Does Jesus Come To The Earth More Than Twice?
If I had collected a quarter for every time I have heard "the Rapture" is not a word in the Bible, I would have had enough money to buy daily signature coffee at the Drowsy Poet for six months straight. The word Trinity is not in the Bible either but the word conveys a concept foundational in Christianity, that God exists as three Persons in One Divinity, for his nature is divine. Man's nature is human, Adamic, and demonized people have their own soul/spirit and other spirits in them and no one questions how that can be for each demon spirit is a person. The Latin Vulgate has the latin term for the rapture as it is the work out of which the term was coined. One does not have to be drinking the cool aid nor proposing the 'big lie' nor passing forth a 'hoax' when one speaks or writes of the Pre-tribulation rapture, as the position is characterized, particularly by those of the post-trib persuasion. I will not discuss the created story of John Nelson Darby and Dr. Scofield used every time to make others believe that these and other characters are the soul and spirit of the concept of the pre-trib rapture, for this position is sound and biblical and I have written from Bible sources how it is the one held from the beginning by tha apostles and disciples.
Yet another argument, and this is the one I would like to write about is that if there were to be a pre-tribulation rapture than there would be 3 comings of Jesus Christ and not just a first and a second advent. If one argues that Jesus Christ is God the Son incarnate and that in the Old Testament he came as the Angel of the Lord, and is also seen speaking to his prophets (ie Ezekiel, 'son of man, thus saith the Lord'...) the answer would be that the former is a theophany and the latter supernatural. But he came as a man with two angels to Abram and answered Abram's inquiries that he would have pardoned Sodom and Gomorrah if there had been righteous men in these cities.
Isaiah 61:1,2 speaks of two comings of 'the servant of God', the first one to redeem humanity and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and then the second one in the day of vengeance of our God, to judge the world: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
The prophet Zechariah wrote about the two comings of the Son of God and wrote as well of the coming false messiah that Israel will receive acceptingly, the foolish sheppherd (the idol shepherd, Zech 11:15-17) Zechariah wrote of his first coming: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass (Zech 9:9). And he said of his second coming he recorded: In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zech 12:8,9). This account speaks of his coming to do battle with the antichrist and the god of forces, Satan and it is written of Messiah that he will come to the Mount of Olives and as he stands upon the mount it splits into two: Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zech 14:3,4). Is this considered a second coming or a part of the second coming at all? Has Jesus Christ not landed his feet on the ground, so that the Mount can split in two? Why do post-tribbers argue that coming to the clouds to summon his church is tantamount to an event to be counted, but somehow coming to the Mount of Olives is not?
If this were not enough to shatter that objection, let us see what Joel has to say about the order of his coming to do battle against his enemies and evict the squatters on the earth (Satan and his hordes): Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation (Joel 3:19). In context, before the Lord arrives at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem he has already castigated Edom and Egypt (Is. 19; Ez. 29) The account of the burden on Edom is recorded in Isaiah 63:1-4:
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. Since he goes to Edom before the Mount of Olives and treads the winepress alone such that his enemies are brought low to the dust, does that count as a coming of the Lord too? And what of the episode about Egypt above, recorded as prophetic in Isaiah 19 and spoken in detail by Daniel 11:40-43, is this also another coming of Christ as in an advent? Let us see what Isaiah 19:1 says: The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. 2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. The context of this chapter is fully eschatological and rather than take my word for it one ought to read it to be sure too. Here the Lord rides upon a swift cloud, quite similar to the way it is described in the departure of the church on the day of Christ, that is described as the Lord descending and calling his own to himself to meet him in the clouds. The visit to Egypt ends up in devastation (Ez. 29) for the Lord will smite Egypt. Does riding in a cloud qualify too for counting it as a coming of the Lord? What does Daniel have to say? Let us see, Daniel 11:40-43:
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. When placed in the timeline this event owes the position of being at the very end of the great tribulation, when the kingdom of the South (Egypt) rebels against antichrist, the king of the North, who destroys it and robs it blind, and this is a nuclear type of event (Ezekiel 29:8-16), leaving Egypt desolate for 40 years. This is the war immediately before the antichrist has to confederate with the armies coming from the East against him because from the North he sees the armies of the Lord descending upon them and bringing them all to the valley of Megiddo. Is this traveling by Jesus on a swift cloud to Egypt first considered too a coming and is to be counted in the final tally of his comings?
The point has been made but it does not mean that these are the only occasions when the Lord comes before it is his second coming. Rev 14:1 gives us the account of the Lord standing on the mount Sion, with the 144,000 Jewish witnesses that in the following 3 verses it is given us that these are now in heaven and have been redeemed from the earth. This is a 'rapture' account for these have been caught up to heaven to be with God. Do we count this as yet another coming of the Lord to be added to the rest?
There can only be one second coming of the Lord as is best recorded in Matt 24:27-31 and we can now read: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [he comes visibly]
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. [to the land of Israel]
29 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: [having completed his campaign of expulsion of Satan and all his enemies, fallen angels too losing their abode, which as a garment it is removed to be no longer as I argue in another page]
30 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. [the sign of the Son of man is his coming in the clouds (at Armageddon he comes down on a white horse), in full splendor and glory. The tribes in this gospel addressed to Jewry are the 12 tribes of Israel. The same parallel passage in Mark 13:27 avoids the word 'tribes' and instead uses "his elect", indicating the Jewish content and context in Matthew]
31 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 [this is the time of the remnant to receive Jesus Christ the Lord as their saviour for as yet they have not and when they do the Lord will pour the Holy Spirit over them as he did at Pentecost over the church (Joel 2:28,29)].
This is the Second Advent of Jesus Christ the Lord and it is not for us to decide how many times he can come in other occasions to do the work of God that has to be done. Therefore to stand before the clear Scriptures and raise the specious argument that other comings are also to be counted in order to raise the ruse that to descend to the clouds to receive his church counts as his second coming too is to want to say more than the author that gave the Bible indicates. Jesus Christ can descend as often as he needs to and to the places he chooses to and still not be the Second Advent clearly delineated in the Matthew gospel. His second coming has a sign, the sign of the Son of man and the other visits are not preceded by this sign that is to be visible worldwide. End.