THIS IS THE LORD FOR WHOM WE HAVE WAITED
And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”
(Isaiah 25:9, NASB)
Over a period of forty days, Messiah presented Himself alive after His suffering (Acts 1:3); and on the day of His ascension, ‘as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you watched Him go into heaven,”’ (Acts 1:10-11). Jesus Christ will return in the same way as He ascended into heaven – in the clouds! This appearance of Messiah, at the end of this present age, has become one of the most disputed subjects in theological discussions.
In an effort to establish Scriptures regarding Messiah’s Second Appearance on a firm foundation, we studied various passages in order to gain a better understanding. In this particular writing, we will draw these studies together in order to establish, if possible, a firm foundation in our expectation.
According to the prophets and apostles, Messiah will appear twice, once to establish salvation from sin, and a second time to establish a salvation without reference to sin – the salvation of our bodies, (Heb 9:27-28). This second appearance will not be a secret and quiet affair, for the whole earth will be aware of Messiah’s appearance in the clouds, from one end of the sky to the other, (Mat 24:25-28). Also, this appearance will be “in power and glory,” for, ‘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 all the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 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 glory,’ (Mat 24:29-30). [See also the breaking of the 6th and 7th Seals in the book of Revelation.]
We also established that the Second Appearance of Messiah is inseparable to the ‘revelation of the sons of God;’ for when Christ appears in His magnificent glory, the children of God will partake of the resurrection, and they will also be revealed in glorified bodies, (1 John 3:2; Col 3:4). Much has been written on the resurrection of the saints, for this climactic transformation from a corruptible body to an incorruptible state of eternal existence (1 Cor 15:20-26, 42-58), will complete salvation for all those who waited on Messiah, also for those who fell asleep in Christ, (1 Thes 4:13-18; Zech 14:4-9; Is 25:6-9).
The revelation of Messiah in all His glory to complete salvation for ‘a people of His own possession,’ His pure and undefiled Bride, will be a climactic event – one that has never occurred since the foundation of the world, nor thereafter. It is written that the whole creation is in travail awaiting this glorious moment; for indeed, the resurrection of the saints will also usher in the restoration of creation, (Rom 8:18-25).
The resurrection has always been THE HOPE of every saint who believes unto the salvation of God in Christ Jesus, the promised Messiah. No suffering, how severe it might be, even to die for Christ, can ever outweigh the glory which will be revealed in those who partake of Messiah, (2 Cor 4:7-18). We will evidently face persecution for our faith in Christ Jesus, and even more so as the Day of the Lord draws near, (Mat 24:9-14; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 14:9-16). Yet, as we see these things happening, ‘straighten up and lift up your heads, for your redemption is drawing near,’ (Luke 21:28). We are sons of light and not of darkness, ‘so let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober’ (1 Thes 5:4-5); for, ‘While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape,’ (1 Thes 5:3).
Indeed, when Messiah appears with the blowing of the 7th and Last Trumpet (Rev 11:15-18; Rev 19), the proverb, “The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night,” will prove to be true; for the day will be just like the Days of Noah, ‘For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage, until that day that Noah entered the ark…and they did not understand until the flood came and took them away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be,’ (Mat 24:37-39). Thus this proverb occurs in the book of Revelation at the blowing of the 7th Trumpet, stating, ‘Behold, I am coming like a thief, Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garment, so that he will not walk about naked and men will see his shame,’ (Rev 16:15). [See Rev 16:1-21 to establish the context of this verse.]