The Glory of Jesus Exposed – The Second Coming
“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The Sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to Earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’ ” (Revelation 6:12-17)
Seal #6 – The Victory
The sixth seal includes a show of divine power, brilliance, and glory that would dwarf the simultaneous detonation of all the world’s atomic bombs. When Jesus appears at the Second Coming, He arrives to rescue the righteous and destroy the wicked. Jesus will throw the false prophet (Lucifer) and his crisis government (called Babylon, the beast of Revelation 13:1) alive into a lake of burning sulfur. “The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” (Revelation 19:20)
When Lucifer comes out of the spirit world into the physical world, he will have a special body. Jesus will consume this body completely with fire when he and the wicked who participated in his government are burned up. Currently, Lucifer and his angels live in a spiritual dimension (called the Abyss), but this dimension will change at the fifth trumpet. God will give Lucifer a visible body so that he and his angels can appear physically on Earth. Jesus will destroy Lucifer’s visible body at the Second Coming and this will return Lucifer to living in the Abyss, or the spirit world. (Revelation 9:1-3; 20:1-3) Meanwhile, Jesus will destroy the rest of the wicked at the Second Coming with a single command. They will not be burned up. “The rest of them [the wicked] were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” (Revelation 19:21)
Two distinct groups of people will see Jesus appear. The population of Earth at that time will be quite small compared to Earth’s current population. Jesus’ precious saints that remain alive, clothed with tattered rags, will tremble at His majesty and grandeur as He approaches Earth. They will cry out, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9) A much larger group of people will also tremble at Jesus’ majesty and grandeur, but their trembling will not be joyful. This group of people are captives of fear. They fear justice, exposure, death, and righteousness. “Then the kings of the Earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’ ” (Revelation 6:15)
I believe Jesus will appear over a period of ten days. The first sign that He will appear will be a small cloud in the eastern sky. (Revelation 16:12) As He comes closer to Earth, the cloud will grow larger and the sky will become more violent until the Rider on the white horse and His army fill the whole sky, from horizon to horizon. “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:27) The lightning and thunder within this approaching cloud of glory will grow in intensity until the armies of Earth are paralyzed with fear. “Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.” (Ezekiel 21:7) The Second Coming of Jesus will not be a local event. “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the Earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)
Because Earth rotates on its axis in a counterclockwise direction, any object approaching Earth from space will appear first in the eastern sky. As Earth rotates beneath this swelling cloud of glory, the people of Earth will have several days to see Jesus as He approaches. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the Earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30) “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days [for he shall see the arrival of Jesus].” (Daniel 12:12, insertion mine)
The Great Day of the Lord
King David wrote about the Lord’s return saying, “The Earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because He was angry. Smoke rose from His nostrils; consuming fire came from His mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the Heavens and came down; dark clouds were under His feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, His canopy around him – the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of His presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.” (Psalms 18:7-12) Joel also wrote about the great day of the Lord’s appearing saying, “The Lord thunders at the head of His army; His forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey His command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?” (Joel 2:11)
When Jesus breaks the sixth seal, Revelation 6:12 indicates there will be a great earthquake. This global earthquake will cause Earth to begin shaking with violent tremors. This earthquake will grow in intensity and disaster, ultimately making islands disappear and leveling the mountains! “No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on Earth, so tremendous was the quake. . . . Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.” (Revelation 16:18,20) As this earthquake breaks Earth’s crust, Jesus will resurrect a special group of selected people. He will fulfill the promise He made two thousand years ago to resurrect the people who participated in His crucifixion. When Jesus awakes the chief priests and religious rulers from their sleep, their terror and anxiety will be indescribable. When they see the Righteous One they condemned as a blasphemer now sitting beside the Father who lives in unapproachable light, they will be filled with shame and self-loathing. Jesus and the high priest had a conversation on Friday morning, April 7, A.D. 30. “The high priest said to Him, ‘I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.’ ” (Matthew 26:63,64) Jesus will even resurrect the Roman soldiers who pierced His body and divided His garments to see the majesty of “The Lamb of God.” (Revelation 1:7)
The Father Comes with Jesus
Many people overlook the fact that the Father comes to Earth with Jesus at the second coming! Both the Father and the Son are visible on that day because no one has given more for our redemption than the Father and the Son. Remember what Jesus said to the high priest, “In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” (Matthew 26:64) Compare this verse with the cry of the wicked, “They [the wicked] called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from [a] the face of Him who sits on the throne [the Father] and from the wrath of the Lamb [the Son]! For the great day of their [notice the plural] wrath has come, and who can stand?’ ” (Revelation 6:16,17, insertions mine) Also, consider this verse: “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings [notice the plural] from the East.” (Revelation 16:12, insertion mine)
Jesus told His accusers that He would be sitting at the right hand of the Father and coming on the clouds of Heaven. Since the Father and the Son are approaching Earth from space and we know they will appear in the east, so it is not difficult to conclude that they are “the Kings from the east.” The Father and the Son will appear in a light that will be brighter than a welder’s arc. The righteous will tremble with awe and respect, but the wicked will run for cover faster than cockroaches hiding from daylight. Jesus’ glory at the Second Coming will eclipse the powerful display of authority that He demonstrated on Mount Sinai. “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet [voice] and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.’” (Exodus 20:18,19, insertion mine)
Jesus’ Second Coming will be marked with power, glory, redemption, and destruction. Jesus will reveal God’s wrath against sin and sinners in a never-to-be-forgotten display of sovereign power. Jesus will also reveal God’s unfailing love for people who put their faith in Him. I believe Jesus will gather the righteous from Earth to meet Him in the air after He has destroyed the wicked with the sharp sword that comes out of His mouth. On Day 1334 of the great tribulation, Jesus will put the wicked to death and the righteous will see the wicked people destroyed. “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.” (Psalms 91:8, KJV) Then, on Day 1335, Jesus will rescue the righteous. “Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. ‘As for you [Daniel], go your way till the end. You will rest [in death], and then at the end of the  days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.’ ” (Daniel 12:12,13) Jesus will raise the dead in Christ to life and then the saints who have managed to survive until the last day will meet in a joyous gathering. The saints will meet together with the Lord in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17) Perhaps the saints will repeat this song many times. “They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’ ” (Revelation 15:2-4)
Let us review what Jesus faced when he was here on Earth. He endured false arrest, accusations of blasphemy, torture, humiliation, and death at the hands of wicked men. He experienced subjection and the second death (the penalty for sin) at the hands of the Father. Because Jesus went through these experiences without sinning, He alone is worthy to exonerate the Father’s government and redeem man! At the Second Coming, Jesus will show Himself to be Almighty God. He was elevated to this position in 1798 when He was found worthy to receive the Book of Life. There is no one like Him. The Second Coming will be a great epiphany. Jesus, His Eternal Majesty, King of kings and Lord of lords, and the King of Everlasting Glory will be revealed. When we examine Jesus’ love, life, and victory over sin, we realize there is no one in the universe like Him. The Father wants the universe to know that Jesus is not a lesser God than Himself so He has implemented a plan to reveal everything about Jesus. What a gracious and generous Father! The members of the Godhead have no jealousy for highest honor. Jesus has the same attributes as the Father and the Father will be delighted with the revelation of Jesus!
The Process of the Second Coming
I like to think of the Second Coming as an inaugural process that takes 1,335 days to complete. The first segment consists of “seven first plagues” and the last segment consists of “seven last plagues.”
The Great Tribulation
Many people use Jesus’ statement, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) to prove that no one knows the day or hour of Christ’s return. However, once the great tribulation begins, the date of Christ’s return will no longer be a secret because Jesus has given us a comprehensive timetable of end time events in the books of Daniel and Revelation. There are eighteen prophetic time periods in the seventeen apocalyptic prophecies in these two books. God provided information about Jesus’ return so when the great tribulation begins, we will be able to start a countdown clock for His appearing. God has generously given us a countdown clock so that His children will not lose hope!
The book of Revelation outlines five displays of divine power that will occur three times. The first display will mark the beginning of the great tribulation:
- Flashes of lightning
- Mysterious voices saying things
- Peals of thunder
- Global earthquake
- Fiery hail
Look at the following chart and identify three instances of the letter “X.” (Revelation 8:5, 11:19, 16:18)
The first X marks the breaking of the fourth seal. The five physical events will confirm Jesus’ sovereignty throughout Earth. The first X marks the point when (a) Jesus’ begins to judge the living, (b) the great tribulation begins, and (c) the seven trumpets (seven first plagues) begin. These Devine manifestations will cause all mankind to take notice.
Christ’s second display of divine power occurs 1,264 days later. The second X marks the point when (a) Judgment Day ends and (b) the seven bowls (seven last plagues) begin. These events will indicate that Jesus has terminated His intercession for sinners. He has judged mankind and determined who will receive eternal life and who will be destroyed.
The last X marks Jesus’ Second Coming. The same five Devine manifestations will be displayed at the Second Coming with much greater intensity and Jesus will end life on Earth. He will slay the wicked by fire or sword and He will take the righteous to Heaven. Jesus will also send Lucifer and his angels back to the abyss (spirit world). No life will exist on Earth for one thousand years so the planet can receive its Sabbath rest; it will be the seventh millennium.
“See, the day of the Lord is coming a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.” (Isaiah 13:9-11)
When Jesus breaks the sixth seal, He will reveal His divine glory that belongs to Him. He will come in the clouds with the Father and they will display unmatched power and authority that words cannot express. Jesus will destroy His enemies and rescue His children. Earth will truly be His footstool. Let us review the process by which Jesus is completely revealed.
Before sin began in Heaven, Jesus identified closely with the angels by living among them in the form of an angel. His name was Michael, the archangel. (See Appendix A.) Lucifer was the highest and most beautiful of all created beings, but he became jealous of Michael. Lucifer coveted the worship and adoration that belonged to “ordinary looking” Michael. Lucifer became anti-Christ because of jealousy. Over time, one third of the angels listened to Lucifer’s lies and deceptions and joined in his rebellion.
Jesus shielded the glory that belonged to Him from view when He lived among the angels. He lived among them as a companion. (Hebrews 1:9) Thousands of years later, when Jesus came to Earth to live among us in the form of a man, His glory was shrouded from view. A few people received Him as Messiah, but most people rejected Him. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11) Jesus looked like a very ordinary man with nothing attractive about Him. (Isaiah 53:2) The Father wants all beings to know who Jesus really is so He ordained that Jesus be revealed in seven steps called the seven seals. During the great tribulation, Jesus will shroud His glory from mankind until He physically appears at the Second Coming. Jesus does not want His subjects worshiping His power, position, or glory! He does not want to be a superstar or an icon! Jesus wants to live among His created beings so that we can know and love God. When Jesus breaks the sixth seal, God will reveal that Jesus has the same glory and authority as the Father. This explains how and why the Father has put everything in Heaven and on Earth under Jesus’ control! (Ephesians 1:9,10)
Artists often depict Jesus on the cross wearing a loincloth because it would be too offensive to show what really happened. The Romans stripped criminals of all their clothing so that their shame would haunt them in the life hereafter. Jesus was willing to bear our shame. He was disrobed and publicly humiliated because He loved us enough to die in our place. Ironically, Jesus will be disrobed once again, but this time, there will be no shame! We will see Jesus for who He is – Almighty God. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) “Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – He is the King of glory.” (Psalms 24:10) The breaking of the sixth seal extraordinarily reveals the glory of Jesus.