Posts Tagged ‘Second Coming of Christ’


Todd BakerBy Todd Baker
B’rit Hadashah Ministries

Secular historians generally write history from an anthropocentric view. That is how it relates and centers on Man and his development and various achievements in a closed universe. But the Bible concentrates on the historical fulfillment of God’s covenantal relationship with the nation of Israel leading up to the first coming of the Messiah and His second coming to Israel in a supernatural fashion whereby God freely and arbitrarily intervenes in the affairs of man. In fact, the Bible says God determines the national boundaries and demographic habitations of humanity with the intent that the children of Israel could live in the land of Canaan in an area that would perfectly accommodate their numbers and allow for this. For Deuteronomy 32:8 says:

“When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.”

And all that the Bible has predicted about Israel’s divine history thus far has literally come to pass.

So then it is only reasonable and natural to conclude that the prophecies about Israel’s future will also literally be fulfilled. Bible Prophecy predicted as a super sign and precondition for the return of Christ the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland as the nation of Israel. That took place on May 14, 1948. The rest of this article will explore and explain how the modern nation of Israel is fulfilling this role as the super sign to indicate the coming of Christ is close at hand and could very well happen in our generation.

The Bible predicts in Deuteronomy 30:1-3 that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will occur sometime after the regathering and return of the Jews from world wide dispersion into the land of Israel. God gave this prophecy through Moses and the Jews just before God brought them into the land of Canaan. The Authorized Version of these verses is most telling:

“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice. According to all that I commanded thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.”

Notice the chronology or sequence of prophetic events here:

  1. God will bring the Jews back to the land of Israel from the nations of the world where they were scattered abroad by Him for their disobedience.
  2. During this regathering the Lord Himself “will return” and complete the restoration of all Israel back into the land.

In others words, when God begins to bring the Jews back into their land He gave them, Christ will return! The phrase “will return” is omitted from most modern translations of the Bible since the Masoretic text (upon which the majority of modern translations of the Old Testament are based upon) and the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) do not include it. But the Dead Sea Scrolls copied some 150 years before the birth of Christ and over 1,000 years older than any previously discovered manuscript of the Bible includes this very phrase! The passage reads as follows:

“…then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from the peoples, [from] where the Lord your God has scattered you…” (Martin Abegg,Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, p. 187).

Thus, the phrase has good precedent for being included as from the original. And the prophecy given in Deuteronomy 30:3 foretells that when the Jews return to their ancient homeland from the Diaspora (the scattering of the Jews to all Gentile nations of the world after the Babylonian exile in 586 B.C. and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.), the Lord Jesus Christ will return. If we just had this prophecy alone in Scripture concerning the return of the Jews to Israel and the return of the Lord following it, this would be adequate alone to believe in His word that He would regather the Jews back to Israel and subsequently return at the second Coming. This unquestionably means in the words of author Homer Duncan that:

“For centuries, the prophecies concerning the regathering of Israel lay dormant in the Word of God. There was no outward indication that they would be fulfilled, but they are now being fulfilled before our eyes, and this can mean but one thing: THE COMING OF THE LORD DRAWS NEAR.” (Homer Duncan, Israel: Past, Present, Future, p. 16)

Related Links


Tunisian Jews flee upheaval for Israel – JTA
Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: Land Covenant – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
The Modern State of Israel in Bible Prophecy – Ariel Ministries (Arnold Fruchtenbaum)
Federations launching $5.5 million campaign for Ethiopian aliyah – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Is Modern Israel Fulfilling Prophecy? – Pre-Trib.org (Thomas Ice)

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Todd BakerBy Todd Baker
B’rit Hadashah Ministries

Part of the reason for the return of Israel’s Messiah will be to enforce the everlasting decree of God’s land grant to the Jewish people and to overthrow the nations of the world in league with the anti-Christ who will violently attempt to take the land away from them (Zech. 12-14; Ezekiel 47:13-48:35). In fact, the boundaries God gave for the Promised Land stretch from the river of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) to the Euphrates River near the Syrian/Iraqi border (Gen. 15:18-21) — an area yet to be occupied by the Jewish nation that well includes the two presently disputed areas of Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

The covenant God made with Abraham not only would produce the Jewish people from his posterity (“seed”) with a land to live in, but their presence in the world also would greatly benefit and bless Mankind. The Lord said:

“And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

Indeed the Jews have brought the world immeasurable blessings. They wrote and preserved the Scriptures (the Bible), which is the number one best-seller in the world and were the people through whom the Messiah came to redeem humanity from sin (Romans 3:2; 9:5). The Jews wrote the Bible and the Messiah Jesus is a Jew.

God subsequently reaffirmed this covenant with Abraham to his son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob (Genesis 25:5-6; 35:9-15). From these three patriarchs, God eternally promised the land of Israel to the Jewish people. From a divine and biblical perspective then, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. And so God chose this Land and the Chosen People to play a central role in His plan of redemption for the world and mankind that naturally involves the past, present, and the future.

The plan of redemption for Israel and the world focuses around two epochal events — the first and second comings of the Messiah Jesus Christ. In both advents, Christ has and will personally come again directly to Israel. The covenant God made with Abraham plays a special significance and role in end-time Bible prophecy. The fact God guaranteed the people of Israel a national existence and homeland forever that brought the material and spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations basically defines and determines the primary focus of the whole eschatological program of God. The covenant of Abraham with the provisions of a land, nation, Messianic descendant, and blessing to the world is the building base and foundation upon which the plan of God is built and enlarged through the other covenants.

The creation of the Jewish people and the bestowal of a national homeland via the Abrahamic covenant were preparatory for the first coming of the Messiah. Gentiles who come to faith in Him are adopted into Abraham’s family and receive the blessing promised through that covenant (Galatians 3:8; 14-29). And just as the establishment of the Jewish people as the nation of Israel was crucial to the first coming of Christ, so too Scripture indicates that the regathering of the Jews into their ancient homeland, after being scattered throughout the world for nearly 2,000 years, and the reestablishment of the nation of Israel are necessary for the second coming. In fact, it would serve as a super-sign that will set the stage for the prophesied series of events that will culminate in the return of Christ to Israel. Without the reconstitution of the nation of Israel in our generation, none of the events of End-time prophecy could occur or be possible.

Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy articulate and underscore this point well when they write:

“God’s plan for history always moves forward in relation to what He is doing with Israel. Thus, the fact that Israel has been and continues to be reconstituted as a nation is prophetically significant, so significant that it makes Israel God’s super-sign of the end times. Were Israel not a nation again it would be impossible for events of the end times to occur since so many of them take place in that tiny country or in reference to it. But it has returned and so it is that all other aspects of Bible prophecy are also being prepared for the grand finale of history.” (Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, Prophecy Watch, p. 61.)

Related Links


Israel Through The Eyes Of Scripture – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel? – GotQuestions.org
Christian Israel supporters urge Rand Paul on aid – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Israel: The Super Sign of the End-Times (Part 1) – BPB (Todd Baker)
Soros blames Israel, encouraged by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – American Thinker

Q. I read in one of your answers that you see Acts 15:13-18 as a proof of the pre-trib rapture, I think I see what you’re saying but it seems a bit weak.  Would you clarify these verses for me?

A. In effect Acts 15:13-18 says Israel was being set aside until the Lord has taken out of the gentiles a people for Himself.  The Greek word translated taken means to take for the purpose of carrying away, or to remove.  After that he will cause the Temple to be rebuilt and  restored, so that those who are left may seek the Lord.

To me it’s a pretty clear description of the fact that the 490 year clock of Daniel’s 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) stopped in year 483 with the crucifixion. While it’s been stopped the Lord has focused on the Church.  After He removes us He’ll turn to Israel again for the remaining 7 years. Therefore the rapture will precede Daniel’s 70th Week.

Greg LaurieBy Greg Laurie
Harvest Ministries

Awhile back, I was in a restaurant in Arkansas. As my friends and I talked with the server and invited him to the event where I would be speaking that night, he asked me, “Do you think we are living in the last days? Do you think that Jesus Christ will come back in my lifetime?”

With all that is happening in our world today, a lot of people are asking that question. Looking at the recent earthquakes and tsunamis, the aggression of North Korea, the new nuclear capabilities that are being developed by Iran and the continuing threat of global terrorism can cause even the doubters to wonder whether these are the end times the Bible speaks of. Are we living in the last days? Is the end of the world near? Is Jesus Christ coming back again?

There is no bigger event that will ever take place in the world than the second coming of Jesus Christ. And it will happen. It is not a matter of if, but when. I am not the only one who believes it. A Gallup poll revealed that 66 percent of Americans believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth in the future. That is at least 25 percent more Americans than those who claim to be born-again Christians. So it is not only Christians who necessarily believe it. A lot of people are beginning to sit up and take notice, and they believe Christ is coming back again.

When Jesus was asked what the sign of his return would be, he painted a picture of a world torn by strife and war, a world rocked by great earthquakes and ravaged by pestilence, and a world where there would be famine in the midst of plenty. He said,

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (Luke 21:25 NIV).

The catastrophic tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, was caused by the fourth most powerful undersea earthquake on record, an earthquake so forceful that it moved the entire island of Sumatra 100 feet to the southwest from its pre-quake position. Geologists said it literally sent the entire planet vibrating and actually interfered with the Earth’s rotation to the degree that time stopped for three milliseconds.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, earthquakes are increasing. Every decade for the past five decades has increased the number of earthquakes – not just minor ones, but what are now called “killer quakes.” It seems as though every catastrophic earthquake that occurs is said to be the strongest ever. Then another killer quake will come along that is even worse than the ones before.

Jesus likened these signs to a familiar human occurrence. He said they are the beginning of birth pains, or labor pains. They are the signs of the times the Bible tells us to be looking for that will alert us to the fact that Jesus Christ is coming back again. So as we see these things happen and increase in frequency, it means his coming is near.

Some people argue this has been going on for hundreds of years, that everyone thinks Jesus is coming back in their lifetime. I will grant that, but I would like to point out one thing to think about: Something really significant happened on May 14, 1948. The Jewish people who had been persecuted throughout history, who had been murdered in the millions by Hitler, began to return – as if on cue – to their homeland. And on that day in 1948, Israel was once again a nation. After the War of Independence, the modern state of Israel was declared, fulfilling a very significant Bible prophecy. It wasn’t just a sign; it was a super-sign. And it happened against all odds.

Still, it left the city of Jerusalem divided, with Jordan retaining control of the old city, including the Temple Mount and most of the historic area. But during the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli forces were able to capture the old city and reunify all of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was under Jewish control for the first time in many centuries, and another Bible prophecy had been fulfilled. The prophet Ezekiel said the Jewish people would be scattered and then regathered. After this takes place, he prophesied, Israel then would be isolated and ultimately attacked.

The Bible tells us that the end of the world as we know it, culminating in the final Battle of Armageddon, will happen in the Middle East. It also tells us that Jerusalem will be a key part of that as the nations of the world turn against her. In Zechariah 12:2–3, God said,

“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.”

This is why we should not get our hopes too high when we see another Middle East peace treaty being signed. There might be a cessation of violence temporarily, but it will kick up again, according to what the Bible says. God says these things will happen, and he is telling us they are warnings we should be paying attention to.

Frankly, we don’t know what will happen next in our world. Any one of us could be a victim of terrorism or violent crime in these volatile times in which we live. I wish I could say there never will be another tsunami or another earthquake or another hurricane or another terrorist attack. But we live in a fallen world. And we know it will come to an end.

So is the end of the world near? I don’t know for certain, but clearly there are signs of the times. At the same time, we never know when life will come to an end. The statistics on death are pretty impressive: One out of every one person will die. There are no exceptions. And there are no chances after death to respond to God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. But there are hundreds, even thousands, before.

Related Links


Korean war tensions mount as South rejects talks amid threats from North – DEBKAfile
Israel primed to attack a nuclear Iran – The Guardian
5.7 Magnitude-aftershock Hits Central Indonesia – CRIENGLISH.com
What signs indicate that the end times are approaching? – GotQuestions.org
Signs of the Times What the Bible says about The Rapture, Antichrist, Armagedon, Heaven and Hell – Greg Laurie (Book)

Tony GarlandBy Dr. Tony Garland
SpiritandTruth.org

Q. Blessings to you and Shalom,

As I study I have found verses that state there were two in a bed and one was taken, there were two in the field and one was taken. Most people state that this is a picture of the rapture of the good one being taken. I don’t believe this. In many places in the Bible it states that the good will inherent the earth. That would make one think that the bad one is being taken away.

A. I share your understanding of the passages you mention (Mat. 24:37-42; Luke 17:26-37).

When it comes to determining the meaning of a passage, context is king! In other words, the immediate setting of the passage must be examined first for clues as to the meaning intended by the author. Only afterwards do we look to what we believe may be other related passages.

In Matthew’s gospel, notice the analogy Jesus makes between the global Flood which “took them all away” (to destruction, Mat. 24:39) and those who are “taken” in the subsequent verses. As during the Flood, they are taken in judgment.

It is also evident that the taken ones are taken in judgment in Luke’s account where His listeners ask about the destination of the taken ones, “Where, Lord?” (Luke 17:37). His answer:

“Wherever the body is, the eagles [or vultures, NASB] will be gathered together.”

Jesus is making reference to the common theme of judgment where God says He has a sacrifice for the birds of the air who will eat of the carcasses of the dead (e.g., Deu. 28:26; Rev. 19:17-18). His statement is rooted in an understanding of a similar passage in Job:

Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, stretching his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and lodges, upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place. From there he spies out food; His eyes see [it] from afar. His young ones also suck up blood; And where the slain are, there is he. (Job 39:26-30)

Most careful teachers of the rapture know that these verses having nothing to do with the coming of the Lord for the Church, but speak about the Second Coming where Jesus comes in judgment and all the wicked are purged from the earth (Mat. 13:30,41-42,48) in preparation for the Millennial Kingdom to follow (Mat. 25:31).

Applying these passages to the rapture is eisegesis: reading into the passage something that is not there. The fact that people are ‘taken’ is incorrectly assumed to be their departure at the rapture, but the passage is not teaching this.

Related Links


What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming? – GotQuestions.org
Matthew 24, Luke 17 and the Rapture – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
An Interpretation of Matthew 24-25 (Part 34) – Pre-Trib Research Center (Thomas Ice)
A Testimony of Jesus Christ: A Commentary on the Book of Revelation, Vol. 1 – Anthony C. Garland (Book)