We continue with the beliefs of the Seventh Day Adventist in regards to,
The Second Advent
Seventh Day Adventist state:
1) Jesus will descend on a cloud.
2) The righteous dead will rise from their graves and up to the cloud with Jesus.
3) The righteous living will rise up to the clouds with Jesus and “always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 ESV).
Adventists believe this in its straightforward terms. Jesus will return on a cloud, staying in the sky. He will not set foot on the ground. The dead in Christ will rise up with Him, and those living will soon follow, as we’re all “caught up together” in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
“When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4, ESV).
Acts 1:11, when an angel was addressing Jesus’ disciples after they witnessed His ascension, also confirms the visible manner of His return. He will “come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven” (ESV).”
In the scripture’s “clouds” typically represent trouble. They often come with lightening (blinding flashes of light, truth) and with thunder (controversies, judgements), i.e., gloom and forebodings of the trouble to come.
A few examples:
“The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly… That day (The Day of Vengeance) is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess (a day of horror and madness, anarchy, obscurity, uncertainty and foreboding), a day of clouds (a day of trouble) and thick darkness (Tempestuous gloom).” (Zeph 1:14, 15)
“Out of Zion (The heavenly phase of the Kingdom), the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire (a time of trouble) shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him (The Millennial morning will be especially cloudy--"Behold, he cometh with clouds."). He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.” (Psa 50:2-4
The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad! Clouds and darkness surround Him (Storm clouds and the darkness of gloom, perplexity and trouble); Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. A fire goes before Him (the great time of trouble and anarchy), and burns up His enemies round about.” (Psa 97:1-3)
“The sinners in Zion (In nominal spiritual Zion, i.e., the professing church) are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites (the tares, but especially the blind guides of this class): “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isa 33:14)
“Blow the trumpet in Zion (The nominal Kingdom of God, the professing church), and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! (Christendom, the professed kingdom of the Lord) Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the Lord (The Day of Vengeance, the time of trouble) is coming, for it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess (Ignorance of the prophetic developments of that time, of the presence of the Lord), A day of clouds (trouble) and thick darkness (the Adversary, the prince of darkness feverously at work attempting to uphold the present order with “with all power, signs and lying wonders” 2 Thess 2:9) Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been (the Lord’s great army, the anarchist masses); Nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.” (Joel 2:1, 2)
“Then I looked, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Rev 14:14)
“As stated, “clouds” especially dark clouds, storm clouds typically represent “trouble”, but this cloud is white, righteous trouble. It is righteous because it is the Lord’s wrath undoing the unrighteousness of the age. Jesus has returned; and as is the tendency of Revelation, he is not called Jesus, but rather the Son of Man. It is interesting to note that he sits on the cloud. To “SIT” upon something is to be in a position of control over what is sat upon. Thus, this impending trouble is not random trouble; this is controlled trouble. No matter how severe the time of trouble may become, we may rest assured by this verse that it never will be let out of control. On his head is a golden crown, divine authority. In his hand a sharp sickle, the device for harvesting. This verse shows so clearly that when the king returns it is not for the peaceful kingdom immediately; it is to control the trouble which will destroy Babylon, and to harvest the wheat.”
As for the reference to 1 Thess 4:17, viz,
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord.”
Note they do not go up TO the clouds with Jesus, but rather are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
This text refers to the “feet members” the last of the saints this side of the vail as being caught up (experiencing their resurrection change) in the clouds (that is during the opening stages of the trouble of the “Day of the Lord”), there to meet the Lord in the air (In the realm of spiritual control of the earth, the same realm which is presently controlled by Satan, the present "prince of the power of the air." Eph. 2:2).
Were we to insist that these clouds were literal clouds then we would likewise be obligated to take the air, the atmosphere as being literal, and if so, then according to the text the saints would remain forever in the atmosphere with their Lord.
We continue with the Adventist view of the Second Advent in our next post.
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