Friday, April 29, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Millennial Kingdom (Part 5)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Don Perkins
Don Perkins
Founder and Director
According to Prophecy Ministries


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Revelation 20 on the Millennium (Continued)

Final Rebellion
Let's get down to Revelation 20:7-9, "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

God is going to allow the influence of the Devil to come back onto the earth. What God is going to do here is sifting. God is going to expose the hearts of man who really don't want to worship and honor Him during this Millennial Kingdom. You are asking, "Brother Perkins, you mean to tell me they are going to have Christ here on the earth and men will not want to worship Him?" That is correct. The sin nature will still be there. Christ will be there. Over a duration of the 1,000 years many people who will be born during that time may not be sensitive to the horrific events that took place prior during the Tribulation, prior to us getting there in that almost utopian state. For whatever reason, many people's hearts then will not really honor Christ. So, God will allow Satan's influence to come back onto the earth so that many people's hearts will be exposed.

What's amazing to me about this particular prophecy is that the Bible says that when Satan's influence is released in the Millennial Kingdom he will deceive a number which is like the sands of the sea. That's a lot of people! We are going to have probably billions being deceived, but these are the very same people who didn't honor Christ during the Millennial Kingdom anyway. The Bible even tells Zechariah that some nations will not come to worship Christ at that time and so He will not allow rain to fall upon their lands. It is amazing, but God is going to allow this sifting of the hearts to take place.

I want to quote Dr. David Reagan here, because I think he gives a really good analysis on this in his book, God's Plan for the Ages. If you don't have this book, I encourage you to get it because he gives a good analysis of what is going to happen. He writes, "God is going to prove this point by using the Millennium like an experimental laboratory. He is going to place mankind in a perfect environment of peace and prosperity for 1,000 years. Satan will be bound, righteousness will abound. Yet, at the end when Satan is released, most people will rally to him when he calls the nations to rebellion against Jesus Christ. The Millennium will prove that what man needs is not a new society, but a new heart."

That is exactly what is going to happen. Men will even while in the splendors of the Millennial Kingdom not want to honor Christ. So, God is going to allow the influence of the enemy to come back in like a sifter and their hearts will be exposed and then everyone of them will be judged for their hard heartedness and rebellion.

Devil's Demise
Revelation 20:10 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. The Bible says here, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire, burning with fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." I love this prophecy because this is the prophecy of Satan's judgment. This is the demise of the Devil.

When I was a young child, growing up I was always taught that I should never study the book of Revelation because I would lose my mind if I studied it. What happened was that even though I was a Christian I would never go into the book of Revelation. I had a fear of it. How the Lord has such a wonderful sense of humor! He called me to preach Bible prophecy. And, I say, "God, it is amazing to me that you have called this little fellow who was afraid of Revelation to study it." But, what I found are some powerful truths in this wonderful book. And, here is one of those amazing truths that I found out — the Devil did not want me to study Revelation because it shows the end of the Devil. He didn't want me to preach His end. And, what I do now, Saints, is when the Devil starts messing in my life and family I start prophesying to Him. I start quoting Revelation 20:10. I remind the Devil of his eternal end and that God is going to judge him.


Radical Results

Here are the results of the Millennial Kingdom. There are just so many benefits from this wonderful time.

  1. Christ will come to be King over the Earth.
  2. Jesus will rule the world at this time.
  3. Jesus will remove Satan's influence in the earth.
  4. Jesus will show mankind that He will still sin without a Devil.
  5. The knowledge of Christ will literally fill the whole world.
  6. The saints will reign with Christ.
  7. Israel will actually experience the full covenant.

Another benefit is that there will finally be true peace in Jerusalem. The Bible commands us in Psalm 122:6 to, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee." I really believe that when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem we are literally praying for the Millennial Kingdom, because that is the only time Israel will experience a true peace.

Right now, all we have is photo ops for Presidents. Every President has come along promising they're going to solve the Middle East crisis, but all that happens is they have a photo op with the current administration and nothing happens. Before the ink dries, war breaks out. God will never allow man to have that kind of glory from stabilizing the region. We know based on Zechariah's prophecy that region is unstable by God's design because it is going to bring glory to Christ when He returns and stabilizes it. Jerusalem will experience a lasting peace because of the Savior.

So, this coming Millennial Kingdom will be an awesome time. It is an awesome event, and I just barely touched the surface of it. If you get anything out of this wonderful biblical teaching, know that every born again believer will have their future in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Millennial Kingdom (Part 4)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Don Perkins
Don Perkins
Founder and Director
According to Prophecy Ministries


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Revelation 20 on the Millennium (Continued)


Satan Bound (Continued)
Man is going to be given an almost perfect environment in which to live during the Millennial Kingdom, but he is still going to sin. With Satan bound throughout that time, mankind will not be able to blame their sin on the Devil. But, God is only going bind him for that short season.

What amazes me is that God will dispatch only one angel to bind the Devil. He doesn't release a whole legion of angels. Just one angel can bind the devil and throw him into the Pit. I like that part!

I want to quote Dr. Finis Dake from his book, God's Plan for Man. Listen to what he says, "This angel will lay hold on Satan [and] will overpower him by actual combat, bind him with a great chain, [and] cast him into the abyss where he will be there for 1,000 years." Satan has set over him a seal over the Abyss to keep him there so he cannot deceive the nations until the Millennium is over. Thus, we see that Satan is a literal being. His doom is literal. He is to be bound by a literal angel with a literal chain cast into a literal abyss and sealed with a literal seal for the period or duration of the Millennial Kingdom. The enemy will be bound and cast into that prison for 1,000 years. It's going to be wonderful not to have the enemy during that time.

Resurrected Tribulation Saints
Revelation 20:4 describes, "I saw thrones and they that sat upon them and judgment was given unto them. And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast neither his image, neither receive his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. They lived and reigned with Christ a 1,000 years."

As I mentioned earlier, there will be those who will die in the Tribulation who have finally accepted Christ. Prior to this 1,000 year beginning, God will resurrect them. They will be in glorified bodies like the Church and they are going to rule and reign with us as well. The Bible says that these people died for their testimony and because they didn't take the Mark of the Beast. They didn't worship the Antichrist. God is going to resurrect them and they will reign with us during the Millennial Kingdom.

Resurrected Rebels
Revelation 20:5 explains what will become of those who never responded to God in faith compared to those who responded in faith. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

This is going to be an awesome time. Even those who died in Christ during the Tribulation will be resurrected. The Bible says that they are part of what is called the "First Resurrection." Now, many people have gotten that term mixed up and they try to twist it, but the First Resurrection is an all inclusive resurrection that literally started with the resurrection of Christ. Christ Jesus was the first guided unto God. He was the first to rise eternally in a physical body. The Rapture Saints will rise from the dead. The Two Witnesses will rise from the dead. And now, we have the saints who died in the Tribulation and they will also rise from the dead. So, all of us who have died in Christ will literally rise from the dead with Christ and the Bible calls that the First Resurrection.

But, the passage says this, "But the rest of the dead." In other words, there are still some people who are dead and waiting judgment in the earth during the Millennial Kingdom, and those rest of the dead will not live again until the Millennium is over.

So, what is going to happen to the unbelieving dead? There will be a last resurrection at the close of the Millennial Kingdom. God will have one last resurrection, but it will be the resurrection of the damned. They will be raised from the dead. The Bible said they are raised unto damnation. It is going to be really, really bad for them because they will be raised to go before the great White Throne Judgment. God will judge them and they will be cast into the Lake of Fire. So, blessed are those who are part of the First Resurrection, for the Second Death and Lake of Fire will hold no power over them.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Millennial Kingdom (Part 3)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Don Perkins
Don Perkins
Founder and Director
According to Prophecy Ministries


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Living Conditions in the Millennial Kingdom

Let's look at the living conditions during the Millennium. There is so much we could talk about, but I am going to only hit on a few things here. These living conditions are really amazing in regards to what Christ is going to do.

Animal Kingdom
Isaiah 65 teaches us about the nature of the animal kingdom. In Isaiah 65:25 it says, "'The wolf and the lamb will feed together and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and the dust shall be the serpents meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all of my holy mountain,' said the Lord."

Isaiah 65 proves that we are not in the Millennium. I am from San Diego and we have the world famous San Diego Zoo. When I go there I can see the big old lions, and let me tell you something, you can't give those boys straw to eat. If you throw some straw in there, they are just going to made a bedding out of it. They are going to move around in it and lie down on it. They won't eat any straw. But, if you put some flesh in with them, they will tear it up. So, we know that we are not in the Millennial Kingdom, and that is one of those simple truths. Sadly, there are people who will debate you and try to make you believe that we are in the Millennium. Isaiah 65 proves otherwise.

Here is another great passage on what the animal kingdom will be like during the Millennial Kingdom. Isaiah 11:6 describes, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."

The predatory nature of the beast will be taken away by Christ. A partial lifting of the curse is a precursor to the eternal world. A child will be able to play with a poisonous snake and he won't be bitten. God is going to remove that nature to attack out of the beast. This is just a precursor to what eternity is going to look like.

I am looking forward to it, Man, I'm looking forward to it. I have already put my request in for two lions. Match me up with two good lions. I'm going to take those lions with me into the new world which is only for the Redeemed.

Celebration
Zechariah 14:16 describes that in the Millennium, "it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Host and to keep the Feast of Tabernacle."

During the Millennial Kingdom, we will go up year after year and worship the Lord. The Feast of Tabernacle we will celebrated with worship with the Lord. It's going to be a beautiful time, I mean, just a wonderful time, and it's going to be exciting!

Long Life
The Bible says in Isaiah 65:22 that long life will be given back to mankind. The Scripture here tells us that mankind in earthly bodies will live as long as a tree. Those who die during the Millennium the Bible says where born during that time and will die at the age of 100. They will be the ungodly who will die at the age of 100. Age 100 will be considered as being merely a child. To think that the lifespan of man will go beyond 70 years and we will live as long as a tree and those who die at 100 will be considered a little child at that time — wow! The Millennium is going to be an amazing event for those who are part of it.


Revelation 20 on the Millennium

Let's look at the scriptural bases for the Millennium found in the book of Revelation chapter 20. Here's where we're going to see the actual account of the 1,000 years and what Christ is going to do there.

Satan Bound
The first event starting off the Revelation 20 account of the Millennial Kingdom is God dispatches an angel to bind the Devil. Chapter 20 verse 1 says, "And I saw an angel come down from Heaven having the key to the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he lay hold on the dragon that old serpent which is the Devil and Satan and bound him for 1,000 years." When I first started studying Bible prophecy, this was an amazing prophecy to read because it let me know that God will dispatch an angel to bind the Devil.

Verse 2 contains four different titles for the Devil. The Lord wants us to know exactly who He is talking about and who has been bound at that time. He's called "that old serpent." He's the serpent from the Garden of Eden, the one who tempted Eve. He's the "dragon" from Revelation 12. Earlier he is called the "accuser of the brethren" in Revelation 12. He's also called "Satan," or "the adversary." Revelation 20:2 provides four different titles describing with who will be bound. It is so amazing that God is going to dispatch an angel to bind the Devil for 1,000 years.

Revelation 20:3 explains the reason behind the binding of Satan. "And cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon him that he shall deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years shall be fulfilled and after that he must be loosed for a little season."

When I first started reading this I asked, "Lord, you are going to bind the Devil for a 1,000 years and then you are going to release Him?" I said, "Lord, what are you doing? Lord, when you bind the Devil, leave Him bound!" And, the Lord replied, "Son, I want you to read on. Keep on reading the Scripture and you are going to find out some things."

Well, we are going to see that God is up to something even in the Millennial Kingdom. He is going to bind the Devil for a period where Satan's influence will not be on the earth to deceive mankind. The sin nature of man will still be there and it won't effect the glorified, but the natural believers coming out of the Tribulation who are going into the Millennial Kingdom will still be given in marriage and child bearing. Their babies will still have the sin nature and many of them will still want to sin. But, Satan's influence is not going to be there. God will put them into a perfect environment. He is going to show man that even given a perfect utopian environment, without Christ they will still sin.

In the next segment we'll look more at what Revelation 20 teaches concerning life in the Millennial Kingdom.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Millennial Kingdom (Part 2)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Don Perkins
Don Perkins
Founder and Director
According to Prophecy Ministries


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Different Millennial Views (Continued)

Pre-Millennial View
Let's look at the Pre-Millennial view. This is the view that I do hold to and teach on. This view holds that Jesus Christ will return to earth literally and bodily before the Millennial age begins and that by His presence a kingdom will be instituted over which He will reign and that all of Israel's covenants will literally be fulfilled. The Kingdom will continue for 1,000 years after which it will be given by the Son to the Father when it will be merged with His Eternal Kingdom.

Generally speaking, ones view of interpreting the Scripture depends on whether or not he or she is a Pre-millennialist. For the most part, all who believe the Bible to be literal are Pre-millennialists.

Again, I want to just throw this in here, but I do believe that the Pre-millennial view is the right view. The reason why is because this view stands the test of Scripture. It gives a clear and balanced perspective on God's end time program with clarity. It makes plain sense of the Scriptures. As a colleague once said, "When the plain sense makes sense, there is no other sense, unless you wind up with nonsense." And, that is so true.

Many people hold crazy views, you know? Some people teach that we are in the Millennium now. I have met many people who hold to that view and I say to them, "Wait a minute, Brother, we can't be in the Millennium now since first of all Christ isn't ruling on the Throne of David."

We are going to see a little bit later that during the Millennium Kingdom God is going to change the whole nature of our whole society, even the nature of the animals as the animal kingdom will change. You've heard the lion will eat straw. So, again, we are not in that Millennial Kingdom yet, but it's coming and again we will be there to experience a wonderful, wonderful event.


Promises of Christ's Reign

I want to give you some promises of Jesus' reign. There are some promises to Christ's literal reign that apply to us all. Let's look at some Scriptures related to those promises.

Acts 1:6-7
Let's look at Acts 1:6-7. This takes place right after Jesus' resurrection but before He ascended to Heaven. Jesus was spending time with His disciples and the disciples were wondering, "Okay, Lord, you died on the cross and you have been resurrected and now you are with us. So, Lord, at this time are you going to set up the Kingdom?" Look at verse 6, "When they therefore come together they asked of Him saying, 'Lord will thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?' And He said unto them, 'It is not for you to know the times of the seasons which the Father has put in His own power.'"

The Jews there did something that we today do the opposite of. Let me explain what I mean by that. See, Israel wanted the Kingdom. They wanted Christ to bring in the Kingdom. Now, Jesus came first of all to die to provide any who accepted Him as Savior eternal life, and then He would bring in the Kingdom. Well, they had Christ. He died. But, they wanted the Kingdom. They longed for the Kingdom and not for Christ. We do just the opposite today. Do you know what we do? We want Christ, but we don't want His Kingdom. We do just the opposite. We want Christ, but we don't want anything to do with a physical reign of His Kingdom. We look at Christ and we have Him today. He is seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father. We believe we are seated with Him spiritually in the heavenly places, that the Kingdom is here in the Church, and that is as far as we go. We don't want a physical return of Christ. We don't want a physical Kingdom. We don't want Jesus to come in and set up a physical government.

But, guess what, Saints? Jesus must physically reign in order to fulfill prophecy. The Jews had Him, but they wanted the Kingdom. We today have Him, but don't want the Kingdom. How sad!

Isaiah 9:6-7
Let me give you another verse. I love this verse. It's in the book of Isaiah chapter 9. I call Isaiah 9 the "holiday verse" because it is the only time we really use this verse. In Isaiah 9:6-7, the Bible says:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

When we read verse 6 — "For unto a child is born, for unto us a son is given" — we normally at Christmas time just stop there. We don't read any further into the prophecy. We look at Mary's baby and we see the baby in the manger and we see those things, but we never go further into the prophecy. We know that Christ came as a child, we know that, but we never have seen Him officiate as ruler. The Bible says here, "The government shall be upon his shoulders." In other words, the responsibility of ruling will literally be on Christ. He is going to be King. Again, this is a physical prophecy — a promise of Jesus' reign on the earth. Christ will do it.

Zechariah 14
Here's another promise of Christ's coming reign from Scriptures. Zechariah 14 is used all the time. This Second Coming text is a literal prophecy concerning Jesus coming back to planet Earth. In verse 4 it says:

"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."

At the Second Coming, Jesus is coming back with all the Saints. But, look at verse 9. Verse 9 is a millennial verse which belongs to the Millennium. "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." At the Second Coming, it says here Jesus is coming back to set up His government.

I just can't help saying it again, I love that we are going to be a part of that administration. The Saints are going to be a part of what Christ is doing.

Daniel 7:18, 27
Let me give you some prophecies showing you not only that Christ will reign, but we the saints will literally rule and reign with Him as well. Daniel 7 verse 18 promises, "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." And, in verse 27 it continues, "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

Now, we do know that though there is a 1,000 year reign of Christ, the 1,000 year reign is really a precursor to the eternal world. The rule and reign will just begin with that 1,000 years. God has put a time limit on the 1,000 year reign since it's a precursor to the eternal world.

Revelation 2:26-27
John is told that those who are saved and are in glorified bodies are going to literally rule and reign with Christ. Revelation 2:26-27 holds a promise to the Church. Listen to what Jesus says, "He that overcometh, and keep my works until the end, to him will I give power over the nation." This is a promise that we will reign. We will rule under Christ. If you are an overcomer as a member of the Church, Jesus has promised you that he will give you power to rule and reign over the nations. Jesus shall rule over all of them with a rod of iron, and we too will literally rule and reign in service of our Savior.

Revelation 5:10
Revelation 5:10 declares, "And have made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." Believers are going to reign on planet Earth with Christ. We are going to literally rule and reign with Him.

Revelation 20:4
And, last here, Revelation 20:4 says, "And which have not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received the mark upon their foreheads are in their hands and they lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years." This passage deals with the people who were martyred in the Tribulation. Just prior to the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom, God is going to resurrect them and then they will also reign with the glorified saints during the 1,000 year reign of Christ.


Monday, April 25, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Millennial Kingdom (Part 1)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Don Perkins
Don Perkins
Founder and Director
According to Prophecy Ministries


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The millennial reign of Christ — I love this teaching so much! As Christians every one of us will be a part of this event and we are going to see some beautiful things. At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when Christ will literally come back, the faithful throughout history who will be living in glorified bodies will come back with Jesus and go into His Millennial Kingdom, this 1,000 year reign of Christ.


Outline

What is the millennial reign? I like to define a subject first. We will then look at the order of events leading to Christ's rule. Next, we will look at different views that are taught regarding this area. We will look at the promise of His reign, as well as the promise of the Saints reigning with Christ. We'll see the living conditions of the Millennial Reign. And then, we will close up with the scriptural basis, actually looking at Revelation 20 for the Millennium.


Millennial Reign of Christ Defined

What is the Millennial Reign of Christ? First of all, I want to define the term "millennium," because it is one of those words a lot of people may not understand. I do like the ABC's of prophecy, and I like to define terms. So, the term "millennium" is taken from two Latin words: mille which means "1,000," and anam which means "years." When the words are combined the new word simply means "1,000 years."

The Millennial reign of Christ is a 1,000 years literal reign. There are many people today who don't really believe that Christ will physically come back to reign, but we are going to see that He must come back and He will reign. You might say, "Brother Perkins, I thought when Christ comes back He is going to rule forever." Well, He will rule forever, but we've got to see that God has ordained a 1,000 year period in prophecy and that period will accomplish something in the program of God. It is going to be wonderful.

This period of time in which Jesus Christ will reign on the earth for 1,000 years is in fulfillment of many prophecies. During this rule of Christ, Satan will be bound and sealed in the Bottomless Pit, so he will have no influence on the earth to deceive mankind. I really love that part of prophecy, because during the Millennial Kingdom God is going to bind the Devil. Satan will be cast into a bottomless pit and there he will have no influence during the time of the Millennial Kingdom. Even though there will still be sin during the Millennium, Satan's influence will not be there. A man that sins in the Millennium won't be able to say, "The Devil made me do it." The Devil won't be around during that time, and I will tell you a little more about that in regards to why later.

At that time Jesus Christ will rule the entire world. He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will sit on the throne of King David ruling from Israel. We know that Christ came the first time and the Jews hailed Him as King. They threw the palm branches in front of Him. But, we know that Jesus never physically officiated as king and ruler on the throne of David. He never really sat on the throne of David. That is a physical prophecy that literally must come to pass, and Christ will fulfill that prophecy.

I want to quote Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, in his book, Things to Come. Listen to what he says regarding the Millennial Reign of Christ:

"The millennial period will be a period of the full manifestation of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be the manifestation of the glory associated with the humanity of Christ that will be the glorious dominion in which Christ by virtue of His obedience unto death is given full dominion to replace that dominion which Adam lost."

That will be the glorious government in which Christ as David's son is given absolute power to govern. That will be the glorious inheritance in which the land and the sea promised to Abraham are realized through Christ. This is going to be an awesome time, this Millennial Kingdom. Christ is going to literally rule and reign!

I want to quote Dr. John Walvoord. Listen to what he says:

"Advocates of this view hold that the millennial period in which Christ will literally reign on the earth as a supreme political leader and that many promises of the Old Testament relating to a kingdom on earth in which Israel will be prominent and the Gentiles will be blessed will have complete and literal fulfillment because the distinctive character of this Millennial reign of Christ is maintained in contrast to the present age. This age is sometimes designated as a dispensational interpretation."

In other words, it is a period of time that God has ordained in Scripture. This Millennial Kingdom is a 1,000 year government. This 1,000 year reign is when Christ will literally sit on the throne as the political leader. You know, we are living in a time now where we need true political leaders. The world today doesn't really understand government. We know that because we have lawmakers that make laws that are contrary to God. We need true biblical leaders. At the time of the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus will sit on the Throne of David as the leader of the world. And, again, it is going to be a blessed event for the Redeemed.


Order of Events

Let's now look at the order of events leading up to Jesus Christ's rule. We will see some beautiful things.

God has a divine order from which the Tribulation transformers into the Millennium. The close of the Tribulation period will be the Second Coming of Christ. Here the Savior Jesus Christ will literally come back physically riding a white horse. Jesus rode into Jerusalem as king during His First Coming based upon Zechariah's prophecy. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. They declared Him King of Israel. They put the palms in front of Him. But, a few days later, they cried, "Give us Barabbas!" They killed Him. At that time Christ never officiated as king on the throne.

Many of the Jews at the time of Jesus' First Coming really wanted Christ to take the throne. They wanted Jesus to be Lord and Conqueror, but He didn't. He understood prophetic timing. As a matter of fact, in the Gospel of John chapter 6, there is an account where Jesus did some miracles. He performed the miracle of the fish and the five loaves. He feed the 5,000. The Scripture tells us down in verse 13 that when the people realized that Jesus was the Messiah and King, the Scripture says that Jesus perceived in His heart that the people would force Him to be King at that time. The Bible said that Jesus removed Himself because He realized that if he stayed there, those people would try to put Him on the throne, but it was not time yet. Though Jesus is King of Israel and was called to be King, there is a divine order for when that is going to happen. Jesus came first to die. He rode in lowly on a donkey. But, I want to say something, Saints, our Savior's donkey riding days are over! He's riding no more donkeys. When He comes back the next time, He is coming back as a man of war and He will literally reign upon the throne over the entire Earth.

As Jesus comes back at the Second Coming, it will produce an event called the Battle of Armageddon. This Battle of Armageddon will be an amazing battle because here Christ is literally taking authority. He is going to shake the earth! He is going to come as a man of war! The Scripture says that when Christ comes back at that time, He is coming back with fire in His eyes. The world has never seen Christ in this capacity. We look at Christ today and we think of Him as being Mary's little baby. We only see Him in the manger. But, when Christ returns, we won't see Him in this weakened capacity. He is coming back as a man of war to take authority over the Earth.

When Christ returns at the Second Coming, He is coming back with His administration. That is going to be everyone of us who was raptured. Those of us at the time who were raptured and glorified will go up to Christ, we will go to the judgment seat of Christ, we will go to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and as the food digests we will mount up on horse and then we will come back down to earth with Christ. But guess what, Saints? We glorified saints are literally coming with Christ to go into His administration. We will be in key positions of authority to help Christ govern the world.

Jesus is coming back with the glorified ones, and the glorified ones who are coming with Him will be like Him. We will literally judge like Him. The sin nature will no longer be a part of our being. So, at the Second Coming when Jesus comes back, we are going to come with Him and go into His government.

What I love so much about Christ coming back and setting up His government is that the world will worship Him. He will truly be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The world will bow their knee to honor Jesus Christ as King. He will officially sit on the throne of His Father David. And, what else I love so much about this even is that we the righteous will be a part of this great event.


Different Millennial Views

I must give you some different views in regards to the Millennial Kingdom, because there are a number of views out there, and I want to give them to you just in case you may bump into some who don't hold to a view of a Millennial Kingdom.

Amillennial View
The first one I want to give you is the Amillennial view. Let me define it for you. The Amillennial interpretation is a denial that there will be a 1,000 year reign of Christ after His return to earth. It is an Amillennial or non-millennial view because it denies such a literal reign of Christ on the earth. This view was developed in 400 AD by Saint Augustine and it was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 430 AD at the Council of Ephesus. It is called the Amillennial View meaning that there will not be a Millennial Reign. They don't believe that Christ will physically return to planet Earth.

I am going to tell you this, if Christ does not physically come back to planet Earth, you might as well throw your Bible away because He will fulfill every jot and tittle. This is one reason why Jesus is coming back — to fulfill prophecy. As I shared earlier, Jesus fulfilled the first prophecies that brought Him to the cross. Well, there are future prophecies that are also about Jesus' life, and He will fulfill them as well, and again we will witness that.

Post-Millennial View
The next view is called the Post-Millennial view. This view basically suggests that the world will get better and better until the whole world is Christianized, at which time Christ will return to a kingdom of peace. This view was originated by Daniel Whitby in 1638 to around 1726. He was a Unitarian in England. Although he was censored for some of his heretical views, many conservative theologians rapidly embraced and propagated his viewpoint on the Millennium.

Again, this view teaches that the world will basically get better and better. Many who hold to this view believe they can get into government and basically turn the world around and make it a better place. Well, I've got to tell you something, it won't happen without Christ. God will not allow any man to have that kind of glory. As a matter of fact, the unstableness in the nation of Israel today is really by God's design. The world cannot have true peace unless the Messiah sits on the throne of peace. Jesus' return is the only way that peace will actually take place in the world. Christ must come back in order to stabilize that peace.

As a matter of fact, the Scriptures predict that the world is going to get worse before it gets better. We can't make it better. Man has tried his humanistic way to bring in a utopia, but it never works. It never works. Mankind cannot create a lasting peace, so this Post-Millennial view is not a viable view.

In the next segment we'll continue to look at the major views concerning the Millennial reign of Christ, starting with the Pre-Millennial view.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Rapture (Part 4)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries


PDFMP3Facebook



Another great GodTube video that provides a visual example of what it might be like when the Rapture happens is "Everyday Life."

[See second video illustration in video above or on GodTube.]

The people were just doing everyday things, as the video is titled. What I particularly like about this wonderful Rapture video is the people's faces when they realize what is happening. Some of them look terrified like, "What is that?" Others, oh, they know what was happening. Isn't it amazing to think that when the Rapture finally happens it will be for some like, "Wow, finally, it is what I've been waiting for all this time!" And, for others, they will be puzzled and wonder, "What's going on?"


Other Resurrections

In previous segments we covered those people who will be resurrected at the Rapture — both the dead and alive in Christ who have lived from Jesus resurrection to the Rapture. But, what about the faithful from the Old Testament? Don't they deserve to be part of the Rapture? Well, the Bible reveals in Daniel 12:1-2 that those Old Testament people who by faith believed in God and then upon Jesus' death had His blood cover their sins, they will be resurrected at the end of the seven year Tribulation. And, for those who die believing in Jesus as their Savior during the Tribulation, they too will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation.

The Church was created upon Jesus' Resurrection and covers all who accepted Christ up until the day He returns for the Rapture. The Rapture is for the Church alone.


Works While Waiting

We are told to do three things while we wait upon the Lord.

1) Be Watchful
The first is, as we wait on the Lord we need to be watchful. Over and over in scriptures we are told that we need to be watching for the appearance of the Lord. For instance, Jesus in Matthew 24:44 says, "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you don't expect Him." Many are just not expecting Him. Or, later in Matthew 24:42, "Therefore keep watch because you don't know on what day the Lord will come." There are no signs preceding the Rapture to tell us when it will happen, so we have to be watchful.

Another passage that tells us to be watchful is Luke 12:35, "Be dressed ready for service, and keep you lamps burning." Isn't that neat, to be dressed for readiness? Do you all remember back in American History the Minutemen? They were the ones during the Revolutionary War when the British were coming could jump out of bed, get dressed, grab their guns, and be on the battlefield in just a minute.

Isn't it interesting Luke records to keep our lamps burning? Today, we keep the front porch light on when a guest is coming, or your wife is coming home from work, or your uncle is coming to visit, or someone really important. You keep the light on. You are anticipating that somebody is coming. That is what the Bible is sayings here. We need to be watchful. We need to keep an eye out and living expecting that our King will come at any moment.

2) Do Good Works
The second thing that the Lord tells us to do is to do good works. Ephesians 2:10 states, "For we are God's workmanship." We are God's creation. He created us. We were "created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." Have you asked that age old question we hear all the time, "Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?" Isn't it great the Bible tells us what our purpose in life is? It says that while we are here during our brief little lifespan, we are to do good works which God already created for us to do. Somewhere out there before time God created me to tell you about the Rapture. This is one of the works that He has given for me to do, and I praise the Lord for it.

Also, 1 Corinthians 15:58 states, "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor is not in vain." The hard work we put into serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel with other people — it has a purpose. It's not for no reason. There is a reason for everything the Lord does and sets up, even if we cannot yet see the why or any fruit from our labors.

3) Have Hope
Third, this to me is the most important — we can have hope knowing that Jesus will catch us up, that He will rescue us, from the worst time in human history that is coming soon. While we wait for the blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:13 tells us, "Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:13 states, "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." And, "We know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure," as 1 John 3:2-3 encourages.

We gain hope from the Rapture. We can have hope in God. Isn't that amazing? If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are now a child of God. You are part of the big title "the Church," not an individual or a church building or a location, but a generational body of believers who are brothers and sisters in Christ and children of God.

Since you have hope in the Rapture, this means that you are going to beat death. You will avoid the horrors of the Tribulation to come by the Rapture and you will live forever in new bodies in Heaven in perfect love and fellowship with our Savior. Now, if that's not hope, I don't what is.


Grab Hope

So, I ask you, have you taken hold of that hope? Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior? Do you know that God loves you so much that He will rescue you from His wrath, that He will bring you to Heaven with Him, and that He cherishes and loves you? Because, He does. If you haven't accepted Jesus as your Savior, then what are you waiting for? You are probably waiting for something, but it is not worth waiting for, for you could die at any moment. Accept Jesus's gift of salvation and say, "Dear, Lord, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." You will be transformed inside and you will have a new life and a much better life to come.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Rapture (Part 3)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries


PDFMP3Facebook



I can talk about the Rapture of the Church all I want to, but better instead, why don't I show you a possible example of what the rapture would be like. Included in the video above is a dynamic illustration from the Potter's Church in Australia. If you were to go to GodTube it's got nearly a million hits on this video. It has a powerful message.

[See first video illustration in video above.]

Every time that booming flash comes, I still jump. Showing this video to others, I always see them jump like me. But, the Rapture will be very much like the video portrays. It will be a lot like that, I believe.


A Key Passage on the Rapture

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives us even more details about what happens at the Rapture.

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."

Again, this passage gives us a tremendous amount of detail concerning the Rapture. For one, it begins with the fact that we gain hope from the knowledge of the Rapture.

Secondly, to think that God loves us so much that He is not going to leave us to be beaten up by his own anger. Think about your parents, or your wife, or husband or someone. For example, I'll say my wife. I love my wife, but can you image what would happen if I beat up my wife for seven years straight, and then at the end of the seven years I say, "Honey, let's get married."? No way! She wouldn't have even stuck around past one beating. I would probably get the beating. That's not how God works. He wouldn't take the people He loves and calls His children and beat them up by His own wrath and anger for seven years before rescuing them. So, we have great hope in the knowledge that God loves us that much and that He is going to rescue us.

The Rapture reiterates Jesus' resurrection. Because of Jesus beating death on the cross and coming back from the grave, His victory has become our victory. His resurrection enables us to be resurrected as well.

1 Thessalonians 4 tells us the dead in Christ will be resurrected first. If the order is the dead in Christ first then us being raptured, it doesn't really matter the order too much, right? The dead in Christ will first, and we who are alive if the Rapture occurs during our lifetime will be second. We shouldn't feel like we're second in importance or anything like that, as it all happens in the blink of an eye anyway.

Notice the passage tells us that Jesus will come down from Heaven, but that He doesn't come all the way down to earth. It says He stays in the clouds. Jesus stops up there to receive those who are being raptured up to Him. That Jesus doesn't land on the Earth is significant, for it's one of the descriptors which separates the Rapture event from His Second Coming event by at least seven years.

Paul also tells us that there is going to be a loud command from God's head angel — the Archangel Michael. It doesn't tell us what he says, but maybe he says something like, "It's time!" or "Come on up!" or "Glory time!" It will be something commanding, but we can only guess as to what he will say. The Archangel makes the announcement to come up to Jesus.

There will also be a trumpet heard, too. It will be a very loud trumpet blown throughout the earth. Now, whether everybody will hear the trumpet or only the believers in Christ will hear the trumpet, we are not told, but there will definitely be a blasting trumpet. God likes trumpets. He uses them all the time as the Bible demonstrates.

The passage also tells us that we who will be raptured will remain where Jesus lives forever — Heaven. Isn't that awesome? That also means we get to skip all of the Tribulation, all that death, all the rest of life in a living torment, and be with God forever.


Old Testament Rapture Hints

Isaiah 26:19-21 is one of the little Old Testament hints given concerning the Rapture from a time where the Church was still a mystery.

"But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You, who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer."

This Old Testament passage reinforces the biblical teaching that God's people will stay in Heaven during tribulation. And, as Jesus shared in John 14:2, He is building those grand rooms — those mansions — in Heaven for us believers in Christ. Those raptured will live in Heaven while God pours out His wrath on the rest of the earth. That wrath is in part punishment, but also to get those who continue to live in rebellion against God to finally say, "Oh, Lord, I give up! I accept you. Be my Savior."

Another Old Testament hint can be found in Malachi 3:17, "'They will be mine,' says the LORD Almighty, 'in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.'" Those who are saved are the Lord's. They are protected by a hand that cannot be conquered.

Isn't it amazing that God says He treasures us? That we are important to him? He is not some distant God sitting up on a cloud who could care less about our lives. He actually loves us. He treasures us as worth something important. Think of something that you treasure in your life. I treasure my family. They are important to me. I wouldn't let anything happen to them. Maybe you have a favorite toy from when you were a kid that you still keep around as an adult because you treasure it. It is important to you and you value it. This passage give us the wonderful news that God in His love will spare what He treasures, and that is us!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Rapture (Part 2)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries


PDFMP3Facebook



Method of Rescue

Since Jesus promises to spare those who have accepted His lifeline of salvation from His wrath, then how is He going to accomplish that?

We can find the answer in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, which reads, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

Let's look at that phrase mentioned in the verse — "caught up." The Bible was written originally in the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages of the time. If we go back to the original Greek that 1 Thessalonians 4:17 was written in, we find the phrase "caught up" is the Greek word harpazo. When Latin became the main language of biblical scholars, they took the Greek and translated it into Latin. Why, the only Bible generations had for 1,100 years was the Latin Vulgate. There was a time when the Bible could only be read in Latin. The Latin speaking theologians translated the Greek word from harpazo to rapio, and the englishized version of the Latin word rapio is Rapture, which still means "caught up."

And so, I could refer to this phrase as "the great catching up," or "the great snatching away," or the "beam me up, Scottie" or something as awkward. But, I'm just going to use that word rapio or Rapture, just to make this a one word thing. And so, going forward, I'm going to call this event "the Rapture."

God will rapture believers in Christ — the Church — from His coming wrath. We can find this referenced in all sorts of verses in the Bible. For instance, John 14:1-4 assures us, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you." "I am going there," says Jesus, "to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Well, just where is the Father's house? In lots of other verses it says that the Father's house is in Heaven. That is the glorious destination of those who will be raptured. Those raptured from the earth are destined to go to Heaven.

John 14:1-4 also eases our faint hearts in that we can trust God. We can trust that God will rescue believers in Christ because He has promised that He will do this.

Luke 21:36 tells the believer in Christ what to do while waiting for Jesus' return. "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." Here Jesus reveals there is truly a way to escape the Tribulation, and that we should stay watchful because Jesus is coming back. And, once we escape those terrible times, where does Jesus say we will be? We will be with the Son of Man, which is another name for our Savior Jesus Christ.


The Glorified Body

Let's look at 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, which is an amazingly detailed description concerning the particulars of what changes Jesus must make to believers in Christ to enable their rescue.

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.' 'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

We learn that for one thing, our earthly human bodies just can't hack the trip. They are not powerful enough nor strong enough to make the journey to Heaven. Also, God is pure energy and light. He is spirit. Once we got to Heaven, it would just melt anybody who looked at Him. After our eyes in our sockets blow, our brains would just overload with too much input. So, our bodies just can't make the journey. They couldn't hack standing before the Almighty God.

To travel to Heaven and stand before God, our human bodies would then need to be transformed. We can find this is exactly the case in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. We are told our bodies will be "raised imperishable." In other words, the opposite of perishable. Have you ever seen meat when it becomes perishable? It turns green and it falls apart in death. Yuck! But, our transformed bodies will be imperishable. They will never rot. They will never die.

Our newly transformed bodies will be able to stand in glory. Have you ever seen the sun rise or set and exclaim, "Oh, wow, that is so glorious!" Well, our glorified bodies will be that way, too. We will be raised in power with no more weakness or infirmity. They will be powerful.

Our newly transformed bodies will also be spiritual bodies, yet physical in that you can touch them and feel them, but they will be spirit powered by the Holy Spirit. 1 John 3:2-3 explains this, "When he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."

And so, not everybody is going to die. There will be a generation who will skip the death process and experience what is called the Rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 also tells us that the Rapture and our transformations are going to happen very fast. It describes the speed as a "flash," happening "in a twinkling of an eye." All of a sudden — BOOM — your gone! You're out of there. It will happen so fast.

Also at the Rapture, a trumpet will be heard. The Rapture will be a noisy event involving a loud trumpet blast and the great shout of the mighty archangel from Heaven.

Very fascinating, the Bible says that those who in Christ who have died before the Rapture since Jesus' was resurrected, they too will be resurrected. Deceased Church Age saints will be brought back from the dead. Because of Jesus' resurrection, Jesus's victory over death became our victory over death, and these people will be resurrected as well.

Of incredible relief is that the transformation of our human bodies means that our old sin nature which causes us to want to do bad things all the time, which causes us to rebel against God, will also be killed. When we get our new bodies, that old sin nature will be eliminated. It will truly be the death of sin and the death of death for us. That is just awesome!

With the death of our human bodies, so too comes the death of that which causes us pain. No sting of dying there will be, nor fear of our loved ones who have accepted Jesus going through their own painful deaths. And, the transformation happens just like that. It's a total transformation to something so exponentially better.

Becasue of this great hope, we can stand firm in Jesus Christ. Our faith in Jesus is made sure, because by His promise we know that we are assured that Jesus will catch us up to be with Him. We can trust Jesus in that by having faith in Him. And, in the meantime while we're waiting, Jesus also commands us to do good works which lead people to salvation and the same hope we share.


Monday, April 18, 2011

FHCO: Your Future in the Rapture (Part 1)

Future Hope Conference Online
Your Future in the:
Bible - Tribulation - Rapture - Millennial Kingdom - Heaven - Q&A


Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
Evangelist & Web Minister
Lamb & Lion Ministries


PDFMP3Facebook



In reading the Bible, we realize that the Apostle Paul was a big sports fan. He used sports analogies all of the time while he was preaching. I'm sure that if we could be there during Paul's time we would find him out and about in a toga at the Olympics or some sporting event like that.

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul explained that sports competitors go into strict training. He said, "They beat their bodies." Literally, they condition their bodies so as to be able to do their sport because they want to be the best. They want to win the prize. And, the prize at the time was usually just a crown of leaves on their head and about 15 minutes of fame. Paul also pointed out that the crowns of the victors would not last long, being only leaves, and eventually the victors would be forgotten. Really, just how many people remember the football stats of the past year, or the year before that? We easily forget these things.

Concerning sports, I have enjoyed learning martial arts. I have enjoyed what our instructors have done in that they've put us into strict training. Usually my body after each practice feels really quite beaten. But, no matter how much I train and get better and hopefully master the technique, I know that one day everything that I have learned will be subject to my body which is going to age. Eventually, the skill set that I have learned I won't be able to use much any longer, and I will be too feeble to use it.

I am also going to die. You're also going to die. Every single person is destined for death. After all, what are the two inevitabilities in life? They are one death, and two taxes (especially under this administration). Yes, death and taxes, they are very true. But, is that totally true? I mean, we know taxes for sure (unless you're GE), but is death truly inevitable for everybody throughout human history?

Would you believe that the Bible teaches that for one specific generation death will not befall them? As we go on, we'll look at what the Bible has to say about that generation and their escape from the hand of death.


The Greatest Promise

The greatest promise penned in the Bible which is most talked about is the one Jesus made in John 14:3, "I will come back and take you to be with me." Don't miss this! Let me repeat that again, "I will come back, and take you to be with me." Now, that is amazing! Jesus already came as a man once and truly it has been 2,000 years since, but that promise still stands.

Concerning the Second Coming of Jesus, it is the most talked about thing in the Bible. In the Old Testament, there are about 500 prophecies concerning Jesus coming back again. And, 1 in every 25 verses in the New Testament talks about Jesus's return. We can find references to that return in Zechariah 14, and Matthew 24, and many other chapters.

Think about this, there are 300 general prophecies about Jesus coming the first time, and 109 of them are specific. Every single one of those prophecies happened. Jesus' birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection fulfilled all 109 prophecies. The stats on that are astronomical! Mathematicians have sat down and proven that just eight being fulfilled in the life of one man would be statistically and practically impossible. And yet, Jesus fulfilled not just eight but all 109. So, if all 300 prophecies in the Old Testament were 100% fulfilled, what are the chances that the 500 Second Coming prophecies will be fulfilled? I would say — 100%.


The Time of Christ's Return

Let's try to figure out when Christ's return happens.

Interestingly enough, the return of Jesus coincides with what will be the worst time period in human history. That awful time has a few names: the Tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble, and Daniel's 70th week. Those are just a few of the names. No matter the title, Jeremiah 30:7 explains just how horrible that time period will be. "How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it." Jacob is another name for the country of Israel.

While we know there is a time coming which will be the worst in human history, we also know it hasn't happened yet. Daniel 9:27 tells us when this time will begin. It begins when the new world leader who the Bible calls "Antichrist" makes a a peace covenant with the country of Israel which will last for seven years. We can find the Antichrist's dealings with Israel not only recorded in Daniel 9, but also in Revelation chapters 11-13 as well.


Purpose for the Tribulation

God has three purposes for the Tribulation. Firstly, God will pour out His wrath onto the earth because of the massive amounts of evil in the world. This has happened once before in an event called the Flood. Humanity got so evil that God had to eventually deal with them. He could not let all of humanity become so spoiled and evil that His plans for man's redemption were thwarted. So, God poured out His wrath on the earth in Noah's time, and God said a pouring out of wrath will yet again happen once society becomes so corrupt that He has to come back and deal with the evil plaguing the earth.

Secondly, God plans to regather the Jews back into their promised land and create harsh conditions that will force them to acknowledge Jesus as the one and only Messiah. That acknowledgement is not just for Israel, but overflows out and over everybody on the planet as well. All will finally recognize that there is a God and Jesus is the Messiah when He returns, as judgments will continue to get worse and worse as the Tribulation continues. Have you ever gotten to a point in your life when it gets so bad that you cry out to God for help? That exactly is what this time will be for. The Tribulation will force people to get serious about God and especially His Son Jesus Christ. Many will accept God and Jesus, yet most to their eternal shame will not.

Thirdly, the Tribulation is for the Messiah Jesus Christ to triumphantly return to fight His enemies, have His glorious victory, and to set up His Millennial Kingdom on Earth. The ultimate destination at the end of the Tribulation is Jesus' Second Coming.


Exempt From God's Wrath

That coming terrible time of trouble — the Tribulation — would be made even more awful and hopeless if the Church Age Saints had to live through it. Believers in Christ today would have to wonder, "Why would God pour out His wrath on the people He loves, the people He calls His children?"

The answer to this perplexing question is — "That just isn't the case!" I will now show you in the Bible that God by the Holy Spirit says over and over and over again that those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior will not have to endure living in the Tribulation.

Let's first look at Ephesians 5:6 which reads, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient." Who does this verse say God's wrath is for? It is only for as it says, "those who are disobedient." And, who are those who are disobedient? You can find the answer in John 3:36. It says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" The answer — God's wrath remains on those who have continued to reject Jesus' and His lifeline of salvation.

Next, look at Romans 5:9. It confirms that believers in Christ will be saved from God's wrath. It reads, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"

Or, how about this verse? In 1 Thessalonians 5:9 it states, "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."

These are awesome promises, and they keep going. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 we are told, "...and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." Jesus is the one who is supposed to rescue us from that wrath.

Colossians 3:4 promises us that, "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." It is Jesus Christ who takes us. And, why does He appear? It is to bring us with Him to glory.

One of the best verses that promises that believers in Christ will be saved from the TRibulation, the best definition of this promise I would say, is Revelation 3:10. This amazing verse reads, "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." I will keep you from that hour of trial, God says.

Again and again and again in these verses, Jesus promises that those who believe in Him and have called on Him to forgive them of their sins and be their Savior will not experience God's wrath — God's wrath from the Flood, God's wrath from the Tribulation, and God's wrath from eternal damnation. Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ will not experience that wrath — ever!


Further Evidence of Exemption From God's Wrath

We can look at examples of that rescuing salvation from God's wrath in the Bible. God has demonstrated that He has done this very thing in the past.

Let's look at Enoch for example. Enoch was a man who lived before Noah. The author of Hebrews said, "By faith Enoch was taken up from this life so he did not experience death. He could not be found because God had taken him away for before he was taken he was commended as one who pleased God." He was not disobedient. Instead, he was righteous. Enoch, because of the long lifespans people had at the time, lived just up to the time period right before the Flood. God took him from the earth before the wrath of God through the Flood happened.

Look at Noah. Noah and his family were the only righteous people on the entire planet! And so, God removed them out of the deluge that destroyed the Earth while He reformed the landscape by water, and kept them safely outside of it.

Later, when the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and two others became so horribly evil and so wickedly detestable, God had Lot and his daughters and wife removed from the cities' destruction before it happened. God takes people away before He barrages His wrath down upon anything.

Let's look at Rahab. When Joshua was surrounding Jericho and the walls came tumbling down, Rahab was saved from the miraculous destruction of Jericho. To top it off, her house was on the walls. If all the walls fell down, it could be that only a little sliver was left standing, which was her house, and that it was the only part that stayed up. Or, maybe her house fell down unscathed. We don't know. But, we do know that God saved Rahab and her family just as He promised.

The history recorded in the Bible demonstrates God's never changing nature to rescue His children from His fierce and awful wrath.