Matt 24:30 Scenario of the Lord’s Return
#2. Heavenly Disturbances (Matt 24:27, Luke -26,28)
#3. The Last Trumpet (Matt 24:29-31, Rev 20:9-10, Luke )
#4. The Judgment Throne (Luke , Matt 24:28, -13, Phil -11)
#5. The 2nd Death and the NH&NE (-15, 21:8, 14:9-11)
Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 20:1 (2X). We are actually having a sermon on Matt 24:30, dealing with the scenario of the Lord’s return. Therefore the title of this sermon is, “Scenario of the Lord’s Return” (2X). However, in order to harmonize the various passages in the Bible dealing with the scenario of the Lord’s return, we first need to set the record straight on this matter of the 1000 years spoken of in Rev 20. What is this 1000 year period that we find here in Rev 20:1-3?
Re 20:1-3 And I saw an Angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Who is this who has the key of the Bottomless Pit? He is none
other than the Lord Jesus Christ who said in , “I have the keys of hell and of death”. And why did He
come down from heaven to bind Satan? Does Satan not have the authority to
travel in and out of heaven, and in and out of the earth, like God tells us in Job
1:7? And indeed he does. But the words that Christ came down from heaven
are pointing to the act of His incarnation in the womb of Mary. And what is
this great chain that is in His hand? Can He bind Satan with a metal chain? Of
course not! Satan is a spirit who has to be bound with spiritual chains. And
then we read in verse 2 that Christ bound Satan for a thousand years and cast
him into the Bottomless Pit. We have already seen in a sermon on
Mt Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
In other words, Christ will first bind Satan, spiritually, and
then He will take all those whose sins He paid for out of the
Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
The angels who deserted their first vocation, namely they were sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation (Heb ), but they rebelled and instead worked for the damnation of people, these angels God has “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness” unto the judgment of the great Day of the Lord. What are these everlasting chains under darkness? They are Chains of Darkness.
· Chains of Darkness (2Pet 2:4, Col 2:14-15, Rev 20:3, Matt 12:29, Jude 1:6, 2Pet 2:4, Col 2:14-15)
Please turn a few pages back to the Second Epistle of Peter, 2Pet 2:4 (2X). You find Second Peter just before First John. Everlasting chains do not imply that the Devil and his angels were bound from everlasting past to everlasting future, for we read in Rev 20:2 that this binding had a beginning, and we read in Rev 20:3 that there will come a time when these chains will be loosed. Instead everlasting chains in this case refer to chains that cannot be broken by the Devil and his angels until Christ Himself shall loose them. This gives us another aspect of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it was Christ who opened the seven seals in Rev 6 thereby releasing a flood of disasters and calamities and woe upon this earth, and here it is Christ who shall loose Satan and his fallen angels. Therefore, it is not Satan who causes disasters and calamities and earthquakes on this earth, but God, by His providence, is arranging it all for the benefits of His saints. We read in 2Pet 2:4,
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to “Tartarus”, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
God cast them down to Tartarus, which is not hell, but it
is actually this earth. The word Tartarus is not found anywhere else in the
Bible, but by comparing Scripture with Scripture we can derive that God uses
the name Tartarus as a synonym for this sin cursed earth. And here we see more
clearly that the chains wherewith the fallen angels were bound were actually “chains
of darkness”. In other words, these spirits were bound with chains of
stupidity. Satan and his fallen angels were not totally incapacitated when they
were bound, for a great deal of sin and persecution instigated by Satan
followed throughout history after the cross, but all these actions of Satan
were ineffective in stopping the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. Please
turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Colossians,
Col 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
In other words, Christ plundered the possessions of principalities and powers, which refers to the Devil and his fallen angels, and Christ did that by the cross. Please return now to Rev 20:3 (2X). Satan was bound “that he should deceive the nations no more”; this was the purpose of it. Satan was still able to deceive individuals, and to tempt people into sin, and to cause persecution of the church, but he was not allowed to hinder the furtherance of the Gospel as it spread through the nations of the world. And so what we see, through the four references that I quoted, Matt 12:29, Jude 1:6, 2Pet 2:4, and Col 2:14-15, that it is absolutely certain that Christ paid at the cross for the privilege of binding Satan and his demons. This binding occurred 40 days later at the ascension of Christ into heaven. We read in Rev 20:3,
Re 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
We can see a historical manifestation of the fact that Satan was not allowed to deceive the nations any more was the phenomenon of the Reformation, which succeeded because by God’s providence the printing presses were just invented, and Bibles were spread throughout the world. But if Satan was bound in AD 33, then 1000 years later takes us to the year AD 1033, which was not the year that Satan was loosed, for he must be loosed only for a little season. Today we are living almost 2000 years after the cross, and the world is still not destroyed. Therefore the 1000 years of Rev 20:2 must represent a symbolic time period, which must be understood symbolically, like all the other time periods in this prophecy of Revelation are understood symbolically. Why should this period of 1000 years be an exception and be taken literally? But then we read in Rev 20:3 these ominous words, “and after that he must be loosed a little season”. When the chains of stupidity have been removed from Satan and his demons, we read in Rev 9 and Rev 13 that he and his demons shall make war with the saints, and shall overcome them. This is the last battle of the demonic host against Christ and all those who are His.
Leave the sticker you have placed in Rev 20, and please put two more stickers in Matt 24 and Luke 21, for we will see by shuttling between these three chapters how harmonious everything fits in the Bible concerning the scenario of the Lord’s return. And please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 24:26 (2X). It may be that the symbolism of the 1000 years of Rev 20:2 is somewhat difficult to understand. But when we now combine Rev 20, and Matt 24, and Luke 21, we cannot escape the plainness of speech of the Lord in laying in front of us the scenario of His return. It is amazing how few churches have understood this, for most churches have developed a spectacular, sensational, and dramatic scenario of much persecution and bloodletting for the events of the last days, with many physical battles of the armies of Christ against the armies of Antichrist, and one great world order under the supervision of one person who is called Antichrist. None of that is actually going to come to pass. According to these three chapters the end time scenario can be summarized in five simple steps:
#1, The Last
Mt 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
In other words, the Last Battle is a spiritual battle. It is the Final Tribulation Period characterized by false christs and false prophets trying to deceive the whole world with their great signs and wonders. For if they succeed to deceive us, Satan will have achieved his goals, and we will be spending an eternity in Hell. He has no need to arrange for physical fighting or for physical persecution. His plan to deceive the whole world by a gentle and bloodless way is far more effective than any persecution. The Last Battle, which is also called Armageddon, is a spiritual battle, and it is a time of spiritual anguish for the saints, for we have discovered that our loved ones and unsaved family members and friends are on the way to Hell. The unsaved are not troubled by the FTP, for they are not fighting a battle; they are content to live in the here and now, and they are content with the status quo. But the reason why there is a FTP is that Satan has been loosed. Please turn to Rev 20:7 (2X). Satan has wised up; he is no longer bound with chains of stupidity, but he has discovered how to infiltrate the churches. We read in Rev 20:7-8,
Re 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Re 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Gog and Magog are the nations which are in the four quarters of
the earth. Therefore this includes all the nations, including the nation of the
Lu And they shall fall by the edge of the sword,
and shall be led away captive into all nations: and
We must harmonize this physical battle with the spiritual
battle of Matt 24, and then we see that
Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 24:27 (2X). The FTP is a time of relative peace on earth, for the Lord Jesus said that the FTP will be like the days of Noah just before the flood. No one expected that this was the end of the world that they knew. Likewise, no one will expect that the Lord may come tomorrow, but in fact all things are in place for Him to come tomorrow. And what will He find you doing if He does come tomorrow? That is the big question. We read in Matt 24:27 about,
#2. Heavenly Disturbances (Matt 24:27, Luke -26,28)
Mt 24:27 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.
In other words, the Lord does not come silently. Everyone in the
world shall be able to recognize that Christ is coming again. Keep in mind that
the earth is round, and that most of the time there are two dates existing
simultaneously on the earth. For example, if the Lord is coming on Sunday
Lu 21:25-28 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Lord tells us here that His return will be preceded by signs and heavenly disturbances. How long will these disturbances last? We do not know, but they will be long enough to cause people to have heart attacks from fear of those things which are coming on the earth. The sea and the waves are roaring, and the nations shall be perplexed. This is not parabolic language. The Lord is speaking plainly. We do not know what these signs will be. But the signs in the sun, and in the moon and in the stars do not refer to gentle signs, like the sign of the cross, but they will be fearful signs, pointing to death and destruction. All the unsaved will know that these signs refer to the second coming of Christ, whom they did not want to rule over them. But to the saints the Lord has these comforting words, “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh”. We need not be afraid when we are carried through earthquakes and tsunamis, for the Lord is our protector. He will make sure that these terrifying events shall not kill us, for the Lord protects His people.
#3. The Last Trumpet (Matt 24:29-31, Rev 20:9-10, Luke )
Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 24:29 (2X). In various places the Bible speaks of the blowing of the last trumpet, which according to is the 7th trumpet. But just like the 7th seal is expanded into the seven trumpets, so the 7th trumpet is expanded into the seven vials of wrath of Rev 16. And thus only after the 7th vial of the wrath of God is poured out is the blowing of the 7th trumpet completed. The last trumpet announces the Lord’s return and the rapture of the saints. But the last trumpet also announces that God’s patience with the unsaved of this earth has now ended, and that the unsaved are all struck dead by fire from heaven. And then, simultaneously with the rapture of the saints, all the unsaved will be resurrected in their new repulsive bodies which are able to endure Hell forever. All these events are seen in these three chapters, Matt 24, Luke 21, and Rev 20. We read in Matt 24:29-
Mt 24:29-31 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: 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. 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.
Verse 29 says, “Immediately after the tribulation”. We do not have to speculate when the Lord’s return will be. It will be immediately after the FTP that the heavenly disturbances will be seen, not 1000 years later. In Matt 24 the heavenly disturbances are shown just before the Lord’s return. In Luke 21 the heavenly disturbances extend perhaps for a few days. But the characteristics of these signs are that the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, whatever that means. But then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. What sign shall this be? It will not be a peaceful sign, like the sign of the cross, but it will be a fearful sign, and all the tribes of the earth shall know that our God is a consuming fire, and they shall see the Son of man coming with power and great glory. Then the last trumpet will sound, and all the elect shall be raptured at the same time that all the unsaved shall receive their repulsive bodies. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 20:9 (2X). All these events are summarized in two verses. Read them carefully. Rev 20:9-10
Re 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Re 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Rev 20:9 teaches us that the pressure becomes very great on the faithful churches to give in to the false gospels that the whole world has fallen for. But when God considered it time to interfere, the fire from God consumed the adversaries of the true Gospel. Then all the adversaries and the saints shall at the same time receive their immortal bodies, one for the glories of heaven, and the other for the fires of Hell. And then God shall also destroy this earth in a great fireball. Please turn to the Gospel of Luke, Luk (2X). Luke does not mention the last trumpet, but it is implied. We read in Luke 21:27,
Lu And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
The powers of heaven shall be shaken, when this creation shall have accomplished its purpose. And then the last trumpet shall sound and all mankind shall see Christ coming to gather His saints, and to gather all the unsaved who will stand for judgment, and to gather also all the demonic host for judgment. And this leads us right into step number four:
#4. The Judgment Throne (Luke , Matt 24:28, -13, Phil -11)
Please turn a few pages back to chapter 17 of this Gospel of Luke, Luke (2X). The Lord Jesus spoke of the rapture of the saints: Some will be taken, and others will be left. And then the disciples asked Him, Where are those who are left, Lord? Then we read in Luke 17:37,
Lu And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
And by comparing this with the similar statement in Matt 24:28, where we read,
Mt 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
We come to the conclusion that the body in Luke 17 or the carcase in Matt 24 both refer to the dead body of all the unsaved who have just been struck by the fire from God out of heaven in Rev 20:9. And where are they, Lord? They are killed on this earth, and they are resurrected before the judgment throne of Christ somewhere else, but not on this earth. The eagles are also gathered there. Who are the eagles representing? The eagles are representing the demons who are gathered together to be cast into Hell. But no one will be cast into Hell without due process of justice. And then all the unsaved will stand before the judgment throne, and all their sins will be proclaimed for all to hear, even the smallest sin, such as an idle word, shall have to be accounted for. We do not know how much time is involved in judging 12 billion people for even their smallest sins, but the Lord has arranged that we, His saints, shall do the judging with Him. Even the demons will first be arraigned before the judgment throne, for God tells us in 1Cor 6 that we shall judge angels. Please turn in your Bibles to Rev 20, (2X). We see here all the unsaved stand before the judgment throne. They are the spiritually dead, the walking dead, who are going to be arraigned, and every last one of them shall be found guilty. Rev 20:11-13,
Re 20:11-13 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Christ is sitting on the great white throne. And all material creation shall flee from Him, for they have
served their purpose. In His divinity, He created it all for His glory,
but now only mankind is left, because when God breathed into Adam the breath of
life, Adam became a living soul, a soul made by God, an immortal soul made in
the image of God, and made for the purpose of glorifying God. Therefore all
those who fall short of this goal, because they allied themselves with Satan,
shall inherit the wrath of God. This is why Christ is sitting on a great white
throne, judging all mankind. But all those who have been judged by Him already
at the cross should not be gathered here before the judgment throne, because
our God is a righteous God, who will not allow anyone to be judged twice. Here
before the judgment throne every man was judged according to their works. But
we know from the Bible that all their works are either sin, or they are tainted
with sin, and thus none of their works shall be found good; they are all bad.
And thus every one of them shall be found guilty. This is also the place where
“Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil -11). For it will be at this time and
place that all the unsaved will fear God. But it will be too late. There is no
more salvation after all the saints have been raptured, for then the fulness of
the Gentiles will have come in. Therefore, every one of them shall be cast into
#5. The 2nd Death and the NH&NE (-15, 21:8, 14:9-11)
Re And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Re And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Verse 14 should have been translated: “Death and the grave were
cast into the
Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
And thus, to be cast into the
Re 14:9-11 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
What does it mean, “They have no rest, day nor night”? Will there be day or night in Hell? We only know for sure that there will be continual daylight in the NH&NE, for Christ shall be our light. But we do not know whether there will be day or night in Hell. We must take this expression symbolically, to indicate a time without end. This agrees with the statement of verses 10 and 11, where we read, “And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever”. This means they shall be tormented forever and ever. I do not understand how anyone can make something else out of it.
Let me show you the pinnacle of stupidity. Please turn a few pages forward to Rev 16, (2X). In Rev 16 we see the seven angels with the seven vials of the wrath of God which are poured out upon the earth. And then we read in -11 these words,
Re 16:10-11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
They blasphemed God, because they blamed God for their pains and their sores. But if they realize who Almighty God is, and that this God rules the universe by His providence, then how can they be so stupid to insult this God, instead of fear Him? The same can be said for verse 21. Please drop down to . And there we read, “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great”. Men blasphemed God; men insulted God for this plague of the hail. Instead of pleading with God to remove the plague of the hail, men insulted God for it. Not only is it the most stupid thing they ever could do, but it also reflects that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And indeed, when God sizes up the human race, He says in Rom ,
Ro There is no fear of God before their eyes.
People who have no fear of God also have no conscience. They will insult God and think nothing of it. They will harm their fellow man, and think nothing of it, for they do not fear the God who has the power to take their life and to make them stand before the judgment throne. They have no fear of God, until they stand before the judgment throne, for it is only then that “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil -11). But until then no one expects the scenario of the Lord’s return to play out tomorrow, for no one takes the Lord’s return seriously. No one reads the Bible any more, for they all believe what their pastor or Bible teacher tells them to believe. And so, the true scenario of the Lord’s return remains hidden. But to those who truly seek the Lord a rich inheritance is waiting them in the NH&NE. Amen. Let us turn to the Lord in pr.