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December 21st Is Right Around The Corner….

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13 (Part #3)… Or, The King Of Kings Is In The House!

SIH STSTA ICONIn this blog series we’ve been looking at the teachings of Matthew chapter 24.

In part one, the Lord has shown us that no man, nor angel, will know the exact time of Christ’s coming and the end of the world.  From this we have drawn the conclusion that the 2012 theory cannot be relied upon, and therefore, must be discredited as pure speculation with no foundation in fact.

In part two, the Lord has taught us the ten groups of signs that reveal to us the general time frame of His coming and the world’s end.  We have seen that these signs are present in our world and many of these are increasing in intensity and frequency.  This allows us to know that the Lord’s coming is possible at any time.

Currently, we are in the time frame of waiting.  As we wait on the Lord to come back and waiting for the world to come to an end.  During this waiting period the world is slowly decaying around us.  (Roms 8:20-23)   The Lord’s second coming will begin the final phase of the world coming to an end.  This final phase will greatly accelerate the world’s ending.  So now, let’s see what will take place when the Lord actually comes back and the process leading to the world’s end as it enters it’s last stage.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Mat 24:29-31)

THE STUDY:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”

The Greek word “tribulation” simply means to be burdened, to be pressured, or to face trials.  What is the “tribulation of those days”?  It is simply the different signs of his coming that we have already studied (false teaching, wars, famines, persecution of God’s people etc.).  In and of themselves, they are tribulation that we face on a day to day basis.  After Christ’s coming, however, far greater tribulation will fall upon the world.

In our text, at the coming of Christ, great changes will take place in the heavens. Christ’s glory and power are so great, He will outshine the moon, stars and even the sun.  In comparison to Christ, all of these will appear as if they are dark.  Or perhaps, the sun, moon and stars will actually be darkened and misplaced at His coming.  Remember, this is God, Himself, coming in the heavens to take His people home to be with Him; who knows exactly what effect His coming will have on the created world?

“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.” 

Please notice that the “secret rapture” of God’s people is not taught in Scripture.  Here, we find that when Christ comes back to take us home to be with Him the entire world will see Him (Rev 1:7).  Both lost and saved will see Him as He appears in the heavens.  Again, when He comes, we see Him coming with “power and great glory” … this is probably why the heavens will grow dark at His coming.

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Here is the great purpose for His coming back in the heavens.  It is to take the living saved (and the bodies of the dead saved) home to be with Him (1 Thess 4:13-18).  This will entirely remove the saved from the world before His wrath falls against sinful mankind.   Note, that the angels play a big role in retrieving the Lord’s people from the earth.

This event is the FIRST reaping as described in Rev 14:14-20:

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

The SECOND reaping is the beginning of His wrath falling upon sinful mankind in Rev 14:16-20:

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”

The promise of His second coming, and of the saints removal from the earth before His wrath falls, is commonly described as “the Rapture”.  This is the event we are talking about in Matt 24:29-31. This is the beginning of the last phase of the earth’s existence.  Within a short period of time, immediately after the Great Tribulation, the earth will be totally renovated preparing the way for our Lord’s return to the earth to reign. (2 Pet 3:12-13, Isa 65:17, Rev 21:1-5)  These promises are a source of great encouragement and strength to believers everywhere. (2 Thess 2:1-2)

Today, with joy in our hearts, let’s live our lives for Him!  ….

 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luk 21:28)

In our final part to this study, we will be seeing the end result of these events and what our responsibility is concerning these events.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”  “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”  http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Year 2012, The 66 Ancient Books, and File 13… Or, The End Of The World Revealed (Part #1)

SIH STSTA ICON2012… just four little numbers that in the past few years have become a BIG DEAL!  What used to be simply a descriptor, for a 12 month segment of time on coming calendars, has become synonymous with the end of all mankind.  How did this happen?  Well, to tell you the truth, I think it takes a Mayan scholar and historian to really get the answer straight; there is much controversy over the whole theory.  I can’t read the Mayan language, nor do I understand how the Mayans went about creating their calendar; so to be fair to supporters of this theory, I think I’ll leave the explanation of all this to them.  If you are interested this link may help you…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon

As far as I’m concerned, the only area of interest for me is … “What does God’s Word say about the world ending in 2012?”   From my perspective, God’s Word (made up of 66 separate books, Genesis – Revelation) is the only reliable authority on this whole issue.  Therefore, if God’s Word teaches that the world ends in 2012… so be it, then that proves to me that the Mayan’s had it right all along; but, if God’s Word proves the 2012 theory is baloney…. that settles it for me… I’m placing my faith in my Lord, and His Word, and I’m delegating the 2012 theory to my trash can (file 13).  (If anyone is interested in why I count God’s Word as the ultimate authority in matters like this, please refer to my previous blog entry on the Bible and Science: http://bit.ly/bYDWbZ for more info)

THE SCRIPTURE:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? … But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  (Mat 24:3, 36, 42; see also Matt 25:13, 2 Pet 3:10)

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. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  (1Th 5:1-11)

THE STUDY:

Matthew chapter 24 is a record of the teachings of Christ on the subject of His second coming and the events surrounding the end of the world:

Matthew 24:1-3…

If you notice, the question that initiated the Lord’s teachings of Matthew 24 is found in verse 3 …” Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

So clearly, the context of this chapter is the second coming of Christ and the end of the world.  To say otherwise is to deny the context of this chapter.

(Please note, the “things” being referenced in verse 3 was the destruction of the temple by Rome a few years later in 70 AD by Roman general Titus.  This brought an end to the Hebrew worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem and began the time period we call the “latter days”.)

Matthew 24:4-28

In these verses, the Lord describes the different events leading up to His second coming. An in-depth look at these signs will be presented in Part #2 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:29-31

The coming of Christ is described as he takes His followers to heaven to be with Him. A closer look at these verses will follow in Part #3 of this blog series.

Matthew 24:32-51

Here our responsibility to look for the signs and to be ready for His coming is brought into view.  These verses we’ll look at in detail in Part #4

Note in verse 36 and verse 42 …

He clearly says in verse 36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

And then in verse 42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

In the context, watching the signs of His coming, He makes it plain that, as we watch, we should not expect the exact time to be revealed to us!   In other words, the signs are to help us know the basic time frame of His return, but we will not know exactly when He is coming.

He explicitly states that no man, nor angel would ever know the exact time of His coming.  Even Christ, while on earth, as a human, who did not exercise His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8), did not know the time of His second coming.  (Just a note here…. I believe that since Christ is ascended and has begun to exercise His divine attributes and authority, (Phil 2:9-11) He now knows when the second coming will take place.)

This same principle is also brought out in the Scriptures in our other text, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

“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.”

In other words, Paul did not need to write to the believers in Thessalonica about the times and seasons of Christ’s second coming because Christ had already addressed the topic.   But even though they already had teachings on the signs, there would be no specific announcement of when He would come.  In that sense, He would be coming as a thief, unannounced and unexpected by many.

SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SO FAR:

So for this blog entry, it is important for us to see that Christ gave us signs marking a basic time frame of His coming.   However, the coming of Christ and the end of the world, will not be announced with any exact date. He specifically teaches that no man, nor angel will be shown the time of His coming.   It is a truth only known by the Triune God.

By the way, good old “2012 theory” is already rattling around in my file 13, and we are only one-fourth finished with our study!

My next blog entry will answer the question, “What are the signs of His second coming?” from Matt 24:4-28.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.   Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”