“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21) (NKJV)
We believe that Jesus is already present and that his presence is not contingent on Israel’s conversion. However, since Jesus has returned, He has done much to restore Israel.
We believe that our Lord returned and began to rule in 1874, which was the end of the 1,335 “days” (1,335 years beginning from A.D. 539 when the Papal system set up the doctrine of the mass, substituting Christ’s once-for-all redemption) mentioned in Daniel 12:12, “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” Our Lord's invisible, or secret presence (Greek, parousia) is the first phase of his reign. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) In this first phase, we, who recognize the signs of our Lord's presence, have been privileged to sit down and sup with him and feast on great spiritual truths (the ransom for all, the earthly and heavenly salvations, and the truth about hell, the soul and the trinity) that had previously been lost for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Probably one of the most momentous signs we have that our Lord is present and reigning is the restoration of the nation of Israel. The fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 24:32-34 to restore the fig tree (Israel) began with the establishment of the first agricultural settlement-Petah Tikvah (Door of Hope) in 1878 that allowed Jews to return to their homeland and culminated with Israel's independence in 1948.
Yet another sign that Jesus is present and reigning is the increase of knowledge spoken of by the prophet Daniel. “At that time shall Michael stand up, . . . many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:1, 4) Unfortunately, with the increase of knowledge comes the progressive disintegration of the political, economic, moral and social order of this world. Eventually total anarchy will ensue and Armageddon will result. We believe these events and others must all happen prior to the second part of our Lord's reign, which is the restoration of all things lost due to the fall, mentioned in Acts 3:21. Acts 3:19 in the King James is poorly rendered and can be a cause for confusion. A better translation is, “Repent ye therefore, and turn around, that your sins may
be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the face (Strong’s #4383, not parousia