Bible study: Rapture of the Church and 2nd Coming of Christ
|But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.|
There is a lot of discussion about the first (Rapture of the Church) and second Coming of Christ. There are theologians who say that there is only one Coming of Christ and that the believers are going through the Great Tribulation. Personally I cannot image that God will let undergo believers, who accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, pass through the Great Tribulation. The difficulty is namely the fact that theologians who say that there is only one Coming, also claim that the believers will dwell on earth and not in the New Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is not clear in this matter. These theologians say that we will meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds and then return with Him to earth and then to reign as kings during the one-thousand year Kingdom.
The other group, who explain 1 Thessalonians as a first and Revelation 14 as the second Coming of Christ. Why ? Paul addressed his letter to Thessalonians who are believers in Jesus Christ, so a letter clearly intended for believers. In Revelation, John starts addressing his letters to the seven churches, for believers in Christ. And then continue the revelation which he received in vision about the final times, which I primarily see as provision towards Jews and unbelievers.
At the first Coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4) those who have fallen asleep in Christ, will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. To leave the transitory earthy (sinful) body and to receive in an indivisible moment a imperishable heavenly (sinless) (body angels alike) to be with the Lord for ever (in Heaven).
It might continue as follows:
On earth stay all those, who were nor reached by the gospel as well as all those who have heard the gospel, but did not personally accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Possible too the believers who did not live under the control of the Holy Spirit (the five foolish virgins, Matthew 25). If the latter is going to proclaim the gospel, we do not know. The Bible speaks only of the rest of her (God's) offspring "on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus" (Revelation 12:17b). If the offspring means: the Jewish people; and those who bear testimony of Jesus are those who heard the gospel but did not accept Jesus, is a question. Revelation does not give a further explanation.
One thing is certain, these time of tribulation (see Revelation chapters 6-19), will be a hell on earth with all sorts of dreadful things.
After this Great Tribulation, Satan is bounded for a thousand years and those who were killed, and have nor received the mark of the beast, will be resurrected from death (Revelation 20:1-6), and they with Christ will reign as kings over the people, who remained from the great tribulation. Of this means that the believers who were already taken into Heaven (born-again) return with Christ to earth and also will reign as kings on earth, we do not know.
After the thousand years, Satan is released for a very short period, he is allowed to seduce man one more time. In the end, all dead are resurrected, and all will be judged before God's throne (Matthew 25:41).
Finishing that the old earth and old Heaven are abolished, and the New earth and New Heaven are created (Revelation 21-1-3). This new earth will no doubt be many, many times bigger than the old earth to accommodate all people (who are nor reached by the gospel, and have not received the mark of the beast, from Creation unto the final judgment) who are resurrected. Presuming that the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will live in the New Heaven, where they received a heavenly body angels alike.
|Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a||place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.|
|The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother must marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.' Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and||third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, to which of the seven will she be wife? For they all had her as wife. But Jesus answered them, You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.|
What does this mean ?
The Lord Jesus says that after the resurrection (at the coming of Christ), believers receive a new heavenly body like the ones that angels have. Angels have no (male or female) gender, so the believer shall receive an asexual body. Also Jesus states that in Heaven there is no marriage. Marriage ends with death.
Yes, it might be so.
Well, considering the signs today.
First there is again the nation Israel, which was founded in 1948 (fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:7, 22). In 70 after Christ, In Jerusalem the temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were dispersed over the whole world, and consumed with the world nations (but with their typical outward characteristics of a Jew, they still are set aside). Now since 1948 God begins to gather and bring back His people to Israel. And from 1948 onward from all nations in the world, the Jewish people are returning to the nation Israel: the bones, the muscles are already there and the skin is growing, but the spirit is not yet in them. The Jewish nation is still attempting in its own power, without a convert to God (the Father and the Messiah), without confessing sin, still under the law of Moses.
In 2018, the nation Israel celebrated her 70-years existence. After many wars, now they independently (without God's assistance) try to make peace with their enemies and neighbours.
Secondly, the lawlessness increases, Satan gets more and more influence:
- Man is seeking his resources in licentious, drugs, partner-switching, free sex, house-parties, etc.
- Man becomes more and more tolerant towards sin, abortion, homosexuality, marriage between homosexuals, euthanasia, etc.
- The believers are sly misguided by yoga in the churches, and searching in magnetism and acupuncture for healing.
- Man is withdrawn from Christianity towards Islam, Buddhism, all kinds of sects, and occultism.
Thirdly, nowhere in the Bible prophesies I am reading about people living in space or at the moon or planets. NASA intends to have living people on the moon within 10-20 years, especially now they found a ice-polar on the moon. My conclusion is that it will not come so far. In the Bible we well read about the meteorites which shall fall upon earth (is it possible that these are the many satellites we have at present in the sky?).
Fourly, in the psalms a generation is 70 or 80 years. Jesus speaks in Matthew 24:34 that this generation will not pass before all the things are fulfilled. Calculating 1948 (begin of the state Israel) + 70 years = 2018 or 1948 + 80 = 2028 (or if we need to to diminish the Great Tribulation of 7 years, possible 2028 - 7 years = 2021). Remember that Jesus says that nobody knows the day and hour. However, this might mean that Jesus gives an indication about the year.
For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to
Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.
This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then he will say to those at his left hand, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels".
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them".
Then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land.
So I (Ezekiel) prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath. Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host. Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel.
And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the LORD".
The second coming of Christ is spoken by Jesus at many places in the Bible. Jesus spoke using many parables like the Bridegroom who is coming. That is not surprisingly, since in the Old Testimony, Israel was considered to be the Bride of God, ((Isaiah 61:10) Hosea 2:15, 18).
Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
And then if any one says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. False Christ's and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my spirit. And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son". And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God".
From these Bible verses it will must be clear that is spoken of the coming of Christ, as the Son of Man, after the Great Tribulation. That is when all man on earth is able to see Him. They really are able to see Christ, not like at present: Jesus Christ is hidden (only noticeable to Christians), living in Heaven, to where He has risen.
The purpose is the destruction of the nations who went to war against Israel (at the end of the Great Tribulation). And to destroy the pagans and all those who have accepted the mark of the Beast. Dead people will be resurrected from death and Satan will be bound for a thousand years, after which Jesus Christ will found is one thousand years Kingdom. At the end of the thousand years, satan will be released, to seduce man one more time, and then it will become public if the individual person chooses for God or for Satan. Those who choose for God will live on the New earth (which will be created after the thousand year Kingdom). Those choosing for Satan, will with Satan be condemned to the lake of fire for eternity.
Consider well, that here is spoken about the Jewish people, unbelievers and pagans. NOT about those who accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, the born-again under control of the Holy Spirit, they are (personal view) already taken away at the first Coming of Christ (invisible to the world) to Heaven.
First after the Great Tribulation and thousand year Kingdom, the latter will life in the New Heaven.
Behold, a day of the LORD is coming, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in the midst of you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his (Jesus Christ) feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east.
And has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog en Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is THE SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire; and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The word of the LORD came to me (Ezekiel): "Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.
After many days you will be mustered; in the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land where people were gathered from many nations upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste; its people were brought out from the nations and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. "Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme and say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages; I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates'; to seize spoil and carry off plunder; to assail the waste places which are now inhabited, and the
people who were gathered from the nations, who have gotten cattle and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to seize great spoil?' "Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, you will bestir yourself and come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army; you will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
Since 1948 the Jewish people return (from all over the world) to their original habitat, the nation Israel, where they had lived until in 70 after Christ, they were driven out by the Romans at the destruction of the temple. Despite they are now already living in Israel for 70 years, they are still enemies with their neighbours. All over the world there is a lot of hatred against the Jewish people. Not before the foundation of the thousand year Kingdom, there will become peace, then Satan is chained. And the Lord Jesus Christ will reign as King and then the Jewish nation will live peacefully in their own nation Israel.
In this thousand years Kingdom, also the pagans (and resurrected pagans from death) will experience how it will be to life under the reign of God. This is a time of peace without any seduction of satan and his fallen angels. And everyone can and will do what his/her heart is telling him/her to practice.
After this thousand years, satan is released and everybody can freely choose for Satan or God. Then will be revealed what really is living in a person's heart, evil or good. They who freely choose evil, will side Satan and make an evil attempt and with Gog pull up against Jerusalem (the navel of earth). Then all those, who are living on earth (out of many cities and many nations with satan) and alll those who are against God, will pull up against God's people Israel and fight a huge battle. But, then God will show the whole world who is in charge. And Satan, his followers and all those who chose his side will be defeated and be thrown into the lake of fire.
After this final and last battle, the old earth will cease to exist, and the pagans and Jewish people who have chosen for God, will be judges upon their works and will live on the new earth. A new earth is necessary, since the old earth is too small to accommodate all person are born during (7) thousand years from creation onward. A new earth without seas or oceans, and a New Jerusalem.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away. And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new". Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true". And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death".
|I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of||righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.|