In this text the words “sound of a” are not contained in the oldest manuscripts and should be omitted. The text is written, as will be observed, in symbolic language.
Under the terms of the law covenant the Jews were required to keep the fiftieth year as a jubilee, and the jubilee year was announced by the blowing of a trumpet. In the text here under consideration the trumpet symbolizes the message announcing the presence of the Lord, proclaiming the fact that the harvest is due, that the time has come when the saints should be gathered together, because the kingdom of Messiah is at hand.
"Angels” in this text means messengers or servants who make announcement of the presence of the Lord and the incoming of the kingdom. Such messengers are the truly consecrated Christians who make the announcements to other Christians and to all who have a hearing ear. It would be reasonable to expect the Lord to have some special messenger, as distinguished from others or general messengers in announcing his presence and the time of the harvest. And such is the case. Jesus said that an office had been provided for such a special messenger and that at the time of his second appearing he would appoint some one to that office and give him the responsibility of dispensing meat to the household of faith in due season. The Christian’s meat in due season is a proper explanation of the Scriptures as they become due to be understood. We mark a wonderful fulfillment of this statement of the Lord as further corroborative proof of the Lord’s second presence from 1874 forward. He had said, in answer to the question relative to his second presence: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”—Matthew 24:45-47.
About 1870 Charles Taze Russell, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, then a truly consecrated Christian and a careful student of God’s Word, learned from the Scriptures that God has a great and harmonious plan for the salvation and blessing of mankind. Like other earnest watchers, he was watching for the evidences of the Lord’s coming. About 1875, while carefully and prayerfully studying the Scriptures, he became convinced of the Lord’s second presence, resulting in his writing and publishing a booklet entitled, “The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return,” which had a phenomenal circulation amongst the Christian people of the world. In 1879 he began the publication of a journal, The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, which has since been issued regularly twice each month. This is the first and only publication that for more than forty years has announced the second presence of the Lord. This journal is devoted exclusively to discussion of Scriptural questions, being the means of carrying the food to the household of faith in due season.