“From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He” (John 13:19, NAS).
The spirit of Anti-Christ attempted to destroy Jesus at His first coming in Bethlehem, and that same spirit still mocks and lies to all who will listen about the certainty of Christ’s second coming. Jesus listed certain signs in the 24th chapter of Matthew which would signal the end of the age and His soon return to set up His millennial kingdom on planet earth. The Old and New Testaments record the certainty of His return to claim His bride, make an end to sin, and fulfill His covenant promise with Israel. Only God knows the hour and the day, but the past hundred years have seen more Jews and Christians slaughtered than in all centuries since the flood. Satan knows his time is short—but before this second coming of the Lord Jesus occurs—the sun must be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and stars will fall from the sky as the powers of heaven are shaken.
What Is the Second Coming of Jesus?
When Jesus first ascended into the heavens in a cloud, the angel asked those watching, “Why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:2-11, NAS).
Revelation 19:11-16, John tells us what Jesus invited him to see and record. Including this great and terrible Day of the Lord.And in 2019 believers watch the heavens and wait with great anticipation for our Lord’s second coming. But there are a number of events Jesus told us to look for before that Day arrives. A day when the heavens will open and King Jesus will lead a vast multitude to accompany His second appearance on earth. This time as the Righteous Judge and King of Kings.
Here are seven things to know about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
1. Jesus’ Message to the Churches
Jesus Christ unveils His warnings, reprimands, and promises believers who overcome—in those first century churches as well as today— Revelation 1-3.
- Overcomers will eat of the tree of life in the Paradise of God.
- Overcomers will not be hurt by the second death.
- Overcomers will receive some hidden manna, a white stone with a new name.
- Overcomers will have authority over the nations as Jesus rules with rod of iron and they will receive the morning star.
- Overcomers will be clothed in white garments and their names will not be removed from the book of life and Jesus will confess their names before the Father and His angels.
- Overcomers will become pillars in the temple of The Lord God and will have God’s name and the name of God’s city, and Jesus new name on them.
- Overcomers will sit down with Jesus on His throne.
The angel instructed John to write the things which he saw, the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.
“Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in in; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3, NAS).
2. What Comes First? – Apostasis
From Revelation 4 through 22, Jesus shows John, just like He said He would in John 13:19, what takes place after these things. Overcomers, believers, the church, are commanded to carry the gospel message until God says to His Son, “Go get my children.”
“Let no one in any way deceive you by any means, for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, NKJV).
Two events leap onto our radar screen—the falling away and the man of sin. Newer translations refer to this falling away as the Greek word “Apostasia,” defection from truth, revolt, apostasy. The next word describes the son of perdition . . . the Greek word “Apoleia,” ruin, loss, destruction, damnable. For centuries believers have hauled out their magnifying glass trying to predict who this man of lawlessness might be. But God’s Word says there will be no question of his identity when he appears. Those who search the Scriptures will know him by his actions.
Many churches have discarded portions of God’s Word they choose to ignore. At the writing of this article, some churches have discarded the Old Testament.
3. The Seven Seals as Judgments
If we attempt to form a prophetic timeline, the rule is to begin with events the Bible identifies. Revelation 6 takes John to the Throne of God, where Jesus is holding a book that is sealed. Jesus breaks the first of seven sealed judgments on the earth; and while we know the events are sequential, we don’t know the time frame between these judgments. The first four are know as the Four Horsemen who are assigned different judgments and destructions to be carried out on portions of the earth.
This first horseman goes out to conquer. The second goes out to take peace from the earth. Is it possible these first two horsemen have already gone out? Some preachers think so. The third horseman goes out, holding a pair of scales in his hand—hyper-inflation? Perhaps collapse of leadership and famine leading to a world-wide financial and political catastrophe and a global government becomes reality? A covenant with Israel and the building of the Jewish Tribulation Temple? All events that signal the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. Remember Scripture indicates there will be three-plus years of relative peace, while the Jews are allowed to begin their sacrificial system.
The final three seals usher in more catastrophic judgments and scenes, ending with events the Word says must happen before the Second Coming of Christ. Seal Six brings an earthquake, the sun becomes black, the moon becomes like blood, and the stars of the sky fall to earth. The sky splits apart like a scroll and men hide from the wrath of the Lamb . . . but all things have not yet been fulfilled. No, there’s much more to learn.
4. Two Witnesses Proclaim the Gospel
“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so, if any wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way” (Revelation 11:3,5, NAS).
While there is much speculation over who these witnesses are, Elijah is usually named as one of them. Think about this, we are the first generation where technology could allow this event to be seen, in real-time, worldwide in your living room . . . Revelation 11:9-10. No one is able to harm these two witnesses for three and one-half years as they preach the truth of the gospel. Can you imagine the circus the mainstream media will create?
Between the sixth and seventh trumpet this Anti-Christ will kill these two witnesses. They will lay dead in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days while the people celebrate their death. Then, God will speak… “Come up here.” And they will go into heaven in the cloud. At that moment 7,000 people in Jerusalem will be killed by an earthquake. The rest were terrified and gave glory to God.
If you’re creating a timeline, even during the destruction coming from the hand of God, He still extends His grace and forgiveness to those who will repent, turn, and follow Jesus. Meanwhile 10 kings are ruling the world. One of these ten, the little horn or Anti-Christ, gains greater power, and will eliminate three of these kings.
“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6 NAS).
5. The Trumpet Judgments
“When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them…another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer, and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne” (Revelation 8:1-3 NAS)
What a confirming message to believers. Through the centuries, King David confirmed God saves our prayers and our tears . . . now we see why. As these trumpet judgments unfold, we see another necessary thing coming from heaven that must happen before the second coming of Jesus Christ—hail, fire, and smoke, mixed with blood will be cast from heaven to earth. The first trumpet fulfills this prophecy.
Each trumpet judgment increases in intensity. God sends three Woes on those earth dwellers to accompany the remaining trumpets.
The scene abruptly changes between the sixth and seventh trumpet judgments as does the attitude of men and women who manage to survive. Revelation 13 tells of this leader—this beast who is killed by a fatal head wound then healed. He goes into the Jewish Temple, proclaims he is god, breaks His covenant and makes war with Israel. God gives him authority to act for forty-two months. And Anti-Christ’s false prophet sets up a cashless society where you must take a mark on your hand or in your forehead to be able to buy or sell. This mark, called “the mark of the beast” is the number of his name “666.” Those refusing the mark will be beheaded in this world, but those who take the mark of this beast will never inherit the Kingdom of God. They will spend eternity with Satan in the Lake of Fire.
6. God Doesn’t Forget His People
In the 11th chapter of Romans, Paul exclaims “God has not rejected His people, has He?” Then answers his own question. “May it never be.” Not then. Not now. Nor ever. Perhaps some of the reader confusion over the Book of Revelation could be cleared up if believers today understood which prophecies refer to Israel and which refer to the church. God’s covenant with Israel is irrevocable. If God could break His covenant with Israel—what would that mean for the church? God does not lie. Satan’s lie that the church has replaced Israel, called Replacement Theology, is heresy and so is trashing the Old Testament.
God will prepare a place in the wilderness for the remnant of the Jewish people and they will be cloistered in safety for three and one-half years where they will come to know Jesus is their Messiah and King.
Meanwhile God has prepared seven final bowls of His wrath to be poured upon this earth. And Chapter 16 of Revelation tells us about these last horrific judgments. With these bowls, the wrath of God is finished. But the Word tells us after each bowl is poured out, those still alive did not repent of their deeds. The last and final bowl, the greatest earthquake ever, splits Jerusalem into three parts, cities of the nations fell, huge hailstones about one hundred pounds each came down from heaven upon men, and they still blasphemed God.
“For I do not want you brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles as come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27, NAS).
7. The King Is Coming
In the horror of this scene, islands and mountains have fled away. Satan and his two beasts have lured the armies of the world to three battle scenes—one in Babylon where Satan’s armies, prompted by God, destroy Babylon. Then the devil of old and his armies invade Jerusalem and plunder the city and violate and kill the people. Tasting victory, he and his armies turn toward the wilderness, perhaps on the way to Petra where many believe that God is sheltering the remnant of His people. They get as far as the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and in that moment—
“The heavens opened, and behold a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war…and the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron…And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” (Revelation 19:11-16)
So, what are you and I supposed to do with all this information and these promises from God? This past week, my brother’s life on earth ended. For years he walked in rebellion to God, too busy with his own agenda to bow before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My heart is broken. Yet, I know many of you also have loved ones who, if they died tonight, would be separated from God forever.
Jesus gave you and me the instruction to share the truth of God’s mercy and grace, because of the blood and suffering He endured on Calvary—for all who believe and trust in His birth, death, and resurrection. Think of that glorious scene—the heavens open and King Jesus appears followed by all who have believed and trusted in His name. Will you and your loved ones be part of that first resurrection? Over these, the second death has no power.
“And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles” (Revelation 14:20, NAS).
Credit: DiAne Gates | BibleStudyTools Contributor