Differences Between the Rapture And Second Coming
The second coming of Christ is the subject of this post. This prophetic return of Christ to earth from heaven will take place at the end of the seven-year tribulation, at the Battle of Armageddon. Following the second coming of Christ will be the 1,000 year reign of Christ, which is also called the millennium and the Kingdom of God. The marriage supper of the Lamb will take place on earth, during the millennium. Immediately preceding the second coming of Christ will be the marriage of the Lamb in Heaven, between Christ (the Bridegroom) and the raptured church (the bride). A distinction will be made between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ; the rapture occurs first.
A description of these future events can be found in the following chapters and verses of the Bible:
Concerning the return of Christ to earth by “the saints,” or by “the holy ones:”
Zechariah 14:1-16: vs 5 says that Christ will be accompanied by: “6918. qadosh.” Definition: sacred, holy. NASB Translation: consecrated (1), Holy (8), holy (50), Holy One (44), holy one (3), holy ones (6), one is holy (1), saints (2).
Zechariah 14:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You.
Zechariah 14:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
Of the translations that say that Christ will return with “the saints” are the KJV and NKJV. Of the translations that say that Christ will return with “the holy ones,” are the NASB, NIV, HCSB, NLT, ESV.
Zechariah’s prophecy was made to Jews, about a Jewish matter, which is the return of Messiah to defeat the attackers of Israel (all of the nations) at the Battle of Armageddon (Zech 14:1-3) (487 B.C.). Consider the significance of the words, “all of the nations.” Relate that phrase to the world of today where the majority of the nations of the world oppose Israel, especially through the United Nations. Consider where the United States Of America might fit into such a scenario.
Zechariah would not have had any knowledge of: “the New Testament saints of God, the born again believers of Christ, or the church” (the church having been caught up to heaven, having gone before the judgment seat of Christ, and standing with Christ at the marriage of the lamb, awaiting their return to earth, with Christ to stand on the Mount Of Olives). “Holy ones,” best suits the New Testament saints, which are the bride of Christ; Israel is not the bride of Christ. Consider 2 Corinthians 11:2, where the Apostle Paul addresses the church as being the bride of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
A number of years ago, a Christian magazine wrote an article about the differences in the preaching and teaching of Christ, as opposed to that of the Apostle Paul. Whereas, Paul emphasized “salvation by grace through faith,” Christ’s teachings were more related to “the Kingdom.” Consider the following verse of scripture that relates to the time of tribulation. Our Lord’s Words have been changed and taken out of context by many people.
Matthew 24:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 And this “gospel of the kingdom” will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Note: Many people say, “the end will not come until the gospel of Christ has been preached to all of the world.” The correct wording of Christ is, “the gospel of the kingdom” must be preached, and then the end will come (“with that end being the second coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation,” my words). Christ had taught about the Kingdom to Jews in the past. Now, in the Mount of Olives discourse, He explains the importance of teaching “that same gospel of the Kingdom.” In the Gospel of Matthew, there are 55 verses that relate to “the kingdom” (New King James Version translation). This note is not designed to diminish the importance of teaching the Gospel of Christ, but to state the correct words that our Lord spoke in relation to a very important time of future history.
Consider also the next verse of scripture that, too, has been incorrectly taught. The words of the verse relate directly to the second coming of Christ, and not to the rapture of the church. No one knows the day when the rapture will take place, either, but it is important to be correct when applying scriptures to sermons and lessons.
Matthew 24:36 New King James Version (NKJV)
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
Matthew 24:29-31 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Note: Vs 30-31 Christ returns with angels. The angels will gather Jews from all over the world (Deu 7:6) to Jerusalem for judgment (Matthew 24:40-41). These Jews had missed the rapture because of their lack of belief and saving faith in Christ when the rapture took place.
Mark 13:24-27: vs 24 Christ returns with His angels, who will gather His elect from all over the world (the Jews, Deu 7:6).
Luke 21:25-28: No mention is made of anyone accompanying Christ. Note: Luke was not an eyewitness of Christ; he was “an investigative reporter” (Luke 1:1-4) who interviewed eyewitnesses.
Note. The message of Christ to the disciples in the Mount of Olives discourse dealt with Jews. There was no detailed teaching by Christ to Jews about “the church.” Christ said that He would “build His church” (Matthew 16:18), but it would be His disciples who would take that message to unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, which would not take place until after the events of the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), when the Holy Spirit began to dwell within the spirits of previously unbelieving Jews that came to belief in Christ as Messiah (Acts 2). However, it was in John 14:1-6 that Christ told His disciples that He would come back to earth from Heaven, and would take them back to Heaven with Him. This passage is a teaching of the rapture of the church, of which all believing Jews and Gentiles become members through their belief in Christ as Messiah.
Just as Christ discussed the rapture of the church in John 14:1-6, the Apostle Paul, also spoke about Christ’s catching up of the New Testament saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). In Paul’s letters, he shows that when Christ comes for His followers that He will come in the air, and will not touch planet earth until the time that He sets foot on the Mount of Olives at the Battle of Armageddon (Zech 14, Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Rev 19).
Notice that in each scripture of the rapture of the church (believers in Christ), it is a joyous occasion. However, at the second coming of Christ, His purpose is judgment, with earth-dwelling unbelievers being in great fear and uncertainty, with Christ’s judgment imminent (Zech 14:12-14; Matt 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 13:25-27).
Notice that at the time of the rapture of the Church, Christ will take all born again believers in Christ with Him to Heaven (John 14:6). At the second coming of Christ, Christ will return to earth with His raptured believers, where He will stand on the Mount of Olives at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4).
From the Revelation verses below, consider the judgment and fear that Christ is inflicting on the unbelieving earth dwellers at the Battle of Armageddon. (Rev 19:11-16; 17-18; 19-21). Consider the words, “earth dwellers.”
Revelation 3:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.
Revelation 6:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?”
Revelation 13:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.
It should be known that The Swindoll Study Bible uses the New Living Translation. Many people trust the judgment of Dr. Swindoll in choosing the NLT. Consider the following information on Dr. Swindoll.
From the Revelation verses below, notice that the marriage of the lamb takes place in heaven. (Rev 19:7-8)
Christ, the bridegroom, and His bride (the raptured church/born again believers in Christ) return to earth from heaven. Christ will speak victory over the forces of the Anti-Christ. The marriage supper will take place on earth after the victory at Armageddon, at the end of the tribulation. The Bride, the Bridegroom, and the guests will be present at the marriage supper during the millennium. The guests are the Old Testament saints and the tribulation saints (Rev 19:9; 11-21).
Revelation 19 New King James Version (NKJV)
Heaven Exults over Babylon
1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Christ on a White Horse
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
The Beast and His Armies Defeated
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Please follow this blog.
John Ankerberg, founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America
Jimmy DeYoung – Signs of the Last Days
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml
Renald Showers, http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc.