THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN

The Sign of the Son of Man

Matthew 24:30 “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.”

These verses describe the rapture of the Saints, the gathering together of all the saved born again believers, the dead in Christ rise first, then “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up…”

The rapture is the Blessed Hope of the Christian.
Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

It will happen , but not soon. The bible tells us certain things have to happen first.

You may say, “but I thought it was imminent?” This gives us Hope, that as things rapidly deteriorate morally and spiritually, all around us, we will be “raptured” away before the Ant-Christ, before the Great Tribulation starts.
Won’t we be Gathered away, to be “Caught up” in the clouds with the Lord Jesus?
Yes. What we commonly call the rapture will happen, just as Jesus said.

1 Thessalonians 4:14 “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 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.
16 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:
17 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.”

Before the “Day of Christ” comes, if you will look at Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, he writes:
2 Thessalonians 2:1 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 ¶ Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Some Conclusions:

1. What is “The Day of Christ” . I believe he is referring to the Rapture. (vs.2)
It is not called “The Day of the Lord” . That is different. That is the Day of wrath, a time period that will happen AFTER the rapture when God pours out His wrath on this world. It is not just “One Day”. It is a time period of God pouring out His wrath on a God rejecting world. It will culminate with Jesus coming back at Armageddon, as written in Revelation 19:11 –

“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.
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 vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 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.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Notice verse 15 where we see the culmination of the wrath of God.

I believe that “The day of Christ” occurs first, the rapture of the Saints, and immediately following this earth shaking event starts “The Day of the Lord”.
They appear in scripture as two different events.

The Day of Christ is mentioned is Philippians 1:10- “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;”

I believe that the Judgment seat of Christ occurs in Heaven immediately after the rapture. After the day when Jesus catches his Bride away. Paul wants the believers to be without offense “till the Day of Christ”

Philippians 2:16 tells us :
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
The Day of Christ will be a time when we may rejoice. The Day of the Lord is a time of fear, anguish and judgment. There will be NO rejoicing then.
After the rapture, in Heaven, the Saints are rewarded for their labor. Those
who have diligently worked for the Lord will be able to rejoice.

What must come , what must happen, before the rapture?

I taught for 36 years that there was “nothing that had to happen ” before the rapture. I was wrong. Look at what Paul writes.

2 Thessalonians 2:1
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 ¶ Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Paul warns them not to be deceived, not to be shaken in mind,
“for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

First there must be a “Falling Away”.

The Words used here, even going back to the original languages mean:
An Apostasy. A falling away from biblical truths. Surely we see that happening around us now. It will get worse. Because persecution of Christians will become worse and worse, and a “secret rapture of the Saints” does NOT happen as many have been taught, and learned about through movies like “A thief in the Night”, and “The Left Behind ” series of books, people will quit on God. They will forsake Christ. Isn’t this what Jesus said would happen in Matthew 24?
Matthew 24:9
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

A study of Matthew 24, when Jesus clearly and plainly answered his disciples question, “When are you coming back”, in sequential order, shows us that we as believers in Christ, will have to suffer tribulation.

I taught, and believed, that what we commonly call the Great Tribulation could not start until:
The Rapture of the Saints happened. I believe that is NOT correct. We are promised to be delivered from “the wrath ” of God, But NOT from Tribulation.
Tribulation is what man does to each other, and as a result of man’s rebellion and sin, what happens to us as Christians. In Acts 14:22 we are told:
“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

Are we promised deliverance from tribulation. No.

We are told by Christ we shall suffer Tribulation in this world.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

“we shall have tribulation”

Again, Paul wrote of his tribulations while serving as an Apostle.

1 Thessalonians 3:4 “For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.”

Rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
I pray God would keep me from error, from teaching or believing something that is not what the scripture says.

If you compare Matthew 24, with Revelation 6, and other verses, you will find they all support and give light to each other concerning End time Events. the Sun and moon and stars go dark, in both chapters. Then the Rapture happens immediately. It is “The Sign of the Son of Man” Jesus said we would see when He came to gather His saved, the elect from all over the earth and Heaven.. We are being given different facts about the same event. Revelation 7:9 describes the appearance of a “Great Multitude”. these are they who have gone through “Great Tribulation”. They have been scorched with heat, hungered and thirsted. They are told they will suffer no more.

Revelation 7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 ¶ And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

We are told we will not suffer “the wrath of God”. This is the time period of God pouring out all the judgments of His wrath upon the Christ rejecting world starting right after the rapture.

1Thessalonians 5:9 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” In context, the writer is saying that because we are saved, we are delivered from the wrath of God. We will not suffer in Hell. It makes sense that we also shall not suffer through “The Day of the Lord”, the Day, the Time , of His wrath.
Unbelievers alive on this earth during the last half of the Tribulation will suffer his unbridled “Wrath”.

Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

Christ seemed also to refer to this time as a time of “Temptation” on all the world. And promised to save the Philadelphian church out of it.

Revelation 3:10 “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

So, we are told there must first come:
An Apostasy.
AND
Then we are told “The Man of Sin” must appear (this is another name for the coming Anti- Christ)
BEFORE
The Day of Christ , the rapture of the Saints.

2 Thessalonians. 2: 3 – “…for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Is the rapture imminent? NO.

I wish it was not so. I wish the scriptures taught a “Secret rapture”. Where are the verses that teach this?
You can find this doctrine taught, the Pre- Trib rapture, in the Scoffield Reference Bible “NOTES”,
but not in any verse in the Bible I know of. I believe that is one of the main sources for the teaching of the Pre Tribulation Rapture, which I also taught for 36 years. The Notes of the Scoffield reference Bible were taught and read by many preachers and Bible Colleges. I am told by researchers much more qualified than I am that the early church did not teach the PRE- TRIB RAPTURE. It is found in “NO” writings before 1830. I have been reading the letters of the early church fathers, Polycarp, Clement of Rome, etc. Researchers have said the early church fathers wrote they believed that the church would go through some of the tribulation. I am trying to see if this is so.

In Matthew 24, Jesus comes after the Sun, Moon and Stars are darkened, after the Abomination of Desolation, after the first part of the Tribulation.
It says in Matthew 24 then He shall gather together His Elect, His Chosen, His Saints.
This is NOT talking only to the Jews. He makes clear that He is talking to ALL, everybody.

Read it for yourself.
Mark 13:34 “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
ALL means ALL. Everybody.

Matthew 24:29 teaches us that:
“Immediately 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:
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.”

This is the rapture!

Contrary to a secret coming where every believer is snatched into Heaven and the world is left behind to wonder where they went, Jesus comes for His Bride in brilliant light, when everything is completely dark. The world will see Him and mourn. They Know who it is. There is even a great earthquake , so that if you are blind, you know some thing happened.
Wow!!

This corresponds and matches with the sequence of events in Revelation 6, after the opening of the sixth scroll.

Revelation 6:12 “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

When is Jesus “at the door”?

After the Sun goes dark and the moon and stars go dark.
We do not know the day or hour, but
THEN
His coming in the Rapture is imminent.

Matthew 24:32 – “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”

Certainly we are seeing “The Signs of the Times” when we see a convergence of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, the forming of a One World Government. But Jesus is telling us,

When you go through the first part of the Tribulation, the beginning 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of Daniel. When you see the “Abomination that maketh desolate”.
When you see the Sun Moon and stars go dark, I am at the door ready to come back.
But these things must happen ,
BEFORE the Rapture will happen.

(Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

In Revelation 6, before the Sun and Moon are darkened, one of the signs we are to look for, we are shown the unleashing of the 4 horseman of the Apocalypse. The Anti- Christ vs.2 , War vs.3, Famine vs.5,6,7, Death vs. 8.
That is why we are told to endure to the end. If we are not martyred, we will be raptured then.
That is why Jesus asked if there would be faith on the earth when He came. There will be a great falling away. Luke 18:8″… Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Now that verse makes sense.

Revelation 6:1 “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 ¶ And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
9 ¶ And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

The people of the earth know that it is THE LAMB sending these judgments.
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God.
They just saw Him come in His Glory at the Rapture. Some secret coming.
The doctrine of imminence?

This means nothing has to happen before Jesus comes back in the rapture of the Saints.
I wish it was true, it gives us Hope. When I think that we as believers are going to suffer a lot, it is hard to deal with. But this is what Jesus told us to expect. He told His disciples what to expect before His crucifixion, so that they would not be offended, and quit.
Many will be offended because they are not grounded in the word.
Mark 4:17 “And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.”
John 16:1- “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.”
Many believers today, living a soft easy life of lukewarm apathetic Christianity will quit on God when persecution comes. They are already cutting off Christians heads in the middle East.

Let us look at it this way.
Before there was a Nation of Israel, there could not have been a third temple from which the Anti- Christ commits the Abomination of Desolation. The Rapture could not have happened before this.

Before there is an Apostasy, a falling away from Biblical truths, when many will quit on God.
There COULD NOT have been a rapture, a Day of Christ, a Gathering together.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

Before the Tribulation starts, and the Anti Christ comes to power, there could not have been a
Rapture. The Man of Sin was not revealed yet.

We still are waiting patiently for the blessed hope, it will happen.
NO, we do not know the hour or the Day, but when ALL these things happen, He is at the Door.

Matthew 24 clearly gives a sequence of events. It is very plain.

27 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately 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:
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.
32 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

One shall be taken, and the other left. what else could this describe but the rapture of the Saints?

The Devil benefits from the Pre-Trib rapture in that the Saints have been taught that the Anti- Christ can not come to power before the rapture. If this is not true, then he can sneak his man into power because the Saints are not looking for him. They have not gone up in the Pre-trib rapture yet. Have they?
We can look for the signing of the 7 year “Peace Treaty”, or “Agreement” that the book of Daniel says shall take place between “the Man of Sin” and Israel.

Do not be deceived Jesus said.

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