& Meanings of Words Used in Connection with
A Study of Jesus' Second Coming.
This web-site is being offered to so-called ‘ordinary Christians’ who are Bible reading, Jesus centred, intelligent, praying people. Many people are speaking and writing a lot of information, or even fictional stories about this time and subject.
Perhaps some people do not have the time or the ‘tools’ to get into exhaustive study for themselves. Yet as they read the Word of God, and hear different points of view there is a longing to know what God is really saying by His Holy Spirit. As there is so much about this in the Bible, we believe God must have meant us to have some understanding of His purposes and plans, so that we can have the warnings, or the encouragements that He has put there for us! Perhaps we can help you in this way?
EXPLANATIONS ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.
Our privilege: to live in these ‘End Times’
The role of a ‘watchman’ in the Bible is clearly reflected in our roles as caring, genuine Christians in these End Times. In ancient times the watchman was useful in several ways. One was to act as a ‘lookout’ on the walls of a city – at its highest or most strategic point. They would notice weather changes, even times of the day, (when there were no clocks), and especially the approach of unknown visitors, even visiting dignitaries, but especially spies or enemy armies. Then he would call out a warning, or for an appropriate response from the people in the city. On a smaller scale, little watch-towers were built to keep watch over fields or vineyards or crops, to protect against marauders or wild animals or thieves; and sometimes these were used to store some of the crops. The analogy is obvious.
We, as Believers in God’s Word have higher ‘watch-towers’ than any time in history, with television and every kind of modern communication available for us to see and hear so much of what is happening in the wider world.
This makes us ‘watchmen’
But this brings a greater responsibility to see events from God’s point of view, with a heart of yearning linked to His great heart of love. So this is one blessing of this web-site, and others like it, that we should be aware of the circumstances and events and using God’s Word, will be better enabled to praise and pray in harmony with what God is allowing. This will be to the blessing of many people, especially when we know of terrible suffering for some people, yet always remembering ‘the blessed hope’ of Messiah Jesus’ Coming is the most important goal.
Our Responsibilities studying and thinking about these times
So many people want to know about these ‘end times’ and many other people are teaching and writing about them. But the WORD of God is our final and most important source of knowledge, and especially as we ask God’s Holy Spirit to teach us.
We should examine our motives, A spirit of humility will cause us to try to understand what God is saying about the future. Not for our own honour, nor even to satisfy our curiosity, (although that is a God given capacity, which has led to many exciting discoveries), but in order to be ‘workers together with God in prayer’. (See 1 Corinthians 3:9). We then realise we are not pleading with God to do what we think, or what God is reluctant to do. But as we come to discern His plans and purposes; we can pray them into happening, as Daniel did, (see ch. 9: 2) and act obediently in our own lives accordingly.
We need to recognise that we will not know every detail, because God has given us enough to handle in faith. ‘Faith’ or trust in God’s good will is essential! “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11: 6.But we believe God does want us to be prepared and warned. This is why there is so much in the Bible, both the Tanakh/O.T. and the New Testament for us to learn about. The book of Revelation 1: 3 has a special blessing attached to it, for those who read it aloud! It says: “Blessed is the one who reads this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” There are 7 Blessings in the book of Revelation. Can you find them?
these are what we can check out from our prayer watch-posts
1. What are the events & circumstances we see in the world? Also the trends we see.
2. What does the whole Word of God say about them? Beware of taking single verses, each must be looked at in the context of who it was written for & why.
3. What is the Holy Spirit saying about them, also other godly people?
There is a time for listening, reading and discussing with other people. No one knows all the truth, but God can use the ideas of others to help us to question and think. Nine times in Paul’s 1st letter to Timothy, he warns about having correct teaching. Also in the Tanakh/O.T. there is a serious warning for ‘false prophets’. Deuteronomy 18:14 –22 tells us this! Which leads to another important point.
All prophecy must fit in with the basic, unchangeable truth of God’s Word!
1. It must uphold the truth of the doctrine of God’s salvation only through Jesus.
2. It must not forget the importance of our faith! No-one can become a member of God’s family, or continue to walk with God, or go to live with Him without faith! We cannot work to be accepted by Him, and we can’t wait till we see Jesus, to be accepted by Him. It doesn’t change whether we are Jews or Gentiles, rich or poor, educated or not. God only has one Door into His Kingdom! It is Yeshua/Jesus/ Isa.
3. God’s clear intention and desire is for everyone in the world to know about Him before the return of Jesus, and the end of the world. See Jesus’ wonderful prayer in John 17, and His ‘sign’ in Matthew 24:14.
4. Suffering has always been part of our privilege and calling. Just as Jesus suffered so will we in this world. (See our study on this topic.) It will be till Jesus comes.
5. But God will never fail us or forsake us, and sometimes He even did miracles to protect His servants, so He can do so still IF it will glorify Him.
SPECIFIC WORDS FOR THIS SUBJECT
(As we understand and use them on this web-site.)
Antichrist – Literally means ‘instead of Christ’. He will be a human man of great world-wide power given to him by the Devil or Satan, a Dictator of the future who will be seen as a False-messiah by true Christians, but as a ‘saviour’ by the whole world in a time of global disaster. He has numerous descriptive names in the Bible. (The world has seen many lesser antichrists, like Hitler, Stalin, Maotsitung, etc.) No one knows who this is yet. We prefer the name ‘False-messiah’ which we use in these studies.
Advent - An older English word for an event but used for the Return of Jesus.
Apocalypse – Revealing of a person, or revelation of events, from a root word meaning ‘to disclose’ – often in a spectacular way. It is used of special Biblical writings in the Bible by prophets, like Daniel, Ezekiel & John the apostle, about the end of evil and the triumph of good. ‘Apocalyptic’ is often used to describe a world-shaking event.
Armageddon - the name of a place in Israel where a final battle between the army of the Antichrist and the Saints of Messiah Jesus will happen. ‘Ha Megiddo’ is the Hebrew name. It is north of Jerusalem on the plains near Mt Carmel.
Believers - This is a term that we use for all people, of all races, or ‘denominations’ but who are, true, cross-carrying, humble, dedicated people who believe that Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and He is the only Way to know God, the Father. And it is all by believing trust and commitment to Him alone.
Day - In Genesis chapter 1, (& other references) it clearly means a day of 24 hours. However in the Prophet’s books they refer to several periods of time, usually of God’s judgements, some of which were fulfilled, especially in the various exiles to Babylon. These are called ‘The Day of the LORD’. It can also mean God’s Day of judgement in the New Testament. (Revelation 16:14.) In the N.T. Jesus referred to ‘the Last Day’ 5 times in John chapter 6, and when He was speaking to Martha about the resurrection, in John 11, being on ‘the last Day’. We believe ‘the Day’ is the Day of Jesus Return to Earth and the resurrection and reunion of all true Believers! Like a Wedding Day!
(See other articles.)
Doctrine – is a set of beliefs about one subject (in the Bible), e.g. the doctrine of sin, or creation, or knowledge of God, (Theology); or Jesus, (Christology). ‘-ology’ = ‘knowledge of’.
Earth - We believe this world was specially created by God for the human race, and it is a very special part of all the universes and planets and stars. Only angels are in space and there are no other inhabited ‘worlds’.
Elect - This is used in some Bibles in some places to mean all God’s true Followers, we believe this is the same as ‘the ‘saints’. Not some special people, but ALL who are true Believers and Followers of Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa.
Epiphany – A Greek word meaning manifestation, or out-shining. It is applied to Jesus’ first Coming in some Christian celebrations, but it is more relevant to Jesus Second Coming with great, radiant glory!
Eschatology - the study of the Coming of King Jesus Messiah, and the time leading up to it and after, from the Bible. The end of this world, or ‘End Times’.
First Coming – the first Coming of Jesus the Son of God to Earth, as a Man born of a virgin mother, known as Jesus of Nazareth. He lived, died, was buried and rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven from the Land of Israel, when it was under Roman rule. His life is dated approximately, 4 BC (‘Before Christ’ or Before the Common Era) to 30 AD, (Anno Domminai) or CE = the Common Era, in Jewish dating. He was 33 years old when He died, was buried for 3 days and came to life. Now He is in Heaven.
Judgement - This word has two modern meanings, which leads to some wrong ideas.
a) It can be used to mean ‘assessing, diagnosing, monitoring’, which we do constantly in every situation. Example: ‘is someone in trouble, do they need help?’
b) A more serious meaning is that, after a court decides if there is guilt in a person, only the Judge is permitted to pronounce a punishment. This is what we should never do, God is the final Judge, He says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” Therefore we can forgive; knowing God will handle anyone who does us wrong. There WILL be a Judgement Day described in revelation 20.
Literal - This means something written in the Bible can be taken exactly as it says. But God does also use ‘pictures & symbols’ as explained in another article. God will give wisdom to know which verses are literal. Often we should take the Bible this way.
LORD - In most English Bibles the sacred Name of Israel’s God, (which they would not pronounce because of its sacredness), is written as LORD. In Hebrew the letters used are ‘YHWH’, and read as ‘Ha Shem’ - (The Name.) Rev David Pawson suggests we get its meaning by the word, ‘ALWAYS’ which certainly emphasises that He is the great ‘I AM’. [It is not the same as other names for various gods of other religions.]
In the New Testament, Yeshua/ Jesus who IS God, (Hebrews 1), is often called Lord, and that is how we often address Him still. However because in modern English ‘lord’ is not the highest title, we prefer to use the title ‘King’, for He is the KING of other kings, and the LORD of lords. (Revelation 19:16.) Note too, the Roman emperors were addressed as ‘lord’ and the ‘Lord’s day’ as in Rev. 1: 10 was the annual day of the worship of the Roman Emperor, when incense was burnt for him, but it spelt death for anyone who refused to worship him that way, or say, ‘Caesar is Lord’.
Languages of the original Biblical books - We believe that the main part of the Tanakh/ Old Testament was originally written in ancient Hebrew, (except for a small part of Daniel, which is in Aramaic). The New Testament was written in Koine (common) Greek, which was the world wide trade language in the first century AD. It was promoted by the young Alexander the Great, so his generals, etc could administer the huge Empire he had conquered. God allowed this to help with the spread of the Good News of the New Testament. Thousands of parts of the N.T. have been found.
Individual people would have spoken their own local ethnic language as well. Latin was one of these and did not become widely used till about the 3rd C. God has preserved these Scriptures in well tested forms, by archaeology, (like the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’), history, and science, etc, that are now being used to prove their accuracy.
Messiah - is the English spelling of the Hebrew word for ‘Meshiach’, meaning ‘the anointed One’ whom they believed would be of the royal line of King David, which we believe He was and is. Most Jewish people expect the coming of the Messiah at some future time, as do the Muslims. Who He is unknown to them, though many names have been suggested over the centuries. Christians believe Yeshua/ Jesus of Nazareth was the perfect fulfilment of the 33 specific prophecies in the Tanakh/ Old Testament, regarding the Messiah. The Greek equivalent is ‘Christos’, so Gentiles who follow Jesus are known as ‘Christians’. Jewish Believers who follow Yeshua are known as ‘Messianic Believers’ but all are one in God’s eyes! Galatians 3:28.
Millennium - Literal meaning of the Latin word is 1000 years. This is the length of time given 3 times in Revelation 20, as the time that King Jesus will reign over the Earth, with all His resurrected true Followers from the whole of History. This is our belief and one of 3 common views of this concept.
a) A-millennial – meaning it is not literal – but spiritual in meaning.
b) Post-millennial – meaning that after the church has evangelised the whole world, Jesus will come to reign.
c) Pre-millennial – This believes, as we do that Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa will come back to Earth, just at the right time, and set up his Kingdom here, (as explained above.)
Parousia - This is another Greek word that means ‘coming, arrival, or presence’. It is used about the coming of the anti-christ, but also of Jesus Messiah. (1 Thess. 2:19.)
Religion - Another word often used in an incorrect way. The world has many ‘religions’ some big, well-known ones like Animism, Atheism (includes Communism), Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Humanism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
Each of these has sub-divisions, often called ‘denominations’, with streams of differing beliefs. For instance, within Islam there are Sunni and Shi’ite streams, (and many other variations including Druism and Baha’i teachings). Within Christianity, the differences between the ‘Orthodox’ (i.e. Roman Catholic, Greek, & Russian Orthodox) and ‘Protestant’ / evangelical beliefs are fairly well known. Among ‘main-line’ churches there is more agreement than some people believe. However within ‘Christendom’ are many breakaway groups, regarded as ‘Cults’. We believe that in the future the Ant-christ, and his assistant False-prophet will force all these religions to form one great religious system with worship of Satan and the Anti-christ the only religion accepted.
Rapture - This is a good word, implying something exciting, and usually describing the resurrection and reunion of all true Believers in Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa at His Coming. There is discussion about when this happens or if it happens in two stages. We believe there is only one, future Resurrection rapture Day to look forward to!
Scriptures - For us this means the holy Bible, which is a collection of 66 books, divided into two main parts. The first is the Tanakh/ Old Testament consisting of the Torah, (called Pentateuch by Christians as it has 5 main books in it.) These are followed by the Writings and Prophetic books making a total of 39. The New Testament has a total of 27 books; four ‘Gospels’ on the actual life of Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa; one book ‘of the Early Believers, (Acts); then many ‘Letters’; and finally the ‘Book of Revelation’.
We hold that this ‘Bible’ is the sacred, inerrant, Divinely inspired Word of God, given through the Jewish writers, in the original languages. God has preserved them, even through many careful translations for all mankind.
Second Coming - The future return of King Jesus Messiah to this Earth, as a victorious, visible Person. (Hebrews 9:28.)
The Great Tribulation – A specific time of several years of extreme suffering for many true Christians, (but not for Jews in Israel as told in Isaiah 60). There will be general confusion and disasters for the rest of the world under the Anti-christ.
Yeshua – The Hebrew name for Jesus- the Greek/English name we love. Arabic is ‘Isa’ and in some other languages ‘Yesu’. It means God Saves, or ‘Saviour’.
TRUST THIS WILL BE A HELP TO SOME OF OUR READERS.
YOU CAN CHECK THEM OUT IN OTHER PLACES, BUT THIS IS HOW WE USE THESE WORDS IN THESE ARTICLES.
would like to think they are helpful to you.
God bless your understanding and even sharing with others, wherever you are.