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JESUS – His Life and His Coming

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E have been celebrating the birth of Jesus. The power and Spirit of God are felt here at this time of year as we commemorate the birth of Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. It is a glorious thing to celebrate His birth; but His birth would not be so important if there had not been some­thing marvelous that followed His birth.

We lose sight of Jesus soon after His birth, until we find Him twelve years later in the Temple talking to the doctors of the Law, confounding them with His answers and questions. He is again lost sight of until John the Baptist saw Him walking along the Jordan river one day as John was baptizing the people. John looked up and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Jesus came to be baptized of him, and John said, "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" Jesus answered, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:14, 15).

John baptized Jesus in the water, and Heaven opened and the voice of the Father in Heaven spoke and said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Immediately the Spirit took Him up into the wilderness where He was for forty days and forty nights, tempted of the devil. We have read of His temptations; He was tempted in all points like as we are.

There are only three channels, when you sift it down, whereby men are tempted and overthrown by the devil: the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Jesus was tempted on all these points, but, thank God, He triumphed over all of them. After forty days up there in the wilderness, fighting the devil, He came back in the power of the Spirit, and He began to preach and perform miracles. His fame went out through all the earth.

I believe that is why we are celebrating the birth of Christ, because of the wonderful miracles and the manifestation of the power upon His life as He went through all Judaea. The sick were healed; the lame were walk­ing; the blind were seeing; the lepers were cleansed; the dead were raised; and captives were made free. There was something about Jesus that caused everyone with whom He came in contact to have respect for Him. It put faith in those who were honest and looking for something real. Multitudes came to Him. They flocked to Him.

John was soon out of the picture entirely. He was beheaded, as we know, because of his straightforward preaching. Jesus took up the same Gospel and began to preach repentance throughout the whole land. We thank God that that same Jesus is still working in the hearts of men today.

I thought about what John saw that day on the Isle of Patmos when God rolled back the heavens and gave him that wonderful sight of the things that were to come.

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in right­eousness he doth judge and make war" (Revelation 19:11).

We think of Jesus not only as the Savior of the world, born in Beth­lehem, but we worship Him as the High Priest of our profession. At this time He is our High Priest, sitting at the right hand of the Father on High, making intercession for us. But He is coming back to this earth again. His next appearing to all the world will be as King of kings and Lord of lords. Pilate wrote over His head on the cross, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." But, thank God, the next time He comes He will not be the King of the Jews only, but He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He shall reign from sea to sea, and all the world will fall down and worship Him. That is what we are looking for.

But we know something else is going to happen before that time; and that is the rapture of the people of God, the saints of all times, the full overcomers, the Blood-washed pilgrims of God; those who are asleep and those who are alive when He comes back again.

"The dead in Christ shall rise first:

"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

That is going to be the next great event that will take place in this world. The people of the world will not see Him; millions will never witness His coming. The only ones who will see Him will be the overcomers, the saints of God. Why? Because they are looking for Him and longing for Him. And they know that He is coming again, because of what He told them.

He said that it was expedient that He go away, and if He went away He would come again. He also said

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a. place for you.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2, 3).

He is going to prepare a place for us. We thank God for that; we thank God for the faith that we have in the belief that Jesus Christ is what He said He was: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He never uttered a falsehood. We can depend upon what Christ said, and stand on it, in spite of all the combined powers of hell, in spite of all infidels and false prophets and lying preachers. What He promised will come to pass! He said, "I will come again," and He is going to come again!

Those words were spoken to His disciples. He was not talking to the world. He was not talking to those who were not going to be ready, for He said that He would come and receive them unto Himself. He is not going to gather sinners to Himself; He is going to gather the righteous — the people who are overcoming by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, those who have made their peace with God and have passed from death unto life and have their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Those are the people He is coming for.

When He comes it will be in the twinkling of an eye, in a moment. There will be no time for anyone who is not ready to try to get ready; for it will be so quick and so instantaneous that it would startle you. .More than that, it will startle a lot of people who are not ready. They will wonder what it is all about! It will happen so quickly! It will be as the Word says:

"In that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

"Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

"Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left" (Luke 17:34-36).

It will be a surprise when it comes — that shout from Heaven. Those who are not ready probably will hear the noise, and think what some did when the Father spoke to Jesus, on one occasion. At that time they said that it thundered. But Jesus knew differently. He knew the voice of His Father; and the people of God will know the voice of their Lord and Master, for. He said His sheep would know His voice. When He speaks they will re­spond. They have been listening for that voice. Their ears have been tuned to the voice of the great Emancipator of their souls, and they are looking for that great moment when He shall call and they shall hear and respond; and they will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and shall ever be with the Lord.

Then, after the overcomers are up there with the Lord, we know what is going to take place here on this earth. That is the time the Anti­christ is going to be manifest. His spirit is in the world today, because the mystery of iniquity already works. The antichrist spirit we find on every hand today — rebellious men and women, false christs and false believers. But the archfiend himself will not be revealed until the translation of the Church takes place, not until His Bride is taken out of this world to meet Jesus in the air. When that takes place, the Word tells us, the Wicked One will be manifest and he shall come with all signs and lying wonders, and he will deceive the very elect, if possible.

We thank God that we are .walking in the light and have the Spirit of Christ in our soul. We are not going to be deceived. Paul said, "We are not ignorant of his devices." If we want to make the goal we have the privilege to do so. If we keep our ears tuned to Jesus and know the still, small voice, we can always detect the right voice. We can always detect the siren's voice also — if we are walking in the light and want to make the goal.

Jesus is coming as the King of kings. We read here:

"And he was clothed with a vesture clipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Revelation 19:13, 14).

Now these are the armies that are in Heaven. We know who these armies are that He is talking about. He is talking about those who followed Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. The Word of God never mentions angels being clothed with fine linen, white and clean. Those who are "white and clean" are His people on this earth.

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder­ings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Revelation 19:6-8).

These words are not spoken of the angels, but of the saints. These saints have been translated out of this world and are up there with Jesus. During this time the tribulation has about come to a close. Preparation has been made to return to this earth again. Jesus has His saints gathered and He has put them on white horses. He now heads the army and comes back to this earth. Every eye shall see Him and those that pierced Him, and they shall mourn because of Him in that day. It will be a great revelation. All the world will know Jesus, and all the apostate Jews and everyone else will realize that they have been misled and deceived by the devil, and their poor souls are lost.

We praise God for the Gospel that gives us light and understanding on these things. He said that He is going to come again and receive us and that we are going to reign with Him a thousand years on this earth. But first He is going to clear out the rebels, and overthrow all principalities and powers and dominions. He will clean up this earth and take the curse off it — get rid of the asylums, the penitentiaries and jailhouses, and everything that is of the devil's work. Yes, and He will put the devil in chains and cast him into the bottomless pit where he belongs, and set a seal on him — God's seal — for a thousand years. The devil, with the Anti­christ and the false prophet, will be cast into the lake of fire. And then our Lord is going to turn us loose on this earth and say to us, "Help yourselves." There won't be any "No Trespassing" signs; there won't be any San Jose scale on the fruit trees; and there won't be any of the scourges that we have to fight all the time. God is going to make a wonderful world out of this earth for a thousand years, for a wonderful people who have faith in Him, for those who did not take this prophecy as a fantastic story, but believed every word of it.

My friends, what a privilege we have to make ourselves ready for that glorious and wonderful day when the Lord will come! I am sure God has many here who have determined that they are going to make the goal, regardless of the price. We find out that the price is not always revealed at the beginning of our race in this Gospel. That is the reason so many, down through the years, have lapsed back and gone into sin. They came up against a price; but I believe an honest soul does not regard the price, but he says, "Lord, any price; no matter what the price, when it comes I will pay it." Such souls are true to God and they keep their promise; they do not lie to God. If God shows them something to line up on, some price they need to pay, they say, "Lord, I have opened my mouth; I told You I would pay it, and I will."

If you get that kind of spirit you are going to make Heaven; you are going to get up there, and you are going to escape the tribulation. You are going to reign a thousand years with Jesus on this earth. You are going to have a wonderful time! Not only the saints who are alive and remain, but all those who are in their graves.

We thank and praise God that some day we are going to see those who have gone on before: our dear, precious Mother who founded the Apostolic Faith and gave her life for it, and all those ministers and faith­ful workers who have gone on before and are just waiting on the other side until we make ourselves ready.

The Bride is to make herself ready, and when she is ready then the Lord will come. It is not because of the sinners that God is withholding this event. No! He is waiting for the quota of the Bride to be made up, and when that quota is full and the Bride has made herself ready He is going to come.

This world's cup of iniquity is running over right now. This world is headed for judgment right today, and it would have that judgment if the Bride of Christ were ready.. The Word says, in James, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" (James 5:7). He is waiting for the Bride to get ready for the glorious coming of Jesus.

I pray that during these meetings consecrations will be made and lives will be dedicated to God. Just say, "0 God, make me ready and put me on the firing line; put 'dynamite' in me and a burden for a lost world." And at the same time, purpose in your heart to walk in the straight and narrow way, living for Christ every day. We have a wonderful hope!
By Rev J. Robbins

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