What are the phases of
Christ's Second Coming?
Jesus promised to return for His disciples. How will this be accomplished and what else will occur? Let us look into the Scriptures to see what they say on this matter. First, Jesus promised to return to the earth.
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. [John 14:3]
The disciples are told of His return. Let us read this in Acts.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye 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. [Acts 1:9-11]
Jesus will resurrect the righteous dead (the dead in Christ), and those, in Christ, who are alive when He returns will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air.
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. [I Thessalonians 4:15-17]
These individuals will be caught up into the New Jerusalem which is made of pure gold, clear as crystal. This is also known as "The Sea of Glass".
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. [Revelation 15:2]
Jesus return will be in two parts or phases. First He will return to the clouds and "catch up" the saints to meet Him in the air . This is called the reaping phase. The saints will remain with the Lord while the seven last plagues are poured out on the wicked. The seven last plagues are called "the wrath of God".
And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. [Revelation 15:1]
The Apostle Paul tells us that the "children of light" are not appointed to wrath.
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, [I Thessalonians 5:5-9]
Isaiah tells us about being hidden "for a little moment, until the indignation be over past."
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. [Isaiah 26:20-21]
In Psalms we read,
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. [Psalms 91:7-10]
We see Jesus as a reaper in Revelation.
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. [Revelation 14:14-16]
We see in Revelation where Jesus is called "King of Saints" at this time.
And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. [Revelation 15:3]
After the plagues are poured out, the saints return to the earth with the Lord "to judge and make war". This is called the warring phase of Jesus's second coming.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. [Revelation 19:11]
This next phase is described in Revelation 19. Jesus is depicted on a white horse and on His head we see many crowns (not just one crown).
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. [Revelation 19:12]
The armies (saints) followed Him. They were clothed in fine linen.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. [Revelation 19:14]
Verse 8 says that "fine linen is the righteousness of saints".
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. [Revelation 19:8]
At this time the nations will be smitten and now Jesus is called "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (not King of Saints).
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS [Revelation 19:15-16]
This battle is known as the battle of Armageddon, the Seventh Plague of the Seven Last Plagues.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. 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. 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. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. [Revelation 16:16-21]
Satan then will be bound for 1,000 years and Jesus will set up His kingdom on the earth. The saints will reign with Him, during this period, on the earth.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto 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 upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. [Revelation 20:1-6]
Let us also read Revelation 5:10.
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. [Revelation 5:10]
Key Verse: 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.