The Second Advent Psalm.
by Henry Varley
Notes of an Address on the Near Approach of Christ's Coming
AFTER reading Psalm 45, Mr. Varley said: St. Peter In his memorable sermon declared that God had sworn with an oath to David that, of the fruit of his loins, He would raise up seed to sit upon his throne. Up to date, the Lord Jesus has never occupied the throne of David; that He is to do so is as certain as the fixed stars, for Gabriel, when he appeared to Mary and announced the coming birth of the Saviour, said God would give Him the throne of His father David. He should reign over the house of Jacob, and His kingdom should have no end (Luke 1: 32). The Lord Jesus Christ never has occupied the throne of David according to the promise made to David, which Peter on the day of Pentecost accentuates, and which Gabriel, declared to the Mother of our Lord, should take place.
In this Psalm, is foretold the King and His coming; the Church, the Bride of the King; the time of the change of our mortal bodies— which shall then be "all glorious within" with intellectual purity, and shining with external beauty. In a moment, this corruption shall put on incorruption. Tremendous conflicts will take place; then there will be the manifestation of Christ's wrath, when the kings of the earth shall hide themselves from the wrath of the Lamb.
When Israel came out of Egypt, they were only ten days' journey from Canaan. They sinned grievously, and nine months after their deliverance, God passed judicial sentence upon them. They were condemned to forty years' wandering, and not one of them, except Caleb and Joshua, set foot in the promised land; and, because of the rejection of His Son, a judicial sentence is resting on the world today. The greatest crime the world could be guilty of was the rejection of God's Son. The world is full of significant illustrations of the madness of driving away Christ. "Away with him, crucify him"—look to-day (1892) at the condition of Europe, and see what the world has lost by the rejection of Christ as King. Psalm 72, indicates the sway of Messiah's kingdom upon earth: "His name shall endure forever;" "Let the whole earth be filled with His glory."
The Psalmist is looking upon a world filled with the glory of God; from which war is banished. He has nothing more left to pray for—only praise to the God Who has secured this to the whole world. How this harmonizes with Christ's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come."
What is the testimony of God's Work as to the imminence of Christ's Coming? In Lev. 26, you have the history of Israel. When spoken to Moses, it was prophecy; now in 1892 it is history—the history of Israel in a concrete form 1,490 years before the birth of Christ, Jehovah declares, "I will punish you seven times for your sins." Four times over in this chapter, these words occur. What is the force of that expression? "I will scatter you among the heathen" (26: 33). Look at the Jews to-day in London, St. Petersburg, New York, San Francisco—scattered in every country—yet a distinct people. If you want a proof that this is the very Word of God, you have it before you. Some of us are taking our stand for the integrity of God's Word—and this is our platform. Who but God, could have sketched the history of this people for 2,550 years in a few words; the scattered people, the desolated land—just as they are to-day. Then follows the testimony of God as to the time at the commencement of which our lot is cast: "If they shall confess their iniquity—then I will remember my covenant; and I will remember the land" (26: 40-42.) There is the promise of the covenant made with their forefathers, and Jehovah declares that covenant shall be fulfilled.
To read this story, turn to Daniel 2 and see Nebuchadnezzar the king, face to face with a vision of a great image of a terrible form: the head of fine gold, breast of silver, belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet part of iron and part of clay. Then the stone cut out without hands smites the image and breaks it in pieces, and the stone becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth. It was Nebuchadnezzar who took the people away into captivity 610 years before Christ. From the time that Nebuchadnezzar took Zedekiah, the last king of Israel captive, and put out his eyes, there has never been a king of Judah. Zedekiah was the last king of Israel that occupied the throne of David; there was an usurper of another line who attempted to occupy that position, but he was never allowed to maintain it; there never has been a king since to occupy the throne of David; the setting aside of sovereignty took place then. Contemporary with the setting aside of Israel, there was to come the Gentile power, which is to run on until the time of the Gentiles are run out. "Thou, O King, art a King of Kings—for God hath given thee a kingdom, power, strength and glory." (Dan. 2: 37) Nebuchadnezzar was the most absolute despot the world ever saw. "Thou art this head of gold. After thee, shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee," viz., the Medo-Persian, which followed the Babylonish. "A third kingdom of brass which shall bear rule over all the earth," viz., the Greek with its great world-conquering head, Alexander, and then a fourth kingdom the Roman Empire represented by a ten-horned wild beast.
In this image, we see God's picture of the whole course and issue of Gentile rule. The first kingdom is over; the second, the Medo- Persian is gone—the third, Greece is past; the fourth kingdom "strong as iron"—Rome in its latest development—is before our eyes. The legs of the image are iron—there is the imperial power of Rome in its early history—a great despotic power. "The toes part of iron and part of clay, the kingdom partly strong and partly broken"—the Roman Empire being broken up into Ten Kingdoms. The fulfilment of God's testimony in the light of history, is one of the most striking facts. Notice a gradual deterioration: gold to silver; silver to brass; brass to iron; iron to clay. Gold (Nebuchadnezzar) comes to silver in the Medo-Persian; to brass in the Grecian; and to iron in the Roman kingdom; then to iron mingled with clay, the Gentile rule in its latest development. What is God's verdict on the Gentile kingdom? It is to be utterly broken to pieces; there can be no gradual falling of that stone; Christ said, "On whom that stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder." (Luke 20: 18)
When I see the awful war-spirit now rife in Europe, with Its diabolical engines for the destruction of life, and remember that life is God's property, I am amazed that God has waited so long! He is coming in supernatural power to put an end to the men who delight in war; to bring peace on earth—to make war to cease. The "stone made without hands," dashes the images in pieces. There is no marked interval between the fourth and fifth kingdoms; but the fourth kingdom must be broken in pieces before the fifth kingdom can come.
A gentleman said to me, "Don't you believe the kingdom of Christ began at the first Advent?" Yes, a spiritual kingdom. We must never confound the throne of the Father in Heaven and the throne of Christ on earth. At the end, He shall deliver up the kingdom to God the Father. (1 Cor. 15: 24) Never confound the throne of God in the highest heavens with the throne from which Christ will rule over the earth.
The "Seven Times" of Lev. 26 are the Times of the Gentiles mentioned by our Lord. . . . The testimony of Moses, David, Daniel, and John, all centre to this one result. Christ Himself testifies, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled." The times of the Gentiles commenced with Nebuchadnezzar—they were to run on until the reinstatement of Israel was to take place. Paul writes, "blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in—and so all Israel shall be saved." (Rom. 11: 25, 26.) Paul endorses Christ's Words: he knew Israel could not be restored "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
We may soon expect Christ's advent—"The appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He shall show Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords." Blessed, as contrasted with all the unjust potentates that have occupied the world.