Jesus' Coming Will Not Be a Secret

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Jesus' Coming Will Not Be a Secret

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The tremendous upheavals predicted by the Bible in the end times are often an object of fascination. There will be famines, plagues, earthquakes and horrific wars. The death tolls from these events will be beyond comprehension. In World War II, some estimates of the number of dead are as high as 60 million, which was about 3 percent of the population of the earth at that time. Revelation 9:18 Revelation 9:18By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
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indicates that over 33 percent of all people living in the end times will be killed. Calculating from today’s population, that’s just over 2.4 billion people, or 40 times the number killed in World War II!

The words of Jesus are clear that all people will see His coming, but Bible prophecy indicates that most will be deceived about His identity.

Given the scale and magnitude of these events, God’s punishment will be evident to the entire world. What about Jesus’ coming? Will it be known only to His followers, or will He reveal Himself publicly? How much will people know, and when will they know it?

A glorious appearing and a hostile welcome

Just as the great wrath of God will be seen and experienced by the entire world, Jesus’ coming will be a magnificent celestial event that cannot be missed. In Matthew 24:27 Matthew 24:27For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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, Jesus described His coming as “lightning that comes from the east [and] is visible even in the west”—it will light up the whole sky! He continues in Matthew 24:29 Matthew 24:29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
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to describe the sun being darkened, stars falling to the earth and a great earthquake. After these disturbances, “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect” (Matthew 24:30-31 Matthew 24:30-31 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
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).

The words of Jesus are clear that all people will see His coming, but Bible prophecy indicates that most will be deceived about His identity. In Revelation 19:19 Revelation 19:19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
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, we find that Jesus is met by an army gathered to fight against Him. This army is under the command of the “beast” and the false prophet, end-time figures described in Revelation 13. Jesus comes prepared for the battle (Revelation 19:11-14 Revelation 19:11-14 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
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), being accompanied by an army of His saints, who are the same “elect” mentioned in Matthew 24:31 Matthew 24:31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
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. The army of this beast will be thoroughly destroyed by Christ and His army (Revelation 19:20-21 Revelation 19:20-21 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
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).

Coming to stay

The word frequently translated as Jesus’ “coming” (for example, in Matthew 24:27 Matthew 24:27For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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) is the Greek parousia . In addition to an arrival, parousia conveys a sense of literally entering into someone’s physical presence. Jesus’ life in the flesh fulfilled the meaning of His name “Immanuel,” which translates to “God with us” (Matthew 1:23 Matthew 1:23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
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), and the word parousia  indicates that He will be coming once again into the presence of man. This is vital to our understanding of what Jesus’ future coming entails: He will live on the earth as the King over all mankind! Beginning immediately after His victory over the beast’s army, Jesus and His resurrected saints will begin a 1,000-year period in which they will rule over the entire world (Revelation 20:4 Revelation 20:4And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
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).

Jesus will reign from the city of Jerusalem, and people will go there every year during the Feast of Tabernacles to worship Him (Zechariah 14:16 Zechariah 14:16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
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). The resurrected saints will be “a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
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). The purpose of this righteous kingdom is not merely to rule over the remnant of mankind, but to bring those people into a covenant relationship with God by teaching them His ways (Isaiah 2:3-4 Isaiah 2:3-4 3 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
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). It will be a time of unparalleled peace on the earth, when everyone will know and worship the true God: ”They will neither hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9 Isaiah 11:9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
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).

Bringing many sons to glory 

The purpose of Jesus’ coming is to advance God’s ultimate plan, the very reason for human existence: “to bring many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
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). Therefore, Jesus’ coming will not be a secret, but in fact the beginning of a time when God will be fully revealed to all people, so that all may come to know Him and receive the opportunity of salvation and eternal life.

“No longer will they teach their neighbor or say to one another ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Jeremiah 31:34 Jeremiah 31:34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, said the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
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).

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