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Bible verses about Prophecies of Christ's Return
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 20:7

The first person who is named a prophet is Abraham. This occurrs when Abimelech is being instructed by God regarding Sarah, that he is to return her to Abraham.

However, Abraham is chronologically not the first person the Bible shows prophesying. That would be Enoch. It does not report on this until the book of Jude: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, 'Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints'" (Jude 1:14). Here Enoch, before the Flood, prophesies of the return of Jesus Christ with the saints.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prophets and Prophecy (Part 1)


 

Isaiah 40:1-10

This may also be part of the message of the Two Witnesses. They will preach comfort to Jerusalem—that the end is about to come, that she's been repaid for her sins, but a time is coming that will be far better for her. They will also prepare the way of the Lord, an obvious aspect of their ministry. In addition, they will proclaim that the Day of the Lord is coming, a time when all flesh is grass—when many will be simply wiped out for their sins. They will also preach a message to the church, leading its part in bringing good tidings of the coming Kingdom of God and giving them encouragement to do it with strength and boldness in Judah (evidently where most of them are at this late date). Finally, of course, they will boldly announce the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His government.

This passage, in a way, encapsulates the witness or the testimony of the Two Witnesses—to the world and to the church. Theirs will be true evidence that brings a conviction. One could say that the Two Witnesses are the two star witnesses of an end-time trial in which God judges that the world must be punished, that He must send His Son back, and that His must rule mankind. The Two Witnesses will give their evidence, and God will pass judgment.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 3)


 

Daniel 2:32-35

When Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the head of gold, it shows us a biblical principle that a king in prophecy represents the entire kingdom. In verses 39-40, "after you" indicates four successive world-ruling empires from the time of the Chaldean empire of Nebuchadnezzar until the return of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. We see in overview an outline of world history from a Gentile perspective, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and coming all the way down through the various kingdoms until the image is struck on the foot by the Stone, representing the Kingdom of God, or Christ.

This prophecy brings us right into our present time—the time of the end—the time when can expect that the Stone, sometime in the not-too-distant future, will strike this image on the feet. We can look for that last empire, represented by the feet and toes, to exist today, or either be coming together, or will shortly be coming together. History has shown that these four empires, beginning with the head of gold, to be the Chaldean (the head of gold), the Medo-Persian (the chest and arms of silver), the Greco-Macedonian (the belly and thighs of brass), and the Roman (the legs and feet of iron) empires. The Roman Empire existed from 31 BC to AD 476. Secular history shows that the Vandals defeated Rome, but Rome was revived and re-established as "the Holy Roman Empire" under Emperor Justinian in AD 554.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 1)


 

Micah 5:2

He is prophesying of the birthplace of the Messiah. He makes it clear that it will be in Bethlehem of Judea, the place of David's birth as well. But when did He reveal the precise location of where a person could find Him? Not until He had an angel lead the Magi right to the house where the Messiah was at the time they arrived there. It came at the last moment. Will the timing of His second coming be similar?

We all know that He is coming. We all know that He will circle the earth when He comes, that He will come with a great horde of angels, but when precisely will He arrive? When will God reveal the exact moment? It looks as if it will be right at the end.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)


 

Matthew 24:36

Just a few verses later, He tells His disciples, "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect" (verse 44, emphasis ours throughout). This is a massive hint that our understanding of biblical prophecy—as much as it has expanded over the last few decades—will still not be enough to remove the element of surprise from Christ's return!

Paul also warns us in I Corinthians 13:9, 12, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part. . . . For now we see in a mirror, dimly." This principle suggests that we will not know for certain how things will work out as the end approaches. We understand in part, meaning we have a vague-to-rough idea of the course of events because of our insight into God's plan, but we cannot honestly be dogmatic about any speculative scenarios we devise. Every interpretation of end-time biblical prophecy should be accompanied with a proviso such as, "This is how things seem to be headed from what we understand right now."

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Prophecy's Place


 

Acts 1:6-7

The apostles were curious and excited about this kind of thing, just as we are today, and their question was not even specifically about a certain day, because they were hopeful that the time had already arrived. Christ was every bit as general in His answer as they were with their question. Again, though, they are very clearly told they were not going to know. This statement coordinates with what Jesus said in the Olivet Prophecy (Matthew 24:36), but He expands the thought from day and hour to time and season, which are even more general. He told the apostles they were not even going to know the time or the season.

The word time here means "the duration of a period of time." An hour would be a very short duration. A day would be a bit longer, but the implication from the word "time" is of a period much more expansive than that.

The word "season" means a length of time characterized by certain events, like the Christmas Season. Even in our culture, the Christmas Season seems to extend now from Thanksgiving, (and even before Thanksgiving in some cases), all the way into January a week or so. So even the common usage here in the United States, a season would be somewhere between two and three months.

Jesus' response to them was more general than the day nor the hour. He also says something very pointed here: "It's not for you to know." What He was doing was counseling them to avoid probing into these things. He was in a sense saying, "It's a waste of time. You have more important things to do than to be thinking about this." In short, the disciples were not even to know the general period of time of the establishment of God's Kingdom.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)


 

Acts 1:6-8

The return of Jesus Christ was on their minds too. And like us, they would have liked to have seen the Kingdom established right away. They did not understand that they needed to be prepared for the Kingdom of God. They were not ready yet—they did not even have the Holy Spirit yet! Nor had they entirely put together all the elements of God's truth.

It is interesting that Jesus tells them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons," but it has been given to us in far greater measure. We know many things that they did not know. We know that we are very close to the end. We do not know the day, but we know that we are in the time and season, and if there was ever a people on the face of the earth in all the history of Christianity who needed to get prepared for something, it is we. We are not yet ready, and in God's mercy, He has given us time to prepare.

It was a good while before the disciples came to grips with the fact that the return of Jesus Christ would not occur in their lifetimes, a fact evident from what is written within the New Testament. The first thing they had to come to grips with was that they had a job to do before that time would come.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic


 

1 Thessalonians 5:2

"The day of the Lord" can be a lot longer period of time than the specific day or hour (Matthew 24:36) or even season (Acts 1:6-7) of Christ's return.

Does anybody know when a thief is going to come? A thief comes at a time when the householder does not expect. We might just be able to throw this out except for one thing: This is written to Christians. The day of the Lord is going to come as a thief in the night.

All this adds up to something that might be a bit disconcerting: He is saying that we are only going to know general conditions regarding the time of His return. The specifics are going to be touch-and-go.

Over the years, some have been making a determined effort to know each prophecy's precise fulfillment. It seems as though our curiosity demands that we know all of the whos, whats, whens, whys and wheres, but the whole thrust of the instruction is to be ready regardless of when His return is. Doing "the work" in one's life is far more important than knowing the specifics of His return.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)


 

1 Thessalonians 5:2

A thief does not come up to a house and knock on the door. Robbery is something that happens suddenly and at a time people do not expect it to occur. What about us in terms of Christ's return? Should we not be ready? Do we not know the times and the seasons? Yes, we do. We have every reason to be able to be prepared should the "thief" arrive, that is, should Christ return.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic


 

2 Peter 1:16-21

Peter is probably referring here to the transfiguration recorded in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9. Peter, James, and John were eyewitnesses to that event, and it confirmed to them the prophecies made of old. He then urges us to press forward in faith knowing that the guarantee of the prophecies in God's Word is that they originated in God, not in men. The prophets spoke or wrote as God motivated them by His Holy Spirit. God's very words came through them to us. The Scriptures are not the invention of creative and imaginative men. They are not fairy tales, and we can trust them right on up to the return of Christ and our resurrection because the reputation and power of God are their surety.

John W. Ritenbaugh
God's Promises Are Sure!


 

Revelation 3:11

When was this prophecy uttered? The best guess is somewhere about AD 95 to 97. Christ said, "I come quickly!" Now what if we heard Him say that in AD 95? We would have thought, "Boy, oh boy! His feet are going to be on the earth any day now!" However, the book of Revelation applies to the end time, and within the context of the book of Revelation, the end time is that period immediately before the return of Jesus Christ. Then those words are a lot truer than they would be in AD 95. They are imminent.

But it has been 1900 years since Jesus said that. Was Jesus lying? No, because the intention for the book is for that period of time right before the end; maybe in those few decades before the end. In that case, we are within the parameters of a "season" in which certain events are taking place. Conditions are beginning to look like it is indeed the end time. Likewise, the prophecies of Paul or Peter are very general, especially in regard to when things would occur.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)


 

 




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