Matthew Chapter 24 [KJVwc]

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1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. There shall not be left – The emperor Julian the Apostate endeavored to rebuild the temple in AD 363 to defy this prophecy, but his design was frustrated by an earthquake and fire bursting forth from the foundation walls of the thrown down temple. R1297:1*[R1297*]

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy presence, and of the end of the age? Tell us when – Perhaps remembering that Jesus' first advent had been obscure and unrecognized by many. R710:2[R710]

Asking three distinct questions, each of which received separate answers. R531:3[R531]

These things be – The destruction of the temple, etc. R342:1*[R342*]

Shall be the sign – Indication. B159[B159]; R710:3[R710]

They suspected that he might be present, yet unrecognized by the world, and possibly by even his saints, unless some expected sign should indicate his presence. R710:3[R710]

As clouds are a sign of storm and smoke of fire, so the specially appointed works of his presence in progress will, to those who can appreciate them, be a sign of his presence. R710:3[R710]

There will be no sign for the worldly masses; they will not know of my presence and of the new dispensational changes. Only the few will know. B162[B162]

What sign would be needed of Christ's presence, if he were visible. R555:1*[R555*]

Of thy coming – Greek, parousia, a being alongside, presence. B160[B159-160]; D565[D565]; R2978:6[R2978], 1693:1[R1693], 591:4*; 26:6

The Greek word parousia invariably signifies "personal presence," as having come, arrived. It never signifies to "be on the way," as we use the word "coming." R580:5[R580], 348:2, 223:2*, 20:4

Whedon's Commentary, page 277, says: "The word parousia never, in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else than presence." Liddell and Scott and Young's Concordance concur. R223:2*[R223*]

The parousia began in 1874. R5565:6[R5565]

End of the world – End of the age. B160; D565[D565]

The Greek word aion does not mean this globe, or this general order of things, but an era or age. R236:3*[R236*]

The Greek word suntelia, translated "end," does not mean a "point," but a "period of time." The same word is used in Matt. 13:39 , "The harvest is the end [suntelia] of the age." R236:3*[R236*], 223:1*[R223*]

The sign of the presence is the sign of the time of harvest, one sign for two things. The worker and the work are related to each other. R236:3*[R236*]

The sign of thy presence – In the KJV this word is translated as "coming." That the correct translation is "presence" is made clear by noting its use in Phil. 2:12.
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Jesus answered – Verses 1 to 14 cover the entire Gospel age; verses 15 to 22 have a double application, literally to the close of the Jewish age and figuratively to the end of the Gospel age of which the Jewish age was a shadow; verses 23 to 26 contain words of warning against false Christs and, in verse 27, our Lord reaches their question regarding his parousia. B160[B160]

The Master traces various experiences of his people down to the consummation of the Gospel age. R5522:2[R5522]

Take heed – To put us on guard against some who would assume his name (Christ-ians) and deceive many by saying that the Kingdom of God has come. R710:3[R710]

That no man deceive – A sign will enable those who obey this injunction to discern between the false and the true. R98:2*[R98]

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Come in my name – "Many will assume my name." (Diaglott) R710:5[R710]

Saying, I am Christ – Evidently refers to pseudo-Christs who have arisen during the Gospel age, but before the closing part of the age. R5865:6*[R5865]

Not Sabbathai Levi of Smyrna, with his 400 prophets, is here meant, but whoever claims headship of the church, as Pope, Czar, Synod, and especially the coming Image of the Beast. (Rev. 13:15) D565[D565], D580[D580]

Gamaliel mentions two of these false Christs in his speech referred to in Acts 5:36,37. D565[D565]

They say, We are Christ's vicegerents, his representatives; our Church is the body of Christ and his rightful and promised representative to rule and conquer the world. R710:5[R710]

Not only have false christ systems, antichrists, arisen, flourished and deceived many, but many individual false teachers have also arisen. R767:1[R767]

Deceive many – By unrestrained fallen angels, with power to counterfeit and personate humanity. SM199:T[SM199:T]

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Rumors of wars – Threats, intrigues of wars. D566[D566]

Wars, which have continued all through the age, are not the particular thing the Master had in mind when he referred to the great time of trouble. R5526:1[R5526]; NS57:2[NS57:2]

Must come to pass – The physical convulsions are as needful and as proper as the moral and social upheavals. R879:5[R879]

War is not the disease, but merely a symptom of the disease in the body politic. So long as the disease, sin, continues, its outward manifestation, war, is bound to continue. SM452:3[SM452]

As long as Satan rules the world, strife, war, and confusion must reign. R605:4[R605]

End is not yet – The mere fact of war should prove nothing to the Lord's people respecting the consummation of the age. We are otherwise guided. R3327:1[R3327], 605:3[R605]

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Shall be famines – Famines, pestilences and earthquakes are not to be regarded specially as signs of the end. R605:5[R605]

Earthquakes – Revolutions. A336[A336]; SM316:2[SM316]

Famines and earthquakes have in all ages given evidence that not only man, but his home, the earth, is under the curse. R879:1[R879]

Our Lord knew that these quakings had been before his first advent and would be frequent during the entire period between the first and second advents. R879:1[R879]

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. Beginning of sorrows – Primary sorrows, the secular history of the Gospel age. D566[D566]

The start of trouble much more intense. R879:2[R879]

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. Then – During that same period, the Gospel age. D566[D566], D584[D584]

Deliver you up – Here the Lord separates the history of the true Church and states it with similar brevity. D566[D566]

To be afflicted – The faithful servants of the Lord will be ostracized by the world, as our Lord foretold. R5173:6[R5173]

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And then – During that same period. D566[D566]

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. False prophets – False teachers. D566[D566]

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Iniquity – Inequity, injustice, unrighteousness. R5857:4[R5857]

Erroneous doctrine and consequent erroneous practice, worldliness, etc. R767:4[R767]

Shall abound – "Be multiplied" (Revised Version); in the end of the Gospel age. R5856:2[R5856], 5118:2[R5118]

Unrighteousness, false professions, empty forms of godliness, love of pleasure, abound everywhere. R5857:5[R5857]

The temptation is strong with many to follow the multitude. R5857:5[R5857]

It will be a test for those who love Christ, as to whether they will partake of the worldly spirit. R5118:2[R5118]

The love of many – Speaking to the Church. R5856:2[R5856]

The many; the majority of the professed followers of Christ. R5857:4[R5857]

Shall wax cold – Will allow their love to grow cold, lacking faith and zeal. R5118:2[R5118]

Become lukewarm. (Rev. 3:16) R710:6[R710]

When not persecuted, it has been because there was so much of the world, so much of the "cold love" toward the Lord and the truth, that they were not worthy of persecution. D567[D567]

The Lord seems afar off, incomprehensible and almost unknown. R767:4[R767]

A cooling of our love toward God will mean a loss of our desire to please him, which will include a cooling of our love for his service in spreading the Gospel message. R4253:3[R4253]

If we have an unjust twist in our mind, it will interfere with our communion with God. R5857:2[R5857]

Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if we did not see it, we should think that the Bible was not true. R2798:3*[R2798*]

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. He that shall endure – The test of endurance is one of the severest. R1995:4[R1995]

Unto the end – Until "he comes whose right it is" (Ezek. 21:27) to take the kingdom from the usurper and reward his faithful saints. R605:5[R605]

Patient endurance to the close of the race is needful for all running for the prize held out in this Gospel age. R710:3[R710]

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. This gospel – We make a distinction between the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Kingdom. The Gospel is the announcement beforehand that the Kingdom is coming. SM678:3[SM678:3]; R5010:1[R5010(?)]

Announcing the second coming of the Messiah to rule, heal and instruct all the families of the earth. R5010:1[R5010]

Of the kingdom – The word gospel here is emphatic in the Greek, and so is the word kingdom. It is not any and every good message, but a special one--this good message of the Kingdom. R1349:3[R1349]

Shall be preached – He did not say that it would be received. A91[A91]; D567[D567]; R516:6*[R516*]

The object is to prepare for this coming Kingdom. SM678:2[SM678]

The real purpose of this Gospel age. D169[D169]

The entire work of this Gospel age was to be the preaching of the Kingdom. R2139:1*[R2139]

To everyone who has an ear to hear. SM679:1[SM679]; CR437:2[CR437]

We ask whether this has yet been done by Christendom, and reply, No! (1892) R1349:3[R1349]

This witness has already been given; the Word of the Lord, the gospel of the Kingdom, has been published in every nation of the earth. D568[D568]; SM685:3[SM685]

In all the world – By 1861, the Gospel had been published in every language of the earth. A91[A91]; R603:4*[R603*]

Even though the traditions of men, which tend to make it null and meaningless, are permitted to accompany it. R1077:3[R1077]

"In the whole inhabited earth." (NEW Version) R531:3[R531]

The Bible, which is the Gospel message, has been translated into all the national tongues of the world; and thus every nation, representatively, has been made acquainted with the letter of God's message at least. R2518:5[R2518]

For a witness – Not to convert them. R5008:2[R5008], 2872:2[R2872], 2809:5[R2809], 2518:5[R2518], 516:6*[R516*]; D169[D169], D568[D568]; A91[A91]

To find that special class which the Lord is seeking, an elect few from all nations. SM679:1[SM679]; CR437:2[CR437]; R5008:3[R5008]

The present mission of the Church. R5822

This is the dispensation of election and not of universal conversion. R2798:3*[R2798*]

The preaching of the Gospel during this age will serve as a witness in the coming age. R517:1*[R517*]

Later on the elect, as the Kingdom, will bless the nations, opening their deaf ears to the Gospel. D568[D568]

Unto all nations – "Go ye therefore and teach all nations." (Matt. 28:19) C215[C215]

But witnessing to nations is not witnessing to individuals. R603:4*[R603*]

Shall the end come – The end has come: "The harvest is the end of the age." (Matt. 13:39) D568[D568]; R603:4*[R603*], 342:5*[R342*]

The end of this age or harvest. R2157:2*, 2139:1*

Not the end of the world, but the end of the preaching of the gospel. SM678:2

Before this age shall have fully ended. R710:6

The Greek heko signifies "to have come, to be here," not future tense, but present. R591:4*, 555:4*, 342:5*

The remarks of the Master up to here are in place and needful, but only a preface to the answer of the question asked. R710:6

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) When ye – When Satan's power begins to fall because the stronger than he begins to spoil his house, then this system will be revealed and recognized in its true character. R711

Shall see – The Mass was not seen to be the abomination, even by the Reformers. D572[D572:3]

The setting up of the abomination is not the sign, but its recognition as an abomination and its improper place is a sign of greatly increased light (Dan. 12:4) R710:6[R710]

When the mask shall be pulled off, and you shall be enabled to see "The Mystery of Iniquity" (2 Thess. 2:7) as such, your knowledge shall be the sign. R711:2[R711]

The abomination – That Wicked One, the Man of Sin, the Mystery of Iniquity, the Antichrist, the Son of perdition, the Beast, the Little Horn, the Papacy. B271[B271], B277[B277]; C95[C95]

Especially the Papal doctrine of transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the Mass, supplemented in our day by various theories of self-atonement urged by Papacy's imitators. D572[D572]; C102[C102], C103[C102]; NS77:1[NS77]

The false system of systems, including not only the mother system, Papacy, but the daughters as well, for she is the mother of abominations. (Rev. 17:4) R711:1[R711]

So called because of the disastrous influence it has had upon the faith and practice of the Lord's people. R5641:5[R5641]

In another parallelism, fleshly Israel's rejection of the true sacrifice for sins, and their retention of the typical sacrifices which were no longer acceptable to God, were abominations. D572[D572]

Spoken of by Daniel – Distinctly referring to Daniel, calling him by name and quoting a part of his prophecy, giving us the assurance that it would be fulfilled in the future--not yet come, but near, even at the door. R3630:3[R3630]

Stand – Having stood. D573[D573]

In the holy place – In the Church. D572[D572]; C26[C26]

In the stead of the true sacrifice. D573[D573]

Whoso readeth – Reader. D573[D573]

Let him understand – Consider. D573[D573]

There will be danger of misunderstanding the real abomination. C26[C25]

16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Which be in Judea – In Christendom, not literal Judea, because it is itself a hill country. D573[D573]

The destruction of ancient Jerusalem is a type of the dissolution of the nominal Christian church. R590:3*, 229:3

Flee – Flee from all its errors. C26

From the influence of the abomination and from the system falsely styling itself Christ's Kingdom. D573

Into the mountains – The mountain, Christ's Kingdom. D573

17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: On the housetop – Who has a higher life and experience and faith than the merely nominal member; the most saintly. D575; R5456:4

Not come down – Everything must be forsaken. R5456:1

All temporizing or human reasoning will be dangerous; no time must be lost in obeying. D574

To take any thing – Titles, dignities, respect, commendations of good and regular standing. D575; R5456:4

Out of his house – The branch of the nominal church with which he is connected. D575

18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. In the field – In the world, not a church member. D574; R5456:4

Return back – Join the nominal church. D575

To take his clothes – To secure valuables in human estimation. D575

19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! Woe unto them – Special troubles at that time; but also symbolical. R5456:4

It will be a special time of sorrow for the false religious systems in that day, "those who are with child." Q842:5[Q842:5]

That are with child – With illegitimate spiritual children, not begotten by the Word of Truth, but by error, and therefore "bastards, and not sons." (Heb. 12:8) D575, D576

Symbolic of Christian people seeking to convert the world and teach beginners. R5456:4

And to them – Ministers, Sunday-school teachers, and others. D577; R1379:6, 230:1

That give suck – Those who are dispensing the milk. Q842:5[Q842:5]

Look after spiritual children, proselytes to the church. R591:5*

That give out the milk of the Word, often diluted and adulterated, to keep the spurious children alive, and starve, stunt and poison the true spiritual babes. D577

They will fear to flee in this day, realizing that but few of the "babes" would be able or willing to join in the flight; and indeed only the spiritual will be able to endure the ordeal. D577

20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: Not in the winter – When the winter-time of Babylon's trouble has begun, in the burning of the tares. D578

This winter time coming is the time of Zion's travail when the great majority of her children will be brought forth. (Isa. 66:7) R230:6

In season to be an overcomer. Harvest always comes in summer and is followed by the destructive frosts of winter. R230:5

It is still the custom in country places to leave the burning off of refuse until the winter. D578

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended [winter has come], and we are not saved." (Jer. 8:20) D578

On the sabbath day – The Millennium. The further we get into it, the harder it is to abandon Babylon, when she pleads for help in her hour of need. D579

The Jewish Law placed restrictions upon the people on the Sabbath and hindered them from journeying as much as they might desire. R230:2

If some now attempt to obey, they will find such laws in force in Zion as will make it difficult to get out quickly, unless those man-made laws are disregarded. R230:2

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. For then – At the end of this Gospel age and its harvest. R5019:1

As a result of selfishness reaching its limit, becoming ripe, and going to seed. SM266:1

Great tribulation – General and terrible. D540

A time of war and trouble involving all nations. Q812:2[Q812:1]

It will include social, financial, political and religious institutions. PD92/107

The strife of nations and of parties, of unions and of combinations, will extend to the individuals of the world and produce an individual conflict and strife. NS22:3

Anarchy and destruction, born of fear and despair, and not of preference or a love of lawlessness. R2869:4

Strife, hatred, malignity, anarchy. SM188:T

The tribulations upon Babylon will constitute a part of the great tribulation with which this Age will terminate. SM411:2

Aggressiveness on the part of the trusts and syndicates will bring about the final catastrophe of this age in the wreck of the entire social structure by the masses. NS377:5

Coming along the lines of a lack of confidence, a casting away of confidence. (Heb. 10:35) NS561:5

The poor rich will have a season of special sorrow and anguish when all their accumulated wealth will become valueless. (Jas. 5:1-5) Q848:2[Q848:2]

Abetted, not only by national animosities, but also by social grievances, ambitions and animosities. R1355:5

Caused by manifestations of divine justice and opposition to sin and all iniquity. OV286:3

Caused by a thorough transition from the reign of sin and death to the reign of righteousness and life. R5399:6; A307

A dashing to pieces of earthly institutions; a great crisis. SM717:1, 162:1

The spirit of discontent, stirred up by knowledge, will ignorantly, unintentionally, cause the wreck of our present institutions. R5364:1, 4755:6; OV126:3

A manifestation of divine justice. OV286:3

"A great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." (Rev. 16:18) ; OV275:1; SM236:2

So destructive in character that it will result in the dissolution of the present evil, selfish, social structure preparatory to the establishment of the "new earth." Q771:4[Q771:3]

Upon the ashes of that time of trouble, Messiah's Kingdom will be established with full power and glory. PD92/107; NS22:4

The beginning of Messiah's reign will mean the greatest revolution the world has ever seen. Kings and princes will hold on to power and advantage to the last, and as a result all will be dashed in pieces. R1385:5

It will be a battle between giants--on the one side financial giants, trusts, etc.; on the other side gigantic labor organizations. PD92/107; NS218:4

The anarchy of the French Revolution and the anarchy which overthrew the Jewish nation in AD 70 are Scriptural illustrations of what may be expected soon. PD92/107

When the last member of the body of Christ shall have passed beyond the veil. R5173:3; NS664:6; HG611:6

A day of judgment upon mankind socially and nationally--a day of national recompenses. D11

Not for the world's destruction; but that, as a plowshare, it may break up the fallow ground and prepare the hearts of mankind. NS664:6

The beginning of his glorious reign of 1000 years, a very dark hour. HG676:1

Messiah's reign will be a terror to evil-doers, for somehow the truth is either directly or indirectly to bring about the smiting of the earth. R1352:2

We are not to think of wars as being the particular thing the Master had in mind when he referred to this great trouble with which this age will close. R5526:1

Resulting from the winds of strife and trouble being let loose after the sealing work shall have been accomplished. SM188:T

As the harvest of the Jewish age ended with a time of trouble, so our Lord's words assure us that this Gospel age will also end with a time of trouble. R5018:6, 4891:5; NS218:5

Nations must pass through it to be humbled before they will be ready for the blessings from the New Jerusalem. SM441:2; R5805:6, 4795:5

Thereby the world will know that Jesus has begun his reign. R5523:1

This trouble we do not expect (1910) before October 1914. R4671:4

An allusion to Armageddon. OV269:2

Armageddon is still future (1914)--perhaps next spring. R5527:4

The present war (1914) is not the great time of trouble in the fullest sense, but the forerunner; the great time of trouble will be brought on by anarchy. R5526:3

The present (1914) will drain the world of blood and treasure. Then the nations, sick, weak and faint, will fall a prey to Socialism which will become anarchy. R5526:4, 4955:5; HG499:4; 518:1; OV186:4; SM162:1

The great time of revolution and anarchy which the Bible predicts will follow this (1915) war. R5767:4

Already begun. Daily the heat of human passion is growing more intense (1916). R5864:4

Lasting until the time of divine interference. OV220:7

Held back during the time God's people are sealed in their foreheads. SM188:T; R5753:1

The time when the present age will end and the Millennium be inaugurated. R5554:2, 5462:6; SM411:2

At the close of this Gospel age there will be a squaring of accounts; for willful sins (not hereditary) there will be satisfaction rendered. R5462:6, 5240:2

The awful lessons then learned by humanity will be sufficient for all time. SM188:T; PD92/107

Such as was not – A ferocity never seen in the past. R5469:3

Because present day conditions render each member of the social structure more dependent than ever before. D540

The only settlement of which will be accomplished by the establishment of the Kingdom of God. R1305:3

Proof that this prophecy evidently referred to more than the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. R711:2

Nor ever shall be – Because so thorough will be the correction that it will never need to be repeated. R1519:4; SM188:T, 717:1; OV186:4; PD92/107

These words are added by our Lord to the prophecy of Dan. 12:1. R5564:1, 5916:1; SM717:1; OV186:4; HG401:1; PD92/107

The end of all such troublous times. SM717:1; NS22:4

The great final trouble of this world's history in which, during a period of anarchy unparalleled, all human hopes and ambitions will utterly fail. SM266:1

The effect of this trouble will be so overruled by divine providence in the establishment of the Kingdom of righteousness that such a tribulation will never again be possible. HG417:3

If a great time of trouble must come, it is comforting to know that it will be the last of its kind. PD92/107

Great tribulation – Armageddon. Diii:1
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Except those days – Of the time of trouble, revolution and anarchy. C364; R5823:3, 5767:4; OV386:6, 430:6

Be shortened – The Kingdom will stop the anarchy when men have learned the lesson that they cannot help the human race. R5567:2

No flesh be saved – The entire human family would be obliterated. R5715:2, 5735:3; D579

National frenzy, anger, hatred, malice, will extend to persons: "Every one against his neighbor." (Zech. 8:10) R5569:2

The kind of trouble the Bible seems to picture could hardly last more than a year for any to be left. R5328:3

The convictions of the world's great generals: "Woe to the man or nation who starts the next war in Europe, for it will be a war of extermination." R1355:5

The Bible counsels meekness and justice as safeguards. (Zech. 2:3) PD92/107

For the elect's sake – Through, or by the elect, who will intervene at the proper time. D578[D578:1], D579[D579]; R5569:3, 5852:5; SM423:2; Q98:1[Q98:1]

Christ and his Church in Kingdom power and glory. R5852:5, 5328:3

On the divine plane. They will then begin the work of blessing and restitution. R5328:3, 5715:2, 5735:3; OV386:6

Except for the Kingdom of the elect and its establishment of peace. R3619:4

Those days – Of anarchy, which follows revolution and Churchianity's exaltation. R5554:5, 5767:4

Shall be shortened – The work of blessing and restitution will bring the strife to an end. R5328:3

By the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom. OV220:7; R5852:5, 5767:4, 5554:5,6, 1912:3; SM423:2

Then men will begin to seek the Lord with truly broken hearts. R5823:2

Be cut short. The work of destruction will be a short work. D558, D578

Instead of allowing the time of trouble to run its course and practically exterminate the race in the reign of anarchy, the Lord declares that in the midst of the trouble he will establish his Kingdom. NS218:5; R3587:1

Messiah's Kingdom not only dashes the nations to pieces, but also stops the anarchy when it shall have demonstrated the fact that nothing that man can do will be able to help the race. R5567:2

When men shall have learned the great lesson of what the outcome of selfishness would be without divine intervention. R5767:4

We infer that the time of trouble will be sharp and short. HG612:2

"A short work will the Lord make in the earth." (Rom. 9:28) NS218:5

For the elect's sake – Br. Russell suggests (in several places – see Expanded Bible Comments) that this phrase should read "through [by] the elect." Since we could find no translation which supported the thought that the shortening of the trouble of those days would be by the elect (even though this is exactly what the scriptures indicate will happen,) we set about to see how this would work that the shortening of the days would be for the sake of the elect.

As Jesus (the Bridegroom, the Husband of the Church) is to step in and and bring order out of the chaos. Jesus is "the everlasting father" of the human race. He achieved this by purchasing Adam (and thus the entire race still in his loins. 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:6; Rom. 5:12,18,19) That makes his wife (the church) the everlasting mother. As such the world of mankind become her children. Therefore it is for the sake of the elect (the church, the mother) that those days will be cut short (so that her children may be saved.)

– After coming to the above conclusion this verse was carefully examined again in the Greek. The word "for" is Strong's G1223.
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import: - after, always, among, at, to avoid, because of (that), briefly, by, for (cause) . . . fore, from, in, by occasion of, of, by reason of, for sake, that, thereby, therefore, X though, through (-out), to, wherefore, with (-in). In composition it retains the same general import.
In most cases (by far) when Matthew uses this word it is translated as "by" or "through." – In other words, Br. Russell's "translation" is valid.

A further validation:
Strong's – Wescott & Hort
δια G1223 through or by
δε G1161 but
τους G3588 the
εκλεκτους G1588 elect
κολοβωθησονται G2856 shorten
αι G3588 the
ημεραι G2250 days
εκειναι G1565 those or selfsame
Recognizing that sentence structure is different between Greek and English, this portion of the verse should be:
"but by the elect, the selfsame days shall be shortened."
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. Then – That is, right now, just at this time. D581[D580:4]

In "the time of the end." R711:2[R711]

Lo, here is Christ – The head of the church, as Pope, Czar, King of England, Synod, Conference, Council; but particularly and especially the Protestant Federation, the "Image of the Beast." (Rev. 13:15) D580[D580], D581[D581]

Because worldly men cannot say, Lo here, or Lo there; they do not realize his presence at all. R1692:6[R1692]

Or there – In any particular place. B165[B165]

He will not be a man limited to place, but a spiritual being, personally present, yet invisible because he is spiritual. R711:3[R711]

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. False Christs – False Messiahs. R4872:6[R4872]

Deceptions. R113:6[R113]

Not a personal Antichrist, nor that Satan will materialize as a man and misrepresent the Lord. R5867:4[R5867]

Each church claims to be the body of Christ with an executive or committee as head, as Christ's representative in his Body. These are the false Christs, false bodies of Christ with false heads, or governments, not authorized by the Word. R5867:1,4[R5867:7], 3458:6[R3458], 766:6[R766], 143:3[R143]; NS44:2[NS44]

The greatest of the false Christs must be yet to come. R5866:1*[R5866*]

We should recognize a difference between false Christs (Greek, pseudo-kristos) and anti-Christs (Greek, anti-kristos). R143:3[R143]

False prophets – In addition to the false Christs, false systems, and apparently to some extent outside of them, will be false teachers. NS44:4[NS44]

Teachers of error. R143:3, 113:6[R113]

Large and prosperous denominations deceiving themselves and millions of others. R4872:6[R4872]

Theosophy, Christian Science, New Thought movements are all false teachers outside of the Church of Christ because in no sense do they profess the essence of Christian doctrines. NS44:5[NS44]

Even after coming out of Antichrist systems, there are many false prophets who assume authority to direct the consecrated, teaching theories subversive of the truth and perverting Scriptures to support them. R767:5[R767]

Signs and wonders – Doing many wonderful works is one of the old tricks of Satan and his evil hosts. R5801:6[R5801], 1644:3[R1644]

"Strong delusions" (2 Thess. 2:11) from the wicked spirits, more than even Spiritists have dreamed of. R2189:3[R2189], 4379:3[R4379]

As Satan's kingdom is about to be overthrown, in his efforts to support it. R5802:1

Healings, etc. R1736:4

Including "tongues." SM566:2, 567:2

Miracles to deceive, yet professing a pious intention. R617:6*

We now see them multiplying all around us in Christian Science, Spiritism, Theosophy and other such delusions. R1736:4

Evidences that Satan's kingdom is being hard pressed by the truth and is nearing its end. R1736:4

Back of, and underneath all, is an occult power, a hypnotic power, wrought by the Adversary himself as an angel of light. R2770:5

If it were possible – But it will not be possible; these alone are promised grace, wisdom and aid sufficient. F192; R4925:6, 3760:6; Q465:1; SM289:1

Implying a great falling away from the truth, from the Bible, and from the Lord himself. NS539:3

The shaking and sifting will be thorough; for it is the Lord that is back of it, wishing to thoroughly separate the little handful of wheat from the vast quantity of tares. R2704:5

It is of paramount importance that we put on not only the intellectual covering, the helmet of salvation, but also the heart covering, love of righteousness and truth. R2353:6

But this will not be possible, for the Lord has promised them the assistance needful, and they will be in the attitude of heart and mind to seek assistance and use it. SM289:1; NS95:4, 129:4

Nothing shall be able to deceive the very elect because the Lord will give his messengers a charge, a message, in their interest, that they may bear them up in their hands, lest they should be stumbled in this time. R3719:2

The "very elect" will be preserved, not through their own wisdom or superiority, but through the power of God. R4379:3

If they were not divinely aided. The only safeguard for the Lord's people now is the Present Truth. R2875:5

They shall deceive – By suggesting the abandonment of God's plan and cooperation in humanitarian schemes. E115, E116

Every feature of Present Truth sent by God is promptly counterfeited. R5800:5

Lead astray from the truth and from the faith. NS44:2

Seduce, lead into confusion and error. R113:6

The Lord will permit Satan to have special power now for the purpose of sifting and separating and approving the faithful and the unfaithful in the nominal church. NS539:3

Owing to the hundreds of conflicting creeds and doctrinal systems, the many "isms" and the strong delusions and multiplied errors. Q775:2

Implying that the trials and testings will be intensified toward the close of this Gospel age. F192

The Lord did not overstate the terrible battle between truth and error when he foretold that a thousand would fall to one who would stand, upheld by God's truth and its messengers. (Psa. 91:4,11,12) R867:6

God has so arranged the outward evidence respecting the Bible that one can find plenty to stumble over; only from the inside can the Word and plan be seen in their true beauty and strength. R2875:5

Evil spirits will testify occasionally to the truth, comment on Millennial Dawn, etc. Their deceptions will become bold and be apparently backed by advanced truth. R2187:2

Christ will be more and more exhibited in his followers, but the spirit of Satan will be more manifest in the remainder of the world. R5867:5

If fallen angels will soon be able to materialize, what a strong deception it will be. SM199:T

The very elect – Such of the elect as do not lose their crown; those who "make their calling and election sure." (2 Pet. 1:10) F165; R4872:6

Those who put on the whole armor of God, shielded by the truth. R3490:4, 4351:2

All spirit-begotten ones are elect, and if faithful are the very elect. R4872:6

They are his followers, his betrothed, his members, his Body, his joint-heirs. R3761:1, 4474:5

How searching will be the tests to prove our love and loyalty to the Lord. R3760:6

Those who follow closely in the Master's footsteps and who, instead of leaning to their own understandings and to Satan's sophistries, have faith in the superior wisdom of Jehovah. E116

None of the fully consecrated are suffered to be fully ensnared. R2178:4

All but the "very elect" will be stumbled by the errors and worldliness of our day. R5801:6

The Great Company class are, for a time, a part of the nominal elect. R4078:5

The Great Company, although in a grand position, are far inferior to the very elect. NS359:2, 371:6

The saints; represented by the family of Aaron. Q465:1; OV387:2

25 Behold, I have told you before. I have told you before – To be forewarned is to be forearmed if we heed the warning. R766:3, 113:6

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. If they – The false teachers. R113:6

Those who claim that Jesus is to appear shortly in the wilderness of Judea, Palestine. R113:6; B157

Is in the desert – Of Palestine, as many now believe. B157

Our Lord's revelation at his second presence will not be to a community in a wilderness or desert; nor even to one nation, as at the first advent. D583

In the singular, as if to teach us there would be but one occurrence of this sort; no more. R5866:1*

He is in – We do not expect to see him until we shall be like him. R103:5*

The secret chambers – Of spiritualistic séances. B158; D582; R5866:1*, 2188:6, 555:1*

In the plural, as though pointing out a deception oft-repeated. R5866:1*

Believe it not – Because the signs or evidences of his presence would not be secret ones, but would be manifest to all, as is the light of the morning sun. R2302:6

27 For as the bright shining cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the presence of the Son of man be. For as the lightning – Greek, astrape, not lightning, because lightning rarely flashes from east to west. The same word as in "The bright shining of a candle doth give thee light." (Luke 11:36) B155, B156

The bright-shiner, the sun. D583

We translate the Greek noun astrape as "shining" instead of "lightning" for evidently it refers to the sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west. R5455:5

It is the electric fluid that lighteneth or causes the flash; then let us read, "As the electric fluid which causes flashes of light." R348:5, 264:4, 189:2, 153:1, 114:4

The electric current or fluid, unseen, yet powerful, its presence widely manifested by the light which it causes. R711:3

As the lightning is discernible only by its shining and power, so will I, in my day, be recognizable to my waiting bride by the light of truth, and afterward to the world, in the light of events and "the flaming fire" of the day of trouble. R189:2

We recognize his presence by the lightning flashes of truth. R629:6

Spiritual light is divine truth. Hence a great and wonderful unfolding of truth is all that the Bible gives us a right to expect during the presence of the Son of Man. R98:5*

Spiritual bodies are represented as shining as the lightning. (Luke 10:18; Matt. 28:3; Dan. 10:6; 1 Cor. 15:8) HG25:5

Its effect is different in different places. It shines in the heavens, to the church; but sometimes it is a very destructive agent on earth, to the world. R114:5

The first flashes bring terror and dismay to the world, but shortly the full glory, the bright shining of his presence, will be recognized by all and bring healing and blessing. R547:4

Man can see, by the destruction it leaves, where the lightning has been; so, in the day of the Lord, men will come to recognize, by the national trouble and overturning, that the great day of wrath is come. R598:2

Cometh – Becomes present instantly, yet is first discerned by those first awake. B160

Out of the east – And can be confined neither to a solitary place nor to a private room. D583

And shineth – Everywhere. D583

Gradually bringing to light the truth on every subject. B156

Even unto the west – Even unto the remote West. D583

So shall also the coming – Greek, parousia, presence. B156, B159, B160; D583; R2978:6, 1693:1

Not that he will come like lightning, but that he will be like the lightning after he has arrived and is present. R348:5

Of the Son of man – Christ, who became son (in law) of Adam. E150, E152

A title of high honor because it is a perpetual reminder of his great victory by which he secured the title to his present and prospective honor and glory, and the divine nature. E151

28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. The carcase – The body, the food. D610[D610:1]; R1890:2

The real food, a satisfying portion. R513:6

The Lord gives us something special to eat when we are in fellowship, even if only two or three are gathered together. CR32:3

The eagles – Those of keen vision and appetite. D610[D610:2]; R1890:2, 629:6

Be gathered together – Brought together by the mutual apprehension of the truth, as eagles would be drawn to their food. R711:3; D610[D610:2]

A general "rounding up" of Israelites indeed to the feast of fat things. R4937:3

Not one saint in all the world shall fail to come into contact with Present Truth. R4937:3

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: The tribulation – The tribulation referred to is that of verse 9 and not that of verse 21 and Dan. 12:1. R711:3[R711]

Of those days – The 1260 years of Papal persecution. D584; R711:3; HG95:3

The tribulation "of those days" should be clearly distinguished from the tribulation at the end of those days. D583[D583]

Shall the sun – Symbolically, the Gospel light, the truth, and thus, Christ Jesus. D590

Be darkened – Literally, in the dark day of May 19, 1780, which extended over 320,000 square miles. [D586*; D587]; HG95:4[HG95]; R711:3

Though we recognize a literal fulfillment of Jesus' words, it is far from our opinion that this was their complete and only fulfillment, or even the most important one. R711:3

The true gospel sunlight is already darkened. R1305:2; HG418:3

Symbolically, by denial that we were bought with the precious blood, and by substituting the theory of Evolution. D592; R712:1

And the moon – Symbolically, the light of the Mosaic Law. D590; R1305:2

Not give her light – "Shall be turned into blood" (Joel 2:31) by claims that the typical sacrifices were bloody and barbaric. D592; HG418:5

And the stars – Symbolically, the false stars, wandering stars, pulpit stars, vainly aspiring to be considered of equal authority with the "twelve stars" (Rev. 12:1), the inspired apostles. D591, D594; R1305:2; HG418:5

Fall from heaven – Literally, the meteoric shower of Nov. 13, 1833, covering the United States, and a part of Mexico and the West India islands, 11,000,000 square miles. D588, D589, D590; R711:5; HG95:4

Symbolically, the pulpit stars make a great display in coming down from spiritual things to Christian-citizenship-politics level. D595, D596

The teachings of the God-ordained twelve stars of the Church, the apostles, will also fade from view, cease to be recognized as guides or lights. D593; HG418:5

Powers of the heavens – Ecclesiastical powers. R1947:6

Sectarian creeds and systems. D597, D595

Earth shall be shaken as well as the heavens. (Heb. 12:26) R712:2

Shall be shaken – Literally, we have had violent shakings of the heavens, or wind storms and cyclones in our own day. R711:6

He will shake to pieces every evil system which hinders, binds, oppresses, or blinds the people whom he comes to bless--all of earth's families. R748:4

Until they are destroyed. R529:2*

Signifying the "removing of those things that are shaken as of things" that are imperfect and of human construction. (Heb. 12:27) R712:2, 754:5*

He shakes and sifts because he would separate the many who have assumed the name of Christ but who are not truly his people. R1307:6

The shaking will be the means of God for the liberating of some now chained by superstition. R1308:4

The trouble upon the earth, society, will not reach its intensity until the shaking of the heavens, ecclesiasticism, has broken the fetters of superstition and plunged the masses into skepticism and open infidelity. R1308:4

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And then – At that time. D597

Appear the sign – Greek, seemion, evidence, proof of the Lord's presence, at his second advent. D598; R712:2

Not a sign that he is soon to come, but a sign of his presence. R555:1*

The thought might properly be that something will occur indicative of the presence of the Son of man, that he has taken to himself his great power and begun his reign. SM420:4

The wonderful inventions and progress in the world. R5373:5

Reaping of the wheat, the fig tree of the Jewish nation putting forth leaves, worldliness in the church systems, the beginning of the smiting of the nations. R5697:2

Since he is to be revealed in flaming fire, the sign must be some sign of vengeance, some indication of righteous indignation against wrong. (Isa. 59:17,18) SM420:4

It is a sign to the world, not to the saints; they have all had evidence of the Lord's presence long before. R712:2

The shakings in the church nominal and the raising up of new heavens become a sign to the peoples of earth that their course of injustice is drawing to a close. R712:2

Some will see the divine plan of the ages and recognize it as one of the signs. The judgment of Christendom, social and ecclesiastical, is another sign that the Judge has come. D599

The aggregate sayings and doings of the scoffers (2 Pet. 3:3,4) are the fulfillment of prophecy, and we think constitute the sign of the Son of man in heaven. R555:5*

Not his parousia. On the contrary, the parousia of Christ will not be known to the tribes, or families, of the earth in general. SM420:3

In heaven – The symbolic heaven, the professedly spiritual class, Churchianity. D598; SM421:1

The sign appearing in the heavens signifies that the beginning of Christ's judgments will fall upon the ecclesiastical systems of our day. SM421:1[SM421:1]

In the new heavens, new spiritual powers then coming into control and supplanting the old shaking and falling spiritual powers. R712:2

And then – Still farther on. R555:2*

All the tribes – The tribes of earth will not see the sign or proof of the Lord's presence given only among the "heavens," the at least nominally spiritual, the churches. D599

Of the earth mourn – A general mourning of all, incident to the great time of trouble. D600

The troublous times cause them to mourn. R555:2*

If the world has mourned in the past, how much more shall we expect it to do when the trouble will be general. R5269:5

And they shall see – With the eyes of their understanding. D600

The root word in the Greek is horao, to discern; that is, to apprehend, to recognize, the fact that he is indeed present. R555:2*

When their eyes begin to see out of obscurity, there will not be anything that they can see with the natural sight. R5269:5

They discover that sin is the cause of all the trouble, and this will lead them to investigate, and thus finally they are led to desire, as well as to recognize him. R555:2*

Son of man coming – Drawing nearer and nearer in judgment; and they will recognize that they, too, must shortly be involved. Hence there will be mourning because of him (Rev. 1:7). SM421:2

In the clouds – Of the time of trouble. B153

The tribes of earth will see the clouds of trouble and confusion incident to the shaking of the "heavens," and realize it to be a storm which will shake the "earth" also. (Heb. 12:26) D600

Well representing the confusion in general. R5269:5

Of heaven – Primary sign of Christ's righteous judgments upon the ecclesiastical systems. SM421:2, 1

And great glory – The glory of power and justice. B153

31 And he shall send his angels with a great trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Send his angels – His messengers, such as he has used in the carrying of the Gospel message throughout the age; those begotten of his holy Spirit. D601[D601]; R885:3[R885:3], 711:3[R711:3]

A great sound – Sinaitic and Syriac manuscripts omit "sound." R907:6[R907:6]

Trumpet – The seventh trumpet, the last trump, the trump of God, the jubilee trumpet of knowledge and liberty, which sound symbolically from October, 1874 to the end of the Millennium. The words "sound of a" are omitted by the Sinaitic manuscript. B145; D600[D600], D601[D601]; A316; R3471:6, 907:3, 711:3

The truth now proclaimed by the saints, the messengers or angels of God. R885:4

Gather together – Not physically, but spiritually; their minds, hearts, affections, gathered together, centered, in the secret place of the Most High; protected in time of strife and trouble. R4379:4

Bring together into sympathy and harmony with the truths then due. F274

Preparatory to the setting up of his Kingdom in power and great glory. R1745:6

The first work of the Lord in both harvests was the rejection of the nominal house, so that he may gather out of it his elect. R2982:1

Not into another denomination, but gathered to Christ, into oneness with him, in fellowship of the spirit through the knowledge of his Word. R2751:4, 1877:6

"Gather my saints together unto me." (Psa. 50:5) B164

"Make up my jewels." (Mal. 3:17) B164; D601

"Gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13:30) B164; D600

"Come out of her my people." (Rev. 18:4) D601

The harvest began in 1874. R4842:3; D604; Q150:5

His elect – The bride of Christ, to be gathered out of the world, of all nations and classes. R4998:3

Consecrated runners for the prize, for whom crowns have been reserved. F165

We believe every saint will be brought into contact with the truth. While confident that no tares will be gathered, let us have confidence also in the Chief Reaper that not a grain of ripe wheat will be left ungarnered. R888:5

From the four winds – From every direction, from all denominations. R711:3

From every quarter of the field. R1333:4; D601

End of heaven – The nominal church. D600; R3431:6, 2982:1, 2751:3, 2490:4, 1877:6, 1333:4, 845:2, 711:3

He – Our returned Lord Jesus.

Send his angels – His messengers, the saints living at the time of His return.

Great trumpet – The message of Jubilee.

Gather together – In one condition, not necessarily one location.

His elect – The little flock.

The four winds – Before the time when the four winds (wars, tumults, fallen angels) are loosed. See Rev. 7:1-3

One end of heaven to the other – Throughout the entirety of Christendom, especially the religous element, the 'heavens.'

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: Of the fig tree – The Jewish nation. D604[D604]; R5503:2

Put forth leaves – Giving signs of life. R4788:5, 5503:2, 4705:6

Begins to plan for national restoration in Palestine. D604[D604]

Indicating that the blight time of Israel and of the world is at an end. R5503:2

We see the Jews looking back to Jerusalem. We thus see the fig tree putting forth its leaves, giving signs of life, looking forward to the reestablishment of the Jewish nation. R4788:5

These buds will thrive, but will bear no perfect fruit before October, 1914, the full end of the "Gentile Times." D604[D604]

Summer is nigh – The Hebrews divided their year into two seasons, summer and winter. D602[D602 footnote]

Fig tree – Natural Israel. See Jer. 24.
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Know that it – "Know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand." (Luke 21:31) D602; R127:5

When the time should come, such watching ones would know it. R593:6

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. This generation – Greek, genea, people living contemporaneously, not a race. D603; R531:4

Not the generation he was talking to, but the generation that would see these signs when they would be fulfilled. Q636:4; D603; HG95:4

Might be reckoned as a century, practically the present limit, from 1780, the date of the first sign, to 1880. To our understanding, every item predicted had begun its fulfillment by that date. D604

Those who are walking in the light of Present Truth are not looking for things to come which are already here, but are waiting for the consummation of matters already in progress. D604

It would not be inconsistent to reckon the generation from 1878 to 1914, 36-½ years, about the average of human life today. D605

The generation which witnesses the putting forth of the green leaves of hope by Israel will see to the full the accomplishment of the change of dispensation so long foretold. R4706:1

In distinction from the word regeneration; in other words, he would be present before the regeneration, before the people of this age should pass away. R342:4*

"This generation of vipers" (Matt. 23:33); this kind, or class. R539:1*

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Heaven and earth – The present ecclesiastical and social order. D602

Pass away – In the great time of trouble with which this age will end. R4706:1

My words – Plans or purposes. R421:2, 338:1

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. That day and hour – When the Kingdom shall be set up. E36

The divine plan which God purposed in himself from before the foundation of the world, and represented in the sealed scroll of Rev. 5. R4451:1

Knoweth no man – At the time the Lord was speaking. B18; D605; R4641:5; CR95:5

Not the angels – Not that the angels would be in ignorance up to the last minute. R4706:2, 2972:6

Sinaitic manuscript adds "nor the Son." D605

But my Father only – It does not say that none but the Father will ever know. B18; D605; R5055:1, 2972:6, 1796:3; OV6:3; NS7:1, 33:1

It does not mean that those living at the time for the establishment of the Kingdom would not know. R4706:2

Certain features of the plan were kept secret from our Master until he had finished his course. CR95:5; R4706:2, 4641:5

37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the presence of the Son of man be. But as the days – Not the coming, but the "presence," after arrival. B160, B161

As the days of Noah were not days before Noah's time, neither are the days of the Son of man days before the Son of man's presence. R2974:5, 580:5

Of Noe – Before the flood. B161; R349:1, 342:4*, 237:5*; NS200:4

Doubtless much of the immorality and sensuality which marked the days of Noah and of Lot will prevail in the world in the closing days of the present age, though that is not the lesson here. R4706:3; B161; D606; HG611:5

Everything will continue as ordinarily. R4706:3

Noah was informed respecting the coming change of dispensation; likewise, the Church of Christ is forewarned. R4706:2

As the giants were in control in the days of Noah, so giant trusts are getting more and more control of the situation now. R4797:5

So shall also – Before the hot fire of trouble. B161

The coming – Greek, parousia, presence. B159; D296, D606; R4797:2, 4706:4, 2978:6, 1874:1*, 513:4, 188:4

Of the Son of man – The days of the Son of man are the days of his parousia or presence, invisible and unknown to the world, known only to the watchers, and seen by them only with the eye of faith. R2974:6

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, They – The world in general. D606 [D606]

Were eating – Pursuing the ordinary, proper affairs of life; ignorant of the impending catastrophe. D606; R5455:6, 3355:6, 2974:6, 2957:1

Does not imply that there is anything wrong in so doing. R4797:2; B161; NS7:6, 33:6

Showing that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence. R5455:6

The world's affairs will not be interrupted by the Lord's presence. NS200:3

These things are not signs of wickedness, but mentioned to show us that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence of Christ. R5455:6, 4797:2, 580:5, 20:4

The world's whole attention given to fleshly desires, not understanding nor caring for the spiritual. R327:1*

Into the ark – Type of Christ and the power in him which will replenish and reorganize society. A318

39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the presence of the Son of man be. And knew not – Were ignorant of the coming storm and disbelieved Noah's testimony. B161

So, in the early part of the Day of the Lord, the world will have no faith in the announcement of his presence and of the impending trouble. B143

Similarly, at the end of this age, only the Lord's people will know of Christ's presence and the time of trouble impending. D606; R5590:6

There was apparently nothing to indicate that anything unusual was about to happen. R4797:2

They read not the signs of the speedy and great changes just at hand; they are too busy to consider the testimony carefully, and only continue to scoff. B167

The world will never be completely converted to Christianity by any existing agency before the end of this dispensation. R2798:2*

The signs of the times will not be in the outward condition of the world. R5455:6

"Where is the promise of his presence, while all things continue as they were from the beginning." (2 Pet. 3:4) R2957:1

How then shall the Church be aware of his presence, except by a sign. R98:2*

First, in witnessing, we should present the doctrine of restitution, the work of the presence; then, the manner; and lastly, the time, telling it to none unless they show that they have an ear to hear. R216:3,6

Until the flood came – Contrary to the teachings of many modern theologians. A61

Though there shall never be another flood to destroy the earth (Gen. 9:11), it is written that the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy (Zeph. 3:8). B162

Marking the close of the first dispensation; as a great cataclysm of trouble, anarchy, symbolically called "fire," will mark the termination of the present dispensation. R2842:6

Likewise in his second presence, until disturbed by the commotion and trouble of the epiphania, the apokalupsis of the King in the pouring out of the seven last plagues. R2957:1

They did know when the flood came; and they will now know when every eye shall behold him. HG24:6

Took them all away – The Deluge was merely a quick means of executing against the race the death sentence already expressed 16 centuries before. SM62:1

By drowning all the people except Noah's family; in the antitype, by burning all except the family of God in the symbolic fire--the great trouble of the Day of the Lord. B162

Intimating that a great catastrophe, corresponding to the flood, is to occur in the end of the Gospel age. R3934:6

The threatened catastrophe will be anarchy. R2842:6

So shall also – Equally unrecognized and unbelieved. B161

From these statements we see that the world will be far from being converted to Christ at his coming, and they will have little regard for the teachings of the Master. Q816:4, 852:2

Again the doctors of the law and doctors of divinity, professing faithfulness and praying continually, are blind to the fact that we are now living "in the days of the Son of man." R3538:6

The coming – Greek, parousia, presence; as of one who has already come. B161; R4706:3, 2978:6

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Be in the field – In the world, outside the nominal house. D609; R4706:4

Who previously had not been justified. Q151:2

The Lord will gather some of his jewels from the field. R4706:4; D609

Not all "come-outers" will be gathered, but the jewels will be sought wherever they may be. D609

One shall be taken – To the food of Present Truth which the Lord would supply. R2302:6[R2306], 513:6

41 Two grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Grinding at the mill – The place where food is prepared; the theological schools and the ministry. D609; R4706:4

Grinding the husks of human tradition. R513:6

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Watch – The signs of the times in the light of God's Word, for the second advent of the Lord, the establishment of his Kingdom, the transformation of the Church to the divine likeness. R2973:1-3, 4706:5, 2303:1

Watch yourselves and also the word of prophecy. B22; R4706:6, 2303:2

Watch your words and thoughts and doings. R4706:6

So that when the due time comes you may be one of the wise ones. B19; D606

This will serve as an antidote to worldly influences. R2303:1

The watchers keep separate the two thoughts of the presence and its manifestation. R2974:3

Watching intently, earnestly, interestedly, because they know of the good things God hath in reservation. R2973:5

Watching implies hoping, and it also implies waiting. R2973:2

That the early Church lived in joyful anticipation of this longed-for event is manifest from many Scriptures. (See 1 John 2:18; 2 Tim. 2:18; 2 Thess. 2:1-5) R1796:2

Implies not only some advantage in watching, but also that the manner of the event might be so contrary to general expectation as to require some discernment on the part of the watchers. R1796:5

In reply to your question, When?, I merely tell you to watch and be ready. When I am present I will communicate the fact to all who are watching and faithful. B163

Therefore – That ye may be gathered or separated from the world and theological relationships and from earthly church relationships to the Master himself. R4706:5

An intimation that the manner of the second advent would be contrary to the general expectation. R1796:5

Unobserved, unknown to the world. R4706:3

For ye know not – It is not a matter that is left in such a form as to be speculated upon in advance. His knock will be the first intimation of his presence. R3355:5

Implies that when the event does take place the watching ones will know it. Watch, because ye know not, in order that, at the proper time, ye may know. R2972:2 D606[R2972]; [D606]

What hour – "The day" according to the oldest Greek manuscripts. R2972:2,3

Your Lord doth come – This cannot refer to our Lord coming to receive a dying one at death, as is often taught, because death is an enemy. R2303:1

Greek, erchomai, arrive. B163

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. But know this – Understand the reason why the time is so secreted under symbols and parables. D611

If the goodman – The householder, the devil. D611; SM102:2

Of the house – Master of present institutions, of the present evil world. SM102:2; Q621:2; R4706:5, 2303:2

Had known – Although Satan has long known the Bible, he has understood but little of it, for the same reason that man has not understood it--he does not possess the holy Spirit. D611

Thief would come – The Lord's second presence is likened to the presence of a thief in a house, unknown to its master. R4706:6, 3784:5, 842:1

If he comes as a thief, it is not to sound a trumpet before him, calling the world's attention to his work. R1742:6

He comes as a thief and snare upon the world. R1693:1, 326:6*

To take, first, his "jewels," his saints; and then to utterly spoil and overthrow the affairs of this present time, that on its ruins he might set his Kingdom. R3784:6, 4706:6

He would have watched – Satan was taken unawares by the Lord's parousia in 1874 and the harvest work then begun. D612

Would not have suffered – Whatever knowledge Satan has of the divine times and seasons and arrangements, he is prompt to use in opposing the divine plan. D611

In what way Satan would have managed his affairs differently if he had known sooner more about the divine plan we can only surmise. D612

To be broken up – Had Satan understood the divine plan he would have tried to make it very difficult for it to be carried out. Q621:2; D612

His "house," present institutions, will suffer complete collapse. D612

There would not be such a breaking up in earth's affairs as is now impending; the Kingdom would be established, but not in the way in which God designed. R4706:6

Slowly and surely the "strong man" is bound in his own house by the stronger one now present. R842:1

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Therefore – Now that you know prophetically that Satan will be caught unawares. D612

Be always watchful for the evidences of my parousia, because the time will come when it will be very important to know that fact. B19, B163

Ye also – Believers, the Lord's faithful. D612

Ready – Not in a literal ascension robe, but in a figurative ascension robe--a condition of heart and life ready to welcome the Lord and his scrutiny of our hearts and conduct. R2303:2

As ye think not – The time of our Lord's presence could not be known beforehand, even by the saints; nor was the fact recognized until nearly a year after October, 1874. D612; R149:5*

45 Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Who then – In the harvest. B163

Few would be found giving to the household of faith meat in due season at his presence. R718:4

Faithful and wise servant – Faithful to the "Master" and to "his fellow-servants" and "the household." D613

God's grace will probably come through a human channel, through the helpfulness of the fellow-members of the body of Christ, whom the Lord will make use of in serving the meat to the household of faith. R2383:4

Ever since the Church has had an existence, God has raised up some from its midst as special servants of the body, some who had special teaching ability. R1206:4

God in his own time raises up suitable servants or expounders to dispense his meat in due season. A319

Servants who are anxious, not only about the amount of service, but also that it be in exact cooperation with God. R1797:1

Merely a steward, liable to be removed at any moment should he fail to fully and duly acknowledge the Master in every particular. D613

One channel dispensing the meat in due season, though other channels or fellow-servants will be used in bringing the food to the household. D613

A special messenger to the Church at this time. R6023:3*

Some one servant (animate or inanimate) whom the Lord would specially use in the present time to dispense the present truth. R1994:3

Originally applied to Pastor Russell by one who became his bitter enemy. He avoided the discussion which followed, except for references in Volume 4 and when the passage occurred in the International Sunday School Lessons. R4482:1, 4473:3, 3811:2

Thousands of readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of "that servant." His modesty precluded him from claiming this title. OV447:6*; R6011:2*, 4482:1, 2489:4*

While this exhortation in general seems to apply to one particular servant, we can see the same principle would apply to each servant in turn as he would receive either food or stewardship. R3356:5

Whether you like to call it a class or individual, whatever it be. Q355:5

Let each reach his own conclusions and act accordingly. R4483:3, 1946:2; Q644:4

The whole body of Christ, faithfully carrying out their consecration vows. R291:6, 149:5*

The Lord has used the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as his channel or servant in forwarding the harvest message in a most remarkable degree. R4483:1, 4562:4*

Hath made ruler – The Lord promised that, at the time of his presence, he would bring forth from the storehouse things "new and old," and that he would select one special channel through which those blessings would be brought to the household of faith. R4482:4, 2693:6

Has placed over. D613

Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts read "shall make." B163

It would be very remarkable if the Lord should change his channel of sending the truth at this late date. R4483:3

In the interest of the household and for its comfort, joy and blessing, the Master, at an appropriate time, would furnish to some one of his servants a key to the precious things of his Word. R2694:4

No suggestion here of either the inspiration or infallibility of "that servant." This distinction belongs only to the Lord, the apostles and the prophets. R1994:3; D613

The Lord, as the overseer of his work, may today, as in every period, use some special instruments for the service of the Church as a whole. F274

The Revised Version is preferable: "set over his household to give them meat" as a "steward," not as a lord or master--rather a general servant, or servant of all. R1946:6

Over his household – His faithful people in general; but not nominal Christian professors in general. R1946:2 The household of faith. R327:1*, 291:6

In this context we have "that servant," "fellow-servants" and the "household." The Lord is indicating a chief servant of the truth and fellow-servants, assisting in serving meat in due season to the household of faith. R3811:3*, 1994:2, 1946:2

If neither the "household" nor "fellow-servants" were mentioned, it might be questionable whether the expression "that servant" referred to one or to all faithful servants. R1946:2

Each one of the household is to prove all things he accepts as spiritual food, whether he gets it from the Bible himself or from that servant or from fellow-servants. R1994:4

To give them – When and as they are able to receive it. R806:2

Merely a channel for distributing the truth. His business is not to make truth, but to circulate it. R1994:3

The fact that the messenger has been gathered into the kingdom should not affect the message, which remains with the Church to be handed out to others until all have been gathered. R6023:3*

Freely we received, let us freely give to others the heavenly food--manna. R548:1

Meat in due season – Spiritual food. OV356:2; R5651:5, 5566:2

Truth as it becomes due, dispensed by the holy Spirit to the household of faith. B165; A349; OV6:1; SM404:1

Hidden things would be gradually revealed. OV6:T; Q554:4; R5055:1

For strengthening, upbuilding and preparing for a share in the Kingdom. R5615:4, 4671:6

The deep things pertaining to the Messianic age formerly closed up, sealed. R5055:1

To whomsoever has "an ear to hear." Q554:4

The Lord's bountifully spread table of good things from the Bible. R4744:5

Dispensed in a manner and to a degree never before enjoyed by his saints. R5651:5

Can we suppose the Lord would commend anyone who, by teachings or silence, supports the eternal torment theory? R2599:1

The message of the Kingdom to the Church, given at the time the Lord intended it should be given. R6023:3*

The stewardship mentioned is not a stewardship of talents and opportunities, but a stewardship of spiritual food. R2694:1

Showing that the revelation of the "mystery" was to be a gradual one. OV5:4

God's Word is a great treasure house in which he has hid in past time all knowledge needful to his children in all ages. R318:2

We are living in a peculiar time when some of the special features of the Gospel are properly made more prominent than others. R500:6

The harvest is the richest season of the year, when the buds of prophecy and promise have developed and are now bringing forth their golden fruit, and the table of the Lord fairly groans under its bounty. R1899:2, 1890:1

It would be meat in due season in Noah's time to know about the flood; but that information would not be meat in due season today. R5055:4

For those who are weaned from the milk. R230:5; OV356:3

Things to come, as they become due to be fulfilled, become meat in due season for the household of faith. A319

Which, of course, would be the declaring of his presence. R189:2, 149:5*, 123:5

The faithful and wise servant – Because he was faithful, the Lord made him wise. He was indeed a servant, of the Lord and of His Truth.

For those who think there were more than one servant, or that it was a class, we suggest they consider the Greek breakdown of verse 45.

τις G5101 Who
αρα G687 then
εστιν G1510 is
ο G3588 the
πιστος G4103 faithful
δουλος G1401 servant
και G2532 and
φρονιμος G5429 wise
ον G3739 whom
κατεστησεν G2525 set [appointed]
ο G3588 the
κυριος G2962 lord
επι G1909 over
της G3588 the
οικετειας G3610 household [fellow-residents]
αυτου G846 [of] his
του G3588 the
δουναι G1325 to give
αυτοις G846 them
την G3588 the
τροφην G5160 nourishment
εν G1722 in [at]
καιρω G2540 due season [set time]

In due season – This last phrase "in due season" is from two Greek words: Strong's G1722 ("in" or "at") and G2540.
Of uncertain affinity; an occasion, that is, set or proper time: - X always, opportunity, (convenient, due) season, (due, short, while) time, a while. Compare G5550.

This text should be translated: "Who then is the servant, faithful and wise, whom the master appointed to be over his household, to give them the meat at the set time."
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Blessed is that servant – A steward, the one channel selected by our Lord for dispensing food to the "household"; faithful both to the "Master," his "fellow-servants" and "the household." D613

Humble and unassuming, not claiming authorship or ownership of the truth, but dispensing it zealously. D613

A certain servant which the Lord would use at the end of this age. Q355:5

The one whom our Savior has chosen as our pastor. R5828:4*

If the service be shown to have been performed, the title of servant is an appropriate one. R4483:2

But it is a place of special danger as well as of special privilege. R1946:4

And no less blessed is the faithful household who search the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so, who prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. R1206:4

Lord when he cometh – Greek, erchomai, arrives. B163

Greek, ethlon, has come. R141:5

Especially when he is present. R845:4

Shall find so doing – Shall find thus employed. D613; R2303:5

Faithfully utilizing every available talent in his service. R601:4*

μακαριος  G3107 Supremely blessed
ο G3588 the (or that)
δουλος G1401 servant
εκεινος G1565 that one
ον G3739 whom
ελθων G2064 to come
ο G3588 the
κυριος G2962 lord [master]
αυτου G846 his
ευρησει G2147 to find
ουτως G3779 in this way
ποιουντα G4160 doing

Strong's 1565
G1565 ἐκεῖνος
From G1563; that one (or [neuter] thing); often intensified by the article prefixed: - he, it, the other (same), selfsame, that (same, very), X their, X them, they, this, those. See also G3778.

This verse might be better translated: "Supremely blessed is the servant, that one whom, when his master comes, shall find so doing."
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. He – While the Lord will be the real Provider and Servant, yet the food will be dispensed through a steward to fellow-servants and the household in general. R1946:6

Shall make him ruler – Will appoint him over. D613

He will be exalted and given fuller stewardship over the storehouse of truth, with increased ability to bring it forth to the household. B164

Over all his goods – The whole storehouse of divine truth shall be open to such to be ministered by them to others in the household of faith. R1797:1; B163, B165; D613

48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; But and if – It implies that when the Lord selects a servant, it is upon condition that he remain in the Lord's favor and in harmony with him; and if he does not, then thus and so shall follow. Q355:5

If the servant's heart is not right. B163

A solemn warning to those who are blessed with being servants against a possible falling away from even such a blessed condition. R1797:2

That evil servant – Shall become wicked and, losing faith. D614; R2303:5

That one previously spoken of. R149:5*

While these are servants, they are not faithful servants, but are engaged in revelry, eating and drinking with the world. R593:5

Delayeth his coming – Has not arrived. B163; Q355:5

Not denying that he will come sometime, but that he has come. B164

This would not be likely to be said until some one had said he had come, nor would it delay until after he was due to come. R555:4*, 237:5*, 149:5*

Evidently the presence is one not recognized by the natural eye, but by the eye of faith, else there could be no disagreement between the servants as to the fact of his presence R123:5

His coming in the glory of his Kingdom, his personal coming being already recognized. R1797:4

49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; Begin to smite – Oppose and contradict. B163

It does not say that it will be so, but "And if he should." Q355:5

A disposition to tyrannize the household, arrogancy. R2694:1, 2303:5, 1797:4

Because they declare his presence. R555:4*, 189:2

We love fellow-servants too much to wish to smite them, and we trust that we are too wise to allow the Adversary to draw us aside to squabble with the enemies of the truth and thus hinder the more important work of scattering the truth. R4194:3

His fellowservants – Those who are faithfully declaring that the Lord is present. B163

Co-laborers. R4482:1

It is not the special servant alone that will have to do with the dispensing of the food for the household. R2694:1

The ones smitten evidently are taking the opposite ground, namely, that the Bridegroom does not delay, but is present. R123:5

Service is their only commission, not lordship or self-appointment. R1994:4

Eat and drink – Imbibe more and more of the spirit of the world, the spirit of selfishness, and become intoxicated with it. R1797:4, 292:1

With the drunken – Become intoxicated with false doctrine. D614; B164

Become intemperate in words and deeds. R2303:5

50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, Shall come – Greek, heko, will have arrived, be here. "Will have come"--Rotherham. B164; R555:4*, 591:4*

Looketh not for him – Is not aware. B164

51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Cut him asunder – Cut him off from being one of the servants privileged to hand meat in due season to the household. B164; D613, D614

Separate him from the real Body. R920:5

Be gradually separated and drawn into closer and closer sympathy with the mere professors or hypocrites. B164

It is inferable that such an one, being deposed from stewardship, another would take his place, subject to similar terms and conditions as to faithfulness. R2694:1, 1946:4; D613

His portion – Share with the world the great time of trouble which will follow the gathering together of the Lord's elect. R2303:5, 1797:5

With the hypocrites – Though not a hypocrite, he must, because unfaithful and overcharged, have his portion with the hypocrites. B164; R2303:5, 983:6, 920:5

The Great Company are not hypocrites, but since the time of trouble is properly for hypocrites, they will have their portion with them. R4655:1, 1470:2, 593:5, 173:1

Those who are not faithful enough to get into the Little Flock will come into this condemnation with the world. R5256:4

Have a severe experience with the unbelievers in the time of trouble. R2694:1

Weeping and gnashing – Sorrow and disappointment. CR253:3

The perplexity and trouble coming upon Babylon. B164

In R1000 Pastor Russell applies this to the Great Company.
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