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The Last Judgment by Jean Cousin the Younger (c. late 16th century)

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In most Christian theologies, the second coming of Christ is the return of Jesus from Heaven to Earth, an event expected to fulfill aspects of biblical Messianic prophecy, such as the general resurrection of the dead, the last judgment of the dead and the living and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (also called the Reign of God), including the Messianic Age. Views about the nature of this return vary among Christian denominations with some claiming it has already taken place.

The original Greek version of the New Testament (Novum Testamentum Graece) uses the term parousia (παρουσία from the Greek literal meaning of parousia: divine presence, derived from "para": beside, beyond, and "ousia": substance) the "appearance and subsequent presence with" (in the ancient world referring to official visits by royalty). Parousia[1] is used in the Bible 24 times.[2]

The Second Coming is also referred to as the Second Advent, from the Latin term "adventus", for "coming". The study of biblical last days comprise a body of theological knowledge called Christian eschatology.


Christians use a range of names for this concept of Jesus Christ's second coming or return, drawing on a range of biblical images.

The phrase second coming is not used in the Bible. It comes from the life or incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth as being his first coming to earth. Some Christians refer to the second coming as the last coming because of scriptures referring to him as being the "first and the last", "the beginning and end", "the Alpha and Omega,"[3] and others do not define it by number, highlighting Christ's coming as an ongoing process.


In Thayer's Lexicon, the Greek word parousia is defined as Strong's G3952:

...In the N. T. [New Testament] esp. [especially] of the advent, i.e., the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God.[2]

And in the Bauer-Danker Lexicon:

...of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory to judge the world at the end of this age.

And in the Catholic Encyclopedia article on General Judgment:[4]

In the New Testament the second Parousia, or coming of Christ as Judge of the world, is an oft-repeated doctrine. The Saviour Himself not only foretells the event but graphically portrays its circumstances (Matthew 24:27 sqq. [Olivet discourse]; Matthew sqq. [Judgment of the Nations]). The Apostles give a most prominent place to this doctrine in their preaching (Acts 10:42, Acts) and writings (Romans 2:5-16; Romans; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess 1:5;  James). Besides the name Parusia (parousia), or Advent (1 Cor. 15:23, 2 Thes. 2:1-9), the second coming is also called Epiphany, epiphaneia, or Appearance (2 Thes. 2:8; 1 Tim; 2 Tim; Titus 2:13) and Apocalypse (apokalypsis), or Revelation (2 Thess 2:7 1 Pet. 4:13). The time of the second coming is spoken of as "that Day" (2 Tim 4:8) "the day of the Lord" (1 Thess 5:2), "the day of Christ" (Phil 1:6), "the day of the Son of Man" (Luke 17:30), and "the last day" (John 6:39-40).

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man

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Jesus in culture

In the Bible, the synoptic Gospels contain several examples of Jesus referring to himself as the Son of Man or talking about the climactic role of the Son of Man coming (often in "his kingdom") and Jesus' own impending suffering and execution, and similar persecution of his disciples;[5] the apocalyptic chapters set on the Mount of Olives called the Olivet discourse[6] and "The Sheep and the Goats" or "Judgement of the Nations";[7] and again when he was on trial before the Jewish high priests;[8] and the "Twelve thrones of judgment".[9]

Daniel 7:13-14 refers to a "human one" who will come on the clouds in glory and in his kingdom and be given dominion to establish the kingdom of God on earth. This is presented as the eschaton and an end of the world:

As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him.

To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

In the Gospel of John (John 6:39-54), Jesus also employs the image of the Son of Man when talking about the last day. Here it is linked with being raised up — the resurrection of the dead. A theme reinforced in John 11:24 where Martha describes Jesus' coming both in terms of resurrection and as an ongoing process, and in John 14:3 where Jesus says, "I will come again" so his disciples may live with him in his Father's house.


In the gospels Jesus often referred to the kingdom of God being right "at hand"[10] and "these things" — including the Son of Man's coming in his kingdom — occurring with immediacy to his listeners (i.e., immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD) This is referred to as abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15.

But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.

"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

So when you see standing in the holy place "the abomination that causes desolation," spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—

Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.

Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Both Matthew and Luke also include the statement:

This generation (γενεά) will not pass away until all these things have taken place.

The Bauer-Danker Lexicon (since updated by Willian F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich) of Koine Greek states that γενεά (genea) means "the sum total of those born at the same time, expanded to include all those living at a given time. Generation, contemporaries."[11] Robinson's Greek & English Lexicon states that γενεά(genea) means: "The interval of time between father & son... from thirty to forty years those living in any one period; this present generation".

According to Dr. William L. Lane, author of the 2 volume Hebrews commentary in the Word Biblical series and the Mark commentary in the New International Commentary series:

The significance of the temporal reference has been debated, but in Mark, this generation clearly designates the contemporaries of Jesus.[Mark 8:12] [8:38] [9:19] There is no consideration from the context which lends support to any other proposal. Jesus solemnly affirms that the generation contemporary with his disciples will witness the fulfillment of his prophetic word, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem and the dismantling of the Temple.

The position associating the second coming with first century events such as the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70 is known as Preterism.

Some such as Jerome interpret the phrase "this generation" to mean lifetime of the Jewish race; however, if Jesus meant "race" he would have used genos (race) not genea(generation). Others such as Hal Lindsey see it applying to a generation of future readers rather than the generation of people Jesus was addressing within the narrative. Origen and Chrysostom refer it to all Christian believers.[12]

In the epistles, it has been suggested that 1 Thess. 5:1-11 is a post-Pauline insertion that serves as an apologetic correction to Paul's imminent expectation of the second coming in 1 Thess. 4:13-18.[13]

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Some Christian theologians (Preterists) see this "coming of the Son of Man in glory" primarily fulfilled in Jesus' death on the cross. During his ministry Jesus continually linked the Son of Man sayings with his own forthcoming suffering, death and resurrection, which can be understood symbolically as applying equally to the struggles of everyone — following the way demonstrated for others in his spiritual journey. Some theologians purport that some or all of the prophecies laid out in the Olivet discourse are then fulfilled within the narrative of Jesus' passion, for example:

The need for disciples to keep alert and pray and stay awake is demonstrated literally on the same mountain two nights later when Jesus interrupts his disciples' sleep to explicitly say, "The hour has come. Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."[14]

Greek icon of Second Coming, c.1700

The time frame of significant hours as spelled out in the apocalypse; "you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, at cockcrow or at dawn"[Mk 13:35] is mimicked in the passion narrative "when it was evening Jesus came,"[Mk 14:17] praying in the garden in the middle of the night, "at that moment the cock crowed for the second time"[Mk 14:72] and "As soon as it was morning the chief priests ... bound Jesus and led him away."[Mk 15:1] The apocalyptic signs are fulfilled including "the sun will be dark,"[15] the "powers ... will be shaken,"[16] and "then they will see".[17]

They further claim that such an interpretation highlights the Christian claim that the glory and dominion of God is best seen in the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus crucified. "For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."[1 Cor. 1:18]

Eastern Orthodox Church theologians believe the Son of Man's glory is seen in the gift of the Holy Spirit to their church members and so does not refer to the second coming. They say this γενεά (generation or age) is the current unrestored age, distinct from the age to come; the age of restoration. "That is just the state that we are in now. Of this state the Lord said: 'There are some of those standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God come in power.'[Mk 9:1] —Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Other theologians point to other biblical images that better match their idea of "coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory",[Matt. 24:30] such as the transfiguration witnessed by three of Jesus' disciples, which follows directly after the "there are some standing here..." verse in all three synoptic Gospels, or John of Patmos's heavenly visions described in the book of Revelation.

Others say they are unable to explain this verse in the light of what they see as a delay. C. S. Lewis called this "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible".[18]

According to historian Charles Freeman, Early Christians expected Jesus to return within a generation of his death. When the second coming did not occur, the early Christian communities were thrown into turmoil.[19]

Other biblical images

Jesus' ascension is linked to him coming again:

So when the apostles had come together, they asked Jesus, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

While he was going and they were gazing up towards the sky, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.

They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go to heaven."

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.

The apocalyptic book of Revelation includes images of the last judgment and the victory of the kingdom of God, including the Messianic Age, and ends with the prayer: "Come, Lord Jesus".[Rev 22:20] See also Maranatha.

Unrealized eschatology

To other Christians, these verses highlight aspects of the eschaton that have not yet happened or not yet been fully realized. Drawing on the images from Acts, these Christians expect Jesus' coming to fulfill some or all of these criteria:

  1. Occur specifically at the Mount of Olives;
  2. On a cloud; descending through the sky—or, conversely, while being "lifted up" while disciples are looking up to the sky.

They may also expect Jesus to come only as or after some or all of these aspects have been realised:

  1. Jesus' disciples learn to stop confusing the kingdom of God with a Zionist campaign to "restore the kingdom to Israel";
  2. Jesus' disciples stop trying to define God's kingdom by chronologies of "times and periods";
  3. "the Holy Spirit has come upon" Jesus' disciples and they "receive power"; and
  4. People have witnessed Jesus "in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth".


Catholic and Orthodox

It is the traditional view of Catholics and Orthodox Christians that the second coming will be a sudden and unmistakable incident, like "a flash of lightning".[Mt 24:27] They hold the general view that Jesus will not spend any time on the earth in ministry or preaching.[20][21] They also agree that the ministry of the antichrist will take place right before the second coming.[20]

Mainstream Protestantism

The many denominations of Protestantism have differing views on the exact details of Christ's second coming. Only a handful of Christian organizations claim complete and authoritative interpretation of the typically symbolic and prophetic biblical sources. A common thread is the belief that Jesus will return to judge the world and to establish the kingdom of God (fulfilling the rest of Messianic prophecy).

A short reference to the second coming is contained in the Nicene Creed, a prominent Christian statement of faith: "He [Jesus] shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; of His kingdom shall have no end." An analogous statement is also in the biblical Pauline Creed, in 1 Cor 15:23.

The Lutheran, Anglican and United Methodist liturgy proclaims the Mystery of Faith to be: "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again."

Generally, mainstream Protestant Christianity does not offer predictions on the date of the second coming, though some mainstream Protestants may form their own ideas of how and where it will happen. Such information, however, is not considered a test of orthodoxy. Such, as the Church of God (Seventh Day) believe, that Jesus will return to earth in power and glory to resurrect the righteous dead, bestow immortality and eternal life upon the resurrected and the living righteous, avenge the saints, and be glorified in them. The Church of God (Seventh Day) believe that Jesus earthly reign of one thousand years will be a universal kingdom in which all principalities, powers, and enemies are overcome and, that, at its conclusion, the unrighteous will be resurrected to suffer annihilation at the great white throne judgment.

Some of these views include:

  1. A futuristic and literal interpretation of the predictions of Daniel and Jesus about end times. This is associated with a worldview that the world will literally come under rule of an anti-christ bringing about mass persecution of Christians which will then be saved out of this world by a physical rapture.
  2. A historical and literal interpretation of Daniel's prophecies and Jesus' predictions. These people believe that the things predicted already happened short after Jesus' crucifixion. Some holding this view believe Jesus will still come back physically to rule, returning to a glorious triumphant bride. Others believe He will come through His bride.
  3. Others interpret the predictions not literal but spiritual. Their understanding of the abomination of desolation that is to sit on the throne in the temple, is the Shepherds (Pastors) that exalted themselves to being mediators between God and man, thereby exalting themselves to "God" status, controlling and beating the sheep, building their own empires and not the kingdom of God. Such is interpreted to already happened and that the remnant bride is supposed to flee out of the "city" of organized religion to the mountain (holy hill spoken of in Psalm 24), from where they are to "lift up their heads as be watchful" as the five wise virgins in biblical parable, "for the King of glory is about to reveal His glory through His beloved who had not defiled herself and stayed true to Him."
  4. Others holds a combination of these views.


Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th century scientist and theologian described the Second Coming of the Lord as the opening of the inner meaning of the Word. Jesus had predicted that they would see "the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven",[Mt. 24:30] but this was to be a spiritual—not a physical event. In other words, Jesus would indeed come again, but not in the flesh. Rather He would come again in spirit through a revelation of the inner (deeper) meaning of the Bible. In other words, just as the physical sunshine can break through the obscurity of physical clouds, the inner meaning of the Word can also shine through the literal sense of the Bible. Whenever this happens for an individual, there is an experience of the Lord's Second Coming. The Lord (Jesus Christ) has come again through His Word—with "power and great glory".

Latter Day Saints

Notably those of the Latter Day Saint movement have particularly distinct and specific interpretations as to various signs presented in the Book of Revelation; see Second Coming (LDS Church).

Western Wisdom Teachings

In the Rosicrucian writings of Max Heindel, also known as Western Wisdom Teachings, there is a distinction to be made between Jesus the man, and the Christ, the true or divine nature.[22] Jesus is considered a high Initiate of the human life wave (which evolves under the cycle of rebirth) and of a singularly pure type of mind, vastly superior to the great majority of the present humanity. He was educated during his youth among the Essenes and thus prepared himself for the greatest honor ever bestowed upon a human being: to deliver his pure, passionless, highly evolved physical body and vital body (already attuned to the high vibrations of the 'Life Spirit'), in the moment of the Baptism, to the Christ being for His ministry in the physical world. Christ is described as the highest Spiritual Being of the life wave called Archangels, and has completed His union with the second aspect of God (Christ the Son):[23] Wisdom (Christ the [Solar] Logos; distinct from "the Word", Logos, of Whom John speaks, "The Only Begotten").[24]

In these esoteric Christian teachings, there is a clear distinction between the Cosmic Christ, or Christ without, and the Christ Within: the Cosmic Christ, the 'Regent of the Earth',[25] aids each individual in the formation of the Christ Within, the Golden Wedding Garment.[26] also called "Soul body", the correct translation of Paul of Tarsus "soma psuchicon" (Greek "soma" [body] and "psuchicon" [psu(y)che—soul], "It is sown a soul body; it is raised a spiritual body…,"[27] distinction of "spirit and soul and body".[28]

According to this tradition, the Christ Within is regarded as the true Saviour who needs to be born within each individual[29] in order to evolve toward the future Sixth Epoch in the Earth's etheric plane, that is, toward the "new heavens and a new earth":[30] the New Galilee.[31] The Second Coming or Advent of the Christ is not in a physical body,[32] but in the new soul body of each individual in the etheric region of the planet[33] where man "shall be caught up IN THE CLOUDS to meet the Lord IN THE AIR."[34] The "day and hour" when this event shall be, as described in the Bible, is not in the human knowledge domain.[35] The esoteric Christian tradition teaches that first there will be a preparatory period as the Sun enters Aquarius by precession: the coming Age of Aquarius.


In January 1946, Theosophist Alice A. Bailey prophesied that Christ (who is regarded by Theosophists as being identical with the being known by Theosophists as the Maitreya) would return “sometime after AD 2025”[36] The followers of the Theosophical guru Benjamin Creme, like Alice A. Bailey, believe the Second Coming will occur when Maitreya makes his presence on Earth publicly known—Crème believes Maitreya has been on Earth since 1977, living in secret. This future “Second Coming” event is called the Emergence or Day of Declaration; this is when, Creme's followers believe, the Maitreya will telepathically overshadow all of humanity when he appears on worldwide television (this event was originally supposed to occur on 21 June 1982).[37] Benjamin Creme's followers (like Alice A. Bailey) believe in the Nestorian/Gnostic doctrine promulgated by C.W. Leadbeater that Maitreya overshadowed the being called by Theosophists the Master Jesus during the Ministry of Jesus.[38]


Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner described the physical incarnation of Christ as a unique event, but predicted that Christ would reappear in the etheric, or lowest spiritual, plane beginning in the 1930s.


Though Judaism has no single official view of Jesus, it rejects Jesus' status as Jewish Messiah and, therefore, the idea of his Second Coming. Most Jews believe that Jesus failed to fulfill specific Messianic prophecies. They often claim that, among other things, Jesus' death and failure to redeem the world after his first coming are proof that he could not be the Messiah. Rabbi David Wolpe believes that the Second Coming was "grown out of genuine disappointment" and invented by Christians to theologically compensate for Jesus' death and failure to redeem the world. [39]


The mainstream Islamic view of the second coming maintains Jesus did not die (see Islamic view of Jesus' death) and was lifted up to Heaven by God, where he is waiting to descend[40] during the “last days” when corruption and perversity are rife on Earth. Jesus will return to wage a battle against and defeat the false Messiah (Dajjal, or Anti-Christ) and call all humanity to Islam, as originally called upon by all the prophets including himself. Jesus shall be accompanied by an army of the righteous, and shall be fighting against darkness, uniting his army with the army of Mahdi in the last war of human history. The Dajjal will wage war with his army of corrupt followers and mischief-makers and those that have fallen under his deception.


Many Hindus have embraced Jesus as an avatar, or incarnation, of God.[41] Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi, made an extensive commentary on the Gospels, published in a two-volume set as The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You. The book offers a mystical interpretation of the Second Coming in which it is understood to be an inner experience, something that takes place within the individual heart.

The Hindu religion sees time as cyclical, with four cycles (yugas) that repeat eternally. The current age, or Kali Yuga is the worst age of all, with three parts sin mixed with one part morality. Kali Yuga started around 5000 years ago, and will last for another 427,000 years, after which God will come in the form of Kalki, a man riding on a white horse who will do battle against the wicked and issue in a new Golden Age (Satya Yuga). Interestingly enough, there is a rider on a white horse mentioned in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.


Date of the Second Coming Author Notes
1745–present Emanuel Swedenborg Witnessed the Last Judgment in 1757 as one of many events recounted in his works resulting from visions of Jesus Christ returned. He tells of almost daily interaction with Christ over the course of almost 30 years. His return is not in the flesh, but in His Holy Spirit. "Neither shall they say see here or see there, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20).[42]
September 15, 1829 George Rapp Founder and leader of the Harmony Society, predicted that on September 15, 1829, the three and one half years of the Sun Woman would end and Christ would begin his reign on earth.[43] Dissension grew when Rapp's predictions went unfulfilled. In March 1832, a third of the group left and some began following a man named Bernhard Müller who claimed to be the Lion of Judah. Nevertheless, most of the group stayed and Rapp continued to lead them until he died on August 7, 1847. His last words to his followers were, "If I did not so fully believe, that the Lord has designated me to place our society before His presence in the land of Canaan, I would consider this my last."[44]
October 22, 1844 William Miller and the Millerite Movement The fact that this failed to happen the way people were expecting was later referred to as the Great Disappointment. Some Millerites continued to set dates; others founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Advent Christian Church, which continued to expect the Second Coming but no longer set dates for it (Members of the Bahá'í Faith believe that the event of the Second Coming did take place on 23 May 1844, when the Báb (the Gate), the forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh (Glory of God)), declared his mission. Bahá'u'lláh later claimed that he was the return and second coming of Jesus Christ.
1874 Charles Taze Russell The first president of what is now the Watchtower Society of the Jehovah's Witnesses, calculated 1874 to be the year of Christ's Second Coming, and until his death taught that Christ was invisibly present, and ruling from the heavens from that date prophesied.[45][46][47][48] Russell proclaimed Christ's invisible return in 1874,[49] the resurrection of the saints in 1875,[50] and predicted the end of the "harvest" and a rapture of the saints to heaven for 1878,[51] and the final end of "the day of wrath" in 1914.[52] 1874 was considered the end of 6,000 years of human history and the beginning of judgment by Christ.[53]
1914 Jehovah's Witnesses The "Second Coming" is important in the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses, although they do not use this term. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Christ's visible (to humans) return will be at Armageddon. They believe that 1914 A.D. marked the beginning of Christ's invisible presence (Matt. 24:3 gr. "parousia") as the King of God's Kingdom (Psalm 110; Revelation 12:10), and the beginning of the last days of the human ruled system of society. They believe the signs Christ revealed about his return in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 began to occur starting in 1914. In a parallel Biblical account at Revelation 6, they believe the ride of the symbolic four horsemen began in the same year, and that the first rider on the white horse depicts the Christ. He goes forth to complete his conquest of the earth, while the rule by human leaders continues for a short while until they meet their end at Armageddon by the power of the Christ (Revelation 19:11-21).
1917–1930 Sun Myung Moon The followers of Reverend Sun Myung Moon consider Reverend Moon to be the Lord of the Second Advent called by Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday at the age of 15 on a Korean Mountainside. (See Divine Principle)
1930s Rudolf Steiner Steiner described the physical incarnation of Christ as a unique event, but predicted that Christ would reappear in the etheric, or lowest spiritual, plane beginning in the 1930s. This would manifest in various ways: as a new spiritual approach to community life and between individuals; in more and more individuals discovering fully conscious access to the etheric plane (clairvoyance); and in Christ's appearance to groups of seekers gathered together.[54]
1975 Herbert W. Armstrong Armstrong, Pastor-General of the Radio Church of God, and then the Worldwide Church of God, felt the return of Jesus Christ might be in 1975. Of particular note was the book 1975 in Prophecy! written by Armstrong and published by the Radio Church of God in 1956. Though, never explicitly stating a date in the booklet, the title led people to believe the date was the second coming.
June 28, 1981 Bill Maupin Maupin, a pastor of the Lighthouse Gospel Tract Foundation in Tucson, Arizona, wrote a book predicting the date of the Second Coming. His congregation sold all their belongings and went to a hilltop on that day to await the event.
June 21, 1982 Benjamin Creme The followers of the New Age Theosophical guru Benjamin Creme, like Alice A. Bailey, believe the Second Coming will occur when Maitreya (the being Theosophists identify as being Christ) makes his presence on Earth publicly known—Crème believes Maitreya has been on Earth since 1977, living in secret.

Creme put advertisements in many of the world’s major newspapers in early 1982 stating that the Second Coming would occur on Monday, 21 June 1982 (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere), at which time Christ (Maitreya) would announce his Second Coming on worldwide television (this is called the Emergence or Day of Declaration ; this is when, Creme's followers believe, the Maitreya will telepathically overshadow all of humanity when he appears on worldwide television) [55] When this event did not occur, Crème claimed that the “world is not yet ready to receive Maitreya"; his followers continue to believe it will happen “soon”.

1994? And 2011 Harold Camping Camping, a WFME radio Bible founder and teacher, published a book, 1994?, a prediction of Christ's return was likely pointing to 1994 but that the end will be 2011. 2011 was also in the book 1994?. Camping wrote "Adam when?" and claimed the Biblical calendar meshes with the secular and is accurate from 11,013 BC–2011 AD.[56]
1999 Through 2009 Jerry Falwell Fundamentalist preacher who predicted in 1999 that the Second Coming would probably be within 10 years.[57]
1999 Nostradamus Predicted that "from the sky will come a great King of Terror" in 1999.[58] This was interpreted by some as a prophecy about the second coming of Jesus. When this did not occur, some of his followers and those of Edgar Cayce claimed that Jesus was conceived in 1998, born in 1999, and is currently living on Earth as a reincarnated person.
September 13, 2007 Paul Sides Predicted that September 13, 2007 marks the end of seven years of "wars and rumors of war" that erupted when The Oslo Accords were annulled. Then he predicts a final seven year "tribulation period" that culminates in a war over the Holy Land that brings back the Messiah.[59]
September 30, 2008 Mark Biltz Pastor of El Shaddai Ministries, predicted September 30, 2008 (Rosh Hashanah) as the potential day of the second coming of Jesus based on four total Lunar Eclipses that occur seven years (Great Tribulation period) after September 30, 2008 in 2014 and 2015 that happen to fall on the two Jewish holidays Pesach and Succot in both 2014 and 2015. Mark believes this to be significant as the four Lunar Eclipses falling on the aforementioned Jewish holidays has happened in the past in 1492, 1948 and 1949 highlighting those years to be significant in Jewish history. In 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain, in 1948 Israel became a nation, and in 1949 Jerusalem became the capital of Israel. In addition, he attributed these Lunar events to the "signs in the heavens" that the Bible speaks of.[60]
2012 Jack Van Impe Televangelist who has, over the years, predicted many specific years and dates for the second coming of Jesus, but has continued to move his prediction later. Many of these dates have already passed, and he recently pointed to 2012 as a possible date for the second coming. Van Impe no longer claims to know the exact date of the Second Coming, but quotes verses which imply that mankind should know when the second coming is near.
2025 Alice A. Bailey In January 1946, the New Age Theosophical guru prophesied that Christ would return “sometime after AD 2025”[36] (Theosophists identify “Christ” as being identical to a being they call Maitreya) to inaugurate the Age of Aquarius; thus, this event will be, according to Bailey, the New Age equivalent of the Christian concept of the Second Coming.[61]

Alice A. Bailey stated that St. Germain is the manager of the executive council of the Christ (Like C.W. Leadbeater, Alice A. Bailey refers to St. Germain as the Master Rakoczi or the Master R. in her books.).[62] ; thus, according to Alice A. Bailey, St. Germain’s primary task is to prepare the way for the Second Coming.

Unknown Master Beinsa Douno Predicted the Second Appearance of Christ as: "Christ Impulse will gradually penetrate into the human being and will take over guidance during the further development of the humankind (sic). We are still in the beginning of all this now." (Master Beinsa Douno, The Master, The Life of the Sixth Race, ISBN 954-744-050-0, [3], 19001946, Society Byalo Bratstvo - Bulgaria)
Unknown Rastafari movement The movement believes Haile Selassie is the second coming (although he himself did not encourage this belief). He embodied this when he became Emperor of Ethiopia, but is also expected to return a second time to initiate the apocalyptic day of judgment. Haile Selassie, also called Jah Ras Tafari, is often considered to be alive by members of the Rastafari movement.[63]

Claimants of Christ

  • The members of the Unification Church believe that Jesus anointed [Reverend Sun Myung] to fulfill the mission of the Second Coming. Together with his wife Hak Ha Han they established the position of the True Parents of mankind restoring the failure of the Garden of Eden when Adão and Eve failed and were expulsed from the Paradise. The Holy Wedding and Blessing Ceremony make possible for all those who receive it to inherit the True Love of God. From the True Parents started a new Era and heavenly tradition of True Love witch is the beginning of the Kingdom of God on Earth and in the Spirit World.
  • Emanuel Swedenborg and those in the New Church believe Jesus is making his second coming by revealing Himself in the spiritual meaning of the Bible. They believe that the Last Judgment was commenced in the beginning of the year 1757, and was fully accomplished at the end of that year. This Judgement on the Christian church, which took place in the spiritual world, marked the beginning of Christ's second coming.[64]
  • Bahá'u'lláh claimed to be the Return of Christ. Followers of the Bahá'í Faith believe that the fulfillment of the prophecies of the second coming of Jesus, as well as the prophecies of the 5th Buddha Maitreya and many other religious prophecies, were begun by the Báb in 1844 and then by Bahá'u'lláh. They commonly compare the fulfillment of Christian prophecies to Jesus' fulfillment of Jewish prophecies, where in both cases people were expecting the literal fulfillment of apocalyptic statements.[65][66]
  • Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, A 19th century figure from India, who claimed to be the second coming of and likeness of Jesus, the promised Messiah at the end of time, as well as being the promised Mahdi, being the only person in history to have claimed to be both. He preached the supremacy of his version of Islamic beliefs and promoted the spread of his movement through peaceful means, writing over eighty books. He gathered thousands of followers within his lifetime and founded the Ahmadiyya religious movement.
  • The followers of the Neo-Theosophical guru Benjamin Creme believe the Second Coming will occur when the being known by Theosophists as the Maitreya publicly makes his presence on Earth known (they believe he has been on Earth since 1977, living in secret). This future event is called the Emergence or Day of Declaration ; this is when, Creme's followers believe, the Maitreya will telepathically overshadow all of humanity when he appears on worldwide television (this event was originally supposed to occur on 21 June 1982).[37] Benjamin Creme's followers believe in the Nestorian/Gnostic doctrine promulgated by C.W. Leadbeater that Maitreya overshadowed the being called by Theosophists the Master Jesus during the Ministry of Jesus.[38]

Contemporary American politics

The rise of fundamentalist Christianity as a political force in the United States has allegedly had an influence upon political decisions on the global stage. The majority of fundamentalist Christians in America subscribe to dispensationalist theology and biblical literalism, which predicts that at the second coming Jesus Christ will commence his reign over a re-established Jewish nation in the Middle East. The belief that the Jews must be returned to the Biblical lands of Judaea and Samaria before the world can end has, according to some, "driven up American support for an aggressive Israeli approach to its neighbours in the Holy Land."[67] Most Americans feel a special solidarity with Israel and are sensitive about criticism of Israel. It is said to have nothing to do with the millennarian theology of certain Protestant groups, nor with political views.[67]

See also



  1. "Merriam". Merriam 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Strong's G3952". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  3. "We have come to know the threefold coming of the Lord. His first coming was in the flesh and in weakness, this intermediary coming is in the spirit and in power, and the last coming will be in glory and majesty."—St Bernard of Clairvaux Sermon 5 on Advent 1
  4. "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: General Judgment (Last Judgment)". 1910-10-01. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  5. Matt 10:17-42, 13:40-43, 16:24-28, Mark 8:34-9:1, Luke 9:23-27, 17:20-37
  6. Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21
  7. Matthew 25:31-46
  8. Mark 14:62, Matt 26:64
  9. Matthew 19:28-30, Luke 22:28-30
  10. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the good news."[Mk 1:15]
  11. Arndt and Gingrich (1952), 153
  12. Apocalypse of The Gospels, Milton Terry (1819), chapter 18
  13. G. Friedrich, "1. Thessalonicher 5,1-11, der apologetische Einschub eines Spaeteren," ZTK 70 (1973) 289
  14. compare Mark 13:32-37 to Mark 14:38,41
  15. compare Mark 13:24 to Mark 15:33
  16. compare Mark 13:25 to Mark 14:63 and Mark 15:5
  17. compare Mark 13:26 to Mark 15:31 and 15:39
  18. C.S. Lewis The World's Last Night and Other Essays
  19. Freeman, Charles. The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and Fall of Reason, p. 133. Vintage. 2002.
  20. 20.0 20.1 ""Jesus is Coming Soon"". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  21. "Catholics: Catholic views on End Times?, end time prophecy, end time prophecies". 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  22. Heindel, Max, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (Part III, Chapter XV: Christ and His Mission), November 1909, ISBN 0-911274-34-0
  23. cf. Matthew 16:16
  24. The Rosicrucian Fellowship, Jesus and Christ-Jesus
  25. The Rosicrucian Fellowship, Eastern and Western Spiritual Alternatives
  26. Matthew 22:2-11
  27. 1Cor 15:44
  28. 1Thess 5:23
  29. Galatians 4:19
  30. 2Pet 3:13, 3:7
  31. Heindel, Max, How Shall We Know Christ at His Coming?, May 1913 (stenographic report of a lecture, Los Angeles), ISBN 0-911274-64-2
  32. 1Cor 15:50, John 18:36
  33. 2Cor 5:1-3, Greek "politeuma" [commonwealth], "Our commonwealth is in heaven ...": Philippians 3:20-21
  34. Matthew 24:30, 1Thess 4:17, Acts 1:10-11, 1John 3:2
  35. Matthew 24:23-27
  36. 36.0 36.1 Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957 Lucis Publishing Co. Page 530
  37. 37.0 37.1 Creme, Benjamin Maitreya's Mission Amsterdam:1986 Share International Foundtion
  38. 38.0 38.1 Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925--Theosophical Publishing House Page 278
  39. "Why Jews Don't Accept Jesus". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  40. "Islamic View of the Coming/Return of Jesus," by Dr. Ahmad Shafaat, 2003, Islamic Perspectives, [1]
  41. "Krishna and Jesus Christ". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  42. "Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Providence". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  43. Frederic J. Baumgartner, Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization (1999) p.166
  44. William E. Wilson, The Angel and the Serpent: The Story of New Harmony (Indiana University Press, 1984) p.11
  45. "Charles Taze Russell—FREE Charles Taze Russell Information | Find Charles Taze Russell Research". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  46. "The writer, among many others now interested, was sound asleep, in profound ignorance of the cry, etc., until 1876, when being awakened he trimmed his lamp (for it is still very early in the morning.) It showed him clearly that the Bridegroom had come and that he is living "in the days of the Son of Man."C.T. Russell (April 1880). "From and To The Wedding". Zion's Watch Tower: 2. 
  47. Russell explained how he accepted the idea of an invisible return of Christ from N.H. Barbour in "Harvest Gatherings and Siftings" in the July 15, 1906 Watch Tower, Reprints page 3822.
  48. The Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World by N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell (1877). Text available online at: Scan of book in PDF format
  49. The Three Worlds, p. 175.
  50. The Three Worlds, pp. 104–108.
  51. See pages 68, 89–93, 124, 125–126, 143 of The Three Worlds.
  52. The year 1914 was seen as the final end of the "day of wrath": ."..the 'times of the Gentiles,' reach from B.C. 606 to A.D. 1914, or forty years beyond 1874. And the time of trouble, conquest of the nations, and events connected with the day of wrath, have only ample time, during the balance of this forty years, for their fulfillment." The Three Worlds, p. 189.
  53. In 1935, the idea that the 6,000 years ran out in 1874 was moved forward 100 years."The Second Hand in the Timepiece of God" (PDF). The Golden Age: 412–413. March 27, 1935. 
  54. "Reappearance/Christ: Lecture I: The Event of the Appearance of Christ in the Etheric World". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  55. Creme, Benjamin Maitreya's Mission Amsterdam:1986 Share International Foundation
  56. Harold Camping (1992). "1994?". Vantage Press, Inc.. ISBN 0533103681. 
  57. Falwell: Antichrist May Be Alive. Sonja Baristic, Associated Press. January 16, 1999.
  58. "The King of Terror - Part 1". 1999-07-04. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  59. "September 13". 2003-07-03. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  60. El Shaddai Ministries/wrs (2008-05-02). "El Shaddai Ministries - Stipulating Eclipse Comments". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  61. Bailey, Alice A. The Reappearance of the Christ New York:1948 Lucis Publishing Co.
  62. Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957—Lucis Press (Compilation of earlier revelations by Alice A. Bailey) Page 508
  63. "Rastafari Movement". 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  64. "''Last Judgment'' passage number 45". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  65. [2][dead link]
  66. Stephen Lambden. "Catastrophe, Armageddon and Millennium: some aspects of the Bábí-Baha'i exegesis of apocalyptic symbolism". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  67. 67.0 67.1 Baker, Gerard. "'Israel right or wrong' is not a grown-up debate." The Times (of London.) 30 March 2007. Web: 10 Dec 2009. {]


  • Explanatory text in The New Jerusalem Bible (1990). Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-14264-1
  • Lewis, C.S. (1960). The World's Last Night and Other Essays. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-698360-5
  • Markus Mühling, Grundinformation Eschatologie. Systematische Theologie aus der Perspektive der Hoffnung, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-525-03619-8, 221–241
  • Heindel, Max, How Shall We Know Christ at His Coming?, May 1913 (stenographic report of a lecture, Los Angeles), ISBN 0-911274-64-2 www
  • James Stuart Russell. The Parousia, A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming

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