The event referred to as the second coming is always closely related to the tribulation associated with 'the day of the Lord' which precedes it. It is also frequently linked to the resurrection and the judgment which it precedes.
Heb 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. NKJV
This scripture says that Jesus will only appear a SECOND TIME for salvation to those who eagerly wait for Him. The rest saw Jesus come in judgment.
So when did Jesus say his coming would be?
Matt 10:22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. NKJV
Jesus told the disciples he was speaking to that THEY would not have gone through the cities of Israel (fleeing persecution) before He would come....(ie in their lifetime and their location)
Matt 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." NKJV
Brethren, there are no remaining disciples from Jesus day still alive on earth today. Jesus said his coming would be before the last person there died...so we KNOW Jesus HAS to have returned prior to AD 100 at the latest.
The scriptures give another indication that the time of the second coming should be within the lifetime of at least one of the apostles.
John 21:22 Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."
23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?" NKJV
It is interesting to note that of the apostles ONLY John is believed to have remained alive till AD70 having been banished to the Isle of Patmos.
Jesus was coming to BE REVEALED in all His glory...this is what the book of REVELATIONS is all about. There will be no greater revelation to the world that Jesus IS God than AD 70. And sadly today much of the 'church' has still not and almost stubbornly refuses to acknowledge this event for what is WAS...one which the early church certainly expected in their day. (1 Cor 3:13, 2 Thes 1:7, 1 Pet 4:12-13, 1 Pet 5:1)
Luke 17:30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed . NKJV
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants — things which must shortly take place. NKJV
When Jesus first came he came incognito as a MAN...but when He returned in AD 70 he came as GOD. Israel thought they had merely betrayed a man not realising He was God Himself. (John 11:49-52)
Rev 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." NKJV
Zech 12:10 "And I (God speaking) will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced . Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. NKJV
The tribes of the earth here refers to the 12 tribes of Israel...those who had rejected their Messiah and killed Him. This confirms that Jesus had to appear before that generation passed ...they were His killers who said.... 'his blood be on us and our children' ... THEY would see and and mourn.
He was coming as the Son of Man of Daniel's vision....he came to usher in the NEW KINGDOM ...an everlasting spiritual kingdom and not a temporal physical one as per the Old Covenant.
2 Cor 4:18... while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. NKJV
Dan 7:13 "I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed. NKJV
This is what Jesus quoted from in his promise to the high priest and Sanhedrin who condemned him.
Matt 26:63 And the high priest answered and said to Him,"I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"
64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?" They answered and said,"He is deserving of death." NKJV
Jesus told the priests who condemned Him that THEY would be eye-witnesses.
The priests saw this fulfilled when Jerusalem and the temple were being destroyed around them....and they then KNEW that this was the judgment of God and proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be......and so also did ALL the remaining Jews scattered all around the world. Their whole power base was shattered (Dan 12:7)....no longer were they THE chosen race and special to God.
The reality that GOD had DIVORCED Israel permanently was indisputable in AD 70. This is also the story of Revelations 16 to 19...the harlot is destroyed. And co-incidentally the punishment for harlotry is stoning (just as happened to Jerusalem in AD 70)
The NEW KINGDOM is "not of this world"....and it is one which will NEVER end.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." NKJV
John 14:3 I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. NKJV
Jesus returned as GOD..in Spirit...to judge Israel as per the NUMEROUS Old Testament prophecies.
Today we as believers are now united with Him (1 Cor 6:17; John 17:20-23; 2 Cor 5:17-18; 1 John 3:2) AT OUR REBIRTH!
Col 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, NKJV
The Kingdom is NOT a visible institution.
Luke 17:21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say,'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." NKJV
The coming of Jesus was not an event that would take 2000 years to occur... it was IMMINENT and for 'THIS GENERATION'' who were alive in AD 33 and being persecuted by the Jews who stirred up the Romans and locals because they hated the fact that the gospel had now gone to the Gentiles (Acts 9-28)
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 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. NKJV
Brethren Jesus came IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation of those days (as HISTORY documents) which we know looking back happened in AD 70...the scriptures do NOT speak of an event 2000 year in the future! No other event in history has come close to matching this.
Matt 24:34 (see also Mk 13:30 and Luke 21:32)
34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. NKJV
Bretheren, the scriptures are emphatic that THIS generation...the very people who Jesus was adressing right there in Jerusalem would not have passed away before his return. The bible gives clear indications that a generation is around 40 years so that generation extends typically to AD 73 (Mat 1:17)....so Jesus was either speaking of AD 70 and the destruction of the temple....or you open the case for the argument that he was a false prophet?...or just plain got it wrong?
'I KNOW HIM in whom I have believed'.... do you believe HIM?
Can you doubt ANY of HIS words? ...What about promises that start with "Assuredly I say to YOU"? ... What about promises made over and over in many different forms?
Jesus then states...
Matt 24:34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. NKJV
DO you believe that heaven and earth have passed away? (PS... I do)
Do you believe that JESUS RETURNED IN AD 70 within the time frame He promised?
Do you believe Jesus and His words...or do you rather hold to the condradictory creeds of men above the scriptures?
BUT surely Jesus was to return as a MAN?.... some will counter ... and why did history not record this if it happened?
Please note that this event occurred in the midst of a massive war where all of Jerusalem was destroyed or taken captive...and the WHOLE church had fled to the hills as Jesus instructed. ALL Jewish records were burned including their genealogical archives. There is however no shortage of secular historic records (which is surely something that God's hand has been at work in)....primarily that of Flavius Josephus a Roman historian who was an EYE-WITNESS (The Wars of the Jews published in AD 75) ..which is an essential read....and Tacitus (Histories and Annals). Surely contemporary historic EYE-WITNESS and official records which verify the fulfillment of so much of what was prophecied should be regarded as essential reading for those wanting to understand the prophetic "end time" scriptures?
Acts 1:11 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This (same) Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." NKJV
Please note that the first use of the word 'same' referring to Jesus is NOT in any of the Greek manuscripts. For those who have preached any of the numerous sermons (many posted online) on this topic emphasizing something which is not actually in the sciptures I suggest a good Greek lexicon. The like manner in which he was to return was spelt out in Daniel... (and this is what we should rely on in accordance with the old rule about scripture interpreting scripture...as Jesus taught ...rather than to speculations of men?)
Dan 7:13 "I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
This is also the Jesus of Revelations
Rev 1:13 .. and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. NKJV
Jesus first came in disguise as a man and returned in JUDGMENT revealed in the book of Revelations to be GOD HIMSELF.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
5 Then He who sat on the throne said,"Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
6 And He said to me,"It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. NKJV
The Jesus who came back on the clouds and now dwells with us IS GOD HIMSELF.
John 4: 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NKJV
Brethren GOD IS SPIRIT... and Jesus IS GOD
Could I suggest that those who are still waiting for a 1.7m middle eastern MAN to return on clouds need a revelation of who the real Jesus is?
Matt 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered and said,"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. NKJV
John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. NKJV
Brethren, let us be real...the apostles were not looking forward to the return of a mortal Jesus...or going to live in physical mansions in the sky....but Jesus in ALL HIS GLORY as the Son of God ...and the mansions are the realm where we too will dwell in fellowship with HIM in eternity...as we too are incredibly blessed to be children of God!
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. NKJV
Brethren, in the same way as Israel was guilty of failing to recognise Jesus when he came as a man... so the church today has failed to recognise that Jesus returned in AD 70 as GOD to judge Israel... despite the emphatic words of Jesus himself. Israel were blinded because they were looking for worldly warrior Messiah to come and re-establish David's throne as a 'material kingdom' on earth. In a similar way parts of the the church who are looking for a physical man to return have failed to see the fact that God himself has already come in judgment on Israel exactly as Jesus and the Old Testament scriptures had prophecied!
Brethren, the scriptures speak of a 'SECOND coming or of 'Jesus coming again'. There are NO scriptures that mention a third coming which was to happen later... and if the scriptures which speak of Jesus are ALL fulfilled as Jesus said they would be by approx AD 70 ... this must INCLUDE the coming of Christ on clouds.
For a study on 9 of the signs recorded by Josephus in AD 70...which match scriptures from Revelations refer the following link...
(For those who still believe a physical Jesus will return on the clouds .... please look at the judgment of Egypt for a great example of apocalyptic and prophetic language ...
Isa 19:1 The burden against Egypt.
Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud ,
And will come into Egypt;
The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence,
And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. NKJV
Brethren, NO-ONE was RECORDED seeing God riding the cloud...instead they saw the following...
Isa 20:4 .. so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. NKJV
... in the same way God used the Romans to mete out HIS JUDGMENT ON ISRAEL in AD70)