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Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Will Jesus return literally in the clouds?

There are several passages in the New Testament that on the surface would seem to indicate that when Christ returns He will do so appearing in the clouds above. You may have heard the expression or read the Bible verse about the believers being “caught up together … in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).  Or you may have read “Behold, He comes with clouds” (Revelation 1:7).

jesus-in-the-clouds

No doubt the Second Coming concomitant with the resurrection of the dead—both of the saved and the unsaved—is yet to happen. But do the Scriptures mean, literally, that Jesus will appear in the clouds all around the earth, simultaneously, so that all people can see Him? My personal eschatological belief is that that is not the case. I explain below.

In the Old Testament we read that the God of Israel said

2 Samuel 23:4 He that rules over men must be just ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; (KJVER used throughout)

The only just ruler is God Himself. His countenance is as bright as the sun in a cloudless sky. Also He controls the environment including the weather and the clouds.

Job 36:26-33 Behold, God is great, and we know Him not, neither can the number of His years be searched out. 27 For He makes small the drops of water [i.e. clouds]: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: 28 Which the clouds do drop and distill upon man abundantly. 29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of His tabernacle? 30 Behold, He spreads His light upon it, and covers the bottom of the sea.  31 For by them judges He the people; He gives meat in abundance. 32 With clouds He covers the light; and commands it not to shine by the cloud that comes between. 33 The noise thereof shows concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.

Hebraisms in the Scriptures

In the Bible there are found many Hebraisms, which are Hebrew idioms or expressions. Even in the New Testament, which was originally written in the Greek language, we find many such expressions. For example,

Categories
Bible prophecy The Papacy Trials and temptations

Matthew 24 prophecy

In recent years I have read and studied the eschatological beliefs of the Reformers and of Sir Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727) as well as Henry Grattan Guinness (1835 – 1910). As a result I have changed my view of Bible prophecy from the futurist view to that of a historical view, where I now see that a lot of prophecy has already been fulfilled.1

A lot of Matthew chapter 24 has been fulfilled but one very important aspect–the Return of Christ in final judgment–still remains unfulfilled. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER)2 used.)

Matthew 24:1,2 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to show him the buildings of the temple.  2 And Jesus said to them, See you not all these things? verily I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (All bold are emphases added)

Here Christ predicts the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, around which all Jewish life revolved. This was fulfilled exactly in 70 A.D., which is 40 years after His death on the Cross and is within what we could call the generation of those He was speaking to—His disciples.

Categories
Bible prophecy The Papacy worldview

Daniel 9 prophecy

Chapter 9 in the book of Daniel continues the record of history, and the dreams, visions and revelations that God gave through His prophet. This chapter covers a period under the rule of Darius the Mede who conquered Babylon.  (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus [538 B.C.], of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

God told Jeremiah that the nation of Judah (the kingdom of Israel had already been conquered due to their idolatry) would be taken into captured by the Babylonians (Chaldeans) and taken into captivity for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11) after which God would restore them and return them to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:10). Daniel was living in exile and I suppose it was only natural to want to know when the exile would end. God enlightened him through divine knowledge but it was a lot more than just an answer to that simple question.

Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations [ruin] of Jerusalem.

Categories
Bible prophecy The Papacy worldview

Daniel 2 prophecy

This dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian Empire, provides the background to all the following dreams and visions given in the book of Daniel. In the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream, which he forgot when he woke, so he called his magicians, and astrologers, and sorcerers, to not only tell him the dream but also to interpret the dream. They couldn’t and he planned to kill all those co-called wise men. But Daniel, a captive in his courts, was recommended to interpret the dream. (All bold are my emphases added. Square brackets [ ] indicate meanings of words. King James Version Easy-Reading Bible (KJVER) used.)

Daniel, who was called Belteshazzar by the king, was considered the wisest of all the wise men in Babylon. This is because the Spirit of God was with him.

Daniel 5:11,12 There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father [grandfather] light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;  12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Daniel said to the king,