As stated in Matthew 21, Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem and they came to the town of Bethpage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of the disciples ahead to a village so they could bring Him a donkey that would be tied there, with its colt beside it. This took place to fulfill Zechariahs vision. (Zechariah 9:9), "Tell the people of Jerusalem, Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey, riding on a donkey's colt." The vision of the "First Advent" of Christ; and so it was at it was written. "Christ came humbly as the Savior for all mankind." After the crucifixion, the angel of the Lord came to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and told them that Jesus had risen from the dead and to go and tell the other disciples what had happened. As they went to tell them, "Jesus appeared to them," and told them to tell the brethren to go into Galilee, and they would see Him. Jesus appeared to the disciples and instructed them to teach all nations, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Jesus told them that He would be with them always, even till the end of the world. After the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19). Now to begin our study, we will turn to the book of Acts.
During the forty days after Christ's crucifixion He appeared to the apostles from time to time. In one of these meetings He told them not to leave Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them in fulfillment of the Father's promise. Another time when He appeared to them, they asked Him: "Lord, are you going to free Israel (from Rome) now, and restore us as an independent nation?" Jesus replied to them: "Only the Father sets those dates, and they are not for you to know." But, He told them that when the "Holy Spirit" comes upon them, they would receive power to testify about Him to the ends of the earth. It was not long afterwards that He was taken up into the sky and disappeared. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9). After saying this, Christ was taken up in a cloud to Heaven and they could no longer see Him.
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. (Acts 1:10). To angels of God were standing beside the apostles as a witness to the Son of God and then they spoke to them.
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11). Why do you stare into the sky you men of Galilee? Jesus was taken from you, but He will return someday in the same way that you seen Him go. Speaking of His return to the mount of Olives as it is written. (Zechariah 14:4), His return in the second advent.
So how can we have the confidence that this second advent will take place and Christ will return in the near future? We embrace faith, hope, and the fact that Jesus told us it would be so in His teachings. Lets go to the book of John and see how Jesus assured His disciples (as well as us), that He would return at a future time.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1).Don't be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. He gives us assurance to increase our faith in Him and the Heavenly Father. (Christ is the best friend you can have, trust Him).
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3).There will be plenty of room in God's home and Christ is going to prepare a place for us. "This word "mansions" Strong's G3438 is "abode" or dwelling place. (Christ can dwell within us now through the Holy Spirit), but where He dwells when He returns, we will also be with Him. So, does He give us clues to when this second advent will take place? Lets go to the book of Matthew and see if we can find out more about His return in the later days.
One day when Jesus was leaving the temple, his disciples came along and wanted to show Him the various Temple buildings. But, Jesus told them that all these buildings that they were showing Him would be knocked down, with not one stone left standing. (Matthew 24:2). Later as He sat on the slope of the Mount of Olives (His favorite place), the disciples asked Him, "what events would signal His return and when the end would be?" So, Jesus gave them the signs of the end times. Jesus told them not to be deceived, because many would come claiming to be the Messiah and lead many astray. He told them that the beginning signs would be wars and rumors of wars, nations and kingdoms would rise against each other, and that there would be famine and earthquakes in many places. He went on to say that Christians would be hated and killed because of our belief in Him, and that many would fall back into sin and betray each other. Sin would be rampant everywhere and would cool the love of many. But, those who endure till the end will be saved. But, here is a very important clue that He gave us. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14). The Good News of the gospel will be preached throughout the whole world for all nations to hear the truth and then finally, the end will come. The time is near my friend! With television, radio, and the internet, this is becoming possible. Even here at the Good News Ministry, we reach and fellowship with members from over 50 countries around the world. And we are just a drop in the bucket. The Word is spreading like a disease and people are hungry for the truth. (Just watch what teachings you follow). Now lets see in what manner Christ will return in the near future.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. (Psalm 50:3). When Christ returns He will not be silent. Fire devours everything in His way. (Hebrews 12:29), God is a consuming fire that will warm the hearts of those who love Him, but will take vengeance on those who do not know Him and follow Satan. (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7). There will be no mystery when He comes at the seventh trump. This is when we will all be changed to our spirit bodies. Everyone will see Him come, even those who pierced Him. All nations will weep in sorrow and terror when He comes. Why weeping and terror for the nations and not joy? "Because He is not coming as Christ crucified in the first advent, but rather a God of war and judgment." It's judgment for many, but payday for those who follow Him.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27). When Christ returns, everyone will be judged according to their "works" (good deeds). Not just faith! Faith will get you saved, but what good are you if you do not work for it. Your works are the only thing you can take with you when you die. (Revelation 14:13).
So, how do we prepare ourselves for His return? Lets take a look at the book of I Thessalonians and find some answers. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Live a quite life minding your own business and doing your own work.
That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. (1 Thessalonians 4:12). Those who are not Christians will trust and respect you and you will not need to depend on others to make a living. If you have the truth and spread it around to help others, God will give you what you need to get by.
But, what happens if we die before His return? What happens to those who are already dead? The apostle Paul gives us the best explanation. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Paul wanted them to know what happens to a Christian when they die so when it happens, they would not be sorrowed.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:14). If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we must believe that when a Christian dies, God will also bring them with Him. Upon death; the body returns to the dust of the earth and the spirit goes back to the Heavenly Father who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12-7). When we are absent from this flesh body, our soul (or self), is present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:7-8), This should be our clue to "walk by faith" and "not by sight" as to where the dead are. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:15). Those who are alive when the Lord returns will not prevent (or precede), those who are dead because the dead are already there with the Lord. (Read our study topic: Where are the dead). Now what exactly happens when Christ does return and what takes place? For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1 Thessalonians 4:16). At the last trump (7th trump), the dead in Christ will rise first because they are already there. (So easy to understand if you listen to the Word).
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17). As "gathered like a cloud" used as a statement, or "like a cloud of locust" or "cloud of witnesses." (Hebrews 12:1). Now as for the ones which are alive to meet the Lord in the air; We must go back to the original Greek to translate air which is (Aer = Breathe, Strong's 109 Greek Dictionary) prime from (Psucho = To Breathe, 5594) prime from (Psuche = Breath or Spirit, 5590) prime from (Pneuma = Spirit or Breath of Life, 4151) When Christ returns at the seventh trump, we will be changed into our Spirit bodies to meet him. (This is not a rapture of the church). Now that we understand how it will go down, what else can we do to prepare for this glorious event of the Second Advent? Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Comfort and encourage each other with this news. The words of truth, not a bunch of traditions of men. Open your eyes to the Word of God! Now for the deeper student, "God is about to reveal a mystery to us." Lets see what Paul has to say about our spirit bodies.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (1 Corinthians 15:51). Not all of us will die in the normal way, but those who are still here at Christ's return at the second advent will be transformed into our "spirit" bodies. Wow! What a statement! Can you believe what was just said here? "No death as we know it, if we make it till the return of Christ at the seventh trump." (Blessings for those who hang till the end when Christ returns).
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52). This transformation to our "spiritual bodies" will take place in the blink of an eye, when the "last trump" sounds. The furthest trump out! (Revelation 8:2, Matthew 24:31). The angels shall gather the elect (the chosen ones), from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. This will take place at the 7th trump. (Satan returns at the sixth trump, Christ returns at the seventh trump).
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:53). These liable to die mortal bodies will be transformed into immortal bodies that will never die. "This should bring our attention to: (Matthew 10:28), Only God can destroy your soul. Your soul is yourself. The spirit is the intellect of the soul. (Destroy #622 in the Strong's is to perish). God can blot you out as though you never existed, just as Satan is sentenced to perish. Once the anointed cherub that guarded the mercy seat of God will perish forever. (Ezekiel 28:14-19). So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54). Our flesh bodies will put on spiritual bodies, and death is gone. (Hebrews 2:14-15, Isaiah 25:8). O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55). Death doesn’t exist anymore, and the grave has no victory. (Hosea 13:14), Clean slate if you have repented before this time. (However, there will be death of the soul to those who do not make it). So, what is Satan's role in this end time event just before the second Advent of Christ? Lets go to the book of Revelation to continue our study.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (Revelation 20:1). This is not a physical chain, but a spiritual chain that Satan will be bound by. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:2). All the roles of Satan shall be bound. Remember that Satan is a play actor and a fake with many rolls that he plays throughout the bible. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:3). This is a full proof seal from almighty God. Satan's evil spirit is locked up so that he cannot fool the nations any more until the thousand years are finished. But, then he must be loosed for a short period of time. Why? To test those who never new the truth before. There will be many at this time of the millennium (1,000 years of teaching), who never had a chance to know God's Word, and also those who have been deceived in God's Word most of their lives. Many have already overcome and were chosen before the foundation of the world in the first earth age. (Ephesians 1:4, 2 Peter 3:5-10).
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4). These are the souls who had overcame Satan's lies and deceptions and many died for their testimony of Christ. These are the ones who will teach with Christ in the millennium. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:5). This is the first resurrection. There has been no gathering back to Christ before this time and don't let anyone tell you different. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years have ended). We are speaking of the spiritually dead! (Some take part in the first resurrection, and some don't take part till the second resurrection after being tested by Satan). We are talking about the seventh and last trump now when the true Christ returns. (Do you want to be part of the first resurrection)? "I would think so." Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6). Blessed are those who take part in the first resurrection, because the second death cannot effect them. What is the second death? The death of the soul! (Matthew 10:28). Those taking part in the first resurrection will be priests of God that teach the spiritual dead. So then, what goes down with Satan at this time?
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (Revelation 20:7). Satan will be loosed for a short time to test those who were spiritually dead. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (Revelation 20:8). Satan will go out to deceive the nations of the world once again, gathered from the east to the west and the four corners of the earth. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9). God fights this battle; remember that God is a consuming fire! And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10). All the roles of Satan are gone. Satan is turned to ashes forever. Blotted out! (Not looking good for that old serpent the devil)! But, what's ahead for us?
John was shown by the angel of the Lord, a new heaven and new earth. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1). We are speaking literally here of the heavens, earth and sea. The oceans are all dried-up, back to like it was in the first earth age. The earth is put back into it's original order. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5). What a revelation; a new heaven and new earth age awaits all of us who follow after the true "light of the world," The Messiah!
Lets go to the book of Titus for a little more insight on our preparation for the return of Christ at the second advent. Now we all need to live in this world today, and sometimes it gets a little difficult with all the evil and worldly events that take place every day. But, if we use common sense and follow the help of the Holy Spirit we can get by. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:12). Turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. Live with wisdom in this world. (We have a lot to look forward to). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Titus 2:13). It is coming soon! “Look forward to the second advent.” (If you are living right there should be no problem). We have a new covenant to look forward to. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (Jeremiah 31:31). The house that is divided will be together with a new covenant from God at Christ's return at the second advent. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (Jeremiah 31:32). This will not be like the old covenant that they broke. God wrote them a bill of divorcement. (Jeremiah 3:8), God put Israel away for adultery. Yes, God is a divorcee! But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33). A new covenant in that day. God will put instruction in their minds. (He wants you as a servant of the living God). And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34). They won't need to teach their neighbors, or relatives. You won't need to say: "You should know the Lord." Everyone from the least to the greatest will know the Lord already! He will forgive their wickedness, and will never remember their sins again. However, this is conditional. (If they repent of their sins). Now to complete this study topic, lets go to the book of Zechariah again and recap the difference between the first and second advent.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9). Rejoice people of Zion! Your King is coming and He will be righteous and victorious. He is humble, riding on a colt, the foal of an ass. (We are speaking of the first advent here when Jesus came riding upon a donkey's colt). (Matthew 21:5-7, Mark 11:7, Luke 19:30-35, John 12:14-16). There will be a day in the near future when Jesus arrives on a white horse, (The Second Advent). When He returns as "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:10). I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem. Destroy all weapons used in battle, and your King (Jesus Christ), will bring peace to all nations. His dominion will stretch from sea to sea to all the ends of the earth. Referring to a yet future coming of the Messiah. (The second advent). (Isaiah 2:4, 9:6-7, Micah 5:4, Revelation 11:15). And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. The seventh and final trump, the return of Christ, and the time we put on our spiritual bodies. The Lord and His anointed shall now rule the world from this day to eternity.
Keep The Faith,
Keep The Faith,
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