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you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).
Christ's ascension into heaven to sit on the right hand of the Majesty on high was from among the midst of his disciples. Jesus led his disciples out as far as Bethany, a town or village on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives about two miles southeast from Jerusalem, and lifted up his hands and blessed them, and in the act of blessing them he was parted from them and carried up leisurely into heaven in full view of his disciples; and the two men who were there in shining garments assured them that he would so come again in like manner, even as they had seen him go into heaven. He ascended from the Mount of Olives, and when he returns, his feet will stand again upon that same mountain.
Concerning his coming Jesus speaks saying (Matt. 16:27), “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works "; and again, he said (Matt. 25:31-32), “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from among the goats." Again Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians speaks of "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thess. 3:13). Again, the Prophet Zechariah (14:4-5) testifies saying, “The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee”; “ And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.”
A great and mighty earthquake will attend Christ's coming, for the prophet testifies that when his feet rest upon the Mount of Olives, the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley: and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall fee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah.” From the foregoing Scriptures we learn that when the Son of man comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father, he will not come alone but will be attended with the angels, and all the saints will come with him. But as the Father hath put all things under his feet, so that all angels, authorities, and powers are made subject unto him, and as he is the head of the body, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, therefore he will be the chief and most glorious person that the inhabitants of the earth below will behold coming down from the heavens above. Jesus will be the most conspicuous and the most glorious object that the eyes of men will then behold.
But will the millions of saints who come with him in glory be also seen by the people of Israel and the nations ? This will appear from what the Scriptures have testified on that subject, which may be presented as follows. In the ninety-eighth Psalm, speaking of the coming of the Lord and the attendant events, the prophet says (verse 2), “The Lord hath made known his salvation, his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen. . . . All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our
God.” Again the Prophet Isaiah (52: 10) speaks of these things saying, “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
Now the meaning of these words may be gathered from what Simeon said, when in the Temple he took up the Child Jesus into his arms and blessed God and said, “ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” That is, he saw the person through whom salvation would come to the children of men. Again, John the Baptist came as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, saying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth, and all Alesh shall see the salvation of God.” That is, all people would see the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is called the salvation of God because immortality was first to be manifested in his own person by resurrection from the dead, and then he was to give that same salvation to all his brethren by resurrection to life eternal at the last day.
Immortal men, therefore, with Christ as their head constitute the salvation of God, as John so forcibly puts it saying, “The life was manifested and we have seen it, and bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us (I John 1:2). When therefore the Psalmist says, “ His righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen,” he does not mean that they saw the principle of righteousness, but that they saw righteous men that God had crowned with life.
Again when he says that all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God, this signifies that all the nations, kindreds, tongues, and people that God has gathered into his land from the four corners of the earth, and which are therefore called “the ends of the earth,” have seen the Son of man coming in his kingdom and the millions of saints and angels who come with him in glory.
Again, when Isaiah testifies saying, “In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah, We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks,” this strong city consists of the saints, and these walls and bulwarks are saved and immortal men such as the apostles will be, to whom Jesus said, “Ye shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Such men in that day will be stronger than walls of stone and solid masonry, and will protect the people over whom they reign from all invasions of the enemy.
Some conception of the overpowering grandeur of Christ's coming may be formed by contemplating and comparing what Matthew, Mark, and Luke have said of the miniature exhibition of Christ's coming that was shown to three of the apostles in the days of the Son of man. Jesus said on one occasion to his disciples, “ Verily, I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Therefore Matthew testifies, saying (17), “ And after six days, Jesus taketh Peter, James and John, his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them, and his face did
shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” Mark adds (9:3), “ His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller on earth could white them." And Luke adds (9:30-31), “And behold, there
. talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias, who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem; and a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice out of the cloud saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.”
Concerning this picture on the mount of Christ's coming, Peter writes afterward, saying, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount" (II Pet. 1: 16-18). So powerful was the light, and so brilliant was the cloud of glory that overshadowed them, that the apostles fell with their faces to the ground.
Jesus appeared to Paul also on the way to Damascus, as he testified before Agrippa saying, “At mid-day, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the Son shining round about me, and them which journeyed with me." And being overpowered by the intensity of this light, he fell to the earth, as did the apostles on the holy mount.
Again in this picture of the coming of Christ on the mount, there appeared to the apostles two representative men: Elijah, who was translated, as a representative of those who will come with Christ, who will not see death, but who will be changed from mortality to immortality; and Moses whom God had raised from corruption to incorruption, as a representative of those who will come with Christ, who have previously been raised from the dead. When all these things are taken into account, this scene upon the mount was a powerful representation of the manner in which Christ will come in his kingdom in the latter day. We are taught to pray, “Thy kingdom come." The kingdom of God consists of Christ and his brethren, the saints, who are all immortal when they come with Christ, the least of whom will be greater than John the Baptist was in the days of his flesh; for the least of them will be immortal, whereas John, although he ranked among the greatest of the prophets, was but a mortal man.
When Christ died, the spectacle was made more terrible and impressive by the darkness which prevailed over all the earth from the sixth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened. Thus the crucifixion appears to have transpired upon a clear day, that the elements of nature might bear witness to the great truth that he who died upon the cross was the Son of God, for the sun refused to shine upon that scene, and darkness enshrouded the earth in gloom. Therefore it is said, “Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts and returned (Luke 23:47-48).
The coming of Christ in his kingdom also will transpire on a clear day, when the sun will again withdraw his shining that this great act in the drama of
man's redemption may be witnessed in all its momentous importance and splendor, for it is written by the Prophet Zechariah, saying (14:5-7), “ And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear nor dark, but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day nor night, but it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light.” That is, after the Lord has come with all his saints, then the natural sun will again shine forth, but he will refuse to shine until after a greater sun, the Sun of righteousness, shall have appeared in his glory.
Therefore from the foregoing Scriptures and considerations we conclude that the coming of Christ with all his saints will take place on a clear day, when the sun will withdraw his shining to the extent that it will be neither day nor night but as it were twilight, and the elements hushed into silence as before a great earthquake, when nature, as well as the in bitants of the earth, will appear to be waiting for something great and marvelous to transpir when suddenly the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens above, and then shall they see the Son of man coming in power and great glory, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, for he will come in light which will exceed the light of the sun in his meridian splendor, and with him will come millions of saints, who before this appearing will have been raised from the dead in glory, or translated; and after meeting the Lord in the air, will afterward come with him, when he comes in glory.
They will come with tangible, material bodies of flesh and bones like their Lord and master, as he said to his disciples, “ Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” And when Jesus descends, and appears again upon the earth among his disciples and friends as he did after his resurrection from the dead, and when they see the scars upon his hands of which Thomas said to his brethren, when they said to him, “We have seen the Lord,” “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe,"— even so, when he appears again among his disciples in the latter days, the Prophet Zechariah (13:6) testifies, saying, “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
The Son of man, therefore, has the same body of Aesh and bones to-day, and will have when he comes again, and the same scars upon his person, that he had when he said to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.” These same evidences of his death upon the cross, his burial and resurrection from the dead, will again be witnessed by those who see him in the latter day when he comes to judge the quick and dead, and to rule the world in righteousness for a thousand years.
Lifting the Veil Christ first appeared, himself, as the first-fruits of them that slept, called also the first-born from the dead, and Paul adds, “ Afterwards they that are Christ's, at his coming." But who is able to picture to himself the grandeur and glory of that day when Christ shall come, and all the saints with him, whose numbers will be as the stars of the sky for multitude, as God promised to Abraham saying, “So shall thy seed be "'? These all come with tangible, material bodies of Aesh and bones like their Lord and master, bodies in which eternal life is manifested according to the mystery of the Gospel, which being interpreted signifies “ Eternal life manifested in a material body of flesh and bones at the resurrection of the dead."
They come with Christ to rule and reign in the earth, and to cause God's will to be done in the earth as it is done in heaven. They come to destroy the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations; namely, the heathen, or rather the natural man's doctrine of immortality, a doctrine which has beclouded the minds of the children of men for ages and which will continue to darken them until the resurrection of the dead. Then will be manifest the true and only immortality of God in the persons of millions of righteous men who have died in the Lord in ages past, since the creation of the world, and have slept in the dust of the earth until the day of their manifestation has come, when they awake in the image of their Lord and Master when he descends from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the arch angel and the trump of God.
THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL, TAUGHT OF GOD The remnant, even those who are left of the rebellious house of Israel who have been sealed out of all the tribes of Israel, will all be righteous people, thoroughly instructed in the knowledge of God, even as it is testified of them saying, “ And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem; when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning ” (Isa. 4:3-4).
Of this people the same prophet testifies in another place saying, " Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified ” (Isa. 60:21). Again this prophet speaks of them as follows (54:11), saying, “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours; and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agate, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones” (referring to the saints immortal, who will then reign over them and be their protection); and the prophet adds, “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord” (Isa. 54: 11-13).
"Taught of God" The meaning of this oracle Jesus pointed out when he spake to the Jews and taught them saying, “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets (Isa. 54:13), And they shall be all taught of God.” The meaning of this oracle, Jesus says, is this, "Every man, therefore, that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6: 44-45).