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Volume 19 - Page 20 of 154 Index | Zoom | |
We can imagine that though there has been agreement so far, some of our readers will
dissent from this last reference being included in the list.
Coming "for" and "with" His saints.
There is quite a school of prophetic thought that stresses the coming of the Lord "for"
and the coming of the Lord "with" His saints. Supposing for the purpose of argument we
accept this view, how does it stand examination? The Thessalonians were waiting for
God's Son from heaven (1: 10), and exercising the patience of hope (1: 3). They were told
that their loved ones who had died would not meet the Lord earlier or later than those
living at the time, but that both living and dead would be caught up together to meet the
Lord in the air (4: 15, 16). Well then, what are we to make of I Thess. 3: 13:--
"To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even
our Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, with all His saints."
If these "saints" are His redeemed people, and if the Thessalonians were to wait for
the Lord to come with all His redeemed people, then what place do the Thessalonians
occupy? They were redeemed, they certainly were not the unwatchful who might have
been left behind, for they were to be established "unblameable in holiness", and if such
can be left behind, who then shall go? The distinction between "coming for" and
"coming with" excludes those to whom the apostle wrote, and contradicts the express
statements of I Thess. 4: 15, 16, and 5: 10. If we take I Thess. 3: 13 to speak of the
"holy ones", the "saints" of Deut. 33: and of Enoch's prophecy, we have the coming
of the Lord with His angels and for His people set before us with clearness and without
It is interesting to note that the Sinaitic MS reads: "ten thousand of His holy angels."
The angels that shall come at the end of the age are doubtless the same that were
instrumental in bringing about the overthrow of Gen. 1: and all the divine interpositions
through the ages.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in
fine linen, white and clean . . . . . and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet
. . . . . These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone"
(Rev. 19: 14-20).
When once we are clear as to the fact that "the saints" of Enoch's prophecy are the
holy angels, we begin to realize their relation in the context with the fallen angels.
Moreover, the structure shows that Michael the archangel is placed in correspondence
with the Lord and His angels, and both in conflict with Satan. Enoch's prophecy with its
reference to Gen. 1: 2, taken in conjunction with II Pet. 3:, where it is stated that `the
world that then was' was destroyed by water, and the heavens and earth which are now
shall be destroyed by fire, lifts the doctrine of the second coming into its true place in the
purpose of the ages. There has been a tendency to look upon the second coming as a kind
of afterthought, the next best thing that could be done in the circumstances. What we call
"the second coming" was demanded by the purpose of the ages, whether Israel had