A dear friend of mine e-mailed me to ask what the scriptures reveal concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He asked:
Will there be two
"returns of Christ"? One at the beginning of the 1,000/yr reign of
Christ, and the other when Christ comes once Satan is loosed (and they
At which one of those would we be raptured up? Could it be, that we
won't be raptured in the first return, but we will remain here, and
He'll come to us and setup His kingdom here? But the 2nd time, we'll be
raptured out as He comes to destroy the evil ones?
I wrote this answer back to him:
God has given us many timetables in the Bible for when all scripture will be fulfilled. In fact, Genesis chapter one is the very first. The seven days of creation holds one of the keys to what is going to happen in the book of Revelation at Christ's Second Coming and His 1,000 year reign after His return. The seven days of creation is how mankind has gotten his work week, but it is also very prophetic.
Leviticus 23: 3 3 " 'There are six days when
you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred
assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a
Sabbath to the LORD. At the Second Coming of Christ, we will enter a day of rest that will last 1,000 years. I go into great detail about this in my book, "I See Him!...I See Him! God's WORD to Witness By." and present the evidence from the Bible that detail how the seven days of creation and our work week from which it came will be prophetically fulfilled in the last days. One of my favorite timetables God has given us for the fulfillment of all scripture is the Seven Feasts of Israel. You can find these Feasts listed all in one chapter of the Bible- Leviticus chapter twenty-three. God gave these annual celebrations to Moses for the chosen people to celebrate. The Jewish people have been celebrating these Feasts God commanded them to keep for approximately 3,500 years now. Think about this: These Seven Feasts began being celebrated nearly 1,500 years before the birth of Jesus. It truly amazes me what God has given us in the Bible to show us He exists, and that His Holy Word is absolute truth. As to how the Seven Feasts pertain to Bible Prophecy- just as the Seven Feasts have appointed set times to be celebrated by God's
command, prophecy has appointed set times to be fulfilled at His
Leviticus 23: 4 4 " 'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times
1) The Feast of Passover and (2) Feast of Unleavened Bread are done
together and are the first Feasts God commanded the Jewish people to keep. These Feasts foreshadow the sacrifice Jesus performed for us when
shedding His blood and body on the cross. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by dying at His appointed time- in the week of Passover and Unleavened Bread. He became the everlasting sacrifice for mankind's sins. No longer is animal sacrifice that gave God no pleasure in (Hebrews 9: 11-14) required for the forgiveness of sin. Animal sacrifice for our sins was only a foreshadow of what God was going to do- sacrifice His only Begotten Son. God did this for us because He is Holy and a Loving Father who wants to have a relationship with us and is not broken because of sin.
The first four feasts above God gave his chosen people to keep were all fulfilled at the First Coming of Jesus
Christ. The last three Feasts will be fulfilled at our Lord's Second
and final Coming. The next three feasts MUST BE FULFILLED IN THERE
PROPER SEQUENCE as God has revealed them to us. The final three Feasts
3) The Feast of Firstfruits is next, and it is the prophetic foreshadow of the resurrection of Jesus
Christ. The day after the feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread ends, the Feast of Firstfruits begins and it is a one day celebration. Jesus arose from the grave on this exact day nearly 2,000 years ago. God's timetable is so accurate that Jesus arose on the exact day God appointed Him to do so.
Interesting: The Jewish people do not celebrate this feast any
longer even though God commanded them to do so. Zola Levitt (Messianic
Jew) believes it is because the Jews know it symbolizes the
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore, they do not want to
honor Him by celebrating this feast.
4) The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled 50 days after Jesus arose from
the grave. The disciples, as well as all followers of Jesus Christ, received the Holy Spirit for the first time and now God can live in our
temple- the spirit that God gave to all man. Our spirit is now alive
with the Holy Spirit living in those of us who accept God's grace through His Son Jesus Christ.
After the 1,000 years is over, Satan is unleashed one last time to
tempt those who survived the Tribulation and those who came to life
during the Millennium. Great numbers will fall and after this short
period of time, when Satan does his final tempting, Jesus ends it for
good. THE EIGHTH DAY(my term for it only) BEGINS NOW. The Eighth Day lasts
forever and never ends. Heaven and a new earth are united as one and
we will live with our Lord forever, enjoying fellowship with Him and
all our brothers and sisters, the angels, and heavenly hosts.
I believe the feast of Trumpets could be fulfilled at any time. The key to understanding when Christ might return is knowing the many timetables written in scripture. We must be ready. We are to make no predictions when Christ will return, but the Bible warns in many places to look for the signs, be on watch, for the Lord's return.
5) The Feast of Trumpets: This is the Rapture of the church
(believers) to meet Jesus in the air (I Thessalonian 4: 13-18 (verse 17
is the rapture). We know this is the rapture and not Christ's Second
Coming because Jesus NEVER TOUCHES THE GROUND as he will at the end
days (Zechariah 14: 4-5). Those raptured will receive their heavenly
body at this time (1 Corinthians 15: 51-52)
God loves trumpets. When Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago, this Feast started with the sounding of Trumpets. When the trumpets from the Temple sounded, all of the Jewish people would immediately stop whatever they were doing and go to the Temple to worship God. Meanwhile, the Gentiles (non-believers) would continue whatever they were doing and stay put- not going to worship the Lord at the Temple.
When the fulfillment of this Feast happens, it will be the same as described above. This time it will be the believers in Jesus Christ who will hear the trumpets and go to heaven to be with the Lord to worship Him forever and the non-believers will be left behind to face the Great Tribulation.
Trumpets and the shout of the
Lord will happen at the Rapture (I Thessalonian 4: 16). This trumpet is
the same one revealed in Revelation 4: 1, When the trumpet says "Come
up Hitter"- THIS IS THE RAPTURE. I Thessalonian 4: 13-18 and Revelation
4: 1 are speaking of the exact same event.
When the Rapture happens, all the followers of Jesus Christ will be safely in heaven, spending the rest of eternity with the Lord. The Great Tribulation we read about in the book of Revelation now begins. The antichrist will be given full power over much of mankind. During the Great Tribulation, anyone coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord will need to go into hiding or become a martyr and be slain for their faith. The book of Revelation declares believers will be beheaded for not giving up their faith in Jesus and for not worshiping the antichrist (Revelation 20: 4). This is the way it has always been for believers when persecuted by those who hate the God of the Bible. The antichrist will be at war with believers, and especially with God.
6) The Day of Atonement. With the Feast of Trumpets fulfilled by the
rapture, God will turn his focus back to his chosen people- the Jewish
people. The day of Atonement is for them. They will come to know that
Jesus is their Messiah. The remnant of Jews will come to know Jesus
Christ (as will people from every tribe and nation). But it will be
horrible for them because this is happening during the Tribulation.
Those that do survive the Tribulation will live to see the last and final
Feast fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Those who were raptured before the
Great Tribulation will be coming back to see it fulfilled also.
7) The Feast of Tabernacles. THIS IS THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
being fulfilled. God makes his home on earth with mankind for 1,000
years. This time Jesus feet does touch down on the Mount of Olives
with all of his saints from I Thessalonian 4: 13-18 thus fulfilling
Zechariah14: 16. The Millennium reign of Jesus Christ begins with the
fulfillment of this last feast. Jesus sits at the throne of his
ancestor, King David, as Lord forever and ever.
Revelation 3: 3 3Remember therefore how thou
hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou
shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not
know what hour I will come upon thee.
This is only the tip of the iceberg in studying the Feasts and Gods timetables of prophecy. There is so much to learn from what I wrote above. For a full
explanation of what you just read, please read my book you just purchased, "I See Him! I
See Him! God's WORD to Witness By" chapters 27-34 to see the uniqueness
of how the Bible is written and how Jesus fulfills all that is written.
Your brother in Christ,