What literature will you suggest me to understand the Second Coming of Jesus? Thank you very much. I have already read two books of John Oakes: Reasons for Belief and From Shadow to Reality, they are amazing. God bless you
There is a lot of bad information out there about the second coming of Christ. Premillenialists have all kinds of false teachings about a “rapture” and a literal battle of Armageddon, and Jesus coming and physically ruling in Jerusalem and so forth. None of this is true. I will copy and paste below a brief description of the premillenial view below from my notes on the Book of Revelation (available in the power point section of the web site). I would also recommend my favorite book on Revelation which is that of Jim McGuiggan, title simple “Revelation.” It can be found at amazon.com.
So, my best suggestion is that you read the biblical scriptures on the topic. Anything else said might be helpful, but I really think simply reading the biblical statements about the second coming and letting them speak for themselves is by far the best way to go. I will list the most important ones for you and let you do the rest of the research for yourself:
Matthew 24:29-25:13 (and the parallel in Luke 21:25-36)
2 Peter 3:1-16
1 Thess 4:13-5:8
There are other passages, of course, but I think we can learn virtually all we need to know about the return of Jesus from these passages. It will come when no one expects it. It will come all at once, and not in stages (as premillenialists believe). It will be the end of all things, at least on this earth as it now is. It will lead immediately to final judgment. Those who are alive will be carried up into “the clouds” (I am not sure exactly what that means, but that is what it says). After this coming, those who are in Christ will be with him forever. There are many who expect to be with Jesus, but who will be disappointed because they were not prepared.
I could say more, but the passages speak for themselves, so I will leave you to study them. Notes on premillenialism below.
A (sarcastic) comment about this viewpoint: “To some the book becomes largely a problem of celestial mathematics; and they are more concerned with the calculating of time charts than they are of securing social and economic and political righteousness for their immediate neighbors. (Donald Richardson The Revelation of Jesus Christ, 1939)
According to the most common premillennial view Ch 4-19 is about a seven year period which will follow the “rapture” as prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27. This “seventieth week” is separated by a very long and indeterminate amount of time from the other sixty-nine weeks of Daniel 9, marking the end of the Christian Era. During this seven-year period the temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and the Antichrist will rule. Ezekiel’s temple (Ezek 40) is a description of this temple. The two great prophets in Rev 11 are two literal people who will live on the earth.
The antichrist will be an actual, single, identifiable person, and will be the “man of sin” in 2 Thess 3. The “beast” in Rev is also an actual future person. Antichrist will impose his rule and attach Christians. He will be defeated and destroyed after 3-1/2 years in a battle known as Armageddon. This is the interpretive method of the Scofield Bible.
At the end of the 7 years, Jesus will come and establish his kingdom.
This view has the Kingdom of God principally established at some time in the future. It downplays the coming of the Kingdom at Pentecost or when Jesus came.
This view is untenable for several reasons:
1. Revelation 1:1 God seems to have anticipated some false interpretations here.
2. Makes Revelation have virtually no value to its primary audience: The primitive church.
3. Blatant overliteralizing
4. Serious covenant errors. Has Jewish sacrifices being reestablished in a rebuilt temple. Has Jesus coming down from the true heavenly tabernacle to occupy a physical throne which is only a shadow of the real one (Hebrews 9:11-12)
5.(the biggest problem) It makes the kingdom of God a physical kingdom. (Luke 17:20-21 the kingdom of God is within (or among) you.) My kingdom is not of this world John 18:36)
A wise statement about this mode of interpretation from Isaac Newton (remarking about Daniel):
The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testaments, not to gratify men’s curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence