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The History of Man
past, present, and future

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The Time of Creation

In the beginning, we see God speaking and the heaven and earth coming into existence. Genesis begins with, “In the beginning God created . . .” Genesis 1:1. This creation includes not only the heavens, but also the plant and animal kingdom. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . .”, Genesis 1:26. With the creation of man, God finishes His creation work and rests on the seventh day.

In Genesis 2, God discloses more about the man He created. Man was placed in a beautiful garden called The Garden of Eden. In addition, man was given dominion over all of God's creation. God means for man to multiply, so He created a wife for Adam, Genesis 2:24. Man is in a state of innocence, and this begins the first division of the Bible called “The Dispensation of Innocence”.

Man was created in the image of God, with the ability to think, reason, and free will, which means he could choose. Now, God puts man on probation and gives him a choice to obey God or disobey Him. He tells Adam that he can eat of any tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is a penalty for disobedience, which is spiritual death, Genesis 2:17 and eventually physical death, as we will see in the Adamic Covenant, Genesis 3:19. So Adam actually has a choice of not eating of the tree and living, or eat of it and die. This is what is called “The Edenic Covenant”.

Later, there came a time of testing, and Satan was allowed to do the test. Satan, in the form of a serpent, approached Eve, and through deception, enticed her to eat of the fruit of the tree. She then gives some to her husband to eat, and he ate knowingly, and while he "chose" to disobey God, Eve had been deceived by the serpent, 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14.

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The Time of Conscience

When Adam and Eve were tested, they fell into sin. They lost the dominion they had over earth, allowing Satan to assume control of the earth. They were also expelled from the Garden of Eden, so they could not eat of the tree of life and live forever in their sin. It brought the judgment of God on Adam and Eve, which was a curse and death, Genesis 3:7-19. Up to this point, there had been no death, of any kind, on the earth. With this fall of Adam and Eve, theDispensation of Innocence, ended and the Dispensation of Conscience began. The Dispensation of Conscience was now in effect from the fall of Adam to the Flood.

It is at this time that the first promise was given of a Seed who would come to restore man's relationship with God, and, ultimately restore the earth to the Kingdom of God, Genesis 3:15. God showed mercy by promising the Redeemer, which is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will, at the time appointed by God, set up the Kingdom of God on earth, and rule as King over the earth until all the goals of God are fulfilled.

As time passes, the children of Adam and Eve bring sacrifices to God. Cain brought the fruit of the ground, while Abel brought an animal sacrifice as his expression of the coming sacrifice of the promised Saviour, Hebrews 11:4 God accepts Abel's sacrifice, but rejects Cain's sacrifice. This made Cain angry, and later he murders Abel. Cain was unrepentant, and God put a curse on him and sent him out from the presence of the Lord.

When Cain left, he went to the land of Nod, which is east of Eden. There his descendants would build a great culture. They were noted for pride, having several wives, murder, and not worshiping God, etc. The people now found their conscience could be seared and hardened so much that it really didn't bother them any more. This is what Jude would later call “the way of Cain”, Jude 1:11. For additional informationsee “Cain's Wife”.

Another son, Seth, was born to Adam and Eve. The line of Seth remained faithful for a long time, but became corrupted when the line of Seth and Cain mixed, Genesis 6:1. Mankind had now become wicked and done evil continually, Genesis 6:4-6. Because of this wickedness, God brought a worldwide flood upon the earth to destroy all mankind except Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, Genesis 6:7, 13; 7:11, 12, 23.

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The Time of Noah

It grieved God that he had made man on the earth (Genesis 6:6), but Noah found mercy in the eyes of the Lord. God tells Noah that He is going to bring a flood upon the earth, and gives him instructions to build an ark. Noah preached to the people until the ark was ready, but none turned to God. When the ark was ready, Noah gathered the animals, as instructed by God, and his family, and entered the ark. The rains came and all flesh upon the earth was destroyed, except Noah and his family, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. Noah spent one year and seventeen days in the ark.

After the flood, the earth was now for Noah and his descendants, and God gave them the power to govern it. This begins the Dispensation of Human Government, and extends from the Flood to the dispersion at the Tower of Babel. From the Flood to the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel is approximately 429 years. The first thing Noah did after the waters receded, and God allowed Noah back out onto the dried land, was to build an altar and offer sacrifices to the Lord, Genesis 8:20. This pleased God, and He made a new covenant with Noah and his sons, which we call the Noahic Covenant. Under this covenant,m capital punishment for murder was given to human governments, Exodus 21:12. Capital punishment has not been done away with, and is still effective today. Noah was to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth, Genesis 9:1. For the first time, man is now allowed to eat meat, Genesis 9:3.

Man had been told to be fruitful and multiply and to replenish the earth. Instead, man rebelled against God and built a city, and the tower of Babel, thinking they would not be scattered, Genesis 11:4. They were all of one language, so in judgment, God confounded, or confused, their language so they couldn't understand one another's speech. Then God scattered them upon the face of all the earth, Genesis 11:5-8. Nations were then formed from these language groups. From the sons of Noah, the descendants of Japheth went toward the north and west, the descendants of Shem went toward the south and east, and the descendants of Ham went toward the south and west. Shem is the line the Saviour, Jesus Christ, would come through. With this we have the beginning of nations.

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The Time of Abraham

The nations have turned their backs on God and went their own way, worshipping idols. However, God now chooses Abram (His name was later changed to Abraham) to start a new nation. God gives him a new covenant that is called The Abrahamic Covenant. This time period is also called the Dispensation of Promise. Abraham was called out of his home country, Ur, to a land that God would reveal to him. Abraham and his descendants were to be heirs to the promise. God's promises are listed in Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:5: After his fathers death in Haran, God has him to travel on to Canaan. Soon, a famine sweeps through the land of Canaan, and Abram goes into Egypt. He becomes rich in Egypt and, after a period of time, returns to Canaan.

Since Abram and Sarai still had no children, Sarai suggested that he take Hagar, her handmaid, or servant, as a wife. From this relationship, Ishmael was born, but he was not the promised heir. God again appears to Abram and renews the Covenant with him. He also changes the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sara and promised them a son. The son is born a year later, and is called Isaac. God then called Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Isaac was the son of God's promise, and was the son God recognized as Abraham's legitimate heir. Abraham proceeded with plans to do that, because he trusted and believed that God would raise him up from the dead, and that God would, instead, intervene and provide a substitute, Hebrews 11:17-19.

Later, Isaac marries Rebekah and they have twins, Jacob and Esau. Jacob persuades Esau to sell his birthright, deceives his father, and receives the blessing his father had intended for Esau. Esau was very angry so much so that Jacob fled to Haran fearing for his life. God then confirmed the covenant to Jacob, the same covenant that He had made with Abraham and Isaac. While in Haran, Jacob worked for his uncle Laban. He marries two of Laban's daughters and, between them and their handmaids, Jacob had twelve sons. The twelve tribes of Israel came from these sons. When Jacob is on his way back to Canaan, God changes his name to Israel, Genesis 32:28.

One of Israel and Rachel's sons was named Joseph, and he was Israel's favorite. Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him to a slave trader, and Joseph ends up in Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph lands in prison, because Potiphar's wife unjustly accused him of sleeping with her, Genesis 39:14. Later, the Pharaoh has a dream which troubled him greatly, yet none of his advisors could explain it. Joseph was called, and he interpreted the dream, telling of a seven year famine that was coming. As a result,Pharaoh made Joseph the second ruler of all Egypt. Joseph prepared the nation, by putting abundant grain in storehouses. A famine then sweeps through the land of Canaan. Israel (Jacob) goes to Egypt and eventually comes to be re-acquainted with his favored son. Israel and his family are given a pasture land in Egypt, called Goshen.

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Moses, the Deliverer

With the passing of time, a new Pharaoh arises in Egypt that did not know Joseph. He became afraid of the Israelites because they have multiplied so rapidly. In an effort to reduce their numbers, he makes them slaves. After a period of time, he would then order all Hebrew baby boys to be killed, by throwing them into the Nile River.

God is building a nation, so he prepares them a deliverer, Moses. Moses was born during the time the order to kill all baby boys was enacted. Moses' mother prepares a small basket made of reeds, and places Moses into the river. Pharaoh's daughter finds the basket, with baby Moses inside and raises him as her own son. When Moses was 40 years old, he killed an Egyptian who was an over-seer of the Hebrew slaves, and who had been mistreating the Hebrews,and fled to the land of Midian. He was there for forty years as a shepherd. From a burning bush, God calls Moses and sends him back to Egypt to deliver His people. Moses returns to Egypt, to the Pharaoh and told him, "Let my people go . . ." (Exodus 5:1). The Pharaoh replied to Moses, "I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." (Exodus 5:2).

Now comes a dispute between God and Pharaoh, and God uses ten plagues to strike a blow at the false gods of Egypt. In the last plague, the death angel strikes down the first born of man and beast. However, the Israelites were instructed to place the blood of a slain lamb on their door posts, so the death angel would pass over them. The plagues continued for about a year, when Pharaoh finally told the Israelites to rise up and leave the land of Egypt, Exodus 12:31. They had been in Egypt 430 years, Exodus 12:40. The Lord guided the children of Israel in a pillar of a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, Exodus 13:21.

It wasn't long before Pharaoh changed his mind, and came after them with horsemen, chariots, and his army. When the Israelites arrive at the Red Sea, God opens the sea so they can go across on dry ground, Exodus 14:21-22. Pharaoh's army is in pursuit and enters the Red Sea; God allows the waters of the sea come back together and drowns the entire army, Exodus 14:26-28.

The Israelites have now been delivered out of Egypt. Three days after crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites began to murmur and complain, because they couldn't find water, Exodus 16:2. God had Moses cast a tree into the waters that were there, and the bitterness of the water became sweet. Next, they ran out of food, and God said He would rain bread from heaven for them, Exodus 16:3-6. For the forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God sent manna, except on the Sabbath day.

When the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, Moses went up on the mountain. God reminded him of how He had delivered them from Egypt, and now gives him a new covenant which is called The Mosaic Covenant. The Dispensation of Law begins with the Mosaic Covenant. Moses returns from the mountain and tells the people of the covenant, and the people agree to do all that God has spoken. Moses returns once again to the mountain, and God gives him the law. The people became impatient when Moses did not come back right away. They made an idol, began a feast, where they were drinking and playing in front of the idol. God becomes angry, judges them, and 3,000 of them die. God now gives them instructions to build a tabernacle, and when it is finished the glory of the Lord fills it, Exodus 40:35. God gives them the law and the priests begin to minister. The Israelites were camped at Sinai for about one year.

The Israelites now head out to the land of Canaan and arrive at Kadesh-Barnea, on the southern border of Canaan. They send 12 men, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, to spy out the land. They report giants in the land and it is hopeless, Numbers 13:33. Only Joshua and Caleb want to go on into the land and possess it, because they knew the Lord was with them, Numbers 16:3-9. The people believed the ten spies, and because of their unbelief, God decides that all those over twenty years old, except Joshua and Caleb, will perish in the wilderness. The Israelites would now wander in the wilderness for another thirty eight years before being allowed to enter the land that God had promised them. During this time, Moses dies in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 34:5) and Joshua becomes the new leader of the Israelites, Deuteronomy 34:9.

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The Conquest of Canaan

With Joshua now the leader of Israel, they are ready to cross into the land of Canaan. God promised Joshua that He would be with him, and would empower him to lead the children of Israel, and do miraculous things, just as He had done for Moses. God parts the water at the Jordan River for Joshua, just as He parted the Red Sea for Moses. God parts the water so the Israelites can cross on dry ground, Joshua 3:17. About six years later, Joshua had conquered the territory of 31 kings. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, Joshua 24:31.

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The Time of Judges and Kings

With the passing of Joshua, a new generation comes in, and everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes, Judges 17:6. God judges them by giving them into the hand of their enemies. Eventually, Israel cries out to God, and He raises up judges, as needed, to deliver them. The Israelites went through this cycle six times.

Samuel functioned as a priest-prophet at Shiloh and was the last of the judges in early Israel. When he was old, Samuel made his sons judges over Israel. They did not walk in his ways, they took bribes and perverted judgment, 1 Samuel 8:3. The elders of Israel came to Samuel, saying, "Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.", 1 Samuel 8:5. God told Samuel to listen to them, because they had not rejected Samuel, but the have rejected the reign of God over them, 1 Samuel 8:7. God tells him to appoint Saul as king over them.

Some time passes, and Samuel is late arriving at Gilgal, after he had spoken to Saul, and given instructions to him. Instead of waiting for Samuel to arrive Saul offers the sacrifice himself, though he was not a priest. No one but the priests were allowed to perform sacrifices to God, so Saul was in direct violation of God's stated method of operation. God directed Saul to kill all the Amalekites, along with all their possessions, oxen, sheep, and camels, 1 Samuel 15:3. Saul spared Agag, some sheep, oxen, and lambs, disobeying God, 1 Samuel 15:9. Because of his disobedience and rebellion, God rejected Saul as king, 1 Samuel 15:23. When Saul gathered the Israelites together at Gilboa, and the Philistines were at Shunem, Saul was afraid, 1 Samuel 28:4-5. He then inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him. Saul then sought out a familiar spirit, the witch at Endor. God allowed her to summon up Samuel from the dead, who told Saul of his disobedience, and that tomorrow he would die at the hands of the Philistines, 1 Samuel 28:18-19.

David had been called "a man after God's own heart" and now was King over Israel, 1 Samuel 13:14. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty three years over all Israel and Judah, 2 Samuel 5:4-5. During that time God makes a covenant with David which is called The Davidic Covenant. God promised David that his son, Solomon, would reign and just before his death he anointed Solomon as king.

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Going into Captivity

After Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam, becomes king. Under his leadership, ten of the twelve tribes rebel, and when another son of Solomon, Jeroboam, returned from exile, he became the first king of the Northern nation of Israel. He established a new capital, and set up two golden calves for the people to worship. Of the nineteen kings over Israel, the Northern kingdom, none were called good. Because of their wickedness and idolatry, God sends them into Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. The Assyrians took the city of Samaria, and took away 27,280 of the chief inhabitants and priests into captivity. These were replaced with people from several different countries, and this was the beginning of the Samaritan race.

About one hundred years later, the tribe of Judah has also had nineteen kings, all from the family of David. Some of these kings are good, but the people don't listen to the prophets that God sends. They saw the fate of the Northern tribes, yet did not learn from it. So the people became wicked, and in 606 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon carries the first captives from Judah to Babylon. Daniel, and three of his friends, are in this group of captives, Daniel 1:1-6. Then, in 598 B.C., another group is taken and Ezekiel is among them. More were taken captive in 586 when Jerusalem is taken. All but the poor are taken to Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, and God revealed this dream and it's interpretation, to Daniel, Daniel 2:19. It was a dream of five empires to come and in the final one, there would be a kingdom set up by "the God of Heaven" that will never be destroyed, Daniel 2:44.

Jeremiah had prophesied that the Jews would return to Jerusalem to rebuild it. The cause is now taken up through Cyrus, king of Persia, Ezra 1:2-3, which is modern day Iran. Zerubbabel, a prince of the house of David takes a group back to Jerusalem, but only a few chose to go. They build the altar and lay a foundation for the temple, but work stops when they are opposed, Ezra 4:4-5. Nehemiah was later allowed, by Artaxeres, another king, to complete the walls, and issued a decree in 455 B.C., Nehemiah 2:5-6. The completing of the wall is important, since it is when Daniel's prophecy of seventy sevens begins. The prophet Malachi prophesies of the coming of John the Baptist, and the second coming of Christ, either during, or shortly after, the rule of Nehemiah.

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The Life of Jesus

It is now time for the coming of the Messiah, foretold in the Old Testament, time for God the Son to put on human flesh and become the God Man, Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:5. Born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7) as foretold in Micah 5:2. Born of a virgin (Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:26-31) as was foretold in Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:31-33. Born into the Hebrew family, of the tribe of Judah, as foretold in Genesis 49:10; Luke 2:4; 2 Samuel 7:16-17.

Jesus begins his ministry when He is thirty years old. He went into the wilderness and is baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus preaches the Gospel of the Kingdom, calls His apostles and teaches them. Then about three years later He travels to Jerusalem. This man Jesus, who was their King, and is to be the King of Kings over all the earth, came into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey (Matthew 21:6-9), He is rejected as King by most of the people. Jesus will come again to the earth, His second coming, not to be confused with the Rapture of the church, to put down the nations of this world, establish the Kingdom of God on earth, and rule over it until all enemies are put under His feet, 1 Corinthians 15:24-25.

Jesus is later condemned for blasphemy, because He said He is the Son of God, and was crucified. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) but Jesus had no sin, our sins were put on Him and He died for our sins, 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18. At about three in the afternoon, Jesus said "It is finished.", bowed His head, and died. His work of redemption has been completed.

He was buried in a tomb, and on the first day of the week, they came to anoint His body. However, they found the stone had been rolled away from the door, Mark 16:3-4. An angel tells those who came that Jesus is not there, but is risen, Mark 16:5-6. During the next forty days He is seen by many and before He ascended into heaven He left His followers a command to go into all the nations of the world, baptize and teach them, Matthew 28:17-20.

For additional information on the life of Jesus go to "The Life of Christ".

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The Church

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem, in prayer. There suddenly came a sound from heaven, as the sound of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance, Acts 2:1-4. A miracle happens! There were people in Jerusalem, out of every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5), and all heard the disciples speaking in their own language, Acts 2:4; 8. Three thousand souls were saved that day (Acts 2:41), and all that were saved were added to the church, Acts 2:47. The Church is born!

The apostles continue their preaching and souls are saved, but they are now being persecuted by the Jewish leaders, who try to stop the growth of the church. They finally stone Stephen to death (Acts 7:59-60) and, after this the Christians, except the apostles, are scattered abroad, preaching everywhere they go, Acts 8:4.

A Jewish rabbi named Saul (whose name was later changed to Paul), who had been persecuting the Christians (Acts 8:3), was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:3-6. Jesus sent Ananias to him and explained that Saul (Paul) was to bear His (Jesus') name before the Gentiles (everyone who isn't Jewish), kings, and the children of Israel, Acts 9:13-15.

In the following years the church is persecuted, but continues to grow. Then, about the year 400 A.D. Christianity becomes the official state religion of Rome, and this is called the Catholic Church today. There were many Christian churches outside the Catholic Church that were continually persecuted down through the centuries by the Catholic Church. In the year 1000 A.D., this Catholic Church was divided into the Greek Eastern Church (Greek Orthodox Church) and the Latin Western Church (Roman Catholic Church).

Around the year 1500 A.D. a reformation occurs as Luther, Calvin, and many others raise up in protest against the Catholic Church. At this point many of the Protestant churches came into being, but there were also other churches outside the Catholic church that have appeared down through the years. Now Christians have a revived interest in missions and establish several foreign missionary societies.

The Church is in the last days today, and there is a falling away (apostasy) from true Christianity. Paul told Timothy that in the later times some would depart from the faith and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They would also speak lies, since their conscience is seared with a hot iron, 1 Timothy 4:1-5. Peter also said there would be false teachers among the Christians who would bring in damnable heresies, and even deny the Lord who redeemed them, 2 Peter 2:1. John, writing in the book of Revelation, describes the church today as being wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. The church today is cold, complacent, and asleep.

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The Rapture of the Church

The word “rapture” isn't mentioned in the Bible. The word rapture can be found in the Latin Vulgate translation of Jerome which served as the Bible for the Western world from 400 AD to 1611 when the King James Version was published. In the KJV the word appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and says “caught up”. So the term rapture continues to be used to explain the concept of the coming of Christ in the air. Some confuse the rapture of the church with the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ or the second coming of Christ. The rapture occurs just before or at the seventh week of Daniel, which is the last week of years prophesied by Daniel.

The rapture, or the catching up of the church age believer's, is the next worldwide event that will take place on God's calendar. The word “rapture” is taken from the Latin verb rapere and means to transport from one place to another. The word “rapture” isn't in the Bible but the transporting or catching up from one place to another is. Therefore, the word “rapture” is used to relay this idea of transporting or catching up from one place to another, some refer to it as translation. The Bible refers to it as being “caught up” and we find that in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. At that time believer's will also be changed, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

The rapture is the time when all the dead in Christ will be raised, 1Thessalonians 4:14-16. At the rapture Jesus will bring the spirits of the dead, who are with Him now in heaven, and reunite their spirits with their resurrected body which will be changed to an incorruptible body, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. Those church saints that are asleep in the grave will be resurrected first, and then those that are alive will follow, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Unfortunately, Jesus will leave more than He takes. There are many that refuse to accept the free gift of eternal life and there are many deceived church members, religious but have never been born again.

Here is a chart that shows the difference in the rapture and the second coming of Christ or what is called the glorious appearing of Christ.

THE RAPTURE

THE SECOND COMING

Jesus Christ said that he was going away to prepare a place for us and that He would come again and receive us to Himself, John 14:1-3. Paul tells us that Jesus is coming back in the air and will catch up all the believers, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. The Bible tells us in Zechariah 14:5 that Jesus is coming back with all the saints, the saints are Christians. In Colossians 3:4 we are again told that when Jesus appears we will appear with Him. Jude 1:14 tells us the believers, the saints, will come with Him. John also writes in Revelation 19:14 indicates that the church will come with Him when He returns.
We are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that Christians will be caught up to be with Christ when he returns in the air. Jesus will gather the believers first in preparation for the marriage of the Lamb, Revelation 19:5-9. After the marriage of the Lamb the believers will return to earth with Jesus Christ, Revelation 19:14 and there will be war on earth and Jesus will put down all evil, Revelation 19:11-21
The rapture happens in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Corinthians 15:52 The second coming or the Glorious Appearing will be slow, with every eye seeing Jesus coming in power and glory, Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 24:30.
When Christ appears we will be like Him, 1 John 3:2. Believers will be changed and raised incorruptible in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Corinthians 15:52. As show above at the second coming or the Glorious Appearing every eye will see him and in Revelation 1:7 we are told that those who have rejected Him will wail because of Him.
Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout calling for the saints (believers) at the resurrection, 1 Thessalonians 4:16. At the second coming or the Glorious Appearing no shout mentioned, but the Lord does slay the wicked with the sword of His mouth, Revelation 19:11-21.
When the rapture occurs a resurrection will take place, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54. spoken of. (Zech. 12:10, Zech.14: 4-5, Rev 1:7, 19:11-21) At the second coming or the Glorious Appearing there will be no resurrection, Revelation 1:7; 19:11-21; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4-5.
Angels are not sent to gather the believers at the rapture. The people gathered for judgment will be gathered by angels, Matthew 13:39, 49, 49; Matthew 24:31; 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.
The believers who had died will receive their resurrected bodies and will return with Him, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16. In Revelation 19:11-21 we are told that believers, the church, will return with Jesus and already have their resurrected bodies.
Jesus doesn't come riding a white horse, he returns in the air. Jesus comes riding a white horse, Revelation 19:11-21
We have yet to see the stars fall from the sky nor the heavenly bodies shaken. At this time the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken and then all the people of the earth will see the Son of Man, Jesus, coming in power and great glory, Matthew 24:29-30


Now that we see that the rapture and the second coming are two different events lets look at the fact that Christians are not appointed to wrath. One thing we want to remember is that we must interpret Scripture literally, grammatically, and historically. If you interpret Scripture any other way you are trying to justify some other rapture position, and using anything else, anything becomes possible.

Previously we wrote that the rapture occurs just before or at the 70th week of Daniel, which is the last week of years, a period of 7 years, prophesied by Daniel. This 70th week of 7 years is called the Tribulation period. However, in the middle of this 7 year Tribulation, we have what is called the Great Tribulation. The anti-Christ will set up an abomination of desolation in the middle of the 70th week, Daniel 9:27, which is 3 ½ years from its end. Daniel mentioned the Great Tribulation in Daniel 12:1 saying that there would be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. So the Great Tribulation is a period of the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. Wrath in the New Testament when used in connection with God has two meanings. Sometimes it is used when referring to the eternal destiny of unbelievers when they die. At other times it is used in reference to the end times judgments. We can only tell which is meant by the context in which they are used.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:2 we see that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night so we do not know the day nor the hour of His coming. Then in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 we see that He will come upon them suddenly when people are saying peace and safety and they will not escape. Then in Daniel 8:25 we know that Daniel's 70th week will start with the idea of peace which will be used to bring war. This is an indication of the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel and it is not the day of the Lord's return. Then we see that the unbelievers will be surprised, but not so with the believers. Being the sons of light they will be able to see the signs of the coming 70th week and the believers should be awake and alert, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6. So here in 1 Thessalonians we see the wrath that Paul is referring to is that upon the unbelieving and unsuspecting world.

Isaiah saw a time when God would pour out His wrath on the earth for a short period of time, describing it as lasting a little while, Isaiah 26:20-21. This wrath is about a period of time against one generation of unbelievers who will still be alive. Isaiah separated believers and unbelievers. The believers were to enter their rooms and shut the doors, but the unbelievers would be punished for their sins. The angel Gabriel, speaking to Daniel in Daniel 8:19-25 said something similar. He focused on what would happen later in the time of wrath, which concerns the time of the end. He would destroy many by peace. These instances tell us that at the end of the age God will bring His wrath on the unbelieving world.

In Revelation 6:16-17 we see God's wrath at the beginning of Daniel's 70th week, the beginning of the Tribulation. God's wrath begins with the seal judgments in Revelation 6 and ends with the bowl judgments in Revelation 16 and occupy most of Daniel's 70th week. Even though the wrath at the beginning of the Tribulation is bad, but the bowl judgments are the worst and begin in the middle of the Tribulation and is called the Great Tribulation. So we see that the Tribulation is the 70th week of Daniel and that the Great Tribulation is the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation period and that the wrath of both are different. Now, looking at the context of 1 Thessalonians 5, it is the end time judgments of the unbelievers associated with the day of the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 5:9 and 1 Thessalonians 1:10 we see that believers have not been appointed to suffer this wrath. Therefore, the catching away of the church, the rapture, comes just as the Tribulation begins.

Israel was given six tasks by the angel Gabriel and was given 490 years to complete them. They were to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place, Daniel 9:24. At the end of 483 years the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Thus began the age of the church, the age of grace. This was an indeterminate time between the crucifixion of Christ and the beginning of the last seven years of the 490 given to Israel and the last 7 years is called the Tribulation. God had set Israel aside during the age of grace so He could call out a people which would be the bride of Christ, the church. After the rapture of the Church, Israel begins her 70th week as prophesied by Daniel.

In Acts 1:6 the disciples were thinking that there were only 7 years to go before the Millennial Kingdom. However, just 10 days later, on Pentecost, the age of grace began, the indefinite time of the Church. About 20 years later we find the Lord's half brother, James, was the head of the Jerusalem Church. James explained that Israel had been set aside while the Lord took out a people from among the Gentiles for Himself. After that is accomplished, he will return and rebuild the temple, Acts 15:13-17. This explains why those that have the view of replacement theology are wrong. Israel will exist after the end of the Church age and the Jews will need a temple. Though God set Israel aside, He had a greater work to be accomplished, the gathering of the church from among the Gentiles. The message of salvation would go out to the Gentiles, and to the ends of the earth, Isaiah 49:6. After the rapture of the church Israel will then have 7 years before the Lord returns with the church to set up His kingdom. Romans 11:25 tells us that Israel is experiencing a partial blindness now until the church is complete.

Where is the church going after the rapture? John 14:2-3 tells us that Jesus has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us, so heaven is the destination of the church after the rapture. Once the church is gone the blindness of Israel will be removed, Romans 11:25-27. So what really happens to believers at the rapture. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that those that are dead in Christ (this distinguish the believers of Christ and the non believers), will rise first to meet Jesus in the air and then those that are alive will then go up to meet Christ in the air.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God so at that time believers will receive their incorruptible bodies and be changed in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. The non believers will be left in the grave and alive on earth and will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment. Some of those that are left alive will be saved during the Tribulation.

The rapture will be over in a twinkling of an eye, which is only a fraction of a second. Therefore, it will come as a surprise to all mankind, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. The apostle John in Revelation 16:15 tells us that Jesus will come as a thief indicating that it will be a surprise. Paul also tells us that Jesus will come as a thief in the night in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. A thief does not announce his coming nor does he come to stay, he gets what he came for and leaves. This same picture applies to Jesus, He will not announce His coming, He will get what He came for, those that believe in Him whether they are dead or alive, and leave. So Jesus will return at the rapture when the world least expects Him, but at His “second coming” He will come with the believers that he caught up in the air and He will smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron, Revelation 19:15.

Who are those that are asleep in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14? When the body dies, it returns to dust and the Bible refers to it as sleep, but the spirit returns to God, Ecclesiastes 12:7. The dead in Christ are born again and are believer's whose bodies were in the grave, but their spirits are with Christ and will return with Him at the rapture. As seen in our article on soul sleep, there is no such thing as soul sleep. At death the body and the spirit are separated by the body returning to the dust and if the person had accepted Christ the spirit will go to be with Jesus Christ. When the apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:6, 8, tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord he is speaking of believers. Paul confirms that again in Phillipians 1:22-24. For a complete explanation of what happens after death see our article on death.

The rapture is called a mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:51. The rapture was not revealed in Old Testament prophecies and was therefore a mystery to them. In the Old Testament a bodily resurrection was taught and they were unable to see the rapture, or translation, of the living believer's that make up the New Testament church.

There has been some confusion about the last trump. The trump at the rapture of the church isn't the same as the trumpets that sound in the Revelation judgments or the ones that sound in reference to Israel. The last trump of the church is when the church will be called up to meet the Lord in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The trump of the church brings forth one event, the gathering of the church, those in Christ and is the trump of God. The trump of God is one of blessing, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. This event takes place in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. The other trump is that of the seventh angel which brings many events that will last days, Revelation 10:7. The trump of the angel brings woe, Revelation 8:13.

Does the church go through the tribulation? The church has been promised deliverance from the time of wrath, the tribulation, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10. The tribulation does not deal with the church, but with Israel and the Gentiles. The wicked one cannot be revealed until the restrainer of sin is taken out which is the Holy Spirit, 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer's who make up the church, this makes it necessary for the church to be raptured before the tribulation period begins.

When the church is caught up in the air they continue from there to heaven, Jude 1:14; Zechariah 14:5; John 14:1-3. Before the church returns with Christ at the second coming they have to go through the Judgment Seat of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and the union of Christ with the Marriage Super of the Lamb, Revelation 19:7-8; Ephesians 5:27. The Judgment seat of Christ will not be to see if one is saved or lost since all there will be saved. It is a judgment of the saved person's conduct of life since they became a Christian. This judgment occurs shortly after the rapture and within the seven year period of the tribulation. The raptured saints, believer's, have now been prepared with white robes and return with Jesus to the earth, Revelation 19:11-16.

After Jesus has defeated the nations, Revelation 19:15, there will be a Judgment of the Nation of Israel, and a Judgment of the Nations. Then He will set up His kingdom for 1000 years here on this earth. The saved out of Israel and the nations will be in this millennium, or 1000 year reign of Christ.

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The Seventy Weeks of Daniel

The seventy weeks of years are seventy weeks of seven years each. Understanding these seventy weeks of years, or a period of 490 years. This is the most important prophecy in Scripture and will make end-times study less confusing. The northern and southern tribes of Israel had been scattered and in captivity. Daniel, in Daniel 9:2, said that he understood the prophecy of Jeremiah about the seventy years in the desolatioons of Jerusalem. Daniel prayed that God would have mercy on Israel and God gave Daniel the vision of the seventy weeks that would end in Israel being established in the thousand year kingdom with Jesus reigning over Israel and the world. These 70 weeks of years mentioned by Daniel are entirely in reference to Israel, the holy city of Jerusalem, Israel's relation to Gentile powers and the rejection of Israel's Messiah.

Daniel 9:24 tells us that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, . . .” This is in answer to Daniel's prayer petitioning God about the Jews and Jerusalem. Therefore “thy people” would clearly indicate Abraham's physical descendants. The seventy weeks of years show a clear distinction between Israel and the church. The program of the present age, the calling out of a people from every nation to form the church, is no where in view in this prophecy, contrary to the teaching of replacement, or suppersessionist, theologians, who claim the church has now replaced Israel. Israel's rejection of their Messiah postponed the kingdom, but that does not cancel the promises God made to national Israel.

Daniel was in captivity in 538 B.C. when he received the seventy weeks of years prophecy, Daniel 9:20-23. Daniel says that these seventy weeks are required to make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring everlasting righteousness, so it is a time of national chastisement for the nation of Israel, Daniel 9:24. This time of national chastisement has as it's end the re-establishment of the nation of Israel in righteousness, with Christ reigning over the nation of Israel and the world for one thousand years, Daniel 2:44-45; 6:25; 7:13-14; 12:12-13.

Daniel prayed to the Lord for the Israelites, Daniel 9:3-19. The Lord sent Gabriel to explain the seventy weeks vision to Daniel. The seventy sevens represent seventy weeks of years or 490 years of 360 day years. During this 490 years God would finish the transgression of the Jewish people and make an end to Israel's national sins. Israel had been scattered because of her sins. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus died for his people, Israel, John 11:44-50; Isaiah 53:8. He also died for the sins of the whole world, John 1:29; 1 John 2:2, and for the church, Ephesians 5:25. At the second coming of Christ Jesus will establish His righteous kingdom, Jeremiah 23:5-6; 31:31-34 and this kingdom will be ruled in rigthteousness, Isaiah 4:2-6. Daniel had prayed for the forgiveness of sins and above we see them forgiven and also we can see that in Zechariah 12:10-13:1.

The Jewish people and those surrounding them used 360 days for the year instead of the 365 we use today. The seventy sevens began with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. The seventy weeks ends with the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the millennial kingdom. This 490 years period is divided into three periods. (1) The 7 sevens (weeks) or 49 years. (2) The 62 sevens (weeks) or 434 years. (3) The 1 seven (week) or 7 years, the Tribulation.

The first period of 7 weeks or 49 years began with the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Artaxerxes Longimanus issued the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on 445 B.C., Daniel 9:25, Nehemiah 2:5-8. The rebuilding of the Jerusalem was completed in 396 B. C., Daniel 9:25.

The second period of the 70 weeks of years is another 62 sets of 7 or 434 years and ends with the death of Christ, 434 years later Christ died on 32 A.D., the “Messiah will be cut off”, Daniel 9:26. This period brings us to the time of Christ on the earth but he was rejected and not allowed to rule, John 19:15; Luke 19:14. He was rejected by the Jewish nation, Luke 13:33-35; John 1:11. Jesus was crucified for the sins of the whole world including the Jewish nation. This second period ends with the Messiah coming as prince, Daniel 9:25, and this was when Christ entered Jerusalem on the donkey, Zechariah 9:9; Luke 19:37-38.

There is now a time gap between the 69th week and the 70th week. We have the death of Christ in 32 A.D. and since then Israel is not experiencing everlasting righteousness nor have they had their sins removed, these blessings must await the second coming at the end of the Tribulation period the third period. This parenthetical gap between verses 26 and 27 of Daniel 9 we know as the Church Age. The prophetic time clock stops for fulfillment for the Jewish nation. It begins again immediately after the rapture with the beginning of the Tribulation. We are presently living between the 69th week and 70th week of Daniel.

The third period we mentioned above now comes after this long gap in time in which we are now living. This period between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel ends with the rapture of the church, with all the Christians, dead and alive, being caught up to be with Jesus forever. This third period or the last week of Daniel is called the Tribulation and is the last set of seven, or 7 years of Daniel 9:26-27. The time clock now resumes for the fulfillment for the Jewish nation. The first three and a half years will begin the tribulation, with crime soaring, inhumanity becoming an everyday occurrence, and urban warfare . The second three and a half years will cause all this to escalate until the whole world is in utter chaos. At the end of this 3rd period Christ returns from heaven with the believers, Revelation 19:13-15, defeats the armies of the world, then there is the judgment of the nations, and of Israel. The nation of Israel is now re-established in righteousness and this brings an end to the seventy weeks of years prophecy.

Below is the order of the events of the Seventy Week Prophecy in Daniel 9:24

  • 538 B.C. - Daniel is in Persian captivity and receives the 70 weeks prophecy from the angel Gabriel, Daniel 9:1, 20-23.
  • 445 B.C. - The decree of artaxerxes for the Jews to restore and rebuild Jerusalem begins the 70 weeks of years, Daniel 9:25; Nehemiah 2:5-8
  • 396 B.C. - This ends the first period of 7 weeks or 49 years of the 70 weeks prophecy. At this time the rebuilding of the first temple is completed, Daniel 9:25.
  • 32 A.D. - The death of Christ ends the second period of 62 weeks or 434 years, . The Messiah will be cut off, Daniel 9:26.
  • There now comes a gap in the 70 weeks prophecy, a gap between Daniel 9:26 and Daniel 9:27. The prophetic time clock now stops for the Jewish nation. There is one more period of 1 week left to fulfill. “People of prince who is to come (Romans) will destroy the city and the sanctuary”. In 70 AD, Israel's Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans and, in 135 AD Jerusalem was destroyed after Rome defeated the Bar Kokhba revolt. Most of the Jews were slaughtered and the rest were taken away as captives or fled to other parts of the world, Daniel 9:26.
  • Imminent - The rapture is next and could occur at any time. Soon after the church is raptured the Antichrist makes a treaty with Israel which will begin the 70th week, a period of seven years, and the prophetic time clock will begin the final count down of the last week, Daniel 9:27.
  • 31/2 years, or 1260 days, the Antichrist has conquered the world and returns and stops the regular sacrifice, desecrates the Temple. Abomination of desolatioon, Daniel 9:27; 11:40-43.
  • At the end of the 7 years comes the battle of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ, and then complete destruction poured out on the Antichrist, Daniel 9:27; Daniel 7:26; Revelation 19:1-21. The 70 weeks of prophecy are now completed, Daniel 9:24.
  • - Next we have the judgment of Isreal and the judgment of the nations, then the Messianic age begins – Daniels everlasting Kingdom begins, Daniel 2:44-45; 6:25; 7:13-14; 12:12-14.

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The Second Coming of Christ

The seven years of the Tribulation begins right after the rapture of the church. The Christians who have been caught up in the Rapture will now appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, to receive rewards for what they have done, 1 Corinthians 5:10. This isn't a judgment for sin, because sins where already judged for the Christian at the Cross. In addition, this catching up, or rapture, includes only believers, and no lost person, an unbeliever, will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Therefore, judgment for sins of the lost, or unsaved, awaits the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:12-15. This Judgment Seat of Christ takes place in heaven, while on earth, the lost still live and enter into what is called the Tribulation.

Millennial truth is eschatological and a proper understanding of it is essential to a proper understanding of theology and arriving at biblical truths. From beginning to end the inception of the kingdom of God and it's progress and consumation in glory is one theme of the Old Testament prophecy. This is the reason for the covenants with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Israel, and David. Biblical passages that deal with the second coming of Christ are key to future prophecy. This gives us the key to tracing the future of the Gentiles and Israel in the world.

Does the Old Testament speak of the second coming? Moses, writing in Deuteronomy, says that Jehovah, Israel's God, will turn their captivity and gather them from all the people where He had scattered them. Today, God has regathered Israel into their land and they have been recognized as the nation of Israel since 1948. God promised to judge Israel's enemies and bless Israel abundantly, Deuteronomy 30:1-9. Here are a few more Old Testament references speaking of the second coming and the Millennial kingdom, Psalms 2:1-12; Psalms 24:1-10; Psalms 110:1-7; Isaiah 11:1-16.

The second coming will be an event that is clearly visible to everyone on earth. It will follow the rapture and the Tribulation. Christ will return “with” His church and establish the Millennial Kingdom on earth, Mark 14:61-62. Jesus, in these verses, not only claimed to be the Messiah but also proclaimed that He was equal to God. The Jewish leaders knew the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah and His kingdom. Jesus was referring to Psalms 110:1-7, an Old Testament prophecy of the Millennial kingdom. When He comes He will come with His church to judge His enemies, to punish the nations and will set up His kingdom.

When Jesus told the High Priest in Mark 14:62 that he would see the Son of Man coming back on clounds of heaven He was telling the priest that He was the eternal ruler foretold by the prophet Daniel in Daniel 7:13-14. The kingdom Jesus Christ will set up is eternal and will never be destroyed.

Some groups will say this is just symbolic and use their allegorical or spiritual method of intrepreting the Bible. However, this second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom is a literal, visible, and bodily return of Jesus Christ to the earth in wich everyone will see Him, Mark 13:26-27. This second coming will be a sad time for most people, a time of mourning says Matthew, because they have rejected Christ and the angels now begin to separate the lost from the believer's, Matthew 24:30-31, Revelation 1:7-8.

One of the reasons for the Tribulation is to bring Israel back to God, and was first mentioned back in Deuteronomy 4:29-30. Jeremiah says that God will bring both the tribe of Israel and the tribe of Judah back into the land of their fathers to possess it, Jeremiah 30:3 It is also designed to bring an end to the forces of evil before the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Jeremiah adds to the description of this tribulation, and says that it is a great time that none is like it and is a time of Jacob's (Israel's) trouble, but they shall be saved, Jeremiah 30:7. Zephaniah explains a the tribulation as a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of waste and desolation, Zephaniah 1:14-18.

Today we see the Jews coming back into the land as promised in prophecy. When the tribulation begins, Israel will accept the rule of the Antichrist. The Antichrist will rule during the tribulation, but he can not rule until there is a falling away from true Christianity first. We have that falling away today, so the Antichrist could show himself at any time. The Antichrist can not reveal himself until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way. The Holy Spirit that indwells each believer will be taken out of the way when believers are raptured, 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2:7. After three and one half years, the Antichrist will be revealed as the man of sin, and savagely turn against Israel. At the end of the tribulation, the Antichrist is defeated by Jesus Christ, Revelation 19:15. The devil, the true power behind the antichrist and the false prophet, is now thrown into a bottomless pit, Revelation 20:1-3, where he will be bound for one thousand years, Revelation 8:3, and the Lord returns to the Mount of Olives, as He promised, Zechariah 14:4.

Then comes the Judgment of the Nations. The subjects of this judgment are described as being all nations. The word "nations" used in our Bible refers to all nations other than Israel. In this context, it is all the peoples still alive on the earth, at the time of Christ's return to the earth."Those who accepted the Lord during the tribulation will then enter the millennial kingdom, while those who rejected the Lord are sent to an everlasting punishment in hell" . Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 14:11.

In the Bible the word "nations" is used principally for people who are not Jewish. It does not have the same meaning as our English word, which refers to a political entity, or a people from a specific geographic area. Therefore, this judgment is a judgment of the Gentile people living at this time, and does not include the Jewish people. Israel has a separate judgment at what is called the Judgment of Israel, which follows the judgment of the Gentiles. Once again we see that not all are judged at the same judgment. What is the basis of this judgment of the Gentile people? It is the treatment, by the Gentile nations, of those whom Christ calls "my brethren", Matthew 25:40-46. Some confuse this judgment with the Great White Throne Judgment.

Is the rapture and the second coming different or the same event? If not the same event, then what is the difference. The tribulation period is described in Revelation 6 through 19 and it doesn't mention the church. It is during the tribulation that God turns again to the nation of Israel, Romans 11:17-31. The rapture and the second coming are similar but two separate events. God has promised that the church would be spared from the time of wrath, 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10, and if the events were the same then the church would have to go through the tribulation.

The following chart shows that the rapture and the second coming are two different events.


The Rapture:

The Second Coming:

The Lord returns in the air – doesn't come to the earth, 1 Thessalonians 4:17

The Lord returns to the earth, Zechariah 14:4

The Lord comes "for" believer's, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The Lord comes "with" believer's, 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Jude 1:14

Believer's are caught up with Jesus in the "air",  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Jesus' feet touch the "earth", Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:11-21

Only believer's see Him, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Every eye will see Him, Revelation 1:7

After the rapture, The Tribulation begins, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9

After the second coming, The Millennial Kingdom begins, Revelation 20:1-7

Is About the Lord and Church, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Is About Israel and kingdom, Matthew 24:14

The voice of an archangel is heard 1 Thessalonians 4:16

Angels sound a great trumpet but their voices are not heard, Matthew 24:31

It is called a “mystery,” something not revealed to the Old Testament
believer's, 1 Corinthians 15:51

The Second Coming is not a mystery, it was taught throughout the Old Testament

Unbelievers remain on earth when the believer's are caught up in the air

The believer's stay on earth and inherit the kingdom, Matthew 25:34

The Rapture can occur at any time

The Second Coming cannot occur until 7 years after the rapture

Precedes the rule of the man of sin, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Ends the rule of the man of sin, Revelation 19:20

The return of Jesus saves us from wrath, Luke 21:36; Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10

Jesus returns on a white horse in wrath, to judge and make war, Revelation 19:11

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The Millennial Kingdom

After the Judgment of the Nations, the millennial reign begins and we find God is ruling over the earth, in the person of Jesus Christ. His rule was prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6-7. Luke said that He would reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there would be no end, Luke 1:31-33.

The Jews are now gathering back into the land of Israel, the land today called Palestine. The Jews have occupied this land continuously for about 3,000 years. In an effort to erase any reference to the land of Israel, the Romans, in 135 A.D., changed the name to Palestine. At this time they receive all of the land promised, which is about eight times as large as they have ever occupied. It stretches from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River, and southwest to the River of Egypt,the Nile, Genesis 15:18; Ezekiel 48:1-23. Jesus, the King, rules in righteousness with a rod of iron, and there is universal knowledge of Him throughout the world.

With the thousand years of the Millennial kingdom coming to an end, Satan will be released from the bottomless pit. He will go out to deceive the nations, and to gather them to battle against the saints (believers), Revelation 20:7-8. The children that have been born during this time have not all come to know the Lord as their Saviour. These that are lost will follow Satan, and they surround the saints in the city of Jerusalem. and then God sends fire down from Heaven and destroys them, Revelation 20:9. Satan is then thrown into the lake of fire where he will be tormented forever, Revelation 20:10.

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The Great White Throne Judgment

p> The believers have already been resurrected and taken to heaven, so it is now the dead, the unsaved, that stand before the Great White Judgment Throne. God has already removed Satan and His angels, Revelation 20:10. Then the unbelieving dead are resurrected and stand before the throne, Revelation 20:12-13.

The unbelieving dead did not accept Christ's payment for their sins so now must be judged by their works. There will be many who did good works and claim they should get into heaven because of their works, Matthew 7:21. We also see in that verse they will claim they should be able to enter into heaven but Christ will not allow them to enter. Then in Matthew 7:22 we see that they claimed good works to get into heaven. Good works do not get us into heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. But if we are saved we are created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10.

Jesus paid the price for our sins by being judged for our sins. His righteousness is imputed to each one that accepts Christ. But those who do not accept Christ have only their works so then they will be judged out of the books of their works, and if they have violated even one commandment, they will be cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:12-15. There is no mention of even one person, at this judgment, having their name written in the book of life.

Therefore, they will be judged according to how their works stand up to the Ten Commandments, and if they have violated even one of these commandments, they are guilty of violating all of them, James 2:10. How many of all mankind have sinned? All of mankind has sinned, Romans 3:23. So what is the penalty for violating one of these commandments? Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. The death mentioned here refers to the second death, which is eternal separation from God in a lake of fire, Revelation 21:8; John 3:18.

Death comes first and then the judgment, Hebrews 9:27, so since the eternal destiny is fixed at death, the Great White Throne judgment is also for degrees of punishment. In Luke 12:47-48 Jesus tells us that the one that knew God's will and did not do it shall be beaten with many stripes. On the other hand, those that did not know God's will and did not do it shall be beaten with a few stripes. Thus indicating that there are degrees of punishment. We also see in Luke 20:46-47 that the scribes mentioned there would receive a greater condemnation, indicating there are degrees of punishment. Degrees of punishment can also be seen in Matthew 11:22-24 where Jesus tells the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida that it would be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for them. On down in verse 24 we see Jesus speaking of those in Capernaum saying that in the day of judgment it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom. Degrees of punishment are shown in many more places throughout the Bible.

At this final judgment no one will be able to say that God did not treat them fairly. All mankind will be able to see that God gave everyone a chance and that each of us made our own decision as to our eternal destiny, Romans 3:19; Colossians 3:22-25.

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The New Heaven and New Earth

While this judgment is going on the earth is purged (2 Peter 3:10) and we will have a new heaven and a new earth with a new city, called the holy city, new Jerusalem, prepared for the new earth. In the Garden of Eden, God was with Adam and Eve. In the new earth, God will again be with men, and He will live with them and be their God, as He was in the Garden of Eden, Revelation 21:3

All sin has been judged and all evil put away, the earth now cleansed and God is now once again dwelling among men, as He was in the Garden of Eden. The earth is no longer in rebellion, Satan has been defeated, and it is now that the earth is merged into the eternal Kingdom of God, 1 Corinthians 15:28.


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