Chapter 54 The Second Advent

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints (Jude 14).

Kepler, the great astronomer, resolved to discover the laws of planetary motion. Toiling for eight years and after twenty experiments, he finally discovered that the stellar worlds moved not in a circle but in an eliptical arch round two foci. Then he flung up his hands and cried, “O mighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee.” In much the same way God’s plan in human history revolves round the two advents of the Son of God to this earth. The rapture of the Church is something different and which takes place before the Lord’s return to earth. In the rapture the Lord only comes into midair. He comes to snatch away His elect Bride, the Church, which is a message of sweet comfort for His believing people. It comes before the day of His wrath in His second advent.

Three Remarkable Prophecies of the Second Advent

1. That of Enoch in Jude 14 through 17. Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam yet knew of the Lord’s second advent to earth. He spoke of His coming with ten thousands of His saints which He did not do in His first coming and also that His coming would be to execute judgment upon the ungodly.

2. That of Job in 19:25-27. Job no doubt lived before Abraham and his book is generally regarded as the first written book of Holy Scripture. He speaks of the Lord as His Kinsman-Redeemer. He declares he shall see Him “stand at the latter day upon the earth” and that he himself, in his flesh, “shall see God.”

3. That of Zechariah in 14:4. Zechariah says that “His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives”—a specific point on the earth. It is the place from which He ascended (Acts 1:11). As He went, so shall He come.

Three Celestial Signs of the Second Advent

1. Heavenly bodies are to be in distress. “The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth” (Revelation 6:12, 13). This is part of the sixth seal judgment during the tribulation period. Joel also mentions this (2:10, 30), “The heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining … And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”

2. A special sign in heaven. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven” (Matthew 24:30). Augustine, Jerome, Erastus, and Luther believed it would be the sign of the cross. The Scripture does not say so, but apparently there is to be a special sign.

3. The casting into the earth of demonic presences. “In that day … the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high” (Isaiah 24:21). “That old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).

Three Terrestrial Signs

1. The appearance of two beasts (Revelation 13). The first is “out of the sea,” which means from among the Gentile nations—the head of the revived Roman empire: the second, “out of the earth,” which points to Israel-and this one will be the false prophet. It is said “having two horns like a lamb”—a counterfeit of Christ—but “he spake as a dragon.”

2. The great tribulation (Luke 21:25)—the “distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” “Then shall be great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). This is to bring to an end Gentile rule by God’s destroying judgments and it will also be for the chastisement of Israel to bring them to the recognition of Christ as their Messiah and thus to their final salvation.

3. The destruction of the apostate church. “Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters … And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Revelation 17:1, 16).

Three Spiritual Portents

    1. The “Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world” (Matthew 24:14). This is it in Revelation 7 which is the fruit of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel, who were sealed with the mark of God so that AntiChrist could not destroy them. The resultant ingathering was “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.”

    2. The filling up of the cup of iniquity. In the Old Testament days, judgment was suspended because “the iniquity of the Amorites [was] not yet full” (Genesis 15:16). In the last days that cup will be full to overflowing so that “iniquity shall abound” and anarchy and moral turpitude prevail.

    3. A spiritual remnant shall enter the millennial kingdom. “I will bring the third part (Israel) through the fire, and … I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). Israel will be “the head and not the tail.” The administrators of our Lord’s earthly kingdom shall be Israel and they shall be the instructors of all who are to enter into His kingdom (Isaiah 2:3).

Three Ends to Be Accomplished

    1. The bringing to an end of Gentile world dominion. “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them” (Daniel 2:35).

    2. The salvation of Israel. “All Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26).

    3. The establishment of the millennial kingdom. “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” (Revelation 11:15).

Thy kingdom come, O God,
Thy rule, O Christ, begin!
Break with Thine iron rod
The tyrannies of sin.

When comes the promised time
That war should be no more—
Oppression, lust, and crime
Shall flee Thy face before?

We pray Thee, Lord, arise,
And come in Thy great might;
Revive our longing eyes,
Which languish for Thy sight.

O’er heathen lands afar
Thick darkness broodeth yet:
Arise, O Morning Star.
Arise, and never set.

—Lewis Hensley