Will the return of Christ be in 2 stages?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by BrotherJoseph, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. BrotherJoseph

    BrotherJoseph
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    Many Christians who hold to what is called the "dispensational" interpretation of prophecy, teach that the second coming of Christ will be in two stages: first, the RAPTURE (this will be in secret and a coming for His saints), and then later the REVELATION (this coming will be with the saints). The interval between these two events, the great tribulation period, is commonly referred to as seven years. In essence, though those that teach this doctrine probably wouldn't refer to it this way, but they essentially teach a third coming of Christ, one before the tribulation in secret when the saints will be raptured and those "left behind" will not know what has happened to the "vanished" saints (i.e. the secret rapture) and a third coming after the tribulation at the end with the saints in the clouds. (To be fair, typically those who maintain this teaching do not use the term "third coming", rather that there will be "two stages" of the one second coming). The purpose of this thread is for posters to discuss the questions of will the 2nd coming occur in two stages (one secret one before the tribulation and one after the tribulation at the end)? Please only post if you can provide scriptural support for your assertions.

    Brother Joe
     
  2. revmwc

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    The quotes contain copyright material
    "We see now a voice as if a trumpet in Verse 1 of Chapter 4 John hears a voice after the sound of a trumpet saying come up hither. He saw a door opened and the voice as if a trumpet. REV.4:1 we don’t see the spewing out of the church in chapter 4. We do see prior to the beginning of chapter 4 an openly apostate church. People wanting their rights no matter what the bible commands, sound like today’s church? We saw a lukewarm church. Christ was ready to spue out of His mouth that is vomit it out. The end of Revelation 3 showed a closed door that Christ was knocking on. No need for alarm chapter 4 shows an open door. The age of the church comes to an end here in Chapter 4. Which will occur after this present age and this set to begin as the church of the rights of the people comes upon us full force. 2 Thessalonians 2 tells us to stand fast in this apostate time which is upon us, we are to hold fast the truth of God’s word.

    Chapter 4 the second vision John saw. Verse 1 starts with “After this”. After what? After the vision of Christ with the golden candlesticks and the messages and cycles of the church. After John hand written the messages to the churches. After sending the message to the several churches. That vision closed John now sees the next vision. John says “Behold a door was opened in heaven” Whatever is transacted on earth it is first designed and settled in heaven. He is called now to see the things which will happen after this age. He escorts us into the realm of these things to come. Now the scenes of the world are gone for us we now look into heaven. We have the third separation of the book with the things here after. The end of the church age and the history of the church on earth has ended. The scene in heaven here in Chapter 4. We will see a shift back to God working through Israel. We see gentiles saved in the age. But there is no church that is no Bride of Christ, on earth. No body of Christ, No bride of the Lamb any more on the earth, unless Christ is on earth. Johns states in Chapter 4 verse 1 …and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” Let’s look now at what the dispensationalist call the rapture that others say Rapture is not mentioned in scripture, so the snatching away as the Greek calls it in 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17 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: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Notice the similarities in Revelation 4:1. John represents the church which is called up, he hears a voice and he described it as sounding like a trumpet. Paul in Thessalonians says a voice and the trump of God is heard. John hears a voice as if a Trumpet, that represents those who are alive and remain. 1st Corinthians 15:52 -“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, and we shall be changed.”

    John sees the open door in Heaven in which the Believer will then pass through. His attention is turned from earth to heaven."

    A period of two 3 1/2 year periods occur. The Tribulation and the Great Tribulation
     
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  3. revmwc

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    Again all the following is copyright material used with permission:
    “Seven year period of time cannot begin until the redeemed of the Lord are gathered around Him in glory and crowned there. This cannot be emphasized enough. No Saint in heaven currently has a crown. Paul in 2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” That day when the Bride has been gathered home and assembled around the BEMA seat of judgment, the day we will all receive our crowns! We see that the Tribulation period is divided into parts. The first part starts here in chapter six and goes to chapter ten this book covers that period of time. This portion contains the breaking of the seals. The blowing of the first six trumpets. Then comes three chapters describing for us the chief characters in the Great Tribulation. As chapter 11 unfolds we are shown the two witnesses of the Lord. They will prophesy for exactly forty two months or twelve hundred sixty days.”

    “The Lord Jesus seen here in REv. 19 verse 11 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Heaven is opened and a white Horse was beheld by John. The marriage now complete the Lord will come forth to complete the redemption of the earth itself. The Bride now fully married to the Bridegroom it is time for Him to reign in His Kingdom. So Heaven is opened! The Bridegroom comes forth on a white horse! He is coming forth here to return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! The Bride was removed in Chapter 4 verse 1. The Tribulation began and billions of people died. The Beast and False Prophet came to reign. The Great Tribulation began. The time of Jacob’s trouble, the time of Trial, of temptation had occurred. Now it is coming to an end after 7 years and for those on earth it has been a long seven years especially for those who believed on Christ during that time. We are told this rider is called Faithful and true, in righteousness He is coming! He has a purpose in coming. He is coming to judge those who did not receive Him! He is coming to make war and defeat the Beast, the False Prophet and satan that is the unholy trinity. Remember God has always had a plan! God laid the plan out even to Adam and Eve. A Son would be born who would redeem mankind’s soul first and He would redeem the lost inheritance the earth second. That plan of redemption was going to culminate with the 2nd coming of the Savior that is the 2nd Advent, here we see it beginning! We see now verse 12 “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.” We are given His description. His eyes as a flame of fire, which speaks of him coming in judgment. He is coming to judge those on the Earth. He is coming to put down its unrighteousness. On His head are many crowns. He is coming as Isaiah said, in Isaiah 9:5-7, He is coming to a battle. Garments will be rolled with blood. He will come with burning and fuel of fire. The government will be upon His Shoulders! His name will be Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and Peace there shall be no end! He will sit Upon the Throne of David and upon His Kingdom. It will be established with judgment and justice from henceforth and forever. The Zeal of the Lord of Host will perform this! He will be the Supreme ruler of the Earth. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. . We now come to His clothing in verse 13 “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God”. Remember what Isiah said his garment was rolled in blood! Here that prophecy is seen and fulfilled, a vesture dipped in blood. This also fulfills Isaiah 63:1-6. He comes in Battle. He died for our sins in Bloody agony there on the cross. The whipping and beating He took soaked his garments with Blood. In the Garden He sweat drops of Blood. He is coming to battle already having fought once for man’s redemption. He comes now to complete the battle for the Redemption of all creation! He will stain His clothing more with the blood of His enemies in this coming war! His name is called “THE WORD OF GOD”! Note here John 1 verses 1 & 2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1: 14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” In His first advent John says the Word was made flesh. Now He comes in His resurrection Body still as “THE WORD OF GOD”! The marriage we saw take place in verse 7, verse 8 we are told how the bride was arrayed. Here is what verse 8 is stated “…arrayed in fine linen, clean and white…” Now we are told “THE WORD OF GOD” has an Army with Him. Notice how this army is arrayed, verse 14 “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” It is the Bride coming with her Husband the Bridegroom. Let’s go all the way back to Revelation 4: 4 “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” All this shows the Church the Bride is the Army that comes with Christ. She has been with Him for one week of celebration. Leading up to the marriage ceremony and coming with Him in His finest moment. The church has been with Him in Heaven during the Tribulation all 7 years. We see the Weaponry in Verse 15 “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” A sharp sword proceeds out His mouth. Do you know you have that same weapon today? We see Hebrews 4:11-13, the Word of God we are told is “…is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…” The same weapon that proceeds out of the Lords mouth is the same weapon we use today, the Bible which is the Word of God, we use it to witness to people, at least some of us do! The return of Christ at the Second Advent, will be a time of Judgment first. He comes with His bride to defeat the wicked on the earth. The Lord is on His way to defeat the unholy trinity. The Battle of Armageddon is at hand in Chapter 19.”
     
  4. agedman

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    There is no doubt that the promises of God do not change. What God in Christ promised has and will happen.

    Christ stated, "I will come again and receive you unto myself." That promise will not fail.

    Those that believe in a "secrete" rapture, tend (imo) to put stock in such verses as "God hasn't appointed us to wrath." 1 Thessalonians 5

    And, there are those that would suggest that the "wrath" is the final judgement of God at the white throne. (Rev. 20)

    Personally, I look longingly for the Lord's return.

    I also find it interesting that some would scorn such hope as foolish and even question a physical return, and that (imo) is part of the fulfilling of the statement, found in 2 Peter 3.

    But there is a great apostasy growing throughout the world, and if the Lord tarries there will be the revealing of the "man of sin." (2 Thess. 2).

    Therefore, the tribulation of the believers is going to increase. Many will have doubt grow because they don't see the expectation fulfilled in their timeline. This applies to all, no matter the view taken of the latter day.

    The key (imo) is found in that "restrainer" being taken out of the way. (2 Thess. 2).

    Some would place that restrainer as the Holy Spirit.

    For me that restrainer is the life and living of the believing church. The church, triumphant, that has been the subject of persecution from the beginning, that the world and worldly will rejoice is no longer restraining them from the evil of their heart's desire.

    Perhaps some of the confusion on this issue is that there are TWO (man of sin and the lawless one) mentioned in Thessalonians 2. The first is revealed to the believers, and second follows the first yet the believers (restrainers) are taken away and do not see that form of Satan.

    I do hold to the promise of the second coming physical return of Christ to literally rule this world for the millennium.

    I also am hopeful of a catching away before the full weight of the tribulation days (mentioned by Christ in Matt. 24) for though the church has undergone persecution from the beginning (Matt 24:9) there is that appointment of the "great tribulation" (Matt. 24:21). Two things about this tribulation. First it is throughout the globe, it is not a centralized event. Second, it is the signal of the end (Matt 24:14).

    There are those who would suggest that the church does not go through this great tribulation, and those that contend from the opposite corner.

    For me, I am rapture ready and hopeful, but rely completely upon the promise of Christ, "I will come again..." and the promise that we will "rule and reign with Him." (compare to the parable of Luke 19)

    When? Only the Father knows, for He has no more to give to the Son to redeem. All those who will be redeemed are redeemed. No more are allowed to enter, and those who make any attempt are conspirators climbing a wall but are cast out.

    Then look upon 2 Thess 1 and see the events of the Lord's return to rule:
    We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

    This is
    a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
    For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.​
     
  5. Martin Marprelate

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    I do not see two future 'comings' of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    1. Acts 1:9-11 tells us that His return will be a visible one. This is backed up by Matthew 24:26-27.
    2. The Bible speaks of only two ages: this present evil age (KJV 'world' Gk. aion) and the 'age to come' (Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 20:34-35 etc.).

    The 'age to come' broke into the world with the first coming of the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:15; Hebrews 6:5). Christians have already entered into that age (eg. Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 3:20) in a certain sense sense, but it will arrive in its fullness with His return.
     
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  6. Van

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    I believe in the two phase return of Christ. First Christ comes in the air, and all those "in Christ spiritually" will meet Him in the air. (1 Thess. 4:17) This will occur sometime during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. Whether it will occur pre-trib or pre-wrath I will leave to others to sort out. Then Christ with His saints will set foot on the Mount of Olives, from where He ascended. (Acts 1:9-11)
     
  7. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Martin,

    I agree, there is no scriptural basis for the two stage 2nd coming theory with a secret rapture. This passage makes that very apparent, "16 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:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess 4:16-17). It explicitly says He will return with "a shout", to read "invisible" or "quiet" into the description is just unsound. If Paul was trying to describe a secret event, he chose the wrong words!

    Jesus actually warned againstt the idea of secrecy in connection with His second coming. "If any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or there: believe it not...if they shall say unto you...behold, he is in the secret chambers believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 23:23-27)

    Brother Joe
     
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  8. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Van, the previous verse before the one you quoted to support a 2nd rapture explicitly states, "the Lord himself shall descent from heaven with a SHOUT" (1 Thess 4:16), how do you read secretive into that? To me that indicates anything but a quite, secret rapture.
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    I did not say I believed in a secret "rapture." My great grandfather was a very brave man. He once returned inside a prison under control of rioting inmates to retrieve his hat. He had no fear of men. But when a thunderstorm was passing, he became quiet and pensive. You see he believed Christ might return and he wanted to be ready, not only him but his whole family. Usually when I hear thunder, I think of my great grandfather and his faith in the imminent return of Christ.
     
  10. revmwc

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    That's just it nothing is secret about the Snatching Away except the time it will occur. You know why it is not a secret event,
    Revelation 19:19 “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

    Notice they counted the years and knew the time for they were gathered to "make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army." The rapture occurred and they were able to understand the things taught and when they saw this destruction they gathered to fight against Christ, satan knew when to gather them, because he knows what prophecy says. The Snatching away is no secret, it will occur and then the 2nd Advent will come, they will be waiting to defeat Him. But they fail and He conquers. Now notice too there is the 1st Advent, His coming and dying for us and being raised and ascending, then there is the second Advent that is He returns to the earth. In between He comes in the clouds and stops, He doesn't return to the earth but stops in Heaven and believers meet Him in the Air and are ever with Him. There are two comings to the earth. While there is a return for the Bride, His Church but she as the Brides of that day went to the Bridegrooms home for the week of celebration, the Bride that is His church goes to His home in Heaven to prepare for the Marriage for one week.
     
  11. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Van,

    I agree with you that there is no such thing as a "secret" rapture except in the fictional Left Behind series. You said you believe in the two stage theory, by this do you mean the Lord will come once to rapture His saints then a second time in judgment at the end? Please elaborate.
     
  12. Van

    Van
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    As I said before, scripture indicates He comes and we meet Him in the air. I believe this happens during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, pre-wrath. I do not believe we can pin it down any closer than that. And I believe Jesus will set foot on the Mount of Olives, Acts 1:9-11. I do not know the interval between the two phases. I believe Jesus has returned during the second 3 1/2 years, just as described in Revelation.
     
  13. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Rev,

    So in essence He comes three times per your teaching-the 1st advent, the 2nd advent, and per you "in between he comes in the clouds", however my Bible says, "unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:28), but where do the scriptures teach a third coming of Christ? If the rapture is a separate "stage" from the coming of Christ in power and glory, how could each "stage" be a 2nd coming? If they are separate and distinct events-separated by several years-a coming that follows the second coming would be a third! But the scripture never speaks of a third coming, or of "comings" (plural). Is the catching up of the saints to meet him in the air separate from the second coming of Christ, brother Rev?
     
  14. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Van,

    Jesus said "Occupy till I COME" (Luke 19:13). How could the church occupy until He comes, if the church will be raptured away before him coming to step foot on the Mount of Olives? Jesus also said, "I will COME again, and receive you unto myself" (John 14:3). Plainly this shows that when Jesus comes he receives His people unto himself, but with your belief he receives His people 3 and a half years before He comes and sets foot on the Mount of Olives.
     
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  15. revmwc

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    That's the whole point He doesn't set foot upon the earth. Isn't His coming a coming to earth? Where as for His coming in the air as 1 Thessalonians 4:17 states. He stops short of coming to the Earth we who are alive will see Him without sin for we will be changed.
     
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  16. revmwc

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    As Paul states we meet Christ on the air/clouds we see the fulfillment of John 14:1-3. Now the second coming we see Him coming in judgment Recelation 19 and then the Kingdom, yet He clearly said He would come and take the believers to be with Him.
     
  17. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Revmwc,

    Yes, His coming is a coming to earth. Scripture tells the saints to, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the COMING of the Lord" (James 5:7), but why exhort the brethren to be patient unto the COMING of the Lord, if their real hope was a rapture before His coming? Paul speaks of Christians as "waiting for the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:7). If he believed Christians would be caught up to heaven in a rapture before the coming of the Lord, why didn't he speak of Christians as waiting for that?
     
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  18. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Revmwc,

    Also, if the rapture is separate from the "coming" of Christ to earth, why in the "rapture" passage does Paul call the catching up of believers as "the COMING of the Lord" (1 Thess 4:15) This proves Christ's coming and the rapture are one in the same event as they are both referred to as the "COMING of the Lord"..
     
  19. revmwc

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    Because He is coming for His Bride the church First, why because He made that promise. Revelation 3:10 He said that He would keep those who have kept the word of His endurance (patience) from the Time of Trial (temptation) which is coming upon those dwelling upon the earth. Then we see the things to come hereafter in Revelation 4 and the Church is not mentioned as being on earth after that point. What we see is the 144,000 from the 12 tribes listed of Israel. Christ revealed it all in the boom of Revelation.
     
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  20. revmwc

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    No He promised to come and take believers to be with Him didn't He? And yet what does He do in Revelation 19 & 20; He reigns upon the earth but yet our mansion is His Fathers House, heaven. Of course New Jerusalem descends after His reign in the 1000 year Kingdom. Again He comes for His Bride. She (we believers) meet Him in the air and receive our resurrection bodies.
     

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