The common teaching that we hear in America about the end-times is this:
– Israel is back in her land, so the rapture can happen anytime.
– When the rapture happens, the church will be gone from the earth.
– The great tribulation will happen for 7 years. This is the 70th week of Daniel.
– God will deal with Israel during the tribulation.
– Jesus will rule from Jerusalem in Israel for 1000 years.
– Then the world will end.
– The Church will come down from heaven to the new earth.
There are a few problems here:
– God’s covenant with Israel ended in the 1st Century.
Hebrews 8 “13 In that he says, “A new covenant”, he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and grows aged is near to vanishing away.”
- God already judged the 12 tribes of Israel in the 1st Century. Matthew 16:28, Luke 21:20-22, Revelation 17-19.
- Revelation 1:7 – those who crucified Him, don’t exist anymore.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Israel. Without the Law of Moses, there is no Israel. The true Israel is Christ Himself.
– God only has one covenant today. The New covenant. Every one is invited to receive the blessing of the new covenant by faith in Christ. Every one who does not believe in Christ, will be judged by the law written on their consciences (Romans 2).
– The New Covenant is open to all people, nations, languages. Simply believe in Christ to be saved. God has no favorite nations or people.His Son is Jesus and we are His bride.
– Therefore God has nothing to do with modern-day Israel returning to their land.
– In the 1st Century, Israel tried to rebel against Rome.Jesus told the Jews to believe in Him and seek the Heavenly kingdom of God by faith in Christ. (Luke 12) He told them to flee Jerusalem when it was going to be destroyed during the great tribulation (Matthew 24, Mark 13) Jesus promised that the judgment of Israel would happen within “this generation”. (Matthew 23 – the generation of Pharisees).Israel was judged in AD66-AD70
– just as Christ prophesied within one generation (40 years from the cross). That was the great tribulation of Matthew 24, Revelation 6-19. The believers from the 12 tribes were saved and entered heaven along with all other believers during the 1st century. This is the beginning of the wedding feast in Revelation 19-20 and Matthew 22.
Every believer who died in the last 2000 years, is in heaven with Christ, reigning with Him in the eternal wedding feast.
We are now living in the 1000 year period between the judgment of Israel and the final judgment of all nations.
Satan is now deceiving the nations to seek an earthly kingdom just like he deceived Israel in the 1st century.Israel’s return to the land is an attempt to deceive the nations into establishing God’s kingdom on this earth in Jerusalem.This is why Israel, Arabs and Christians fight over the land.
It’s a deception.
Don’t fall for the deception of giving Israel too much importance.God does not have two covenants going on today.
God is not interested in setting up a kingdom in Jerusalem.Jesus will not rule from Israel on earth. Jesus will rule in the new heaven and earth, with the Church and all the righteous saints from the old testament.
Just like Adam & Eve were given charge over the old heaven and earth, the 2nd Adam, Jesus Christ and the Church will rule over the new heaven and earth.
God is done with the old covenant – that was an earthly covenant that was destroyed in the 1st century.He is not going to resurrect the old covenant that He destroyed.
Jerusalem on earth belongs to the old covenant – something that ended in the 1st century.He wants all people to believe in Christ and be saved.
The New Covenant is a heavenly covenant.We belong to the New Jerusalem in heaven!
Galatians 4 ” 24 These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar. 25 For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to the Jerusalem that exists now, for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”We are children of God by faith in Christ.
Galatians 3 “25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to promise.”
Jesus will return – nobody knows the day or the hour. When He appears, the rapture will take place. The dead in Christ will appear with Him in glory. Then we believers who are alive and remain will join them in the clouds, to receive glory.
1 Thessalonians 4 “16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 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. So we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
Then we will join Christ in judging the world from heaven.
1 Corinthians 6 “2 Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? … Don’t you know that we will judge angels?”
Revelation 20 “Fire came down out of heaven from God and devoured them. 10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
At the rapture, all unbelievers will be eternally judged.
Revelation 20 “15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.”
Then a new heaven and earth will be revealed.We the believers will come down from heaven with the Lord to reign with Him forever and ever on the new earth in the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21 “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away….Revelation 22 “3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light or sun light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.”