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The Second Coming of Jesus
No one knows exactly when, but according to the words of Jesus, Ap. Paul, King David, Isaiah, Malachi, Daniel, Hosea
it will ΝΟΤ be anytime soon and certainly NOT in our own lifetime because
many significant Biblical prophecies are NOT yet fulfilled
God’s purpose through the Gospel of the Kingdom has NOT yet been accomplished
A Bible Study to equip us with the Truth of the Scriptures about the Second Coming of Jesus which will be when all that has been written of Him will be fulfilled
Some introductory, opening statements, to set the tone of this Bible Study
-> God did NOT create the world for the purpose of ending it – so let us stop talking about the end of the world, and start thinking about why God created the world and what He expects of us, for which purpose He created us (that is both, generally, and specifically, why He made us new creation in Christ Jesus)
-> We still have A LOT OF WORK to do before we complete our assignment on Earth – as God’s Royal Priesthood, a people that God purchased to Himself by the Blood of Jesus to fulfill an eternal purpose, which is also why He created the world
-> The “Great Commission” (“make disciples of all nations” – Matthew 28:20) will not be complete before “the fullness of the Gentiles” has come in – even though no one knows what is the full number of the Gentiles, Apostle John in Revelation clearly describes that they will be from “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” – we are very far from reaching that destination – and so the Second Coming of Jesus is also afar off…
-> Eschatology (the theology of the end of the end-times) is NOT a part of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which Jesus came to preach – so let us stop talking about the ending of the end-times (which may be a fascinating subject that excites, but does not reveal Christ, does not build Christ-likeness, and does not bear any fruit for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ) and do our job: disciple the nations with the Gospel that Jesus taught
-> Israel..! – we cannot have any serious discussion about the end of the age before we know and understand what Apostle Paul said about Israel, and what Jesus said to Israel – and when we do, we shall no longer have any interest in speaking about the end…
The Bible speaks of ‘the Second Coming of Jesus’ which is shown to be ‘the end of the age’ (usually translated as ‘the end of the world’)
The Bible teaches that at ‘the Second Coming of Jesus’ there will be the ‘rapture of the people who have the seal of the Spirit’ (usually known as ‘the rapture of the Church’).
Knowing and believing in ‘the Second Coming of Jesus’ is a very important theological precept for every Christian. At the same time, as Jesus warned His own disciples in regards to ‘the end of the age’ : “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Mat.24:4).
There is a lot of deception on this subject, caused by ignorance of what the Bible teaches us about these things – which is why I decided to do this study to equip the believers with the biblical Truth.
One of the greatest issues and resulting deceptions of our generation of Christianity has been the fascination with the “end of the world” and the resulting misinterpretation of the Scriptures related to it. Some of the major issues associated with that are:
-> we have integrated the “rapture” in our theology of the Gospel
-> we have used the “rapture” as a threat to cause fear to Christians
While it is true that we are called to live holy lives worthy of our calling, any teaching that is based on the principle that ‘we must make ourselves ready for the rapture’ is like saying that we must first make ourselves holy, before Jesus will forgive our sins.
Any teaching based on “self-sanctification” nullifies the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and establishes a mindset that Christians need to make themselves holy through their own ability and strength based on “works of sanctification” – which is: works of the flesh, empty legalism and dead religion.
To associate the rapture of God’s people at the end of the age with the life of holiness and sanctification, is the equivalent of saying: “if you eat healthy food and exercise a lot, if you take care of your body and sleep well, then you will be ready to die” (…!!!)
‘The Second Coming of Jesus’, and the ‘rapture of the people who have the seal of the Spirit’ at ‘the end of the age’ is NOT a part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is only:
-> what God has announced that will be THE END of the era of the Gospel
[which is the era of the Ecclesia, which will come to an end when the fullness of the gentiles has come into the Kingdom of God]
This is just a simple announcement which does not afford any further discussion or theological debates – it is a mere future EVENT which no man can influence in any way!
No one goes to a musical or a theatrical show to watch THE END; no one starts playing football for the purpose of ending the game; no one gives birth to a child to watch it die. While the end always FOLLOWS, it is never A PART of the process of life.
But some Christians have so made the “rapture” a part of the Gospel, that they even use it as a tool for evangelism… (!!!) NO ONE will EVER come to Christ because of any preaching of some imminent rapture! That is NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Even if people decide to become religious out of fear of the rapture, that is NOT the result of repentance of sin, and fruit of loving God, but just to spare their lives from the “danger” – that is NOT how anyone will be sealed by the Spirit of God for salvation.
God has informed us about the end, and has given us a purpose, a vision, a dream, a work to do while we are here on Earth, so that His purpose of creating the world may be accomplished, as we walk in the works which He has prepared for us:
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
These are NOT works of sanctification, will NOT “buy” holiness and will NOT affect the rapture – these are works that fulfill the purpose for which God sent Jesus to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. When the purpose of the Gospel has been fulfilled, then the end will come – Jesus will return, rapture His people and the end of the age will come.
When His disciples asked Him “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3), Jesus responded, after He said ‘be careful not to be deceived’:
“This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14)
His disciples also asked Him about the times of God, and the response of Jesus makes clear to us that no one knows the exact dates (e.g. of when the end will come).
Acts 1:6 … when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
If I may paraphrase this conversation to put the emphasis on the works of the Gospel of the Kingdom that we are called to walk in, it is like this: the disciples wanted to have the piece of information that causes fascination to everyone “when will it happen”?
And Jesus said: “that is not your business – your business is to take the power of the Holy Spirit that will come upon you and go do the work for which I have called you – and that is to take the Gospel of the Kingdom to the ends of the earth and make disciples”.
[and… when THAT is complete, when the work is done, then the end will come]
Jesus is still saying the same thing today to His people:
-> it is NOT your business to be talking about the end of the world or keeping your minds fascinated with fantasies about the rapture – I did not give you the power of the Holy Spirit so that you can make yourselves holy by dead works of religion – you are already holy, otherwise you would not have the Holy Spirit – which I gave you to empower you to work for my Kingdom by representing Me and teaching other disciples to observe the same commandments which I gave you – as it is written:
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In this Bible study we shall examine various prophecies which indicate strongly that the end of the age is not any time soon, and most likely NOT in our own lifetime (that will be in future articles). But for now we need to ask ourselves this question:
-> have we already made disciples of all the nations of the Earth?
Important point so that we may understand the words of Jesus (the “Great Commission”)
In the Bible a “nation” is NOT a country (sovereign state). E.g. we read in Acts 2:5 “Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven residing in Jerusalem”. They all lived in the same Roman Empire, and were all under the sovereign authority of Rome, but they were not ethnically Romans.
Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen but was not a Roman; he was ethnically a Jew. An “ethnos” is not defined by Passport, but by bloodline, language, culture, etc.
The word “nation” today in English language is used out of context, when in the USA they claim that they are “One nation under God” – no they are not… they are one country, actually more of a modern expression of what used to be the Roman Empire than a country, comprising many nations “under heaven”.
In like manner, the Pakistanis who live in the UK are UK citizens, but they will never become English, very much like the Welsh, Irish and Scotts never became English!
The significant inference here is that there are still many “ethnos” (ethnic groups in isolated geographies without access to modern civilisation) in many countries in the world who have NEVER heard the name of Jesus, nor that there is even a religion called “Christianity” (e.g. in Iran, in China, and elsewhere).
According to statistics of Missions Organisations, about 40% of the world’s population today have never heard the message of the Gospel – that is over 3 billion people!
Therefore reality shows that we are still a long way before we have completed our assignment on the Earth, which is to disciple all the nations of the Earth according to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God – this is another important point here that we shall only mention briefly (even though it is very important but not for now): making disciples according to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, has NOTHING in common with preaching a “gospel of salvation” – which bears additional witness to the following fact:
While Islam rules over territories and peoples
where making disciples of Jesus is not allowed
the Second Coming of Jesus is NOT going to happen
As we shall see in later articles of this study, the prophecies of King David, Isaiah, Malachi and Hosea bear additional witness to the fact that Jesus will not come and the rapture will not happen while Islam is still in power. The inevitable fall of Islam is further confirmed by a prophecy in Daniel about the end of times (as we’ll see in later articles).
In spite of such significant prophecies of the pre-Christ scriptures, as we shall examine in depth (probably in Part 2 of this study), the strongest witness that Islam will not be in power comes from Apostle Paul, who has given us the most powerful testimony and description of the events preceding the end of the age.
While the Bible does not give any indication of any dates
it provides strong evidence of the process that must be completed
before the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of the age
What the Bible says about the Second Coming of the Lord
Matthew 24:1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” 3 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…
…14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Acts 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house (dwelling, i.e. the body of flesh), this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house (dwelling, i.e. the heavenly body) not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation (i.e. the heavenly body) which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed (i.e. with the heavenly body), that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
A note about the (false) prophecies that speak about the imminent rapture
How is it that we come to the place of having prophetic words in serious churches, which define dates of the rapture, or prophesy that the rapture is imminent in the foreseeable future?
The easy answer is, “they are false prophets” – but according to the Scriptures there are certain conditions for someone to be tagged as a false prophet. What happens usually in that regard, is that believers who deliver prophecies that “miss the mark” are good people, who do not have bad intentions or ulterior motives; for the most part, they are not sold to the devil, they do not worship other spirits, and they are not worshipers of the occult or Darkness in any form.
They are not there to deceive anyone!
So why do they miss the mark, even to the point of giving specific dates for the rapture, when according to the Biblical timeline that is nowhere in sight in our generation? It is obvious that they are deceived, but why?
After years of observation and experience in the prophetic, I have come to the following conclusion:
What manifests through prophetic words in a church is always a fruit of the prevailing teaching, which develops a certain spiritual atmosphere which permeates in that church.
So, you will never hear a prophecy about the rapture in churches where the prevailing spiritual atmosphere is that of (hyper-)grace, or of the so-called “Prosperity Gospel”.
Prophecies that miss the mark concerning the rapture are mostly (only?) delivered in churches where other forms of deception have taken over, which are not as profound and obvious, for those who are not experienced in the Bible.
The two prevailing deceptive teaching streams which cause innocent but inexperienced and immature believers to bring forth prophecies that miss the mark are:
(1) where the (partial) “gospel of individual salvation” has replaced the biblical Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (whereby believers think that Jesus died just to save their souls – they have no awareness of the eternal purpose of God and of the powers of the age to come, which define the wider dimension of God’s Kingdom).
(2) where the teaching on sanctification is based on the works of human strength and religious discipline, instead of the supernatural transforming power of the Holy Spirit through genuine repentance and honest humility (whereby believers think that God is in a hurry to snatch us out of this sinful world so that we may get away from the tribulation and the temptations of the devil, and be spared of the danger of losing our salvation too…)