"I saw in the night visions,
and, behold, one like a Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven,
and came to the Ancient of days and they brought him near before
him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,
that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion
is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom
that which shall not be destroyed."
by Roland Pletts
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As supplies last, this book will be given freely without charge
to individuals who would like to read it.
This book can be obtained in three different formats:
1) Website - www.sonstoglory.com/JesusSecondComing.htm
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Please check our website at www.sonstoglory.com for the current
availability, or write to: Sons to Glory;
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This book was originally published through Roland
Pletts Ministries in Harare, Zimbabwe Africa in 1996.
The Shekinah Glory of Christ at His Coming was written by
Permission was granted SonsToGlory to print and distribute
Published in Harvest Alabama, 2008
The Shekinah Glory of Christ at
Table of Contents
PART 1 -- Author's Background
PART 2 -- The Revelation of Jesus
PART 3 - The Scriptures Confirm
He is Coming in this Way
Definition of Biblical Terms:
Coming in the Clouds
The Old Testament Cloud
The Shekinah Glory
The New Testament Cloud
Caught up in the Clouds
Caught up - Harpazo
In the Air
The Manifestation of the Sons of God
The Splendour of Christ's Light
His Light in Believers
Forty Days of Christ's Presence
He Will Return
Behind The Veil
The Angelic Realm
Lord Jesus Come
The Unveiling of Christ
PART 4 -- Other Scriptures Dealing
with the Return of Christ
The Rapture - Not a Departure but a Changing
The Reign of Christ - 1,000 Years
Every Eye Shall See Him
The Church - Spiritual Israel
Times of Refreshing and Restoration
He Will Tabernacle With His People
The Plan of the Tabernacle
Christ Indwells the Believer
God's Ancient Nation - The Sign Nation
The Last Three and a Half Years
Symbols in Passover
Day of Atonement & Judgment of Nations
The New Creation
The Heavenly Wedding
PART 5 - Summary
I have read the book "The Shekinah Glory of Christ
at His Coming" by Roland Pletts more times than I can count.
Each new reading opens up more insight and brings a deeper understanding
of the manner in which the Lord Jesus will return in glory to fully
establish His kingdom on the earth. Since I have read and listened
to so much other "stuff out there" on Bible prophecy surrounding
the return of Jesus, it has taken several readings of this material
with prayer and meditation to really grasp the simple truth of Christ's
coming in our generation.
The coming of our Lord Jesus to rule the earth as
King has been a sought-after time for countless believers since
the day Jesus first left His disciples in 33 A.D. Most sincere believers
earnestly desire to see Jesus with His truth and mercy ruling the
earth, but the manner and timing of His return have been
debated and speculated for centuries.
If there are 1,000 different doctrines being taught
on any particular subject in the Bible, it will always be doctrine
1,001 when the Lord finally speaks on that subject. This is because
His ways are not our ways, and until He speaks, we remain in the
This book "The Shekinah Glory of Christ at
His Coming" is a doctrine from the Lord on the manner of
His coming. It is so simple that a child can understand it, believe
it, and look forward to it. The reason this book has to be written
is because there are so many other wrong belief systems regarding
the way in which Jesus will return.
The Bible is very clear that Jesus will return in
the same manner in which He appeared to His disciples after His
resurrection (Acts 1:11). But the doctrines of men have so cluttered
the minds of God's people that when the truth is spoken it is often
When Jesus came the first time, He was not received
by those who were looking for Him, because Jesus did not come in
a manner they were expecting. Likewise, Jesus is coming again today
in a powerful way TO His people and then IN His people to empower
them with the same glory that He had when He rose from the dead.
May this book help to free God's people to both hear and believe
this "blessed hope" of how Jesus will return to visit
His people in our day.
My aim in presenting these notes is to impart a revelation
of Scripture in as simple a manner as possible, so as to open you,
the reader, to the exciting possibility that the coming of Jesus
may happen in a manner you may not have considered. There is also
the prospect of a time of great joy for His people as they prepare
to meet Him and also for the great harvest at His return.
Therefore, we need to understand HOW He will come,
and what to expect when He does. May this quicken within you a great
expectation for the Lord's return and a yearning for His Kingdom
to come in power.
These notes are in five parts. In the first section,
I share the background of how I came to receive this revelation
and God's confirmation of it. In the second section, I try to share
the main truth about what the Lord showed me concerning His return.
In this section I do not give any Scripture references, but in the
third, and major section, I present Scriptural backing for the teaching,
and step by step, give an overview of it. Then in the fourth section,
I deal with related Scriptures in order to try and anticipate questions
that may arise. The summary is the final section.
I received Jesus Christ as Lord in 1964, and after
a period of preparation, I went into Christian service. From early
in my conversion I was interested in Biblical prophecy and the Lord's
return. In 1974 I had an experience that dramatically influenced
my spiritual understanding. Late one night I was praying out in
a field when God allowed me to see something that was truly amazing.
There suddenly appeared above me a group of huge luminous forms
radiating a clear translucent light. They shone with an iridescent
beauty that lit up the darkness like supernatural clouds.
I knew immediately that I had seen something from
the spirit realm which reflected the glory of God, and I began to
earnestly search the Scriptures concerning the return of the Lord
Jesus. As I did, He showed me things that I had not read in any
books, and helped me to gain new insight into His word. For many
years I continued to study Biblical prophecy, but still had difficulty
understanding the actual manner of the Lord's return.
Then in 1994 the Lord opened my spirit to receive
spiritual understanding as to how He will return and establish His
Kingdom on earth. It did not come from my own knowledge, but from
His Spirit. The insight I received is not how popular books teach
He will come. In fact, I have never read this in any book, or ever
heard it taught - it came from the Spirit of God - and I now know
He has also shown many others the same thing. I can say with the
apostle Paul, "For I neither received it of man, neither
was I taught it, but it came by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
It happened during a gathering in which the presence
of the Holy Spirit was very evident with much blessing. I was sitting
quietly praying, and asking the Lord what significance there was
to the outpouring of His Spirit, when I was impressed by the thought
that He wanted His people to be ready for His return. Then suddenly
in a moment of time, and quite unexpectedly, the Lord opened my
spirit and showed me something amazing about His return.
The understanding of it came to me instantly and I
was thinking about it when another quite unexpected thing took place.
The leader of the meeting began to speak a "word of knowledge"
from the Lord to me, in which he described in precise detail a recent
event that had happened to me, about which he had no possibility
This event had been so unusual and life threatening
that without question only God could have given him the information.
In this word, the Lord said that He was now opening a new beginning
for me. All this took place within moments, and was confirmation
that it was the Holy Spirit who was speaking to me. We were in the
Lord's presence with His Spirit in control and although the insight
He gave me was a totally new concept for me, I knew in spirit the
instant I received it, that it was the truth.
After this, I carefully studied the Scriptures and
concluded that what was shown is more correct than any other teaching
that I had considered. God began to show me things that I had never
seen before. At this time the Lord impressed very strongly upon
me that I should not share it with anyone, except those He brought
directly to me. So after several months, I shared it privately with
some mature men and women who were led to me. All received it. Several
had received supernatural insight of it, before I told them about
Then, some time afterwards, something else happened.
I was in a men's gathering and a man came to me, put his hand on
my shoulder, and began to speak a word from the Lord in which the
Lord said that He wanted me to be completely settled in the new
revelation that He had given me; to have no confusion about it,
and to be confident in sharing it with others. It just so happened
that one of the men with whom I had previously shared it, heard
the entire prophetic utterance, and was thereby witness to the Lord's
In this way, the Lord once more confirmed it, and
also released me to share it. Since then, there have been several
more mighty exhortations from the Holy Spirit to share it. I have
found that people who are uncluttered with dogma and moving in the
Holy Spirit easily receive it. On several occasions, the Lord once
again gave amazing confirmation of the teaching by revealing it
directly to people, before I shared it, and I know of others who
have received the same insight direct from the Lord.
I asked the Lord how I should communicate what He
had shown me, and I felt Him say that it should not be taught just
in a theological manner, which would cause argument, but that He
would impart it by His Spirit to those who could receive it. However,
all teaching must be judged by Scripture, and flow with Biblical
truth. The inerrancy of the Bible is our only foundation for truth.
I have found as I have shared this insight that many people who
are open to the Spirit of God, have received it and even when not
immediately understood by some, it has been confirmed to them, as
they have sought the Lord.
I believe that this revelation came from the Lord,
was immediately confirmed by a direct word from Him, is established
in Scripture, has been imparted supernaturally to others, has been
tested by mature believers, and that I was then directly released
by the Lord to share it. In simple obedience, as best as I am able,
I do so now.
So before going further I ask you, the reader, to
pause, and to ask the Holy Spirit of Truth to open your mind and
heart to what He wants to say to you. Try to put aside previous
ideas you may have about the return of Jesus, and then ask Him to
give you HIS revelation. (Perhaps you already know.)
In Part 2, I will outline what the Lord showed me,
but I do not intend to give Scriptures at this stage, as I will
do so later.
The Revelation of Jesus
The Lord's Spirit disclosed to me that when the
Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth, He will simply step out of the
invisible realm, and appear to believers, wherever they may be.
They may be in their homes, or in a place of prayer, or worshipping
together. He will come to each individual believer, or group of
believers, who are looking for His return. He will appear in His
glorified body, and be real and tangible to all who love Him. He
will be visible, and function in a real body, in the same way that
He did during the forty days after His resurrection. When He comes,
He will establish God's Kingdom in the world, and will empower His
people to rule with Him.
When Jesus comes, His people will be able to see Him,
and He will be able to touch them. When He reveals Himself to believers,
they will be changed, as He releases His power and glory into them.
Then, as they walk in this new power, they will rise up and witness
Christ to all nations with great liberty and mighty miracles. His
Kingdom will grow and fill the whole earth.
For forty days after His resurrection, Jesus lived
on earth with His people. He taught them, instructed them, ate with
them, and did many other marvelous things. He was real and could
be seen and touched. Satan could not attack Him, neither could His
enemies. His disciples met with Him, and He appeared wherever He
wished, with no restrictions: in a garden, in private homes, by
the seaside, on the road. He appeared to individuals, and groups,
and then a crowd of 500 saw Him. Multitudes of deceased saints also
rose and appeared to many people. But only believers saw Jesus,
as there is no record of any unbelievers seeing Him. His resurrection
presence transformed the disciples.
This was a preview, or foretaste of what will happen
at His return. When Jesus went away, He promised to come back to
earth and establish His Kingdom. The angels said that He would come
in "LIKE MANNER." As I will show, this referred
not only to the way in which He departed, but also to the manner
in which He had been with them for the forty days. The SAME
Jesus will return in the SAME way (Acts 1:11 NIV Bible).
We are told quite clearly that the state in which Jesus was taken
into heaven, is the same state as that in which He will return to
earth. In other words, the same Jesus who was crucified, and then
rose again, and walked with them in resurrection, will appear, as
He was while with them during the forty days.
Just as Jesus came to believers at that time, so He
will return to His people wherever they are. Believers will then
see the Lord, for He will be visible, as, and when He desires. He
will reveal Himself wherever He wishes, whether to individuals,
small groups, or large congregations.
Nowhere in the entire world will be out of His reach,
although not everyone will be able to enter His presence. However,
those who love Jesus will see Him. He will unexpectedly return and
appear to all who are His. It could be at any time. If Jesus is
your Lord, you too will see Him. One day, as you are going about
your daily tasks, He will be there; Jesus will suddenly stand in
When the King returns, He will come in the power of
His Kingdom, which will grow and fill the whole world. By His "PRESENCE,"
He will change and empower His people, and through them rule the
nations. His people will rise into a new liberty, free from carnality
that works death, and the Kingdom of God will come with authority
into all the earth.
The presence of the King IN His people will assure
victory. There will be no mistaking the risen Lord, when He manifests
Himself - He will appear in risen glory to His people, and He will
be real and tangible. His personal manifestation to His people will
be at His visible return to be with them, in glory. His manifestation
to the world will then be through His people, who will display His
glory, having been changed by Him.
The return of the risen Lord is the next step in God's
unfolding plan to submit the entire world to Himself. The presence
of Jesus will bind Satan, and leave him powerless to deceive the
world. Over the last two thousand years, the Gospel has gone into
all nations. Through faith in Jesus Christ, salvation has been made
available to all the families of mankind, and there are now devout
believers in every nation. They form the Body of Christ, His Bride
and Temple. It may seem in places as being small and insignificant,
but it is the bridgehead to which Jesus will return. In these end-times,
the Lord is establishing a world-wide net that will cover all nations.
The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached for a witness
to all nations, and then He will return. At His coming, His people
will be represented throughout the world. Believers are citizens
of His Kingdom, and it is to them that Jesus Christ will come. When
Jesus returns, He will be with His people, not just in His Spirit,
but in a Real, Visible Presence.
True believers are the base through which the Lord
will work in the next great step in God's plan - to take the world
for Jesus. He, Himself will return to direct it. Believers proclaim
the Gospel, but only the King can establish the Kingdom. One day,
His people will have dominion and rule; but not without the King.
When the King comes, His Church will be transformed and empowered
to rule the nations. The return of the King will break the power
of evil, demolish the rulers of darkness, destroy the wicked, and
blow the systems of the world wide open.
Then, "IN HIS PRESENCE," there will be the
greatest harvest ever seen. Millions will turn to Him, and the world
will see the inauguration of the Kingdom of God on earth. The age
of miracles, resurrection and power, will have fully come. This
is what the prophets of old saw when they described the Glory of
God filling the whole earth.
The Scriptures Confirm He is Coming in This Way
This may be new to you, but it is in fact quite Biblical.
In the following notes, I will show that the terms such as "coming
on the clouds" and "caught up in the air" are metaphors;
terms derived from Biblical figures. The Bible gives examples of
what they really mean. They are to be interpreted spiritually, as
they illustrate Biblical concepts which help us to understand deeper
aspects of the return of Jesus. I will show that His promise to
return to earth will be fulfilled in an amazing manner by Jesus
simply stepping back into the visible realm, and empowering His
people to take the world. When He comes, He will heal the rift between
the natural and spiritual realms, and after a purging, will eventually
unite and harmonize them into one perfect new creation.
Definition of Biblical Terms
The Parousia The Presence
The Greek word Parousia, translated as coming, is listed in Strong's concordance
as a being near. It conveys the meaning of not just an arrival
but the subsequent being
present with or being
alongside. In Vines Expository Dictionary it is defined
para- with, and ousia- being; and denotes both an arrival,
and a consequent PRESENCE WITH.
Wherever the word coming
(parousia) is found in Scripture, it may be
understood as presence.
It is significant that it is used of a
bodily, rather than a spiritual presence. The word was applied to Paul in II Corinthians
10:10-11, to denote His personal presence with the Corinthian Church.
It is also used of
Jesus on The Mount of Transfiguration.
If we use this definition, the Scriptures
reflect a new concept of what the coming
of Jesus Christ really means. Instead
of Jesus coming to rapture His people away from the world, it rather
has the meaning of His coming to be present with, and alongside
His people, in an extended period of time, during which His PRESENCE will be felt in a new and powerful
way on the earth. Throughout these notes, when the word parousia is referred to, it will be considered
as Christs presence
and subsequent being alongside
is by no means a New Testament concept only, but is at the heart
of the Old Testament revelation of God. It
was His Presence dwelling
with His people in the Tabernacle that was the central theme of
the Old Testament covenant, and became the all sufficiency of God
to His people. In the New Testament, this took a further
development, when for the Christian, His
presence becomes a living reality, experienced by the indwelling
of Jesus through His Spirit. Every
individual believer becomes a Tabernacle for God. However, when Jesus returns at His Parousia, His presence will be further
expanded and take on new significance when He will be with His corporate
body of people, in a new way.
then, is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to be with His people.
It is not just an invisible manifestation
of Christ, when there is only His presence, or even an outpouring of His
Spirit, but it is His VISIBLE appearance
to His people. The
apostle John made this clear when he wrote that believers should
abide in Him so as not to be ashamed, when He appears at His Parousia (I John 2:28). This word appear is defined in Strongs Concordance
(phaneroo); "to render apparent, to manifestly declare
and show oneself. Vines
Expository Dictionary says that the word means more than to appear;
it is to be revealed in ones true character.
It is used of the appearances of
Jesus immediately after His resurrection, and I will show that these
appearances are significant in understanding
His return (Mark 16:12,14, John 21:1,14).
After the resurrection
of Jesus, God granted that He was made visible to believers (Acts 10:40,41 NAS). This was a preview of what will happen
at His return, when He will APPEAR to His people,
who will then enter His PRESENCE.
Another word used for the appearance
of Jesus at His Parousia is epiphaneia. It carries with it the idea of brightness
and splendor (II Thessalonians 2:8,
Titus 2:13-14). The
people of that time used to refer to the visit (parousia) of the emperor as the manifestation
of their imperial god and
savior, for this was how they regarded him. So the word has been defined as: a visible manifestation in splendor, of a
hidden deity by personal appearance and deed of power.
Yet another word used is apokalupsis, which means revealing, or
unveiling. It assures
us that a day is coming when the veil will be lifted from our eyes
and we will see Gods glory in Jesus unveiled (II
Thessalonians. 1:7-8, I Peter 1:13, 4:13). We
will consider deeper aspects of these words later, for they describe
the day when Jesus will be bodily present with His people, in visible
manifestation of His splendor and glory.
He will then usher in the Day of His Reign, and as King, will rule
with His people and through them subdue the whole world to the Kingdom
of God. Throughout
the Bible, the emphasis is on the Kingdom of God on earth. Throughout the centuries, the focus has
been on going to heaven,
but that does not change the promise that Jesus will return to earth.
If we examine the prophecies, and
especially the shadows and types of both the Old and New Testaments,
we will find that there is a great weight of support for this; and
that it is far more Biblical than what is often taught. We
need to see the whole pattern and strategy of God, as He reveals
His plan through progressive events, which bring His Kingdom ever
closer. We need to consider the manner in which
previous events took place, so as to understand how future events
will come to pass.
Coming in the Clouds with Power
and Great Glory - Luke 21:27
What does it mean, He is coming on clouds? When Jesus spoke to the high priest, He
confirmed that He would come in the clouds of heaven, in power and
glory (Matthew 26:64). Jesus often taught in parables and figures
of speech. He was the
master of metaphor. Many
things that He taught were not openly revealed, but had to be received
and understood by the Spirit of God.
When we consider His teaching about
His return, we must not try to understand it in a natural way, but
must interpret it from a Biblical perspective. He
was not referring to the clouds of vapor that bring the weather,
but to clouds of power and glory. In this way, Jesus gives us the clue. We
therefore need to look at Biblical clouds of Gods power and glory
in order to understand what He meant.
The Old Testament Cloud
Throughout the Old Testament, God
revealed His power and glory in a cloud.
The CLOUD represented
the supernatural presence
of God with His people; i.e. in crossing the Red Sea, in the wilderness,
indwelling the Tabernacle, filling the temple, and so on. The cloud was the Visible Manifestation of God, dwelling with
His people. The cloud was visible, but could not be approached
by everyone. In fact,
God warned the people not to come too close; but Moses approached
and entered it. When
he went into the cloud, he met with God, face to face. The cloud was the visible manifestation of
the presence of God,
and those who were able to enter the cloud
The prophet Ezekiel saw God in the
cloud and described His majesty and power.
When Isaiah went into
the temple, he saw the Lord, high
and lifted up, and the glory of God filling the temple like
smoke. This was the cloud of Gods glory. The cloud displayed the visible presence of God, the place where God functioned,
where Gods Glory was revealed, and where God met with His people.
Exodus 13:21,22, 14:19-24,
16:10, 19:9,16-21, 24:15-18, 33:9-11, 34:5, 40:34; Leviticus 9:23,24,
16:2; Numbers 9:15-22, 12:5-8,14:10, 16:19, 42; 20:6; Deuteronomy
31:15; 1 Kings 8:10-12; II Chronicles 5:13, 14, 7:2; Ezekiel 1:4-28,
10:3,4, 43:1-5; Isaiah 6:4.
The Tabernacle, or Tent of Meeting,
became closely identified with the Presence of God, for the cloud
came to rest in the Holy of Holies and there, God dwelt with His
people (Exodus 25:8,30, 33:9-14). As Solomon declared, The Lord has said that He would dwell in the
thick cloud. (II Chronicles 6:1).
The Shekinah Glory of God
The visible manifestation of the
presence of God among His people became
known as the Shekinah Glory.
Nelsons Bible Dictionary describes it
as the visible manifestation of the presence of God. Although the word is not found in the Bible,
it occurs frequently in later Jewish writings. It refers to the instances when God showed
Himself visibly, as for example, on Mount Sinai, in the Tabernacle,
and in Solomons Temple. The
Shekinah was a luminous cloud, which rested above the Ark within
the place of worship, the Holy of Holies, and lit up the room. The
New Bible Dictionary describes it as the
radiance, glory, or presence of God, dwelling in the midst of His
the nearest Jewish equivalent to the Holy Spirit, became, with other
Old Testament ideas and derivatives, Word, Wisdom, etc., a bridge
between mans corporeality and Gods transcendence. It
is used by the Targumist and Rabbi to signify God Himself. It underlies the notion of God dwelling
among His people. The
glory of God, kabod in Hebrew, and doxa in Greek,
is another name for the Shekinah.
In the Old Testament, therefore,
the cloud represented the Visible
Presence of God indwelling His people. It
is the environment of God, the place in which He dwells and functions,
and meets with His people. The
cloud rested in the Holy of Holies, and was closely associated with
the Ark of God. Once a year the high priest went into the
sanctuary and met with God. The
cloud was Gods special, Visible Presence and Glory, abiding with
His people. Jesus said
that He will return on the clouds
of glory. He is
using Biblical terms to convey something. Although
the cloud may not be visible any longer, it is just as real in that
the presence of God can, at times, still be felt and sensed.
His presence is especially real in
times of deep worship, when believers have entered within the spiritual
veil of His presence. At His return, or Parousia, Jesus will again be with His
people, just as the cloud was in visible glory. Those who enter within the veil of the cloud of His presence - the realm
of the Holy of Holies, will see Him.
The New Testament Cloud - Matthew 16:27 - 17:7
When Jesus went up to the Mount of Transfiguration, He was transformed
in glory. He gave the
disciples teaching about His future coming in glory, and six days
after this, He gave them a preview of that glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. He met with Moses and Elijah, and the bright
cloud of Gods presence came upon them. This event was later described by Peter
as the Parousia of
Christ, and he also used the same word to describe the future return
Although the two events are separated
by thousands of years, there is a similarity in terms. Peter first described the Parousia at the Transfiguration (II Peter 1:16-19), and then described the Parousia at the return of Jesus (II Peter 3:4, 12). He looked back to the display of Jesus
glory on the mount, and then looked forward to the promise of the
new day of His future glory.
In Peters mind, what he saw on the mount was like a preview,
or illustration, of what will happen at the future Parousia,
or presence of Jesus. He
said he was not telling stories about Jesus glorious coming, because
he was already an eyewitness of it.
Notice that Jesus and the disciples
did not leave the vicinity of earth to be in the realm of transfiguration
and glory - in the cloud of Gods presence; it all took place with
their feet firmly on earth. Jesus was present in glory, and both the
deceased and living saints met together in the cloud of
When the apostle Paul saw the Lord
on the Damascus road, he described it in similar terms as the transfiguration.
At the birth of Jesus, Gods glory was
also revealed. All
these displays of glory were not far up in the atmosphere, but in
the immediate vicinity of earth (Acts
22:6, 14, I Corinthians 9:1, 15:8, Luke 2:9).
The Glory of God is described in
I Timothy 6:14-16. No one can, on their own initiative, initiate
or through their own ability, see this glory, but Jesus who shares
glory with the Father will Himself appear in it, and reveal it to
those who are His. He
will come back in the clouds of glory. The cloud of Gods glory was never somewhere
up in the atmosphere, but was always His visible manifestation on
earth, in the immediate vicinity of His people.
Caught up in the Clouds - I Thessalonians 4:13-18
What did Paul mean caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in
the air? Just
as the Lord spoke in figurative terms, so Paul also used metaphorical
Biblical terms to describe the mystery of what will happen at the
return of Jesus.
Let us establish the order. When Jesus returns, He will come back with
believers who have already died. They are with Him, and when He comes, He
brings them back. When
Jesus arose, many others arose and appeared (Matthew
is believed that they also ascended with Him, and that ever since
then, believers at death enter immediately into His presence.
When He returns, they will come back with Him. After this, living believers will
be changed (I Corinthians 15:52). They will then be able to enter His presence
and be with Him in the clouds
of His glory.
Like Moses, they will be able to
enter the cloud and see Him, face to face. This
will take place at His Parousia,
or presence. The
term in the clouds does not refer to natural
clouds in the atmosphere but, as we have seen, is a spiritual term
to describe Jesus power and glory, when His presence is with His
Note the order: first the dead come back with Jesus and
have glorified bodies, then after
that the living will be changed and will join them in the clouds of glory, which is the glorious
presence of Christ, as He indwells His people. Note that this is not necessarily a simultaneous
event, but is a sequence. It is the individual believers change
that happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, as and when
Jesus reveals Himself to each one at His return.
Caught Up Harpazo I
The term caught
up depicts a forceful event. The Greek word is Harpazo and conveys the idea of force
suddenly exercised (Vines) and is used to describe a powerful release
of Gods energy. Paul
was caught up to the third heaven and did not know whether in or
out of his body; but he had access to the spiritual realm and heard
words which could not be expressed in human language. Paul
did not necessarily physically leave this world.
Philip was also mightily moved on
by the Spirit of the Lord, and was caught away from one place to
another, but did not leave the earth. It
seems Ezekiel also had a similar experience. Each
received a powerful intervention of Gods power, which released
them from the normal restrictions of this dimension, although they
remained in it (II Corinthians 12:2-4, Acts 8:39, Ezekiel 8:3, 11:24).
The use of the same word by the Lord
reveals its meaning to us. He
said that the Kingdom of God suffers Harpazo
by men of force (Matthew 11:12).
This is a difficult Scripture, but the
NIV says, the Kingdom of
heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold
of it. Men enter into it by the Harpazo power of God. It
conveys the idea of pressing into and possessing the Kingdom (Luke 16:16).
Each time that Jesus did a miracle,
He reached into a future age, the Kingdom Age, took hold of it and
released its power into the present situation. Through
Harpazo, believers were able to take
hold of, and enter into the Kingdom. They were not taken out of the world, but
rather experienced the power of God coming into them to change their
lives and situation. The
Harpazo is the forceful dynamics of God to catch up something into
Paul used it to describe a future
release of Gods power into believers, to clothe them in the life
of Christ. The Harpazo is the dynamic power of God to
catch believers out of their fallen condition of corruption, and
transform them into the risen life of Jesus. It
does not mean a catching out of the world, but out of a state -
that of carnality and weakness, into that of spiritual power. In His resurrection, Jesus exhibited a
new dimension of being, an order beyond the physical. The Harpazo is to be released from the
restrictions of this present mortality, and to be caught into the
freedom of Jesus life at the time of His return.
In the Air
If the clouds at the return of Jesus
are not weather clouds, but the spiritual clouds of Gods presence
and glory, then obviously the term in
the air must also convey a spiritual phenomenon. Paul
did not mean that believers will go up into the clouds in the atmosphere,
but that believers will enter into the presence or realm of Christs
power and glory.
The word air
is used in the New Testament for both natural air and the realm
of spiritual powers. In
the book of Revelation it is used in the context of angelic activity,
and in Ephesians 2:2 it describes the realm and work of the
prince of the power of the air. This
power is over a spiritual dimension, rather than the natural air
and its weather patterns. Paul linked the realm of the air with
the heavenly places,
or heavenly realms and described how spiritual battle takes place
in this realm.
The realm of the air is also the
realm over which Jesus has ultimate rule. Jesus
has been raised to heavenly places, and the Church is seated with
Him, there. This dimension will be opened for believers
. (Ephesians 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12).
The word air
is used together with the word wind,
which also denotes both natural and spiritual realities (Ephesians 2:2). In the New Testament the word wind almost always conveys the meaning
of spirit and, in the
same way, when the apostle Paul spoke of air
he was certainly not
referring to what we breathe, made of nitrogen and oxygen, but was
referring to an invisible spiritual dimension. Air is the nearest Paul could get to
describe this invisible realm.
Just as air is real but invisible,
so Paul used it to describe the very real, but invisible realm which
is very close to us. It is the spirit dimension which is not
far off, just invisible, right here in
the air. Paul
did not mean that believers were to be caught up into the atmosphere,
but that believers would have access to the Spirit dimension. Believers will be caught out of their present
condition, which is subject to mortality, and into a spiritual condition,
subject to immortality.
is the Spirit realm that Christ rules over, and which will be opened
for believers. At His
Parousia, believers are not going up
into the weather clouds, but are going into the presence of Jesus, at His return. The invisible kingdom of the air (NIV), is in the air
all around us, and believers will have access to it.
Immortality will be released into
Immortality is not being subject
to death; it is deathlessness. However,
it is not unending existence outside of God. Such a prospect is frightening! According to Vines Expository Dictionary
immortality (Athanasia) is more than deathlessness. It suggests the quality of life enjoyed
by the believer when mortality is swallowed up by life. The immortality that Jesus offers is to
be found in Him, the source of life and joy. It is a release from the carnal principle
that works in us, producing death, and is a joining in union with
the Lord (II Corinthians 5:4; Psalm 16:11).
The Lord has immortality (I
Timothy 6:15,16). He
was free of sin, and no curse of death operated in His life. In Him was the life of the Father. Jesus is the author of life and light,
and its very source (John 1:4, 5:26,
Acts 3:15, Colossians 1:16). Even
in His earthly life, He was not subject to the restrictions of His
body. He was able to walk on water, and could
pass right through hostile crowds, either by being invincible or
invisible (Luke 4:30, John 7:30, 8:59,
It is believed by many that Jesus
did not have to die, but that on the Mount of Transfiguration, He
could have changed His body into a glorified condition. No
one took His life from Him, but He voluntarily submitted to death
(John 10:15-18). When Jesus died, it was not possible for
death to hold Him (Acts 2:24).
After His resurrection, He displayed His
immortality to His people, and at His return He will release it
into those who are His, who will then be able to live and function
in a way that is no longer subject to the physical dimension.
They will function in bodies that are imperishable, powerful,
glorious and spiritual, made like the man from heaven. It will be a worldwide replication of Christ
in His people (I Corinthians 15:35-48).
This release of power will fill His
people and will endure and increase during His reign. During this time, immortal believers will
be able to function on earth. At
His coming parousia,
or presence, they will experience a change
which will release them from the restrictions of their present mortality,
and give them access to Christ and His power. Believers who have already died will rise
in resurrection and reign with Jesus and be able to function like
angels (Luke 20:35, 36).
Believers who are alive will be changed
so as to enter and share in the life of Christ and will continue
their lives in newly empowered and changed bodies, not subject to
time or decay or the restrictions of this present dimension.
They will be like Jesus was while on earth, not subject to
death, and like Enoch, will one day be able to walk through the
veil into Gods presence without dying. Through Harpazo, they will
be able to possess the Kingdom of God.
There are three groups of people
on earth when Jesus returns. There
are the wicked God haters and Christ rejecters, who will be destroyed.
There are the true believers in Christ,
who will be changed to become like Jesus, and then rule with Him
over the world. And
there are the remainder, who will come under the authority of the
Kingdom of God. The Day of the Lord is the time of Christs
reign on earth. It
commences at His Parousia, and continues until death is abolished,
wickedness defeated, and the New
Jerusalem appears coming down to the earth.
The emphasis throughout the Bible
is that the Kingdom of God will come to earth and subdue the whole
world. How will this happen if He does not have
a people? Who has ever
heard of a Kingdom without a structure, without administers and
rulers, and people who function in it?
God will empower His people and He
will rule and reign through them. In
His church, the Lord has established a worldwide net, which will
take control of the nations and gather in a vast catch. All authority
is Christs, and He will have complete dominion over all nations.
It is the righteous
rule of God through the one and only Sovereign, the King of kings
and Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15).
When will this happen? At His PRESENCE, or Parousia.
The Manifestation of the Sons of God - Romans
The apostle Paul wrote that the whole
creation groans as it waits for the unveiling or manifestation
of the sons of God. There
is coming a public manifestation of Gods Sons to the whole world.
Paul taught that believers can be victorious
over the sinful nature through the Spirit of God, and that one day
their mortal bodies will be quickened by Gods Spirit to receive
redemption. He described
it as the glorious freedom of the sons of God, for which the whole of creation
waits. Believers will
be set free from the corruption of the mortal body with its carnality,
sickness, pain, weakness and death. In
that day nothing will be able to harm
the believer. It will
be a public display of Gods glory in the believers.
At that time, the glory of the Sons of God will be evident to all, for
it will be unveiled.
They will be conformed to the image
of Christ and, as His brethren, will be the glorified Sons
of God for all the world to see.
John the apostle confirmed this in I John 3:1,2: 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.
The statements that Paul makes in
Romans chapter eight, cannot be fully appreciated unless they are
placed in the context of chapter seven in which he describes the
conflict within the believer between the carnal or sinful nature,
and the desire to serve God. The sinful nature fights against the Spirit
(Galatians 5:17). Paul says that he is carnal sold under sin, and describes
the law of sin and death, which he is powerless to overcome.
This war is within the members of
his body, and works in him to produce death. There is a tension
within every believer between the carnal nature and the Spirit.
In a very real sense
the believer is caught between two ages. As a son of Adam, he is subject to the
law: that in Adam all die. Spiritually however, he has passed from
death to life. The
day will come when in the new age of glory, the tension between
the two ages will be past.
Paul cries out: Who
can set me free from the body of this death? He longs to be free of this power working
death in him, and it is this very question that he answers in chapter
eight. It is through
Jesus Christ that it is possible to be victorious, and be controlled
by the law of the Spirit of life. Believers
receive the first fruits, or pledge of the Spirit of God by which
they know that one day they will receive the completed work (Romans
8:23, II Corinthians 5:5).
The infilling of the Holy Spirit
is not the final work, but only a foretaste of it. Paul
goes on to declare that one day there is coming a total release
from the power of the law of death and corruption when the body
itself will be set free into glorious liberty. The
complete manifestation of this comes when; He
shall appear and we shall see Him as He is.
There is coming a day when the world will enter a new era
of blessing. Christs
reign will last a thousand years and this is only a foretaste of
eternity! It is a transitional period, and is an
ever increasing growth of His power and glory through the whole
world, when nations will submit to Him and even nature itself will
share and benefit from the glorious liberty of Gods Sons and be
brought into harmony and freedom. The
entire creation will begin to enter into a new freedom from the
suffering which came about by sin, and which brought decay and death.
The universe itself is to
be freed from the shackles of mortality and enter upon the liberty
and splendor of the children of God. (Romans
8:21 NEB; Isaiah
The Splendor of Christs Light
When Jesus was transfigured, His
face and clothes shone like the sun in its brilliance. This
was a manifestation of His Shekinah Glory. This is what will happen at His appearing
His glorious light (I
The psalmist wrote that God is clothed
in splendor and majesty, and covered with light, as a garment (Psalm 104:1, 2). The prophet Malachi wrote that to those
who fear (reverence) His name, the Lord will rise as
the sun of righteousness, with healing in its wings (Malachi
described Jesus majesty
as megaleiotes, meaning, splendor, magnificence, mighty power, glory.
He foretold that a new day, or age, will dawn when the morning star
will arise in the hearts of the Lords people (II Peter 1:17-19).
Morning Star comes from the Greek word
light bearer. It comes from phos meaning to shine, or make luminous, and phero, to bear or carry, which refers
to the arising of the light of Christ as a personal fulfillment
in the hearts of believers; and also, to His coming in glory to
establish His Kingdom on earth. The
reference to Jesus as the Morning Star, (pertaining to the dawn) endorses this theme
To those who follow Him, Jesus gave
a promise that they will not only rule the nations with a rod of
iron, but will also receive the morning star. Metaphorically, Jesus is the Morning Star,
who one day will appear as the sun of righteousness, to govern the
world in peace. He
is the light who shines in the darkness and brings the Lords government
into the world (Isaiah 9:1-7, John 1:4-9,
The Splendor of His Light in
A new day will dawn when Christs
light will arise and shine within believers. True
believers already experience the indwelling Christ by His Spirit.
One day, He will reveal Himself to those
who fear His name, and then the righteous will shine forth (and be resplendent)
as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43).
star will arise and shine within believers. We read something similar in Daniel 12:3;
that they will shine like the stars. Believers will appear with Jesus in glory.
Christ is our real life. When He comes back, you will shine with
Him in all His glory (Colossians 3:4 Simplified
Living Bible). When Christ, who is our life appears, then
you also will appear with Him in (the splendor of His)
glory (Colossians 3:4 Amplified Bible).
The word appear
is phaino, which is
derived from phos, to shine.
People who saw Jesus in glory described
Him as being brilliant light. When
Moses saw Gods glory, he radiated that glory and his face shone
so brilliantly that he had to cover it. He
had experienced such concentrated exposure to Gods presence that
he wore a veil. This
glory faded, but one day, it will be permanent and believers will
manifest Christs Shekinah Glory.
Stephen, the first Christian martyr,
reflected this glory, and his face looked like the face of an angel.
Martyrs and faithful followers of Jesus
will be given robes of pure white (Revelation 3:4,5, 18; 6:11).
The word white is derived from the word for light,
and is used to describe the brightness of Christ Himself, in His
17:2, Revelation 1:14).
Those who are faithful to Jesus will
walk in the same whiteness, as pure as light, and not be found naked
(Revelation 3:4, 5, 18).
Just as God is arrayed
in garments of splendor and light, so too His children will put
on garments of pure white. Paul
taught that believers will be clothed with immortality, and not
be found naked (II Corinthians 5:1-4;
I Corinthians. 15:53, 54).
When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost
their spiritual covering, and they knew they were naked. It is conjectured that prior to their fall,
they were covered by the glory of God, which departed when they
chose death rather than life and immortality. However, one day Jesus will restore believers
to become like Him. Then,
He will present to Himself His Church, glorious and without spot
or wrinkle (Philippians
3:21, Ephesians 5:27).
Gods people will shine with His
Glory. The Lord shall be their everlasting light
and they will be planted by the Lord for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 60:19, 20 and 61:3
The Forty Days of Christs
After Jesus Christ rose from the
dead, He remained on earth for forty days. During
this time, He was visible on many occasions and appeared to believers.
Although changed, He nevertheless had a
real body, wore clothes, and ate and functioned with them. His own people could see and touch Him.
He was fully fitted
as a new man to remain on earth, if He had so desired.
What significance does this have?
We have already seen how in the Old
Testament, The Lords presence was in the Cloud which was His visible
manifestation with His people. Not
everyone could approach that cloud; but Moses was able to enter
it, and when he did, he saw God, face to face. For forty days, he was with God in the
cloud and when he came out, he radiated that glory so much that
he had to cover his face (Exodus
In a similar way, believers were
with Jesus for forty days in His resurrection glory. Not
everyone saw Him; only believers. He appeared to them, and taught them many
things. First, He revealed
Himself to individuals, and then to more and more of His followers,
but no unbeliever could enter His visible presence (Acts 10:40, 41). Paul
gave a detailed account of the order of Christs resurrection appearances,
and to whom He appeared. I believe there is a reason why He did
Jesus first appeared to individual
people, who desired Him more than anything else. Then
He appeared to small groups of dedicated disciples. Finally, He appeared to the larger crowd.
He made Himself visible,
wherever and whenever He chose. He
came and went at will, stepping between the visible and invisible
realms. He was invincible, and as Thomas declared,
He is Lord and God.
He illustrated His perfect suitability
to life on earth, and His ability to interact between the two realms.
He Will Return
At the end of the forty days, we
are told that Jesus was lifted up, and a cloud received Him out
of their sight. We are not told how high He went. Contrary to the popular concept of Jesus
rising high into the sky, He just lifted himself up and was immediately
received by the cloud of Gods presence, into which He disappeared
This cloud was the Cloud of God, not a weather cloud. He
did what He had been doing during the previous forty days, as He
appeared and disappeared, except this time, He was lifted up in
order to show that He was departing. As we will consider, heaven is not far
away, but is another dimension close at hand, but invisible to the
finite eye. It is said
to be up, but this cannot be a physical direction,
but is a spiritual elevation.
When Stephen was about to die, he
saw heaven opened and Jesus standing in the glory of God. He was
not looking far up into the sky, but right in front of him. The
veil, or curtain, was withdrawn so that he could look into the invisible
realm. Heaven is in this invisible spirit dimension.
When Jesus vanished,
two angels suddenly stepped out of that dimension and appeared to
the disciples. They
had a message: This same Jesus, which is taken up from you
into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as you have seen Him
go into heaven (Acts
Jesus, who in His risen glory, came and went to His disciples
for forty days in His resurrection body, will return in the SAME manner. In
other words, this same Jesus who died on the cross, and rose again,
will return in His risen body. He will come in the same way He left.
At the time of His return, Jesus
will simply step out of the cloud
and once more be with His people. When
He returns from the invisible realm, He will be visible, just as
He was during the forty days. He will appear to all who love Him, everywhere
in the world, simultaneously, if He so desires, to individuals,
to small groups, and also, to large crowds. He may appear first to those who are seeking
Him, as he did to Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus comes, He will not be
confined to an earthly body, walking the dusty roads of Israel,
but will be in a risen body, anywhere in the world. He
is God, is omnipresent, and has all the glory of the Godhead. He is also the risen man of glory, and
as such will be perfectly fitted to live in the realm of earth.
He will be invincible, and His disciples
will be able to see Him, and meet with Him.
Unbelievers will not be able to enter
His presence, but believers will, and as they do, they will meet
the Lord, Face to Face, just as Moses did long ago.
They will see their
King, and will be changed to be like Him, never to be separated
Behind the Veil Jesus is
Just a Step Away
For forty days, Jesus lived with
His people in His resurrection body. He
lodged with them, ate with them, and taught them about the Kingdom
of God (Acts 1:4). During this time, He came and went with
no restrictions, or limitations. He
lived in two realms, the invisible and the visible, the material
and the spiritual. God
dwells in the invisible spirit realm or the heavens, which is not at the other end
of the universe, but is in another dimension. Jesus must have had access to this realm,
even as a young lad. He
grew up seeing and hearing the Father in perfect communion (John 8:38).
At times, God has allowed people
to see into the invisible realm (Luke
time that heaven was opened, the veil was drawn
aside and people were permitted to see things which were not necessarily
far away, but right there in front of them, in the invisible heavenly realm. For example, Elisha saw an angelic manifestation
when Elijah was taken up to God. Later, he prayed that the eyes of his servant
might be opened to see the angelic army that surrounded them (II Kings 2:11, 6:17).
These angels were not
far off, but nearby in the invisible realm.
In Hebrews 12:1, it is written, we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding
us. This is the
cloud of those people who have gone before us into the Lords presence;
they surround us, not far away, but just beyond the veil. At death, Christians pass through the veil
and enter into the presence of the Lord. At the approach of death, there is every
indication that believers can see through the veil into the invisible
realm, for they often respond as if someone is there. They sometimes reach out and even declare
that they can see angels, loved ones, or the Lord Himself. (Psalm 23, II Corinthians 5:8,
Philippians 1:23, II Peter 1:13-15).
The Angelic Realm
Angels can manifest themselves from
one realm to another. When
they do, they can appear as real persons who wear clothes and can
be touched. Very often they radiate the brightness
of the Lords glory, for they come from the presence of His glory
(Matthew 28:3, John 20:12,
There are different orders and levels
in the angelic realm. Paul
was caught into the third heaven, which indicates that there
are different heavens, or spiritual realms. God has different kinds of angels: cherubim,
seraphim, archangels and so on. There are also fallen beings: princes,
principalities and demons. In
fact, the whole problem of sin started with the rebellion of Satan.
In Revelation, we are told of a war in
heaven between Satans
angels, and Michaels angels. Michael
is an archangel of God (Revelation 12:7-12).
This war is not in the heaven where
God dwells, for Satan was expelled from there long ago, but it takes
place in the invisible spirit dimension, immediately adjacent to
earth. Satan and his angels are cast out of that
realm onto the earth, and this is followed by a short time of conflict.
During this period, angelic activity will
become very intense, and it is very probable that people will see
more and more spiritual manifestations of one kind or other.
Even as I write, there are amazing
reports of things that have occurred. The
world is being prepared for a spiritual conflict. Intense dissemination of all kinds of supernatural
phenomena is taking place through TV and literature. Aspects such as astral travel, becoming
invisible, out of body encounters, UFOs and such like, have been
promoted and even experienced by many.
These are counterfeits of the real power of God. Christians, on the other hand, are also
seeing visions, angelic visitations, and spiritual revelation; which
will increase more and more as the barrier between the spirit and
material realms is removed, and allows them to function like angels.
Jesus said to Nathanael that he would
see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending
on the Son of Man. Jesus Christ is the true ladder, or stairway
into heaven. The word
highway in Isaiah 40, means a viaduct,
or staircase, that
allows entry into the Lords glory, which will be revealed to all
who come on this highway. It
is Jesus Himself, who is the way, and opens the heavens to allow
entry. He is the one door and only true mediator
into Gods realm and glorious presence. He is the ladder, or link between the two realms
1:51, Genesis 28:12, Isaiah 40:3-5, 62:10).
After His resurrection, the Lord
Jesus lived in both realms. He
is forever the risen Man of glory, the eternal God-man. When
He wanted to become visible, He just stepped out of the invisible
realm. When He wanted to be invisible, He stepped
back into it. He could
be at any place, at any time, with no earthly restrictions. He had no limits and no hindrances. When Jesus departed, He simply lifted Himself
up and stepped into the invisible. He did not go like a rocket into the sky,
but just lifted and disappeared into the
cloud of God.
On the day that Jesus returns, He will simply step back from the invisible.
puts it well, on the day
that the veil is lifted from the Son of Man (Luke 17:30). Paul wrote that we eagerly await the revelation
or unveiling (apokalupsis) of
our Lord (I
Corinthians 1:7). He
can come at any time! When
He does, He will be real; as real as He was to Thomas.
There is a veil
that hides the spirit realm. Before
Adam sinned, he had perfect communion with God, but after his fall,
he only heard His voice. The
veil will one day be removed. Through
His resurrection, Jesus will forever destroy the veil that covers
all nations (Isaiah 25:7-9). At present, we look through a glass, but one day we shall see him face to face. Until then, we all, with open (or unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (or mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the
same image, from glory to glory (II Corinthians 3:16-18; I
Lord Jesus, Come
Are we approaching the time of the
inauguration of the reign of Jesus Christ on earth, and the establishment
of His Kingdom upon the nations of the whole earth? It
cannot be far off. One
day, that moment will come when the saints will possess the Kingdom
(Daniel 7:18, 22). Then
the Scripture will come to pass, The
kingdoms of the world have become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of
His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever (Revelation
His Kingdom is coming in power and
great glory. No one will be able to resist or oppose
it. It will be a complete
and total victory; an overthrow of Satans kingdom. Then, there will be a huge harvest - millions
will turn to Christ. John
described this when he saw the son
of man (the unique title of Christ)
on a cloud, crowned with a golden crown, reap the whole earth (Revelation
God has, through His people, established
a worldwide net which will bring in the greatest ingathering of
the ages. At daybreak, on the shores of Galilee,
the risen Christ called out to His disciples to cast in the net,
and they then caught a catch so big that they could hardly land
it. This was a preview of what is to come (John
ready, it is harvest time!
The Unveiling of Jesus To His
As High Priest, Jesus will appear
a second time to all who love Him, and are looking for Him (Hebrews 9:24-28). God
has called a chosen people, a Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood of
believers (I Peter 2:9). Jesus, the High Priest, made Atonement
for them (Romans
5:11, Hebrews 9:24-28). One
day, the Lord Jesus Christ will reveal Himself to His own special
people; all those who love Him and look for Him.
Just as Joseph revealed himself to
his brothers behind closed doors, so Jesus, after His resurrection,
revealed Himself to His disciples (John
20:19, Genesis 45:1). And
He will do so again. He
will suddenly appear to every person who is surrendered to Him,
and has made Him Lord. He will receive them and embrace them
with great joy, and they will enter His presence with rejoicing
(Matthew 25:21). Then He will be marveled at by all who
The word marvel, or admire, comes from a verb which means
to look at closely, to look
upon and behold. Just
as the early disciples were able to touch Him and handle Him, even
after His resurrection, so too His people will be able to see Him,
embrace Him, worship and admire Him (Matthew
John 1:1; John 20:27-28). In
that day, there will be a deep union with Him which will never be
broken. He will come into those who have opened
their door to Him. They
will enter His presence within
the veil, and the door will be shut (Revelation 3:20, Matthew 25:10).
They will emerge from their appointed
meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ, as a race of new people, to
control a new era, and a new world. Instead
of being taken away from the world, true believers will be empowered
to win the world, and then rule it for Jesus Christ.
Jesus gave certain signs, which indicate
that He is near, right at the door (Matthew 24:33). These
signs are evident everywhere. Jesus
is standing very near, just on the other side of the veil, right
at the door. Soon,
He will open it and step back into the visible realm to reveal Himself
in Glory to those who love Him, and are ready to receive Him. He
will return to earth, and once more walk upon it as KING OF KINGS.
Other Scriptures Dealing with the Return of Christ
This section is to anticipate questions that may arise,
and is for further study by those who would like to explore Scriptures
that verify what has been said.
The Rapture Not a Departure,
but a Changing
- Matthew 24:37-41
If we carefully consider the Lords
teaching, it seems that believers are not taken away when He comes,
but remain on earth in order to enter His Kingdom. In
His teaching, Jesus indicates that at the time of the Kingdom, there
will be a cleansing on earth (Matthew
Jesus said that the tares will first
be gathered and burnt up, then the wheat gathered. He
said at His return, or presence,
some would be taken away, not
in rapture, but in judgment; one from a bed, another from a field,
yet another from the work-place. In
its context this is not a rapture of believers, but a judgment on
the wicked. Those who are taken away are taken in
judgment, just as the flood took people away at the time of Noah.
His reference to vultures confirms
this as judgment from God, and comes from a figurative description
by the prophet Ezekiel of the great judgment
supper of God (Ezekiel 39:17, Revelation
who are taken are the wicked, and not the righteous.
Those who remain enter His Kingdom, and inherit the earth.
Jesus also spoke of those who may try to
enter His presence at His return, but will be turned away and prevented
from doing so, because they never really knew him. The judgment of nations at this time also
indicates that some will enter the Kingdom, but not all (Matthew 25:11, 12, 30, 41).
The Old Testament prophets foresaw
the Kingdom of God filling the whole earth. Like
the mustard seed, it will eventually fill the entire earth (Matthew 13:31). Jesus will rule the nations and His people
will be changed, and empowered to rule with Him. Then peace will fill the earth when the
wicked are removed, the nations converted, and Jesus rules.
What is sometimes called the rapture is in fact not a departure, but
a meeting with the risen Jesus here on earth, at His return. At this meeting, believers will be changed
to allow them to function in a new way, with no restrictions, and
great power. His Kingdom
will bring the spiritual and material realms into harmony, and believers
will have access to both.
When will this happen?
The Reign of Christ
- 1000 Years
The emphasis in Scripture is on the
return of Jesus. He is coming back, not to depart again,
but to remain with His people - for a prolonged period, during which
time He will subdue the nations, and establish His Kingdom on earth.
At times, we may find it difficult
to differentiate between the prophecies of His Parousia,
or presence, and the
final great judgment. Just
as the people long ago had difficulty understanding the prophecies
concerning the first coming of Jesus, and His second coming, so
likewise, we may confuse the events which take place at the inauguration
of the Kingdom when He returns, with events at the climax of the
Kingdom, which are separated by a thousand years, and also, known
as the Day of the Lord.
Many things that are initiated at
the time of His return are completed during this period, or at its
culmination. In this way, it sometimes appears that
there is a double fulfillment to some prophecies, one partial and
then one final. When
the apostle Peter wrote about the Day
of the Lord, or Christs Parousia,
or presence, he said that a day with the
Lord is like a thousand years, and the apostle John also said the
reign of Jesus would last for a thousand years (II Peter 3:3-13, Revelation
His coming Parousia, or presence, will usher in the Kingdom of
God. It is not the
end of the world, but the start of a new era, during which His Kingdom
fills the whole earth. When
Jesus returns, His presence will be felt everywhere, from
east to west (Matthew
to popular interpretation of this verse, it does not necessarily
mean that everyone in the whole world will see him come like lightning,
but that His return will be to the whole world.
Jesus did not mean that He will come
like lightning flashing across the sky, but that just as lightning
is universal, so also will be His presence. He is not referring to a public display,
but to a universal presence. Just
as lightning is not confined to one spot, but extends from east
to west, so too His presence will not be confined to one spot, but
will be just as widely felt.
At His presence, there will be no
need to seek Jesus in private chambers, or go to the wilderness
to find Him, for it will be as universal as the lightning, which
lights up the east to the west. In other words, it is not a localized event confined to
one particular place or group, but in His risen body, He will be
able to be anywhere in the whole world. It
will also be unexpected, in that many will not be prepared for it.
Consequently, some people are taken away,
not in a rapture, but in judgment.
The Resurrection - I Corinthians 15:23-58
The resurrection is the hope of all
Pauls teaching in I Corinthians
15:23-28 is significant in that he gives the order of events:
1. Jesus, the first fruits.
2. Those who are His, at His presence.
Then the end will come, but only after Jesus has abolished
all other rule, authority, power, and finally, death itself. There
is a clear step by step strategy outlined here.
It is generally accepted that there
is an order in the resurrections, and that although one day there
will be a universal resurrection of the dead, there is also the
promise of a resurrection for believers, prior to that time (Revelation
20:4,5; John 5:25-28; Luke 14:14).
Jesus is the first to rise from the dead. When
Jesus arose, multitudes of departed saints became visible (Matthew 27:51-53).
This was the first-fruits
of Gods harvest. The
living saints were then empowered, or clothed,
by the Holy Spirit, and a spiritual explosion resulted that thrust
the gospel into the world.
Secondly, there are those who will belong to Jesus at His
Parousia. They comprise two groups: the first, are
the deceased saints, who have died between His departure, and His
return, and who will be raised.
The second, are those who are alive at, or during His presence (I
Thesalonians 4:13-5:10; I Corinthians 15:51-53; Revelation 20:4,5).
who have died, will come back with Jesus when He returns. They will be raised to become active again. They are with Jesus, and will accompany
His return. The apostle
Peter declared that he would one day lay down his earthly tabernacle
- his physical body, and depart to be with the Lord (II Peter 1:13-15).
The apostle Paul spoke of putting on, or being clothed with the heavenly body, so as
not to be found naked. The
word clothe is enduo
- to sink into a garment, invest with clothing, or endue. According
to II Corinthians 5:1-6, departed Christians are not just floating
around somewhere, but are clothed in new heavenly bodies. When
Jesus returns, they will return and reign with Him (Revelation 20:4).
Like the multitudes that appeared after the resurrection
of Jesus, they will be able to become visible and function in
their glorified bodies.
who are alive on earth, at the Parousia, will be changed (Strongs), which means
to make different, or (Vines) to make other than it is, to transform.
will be changed to share the glory of Jesus at His return. This does not necessarily take place all
at the same moment, but at the sound of the trumpet. Yet no trumpet sounds momentarily, but
is an extended sound. The
trumpet (the voice of the Lord - Revelation
1:10) sounds for each individual who belongs to Jesus,
and as it does, He will reveal Himself to them. This
transformation releases Gods power into them, and a worldwide
explosion of Gods reign follows.
Christs presence, or being alongside, will release His Kingdom
and power into the world, and for a thousand years, it will grow
and fill the whole earth. At
the end of this period, Jesus will submit the Kingdom to His Father.
He will reign until He has put down every
enemy. The last enemy
to be abolished is death (I
Corinthians 15:24-26). Death
is only finally abolished at the end, but during this period, His
people are already experiencing His glory.
There is something of a mystery about
the life of Enoch. He
walked with God, and had a testimony that pleased Him. One
day, God took him and he was
not. He was translated,
or transferred, into Gods Kingdom. He
walked with God, right through the veil
into His presence. Enoch
prophesied that Jesus, and all those with Him, will return to earth.
When Jesus steps back from this veil,
people on earth, who belong to God, will enter the presence
of His glory with great joy, and share in His majesty, power,
and authority (Jude
14, 24, 25). Then
like Enoch, they will have access to Gods presence and enter through
the veil, without dying.
In I Corinthians 15:51, Paul described
a mystery. It was not openly revealed, but only understood
through the Spirit of God. He chose his words very carefully when
he said that this corruptible
(subject to death)
must put on, or be clothed with incorruption (unending existence)
and that this mortal
(living) shall put on, or be clothed with immortality
The dead will be raised,
and the living changed. Jesus
confirmed this (John
The apostle John wrote that when
we see Jesus, we shall be like Him (I
John 3:2). Paul
taught that Jesus will transform the state of our humble body, and
conform it to the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power
that He has to subject all things to Himself (Philippians
There is coming a quickening, an
energizing in the Spirit, which will enable the born
again believer to break forth beyond the bounds of the restrictions
of the physical body, which will be changed and conformed to Christ.
When Jesus reveals Himself to a person,
they will take on the same life that He has. How will He reveal himself? Will it be similar to His resurrection
appearances, when He showed Himself first to those who were seeking
Him, then to others who belonged to him and afterwards to the larger
crowd? This is certain Jesus will personally
reveal Himself to every person who loves Him, and is looking for
Him (Hebrews 9:28, John 14:21).
"So Christ was once offered
to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for Him shall He
appear the second time without sin to salvation." Hebrews
The Amplified Bible says that Jesus
will appear to those who eagerly,
constantly, and patiently wait for Him.
However, to God haters, His return will be with
mighty angels in flaming fire to bring everlasting judgment... away
from His presence and glory (II
Thessalonians 1:6-10; Isaiah 66:15, 16). They will not see His glory, or stand in
His presence. As the
Living Bible puts it, They
will never see the glory of His power, and the NTV Bible says
they will be shut out from the presence of the Lord,
and from the majesty of His power.
His appearance in splendor will take
place at His Parousia, at which time the wicked are
Thessalonians 2:8). This
endorses the parables of Jesus concerning the removal of the wicked,
and the remaining of the righteous to enter His kingdom. The beast, and the false prophet will be seized, and Satan
will be bound (Revelation 19:17-20).
These verses are a figurative description of the great judgment
supper, when vultures gather to devour the wicked.
In that day, Jesus will be glorified
in His saints, and marveled at by all who believe (II Thessalonians 1:10, Isaiah
66:18). When Jesus returns, true believers will be revealed,
having His same glory! (Colossians 3:4). The
wicked will be destroyed, and will not see Him, but the rest of
the people who remain will know that He has come, because they will
see His glory revealed in His true followers, who will be immortalized!
This is the manifestation, or public revelation of
Every Eye Shall See Him
- Revelation 1:7
What does this mean? The apostle John wrote to believers and
quoted two Old Testament Scriptures: Daniel 7:13, and Zechariah
12:10. The one tells of the power and glory of
Jesus when He establishes His Kingdom in the world, and the other,
of the conversion of Israel. The
apostle John used these two Scriptures to describe the day when
Christs Kingdom will come, and all tribes of the earth will repent.
He wrote that every eye will see Jesus.
This is the purpose of God - that
all mankind might come to Him. This
is progressive. God gave a promise to pour out His Spirit
upon all flesh. This
does not mean it will happen to every single person, but rather
that it will happen to all who come to Him. It
is an on-going process. The
day will come when every believer will see Him, and all the tribes
of the earth will repent, as His Kingdom is established throughout
the whole world.
As people repent and believe, they
will be born again, and also, be able to enter into His presence
and see Him. As more and more people come to Jesus,
so that every eye shall
see Him, until eventually His glory will fill the whole earth. He will rule as King of kings and Lord
of lords. One day,
all nations will see His glory, and bow before Him (Isaiah 66:18, 23; John 3:3).
John saw the Lord on a white horse,
making war against the wicked (Revelation
this mean that Jesus will come galloping across the sky? Not necessarily. These are figurative terms which describe
His power and status. Great
warriors rode on white horses as a symbol of their rank. From out of the mouth of the Lord came
a great sword. This
can hardly be literal, but illustrates His authority in that the
Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Hebrews
4:12, Ephesians 6:17). The
book of Revelation is filled with symbols and figures, and in this
way describes the Lord returning in power to conquer the world.
In Revelation 1:10-18, John described
how, being in the Spirit, he saw the glorified Lord
standing in the midst of the candlesticks, or Churches, His face
shining like the sun. Then,
after hearing the messages to the seven Churches, John entered the
realm of the Lord and described the glory of God in similar terms
as Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1; Revelation 4:2-11).
John saw and entered
the Shekinah glory of Jesus, and was in the very presence of that
John was not taken in rapture, but
was in the Spirit, and entered the heavenly
realm. Later, he described
how the temple of God in that realm was opened, and the ark of His
covenant (a symbol of Christ)
appeared. Again, he
described the temple being filled with smoke from the glory and
power of God (Revelation
15:8, 11:19). These
terms describe events that effect the spiritual temple of God, His
John also said that Jesus will come
in the clouds. Jesus used these very terms when He spoke
to the high priest and said that from that time on, he would see
Jesus sitting on the right hand of power, and coming
on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64). He quoted from Daniel 7 and used the terms
that the high priest knew referred only to the Messiah. This coming started on the day of Pentecost,
and is applicable to the whole Church-Age. During this time, many revivals have swept
through the world as the clouds of Gods presence have come, again
and again in Holy Spirit outpourings, until one day Jesus Himself
will stand among His people.
His power has been coming ever since,
and will continue to come, until the whole world bows the knee to
Him. Over the last two thousand years, God has
established His Church throughout all nations and through His people,
He will one day rule over them. As
the Holy Spirit hovers like a cloud over the Church in ever increasing
power, the day will come when Jesus Himself will return and be visible
in the temple of His people, in His Shekinah Glory.
The Church is the Temple of
God, Spiritual Israel, Raised up in the Nations
Acts 15:16-18; Galatians 6:16, 3:7,29;
Ephesians 1:22, 23, 2:19-22; I Corinthians 3:16, 17, 6:19, 12:27:
II Corinthians 6:16; Philippians 3:3.
God is preparing His people, Spiritual Israel, for Christs glory.
During the last week
of His earthly life, Jesus entered the temple and cleansed it, and
then was present within it every day, teaching and healing the sick.
This is a shadow of things to come. The true Church is comprised of every blood-washed
believer. It is not
a denomination, but a living temple or tabernacle.
Jesus alone cleanses it, lives in
it, and prepares it for His coming reign in glory. Each
Christian believer is a tabernacle in which the Lord Himself indwells,
by His presence. He
cleanses the temple and indwells it (II
Corinthians 6:16-18; 5:14).
Times of Refreshing and Restoration
- Acts 3:19-26
The apostle Peter foretold times
of refreshing followed by times of restoration. He
Jesus came (past).
Through repentance, refreshing comes from His presence (present).
Jesus will come again and restore all things (future). There are Times of Refreshing followed by Times of Restoration.
The Church is the Temple of God, raised up among the nations.
It is His body established
in all the world. It
is like a city built on a mountain, the
mountain of God, shining with the light of the glory of God
the Zion of God (Hebrews 12:22; Isaiah 2:1-4,
Lord Himself is central in the Church, and will come suddenly to
fill it with glory (Malachi 3:1; Haggai 2:7-9).
Any idea that a brick
and mortar temple has to be rebuilt is not necessary. The true temple is the people of God.
The Church is built by Jesus and
set in order by His Holy Spirit. He
sets each member in the Church, and sets His order and authority
within it (I Corinthians 12:11, 18, 28; I Peter 2:5). As God cleanses, restores, and establishes
the latter-day spiritual
temple, its glory will exceed that of the former temple. And just as the Cloud filled the Tabernacle
and Temple of the Old Testament, so Christs presence will fill
His Church at His return.
As Isaiah the prophet declared, the
day will come when His glory will be like a canopy over Zion; for
the Lord will come and rest on the whole stretch of Mount Zion,
and on those who are gathered there. There will be a cloud and smoke by day,
and at night the brightness of a flaming fire will be over all.
The glory of the Lord will be like a canopy
and a tent to give protection and shelter (Isaiah 4:5,6 Jerusalem Bible).
His Shekinah Glory
will rest on Zion, His people. When
Ezekiel saw this coming restoration, he said that the earth shone
with the glory of God (Ezekiel
He will Tabernacle with His
Why did Peter suggest building three
tabernacles, when he saw the Lords Parousia,
or presence, and the cloud of glory, on
the mount of transfiguration? Peter
wanted to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, or in other words,
the coming of the Kingdom of God, which the feast portrays. What he saw made him think that the Kingdom
had arrived. However,
what he saw was only a preview of what will happen, when the visible
presence of Jesus comes again. Then
Jesus will be present with His believers, and they will share His
glory in His Kingdom.
Jesus will tabernacle with them, and the Feast of
Tabernacles will find its perfect fulfillment Jesus with his people. The Feast of Tabernacles follows after
the Day of Atonement, which is the foreshadow of His return. Jesus, the High Priest, will step back
from the invisible realm and tabernacle with His people. A preview of this was seen at the Feast
of Tabernacles when God filled Solomons temple with the cloud of
Glory, which then continued to abide in the temple (I Kings 8:10).
The final fulfillment is when I will dwell in them, and walk in them
6:16). It is
God who indwells His people by His Spirit, and this is a foretaste
of the eternal state of perfection when, the
tabernacle of God will be among men, and He will dwell with
them. There will be no more pain, suffering or death, and they shall
see His face, and reign with Him forever and ever.
The Plan of the Tabernacle
The plan of both the Tabernacle and
Temple illustrates the spiritual path into Gods presence.
There was only one door which led to the altar. From there, the shed blood was taken into
the Holy Place where the priests daily ministered to God. Once a year, the high priest stepped through
the veil into the inner
sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, where the Shekinah Presence of God
abode. The route into Gods presence has not changed.
There is only one door
to enter, one sacrifice to trust in, and one God to come to.
We are told that these things are
types and shadows of reality (Hebrews
Jesus died, the veil in the Temple was rent, showing that the way
into the presence of God was opened.
Access is only possible to those who have been washed in
the blood of Jesus. Through His blood, believers can, in a
spiritual way, pass through the veil and enter the presence of God
(Hebrews 9:3, 12, 24-28, 10:19-25).
By maintaining pure fellowship with
Jesus, believers can constantly live in the presence of the Lord,
within the veil. In the Old Testament, the presence of God
was displayed in the cloud,
which came to abide within the veil of the Holy of Holies. The actual cloud may no longer be visible
as it was then, but the presence of God is still real and can be
felt. In fellowship with Jesus, believers experience
the constant presence of God dwelling with them. In fact, at conversion, Christ Himself
enters and INDWELLS the believer by His Spirit. The believer is then able to walk in the
light and fellowship of God (Romans 8:9; Colossians 1:27;
I John 1:1-2:6).
From time to time, some people have
actually seen the Lord, and the day will come when at His Parousia, His presence will visibly appear,
and believers will see Him, face to face, in His Shekinah Glory. The revelation of Jesus Christ is from a
Greek word, apokalupsis,
and is closely akin to apokalupto,
which means to unveil (Romans 8:19; I Corinthians
1:7; II Thessalonians 1:7; I Peter 1:7, 13).
At His Parousia, the veil will be removed and
Jesus will again become visible to believers who will then be able
to enter and share His Glory. His
people will have access to the spirit realm and like angels, will
be able to enter through the veil into His presence. Immanuel, God with us, will tabernacle with His
people, and they with their Lord. They will know His constant presence and
have permanent access to Him. He
will have returned, just as He promised and will set up a Kingdom,
which will grow in power and glory. His
Kingdom will be unlike anything previously experienced.
Christ Indwells the Believer
Jesus said that there are many dwelling places in His Fathers house,
and that He would prepare a place for believers. The main focus of His teaching is that
believers will be united with Him, just as He and His Father are
one. Those who love Him will also be loved by
His Father. He declared
that both the Father and Son will make their abode, or dwelling place, in the believer. He emphasized that He will come again and receive them to Himself'.
Where He is, there,
they will be also. The
emphasis is unity with Jesus, wherever He is, whether in heaven
or on earth (John 14:1-11, 20, 23, 17:20-24).
In the closing chapters of Ezekiel,
the prophet described the time when Gods Glory will fill His temple,
and He will dwell among them (Ezekiel
the final verse of the last chapter of Ezekiel, the prophet made
a significant statement. After describing the city of God, he declared
that its new name will be Jehovah Shammah, the "Lord is there" (Ezekiel 48:35). The Lord will permanently abide with, and
be at one with His people.
Christian believers may seem small
and insignificant, but they are citizens of Gods kingdom.
When the King returns, His people will become the most powerful
people on earth, who will rule and reign with Him. The mustard seed of Gods Kingdom will one
day grow and fill the whole earth. There will be no room for false religions,
or cults. The days
of denominations will be over. The
only thing that will count is where the Kings presence is manifest
in the Tabernacle of His people, which will be set in order to contain
His power and glory to judge the nations and teach the world the
righteous acts of God.
His power will be released into His
people, who will take control of the world. Great
miracles, healings, and conversions will take place. As His Kingdom grows, it will fill the
earth and all nations will come under its authority. This will include Jews, Muslims, Hindus
and every other nation (Daniel 7:14, 18, 22; Revelation
11:1, 15, 12:10, 5:10).
Gods Ancient Nation -
The Sign Nation
Jesus said that at His Parousia, there would be a sign in the sky (Matthew 24:30). This is not necessarily a physical phenomenon
up in the atmosphere, but is something of great spiritual significance.
In Revelation chapter
12, there is a great sign
in heaven, which is described symbolically as a woman clothed with
the sun, moon, and stars. Many
believe it portrays the nation of Israel, from where the Messiah
came in the flesh (Genesis 37:9; Psalm 89:34-37;
Jeremiah 31:35-37, 33:24).
Jesus also told the parable of the
fig tree, which many Bible scholars believe portrays the earthly
nation of Israel, and in which Jesus described both their scattering,
and their regathering (Matthew 24:32; Luke 13:6; Luke 21:20-33).
Many Bible scholars
believe that the rebirth of the nation of Israel is the sign that
God is about to intervene on earth, and that a remnant of Gods
ancient people will receive Jesus as their Messiah.
God has always used the nation of
Israel to show forth His dealings with mankind. In
the past, God dealt with the Jew first, and then the Gentile. If we are coming to a time in which God
is to deal with the nations, it will be with His ancient nation,
first. God has not totally cast them away, but
will restore those who come to Him. Jews who seek God will come to realize
that the one who was crucified is their Messiah. A remnant of the nation will repent and
turn to Yeshua, and then the true Israel
of God (both Jew and Gentile believers
in Jesus) will be complete. If their rejection meant the reconciliation
of the world, then their acceptance will bring life from the dead
12:10-14; Romans 11:15, 23-29, 9:24-27; Galatians 5:6).
Is the Lord coming to the Mount of
Olives? (Zechariah 14:4). Although many Bible believers look for
this as a future event, some consider these verses to have been
fulfilled when Jesus came the first time. After
Zechariah wrote this prophecy, Jesus has indeed stood on the Mount
of Olives, and Jerusalem experienced the most horrific destruction
when the Romans, with soldiers from many nations, laid siege to
it. Zechariah described the mountain cleaving
in the middle to provide a way of escape. Many Old Testament prophets used figurative
terms to convey their message - for example mountains will be removed,
or flattened at the Lords coming. Since then, Jerusalem has indeed been trodden
under foot by nation after nation, but one day these very nations
will serve Jesus (Zechariah
I believe Jesus will visit those
of His ancient people who are seeking their Messiah, and that survivors
in Israel will be the first earthly nation to repent when Jesus
returns and enters His earthly reign. However, when Jesus returns, His presence
will be felt universally, and will not be limited to one place.
He will be King over all the earth. He calls all nations to repent and get
ready - He is coming (Zechariah 14:9; Psalm.2; Romans
we in times of refreshing and cleansing in preparation for the coming
The Last Three and a Half Years
In chapter 11 of Revelation, we read
of a period of three and a half years during which time there will
be a powerful ministry by two prophets. Many
Bible scholars see this as the restoration of the Elijah ministry.
The prophet Elijah ministered for a period
of three and a half years, ending with a mighty conflict between
the false prophets and God (James 5:17). His ministry called the people back to
God. When Jesus came
the first time, He also ministered for a period of three and a half
years, during which time He called people to God and prepared them
for what was to come.
There is another period foretold
of three and a half years in which God will demonstrate His power.
This end time is designated as three and
a half years, and not seven. Both
Daniel and the apostle
John refer to a future time of only three and a half years (Daniel 12:7.11; Revelation
11:2, 12:6, 14, 13:5).
The two prophets of God will have
great power, and although resisted by Satan and killed, they will
rise in victory after three and a half days, and enter the cloud
of God. Just as there
was a period of three and a half years to usher in the Church Age,
so there is a period of the same time to usher in the Kingdom Age.
During this period, Gods prophets will
declare His word with great authority.
In the days of Moses, God tolerated
Pharaoh in order to demonstrate His own power. Pharaoh
was no match for God, who delivered His people with a display of
incredible power. God
will again intervene, and once more reveal His Glory. So
much prophetic teaching has emphasized the coming of Anti-Christ,
that people have forgotten the true coming of Christ! Something amazing is going to happen during
these last three and a half years! There will be a supernatural intervention
by God in the most amazing manner!
There is not going to be seven years
of tribulation. This idea comes from a popular interpretation of
Daniel's vision in Daniel 9:24-27, but not everyone is agreed as
to its meaning. There are numerous thoughts as to how this vision
should be interpreted. Some people believe that an "antichrist"
will make a treaty with Israel for one week, of seven years. It
is a difficult portion of Scripture, but a careful reading of the
vision in its proper context indicates a far more likely interpretation
as the Messiah Himself, who is the person who confirms the covenant
for one week of seven years. The meaning of Daniel's vision in Daniel
9:24-27 is to show us Christ and not antichrist!
"Then he (Jesus) shall
confirm a covenant with many for one week (7 years);
But in the middle of the week (after 3 and ½ years
of ministry) He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering
(by offering Himself for the sins of the world)."
(Daniel 9:27 - interpretation in parentheses)
When Jesus started His ministry this week of seven
years began, and was then cut in half at His death three
and one half years later. The remaining three and one half
years of this seven year period, will be fulfilled at
His second coming.
There are different opinions as to when Jesus started
His ministry, but at the time when the Holy Spirit came upon Him,
and anointed Him, showing Him to be the "Messiah, or Anointed
One," Jesus then fulfilled the first half of Daniel's
"One week," by His own three and a half year ministry,
during which time He "confirmed the covenant" of
God. In the middle of this week, He established the New Covenant,
and then died on the cross. He put an end to all sacrifice and offering
by the supreme sacrifice of Himself.
"He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of
many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second
time, apart from sin, for salvation." (Hebrews 9:26, 28)
The person who makes this covenant is the "Prince-Messiah,"
who is the major subject of the vision, and not an antichrist
who is the minor subject. The "He" is a reference
to Jesus - the "Coming Anointed One." It is not
the anti-Christ, but the Christ who confirms the covenant, which
is not a so called "peace treaty," but the covenant
of God. Jesus ministered for exactly three and a half years; something
many Bible scholars seem to ignore! He Himself fulfilled the first
half of the seven years by His ministry of preaching and teaching
the Kingdom of God, and He will Himself fulfill the second half
by confirming the covenant again.
Whichever way one considers the vision, the Scriptures
tell of a period of only three and a half years, and contrary to
much teaching about it, the emphasis during this time is not on
the devil's power, but on God's.
At Passover, God delivered His people,
and also destroyed their enemies. By
placing the blood on their doors, they were protected. Behind those closed doors they were safe,
as the angel of death passed through the land in judgment. This
illustrates salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. It also looks forward to a future purging
of the earth when He comes back. At
His return, His people, believers in all nations, will meet with
Him behind closed doors, within
As they enter the protection of His
presence, the angels will go through
the whole earth removing all things that offend (Isaiah 26:19-21; Matthew 13:39-40).
The prophet Isaiah
foretold that when the Lord comes
out of His place to punish the earth, there will be a resurrection,
and that at that time, Gods people will enter their inner rooms,
close the doors, and hide from the judgment that will come upon
the whole earth (Isaiah 26:20).
The Passover meal, which became the
Lord's Table, portrays something very
special. When Jesus
partook of the Passover, He said that He would not drink the cup
again, until He drinks it new in the Fathers Kingdom. There
were a number of cups during the meal. The third cup was known as the Cup of Redemption, which is probably
the cup that Jesus shared with the disciples (Luke 22:20).
seems that He refused to drink the fourth cup, known as the Cup of Consummation (Mark 14:25), and which
recalled the promise that God would take His people unto Himself.
The unfinished meal of Jesus was a pledge
that redemption would be consummated at the future Messianic banquet,
when He takes the cup, and drinks it new in the Kingdom of God.
Each time Christian believers eat and drink
from the Lords table, they show His death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:26). The meal points
to His return, and the deliverance He brings, at that time.
Jesus Himself is the Passover Lamb,
who shed His blood, and by doing so fulfilled numerous shadows and
prophecies concerning the Passover. For
example, He died at Passover without a bone being broken, just as
the lamb itself had no bones broken in it. After
His death, blood sacrifice ceased. It
is evident that Jesus fulfilled Passover, and those who eat and
drink of Him, receive His life (John 6:51). He will also return to complete its full
outworking. At that
time, Jesus will meet with His loved ones behind
closed doors, and the angels will go through the world and
destroy the wicked.
Symbols in Passover
The prophet Zechariah wrote that
when Messiah reveals Himself to Israel, it will be to family units
set apart. This indicates that Jesus will disclose
Himself as the true fulfillment of Passover to those who are looking
for Messiah, in small family type groups. Jews are not saved because they are Jews,
but must receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Through the Passover, their eyes will be
opened to understand who Jesus is. They will see the wounds in His hands, and know
that He is Lord, King, and High Priest (Zechariah 3:8-9, 6:12-13,
12:10-14, 13:6, 14:16).
In ancient days, the Passover began
as a family festival centered in the home. Later,
it became a pilgrimage festival when adult men went up to the temple
in Jerusalem. After
the Romans destroyed the temple, it returned to the family in the
home. The Rabbis have since taught that each
person is to consider himself a temple, and pray the true sacrifice.
Prayer, righteousness, and repentance became the emphasis.
In Jewish belief, the Messianic hope
is kindled more strongly at Passover than at any other time. It
is the season of redemption. According
to the Midrash Rabbah (the most important collection
of Haggadic Midrashim on the Pentateuch, i.e. homiletic commentaries
to inspire and admonish), the month of Nisan in Israels
history is the month of redemption: When
He (God) choose Jacob and his sons; He appointed for
them a New Moon (month) of redemption, in which Israel was redeemed
from Egypt, and in which they are destined to be redeemed again.
Even to this day, devout Jews still
keep the Passover. They have some interesting customs in the
Passover Seder, or
ceremonial meal, which must surely point to the coming Messiah.
There is a cup called Elijahs cup, which
is on the table, but not drunk from, which looks to the day he will
return as herald of Messiah. However,
Elijah is only a type and forerunner of the Messiah, a shadow, who
points to the Messiah Himself.
In the meal, the unleavened bread
is arranged in three divisions. The middle part is taken, broken and then
hidden somewhere in the house. Later in the meal, it is looked for,
taken out and revealed. During
the meal someone will get up from the table and go to the door to
see if Elijah, the herald of Messiah, has come.
These are reflections of spiritual
truths. Could it be that one day those who are
praying for Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, will open their door
and find someone standing there? And if they invite him in, will
He reveal Himself to searching hearts, just as He revealed Himself
to the two disciples at Emmaus? After all, the Messiah is the central focus
of the meal; and the bread and wine are symbols of Him, both of
His death and His return. There
is no question that the feast looks towards His coming.
Day of Atonement and the Judgment
of Nations - Matthew 25:31
God will be King over every nation
on earth. The time will come when He will cleanse
all nations (Matthew
25:31-46). The return of Jesus is prophetically also
portrayed by the Feast of Atonement. In contrast to Passover, which
was centered around the individual and family, the feast of Atonement
was a day of national repentance and atonement.
The Passover covered the sins of
the individual, whereas at Atonement, the high priest took the sacrificial
blood and interceded for the entire nation. As
the prophet Zechariah predicted, both offices of King and High Priest
will be combined in Jesus (Zechariah
6:12, 13). He
will cleanse all nations on earth, and the people in them who cause
offense will be removed, and He will rule over them as King.
"And all the nations shall be brought together
before me. And I will sort out the people as a shepherd sorts the
sheep from the goats. I will put the sheep at my right hand. And
I will put the goats at my left. Then I, the King, shall speak to
those at my right. I will say, Come, blessed of my Father. Come
into the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world."
(Matthew 25:32 Simplified Living Bible)
The angels will remove everything offensive. As one considers the present world turmoil,
one must realize how imminent this judgment must be.
The New Creation
- 2 Peter 3:1-13
Peter placed the final purging of
the world, and the start of the new heavens and earth, as occurring
on the day of Jesus Parousia, or presence. In
the context of this teaching, he wrote that the Lord likened a day
to a thousand years. John placed the new heavens and earth at
the end of the thousand years rule of Jesus. It seems, therefore, the Day of the Lords
presence commences at His return, and lasts a thousand years, during
which time He rules the nations, subdues all His enemies and ushers
in a new heavens and earth (Revelation 20:2, 5, 21:1).
Just prior to the new heaven and
earth, at the end of the thousand years, there is the final battle
when Satan is released from prison, and gathers all who disobey
God. They come up, or out of the earth to resist
20:7). The language
conveys something of great proportions. It
is the final great rebellion of all who follow Satan, and hate God. They arise from the four corners in the earth, and follow
Satan in a final attempt to frustrate Gods purposes. It has been suggested that, being the time
of the general resurrection, the vast multitudes of wicked men and
women of all centuries and nations, who would be coming to life,
would follow Satan in this last futile rebellion.
The apostle John describes them as
Gog and Magog, and draws from Ezekiels prophecy to foretell the
destruction of those who resist Jesus at His return, and also at
the climax of His rule. He places the complete fulfillment of this
prophecy at the end of the thousand years rule of Jesus (Ezekiel 39:17; Revelation
19:17, 20:7). This
final rebellion only lasts a very short time, and is quickly subdued.
Satan and all with him will be defeated,
the earth purged, the last judgments take place, and the eternal
During the thousand years, Jesus
will harmonize the two realms through Himself, and perfect a new order, which will know its fullness
in His Church (Ephesians 1:17-23).
The Peshitta Bible
(translated from the Ancient
Eastern text from the Aramaic), explains this when it
says, that all things might be made new in heaven
and on earth through Jesus (Ephesians 1:9, 10).
The NAS Bible says
that, He made known to us the mystery of His will,
according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a
view to an administration suitable to the fullness of times, that
is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heaven
and things upon the earth.
Creation comprises both the spiritual,
and the material, and the gulf between them is an unnatural gulf
which tortures it. In His resurrection, Jesus showed that
both realms will be reconciled, and the barriers between the two
will be removed with the spiritual controlling the material in a
new way (Colossians 1:13-23). There is coming a new heavens and earth,
in which righteousness dwells, and in which sin, suffering, decay
and death, can never recur.
Peter described this when he wrote
that this present world and all its works will be dissolved and
burnt up. In the context of his epistle, he is referring primarily
to the wickedness of this present order. He used Gods previous judgment at the
flood as an example of the future purging. It is not necessarily a total destruction
of everything, but it is most certainly a catharsis and total renewal
and rearrangement, even of the elements, or principles that hold
it all together.
The writer of Hebrews put it most
eloquently when he wrote that this present order will be folded
up like a garment, and be changed. This is the same word used in I Corinthians
15:51, 52 - To make different.
Jesus will renew and
make perfect the whole of creation, removing the prospect of sin
ever spoiling it again (Hebrews 1:10-12; II Peter
3:7-13; Revelation 20:11, 21: 1).
Gods people will play an important
role in the new order. In
His parables, Jesus indicated that those who are faithful to Him
will be rewarded with greater responsibilities. They
will judge the world, and even angels.
Jesus will empower His people to rule the world, and His
Kingdom will never pass away (Ephesians
1:17-23; Matthew 24:45-47, 25:14-30; I Corinthians 6:3).
The Heavenly Wedding
You may ask, What
Throughout the Scriptures, the union
between God and His people is likened to a marriage. This concept originated in the Old Testament
when God said He would marry His people. It is continued in the New Testament, where
the Church is considered as a Bride of Christ, and the individual
believer to be married to Christ. The
marriage union is considered a figure of the union between Jesus
and His Church. It
is consummated in Revelation, where the eternal city, New Jerusalem,
is portrayed as the Bride of God.
In marriage there were certain Biblical
customs which served to portray Spiritual truth. In
His parables, Jesus drew from these customs. Paul did too, and wrote that the believer
is betrothed to Christ. In
fact, the betrothal was itself a binding contract. For the believer who has been joined to
Christ, the marriage has already taken place (Romans 7:2-4; II Corinthians
11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32).
However, the Marriage supper is still
in the future. According to Jewish custom when a woman
was betrothed, the groom went away to prepare for her. He could return at any time, and the bride
had to keep herself ready. When he came, it was to the brides house
where very often they would have a supper. She and her attendants went out to him,
and together they entered the doors which were shut, and no one
allowed to enter. This
is the most likely interpretation of Matthew 25:1-13.
For royalty, the marriage supper
was held at the bridegrooms house, and many guests attended. This
is seen in Matthew 22:1-14. These
customs portray both the coming of Jesus to believers at His return,
and also the final celebrations with the completed Bride. In
Revelation, we see the figure of the entire Bride, comprising both
Israel and the Church, taking her place with God in the new heavens
and earth (Revelation 19:7,8, 21:2, 9,
It is Jerusalem, the City of God,
who is the eternal Bride of God. She
will be married to Him and forever dwell under His protecting canopy.
The bride chamber was originally a tent
or canopy; in Hebrew called a chuppah. The wedding ceremony was customarily conducted
under the covering of this canopy, and the word chuppah is still
used by Jews today of the canopy under which the bride and groom
stand during the ceremony.
This same canopy is seen in Isaiah
4:5 and is the cloud of His Shekinah Glory, which the
Lord will stretch over all the assemblies of Mount Zion; the city
of the living God (Hebrews
12:22). As His
kingdom grows, so will the cloud
of His glory, until eventually Heavenly Jerusalem has come,
and God and His people will be forever together within its eternal
When Jesus returns, He will be present
with His people who will have access to Him, and be able to enter
the cloud of His Glorious presence, and His heavenly city. It
seems there will be a new relationship between the realm of heaven
and that of earth. John
saw New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, like a beautiful Bride.
New Jerusalem will be coming down to earth, and those who are
pure will be entering into its gates. The day will eventually come when the new
heavens and earth, the material and spiritual, the visible and invisible,
will be united together forever in perfect harmony.
God will dwell with His people in
New Jerusalem from where He will rule over all creation forever
(Revelation 2:26-27, 22:3-5).
There is a beautiful Scripture in Isaiah 62:5: As the Bridegroom
rejoices over the Bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
Get ready, The
Bridegroom is coming.
Dear reader, you will have many questions, but the
Lord can reveal to you many things. He is Joshua leading His people
to possess the nations. He is David coming as King of Kings to establish
His Kingdom. He is the Branch who will build His temple. He is the
Lamb of God, High priest, and Judge of all.
Like a Bride longs for her Bridegroom, so believers
long for Jesus. Those who are looking for Him will one day see Him
at His return. In loving Jesus, and living for Him, you too can
expect to see Him appear. One day, He will step back to meet with
each one who is eagerly looking for him. One day, when you are walking
in a garden, or perhaps praying at home, or maybe in a gathering
of believers, JESUS will suddenly come to you in His RISEN
He is coming in Clouds of Glory as mighty King.
"Arise, shine: for your light is come,
and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness
shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord
shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. And
the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness
of your rising." Isaiah 60:1-3
With His help, we can share His love with all people.
We have a command to witness His name in every nation, and "then
the end shall come" (Matthew 24:14). Most of all, there
is the expectation of great joy, as we get ready for the most wonderful
meeting of our lives - to meet with our GREAT KING OF GLORY.
"We should be looking forward to that wonderful
time we have been expecting. It is the time when His glory shall
be seen. It is the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."
Titus 2:13 Simplified Living Bible
Long ago, Job wrote of his earnest longing to see
his Redeemer when, during the end time, He will stand upon the earth
(Job 19:25-27 NIV). Jesus will once more walk upon the earth.
"When He shall appear, we shall be like
Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this
hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
I John 3:2-3
King David expressed this same desire saying:
"I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your
likeness." Psalm 17:15
The Bible ends with a prayer - "Come, Lord
NOW is the time for each one who longs for
the return of Jesus to pray this prayer. In all my life there is
only one thing that I long for - that is, to see the KING in
Hebrew Greek Concordance
Expository Dictionary - Macdonald Pub. Co.
Bible Handbook - Zondervan Pub. House
Bible Commentary - Inter-Varsity Fellowship
James Bible - all
quotes unless otherwise stated
Bible - Harper San Francisco
Living Bible - Tyndale House Pub.Inc.
Bible - Doubleday &
Prophecies of Daniel
American Standard Bible
in Modem Speech - R.F. Weymouth