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I have a question for Jack. I wanted to ask him if he feels based on scripture that we will see the antichrist come on the world scene before the rapture? I also wondered if the Church is gone in the rapture who will preach to the unsaved? Would that be the 144,000 witnesses? Rosemarie S.

RAPTURE

There are two stages or phases within the process of the Second Coming — the Rapture and the Revelation – and these are separated by a seven-year period of time.The Rapture is the next occurrence on God’s calendar and is the literal, visible, and bodily return of Christ in the heavenlies. He shall return as He left (Acts 1:9-11). One can easily know how He departed by studying Luke 24:39. He had a new resurrected body of flesh and bones — a body that could be seen, touched, and fed (vss. 41-43). When He returns in the heavenlies, all believers, dead and living, will also be taken bodily to meet Him in the clouds. We shall be changed as this mortal body puts on immortality and is transformed to be like Jesus’ body (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Psalm 17:15; 1 John 3:2). This happens in a moment, in “the twinkling of an eye.”

This event ends the Church Age and ushers in the Tribulation period. The Rapture of the Church involves the resurrection of the Christian dead as well as the exit from earth of all believers living at that time (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Regarding the Christian dead, the Bible teaches that the body is asleep in one place (the grave) whereas the soul is alive in another place (heaven). To be “absent from the body” is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). When Christ returns at the Rapture, He brings those that sleep (are dead) with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:14). How can He bring the dead with Him and still come for the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16)? The dead are in two places! The souls and spirits are with the Lord, but their bodies are in the grave. Hence Christ brings the dead (souls and spirits) with Him so they may be reunited with their bodies. That is why the dead in Christ rise first.

The return of Christ for His Church is a signless and always imminent event. Even the New Testament writers expected the Lord’s return at any moment (Philippians 3:20). All signs of the Lord’s return have to do with the coming of Christ to set up His kingdom. They are only indicators of the approaching Rapture because that event precedes the establishment of the kingdom by seven years … in fact; we must be raptured so as to return with Him. The moment the Antichrist signs the seven-year peace pact the Tribulation period will begin and a timetable will be evident. Date-setting will now be conclusive and Christ’s return will no longer be imminent. It will be exactly 84 months or 2,520 days until Christ returns to establish His kingdom. The Rapture must precede the Tribulation Hour.

The Church is not to be the recipient of wrath. When one considers God’s purpose for the Tribulation, it is difficult to place the Bride of Christ into such a horrendous scene. Why should Christ’s Bride suffer the judgments of the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials found in Revelation 6,8,9,11,15,16, when the Church cannot be found beyond the third chapter of the Book of Revelation? No, the Tribulation Hour is primarily a time of judgment upon a Christ-rejecting, God-rejecting world — both Jew and Gentile (Ezekiel 20:37, 38; Micah 5:15). Paul assured the Thessalonian Christians that they would not go through the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Although the Church is not all it should be, the world is better because the Church is present. The Holy Spirit, working through Christians, holds back the tide of evil sweeping the world. When His influence in this manner is removed at the Rapture, think of the wickedness that shall follow!

During the Tribulation period on earth, the raptured Christians have an appointment with Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 14:10, 12).

The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. It was coined from the Latin rapiemur to portray the experience of being “snatched away.” This is what is going to happen one day soon as the people of God disappear from the earth and immediately meet Christ to stand before the Judgment Seat.

JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

The day is coming when every blood-bought believer must stand before a Holy God for a scrutinizing investigation (Romans 14:10, 11). The English term “judgment seat” has a Greek origin, bema seat. The runners’ track in Athens, Greece, contained thousands of seats. However, there was one seat differing from the rest in that it was elevated. The judge of the contest, who sat there, had no obstructions to mar his view. He could see every movement clearly.

This pictures the God of holiness elevated upon His throne watching the Christian’s race of life (2 Corinthians 16:9; Jeremiah 16:7; Hebrews 4:13). God is keeping records for the day when we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done (2 Corinthians 5:10). We cannot live for the flesh and self and hear Christ say in that day, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?’

There must be a battle fought and won. Rewards must be earned and scars must be traded for crowns. Paul, who bore in his body the marks [scars] of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17) was pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Salvation was already his as a gift, but only works of self-denial, hardship, suffering, and perhaps death could bring him the prize or crown to lay at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10,11).

God will also investigate the motives behind one’s works. If there is an iota of self-glorification behind any act of service, the rewards will be sparse . . . if any (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-19; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5).

Scriptural facts concerning the Bema Seat:

  1. This judgment is only for the people of God . . . those who have erected service or works upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. All of God’s people present some form of “works” to Christ at the Bema Seat.
  3. Though all worked to some degree, a difference in quantity and quality is observed … gold, silver, and precious stones versus wood, hay, and stubble.
  4. The difference is tested by purging fires.
  5. The disintegrated ashes of wood, hay, and stubble bring sorrow and loss (1 Corinthians 3:15). While eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (Romans 6:23) and cannot be forfeited, rewards and crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated. A day of addition and subtraction is coming at the Rapture.
  6. Quality works, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men — gold, silver, precious stones —will earn crowns for all eternity. These crowns will then be placed at the feet of Christ as an eternal memorial of one’s lifetime of service (Revelation 4:10, 11).

 

Some will be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28; 2 Peter 1:11). They will have nothing but ashes to lay at Christ’s feet. Thank God one can confess failure, rededicate his life, and make a new start immediately. Then such will hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

 

TRIBULATION

The Tribulation lasts seven years and is undoubtedly the worst bombardment of tragedy the earth will ever experience. God has a three-fold purpose for this period:

  1. To save and allow many Jews who will enter the Millennium to experience the fulfillment of the kingdom promises to Israel made by God in the covenants
  2. To save a multitude of Gentiles who will then populate the millennial kingdom
  3. To pour out judgment on unbelieving mankind and nations. The final 42 months or three-and-one-half year period is so terrifying that it is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14).

There is a reason the first half is more peaceful. Because Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is soon to return, Satan, the great counterfeiter and super deceiver called Antichrist will present himself as the Messiah and be accepted! Satan will enter the body of a man and proclaim himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This Antichrist will come into prominence and power by presenting a “peace program” to the nations. The contracts are signed and confirmed (Daniel 9:27). However, in the middle of the seven-year period, the Antichrist dishonors his treaties and makes the last 42 months the bloodiest in world history. The Great Tribulation is a time of incomparable judgment from God (Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matthew 24:21). A total of 21 judgments fall upon the earth. They constitute three series of seven each and are described as the seal, trumpet, and vial (or bowl) judgments. This is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Revelation 6, 8, 9, 15, 16) (see Judgments).Revelation 8:7 and 9:18 clearly reveal a judgment of fire during the Tribulation. This coincides with Psalm 97:3; Isaiah 66:15; Ezekiel 20:47; Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1 and numerous other passages of Scripture. Both Old and New Testaments are in agreement concerning what seems to be a fiery, nuclear holocaust (Zechariah 14:12; Revelation 8:7; 9:18) (see Day of the Lord; Daniel’s Seventieth Week).

I remain firmly convinced that the Church will be evacuated before the Tribulation judgment begins (see Rapture, Views of).

TRIBULATION … ORDER OF POLITICAL EVENTS

  1. Rise of Antichrist as leader of a confederacy of ten Western nations (Revelation 13:1)
  2. Antichrist signs a seven-year peace contract with Israel (Daniel 9:27)
  3. After 42 months, Antichrist breaks the contract (Daniel 9:27)
  4. Russia invades Israel from the North (Ezekiel 38:15, 16) at a time when Israel is at rest or peace (Ezekiel 38:11). (So this will not happen before the peace contract is in effect.)
  5. Antichrist attempts to destroy God’s people, the Jews (Revelation 12)
  6. He destroys the world church that helped bring him to power (Revelation 17:16,17)
  7. He proclaims himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:411)
  8. He himself is defeated at Armageddon (Revelation 19) and cast into the Lake of Fire (vg. 20)

The Tribulation period will end with the Battle of Armageddon and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth (Revelation 19:11-16).

REMNANT (JEWISH), 144,000

The existence of a remnant of Jews is tied to the covenants God made with the nation Israel. The unconditional covenants must have a people to carry out their fulfillment. Even though Israel has often strayed far from the Lord, He has always had a believing remnant. In New Testament times there were always a believing, expectant nucleus to whom the promises were reaffirmed. Presently a remnant of Israel are turning to Messiah, Jesus and receiving His salvation.

Shortly after the Rapture, there will be another remnant of Jews who turn to Christ. These converted Jews are called “servants of God” and they are extremely successful in ministering to others. Not long after this elect group is announced by John, he describes a great multitude from all nations who have been converted to Christ as a result of their labor and who are willing to prove their faith through martyrdom.

WITNESSES, TWO

Two powerful prophets will appear in Jerusalem during the Tribulation period, guaranteeing the truth of the kingdom message of the 144,000 servants of God, adding to the irritation of the Antichrist. The message of Christ’s return will be preached throughout the world. All will be made aware of the timetable of the end, the eventual fall of Antichrist, and the coming kingdom of Christ.

These two witnesses will be miraculously protected for three and one-half years. Their power to bring plagues will draw the attention of the world (Revelation 11:6). They will likely repeat Old Testament prophecies concerning the kingdom of Christ (Daniel 2:44, 45).

When they have concluded their work, they will be slain and television will beam the sight of their dead bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem to the world. After three and one-half days of the earth’s rejoicing (Revelation 11:10), they will be resurrected and ascend to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watch, paralyzed with fear.

In determining who the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:3 are, most biblical scholars have narrowed the choice down to either Elijah, Moses, or Enoch.

Malachi 3:2, 3 and 4:5, 6 predict that Elijah will come as one of those witnesses. It is corroborated by the fact that Elijah did not die a physical death but was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind and chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:9-11).

Moses appeared with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:3) which was a picture of future events. Many of the plagues of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble are similar to those brought by Moses in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. The Bible also tells us that Moses’ body was preserved by God (Deuteronomy 34:5, 6; Jude 9).

Like Elijah, Enoch did not die (Hebrews 11:5), and some think that his exemption from death was in view of his coming martyrdom during the Great Tribulation. His message must also be considered. Evidently this prophet had been given a revelation of the Second Coming of Christ and had announced it to his generation (Jude 14, 15).

MARTYRS, TRIBULATION

During the Tribulation, a mighty revival will result when 144,000 Jewish evangelists cover the earth with their testimony of faith in Christ. Multitudes will be saved from all nations. The reaction of the world dictator, Antichrist, to those who publicly proclaim the end of his reign and announce the coming kingdom of Christ will be an angry explosion of persecution. Millions will be martyred, sealing their testimonies with blood.

 

These persecuted saints are not part of the Church, the body of Christ, the Bride of the Saviour already in glory (Revelation 4:1). Revelation 6:9 finds their souls under the altar. In the Old Testament, the altar always referred to the place where blood had been sacrificed. Souls will be saved during the Tribulation Hour the same way souls are saved today…. through the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because the believers of the Tribulation Hour proclaim Christ crucified, they lose their lives for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

 

The spirits of the martyred Tribulation saints cry. They also wear white robes. Spirits cannot cry or wear white robes, so apparently the spirit has a temporary covering (2 Corinthians 5:1). We may not understand everything about the spirit world, but one thing is certain, being in spirit form does not mean unconsciousness. Spirits move, talk, cry, and even wear white robes!

Their cry is one of vengeance for blood. They are not under grace as martyred Stephen was (Acts 7:60). This is a different dispensation, the fulfillment of the hour that David spoke of (Psalm 9:12).

There will be a 75-day interval between Christ’s return and the Millennium (Daniel 12:11, 12). One of the events that takes place during this time is the resurrection of the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints (Job 19:25,26; Isaiah 25:8 26:29; Daniel 12:2; Revelation 11:16-18; 20:4,5) so they might be rewarded, as well as be participants in the Millennium on earth (Daniel 12:2). They are also guests at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. During the Millennium, the Tribulation martyrs will reign with Christ and the Bride (the Church) (Revelation 20:6).

I have a question about King David and his role in the Millennium. What are Dr Van Impes thoughts on this question? Cindy M.

The government will be a theocracy, with Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, ruling as King (Daniel 7:13, 14; Isaiah 49; Luke 1:32; 22:29) as a son of David (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:27). Humanly speaking, our Lord’s position as son of David was established through Joseph, who adopted him (Luke 3:23; Acts 2:30; 13:22, 23, 33; Hebrews 7:14; Romans 1:3; Revelation 5:5; 22:16). However, Mary was also of David’s descent. Succession in the kingly line was not altogether by birth, but by appointment.

There is a question as to whether the Lord Jesus Christ will exercise the government over Palestine directly or indirectly through a regent, even David himself (Isaiah 55:3,4; Jeremiah 30:9; 33:15,17,20,21; Ezekiel 34:23,24; 37:24,25; Hosea 3:5; Amos 9:11).Nobles and governors will reign under David (Jeremiah 30:21; Isaiah 32:1; Ezekiel 45:8, 9). Matthew 19:28 states that 12 disciples will rule over the 12 tribes of Israel, indicating there will be other subordinate rulers administering the government.

There will be even smaller subdivisions of authority (Luke 19:12-28) awarded for faithfulness (Isaiah 40:10; Zechariah 3:7). Judges will be raised up (Zechariah 3:7; Isaiah 1:26). Their authority will demonstrate the theocratic power of Christ to rule with inflexible righteousness and justice (Isaiah 11:3-5), to rule in the fullness of the Spirit (Isaiah 11:2, 3), and to rule universally (Daniel 7:14, 27). Any outbreak of sin will be dealt with summarily (Isaiah 11:4).

If you don’t get drunk, is it a sin to drink alcohol? They drank wine in the Bible. Jesus even turned water into wine. Allen S.

Wine and intoxicating drink is clearly forbidden and considered unclean in Leviticus 10:8-11: “And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons, with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die:  it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:  and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses”.

Clearly drinking is on the negative and sinful side of God’s Law, and we must not allow the opinions of men to cause us to reject the truth of God’s word.  When the Lord gives us a commandment it is important that we obey.

The Apostle Paul tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).

The Apostle Peter also mentions the scriptures as being inspired by God.  “for prophecy came not in old time by the will of men:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Now, since we have determined that all scripture both Old and New Testament are God inspired lets look at several more verses:

  • Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging:  and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
  • Proverbs 23:20 “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh.”
  • Proverbs 23:31 “Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

 

Jesus boldly stated in John 10:11, that He was the “Good Shepherd”?  Why then would Jesus being “Good” make something bad such as spoiled, fermented, intoxicating wine.  The answer is plain and simple.  He wouldn’t.  Again, yes, Jesus turned the water into wine, but it was not the wine His scriptures so adamantly denounced.

Think about this.  Why would any believer in Christ Jesus want to cause another to stumble by endorsing drinking?

Please carefully read I Cor. 6:10; 6:19; Galatians 5:19-21, and Habakkuk 2:15.

Medicinal use is the only exception (I Timothy 5:23).  Three studies confirm our conclusions, all found in Dr. Van Impe’s book Alcohol: the Beloved Enemy: a study of wine in the Old Testament, a study of Jesus and wine, and a study of wine in the church.  Three sacred sources speak for total abstinence from intoxicants.  And as Solomon wrote, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  The book can be obtained from our ministry for a donation of $19.95.

The person who abstains from alcoholic beverages is on solid biblical ground.  This position is not popular.  Nevertheless, we are convinced it is the scriptural one.

In Dr. Van Impe’s 190 page volume on the subject, he deals with the following:

  • The long night
  • The love affair
  • The destroyer
  • Booze and your body
  • Public enemy number one
  • The real cost of alcohol
  • Great booze fighters of the past
  • Prohibition: what really happened?
  • Wine in the Old Testament
  • Jesus and wine
  • Wine in the Church
  • Better than wine
  • Ending alcohol’s long night
  • Confronting the enemy

 

Can you explain Jesus coming back on the white horse with us on white horses. Is Jesus coming back on a white horse literally, my pastor said no so this has raised my eyebrows. Please expedite. I believe he will be on a real horse and us to. My pastor is an excellent bible teacher. Thank you for your ministry and your teaching on the trinity. Tami R.

The four horsemen of Revelation 6 are: 

1.    The white horse whose rider is Antichrist (vs.2), counterfeits the return of Christ and produces a fraudulent peace pact (Revelation 19:11). 

2.     The red horse (vs. 4) produces wars and rumors of wars.  Perhaps Russia (red) might have a part here. 

3.     The black horse (vs. 5) produces famine and inflation as the 666 program becomes activated. 

4.     The pale horse (vs. 8), the deadliest, produces death and disease with hell following him. 

Countless horses will be utilized by the armies of Armageddon as the blood rises to their bridles (Revelation 14:20), and Christ himself will return, mounted on a white horse, followed by His armies also riding white horses (Revelation 19:11-14).

During the 1000 year rule of Christ on earth will people have jobs? Will there be planes flying, trains running people working at jobs? From David R.

MILLENNIUM
Millennium means 1,000 years and refers to the kingdom of Christ on earth. This era, foretold by all the prophets, will be a time of peace among people and nations. War will be but a relic of the past. Jerusalem, known for war, bloodshed, and international tensions, will at last become the city of peace and the capitol of the world. The Prince of Peace will rule from David’s throne and the promises given to Mary concerning Jesus will be fulfilled (Luke 1:32, 33; Isaiah 9:6,7).
Peace will come to Israel and to the world. But it will not come through military might or treaties. Christ will come bringing peace. When the governments of earth have finally fallen, the Messiah of Israel, the Saviour of men, will set up His kingdom (Daniel 2:44). Satan will be bound for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). There will be persons with mortal bodies and persons with glorified bodies on earth during this time. Those who survived the Tribulation Hour and who have not been condemned in the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:31-46) are allowed to enter the Millennium in their mortal bodies and will have prolonged lives. They, along with the millions of babies born during this time, will live for the entire 1,000 years of Christ’s reign. If, at the end of this time, they did not rebel with Satan and had accepted Jesus as their Saviour, they will live on eternally.
Their immortal lives will not be spent in glorified bodies but in human bodies eternally preserved through partaking of the tree of life. They will retain perfect health and not experience aging because of the leaves of the trees that grow for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2).
The Millennium will bring peace in the world of nature. All of God’s creation suffers as a result of the fall of man and will be restored at this time (Romans 8:20-23). Nature will cooperate with man again (Genesis 3:17, 18) productivity will return, (Zechariah 8:12), earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc., will be absent. Even the animal world will be at peace with man and each other (Isaiah 11:6-8). All economic conflict will be swept away. Oppression and strikes will be unknown with food and housing for all (Isaiah 65:21-23). There will be religious peace with Jews and Gentiles worshipping the Lord together (Isaiah 11:9, 10) and the Jews will be at peace in their own land (Ezekiel 36:24-27). All this will happen because the Kingdom Age (Millennium) will be characterized by the fullness of the Spirit (Joel 2:28, 29) more than in any previous dispensation. It is evident that all believers will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit in the Millennium even as they are in the present age (Ezekiel 36:27; 37:14; Isaiah 11:2, 3; Jeremiah 31:33). No unsaved person will enter the Millennium (the Jews as a nation will have recognized and accepted Christ as Messiah during the Tribulation period and the Gentiles will have experienced conversion prior to admission also (Isaiah 16:5; 18:7; 19:19-21,25; 23:18; 55:5,6; 56:6-8; 60:3-5; 61:8,9; Jeremiah 3:17; 16:19-21; Amos 9:11; Obadiah 17-2 1).
Earth’s motto will be holiness unto the Lord (Zechariah 14:20, 21). Those reigning with Christ during this time are the returning saints (the Church, the Bride of Christ, Jude 14; Revelation 19:14), the resurrected Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:2), and the raised Tribulation saints (Revelation 20:4). Each group, saved during different dispensations of time, has different duties to perform. The Church is the Bride of Christ and enjoys the 1,000-year honeymoon upon earth reigning with Him (Revelation 20:4; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). The 144,000 serve as accompanying bodyguards for the Lamb and His Bride (Revelation 14:4). The Gentiles saved during the Tribulation will be serving in the glorious temple described in Ezekiel 40-48 and waiting on Christ and His Bride (Revelation 7:15) (see Millennium, Government of).
Terms synonymous with Millennium:
1. Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10)
2. The regeneration (Matthew 19:28)
3. The last day (John 6:40)
4. The times of refreshing (Acts 3:21)
5. The restitution of all things (Acts 3:21)
6. The day of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 2:16)
7. The world to come (Hebrews 2:5)

Can you explain the book of Enoch please thank you. George

There have always been those who claim to have found “lost” books of the Bible or new information concerning Jesus Christ.  These books are in no way inspired and have no place in Holy Scripture.  Christians should not be confused by them because they are, for the most part, deliberate hoaxes.  There will always be those who wish to use religion for profit (Titus 1:11).The Christian can trust in the historical authenticity and inspiration of the Bible.  It’s integrity as the Word of God is above question.  Those who wish to add or take away from the revealed Word of God should be rejected.There are many excellent books that deal with the scripture and how we got the Bible in its present form.  They can be obtained through your local Christian bookstore.Answer:

The Book of Enoch is any of several pseudepigraphal (falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed authorship is unfounded) works that attribute themselves to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah; that is, Enoch son of Jared (Genesis 5:18). Enoch is also one of the two people in the Bible taken up to heaven without dying (the other being Elijah), as the Bible says “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24; see also Hebrews 11:5). Most commonly, the phrase “Book of Enoch” refers to 1 Enoch, which is wholly extant only in the Ethiopic language.

Also here is a link for more information on this question https://www.gotquestions.org/Enoch-in-the-Bible.htm

God Bless you George in Jesus name through the Holy Spirit.

 

When a person is saved and is serving the lord, does there spirit leave there body and go straight to be with the lord? Or does there spirit have to wait until the rapture of the church, to enter the kingdom. I recently lost my mother and im confused on this specific subject. Thank you.
James T

II Corinthians 5, beginning with verse 6, explains about the body and the soul of the Christian.  These verses state that while we are home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, in the sense that we are not present in the actual abiding place of God.  Paul goes on to say that he is willing rather to be absent from the body, physical death, and to be present with the Lord.  Your soul is the actual life that you are given and departs from the body at death.  The spirit of man is that part of man that responds to God and has a personal relationship with Him.  Therefore, both the soul and the spirit depart from the body at death and are immediately ushered into the presence of God.  At the time of the Rapture these souls and spirits are reunited with their bodies which are transformed into glorified ones.

Luke 16:19-31 gives an accurate testimony to the fact that existence after death is a very conscious one.  This fundamental truth is taught in many other places in the Word of God.  II Corinthians 5, written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is also very helpful.  Paul declares emphatically that his absence from his body means his presence with the Lord (vs. 8).  There does not seem to be any indication whatsoever that he is looking forward to a cessation of consciousness or an intermediate period between death and the time of being with the Lord.  In Philippians 1:23-24, the Apostle Paul again emphasized this same truth.  He points out two distinct existences.  There is no indication of an intermediate state or a “sleeping.”Revelation 6:9-12 testifies to the fact that those who have died and gone before are in a conscious presence with the Lord.  We must always be careful to remember the words of Jesus to the thief who was crucified with Him.  John 19:31-37 makes it abundantly clear that this thief died at the same approximate time as Christ.  In Luke 23:43, we have the authoritative words of Christ that give a promise of hope to a dying man that upon his death he would be taken into the conscious joy of the Lord’s presence.In I Thessalonians 4:14 Christ brings “those who sleep” or the spirits of the dead “with him”, to recover their bodies.  The spirit of the believer left the body at death to be with Christ and at the Rapture returns for one’s covering.  This is necessary if the redeemed are to rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4; 22:5).  In order to do so, one must have a body because a spirit alone cannot be seen.

 

Since God blessed the children of Abraham, shouldn’t Ishmael who became the father of the Arab nation and Isaac who became the father of the Jewish nation both have a claim to the land of Israel?

Sandy C.

The Bible clearly states that the land of Israel is promised to the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  Ishmael was never promised the land.  Genesis 17 19-21 makes this clear: “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”

 

What was the land promised to Abraham? We read in Genesis 15:18: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”  God repeated this promise to Isaac [not Ishmael] in Genesis 26:2 – 4: “And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:   Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;  And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”  Then in Genesis 35:9-12 we read: “And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.  And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;  And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.”  The land was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God reiterated the land promise to Joshua when he was about to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.  Joshua 1:4 states: “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.”

These verses encompass all of the land modern Israel currently possesses, plus all of the land of the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised.

When a Christian dies, do we go immediately into the presence of the Lord or are we in our graves waiting for Jesus Christ to return for us?

The Seventh Day Adventists believe in soul sleep. You do not see the Lord until the rapture takes place.

What is the truth?
Paula H.

Luke 16:19-31 gives an accurate testimony to the fact that existence after death is a very conscious one.  This fundamental truth is taught in many other places in the Word of God.  II Corinthians 5, written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is also very helpful.  Paul declares emphatically that his absence from his body means his presence with the Lord (vs. 8).  There does not seem to be any indication whatsoever that he is looking forward to a cessation of consciousness or an intermediate period between death and the time of being with the Lord.  In Philippians 1:23-24, the Apostle Paul again emphasized this same truth.  He points out two distinct existences.  There is no indication of an intermediate state or a “sleeping.”

 

Revelation 6:9-12 testifies to the fact that those who have died and gone before are in a conscious presence with the Lord.  We must always be careful to remember the words of Jesus to the thief who was crucified with Him.  John 19:31-37 makes it abundantly clear that this thief died at the same approximate time as Christ.  In Luke 23:43, we have the authoritative words of Christ that give a promise of hope to a dying man that upon his death he would be taken into the conscious joy of the Lord’s presence.

 

In I Thessalonians 4:14 Christ brings “those who sleep” or the spirits of the dead “with him”, to recover their bodies.  The spirit of the believer left the body at death to be with Christ and at the Rapture returns for one’s covering.  This is necessary if the redeemed are to rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4; 22:5).  In order to do so, one must have a body because a spirit alone cannot be seen.

Grace and peace be unto you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and His continual mercies be with you all the days of your life.

I write to you, dear brother and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ, because I have some concerns about a denomination that doesn’t seem to believe that Jesus created all things.
So my primary question is, namely, did Jesus create all things or did the Father?

And if it is Christ, dear beloved, would you send me the scriptures in order that I may direct others in the path of truth and light?

I appreciate all you have done, all you now do, and all that you shall do.

In Christ’s Love,
Cameron O.

Genesis 1:1 states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  John 1:1-3 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Colossians 1:12 – 17 states: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  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:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 states: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

Since Deuteronomy 6:4 states: “Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God is one LORD” we see in essence, that everything God the Father does, God the Son and God the Spirit also do.    Therefore we can say that God the Father is the Creator, and He created through Jesus, God the Son.

I have questions about the doctrine of election. My pastor has been preaching on this subject, leaving my wife and me confused. He leans more towards Calvinism (5 points). I believe more like the Baptist do. I believe people were born with free will to receive or reject Christ. He is preaching as God selects who does or does not. Is this right? Seems to me that God decides who ends up in Heaven or Hell. How could a loving God allow men to be born without a choice? This teaching troubles me. Please help me out. Thanks and may God keep you both strong and faithful.
Robert V.

Many people today are confused and disturbed because they have wrongly understood the teaching known as predestination or election.  A few brief comments should be helpful for you concerning this particular question.

We know that God has expressly told us that it is not only His will that all men come to repentance but also that He sent His Son to die as a redemption for the whole world.  Three verses in particular you may wish to see are I John 2:2, II Peter 3:9, and John 3:16.  We also know that not all men have accepted God’s offer of salvation.  In John 5:40, Jesus said:  “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” You may also wish to see Acts 7:51.  Despite the fact that God would desire that all men come to salvation, many have refused that free gift.

In considering Romans 9, we will all readily admit that this passage stresses the sovereignty of God.  It is well to keep in mind that an important element in this passage is faith. The sovereignty of God deals with men on the basis of faith.  Notice as we read through Romans 9 that the idea is stressed clearly that God does not deal with men on the basis of their racial background or their good works.  The basis on which He deals with them is one of faith or unbelief.  This is the condition of salvation.

We can rest assured that if we have come by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are saved.  By faith, we are one of God’s elect.  All who by faith have come are saved.  There is no such thing as a person who trusts Christ on the basis of faith and does not receive salvation because he is not one of the “elect.”

Salvation is based on man’s response of faith to the Gospel message.  This cannot be removed without doing serious and irreparable damage to Scriptural teaching.  Any man-made doctrine which robs us of our assurance that we are in Christ and eternally saved is wrong.  God has chosen those who are in Christ on the basis of our faith.

Christ Himself has promised us in John 6:37:  “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  As God gives us opportunity to believe and we respond to that opportunity by coming to Christ, we can rejoice in His acceptance and rest in His redemptive work for us.  We need never be robbed of that blessed assurance and hope that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:4-5 and 9-11

The following is from The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck:

1:5.  The cause of election is God’s predestination of believers unto sonship (cf. “predestined” in v.11).  Predestined is from proorisas, “marked out beforehand.”  Thus the emphasis of predestination is more on the what than the who in that the believers’ predetermined destiny is their being adopted as full-fledged sons of God through Jesus Christ, the Agent of the adoption.  The concept of adoption is also found in Romans 8:15 (NIV marg.), 23; Galatians 4:4-7.  In adoption a son is brought into a family and is given the same rights as a child who is born into that family.

1:11-12.  As a result of the spiritual blessing of insight into the mystery of God’s will (vv. 8-10) Paul discussed the Jewish believers’ inclusion in Christ.  The we in verse 11 seems to be a distinct group from the anonymous “we/us” in verses 3-10.  This is supported by two facts:  (1) verse 11 includes the word also and (2) verse 13 changes to “you also,” which refers to Gentile believers.  Though both Jews and Gentiles participate in God’s blessings, the Jews were called first (cf. Acts 3:26; Rom 1:16).

In Ephesians 1:11 chosen (eklerothemen) is not the same word used in verse 4 (exelexato).  The word in verse 11 (used only here in the NT) means “to cast a lot” or “to appoint or obtain by lot.”  In this context it is best rendered “to be chosen, appointed, or destined.”  Jewish believers were chosen because they were predestined.  But this predestination is not a matter of whim or caprice on God’s part; it is according to the plan (prothesin, “purpose”; cf. Rom. 8:28; 9:11; Eph 3:11) of God who works out everything in conformity with the purpose (boulen, “counsel or deliberation”) of His will (thelematos; cf. 1:5, 9).  The combination of these words-prothesin, boulen, thelematos-gives a forceful emphasis of God’s sovereignty for including the Jewish believers in the church, which is headed up by Christ.  The purpose of God’s choice of the Jewish believers is that they might be for the praise of His glory, which parallels verse 6.  The words “for the praise of His glory” serve as a refrain used after a description of the work of each Person of the Trinity (cf. vv. 6, 14).  The relative clause, who were the first to hope in Christ, further substantiates that verses 11-12 refer to Jewish believers as opposed to Gentile believers because the Jews did precede the Gentiles chronologically in the faith (Acts 1:8; 13:46; 28:25-28; Rom. 1:16; 2:9-10).

Christ has set the sinner free from his sin and has revealed His will that all things will be headed up in Christ at the end of the ages, including the Jewish believers who first trusted in Him.

God’s seal with the Spirit (1:13-14).

God’s spiritual blessings for believers are based not only on the sovereign election of the Father (vv. 3-6) and the redemptive work of the Son (vv. 7-12), but also on the seal of the Holy Spirit.

John 17:6-11

The following is also from The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck:

17:6-8.  The little flock of disciples was given by the Father to the Son (cf. vv. 2, 9, 24).  They had been separated out of the world (“world” occurs 18 times in this chap.:  vv. 5-6, 9, 11 [twice], 13, 14 [thrice], 15, 16 [twice in the Gr.], 18 [twice], 21, 23-25).  This separation was by the electing work of the Father, in which the apostles had been given as a gift to Jesus Christ (cf. 6:37).  With the words, They have obeyed Your Word, Jesus praised His disciples for responding to the message of God in Jesus Christ.  The disciples were not perfect, but they had the right commitment.  Their faith in Jesus was a trust in His union with the Father (17:8).  This faith in Jesus was manifested in their obedience to His words because they believed in His divine mission (cf. 16:27).

17:9-10.  Christ’s prayer (in vv. 6-19) was particularly for the Eleven, though it applies to all believers (cf. v. 20).  At this point He was not praying for the world in its hostility and unbelief.  This prayer is for two things:  (a) the disciples’ preservation (“protect them,” v. 11) and (b) their sanctification (“sanctify them,” v. 17).  The world is not to be preserved in its rebellion or sanctified in its unbelief.  Jesus prayed this request because of God’s ownership of them by creation and election (they are Yours).  Jesus’ words, All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine, reveal His claim to unity, intimacy, and equality with the Father.

In the old economy, God dwelt among people and showed His glory.  In Jesus, God’s glory was displayed (cf. 1:14).  Then Christ’s disciples glorified Him:  Glory has come to Me through them.  And now in the Church Age the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son (16:14) and believers are also to glorify the Son (Eph. 1:12).

17:11.  Jesus would soon depart to the Father and leave His disciples in the world.  They had to stay in the world to carry out God’s plan in spreading the good news of redemption and in planting the church.  With the formation of the church, the history of the world has become, in a sense, “a tale of two cities” the city of God and the city of man.

Since the disciples would be in the world, Jesus prayed for their protection.  The hostility against God which fell on Jesus would now fall on the tiny band of apostles, and subsequently on many of Jesus’ followers.  Jesus, in calling on His Holy Father, pointed up God’s distinction from sinful creatures.  This holiness is the basis for believers’ separation from the world.  He would protect them from the sin and enmity of the world by the power of His name (cf. Prov. 18:10).  In Bible times a person’s name stood for the person. (In John 17:6, 26 the NIV translates the Gr. “Your name” by the word “You.”)

Why did Jesus pray for their preservation?  It was to promote the unity of the believers, patterned after the unity of the Father and the Son:  so that they may be one as We are One (cf. vv. 21-22).  The unity here seems to be that of will and purpose.  By being protected from the world they would be unified in their desires to serve and glorify the Son.

I listen and watch a lot of sermons since 1980, but I still have not heard anything as to what happens to GOD children after Satan is loose for a thousand years to deceive the nation for a season! (Rev. 20) KJV? Can you shed some light on the subject as to what happens to the children of GOD at that time?

Are we going to walk the earth again and be subject to temptations again?
James M. L.

Revelation 20: 7 – 9 states: 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.

This portion of Scripture has caused many people great concern. They ask, “Why should Satan be loosed for a short season? What purpose could God have in unchaining this monster after one thousand years of blessed peace?” The answer is, “The free will of man.”

All persons who enter the Millennium are redeemed people (Isaiah 60:21 and Joel 2:28). However, one must remember that procreation still takes place during this era of time because those who survived the Tribulation hour enter the Millennium with human bodies. The believers upon the thrones possess resurrected bodies and do not bear children, but the others do. Consequently, the children born during this one-thousand-year period are born with the old Adamic, or sin, nature which has been an inherent part of man ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. Many of them, of course, accept Christ as their personal Saviour, but many do not! In addition, since Satan is bound, there is little to tempt them. They simply do not face the problems and trials which have confronted mankind in past ages. Satan’s release, then, is to determine whether or not Christ is real to these children of the Millennium, or whether they have been submissive simply because He ruled with a rod of iron (chapter 19, verse 15).

The truth is revealed as millions follow the devil. Yes, even after living with the Lord Jesus Christ for ten centuries, much of mankind rebels. Verses 8 and 9 inform us that Satan deceives the nations internationally (pictured by the four corners of the earth), and gathers them together for one last battle. The army is gigantic in number…as the sand of the sea. Once again the camp of God’s people-the beloved city of Jerusalem-is surrounded, just as the armies of the Tribulation hour gathered against Jerusalem to battle (see Zechariah 14:1). Then, in an instant, God destroys them all with a devouring fire from heaven.

To whom do the names Gog and Magog refer? In Ezekiel 38 and 39, they identify Russia. Not so in verse 8. Instead, they most likely indicate the memory of past brutality-much like the names Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Iraq do today. As Gog and Magog (Russia) invades Israel and comes against Jerusalem during the Tribulation hour, such an indelible impression is left upon all the world that now-one thousand years later-the details are still vivid. Thus, this past war, fought in the same area, is brought to mind as Satan once again attempts to destroy Israel.

Verse 10: 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.

This is the end for the deceiver of the ages. He is cast into the place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Many centuries were required for this slanderous culprit to reach his final destination. Now that he has arrived, he will experience nothing but continual torment-day and night-for ever and ever. Amen!