Brethren Archive

The Second Advent with Subsequent Events in Heaven and on Earth

by John Ritchie


The long-lost Hope of our Lord’s Personal Return to call from earth to heaven His own has been graciously revived among us within recent years. And “The Sure Word of Prophecy,” giving light regarding events which “must shortly come to pass” among God’s earthly people Israel, and the Nations, has been searched and studied with a new interest by very many. But alongside of this, the enemy has sowed his tares, and spread his errors broadcast on every hand concerning “things to come.” It was with a sincere desire to help a happy group of young believers, who had, like the Thessalonians of early time, been “turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1 Thess. 1:9), that these lectures, illustrated with a chart, setting forth the order of events as given in the Word were given, and at the request of those who attended them they are now issued. They are elementary and simple, and designedly free from debatable points. Their purpose is to lead their readers to the Word of God, to search and study it for themselves, with the desire that they may be found “watching and ready” in that hour when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven.”


Kilmarnock, May 1987



For twenty years, the original edition of this unpretentious little volume has been circulated widely. It has now been reissued in an enlarged size, with “Appendices” and “Notes” added, dealing with points of special interest, and giving somewhat fuller details on Prophetic and Future Events, which the Great World War has brought into prominence. But the main theme—which is the Personal and Imminent Return of the Lord Jesus—the Hope for which we wait, is its Pole-Star still.


Kilmarnock, Oct., 1917




The object we have in view in these studies is to gather the testimony of God concerning the great events of the future, as contained in the Holy Scriptures, and to present the same in a simple form for the help and blessing of the Lord’s people, especially for those amongst us who have not had much opportunity to search the Scriptures on the subject of the Personal Return of their Lord, or to give themselves to the study of the prophetic Word. We shall endeavour to avoid speculation and controversy, and to limit out searching and meditations to those things which are clearly revealed by God for the edification of His beloved people. Next to the believer’s personal salvation by grace, and his present position and portion in Christ, there is nothing that can possibly be of greater value to his soul than to read aright and learn from God his interest and share in the glory that is to come. To that glory, grace has already called him (1 Pet. 5:10), and until he reaches and shares it with his Lord he can never be fully satisfied. It is to the future that he looks, and God has graciously revealed as much concerning that future as He sees needful to sustain his faith and nourish his hope while yet a pilgrim here.


Future Events

The events of the future may be said to embrace two great circles—the heavenly and the earthly. God has purposes concerning the heavens and His heavenly people. He has also purposes concerning the earth and those that dwell therein. He will glorify Christ in both. First, in the heavens above, next in the earth below. The hope of the believer and of the Church is the personal advent of the Son of God from heaven. For this we are taught to look, and watch, and pray. It is our proper and proximate hope. The hope of Israel is the return of Christ as their Messiah to earth to set up His Kingdom and to reign. But ere this can be fulfilled, momentous events must first take place in heaven and on earth. These events, and the signs of their approach are made known in the prophetic Scriptures.