This section relates to the physical second coming. It shows that Jesus' physical return awaits the judgment of the princes of this world. We find the pattern for this aspect of the return stated twice in the Bible. The first one is here in Exodus.
Exodus 4:18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.
19 And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
Here we can conclude that Moses could not return to his people till this condition was met, i.e. that those who sought his life were dead. Who was it that sought his life? Pharaoh: a type of Satan. His return to his people depended on the removal of those who sought his life.
And in Mathew 2 where Jesus, as a young boy, cannot return to the land of his people till those who sought his life are dead.
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life
And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. (Matthew 2:19-21 KJV)
Once again, His return to his people depended on the removal of those who sought his life. In this case it's King Herod who sought his life. And King Herod is a type of [guess who?] Satan.
At the end of the Tribulation, before the battle of Armageddon, His return to his people will depend on the removal of those who sought his life.
The point is that Jesus can't return till the powers of heaven are removed. What exactly does that mean? Who are they that sought his life?
Who sought his life but the Kings of this world, or the powers of the air. The principalities and powers ruling in heavenly places. The Powers of Heaven. We find their identity spelled out in this passage from 1 Corinthians where we are told that they are the ones who crucified him.
1 Corinthians 2:
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Here are several other key passages, which mention these powers of the air. It's important to understand who these powers are, for they are the ones who exercise spiritual influence on the minds of men. These powers cloud people's understanding and actually prevent them from hearing the gospel.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39, NKJV).
...having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:1415, NKJV).
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