Click to enlarge. Poetry by Kay Cude. Used with permission.
By Elizabeth Prata
Any sensitive Christian these days is probably be feeling what I am feeling. The gravity of the times and the perilousness of the dwindling time for the lost weighs heavily on me. I mourn the lost: the hand of Jesus is outstretched to one and all, but many bat it away, or refuse to see it in the first place. The knowledge that millions will be lost forever is truly an ache in my heart. As the time of rapture grows closer, and their moment of deadline for the closing of the church age grows nearer, that ache grows worse. Jesus said that many will be lost, the way is broad, and books will be opened (while the saved are so few their names can be contained in one book). Knowing how terrible hell is, and knowing how the perishing have to literally step over Jesus to get there, the horror of their eternal loss is absolutely crushing to me.
But we are told these days would come, and that they would be perilous: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
The violence in the world is another ache. Some days the ache is only dull, other times, like today, the ache is sharp. The regard for human life is at a low, but I won’t say an ‘all-time low’ because that low regard for life and the high violence will get worse during the Tribulation. In these last days of the Church Age, though, the violence is certainly bad enough. The commonness of child-murder in the form of abortion has lent itself to this low regard for life. Lately there have been so many shootings.
I hear of tragedies and shootings and rebellious atheism and hatred of Jesus, and I just weep for Jesus. He is so good, so kind, so patient, dying for us, and we simply spit at Him and His love. I was asking in prayer today “Why, Oh, Lord? Why do you wait so long? Why do the unjust prosper? Why do the children suffer?” and He led me to Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet asking the same questions 2700 years ago.
O LORD, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
The Lord replied:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;*
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.”
The *cross reference in His answer is to Daniel 8:17, which is: “So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, ‘Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.’ ”
The LORD answered Habakkuk in chapter one that He was planning to take care of the immediate problem in Habakkuk’s days, by raising up the Babylonians to punish the Israelites. But more importantly, God said in Chapter 2 that overall justice would come, but in the last days.
I pray that people will come to know Jesus’ love. I also pray that His justice will be done. He will not be mocked. Killings and murders and knifings and beheadings and most important, hatred of God and His glory are equally tragic and troublesome to my spirit as those who refuse His love. He came as the Lamb. He will come again as the Lion. Are you ready? May His will be done.
*This essay first appeared on The End Time on August 2010.
There are niche segments of study within the theological world that are more valued than others. Discernment gets a bad name, often rightly, because many discernment writers tend to drift toward a more “censorious spirit” as Gill said in his Exposition, stating, “Censorious persons rarely have the good will of their fellow creatures” in mind. However as the pendulum tends to swing, it makes a full arc and for a while discernment receives a poor reputation in total, even while there are good discernment writers and speakers out there (Justin Peters comes to mind) mixed in with the cranks and angry ones.
Though all Christians are called to discern between right and wrong, some have been given extra discernment as a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10). While on the one hand it’s not to be abused, it’s also not to be dismissed. (FMI on the gift of discerning of spirits, go here).
Eschatology is another area of study which also receives a poor reputation, in no thanks to many Christians themselves. Eschatology is the study of last things, AKA, prophecy, especially the period since the First Coming of Jesus Christ. Though it’s forbidden, some date-set and of course the end date at which their predictions pass with no fulfillment make a mockery of Christ’s name to unbelievers and a disappointment to the believers who were drawn in. Others who study eschatology badly simply perpetuate ridiculous theories concerning the end times. Others wrongly insist that eschatological subjects are biblically unknowable.
My blog covers three areas; discernment, prophecy and encouragement. I’ve seen the pendulum swing from side to side in each of these areas over the last 7 years of daily blogging here at The End Time. I have maintained from the beginning of my blogging life and my Christian witness in real life, that prophecy is important – because it was important to Jesus. Last days are spoken of in almost every book of the New Testament. Paul spent a good deal of time teaching it to the Thessalonians. Even as the babes in Christ that they were, Paul pulled out all the stops to ensure that these Thessalonian Christian babies knew the importance of living with a very present knowledge of Christ’s imminent return. Doing so gives us a heart for the lost, a fervency in life, and a strength to look forward beyond persecution or trouble. I refuse to marginalize prophecy as a legitimate area of study.
Here is Michael Holst stating the point of eschatology so much better than I ever did.
12 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ANTI-CHRIST
by Matthew Holst • April 01, 2016
One of the Apostle Paul’s great preoccupations in both of his letters to the church at Thessalonica is the second coming of Christ. He was not only concerned with getting the doctrine “right” but also with the great pastoral implications of such teaching. In 1 Thessalonians he writes concerning the second coming of Christ in relation to the resurrection of the dead and the gathering together of saints who are alive at that time. In 2 Thessalonians he reinforces what he had already taught at Thessalonica (2 Thess. 2:5) concerning the dangers of the last days, specifically with regard to the great apostasy in the church induced by the revelation of the Man of Lawlessness.
Depending on your eschatological framework, your identification of the Man of Lawlessness and his activities may differ from what I wish to offer in this post. Coming to terms with the fact that there will indeed be a Man of Lawlessness plays an important role in the life of the believer as he or she eagerly waits for the day of Christ’s coming. In days of relative peace, we must ready ourselves and forthcoming generations–especially our own children–for the days of anarchic deception that will accompany the Man of Lawlessness.
We, in the Calvinistic and Reformed church, have not done justice to the Scripture’s teaching on this matter. We often rightly respond to the “Left Behind” industry with dismay and sarcasm. In so doing, however, we have, perhaps inadvertently failed to sufficiently and soberly grasp Scripture’s teaching on this period of history which will be instrumental in bringing about a catastrophic and irreversible apostasy. Here then, are twelve biblical observations about the Man of Lawlessness (MoL) to help prepare us for that day.
For the rest of Mr Horst’s essay, go to the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
I’d like to reiterate that the Rapture (when Christ calls for His Bride in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and the Second Coming (when His feet touch down at the Mount of Olives at the end of the Tribulation, Mt 16:27, Zechariah 14:4) are two separate events.
Dr Donald Gray Barnhouse preached a great 22 minute message called “Expecting God”. In it, he ties together prophecy from Matthew and Malachi, regarding the Tribulation and the removal of the Church prior to that Great Day of the Lord. He teaches this so clearly and concisely but so insightfully that I wanted to share.
One thing Dr Barnhouse said was that the coming of Jesus we are eagerly expecting will be in several stages. This is a notion that even recently in one particular comment stream on this blog, people have a hard time understanding. It is an obstacle which often makes them want to deny the literality of the coming 1000-Year Kingdom, AKA the Millennium Kingdom.
Just as Jesus came the first time over 33 years, Barnhouse said, His second coming will be 7 years plus 1000 years. (Tribulation plus Millennium).
I can only link to the sermon, it is not on Youtube to embed. When you go to this link, the screen shot below is what you’ll see. Just click on “Expecting God” and enjoy!
Poetry by Kay Cude
A friend on Facebook asked me a question. I like questions. They send me searching the Bible for a Spirit-led answer. I enjoy studying for a purpose. Here is the question:
How it can be that the bible states that most people will go to hell, yet in the tribulation, so many are saved they can’t be counted? Is the dynamic different in the Tribulation?
As for most people going to hell, yes that’s true. The Bible says that Jesus promised-
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)
A specific answer as to how many will be saved during the wrath known as the Tribulation period can’t be given, because we cannot quantify “many” and “few”. We know for example, that many people died in the Flood (most actually). Few were on the narrow way, (only 8 people actually. Noah and his family). We know that most were sent to destruction when four of the five cities of the plain were destroyed. Admah, Zeboiim, Sodom and Gomorrah were thriving cities full of people, and most were sent to destruction when the angels came to destroy them with brimstone. (Genesis 19:13, 24-25; Deuteronomy 29:23). Only a few were saved (4 actually, and one of those turned out to be a false convert).
Over the course of world history we can’t know how many means few and how many means many. But we notice the fact that as soon as Jesus began teaching the hard truths, most left him. (John 6:60, 66). If we look at the scene in context as a microcosm of the world population, most people throughout history have either rejected Him outright or left the faith showing they never were of Him at all.
Therefore I believe the dynamic in the Tribulation is different. I base this on the verse in Matthew where Jesus said the Tribulation will be a unique time in world history. (Matthew 24:21,
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
As for why so many would be saved, it is because the Tribulation is the fulfillment of the Bible’s promises. John MacArthur says in his sermon “Tribulation Saints part 1”,
“We have prayed that some day there would be a sweeping revival across the world that would bring millions of souls into the Kingdom. It has been the prayers of God’s people through the centuries that God would bring a great harvest of souls. And He will. One day it will come. It will be the greatest movement of God’s saving power in terms of sheer numbers that the world has ever known. Now that anticipation of that should not shock us because God longs to save…”
Revival is something we always pray for, but we don’t often realize that the revival that comes might look very different than the revival we envision in our head. Usually we envision a peaceful, joyful revival that sparks cultural change and personal peace. Yet the revival ahead in the Tribulation will be in a time of blood and war and grief and widespread martyrdom.
The reasons so many will be saved are found in Romans 11:26, that all Israel will be saved, and in Genesis 12, the fulfillment of Abraham’s covenant that all (pagan) nations through Abraham will be blessed.
If you’re interested, you can hear about salvation during the Tribulation explained more fully in John MacArthur’s sermon “Tribulation Saints” parts 1 and 2, expositing these verses from Revelation 7 under discussion.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14)
Praise the Lord who saves!!
The LORD is obviously preparing the world for His Son’s return. Though this preparation has been ongoing since the Fall, since before the foundation of the world even, it seems to me to be accelerating of late.
I love bluegrass Gospel music. Posted below is the Paul Williams Trio with their song Lord I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before. Remember, we have a job to do on earth, but it is not our home and it is not our final job. We are aliens and strangers here.
There’s a light in the window
And the table’s set in splendor
Someone’s standing by the open door
I can see a crystal river
Oh I must be near forever
And I’ve never been this homesick before
See the bright light shine
It’s just about home time
I can see my Father standing at the door
This world has been a wilderness
I’m ready for deliverance
Lord, I’ve never been this homesick before
I can see the family gather
Sweet faces, there all familiar
But no one’s old or feeble anymore
Oh this lonesome heart is cryin’
Think I’ll spread my wings for flyin’
Lord, I’ve never been this homesick before
I wrote this in October 2009. It bears repeating. 🙂
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)(NAS) (Above, poster source)
Paul writing to the Romans here assuring them of the fact of it happening but reminding them that it will not happen until a certain “number” has come in. And after that, Israel’s spiritual blindness will be lifted. The NIV translation states, “full number.” The full number refers to a nautical term, that a ship cannot sail until the required number of sailors had been signed on. And ‘come in’, well, who has not heard of the old saying, “My ship has come in”?
In 1806 the British Parliament passed an act releasing ships from having to stay in port until the ‘full number’ has been reached, and allowing them to sail to certain ports with less than their ship’s required complement. In Dixon Kemp’s “Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing and Architecture” (11th and final edition, 1913) the “full number is defined as “Complement.– The full number; the whole ship’s crew.” These two examples really have nothing directly related to the scripture in Romans, except to present original documents that show the term is indeed nautical and number-driven.
In Mark 13:32, Jesus told the Apostles, “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Many Christians take this to mean that since we cannot know the day nor the hour, we should not study end time prophecies. Others say that they are simply unknowable. But these notions are incorrect. Kelley again explains, using scripture, that the ‘day nor hour’ refers to the very end, the Second Coming of Jesus after the tribulation. As for the Rapture, we are actually commanded to watch, to look, and to encourage each other as we wait. The Crown of Righteousness is reserved for those Christians who have actively longed for His appearing.
In reality, there are several things Christians can do to hasten His coming, in reaching that pre-determined number. One is to witness, and the other is to pray. If we have shared the Gospel with an unbeliever, we should pray for that person to receive it on a prepared heart and through the drawing of the Holy Spirit. The fullness of the Gentiles will come in when that last person claims the gift of grace, so witnessing and prayer are key in that process. If we never share the Good News then obviously it will take longer to reach the “fullness.” (Though God already knows when that will be.)
Since there is not a date on which God has said the Rapture will take place, praying for it to occur will not violate His precepts and it even confirms them. When we pray we are being obedient to Him who wants to hear from us. In Luke 18:1-7, Jesus told a parable about how important it is to persevere in prayer. (The Widow and the Judge). So pray for hearts to receive His Gospel and for Him to gather his sheep from the coming storm!
We are commanded to witness, (Matthew 28:19), and we are commanded to ask, to seek, and to knock, (Mt 7:7-8). Ask the Lord for His soon return, and then go out into this fine day and share the Good News. Who knows, the person you lead to Christ might just be the one destined to complete the number, and then the ship will sail!
The next event on God’s scheduled plan will be the rapture. After that the wrath will be released in the Tribulation, Armageddon will occur at the end of it upon Jesus’ return, the Millennial Kingdom will be established, satan will be bound during that time, then after 1000 years satan will be let out and there will be one more rebellion and then the eternal state will begin with New Jerusalem descending to a new hearth through a new heaven. But next up, the rapture.
It is a glorious event in which all saints should be anticipating eagerly. It doesn’t matter that the fact of the rapture was revealed by Paul via Jesus and the Spirit in his letter to the Thessalonians and not by Jesus in His incarnation. It doesn’t matter that the rapture has been imminent for almost 2000 years and has not occurred yet. All that matters is that it is promised to every believer that at one point we will be called home, sail through the air, glorified bodily and be with Jesus forever.
Here are some verses for you about the coming glorification of the saints via the rapture. I pray they encourage you.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
by way of exposition, intimating what is to be the nature of that arousing shout — that the archangel will discharge the office of a herald to summon the living and the dead to the tribunal of Christ. ~John Calvin
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
The New Testament is consistent in its anticipation that the return of Christ might occur at any moment. That pervading perspective of imminence prompts three questions. The first question pertains to whether the Tribulation will precede Christ’s coming for the church. The answer to that question is that it will not because the church is never asked to look forward to the tribulation, but they are asked to look forward to Christ’s coming. The second question revolves around how the return of Christ could have been imminent in the early church. The answer here is that no one but the Father knows when the coming will occur, so that Christians including the early church must always be ready. The third question asks why Christ’s imminent return is so important. This answer relates to the motivation it supplies for believers to purify their lives and thereby progress toward the goal of sanctification and Christlikeness. The threefold call of the imminence doctrine is to wake up and obey right now, to throw off the works of darkness, and to put on the garments of holy living. ~John MacArthur
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)
Why is it necessary that we should have a body? Well, in our last meeting, I made reference to one of the texts that Paul uses in Romans chapter 8, which at least gives us an understanding of why, in biblical doctrine, it’s important that we have the resurrection of the body. And we’ve made the point over and over again that when we talk about resurrection, we’re not talking about living again spiritually. We’re talking about the resurrection of the body. Many theologians have said this, but it bears saying again. If we do not speak of the resurrection of the body, we should not speak of the resurrection at all. It is the resurrection of the body — now, not the present body in the sense that it will be characterized by corruptibility and all of the weaknesses of our aging body. We’re talking about the resurrection body, the spiritual body. A true continuity with this body but, nevertheless, different. The resurrection of the body that is a spiritual body connected with this body is the teaching of the word of God.
So one of the great hopes of the Christian is not simply that he’s to enter heaven, but he’s to enter heaven with a redeemed body, his body resurrected, a beautiful, glorious body, Scriptures tell us, “Like our Lord’s own glorious body.” So that’s our hope. That’s why there is such a thing as the resurrection of the body, and that’s why it’s important for us to understand that. ~S. Lewis Johnson
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.(1 Thessalonians 4:17)
I shall view our text, in order to our comfort at this time, in three lights. I look upon it, first, as a continuance—we are with the Lord even now and we always shall be. Secondly, as an advancement we shall, before long, be more fully with the Lord than we are now. And thirdly, as a coherence—for we both are and shall be with Him in a close and remarkable manner. ~Charles Spurgeon
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3)
Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ’s disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father’s house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. ~Matthew Henry
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
Meanwhile, we live between those two advents—the two “appearings.” At the end of verse 12 Paul refers to that time-span between the two appearings as “the present age.” So he points us to the past, when “the grace of God . . . appeared.” He wants us to live “in the present age”—exemplifying the virtues of grace in the hectic here and now. And he wants us to keep an eye expectantly on the future, as we “[wait] for our blessed hope,” the return of God, our Savior in His full resplendence—which will be the final culmination of both grace and glory.
In other words, there are past, present, and future dimensions to grace, and the present dimension is the main focus of our text. While we live between these two advents, grace takes us to school. This whole “present age” is the school of grace. ~Phil Johnson
Friends, take joy in the coming of our Lord. Though we may quicken and shudder to think of on facing Him with all our weaknesses and sins, His word has assured us that we may call Him Father, Friend, and Brother. And so we shall always be with Him.
Sunday, I began a series looking at what the Bible says is heaven. There is more to is than just saying “if we’re redeemed we’re going to heaven.” Heaven is a term used synonymously for God. There is Paradise, where Jesus went between His death and resurrection (most likely). There’s the present heaven containing the redeemed souls. There will be a Millennium Kingdom. And then there will be the new heaven/eternity after the chapter of human history concludes. So let’s take a look at this wonderful, complex, eternal, real place called HEAVEN.
Previously I examined the terms “Abraham’s Bosom”, and Paradise. Today, let’s look at the Millennium Kingdom.
When we think of “heaven” we often think of the peaceable kingdom spoken of in Isaiah and depicted in Edward Hicks’ 62 versions of the Peaceable Kingdom paintings of the early 1830s.
Hicks’ series of images are based on Isaiah 11:6-8 and Isaiah 65:25. Here in the first line we see the correct part of the verse, commonly mis-spoken as “the lion shall lay down with the lamb”.
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
7Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 65:25)
But even though all seems idyllic, this is not heaven. It is not even the new earth spoken of in 2 Peter 3:13.
Here is an overview of Bible history from the Days of His Flesh to future eternity. We are in the church age at present. These illustrations are from a pamphlet by Fred Overton Seminars. Click to enlarge.
The wolf shall lie down with the lamb during the Kingdom Age, which shall last for 1000 years. This is why it’s called “The Millennium Kingdom”, due to its prophesied length of time.
You see by the chart that we are in the Church Age. At some point, when the final elect soul will be redeemed, filling the quota Jesus has set for filling His church (Romans 11:25), we will be raptured. The trumpet will sound, and we who are living will fly upward and our bodies will be glorified instantly. The souls of the dead who died during the Church Age will also be resurrected and installed into a reconstituted glorified body and together we will meet Jesus in the air. It all hapens in the blink of an eye. This is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
The Lord removes His Bride via the “catching up” because after that He will unleash His stored-up wrath onto an unbelieving world. The 7-year Tribulation will begin. The Bride is not appointed to wrath, so we are removed. (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
[Note to readers- I do not plan to debate the pretribulation rapture in the comments section. The pretribulation rapture is a biblical concept and can be learned of in many different studies here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for starters!)
Of the Tribulation, Jesus said it will be the worst time on earth human flesh has ever known. (Matthew 24:21-22). This should give one pause, because He already has sent a worldwide judgment in the form of the Flood to drown everything with the breath of life, including almost all of humanity (except for Noah’s family aboard the Ark.) So the Tribulation will be worse.
Yet for all the horror predicted to befall the unbelieving world, many people will be redeemed and come to faith in Jesus during this Great Tribulation. Many of those will not die during the judgments, and when Jesus returns in the Second Coming, they will enter alive into the Kingdom Jesus will set up for 1000 years.
During the Tribulation, massive earth changes occur. This is actually UNcreation, or a reversal back to the original state of the earth prior to the Fall of Man during Adam and Eve’s time. The Flood reshaped the earth’s form. (Psalm 104:6-9). During the Tribulation, Mountains are flattened, islands flee away (Revelation 6:12-14). Great earthquakes occur, sending the earth back to its original shape and form. Think of the Tribulation as a renovation of the earth, or a re-shaping.
During the Millennium Kingdom period, earth is renovated, but not perfected.
- Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (Isaiah 40:4)
- The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. (Ezekiel 38:20)
- The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. (Nahum 1:5)
- And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. (Revelation 16:20)
- Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. (Isaiah 60:21)
- Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; (Isaiah 35:5-6)
- No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. (Isaiah 65:20)
- And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26) [Source Overton Seminars]
Jesus personally rules and reigns on earth from His Temple! If you read Ezekiel 40-48, especially Ezekiel 43:1-9, it is a description of the restored Temple and life on earth with Jesus as the center of worship. The Milennium Kingdom is the fulfillment of all His promises to Israel. Their will Messiah ruling among them, their lands are given to them, their life revolves around Jesus, who they have since recognized as THE promised King.
The animals are peaceful, there is no curse to make them have the fear and dread of man as happened after the Fall. (Genesis 9:2).
|One of folk artist Edward Hicks’ 62 Peaceable Kingdom paintings|
However, remember that when the Great Tribulation ended at His Second Coming, there were believers alive who entered the Kingdom? These people are mortal. They live long lives. They have babies and they live long lives. As the verse from Isaiah 65:20 says above, if such a one dies at age 100, they all say what a shame he died so young.
During this period, satan and his demons are bound in the abyss-jail. They are not present on earth to trouble mortal humans who are living in the Kingdom age and of course he is not bothering the us, the redeemed/glorified either. Jesus is ruling, David is reigning, people are living long lives, and there is no satan to bother them. How perfect!
Not so fast. The mortals born during the Kingdom Age will certainly enjoy peaceful Messianic rule, a non-cursed animal realm, and no temptations by satan or his demons- but they will still possess a sin nature. During the peaceful Milennium Kingdom, sin will be present. Hidden, but present.
At the end of the Milennium Age Satan is let out of the jail along with his demons. Satan quickly draws out the venomous sin that is in people, and believe it or not, they rebel against Jesus. It’s depressing to see how fast that satan can draw people to his side again, and not just a few either. All this is recorded in Revelation 20. Here is an excerpt.
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10).
That is why the Milennium Age which occurs subsequent to the Great Tribulation and Second Coming is not “heaven”. It looks like it. It seems like it. But it isn’t. Sin is still present. Satan still has power to deceive. People still reject Jesus.
After the Millennial rebellion is put down, the Great White Throne Judgment occurs. This is when all the unredeemed dead of all ages are resurrected and judged according to their works. It’s the final dealing with sin. They are thrown into the Lake of Fire along with satan and his demons to begin their eternal punishment in their eternal bodies. Hell and Death are also thrown into the Lake of Fire too. The earth is melted in a fervent heat and completely remade. (2 Peter 3:10).
Remember, at the end of the Tribulation as the mortals entered the Millennium Kingdom, the earth still contained graves and bones. It still had death upon it. The Lord remakes earth completely new, and the heavens too. No taint of sin or death or hell will ever touch it again.
Tomorrow, the difference between the Present Heaven and the Future Heaven which is the Eternal State.
May these things encourage you and spark you to delve further into the wonderful promises of Jesus the Christ for His people!
Sermon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Death and Heaven