In the gospels, Yeshua (Jesus) spoke often of His second coming. Sometimes He spoke in parable form (wheat and tares, fish in the dragnet, wise and foolish virgins, wedding banquet, 10 talents, renting the vineyard, goats and sheep, etc.).
In three occasions, He openly confessed His coming in glory: 1) at the prediction of the crucifixion, 2) at the Mount of Olives sermon, and 3) testifying before the Sanhedrin.
1) Matthew 16:27 – The son of man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels and then He will pay to each person according to his deeds.
In contrast to the weakness of the crucifixion, Yeshua will come back in glory and power. He will come with an army of angels – a privilege He did not avail Himself of previously (Matthew 26:53). He will come to bring judgment, the opposite of the cross, where He took the punishment upon Himself.
2) Matthew 24:30-31 – They will see the son of man come with the clouds of heaven in power and great glory. And He will send His angels with the sound of a great shofar, and they will gather His elect from the four winds.
Here we see main themes of the second coming: the glory power, the angelic army, and the gathering of the saints. The sermon on the Mount of Olives is Yeshua’s foundational teaching on the end times. In this sermon He compares His coming to the flood of Noah and to the destruction of Sodom.
He also makes reference to a large number of Old Testament (Tenach) prophecies concerning the end times (Daniel, Joel, Zechariah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc), showing how His coming is consistent with all that the Hebrew prophets taught.
3) Matthew 26:64 – You will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of glory and coming on the clouds of heaven.
The Sanhedrin asked Yeshua if He was the Messiah, Son of the living God. His answer was: as Psalm 110 describes the Messiah sitting at the right hand until His enemies are put under His feet, and as Daniel 7 describes the son of man brought on the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of Days: that is referring to Me. He addressed them as high priests, calling them to account to believe in their own scriptures.
The Time is at Hand
At no time in history have all the elements necessary for the fulfillment of the end times prophecies been in place. There is a world wide banking crisis with a world wide banking system. There is a federation of all the nations in one organization (the UN). There is a world wide religion that promotes the total destruction of Israel, and even claims that anyone who kills a Jew would be doing a service to God (in Islam). There are a variety of ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects in Israel, awaiting an immediate appearance of a king messiah, which could lead the way to what Yeshua called “many false messiahs” (Matthew 24:4, 24).
On the positive side, the gospel is continuing around the world, and with the great advances in China, India, and Africa, it is conceivable that the great commission could be fulfilled within one generation. In addition, the Messianic remnant of Israel, while still small, is growing stronger every day.
Matthew 24:32, 34 – Learn this parable from the fig tree. When you see the branches growing soft and the leaves budding, know that the end is near… That generation will not pass away until all these things will happen.
The fig tree is the nation of Israel. She has now come back to life after the two-thousand-year death of the exile. What are the branches growing soft? In the autumn of 2,000, many of us who share the gospel here in Israel noticed a change in the heart of the people. Their hearts are softening. They are listening. What are the leaves budding? Today in Israel we have over 100 Messianic fellowships. While most of them are small, they certainly would qualify as buds. According to this interpretation, Yeshua should return in this generation.
Mark 1:15 – The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.
While the message of the Bible is relevant to every generation, it takes on an urgency according to the historic circumstances in which it is preached. The prophecies are universal, yet there is a “kairos” timing for those prophecies to be fulfilled. Jeremiah preached before the destruction of the Temple. Ezra preached before the restoration of the Temple. John the Baptist preached before the first coming of Yeshua. We are here to preach before the second coming of Yeshua.
The time is at hand – in a way that it has not been for the past 2,000 years. The conditions for the coming of the kingdom and the second coming of Yeshua are starting to be fulfilled before our eyes.
I write this at the cease fire in the current war in Gaza. As Jewish believers in Israel, we see a strange array of demonic spirits. The liberal media twists the news. Muslims hate us because we are Jews. Orthodox Jews persecute us because we believe in Yeshua. Matthew 24:22 – If those days would not be shortened, then no flesh would survive. But for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. While we are all torn in compassion for the lives of innocent victims on both sides of the current war, the conflicts in the world are likely to increase. There may be wars in which millions will be killed.
Psalm 96:13 – Before the Lord, for He is coming; for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the earth in righteousness and peoples in faithfulness.
That summarizes the message of the second coming. Yeshua is coming. He is coming as a judge. His judgments will be righteous and just.
Yeshua finishes the Mount Olive sermon with this great warning: be ready. Matthew 24:44 – Therefore be ready, even you, for in an hour when you do not expect, the son of man will come. He will come. Of that there is no question. The question is simply: Will we be ready?
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.