Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
as members of the Great Company, it is proper to announce these as being in the Great Company. For now we are living in that time of which he said in Z. 1916, page 264, col. 1, par. 1: "Thereafter [after the separation and before the whirlwind] the Elijah class, the Little Flock class, will be clearly manifested, separate and distinct from the Great Company." The editorial committee of the Pastoral Bible Institute, in a sample copy of "The Bible Standard" and in No. 1 of "The Herald of the Kingdom," very properly set forth the thought that we are in the Epiphany period of the Lord's Second Advent, a thought that one wonders how they can harmonize with their other thought that no light has come since "that Servant" has passed away. As we are in the bright-shining period, it follows that the Truth must be shining more and more.
(76) Accordingly, the Epiphany (bright shining) is the period in which the Great Company is being manifested as separate and distinct from the Little Flock (1 Cor. 3: 1115). The Lord has been doing this Epiphany work, starting the preliminary shedding forth of the Epiphany light, exposing opposite ambitions of certain brethren on the same day both in England and America; i.e., in both Bethels, Oct. 16, 1916, and beginning to manifest their Scriptural significance about four months later in England. Therefore, it is not a forbidden judgment to say of the partisan Societyites, who in the light of the Epiphany are demonstrated as being in the Great Company, that they are of that class. It is sometimes as harmful not to make some announcements after the Lord has manifested His judgment, as to announce judgments before the Lord has manifested them. There is every reason for believing that much harm has been produced among God's people by keeping this announcement from them, as the Pastoral Bible Institute Committee and many of their supporters have sought to do, after the Lord manifested His judgment. Therefore, it is
not only permissible, but under the present circumstances highly necessary for the safeguarding of the Little Flock to judge not before, but after the time.
(77) Above, the fact was stated, but not proven, though shown to be in harmony with Scriptural usage in other cases, that while the type of Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2: 11-14) itself does not indicate it, the antitype demonstrates that there is a parenthesis of some duration between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha and the former's ascent to heaven, in which parenthesis the events of antitypical Elisha's ministry are antityped; and that, therefore, antitypical Elijah is in the world long after antitypical Elisha receives the mantle. We now desire to offer a number of proofs that demonstrate this clearly.
(78) The facts of experience, as presented above, prove, we believe, this to be the case. We have proven the complete correspondence of type and antitype with regard to the seven events told of Elisha in 2 Kings 2: 12-14 and with regard to the Society friends' acts; and yet, experience proves that the Little Flock has not left the world in the whirlwind, which is not yet here; and let us remember that everything typed in the separation of the two Prophets, as well as in the events that preceded their separation, has found its antitype in the events given above. Therefore, there is such a parenthesis in the antitype, the facts of the case proving it. Hence, it follows that the facts of experience prove that between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha, and the former's leaving this earth, there is a time parenthesis in which the events antitypical of Elisha's ministry occur.
(79) Psalm 46: 1-4 demonstrates that the Little Flock will be in the world throughout the revolution (1 Kings 19: 11, 12). While, therefore, in the flesh, it will witness the revolution, which will overthrow the symbolic dragon, beast, and image of the beast; for Rev. 16: 18-20 and 18: 9 demonstrate that the revolution
will overthrow these institutions; but the Jordan represents the peoples as they are grouped in these organizations and labor organizations. The revolution, therefore, will destroy symbolic Jordan; and, therefore, both smitings of Jordan must precede the revolution: (1) since there will be no Jordan to smite after the revolution; and (2) since revolutionary conditions will not permit of Jordan's smiting during the revolution; and (3) since the sentence of destruction upon these institutions must precede their destruction. Since, therefore, the antitypical Elisha's smiting, also, must precede the revolution, he must have the antitypical mantle before the revolution; but the Little Flock does not leave the world until early in anarchy: evidently, therefore, Elisha gets Elijah's mantle some time before Elijah leaves this earth for heaven. Hence, there is a time parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha and the former's leaving the earth, during which time parenthesis the acts typed by Elisha's ministry take place.
(80) Another argument demonstrates that Elisha will have the mantle before the revolution. We have just proven that the revolutionists will destroy the dragon, beast, and image of the beast. The destruction of these institutions is typed by the destruction of the whole family of Ahab (2 Kings 9 and 10). Ahab himself represents the dragon— Europe as an Autocracy; Ahaziah, his son, the dragon— Europe as consisting of a number of separate nations acting independently of one another; while Jehoram seems to represent the dragon—Europe as a Concert of Powers that has existed for about 120 years. The rest of the children of Ahab seem to represent all the separate governments either constituting, or more or less associated with, the dragon in this last-mentioned phase. Jezebel represents the beast and the image of the beast (B 256; D, "Battle of Armageddon" chapter, top of page ii). Jehu in a revolution killed Ahab's family. Therefore, just
as the revolutionists will destroy the last-mentioned phase of the dragon as well as the beast and its image, they stand related to these, just as Jehu, the revolutionist, stood related to the types of these. Therefore, Jehu represents the revolutionists. Turning to 2 Kings 9: 1-10 we learn that Elisha somewhat less than twelve years after he had received the mantle, anointed Jehu through a representative to become the revolutionist; consequently the antitypical Elisha was to have the mantle some considerable time before the revolution; for he anoints the revolutionists, and since the Elijah class does not leave the world until early in anarchy, the antitypical Elisha has the mantle a long time before the antitypical Elijah will leave the world; hence, there is a time parenthesis of some duration in the antitype between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha and the antitypical Elijah's leaving the world, during which time parenthesis the events typed by Elisha's acts in the book of 2 Kings set in.
(81) Rev. 16: 17, according to the Berean comments, proves that the Great Company as such would circulate as its message the contents of the seventh vial, which, according to verses 18-20, precedes the revolution. To have the power implied in circulating this message implies the existence of the Great Company as such, and, therefore, its separation from the Little Flock and its having the mantle; and, hence, this passage is another proof that the Great Company would have the antitypical mantle quite a while before the antitypical Elijah leaves the earth, which does not take place until early in anarchy, an event preceded by the revolution, which, in turn, is preceded by the Great Company as such pouring out the seventh vial. Actually, the present argument in the light of experience demonstrates that the antitypical Elisha would have the mantle before the war would be over. This argument clearly proves that there is a time parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and
Elisha and the taking of the antitypical Elijah to heaven, in which time parenthesis the events typed by Elisha's ministry occur. The writer believes that "The Finished Mystery" is the seventh vial in a vile condition. C. J. Woodworth seems to have labored under an exaggerated estimate of the ministry of his book, when he found Volume VII referred to so frequently in Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible, i.e., under some sixty different designations, chariot, etc., etc., etc. The writer is of the opinion that the only direct reference by designation to the Seventh Volume made in the book of Revelation is in the 16th chapter, 17th verse, under the symbol of the seventh vial. It has been doing a work plaguesome to Babylon. The exposing or refutative truths of the book surely did smite Jordan and plague Babylon; but as far as the writer can see, these are its only missions having Divine approval. It seems to be wholly unfit for the edification of the Little Flock; and is proven to be one of the features of the strong delusion that entrapped the Great Company. In the words of Rev. 16: 17, "It is done," given as the Great Company's message, we have a prophecy to the effect that the Great Company would declare the completion of the Little Flock, a thing that Volume VII announced as imminent. Its completion was openly taught at the 1918 Passover Convention at Brooklyn by certain of the Society leaders. The title of the book, "Finished Mystery," was by its writers, as well as by some of their co-laborers, selected on the basis of the message, "It is done"; it is finished. The Great Company were, in harmony with this Scripture, the first to announce the sealing of all of the elect as completed: "It is done," which sealing they claimed was completed at the Passover, 1918. In the writer's judgment their date is two years late. There is strong Scriptural evidence demonstrating that the Elect were all sealed in the forehead before "that Servant" passed beyond the vail; and one passage seems to prove that this was accomplished
by Passover, 1916. But detailed proofs of this will be found in our issue of Aug., 1929.
(82) The statement in Rev. 19: 1, 2, combined with the preceding argument, furnishes us a further proof that the Great Company, distinct and separate from the Little Flock, would, after having the mantle, be heard delivering their plaguing message by the Little Flock while in the flesh. In Rev. 19: 1 the words translated "much people" are the same as the words translated a "great multitude" in verse 6, and in Rev. 7: 9. A summary of the message of the "Big Drive" is given in these two verses. It is this message itself, and this message alone, so summarized, that makes the Seventh Volume the seventh vial; and the Society supporters orally, through Volume VII, "The Fall of Babylon" and several numbers of the Kingdom News, certainly did give the message described in these two verses. That there would be a pause in which they would cease the plaguing is evidenced by the third verse, which shows a renewal of the denunciation of Babylon as follows: "and again they said Hallelujah, and her smoke rose up forever and ever." We seem to be living in this pause, which will be broken, when again they will say, "Hallelujah, and her smoke rose up forever and ever." [This chapter was published in the first issue of The Present Truth in Dec., 1918, then again in May, 1919. When the Government later ceased prosecuting the Society leaders and permitted the sale of Vol. VII, the pause ended and the Society adherents began to fulfill Rev. 19: 3 as we had on the basis of this verse forecast it of them.]
(83) F.H. McGee criticizes the writer's use of this, our fifth argument, on the alleged ground that some of the things heard by John in Revelation will not occur until long after the Little Flock has left the flesh. Our answer is that, while in some cases the things John saw were things to be fulfilled after the John class leaves the world, his objection, it will be seen, is not well
taken against the use of these verses to prove that the John class while in the flesh would hear the Great Company as such deliver its message; for these two verses are not of those that refer to events occurring after the Church leaves the flesh. The following remarks, we trust, will clarify the subject: As we all know, what John does in Revelation, symbolizes what the Church does during those fulfillments symbolized by John's actions. Let us remember that every thing that John heard and saw, as recorded in the Revelation, he heard and saw on the Isle of Patmos. The word Patmos means suffering, mortal, and is used to symbolize the suffering and mortal condition in which the Church lives while in the flesh. Therefore, while in the flesh, i.e., on symbolic Patmos, the antitypical John would do all of the things symbolized by the Apostle's acts during the vision on literal Patmos. Some of the things that John saw represent things that, happening while he was in the flesh, the antitypical John would see while in the mortal, suffering condition, symbolic Patmos, with the eyes of the body, as well as of the understanding; and some of the things that John saw represent things which would occur after the antitypical John would leave the flesh, and which he would see while in the flesh, i.e., on symbolic Patmos, by the eye of faith alone. In Rev. 6 and 7 the events that he is represented as seeing, he saw while in the flesh, with the eyes of the body, as well as of the understanding. In other words, everything in the book is seen by antitypical John while in the flesh, whether they occur while he is in the flesh or not. If they occur after he leaves the flesh, while in the flesh he sees them with the eyes of his understanding alone; and if they occur while he is in the flesh he sees them with both physical and mental eyes. But whenever he is said to hear this or that the reference always is to things transpiring at the time of the hearing. It will be noted that the text does not say John saw, but John
heard the Great Company message. This refutes the objection of F.H. McGee. Additional to the fact that John's hearing this or that means that it refers to things transpiring before him, from the statement and work of the Great Company as given in Rev. 16: 17 preceding the revolution of verses 18-20, which work is in part described in Rev. 19: 1, 2, we conclude that this work is before the revolution and is, therefore, before the Church leaves the flesh, which occurs early in anarchy. Therefore, it is with the ears of both body and mind that the John class hears the message of the Great Company (Rev. 19: 1, 2) delivered while the Little Flock is yet in the flesh.
(84) C. J. Woodworth's statement that the John class hears this message, while in heaven, outside the body, is in harmony with the thought that the Great Company does not get their mantle, until after the Little Flock leaves the earth; but is out of harmony with the book of Revelation, because it takes the John class away from symbolic Patmos, the mortal, suffering condition, as witnessing the things described; and this, of course, is in disharmony with the fact that the literal John saw and heard the whole Revelation, while on the literal Patmos, and that, therefore, the John class must witness either bodily or mentally the fulfillments on symbolic Patmos. Therefore, C. J. Woodworth and F.H. McGee seem to be mistaken on the proper understanding of the passage. For the facts above-stated prove that, while in the flesh, with their physical and mental ears; the antitypical John would hear the Great Company rebuking Great Babylon, which rebuke is a part of the work called the second smiting of Jordan. Consequently, we conclude from this proof that there is a time parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha, and the antitypical Elijah's leaving this earth for heaven,
in which time parenthesis the acts typed by Elisha in the book of 2 Kings are performed.
(85) Without entering into an explanation of the meaning of the type, we set forth the anointing of Hazael by Elisha (2 Kings 8: 7-13) as antityping something that takes place before the revolution, which is proved both by the order of the events in 2 Kings 8 and 9 and by the statement made in 1 Kings 19: 15-18, where we are shown that, with certain exceptions, those who are delivered from Hazael's symbolic sword will be slain by Jehu's symbolic sword. Since Jehu, as proven above, represents the revolutionists and will slay with certain exceptions those who escape Hazael's sword, Hazael must begin his work of slaying with his symbolic sword before Jehu begins his. Since Elisha anointed Hazael (2 Kings 8: 7-15) by his speech, and not with oil—even as Elijah anointed Elisha not with oil, but with his mantle (1 Kings 19: 19-21), but not, as F.H. McGee intimates, on the day of their separation—to begin his work of slaying before he anointed Jehu (2 Kings 9: 1-10) to inaugurate the revolution in Israel, it follows that Elisha, who quite a number of years after receiving the mantle anointed Hazael, represents something that the Great Company, after separating from the Little Flock, does before anointing the revolutionists for the revolution; hence, it follows that there is parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha, and the antitypical Elijah's leaving this earth (since the Little Flock does not leave until early in anarchy), in which time-parenthesis the acts typed by Elisha in the book of 2 Kings actually occur.
(86) Closely connected with the preceding argument is another drawn from 1 Kings 19: 18. In the preceding verses, as we have just explained, Hazael, Jehu and Elisha are each separately spoken of as doing with his symbolic sword a slaying work. From the 18th verse we learn that 7000 only (those who have
not bowed the knee to Baal or kissed him) would overcome the symbolic swords of these three classes; and in Rom. 11: 4 Paul assures us that these 7000 represent the "very elect"; consequently it follows that the antitypical Elijah, overcoming as he will the swords, not only of Hazael and Jehu, but the sword of Elisha as well, must to overcome the latter's sword be in the world after Elisha gets his sword, which, of course, happened after his separation from Elijah; hence, this argument is another that proves the time-parenthesis existing in the antitype between the separation of the Little Flock and the Great Company, on the one hand, and the taking of the Little Flock from this world, on the other, in which parenthesis the acts typed by Elisha in the book of 2 Kings take place.
(87) The sending away of Azazel's Goat by the High Priest (Lev. 16: 20-22) demonstrates that the Elisha class as separate from the Elijah class exercises its office for some time, while the antitypical Elijah is yet in the flesh. Not only does the High Priest in the robes of sacrifice confess the special sins of all Israel over this Goat, but while so arrayed he leads it from the door of the Tabernacle to the gate of the court, and sends it away in the hands of the fit man. His sacrificial robes represent the thought that while doing these two works, He would in some of His members yet be in the flesh. Since this is the last priestly work that the World's High Priest does in the flesh before leaving the earth, both parts of this work are evidently participated in by all of the last representatives of the World's High Priest. We have already shown that confessing the sins over this Goat represents how in the figure of Jordan's smiting the Elijah class reproved evil-doers in the hearing of the Great Company class, both in and out of the Truth, from the fall of 1914 to that of 1916. This implies that, before this period was over, everyone of the last members of the World's High Priest would share in at least a part of the confessing
of these sins of willfulness over the head of this antitypical Goat; and this agrees with the thought that some time before "that Servant" passed beyond the vail—that is, about the preceding Passover—all of the Elect were sealed in their foreheads. Thus, even the last one sealed was given a share in this confessing work and, hence, a share in smiting Jordan. Elisha's separation from Elijah is the same general work as the driving of the Levites as new creatures away from the priests out of the holy into the court. While as new creatures they are being so treated, their humanity is by the High Priest (as represented by Azazel's Goat being led from the door of the Tabernacle to the gate of the court and falling into the hands of the fit man) driven away from sacrificing on the Altar, where they exert frantic efforts to follow their own wills and their own double-mindedness, i.e., their revolutionism, in the court, and are given over to the unfavorable circumstances and persons who will work at the destruction of their flesh.
(88) Having seen that the confession of Christendom's wilful sins over the head of the Great Company was finished in the Fall of 1916, we remark: in America, public dragging of the main part of the Great Company class from their usurped forms of service took place after the controllership of the Society was seized by them, through the priests resisting their evil works, especially by the four publications issued by the majority of the Directors, F.H. McGee, the writer and other members of the High Priest, part of these assisting financially and otherwise to carry out this work. To defend themselves against these resisting exposures, the usurping brothers with their supporters, sought to divert attention from these exposures and resorted to the "great drive," through which their errors of interpretation led to their falling into the hands of the fit man. The fit man for these was, first, unfavorable circumstances, the war conditions; and,
second, investigating, prosecuting, judicial and penal officials, culminating in severe punishments. Procedures identical in principle, if not just like them in outward form, have been or will be enacted against other members of this class, until all of the Great Company will have been thus dragged from the door of the Tabernacle to the gate of the court, and sent away in the hands of the fit man. There seems to be reason for believing that this work will continue perhaps for several years. It began in the Fall of 1916 in England in connection with our work there; and all of the work of leading Azazel's Goat forth is done by the High Priest through those of His members who are in the flesh resisting the Great Company's revolutionism. This work is represented by the priest dragging the goat; and the efforts of the Great Company to escape are represented by the goat's jerking, the conflict between the two ending only after Azazel's Goat reaches the hands of the antitypical fit man. Let us repeat the statement: This work of dragging this Goat forth seemingly is a long-drawn-out affair! Various sections of Azazel's Goat being successively so treated, it will probably be several years yet before the entire work is finished by the High Priest through His members in the flesh. This whole transaction proves that there is a time parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha, and the former's being taken from this earth, in which parenthesis the acts typed by Elisha's acts in 2 Kings are done.
(89) Before leaving this point it might be well to refute an opinion that is widespread among the Society friends; i.e., that the Society leaders and others of their number who have been imprisoned are the antitypical John the Baptist in prison. If this were true, what we said regarding them as a part of Azazel's Goat coming into the hands of the fit man could not be true; but this, like some others of their experiences, is a counterfeit of the experiences of the
true Church. Just as the Elisha class, claiming to be the real Elijah, is a counterfeit Elijah, so the Elisha class claiming to be John the Baptist is a counterfeit John the Baptist. In every case these experiences are counterfeits. We can see this to be true of their John the Baptist claim from a consideration of two facts. In the first place, they were not brought into their trouble because of denouncing an illicit union between the American government and the Romanist Church; for neither did they denounce, nor were they prosecuted and imprisoned for denouncing, such a union; therefore, their imprisonment could not antitype John's imprisonment for reproving Herod and Herodias. In the second place, their contention is untrue because that feature of the union between the Church and State, represented by the union of Herod and Herodias, had not as yet taken place. Had these dear brothers given heed to "that Servant's" uniform teaching on this subject, whose last printed expression thereon is found in his Foreword to Vol. III, page iv, par. 1, and in the Foreword of Volume IV, pages ii, iii (where he shows that this union will take place after the war and before the revolution; and then bring about the persecution of the antitypical John class during the period in which the antitypical Herodias will sit as queen, compare Rev. 17: 3-6, 16-18, Rev. 18: 7-10), they would, perhaps, not have fallen into this mistake. Thus, we see for these two reasons alone their claim of being the antitypical John the Baptist in prison is unfounded. This experience of the antitypical John is yet future, [which was true in 1918 when this article was written; but his experience of restraint—the antitypical imprisonment— began Aug. 3, 1927], and their experience, set forth as such, is a counterfeit-John-the-Baptist-imprisonmentexperience, which does not type a literal imprisonment, as their smiting of Jordan was the genuine second, but a counterfeit first smiting of Jordan. Instead of the antitypical John-the-Baptist-experience,
they are undergoing the experiences of a part of Azazel's Goat at the hands of the fit man. Truly, our God moves in a mysterious way!
(90) Elijah's remaining on the earth, and performing in one case an active ministry years after his separation from Elisha proves that there is a time-parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha and the former's being taken away from this earth, during which parenthesis the antitypical Elisha performs the acts that Elisha typed in the book of 2 Kings. The act in question is Elijah's sending a letter, about eight years after the separation, to Jehoram, King of Judah, severely reproving him for his sins and threatening him with condign punishment from the Lord (2 Chro. 21: 12-15). Those of his punishments that are recorded in vs. 16, 17 preceded his incurable sickness, from which disease he died after it plagued him for two years. Probably the events, for which F.H. McGee makes no time allowance recorded in vs. 16, 17, lasted two years. Some considerable lapse of time between the sending of the letter and the beginning of the punishments of vs. 16, 17 must have occurred. The letter, in all likelihood, was sent about the fourth year of Jehoram's reign, which lasted eight years. F.H. McGee overlooks the language of v. 18, where the words, "after all this," occur, which refer to the many events of vs. 16, 17; and he assumes that the sickness set in immediately after the letter came. However, the determination of the length of the period between the separation of Elijah and Elisha and the letter's coming to Jehoram is not essential to the argument that we are presenting. The writer thinks the period was about eight years. If one can prove that Elijah, and not Elisha, sent this letter, no matter how long the interval between the separation and the letter, our point would be proven. We will establish this point, and then make some chronological remarks that will prove F.H. McGee's chronology to
be incorrect and confusing to one giving it close attention.
(91) Before establishing this thought let us reason on the letter itself. The language is: "There came a writing to him from Elijah, the prophet, saying," etc. The structure of the language proves that at the start of its journey the letter left Elijah; for the writing came from Elijah. If the thought that some assume were true, that Elijah wrote the letter as a prophecy, before the separation, and deposited it with some one else for delivery when the proper time would come, the language, to change it as little as possible, would have to read as follows to make that thought even probable: "There came a writing of Elijah, the prophet, saying"; and even if the language should so read, it would still not absolutely determine the question as to whether it was started on its journey by Elijah directly or by him through an agent. But the form of the language actually used shows that the letter left Elijah at the time that it was sent; for the language says, "There came a letter from Elijah, the prophet."
(92) F.H. McGee properly rejects the theory that the letter was a prophecy of the wickedness, as well as of the punishment of Jehoram, and was deposited by Elijah with some one before he separated from Elisha. He advocates another theory: namely, that the word, Elisha, ought to be put into the text instead of Elijah. He told us at the Asbury Park Convention that he made this statement on good authority. It seems, therefore, that, according to his "Letter of Importance, this authority is the note on Josephus' account of this transaction by his translator, Mr. Whiston, who, in his note on the passage in Josephus, where the latter in harmony with the Bible, said Elijah sent the letter, and where, according to the best readings, he adds that he was yet upon the earth, makes the following criticism: "This epistle in some copies of Josephus is said to have come to Jehoram from Elijah, with this
addition, 'for he was yet upon earth,' which could not be true of Elijah, who as all [nominal churchmen] agree, was gone from the earth about four (not thirteen as F.H. McGee puts it) years before, and could only be true of Elisha, nor, perhaps, is there any more mystery here than that the name of Elijah has anciently crept into the text instead of Elisha." So far Mr. Whiston.
(93) From this remark we notice that Josephus, a priest, being familiar with the Hebrew text, proves the fact that in his day the Hebrew text in this passage, read, not Elisha, but Elijah, who in harmony with Jewish beliefs, was on earth after the separation; hence we conclude that the Hebrew text in the time of Christ contained the word Elijah. Furthermore, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which is called the Septuagint, and which was made according to the best authorities between 286 and 284 B. C., reads Elijah, and not Elisha, and therefore we see that the reading Elijah was recognized as right even so long ago as 300 years before our era. No translation contains the word Elisha; there is no Hebrew text that gives Elisha as a variant reading; thus we have the strongest kind of manuscript evidence that the reading Elijah is correct.
(94) In addition to the manuscript, the doctrinal argument is also strong. When we understand the basis of Mr. Whiston's objection, and realize that such an objection could not have occurred to the ancient Jews, nor will it to Truth people, if they are on their guard, we see the unsoundness of the whole argument. Mr. Whiston, contrary to the Bible (John 3: 13) believed, as the whole nominal church does, that Elijah went forever to the heavens where the saints will dwell with God; and of course, deluded by this thought, he was forced to accept one or the other of the two above-mentioned theories, which deny that the letter came from Elijah; but the Jews, not believing such a
doctrine, had not the least difficulty in believing that Elijah was temporarily taken somewhere into the skies, and then left down on the earth again. (2 Kings 2: 16; compare with Acts 8: 39, 40.) Therefore it never occurred to them to question the statement that Elijah sent the letter. Nor can false and nominal-church doctrines be accepted by Truth people as a compelling reason for rejecting an invariant Bible reading in the original, and occurring in all translations.
(95) To F.H. McGee's objection that Elijah being no longer the prophet, when the letter was sent, while the letter is said to have come from the prophet, which expression he claims implies that Elisha, being the prophet, must be meant, we answer: The Bible as well as ordinary usage frequently gives one titles of office long after he has ceased to exercise the office. We speak of Colonel Roosevelt, and yet he has long since ceased exercising the office of a Colonel. In Heb. 10: 12, we read: "But this man … sat down at the right hand of God." Here our Lord is spoken of as a man in glory; not because he is yet a man, but because he had once been a man. We therefore conclude that F.H. McGee's rejection from the Bible of an incontestable reading, which rejection is necessary for the plausibility of his theory, is an arbitrary procedure, whose underlying principle implies the right to alter the Bible to maintain one's personal theories, and is also a proof of the weakness of his position. This passage proves that Elijah by the whirlwind—not the chariot—left the earth for a short time only; then returned and lived here a long while, and during such abode on the earth sent this letter to Jehoram, as stated in 2 Chro. 21: 12-15.
(96) Why did Elijah have to return to the earth? Apparently to send the letter as a partial typical equivalent of John's typical reproof of Herod. For just as John reproved the wickedness of Herod connected
with Herodias, so Elijah reproved the wickedness of Jehoram connected with the latter's union with the daughter of Ahab, who was half-heathen and wholly idolatrous, and who introduced Baalism and many other evils into Judah. This types in part the reproof the true Church will give to the civil power, for an antitypical wrong union, a reproof that is typed in more detail by the circumstances connected with that of John, who as we know is typically an elaboration of the Elijah type. This type proves that the true Church has yet [after 1918] a public work to perform; it also proves that the antitype of John the Baptist's experience must occur after the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha. [Since 1918 both Elijah's Letter and John's Rebuke have gone forth.] Thus Elijah's letter is given us in the Scriptures as a sure proof of the fact that there is a time-parenthesis between the separation of the antitypical Elijah and Elisha, and the former's whirlwind experience, during which time-parenthesis the acts typed by Elisha in 2 Kings occur.
(97) Before leaving the discussion of this letter we desire to make a few chronological explanations, which will harmonize the chronology that F.H. McGee leaves unharmonized. There are difficulties in dovetailing the chronologies of the Kings of Judah and of Israel with one another from the reign of Ahab until the end of the reign of Jehoram, kings of Israel. The key to the difficulty lies in these facts: While preparing for their war with the King of Syria, Ahab took his son, Ahaziah, as his coregent, and Jehoshaphat took his son, Jehoram, as his coregent. At the time of the death of Ahab, Ahaziah took his brother, Jehoram, the son of Ahab, as his coregent; while a year before he died, Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, took his son, Ahaziah, as his coregent. If we keep these facts in mind every tangle will be taken out of
the chronology of these reigns. In proof of this we submit the following:
(98) Ahab died in the twenty-second year of his reign, and in the eighteenth of Jehoshaphat's (1 Kings 16: 29; 22: 41, 42); but in the seventeenth year of the latter's reign, Ahab took his son, Ahaziah, as his coregent (1 Kings 22: 51). The latter died after a reign of (somewhat over) two years (1 Kings 22: 51), and was succeeded by his brother, Jehoram, in the fifth year (2 Kings 8: 16), before Jehoshaphat's death, i.e., in the twenty-first year of Jehoshaphat's reign. But his brother Ahaziah took him as his coregent in Jehoshaphat's eighteenth year (2 Kings 3: 1), which was, therefore, just after Ahab's death. In the second year before the beginning of Jehoram's coregental reign, Jehoshaphat took his son, also a Jehoram, as his coregent (2 Kings 1: 17), which, therefore, was in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat and hence in the same year as Ahab took his son Ahaziah as his coregent, seemingly at the time of preparation for the war with Syria (1 Kings 22). Jehoram of Judah in the eleventh year of Jehoram of Israel (2 Kings 9: 29), took his own son Ahaziah as his coregent, and was succeeded by the latter in the twelfth year of Jehoram of Israel (2 Kings 8: 25). This brief and, we trust, clear explanation takes all the tangles and apparent contradictions out of these chronologies, which have puzzled chronologians for centuries.
(99) Jehoram, King of Israel, as shown above, became sole king in the twenty-first year of Jehoshaphat's reign. The separation between Elijah and Elisha occurred after the death of Ahaziah, the brother of Jehoram, according to 2 Kings 1 and 2, and therefore the separation between Elijah and Elisha occurred sometime (exactly when we do not know) between the beginning of the twenty-first and the end of the twenty-fifth year of Jehoshaphat's reign (2 Kings 3: 6-14). Let us, making very liberal concessions,
say that this separation took place four full years before the death of Jehoshaphat, and that Elijah's letter came to Jehoram four full years after Jehoshaphat's death. This would make the period between the separation of the two prophets and the sending of the letter eight years, and not thirteen years, as F.H. McGee thinks. Mr. Whiston, as shown foregoing, gives it as four, but this is very probably too short a time for the fulfillment of the pertinent events.
(100) However, as said before, the determination of the exact length of time between the separation of Elijah and Elisha, and the sending of the letter, is not material to the question as to who sent the letter; for Elijah could have lived thirteen as well as six or eight years after the separation. But the thing for us to emphasize in this matter is reverently to hold by the invariant reading of the Hebrew manuscripts and all the translations of 2 Chro. 21: 12; and not, after the manner of higher critics and the clergy, whom, of course, F.H. McGee did not mean to imitate, arbitrarily reject it for a theory.
(101) Knowing that before the separation some of the Lord's people would expect the antitypical Elijah to leave the world before the antitypical Elisha would get the mantle, our dear Heavenly Father doubtless has been graciously pleased to insert this bit of history about Elijah's letter into the Bible to help us, one and all, to see the truth on the subject, after we had stood the necessary tests. In other words, the peculiar historical setting of the separation between Elijah and Elisha, the former's ascension to heaven and the latter's activities in the book of 2 Kings are a part of the Divine wisdom to hide the time succession of the antitypical events, in order to the severer testing of all concerned. "Righteous are thy judgments, O Lord!" And for them we praise Him.
(102) We thus conclude, from the nine reasons above given, that there is a time-parenthesis between