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    DEFINITE TIME HIDDEN

    The definite time of the second advent of Christ is purposely hidden from man. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven; but my Father only.” Many hastily conclude from this text that nothing whatever may be ascertained relative to the period of the second advent. But, in taking this position, they greatly err, in that they make this class of texts prove too much, even for their unbelief, and which at the same time arrays these declarations against others uttered by the Saviour, the most plain and pointed. We object to this position:SEADV 18.1

    1. Because our Lord, after stating that the sun should be darkened, and that the moon should not give her light, and that the stars should fall from heaven, gives the following forcible parable, and makes the most distinct application of it to this subject. He says: “Now learn a parable of the fig-tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:32, 33. No figure should exceed the fact illustrated in a single particular. This being the case in the parable of the fig-tree, the point becomes an exceedingly clear one. No language can be more direct. No proof can be more complete. With all that certainty with which we know that summer is nigh when we see the buds and the leaves shoot forth from the trees in spring, may we know that Christ is at the doors. The most daring unbelief will hardly venture to deny these words of the Son of God, and assert that nothing can be known of the period of his second coming.SEADV 18.2

    2. Because our Lord declares that as the days of Noah were, so should also the coming of the Son of man be. Said God to Noah, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” Genesis 6:3. The period of the flood was given to the patriarch. And under the direct providence of God, he prepared the ark and warned the people. So the fulfilling prophecies and the signs distinctly declare that the second coming of Christ is at the doors, and the solemn message of warning has gone forth.SEADV 18.3

    3. Those who claim that the text proved that nothing may be known of the period of the second advent make it prove too much. As recorded by Mark, the declaration reads: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” If the text proves that men will know nothing of the period of the second advent, it also proves that angels will know nothing of it, and also that the Son will know nothing of it, till the event takes place! this position proves too much, therefore, proves nothing to the point. Christ will know of the period of his second advent to this world. The holy angels, who wait around the throne of Heaven to receive messages relative to the part they act in the salvation of men, will know of the time of this closing event of salvation. And so will the waiting, watching people of God understand. An old English version of the passage reads, “But that day and hour no man maketh known, neither the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” This is the correct reading, according to several of the ablest critics of the age. The word know is used in the same sense here that it is by Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2:2: “For I determined not to know [make known] anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Men will not make known the day and hour, angels will not make it known, neither will the Son; but the Father will make it known.SEADV 19.1

    Says Campbell, “Macknight argues that the term know is here used as a causative, in the Hebrew sense of the conjugation hiphil, that is to make known.... His [Christ’s] answer is just equivalent to saying, The Father will make it known when it pleases him; but he has not authorized man,angel, nor the Son, to make it known. Just in this sense Paul uses the term know: 1 Corinthians 2:2: ‘I came to you making known the testimony of God; for I determined to make known nothing among you but a crucified Christ.’”SEADV 19.2

    Albert Barnes, in his Notes on the Gospels, says, “Others have said that the verb rendered knoweth means sometimes to make known, or to reveal, and that the passage means, ‘that day and hour none maketh known, neither the angels, nor the Son, but the Father.’ It is true the word has sometimes that meaning, as 1 Corinthians 2:2.”SEADV 20.1

    The Father will make known the time. He gave the period of the flood to Noah, which well represents the proclamation of the second advent, given in connection with the evidence of the termination of the periods of Daniel, during the great second advent movement. And when the patriarch’s work of warning and building was finished, God said to him, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”SEADV 20.2

    So when the waiting, watching, toiling time shall be finished, and the saints shall all be sealed, and shut in with God, then will the voice of the Father from Heaven make known the definite time.SEADV 20.3

    As we look back to the great movement upon the second advent question and its disappointment, and to the numerous efforts to adjust the prophetic periods by many of the first-day Adventists since that time, and the numerous disappointments which have followed, we can but feel the force of the words of the prophet: “Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God: I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand and the effect of every vision. For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord; I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged; for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 12:22-25.SEADV 20.4

    “I will speak” saith the Lord, “and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass.” The voice of God will be heard from on high in the midst of the awful scenes just preceding the second advent. “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of Heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” Revelation 16:17. See also Joel 3:16; Jeremiah 25:30.SEADV 21.1

    The burden of the prophecy of Ezekiel, quoted above, evidently is time. “The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth.” God will make this proverb to cease, by speaking himself. In this way the Father will make known the time, a work not given into the hands of men, angels, nor even the Son.SEADV 21.2

    The present is emphatically the waiting, watching time. It is the especial period of the patience of the saints. Revelation 14:12. In definite time we would find relief from the state of suspense to which our present position subjects us. The Lord appeals to us thus: “Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:35-37.SEADV 21.3

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