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And now the answer to the LLM Question of 2-10-2010
Question: Does the Bible teach that the Second Coming of Christ will be in two phases as was the First Coming?
Answer: YES! So, Today let us consider, Will the Return of the LORD be in TWO Phases?
We regularly get inundated with questions about the Rapture. Mostly on the timing, and the searching out of signs, (although we live in the sign-LESS Dispensation of Grace, where the only “sign” we are looking for is “that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” Titus 2:13). But the question here in view is an interesting one…Will the LORD’s return be in TWO Phases?
The question, and it’s answer, tie into other points which prove that the Church of God of the Dispensation of Grace, the Church of the Mystery, the Body of Christ, is NOT the subject of the Book of Revelation. One such point is the character of Christ's Second Coming and the events to which it is connected.
The coming of Christ for His Body is quite a different event, and belongs to quite a different Dispensation than what is seen in the Book of Revelation. The end for which the Body of Christ is waiting is not judgment or tribulation, but to be "received up in glory" (1 Timothy 3:16), to be "called on high" (Philippians 3:14), to be changed and have glorious bodies like our Savior’s own body of glory. The members of the Body of Christ have their seat of government, it exists NOW…in HEAVEN, from whence we look for the Savior (Philippians 3:19-21).
That coming is into the AIR, and NOT unto the earth; it is in Grace, and NOT in judgment; it concerns those who are "IN Christ," and not either Jew or Gentile, separately as such.
NOTHING is revealed in the Old Testament or in the Gospels about this coming. Those books know nothing of it. This coming into the AIR, the Rapture, concerns the Mystery, which was kept secret from times eternal, and was "hid in God." The Body of Christ,(which is the Church of the Mystery), waits for one thing as its consummation, and that is to be "received up into glory" (1 Timothy 3:16). But take NOTE, this is NOT the subject of the Book of Revelation.
Now let’s make this super clear. In order to do that we must compare what we call the "second" Advent with the "first Advent". Note carefully...there is NO WHERE in scripture that says that the Great Tribulation, Daniel’s Prophesied 70th Week, begins immediately following the Rapture.
When the Coming of the Lord was announced in Micah 5:2, it was announced as a “COMING FORTH”; and in Zechariah 9 as a “COMING UNTO”. The prophecy in Micah speaks of the coming forth at Bethlehem, the prophecy in Zechariah of the coming unto Jerusalem.
There was NOTHING in those prophecies to tell the Jewish reader whether there would be any interval between these events, or what that interval would be. The Jewish Bible student might think, and they DID think, there was a discrepancy; while the Jew with the greater education might see this as a greater difficulty, and then refused to believe either Scripture.
Now of course we, today, with our knowledge, know that there was an interval of more than thirty years between the two events. However, take note, both refer to one and the same Coming, but to two different stages in it; and that all the events between them go to make up what we speak of as the "First Coming."
The Lion and Lamb Ministry believes that it will be exactly the same with regard to what we call the "second Coming." There will be the same two stages, with a similar interval (or longer it may be) between them, and all the events (which are recorded in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere) will go to make up what we speak of as "the second Coming."
There will be the “coming forth”, (as at Bethlehem), of "the Lord Himself" and the calling of His saints on high (Philippians 3:14), and the receiving of them in glory (1 Timothy 3:16). THEN, later on, in order to fulfill all the prophecies which relate to His People Israel; and, as the Son of man, the Lord will "come unto" the earth, to take unto Himself His great power, and reign. This latter coming, the “coming unto” is connected with "the Day of the Lord," and it is THAT which is the subject of the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 1:7 settles this for us, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth, (It might be rendered "the Land" better than "earth"), shall wail because of him." Only Jew and Gentile are in this verse, and not the Body of Christ.
This is the Coming of which the Old Testament speaks. The Old Testament and it’s prophets know no other. See Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:9-10, which is the Scripture referred to here.
This is the Coming which the Lord spoke of when on earth in Matthew 24:30-31; Matthew 26:64, and elsewhere (take note of the "ye"). What He there said is perfectly clear, and in perfect harmony with all that had been said in the Old Testament. Now here is the felonious, criminal offense: To read Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians into the Gospels is only to create confusion; and make a problem where none before existed: it is to use one truth for the upsetting of another truth. The same difficulty is created when we arbitrarily introduce these later Prison Epistles of the Apostle Paul into the Book of revelation.
To save us from making such a disastrous mistake, the Holy Spirit gave special instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5, immediately after He had inspired the revealing of 1 Thessalonians 4. If we heed this and learn its great and important lesson, all will be perfectly clear.
1 Thessalonians 5:1, "But of the times and the season, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you."
Why, "no need"? Simple! Because the Coming forth into the AIR and our "gathering together unto Him" there, do NOT depend on any time or season. HOWEVER, His "Coming unto" the earth does; but that is not what the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul had been speaking about in the chapter immediately before (1 Thessalonians 4).
1 Thessalonians 5:2, "For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
Look and take note, it is the "Day of the Lord" which (as we have seen above) is the subject of the Book of Revelation: and in Revelation 3:3, the Lord distinctly warns as to His Coming "as a thief," which is the VERY OPPOSITE of what we read of in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, and even in 1 Thessalonians 4, and 1 Thessalonians 5. Now mark the sudden change of pronouns in the latter chapters...
1 Thessalonians 5:3, "For when THEY shall say, 'Peace and safety,' then sudden destruction cometh upon THEM...and THEY shall not escape."
It is this very "destruction" which the Book of Revelation describes. It is this which gives its character to "the Day of the Lord." It is "sudden," and comes "as a thief;" and it comes upon "THEM" and "THEY,"…and NOT upon US. Once again, mark the change of pronouns…
1 Thessalonians 5:4, "But YE, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake YOU as a thief."
Here, our point is distinctly, emphatically, and categorically stated, with a great precision and explicitness which leaves nothing to be added. Can anything be more clear than, (aside from the fact that the Body of Christ is not the subject of the Apocalypse), the fact that the "Coming" which is the subject of the Book of Revelation is NOT the Coming for which the Body of Christ is now longing, waiting, and looking?
The Book of Revelation is all "prophecy," and therefore it awaits a future fulfillment in "the Day of the Lord," when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be unveiled as the Son of man, and EVERY eye shall see Him.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short