The Time is At Hand
by Charles Taze Russell
STUDY X — THE TIME IS AT HAND
Nothing Intervenes–The Establishment of Christ’s Kingdom, the Work now in Progress–The Testimony of Prophecy Concurs–The Worldly-wise See Much–The Watching Saints See More Distinctly–The Importance to All, of Open Eyes in the Right Direction.
THE Time is at Hand for the establishment of the Redeemer’s Kingdom. This is the concurrent testimony of the foregoing chapters. Nothing intervenes. We are already living in the seventh millennium–since Oct. 1872. The lease of power to the Gentile kingdoms must terminate with the year 1914. The great antitypical Jubilee, the Times of Restitution of all things, had its beginning in the year 1874, when the presence of the great Restorer was also due. The manner of his return and the character of his work up to the present time are in exact correspondence with the details of prophecy thus far. The closing features of this dispensation, now observed, are in perfect accord with those of its Jewish type. The Elias has come, and is received as foretold; and the predicted curse–the great time of trouble–is already impending. The Man of Sin has been revealed in all his hateful deformity, and has almost run his predicted course. The establishment of the long promised Kingdom of Messiah is therefore the great event just before us. Not only so, but its establishment is now in progress. The necessary undermining and overturning of the kingdoms of this world under the prince of darkness–“the prince of this world”– are now visible to some extent even to the natural eye of the children of this world, but are much more clearly seen, as <364> they should be, by those who look upon transpiring events through the field glass of God’s Word, which at proper focus brings distant matters and results close to view, and enables God’s children to recognize the minutiae which the natural eye cannot discern, as well as the leading features which the world’s statesmen and philosophers see in but dim outline. Even the worldly-wise can discern the social trouble fomenting, as the dominance of ignorance gives place to greater general knowledge and personal independence. And though they vainly hope for some unknown and unexpected favorable turn of affairs to occur, yet, as described in the Scriptures, their hearts are failing them for fear and for looking after the things coming upon the earth–because they see the shaking of the symbolic heavens now in progress, and perceive that with such a shaking and removal of the power of error, superstitions and religious restraints from the masses of the people, violence and anarchy must result.
But, from God’s standpoint, from which the waking ones of the household of faith are privileged to look, not only the severity of the trouble is more distinct, but also the blessed results, which under God’s providence it shall subserve by ushering in the Millennial Kingdom. And this is a comfort, and more than an offset for all the tribulation, even though we or our dearest ones may share it.
That we might now have the comfort of this knowledge, and not be in doubt and perplexity, was but part of the object in the giving of the time prophecies. Another object was, that, as the representatives of that kingdom among men, we should be aware of the great dispensational changes now in progress, and able to bear testimony before the world, regarding God’s plan, etc., which, though unheeded now, will greatly benefit them by and by, and help them the sooner to recognize the Lord’s presence in the great day of wrath, drawing on. Another object is, that the <365> faithful, thus armed and strengthened by God’s Word, may be enabled to stand firm, when so many will be falling into infidelity and various other deceptive errors, which will soon sweep over “Christendom.” Another object is, to give force and point to the entire Plan of the Ages: for it is a general experience that, while the first glimpse of God’s gracious plan for blessing the whole world through the Church, during the Millennial age, fills the hearts and enlists the zeal of his faithful children to the utmost, yet as their efforts to enlighten others are coldly received, and they find that only a very few, comparatively, have “an ear to hear,” the tendency is to settle down to the quiet enjoyment of the precious knowledge, in such a manner as will bring the least reproach and opposition.
Seeing this, our natural weakness, the Lord has provided time prophecies as a spur, to quicken and awaken us fully, and keep us active in his service. Being already in the “harvest” time, harvest work should engage the time, service and thoughts of the Lord’s servants, who now, like the disciples at the first advent, are to do the reaping work. (`John 4:35-38`) Let us each seek to do what our hands find to do, in obedience to the instructions of the great Chief Reaper. But, with reference more particularly to the time and order of events in this “harvest,” we must refer the reader to the succeeding volume of this series, wherein the conclusions of the foregoing and other time prophecies are brought to a focus, and the various foretold signs and corroborative testimonies of the Master’s presence and the progress of his work are marked, proving–that the “Time of the End” has come; that the Days of Waiting for the Kingdom are fulfilled; that the Cleansing of the Sanctuary is accomplished; that the great Harvest Work is in progress; that the Regathering of Israel is apparent; that the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty is impending; and that the complete establishment of the glorious Kingdom of God at the time <366> appointed, the end of the Times of the Gentiles, is an unquestionable certainty; and showing, further, the work of the saints during the harvest; marking the close of the “high calling,” and the “change” of those saints who “are alive and remain”; and showing, also, that the Great Pyramid of Egypt is one of God’s Witnesses (`Isa. 19:19,20`), whose wonderful message is a full and complete corroboration of God’s plan of the ages, together with its times and seasons.
Millennial Dawn “All things are onward moving! Let the blessed time begin! The Old is swiftly passing, and the New is coming in! The golden bells are ringing, and the pageant sweeps along Like an army that is speeding to the measure of a song. “Dark theories now are waning: they are weak to build upon; The light is on the hill-tops, and Truth is marching on: Many landmarks are but shadows, which now fade and flee away Before the mighty forces that are coming in today. “O brother, why this waiting? And sister, why so mute? Up with the early sunshine! Watch for the golden fruit! O poet, why this sorrow? O minstrel, why this hush? And painter, why so long delay the heavenly tint and blush? “Up with the larks of morning! Up with the rising sun! Waiting not for noon-day, nor halting when begun! For everything is moving; let the blessed time begin! The Old is swiftly passing, and the New is coming in! “The heavenly light is spreading, spreading at the King’s command! It is spreading in its glory, speeding onward through the land. Human creeds are downward tending; let them droop and fade away. Following in the dawning sunlight, we can see a better way. “Oh, let us all be ready for the work we have to do, Toiling late and early, for the laborers are few! Reaping, as instructed, in the morning light; Reaping in the harvest field, toiling for the RIGHT! “All things are onward moving! Let earth’s Jubilee begin! The Old is swiftly passing, and the New is coming in! It is coming! Oh ’tis coming! My raptured eyes behold! The light is on the hill-tops, the Shepherd with his Fold.”