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Not Till He Comes





Not till the Lord Jesus Christ comes again and is enthroned as King
over this earth will that day break when the shadows flee away. He
alone can bring that longed for better day for the earth. His is the
power and the glory to do it. He came from heaven down into this night
of sin to purchase back His alienated creation. He paid the price so
wonderfully great which only God can rightly value. The crown of
thorns He wore because the thorns are the emblems of the curse which
rests now upon creation as the result of man's sin. He tasted death
for everything. On the cross He accomplished the mighty work, procured
salvation for believing sinners, sealed Satan's doom, and that work is
furthermore the pledge and guarantee of the victory for God in bringing
back creation to its former perfect condition, only with greater glory
added.

The once thorn-crowned Christ is in glory yonder. There faith's eye
sees Him, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering
of death crowned with glory and honor. But some day He will get the
many crowns of which He is worthy, and when that glorious day comes,
the shadows flee away.


"Come then, and, added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine
By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth;
And Thou hast made it thine by purchase since,
And overpaid its value with Thy blood."[1]


Let us see then what shadows will flee away when He comes back to earth
again and claims His blood-bought inheritance. Let us see what glories
are in store for this earth when the Son of Man receives that kingdom
which will extend from sea to sea unto the uttermost parts of the earth.

+I. As to His Redeemed People+. The breaking of the day is heralded
by the Morningstar, followed by the rising of the Sun in all his glory.
Thus nature teaches us Scripture truths. Christ comes first for His
own Saints; that is the Morningstar. And then He comes in fullest
glory with all His Saints as the sun of righteousness with healing in
His wings; that is the sunrise when all shadows of the night will flee
away.

The Saints of God wait now for the breaking of the day, for His coming
as the Morningstar. And when He comes and opens with His triumphant
shout the graves of the righteous dead, and calls the living Saints for
the unspeakable change, in a moment, the twinkling of an eye, to put on
immortality--then the shadows for His people are forever, yes forever,
gone. No more bodies then of humiliation, but glorified bodies; no
more separation from loved ones and from saints, but a blessed eternal
reunion and fellowship; no more sorrow, but everlasting joy; no more
crying and tears, but all tears wiped away; no more sinning, but
perfect holiness; no more troubles, but perfect rest. What a glory
time it will be when for us, His own beloved people the day breaks, and
the shadows flee away. As shadows now increase, because the night is
far spent and the day is at hand, the Saints of God should daily think
of the soon coming day-break, that blessed, happy moment when we shall
see Him as He is and shall be like Him.

+II. The Shadows Will Flee Away from Israel and Israel's Land+. No
pen can describe the history of this people and the dark shadows which
have been upon them. As the homeless nation they have wandered
throughout this age, in fulfillment of the predictions of their own
prophets, among the nations of the earth. Awful have been their
persecutions, and tribulations upon tribulations have been their lot.
Suffering and sorrow, the meat and drink of every generation since they
were driven from their God-given land. How dark are the shadows which
have come upon that people once more as the result of the world
conflict. Millions have lost their all. Hundreds of thousands are
homeless wanderers in eastern Europe. Perhaps the story of their
suffering in connection with the war will never be written. And the
end is not yet.

On the other hand their national hope has been revived as never before
in their history. Regiments of Jews have gone forth into the war with
their own flags, with David's shield in the center and the Hebrew word
"Immanuel." They have been fighting like the Maccabees of old.
Jerusalem has been captured from the Turks; all Palestine has passed
into the hands of the Allies; never again can Turkey have dominion over
the land she has so horribly misruled. What is to become of Palestine
and Jerusalem? Let the answer be given through the letter which A. J.
Balfour wrote in behalf of the British Government to Baron Rothschild:
"The Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a
national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors
to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly
understood that nothing will be done that may prejudice the civil or
religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine."
Here is the answer of the French Government. "M. Sokolow, representing
the Zionist organizations, was received by Monsieur Pichon, Minister
for Foreign Affairs, who was happy to inform him that there is complete
argeement between the French and English Governments in all matters
which concern the establishment of a Jewish national home in
Palestine." Our own country has fallen in line and pledged itself to
see that at last the Jew is going to be treated with justice and that
Palestine will become an independent Jewish state. No wonder there is
great joy among the masses of Jews and that they too see a better day
looming up for their people.

But do these tremendous events in the East mean that the day has come
when the shadows flee away from the seed of Abraham? Not by any means.
The time of Jacob's trouble has not yet been. The last siege of
Jerusalem, prewritten in Zechariah's prophecy (chapter xiv) still
awaits its fulfillment. To deliver that nation and that land
completely and bring about the glories promised in God's infallible
Word needs more than the conquest of the land. The flag of the British
lion now flies over Jerusalem. Some day another flag will be raised
above that city--the flag of the Son of Man, the Son of David, the Lion
of the tribe of Judah.

Only when He comes again and His blessed feet stand once more upon the
Mount of Olives, will that day of blessing and glory break for Israel
with all shadows fleeing away. What it all will mean is fully written
in prophecy. Much of what is written in the Book of Isaiah from
chapter xl to the end of the vision of Isaiah refers to that glory
time, when the King comes back, and when for Jerusalem the shadows flee
away. Read especially chapters liv and lv; lxvi. In the other
Prophets read the following chapters: Jeremiah xxx and xxxi; Ezekiel
xxxiv-xlviii; Daniel vii:13-28 and chapter xii; Hosea iii:5, v:15,
vi:1-3, xiv; Joel iii; Amos ix:11-15; Obadiah, verses 17-21; Micah
iv-v; Habakkuk iii; Zephaniah iii:8-20; Haggai ii:6-9; Zechariah
ii:6-13, viii, ix:9-11, xii-xiv. Here we have unfailing predictions of
what will be when the day breaks and the shadows flee away from Israel.

+III. The Shadows for All the Nations of the World Will Flee Away+.
In Revelation xx:3 we read that Satan, the Devil, that old Serpent is
the deceiver of the nations. As we have seen in the lecture on the
history of Satan he is the murder and liar from the beginning. He is
responsible for every war which has ever been fought; he is the author
of all idolatry; he blinds the nations and keeps them away from knowing
God. For this reason peace cannot come till this dark shadow is
chained, the world cannot be brought to God and do righteousness till
this arch-deceiver is robbed of his power. We can rest assured that as
long as this being is loose, world conversion and universal peace are
unobtainable. And he will be chained by Him who is the strong One and
has conquered him already--our Lord Jesus Christ. And therefore when
He comes again the shadows will flee away from the nations of the
earth. China will no longer be domineered over by demon influences;
India, Africa and the islands of the sea will cast their idols away.
All swords will become plowshares, all spears pruning hooks. Wars will
cease even unto the ends of the earth; nations will learn war no more.
The nations will learn righteousness; all oppression will cease;
capital and labor has ended its strife; poverty is unknown; wickedness
and crime of every description ends, for the King reigns in
righteousness, and "in His day shall the righteous flourish and
abundance of peace.... He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and
from the river unto the ends of the earth.... all kings shall fall down
before Him, all nations shall serve Him" (Psalm lxxii). Under His
gracious reign of power famines and pestilences can no longer devastate
this earth. Sickness and diseases will be banished and those who obey
the laws of His kingdom will continue to live on earth, so that death,
the common thing now, as the wages of sin, will become uncommon during
the coming age. What a glory time there is in store for this earth!
But we must not forget that day, when the shadows flee away, will be
ushered in by a judgment of nations. Nations now in existence, steeped
in unspeakable wickedness, having cast even a skin-deep civilization to
the winds and outraged the laws of God and man, will be dealt with in
judgment and pass away as nations (Matthew xxv:31).

+IV. The Shadows which are upon Creation Will Also Flee Away+. The
Apostle Paul tells us of creation's curse, creation's groans and
creation's deliverance: "For the earnest expectation of the creature
waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was
made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath
subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be
delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of
the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and
travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans viii:19-22). Creation
has fallen under the curse through man's sin. As man has continued in
sin and has become worse in his deeds of defiance of God, creation has
also seen degradation in a like degree. Blights are seen everywhere.
Tidal waves and terrific earthquakes have destroyed human lives by the
millions. All creation is suffering and groaning under the curse. But
it is not to be so forever. The King who comes back is also the
Creator, He who called all things into existence out of nothing. He
surely will set all things in order and deliver groaning creation. He
will put all things back as they were in the beginning and then earth
will be once more a paradise. If He would do anything less than that
the dark shadow of the one who brought sin and death into the world
would have the last word, and could then sneer into the face of God the
fact that in spite of the redemption price He could not restore things
as they were in the beginning.

We quote but one passage from the Book of Isaiah in which this blessed
time is predicted when the shadows flee away for a groaning creation:
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie
down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling
together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear
shall feed; their young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat
straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play at the hole of the
asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den"
(Isaiah xi:6-8). Do not say this has a spiritual meaning. It has not;
it means what it says, and when the King comes back He will do it all
in His mighty power.

"O scenes surpassing fables, and yet true,
Scenes of accomplish'd bliss! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy?
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach
Of barrenness is gone. The fruitful field
Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean,
Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
Exults to see its thistly curse repeal'd;
The various seasons woven into one,
And that one season an eternal spring.
The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence,
For there is none to covet, all are full.
The lion, and the leopard and the bear
Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon
Together, or all gambol in the shade
Of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
Apathies are none. No foe to man
Lurks in the serpent now; the mother sees
And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand
Stretch'd forth to dally with the crested worm,
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive
The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue.
All creatures worship man, and all mankind
One Lord, one Father. Error has no place;
That creeping pestilence is driven away;
The breath of heaven has chased it. In the heart
No passion touches a discordant string,
But all is harmony and love. Disease
Is not; the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One song employs all nations; and all cry
'Worthy the Lamb, for He was slain for us!'"[2]


"Until the day break and the shadows flee away I will get me to the
mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense." The mountain of
myrrh must mean the cross for myrrh means "bitterness" and was used in
embalming the dead. As long as He tarries let God's people tent by His
Cross and feast on His great love. And frankincense has the meaning of
worship and praise. Let us worship and praise Him--"until the day
break and the shadows flee away."





Next: For Soon Shall Break The Day

Previous: When The Shadows Flee Away



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