Many preachers/teachers are holding fast to their futuristic beliefs concerning end time events such as a seven-year tribulation period and a pre-tribulation rapture of the body of Christ, which are based on false narratives set in motion by the Jesuits at the Vatican and taken up by John Nelson Darby and other individuals and theological institutions to further sow the seed of futurism.
I would like to proceed with emphasis on the reality of the imminence of the last moments of prophesied end time events in this article and do not want to load it with points already covered previously, so I ask readers to please do a read of the following in order to glean the background build-up for the reality check in this presentation. I realise this is a tall order, so perhaps leave it for last.
God’s kingdom is not of this world
It is not possible to pin-point the timing of the rapture in the book of Revelation. It is filled with figurative language purposed to give assurance to believers that ‘their backs are covered’ by the protective, divine hand of God from start to finish. The last three chapters provide us with a clear picture of the final outcome.
Jesus stated clearly that “… My kingdom is not of this world: …” (John 18:36). Although His kingdom is not of this world, it is indeed already established in this world and the reign of His kingdom commenced during the rule of the Roman Empire when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. All believers live and reign with Him in His kingdom in the spiritual realm covering the entire universe and certainly in the world in which we live, that is, planet Earth.
All true believers are “seated in heavenly places” from where they live and reign with Him over things pertaining to both the spiritual and the physical. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Eph 2:6).
But not only that, even our words are launched out of our mouths from this place of power in the presence of the Highest Authority in the Universe. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” (Php 3:20)
That’s why we are able to live in the spirit here on earth, “by the faith of” Jesus as per Gal. 2:20, having the keys of the kingdom of heaven with which to call things that are not as though they were by preaching and healing as per our commission as given in Mark 16:15-20 with Jesus working through us.
We were born again when we believed. At that moment we were moved spiritually to heavenly places in order to live and reign with Christ, especially here on earth. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4)
We have already partaken of the first resurrection
The “first resurrection” referred to in verses 5 and 6 of Rev. 20 does not allude to the rapture. The “first resurrection” describes the status of all who are born again and who are spiritually reigning with Christ right now for “a thousand years”, having “risen with Christ” and seated “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.
When you were born again you were resurrected from spiritual death to eternal life, exactly as per Galations 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
The “thousand years” (so-called new millennium) is not a literal time of a 1 000 years.
Rev.20 verse 4 speaks of all who had died in Christ whether by natural causes or through martyrdom. Before and after they died they were reigning with Christ “a thousand years”.
Let’s look at Rev. 20:5, 6. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
One could say that the thousand years is a place we enter into when we are born again and that is when we become “priests of God and of Christ” and because we have “part in the first resurrection” it would be the reason why “the second death hath no power”.
Jesus gave a clear picture of the first resurrection in John 5:24,25. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
All who believe and are born again are translated from spiritual death to eternal life; from darkness to light, meaning, the first resurrection (as per Rev. 20) takes place.
This spiritual rebirth is significant in that we are ‘literally’ freed from the captivity of the god of this world and his kingdom of darkness and are given the right to enter God’s Kingdom.
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Col. 1:13,14)
Satan was bound by the power of the Gospel
The devilwas cast down from his position of power by the death and resurrection of Jesus. “Now is the judgment of this world. Now will the ruler of this world be cast down” (John 12:31).
We see this binding and casting down of Satan confirmed in Rev. 12:12. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Who are the ones dwelling in the heavens”. They are the born again believers “seated in heavenly places” even though still physically living on earth, but they have nothing to fear like the unconverted “inhabiters of the earth” still in rebellion to the gospel of Jesus Christ and, therefore, subject to the wrath of Satan because, “… the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
He may devour (deceive, influence, use for evil purposes) only those who do not know God or are incapable of standing against the wiles of the devil.
Unlike the wicked, believers have protection from “the wiles of the devil”. They have “the whole armour of God”. (Eph. 6:11). They are living and reigning with Christ for a thousand years, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished” and death does have power over them should they die in their sins.
The number “one thousand”, as used in the Old Testament, is only figurative of this period of confinement of the power of Satan. It is a definite, complete time and not a period of time. (Ps 90:4; 105:8; Dn 7:10).
The figurative ”thousand years” continues until Jesus comes again and we see yet another emphasis on the figurative use of a thousand years in Rev. 20:3.
“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Rev. 20:3)
Being bound by the power of the Gospel permeating the earth, Satan could no longer lead the masses astray as in the days of Noah. Only those who worship him are under his deceit and will be devoured at the right moment.
Jesus reigns forever
God is through with temples made with hands and the sacrifice of bulls and goats. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, became the final sacrifice.“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Heb 10:12)
Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places (Eph 1:20) “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” (Eph 1:21, 22)
The Kingdom of Jesus is not of this world.
For a glorified Jesus to return to the earth to take up a position as King over physical, earthly things and have an office in Jerusalem for this purpose would be the biggest demotion ever to be recorded. This position is now held by Satan with the title, “god of this world” and Israel, together with the rest of the world in darkness, is bowing down to him either unknowingly or willingly.
Besides, over 90% of the people of Israel are not bloodline Jews; they are Jews by religion originally hailing from Khazaria and they hate Christians. They are not the ones who crucified Jesus, but they want nothing to do with the Christian faith. See Hidden History of the Khazarian Jews.
No, Jesus will return at the last day to make an end of all things. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Mt 24:14)
What will that end be?
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (2Thess, 1:7-9)
And what will happen virtually at the same time?
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:16, 17)
The great white throne and the second death
There will not be thousand year earthly reign of Christ to follow with some temple sacrifice of bulls and goats, Instead, there will be a final judgement by Jesus Himself. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” (2Tim. 4:1)
The final judgement will go like this:-
Re 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Re 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The end of all things
The final judgement brings an end to the present earth.“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” (2Peter 3:10-12)
Once it is over, all the righteous shall be in the New Jerusalem in their glorified bodies; “and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. With people no longer responding to the salvation message a continuation of the existence of the world would serve no purpose.
Loosed for a season
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Rev. 20:7-9)
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev. 20:10)
Has Satan already been loosed?
We are now at the very end of the figurative thousand years as explained above. The world is now captive to Satan as never before. I believe that he has indeed been loosed.
There will not be a set seven-year tribulation period preceded by the rapture. We are very close to the end of the beginning of sorrows. The only thing that follows the end of the beginning of sorrows is final judgement.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.” (Mark 13:8)
The thief in the night
This is where the big problem lies. Christians who believe in and expect a pre-tribulation rapture do not know when such a time line begins. The world is in such turmoil right now that it can hardly get any worse. Only a world-wide economic crash, followed by worldwide famine at an unprecedented level, will be the final straw.
The expectation is that a seven-year peace agreement between some anti–Christ character and Israel will be the marker for the beginning of this period of time. This means that lukewarm Christians might think that they need only start cleaning up their act when they see in the news that such an agreement is in the offing. But when no rapture takes place during a time of increasing persecution against Christians they are likely to lose hope and fall by the wayside. That’s why Jesus said, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Rev. 16:15)
By “keeping our garments” means that we should always be in God-consciousness mode and actually live according to God’s Word. By looking forward to a non-existent pre-tribulation rapture will certainly be devastating should it not happen. That’s when despair and unbelief take over and watchfulness takes an exit through the back door and for such people as well as for the ungodly Jesus will come as an unexpected thief in the night.
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1th 5:2-4)
So when will the actual bodily resurrection take place? It will be at the very last day, the very last hour of this age. Jesus said that both the righteous and unrighteous will be raised in the last day (John 6:40,44,45), in the same hour (John 5:28,29). This hour will occur when the Lord shall descend from heaven with His mighty angels (1 Thess. 4:16; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). Christians will be resurrected first and our bodies will be changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:50-58).
All things will be finalised. The last day of earth history will terminate (not continue) the events of this present physical world. Peter wrote, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away … both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up … the heavens will be dissolved …” (2 Peter 3:10-12
The first resurrection already took place. Bodily resurrection and ascension will be in the last day – “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 2:14
A new heaven and earth
The great white thronejudgementwill have taken place at the last day and not a thousand years later. There is now a new heaven and a new earth within God’s Kingdom
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:1)
It is finalised. There is no need for God to play a cat-and-mouse game with Satan by releasing him only a thousand years later and it will serve no purpose, for no human being will be found on the earth after the final great white throne judgement for Satan to work on.
Summary of the events of the end
1. The Lord will descend from heaven with a great shout and with the company of departed saints (1 Thess. 4:16).
2. The voice of an archangel will sound (1 Thess. 4:16).
3. The last trumpet will sound (1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15:52).
4. The dead in Christ will first be raised and changed (1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Cor. 15:52).
5. Living saints will be changed and caught up together with the resurrected saints (1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:53,54).
6. The present heavens and earth will pass away with a great noise (2 Peter 3:10).
7. Final judgment will instantaneously occur (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-15).
8. The unrighteous will meet their end in the just punishment of destruction that has eternal consequences (2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:13-15).
9. The righteous will go away with the Lord to enjoy eternal existence with Jesus (Matt. 25:46; 1 Thess.4:17).
So, the bottom line is this; you experience the first resurrection (spiritual) when you are born again. The second death will have no power over you. You will be raised bodily at the last day (whether dead in Christ or still alive) in the second resurrection (the rapture) when the second death will have power over only the unfaithful (those not watching) and the ungodly.
The second resurrection (rapture) takes place just prior to the great white throne judgement at the last day and not a thousand years later.
I’m not setting any dates, but I have good reason to believe, like so many others, that we are very likely to come face to face with the great white throne judgement within the current decade. The thousand years have virtually expired. Satan is in his ‘loose’ season. Right now it can be clearly seen that all the deceived Gog and Magog nations are sharpening their sword for that great confrontation – Armageddon.
See who and what have been controlling world affairs up to this point in time.