Dawning Day – Hymns of Dawn No. 29

Dawning Day – Hymns of Dawn No. 29

“(1) Come, let us shout joyfully to Jehovah! Let us shout in triumph to our Rock of salvation. (2) Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; Let us sing and shout in triumph to him” (Psalm 95:1,2).

“My mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense (Song of Solomon 4:6).

Note: “ Myrrh is bitter experience and the wisdom gained through such experience. Frankincense represents praise and thanksgiving. Hymns of praise often include the Christian’s gratitude for deliverance from suffering that is beyond human endurance. Such help usually evokes praise and thanksgiving. Of course pleasant experiences also bring forth praise, but the type of praise that arises from suffering is on a higher level than praise from pleasure. Verse 6 alludes to praise that arises from suffering.

‘Until … the shadows flee away.’ The shadows of the nighttime experience of the Church will ‘flee away’ when the Church is complete. These are the shadows of the gospel night, the Passover night. Why is myrrh a ‘mountain’ and frankincense a ‘hill’? Two different Hebrew words are used. Our praise can never reach the mark of perfection. What Jesus offered at Calvary far transcends anything we can offer” (Br. F. Shallieu, Notes on the Song of Solomon, pages 37-38).

Here is a recording of Hymn No. 29 from the “Hymns of Dawn” to aid God’s people in singing and making melody in their hearts unto God.

 

Bible Scriptures Associated With This Hymn

Deuteronomy 1:21 (KJV)Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)“(6) Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Romans 2:7 (ESV)“to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;”

Romans 13:12 (NAS)“(12) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Colossians 1:27 (KJV)“(27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Lyrics

1.
Christian, the morn breaks sweetly o’er thee,
And all the midnight shadows flee;
Tinged are the distant skies with glory,
A beacon light hangs out for thee.
Arise! arise! the light breaks o’er thee,
Bright from thy everlasting home;
Soon shalt thou reach thy goal of glory,
Soon shalt thou share thy Saviour’s throne.

2.
Lift up thy head; the day breaks o’er thee;
Bright is the promised shining way!
Light from heav’n is streaming for thee;
Lo! ’tis the dawn of perfect day.
Rejoice! rejoice! in hope of glory,
Counting all else but vanity:
Precious this truth; O seek and hold it,
And send it forth that all may see.

——-

The History Of This Hymn

Original Author Joseph Rusling (1788-1839)

Composer — no information.

*******
The words below are based on content from Reprint No.5769-5770 of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom as documented in the Harvest Truth Data Base: http://www.htdb.one

THE ARMOR OVER THE ROBE

We are to put on the “armor of light.” Consider the light you have now received—the light of the knowledge of God, of His will, of what to live for, and of what kind of characters they are to whom the Lord will be pleased to grant the reward of eternal life, even the highest form of life. Having all this knowledge, put it on as an armor to protect you. Knowing what God requires, put all this on, not as a robe, but as an armor over the robe. Put on the breastplate of righteousness covering the heart. Realize that nothing but heart-purity and absolute loyalty to God may be considered. Realize that God is for us. Take the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and all the various pieces enumerated by the Apostle. These constitute the “armor of light,” so called because it is obtained from the light of Truth.

In this our day it is surely as important that we should put on this armor and should put off the works of darkness as for the Church of the Apostle’s day. Surely if ever the whole armor was needed, it is needed now. The Lord’s dealing with us is individual—both as to the putting off of the works of darkness and as to the putting on of the armor of light. All who put on this armor will find themselves in accord with the Lord and with those who are truly His. As God’s faithful children get farther and farther into this Day of the Lord, more and more will they see eye to eye. We believe there never was a time when so many of the Lord’s people have seen eye to eye regarding the things to put off and the things to put on. We believe there never was a time when so many of the children of the light were wearing the whole Armor of Light. Therefore we have so much the more responsibility to “walk as children of light” and not as of the night.

DANGER TO EVEN THE FULLY CONSECRATED

It is possible that some, even of the fully consecrated children of God, surrounded with the cares of this life, or weary of the struggle against sin and evil, or somewhat beguiled by the present things of time and sense, may have become more or less drowsy, and so stand in special need of the stirring exhortation which the Apostle in this connection gives to the Church—particularly appropriate today: “It is now high time to awake out of sleep!” It is time for earnest, searching self-examination, for a more diligent watching to see that we do not allow the things of this “present evil world” to absorb our thoughts and energies to the imperiling of our Heavenly hopes, so soon to be realized if we remain wholly faithful to the end. It is highly important that we seek for a still closer walk with God, a more intimate fellowship with Him, a more thorough self-abnegation, a more diligent cross-bearing, a more faithful conformity in every respect to the whole will of the Lord concerning us. And this will of the Lord, we know, is not unreasonable, and His grace sufficient is promised for every day, every hour, every moment!

A careful, prayerful searching of our hearts will make plain wherein we lack in conformity to the perfect will of God. And if we discover in ourselves any perverse way, we shall correct it. Thus we more and more “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”—the mind or disposition of Christ, the spirit of love and loyalty which characterized Him. How important it is, in the very short time which yet remains to us, that we fully awake and apply ourselves most diligently to the cultivation of the Godlike, Christlike disposition of Love, the love which seeks above all else the glory of God, which is kindly-affectioned toward the brethren, which rests in the precious promises, which trusts fully in the dark as well as in the light, and which has no shadow of doubt that all the good things promised in God’s Word shall be fulfilled!

LET US “WALK AS BECOMETH SAINTS”

In the context St. Paul urges, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day.” He was speaking of certain vile practises then common—drunkenness, rioting, chambering, wantonness. We are not necessarily to suppose that he meant this as a reproof to the Christian believers at Rome, but as a pastoral exhortation that they should be on guard against these sins, and as a reminder that the principles which they had adopted as Christians were in direct contrast to those which generally prevailed. Very different standards of morality were current among the heathen. Quite a large number of the believers at Rome had been heathen and accustomed to immoralities. Hence the Apostle’s words were words of caution; for we would not suppose that saints would be guilty of these things.

The Apostle’s words above shed a warning light in saying, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day.” Most of the rioting and drunkenness is done at night—such is the custom even to this day. Works of darkness and sin thrive best at night, for some reason. People have other things to attend to in the day-time, and evil-doers take the night for frivolity or carousing or crime. Vice then stalks abroad. Darkness seems to favor such works, by hiding them more or less. The Apostle points out that this is the great night of darkness, sin, but that those in Christ are not in darkness; for they have been brought into the light of God. We are looking for the full dawning of the Morning of the New Dispensation—we are seeking to live in harmony with it. So here he says, Let us walk honestly, above-board, so that everybody will see and know our lives—let us be honest in every way, not be preaching one thing and practising another.

Considering the day here mentioned to be the Millennial Day, we may well say that nothing in the nature of sin will then be allowed. “For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2.) “Judgment also will I lay to the line,” says Jehovah, “and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the water shall overflow the hiding-place.” (Isaiah 28:17.) Whoever in that Day shall attempt to live riotously and in drunkenness or in any sin will be promptly punished. The Apostle’s exhortation is that we, as saints of the Lord, should live as those will be living when the Day shall have fully come—when the Sun of Righteousness will be shedding its beams over the whole earth.

It is a part of our overcoming to live as though the Day were fully ushered in, as though everything had been fully manifested. Whoever will take the Apostle’s advice in this matter will certainly have a rich blessing. In fact any other course would be sure to be disastrous to us as New Creatures in Christ!

ONLY A LITTLE WHILE

“Only a little while to walk with weary feet,
Only a little while the storms of life to meet,
Only a little while to tread the thorny way,
Only a little while, then comes the perfect Day.

“Only a little while to spread the truth abroad.
Only a little while to testify for God,
Only a little while, the time is fleeting fast,
Only a little while, earth’s sorrows all are past.

“Only a little while, then let us do our best,
Only a little while, then comes the promised rest.
Only a little while, oh, what a word is this!
Only a little while, then comes the perfect bliss.”

====================

My Saviour — Christ Jesus

Here are some free online articles in relation to the Heavenly Father — Jehovah, and his Son — Christ Jesus — “a ransom FOR ALL … to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6), as well as, about the holy Spirit (the invisible power and influence of God) with clear explanations about why the anti-Christ teaching of “the trinity” — introduced by the Roman Catholic Church system (the “Beast” in the Book of Revelation) — is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible Student Movement does not support the teaching of purgatory nor does it support the Roman Catholic System’s teaching about people being sent to a place where they burn up forever, which certainly does not reflect the perfect love of God — the Almighty Creator of all things.

Hence, for the interested Reader, we urge you to consider the following articles and posts:

The Doctrine of the Trinity – Mystery or Confusion by Br. David Rice.
http://www.heraldmag.org/1999/99nd_3.htm

The Origin of the Trinity – From Paganism To Constantine by Sr. Cher-El L. Hagensick.
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/doctrine/The%20Origin%20of%20the%20Trinity.htm

Facts About the Trinity
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/doctrine/FACTS%20ABOUT%20THE%20TRINITY.htm

God and the Trinities
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_42.htm

Development of the “Trinity Doctrine” by Br. Tom Gilbert.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/2010d.pdf

Understanding John 1:1 by Br. Richard Doctor.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/2010d.pdf

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/23/father-son-and-holy-spirit/

What Is the Heavenly Father’s Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/06/27/gods-name-what-is-the-heavenly-fathers-name-that-we-are-to-hallow-and-why/

Jesus – The Name
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/07/05/jesus-the-name/

The Doctrine of Christ – Booklet
http://www.biblestudents.com/docs/DoctrineChrist.pdf

Hymn Book Purchase

The Hymns Of Dawn (hymn book) can be purchased at:
The Chicago Bible Students Online Bookstore: https://chicagobible.org/product-category/books/page/4/
The Dawn Bible Students Association: http://www.dawnbible.com/dawnpub.htm

Acknowledgment & References

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Br. Charles Russell—the founder of the Bible Students movement, who is the compiler of “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” which was published in Allegheny, Pa., in 1890. This Bible Students’ devotional originally contained a total of 151 poems and 333 hymns.

POEMS-AND-HYMNS-OF-MILLENNIAL-DAWN

The following prefatory to the 1905 publication of Hymns of Millennial Dawn may be of historical interest to many of our readers.

We published in 1890, with several more recent editions, a volume entitled “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” without music. The same collection of hymns with the music is now urgently needed, and therefore appears in this volume. The poems, although highly prized, are omitted for greater convenience in size. We have preserved the same alphabetical order, because so many of our readers have the older book; and where a different tune is given from that originally suggested the latter is indicated by Alt. for alternative tune, with the number where that tune can be found.

Both words and music are credited to the same class to whom the work is dedicated-to the Lord and His faithful people, “the Saints.” The authors of many of the best of them are unknown to us, and, besides, slight changes have been made in the phraseology and sentiment of quite a number, which we could not be sure their original authors would approve, and to give personal credit to less than one half would seem invidious. To all of these dear “Saints” of all ages we therefore give united and hearty thanks for the blessings which they, as the Lord’s servants and handmaidens, have bestowed upon their fellow-members of “the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven.” Most of them died long ago: their abundant reward will be of the Lord in the resurrection.

That the collection is thoroughly undenominational, unsectarian, will be manifest to those recognizing the fact that it includes the choicest old hymns and tunes used by all denominations.

Although we have gathered far and near and winnowed carefully we cannot hope to have gotten all the golden grains, though we do hope that no chaff can be found. The collection is for the Church, for “believers” “reconciled,” and hence contains none of the “sinners” hymns, such as “Come, ye sinners poor and needy,” because willful sinners are in no sense members of the “Body” of Christ, nor are those who have not yet accepted the Lord as their Savior.

Those who will feel the deepest interest in this collection, and whose sentiments will be most fully voiced in its verses, will undoubtedly be those in fullest degree of sympathy with the divine plan of the ages, as set forth in the several volumes of Millennial Dawn – the eyes of whose understanding have been opened to the clearer, purer light now shining from our great Redeemer’s cross, showing the fulness and the completeness of his salvation.

In fact, this volume, while not numbered as one of the volumes of the Millennial Dawn series, is designed to be a companion volume, a melodious accompaniment to the “new song,” “the song of Moses and the Lamb” (the grand harmony of the Law and the Gospel), as presented in the regular Dawn series.

Let the music of God’s good and great plan ring through your hearts and lives, dear fellow-pilgrims and fellow members of the “royal priesthood,” so that every day and every hour shall be filled with joy and praise and thankfulness! And that this little volume may assist in deepening the work of grace in your hearts is our hope and prayer.

– Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, July, 1905, Allegheny, PA, USA


Later on, the hymns from this book formed a basis for the hymnal titled “Hymns of Dawn” which was published by the Dawn Bible Students Association in East Rutherford, New Jersey (USA) and the 1999 edition contains a total of 361 hymns.

Hymns of Dawn.jpg

 

Suggested Further Reading

“Harvest Timing Clarifications” — Br. George Tabac’s, 2016 Bible Students’ General Convention Discourse — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqa_GT2QSVA

Click on the following link to download Br. George Tabac’s 2016 Script Version of “Harvest Timing Clarifications” — https://biblestudents1.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/harvest-timing-clarifications-7-9-2016-general-convention-34-page-han.pdf

[Note: Br. George Tabac’s 2016 discourse is almost identical but not the same as his 2015 discourse where it had been concluded that 6000 years from Adams creation would be up in 2042. However later, like Br. Charles Taze Russell, Br. George too came to realize the need to clarify his understanding by one year in his 2016 General Convention discourse, where he concluded the 6000 years from creation would be up in 2043, which concurs with Br. David Rice’s chronology (www.2043ad.com). Note the distinction in the final charts of these two discourses.]

Worthy To Be Praised
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/05/15/worthy-to-be-praised/

DANIEL 3:17 – Our God Whom We Serve Is Able To Deliver Us
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/10/14/daniel-317-our-god-whom-we-serve-is-able-to-deliver-us/

The Lord Is My Shepherd, (R.1396) — Reprints of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

The Lord Is My Shepherd, (R.3268) — Reprints of the Original Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Acts 23:6—HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What is Jesus All About?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

Who We Are. BIBLE Students DAILY – https://biblestudentsdaily.com/category/who-we-are/


Reference Below:- PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION, BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A. COPYRIGHT, 1917.

PASTOR RUSSELL is known the world around as the most celebrated preacher of modern times. When a young man of about twenty years of age he began to preach the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and continued faithfully to do so until his death, October 31, 1916. His explanatory writings on the Bible are far more extensive than the combined writings of St. Paul, St. John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe and Martin Luther—the six Messengers to the Church who preceded him. His sermons and other writings have been translated into many languages and are read appreciatively everywhere.

All Christian people will concede that St. Paul was the greatest of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was the Apostle who averred to the Church of his day, “I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.” (#Ac 20:27.) St. Paul’s greatness was due to the fact that the Lord used him most wonderfully to enlighten others concerning God’s great Plan of Salvation for mankind. Since the days of the Apostle Paul there have been other great reformers in the world, other great exponents of the Scriptures. But when the history of the Church of Christ is fully written, it will be found that the place next to St. Paul in the gallery of fame as an expounder of the Gospel of the great Master will be occupied by CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.

In the first three chapters of the Revelation we are informed that to the Gospel Church have been sent seven special Messengers. Of these St. Paul was the first, and Pastor Russell the last. To him, as the Seventh Messenger, was granted the wonderful privilege of clearly presenting to the minds of the people the magnitude and the vital importance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord, and of explaining how that sacrifice will ultimately bring a blessing to every man. Through the Pastor’s preaching multitudes have come to know that Jehovah God is not a fiend, as many of the creeds of Christendom imply, but a mighty God of Love.

For a period of forty-two years Pastor Russell preached the Glad Tidings of great joy—a Message which must yet be heard by all, from the least unto the greatest. Those who heard him and had their hearts made glad by his Message passed it to others; and in time a public demand was created for Pastor Russell’s sermons. The public press furnished the medium through which this demand could be met. Then followed that which has never been duplicated in the history of the world—approximately three thousand newspapers published the Pastor’s sermons weekly. Approximately ten million people were reached every week by these newspapers; and doubtless many thousands read the sermons. The good thus accomplished will never be fully known until all things are revealed.

For many centuries the world had been deprived of the opportunity of Bible study. That period has well been styled the Dark Ages, during which there prevailed great darkness in the world and gross darkness upon the people. The clergy of both Romish and Protestant churches had induced the laity to believe the God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment—that the soul of man is immortal, that therefore death does not mean death, but only a change of condition, and that all except a very few would spend eternity in a hell of fire and brimstone. The Lord has used Pastor Russell to remove from the minds of thousands this foul stain upon the name of Jehovah.

His discourses have made luminous many of the dark places of the Bible. They throw a flood of light upon the Word of God, making it a new Book to the faithful and prayerful student. In simple and beautiful language these sermons disclose God’s dealings with man from the dawn of creation to the blessed days of restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets of Israel. They show why God has permitted evil in the world, how long evil will persist, and who will profit by experiencing it. They also show God’s wise provision for the redemption, enlightenment and complete blessing of all who accept the Divine blessings upon the terms proffered. In these sermons the Pastor points out why this great Time of Trouble upon which we have entered has come upon the world, what its result will be, and what blessings will accrue to all peoples and nations that are properly exercised thereby.

Thus they are indeed a balm for the broken-hearted and a comfort for those that mourn. Blessed is he who reads them with unbiased mind!

During the term of his ministry CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL was pastor of a large congregation at Allegheny, Pa.—now a part of Pittsburgh; London Tabernacle, London, Eng.; and of The New York City Temple; and was elected pastor of over 1200 other congregations. His reputation was international. His sermons were published in more than thirty languages. He was indeed the world’s ubiquitous preacher.

On October 31, 1916, after a most eventful career, Pastor Russell finished his work on earth. Suddenly the order-loving peoples of the world learned that a great force for good had been removed from their midst.

An aching void was left in many hearts, and thousands of people have continued to hunger for more of that precious mental and spiritual food which his discourses had supplied. To meet this demand, and as a lasting monument to the memory of Pastor Russell, we issue this selection of his sermons in book form. Some of these have never before been published.

St. Paul under inspiration wrote that at the end of the Age would come greater light. Pastor Russell was privileged to live in the close of the Gospel Age; and as a chosen vessel of the Lord he was permitted to point many thousands to the illuminated pages of the Divine Word.

In fulfillment of St. Paul’s prophetic statement, and as a result of Pastor Russell’s preaching, thousands of people today are enabled to see that God has a great Plan which He is working out in an orderly manner, and which will culminate to His glory in the blessing of mankind.

In these sermons Pastor Russell gives clear proof from Scripture that the Secrets of the Lord can be understood by those who, trusting fully in the merit of Christ Jesus, have made a consecration to do the will of God, who have been accepted by the Heavenly Father and who then apply themselves studiously to understand the Divine Plan. Christian people have long been confused upon many questions; such as, What is the condition of the dead? Is there hope of salvation for any aside from the truly consecrated? What will be the office of the Church in the ages to come? The reader of these sermons will see that Pastor Russell makes these questions clear, answering them to the satisfaction of all honest minds. He magnifies the merit of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice, and shows that in due time every man will receive the benefit accruing from the Ransom-price and will be given one fair, impartial trial for life.

Long before the great international war began, Pastor Russell fore-showed in his sermons the coming trouble upon the earth, made clear from the Scriptures the cause of the war, and pointed out what would be the result and what would follow after the trouble had subsided.

Both Christians and those who have never claimed to be Christians will find much satisfaction in reading these sermons. Order-loving Christians will desire to leave a copy of these discourses as a heritage to their children, that they may better understand God’s great Plan. It is our prayer that these sermons may prove a blessing to all who read them.

THE PUBLISHER.

– COPYRIGHT, 1917, PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION, BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.


Reference below: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/12/

 

Dates of significance in WT history (1868-1918)

1844  Millerites expect Jesus’ return (October 22).
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/12/william-miller-herald-of-second-advent.html

1852 Charles Taze Russell born.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/joseph-l-and-ann-eliza-birney-russell.html

1868 — Russell begins careful study of Scriptures.

1870 — Russell forms Bible study group.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/05/young-man-in-search-of-god.html

1876 — End of appointed times of nations in 1914 first announced.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/06/seven-timesthe-times-of-gentiles-in.html

1877 — Barbour and Russell publish Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World. Russell publishes The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2010/07/manner-of-lords-return.html

1879 — Russell withdraws from Herald of the Morning.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/09/to-readers-of-herald-of-morning.html
Zion’s Watch Tower first published.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/small-beginnings-1879-1889.html

1880 — Russell tours northeastern U.S. to form study groups.

1881 — First tracts published.

Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society formed.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/11/william-h-conley-1840-1897.htmlColporteur work begins.
Groups holding meetings asked to notify Society.
Food for Thinking Christians published.

1884 — Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society incorporated.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/04/wtch-tower-society-incorported.html

1886 — The Divine Plan of the Ages (Millennial Dawn, Volume I) released.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/05/millennial-dawn-studies-in-scriptures.html

1889 — Bible House in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, completed.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/01/bible-house.html

1890 — Society begins Bible publishing with Rotherham’s New Testament, Second Edition.

1891 — First gathering of Bible Students to be termed a convention (Allegheny, Pennsylvania).
Russell travels abroad.

1894 — Speakers sent to congregations.

1895 — Dawn Circles for Bible Study begin.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/08/filling-spiritual-needs-of-early-bible.html

1896 — Name Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

1898 — Tower Publishing Company donated to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
Local assemblies begin.

1900 — First branch office established (London, England).
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/12/pastor-russell-british-isles.html

1903 — Tracts distributed house to house.

1904 — Russell’s sermons appear in newspapers.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/12/opening-door-of-newspaper-gospelling.html

1909 — Watch Tower Society moves headquarters to Brooklyn.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2010/06/opening-at-brooklyn.html
Peoples Pulpit Association formed.

1912 — Work begins on “Photo-Drama of Creation.”

1914 — “Photo-Drama of Creation” first shown.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/08/photo-drama-of-creation.html
Archduke of Austria-Hungary assassinated.
International Bible Students Association incorporated.

1915 — Pastoral work (aspect of field ministry) begins.

1916 — Russell dies.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/10/93-years-ago-today.html
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/11/will-and-testament-of-charles-taze.html

1917 — Joseph Rutherford elected president of Watch Tower Society.
Opposition to Rutherford by four unconfirmed directors.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/09/j-f-rutherford.html
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/08/savage-wolves-will-come-in-among-you.html

1918 — Joseph Rutherford confirmed as president of Watch Tower Society.
http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/change-in-administration.html

 

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Epoch Periods In God’s Plan

Hosea-6-1-2-bible-students-daily-website.jpg

The Light In The First Day

In Genesis 1:1‑5 (KJV) we are first introduced to the “light” of the sun.

“(1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (4) And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 

The Sun

“Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) evidently refers to the light of the sun, which was sufficient for general illumination, but not sufficient to break through the mists to become an identifiable object in the heavens, until the fourth day when it was “appointed” (as the word there can mean), together with the moon and stars (Genesis 1:16). Genesis 1:11 shows that there were already plants and trees on day three, which required sunlight to grow. The sun was in place and burning before the earth was suitable for life.

Genesis-1-11.jpg

The Length of Each Day of Creation

The days of creation recorded in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 were epoch days of creative activity, of undefined length.

The word “day” customarily describes a normal day of 24 hours, but very often has a broader usage for any defined period of whatever length. For example, Genesis 2:4 says “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Here “day” is a period that includes all of the seven days reported earlier.

In Hebrews 3:8, Paul refers to the “provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness” — which refers to a period of years, not a single day.

When we speak of Jesus’ day, we mean a period of history long ago, not a single day.

The work involved in these “days” of creation required lengthy periods of time for the natural processes to reach maturity, or completion.

Zechariah 14:7-9 provides another example, this time from prophecy, of the greater use of the term “day.”

“(7) It shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time [at the close of the Millennial day that spans 1000 years] it shall be light. (8) And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. (9) And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”

The metaphorical use of the word “day” is usually apparent from the context.

The Third Day

In John 2:19-22 we read about Jesus being raised on the literal third day:

“(19) Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (20) Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? (21) But he spake of the temple of his body. (22) When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”

However, if we take the above passage to refer to the metaphorical body of Christ, that is, the body of believers in Jesus, then it is apparent that any application of the three days would be on a larger time frame. In this case the saints are raised on the third millennium from the time of Christ.

In Hosea 6:1-3 (KJV) we read about this “third day.”

“(1) Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. (2) After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. (3) Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

In both of these cases — John chapter two and Hosea chapter six — the three days involved are evidently millennial days 4, 5, and 6 as counted from Adam. On the sixth millennium, which includes our day, Israel has been under process of restoration. Jesus’ first advent was in the fourth Millennial day, counting from Adam. Here are those “days”

(1) 3958 B.C. to 2958 B.C.
(2) 2958 B.C. to 1958 B.C.
(3) 1958 B.C. to 958 B.C.
(4) 958 B.C. to 43 A.D.
(5) 43 A.D. to 1043 A.D.
(6) 1043 A.D. to 2043 A.D.

The words of Hosea 6:1-3 is thus about natural Israel (not about Spiritual Israel — the Bride of Christ) because in verse one, we read that God has “smitten” them. God has not smitten the Church. But Israel was “smitten” following their rejection of Christ. God did smite Israel during the Roman wars that closed the Jewish Age. They were cast off in 33 A.D., in day “four” from Adam. After the close of day four, and the close of day five, thus “after two days,” they began to be restored in 1878 and forward, on day “six” from Adam.

Hence Israel is now being restored — presently as a nation, and later, in the Kingdom, to individual life after they recognize Jesus as their Redeemer.

Three Dispensations in the Divine Plan

3 dispensations

There are three large periods of time in the Divine Plan. Sometimes these are termed “Dispensations,” because the administration of these three periods varied. Sometimes they are called three “worlds,” drawing from these three scriptures —

  • World that Was 2 Peter 3:6 — Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water [the Flood], perished.
  • Present Evil World Galatians 1:4 — “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”
  • World to ComeHebrews 2:5 — “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”

Epoch 1 – The World That Was

This epoch lasted from the time of Adam and Eve until the flood. In this period some of the angels were allowed to exercise influence in a way that was later restrained. It was not subdivided into ages because God’s method of dealing with men did not vary from Adam’s fall to the flood. God had given man his law, the law of conscience written into his nature. However, after he sinned God left him measurably to his own downward course, that man might learn through experience the wisdom of God in requiring obedience. The disastrous effects of sin were manifested showing that the tendency of sin is downward to greater degradation and misery, showing the necessity of Jehovah’s interposition, if the recovery of “that which was lost” — man’s first estate — would ever be accomplished.

Epoch 2 – The Present Evil World

The second great epoch (Galatians 1:4, 2 Peter 3:7) spans from the flood to the establishment of the kingdom of God. It is under the limited control of Satan, the usurper, “the prince of this world,” who has no interest in Christ’ followers except to oppose, tempt, annoy, and buffet them (John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 12:7, Malachi 3:15).

In this present evil world, or epoch, whoever will live godly shall suffer persecution, while the wicked flourish like a green bay tree (2 Timothy 3:12, Psalm 37:35).

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and until the era or “world to come” does come, Christ’s kingdom will not control the earth. For this we are taught to hope and pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth.” Satan is the “ruler of the darkness of this world,” and therefore “darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people.” Satan now rules and works in the hearts of the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2, 6:12).

The current epoch is divided into three “ages.”

(a) The Patriarchal Age. God’s dealings and favors were with various patriarchs, such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At Jacob’s death his descendants were called “the twelve tribes of Israel.” They were together recognized of God as his “peculiar people,” and through typical sacrifices they were typically “a holy nation,” separated from other nations for a particular purpose, and therefore to enjoy certain special favors.

(b) The Jewish Age (or the Law dispensation). God specially blessed the nation of Israel during this age from Jacob’s death until Christ’s death, as evidenced in the following:

  • Giving the Israelites His law,
  • Making a special covenant with them,
  • Giving them the Tabernacle, whose shekinah glory in the Most Holy represented Jehovah’s presence with them as their Leader and King,
  • Sending them prophets,
  • Sending them His Son, Jesus, who performed his miracles and taught in their midst. Jesus ministered to the Israelites, and instructed his disciples the same during the time that he was with them. “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5,6). Jesus explained, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).

This national favor ended with their rejection and crucifixion of Jesus, as shown by Jesus’ words five days before his crucifixion, “Your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38).

(c) The Gospel Age. From Jesus’ death, the good tidings of justification have been heralded for nearly 2000 years not only to the Jewish people, but to all nations; for Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. During this Gospel age there is a class called to special favor, to whom special promises are made. Namely, to those who by faith accept Christ Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord and follow in his footsteps.

The aim of this age is not to convert nations, but to call out a “little flock” as Jesus foretold (Luke 12:32), to whom it is the Father’s good pleasure to give the Kingdom in an age to follow this.

Epoch 3 – The World to Come

The third epoch is to be a “world without end” (Isaiah 45:17) under divine administration, the kingdom of God. It is called “The World to Come, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” and during this period, all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Hebrews 2:5, 2 Peter 3:13, 2 Corinthians 12:2‑4, Revelation 21:1).

The thousand years of Christ’s reign is the first age in the “world to come” (Revelation 20:4). During the Millennial age, there will be a restoration of all things lost by the fall of Adam (Acts 3:19‑21). Then, all tears, sorrow, pain, and death resulting from the fall of Adam in Eden shall have been wiped away (Revelation 21:4). Following this 1000 year Millennium, there will be “a little season” of final testing time for the world of mankind (Revelation 20:3,7-10).

Revelation 11:15 says that when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, “the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord [Jehovah] and His Christ [Jesus].” Thereafter our Lord Jesus exercises his power to remove present powers, and establish his Millennial Kingdom in order to bless the world in righteousness.

There are seven trumpet periods in Revelation. The seventh of these commenced in 1874 with the return of Christ and his subsequent parousia, or presence. Acts 3:21 connects this to the beginning of the “times of restoration.” There the process of restoring Israel commenced.

At the end of the Millennium will come the close of the seventh millennial “day,” introducing day number eight. At this time there will be “a little season” for the testing of mankind. Those found unfaithful and rebellious, disobedient to God and His principles, will not continue further. Thus the world is cleansed, purged, “circumcised” as it were, on the eighth day — evidently represented by circumcision of old being on the eighth day (Genesis 17:12).

Revelation 11:18, part of the description of the seventh trumpet, refer to the raising of the sleeping saints. “The time … that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets [Jesus’ New Testament spokesmen, compare Ephesians 3:5], and to the saints [holy ones of the Gospel Age].” The Millennium will be introduced subsequent, at the close of 6000 years, which we anticipate about a generation future, with the year 2043.

When that kingdom is established, all of the Bride class will have been gathered to glory, ready to serve as priests and kings with Christ to uplift the world (Revelation 20:6). Gradually all will be raised to life again, and have an opportunity to gain life everlasting.

Revelation 11:18,19 shows that the transition period into the Kingdom involves a general time of trouble. Evidently this commenced in 1914 with World War I. Jesus said, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house and spoil [plunder] his goods, except he will first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house” (Mark 3:22‑27). Jesus has entered the house of the strong man, Satan, and is in process of disrupting his affairs, incident to removing the influence of Satan altogether.

Satan is the “strong man” of the Present Evil World. The disruption of his “house,” and the binding of that strong usurper, is the necessary predicate for the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. Satan will remain bound for “a thousand years,” allowing the world to grow and learn without the adversary’s deceptions.

We read of this in Revelation 20:2,3

“2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”

The blotting out of evil will be gradual, requiring all of the first thousand years. Evil will not rule then. It will not prosper; it will no longer be the wicked that will flourish; but “the righteous shall flourish” (Psalm 72:7). Then the obedient shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19), and “the evil doer shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:9).

Heavens and Earth – Not Literally Destroyed

This earth is the basis of all these “worlds” and dispensations. Though ages pass and dispensations change, still the earth continues “The earth abideth forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4).

In 2 Peter 3:12, Peter refers to the dissolution of the present heavens and earth. “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” Here “the heavens” symbolize the higher or spiritual controlling powers, and “earth” (verse 10) symbolizes human government and social arrangements.

The first heavens and earth, or social arrangement, ended at the flood, “being overflowed with water” (2 Peter 3:6). “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). The order and arrangement of things then existing ended at the flood. But the physical heavens (sky and atmosphere), and the physical earth, did not pass away.

Likewise, the present social structure, political and ecclesiastical, will pass away in deference to the Kingdom of Christ. The beginning of this work occurs in the “Day of the Lord” which “shall burn as an oven” (Malachi 4:1). But the complete integration of mankind into the new arrangement, the “new heavens” and “new earth” (2 Peter 3:13) will require time, as the work of the Kingdom proceeds.

Society will become reorganized in harmony with earth’s new Prince, Christ Jesus. Righteousness, peace, and love will rule among men when present arrangements give place to the new and better kingdom, based on justice and equity. The more we examine God’s plan of the Ages, the more we will find in it perfect harmony, beauty and order.

“Each age has its part to accomplish, necessary to the complete development of God’s plan as a whole. The plan is a progressive one, gradually unfolding from age to age, upward and onward to the grand consummation of the original design of the Divine Architect, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11). Not one of these great periods is an hour too long or too short for the accomplishment of its object. God is a wise economist of both time and means, though his resources are infinite; and no power, however malicious, for a moment retards or thwarts his purposes. All things, evil as well as good, under divine supervision and overruling, are working together for the accomplishment of his will” (Br. Charles T. Russell, The Divine Plan of the Ages, page 74).

Acknowledgement

Br. Charles Russell — for content shared from his book titled “The Divine Plan of the Ages,” which is Volume One (of six) of “Studies in the Scriptures.” This can be read from the Harvest Truth Data Base website. Here is the direct link: http://www.htdb.one

Br. David Rice — for content & editing assistance.

Further Suggested Reading

The Stream of Time by Br. David Rice. http://2043ad.com/streamoftime.PDF

Booklet titled: “I Will Come Again – John 14:3”
https://chicagobible.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/I-WILL-COME-AGAIN.pdf

God’s Millennium. A Dawn Bible Students Association Publication (booklet).
http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/Gods1k.htm

Israel in History and Prophecyhttp://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/israel_hp.htm

The Approaching End of The Harvest
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/03/19/the-approaching-end-of-the-harvest/

1 CORINTHIANS 15:45 – How Long Until the Millennial Reign of the ‘Last Adam’?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/06/06/1-corinthians-1545-how-long-until-the-millennial-reign-of-the-last-adam/

The Book of Revelation: A 2016 Perspective
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/06/30/the-book-of-revelation-a-2016-perspective/

 

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