When we talk about the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must realize that there are (in succession) an INvisible and a visible Coming.
The INvisible Second Coming is the (hidden) coming for the Bride(church); this is the so-called “wise-virgin” part of the true believers.
The VISIBLE Second Coming is the coming on the clouds, when every eye shall see Him in His full glory as King and Lord, also the eyes of those that pierced (or rejected) Him.
The VISIBLE Second Coming
In my opinion the following Bible texts all relate to the VISIBLE Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, from the context of the following Bible texts we can learn that the visible Second Coming will take place AFTER the Great Tribulation and BEFORE the beginning of Christ’s Millennium of Peace.
The resurrection of all true believers who passed away (or died) in Christ in the course of the ages until the end of the Great Tribulation (see Revelation 20:4), will also take place AFTER the Great Tribulation, but BEFORE Christ’s Millennium of Peace. Nowhere in the Bible do we read that there is a resurrection of the righteous BEFORE as well as AFTER the Great Tribulation.
Also one and the same event is meant by the trumpet mentioned in several texts below; viz. the trumpet of Revelation 11:15. Here again one reads that Christ’s Kingdom (i.e. the Millennium of Peace) starts AFTER the sound of this trumpet (and the great voices in heaven – see also 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
- 1 Thessalonians 4 verse 15-17: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (the resurrected righteous [i.e. the believers]) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (namely 1,000 years with the returned Lord ON EARTH)
- Matthew 24 verse 29-31: “Immediately AFTER the tribulation (the Great Tribulation, see verse 21) 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 (thus this is the visible Second Coming) 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.”
- 1 Corinthians 15 verse 51-52: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (NOT all ‘pass away’ or ‘sleep in the Lord’), but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible (AFTER the Great Tribulation), and we (that are left alive from [and thus AFTER] the Great Tribulation, because God saved them – see Revelation 12:6, 14) shall be changed.”
- Revelation 1 verse 7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
- Revelation 10 verse 7: “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound (with the seventh, and thus last, trump), the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
- Daniel 7 verse 13-14: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom (thus His dominion starts with His [visible] Second Coming on the clouds when the 3½ years of the Great Tribulation wherein the Antichrist reigns is past!), that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
- Revelation 11 verse 15: “And the seventh angel sounded (with the seventh, and thus last, trump); and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Where and with whom shall He reign?
- Revelation 5 verse 10: “And (the Lamb) hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
- Revelation 20 verse 4-6: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God (i.e. the martyrs that died for the sake of Christ down through the ages), and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands (these can only be the true believers which have to suffer a martyr’s death in the Great Tribulation, because BEFORE the Great Tribulation the matter of this beast [i.e. the Antichrist] that must be worshiped, and the mark of the beast, are not raised); and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the FIRST resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years (on the earth).”
Thus 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 clearly refers to the VISIBLE Second Coming as the coming on the clouds is the VISIBLE Return. This we could clearly read in above Bible verses.
For a correct understanding of the INvisible as well as the visible Second Coming of Christ it is important that we also see the differences (as regards the meaning as well as the time) respectively of the “taking up”, “the removal” and “meeting Him in the air”.
But before the so-called “taking up” and “removal” becomes a fact, preceding these is the (INvisible) Marriage Supper of the Lamb (see “the parable of the great supper” of Luke 14:15-24, and Revelation 19:9). For the Supper is the (spiritual) preparation for the Wedding. And this Supper will make us completely subservient to the Father. This will be necessary in order to achieve the restoration of the Church and the great worldwide revival.
Only AFTER this Supper the (INvisible) Marriage of the Lamb will take place (see “the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins”, Matthew 25:1-13 and Revelation 19:7-8).
The INvisible Second Coming
Thus, there first is the (INvisible) (Marriage) Supper of the Lamb (see “the parable of the great Supper, Luke 14:15-24 and Revelation 19:9), and only thereafter the (INvisible) Marriage of the Lamb will take place (see the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins, Matthew 25:1-13 and Revelation 19:7-8). The Supper is the (spiritual) preparation for the Wedding, because when we TAKE PART in the Supper we choose for the ETERNAL (and thus PERFECT) deliverance from the power of sin and Satan based on our faith in Calvary (see Hebrews 9:12). For the Supper points to the death (but also the resurrection) of Jesus Christ. Those called to His Supper must have experienced (spiritual) death, just as He did. With this is meant a TOTAL dying to our old, sinful (“I”) nature. In this way, TAKING PART in this Supper will make us completely subservient to the Father. And this will be necessary in order to come to restoration of the Church and to the great, worldwide revival. It is only then that we can be part of His resurrection and belong to that Bride(-church) without spot or wrinkle. Only then will we belong to that group that will be “taken up” or “removed”.
And without the Marriage of the Lamb, which will also take place in the hidden place, there will be no perfect union (and thus no “fruit-bearing”) between Bridegroom and Bride. This Marriage and the ensuing perfect (spiritual) union between Bride and Bridegroom will see to it that there will be a great harvest of souls during the so-called Latter-Rain-revival (see a.o. Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:23, 28; Obadiah 21). Requirements in order to belong to the Supper and the Marriage of the Lamb are found in the following bible texts:
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By A. Klein