THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH
Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, there are many references to the coming of the Messiah who will bring the Kingdom of God to earth and peace and prosperity to humanity. No student of the Bible will deny that the coming of the Messiah is one of its central themes. However, among student and scholar alike, there is much disagreement as to the timing of this great event. Historically and presently, the Jews are waiting for the Messiah's first arrival; most Christians await his second coming, and some anticipate a second and a third coming.
The Messiah Came Once and Will Return
Historical, civil, religious, and other ancient records confirm the authenticity of the biblical record. Historical writings are full of evidence of the existence of the people and places associated with the Bible and the Messiah.
Writings of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Eusebius, and other early church leaders mention Pontius Pilate who ruled Judea from A.D. 26 to 36 and they make reference to his official reports to Emperor Tiberus of the trial and crucifixion of a Jew who many believed to be the Jewish Messiah. Tactius, a Roman historian, mentions the one named Christ who Pontius Pilate condemned to death (Annals xv:44, written A.D. 115-117). Even Jewish history confirms the life and death of Christ.
Because it can be proven from historical records (including both the Old and New Testaments), that the Messiah did come and fulfill the prophecies of his first coming, it is reasonable to believe what the Bible says about his future return.
When Will Christ Return?
Does anyone know when Christ will return to earth? Many in the past thought they knew, and many today think they know. One group of believers thought he would return in 1844, another group thought he would return in 1914, and yet another group predicted it would be in 1975. People continually set dates and are continually disappointed; however, does this mean that no one will know the date and hour of Christ's return until it actually happens? How many times will the Messiah return? Will it be one, two, or three times? Many will find the answers to these questions both exciting and surprising.
After Jesus had told his disciples about the future destruction of the temple, they came to him privately to find out when it would happen and when the end of the age would come.
The disciples already knew of the prophecies about the Kingdom of God and its eventual rule of the earth. And many Jews of Jesus' day were expecting the Messiah to come and establish the kingdom within their lifetime. See Lk.17:20-24.
Matthew 24:23-51 Paraphrased
"Then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ; or, There he is! Do not believe. For false christs will rise up, and false prophets. And they will give great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I tell you beforehand. Then if they say to you, Behold, he is in the wilderness; do not go out. Behold, he is in the inner rooms; do not believe" (vs.23-26). See also Mk.13:21-22.
Throughout the centuries, many false messiahs and false prophets have come and gone. During the time of trouble at the end of the age, religious deception will be so intense that the only ones who will not be deceived are the elect of God who diligently follow the true God.
Notice the clear statement that Christ makes about one event that will accompany his arrival:
"For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of man" (v27).
Here, Jesus gave a vivid picture of one of the signs that will accompany his return. Lightning is not a silent or inconspicuous occurrence; it is always accompanied by a loud thunderous noise, which is very noticeable.
"And immediately after the affliction of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (vs.28-29).
Cataclysmic celestial events will take place before Christ's return and his gathering of the elect.
"And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the land will wail. And they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds; from the ends of the heavens to their ends" (vs.30-31).
The signs that precede Christ's return are awesome events that will occur in the heavens. The sun will become dark (Mk.13:24-26), the moon will not reflect sunlight to the earth, and the stars (Greek: 'aster') will be moved out of their orbits. When Jesus returns in all his glory and power, his very presence will disrupt the physical universe. See Ex.19:16-18; 24:17; Isa.13:9-13; 24:1-5; Joel 2:10-12, 30; Hag.2:6-7.
Every person alive on earth at the time of Christ's return will be aware of the awesome events that will occur in the heavens. Most people will be terrified and fear for their lives. Some will be terrified because they know that Christ is returning to destroy them, and others will be in fear because they think that the world is coming to an end. The magnitude of the events that will accompany Christ's return will be far from secret or silent; they will be awesome and terrifying.
The End-time Generation
"But learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and it puts out leaves, you know that the summer is near, so also when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the doors. Truly I say to you, In no way will this generation pass away until all these things have occurred. The heavens and the earth will pass away" (vs.32-35).
When Jesus gave this parable, the disciples thought Jesus was speaking of their day and their generation. However, as time passed it became apparent that he was speaking of a people and a generation far in the future. When these heavenly events occur, Jesus' return is imminent, and nothing can delay it.
The Day and the Hour
The statement Jesus made in reference to the exact time of his return is in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32. A casual reading of these references seems to indicate that those who believe in a secret return of Jesus are correct. However, as we analyze this subject, we will see that many of the elect will indeed know the exact day and hour when Christ will return:
"But as to that day and that hour, no one knows, neither the angels of heaven but my Father only. But as the days of Noah, so will also be the coming of the Son of man" (vs.36-37).
"The heavens and the earth will pass away, but My word will not at all pass away. But concerning that day and the hour, no one knows, not the angels, those in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Be careful; be wakeful, and pray. For you do not know when the time is" (Mk.13:31-33).
The apostles did not give up in their quest to find out when Jesus would return. After his death and resurrection, they questioned him further about his return:
"Then, indeed, these coming together they questioned him, saying, Lord, do You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time? And he said to them, It is not yours to know times or seasons, which the Father placed in his own authority" (Acts 1:6-7).
It is true that no one, including Jesus, the angels, the apostles, or the prophets knew when Christ would return before his death and resurrection. In Acts 1:7, Jesus says it was not for them to know the timing of these events. But, why were they not told? The primary reason that no one knew these details prior to and after Jesus' death and resurrection is that it was not necessary for them to know when the end would come. They did not live in the end of the age; therefore, this knowledge would not benefit them.
Those Who Need to Know
Because no one but God the Father knows the timing of the end of the age, does it mean that no one will know when Christ will return? As we will see, those who need to know the timing of Christ's return will know, because this knowledge is important to their lives and their mission.
The Sealed Prophecy
"And he said, Go your way Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed until the end-time. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tested. But the wicked shall do wrong. And not one of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Dan.12:9-10 KJV).
Daniel's prophecy was sealed until the time of the end at which time only the wise would understand. In the book of Daniel as well as in the rest of the Old Testament, there is much information pointing to the end of the age. When this information is combined with the prophecies of the New Testament and the specific events they foretell, the time of Christ's return can be known with certainty. The key to having this knowledge is to be one of the wise, because it is only the wise who will understand the meaning of these events.
The Two Witnesses
"And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy a thousand, two hundred and sixty days, dressed in sackcloth" (Rev.11:3 Para.).
These two men will begin to witness about the gospel of Jesus Christ, his return, and the Kingdom of God. They will also foretell many of the earthshaking events at the end of the age. Moreover, they will prophecy for 1,260 days or approximately three and a half years, and then they will be killed:
"And when they complete their witness, the beast coming up out of the abyss will make war with them, and will overcome them, and will kill them. And their bodies will be on the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom, and Egypt—where our Lord was crucified" (Rev.11:7-8).
Below are some simple questions and answers about the Two Witnesses that pertain to their knowledge of when Christ will return:
Q. How will they know they are the Two Witnesses of God?
A. God will tell them.
Q. Will they know when their ministry begins?
Q. Will these two know the day when they will be killed?
A. Yes, because it is 1,260 days from the day they begin their ministry.
Q. Will they know the day of their resurrection?
A. Yes, because they will understand the prophecies that detail their ministry.
Q. Will these two men know the exact time of Christ's return?
A. Yes, because they will understand the prophecies concerning their ministry and his return.
"And after three days and a half, a spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. And great fear fell on the ones beholding them. And they heard a great voice out of heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they went up into heaven in the cloud. And their enemies saw them. And in that hour a great earthquake occurred, and the tenth part of the city fell and there were killed in the earthquake seven thousand names of men. And the rest became terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Rev.11:11-13).
The Two Witnesses will be dead for three and a half days, and then they will be brought back to life and taken up into heaven. Christ will return very soon after these things begin to happen. Moreover, with a small amount of addition or subtraction, along with the knowledge of other time frames for specific events given in prophecy, any true Christian alive at this time will have little difficulty calculating the time of Christ's return. Yes, the wise will understand:
"For as they were in the days before the flood: eating, and drinking, merry making, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark–and they did not know until the flood came and took them all away– so also will be the coming of the Son of man" (Matt.24:38-39 KJV).
It is important to remember that in Noah's generation, people were so evil that God decided to eliminate the human race. Noah was found to be the only righteous individual in all of humanity. Jesus says that this same condition will prevail at the end of the age. Just as the people in Noah's day did not listen to the call to repentance and the warnings of God's wrath, the vast majority of people in the end of the age will not listen to God's ministers. See Gen.6:5-13.
The Righteous Disappear From Earth
"At that time two will be out in the field; the one is taken away, and the one is left; two grinding at the mill, one is taken, and one is left" (Matt.24:40-41 KJV).
Many feel verses 40 and 41 support a secret return of Jesus; however, these verses only show that, when Jesus sends his angels to gather his elect, they will only gather the righteous; all others will be left. See our study about the false belief of a secret return of Christ to collect God's elect.
A Prophecy for the Future
In verses 42 through 51 of Matthew 24, there is a warning prophecy for a very specific group of people who live during the end of the age:
"Watch, then, for you do not know in what hour your Lord comes" (v.42).
In verse 42, Jesus gives a very specific command to watch. But what should we be watching for? Jesus is addressing this instruction to a specific group of individuals. But who are they? Verse 43 gives us the answer to these questions:
"But know this, that if the housemaster had known in what watch the thief comes, he would have watched, and not have allowed his house to be dug through. Because of this, you also be ready, for in that hour you think not, the Son of man comes" (vs.43-44). See also Rev.3:3.
It is the housemaster (the one who rules the house) that is responsible for watching. The ones who have the responsibility for the care of the house of God (i.e., the church) are the ministers of Christ (1.Tim.3:14-15; Heb.13:7;17). The things to be watched for are world events as they relate to the specific prophecies that will occur at the end of the age.
"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord has set over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is the servant whom the Lord shall find so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will set him over all his substance" (vs.45-47).
Who is a wise and faithful minister at the end of the age? He is one who watches and studies current world events as they relate to Bible prophecy and reveals this understanding to those under his care at the proper time.
"But if that evil servant should say in his heart, My Lord delays to come, and should begin to beat his fellow servants, and to eat, and to drink with the drunkards, the lord of that servant will come in a day in which he does not expect, and in an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in two, and will appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (vs.48-51).
Those who do not watch will not know when Jesus will return. The warning is unmistakable in its meaning: if a minister at the end of the age does not continue to fulfill his responsibility toward Christ and the elect under his care, he will lose his salvation.
Paul Writes to Thessalonica
By the time Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, the church understood that Jesus was not going to return in their generation. Paul says that the true elect of God will not be caught unaware by the events that will culminate at the end of the age, because they will understand them:
"But of the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of this day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1.Thes.5:1-6 KJV).
Christians and the Tribulation
Those who subscribe to the belief in a secret return of Christ believe Christians will be taken to heaven and spared the horrors and agony of the cataclysmic events just before his return. Others believe that Christians will be protected in some geographical place of safety on earth. But are either of these teachings true? Will there be Christians on earth during this great tribulation? Will Christians be subject to any of the terrifying events at the end of the age?
Christians Will be Hated
Many scriptures describe in graphic detail the time known as the great tribulation. There are also many scriptures that show the elect of God will be persecuted, betrayed by their own children and brothers in the faith, brought to trial because of their belief, made to flee for their lives, and made to suffer many other horrible injustices. The following scriptures speak of this time period.
Matthew 24:9-11 KJV
"Then they will deliver you up to affliction, and will kill you; and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, and they will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness shall have been multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, that one will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the earth, for a testimony to all the nations; and then shall come the end."
During this time of trouble, Jesus' followers will be persecuted, killed, hated by all peoples, betrayed by their own, make foolish decisions concerning the truth, and forsake God.
Mark 13:10-19 Paraphrased
"And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations. But whenever they lead you away, delivering you, do not be anxious beforehand about what you should say or think, But whatever is given to you in that hour, speak that. For you are not those speaking, but the holy spirit. And brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father the child. And children will rise up on parents, and will put them to death. And you will be hated by all on account of my name. But the one enduring to the end, that one will be saved. But when you see the abomination of desolation, the one spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not—he who reads, let him understand—then let those in Judea flee into the mountains. And he who is on the housetop, let him not go down into the house, nor go in to take anything out of his house. And the one in the field, let him not return to the things behind, to take his garment. But woe to those that are with child, and to those giving suck in those days! And pray that your flight will not be in winter. For there will be affliction in those days, such as has not been the like from the beginning of creation which God created until now, and never will be."
Jesus tells those in Judea to be alert to the prophetic events surrounding the false worship system of that day, and to flee for their lives when they see these events transpire.
Revelation 6:9-11 KJV
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." See also Rev.12:17.
In all of these references, the elect of God are still on earth, even up to and including the opening of the fifth seal. Notice also that they are to remain for some time after this seal is opened, so that others may also be martyred as a witness for Christ.
Revelation 7:1-4; 13-14 Paraphrased
"And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel" (vs.1-4 KJV).
"And one of the elders answered, saying to me, These, the ones having been clothed in white robes: who are they, and from where did they come? And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they have washed their robes, and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb" (vs.13-14 ).
For a detailed explanation about the 144,000 see our study on the subject.
CHRIST TO RETURN TWICE
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, there are many references to God coming to earth to reward the saints and establish his government upon the earth in order to bring peace and prosperity to humanity. Most Bible scholars will agree that God says he will indeed come to earth to establish his government. The problem is not with what these references say, it is with the various beliefs of when and how this will happen.
A close review of each reference that details the presentation of rewards given to the elect of God and the establishment of his kingdom upon earth shows two distinct returns of Christ. Christ's first return involves gathering the elect of God for their rewards and change into immortal spirit-beings. During his second return a short time later, he will conquer the earth and establish the Kingdom of God.
Jesus to Come in Clouds
When the high priest Caiaphas asked Jesus to tell him whether or not he was the Messiah, he did not expect the answer he received:
"The high priest said to him, I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said to him, You said it. I tell you more. From this time you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of the heavens. Then the high priest tore his garments, saying, he has blasphemed! Why do we have any more need of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy" (Matt.26:63-65 Para.).
Jesus told the high priest that the next time he sees him, he will be on his throne next to the Father, and when he returns, it will be in the clouds.
After Jesus disappeared into the heavens, an angel told the disciples essentially the same thing Jesus told Caiaphas about the events surrounding his return:
"As they looked on, he was taken up; and a cloud received him from their eyes. And as they were looking intently into the heaven, he having gone, even behold, two men in white clothing stood by them, who also said, Men, Galileans, Why do you stand looking up to the heaven? This Jesus, the One being taken from you into heaven, will come in the way you saw him going into heaven" (Acts 1:9-11 Para.). See also Matt.24:30.
God and Clouds
Historically and symbolically, when God or a spirit-being came to earth in their glorified form, they appeared in clouds:
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud,. . ." (Ex.13:21 KJV). See also Ex.16:10; 19:9;16; 24:16; 34:5.
"And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spoke to him,. . ." (Num.11:25 KJV).
"And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire enfolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire" (Ezk.1:4 KJV).
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,. . ." (Dan.7:13 KJV).
"Who lays the beams of his chambers in the waters: who makes the clouds his chariot: who walks upon the wings of the wind" (Psa.104:3 KJV). See also Psa.18:7-15; Rev.1:7;14:14.
As we review some of the events which surround the end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ, we notice that a spirit-being has a tremendous impact on the physical universe when it appears in its glorified form.
CHRIST RETURNS TO GATHER THE ELECT
When Jesus enters the earth's atmosphere in his glorified form, the elements will begin to disintegrate under the power of his presence. The air will become supercharged with electricity, and lightning, thunder, and fire, and smoke will fill the sky as his angels collect the elect:
"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" (Matt.24:31 KJV). See also Isa.43:5-7; Mk.13:24-27; 14:62; Rev.1:7.
The Elect Rise to Meet Christ
"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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1.Thes.4:16-17 KJV). See also 2.Thes.2:1-8.
What happens as the righteous of all ages rise to meet Christ in the clouds above the earth?
"Listen I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed–in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1.Cor.15:51-52 NIV).
The change to immortality will be a spectacular event. It will be accompanied by the blast of a trumpet, lighting, thunder, and fire in the sky as the elect rise to meet Christ:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1.Jn.3:2 KJV). See also Rom.6:1-5; Phil.3:21; Rev.1:13-16.
The righteous will be changed to immortal beings just like Jesus. At the instant of this change, the elect will become spirit Sons of God and they will shine with the brightness of the stars:
"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Dan.12:3 KJV).
As the saints rise into the sky, they will be instantly changed into glorified spirit-beings and they will begin to shine with the brightness and power of the stars. At the instant of their change, the very power of their presence will rip apart the atmosphere, dissolving its basic elements. The noise of this awesome event will be almost unbearable to the human ear as sonic booms and explosions, blinding light, thunder, and clouds fill the sky. The sights and sounds of this day will put terror in the hearts of all those who witness it. To many, it will seem as if the world is coming to an end.
Christ and the Elect Disappear
Between the time of Christ's first return to gather the elect and his second return to conquer the earth, Jesus promises to keep the elect from the final portion of the tribulation:
"Because you kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you out of the hour of trial which is going to come on all the habitable world in order to try those dwelling on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly, Hold what you have that no one take your crown" (Rev.3:10-11).
After Christ's first return, the righteous of all ages will be spirit-beings who will have been taken to heaven. When the righteous are changed into spirit-beings and taken to heaven, there will not be one person alive on earth with the spirit of God. Because the elect will no longer be human, they will be protected from God's wrath that will come upon the earth.
CHRIST RETURNS TO CONQUER AND RULE
The Tribulation Cut Short
All of the righteous will have been taken from the earth and only the unrighteous will remain, but what will stop God from destroying the earth and the rest of humanity?
"For there will be great affliction, such as has not happened from the beginning of the world until now; no, nor ever will be. And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would be saved -but on account of the elect, those days will be shortened" (Matt.24:21-22).
Jesus says it is for the elect's sake that all of humanity will not be destroyed. But why? God will not destroy the entire earth because of his promises to the patriarchs and the elect concerning their inheritance, descendants and rulership, and because of his future plans for the rest of humanity.
Jesus Comes to Conquer
After the final plagues are poured out upon the earth, Jesus will return with the Elect of God to conquer the beast power and establish the Kingdom of God:
"Now you prophesy against them all these words, and say to them, the Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar over his dwelling place. He answers with a shout, like those who tread out the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A roaring will go to the ends of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with the nations. He will enter into judgment with all flesh; he will give the wicked to the sword, declares the Lord" (Jer.25:30-31 ). See also Isa.43:5-7; Mal.3:2-3; 4:1; Am.9:1-4; Oba. vs.15-16.
"And I saw the heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God" (Rev.19:11-13 KJV).
The Elect Return With Jesus
During the time period between Christ's first and second return, his armies will be preparing to invade and conquer the earth. Remember at this time the righteous of all ages will be immortal spirit-beings in the family of God:
"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev.19:14-15 KJV). See also Rev.2:26-27; 3:4; 19:8.
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints [the elect], To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15 KJV).
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they [the elect] that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev.17:14).
When Christ returns as the conquering king, the elect of God will come with him as a part of his vast spirit army:
"And to you, who are troubled, rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, that will take full vengeance on those who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, these will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength, when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired by all those who believe in that Day, because of our testimony" (2.Thes.1:7-10 Para.).
Christ's Rule Begins
"And his feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall divide from its middle, from the east to the west, a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the North, and half toward the South (v4) . . . And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with you" (Zech.14:4-5 Para.). See also Hag.2:6-7.
His Rule to Last Forever
"And the seventh angel trumpeted. And there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world became our Lord's, even of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever" (Rev.11:15).
This is the time that was spoken of from the beginning of humanity when salvation will begin to come to all of humanity through the Kingdom of God:
"For a Child is born; to us a Son is given; and
the government is on his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful, Counselor,
the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. There is no end
to the increase of his government and of peace on the throne of David, and on
his kingdom, to order it, and to sustain it with justice and with righteousness,
from now and forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this" (Isa.9:6-7
Para.) See Lk.1:32-33.
By B. L. Cocherell
File b2w17 7/07