The hope of the apostolic church concerning Christ's second coming was founded in the very teachings of Jesus, Who made it perfectly clear that He was indeed going to come again and deliver His believing ones out from this world and take them to a heavenly home. There are some who believe that Jesus taught two second comings; one for His believers, and one for the nation of Israel. Such a distinction is found only in the academic maneuverings of these people rather than in the plain and simple language of Christ's words. By comparing passages from the Old Testament and the gospels, it can be shown that there is only ONE second coming, but that there are TWO phases to it. The first phase is the ARRIVAL phase, which is the appearing of Jesus in the clouds of the sky in power and great glory with the angels of God in attendance. From this initial event, several things occur which take place over a period of several months and culminate with the DESCENT phase, which is His physical descent to the earth onto the Mount of Olives to defeat the rebel armies of the world at the battle of Armageddon. A huge confusion exists because many attempt to make this physical descent to the mount of Olives to be the SECOND ADVENT in contrast to the coming of Jesus in the clouds. Hopefully this study will establish the fact that the ONE and ONLY second coming occurs when Jesus arrives in the clouds of the sky and that the physical descent refers ONLY to a second phase that takes place several months after the SECOND COMING.

As an extension of the teachings that the apostles received from Jesus, on the very day that He ascended up out of their sight into a cloud, two angels confirmed the promise of His second coming by saying, "This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven," (Acts 1:11).

This SAME WAY, most certainly refers to the cloud, for there is nothing else of significance that such emphatic language could focus on. The idea of VISIBLE is a natural factor and does not need emphasis, nor does the PHYSICAL factor need emphasis. Both however, would certainly be included with "just the same way," but the record seems to make a point of "a cloud received Him out of their sight." Having seen Him go up into a cloud, and having the angels tell them that He was coming back in the SAME WAY, would also remind them of all that Jesus had been teaching them during His 40 day resurrection ministry, "speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God," (Acts 1:3), as well as what He taught before the crucifixion.

Since we have no record of what Jesus taught during His resurrection ministry, we have to appeal back to what was spoken just a few days before the crucifixion when Jesus told them, that all the tribes of the earth would "see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory," (Matthew 24:30). Luke prefers to use cloud in the singular for when he records this promise he renders it, "they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory," (Luke 21:27). With this comparison, it is possible that when Jesus ascended after His resurrection ministry, that He ascended into the CLOUDS, which of course follows that He would return IN THE CLOUDS. One of the key promises provided by the apostles is found at 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. At verse 17 we learn that when Jesus comes back, He will come IN THE CLOUDS and there "in the sky," all the believers will be joined with Him. This is exactly what Jesus taught would happen at Matthew 24:30-31, and what the two angels taught would happen at Acts 1:11. Furthermore, when John writes the Book of the Revelation, he addresses the very same promise TO THE CHURCH when he writes, "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him," (Revelation 1:7).

According to the teachings of Jesus, the two angels, and John, the second coming of Jesus will be physical, visible and be an arrival in the clouds. With this in mind, I shall let the apostolic teachings, and the Greek words that they use, give us further understanding.

 In the book of Acts, there are only six possible references to the second coming, and only one is a direct reference.

1. Acts 1:11, which we have already seen, and is a DIRECT reference to the return of Jesus.

2. 2:14-21

Here Peter quotes from Joel 2 about the signs that precede the Day of the Lord. This then, is an indirect reference to the second coming of the Messiah for we know that the Day of the Lord begins at that time, by comparing Joel 2 with Matthew 24:29-31 where the same SIGNS in the sun, moon and stars occur.

3. 3:18-21

Verse 20 reads, "and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, Whom heaven must receive until the time of the times of restoration of all things."

This refers to the DESCENT phase of the second coming, and not the same thing that is in view at Acts 1:11.

According to the sequence of events, Israel as a nation will not embrace Jesus until after His arrival in the clouds. Then, after the judgment of the beast's kingdom, Jesus will rescue the nation and lead them into His earthly kingdom. This is not teaching that when these individuals believe, Jesus will come back, but rather, when the NATION, as a collective unity embraces Jesus as the Messiah, then God will send Him to rescue them from the reign of the beast. This SENDING of Jesus refers to His physical descent at Armageddon, but not the second advent proper, which occurs several months earlier, when He comes in the clouds of the sky. This should not be considered a SECOND ADVENT passage, but rather a promise of a future deliverance for the nation of Israel, that will be triggered when the nation collectively trusts in Jesus as the Messiah.

Peter makes it clear so that there is no misunderstanding, that Jesus MUST remain in heaven until the time of restoration of all things. This is taught in the Old Testament as the earthly kingdom of the Messiah. When it is GOD'S TIME for the kingdom, then He will send Jesus - but ONLY those who have trusted in Him as the Savior will be recipients of blessing. Others will be the recipients of judgment. The application to the Jewish believers who are addressed, is that they are informed that when the nation as a collective unity embraces Jesus as the Messiah, then He will come to them (physical descent) and set up His earthly kingdom.

1. and that He may send Jesus: This "sending" of Jesus is technically, NOT the second coming proper, but rather the physical descent of Jesus at Armageddon to rescue the Jews who have trusted in Him since the second coming. However, that physical descent is based on the fact that first, Jesus will come in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. At this time, He will rescue believers through the rapture, and then begin to pour out His wrath on the kingdom of the beast through the trumpet and bowl judgments. At the end of this time of judgment, when the nations of the world are gathered in Megiddo, Jesus will descend from His cloud (Rev. 14:14; 19:11) and after destroying them, will set up His earthly kingdom.

2. the Christ appointed for you: The focus is on the nation. Paul writes at Romans 11:26 that there will come a time when all Israel will be saved, and then makes reference to Isaiah 59:20, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." When Isaiah speaks about this, he has both the ARRIVAL phase and the DESCENT phase combined, as is often the case with the Old Testament prophets. Paul's reference is specifically to the DESCENT phase, when Israel as a nation will be delivered and then cleansed before entering into the kingdom.

Acts 3:21

1. whom heaven must receive: This refers to the ascension of Jesus which Hosea makes reference to at Hosea 5:15,

"I will go away and return to My place
Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."

See Topic: Ascension and Session of Christ

2. until {the} times of restoration of all things: this refers to the TIME PERIOD when the final eschatological events will take place. It is DURING this "end times" context that Jesus will return in the two phases already described. It refers to the 2nd set of God's purpose for the 490 years allotted to Israel listed at Daniel 9:24. The first set of 3 purposes was fulfilled at the Messiah's first advent through His sacrifice for sin on the cross. The second set will be fulfilled at the end of the 70th week of Daniel when God will (1) bring in everlasting righteousness (Messiah's righteous reign), (2) seal up vision and prophecy (fulfill God's prophetic plan for the world), and (3) anoint the most holy (establish the new temple in the Messiah's kingdom).

When it is TIME for these things to BEGIN to take place, then Jesus will come back, "which He (God) will manifest at His own time" (1 Tim. 6:15).

The nation does not receive the benefit of Christ's ARRIVAL phase because they are still COLLECTIVELY in unbelief. But that arrival will generate a positive response from the nation (initiated by the conversion of the 144,000) so that several months later, when Armageddon takes place, they will be rescued by the physical descent of Jesus and be ushered into His earthly kingdom.

For Complete study of this passage, see: Acts 3:18-26

4. 10:37-43

At verse 42, Peter says that Jesus has been "appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead." This too is an indirect reference to the second coming, for it is through the second coming that Jesus will fulfill His role as judge.

5. 17:30-31

This passage mentions the same idea that Jesus is the One appointed by God to judge the world, so it too is an indirect reference.

6. 24:14-15

Here, Paul mentions the hope "that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." Again, this happens through the second coming so is an indirect reference.

Beyond this, Acts tells us nothing about the second coming, but verse 1:11 is key to connecting what Jesus taught as recorded in the gospels, with what the apostles taught in their letters.


I will begin at 1 Corinthians 1:7 where we find a description of the Corinthian believers concerning their attitude toward the promised second coming of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:7-8,

"awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall also confirm you to the end,
blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

We first notice that a functional Christian life includes an eager expectation of Christ's return. The believer should live in anticipation of Christ's second coming and not only the deliverance for the church that Jesus will bring, but also the judgment upon the oppressive unbelievers that Jesus will administer when He gets here (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).

This same attitude of expectation is described by Peter as, "looking for and diligently advancing the COMING of the day of God," (2 Peter 3:12). This term, "day of God," is only used here, but clearly it refers back to the term, "day of the Lord," which occurs in verse 10.

And it is quite reasonable and hermeneutically precise to identify this day of the Lord with the term at 1 Corinthians 1:8, "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." It is this DAY that is described as THE END, and that can only refer to the end of the church age, when the Lord returns and resurrects all believers at that time. This is the COMPLETION stage of our salvation, which Paul calls "the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:23) and, according to Jesus, will occur at the last day (John 6:39-40, 44, 54), which refers once again to the second coming of Jesus at the Day of the Lord. Here, Paul uses a different term, but it still refers to the very same moment in time.

The day of Christ, the day of the Lord, the day of God, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ - all refer to the very same event; the second coming of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

Next, we find our first mention of the word "revelation," which is the Greek word, apokalupsis. This noun occurs 18 times and 5 times specifically for the 2nd coming of Jesus for His church. The verb occurs 26 times, but only ONE time for the second coming of Jesus, and that occurs at Luke 17:30. The word group clearly indicates a visible manifestation of one thing to another. In this case, it is the visible manifestation of Jesus to the world that sees Him coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. In fact when Luke uses this verb to describe the second coming, it is associated with verse 17:24, "for just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day."

Walvoord makes a serious compromise with hermeneutical honesty, when he writes, as quoted by Pentecost in Things to Come, page 157:

"A survey of those passages in which the word is used in relation to Christ demonstrates that in a number of instances it is used of the second coming of Christ (1 Pet. 4:13; 2 Thes. 1:7; Lk. 17:30). . .

In other passages, however, it is clearly used in reference to the coming of Christ in the air for His church (1 Cor. 1:7; Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13)."

 Each of the five occurrences in the epistles refers specifically to the arrival of Jesus for His church. The reason for the compromise in the pretrib camp, is because of the mention of a VISIBLE return at 1 Peter 4:13 and 2 Thes. 1:7, and the pretrib position cannot have a visible return of Jesus in GLORY at a pretrib rapture. But that does not change the facts of the context in both of those passages, which I will develop in detail when we get to them.

There is a less vital error in Mr. Walvoord's research, and that is that Colossians 3:4 does not even use the word group apokalupto, but phaneroo in the passive voice, which means to be manifested.

At this time, instead of continuing sequentially through each of the books and covering the references to the second coming, I will jump ahead and clarify the four other places where the noun apokalupsis occurs in the apostolic writing.

The next occurrence is 2 Thessalonians 1:7.

Here we learn that the church, as represented by the Thessalonian believers, will be given relief from tribulation WHEN "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire."

This COMING of the Lord is further described in verse 10, as "when He comes to be glorified by His holy ones (angels) on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed."

This very same SECOND COMING of Jesus is identified in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 as "the COMING (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ and our GATHERING together to Him."

And then once again at verse 8, it is described as "the appearance (epiphaneia) of His coming (parousia)."

It is very clear that Paul sees ONE visible and glorious manifestation of Christ's presence as the second coming, and that the Thessalonian believers are going to understand that Paul is talking about the very same SECOND COMING that he wrote about at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, where "the Lord will descend from heaven . . ." and the believers "will meet the Lord in the air."

 The last 3 occurrences of apokalupsis are all in 1 Peter.

1Peter 1:7

that the proof of your faith, {being} more precious
than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may
be found to result in praise and glory and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

It is suggested by some pretrib advocates that this REVELATION of Jesus is a visible appearance to the church only, and invisible to the rest of the world. By others, it is taken out of the context of the rapture entirely and assigned to the coming of the Lord at Armageddon. But clearly, 2 Thessalonians and its context indicates that the manifestation of Jesus when He comes for His church will be attended by "His mighty angels in flaming fire" (2 Thes. 1:7), and can refer to nothing except a worldwide manifestation as is described at Matthew 24:29-30. Accordingly, there is no conflict in seeing the rapture at 1 Peter 1:7, at which time all believers will be taken to heaven, and have their works evaluated at the justice seat of God, and will receive "praise and glory and honor" for all the works that brought glory to God while on the earth (1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10).

 1 Peter 1:13

Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober {in spirit,}
fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought
to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This is a promise to the church. The "grace to be brought" in context refers to the resurrection body as explained in verses 3-5. At the rapture of the church all believers will receive a resurrection body, which is described at Romans 8:23 as the "redemption of the body." This is the second stage of our salvation and will occur at the last day (John 6:39-40, 44, 54), which refers once again to the second coming of Jesus at the Day of the Lord. When it is recognized that this is a reference to the coming of Jesus for the church, then it is hermeneutically compelling to see the very same coming of Jesus in the previous verse, 1:7.

1 Peter 4:13

but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ,
keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory,
you may rejoice with exultation.

Again, the church is being addressed and is promised the possibility of great joy when Jesus comes back. This great joy is based on consistency of endurance. If the believer is "in fellowship" with God (1 John 1:5-7); enduring the pressures and hardships of this life while focused on the character and plan of God, "fixing our eyes on Jesus," (Hebrews 12:2), and abiding in Him (1 John 2:28), then that believer will have confidence at His coming (parousia) and not shrink away in shame.

But more important to our subject is the fact that this coming of Jesus for His people, is described as the REVELATION of His GLORY. Again, a visible and glorious arrival of Jesus, just as our "blessed hope" proclaims, "Looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the GLORY of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ," (Titus 2:13).


The next mention of Christ's coming within the context of 1 Corinthians is at verse 11:26 in connection with celebrating the communion ritual.

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."

The communion service is to be a regular ritual observance for the church as long as it is on the earth. The ritual itself, along with several other things, is a ritual of expectation. That is, it is a ritual that carries within it through Paul's words, the promise of Christ's second coming to take His believers to Himself, just as Jesus taught to the disciples at John 14:1-3. The COMING of Jesus as it is mentioned here clearly refers to the SECOND COMING that Jesus Himself promised on several occasions and is the ONLY coming that Jesus taught about. The verb, comes, is the standard word for an arrival of some kind or another (erchomai), and is used to emphasize the idea of a physical presence that results from leaving heaven and coming TO the earth in the clouds of the sky.


The next reference to Christ's second coming is at 1 Corinthians 15:23, and uses another common word for the second coming, parousia, which means to be (or exist) beside or AT THE SIDE of something or someone.

This word is used 13 times in the epistles and every time refers to the ONE and only second coming of Jesus for His church. But in that connection, it is described as a visible, physical presence of Jesus in the sky with GLORY. This word also occurs four times in Matthew 24 to refer to the very same second coming as an unexpected event (any day or hour) within the context of the SEASON of the tribulation (Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39).

At 1 Corinthians 15:23, we learn that there will be a general resurrection of the righteous at the time of Christ's coming.

"Christ, the fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming."

This refers to those who will be resurrected DURING the time period that constitutes His presence. The word, parousia, again indicates not just an ARRIVAL, but an abiding presence after that arrival.

This extends from the Day-of-the-LORD arrival of Jesus until, at least, the beginning of the kingdom, for the next event in this short chronology, is when Jesus delivers up the kingdom to God, after He has neutralized all rule, authority and power, which takes place at the end of His 1000 year earthly reign. The resurrection of "those who are Christ's at His coming" includes 3 groups that fit into the window that Paul's chronology provides for us.

(1) All Old Testament and New Testament believers are raised up at the rapture (1 Thes. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:50-51).

(2) Believers who died between the rapture and Armageddon (Rev. 20:4).

(3) Believers both dead and living at the end of the Millennial reign.

The use of this term by Paul actually gives us a very important interpretation factor, for it allows us to recognize the PRESENCE (parousia) of Jesus as embracing an extended time period, rather than just the exact moment of His arrival in the clouds of the sky.

The next occurrence of parousia is at 1 Thessalonians 2:19.

"For who is our hope or joy or crown of rejoicing?
Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?"

This indicates that at the arrival of Jesus, Paul will be joyful when these believers will be present with Him. This is what happens, as is described at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, when the living and dead believers are joined with Jesus in the sky when He comes back at the Day of the Lord.


1 Thessalonians 3:13,

"So that he may establish your hearts un-blamable in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His holy ones (angels)."

Paul's desire is that these believers continue to advance in growth so that at the time that Jesus comes back, IF it is during their lifetime, they will be found reflecting Christ's love consistently. The reason for this is, because if they are NOT in this manner, abiding in Him, then they will be embarrassed and ashamed when He comes back (1 John 2:28).

We have an additional factor provided here, and that is the presence of "all His holy ones." Some suggest that this refers to all the BELIEVERS that Jesus brings with Him. However, although Jesus does in fact bring with Him all the believers of all ages, He ALSO brings with Him, His angels, as is clearly taught at Matthew 24:31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 2 Thes. 1:7, 10; and Jude 14. One could of course, GENERALIZE the term, HOLY ONES, to refer to ALL of God's HOLY creatures, which would include both believers and angels. This in fact, would not violate any truth and would more accurately represent exactly what will happen, but there are no other passages that make such a COLLECTIVE reference, so I prefer to see this as referring to angels.


1 Thessalonians 4:15,

"We who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord,
shall not precede those who have fallen asleep."

This, of course is the standard rapture passage and indicates that the believers who are alive on the earth at the time that Jesus comes back, will not receive resurrection bodies BEFORE the ones who have died throughout history. There will be believers alive on the earth at the time that Jesus returns, and these will be removed and will meet with the Lord in the clouds, along with all believers who have died.

At 1 Corinthians 15:51, Paul tells us that "we shall not all sleep (die physically), but we shall all be changed."

What is significant here, is that in Paul's next letter, just a few months later, at 2 Thessalonians 1:7, He identifies this very same coming of the Lord as "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire." And then identifies that REVELATION as the parousia in 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

 1 Thessalonians 5:23,

"May your spirit, soul and body be preserved complete,
without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is the same concept as we saw at 1 Thessalonians 3:13, where the believer is encouraged to grow and be consistent in application of God's truth in his life. Here Paul is expressing his desire that these believers remain consistently in fellowship with God right up until the time that Jesus comes back. This is not talking about the preservation of salvation, but the maintenance of fellowship and service.

 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2,

"Now we request you brethren,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and our gathering together to Him."

Here, Paul identifies the glorious appearing (parousia) of the Lord as the same event that will bring about the gathering of His people at the rapture. The fact that this is the "glorious" appearing of the Lord is established based on 2 Thessalonians 1:7, where the return of Jesus for His people is described as, "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with His mighty angels in flaming fire. This is a visible, physical and judgment-bringing return of Jesus, and it will not occur until AFTER the man of lawlessness is revealed. In other passages, this is identified as "the revelation of His glory" (1 Peter 4:13) and the appearing of the glory of . . . our Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13).


When Jesus comes back, at the very same coming that is in view with every mention of it in the apostolic writings, He will initiate judgment on the man of lawlessness that will result in His physical destruction via the day-of-the-Lord judgments which culminate at the battle of Armageddon.

2 Thessalonians 2:8,

"And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will take away with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;"

Here, parousia is clearly to be understood as a PRESENCE, because the word, APPEARANCE (epiphaneia) describes it. It is not the appearance of His appearing, but rather the appearing of His presence. This indicates a visible manifestation of Christ's presence that will then initiate judgment on the man of Lawlessness. The word, epiphaneia (appearance) occurs four other times in reference to the second coming; three for the actual arrival of Jesus, and one for the appearing of glory (Titus 2:13). These will be developed later.

The language here does not demand that the removal of the man occur immediately when Jesus appears, but that it occurs IN ASSOCIATION with His coming. Right after Jesus comes back, He will begin to administer justice (ruin at 1 Thessalonians 5:3) upon the beast and his kingdom through the trumpet and bowl judgments, which culminate with the physical descent of Jesus to the earth in Palestine to defeat the world's armies that are gathered there to fight against God (Revelation 19:11-19). It is thus, THROUGH (or by means of) His arrival that the rule and kingdom of the man of lawlessness (the beast) are destroyed.


The next two occurrences of this word, parousia, are found in James.

James 5:7, "Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord."

James 5:8, "You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near."

Both of these refer to the expected return of Jesus in the lifetime of these believers, and in a context of severe persecution type pressure (verse 5:6). They are to "hang on" and endure the persecution pressure as long as it takes, "until the coming of the Lord." And then, they are given the promise that this COMING is NEAR.

We know that the COMING of the Lord did not occur, and in fact, it was not even NEAR. This means that the promise is to be understood in a different way or that the promise was empty and useless. Since choice number 2 is not a viable option to those who accept the book of James as inspired and accurate, we must look for a different focus in his words.

The first possibility is what we have previously seen at 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, where those believers were told that it would be righteous for God to judge their persecutors, and give the believers relief, "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus with His mighty angels in flaming fire."

This recognized the possibility that the persecution that they were going through, could have escalated into the persecution by the man of lawlessness, in which case, they would be rescued by the coming of the Lord. It is this same idea that could be in view at James 5:6-8.

However, another possibility is that it could be the focus of James that the coming of the Lord was NEARER to them than when they first believed. Even though the right grammatical construction does not occur here, this concept is found at Romans 13:11-12. There we learn that Paul exhorts the believers to consistent Christian living BECAUSE "now our salvation is nearer to us than when we believed." This refers to the final completion of our salvation, which is resurrection, which Paul describes as "the redemption of the body," at Romans 8:23. Certainly this is an obvious point, but one that would elicit great encouragement when repeated in the face of various temporal pressures.

It must also be noted that most of the believers addressed by James are living in relative peace, and are able to conduct their worship services in freedom (Verses 2:1-4), and able to travel in freedom (Verses 4:13-17). This tells us that the persecution pressure was not universal, but restricted. And yet, the promise of deliverance was real to them, whether it be viewed as a very real possibility of deliverance in their lifetime; or simply a GENERAL promise of future deliverance knowing that God's plan is moving ever closer to that specific time when He will bring about the second coming of Jesus (1 Timothy 6:14-15).

There is one other option for understanding this language. It is the preterist view of Bible prophecy. Basically, that view teaches that all the second coming and judgment passages were fulfilled in 70 AD in connection with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. This view has a considerable following, but must reject the LITERAL system of interpretation, and must symbolize to the text to a gross excess in order to FIT all the passages with that 70 AD historical context.


The next three occurrences are found in 2 Peter.

2 Peter 1:16,

"When we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This refers to the time when Jesus showed Peter, James and John, the way He would look when He comes at His return. This very coming is the one that is mocked by the unbelievers (verse 4, "Where is the promise of His coming?"), and the one that is viewed as what the church is to be looking for (verse 12, "looking for and diligently advancing the coming of the day of God."). It is identified as the Day of the Lord, and the Day of God. This also establishes clearly that the term Day of the Lord, which occurs at 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 refers to the very same second coming of Jesus that the church is to be looking for. As believers remain in fellowship with God and function effectively as ambassadors for Christ, they are actively involved with ADVANCING the progress of God's plan in the world, as that plan moves ever closer to the arrival of Jesus.

For Details: See commentary on 2 Peter 1:12ff


The last occurrence is at 1 John 2:28, which we have already seen quite often because of its warning to be abiding in Him so that when He appears, the believer would have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at his COMING.

The word, coming, is parousia and refers to His physical presence in the vicinity of the earth. As we have seen, this physical presence is in the clouds of the sky (Matthew 24:32; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7).


There is another word used at 1 John 2:28 to refer to the second coming of Jesus.

The word "appears" is translated from the verb phaneroo, which means to make manifest. But here it occurs as an aorist PASSIVE subjunctive. The passive voice means that the subject receives the action of the verb. In this case, then, the subject (Jesus) RECEIVES manifestation, and it should be translated as, "when He is manifested." This verb is used 3 other times for the second coming of Jesus (Colossians 3:4; 1 Peter 5:4; 1 John 3:2).

It is used the same way with the same form, at 1 John 3:2,

"We know that whenever He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him."

It is also used at 1 Peter 5:4,

"And when the chief shepherd is made manifest,
then you shall receive the unfading crown of glory."

This MANIFESTATION of Christ refers to a visible and physical manifestation of Jesus to the world, and NOT just to the believers.

Every time that this verb occurs (49 times) and every time that the adjective, phaneros, occurs (21 times), it always refers to a visible event or concept. The same applies to the adverb and noun.

The pretrib camp insists that this manifestation is only to the church for whom Jesus will come at the rapture. However, even though this verb does not require an "every-eye-shall-see-Him" manifestation, when compared with the many passages that describe the coming of Jesus as a visible, physical and GLORIOUS revelation of His very person, then the manifestation factor is easily applied to "every eye shall see Him," (Revelation 1:7).

 Our next reference is Colossians 3:4,

"When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested,
then you also will be manifested with Him in glory."

At the Day of the Lord, Jesus will come in the clouds of the sky in power and great glory, and through that revelation, He will be visibly manifested to all people.

However, when the believers are made manifest WITH HIM in GLORY, this may or may not be seen by the people left on the earth. We know that Jesus will be seen COMING in the clouds in power and GREAT GLORY (Matthew 24:30; Rev. 1:7), and that the believers are gathered up TO HIM in the clouds (Matthew 24:31; 1 Thes. 4:13-17), but there are no other passages that directly suggest that either the gathering itself or the gathered group in the clouds will be visible.

At the same time, it is understood that bodies will be raised up out of the graves, and living believers will be changed, and there is likewise no passage that suggests this event will be INVISIBLE. In fact, at Romans 8:18-23, "the glory that is to be revealed in us," as a reference to the glory of RESURRECTION, will be revealed at the time of the rapture, and is called "the revealing of the sons of God." But this passage alone does not establish the VISIBILITY factor. One might speculate as to the reason for being "revealed with Him in glory," if it is not as a testimonial impact to the world. The language seems to suggest a more involved idea that simply being with Jesus at that time.

These passages, then, seems to be the ONLY ones that address the visibility factor, and might be the only ones needed to establish the fact that the church will share in the visible REVELATION of Jesus at the Day of the Lord.

The word, GLORY, needs to be understood in the specific context of the return of Jesus, and not an idea of simply being with Him in heaven. The word, GLORY, is used only four times in reference to the second coming of Jesus and the gathering of His believers to Himself (1 Pet. 4:13; Titus 2:13; Matthew 24:30-31; Col. 3:4), and I see nothing that militates against a VISIBLE manifestation of the church to the world below as the believers are gathered up for the meeting with the Lord in the sky, but there is certainly no passage that requires it either.

There is one other possible reference to such a visible share in Christ's day-of-the-Lord GLORY, and that is 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

"When He comes to be glorified in (by) His HOLY ONES,
and to be marveled at among all who have believed."

However, I believe that the HOLY ONES here are angels, because they are seen as a different group than "those who have believed," and I only mention the passage here for completion in trying to answer this question about the NATURE and EXTENT of the glory involved at Colossians 3:4.


The next passage to consider is 1 Thessalonians 5:2 which reads,

"For you yourselves know accurately
that the day of the Lord comes (will come)
just like a thief in the night."

This idea that the day of the Lord will come (is coming) suddenly and unexpectedly "like a thief" gives us two very important correlations.

First, the image of "a thief" takes us back to the teaching of Jesus, Who originated the use of the image in reference to His personal second coming "in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30, 43).

Second, the image that is used makes the event of the second coming of Jesus, the same event that begins the day of the Lord. For BOTH occur unexpectedly like a thief. Furthermore the special signs in the sun, moon and stars are directly connected with the ARRIVAL of the Lord and the beginning of the Day of the Lord, as is indicated by Joel 2:30-31 and Matthew 24:29-30.

The signs actually precede the physical arrival of Jesus in the clouds, which is the arrival of the day of the Lord, but not by a large amount of time, and they serve as the announcement of both His arrival and the judgment (wrath) that is about to be poured out on the world. This is indicated by the fear and mourning at both Matthew 24:29-30 and Revelation 6:15-16. Also, the signs at Revelation 6:12-13 indicate that the SIXTH seal represents the coming of the Lord and the beginning of the Day of the Lord.

 This brings us to 2 Thessalonians 2:2, and the use of the verb, enistemi, which means to be present, on the scene, standing in one's presence. It occurs only here in reference to the coming of the Lord, and has as its subject, THE DAY OF THE LORD.

Now we request you, brethren,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and our gathering together to Him,
that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure
or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message
or a letter as if from us, to the effect that
the day of the Lord HAS COME.

The verb occurs as a perfect active indicative, which communicates the idea of an established presence and NOT an arrival. The perfect tense expresses the idea that some action has occurred ALREADY (in the past) and the results of that action are presently a reality. IN this case, the day has arrived at some point in the past, with the results that the action of that arrival is a present reality, so that the day IS right now, present. Thus, another translation is, "that the day of the Lord IS PRESENT."

The concern here is IN REFERENCE to the coming of the Lord AND our gathering together to Him. If the day of the Lord were now present, then that would mean that both the coming of the Lord and the gathering of the saints had occurred. Paul quickly assures them that the day of the Lord was not present, because it would not arrive until after the apostasy and the revealing of the man of lawlessness, AND those two things had not yet occurred.

A very significant factor with this passage is that both the coming of the Lord and the gathering (rapture) are directly connected with the day of the Lord. The conclusion is then, that these three events are actually all referring to the same moment in time. That is, the very moment of time that the Lord arrives in the clouds of the sky, and gathers his saints, IS the inception of the day of the Lord.

Accordingly, in the same way that we are exhorted to be watching for the coming of the Lord, so also are we to watching for the arrival of the Day of God. It is not reasonable to me that we would be instructed to watch for an event that would not begin until AFTER we are gone. It seems more reasonable that at the very moment that Jesus arrives and removes the church from the earth, it is at that time that the Day of the Lord begins.

There is another important correlation here. The mention of these three UNIFIED events point back to the very same second coming that Paul mentioned at 2 Thessalonians 1:7, when he comforts the persecuted believers with the POTENTIAL of deliverance, "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire."

This is also mentioned at verse 10, "When He comes to be glorified in His holy ones (the angels of verse 7) on that day and to be marveled at among all those who have believed."

Then at 2 Thessalonians 2:3, The Greek says, "for UNLESS the apostasy comes first (before) and the man of lawlessness is revealed."

The construction assumes an understanding that the event just mentioned is in view and thus means that this three-pronged event mentioned in verses 1-2 will not occur until there is a time of apostasy and the man of lawlessness is on the scene. According to what the bible teaches about this, the apostasy occurs in connection with the great persecution from the man of lawlessness (the beast), and not before. So the intent of this passage is not to place an ORDER to the apostasy and the revealing of the man. I suggest that the two ideas are equated into one, and that that ONE situation of human history will occur BEFORE the coming of the Lord, the gathering of the saints, and the Day of the Lord.

There are some who think that the word, apostasy, should be rendered DEPARTURE, and refers to the rapture. They thus suggest that the Day of the Lord will not occur until FIRST the RAPTURE (departure) comes and then the revealing of the man of lawlessness. However, this is not a valid understanding concerning the Greek word that occurs here.

The verb, aphistāmi translated as "fall away," means to take a stand away from something. It can refer to a physical departure from a location or a person; or it can refer to an ideological departure from political or religious viewpoint. In fact, the primary use of the verb is to indicate a "physical" removal from something. It is for this reason that sometimes the argument is made that "apostasy" at 2 Thessalonians 2:3, means "departure" and has in view a physical departure of the saints from the earth via the rapture. However, the meaning and use of a verb is not always the determinative factor for establishing the meaning of a noun that derives from it. Many times a noun develops a specialized meaning based on usage. It seems that just such a case has occurred concerning the noun, apostasia, which occurs only at 1 Thessalonians 2:3 and Acts 21:21 in the New Testament.

Every time the noun is used in the LXX, it carries the meaning of ideological departure (Josh. 22:22; 2 Chron. 29:19; 33:19; Ezra 4:19; Jer. 2:19). Its only other use in the New Testament (Acts 21:21) indicates an ideological departure. It is therefore, determined by this writer, that the contemporary use of the noun in connection with an immediate context, that certainly recognizes the dangers of "apostasy" for believers (verse 15), that the word, apostasia, was used by Paul to speak of that specific "end times" apostasy which will occur in connection with the revealing of the man of lawlessness and the placement of his image (abomination of desolation) in the Holy Place at the beginning of the tribulation (midpoint of the 70th week) just as Jesus taught at Matthew 24:9-26.

Furthermore, as already mentioned, 10 years later, Paul used the verb aphistemi at 1 Timothy 4:1 to refer to the very same apostasy of the tribulation that he referenced in 2 Thessalonians and that Jesus taught about at Matthew 24.

See Commentary: 2 Thessalonians 2


The second coming is mentioned specifically only one time in the book of Hebrews.

"So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
shall appear a second time for salvation without {reference to} sin,
to those who eagerly await Him (Hebrews 9:28).

The verb here is horao as a future passive indicative. It means to see, to take notice of, to recognize. In the passive voice, it means that the subject RECEIVES notice or manifestation. Here, it should read, "shall become seen or visible." The object of this APPEARANCE are the believers who are alive on the earth, but this does not mean that unbelievers will not see Him, for in fact, other passages make it clear that "every eye shall see Him" (Rev. 1:7).

This passage is used by some to teach a partial rapture. That is, that those who are not eagerly watching for Him as is evidenced by their holy living, will not be raptured with those who are watching. This theory, however, does not represent the true biblical perspective and violates the doctrine of salvation security.

What the passage does teach, is that Jesus returns FOR those who are waiting for Him simply because they ARE the ones who are expecting Him. The ones who are not expecting Him will be caught off guard, and be ashamed at His presence (1 John 2:28), but they will still be gathered together with all other believers at the rapture.

See Topic: Partial Rapture

 Hebrews 10:25 Provides a possible reference to the second coming.

"Not forsaking our own assembling together,
as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and to a greater degree as you see the day drawing near."

The term, THE DAY, probably refers to the arrival of the day of the Lord, which is also the arrival of Jesus.

As we have seen, the early church lived in expectation of the Lord's coming. That coming would be portended by certain events of a specific nature. The instruction here speaks of an urgency for public assembly worship in view of the progress of historical events that would suggest a soon arrival of THE DAY. If indeed, the believers of that time, or of any subsequent generation, were to find themselves living in the right historical context, then they are here instructed to be extra diligent in meeting together for normal worship and study. This does not lessen the importance of such worship activity at other times in history, but simply gives greater emphasis in view of the HABIT of believers to neglect and de-emphasize public assembly worship.


The next word to look at is epiphaneia, which means appearing or appearance. It occurs only 6 times and five in reference to the second coming.

As I mentioned earlier, "the appearance of His presence," at 2 Thessalonians 2:8, indicates that there is a visible manifestation of Christ that initiates judgment on the man of lawlessness.

At Titus 2:13, the word is used to indicate the appearance of GLORY in association with the second coming. The corrected translation here is,

"looking for the happy expectation and appearing of the glory
of the great God and of our Savior, Christ Jesus."

 Here, the second coming of Jesus FOR the church is seen as an appearing of GLORY; glory of God (the Father) AND glory of Christ. This is perfectly consistent with what Jesus taught in the Olivet discourse when He said, "and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory" (Mat. 24:30).

 The next three occurrences of epiphaneia are found in Timothy.

1 Timothy 6:14.

"that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is clear enough a reference to the coming of Jesus for the church.

 2 Timothy 4:1

"I solemnly charge {you} in the presence of God
and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living
and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom."

Here the appearing of Jesus is directly connected with His kingdom.
This is not because the kingdom begins AT His appearing, nor is it because this is a reference to His physical descent at Armageddon. But rather, it is because His kingdom is directly connected with His arrival, for the arrival initiates the events of the day of the Lord which culminate in the establishment of His kingdom.

 2 Timothy 4:8

"in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day;
and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."

Here, His appearing is again a reference to Christ's return for the church, in connection with which, believers will be rewarded for their works. The attitude of LOVING refers to placing value on the HOPE of being with Him, as He has promised. The expression of this attitude is evidenced through consistent Christian living. This is the attitude and the WORKS that will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ, which will occur after the arrival of Jesus.


 The important point here, is that there is no basis for making this word refer sometimes to the return of Jesus for the church, and sometimes to the physical descent of Jesus at Armageddon (what is traditionally called the second coming). Pentecost again quotes Walvoord on page 157 of Things to Come, to summarize erroneously,

"As used of the return of the Lord, two instances are found where it refers to the rapture of the church and two instances seem to refer to the second coming of Christ . . . it would seem sound exegesis to classify 1 Timothy 6:14 and 2 Timothy 4:8 as referring to the rapture . . .

In 2 Timothy 4:1 and Titus 2:13, however, there seems to be reference to His second coming."

 I am appalled that these men would interpret Titus 2:13 as a reference to the descent of Jesus at Armageddon rather than to the return of Jesus for the church. It is not "sound exegesis" to apply the use of this word in these places to anything other than the one and only second coming of Jesus which is the focus of all the apostolic writings.

The HAPPY hope of the church is NOT the physical descent of Jesus at Armageddon, what is erroneously entitled as the second coming, but that hope is the return of Jesus in the clouds when the living believers will be resurrected and be given relief from the persecutions leveled against them.


There are a couple of indirect references to the second coming of Jesus in the book of Romans. We know that these references involve the second coming only because of comparison with other books, but none of them address issues of timing or sequence of events.

 Romans 2:12, 16,

"For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law; and all who sinned in the sphere of the law will be judged by the law; (verses 13-15) on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus."

Man will be judged at the great white throne at the end of the 1000 year millennial reign of Jesus (Rev. 20:7, 11-15). But often the DAY of judgment is closely associated with Christ's second coming, even though there are many years between that coming and the last judgment.

 Romans 14:10-12

"For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. For as it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give acknowledgment to God.' So then each one of us shall give a word concerning himself to God.

This is referring specifically to the believer, who will undergo evaluation of his Christian life after Jesus returns (1 Cor. 3:12-15; Rev. 22:12; 1 Pet. 1:7). The judgment seat of God (Christ, 2 Cor. 5:10) for the Christians occurs sometime between the rapture and the physical descent of Jesus at Armageddon (Rev. 19:7-9).

 Romans 8:18-25

These verses speak of the promise of resurrection, the redemption of the body, as "the revelation of the sons of God." It relates the removal of the curse on creation to that time of resurrection, but does not specify the exact sequence of events that is involved. In actuality, the removal of the curse, although an extension of the hope of resurrection, does not happen until the final stage of human resurrection, which does not occur until the end of the millennium.


 Romans 11:26


This verse quotes from Isaiah 59:20-21, which refers to the second coming of the Messiah without distinction between His initial arrival in the clouds, and his later physical descent to the earth at Armageddon, as it is described at Revelation 19:11-16. We consistently see such JOINING of the two phases of the second coming throughout the Old Testament, and only a diligent comparison of all the passages involved will allow us to see the distinction between them. Israel as a nation is not SAVED until during the events of the Day of the Lord, that is, AFTER the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky. During that time there will be a large number of Jews who trust in Jesus as the Messiah all over the world. Many of these will be living in Palestine and will be rescued from the armies of the beast at the battles of Jerusalem and Armageddon, when Jesus descends to do battle with the armies. However, since the physical deliverance at Armageddon is dependent upon and an extension of the initial arrival in the clouds, it is indeed, the SECOND COMING that brings about Israel's deliverance. During the Day of the Lord presence of Jesus, the Jews will be undergoing a purging process which is summarized at Ezekiel 34:17-22. As a result, the unbelievers (fat sheep) will be separated from the believers (lean sheep) and the believers will go alive into Messiah's earthly kingdom, and participate in the covenant of Isaiah 59:21. This covenant is based on the salvation forgiveness that each one possesses based on trust in Jesus. Jeremiah describes this covenant and then indicates the basis for it as being the forgiveness of sin (Jer. 31:33-34).

The quote is not an accurate representation from the Hebrew, but from the LXX (septuagint), and even then, Paul changes the preposition from HENEKEN to EK to clarify the relation to Zion. He uses, EK, which indicates OUT FROM and tells us the SOURCE of the Messiah. He comes OUT FROM Israel rather than TO or even FOR Israel. The LXX, HENEKEN, indicates FOR or IN THE CAUSE OF. The Hebrew here has the preposition, LE, which indicates basically, FOR or IN REFERENCE TO. Thus, A Redeemer will come FOR or IN REFERENCE TO Israel (Zion). The nature of that REFERENCE TO Israel is determined by each particular context that speaks of Messiah's arrival.

Although the LXX is not inspired, its use in the New Testament is to be considered divine commentary and amplification. Paul's use of the preposition EK (out from), does not violate the Hebrew but simply explains the REFERENCE to Zion. That is, the Messiah will come OUT FROM Zion (Israel) as a SOURCE. Paul probably has in mind the human SOURCE of the Messiah as being "born of a descendant of David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3). Isaiah's focus is that the Messiah comes IN REFERENCE TO Israel, and TO, or more accurately, FOR (same preposition, LE), those who have trusted in the Messiah. Paul's focus is that He will come FROM Israel and PURGE the nation of any unbelievers, so that all who are left, that is ALL ISRAEL, who are left, will be those who have trusted in the Messiah and will be entered into the Messiah's earthly kingdom.

The mention of the COVENANT at Isaiah, applies to the relationship that Israel will have with God during Messiah's earthly kingdom. As I indicated above, this is based on the reality of salvation forgiveness. To focus on this, Paul adds the reference to the removal of sins that Jeremiah mentions at Jeremiah 31:33-34, "when I take away their sins."

In the Old Testament, there is a blending of the covenant of salvation provided by the work of Jesus on the cross, and the covenant of kingdom living based on salvation. It is not until the New Testament that we see the distinction and the many years that will occur in between the two realities (Heb. 8; 10:1-18). AT the second coming Jesus applies the forgiveness provision to the nation of Israel as He sets up His earthly kingdom (Jer. 31:23-40; Ezek. 37:22-28).

 Isaiah 59 summarizes God's plan of salvation.

Verse 1: God's character and intent
Verses 2-15a: General indictment on the nation of Israel with application to the whole world (Romans 3:15-17).

Verses 15b-17a: Provision of salvation at Messiah's first advent
Verses 17b-20: Judgment and deliverance at the second advent
Verse 21: Establishment of the Messiah's earthly kingdom

See Topic: Armageddon

All the Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah between the rapture and Armageddon will constitute "all Israel" and will go alive into the 1000 year kingdom to experience the earthly blessings promised to Abraham. This will involve the majority of the Jews, but there will still be many who reject Jesus as the messiah. Accordingly, after Armageddon, Jesus will separate the believers from the unbelievers (Ezek. 34:17-22), and take all the believers (all Israel) into His earthly kingdom (Ezek. 34:23-31). Of course, any Jews who trust in Christ before the rapture will be part of the church and be raptured at his arrival in the clouds.


Romans 15:12, however is not a reference to the second coming, but rather to the first coming, at which time the Messiah will pay the ransom price for salvation and extend the promise of everlasting life to all the world. However, the arrival of "the root of Jesse" at the first advent is obviously a necessary preliminary to the second coming.

This is not a direct quote from the Hebrew, at Isaiah 11:10, but from the Greek of the LXX.
The Hebrew reads,

"It will come about in that day, that the nations (Gentiles)
will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a sign for the peoples;
and His resting place will be glory.

The Greek of the LXX reads: And there shall be in that day, the root of Jesse, and One who rises to rule the nations (Gentiles); in Him shall the nations hope, and His rest shall be honor.

The Greek at Romans 15:12 is identical except that it leaves out, "in that day."


Although the LXX is not inspired, when the apostles quote it through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that particular quotation thus becomes inspired. It is then necessary to incorporate any LXX quotes in the New Testament into one's interpretation of the respective Old Testament passages.

The DAY of Isaiah 11, is the day of the Messiah, which begins at the first coming and extends into the kingdom. The prophets see that ENTIRE DAY as a whole unit without distinguishing many times between the SALVATION work of the Messiah at the first coming, the JUDGMENT work of the Messiah at the second coming, and the RULERSHIP work of the Messiah in the earthly kingdom. Accordingly, many passages will group together various factors concerning the ENTIRE period of time. It is only through the hindsight of New Testament revelation that we can separate these various EVENTS of the DAY into their right chronological order. This is NOT, however, the day of the Lord. That term is not used with any references to the first coming.

The subject of Isaiah 11 and 12 is the coming of the Messiah in general.

It begins with His arrival on the earth through the virgin birth (verses 11:1); continues through His teaching ministry (verses 2-4a); to His second coming in judgment (verses 4b-5); and into the earthly kingdom (verses 6-9).

Verse 10 is a summary verse concerning the Gentiles. It embraces both His first coming and His second coming. Only details found in both Testaments will show us the difference. Thus, Paul is right in quoting this verse in reference to the arrival of the Messiah as the Savior of the Gentiles, for that FIRST ADVENT activity is included in the reference at Isaiah. The Messiah is indeed the source of HOPE (salvation) for the Gentiles. They shall look to Him from the time of His ministry forward until His second coming, "for there is no other name under heaven, that has been given among men by which we can be saved" (Acts 4:12); then after the rapture, the Gentiles will need to look to Him in faith in order to qualify for entrance into His earthly kingdom. And finally, during the kingdom, the central location for worship activity by all the nations, will be Jerusalem, where Jesus will reign (Isaiah 2:2-4; 60:14-16; Zech. 14:16).


In John's Revelation, the second coming of Christ is referenced directly, only with the English verb COME. There are only three possible indirect references to the coming of Christ. The first one is at Revelation 6:16-17, which does not refer to the actual coming, but rather to the effects that result from that coming, for it reads,

"hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath
has come, and who is able to stand?"

It is the day of the Lord, characterized by divine wrath, that is in view at this passage. But that day is initiated by the return of Jesus "in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory" (Mat. 24:30-31), so we know that the second coming does in fact occur at that time of the 6th seal.

The second possible indirect reference is at verse 14:14.

This, however, is not referring to the ARRIVAL of Jesus, but to WHERE He can be found after His arrival. He will come in the clouds and will remain located in the clouds, and from there, sitting on a cloud, He will administrate the judgment of reaping the unbelievers on the earth through the trumpet and bowl judgments.

The third one is at Revelation 19:11-16, which is a reference to His physical descent at Armageddon and not to the second advent proper, which is when He comes in the clouds of the sky.


There are 12 POSSIBLE references to the coming, using the verb COME.

Eleven, use the verb erchomai and one uses hāko.

In three places we have the construction, "was, is and is to come."

Each time it refers to God the Father, the one who is sitting on the throne as John's vision unfolds (Rev. 1:4, 8; 4:8). Some suggest that this 3-fold description is idiomatic for ETERNITY (past, present and future). This seems most likely since, even though the Father's wrath is associated with the second coming (Rev. 6:16-17), the Father Himself is NOT the one who physically comes back at that time, but it is the Son.

The "is to come" idea COULD refer to the arrival of God's presence in and through the person of Christ rather than His own physical and visible manifestation. We know that no MORTAL man shall see the essence of the Godhead as represented by The Father, and live (Ex. 33:20). So, this is either (1) idiomatic to teach the eternity of God, or (2) it refers to a representative presence of the Father through Christ.

If one chooses to treat this as a direct reference to the COMING of God the Father, then it still does not provide any information as to the time of the coming or the sequence of events involved with that coming.

At Revelation 1:7, we have a direct reference to the second coming of Christ stated as a promise TO THE CHURCH and FOR the church. There is no reason to make this proclamation at this point unless the information in the proclamation is pertinent to the ones being addressed. Furthermore, the proclamation is perfectly consistent with what Jesus taught and what the apostles taught, that the second coming would have Jesus coming in the clouds visibly and with great glory.

 Revelation 2:5

"Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lamp stand out of its place - unless you repent."

This is not a reference to the second coming, but to the VISITATION of Christ in discipline upon those believers who will not change their minds about proper Christian living.

 Revelation 2:16

"Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly,
and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth."

This also refers to a VISITATION in discipline rather than the second coming. Although the language is similar to what we see at Revelation 19, this does not refer to the arrival of Jesus at the battle of Armageddon, for the church will be long gone via the rapture, when Jesus comes in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. The only thing that seems reasonable is the visitation of judgment through discipline on believers who do not change their minds (repent) about their disobedient life style.

 Revelation 2:25

"Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come."

In this case, it does seem to refer to the second coming. And in fact, here and the next two references in the letters to the churches, the second coming is in view. Throughout the New Testament, we have several warnings and exhortations to remain faithful UNTO the coming of the Lord, for such faithfulness will provide great blessing through reward. Those who do not "hold fast," are those who do not "abide in Him," and will "shrink away in shame at His appearing" (1 John 2:28).

 Revelation 3:3

"Remember therefore what you have received and heard;
and keep it, and repent.
If therefore, you will not wake up, I will come like a thief,
and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you."

The verb for "come" here is hāko, where erchomai occurs in each of the other passages. However, there is no apparent reason for the change; both words mean the same thing.

This could refer to the same idea that we saw at Revelation 2:5 and 16.

But it is more likely that here we look beyond temporal judgment through discipline to the possibility that in the midst of erring from the truth, the Lord could come and catch that believer off guard as is suggested at 1 John 2:28.

The language of "like a thief" is used, and although that does not mean that it has to refer to the second coming, each of the other four occurrences refer to the second coming (1Thes. 5:2, 4; 2Pet. 3:10; Rev. 16:15).

This idea is supported based on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, where even though, the believer will not be JUDGED at the Day of the Lord, he can still be caught off guard and the arrival of Jesus be like a thief to him, if he does not WAKE UP and walk in the light instead of in the darkness. But because of the believer's security IN CHRIST, the arrival of Jesus unexpectedly will not threaten their salvation, but bring shame and embarrassment as per 1 John 2:28.

 Revelation 3:11

"I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have,
in order that no one take your crown."

This refers to the possibility of losing reward by failure to maintain consistent fellowship with God and obedience while living here on earth.

See Topic: REWARDS

Since rewards are to be meted out after the return of the Lord, our maintenance of Christian faithfulness is an issue while we live here on earth in expectant anticipation of the arrival of Jesus.

John reflects this same idea at 2 John 8, "Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what you have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward."

The possibility exists for the believer to live an unfaithful Christian life and as a result lose all or part of his reward for service. However, as Paul teaches us, this has no effect on the status of one's salvation, for no matter how minimal his reward may be, "yet he himself shall be saved" (1 Cor. 3:15).

The word, "quickly," is tachus, which means either in a RAPID manner, or SOON. The idea of SOON in the apostolic writings always sees the coming of the Lord as a possible event within the context of the required events that must precede the rapture as per 2 Thessalonians 2:3; the revealing of the man of lawlessness and the apostasy of the church.

 Revelation 16:15

("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake
and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.")

Right in the middle of describing the troop movement for the battle of Armageddon, we find this exhortation from Jesus, addressed, probably to the readers of the book of Revelation as a reminder of personal accountability.

The phrase, "come like a thief," occurs only 5 times and always refers to the return of Jesus at the arrival of the Day of the Lord (1Thes. 5:2, 4; 2Pet. 3:10; Rev. 3:3; Rev. 16:15). The use of this term originated based on the parable Jesus taught at Matt. 24:43-44

"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect it."

Believers will thus, be reminded of the urgency for testimonial consistency throughout their lives that they might not "be ashamed, and shrink away from him in fear at His presence," 1 John 2:28.

Unbelievers will once again be reminded that if they are not spiritually prepared through salvation relationship with God, they will be left behind at the rapture and the men, if not killed by one plague or another, will very likely end up as part of this troop movement into the Valley of Megiddo where they will face the sword of Jesus.

At all times throughout history, God has been faithful to provide the information people need to enter into relationship with Himself. This time of great judgment from God is no exception. The 144,000 "servants" of God are still present on the earth representing the truth of God to all who will hear. The message of these "servants" is found at Rev. 14:6-7 and is called, "an everlasting gospel."

The quote from God at this point in the scenario, indicates not only, God's concern for His own people, that they be "prepared" through fellowship abiding with Him, but that He is still concerned that all who are willing come and and that all who "call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

 The last three references to the second coming are all addressed to the church and for the church. The primary focus in the book is encouragement of believers to maintain consistent obedience to the standards of God's righteousness. This is the message found in the letters to the seven churches. That message is given within a context of a possible return of Jesus within the lifetime of the believers addressed.

At Revelation 22:7, we have a blessing for heeding the message of the book.

"And behold, I am coming quickly.
Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."

The primary message of the book is not the flow of future events, but the issue of PREPARING believers for those events. Involved in that message is an evangelistic impact in order to reach as many unbelievers as possible. This is seen primarily in the last chapter at verses 10-19. The book itself is not written TO unbelievers, but as the events of the tribulation and of the Day of the Lord are communicated, the need for trusting in Christ is clarified. And the final invitation is extended to all the world at Revelation 22:17.

And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "come."
And let the one who is thirsty come;
let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

 At Revelation 22:12-15, the return of Jesus is seen from the perspective of reward for works. This does not mean that only believers are in view

"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with me to render to every man according to what his work is." This is different from being rewarded for Christian service. This involves a SPECIFIC WORK that will determine the eternal status of the person. Jesus taught that "This is the WORK of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent" (John 6:29).

And the gospel is mentioned at verse 17 without getting specific. In fact, there is no clear gospel message in the entire book, only hints and symbols. It thus requires the believer to interpret the book and the evangelistic message of the book to unbelievers, using the language that is established by Jesus and the apostles as making the issues of faith in Christ perfectly clear.

AT Revelation 22:20, the final statement of His second coming is simply that, but then John ends with the exclamation of strong agreement, "Amen," and the expression of his desire that the Lord would come SOON.

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

And thus, the final book of the Bible concludes with the confident expectation of the church - that Jesus would indeed come quickly.

The fact that He has delayed these many years simply keeps us ever focused on His character and timing, and on our purpose for remaining here on earth as Christ's ambassadors. And in this final expression, John confirms very clearly, in my thinking at least, that the ONE and ONLY second coming is what has been in view throughout the book and indeed, in all the teachings of the apostles.




İRon Wallace, Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.


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