Q. I have been listening to your Revelation mp3 studies every month. Not only are they very informative, but they leave me with a desire to learn more about the bible. I am trying to connect the dots on life after death from the beginning of time. You have made references to this on numerous articles and tracks, but I feel like I am missing something. This is what I understand …
Death Before the Cross
Everyone went to the “Abode of the Dead.” If you died with faith of a coming redeemer, you went on the side called Paradise, a joyful place. On the other side was what we refer to as hell, a terrible place of torment.
Death After the Cross
Jesus gathered all people in Paradise and brought them to heaven – (Is this correct or do they stay here until the final judgment after the Millennium? Is the final judgment for everyone or just unbelievers?)
When we die now we bypass Paradise and go directly to heaven – Is there any waiting period to get to heaven? Or, is it “poof” you are there like everyone says? If there is a waiting period, are we waiting for the rapture so everyone can go to heaven at the same time?
The Dead During End Times
I am really confused about our placement during end times. Taking your stance that the rapture is first, do we stay in heaven while Jesus comes down to earth for his second coming? Or, do we shadow Him? At what point do we enter the giant low orbit satellite called the New Jerusalem with Jesus? (I am assuming that we don’t go directly there after death). At what point does God the father enter Jehovah Shammah, the Holy City on Earth?
Is there any record of what happens to the unsaved at the end of the Millennium? Since the beginning of time, all dead unbelievers have gone to the torment side of the Abode of the Dead. Do they return after their final judgment? Is there an initial judgment? Or, do unbelievers just enter the Abode of the Dead waiting for their final judgment.
Thanks so much for your insight.
A. All Old Testament believers went to Heaven with Jesus after His resurrection, and since then the spirits of all believers go to heaven immediately upon death. At the rapture, dead church age believers are re-united with Resurrection bodies at the same time that the living are changed (1 Cor. 15:51-53). While the timing is not specifically noted, I believe the Church takes up residence in the New Jerusalem then. (John 14:1-3). Old testament believers get their resurrection bodies at the end of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:2)
The Church comes back to the proximity of Earth when the Lord returns (Rev. 17:14) John described this event in Rev. 19 and described our dwelling place in Rev.21 God the Father takes up residence in the Temple in Jehovah Shammah after it’s cleansed and re-dedicated. (Ezekiel 43:1-7)
At the end of the Millennium the unsaved dead from all ages will be brought back to life for their judgment. It’s the only one they face. At that time the Abode of the Dead will be completely emptied and thrown into the Lake of Fire.(Rev 20:14) The dead go into the outer darkness for their punishment.