Torrey - Christ -8.3- The Manner of Christ's Coming Again

III. THE MANNER OF CHRIST'S COMING AGAIN. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 — "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: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Matthew 25:31-32 — "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: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, s a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 — "For the mystery in iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

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." Zechariah 14:4-5 — "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of ()lives, 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 LoP, t) my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."

It is evident from a comparison of the above passages that the coming again of Jesus Christ has various steps or stages:

FIRST STAGE: In the air where believers in Him are caught up to meet Him.

SECOND STAGE: To the earth. In this latter stage His saints come with Him. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 — "To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." Colossians 3:4 RV — "When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory." 1 Thessalonians 4:14 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

In the air Christ comes for His own; to the earth He comes with them.

A considerable interval may take place between these two stages of the Lord's coming. (See Luke 21:36 — "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" and 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 — "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." These verses seem to hint that the whole period of the great tribulation intervenes between the coming of Jesus in the air for His earthly saints and His coming to the earth with His saints.

There are not, however, two comings, but two stages in the one coming.

Bearing in mind the distinction between these two will help to solve many of the seeming discrepancies between different texts of the Bible on this subject.

THIRD STAGE: A succession of events follows His coming to the earth. Acts 1:11 — "Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Hebrews 9:28 — "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." ("Shall appear," literally "shall be seen.") Revelation 1:7 — "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

First Proposition: Jesus Christ will come again bodily and visibly. Matthew 24:26-27 — "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers: believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

Second Proposition: Jesus Christ will come again with great publicity. (Compare to Revelation 1:7 — "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.") These "inner chamber" Christs and "obscure corner" Christs have long since been predicted and exploded. Even at His coming for His saints there seems to be a large measure of publicity about it. ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 — "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.") A "secret rapture of believers" does not seem to be supported in Scripture. Matthew 24:30 — "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Third Proposition: The Son of man ( Jesus Christ) will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. "In the clouds." Compare to Exodus 19:9 — "And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD." Exodus 34:5 — "And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD." Psalm 97:1-2 — "The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne." Matthew 17:5 — "While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." <19A403> Psalm 104:3 — "Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; who maketh the clouds His chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind." Isaiah 19:1 — "The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it."

From these passages it appears that it was Jehovah who came in the clouds; therefore, to say that Jesus is coming in the clouds is to say that He is coming as a divine one or in divine glory. Matthew 16:27 — "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." Mark 8:38 — "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." 2 Thessalonians 1:7 RV — "And to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire."

Fourth Proposition: Jesus Christ will come in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. Revelation 16:15 — "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 — "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."

Fifth Proposition: Jesus Christ will come as a thief — unannounced, without warning, unexpectedly, suddenly.

The world will be taken up with its usual occupations. Matthew 24:37-39 — "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

The attempt to lay out a complete and fully defined chart of events leading up to the Lord's coming loses sight of this clearly revealed fact about His coming. Our part is to see to it that that day does not come upon us as a snare. Luke 21:34-35 — "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. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth."