Having in our previous post considered several reasons why the class was rather reluctant to change the time line for the application of this prophecy we should now like to consider several other points from another standpoint—from the standpoint of TODAY.
Here is the question:
Could these happenings of the past have providentially occurred to lock this subject until a later date?
The answer seems to be yes, and will become more apparent as we continue.
Matthew 24 tells about a faithful and wise servant. The Lord, having come, made this servant a steward over all his goods. In other words, the Lord had ALREADY COME, and then he found the servant and made him his steward. Next the account talks about an evil servant. Thus in the previous chapter—that is, prior to the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew—the Lord’s presence is clearly indicated.
In last week’s study the ten virgins who went forth to meet the Bridegroom at the beginning of the parable were assigned to the Millerite movement, and that is the so-called “orthodox” view. In the Fourth Volume of the Studies in the Scriptures series the Pastor mentions how thousands expected Jesus’ physical return in 1844 but were disappointed. Notice, however, that in the parable, the closing of the door is still future. Therefore, if the parable began with the Millerite movement and has not yet ended, it covers a long period of time, and in the midst of this time period, some very extraordinary events occurred that are not even mentioned if the orthodox interpretation is given. If we meditate on this point, it is rather striking, and it definitely raises questions. For instance, MORE virgins went forth in 1914 to meet the Bridegroom than in 1844.
Notice that in Matt 24:42, 44 the “coming” of the Lord that is referred to is the rapture (or translation), the marriage. Notice, further, that in the Matthew 25 account of the wise and foolish virgins, the announcement IS NOT “Behold, the Master [is present]” but “Behold, the bridegroom [is here].”
In other words, we are suggesting that the midnight cry (Matt 25:6) refers to the wedding rather than to the parousia.
The parable CAN BE advanced.
The Millerite movement is still taught in Scripture in regard to the 1,290 and the 2,300 days. The movement began in 1829 (at the end of the 1,290 days of Daniel, Dan 12:11) and ended with the cleansing of the sanctuary in 1846 (at the end of the 2300 days, Dan 8:14).
Therefore, since the Millerite movement is taught elsewhere in Scripture, an advancing of the Ten Virgins Parable does not change the chronology aspect the least bit. Moreover, the presence is still taught in Scripture based on chronology and the 1,335 days or the year 1874.
In other words, an important consideration is that if the parable is advanced, what would the update lead to or violate? For years there was a reserve, a reluctance, to advance the parable, and yet nothing would be violated by so doing.
In 1914 there was a great disappointment; that is, in the Truth movement there was a bigger disappointment than in the Millerite movement because more people were involved. The brethren expected to go into the wedding in 1914; they expected the marriage.
But what happened?
The Bridegroom (not the presence) tarried. Jesus is still present and has been since October 1874, but the time for the marriage to take place is another matter.
Whether or not the word “cometh” is inserted in Verse 6 really does not change anything. If the word is used, the thought would be “Behold, the Bridegroom is now coming in connection with the wedding” (rather than referring to his arrival in 1874).
Advancing the parable does change some pet ideas. For example, it was unusual that for 40 years the magazine went forth entitled Zion’s Watch Tower, Herald of Christ’s Presence. Even the Dawn, around the early 1940s, added the sub caption “Herald of Christ’s Presence,” so the cry is still going on in regard to the presence of our Lord.
The Millennial Age began in October 1874, and the reasoning was as follows: October 1874 was the “midnight” hour, the technical beginning of the millennial day, just as midnight literally begins a new 24-hour day. That premise is still true, but the reasoning was so interwoven with the Ten Virgins Parable that it was hard to consider the parable separately and thus advance it. However, the parable itself contains certain clues that are shockers when we meditate on them. Therefore, we set forth the following reasoning.
“And at midnight (the dawn of the millennial) there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” (Matt 25:6)
The “midnight cry” could be the twelfth hour of the Parable of the Penny (Matt. 20:1–16, likewise referred to as the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard). Technically, 6 p.m. was “evening” back there, but it was also the end of the working day. Some laborers entered the vineyard as late as the eleventh hour, but the twelfth hour ended the workday. At “evening” the lord of the vineyard came to give the reward. (The twelfth hour ended the day under Roman reckoning, as opposed to 6 p.m. under Hebrew reckoning.) The twelfth hour of the Parable of the Penny just proceeds the time when no man can work (John 9:4).
The use of the penny will constitute a fatal witness, which is not the popular message (as espoused by orthodoxy, the church nominal), but the message that involves the death of the Gideon (last members) class. Another factor is the hour of power of the beast and the Adversary (Rev 17:12). Just as it seemed that Satan was supreme when he had Jesus nailed to the Cross and the disciples were scattered, causing confusion and disheartening, so it will be with the feet members. Through additional liberty the forces of evil will seem to utterly prevail not only with the Church but also with Israel later on. Satan will appear to have the upper hand, and men’s faith will be tried right to the core in regard to their relationship to God, but this seeming defeat will turn into a glorious triumph—for the Church and for Israel.
Continued with next post.
Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.
You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.
We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!