His Return, the Times
The Day of Christ; when He returns for the Church will culminate the fullness of the Gentiles. The church of Christ will be taken.
Jerusalem are still being trodden over by the Gentiles. The end for the them will not occur until the Wrath of God is poured out on the Earth. When the fullness of the Gentiles has come, the blindness of the Jews to Christ will have ended as noted here.
Michael has stopped protecting God’s people and the Great Tribulation has begun. During this time of tribulation, the dead in Christ will arise and God’s people will be delivered.
And at that time shall Michael stand up,
the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:
and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was
since there was a nation even to that same time:
and at that time thy people shall be delivered,
every one that shall be found written in the book.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth
shall awake, some to everlasting life,
and some to shame and everlasting contempt
~ Daniel 12:1-2
But woe unto them that are with child,
and to them that give suck, in those days!
for there shall be great distress in the land,
and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword,
and shall be led away captive into all nations:
and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
And there shall be signs in the sun,
and in the moon, and in the stars;
and upon the earth distress of nations,
the sea and the waves roaring;
~ Luke 21:23-25
All these things define the end of the Gentile church and the beginning of God’s wrath and His dealing with Israel.
The Apostles and Jesus teach about His return and warn against doctrines of a secret coming or eminence.
We are taught repeatedly that certain things must happen to Jesus, the Apostles’, and in our lives before Jesus returns.
What Must Happen First
Jesus told us of many things that must happen before He returns. The last command given to a living apostle was one of them.
And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand,
and ate it up;
and it was in my mouth sweet as honey:
and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
And he said unto me,
Thou must prophesy again before many peoples,
and nations, and tongues, and kings.
~ Revelation 10:11-12
The above instruction was given to John, while writing the last books of the Bible: (1, 2, 3 John and Revelation) on the Island of Patmos. He was to leave the island, go to many people, nations and kings, and prophesy to them.
Jesus could not come before these events occurred. There is no logic in eminence or a secret coming given the natural flow of scripture lived out by the church.
Jesus is tarrying and will not come until the last prophesy that hinders Him comes to pass so all scripture can be fulfilled.
Things will be so so dark, unlike anything we have known. The thought of it caused Jesus to pause and ask, “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?“
This future will be a time when those who do not fear God, or regard humanity will rule over the world. Sin will abound and the love of many will wax cold. This I believe is the grand part of the great falling away that must take place before Jesus returns for His church.
The book of Revelation was written about 94-98 A.D., after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
This makes the Book of Revelation a book about future events since it speaks about Jerusalem with a temple that has not been built yet.
This is another event that must come to pass because this is where the Abomination that causes desolation occurs – The Man of Sin who is revealed.
Therefore, a temple must be built some time in the future before Jesus returns.
What else did the apostles and Jesus teach about things that must come to pass before his coming?
The Warning of Deception
Almost everywhere they teach of Jesus’ return, they also warn against eminence or a secret coming. This should be enough to prevent this doctrine from growing in the church. But it has not.
We are given many examples of sin or wickedness in God’s people foreshadowing our own sinful ways. Take this one in 1 Corinthians for example.
Neither murmur ye,
as some of them also murmured,
and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for our admonition,
upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth
take heed lest he fall.
Let us look at warnings from Christ and Paul.
Then if any man shall say unto you,
Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall shew great signs and wonders;
insomuch that, if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect.
Behold, I have told you before.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you,
Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth:
behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east,
and shineth even unto the west;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Jesus said that there was to be no secret second coming. He gave a strong and repeated warning, Behold, I have told you before. His coming would be seen by the whole world.
Jesus also said the the bible had to be completed, published, and given to all nations.
He also said that the Holy Spirit would provide for all His followers needs, and that families would rise up against each other to kill one another (in the Great tribulation) before he returned.
And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up,
take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak,
neither do ye premeditate:
but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour,
that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak,
but the Holy Ghost.
Now the brother shall betray the brother to death,
and the father the son;
and children shall rise up against their parents,
and shall cause them to be put to death.
~ Mark 13:10-12
The Blindness Doctrine Brings
Many Christians have dismissed some of Jesus’ words. I did this while attending churches that taught doctrines that do not mesh with a consistent collaboration of the whole of scripture.
Pertaining to this subject, the rationale I was given by my teachers was that Jesus was speaking only to the Jews.
We were told by the Jesus and the Apostles that the warning of Great Tribulation was for everyone, Jew and Gentile.
Immediately after describing the tribulation of the saints, Jesus told us who it was for:
Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh,
at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing,
or in the morning:
lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you
I say unto all, Watch.
We are commanded by Jesus to watch, pray, and be ready. This is our calling. We must not be deceived by the teachings of the world around us. Many evils will arise among nations, but we are not to be troubled:
We are to look for
- the falling away,
- the Man of Sin standing in the temple like God,
- and great signs in the heavens.
We must use every word Jesus’ and the Apostles gave us to ensure that all the principles of the O.T. and N.T are in harmony in our lives according to all His holy commands.
Let me give one brief and potent example of how we as a church have willingly and purposely dismissed parts of scripture we don’t understand, that don’t fit within the paradigm of our thinking, or our doctrine.
I will not try explain the verse here. It will take too much space and is not a part of this subject. If you like, you can read some of my other posts, which address this subject in more detail. Please let the Holy Spirit be your guide.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin;
for his seed remaineth in him:
and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother.
For this is the message
that ye heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another.
~ 1 John 3:9-11
This is a holy subject to be consecrated in our hearts and minds through humble prayer and the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit. May He have His way in your heart beloved.
A Brief Glimpse into the Glass
When Jesus ascended to heaven in the presence of the 11 apostles, two angels came and reinforced Jesus’ teaching about His return or second coming.
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven
as he went up, behold,
two men stood by them in white apparel;
which also said, Ye men of Galilee,
why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
this same Jesus,
which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner
as ye have seen him go into heaven.
~ Acts 1:10-12
Two things of note: The Apostles were steadfastly looking toward heaven. We are commanded to do the same: watch, wait, and be ready for His return.
There is no excuse when we die; now, later, or at His coming if we are not found obeying as He commanded.
Also, the angels were adorned in white apparel symbolizing God’s purity and holiness. We are to adorn ourselves in God’s purity and holiness.
One day some of us will see Him descend from heaven as He ascended but He will not be alone.
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel,
and with the trump of God:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
There is nothing secret about this return. It will be glorious for those in Christ.
This is the Day of Christ, which initiates the Day of the Lord, or the Day of His Wrath.
This was explained by Daniel the Prophet, Jesus, and the Apostles.
We are to be ready at Jesus return to Earth, the second time to gather His church at the fullness of the Gentiles.
Things That Must Come to Pass
Paul speaks throughout the book of Thessalonians of Jesus return.
Like Jesus, he warns of the deception of a secret second coming that was being taught.
Here he explains what must first occur and not to be deceived.
Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
who opposeth and exalteth himself
above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;
so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,
shewing himself that he is God.
~ 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
There were also other things discussed in scripture that must come to pass before Jesus returns. This included Paul’s death.
I think it is abundantly clear that eminence was not taught anywhere in scripture. There are only warnings against this false teaching being brought into the church.
I strongly believe that the secret coming or pre-tribulation rapture is a sort of palliative measure to facilitate the death of a church that is already in its death throws and soon to fall away more completely under the deceptive velvet lining that covers the iron fist of the coming Anti Christ.
Why? Because this view does not prepare the church to be ready for the things to come; to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”.
Here is the prophesy of Paul’s death.
And as we tarried there many days,
there came down from Judæa a certain prophet,
And when he was come unto us,
he took Paul’s girdle,
and bound his own hands and feet, and said,
Thus saith the Holy Ghost,
So shall the Jews at Jerusalem
bind the man that owneth this girdle,
and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
~ Acts 21:10-11
This happened at the hands of Nero, the Gentile king, approximately 35 years after Paul’s ministry began.
Surely, all the epistles he wrote before this did not teach Jesus could come before he died. He knew himself how he would die, and this before Jesus returned.
Jesus also told us what the world would be like shortly before His coming. He foretold how His church (O.T. and N.T.) would be gathered all over the Heavens and Earth.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened,
and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from heaven,
and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,
and they shall see the Son of man coming
in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels
with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they shall gather together his elect
from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other.
~ Matthew 24:29-31
Who is this Exhortation for?
Jesus warned us that He will come quickly to judge or save us.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent.
~ Revelation 2:5
Here we are told that we must continue in the works given us when we were first saved, namely, to continue growing in Christ in sanctification and holiness and to avoid even the appearance evil.
Please don’t ignore this as I once did. If we are to avoid even the appearance of evil, how much more are to to avoid any and all sin?
This is because only sin needs repentance. Perfection in the growth of holiness in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit does not.
We are to expect tribulation. The Great Tribulation is a specific time of trouble that will be greater than any other time on Earth.
This is not God’s wrath. Satan knows his time is short and prosecutes God’s people with great wrath.
Jesus cuts this Great Tribulation short at the opening of the 6th seal, when prepares the 144,000 Jews.
There is a sudden great multitude seen in Heaven, which no one could count, (I believe this describes the raptured church).
Then the 7th seal is opened and God’s wrath begins to be poured on the Earth described as trumpet judgements, woes, last plagues, and vials of wrath.
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal,
and, lo, there was a great earthquake;
and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,
and the moon became as blood;
and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth,
even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs,
when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the heaven departed
as a scroll when it is rolled together;
and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men,
and the rich men, and the chief captains,
and the mighty men, and every bondman,
and every free man, hid themselves
in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
and said to the mountains and rocks,
Fall on us,
and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb:
for the great day of his wrath is come;
and who shall be able to stand?
~ Revelation 12:6-17
The great signs in the heavens precede the Coming of the Lord. This is found nearly everywhere Jesus coming or Day is described.
Thanks be to the Him we are not appointed unto wrath but unto salvation. He already gave us two examples of to expect: Noah and Lot.
And he said unto the disciples,
(Are you one of His disciples.
Here is the litmus test)
The days will come,
when ye shall desire to see one of the days
of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
(There will come a time
when His followers will long to see Jesus
because things will be very bad.)
And they shall say to you, See here;
or, see there: go not after them,
nor follow them.
(The warning of a secret coming of Christ.
We are not to heed what they say
nor follow after their teaching.)
For as the lightning, that lighteneth
out of the one part under heaven,
shineth unto the other part under heaven;
so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
(In the Day of Christ, when He returns,
those that lose their life shall preserve it
and be taken or gathered together with Him.)
But first must he suffer many things,
and be rejected of this generation.
(Like Jesus, we are expected to suffer
persecution, trial, and tribulation.
This is what is wrong with the church today.
It is not being purified by persecution.
Its perspective has become distorted
through pleasure and ease.)
And as it was in the days of Noe,
so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
They did eat, they drank, they married wives,
they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
this is what it was like
and will be again.)
And God saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth,
and that every imagination
of the thoughts of his heart
was only evil continually. ~ Genesis 6:5
The earth also was corrupt before God,
and the earth was filled with violence.
And God looked upon the earth,
and, behold, it was corrupt;
for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
~ Genesis 6:11-12
(Here God is talking about those who corrupt His way.
This includes the modern church
corrupted by sin. We, along with the world
will have fallen away from His ways.
The fruits of sin and compromise
in the hearts of Christians
causes great mourning.)
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot;
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold,
they planted, they builded;
(The world will have a sort of peace on Earth.
Probably after some great world wars. . .
As noted by Paul below,
these are the times and seasons
when the Lord comes for us
and brings His wrath.)
For when they shall say,
Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them,
as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness,
that that day should overtake you as a thief.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:3
but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom
it rained fire and brimstone from heaven,
and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day
when the Son of man is revealed.
(This is what it is going to be like
when He comes to deliver the righteous
and begins to judge the wicked.)
In that day,
he which shall be upon the housetop,
and his stuff in the house,
let him not come down to take it away:
and he that is in the field,
let him likewise not return back.
Remember Lot’s wife.
Whosoever shall seek to save his life
shall lose it;
and whosoever shall lose his life
shall preserve it.
(In that time of evil, even more so, now!,
hide yourself in Christ.
Do not love the things of this world.
Set your mind things above.
Love, Holiness, Purity, Godliness,
Humility, Righteousness, and Justice.
All that is of and in
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
should be in you.)
I tell you,
(Jesus is telling all of us who read His word,
especially His disciples,
Jew or Gentile, as noted in Mark 13:37.)
in that night there shall be two men in one bed;
the one shall be taken,
and the other shall be left.
Two women shall be grinding together;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two men shall be in the field;
the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Both Lot and Noah were delivered from God’s wrath at the very end of an evil age or time when God decided to bring judgment and cleanse that evil and wicked era.
Watch, pray, and be ready. It is coming again. For the world must next be prepared for the 1,000 year reign of Jesus and His saints.
The last thing Jesus teaches here is in the time of that darkness, some of us will be gathered together unto Him, and the others left for God’s wrath because they were not His children.
Except the two witnesses and the 144,000.
Along with discussion of the second coming, Paul in Thessalonians speaks of the tribulation of the saints as a sort of chastisement or righteous judgment of God toward his people because there is a need for us to be worthy of His holy calling.
so that we ourselves glory in you
in the churches of God
for your patience and faith
in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
which is a manifest token
of the righteous judgment of God,
that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God,
for which ye also suffer:
Wherefore also we pray always for you,
that our God would count you worthy of this calling,
and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness,
and the work of faith with power:
Are you ready?
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
~ Romans 14:10
Are you pure in heart?
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
. . . see that ye love one another
with a pure heart fervently:
Will you be able to stand?
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand
in the evil day,
and having done all,
Fully arm and prepare yourself Brethren.
The times ahead will be troubling,
the world hates the holiness of God.
His purifying love is a salve to our hearts.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them,
and judgment was given unto them:
and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded
for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God,
and which had not worshipped the beast,
neither his image,
neither had received his mark upon their foreheads,
or in their hands;
and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead lived not again
until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:
on such the second death hath no power,
but they shall be priests of God and of Christ,
and shall reign with him a thousand years.
~ Revelation 20:4-7