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her inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession."28
Oh! that we might receive "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” to “know what is the hope of His calling and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” 1:17-18. We should not walk "as other Gentiles walk," "but speaking the truth in love," grow up into Christ our living head, working together for the "increase of the body” and edification "in love" (4:1517) “till we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” 4:13, That is, Christ as the head, and the Church as the body, will make one perfect man. “They twain shall be one flesh,? “the NEW MAN which is created in righteousness and true holiness” (4:24). The true seed of the woman, which shall bruise the serpent's head.25
Wherefore, the Church is exhorted to "grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby" she is "sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30), but to be "kind one to another, tender-hearted” (4:32), "walking in love” (5:2) "as children of light” (5:8), “circumspectly" and "wise, redeeming the time" (5:15-16), "filled with the Spirit (5:18), nourished and cherished (5:29) until sanctified and
(23) Eph. 1:13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation : in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with tbat Holy Spirit of promise,
14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (24) Mat.
he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be che flesh?
6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Eph. 5:31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
(25) Gen. 3:15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Rom. 16:20. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
cleansed, she is presented unto the Lord “Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," but "holy and without blemish," the Bride of Christ. "For we are members of His body."
9926 Can there be anything more precious than the thought of Jesus coming to take unto Himself His Bride! It is full of tenderness and love. What will He not do for her when He presents her unto Himself! The ecstasy of that meeting is above the power of description by tongue or pen. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Cor. 2:9. We have indeed "an earnest” "by His Spirit,” - the "first fruits” a foretaste of the joys to come. But THEN shall the Church experience the rest of love-the fulness of communionthe rapture of her Lord's embrace, and be satisfied in the sweetness of His love.
The comfort of this truth is all lost if we fail to make the proper distinction between the Church and the Kingdom. The Church is not to be reigned over, but is to reign with Christ.27
No more heart-pangs nor sadness
When Jesus comes;
When Jesus comes.
He'll know the way was dreary,
When Jesus comes;
When Jesus comes.
(26) Eph. 5:25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it;
26. That he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,
27. That he might present the church to himself glorious church, not having spot
or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
30. Because we are members of his body.
31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
32. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church.
(27) 2 Tim. 2:11. It is faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will depy us.
He'll know what griefs oppressed me,
When Jesus comes;
When Jesus comes. This subject of our Lord's coming again is of such vital importance and is so largely interwoven with the whole of Scripture, that it affords a boundless field of investigation and an exhaustless mine of truth. There is much more we would be glad to say about it, but our little book has already exceeded the intended limit,* and we will only add a few words in regard to the time.
*To those who may wish for further information on this subject, we would recommend, among other helps, the sermon by Mr. Moody. “Maran-atha," by Dr. Brookes. "He Will Come," by Dr. Tyng. “Plain Papers on Prophetic Subjects,” by W. Trotter. Also the published addresses delivered at the conferences in England, to-wit: "Sixteen Addresses on the Blessed Hope," and "Our God Shall Come,” and especially the Pre-Millennial Essays, delivered at the Prophetic Conference in New York and "The Great Prophecies," by Geo, H. Pember.
And first let us make a clear distinction between the time of the Rapture and the time of the Revelation. (See diagram.)
The principal thought in regard to the former is that it may happen NOW. Nothing is given us in Scripture so definite as to form a sign of or date for the Rapture. We are to be always watching and waiting for it, and expecting it at any moment.
It is true that the Church may see the “fig tree signs" BEGIN to come to pass before she shall be taken out of the world to escape the Tribulation.2
But these signs are of such a nature, especially the “wars and earthquakes," "distress of nations, sea and waves roaring," that the Church in each of the past eight
* Failure to do this has led many to make grievous errors in setting dates for our Lord's return.
(1) Lu. 21:25. And there forth, ye see and know of your shall be signs in the sun, and own selves that summer is now in the moon, and in the stars ; nigh at hand. and upon the earth distress of 31. So likewise ye, when ye nations, with perplexity; the see these things come to pass, sea and the waves roaring;
know ye that the kingdom of 26. Men's hearts failing them God is nigh at hand. for fear, and for looking after (2) Lu. 21:34. But take heed those things which are coming to yourselves, lest haply your on the earth: for the powers of hearts be overcharged with surheaven shall be shaken.
feiting, and drunkenness, and 27. And then shall they see cares of this life, and that day the Son of man coming in a come on you suddenly as a cloud with power
and great snare: glory.
35. For 80 shall it come upon 28. And when these things be all them that dwell on the face gin to come to pass, then look of all the earth. up, and lift up your heads; for 36. But watch ye at every your redemption draweth nigh. season, making supplication, that 29. And he spake to them a ye may prevail to
escape all parable ; Behold the fig tree, and these things that shall come to all the trees;
pass, and to stand before the 30. When they now shoot Son of man.
een centuries might consistently have believed that the signs were BEGINNING.
So we have no date for the Rapture, ONLY that it will precede the Revelation. That is, that Christ will come for His Church3 before He comes with His Church, the period of the Tribulation lying between the two.
The time of the Revelation, we believe, is designated by many prophetic periods, in Lev. 26, Daniel and Revelation. But their symbolical character and our imperfect chronology render the interpretation of them difficult and uncertain. We must not take space here to consider them, but we venture to state that earnest and prayerful study of them has given us an assured conviction that they are rapidly drawing to a close.
Two events must precede the Revelation, which will indicate its proximity, to-wit: the Restoration (partial at least) of Israel," and the rise of Antichrist.6
(3) 1 Thes. 4:16. 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;
17. Then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
(4) Jude 14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints.
(5) Ezek. 22:19. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
20. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
21. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my
wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
22. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.
(6) Zech. 13:8. And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left there. in.
9. And I will bring the third' part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
2 Thes. 2:7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work : only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.