60 Seconds with the General Secretary Oct/Nov 1974
THE KING IS COMING — make no mistake about it! Bumper stickers announce it,
Christians anticipate it, and The Bible declares it!
but — the King has come before. Long ago wise men came from the East asking, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews …” (Matt. 2:2). Concerning the King’s first coming, the inspired penman wrote, “In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son . . .”
World Peace, Roman roads, Greek culture and Religious anticipation all combined to make it the “fullness of time”. The atmosphere created by the peace, the travel permitted by the roads, the communication enabled by a common language and the restlessness engendered by a religious vacuum consorted to assist the servants of the King in the heralding of His message. God never reacts to history, He superintends it. When everything was ready, “in the fullness of time”, He sent His Son into the world. To expect the eternal God to do otherwise when He sends His Son to our planet a second time is inconceivable. Everything will be ready, all will be in order. It will be “the fullness of time” when the “Day Star” appears again.
Three divine programs must run their courses before the King returns to the earth (this does not infringe upon the imminency of the Rapture of the Church).
First, God must consummate His program for the institutional church (in contrast to the true Church). Christendom’s history can be summed up in one word — FRAGMENTATION. Since the beginning of this age, the church has fragmented. The Roman Church, the Eastern Church, Protestantism and denominationalism all are evidences of this fragmentation. Toward the end of the age, prior to the King’s return, fragmentation will be replaced by unification. A super apostate church, world-wide in scope, is to emerge (Rev. 17). Many see the World Council of Churches as the forerunner of the super apostate church.
Secondly, before Christ returns God must consummate His program for the Gentile nations. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. the “Times of the Gentiles” began. This period was to be characterized by Gentile domination over Jerusalem. The Babyionians, the Greeks, the Medes and Persians, the Romans and, at the end of the age, the revived Roman Empire were all to hold sway over Jerusalem (Daniei 2, 7). Jesus said, “Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Luke 21:24). The first four empires have come and gone. Recent events in western Europe suggest that the revival of the Roman Empire may well be on the horizon – the last Gentile world power before the King returns.
Thirdly, God must consummate His program for Israel. Long ago God said through His servants, the prophets, that Israel would be scattered among the nations of the world. The same prophets foretold their restoration to the land in the latter days. Miraculously preserved, Israel became a nation in May 1948. Today, about one-fifth of world Jewry is back in the land.
The stage is being set Sensitive ears can hear the movement of the furniture. The 70th and concluding Week determined upon Daniei’s people is approaching.
God’s program for the institutional church, the Gentile nations and Israel gives every evidence of heading toward consummation. We are nearing another “fullness of time”.
THE KING IS COMING!
Warmly yours in His certain triumph,
Marvin J. Rosenthal