I am deeply troubled to hear such lack of understanding among “God's” people. Far to many, in trying to convey their knowledge of end times events and the Revelation of Jesus, speak from tradition and what someone else has told them. It is confusing to say the least.
This came out of multiple interactions with followers of Christ that do not have a clue, and many vehemently argue their incorrect positions without adequate scripture to back them up. Do we not realize how foolish we look to the world and to other believers when we do this? What will it take to get you to read your bibles? How can you possibly know and understand the character of God unless you go to the source instead of conjecture.
Since I began writing this I started a new job. That is vital to my welfare, as you might imagine, but it also pulled me away from writing and studying; aspects of my life in Christ that I love. I also came across Pastor Raul Reis speaking on the radio about this very thing. Raul is the senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, in Diamond Bar, California. He was speaking on end times prophecy, specifically the last seven years. Sadly, I found myself disgusted, as even he quickly got into fallacy.
Why are we afraid to boldly declare the truth? An example: God's word tells us with certainty that before the coming of the Messiah that He will send Elijah the prophet. Since it is appointed unto man once to die, and Elijah never did, then he is a perfect candidate to return, especially since we know that the two witnesses must be killed and resurrected at the end of their three and one half-year span of witnessing. There are so many other aspects that bothered me about his talk, but we do not have time for that here.
The questions I hear revolve around how many judgments are coming upon the earth, the timing of these judgments (as though more thrones and explicit judgments are dished out), who is doing the judging (Christ – the Son, alone. John 5:22. And yet in Revelation 20:4 we see the martyred saints reigning with Him for the thousand years), and upon whom do they fall (Malachi 4 and Zechariah 14:16,17 both speak to this). The approach to answering the questions can be simple, presenting the argument with a minimalist chronology, but that typically evokes a further argument. Another approach is by using two or three witnesses – we do that by backing up the chronological approach with clear evidence from God's word (this of course implies that the reader is willing to accept God's word as the final say on the matter, and exclude opinion and tradition if it does not align with God's word.)
The day of the Lord
One of the problems we have, when trying to grasp end times scenarios and prophesy, are phrases like this: “the day of the Lord”. Our minds tend to take that statement literally, and therefore expect nothing outside of a self-mandated, twenty-four hour day. To help with our understanding, let us look at some verses from 1 Thessalonians that might explain the day of the Lord, or day of Christ (they are both the same.)
1 Thessalonians 5:1 NASB (1) Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
The word translated epoch is kairos, and means a measure of time. It can be large or small. We only have two things guiding our thinking on this - the seven-year period of judgment upon the earth (we mistakenly call the tribulation,) and the physical events attributed to Jesus Christ's return to the earth at the end of the seven-years.
I want you to take note of the variations in how this word, kairos is translated.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 KJV (1) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
Without having to deal with a word like epoch, the mind quickly comprehends that a season is clearly longer than a day, but do not place that time frame into the constraints of a growing season because the word, like eon, means a measure of time, with no clear-cut beginning or end, unless it has modifiers to assist with defining it. Verse two, however, uses a different word.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 KJV (2) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
The translations are consistent with this being a day. The Greek word is hemera, and is used of the interval between sunrise and sunset, but don't get excited yet, for in the Eastern mindset “any part of a day is counted as a whole day, hence the expression “three days and three nights” does not mean literally three whole days, but at least one whole day plus part of two other days.” Thayer's definitions.
What is my point? This concept of “the day of the Lord” is not something that we can be so rigid about, especially if it constrains or limits God. Yes, I can hear you and your logic, as you say, how can I, the reader, limit God. You do it in your mind and your spirit as you tell God and others how and when He gets to act out the scenario he designed, which, if you are a believer really has no major impact on you, because it is a time of wrath upon the nations; unless you are going to try to share these things as a part of our hope.
It would not be appropriate for me to take Peter's explanation (See 2 Peter 3:10-11 MKJV), where he states, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up” and put my own constraints upon it by saying, this could not happen in a day. But I can ascertain that it takes longer because I have other evidence that tells me that it does happen over a seven years. Daniel 9:27, speaking of the antichrist, informs us, “he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice”. It is widely understood that the reference to “one week” represents seven years, and that the antichrist will stop the temple sacrifice half way through that period. So, “the day of the Lord” is not just “a day” but the entire 7 years of judgment upon the earth, culminating in his sudden appearing.
Why would I say that? If you are going to be strictly literal then you have constrained yourself to only looking at that time in which Jesus physically touches down on the earth and slaughters all those that are attempting to fight against him.
Zechariah 14:3-7 NIV Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. (4) On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, ... (5) ... Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (6) On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. (7) It will be a unique day--a day known only to the LORD--with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
If you insist on treating what is to come as a solitary day or time, you just have too many problems. There is what seems like a non-stop destruction coming upon the earth. The prophet Jeremiah stated, 9:25 NIV "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh--” and, we know with a certainty that the time of wrath lasts seven years.
The prophet Daniel is one of our primary sources of understanding, and yet even he was given the time frame in a code. He had to ask for an explanation, which he received.
Daniel 7:25 JPS “and he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.”
Bible interpreters have come to understand that “a time and times and half a time” means three and a half years. The Good News Bible said it clearly; “God's people will be under his power for three and a half years.” We know this period of judgment from the Lord, and deception, and war from the antichrist, lasts seven years. Again, we must consider the code, and for that we go to Daniel 9:27.
Daniel 9:27 KJV And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
“until a time, and times, and the dividing of time; by "a time" is meant a year, the longest part of time; by "times", two years; and "the dividing of time", half a year; in all three years and a half, which is the same with 1260 days, or forty two months, the time of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and of the reign of antichrist; so long shall he continue, exercising his power and authority, his wrath and rage, and blasphemy, and no longer; see Rev_11:2. John Gill's commentary
Revelation speaks of the same time, the last three and a half years, but refers to them as months.
Revelation 11:2 KJV But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
Timing is based upon the Jewish calendar of 360 days.The bottom line for me is that the day of the Lord includes every aspect of the seven years.
Many will say, but I do not understand.
They think it is impossible to figure the end times out; besides that, he is coming as a thief in the night and we can not possibly know when he is coming. Wrong!
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 NASB (4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; (5) for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
You are right, no one knows the precise timing, not even Jesus knew that, but we, like wise men and women, can be keenly aware of bible prophecy and associate the events of the day with them, knowing that His coming is just over the horizon.
Why do you think a homeowner would be able to avert being surprised by a thief? Because, they have forewarning, which we have, and they put up a monitoring system with lights and alarms to alert them. This is exactly what God's word does, and has done for us by giving us the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Peter helps to fill in some of the details about this idea of “thief in night”.
2 Peter 3:10-11 MKJV But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up. (11) Then, all these things being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness,
God, and the judgment that is coming, is not sneaking up on those that are aware. I am trying to make you aware, but to the unaware, the disbelieving, and unconcerned it is coming as a thief. But note: this time is coming with commotion, violence, and heat. A person we call the antichrist will attempt to dominate everyone, but two people, sent from God will prevent his total domination for three and a half years. Those two people are called the witnesses from God and by Jehovah's timing they will be killed and lay in the street for three days. They will be raised to life again and taken up into heaven before everyone's eyes. With momentary restraints lifted hells fury will be poured out upon the remaining faithful (those that did not previously go up in the rapture of the Christians). All the while God is pouring out his wrath upon the earth. It will be a dismal place as the economic systems have collapsed; violence fills the streets; fishing is destroyed; water is undrinkable, and there are overwhelming earthquakes.
God does not want you in the dark. He wants you to ask Him.
Isaiah 45:11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit will show the heart of God to you.
John 16:13 NASB "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
Judgment and gleeful joy
It almost seems sinister when they ask, because we seem to want retribution; either that, or we gain some pleasure in knowing that offenders will pay severely someday. Some can fling out the curse, “go to hell” without a second thought. Perhaps venting anger and frustration in this way is easy because we do not understand the eternal fury of such a place, or they just do not have a clue about what hell is. The problem is that we believers are too quick to seek judgment and not mercy. Even though the time of wrath is coming, and many will continue to reject Him, there is still hope as long as people can still breathe.
We keep forgetting that there is something more here. Paul writes about this in his letter to the body of Christ in Rome.
Romans 8:19-23 GW All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are. (20) Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope (21) that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have. (22) We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. (23) However, not only creation groans. We, who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts, also groan inwardly. We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin.
The truth be known, we all are anxious and frustrated with our own frailties, and the impact of broken people that surround us. We also see this frustration as the martyred saints cry out:
Revelation 6:10 ISV They cried out in a loud voice, "Holy and true Sovereign, how long will it be before you judge and take revenge on those living on the earth who shed our blood?"
Will God sit as a judge over the nations after the seven-years?
There is no denying that thrones are setup, but it is not as you suspect for the entirety of the seven-year period is a time of wrath and judgment upon: The nations; Israel – for its rejection; and the earth, because it must be purified, and yet God, in his mercy, does not arbitrarily destroy everyone. If you are awake, then you know that Islam has parents teaching their children from the time they can comprehend, to hate and kill the Jew and infidel; anyone outside of Islam, are the infidel. But children have an advantage because God considers children to be under an age of accountability until age twelve. I believe we are safe in making this assumption because this bible of ours originated from a Jewish orientation, therefore by the Jewish standard that age is twelve. On the other hand, a child is deemed to be a combatant by Islam as long as they can throw a rock or carry a bomb; thankfully, God does not. And this is what we see going into the thousand years on earth under the reign of those who were martyred for their faith in Christ.
It troubles me that I have to explain these things, but experience has demonstrated that religious folk will stand there, continuing to argue their broken point that is based upon tradition, so I give you one more reference from the mouth of God, to illustrate that there are survivors that go into the millennial reign, and they are not arbitrarily punished.
Zechariah 14:16 NASB Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
Peter explains much of what the day of the Lord is, but also helps to define why we should pay attention to end times events.
2 Peter 3:10-12 LITV But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up. (11) ISV Since everything will be destroyed in this way, think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be (12) ISV as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved and the elements will melt with fire.
The following is from The MacArthur Bible Commentary where he is speaking about 2 Peter 3:10. (Allow me to make a disclaimer here. I have listened to John MacArthur more than I care to admit, and my major problem with the man is what I perceive as his general disdain for the Holy Spirit. No doubt he is a smart man and I have gained much insight into God's word through his commentaries, but I do so with a skeptical eye, comparing everything he says against what the word of God says. I suggest you do so as well.)
The day of the Lord. "Day of the Lord" is a technical term pointing to the special interventions of God in human history for judgment. It ultimately refers to the future time of judgment whereby God judges the wicked on earth and ends this world system in its present form. The OT prophets saw the final Day of the Lord as unequaled darkness and damnation, a day when the Lord would act in a climactic way to vindicate His name, destroy His enemies, reveal His glory, establish His kingdom, and destroy the world (cf. Isa_2:10-21; Isa_13:6-22; Joel 1, 2; Amos 5; Oba_1:15; Zech. 14; Mal. 4; 2Th_1:7; 2Th_2:2). It occurs at the time of the tribulation on earth (Rev_6:17), and again 1,000 years later at the end of the millennial kingdom before the creation of the new heavens and new earth (2Pe_3:13; Rev. 20:1-21:1).
as a thief in the night. The Day of the Lord will have a surprise arrival, sudden, unexpected, and disastrous to the unprepared (see notes on 1Th_5:2).
the heavens will pass away with a great noise. The heavens refer to the physical universe. The great noise connotes a whistling or a crackling sound as of objects being consumed by flames. God will incinerate the universe, probably in an atomic reaction that disintegrates all matter, as we know it (2Pe_3:7, 2Pe_3:11, 2Pe_3:12-13).
the elements will melt with fervent heat. The elements are the atomic components into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate (2Pe_3:11).
the earth and the works. The whole of the physical, natural earth in its present form, with its entire universe will be consumed. Cf. Isa_24:19-20; Isa_34:4.
Again from MacArthur
1 Thessalonians 5:2 “day of the Lord.”
There are nineteen indisputable uses of the Day of the Lord in the OT and four in the NT (cf. Act_2:20; 2Th_2:2; 2Pe_3:10). The OT prophets used Day of the Lord to describe near historical judgments (see Isa_13:6-22; Eze_30:2-19; Joe_1:15; Amo_5:18-20; Zep_1:14-18) or far eschatological divine judgments (see Joe_2:30-32; Joe_3:14; Zec_14:1; Mal_4:1, Mal_4:5). Six times it is referred to as the "day of doom" and four times "day of vengeance." The NT calls it a day of "wrath," day of "visitation," and the "Great Day of God Almighty" (Rev_16:14).
a thief in the night. This phrase is never used to refer to the rapture of the church. It is used of Christ's coming in judgment on the Day of the Lord at the end of the seven-year tribulation which is distinct from the rapture of the church (see note on 1Th_4:15) and it is used of the judgment which concludes the millennium (2Pe_3:10). As a thief comes unexpectedly and without warning, so will the Day of the Lord come in both its final phases.
I have stated several times that there are only three people groups that God is concerning himself with: The Jews, the nations, and the church. Since 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 defines for us that none of the judgment will take place until his church is removed from the earth, our discussion is limited to the remaining two people groups – The Jews/Israel, and the nations. Because the nations are inclusive of everyone outside of Israel, this becomes important because the nations are defined as everyone non-accepting of Jesus Christ, and Israel certainly could be included in that definition, but Israel is in its own class due to the fact that they were God's chosen, and their repeated rejection of the Messiah.
God's word is very clear about the reasons for this wrath that is to be poured out upon the earth.
I would suggest you read Isaiah chapter 2 in its entirety.
A time of judgment upon the nations.
Isaiah 2:4 MKJV And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; ….
Isaiah 34:1-6 MKJV Come near, nations, to hear; and, you people, listen; let the earth hear, and its fullness; the world, and its offspring. (2) For the anger of Jehovah is on all nations, and His fury on all their armies. ...
Zechariah 12:9 KJV And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
It is meant to humble man.
Isaiah 2:11 MKJV The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day.
Jeremiah 50:31 NIV "See, I am against you, you arrogant one," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty, "for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.
It is a time of judgment upon Israel.
Judges 10:13-14 KJV Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. (14) Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
Jeremiah 33:11 KJV The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
This is meant to end oppression of man on man.
Isaiah 49:24-26 MKJV Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? (25) But so says Jehovah, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the fearful ones shall escape. For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your sons. (26) And I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine; and all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
Isaiah 61:2 MKJV to preach the acceptable year of Jehovah and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
It is a time of God's vengeance.
Isaiah 63:4-6 MKJV For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. (5) And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm has saved for Me; and My fury upheld Me. (6) And I will tread down the people in My anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will pour their juice to the earth.
Micah 5:15 NIV I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me."
Can we create a time line for any of this?
Now that we have an overview of God's intent and upon whom, can we create a time line for any of this? Since we have established that NO MAN can give you a precise time for these, and we can only work on generalizations. Fortunately, our generalizations are amazingly precise, and associated with prophecy.
Smarter men than I have concluded that there are no prophecies left to fulfill. You can argue with that, you would not be the first, but you are not changing my mind, and it seems that there is nothing to restrain God from sending Jesus back to gather the church.
If you watch You Tube videos, you will see a lead in comment declaring how someone gets owned due to a verbal or physical put down. Jesus did just that; he owned the Pharisees and Sadducees when he said,
"When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' (3) and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”Matthew 16:2-3 NIV
Can we do any better? I already pointed out how God wants us to ask him what is coming, and since we have the Holy Spirit to tell us of things to come, we have no excuse for having an understanding of the times.
Jesus said this to his disciples:
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. (33) Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:32-33 NIV
If Israel is that fig tree, and I believe it is, then its leaves have come out. If Israel is not being spoken of, then what are we waiting for?
Why is any of this important?
I feel I must include this aspect of discussion because I have had it thrown in my face multiple times lately: Why is any of this important and why do we as believers need to talk about what is to come? So we go to the source and ask, what does the bible say about our paying attention to prophecy and end times event?
2 Peter 3: 10 – 18 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up. (11) ISV Since everything will be destroyed in this way, think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be (12) ISV as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved and the elements will melt with fire. (13) But according to His promise, we look for "new heavens and a new earth," in which righteousness dwells. Isa. 65:17 (14) MSG So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. (15) And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation, as also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him; (16) as also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unsettled pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (17) NIrV Dear friends, you already know that. So be on your guard. Then you won't be led down the wrong path by the mistakes of people who don't obey the law. You won't fall from your safe position. (18) But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
If I looked at what Peter said as the basis for my zeal for an understanding of end times events, then here is what I see:
- Think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be (12) ISV as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God,
- According to His promise, we look for "new heavens and a new earth," in which righteousness dwells
- So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace.
- Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him; (16) as also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unsettled pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
- So be on your guard. Then you won't be led down the wrong path by the mistakes of people who don't obey the law
- You won't fall from your safe position.
- But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Titus tells us that we are looking for a blessed hope, the appearance of Jesus Christ. That statement is slightly different from what I had thrown at me from our resident theologian in bible study. He seemed to feel it was good to have hope, but that our hope should be in the basics of Christian living. You know, the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. I responded back harshly, how does that give you hope. I could not tell you what he said in response; I had tuned him out.
Titus 2:11-15 MKJV For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, (13) looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works. (15) Speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
Since we have an assurance that Jesus is coming again someday, you would think it would be party time, time to relax. And yet that seems to be the opposite of what Titus wants for us; for we deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, living discreetly, righteously, and godly in this present world, as we look for his appearance. How many people do you know that live like that?
However, Titus was not done, for he added, “Speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” What things are we speaking about, our Lord's return and the impending destruction that awaits those that miss the bus. If I based my life on what Titus said, then I have a mandate to preach the end times, with an emphasis on the Holy living that it should motivate you to live.
I keep thinking about Noah. Jesus used him as an example of what was to come, and what I noticed about that scenario is that in a place where it had never rained and there was no water to float a boat, he built an ark as a testimony of what was coming. The people mocked and ignored his message, and yet it came. Does this sound like anything you hear today. It does, if you, like me, are asking the questions and getting responses like, why does any of this matter?
Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonians in response to fears they had.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
How would you prevent deception if you did not know the truth, but resisters decry the preaching of end times prophecy, and therefore truth. If no one preaches the truth to you, and you will not read for yourselves, how will you know?
What is revelation? The disclosure of a thing whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual. Christ was revealed spiritually when I received him, but a day is coming when he will be revealed, once again, physically.
1 Peter 1:13 KJV Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
What then does it mean, “and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”? Good question. Cynics would tell you that hope is primarily entwined in the basics of our salvation, but most of us cannot even comprehend what that means. However, we can comprehend that because of our acceptance of His grace toward us, that we can have a solid hope in His return to catch us away.
If it is not important, then why does John say this in the Revelation?
Revelation 1:3 NET. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud, and blessed are those who hear and obey the things written in it, because the time is near!
There is a blessing upon: the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud. Now I understand that reading aloud can and does have a profound effect, but I can see an added benefit if I was reading it, with the purpose of making it understood, before a small bible study group. The underlying message is that the reader is reading to comprehend.
A second aspect of this verse can come from the first, but not necessarily. The hearer can be a recipient as they sit in a bible study. Now comes the hard part, obeying the things written in it. A quick mental recap of the first three chapters of Revelation, speak about admonishment to churches, many of which John might have been familiar with. I will tell you from a prophetic point of view, we are the Laodicean church, you know, the one that gets spewed out because they are neither hot nor cold. Should you have doubts as to whether this is reality, try to find a church that acknowledges and allows for the power of God to act and move in the service. Almost all of them are on time schedules due to the taping of a service, and though we sing songs about the Holy Spirit being welcomed there, He is really not.
All the following speak toward his soon return and the need to watch, and patiently wait.
Proverbs 8:34 NET. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching at my doors day by day, waiting beside my doorway.
Daniel 12:12 NASB "How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
1 Peter 4:7 NASB The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
James 5:8 NASB You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Revelation 22:6 NASB And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.
Revelation 22:12 NASB "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
Revelation 22:20 NASB He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Who is the “He” who testifies to these things? Jesus Christ. This is his testimony and revelation, is it not? Since a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, the concept of soon is irrelevant. He is coming. His death and resurrection were proofs that this is all true. We are not chasing rainbows, this is reality, and those that know him will be caught up to be with Him. Those that do not will have to struggle though the wrath to come.