Editorial – Knowing the Time, Pt. IV

There is no command for any one to search the Scripture in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils.” Review and Herald, October 9, 1894.

“The world placed all time-proclamation on the same level and called it a delusion, fanaticism and heresy. Ever since 1844 I [Ellen White] have borne my testimony that we were now in a period of time in which we are to take heed to ourselves lest our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon us unawares. Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord’s coming. We do not know the day nor the hour, or when the definite time is, and yet the prophetic reckoning shows us that Christ is at the door.

“We have not cast away our confidence, neither have we a message dependent upon definite time, but we are waiting and watching unto prayer, looking for and loving the appearing of our Saviour, and doing all in our power for the preparation of our fellow men for that great event. We are not impatient. If the vision tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come, it will not tarry. Although disappointed, our faith has not failed, and we have not drawn back to perdition. The apparent tarrying is not so in reality, for at the appointed time our Lord will come, and we will, if faithful, exclaim, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us’ (Isaiah 25:9).

“I have also been pronounced a deceiver because I have said, ‘The Lord will soon come; get ready, get ready that ye may be found waiting, watching and loving His appearing.’ But in the Revelation I read this statement, ‘Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ (Revelation 22:12). ‘Behold, I come quickly blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book’ (Revelation 22:7). ‘Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown’ (Revelation 3:11). Was the One who bore this testimony a deceiver, because the ‘quickly’ has been protracted longer than our finite minds could anticipate? It is the faithful and true witness that speaks. His words are verity and truth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 270, 271.

“The Saviour did enter the Most Holy Place in 1844 to cleanse the sanctuary and the investigative judgment had commenced for the dead. I have been repeatedly urged to accept the different periods of time proclaimed for the Lord to come.

“I have ever had one testimony to bear: The Lord will not come at that period, and you are weakening the faith of even Adventists, and fastening the world in their unbelief. There have been plainly set before me events of great and thrilling interest, which must transpire before Christ will come. Satan will move mightily from beneath, and will delude the world, while the Lord God Omnipotent will move from above and prepare a people to stand in the great day of His wrath.

“The time-setters have pronounced the curse of the Lord upon me as an unbeliever who said, My Lord delayeth His coming. But I have told them that the books of heaven would not make my record thus, for the Lord knows that I loved and longed for the appearing of Christ. But their oft-repeated message of definite time was exactly what the enemy wanted, and it served his purpose well to unsettle the faith in the first proclamation of time, which was of heavenly origin.” Ibid., 269, 270. [Emphasis added.]