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THE COMING OR THE DAY OF THE LORD

Bible Basics

The coming (or day) of the Lord is not considered considered a controversial subject today by most believers. But are viewpoints held by consensus necessarily scriptural? The belief  that every time the Bible mentions the coming (or day) of the Lord it is talking about a "second" advent of the Lord? Not to mention all the teachings people tie to their views on the subject. The illustrative language of Bible Prophecy uses these phrases to describe many different days of judgment recorded in scripture. The aim of this article is to point those days out, when the Lord came to judge. Then finish by bringing forth a clearer scriptural understanding of the subject based on that. 

 

   First lets look at John 21:18. (Jesus speaking to Peter)  Truly, Truly, I say to you, When you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where ever you desired: but when your old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you do not want. 19. This he spoke, signifying by what death he (Peter) should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said to him, Follow me. 20. Then Peter, turning around, seeing the disciple whom Jesus loved (John) following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, who is it that betrays you? 21. Peter seeing him said to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22. Jesus answers him, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? Follow me. 23. Then this saying abroad went out among the brothers, that this disciple (John) should not die: yet Jesus did not say to him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?

      Apparently the subject of the coming of the Lord must have been just as mysterious to the early church as it is to believers today.  It can be seen that they held the same view as many believers today because they interpreted the coming of the Lord as being the end of the world. They thought the Apostle John would be caught away (raptured) and not experience  death. It appears that John considered it necessary to point out their misunderstanding of scripture while writing his gospel. Recording that:  Jesus did not say to him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?  Now dear brothers and sisters. You are being presented with a dilemma.  Either John's gospel has an error in it or your interpretation of the coming of the Lord is not correct.  Jesus told Peter that John would remain until he comes. Yet if the coming of the Lord is the end of the world, Armageddon, the rapture or a time proceeding Jesus reigning physically from the city of Jerusalem, (a millennial reign). That would make this a false prophecy. John is dead, its two thousand years latter and Jesus still hasn't come. Well, he hasn't come in the way pop culture end time teachings have him come anyway. Note* To the reader who's radar antennae has gone up with warnings about Preterism. Please read on and you'll see that is not where this article is heading. 

     In the book of Revelation Jesus has the Apostle John write a letter to seven churches. These churches are literal, they existed at the time, but have long since disappeared. Jesus said he would come to six of them. To the church in Ephesus he wrote:  Revelation 2:5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent.[RSV]  To the church in Pergamos he wrote:  Revelation 2:16 Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. [RSV] To the church at Thyatira he wrote: Revelation 1:25. But that which you already have already hold fast till I come. To the church at Sardis he wrote: Revelation 2:3. Remember therefore how you  received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you will not stay awake, I will come to you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come to you. To the church at Philadelphia he wrote: Revelation 2:11. Behold, I come quickly: hold on to what you have, that no man take your crown. To the church at Laodicea he wrote:  Revelation 3:20 Listen, I stand at the door. I am knocking. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come inside with him. We will have dinner together. [SEV]

     Just as with the Apostle John these churches do not exist anymore. If the Lord did not come in the time that they did exist. At least in the way most understand his coming. If the Lord came once as a man 2000 years ago,  and then only comes a second time at the end of the world, we have the same dilemma. Either these prophecies in Revelation are false. Or, there is a general misunderstanding about the nature of the coming of the Lord. Nor does it solve the dilemma by waving a magic wand and transforming these very real churches into "church ages." To do so means we now have six false prophesies because the Lord didn't come in the "six church ages" that he prophesied he would come. Now we'll proceed to a few verses of scripture that say the day of the Lord and the coming of the Lord are the same thing.  After that to a few scriptures where the coming (or day) of the Lord has actual dates attached to the prophecies. 


      Malachi 4:5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. Jesus says this Elijah is John the Baptist: Matthew 11:14. And if ye will receive it, this (John) is Elijah, which was  to come. The angle Gabriel says this also: Luke 1:17. And he (John) shall go before him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  In other words what is labeled in Malachi as the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord is future of John the Baptist. This day of the Lord as the Old Testament states it, and the coming of the Lord as the New Testament states it, describe the same things. What you see in the next few paragraphs is that there are days of the Lord that have already come to pass in the Old Testament.  Further, in some of those days it records that the Lord came.


     Micah 1:1The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Hear, all you people; listen, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the LORD from his holy temple. 3 For, behold, the LORD comes forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread on the high places of the earth. 4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. 5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem? 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. 7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.
What we have in this prophecy is the illustrative language of a day of judgment used in many other specific prophecies of the Bible. This is a dated prophecy. Not to them but to us because it was future to them but the past to us. It is a specifically prophesying the coming of the Lord in judgment at the hands of the Assyrian's for Israel and then Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon for Judea. This occurred in the 7th and 6th century BC.

       Isaiah 13:1. The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw......6. Wail ; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty......9. Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners out of it.......17. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. 18. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. 19. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellence, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.  This is a prophecy about the judgment against Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon.  It also has a date attached to it since to us it is history. The Medo-Persian Empire conquered Babylon.  This was recorded in the book of Daniel. Next are days of the Lord directed at other nations. 

      Ezekiel 30: 1. The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, 2. Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord God; Wail, Alas the day! 3. For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. 4. And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. 5. Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword....10. Thus says the Lord God; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 11. He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. The prophesy by Ezekiel was repeated many times in Ezekiel and in Jeremiah. Part of its fulfillment was recorded in Jeremiah's word below. Later Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt.

      Jeremiah 46:1. The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; 2. Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah......10. For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge himself of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates......25. The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him: 26. And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, says the Lord.  


      There are a number of other examples in the Old Testament where the day of the Lord against specific peoples were fulfilled already. While we have these examples in this Old Testament history about the coming of the Lord.  Amos actually teaches us exactly what the what the day (or the coming) of the Lord is. Amos 5:18. Woe to you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. 19. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness. Primarily, the coming of the Lord is a day of judgment.  Salvation can, and many times does accompany it. However as a general rule we are admonished to not desire the day of the Lord. In these examples below we can see why.

      Genesis 18:1. And Jehovah appeared to him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;..... 17. And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;...... 20. And Jehovah said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21. I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come to me; and if not, I will know. If you do not know this story well, please follow this hyperlink to read it.  Jehovah the Word, the omnipresent God of the universe. Literally appears to Abraham along with two angels and says to him that He is going to Sodom and Gomorrah to see for himself if what he has heard is true. The question should be. "Why does the omnipresent one have to come down from heaven and see something he can already  see?"  The answer to that is because the Lord physically comes in the day of judgment. This is his way, he literally comes down from heaven. It is called the day of the Lord, and it was the day of judgment for those cities. Later on in the story it says:  Genesis 19: 24 And Jehovah (The Word) rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah, sulfur and fire from Jehovah (The Father) out of the heavens.

     The need here though is to look for the salvation in the story. To show those who seek salvation to not desire the day of the Lord; (except under extreme circumstances.)  Lot and his two daughters were the only ones saved. Lots wife, all his in-laws, any friends he had, any business associates. They all perished in the judgment. The Bible says of Lot in 2 Peter 2:7. And (God) delivered  Lot,( who was an equitable person,) but worn out with the filthy conduct of the wicked: 8. For that righteous man dwelling among them, by seeing and hearing, tortured his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds; 9. The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust for the day of judgment to be punished:  The point this article is trying to communicate is that this was no picnic for Lot. It was such a horrible tragedy for him and everyone he was related to that it drove his daughters to do a terrible thing because they thought the end of the world had come. Most of the times in the scripture that the Lord came. The salvation that was wrought for the righteous was like Lots salvation.  More often than not they escaped with only their lives. Everything they ever knew or had was gone forever. God even said to Jeremiah,  about the day of the Lord for Jerusalem that Nebuchadnezzar had conquered, and would completely destroy 11 years later.  In Jeremiah 14:20. Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. 

    Another example of the Lord literally coming on the day of judgment, the day of the Lord, is the day of Noah's flood. Genesis 7:13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; 14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. 15And they went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. God came down from heaven and shut Noah, his family and the animals in the Ark. The rains came and destroyed the world in the greatest day of Judgment ever recorded. So once more we can see why those believers who seek the salvation of their fellow man should not desire the day of the except under the most extreme of circumstances. No one was saved in this scenario besides Noah and his family. 

     Once more example would be he day of judgment brought through Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Here we have the "voice" of Jehovah,  Jehovah the Word, Jesus, literally walking in the garden calling to Adam and Eve. He came down to the earth after seeing what Adam and Eve had done. He questioned them to affirm the circumstances of the sin. Then he declared what could be viewed as the natural consequences of the violation of the laws of nature built into creation by the creator, as divine judgment. As in all the other cases listed so far. There was salvation provided either in or from the judgment. That salvation was ultimately the Son of God himself paying the penalty for mankind's sins that we might be forgiven and be put in right standing with God's government once more. 

     The question that needs to be asked at this point is this: Since these Old Testament examples clearly show that The Coming, or Day of the Lord were not or are not a single day in the future. Since the very language itself is obviously illustrative and that there have been many days of judgment throughout the history of the planet. Many days that the Lord came down, or came again and  illustratively called those days; the Day of the Lord. Further, since it can be reasonably ascertained that based on these scriptures there may be many times the Lord came to judge a nation or people not even mentioned in the Bible. Further that there may be many days of judgment in the future based on this. How then did the vast majority of Gods people, pastors, and teachers come to regard the Coming of the Lord as a single future event called the "second coming?"  Did something change in the New Testament to bring  this about?  Well the answer to the second question is no. Nothing changed in the New Testament to bring a change to Old Testament teachings regarding this matter. That can be seen in Jesus telling Peter that John would remain alive till Jesus came. If this is true then how did a consensus arise amongst the vast majority of Bible readers and teachers that the coming of the Lord (a second coming,) was or is a single event in the past or the future?  Very simply this. People are taught it as a doctrine before they have become familiar enough themselves with scripture for God to effectively reveal the truth to them through that scripture. Once a teaching becomes so pervasive that it and variations of it are taught in the Bible schools and universities that "train" pastors. Then that teaching and the spirit surrounding it become almost coercive in it's effects to subjugate peoples intellectual development. It is hard to let God spiritually lead one into a different scriptural understanding when everything they know as church and everyone they look up to seeks conformity.  Now we'll turn to those prophecies about the coming of the Lord that are the subject of all the confusion. 


      In the New Testament there are many separate and specific comings or days of the Lord that are prophesied and taught about. Three of these are major as far as it relates to history in general. The one prophesied and taught about the most is the end of the first convent age and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D.  After this the destruction of  western branch of the Roman Empire.  Then the destruction of the rest of the of the Roman Empire in 1453 A.D.   Then there are some prophesies such as in the letters to the churches previously mentioned. Some of those prophecies to the churches may have been associated with a one of the major prophecies. Aside from these specific days of judgment, specific in the sense that they are aimed at certain nations at certain times.  There are the prophesies of judgment against Gog and Magog who illustrate the nations and peoples, past, present and future who seek to stop the growth of the prophesied government of God in the earth that was to come after the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 AD. Those prophesies do not give a specific time and date like the others but instead are general. That those efforts to conquer the nations who are to various degree's influenced by Biblical principle by those who refuse it will be met with judgment, failure and military defeat.
There are also a large body of scripture that are not prophetic, but that teach there will be a day of the Lord where he will come to judge our individual lives, our nations and our churches. The coming of the Lord as taught in this sense are not prophecies but  just a fact of life. That God is a moral governor and that we as individuals will face a day of judgment in our lifetimes, and the lifetimes of our nations or churches. On the other side of that is that is the fact that if we have met the conditions, the reward promised will come. Last and definitely the least. A final day of the Lord, that is not prophesied but may be inferred concerning the end of he the world. These will be addressed in the order of this paragraph.


      The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. is known as: " the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" in Malachi 4:5. Or in Jeremiah 30:7  (New International Version) How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it. Also in Daniel chapter 9 verses 25-27.  25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times. 26. And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come and shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined. 27. 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.  Then in Daniel 12:1.....  and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Peter quoting Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2 declares Joel's prophesy to speak of the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they were experiencing to be followed shortly by this particular great day of judgment.  Acts 2:16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19. And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
     There are many more prophesies in the Old Testament that refer to this day and naturally (outside of the book of Revelation,) almost all of Jesus' and his apostles prophecies spoke of it. The article in Wordservice.org about Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 is intended as a companion article with this one. It goes into great detail about the prophecies about the end of the First Covenant Age where Luke said in Chapter 21: 20. And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation of it is near. 21. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter into it. 22. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.......27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh. 29. And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30. When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31. So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know  that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32. truly I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. The salvation spoken of in Daniel 12:1 and Jeremiah 30:7 and Joel 2:32 and Luke 21:28 was of the type that Lot was saved with.  The followers of the Messiah, those who survived the terrible persecutions did not perish in that greatest of days of judgment. They were able to flee to a places prepared for them, but took nothing with them. This was why the church seemed rather communal in the book of acts.  Those who had lands and houses sold them and distribution was made. Jesus and the Old Testament prophecies told them what was coming in that generation. They were preparing for it, even if they did not totally understand why the Holy Spirit was leading them in the way he was. The first scripture mentioned in this article; John 21:18 where Peter was told by Jesus that John would remain alive until He (Jesus) came was a prophecy about the end of the first covenant age and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. It is not the least bit confusing if one can see what this article is implying. He certainly remained until Jesus "came. " So the prophecy was fulfilled just as Jesus said. John was perhaps the only one of the twelve Apostles left alive to witness the war. Perhaps the only one to see Daniel 9:25-27: .......and the people of the prince (Titus the Roman prince) that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined......and even unto the full end (of the first covenant age,) and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate (Jerusalem and her people). This was a time that will never be repeated again in history, nor will there be anything to ever compare with it. Jesus sorrowed over them saying in Matthew 21:43.....The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. Then in Matthew 23:35. That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. 36. Truly I say to you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that murder the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! 38. Behold, your house is left to you desolate.
     Almost all of the prophecies in the New Testament given by the apostles regarding the end times. the great apostasy,  the man of evil, the anti Christ, the perilous times ahead of them were related to the end times of the first covenant age. This is why they spoke of it as if it would come upon them, and it did. The book of Revelation though was a different matter. It was given to provide further illumination of Daniels prophecies about the age of the gentiles. It provided a chronological timeline of that age when four gentile empires, the last one being Roman would rule over the people of God. After it's fall the promised age were God's people would begin to see all the earthly promises of God made to the saints of ages past begin to come to pass in the lives of believers everywhere, once individual nations met certain conditions. Being a timeline, within it, the end of the first covenant age would occur. It is prophesied of in these chapters and verses. Revelation 6:12-7:8. Also, a repeat of the same in Revelation 14:1-5.  One of the main reasons this info is being supplied at this juncture is due to the misconceptions of Preterists who believe all Bible prophecy was fulfilled in the first century A.D. including all the book of Revelation. This mistake is often made because of the ease in which a serious Bible student can arrive at the conclusion that Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 were completely fulfilled in 70 AD but at the same time find the book of Revelation incredibly difficult to come to grips with. Since they are both contain "end time" prophecies, (the real question being the end times of what.) They mistakenly mix the two as if they are talking about the same events which outside the timeline reference to 70 A.D, they are not.

       Here are a few more references to that particular great day of judgment from Jesus own mouth. Listed because they also point out the exact time period this particular day of judgment, when the Lord came.  In Mark 14:61 ...Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62. And Jesus said, I am: and you will see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Or Matthew16: 27. 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. 28:Truly I say to you, There are some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Matthew16: 28. Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Mark: 9: 1. And he said unto them, Truly I say to you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Luke 9: 26. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. So these verses affirm that some of those standing there, whom he is talking too, will remain alive and see his coming with great power in the clouds of heaven with his angels.  Very confusing indeed if one has accepted a teaching, (before studying the subject themselves,) that says there is one coming or second advent of the Lord that has not happened yet . That all references to the coming of the Lord refer to that second coming and to nothing else. Yet Christ  told those people that many of them would live to see that day. The illustrative language of prophecy can be daunting if one is not schooled in it. To "see" the son of man coming, does not necessarily refer to seeing him visibly "riding on a rain cloud" so to speak. It means to see that day. In other words to see that day happen just as it was prophesied is to "see the son of man coming." If you cannot accept that the language about "seeing" is illustrative. Then you are stuck back in the original dilemma. That this did not come to pass as Christ said it would, in the lifetimes of those he was speaking to. It makes the prophecy false.  Yet if it can be seen for what it is, it is truly an amazing thing. That Jesus knew and prophesied his coming in judgment at the end of that age, which would happen in the first century.
     Since this particular day of judgment, when Jesus came according to his own words and prophecy at the end of the age of the first covenant is such a matter of special interest in the Bible. Due to the fact that ancient Israel was chosen to bring the Word of God into the earth. The transition into the Second covenant Age is a huge subject and has a large volume of Old and New Testament scripture dedicated to it. Actually it encompasses the whole Bible and is a main theme of the Wordservice.org website.  If the reader is interested, the article Bible Symbolism in the Book of Genesis goes into this pretty heavily. To wit: the first covenant age and then the second is prophesied over and over in the lives of the people of the book of Genesis. Obviously, this came to pass with the coming of the messiah and his death and resurrection for the sins of the world. The transition was the time when God would stop almost exclusively using ancient Israel in his work in the earth and from that point use only the believers, both Jew and the Gentile, to bring his salvation to the world through the preaching of the Gospel.


       The next day of the Lord addressed here is the coming of the Lord, or, the various days of judgment in the book of Revelation.  Previously in this article it was written that the coming of the Lord is generally not to be desired because, after all, it is a day of wrath, judgment and destruction. Gods saints will be delivered but not without great difficulties. On the other side of that coin though is that in many of the prophecies about those specific days, there is  promise attached to them. The book of Revelation which expands on the prophecies already given in the Old Testament, like the Book of Daniel ends with the promise of the Government of God filling the earth. Which, (if understood accurately) would result in all the earthly promises of God made to all the saints of times past, (yet not coming to pass in their generations.) That those promises would begin to come to pass in the earth starting when the Roman Empire fell. Which happened in 1453 A.D. 
 Starting in the book of Daniel, by prophecy and historical events all the way through he book of  Revelation. Gods saints would be repressed by four "Gentile" empires. They are named in Daniel as Babylonian, Medo\Persian, Greek and Roman.  Daniel has five separate visions of these Empires. In each vision greater detail is revealed about them. What they will do to the saints and when they will end.  In two of these visions it states that during the fourth Empire (Rome) the Kingdom of God would come and: Daniel 2:
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. In Daniel 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever...... 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.........27. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. There are perhaps one hundred chapters of the Bible that speak of a "Great Gospel Age" that occurs after the fall of the Roman Empire. This age is clarified in Daniel using these words: The kingdom shall not be left to other people; judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom; and the kingdom is given to the people of the saints of the most High. Or as John the Baptist's Father prophesied: Luke 1:71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74. That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. These scriptures typify the prophecies found in the many chapters of the gospel age that we are living out now. An age when the Gospel is not prevented from bearing it full fruit in nations containing believers and non believers. This age was the great desire and hope of the saints living under the horrible repression of the 4th empire of that time period that the Gentiles ruled over Gods people.
       To give you an idea of what it was like to be a believer under Rome. First it must be understood that Christianity was illegal. To become a follower of Christ put you on the wrong side of the law which was punishable by the death penalty. The law was selectively enforced over those first 3 1/2  centuries according to the disposition of the emperor or local officials. If the governor of your district had a wife who was a believer for instance. There would probably be no repression in your homeland. However if the governor had some interests that Christianity interfered with, such as his homosexuality. There could be  purges with tens of thousands put to death by torture. The last two emperors before Constantine tried to exterminate Christianity from the face of the earth. Some estimates during the reign of those two are as high as millions of believers killed. This was the first empire wide purge. The way this occurred was exactly the way it happens today. The empire declared it's intentions. Christian leaders were rounded up by the authorities and executed by the thousands. The civil unrest that came because of this was how the millions would have perished. Every group that had something against believers, just like you see in many Muslim lands today, would attack and burn down Christian communities. They would murder and enslave them, steal all their lands and possessions.  Basically open season on believers while the Roman government turned a blind eye. Now considering the promises and prophecies of God as noted of an age of justice and freedom. How could the coming of the Lord to judge this empire and free his people not be looked for and desired?  Since this was a time when your life was forfeit for doing what was right, by getting right with God? Well, the Apostles did indeed preach of that day of deliverance and the promise accompanying the Lords return to set up his kingdom as written of in the Old Testament. Something that was indeed a hope, tied to the coming of the Lord.  Tradition says though all but John died before the war in Judea against Rome. John must have carefully sought the Lord as to that promised day only to have revealed to him in the vision of the book of Revelation that the age he sought was a long, long time away. That he would not live to see the fulfillment of the prophecies he so longed for.  One wonders if he grappled with looking at the obvious fulfillment of prophecy leading up to the war in  Judea and thinking the promised Kingdom of God was soon to arrive? His visions written down in Revelation were designed to bring him into reality on the subject. That the promise of the age when the mountain of God's government, his influence was the highest of other mountains in the earth. Not the only mountain but the highest one.  A time when Gods saints could begin to live without fear of oppression would not come until the Roman Empire ended.

     All of the specifics of the book of Revelation in regards to the coming of the Lord to judge the Roman Empire are gone over in great detail in the article: End Time Prophecy. This article is not the right place to cover all of that. A short synopsis will have to do. Revelation Chapters 4-5 is a different vision of the same scene Daniel saw in  Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14.  Daniel 2:31-45 and Daniel 7:1-28 show the rule of the four empires that was to end when the Lord comes in judgment. These four empires are followed in these two prophecies by what the Apostles and churches hoped for. The prophesied Kingdom of God filling the earth.  Daniel 7:17 These great animals, which are four, are four empires, which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. The first of the four empires was named in Daniel 2 as being Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. The next two are named in Daniel's third vision as being the Medo-Persian and Greek Empires. Rome is not named but in Daniel Chapter 11 starting with the last Emperor of the Medo-Persian Empire. All of the Greek kings that reigned over Judea are listed leading up to Herod's reign in Judea, verses 36-39 and Octavian, (Augustus Caesar's) conquering of the last vestiges of the Greek empire, verses 40-44.  This leads to Daniel chapter 12 which is a prophecy of the first century in Judea, the ministry of Christ and his apostles and Jerusalem's destruction. What one needs to understand about Bible prophecy in regards to end time prophecies is that all further prophecy from Daniel chapter 2 are expansions of the original prophecy. Visions in which greater detail of the original prophecy is revealed.  Daniels 3rd-5th visions are but greater details of the end of the age of the first covenant that fit within the broader time frame of the age of these four gentile empires. The book of Revelation does precisely the same thing. It expands on the original vision and as noted earlier does include a snapshot of the war in Judea and the Jewish believers within the broader vision of this age of the gentiles.  Exactly like Daniels first two visions, it also ends with the prophesied Kingdom of God. However, Revelation doesn't use the plain language contained in Daniel to describe that government of God. Instead it uses the very common but highly illustrative language of the New Jerusalem. Throughout the Old Testament used to describe God's people in an age where all the earthly promises made to all the saints in times past. Promises that did not come to pass in their generations. Now come to pass in the nations that adopt Biblical principle as the standard in which they govern their nations.

      What is found then in Revelation concerning the coming of the Lord to judge the Roman Empire are the same four empires, noted in chapter 6:1-8 and 13:1-2. However the emphasis of Revelation is to reveal to the Apostle John just were they are in the timeline which is: Revelation17:7 And the angel said to me, Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns..... 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into destruction. 12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. John received his vision during the reign of the 6th emperor of Rome. Most likely Aulus Vitellius. If you remove all the claimants to  the throne who fought civil wars with other claimants for the throne. Only leaving those who won. If you remove co-emperors who never ruled on their own. What you end up with is the first seven emperors. Then the next ten. Then starting with the reign of the eleventh (the little horn of Daniel 7) add 1260 years. This number appears seven times in scripture related to the reign of Rome starting with this eleventh emperor. You end up in the year 1453 AD. When the last Roman emperor was deposed and the eastern branch of the Roman Empire ceased to exist. The capitol of the empire was voluntarily moved to Constantinople in the year 333 AD. there never ceased to be a Roman emperor on the throne until 1453 AD. Our knowledge of ancient history is very fluid and filled with bias. It makes it almost impossible to have a 100% certainty in finding who exactly God would consider and emperor and who he would not as far as the fist seven plus ten emperors would be. It is pretty amazing though how the prophecy of Daniel 7 fits this eleventh of the ten emperors with such precision who's reign starts a 1260 year time period. Daniel 7:7.....and it had ten horns. 8. I considered the horns, and look, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns uprooted;......20. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, before whom three fell;.....24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. Then there is also the beast that looked like a lamb but spoke like a dragon with two horns. How in the world would John know the empire would voluntarily split into and eastern and western branch and call itself "Christian?" It put on clothing, rituals and rites in a claim of Christianity but as an instrument of the empire and the emperors this imperial "church"  was used to suppress the gospel and murder the saints. All of the judgments in the book of Revelation are directed at this empire. It is simply an expanded vision concerning the end of it as written in the book of Daniel 7:25 And he (the little horn) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (1260). 26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end.


      Because of the general confusion in the last century about the topic of Bible prophecy. Some time will be taken in the next few paragraphs regarding it, so that the subject of the article can be seen in a clearer light.  In 2 Peter 1:20 it teaches that: First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, (Revised Standard.) Meaning that mankind does not have the intellectual capacity to understand Bible prophecy. God for the most part will not give people any understanding of Bible prophecy unless he gives it to them by using other scriptures in the Bible.  This is why the Word of God also says in Ephesians 2:20 That we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. The vast majority of Bible prophecy is already interpreted by other scriptures in the Bible. There was never a need for all of the current speculation as to the meaning of the prophecies.  The verse in Ephesians clarifies that if a person's understanding does not rest on all the scriptures.  The OT, the Gospels and the Apostolic writings, they will not have a foundation under them to guide their understanding.  As it relates to Bible prophecy, it means one cannot understand without finding the meaning in other parts of the Bible. As an example, Johns Revelation cannot possibly be understood properly without the prophets of the Old Testament and the Gospels. The New Jerusalem is a perfect example of this. 
     The New Jerusalem if read from the book of Revelation alone would be difficult to look upon as anything other than a literal heavenly city. However the verses in Revelation about the New Jerusalem all come from other parts of the Bible. In fact there are a few dozen chapters worth of verses that with great clarity explain that the New Jerusalem is in fact a pictorial illustration Gods people in the second covenant age. The chronological timing of it's "appearance" on the earth in Johns' Revelation follows the destruction of the of the Roman Empire.  This link will take you to the New Jerusalem part of the End Time Prophecy article. Briefly though. If all the scriptures in the Bible concerning the New Jerusalem are taken into account.  It can be easily inferred  that it is exactly what the world has begun to live out the last four centuries. The freedoms, the liberties that a good portion of the world hold so dear never existed in the world as we have known it for centuries now. This was a direct result of the Word of God getting into the hands of common men in Europe, the printing press being the invention that propelled this. Previous to this the Bible which by law was banned from even being read in the language of the common European was now appearing everywhere. The empire had been able to deal with this situation before, even going to the extremes of genocide.  Now though they could not contain it. Inquisition was tried once more but it resulted in the Thirty Years War and the breakup of the Empire. The  Word of God was loosed to bear it's fruit. Mankind that had always yearned for liberty now found the power to win and retain it through the Gospels power to control their own desire and change their own hearts. Since then, the nations most influenced by the Word of God have been the nations that are dominate in the earth. They are the example to the world, they have brought a justice into the earth that had never before been realized. They are the example that other nations hold up to win and retain their own freedom. It has been an amazing feat, and if it can be received it is what Isaiah saw when he cried  "the whole world is filled with the glory of God." People have a tendency to look at Bible prophecy as an event, then all they have too do is wait. They have not realized it is a process that requires their participation. They were not looking for a time when evil is in the midst of something God is at work at.  As Psalm 110:2 says....
.you will rule in the midst of your enemies. Nor can they wrap their minds around the ups and downs, the losing and gaining of ground in this great conflict of the ages. They are always expecting an event to take place that will render the earth one way or the other, totally under the power of good or evil. This is not nor has it ever been the way of God who's wisdom and benevolence dictate his actions. He is looking for something that is voluntary in mankind. His Word and the Gospel properly understood and preformed is the thing that will bring the results he desires and wills. As further note or warning about the subject of Bible prophecy. There are hundreds of books and literally thousands of teachings that are devoted to the subject. For the most part they have in common a basis of interpretation that involves pure speculation with a claim of guidance through the Holy Spirit. How often it should be said and trumpeted through out the land that if indeed it is the Holy Spirits guidance. He will guide you to the other scriptures in the Bible that have already interpreted the prophecy in question. God is faithful. good and just. If there is a mystery that his hand holds the power of revealing. He will reveal it through his Word. If for instance the beast of John's revelation is already named in Daniel, then the debate was already settled before the debate ever happened.
     Their is another issue that has to be addressed if one is to ever really understand the prophetic teachings of the Bible. This has to do with Jesus' own apostles and their writings on the subject of specific prophecies about the coming of the Lord. This as opposed to their non-prophetic teachings on the subject.  They did not as a matter of fact understand the times and the seasons of those specific prophecies. Jesus told them in Acts 1:6.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  7. And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Jesus could not be more plain than that. They would see visions and hear words from God about future events and yet in their teachings to the churches they would not be able to place those events in their proper time or season. This shows up in their letters to the churches. They seem to have no real discernment that distinguishes one future day of judgment from another. They seemed to think that some of these specific prophecies spoke about the end of the world coming upon them soon, when in fact it was the end of the first covenant age was upon them.  Who could blame them in this? Jesus said these things were not knowable to them and they did not have history (hindsight) to look back on and say "now we see the obvious." Just how confusing is this to those who read their Bibles now? Obviously very. It is one of those mysterious things in the scripture that always brings us back to our dependency on the Holy Spirit and the council of all the scripture rather than just a few selected verses that seem to fit our idea's. Does that make the Bible false in certain area's? Certainly not! We can look back and see that those days of judgment happened just as they said. Yet we can understand they were mixing up the various words and visions they had as far as the dates were concerned. Furthermore, if one understands the subject. The coming of the Lord is always applicable as a teaching regarding our futures. Not at all in the sense of the end of the world, but in the sense described in this article. That we should always be ready for him to show up in our lives or our church and even our nation. That when he comes we may escape the condemnation he might be bringing and find reward for our stand and suffering for his sake. Do you believe that reward and punishment is only for the next life dear brothers and sisters? 


    This ends the section of this article that addresses what most would consider the most important aspect of the subject of the coming of the Lord. That in reality the doctrine of a "second" coming of the Lord, no matter where in time one wants to place it, past or future, is in fact a doctrine of men not found in scripture. Something created not so much due to heretical tendencies but rather an ignorance of the general thrust of the scripture as a whole. Not that there is not sectarian tendencies among some of those who teach these views of a  "second" coming of the Lord as if it were an "essential" doctrine of the faith. Meaning: if one does not accept the "second" coming then they cannot be true Christians bound for heaven. Very strange indeed based on the fact that the world "second' appears nowhere (in the Greek) before or even in the same sentence as the word "coming." That in and of itself aught to be the red flag waving in front of every serious believers eyes as to the "essential" nature of a "second" coming of Christ. That the exact wording of something considered essential. Something that would actually determine if you were a real Christian is not found in the Bible? Instead what we do find, (in scripture at least,) is that the Lord has been coming to the earth since the creation in days of judgment that were prophesied in advance. Furthermore that it can be assumed he will continue to do so whether those days are specifically prophesied or not. Does this mean the world will continue on forever as a couple of scriptures might insinuate? Not necessarily. It just means that the end of the world is not specifically prophesied as something we should even concern ourselves with. We have a task at hand that not only includes winning souls but also includes founding and maintaining nations on Biblical principle. Nations in which both believers and unbelievers can enjoy and prosper in. We also have the never ending fight against the wicked who seek to thwart the expansion of God's government in the earth and seek to tear down and destroy the fruit the Gospel and the Word of God has born in the earth. Does this mean some day we will colonize space and expand beyond our soar system? Could be, no reason not to. Although, one would be hard pressed to find a movie or book written through the imagination of man about it that is not based on evolutionary pseudo-science. One may be even harder pressed to find a book or movie created by men that would paint a picture of a godly future. A vision of a planet filled "with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" Isaiah 11:9.  This coming about through the preaching of the Gospel and the Word of God in the hands of the entire population of the world.

There is really no need to continue on reading this article if what one sought for was simply the realties of  specifically prophesied coming's of the Lord. If the reader is curious though there is another aspect of the subject that will be covered in the next section of the article. There is a large body of teaching on the subject that may or may not be tied to the specifically prophesied judgments toward nations. Teachings rather than prophecies that bring the subject down to a personal level rather than a national or international level that individuals may need to prepare for. That, like the seven churches in Revelation,  deal with sin or reward in an individuals life or a local church's existence. This section will be a much more arduous than the first section and will warrant the accepting of what has been pointed out so far in the first section. It will be of little value if the first section cannot be accepted as the truth scripture holds.


Teachings rather than prophecies about days of judgment where the Lord comes to punish or reward individuals, churches and nations as a matter of course are all over the Bible. Not only this. These days can be specifically deigned to bring the Lords will to pass in the life of the individual, church or nation. In other words these may not be just days of judgment when a sentence for criminal activity is carried out. Rather they can be a day when the Lord comes to bring about his promise. To remove what was preventing its fulfillment from happening.

 

     The next part of this article will cover what is possibly the most important aspect of the coming of the Lord. Perhaps it could be stated better by saying it may be the most overlooked facet. This would be the coming of the Lord, or the day of the Lord in an individuals life, or his church and even his nation. The seven churches already listed in the beginning of the article demonstrate this. The Apostle Paul teaches about this in 1st Corinthians 4:1. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and trustee's of the mysteries of God. 2. Moreover it is required in trustee's, that a man be found faithful. 3. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or of man's judgment: yes, I judge do not even judge my self. 4. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord. 5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. Paul is using this language to describe how we as Christians are to judge individuals behavior. That since we do not really have the ability, discernment and insight to accurately judge the heart. We have to give the Lord space to do this for us, so that we can walk before him blameless. He calls this time when the Lord exposes the heart for all to see "when the Lord comes." He further illuminates his practice of waiting for the Lord to come because of the difficulties in judging the heart in 1st Timothy 5: -- Revised Standard-- 24:The sins of some men are conspicuous, pointing to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good deeds are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden. He is teaching that some peoples sins demonstrate clearly where their heart is really at. An example of this might be someone who is having sex outside of marriage. This is one of those "big" sins that declare plainly where the heart is really at. Or perhaps a brother or sister is doing this in secret or  having an "affair" and others can sense something is amiss, but they reserve judgment on the matter until the "day" that the Lord reveals this hidden sin to all. Others may be doing things that are sinful to mature Christians yet they must give the Lord space for him to mature these believers or to expose them as hypocrites.  It would work the same with good deeds. Some types of good deeds are obviously wrought in Christ, while others deeds wrought in Christ may be looked upon with suspicion, until the Lord comes to bring those deeds to light. This is not intended to cover the whole subject of this practice of waiting for the Lord for judgment. Just to point out the language used to describe it. "The Lord coming."

     Luke 21 is Luke's' version of Matthew 24 of which as already stated there is an entire article dedicated to that prophecy about the coming of the Lord that ends the 1st Covenant age.  In three accounts of this prophecy Jesus starts to tell them things that will happen to them before the Temple and the city are destroyed. Near the end in all the accounts it seems that Christ becomes very animated by the Sprit of prophecy through which he begins to use highly illustrative prophetic\poetic language. Then, as he begins to move back out of that prophetic spirit, near the end of his discourse in all three accounts he emphatically states: "Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass away before all these things come to pass." From there he begins to transition out of the prophetic and into teaching. Referencing in this teaching not only that specific great and terrible day of the Lord, but also a general teaching about the coming of the Lord that will affect all future nations and generations of mankind. Luke 21:27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh. 29. And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30. When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now close at hand. 31. So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, you will know that the kingdom of God is close at hand. 32. Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 34. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36. Watch  therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Verses 34- 36 are the verses that reference the coming of the Lord as a general teaching, even though he has been giving a specific prophecy. Mark's account does a similar thing where he winds down the specific prophecy for that generation to a final teaching statement that says: 37. And what I say to you I say to all, Watch.  Mark's account 13:26. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. ( Those verses are the highly illustrative prophetic\poetic verses.) 28. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: 29. So in like manner, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that it is close, even at the doors. 30. Truly  I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32. But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33. Take heed, watch and pray: for you know not when the time is. 34. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35. Watch  therefore: for you know not when the master of the house comes, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36. Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37. And what I say to you I say unto all, Watch. Verse 37 is the teaching to all future generations about that day, not the specific day spoken of as a prophecy. but a similat day that could happen to them also as it will happen to Judea.

      Matthews record spends allot more time educating about different aspects of the coming of the Lord outside of Christ's specific prophecy to Jerusalem and it's people, (although it applied to that generation also.) Verse 34 is the specific prophecy about Judea then starting in verse 42  he moves into a general teaching on the subject that applies to every generation. 34. Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.......42. Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come. 43. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44. Therefore be also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes. 45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. 47. Truly I say to you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; 49. And shall begin to abuse his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50. The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51. And shall cut him down, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be analogous to ten virgins, which took their lanterns, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3. They that were foolish took their lanterns, and took no oil with them: 4. But the wise took oil in containers with their lamps. 5. While the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6. And at midnight there was a cry made, Look, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him. 7. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lanterns. 8. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; there will be not enough for us and you: but go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12. But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. 13. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man comes. 14. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. 15. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his ability; and immediately left on his journey. 16. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made  five talents more. 17. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18. But he that had received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19. After a long time the lord of those servants comes, to account with them. 20. And so he that had received five talents came and brought  five talents more, saying, Lord, you gave to me five talents: look, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21. His lord said to him, Well done,  good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter  into the joy of your lord. 22. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you gave me two talents: look, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23. His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your lord. 24. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you have not winnowed: 25. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: look, there you have what is yours. 26. His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not winnowed: 27. You should therefore have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my money with interest. 28. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents. 29. For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. 30. And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and grinding of teeth. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: 33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35. For I was an hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: 36. Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. 37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you an hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? 38. When did we see you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? 39. Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and came to thee? 40. And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, In as much as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me. 41. Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: 43. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not. 44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see  hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you? 45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, In as much as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Notice that in these parables there is not only heavenly reward but earthly reward also. Meaning: that all of this is part of how the Government of God operates in the affairs of mankind. Past, present and future.


 I would like to remind the reader once more about the impossibility the apostles had in accurately placing dates or seasons on future prophecies. They knew that Jesus stated he will come in their generation. Yet to them this day of judgment sometimes seemed to be interpreted as predicting the end of the world. Regardless.  Their teachings based upon their understanding however inaccurate time and season wise are still entirely applicable. What was coming to the region might as well had been the end of the world. Even so, if Jesus had never taught that the end of the first covenant age would occur in the first century. Their teachings, (as opposed to their specific prophecies) would have still remained highly applicable to the believers lives and the nations they lived in. Christ would indeed have come to measure the lives of individual believers, to see if they were remaining faithful to him. Likewise their churches would have been subject to Gods judgment. Certainly the pagan nations they lived in had a future day of judgment ahead of them. This needs to be kept in mind when reading the many passages of scripture declaring the coming of the Lord. Some of them may seem to be speaking about the end of the world when in reality it is not applicable in that sense at all. If they were they would be false prophecy because they were warning believers of that generation that they would see that day. If they misunderstood those times and seasons, and even the way things would play out in the world with the gospel in the ages that lay ahead of them. We can do the same ourselves. This has become the dilemma that western Christianity is facing today. Taking specific prophecies that were clearly predicting events that lay in our past and putting them in our future. Teaching and believing that the end of the world has come upon us in the 21st century. Then totally missing the applicability of this oft mentioned Biblical doctrine of the coming of the Lord in our own day. He comes, certainly he comes, yet most never realize he came. He came as a thief in the night, and the church he came too never knew what happened to them, but sin now reigns supreme in their fellowship. He came to judge a nation or people and Gods people never perceived what role the government of God had in the upheaval. He came to an individual and that person never understood that was his last chance to get it right. Or to another who was then given much more because he was faithful with that which he had. The warning, the clarion call that the Lord is coming soon is applicable to ever person on the face of the earth. He is coming, maybe a year from now, maybe eight. Perhaps fifty years for the nation you live in.  Yet the world as we know it may go on for thousands more. In this light, lets look at some more of these passages.

  1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. This verse and the next verse communicate the same idea. 1 Corinthians 1:7 so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8 who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you be un-reproveable (blameless) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- American Standard-- In the King James Bible I Co. 1:7 the word "revelation" is translated "coming."  That is a mistranslation. The proper translation is revelation. The Greek word is not used in the New Testament to illustrate the coming of the Lord.  Another passage to clearly show it's proper usage is Galatians 1:11. But I make known to you, brothers, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.12. For I did not receive it through men, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul is saying that he got saved, taught and trained through the revelation of Jesus Christ. What he is saying in 1st Corinthians 1:7 is that we are to seek and wait for further divine illumination from God. The reason? Obviously, we need it. Then he attaches the Lords promise of salvation to this saying: God will stabilize you, he will be a father to you, guide you, ect. That, when the day of the Lord does occur. You will be found blameless. Remember a promise of salvation is just as applicable to being saved from that day of trouble as it is of going to heaven.  This is so that you do not suffer the same things the world does. There is to be a difference between those who are faithful and those who are not. This is shown in the next verse also.

   1st Corinthians 11:26. For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till he come. 27. Therefore who ever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. In a strictly evangelical sense the Lords supper is an event to remind participants of their responsibility to walk before the Lord according to the light they have, and to steer away from sin. It is as much also, or is supposed to be anyway, a reminder of what should have been a solemn "vow" to keep oneself pure for the sake of the church. (The body) they are part of. There should be some kind of understanding and commitment up front about this. Not only for the sake of the Lord but for the sake of your brothers and sisters. A little yeast (sin) in a believers life can eventually cause a whole church to be full of sin. In these verses the results of sin are sickness, weakness and death in that church. The author has been privileged to be associated long term with churches where no one died, young or old. He has also been associated with churches where both young and old are dropping like flies. There is to be a difference. The apostle is stating clearly that we should examine ourselves and the effects of our beliefs and practices. That we should be waiting and seeking the revelation of Christ in our lives. That when we "see" him (when he is revealed); we may become like him. (1st John 3:2.) All of this, so that if and when the day of the Lord comes. We should not be condemned with the "world." As stated before this is evidently the process of the seven churches in the book of Revelation fell into. To one extent or another sin had entered into six of the seven churches. Jesus warns them of the possibility of being condemned along with the world. He promises the churches themselves if they overcome the sin that is being listed. They will find various aspects of salvation. In light of the distinct possibility that the church as a whole fails to heed, individuals are promised various aspects of salvation from the judgment that will fall upon that church.  The church in Philadelphia however was walking in the light as He is in the light. Jesus warns them specifically not to let any individual rob them of their reward. (By causing them to fall into sin through teaching or example.) He makes them many promises of salvation but the one that so verifies this article is that:  "he will keep them from the hour of trial that is about to come on all the "habitable world." As the Wordservice.org article on Matthew 24 demonstrates. The Greek word translated world or earth in all the modern translations is not a proper reflection of this Greek word. It is used under a dozen times in the New Testament verses hundreds of times for the other words translated world or earth. This word is used specifically to describe the Roman  Empire in the New Testament. The church in Philadelphia was being promised salvation from the greatest of upheavals that would destroy Judea, but also other days of judgment that were to come upon the Roman Empire in the near future.

     The church in Philadelphia is an example of  the yearning of true ministers of the gospel as expressed in this verse. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? The apostle describes the coming of the Lord to prove the work of men in the Lord in these next verses. 1st Corinthians 3:9. For we are laborers together with God: you are God's flock, you are God's building. 10. According to the grace of God which is given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and others build upon it. But let every man take heed how he builds on it. 11. For a different foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14. If any man's work abide which he hath built upon it, he shall receive a reward. 15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16.Don't you know  that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17. If any man defile the temple of God, that man shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. Paul's hope, his joy, yes even his reward for his labor and suffering was that the churches he helped found became like the church in Philadelphia. The possibility of the opposite occurring weighed heavily on his mind. He understood that a day would come, whether it would be accompanied by some cataclysmic national upheaval or not. That the Lord would come to judge these churches.   He warned those who labor in the field of the Lord to be careful what they were doing. So that when the Lord comes; (the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.) The church (which is the work of the laborers) might stand.

      1 Timothy 6:17. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy;18. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;19. Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. This verse, although not mentioning the coming of the Lord was certainly indicative of it. There were many apostles and prophets prophesying the things that lay ahead of them. Paul even went so far as to say it is okay to get married and have kids but not wise because of what was going on at the time in 1st Corinthians 7. 

     Hebrews 10:35-39 reveals the hopeful aspect of the coming of the Lord, and the gaining of promise. 39. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. 36. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. 

      James 5:7. Be patient therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.8. You should also be patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh. James reiterates the same; what could almost be called a principle. That we all need seek to be ready. Not for the end of the world, but for a day of judgment that we as individuals will surely face while alive on this earth. One can see how out of place this would be indeed if it were referring to the end of the world. Why be patient and wait for that? There has been and may be hundreds of generations more, that this has and will in no way apply to them. After all it would only happen to one generation if dispensationalist teachings were true. The Word of the living God is not so absurd as to give such irrational advice. It (the Word) brings us out of a fantasy world that declares to every generation that the world is about to come to an end, (be ready!) Then brings us into clear, practical and applicable reality that Christ will indeed come to our generation also, just as he has come to every generation in the past. It is not something we will see with our eyes, but  hopefully be something we will perceive with our hearts and therefore be ready. 

       In this verse in Luke. Jesus, in response to an erroneous belief that the the Kingdom (or government) of God will physically appear on earth some day; states that their theology\eschatology is in error.  The kingdom of God does not come with observation,  physical sight, or physically. He then declares the way it does come, in the hearts of men. (Changed hearts by their very nature will bring change to the world, for the better.) It is amazing that almost all Christians believe exactly the same is the religious folks of Jesus day. Continually asking, "when is the end of the world, when will Jesus come down to earth and physically reign. When will we see the kingdom of God with our eyes." The answer is the same: It does not come the way you think. Changing hearts is the key to changing your world, God has no other plan. God will be with a changed heart, in power, to bring change to the world, (in it's proper time and season.)  Luke 17:20. And when the Pharisees demanded him to tell when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: 21. Neither shall they say, Look here! or, look there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22. And he said to the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you shall not see it. 23. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24. For as the lightning, that lights out of the one part under heaven, shining to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. 26. And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32. Remember Lot's wife. 33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.37. And they answered and said to him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Where ever the body is, that's where the eagles (vultures) be gathered together. Christ in these verses is seeking to temper his disciples understanding with some reality. Undoubtedly they were listening to his dispute with the Pharisee's and probably thinking along the same lines. Their ignorance of the subject was pitifully displayed in Acts 1:6. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7. And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. They were literally asking him, "are you now going to assume a physical throne in Jerusalem and throw the Romans out? Jesus began to to unfold some of the future reality that lay ahead of them. Telling them what he would prophesy to them later in Matthew 24 and two other gospels. Laying out the disaster of the millions of dead bodies that would soon be laying scattered all over Judea, (the vultures are gathered.) This time though he doesn't call it his coming but a revealing, (verse 30.) The reason for this is the is very simple. One of the ways, actually one of the main ways the messiah is revealed to Israel, (and the whole world for that matter) is: that when he comes and dies on the cross, Jerusalem and Judea will be destroyed. Other major Old Testament prophecies say this but this is one of the main ones. Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times. 26. And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince (Titus) that shall come and shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined. 27. And he (the Messiah) 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.

      Revelation 1:3. Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6. And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7. Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all families of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. This word is generic if looked upon in light of this article. If it were talking about a one time event at the end of the world, again we would be back to the dilemma of false prophecy. It addresses the seven churches in Asia as well as the rest of the world. Like the admonitions to those churches he says he will come to each of them soon. For this to be true those churches have to exist at the time of his coming. Scripture does not throw out logic and reason, it is the epitome of logic and reason. This word simply declares in illustrative prophetic language that all mankind of all generations will face times of judgment and in the case of the Apostle John who is receiving this vision. Judea's judgment is right upon him and in a few hundred years the city of Rome's.


No article would be complete on this subject without addressing the scriptures that could be referencing the end of the physical planet. Which, if history is any guide, God would deliver his people from; that they did not reap the punishment that was coming upon the wicked.

       The coming of the Lord as it might relate to the end of the world will be addressed in this section. This will be the most difficult section for many to accept because all of their questions about all Bible prophecy cannot be addressed in this article. Those questions are in fact addressed in this book length article End Time Prophecy. There are some aspects on the subject of the nature of prophecy need to be pointed out before we can go on though. God has many different reasons that he reveals the future in code, (so to speak.) One of these is to keep it hidden. He may in his benevolence find it necessary to hide the future from one generation but reveal it to another. Or to hide it from some people while at the same time revealing it to others.  Peters vision in the book of Acts is a perfect example of the nature of prophesy.  Imagine if there was no interpretation of this vision offered. Imagine if it were placed somewhere in the book of Revelation. The absolutely wild interpretations and speculations would be never ending. Would Peter himself have ever understood it if all's he had was the vision and that was it? As we see though Peter lived this vision out. He saw its interpretation at Cornelius's house. Was this vision even necessary? Could not the Holy Spirit, without the vision have just told Peter go with these men doubting nothing, and preach the Gospel to them? If so why didn't he? Do you think he would not have obeyed the word? The Samaritans who were gentiles had already received the Gospel, Peter had already preached to them. This is the point though. Peter had hindsight to interpret this vision with, as do we. Had he not had this experience at Cornelius's house or something similar he would have had no hindsight and probably would not have understood the vision correctly. Regardless, would those who read the Bible understand it if it wasn't interpreted the way it was? Well... this is the problem faced by the writers of the Bible and those who read their words when it comes to prophecies that lay in their futures. They have no hindsight into it. Compounding this almost insurmountable problem. That generation actually have a word from God that says; Acts 1:7...It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Being redundant: How could believers of the first century understand.....for instance: What the gospel might produce say... in the 21st century. They understood that God would change the world for the better. The Old and New Testament are full of prophecies about this. Because of the judgments prophesied though they seemed to assume that the old world would be destroyed physically, then a new world would be created. How could they understand visions of physical destruction, (although nations and peoples were physically destroyed)  were actually prophesies about the demise of the practices of the ancient world? Those visions just like Peter's were of physical things that had little relation to their meanings?  Peters vision of eating certain animals that Judaism declares impure had no relation visually speaking to certain human beings hearing the Gospel. Likewise visions of the physical destruction of the planet had no relation to practices of the ancient world like actual idolatry, king, emperors, polygamy and legal slavery being forsaken by mankind. Nor does the creation of a new planet in a vision have any relation to the cultures of the world being changed through the Gospel into something more conducive to righteousness. This though is the reality that is faced by the writers of the New Testament and those who read their words. Without hindsight and God given revelation, (through the Word of God,) there can be no understanding of these visions and words when they bear no relation physically to their meanings. 

       The first scripture covered will be Peters letters. This is because Peter uses Greek words that would fit the physical destruction of the planet, if, that is what he was really shown by God. In the use of the scriptures of this section, inconsistencies will be pointed out through some logic and reason showing their lack of understanding about the times and seasons of the future and therefore their prophecies about the future. This will not be done in the spirit of the world, to discredit the unalterable, inerrancy of the scripture.  Simply put though, the Word of God from the very beginning to its end never tries to hide the sin and ignorance of Gods saints, or the writers of his word. Sin could hardly be imputed to the writers of the NT concerning their ignorance of the future. What they saw and heard and wrote down came from God. The inspiration behind their words came from the Almighty. Yet, the Almighty has kept in his hands the proper interpretation of what they saw, heard and wrote for a generation that was to come. A generation that has some hindsight and a God that would reveal his coded message when he sees fit. Their imperfect understanding of all things future is but a tool for God to reveal his Word, according to his perfect timing and wisdom.  1 Peter 4:7. But the end of all things is at hand: therefore be sensible, sober and  pray........ For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  2 Peter 3:3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved for fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, where in dwells righteousness. 14. Therefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written unto you; 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrestle with, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. 17. You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. 18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.  Now lets compare Peters letters to his quote from Joel on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19. And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Notice the similarities in the language of what on the one hand most would consider prophecies about the end of the physical planet in Peter's letters to his quote from Joel. Without question Joel's prophecy is regarding the advent of the Messiah and what would immediate follow. Not only this. As pointed out previously. Jesus's prophecies about the end of the first covenant age that he actually attaches dates to, also use this language to describe the destruction of Judea. Matthew 24:29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:.....33. So likewise, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34. In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Another good example for this is in the book of Revelation where Daniels prophecies about the age of the Gentiles and what would come after it are expanded upon. Within the context of that approx. 2000 year period of that age when Babylon, Medo\Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire would rule over all of Gods saints.  Right where it should be in that timeline we have the end of the first covenant age and the war in Judea. It also uses the same illustrative language to describe the end of that era. Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, look, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 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; 16 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: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Just to throw in a little commons sense here. If the heavens literally rolled up in a scroll, all life on planet earth would immediately cease to exist. Yet there are many chapters of life on earth after this. This is all the illustrative language of Bible prophecy. Pictorial illustrations, code so to speak, of events that were coming to earth that may or may not have any direct connection to the images used to describe them. This is why we need an interpretation of them by the scripture itself and not by other means.

     Here is the dilemma students of scripture must wrestle with. Unlike the other writers of the New Testament. Peter uses a few Greek words that if his teaching about the future in his letters are taken all on their own.  They would seem to be talking about the end of the physical planet as we know it and the creation of a new physical planet. (Or the miraculous restoration of the old one.) However, taken in the context of other prophecies that have actual dates attached to them. Prophecies that use very similar language with similar but not identical Greek words. We could come away with the conclusion that Peter has accurately heard from God about the immediate future but does not really understand the timing or exactly what illustrative language itself is saying in a precise manner. Since Peter mentions the Apostle Paul's writings and insinuates that they are difficult to accurately comprehend. Lets look at a well known dilemma Peter has as opposed to the claims this article is making about his teaching on the future. Paul and Peter have a specific notoriety in scripture as being acknowledged by the church as being the apostles to the Jews, (Peter) and Paul to the nations. The main reason the church of that day would come to that conclusion would be based on the light these two had and were bringing forth as regards to prophecy in scripture regarding the subject. Paul, through scripture very clearly had greater revelation and knowledge about the nations and their future in regards to the Kingdom of God that equipped him with faith to begin to reach those nations with the Gospel. This can be seen in the Wordservice.org article. Bible Symbolism in Genesis Regarding the First and Second Covenants. Peter actually had difficulties with his faith in this area that crop up occasionally. For instance: Even though the Old Testament is filled with prophecy about Jesus being the messiah to the nations. Peter didn't seem to notice that great body of prophecy and had to be told by God through his vision previously mentioned to not call the other nations "unclean" compared to his own descent. Later he got into trouble, again due to a lack of faith on the same subject as recorded in Galatians. The point of all of this is to show that Peter had allot of difficulty with prophetic things. If this was so with abundant and plainly written Old Testament prophecy concerning the nations that were starting to come to pass before their very eye's. How much more so with things that were off in the future? This is not to diminish Peter or his epistles. It just shows that different parts of the body of Christ have different functions and specialties. Nor does it diminish the fact that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. In fact it is one of the many (lessor) proofs. That from it's very first book. It never hides the error, sins, lack of knowledge or inconsistencies of the saints it writes about. Always instead pointing to heaven, to the author and finisher of our faith.

     In conclusion regarding Peters statements. By these various scriptures it would appear that Peter believed that their generation would see the end of the physical world. However, Jesus, the Old Testament and John used the same language and dated those specific prophecies to the first century.  It can reasonably ascertained therefore that Peter was entirely correct that those to whom his primary ministry was to would see the great judgment prophesied in scripture. What would come after that great day of judgment though, or, what the exact nature of that judgment was. That may not have been clear to him. It could also be said that Peters gifting to minster primarily to the Jewish people didn't necessitate a gifting to understand exactly what was foretold. As a matter of fact tradition says he was put to death long before the words he spoke fully came to pass in that generation. There is another possibility though that could be in  addition to this rather than opposed to it. Or even a dual meaning. Peter could have seen or had knowledge of the end of the world and mixed that in with his imperfect knowledge about what was to take place in Judea at the end of that age. As stated before, these verses unlike the vast majority of others that people assume are referring to the end of the world, use the Greek words that should be used to convey that. According to what is known right now about physical law. The universe is in a state of decay. It will end someday and most likely that end will come through "fire" or "intense heat." That is the effect on matter coupled with friction and gravity (or weight.)  Though this could come through strictly natural means verses supernatural means, by the physical laws of nature, (that God created.) It would still be looked upon as day of judgment since mans sin has something to do with the whole debacle. God would certainly rescue his people from this he has in the past. However to anticipate and eagerly await the arrival of that day? ( 2 Peter 3:12.) This is completely outside of a spiritual practicality or an applicable reality. As stated before this will only happen to one generation. To believe that the Bible teaches every generation to live like the end of the world will happen anytime is to ignore our very nature and the nature of the God who created us. We were created for purposes far greater than just introducing people to Christ. We were created to raise godly productive children and to have multigenerational vision in Christ. In the great gospel age that was prophesied to come after the fall of the Roman empire in 1453 AD, this present age.  God through his saints, just as prophesied,  slowly but surely with much trial and warfare are developing a world that is conducive to this. To thwart that with belief that the world is coming to an end soon is to limit the work of God in our lives and our nations. More importantly. this would (and as pop culture end times teachings do;) ignore the hundred plus chapters of Bible prophecy and many more chapters of teachings that speak of this age. The age when nations begin to have the opportunity that they never had in times past to have the earthly promises of God fulfilled within their borders if the proper conditions are met.


      Next up are some of the Apostle Paul's writings and Jude's quote that add a couple of twists to the subject. Most notably, resurrection and catching away. Resurrection is one of the most basic and simplest teachings in the New Testament to grasp.  That is, until it gets mixed with the illustrative language used in Bible prophecy teachings. In light of the very clear and quite indisputable teachings on resurrection verses these difficult and controversial teachings concerning Bible prophecy.  The author would like to urge the reader to stop here and read this article on resurrection first. Paul's words about resurrection have an absolute need to be taken out of the context of Bible prophecy and put into the context of (mostly) Jesus's teaching about it. This is a major part of the confusion and controversy that surrounds Bible prophecy. In fact, to the ignorant and to those who should know better, it almost cloaks the Biblical doctrine of resurrection as indisputably taught by Jesus and scripture as a whole. There is however a greater difficulty than the context of resurrection in the Bible as a whole verses it's context in the illustrative language of Bible prophecy. That would be the context of Bible prophecy in the Bible as a whole verses the narrow context of someone reading Paul's teachings about the visions and words Paul was receiving about the future. The problem being not with Paul's writings, even if they do reflect the fact that Jesus said was not given to the writers of the New Testament to understand the times and the seasons that lay ahead of them. The real problem in fact is the superficial teachings of men on the subject of Bible prophecy that create a context, outside the scripture as a whole, that then insert Paul's words within the sloppily created contexts of pop culture end time teachings.

     To paint a picture of the gravity of this problem. Paul's teachings on the future which are a primary source for pop culture end time prophecies teachings total a couple of chapters in the Bible. In comparison, for instance, to well over a hundred chapters describing what will happen in the world after the fall of the Roman Empire. (Which occurred in 1453 AD.)  More than one hundred chapters of Bible prophecy describing what the world will look like when the Messiah's kingdom is given to the saints as it says here in Daniel 2:40. And the fourth empire (the Roman Empire) shall be strong as iron... 44. And in the days of these kings (of the fourth empire, the Roman one,) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it will crush and bring to an end all these (four) empires, and it shall stand for ever. Daniel 7:13. I saw in the night visions, and look, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. 15. I Daniel was distressed in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16. I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17. These great animals, which are four, are four empires, which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth animal,..... 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23. So he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth empire upon earth.... 26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. What is described in those hundred plus chapters about the time period the book of Daniel prophesies about is this: That in nations who have the Gospel and the Word of God. Nations who accept Biblical principle as the way they choose to govern their affairs. In other words nations that to varying degree's meet the conditions. There will be freedom and prosperity. Peoples and individuals will have control over their destinies as opposed to the ancient world where thy had no control. The whole idea of kings and emperors and therefore legal slavery would be done away with and the great sin of the ancient world, actual idolatry, (as opposed to figurative idolatry) would be rejected by mankind. In those nations all the earthly promises of God made to all the generations of saints who never got to see their fulfillment would, in these nations, be available. Not guaranteed because there are conditions, but unlike the generations before that last empire fell, at least obtainable. Further that the influence of the Government of God in the affairs of men through the Gospel and the Word of God would continue to grow throughout the earth. This vast amount of good news Bible prophecy, and not just vast but fundamentally anti-apocalyptic dwarfs the amount of prophecy Paul puts forth.  The picture painted by it certainly precludes looking at Paul's end time prophecy through the lens of pop culture end time prophecy teachings. In fact, once one becomes familiar with all of the chapter and verse of good news prophecy, (here is a small sampling,) it necessitates looking at Paul's prophecies in the context of the Bible as a whole.

     A final word about Bible prophecy and end time prophecy in the context of all the scripture rather than the use of Paul's in the light of popular end times teachings. A proper and accurate understanding of Bible Prophecy for the true believer is a pilgrimage. In fact it has been a Pilgrims Progress type journey for all believers of all generations. It does not come through a few years of study or PhD's. It comes by the grace of God. or, at least through those that found that grace. This article about the coming of the Lord is not a stand alone article but part of four separate articles that cover different aspects of what is called "end time prophecy." If the reader desires to undertake that journey and to escape the trappings of this world that the pop culture end time teachings phenomena  are part and parcel of.  These four articles will start you down that pilgrimage that has at its end the fulfillment of the promises of God to many generations that lay ahead of us, and your part in that. The main article is titled: End Time Prophecy. At the appropriate point it will tell you when to break of from it and read this article, and the one titled Matthew 24. Plus the previous on mentioned on Resurrection. May you find the grace of God that was poured forth in the writing of these articles. Now on to Paul's words.  

      1 Thessalonians 4:13 To the end he may establish your hearts un-blamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints...... 4:13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep (dead), that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep. 16. 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: 17. 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. 18. Therefore comfort one another with these words.....5:1. But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman giving birth; and they shall not escape. 4. But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep (die), we should live together with him. 11. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.
    The first thing that needs pointed out is that according to verse 15; what these verses are articulating is a word. I.E; a vision or prophecy received by someone, maybe Paul. This would be as opposed to say, a teaching that Jesus gave on a subject. That distinction does make a difference. Doctrine in scripture is one thing. Visions that are true prophecy yet that remain uninterrupted  are an entirely different matter and need to be approached with much more caution. With that in mind:  Imagine having a vision, a picture painted about apocalyptic events that would come to your generation. In that vision you would see people getting saved plus others being saved and dyeing or being killed and going to heaven. As part of it of this animation the destruction of Judea that is so large and looming; to you it seems the whole world is being destroyed. Plus, the believers who yet remained there during that destruction being delivered from it. Keeping in mind that God rarely ever gives anyone a vision in such a way that shows the events exactly as they are going to happen. Rather he uses strange pictures and symbolisms that once it happens can be clearly understood but before it happens? How would someone draw or paint a picture of resurrection for instance? Wouldn't it inherently kind of look like dead bodies coming out of the grave? Which by the way happens in scripture but has nothing to do with the general doctrine of resurrection and the spiritual but very real physical body that lives inside our flesh body. (Which will end up in heaven or hell once we leave our flesh bodies.)  Well, that is the dilemma with the illustrative pictures and words of Bible prophecy. He gives enough understanding for you prepare.  Yet; only enough that the power of complete understanding still remains in his hands alone. He does not just hand these types of things to mankind on a dinner plate. In  verses 13-15 we have that visual alluded to in the previous sentences as though those who died are awaiting resurrection as if they are buried in the ground. However if this word is interpreted according to the doctrine of resurrection elucidated in the scripture  as a whole; it is easy to see that the interpretation of this word of vision is that those who have died in Christ go to be with the Lord first. Before those who are still alive. In other words as ever so clearly shown in scripture and pointed out in the article, "Resurrection." That believers who die are not in some kind of altered state awaiting resurrection. Nor are they waiting for a new body. They are already resurrected, already with the Lord and already have a physical body. Not physical as we know it, flesh, but physical none the less. So, those believers who are still alive on the earth just as Paul's vision or word came to him says.; do not proceed those who believers who have already died. (Verse 15) So, as far as resurrection is concerned, we have a vision or word that is so far in perfect accord with the rest of scripture. A word that if read through a filter that includes all the scriptures about resurrection. Those who die simply put off their flesh body and go to be with the Lord or to that prison called hell. That immediate life with a real but spiritual body like the angels, after the death of our flesh bodies, is the general doctrine of resurrection.  This off course is opposed to those who interpret this vision\word\prophecy through the filter of pop culture end times teachings. One that says resurrection is a one or two time future event that involves things like dead bodies in mass rising out of their graves at some point in the future, or similar scenarios.
     On top of this we have a catching away or what some call "the rapture." On a strictly miraculous level. and this is mentioned because the same Greek words for catching away are used vastly more often to describe natural scenario's  of seizing, snatching, obtaining, rescuing, carrying off, ect. ect. of people and things. On that miraculous level though. This is not a New Testament concept but something the saints of old have experienced. Some of which is recorded in scripture. Enoch and Elijah were caught away. In fact the church Elijah "pastored" was so familiar with this particular miracle that they thought God miraculously transported Elijah like he did Phillip in the New Testament. (To some other region for some purpose.) Some will immediately say though that this vision says where they were transported. In the "clouds" to be with Jesus. Is that so, in the rain clouds? Was it in the rain clouds that Jesus came back that great day of judgment at the end of the 1st covenant age to judge Judea?  Luke 21:
27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory..... 32. truly I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.  Mark 14:61 ...Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62. And Jesus said, I am: and you will see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Or Matthew16: 27. 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. 28:Truly I say to you, There are some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Matthew16: 28. Truly I say to you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Mark: 9: 1. And he said unto them, Truly I say to you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Luke 9: 26. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. These "clouds" of heaven are not only something very experientially familiar to the saints of the Old Testament. In a representative way verses the  literal way they were experiencing it, They represent the power and authority of God and his Government. So this is the same story. We have something already defined by scripture but novel to new or immature Christians who are taught to view this through the filter of pop culture end time prophecy teachings rather than through the light of the Word of God; that they are not yet familiar enough with. The "clouds" of heaven are either a direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit or an illustration of the Government of Gods power and authority. It is that authority that Jesus comes to judge with. He "comes" with the power and authority of heaven. What then is the "meeting in the air." Well if we are looking at the events of the first century, as an illustration of some reality also. Then we have to look at the natural meaning of the word "catching away." Paul is having a pictorial vision, a video, or words that are using illustrative language about something that will come to pass in the lifetimes of those he is ministering to. Jesus himself uses similar language to describe not only the salvation in him the messiah that was taking place at that time but the deliverance of the believers from the destruction of Judea in 70 AD. In the three accounts of his prophecy he said: 31. 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.  27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws close.  Followed immediately in all three accounts by the date which this would occur. 32. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is close: 33. So likewise, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34. In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 28. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: 29. So in like manner, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that it is close, even at the doors. 30. In truth I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 29. And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30. When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now close at hand. 31. So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is close at hand. 32. In truth I say to you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Please keep in mind that this date for these events is often repeated in scripture. This is one of those places in Daniel but not the only one, that when the messiah comes and dies on the cross the city and sanctuary will be destroyed. Daniel 9: 25-27.  25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times. 26. And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come and shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined. 27. 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. The point is that what Paul illustratively saw exactly what was going to take place. Believers were not to perish with the wicked in that day of judgment but were to varying degree's miraculously delivered. Maybe some were led to Petra, maybe some were led to other places. Some undoubtedly fled the nation as they saw the signs Jesus said would proceed  the war. Most Probebly fled the nation due to the persecution many years before. Could be some were caught away to other places or heaven, who knows. The fact is though the vision or word that Paul was referring to came to pass in the first century.   

    Next up are some more prophecies or teachings put forth by Paul. 1st Corinthians 15 is a teaching about resurrection and covered in length by the article on resurrection. It does have a little bit of prophecy mixed in with it though. 24 Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he has put all things under his feet. But when he said all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all....51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 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. The reader may not realize this, but the real question is: "How will God put everything under the messiah's feet?" "How will all rule and authority be put under him, ect.ect?" It needs to be submitted to the reader that how this will occur, when this starts to occur and what will be the fruit of it is contained in the mass of Bible prophecy. In what amounts to 100 times more prophecy than Paul wrote. That this will come about through a combination of the Gospel and the Word of God influencing mankind for the better and judgments against the wicked and those who oppose the growth of Gods Government in the earth. If one looks at these words through the filter of pop culture end time teachings before they have become familiar with vast amount of good news prophecy and the names and dates attached to the end time prophecies.  They'll once more take Paul's words to mean, in many cases, the exact opposite of what prophecy as a whole says. Some might object and say there is a last of final trump here being addressed. In prophecy there are many trumpet calls, voices of the arc angel and shouts that herald many events centuries and millennia past Paul's life. There is really no reason to belabor all of it to show that it has no bearing on the great mass of prophecy concerning the age we currently live in. The age that was to come after the Roman Empire fell, that we are 500 some years into. This age doesn't have a prophesied end. That doesn't mean it does not have an end but we are no where close to seeing anything yet along the lines of the godly world that is illustrated by the words, "all enemies are under his feet." In fact it says of this age, Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Either Paul is articulating the visions and words they had about the fist century once more or he is articulating something that as far as prophecy to our future is concerned is entirely irrelevant. Catching away, the natural, the miraculous to other locals or to heaven has and will continue to happen. If the world ends cataclysmically, yes, believers could expect to be caught away...but... by that time we could be colonizing space and many could escape that way. The problem with this though is the Bible doesn't prophecy about it. The book of Revelation does not end with prophecies about the end of the world but with prophecies about the end of the age of those four Gentile empires and then illustrations of the age that would follow, this one. What I like to call the Great Gospel Age. So, at this point we are still stuck with looking at the entire body of Bible prophecy that the Bible actually interprets for us. Then running Paul's minuscule in volume comparatively speaking though it's filter or... Taking Paul's words and whatever one can imagine they mean which would include a falsely so called "literalist view." Then using them to basically...well...foretell the future? That is basically what people are doing with it. Taking prophecy given of old by divine inspiration and putting a private interpretation on it, (2nd Peter 1:20.) Hate to say this but that is the realm of demons coming as angels of light.

       2 Thessalonians 1: 6. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11.Therefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ........ 2: 1. Now we ask you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him, 2. That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ has come. 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; 4. Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5. Remember not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6. And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time. 7. For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now  restrains it will restrain it, until he be taken out of the way. 8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.       Jude 1:14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, 15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.  
 These words once more fit the occurrences of the first century quite well but also could be applied to great judgments that occurred beyond that. If we are talking about the end of the first convent age and all of its prophecies that have dates attached to them then we can look at very specific fulfillments of these words. The set of verses in 1st Thessalonians are quite typical of the Bibles illustrative language it uses in prophecy. The Lord being revealed, angels, flaming fire, vengeance, judgment. There are lots of places, especially in the book of Revelation that contains a timeline of the Age of the Gentiles. In that timeline we can see this exact language descrbing what is now known as judgments that came through earthly armies and natural catastrophes. Further, that God is glorified both in his saints and in is Word coming to pass through all of those events, plus the deliverance of his saints from their enemies in those judgments. 1st Thessalonians 2  though was cleary fulfilled by events in the first century that are gone over in great detail in the article Matthew 24.  Herod the Great who was the precise fulfillment of Daniel 11:36-40 started this whole scenario in Judea with his Caeser worship. Daniel 11:38 But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.....the cities Herod built were forts. He named these forts after the leaders and Caesars of Rome. In these forts he placed statues of Rome's leaders and Caesars as gods. Even Herod's Temple in Jerusalem had the symbol of Rome, a giant gold covered eagle placed over its main gate. When zealots tried to tear it down Herod had them burned alive. The pressures of Roman idolatry on Judea which was part and parcel of its the civil duties of all nations within its empire only increased until Judea's end. Pilate the governor brought the idols of Rome and statues of the emperor as god into Jerusalem. The emperor Caligula sent an army to forcibly put his statue in the temple as god to be worshiped but the general assigned with the task out of sorrow for the Judeans stopped the campaign even though it would cost him his head. Luckily Caligula died before he got word of his generals treason. Gessius Florus was the Roman governor who was the central figure and cause of the war in Judea.  he looted the country, allied himself with the criminal element. Murdered many thousands of law abiding Jews and basically, purposely, caused the war to cover up his crimes. He was a very real and partible  anti Christ figure. When Titus finally conquered Judea the standards of Rome which had the idols of Rome placed on them were set up in the temple courtyard and infuriated Roman soldiers torched the temple. Titus was the prince of Rome, soon to be emperor and god. The question is. who restrained all this evil from coming to pass? How was what restrained it moved out of the way so the evil could occur?  Well, if you read the article in Matthew 24, it was the believers that were at first driven out of Judea because of persecution. Then as Jesus had instructed them. When they saw Cestius Gallus army surround Jerusalem and then withdraw, those who remained fled. Luke 21: 20 And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near. 21Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the middle of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Who fell away? Who was deceived and rejected the love of the truth that they might be saved? That would be those who rejected the Gospel in Judea and persecuted the saints as their ancestors persecuted the prophets who went before them. So, once God's people were removed out of the way so they would not suffer the judgment. Once the salt and light that preserves a nation from evil running amuck was no longer there to bring sanity. Once those who's mission in life is to save and restrain evil were taken out of the way of that evil was free to run it's full course.

     In finishing up this section on Paul's and Peter's letters to the churches it cannot be emphasized enough to once more go over the matter of the Bibles context to it's own prophecy verses the filter of pop culture end times teachings that use these letters as a basis for those teachings.  That the Bible itself paints a big picture of prophetic events with names of the players and dates that are not only indisputable; but that also directly disagree with the way end times teachings, dispensationalism and futurism use Pauls' and Peters' letters. Not only does the Bible itself dispute the way modern pop culture teachings use these letters but it does so with hundreds of chapters verses these handfuls of chapters. The Bible was made to be read over and over and over. The believer that seeks the Kingdom of God and his righteousness is to become intimately aware of the Bible through volume verses with the teachings of  others that should supplement rather than replace that one on one relationship with God through his Word. When the angel of the Lord announced the birth of the Messiah with the words, "peace on earth and good will towards men" he meant just that. He did not say destruction on earth and ill will towards mankind. He was articulating the intensions of God and the effects that the Word of God and the Gospel would eventually have on this earth. He was articulating the mass of Bible prophecy concerning the good news of the Government of God on the earth when the Gospel would be allowed to begin to bear its fruit after the fall of the forth, (the Roman) empire. If one does not become familiar with all of that prophecy that end times prophecy only sets up. Then, using end times scriptures, they will be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:14.) 


          In this last section I would like to close with commentary about some different aspects of the subject not addressed yet. First of all is how this subject confirms when the New Testament was written. The authors of the New Testament along with the apostles (except John) were probably all dead by the time the prophesied war started in Judea and ended in 70A.D. John is the only writer to not address the prophesies of the end of the age in his Gospel. If the writers of these letters and gospels had lived to see the war would this not be reflected in their understanding of the prophesies they wrote down? If so many (very foolish and vain) "scholars" insist that the N.T. was written after 70 A.D. Doesn't common sense dictate that what was written "after the fact" show some accuracy in understanding? This was the most catastrophic event in the history of Israel. Shouldn't the Israelis who wrote all these things even mention it is passing? No! Instead we see exactly what you would expect to see written by men decades before the event.   We see men as men with all their frailty and ignorance un-able to clearly peer into the eternal. We do not see any hindsight at all about what they were saying was going to come to pass in the lifetimes of those they were ministering too. This in the simplest of fashion is one of the many proofs that the New Testament was written in the decades prior to the "greatest tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." 
Then we have the Revelation of John. A document dated for us by its using the number of Roman emperors who have reigned up to the time of the vision\visions. A document that expands on already given OT prophecy by giving us greater detail on the subject of the age of the four gentile empires ruling over Gods people and their eventual demise though judgment and the age that would follow. This prophecy. if it were written after the fact by a charlatan also demonstrates a lack of hindsight also in it's dealings with the war in Judea, In fact the whole letter or book only devotes a half a chapter to the subject and does it in such a way to make it impossible to discern without hindsight.

 

      Next, a few more remarks concerning the idea of a "second" (or final) coming (or advent) of the Lord. It should seem strange to everyone that goes through all these verses about the coming of the Lord to not find the word "second" in front of any of them. Especially in the light of what some Christian leaders say is an "essential doctrine" of the Christian faith.  What they mean by that is if one does not believe in a "second" coming of Christ, then they are not a genuine believer, they have no promise of eternal life from the Lord. Furthermore virtually all Christian peoples use the phrase "second coming." Multitudes of ministries and churches contain the phrase in their founding documents. One would think (and correctly so) since the phrase is so common and some attach such significance to it that the word "second" would be in front of  "coming of the Lord" all over the Bible. As it is the word second appears only one time in the New Testament in front of something that could be construed as the coming of the Lord. Hebrews 9:28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation. The problem with this verse being used to teach that the Bible does use the word "second" in relation to the word "coming" is that the the Word "appear" or "seen" is not the word "coming" used to describe the day of the Lord throughout the Bible. In fact, if the sentence structure of the Greek is not re arranged as it is in many translations when it is translated into English it looks more like this: Hebrews 9:28 So Christ once having been offered to carry many sins, a second time without sin will be seen by those expecting him for salvation. It makes a little more sense when compared to this scripture that uses the same Greek word for appear or seen. 1st John 3:2 Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it is not manifested what we shall be: but we know that, when he is manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall "see" him as he is.  It seems obvious that the writers are addressing our perception of Christ now, our imperfect perception, verses a more perfect perception when we see him as he is. The chapters in Hebrews that contain this verse are making comparisons of the First Covenant verses the Second. Of earthly things that came first that were illustrations of heavenly things that came second. That is the context of this verse; not prophecy about the coming of the Lord in a day of judgment.

 

       Finally a few observations about how this plays out with manifestations of the Holy Spirit today.  There was a great movement or revival centered in North America yet world wide in the 1970's-1980's. Tens of millions came to Christ through it.  There were great miracles, signs and wonders. As with any real spiritual awakening or revival, excesses, false teachings and sin accompanied it.  At it's end many of the leading figures publicly and on national TV began to prophesy that Jesus would return at a specific date. These dates though independently spoken were all within month or two of each other.  When that time came, the whole movement came to a sudden stop. Ministers that were involved in sin were exposed on national television. Some others were charged with fraud. The money that funded the whole movement, whether the ministries were faithful or not, dropped to a trickle. This was the time that the term "televangelist" began to be used in disrepute by the public. These prophecies about the coming of the Lord were not known to the general public, only in the Christian community.  They in and of themselves had nothing to do with any scandal that brought the movement to an end. Those who had opposed the whole movement though seized upon them to declare "false prophets" to further discredit the revival.  Those who prophesied these dates never mentioned them again and just continued on with their ministries. Hopefully, those who have read this article through can see what happened already before it is explained.  The prophesies were not false but entirely accurate. It happened just as they said. The Lord came to judge in the same manner that is articulated in the book of Revelation concerning the seven churches listed there.  Unfortunately, even exasperatingly, neither those who prophesied, those who believed them, nor their detractors had the slightest clue as to what the Holy Spirit of God meant when he said Jesus was coming on those dates.  I have never heard anyone, even retrospectively, analyze the episode in any way to give any glory to God. Jesus came, he judged the movement unworthy of his further stamp of approval and "removed its candlestick from it's place." Revelation 2:5. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent. Imagine how useful it would have been to everyone involved if they had understood what the coming of the Lord was? What if those words about the Lord coming, if they were understood correctly, (as they should have been) brought a general and hearty repentance to those involved in the movement? What if those who were walking in sin and would not take heed to the word of the Lord from the mouths of many of his servants were disassociated from those who were repenting; (and those who were not sinning yet feared those words that came from heaven?)  Maybe today the word televangelist might not be a four letter word.  Is it not possible that Jesus would have blessed the movement in such a way that many a hundred millions would have been saved in the days that lay ahead for them? Might not these illustrative words have been their heritage? Revelation 2:25. But that which you have already hold fast till I come. 26. And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28. And I will give him the morning star. 29. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

     On top of the disrepute and scandal many books were written by detractors that included the episode since. Not written in a way to bring understanding but only written in such a way as to try to divide and conquer. These prided themselves on their supposed knowledge of the scripture yet their ignorance has caused much more sin than what Christ came to judge. One would think these paragons of virtue and knowledge would know enough to be able to gloat at Christ's coming and judgment. They were after all the ones screaming about the excesses and false teachings in the first place. Apparently they had nothing intelligent to add to the story. All with one accord, because of an almost universal misunderstanding of scripture, because they all believe the coming of the Lord to be a second advent of the end of the world, have erred significantly in their Christian walk.  What if the detractors understood the subject? Wouldn't they be deemed hero's for pointing out that Jesus was coming to judge the movement (as even the movements own prophets are saying?)  Could there not have been some reconciliation between disparate groups of Christians over the whole episode? Basically though what ended up happening was real prophecy, through mans ignorance, was turned into false prophecy. What God intended though the manifestation of his Spirit to be helpful, for guidance and for salvation was useless. Instead it was used to bring disrepute and division. Even though the prophecies came to pass with a vengeance. Maybe next time around we'll know better.

       Another episode I witnessed along these lines was in a local church. It was an exceptional church in the purity of it's committed laborers and in the manifestations of the Spirit. People began to prophesy that the Lord was coming the next summer. This went on for weeks. The church knew at the time that these were real prophesies as they were exceptional in their experience with spiritual things. A few months later a minister who came yearly from Africa taught very clearly in the "Spirit" what those prophesies were all about. He had never heard about the prophecies though. He was just bringing correction and rebuke tied to a final warning. That he would return no more if we will not do what we were supposed to be doing as a church. This church fell under the category; "to whom much is given much will be required."  That summer came and the church completely disintegrated. It could not hear the voice of the Lord saying to it: "I am coming to you soon, I hope to find you doing what I called you to do. If not I will remove your candlestick out of it's place." This church that had real and proven prophecies and other spiritual manifestations couldn't correct itself because it did not understand what it was told. It could not understand clear instructions because it had a preconceived idea about what the coming of the Lord was. By the time the summer came around they had completely forgotten about those prophesies, nor did they ever consider tying the warnings by others to them. A church in this predicament does not have to disintegrate like this one if it is found lacking. It can continue on and even grow in numbers, but will not grow in grace and faith. Sin would abound. One might ask, "since I am writing as if I understood these things back then. why didn't I do something?"  Valid question. In those days, I would have been looked at as a mad man if I tried; as I was looked upon already on many subjects like this. Thank God this has all changed.

      The war between the states is an example of the coming of the Lord in this great gospel age. The abominable practices of the ancient world were being replaced by the principles found in Gods Word. The dangerous fallacy of kings, emperors, dictators, lords and the practical consequences of these practices, human slavery were being swept away by the tide of history. Americans and Europeans that had known nothing but slavery had finally won their freedoms. Yet some of them desired slavery to continue, just as long as it was not them that were the slaves. The God ordained republican form of government that the nation was founded on was in mortal danger of collapse. Some of the founders of the nation had prophesied the war that would come as a result of compromise about slavery. It came, and it came just as if the the Bibles words were re written just for it. "In the last days men will be......." The Battle Hymn of the Republic not only shows the spirit of that day. It also shows that generations understanding of this subject as opposed to this present generations. May the generations to come understand what the coming of the Lord is and therefore be able to heed.

  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.
 (Chorus) Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
 I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps, They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps: His day is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel: "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, Since God is marching on."
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat: Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet! Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me: As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! While God is marching on.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave, He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave, So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave, Our God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

 

© Daniel Martinovich 2012-2014