By Roy Waldrom
The Return of the Lord Jesus to Reign, Fact or Fiction?
Countless books have been written on this subject, both for and against.
Around 40 years ago if you attended what was known then as an evangelical gathering you could have heard a thundering message on the soon return of Jesus to meet his bride in the air, and then to come and put the world right.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
[The Bride = The Church, made up of every believer born again by the Holy Spirit]
After the Bride and Groom are joined, Jesus returns to reign on the earth, in Jerusalem, based on the promise that the Angels spoke in Acts 1:11 “You men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Also prophesied in Zechariah 14:4-8 and 9. “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”
[This will fix the Dead Sea water level problem]
We know that has not happened yet according to
Zechariah 14:4 and 8
The message of the Lord Jesus soon return, was preached with urgency because they believed the time was very close for Jesus to return.
Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
What generation? The one that was alive and witnessed the re-birth of the nation of Israel.
The message had two parts.
1) Jesus is due to return any minute.
2) You need to accept Jesus now, and be ready, because He is coming at any minute and if not ready you could be left behind.
The inference was, that when you accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, from that moment on you entered a training course to make you fit to enter heaven, and until the time of physical death there would be much pain and suffering to cleanse and perfect, then at the moment of physical death there would be no more pain, just freedom.
People sung songs with words like, ‘Away, away over Jordan, Oh won’t it be grand to meet on that land. In the sweet by and by we shall meet on that beautiful shore.”
The slaves who worked in the cotton fields of America sung what were called Negro Spirituals, to deaden the pain of the now.
It was called, pie in the sky by and by.
When the Pentecostal movement came on the scene there was a change.
The new message was all about Kingdom now. All that would be experienced after physical death was available now, based on the scriptures that talked about the Kingdom of God.
Through a believer having the Holy Spirit’s power and anointing within them, Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you”, they believed they had authority over all the power of Satan.
The true model to follow was Jesus, how he lived, and dealt with all issues until he was crucified.
He lived by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and only did what Father God told him to do and say.
John 4:34. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me.”
Also, John 5:19 and 6:38.
There is truth in what was preached for the individual who was prepared to die to self, and come to that place where whatever God told them to do, they would do. No nation on earth has become totally living, saying, and doing what Jesus taught, being lead by the Spirit with the fruit of the Spirit ruling and reigning in and through them. This is because the Church age is when God is calling individuals to live and follow His leading and together make up the Bride.
All are called but few chosen. Matthew 22:13.
God does the calling, man does the choosing to follow.
The world in general has become more of a mess as man has sought to control it without the maker and his handbook the Bible, and the voice and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
1988 came and went, 2000 came and went, and with the passing of both those dates many have become disillusioned and right now, the subject of the return of Jesus is spoken of very little.
What was special about 1988?
Forty years after the nation of Israel was formed some believe is a generation, and the generation that witnesses the nation of Israel formed, would not pass away before Jesus returned.
The year 2000 being two one thousand year periods, some believe would be the length of the church age.
Jesus spent 2 days among the Gentiles, John 4:40.
One day is as a thousand years, 2 Peter 3:8.
Jesus turned from the nation of Israel to the nations of the world for a time, and when that time is over, he will return to the nation of Israel again. Romans 11:25-26.
Towards the end of the church age it is clearly stated in 2 Peter 3:4 what people will be thinking and saying. Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Jesus said through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Jesus also spoke a parable about 5 wise people and 5 foolish Matthew 25:1-13,and it is not easy to sort out what it all meant, except, at the end when he said, Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Put another way, be ready.
By living moment by moment hearing Father God’s voice and walking in obedience.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.
For all who know an intimate relationship will be in tune and ready.
Father God’s voice is in mans thoughts, man needs to get still and listen and sort out which thoughts are His, theirs, someone elses, or Satan’s.
That is why it says to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5.
This takes learning. True discipling is to teach people how to hear the voice of God and obey what they hear.
Another issue people struggle with when reading the Bible, is how much is fact or fiction? [An allegory or reality]
Why did Jesus speak in Parables?
Matthew 13:10-17 gives the answer.
The key to reading the Bible is to let the one who wrote it, interpret it. That one is the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
For all who seek to read the Bible without the Holy Spirit leading them, the Bible causes them to be left worse off than if they had never read it, by filling their mind with knowledge they are unable to understand or attain, or they simply read it as a book of law instead of a book that is all about relationship with the God of creation and what He created, especially MAN.
The big issue to me right now is to do with the two clear streams as to what will be happening at the time when Jesus returns.
1)The scriptures that speak of a remnant.
Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?
2)A massive outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh to perfect the Bride so that when Jesus returns the Bride will be without spot or blemish and Jesus cannot and will not return till that happens.
They base this on the prophecy in Joel 2:28-29 saying that has not happened yet.
Many are caught up believing the church before Jesus can return, will come to a place where it is in control of the earth, [Which is a rehash of a rehash of reconstruction theology] and then and only then will Jesus return. Others say he has returned, living in and through the church [Believers] now.
In the light of that teaching, they rule out the literal return of The Lord Jesus Christ to reign.
The Bible clearly says what the condition of the world will be in when Jesus returns.
2 Timothy 3:1-9. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
Luke 17:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noah. so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Right through the time of the Old Testament, only Kings, Priests and Prophets received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, plus now and again some special person Father God used.
In Joel 2:28-29 God promised to pour out his Spirit on all flesh.
It is recorded in Acts 2 where that happened.
Peter said in Acts 2, THIS IS THAT, quoting Joel 2:28-29. This means to me that at Pentecost it happened totally and down the ages the individual has their own personal encounter. (Own Pentecost experience) All mankind can receive, just a matter of choice.
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?
There have been mass revivals down the ages – the last big one in the western nations was between the sixties and eighties, plus in other nations since.
Ephesians 5:27 says that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The Bride [Church] is already perfect through the cleansing blood of the lamb.
There is no such state as perfect in human terms, believe the word perfect means complete.
No human effort can bring about perfection. Human effort is called self-righteousness.
The Bride is made up of those who have walked in obedience from Pentecost till Jesus return, not some special group at the end.
There is a need to have a clear understanding concerning the Lord Jesus returning to earth to reign and the Bride [Church] being caught up to meet Jesus in the air.
The catching up or rapture as it is known, takes place in the air before Jesus lands on the earth, that means this event is not mentioned in the Scriptures other than a verse in Zechariah 14:5 Thus the Lord God will come, and all the saints with him, plus
1 Corinthians 15:35-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.
The reason for little mention is because it has to do with the time called the Church age, from Pentecost, [50 days after Jesus rose again] till when He comes for his bride.
We are not told how long before Jesus lands on the earth this will happen, some say seven years, others three and a half, others it will be straight afterwards, because the bride will go up and meet him as he is coming down.
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father..
But we will know the season.
Luke21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.
1) Israel [In1948] and all the nations get their independence. Matthew 24:32
2) Jerusalem, no longer ruled by the gentiles. Luke 21:24
That took place in 1967.
All the other Bible references to Jesus return are directly to his return to earth to reign for 1000 years, Revelation 20.
At that time He brings his bride with him [Zechariah 14:4b] to help him reign, the head, [Jesus] and his body [The Church, Bride] together. Until then they are separated, Jesus with the Father and his body with him, and on earth. [The believers who have physically died with Christ and those still physically alive here on earth]
The key to why Jesus is not yet reigning on earth, is because in the time of Jesus reign on earth, Satan will be bound and no one will be tempted till the end when Satan is let loose for a while, to let people exercise their will as to who they will follow.
Then the total end will come to this world as we know it, and there will be a new heaven and new earth that will be as it was in the beginning, before Adam disobeyed by eating from the wrong tree thus giving Satan dominion over this earth.
Where are we at in all this?
Scripture is clear as to what it will be like when he returns. Not a happy place, nor was it when Jesus first came. Only a few expected him, it mentions two in the temple, Simeon and Anna.
Others were looking and did not like who Father sent, a suffering lamb.
They were looking at the wrong ending. It is the next entry where Jesus returns as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
There is a way through. It is for each one who has had a true encounter with Abba Father, seeking all they know how, to stay close to hearing His voice, and walking in obedience to that light they have received, especially dealing with the pride issue in their lives that manifests in judging.
There is only one sin, PRIDE, all the rest is fruit.
PRIDE is located in our judgments, judging is the fruit of pride.
The creator of the universe has forgiven man all his sin and only asks one thing in return.
For man to forgive his fellow man, as he has been forgiven.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
What do you think will happen to all the believers who have never dealt with all their judgments, summed up in 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hates his brother [Has not forgiven him] is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Where are they when it comes to speaking of a Bride without spot or wrinkle?
Nothing has been mentioned about the judgment seat of Christ, as recorded in Romans 14:10.
There is also the marriage supper of the lamb mentioned in,
Revelation 19:9. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Both of these are part of what happens between Jesus meeting his Bride in the air and His return to reign.
Some would argue that the subject of Jesus return is all about dispensationalism, others would say it is escapism, I am sure there are plenty of other names people could think up, but the truth is found in the words of 1 John 3:3. Every one who has this hope purifies himself, just as he [Jesus] is pure.
To live moment by moment in the light that Jesus could come at any minute keeps that person alert.
Jesus is coming, why? Because he said he would.
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: [Rooms] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus either told the truth, or he was the biggest liar who ever walked on earth.
Until the time when the Church age is complete, Jesus comes and receives each individual believer, but there will be a moment when the trumpet is sounded, the dead in Christ will rise first and be changed into their new bodies and be like Christ in his resurrected body and all who are alive on earth at that moment will be changed and caught up after the resurrected dead, to be for ever with Jesus the glorious bridegroom, to reign with him on earth for a thousand years, then in and on the new heaven and earth for ever.
What a glorious future every one has who chooses to die to self and follow Jesus for what ever time they have in this life, which is boot camp, the training place for the eternal reign of The Lord Jesus Christ.
A simple prayer will set you on the path of true LIFE.
Father God, I am a sinner and need to repent and ask your forgiveness.
You sent Jesus to the Cross and punished him for all my sin and I want to say thank you Jesus for dying for me, and I open up my life and heart for you to enter and change me into your likeness by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, Jesus sent you to fill me with your nature, to comfort, lead and guide me and to do in and through me the works of Jesus, I invite you to take over and do that, Amen.
Then as soon as possible get a copy of the Bible and read it starting at the Gospel of John in the New Testament.
As you read ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what he wants you to know as you read and what he tells you, obey.
Also be open to receive a prayer language that is available for all Spirit filled believers for their building up. 1 Corinthians 14:4.
It is the only gift given to bless the person, so that they will be built up and free to be a blessing to others.
As soon as you surrender you life to Father God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit, go and tell some one. What you receive only becomes yours when you confess with your mouth.
Romans 19:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Should you be touched by this message or desire clarification email.
Contact Roy Waldrom