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The Second Coming And The Rapture
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Background
The Second Coming starts the final feast called the feast of Tabernacles. It is a seven day feast that ends in a high Sabbath and celebrates our living with God.
It is significant to note that the seventh seal which takes about half hour (seven to eight days) describes the Second Coming. Many other prophecies end in the Second Coming. Let us take a look.
There are many concepts connected to the Second Coming. They will be mentioned so that you can get a picture of how they relate to each other.

Resurrection
Event Text
Second Coming Revelation 19; Revelation 14; 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17; Matthew 24;
» Rapture First Resurrection
(Resurrection of life)
Matthew 13: 38; Matthew 24; John 5: 28-29; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 14: 14-15; 20; Ezekiel 37; Daniel 12: 2
»Bodies changed and rise 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55
»Earth destroyed Matthew 24, Isaiah 24-35
»Wicked living killed Revelation 14, 19
Millennium Revelation 20
» Satan Satan trapped on earth Revelation 20; Isaiah 24: 22
Third Coming Revelation 20-21
»Rapture Second Resurrection
(Resurrection of damnation)
(Resurrection of Judgment)
John 5: 28-29; Revelation 14: 17-19; Revelation 20; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13: 40
»Judgment Revelation 20
»Armageddon Revelation 19, 20; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 14
»Destroyed by fire Revelation 20
The resurrection is the miraculous process of bringing the dead to life. They will have a body and their memories intact.
The rapture is the process that changes the body of the righteous and transports them from the earth to God.
"Translation" is also another word that is used to describe the process by which the bodies of the righteous are changed from mortal to immortal.

The prophecy of the resurrection is one that demonstrates how God merges the events of prophecies that are separated by long periods of time. By studying most prophecies one can only conclude that there are two groups of people with two different futures. It is assumed that these events occur on the same day because, in most verses, the language does not deny this interpretation.

Two Groups Of people.
In John 5: 28-29 and Revelation 14: 14-19 and other verses, Jesus described two groups of people who will be separated at the end.

Wheat And Weeds (Tares).
The bible describes a harvest of wheat and tares (weed).
Allow both to grow together until the harvest and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."
and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil one. and the enemy who sews them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels. So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
(Matthew 13: 30, 38-40)

Sheep And Goats.
All the nations will gather before Him; and He will separate them from one another as the shepherds separate the sheep from the goats. And He will put the sheep on the right and the goats on the left.
The Sheep on the Right. The He will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world".
The Goats on the Left. Then He will say to those on His left, "Depart from Me accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and the angels".
(Matthew 25: 32-34, 41)

Good And Evil Separated.
Righteous Destiny Wicked
Wheat Heaven New Jerusalem Barn Separation Bundles Fire
Fire
Weeds
SheepSheep Right Left GoatsGoat
Second Coming Third Coming
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming, in which all who are in tombs will hear His voice, and will come out; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5: 28-29)
These two groups are the righteous and the wicked.

  1. The Righteous. The wheat will be gathered into barns. This is the resurrection of life and those who awake from the dust of the ground to receive everlasting life (Daniel 12: 2).
    Even these verses simplify what happens. There are other resurrections that were essential to the church before these two general resurrections. 1 Corinthians 15: 22-23 describes some special resurrections of the righteous.
    For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His Coming.
  2. The Wicked. The tares will be gathered and burned. This is the resurrection of the damnation and those who awake from the dust of the ground to receive everlasting contempt. These are the wicked who were dead before the Second Coming. They do not even realize that Christ came one thousand years before. It also includes the wicked who were alive at the Second Coming and were killed.
    Speaking of Satan, the bible says that he will be as weakened and as disgraced as all the mighty men of evil.
    Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come. It arouses for you the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth. It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones. They will all respond and say to you, "even you have been made weak as we, you have become like us. Your pomp and the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol. Maggots have been spread out as your bed beneath you and worms are your covering." (Isaiah 14: 9-11)

Two Resurrections.
Even though many prophecies describe two groups of people and two resurrections, it was still possible that these events will occur on the same day. 1 Thessalonians 4 describes only the first resurrection. Other texts appear to merge the events into one resurrection with two types of people. However, Revelation adds another detail. It describes two resurrections separated by one thousand years.
... and they came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power; but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
(Revelation 20: 4-6)

  1. The First Resurrection. It occurs at the Second Coming and involves the saints only. The righteous living and the righteous dead will go to heaven. The wicked who are alive are killed. The wicked dead remain dead. It is called the resurrection of life because those who are in it will have eternal life.
  2. The Second Resurrection. It occurs at the Third Coming, after the millennium. The wicked are raised and are judged. It is called the resurrection of damnation and the resurrection of judgment because those who are in it will be judged and sentenced to death.

The Timeline Of The Great Tribulation (Persecution).
A great persecution precedes the Second Coming and the rapture.

The Rapture
Resurrection at the Second Coming For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17)
Rapture means the taking away of the righteous up in the air. The word "rapture" is not found in the Bible, but the idea of a rapture is definitely there. What is not in the Bible is that the rapture will be secret.
The Second Coming is described as a visible, loud and earth shattering event. In 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55, it is characterized by the following crucial events.

  1. The Lord descends from heaven to the air above the earth.
  2. The righteous dead are raised and their bodies changed.
  3. The righteous living have their bodies changed.
  4. Both groups rise up together to meet the Lord in the air.

This is a very crucial study because other last day prophecies point to a counterfeit second coming. Christ warns us that if we have to be told to go here or there to see Him, then it is a fraud. It will be as visible as lightning arching across the sky. He will be in the clouds not on the ground.

This doctrine is also known as the rapture. However, some groups maintain that this rapture is a secret event. I whole-heartedly disagree. This coming is loud. With a shout, with trumpets. It is visible like lightning and every eye will see Him.
The rapture is simply the event that happens when the righteous are taken to heaven. There are many differences in beliefs as to when this event occurs and the events that surround it. There is no question that the rapture comes in relation to the Second Coming, but the differences in beliefs lie in how long between the visible Second Coming of Christ, the tribulation of the church and this rapture occurs.

My view is that the church undergoes a crisis or tribulation. Then Christ visibly and audibly comes and rescues his people while the wicked perish instantly. During this rescue, Christ comes in the air, the righteous living begin to rise up, the righteous dead are resurrected Technically, this position would be called a post-tribulation visible rapture.
However, at least two variations of this doctrine are being taught, the visible and the secret rapture.

Correct The Visible Rapture
Many today advocate a two stage coming and a belief in the secret rapture, They believe that the church will be raptured at the beginning of the Seven Year Tribulation to escape persecution, and after seven years, Jesus will come in the clouds in bright glory for all to see.
But the bible teaching about the event states the following:

So, nowhere in the above texts does the evidence point to a secret coming or a two stage coming or a second chance. Again from the history we know that a prophetess named Mary Macdonald advocated these beliefs during one of her visions. It cannot be supported by scripture and it is a dangerous belief since it greatly affects our attitude towards turning to God now. It allows us to wait for a future time during a nonexistent second chance.

Incorrect The Secret Rapture
The Gap Theory Millennium


Christ reigns on the earth
Daniel 9: 25, 26 The Gap

The Christian Dispensation
Rapture Daniel 9: 27 Rapture
69 weeks (483 years) 1 week (Last 7 years on earth)
7 Weeks

49 years
Cross 62 Weeks
434 years
Tribulation begins Rapture Antichrist Pre-wrath rapture
Rapture
457 B.C. 31 Pre-Tribulation Mid-Tribulation Post-Tribulation
There are many different theories concerning when the secret rapture will occur. All secret rapture theories are based on a seven year tribulation with the antichrist who appears in the middle of this time. An invisible second coming occurs at each of the secret raptures. At the end of the seven years a visible second coming occurs
  • Pre-tribulation. Before the seven year tribulation.
  • Mid-tribulation. After 3½ years
  • Mid-tribulation Pre-wrath. In the middle of the last 3½ years
  • Mid-tribulation multiple raptures. Many secret raptures occur as people are converted
  • Post-tribulation. After the seven years

Many people believe that the rapture will be secret. (Read the history of futurism and the rapture). The righteous will start disappearing, and depending on the time of tribulation, this disappearance will come immediately before a seven year tribulation (pre-tribulation rapture), during the tribulation (mid-tribulation rapture) or after (post-tribulation rapture). The teaching is based on the following scriptures.

  1. Thief. The Lord will come as a "thief in the night". In this interpretation it means secret, but to me this simply means unexpectedly, because the same verse goes on to say that in this time there shall be a "great noise" and the earth shall be "burned up". This noisy event does not sound like a secret.
  2. Separated. "One shall be taken and the other left". This refers to a separation not a secret snatching away.

In doing more research I found the following texts used as proof of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church before the Second Coming. It is worse than grasping for straws. Let us take a look:

Incorrect No Rapture
The proponents claim that the idea of a rapture is a new teaching not taught in the old or new testament. The proofs went on to dismantle the doctrine of the "secret rapture" and all the secondary ideas surrounding it such as the two-stage coming and escaping tribulation in heaven.
They point to 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 and claim that it is not teaching a rapture but that the righteous dead and living rise up to meet God and escort Him back to earth. They will meet the returning Christ and return to the earth to rule from Jerusalem.

A Second Chance?
While I believe only one position is true, I find nothing in either position as stated above that would be a cause for alarm. Christians caught up in a different scenario (example they are in the midst of a tribulation and they have not been raptured) might be tempted to lose faith and be discouraged, but if we learn now to focus on Jesus and not on what we feel we will survive the ordeal.
However, what I do take issue with in some of the positions is in the teaching about what occurs after the rapture. Some teach that there will be a second chance for everyone. This might lead people now to neglect their salvation in favor of a future time when the evidence will be clearer and they can make an informed decision. Meanwhile, they will essentially suffer no serious consequences from a life of total disregard now. In fact they can have their cake and eat it too. They can live a life of sin now and have heaven in the future.
What if there is no second chance? What if God needs to see your faith now? Faith is trusting despite the reasons not to. No one exercises faith in a second chance scenario.
There is no evidence, not even a slight one of a second chance. In doing this study we appealed to these principles advocated in the methodology. First is to read the entire words surrounding a text. Not to read a text in isolation. Secondly, although I see no evidence for the alternate interpretation. I appeal to the preponderance of the evidence to show that the Second Coming is loud, visible and destructive to the earth. Finally, take the safe approach.

The False Second Coming
The bible predicts a false second coming. So how will each group react? Now we need to analyze the possible effects of different beliefs during the false second coming.
These are the three major expectations about the Second Coming.

Every Eye Sees Jesus
The question is asked, if the earth is round how can every eye see Him? Logically, from a far distance only half the earth can see a very distant object like the sun. One satellite in geostationary orbit can theoretically be seen by only one third of the earth. So how can every eye on earth see Jesus Christ in the air at the same time at the Second Coming?

Repeat Repetition and Enlargement
EventText Comment
Astronomical signs Isaiah 13: 10; 25: 7; Matthew 24: 29; Mark 13: 24-25; Luke 21: 25; Habakuk 3: 10-11 Signs in the sun, moon and stars
Second Coming Isaiah 13: 4,5; Daniel 2: 34-35, 44; 7: 13-14; 12: 1; Matthew 24: 30; Mark 13: 26; Luke 21: 27; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 14; Revelation 19; Revelation 19: 11-15; Christ rescues the church
Righteous resurrected Isaiah 25: 8; 26: 2,14,19,20; Ezekiel 37; Daniel 12: 1-2; Matthew 24: 31; Mark 13: 27; Luke 21: 28; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 20; 1 Thessalonians 4 Righteous resurrected and receive immortal bodies
Earth destroyed Isaiah 13: 5,9,11,13; 14: 9; Revelation 19: 18,21 The earth is destroyed during the second coming
Wicked killed Isaiah 14: 19-21; Revelation 20: 15; Revelation 14, 19; 2 Thessalonians 2: 8 The living wicked are killed, the wicked dead remain dead
Millennium Isaiah 13: 20; 14: 7; 24: 1-23; 26: 20; Revelation 20: 4,5,7 For 1000 years the saints live in heaven while Satan is trapped on earth.
Satan bound Isaiah 13: 21-22; 14: 12-20; 24: 22; Revelation 20: 1-3,7,10 Satan is confined to earth with no humans to tempt and no one to hurt
Righteous judge the wicked Isaiah 14: 2; Revelation 19: 15; 20: 4 The righteous see why the wicked are rejected.
Third Coming Revelation 21 The New Jerusalem comes to earth at the end of the millennium
Wicked resurrected Isaiah 14: 9; Revelation 20: 5; Revelation 14, 20; Daniel 12 The wicked are resurrected to face the final judgment
Battle of Armageddon Revelation 19, 20; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 14; Numbers 14: 35-45 The wicked fight back after the judgment is reached.
Punished by fire Isaiah 14: 21-22; 26: 21; Revelation 20: 15; 21: 8,27 Fire from God destroys them
The second coming is referred to in over 1800 verses. Seventeen Old Testament books and two New Testament books are devoted to this event. Some events are a prophecy of this conflict.

The Second Coming
ProphecyEvent Text
The Second Coming
Luke 21: 27 Second Coming Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory
Daniel 2: 44 "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
Daniel 7: 13-14 "I kept looking in the night visions, And then, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
Revelation 19: 11, 14-15 And I saw heaven opened, and saw, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
Revelation 8: 1
Seventh Seal
Second Coming When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
Revelation 11: 15, 19
The Seventh Trumpet
Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Revelation 16: 17-21
The Seventh Plague
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done." And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.
Matthew 24: 30-31 Second Coming and rapture Rapture And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with a Great Trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Mark 13: 26-27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.
Revelation 14: 14-15 Harvest of the Righteous. Then I looked and saw, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like the Son of Man , having a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 Rapture Rapture For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Daniel 12: 1-2 Resurrection Rapture"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. ... and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
Ezekiel 37: 12,14 Resurrection RaptureTherefore prophesy to them and say, "Thus says the Lord God, Look, I will open up your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people and I will bring you into the land of Israel. ... I will put my Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it."
Revelation 20: 4-6 First Rapture Resurrection and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
The Millennium
Zechariah 14: 3-4 Third Coming Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in the middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move towards the north and the other half towards the south.
Revelation 20: 5, 7-8 Second Resurrection Rapture The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
Revelation 14: 17-19 Harvest of the Wicked. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one with power over fire came out from the altar and called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle saying, Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe
Daniel 12: 2 ... but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.   2 Timothy 2: 15 Time: 60 minutes
Print: 13 pages
Copyright     Updated : January 20, 2004
Credits:
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)