The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4


II. Focal Points of Time and Eternity

For ages astronomers had studied the heavens to find the secret of the movements of the planets. They had pondered these speeding spheres, sweeping through space without confusion or conflict, swinging on with precision in their ceaseless cycles. They tried in vain to calculate the path of their orbits on the basis of a circular movement through the heavens. Their thought was fixed on a single center for every orbit. But such calculations would not work out. They left the investigators in confusion, conflict, and chaos. Finally, one astronomer, Johann Kepler, found that the planetary orbit is an ellipse, or elongated circle, and therefore having two centers or foci. Then astronomical calculations of their courses became harmonious, exact, and complete. The law of the heavens had been found. PFF4 11.1

Similarly with the plan, or orbit, of salvation, if it may be so called. Multitudes through the years have sought to fathom the provisions of God’s great redemptive movements and timings, but have thrown that orbit around a single center, the first coming of Christ some nineteen centuries ago. But the plan of redemption, it was found, has two centers, or foci. It sweeps around the second coming of Christ as well as the first. These twin centers—the tragedy of the cross and the triumphal return of Christ in power and glory—were seen to be inseparable. One is incomplete without the other. PFF4 11.2

Only in dual relationship does the plan of salvation become complete and harmonious. Only thus can those who seek for truth understand the otherwise confusing and seemingly contradictory lines of prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the advent of the Messiah—some telling of His coming as a man in weakness and humiliation, born as a babe in Bethlehem, with subsequent suffering, sorrow and grief, His visage marred, His person contemned; others proclaiming His coining as King of kings, a glorious and resistless sovereignty that purges the earth, delivers His people, and inaugurates a reign of everlasting peace and righteousness. PFF4 11.3

But once this mighty truth of the two comings is grasped, one has in his possession the key to all the divine movements of the ages-past, present, and future. It is this that affords the solution to a thousand confusing problems and the rational basis 6f the only true philosophy of history. Such the Adventists of the nineteenth century came to believe. They came to see that around these two transcendent events revolve the issues of time and eternity. This, then, will be the scope of our quest in the closing sections of this concluding volume of’ the Prophetic Faith series. PFF4 12.1