STUDY I -- SPECIAL TIMES AND SEASONS DIVINELY APPOINTED
1. What features of the Divine Program are treated in Volume II of "Scripture Studies"? Pg. 13, par. 1
The features that are treated in this volume are that God's Plan has definite appointed times and seasons; that it has progressed and accomplished that which God set out to do, and also, that the time is now at hand for the culmination of the blessings to the world of mankind.
2. What exhortation is now due to the still loyal though drowsy children of the Kingdom? Pg. 13, par. 2
The words of the Apostle Paul in Rom. 13:11 exhorting them to awake out of sleep because their salvation is very near and the Millennial day is now at hand.
3. Why is a thorough understanding of the Plan of the Ages a pre-requisite to an appreciation of the Divinely appointed times and seasons? Pg. 14, par.1
If we do not thoroughly understand God's Plan we will not be prepared for the Truth we are about to receive.
4. Why should we expect more truth to be revealed in the Harvest of this Age than in times past? Pg. 14, par. 2
Because the prophets informed us that in "the time of the end" God's plan would be due to be uncovered to those watching and waiting.
5. What is the proper method of interpreting prophecy? Pg. 15, par. 1
The proper method is by keeping close to the fountain of divine truth and discarding all human inventions.
6. What is the character of the Scriptural testimony respecting the times and seasons, and what impression does this knowledge make upon the studious and reverent inquirer? Pg. 15, par. 2
The chain of prophetic testimony is so strong in pointing out God's times and seasons in such a way as to clearly manifest the length and breadth of God's wisdom in His plan that the studious and reverent inquirer can see that this plan cannot be of human origin.
7. What do we find respecting the length of the Gospel "harvest," and what are some of the many great and wonderful events that will transpire during this period? Pg. 15, par. 3
We find that the length of the Gospel harvest is a period of forty years and that during this period of time the rays of prophetic testimony are specially concentrated. We should expect to see the great time of trouble, the overthrow of Antichrist and the fall of Great Babylon, favor returning to the Jew and our Lord's Second Advent which will usher in the Millennial blessings.
8. What attitude of mind and heart is necessary in order to receive the testimony of the prophecies, as set forth in this volume? And what is evidently the object for which these now unfolding prophecies are designed? Pg. 16, par. 1
The heart and mind of the reader must be willing to have an ear to hear and must remove any preconceived opinions they once had regarding God's word. If this is done, the reader will be greatly blessed and will thus become separate from the world (tares) and ripened as wheat, ready for the garner.
9. Why should those who have been permitted to view God's chart of the ages be especially anxious to learn whatever has been revealed concerning the times and seasons? Pg. 17, par. 1
We should be anxious to learn whatever God may be pleased to reveal to us of His plan because we are living in a time when these things are being revealed which has never been shown in ages past.
10. Is such interest displeasing to God? If not, why did He not gratify the desires of the Prophets and Apostles along these lines? Pg. 17, par. 2
God is very pleased to see our interest and to be devoid of such desires indicates a lack of interest in, and appreciation of, God's plans. God did not gratify the desires of the Prophets and Apostles to any considerable extent, because the due time had not yet come.
11. Should a desire to understand the prophecies be considered an improper prying into God's secrets? What is the only safe ground to take with respect to interpreting prophecy? What has been God's method of revealing His Plan, both in detail and in general outline? Pg. 17, par. 3
The desires to better understand God's Plan should not be considered improper prying because God wants us to "search the Scriptures," and "take heed to the sure word of prophecy," and to be in that proper, waiting attitude which will quickly discern the truth as it becomes due. We should not idly speculate regarding God's Plan but should have the heart desire to know and better understand it, and these "secrets" will be revealed in God's due time. In due time and order every recorded feature of the divine plan, and its time and season, is manifested to those watching.
12. What were our Lord's replies to the disciples who inquired of Him respecting the time for the setting up of the Kingdom? Pg. 18, par. 1
Our Lord answered the inquiries of the disciples telling them that it was not for them to know the times or the seasons which the Father had appointed but that they needed to watch and pray so they would be aware of these things when the due time came for them to be understood.
13. What is the popular but erroneous interpretation of Mark 13:32, 33, 37? And how should these words be explained? Pg. 18, par. 2
The erroneous interpretation of the above referenced Mark scripture is that none but the Father will ever know of His times and seasons. The correct interpretation is that we are living in the dawning of the Millennial Day when knowledge has been increased and we are privileged to clearly discern the prophecy which is unfolding before our eyes.
14. What do these words of the Lord indicate respecting the Father's method of executing His great work? Pg. 19, par. 1
Our Lord's words indicate that God is not executing various parts of His plan in a haphazard manner but that He has fixed times and seasons for every feature of His great work.
15. Should we understand from Jesus' replies to His disciples that He rebuked them and forbade all interest in and investigation of these subjects? What was the significance of His exhortation to "take heed" and to "watch"? Pg. 19, par. 2
No, Jesus did not rebuke their interest or inquiries. His words clearly show that though the times and seasons were not yet give to them to know, they would be very important some time, and would then be revealed to those watching. His exhortation was urging them to "take heed," and not to allow indifference to come over them, but to "watch" continually, that they might know when the due time should come.
16. What was the experience of those who watched all down the age, and what will be the portion of those who will be living in the "due time" and watching? What does neglecting to watch indicate? Pg. 19, par. 3
Those who watched down through the age were greatly blessed and kept separate from the world, by so doing, even though they did not see all that they watched for. Those that having been living in the due time and watching are greatly blessed also in that they shall know, shall see, and shall understand and not be in ignorance. If some neglect to watch, they will lose a blessing and prove they are blinded by Satan, overcharged with the cares of this life, and neglectful in their vow of full consecration to the Lord.
17. How does St. Peter call attention to the times and seasons, and to what does he refer in 2 Pet. 1:16? What is his exhortation in 2 Pet. 1:19? Pg. 20, par. 1
St. Peter calls attention to the times and seasons by pointing out that we mustn't follow cunningly devised fables and expresses the "vision" he beheld on the mount of transfiguration of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus which represented the foreshadowing of the kingdom blessings to follow. His exhortation in 2 Peter 1:19 is to the prophetic testimony that could not be fully understand at that time but urged a watching attitude on the part of the saints for the fulfillment of all that God had spoken by the Holy prophets regarding the restitution blessings.
18. What is the declaration of St. Paul regarding the times and seasons? 1 Thess. 5:1-4; pg. 20, par. 2
St. Paul reminds us that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night being unobserved by those not in the watchful, waiting attitude.
19. What advantage with respect to the times and seasons have the Lord's people enjoyed in contrast with the world? Cite Scriptural instances. Pg. 21, par. 1
We have been assured that we will not be left in darkness but will always have the truth supplied as meat in due season if we keep the proper attitude as faithful, meek, and humble students of the Word. Please reference Gen. 18:17; Luke 2:25-38; Matt. 2:2; Luke 3:15 for examples of God not leaving His people ignorant of His Truths.
20. What assurance is given us in Amos 3:7? Pg. 22, par. 1
We are promised that we will not be left in darkness when the day of the Lord comes if we are in a watchful condition, we will receive the promised light then due.
21. Why does St. Paul so positively declare that "ye brethren" will know of the times and seasons when due? Pg. 22, par. 2
St. Paul positively declares that we "are all the children of light and the children of the day," begotten of the truth and developed by the truth, and we will not be left in darkness.
22. What is the significance of "ye" and "they," as used by the Apostle in this connection? Pg. 22, par. 3
These pronouns distinguish the classes being referred to-the saints from the world. The saints ("ye," "you") will have the necessary knowledge in the day of the Lord while the world ("they," "them") will be ignorant of the transpiring events.
23. What does ignorance of the times and seasons indicate? Pg. 23, par. 1
Ignorance of the times and seasons indicates that the child of God is more concerned with the cares of this life and the spirit of the world, neglecting to be in a watchful condition, instead of having the Word of God in his heart and mind.
24. Did the Prophets understand the full import of their prophecies? What is their testimony on this point? Pg. 23, par. 2
No. They fully confessed their ignorance of the import of the prophecies to which they gave expression.
25. How does a Combination Time-Lock aptly illustrate the Divine arrangement of the time-prophecies? And how does the Lord Jesus "open" to us the time features of the Divine Plan? Pg. 23, par. 3; Pg. 24, par. 1
As with combination time-lock that cannot be unlocked until a fixed hour and by the one with the right combination to unlock it, so with the Divine Plan. The time features were locked up until the appointed time-the morning of the great day of restitution. It could only be opened by Jehovah's Anointed, Jesus, and by his opening, he gives us the necessary information to understand the time prophecies now due to be understood.
26. How does this illustration of the Time-Lock fit the entire Plan of God? Pg. 24, par. 2
Each feature of truth and prophecy is but a part of the one grand combination, which we may now open because it is morning. Once opened, it discloses fully and grandly the boundless treasures of divine wisdom, justice, love, and power.
27. How has the Divine wisdom been manifested in keeping hidden in the past the times and seasons, and revealing them in this "time of the end"? Pg. 25, par. 1
The times and seasons were hidden in the past, through God's wisdom, knowing that the saints would have been very discouraged if they knew how long before the fulfillment of the prophecies. But as the time draws near for the consummation of the plan, it is the privilege of the saints to know these things and rejoice in knowing our deliverance draweth nigh.
28. What Scriptures indicate that our God is a God of Order? Pg. 25, par. 2
Gal. 4:4; Mark 1:15, Rom. 5:6, 1 Cor. 15:4; and John 7:30. All these scriptures show God's order and His appointed times and seasons of His plan.
29. Why were time-prophecies given? Pg. 25, par. 3
They were given to enable the serious student of God's Word to recognize the foretold events when due. Through study we can see the various dates and chronological references which are links in a wonderful chain of events.
30. Is the fact that the majority of Christians are indifferent regarding the study of time-prophecies any reason why those who "love His appearing" should drop into similar lukewarmness? Pg. 26, par. 1
No. If we desire to be approved by Him we will continually study to understand all of God's plans and time prophecies.
31. What is the significance of the Prophet Isaiah's declaration respecting "both the houses of Israel"? Pg. 26, par. 2
The Prophet Isaiah wanted to impress upon us the fact that there would be those from "both the houses of Israel" with a lukewarm love for God and that these would stumble and fall. Yet "a remnant" in the harvest period would be prepared to receive and appreciate the truths then due, and would be blessed in the dawning dispensation and the special privileges afforded then.
32. What are the chief essentials to the proper understanding of prophecy and the signs of the times? Pg. 27, par. 1
A knowledge of the Lord's coming and appearing is very necessary. But along with this knowledge must lay holiness, humility, and an earnest, consecrated heart.
33. What was the contrast in the attitudes of the "Israelites indeed" and the Pharisees in the "harvest" of the Jewish age? Pg. 27, par. 2
The Israelites indeed were in a condition of expectancy and were ready to hear and examine the truth when they came in contact with it. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were quite proud and self-satisfied and not in a heart condition of hearing or understanding what the Lord had to say.
34. How do these find their parallels in the end of the Gospel age? Pg. 28, par. 1
The parallels in the end of the Gospel age are that those that are humble and earnest Truth seekers will be led to a knowledge of the truth which is due. They will be strengthened and enlightened but the mass of nominal Christians will be in the lukewarm, self-satisfied condition and will reject the truths, due to their heart condition.
35. What is the great importance of a knowledge of times and seasons? Pg. 28, par. 2
Knowledge is of great importance. It enables us to discern the truth and appreciate the dispensational changes as they take place.
36. Why does a special odium attach to the study of prophetic time? Pg. 29, par. 1
Because of the misapplications of the study of prophetic time features in the past and the consequent failures to realize the events expected to occur at stated times. This has hindered all but the class for whom it was intended, thus the worldly-wise see but do not understand God's Word.
37. What was the common cause of failure in the case of both the First and Second Adventists? Pg. 29, par. 2; pg. 30, par. 1
The common cause of failure was that both were blinded by false expectations. They do not recognize or understand the manner and the object of our Lord's return as taught in the Scriptures; thus they have not been expecting to "see him as his is," but as he was.
38. Were time-prophecies designed to alarm or convert the world? If not, what was evidently the Lord's purpose in giving them? Pg. 30, par. 2; Pg. 31, par. 1
Time prophecies were not given to alarm or convert the world but they were given to those that are truly consecrated to God. He wants us to be thoroughly furnished with the present truth to understand and appreciate His plans and seasons.
39. What was the error of the Second Adventists, which led to their disappointment? And what was the primary cause of their failure to understand the prophecies? Pg. 31, par. 2
They erred by looking for the wrong thing at the right time. However, the primary cause of their not understanding the prophecies was that it was not yet time for a clear understanding except for the those that were in the right heart condition to see and understand.
40. In their attempt to force all prophetic periods to one common day of termination, how did the Adventists handle the time-prophecies? On the contrary, what method is pursued in our present study of the times and seasons? Pg. 32, par. 1
They did much violence to these time prophecies by trying to force them all into a 24 hour period. Our method is to examine all the leading prophecies and carefully trace each period to its termination, and then weave together the plan as indicated by God.