Has the Second Coming Already Happened?

There are some theologians who believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ spiritually descended (returned to earth) on the Day of Pentecost. One of the important facts that automatically dismisses this theory is that the New Testament was written after the Day of Pentecost and all the writers wrote of a future coming of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ said that He would send Another Comforter on the Day of Pentecost not a Second Coming of Himself, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you … But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you … But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning … “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you” (John 14:16-17,26, 15:26-27, 16:7). The teaching that Jesus’ Second Coming was actually the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost (and others that speak of His return before 70 AD) are all variations of Amillennialism (taught mainly by those who subscribe to Augustine’s teachings on the same subject).

Scripturally it is impossible for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost to be the same as the Second Coming of Christ. Despite the fact that there is not the slightest scrap of Biblical evidence to support this view, and that no New Testament writer spoke in such a fashion, we find that there is a great deal of twisting of Scripture before one can come anywhere near such a view. Added to this, there has to be a dismissal of many verses that deal directly with the bodily return of Christ to earth.

There are certain events missing from the scene on the Day of Pentecost that by their absence prove that Christ’s return is yet for a future day. The apostle Peter in Acts 2:16-21 reveals that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” ((see also Joel 2:27-32). His aim of using this prophecy of Joel was to show that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit would be available for all time until the end of the world. The outpouring of the Spirit was the beginning not the end of all things. Never once in his sermon did Peter give any indication that he thought that Jesus had come back. None of the Last Days Signs (blood, fire, smoke, sun turning into darkness, moon turning blood-red) were in evidence at Pentecost, nor have they since then. The manner of the return of Christ does not fit with the events that took place at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 in the upper room, but Christ will be seen by all men as He descends on the Mount of Olives.

Other points must be taken into consideration regarding this false theory of Jesus returning at Pentecost:-

a) When Christ returns He will destroy the Antichrist, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming … And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (2 Thessalonians 2:8, Revelation 19:20). There was no Antichrist present to be destroyed on the Day of Pentecost.

b) Jesus will return immediately after the Tribulation, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:27-31). This Tribulation comes before the Millennial Reign of Christ. There is no mention of any persecution before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

c) Matthew 13:40-43 speaks of the separation of the tares from the wheat. It is very obvious that nothing of the sort happened at Pentecost.

d) The conditions that Jesus said would exist prior to His return were not in evidence then, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:37-42, see also Luke 17:22-37).

e) The Last Days description given by Paul does not correspond with what took place on the Day of Pentecost. There were no “perilous times” (2 Timothy 3:1-4), nor were there Christians falling away into false teachings because of itching ears (2 Timothy 4:1-3).

f) The same is true of Peter’s teaching about the Last Days in 2 Peter 3:3-4, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”. No one, even the mockers, said anything about the Second Coming of Christ. These verse can only be applied in the context of the final days of world history. By themselves they disprove both Amillennialism and Postmillennianism.

g) To have Christ returning on the day of Pentecost would mean that the Millennium is fulfilled (which is advocated by some Amillenniumist). This theory is never found in Scripture, for it speaks of a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ rather than the exaltation of the Church (See Revelation 5:9-10, 11:15, 20:1-10, Daniel 2:44-45, 7:13-14).

h) The Day of Pentecost saw no mass resurrection of the dead as described in Revelation 20:1-15), nor was there anyone caught up in the air with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).

i) The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Titus proves that Israel was not regathered or restored at Pentecost, which must happen before Jesus physically returns to this earth.

The time of Christ’s coming again to earth will be immediately after Daniel’s seventieth week and before the beginning of the Millennium (Revelation 19:11-21, Zechariah 14, Matthew 24:27-31). Therefore it is totally wrong to suggest that the “Day of the Lord” is the same as the Day of Pentecost. To accept this view would mean that the apostle John (and others who wrote concerning the Last Times and the Return of Christ) were writing prophecy to fit past historical events, which in turn suggests that there is no divine inspiration to such prophecies. To classify all prophetic utterances by Jesus and the apostles as mere symbolism discredits by God and His Word.

All Scriptures mentioned above, and many more relating to End Time events, can only find fulfilment in a premillennial, physical Second Coming of Christ.