The Miracles of the Second Advent.
by Henry Varley
Characteristics of Human Government—What it Has Brought the World to—The Reign of Christ to be Inaugurated by Miracles—The Miracles of His First Mission—The Lord's Silence Broken—The Dead Raised—The Living Changed—The Physical Earth Renovated—A New River Given to Jerusalem—Millennial Glory.
What has been the character and quality of human rule and authority throughout the world during the past 6,000 years? Is it not a fact that instability, confusions, revolutions and wars have been, and continue to be, the marked characteristics which have and do pertain to personal and corporate government in all the earth? Does the close of the nineteenth century see any improvement in these respects?
With preparedness to place 10,000,000 soldiers on the battle-field within six months, (1887) does the continent of Europe tell of rest and peace? In no former period of the world's history were the engines for the destruction of human life so fearful and terrible. Science has lent her aid, until the horrible weapons of war seem more like a fearful dream from another Dante's "Inferno" than an awful reality.
There can be no question that the second coming of Christ will be identified with wonderful breaches in natural sequence. It should be carefully noted that a series of miracles, on a scale of magnificent grandeur, will inaugurate the commencement of the Reign of the Great King. Let it be intelligently and firmly borne in mind, that at our Lord's first advent, miracle was identified with and attended the whole of His ministry. The Lord Jesus cited the facts of the lepers being cleansed, the deaf being made to hear, the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the dead being raised to life, as amongst the foremost and incontestible proofs of His Messiahship (Matt. 11: 4, 5). Indeed, from the Virgin's conception until the ascension of our Lord from Mount Olivet, natural sequence may be said to have been in constantly recurring breach, and miracle, Christ's attendant Minister of State.
Now, as the supernatural endorsed and accompanied our Lord's advent before, so the Word of God shows that miracle, upon a scale of surpassing grandeur and magnificence, will attend His advent again, to be a great King over all the earth; "for the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name one" (Zech. 14: 9).
Concerning the marvellous breaches in natural sequence which will take place when He comes Whose right it is to reign, there will be no room for the materialistic scoffer's jest then. Hearken to the words of the inspired Apostle: "For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord . . . that the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God." What a breach in natural sequence now takes place! It is the Lord breaking His present silence by the resurrection and instant change of untold millions of the Church of Christ: "And the dead in Christ shall rise first." The Lord Jesus, in majesty and great glory, calls from the tomb, myriads of the sons of light. Forth they come, in instant obedience to His almighty voice, robed in the incorruptible glory which neither thought, imagination, nor human language can adequately portray or describe (1 Thess. 4: 15-17). Then instantly follows another tremendous breach in life's present order. True believers in Christ living on the face of the earth will be instantly changed. "Behold," said the apostle, "I shew you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump . . . for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15: 51-52). Then, when the dead are raised incorruptible, and the living instantly changed into the likeness of the Body of His glory, they will together be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Here, beyond all question, is the very Majesty of Miracle.
Then follow the marvellous changes which are identified at that time with the physical renovation of the earth (Hab. 3; Psa. 46). In the same wonderful series of events, the Lord Himself stands upon the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14: 4, 5), which, cleaving in twain at His presence "half toward the north and half toward the south," a wide and noble river will be formed, which, opening from the Mediterranean Sea on the west, will run through Jerusalem and flow eastward to the Dead Sea, whose waters henceforth will be healed (Zech. 14: 4-11; Ezek. 47: 1-12).
Thus, by miracle, Jerusalem will become possessed of a magnificent river, which in the past she was destitute of. This great water-way will fit her to become the great maritime centre for which God in the future has designed her (Isa. 33: 20-21). The groaning creation also will be no longer burdened, for with the manifestation of the sons of God, the mournful dirge of 6,000 years of "sorrow, lamentation and woe" give place to the glorious liberty of the earth's great year of jubilee—now begins the rest and peace, and the gladness of "the day the Lord hath made" (Ps. 118: 24), the antitype of the Sabbath, the 1,000 years of Millennial Glory. Then "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea, and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for all shall know Him, from the least unto the greatest" (Hab. 2: 14; Heb. 8: 11).
Without question, the Lord shall reign over this earth in righteousness. Sin will scarcely be known. The nations of the earth shall learn war no more. Peace will be universal and enduring. Good-will to men will everywhere prevail, and Europe will no longer be the vast "armed camp" it has been since the days when the imperial world-power put to a shameful death Jesus Christ the Lord of glory. October 1887