WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN AFTER THE RAPTURE ?
This is possibly the most momentous determining event of our eternal future and it is imminent. I must warn you about it. It is an everlasting, irreversible judgment that will determine your eternal position and state of glory. The first thing that will happen after the Rapture, when our bodies are changed or resurrected, is that we must all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. When Christ appears to us in the Rapture there will be a judgment:
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom (2 Timothy 4:1).
So, preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2)
Because Paul had been faithful to this call he expected to receive a reward at this judgement along with others who are faithful: Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (v8).
It is a judgment for true Christians only (for those who are raptured):
Why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. For it is written:
As I live says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me and every tongue shall confess to God. So then each of us (individually) shall give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, rather resolve not to put a stumbling block in our brother’s way (Romans 14:10-13). Knowing that soon we will be judged causes us to focus our attention upon (judge) ourselves (so that we do nothing to cause others to fall) rather than focusing upon the faults and failings of others.
The word for the Judgment Seat (BEMA) means a high elevated seat used by the Roman Emperor for judgment, as well as the seat he would sit on at the Olympics and from where he would hand out rewards to the victors and winners. All Christians individually will give an account to God for how they responded to people and situations and God’s will. There’ll be no excuses, or blaming others in that day, because whatever others do to us, we are responsible for our own thoughts and actions.
This is a strong inducement against sin, especially judging others, because:
Firstly, JUDGING others stops us focusing on ourselves. Concentrating on judging ourselves keeps us from sins that discourage others and which destroy our rewards. Realising we will give an account will cause us to get our act together rather than getting on everyone else’s case!
Secondly, it is futile because only the Lord can render final judgment.
Thirdly, it is a proud usurping of the Lord’s place and will lead to you being judged more strictly.
So speak and so do as those who will be JUDGED by the Law of Liberty (the law of love) for judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:12,13).
Be merciful if you expect mercy. Some spend their lives as experts criticising everyone else’s efforts. These will endure a terrifying judgment.
James in 2:14-22 goes on to say that we will be justified in this judgment by our works (he is not talking about salvation – he is talking to Christians). Our works and words will either be justified or condemned.
For every idle (empty) word men speak they’ll give an account for it in the Day of Judgment, for by your words you’ll be justified and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:36,37).
If I have not love, it (my deed) profits me nothing (it brings me no reward) – (1Corinthians.13:3).
In I Corinthians 4:2-5 Paul said: It is required in stewards (managers of God’s resources – His Word, anointing, money, time, gifts) that one be found FAITHFUL (this is what God is looking for – loving loyalty and faithfulness in serving Him). But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I don’t even judge myself (he leaves all final judgment to Christ) For I know nothing against myself, yet I’m not justified by this, but He who judges me is the Lord (so don’t waste time worrying what others think – it’s what the Lord thinks that counts. This attitude helps you overcome criticism and keeps you looking to the Lord). Therefore judge nothing (finally) before the time (of judgment), until the Lord Comes (this proves the time of this judgment is the Rapture) Who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts (the motive for each work will be revealed and judged) Then each one’s praise (reward) will come from God.
Hebrews 9:27,28 confirms the time of this judgment is the Rapture:
As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Paul is saying that the two Comings of Christ follow a pattern of death then judgement. The first time, He died for us. The second time He will judge, but it is not a judgment for condemnation on sin but a judgment of our works for rewards (it is part of our salvation).
Rewards are associated with the Coming of Christ and the resurrection (1Cor 4:5, 1Thess 2:19, 2Tim 4:1,8):
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work (Rev 22:12).
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14).
Paul lived his life with an awareness that soon he would have to give an account for every deed:
We make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him For we must ALL appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may receive (reward for) the THINGS DONE IN THE BODY, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men (2Corinthians 5:9-11).
Only believers will be present. Every work is either good or bad, either of love or selfish, either to glorify God or satisfy self. If it’s not good, it’s bad. It will be justified or condemned. This motivated Paul in the fear of the Lord, to preach the Gospel and fulfil God’s plan for his life.
God will reward our WORKS not our good INTENTIONS.
In evaluating the seven churches Jesus said to each: I see your works.
We may say – He sees my heart – yes, He does – but we will be judged by what we actually do in loving and serving Him, for this is the ultimate proof of what is in our heart. Jesus said: If you love me obey my commandments. Telling Him we love Him is good, but if we don’t show (prove) it in our actions it has little value. Empty words will be shown up in that Day (Matthew 21:28-31).
It will not be a judgment of condemnation upon our sin (John 3:18, 5:24, Romans 8:1), for our sins were judged and forgiven on the Cross. It’s not a judgment of our righteousness, for we have the Righteousness of Christ from our justification (Romans 5:1, 2Corinthians 5:21). It’s not to do with us as SONS but as SERVANTS OF GOD. It is for rewards not punishment for sin.
However our sins do greatly affect our rewards.
Sin destroys our fruitfulness and often undoes the effect of our good works. Sin puts us out of fellowship with God. When we confess our sin, He blots it out with His Blood – praise God! (Isaiah 43:25). But as our life is recorded on God’s VIDEO-TAPE, any time out of fellowship is wiped blank and nothing from that time can be presented for reward. Only what is done in fellowship with God will stand and be rewarded. What is up for judgment is everything we put forth as a good work.
It will be a rigorous and searching judgment of our WORKS.
Peter tells Christians who suffer for Christ to remember they will soon stand before Christ’s Judgment Seat and to rejoice because they will be rewarded for their faithful witness.
For the time (is at hand) for JUDGMENT to begin at the House of God and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God (unbelievers)?
Now – if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear? (1Peter 4:17-18).
This tells us that the Judgment for believers comes first, then that for unbelievers will come afterwards. Although it will be a strict judgment, it will be far better than standing in the Judgment of unbelievers!
It is a Judgment of our WORKS – to determine our rewards.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1Corinthians 3:10-15).
Paul is talking about his work for the Lord, laying the foundation of (the Gospel of) Jesus Christ (what Jesus did to save us). We can’t add to that. We’re saved by trusting in the foundation of Christ (we can’t add our own works, v10,11). We are called to build upon this foundation – a life and ministry that glorifies God with good works. The quality of our works will be tested and rewarded.
In doing this we use one of two kinds of material.
Either ‘gold, silver and precious stones’ or ‘wood, hay and straw’ (v12). One kind is combustible and will not stand the test of fire (God’s holiness). The other kind is indestructible and will endure forever.
GOLD represents the DIVINE NATURE – these are works of true love and faith, of the WORD and the SPIRIT.
SILVER represents REDEMPTION. These are works springing from the death and resurrection (the redemption) of Christ.
PRECIOUS STONES represent the Words of God. These are works of obedience to the Word.
WOOD represents HUMAN FLESH – these are works from our own strength, independent from God.
HAY represents human merit, works of self-righteousness.
STRAW represents human opinion and wisdom, works that proceed purely from human reasoning.
The true nature of every work will be revealed in the Day of Judgment.
It will be revealed by FIRE and the FIRE will test each one’s work, of what sort (material) it is (v13).
It is a Quality test – was it done in the Lord or in the flesh?
What is the FIRE? His head and hair were white like wool as white as snow and HIS EYES like a FLAME OF FIRE (Revelation 1:14). Jesus will look into our life with His eyes of fire, with penetrating and consuming insight. Everything inferior (‘bad’) is burnt and destroyed, for nothing of the flesh can endure in Heaven. Only that which is of God will remain. So our works will be purified by fire and rewarded for whatever stands the test of fire (v14). Someone whose life work is burnt will suffer loss of reward but not his salvation – which rests on Christ’s work alone. See also the houses built on the sand and the rock (Matthew 7:24-27).
Thus we must examine:
(1) the MOTIVE for our works (is it love for God and man, to glorify God?)
(2) the FAITH and OBEDIENCE of our works
(do they spring from God’s will or are they traditions and religious rituals we happen to like?).
(3) the POWER energising our works (is it the Spirit or the flesh? Col 1:29).
Jesus’ last promise was: Behold, I am coming quickly and My REWARD is with Me to give EVERY ONE according to His WORK (Revelation22:12) He is a generous Rewarder! Every good thing you do, however small, will be rewarded. The reward is infinite because it is eternal! Jesus said that even giving a cup of water to one in need will be rewarded. Remember your whole life is seen by God and is recorded and will be rewarded.
WHAT YOU DO NOW AFFECTS YOUR FUTURE ETERNAL GLORY !
Two Similar Parables (Matthew 25:13-30 and Luke 19:11-27) describe the Judgment of God’s Servants that will take place immediately after the Rapture. The Master (Jesus) leaves for a far country (the right hand of God) to receive authority to rule on earth. Then He will return after a significant time away (Luke 19:11,12; Matthew 25:19). The people of the world (unbelievers) rejected Him (Luke 19:14) and so when He returns He will slay them (Luke 19:27). But it’s the believers – His SERVANTS that are the focus of the parable. He gives them resources to use in serving and working for Him in His absence.
In Luke, they all had equal resources, for we all have the fruit of the Spirit and the Word of God in equal measure to use in serving God.
In Matthew the servants were given different amounts – for our gifts and callings are all different (Matthew 25:15). When the Lord returned (the Rapture), He called all His servants to Him to settle accounts. All their work was inspected and judged to determine their reward. This teaches us that all that we have (our time, money, gifts, strengths etc) is not really ours but entrusted to us. We are managers of Christ’s resources. Therefore we will all give an account to Him of what we have done with them to further His Kingdom.
The parables show that God’s reward system is very generous to the fruitful, productive servants. He rewarded them with AUTHORITY over cities and great JOY in proportion to their fruitfulness (Luke 19:17,19; Matt 25:21,23). Thus we will have different degrees of authority and glory (God’s presence) in eternity. In particular, He rewards their faithfulness to Him (Luke 19:17; Matthew 25:21,23). This is why two servants in Matthew who made different profits received the same reward. Both doubled their money and so were equally faithful with what God gave them. Those with greater gifts will often get less reward than those with lesser gifts and responsibilities, because they were less faithful to what God called them to do. That’s why Jesus said about this judgment: The last shall be first and the first last.
There is a rebuke for those LAZY servants who do nothing. They hid the money in the ground and presented it to the Lord unused (Matthew 25:24,25; Luke 19:20,21). This was a wasted life that produced no fruit for Christ. They were full of excuses, wrongly believing Him to be a hard man and therefore afraid to do anything positive lest it displease Him. However the Lord knows all things and all excuses will be useless in that Day – they will evaporate as He shines His light upon us. He pointed out that if that was the reason, they could have put the money in a bank to get interest for Him. Even if you’re afraid to lead something for the Lord, you can at least put your gifts, time and money into the work of the Church, so that together we can advance the Kingdom. The Lord revealed what the real problem was – they were “wicked and lazy servants.” They had little love for the Lord and so just yielded to selfishness and gave their time to their own pursuits.
The Judgment Day will be terrifying for these Christians. First, they lose all rewards, including capacities to serve God in eternity (Matthew 25:28,29). If we’re not faithful in the little things (in this life), we will not be given greater (eternal) things to possess and to rule over (a diminished inheritance). Even worse, the unprofitable servant is excluded from the glorious presence of the Lord that the faithful are enjoying. He is in the Kingdom but in the ‘outer darkness’ (Matthew 25:30). This place is dark compared to the glory near the throne. In this place, there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth for a time as these experience the shame of failing their Lord, regret for wasted lives and lost opportunities and rewards. This pain will be more intense because they will be in their resurrected bodies, with no sin-nature present to dull their memories or consciences. However, they are not put to death like the unbelievers who reject Christ as their King (Luke 19:24-27). Unbelievers will face the judgment of the second death (Revelation 20:14,15). If the lazy servant was unsaved, he would not even be standing at the judgment of servants. The lazy servant was out of fellowship the whole time with a bad attitude, and so after God wipes clean from his life all that was not of God, there’s nothing left for God to reward.
The REWARDS include five CROWNS.
Crown = stephanos – the word used for a victor’s crown won by athletes in the OLYMPICS. Christian life is like running a RACE. Rewards are for overcomers (see Revelation 2,3 – at the end of each letter) because to do well, we must overcome the world, the flesh (the sin-nature) and the devil. All three were judged on the Cross so now we have power and authority over them, but they are still here and must be overcome. If we are lazy they overcome and we bear no fruit. Overcoming is only possible by faith in God’s Word and trusting in the power of the Spirit.
A. The Incorruptible Crown (1Corinthians 9:24-27) – for exercising self-control and not going after corruptible things, in order to live a Spirit-controlled life.
Those who run in a race run to receive the prize. Run so to obtain it. All who compete for it exercise self control in all things (athletes can’t just eat,drink anything, waste their time and expect to win). They do it for a perishable CROWN but we for an imperishable (eternal) one. Therefore I run not with uncertainty (but with purpose) … I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others. I myself should be disqualified.
To be body-ruled is to dissipate one’s life in drinking, gambling, sexual sins, arguments, worry etc (Galatians 5:19-21). The result is disqualification from all rewards. We must bring our flesh under the control of the spirit (by the help of the Spirit) every day. Even Paul could lose his reward by letting his body dominate.
B. The Soul-winners Crown (1Thessalonians 2:19) or ‘Crown of Rejoicing’ – given at His Coming:
What is our hope or joy or Crown of Rejoicing?
Is it not even you (my converts and disciples) in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming.
This again shows that the Judgement for rewards will happen at the Rapture.
C. The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7,8). At the end of his life Paul said:
I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the CROWN of RIGHTEOUSNESS which the Lord will give to me on that Day and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
This crown is for those who keep the faith (who stay in the truth of the Word) to the end and who love His appearing (they live right, knowing they will give a full account at the Rapture – that day of His appearing).
D. The Crown of Life (James 1:12).
Blessed is the man who endures temptation (tests and trials) for when he has been approved he will receive the CROWN OF LIFE which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
It is for those who are FAITHFUL to the Lord, and endure through trials, temptations and persecutions. It is especially for martyrs.
Be faithful unto death and I will give you the CROWN OF LIFE (Revelation 2:10, see also 12:11).
E. The Crown of Glory (1Peter 5:1-4).
When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the CROWN OF GLORY that does not fade away (it is eternal). This is a Crown for elders and by extension those who faithful in positions of authority. These should also consider that those to whom much is given, much is required. Teachers will face a stricter judgment (James 3:1).
Much of our reward is the degree of glory we will receive.
As we walk in the Spirit, there will be sufferings and as we trust and love God in them, He is able to work a greater glory in us, which will only be manifested when our body is resurrected. In eternity we will be filled with God to our full capacity, so there will be no lack. But our capacity for eternal glory is determined by how we live our Christian lives now. As we love, trust and obey God now even if it means suffering then a greater (capacity for) glory is being worked in us. That glory will be manifested at the resurrection.
If children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:17-19).
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17,18).
He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2Corinthians 12:9,10).
Jesus came that we might have ABUNDANCE of life (John 10:10) but our present body cannot handle the glory God wants to reveal in us. Only a resurrected body can handle this glory. After standing before the BEMA in our new body and having our works purified by fire, our reward will be given to us by a release of GLORY through us. This glory will CROWN us (Rev 2:10) and surround us, appearing as white glorious ROBES (Rev 3:5; 19:6-8). These crowns measure the glory (the capacity to give glory to God) and authority believers will have. Some will also be given THRONES of authority (Rev 3:21).
Jesus says: Behold I am coming quickly! (to judge and reward) Hold fast what you have, that no one take your crown (reward) (Rev3:11).
You can lose your reward and someone will get it instead. Hold fast to the Lord and His word to you. Hold fast to your calling and be faithful. Although our sins are forgiven, they hurt our fellowship with the Lord and thus our fruitfulness and reward. Moreover, our sin often undermines God’s work and testimony, causing others to be discouraged and offended. This destroys the effect of your good work for the Lord and so destroys the reward you would have had. God has a crown waiting for you if you are faithful. If you are not, He will give to others the works that you should have done and they will get your crown (Matthew 25:28,29).
At the end of each of the seven letters to the Churches of Revelation 2 and 3, Christ describes the blessings and rewards He will give the overcomers at His Judgement Seat. Consider Galatians 6:7-10 and be motivated to continue in good works for the Lord. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The choice we face is like the choice of either having £500 now lasting for a week only, or having £10,000 next month lasting forever! (Matthew 6:1-4). We can live unto self now with no future reward, or deny self-interest and live for the Lord now and we will later receive a great reward that will last forever (an infinite reward). Of course, our greatest reward will be knowing that we have pleased our Lord and helped people. It will be hearing Him say to us: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’
We should run our Christian race every day conscious that at any time soon we will stand before the Judgment seat of Christ to give an account.
The Apostle Paul describes the attitude we should have in Philippians 3:7-15.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish (dung!), that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection (literally: the out-resurrection) from (among) the dead.
His focus is the Rapture and the attaining the reward of a glorious resurrection. He is not doubting his salvation here. But he is living according the knowledge that the more He shares in Christ’s sufferings and trusts in His resurrection power, then greater will his share of glory and greater will be his intimacy with Christ when he is raptured. “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on (he is not trying to attain his salvation but a greater eternal glory, a greater abundance of the eternal life that God offers those who would lay hold of it) that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me (Christ gives each one of us a calling to fulfil and power to do it. To the degree we fulfil God’s plan we will be rewarded). Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind (both successes and failures) and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (that God has planned for us to do, Ephesians 2:10), I press (with 100% effort) toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The goal is the finish-line, when we receive the prize (reward) for how we have run the race. The prize is a higher calling (a promotion in glory and authority) that happens at the Rapture and Judgment Seat of Christ.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this attitude (of living fully for the Lord, realising the time is short); and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
What will happen to the Church in Heaven after the Rapture?
– Other Events.
What happens in Heaven during the seven years of Tribulation on earth?
1. The Judgment Seat (Bema) of Christ soon after the Rapture.
2. The Wedding ceremony – Bridegroom and Bride are united forever.
At the Rapture, Christ is coming (appearing) as a Bridegroom to take His Bride unto Himself, so that the relationship pledged might be consummated and the two might become one. For the Wedding, she must be presented spotless and glorious to Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27; Jude 24). This means the Bema must come first – she must be cleansed of all unworthy, dead works and rewarded with a degree of glory (1Cor 3:10-15).
In Revelation 19:6-9 just before the Second Advent, the Wedding has already happened in Heaven (note that v1-10 is in Heaven; then in v11 the ‘party’ goes on to the earth).
Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come (the aorist tense here signifies a completed act, that is, the marriage has been consummated at this point), and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
This shows the wife now already married in Heaven just before the Second Coming dressed only in white glorious linen (her righteous works), so these must have been approved at the ‘Bema’ and she has been rewarded, her glory being manifested. Because in Rev 4,5, we see the elders dressed like this and enthroned even before the Tribulation begins in Rev 6, the judgment and marriage must take place on the day of the Rapture. On earth the TRIBULATION PAINS start straight after the Rapture. Antichrist will calm the panic and arise as a conqueror and saviour (Rev 6:2). So, the Church is enthroned and face-to-face with Christ as newly-weds for seven years and may have a part to play with Him in the Tribulational judgments.
3. Satan cast out of the heavenlies (Mid-Tribulation) (Rev 12:1-14).
This is linked to the Rapture of the Man-Child (Christ and His Body). Perhaps the Church, taking her place of authority in the heavenlies has a part to play in casting satan down to earth. If the Church is present at Mid-Tribulation, why does satan not go after her rather than the woman (Israel)? Answer – the Church is raptured in v5.
4. The Second Coming WITH Christ.
He returns FOR us in the Rapture, and then WITH us after the Tribulation.
We will return with Jesus: Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:11-16).
The LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee (Zech 14:5)
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,
Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints (Jude 14).
5. The Return of Christ is followed by His Marriage Supper on earth (Revelation 19:9), a week of celebration at the Feast of Tabernacles which will start the Millennium.
We have now established this prophetic framework:
OUTLINE FOR BIBLE PROPHECY
1. THE TIME OF ISRAEL (Abraham to Christ)
2. The FIRST COMING OF CHRIST
His birth, death, resurrection – as the LAMB of God. Israel was cut off – her clock is stopped with seven years left to run. The Church is grafted in as God’s witness – AD 33.
3. THE MYSTERY CHURCH AGE (AD 33-?)
-ends with the RAPTURE – the sudden removal of the true Church from the earth. After the Rapture, the remaining apostate church will be cut off and Israel will be grafted back in for her last seven years (the Tribulation).
4. The TRIBULATION Israel’s last seven years before the Kingdom.
The Church is in Heaven, married to Christ, after having stood before His Judgment Seat.
5. The SECOND COMING OF CHRIST brings the Tribulation to an end. He comes as KING of KINGS to judge the earth- The LION of JUDAH. The Church returns WITH Christ (Rev 19:11-16, Zech 14:5) ushering in:
6. THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM – THE MILLENNIUM
– the literal reign of Christ on earth for 1000 years,
which starts with the Marriage Feast on earth.
7. THE ETERNAL STATE.