Notice that He comes two different times.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth. (Psalms 96:12, 13 NKJV)
The Psalmist wrote this before either of Jesus’ advents. From his perspective, both future, but from ours, only one is yet to come.
The Jews were looking for the reigning, judgmental Jesus and they totally missed the man acquainted with grief and sorrows who bore humanity’s sin. No, he became humanity’s sin.
The space between “for He is coming” and “He is coming to judge the earth” was when He tabernacled in the form of a man and dealt with humanity’s temptations and faced them off successfully. It was there that His Father served as High Priest laying humanity’s sin on Him and He felt the ultimate rejection when Father turned His back on Him.
The space also allowed for His body, his church, to rise to the fullness of His image. At the end of that, the Antichrist will fulfill his duty of the ages, bringing the end of the space to His Second Advent.
Jesus is not returning as the humble babe in a manger. He will no longer be the silent lamb – He’s coming back the Lion of Judah with fire in His eyes.
- His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire Rev 1:14 • His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. Rev 19:12
- He is coming to judge the earth and he will do that by first judging the world with righteousness and the people with truth.He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. Rev 12:48
The word that will judge then, sanctifies in the space between the advents.
- Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17
The God with fire in His eyes will see the Antichrist and his armies defeated and tossed into the lake of fire. Satan is bound for a thousand years, then released, defeated and then cast into the lake of fire as well.
Where the church age in the space between the advents is characterized by grace, the Second Advent period is characterized by judgment.
Spaces, times, or dispensations—they all reveal a facet of God. God is bigger than grace or truth. He is both and then some. He has so much to deliver—it comes in loads.