Series 17


The Shining Pathway
by Francis Dixon

(Key verses: 2 Peter 3:3-4)

All unfulfilled prophecy in the Word of God is bound up with the personal, bodily and visible return of Christ, and in this study we shall examine the testimony of the Word of God to the truth of His return. The question in 2 Peter 3:3-4 is very significant; it is asked by the scoffer, but we shall ask it, and seek to answer it, so that we may realise the weight of testimony that scripture gives to the certainty of our Lord’s second coming. Our key verses speak of something we are to know and be sure about; something that relates particularly to the last days, the closing days of the Dispensation of Grace immediately prior to the Lord’s return. Peter tells us that there will be scoffers in the last days. So, anyone who scoffs at this truth is fulfilling prophecy, He tells us what the scoffers say. They say: “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” – and there are seven answers to this question:-

1. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the Old Testament?

The 39 books in the O.T. can be divided into: (1) the 5 books of Moses, called the Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy); (2) 12 historical books (Joshua to Esther); (3) 6 books of poetry (Job to Song of Solomon, and Lamentations); (4) the 16 books of the prophets (Isaiah to Malachi). Concerning all these books we read – 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, and in each of these four groups we find the promise of His coming. For example:-

GENESIS 3:15 “You will strike his heel” refers to the first advent and was fulfilled at Calvary, where our Lord Jesus was crucified for us. “He (the seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus) will crush your head” refers to the second advent and to our Lord’s final overthrow of Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 20:1-3).
GENESIS 5:24 Compare Hebrews 11:5 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
GENESIS, chapters 22, 23 and 24 Abraham (a type of God the Father); Eliezer, Abraham’s servant (a type of the Holy Spirit); Isaac (a type of the Lord Jesus); and Rebekah (a type of the Church, the Bride).
GENESIS 41:45 Joseph (a type of Christ) during his rejection took a Gentile bride (compare Acts 15:14).
GENESIS 49:10 No comment needed!
1 SAMUEL 16:11 A picture of “Great David’s greater Son.”
2 KINGS 2:11 Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
JOB 19:25 Compare Zechariah 14:4 and Acts 1:11.
PSALMS 22, 23 and 24 Psalm 22 was prophetic of His death; Psalm 23 is true of the believer now; Psalm 24 awaits fulfilment.

The prophecies of Isaiah to Malachi are full of the promise of His coming. They were not all fulfilled at His first advent; they await fulfilment when He comes again. The O.T. is full of the promise of His second coming!

2. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the four Gospels?

In the Gospels our Lord frequently spoke of His second coming. For example:

MATTHEW 16:27; 24:3,27,35,36,37,44; 25:1-10.
MARK 13:24-27.
LUKE 19:11-27; 21:25-28.
JOHN 14:1-3; 21:21-22.

Thus, in many of the clear statements made by our Saviour, and in some of His parables, we have the promise of His coming.

3. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the Acts of the Apostles?

There are two particularly important references:-

ACTS 1:9-11 The testimony of the angels is very important because they were right at His birth (Luke 1:28-33; 2:8-14) and at His resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8).

ACTS 15:14-17 Verse 14 is what God is doing today. Verses 16 and 17 await fulfilment.

4. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the Epistles of Paul, James, Peter, John and Jude?

PAUL: 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Titus 2:11-13.
JAMES: James 5:7-8.
PETER: 1 Peter 1:10-11; 5:4; 2 Peter 3:3-4.
JOHN: 1 John 2:28; 3:1-2.
JUDE: Jude 14.

5. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the Apocalypse?

The Book of Revelation does not make sense if you take from it the promise of His personal return; the whole message of the book is summed up in Revelation 1:7; 22:7,12,20.

6. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the Lord’s Supper?

See the last three words of 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Whenever we take the bread and the wine we are reminded of the promise of His coming.

7. WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING – in the heart of the true believer?

Look up Revelation 19:10. What is the testimony of Jesus which we have within us? Look up Revelation 22:20. Does your heart thrill as you read the promise of His coming?