The Scriptures disclose a complete parallel concerning the Jewish and gospel ages. The parallel exists with reference to time as well as events. The Jewish age ended with a harvest, which harvest began with the ascension of our Lord in the year A.D. 33. By the term “harvest” here used is meant the gathering of the remnant of the Jews to Christ. Jesus’ statement plainly is that the gospel age will end with a harvest, during which time he would be present, directing the work of that harvest. In the earth three and a half years from the time of his consecration and baptism, Jesus was preparing the Jews for the harvest of that age. We should expect to find a parallel of this with reference to the harvest of the gospel age, and we do find it. Counting three and a half years from 1874, the time of his presence, brings us to 1878. During the presence of the Lord from 1874 to 1878 he was making preparation for the harvest of the gospel age. The Jewish harvest covered a period of forty years, ending in A.D. 73. We should expect, then, the general harvest of the gospel age to end in 1918.
The natural harvest was used by the Lord to illustrate his harvest of Christians. In the Jewish natural harvest it was customary to glean the field after the regular harvest was over. We should therefore expect to find a harvest period from 1878 to 1918, and thereafter for a time a gleaning work going on, in which a few Christians would be gathered in, as well as another part of the harvest work to be done, which we will indicate. The question now is, Do we find a period of harvest in the gospel age after 1874 which serves as a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Lord?
In addition to his words cited in Matthew 13:24-30, and in answer to the specific question with reference to his presence, Jesus said: “And he [the Lord] shall send his angels [messengers] with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”. (Matthew 24:31) The following facts bear unmistakable testimony of the great harvest period of the gospel age in fulfillment of prophetic utterances, which fulfillment is one of the strongest proofs of the Lord’s presence.