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    IV. The Times and Seasons considered

    It is not for you to know the times and seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” Thus said the Saviour, when about to leave the disciples and ascend into heaven. It is a clear intimation that there were appointed times for the event, but they were then future, and not to be understood by the apostles. Those times are referred to by the Saviour, Luke 21:25, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled.” Until then it cannot become the capital or kingdom of Israel. Until then, also, the people of God are to be carried captive into all nations. The Psalmist also speaks of the times, in Psalm 102:13. “The time to favor her, (Zion,) yea, the set time, is come.” “This shall be written for the generation to come.” “When the Lord shall build up Zion he shall appear in his glory.”JUO 28.1

    The first times appointed for the Gentiles to reign over the church for her sins, and the breaking of the pride of her power, is Leviticus 26:18. “I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” This punishment is four times repeated in the same chapter. First, They were to be afflicted in various ways, for their disobedience, as they were under the judges and early kings. If ye will not for all this be reformed, “I will punish you seven times more for Your sins.” “I will break the pride of your power.” The first captivity of the house of Judah in Babylon, was in the reign of Manasseh, king of Judah, by the king of Assyria. B. C. 677. 2 Chronicles 33. He repented, was reprieved and restored as a tributary to the Assyrians. But still, the Lord continues, if ye will not for all this he reformed by me, “I will bring seven times more plagues on you.” They were sent again into bondage or bereaved of children in the Babylonish captivity in the third year of Jehoiakim king of Judah, 2 Chronicles 36. Jehoiakim was reprieved and restored to his throne, but the people did not reform, and the denunciation of seven times punishment was still on them. Leviticus 26:24. And accordingly, in the 11th year of Zedekiah, the kingdom of Judah was finally subverted. 2 Chronicles 36.JUO 28.2

    The people again repented in the days of Cyrus, and were reprieved, as in Ezra 1. They continued to have a national existence until the time of Christ; when they rejected Christ, and he fulfilled the threatened judgment of Leviticus 26:28. “I will walk contrary to you, in fury; and I, even I, will chastise; you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors. And I will bring the land into desolation, and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest, because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.”JUO 29.1

    This great judgment came in the desolation of Jerusalem by the Romans, A. D. 70. It was then declared by the Saviour, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Not that the seven times should begin there, but the old execution issued in the days of Manasseh should be enforced from that time until the full term of punishment was filled up. They had (to use a figure) been bailed out three times on their penitence, but the fourth time they were put in bondage, and there could be no more reprieve or bail until the full term expired. That the latter punishments were inflicted on the ground of the first execution, issued in the days of Manasseh, is clear from Jeremiah 15:4,-“And I will cause them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.” This, let it be remembered, was threatened 76 years after the captivity of Manasseh, and about the time of the captivity of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Yet the punishment was threatened to be inflicted on the old execution. So Christ declared in denouncing the final doom of Jerusalem, Luke 21., “These be the days of vengeance when all things which are written shall be fulfilled.” From that time Jerusalem was to be “trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”JUO 29.2

    This punishment was to be inflicted by the four great monarchies of the earth, as represented in Daniel’s four beasts. Jeremiah 15:3, “I will appoint over you four kinds.” In the margin it reads “FAMILIES,” four families. The family of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.JUO 30.1

    Half this period of punishment was to be inflicted by the kingly power, the dragon: half of it by the papal power, the beast. Revelation 12 and 13. A time, times and half, the woman fled before the dragon. That period is reduced to days, 1260 days. The next chapter gives the history of the beast, popery, who made war on the saints for 42 months. The kingly or secular power began to oppress the church and bring it into bondage in Babylon. B. C. 677, in the captivity of Manasseh. The secular or kingly power prevailed for 1215 years, up to A. D. 538, when the saints were put under the pope, or the ecclesiastical power, for 1260 years, or 42 months, and the 42 months ended in 1798. Then 45 years remained for the church under the secular governments, which end in 1843.JUO 30.2

    The time, times and a half, being reduced to days by John, Revelation 12:14 and 6,-1260 days,-twice that will be seven times, or 2520 days. Subtract B. C. 677, from 2520, the whole period, leaves A. D. 1843.JUO 30.3

    The objection to the understanding of a time of 360 days to be 360 years, is, that in that case Nebuchadnezzar was made to eat grass like oxen for 2520 years. This objection would lay against us if we always used a day for a year; but we do not. We always understand time literally, if the subject will admit of it. If it will not admit of its being understood literally, without contradicting matter of fact or scripture, we are obliged to understand it symbolically.JUO 30.4

    In the case of Nebuchadnezzar, there is nothing in the nature of the event which renders it necessary to understand anything but literal time; seven times, or 2520 days. But in the case of the “seven times” punishment of the church, it began in the days of Manasseh, B. C. 677, but it is not yet accomplished. Hence we must either deny matter of fact, or it is symbolical time. What does a day symbolize? I answer a year. Thus God explains it, Ezekiel 4th chapter, “I have given thee each day for a year.” It may be said that this was only in a single instance that God gave the rule, and in reference to a particular and specified event, and so cannot form a general rule. To this it is answered, that such a rule is given; other symbolical periods are given; also, but no other rule for understanding them. Hence, we are bound to follow the rule we have, until we find another. And following it in all the periods which have transpired, we have an exact fulfilment. This was the case of “the time times, and dividing of a time” of Daniel 7:25, and Revelation 13:6, the 42 months when the dragon gave the beast his power, his seat, and great authority, and way to continue 42 months, and then he was to be led into captivity. The Greek Emperor conquered Rome from the Ostrogoths in 538, and gave it to the pope; in 1798 just 1260 years from that point, the French took Rome abolished the papal government, erected Rome into republic, and carried the pope into captivity to FranceJUO 31.1

    The 1260 days were years in this instance; and the rule must be considered as general.JUO 31.2

    Again, it should be observed, that a time is not year. A year is a revolution of the earth round the sun and has been the same in all ages. The Jewish year was a solar year; 19 of their years being equal to 19 of our solar years, they reckoning their time by moons-12 moons of a little more than 294 days, amounting to 355 days, a year. Two years of 355 days or 12 moons, the third of 383 days or 13 moons. Once in 19 years, 1 year of 12 and two of 13 moons, making 19 solar years.JUO 31.3

    A time is God’s arbitrary measuring rod, and is defined to consist of 360 days.JUO 32.1

    I have long hesitated on the “seven times,” whether they are to be understood as a prophetic period; but after years of investigation and earnest study, I am constrained at length to acknowledge it as such, and have accordingly given it in this place. But still I look on the following argument on Daniel 8:14, as the strong bulwark of the cause.JUO 32.2

    The Two Thousand Three Hundred Days

    Daniel’s vision, as recorded in the 8th chapter of his prophecy, relates to the time of the treading down of the sanctuary, Jerusalem, and especially Mount Zion, the capital of the kingdom of Israel, and the host, the church, on account of God’s indignation. 1. The vision consisted of “a ram having two horns,” verse 4;-“the ram having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia,” said Gabriel, in verse 20. 2. The next emblem was “a rough goat,” with a great “horn between his eyes.” That “was broken, and four stood up for it, and out of one of them came forth a little horn,” etc. Verse 21 says, “The rough goat is the king of Grecia; the great horn between his eyes the first king. That being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up Out of the nation, but not in his power.”JUO 32.3

    Then Daniel heard the question, verse 13. “How long the vision,” “to give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden under foot!” “Two thousand three hundred days. Then shall the sanctuary be justified.” So the margin reads.JUO 32.4

    The powers mentioned in verse 13, to tread down the sanctuary and host were, “the daily (or continual) and transgression of desolation.” The one is what Paul calls “the mystery of iniquity;” the other “that wicked, that man of sin.” The one hindered till he should be taken out of the way, then that wicked was to be revealed. The first was paganism, the second, popery. The one gave way to the other. But both were abominations, and crushed the church of God.JUO 32.5

    Daniel wished to know the import of his vision, and sought for the meaning; and Gabriel was sent to make him understand the vision. He began the execution of his commission by saying, “Understand, O son of man, for at ‘the time of the end’ shall be the vision.” That is, the vision is to be understood “at the time of the end.” “But,” he continued, “I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the INDIGNATION; for at the time appointed, (2300 days,) the end shall be.” The “indignation” is the cause of Jerusalem’s desolation; and it will continue desolate until the “indignation” ceases, or “her iniquity is pardoned.” Isaiah 10:5. “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger; ‘the staff’ in ‘their’ hand ‘is mine’ indignation.” “And it shall come to pass when the Lord shall have accomplished his ‘whole’ work on ‘Mount Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem, ‘I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.” “For yet a very little while and I will cause the ‘indignation’ to cease, and mine anger in their destruction.” This passage shows that the “indignation” is the cause of the desolation of Jerusalem and Mount Zion. The 2300 days reach to the LAST end of the indignation; that is until the people of God are delivered from their dispersion, and the wicked city is pardoned. The vision begins with the ram with two horns; Media and Persia. The “indignation” has not yet ceased; for the people are yet scattered, and Jerusalem is yet desolated and trodden down of the Gentiles. Then the days cannot mean literal days, but symbolical. To say they were fulfilled literally, in Antiochus Epiphanes, is to throw away a great part of the vision-the whole of the ram and goat. And then they must show that the “last end” of the “indignation” came then, which they cannot, for it yet continues. Then the days must be symbolical and mean years. That the sanctuary signifies Jerusalem and Mount Zion, see Exodus 15:17. Psalm 78:54, 67-69, etc.JUO 33.1

    The date of the 2300 years is the next thing in order. It begins with Media and Persia, when both horns were high, and one was higher than the other, and the last that came up was the highest. It was also when no beast or government could stand before the ram. This was not in the days of Xerxes the Great, for although he invaded Greece with an army of 5,000,000, he fled from the campaign almost alone and desolate. There was then a beast that did successfully meet him. But Artaxerxes, his son, was a powerful monarch, and continued his triumphs to the 25th year of his reign, when his good fortune seemed to forsake him, and the monarchy to decline. Then somewhere within his reign the vision begins. But at what point, the chapter does not say. That Daniel was no more than an amanuensis, and wrote without understanding the import of the instruction, is clear from the concluding remark of Daniel, and Gabriel’s closing instruction. Gabriel said, “The vision of the evening and morning which was told is true, (2300 ‘evening-morning,’) wherefore shut thou up the vision, for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted and was sick certain days, and afterward I rose up and did the king’s business; and I was ‘astonished at the vision,’ but none understood it.”JUO 34.1

    From this confession of Daniel, we learn that he and all else were in the dark on the subject of its import. Daniel, of course, was left to make up his judgment on the time of the justification of the sanctuary, from other data. This he did; for in the first year of Darius, as he informs in the 9th chapter, he learned by books the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, the prophet, that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem. That 70 years, beginning in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, ended with the death of Belshazzar. Daniel had been a captive during that period. In the first year of Darius, the Mede, he concluded that, the 70 years being ended, the time for the deliverance of the city and people had arrived. Accordingly, he began to pray and confess his sins and the sins of his people, on account of which they were desolate, according to what was written in the law of Moses. He prayed that God would then turn away his wrath from his city and people, and cause his face to shine on his SANCTUARY, which was desolate. The great theme which occupied Daniel’s mind in this prayer, was the desolation of the sanctuary and host, or people, and their forgiveness. Reader, look at the prayer, and say what it was, if not that. But he mistook the time of justification, and Gabriel was sent again to stop him in the midst of his prayer, and give him understanding on the subject of his prayer. “He informed me and talked with me,” etc. “Understand the matter and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined,” literally “cut off.” This rendering is sanctioned by all Hebrew scholars whom we have consulted. The 70 weeks are cut off.JUO 34.2

    But from what are “seventy sevens,” or weeks, “cut off?” For clearly we cannot “cut off” a period from nothing, nor yet “cut off” a period without a remnant. What then is the period from which they are cut? The answer must be, some period relating to the subject of Daniel’s prayer and Gabriel’s conversation. That subject was the cleansing of the sanctuary and host, city and people. Gabriel directed him to understand the matter in hand, and, to do it effectually, to consider the vision. What vision? The vision, to be sure, which gives the length of time to the cleansing of the sanctuary. Now, Daniel, seventy weeks are cut from the vision, for thy city and thy people, “sanctuary and host,” to finish the transgression, and make an end of sins; or, to fill up the rebellion of the Jews and Jerusalem, that their national doom might be sealed. This they did when Christ was rejected. Then he proceeds to divide the seventy weeks. “From the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem to Messiah the Prince, there will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. And the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” That is, although there would be a rebuilding of the street and wall of Jerusalem before Messiah came and the iniquity filled up, yet it would not be the end of the indignation: but it should be built even in troublous times, while the people were yet in bondage to the Persians. So Nehemiah 9th chapter, declares they were when it was built. They were still servants in the land God gave to their fathers, and they were so because of their sins, the sins of their fathers, kings, princes, priests, prophets, etc. The sin was not pardoned then. “After three-score and two weeks Messiah shall be ‘cut off,’ but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come,” after the sin of the people and city is full, “shall destroy the city,” the lower city, “and the sanctuary,” the city of David, Mount Zion itself. “And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” Or, in the margin, unto the end of the war it shall “be cut off by desolations.” The war is the one begun by the Assyrians, renewed by the Babylonians, carried on by the Medo-Persians and Grecians, until finally the Romans came up and destroyed the city, and carried the people into captivity. It is to be cut off by desolations to the end of the war. Christ expressed the same thing by saying, “there shall not be left one stone on another,” etc., and “Jerusalem shall be trodden down”-“till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”JUO 35.1

    “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week (or half part) he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination he shall make it desolate, even to the consummation; and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate,” or desolator.JUO 36.1

    The desolator was Rome. The desolation to be poured on it, is, to be broken to pieces. Daniel 2. It is to be destroyed and given to the burning flame. Daniel 7. It is to be broken without hand. Daniel 8.JUO 36.2

    Could Gabriel more distinctly go over the events of the desolation of the sanctuary, and show how long it was to he desolate? I cannot conceive how he could. This being settled, that the 9th chapter relates to the self-same subject with the 8th, only is more definite, and the seventy weeks being “cut off”-they most be “cut off” from the full period of the sanctuary’s desolation, which is 2300 days, at the end of which the “last end” of the indignation comes, and the sanctuary will be justified. Will it be said, the vision from which the seventy weeks are “cut off,” is “the seventy weeks vision?” It is replied, there is no seventy weeks vision; but an open communication made to Daniel. Besides, if it were a vision, seventy weeks could not be cut off from seventy weeks-it would be a whole without cutting. But it can be cut from the events of the 9th chapter, says one. Indeed! Can time be cut from matter? must not time be cut from time, and matter from matter? Cut seventy weeks from 2300 days. 7×70=490. 2300-490=1810.JUO 37.1

    But were those weeks fulfilled as predicted! They were. The command to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes king of Persia. Seven weeks and sixty-two weeks to Messiah. He came and declared it fulfilled, when he entered his ministry. Mark 1:14, 15, when he was about 30 years of age. Luke 3.JUO 37.2

    If Christ was correct in declaring the “time is fulfilled,” when he entered his ministry, then one week more makes up the 70 weeks.JUO 37.3

    The remaining question, then, to be settled is, did Christ continue his ministry for one week of years? Let us appeal to the chronology in the margin of our reference Bibles. In the margin opposite the 2nd chapter of Matthew, where Christ’s birth is recorded, we have the following chronological note: “4th year before the account commonly called Anno Domini.” Turn we now to Matthew 28th chapter, and in the margin we have A. D. 33. Now put A. D. 33 to B. C. 4, and we have 37, as the age of Christ at his death. This fact is demonstrated by astronomical calculation. Then such as was the last week of the 70, such were all of them-weeks of years-490 years. Then such as were those cut off, such must be the nature of the remainder, and the 1810 after Christ’s death are years. A. D. 33 Christ’s death, 1810 added to it, 1843. Then the times and seasons for the restoration of the kingdom to Israel expires in A. D. 1843. And I believe Christ will then come.JUO 37.4

    “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.” So said the Saviour, and he said it because it was true. It was not for those disciples to know. But he did not mean to contradict himself where he had said to his disciples who should live to see the signs of his coming, “THEN KNOW that it is near, even at the door.” But had he meant that it would never be known, he would have contradicted both himself and Daniel, who declares that at the time of the end, “the wise shall understand.” And Paul to the church, “Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Christ, then cannot come till his humble watchful people know it. Reader, prepare and watch. Amen.JUO 38.1

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