By David Schnittger
The Bible presents Yahweh God as both transcendent and immanent. By transcendent, we mean that He stands beyond and is unaffected in His essential being by the circumstances of earth and the universe. By immanent, we mean that He is, at the same time, concerned and intimately involved in the affairs of this universe, and, in particular, with mankind. As such, God has chosen to be responsive to man’s actions, whether judging and punishing sin and unbelief, or granting merciful intervention in response to man’s repentance and faith. It is the latter subject that we will explore in this series of articles. We have already looked at the Exodus intervention under Moses as well as the Babylonian Captivity intervention under King Cyrus. We have also dealt with the Nineveh intervention under the prophet Jonah. In the successive chapters we have looked at the American Revolution intervention under George Washington and the Dunkirk intervention under Winston Churchill. We have also looked at the Second American Revolution which, I believe, is still in progress. Today we conclude our study by looking at the most dramatic divine intervention that will occur at the second coming of Christ.
AN UNLIKELY PERSON
Though we, as believers, revere the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as history’s only God-man, the general public disdained, mocked and rejected Him at his first advent. For example, Isaiah states, in this regard:
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isa 53:2, 3).
The apostle Peter spoke of the dual response that the Lord Jesus provoked during His first advent. Borrowing language from Isaiah 8:14, Peter stated:
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, beings disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed (1 P 2:7, 8).
Nowhere is this rejection more evident than in the response of the Jewish leadership and the multitude they influenced at the trial and judgment of Jesus. Matthew stated:
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is Called Christ? . . . But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified . . . His blood be on us, and on our children (Mt 27:20-22).
It is not until the Second Advent, when Christ appears to the remnant of Israel, that the Jews recognize that this unlikely person is, indeed, the Messiah. Zechariah documents this:
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zech 12:10).
AGAINST THE RESISTANCE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
The intervention of Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation comes in His triumph over the resistance of the establishment. By the midpoint of the Tribulation, Satan has consolidated control over both the economic and religious systems of the day. We read of this in Revelation 13:11-17:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell herein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Ad he causeth all, both small and great rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the east, or the number of his name.
Satan’s strategy with fallen humanity has always been consolidation. Since his failed attempt at Babel, he has been working tirelessly to create a one world government, united in their rebellion to Yahweh. At the midpoint of the Tribulation, he almost succeeds.
IS GOD’S AGENT TO AFFECT DELIVERANCE
Despite Satan’s consolidation plan, involving both a one world economic system and a one world religious system referred to as MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Rev 17:5), Christ, at His second advent is God’s agent to affect deliverance. We read of that dramatic deliverance in Revelation 19:11-15:
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. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothes in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighy God.
Christ will personally destroy Satan’s New World Order by the imposition of irresistible and overwhelming divine force! He does this in response to the cries of His people.
WHEN A NEEDY PEOPLE CRY OUT TO GOD IN DESPERATION
As we have seen in each of the previous examples divine intervention always comes in response to needy people crying out to God in desperation. Whether it be the groans of the Hebrews under the lash of pharaoh, or the day of prayer during England’s darkest hour, God has respect to the desperate cries of needy people. The cry of the Christian martyrs during the Tribulation is recorded in Revelation 6:10, 11:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them: and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
THE PATTERN OF DIVINE INTERVENTION
What factors do we see in the second coming, and does this fit the pattern that we have observed in previous divine interventions? I believe it does:
An unlikely person against the resistance of the establishment is God’s agent to affect deliverance when a needy people cry out to God in desperation.
Thus, we see, both in biblical history and in church history, a consistent pattern of divine intervention. This should not surprise us, as God is always true to His nature and true to His promises. Unlike us, God acts in absolute consistency. All of this should motivate us to follow the admonition of 2 Chronicles 7:14 so that we may continue to see a mighty working of God during this, the Second American Revolution.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chron 7:14).