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Volume 21 - Page 33 of 202 Index | Zoom | |
The Coming of the Lord.
#11. The N.T. fulfillment.
The testimony of John's Gospel.
pp. 21 - 23
We come now to the Gospel of John to discover whether it contains statements
concerning the second coming of the Lord distinctive enough to justify the idea that here
we find the hope of the church as something distinct from the hope of Israel. The first
allusion to the coming of the Lord is found in John 1: 51:--
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of
God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."
Taking it for granted for the moment that this does speak of the second coming, what
do we learn? In the first place there can be no doubt as to its reference to Jacob's dream
at Bethel. That dream confirmed to Jacob the covenant made with Abraham and Isaac.
Its burden was the "land", the multiplication of the "seed", and the great promise that in
that seed all families of the earth should be blessed. Should any be tempted to introduce
an argument from Galatians to the effect that the "seed" includes believing Gentiles, we
would reply that the believing Gentiles cannot at the same time be both the "seed" and
the "families of the earth" blessed by that seed. Details apart, however, there is nothing
pre-eminently church-like in this reference to Gen. 28: Perhaps the context in John 1:
will supply the lack.
Nathaniel is described as "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile", and the Lord is
described as the Son of God and the King of Israel. This is immediately followed by the
wedding feast of Cana. We have therefore added to our knowledge of the second
coming, but not one word have we learned concerning the distinctive hope of the church,
for all is in line with Israel's hope.
In John 5: 28 we have another reference that we may find speaks of the second
coming. Take it for granted at the moment that it does speak of that coming, what do we
"The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall
come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have
done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation."
As it is a fact of the first importance that the hope of the church precedes the
resurrection of the last day, we must see that while this passage is, in itself, a wonderful
revelation of truth, there is nothing distinctive of the church here.
The next references are found in John 14: 3, 18, 28:--