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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 3


4. The Patient Waiting



The ground of escape from "the hour of trial," which was to be so terrible, was stated to be "the keeping of the word of the patient waiting for the Spirit." The importance of this word may be estimated by the severity of the chastisement for its neglect. The coming of the Spirit-Man is the thing waited for; and the teaching which creates this expectation is "the word of the patient waiting for." Wherever the truth was received as the result of divine teaching, the earnest and joyous expectation of the return of the glorified Jesus became a prime article of faith. This appears from many places in the New Testament. When Paul went to Thessalonica he proclaimed the royalty of Jesus, and his return to rule the whole habitable -- that there is another King than Caesar, even Jesus. Many of Caesar's subjects believed him; and, in consequence, threw away their idols, and waited for his coming. In writing to these in after years, Paul said, "Ye turned to the Deity from the idols to serve a living and true Deity; and to wait for his Son from the heavens, whom He raised from among the dead, even Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath." This became to them a matter of hope. They waited for it, and were taught to do so with patience and endurance. It is, therefore, termed "the patient waiting of the hope of our Lord Jesus Anointed," in 1 Thess. i. 3. In both these epistles the apocalypse of Jesus occupies a prominent place. It is expressly mentioned at the end of all the chapters of the first with many important accompaniments; and, in 2 Thess. iii. 5, he says, "the Lord direct your hearts into the love of the Deity, and into the patient waiting for the Anointed." They had become impatient, supposing that the day of his appearing was at hand. But Paul corrected this error by telling them that it would not come to pass until the consummation of an Apostasy, which would be perfected under the Man of Sin: and that, when this power should be fully matured, then the Lord Jesus would be apocalypsed to destroy it, and be glorified in his saints. All who are "taught of God" understand this, and earnestly desire the event; because they know that there is no salvation till He appears. The promises are to those who love his appearing. Paul teaches this distinctly. "There is laid up," says he, "a coronal wreath of righteousness for all them who love his appearing;" and in another place he says "to them who look for him he shall appear a second time without sin for salvation" (Heb. ix. 28). Only those who are watching and prepared will share in this salvation.




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