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To view this in formatted version click on the title or copy/paste the link below:

http://mailchi.mp/223a8f8b27de/jesus-coming-back-1334713?e=[UNIQID]

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When is Jesus coming back? Part 3

‘The time is near I am coming back quickly’

 

Why did Jesus say those words 2,000 years ago but has not returned yet?

What does the Bible say about God’s timeline of the end-times?

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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
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To read the previous articles click on the links below

Part 1 – The Second Coming of Jesus
http://mailchi.mp/9529344d2920/jesus-coming-back?e=[UNIQID]

Part 2 – ‘The Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’
http://mailchi.mp/4b950b68d2b9/jesus-coming-back-2?e=[UNIQID]

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Concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, Apostle John wrote:

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come’! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
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Revelation 22:1 Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the broad street of the city. The tree of life was on both sides of the river, bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, 3 and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His slaves will serve Him.

4 They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever. 6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show His slaves what must quickly take place.”

7 “Look, I am coming quickly! The one who keeps the prophetic words of this book is blessed.”

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward [is] with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, [the] Beginning and [the] End, the First and the Last.” 14 Blessed [are] those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!

And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely

20 He who testifies to these things says,
Surely I am coming quickly” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.

(a few verses skipped for brevity and focus)

The same Lord who spoke to Apostle John has continued through the generations to speak the same words to many of His people in many churches “The time is near”, and, “I am coming quickly”!As He spoke in the early days to some of the churches in Asia Minor (Rev. 2:5, 2:16, 3:11), so He has continued to testify also in our generation through many prophetic words, visions and dreams, through many people.

There is NO DOUBT the Lord Jesus is coming back quickly!I am one of those who have heard these words from the Lord who said to me “I am coming back quickly”. We have also received the same prophetic word through other people in our ministry (at Shalom Center Athensand so we also proclaim it!

 

While there is NO DOUBT that the Lord wants us to be alert, watchful and full of expectation of His Second Coming, the prophecy of His imminent return never included the annulment or cancellation of everything else that was written by other Apostles and Prophets in the Bible.

 

As much as we believe in the imminent return of Jesus and respond according to the Scriptures “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”, we are also called to be disciples of Jesus who study the Scriptures with a teachable spirit, so that we may have knowledge with understanding of everything that was given to us in writing by the Holy Spirit.

 

God’s Truth is never established by one isolated prophetic word, dream or vision apart from the revelation and witness of the Scriptures, nor by elimination of every other prophecy and Apostolic teaching that does not fit in our desire for the Second Coming of the Lord to happen quickly.

 

Here are the words of Apostle Peter which help us bring some balance and understand with the right spirit what Jesus meant when He said “I am coming back quickly”.

2 Peter 3: 4 …, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”

…8 Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

(a few verses skipped for brevity and focus)

The Bible shows that the return of Christ
would be considered late by earthly standards

 

Just before these words from verse 4 above, Apostle Peter explained in verse 3 the reason that he wrote them – that scoffers would come in the last days who would scoff concerning the Second Coming of Jesus saying “Where is the promise of His coming?”

 

Therefore the Bible foresees that the return of Jesus will not happen as quickly as we perceive it through the limitations of our human lifetime, and that what is perceived as delay by earthly years would lead to extreme responses – on the one end some saying “He is coming NOW!” and on the other end some scoffing “Why has He not come yet?“.

 

Therefore the Bible forewarns us that
-> the imminent return of Christ needs to be understood within the context of a sound mind without fantasy or doubt

 

So Apostle Peter started that part of his letter by saying:

2 Peter 3:1 Dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written to you; in both letters, in which I want to stir up your pure minds by way of reminder, 2 so that you remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles.
Then Peter continued to explain that we should not really think that the imminent return of Jesus would be “quickly” according to a man’s understanding of time, but according to God’s way of understanding time:

With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day”!

 

As Apostle Paul has also written several times about the need for a sound mind (e.g. Rom 12:3, 2 Cor 5:13, 1 Tim 3:2, 2 Tim 1:7, Tit 1:8), in like manner Apostle Peter also made reference to the need for a “pure mind” and clarified the mindset with which we are called to receive the alertness and hastening in regards to the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

He made clear the purpose of his words – that
we should be diligent to be found without spot and blameless
by means of holy conduct and godliness

2 Peter 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
Remember the Bible prophecies
when it comes to the Second Coming of Jesus

 

As we read in verse 2, Apostle Peter said “remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets”. Even though he did not make any specific references, it is clear that he referred to all the prophecies received through the Old Testament holy prophets.When we look at the prophecies of the Old Testament related to the end-timesthere is a prophecy that spoke about “days”; so, even though Apostle Peter did not specify which prophecy he had in mind, the reference to “a day that is like a thousand years” leads us to the following words of Prophet Hosea:

Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2

After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight
.

3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter [and] former rain to the earth.

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Note on “He will raise us up” – Septuagint: “we shall be resurrected” (ie. from the dead)

When we apply Peter’s “mathematical” principle to Hosea’s prophecy, and interpet the ancient Hebrew with the additional light of the early Septuagint translation, we read…

After two thousand years He will revive us;
during the third millennium we shall be resurrected,
that we may live in His sight

In our generation we have the privilege of knowing that the first part of Hosea’s prophecy was fulfilled when Israel was re-born (“revived” as Hosea had writtenabout 2000 years after the resurrection of Christ (starting in 1948 with the re-establishment of the state of Israel, and, continuing the process in 1967 after the 6-day war with east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which were annexed to the state of Israel in1981).

We take note that Hosea did NOT say “after three days”, but “on the third day” (i.e. during the third millennium) which can be anytime in the process of the period of 1000 years that we have already entered after the revival of the state of Israel.

Therefore let it be clear that NO ONE knows the date, however God has already given us a general sense of the timeline of the end-times, but without any specifics. What we know is that the Second Coming of Jesus will happen some time in the next several hundred years and up to a thousand, because Hosea said:

-> “on the third day we shall be resurrected” – so this Bible prophecy says that Israel will be resurrected from the dead… hmmm… “life from the dead” – those were also Paul’s words about Israel:

Romans 11:15 For if their being cast away [is] the reconciling of the world, what [will] their acceptance [be] but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit [is] holy, the lump [is] also [holy;] and if the root [is] holy, so [are] the branches…

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;  27 For this [is] My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”  

 

So, we don’t know the times, but we know that Israel will be saved when God takes away their sins because of His covenant with them, and that will be the time of the resurrection from the dead that Hosea saw that is going to take place at some point during “the third  day”, i.e. the third millennium since the resurrection of Christ.

Meanwhile, we spoke about some of the things that may happen in the process of this new millennium in last week’s article Part 2 where we studied the prophetic words:

-> of Isaiah about the Middle-East,

“there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria”
“there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt”
“the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD”
“Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria–a blessing in the midst of the land”

-> of Apostle Paul about Israel,
ALL ISRAEL shall be saved
after the fullness of the gentiles has come in

-> of Jesus to Jerusalem,
You shall see Me no more until you say
Blessed is He who is coming in the Name of the Lord’”

So the words of Hosea about Israel “we shall be resurrected that we may live in His sight”, is likely what Paul had in mind about the “salvation of all Israel” which he said would be like “life from the dead“. In a way it was like he was quoting Hosea.

 

Also the words of Hosea that “Israel will live in His sight” could be more accurately translated as “Israel will live before His face“. That brings to mind the words of Apostle John in Revelation 22:4 (at the start of this article): “they will see His face” about those who will be with God. In that sense the words of Hosea (also) tie the Second Coming of Jesus with the nation of Israel.

In closing, we may consider that Hosea’s words in verse 1 affirm and seal the prophecy not as something conditional or potential but as final act for which the Lord has already decided and spoken concerning Israel:

He WILL heal us”, “He WILL bind us up

 

So we believe that Jesus is coming back quickly (but not soon), so that we may remain alert and diligent to live holy lives, and also believe that all the Bible prophecies about the end times shall be fulfilled before we come to the closing part of God’s timeline for the era of the Ecclesia (which is the dispensation of the New Testament when the Gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached to, and will make disciples of, all the nations).

The closing part of the end times, according to many Biblical prophecies and words of Jesus and His first Apostles, is when Israel will receive Jesus as their promised Messiah.

 

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