Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
THE BIBLE EPIPHANY.
THE MEANING OF THE WORDS, EPIPHAINO, EPIPHANEIA, APOKALYPSIS AND PAROUSIA. FIRST GREAT COMPANY ACTIVITIES, OCT., 16, 17, 1916. PURPOSES OF THE EPIPHANY PERIOD TOWARD THE WORLD. SEPARATION OF THE LITTLE FLOCK AND THE GREAT COMPANY. THE LORD JESUS' MANIFESTING HIMSELF TO THE GREAT COMPANY AS SUCH. TEN PROOFS THAT WE ARE IN THE EPIPHANY. EXAMINATION OF DAWN'S PERTINENT ERRORS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS. DURATION OF THE EPIPHANY. THE DAYS OF LUKE 17: 22, 26, ETC. THE EPIPHANY AND THE TIME OF TROUBLE IDENTICAL. BIBLICAL PROOF THEREOF. CORROBORATIVE EXPLANATIONS OF THAT SERVANT. THE CHURCH'S EPIPHANY WORK: TOWARD ITSELF; TOWARD THE YOUTHFUL WORTHIES; TOWARD THE GREAT COMPANY; TOWARD THE WORLD. BEREAN QUESTIONS.
IN THIS chapter we desire first of all to investigate the Biblical use of the word Epiphany and some of its related thoughts. While we note the fact that the word Epiphany, though frequently used in English, does not occur in the English Bible, we should recognize that the word epiphaneia, from which it is derived, does occur in the Greek of the New Testament. In all, it is found in six passages, which we herewith cite: 2 Thes. 2: 8; 1 Tim. 6: 14; 2 Tim. 1: 10; 4: 1, 8; and Tit. 2: 13. In arriving at an understanding of its meaning the consideration of a few things will prove helpful: (1) the word epiphaino, from which epiphaneia is derived; (2) the meaning of its basic part, phaino; (3) the meaning of the preposition epi, with which phaino is compounded; (4) the force added to the word phaino by this preposition; (5) all the occurrences of epiphaneia in the Bible; (6) its various uses in the Scriptures; and (7) the general trend of Scriptural thought connected with the word.
(2) We remark on the first point, that the word epiphaneia is not derived from a simple, but a compound
word—epiphaino—which is formed by uniting the preposition epi, meaning on, over, at, etc., with the verb phaino, meaning to shine, to manifest. Epiphaino derives its basic meaning from the verb phaino, and the preposition epi intensifies the meaning of phaino in the compound word, so that epiphaino means to shine brightly, to manifest clearly. These remarks help us to arrive at a definition of the word epiphaneia, which, in harmony with Greek dictionaries, we may give primarily as bright shining, clear manifestation. As a rule it refers to making an obscure or unseen thing very apparent to the physical or to the mental eyes. As we study its occurrences in the New Testament, we will be able clearly to see this. We precede the study of the six passages in which the Greek word epiphaneia occurs by the quotation and a brief explanation of the four passages in which epiphaino, its root word, is found in the New Testament, italicizing the English words that translate it: "The day spring [sunrising, in the margin, i.e., Christ] from on High hath visited us, to give light [to give the bright shining of the Sun of Truth] to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1: 78, 79). Here manifestly Jesus (John 1: 9; 8: 12; 9: 5) is referred to as the One who clearly manifests the Lord's ways to sinners and to faithful saints. "And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away" (Acts 27: 20). Here the bright shining of the heavenly bodies is referred to as unseen. "The grace [favor] of God that bringeth salvation for all men hath appeared TEACHING us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly" (Tit. 2: 11, 12). Here the thought seems to be that the Gospel Message, which is an expression of God's favor, has been clearly manifested as salutary for all mankind, and, as such
bright light, teaches especially God's people to live holy lives. "After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared" (Tit. 3: 4). Here the Gospel is referred to as causing the kindness and love of God toward man to shine brightly before us. In all four of the above passages it is apparent that our definition of epiphaino given above is correct; it means to shine brightly, to manifest clearly.
(3) A careful and reverent study of the six passages in which the word epiphaneia is found will reveal the fact that the New Testament uses it in two different ways: (1) the act of manifesting persons, principles and things, previously obscure or hidden, by the Truth shining with special brightness; and (2) that period of our Lord's second stay on earth in which the Truth will shine in special brightness, manifesting persons, principles and things hitherto hidden or obscure (1 Cor. 4: 5). In the order of their clearness we present with brief comments first the four passages in which epiphaneia, whose English equivalents in the respective passages we italicize, is used to mean "the act of manifesting persons, principles and things, previously obscure or hidden by the Truth shining with special brightness." "Who [God] hath saved us and called us with an holy calling … according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but [which] is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (2 Tim. 1: 9, 10). In this passage the Plan and favors that God prepared before the world began for His people are spoken of as being clearly revealed by the epiphaneia, the bright-shining, the clear teaching, of Jesus respecting persons, principles and things. Among the things clearly manifested by Jesus through the Gospel God's Truth, St. Paul mentions life and immortality. This passage is very clear as proving our
first explanation of the New Testament use of the word epiphaneia. It will be noted that in this passage the epiphaneia, the clear manifestation, was in connection with the Jewish Harvest.
(4)"Looking for the blessed hope [of seeing and being with and like our Lord, Col. 3: 4; 1 John 3: 2] and the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ." (Tit. 2: 13, A.R.V.) By the expression, the glory of our great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, we are not to understand, as some think, a dazzling natural light, but the brightness of their perfect characters shining resplendent in supreme Wisdom, Power, Justice and Love (Is. 6: 3; Ps. 72: 19; Num. 14: 21; Rev. 4: 8; 5: 12, 13; 15: 3, 4). This passage says that the Lord's children are expecting two things in connection with our Lord's second stay on earth: (1) the realization of their hopes of seeing and being with and like Him, and (2) a clear manifestation of the resplendent character of God and of Christ Jesus throughout the earth, even as Heaven is now full of their glory. Thus a manifestation of the glorious characters of God and of Christ Jesus by the Truth shining with special clearness is referred to in this passage. And this, according to the passage under consideration, is to accompany Jesus' second stay on earth. Accordingly, the passage refers to His entire Second Advent period. "Then shall that Wicked [one, the Antichrist] be revealed [manifested], whom the Lord [Jesus] shall consume by the spirit [power] of His mouth [the Bible, the Truth (John 17: 17), is the Lord's mouth, that through which He speaks], and [whom the Lord Jesus] shall destroy with the brightness of His Coming" [His second presence on this earth] (2 Thes. 2: 8). This passage shows us that the glorious and powerful Truth of God will shine so brightly that through its manifestation of the Papacy, in its teachings, character and effects, the Lord will accomplish at His Second Advent the annihilation
of the Antichrist, the Papacy, the Romanist hierarchy as such, and, of course, not its adherents. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day [the Judgment Day]; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (2 Tim. 4: 8). This passage undoubtedly refers to our Lord's second stay on this earth, on the Last Day, when He will reward all God's servants (Rev. 11: 18), who with yearning, love and delight have looked forward to that Day, and when rewarding His faithful followers He will manifest Himself in His glory by the brightness of His Word and works. Our brief examination of the four passages foregoing has resulted in our learning that the word epiphaneia means the act of manifesting persons, principles and things, by the Truth shining with special brightness.
(5) However, this word is used in two other passages in which it occurs in a slightly different sense, namely as the period of time during our Lord's Second Presence in which He will manifest persons, principles and things by the Truth shining with special brightness, even as a consideration of the two pertinent verses will show: "Keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which [appearing] in its own seasons He will show [make known], He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." (1 Tim. 6: 15.) St. Paul here could not have meant to give this injunction to Timothy as an individual, in this passage, because Timothy died at least 18 centuries before the Epiphany was due to set in. As Jesus frequently addressed His followers throughout the Gospel Age in the Apostles, their representatives, so here St. Paul seems in Timothy to address the Lord's people generally, especially the Truth servants, encouraging them to be faithful, until that period of
our Lord's Return which He here calls His appearing, Epiphany (Col. 3: 4, 1 John 3: 2), which this passage shows He will manifest in its separate time periods when, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He takes to Himself His great power and prepares to reign in Millennial glory over the earth (Rev. 11: 15-18; 19: 6-16; 20: 4-6). This passage clearly proves the word to mean a period of time during our Lord's Second Advent, as the following will show:
This period we call by the anglicized form of the word under consideration—Epiphany. We will quote
1 Tim. 6: 15 from the I.V.: "Keep the commandment … until our Lord Jesus Christ's Epiphany, which [Epiphany] in its own seasons He will show, He who [the relative, not interrogative, pronoun] is, etc." In this verse the Epiphany is spoken of as having various seasons, epochs. Hence it must be a period. The Epiphany as a period has a number of seasons: (1) It is divided into the second four of the eight large wonderful days. (2) The eight small wonderful days, 1917-1925, have fallen entirely within the Epiphany. (3) As a whole it is divided into a small Gospel Age. (4) A part of it forms a smaller Gospel Age. (5) In the Epiphany's earlier part it had a still smaller Gospel Age, for each consecutive day of which there was a corresponding year in the Gospel Age; and in these three Miniatures' days or years similar events occurred as occurred in the corresponding years or centuries of the Gospel Age. (6) During these Miniatures the five siftings corresponding to the five Gospel-Age siftings occurred, manifesting the Levites. And (7) the two lappings of two years and one month, the Parousia lapping that long into the Epiphany at the latter's beginning, and the Epiphany, at its end lapping into the Basileia for the same time. Certainly these things, most of which have already been fulfilled, and some of which are in processes of fulfillment, the rest belonging to the yet remaining part of the Epiphany
prove the word epiphaneia to mean a period also. Other Epiphany periods could be mentioned, but these are enough for our present purpose.
(6) "I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [living] and the dead at [during] His appearing and Kingdom" (2 Tim. 4: 1). The Scriptures assure us that Jesus with His Elect Bride will judge the dead during the thousand years' Reign. The quick, the living, [fallen angels and new creatures] therefore, will be judged, according to this passage, during His appearing, Epiphany; hence it is a period of time connected with our Lord's Second Advent. The I.V. offers the following translation of 2 Tim. 4: 1: "Jesus Christ, the one [who] shall judge [the] living and [the] dead, both during His Epiphany and Kingdom." It also offers an alternative translation of the last part of the words above: both as to His Epiphany and Kingdom. The construction of the pertinent words is preferably, according to this version, the accusative of time-duration; hence the rendering: both during His Epiphany and Kingdom. These are the second and third periods of our Lord's Second Advent. The other possible construction is the accusative of specification; hence the secondary translation: both as to His Epiphany and Kingdom. But if the second translation should be preferred by anyone, the disputer of the Epiphany as a period is not at all thereby helped; for it implies that the Epiphany and the Kingdom are periods, because the judging would be as to the conduct of the pertinent ones during their period of trial, which in the first class is the Epiphany and in the second class is the Kingdom. To us the I.V.'s preferable translation seems to be the better, because of its clearness and factualness, which will become clear from the text itself, as well as from parallel passages. By the dead of this verse, we understand Adam's condemned children to be meant, regardless of whether they are in
the dying process or in the death state. (Matt. 8: 22; 2 Cor. 5: 14.) These are to have their judgment—trial for life— during the Millennium, as this verse teaches. (Ps. 72: 1-19; 22: 27-29; Rom. 14: 9; 1 Cor. 15: 23-26; 6: 2; John 5: 25-29; Is. 29: 18, 24; 45: 22, 23; Phil. 2: 9-11; Rev. 1: 6; 5: 10; 20: 4, 6; Matt. 19: 28; 20: 21; Luke 2: 34; 22: 29, 30; Ob. 17, 21; Rev. 14: 1.) Accordingly, the quick will have a judgment during the Epiphany. Who are the quick? Those never under death sentence—the fallen angels and the new creatures, none of whom, as such, have ever been under death sentences. From other Scriptures we gather that the judging process is a separating of the proven good from the proven evil, under trial. (Matt. 25: 31-33.) Those who have eyes to see understand how ever since 1917 the Little Flock and Great Company (all new creatures) are being judged in the sense of being separated following a testing period; and the same thing is, according to this passage, taking place between the penitent and the impenitent fallen angels, the latter to be cut off from the Millennial trial, which the penitent angels will have for their final proving for life. This verse, therefore, teaches that the Epiphany is a period and, as such, is the second period of the Lord's Second Presence.
(7) We understand that the epiphaneia, in the first sense of the word (bright shining, manifesting principles, persons and things), has the same primary meaning as the word apokalypsis (revelation) primarily has. This is evident, we understand, because they do the same thing: the epiphaneia, as an action, reveals persons, principles and things, as they are. Thus the Lord now epiphanizes or apokalypsizes Jehovah, Himself, the Church, the Great Company, the Truth, the hidden things of darkness, the counsels of hearts—in a word, brings all pertinent persons, principles and things to bright light in their real character, in so far as this is necessary at the present stage of God's Plan. Hence
the epiphaneia, the apokalypsis, of our Lord means, not Jesus making Himself visible, nor simply Jesus' making Himself known, but His making every other person and every principle and everything clearly known that is to be made clearly known in the end of the Age. Apokalypsis, like epiphaneia, also means the Epiphany period (1 Cor. 1: 7; 2 Thes. 1: 7; 1 Pet. 1: 7, 13; 4: 13). Accordingly, epiphanizing and apokalypsizing, and the Epiphany and the Apocalypse, being respectively identical, we can see that the special time of such epiphanizing, apokalypsizing, is the time of trouble—the time from 1914 onward for a considerable number of years yet. The following Scriptures prove this thought: Luke 17: 29, 30 [Sodom's destruction typing Christendom's (Rev. 11: 8)]; Matt. 26: 64 [the troubles of ecclesiasticism are symbolically set forth here as the clouds of heaven]; 2 Thes. 1: 7, 8. These passages in their order refer respectively to the war, revolution and anarchy of the Time of Trouble. Hence we see that the Epiphany is the special Apocalypse time and is the same as the Time of Trouble. The same thoughts are expressed in Mal. 3: 2, 3;
1 Cor. 3: 12-15 and Matt. 7: 24-27, from the standpoint as to how the Time of Trouble, as the Epiphany, will epiphanize the Little Flock and the Great Company. The gradualness of this epiphanizing, this revealing (apokalypsizing), is indicated in the seasons of the Epiphany (1 Tim. 6: 14, 15), in the fact that by the time it is completed the whole Church will be with the Lord (Col. 3: 4; 2 Thes. 1: 7; 1 Pet. 1: 7, 13; 4: 13), and in the judging process of 2 Tim. 4: 1 during the Epiphany. Accordingly, the words epiphaneia and apokalypsis, in the sense of an action, and in the sense of a period, are synonymous. We here remark that there has been a gradual epiphanizing, revealing, ever since 1874 to the Church; but, so far as the world and the Great Company are concerned, this has gradually been going on since the tribulation began—1914, and will increase and finally come to a
climax at the end of the Epiphany—the end of the Time of Trouble. This is the reason why the Time of Trouble is emphatically the Epiphany, the Apocalypse, for it clearly with more distinctness than the preceding period, manifests pertinent persons, principles and things.
(8) Our discussion of 1 Tim. 6: 14, 15; 2 Tim. 4: 1, therefore, shows that the word epiphaneia, from which we derive our English word Epiphany, also means a period of time connected with our Lord's Return that will be accompanied with a flooding of the earth with His all-exposing Truth, to set in after His arrival, and before He and His Bride begin their Millennial Reign. Accordingly, we see that both of our definitions for the word epiphaneia are correct: (1) the act of manifesting persons, principles and things by the Truth shining with special brightness and (2) the period of time connected with our Lord's Return in which there will be a special manifestation of persons, principles and things by the Truth shining with special brightness. The above study of the word epiphaneia gives us as a result the facts that out of its six occurrences in the New Testament one is used in connections showing that it refers to activities of our Lord's during the Jewish Harvest; and the other five to activities and times connected with His Second Advent. These thoughts on the meaning of the word Epiphany will prove helpful for our better understanding of its other more important phases.
(9) Better to understand the Epiphany of our Lord's second stay on earth, the study of an associated word will be helpful, i.e., the Greek word parousia. All Greek dictionaries and Greek scholars are a unit in the thought that the word parousia means presence, as, for example, can be seen by the marginal notes in the E.R.V. and the A.R.V., wherever the word is not rendered presence in the text. 1 Cor. 15: 23; Matt. 24: 3, 27, 37, 39 are cases to the point. In connection with such passages the reader will see the note, "Greek,
presence." Our A.V. sometimes properly renders the word by "presence," as can be seen in 2 Cor. 10: 10 and Phil. 2: 12. The word parousia does not mean coming, as of one's being on the way, but a stay at a place after one's arrival there. It is quite generally accepted as the best thought of the ripest Biblical scholarship of our day that the first part of our Lord's stay on earth after His return from Heaven is a secret and invisible one, the world at first not being at all aware of it, only His prospective Bride knowing of it, through the light of the Bible and the signs of the times. (1 Thes. 5: 1-5.) Note carefully how in these verses we are shown that the period of Jesus' Second Presence will have come stealthily upon the unsuspecting world, while God's faithful people will not be in ignorance of His presence. This is even as our Lord Jesus told us (Matt. 24: 37-39), when comparing the period of His secret Second Presence to the period of Noah's presence before the Flood. As then they ate and drank, married and were given in marriage, and knew not the character of the times in which they were living, despite the fact that they were repeatedly described to them by Noah, "the preacher of righteousness," until the Flood came, so will be the Parousia, the period of our Lord's secret stay on earth after His return. People will engage in the ordinary affairs of every day life, and not know the
character of that time of His presence, parousia, despite the fact of its repeated announcement to
them. In the nearly parallel statement in Luke 17: 26 the matter is very clearly shown: "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man," etc. Thus these Scriptures assure us that the first stage of our Lord's second stay on earth will be secret, because invisible, so far as mankind in general is concerned.
(10) This stage of our Lord's Second Presence in the earth is repeatedly designated the Parousia, in the original Greek of the New Testament. The Epiphany,
as a period of our Lord's Second Presence, follows the Parousia, its first stage. While the word parousia is used in the Scriptures to designate the first stage of our Lord's Second Presence, as, in addition to the above considerations, we can see from the following passages, where in the Greek the word parousia is used: Matt. 24: 3, 37, 39; 2 Thes. 2: 1; James 5: 7, 8; 2 Pet. 3: 4; nevertheless, since this word means presence, it also is used to include, with the Parousia, also the Epiphany stage of the Lord's Second Presence, as is manifest from the following passages: 1 Thes. 3: 13; 4: 15; 5: 23; 2 Thes. 2: 8, 9. Yea, it is also used to designate the entire thousand years of His Second Presence, His Millennial Reign on earth, as we may see in the passages which we now cite: Matt. 24: 27; 1 Cor. 15: 23; 2 Pet. 1: 16; 1 John 2: 28. Under the above three sets of passages we have cited all the New Testament Scriptures in which the word parousia occurs in connection with our Lord's second stay on earth. Its meaning— presence—makes it applicable to any one and all of these three stages of His second stay on earth.
(11) From the descriptions given us in Matt. 24: 23-41 and Luke 17: 20-37, we conclude that in the first stage, the Parousia, of our Lord's Return He will be especially active in two things: (1) in gathering His Elect Bride into closer fellowship with Himself through His Spirit and Word, preparatory to her deliverance from the earth and her glorification with Him (Ps. 50: 5; Col. 3: 4); and (2) in preparing for the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24: 21, 22; Dan. 12: 1; Luke 17: 26-32; 21: 25, 26; Rev. 19: 11-21), during which a less faithful, an overcharged class, called the Great Company, will be delivered (Mal. 3: 2, 3; Matt. 7: 26, 27; 1 Cor. 3: 12-15; Rev. 7: 14). According to our Lord's statement (Luke 17: 26-30), the Epiphany, the time of the revelation of the Son of Man, occurs during this Great Tribulation. The ablest Bible students
of our day are more and more coming to the conclusion that we are now in the Great Tribulation, and that we have been in it ever since the outbreak of the World War in 1914, with its accompanying famines and pestilences. This they construe from the prophecies, the signs of the times, and the world troubles on all hands. We agree with this view, and therefore believe that we are now in the Epiphany, and that shortly in the clouds of trouble that involve our social earth, and that darken our ecclesiastical heavens, the presence of the Son of Man will be recognized by the world of mankind (Matt. 24: 30; Luke 21: 25-28; Rev. 1: 7). If we are among God's watching people, we will recognize this before others see it; and thus the Day will not overtake us unawares.
(12) The third phase, or stage, of our Lord's second stay on earth is, of course, the Kingdom, called in Greek the Basileia (2 Tim. 4: 1). The Kingdom of God was the theme of Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament, and of Moses and the Prophets in the Old Testament. Over 120 passages in the New Testament alone refer to the Kingdom in express terms, either in its present militant or preparatory stage, or in its glorious or reigning stage during the Thousand Years. Numerous other passages refer to it without using the express term "the Kingdom." We cite just a few passages for the study of our readers, (1) with reference to its present militant, or preparatory, stage: Matt. 3: 2, 17; 13: 24, 31, 33, 41; 16: 19; 25: 1; Mark 12: 34; Col. 1: 13; and (2) with reference to its glorious, or reigning, stage: Matt. 6: 10, 33; 8: 11; 19: 23, 24; Mark 14: 25; Luke 1: 33; 12: 32; 13: 28, 29; 17 20, 21; 19: 11, 12, 15; John 18: 36; Acts 14: 22; 1 Cor. 15: 24-26, 50; 2 Tim. 4: 1; Heb. 1: 8; Rev. 1: 6; 5: 10 (see E. and A.R.V.'s for the last two citations); 11: 15. According to these passages our Lord and His faithful followers, while in the flesh, are God's Kingdom in embryo; while when reigning over
the earth they will be God's Kingdom in glory and power. These three stages of Christ's stay on earth, the Parousia, the Epiphany, or Apokalypsis, and the Basileia—the Kingdom—are very important for us to keep in mind, if we would see clearly on the subject of Christ's Second Advent. In a word, the Parousia is preparatory for both the Epiphany and the Basileia, the Kingdom, and the Epiphany carries forward the results of the Parousia, and introduces the Basileia, the Kingdom.
(13) As periods the Parousia and the Epiphany lapped into one another, somewhat after the manner in which, from 1874 until the last spirit-begotten person leaves this earth, the Gospel and Millennial Ages lap into one another. With the beginning of the first smiting of the Jordan the Parousia and the Epiphany began to lap into one another; and by October 16, 1916, the Parousia was at a full end. One may ask, Why do we fix on this date as the full end of the Parousia? We answer: for two reasons: (1) On that day our Pastor left Bethel for the last time, and actually relinquished his hold at headquarters and never took it up again. (2) On that day the leaders of the Levites in America and England began as such to take a firm stand against one another. At Bethel on that day our dear Pastor spent several hours seeking to reconcile, on the one hand, J.F.Rutherford and A. H. MacMillan, and H. L. Rockwell on the other hand, with one another. As subsequent events abundantly prove, a reconciliation was not effected. Rather they prove that the former were the leaders of the transitional Merarite Levites, and that the latter was the leader of the transitional Gershonite Levites. On the same day in England Jesse Hemery and six elders supporting him became irreconcilably opposed to H. J. Shearn and the ten elders supporting him in his efforts to set aside our Pastor's controllership in Tabernacle affairs and the assistant pastorship of Jesse Hemery in the Tabernacle
by fixedly setting themselves against H. J. Shearn's proposals sent to them by the eleven in their final letter to them on the subject. Subsequent events abundantly prove that Jesse Hemery is the leader of the transitional British Merarites, and that H. J. Shearn is the leader of the transitional British Gershonites. The next day, October 17, 1916, our Pastor sought to reconcile Menta Sturgeon and H. Holmes at Detroit. Subsequent events prove that no reconciliation occurred and that Menta Sturgeon was the leader of the transitional Kohathite Levites. Among all these Levite leaders the difficulty was due to their seeking leadership against one another—unholy ambition in grasping for power. October 16 and 17, 1916, seem to be the dates on which the Levitical leaders did what brought them to the fore as such; therefore, with the first of these dates we believe the Parousia as a period ended, and from then on we have been in the Epiphany without there being any more a lapping of the two periods under consideration into one another.
(14) While the word Epiphany, when meaning a manifestation of persons, principles or things, may be used to characterize acts of the Gospel and Millennial Ages as well as of other periods, in the sense of the second period of our Lord's Second Advent it is limited to the time between the Parousia and the Basileia. It is used to designate the period of the great tribulation, the Time of Trouble. Remembering that the epiphaneia and the apokalypsis are one and the same time and that this period is for the benefit of the world and the Great Company, i.e., that the Lord Jesus in this period manifests His presence to them in their interests—we can readily see that the Scriptures teach that the Epiphany, as a period, is the Time of Trouble. Luke 17: 28-30 is a passage to the point. Sodom represents Christendom and Lot represents the Great Company (Rev. 11: 8; 2 Pet. 2: 11). The fire and brimstone here represent the complete destruction
of Christendom (Jude 7), which will take place in the great tribulation (Rev. 16: 18-20; 19: 20). Jesus' remark in verse 30 that the antitype of the raining of fire and brimstone upon Sodom will take place in the day in which the Son of man will be revealed proves that He will be revealed, i.e., manifested, in the Time of Trouble. Therefore the Epiphany as a period is the period of the great tribulation, and began with the trench warfare on the Western battle line September 21, 1914, in the World War, which is the first part of the great tribulation; for it was only with the nations settling down to trench warfare, which occurred September 21, 1914, the first day of the seventh lunar month, that the weakening of the nations began as the first part of the destruction of Christendom. Therefore, we are now living in the Epiphany, and it will yet last for quite a number of years.
(15) The Epiphany as a period is not especially intended in the interests of the Church in the flesh. The Parousia was especially intended for the Church; for it was during that time that the feet members of the prospective Bride were all richly blessed through the Reaping Truth with the knowledge of the Lord's presence as her Bridegroom, Reaper and King, and with the privilege of blessing one another with the special Harvest truths. This does not mean that the Church will have no work nor privileges during the Epiphany; for during this time she receives great privileges and does some great works; but rather it means that this period is set aside to bring certain blessings to others, in ministering which the Little Flock has a part. But the truths that she receives and the works that she does during the Epiphany are decidedly inferior to those of the Parousia, and they are to the intent that she may be a blessing to the Great Company as such, and for helping the Youthful Worthies to be prepared to receive their King and His Kingdom.
(16) This brings us to a consideration of our Lord's
special Epiphany work in which the Little Flock is privileged to take part. During this time our Lord does a special work toward the world, the Great Company, and the Youthful Worthies. Part of this work He has already done; the rest remains to be done. As far as the world is concerned His Epiphany work is twofold: (1) His separation of the world into its two classes, the Conservatives and the Radicals; and (2) His revelation of Himself to the world as present in His Second Advent as the Overthrower of Satan's Empire and as the Establisher of God's Kingdom. ("Our Lord's Return," pp. 16-21; 41-44.) As far as the Church is concerned Our Lord's Epiphany work is also twofold: (1) Separation of the Church into its two classes, the Little Flock and the Great Company, and (2) revelation of Himself to the Great Company as such as present in His Second Advent in the capacity of their Cleanser and Deliverer. As far as the Youthful Worthies are concerned it is for their development for the Kingdom. Please see our Pastor's booklet, "Our Lord's Return," pp. 37-40.
(17) A closer examination of His Epiphany work toward the world and the Great Company should prove a blessing to us; therefore we offer some details on both features of His Epiphany work, reserving for later treatment His Epiphany work toward the Youthful Worthies. Above we stated that one of His Epiphany works toward the world was His separating it into its two classes, the Conservatives and the Radicals. This work began with the first smiting of Jordan in the Fall of 1914, and progressed through the second smiting of Jordan, beginning in the Fall of 1917. The separation of these classes is now worldwide. All of us are familiar with the fact that the war, through endangering the existence of the various nations, actually but temporarily cemented the radicals and the conservatives into one class in every country involved in the war. But by the first smiting of Jordan (which
made an exposure of the evil deeds of those claiming to exercise power by Divine right, and which gave the proof that those claiming to exercise such power were responsible for the war and its disastrous effects) men gradually began to be divided into the two social groups, the Radicals and the Conservatives. The effect of the second smiting of Jordan was the widening of this breach. As a result of these two smitings men everywhere in every country on earth are divided into the Radicals and the Conservatives. THERE CAN BE NO DISPUTING THE FACT THAT THIS DIVISION IS EVIDENCED ON ALL HANDS! The conflict between these two classes is shaking the social fabric everywhere. Every newspaper gives us fresh evidence of the fact that this division has occurred. THIS FACT, THEREFORE, DEMONSTRATES THAT JORDAN HAS RECEIVED BOTH SMITINGS! Let us repeat the thought that the worldwide conflicts between these two classes prove that Jordan has received both of its foretold and expected smitings.
(18) Both of these smitings occurred before the war ended; and there has been no smiting of Jordan since the end of the war. Beyond all contradiction the purpose of smiting the Jordan was to effect the division of the peoples. Their being divided now, Jordan must have been smitten; and hence there is no necessity of a future smiting of Jordan. In view of the indisputable fact that the peoples are now divided, we desire to ask Menta Sturgeon and Carl Olson and their supporters and the P.B.I. and their supporters, Why do they advocate a future first smiting of Jordan? IF THE PEOPLES ARE DIVIDED, WHY SMITE THEM FOR THE PURPOSE OF DIVIDING THEM? In view of the facts of the case should not these brethren better conclude that the smiting of Jordan that they advocate must be a different one from either of the two typed by Elijah's and Elisha's smiting of Jordan; and that they are consequently mistaken on the subject? Or will they keep on with their error, further deluding themselves and their
followers, and with them awakening to all the greater chagrin and disappointments? We trust not.
(19) We conclude from the above discussion that the first part of our Lord's Epiphany work toward the world, the division of the peoples, has set in. Such division of the peoples is intended by Him to pave the way for the acme of the wrath, the earthquake and fire, through which the second purpose of His Epiphany work will be accomplished, i.e., the manifestation of Himself in the Second Advent to the world as the Overthrower of Satan's Empire and the Establisher of God's Kingdom. Already, amid the first smiting of Jordan the war was referred to before the world by the Elijah class as an evidence of the Lord's Return to the earth and of his overthrowing Satan's Empire. The signs of the times that were referred to, the characteristics of the war that were pointed out and the Biblical prophecies that were cited and explained as applying to these things by the Elijah class, convinced some of the world that the Lord was present as the Overthrower of Satan's Empire. However, the war feature of the tribulation was not sufficiently impressive nor thorough to work this conviction in the minds of the whole world, nor even in the minds of a large part of the world. The symbolic earthquake and fire will be necessary to make all recognize this fact; and the world is rapidly drifting towards Armageddon, though we expect matters to be patched up in a way that will stay it off for yet a while. But it will surely come, and in the end, by its sore troubles and its destruction of the present order, will manifest to the world the Lord present in His Second Advent, as the Destroyer of Satan's Empire and the Establisher of God's Kingdom for mankind's deliverance.
(20) A Scripture (2 Thes. 1: 7, 8) familiar to all of us proves this point: "Our Lord Jesus shall be revealed [manifested as the Destroyer of Satan's Empire] from heaven [in His Second Advent] with His
mighty messengers [the agents of wrath which in the war were the mighty armies with their destructive agencies, and the famines and pestilences, which in the revolution will be the loyal and revolting armies and famines and pestilences, and which in the anarchy will be the contending law-abiding and lawless elements among mankind, and famines and pestilences] in flaming fire [not in the sky, but in the direful tribulations of the world's supreme trouble will He be manifest as present overthrowing Satan's Empire] taking vengeance [exacting retribution] on them that know not God [the Second Death class in the Nominal Church] and that obey not [the Second Death class in the Truth] the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." Chastened and humbled by the unparalleled tribulation, and giving a meek consideration to the Lord's Message explaining the nature and purpose of the trouble, they will recognize the wrath poured out upon them as incidental to the overthrow of Satan's Empire, and as necessary to introduce God's Kingdom and to prepare them to hail obediently, hopefully and joyfully the Lord's Anointed as their King. This being accomplished the Lord will have completed His second Epiphany work toward the world. Thus viewed, the two Epiphany works of our Lord toward the world—the separation of the Radicals and the Conservatives, and the manifestation of Himself to them through the tribulation as the Overthrower of Satan's Empire and the Establisher of God's Kingdom—are blessings for the world, even though they seem otherwise.
(21) As we saw in the case of the Lord's Epiphany work toward the world that there is first a separation of the world into its two classes, and then a manifestation of the Lord to the world; so in the Lord's Epiphany work toward the Great Company there is first a separation of the Great Company from the Little Flock, and then there is a manifestation of Himself to the Great Company as such. Let us examine a few