The Events of the Coming of Jesus
Carlton Foster – March 28, 2020
I like to listen to many sermons on the same topic, so I would spend many hours flipping through the sermons on the Internet with the same topic. I do this because I want to hear the different pastor’s perspectives on the selected topic. The interesting thing is that there are variations in the interpretations of the topic. I recently selected the “Events of the coming of Jesus” and noticed that most pastors have the same Bible verses, but none compare and contrast them to find the common message. Today I will look at the Bible passages which speak about the events of the coming of Jesus.
The disciples of Jesus, as well as us, we are concerned and wanted to know when will be the end of the earth. They asked Jesus, “Tell us when all this will happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus answered their question in Matthew 24. Jesus said we will hear of wars and rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes, Christians will be persecuted and killed, many false prophets will appear, sin will be rampant everywhere, and when the gospel reaches all nations, then the end will come.
Jesus said the day is coming when we will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about— (a) the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place (vs 15). He said, “(b) Immediately after the anguish of those days, (c) the sun will be darkened, (d) the moon will give no light, (e) the stars will fall from the sky, (f) and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then at last, (g) the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and (h) there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. (i) And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. (vs 29-31)”
The events of the anguish of those days (b) are mentioned in Revelation 13:16-17, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or their foreheads; that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. God will see the anguish of the saints, and he will send an angel to proclaim, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (Rev 14:8).” This will begin the events of sun, moon, and stars (c).
John the Revelator was also given the same sequences, he said, “I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places (Rev 6:12-14).”
Jesus said this is the sequence of events before coming of Jesus; we just need to watch for these signs (if we are alive then); some of these events are many 100th of years apart. We believed that the event “a” and “b” – Sacrilegious object that causes desecration in the Holy Place and the anguish of those days took place between 538 – 1798 BC when the Papacy assert the power to forgive sins, to be worshiped, and is the only representative of God on earth, and eventually the capture of the Pope by a French General which terminated the persecution of the saints. Some believed that events “c” to “e” took place between the year 1780 to 1833 (Ellen G. White, “Great Controversy”, GC 306.1, and “Will France Receive Light?”, EGWE 237.4), while others believe that the events of the sun and moon are in the future when the ‘heavens are shaken’ (Rev 8:10-12).
Jesus said that when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. The activities before his coming will be the same as it was in the days of Noah – people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat, or like the days of Lot: people went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building. Jesus said “People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood of Noah’s days came and swept them all away, or the fire and burning sulfur of Lots time, rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. (vs 39)” He continues to say, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left (Mat 25:31-33).”
The Apostle Paul also was inspired and was shown the activities of that day. He said, “The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4: 16-17)”. Jesus also gives an example of how his coming will be, he said “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes (Luke 17:24). John the revelator was also inspired on the events of that day, he said, “Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen! (Rev 1:7)” He further said in Revelation 6:15-16, “Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.”
After this event, John said he saw an Angel saying to 4 angels, “Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.” This angel sealed 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. John said he was asked to take the scroll from the angel and eat it, which he did. They told John that he must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings. That he must use the scripture to share his testimonies with the saints of God. He was shown prophetic events that will occur on earth up to the end of time. Then John looked, and heard a single eagle crying loudly as it flew through the air, “Terror, terror, terror to all who belong to this world because of what will happen when the last three angels blow their trumpets.”
John said Jesus then broke the 7th Seal and there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.
Then he heard a mighty voice from the Temple say to the seven angels, “Go your ways and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.” Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth, and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake. After this angel threw the incense to the earth, seven more angels started throwing things to the earth. One calamity follows after the other: fire burns one-third of the trees and grasses; the sea became blood and one-third of the sea creatures died; ships were destroyed; the rivers and lakes were poisoned and many people died from drinking the water. As the angels continue to throw things to the earth, one-third of the day and the night were dark – there was no sun or moon (Revelation 8:10-12).
As the fifth angel blew the trumpets, the bottomless pit was opened and huge locust looking things belonging to the king of the bottomless pit came out of it and they harm and torture the people who were not sealed, but they did not kill them. The sixth angel came out with a scroll and let loose four other angels to kill one-third of the people. Those who did not die continue to commit sinful acts. Then another angel came forward and spoke to the seven thunders and they responded. This angel spoke and said, “There will be no more delay. When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets.”
John said he saw the seventh angel blew the trumpets, and loud voices were shouting in heaven: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” John then saw in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there were earthquakes and terrible hailstorms. Then seven angels started pouring bowls of wrath on the earth. All the evil people suffered and tried to retaliate.
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, “It is finished!” Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. Every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below.
John saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. He saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds.
John saw the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev 19:20). Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death (after the Millennium). And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
John said he also saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. He said they were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
John said all the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.” As he watched, then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” He said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then the elder said to him, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
In summary, the sequence of events that already took place are the following:
a) The sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place (started in the year 538 AD).
The current event:
a) The anguish of those days (started after 538 AD and will continue to the start of the next major event).
These are the pending major events:
1) The Beast will force all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or their foreheads (Revelation 13:16-17).
2) The sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, and the stars will fall from the sky (3rd and 4th trumpet in Revelation 8:10-12).
3) The powers in the heavens will be shaken (when the angel blows the 5th trumpet).
a) The bottomless pit will open and huge locust looking things belonging to the king of the bottomless pit will come out of it and they will harm and torture the people who were not sealed (144,000).
b) The 6th angel letting loose four other angels to kill one-third of the people.
c) Every island will disappear, and all the mountains will level, there will be a terrible hailstorm with hailstones falling from the sky onto the people below.
4) The sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth.
a) The angel will blow the 7th trumpet and the wicked will hide in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They will try to hide from the face of Jesus and His wrath.
b) The believers who have died will rise from their graves, and together with living, will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
c) The righteous dead, both great and small, will stand before God’s throne while the books are being opened.
d) All will be judged according to their deeds (in both the 1st and 2nd resurrections).
e) Death and the grave will be thrown into the lake of fire (during the 2nd resurrections).