1. Lo, He comes the Mighty Victor, seated on His glorious throne;
Jesus, our beloved Saviour, has returned to take us home.
Holy angels ride forth with Him: splendid sight! A countless throng!
Heaven’s armies with their Captain, praise Him with triumphant song.
2. Once a painful crown, all thorny, pierced the Saviour’s sacred brow;
But a diadem of glory rests upon His temples now.
Ev’ry eye beholds His beauty, not a Man of Sorrows now;
King of Kings, in all His glory, ev’ry knee before Him bows.
3. All the earth quakes at His coming. Awesome day! Who can endure?
Only those who have proved faithful to the Master’s holy Law.
They, and those who sleep in Jesus, are caught up to meet their Lord;
Thus they shall be always with Him, who on Earth they have adored.
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This hymn is not strictly an “Early Adventist” text, as it was written by some members of our church in New Zealand. But it is definitely on the theme of Christ’s Second Coming, and so finds it’s place in this section.
The comparison is drawn between Christ as the triumphant king, adored by all the angels and heavenly powers, versus His treatment on earth, when He was crowned with thorns, a sign of the curse.
This shows the vast difference between what God and heaven regard as “kingly” and what is counted as praiseworthy by the majority upon this earth. Christ was not recognized nor honored as a King when upon this earth because He did not match what sinful human nature desires in a king.
But His pure spotless character, His humility, His utter separation from and abhorrence of sin, His perfect obedience: these were the very things, in heaven’s sight, that qualified Him to be a King.
Are these the things that people desire today? No, not really. Most people, including religious people, want a King who saves them from their outward troubles and pains, and overlooks their defects of character. Most common expositions of Bible prophecy end with Christ coming down and crushing or burning up His enemies with flames of fire. This is exactly the kind of king that the Jews wanted when Christ came the first time.
32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.
They wanted a king who would not be humiliated unto death, because they did not want to identify with that kind of character. That was not the kind of king or kingdom they wanted. And it is still not the kind of king that fallen humanity, religious or not, wants. If Christ could not save Himself from suffering and death, then He couldn’t save them from the same. And the flesh does not want to suffer and die…that makes no sense to it at all. It is “foolishness.”
So, just as it was at His first coming, so it will be again, most will not be prepared for to honor Christ as King, and will not be prepared for His kingdom. But those who follow Him in His humiliation, suffering, and separation from sin, will certainly be ready.