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The Second Coming #1 & 2
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The “Second Coming” #1

 

The disciples came unto him privately saying, tell us when will these things be?  And what shall be sign of thy coming and of the end of the world? (Matt 24:3, KJV)

 

1. There are as many ideas about the “Second Coming” of Christ as there are people who write about it.

2. In this lesson we will study only one question presented by the disciples to Christ, “what will be the sign of your coming?”  By signs all would know his coming was in progress, and these signs and events would confirm Christ as being the Messiah spoken of in prophecy.

3. At this time in history Rome had conquered the known world with the exception of Israel.  Israel had not fallen yet.  So when wars, or rumors of war are mentioned they refer to AD 66-70 war between Israel and Rome.

4. The first event and signs are given in Deut. 28, this chapter is very important in this study.  First verses 1-14 deals with Gods promise of blessing to the New formed nation of Israel provided they would obey him.  Verses 15-48 covers a period from the time they came into Canaan until God would move Babylon against them, these verses depicts their doom provided they do not obey God.  While verses 49 the balance of the chapter gives details of their doom by Rome these are the events and signs which Luke speaks of in Lk. 21:1-32.

5. Zech. 14:1-9 confirms that these would be some of the signs and events which would proceed Christ’s coming.  Now, put the pieces together Luke 21:20, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies know that her destruction is at hand.”  Now notice Zech. 14:1-5, the coming of Christ is predicted to be during the period of the destruction of Jerusalem.  Luke 21:27 confirms this coming of which the apostles ask Christ in Matt 24:3.

6. The prophet Malachi speaks of that great and terrible day of the Lord.  It will burn like a furnace the evil doer will become ashes, the wicked will be trodden underfoot.  Now along with this prophecy, compare Luke 21:24. Now Malachi states that before this day comes that Elijah the prophet will come and he will restore the hearts of the fathers to the children.

7. Another sign:  Matt. 16:27,28. Read verse 27 the coming of the Lord.  Why is he coming?  To judge every man from Adam to the day of his death, and to raise the righteous.  Verse 28, talking to his apostles, he informs them that some of them will not die before he comes back in his Kingdom.  There are assumptions regarding these coming as being on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 were baptized.  But Christ was in the wrong place at the wrong time for this to be speaking of that coming.  Please read Acts 2:33.

8. Well, lets use one more sign to show the time of the “Second Coming.”  Daniel 7:1-14 Daniel has a vision he does not understand, verse 15,16 he ask for the Angel to give him the exact meaning of this vision, verses 17-24. The 4th Beast is 4 Kingdoms; they are 1. Babylon, 2. Medo Persia, 3. Greece, 4. Rome, and from the 4th beast comes 11 horns representing rulers of Rome verse, 24.  The 11 horns are:

 

  1. Pompey (52-50 BC)

  2. Julius (c. 49-27 BC)

  3. Augustus (c. 27 BC to 14 AD)

  4. Tiberias (c. 14-37 AD)

  5. Caligula (c. 37-41 AD)

  6. Claudius (c. 41-54 AD)

  7. Nero (c. 54-68 AD)

  8. Galba (June 68 to January 69 AD)

  9. Otho (Jan. 69 to April 69 AD)

10. Vitellius (April 69 to Dec. 3, 69 AD)

11. Vespasian (Dec. 69 to 79 AD)

 

Daniel 7:21, I kept looking and that horn the 11th was waging war with the saints.  History informs us that Vespasian began war against Israel on Feb. 10, 67 AD.  The war lasted until Sep. 10, 70 AD.  Now!  Notice the 11th horn, Dan. 7:21. Now look at verse 22 “Until the Lord come.”  When did Christ come?  During the reign of the 11th horn, 69, 79 AD.  Verse 22, the great judgment of Malachi 4 and Matt. 24; Luke 21.

9. Notice all the prophecy was directed against Israel and Jerusalem.  Also, in 2 Pet. 3:10 it follows the details of all prophecy.  Peter writes to the Hebrews only!  Notice 1 Peter 1:1, then read the same language of destruction in Isa. 13, and Ezek. 7.

10. Remember the Roman Catholic Church began the teaching of the “second coming” supposedly being at hand in order to raise money to build the Pope’s palace.  They did not raise enough, so they began the teaching of penance paying in advance to have your sins forgiven.  This did not raise enough so they began the teaching and practice of praying relatives out of Hell for a price, this brought enough money to complete the Pope’s palace.  Accordingly, based on Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, and Matthew 5:17, Luke 24:44, the “Second Coming” occurred in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Deut. 28 is important, it’s the beginning of the end.  The “Coming” the disciples were told to look for signs.  Moses sets forth the first signs.  Deut. 28:49.  God would bring a nation against them, one would come from the end of the earth (Rome) the eagle would swoop down.  The Etruscan race which later formed the nation of Rome.  Their language neither Aryan nor Semitic, rather Latin and who bore the symbol of the eagle.  In verses 49-69 Moses gives signs which would accompany the destruction of Israel and Jerusalem.

11. Now notice the signs in Matthew 24:4-14 which Jesus gives, especially verse 14, where the Lord uses the phrase “the whole world.”  His gospel would be preached.  The apostle Paul stated in Col. 1:1,23 that the gospel had been preached in all the whole world.  Jesus gave this sign in Matt 24:14 and said when this is done, “then” the end shall come, and verse 30-34 “then” He will come.  “second coming.”  And this according to Christ would take place during his generation.

12. Paul in Heb. 10:37 reminds the church at Jerusalem that the signs spoken of beforehand are now upon them, and in verse 37 informs them that.  “For yet in a very little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”

13. John 21:14-24, Jesus foretelling Peter as to the type of death he would suffer, since no one else was mentioned Peter wonders about the beloved disciple John and ask, “Lord and what about this man?”  “If I want him to remain until I come what is that to you?”

 

Observations:

The signs and promises of Christ’s “second coming” are not hidden in obscurity, but just as clearly set forth as the scripture reveals any events historically.  I have observed no scripture in which it is foretold that Christ will in the future return to annihilate the literal Heaven and universe.  2 Pet. 3 will not stand the test under the New Covenant.

 

 


The “Second Coming” #2

 

Introduction and Questions

When was the first time you heard about the “Second Coming” of Christ to annihilate the earth (universe)?  And, who was the speaker or writer that made you aware of it?  Was it presented as an emotionally-charged lesson?  Did you know, that after the first century, the Roman Catholic Church was the first to teach the “Second Coming?”  Do you know the purpose of which the near return of Christ was taught?  Did you know, that, like penance and purgatory, that the Catholic Church taught these subjects in such a way as to play upon the emotions of people?  Did you know that the purpose was twofold, first to obtain money to finish the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and second, so that restoration preachers later would teach a “Second Coming?”  It is proper to believe in a “second appearing” [Gr. “manifestation”], since scripture teaches it (Heb. 9:28).  But scripture does not teach the kind of coming that most Christians today believe in. 

So lets take a second look at the “second coming” of Christ while remembering that our salvation is not predicated upon a second, third, or fourth coming in the future.

 

I. Matthew 24:3, The apostles inquired of Christ to give them signs which should come to pass indicating the end of the world and of His coming [appearing].

A. Jesus had already given the apostles and the people signs.  However, He gives them more, and of all He informed them of He made sure that a time limitation was evident, Mt. 24:34, “this generation.”  Not a generation thousands of years in the future, but His generation.  Other signs are found in Matthew.  His church would be established, Mt. 16:18.  Satan would have no power over, or in, the Lord’s church.

B. Matthew 16:28, Some of the apostles, or those standing there, would be alive and would see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.  Coming in this kingdom is quite different than coming with the kingdom.  Firstly, to come in His kingdom would indicate that departed saints would accompany Him which would fulfill prophecy, Zechariah 14:5. The preceding versus indicate a time when this will occur, i.e.  the destruction of Jerusalem.  See Luke 21:20-32. Zechariah 14:9 to save the least, shows Jesus Christ as King over His kingdom and the only body in which salvation can be obtained, Acts 4:12.

C. Of this great and terrible day of the Lord, Mal. 4:1-6 says the Lord gives another sign that the apostles did not understand “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.”  Look at Mt. 1:7-14, verse 14, “and if you care to accept it, John himself is Elijah, who was to come.  Again, we have a time limitation on these appearings.  Mt. 24:29-31 again speaks of the same event of Mt. 24:3 and Mt. 25:31.  Mt. 24:30 says, “The sign of the Son of Man will appear.  “They will mourn,” verse 30.  Who will mourn?  “The tribes of the earth,” per Zech. 12:10-12 and Rev. 1:7.  Christ places a time limitation on these events, Mt. 24:34.  And then, He adds to the time limitation in Mt. 24:33, “He is near, right at the door.”

D. Again, Christ speaks to the point of His coming, Mt. 25:31. Here, all the angels will accompany Him.  Then, He will sit on His throne which God the Father has promised to give Him, Dan. 7:13-14, and which He was to go away to receive, Lk. 19:12-24. No one should doubt the time limitation set on this event, Lk. 19:15, “having returned, after receiving the kingdom, He ordered that these slaves, to whom He had given the money, be called to Him in order that He might know what business they had done.”  There is something extremely significant here in reference to the amount of elapsed time between His going away and His return.  Notice the parable clearly indicates that the slaves who had been given the original charge were still alive when Christ returned after receiving the kingdom.

 

II. After reviewing the evidence for what was taught about the “second coming” for the last nineteen hundred years, it is impossible for me to agree with it, due to the time limitations that are placed on each of these texts.

A. No one would argue that Christians are not now in the kingdom of Christ unless they have a physical concept of the kingdom like the Jews did.

B. If Matthew 16:28 is an informative passage, then it is clear that when Jesus came, or comes, He would come in His reign, or kingdom.  To say that this passage was not fulfilled in the first century is to deny that Christ reigns in His kingdom today.

C. There are many more simple passages which refer to the question asked by the apostles in Mt. 24:3.  1 Cor. 1:7 would be listed as the classic example, “So that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I call your attention to the fact that these were supernatural gifts.  These were people in the church at Corinth.  Does the church today maintain these supernatural gifts?  Certainly not in view of verse 8, “who also shall confirm you to the end.”  So then, if the Lord did not come, these gifts must still be extant in the church, which would deny 1 Cor. 13:8.  1 Thes. 1:10 points to the same event as that of Mt. 24:3, as well as 2 Thes. 1:5-10, Heb. 10:37-38, Jam. 5:7-9.

D. Remember Matthew 24:3, “What are the signs of the end of the world?”  Paul, the apostle, answers the question, Hebrews, 9:26, “otherwise Christ would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the end of the world He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,” King James Version.

E. There can be no doubt now that Matthew 24:3 was fulfilled in the first century.

F. Concerning the misunderstood third chapter of Second Peter, Campbell states, “The bodies of the saints will be as homogeneous with the new earth and heavens as their present bodies are with the present heaven and earth.  God recreates and regenerates, but annihilates nothing; therefore the present earth is not to be annihilated.,” The Christian System, A. Campbell, p. 258.

G. Compare 2 Peter 3 with Isaiah 13. Notice the same language.  Isaiah 13 represented the nation of Babylon and not the whole universe, therefore 2 Peter 3 represents a nation, the nation of Israel.  The background of prophecy from Deut. 28 is written against Israel and its Last Days.  After looking at passages which are used to point to a future appearing of our Lord, I find none that demand a yet future fulfillment.  For two reasons:

1. The time indicators within each text.

2. The time limitation of all prophecy in Deut. 18:22.

 

III. Now look at a scriptural truth regarding the “Second Appearing,” of our Lord mentioned in Hebrews 9:28.

A. The above passage is the only of its kind found in God’s word, and it therefore spells out the purpose for a “Second Appearing,” nothing is said in regards to the annihilation of the universe.

B. Notice Hebrews 9:28, “So Christ also having been offered once to bear sins of the many, shall appear a second time, not to bear sin, to those who eagerly await Him for salvation.”  So now the scriptural purpose for the “Second appearing:  or “Appearing” was salvation to those who eagerly awaited Him.  We are to be reminded that both Jew and Gentile had received the gospel, and had been accepted on or about 41 AD.  Acts 9:1-15, Acts 10:1ff.

C. The following questions seems to be warranted.  Who then was waiting to be saved?  What kind of salvation was warranted?

1. First, it is needful and educational to consider two words that appear in Hebrews 9:28, they are:  “appear” and “salvation.”

a. Appear, Greek “ophthesetai” the Greek reference works consulted say the word “appear” in Hebrews 9:28 “is a manifestation of power, a future appearance in behalf of His Saints.”  Vine’s, p. 65, Wigram Lexicon, p. 290, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 450.

b. Salvation, Greek “soteria,” “Of the future deliverance of believers at the appearing of Christ in behalf” or for “His Saints a salvation which is the object of their confident hope.  e.g.  Romans 13:11, 1 Thes. 2:13, Hebrews 1:14, Hebrews 9:28, 1 Peter 1:5, 2 Peter 3:15, e.g.  inclusively, to sum up all blessings bestowed by God on men in Christ through the Holy Spirit.”  Vine’s p. 316.  “Deliverance, preservation, safety, deliverance from molestation of enemies.”  Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 612.

2. Although the word “end” does not appear in Hebrews 9:28, it is a word pertinent to Hebrews 9:28. The word “end time,” the “last time,” will be helpful in the understanding of Hebrews 9:28 for 9:28, points to the “last time.”  “Telos,” brought to conclusion, fully accomplished, fully developed, fully realized, complete fulfilled, as opposed to what is partial and limited.  Wigram Lexicon p. 400, Vine p. 26.

3. A classic example of the “last times” is found in 1 Peter 1:5, a salvation ready to be revealed in the “last time.”  1 Peter 1:20, informs us as to when the “last times” were:  “for He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”  Verse 13, is of the same time, and same event.

4. Therefore, the salvation of Hebrews 9:28, was the deliverance of Saints from their enemies and of tribulation, from the wrath of God, at this time all things would be complete, fulfilled, and Christ would sit on His throne and reign as King.  This was the time of the “end” or “consummation” according to Heb. 9:26.  Zech. 14:9. Christ would take His bride Rev. 19:7, Rev. 21:2,3. Such fulfillment scripturally would take place after the destruction of Jerusalem.  Luke 21:20-32. Verse 22 these are the days of vengeance that all things written must be fulfilled.  See also Matthew 5:17, Luke 24:44, Revelation 21:6.

 

Observations:

1. The writer of the Hebrew letter wrote to Hebrew Christians alone, against the background of Jewish persecution aimed at destroying Christianity.

2. That this persecution against Christians was the purpose of Heb. 9:28, to show that Christ would appear the second time to destroy the enemies of the early Christians, and give hope to those suffering at the hands of the Jew’s who would not accept Christ.  Such is shown in 2 Thes. 1:1-10, Luke 21:20-32, Matt. 24:1-34. This would be the case or the prophecy of Zech. 14:1-9, fails as well as Heb. 10:37.

3. I further observe that in the first century Gentiles were sinners, yet it was the Jew that was covenant enemies to Christianity.  Thus Deut. 28:49ff the great and terrible day of the Lord Malachi 4:1ff.  was directed to Jews not Gentiles.


 

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