The First Report of the General Conference of Christians Expecting the Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ




When we read in divine inspiration a class of texts like the following, Acts 3:21, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began;” 24th verse, “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days;” again, Acts 17:26, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth; and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” and 31st verse, “Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead;” Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets;”-I say no man can read these texts, and the like, of which the Scriptures abound, without being convicted that God has set bounds, determined times, and revealed unto his prophets the events long before they were accomplished; and having thus revealed himself, has never failed in time and manner to fulfil all things which, by his prophets, have been spoken or written. He has in his word revealed the times in different ways; sometimes in plain language, by telling the exact number of years; at other times, by types, as the year of release, the jubilee, and the Sabbaths; in other places by figurative language, by calling a year a day, or a thousand years a day;-again, by analogy, as in Hebrews 4:10, showing, that, as God created the heavens and earth, and all that are in them, in six days, and rested on the seventh, so Christ would be six thousand years creating the new heavens and earth, and would rest on the seventh millennium. I will now present a few cases where time has been revealed in the above manner, and fulfilled so far as present time will allow. FRGC 83.1

I. In plain language, by years, months, or days, as the case may be. FRGC 84.1

1. Seven days before the flood began, and the forty days the rain continued, were prophesied of, and literally fulfilled. See Genesis 7:4. “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” These days were literal days, and so fulfilled. 10th and 12th verses: “And it came to pass after the seventh day that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” “And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” FRGC 84.2

2. Abraham was informed by God that his seed should be afflicted in a strange land four hundred years, which, including his sojourn, would make 430 years. Genesis 15:13. This was literally accomplished. See Exodus 12:40, 41. FRGC 84.3

3. The butler’s and baker’s dreams were interpreted to mean three days, by Joseph, and were exactly fulfilled. See Genesis 40:12-20. FRGC 84.4

4. The dream of Pharaoh, as explained by Joseph, meaning seven years’ plenty and seven years’ famine, was literally completed. See Genesis 41:28-54. FRGC 84.5

5. The forty years in the wilderness were prophesied and. fulfilled literally. See Numbers 14:34. Joshua 5:6. FRGC 84.6

6. Three years and a half Elijah prophesied that there would be no rain, and there was none until the time was finished. 1 Kings 17:1. James 5:17. FRGC 84.7

7. Isaiah prophesied that within sixty-five years Ephraim should be broken, so that they should not be a people, Isaiah 7:8; and in the sixty-five years they were broken and. carried away by Esarhaddon, king of Babylon, B. C. 742-677. FRGC 84.8

8. The seventy years’ captivity prophesied of by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 25:11, were fulfilled between B. C. 596 and 526. FRGC 84.9

9. Nebuchadnezzar’s seven times were foretold by Daniel, and fulfilled in seven years. See Daniel 4:25, and Josephus. FRGC 84.10

10. The seventy weeks which Gabriel informed Daniel would “finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy,” which Daniel had before of the four kingdoms of the earth, that should finally be destroyed by the kingdom of the “stone cut out without; hands,” and “to anoint the Most Holy.” Who can read this prophecy of the seventy weeks, and the history of Ezra, Nehemiah, the Jews, Romans, John and Jesus Christ, and not be convicted of its exact fulfilment in 490 years? And I would ask, How can it be possible that men who believe the Bible, and who have seen the exact fulfilment of all prophetic chronology thus far, can say, with any degree of propriety, these seventy weeks are indefinite? Where are their proofs? Not on the records of divine inspiration. For, here we find no sample. Here is no time given, that has not been literally fulfilled according to the true intent and meaning of the prophecy. Why not, then, settle this one point forever, among believers in the divine authority of the Scriptures: that the chronology of prophecy is to be received with an equal faith with the chronology of history? Why not believe the declarations of God concerning the future, as we do concerning the past? Who denies that God created the heavens and the earth, and all that are in them, in six days? None but the Infidel, say you. What better then is he who denies that God will accomplish what he has said he would perform in a given period? Well may the Infidel charge home upon us hypocrisy, when we refuse to believe the latter as well as the former. FRGC 84.11

All these cases which I have brought forward as proof of prophetic chronology, were once prophecies; and would it have been right in Noah, the patriarchs, and prophets, to have rejected the time given, any more than the manner? I answer, it could not have been faith to have rejected either. Then let us have faith to believe the chronology of the future, as well as of the past. FRGC 85.1

The seventy weeks were evidently fulfilled in the year A. D. 33, beginning 457 years B. C., at the going forth of the commandment to Ezra to restore the law and the people to Jerusalem. See Ezra 7:10-13. I need not stop to argue this point, as very few can be found who have the hardihood to deny the seventy weeks as being a definite time. One reason, out of the many, may be here presented. Why should the man Gabriel be so particular in defining the beginning and the end of the seventy weeks, if indefinite time only is meant? And why did he name the events so particularly as to divide the seventy into three very unequal parts, and yet in all three parts include the whole? Surely, no mortal can account for this agreement of numbers, and yet call it indefinite. There was much more ambiguity in the prophecy to Abraham, concerning his seed sojourning in a strange land four hundred years, (see Genesis 15:13, 14,) than in this of the seventy weeks. Yet that was exactly accomplished on the self-same day predicted. Exodus 12:41. And, in me, it would be the very height of folly, to believe otherwise concerning these seventy weeks of years, than as an exact fulfilment, on the self-same day. God has not changed, that he will not be as particular now as in the days of Abraham. He surely will, and when men, through cowardice or unbelief, charge God with thus tampering with his word, they must, sooner or later, find it to their cost to make such a solemn charge. FRGC 85.2

II. I will now bring forward some prophecies which remain to be fulfilled, or which have recently been accomplished. FRGC 86.1

1st. Moses’ prophecy of the scattering of the people of God among all nations “seven times.” See Leviticus 26:14-46. It is evident, that these “seven times” were a succession of years, for their land was to lie desolate as long as they were in their enemies’ land. And the people of God have been scattered, and are now a scattered and a peeled people. These “seven times” are not yet accomplished, for Daniel says, “When he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people all these things shall be finished.” The resurrection and judgment will take place. Daniel 12:6, 7: “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? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore 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.” FRGC 86.2

What did the angel mean by time, times, and a half? I answer, he meant three years and a half prophetic, or forty-two months, as in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5: or 1260 prophetic days, as in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 and 14. He meant the one half of “seven times.” Daniel saw the same thing as Moses; only to Daniel the time was divided. He was informed that the little horn would “speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time, times, and the dividing of time.” This makes Moses’ seven times, for twice three and a half are seven, and twice 1260 are 2520 common years. But you may inquire, are not these two things the same in Daniel? I answer, no. For their work is different, and their time of existence is at different periods. The one scatters the holy people; the other wears out the saints. The one means the kingdoms which Daniel and John saw; the other means Papacy, which is called the little horn, which had not come up when the people of God were scattered by Babylon and the Romans. The first means literal Babylon, or the kings of the earth; the other means mystical Babylon, or Papacy. And both together would scatter the holy people and wear out the saints “seven times,” or 2520 years. FRGC 86.3

Moses tells us the cause of their being scattered, Leviticus 26:21: “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me.” Jeremiah tells us when this time commenced, Jeremiah 15:4-7: “And I will cause them to be removed (scattered) into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem. For thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou are gone backward; therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee and destroy thee. I am weary with repenting. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land: I will bereave them of children; I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.” We have the same cause assigned by Jeremiah as was given by Moses, and the same judgments denounced against his people, and the time is here clearly specified when these judgments began, “in the days of Manasseh.” And we find in 2 Chronicles 33:9-11, that for the very same crime they were scattered: “Wherefore the Lord spake to Manasseh and to his people, but they would not hearken. Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the kings of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters and carried him to Babylon.” Here then began the “power (their king) of the holy people to be scattered.” This year, also, the ten tribes were carried away by Esarhaddon, king of Babylon, and Isaiah’s sixty five years were fulfilled when Ephraim was broken. This was in the year B. C. 677. The seven times are 2520; take 677 from which, and it leaves 1843 after Christ, when “all these things will be finished.” You may wish to know how the “time, times, and a half,” are divided. I answer, the Babylonians bear rule over Israel and Judah 140 years, Medes and Persians 205 years, the Grecians 174 years, and the Romans before the rise of Papacy 696 years; making in all of the four kingdoms 1215 years that the people of God were in bondage to the kings or rulers of these kingdoms. Then Papacy began her time, times, and a half, which lasted until 1798, being a period of 1260 years; which added to the 1215 years of the kings before mentioned, make 2475 years, wanting forty-five years to complete the “seven times.” And then the kings of the earth must consume the papal power and reign forty-five years to complete the “seven times;” which added to 1798, when the last of the ten kings broke loose from the power of Papacy, and again exercised their kingly power, (see the holy alliance, Revelation 17:15-18. Daniel 7:12,) ends 1843. Daniel 12:7-13. Thus this forty-five years accomplishes the “time, times, and a half,” which the kingdoms of the earth were to exercise their authority in, “scattering the power of the holy people,” being 1260 years. And Papacy, or mystical Babylon, accomplished her “time, times, and the dividing of time,” being 1260 years, between A. D. 538 and 1798, in “wearing out the saints of the Most High and thinking to change times and laws.” And both together make 2520 years, beginning B. C. 677, which taken out of 2520, leaves 1843 after Christ, when captive Zion will go free from all bondage, even from death, and the last enemy conquered, the remnant out of all nations saved, the New Jerusalem completed, the saints glorified. FRGC 87.1

The next prophetic number to which we shall attend, will be Daniel 8:14: “Unto 2300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed, or justified.” After Daniel had seen three visions, two of them including the whole “seven times,” he sees under his last vision but the three last kingdoms, Persia, Grecia and Rome. He then hears a saint speaking, and another saint inquiring, for how long time this last vision should be. Daniel was then informed that it should be unto 2300 days. He afterwards heard a voice commanding Gabriel to make him (Daniel) understand the vision. He came and told him, that the vision would carry him to the end of all indignation, and at the time appointed (2300 days) the end would be. Gabriel then named two of the three kingdoms, i. e. Persia and Grecia, and described the Roman by its acts. Then he left Daniel to consider of the vision. Fifteen years afterwards, while Daniel was praying, Gabriel came to him again, and told Daniel he had come to make him understand the vision. Then he gives him the seventy weeks, and tells him plainly, that the seventy weeks would seal (or make sure) the vision and prophecy. Here he gave him a clue to know when his vision of the ram and he-goat began. He tells Daniel plainly, and shows how those who should live after the seventy weeks were fulfilled might know his prophecy to be true, and what they might understand by days in this vision. If, then, the seventy weeks were a part of the vision of the ram and he-goat, and given, as it is evident, for the express purpose of showing the beginning of the vision, it remains a simple problem. If 490 days were fulfilled in the year A. D. 33, by being so many years, when will 1810 days be fulfilled in the same manner? Answer, 1843. FRGC 88.1

Then in the 12th chapter of Daniel, at the 7th verse, we have the three and a half times, which have been already explained in part, meaning 1260 days. See Revelation 12:6 and 14. The woman in the wilderness, 1260 days, which is the same thing as three and a half times. Daniel, in the 7th chapter, 25th verse, mentions the little horn wearing out the saints three and a half times; but in the 12th chapter. 7th verse, it is “scattering the power of the holy people” three and a half times. This was to be accomplished by the kings of the earth. Jeremiah 50:17: “Israel is a scattered sheep, the lions have driven him away; first the king of Assyria hath devoured him, and last this Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, hath broken his bones.” Also, Zechariah 1:18-21. FRGC 88.2

Then in the 12th chapter of Daniel 11th verse, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice (meaning abomination) shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be 1290 days.” There is some difficulty in knowing what is here intended by “daily sacrifice” in this text. It cannot mean the Jewish sacrifices, for two good reasons: 1st. It has some immediate connexion with “the abomination that maketh desolate,” i. e., Papacy, or papal power of Rome, that is “taken away to set up,” etc. Now all must admit, that Jewish sacrifices were taken away about 500 years before Papacy was set up, or exalted. 2. If Jewish sacrifices are here meant, then in A. D. 1360 this papal power would have ended her setting up, or exaltation. But Papacy was then at the height of its power. I have come to this conclusion: that this power, called “daily sacrifice,” is Rome pagan abomination; the same as Christ has reference to in Matthew 24:15. Luke 21:21. Certainly Christ could not have reference to papal abomination that maketh desolate until Christ’s second coming, for that was not set up until nearly 500 years afterwards. Of course, it must have been the pagan abomination which would be taken away. This agrees with Paul, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Here Paul shows plainly, that there was one abomination then at work which would binder the rise of the last abomination, until the first was “taken out of the way;” then the second would be revealed, whom the Lord would destroy with the brightness of his coming. The question then would be, When was Paganism taken out of the way? I answer, it must have been after the ten horns arose, out of what is called the Western empire of Rome, which were to arise up and rule one hour 72 (a little time) with the beast, pagan: for this little horn was to arise or be “set up” among the ten horns. It could not be until after the year 476 after Christ, when the Western empire fell and was divided into ten kingdoms. It could not come until “they,” the ten kings, had “polluted the sanctuary of strength,” (meaning Rome.) Daniel 11:31: “And they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall ‘take away’ the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Who shall do this? I answer, the ten horns, or kings. Revelation 17:12, 13: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, (when John saw his vision,) but receive power as kings one hour (a short time) with the beast.” The beast here must mean Rome pagan, for we have been told that beast means a kingdom. Daniel 7:23: “Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” And as papal Rome had not yet been “setup,” we must of necessity call this beast Rome pagan. Then he tells us, Revelation 17:13, “These (ten kings) have one mind,” that is, one faith, all being converted to the orthodox religion of the Catholic Roman Church, “and shall give their power and strength to the beast,” meaning Rome papal; for now this beast is “set up,” and the ten kings have given their power and strength to the pope of Rome, and the woman or Papacy sits upon the scarlet-colored beast having seven heads and ten horns. FRGC 89.1

Then the abomination that maketh desolate began his rule in the fourth kingdom, when “the dragon (emperor of the Eastern empire) gave him his power, his seat (Rome) and great authority,” Revelation 13:2; and when the ten kings give their power and strength to him, and he (the pope) uses his authority over the kings of the earth. See Revelation 17:18. “And the woman thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” These several marks, and combinations of events, and circumstances, in my opinion, can nowhere be fulfilled in any manner agreeing with the prophecy, except in the conversion of the pagan kings to Christianity, which happened as soon as A. D. 508; then they “must continue a short space,” Revelation 17:10; which is shown in Daniel to be thirty years, the difference between Daniel 7:25 and 12:11, the last number, 1290 years, beginning at the “taking away” of Paganism, A. D. 508; the first number, 1260 years, beginning at the setting up of Papacy, A. D. 538, when the dragon gave his power, his seat and great authority, and when the ten kings gave their power and strength to Rome papal, and he exerciseth the power of the pagan beast before him. Papacy now killed heretics, as Paganism had Christians before. Then these numbers would end in the year A. D. 1798, allowing a day for a year. FRGC 90.1

The events which took place in 1798, are strong evidence that my calculations of these numbers are correct Papacy then lost the power to punish heretics with death, and to reign over the kings of the earth. All must agree that Papacy has no temporal power over any kingdom, except the little kingdom of Italy, one of the horns of which the ten are composed. It is very evident, too, that the church is not now in the wilderness, and the time, times and a half of the church in the wilderness were fulfilled when free toleration was given to all religions in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, etc.; where Bonaparte obtained power and granted free toleration. Also the two witnesses are not clothed in sackcloth, and the 1260 years are fulfilled. No one can doubt for a moment that the Bible was forbidden to the common people, and forbidden to be translated in any common language, after the orthodox put down the Arian heresy in Italy and the West, by Belisarius, the general of Justinian’s troops, sent info Africa and Italy for the express purpose of suppressing the Arian power, and giving the church of Rome the pre-eminence over all schismatics. Then was the Bible taken from the common people, and remained in a sackcloth state from A. D. 538 until A. D. 1798, during 1260 years. Here we find the prophetic time of days fulfilled in years, by two ways more. And now it remains to show the end, by Daniel 12:11, 12: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be 1290 days.” Paganism taken away A. D. 508; add 1290, make 1798. “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days: but go thou thy way until the end be, for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” FRGC 91.1

When will the end of these days be? you may inquire. I answer, 1335 years from taking away the first abomination of the Roman kingdom, A. D. 508, to which add 1335, and it makes A. D. 1843, when Daniel will stand in his lot, and all who have waited for the Lord will be blessed. FRGC 92.1

III. I will now show some proof that days in prophetic chronology are used for years. All must agree, that God has in many places, and at divers times, revealed future things in figures, emblems, types and allegories; and, as I believe, for wise and benevolent purposes. The most prominent is, that, in order to get anything clear, the Bible student must study the whole. And as it respects the matter under consideration, days being put for years: if God had revealed himself plainly by using plain language instead of figures; if he had said, “Unto 2300 years from the time that Ezra would be sent up from Babylon, to restore the law and captives, etc., to the time when the end of the world should come,” many men of the world would reject the whole Bible because of these words. Again, others, during past ages, if they had known that the judgment day was yet many years to come, would have abused the mercies of God, because vengeance was not executed speedily. Yet God had determined times, and set bounds, and must reveal it to his prophets, or he would deny himself, (Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing,” etc.,) that that day may not overtake the true believer as a thief, 1 Thessalonians 5:4. It is in the manner of Christ’s parables, Matthew 13:14-16: “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.” “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.” FRGC 92.2

That God has used days as a figure of years, none will or can deny With Moses, Numbers 14:34: “After the number of days in which ye searched the land, even forty days (each day for a year) shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years; and ye shall know my breach of promise.” With Ezekiel 4:4-6: “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity, of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Also the seventy weeks in. Daniel 9:24-27. These are samples. But you will inquire, How shall we know when days are used for years? I answer, you will know by the subject matter to be performed in the given time. For instance, the seven of the seventy weeks, “the streets and walls of the city should be built again, in troublous times;” every man must know this could not be performed in 49 days, or even in 70 weeks, 490 common days. So we are to look for another meaning to days; and we find it, as above, to mean years. FRGC 92.3

Again, the 2300 days. This is an answer given to the question, “For how long a time the vision” of the ram, the he-goat and the little horn “shall be?” Answer, unto 2300 days. Who cannot see at a glance, that these three kingdoms could not conquer each other, rule over the whole world each one separately for a time, and do this in six years and four months? Thus the Infidel rejects his Bible, and the worldly scribe and priest try to explain away, by their own wisdom, what God has made plain by his word. “By hearing ye shall hear, and not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.” FRGC 93.1

But apply our rule, “years for days,” and all is simple, plain, and intelligible. FRGC 93.2

I might here show how God has revealed time by types in his word, by Jewish Sabbaths, by the jubilee, and by the day of rest; 73 but I am warned that I have already trespassed on, your patience. May we all apply our hearts unto that wisdom which compares scripture with scripture, and understand “times and seasons,” which God has put within our power, by his revelation unto us. FRGC 93.3

For the time is at hand “when the wise shall understand; but the wicked shall not understand.” Amen. FRGC 93.4