Revelations from the Word

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The sign of the Son of Man

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"He sat down on the Mount of Olives. And the disciples came privately to ask Him this question: 'Tell us, when will that happen, and what will be the sign of Your Coming and of the end of the world?... Well the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the earth will lament, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send His angels with the resounding trumpet, and He will gather His elect from the four corners of the earth, from one end of the heavens to the other" (Matthew 24:3,30-31).

Jesus replied to His disciples' question concerning the sign of His Coming, on the Mount of Olives, where He was to be taken up and hidden from their eyes by a cloud (Acts 9:9-12). He also promised to prepare a place for them, where He would be going, and return to bring them there (John 14:2-3). As far as "the sign" was concerned He said to them, "The Son of Man will appear in the sky on the clouds" (Matthew 24:30) and "At the sound of the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ shall rise first and the living will all be lifted up with them on clouds, to meet Him in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

As far as "the day and the hour" are concerned, Jesus did not answer directly to the question, "For it is not for you to know the times [chronos] and periods [kairos] that the Father has set by His own authority" (Acts 1:7), but told them to watch carefully, as a disciple does, four specific points and to be instructed:

  • the Gospel of the Kingdom: it has practically been proclaimed throughout the whole world (Matthew 24:14),

  • the maturity of the fig tree (Luke 21:29-30): it represents the re-establishment of Israel in its land that took place in 1948,

  • the time of Noah (Matthew 24:15,32,37): when all of those who had found grace in the eyes of the God had entered the ark, He closed the door and caused the flood to come (Genesis 6 and 7). This time is not yet completed because the door of the Kingdom of God is still open, making use of God's patience towards men to be saved,

  • the day of Lot (Luke 17:28-36): and the day that Lot came out of Sodom… (Genesis 19:15-26). That Day is yet to come, it's "The Day of the Lord".

The man of rebellion, the Antichrist, must first of all appear as well as the apostasy, but his activity will be held back until the taking up of the Bride (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8). This taking up will have the effect of unleashing the power of the man of violence who will still continue to be active for seven years until the time when he will sit down in God's Temple (Daniel 12:11 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4). Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the earth will see Him and lament for they will recognise Jesus, but too late (Matthew 24:30). That is why Jesus said to His disciples, "Watch therefore and pray on all occasions [kairos] … so that you are considered worthy to escape all these things which shall come to pass… and to appear standing before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).