- Jesus promised to come back
- Jesus came back on Pentecost 50 days after Easter.
- The coming of the Kingdom of God
- The Second Coming of Jesus into the World
- Proclamation of the Angels
- The arrival of Christ is preceded by a wide variety of events
- Signs of the return of Jesus Christ in the sky
- The return of Christ is a visible event on the Day of the Lord
- What will happen to those who remain on earth?
- The last great war in Harmaggedon
- The beast that gets the world domination
- The first resurrection
- What is the fate of false religion?
- After the Millennial kingdom
Jesus promised to come back
Mat 10:23 “So when they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. For truly I tell you, you certainly will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Mat 10:23 Most assuredly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
From the verses referred to above, when interpreted literally, it may be inferred that Jesus promises to come back quite soon; in interpreting these verses, I have estimated that going through the cities of Israel would have taken only a few months, in no case more than a year.
However, the second coming of Jesus could not happen soon! Why? Because the conditions for coming described in the Bible were not met. It is only during these modern times that everything begins to be fulfilled. Let us take perhaps the most essential condition: Matthew 24:14 ”And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Only in modern times can it be said that the message of the Bible has been made known throughout the world. The Bible has also been translated into a few thousand languages. Who in the world can say that they have never heard of the God of Christians and his Kingdom? In this writing, I examine other foreshadowing signs and conditions for Jesus’ coming.
Mat 24:33 ”In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that he is near, right at the door. 34 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.”
Jesus told His disciples about the events of the world to come. The Bible tells of them as if they were happening in the time of the apostles. History has shown that the events reported do not take place until two millennia later. Yet Jesus said 24:34, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Jesus also told the parable of the fig tree – the symbol of Israel:32 “Now learn a parable from the fig tree. When its branches become tender and it produces leaves, you know that summer is near.”
James also wrote: 5:8-9 ”You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Don’t grumble, brothers, against one another, so that you won’t be judged. Behold, the judge stands at the door.”
When Jesus has not yet physically returned, did he make a mistake, or could it be a question of us interpreting Jesus’ figurative expression as a literal promise? I consider this question in this article.
Could there be a correct interpretation that Jesus has already returned? By this, I do not mean the notion adopted by the preterists that Christ came back already in the time of the apostles and still rules the world today from his invisible kingdom.
The return of Jesus is of two kinds. Most people in the Bible only know its description of Jesus coming with an army of angels and how Jesus establishes His Millennial Kingdom and captures Satan. The coming of Jesus is also an individual, internally experienced influence of the Holy Ghost.
Jesus came back on Pentecost 50 days after Easter.
Acts of the Apostles:
2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, all of them were together in one place. 2 Suddenly, a sound like the roaring of a mighty windstorm came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated, and one rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them that ability.”
2:41 “So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 persons were added to them.”
Jesus promised to return soon. In Mat 10:23: “So when they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. For truly I tell you, you certainly will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
Did Jesus err in promising to come back soon? I am convinced that we Bible readers and scholars have erred in our interpretation. Perhaps it is correct to say that Jesus was not clear enough in his promises of return.
What if Jesus meant that he would return in the form of the Holy Spirit! Of the kingdom of God, Jesus said it is a) among you b) it is within you. God and Jesus Christ send the Holy Spirit. On this basis, I could interpret that Christ came on Pentecost; not as his own bodily person but as the sender of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus / the Holy Spirit came to a large number of people on Pentecost. The apostles also received the Holy Spirit. Is this coming of the Holy Spirit the same thing as coming of the kingdom of God internally? Does the coming of Jesus happen because God promises His Holy Spirit to new believers? Jesus and God promise to dwell in believers.
God and Jesus come to dwell in people who love them:
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. Then my Father will love him, and we will go to him and make our home within him.
Isn’t this the coming of the kingdom of God?
Not only will Christ dwell in those who love him and keep his commandments, also God the Father will dwell in these believers.
Pro 8:17 I love those who love me. Those who seek me diligently will find me.
Joh 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.
1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
1 Cor 6:19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own,
2 Cor 6:16 What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
In Old Testament times, promises like those above were given only to God’s own people, but now they have been extended to all believers in God and His Son.
The coming of Jesus and God to dwell in a person is quiet and invisible to the outside world. Of course, it can be seen in other people in that with the abode of God and Jesus; the man also receives the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Holy Spirit; Gal 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.”
Ephesians 5:9, therefore, calls the goodness, the truth, and the righteousness in men the fruit of light. Not only the person himself, who receives these fruits for himself and enjoys them with satisfaction, the people who come into contact with him also notice a change in the nature of the believing person.
Paul wrote in Eph 3:16 ”that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 and that Christ would make his home in your hearts through faith.
Rom 8:9 You, however, are not of the flesh but under the control of the Spirit, since God’s Spirit lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. 8:11 And if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive by his Spirit who lives in you. 8:14 For all who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children.
It is clear from the above verses that if the Spirit of God or Christ dwells in us, we are not “flesh,” i.e., in the power of worldly needs. It is the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, whom the Son can also send to dwell in a believing person. God, who raised Christ from the dead, must also raise us through his Spirit. God recognizes as his own sons all who his Spirit leads.
The Holy Spirit of God unites us to God and Jesus Christ and other believers in God. When God and Christ dwell in us, it means that we are spiritually connected to both. 1 Joh 4:15 God abides in the one who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he abides in God. 4:13 “This is how we know that we abide in him and he in us: he has given us his Spirit.”
When God the Father and Christ dwell in us, it is easy for the angel to find us in the world to be saved for the first Resurrection on the last day.
The coming of the kingdom of God
Speaking of the coming of the kingdom of God shows that the kingdom of God is not on earth. It is synonymous with the kingdom of heaven, meaning the kingdom of God is in heaven. The kingdom of God means that God rules the whole world from heaven. He is assisted by the angels and his son Jesus Christ, whom God has exalted as Lord and Christ and given him all authority on earth and in heaven. Will the kingdom of God come to earth because Christ has promised to return to earth a second time?
Jesus told his disciples that they were allowed to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but to the outside, all things were told in parables that they would not understand. Luke 8:10” He said, To you it is given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.”
What kind of secrets might have been in question?
Luuk 17:20 ”Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come. He answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with a visible display. 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”
In this verse of Luke, Christ tells how the kingdom of God will come to earth. It is not a realm similar to worldly realms. I have already written above about how God and Jesus promise to live in believing people. This dwelling could also be called the kingdom of God or the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in man. In any case, it is not like a worldly, visible realm. Nor is the kingdom of God the same as the millennial kingdom of Christ, which will come to pass when Christ comes with his angels.
The Jews generally imagined God establishing a kingdom in Israel that would be free from the Roman yoke. This was also the dream of the deceitful apostle Judas Iscariot. When it did not materialize, but Jesus was surrendering to the Roman soldiers, the dream world of Judas collapsed. Of course, other apostles had similar hopes – even when Christ was crucified, risen from the dead, and ascending into heaven. The apostles asked Jesus: Act 1:6, “Now those who had come together began to ask him, Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
The apostles’ idea of building a kingdom for Israel was wrong. The kingdom was given not only to the Jews but to all the believers in the world. And it is not an earthly kingdom, but the kingdom of God is within man. The translation “among you” can be just as correct. After all, the Pharisees surrounded Jesus, and if we believe Jesus represented the kingdom of God, he was indeed among the Pharisees, surrounded by them.
As long as people do not have access to the kingdom of God, we can still enjoy the kingdom through the coming of Jesus. Key Elements of the Kingdom,
Faith in God and Jesus Christ is realized even without the kingdom through the receiving of the Holy Spirit and the fact that God and Jesus dwell in a believer. If something may be missing, then it is the connection between other believers in the kingdom.
Jesus instructed Nicodemus, a recognized religious teacher in Israel, saying: Joh 3:3 “Jesus replied to him, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above [or born again] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Probably the apostles knew this too. After all, Jesus had told them that “You have been given knowledge about the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but it hasn’t been given to them. (Mat 13:11).” However, the apostles might have been hard-earned when they did not seem to believe but still sustained the tremendous worldly power of the kingdom of God and the overthrow of the Roman regime. The kingdom of God cannot be seen yet because no one has gotten there yet. “Seeing” means knowing, experiencing.
There are two things worth noting in this verse of John 3: 3: First, you are required to be born again from above. Second, if you are born again (in faith), you can “see” the kingdom of God. So, this is not to say that you will enter the kingdom of God. What is “seeing”? If it does not mean entering the kingdom of God, seeing is probably knowing, understanding, and enjoying the assurance of salvation.
We can also say that heaven is the kingdom of God because God and his angels dwell there. Except for Jesus, no one has ascended into heaven (John 3:13). Jesus spoke this way to Nicodemus while he was living, and he had not yet ascended to heaven. So what do Jesus’ words mean to Peter: Mat 16:19, “I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind (prohibit) on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.”
According to my interpretation, it is not a question of who would enter the kingdom of heaven and who would not. Peter was not given such power. I agree with the view that Peter was given the power to resolve the affairs of the church on earth and to obtain God’s approval for his decisions. Such a question had to do with the Gentiles’ circumcision or abandonment. Food regulations were similarly matters to be decided.
What does the Bible teach about the kingdom of God? What does the Bible teach about the kingdom of God?
Mat 6:33 “But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Seek first the kingdom of God and seek righteousness. All this, too, will be granted to you. “All this” means the needs of everyday life that so many care about.
Mat 12:28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.”
21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you.”
Jesus equated the Pharisees with hard-hearted people who, though they saw and understood it, did not repent even afterward, so that they would have believed in John, unlike the publicans and prostitutes who received the word offered by John.
21:43 “That is why I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce fruit for it.”
From whom does Jesus say the kingdom of God will be taken away? From the Jews who did not receive Jesus. Yes, they accepted as long as they believed Jesus to be the kind of Messiah who would remove the Roman yoke. There were many believers in Jesus because of all the miracles Jesus performed. A nation to which the kingdom of God is given?
What is the nation to whom the kingdom of God will be given? All those believers who pray God for Holy Spirit and want God and Jesus to dwell with them. What is the nation to whom the kingdom of God will be given? All those believers, who pray God for Holy Spirit and want God and Jesus to dwell with them.
Luk 4:43 “But he said to them, I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent.”
It is surprising to many that Jesus was sent into the world only to bring back to God the “lost sheep” of God’s own people. Mat 15:24 “But he [Jesus] answered, I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Jesus had been sent to earth only because of the lost sheep of the Jews. Was it the case that the kingdom of God had to be proclaimed to the Jews because the salvation of the Jews was uncertain due to the uncertainty of the observance of the Law Covenant?
Luke 6:20 “He lifted up his eyes to his disciples, and said, Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.”
Why would the poor take precedence over entering the kingdom of God? After all, Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. I came up with no reason other than that wealth, maintaining, and nurturing require all the attention of the rich, leaving no time even for the development of things of faith. On the other hand, the poor can focus on matters of faith free from the burden of wealth.
7:28 “For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Who is the least in the kingdom of God? Is there anyone else but celestial angels? After all, no resurrection has yet taken place. Perhaps it is the case that all [angels] in the kingdom of God are greater than John, and neither has John been in the kingdom of God. And there are no humans there other than Jesus Christ.
Luke 13:29 “People will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God.”
Having meals do not specifically mean eating; after all, in the kingdom of God, you do not eat in the same way as on earth. It is about participating in the celebration and joy. There are newcomers from all walks of life, all over the world.
What is the kingdom of God? It is not the millennial kingdom of Christ, and it is not a geographical area. It is a community of the saved, where the saved are in the spirit body. God is “all in all.” God “descends” from heaven to New Jerusalem and dwells among the saved, among God’s co-workers. Before that, however, significant things happen:
- – Christ comes from heaven to earth and fights against the forces of Satan
- – Satan is captured
- – Christ will establish his Millennial Kingdom on earth, where he will reign with the resurrected saints
As promised, Jesus has returned to individual believers for two millennia. The coming of Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit to individual people is not the same thing as the second coming of Jesus in the end times. Then Jesus will come with the army of angels and will be joined by the 1st Resurrection at the time of the great tribulation of the day of the Lord on earth, which will last a total of seven years. When Christ comes to the world for the second time, the millennial kingdom of Christ begins.
The coming of Jesus into the world
Jesus promised his apostles: Joh 14:3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.”
Many believe that here Jesus promises to take his own to heaven. No, Jesus himself is coming to earth and taking his own to rule his Millennial Kingdom. “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet” (1 Tes 4:16).
What kind of world is Christ coming to with his angelic hosts?
Mark writes about upcoming events: Mar 13:19 For those days will be a time of suffering, [or tribulation] a kind that has not happened from the beginning of the creation that God made until now and certainly will never happen again.
20 If the Lord did not limit those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect whom he has chosen, he has limited those days.
21 Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ don’t believe it.
22 For there will arise false christs and false prophets, and will show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.
23 So be on your guard! I’ve told you everything before it happens.”
24 “But after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light,
25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken loose.
26 Then people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
27 Then he will send out his angels, and will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.
The day of the wrath of the Lord is lived in the world. It is accompanied by events that shake the heavens and the earth: the heavens shall tremble, and the earth shall be shaken because of the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his wrath. (Isaiah 13: 10-13). The sun is darkening, and the moon is staining in the blood before the day of the Lord comes, great and frightening. “But in those days, after that oppression, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken” (Mark 13:24-25). – The wrath of the Lord is described as a time of great tribulation. Then… after the suffering of those days,
Then people will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory (Mark 13:26). “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet” (1 The 4:16). In addition to this, it happens that “and then he shall send his angels, and gather together his chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth unto the end of heaven” (Mark 13:27). – The dead in Christ will rise first.
According to the Bible, the saints chosen by God for the first resurrection will have to be on earth during this great tribulation. However, God protects them, and after that tribulation, the angels gather the Lord’s own to receive Christ. Even the apostles will then see the return of the Lord they have been waiting for and will be able to rule with him the Millennial kingdom. The ruling takes place “with a rod of iron” when necessary (Rev 2:27, 12:5, 19:5).
The apostles must have been eager to hear when these shocking events would take place. “Tell us, “when shall this be, and what is the sign of your coming and the end of the world?” Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us what Jesus answered — the parable of the fig tree:
Mar 13:28 Now from the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near;
29 In the same way, when you see these things taking place, you will know that he is near, right at the door.
30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not disappear until all these things take place.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 No one knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father.
33 Be careful! Watch out! For you don’t know when the time will come.
What could Jesus mean by saying that “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place“?
First, this generation. Did Jesus mean the living generation at that time? Many believe so and testify that the legions of the Roman Empire destroyed the temple of God and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD, one generation after the message of Jesus. This could fit Jesus’ warning, but that was not all Jesus said was happening.
“This generation” should therefore coincide with a time and avalanche of events in which all the destruction experienced by all mankind described by the apostles will take place. Jesus himself was also to descend from heaven with the angels, and there was no such thing. There was also no resurrection of the dead, and the angels did not gather God’s elect to rise up against Jesus.
The time for “this generation” has not yet come. Luke has recorded Jesus’ statement about the fig tree in more detail than others.
Luke 21:29 “Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees.” The fig tree is widely regarded as a symbol of the people and state of Israel. Verse 30 says, “As soon as they produce leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.”
This is interpreted to mean that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 marked the outbreak of the fig tree, i.e., the arrival of summer. Jesus added, “and all the trees,” that is, all the other characteristics must be taken into account, not just the ‘fig tree.’
If the age of the generation is 70 or 80 years, it is easy to calculate that the events described by Jesus are only a few years away. But, as Jesus said, “No man knoweth that day or the hour, neither the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Watch out!
What significant event is all this related to?
Proclamation of the Angels
Rev 14:6 I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people.
7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
8 Another, a second angel, followed, saying, “Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality.”
9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying in a loud voice, “Whoever worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or his hand,
10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 The smoke from their torture goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.
Such angels flying in the middle sky have not yet appeared. They declare that the moment of God’s judgment has come. That great Babylon which “drunk all the nations with the wine of the wrath of her fornication” has been overthrown. And again: If any man worships the beast and his image and makes his mark in his hand or forehead, he shall receive a severe punishment.
When will this declaration be given? It follows the overthrow of Babylon described above. Angels warn that no one should bow to the beast or take its mark. The mark of the beast is a figure of speech that can be compared to taking the mark of God. Jews have been accustomed to wear the sign of God, a small enclosure with Bible texts, on their foreheads. I have stated in a previous article that God does not need such a forehead sign to distinguish His own from those of Satan. Yes, Satan may recognize his own, even if they do not have any sign of Satan, such as “666” mentioned in the Bible.
God gives many signs in advance. The end will come only after “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Mat 24:14).
The arrival of Christ is preceded by a wide variety of events
Mat 24:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus told:
- For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places (Mat 24:7).
- Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake (24:9).
- Then many people will fall by the way and will betray one another and hate one another (24:10).
- Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people (24:11).
- This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (24:14).
- For at that time there will be great tribulation the kind that has not happened from the beginning of the world until now and certainly will never happen again (24:21).
- Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened (24:22).
- Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There,’ don’t believe it (24:23).
- For false christs and false prophets will appear and display great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (24:24).
Signs of the end times are great wars. World Wars had already been waged twice in the 20th century. The great wars were political and did not specifically target Christians. However, it must be remembered that the end times or the last days are a long period in human history. It also accommodates the persecution of Christians: both the Catholic Church and the Protestant movement during the Reformation wrongly persecuted believers. No matter how many false prophets have appeared. Overall, the religious world has been in great turmoil since the departure of Christ.
The extreme action of Satan precedes the return of Christ. It manifests itself in many kinds of delusions, such as false prophets. The Antichrist appears. Verse 24:22 testifies that the elect are on earth in the midst of tribulation. Not all scholars share this view but believe God will pull them away before the situation escalates. Verse 22 says, however,
that the length of the tribulation will be shortened for the sake of the elect. However, the elect will suffer with others during the tribulation period.
The coming of the day of the Lord is like the coming of a thief (1 Thes 5: 2). It has led many to think that coming is a secret. However, the coming of Christ is a visible event for all. His sign is visible in the sky (Matt. 24:30). Christ comes on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory. The sound of the great trumpet is heard so that all the people of the world will surely know of his coming. As the trumpet roars, the angels gather Christ’s elect to safety around the world.
What is the purpose of Christ’s coming?
The Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will reward each, according to what he has done (Mat 16:27). However, it must be borne in mind that this “payment of wages” differs from the sanction under the last judgment. Good people, those who believe in Christ, get paid. Many of the wicked will perish in the commotion of the nations described above.
It is only now that the Millennium Reign of Christ, which precedes the Last Judgment, begins. Only after its end will the second resurrection and the final judgment follow.
Signs of the return of Jesus Christ in the sky
Luke also recorded the hallmarks of the last days:
Luke 21:25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and there will be distress on earth among the nations that are confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves.
26 People will faint with fear and apprehension because of the things that are to come on the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken loose.
27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Adventists in particular have recorded such celestial events and interpret them as biblical prophecies. Joel also prophesied writing, 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.” Adventists highlight the unusual and sudden darkness that occurred in the northeastern United States on May 19, 1780. This prediction involves a change in the color of the moon to blood red. This indeed happened in 1780.
Rev 6:12 “I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood, 13 The stars in the sky fell to the earth like a fig tree drops its fruit when it is shaken by a strong wind.”
Such natural phenomena occurred in 1780. Modern science has elucidated the cause of the eclipse and found that a widespread forest fire caused it. The effect of the fire can be seen in the annual rings of the trees, but not all natural phenomena in 1780 can be explained.
Luke, however, shows that this phenomenon was not spoken of in the Bible; Luke 21:27 requires that, as a result of natural wonders, men will “then” see Christ coming in the cloud with great power and glory. At that time, however, Christ did not arrive, but on the other hand, it is good if people are made to stop and ponder God’s future actions.
Fig tree parable
Matthew also speaks of the signs of the end times.
24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken loose.
30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Christ sends His angels to gather his elect throughout the world.
Mat 24:32 “Now learn a parable from the fig tree. When its branches become tender and it produces leaves, you know that summer is near.
33 Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 “Truly I tell you, this generation will not disappear until these things happen.
Jesus’ parable of the fig tree means two things: First when the fig tree’s leaves burst, it shows that summer is near. Likewise, when the signs listed by Jesus are fulfilled, his coming is near.
Another point of the fig tree parable: the fig tree is the emblem of Israel. When the leaves of the fig tree burst, it has been interpreted to mean, in modern times, the establishment of the state of Israel. That is what happened in 1948. What does it mean in this context “this generation will not disappear until all these happen”? The age of the generation in the Bible is 70-80 years. Some stretch it to 120 years, but this is the so-called “man’s age.” Gen 6:3 “Jehovah said, My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years.” – It is a different matter than the age of the generation.
“This generation” would thus be the one that began in 1948, and the time of this generation will end in 2018-2028, when “all this” will happen. Many Bible scholars have counted the years of Christ’s return. Most of them should have already materialized. The only thing I dare say with certainty is that we are living in the last days.
The return of Christ is a visible event on the Day of the Lord
Christianity has waited for nearly two millennia for Christ to fulfill the promise of his return to earth. After all, he promised to come back “soon.” Jesus even described his imminent return by saying that the apostles would not have time to visit all the cities of Israel before he would return. After pondering these promises of Jesus to come soon, I concluded, as I wrote above, that Jesus could not mean to come very soon. I did so because many important hallmarks of return had not materialized by “soon” but are only now occurring.
A little over sixty years after this promise of Jesus, John received a revelation of the future on the island of Patmos. Its central message is the second coming of Christ. Revelation 1:7 says, “Look! He is coming in the clouds. Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. So be it! Amen.”
The arrival of Christ will surprise the world: 1 Thes 5:3 “For when they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction will come on them, like birth pains on a pregnant woman; and they will in no way escape.”
Everyone can see Christ coming in the clouds. How is it possible that everyone will see his coming – on the other side of the globe as well? Will the return be televised? Mat 24:40 “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; 42 So keep on watching, because you don’t know on what day your Lord is coming.
43 But be sure of this: if the owner of the house had known at what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into.
44 So you, too, must be ready, because at an hour you are not expecting him the Son of Man will come.”
In the description of Matthew, there are two men in the field; one comes to Christ, the other does not. In another description, two women are grinding grain; one is taken, the other not. The Son of Man comes unexpectedly, at a moment no one can foresee. So be prepared. Numerous preconditions and pre-coming events have been given for the coming of Jesus. So, people should follow the “signs of the time.” However, people are lulled into a false sense of security.
When people say, “There is peace and security,” destruction will strike them as suddenly as labor pains come to a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night” (1 Thes 5:1-3).
How does the Lord’s day relate to the second coming of Christ? Peter writes of this: “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a roaring sound, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be exposed” (2 Piet 3:10).
The Day of the Lord is considered to be a period after the time of tribulation. Together, both are seven years in the end. The return of Christ involves the revolutionary events of a period called the Lord’s day. The heavens disappear with a roar, and the elements dissipate from the earth’s heat, and all that is done in it burns. Matthew compares the second coming of Christ to the flood of Noah’s day:
Mat 24:37 For just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.
38 In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage right up to the day when Noah went into the ark.
39 They were unaware of what was happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That’s how it will be when the Son of Man comes. – Will all men really be destroyed in the day of the Lord, as in the flood of Noah?
What will happen to those who remain on earth?
Will all those whom Christ does not take with him be destroyed? However, not all are destroyed, even if one could deduce so from the above verses. What about God’s own people, the Jews? “If the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, It is the remnant who will be saved.”
Salvation, in this case, means the survival of life, not the attainment of final salvation or perish in the final judgment.
Revelation 9: 14-15 tells of the number of mankind destroyed by the angels of God: “It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are held at the great Euphrates River. 15 So the four angels who were ready for that hour, day, month, and year were released to kill one-third of humanity.”
Christ pays the reward when he comes
Matthew and Luke describe the choice made by the angels, saying, “One shall be gathered, and the other left.” Those of Christ who are partakers of the first resurrection join Christ. Those who are left will be left on earth for the destruction of the Day of the Lord. Mat 16:27 “For, the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he will reward each, according to his work.” The Thessalonians Letter further states 2 The 1:6 “Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you,
7 and to give relief to you that are afflicted with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire,
8 in blazing fire. He will take revenge on those who do not know God and on those who refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
9 Such people will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction by being separated from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious power.
10 when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be regarded with wonder on that day by all who have believed—including you because you believed our testimony.”
Yes, the “eternal loss of the face of the Lord” in verse 9 refers to the finality of punishment. Nonetheless, I believe that the anguish and death of many experienced at the coming of Christ is, for the dead, their first death, not their second death. The second death is that final death, the harsh punishment of the last judgment to which verse 9 refers. It is, of course, possible that those who died at the Second Coming of Christ will be the same ones who will be condemned to eternal perdition from the face of the Lord in the final judgment after the Millennium and the subsequent resurrection.
Whether a person perishes or retains his life depends on the last act of man: God promises salvation to all who call upon him for help: Act 2:21 “Then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Such a man who cries out for the name of the Lord will preserve his life. And by maintaining his life, he can build his faith stronger in his future life and thus avoid the punishment of the Last Judgment.
Isaiah prophesies 66:16: “For by fire will Jehovah execute judgment, and by his sword, on all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be many.”
66:19 I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the [pagan] nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
66:21 And also of them I take for priests, For Levites, said Jehovah.” – Verse 21 does not really fit into this description of the future, because Levitical priests are no longer needed at the time of Christ’s coming.
So how do we know that not everyone will be destroyed? When Christ and his saints establish their Millennial Kingdom, Gentiles will be left in the kingdom who have not even heard of Christ. Preachers are sent to these.
“For 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. – Believers in Christ are paid. When a large proportion of people die on the day of the Lord, it can, of course, be said that they received their wages — according to what they deserved. However, the arrival of Jesus is not the last judgment that will result in everyone receiving either eternal life or perdition.” (Mat 16:27).
Although the destruction will befall a large crowd, it will only be their first death. The “second death” may be in turn after the Last Judgment and after the Millennial kingdom of Christ. If a lot of people die at Christ’s arrival, will those who die have the opportunity to repent and change their attitude toward God?
The last great war in Harmaggedon
Rev 16:13 “I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan], and out of the mouth of the beast [Antichrist], and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;
14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs. They go to the kings of the whole earth and gather them for the war of the great day of God Almighty.”
In a vision he writes in Revelation, John sees the “unclean spirits” of Satan set out to gather the kingdoms of the whole world into the war on the day of the Lord. The gathering place is Harmaggedon.
The seven angels are given the commission, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God upon the earth.” The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air: Rev 16:18 “A loud voice came from the throne in the temple and said, It has happened! There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.
19 The great city [Babylon] was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. God remembered to give Babylon the Great the cup of wine filled with the fury of his wrath.
20 Every island vanished, and the mountains could no longer be found.
21 Huge hailstones, each weighing about 100 pounds, [about a talent] fell from the sky on people. They cursed God because the plague of hail was such a terrible plague.”
Here we live in a time of the last plagues, or cups of wrath, just before the Second Coming of Jesus. The revelation of the coming of Jesus is placed between the verses telling of these plagues before the seventh and final plague. Rev 16:15 “See, I am coming like a thief. How blessed is the person who remains alert and keeps his clothes on! He won’t have to go naked and let others see his shame.” – Jesus says he will come like a thief, that is, suddenly.
The revelation is accompanied by the figurative phrase ‘wear clothes,’ which means the appeal to remain in pure faith without yielding to the beast. The verse referring to the coming of Jesus is just before the description of the last plague. From this, it can be inferred that believers will have to be on earth waiting for Jesus and experiencing plagues’ coming. Those people who have the seal of God in their shelter see everything happen but do not have to experience these horrors facing humanity.
John wrote the Book of Revelation while on the island of Patmos in the 90s, more than 60 years after the death of Jesus and the “soon” promises made by Jesus. Jesus renews his promise in the Book of Revelation of his coming soon. The disciples and the faithful of the congregations were, of course, impatient and did not come to think that “With the Lord, a single day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a single day” (2 Piet 3:8), so let us proportion Jesus’ promise of the second coming “soon” and remember to wait patiently.
According to Jewish temple service, the high Priest performs the animal sacrifice once a year to forgiveness of Sins. Jesus Christ sacrificed his life once; “For Christ did not go into a sanctuary made by human hands and just a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in God’s presence on our behalf” (Heb 9:24). Indeed, the book of Hebrews promises that Christ will again appear without sin as salvation to those who await him (v. 28). “Without sin” is an inadequate translation, but “not to deal with sin” instead is a better one.
The beast that gets the world domination
Rev 13:4 “They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
5 The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for forty-two months [3 yr 6 mth, half the time of the tribulation].
6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God and to blaspheme his name and his residence, that is, those who are living in heaven.
7 It was allowed to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.
8 All those living on earth will worship it, everyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life belonging to the lamb that was slaughtered from the foundation of the world.
The dragon is Satan, who gives power to another beast, which is the Antichrist. This beast receives great power from Satan, even to make war against the saints (God’s elect) and defeat them. The beast takes over all the nations, languages, and tribes of the world.
Then another beast rises:
13:11 “I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.
12 It uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and it makes the earth and those living on it worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
13 It performs spectacular signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people..
14 It deceives those living on earth with the signs that it is allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, telling them to make an image for the beast who was wounded by a sword and yet lived.
15 The second beast was allowed to give breath to the image of the first beast so that the image of the beast could talk and put to death those who would not worship the image of the beast.
16 The second beast forces all people—important and unimportant, rich and poor, free and slaves—to be marked on their right hands or on their foreheads,
17 so that no one may buy or sell unless he has the mark, which is the beast’s name or the number of its name.
18 This calls for wisdom: Let the person who has understanding figure out the number of the beast, because it is the number of a person. Its number is 666.”
The first resurrection
First arise those who have died as believers in Christ. “We who are still alive and left here will then be caught up with them in the clouds in the upper air against the Lord. This is how we can always be with the Lord.” (1 Tes 4:16–17). “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first,” (1 Tes 4:16).
The first resurrection takes place; those who have died in faith will be resurrected. Believers alive follow them, and both groups are drawn into the sky to meet Christ.
The first coming of Jesus and his death on the cross marked the liberation of mankind from the power of Satan. Now humanity has the opportunity to have God and Jesus dwell with Him and receive the blessings of the Holy Spirit, the fruits of them. We have not yet received everything and therefore look forward to his second coming, the resurrection of all, and eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
1 The 5:2 “for you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 For when they are saying, “Peace and safety,” then sudden destruction will come on them, like birth pains on a pregnant woman; and they will in no way escape.
Mat 24:44 Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don’t expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Matthew compares the surprise of Christ’s coming to the flood of Noah’s day; 24:38 “For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” – The fact that people feel that the great upheavals in the world are over and peace has returned is not in itself surprising. If only they knew the word of the Bible that warns of lulling into a brief moment of peace.
The dead in Christ, therefore, rise first; 1 The 4:17 “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
Two groups will be able to participate in the first resurrection:
- a) Those who believed in Christ when they died
- b) Those living who believe in God and Christ
The dead who ascend to Christ are in the spirit body. Even if they died of any disease or in whatever war they lost their lives and their bodies were destroyed, they receive from God a new resurrection body similar to the body of the glory of Christ.
Those believers who are alive at the coming of Christ will change; 1 Cor 15:51 “Let me tell you a secret. Not all of us will die, but all of us will be changed.” 2 Cor 3:18 says how they all will change: … “we are being transformed into the same image with ever-increasing glory by the Lord’s Spirit.”
The Epistle to the Corinthians shows that Paul believed that Christ would come very shortly. It is evident from the fact that he says “we all change (in the spirit bodies)” that is, Paul believes he is alive and, like other believers, will become like the body of the glory of Christ.
What happens to those who cannot reach the resurrection?
People living in these times of great destruction for humanity have two possibilities; either they turn and believe in God and Christ, or they are stubborn to the end.
Jesus Christ has made conversion easy. It is enough to cry out to Jesus or God Jehovah for help. One word is enough, Jesus. If a person wants to use a long formula, he can cry out: Jesus Christ the Son of God, have mercy on me. You will find this promise in the following Bible passages: Act 2:21 “It will be, that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And also Rom 10:13 and earlier Joel 2:32.
And what is the fate of those who do not repent, even though they realize that they are doomed?
Luke 23:30 “Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’, and to the hills, Cover us up!
Rev 6:16 They said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb!”
Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. ”And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”
What is the fate of false religion?
The book of Revelation speaks of the fate of non-individuals. The false religion and its leader will be destroyed; Rev 18:2 “He [angel] cried out in a powerful voice, Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen!
Not only is Babylon a world power represented by false religion, but it also describes social influences allied with religion:
3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury. 4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don’t receive of her plagues, 5 For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”
18:16 “saying, “How terrible, how terrible it is for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet and was adorned with gold, gems, and pearls! And they say: 17 For in one hour all this wealth has been destroyed!” – The verses describe not only the city of Rome but especially the Vatican City State and the papacy in its center. The description shows this: “for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet and was adorned with gold, gems, and pearls!” and “for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived” (v.16) and in her blood of prophets and of saints was found, and of all those who have been slain on the earth.” (verses 18:23-24).
Rev 18:9 “The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning;
10 Frightened by her torture, they will stand far away and say, How terrible, how terrible it is for that great city, the powerful city Babylon! For in one hour your judgment has come!
11The merchants of the earth cry and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo anymore.”
“Babylon” will be destroyed. The verses above tell how the kings of the world have practiced a lustful life with “Babylon,” and when they see the destruction of Babylon, they are tanned. The world’s traders cry and mourn over their lost trade opportunities when no one buys the merchants’ goods anymore. It is essential to understand what this Biblical Babylon is; when Christianity was not yet allowed to be practiced freely, the congregation in Rome was nicknamed the Church of Babylon during the apostles. Babylon has survived in biblical language to live and depict Rome, its religious world power, and related matters. The bishop of Rome wrongly possessed the position of Christ’s representative in Christianity. The Pope also adopted the title of Vicarius Filii Dei, the Deputy Son of God. The next great goal for Babylonia is to attain the position of leader of all Christianity through the Ecumenical Movement.
This is the last warning: Get out of it, you my people, that you may not partake of her sins.
The emergence of the Antichrist and the false prophet
In the end times and just before the coming of Christ, Satan will send two key helpers into the world. Paul describes them as follows:
2 Tes 2:3 “Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day cannot come unless the apostasy takes place first and the man of sin, who is the son of destruction [Antichrist] is revealed.
4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the sanctuary of God and declares himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that I repeatedly told you about these things when I was still with you?
6 You know what it is that is now holding him back, so that he will be revealed when his time comes.
7 For the secret of this lawlessness is already at work, but only until the person now holding it back gets out of the way,
8 Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy with the breath of his mouth, rendering him powerless by the manifestation of his coming,
9 even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and every type of evil to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them.
11 For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.
12 Then all who have not believed the truth but have taken pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.”
The Antichrist declares himself to be God! It even happens in the temple of God. Is this the third temple built in Jerusalem called the Temple of God? If one is built, it will be a strong sign of future upheavals. Satan is behind all this, even though he does not appear as God himself, but gives it to his assistant.
God allows this. It is evident from verse 2:11, which directly states that God sends a strong delusion into men. The grains are separated from the chaff.
“Man of sin [or man of lawlessness] ,” which refers to the Antichrist, will appear in the end-time religious scene along with his partner “False prophet.” The word Anti means ‘against’ or ‘substitute.’ The Antichrist exalts himself and declares in the temple of God that he is God. It is a maneuver of Satan, and their end is near.
After the Millennial Kingdom of Christ
This is followed by a second resurrection and the final judgment. Then the saved will enter the Kingdom of God described in the Book of Revelation. The book of Revelation describes those who were judged to be excluded, but it is a figurative expression that they were judged and were not allowed to enter the New World.
In the New World, the Bible says it produces many fruits (all are metaphors), e.g., the tree of eternal life. Already in Adam and Eve’s paradise was not only the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (why shouldn’t man eat of it to understand the difference between good and evil?) There was also another tree in Paradise, the tree of life that God feared Adam and Eve would eat and become” like one of us,” To prevent it, an angel was placed to guard it with a sword. Wouldn’t it have been simpler to cut down the whole tree?
2:9 “Out of the ground Jehovah God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
3:22 Jehovah God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…”
3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Often people remember only one thing about paradise, the tree whose fruit Adam and Eve ate contrary to God’s prohibition. In my view, this report has been a paradise, figurative narrative; the whole creation account and the subsequent account of Noah’s ark and the great flood are also such narratives. I am by no means saying that the stories could not contain some truthful content, but they are not precisely God’s literal words.
I have asked God why Adam and Eve would not have been allowed to know what the good and evil knowledge was. Isn’t that the main content of all Bible teaching? The tree of life has been ignored; if Adam and Eve had not broken God’s command, they would probably have been allowed to eat from the tree of life as well. When they were expelled from paradise, they became mortal. According to Revelation, there is also a tree of life in God’s New World. Is the eternal life of saved people dependent on eating the fruit of some tree? This is also a symbolic narrative because the saved people are in the spirit body, and the spirits do not need fruit to eat.
Another rather remarkable message is recorded as the message of God: “The Lord God said:” Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” – Did man become “like any of us” as a result of transgression and punishable sin? Who are we? After all, there was no one but the angels. Adam and Eve had become like angels to know what is good and what is evil. For this acquisition of knowledge, they were punished by death. Shouldn’t this have been taught to them among the very first things? They were punished so that God made them mortal and had to give his son to remove the sin and death of mankind. Was God’s purpose in creating people to maintain their innocent ignorance and not learn to know evil and Satan’s role in it?
Or is there something we don’t know or understand?
I have also wondered why God’s harsh punishment was upon Adam and Eve and by no means Satan, who lied and lured the inhabitants of Paradise into the sin of which they knew virtually nothing. Sure, the rebuke would have been in place, but the real culprit was Satan. Satan was not punished. On the contrary, God gave the whole world dominion over Satan.
I have not yet learned to understand this.
God Himself dwells among men in the New World or New Jerusalem. Christ also lives there: the thrones of God and the Son are there side by side. The throne of the Holy Spirit is not there, nor is it in heaven because the Holy Spirit is not a person like God. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God sent by God and Jesus Christ to perform the duties assigned to the Spirit.
Let it be remembered that all who dwell in the New Jerusalem are spirits, as are God the Father and Jesus Christ. Spirits do not need food or fruit to eat; The description of the tree of life in the New World in the book of Revelation is as figurative as the description of the tree of life in paradise. The saved are now completely sinless and have received eternal life as God’s co-workers (1 Cor 3:9).
In my earlier article, I wrote like this: Gen 1:27 “God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”
I have interpreted Jesus’ position as meaning that he does not exercise executive power in the New World in the same way as he does now that the times of the tribulation of the last days and the day of the Lord are coming. There is no need for that either because there are only people in the world who are images of God as humans were originally. All are God’s co-workers, working hard like the Father, fulfilling the tasks God has given them. In the New World, Christ is the High Priest of God.
Jesus said: Joh 14:12 “Truly, truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father,”
What did Jesus tell the apostles about the powers they could have: Matthew 17:20 “He told them, “Because of your lack of faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Would it be too bold to interpret God, who created man in his image and endowed him with superhuman powers without ever having an actual use as God’s co-worker? According to Jesus, both God and Jesus are constantly working (John 5:17). What about the people created by God? Would they be lazy in God’s new world? I am convinced that they are constantly getting new jobs from God. Whatever they are, time will tell.