IT WILL BE NO SECRET
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him.
The whole earth, and even the heavens, will be conscious of Messiah’s Second Appearance! In briefing the disciples on the signs of the end of the age and His Second Appearance (Mat 24:3), Messiah stated clearly that those who will be alive at that time should not seek for Him in secret secluded places, saying, ‘If therefore they say to you, “Behold, He is in the wilderness,” do not go forth, or, “Behold, He is in the inner rooms,” do not believe them,’ (Mat 24:26). On the contrary, those who will be alive will ALL know that He is coming, ‘For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Where the corps is, there the vulture will gather,’ (Mat 24:27-28).
This passage in Matthew 24 continues to establish that the climactic Second Appearance of Messiah will ONLY occur AFTER the great tribulation and AFTER the execution of God’s fierce wrath, for Messiah states, ‘But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then 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 glory,’ (Mat 24:29-30, NASB). [Emphasis added by the author.]
It is now, when the 7th and Last Trumpet of the archangel sounds, that the WHOLE BODY OF MESSIAH will partake of the resurrection, for then ‘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,’ (Mat 24:31, NASB). [See 1 Thes 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15.]
Messiah actually warns in this passage that we should heed His words concerning these latter days, for the greatest peril to the Body of Christ during this time will not be the wars, or famines, or earthquakes, or persecution, but FALSE PROPHETS. In fact, Messiah’s first words to His disciples in this particular passage is, ‘See to it that no one misleads you’ (Mat 24:4), and specifically pertaining to His appearance, He states, ‘For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the very elect. Behold, I have told you in advance,’ (Mat 24:24-25). [See also 2 Thes 2:1-12.]
In short, Messiah warns us that the Second Appearance of Messiah will be a subject distorted by false prophets who will even be able to execute great signs and wonders, enticing the Body to run after secret appearances of the Messiah. Messiah states clearly that His Second Appearance will be VISIBLE to the whole earth, like lightning covering the sky from one end to the other, and ALL the tribes of the earth will mourn as they recognise Him in all His glory. Messiah also clarifies that He the sign of His Second Appearance, namely changes in the sun, moon, and stars, will NOT OCCUR unless the great tribulation has occurred. It is only now that His angels will gather ALL of ‘the sons of God’ from the four winds to ONE place to partake in the resurrection, likening this gathering to vultures gathering around a corpse.
In the second epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul warns this congregation that the Second Appearance of Messiah will not occur UNLESS a great falling away (apostasy) occurs, and UNLESS the Lawless Man (Antichrist) is revealed, (2 Thess 2:1-3). This warning absolutely aligns with Messiah’s warning in Matthew 24:9-15. Paul also warns that this period of time will be accompanied by GREAT DECEPTION, warning the Body to practice discernment and to nurture a love for the truth, (2 Thes 2:8-12).
The Hebrew prophets predicted that Messiah would only appear twice, first as the Unblemished Lamb of God to establish redemption from sin (Is 53), and a second time as the Lion of Judah to establish a literal redemption for His Kingdom, ushering in His rulership over the earth, (Zech 14:4-21). [See also Heb 9:27-28.] This Second Appearance, to assume rulership over the earth (Rev 11:15-18), and to redeem His people and creation from the curse of futility (Rom 8:16-25), will not be a quiet and secretive occasion!
I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one takes your crown.
(Rev 3:11 NASB)