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WAITING FOR JESUS’ COMING
Many Christians to-day are waiting for Jesus’ coming. A similar class lived at the first advent who, nevertheless, when he had come, could not believe it. They received him not, but rejected and slew him, because he came not in accordance with their earthly ideas.
Similar earthly ideas blind the eyes of most Christians now. They, like the Jews, are looking for an earthly king. It seems strange that they cannot realize that, since his resurrection, he is “the express image of the Father’s person”—”whom no man hath seen nor can see”—for “God is a Spirit,” (spiritual being) and “a spirit hath not flesh and bones.” You could not see an angel (spiritual being) without the performance of a miracle to reveal him, though he might be personally present unseen. Then, why claim that Jesus could not be personally present, yet unseen? The difficulty arises from the confused ideas held on the subject of animal (human) and spiritual bodies. “If there is an animal body, there is also a spiritual body,” says Paul (1 Cor. 15:44—Diaglott), and we wish that all could realize this. They are distinct and separate. You cannot have both at the same time; they belong to two different natures. The one body and nature is the earthly; the other, the heavenly, is promised to the overcomers; and the promise of it is properly called a “heavenly calling.” (Heb. 3:1.) We do know what the earthly is, while we do not know what a heavenly, or spiritual body, is. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be”—hence it must be very different from our present animal body. (1 Cor. 15:38-44; and 1 John 3:2.) Jesus and angels are spiritual beings, and it is by reason of the difference between their nature and ours that we cannot see them with our natural eyes unless they appear to us (manifest their presence by a miracle.)
It is, or should be, well known to all of our readers, that “ZION’S WATCH TOWER” is a HERALD OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE. We do not mean in any mythical sense; we do not mean that he is present by his spirit or will, as exercised in and over his Church, as throughout the entire age; but we mean that he is present now in the manner and sense promised throughout Scripture; present not without a body, but a spiritual being.
We know of his presence, not by the light of human science, but by the light of God’s Word. We know of his presence, not as men recognizing a man, but as new creatures recognizing our Head, our Captain, our Bridegroom. We see him not by human sight, but the eyes of our understanding, being opened and enlightened by the light of our lamp, we see him, whom we love and adore, present to test those who claim to be his, and to select his “faithful,” “undefiled,” “chaste virgin”—to “make up his jewels”: those who are accounted worthy to “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,” and to be his joint-heirs, glorified together with him “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (Comp. Rev. 14:4,5 and 21:9.)
He is present, not only to establish his kingdom and glorify his saints, but also to break in pieces and consume all earthly kingdoms, and to bind Satan by overthrowing his power. Thus he will liberate mankind—the Jew first and also the Gentile—and bless all the families of the earth.
None, familiar with Scripture, will question that this is the order of the Lord’s work as therein revealed. By a parable he showed that he would first reward his faithful ones, and then proceed to deal with the world. In the establishment of his kingdom he first comes, secondly organizes his own kingdom, thirdly uses his kingdom power to overthrow evil and error and present kingdoms of earth, at the same time beginning the restitution of Israel as a first step in “the restitution of all things spoken.”
But while this is plainly the Scriptural order of Christ’s work, and while we see Israel’s restitution commencing, and the nations on the brink of overthrow, while the nominal Church has been passing through the time of trial and testing, which is rapidly sifting out the true and ripe wheat, gathering the jewels—the virgin of Christ—yet many are hoping that Jesus will come soon. “Ye fools and blind,” can ye not discern his presence by these things transpiring all around you? These are the signs (evidences, indications) of the Son of man. They indicate that he has come and has already commenced his work.
Though the signs of the times add increased light, yet, by the light of the Word, we discerned his presence years
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before any of these outward signs corroborated its teachings. Thank God that we have a more sure word of prophecy (surer even than these outward signs), whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn. (2 Pet. 1:19.)
— March, 1883 —