Question & Answer Forum

Does “the coming of the Son of Man” refer to the Rapture?

This expression occurs three times in Matthew 24 and, like any Bible expression, must be understood from its context and background. In each case, a comparison is given: “as … so.” At verse 27 the coming of the Son of Man is compared to lightning which will be seen universally. At verse 37 & 39 it is paralleled with the sudden judgment executed at the flood. The same context describes the Son of Man “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (verse 30). This latter is an illusion to Daniel 7:1344, where Gentile rule is terminated and the Son of Man receives universal and eternal dominion. Hence, the expression, in context does not refer to the Rapture but to the future advent of the Lord Jesus to earth when He will judge the evil of this world and, in His character as “Son of Man,” take the position forfeited by the first man. He will then come and sit on the throne of His glory (Matthew 25:31) and realize the dominion belonging to the “son of man” in Psalm 8.

D. GilIiland

 

Will a fourth temple be built during the Millennium?

Solomon’s temple was the first temple, followed by the rebuilt temple under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3). The third temple was the Temple of Herod, which was destroyed in AD 70, as prophesied by Scripture and confirmed by history. Many Old Testament Scriptures, however, remain to be fulfilled. Isaiah 2:2,3 speaks of a temple to which all nations will flock and from which the Word of the Lord will instruct all the world. Ezekiel 37:2&28 promises that the Lord’s dwelling amidst His people will be so evident that all the nations will know it. Ezekiel 40-48 details the construction of a temple unlike any yet built. Haggai 2:6-9 also suggests that under Zerubbabel they were building a temple whose glory would be exceeded by a future temple. Zechariah 6:9-13 relates the thrilling prophecy of the “Branch…and He shall build the temple of the Lord…” All this, while spoken during the days of the second Temple, point on to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Man whose name is “The Branch” will sit as king-priest in that Temple.

Taken together, these Scriptures teach that there will yet be a temple built in Jerusalem. Its glory and purpose will exceed any of those built before.

Both Matthew 24:15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4 indicate that a temple will be standing by the middle of Daniel’s 70th week. Although current events don’t confirm God’s Word to us, it is interesting that an organization in Israel today, “The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement,” is making its plans (not God’s) for rebuilding the Temple.

A. Higgins

Will you please interpret the Parable of the Ten Virgins?

As in previous parables (cf. The Wedding Garment, Matthew 22), the Lord Jesus stresses in this parable the need for keeping watch for His return (see 24:42, 44) as well as His rejection of unreality when He does return. Like the man without the wedding garment, the five foolish virgins represent those who expected to be in the kingdom but had never properly prepared. Although Paul uses the imagery of a chaste virgin in reference to the assembly at Corinth, the Church which is His body is seen as a unit (His Bride), not as friends attending the wedding or wedding supper, therefore the Rapture is not likely in view. Since this is part of an answer to the disciples’ question in chapter 24:3 regarding the end of the age and the coming of the Son of Man, it would seem that this parable points to the advent of the Lord Jesus as King of kings, coming to establish His kingdom. During His public ministry, the Lord Jesus was often confronted by those in Israel who felt that, as a result of their natural links with Abraham, they held privileged ground (John 8:33). His warning to them will have its dire fulfillment at His coming when many “children of the kingdom” will be cast into outer darkness (Matthew 8:12).

E. Higgins

Why did Peter (2 Peter 3:13) refer to “heavens” while John (Revelation 21:1) spoke of “heaven”?

“Heavens” is found only 19 times in the New Testament, but “heaven” is found over 250 times. The singular and plural are used interchangeably. Both are used for the aerial heavens, the heaven of stars and even for the dwelling place of God (Acts 7:56, Ephesians 4:10). However, the four times that Peter uses “heavens” in his second epistle, the context shows that he is speaking of the created heavens which will pass away in the Day of the Lord. The fifth time he uses “heavens” is a reference to the New Heavens of the Eternal Day where righteousness will dwell.

John only uses “heavens” once in the Revelation. In the 56 tines that he uses “heaven,” 45 times are a reference to the created heavens, sometimes it is used just to contrast that which is above from that which is beneath, or earthly, but 11 times it refers to God’s own dwelling place, The Lord Jesus called “the Heaven of Heavens” (1 Kings 8:27) “My Father’s house” (1ohn 14:2). Paul calls it Paradise and “the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). To us, its most precious name is “Home” (2 Corinthians 5:8, JND).

N. Crawford