Behold I Come Quickly
The final message of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Canon of Scripture closes is, “Surely I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20). As one considers conditions in the world today, he realizes that this promise is soon to be fulfilled; the moment of Christ’s coming for the redeemed is at hand. The Church stands on the very threshold of that event for which she has waited throughout the ages: “That blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13).
This is a day in which the prophetic Scriptures are being fulfilled. The things written in the Word of God are coming to pass so rapidly, it is possible that some of these outstanding world events escape notice. The prospect of going to meet the Lord thrills the soul, and should result in the united earnest cry, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
One can imagine the joy the first advent of our Lord produced in those who waited for that long-promised event. One may visualize the aged Simeon as, after waiting so many years, he takes the child Jesus in his arms. One may also sense the pleasure as he exclaims, “Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation!” Furthermore, one may understand the excitement as the aged prophetess Anna came into the temple, and as she “gave thanks likewise unto the Lord and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” So it is, (or should be) with us today, for we are looking for Him to break the clouds at any moment.
The Book of the Revelation reveals “the things which must shortly be done” (Rev. 22:6). If the world was ever on the verge of the fulfilment of this amazing Book, it is now. The Church is now in the Laodicean period (Rev. 3:14-22); the next event, therefore, must be the coming of Christ as symbolized in the words to John, “Come up hither” (Rev. 4:1).
May the Spirit of God direct our souls by this glorious promise as we examine briefly the two main political movements of the Book of the Revelation. As the event approaches may each redeemed heart express itself, “Amen, Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
The first of these great political movements is the return of Israel to the land of Palestine. Israel is seen throughout the Revelation under various symbols. Without being dogmatic, these are as follows: the 144,000 (chap. 7), the two witnesses (chap. 11), the woman who gives birth to the man child (chap. 12), and the wall of the city (chap. 22).
The regathering of Israel to the land of Palestine is one of the major signs of the return of the Lord Jesus. Many rejoiced when on December 9, 1917, General Lord Allenby, commander of the British forces in Palestine, dismounted and with head bare walked into Jerusalem claiming it for the Allies, without firing a shot. The news of the liberation of Jerusalem filled the Jews with gladness, as it also did the saints of God the world over.
Some still remember the interest and excitement of the prophetic students when on May 11, 1948, Israel was proclaimed a nation; and again on May 14, 1949, when Israel took her place in the organization of United Nations. The Lord said, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree (a figure of Israel); when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matt. 24:32-33). Here is one of the more important signs that the coming of our Lord Jesus to set up His millenial kingdom “is near, even at the doors.”
As a boy one heard brethren speak of Israel’s going back to Palestine. Most, at that time, felt the Lord would come for the Church prior to this event. Thirteen years have passed, consequently, the conclusion must be that His return for the Church, which is at least seven years earlier, is at the very door.
The writer has beside him a little book entitled, “Facts about Israel,” obtained from the Zionist Organization. Through it the heart is stirred to see the advancement of Israel in agriculture, education, industry, etc. Without question, the coming of the Lord Jesus for the Church is near; this glorious prospect may immediately be realized.
The second great political movement in the Book of the Revelation is the revival of the Roman Empire which is indicated as: the beast with seven heads and ten horns (chap. 13:1-10), and the scarlet coloured beast on which the whore sitteth (chap. 17).
In Daniel’s Prophecy we are told of four Gentile world powers. These were revealed to Nebuchadnezzar as a magnificent image; a man with head of gold (the Babylonian Empire), breast and arms of silver (the Medo-Persian Empire), belly and thighs of brass (the Grecian Empire), and legs of iron with feet part iron and part clay (the Roman Empire). Such was the vision of these world powers from the human perspective. Daniel the man of God, however, had them revealed to him in the same order but as four wild beasts: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and an unnamed beast, “dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly.” All are aware that the Roman Empire which crucified our Lord and banished John to the Isle of Patmos, ceased to exist about A.D. 476. However, the Prophecy of Daniel teaches that our Lord comes and destroys this fourth world kingdom; consequently, it must be in existence at His second coming. Indubitably, in Revelation 13:2, we are given the description of the fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7. The Roman Empire, in the light of Revelation 13 and 17, will be revived in a ten-kingdom confederacy, as suggested by the ten crowned horns. Revelation 17:12-14 provides the details of this fourth Gentile power, its resurrection, and its head. Five forms of government in it had passed before John wrote; therefore, he, John, was living under the sixth form prophesying that there would be a seventh, out of which an eighth would appear which would be part of the seventh, the “little horn” or head of the revived Roman Empire.
It is believed that the stage is being set for the revival of this mighty power. NATO, certainly, with its fifteen nation membership, gives the possible framework of the revival of this Empire from the past. Many of these fifteen nations were part of the old Roman Empire.
However, recently, a much greater indication of the resurrection of the Roman Empire is apparent; namely, the Common Market, composed of France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Much has been heard of this union since Britain’s decision to seek entry into its community. It is interesting and significant that the so-called Common Market is actually the Treaty of Rome. Time magazine, October 6, 1961, Cover Story, states that in “1957 the Common Market was ratified in the Treaty of Rome, and no one missed the memories of past unity which the name of that city still evoked in Europe.” It is most remarkable to read of the rapid progress of this union. Its monetary reserves have swollen to more than $16 billions in the short period of three and a half years, nearly equal to the U.S.A. reserve of $18 billions. Those that head the treaty not only seek the removal of trade barriers, but they envisage a political union. The European Commission’s President, German Economist Walter Hallstein has said, “Make no mistake about it, we are not in business, we are in politics. We are building the United States of Europe.” Surely, surely, these developments are most exciting to the student of prophecy.
Recently, on a large Radio Network, an editor of a Halifax, Canada, newspaper gave his views of the Common Market and Britain’s entry into it. This man, to our knowledge was not a Bible student, but he emphasized the fact that the six nations now comprising the Common Market were anxious to have Britain join, and that if she did, likely other nations would follow. He stated that should this happen, the common Market would be the strongest block against Communism in the world, much stronger than the United States of America. He went on to give his opinion of what would happen in Europe, suggesting that one nation of the Common Market would eventually rise and become the dominant power, and that out of that one nation one individual would emerge to give leadership to the nations of the Common Market.
It would appear that this is one of the most outstanding present day signs of our Lord’s return when we consider such a statement from a newspaper editor, almost in the concepts of Holy Scripture. Such details as the division of Germany into East and West along the boundary line of the old Roman Empire, convinces one of the imminence of the second coming of Christ. As one watches prophecy unfolding, he can expect to hear the shout at any moment. May every heart respond with joy, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
As the importance of this great event is forced upon the heart by the Spirit of God, it should impel Christians to seek the lost, to warn them of Christ’s advent, and to point them to the Saviour. It is amazing that so little of this event and its imminence is heard in our meetings and conferences. It is high time to awake and sound out the message, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet Him.” Our time of service is quickly passing and soon we shall be called to meet Him.
If we believe that His coming is at hand, should we not bury all our minor differences, differences not in conflict with the Word of God, and go after the lost? Should we not seek loved ones and friends and win them to our adorable Lord? If we are expecting Him at any moment, we should discard all hard, bitter, critical attitudes, remembering that we are soon to appear at His judgment seat. It is only as united that we can be a power for God. With the short time remaining, let us do all in our power to work together to see sinners brought to Christ. The Lord Himself prayed, “That they all may be one; that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me” (John 17:21).
In view of these things may the appeal of the Apostle Paul impress every heart: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand.”