| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 119 of 304 INDEX | |
appearing'; here the true life in this present age is characterized by
'looking for ... the appearing'. The words 'glorious appearing' should read
'the appearing of the glory'. It will be remembered that in Colossians 1:27
we found that the preaching of Christ among the Gentiles during this
parenthetical period ('to fill up the Word of God', Col. 1:25) was the pledge
of their hope of glory, and that when Christ, Who is our life, shall be made
manifest, then we also, shall be made manifest with Him in glory. So it is
with Titus 2:13, 'the Blessed Hope' is the manifestation of the glory. When
hope is realized, then that which has only been partially enjoyed 'by faith'
will be entered in reality. Even now 'by faith' we are raised together and
made to sit together in the heavenlies: then, when hope is realized, we shall
sit there in reality.
It would not be a realization of my calling to find myself in the
millennial kingdom, however blessed and far beyond all merit such a lot would
be. It would not be the realization of my calling to find myself, for any
possible reason, occupying one of the twelve thrones of the apostles. No, my
faith has received the testimony of God concerning this dispensation of the
Mystery, and the hope of that calling can only be realized 'far above all'.
At present the Lord Jesus waits until the time appointed shall come. Before
He descends with all His angels, to take the kingdom and reign, He will be
made manifest 'in glory'. There will be a moment which will be 'the
manifestation of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ'.
When that takes place, every member of the blessed company that constitutes
'the church which is His Body' shall be 'made manifest with Him in (that)
glory'. How do they get there? We are not told, and some questions of a
similar nature are not answered (1 Cor. 15:35). No one, whatever be his
calling, can enter into the realization of it apart from resurrection, but
whether the resurrection of this church will be individual or collective,
visible or invisible, is not revealed. The church of the Mystery is not
numbered among the denominations of Christendom. Its sudden cessation would
have no effect upon the religious world. Its inception, its course, and its
conclusion, are alike secret. Some will hear the archangel's voice; some
will hear the last trump; but not so the church of the One Body. Before that
archangel speaks, or that last trump shall have sounded, every member of this
company shall have been 'manifested with Him in glory'.
We have not included Philippians 3:20 in our study, believing
that there the apostle deals with the prize of the high calling and not its
hope. We mention this in case our readers should think that it had been
overlooked. This 'blessed hope' is unconnected with signs of the times,
except that as we see on the horizon the gathering together of events
prophesied in Scripture, we know that our own hope is nearer. If only we
could just 'live ... looking', this present age would have no hold upon us;
we should indeed 'love His appearing'.
We have now given the doctrine of the Lord's Coming a survey, in which,
though we have had to pass over many interesting details, we have not
consciously omitted any item of importance. Apart from the hope of the One
Body, the whole doctrine of both the Old and New Testaments on this subject
is one and indivisible. While we dare not attempt to decide for others what
constitutes their hope, it is plain to ourselves that 1 Thessalonians 4 is
not the blessed hope of Titus 2 or of Colossians 1 and 3.
Here we must take leave of the subject, and in closing return to the
point from which we commenced. The Second Coming of the Lord, as generally
received, is not the theme of the prison epistles, and as their peculiar