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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 2

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    THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE SCATTERED

    Verse 6. “And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, how long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”PREX2 121.2

    A more distinct question, as to the time when all these events will come to a termination, cannot be proposed. The wonders must be, the beginning of Christ’s reign; the time of trouble; the resurrection of the just; and the glorification of the saints. The answer is as distinct as the question. Read it carefully.PREX2 121.3

    Verse 7. “And I heard the man clothed in liven, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”PREX2 122.1

    This answer is given under the sanction of a most solemn oath. It contains two parts. 1. A distinct prophetic period, which would come down to the time of the end:—a time, times, and a half; or, as is proved, (Vol. I., chap. 3,) 1260 years; beginning A. D. 538, and ending 1798. In 538, Rome was taken by Justinian and given to the Pope as the head of all the churches; and, according to Mr. Croley, (page 100):—PREX2 122.2

    “On the 10th of February, 1798, the French army under Berthier, entered Rome; took possession of the city, and made the Pope and the cardinals prisoners. Within a week, Pius VI. was deposed; Rome was declared a republic; the tree of liberty was planted; and the city and the states were delivered up to a long series of the deepest insults, requisitions, military murders, and the general injury and degradation of the feelings and property of all classes of the people. Pius VI. died in captivity. Pius VII. was dragged across the Alps to crown Napoleon, was held in duress, and was finally restored only on the fall of the French Empire. The papal independence was abolished by France, and the son of Napoleon was declared king of Rome.” [See also Theirs’ French Revolution, vol. IV., p. 246.]PREX2 122.3

    “But what,” it is asked, “is meant by the scattering of the power of the holy people?” I will answer, and illustrate it by a supposed case. If Great Britain should invade and conquer the United States, impose tribute, and finally dissolve the government, and carry the people away captive to England and her colonies; and the historian should record the fact by saying that Great Britain had scattered the power of the United States, would any one be at a loss to understand the import of the term? And is it any less plain when applied to the political and civil subversion of the kingdom of Israel. God once gave them a kingdom; it was a theocracy. But they abused their privileges, and he took their kingdom from them, and scattered them abroad by the hand of their enemies; and they are in bondage to the Gentiles. The Jews were the holy people, or church, when the kingdom before existed; but for their rejection of the king, it was taken from them, and is to be given to a nation who shall render the fruit in due season. That nation is the saints of the Most High: when it is again restored to Israel, they “shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.”PREX2 123.1

    But again; supposing it had been foretold that this subversion should continue a hundred years and then it should be said, for instance, until some specified time and event should transpire; and when, in addition to that time and event, which would terminate before the hundred years’ subversion ended, he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the United States, all the events which are to take place when the hundred years end, shall be finished; that is, the government and people will be restored? Who would be at a loss to understand the accomplishment of the scattering of that power, to be the filling up of the appointed hundred years? Just so we are to understand this passage. The power, or political and civil government of the church of God, is scattered, and that church is in bondage and exile. There is a definite time appointed for that dispersion to continue. That time is foretold by Moses. Leviticus 26:17, 18, 19: “And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies; they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet, for all this, hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.”PREX2 123.2

    God’s threatening is, that he would break the pride of their power, and those that hated them, should rule over them, and he would punish them, “seven times more (in addition to all they should be punished prior to that long time, and before it should commence) for [their] sins.” This punishment is four times repeated, to express the certainty of it.PREX2 124.1

    Seven times; one time being 360 days, seven times would 2520 days. Each of these days represents a year, as in Daniel 7:25. 2520 years is the length of that dispersion.PREX2 124.2

    The government of the kingdom of Israel was completely broken for the first time in the days of Manasseh king of Judah, when the captains of the host of Assyria came to Jerusalem and took it; and took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. Before that, Judah had sometimes been oppressed by their enemies, and sometimes Israel. But one or the other of the two kingdoms remained independent up to that time, when both were carried away captive and the pride of their power was broken. This captivity, according to all chronologers, was 677 B.C. It was to continue in a tributary and captive state for seven times, or 2520 years. But it is asked, “did not Manasseh return back to Jerusalem again, and reign many years after that?” I answer, yes.PREX2 124.3

    But he reigned as a tributary and dependant on the king of Assyria. And so did all the kings “who succeeded him in Jerusalem, as Nehemiah testifies; Nehemiah 9:32. After rehearsing the whole history of the church, their establishment of the kingdom and God’s covenant of mercy, and the revoltings of Israel, and their punishment according to God’s threatening, he then comes down to the great punishment, and records the desolation which had come upon them since the time of the kings of Assyria, unto that day. In this passage he distinctly recognises the captivity under the Assyrian kings as the great trouble, and testifies that it had continued to his day. And it has continued ever since. The kingdom will be no more, until He comes whose right it is.PREX2 125.1

    Beginning 677 B. C., we have only to take that period from 2520, and we have left A. D. 1843, as the time of the accomplishment of scattering the power of the holy people; and all these things shall then be finished. The kingdom will then be restored again to Israel; the saints of the Most High will take it, and possess it forever. I have only presented a brief outline of the argument on this point, as I predicate my main argument, on time, on the 2300 days. But the reader can take these few hints and follow them out for himself.PREX2 125.2

    “But,” says one, “you profess to know more than Christ, and to be wiser than the apostles and angels. Did not Christ say, ‘Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only?’” Indeed, he does; and for a very good reason too, as was assigned to Daniel, verses 8-10: “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”PREX2 126.1

    From these verses we learn that Daniel did not understand the import of that answer, although he heard it distinctly announced. The reason assigned why he did not understand it, was, that the words were closed up and sealed to the time of the end. But he was told what would take place at the time of the end: there would be great revivals of religion, and many would be purified, etc. None of the wicked would understand-“but the wise shall understand.” If this prophecy is true, that event can never come on the world until the time of it is understood by the saints, the true people of God. The word of God is pledged to do the work, and it will be accomplished; they shall understand. There is nothing in Christ’s testimony inconsistent with this prediction or promise. He only said that no man knew then; but he never said that it would not some time or other be understood; on the contrary, he directed his disciples to mark the signs he had just given, and when these things come to pass, then “know that it is near, even at the doors.” So that, although the time was not then known, he taught them that the time would come when the wise, the disciples of Christ, would know, not indeed the day or hour, but the near approach of it.PREX2 126.2

    So Rev. J. Wesley understood the text. His note on it is as follows:—“‘But of that day’—the day of judgment—‘knoweth no man’—not while Christ was on earth. Yet it might afterward be revealed to St. John consistently with this.” But if, at the time of the end, the wise shall understand, and that time has come—and if, when the foretold signs should take place, the disciples should know, and those signs have appeared—then we may now have light on this subject-not only may, but, if we are wise, truly devoted to God, and desire to know all his will and do it, we shall, before it comes, have the light.PREX2 127.1

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