Return of the King // Part 2
Last week, we began a series about the return of Jesus to the earth called “The Return of the King.” We began this series by studying what is known as the Rapture of the church. Let’s quickly redefine that:
Here are a few things we know about the rapture:
It will happen instantly.
It will happen in the air.
No one knows exactly when it will occur.
Today, we begin our look at what we can know about when the rapture will occur. Many in the church believe that the Rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Jesus are two separate events. What creates two differing beliefs is in “when” the rapture will occur. Many believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation spoken of in the Bible. Others believe that the rapture will occur in the middle of the Tribulation. Others believe that the Second Coming of Jesus and the Rapture occur at the end of the Tribulation. They are simultaneous.
Which of these is correct? Good people are on all sides of the spectrum. The answer boils down to an understanding of prophetic scripture along with an understanding of the Hebraic order. There’s a lot of scripture that can be and is referenced to validate a certain belief in the timing of the Rapture. One of the most significant prophetic statements to the timing of the coming of Jesus is found in the occurrence of the feasts of the Lord. God gave the feasts to the Jewish people. They were to be kept by them perpetually. These feasts were not just celebrations but times of divine appointment with the Lord. To make this simple: there are seven feasts to the Lord; four Spring feasts and three Fall Feasts.
- Passover: Jesus was crucified on Passover.
- Unleavened Bread: Jesus removed sin by His death.
- First Fruits: Jesus rose from the dead.
- Shavuot/Pentecost: the Holy Spirit. The preparation of two loaves: symbolizing salvation for Jew and Gentile.
These Spring Feasts have each been fulfilled. Each has its order established by God. Now let’s look at the Fall Feasts:
- Feast of Trumpets: the beginning of the days of awe. A trumpet blew drawing the Israelites to Mount Sinai to meet with God.
- Day of Atonement: the most high holy day, it ends the days of repentance and is the last day to repent of sins committed before judgment.
- Feast of Tabernacles: symbolizes freedom from Egypt and dwelling with God.
If the spring feasts have all been fulfilled exactly and in order, then the fall feasts will be fulfilled exactly and in order. Trumpets cannot happen after Atonement nor after Tabernacles. The feasts will be fulfilled in order. Therefore, the trumpet is drawing God’s people to meet with Him on the mountain – in this instance the heavenly Zion will occur. Then, the days of awe – the tribulation will begin presenting the last days when one can repent – including Israel. The remaining remnant of Jews, which may only be one third of the beginning populace, will turn to the Lord. (Zech. 13:8-9) Then, the Lord says, you can see Me because Israel says , “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The Lord will appear on the Mount of Olives and will set up His millennial kingdom on earth.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (ASV)
- Zechariah 13:8-9
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