Yes, King Jesus is coming soon! Those who have joined us at the virtual study table know that we have gone through weeks of study, looking at the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. Over the past couple weeks our study has been anchored to Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:39:
‘For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Jesus spoke those words, knowing He would face crucifixion very soon and the Jewish people would fail to recognize Him as Messiah. However, He is a covenant-keeping God and will one day redeem His people. Those words will welcome Him back and will launch the Millennial Kingdom, at which time all Israel will be saved!
So, grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable at the study table! We’re about to discuss the timing and the imminency of the King’s coming.
At Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Jews were expecting a king who would rule the Davidic Kingdom. Here is how Mark’s gospel describes that day:
And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
~Mark 11:8-10 [Emphasis mine]
Indeed, Jesus will rule that kingdom one day! But when?
The Davidic Kingdom is the Millennial Kingdom. But to place that kingdom in its proper place, we will consider the timing and the imminency of the King’s coming. But, let’s make one key distinction before moving on.
In a previous lesson, we defined natural Israel and spiritual Israel. (Natural Israel = unbelieving Jews, spiritual Israel = Jewish and Gentile believers) Each has a different “finish line” when it comes to the King’s coming. Spiritual Israel looks to the rapture as the “homecoming” celebration wherein the Bible tells us that the Lord will descend from heaven and we will be caught up to meet Him in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) Meanwhile, natural Israel will experience national salvation when they welcome the King home at the end of the tribulation.
We’ll look at that in greater detail later this week, but for now, the key point is that we have different finish lines.
Now, back to the discussion regarding timing. As to the rapture, there are two principles of Scripture that deal with specific timing. One principle is iterated in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 and, simply stated, says that no one…not even the angels or Jesus Himself…knows the day or the hour of His return. Only the Father knows!
Meanwhile, Jesus admonishes His followers who know how to interpret the earth and the sky, yet do not appropriately interpret the current season of time. (Luke 12:54-56) Likewise, in Matthew 24:8, He likened the last days to birth pains. These are understandable signs and seem to imply that He wants us to understand the times in which we live.
While you will not see a “day and hour” prediction of Christ’s return on this blog, it is my belief that we are to understand the times and seasons in which we live, and should recognize birth pains. I believe today’s “birth pains” give us a sense of timing of His return. It is soon!
Another key event related to the timing of Christ’s return is that Israel MUST be back in the land in order for end time events described in Ezekiel 38-39 to take place. If Israel is not back in the land, then who are Russia, Iran, and their cohorts attacking? It must be Israel, and Israel must exist! Until May 14, 1948, when Israel was re-born, Jesus could not have returned. Now that they are back in the land, it clears the way for His arrival!
We will discuss two other things that give us a sense of timing of Jesus’ return, but each takes a bit of development. So, follow along the next few days as we examine the timing found in the feasts of Israel, and a diagram of God’s plan. Each will provide a sense of timing to His grand appearance!
Stick with us…we’re heading to the finish line!