The Prophetic Context of the Millennium Part II: The Second Coming of Christ -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 114:454 (Apr 1957)
Article: The Prophetic Context of the Millennium Part II: The Second Coming of Christ
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Prophetic Context of the Millennium
Part II:
The Second Coming of Christ

John F. Walvoord

The most important aspect of the prophetic context of the millennium is the personal return of Jesus Christ to the earth. The tribulation which precedes it is a dramatic preparation for that coming and is climaxed by the glorious appearance of the Lord in the heavens accompanied by the saints and the holy angels. Though the second coming may not be as important to the total program of God as the first coming, it certainly is without precedent in manifestation of the glory and power of the Triune God. It constitutes the most tremendous intervention of divine power in the entire course of human history.

On every hand one discovers that the Scripture dealing with the second coming is the key to the prophetic future. The important place given the premillennial second coming of Christ in Scripture justifies using the term premillennial to describe the whole system of Biblical interpretation which is involved. Just as Scripture concerning the rapture of the church is climactic and determinative in truth revealed about the church, so the second coming is determinative in tracing the future course of Gentiles and Israel in the world, the resurrection of the righteous, and the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the kingdom of God on earth.

Old Testament Prophecies of the Second Coming

Though the Old Testament never mentions the rapture of the church, many prophecies are recorded about the second coming of Christ to the earth. The blindness of amillenarians to this witness of Scripture is illustrated by Berkhof’s statement: “I do not know of a single passage in the Bible which teaches that Christ will come again in order to establish a temporal Jewish kingdom. If there is one, I should like to know where it can be found. The Old Testament contains no explicit statement respecting the second coming of Christ” (L. Berkhof, The Second Coming of Christ, p. 61). The Old Testament indeed does not use the phrase “second coming,” but neither does the New Testament. The Scriptures to be considered will speak for themselves as evidence for the second coming in the Old Testament.

The first of these prophecies of the second coming is recorded in Deuteronomy 30:3: “…then Jehovah thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples whither Jehovah thy God hath scattered thee.” In this first prophecy of the “return” of the Lord, the event is linked with the final regathering of Israel promised in verse 3 and ...

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