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    THE DAY AND HOUR

    Verses 36, 37: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” The day and hour, and even the year, of the second advent, are purposely hidden. Some of the prophetic periods reach to the time of the end, while others extend still farther down, very near the end itself; yet none of them reach to the coming of the Son of Man. The prophecies clearly point to the period of the second advent, but do not give the definite time of that event. But many suppose that the text proves that nothing may be known of the period of the second advent. In this, they greatly err, as may be seen from the following reasons:SCOC 51.2

    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.” Verses 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 strong 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 those words of the Son of God, and assert that nothing can be known of the period of his second coming.SCOC 52.1

    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 an 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 has gone forth.SCOC 52.2

    3. Those who claim that the text proves that nothing may be known of the period of the second advent, make it prove too much for their own unbelief. 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.SCOC 53.1

    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, or 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 determine to make known nothing among you but a crucified Christ.’ “SCOC 54.1

    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.”SCOC 54.2

    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 Advent movement of 1840-44.SCOC 54.3

    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.” So when the waiting, watching, weeping, 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. See Revelation 16:17; Joel 3:16; Jeremiah 25:30.SCOC 54.4

    The present is emphatically the waiting, watching time. It is the especial period of the patience of the saints. 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.SCOC 54.5

    One of the fatal consequences of not watching is distinctly stated in Revelation 3:3: “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” The consequence of not watching will be ignorance of the time. What will be the consequence of watching? The inference is unavoidable, that it will be a knowledge of the time. In answer to the agonizing prayer of the Son of God, “Father, glorify thy name,” there came a voice from Heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The disciples understood these words from Heaven, while the people that stood by said it thundered. John 12:27-29. So will the waiting disciples of Christ understand the voice of God when he shall speak from on high. But the unbelieving world will not understand it. In comparing Noah’s days and ours, the Lord continues:SCOC 55.1

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