von Louis Berkhoff
Although the prophets do not clearly distinguish a double coming of Christ, the Lord Himself and the Apostles make it very clear that the first coming will be followed by a second. Jesus referred more than once to his return near the end of his public ministry, Matthew 12:30 p.m.; 25:19,31; 26:64; John 14:3. At the time of His ascension, angels announced His future return, Acts 1:11. In addition, the apostles speak of it in numerous places, Acts 3:20,21; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:15,16; II Thess. 1:7,10; Titus 2:13; heb. 9:28. Various terms are used to denote this great event, of which the following are the most important: (1)Apocalypse(Revelation), which aims to remove what now obstructs our vision of Christ, 1 Cor. 1:7; II Thess. 1:7; I stroke. 1:7,13; 4:13; (2)epiphany(appearance, manifestation), a term referring to the coming of Christ from a hidden background with the rich blessings of salvation, II Thess. 2:8; I Tim 6:14; II Tim. 4:1.8; Titus 2:13; and (3)Paruse(lit. presence), indicating the coming that precedes or results in the presence, Matthew. 24:3,27,37; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; II Thess. 2:1-9; Yes. 5:7,8; II pet. 1:16; 3:4,12; 1 John 2:28.
A. THE SECOND COMING A SINGLE EVENT.
Dispensationalists today distinguish between a future double coming of Christ, although they sometimes attempt to preserve the unity of the idea of the second coming by speaking of these as two aspects of this one great event. However, since these two are actually presented as two different events, separated by a period of several years, each with their own purpose, they can hardly be considered as a single event. The first of them is himParuseor simply "the coming" and leading to the rapture of the saints, sometimes represented as asecret ecstasy. This coming is imminent, that is, it can occur at any time, since there are no foreseeable events that should precede its occurrence. The prevailing opinion is that Christ at this time does not descend to earth but remains on high. Those who die in the Lord are raised from the dead, the living saints are transfigured, and together they are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Therefore this coming is also called the "coming".Prohis saints”, 1 Thess. 4:15,16. There follows a seven year interval in which the world is evangelized, Matthew 24:14, Israel is converted, Rom. 11:26, the great tribulation to come, Mat. 24:21,22, and the antichrist or man of sin will be revealed, II Thess. 2:8-10. After these events there is another coming of the LordconHis saints, I Thess. 3:13, which is called "the revelation" or "the day of the Lord" when He descends to earth. This coming cannot be said to be imminent since it must be preceded by various prophesied events. At that coming, Christ will judge the living nations, Matt. 25:31-46 and marks the beginning of the millennium. Thus we have two distinct comings of the Lord separated by a period of seven years, one imminent and the other not, one followed by the glorification of the saints and the other by the judgment of the nations. and the establishment of the empire. This construction of the Second Coming doctrine is very convenient for dispensationalists because it allows them to defend the view that the coming of the Lord is imminent but not guaranteed by Scripture and has unbiblical implications. In II. Thes. 2:1,2,8 the termsParuseand "Day of the Lord" are used interchangeably, and according to II Thess. 1:7-10 the revelation mentioned in verse 7 is synchronized with the parousia effecting the glorification of the saints of which verse 10 speaks. 24:29-31 depicts the coming of the Lord, at which the elect will be gathered as followsimmediately afterthe great tribulation mentioned in connection, although according to the theory under consideration it should take placeIn frontthe tribulation And finally, according to this theory, the church will not go through the great tribulation identified in Mat. 24:4-26 as being synchronous with the great apostasy, but the scriptural account in Matt. 24:22; Luke 21:36; II Thess. 23; I Tim 4:1-3; II Tim. 3:1-5; Revelation 7:14 is very different. Based on the Holy Scriptures, it must be assumed that the return of the Lord will be a one-off event. Fortunately, some premillennialists disagree with this doctrine of a double return of Christ and speak of an unwarranted novelty. Says Frost: “It is not generally known, and yet it is an indisputable fact, that the doctrine of the resurrection and the pre-tribulation rapture is a modern interpretation; I'm tempted to say a modern invention."[The Second Coming of Christ, p. 203.] According to him, it dates from the time of Irving and Darby. Another premillennialist, namely Alexander Reese, argues very strongly against this whole idea in his workThe Next Coming of Christ.
B. MAJOR EVENTS PRIOR TO PAROUSIA.
According to Scripture, several important events must occur before the Lord's return, so it cannot be said to be imminent. In the light of Scripture it cannot be said that there are no prophesied events that must take place before the Second Coming. As might be expected from the above, Frost, despite his dispensationalism, rejects the doctrine of immediacy. He prefers to speak of the coming of Christ as "imminent." Support for the doctrine of Christ's imminent return is found in the biblical statements that Christ will come after "a very short time," Heb. 10:37; or "soon," Rev. 22:7; in exhortations to watch and await his coming, Matt. 12:42 p.m. 25:13; Revelation 16:15; and in the fact that Scripture condemns the person who says, "My Lord is late" (or "delays in His coming"), Matthew. 12:48 PM Jesus certainly taught that His coming was near, but that is not the same as teaching that it is imminent. First of all, it should be noted that when he speaks of his coming, he does not always have the eschatological coming in mind. Sometimes it refers to his coming in spiritual power on the day of Pentecost; sometimes at His coming in judgment at the destruction of Jerusalem. Second, he and the apostles teach us that several important events had to take place before his physical return on the last day, Matthew. 24:5-14,21,22,29-31; II Thess. 2:2-4. Therefore, he could not very well view and represent his coming as imminent. It is also evident that when he spoke of his coming as something near, he did not wish to portray itas immediately at hand. In the parable of the pounds, he teaches that the master of the servants had to reckon with them “after a long time,” Matthew 25:19. And the parable of the pounds was uttered for the very purpose of correcting the idea that "the kingdom of God would appear immediately," Luke 19:11. In the parable of the ten virgins, the bridegroom is presented as “late,” Matthew 25:5. This is consistent with what Paul says in II Thess. 2:2 Peter foretold that scoffers would arise and say, "Where is the day of his coming?" And he teaches his readers to understand the divine perspective of the prophecies about the nearness of the second coming, according to which one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like are one day, II Pet. 3:3-9. To teach that Jesus saw the second coming as immediate would be a mistake, since almost two thousand years have passed since that time. Now the question might be asked: How then can we be urged to wait for what is to come? Jesus teaches us in Matt. 24:32,33 to be alert to the coming by the signs: "When you see all these things you will know that he is near". Furthermore, we need not interpret the admonition to watch as an admonition to search the heavens for immediate signs of the Lord's appearing. Rather, we should see it as an exhortation to be alert, to be alert, to be prepared, to be active in the Lord's work, lest sudden calamity overtake us. The next great events must precede the coming of the Lord.
1. THE CALL OF THE GENTILES. Several New Testament passages indicate that the gospel of the kingdom must be preached to all nations before the Lord returns, Matthew. 12:14 p.m.; Mark 13:10; ROME. 11:25. Many passages testify to the fact that Gentiles will enter the kingdom in large numbers during the new dispensation, Matt. 8:11; 13:31,32; Luke 2:32; Acts 15:14; ROME. 9:24-26; eff. 2:11-20 and other passages. But the above clearly refer to the evangelization of all nations as the goal of history. Now it is hardly sufficient to say that the gospel has already been proclaimed among all peoples, nor that the work of a single missionary in each of the nations of the world would fulfill all the requirements of Jesus' declaration. On the other hand, it is equally impossible to claim that the Savior's words call to preach the gospel to every individual in the various nations of the world. They require, however, that these nationslike nationsthey are fully evangelized so that the Gospel becomes a force in people's lives, a sign that encourages decision-making. you have to preach to themfor a testimony, so it can be said that they were given the opportunity to decide for or against Christ and his kingdom. These words clearly imply that the great commission is to be carried out in all the nations of the world, to make disciples of all nations, that is, of the people of all those nations. However, they do not establish the expectation that all nationslike an everythingaccept the gospel, but only that it will find followers in all nations and therefore will be an instrument to bring the fullness of the Gentiles. At the end of time it will be possible to say that all nations knew the gospel, and the gospel will testify against the nations that have not received it.
From the above it is easy to see that many dispensationalists have a very different view of the matter. They do not believe that the evangelization of the world should and will not be complete before the forthcoming Parousia. According to them, that's when it's really going to kick off. They point out that the gospel in Matt. 24:14 is not the gospel of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, but the gospel of the kingdom, which is very different, the good news that the kingdom is near. After the church is removed from this earthly scene, and with it the indwelling Holy Spirit gone, which really means after the Old Testament conditions are restored, then the gospel, with which JesusstartedHis ministry is preached again. It is preached first by those converted by the removal of the Church itself, later perhaps by converted Israel and a special messenger, [Blackstone,jesus is coming, p. 233.]or, especially during the great tribulation, by the believing remnant of Israel.[in the Scofield Bible, p. 1033, 1036; Rogers,The end of the beginning, p. 144; Feinberg,premillennialism or amillennialism, pp. 134,135.] This preaching will be wonderfully effective, far more effective than preaching the gospel of God's grace. It is during this time that the 144,000 and the great multitude that no man can number will be converted of Revelation 7. 24:14 is fulfilled. It must be remembered that this construction is one that the older premillennialists did not accept, and even today some premillennialists reject. and we certainly do not recommend that. The distinction between a double gospel and a double return of the Lord is untenable. The gospel of God's grace in Jesus Christ is the only gospel that saves and gives access to the kingdom of God. And it is absolutely contrary to the history of Revelation that a return to Old Testament terms, including the absence of the church and the indwelling Holy Spirit, should be more effective than preaching the gospel of God's grace in Jesus Christ. and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
2. THE CONVERSION OF THE PLEROMA OF ISRAEL. Both the Old and New Testaments speak of a future conversion of Israel, Zac. 12:10; 13:1; II Cor. 3:15, 16 and Rom. 11:25-29 seems to connect this to the end of time. Premillennialists have used this biblical teaching for their specific purpose. They claim there will beNationalRestoration and conversion of Israel, that the Jewish nation will be restored in the Holy Land and that this will occur just before or during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. However, it is highly doubtful whether Scripture justifies the expectation that Israel will eventually be restored as a nation and that they will turn to the Lord as a nation. Some Old Testament prophecies seem to predict this, but they must be read in the light of the New Testament. Does the New Testament justify the expectation of a future restoration and conversion of Israel as a nation? It is not necessarily taught or implied in passages like Matt. 19:28 and Luke 21:24, which are often quoted in his favor. The Lord spoke very clearly of the Jews' opposition to the spirit of his kingdom and the certainty that they, who might in a sense be called children of the kingdom, would lose their place in it, Matthew 8:11,12; 21:28-46; 22:1-14; Luke 13:6-9. He informs the wicked Jews that the kingdom will be taken from them and given to a nation that will produce the fruit of it, Matthew. 21:43. And even when he speaks of the corruption that will eventually creep into the church, the problems it will face, and the apostasy that will eventually follow, he does not hint at a possible restoration and conversion of the Jewish people. This silence of Jesus is very significant. Now one might think that Rome. 11:11-32 certainly teaches the future conversion of the nation of Israel. Many commentators take this view, but even its veracity is seriously questioned. In chapters 9-11 the apostle discusses how God's promises to Israel can be reconciled with the rejection of most of Israel. He first points out in chapters 9 and 10 that the promise does not refer to fleshly Israel but to spiritual Israel; and second, that God still has His elect among Israel, that there is still a remnant among them according to the election of grace, 11:1-10. And even the hardening of most of Israel is not God's ultimate end, but a means in His hand to bring salvation to the Gentiles, so that they in turn may make Israel jealous by enjoying the blessings of salvation. . Israel's hardening will always be partial, because in all the centuries to come there will always be some who accept the Lord. God will continue to gather His chosen remnant among the Jews during the new dispensation until the fulness (Plerom, i.e. H. the number of the elect) of the Gentiles will come in, and so (in this way) will all Israel (theirPlerom, that is, the total number of true Israelites) to be saved. "All Israel" is to be understood as a designation not of the entire nation, but of the total number of the elect of the people of the old covenant. Premillennialists understand verse 26 to mean that the nation of Israel will be saved after God has completed His purpose with the Gentiles. But the apostle said at the beginning of his discussion that the promises are to spiritual Israel; there is no evidence of a rethink in the middle, so this would be a surprise at 11:26; and the adverbHoutosit cannot mean "after", only "in this way". With the fullness of the Gentiles will come the fullness of Israel.
3. THE GREAT APOSTASY AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION. These two can be mentioned together because in Jesus' eschatological discourse, Matthew 24:9-12,21-24; Mark 13:9-22; Luke 21:22-24. The words of Jesus no doubt found a partial fulfillment in the days before the destruction of Jerusalem, but they will evidently have a greater fulfillment in the future in a tribulation far exceeding anything ever experienced, Matthew. 24:21; Mark 13:19. Paul also speaks of the great apostasy in II Thess. 23; I Tim 4:1; II Tim. 3:1-5. He has already seen some of this spirit of apostasy in his day, but he clearly wants to convince his readers that it will assume much greater proportions in the last few days. Here, too, the current dispensationalists differ from us. They do not view the great tribulation as a precursor to the Lord's coming (the parousia), but believe that it will follow "the coming" and that therefore the church will not experience the great tribulation. The assumption is that the Church will be "caught up" to be with the Lord before the tribulation, with all its horrors, reaches the inhabitants of the earth. They prefer to speak of the great tribulation as "the day of Jacob's tribulation" since it will be a great tribulation day for Israel and not for the church. But the reasons they give for this view are not very convincing. Some of them draw their strength from their own preconceived notions of a double coming of Christ and are therefore irrelevant to those who are convinced that there is no evidence of such a double coming in Scripture. Jesus certainly mentions the great tribulation as one of the signs of his coming and of the end of the world, Matthew 24:3. It is this coming (parousia) that He is speaking of in this chapter, as can be seen from the repeated use of the word parousia in verses 3,37,39. It is reasonable to assume that in verse 30 He is speaking of the same coming, a coming which verse 29 says will follow immediately after the tribulation. This tribulation will also affect the elect: they are in danger of being led astray, Mat. 24:24; for them the days of agony will be shortened, verse 22; they will be gathered from all corners of the world at the coming of the Son of Man; and they are encouraged to look up when they see these things, for their salvation is near, Luke 21:28. There is no justification for limiting the elect to the elect of Israel, as the premillennialists do. Paul clearly presents the great apostasy before the second coming, II Thess. 2:3, and reminds Timothy that troubled times will come in the last days, I Tim. 4:1,2; II Tim. 3:1-5. Revelation 7:13,14 says that the saints in heaven came out of the great tribulation, and in Revelation 6:9 we find such saints praying for their brethren who were still suffering persecution. [To further defend the position that the church will go through the tribulation, we refer to the works of two premillennialists, viz. Frost,The Second Coming of Christ, pages. 202-227; travel,The Next Coming of Christ, p. 199-224.]
4. THE COMING OF THE ANTICHRIST REVELATION. The termB.Cit is found only in the letters of John, namely, 1 John 2:18–22; 4:3; II John 7. As for the form of the word, it can describe (a) one taking the place of Christ; then "anti" means "instead"; or (b) one who, while accepting the appearance of Christ, opposes him; So "anti" is used in the sense of "against". The latter is more consistent with the context in which the word occurs. The fact that John uses the singular without the article in 2:18 shows that the term "antichrist" was already a technical term. It is not clear whether, in using the singular, John had in mind a supreme antichrist of which the others to whom he refers were merely heralds or forerunners, or whether he simply intended to embody the principle found in various Antichrist is embodied, the principle of evil, that he fought against the kingdom of God. The Antichrist clearly represents a specific principle, I John 4:3. With this in mind, we will also see that although John is the first to use the term "antichrist," the principle or spirit he designates is clearly mentioned in earlier writings. Just as there is a clearly marked development in Scripture in describing Christ and the kingdom of God, so there is a progressive revelation of the Antichrist. The presentations vary, but increase in definition as God's revelation progresses.
In most OT prophets we see the principle of injustice at work in the wicked nations who are hostile to Israel and judged by God. In Daniel's prophecy we find something more specific. The language used there bears many characteristics of Paul's description of the man of sin in II Thessalonians. Daniel finds the evil and unholy principle embodied in the "little horn", Dan. 7:8,23-26, and describes it very clearly in 11:35ff. The personal element is also not entirely absent here, although it is not entirely certain whether the prophet has a specific king in mind, namely Antiochus Epiphanes, as a type of Antichrist. The coming of Christ brings forth this principle naturally in its specific form.Anti-Cristianoform, and Jesus represents them incarnated in different persons. he talks aboutPseudoprofetajpseudochristoiwho stand against Him and His Kingdom, Matthew. 7:15; 24:5,24; Mark 13:21–22; Luke 17:23. To correct the Thessalonians' erroneous view, Paul draws attention to the fact that the day of Christ cannot come "unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of sin, the son of perdition, is revealed." He describes this man of sin as “one who opposes all that is called or worshiped God; so much so that he sits in the temple of God and presents himself as God,” I Thess. 2:3,4. This description, of course, reminds us of Dan. 11:36 ff. and clearly points to the Antichrist. There is no good reason to doubt the identity of the man of sin spoken of by Paul and the antichrist mentioned by John. The apostle sees the “mystery of unrighteousness” already at work, but assures his readers that man cannot get out of sin until what he (or “the one”) is holding back is put out of the way. When that obstacle is removed, whatever it may be (interpretations vary), he will appear, "whose coming is after the work of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders," verses 7-9. This chapter always starts from the personal component. The book of Revelation finds the antichrist principle or power in the two beasts that come up out of the sea and out of the land, Revelation 13. The former is commonly thought to refer to governments, political powers, or any world empire. ; the second, though not with the same unanimity, to false religion, false prophecy, and false science, especially the first two. Finally, in his letters, John calls this opponent or opposite principle “Antichrist”.
Historically, there have been differing opinions about the Antichrist. In the early church, many believed that the Antichrist would be a Jew pretending to be the Messiah and reigning in Jerusalem. Many recent commentators feel that Paul and others mistakenly thought that some Roman emperor would be the Antichrist, and that John clearly had Nero in mind in Revelation 13:18, since the letters in the Hebrew words for "emperor Nero" are exact are equal to 666, Revelation 13:18. Since the Reformation, papal Rome, and in some cases even a particular pope, has been viewed by many, including Reformed scholars, as the Antichrist. And the papacy does indeed reveal several features of the Antichrist as described in Scripture. However, it will hardly serve to identify him with the Antichrist. It is better to say that there are antichrist elements in the papacy. On the positive side we can only say: (a) that the antichrist principle, by its own admission, was already at work in the days of Paul and John; (b) that it will reach its maximum performance towards the ends of the world; (c) that Daniel represents the political, Paul the ecclesiastical, and John in the book of Revelation both sides of it: both may be successive manifestations of antichrist power; and (d) that this power will likely ultimately be concentrated in a single individual, the embodiment of all evil.
The question of the personal character of the Antichrist is still controversial. Some consider the phrases "Antichrist," "the man of sin, the son of perdition," and the figures in Daniel and Revelation, to be mere descriptions of the unholy and antichristian principle manifested in the world's opposition to God and His kingdom, throughout the history of this kingdom, a sometimes weaker, sometimes stronger, but stronger resistance towards the end of time. They are not looking for a personal antichrist. Others feel that simply speaking of the Antichrist as an abstract power is contrary to Scripture. They claim that such an interpretation does not do justice to the dates of Scripture, which speaks not only of an abstract spirit but also of real persons. According to them, "Antichrist" is a collective term, the designation of a number of people who manifest an ungodly or antichristian spirit, such as the Roman emperors who persecuted the Church and the popes who devoted themselves to a similar work of persecution. They, too, do not think of a personal Antichrist, who himself will be the concentration of all evil. However, the more general view in the Church is that the term "Antichrist" ultimately designates an eschatological person who will be the embodiment of all evil and thus represents a spirit who is always more or less present in the world and who has several progenitors or types in history. This view was dominant in the early Church and appears to be the view of Scripture. In their favor the following can be said: (a) The description of the Antichrist in Dan. 11 is more or less personal and can refer to a person who is defined as some kind of antichrist. (b) Paul speaks of the Antichrist as "the man of sin" and "the son of perdition." Because of the peculiar Hebrew use of the terms "man" and "son," these expressions may not be conclusive in themselves, but the context clearly favors the personal idea. He resists himself, sets himself up as God, has a specific revelation, is the wicked one, etc. (c) While John speaks of many antichrists already present, he also speaks in the singular of the antichrist as one yet to come , 1 John 2:18. (d) Even in Revelation where the presentation is largely symbolic, the personal element is not absent, as for example in Revelation 19:20 where the Antichrist and his subjects are spoken of as being thrown into the lake of fire. And (e) since Christ is a person, it is natural to assume that the Antichrist will also be a person.
5. SIGNS AND WONDERS. The Bible speaks of various signs that will herald the end of the world and the return of Christ. He mentions (a) wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes in various places, which are called the beginning of the woe, like the woe of the rebirth of the universe at the time of Christ's coming; (b) the coming of false prophets who will mislead many, and false Christs who will perform great signs and wonders to mislead, if possible, even the elect; and (c) of dreadful omens in heaven, involving the sun, moon, and stars, when the powers of heaven are moved, Matt. 24:29,30; Mark 13:24–25; Luke 21:25–26. Since some of these signs are of the kind that recur in the natural order of events, the question naturally arises as to how they can be recognized as particular signs of the end. Usually it is pointed out that they will differ in intensity and extent from previous occurrences. But of course this is not entirely satisfactory, for without other clues those who see such signs can never know whether the signs they observe will not be followed by other similar signs of even greater magnitude and intensity. Hence it must also be pointed out that when the end is near there will be a remarkable conjunction of all these signs and that natural events will be accompanied by supernatural phenomena, Luke 21:25–26. Jesus says: “If you seeall these things, know that he is near, at the gates.” To mate. 12:33 p.m
C. THE PARUSIA OR SECOND COMING.
Immediately after the omens just mentioned, "the sign of the Son of Man will come on the clouds of heaven" Matthew. 12:30 pm. The following points should be taken into account:
1. THE TIME OF THE SECOND COMING. The exact time of the coming of the Lord is unknown, Matth. 24:36, and all attempts by men to find out the exact date turned out to be wrong. The only thing that can be said for sure based on Scripture is that He will come again at the end of the world. The disciples asked the Lord. "What sign will there be of your coming and of the end of the world?" Mate. 24:3. They connect the two, and the Lord in no way indicates that this is an error, but rather assumes that He is right in His speech. He represents the two as synchronous in mate. 24:29-31,35-44: compare mating. 13:39,40. Paul and Peter also speak of both as coinciding, 1 Cor. 15:23.24; II pet. 3:4-10. A study of the attendant phenomena of the Second Coming leads to the same conclusion. The resurrection of the saints will be one of their companions, 1 Cor. 15:23, 1 Thess. 4:16, and Jesus assures us that He will raise them up on the last day, John 6:39,40,44,54. According to Thayer, Cremer-Koegel, Walker, Salmond, Zahn and others, this can only mean the day of completion, the end of the world. Another concomitant event will be the Last Judgment, Matthew. 25:31-46, especially the judgment of the wicked, II Thess. 1:7-10, which put premillennialists at the end of the world. And finally it will also bring about the restoration of all things, Acts 3:20–21. The strong phrase "restoration of all things" is too strong to refer to anything less than the perfect restoration of the state of things that existed before the fall. It aims at restoringAllto its former state, and this will not be found in the premillennial millennium. Even sin and death will continue to kill their victims during this time [cf. Thayer, Cremer-Kögel, Weiss,Bib. the ole from the NT, p. 194, n.] As mentioned above, several things must happen before the Lord's return. This must be borne in mind when reading the passages that speak of the coming of the Lord, or of the Judgment Day at hand, Mat. 16:28; 12:34 p.m. 10:25 a.m.; Yes. 5:9; I stroke. 4:5; 1 John 2:18. They find their explanation partly in the fact that from the side of God, for whom a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day, the coming is ever near; partly to the biblical presentation of New Testament times as the last days or the last days; partly in that when the Lord speaks of his coming, he does not always have in mind his physical return at the end of time, but can refer to his coming in the Holy Spirit; and partly in the characteristic prophetic foreshortening in which no clear distinction is made between the Lord's next coming in the destruction of Jerusalem and His final coming to judge the world. Cultists have often attempted to pinpoint the precise time of the Second Coming, but these attempts are always fallacious. Jesus says explicitly: "But of the day and the hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father", Mt. 12:36 The statement about the Son probably means that this knowledge is not in the contained revelation that he was to bring as a mediator.
2. THE WAY OF THE SECOND COMING. The following points should be emphasized here:
a.it will be a personal coming. This follows from the angels' proclamation to the disciples on the Ascension Mount: "This Jesus, who was taken up by you into heaven, will come just as you saw him going into heaven", Acts 1:11. The person of Jesus has left them, and the person of Jesus will return. In the current modernist system there is no room for a personal return of Jesus Christ. Douglas Clyde Macintosh sees Christ's return in "the progressive domination of individuals and society by the moral and religious principles of essential Christianity, that is, by the Spirit of Christ."[Theology as an empirical science, p. 213.] William Newton Clarke says: “No visible return of Christ to earth is to be expected, but the long and steady advance of His spiritual kingdom. . . . When our Lord completes the spiritual coming He has begun, there will be no need for a visible coming to perfect His glory on earth.”[Overview of Christian Theology, p. 444.] According to William Adams Brown, “Perhaps not by sudden catastrophe as in the early Christian hope, but by the slower and surer method of spiritual conquest, the ideal of Jesus will win the universal approval it deserves. , and his spirit rule the world. This is the truth that defends the doctrine of the second coming.”[Overview of Christian Theology, p. 373.] Walter Rauschenbusch and Shailer Mathews speak of the second coming in similar terms. They all interpret the brilliant descriptions of Christ's second coming as pictorial representations of the idea that the Spirit of Christ will be an ever-growing and ever-present influence on the life of the world. But it goes without saying that such depictions correspond to the descriptions in passages such as Acts 1:11; 3:20.21, Mt. 12:44 p.m. 1 Cor. 15:22; Phil. 3:20; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15-17; II Tim. 4:8; Titus 2:13; heb. 9:28. The modernists themselves admit this when they speak of them as representatives of the old Jewish way of thinking. They have a new and better light on the subject, but it is a light that has dimmed in light of current world events.
b.It will be a physical coming. That the return of the Lord will be physical follows from passages such as Acts 1:11; 3:20–21; heb. 9:28; Revelation 1:7. Jesus will return to earth in body. There are some who equate the prophesied coming of the Lord with His spiritual coming on the day of Pentecost and understand thatParuseto signify the spiritual presence of the Lord in the Church. According to him, the Lord returned in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and is now present (henceParuse) in the church. They attach particular importance to the fact that the wordParusemeansPresent[This interpretation is found in WarrensThe Parousia of Christ, und in J. M. CampbellThe Second Coming of Christ.] Now it is quite evident that the New Testament speaks of a spiritual coming of Christ, Matthew 16:28; John 14:18–23; Revelation 3:20; but this coming either to the church on the day of Pentecost, or to the individual in his spiritual renewal, Gal. 1:16 cannot be identified with what the Bible representsDiesecond coming of Christ. It is true that the wordParusemeansPresent, but dr Vos rightly pointed out that in its religious eschatological usage it also meansarrival, and that in the New Testament the idea ofarrivalin the foreground. In addition, it should be noted that there are other terms in the New Testament that serve to denote the second coming, viz.Apocalypse,epiphany, jPhanerose, each pointing to a visible coming. Finally, it must not be forgotten that the epistles repeatedly point to the Second Coming as a yet future event, Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:15,16; II Thess. 1:7-10; Titus 2:13. This does not fit the notion that the coming was already an event in the past.
C.There will be a visible coming. This is closely related to what was said above. It can be said that when the coming of the Lord will be physical, it will also be visible. This seems self-evident, but Russellites or Dawn Millennialists don't seem to think so. They believe that Christ's second coming and the inauguration of the Millennium took place invisibly in 1874, and that Christ came to power in 1914 to eliminate the Church and overthrow the kingdoms of the world. When 1914 passed without the appearance of Christ, they sought a way out of the difficulty in the comfortable theory that it remained hidden because people did not show enough repentance. So Christ came, invisibly. However, Scripture leaves us in no doubt as to the visibility of the Lord's return. Numerous passages bear witness to this, such as Mat. 12:30 p.m.; 26:64; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:11; Colossians 3:4; Titus 2:13; heb. 9:28; Revelation 1:7.
d.It will be a sudden coming. Although the Bible teaches us that various signs will precede the coming of the Lord, it also teaches equally emphatically that the coming will be sudden and totally unexpected and will surprise people. surprise, matt 24:37-44; 25:1-12; Mark 13:33-37; 1 Thess. 5:2,3; Revelation 3:3; 4:15 p.m. This is not a contradiction because the predicted signs are not designed to indicate the exact time. The prophets pointed to certain signs that would precede the first coming of Christ, and yet His coming surprised many. Most people didn't pay any attention to the signs. The Bible implies that the level of surprise at Christ's return will be inversely proportional to the level of your vigilance.
mi.It will be a glorious and triumphant coming. The second coming of Christ, although personal, physical, and visible, will be very different from his first coming. He will not return in the body of His humiliation, but in a glorified body and in royal clothing, Heb. 9:28. The clouds of heaven will be his chariot, Mat. 24:30, angels His bodyguards, II Thess. 1:7, the archangels His heralds. 1 Thess. 4:16, and the saints of God their glorious retinue, I Thess. 3:13; II Thess. 1:10. He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords, triumphant over all the powers of evil, having put all his enemies under his feet, 1 Cor. 3:25 p.m.; Revelation 19:11-16.
3. THE PURPOSE OF THE SECOND COMING. Christ will return at the end of the world to usher in the age to come, the eternal state of things, and he will do so by ushering in and consummating two mighty events, namely, the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment. Frosted. 13:49.50; 16:27; 24:3; 25:14-46; Luke 9:26; 19:15,26,27; John 5:25-29; Acts 17:31; ROME. 2:3-16; 1 Cor. 4:5; 15:23; II Cor. 5:10; Phil 3:20–21; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; II Thess. 1:7-10; 2:7,8; II Tim. 4:1.8; II pet. 3:10-13; Jude 14:15; Revelation 20:11-15; 22:12. As already indicated above, in the usual presentation of Scripture the end of the world, the day of the Lord, the bodily resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment coincide. This great turning point will also bring about the annihilation of all forces of evil hostile to the kingdom of God, 2 Thessalonians. 2:8; Revelation 20:14. It is doubtful whether anyone would have read the relevant passages differently had not Revelation 20:1-6 been established by some as the standard by which all the rest of the New Testament is to be interpreted. According to premillennialists, the primary purpose of Christ's second coming will be to establish the visible kingdom of Christ and His saints on earth and to usher in the true day of redemption for the world. This includes the rapture, the resurrection of the righteous, the marriage of the Lamb, and the judgments of God's enemies. But other resurrections and judgments will follow at various intervals, and the final resurrection and judgment will be a thousand years from the Second Coming. The objections to this view have been advanced in part in the foregoing and will be in part mentioned in the following chapters.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY: Why can't the termParuseIs it simply translated as "presence" wherever it is? In what different meanings does the Bible speak of the coming of Christ? How should Matt. 16:28; 24:34 be interpreted? Signifies the speech of Jesus in Matt. 24 speak of a single coming? Does the doctrine of the national restoration of the Jews necessarily imply the doctrine of the millennium? Do the following passages teach such a restoration: Matt. 23:39; Luke 13:35; 21:24; Acts 3:6–7? Does Daniel in Dan refer to Antiochus Epiphanes as a type of antichrist? 11:36 ff.? How are the beasts of Revelation 13 related to the Antichrist? Is the man of sin Paul speaks of identified with the Antichrist? What is the one in II Thess. 2:6,7? Did the apostles teach that the Lord could come again in his lifetime? Does the New Testament justify the idea that the phrase "the end" or "the end of the world" simply means "the end of the age"?
LITERATURE: Bavinck,Dogma. . . . IV, S. 100-1 712-753; kuyper,dictated dogma.,From the completion of the century, p. 117-245; YouGeref. Dogma v,Eschatology, p. 22-23; I WOULD.,Paulinische Eschatology, Pages. 72-135; hodge,system the OL. . . . 3, S. 790-836; PieperKristol. Dogma. III, pp. 579-584; beloved,NOK Theol. . . . II, S. 100-1 407-411; Schmid,doc the ol of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, p. 645-657; Stark,system the OL., S. 107-1 1003-1015; Papa,NOK Theol. . . . III, pp. 387-397; grow,Eschatology, p. 23-78; clephoth,Eschatology, p. 126-147, 191-225; rain jacket.immortality and future, S. 130-148; Kennedy,S t🇧🇷 von Pabloconceptions of the last things, p. 158-193; Salmon,The Cr.doc. of immortality, p. 241-251; Snow,The coming of the Lord, p. 123-171.
Sincestyematic theologyvon Louis Berkhoff