We are privileged to live at the end of the Gospel Age, a time of transition from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of God. One vital part of God’s plan to educate our race has been His permission for the Gentile nations to have a powerful dominion. This has been a painful experience for the masses of people living under it.
“Nebuchadnezzar and Gentile Dominion” examines the vision given by God of a mighty tree hewn down. Nebuchadnezzar was to become animal-like, eating grass with beasts of the field. This experience depicted the oppressive rule of the Gentiles. The purpose in allowing this is examined from various perspectives.
“Babylon the Great in 1914 and 2014” describes ancient Babylon as a type of Christendom. As ancient Babylon was destroyed in stages, so the demise of antitypical Babylon occurs in stages. It is being gradually consumed to this day. This gives Christians specific responsibilities of leaving Babylon, preaching the truth, and watching for what the Lord is doing.
“Our Lord’s Great Prophecy” examines Luke 21 where Jesus gave final instructions for his followers regarding the end of the Jewish Age, his Presence at the end of the Gospel Age, and the events in between. As we watch the signs of prophecy, Jesus encouraged us to lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28).
“Eviction of the Gentiles” describes the process God has employed to deliver Israel from Gentile dominion and to overthrow all Gentile governments in preparation for God’s kingdom. Expectations of Bible Students, both past and present, are also examined.
“Israel, In the Father’s Time” describes the process of restoring God’s Chosen People. Events such as the Balfour Declaration, the growth of Zionism, the Holocaust, and various wars, are examined in their historical context. The restoration of Israel is scripturally connected to the long-awaited Times of Restitution. We are encouraged to point Israel to the prophecies and urge them to have faith in God.
The final article, “Tarrying of the Vision,” describes the expectations of first advent disciples who believed that Jesus would begin his kingdom then. But it was to tarry for many centuries. Eighteen hundred years later saw similar expectations, as ones such as William Miller and Nelson Barbour preached a visible and dramatic return of the Lord. These unrealized expectations led to further Bible study, and a clearer understanding of prophecy soon developed. But the kingdom would still seem to tarry even with a correct understanding of the Lord’s return. Closing admonitions are given to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering … not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:23, 25).
It is with these heartfelt admonitions that we send forth this anniversary issue.