Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Second Coming of Christ Pt. 1

We will now be studying the scriptures that concern the Second Coming. We have already seen one in Thessalonians, and there is a Psalm which speaks about God coming in His glory. We will examine that first and then we will go to the gospels to see exactly what Christ has to say about His return. Again, it is necessary to have your Bible in hand and to read the passages before reading the comments.

In Psalm 18 David is crying out to the Lord for deliverance from his enemies. The Lord’s coming in this passage deserves close examination as it is quite similar to what we have already studied. The pertinent verses are 7-15.

When God comes the following events occur:

The earth trembles and quakes.
The foundations of the world are moved (not only earthquakes, but this parallels the Day of the Lord verse where the earth is moved out of its place in the heavens).
He is angry
There is smoke and fire.
The heavens are bowed (moved out of the way or parted - rolled back like a scroll).
There is darkness under Him.
He is attended by cherubs.
There are dark waters and clouds about him .
His presence is brightness.
He thunders in the heavens.
There are hailstones and coals of fire (burning hailstones) and lightning.
The channels of water and foundations of the world are discovered (implies that something happens to the seas and lands of the earth.

Notice how these events correspond to the Day of the Lord signs. There are some here which will also correspond to events in Revelation.

Matthew 24 & 25

In this crucial discourse, the disciples ask Jesus “what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” When they asked Him, it was with the understanding that they were asking Him when He was going to come back to remain and reign. They wanted to know what the signs were that they could look for to signal them that the end of the age had come and that His return was about to take place. It is important to realize what their expectation was and what Christ told them so that we don’t read things into what He says that aren’t there. They did not conceive of a separate coming for believers apart from His Coming as King of Kings to punish the world and reign. This is very important to understand so that you understand these scriptures in context. Christ in His answer never indicates a separate event from His coming. He does not indicate in His answer that they are in any way wrong in their understanding of just one appearance. He instead gives them a list of signs to tell them what will lead up to His coming, and then He tells them what will happen when He does make His appearance. He will gather His elect. Some say the rapture is secret. Secret from whom? The disciples? Why would it need to be secret in the first place? Once He has come, it is too late for the rest of the world anyhow, so why would it need to be secret? It makes no sense. And would it be secret if a lot of people suddenly disappeared? Everybody has heard about this rapture theory. It is no secret. Why would He not tell the disciples about the rapture if it were separate from His coming? It’s illogical to think that he wouldn’t, and in fact He does tell them about the rapture. It is just that people refuse to accept that He is speaking about the rapture when He says He will gather His elect. If one stops and thinks, this is exactly how the disciples would have understood it. In the simplest possible way. Just exactly the way Christ says it, without interpreting it to mean anything other that what it says. The disciples would have understood that when Christ says He will gather His elect, He is speaking about them (or Christians). They would not have understood it in any other way, and neither must we. We have to understand it the way Christ intended them to understand it. And if one understands it in this way, it will be seen that it goes along with every other scripture on this subject without having to manipulate them.

These signs are given in a chronological order and must be kept in that order.

1st warning: Do not be deceived.

False christs will arise. There are numerous false christs in our generation alone.

Wars and rumors of wars. There are always wars going on somewhere.

This is not the end yet. In other words, we aren’t in the 70th week yet.

Nations (the word ethnos means nations and ethnic groups) and kingdoms will rise against each other. We certainly see that happening on an ongoing basis around the world.

Famine. We have seen terrible famines in places around the world.

Pestilences. Right now there is a panic about Swine Flu.

Earthquakes. They keep happening more often and are more severe all the time.

All of the above are called the beginning of sorrows. They are NOT the Day of the Lord, nor are they the time of Jacob’s trouble (tribulation such as the world has never seen).

Martyrdom of Christians. This has been happening since Christ died.

People will betray each other. This has been going on for a long time also.

False prophets will arise and deceive. Again, nothing new here.

The love of people (for each other) will grow cold. This is increasing as wickedness increases.

He who endures to the end will be saved. Notice that Christ says that the Christian will have to endure to the end to be saved. The very end is when Christ returns. Endurance (spiritual as well as physical ) is required as the times will be so horrific. The kind of endurance Christ is speaking about isn‘t just our living our selfish little lives in America in the lap of luxury while we escape any sort of trials and tribulation. 1 Pet. 4:17-18 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" We are warned that at the end judgment will begin with us. So what makes people think they will escape this purging and refining fire in which Christians will scarcely be saved. This does not speak well of Christians.

The gospel is preached in the entire world. Today with television and the internet there are few places on the earth where it hasn’t been, however apparently this is not complete yet as the next step which hasn’t occurred yet (at least to the best of my knowledge) is……

THEN the end will come. This is where Christ is telling us the 70th week will begin. So what follows is within the 70th week.

The abomination of desolation, spoken of in Daniel, stands in the holy place. We now know from Daniel exactly what and when that is. An image of antichrist is set up in the temple and he proclaims himself God. Notice that Christ never mentions a seven year peace agreement. Why would He not mention this if it were to be so public and so identifiable? Chances are, it might not be. The first sign that He indicates will be within the 70th week is the abomination of desolation. So indeed the rebuilding of the temple might be the first sign we see, as was speculated when we studied Daniel.

Those in Judea need to flee. Jews will flee for protection from antichrist, we will see this again in Revelation.

There will be great tribulation such as has never been since the beginning of the world to that time, nor shall there ever be again. Here is Jacob’s trouble. Take note that by Christ’s definition, the Tribulation begins after the abomination of desolation, the same as we found in Daniel. Therefore the Tribulation does not run seven years. It is not the same thing as the 70th week of Daniel. It is within the 70th week. Specifically it begins at the midpoint of the 70th week. This is according to definition by the scriptures themselves, not by my say so. So to call the 70th week the Tribulation period is an inaccurate use of the word. This inaccuracy leads to confusion and misinterpretation.

The days of the tribulation will be shortened. (won’t last for the entire 3 ½ years) for the sake of the elect. Christians are the elect. Rom. 8:33, Col. 3:12, Titus 1:1, 1 Pet. 5:13, 1 Thess. 1:4, 2 Pet. 1:10. We will see how and why the days are shortened in Revelation. This means that Christians should expect to be around during the tribulation. The disciples would have had no other understanding than this, that they were to expect that they might have to go through the tribulation or Jacob’s trouble if they survived that long. This is not because they are Jews. They are Christians, just like us. In realizing that the disciples would have accepted that they might have to go through the tribulation, we must accept that this understanding also applies to us. It doesn’t wash to say that it was a secret that wasn’t revealed to them. Paul’s understanding would have been the same as theirs. And what he writes goes along with this belief if one will approach the scriptures with a logical and straightforward exegesis.


  1. Dear Connie,
    At the time of the Olivet discourse, the church was a mystery. Paul said it was a mystery revealed to him years later. Therefore, it MUST have been a mystery at the time Jesus spoke. Therefore, Jesus was not speaking of the church at all. He was speaking to Jewish men about the end of their age. How would they have understood? Only by what was written in old covenant. That there was coming a time called Jacob's trouble.

    Please not that it was not "Paul's trouble!" No, it was trouble related to Jews. It was still old covenant at the time Jesus gave this teaching. Therefore it is a great mistake to read anything of the Gentile church into the Olivet discourse. That was not what Jesus was speaking about. It is a great mistake to try and find the rapture of the Gentile church in scriptures speaking to Jews about Jews, and their final week.

    Paul was the ONLY apostle that received revelation knowledge about the rapture, so if we want to learn about it, we must get it from Paul's letters. I say this with one minor exception.

    The exception? God in His great mercy showed John the great crowd in heaven, too large to number, just before the 70th week is to begin - exactly when Paul tells is the rapture would take place.

    This is no mystery, but it takes rightly dividing the word of God.

  2. My answer to this is longer than will be accepted as a comment post, so I am putting it in as a post with the studies. It will be the next post on the archive list.