that Kingdom He has taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven." God's people have been waiting and praying for His Kingdom for over eighteen hundred years.

We also considered some things with reference to God's dealings during this Second Dispensation. We inquired, "Has God been doing anything?" and we found the answer: Yes. During the Patriarchal Age God selected and dealt with Abraham, and made a Covenant with him, that in his Seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. Then he called Isaac; and at Isaac's death the Covenant was confirmed to Jacob. Then when Jacob died a new Age was opened, called the Jewish Age, because all the children of Jacob were called to be heirs of the Promise made to Abraham and confirmed to Isaac and to Jacob. God called them His "peculiar people;" and said, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth;" while others were "without God and having no hope."

At the conclusion of His dealing with the people of Israel, another Age began. Christ came to His own people (the Jews), and they received Him not. That (point) was the Servant Age; but this (point) is the Age of Sons. "Moses verily was faithful over all his House [a House of Servants], but Christ as a Son over His own House, whose House are we [HGL159] [the Church]." Moses was the head over that House. Christ is the Head over all things to the Church which is His Body. That House had typical sacrifices, this House has the real sacrifices. That House of Servants had the sacrifices which could never take away sin; this new House of Sons has "the better sacrifices."

Christ came to Fleshly Israel, and only a remnant received Him; but "as many as received Him, to them gave He liberty to become the Sons of God." Christ first offered this privilege of sonship to the Jews, but because of unbelief only a remnant of Israel was gathered into the Gospel House of Sons, and the remainder of the House of Sons is being made up of selections from among all nations- gathered out from all peoples.

We called attention to the fact that the election of the Jews was not an election to go to Heaven, but to be God's holy nation, His "peculiar people," under the special conditions of the Law Covenant. That was the election of a typical nation, while the election of this Age is an individual election, which collectively is the antitypical Holy nation and peculiar people.

The Gospel has been preached among all nations in order to select from them "a people for His name" -altogether only "a little flock." Evidently the Lord has not chosen all who name the name of Christ; for that would mean at least a hundred millions. This "little flock" is not named "Roman Catholic" or "Greek Catholic" or "Episcopalian" or "Methodist" or "Methodist-Protestant" or "United Presbyterian" or "Baptist" or "Adventist" 'none of these names was adopted by the Lord. They are all names given by men; none of them is recognized by the Word of God. The members of the "little flock" recognized by God are all true followers of Christ-Christians. "The Lord knoweth them that are His" -those who in truth and sincerity belong to Christ. They are the "Church of the First-born," whose names are "written in Heaven." That is the important place to have them written- "in Heaven." Only the truly consecrated are written there, and the names of those who continue faithful will never be blotted out of the Book of Life. -Rev. 3:5

Then we considered God's object in making this selection. We saw that He had not changed His Plan. It had not been a failure with the Patriarchs, so that He needed to make another plan for the Jews, and again another experiment with the Gospel Church. God is not thus subject to the frailties of men or the machinations of the Devil. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." "All His purposes shall be accomplished." He has had the same Purpose all through the ages, and that Purpose will be completed in the Millennial Age.

But what was that Purpose? We found that God had made a Promise to Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Abraham supposed that this Seed was Isaac; but no; it was not Isaac. Then Isaac supposed that it was Jacob; but it was not Jacob. And then when Jacob had twelve sons, no doubt he began to think that it was through his sons that the blessing would come. There were one hundred and twenty-eight in all of his descendants still living at the time of his death, and out of this number he supposed that God would take the promised Seed. Jacob prophesied concerning the characteristics of each of the twelve families, or tribes; but after seventeen hundred years of experience, they did not bless the world, and they were not even ready to be blessed themselves; for though Christ came to them to bless them, "His own received Him not."

But God had all this in mind at the beginning. The Apostle says that these things were an allegory. Sarah was representative of the Covenant made with Abraham; and when Isaac was promised, God was speaking of a greater Seed than Isaac- "which Seed is Christ." God meant Christ all the time. Isaac was a type of Christ.

But did God mean that when Christ should come ALL the families of the earth should be blessed? We look about us and ask, Have ALL nations been blessed? And we are obliged to answer, No. It is eighteen hundred years since Christ came, and yet millions have not even heard of Him. Look over into Africa. Have they been blessed? Look over into China. Many of the Chinese in the interior of the country are in perfect ignorance of what is taking place elsewhere in the world. Have they ever heard of Christ? Have they ever been blessed? No! Where, then, is the mistake? What did the Promise mean? When God said "Christ," He meant not only the Lord Jesus, but The Christ complete - the Lord Jesus as Head and the Church as His Body. So the Apostle says, "He is the Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body." He says, "which Seed is Christ" ; and after reading down a little further, to verse 29 of the same chapter (Gal. 3), we find it plainly stated, "If ye be Christ's, then are YE Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise." So then we see that "Christ" means the entire Church, the Lord Jesus as the Head and the true Church as His Body. This is the reason the blessing has not yet reached the world. Until the selection and perfecting of THE CHRIST is accomplished, the blessing cannot come. All the "overcomers" will constitute the true Israel of God, The Christ, the Seed of Abraham, the "little flock," to whom it is said, "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" -the Kingdom for which we have been praying, "the Kingdom of God's dear Son." The opportunity to bless all the families of the earth will be given these in the New Dispensation.

Let us endeavor, dear Christian friends, so to run the race set before us as to make our calling and election sure. "If we suffer [with Him], we shall also reign with Him. If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him." (2 Tim. 2:11, 12) "He that hath an ear [ for spiritual things], let him hear." -Rev. 3:22

Concerning the work of the Gospel Age, the manner in which the election has been made, we may have more to say later. We will show wherein the doctrines of Election and Free Grace can be fully harmonized. The first one elected was the Lord; secondly came the Apostles; now ( point to the end of the Gospel Age) the work of election has progressed down to the very "feet" of Christ-the last members of His Body. Moses said, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you; and it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." (Deut. 18:15-19; Acts 3:22, 23) During the Gospel Age God has been raising up this great [HGL160] Prophet and Lawgiver like unto Moses; the work of selecting the members of His Body is nearly accomplished; and the last members are making ready to take their places with those previously selected and approved.

The selection of the Church has not been conducted in an arbitrary way, but each member has been chastened, disciplined and tested in faith and character, in order to prepare him for the great work of the future as a member of the Royal Priesthood. Christ is the High Priest, just as Aaron was the head or high priest of the typical priesthood. While on earth, after His anointing at His baptism in Jordan, Jesus was the Antitype of Aaron; He was also the Head of the new order- "the order of Melchisedec," who was both a priest and a King. In the Millennial Age Jesus will be not only Priest, but King; and the Church will be not only priest but kings: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection. . . . They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." "Thou hast made us Kings and priests unto God." -Rev. 20:6; 5:10

Has this promise ever been fulfilled? Have the saints ever reigned as kings and priests on the earth? No! The only class of people ever making such a claim was the Papacy, that great counterfeit system which points to its Millennium of a thousand years, during the Dark Ages, and which has more or less deceived the whole world.

Now we come down to the Millennial Age. (Point.) We have seen that the world has not been blessed in the past. What blessing will come to the world during the Millennial Age-after the promised Seed has been completed? ALL THE BLESSINGS THAT WERE PROMISED TO ABRAHAM ARE SUMMED UP THUS, "IN THY SEED SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED"

What do the people need in order to be blessed? They need education, they need enlightenment, they need good government, they need peace, they need uplifting, they need many things that they are seeking now, but are unable to obtain, because of the present unfavorable conditions. Now "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God" - for the glad Millennial Reign, when they shall all be blessed. What a glorious Promise! What a blessing it will be to all the human race! That will be the "Golden Age," of which the poets have sung, the "good time coming," that Socialists and others have been longing for and talking about. That will be the time which the Woman's Christian temperance Union has been trying to bring about by its efforts to destroy the liquor traffic, and which the female suffragists and reformers of various kinds hope to bring about in their way. But though all these human efforts may accomplish something, yet on the whole all these plans will fail, and for a time anarchy will prevail. And what then?

"God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain."

God knew the end from the beginning, and all along He has been working out His original Purpose, meantime permitting various human panaceas to be tried, to let man see that his own efforts to bring about righteousness cannot succeed. Ah! human foresight cannot discern what will be the next step. But God knows the future of His Plan as well as the past, and in His Word He offers wisdom from above to all His humble followers. And when men have seen all their plans and experiments end in failure, then they will be willing to look to God, and they will say, "Come, let us go up to the Mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord; He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." And so it is written: "The desire of all nations shall come."

But the desire of all nations is not yet: first must come the failure of their own panaceas. THEN they will be ready to accept the cure which the Lord has provided.

"Ah!" some one may say, "that will be a blessed time for the fortunate ones who are living then, but what about the unfortunate ones who have died?" There are fifteen hundred millions of people living today, the majority of whom never heard the name of Jesus; the great mass of the dead never heard of Jesus; they have been dying in ignorance and fear, without God and without hope. A rough estimate is that not less than twenty billions of people have lived on the earth, and every one knows that among them have been very few saints. During the First Dispensation how many righteous people were there? At the time of the Flood there were only eight, Noah and his family. Of the rest it is said, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." During the Patriarchal Age there were only a few righteous persons, only a few with whom God held communion; such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. During the Jewish Age there were not many; for while God called the entire Jewish nation, there were only a few of them, the Prophets and a few others, such as are mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, who were approved of God; and notwithstanding all the instructions of their Law and the special messages of the Prophets and the severe discipline through which they as a nation were caused to pass in punishment for their idolatry and other sins, when Christ came only a "remnant" received Him. All the rest were still a "stiff-necked and perverse" generation. And how has it been during the Gospel Age? (Point.) There have not been many saints-only a "little flock." The vast majority have not known God nor desired to know Him. The question then is, What is to become of the others? What is to become of all who have not been the "friends" or "servants" or "sons" of God by faith in His promises and obedience to Him? What Plan has God for the blessing of the others? -for we must remember that the Promise was not that a few should be blessed, but that "all the families of the earth shall be blessed." But how? How can the blessing be accomplished?

This brings us to our text: [Read impressively.] "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the lord; and he shall send jesus christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens 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." [HGL161] "He shall send Jesus Christ." The Apostle Peter was not here speaking about the First Coming of Christ. He spoke these words on the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the waiting disciples, and ten days after he with others had seen Christ ascend to Heaven. He was speaking of Jesus' Second Coming. "God will send Jesus Christ."

Our Lord Himself had promised that He would come a second time, saying, "If I go away, I will come again."

We will not take the time to prove that the Lord is coming a second time. We take it for granted that all here present believe that He will come again. Perhaps only one other doctrine, the doctrine of the Ransom, is made as prominent in the Scriptures as this doctrine of the Lord's return. It is also made very prominent in all the creeds of the various denominations. Even Catholics believe in the Second Coming of Christ. They do not, indeed, confess that He is coming to bless the world, but rather that He is coming to damn the world. The wonder is that, with such a conception of things, any are willing to pray, "EVEN SO COME, LORD JESUS!" The beloved disciple who uttered these words as they are recorded in the Scriptures had no such anticipation. He knew of the time of blessing, and it was for this that he longed, and he knew that it could not come until Christ should come.

The Coming of Christ has been the hope of the world (though unknown to themselves). It has been the end of the prayers of all the saints. Until the King should be present, the Kingdom could not come. We have been "looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13), "whom the Heavens must retain until the Times of Restitution."

But what does that mean- "the Times of Restitution of all things?" What does the word "restitution" mean? It means restoring, restoration. What is it that needs restoration? "Adventists" think it means the hills, rocks, trees, etc. But that is not what it means! it is true they bring forward some Scriptures to support their belief. You will remember that there is one (Isa. 40:4) which says, "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low." But this is not to be understood literally. These mountains and valleys and hills are symbolic. In symbolic language, "mountains" represent kingdoms; "valleys" mean the lowly or depressed or oppressed classes and conditions of society. Every kingdom and every exalted thing is to be brought low, and every lowly thing is to be exalted. This means the leveling of the social earth; and this leveling is already in progress.

The saints have nothing to do with that work. God Himself is so overruling the affairs of men as to bring it about. The present is the lapping time of the two Ages (point), when certain influences of this character are already being felt. The Lord is the Supervisor of the Time of Trouble; but His consecrated people are not to use "carnal weapons" nor to engage in worldly strife; they are to be separate from the world and its spirit, and to do only the work which God has given them to do, and which we will consider further along in this course. They are to utilize all their talents in preaching the Kingdom.

But, looking all about us, we see that it is not the literal earth so much that needs restoring. The mountains and hills and valleys are very beautiful, and for those who desire a low country there is plenty of room in the valleys and vast prairies. It is mankind that needs restoring-although there is a certain work of transition now going on in the earth. But if we could only make mankind right, we would have a very desirable world. If men's hearts were right, and we had perfect men and perfect women, "Times of Restitution" would not be needed.

But we have not. "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by sin." What mankind need is to be restored to Edenic perfection; and this, it is promised, will be done. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy Mountain," saith the Lord, when He is "Governor among the nations." Christ's ruling among the nations will mean not only the subduing of mankind, but the conquering of Satan and the controlling of all the elements of nature. "In that Day" there will be no storms or violent climatic changes. The climate is not at present all that perfect beings might wish; but the One who stilled the storm of Galilee still has power over the elements, and all must be brought into subjection before it can be true that nothing shall hurt in all God's holy Kingdom.

As we said before, the thing most needed is the promised "Times of Restitution;" but do not understand us to say that Restitution is the hope of the Church. It is not the hope of the Church. The Church has special promises. She has no portion with the world. If we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, faithfully to the end of our course, we shall become "partakers of the Divine nature." Not only is our Lord Jesus to bless the world, but the world is to be blessed by the Church, who will reign with Him as His Joint-heir. The Lord said, "In My Father's House are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you." The Church is to have the new place prepared by her Lord-to inhabit that mansion. The world, under other conditions, is to inhabit another of these mansions-the earth. Millions and billions are to have the blessings of Restitution-to that which was lost, to that which Adam originally possessed; but we (the Church) "shall be like Him (Christ)" if we make our "calling and election sure." We shall have spirit nature, like our Lord and Head. So please keep the Church and the world distinct and separate-the blessing of Restitution for the world-perfect human beings in a perfect earth-but for the Church the likeness and nature of Christ, who is now the express image of the Father's person.

When the Church is once completed, there will never be another member added. Now is the last and only chance to become a member of the "Body of Christ." This thought, of a definite number in the Body of Christ, was illustrated in the person of the Jewish high priest. No one could serve in that capacity who was deformed, who had any deficiency or superfluity of members-for instance, he who was lacking a finger, or who had a finger too many. (Leviticus 21:18) So when The Christ, the greater High Priest, is complete, there will not be one member lacking nor one superfluous member-only the Elect number; for "known unto the Lord are all His works from the beginning of the world."

But, says one, I don't see that Restitution would be such a great blessing. But perhaps you have not thought what a perfect man would be like. What is a perfect man? There has never been a perfect man except our Lord when He was a [HGL162] man, and Adam before the fall. We are all so imperfect that we cannot even understand all the perfection which was in Adam. It is true that Adam did not understand all about electric cars, the telephone and telegraph and other wonderful inventions of which we have knowledge today; but that was not because he did not have the capacity to understand them. Adam's perfect mental, moral and physical powers were never exercised to the extent of the combined effort of all his multitudinous posterity during six thousand years of effort as seen in the present time. But his individual capacity was greater then that of any of his posterity, who from the effects of the fall have degenerated in other respects as well as in longevity. When Adam comes back to life it will not take him long to understand all about the machinery of our day, and we doubt not that in a short time he could make improvements upon much of it. And the same might be said of every other element of learning and skill.

All of us have heard of "lightning calculators," who can add up long columns of figures without effort, or solve in a moment difficult problems which would take ordinary mathematicians an hour. Some of these prodigies are mere children; and none of them can tell how they do it. Yet all these powers must belong to the perfect man.

In music it is the same. Music is a natural gift. Take "Blind Tom," for instance; on every other subject he was an idiot, but he had a keen appreciation of music and was able to repeat any composition which he heard once, even repeating the mistakes of the performer, if any were made. How he did it we cannot tell. No one knows. He was not, however, in the true sense of the word a musician. The great composers and performers of the past three hundred years are illustrious examples of what is possible in musical genius. The perfect man will be no less a musician than were these imperfect men; he will be superior in every way.

Then there have been men noted for oratory, others for mathematics, others for their gift of poesy. Whatever we find in any branch of human intelligence or learning we may be sure is only a suggestion of what the powers of a perfect man would be, with all those qualities and gifts perfected and combined.

As an orator we might refer to the late Henry Ward Beecher. Not only was he a wonderful speaker, but he had a magnetic power, by which he carried his audience with him, often even against their will. It is related that just prior to the war, when secession sentiment was high, he visited Richmond against the wishes of his friends, who feared that if he attempted to speak against slavery he would be mobbed. When he began, his voice could hardly be heard above the tumult; but as he proceeded the audience grew quiet, until finally it broke into applause. Such was his power, and yet his ability in this direction was almost nothing compared to what the ability of a perfect man would be.

Another power of the human mind which you and I do not possess, in fact, which is very rare, is the control of the lower animals. A gentleman passed through the principal cities of our land some years ago possessed of wonderful powers in this direction. All the vicious horses of the vicinity were brought to him, and they quailed before him. It was simply a power of mind; and yet we may suppose that Adam was still more gifted, when all the animals passed quietly before him in Eden's beautiful Garden and received their names. -Gen. 2:19

Some people are gifted with remarkable memory. If they read an article, prose or poem once, they can repeat it word for word. We know of a gentleman who can repeat any text of the Bible that you call for; or, if you repeat the text, he can tell you the chapter and verse. And yet this is not a miraculous gift; it is simply a human power. And so through all the powers of the human mind. They are now only a suggestion as to what they will be when brought to perfection in Restitution Times.

The Apostle Peter further answers our query as to what is to be restored. He says it is to be a restoration "of all things SPOKEN by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." Restitution must be quite an important subject if it was foretold by all the holy Prophets. Let us see how some of them spoke of it.

Moses was a Prophet; did he speak of it? Yes! He not only foretold that Israel would fail to keep their Covenant and would be scattered among the nations of the earth and be severely punished for their sins, but he also prophesied that God would gather them again out of all nations and restore them to their own land; that they would again he accepted as God's people; and that they, with all the other families of the earth, would be blessed during Christ's reign. (Point.) Moses also spoke of restitution and of Restitution Times, in the institution of the "Jubilee" system. In the year of Jubilee all the debts of the people were forgiven. If a man had lost his property and was compelled by reason of additional debts to become the servant of another, his term of service could not extend beyond the year of Jubilee; and if a man sold a house it could not be for a longer period than until the next Jubilee year. Every fiftieth year was a Jubilee or "restitution" year. Thus the Lord symbolized His purpose that all the earth shall return to its former estate, lost in Eden and redeemed on Calvary.

Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel also spoke of the return of Israel, that they would never more be "plucked up" or "thrown down." David and Isaiah speak of the "wilderness that shall blossom as a rose," of the blind eyes that shall be opened (not merely physical but mental blind eyes), and how all the "solitary places" shall be "glad" because of the Lord's blessing upon the earth, instead of the curse. Then the lame man shall leap as a hart-all the lame, not only the physically lame, but those with any kind of a weakness, physical, mental or moral. It is in the latter sense that the Apostle uses the word "lame" when he says, "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way." So all the weaknesses that are the result of inheritance will be healed in that Day for all who will submit themselves obediently to the Great Physician.

All the holy Prophets spoke of these "Times of Restitution," though we have quoted only a few. The Apostle's intimation is that if any spoke not of these Times, he was not a Prophet-not a holy Prophet.

During the past ages, Patriarchal and Jewish, and during this Gospel Age, everything has been getting ready; and in the next Age (point) the "Seed of Abraham" will bless all the families of the earth with an opportunity for Restitution to all that was lost in Adam. [HGL163] This Restitution will not come to mankind UNCONDITION-ALLY! There are conditions - the conditions of the New Covenant. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God shall not see life." We will not now consider these conditions. They may prove interesting at a future time.

The principal thing lost in Adam was life. As a consequence of sin came death. If there were no death, there would be no pain, no sickness, no dying. Every ache and pain which we experience is so much of death working in us- "Dying, thou shalt die"; "and so death passed upon all men." Billions of people have lived a few years; and these few, as Job says, were "full of trouble." Man that is born of a woman is of few days and "full of trouble." And then they die. Nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand is not too great an estimate of the number who never even heard of Christ. And now the question is, How is the blessing to come to them? It is to come by the resurrection. When Paul spoke to the Athenians about resurrection, many of them mocked and said, "We will hear you again on this matter."

The idea of a resurrection seems absurd to many; and it is absurd, positively ridiculous, as viewed by some. But nevertheless there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. "The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth." An illustration of this fact was given in the case of Lazarus, excepting that because the due time had not yet come he could not be raised up fully, to perfection. We will not now take time to go into the subject, but will merely say that when rightly understood, as the Scriptures present it, the doctrine of resurrection is reasonable and worthy of all acceptation. But some may doubtingly say, It cannot be that God has such a good Plan as that! It has seemed as though we, His children, were putting forth more effort than He on behalf of the world; and now you tell us that He has all the while been working out such a glorious Plan, and on behalf of the dead as well as the living! If this be true, we can see why God has been permitting things to run on with such apparent indifference. You say that all the dead are to come forth; is there any Scripture which so declares?

Yes, there are Scriptures on the subject. Our Lord said- "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth;" and on one occasion, when He went into the synagogue, and a copy of the book of Isaiah was handed to Him upon which to comment, He turned to chapter 61 and read, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Luke 4:18; Isa. 61:1) You will notice that He does not say that He is going to bind up all hearts, but only the "broken" hearts. There is no balm except for the hearts that are "broken."

And what is meant by the "prison doors"? Did He mean the doors of the jails of Palestine? Did He mean that He would come and set all the convicts free? He certainly could not have meant that. He could not have referred to anything else than the great prison house of death, and the "prisoners of hope" which the great enemy Satan has bound therein. They are "prisoners of hope" because Christ has died for them. Under Satan the world has been going down into death; but Christ was manifested in order that He might destroy death and "him that hath the power of death, that is, the Devil." These prisoners in the tomb, prisoners of hope, will all come forth to the privileges and opportunities of the Millennial Age-of coming to perfection and securing eternal life afforded under the Millennial Reign of Christ. (Point.)

In another discourse we may explain Satan's connection with sin and death. But now we merely draw upon the fact that when the Lord says to Satan's captives, "Show yourselves," they will come forth; and they will come forth in order that they may be blessed by Jesus during His thousand-year Reign, during their Judgment Day. (Point to Millennial Age.) That Judgment Day will not be a twenty-four hour day, but a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:7, 8), and during it "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" with full knowledge, and judged according to the use they will make of it.

But now we seem to hear some one say, Isn't that too good to believe? No, it is not; but people have so long been mistaught that to preach the Love and Justice and Wisdom and Power of God is almost to preach an unknown God. The "god of this world" has blinded all. Even Christians have had a vail upon their hearts, lo, these many years-the burden of feeling their God unjust; because they could not understand His Plan. Many have been driven into infidelity by false teachings, and the spiritual life of many others has been blighted. But now God is lifting the curtain and letting in the light. Now is the time of which it is written, "The wise shall understand"; "The meek will He teach His way"; "It is high time to awake out of sleep"; "Joy cometh in the Morning [the resurrection Morning; the Millennial Morning];" "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His beams" -healing implies restoration.

One point more: We wonder if we can find an illustration in the Scriptures proving that people who lived back here, and back here (point to beginning of Jewish and of Gospel Ages), or rather that lived further back, (point to beginning of Patriarchal Age), are to be restored. We wonder if we can find something about "really wicked people," as some would say. Right here, lest we should be misunderstood, we will explain that we are not preaching a SECOND CHANCE, but we wish to find a class of people that have not had an opportunity, that have been in ignorance, without God; a class that have never known God, and hence could not reject Him; for we believe that those who have really known God and then disobeyed willfully will be punished with everlasting destruction without additional opportunity.

Let us look back until we find a record of a particularly wicked nation-a nation that was all wicked, and that is now entirely extinct. We will select the Sodomites. They lived at about the time Abraham was called. When Lot, Abraham's nephew, found that his herdsmen could not agree with Abraham's, he moved among the people of the plain, who were called "Sodomites." These people were so wicked that it is said that Lot's righteous soul was vexed from day to day with their unlawful deeds and filthy conversation [HGL164] (2 Pet. 2:6-8), until finally God delivered Lot and entirely destroyed the city. What evidence have we that they were all destroyed? May not one or two have escaped and become the founders of a new city and people by that name? We have the Lord's own statement on this point. He says (Luke 17:29), "The same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them ALL" There was not one Sodomite left. And yet these Sodomites, wicked as they were, were not as wicked as some who have lived since, and who have sinned against more light; for our Lord, when pronouncing "woe" unto Capernaum and Chorazin and Bethsaida, said, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for thee." Why? The Lord continues, "For if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained." -Matt. 11:23, 24.

The Lord says it will be more tolerable for Sodom in the Day of Judgment (the Millennium) than for Israel! That means that it will be tolerable for Israel in the Day of Judgment, but still more tolerable for Sodom. If Sodom would have repented under the light which Israel had, there is no doubt that many of its people will repent under the light of the Judgment Day. Remember that the Judgment Day is the Millennial Age, during which (we have seen) Christ will reign, and "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" - not only Israel and Sodom, but all the other nations.

Do the Scriptures say anything more with reference to the future of Sodom? Yes, the Lord says very positively that Sodom is to be restored. We will read the statement of the Prophet, so there will be no mistake. In the 16th chapter of Ezekiel, the Lord prophesied His blessing upon Israel, and says that Israel was really worse than the surrounding idolatrous nations.

[Read verses 48, 49, 50, in recital of the sins of Sodom, and comment.]

[Read verses 53, 54, and comment-the Lord says the Jews will be confounded when they see Sodom and Samaria in the Day of Judgment. Point to Millennial Age on Chart.]

[Read verses 55, 56, and comment-the pride of Israel in saying, "We have Abraham to our father," and in considering the surrounding nations beneath their notice; the return of all "to their former estate;" etc.]

[Read verses 60-63, and comment-the special Covenant with Israel made in the days of their youth, their breaking of it, and the blessing which is to come to them under the "Everlasting Covenant" which He will establish with them in the future; they with all the other nations will be blessed under the "New Covenant"; then all will be ashamed and confounded, when all Sodom with its captives, and all Israel with its captives, have been brought forth from the prisonhouse of death and God is "pacified toward them" for all that they have done.]

Truly our God is a great God, and His Plan is a great Plan! We do not need to feel afraid that God's Plan is not good. It is good and just and wise, and He is able to finish it well. We rejoice that God is a just God, and that in His wisdom and love He has arranged that the millions who have died are not to be everlastingly tormented in flames, as so many suppose. Few appreciate that God's mercy endureth forever, and that He is "mighty to save" all who come unto Him in His appointed way-through Christ, who declared "I am the way."

Thousands have been driven to insanity by thinking of eternal torment, not only for the heathen, but for their unconverted friends; and yet there is not a word in the Scriptures to that effect. The Word of God, when it is properly understood, is all that is lovely, beautiful, grand and harmonious, and it speaks in no uncertain tones, as we have seen tonight, concerning "the Restitution of all things." We have God's own Word for it; and hence IT MUST BE TRUE.

In our next discourse we will consider how the curse of God upon all can justly give place to a blessing upon all-by what arrangement it is that God can be "just and [yet be] the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." We will see how Love and Justice harmonize in the Divine dealings with mankind.

"Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will."

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