How Is It Taught In Scripture? And Why?
Contents: (selected chapters, more to be added later)
Footnotes Chapter 3:
But there is a very different theory of the coming of the Lord as the hope of His Church, which many teach, and which many more receive, as though it were unquestioned truth.
said that there shall be a secret coming of the Lord
Jesus Christ; that at this secret coming His believing people who are
graves shall be raised, and the living changed, and that a secret
the Church shall then take place; that this secret coming and secret
are our hope, and not the manifested appearing of Christ in the clouds
said that after this secret removal of the Church, the
full manifestation of human evil, for some years at least, will take
during which time shall be the display of the power of Antichrist, the
persecutions foretold in the Revelation, the extreme trials of Israel,
unequalled tribulation; and that at the end of this will be the
of Christ visibly coming with His Church in the cloud of glory.
is the doctrine of the secret coming of Christ, which
many now preach as if it were the acknowledged truth of God, instead of
being (as is really the case) that which at every point would require
not only is this doctrine of the coming of Christ not
taught in the Word of God, but if, in what has been previously said,
any point of truth, then this whole system stands in distinct
what the Scripture reveals. It is refuted by whatever speaks of the
conning in the clouds of heaven when every eye shall see Him, as being
but it was to this that the beloved Apostle responded, "Even so,
Amen:" by whatever speaks of events for which the people of Christ are
watch and wait, and for their right acting in which they have received
instruction-by whatever tells us of the last power of evil being
the Lord at His coming, and not before-and by whatever speaks of the
resurrection occurring after the last anti-Christian persecution, and
before. It is likewise contradicted by specific and individual
which, in simple testimony or in legitimate deduction, would be
conclusive to a
mind subject to Godís Word.
"Even thus amidst thy
O! Earth, shall this last coming burst on thee,
That secret coming of the Son of man;
When all the cherub-throning clouds shall shine,
Irradiate with His bright advancing sign,
When the great Husbandman shall wave His fan," etc.
Those who deny the Pentateuch to be a revelation given through Moses, have often pointed out the periods in the history of Israel in which the most plain commands of the law were set aside, either by neglect, or by direct and positive contravention.
Christ distinctly states a truth, it might have been
expected that at least those who profess to be His believing people
receive His words as conclusive; and thus it might have been thought
only who avowedly reject His authority would deny the force of what He
Now our Lord has expressly taught us that His coming shall not be
has told us this, not only by saying that it will be manifest, but also
warning against any supposition of such a secret coming as suits some
"Jewish" notions. After speaking of the unequalled tribulation, He
says, "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or
believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets,
shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible,
shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.
they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert, go not forth;
is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning cometh
the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of
of Man be" (Matthew 24:23-27). No man with these words in his Bible,
to accept the doctrine of any secret coming without feeling that he is
off, in so doing, the authority of the Lord; for this is done,
the warning of Christ is treated as if He had taught the very reverse,
if He had charged us to believe and expect what, in reality, He says
never be, and against the supposition of which He warns us.
 The advocates of the secret rapture well know that they are looking for what will (they suppose) be long prior to the kingdom;therefore do they put from them as their hope the Scriptures which speak of "the kingdom" and "the Gospel of the kingdom." But we are taught to pray, "Thy kingdom come;" and, lest this should be idealized, the next words are, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." This is not the point to which those look who expect to be taken to the Lord, and that then there will be a period in which Godís will shall be especially contravened on earth in all Satanic power and anti-Christian blasphemy. Therefore such act consistently in abstaining from the use of the petitions of the Lordís Prayer. But we may know assuredly, that any theory or principle which sets aside a distinct command of Christ is thereby proved to be erroneous. We can thus test what seem to be refined forms of doctrine.
"My children are not yet converted (it has been actually said), therefore they have not the hope of the rapture of the Church; but as Christ may remove me as one of His people any day, I have to make proper provision for them and their position in this world."
 Such persons often escape from the bearing of Scriptures on their consciences by calling them "Jewish." But let such be asked, Do you mean unbelieving-Jewish, or "Christian-Jewish?" If they say the latter, then must the persons to whom such Scriptures apply be part of the Church, as essentially so as the Ephesians were; if they say the former, then it may be asked them, How can unconverted Jews use any part of the New Testament at all? If an expression be adopted, and used without explanation or definition it may then afford a shelter for any ambiguity or fallacy.
The reasons for regarding "until the day dawn and the day-star arise" as a parenthetic clause, and for connecting "in your hearts" with what has gone before ("take heed in your hearts, ") are very strong; for what sense is there in the day-star arising in your hearts? If it meant any attainment in us, then it would indicate when we could do without the Scripture. The only tolerable objection that I have heard to the verse being thus read is, that prosecw in this sense is an elliptical phrase for prosecw ton noun, and that thus en taiV kapdiaiV is a most unsuitable addition. But, first, an elliptical phrase is often so used that the ellipsis could not be supplied without encumbering the sentence; and, second, "in your hearts" is a kind of adverbial expression equivalent to "inwardly." We may be told to direct our minds inwardly to Holy Scripture, because it needs that it be inwardly digested. "In your hearts" is similarly an adverbial expression in 1 Peter 3:15, "Sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts" ("inwardly sanctify Him"); if, indeed, there is not there a parenthesis, "Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled (but sanctify the Lord Christ) in your hearts." 1 Peter 3:21 is an instance of an expression remaining at the end of a parenthesis, connected in sense and construction with what has gone before: "save . . . by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" belong together; while "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience before God," is simply a parenthetic statement.
 Men, as men, have before them death as the wages of sin, and after that the judgment: believers instead of having death thus as the penalty to fall on them, look back to the cross where Christ bore their sins; instead of looking on to judgment, they look to the coming of Christ for salvation in its fullest and most ample sense.
Samuel Tregelles (1813-1875)
Plymouth, March 17, 1864.