QUESTION.—If the "Times of the Gentiles" can be changed as suggested in the July TOWER, so that the anarchy will follow 1914 A.D., instead of preceding it, might not similar changes be made in respect to all the various lines of prophetic time-proof set forth in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vols. II. and III?
Answer.—You are entirely in error. Not a figure, not a date, not a prophecy is in any sense or degree affected by the article to which you refer. Indeed the harmony and unity of the whole is the more fully demonstrated. Read again the article you refer to, "Universal Anarchy, etc." (July 1 issue), and you surely will see this. If it is not apparent to you upon a further study let us know the particular point of your difficulty and we will endeavor to make it plain.
The harmony of the prophetic periods is one of the strongest proofs of the correctness of our Bible chronology. They fit together like the cog-wheels of a perfect machine. To change the chronology even one year would destroy all this harmony,—so accurately are the various proofs drawn together in the parallels between the Jewish and Gospel ages. It would affect the ending of the Jubilee Cycles, the 1335 days, the 2300 days and the Times of the Gentiles, throwing out of gear all the wonderful harmonies of these in the "Parallel Dispensations."
We commend to you a fresh and careful study of the presentations of DAWNS, Vols. II. and III., on these points. Evidently the time features of Present Truth all stand or all fall together, and we see no weakness or signs of their falling: on the contrary everything throughout the world is confirmatory of them.
And while it is true that the great mass of Present Truth is in many respects entirely independent of our "times and seasons," nevertheless they are so related that the latter are almost necessary to explain the former. For instance, without recognizing that we are now living in the "harvest" of the Gospel Age and in the parousia of the Son of Man, how could we account for our great increase in knowledge respecting the various features of the divine plan?
The easiest and best explanation of the "feast" now spread before us as the Lord's "household of faith" (indeed the only reasonable one) is that the Lord is now fulfilling his promise recorded in Luke 12:37: "Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself [as their servant] and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." While these "things new and old" are handed from one servant to another and to the entire household, can any of us doubt that the Master himself is dispensing the delicious viands which so refresh us?
And if this be so it is a proof that we are in the "harvest" or end of this age just as surely as similar blessings marked the "harvest" of the Jewish age. And the times when these blessings have reached us corroborate the prophetic testimonies respecting when the harvest began (Oct., 1874 A.D.) and when it will end (Oct., 1914 A.D.), a period of 40 years, just as was the Jewish harvest. Unlike error, these things stand investigation and the more searching the investigation the more satisfactory will the results be, we believe, to those who are in the right attitude of heart—to those who seek not to cavil, but to know the mind of the Lord. To the "Israelites indeed" it is now "given to know" these things which are still mysteries to the world. Only "the pure in heart," the thoroughly sincere, the honest, are in the position to have the "ear to hear" this "knock" of the heavenly One (Rev. 3:20); only those who have the eyes of their understanding opened can discern the presence of our King; only those who hunger and thirst for the Truth can properly relish things new and old, now so bountifully provided. These privileges are now restricted to the "meek and lowly of heart," and these conditions must be maintained or else this special hearing, sight and taste will be lost. Such loss in the Scriptures is styled "outer darkness"—the darkness and confusion in which we see the whole world now to be; but from which, thank God, there will be a rescue "in the morning"—when the Sun of Righteousness shall shine clearly forth, turning the outer-darkness into outer-light. But for such, meantime, there is necessarily a great "shaking" and "horror of great darkness" and trouble.