Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY 3"
SECTION IX - THE RETURN OF
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
THE RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO EARTH
- THE "SHALL" TESTIMONY OF THE
SCRIPTURE REGARDING CHRIST'S RETURN TO EARTH
- Acts 1:11
"This same Jesus": identical person "Shall so come": certain event (not a
"In like manner as...": same manner (a corporeal return, not spiritual
- Mt. 24:30-31 (Jews)
"Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man"
"Then shall all the tribes of the earth (land) mourn"
"And they shall see the Son of Man coming"
"And He shall send His angels with sound of trumpet"
"They shall gather together His elect from the four winds" (on earth; not in
- Mt. 25:31-32
"When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and.. .holy angels with Him"
"Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory"
"And before Him shall be gathered all nations" (lit.. Gentiles, cp. Mt.
- Mt. 23:37-39 (Israel)
"Ye shall not see me henceforth, till. ,." (three "untils"):
Mt. 23:39 until ye say: "Blessed is He"
Lk. 21:24 "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled"
Rom. 11:25-27 "until the fulness of Gentiles be come in"
Until ye say "Blessed"
- Rev. 1:7
"Behold He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him" "All tribes of
the land shall wail" (lit.)
- Zech. 14:4,9
v.4 - "His feet (i.e., the Lord's) shall stand.. .upon the mount of Olives"
v.9 - "The Lord shall be King over all the earth"
- Zech. 12:10
"The inhabitants of Jerusalem, , .shall look upon me whom they have pierced"
- Titus 2:13; 2 Thes.
The two aspects of His coming are shown here as elsewhere:
First aspect: Blessed hope (appearing)
Second aspect: Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, . .in flaming fire.
. .when He shall come"
- THINGS THAT WILL BE
ACCOMPLISHED ONLY AT HIS COMING TO THE EARTH
- The manifestation of the
Church with Him in glory, Col. 3:4; 1 Jn. 3:2; Jude 14; Rev. 19:14; 1
- The manifestation of
Himself to the nation Israel, resulting in a repentant remnant.
1 Cor. 15:8 "As of one born out of due time" (lit., "before the due time")
Isa. 59.20-21 "Redeemer. . .come to Zion"
Hosea 5:15 "1 will return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence"
"In their affliction they will seek me early" i.e.. confession of sin (cp.
Mt. 23-39 "Blessed is He": welcome to Messiah (recognition of Messiah)
Zech. 12:10 Look upon the One "they pierced" (recognition of Saviour)
Isa. 66:8 "Nation is born at once" (lit., in a day)
- Israel's deliverance from
tribulation, caused by enemy nations.
Zech. 12:1 -3 Siege by nations coming against Jerusalem
4-9 Battle resulting
"then" "afterward" "before" Zech. 14:1-3; Isa. 34:1-2,8; Joel
3:1-2,9-12,16-17; Joel 2:18,28,31-32
- Judgment upon the Beast
and the False Prophet.
Rev. 13 1-10 The Roman Beast
13 11-18 The False Prophet (some feel he is the Anti-Christ)
19 19-21 Both of them
2 Thes. 2:3-12 One or both of them
- The binding of Satan.
Gen. 3:15 First promise of God as to this judgment
Rev. 20:1 2; Rom. 16:20 Fulfilment
- Judgment upon Israel.
Ezk. 20:33-38; Isa. l:25,28;Mal. 3:1-6; 4:1-2
- Judgment upon Gentiles.
Joel 3:11 12; Rev, 19:15,17-19; Mt. 25:31-46
- The deliverance and
blessing of all creation.
Rom. 8:19-22; Ps. 72:16; Amos 9:13 (note context)
Isa. 11:6-9 (note context); Isa. 65:25
- The setting up of His
Dan. 2:44 (God of heaven sets up kingdom); 7:13-14; Lk. 19:12 (to receive a
kingdom and return): Zech. 14:9; Isa. 11:1-5
- ARMAGEDDON - WHERE GOD
JUDGES ISRAEL'S ENEMIES
The purpose of Armageddon is to overthrow the armies of the ungodly nations
that are in revolt against God at the time of the second coming.
Follow the chain of references:
Ps. 2 - The nations are arrayed against God and His Messiah.
The destruction of Israel's past enemies is a picture of God's future dealing
with Israel's enemies at Armageddon.
Time of trouble climaxed by Armageddon
Armageddon is the culmination of God's wrath against the nations of the earth
during the tribulation period, in which they are judged for their godlessness
and brought into subjection to the authority of the King. This battle takes
place when Christ returns to earth. He smites the armies of the revived fourth
(Roman) empire of the Beast and the False Prophet (Rev. 19), and also
presumptively the armies of the Kings of the East, which are mentioned for the
last times in the same context as Armageddon (Rev. 16:16,12; cp. 9:13-16).
(Observe the synonymous language concerning the 6th trumpet and the 6th bowl
of wrath in Rev. 9:13-21 and 16:12-16 respectively.) Christ will destroy the
Beast and the False Prophet when He descends from heaven, but His feet will
touch the Mt. of Olives first (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11). After judging the
armies upon His return to earth, Jesus will then sit as judge over the
civilian populations of Jews (Mt. 24:45-51) and Gentiles (Mt. 25:31-46).
- THE BINDING OF SATAN
(see H. p. 170, and C, p. 174)
After Christ destroys the armies arrayed against Him at Armageddon and splits
the Mt. of Olives at the touch of His returning feet. He binds Satan, placing
him in a "bottomless pit" for the 1000 year period, according to Rev. 20:1-3.
The first promise of God concerning this judgment of Satan was given in Gen.
cp. Rev. 20:1-2; Rom. 16:20.
Men have always felt that their evil is attributable to the joint factors of
Satan and an unfavorable environment. "I don't have a chance, " they alibi.
"If it weren't for the Devil or my circumstances, I would be able to do right.
They are wrong. The people living in the 1000 year period will have the most
favorable environment conceivable. All outbroken sin will be immediately
judged and righteousness will be universal. Also, there will be no outside
assault from Satan, who is bound that he might not deceive men.
However, those who live through the tribulation period and who, because of the
faith in the message of God concerning His coming King, enter the Kingdom
reign of Christ, will not have received glorified bodies. They will be
possessed of old natures and thus their children and the children of their
children, etc., born during the 1000 years, will be possessed of old natures.
Scripture does not say much about it, but some passages necessitate the
conclusion that some people will be guilty of outbroken sin and will
immediately be judged by the Lord, who reigns with a rod of iron (suggesting
firm justice); Ps. 2:9; Zech. 14:16-19; etc. Others will pose as though
obedient, but be inward defectors (see Ps. 18:44, where "submit themselves" is
rendered "yield feigned obedience" in the ASV, the margin reading, Heb.
These will follow Satan at the close of the 1000 year period when he is
released. "Out of the heart.. .proceeds evil, " said our Lord. "Sin will out!"
This period puts man to the test under the most favorable circumstances, and
shows him unable to please God, apart from divine grace. So man's final alibi
- THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST
This might better be called "Resurrection unto Life, "
1 Cor. 15:20-52;
1 Thes. 4:13-18;
It includes all
who, at any time, are raised from the dead unto eternal life.
- "Christ, the firstfruits"
- "They that are Christ's at
His coming." This includes the saints raised at the rapture and those
raised after the tribulation at Christ's return to earth.
This resurrection must be
distinguished from the second resurrection, or the "Resurrection to
Damnation, " in at least two features:
- The first resurrection is
completed before the millennium, Rev. 20:4,6.
- The second resurrection
is not completed until the end of the millennium, Rev. 20:5.
- The first resurrection
results in life, Rev. 20:6.
- The second resurrection
results in death, which is explained as torment and eternal separation
from God, Rev. 20:12.
- FOUR GROUPS (in addition
to Christ) COMPOSING THE FIRST RESURRECTION:
- Resurrection for the Church
is before the 70th Week
1 Cor. 15:51-52
1 Thes. "4:16-17; 5:10;
and possibly 2 Thes. 2:3, 7-8, if "falling away" of v.3 is rendered "the
departure first" (i.e., Church caught up to heaven).
- Resurrection is in store
for godly Israel (who lived before cross)
- The time revealed for it,
Dan. 12:1: "At that time, " i.e., after events of chapter 11, closing
the 70th Week.
- It must be before
millennium, for only the saved enter the millennium (five wise taken;
five foolish left, Mt. 25:1-1.3).
This must include the dead who are judged worthy to enter millennium.
- It will be before
judgment of Gentiles in Mt, 25:31-46, for Israel the "brethren" are seen
there already judged worthy.
- Resurrection of saved
Gentiles who lived before the cross. By inference, rather than direct
Scripture, they rise here. They are not in the Church, but rise before the
1000 years, as all 1st resurrection participants are raised by this time,
i.e., return of Christ to the earth.
- Resurrection of Tribulation
Rev. 20:4. This takes place after the tribulation at the second advent.
- THE REGATHERING AND JUDGMENT
OF SORROWING ISRAEL
Isa. 11:11; 43:5-7
- The manifestation of
Himself to the nation Israel and to the remnant. (See Section IX, B, 2,
- They will be regathered
from all nations into their own land.
Mt. 25:37; 24:31
- The regathering will be a
permanent regathering. Amos 9:15
- The regathering is
associated with judgment for Israel. Ezk. 20:33-38; Mt. 24:27-25:30
- THE JUDGMENTS SUMMARIZED
The Scriptures reveal a number of judgments, each one differing as to time,
place, the Judge, the one(s) judged, the basis of judgment, and the result of
judgment. The judgments revealed in Scripture are:
- Judgment of the Cross (our
sins borne by Christ on the cross)
Rom. 5:9; 8:1;
2 Cor. 5:21;
Heb. 9:26-28; 10:10, 14-17;
1 Pet. 2:24
- Judgment on the Believer
in Chastening (in this age)
1 Cor. 11:31-32
- The Believer's
Self-judgment (in this age)
1 Jn. 1:9;
- Judgment of the Believer's
Works (at the Judgment Seat of Christ in heaven)
1 Cor. 4:5;
2 Cor. 5:10
- Judgment on the Nation
Israel (on earth, after Christ returns to earth)
- Judgment on the Nations
(or better, Gentiles) (same time as 5)
- Judgment on the Fallen
Angels (after millennium)
- Judgment of the Great
White Throne (after millennium)
Rev. 20:11-15. Those not found written in the Book of Life are cast into the
Lake of Fire.
- THE JUDGMENT OF THE GENTILES
Mt. 25:31-46; Joel 3:11-12 (Judgments #6 & #8)
Since there is much confusion resulting from equating the Judgment of the
Gentiles with the Great White Throne Judgment, a list of contrasts is drawn up
to show they can not be one and the same.
on Gentiles (Mt. 25:31-46)
White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15)
- No resurrection, but a
gathering (Mt. 24:31)
- Those judged are living
- Takes place on earth
- No books brought out
- Occurs when Christ
returns to earth
- Two classes to be judged,
sheep and goats
- Some went into the
kingdom and some went into punishment
- Judge sits on "throne of
- Basis of judgment is
"treatment of the brethren"
- Coming of Christ is
- Present at judgment are
the Son of Man, three classes of men (sheep, goats, and brethren) and
- Sentence is pronounced
and separation is made before cause of the judgment is made known
- No millennial blessing
preceding. There is "hunger, " "thirst, " "naked, " "sick, "
"imprisonment, " etc.
- Judge is designated "Son
- Results in blessed
- A resurrection of all
- Those judged are
- Heaven and earth have
- Books opened
- Occurs after a
thousand-year reign has elapsed
- But one class—the wicked
(possible exception--those saved during 1000 years)
- No record of any going to
blessing, but only to punishment
- Judge sits on "Great
- Basis is their own evil
work (and, possibly. Book of Life)
- No mention of Christ's
coming, for He has been on earth a thousand years
- Only God and wicked men
are plainly said to be present
- No judgment until the
books are opened
- There is a time of
millennial blessing immediately preceding (Rev. 20:5)
- Judge is designated "God"
- Results in lost being
cast into Lake of Fire
- THE DELIVERANCE AND BLESSING
OF ALL CREATION (cp. D, pp. 166-167)
- Nature will be delivered
from the curse of Genesis 3 (Rom. 8:19-22). Crops will be bountiful,
crop following crop, with no reluctance of the ground to bear fruit as
previously and no hindrance from thorns (Gen. 3:17-19; Amos 9:13-14). (See
B, 6, p.ll4;B, 4, p. 174.)
- The animal creation will
lose their ferocity and be tamed (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25).
- There will be a population
explosion (Ps. 72:16). With sickness banned, no wars nor economic
factors to kill or curtail life, with longevity restored, many more people
will be on earth and many more born. There is no evidence that any people
will die from old age in this period, but presumably only under a stroke of
judgment (the rod of iron wielded by Christ). The sense of Isa. 65:20, last
clause, is that "a sinner dying at a hundred years will be but a child," in
proportion to the extended life that will be characteristic of the kingdom
age. Evidently people will keep on living through the whole period, unless
smitten by Christ during the period, or in the rebellion at the end of the
- THE SETTING UP OF CHRIST'S
The God of heaven sets up a kingdom (Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14). In Lk. 19:12, the
parable tells of a nobleman who went into a far country to receive a kingdom
and return. This is what Christ has done, and He will set up His kingdom upon
His return to earth as the smiting stone which becomes a great mountain
filling the whole earth.
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