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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER XXIII

MANNER OF THE KING'S COMING

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AMONG the meaningful events marking the "time of the end", which began in A.D. 1914, Jesus predicted this: "And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man, in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." (Matthew 24: 29, 30) This disproves that the conversion of the world to Christ and the making of the earth a fit place for him to come to is to be brought about before the final end of Satan's world organization (kosmos). Otherwise, why should "all the tribes of the earth mourn" instead of rejoice? How, then, does the King come?

That Christ Jesus would leave the midst of this world of Satan and would in due time come again, he openly declared. Comforting his disciples after he instituted the memorial of his death, Jesus said: "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you [which proves that Moses, David, John the Baptist, and others had not gone to heaven]. And if I

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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) A few hours later, when the Jewish high priest demanded of him: "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God," Jesus replied: "Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."  —Matthew 26: 63, 64.

Does this mean that the King Christ Jesus will bodily come again and appear in a fleshly form so that all the tribes of earth will be able to see him in the sky? Religionists who teach the destruction of our terrestrial globe by literal fire at the end of the world say yes. They quote the words of the angels who appeared at the time of Jesus' ascension to heaven: "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 1:11) At that time a "cloud received him out of their sight". The disciples could not see him further for the cloud which obscured him. The angels' words, "in like manner," do not say or mean, "in like body." The body in which Christ Jesus was seen ascending heavenward was not the body which was nailed to the tree. It was a body which he had materialized for the time being in order to appear to his disciples. When the cloud hid him from their sight, then he dissolved that

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body as he had done to the other bodies he assumed during the forty days previous. At his resurrection he was "made alive in the spirit", and he is now spirit and hence invisible. "And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." —2 Corinthians 3:17,Diaglott; Roth.

As to his "manner" of ascending, it should not escape notice that he did not manifest himself to "all the tribes of the earth", but only to his consecrated disciples. Later, on the road to Damascus when he gave a miraculous vision of his glory, it was exclusively to Saul, who became his apostle Paul. It was not to any of the religious men who were with Saul. They heard the sound of the voice, but saw no speaker. (Acts 9:7) All such was in full keeping with Jesus' words before his death: "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19) It is a settled Scriptural truth, therefore, that human eyes will not see him at his second coming, neither will he come in a fleshly body. When he came in flesh at his first presence among men it was a humiliation. He "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men". The flesh was necessary in order that he might be a perfect man and provide the ransom sacrifice or sin-offering; but not so at his glorious second coming. "So also the Anointed One, having been once for all offered for the many to bear away sin, will appear a second time without

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a sin-offering, to those who are expecting him, in order to salvation." (Hebrews 9: 28, Diaglott; Young) Even to his disciples it was only during the forty days after his resurrection, and before his ascension to heaven, that he appeared in fleshly form.

His second coming will accordingly be unobserved by human eyes, except for what events will accompany his coming as visible signs to make his believing followers aware of his unseen presence. Describing his coming at the time of the battle of Armageddon, the glorified Jesus said: "... to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." (Revelation 16:14-16) A thief comes without previous notification, unannounced, quietly, and keeping himself unseen to those in the house. This is further proof that Christ's coming is invisible, as a spirit, and must be detected by signs, proofs.

All facts considered, then, the only way in which men on the earth will see him at his glorious coming is with the eyes of understanding or powers of discernment. This is further supported by the words at Revelation 1:7 in a vision to the apostle John: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so. Amen." As at his ascension, when he disappeared from his disciples' eyes behind the cloud,

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so here the clouds render him invisible, but at the same time they stand as a symbol of his invisible presence. Long ago, when the Israelites were journeying through the wilderness forty years the pillar of cloud which went before them symbolized and represented the invisible presence of the Lord. —Exodus 13: 21, 22.

So, in the above prophetic text, the "clouds" symbolize the manifestations of his power whereby he makes apparent his unseen presence. He will be present before his presence is discerned first by his faithful followers who watch for his coming. In their case the "clouds" betoken his presence with showers of rich blessing for them. The world in general will not believe the announcement of his presence, but all nations will hate his true footstep followers and will "pierce" them, in this manner piercing Christ Jesus. Did he not say that what they do to the least of his brethren they do to him! Then, by the great storm of trouble and destruction which the "clouds" will let loose upon these wicked ones and unbelieving kindreds of the earth, "every eye will see," that is, will discern, him. Realizing their guilt and the penalty of destruction in store for them, they "shall wail because of him".

What, then, is the "sign of the Son of man" that he said would appear "in heaven" after "the powers of the heavens shall be shaken"? Revelation 12:1-10 (A.R.V.) describes it as follows: "A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,

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and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she crieth out, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. And his tail draweth the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon standeth before the woman that is about to be delivered, that when she is delivered he may devour her child. And she was delivered of a son, a man child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and unto his throne. . . . And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ."

By thus "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" and letting God's Word interpret itself, it becomes manifest what the sign of the Son of man is. It is the evidence appearing from God's Word and from its fulfillment that the Kingdom of God has been born or brought forth from God's "woman", Zion, his holy universal

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organization. The purpose of the Devil's organization is to prevent or destroy the Government at its birth in A.D. 1914, at the end of the "seven times". Yet Christ Jesus, who is the "woman's" Seed, is brought forth as the "man child" in the capacity of King, and he is at once safely enthroned and commanded by Jehovah God to rule in the midst of his enemies. War immediately follows in heaven, and the Devil is ousted. Not until after Satan and his demons had been cast out, namely, not until after A.D. 1918, was this sign seen.1 Then it was discerned only by those who had spiritual vision of the things in the heavens. The religionists did not see it, no more than their religious prototypes in Jesus' day saw that he was King and the kingdom was at hand. Wherefore Jesus said to them: "The kingdom of God cometh not with outward shew; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is among you." (Luke 17: 20, 21, margin) The King was among them, and their selfish eyes could not discern that fact because of the lack of outward show. Likewise, the kingdom of God was born and set in action in A.D. 1914, but the religious clergy do not see or discern the sign in heaven and they choose "Caesar" as king instead. The time will come when they shall see it, but then only to mourn.

Jerusalem was the capital of Jehovah's typical Theocracy in Israel. When it began to be trodden down of the Gentiles, in 606 B.C., God

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began fulfilling his word, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." (Ezekiel 21: 27) In A.D. 1914, at the close of the "seven times" of the Gentiles, Christ Jesus, whose right it is to be God's King in the true and everlasting Theocracy of heaven, came and God gave the throne of The Theocratic Government to him. That real Theocracy suffers no treading under foot by Gentiles. Instead, the Devil and his demons are thrown out of heaven and all enemies of The Theocracy are made the footstool of its King, The Seed of God's "woman". In this way Christ Jesus came to the Kingdom in A.D. 1914, but unseen to men.

By another prophet Jehovah had further prophesied: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 3:1) When Jesus rode the ass into Jerusalem and went to the temple and cast out the money changers and commercial vendors and then offered himself as King to the Jewish nation, it was a half of a week of years, or three and a half years, after his anointing with God's spirit to be King and to preach, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." That was merely a small-scale or miniature fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy. The major or complete fulfillment is in the great "day of Jehovah", which began in A.D. 1914. When, there-

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fore, does the great King-Priest, like Melchizedek, come to the temple?





Bear in mind that the fall of A.D. 1914, when Christ Jesus received the Kingdom, parallels or corresponds with his anointing for the kingship at Jordan, in the fall of A.D. 29. Since he came to the temple three and a half years thereafter, then three and a half years after the fall of A.D. 1914 marks the time when he came to the temple as King. After that "Christendom" must come under judgment as to whether she would accept him as King or choose "Caesar" (worldly politics) instead. This agreement between the

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minor and the major fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy fixes the spring of A.D. 1918 as the time when the King Christ Jesus came to the temple. This harmonizes also with the fact that in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, or less than four years after he was anointed and enthroned, Solomon came to the temple foundation and began building it. Christ's coming to the temple in 1918 was entirely unexpected, even to his devoted faithful followers. The truth of his coming then was first discerned by the Scriptures and by the fulfillments of prophecy after the event, namely, first in 1922.

All power in heaven and in earth has been given to the glorified Christ Jesus. For a divine person like him a personal bodily coming to earth is not necessary in order to fulfill the prophecies and promise of his second coming. The Bible speaks many times of Jehovah's coming down to earth, not meaning, however, that he literally leaves his heavenly throne and bodily comes down and stands upon our small planet. "Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith Jehovah." (Jeremiah 23:24, A.R.V.) Whithersoever Jehovah turns his notice and attention and thither directs his power of operation, there in effect he is present or makes a visit. Likewise with Christ Jesus, "the image of the invisible God." He works even as his Father does. Once he healed a nobleman's son by remote control, without coming near the nobleman's house, Jesus being then in Cana and the dying child in Capernaum. (John 4:46-54) At another time

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he cured the sick servant of a Gentile centurion in like manner at a distance from the centurion's house. (Luke 7:1-10) He healed the demonized daughter of a Syrophoenician woman by likewise sending forth his power through space.  —Mark 7:24-30.

Before ascending to heaven he said to his disciples: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28: 20) He would be with them, not bodily, but by his continual help and care and guiding power. So when he comes to the temple in 1918, he does so by directing his attention to the temple work to be done and then applying his power. His presence there, first discerned by his watching disciples, is not kept secret. Like the lightning which shines from one quarter of the heaven to the other, so the Lord causes the enlightening information on his coming and presence at the temple to be shone abroad by his disciples to all on earth. —Matthew 24: 27; Luke 17: 24.

In the light of this Scriptural revelation we must understand 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17: "We which are alive, and remain unto the coming [Greek text: parousia; presence] of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air."

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This comforting scripture proves that, as Christ Jesus was resurrected from the dead seven days after presenting himself as King at Jerusalem's temple, he will, by God's power, raise from the sleep of death those faithful Christians sleeping in death at his coming to the temple. Since Christ's church-body is "sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body", the resurrection of such sleeping ones was to life in the spirit. Hence it was invisible to human eyes, as when Jesus himself was resurrected. They are now with him at the temple, that is, in the condition of unity with him in the place invisible to human eyes, which place is symbolized by the "air". —Contrast Ephesians 2:2.

Those spirit-begotten Christians who die faithful after he comes to the temple do not need to sleep in death awaiting his coming. At death they are "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye", from human to spirit. (1 Corinthians 15: 51, 52) The remnant yet alive on earth after the Lord's arrival at the temple are "caught up" or separated from this worldly organization. Amid the evidences of his blessed presence ("clouds") they are brought into the temple condition of unity with him, the condition not outwardly discerned by natural men. There they must await their "change" after their work on earth is done. Concerning this more appears on following pages.



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