END OF THE AGE.
Greek word “Aioon” means age; the Greek word “Kosmos” means
the universe, the earth, the inhabitants of the earth, the adornment, worldly
affairs, the whole circle of earthly goods.
We read in so many places in King James’ translation of the Bible
about “the end of the world.” In
all the places where this expression is used the Greek is “aioon,” and
the better translation is “the end of the age,” as it is given in many of
the revised texts. The idea that
the “Kosmos,” the literal earth, shall have an end arose from the
wrong translation of the word “Aioon,” and is misleading.
The Greek word “Aioonios” means (1) without beginning, (2)
without an end, (3) without beginning or end, that which always has been and
always will be. It is our word
eternity. The word “aioon,”
especially in the singular, refers to a limited duration of time
with a beginning and an end.
In our last chapter we tried to show you that God ordained the ages
before the ages began, and each age has its time to close, and that each age
closes with some special event. In
this chapter we wish to look forward to the end of this present age.
According to points already established, we must expect this age to
close at an appointed time, and with a special event.
At what time, and with what event will this age close?
In seeking an answer to this question we must remember that the event
which closes this age is the event which opens the age to come.
There is no intervention of time between the close of this age and the
beginning of the next. The ages
follow each other in rapid succession.
They do not overlap each other. The
event which closes this one begins the other.
In what age are we now living? Surely
this is the gospel age. This is
the Dispensation of the Holy Ghost. This
END OF THE AGE.
of the Gentiles. In speaking
about the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus said, “For there shall be great
distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away
captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”—Luke 21: 23, 24.
Jerusalem is now trodden down of the Gentiles, therefore we know that
this is the Gentile age.
What age will immediately follow the age in which we now live?
In many places it is stated that the age to come will be an age of
judgment. In Matt. 13: 24 we
read, “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in
his field.” The parable then
goes on to state that an enemy came and sowed tares in the field.
“The harvest is the end of the age . . . . as therefore the tares are
gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this (the
gospel) age.” Matt. 13: 39, 40.
Peter tells us that “The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the
same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3: 7.
This age is to close with judgment, and the age to come is to be an
age of judgment.
Some have an idea that the coming of Jesus for His Bride will close the
Gentile age; but this is a mistake. The
Gentile Age will close at an appointed time; but we have already shown that
the coming of Jesus for His Bride is an event that is likely to take place at
any time. We nowhere read that
God hath appointed a time at which He will catch the Bride away; but we do
read in Dan. 8: 19, “For at the time appointed the end shall be.”
Paul tells us in Acts 17: 31, “He hath appointed a day, in the which
He will judge the world in righteousness,” and Peter exhorts us to “Be not
ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day.”—2 Peter 3: 8.
And in Rev. 20: 4 we read of a class of saints who shall sit upon
thrones, and judgment shall be given unto them, and they shall live and
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
Christ a thousand years. This
thousand years of judgment will be the Millennial Age, and the same event
that closes the Gentile Age will usher in the Millennial Age.
Judgment begins at the house of God long before the judgment of the
world proper sets in. God hath
appointed a day in which He will judge the world; but the judgment of the
house of God does not begin at an appointed time.
The Great Tribulation is a kind of judgment; but the judgment of the
living nations begins proper at the close of The Great Tribulation.
“For then shall be great tribulation . . . . and except those days
should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s
sake those days shall be shortened.”—Matt. 24: 21, 22.
How is it that the tribulation days can be shortened, and yet close
at an appointed time? The
shortening takes place at the beginning.
The Great Tribulation will begin soon after the saints are caught
away. The Millennium will begin
at the close of The Great Tribulation. No
Scripture teaches us that the Millennium will begin earlier than the
appointed time: but the Bible does teach us that the coming of Jesus for His
Bride is delayed from time to time. Since
The Great Tribulation is to occupy the time between the catching away of the
Bride and the Millennium, we must conclude that the shortening of The Great
Tribulation takes place at the beginning.
We have already shown you in Chapter II that the coming of Jesus is
ever imminent. Since the day of
Pentecost there has not been a point of time at which Jesus was not likely to
come. Paul expected Jesus to come
in his day. If Jesus had come in
Paul’s day, all these nineteen centuries would have been occupied by The
Great Tribulation. Of course, the
human family could not have continued through it.
Those days have been shortened, that is, the coming of Jesus has been
delayed. Every day that Jesus
tarries shortens the tribulation days.
END OF THE AGE.
the time will arrive when “He that shall come will come, and will not
tarry.”—Heb. 10: 37.
us remember that this shortening of the tribulation days is for the sake of
the elect. How can the delay of
the coming of Jesus be in the interest of the elect?
It gives them the opportunity of preparing themselves for His coming.
In other words, Jesus would have come long ago if His Bride had been
ready for Him. God’s people
have been too slow in getting themselves ready for the coming of the Lord.
Hence, His coming has been delayed.
As soon as the Bride is ready “He that shall come will come, and will
not tarry.” Peter, in speaking
about the coming of Jesus, exhorts us to “Account that the long suffering of
our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the
wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.”—2 Peter 3: 15.
“The long suffering of our Lord” refers to His holding back the
tribulation judgments from the world: and every day that He holds back the
tribulation judgments gives the people of God another day to prepare
themselves for His coming. So let
us account that the long suffering of God is salvation for us.
For the sake of the elect those days are shortened.
are those who are teaching that when once the Bride is gone there will be no
more opportunity for obtaining salvation.
This is a mistake. As long
as man lives on earth he has an opportunity for seeking God, excepting the few
individuals here and there who have committed the unpardonable sin.
Some misunderstand the purpose of The Great Tribulation.
God pleads with man for his heart and life.
If God cannot persuade man to surrender to Him by coaxing, He will
often send judgment in order to bring man to Him.
The Great Tribulation is the judgment of God sent upon man to bring
him to Christ. If God should cut
man off from the possibility of salvation at the beginning of The
Tribulation, there would be no need of The Tribulation.
If it was final retribution God is going to pour out upon man during
The Tribulation, He would
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
man to hell at once. All judgment
sent upon man while here in this world is for the purpose of bringing him to
Christ. Certainly, men will have
an opportunity to receive salvation during The Great Tribulation.
error taught in connection with the above theory is that the Holy Ghost leaves
this world when the Bride does. I
have personally questioned some of those who advocate this theory, and the
only Scripture any one has ever been able to give me for the support of their
doctrine is: “Only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the
way.”—2 Thess. 2: 7. We are
told that the one here referred to as hindering the Antichrist from being
revealed is the Holy Spirit. This
is a hasty jump at an unwise conclusion.
There are many passages in the Word, as we shall show you in future
pages, that indicate that the Holy Spirit remains here during The Tribulation.
The one referred to in the above Scripture as hindering the revelation
of the Antichrist, is, no doubt, the Bride.
This is evident from the fact that the Greek word here translated
“taken” is “genetai”
be born. There is no sense in
which the Holy Spirit will ever be born, but there is a sense in which the
Bride is to born. A birth is not
the beginning of a life, but it is the bringing of one life out from another
life. The Bridehood saints are
now a figure within the body of believers; and the resurrection and
translation will be a birth of this inward figure out from among the outward
figure, or general body of believers. The
fact that the Bride is here spoken of in the masculine gender does not
contradict the position I have taken. In
many places in the Word are masculine qualities assigned to the Bride,
especially where she is spoken of as possessing great strength.
So rest assured that the Holy Ghost will remain here during the
tribulation days, preparing men and women for the marriage supper of the Lamb.
There are those who are teaching that when the Gentile Age closes there
will be no more chance for a Gentile to obtain salvation.
This is a mistake. The
close of one age and the
END OF THE AGE.
of another does not mean that any living nation has an opportunity of
salvation no more; but it only means that the form of worship is changed to a
more perfect plan, and he, out of any nation, who will conform to God’s way
can be saved. A Gentile can be
saved as readily during the Millennial Age as he can during the Gentile Age.
Yea, far more so.
The Millennial Age will witness a great ingathering of Jews (Jer. 31),
“And so all Israel shall be saved.”—Rom. 11: 26.
The fact that all Israel shall be saved does not mean that all the
Gentiles shall be lost. “Now if
the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of
them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”— Rom. 11:
12. “For if the casting away of
them (Israel) be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of
them be, but life from the dead?”—Rom. 11: 15.
These two verses, last quoted, should settle the question, and teach us
all that salvation will be offered to all living nations after the Gentile Age
In conclusion, let me beg you not to misunderstand, and think that I am
teaching a second probation. I am
teaching that God offers salvation to every living person so long as he abides
on the earth, except he has committed the unpardonable sin.
The Gentile Age closes at the end of The Great Tribulation, but
salvation will be free to every one just the same.