Coming of the King

At creation God gave to man a beautiful world. “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. This earth was to be inhabited by a loyal, happy people, whose joy and delight would be to honor and obey the Giver of all the wonderful bounties of earth, sea, and sky.

Then entered Satan, and all was changed. Through sin, man became a rebel to the government of God. The dominion of the earth was lost to him, and Satan became the ruler. Again and again has the earth been cursed as man sinks lower and lower in his service of Satan, and departs farther and farther from God.

But this condition will not always maintain. In the outcome God’s purpose will be carried out. “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:18

And although man has sinned, and the earth is cursed, yet they will be redeemed, brought back to their loyalty to God, and the first dominion will be reestablished. Through Christ the blessings of Eden will be restored. “And Thou, O Tower of the flock, the Stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first dominion.” Micah 4:8

The First Advent of Christ

The only hope of salvation for a lost race was centered in the mission of Christ to earth at the first advent. The penalty for the sins of the saved must be met, and Jesus alone had wherewith to pay the price. As one with the Father, as Creator and Lawgiver, His sacrifice alone could meet the requirements of a broken law, and man could be redeemed.

Christ, the desire of the faithful of all ages, could purchase back the lost dominion. He could restore man to the vantage ground which he had lost. With longing anticipation patriarch and prophet looked forward to the coming Messiah. This was the keynote of all their hopes.

The Second Coming of Christ

Prophets have foretold, and Christ when on earth distinctly taught, that He would again come to earth and bring redemption to His faithful people.

Before the flood, Enoch, “the seventh from Adam,” testified, “Behold, the Lord cometh … to execute judgment upon all.” Jude 14, 15. This can refer only to the second coming of Christ.

In the depths of affliction, Job looks down the ages to the coming of the Lord, the resurrection and final deliverance, and exclaims, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job 19:25–27

Of the final rescue of this world from the thrall of sin and Satan, the inspired David sings, “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.” Psalm 96:11–13

In glowing words, the prophet Isaiah tells of the joy of the saints as they catch a glimpse of their Lord coming in the clouds. They exclaim, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9

Just before the crucifixion the Saviour comforted the disciples with the promise, “In My Father’s house are many mansions. … I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2, 3

And as the sorrowful disciples stood with uplifted eyes striving to discern the form of their Lord as the cloud “received Him out of their sight,” two men in white apparel appeared by their side, and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9, 11

How will He come? In answer to the question of the disciples as recorded in Matthew 24, our Saviour said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Verse 4. This certainly indicates that there will be a great deception abroad in regard to the second coming of Christ.

No event which ever has transpired, or ever will take place in this world, is so offensive and hateful to Satan as the second coming of Christ. At that time our Lord will come to break Satan’s hold upon this world, and redeem the faithful and true. Then will be destroyed forever the power of the enemy. Hence every deception which he can use will be employed to deceive the world as to the nature and importance of this great event.

To meet the popular belief that the second coming of Christ occurs at death, at conversion, or in any other than the literal way, He says, “As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Verse 27

To the spiritualist, who proclaims that Christ has come in the private seance; to those who claim that the senseless jargon of Christian Science is the second advent of Christ; to all the pretenders in all time who claim to be Christ, the apostle John says, “Behold, He cometh with clouds [of holy angels]; and every eye shall see Him.” Revelation 1:7

And our Saviour warns us, “If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Matthew 24:23–26

No one will be left to question and doubt when our Saviour really appears. John describes His appearance when He returns to earth: “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. … And His name is called The Word of God.” (See John 1:1.) “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” Revelation 19:12, 13, 16. He is not then the lowly man of Calvary, but the King coming to His kingdom.

Yes, Jesus is coming again. And while this fact rouses the hate and fury of Satan, and is a source of uneasiness and terror to the unprepared, it is the theme of joy and rejoicing to the few who “love His appearing.” Paul writes, “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28

The apostle says that our Lord will come with salvation “unto them that look for Him.” Jesus said, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:37. When Jesus comes, all who are thus watching will swell the glad shout of victory, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” Isaiah 25:9

But the wicked will not be able to endure the glory of Jesus as He comes to earth. They will hide themselves “in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.” They will call to the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the glory of the face of Jesus. (See Revelation 6:15, 16.)

Can we know the time of His coming? Our Saviour said, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36

No, the day and hour have not been revealed, and hence all who set a definite time for the Lord to come are sure to be mistaken. But are we left in absolute uncertainty? The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew gives us many signs which mark as near at hand the day of His appearing. To the student of prophecy He says, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33. Then comes the watching period. Then comes the time of waiting for our Lord. We do well to study our Saviour’s great second advent prophecy.

But the question is asked, “Does not Paul say that ‘the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night?’ ” Yes, and he also says that some will say, “ ‘Peace and safety,’ there is no danger that the Lord will come in our day.” But this is a dangerous position for any to occupy, for Paul says of such that “sudden destruction cometh upon them, … and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3

But there is no need for any to be overtaken unprepared. We may understand and know when the Lord “is near, even at the door.” The waymarks are plain and the mileposts are sure. For Paul adds, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” Verses 4, 5

Jesus is coming soon. Paul, writing to those who are looking for and expecting the Lord, said, “For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:37

When Jesus comes, He will bring the reward to the righteous. In the last chapter of the Bible, addressed to those in the last days, our Saviour says, by the mouth of John, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12

Past, Present, and Future, James E. White, ©1909, 416–423

[All Scripture taken from the King James Version.]