As we come to this point in this chart study we are deep within learning about future events, this is an important distinction. When we read about past, historical events we can rely on this information because it was documented and presented by a host of references and witnesses; you can even visit the places where many events took place. Frankly, faith is not really required to read and understand historical events. However, when looking at prophecy and future events that have been written about such as: The Rapture, Tribulation, Judgement Seat of Christ, Second Coming, Millennial Kingdom and the Great White Throne Judgement to name a few; this can create an opportunity for misunderstanding.
To make sure we have a solid grasp about Jesus’ Second coming we need to make sure we have an understanding of the other times He has came to the earth.
There are many times where Christ’s coming is identified in scripture but we must be careful not to attribute one for the other. (2 Tim 2:15)
There are 4 areas where Jesus “came” or “appeared” in the Scriptures.
- As the Angel of the Lord
- As a Child (Lamb of God)
- Coming to get His Church
- Coming as a King and conquerer
Angel of the Lord – the context identifies power and diety vs. a messenger.
Genesis 18 is the Account of Abraham talking with the Lord bodily on earth.
Genesis 16:7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
Numbers 22:22 The account of the Angel of the Lord and Balaam making the Donkey speak
There are many additional references where the Angel of the lord sat with kings and prophets, led Israel through the wilderness and more. It is important to make note of this pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ and how to discern the person. An important distinction to make is what happens when reverence is paid to “the Angel of the Lord”… If the angel is NOT Christ, but just an angel; the angel does not allow reverence to be paid asking the individual to get up. However, when the Angel is actually Christ, He allows them to worship and show reverence; and rightly so.
1st Coming – The Lamb
The first coming was as a Lamb to take away the sin of the world
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Christ Coming for His Church
One area that is often misrepresented is the coming of Christ for His Church. He does not come bodily to the earth rather “appears” to the world in the clouds. (See lesson on the Rapture)
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
The Second Coming of Christ is the event in the scriptures that has perhaps more manuscript evidence than any other.
The Second Coming is to set up His earthly kingdom
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
This is the event that fulfills so many prophecies about Israel and God’s Kingdom. It is also the pinnacle of tribulation when the fullness of God’s wrath is poured out. You see when Christ comes back it is a two-edged sword as it means victory and glory for the righteous, but suffering and death for those who are against him.
The Battle of Armageddon
Beyond the references that Hollywood likes to pin the Battle of Armageddon is where Jesus comes to step foot bodily on earth,
Revelation 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Revelation 19 gives an account of those that rose to fight; nations, armies and people rose up to fight against Christ… and died.