Analysis of Hebrews 9:27-28
“And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28
A. Christ “…will appear a second time…” the text says, not mentioning nor even intimating “a third time to initiate the Millennium,” nor “a fourth time.”
R. Michael Hands, Th.D., the self-appointed “Prophet of the Last Days,” teaches “Four Comings of Christ,” in his article “Any Minute, Second Coming Error” available on the Internet.
B. The appearance of Christ “a second time” is synonymous with his Second Coming on “the day of the Lord” that “will come like a thief in the night”. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-11. The text says
Jesus Christ “will appear a second time,” but “not to deal with sin.”
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very explicitly that this Second Time-Second Coming will not be “to deal with sin.”
1. Jesus Christ, in his First Coming, did indeed “deal with sin,” fully and victoriously, in a most personal way through the temptations, hardships, sicknesses, persecutions, and death by crucifixion he suffered, thus becoming a propitiation for the sins of all human beings who confess faith in him, repent of their sins, obey his command to be baptized “for the forgiveness of sins,” and rise up from the waters “to walk in newness of life.” John 3:1-7; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-47; Romans 6:3-7
a) He became “sin” to save, potentially, all human beings. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
b) He became a “Savior” to rescue us from sin and the danger of eternal condemnation. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14
c) During the Common Era (Christian Age for Christians), Jesus Christ is the “great high priest” of the church he himself built. Hebrews 4:8; Matthew 16:18. He has been “in every respect… tested as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. Having “learned obedience through what he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8), Christ has “been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:10. As such, he is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses.” Hebrews 4:15. In his function as the “great high priest” of the church on earth, obviously, Christ deals with sin. This reality is highlighted in Hebrews 9:11-12.
d) During the Common Era, Christ serves his people as an “advocate.” “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. In his role as “advocate,” the Lord Jesus deals with sin.
e) During the Common Era, Christ is the only “mediator” between God and men. “There is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human.” 1 Timothy 2:5. He occupies this position because he “gave himself a ransom for all.” 1 Timothy 2:6.
The blows of the biblical hammer are dealt!
2. So then, during his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ dealt in various ways with sin. Conversely, the very opposite takes place when Christ appears “a second time” for he will thus appear “…not to deal with sin.” Reiterating: …not to deal with sin.” Therefore, from the day of his Second Coming forward, Jesus Christ will definitely not be dealing with sin! This fact means that from the day of his Second Coming forward…
a) Christ will no longer be “sin” so that human beings “might become the righteousness of God.”
b) He will no longer be acting as “Savior.”
(1) The last words of Hebrews 9:28 read: “…but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
However, there is no contradiction whatsoever between “not to deal with sin” and the clause “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Let us consider some relevant parameters.
Those “who are eagerly waiting for him” do so because they have believed his gospel, having “purified” their “souls by” their “obedience to the truth…” 1 Peter 1:22. When, then, Christ appears “a second time”, they receive “the outcome of” their “faith, the salvation of” their “souls” (1 Peter 1:9), that is, “eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9) or “eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12
The entire process of coming to the point of receiving “eternal salvation,” immortality, and “entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… richly provided” (2 Peter 1:11) is not completed until each just one is clothed, by means of the resurrection, with his new imperishable, glorious, powerful “spiritual body.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
(2) Therefore, it is surely evident that the expression “to save those who eagerly waiting for him” does in no way contradict the clause “not to deal with sin.”
When Christ appears “a second time” they do not need to be pardoned and saved again. Now, they will be awarded “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day” writes the apostle Paul, adding: “and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8
c) When Christ appears “a second time, not to deal with sin,” his function as “great high priest” will no longer be the same because he will no longer be dealing “with sin.” Since both the “saints” who have died in the Lord and those who are transformed without experiencing physical death on the day Christ appears “a second time” are themselves glorified and their eternal salvation is absolutely assured, they will no longer have any “weaknesses” whatsoever for which Christ, as high priest, might “sympathize.” The “second death” will not have power over them. They will never sin again!
d) They will never sin again! Consequently, it will not be necessary for Christ to continue his role as “advocate.”
e) Neither will he need to continue as “mediator,” the reasons being the same as those stated in c) and d).
D. However, according to the doctrines of the Rapturites, Jesus Christ would have to continue dealing “with sin” after his appearing “a second time” because they teach…
1. That “people who are not prepared for the rapture as they interpret it” will be “left behind to continue living on the earth, and not only dwelling on planet Earth but also continuing to commit sin.”
2. That “the Antichrist arises on earth after the Second Coming of Christ.
3. That “Christ will then set foot on planet Earth, confronting the Antichrist together with all his followers and forcing the nations to submit to his will.”
4. That “after the Millennium, Christ will come a third time, according to some, and even a fourth time, say others, to put an end to sin once and for all.”
5. Thus, as per the doctrines of the Rapturites, Christ would most certainly be dealing “with sin,” and a lot of it, after his Second Coming. Clearly, the Rapturites are openly and gravely in conflict with the teachings of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, and God the Father.
After the Second Coming of Christ
“not to deal with sin,” WHAT?
E. Given that Christ will “appear a second time, not to deal with sin,” I categorically affirm that after his Second Coming….
1. There will not be “seven years, divided in equal parts of three and a half years, first of peace, then of war.” They base their interpretation on the “seventy weeks” prophecy revealed by the angel Gabriel to Daniel (Daniel 9:20-27), particularly that of the “one week” mentioned in verse 27.
That prophecy was given to the earthly people of Israel. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the prophecies on the Second Coming of Christ. “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city: to finish the transgression…” Daniel 9:24. For what people and what city? For the earthly people of Israel and for the earthly city of Jerusalem!
2. There will not be a “Millennium” on the earth after the Second Appearance of the Lord, which is “not to deal with sin.” The biblical “thousand years,” popularly known today as the “Millennium,” transpires before the “little while” identified in Revelation 20:3 and before the Second Coming of Christ. All during the biblical Millennium people are free to sin. The one huge difference is that, generally speaking, the rulers of nations are not deceived by the Devil to the degree of persecuting the true church. They legislate freedom of religion, not torturing nor killing Christians for their beliefs and practices.
3. Every doctrine, modern prophecy or interpretation of biblical prophecies that does not harmonize with these simple, elemental truths should be classified, so I firmly believe, as erroneous teaching, deceiving, and dangerous to souls, and their propagators should be held as “conceited, understanding nothing… bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” 1 Timothy 5:3-5
Did Jesus Christ appear “a Second Time”
in the year 70 CE?
The correct understanding of the expression “will appear a second time, not to deal with sin” also completely disproves, so I reason, the doctrine that says: “Christ appeared a second time in the year 70 of the first century EC, fulfilling all the prophecies of the New Testament on the Second Coming.
Supposing that the Lord did thus come “a second time” in the year 70 CE, how can “not to deal with sin” be harmonized with a Second Coming precisely to castigate a specific people, namely the Israelites, for their obstinate incredulity, but also to leave the survivors alive on earth to continue sinning, plus all the Gentiles to do the same, from there on to the end of the universe and time?
While it might be said that “the Lord came providentially against Israel both in 70 EC and in 135 EC, he will appear literally (personally) only one more time! “...a second time.” LITERALLY and PERSONALLY; this is the key term. “…will appear,” literally, “a second time, not to deal with sin.” He will not again so appear on any other occasion. Is that not exactly what the Holy Spirit teaches about the Second coming of Christ? Only one literal, personal Second Coming!
They do not even know the conditions for pardon
established by Jesus Christ in the Great Commission!
G. Listening to or reading and analyzing the typical messages of the Rapturites, we quickly see that they do not even correctly teach the conditions for pardon of sins set forth in the Great Commission of the Lord. He said: “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16
Notwithstanding such clear doctrine, the Rapturites eliminate baptism “for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38; 22:16) from the Great Commission, alleging that pardon of sins is granted by God the Father and Christ the Son in the instant a person “makes a profession of faith” or “prays the prayer of the sinner for pardon.” No verse in the Bible supports these doctrines. They contradict every relevant commandment and example in the New Testament.
If you, beloved reader, agree with this analysis of “will appear, a second time” but “not to deal with sin,” however, find yourself in a church or movement that teaches the opposite, may I respectfully encourage you to take the necessary steps to make the pertinent change in your spiritual life and journey. Not to please or follow me, nor any other person, but to join souls obedient to God’s truth who will be saved eternally because they have prepared themselves biblically for the “new heavens and the new earth.”
May the Lord enlighten your heart for salvation, as well as my own and that of all who “love the truth.”
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
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