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Revelation 3:10 by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:54 mins 17 secs

Difference Between the Rapture and Second Coming

 

Dan 9:27 NASB "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations {will come} one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."

 

The one who makes desolate is the Antichrist who breaks a peace treaty with Israel at the middle of the Tribulation period. He is destroyed and sent to the lake of fire at the end of the Tribulation period.

 

A prophetic year was not a 365-day year, it was a lunar year—30-day months. Several terms are used for the same period of time in prophetic Scripture. Daniel talks about this half week in Daniel 9:27, "in the middle of the week." Another reference is given is Daniel 7:25; 12:7. Revelation 12:14 refers to this time as a time, times, and half a time. In Revelation 12:6 it is referred to as 1260 days. In Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 that same period is referred to as forty-two months.

 

Dan 9:26NASB "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary."

 

The prince who is to come will establish a peace treaty with Israel. This begins the seventieth week of Daniel, it is what starts the Tribulation. There is a time period between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation, a transition period, and then the peace treaty is signed, and that is the countdown for the Tribulation. Jesus Christ returns to the earth at the end of that Tribulation period. So this period of time is designated "for your people and your holy city" [Daniel 9:24]. So this has to do with God's purposes for Israel, not the church. There is this distinction that must be maintained throughout Scripture between God's plan for Israel and God's plan for the church. If the period of the Tribulation is for the Jews then the church can't be there. It must be removed because God is going to shift His focus back to Israel to bring to completion His plan for Israel. That is why Romans 11:25-27 says that God will pour out His blessing until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in and then He will return His focus to Israel.

 

It was not always clear to the Old Testament student of the Scriptures or to the Jews that there was a distinction between the two comings of Christ. They tended to fold them up together into one and so this is a problem that affected the Pharisees at the fist advent. They thought that the crown came before the cross. They wanted a glorious Messiah who would defeat Rome rather than a suffering Messiah who would pay for their sins. So when Jesus came, lowly and humbly as a servant ready to die on the cross, they rejected Him because He didn't fit their idea of what the Messiah was supposed to be doing. They had become confused between first advent and second advent. We see how subtle this distinction is in two key passages. The first is Luke 4:16ff where Jesus quotes from Isaiah 61. It is very important to see what the Lord does with Isaiah 61. He chose the passage because He wanted to make a point.

Luke 4:16-21NASB And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Is 61:1-3NASB The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD"—Jesus reading of this verse stopped here. What He was saying was that His first coming was being fulfilled to the point where He ended His reading—to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. The text in Isaiah continues: "And the day of vengeance of our God." That is a reference to the Tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble. From where Jesus stopped His reading and where Isaiah continues is at least 2000 years of the church age. But that is telescoped in this one verse. The first part refers to first advent reality and the second part refers to second advent reality. Isaiah 61:3 continues: "To grant those who mourn {in} Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." This is what happens in the restoration of Israel at the Second Coming.

The church age period of time was not seen in the Old Testament. That is why the New Testament refers to it as a mystery. It was unrevealed to Old Testament prophets, so they looked ahead to these events and they tended to crunch them together. That is why the Lord read from Isaiah 61 down to the middle of verse 2 and stopped. That much is first advent.

The same thing happens in relation to Second Coming prophecies. There are portions of these passages that refer to the Rapture, which is phase one of the Second Coming, from the Second Coming when Christ comes to the earth. So there are distinctions between the first and second advents of Christ and distinctions between the Rapture and the rule of Jesus as Messiah.

There are certain passages in the Scripture that are clearly Rapture passages, like John 14:1-3; Romans 8:19; 1 Corinthians 1:7, 8; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, and so on. These are clearly distinct from Second Coming passages. There are no Old Testament passages because the church wasn't revealed in the Old Testament. So the end of the church wasn't revealed in the Old Testament. All references in the Old Testament referred to the Second Coming.

Differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming

1)  At the Rapture there is a translation of all believers, and instantaneous translation that takes place in the twinkling of an eye. At the Second Coming of Christ to the earth there is no translation of saints. There is no event that takes place at that point where the Tribulation believers receive their resurrection bodies. Those who die during the Tribulation receive their resurrection bodies but those who are alive at the end of the Tribulation go right on into the Millennial kingdom to repopulate the earth in their mortal bodies.

2)  At the Rapture translated saints go with Jesus to heaven. John 14:1-3. But at the Second Coming translated saints are returning with Jesus to the earth.

3)  At the Rapture earth is not judged, but at the Second Coming the earth is judged and righteousness is established. This is the separation of the sheep and the goats.

4)  The Rapture is an imminent, any moment event. Nothing has to happen before the Rapture occurs. The Second Coming follows definite specifically predicted signs indicated in passages such as Matthew 24, and it can only come after a seven-year period of the Tribulation.

5)  The Rapture is not predicted in the Old Testament but the Second Coming of Christ to the earth to establish His kingdom is predicted in numerous passages on the Old Testament.

6)  The Rapture is for believers only, those who are in Christ, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; but the Second Coming will affect all mankind.

7)  The Rapture occurs before the day of wrath, whereas the Second Coming concludes the day of wrath.

8)  At the Rapture there is no reference to Satan whatsoever. At the Second Coming we are told that Satan will be bound for 1000 years. He will not be able to influence history at all during the Millennial kingdom.

9)  At the Rapture Jesus Christ comes for His own; at the Second coming He comes with His own.

10)  Christ comes in the clouds at the Rapture; he comes to the earth at the Second Coming.

11)  Christ claims His bride at the Rapture but he comes with His bride at the Second Coming. The wedding feast has taken place in heaven, there has to be time for that.

12)  Only His own see Him at the Rapture but every eye will see Him at the Second Coming.

13)  After the Rapture the Tribulation begins, but after the Second Coming the Messianic kingdom begins.

Another reason there must be a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming is because certain things have to happen during that interval. The Rapture can't happen right up against the Second Coming because there are a number of things that transpire between these two events. 

1)  The worship of God in the heavens by the 24 elders who represent the church during this period of the Tribulation. Revelation chapters 4 & 5.

2)  At the same time there is the judgment seat of Christ, the judgment of all church age believers.

3)  The marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in the heavenlies prior to the return of Christ.

So there has to be a time gap here to allow all of these things to take place.

We are to eagerly wait for Him. Hebrews 9:28: NASB "so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without {reference to} sin, to those who eagerly await Him." The word "eagerly await" pictures an eager expectation indicated by the head bent forward to catch the first glance of an advancing procession. Frederick Godet, a French theologian, wrote: "It is one of those admirable words that the Greek language easily forms. It means to wait with the head raised and the eye fixed on that point of the horizon from which the expected object is to come." We anticipate the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.