The Second Coming of Christ has been announced thousands of times, but it never happened. This has caused dramatic confusion in the Church. What does the Bible truly say about the return of Christ?

The Second Coming Of Christ
UNVEILED

The past century Christianity has been terrorized by countless false prophecies, that inaccurately announced the imminent Second Coming of Jesus Christ.. 

Many well known Christian preachers from the previous two generations predicted that the rapture and the physical return of Jesus Christ would surely occur during their lifetime. They passionately preached it from their pulpits, they boldly declared it on radio and TV, it was taught in mass conferences and numerous books were written to prepare mankind for the apocalypse. As time went by, one generation followed another, and all these powerful preachers passed away... a sobering reality dawned on the minds of the honest observers: 

No matter with how much zeal these prophecies were spoken and how widely they spread, ultimately... none of them ever came to pass. They all proved to be false. It was 100% deception...

This tsunami of erroneous forecasting continues even today, as the internet is buzzing with videos, articles and books that constantly announce the same apocalyptic events. If they don't happen as predicted, the date is simply moved a year ahead again. Year after year, decade after decade, again and again the return of Christ is prophesied to happen during that year. This avelange of false prophecy has been going on now for many decades... 

rapture false prophecies second coming of christ

It may be a shock to realize this, but this is the harsh reality: nobody on the face of the earth releases so many false prophecies, as the Church of Jesus Christ! Evangelical Christianity has literally become the nr 1 false prophet in the history of mankind. Naturally this global wave of deception has severely damaged the credibility of Christianity in our day. Wikipedia has published a long list of well known false predictions of the end of the world. Most of these were given by well known preachers! That is extremely serious. In the Old testament God ordered people who prophesied falsely, to be stoned to death. That's how grave it is in the eyes of God to predict events, in His name, that don't happen.

In our time however nobody is ever held accountable for their false prophecies. The deceptive forecasting continues, unhindered and unchecked. 

Dazzling disappointment as Jesus Christ did not return as prophesied

books end of the world - second coming

In the seventies thousands of young believers joined the 'Jesus People', a global movement of passionate Christians. Many of these zealous believers were convinced the world was about to end and Jesus Christ could return any day now. Songs about the rapture echoed from their innocent voices, as they refused to prepare for real life, because surely Jesus would take His bride away. As time went by... their joyful expectation turned into bitter disappointment...

Jesus Christ did not return... and many awakened to the reality that they had been deceived by false promises. 

Today we have similar movements, like the International House of Prayer in Kansa City, where tens of thousands of zealous believers are persuaded to pray and fast day and night for the return of Christ. This non stop prayer, that has been going on for twenty years now, is fueled by one prophetic utterance after another. Young people are encouraged to become so called 'intercessory missionaries' which means they must spend their lives praying and fasting for the end of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. After spending years in the prayer rooms, these young people eventually have no choice but to face the real world, just like anybody else... but sadly they are utterly unprepared for their future. The confusion and bewilderment is dazzling.

billboard rapture prophecy return christ

False prophecies about the Second Coming cause severe damage

This widespread deception is not without consequences. The false prophecies are causing crippling confusion in the lives of countless precious children of God. Millions never prepare for retirement and end up in deep poverty and disillusionment. Parents fail to dream big for their children, believing the end is upon them. Youngsters refuse to study for their future, thinking all God requires of them is to pray and watch for a rapture to take them away. Christian leaders all over the world end up in burn out, because they think the end is near and they need to run as fast as they can, to save a few last souls. 

second coming false teaching

The majority of the Church has stepped away from her role of influence in society. We are told everything will be wiped out anyway, so why bother? As a result Christians in general have become the least relevant and least effective people in our world. Most believers don't care about the environment and leave it to rot, instead of helping to preserve and restore God's glorious creation. Never before in the history of Christianity has the Church been so crippled by false prophecy and false teaching.  

It is time to ask some
honest questions...

The search for the truth
concerning the Second Coming

Is this really the will of God? Is Jesus Christ a false prophet who continually deceives His people with false promises? Is it truly the plan of God to burn His entire creation, along with all of mankind, that He loves so dearly? Does God want Christians to be the most irrelevant people in the world? Are we even allowed to honestly ask these questions?

I invite you to come with me on a journey.... Not just a trip but an adventurous quest into the heart of Scripture. We will uncover the original and undefiled truth about the Second Coming. 

Our goal is not to blindly believe what popular preachers on prestigious platforms say, neither will we try to defend our own preconceived ideas. On the contrary, we will closely look at what Jesus Christ and His apostles truly said. We do not aim to defend our own opinions, but we want to return to the original message of Jesus Christ. He is not a false prophet, but He is trustworthy. So if we believe doctrines that constantly release false prophecies, there is something very wrong.  

second coming return christ discovery

Would you like to find out what we can learn from Jesus Christ Himself, about His Second Coming? Do you long to discern clearly between destructive myths and empowering truth? If your answer is yes, then come with me and let's dive deep into the Word of God. We will do an amazing discovery...

The Second Coming according
to Jesus Christ

When Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth, He made an astonishing promise to His followers: He would appear on the clouds of heaven, in the glory of the Father, accompanied by armies of angels in a blazing fire. When this happened, He would be revealed as the King of kings, and take His place of authority in the kingdom of God. Then He would execute vengeance and repay each according to their works. Wow... That is without a doubt the most spectacular promise anyone has ever given to others! But... not only did Jesus Christ predict His glorious appearance on the clouds, He also said very clearly when it would happen!

Jesus Christ left no room for any doubt
concerning the timing of His coming.

For example, while Jesus was preaching to His Jewish audience, He announced His coming on the clouds and said very clearly when it would occur: 

'For the Son of Man will come
in the glory of His Father with His angels, 
and then He will repay each according to his works.


Assuredly, I say to you,
there are some standing here 
who shall not taste death

till they see the Son of Man
coming in His kingdom.'
(Matthew 16:27, 28)

Some would live at the Second Coming

Whenever Jesus Christ said 'assuredly' He wanted to make sure the people understood fully well that what He was saying, was absolute truth and they ought to pay special attention to it.

While announcing His appearance on the clouds of heaven, He declared: 'Assuredly, some of you will live to see Me coming!'

Jesus Christ repeated this explicit timeframe for His coming several times. For example when He sent out His disciples to go through all of Israel, to declare that the kingdom of God was at hand. First Jesus prepared them for the persecution they would face, but then He also encouraged them that it would not last long. He would come before they even had time to go through all the cities of Israel!

'For assuredly, I say to you,
you will not have gone through the cities of Israel

before the Son of Man comes.'
(Matthew 10:23)

christ returns israel

In the gospel of Matthew chapters 23 to 25 we read how Jesus Christ elaborated on His coming. He went into great detail to describe the events that would precede His glorious appearance on the clouds of heaven. Jesus Christ gave the Jewish believers in Jerusalem detailed instructions, how they had to prepare for the coming events. He assured them it was not something for a distant future, but their generation would absolutely experience all of it, so they had to prepare for it!


'Assuredly, I say to you,
this generation will by no means pass away
till all these things take place.'

(Matthew 24:34)


'Therefore you also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming

at an hour you do not expect.''
(Matthew 24:44)

Jesus generation return

It is apparent that Jesus Christ never gave even the slightest suggestion that His coming on the clouds would not occur during the lives of the first Jewish believers. On the contrary, He always stressed how soon He would come, some in His audience would absolutely live to see it and therefor they had to be ready for it. He however did not know the exact day or hour; only the Father in heaven knew that specific moment. But that it would happen during the lives of His Jewish audience was a sure thing. That's why in Matthew chapter 24 we read how Jesus gave these first believers strict instructions on how they had to be prepared for it. When talking to His first Jewish followers, Christ told them:

'Take heed that no one deceives you.

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled...

Then they will deliver
you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated...

...then let
those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Therefore you also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.'

(Matthew 24)

jesus second coming quote

Note that Jesus Christ did no effort whatsoever to explain to them that He was actually talking about something that would happen in an extremely distant future, thousands of years later and that His advice was actually meant for an entirely different generation of people. No. Never did Jesus give even the slightest hint, that He would not come during their lifetime.

Jesus always stressed to His Jewish audience that they would surely see it all happen and therefor they had to prepare for it.

In intimate settings with His closest friends, Jesus also made it clear that His coming would be so soon, that some of them would still be alive. Concerning the apostle John, the Lord said to Peter:


'If I decide to let him live until I return,
what concern is that of yours?'

(John 21:22)

quote John alive

Not only did Jesus Christ prepare His followers for His soon coming on the clouds, He also warned His enemies that they would surely see Him come to bring judgment. For example, when Christ was led before the Jewish High Council, who condemned Him to a cruel death on the cross, Jesus told them in their face:

'I say to you, hereafter YOU WILL SEE the Son of Man
sitting at the right hand of the Power, 
and coming on the clouds of heaven.'

(Matthew 26:64)

high council coming christ

Timeframe for the Second Coming

To help you understand the specific timeframe Jesus Christ gave for His Second Coming, you find an overview here of all the time indications He gave. Note that He often said 'Assuredly!' which means this is very important and we should especially take it to heart. 

When did Jesus Christ
say He would come?

. . .

Some of His audience would live
to see it happen 
(Matthew 16:28)

He would surely come during
that generation
(Matthew 24:34)

The apostles wouldn't have enough time 
to go through Israel, before His coming 

(Matthew 10:23)

The apostle John would still be alive
(John 21:22)

The members of the Jewish Council
would witness it
(Matthew 26:64)

The first Jewish Christians
had to be prepared for His coming 
(Matthew 24)


The Second Coming according
to the apostles

Now that we know when Jesus Christ said He would come, let's look at the timeframe His apostles gave for this incredible event. Did they contradict their master? Did they tell the first Christians they would surely not live to see the Second Coming and it was all meant for a generation of believers in a very, very distant future? Let's have a look at the time indications for the return of Christ, given by the apostles.

'For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not delay.'

(Hebrews 10:37)

'But this I say, brethren, the time is short.'
(1 Corinthians 7:29)

'The night is far spent, the day is at hand.'
(Romans 13:12)

'The end of all things is near.'
(1 Peter 4:7)

second coming not delay

As we can see, the apostles fully agreed with their Lord: His coming was very near, they would absolutely experience it, the time was short, it would only be a little while, He would not delay, and therefore they constantly encouraged the first Christians to be ready for it. The apostle James even told the first Christians the coming of the Lord was at hand and He was already standing at the door:

'Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!'

(James 5:8,9)

The apostle John went as far as to declare they were already living in the LAST HOUR!

'Dear children, this is the last hour.'
(1 John 2:18)

last hour quote, John

Jesus Christ would keep the Corinthians strong till His coming

In his letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul said some important things that confirm the biblical timeframe of the coming of Christ. He told the Christians in Corinth: 

'...you eagerly await the unveiling of the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.
​​He will keep you steady and strong to the very end,
making your character mature so that you will be found​
innocent on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

(1 Corinthians 1:7-9)

First Paul said that the Corinthians were eagerly waiting for the unveiling of the Lord Jesus. They were indeed expecting the coming of the Lord soon, during their lifetime. Note that Paul did no attempt to warn them they might not see Him when He would be revealed in glory from heaven. Instead, he confirmed their urgent expectation and even added a promise: the Lord Jesus would keep these Corinthians steady and strong to the very end. They would be found innocent on the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul affirmed the expectation of the Corinthians, promising them they would be kept strong until the day of the Lord.
That means they would be alive!

The coming of Christ would bring relief
to the first Christians

The apostle Paul also made an encouraging promise to the first Christians who lived in Thessaloniki. They were suffering under the cruel hands of those who rejected Christ, just like the apostles themselves were being persecuted severely by the Jews. Paul knew of their troubles and sent them a message that lifted their spirits and filled them with new strength and hope. This is what he promised them: 

'He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you

and give relief TO YOU who are troubled,
and TO US as well. 

This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven
in blazing fire with his powerful angels 
in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, 
and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

(2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)

second coming first christians

What comforting words! Their trials would come to an end! Freedom to live would be their part once again. No longer would their dreams be crushed under the harsh feet of those who oppressed them mercilessly. There was hope! When would this time of relief be? Paul made it very clear:

'This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven
in blazing fire with his powerful angels.'

(2 Thessalonians 1:7)

Paul promised these suffering believers that they would find relief at the coming of Jesus Christ. That means He would come during their lifetime! Not somewhere in a far, distant future that had no meaning for them whatsoever. No. Paul was very clear. The Thessalonian ​believers and the apostles themselves would find relief at the Second Coming of Christ.

When did the apostles say
Christ would come?

. . .

It would only be a little while, 
He would not delay 
(Hebrews 10:37)

The time was short 
(1 Corinthians 7:29)

The day was at hand​
(Romans 13:12)

The end was near 
(1 Peter 4:7)

The Judge was already at the door
(James 5:9)

They were in the last hour
(1 John 2:18)

They were eagerly waiting for Christ  
(1 Corinthians 1:7)

Christ would keep them strong
until His coming 
(1 Corinthians 1:8)

The first Christians and the apostles
would find relief at the coming of Christ 
 (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)


The second coming according to
the book of Revelation

The book of Revelation speaks more about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than any other book in Scripture. It was written by the apostle John, to prepare the first Christians for the events that would precede His coming. It would be a very difficult time for these believers, and the promise of the return of Christ was given as an encouragement for the believers to keep their faith during the times of tribulation. 

John was fully aware of the severity of the events he was predicting. Therefore he left no room for even the slightest doubt concerning the timeframe. 

John wanted to make sure that the people who had to be prepared for it, would know as a fact that indeed THEY needed to brace themselves and be ready for what was about to happen. That's why throughout the book of Revelation John kept repeating when these events would all take place. He even started Revelation by exclaiming in the very first verses when the described events would come to pass.

'The Revelation of Jesus Christ,
which God gave Him to show His servants

—things which must shortly take place.'
(Revelation 1:1)

'Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy,
and keep those things which are written in it.

for the time is near.'
(Revelation 1:3)

'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book,
for the time is at hand.'
(Revelation 3:10)

'And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel
to show His servants the things

​which must soon take place.'
(Revelation 22:6)

revelation john

As we see, John did every effort to make it crystal clear to his readers that everything he was predicting would happen very soon! We have to be fully aware of the fact that the apostle John in no way gave even the slightest hint that any of these events might be for a distant future. On the contrary, he kept repeating that it would all happen during their lives.

It would all happen soon, the time was near
and the events were at hand.

Before the coming of the Lord there would be tremendous unrest: disasters, wars and so on. The Lord Jesus understood fully well how difficult this would be for His beloved people and therefore He encouraged them warmly with a sure promise: He would come very soon, meaning their suffering would not last long. The assurance of His soon coming was expressed to help the believers hang on, during the hard times they were about to face. Throughout the book of Revelation Jesus Christ constantly repeated this promise, to strengthen the hearts of the Christians: I am coming quickly! So hold on, don't lose what you have, stand firm, persevere!

'Because you have kept My command to persevere,
I also will keep you from the hour of trial...

Behold, I am coming quickly,
so cling tightly to what you have,

so that no one may seize your crown of victory.'
(Revelation 3:10)

'And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel
to show His servants the things

which must shortly take place.
 'Behold, I am coming quickly!'

(Revelation 22:6,7)

'And behold, I am coming quickly, 
and My reward is with Me,
to give to every one according to his work.'

(Revelation 22:12)

'He who testifies to these things says,
Surely I am coming quickly.' 
(Revelation 22:20)

Christ exhorted the first Christians to hold fast what they had and expect His reward at His coming, which means they would be alive. 

The biblical time frame
for the Second Coming

The Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles left no room whatsoever for the idea that the return of Christ would be for a very distant future, thousands of years later. On the contrary, whenever they mentioned it, they always stressed how imminent His return was. They kept reassuring the first generation of Christians that they would surely experience it and therefor they had to be ready for it. The expectancy of the soon return of Christ was the hope of the early Christian Church, it was what they were looking forward to. They built their lives on the sure promises given to them by both their Lord and His apostles, who kept repeating unanimously that the coming of the Lord was at hand. He would not tarry, He was already standing at the door, the time was near, He would come quickly, they were living in the last hour, they had to prepare for it, and so on.

To help you get a clear understanding of the biblical time frame for the Second Coming, you can find an overview here of all the time indications given by Jesus Christ and the apostles:

JESUS CHRIST
. . .

Some in His audience would be 
alive at His coming
(Matthew 16:28)

Jesus Christ would come during
the first generation of believers
(Matthew 24:34)

The apostle John would still be alive 
(John 21:22)

The disciples wouldn't have time
to travel through Israel, 

before His coming 
(Matthew 10:23)

The Jewish High council
would see Christ coming on the clouds

(Matthew 26:64)


He would come soon and quickly
(Revelation 3:10)


THE APOSTLES
. . .

It would only be a little while,
the Lord would not delay

(Hebrews 10:37)

The time was short
(1 Corinthians 7:29)

The coming of the Lord was at hand. 
The Judge was already standing

at the door 
(James 5:8,9)

The first Christians were living
in the last hour
(1 John 2:18)

The coming of Jesus Christ would
bring relief to the first Christians

(2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)


They were eagerly waiting for Christ 
(1 Corinthians 1:7)


Christ would keep them strong
until His coming
(1 Corinthians 1:8)


REVELATION:
. . .

The events described in Revelation
would take place shortly
(Revelation 1:1)


The time was near
(Revelation 1:3)

The time was at hand
(Revelation 3:10)

The Lord would surely
come quickly
(Revelation 22:6)


The first Christians had
to cling tightly to what they had,
until the coming of Jesus
(Revelation 3:10)


What can we learn
about the Second Coming?

For many of us it will be a shock to discover how specific the timeframe for the return of Christ is. Some may struggle to accept this plain biblical truth, because it contradicts everything we have heard in Church, for such a long time. If Christ would come during the first generation of Christians, then why are we expecting Him, more than fifty generations later? Discovering the biblical time frame for the coming of Christ, overthrows everything we have been told and have believed. In fact it means that the Church is seriously confused on a large scale. Is that even possible? Can  it be that the Church is deceived on a global level? Well, if we look at Church history, we find that the worldwide Church has been dead wrong several times, on very important topics! For example, for centuries the global Church taught the believers they had to earn heaven with their good works, or even by paying money to the Church. It took a brave but lonely reformer, named Martin Luther, to bring Christianity back to the original message of the New Testament, that we are saved by grace. 

reformation luther

He suffered tremendous persecution from the established religious institutions, who refused to listen.

Also, for centuries the Church all over the world said the gifts of the Spirit were no longer for our time. The power of God was almost non-existent in Christianity. It took a few daring reformers, who faced fierce opposition, to bring Christians back to the truth that the Spirit of God is very much at work today. His power is for all of us, to bring healing, deliverance and strength to the body of Christ. But even today many Christians in several denominations still label believers who experience the power of Jesus Christ, as dangerous deceivers. Restoring a specific truth to the body of Christ has never been an easy job.

Should we deny and twist what Jesus Christ said about His return?

Because the biblical time frame for the Second Coming is so different from what we have heard in Church, some choose to simply deny everything Jesus Christ and His apostles said. They disregard literally every single time indication, with the following excuse: 'God knows no time. One day is a thousand years for Him. When God gives a time indication, it basically means nothing. He can say "soon", "at hand" and "quickly" and actually mean it will take forever and ever.'

The result of this line of thinking, is that it makes God completely untrustworthy.

The specific time indications for the coming of Christ were given to encourage the suffering believers in the first century. Christ would come soon and give them relief. He would also keep them strong, until His coming. If we say these promises were in fact meaningless, and they all died without being relieved, then we make God a merciless liar. But God is not a deceiver who gives false promises to hurting people. He is trustworthy and full of compassion. When Jesus said John would be alive at His coming, some among His audience would not taste death before He came on the clouds, the High Council would witness it, the disciples would not have time to travel throughout Israel before the Son of man came and their generation would surely see it all come to pass, then He was not speaking nonsense. Jesus Christ was telling the truth!

Some would live at the Second Coming

When the apostles said the return of Christ was at hand, it would bring relief to the Thessalonians, the Lord would keep the Corinthians strong and innocent, they had to urgently expect it and prepare for it, the Judge was already at the door, they were living in the last hour, and so on, then they weren't giving false promises either. They spoke under the guidance of the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of truth.

Either we believe God was deceiving the first Church, or...
we admit that we may learn a few things about the coming of Christ.

According to C. S. Lewis
Christ was delusional

Some well known Christian leaders in history have concluded that Jesus Christ and His apostles must have been mistaken about the timing of His coming. For many critics of Christianity, this is a major argument against Jesus Christ. They exclaim: 'Your Jesus said he would surely come during the lives of the first believers and y'all say he never came, even not after two thousand years. That makes him a liar.' 

Critics dismiss Christianity and the Bible, based on our belief that Christ did not keep His word.

cs lewis denies second coming-christ

The well known Christian philosopher C.S. Lewis, author of the world renown Narnia series, publicly declared that Christ was ignorant and the apostles were delusional. In his book 'The World's Last Night' he wrote:

“Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else. It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.’ - C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night"

Was Lewis right? Was Jesus Christ ignorant and were His disciples delusional? That is the inevitable conclusion if we agree with the current widespread theologies concerning the Second Coming, that continue to deceive Christians with countless false prophecies. There is however another option: Jesus Christ was right and He did indeed come, like He said, during the lifetime of the first believers. I know this sounds absurd, because we all heard that it didn't happen. But... what if Christ was right, after all? What if He did speak the truth? What if His apostles were indeed accurate in their predictions? Is that possible? The only way to find out, is to check the historic record. If Jesus Christ came on the clouds with His angels, then that must have been recorded in history. Nobody can appear in the sky with fire and armies of angels, and go unnoticed! 

So the most important question of all, is: are there trustworthy historical accounts of this event? Well, brace yourself for an amazing discovery...

Does history reveal the
Second Coming?

Before we check the history books, we need to assess what history needs to reveal, in order for us to know whether Jesus Christ prophesied in truth or not. What did He announce? It would take me too long to list all the details, but here is a basic outline of what Christ announced would happen during that generation:  


Jerusalem would be destroyed 
(Matt. 23:38)

The temple would be destroyed
(Matt. 24:2)

Christ would be seen in the sky
(Matt. 26:64)

His angels would be seen in the clouds
(2 Thess. 1:7,8)

There would be a great light
(Matt. 24:27)

A supernatural sign would appear in the sky
(Matt. 24:30)

The sun would darken and the moon turn red
(Matt. 24:30)


There would be earthquakes, famines, disease, wars and false prophets
(Matt. 24:6,7)

All this would happen in the first generation of believers
(Matt. 24:34)

So... can we find these events in the history books? 

It may be a shock for you to read this, but during my research I found that indeed all these things have been described in detail, by the most authoritative historians of the first century! 

For example, the leading expert on the history of the Jews is Flavius Josephus, who documented the Jewish history of the first century in tremendous detail. He describes in his book 'Wars of the Jews' how indeed during the years 68-70 AD Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the Romans and the temple was ruined till the very last stone. That happened indeed within that generation, less than 40 years after Jesus predicted it. More than 1.3 million Jews died in the most horrendous ways. The sun darkened because of the smoke that rose up from Jerusalem and the moon turned to blood, due to the flames that went so high up. The sea turned red because of the river of blood flowing into it, and tens of thousand of dead bodies were covering the streets. Famines were so horrendous that mothers ate their children, there were false prophets all over the place, earthquakes shook the world and wars erupted in every direction. That was indeed the 'Great Tribulation' announced by Jesus Christ. 

destruction jerusalem 70 ad second coming

But not only did Josephus describe the great tribulation, he also describes how armies of angels appeared on the clouds, with great fire, how supernatural signs were seen in the heavens and on the earth, how a bright light shone from heaven, how the presence of the Lord left the temple and moved to the Mount of Olives, and so much more. 

Several Jewish, Greek and Roman historians describe how a tremendous figure of an unknown beauty was seen on the clouds of heaven, along with the armies of angels. 

If these historic documents are true, then Jesus Christ was also true! But... I am fully aware that this is all too shocking for most of you who read this, so I will let you read the historiography with your own eyes. Then you can come to your own conclusion: was Jesus Christ a liar who fooled Christians for the past two thousand years with false promises? Or was He speaking the truth when He said He would come on the clouds with His angels, during the first generation of believers? Let's see what the authoritative history books of the Jews and Romans reveal to us... 

The world famous historiography of the Pseudo-Hegesippus

pseudo hegesippus second coming christ

The Pseudo-Hegesippus is a well-known historical writing of the Jewish people. This classical Jewish historiography mentions that, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 66-70 AD, impressive angelic armies appeared in the clouds, clearly visible for all to see. Moreover, the Pseudo-Hegesippus states that a figure of enormous size was observed in the sky, along with the angel armies.


jesus clouds angels

'A certain figure appeared of tremendous size, 
​which many saw, just as the books of the Jews have disclosed,

and before the setting of the sun there were suddenly seen
in the clouds chariots and armed battle arrays,
by which the cities of all Iudaea and its territories were invaded.'

(Quote from chapter 44 from the Latin version of the Pseudo-Hegesippus)

scroll

This is literally what Jesus and the apostles had predicted! Jesus would appear in the sky with the angels. Some may try to deny that this was the coming of the Lord on the clouds, with His angels. But If this wasn't Jesus Christ, then who was it? Who has the power to be revealed in the clouds, with armies of angels? Certainly not the devil! He cannot command the angels of heaven. This basically cannot be anything else than what the Lord Jesus Christ had announced: He would come on the clouds with His angels and this would surely happen during the lives of the first Christians. According to Jewish history this indeed happened. But The Pseudo-Hegesippus is not the only historical writing that describes this supernatural event.

The historiography of Eusebius of Caesarea

eusebius return christ history

The best-known Christian historian of the first centuries, was the Greek Eusebius of Caesarea. He was considered an exceptionally educated man of his time and is called the father of church history. Eusebius reported in detail on the earliest church. In his book 'Ecclesiastical History' he describes what was observed in the sky, shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century ...

'A demonic phantom appeared of incredible size, and what will be related would have seemed a fairy-tale had it not been told by those who saw it, and been attended by suffering worthy of the portent. For before sunset there appeared in the air over the whole country chariots and armed troops coursing through the clouds and surrounding the cities.'

(Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 8, Sections 1-6)

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When the apostles saw Jesus Christ walking on the Sea of Galilee, they also shouted that He was a demonic phantom or a 'ghost'. Apparently people do not always recognize Jesus, so Eusebius wrote that the huge figure, who appeared on the clouds with armies of angels, was a 'phantom.' But again: who else could this impressive appearance in the sky, along with the armies of angels, have been but Jesus Christ? After all, this happened precisely at the place, the time, and in the way He had predicted. And it wasn't only mentioned by the Jews, this is the father of church history who also records it! Whether Eusebius himself understood this was the coming of the Lord or not, is of no importance to me. He does confirm the appearance of a figure of tremendous size in the clouds with the armies of angels, and that is exactly what the Lord Jesus had predicted. There is however far more historiography about this event, so keep reading... 

The historiography of Flavius Josephus

flavius josephus history second coming christ

The chief Jewish historian of the first century was called Titus Flavius JOSEPHUS (37-100 AD). In his world-famous historiography 'Wars of the Jews' he describes in great detail how Jerusalem and the temple were indeed destroyed by fire, exactly as predicted by Jesus Christ in Matthew 23 and 24. That was the day of God's revenge and retribution, the 'Day of the Lord', the outpouring of God's wrath, the 'day of Jacob's Trouble', the 'Great Tribulation', as was abundantly prophesied throughout the Old and New Testament. In Josephus' writings we read about the plagues that struck the land, the supernatural signs that appeared in the sky, the names of the false prophets Jesus had predicted, and many more details.

Flavius Josephus also mentions the appearance of angel armies on the clouds. 

angel armies clouds


'...chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.'

(Wars of the Jews, Book 6,  Chapter 5, Sections 2-3)

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The historiography of Gaius Tacitus

gaius tacitus roman history

Not only the Jewish and Greco-Christian historiography mentions the armies of angels in the clouds, the Roman historian named Gaius Cornelius TACITUS (56–177 AD) also describes it in his books. Tacitus was a Roman orator, senator, and governor. He is recognized as the most reliable Roman historian from the first century. The following quote comes from his famous work 'The Histories', a description of the Roman Empire between 69 and 96 AD. This excerpt comes from Book 5.13, which, like the previous writings, reports on the period prior to the fall of Jerusalem:

angels chariots clouds

'There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies,
fiery gleams of arms...'

temple dark lightning

'...the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds.'

(Gaius Tacitus, The Histories, Book 5.13)

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It is remarkable that the Roman historiography mentions these biblical events. Tacitus even describes an important sign that would be characteristic of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus had said that His coming would be like a lightning or a flash of light, as it is written in the Greek text. Later on we will talk more about this blazing light that appeared from heaven, during the appearance of Jesus and the angels on the clouds.

The historiography in the Sepher Josippon

A medieval historiography of ancient Israel, called Sepher Josippon, also mentions the fiery angelic armies, but adds that at the same time a male face appeared above the holy of holies of the temple. That face had a beauty they had never seen before and is described as 'very impressive.' I have had personal contact with Professor Steven Bowman, the Josippon-to-English translator. He assured me that the Josippon is a reliable historical writing and this appearance is therefore historically accurate.

'Now it happened after this that there was seen over the Holy of Holies from above for the entire night the outline of a man's face, the like of whose beauty had never been seen in all the land, and his appearance was very awesome.'

return of Christ above temple in 70 AD

'Moreover, in those days were seen chariots of fire and horsemen, a great force flying across the sky near to the ground coming against Jerusalem and all the land of Judah, all of them horses of fire and riders of fire.'

(Sepher Jossipon,  Burning of the temple, Chapter 87)

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The apostle Paul had written that the coming of Jesus Christ would be with angels and fire:

'He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you
and give relief TO YOU who are troubled,
and TO US as well.

This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven
in blazing fire with his powerful angels
in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, 
and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

(2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)

That is exactly what happened, according to the Jossipon: 'a great force flying across the sky... all of them horses of fire and riders of fire.'

Historiography about the
signs in the heavens

As we continue to read the historiography, we see many more things that were fulfilled in the manner that Jesus Christ had predicted. Jesus had also prophesied the following:

'For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.... Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.'' 
(Matthew 24:27, 30)

The Greek word translated as 'lightning' here is 'ASTRAPE', which means 'a flash of light' or 'a bright light'. So Jesus said that His coming would be accompanied by a bright light. Moreover, the 'sign of the Son of Man' would appear in heaven. Now read what the various historical sources say. This happened at the same time as the appearance of Jesus Christ and his angel armies on the clouds.

signs Son of Man sky second coming

'At one time a star, in form like a sword, stood over the city, and a comet, which lasted for a whole year;' and ... so great a light shone about the altar and the temple that it seemed to be bright day; and this continued for half an hour. This seemed to the unskillful a good sign, but was interpreted by the sacred scribes as portending those events which very soon took place.'

(Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 8, Sections 1-6)

temple illuminated

'Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour.'

(Flavius Josephus, ‘Wars of the Jews’, Book 6, chapter 5, sections 2 and 3)

'...the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds.'

(Gaius Tacitus, The Histories, Book 5.13)

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Jesus Christ had said that His coming would be like a sudden gleam of light (Greek word ASTRAPE) and that is exactly what happened, at the same time as the visible appearance of the armies of angels on the clouds, the face of an unprecedentedly beautiful man above the temple and a huge impressive figure in the clouds. Moreover, the supernatural sign of a sword-shaped star appeared above the city of Jerusalem. Could it be that this sword over Jerusalem was the 'sign of the Son of Man' announced by Jesus? The answer is given to us by the authors of the Jewish historiography Pseudo-Hegesippus:

'For about the signs of the stars even in the Gospels we are taught that there were signs in the sun and the moon and the stars.'

(Pseudo Hegesippus, Book V, Section XLIV)

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The Jewish historians acknowledge that the star in the form of a sword was predicted in the gospels. The Pseudo-Hegesippus hereby acknowledges that Jesus Christ has prophesied accurately.

Historiography about the
'signs of the end times' 

Jesus Christ announced in Matthew 24 that five specific things would happen prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and His coming. There would be false Christs and false prophets, wars and rumours of wars, famines, diseases, and earthquakes. These are called 'the signs of the end times' by Christians. Does the historiography mention these five signs? Let's have a look.

Sign 1: 
False Christs and prophets

Flavius Josephus repeatedly mentions large numbers of false prophets who deceived the Jews during the years before and during the Jewish-Roman war. These are some examples:

'Now there was then a great number of false prophets,
suborned by the tyrants, to impose on the people:
who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God.'

(Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter V, Section 2)

'And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude
to follow them into the wilderness: and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God.'
(Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book XX, Chapter VIII, Section 6)

George Peter Holford was a respected lawyer in the English government and an active benefactor in the 18th-19th centuries. In 1805 he wrote a book entitled 'The Destruction of Jerusalem, An Absolute and Undeniable Evidence of the Divine Origin of Christianity' Holford describes many of the events mentioned by Josephus and other historians of that time. Concerning Jesus' warning of false messiahs, he wrote

'The need for this warning soon became apparent, for within a year of ascension, Dositheus the Samaritan rose up, who had the nerve to claim that he was the Messiah whom Moses predicted; while his disciple Simon Magus misled large crowds into believing that he was the 'great power of God'.

simon magus sorcerer

The above relief sculpture depicts Simon Magus, a very influential sorcerer, who deceived great numbers of people. He is shown here with demons at his side. Holford names a large number of similar cheaters in that generation, some who literally called themselves 'the Christ' or 'Messiah'. Others promised that they would fulfill the task of the Messiah, releasing Jews from the ties of the Romans, and establishing a physical, earthly kingdom in Jerusalem.

As Jesus Christ predicted,
there was a rising of false prophets and false Messiahs. 

Sign 2: 
Wars and rumours of wars

The 'wars and rumors of wars' are also specifically described in the historiography of both Josephus and Tacitus as well as various others. This is what Tacitus wrote about the years right before the siege of Jerusalem:

​'I am entering on the history of a period rich in disasters, frightful in its wars, torn by civil strife, and even in peace full of horrors. 

Four emperors perished by the sword. There were three civil wars; there were more with foreign enemies; there were often wars that had both characters at once. ...

Besides the manifold vicissitudes of human affairs, there were prodigies in heaven and earth, the warning voices of the thunder, and other intimations of the future, auspicious or gloomy, doubtful or not to be mistaken. 

Never surely did more terrible calamities of the Roman People, or evidence more conclusive, prove that the Gods take no thought for our happiness, but only for our punishment.
(Gaius Tacitus, The Histories, Book I, January-March AD69)

wars rumors tribulation

About the many wars that broke out everywhere, Josephus wrote:

'... a great multitude of the Germans were in commotion, and tended to rebellion. And as the Gauls in their neighbourhood joined with them, they conspired together...' 

'... every part of the habitable earth under them was in an unsettled and tottering condition, ...'

'At the very same time did the bold attempt of the Scythians against the Romans occur. .... they slew a great many of the Romans that guarded the frontiers: and as the consular legate Fonteius Agrippa came to meet them, and fought courageously against them, he was slain by them. They then over-ran all the region that had been subject to him; tearing and rending everything that fell in their way.'
(Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, section 2 and 3)

In the fall / winter of 67 AD a cruel civil war broke out in Jerusalem and Judea, between the revolutionaries and those who wanted to keep peace with Rome. Many thousands were killed, until finally all of Jerusalem perished. In February-March of the year 68 AD, Idumeans looted Jerusalem, killing thousands. Simon Bar Giora, a leader of the Zealots, destroyed Idumea in 69 NC. There were indeed many wars and rumors of wars.

As Jesus Christ predicted,
there were indeed many wars and rumors of wars.

Sign 3:
Famines

Holford writes that the great famine predicted by Agabus in Acts 11: 27-30 began in the fourth year of the reign of Claudius (ie, 45 AD) and was "very long-lived." The famine spread to Greece, and even Italy, but it was felt most heavily in Judea and especially in Jerusalem, where many died for lack of bread. This famine is described by Eusebius, Orosius and Josephus. In Wars of the Jews, Josephus mentions various famines, which were so severe that mothers ate their own children!

'Now of those that perished by famine in the city, the number was prodigious; and the miseries they underwent were unspeakable. 

For if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did any where appear, a war was commenced presently; and the dearest friends fell a fighting one with another about it: snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. Nor would men believe that those who were dying had no food; but the robbers would search them when they were expiring; lest anyone should have concealed food in their bosoms, and counterfeited dying. Nay these robbers gaped for want, and ran about stumbling and staggering along, like mad dogs; and reeling against the doors of the houses, like drunken men. They would also, in the great distress they were in, rush into the very same houses, two or three times in one and the same day. 

Moreover their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew everything; while they gathered such things as the most sordid animals would not touch; and endured to eat them.

Nor did they at length abstain from girdles, and shoes; and the very leather which belonged to their shields they pulled off and gnawed. The very wisps of old hay became food to some; and some gathered up fibres, and sold a very small weight of them for four Attick.'
(Flavius Josephus, War of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 3, Paragraph 4)

Painting of famine in Jerusalem, in the first century

As Jesus Christ predicted,
there were indeed various horrible famines. 

Sign 4:
Infectious diseases

The fourth sign Jesus predicted were infectious diseases. Read what is known about this:

"History distinguishes two major cases of infectious diseases that occurred before the Jewish-Roman war. The first epidemic occurred in Babylon around 40 AD and raged so alarmingly that many crowds of Jews fled from that city to Seleucia for safety. The other happened in Rome 65 AD and cost the lives of amazing numbers of people.

Tacitus and Suetonius also described that similar disasters prevailed during this period, in different parts of the Roman Empire. After Jerusalem was surrounded by the army of Titus, pernicious diseases soon made their appearance, to aggravate the misery and to reinforce the horrors of the siege. They were caused in part by the huge crowds gathered together in the city, in part by the rotten exhalations caused by the unearthed dead, and in part by the spread of famine.
(George Peter Holford, The Destruction of Jerusalem, 1805)

epidemics

As Jesus Christ predicted,
there were indeed several infectious diseases. 

Sign 5:
Earthquakes

The last element announced by Jesus were earthquakes. In the early 68 AD a storm broke out, accompanied by great earthquakes:

'For there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds; with the largest showers of rain; with continual lightnings, terrible thundrings,

and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth that was in an earthquake.

These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.'
 (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 4, chapter 3)

earthquakes

Seneca the Younger, a Roman philosopher, wrote the following in 58 AD:

'How often have cities in Asia and Achaea been hit by a fatal shock! So many cities were swallowed up in Syria, so many in Macedonia! How many times has Cyprus been destroyed by this disaster! How often has Paphos become a ruin! We often received the news of entire cities that were destroyed in one fell swoop.'
(Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers, p. 163.)

In addition, major earthquakes occurred in Crete, Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Kolosse, Campania, Rome, Judea and Pompeii (February 5, 63 AD). Other earthquakes are recorded in the Scriptures in Matthew 27: 51-54, Matthew 28: 2, and Acts 16:26.

JESUS CHRIST
PROPHESIED ACCURATELY
.  .  .

The historians confirm what Jesus Christ had prophesied: it was a time full of wars. Josephus said that 'every part of the habitable earth under them was in an unsettled and tottering condition'.

There were a multitude of false Christs and prophets performing deceiving signs and wonders. Epidemic diseases, famines and earthquakes terrorized the people.

Tacitus concluded this was a time in which the 'gods' poured out their wrath on the people, exactly as Jesus and the apostles had said: it was time for God's judgment. 

Questions
about the Second Coming

For most of us it will be an amazing awakening to read this historic record of the coming of Christ on the clouds with His angels. The great news is that it is compelling evidence for the accuracy of the Bible and the divinity of Jesus Christ. If He indeed predicted the future accurately, then that is undeniable proof of His divine nature. Then Christianity suddenly becomes trustworthy. 

Instead of Jesus Christ being unreliable, like the critics say, He suddenly proves to be credible. That is great news!

On the other hand this discovery of course raises many questions. What about the resurrection of the dead? Weren't we supposed to get a glorified body that is free of any sickness and pain? Doesn't the Bible say all Christians all over the world would fly through the sky, among the birds and airplanes, when Christ returns, called the 'rapture'? And wouldn't Jesus destroy the planet with fire, and create a brand new heaven and earth? What about the gospel being preached to all of mankind first? And the thousand year reign? Wouldn't Jesus take residence in a stone temple in Israel? And so on... 

second coming questions

We have all been taught so many things that would happen before, during or after the return of Jesus Christ, that it is almost impossible to accept that Jesus Christ was telling the truth and His coming indeed happened, during the first generation of Christians. It is however critical to discern between popular myths and biblical truth. In the next part of this study, we will therefore have an in depth look at what the Bible really says about the Second Coming. Would it indeed be a global event, as we have learned? Would every eye all over the planet see Him, all at the same time? Would it mean the total annihilation of all of mankind and God's universal creation? Would all Christians fly through the sky? Would all the dead physically crawl out of the their graves? 

Let's have a close look at WHAT exactly the coming of the Lord would be, according to Jesus Christ and His apostles. 

WHAT

would the Second Coming be?

When Jesus Christ mentioned His coming, He said the following:

'For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, 
and then He will repay each according to his works.' 
(Matthew 16:27)


Jesus Christ announces vengeance

Jesus said He would come to repay each one according to his works. That means He would come to judge. The apostles Paul, James, Peter and John all said the same thing:

When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 
in flaming fire
taking vengeance on those who do not know God,
and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.' 
(2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)


'For we know Him who said, 
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

And again,
 “The Lord will judge His people.” (...) 

For yet a little while,

and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.'
(Hebrews 10:30,31, 37)


'Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. ... 
Behold, the
Judge is standing at the door!'
(James 5:8,9)


'Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. 
And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, 
and in righteousness 
He judges and makes war.'
(Revelation 19:11)


Throughout the Old Testament the coming of the Lord in judgment, had also been announced abundantly. The prophet Isaiah for example, said: 

'For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, 
like a whirlwind,
 to render His anger with fury, 
and His rebuke with flames of fire.'
 
(Isaiah 66:15)


Jesus Christ, His prophets and His apostles unanimously said that He would come to execute vengeance. The Second Coming would be a time of judgment.

WHO

would be judged at the Second Coming?

The next question is: who would be judged by Jesus Christ, at His coming on the clouds with His angels? To whom was Jesus speaking, when He predicted the judgment and His coming? Americans? Africans? Europeans? Asians? No. This is where a crucial principle for correct reading of the Bible comes into play: we have to respect the original audience to whom Jesus Christ was speaking. To whom was He sent? Who were the people He ministered to? To whom did He predict His coming? Who did He prepare for this event?


Jesus Christ was speaking directly to the first century Jews in ancient Israel. They were His audience!

The apostle John wrote that Jesus came to 'his own', which is Israel:

'He came to that which was His own.' 
(John 1:11)


Jesus Christ Himself also made a clear statement that He was primarily sent to Israel:

'I was not sent except to the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel.' 
(Matthew 15:24)


Of course His salvation eventually spreads to all the nations of the world. But at first Jesus Christ was sent to Israel, to fulfill what God had promised to Israel. When we read the Old Testament, we see that God constantly announced two major events: on the one hand God predicted severe judgment over Israel, because they kept ignoring God's will and followed demons instead. Secondly God promised the restoration of the remnant of Israel. They would receive forgiveness, healing and a new future of hope. You can read this in books like Isaiah, Zachariah, Zephaniah, and so on.

The destruction of ancient Israel and the restoration of the remnant, are the two central themes throughout the Old Testament.

It is basically what every prophet prophesied about. The end of ancient Israel would come, which was called the day of the Lord, His day of vengeance, the outpouring of His wrath, the day of Jacob's trouble, the end of all things, and so on. The era of ancient Israel would come to an end, in a catastrophic way. 

'Though your people Israel were as many 
as the sand on the seashore, 

only a remnant will return. 
Destruction has been decreed, 


and it will be overflowing with righteousness. 
For the Lord Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies, will complete 

the destruction he has decreed 
upon the whole land.' 

(Isaiah 10:22-23)


The destruction would however be followed by the glorious restoration of a brand new Jerusalem. This new Jerusalem would be very different from the old. While the old Jerusalem was characterized by wickedness, deception and rebellion, the new Jerusalem would truly be a place of righteousness.

'I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.

The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness
And speak no lies,


Nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth;
For they shall feed their flocks and lie down,
And no one shall make them afraid.' 

(Zephaniah 3:12-13)


When would the remnant be restored?

branch jesus christ messiah israel

Whenever God promised the restoration of the remnant of Israel, He said this would happen when the so called 'Messiah' would come. He would become the king of God's people and bring the reign of God on the earth. Therefor Israel was looking forward to this Messiah, this Anointed Servant of God who would save them. The prophet Jeremiah called this coming Messiah the 'branch of righteousness'. 

'Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, 
‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to
the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:
In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David


A Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

(Jeremiah 33:14-15)


God's promises would be fulfilled through this 'Branch of righteousness' - or the Messiah. He would execute God's judgment on the old, rebellious Israel and bring forth a new people who would love God.

That's why Jesus Christ quoted this passage from Isaiah, when He began His ministry:

'The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God.'

(Isaiah 61:1-2)


jesus quote vengeance goodness

It is critical to understand that Jesus Christ was first of all the promised Messiah who was sent to Israel. Only later would His light spread all over the world. That's why Christ only ministered within Israel. He was the Messiah of Israel! He had been announced by the prophets of Israel and came to fulfill everything they had prophesied concerning Israel. Jesus Christ constantly preached directly at the Israelites, and He predicted judgment over them, because they had murdered God's prophets. That's why Jesus said to His apostles that at His coming, they would judge Israel!

'When the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory,
you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, 
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
(Matthew 19:28)


We must understand that Jesus Christ was sent to Israel. He was their Messiah. Jesus only ministered within Israel and only preached to the Jews. They were His audience. He predicted events they would experience. Israel would be judged and the remnant restored. The old age would come to an end and a brand new era would begin.

The message of Jesus: a new kingdom!

During His years of ministry Jesus Christ indeed announced a new kingdom of God, which was His good news, or the gospel. Jesus would make all things new! The proclamation of the brand new kingdom, was His primary message:

'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.'

(Mark 1:15)


But He indeed also predicted the end of the old era. He went into great detail about this time of judgment over rebellious israel, in chapters 23, 24 and 25 of the gospel of Matthew.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Fools and blind!

You are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! 

How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 

Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,

that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, 

from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem
the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her... 

See! Your house is left to you desolate.”

(Matthew 23)


Painting of Jesus Christ, predicting the judgment over Jerusalem

All of Jerusalem would become a wasteland, or in other words it would become entirely 'desolate'. But not only that, the holy temple - the most important element of Israel - would be thrown down to the last stone:

'His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things?


Assuredly, I say to you,
not one stone shall be left here upon another,
that shall not be thrown down."

(Matthew 24:1, 2)


Jesus said the Jews would receive the judgment of God. Why? Because they had murdered God's prophets. Now God's wrath would come upon them. Jerusalem would become desolate and the temple would be utterly destroyed. That would be the end of rebellious Israel. 

The judgment would happen at His coming 

How do we know for sure the judgment of Jerusalem would indeed be the 'coming of the Lord'? We know this because of the significant question the disciples asked Jesus, right after He announced God's wrath over Israel in Matthew 23. The disciples heard about all the horrible things that would happen to Jerusalem, and they asked Jesus:   

'Tell us, when will these things be? 
And what will be the sign of Your coming, 
and of the end of the age?'
(Matthew 24:3) 


To the disciples it was obvious that the destruction of Jerusalem would happen at 'His coming'.

They wanted to know when it would happen and therefore asked Jesus: 'When will these things be and what will be the sign of Your coming?' Being religious Jews, the disciples of course knew the Scriptures where the coming of the Lord to judge Jerusalem had been predicted. For example the prophets Isaiah and Micah had said:

'For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, 
like a whirlwind,
 to render His anger with fury, 
and His rebuke with flames of fire.'
 
(Isaiah 66:15)

'Zion shall be plowed like a field, 
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins
and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.' 
(Micah 3:10,12)


Drawing of Isaiah prophesying judgment over Jerusalem

The coming of the Lord on the clouds of heaven was repeatedly announced all throughout the Old Testament. It was a basic message of the prophets, who warned Israel to stop sinning. Prophet Zechariah went into great detail about this coming of the Lord with His holy ones. He is the prophet who said the Lord would stand on the mount of Olives. Popular end time preachers often refer to this verse, to claim that we - Christians in the 21st century - will all see how Jesus Christ will stand on the mount of Olives, when He comes. But what does this verse truly say, when we read it in context? Let's see:

'I will gather all the nations AGAINST JERUSALEM to battle, 
and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, 
the women ravished and half of the city exiled... 

(...)
IN THAT DAY His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, 
which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; 

(...)
THEN the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!' 
(Zechariah 14:1-5)


First of all the Lord announces that He will gather the nations against Jerusalem to battle. In that day His feet would stand on the Mount of Olives. Then He would come with all His holy ones. When did that happen? Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, indeed during the generation of the first believers, as Jesus Christ had said.

destruction jerusalem 70 ad second coming

The Lord said He would stand on the Mount of Olives, and come with His holy ones, on the day when Jerusalem would be destroyed. That happened in 70 AD.

How did the Lord stand on the Mount of Olives? The Bible teacher Ernest L. Martin mentions in his book 'Secrets of Golgotha' that a Jewish rabbi named Jonathan - an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem - said the presence of God left the temple and stayed for 3.5 years on the Mount of Olives, hoping that Israel would repent, but they did not. In the meantime, a supernatural voice spoke from heaven: 'Return, apostate children. Return to Me and I will return to you.' When they did not repent, the voice said, 'I will return to My place.' (Secrets of Golgotha, by Ernest L. Martin. 84)

As we know the presence of God was in the temple of Jerusalem. During the siege of Jerusalem, it is known that His presence left the temple and moved to the Mount of Olives. Eusebius confirms this in his writings: 

​'Which it is possible for us to see literally fulfilled in another way even to-day, since believers in Christ all congregate from all parts of the world, not as of old time because of the glory of Jerusalem, nor that they may worship in the ancient Temple at Jerusalem, but they rest there that they may learn both about the city being taken and devastated as the prophets foretold, and that they may worship at the Mount of Olives opposite to the city, whither the glory of the Lord migrated when it left the former city.'

(Proof of the Gospel, Book VI, Chapter 18)

Image of the Mount of Olives, where the Lord stood at His coming

According to history the Lord indeed stood on the Mount of Olives, during the fall of Jerusalem.  

Isaiah announced judgment
over Judah and Jerusalem

That the judgment would be upon ancient Israel, is also obvious when we read who the original audience was of the prophets.  When Isaiah started prophesying, he clearly wrote to whom he was speaking:

'The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz,
which he saw
 concerning Judah and Jerusalem.'
(Isaiah 1:1)

'The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw 
concerning Judah and Jerusalem.'
(Isaiah 2:1)


Isaiah was sent to prophecy against Judah and Jerusalem. The judgments he predicted have nothing to do with all of mankind. The gentiles were ignorant concerning the Lord and His will. To Judah and Jerusalem however the Lord had revealed Himself, He had saved them from slavery in Egypt, He had performed countless mighty miracles in their midst and had rescued them many times from their enemies. They had seen the light, they had experienced God's goodness, they were in possession of His law. Yet they kept rebelling against God and followed the evil one instead. God kept sending His prophets to them, to call them to repentance. But they not only rejected but even murdered God's prophets. Throughout the centuries, they filled up the measure of God's wrath. The Lord announced through Isaiah that He would cut Israel down like a tree. On the stump a new branch would come up: Jesus Christ.

Israel is cut down to a stump, but a shoot comes forth

'Israel will be like a tree cut down, 
whose stump still lives to grow again.'
(Isaiah 6:13 TLB)

'The royal line of David will be cut off, 
chopped down like a tree; 
but from the stump will grow a Shoot
—yes, a new Branch from the old root. 

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, 
the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might;
 the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
(Isaiah 11:1,2 TLB)


This is the main theme of the book of Isaiah: God announced the end of ancient Israel and promised a brand new kingdom of God.
This would be established by His servant, the Lord Jesus Christ.

So what did Isaiah say, concerning the judgment over Judah and Jerusalem? He uttered words, that were repeated by apostle John in the book of Revelation. John wrote that during the outpouring of God's wrath, people would hide in the rocks, for the anger of the Lord.

'And the kings of the earth, the great men, 
the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, 

hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 

and said to the mountains and rocks, 
“Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him 
who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 
For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
(Revelation 6:15-17)


Many end time preachers have used this verse, just like they used the verse about the Lord standing on the Mount of Olives, to tell us God will pour out such wrath on all of mankind, that everybody will try to hide in the ground. But John was simply repeating what Isaiah had prophesied, and he said who these people would be: 'The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.' (Isaiah 2:1) Isaiah explained that God would judge them because of their sins:

'For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Their land is also full of idols.'
(Isaiah 2:6)


Then, in the next verses, Isaiah speaks about people hiding in the rocks, for the terror of the Lord:

'Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty.'

(Isaiah 2:10)


Just like the prophet Zechariah, Isaiah said the coming of the Lord in His terribly majesty, causing people to hide in the rocks, is when He would judge Judah and Jerusalem or 'the house of Jacob'. The disciples of Jesus Christ knew this very well. The theme of the terror of the Lord, the day of the Lord, the outpouring of His wrath on Israel, the day of His vengeance, the destruction of Jerusalem, His coming with His holy ones, was engrafted into their minds. It was a very common theme throughout the Old Testament. That's why the disciples asked Jesus, after He had announced the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple:

'Tell us, when will these things be?
And what will be the sign of Your coming, 
and of the end of the age?' 

(Matthew 24:3)


The disciples did not separate the destruction of Jerusalem and the coming of the Lord. Knowing the Old Testament, it was clear to them that this was one single event. He would come on the clouds of heaven to destroy Jerusalem. That would be the end of that age. Israel would be cut down and something new would begin, in Jesus Christ.

Who was causing trouble?

That is also what the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, when he gave them the promise of finding relief at the coming of the Lord. Who were the ones persecuting the Christians and the apostles? Paul explained it in his letter:

'...the Judeans, 
who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, 
and have persecuted us; 

...wrath has come upon them to the uttermost. 
(1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)


Paul second coming judgment jews

It were the unbelieving Jews who persecuted Jesus Christ, the apostles and all Christians. Their forefathers had murdered God's prophets and now the generation to which Jesus was sent, even murdered their very own Messiah. By killing Christ and persecuting the apostles and Christians, they had filled up the measure of their sins and the time of wrath had come. 

The Lord will judge His people

The author of the letter to the Hebrews also declared that the coming of the Lord would mean God's judgment over His people, which is Israel:

'For we know Him who said, 
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

And again, 
“The Lord will judge His people.” 

For yet a little while, and 
He who is coming will come and will not tarry.' 
(Hebrews 10:30,31 37)


The apostles and Christians looked forward to the coming of the Lord, who would judge Israel. This would be the end of their suffering by the hands of the Judeans who rejected Christ.

What did Jesus say to the Jews,
about His coming?

As we saw already in this study, Jesus Christ prepared the believing Jews in Jerusalem for the coming destruction. He gave them specific instructions:

'Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the 
Sabbath.

Therefore 
you also be ready

for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.'

(Matthew 24)


jesus second coming quote

When Jesus Christ spoke to the believing Jews in Jerusalem, He constantly said to them: 'YOU will hear and see it, YOU must flee, YOU must be ready' and so on. He even clearly said 'THOSE IN JUDEA' and He talked about 'THE SABBATH' which was only practiced in Israel!


Wouldn't every eye see Jesus coming?

Now wait a second here.... doesn't Scripture say 'every eye will see Him'? Yes indeed! But we have to apply the key principles for a correct understanding of Scripture. Let's read the verse that says every eye would see Jesus and then check the context and source text.

'Behold, He is coming with clouds, 
and every eye will see Him, even 
they who pierced Him. 
And
 all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.'
(Revelation 1:7)


First of all it says 'those who pierced Him'. Did Americans, Africans, Asians or Europeans pierce Him? No, it were the Jews who sent Jesus to the cross! Secondly we read 'all the tribes of the earth'. Is that really what it says in the Greek? Here's a screenshot of the original meaning of the word 'earth':

ge land

As you can see, the Greek word here is 'GE' which also means 'LAND, COUNTRY, REGION'. Therefore this verse could just as well have been translated as: 'All the tribes of the land'. Would that have been a more accurate translation than 'earth'? Well... is the whole earth divided in 'tribes'? Of course not! What is divided in tribes? The LAND of Israel! There were twelve tribes in Israel. It is absurd to translate this word as earth, while it speaks about tribes! Israel is a land (Greek = GE) that was divided in tribes. So a very simple check with the original Greek text, and looking at the verse with a little more attention, reveals this has been dramatically mistranslated. First it speaks about those who pierced Him, and then it says all the tribes of the land. That is Israel!

When we read scripture in context and source text,
we see that it says every eye in Israel every eye in Israel would see Jesus coming.

The House of David would see Jesus coming!

That it was indeed Israel who would see Christ on the clouds, is confirmed when we read a prophecy by Zechariah, concerning the judgment of Jerusalem and the coming of the Lord:

'And I will pour on the house of David 
and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; 
then they will 
look on Me whom they pierced. ...
 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem.'
(Zechariah 12:10,11)


The House of David would look on Him whom they pierced and there would be a great mourning in Jerusalem. That is exactly what Revelation 1:7 says about the Second Coming! Also Jesus Christ referred to these words by Zechariah when He spoke about His coming on the clouds:

'Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 
and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, 
and they will see the Son of Man coming 
on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.'
(Matthew 24:30)


WHAT WOULD
THE SECOND COMING BE?

.  .  .

When we read Scripture correctly, we see who would be judged at the coming of Christ: Israel.

They had murdered God's prophets, they killed Christ and they persecuted the Christians. Therefor God's wrath would come upon them once and for all.

This judgment during the coming of the Lord had been prophesied by many Old Testament prophets.

The book of Revelation, Zechariah and Jesus Christ said the inhabitants of the land of Israel would see Him coming.

Jesus told the Jews to be ready for His coming and He gave them specific instructions, so those who believed in Christ would escape this destruction.

For Christians the coming of the Lord would mean salvation, because it would end the cruel persecution by the Jews.  

The coming of Christ on the clouds meant the end of the old age of Israel and started a new era of the kingdom of God.

Did Jesus announce the end of the world?

end of the world

When we read the gospels, chances are we have a Bible translation that tells us Jesus Christ constantly predicted the end of the 'world'. This actually was a main theme of His message: He prepared His followers for the end of all things. Or did He? Let's have a look at some of Jesus' words, and check their original meaning in the Greek.

'What shall be the sign of thy coming, 
and of the end of the world?'
(Matthew 24:3)


We have already seen that the disciples asked Jesus this question concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. So.... why would they suddenly talk about the end of the whole planet? That doesn't make any sense! Jesus didn't announce God's wrath over the entire world, He talked about God's judgment over Israel, because they had murdered God's prophets. So why do our Bibles talk about the end of the 'world'? Because they have been dramatically mistranslated. The original Greek word that was translated here as 'world' means something totally different. It is the Greek word AION which means 'a space of time, an age'. Here's a screenshot with the meaning of the word Aion:

strongs aion

Jesus never announced the end of the world, but the end of a time period, more specifically the age of the old covenant.​ Jesus never announced the end of the world, but the end of a time period, more specifically the age of the old covenant.​ Jesus never announced the end of the world, but the end of a time period, more specifically the age of the old covenant.​ 

That makes total sense, because Jesus Christ indeed came to end the Old Testament and start a new chapter in God's book: the New Testament! Christ ended the old age of a stone temple in a stone Jerusalem with a law written on stone. He created a brand new world where we are now the temple of God, He dwells in us, and together we are the new Jerusalem, His Bride. The law is no longer written on stone, but is now written in our heart. God now dwells in our midst and from within us, He expands His reign over the earth.

Will the earth be destroyed?

But didn't Jesus also speak about the passing away of the heavens and the earth? He sure did, but He meant something different than we think. Because while saying the heaven and earth would pass away, He also told the people to flee to the mountains. That is absurd if the literal earth is passing away! So He wasn't speaking about a literal passing away of all of God's creation. After all, he had promised the earth to the meek:

'Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.'
(Matthew 5:5)


More about the true biblical meaning of the 'passing away of heaven and earth' is explained later in this study. What we have to understand at this point, is that Jesus Christ never announced the end of the world. He always used the word AION which means TIME PERIOD.

old new covenant

False Bible translations are the main reason why millions of Christians incorrectly believe the entire planet earth is about to be destroyed. They read in their Bibles how Jesus predicted the end of the 'world' and since that hasn't happened yet, they conclude it must be in our near future. The opposite is however true. Jesus didn't announce the destruction of our beautiful planet, He announced the end of the age of the old covenant of the law. He ended that time period and created something brand new: a new covenant sealed with His own blood. A new wineskin to hold the new wine of the Spirit of God. A new command to love one another. A new kingdom which we experience in the Spirit of God. A new Jerusalem which is our free mother, says the apostle Paul.

What were the last days?

When Jesus Christ preached both the coming judgment over Israel and the new kingdom of God, He said this would all happen very soon. He never suggested it would take place in a dazzlingly remote future, thousands of years later. On the contrary He imprinted it on the hearts of His audience how quick He would come.

The years between His ascension to heaven and His coming back on the clouds, were called 'the last days' or the 'end of time'. It were literally the last years of the old covenant and ancient Israel. It was the transition period between the old and the new.​ ​ 

The disciples of Jesus knew that the end of the rebellious Jewish age was drawing near. That's why the Jews went about as roaring lions, devouring all the Christians. Satan, who was their father, the prince of the air of that age, knew that his end was coming. He would be judged by Christ. These years would therefore be extremely violent and difficult for the first Christians. Jesus even wondered: "Will I still find faith when I come?" That question is often used to say that in our time there will be hardly any true believers left, when Christ comes. But that is absurd, since there are now more Christians worldwide than there have ever been throughout all of history combined! There are hundreds of millions of Christians and this number is daily increasing.

Conclusion: what is the Second Coming?

The coming of Christ on the clouds of heaven would be His judgment over Israel and also the start of His new kingdom. He would end the old age and a brand new kingdom of God would break forth. This new kingdom of God is however not earthly and political, like the old Israel. Jesus Christ said this new kingdom of God can only be seen by those who are born again from the Spirit. It is a spiritual or a heavenly kingdom. It's in our hearts! Jesus called this 'true worship'. God is Spirit and true worshippers worship Him in Spirit. There is no more need to travel to an earthly Jerusalem. God can now be worshipped and experienced all over the world, wherever we are! He is in our midst, we are His temple, He dwells with us! That is the heart of the new covenant and the kingdom of God.

To be continued...

Of course discovering the truth about the Second Coming raises a thousand questions. Our minds have been so strongly molded by the ideas from dispensationalism - even if we aren't aware of it - that we have to transform the way we look at the Bible. We are not living in a waiting room for thousands of years, we are living in the living and present reality of the Kingdom of God. It is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual reality that we enter through the Spirit of God. But... what about the glorified body, the resurrection of the dead, there being no more sickness or grief, the millennium, and so on? All these questions will be answered in the future, in a book I am preparing.

Some people make the mistake to disregard the plain truth of the Scriptures and cling to the lies of dispensationalism, because they have no clear answer yet about for example the millenium.  

But why stay in the darkness of a very obvious, anti-biblical doctrine because you don't understand the fullness of the truth yet? Let's recognize what Jesus Christ and the apostles said about the kingdom and the coming of Christ, and acknowledge history that proves how right they were. Once we have a firm foundation of the basic truths, we can then grow into a deeper understanding of the questions we have. But sticking to a destructive deception, because you don't see the whole picture of the truth yet, is not helpful. My book will answer your questions thoroughly, but you need to be a little patient. In the meanwhile I encourage you to read this study again, so you begin to grasp the truth more and more.

Also sign up for my newsletter, that will help you understand the kingdom of God so you can experience it in your daily life. You can sing up using the sign up form below.

About the Author David Sorensen

David Sorensen had a dramatic encounter with God, which completely transformed his life. He decided to spend the rest of his life showing others show real God is and how much he loves us. David's desire is that people would learn how to experience God as the most beautiful reality there is.

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