||20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly
||The Second Coming of Christ
The Second Coming of Christ - Revelation 19:6-16 - Skip Heitzig
God isn't really something to worship.
He's just waiting to destroy all of us.
I guess there's a God out there somewhere.
I hope there is a God.
God isn't really something to worship.
[INDISTINCT CROWD VOICES]
God is everywhere. And I'll remind you, as well, He loves you, and I love you. I've been praying for your peace this week, that God would just fill you with the peace that passes all understanding.
Excuse me. It's bad with a microphone to cough, but I had no choice. But I've just been praying that God would just keep your mind fixed on Him as we march into the future. Big question marks for everybody what's happening, what's going to happen. God is with you. God grants you His peace.
Would you please turn in your Bibles to the Book of Revelation, chapter 19-- Revelation, chapter 19. So in the newspaper industry, there is a font that is used, a typeface in newspaper printing known as Second Coming type. And that is really big headlines for really major events.
For example, on December 7, 1941, we were bombed in Oahu. It merited Second Coming type. That was a big announcement. When Israel became a nation in 1948, State of Israel is Born, once again, Second Coming type. President JFK, November of 1963, when he was assassinated, of course, that was major news around the world, Second Coming type.
Another assassination when we got bin Laden, a little bit smaller, but still big news. But now imagine a headline that read this-- yeah. Now, that--
Now, that's a headline. And that really does merit Second Coming type, right? Because the second coming of Christ is headline news. It's the biggest event ever. It is the culmination of all of the hopes of all believers for the last 2,000 years. It will be when our prayers are finally answered.
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven," because He is going to bring His kingdom to the Earth. Time magazine a while back did a little poll called Future Poll, where they polled 800 Americans to see what they think. And according to this poll, 22%-- this is 22% of Americans-- predict the Earth will be under the rule of a one-world government by the end of the 21st century.
We're in the 21st century. Not only that, 11% think there will be a single worldwide religion. And more than half in this poll, 53%, expect the return of Jesus Christ within this millennium. And we're talking about the second coming of Christ.
The world knows about the first coming. And the world's OK with that. That's Christmas time, right? That's when you get presents and stuff. I like the first coming of Christ. We get gifts. Even though it's not our birthday, we get gifts.
But the world is knowledgeable of the fact that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem. They know about the shepherds. They know about the angel making the announcement. They know about the magi. And the world is really comfortable with baby Jesus in a manger.
Problem is they don't want him to grow up. One author put it this way, "the world likes a complacent, reasonable religion." And so it is always ready to revere some pale Galilean image of Jesus, some meager, anemic Messiah, and to give Him a moderate rational homage. Problem with all that is we get to Revelation 19.
And Revelation 19 shows us a Jesus you can't control, shows us a Jesus who leaves the manger and grows up and, in this chapter, demands our attention and demands our submission because he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. That's how He gets introduced. Well, we've been doing, just for refreshment, a series on truth, on Bible doctrine.
And we've covered theology and Christology, and pneumatology, and all the "ologies," right? And the last few weeks, we've been looking at last things, eschatology. So three, two weeks ago we did the last days. We talked about, are we in the last days, and showed you marks of that.
Last week we looked at the rapture of the church. That's the event we're looking for as believers. And today we look at the second coming of Christ. But as we get into this study, I just want you to know that we as New Testament believers, the church, we're not looking for immediately to come the second coming of Christ.
We are looking for his coming that we talked about last week, what's called the blessed hope. Paul said, looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. That's what we're looking for.
There's a great little story. I have a friend who wrote a book. And in the book he talks about that he was visiting an institution for mentally handicapped children. And it broke his heart as he was touring this facility.
And what he notices he was going from hallway to hallway and room to room is that all of the windows that face outside had little hand prints on them, fingerprints. And so he wanted to know what's up with that. And the director said, the children here love Jesus. And they're so eager for him to return that they lean against the windows as they look up to the sky. And I read that, and I said, if that's what it means to be mentally handicapped, let me be so afflicted because here you have these kids eagerly waiting for Jesus Christ to return.
But now we come to the second coming. Now, we fast forward from the event we looked at last week to the end of a period of time typically known as the tribulation period, what Jesus described as the worst time ever on planet Earth. It'll make the pandemic look like a cakewalk. We talk about judgment of biblical proportions. The world's going to set a whole new standard of biblical proportions when it comes to the last part of that coming period of wrath called the great tribulation.
I've had you turn to the end of that, Revelation, chapter 19. And I want to show you the event as described by John in the vision. But I want to show you four facets of the second coming of Jesus Christ to the Earth.
And here's the first facet, and we're just about to read it. The second coming of Christ will be preceded by a supper, a very particular event. Verse 1 of Revelation 19, "after these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven saying, alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God for true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the Earth with her fornication." It's a reference to Babylon. The last world government will be dubbed Babylon.
The economic side is seen in chapter 18. The religious side is seen in Revelation 17. All that's passed. That's over. And it says, "He has avenged on her the blood of HIS servants shed by her. Again they said, alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever! And the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, amen! Alleluia!" I mean, they're getting Pentecostal now. They're into it.
"Then a voice came from heaven saying, praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory for the marriage of the lamb has come. And His wife has made herself ready.
And to her it was granted to be a arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, write, 'blessed are those--' here it is-- 'who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' And he said to me, 'these are the true sayings of God.'"
A lot of times we talk about a marriage made in heaven. This is a marriage in heaven, a marriage feast in heaven. Now, let me just give you a quick background, quick.
In Revelation 19, the camera shifts. The scene is different. Chapter 6 through the end of 18 takes place on Earth. All the focus is on the Earth. There's several judgments that take place. There are seven seals on a scroll, and each one gets busted off, judgments pour forth.
After the seven seals, come seven trumpets that are blown. With each blast of the trumpet, more judgments hit the Earth. After that, seven more bold judgments, where vials or bowls of judgment are poured out upon the Earth. Each one seems to get worse and worse and worse till it's finally over.
And chapter 19 takes place in heaven. And it's an incredible scene. It's a wedding scene, a wedding that will be bigger and better and more ground-- grander than any royal wedding that you've ever seen on TV, whether it's Charles and Diana or Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Is that right? Did I get that right? So we love royal weddings.
What's going to go on in heaven is going to make all those royal weddings look like a cheap Las Vegas presided-over-by-a-fake-Elvis wedding, one of those kind of things. It is the marriage supper of the Lamb. And the symbolism is pretty straightforward, if you know your New Testament. The Lamb is Jesus. The bride is the church, or the church is called the bride of Christ. And this is Jesus with the bridegroom in a celebration in heaven.
Now, last week we told you about the rapture of the church. And we talked about the coming of the Lord for His saints. And we gave you the outline of a Jewish wedding. Do you remember that? So just-- I'll refresh your memory really quick.
This couple has probably been arranged to be married since they were little kids. But the couple grows up, and they're at the age to be married. So the groom, or the groom to be, goes to the house where the bride lives, her father's house, and makes formal arrangements, a betrothal, an engagement. Lasts up to about a year, several months to a year.
After that, after the betrothal, he goes back to his father's house and builds a room on his father's house, where they will live after they're married. At some point in the future, he asks dad's permission to go get his bride. Dad gives permission. So the groom goes back to the bride's house.
She doesn't know when he's coming. She always has to be ready. He can't text her 2,000 years ago and say, I'm on my way, heads up. So he just shows up. And when he comes close, somebody with a shofar, a trumpet, blows it to let everybody know party's about to come down.
And then when he's close by the house of the bride, he lets out a shout to let her know and let them know inside that he has arrived. Then he takes her with him back to the father's house, where they have the formal wedding and a wedding feast that typically lasts for about seven days. So that's the background of all of this.
This is the church in heaven, the church from Pentecost all the way to the rapture, betrothed to Jesus. We've been waiting for him to come and literally sweep us off our feet, where we will be with him. This is the language that Paul had in mind in 2 Corinthians 11 he said, "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy for I have betrothed you." There's the idea that I've engaged you. "I have betrothed you to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
So we are in the courtship phase. There is no physical contact. There is no bodily contact. We're betrothed, and we're awaiting the groom to come and take us away. That's the background.
Now, question, the bridegroom here is referred to first as a lamb. And it's interesting to me because of all the titles of Jesus Christ, why is the groom referred to as the lamb? Why is Jesus called the Lamb? He could be called the creator. He could be called king. He could be called lord. He could be called master. He could be called prince of peace. But here it's the lamb and the bride.
And here's my thought. He's presented here as a lamb because it was the lamb that you fell in love with. You didn't fall in love with the creator God. You fell in love with the one who offered to take your sin and mine and wash it all away. And that attracted you to Him. And so you fell in love with the Lamb because that was His chief ministry was to come and purge us of our sin.
So it is the marriage supper of the Lamb. Now, you'll notice that it's quite a celebration. It's like the party of all parties. There's great joy, enthusiasm. There's celebration. There seems to be wedding guests. We have not only the 24 elders in verse 4, which I believe is representative of the church-- I don't have time to explain why that is. I wrote a commentary on the Book of Revelation where I did that. But it's a motif from chapter 4 and 5 of Revelation.
So I believe the 24 elders are representative of the church. Notice, also, there are four living creatures. They show up in heaven, also in chapter 4 and. 5 these are four special angels of God's presence, cherubim, who are always around the throne of God to give Him praise.
Then in verse 1, John says, "I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven," probably all those angels that John also told us about in chapters 4 and 5. And notice that they are using a word of praise here. They use it four times, the word alleluia.
Now, here's what's interesting about the word alleluia. It's the only time it appears in the entire New Testament. It's an Old Testament word, shows up a lot in the Book of Psalms. But you don't read about it in the New Testament until here.
In the Old Testament, it's spelled with an H, hallelujah. But it's the same idea. It means praise the Lord. But four times at the marriage supper of the Lamb, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. They just get into it. It's as if they have been restrained until now. And now they let loose.
Something else, look at verse 6. "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude." There they are again. But listen to how loud, "as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings." Does that sound quiet to you? That sounds pretty boisterous, right? Sounds loud.
So it shows me that heaven is a place of lots of activity and pretty noisy. I say that smiling-- see, this is me smiling-- because I think back to when I was a kid going to church, and my mom always said, shh! And I'd say, why? She said, it's church. Like, OK, it's church, so, shh, (WHISPERING) be quiet. It's God's house. God doesn't like noise.
(REGULAR VOICE) You may want earplugs then when you get to heaven because it sounds and looks and reads like it's a very active, alive, and loud place. So that's the first aspect. That's the first facet of this second coming. It is preceded by a supper.
Second thing I want you to note is that it is predicted by the scripture. I'm going to take you to verse 10 where that's highlighted. It says, "and I fell at his feet to worship him." Now, this is the angelic being the John sees and bow down to worship.
I just think John is overcome with emotion. He's just reflexively doing this. He's not really thinking about, oh, yeah, I shouldn't be worshipping angels. He just does it. "But he said to me, see that you do not do that. I am your fellow servant and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!" But here's the key phrase, "for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Let that phrase just sort of seep into your mind and soul, "for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Listen to it in the New Living Translation, "for the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus." You see, the central theme of all prophetic literature, the central focus is none other than Jesus Christ. And what's more, they had a lot to say about His second coming.
Listen to this. "Next to the subject of faith, there is no subject discussed more in the Bible than the second coming of Christ." Next to the subject of faith, there is no subject covered as much as the second coming of Christ. The second coming is dealt with 1,845 times. So some dude's out there counting that. That's a lot of times, 1,527 times in the Old Testament, 318 in the New Testament.
For every time the first coming is mentioned, the Bethlehem event, the second coming is mentioned eight times. So it's a factor of 8 to 1. Also, for every time the atonement is mentioned, the second coming is mentioned twice.
Jesus personally referred to his return 21 times. And 50 times, or over 50 times, we are told to be ready for it. So Jesus is the star on the stage of Bible prophecy. And the second coming takes a lot of that attention.
And when the Bible makes prophecies, when the prophets were predicting, they were predicting principally one of two things, either His first coming or His second coming, as we've mentioned. We talk about the scarlet thread of redemption, right? We've talked about that before, that the sacrifice of Christ is seen through the pages of scripture. I wrote a book called Blood Line on that theme.
But more than that, more than the scarlet thread of redemption is the golden thread of His righteous rule at the second coming. Now, the Jewish people, all Jewish people, orthodox Jewish people, have looked for a messiah for 3,500 years. Most of them don't believe he has come yet. So they're still waiting.
But orthodox Jewish people, for 3,500 years, have said a prayer like this, I believe in the coming of Messiah. And even though he tarry, I shall wait for Him every coming day. I believe in the coming of Messiah. And even though he tarry, I shall wait for Him every coming day. That's been their prayer. That's been their anticipation.
Well, the prophets predicted that He would come. That's why they're waiting. But Jesus fulfilled those prophecies. We know that. We've seen that. We've looked at that.
But when the prophets were looking into the future, they anticipated not only His coming but His coming in glory to reign. And some of those we are familiar with. We're familiar with Isaiah's prophecy, when he said, unto us a child is born. Remember that prophecy, unto us a son is given?
You know when we usually that? Christmastime. Listen to the whole prophecy, under us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. Here it is. And the government will be on His shoulder. That hasn't happened yet.
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Here it is, of the increase of His government, there will be no end. Upon the throne of David to order in establish it from this time forth, even forevermore, even though the Lord of hosts will perform this. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. That is about this event, the second coming of Christ.
Daniel predicted this event. Actually Daniel interpreted a dream of a pagan king named Nebuchadnezzar, who couldn't sleep one night. He goes, man, I had it bad dream last night. You better tell me what it is. I don't know what it is, or I won't tell you what it is. But you have to tell me what it is and what it means.
Nobody could do it. Daniel comes in and goes, you saw an image of all these different metals. And then in your dream you saw this stone coming out of the heavens. Remember that dream in Daniel, chapter 2? It hit the image. It destroyed the image. And that stone grew into a mountain that covered the Earth.
And Nebuchadnezzar said, man, you nailed it. That's exactly what I dreamed. Now what does it mean? So Daniel says, well, there's a whole bunch of kingdoms that are going to come. And you're the first guy on the list. You're the head of gold. But after you will come other kingdoms.
But here's this part. "Then the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed and shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and stand forever." That's this event. That's when it starts. That's when the kingdom gets established.
Remember when Jesus stood before Pilate? And Pilate had a conversation with Christ. And Pilate said, so you're a king? And Jesus said, you're right to say that I'm a king. But he said, my kingdom is not of this world.
But now the kingdom is. Now He comes back. And He comes to hang up a sign, in effect, that says under new management because he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Also, Jesus spoke very plainly about this second coming. Listen to how he puts it.
Now, this is Matthew 24. This is Jesus' own eschatological sermon because the disciples said, so when are you coming back? And what are the signs of all that? So he tells them Matthew 24 on the Mount of Olives. He says, "immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened. The moon will not give its light. The stars will fall from heaven. The powers of the heavens will be shaken." All of that is written about in Revelation, chapter 6 through 18.
Then listen to this. "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven." That's His second coming. "And then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
So Isaiah the prophet, Daniel the prophet, other prophets all the way back have predicted this event. Jesus himself articulated this event. Also, some of the greatest songs of the church have been about the second coming. Do you guys know the name Charles and John Wesley? If you know, go ahead and raise your hand again. This is church. You can raise your hand up. God bless you. I see that hand. No, I'm just kidding.
So John and Charles Wesley were these great preacher revivalists. John Wesley was like the preacher guy. Charles Wesley wrote songs. Do you know how many songs Charles Wesley wrote? 6,500. Some say up to 8,000. But let's be conservative. Let's be skimpy here, shall we? 6,500 songs.
Man, I've written like six. 6,500 he wrote. The majority of Charles Wesley's hymns focus on the second coming of Christ. It is one of the great themes of hymnology through the ages.
Here's one everybody knows not by Wesley, but by Isaac Watts, because we sing it every Christmas not knowing it has nothing to do with Bethlehem. It has everything to do with the second coming. Just read the lyrics. Here it is, "joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her King."
It's all about Jesus coming to establish His kingdom because this is the great hope, and this is the day where Jesus comes in glory. So let's move on. We've seen two things about the second coming of Christ. It's preceded by a supper. It's predicted by the scripture.
Third, it's punctuated by a slaughter. Now, this is where the story goes a little bit dark. I mean, it gets a little bit somber. Verse 11, "then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse."
When Jesus came to Earth the first time, He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Donkey, right? A little bit of Shrek there.
But when He comes the second time, He comes on a white horse. That's very emblematic of conquering, like ancient rulers did. "And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness, He judges" and literally wages war. "His eyes were like a flame of fire. On His head were many crowns."
When conquerors would conquer in those days, they would often take the crown of the conquered king and put it on their head to show new sheriff in town. I'm in charge. He had many crowns. On His name, a name written on it. "He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood. And His name is called The Word of God."
We know that's Jesus. In the beginning was the word. The word was with God. The word was God. "And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now, out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.
He himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Boy, this is a very different Jesus than Matthew, Luke, and John. This is the warrior Jesus.
This is not gentle Jesus, meek and mild. This is giant Jesus, mighty and riled, right? This is very different. When we think of Jesus, we often think of Jesus looking with such compassionate eyes, or tear-filled eyes, as he looked over Jerusalem.
Verse 12 shows us one whose eyes are like a flame of fire. We picture Jesus in our minds wearing his own crown of thorns in sacrifice and humiliation. Once again in verse 12, on his head here were many crowns. We typically picture Jesus in his suffering, covered with his own blood.
You'll notice here in verse 13, he has a robe dipped in blood. It's not His own. It is the blood of his enemies. Isaiah 63, which is a corollary to Revelation 19, spells that out clearly. He comes to wage war.
By the way, speaking of songs, before I kind of explain what this is, what's going on here, speaking of hymns of the church songs, another great second coming song was written during the Civil War by Julia Ward Howe. She was grieved by the inhumanity in her own country. And she wanted to think about the day when Jesus will come back and set all things straight.
And so her hope was the second coming. So she wrote a song called Battle Hymn of the Republic. And the lyrics are Revelation 19. "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible, swift sword. His truth is marching on."
That is Revelation 19. Those lyrics are her thinking past the Civil War on into the coming of Jesus. Now, what is happening here? A war. He's waging war. He's coming to a battle. This is the end of the tribulation, a very particular battle. You could call it the mother of all battles.
It is the Battle of Armageddon, previewed already, even though we haven't read it in this series. In Revelation, chapter 16, it's spelled out. They'll gather together in a Valley of Megiddo, or Armageddon, called in the tongue, Armageddon. It's Revelation 16, versus 15 and 16.
So it is the final showdown of the Antichrist and his armies. And they converge in Israel, marching toward Jerusalem in the Valley of Armageddon, we are told. By the way, Napoleon Bonaparte said the Valley of Armageddon, in all of his military experience, was the most natural battleground in the world that he had ever seen.
Many historic battles, biblical battles were fought there. Deborah and Barak fought Sisera in the Valley of Armageddon. Gideon fought the Midianites in the Valley of Armageddon. Sennacherib fought the fight against Hezekiah. I'm guessing that's around Second Kings 18. That's a biblical battle.
Also, King Pharaoh Necho of Egypt fought against and killed King Josiah in this battle that's around Second Kings 23, right around there. But it's back there in the Bible somewhere. So that place has seen lots of battle activity, even in more modern times. And we'll see another battle in future times.
The long and short of it is hostilities against the nation of Israel will reach fever pitch during this period of time. And they will march all the armies of the Antichrist against Jerusalem. That's when Jesus shows up not to fight a battle, to interrupt a battle.
They're marching. OK, we're going to do this, man. We're going to-- and then Jesus comes back. I know it's called the Battle of Armageddon. Let's get that out of our minds. It's really not the Battle of Armageddon. It's the beat down at Armageddon. It's a wipe out.
It's not like Jesus' side gets hurt a little bit. No, He's just going to wipe it out, stop it. Now, I want you to see how somber this is. I want you to make a contrast.
Look at verse 7, where it talks about the marriage of the Lamb and verse 9, the marriage supper of the Lamb. There's that one supper. That's a good supper. Let me show you another supper. It's not a good supper.
Verse 17, "then I saw an angel standing in the sun. And he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, come and gather together for supper of the great God." What is that angel referring to? He's inviting vultures to come and have supper, the bodies of slain soldiers at the Battle of Armageddon.
Wow. I like the first supper better. I want to go to supper. I don't want to be supper.
Some even think that Jesus was referring to this when he said in Matthew 24, "wherever the carcass is, the vultures will be gathered together." So this is Jesus coming back at the end of the tribulation during this battle known as the Battle of Armageddon. Now, I'm going to give you a very quick rundown of events. I want to move through this quick because we don't have time to get deep into it. We did it a little bit last week.
First on the calendar of events that we're looking for-- it could happen at any moment-- the rapture of the church. At some point, Jesus, who is right now seated at the right hand of the Father, is going to stand up, and He's going to come. And He's going to come into the atmosphere. We looked at that in depth last week. He's going to take all of the saints with them, fwoomp, in the air.
After that, I believe in heaven takes place what's called the judgment seat of Christ. It sounds ominous. But it's where you and I get rewards. It's the Greek word bema seat. It's where they would get rewards for running a race in antiquity.
And so you and I will be 2 Corinthians, 5, "evaluated by Jesus Christ for the work that we have done in the body," 2 Corinthians 5. It's a direct quote from there. We're going to be evaluated for our faithfulness to Him while on the Earth. That's the judgment seat of Christ. So rapture of the church, judgment seat, then I believe on the Earth, right at the beginning or just prior to the tribulation, is a very specific battle the Bible speaks about, not Armageddon, a battle mentioned, prophesied in great detail in Ezekiel, chapter 38.
Ever heard of the Battle of Gog and Magog? Most of you have, the Battle of Gog and Magog. These are ancient terms for rulers and for regions. And we can identify what those regions are.
The War of Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel 38, is, I believe, a post-rapture power grab led by Russia and not only Russia, but it will be in partnership with Turkey and Iran. They're all identified in that text. So you have three nations, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with the support of Libya, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
They will attack Israel from the northern border, Ezekiel 38 says, the area of Syria. They'll come in from Syria down into Israel. And it says they want to get something precious that Israel has, does not disclose what it is. But here's what's interesting about that, is that for the first time in history, those three nations are in partnership. Russia, Iran, and Turkey are in partnership. And I don't know if you know this or not, but all three have military assets right now in Syria. They're there right now.
Moreover, recently, Israel has discovered that they're in possession of-- they just sort of found this out the last few years-- massive oil and natural gas reserves. And they are planning to build an undersea pipeline to sell oil to Europe, which happens to be Russia's number-one customer. Also, if you follow the news, you know that recently Iran has ramped up its nuclear enrichment to a level of 20%, which experts say, ooh, that's frightening nuclear war stuff, 20%.
And just yesterday, did you see that they fired-- Iran fired a missile in the Indian Ocean, very close to an American ship? So things are heating up. And it's lining up. So rapture of the church, you're in heaven, judgment seat of Christ. On the Earth, battle of Gog and Magog.
Then the tribulation starts. Tribulation lasts seven years. It's the seventieth week of Daniel. In the middle of the seven-year period, it's called the abomination of desolation by Jesus and by Daniel. This ruler, Antichrist, makes an agreement, a pact, a covenant with many people. He breaks it, including Israel.
He breaks it in the middle of that seven-year period. It's called the abomination of desolation. The last 3 and 1/2 years are the worst. That is the great tribulation. Jesus said, unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect sake, those days will be shortened.
So that'll be the tribulation period. At the end of all that, this event happens, second coming. So rapture of the church, judgment seat of Christ, war of Gog and Magog, tribulation period, second coming of Jesus to the Earth. After the second coming, the kingdom lasts 1,000 years. You know how I know that? Chapter 20 of Revelation says like five times, 1,000 years, 1,000 years, 1,000 years, 1,000 years, 1,000 years.
So I figure it's 1,000 years. So all that the prophets spoke about would happen during that time happened for 1,000 years, followed by the disintegration of heaven and Earth. Everything created gets uncreated. God makes a new heaven and a new Earth, and that's called the eternal state. That's a happily-ever-after moment forever and ever. That's sort of a quick rundown.
So second coming, preceded by a supper, predicted by the scripture, punctuated by a slaughter. The fourth and best aspect, it's performed by a Savior. All of this is under the management and control of somebody who passionately loves you and came the first time to make sure you would never have to be bird supper but would invite you to His supper.
So just notice some of the names, once again, because He is the focal point. He is called the Lamb in verse 9. He is called the Word of God in verse 13. He is called Faithful and True in verse 11. And then in verse 16, that great title he has on His robe and on His thigh, a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
So he came the first time as Savior. He's not coming the second time as Savior. He's coming the second time as Judge. He came to save. And He still invites you to be saved. But He will come the second time not as the Lamb, but as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King of kings, Lord of Lords, one who is in authority.
Now, the second coming will be a public event, which means everybody's going to see it, unlike the rapture. Select group sees it. There's no judgment associated with the rapture. Massive judgment associated with the second coming.
And when He comes, everybody sees it. Revelation, chapter 1, "and every eye shall see Him." Jesus said, Matthew 24, "as lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." Now, when Jesus comes to the Earth, he's coming to a particular place.
And where do you think that is? Do you think it's like Espanola or Santa Fe or-- no. No, maybe Los Angeles? How about New York? New York? Rome? No, where's He coming? Jerusalem, but to a very particular geographical spot in Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives-- the Mount of Olives.
Remember when Jesus left? He left Earth. He ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, Acts, chapter one. The same Jesus ascends into heaven from the Mount of Olives. The disciples are standing there. Their hands are in their robes. They're looking up, going, whoa, that's heavy duty. That's cool.
And they're got their heads cocked up. And an angel says, hey, you "men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? For this same Jesus who left will so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven." There you have it. His second coming is going to be like His ascension.
What was His ascension like? Well, He went into heaven physically. He went into heaven visibly. And He went into heaven from the Mount of Olives. So I'm guessing he's coming back physically, visibly-- every eye will see Him-- into the Mount of Olives, which is not only what the angel said. That's what was predicted by the prophets.
The prophet Zechariah, who gives lots of end-time predictions, talks about a great battle in the end times. And God will fight for His people in that battle. He immediately after that-- it says this, "and in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east." Now, when that happens, something will happen to the Mount of Olives.
It says, "and the Mount of Olives shall split in two," right out of the book of Zechariah, the prophet. The Mount of Olives was split in two. What's interesting about that is in 1964, a geologist discovered a fault line in Jerusalem that runs right through, guess, the Mount of Olives.
So we have a mountain in Jerusalem called the Mount of Olives that is waiting for a very particular footprint. And when that footprint touches, [IMITATES EXPLOSION] it'll split in two. And every eye will see Him.
Now, people will ask, well, if He's coming to Jerusalem, how can every eye see Him? Well, you could have asked that question 100 years ago. And it'd be hard to answer that. I don't know. But now we have satellite television, where you see stuff all over the world. Everybody at one time can see it.
Moreover, here's just a thought. Erwin Lutzer writes, "perhaps the return of Jesus Christ is an event that takes place over a period of 24 to 48 hours, where He will appear in the sky and be seen by all as the world turns on its axis. Then as the rotation continues, Christ is continually seen as coming closer to the Earth, until eventually He disappears for the rest of the world as He lands on the Mount of Olives." Interesting thought. Fun to throw in. That's no extra charge.
I don't know. But the purpose of prophecy-- two weeks ago last week, the purpose of prophecy is not to scare you. It's to engender faith in you. It's to get your heart and head around the idea that Jesus is in control of the future. Remember what He said to his disciples? Because I'm going to tell you what's going to happen in advance. So when it comes to pass, you'll remember that I said it to you, and you'll believe.
So prophecy, as you study it, causes you to have faith. And Paul, the apostle, his last words before he died are recorded in 2 Timothy. And he said to Timothy, "finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day and not only to me, but to all who have loved His appearing."
Does that describe you? Do you love His appearing? Are you looking forward for the return of Christ for you personally? Are you like the kids with the fingerprints on the windows? Lean into that. Look up. Jesus said, when these things begin to happen, lift up your head because your redemption draws near.
You want to go to the Lamb supper, or do you want to be supper? Easy choice. Easy choice. Receive the Savior, the Lamb, and come to His supper. In glory, Father, thank you for your word. Thank you that we get to study it week by week. Thank you, Lord, how You walk with us and like we have sung these great anthems of praise and worship, You've never failed us.
You've always been with us. And so, Lord, we look into the future with such confidence because Jesus is the Lord of the future, like he has been the Lord of the past and present. You're the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thank you. We give You glory. In Jesus' name, amen.
We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Church. We'd love to know how this message impacted you. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.