Perspective on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
by Pastor Ken Parrish

I believe in the literal, physical return of Jesus Christ, who is now King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus said, in Matthew 12:29, “How can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off His property, unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.” I believe that Jesus bound satan* at Calvary (John 12:31, Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14ff, 1 John 3:8). After His ascension, He then poured out the Holy Spirit of truth upon His disciples (Acts 1:8, Acts 2) and sent them out in the Spirit’s power to “plunder the strong man’s house” by winning the lost to Jesus Christ and bringing them into the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mat. 12:28). He said, “the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21), and, “my kingdom is not of this world/realm” (John 18:36). The kingdom of God, then, is a present reality in the spirit, and Jesus is now King of kings and Lord of lords!

Spirit anointed believers who are submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ are said to “overwhelmingly conquer” (Rom 8:37), “reign in life” (Rom. 5:17), and “tread upon serpents and scorpions” (Luke 10:19). We are said to be “raised up with Him, and seated ... with Him in heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6) “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Eph. 1:21a). We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us (Acts 1:8), and possess mighty weapons for spiritual warfare (2 Cor. 10:4-5), so that we can resist and overcome our adversary, the devil (James 4:7). We walk in the authority of our Lord in the earth and rule and reign with Christ throughout the age of the church (Mat. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-20). The church age, then, is the age of the millennial kingdom, or the 1000 year reign of Christ (Rev. 20), 1000 being a symbolic number for the full church age, a kingdom John saw in the spirit by a vision.

As the end of the age of the church draws near, satan* (see note below on the antichrist) will be loosed for a season (Rev. 20:7-10). (Neither Jesus, nor Peter, John, Paul, nor any other New Testament writer spoken of this as a seven year period of time. The idea of a seven year tribulation period comes from an interpretation of a single passage in the Old Testament, Daniel 9:24-27, an interpretation that is not universally accepted.) A spirit of delusion will be given to those who will not receive the truth (2 Thess. 2:11-12) that they might follow him. The tribulation that arises against the church will cause some to fall away from the Lord (2 Thess. 2:3). Others, though, will press in to the Lord and His word and be purified by it, that Jesus might receive to Himself “the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:27), the spotless bride of Christ!

When the end of the church age comes, Jesus will physically return to the earth, and put an end to the rebellion of man and satan* once and for all (2 Thess. 2:8, Rev. 19). The dead will be raised (1 Cor. 15:20-23, 1 Thess 4:16) (both the righteous and the unrighteous dead are raised simultaneously - John 5:28-29) and the resurrected saints, as well as living saints who are virtually simultaneously transformed (1 Cor 15:51-52), will be caught up (1 Thess. 4:17) to go out to meet Jesus in the air. The word Paul uses for “meet” in 1 Thess. 4:17 is a word that describes going out to greet an arriving dignitary and escort him on the final part of his journey to his destination. When a victorious king would return to his capital city, the people of the city would go out to meet him and usher him back into the city as the victorious, conquering king. The event is pictured in Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where the people rushed out to meet Him and welcomed Him into the city, spreading palm branches in His path and shouting “hosanna” (Mat. 21:9). The word is used to describe Paul’s hero’s welcome by the believers in Rome when Paul arrived there (Acts 28:15). It is used to describe how a wedding party goes out to meet the bridegroom when he comes for his bride (Mat 25:6).

And so shall it be when Jesus comes again. The saints will go out to meet Him in the air and escort Him back to the earth, where He will sit as Judge of all the earth. All mankind will stand before Him, both small and great. The righteous (believers in Jesus) and unrighteous (unbelievers) will be separated, the righteous will be rewarded, and the unrighteous will be forever condemned into the eternal fire (Mat 25:31-46).

Finally, Jesus will return all of creation back to it’s original state, as He renews the heavens and the earth, as prophesied and anticipated by Isaiah (65:17), John (Rev 21:1), and Peter (2 Peter 3:13). Heaven and earth shall be reunited for all eternity, and thus we shall ever be with the Lord. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Note on the antichrist:

While many people look for a person known as the antichrist as a “last days” sign, the Bible teaches that the spirit of the antichrist has been in the world since the early days of Christianity (see 1 John 2:22, 4:3, 2 John 7). The prefix “anti” does not simply mean “opposite of”, but also means “other than”. Thus anything that leads us away from Christ - be it the things of the world, the lusts of the flesh, or the devil* himself - is antichrist.

While many believe the last days antichrist will be a single individual, i.e., the devil* incarnate, the Bible is not explicit on the point. The antichrist, also known as “man of lawlessness”, or “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3), could also be a corporate man, in the same way that the body of Christ is a corporate man.

The beast of Revelation (also believed to be “the antichrist”) that rises out of the sea may speak of the rise of the influence of the human “beast” nature, ascending - rising up in dominion - from the sea of humanity, promoting the philosophy of secular humanism, seeking the secularization of our society, attempting to eliminate any reference to God or influence of Him upon us. This spirit is certainly prevalent in our world today. Similarly, the beast may be humanity “marked” by world religions and new age philosophies, perceiving himself to be God (as the man of lawlessness referenced above perceives himself to be God), thus said to be “ascending” from the sea of humanity. This, then, would also be a corporate “man of sin”, a corporate man of flesh, the spirit of antichrist. Deuteronomy 11:18 says that a mark on the forehead symbolized a mark on the mind and heart. The “mark of the beast”, said to be on the forehead and the hand, would then symbolize a carnal mind filled with deception and human philosophies and wisdom, which James says is demonic (James 3:14 & 15), and actions (symbolized by the hand) which are consistent with that carnal, antichrist thinking.

* Though grammatically incorrect, we choose not to dignify the enemy by capitalizing the first letter of his name.

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