7 Things You Have To Know To Understand End Times Prophecy: Part 1 – Introduction

Introduction: Part 1 of the “7 Things” series.

7 of the the most important prophecies in all of scripture will be fulfilled between now and the beginning of eternity. Knowing the circumstances surrounding each one is critical to avoid being deceived.

Below the audio, we’ve also included the written transcript of this study.


Hi, my name is Jack Kelley, and welcome to our study entitled The 7 Things You Have to Know to Understand End Times Prophecy. 

By way of introduction, I’m the author of all the articles you read on GraceThruFaith.com, an international website visited regularly in every state in the U.S. and over 125 countries around the world. Our visitors are mostly people like you, some are pastors, some are teachers, most are just folks who want to know more about the Bible and to understand its message more clearly.

Before we get into our study on the 7 Things You Have to Know to Understand End Times Prophecy, I’d like to take you through a quick review of the four major views of the End Times, just so you’ll understand. It’s a very controversial subject, and there are these four major views and there’s conflict between the four views, and so it’s good to know a little bit about each one.

Preterist / Historical

The first of the four views is called the Preterist, or historical view. And the view of the Preterists is that the End Time Prophecies have already happened. In this view, everything took place in history, most of it around 70 AD, and therefore there will be no Rapture, there’s no Millennium coming, there’s simply a return of the Lord, and then whisking off into eternity, following a great judgment.


The second view we’ll call the Reconstructionist view. The Reconstructionists believe that End Times Prophecies will happen, but not like you think. They believe that the first thing that has to happen is the Church has to conquer the world for Christ. And some of them are so extremist to say that that has to be done by force, if necessary. But most just say the spreading of the Gospel will become a dominate feature in times to come, and eventually all the world will be converted to Christianity.

They will all espouse the same Christian beliefs, that will create an attitude of peace and brotherhood on Earth.  That will make the world ready for the Lord to return, and when it is, they’ll petition His return and turn the Kingdom over to Him. So that’s the Reconstructionist view.


The Idealist has the view that all the End Times Prophecies are really allegorical, and so the Idealist would say: It isn’t going to happen at all! There’s no Rapture, there’s no Millennium. When Jesus came the second time is when He came into your heart, when you became a believer.

And that fulfilled the prophecy of the Second Coming and so everything is just allegorical. The main view of the Idealist is that books like the Book of Revelation are simply stories of the ongoing conflict between good and evil, where good eventually prevails.


And the fourth major view is the view of the Futurist, and that’s the view we’ll concentrate on here because that’s the view that we hold in this ministry. And it says that the End Time will happen just like the Bible says. All End Time Prophecies are literal, and mean exactly what they say.

Most Futurists are Pre-Trib, which means that they believe that the Church will be Raptured before the Great Tribulation, a great period of judgment, at the end of the age that precedes the Second Coming. (Although there are some Futurists who are Post-Trib who believe the Rapture will come right at the end of the Great Tribulation, but the big majority hold to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view.) And they all, as far as I know, hold to the Premillennial view which means that there is a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on Earth that happens before we go off into Eternity.

Summary of the 4 Views

And so those are the four major views:

  1. The Preterist view that says it’s already happened
  2. The Reconstructionist who says that it will only happen when the Church has conquered the world and prepared it
  3. The Idealist who says it’s all allegorical and it isn’t going to happen
  4. The Futurist who says it will happen just like the Bible says.

Okay with that view in mind then we’re ready to begin our study, The 7 Things You Need to Know to Understand End Times Prophecy.

Let’s Begin

By many accounts the Bible is 40% prophecy by volume. A bunch of this prophecy has been fulfilled, such as the 300 plus references to the Lord’s birth, life, death and resurrection. And the destruction of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, the Medo-Persian Empire, Alexander’s Greece and dozens of other ancient countries. And the birth, life, death and resurrection of Israel.

But even though Biblical civilization is nearly 6,000 years old, there is still more to be fulfilled then there is that has been. For instance, over 500 prophecies related to the Lord’s Second Coming.

The 7 Things You Have to Know to Understand the End Times Prophecies are:

  1. The Sequence of Major Events
  2. The Destiny of the 3 Components of Humanity: Israel, the Church and the Nations
  3. The Purpose and Length of the Great Tribulation
  4. The Purpose of the Rapture of the Church
  5. The Conditions Surrounding the Second Coming
  6. The Purpose and Duration of the Kingdom Age, or, Millennium
  7. The Bible’s View of Eternity

Like a playbill or program that shows you where you are in a performance, knowing the sequence of End Time events shows us how near we are to the end of the age. If you get the sequence wrong, you run the risk of misinterpreting a prophecy. For example, when you try and place the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse, or when you place the Church in the parable of the Ten Virgins.

Sequence of Major Events

Now the sequence goes as follows:

  1. The Rapture
  2. The Battle of Ezekiel 38
  3. The Beginning of Daniel’s 70th week
  4. The Great Tribulation
  5. The Second Coming
  6. The Millennium
  7. And finally, Eternity

Of these, only the first two are the least bit speculative.

The rationale goes like this:

The treaty confirmed at the outset of the 70th week permits the construction of a temple.

No temple would be needed unless the Jews were returning to their Old Covenant worship of the Lord.

The Battle of Ezekiel reveals to them that God is with them again, motivating them to return to Israel and revive their relationship.

The restoration of the Old Covenant requires a temple since every living Jew is ceremonially unclean.

The Book of Revelation and 2 Thessalonians confirm the existence of a temple at the end of the age.

According to Daniel 9 it’s the Antichrist who enforces the treaty that permits the rebuilding of this temple.

And 2 Thessalonians says he can’t be revealed until the Holy Spirit is gone, taking the Holy Spirit takes the Church.

It’s like connecting the dots.

Having listed the 7 Things We Need to Know to Understand End Times Prophecies, we’ll now go back and look at each of the 7 in a little more detail. For review, we listed the 7 things as being:

  1. The Sequence of Major Events
  2. The Destiny of the 3 Components of Humanity which are Israel, the Church and the Nations
  3. The Purpose and Length of the Great Tribulation
  4. The Purpose of the Rapture of the Church
  5. The Conditions Surrounding the Second Coming
  6. The Purpose and Duration of the Kingdom Age, or Millennium
  7. The Bible’s view of Eternity

1. The Sequence of Major Events

For this section I’m going to rely on 3 passages of scripture, which are Ezekiel 38-39, Daniel 9:24-27: the great 70 weeks prophecy,  and 2 Thessalonians 2.

As I said earlier, the sequence of major events is: the Rapture, followed by the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, then the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, in the middle of that 70th week the Great Tribulation, and at the end of the 70th week the Second Coming, after which come the Millennium, and Eternity.

I mentioned earlier that only the first two of these are the least bit speculative and so let’s look at those and find out just what the speculation is.

All of the other major events are clearly identified in scripture and their relationship to one another is clear.

As I said, the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week is a major event. In the middle of the 70th week begins the Great Tribulation, another major event, and at the end of the 70th week comes the Second Coming followed by the Millennium and Eternity. Those issues are very clear. The speculation comes as to when does the Rapture occur, and when does the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 occur.

All right so let’s go back now and look at this a little more clearly and see if we can get some clear logic on this because there are some facets of God’s plan that He hasn’t revealed down to the last detail. And these two events, the Rapture of the Church and the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 are not anchored into time as clearly as the others are. You have to infer a few things from this, because it suits God’s purpose to keep these things a little bit secret.

The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39

All right, so let’s take the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 first. If you read those two chapters in Ezekiel you will discover that God has a purpose here. His purpose is to stir up Israel’s enemies at a time when Israel least expects it. To launch a mega attack upon the mountains of Israel, and come with such overwhelming force that there’s just no way that Israel would be able to come out of this victorious.

And so, as the battle progresses, Israel is obviously headed toward defeat. God intervenes in a supernatural way, causing fire and brimstone to come from the Heavens, causing the enemy forces to turn against each other, and resulting in just a tremendous defeat of this Muslim coalition against all odds.

God says He’s doing this to show both the nations and Israel that having dispersed them throughout the nations of the world 2,000 years ago, He is now coming back to them. Turning His attention once more to them so He can draw them back into a cohesive nation, and reveal Himself to them once again.

It’s clear from the way Ezekiel wrote the passage that God’s intention is that everyone in the world, Jew and Gentile alike, would be obviously aware of the fact that God’s focus is once again upon Israel.

God Focuses on Israel or the Church

And that’s one of the things that makes this so important to us as Christian believers, and that is a fact that all the way through scripture, God’s dealing with Israel and the Church seems to be mutually exclusive.

All through the Old Testament when He was dealing with Israel there was no Church. All through the New Testament as He’s been dealing with the Church there’s been no Israel.

If you look at passages like Acts 15 and others, you see that it seems like He looks at one or the other but never both at the same time.

This Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 appears to be the time in history when God is saying: Okay the age of the Church is over, I am turning My focus once again back upon Israel.

And when He does that, that means the Church has to disappear. That’s one of the reasons that this Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 is such a critical factor in history. And I also believe it’s one of the reasons why it’s not clearly delineated as far as time is concerned.

It’s somewhat of a surprise because, as you know when the Church disappears, it’s an event called the Rapture of the Church and that is a surprise event. So if you’re going to make the Rapture of the Church a surprise event, you’ve got to make the events surrounding it surprise events as well.

A Temple in Israel

Now the other thing that makes this battle so important is that when Israel is called back, and from all the nations around the world, Jews everywhere will come back to the nation Israel. They do so because they see themselves as being back in their relationship with God. Now the Jewish relationship with God always required that there be a temple.

And so even though today if you take a poll in Israel, you’ll find out only about 1 out of 4 people at most would consider the notion of building a temple in Jerusalem to be a good idea. Most would say it’s a terrible idea because it would upset everybody in the whole world and would be sure to spark some kind of huge warfare, and some kind of attack against them because it would just put everybody in the Middle East right on edge.

And so today there would be no support at all for the building of the temple. And yet, as you read Daniel 9:24-27, when you get to Daniel 9:27 you find out that one of the first official acts of the Antichrist is to confirm a 7 year treaty. This treaty actually begins that last 7 years of history that we call Daniel’s 70th week. And that 7 year treaty includes permission to build the temple in Israel.

How do we know that? Because as you read along in verse 27 you find out in the middle of the 7 year period the Antichrist stands in the Holy Place and proclaims himself to be God. He makes the temple desolate.

Daniel & 2 Thessalonians

When you compare Daniel 9:27 with 2nd Thessalonians 2:4 and you get the detail of the idea.

Daniel says he makes the holy place desolate, in an event called “the abomination that causes desolation.”

In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, you read that the way he does this is to stand in the Holy Place and proclaim himself to be God. That event is called the abomination that causes desolation. It happens in the middle of the 7 year period, that last 70th week of Daniel.

And so that temple has to be standing there, obviously, in order for him to stand inside it and desecrate it.

And that’s another important factor for us. Because the Antichrist makes his appearance on the heels of this Battle of Ezekiel 38 and forces a treaty that kicks off the 70th week of Daniel. A few verses down below in 2 Thessalonians 2 we read that before the Antichrist can be revealed the Holy Spirit has to be taken out of the midst. Well, out of the midst of what? Out of the midst of the people of the Earth.

We’ve been promised that the Holy Spirit is sealed within us. And so, if the Holy Spirit has to be taken out of the midst of the people of the Earth, then the place where the Holy Spirit is resident, which means the Church, also has to be taken out.

If you look at it from a standpoint of us being the residence of the Holy Spirit, that residence has to be taken. And so, many people who read Daniel 9:27 alongside 2 Thessalonians 2 see the Rapture of the Church occurring before the Antichrist is revealed.

And again there are good reasons to keep this timing exactly secret, because the Lord has a strategic reason here to make the Rapture a secret event. In order to make the Rapture a secret event He has to make the circumstances surrounding it somewhat vague as well.

All right so there now we have two great reasons why the Rapture and the Battle of Ezekiel have to occur first off on the sequence of major events. And I also will show you now why I think the Rapture has to precede, or at the very latest, come in conjunction with this battle.

Because you see, the Battle of Ezekiel 38 is what turns Israel toward God, the Battle of Ezekiel 38 is what brings the Antichrist to the floor with a peace plan. Daniel 8:25 says that the Antichrist’s initial appearance on Earth is as a great diplomat, a great leader, a great man of peace. And so, he comes as a peacemaker, he enforces a 7 year treaty in the Middle East which brings peace to that area, and one of the provisions of it is the permission for Israel to build a temple.

And so for those reasons I think the Rapture of the Church has to occur to get the Church out of the way, as the Lord focuses Himself back on Israel again. The Rapture of the Church has to occur before the 70th week can start, so that the Antichrist can make his appearance. Everything points to the sequence that I’ve given you.

First the Rapture, then The Battle of Ezekiel 38, then the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, and then half way through the 70th week, the Great Tribulation, at the end of the 70th week the Second Coming; right after the Second Coming the Millennium, and right after the Millennium, Eternity. Everything fits nicely into proper sequence in that way.

2. The Destiny of the 3 Components of Humanity

Number 2 on our list of The 7 Things You Have to Know to Understand End Times Prophecy is the Destiny of the 3 Components of Humanity.

With the advent of the Church, the human race which had heretofore consisted of Jew and Gentile, became a group of 3: Jew, Gentile and the Church.

Paul first illustrates this in 1 Corinthians 10:32. Earlier he had hinted about it in the Book of Ephesians, where he said his purpose of coming was to make one new man out of the two. In other words, to take from both Jew and Gentile a new person which he would call the Church.

The Church

The Church would not be Jew or Gentile in its origin, nor in its destiny. It would comprise components of both but would have the destiny of neither.

In other words, it would have its own private destiny all to itself. Now each one of these 3 groups then is promised a separate destiny. And confusion results when we give any group the destiny reserved for one of the others.

For instance, giving the Church Israel’s destiny as the Reconstructionists do, is a big mistake because the Reconstructionists view is that the Church has inherited the promises of Israel, that all the promises God had for Israel were made forfeit at the cross when Israel rejected the Messiah and now the Church has inherited all those promises.

Well that’s simply not scriptural. Romans 9, 10 and 11 give a very good exposition on why the Lord is not finished with Israel yet, and why after He’s taken out from among the Gentiles a people for Himself He will return according to Acts 15 and rebuild David’s fallen tabernacle. In other words, rebuild the nation Israel. All this will happen after He’s taken for Himself a people from among the Gentiles. That people, which He calls the Church.

Another big mistake is made when unbelievers give Israel the Nations’ destiny of destruction. So the world would be a lot safer place and a lot more peaceful place, most of the unbelieving world believes, if there was no Israel. And so most of the world is very pro-Arab in its political position relative to the Middle East. They all believe that the problems of the Middle East could most easily and most permanently be solved if Israel simply ceased to exist.

And of course that also is un-scriptural, non-biblical, and yet you have many important groups including the main line denominational Christian church as represented by the World Council of Churches and other groups that simply do not see any reason for, or any need for, the nation Israel to exist.

People who follow the Reconstructionist view and who believe that the Church has inherited the promises of Israel are actually embarrassed by the presence of Israel in the world today. They don’t see any purpose for it, they don’t see any reason for it, they were opposed to its formation and they are opposed to its continued existence. Well with that in mind, what are the respective destinies of these 3 components? Well here we’ll look at several passages of scripture.

Destiny of Israel

The major ones we see will be in Matthew 24 where Jesus talks about the destiny of Israel. 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 where Paul talks about the Rapture of the Church and the fact that we were not appointed to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our lord Jesus.

And in John 14:1-3 where the Lord tells His disciples that He’s going away, and if He’s going away He’ll come back. And the reason He’s going away is because He’s going to build a place for us in His Father’s house, and if He goes away He will come back to take us so that we may be where He is.

But there are also some very clear passages in the Old Testament, for example in Ezekiel 43:7 it’s made pretty clear that the redeemed Jews will dwell in the Promised Land with God. That after the end of the Great Tribulation as we enter the Millennial Kingdom, Israel will be rebuilt and repopulated and the Jewish people will dwell there in the Promised Land with God. That is a promise from Jewish eschatology that has been around for a long long time and God will fulfill that promise to the Jews as He does this.

Destiny of the Church

We also see a lot of data on this from Isaiah 2, pretty much the whole chapter, and also the whole chapter of Isaiah 65. Now the Church will dwell in the New Jerusalem with Jesus according to the passage of John 14:1-3 that I just told you about. If you put the end chapters of Revelation 20, 21 and 22 together with John 14:1-3 what you discover is the New Jerusalem is really, for want of a better phrase, a low orbit satellite that comes down out of Heaven and orbits the Earth, in proximity to Earth, but never really touches down anywhere on Earth.

It won’t fit anywhere, as a matter of fact, it’s landmass, if it were to land on the planet, would actually be bigger than the whole nation of Israel let alone Jerusalem. And so this city, if you will, called the New Jerusalem in scripture is actually a huge satellite configuration I believe that is 14,000 miles square and 14,000 miles tall. If it were to land anywhere, for example if it were to land in the United States, it would take up all the land from Maine to Florida and from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Mississippi River. And so it’s a huge structure of whatever sort, and it is the dwelling place of the Church. It is where we go to dwell with Jesus according to John 14:1, 2 and 3.

Gentiles / The Nations

Now the category of Gentiles or nations is split up into 2 subgroups. There are the Tribulation Saints who will serve the Lord in His temple according to Revelation 7:14-17. And the unsaved of both Jew and Gentile who will be banished from God’s presence forever, this is illustrated in the Sheep and Goat Judgment of Matthew 25 and it culminates in verse 46.

Separate Origin & Separate Destiny

And so you have humanity split into 3 components: the Gentile first, from Genesis all the way through the time of Abraham’s call down around Genesis 18; and then you have the Jewish people who are literally born in the Red Sea and came out of the Red Sea as a nation to exist alongside the Gentiles and among the Gentiles and they were the preeminent nation on Earth until the cross. And then a few years after the cross Paul introduces the idea that the Church is really a third component of humanity. Each one with its own separate origin, each one with its own separate destiny.

3. Purpose & Length of the Great Tribulation

Item number 3 on our list of 7 Things You Have to Know to Understand End Times Prophecy, is the purpose and length of the Great Tribulation. Let’s take the easy one first. The length of the Great Tribulation is 3 1/2  years. It’s the most specifically documented period of time in all of scripture. It’s variously listed as 3 1/2 years, or 42 months, or 1,260 days.

The Lord’s Calendar

Sir Robert Anderson, about 150 years ago, discovered that the Lord has always maintained His original calendar when dealing with the people of Earth. The original calendar was 12 months, 30 days each, a 360 day year. Somewhere along 700 BC or so, something happened that caused all of the calendars of the world to change into what’s now 365 and a quarter day year. But originally the length of the Earth year was 360 days, it was divided into 12, 30 day months and that’s the way God’s always seen it. And He’s going to put it back to that when we get into the Millennium. And so when you have something that’s 3 and a half years long, it’s also 42 months long, it’s also 1,260 days long and everything fits.

Purpose of the Great Tribulation in the Old Testament

The purpose of the Great Tribulation is a little different and to understand that we have to go into the Old Testament because the Great Tribulation is a phrase that was coined by Jesus in Matthew 24. But all the way through history before that it was always called throughout the Old Testament the time of Jacob’s trouble. That’s its Old Testament name. And it gets that name from Jeremiah 30 the first 10 verses. And so to get the idea of how this Great Tribulation is going to transpire and what its purpose is, let’s go now and I’ll read to you from Jeremiah 30, first 10 verses.

All right here we go. Jeremiah 30:1:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”

 These are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: “This is what the Lord says:

“‘Cries of fear are heard—

terror, not peace.


Ask and see:

Can a man bear children?

Then why do I see every strong man

with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,

every face turned deathly pale?


How awful that day will be!

No other will be like it.

It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,

but he will be saved out of it.


“‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty,

‘I will break the yoke off their necks

and will tear off their bonds;

no longer will foreigners enslave them.


Instead, they will serve the Lord their God

and David their king,

whom I will raise up for them.


“‘So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;

do not be dismayed, Israel,’

declares the Lord.

‘I will surely save you out of a distant place,

your descendants from the land of their exile.

Jacob will again have peace and security,

and no one will make him afraid.


I am with you and will save you,’

declares the Lord.

‘Though I completely destroy all the nations

among which I scatter you,

I will not completely destroy you.

I will discipline you but only in due measure;

I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’

And so there, in Jeremiah 30, we have the dual purpose of the Great Tribulation.

Israel & Judah

First of all, the Lord says that He’s going to bring His people, Israel and Judah back.

Now when He says Israel and Judah, He is speaking in the terms of the current history when Jeremiah was alive Israel was divided into two Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel, the Northern Kingdom which had actually been conquered by Assyria about a 150 years earlier; and then the Southern Kingdom which was called Judah. So when He says Israel and Judah, He means the entire nation.

And He says He is going to save them out of a distance place, the land of their exile, even though He sent them into this exile He is going to bring them all back. And of course this fits nicely with the last few verses of Ezekiel 39 where we learned earlier that He uses the Battle of Ezekiel to accomplish just that, to bring all of Israel and Judah back into the land that He gave to their forefathers.

Dual Purpose of the Great Tribulation

And then He says after I’ve done that, then there’s going to be two things that will happen:

1: He’s going to completely destroy all the nations. That means all the countries in the world where the Jews have been scattered to following 70 AD in the dispersion. In what they call the diaspora. All those nations are going to be destroyed.

2. Israel will be disciplined, but only with justice. Now, with looking at other passages in Zachariah and other places, what He’s talking about here is purification. It’s going to be the purification of Israel. In many cases in the Old Testament that purification process is described as the process by which gold or silver are refined in the refiner’s fire. The raw metal, the ore, is heated up until it melts, the impurities rise to the top and are skimmed off, and what’s left is simply the pure metal, whether it be gold or silver.

Refiner’s Fire

Many times in the Old Testament the Lord describes the Great Tribulation, what we would call the Great Tribulation, this way, as the refiner’s fire. And so this is what the Lord is referring to here. He’s referring to the refining or purification process that will make Israel fit, qualified if you will, to dwell in the Kingdom with God.

Now what is it that makes Israel qualified to dwell in the Kingdom? Well, it’s the acceptance of their Messiah. And it’s the payment for all their sins that was accomplished at the cross. You see it wasn’t enough for Jesus to die at the cross for them, or for us for that matter, it wasn’t enough for Him to die for us we have to accept His death as payment in full for our sins. We have to do that in faith. It’s our faith that saves us, after all.

Jesus Died for All

And so Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, all of its population from Adam all the way to the last human being ever born, all of the sins of all those people were covered at the cross. But only those who accept it in faith as payment for their sins will receive the benefit from it. It’s too bad, isn’t it? Because Jesus died for everybody’s sins. And yet many many many people are going to reject that death and wind up in eternal punishment, not because He didn’t die for them but because they refused to accept His death as payment for their sins.

Jesus died for the sins of Israel and they have not yet accepted it. And so the purification process through this Great Tribulation, or as it’s called in Jeremiah “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” is designed to separate those who will accept the Messiah and His death for their sins from those who won’t. It’s like separating the impurities from the gold in the refiner’s fire.

And so that’s the purpose of the Great Tribulation, it’s twofold:

  1. To completely destroy all the nations among which the Jews have been scattered
  2. To purify Israel

What About the Church?

Now you notice the Church is not mentioned here at all. Well, you say, that’s the Old Testament and you wouldn’t expect the Church to be mentioned there in the Old Testament. But I want you to know you can’t use an argument from a position of silence to maintain that point here.

Because you see if it’s destroy or purify, which of those two would apply to the Church if the Church is there? Is God’s intention through the Great Tribulation to destroy the Church? Well the Bible says clearly no! Our destiny is to dwell with Him forever. Well then is God’s intention of the Great Tribulation to purify the Church? And the answer again has to be no.

We’re a New Creation

Because according to 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:

if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

You see the point of that passage is the Church was made just as pure and righteous as God is at the cross, there is no need for the Church to be purified. You might say: Well the Church is full of sinners, I see sinners every day in the Church and we see headlines sometimes of prominent people in the Church who have fallen due to sin.

Yes, but those sins were all paid for at the cross. The penalty was paid, and once that penalty is paid, then God sees us as if we had never sinned at all.

The word He uses is ‘to justify us’. The Greek word is dikaioō and it means to regard as though innocent. Not to be acquitted not to be forgiven, but to regard as though innocent. Because of the cross, and because we accept the death of Jesus as payment in full for all of our sins God chooses to look at us as if we have never sinned. We are as pure in His mind as He is. And so you see there is no reason for the Church to be in the Tribulation, it has no purpose there it has no business there. The purpose of the Great Tribulation is to purify Israel and destroy the nations period, end of story.

4. The Purpose of the Rapture of the Church

Item number 4 on our list of 7 is the purpose of the Rapture of the Church. And this is a really simple one so we won’t have to take a whole lot of time with this. The purpose of the Rapture of the Church is to hide the Church in safety during the End Times judgment, just as the Lord has promised us He would do.

It begins at an undisclosed point before the great End Times judgment known as the Great Tribulation.

And so as you know from our previous tracks we have taken the view that the Rapture of the Church has to precede Daniel’s 70th week which means it has to precede all of the Great Tribulation, all of the Tribulation period. And I believe it has to come probably just before, or perhaps in conjunction with, the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39.

Now the major problem you have in getting this wrong is that you put the Church in the Tribulation as if it needed to be purified. You remember we just covered the fact from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, that the Church doesn’t need any purification, it was purified at the cross. The Church actually has no business in the Great Tribulation, the Rapture is the only destiny foretold in the Bible for the Church.

Verses About the Rapture

And so the verses I’m going to count on here, I’m just going to pick some of the major verses that talk about the Rapture of the Church. We’ll look at 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Revelation 3:10. And my favorite, the one in the Old Testament that describes the purpose of the Rapture of the Church as well as its timing more clearly than any other passage in scripture, and that’s Isaiah 26:19-21.

1 Thessalonians 1:10

All right let’s go first of all to 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

In this passage Paul is writing to the Thessalonians complimenting them on their faith and on things he’s heard about them from other churches Macedonia and Achaia, and he says in the middle of verse 9:

They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

Now that word “from” in the Greek, is the word “apo”. And it means away from the time and place and any relation to the event. So when Jesus is said to be rescuing us from the coming wrath, what Paul intended for this statement was to keep us away from the time and the place, and any relation to the event he’s taking about which is the wrath of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

Okay now we’ll go to 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and that’s a simple one, it just says:

 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I think those two verse tie pretty neatly together.

Revelation 3:10

Now the next one we look at is Revelation 3:10, and that’s also a pretty simply one where the Lord says

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Now John, in writing the book of Revelation, when he used the word that we translate from, he used a different word than Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 1. The word Paul used, the Greek word is “ek” and it means to keep out of altogether. So it’s not to preserve us through, it’s not to keep us safe during the time, it’s to keep us out of it altogether.

Isaiah 26:19-21

And now we’ll go to my favorite passage. The one in the Old Testament, as I said before, this is one of the clearest passages anywhere in scripture about the timing of the Rapture and its purpose.

And so we read from Isaiah 26 starting at verse 19.

But your dead will live, Lord;

their bodies will rise—

let those 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 on it;

the earth will conceal its slain no longer.

And so there you get a view from Isaiah that’s very very close to the view from 1 Thessalonians 4, the main detailing passage for the purpose of the Rapture of the Church. You see in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul told the Church that:

the Lord would come down from heaven, with 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.

And so here Isaiah is saying pretty much the same thing. He’s saying first of all the first thing that will happen is:

your dead will live, Lord;

their bodies will rise—

let those 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.

That’s the dead in Christ rising first.

And then the next passage in verse 20 of chapter 26:

Go, my people, enter your rooms
    and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until his wrath has passed by.

Vanish My People

Now it’s interesting in the Hebrew, now we’re in the Old Testament so we’re looking at Hebrew translations. In the Hebrew that word is translated “go” oddly enough also means come and so if you have a translation that says “come my people,” I think the King James is one of those, and the word “go” mean the same thing.

But I like the third meaning of the word because there are three major meanings to this word, the Hebrew word by the way is “yalak.” The third meaning of the word is vanish. That to me is the most interesting meaning because using that meaning of the word, the passage says:

Go, my people, enter your rooms
    and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until his wrath has passed by.

And so now He seems to be saying something to people who are alive. He says: Go vanish, hide yourself go to your rooms.

Well what rooms do you think he was talking about? I believe he was talking about the rooms that John mentioned in John 14:1 when He said: In my Father’s house are many rooms.

Hide Yourself in Your Rooms

And so I think they’re talking about the same thing there. But the idea that really strikes me is that he’s taking about people who are apparently living people, and he tells them to hide themselves, why? Until the wrath has passed by. So that means the wrath hasn’t started yet. And so God’s wrath, which is another name for the Great Tribulation, has not started yet but is about to start and so Isaiah is telling us to vanish and hide while that happens.

And then it says:

See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
    to punish the people of the earth for their sins.

Go my people and hide yourself in your rooms while the Lord punishes the people of the Earth for their sins.

You see it clearly distinguishes the people that are to be hidden from the people that are to be judged. And so I just believe that’s a beautiful passage that Isaiah wrote there describing the Rapture of the Church.

We Are Appointed for Salvation Not Judgment

And so from these 4 major passages then we see that the intention of these writers, two passages that Paul wrote, one that John wrote and one that Isaiah wrote, was to distinguish the people who are appointed for salvation from the people who are appointed for judgment.

And by the use of the language we know that they are to be separated. And as Paul said to be kept from the time, the place or any relation to the event that’s about to take place which is the great judgment we call the Great Tribulation.

And so what is the purpose of the Rapture of the Church? It’s to get the Church out of the way so that the Lord is free to exercise the full power of His judgments upon Earth at the very end of the age in the period we call the Great Tribulation.

5. Conditions Surrounding the Second Coming

And here we’re going to rely on the Olivet Discourse from Matthew, it’s chapters 24 and 25.

Now we’re taking about the conditions surrounding the Second Coming and so what we have to do is look at when the Second Coming occurs. And we’ll look at the various time stamps, I’ll call them, that the Gospel of Matthew includes there so we’ll be clear on what’s happening and when.

We notice that when in verse 15 of chapter 24, He tells the people living in Judea that when they see the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of by the Prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, that they are to flee in the Judean mountains. Because at that time, according to verse 21, the Great Tribulation begins.

Now in Matthew 24:29, the passage starts immediately after the Tribulation. The sun and the moon will be darkened, and the stars will be falling. In Matthew 24:30 He says the sign of the son of man will be visible in the sky as will His return to Earth be visible in the sky, and it will cause all the nations of the Earth to mourn.

No One Knows About That Day

And then we go down to Matthew 24:36, that says no one knows about that day. Now what day? Well you refer back to Matthew 24:30 and that’s the day of His return to Earth.

And so when Matthew 24:36 says no one knows about that day, he’s talking about the day of the Lord’s return. And then he goes on to say that the son of man at that time didn’t know, the Angels in Heaven didn’t know, but only the Father knew.

But in verse 37 He says:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

And so he likens the end of the Great Tribulation judgments to the time of the Great Flood. And what was going on at the time of the Great Flood? He says people were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the Ark. So they knew nothing about what would happen, until the Flood came and took them all away.

And so the people didn’t know during the time of the Flood that the great judgment was coming, a judgment from God. And the same will be true of the Great Tribulation. They will see the things happening around the Earth but they won’t attribute them to God. They won’t know that it’s a great judgment brought by God.

Taken & Left

And it says in the next verse:

That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

And then it goes on to say in verse 40:

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

And in Luke’s version it adds:

Two men sleeping in the same bed; one taken and the other left.

Now in the English you don’t think much of that, and some people make the mistake of saying: Well there’s the Rapture of the Church right there at the time of the Second Coming. The problem is in reading this in the English we don’t see the literal meaning of the passage because the word “taken” is a Greek word that means received.

And the word “left” is a Greek word that means put away. And so what He’s really talking about there is that the time of the Coming of the son of man, there will be two men in the field, one will be received and the other will be put away.

That sounds way different and what does it really mean? Well, the one received will be the one received into the Kingdom, and the one put away will be the one put away into the outer darkness. You see this is a preview of a story that’s coming up in a few verses here called the story of the Sheep and Goat Judgment which starts in Matthew 25:31.

The Sheep & Goat Judgment

The Sheep and Goat Judgment takes place, according to verse 31:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

And so he’s taking about separating the people. The story goes on to say He separates them because of their faith. The sheep He puts on one side, the goats He puts on the other, and this is what’s being referred to in this time where it says:

 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Two men sleeping in the same bed; one taken and the other left.

He’s talking about one being received into the Kingdom, the other being put away, and so this cannot be a reference to the Rapture of the Church.

First of all in the Rapture of the Church, one group is dealt with but the other group is ignored. And the group that’s dealt with is the believer. They are Raptured. They are received into the Kingdom. But the other group is just left alone, they’re not sent somewhere. This can only be referring to the separation of believers from unbelievers after the Second Coming, at the very beginning of the Millennium when the Lord takes all the surviving unbelievers from the Tribulation period and sends them off the Earth so that the only people left in the world are believers at the outset of the Millennium.

No Rapture in the Olivet Discourse

And so when you see that passage in its proper context, you understand that there is no mention of the Rapture of the Church in the Olivet Discourse. Jesus didn’t teach the Rapture to His disciples, He didn’t have them write it down in the Gospels.

The Rapture of the Church was kept secret until Paul wrote about it 20 years later in his letter, his first letter, to the Thessalonians which was the very first letter that Paul ever wrote. And when he did he wrote to them about the Rapture of the Church, it was a surprise.

In fact, after he wrote the Thessalonian letters, he wrote the letter to the Corinthians and in chapter 15 he says:

I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—

And that’s in 1 Corinthians 15. The same idea there, the word “mystery” in the Greek is “mysterion” it means I’m revealing a secret to you. It has been kept secret up until now.

The early Church didn’t know about the Rapture. The apostles didn’t know about the Rapture. Jesus did not teach the Rapture. It was kept secret until after the cross and until 20 years later in AD 50 when Paul wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians.

Now when you read the Olivet Discourse back here in Matthew 24 in the Greek you understand clearly that he’s not taking about the Rapture, he’s taking about the separation of people at the end of the age. And so by not understanding the sequence of things, you can have a great problem when you start talking about what’s going to happen at the end of the age because you, mistakenly, can put the Rapture of the Church in the context of the Second Coming.

No Rapture in The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The same happens with these parables in Matthew 25, the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the parable of Talents, and then the story of the Sheep and Goat Judgment as I mentioned earlier.

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, for example, or Ten Bridesmaids as it is sometimes called, you can see clearly that the Church cannot be in view here. Because when He begins the parable Jesus says at that time. Well at what time? At the time that’s indicated in Matthew 24:29, in Matthew 24:30 and in Matthew 24:36 the Second Coming. And so the Parable of the Ten Virgins, or Bridesmaids, take place at the time of the Second Coming.

Now there’s also some other theological implications to this because you got ten bridesmaids, (or virgins) five who have oil and five who have no oil. And, a lot of people see that as members of the Church, some who have been faithful and some who have fallen away. Well this can’t be. First of all the parable is given of a time after the Lord’s return. Now I’ve known all kinds of Rapture positions but I’ve never seen a Rapture position that takes place after the Second Coming. And yet the parable of the Ten Virgins is clearly, in its time, placed following the Second Coming.

The other thing is, the Church is not bridesmaids. The Church is not the friends of the groom. The Church is not any of those things. The Church is the bride. And there is no mention of a bride here, it’s only mention is of bridesmaids, and those are not the same, obviously. The Church is the bride of Christ. And so, in the Parable the thing that you don’t see here, the person that you don’t see at all, is the bride of Christ.

And the other issue that we need to bring up is the fact that they are going into the wedding banquet. Well the wedding banquet comes after the wedding. And so in the context of things, they are not trying to get to the wedding to marry the groom, they’re trying to get into the banquet that takes place after the wedding.

You see according to Jewish wedding tradition, the groom would come in secret and take the bride away, and they’d be married in secret. And then they’d go announcing through town that the marriage had place, inviting everyone to the banquet.

Symbolism in The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids is a parable of ten people representing the people of Earth at the end of the Great Tribulation who were trying to get invited to the banquet.

The oil stands for the Holy Spirit which is invested in all believers. And what it’s simply trying to say is that some people alive on Earth at the end of the Great Tribulation will be believers and they will be welcomed into the Kingdom, which is represented by the banquet, and some will not have the oil, they will not have the Holy Spirit, they will not be believers, and they will be told by the Lord: Depart from me, I never knew you.

And so the conditions surrounding the Second Coming are the fact that there will be people alive who have survived the Great Tribulation, some will be believers and some will not. The believers will be invited into the Kingdom and they’ll repopulate the Earth during the beginning of the Millennium, and the unbelievers will be taken off the Earth. This is all explained clearly in the Sheep and Goat Judgment.

But I guess you can see if you didn’t know the sequence of events, you could be fooled into putting the Rapture of the Church somewhere in that context, and ladies and gentlemen, I don’t care what you’ve been taught, it simply just does not fit there.

As it was in the Days of Noah

Now there’s one more item that we need to take quick look at here, more for fun than for anything else. You notice how at the beginning of our talk on this track we mention Matthew 24:36: No one knows about that day, and then in 37 it says:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Well, you look at it as it was in the days of Noah, and you find out that there were two groups of people on Earth when the Flood came. The first group was the enormous, majority of people who perished in the Flood. And the second group was a small remnant, if you will, of the people who got on the boat and were preserved through the Flood. So those were the two groups that were on the Earth, a remnant that was preserved through the Flood, and a large majority that perished.

This is very very similar to the passage we read in Jeremiah 30:1-10 where it talked about the fact that there will be two groups of people dealt with in the Great Tribulation. And this will be the people from the nations who are completely destroyed, and the remnant of Israel who is purified and preserved through it.

And so if the Lord was referring to that, I wouldn’t be surprised, because He’s saying there will be two groups of people, just like there were two groups of people in the days of Noah. There was a small group, a remnant that was preserved through it, and there was a great big group that perished in it. At the end of the Great Tribulation the same will be true. There will be a small group, a minority that’s preserved through it, and there will be a great big group that perishes in it.

Enoch & the Church

But the interesting thing is, if you look back to chapter 2 before the Flood you’ll find out that there was a special case. A special exception made for someone named Enoch. And what happened to Enoch? Well, Genesis 5 tells us that Enoch disappeared, he vanished off the surface of the Earth before the Flood came.

Now what’s fascinating about that is he fits exactly as a model of the Church. Because he was not part of the group that was preserved through the Flood, he was not part of the group that perished in the Flood, he was a small group all by himself that disappeared before the Flood. He escaped the judgment altogether.

Now let me tell you some interesting things about Enoch. His name, the Hebrew word “Enoch” means teacher. And that’s one of the main rolls of the Church on Earth today is to teach people the Gospel.

The second thing is, according to Hebrew tradition, Enoch was born on the sixth day of the month Sivan which would be the day, later on in history, that would become Pentecost. And so he was born on Pentecost just as the Church was born on Pentecost.

And the third thing is, again according to Hebrew tradition, Enoch disappeared on his birthday. Well does that mean the Church will disappear on Pentecost, our birthday? Who knows?

But I’ll tell you this, after all my study I’ve come to the conclusion that if there is any Jewish holiday that will be fulfilled with the Rapture of the Church, (and I don’t believe this necessarily has to be) the Rapture of the Church does not have to come on any particular day it could come at any moment – but if there is a Jewish holiday which is fulfilled by the disappearance of the Church the most logical one would be Pentecost, the birthday of the Church.

6. The Millennium

Item number 6 on our list of 7 things is the Kingdom Age, or Millennium, as it is popularly called in the New Testament. The word Millennium comes from two Latin words “mille” meaning thousand and “anum” meaning years. So it’s the 1,000 year Kingdom that is prophesied at the end of Revelation in chapters 20 and 22.

Now since the Kingdom Age is more for Israel than anyone else, and since it is a literal Kingdom —and by that I mean it takes place in the context of time and on planet Earth where the Jews will be dwelling in their land with the Lord in their presence— you’ll find more to be said about the Kingdom Age in the Old Testament than in the New.

I’ll explain more about that as we go along, but first let’s look at the passages we are going to rely on here as things you can look at for your own edification and study.

Verses About the Millennium

If you read Isaiah 2:1-5 and verse Isaiah 2:35, Isaiah 41:18-20, Isaiah 60:10-22, Isaiah 65:17-25, Ezekiel 40-48 the last 8 chapters, Micah 4:1-8, Revelation 20 and 22. These are where you’ll find all the information you could every want to know about the Millennium.

Its duration is 1,000 years. Its purpose is twofold, first it begins the believers enjoyment of rewards, and second it demonstrates that even with Satan bound, the influence of unbelievers gone, and in-person rule by the Lord, there is still enough residual sin in the hearts of unregenerate man to rebel at his earliest opportunity.

Those Who Don’t Believe in a Literal Millennium

And so we’ll get more into that in detail in just a minute but first let’s talk about the people who don’t believe in a literal Millennium. These are people that are called Amillennialist. They don’t believe in a literal Millennium. And so they miss this final lesson about the depravity of man, in addition to canceling out all the blessings of a restored creation.

And then the other group that doesn’t believe it are Post-Millennialists. They believe it’s already happened and they also miss out on this. They’re the ones that believe the 1,000 years that was prophesied in Revelation 20 actually took place in the first 1,000 years after the cross. And that’s one of the reasons that the Crusades were mounted because it was 1,000 years after the Lord had left. The theory was that the Millennium took place in Heaven while believers were trying to build the Church on Earth. As it got around to the 1,000 years being over they began to say: Gee the Lord should be coming back anytime now and we don’t have control over the city of Jerusalem. And so the Crusades were ostensibly mounted to recapture Jerusalem so when the Lord came back they could give it to Him.

Now an offshoot of this view of course is found today in the Reconstructionists who believe it’s the responsibility of the Church to conquer the world, if you will, for the Lord. To make the Gospel the all-pervasive view on planet Earth. To bring about peace and harmony by an adherence by a great majority of the people on the planet to Gospel principles.

And then once that’s going and smoothly running and everything, then the Lord can come back and we can hand Him His Kingdom, all nice and neatly done up and all ready for His Millennial reign.

Pre-Trib Pre-Millennial View

Now that’s, of course, not Biblical as we see it. The Pre-Trib Pre-Millennial view says the Millennium is something that is going to happen in the future, it hasn’t happened yet. And we believe that it will happen right on the heels of the Second Coming.

Now we believe it is a literal Kingdom, on planet Earth, and that the Lord will reign personally here, and that there will be a rebuilt temple in Israel where God will have His throne. And, according to Ezekiel 43 He will dwell there among the Israelites forever.

During the Millennium the Earth will be restored to its pre-Adamic condition, let’s call it, the condition before the Flood at least. The water vapor canopy that once encircled the Earth and protected us from the ultraviolet rays that cause artificially fast aging will be restored around the planet. This is called the firmament, and this canopy will be restored thereby protecting the Earth once again.

The axis of the Earth will be readjusted and its rotation adjusted accordingly, and its circumference around the sun brought back into a 12 month of 30 days each, or 360 day year. Semi-tropical climate throughout with the protection afforded by the water vapor canopy.

Life spans will begin to get longer and longer again like they were before the Flood. And it will be a literal paradise here on Earth. Some people compare it to the climate that’s found most of the year in Hawaii. Just lush vegetation, sub-tropical climate, no weather, no storms, no inclement days. Just a perfect, beautiful day, every single day.

Earth Restored to the Way it Was Before the Fall

Now on Earth the planet having its axis settle back at a 0 degree rather than the tilt that it currently has, will bring about the sub-tropical climate throughout the whole Earth. It won’t be the cold polar caps and the too hot of the equator but everything just right.

Have you ever noticed how the way the Earth is today? (and I happen to be one of those people by the way who likes different seasons. You know I enjoy the seasons. I chose to live in an area where there are four seasons because I just enjoy the change that comes along. I enjoy the summer and the winter, I enjoy the spring and the fall as well.)

But have you ever noticed how it just seems like something is just a little bit out of whack? We have increasingly severe weather conditions on planet Earth. And we also have other difficulties, in some places it’s way too cold to live, in some places it’s way too hot to live. There are few places in the world where it’s just right. The Lord didn’t create things that way, that doesn’t sound like God to you, does it?

And also when you look at the length of a year, 365 1/4 days has to be adjusted every 4 years, and then adjusted again every century. And so, it just doesn’t… it’s not perfect. And the Lord is perfect, and His creation was perfect. These things that we experience in the creation today are things that the Lord never built into the creation originally, they are the effects of sin on the Earth.

And so when the Millennium comes and the Lord returns, and I believe this will begin to happen during some of the latter judgments of the Great Tribulation, the bowl judgments that are so cataclysmic, I believe that one of the things that will be happening there is the Earth will be reforming and reshaping and reorganizing itself to come back into the condition it was in when Adam found it.

And so the Millennial Kingdom will be returned to Garden of Eden type conditions. And on Earth you’ll have the Millennium beginning with only believers who have survived the Tribulation inhabiting the Earth. You remember from our last track we talked about the fact at the Second Coming the Lord will bring everybody together for judgment, and this judgment will separate the believers from the unbelievers. Unbelievers will be taken off the Earth and so at the outset of the Millennium only believers will dwell on the Earth and they will be in their natural states and it will be their job to repopulate the planet.

New Jerusalem

In the meanwhile, as you know from the Book of Revelation, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of Heaven prepared as a bride. No don’t confuse that with the Bride, because the Bride inhabits the New Jerusalem. What the passage means by saying “prepared as a bride” means dressed in all of its finery, so that it looks as beautiful as can be.

It comes down out of Heaven, it never talks about actually touching down on Earth, and I don’t believe it ever does. I believe it comes into an orbit around the Earth in close proximity but never touching the Earth. And this satisfies the question some have, how can the redeemed, the perfected beings, live around the corner and on the same block, if you will, with the natural humans that populate the Millennium? The answer is, they don’t.

The redeemed live in the New Jerusalem, the natural humans that repopulate the Earth live on the Earth, of course. And this is when Israel receives the Kingdom blessings. The Millennium is primarily designed to give Israel the Kingdom blessings that are promised throughout the Old Testament and that’s why the Kingdom Age is described most fully in the Old Testament.

Why the Last 1,000 Years? No More Excuses

Now some have asked me, why would we have a Millennium? Why a 1,000 year sort of interlude between the 6,000 years of man and Eternity? What’s the purpose of this last 1,000 years? Well, I believe the purpose of the last 1,000 years is to make one final point for mankind. In addition to helping fulfill the promises to Israel, I believe the main point of the Millennium is this:

Satan Bound

Ever since the Garden, man has been saying to God: We can’t live the life you want us to live because Satan is there tempting us all the time.”

And so the Lord says: Okay for this 1,000 years we’ll bind Satan.

And at the end of the Tribulation when the Lord comes back one of the things He does is send an Angel down with some chain, they bind Satan, throw him into the abyss and lock him up for the duration of the Millennium.

All right so that’s the first issue handled. We haven’t been able to live a life that pleases you Lord because Satan is there tempting us all the time. Okay, Satan is bound, he’s out of the question.

No Unbelievers

Now what’s the problem now? Well Lord, we haven’t been able to live lives that are pleasing to you because we have all these nonbelievers around, living ungodly lives and it’s a distraction for us and it’s also a temptation for us. It’s hard to remain true to You when we see all of our friends and neighbors living a different kind of lifestyle.

And so at the Sheep and Goat Judgment, at the outset of the Millennium, the Lord takes all the unbelievers off the Earth. And He says: Okay now there are only believers left on Earth.

The Lord Reigns

Now what’s the problem? And they say: Well Lord you know we aren’t able to live a perfect life, a life that pleases you, because You went away and left us here all alone and you weren’t here to guide us and direct us you weren’t here to be our leader.

And so the Lord says: Okay for the 1,000 year duration of the Millennium I will be King of the Earth. I will live and have My Kingdom here and I will be the One, the King of Kings, the ruler of all the Earth.

And you know what? When the Lord answers ours 3 objections, our 3 excuses for not being able to live a perfect life, by binding Satan, removing all the unbelievers and by ruling personally, face to face, with us. At the end of the 1,000 years there is still enough residual sin in the heart of the unregenerate man that as soon as Satan is free, he gathers a big enough force to go and try to kick the Lord off the planet again.

And so I believe the main teaching, the main lesson, we’re to get from the Millennium, is that sinful men can never under any circumstance live a life pleasing to God. It is only after God takes the sin nature away and perfects us all that we’re able to live a life pleasing to Him.

And so those of us who believe in a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on Earth will see the great Kingdom blessings that are foretold throughout the Old Testament and will see Israel restored to its former glory, and will see the Church dwelling in the New Jerusalem in the proximity of Earth.

We’ll be there to view it all, and it will be a most incredible time. But it’s not the end for us, it’s not Eternity. And so next we’ll talk a little bit about what Eternity is and why it’s different from the Millennial Kingdom.

7. Eternity

This is a real simple one, because you know the Bible has been called the handbook for the age of man. And so it begins at the creation and it ends at the end of the age of man. Those of us who are dispensational in their view because that there is a 7,000 year age of man, 6,000 years plus the Kingdom age which we just talked about on the last track. At the end of the 7,000 years the age of man ends and we go off into an undefined period of time called Eternity.

The only reason we know about Eternity is because the Bible mentions that there is one. But it never explains what it is, or anything else about it. We just know that it is.

Now it turns out that Eternity is sometimes confused with the Millennium and the Millennium sometimes with Eternity because people don’t understand the nature of time.

Eternity is not the Millennium

You see during the Millennium there is still time. For example when you read in Revelation 22, that the great river that flows down from the temple down into what had formally been the Dead Sea, as lined with fruit trees on each side and they give their fruit each month. Well that tells us that there’s still time, we’re not in Eternity yet.

Eternity begins at the end of the Millennium. And so, since the Bible is only concerned with the age of man, the Bible actually ends at the end of the Millennium and doesn’t say a word about how we get from there into Eternity and what we’re going to to and what it’s going to be like.

All we know is the Lord promises that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall dwell forever with Him in His Kingdom. And so we know about “forever”, we know about all that. We know that we are eternal beings, we know that everyone who was ever conceived lives forever.

But the Bible doesn’t say anything about what that lifestyle is going to be. We also know, by the way, that God existed before Genesis 1:1. That He existed in Eternity past, if I can use that term, and we will go off with Him into Eternity future at the end of the Millennium.

And so the Bible doesn’t talk about the whole span of God’s time or existence, it was written basically, for man. And so you don’t know anything about what happened before Genesis 1:1 and you don’t know anything about what’s going to happen after the end of Revelation 22.

All we know is that we are promised that if we are believers who have accepted His death, in faith, as payment in full for our sins, we will dwell with Him forever. The Millennium is just the first 1,000 years of that period of time.

Eternity is the Absence of Time

Now that brings me into another point here and that is, Eternity is not just a long, long time. Eternity is the absence of time. And so when we reach the end of the 1,000 year Kingdom called the Millennium, time will be no more. And we will live outside, if you will, outside the physical dimension of time.

You see it was only in a previous generation or so ago, that we learned that time is a physical dimension. And it governs the activities only of those with mass, (in other words they are physical entities) and acceleration. We are accelerating through the universe. And so the concept of time is a physical property, it is one of the ten dimensions that we believe we live in and around.

Now right now we only have partial use of the dimension of time, in other words we can only look backward into the past and we can only move forward into the future. We can’t move backward, and we can’t look forward. And so we only have partial use of the dimension of time.

One of the things that I think is going to happen when we go in the Rapture and are perfected, is that we will gain full use of the dimension of time. We’ll be able to move forward and backward in time, and we will be able to see forward and backward in time just like God can do now.

The reason that He is unique is He is the only one who can move forward and backward in time and see forward and backward because you see He is outside the time dimension. He is not part of time. And so that’s the way it’s going to be for us. And when we get to Eternity we’ll be able to, if you can imagine this, travel through time at the speed of thought. And so, this is just conjecture on my part, but I think one of the things I’m going to enjoy doing most of all the things that will be available to me there in Eternity, is to be able to go back and review and relive the most critical events in the history of the world.

No Eye Has Seen, No Ear Has Heard

Wouldn’t it be nice, for instance, to be present in the manger on the day that Jesus was born? Wouldn’t it be nice to be with the shepherds out in the fields as the skies opened up and the Heavenly Choir sang about His birth? Wouldn’t it be great to be in the Garden with Adam and Eve, and to see how the things really began for the age of man? Wouldn’t it be great to see all the great figures in history and to be able to converse with them and to be with them, if you will, in the time in which they dwelled?

Well I think that’s going to happen for us, and that’s going to be one of the great things that takes place in Eternity.

By the way, I see Eternity as being one of those things that’s unfolding continually before us. Bringing each new day a great deal of new adventure and new experience. You see, I don’t know if you’ve ever considered, but God’s problem is going to be for us in Eternity because there He’s got all of us believers, He has created us with this incredible brain and this incredible ability to visualize and fantasize and you know, these great imagination powers that we have. And somehow He’s going to have to keep us all occupied and enthusiastic and excited about Eternity.

You know, how do you entertain someone, if you will, for Eternity? Well I think what’s going to happen is that it’s going to sort of have to be unfolding in front of us. For example, psychologists have told us that the reason that children are, by and large, happier than adults. You know, the statistics show that the average child is much happier than the average adult. And they wanted to find out why. In their studies they discovered that it’s because the average children spend most of their day learning new things and doing new things. And it’s the acquisition of new knowledge and the development of new skills that keeps us excited and enthusiastic and happy.

Well, how would you like to know that you are going to spend Eternity learning new things, things you’ve never known before? Getting the answers to questions you’ve had all your life? Looking at things in a new and different way, and then being able to do things you’ve never been able to do before.

And you see that will take place in the Kingdom and in Eternity, not just for a day or two or three or a year, but forever. Every new day you wake up, knowing that you’re going to have a great adventure that day. You’re going to learn something that you’re really excited about learning, you’re going to be able to do something you’re really excited about doing.

Those people who picture Heaven and Eternity as sitting on clouds playing a harp in some endless worship service just simply don’t have, they aren’t using the power of imagination that God has given them. And so this, to me, is going to be one of the most exciting things ever to happen because God has said that:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

And we’re going to spend Eternity finding out just what that means.