"Every Eye Shall See Him", Part 3

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Symbolic Meaning of Matthew 24:30-31

Heaven and heavens are often symbolic of corrupt religious systems (2 Pet. 3:5-10; Isa. 34:5-4; Joel 2:9-11). See can denote mental perception (Luke 3:6; John 1:51; Rev. 19:10; Matt. 27:4, 24). Clouds often represent trouble as in Joel 2:1-2, a parallel text of Matt 24:30-31. The wordangelsis translated from the Greek word aggelos which literally means messenger and often refers to any messenger of God (Rev. 2 and 3, the seven angels or messengers to the church). Trumpets are often used to denote a proclamation of truth (1 Cor. 14:8; Joel 2:1).

With these symbols in mind the explanation of Matt 24:30, 31 become meaningful.

"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Here the Master tells us in Verse 30 that one of the first signs or evidences of his return will be in heaven, that is, in the corrupt religious systems. Verse 29 speaks of the powers of the heavens shaking. Agnostic revolutionary influences have infiltrated the churches. The resultant battle between the Protestant fundamentalist and the modernist has sorely rent the church heavens. Since Vatican II, Catholicism is being similarly shaken. The Son of man comes in "clouds of heaven," that is, during this trouble that is shaking the churches. Luke’s account includes "distress of nations with perplexity."

This worldwide trouble in both the churches and the nations will increase in intensity until all the people of the earth mourn because of it. Finally "they shall see [optomai, discern] the Son of man coming in the clouds" of trouble, that is, they will realize that the trouble is the result of our Lord's return. While the heavens (nominal churches) of Matt 24:30 are being shaken, Verse 31 reveals that the returned Lord will "send his angels [messengers] with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect—from one end of heaven (the corrupt church systems, i.e. Babylon) to the other." Rev 18:1-4, a parallel passage, further confirms that this trumpet is a proclamation of truth. The truth being that Babylon has fallen and is no longer used of the Lord.

By or through this great proclamation of the truth, the Lord’s faithful (his angels, messengers) those awake will call forth the rest of the Lord's people out of Babylon.

Symbolic Meaning of Revelation 1:7

"Behold, he cometh with clouds [in a time of trouble] and every eye shall see [optomai, discern] him [as the trouble intensifies, it will become evident that the day of God's wrath has come], and they also which pierced him [the Jewish nation will especially discern Christ's presence in the final phase of the time of trouble when they are delivered from an invasion of many nations (Ezek. 38, 39; Zech. 12:10)]: and all kindred’s [peoples, nations] of the earth shall wail because of him [as the day of wrath intensifies all will experience much sorrow and anguish]."

Rev 1:7 cannot be taken literally since those who literally pierced Jesus have long since died. If "they also which pierced him" is symbolic of the living Jewish people, then the "clouds" and "every eye" seeing him must also be symbolic.

Thus we find that the Bible does not contradict itself. Many scriptures plainly state that the returned Lord cannot be literally seen by man. In harmony with this, the few scriptures that refer to mankind seeing the returned Christ, are obviously symbolic and denote a mental discernment of Christ's presence.” (Excerpts taken from the booklet, “I Will Come Again” edited)

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Harvest 1874
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