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Insight #41 — “For Saints” vs “With Saints”

June 3, 2000.

Today’s popular theory says that Jesus will return two more times. They say He will first come for the saints (to rapture Christians to heaven). They say that after seven years He will return with those same saints (to end “the tribulation” and usher in “the millennium”). The question is: are there two future comings or are there two groups of saints at one coming?

I try to refrain from mentioning the original Greek; but here it seems necessary–that is, for English readers. For those who use Spanish, no Greek explanation is needed. In this case, Spanish more clearly follows the Greek; English complicates things.

The Greek word “hagios” is used both as a noun and as an adjective. Whether noun or adjective, the Spanish translation is “santo(s).” English, however, uses two different words. When “hagios” is used as a noun, English says “saint.” When “hagios” is used as an adjective, English says “holy.”

Mark 8:38 says  “when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Notice that! Jesus will come with the “holy angels.” “Holy” is the same word as “saint.” God’s human children are holy; they are saints. The angels of God are holy; they, too, are saints. The Greek (and Spanish) word is the same; the confusion is in the English.

Therefore, when Scripture says that Jesus will come with the saints–the holy ones–we have a book-chapter-and-verse clarification that this refers to His coming with His holy angels. Two future comings has no Biblical support. Rather, the Bible teaches that Jesus will come with his saints/holy angels for His saints/holy humans. It is two groups of saints/holy ones, not two different comings.