Understanding God's Plan of Universal Reconciliation for All
THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
The most glorious prophesied future event in the Bible is the Second Coming to this earth of God’s only begotten Son Yeshua Elohim, Jesus Christ. The Bible is abundantly clear that Jesus Christ will return to earth, and He will return in the same way as He left.
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
Jesus left earth from the Mount of Olives and rose up into the clouds in the sky to ascend to heaven. Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives in the same way as He left, returning in the clouds from heaven.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Jesus will return to earth to fulfil the Abrahamic Covenant
As explained in Chapter 6, God made a covenant with Abraham known as ‘The Abrahamic Covenant’. This is a covenant by which God has promised unconditionally to make Abraham and His descendants (Israel) a great nation of blessing and to bless (save) all the families (nations) of the earth through the Seed of Abraham, who is Jesus Christ.
God has not yet fulfilled His covenant with Abraham. To date, Israel has never been a great and blessed nation occupying the full extent of the Promised Land. Also, God has not yet blessed (saved) all the families (nations) of the earth through Jesus Christ. God emphasised the Abrahamic Covenant through the Davidic and the New Covenants. It is important to understand that both the Davidic and the New Covenant, made with Israel, are included in and are the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant.
The Abrahamic Covenant can only be fulfilled by Christ. This will happen when Jesus returns to earth and establishes the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God will come in two phases as previously explained in Chapter 3. Firstly, there will be the Millennial Kingdom, and later, the Eternal Kingdom of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
It is the hope and expectation of the Jews that one day God will send a Messiah, an anointed King, who will restore the Kingdom of Israel and usher in a time of justice, peace and prosperity for the whole nation of Israel. This hope, rooted in the Old Testament Hebrew Scripture in several places, will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ, the Messiah, returns.
The signs to watch for, before Jesus Christ returns
Jesus’s disciples understood that the return of Jesus Christ would mark the end of this age and the beginning of the next age, the Millennial Age. They wanted to know if Jesus would give a sign before His return.
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when these things will be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Christ answered them by saying that a number of things would happen before His return. These are given in Matthew 24:4-12 and listed below:
- many people will be deceived by false teachers and false prophets,
- there will be wars and rumours of wars,
- there will be famines,
- there will be pestilences,
- there will be earthquakes,
- the Jews will be killed and hated by all nations.
How absolutely accurate the Bible is. These events have all been happening over hundreds of years since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, these are not the signs of His imminent return because Jesus says, in Matthew 24:8, that they are only ‘the beginning of sorrows’.
Jesus stated two important signs to watch for indicating His return is very close, which we discuss below.
1. The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Jesus Christ says that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world and then the end will come. The Gospel of the Kingdom is about the coming of the literal Kingdom of God which Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, will establish on this earth when He returns to earth to fulfil the Abrahamic Covenant.
Over many centuries, Traditional Christians have been zealous in their missions to convert people to Christianity and save them from a burning hell. However, Traditional Christianity has no revelation of who the true Son of God is, and therefore it remains in darkness to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The shocking fact is that the whole world of Christianity, as we know it today, has denied and continues to deny that Jesus Christ, Yeshua Elohim, is the only begotten Son of God, Yahveh Elohim, and that He is the Saviour of the world. These two most important truths about Jesus Christ form the very Gospel of Jesus Christ believed by the Apostles and also by the early church. Then later, heresies such as the false doctrines of the Trinity and hell, the great deceptions, were taught by false teachers who infiltrated gatherings of the church, as prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:4-12 discussed above. This gave rise to the teaching and preaching of a false gospel which continues in traditional Christianity today.
Make no mistake about it, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached in all the world before Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, and ultimately, to save the whole world in the ages to come.
2. God’s global end time judgement
The Bible speaks about God’s global end time judgement of ‘the Great Tribulation’ which will last for three and a half years, and immediately after it, massively cataclysmic events that occur at the actual Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Note that the Great Tribulation will be the most horrific unprecedented time that the world will have ever experienced or ever experience again.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Please note that verse 30 above confirms that Jesus Christ will appear on the clouds at His Second Coming after the Great Tribulation, but during the massively cataclysmic events when the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
The prophet Jeremiah calls God’s end time judgement, ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jeremiah 30:7). Daniel also refers to this same end time judgement.
Daniel 12:1, 7
1 ...And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time...
7 ...that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
‘A time, times and half a time’ means a period of three and a half years. Notice that a time of trouble will come in the future when the power of the holy people, meaning God’s chosen nation Israel, will be completely shattered.
The climactic event of the Great Tribulation will be the last great battle, known as the battle of Armageddon, when Israel will be completely shattered by invading foreign armies. Revelation 16:14-16 refers to it as ‘the battle of that great day of God Almighty’. This is when many Gentile nations (Magog) will unite under the leadership of Gog and invade Jerusalem just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. God will directly intervene to destroy these armies of the Gentile nations who conquer Jerusalem. The battle of Armageddon is described in detail in Ezekiel, Chapters 38 and 39.
The Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, clearly prophesies God’s fearful global end time judgement against this sinful world just before, and at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 13:9-13, Jeremiah 4:24-28, Zechariah 14:1-5, Joel 3, Matthew 24:29-30 and Revelation 6:12-17).
When we put together these scriptures, we can clearly see that the future judgement of God, which marks the end of this present age, will be absolutely cataclysmic involving the powers of the heavens being shaken, the stars (meteorites) falling onto earth, the sun and the moon being darkened, great earthquakes causing every mountain and every island to shake and move out of its place, great global devastation of the earth’s surface causing chaos and waste, massive destruction of all types of life, and surviving unbelievers so terrified that they hide away from the face of the returning Jesus Christ and His wrath.
The Bible indicates that up to two-thirds of earth’s population will die as a result of God’s global end time judgement.
“And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it.”
This scripture, referring to Israel, confirms that two-thirds of the Israelites in the land will die during God’s global end time judgement. Since there is a biblical principle of, “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile” (Romans 2:9), we can deduce from this scripture and others that two-thirds of the Gentile nations will also die during this end time global judgement.
During the Great Tribulation, a third of mankind will die as a result of various plagues, catastrophes and the climactic battle of Armageddon.
So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.
As indicated by the scripture below, it is evident that an additional one third of mankind will die immediately after the Great Tribulation as a result of the cataclysmic events of shaking of the heavens, falling of meteorites and the great earthquake, which will occur as Jesus Christ descends onto the Mount of Olives.
12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
Note that this end time judgement will be so great that every mountain and island will be moved out of its place. These cataclysmic events are also described in Revelation 16:20-21.
20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
God’s massively cataclysmic judgement against this present sinful world at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will change the topography and landscape of the whole of the earth’s surface. This is once again confirmed by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3-5.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
We can see from the scriptures given above that God has a dual purpose for His end time judgement against this present sinful world, before Jesus Christ returns onto earth to establish His Kingdom. Firstly, it is to completely destroy man’s worldly Satan inspired kingdoms. Secondly, it is to completely transform and prepare the earth’s surface to make the global topography needed for the coming glorious Millennial Kingdom of God on earth.
Before Jesus Christ descends and actually touches His feet onto the Mount of Olives, there are two important prophesied events that will take place. These are: ‘The Imprisonment of Satan’ and ‘The Resurrection of God’s Elect, the Bride of Christ’.
The Imprisonment of Satan
Satan who is currently free to roam the earth and its atmosphere, and deceive the world as ‘the prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2) will be imprisoned in the bottomless pit. He will be kept there for a thousand years to prevent him from deceiving the nations during Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, 3 and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The Resurrection of God’s Elect, the Bride of Christ
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
God’s Elect, the Bride of Christ who are the Firstfruits, will be resurrected with a great sound of a trumpet and gathered together by angels at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They will rise in their new glorified resurrected saved immortal spirit bodies to welcome and meet the returning Jesus Christ, their Saviour, to rule and reign with Him and be with Him forever.
There is a lot of confusion in the Christian world about exactly when believers will rise to meet the returning Jesus Christ. Christians talk and argue about a pre-tribulation rapture, a mid-tribulation rapture and a post-tribulation rapture, even though the word rapture is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
The Bible speaks of resurrection, not rapture
4...And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.
These verses clearly demonstrate that there are only two resurrections spoken of in the Bible, the First Resurrection and the Second Resurrection. The First Resurrection will take place at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Notice that the rest of the dead, meaning the rest of humanity, will live again after the thousand years are finished, which is at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. This is when the Second Resurrection takes place.
The First Resurrection is only for God’s Elect Bride of Christ, who will live and reign with Christ during the thousand-year Millennial Kingdom of God and beyond it forever. The Bride of Christ will consist of relatively very few people, from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations, who are called and chosen to believe the Gospel, according to the Election of Grace, during their earthly lives, before Jesus Christ returns. The Bride of Christ, also referred to as the Firstfruits, has a special salvation for a special purpose.
Many Christians have confused the powerful truth of the Resurrection of believers at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ by introducing an unbiblical concept called ‘the rapture’. Most Christians who hold to the rapture theory believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. They believe that Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will take place in two stages, the first stage being at the beginning of the tribulation, which they believe is a seven year period instead of a three and a half year period. At this first stage, they believe that Jesus comes only in the clouds to ‘whisk away’ all believers from earth to heaven. By doing this, they believe that Jesus protects the believers from God’s wrath during the tribulation. They do not believe that Jesus lands on the earth at the first stage of His Second Coming, but that He will land on earth with them at the end of the tribulation period.
A typical rapture belief is as follows:
“Millions of people will disappear from the Earth without warning. As a result, tragic and unexplained accidents will occur on a wide scale basis, ushering in the tribulation period. Many speculate that the non-believers left behind who may have known of the Rapture theory, yet previously rejected it, will finally come to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour as a result of the Rapture. Others left behind will remain in unbelief, finding theories to explain away the bizarre event.”
Belief in the rapture is unbiblical. The Bible speaks of only one Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and only one gathering together of all believers at the return of Christ, which is a post-tribulation resurrection. This resurrection of God’s Elect, the Bride of Christ (believers who have died and those who are alive) will occur at the return of Jesus Christ, immediately after the Great Tribulation. This resurrection is, of course, the First Resurrection referred to in Revelation 20:6 given previously.
Christians who believe in a pre or mid-tribulation rapture should pay close attention to what Jesus has to say in the following scripture, which proves that all believers, who are alive at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, will know exactly when they will be resurrected. Hence, it will not be a surprise rapture, but an expected glorious resurrection at Jesus’s return.
25 And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
These verses give the same sequence of events as in Matthew 24:29-31. The most important glorious future event of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ occurs after the distress of nations, meaning after the Great Tribulation. Also, please note that all will see Jesus Christ coming in a cloud with power and great glory. This is the time when true believers will look up with joy and lift up their heads because they will know that their redemption is near, as they will enter into the fullness of their salvation. They will know that they are about to leave this earth and, in the twinkling of an eye, their earthly corruptible fleshly bodies will change into their beautiful glorified, incorruptible, immortal spirit bodies, and they will rise to meet their returning Saviour in the air.
The pre-tribulation rapture theory, which teaches that believers will suddenly and without any warning disappear from this earth, is unbiblical. It completely contradicts verse 28 above. The Bible says that all believers who are still alive at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will know exactly when they will be resurrected to meet the returning Christ because they will see Him coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
There is only one Second Coming of Jesus Christ immediately after the Great Tribulation, and only one resurrection of the Elect Bride of Christ. The Elect Bride consists of the true believers who have lived and died before Christ’s Second Coming, together with all of the true believers who are still alive at His Coming. There is not a hint anywhere in the Bible of Jesus Christ returning in two stages separated by a seven-year period of tribulation.
Christians who believe in the rapture give 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as their proof texts. Let us examine these scriptures and see that they actually speak of resurrection, not rapture.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15 is a chapter that speaks about resurrection. This chapter says nothing about rapture. In verses 50-53 quoted above, Apostle Paul confirms that true believers, both those who are dead and those who are alive, will be changed and raised incorruptible at the last trumpet. When will the last trumpet sound? As we have already shown by quoting Matthew 24:30-31, there will be the sound of a trumpet when God’s Elect Bride will be gathered together at Christ’s return, immediately after the tribulation.
As we have seen, the Bible clearly speaks about a post-tribulation resurrection, which is the First Resurrection, and it will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Why use an unbiblical term such as ‘rapture’ when the Bible only speaks about resurrection?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The Bible is consistent. The verses above speak of the First Resurrection of God’s Elect Bride of Christ at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Notice that when Jesus descends from heaven there will be a trumpet sound, which agrees with the previous scriptures we have quoted. This trumpet sound will occur immediately after the Great Tribulation when Christ returns and gathers together His Elect to bring them with Him as He descends to earth, onto the Mount of Olives.
True believers will be ready when Jesus Christ returns
The Bible says that only Father God in heaven knows the exact day and hour when Jesus Christ will return to earth. The world will be taken by surprise when Jesus returns. For unbelievers, Jesus Christ will come totally unexpectedly like ‘a thief in the night’ (Matthew 24:36-51).
Though nobody knows the exact day and hour when Jesus Christ will return, true believers, God’s Elect Bride are not in darkness. They are ready and always will be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as they are waiting, watching and praying for God’s Kingdom to come and God's will to be done on this earth (The Lord’s Prayer).
1 Thessalonians 5:4-6
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
All true believers have the full assurance of their salvation. They know that Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher of their faith (Hebrews 12:2). They also know that they are not appointed to wrath, meaning the future judgement of God in the Lake of Fire (John 5:24).
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Verse 9 above speaks about the wrath of God’s Lake of Fire judgement at the Great White Throne Judgement. It has nothing to do with the wrath of God, which occurs during the three and a half year period of the Great Tribulation, as falsely believed by Christians who believe in the rapture theory.
God will protect the majority of true believers from His wrath during the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 12:13-17). However, God will allow some true believers to suffer persecution and even martyrdom (Revelation 13:7). God’s wrath during the Great Tribulation will be directed at unbelievers, not believers.
All true believers know that they will rise in the First Resurrection to meet their returning Saviour in the air and be with Him forever, whether Jesus Christ returns before or after they die. At Christ’s return, believers who are dead will be the first to be resurrected, and then immediately in the twinkling of an eye, believers who are alive will be transformed into their new glorified immortal spirit bodies. Both groups will then be gathered together in their resurrected glorified immortal spirit bodies in the air, and rise up as the Firstfruits to meet the returning Jesus Christ. Then, they will all descend with Jesus onto the Mount of Olives to rule and reign with Him in the Millennial Kingdom of God and beyond, forever.
Let us comfort and edify one another with this wonderful truth, as Apostle Paul encourages us to do in verse 11 above.