Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
1 Corinthians 4: 5
RETROSPECT IS defined in the dictionary as a survey or review of a past course of events or period of time. As Parousia and Epiphany Bible Students, it is a good practice, from time to time, to contemplate some of the key religious and secular dates, events and works of the recent past in the light of the progressive fulfillment of God’s Plan, as an encouragement to our faith. This article will act as a summary; for details, we refer the reader to appropriate material in our two Websites.
Since the Fall of 1914, we have been in the Epiphany stage of our Lord’s Return and the Time of Trouble, both designations being synonymous. This period of time is Scripturally referred to as a night, in contrast to the 40-year period of the Gospel Age Harvest, from the Fall of 1874 until the Fall of 1914, which is referred to as a day. 1914 witnessed many important events and works. On September 16th of that year, the High Calling closed, and the final member of the Little Flock became spirit-begotten. This signaled the end of the Parousia in the restricted sense – the reaping, the first of the seven Harvest processes came to a close (John 9: 4). The gleaning, however, continued until the Spring of 1916, but that work was performed, not by the Little Flock, but by the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. The end of the gleaning meant that every member of the Little Flock had been sealed in their foreheads – had received enough Truth to enable them to leave Babylon.
In 1914 Christ was given the dominion (Daniel 7: 13, 14) of the earth. The Gentile Times ended and our Lord began the eviction process, evidenced by the beginning of World War I. Satan’s binding had reached a stage in which he was unable to control the masses as previously, which caused him to plunge the world into World War I. From the Fall of 1914 until the Fall of 1916 the Little Flock engaged in an attestatorial service (Leviticus 12: 2-4). This is variously called the first smiting of Jordan, Gideon’s First Battle, confessing the sins over Azazel’s Goat, binding the kings and princes, pronouncing the judgment written, etc. Bro. Russell and his co-workers engaged in the work of refuting the Divine Right of clergy, kings, aristocracy and labor.
Great Company and Youthful Worthies
Following 1914 the Lord began dealing with His final two Gospel Age elect classes – the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. The Youthful Worthy call opened on September 16, 1914, and was manifested as a class in early 1917. The separation of Elijah (the Little Flock) and Elisha (the Great Company), manifested as two separate and distinct classes began in June of 1917. The World’s High Priest (Head and Body) dealt with Azazel’s Goat (the Great Company) through various processes for the purpose of cleansing the Great Company, so that they could prove worthy of gaining eternal life.
World War II was waged from 1939 until 1945. The Jews were hunted, and millions were put to death under Hitler. But this eventually led to Israel becoming a nation among the nations on May 14, 1948 (Luke 21: 29-31).
The next marked event is that the final member of the Little Flock passed beyond the veil on October 22, 1950. This meant that the marriage of the Lamb was complete, and the marriage supper began, consisting of many wonderful blessings in heaven. The first part of the Marriage Supper consists of God providing for, and making of a public celebration of the fact of the marriage of Christ and the Church before, and participated in by the heavenly host and the Great Company (when they were complete). This announcement was made on earth by the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies, which consisted of the message of Revelation 19: 5-9. That message was that the Bride was complete and in glory, and that the Great
Company was invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
1954 – A Significant Date
1954 is a significant date in the Scriptures. The Youthful Worthy call closed on September 16, 1954, at the end of the Epiphany period in the narrow sense. Another attestatorial service (Leviticus 12: 5) began at that time, engaged in by the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. Although this work had its initial beginning from the Fall of 1954 until the Fall of 1956, it continues to this day. That work consists in the building up of the Epiphany Camp from among Jews and Gentiles. With the close of the Youthful Worthy call another call opened up – that of the Consecrated Epiphany Campers. This class is the first and highest class of the Restitution class, the class that will inherit the new earth. The Consecrated Epiphany Campers also assist in building up the Epiphany Camp.
On February 14, 1979, the final member of the Great Company finished his course in this life. We understand that shortly after that date the resurrection of the Great Company class took place, and that they have now entered into the blessings of the Marriage Supper. As to when the Youthful Worthies finished their course in this life, or if that is still future, seems to be something that the Lord has not revealed yet, so it is best not to be dogmatic on that subject.
Prospect for the Future
Let us now proceed to consider the prospect for the future, which will include a discussion of some dates, events and works. Of course, when discussing future matters, we need to recognize that the Lord generally does not reveal future details.
I Kings 19: 11, 12 describes the three phases of the Time of Trouble – a great and strong wind (World War), an earthquake (World Revolution) and a fire (World Anarchy). The still small voice following is the earthly phase of God’s Kingdom. Without being dogmatic, it seems as if the World War (in its two phases) is complete, and that we are presently in between the World War and World Revolution phases, although current world events appear to point to the fact that we are in the insipient stage of World Revolution. Following World Revolution there will likely be a brief intermission before World Anarchy begins. In between each phase famine and pestilence take their toll on mankind. Furthermore, following each phase, Satan experiences greater binding by the Truth.
At the end of World Anarchy, Jacob’s Trouble Phase 2 (Ezekiel 38, 39; Zechariah 12: 1-9; 14: 1-3) will take place, after which Satan will be completely bound. As a result of the Lord’s miraculous deliverance of the nation of Israel, the conversion of Israel to Christ will take place (Zechariah 12: 10). Perhaps many Jews at that time will go on to consecration and become Consecrated Epiphany Campers.
Sprinkling of the Blood
The next important event will be the sprinkling of the blood of the Lord’s antitypical Goat (Leviticus 16: 15) in heaven. Our Lord will present His perfect human merit before the Father (a second time), and the Father will accept the sin offering (in its second part). Our Lord will purchase the world (Psalm 2: 8) with His perfect human merit, and He and His Bride will be granted all the knowledge and powers (the other parts of the Marriage Supper) by the Father that will be necessary for the great restitution work on behalf of the world of mankind.
The resurrection work under the New Covenant will then proceed in the following order:
(1.) The seventy greatest Ancient and Youthful Worthies (antitypical Zimran).
(2.) The rest of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies (antitypical Jokshan). Following the resurrection of this class, restitution will begin with the living generation, followed by the raising of the dead, generation by generation, beginning with the generation that last entered the grave.
(3.) The Consecrated Epiphany Campers (antitypical Medan).
(4.) Quasi-elect Fleshly Israel (antitypical Midian).
(5.) Quasi-elect Gentiles (antitypical Ishbak).
(6.) The non-elect (antitypical Shuah).
In the Fall of 2874, the Mediatorial Reign will come to an end and Christ will turn over the perfected race of mankind to the Father (1 Corinthians 15: 24) (Isaiah 53: 11). The Little Season will last for forty years and begin to end in the Fall of 2914. Satan will be loosed during the Little Season (Revelation 20: 3), and the Father, through Christ, will use those circumstances to administer a final test upon mankind to determine those worthy of eternal life, and those worthy of the Second Death. The faithful restitutionists will then enter upon the Ages of glory following the Little Season.