The Manner of Christ’s Return


4th in the series. Starts here.

Christ will return in the same way He left

Ok. Now let’s get into some Scripture dealing directly with the Return of Christ.

The disciples were told Christ would return the same way He left. What does that mean? It means the Church won’t be raptured before the Tribulation.

In Acts chapter 1, the disciples are speaking with Jesus just before He ascends to Heaven after His Resurrection. Let’s go there now.

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

[Acts 1:6-11 NASB]

The disciples asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel at that time. This is referring to Christ’s Millennial Reign when He reigns on the earth from Jerusalem [Revelation 20:4-6]. Christ says it is not for anyone to know at what time He will return to set up His Kingdom.

As they are watching him ascend into Heaven on a cloud, two angels appear and tell them that when He returns it will be in the same way. What does that mean? Let’s simplify the action.

  1. Jesus’ feet are on the ground
  2. He ascends to Heaven to a cloud

This means that when He returns, He will descend from Heaven from a cloud until His feet once again touch the ground.

Christ descends to the Mount of Olives. 1 Thessalonians says he will descend from a cloud and Zechariah [14:4] says His feet will touch the Mount of Olives. Simply speaking, Christ has to pass through clouds to reach the earth. While He is still in the clouds, on His way to the earth, He gathers His elect for the final battle and then continues to the earth to fight.

These verses in 1 Thessalonians and Zechariah are referring to the Coming of the Lord, His Second Coming.

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

[1 Thessalonians 4:17 NASB]

Those who are alive at that time will meet Jesus in the clouds.

Let’s walk through the entire passage in 1 Thessalonians in context.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 NASB For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. [15] For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. [16] For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. [17] Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The Lord descends from Heaven from a cloud while He meets all believers in the air. The Rapture begins with the resurrection of those who are dead in Christ. The Rapture ends with the resurrection of those who are alive in Christ. It is all within the twinkling of an eye [1 Corinthians 15:52]. We will all meet Christ in the clouds upon His return as He is descending to the earth. There’s no reason to think that His feet will not touch down upon the earth at this time when we are told, as we have seen, that He will return in the same manner in which He left. Where will His feet touch the ground?

In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

[Zechariah 14:4 NASB]

His feet will once again touch the ground at the very place he ascended from, the Mount of Olives [Acts 1:12].

Christ will descend from Heaven from a cloud. We will meet Him in the air. His feet will touch the earth at the Mount of Olives. He will go to wage war with the Antichrist [Revelation 19:11-21]. This is the end of the tribulation.

Just like above when:

  1. Jesus’ feet are on the ground
  2. He ascends to Heaven to a cloud

We can reverse the order when He returns:

  1. Jesus descends from Heaven from a cloud
  2. His feet, again, touch the ground

In the Pre-Tribulation view, Christ will be flying around in the air with us for seven years before He touches the ground. Clearly, this is not correct.

© P2ALM 2011

Next in the series.

Categories: The Rapture, The Timeline of the EndTags: , , , , , , , , ,

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