Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence.Isaiah 64:1
Reality consists of two worlds — two realms — separated by a veil. The physical dimension here on earth is but a shadow — a dim reflection of the spiritual realm — and in this present age we are unable to see behind the veil. Although the heavens are the true substance of things to come, they remain hidden from us — invisible to the naked eye.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.1 Corinthians 13:12
Fortunately, the Bible provides some interesting glimpses into heaven when the veil is partially lifted and man is able to peek behind the curtain, as it were.
Think of Jacob and the stairway to heaven [Genesis 28]. Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John and their visions of the LORD on His throne [Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 6, Revelation 4-5]. Elisha and his servant surrounded by the armies of heaven [2 Kings 6], and Stephen’s vision of Jesus as he was being stoned to death [Acts 7:54-56].
As intriguing as these glimpses into heaven may be, they were limited in scope and vision, but one day that will all change.
This day is what I like to call the Big Reveal!
This is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The day of God’s visitation. The arrival of the King. There is coming a day when the heavens will be ripped open and the Lord Jesus will come down in all His power and glory and every eye will see Him for who He truly is.
It is a singular day — the culmination, crescendo and climax of history. It is the end, the finale. That is why the prophets always refer to this unique day as “the” revelation of Jesus Christ [see Luke 17:28-30, 1 Peter 1:5-7, 13, 4:13]. It is a day like no other.
The return of Jesus is THE BIG REVEAL! For believers … it is the moment we all have been waiting for. For the rest of the world, however, it will be the most dreadful day imaginable.
So how will this Big Reveal go down?
Let’s see what the Bible says.
The Veil will be Torn
Instead of thinking of the heavens as empty “space,” we must understand that the heavens consists of some form of material substance, though invisible to us. This what is known as the very fabric of space. The Bible repeatedly describes God the Creator as the One who “stretches out the heavens” like a tent or a curtain. [see Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 48:13, 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15, Zechariah 12:1]
So if heaven can be stretched out like a tent or curtain, then it stands to reason that it also can be rolled up like a scroll or torn apart. That is precisely what will happen during God’s big reveal. The veil between heaven and earth will be ripped open to reveal the LORD Jesus, and He will at that moment come down in all His power and glory.
Consider the overwhelming testimony of Scripture that describes this unique moment when the veil is torn and Jesus comes down from heaven to earth and treads upon the wicked in judgment.
Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,Isaiah 64:1-2
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
2as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7Then the earth reeled and rocked;Psalm 18:6-12
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! 6Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them!Psalm 144:5-6
Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.Micah 1:3-4
Draw near, O nations, to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. 2For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. 3Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. 4All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.Isaiah 34:1-4
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.Revelation 6:12-14
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.Revelation 19:11
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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.Matthew 24:29-30
There will be no mistaking God’s Big Reveal when the veil between heaven and earth is ripped open and the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth in all His glory!
If that weren’t enough, here are a few more supplemental details that help put this monumental event into perspective.
The Angel Armies will Descend
Once heaven is opened and the veil is lifted, the entire host of heaven will be exposed for all to see.
[God will] … grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.2 Thessalonians 1:7-8
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throneMatthew 25:31
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones.”Jude 1:14
And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.Revelation 19:14-15
The Nations will Mourn
There will be collective wailing and mourning by all who have rebelled against the God of heaven on that day.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.Revelation 1:7
The great Day of the LORD is near— near and coming quickly. Listen, the Day of the LORD! Then the cry of the mighty will be bitter. 15That day will be a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of horn blast and battle cry against the fortified cities, and against the high corner towers. 17I will bring such distress on mankind that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.Zephaniah 1:14-17
Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”Revelation 6:15-17
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.Luke 21:25-27
Fire will Consume the Wicked
The final outpouring of God’s wrath is always associated with an all-consuming fire to be poured out on the wicked.
For behold, the LORD will come in fire,Isaiah 66:15-16
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,
and by his sword, with all flesh;
and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.Nahum 1:6
When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly … But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed … waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12
The Lord Jesus will Come Down to Wage War
God’s Big Reveal culminates with the Lord Jesus coming down from heaven to earth in bodily form to crush the Beast and his armies in the war to end all wars!
Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east … Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.“Zechariah 14:1-3, 5
And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.Revelation 17:12-14
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.2 Thessalonians 2:8
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their fleshRevelation 19:19-21
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!