The Transition

     The opinion generally obtains that the seventh trumpet ushers in the Age to come. The first thing upon its sounding are "great voices saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his "Christ." These voices must be heard in the world in which those kingdoms are. It is also evident that the kingdoms sustain a different relation to God at the time these voices are heard, from what they did before the 7th trumpet sounded. The declaration, "He shall reign forever and ever;" and the humble expression of thanks from the four and twenty elders, (a symbol of the whole church.) "Because thou hast taken to thee thy great power and hast resigned," shows that at that time he began to reign in a special sense. Such voices have been heard since the 7th moon '44, and produced the effects here described, deep humiliation and profound gratitude. This change of the relation of the kingdoms of this world to Christ, is the same as making his enemies his footstool, (Heb. 10:13) which event was expected by him while he sit at the right hand of the Father fulfilling the daily ministration. vs. 11,12.       

     Rev. 10 gives in part the character and circumstances of the transition from the Gos. to the following Dis. The angel that declares, "There should be time no longer, is not the Lord at his appearing, for after uttering that oath he told John, "Thou must prophesy again." Whatever the nature of this prophesying may be, it certainly follows the oath of vs. 6, 7.   

     I think we have misunderstood the 7th verse. We have understood or explained the 6th verse as the language of the angel, but the 7th as a declaration of John; whereas both verses are the language of the angel, the 7th being a qualification or explanation of the 6th, showing the manner in which time should close. The angel of the Philadelphia church, having "an open door," gave the Midnight Cry with the solemn assurance of this oath. He swore, or positively declared, "That there should be time no longer, but in the days of the voice of the 7th angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." - There are "days" (plural) in which the 7th angel begins to sound. Whether these days are literal or symbolic, which is most in accordance with the character of this book, they denote a short period of time, in which not only the 7th angel begins to sound, but the mystery of God is finished also. Thus we see that the mystery is finished, not in a point but in a period, and while the mystery is finishing, the 7th angel is beginning to sound.       

     What is the mystery to be finished? "The mystery of the gospel," Eph. 6 : 19. "The mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but is now made manifest." The riches of the glory of this mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory, Col. 1:27. "The mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" Eph. 2:4-6. It is the dispensation of the grace of God; ver. 2. These texts show that the mystery of God or Christ is the Gos. Dis. It is the period of hope and heirship. While we hope we pray for the object of hope, and that is glory - as exhibited on the Holy Mount, immortality, the Kingdom and society of Jesus. Until these are obtained we hope; and while we hope the mystery is not finished.- Again, we are heirs during the mystery of God, and when that is finished, we shall become inheritors. We must therefore conclude that the mystery of God will end with the mysterious change from mortal to immortality; 1 Cor. 15: 51-54. Then, as the Dispensation of the fullness of times begins with the 7th trumpet, and the Gos. Dis. reaches to the resurrection, it is manifest that the Dis. of the fullness of times, begins before the Gos. Dis, ends.- There is a short period of overlapping or running together of the two Dispensations, in which the peculiarities of both mingle like the twilight, minglings of light and darkness.       

     This was also the manner of change from the Dispensation of the Law to the Gospel. Gabriel said to Daniel, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city." It is presumed that all agree that these 70 weeks reached to the end of the legal dispensation and no further. The Messiah came at the end of the 69 weeks and began to preach the gospel, (Mat. 1:14, 15; Mat. 4: 23) which Paul calls the New Covenant. And he continued this covenant with many for one week, the last one of the 70. Hence, the legal Dispensation ended seven years after the Gos. Dis. began; and the last symbolic week of one was the first of the other; and while one was being finished, the other was being introduced and confirmed or established. Whether that period is an express type of the crisis period between the Gos. Dis. and the Dispensation of the fullness of times or not, it furnishes a strong argument from analogy, corroborating the plain testimony of the Word, that there must be such a period. I see no evidence that the latter must be of the same length of the former: To learn its length we must have recourse to other sources of evidence. Yet there is a striking similarity between them.     

     At that time the world and the mass of God's professed people were unbelieving, and greatly indifferent about the transpiring events in the Providence of God, momentous as they were. The adherents to the new era were a sect everywhere spoken against. They had little or no reverence for the old and commandments nullifying traditions of Judaism. They were called movers of seditions, endangering the place and nation; drunken, because filled with the Holy Ghost; and mad, because mighty in the truth. They had peculiar faith; and their preaching and conduct were such as to cause the professors to accuse them of breaking the law; and finally they denounced and excluded the whole Jewish nation of religionists en mass for their infidelity.- The teaching and practice even of our Savior and the apostles appeared to them contradictory - at times they seemed to recognize the authority of the law, and then again totally to disregard it, and insist upon the new order of things. He resolved their ten commandments into two, dismissed the woman without being stoned according to the law, forgave sins without the legal sacrifices, healed without requiring to offer according to law, and that even on the Sabbath day; and yet declared that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Again, when he had healed a leper, he charged him to go and show himself to the Priest and offer for his cleansing those things which Moses commanded. He also ate the Passover according to law. Both he and his apostles, on some occasions excluded, and on others admitted the Gentiles to privileges, which according to the law could be enjoyed only by the Jews. Thus they recognized the presence and claims of both dispensations at the same time; one entering and displacing the other, not instantly, but gradually, by a succession of events, each distinct in itself, but all connected in harmony, transpiring in fulfillment of prophecy, and forming the circumstances of the Advent, which was one distinct event, and the nucleus of all the rest. A little before his crucifixion Jesus came as King to Jerusalem, the Metropolis and Capitol of that Dis.; the City was under his absolute authority for a time; he had declared its house desolate and now entered and cleansed the temple.     

     As then, so now, according to the Scriptures, a series of events constitute the circumstances of our Lord's appearing, and form the crisis of the two Dispensations. In that period his crucifixion and resurrection were the principle events to which all others are subservient. But there are other events connected with these, and which must of necessity precede them. One of these event as we have already seen is the cleansing of the Sanctuary. Another is the marriage. That Christ ever was or ever will be married as human beings are, no one pretends; but that there is a divine transaction, illustrated for our understanding under the figure of a marriage, it is infidelity to deny. Christ is the Bridegroom and New Jerusalem the Bride. The marriage then signifies their union in a special sense, and of course must take place where the bride is, in the heavens. The heavens must receive Jesus till the times of restitution, then the Father will send him from the heavens. He went to his Father's House in New Jerusalem, and when he has prepared it he will come again from it to receive us. True the word, Gamos, which is rendered marriage or wedding, signifies "the nuptial ceremony, including the banquet; but not the banquet alone, as some would have us believe. Where is the place of these transactions? With the Bride of course. When the Bridegroom came to the marriage then, he could not have come to the earth from heaven, for then he would have come from instead of to the marriage, but he must have come to the place of marriage, in New Jerusalem.    

     But, says one, How could he come where he was already? We must remember that the Bride is not a person, but a City, 12,000 furlongs or 1500 miles square. The central point and fountain of all it glory is the Ancient of days.- Christ doubtless has been personally within the limits of that City ever since his ascension, and when the cry in '44 was given he came to the Ancient of Days and the scenes of marriage, which in their amplitude will occupy a great part, it not all, of the Dispensation of the fullness of times, then began. And, as when Christ comes again he will come from New Jerusalem after the scenes of marriage have there begun, every one will see that he will return to earth from the wedding, and we, waiting, will meet him and return with him to the bridal City to share in the festive joy.


1846 ORLC, LOM 44