The Glorious Appearing will take place "immediately after the distress of those days," that is, at the end of the Tribulation and before the Millennium. The Second Coming of Christ will be the most dramatic point in all history. Second Coming of Christ The Antichrist, the False Prophet, and Satan will inspire the armies of the world to invade Palestine in a gigantic effort to rid the world of the Jews and to fight against Christ. This coming battle before Christ sets up His millennial kingdom is often called "the Battle of Armageddon." Armageddon - Revelation 16 v.14
The Return of Christ - This is the most dramatic moment in world history! After winning four successive battles, Christ will set His feet on the Mount of Olives. "A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. (Zech. 14 v.1-4)
When Christ consumes all before Him through the earthquakes, lightnings, and the sword that proceeds out of His mouth, not only will the Holy Land be destroyed but the entire country will be literally bathed in the blood of unregenerate, God hating, Christ opposing people. It is hard to envision the hordes of troops from all over the world that will oppose Christ. Who can conceive of a time when the blood of Slain men will flow as high as the horses' bridles by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs? Thousand and Six Hundred Furlongs - Revelation 14 v.20
That is just about the length of the entire land of Palestine! Naturally many skeptics and those who do not take the book of Revelation literally find it difficult to believe that so much blood could be shed. A point to be kept in mind is that part of the destruction of the troops around Jerusalem will include a hailstorm "From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible" (Great Hail Out of Heaven - Revelation 16 v.21).
Millions of pieces of ice will fall to the earth weighing a hundred plus pounds each, melting in the torrid heat of Palestine, and mingling with the blood of those slain until the land of Palestine will be literally bathed in a bloody liquid that is almost too horrible to describe. What a price human beings will pay for rejecting Christ!
Nearly every prophecy concerning the Second Coming is directly tied to Israel as a nation and to the land she must inhabit when her Messiah returns. The angels said that Jesus would come back to the Mount of Olives. When and Why? Certainly not for the Rapture to catch away His bride, as that happened at the before the Tribulation began. This time it is for judgment.
Neither the Mount of Olives nor the land of Israel has any special significance for the Church. Christ would have no reason to return to Israel unless His people were there and unless He intended to occupy the throne of David and rule over them from Jerusalem. That He would do so was stated repeatedly by the prophets as a solemn promise from God. Those prophecies must and will be fulfilled at the Second Coming, and are unrelated to the Rapture.
The message of the angels at Christ's ascension, to which we have referred, was another New Testament reference to the land. They declared that it would be to the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem that He would return. That statement was a reaffirmation of Zech. 14 v.4, which is all about the land of Israel.
Furthermore, promises such as Jeremiah 31 v.35-37, which we have earlier quoted, hardly need to be reaffirmed! Why does Jesus come back to the land of Israel? He comes to rescue Israel at Armageddon. For that to be the case, God's ancient people must have been reestablished there. How then, dare anyone say that Israel's national presence in her land today means nothing! Yes, even an unbelieving Israel.
In the Old Testament, there are over 100 prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. There is over 5 times that prophesizing Jesus Christ will return physically to the earth to set up his Kingdom. There were some who understood this and welcomed His birth but most missed it. How many will again not understand and not be ready for His Rapture and second coming?
Two angels stood by the "Men of Galilee" when Jesus ascended and ask them, why do your stand gazing up into Heaven? "This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1 v.11) Interestingly, He will also "touch down" on the same mountain from which He left, the Mount of Olives.
Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
The Glorious Appearing of Christ. The transfiguration of Jesus (Matt. 17 v.1-8; Mark 9 v.1-8) was a miniature and premature revelation to three of the apostles of the essential glory, which belongs to Jesus (Heb. 10 v.20) that will be displayed to the world at His Second Advent. The second coming of Christ will be heralded by the appearance of the "sign of the Son of man in heaven". (Matt. 24 v.30) Thus these three apostles were given a revelation at the Transfiguration as to who this Person actually is. (Matt. 12 v.24)
At His ascension, the veil was removed and the Son appeared in glory, (Acts. 7 v.55-56) never to have that glory veiled again. When He returns to this earth to set His feet on the Mount of Olives, (Zech. 14 v.4) all who dwell on the earth "shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"; (Matt. 24 v.30; Rev. 19 v.11-16)
When the Son returns in glory, (Rev. 1 v.13-16) He is fulfilling His God given role as Judge. (John 5 v.27) He is portrayed in that role throughout the book of Revelation. Christ is the one (Rev. 5 v.5) who looses the series of judgments described in the breaking of the seals (Rev. 6 v.1-17) and the blowing of the trumpets. (Rev. 8 v.2 - 9 v.21) The seventh trumpet is actually the Second Advent of the Judge back to the earth. (Rev. 11 v.15)
The form of the judgment associated with His advent is revealed in the emptying of the vials in judgment. (Rev. 16 v.1-21) His right to judge is vindicated. (John 5 v.27) Upon the Second Coming, He will assemble living Israel for judgment (Matt. 24 v.31; 25 v.1-30) and will judge living Gentiles to determine who will enter the covenanted kingdom. His glory will be revealed through His judgments.
Also upon the Second Coming, Christ will fulfill the role of a Savior or Deliverer. (Rom. 11 v.26-27) Because of lawlessness and idolatry, Israel was delivered into the hand of Gentile oppressors who would rule over them and their land until "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21 v.24) should be fulfilled. The Son's glory will be revealed as a Savior, and the nation of Israel shall look in faith upon the One whom they rejected and will give Him the glory due Him. (Zech. 12 v.10)
Christ returns the second time to fulfill His God given role as King, a role appointed to him by His Father at His ascension. (Psalms 2 v.6-7; 110 v.1) He was introduced in that role by His appointed forerunner John the Baptist, (Matt. 3 v.2) and claimed that right Himself. (Matt. 4 v.17)
When the multitudes witnessed a spectacular miracle, they acknowledged that Christ was the Messiah, the son of David. (Matt. 12 v.23) At the Second Advent, He appears as "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS". (Rev. 19 v.16) His glory will be revealed throughout the thousand years of His reign here on earth (Rev. 20 v.2-3) as David's "son" in David's kingdom as covenanted by God with Israel. (2 Sam. 7 v.16; Psalms 89 v.3-4)
The believer anticipates the glory that will be revealed at His coming, (see Titus 2 v.13) for we will share His glory. This hope (settled assurance) is a source of blessing while we await the revelation of His glory: His glory as a Judge, His glory as a Deliverer, and His glory as King.
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