The last days of history – Part 10
“For What Is Our Hope, Or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1 Thes 2:19)
“So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (1 Thes 3:13.
THESE two comings should not be confused. The scriptures that apply to one do not apply to the other. Not one passage refers to both events as if they were one. These two distinct comings are separated by several years and so, are not two stages or phases of one coming.
The rapture is the first of the two comings, not a coming to earth but in the air. It could not be the Second Advent, because Christ does not come to the earth to live here and fulfil a mission as He did at the first advent. When Christ meets the saints in the air, He takes them back to heaven with Him and presents them before the Father’s Throne, where they remain during the time the tribulation is running its course on earth (1 Th. 3:13; Jn 14:1-3). Christ does not remain in the air with the saints when they meet Him as in 1 Th. 4:13-17. The marriage supper and the judgment of saints take place in heaven. Then at the Second Advent after the tribulation, Christ and the saints leave heaven together to come down to the earth (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 19). The rapture is the time Christ comes for the saints to take them to heaven. The Second Advent is the time He comes to the earth to live here and fulfil a mission. This is the time He comes from heaven with the saints, having raptured them at least 7 years Z before. The Second Advent cannot take place until all of Rev. 1:1-19:21 is fulfilled, while the rapture can take place any moment without anything being fulfilled.
Jesus teaches on the Mount of Olives
Jesus Tells about the Future
(Mat 24; Mark 13:1-23; Luke 21:5-24)
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Mat 24:3,4,5)
Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the very place where the prophet Zechariah had predicted that the Messiah would stand when He came to establish His kingdom (Zech 14:4). It was a fitting place for the disciples to ask Jesus, when He would come in power and what they could expect then. Jesus’ reply emphasised the events that would take place before the end of the age. He pointed out that His disciples should be less concerned with knowing the exact date and more concerned with being prepared― living God’s way consistently, so that no matter when Jesus came in glory, He would claim them as His own.
24:4 The disciples asked Jesus for the sign of His coming and of the end of the age. Jesus first response was “Take need that no one deceives you.” The fact is that whenever we look for signs, we become very susceptible to being deceived. There are many “false prophets” (24:11, 24) around with counterfeit signs of spiritual power and authority.
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