Matthew Chapter 24
VERSE 30 continued, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
The sign or proof of our Lord’s Parousia will be given in heaven. Not in the actual heaven of the Father's presence and before the holy angels, but in the symbolic heavens, the ecclesiastical heavens here on earth i.e. the professing church; the same heavens which the preceding verse tells us shall be so terribly shaken as to shake out its stars.
It is in this heaven--the professedly spiritual heavens--that the sign or evidence of our Lord's presence will first be apparent. Some will "see" the fulfillment of the prophetic declarations respecting this day of the second presence, in the marvelous unfolding of the divine plan of the ages, and will recognize it as one of the signs of his presence. (Luke 12:37)
The JUDGMENT of Babylon, Christendom, social and ecclesiastical, is ANOTHER SIGN that the Judge HAS COME, and is reckoning first of all with those to whom as stewards he committed his goods. (Matt. 25:19; Luke 19:15) "Judgment must begin with the house of God"; and it means confusion and consternation among the Doctors and Chief Priests of the present time, as they attempt to reconcile their doctrines, practices and faiths, as it did to the Pharisees and Priests and Doctors of the Law at our Lord's first presence--even though the presence was denied then, as it is now.
“Knowing this first: that scoffers (skeptics, doubters, both believers and non-believers) will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” For since the fathers (the Apostles) fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet 3:3, 4)
Is this actually what they will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?”
NO, that is the wrong translation of the Greek word Parousia, the Greek is presence not coming, and thus the question was,
“Where is the promise of His PRESENCE?
Nevertheless we think it would depend on who specifically was asking the question.
If it comes from the worldly or non-believer it would most likely be “Where is the promise of His coming?” as they have heard Christians saying he would come again for centuries now.
If the question were posed by a nominal believer it would probably be the same or perhaps even, “Where is the promise that he will ever come?” as the majority of these have very little faith at all.
However we believe the only ones who would (or are) asking this question, “Where is the promise of His presence?” are the Lord’s little ones, spirit begotten howbeit mere “babes in Christ”, “unskilled in the words of righteousness” (Heb 5:13), unlearned in those prophecies dealing with the object, manner, and time of our Lord’s Second Advent, and so in the dark on the subject.
The word “Promise” is the correct word in the Greek, strictly speaking, but the word “evidence” captures the thought more thoroughly, i.e. “Where is the evidence of his presence?” In other words they ask, “Where do you get the authority to say the Scriptures teach Christ’ invisible presence?”
Here a manifest distinction is made between THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS, those who have “trimmed their lamps” (searched the scriptures), and thus have the necessary enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (the “oil”) in their lamps to see and to discern the presence of the Lord, and those who do not.
At our Lord’s first presence the humble Israelite's indeed, whom God accounted worthy, were not confused, but enlightened, so that our Lord could say to them, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear: for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." (Matt. 13:16, 17)
So now in the second presence of the Son of Man, the opening up of the divine Word, the discernment of the divine plan showing as well the divine times and seasons (the prophetic proofs), and the confusion upon "Babylon" are satisfactory proofs (to those whose eyes are open) of the presence of the King.
"Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven." Matt. 24:30
“The tribes of the earth will not see the sign of the Lord's presence, nor will they ever see the Lord by natural sight; on the contrary, they will see the clouds of trouble and confusion incident to it.”
In speaking of this time, the Prophet Isaiah said (40:5), “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
The tribes of earth (the worldly, mankind in general) will not see the sign or proof of the Lord's presence which is given only among the "heavens," (the symbolic heavens, the professedly spiritual class, the ecclesiastical heavens) but appreciated only by the guileless of these. Nor will they ever see the Lord himself (visibly) by natural sight, for he is no longer flesh and to be seen of the fleshly. Our Lord's words in John 14:19 should be well remembered in these regards --"Yet a little while and the world (mankind) sees me no more."
And the Apostle's words to the Church are also to be kept in memory--that we all must be changed and made spirit beings like our Lord, BEFORE we can "see him as he is." (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 John 3:2)
The tribes of earth, on the contrary, will see the clouds of trouble and confusion incident to the shaking of the "heavens," and realize it to be a storm which will shake the "earth"(the present order of things, society) also (See Heb. 12:26, 27) and at that time also there shall be a general mourning of all, incident to that great time of trouble; and eventually all mankind at the close of the storm shall discern, recognize the new King with the eyes of their understanding being opened and shall mourn for sin, and that they ever in blindness rejected him--the Jew first. See Zech 12:10-12. (D598-600)
Continued with next post.
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