The Second Coming starts the final feast called the feast of Tabernacles.
It is a seven day feast that ends in a high Sabbath and celebrates our living with God.
It is significant to note that the seventh seal which takes about half hour (seven to eight days)
describes the Second Coming.
Many other prophecies end in the Second Coming. Let us take a look.
There are many concepts connected to the Second Coming.
They will be mentioned so that you can get a picture of how they relate to each other.
- First Coming. Jesus comes to earth as a baby and is crucified around 31 A.D.
He came to be the Lamb of God as a substitute for sin.
- Judgment. Since 1844, God has been in the process of judging the righteous so that He can decide who to give the reward that He brings with Him.
- Tribulation. The final persecution occurs and it is followed by the seven last plagues.
- Second Coming. Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit come back to earth as a king to take His saints. They are accompanied by many angels from heaven. Several events happen during this coming.
He remains in the sky while the angels get the saints. They put families back together.
- First Resurrection. The dead saints are raised to life.
- Translation. Our bodies are changed to the immortal bodies.
- Rapture. The living saints and the dead ones who have just been resurrected float up in the air to meet God in the sky.
- Wicked. The wicked living are killed and the wicked dead remain dead.
This lesson is only about this phase of the final events.
|The Last Days And The Millennium (The Day Of The Lord)|
| Rapture and First|
| New Jerusalem
descends to the earth
| Heaven |
| Saints Judge the decisions of God || Earth|
| Earth destroyed |
| Satan bound on the earth || Judgment || Armageddon || Hell |
|1|| Seven Last Plagues |
| 1000 years || 2 || Judgment of the wicked |
- Millennium. For 1000 years we will be in heaven while the earth remains desolate with only Satan.
- Third Coming. After the millennium, Christ, the saints and the New Jerusalem returns to earth for the final judgment of the wicked.
- Second Resurrection. The wicked dead are raised to life and Satan is loosed from his bond of isolation so that he can tempt the wicked.
- Judgment. The wicked are judged and agree that God has been righteous.
- Armageddon. The wicked join with Satan to capture the city of the New Jerusalem which is physically located in the region of current Israel.
God allows them time to react to the judgement and this is their response.
Other beliefs teach that this is a human war fought in the Middle East before the Second Coming.
The Bible actually teaches that during the sixth plague the wicked prepare for this war. But the Second Coming interrupts their plan.
- Hell. God fights back and destroys them because He has no other options.
- New Earth. The earth is recreated on the ashes of the wicked.
The resurrection is the miraculous process of bringing the dead to life.
They will have a body and their memories intact.
|Second Coming || Revelation 19; Revelation 14; 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17; Matthew 24; |
|»|| First Resurrection |
(Resurrection of life)
|Matthew 13: 38; Matthew 24; John 5: 28-29; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 14: 14-15; 20; Ezekiel 37; Daniel 12: 2|
|»||Bodies changed and rise ||1 Corinthians 15: 51-55|
|»||Earth destroyed ||Matthew 24, Isaiah 24-35|
|»||Wicked living killed ||Revelation 14, 19|
|Millennium ||Revelation 20|
|»|| Satan trapped on earth ||Revelation 20; Isaiah 24: 22 |
|Third Coming ||Revelation 20-21 |
|»|| Second Resurrection |
(Resurrection of damnation)
(Resurrection of Judgment)
|John 5: 28-29; Revelation 14: 17-19; Revelation 20; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13: 40 |
|»||Judgment ||Revelation 20|
|»||Armageddon ||Revelation 19, 20; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 14 |
|»||Destroyed by fire ||Revelation 20|
The rapture is the process that changes the body of the righteous and transports them from the earth to God.
"Translation" is also another word that is used to describe the process by which the bodies of the righteous are changed from mortal to immortal.
The prophecy of the resurrection is one that demonstrates how God merges the events of prophecies that are separated by long periods of time.
By studying most prophecies one can only conclude that there are two groups of people with two different futures.
It is assumed that these events occur on the same day because, in most verses, the language does not deny this interpretation.
Two Groups Of people.
In John 5: 28-29 and Revelation 14: 14-19 and other verses, Jesus described two groups of people who will be separated at the end.
Wheat And Weeds (Tares).
The bible describes a harvest of wheat and tares (weed).
Allow both to grow together until the harvest and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers,
"First gather up the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."
and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil one.
and the enemy who sews them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels.
So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
(Matthew 13: 30, 38-40)
Sheep And Goats.
All the nations will gather before Him; and He will separate them from one another as the shepherds separate the sheep from the goats.
And He will put the sheep on the right and the goats on the left.
The Sheep on the Right. The He will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world".
The Goats on the Left. Then He will say to those on His left, "Depart from Me accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and the angels".
(Matthew 25: 32-34, 41)
Good And Evil Separated.
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming, in which all who are in tombs will hear His voice,
and will come out; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
(John 5: 28-29)
|Righteous ||Destiny ||Wicked |
|Wheat ||Heaven || Barn
|| Bundles ||Fire ||Weeds |
|Sheep|| Right || Left ||Goats|
|Second Coming ||Third Coming |
These two groups are the righteous and the wicked.
- The Righteous. The wheat will be gathered into barns.
This is the resurrection of life and those who awake from the dust of the ground to receive everlasting life (Daniel 12: 2).
Even these verses simplify what happens.
There are other resurrections that were essential to the church before these two general resurrections.
1 Corinthians 15: 22-23 describes some special resurrections of the righteous.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His Coming.
- Christ. Even though we have evidence that Moses was resurrected and sent to heaven, and Lazarus was resurrected and remained on earth, Christ was called the first born of the dead.
This is probably because He is the first person who was resurrected after the covenant was ratified with His blood.
His resurrection was the first that mattered.
If He could not be resurrected, Moses would die. If He could not be resurrected, all past and future resurrections would be void.
- First Fruits. Several people were resurrected with Christ and they went to heaven.
They were put on display as proof that the resurrection of all the righteous will occur.
- Righteous (General Resurrection). This will be the largest and the last significant group of the righteous who will rise from the dead at the Second Coming.
- The Wicked. The tares will be gathered and burned.
This is the resurrection of the damnation and those who awake from the dust of the ground to receive everlasting contempt.
These are the wicked who were dead before the Second Coming. They do not even realize that Christ came one thousand years before.
It also includes the wicked who were alive at the Second Coming and were killed.
Speaking of Satan, the bible says that he will be as weakened and as disgraced as all the mighty men of evil.
Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come. It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth. It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones.
They will all respond and say to you, "even you have been made weak as we, you have become like us.
Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol. Maggots have been spread out as your bed beneath you and worms are your covering."
(Isaiah 14: 9-11)
Even though many prophecies describe two groups of people and two resurrections, it was still possible that these events will occur on the same day.
1 Thessalonians 4 describes only the first resurrection. Other texts appear to merge the events into one resurrection with two types of people.
However, Revelation adds another detail. It describes two resurrections separated by one thousand years.
... and 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 completed. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power;
but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
(Revelation 20: 4-6)
- The First Resurrection. It occurs at the Second Coming and involves the saints only.
The righteous living and the righteous dead will go to heaven. The wicked who are alive are killed. The wicked dead remain dead.
It is called the resurrection of life because those who are in it will have eternal life.
- The Second Resurrection. It occurs at the Third Coming, after the millennium.
The wicked are raised and are judged.
It is called the resurrection of damnation and the resurrection of judgment because those who are in it will be judged and sentenced to death.
The Timeline Of The Great Tribulation (Persecution).
A great persecution precedes the Second Coming and the rapture.
- Great Tribulation. We know that there will be a final tribulation unlike any other that ever came on the earth and it takes the Second Coming and the rapture to rescue the righteous (Daniel 12: 1-2).
- The Seven Last Plagues.
The plagues are sent during this persecution.
Using the year for a day principle, the plagues last one year according to Revelation 18:8, but we have no idea how long the intense persecution occurs before God begins to punish the wicked.
During the exodus, God did not liberate Israel then allow the plagues to fall.
God showed His power and vengeance on Egypt by visibly protecting Israel while He punished the Egyptians.
There are no prophecies that indicate the length of this tribulation but there are popular beliefs regarding the rapture and the length of time for the persecution at that time.
Where did this idea of a three and a half year or seven year tribulation originate?
- Seven Years. There are no prophecies in Revelation about any seven year time period for any event.
There are none in the New Testament or in Daniel. However, there is a reference to a one week period in a Daniel 9 prophecy which has become the basis for all the time periods associated with the secret rapture.
This time prophecy is the final week of a 490 year prophecy about the Messiah.
All believers accept the fact that the first 483 years occurred continuously up to the crucifixion.
Then, defying any math or logic secret rapture proponents split the final week with a 2000 year interval and place it at the end of time.
Our logical position is that the 490 years occurred in sequence like all other time prophecies.
- Three And A Half Year. This same seven year prophecy is the basis for this time period because the Messiah would be cut off in the "middle of the week".
Daniel and Revelation also have prophetic timelines which occur in three and a half year periods.
These prophecies all refer to the 1260 year persecution of the church during the Middle Ages.
- Legal. Although there are no prophecies about this final period, the covenant and laws guarantees specific duration of punishment for both the righteous and the wicked.
They all involve three to four years periods of time (36 to 48 months) with the average at 3.5 years or 42 months.
They also follow a pattern of seven periods of time established at the creation.
These are new beliefs that came into the church as a 1585 Jesuit strategy by Francisco Ribera and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine called futurism.
This strategy is based on the belief that time was suspended and all of the history of the Middle ages do not matter.
It diverted identification of the great persecuting power from the papacy to some future despot.
Futurism was adopted by Protestants and popularized in 1909 by the Scofield reference Bble.
The two stage coming and secret rapture were based on 1830 visions by Margaret MacDonald. This and futurism were adopted by Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby at the Powerscourt Castle Conference in 1830.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.
(1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17)
Rapture means the taking away of the righteous up in the air.
The word "rapture" is not found in the Bible, but the idea of a rapture is definitely there.
What is not in the Bible is that the rapture will be secret.
The Second Coming is described as a visible, loud and earth shattering event.
In 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55, it is characterized by the following crucial events.
- The Lord descends from heaven to the air above the earth.
- The righteous dead are raised and their bodies changed.
- The righteous living have their bodies changed.
- Both groups rise up together to meet the Lord in the air.
This is a very crucial study because other last day prophecies point to a counterfeit second coming.
Christ warns us that if we have to be told to go here or there to see Him, then it is a fraud.
It will be as visible as lightning arching across the sky.
He will be in the clouds not on the ground.
This doctrine is also known as the rapture. However, some groups maintain that this rapture is a secret event.
I whole-heartedly disagree.
This coming is loud. With a shout, with trumpets. It is visible like lightning and every eye will see Him.
The rapture is simply the event that happens when the righteous are taken to heaven.
There are many differences in beliefs as to when this event occurs and the events that surround it.
There is no question that the rapture comes in relation to the Second Coming, but the differences in beliefs lie in how long between the visible Second Coming of Christ, the tribulation of the church and this rapture occurs.
My view is that the church undergoes a crisis or tribulation. Then Christ visibly and audibly comes and rescues his people while the wicked perish instantly.
During this rescue, Christ comes in the air, the righteous living begin to rise up, the righteous dead are resurrected
Technically, this position would be called a post-tribulation visible rapture.
However, at least two variations of this doctrine are being taught, the visible and the secret rapture.
The Visible Rapture
Many today advocate a two stage coming and a belief in the secret rapture,
They believe that the church will be raptured at the beginning of the Seven Year Tribulation to escape persecution, and after seven years, Jesus will come in the clouds in bright glory for all to see.
But the bible teaching about the event states the following:
- It Is loud. He comes with a Shout and Trumpets and according to Matthew 24: 30-31, the elect are gathered during this literal visible event.
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous." (Psalm 50: 3.)
- It Is visible. Every eye shall see him
".. then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another." (Matthew 24: 30,31 )
"Look, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." (Revelation 1:7 )
- It Is One Event. The dead that are resurrected are caught up together with the righteous in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)
- It Is A Surprise. But it is not secret. He will come as a thief but in the same day there will be a great noise and the earth shall be burned up.
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are in it shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10 )
During the sixth plague of Revelation 16, Christ warns that He is coming as a thief. He arrives in the seventh plague.
Therefore, the church will not be secretly raptured out of the tribulation. They will go through it just as Israel went through the Egyptian plagues. But they will be protected by God to show the distinction between the two groups.
Their obvious protection will be like spitting in the face of those who hated them.
- It Separates the good from the bad who are to grow together until the "day of the harvest".
Advocates of the secret rapture use Matthew 24 37-41: But there was nothing secret about the flood and these verses simply point out the separation of the good from the bad. One is taken to heaven and the other left behind (dead) not for another chance.
Left Behind. "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (Matthew 24: 37-41 )
Those who are left behind are killed.
- No Second Chance. Nobody is left behind for another chance.
"Look, now is the accepted time; Look, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6: 2)
- Persecution Of The Righteous. Christ comes at the end of the great tribulation. We will not be taken out of it. We will be taken through it.
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir you know. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7: 13,14.)
"I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I Pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil." (John 17:14,15.)
"Yes, all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12.)
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12: 1,2.)
So, nowhere in the above texts does the evidence point to a secret coming or a two stage coming or a second chance.
Again from the history we know that a prophetess named Mary Macdonald advocated these beliefs during one of her visions.
It cannot be supported by scripture and it is a dangerous belief since it greatly affects our attitude towards turning to God now. It allows us to wait for a future time during a nonexistent second chance.
The Secret Rapture
|The Gap Theory
Christ reigns on the earth
| Daniel 9: 25, 26
The Christian Dispensation
||Daniel 9: 27
| 69 weeks (483 years)
||1 week (Last 7 years on earth)
| 62 Weeks
|457 B.C. || 31
|| Post-Tribulation |
|There are many different theories concerning when the secret rapture will occur.
All secret rapture theories are based on a seven year tribulation with the antichrist who appears in the middle of this time.
An invisible second coming occurs at each of the secret raptures.
At the end of the seven years a visible second coming occurs
- Pre-tribulation. Before the seven year tribulation.
- Mid-tribulation. After 3½ years
- Mid-tribulation Pre-wrath. In the middle of the last 3½ years
- Mid-tribulation multiple raptures. Many secret raptures occur as people are converted
- Post-tribulation. After the seven years
Many people believe that the rapture will be secret. (Read the history of futurism and the rapture).
The righteous will start disappearing, and depending on the time of tribulation, this disappearance will come
immediately before a seven year tribulation (pre-tribulation rapture), during the tribulation (mid-tribulation rapture) or after (post-tribulation rapture).
The teaching is based on the following scriptures.
- Thief. The Lord will come as a "thief in the night".
In this interpretation it means secret, but to me this simply means unexpectedly, because the same verse goes on to say that in this time there shall be a "great noise" and the earth shall be "burned up".
This noisy event does not sound like a secret.
- Separated. "One shall be taken and the other left". This refers to a separation not a secret snatching away.
In doing more research I found the following texts used as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church before the Second Coming. It is worse than grasping for straws. Let us take a look:
- The Departure: (Apostasy Or Rapture?). The first proof is based on a change in the meaning of one word.
Now we request you brethren, with regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
Let no one in anyway deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness revealed, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,
so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
(2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4)
It refers to the Day of the Lord from verse 2.
The word apostasy can only be translated as "departure" if it means departure from truth. It is a misuse of the word to translate it as a rapture or departure from the earth.
|Faithfulness ||Apostasy||The Day of the Lord|
|Secret Rapture || ||Man of Sin ||Sits in the Temple as God ||Acts as God||Persecution ||Second Coming|
|The Missing Ones ||They Escape For "A Little While"||The Visible Coming|
|Come Up Here ||The Antichrist Reigns (Revelation 4: 2 to Revelation 19: 10)||Second Coming|
They separated the rapture from the events of the "coming of the Lord".
As interpreted by one who believes in the pre-tribulation rapture, the verse teaches the following:
"Let no one deceive you in any way. For it (the millennial Day of the Lord) will not be, unless the departure (Pre-Tribulation Rapture) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed (after the Rapture), the son of destruction, he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God."
- The Missing Ones. This next verse is supposed to show that the missing ones will be secretly taken away and will not be found later.
Actually this section of the bible is not addressing prophecy or a Second Coming. In fact, in verse 4 she finds her lover "scarcely had I left them when I found him whom my soul loves".
Their interpretation is that she found him after a "little while" and this "little time" period is the time between the two comings of Christ.
So I read chapters 1 through 3 to find a connection to the end times. There is nothing in these verses that is about the end times. It is a tribute from one lover to another.
"... I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen who go their rounds in the city found me. I said, Have you seen him whom my soul loves? It was a little while after I parted from them, that I found him whom my soul loves." (Song of Solomon. 3: 2-4)
There is nothing in this verse or chapter that talks about a Second Coming or a Second Coming split into two stages.
If it is a Messianic prophecy, then it is a reference to the Jews accepting the Messiah before the Second Coming.
- In A Little While. In the text below we again see the reference to the phrase "in a little while". But nothing about the entire chapter teaches a two phase coming.
It merely states as in other chapters that Christ is coming soon, in a little while.
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith." (Hebrews. 10: 35-38)
- The Great Escape. Verse 36 is supposed to teach the rapture of the church before the persecution.
Be on guard so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap.
For it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.
36 Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21: 34-36)
In verse 35 Luke says that the day will come on ".. all those who dwell on the face of the earth". He appeals to the people to watch and be ready so that they are not caught, surprised in a trap.
Therefore, if you are ready and watching, you can take steps to escape the trouble and lessen your suffering.
I believe that this entire chapter pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem. It is said that the Christians escaped the siege of the Roman army because they recognized the sign of "Jerusalem being surrounded by armies".
There is a larger study of this section, because it blends the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 with the Second Coming.
However, this is poor evidence to base a pre-tribulation rapture and a second chance and two end time comings of Christ.
In the last days the people will be studying the signs so that they can make preparation to take care of themselves during the seven last plagues.
- Come Up Here. Proponents of this doctrine believe that this verse is a prophecy of the secret rapture.
After these things I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."
(Revelation 4: 1)
- Escaping The Tribulation. The rapture will occur at the end of the tribulation, not before or in the middle.
The Elect Experience The Tribulation.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Second Coming After The Tribulation.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
(Matthew 24: 21-22, 29-31)
The proponents claim that the idea of a rapture is a new teaching not taught in the old or new testament.
The proofs went on to dismantle the doctrine of the "secret rapture" and all the secondary ideas surrounding it such as the two-stage coming and escaping tribulation in heaven.
They point to 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 and claim that it is not teaching a rapture but that the righteous dead and living rise up to meet God and escort Him back to earth.
They will meet the returning Christ and return to the earth to rule from Jerusalem.
- Escorted Back To Earth. The text does not say that Jesus and the righteous immediately return to earth. So the question is what happens after we go up to meet God in the air? Where do we go from there?
- Ruling From Jerusalem (Kingdom Of God On Earth).
- Old Jerusalem.
Proponents claim that after we meet Christ in the air we immediately escort Him back to earth where He sets up a kingdom on the ruins of old Jerusalem.
- New Jerusalem.
Jesus said that He is returning to heaven to prepare mansions so that we can be with Him.
So after we meet Christ in the air we return to heaven with Him, because the rest of the sequence of events describe a desolated earth and Christ returning to earth after the millennium with the saints and a new city built by God.
Preparing Mansions In Heaven.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(John 14: 1-3)
Revelation describes a time after the millennium where a city named the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven and land on the old Jerusalem.
This event begins the perpetual reign on earth.
A City Built By God.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
(Revelation 21: 2)
Daniel 2 predicts that the stone that destroys the kingdom will become a great mountain.
In addition, there is no second chance. There is no place found for them.
The Crushing Stone.
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
(Daniel 2: 34-35)
Revelation shows that this stone crushed the earth at the Second Coming and the mountain comes after the millennium.
A Mountain From Heaven.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
(Revelation 21: 10)
- The Millennium.
One evidence about where we will be is the state of the earth during the millennium.
Proponents take a description of life on the earth after the millennium and apply it to the millennium.
Since there seems to be imperfection mixed in with sin and death they have this doctrine of a second chance.
However, the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel were made by men who faced the destruction of Jerusalem by their enemies (Assyria and Babylon) and they prophesy about the rebuilding of the city which occurred after 538 BC.
They also prophecied about a future peaceable kingdom, the New Jerusalem, which can never be destroyed.
Modern interpretations seem to have no room for an earth in darkness, split in two and then a brand new earth created by Jesus after the final judgment.
- Millennial Reign On Earth.
Proponents of this theory tend to have the same beliefs about the millennium as those who believe in the secret rapture.
They teach that after the 1000 years the rest of the dead will be raised with mortal bodies have another opportunity for salvation.
Those in the first resurrection will be immortal with glorified spirit bodies and will rule with Christ over angels, those born during the millennium and those who survived the tribulation, wars and plagues.
- Millennial Reign In Heaven.
There is an entire lesson devoted to the millennium. It does not describe a rebuilt earth at this point.
It describes a dark, desolate earth, split in two by a great earthquake.
There are no lights in the sky and dead bodies are strewn across the surface.
So the righteous are not ruling with Jesus Christ from earth yet. They are ruling from heaven where they are judging angels and the lost.
The beliefs play into the hoax that Satan must execute before the Second Coming.
Satan has no power of resurrection or creation.
Bound to the earth, Satan needs a reason why he cannot escape with the righteous and why he will rule from Jerusalem over a still fallen race and a still broken earth.
- Faking A Second Coming (Satan Comes). Satan will impersonate Christ. This belief of a Jesus returning to earth without accomplishing anything except destruction provides excuses for a dazzling angel without power long enough for the con game to achieve its goal of stopping people from repenting.
- Missing The Secret Rapture.
There will be many disappointed and surprised people.
The option of a second chance and spirit bodies gives Satan enough room to explain why we are not among the elite.
Evil angels disguised as humans with spirit bodies explains why people do not look like themselves.
A second chance gives hope for us and for missing loved ones whom we expected to be among the elite group but failed.
- Faking A Resurrection.
Satan can fake a resurrection with demons acting as the resurrected. Can you verify that a person is not the king of Sudan from 4000 BC or a baker in the Roman army from 20 AD?
Can you verify that sweet great aunt Jane in her new glorified 20 year old body is really your aunt?
You may even see people you know, but you may gloss over any oddities in the excitement of the events.
Satan can impersonate dead human beings and if he carefully plans these great deceptions he is even now selecting those whom he will impersonate so that he can catalogue all their secrets to make their revelation as convincing as possible.
- Rebuilding Ruins. It explains why we have to start a massive rebuilding project to fix the earth, ignoring the fact that God is powerful and He created the world in six days and that He will burn it up and recreate it in one spectacular event and that Jesus returned to heaven to build mansions for us.
- Reigning Over Sinners. It explains why there are still sinners on earth and death still occurs.
- Apartheid Heaven. Those saved without using the second chance option will have a higher status.
- Second Chance. Their beliefs teach a second chance during the millennium and after the millennium.
A Second Chance?
While I believe only one position is true, I find nothing in either position as stated above that would be a cause for alarm.
Christians caught up in a different scenario (example they are in the midst of a tribulation and they have not been raptured) might be tempted to lose faith and be discouraged, but if we learn now to focus on Jesus and not on what
we feel we will survive the ordeal.
However, what I do take issue with in some of the positions is in the teaching about what occurs after the rapture.
Some teach that there will be a second chance for everyone.
This might lead people now to neglect their salvation in favor of a future time when the evidence will be clearer and they can make an informed decision.
Meanwhile, they will essentially suffer no serious consequences from a life of total disregard now. In fact they can have their cake and eat it too.
They can live a life of sin now and have heaven in the future.
What if there is no second chance? What if God needs to see your faith now? Faith is trusting despite the reasons not to.
No one exercises faith in a second chance scenario.
There is no evidence, not even a slight one of a second chance.
In doing this study we appealed to these principles advocated in the methodology. First is to read the entire words surrounding a text. Not to read a text in isolation.
Secondly, although I see no evidence for the alternate interpretation. I appeal to the preponderance of the evidence to show that the
Second Coming is loud, visible and destructive to the earth.
Finally, take the safe approach.
The False Second Coming
The bible predicts a false second coming. So how will each group react?
Now we need to analyze the possible effects of different beliefs during the false second coming.
These are the three major expectations about the Second Coming.
- Adventist. There will be one visible Second Coming with a rapture of all the dead and living saints.
There will be no preaching or arguments or discussion. Christ will be in the air. He will take us up to Him and He will destroy the earth.
He will not come down to the earth.
Christ will return a third time, after the millennium with the saints for the judgment of the wicked.
Adventists have also taught since the late 1800's that Satan will orchestrate a false Second Coming that will cause the world to persecute the church.
But God will not permit him to duplicate the Second Coming of Christ.
Therefore he cannot appear globally. He must appear locally in different places.
He will actually come down to the earth to make his arguments.
This aligns with the prophecies of the disciples that if you have to go some place to meet Christ, then he is a false Christ.
Because when Christ comes you will know it for yourself at the same moment that every creature on earth knows it.
Adventists will be suspicious of anything that is not quick and immediate or global or which involves learning of the events through others.
Therefore, when the fake Mary or a fake Christ appears to tell us to listen to the pope we will not.
And this is a problem. This attitude of persistent disobedience sets us at odds with the church and according to canon law,
the church is justified in requiring persecution and punishment if we have been taught and refuse to obey.
See Canon law (1371, 1373, 1369, 1311).
In the middle ages a "just penalty" was torture and slow burning at the stake.
- Other Protestants. Under the Gap Theory, there will be a two stage coming of Christ and people will remain on the earth to be taught by the Jews.
The first will be invisible, for his saints. This is the secret rapture.
The second will be visible, with His saints.
Since those who believe in the gap theory also believe in multiple chances and a period of teaching the world,
they will be fooled into thinking that they were not part of the first rapture but they can become part of subsequent
raptures if they listen to their celestial teachers.
- Catholic. According to prophecies from Mary during the 1900's, she will appear to the world before the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus may also appear.
The purpose is to help the world to avoid the wrath of God at the real Second Coming.
Initially, some may be fooled because they have no way of knowing that other people are not seeing the same event.
It will take some time to be aware of this.
However, the messages that are being taught will eventually be against God.
And we expect the Second Coming of Christ. Not the first coming of Mary.
The Catholic church will welcome this false Second Coming because the Marian apparitions have prepared them for it.
The pope is passionately preparing for it.
Nothing in their training and belief tells them to test these spirits because they have been taught to
believe in the supremacy of interpretation by the pope.
Therefore, the only event that might wake up the people of God in the Catholic church is the unjust persecution
that these demons will try to convince them is necessary.
To help themselves, Catholics must be wary of any attempts to start convincing them that
punishment of heretics is necessary.
Every Eye Sees Jesus
The question is asked, if the earth is round how can every eye see Him?
Logically, from a far distance only half the earth can see a very distant object like the sun.
One satellite in geostationary orbit can theoretically be seen by only one third of the earth.
So how can every eye on earth see Jesus Christ in the air at the same time at the Second Coming?
- Earth. The structure of the earth makes it easier to be seen from one location by the majority of the population.
- 73% Water. 70-75% of the earth is covered by water.
25% of the earth is covered by land which is basically grouped along one side of the earth.
The Pacific ocean region is spread out along one side of the earth, covering over one third of the surface.
This means that Jesus can be seen on one side of the planet like the sun by almost the entire population.
However, there are eyes in the tiny islands dotting the Pacific ocean and on merchant ships crossing the oceans. How could they see at the same time?
- Population Centers. Few of the population is in the polar regions or in the Pacific ocean.
Centered over Jerusalem at the Temple Mount (31.778° N and 35.2354° E) He would be at the mid point of the continents in a strategic location.
The upheaval of the seas in the plagues could cause all ships to be in port.
If the water levels are high enough, the people on the Pacific islands could have been evacuated to the main lands during the plagues.
If the population is driven inland on the continents during the plagues, He could be visible by every eye without any special effects.
- Television News Reports.
Modern technology gives us one possibility. If Jesus is visible to one side of the earth, the remaining people in the Pacific and the poles could see Him by television.
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
However, Jesus eliminates this possibility. His coming will not be private or not personally visible so that every human being will not see Him.
If you have to be told about the Second Coming by a third party then it is a false event.
This is the method on which Satan will rely. His coming will be a very local event broadcast throughout the world.
- Geosynchronous Orbit.
It takes about three satellites in geosynchronous orbit about 22,000 miles above the equator to cover the earth with the exception of the polar regions.
From this location a satellite can be seen and can see all of the earth's surface inside a circle with a radius of latitudes 70 degrees north and south (near the poles), and between longitudes 70 degrees east and west of the satellite's longitude.
A fourth satellite at one pole in a pyramid formation would make all the earth visible.
If Jesus can be in three or four places at once He can be seen by every eye.
While this is possible for an omnipresent God, it does not satisfy our skepticism. So let us try science.
- The Human Eye.
The ability of the world to see Jesus at once may be based on the capabilities of the human eye and brain combined with the power of God.
- Physical Limitations.
The human eye can blink two or three times every second.
Although the human eye can see 25 images per second, the brain cannot process images so quickly.
These are our limits.
God can raise the dead and change our bodies in less than one third of a second. This is His power.
The Power Of God.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(1 Corinthians 15: 52)
- Optical Illusion (Wagon Wheel Effect).
The wagon-wheel effect (stagecoach-wheel effect, stroboscopic effect)
is an optical illusion in which a spoked wheel appears to rotate differently from its true rotation.
The wheel can appear to rotate more slowly, or stationary, or it can appear to rotate in the opposite direction, or have several copies (Wiki).
Through this effect every eye can see Jesus at a stationary position.
- The Visible Second Coming.
It will be a grand and spectacular event visible around the world.
Assume that the events occur within 13.75 miles (22 km) of the surface of the earth where the orbit is 40,212 km (25,132 miles).
|Wagon Wheel Effect|
|Three images each with one bar 120° apart shown at 1 milisecond intervals|
- The Cloud Of Angels.
These billions of angels could cover the earth at speeds simulating a geostationary orbit at an orbital velocity of 3.07 km/s (1.91 mi/s).
Each angel would appear stationary at their location.
- Jesus Christ.
While the people can see different sets of angels from different locations, Jesus must be seen by all.
If Jesus must be visible at a particular point between three to twenty five times every second
and since the orbit is between 40,065 to 40.212 km, then on one circuit of the earth, He must travel (120,195 - 120,636) to (1,001,625 - 1,005,300) km/s.
If He rotates at these speeds along three tracks or a figure eight intersecting at Jerusalem circling longitude 30° latitude 40°S to 60°N, then He must travel between 360,000 and 3 million km/s.
He could also travel east to west in one orbit with a huge corona.
Visible over Jerusalem, He could be seen by most of the population from different angles in the sky.
If He moved fast enough He could be seen as a stationary object in the sky at three or four locations with the wagon-wheel effect. With a corona that eclipses the sun, every eye would see Him.
Travelling at the speed of light (299,792 km/sec) everyone can see Jesus in the twinkling of an eye.
Repetition and Enlargement
The second coming is referred to in over 1800 verses. Seventeen Old Testament books and two New Testament books are devoted to this event.
Some events are a prophecy of this conflict.
|Astronomical signs || Isaiah 13: 10; 25: 7; Matthew 24: 29; Mark 13: 24-25; Luke 21: 25; Habakuk 3: 10-11|| Signs in the sun, moon and stars|
|Second Coming || Isaiah 13: 4,5; Daniel 2: 34-35, 44; 7: 13-14; 12: 1; Matthew 24: 30; Mark 13: 26; Luke 21: 27; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 14; Revelation 19; Revelation 19: 11-15; || Christ rescues the church |
|Righteous resurrected || Isaiah 25: 8; 26: 2,14,19,20; Ezekiel 37; Daniel 12: 1-2; Matthew 24: 31; Mark 13: 27; Luke 21: 28; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 20; 1 Thessalonians 4 || Righteous resurrected and receive immortal bodies |
|Earth destroyed || Isaiah 13: 5,9,11,13; 14: 9; Revelation 19: 18,21|| The earth is destroyed during the second coming |
|Wicked killed || Isaiah 14: 19-21; Revelation 20: 15; Revelation 14, 19; 2 Thessalonians 2: 8|| The living wicked are killed, the wicked dead remain dead |
|Millennium || Isaiah 13: 20; 14: 7; 24: 1-23; 26: 20; Revelation 20: 4,5,7|| For 1000 years the saints live in heaven while Satan is trapped on earth. |
|Satan bound || Isaiah 13: 21-22; 14: 12-20; 24: 22; Revelation 20: 1-3,7,10|| Satan is confined to earth with no humans to tempt and no one to hurt |
|Righteous judge the wicked || Isaiah 14: 2; Revelation 19: 15; 20: 4 || The righteous see why the wicked are rejected. |
|Third Coming || Revelation 21|| The New Jerusalem comes to earth at the end of the millennium |
|Wicked resurrected || Isaiah 14: 9; Revelation 20: 5; Revelation 14, 20; Daniel 12|| The wicked are resurrected to face the final judgment|
|Battle of Armageddon || Revelation 19, 20; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 14; Numbers 14: 35-45 || The wicked fight back after the judgment is reached. |
|Punished by fire || Isaiah 14: 21-22; 26: 21; Revelation 20: 15; 21: 8,27 || Fire from God destroys them|
The Second Coming
| The Second Coming|
| Luke 21: 27 ||Second Coming|| Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory |
| Daniel 2: 44 ||"In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.|
| Daniel 7: 13-14 ||"I kept looking in the night visions, And then, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.|
| Revelation 19: 11, 14-15 || And I saw heaven opened, and saw, 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 He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. |
| Revelation 8: 1 |
|Second Coming|| When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.|
| Revelation 11: 15, 19 |
The Seventh Trumpet
|Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm. |
| Revelation 16: 17-21 |
The Seventh Plague
| Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done." And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. |
| Matthew 24: 30-31 ||Second Coming and rapture || And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with a Great Trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. |
| Mark 13: 26-27 || Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. |
| Revelation 14: 14-15 ||Harvest of the Righteous. Then I looked and saw, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like the Son of Man , having a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe |
| 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 ||Rapture || For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will 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.|
| Daniel 12: 1-2 ||Resurrection ||"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. ... and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. |
| Ezekiel 37: 12,14 ||Resurrection ||Therefore prophesy to them and say, "Thus says the Lord God, Look, I will open up your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people and I will bring you into the land of Israel. ... I will put my Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it."|
| Revelation 20: 4-6 ||First Resurrection || and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. |
| The Millennium |
| Zechariah 14: 3-4 ||Third Coming|| Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in the middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move towards the north and the other half towards the south. |
| Revelation 20: 5, 7-8 ||Second Resurrection || The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. |
| Revelation 14: 17-19 ||Harvest of the Wicked. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one with power over fire came out from the altar and called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle saying, Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe |
| Daniel 12: 2 || ... but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 60 minutes
Print: 13 pages
Updated : January 20, 2004
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)