Often we study the Scriptures and have a good knowledge of what they say, but like the pieces of a puzzle, we sometimes don't see how they all fit together. In many cases, I have found that the pieces of information that we have to fit together to get an understanding of prophecy not only make a big picture, but that within that picture the same pieces make smaller pictures. That is the case of the example that is in this article. I have known the information for years, but never saw the small puzzle that was formed when certain pieces of information were joined. My friend Janine can be credited with showing me this smaller puzzle, and I have to say that of all the hundreds of articles, books, and prophecy teachers that I have heard and read over the years, I never, ever saw that anyone had seen this puzzle other than her. If so, they never shared it. So what is found below is not actually the result of my study, but of her brilliant observation. I merely added the Scriptures to prove her point.
Throughout the Scriptures we can see that especially in the prophecies, there seems to be a first and second fulfillment. In fact much of Scripture has dual meanings. We can see that most of the Old Testament prophets, while they were prophesying about events that would happen to the people in their own day, were also prophesying about the end times. The first event or fulfillment foreshadows the second. We can see this in passages such as the one in Daniel where Antiochus Epiphanes set up an abomination of desolation in the temple. Christ references this event and passage in Matthew to tell us that this was a foreshadow of what antichrist will do. He will repeat many of the same actions.
Is there any event that foreshadows the Second Coming of Christ that helps us to understand the events of the latter better? Yes, there is. It is Christ's death on the cross. There is a pattern that exists between the events of the cross and the Second Coming that shows us how we must interpret the events of the Second Coming. The Scriptures essentially speak for themselves.
Matthew 27:50 “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”
Mark 15:37 “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.”
Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”
The Second Coming:
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.”
Revelation 10:1,3 “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:.. And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.”
Revelation 14:14-16 “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”
At the crucifixion we see that Christ cries out with a loud voice. Then we see that at the second coming, Christ will cry out with a loud voice, plus an angel will shout with a loud voice. So the shout of the Lord and an angel was foreshadowed by the crying out of the Lord on the cross.
Now we see that in both events, the holy place in the temple, where the ark is housed (although it is missing from the temple during Christ's time) is open to everyone's view. In Revelation we see that this opening occurs after the seventh angel sounds his trumpet. This is the last trump of God.
Matthew 27:51a “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;”
Mark 15:38 “And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
Luke 23:45b “ and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.”
The Second Coming:
Revelation 11:19a “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament”
Revelation 15:5 “And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:”
At both events, the earth will shake.
Matthew 27:51b “and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
The Second Coming:
Revelation 11:19b “and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
Revelation 16:18 “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”
Darkness covers the land.
Matthew 27:45 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.”
Mark 15:33 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.”
Luke 23:44-45a “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened.”
The Second Coming:
Revelation 16:10 “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness;”
When Christ died, He announced that this portion of the plan of salvation was complete. At the end of the age when He returns, He will announce that the entire plan of salvation is complete, for not only has man been redeemed, but all of creation has been redeemed from Satan's hands.
John 19:30 “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
The Second Coming:
Revelation 16:17 “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.”
Revelation 21:6 “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
At this point you may say, well that's nice but what is your point? The point is, the events as laid out in the crucifixion were a foreshadow of the Second Coming, so what happens there gives us a chronology of what to expect. What happens at the cross will also happen at the Second Coming.
When Christ arose, the graves were opened. When Christ returns, at the Second Coming, the graves will be opened. Plus this time, the living saints will be transformed.
Matthew 27:52-53 “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
The Second Coming:
John 5:28-29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (the voice of Christ crying out as mentioned above) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's AT HIS COMING.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto THE COMING OF THE LORD shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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.”
2 Thessalonians 2:1 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and by OUR GATHERING together unto him,”
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
If there is any doubt that the resurrection/rapture occurs at the Second Coming, we have the further testimony that the resurrection will occur on the last day of this age, in fact at the last trump.
John 6:40 “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 11:24 “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Revelation 11:15a, 19:8-9 “And the seventh angel sounded....And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth....And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. ”
Christ's death initiated the mystery of God which is the gospel, the church, and the eventual rapture of the church at which time all Israel will be saved, when they see Him whom they have pierced coming in His glory. Christ's Second Coming at the seventh and last trumpet will finish the mystery of God.
The initiation of the mystery:
Mark 4:10-12 “And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”
Romans 16:25-26 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”
1 Corinthians 2:1-2,6-7 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified....... Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”
1 Corinthians 15:51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,”
Ephesians 3:3-6,9 “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:..... And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”
Ephesians 5:32 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
Ephesians 6:19 “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,”
Colossians 1:26-27 “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
The mystery is finished:
Romans 11:25-26; Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7 “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.......... And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn......Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. ”
Revelation 10:7 “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.....”
Christ's kingdom is at hand. First the spiritual kingdom upon His death, and then He takes back the kingdoms of this world at His coming.
Luke 23:42 “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
The Second Coming
Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Clearly the relationship between the cross and the Second Coming can be seen. The first is a foreshadow of the events of the latter. As such we see that it is at the Second Coming that the mystery of the church is finished, the resurrection and rapture occurs, and the kingdoms of the world finally become the kingdoms of the Lord. This all occurs at the last or seventh trump. At that time, God's wrath will be poured out on an unbelieving world.
Revelation 10:7; 11:15-19; 15:8, 16:1 “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail......And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled........And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”