Previously, I have discussed the appearing of the Lord Jesus at the same time as the Abomination of Desolation. In this event, the Lord Jesus is described as being seen in the clouds, not on earth. There is the opportunity for this event to be confused with the return of Jesus when He sets foot on the Mount of Olives and overwhelmingly conquers the nations of the world that are gathered around Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:1-5)
The appearing of Jesus in the air, which I believe will be seen by everyone on earth, is separate from the return of Jesus to Jerusalem in the land of Israel. When the Lord Jesus conquers all the nations, then shall every knee bow to Him.
Prophecy from Isaiah chapter forty-five:
“Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.” – Isaiah 45:14
“But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” – Isaiah 45:17
“Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations:” – Isaiah 45:20
“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” – Isaiah 45:23
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” – Romans 14:11
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11(All emphasis is by the author.)
The original quotation, “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess,” is found in a Kingdom prophecy by Isaiah. The prophecy is about the return of the Children of Israel to the Land of Israel and the subjugation of all nations. Paul quotes Isaiah 45:23 in Romans and in Philippians, but the original meaning is not changed.
In the Olivet Discourse is the prophecy of “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” (Matthew 24:30-31, et cetera) Because the gathering of Israel back to the promised land will be done by men (Isaiah 49:22), I believe this angelic gathering of the elect is the gathering of Believers.
Jesus will return as King of kings and Lord of lords. He will be the Prince of Peace, and every knee shall bow to Him. While the entire earth will see Jesus in the clouds, in my opinion, before the great Tribulation, this will not be the occasion when Jesus is honored by the world. At that point I believe most people will be confused and rebellious. Later, when the Lord Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of lords as described in the Revelation chapter nineteen, all mankind will bow to Him! How I look forward to that Day!
The Lord Jesus deserves all honor and all praise. May His name be praised forever!