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Proof of Messiah's Reign upon Earth—from the
The glorious advent of Messiah, as declared by the writers of the Old Testament, was understood so clearly by the Jewish Church, that his prior advent in humility seems almost entirely to have been lost sight of. The first Christians searching the Old Testament Scriptures, had clear, and most consolatory views of this blessed truth ; and in the books of the New Testament, it is rather referred to as a thing before revealed by the prophets, and well known to all, than as a matter to which it was necessary then to call the attention of the Church. The second advent therefore is not spoken of in the New Testament under the highly wrought images of the prophets, but in short and plain declarations of the fact; and in words so unequivocal as hardly to leave room for a doubt, as a brief examination will demonstrate.
Matthew xvi. records a conversation between our Lord and his disciples, in which he rebuked Peter for being offended at the idea of his Master's suffering, and in the close of it he adds, “The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then shall he reward every man according to his works : 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,” and this was literally fulfilled in the persons of three then present, Peter, James, and John, who witnessed our Lord's transfiguration six days afterwards on the mountain. Mark ix. and Luke ix. give this passage in a similar context.
Chapter xix. 28, contains the promise to the twelve apostles, “that when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, they also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Chap. XXV. 31, describes Messiah sitting as king in his glory, upon the throne of his glory;" and that this does not refer to the last judgment, will be seen in the sequel.-Chap. xxvi. 64. Christ having remained silent under the accusation of the false witnesses before the Jewish council, the high priest, “adjured him by the living God, to tell them whether he were the Christ, the Son of God.” To this our Lord replied in the affirmative, and as if he intended to intimate to the high priest and to his associates, the dreadful reckoning that awaited them for their deeds upon that day, he added :" Nevertheless, I say unto you, that hereafter ye shall see the Son of Mạn sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” The gospels of Mark and Luke also record this interesting circumstance. Mark xiv. 62. Luke xxii. 69.
Luke xvii. The Pharisees having asked our Lord when the kingdom of God should come, he takes occasion afterwards to inform his disciples, that “ the lightning that lightneth out of one part under heaven, shineth unto another part under heaven; so sball also the Son of Man be in his day.”—Chap. xxii. After the last supper there was a contention amongst the disciples, which of them should be accounted greatest :--Christ reminds them, that though chief, he was himself amongst them as one that served : and
. adds, “ Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations: and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father bath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” A promise to the same effect, but given upon another occasion, has been already noticed'in Matt. xix. and it can hardly, without distorting the obvious meaning of plain words, be contended, that these promises do not relate to a kingdom which is to be established on the earth, whilst the race of man is continued in the flesh.
Jobni. 51.-It is here mentioned, that upon Nathaniel acknowledging Jesus to be the Christ, be told him :-“ Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Acts i. 11.-The testimony of the angels to the apostles who witnessed the ascension of our Lord, is very striking. “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This saine Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven.”. Zechariah xiv. already noticed, illustrates this passage, shewing that He will descend upon the Mount of Olives. Acts iii. Here we remark the address of Peter to the Jews, who wondered at the cure wrought upon the impotent man. He tells them that Jesus through faith in his name had made the man sound, and that when the times of refreshing should come from the presence of the Lord, He would send Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things.
i Cor, i. 7.-Paul renders thanks for the grace given
to the Church at Corinth, “ So that they came behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus." -Chap. iv. 7, he exhorts them to “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness.”—Chap. xi. 26, speaking of the Lord's Supper, he says, “ As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.”--Chap. xv. 25, “He (Christ) must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
Philip. i. 10. The apostle prays that they may be sincere, and without offence till the day of Christ.Chap. iii. 20, 21. “For our conversation is in heaven ; from whence also we look for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians iii. 13. He prays they may increase and abound in love, “ to the end their hearts may be established unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints." – Chap. iv. 16.
' 6 The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God.”
2 Thess. i. 8. "The Lord Jesus Christ shall be