Sabbath, November 11, 2017
“When Christ shall come to the earth again, not as a prisoner surrounded by a rabble will men see Him. They will see Him then as heaven’s King. Christ will come in His own glory, in the glory of His Father, and the glory of the holy angels. Ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels, the beautiful and triumphant sons of God, possessing surpassing loveliness and glory, will escort Him on His way. Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations. Then every eye shall see Him, and they also that pierced Him…. And on His vesture and on His thigh a name will be written, ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ Revelation 19:16.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 739.
Visible to all on earth
1. What did say Jesus about His glorious return? Does “coming in the clouds” mean that He will be invisible to human eyes?
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
“The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them … had now gone to share His Father’s throne. And the angels had assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended… Thus will be fulfilled the Lord’s own promise to His disciples: ‘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.’ John 14:3.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 832.
“Jesus is coming, coming with clouds and great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to honor those who have loved Him and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them or His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain.” –Child Guidance, p. 565.
2. Will He appear in some remote, hidden place? What illustration did the Lord use to show how visible His coming will be?
Matthew 24:23-28 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25Behold, I have told you before. 26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Luke 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
“And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ’s advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. ‘… Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ Matthew 24:24-27, 31; 25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known–witnessed by the whole world.” –Darkness before Dawn, p. 42.
Accompanied by angels
3. Will Jesus’ coming be something He does by Himself, or will He be accompanied by others?
Matthew 25:31; 16:27 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:… 16:27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
“It is called the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. His coming surpasses in glory all that the eye has ever seen. Far exceeding anything the imagination has conceived will be His personal revelation in the clouds of heaven…. At His second appearing He comes with His own glory and the glory of the Father and attended by the angelic host of heaven. In the place of that crown of thorns which marred His brow, He wears a crown within a crown. No longer is He clad with the garments of humility, with the old kingly robe placed upon Him by His mockers. No: He comes clad in a robe whiter than the whitest white. Upon His vesture and thigh a name is inscribed, ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ ” –In Heavenly Places, p. 357.
4. What great changes in nature will take place when the Lord appears in power and glory?
Psalm 50:3; 97:5 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him…. 97:5The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
Revelation 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
“When Christ shall come the earth will tremble before Him, and the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll, and every mountain and every island will be moved out of its place. ‘Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.’ Psalm 50:3-6. In view of the great day of God, we can see that our only safety will be found in departing from all sin and iniquity. Those who continue in sin will be found among the condemned and perishing.” –Faith and Works, pp. 116, 117.
The Lord’s voice and the sound of a trumpet
5. Will His coming be a silent event, or will it be characterized by great sound? Even who will hear His voice?
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
John 5:25, 28 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live…. 28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.
“ ‘For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This is the word of comfort wherewith He bids us comfort one another.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 320.
“This is high authority for our faith. Jesus and His apostles dwell upon the event of the second advent with joy and triumph; and the holy angels proclaim that Christ, who ascended to heaven, shall come again. This is our offense–believing the word of Jesus and His disciples. This is a very old doctrine, and bears no taint of heresy.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 42.
The great day of the Lord
6. What do the Scriptures call the final day, the day of His return?
Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.
“After speaking of the end of the world, Jesus comes back to Jerusalem, the city then sitting in pride and arrogance, and saying, ‘I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow’ (see Revelation 18:7). As His prophetic eye rests upon Jerusalem, He sees that as she was given up to destruction, the world will be given up to its doom. The scenes that transpired at the destruction of Jerusalem will be repeated at the great and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful manner….” –Selected Messages, book 3, p. 417.
Redemption amid the greatest turmoil
7. While for the wicked Jesus’ coming will be a day of terror and punishment, what great assurance do those who love the Lord and trust in Him have?
Malachi 3:16, 17; 4:2 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 17And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him…. 4:2But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
“Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God…. Only those who, in their attitude before God, are filling the position of those who are repenting and confessing their sins in the great antitypical day of atonement, will be recognized and marked as worthy of God’s protection. The names of those who are steadfastly looking and waiting and watching for the appearing of their Saviour–more earnestly and wishfully than they who wait for the morning–will be numbered with those who are sealed. Those who, while having all the light of truth flashing upon their souls, should have works corresponding to their avowed faith….” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 445.
“How strongly and brightly shines the mercy and lovingkindness of God in His dealings toward His heritage…. All heaven has the deepest interest in our welfare, that Satan shall not control us and conform us to his character.” –This Day with God, p. 123.
For additional study
“The proclamation of Christ’s coming should now be, as when made by the angels to the shepherds of Bethlehem, good tidings of great joy. Those who really love the Saviour cannot but hail with gladness the announcement founded upon the word of God that He in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered is coming again, not to be insulted, despised, and rejected, as at His first advent, but in power and glory, to redeem His people. It is those who do not love the Saviour that desire Him to remain away, and there can be no more conclusive evidence that the churches have departed from God than the irritation and animosity excited by this Heaven-sent message.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 339, 340.