Jesus is coming: What is the Sign? The sign of the second coming of Christ will be a spectacular “opening” (Rev. 19:11) in the sky that causes the “tribes of the earth to mourn”, but these “doors” won’t appear until all the things he predicted occur (Mt. 24:33). Then they see “the Son of man coming in the clouds”:
The Disciples asked Jesus about the Second Coming:
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?…
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. (Mt. 24:3, 30) KJV
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. (Rev 19:11 KJV
Evidently, at least some in the early church believed this to be the second coming sign, in the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles we read:
And then the signs of the truth shall appear: first, a sign of an opening in heaven; then a sign of the sound of a trumpet; and the third sign, the resurrection of the dead. Now, not all of the dead but as was said, the Lord shall come and all the holy ones with him. Then the world will see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.-Brannan, R. (Trans.). (2012). The Apostolic Fathers in English. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Its implicit in Mt. 24:30 Christ will pass through an opening that will be spectacularly visible on earth, because everyone on earth sees it before He and His angels pass through it. Confirming this inference is correct, in Mt. 24:3 refers to the opening as a “door” that He will be near to passing through, when they exprience “all these things” (False Christs, wars and rumors of wars, persecution, false prophets, increasing iniquity, gospels preached throughout the earth, abomination of desolation, great tribulation) then you know it is “at the doors” (Mt. 24:33).
30 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.
31 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.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Mat 24:30-33) KJV
“The doors” are “an opening” connecting heavenly and earthly realms, also Ps. 78:23. In Genesis, the “gate of heaven” is what angels pass through to enter our realm (Gen. 28:17). Elijah passes through swirling vortex opening into heaven (2 Ki. 2;1, 11-12). It follows from account of Christ’s transfiguration there was an connecting door where Christ, Moses and Elijah discussed matters (Mk. 9:1-7) for the dimension of heavenly light shone in our reality lacking that revelation (Mk. 9:3; cp. 1 Cor. 13:9-12). John the Revelator enters heaven through a door (Rev. 4:1). Implicit in the OT statements the “kingdom of God is near” is it was “near at the door about to burst into our realm”. Then “near” is spatial, not temporal.
So Christ did answer the question well. This is similar to their missing Christ’s excellent proof of the resurrection, because He expects the audience to fill in the middle terms.
Christ cites Ex. 3:6 as proof the patriarchs were still alive standing before God, He doesn’t explicitly refer to the physical body. Yet “one of the scribes” perceived Jesus “had answered them well”:
26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? (Mar 12:26-28) KJV
“and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, to them and their descendants,`a land flowing with milk and honey.’ (Deut. 11:9 NKJ)
`The Sadducees asked R. Gamaliel, ” Whence is it known that the Holy One, blessed be He, revives the dead ?” He answered…
“The land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give unto them ” (Deut. xi. 9). It is not stated “unto you,” but “unto them”; hence the doctrine of the Resurrection is deducible from the Torah.”-Abraham Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud,(Schocken Books, NY 1995), p. 358.
Jesus answered well said the scribe. Rabbinic Argument similar to Gamaliel’s. God swore the patriarchs would possess the land forever (Dt. 11:9) therefore their resurrection is implied. As God is the God of the living, they must be living in His presence as He says “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, not “I was.” Therefore, standing in His presence they are a constant reminder of His covenant with them, that they possess the land forever. So their resurrection is required in the Pentateuch which the Sadducees accepted as the Word of God.