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It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
It may be at midday, it may be at twilight,
While its hosts cry Hosanna, from heaven descending,
Oh, joy! Oh, delight! should we go without dying;
the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Mat. 23:37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39. For I say unto you. Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Diagram.
We here present the following diagram, merely as an outline of the order of events, in connection with our Lord's return. We exhort (1 Thes. 4:18, margin) a faithful study of it, together with the references and explanations appended, believing that, as an object lesson, it will be a great help to the reader to understand these mighty questions.
'-The birth of Christ, the King of the Jews. Mat. 2:2.
Church—Mystical body of Christ. Eph. 1:22-23; 3:3-6;
Rom. 12:4-5; Col. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; and the
Bride of Christ, Eph. 5:21-23. Be—Descent of the Lord (1 Thes. 4:16) to receive His
Bride. John 14:3. R—Resurrection of the just. Lu. 14:14; Acts 24:15; 1
Thes. 4:15-16; and change of living believers. 1 Cor.
15:23, 51, 52.
Rapture—Translation of the saints who (like Enoch) are
caught up to meet Christ in the air. 1 Thes. 4:17. M—The meeting of Christ and His Bride. 1 Thes. 4:17;
Eph. 5:21-32; 2 Cor. 11:2. This is our gathering together unto Him. 2 Thes. 2:1. And the marriage of the Lamb. Mat. 22:2-10; 25:10;
La. 14:15-24; Rev. 19:7-8. So shall we ever be with the Lord. John 12:26; 14:3;
17:24; 1 Thes. 4:17. It is the Hope of the Church, Phil. 3:20-21; Tit. 2:13;
1 John 3:2-3.
And the redemption mentioned in Lu. 21:28; Rom. 8:23; Eph. 4:30.
Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. 1 Thes. 4:18.
Thus the Church escapes the tribulation. Lu. 21:36; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 3:10. T.—Period of unequaled tribulation to the world (Dan. 12:1; Mat. 24:21; Lu. 21:25-26), during which—the Church having been taken out—God begins to deal with Israel again (Acts 15:13-17; Psa. 51:18; 102:16), and will restore them to their own land. Isa. 11:11; 60; Jer. 30:3; Jer. 31; 32:36-44; Amos 9:15; Zech. 8:10; Rom. 11.
Antichrist will be revealed. 2 Thes. 2S.
The vials of God's wrath poured out. Psa. 2:1-5; Rev. 6:16-17; Rev. 14:10; 16. But men only blaspheme God. Rev. 16:11-21. Israel accepts Christ (Zech. 12:10-14; 13:6), and are brought through the fire. Zech. 13:9. They pass not away. Mat. 24:34; Psa. 22:30.
Rev.- The revelation of Christ and His saints (Col. 3:4; 1 Thes. 3:13), in flaming fire (2 Thes. 1:7-10) to execute judgment on the earth. Jude 14-15. This is Christ's second coming to the earth. Acts 1:11; Deut. 33:2; Zech. 14:4-5; Mat. 16:27; 24:29-30.
/—Judgment of the nations, or the quick. Mat. 25:3146; 19:28; Acts 10:42; 1 Pet. 4:5. Antichrist is destroyed. 2 Thes. 2:8. The Beast and the False Prophet are taken. Rev. 19:20. Gog and his allies are smitten. Ezek. chapters 38 and 39. Satan is bound. Rev. 20:1-3; Rom. 16:20.
B. T.—Resurrection of the Tribulation Saints, which completes the First Resurrection. Rev. 20:4-6.
Mill'm.—The Millennium. Christ's glorious reign on the earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:4) with His Bride, 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 5:10; Isa. 2:2-5; 4; 11:1-12; 25:6-9; Isa. 65:18-25; Mic. 4:1-4; Zeph. 3:14-20; Zech. 8:3-8; Zech. 8:20-23; 14:16-21.
S— Satan loosed for a little season, and destroyed with Gog and Magog. Rev. 20:7-10; Heb. 2:14.
Res.—The Resurrection, of Judgment. Rev. 20:12-15; John 5:29; Dan. 12:2.
J. W. T.—Judgment at the Great White Throne of all the remaining dead. Rev. 20:11-15. Death and Hell destroyed. Rev. 20:14; 1 Cor. 15:26.
E. E.—Eternity, or rather, The aions to come. Eph. 2:7.*
*Th»se events, we believe, are plainly foretold in the Word, though we would not be dogmatic as to the precise order in which they are given above (see preface). But we trust it will enable the reader to apprehend, in some degree, the extent to which the future has been revealed, unto us, by the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21; John 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:10) and to realize that Eternity Itself will not be a blank, or statue like condition, but a continually unfolding manifestation of God to us throughout the "ages to come" (Eph. 2:7) even the "ages Of Ages." See Greek Gal. 1:5; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:21; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 4:11; Rev. 1:6, 18; 4:9, 10; 5:13; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5. See page 218.
Two things are of vital importance, in order to the right understanding of this subject, and these are:
First. The distinction between the Rapture and the Revelation.
Rapture means to be caught up, or away.
Revelation (a.7roKdXmjrn—apokalupsis) means Appearing or shining forth or manifestation.1
The Rapture occurs when the Church is caught up to meet Christ in the air,2 before the tribulation; and
The Revelation occurs when Christ comes, with His saints, to end the Tribulation, by the execution of righteous judgment upon the earth.3
At the Rapture, Christ comes into the air for His saints.*
At the Revelation, He comes to the earth with them.5 He
(1) Rom. 8:19. For the earnest expectation of the creature walteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
(2) 1 Thes. 4:14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
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, so shall we ever be with the Lord.
(3) 2 Thes. 1:7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.
8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.
Jude 14. And, Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints.
15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
(4) John 14:3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(5) 1 Thes. 3:13. To the end he may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.