The King Returns, Pt. 1

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:8, Revelation 14:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:16
Date: 11/11/2017 
The great climax of the world's history is going to be when Christ comes and He sets everything right. Part 1 of 2

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>>This presentation is brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts ministry.

>>Contrary to the popular belief that lightning never strikes the same spot twice, it’s actually been known to strike objects – even people – multiple times during intense electrical storms. During one storm, for instance, the Empire State building in New York was struck 15 times within 15 minutes. Sometimes a single bolt of lightning will really consist of as many as 42 discharges striking the same spot in such quick succession that it appears like a single flash, but it all happens in less than one-quarter of a second. Lightning from one cloud to another is also very common, and it’s been recorded to jump as far as 20 miles between clouds. But whether lightning is moving from cloud to cloud or cloud to ground or ground to cloud, it’s hard to miss the brilliant, blinding flash that illuminates the sky.

In Matthew 24 Jesus said, ‘For as lightning comes from the East and flashes to the West, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.’ In spite of His words, some still believe that His return is going to be a secret. But what is the truth? Join me now, friends, as we take a closer look at what the Bible really says about the return of Christ.

>>We’re going to be talking about the theme of Christ’s return in our presentation this morning, and we’ve been doing some of these things in the context of the anniversary of the Reformation. I don’t know if you’re aware, but Martin Luther, Melanchthon – that’s Philip Melanchthon – and many of the other reformers, they believed in something called ‘The great week of time.’ They believed that the history of man would last about six thousand years and then we spend a thousand years with the Lord in Heaven and then, at that time, the earth would be purified and all things made new. His dating was off a little bit about how old he thought the world was, adding up the – the Bible ages, but many of them believed in this.

One of the founders in our movement, J.N. Andrews, he wrote a book on ‘The Great Millennial Week’ or ‘The Week of Time.’ and, basically, what it says is, because of that verse there in 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 8 – Peter is also quoting Psalms where it says, ‘A thousand years in His sight are as a day when it is gone.’ Peter says, “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And when you add up the ages in the Bible – and we don’t know exactly, so don’t use this to try and set a date – but, you know, approximately 4,000 B.C. Adam was created and this starts giving the ages – how long Adam lived and how long Seth lived and how long Enos lived and on up to Noah.

And then there’s some ambiguity. That’s why we don’t know the exact date, because it says Noah had Shem, Ham, and Japheth and, unless they were triplets, we don’t know exactly when that happened. And then you go on down through Abraham and we can pretty accurately track history from Abraham and the exodus to the present day. The Jews were very good at keeping a careful chronology. Jesus was born about 4 B.C. It’s interesting, [Adam] was created approximately 4004 B.C. – that’s Bishop Usher’s chronology. Abraham was born 2004 [B.C.]. Jesus was born 4 B.C. We’re now living about 2,000 years after Christ, and then Jesus comes and we live and reign with him for a thousand years.


>>You’ve got three great ages: you’ve got the age of the first two thousand years from the creation to Abraham, that’s known as the age of the patriarchs – these are three epochs that you see in the Bible – God preached the gospel through the patriarchs – they weren’t Jews back then – that’s Noah, Enoch, Methusaleh, so forth. Then Abraham is born. For the next two thousand years God preaches the gospel through the Jews – the Israelites – his people. And God had committed the oracles of truth to them and the Messiah came through them. And then you have, for the last 2,000 years, God is sharing the gospel with the world through the church or spiritual Israel, and then Christ is going to come. And we will live and reign with Him for one thousand years. It’s almost like a thousand-year Sabbath. And then he creates a new Heaven and a new Earth. And you just see this pattern all through the Bible. You know, the New Jerusalem comes down as a bride. Well, Jacob had the wedding after seven years of working for Laban to get Rachel. You see where Joshua – how many times did Joshua march around Jericho?


>>Seven times – you’re wrong – thirteen times. (Laughter) Everyone says that – one time for six days and then, after the six days, on the seventh day, they marched around it seven times, blew the trumpets, and took the city. After six days they took the city.

You could have a Hebrew servant for six years – seventh year he went free. The Bible says Jesus promised His disciples, ‘Hereafter some of you will not taste of death before you see the kingdom of God come with power.’ This is Mark chapter 9. It says after six days He took them up and they had a miniature picture of the second coming. You can read where it says, ‘Moses and the elders waited at the base of the mountain for six days while the glory of God covered the mountain and after six days He called Moses up.’ You could sow your land for six years – the seventh year you would let it rest. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Sower, the Word of God is the seed.

For 6,000 years God has been sowing the gospel seed and then Jesus is going to come and the condition of the world is going to be desolate. When the children of Israel were carried off to Babylon, the Bible says that 70 years they were in Babylon, the land kept Sabbath – it was resting while it was desolate. During the 1,000 years of the millennium the earth is desolate – it’s keeping Sabbath – and so, I could go on and on. King Joash was hidden in the temple of the Lord – the son of David – from this wicked queen while she ruled over the land six years. At the end of six years the son of David – the king – came out of the temple. Where’s our king right now? Where’s Jesus, the Son of david? Is He in the temple of the Lord as our high priest? Is He going to come out of that temple? Is Michael going to stand up?


>>Joash came out of the temple, they blew the trumpet – will the trumpets blow when Jesus comes?


>>The people rejoiced – will there be rejoicing when Jesus comes?


>>The wicked were slain – I’m talking about the story of Joash – will there be wicked slain when Jesus comes? And the Bible says then there was peace – will there be a kingdom of peace after Jesus comes? All these stories in the Bible are allegories telling us something about Jesus’ coming. It’s not going to last forever. The great climax of the world’s history is going to be when Christ comes and He sets everything right.

And so then, of course, they live and reign with Jesus 1,000 years. You read in Revelation 20 – oh, one more thing i just thought about – what did God say to Adam and Eve, if they disobeyed in the garden, if they ate the forbidden fruit? He said, “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Did Adam and Eve drop dead as soon as they ate the forbidden fruit?


>>No? They probably died, spiritually, right away. Something happened. Their light went out because they saw their nakedness. But if a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, how long did Adam live? 930. ‘In the day you eat you will die.’ I mean, if God makes you and you’re supposed to live forever, and you die within the first thousand years, you’re devastated. You and I live three score and ten or a few more, but back then they lived almost a millennia but nobody made it over a thousand except one person. Enoch. Everyone else, even Methusaleh, 969 years. ‘In the day you eat thereof you will die.’ So our study today is talking about when the King returns.

And we’re going to talk about some of the signs of Christ coming. We’re not going to give you a date for the Lord’s return, but we are going to talk about some of the misunderstandings in the Christian world regarding how Jesus is coming back, because that is going to set many people up for a major deception. And so, we need to understand this subject.

First question: Who is the king that will soon emerge from the temple in Heaven? Talked about when Joash came out of the temple of the Lord and they blew the trumpet. By the way, that was just before the Sabbath began, at the changing of the guard. Just before the millennial Sabbath Jesus is going to come out of the temple –


>>And there’ll be a great time of trouble when Michael stands up. It says, “I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown,” – Jesus is that Son of Man who is going to come.

Second question: Will Jesus come quietly when He comes? Now this is where a lot of people misunderstand. They think that it’s going to be a secret and the Bible tells us the second coming of Jesus is probably the noisiest event in the Bible. Just look at some of the verses that talk about this: “The Lord Himself” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – “shall descend from Heaven with a” – what? – “a shout,” - and then it goes on – “with the voice of the archangel,” – and the trump, another audible thing. Jeremiah 25:30, speaking of the Lord coming, it says, “the Lord will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation.” - There’s going to be a roar when the Lord comes – He will mightily roar upon His habitation. He will give a shout.

Again you read – Psalm 50, verse 3 – is the Lord coming quietly? “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; …and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him.” There’s going to be glory and the heavens are going to be crashing – the Bible says the heavens are going to depart as a scroll, the sun’ll go dark, the moon’ll turn to blood, the stars’ll fall from Heaven, the Earth is going to reel to and fro like a drunken man, the islands will be swallowed up, hailstones are going to be falling.

You’re not going to have to text somebody and say, ‘Did you catch that? I think Jesus came yesterday.’ (Laughter) and yet, some people believe a relatively new scenario about the second coming. It’s called The Secret Rapture. Now, you’ve heard about the Left Behind books and they’ve made at least two Left Behind movies. And this was virtually an unknown teaching 200 years ago. It slowly evolved out of the Jesuit theologian’s chronology, Francisco Ribera, and another man, Escobar, and they were looking for a counter-reformation/interpretation of prophecy to try to fight what was happening because of the great reformers, so they concocted this view. It didn’t really take off until a man named Scofield came along. Any of you ever seen the Scofield Bible? It’s got a lot of good things in it. But he embraced Ribera’s theology about the secret rapture and the Left Behind theology.

Another man, named Hal Lindsey, then, he picked up the Scofield Bible, he put it in his book called The Late, Great, Planet Earth and then that was picked up by some other charismatics and Trinity Broadcasting and then they began to teach this and it went from almost unknown to the prominent view. Now the idea – the word ‘rapture’ means ‘to be carried away with power’ – and that’s biblical – we’ll be caught up to meet the Lord in the air – nothing wrong with the rapture. The idea that it’s a secret rapture and the idea that God takes us out of the world before there’s any tribulation – and then there’s seven years of tribulation here on Earth where the Antichrist does everything dastardly he’s going to do during that tribulation. It just is – it’s preparing people to be deceived.

>>Don’t go anywhere, friends, in just a moment we’ll return for the rest of today’s presentation. Are you familiar with the prophetic signs of Christ’s return and just how close we really are to the most extraordinary cosmic event in history? Will we be suddenly and secretly raptured as millions are left behind? Or will Jesus’ return be as loud and bright as lightning, from sky to sky? Well, there might be a million different theories out there, but there’s only one Bible truth and Jesus promises, if we seek, we will find. That’s why Amazing Facts wants you to have the rock-solid facts on this subject with our newest Bible resource. It’s called The Day of the Lord. This colorful, fully-illustrated magazine contains every fascinating fact you need to know about the when, where, and how of Jesus’ soon return. To get your free copy, call the phone number on the screen and ask for offer #825 or visit the web address and, after you read this incredible resource, be sure and share it with a friend.

>>Let’s return to today’s presentation and learn some more amazing facts from the Word of God.

>>I’ve met people – they think that, ‘Well, if I’m not ready for the secret rapture, then I might have to go through the tribulation but I’ll get another chance seven years later.’ And I’ve met men, they say, ‘Yeah, my wife, she’s telling me she’s going to disappear and I’ll be left behind.’ (Laughter) ‘She said but then if I repent at least, during the seven-year tribulation, I do have another chance.’ And you know what that means? A lot of people are saying, ‘Well, I think I’ll just – I’ll enjoy the world and if I do see everyone start disappearing, then I’ll get serious and I’ll have to go through the tribulation, but at least I’ll be saved.’ Well, friends, the devil is giving people the idea there’s a second chance. There is no second chance. When Jesus comes, that’s it.


>>And if you’re going to believe the safe thing, believe what I believe, because if you believe like I believe and I’m wrong, well at least you were ready, you see what I’m saying? (Laughter) but I think there’s a lot of scripture so that we know –


>>It’s not going to be a secret rapture. And then someone’ll say, ‘Well, Pastor Doug, doesn’t it say in the Bible that He’s coming like a thief? That’s right, it does – like a thief – see? Secret rapture. He’s coming like a thief.’ You tell me, as I read this verse, if it sounds like life goes on seven more years after Jesus comes like a thief. And it says, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” So when the Lord comes like a thief, what’s happening here on earth? Does life go on or are the elements melting with fervent heat when He comes like a thief? Why did He say He’s coming like a thief? Because when it happens, it’s a surprise. You ever have a thief come to your house?


>>I used to be a thief. (Laughter) I did, before I was a Christian. You know, I’m born again now so you can trust me. (Laughter) I would break into people’s houses – I’d steal things. I never sent them a notice and said, ‘Look, I’m going to be here,’ – (Laughter) – and so, it was a surprise when it happened, but they knew after I came. And so, I don’t believe it’s going to be a secret rapture.

What other physical evidence will accompany Jesus’ return? You can read in Revelation 16, verse 18, ‘There was a great earthquake such as was not upon the Earth since men were on the Earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great.’ And so everything is shaking. Islands are being swallowed up.

What else happens when Jesus comes? Who will see Him when He returns? Is it just a few people who are ready for the rapture? Or does the Bible say in Matthew 24, verse 30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming.” They’ll what? They’ll see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory.


>>”Behold, He comes with the clouds,” Revelation 1, verse 7, “and every eye will see Him.”


>>Somebody always writes in the question, ‘Pastor Doug, how can every eye see Him when the world is round?’ (Laughter) He’s not saying they’re going to all see Him simultaneously, He means that day when He goes around the world and He raptures up – kind of vacuums up the redeemed and there’s destruction and devastation behind him and then He goes off – everyone’s going to see Him that day – that’s all it’s saying.


>>It doesn’t say everyone sees Him simultaneously. And so, everyone’s going to see Him. How will it be when Jesus comes back? We don’t have to be left in doubt. When Christ ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives, the Bible says that the disciples were watching this and they were gazing up into the heavens longingly as they saw Jesus, their beloved Lord, drifting up into the clouds out of sight. And even after He was gone they stood there and they just stared up into the sky. Suddenly they got nudged by two angels at their side that said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand here gazing up into the heavens?’ – Notice – ‘This same Jesus will come in the way that He left.’ He’s coming in the same way that He left. Was He real when He left?


>>Did they see Him when He left?


>>Was He talking to them when He left?


>>Yeah, He said, ‘Go unto all the world. Behold I’m with you always.’ as He ascended up to Heaven. He’s a real person. He’s coming back the same way that He left so we don’t have to worry about it being – you know, it’s – the reason that this is so maddening for me, as a pastor, is, was the church ready when Jesus came the first time?


>>The first time, they wanted Him to come like a lion – come and conquer the romans – to come and blow a trumpet, to shake the world and set Israel up as the earthly king. But He came quietly like a lamb and they didn’t accept it. They were not ready because they didn’t understand the prophecies. Now, Jesus is getting ready to come like a lion with a trumpet – as a king – and the church is saying, ‘No, He’s coming quietly’ – (Laughter) – ‘This time.’ See, the devil is always working to get the church to misunderstand the prophecies so they’re not ready. Were they ready when He came the first time?


>>No. And many will perish because they weren’t ready. So the same thing’s happening. Who will be with Jesus when He comes in the clouds? He’s not coming alone. Matthew 25, verse 31, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and all” – how many?


>>”All of the holy angels with Him.” So remember what happened when, during the resurrection, one angel came and rolled away the stone and the guards – the roman guards who were there, they fell down like dead men and fled in terror from the glory of one angel. One angel of the Lord went through the Syrian camp and 185,000 soldiers were slain – one angel. When the Lord comes with all the angels nobody’s going to have to say, ‘Did you see the paper yesterday?’ - (Laughter) - ‘I think Jesus came – and it was bright.’ No, everyone will know.

What will the brightness of Jesus’ coming do to the living wicked? 2 Thessalonians 1:7, “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven and His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God.” Do you know Him? Eternal life is to know the Lord. He’ll say to the lost, ‘I don’t know you.’ Are you taking time to get to know Him? Because He’s coming. And it goes on to say – 2 Thessalonians 2:8 – “Then shall that wicked one be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” – when He comes – the brightness of His coming, it’s going to consume the wicked.

What will happen to the righteous who are dead at Jesus’ coming? This is good news. The Bible says the dead in Christ will rise first.


>>Many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life – that’s the dead in Christ. And you can read in Revelation chapter 20, it says, “This is the first resurrection” – and wherever you’ve got a first anything, you’ve got a what?


>>A second, at least. You don’t want to be in the second resurrection. At this point, what happens to the living and the resurrected saints? All that are saved and the living saints? It says there’s a transformation that takes place to their bodies – “The dead shall be raised incorruptible and we who are alive will be changed. For this corruptible” – these bodies that get old and wrinkled and decrepit – “they’ll put on immortality” – they’ll put on incorruption – “this mortal will put on immortality.” We’ll be changed in the blink of an eye – those of us who are alive. And it says we are then caught up to meet them in the air. So, again, is this sounding like a secret? Everything about it is telling us that it’s a very real, obvious, known event.


>>And you’ve probably heard the stories – ‘Yeah, planes’ll fall out of the sky because the pilots were Christians and now there’s nobody to fly. And cars just be crashing on the street because the Christians disappeared and their clothes’ll be in the driver’s seat, you know? And you’ll wake up and lo and behold your husband’s gone – his clothes are still there but he’s gone. And you know where they get that? Jesus said, speaking of the second coming, He said, ‘Two women’ll be grinding at the mill, one is taken, one is left. Two men’ll be working in the field, one is taken, one is left.’ and then Luke adds a third scenario – two men sleeping in a bed, one is taken, one is left. What does that mean? What does a woman represent in Bible prophecy?

>>A church.

>>A church. How many kinds of churches are there?


>>There’s really only two. You go to Revelation 20, there’s two women – Revelation 17 and Revelation 12, you’ve got true and you’ve got false. Two different gospels – what are the women doing? They’re grinding the grain it says – working with the word – one is true, one is false. Outwardly they look the same; one is ready, one is not. And it says there are two men working in the field. What’s the field? The field is the place where the missionaries are working – you’re sowing the seed – you’re harvesting. Two kinds of people out there doing missionary work – true and false. Jesus said there’s two masters – there’s two roads. You’ve got two options, it’s either you’re with me or against me. Isn’t that right? And then he said ‘two men sleeping in a bed’. What does sleep represent?


>>Death. How many kinds of dead people right now? Two – saved and lost. First resurrection, second resurrection. And what really is interesting – he said some are taken, some are left. They often assume the ones taken are taken by the Lord, but in the Hebrew mind, whenever they disobeyed their enemies came and took them away to Assyria, they took them to Egypt, they took them to Babylon – they’re taken away. The Bible says, ‘They knew not ‘til the flood came and took them away’ – the wicked. And so, being taken away meant be taken out of the Promised Land – out of the place of rest. So they’ve even got who’s taken mixed up. It’s talking about taken away – and they say, ‘Where are they taken, Lord?’ He says, ‘Wherever the vultures – wherever the body is, that’s where the vultures are gathered.’ You don’t want to be taken like that, do you? (Laughter) And so the church is so confused on these scriptures about the second coming.

What will the angels do at the second coming of Jesus? The Bible says He will send His angels and they will gather together His elect from the four winds of Heaven – that means North, South, East, West – and they’ll bring them to the Lord – they’re going to be caught up together with the Lord. Now, since we’re living just before the second coming, how should we relate to this solemn and glorious event? How many of you have heard a presentation like this before? About the second coming? Sure you have. Did it change you for a little while? Why do we talk about the second coming? Some people say, ‘Well, when He comes, He comes. Don’t get preoccupied with His coming.’ Well, personally, i’m what you would call a Seventh-day Adventist and that means that we get excited about the imminent advent of Jesus.


>>Jesus has told us to go into all the world to teach and to baptize. He wants people to know that this world has a limited amount of time and we need to get ready. And, if nothing else, your life has a limited amount of time and you need to get ready for the Lord for you. And so, we have a message, but this world is not going to last forever and that also tells us about the goodness of God. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the sin and the pain and the suffering were immortalized? Jesus coming again is good news that it’s all going to be resolved.

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