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STUDY 5: THE MANNER OF OUR LORD’S RETURN (Continued)

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jesus became Human to be the Ransom

 

(5.) Jesus became human so that He might die as the Ransom-sacrifice for the world. “We see

Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death . . . that he by the

grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2: 9). His death fulfilled the purpose

for which He became a human being, therefore having no more need of human nature for

Himself after His death, we may be sure that He no longer has it, for He has nothing in His

person that He does not need.

 

Jesus not Eternally Degraded in Nature

 

(6.) Our Lord would be eternally degraded in nature had He taken back His humanity when He

arose from the dead. Had He taken back His humanity in His resurrection, and retained it to all

eternity, He would be everlastingly lower than the angels in nature and thereby eternally

degraded in nature. But the Scriptures teach that He is highly exalted above them

(Revelation 5: 11-13).

 

Jesus did not take back the Ransom Price

 

(7.) The Scriptures teach that Jesus gave up His humanity as the Ransom price for the world

(Matthew 20: 28) (1 Timothy 2: 5, 6) (John 6: 51). But had He taken back His humanity when

He arose from the dead, He would have taken back the Ransom price and thus nullified His

entire redemptive work, and made the entire Plan of God a failure! To even state these inevitable

results of taking back the Ransom price demonstrates the falsity of the doctrine that our Lord

arose from the dead a human being.

 

Perfection of God’s Character a Proof

 

(8.) If God had resurrected Jesus in human nature, He would have violated His oath to Jesus

(Genesis 22: 16, 17) (Galatians 3: 16) (Hebrews 6: 17-20), since He promised with an oath to

make Him heavenly, spiritual, “as the stars of heaven.” God is neither a perjurer nor a liar, so the

perfection of His character forbade His resurrecting Jesus to human nature.

 

Jesus a Fully Developed New Creature

 

(9.) Jesus passed through the various stages of character development as a New Creature from

the begettal to the birth of the spirit. His character as a New Creature, a spiritual character,

reached perfection (Hebrews 2: 10) (Hebrews 5: 8, 9). Hence His affections were completely

detached from earthly and attached to heavenly things (Colossians 3: 1-4). One of the

characteristics He had developed and crystallized as a New Creature was sacrificing the earthly

for the heavenly. Had He been raised from the dead as a human being, He would have proceeded

to sacrifice His humanity again unto death, for all His aspirations were crystallized in heavenly

mindedness. But the Bible teaches that “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death

hath no more dominion over him” (Romans 6: 9).

 

Jesus’ Office as Savior

 

(10.) If Jesus had been resurrected from the dead as a human being, He would have been unable

to exercise His office as Savior of the Elect in this Age and of the obedient of the world in the

next Age. Nothing short of a Divine being could minister to all the needs of the Elect scattered

throughout the earth, and to protect them against Satan, the demons and fallen men. Much less

could a human being bind Satan and his fallen angels, destroy Satan’s and establish God’s

Kingdom, awaken all the dead, offer them effective help for their restoration to human

perfection through a mediatorial reign and turn this earth into a Paradise. Hence His possession

of the capacities to fulfill His ministry to the Elect and to the world proves that He was raised

from the dead a spirit being.

 

Jesus’ Office as Vicegerent

 

(11.) The Bible teaches that God does all things by Jesus (1 Corinthians 8: 6), meaning that He is

God’s Vicegerent throughout the Universe. It is self-evident that the duties of such an office

cannot be performed by a human being. For example, how could a human being direct all of the

orders of angels? Hence, He must be a spirit being.

 

Facts of Jesus’ Appearances to the Disciples

 

(12.) A twelfth and final point in proof that since Jesus’ resurrection He is a spirit being and not a

human being are the facts of His various appearances with different bodies to His disciples after

His resurrection. Jesus appeared to His disciples in different bodies because: (1) His resurrection

body was a spiritual body, and therefore invisible to the natural sight of His disciples; and (2) to

prove to them first, that He was alive from the dead and that, second, none of the bodies that He

caused to appear and disappear before them was His resurrection body.

 

Our Lord appeared to His disciples in the same general way that angels in the past had made

their appearances to human beings, such as Abraham, Jacob, Mary, etc., by creating or

materializing human bodies for the purpose. Thus, when Jesus appeared to the disciples He

created the bodies that He showed them, and when He desired to disappear He simply dissolved

these bodies. We know this is true because He did not appear twice in the same body, at least in

the first stages of the various appearances after His resurrection. Evidently Jesus also created the

clothes that He wore at these various manifestations, appearing to Mary as a gardener, to the two

on the way to Emmaus in the garments of a traveler, etc.

 

Jesus’ Appearance to Saul of Tarsus

 

Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus. While St. Paul did not see our Lord’s

glorified body itself, which sight would have killed him (1 Timothy 6: 16), he did see a

representation of that body – the glory light that shone out of that body; but the light was so

powerful that before his eyes could penetrate through it to the body from which it shone, he was

struck blind by its brightness (Acts 9: 1-18).

 

Some might ask how we can harmonize the teaching that the manner of our Lord’s Return is

invisible with passages that speak of His descending from heaven with a shout, with the voice of

the Archangel and with the trump of God, and of His being revealed from Heaven with His

mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance? (1 Thessalonians 4: 16)

(2 Thessalonians 1: 7, 8).

 

The Shout, the Voice and the Trump of God

 

The shout, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, with their accompanying events

(1 Thessalonians 4: 16, 17) mean the same things as the sound of the seventh trumpet and the

great voices, with their accompanying events (Revelation 11: 15-19). Other passages also

describe the same general events (Daniel 12: 1, 2) (1 Corinthians 15: 52-57). They show us that

these events are associated with the time and fact of Christ’s Return. The trumpet of

Revelation 11: 15 is the seventh in a series of seven trumpets. All credible interpreters of

Revelation recognize that the first six trumpets and their trumpet-blasts are not literal, but

figurative of certain messages and their events from shortly after Christ’s First Presence on earth

onward. If this is true, then the seventh trumpet must be symbolic, and represents the messages

and events of Christ’s Second Presence on earth, which will last a thousand years.

 

The shout and voice of the Archangel mean the same as the great voices of Revelation 11: 15.

We understand the shout to refer to certain human agitations, discussions, etc., at the Second

Advent, and we are hearing this shout in the agitations and discussions along the lines of the

rights of man as these are connected with the principles of justice between man and man.

 

The voice of the Archangel refers to certain proclamations, commands, teachings, etc., that

Christ gives through the agencies of His own choosing at the time of His Return, and they imply

His taking charge of Earth’s affairs. These proclamations, commands and messages arouse

world-movements for the overthrow of Satan’s Empire through the Great Tribulation, and for the

establishment of God’s Kingdom (Daniel 12: 1) (Revelation 11: 15-18) (Isaiah 2: 19, 21)

(Psalm 46: 6).

 

“In Flaming Fire Taking Vengeance”

 

The “mighty angels” of 2 Thessalonians 1: 7 in the Greek reads angels or messengers of His

power. We understand these messengers of His power to represent the agencies that His power

uses for the overthrow of Satan’s Empire in the Great Tribulation, such as the World-War (in its

two phases), the coming World-Revolution, World-Anarchy and their accompanying World

Famines and World-Pestilences, together with the instrumentalities by which they are effected.

 

The “flaming fire” of 2 Thessalonians 1: 8 represents the fierce destructiveness that accompanies

these five forms of the Great Tribulation, which will be in punishment of mankind’s sin (see also

Revelation 11: 15-18). Thus 2 Thessalonians 1: 7, 8 shows that the revelation of Jesus at His

Return, will be made, not to men’s natural, but to their mental eyes, in or through the destructive

effects of the Great Tribulation.

 

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