The Three Appearings of Christ
by Henry Morris, Ph.D. | Mar. 1, 2009
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." (Hebrews 9:24)
Although we usually think in terms of two appearances of Christ, once at His first coming and again at His second coming, the ninth chapter of Hebrews specifically refers to three "appearings," each involving a different Greek word. With reference to His first appearing, we read: "now once in the end of the |age| hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (v. 26). The word used here means "to make manifest." It is the word used in 1 John 3:5: "he was manifested to take away our sins."
His second coming is the topic in Hebrews 9:28, where the word means to show oneself visibly. "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
But there is also a third appearing mentioned in Hebrews 9, and this is the one in our text referring to Christ’s present and perpetual appearance on our behalf in the presence of God in heaven. The word here means "to inform," referring to His advocacy on our behalf as ...