We could not, of course, know in 1889, whether the date 1914, so clearly marked in the Bible as the end of the Gentile lease of power or permission to rule the world, would mean that they would be fully out of power at that time, or whether, their lease expiring, their eviction would begin. The latter we perceive to be the Lord's program; and promptly in August, 1914, the Gentile kingdoms referred to in the prophecy began the present great struggle, which, according to the Bible, will culminate in the complete overthrow of all human government, opening the way for the full establishment of the Kingdom of God's dear Son.
We are not able to see behind the veil; we are not able to know the things progressing under the direction of our glorious Lord and the members of His Church already glorified. Our thought is that somehow the Lord is taking a hand in the affairs of the world now as He did not do in times past. We do know that the great Time of Trouble, which has begun, very closely corresponds to the Divine declaration respecting the time and conditions of the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom. The Lord Himself informs us that, at the time He shall take to Himself His great
power and reign, the nations will be mad and the Divine wrath will come. A little later on the time will come for the judging of the dead, and the giving of the reward to God's servants, small and great, leading on finally to the destruction of the incorrigible, who would exercise a corrupt influence upon the earth. Revelation 21:8
All over the world people knew of the expectations of Bible Students in respect to the year A.D. 1914; and when so stupendous a war as the present one broke loose, when the winds of strife began to blow with such fury and destruction, thousands remembered what they had heard and read respecting the end of the Gentile Times. Thousands today have come to fully appreciate the times in which we are living. The influence is very helpful and inspiring. A realization that we are in the Day of the Lord, and that very soon all of His saints will be gathered to Him by the resurrection change, has a stimulating and encouraging influence upon Bible students, separating them from the world and its fears and ambitions and fixing their eyes upon the Crown of Life, which the Lord has in reservation for them that love Him most.
The author acknowledges that in this book he presents the thought that the Lord's saints might expect to be with Him in glory at the ending of the Gentile Times. This was a natural mistake to fall into, but the Lord overruled it for the blessing of His people. The thought that the Church would all be gathered to glory before October, 1914, certainly did have a very stimulating and sanctifying effect upon thousands, all of whom accordingly can praise the Lord--even for the mistake. Many, indeed, can express themselves as being thankful to the Lord that the culmination of the Church's hopes was not reached at the time we expected; and that we, as the Lord's people, have further
opportunities of perfecting holiness and of being participators with our Master in the further presentation of His Message to His people.
Our mistake was evidently not in respect to the ending of the Times of the Gentiles; we drew a false conclusion, however, not authorized by the Word of the Lord. We saw in the Bible certain parallels between the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age. We should have noted that these parallels follow the nominal systems to destruction in both cases, and do not indicate the time of the glorification of the New Creation. This explanation will help the reader as he studies "THE TIME IS AT HAND." We have no doubt that the great blessings which have come to many of us in the past will continue to go through the Volume to thousands of others. So with it go the prayers of the author,