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The "comings" of the LORD

Query for the Month

of

June 2010

Next up-date: July 1st 2010 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.


Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.

Query:

It is written;                       

Isaiah 53:3-4

He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Matthew 24:30-31

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

Matthew 25:31-33

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: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 

In the Bible I read about the “coming” of Christ, but some verses refer to Him as “the sacrificed” or “rejected” One, while others speak of His “glorious advent” and resurrecting only His redeemed.  Then another one speaks of His arrival and raising both good and bad from ALL nations!  How can I reconcile these three descriptions?  

Answer:

There are some things in the Bible which use the same name for their description, but which are actually different in substance.  These three texts fall into this category. Although basically similar, they were to occur at different times.

****************

Although all are accepted as descriptions of a coming of the LORD, the first one was a prophecy of how He would be regarded when He became a Man upon this earth.  That was about 2,000 years ago.

Isaiah 53:3-4

He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, SMITTEN OF GOD, and afflicted.

We should note that the text says that WE [humans]did esteem [think] Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”.  He wasn’t, but many professed Christians still think this and worship God the Father as One who punished His Son in our place!  This is a pagan thought through and through and implies that a wrathful God wants a payment or sacrifice to appease His anger before He forgives us. 

Why would anyone think this? 

Because of a mis-understanding of verses like the following:-

“And if a man HAVE COMMITTED A SIN WORTHY OF DEATH, and he be to be put to death, and you hang him on a tree: his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall in any wise bury him that day; (FOR HE THAT IS HANGED IS ACCURSED OF GOD;) that your land be not defiled, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance”.  Deuteronomy 21:22-23.

This thought is quoted in the New Testament. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree’: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”.   Galatians 3:13-14.  The words are right, it is the understanding of “accursed” that many have which is wrong!

Note that the prophet wrote; “He IS despised” then changed it to read, “He WAS despised”, for His rejection is continuous.

If you would like more on this thought then you could try this site. 

http://ancient-sda.com/ancient/continui.html

****************

The next text gives us a description of the second coming which will take place after every living being in the world has chosen to follow one way of another.  Obviously, they will either be going God’s way, or their own, for none will remain neutral at that time! 

Matthew 24:30-31

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven [a little black cloud in the east]: and then [under conviction from the Spirit] shall ALL the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven [out in space] WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY.  And He shall send [from there] His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

At this “coming” our LORD will stand in our atmospheric heaven (near the earth) and call to all those who have followed His way after their change of heart, and yet have descended into the grave.  As they rise from their dusty beds the angels will collect them from the earth and lift them up to Him.  Christ does NOT touch the earth while He this is going on. 

He will leave the rejecters of His grace in their graves for that is their desire. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’”  Revelation 6:15-17.  Thus those rebels who are alive at the second advent will choose to die and join the fellow rejecters, for it is written, “All they that hate Me love death”.  Proverbs 8:36.

It is also written; “For this we say to you by the word of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the LORD shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep [dead].  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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words”.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-18.

It’s quite plain from those words that all those who have followed Him, from Abel onwards, will go back with Him to heaven where He has prepared a place for them.  He told us, “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me.  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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”. John 14:1-3. 

But there have been many who have not wanted this, for it is a matter of choice!  “If you will fear the LORD, and serve Him, and obey His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both you and also the king that reigns over you continue following the LORD your God: but if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers”.  1 Samuel 12:14-15.

Speaking physically to illustrate the spiritual, He says in another place, “If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land: but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it”. Isaiah 1:19-20.

Therefore all the rejecters will remain in their graves until He returns again, for this second advent will be seen by only one generation of them.

****************

The third set of verses tells us of a little discussed advent – the one when He will sits on a great white [unmixed with mercy] throne as the Judge. 

Matthew 25:31-33

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: and before Him shall be gathered ALL NATIONS: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the SHEEP on His right hand, but the GOATS on the left. 

“And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small [rebel] and great [loyalist], stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works”.  Revelation 20:11-12.  At this time the two resurrections are complete.  All the humans who have ever lived on earth will be gathered together for the final scene in history.

This is the time when He shall stand (or sit) on the earth. 

It is written, “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations [in judgment], as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south [to make a place for the new Jerusalem where the judging takes place]”.  Zechariah 14:3-4.

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God’.”   Revelation 21:2-3.

That’s why it is written; “But why do you judge your brother [now]?  Or why do you set at nought your brother? For [one day] we shall ALL STAND before the judgment seat of Christ, for it is written, ‘As I live, says the LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [that He is right and just in all His actions]’. [Isaiah 45:23.]  So then EVERY ONE OF US shall give account of himself to God [of which group he or she wants to be in]”.   Romans 14:10-12.  “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man [and woman] according as his work [choice] shall be”. [The “reward” is possession of the new world, Romans 4:13.]  Revelation 22:12.

This text is a word picture of the Judgment Day when, after the thousand years in heaven, at the THIRD advent Christ and His angels will gather all the righteous and all the rebellious together.  This will be accomplished by the resurrection of the disobedient (the obedient had been resurrected at the SECOND advent).   It is then that we shall be handed out the RESULTS of our lives, the RESULTS of our choice, for the saints shall possess the kingdom (the new world) while the unsaved will accept the second death. 

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished . . . “And [then] the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [the grave] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell [the grave] were cast into the Lake of Fire.  This is the second death [it is permanent].  And whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire”.   Revelation 20:5-15. 

It is not a permanent burning hell (as so many believe) but a permanent death through a fire!

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against [new] Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 

 [As His protection has to be withdrawn, the power which holds our DNA strands together must decrease until the rejecters begin to dissolve!  This is the day that the LORD has dreaded since the entrance of sin into the universe.]

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour [they will kill each other while they are disintegrating ]”.   Zechariah 14:12-13.

The loyal are likened to SHEEP because such animals stick together and are mild-mannered, and follow their Shepherd/Saviour wherever He leads them.  The rejecters are depicted as GOATS which are very independent and ready to fight at the drop of a hat (sometimes just with words), but always wanting to go their own way. 

There will be no change in the positions of any on that day, for as our LORD will say at that time, “He that is unjust, let [allow] him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let [allow] him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let [allow] him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let [allow] him be holy still”.  Revelation 22:11.

There are many instances in the Bible of things which are called by the same name being different.  Here’s a few:      

Isaiah

53:1-6

Advent in humiliation

Revelation

14:14-16     

Advent for the resurrection

Psalm

50:3-6

Advent in glory

 

John

2:12-17

Cleansing temple at start of ministry

Mark

11:12-19

Cleansing temple at end of ministry

 

Romans

10:21

Israel the visible church of God

Romans

2:29

Israel the invisible church of God

 

Galatians

4:25

Jerusalem the earthly city

Galatians

4:26

Jerusalem the heavenly city

 

Hebrews

11:13

Death – the first temporary

Revelation

20:12-15

Death – the second permanent

 

Revelation

20:4-6

Resurrection of the righteous

Revelation

20:7-9

Resurrection of the rebels

 

Daniel

8:13-14

Judgment – investigative

Matthew

25:31-46

Judgment – executive

 

Daniel

7:9-10

 Judgment by the Father

Revelation

20:4            

Judgment by the saints in conjunction with Christ

2 Corinthians

5:10

Judgment by the Son

 

Romans

7:4

Marriage of believer at conversion

Revelation

19:7-9

Marriage of the church at end of time

 

Ephesians

1:13-14

Seal of God at the beginning of purchase

Revelation

7:4

Seal of God at final payment

Couples can even occur with names!  There were two men named Mephibosheth in Saul’s family – both were treated quite differently. Compare 2 Samuel 9:5-7 and 2 Samuel 21:7-9.

Conclusion:

So, although all three of the texts describe a “coming” of the LORD, they deal with three separate and distinct times.  We, of course, need the Holy Spirit’s guidance to be able to tell which is which and when they occur, and He is only too happy to explain if we care to ask and listen. 

Most of these situations occur in couples, but occasionally, like our query texts, there are three of them.  That is to remind us that although most mentions of God in the Bible refer to either the Father or the Son, just occasionally the quiet One, the Holy Spirit is also represented by the word “God”.


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

Next query. To be discussed from July 1st 2010,

Next query:

Revelation 2:11:

He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.   

Revelation 20:14-15:

And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire.  This is the second death.  And whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.   

What’s the difference between the two deaths, and which one did Christ die?

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