Prophecy

Jerusalem, City of Destiny - PR02-01

We want to pick up the threads again of our thinking concerning the prophetic Word of God. It is our intention in this series simply to deal with concise lines of thought in order to give us small summaries to clarify and crystallize in our thinking our understanding of the prophetic revelation of the Word of God in order to relate ourselves to it in the day in which we live, and to understand a little better the things that are taking place. We're going to think about Jerusalem; particularly, Jerusalem as the city of destiny. The Bible tells us that there is a future period in world history, a seven-year period which is going to be terminated by the return of Jesus Christ. It is a period of history that is unique. It has not yet begun. We know that it has not yet begun because Christians are still on this earth. All Christians will be removed from the face of the earth before this seven-year period begins.

Once it does begin, there will be certain things that are taking place within this period that will be absolutely astounding. However, they will be things of the nature that cannot come about overnight. That is, they will require certain preparations. For this reason, the Bible speaks about certain signs of the times. It refers to the fig tree as when it sets forth its leaves, that indicates that spring is nigh, and so on. When we see certain things in preparation for what we know is going to exist in the tribulation period, this is an indication that the return of the Lord Jesus is nigh indeed.

Now this period requires certain things. Among them, this seven-year period requires that the Jews of the world have a homeland, and that they be returning to that homeland, their original homeland in Palestine. It also indicates that there is going to be an alignment of four major world powers, each led by a nation, with other nations grouped around that particular leader. We're going to look at these nations in detail because I want you to know and have a clear image in your mind when somebody comes up and says a term like "king of the south." Right away there comes to your mind one, two, three, four, five, or six specific facts about who the king of the south is; who aligned with him; what he's going to do; what his destiny is, and, so on.

"The king of the north" will be a very very mighty block of powers in the end times. When you say, "king of the north," you should know immediately the civic nations on the face of the earth, and the roles that they are going to play. So when you read your newspaper and you listen to your news programs, and you hear about these powers that are now forming indeed in these alignments, you'll say, "Aha, I see where this is going. That fits the picture. The pieces are beginning to fall together, again indicating the nearness of the Lord's return."

Now each of these groups is going to be involved with the new state of Israel. The requirement of Israel being in its homeland has already been fulfilled. Each of these power groups is a factor in the final great World War which the Bible calls the battle of Armageddon. This battle, or campaign, is triggered by the invasion of this new state of Israel. Each group is going to be judged by the personal return of Jesus Christ.

Recent Jewish History

On May 14th, 1948, the requirement of Israel again being a nation for this seven-year period of history was fulfilled. The United Nations at that time was confronted with the fact that the mandate which had been given to the British government over the land of Palestine since World War I was now coming to an end, on May 15th, 1948. Something had to be done in making a disposition of this piece of property. So the United Nations decided the thing to do was to form two states: one of Israel; one of Arab; and, they were to divide. The Arabs resisted this vehemently. So on May 14th, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, leader of the Jewish nation, announced the declaration of independence. Unilaterally, the Jewish people said, "We are free." We will have our homeland. We will be a sovereign nation." This was resisted; battles were fought; and, Israel became a reality.

Nasser, in June of 1967, leading the Arab bloc, deliberately prepared a war plan to destroy Israel. Steps were taken systematically to remove United Nations supervision over the areas that were strategic to the lifeline of Israel, such as the Sharm el Sheikh and the Gaza Strip areas, and military forces were massed on the borders of Israel. The plan was laid out, and the Arab nations were gloating in glee because Nasser was making dramatic declarations that they were going to destroy Israel. And, of course, there was no doubt that they could win because they had superiority odds of 50 to 1. There was no way the Jews could win once Nasser unleashed the battle. Everything was carefully set. They had fantastic numbers of tanks and airplanes, and all the Arab world was now going to gobble up Israel once and for all.

Then the unbelievable happened. Israel sent the word out to mobilize. In Israel, if you were a woman up to 25 years of age, you were on military duty, non-combatant. You carried a gun. Your men up to 49 years of age were your military personnel. Overnight, there was this strange sight in Israel of seeing all these people who were in a multiplicity of jobs suddenly appear in military uniforms; all of them knowing where to go; and, all of them heading to their places of duty and responsibility. The result was that the Jewish nation, in the June War, jumped the gun. They played dirty pool. Before the time for the war to begin, they began it an hour early. The result was that they slaughtered every Arab plane on the ground. The result was that, in three days' time, they had not only turned back the Arab onslaught after it finally did get mounted, but they were now moving into territories which they had never possessed before.

As you look at a map of Israel, there was this huge bulge west of the Jordan River which belonged to Jordan. All that was quickly taken. Included in that bulge was another very prophetic piece of property, and that was the city of Jerusalem. The Jews could not go to the Wailing Wall. There were barricades (walls) restricting them. This was their most sacred site because this is all that's left of Solomon's original temple. Here's where they wanted to go to weep and to wait for the nation's destiny, and to pray for the restoration that God had promised. Well, when they took Jerusalem, they took the old site of the temple including the Wailing Wall.

The first thing they did was began bulldozing all the barricades and all the walls, and tearing down all that had kept them out. They announced that from henceforth, anybody (Jew, Christian, or Moslem) had free access to this city, to its sacred sites, and so on. And in six days the war was over, and the 50 to 1 odds demonstrated again that God said, "'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord." The miraculous took place. Moshe Dyan, when he came to the Wailing Wall, said, "We have come to our most sacred place, and we will never again leave it." He was speaking, I think, prophetically, for I don't believe the Jews will ever again leave the control of the entire city of Jerusalem.

The Tribulation Period

So here's the tribulation period--seven unique years. There is more prophecies on this particular era in the Bible than any other era. It is revealed to be a seven-year span. We know this from Revelation 11:2-3. The first half John describes as 1,260 days. You need to know a little bit about prophetic arithmetic. John says the first three-and-a-half years equals 1,260 days. The way you get that is three-and-a-half times what is a biblical year. A biblical year is not 365 days, but 360 days, and that equals that figure. John says that the second half of this period is 42 months, which, of course, equals three-and-a-half years. When you total them together, you're dealing with seven years of a unique period of the earth's history.

When this period begins, Matthew 24:21 indicates that the world is on the brink of the greatest disaster it has ever faced. Jesus said, "For them shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be." Now you think of the worst thing that's ever happened, or you think of the worst wars we've ever faced, and they will be nothing compared to this particular time.

Now the fuse for all this world upheaval is the Jew himself. He has been a miracle of survival as a race. 4,000 years have passed since God brought Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees. For 2,600 years, the Jews have been a national people. They've had a national identity. This national identity has not been dissipated. They have been taken off into captivity twice in their history: first by Babylon for 70 years; and, then by Rome, extending now to almost 2,000 years.

Now, this disaster which was to come upon them was revealed in Scripture as far back as the time of Moses. As Moses was writing the last book of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, God revealed to him what was going to be the future of this people. They were going to go on negative volition. In Deuteronomy 28:64-68, Moses says, "And the Lord shall scatter you among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other. And there you shall serve other gods which neither you nor your fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations you shall find no ease, neither shall the soul of your foot have rest, but the Lord shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind."

Now in these two dispersions, the Jews have suffered fantastically. No people have ever suffered the horrible experiences that the Jewish people have. Here it is right in the book of Deuteronomy foretold, long before it ever took place. Verse 66: "Your life shall hang in doubt before you. You shall fear day and night and shall have no assurance of your life. In the morning, you shall say, 'Would to God it were evening.' In the evening, you shall say, 'Would God it were morning.' For the fear of your heart wherewith you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see, the Lord shall bring you into Egypt again with ships by the way where I have spoken to you. You shall see it no more again, and there you shall be sold unto your enemies for male and female slaves; and, no man shall buy you."

This people have experienced exactly what the Lord and what God the Holy Spirit in this revelation predicted. This was confirmed to the Jewish people, this destiny of suffering which faced them because of their negative volition. This was predicted also by the Lord in Luke 21:23-24: "But woe unto them that are with child and to them that nurse children in those days. For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people, and they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the gentiles until the signs of the gentiles be fulfilled." When the Roman general Titus marched into Jerusalem, all of this was in detail fulfilled.

When we speak about the restoration of the Jewish people, which is a very exciting thing that has happened in our day, please remember that there is a difference between the physical restoration of Israel to the land of Palestine, which takes place before Jesus Christ returns, and which restoration is in unbelief. They're are going there entirely by human motivations. As a matter of fact, when we had one of our seminary professors here, he indicated that he had spoken with Moshe Dayan, and he had indicated no interest in spiritual things whatsoever. His interest in the national entity of Israel is purely on humanistic motivations. So the physical return and restoration is before the Lord returns, but there is the restoration spiritually, and that takes place after the Lord's return.

The Jews are still looking for the return of the messiah, Jesus Christ. On one of their anniversary days, one of the speakers said, "The Messiah will return today (the anniversary of their independence), or He will return seven years from today. They are still expecting Him to return, and this is a subject of discussion in the new state of Israel. But all they have so far is physical return, in unbelief, by human effort. The spiritual return is going to wait for these trials of this unique seven-year period which are going to bring the Jews to their senses.

Israel's Signs of the End of the Age

Israel is a threefold sign to us that we are at the end of the age. These are signs which are very significant, and I'd like you to be acquainted with them. For the close of the age, Israel is a sign in three respects:
  1. The Jewish Nation is Reborn in Palestine

    The first sign that the Scriptures predict is that the Jewish nation must be reborn in Palestine. As far back as Ezekiel 38:8, this restoration was predicted: "After many days, you shall be visited in the latter years. You shall come back into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many peoples against the mountains of Israel which have been always waste, but it has brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them."

    Now there are certain clues in this verse that indicate to us when this rebirth takes place that this verse speaks of. First is the expression, "After many days you shall be visited in the latter years. You shall come into the land." In the Old Testament, this expression, "the latter years," is used exclusively of the final national and spiritual restoration of Israel. Then you have the expressions, "the land that is brought back from the sword," and "the mountains of Israel which have been always waste." This indicates a time following national military disaster and defeat. This, of course, again has taken place following the Roman conquest. Then there is the expression that, "they shall be brought forth out of many nations." "Out of the nations"--plural. This is the time that has been since 70 A.D. This is the only time in Israel's history when the Jews have been scattered among many nations, in punishment and discipline. So it follows that they're being regathered from the nations.

    There is now, in the state of Israel, a high-powered campaign to convince the Jews from all over the world that they should leave the countries in which they now reside, and become citizens of Israel. There are organizations in the United States, and some quite successful, in convincing American Jews to leave the United States; to become citizens of Israel; and, to return to their homeland in Palestine. They felt that they had to do this because, while it is a prosperous nation and becoming more prosperous, it is a nation that is lacking in people. Following the June, 1967 victory, they realized that one of the things they needed to stand up against the Arabs was more people to handle this country, and to handle its defense. So Jews are streaming back from all nations on the face of the earth as a result of this campaign. The government of Israel has allocated thousands of dollars per individual to reach Jews around the world to convince them to come home.

    This verse speaks about people who have come under such conditions. So it's speaking about a restoration from a condition that is the time in which we're living. It's the restoration that we have witnessed since May of 1948.

    Israel has also been identified in signs by the Lord. He listed that the time of this restoration would be characterized by certain things: by religious apostasy; by wars; by national revolutions; by earthquakes; and, by famines. These things were all to increase. But that the Jews are back in their land is indicated as we read the descriptions of what they will be suffering in this particular period of their final days. For example, Matthew 24:16 says, "Let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains." This comes in the middle of the week when their Roman protector descended from the Roman Empire turns against them. It says, "Those who are in Judea."

    Do you know what part of Palestine constitute Judea? It happens to be that part they took from Jordan in the June war. It happens to be that bulge west of the Jordan River. That was Judea. That was a very dramatic announcements in the days of 1967 when the communications were rapidly spilling out in those six days from the Israeli high command, when they could say, "Judea has returned to the fold." It was very exciting to think that Judea was once more part of Palestine.

    These people are told, "Those of you who are in Judea, get to the mountains when you see this happening." They couldn't be in Judea unless the Jew had returned to his homeland. Therefore, this is a sign that he has to return. In Matthew 24:20, we're told how they should act in reference to this flight if it should be on the Sabbath day. They said, "Pray that the flight will not be in the winter (which would make your traveling hard), nor on the Sabbath day," because there are restrictions and rules about traveling on the Sabbath day. Interestingly enough, those restrictions are now in force in Palestine. When the June war came along, it happened to hit on the Sabbath day when they had to do their mobilizing. The government issued a communique that they were exempt from no travel on the Sabbath day and that they were to move to their appointed military locations. Jesus says that this will make it hard for you to escape if they're enforcing the Sabbath rule.

    This predicted restoration, remember, was made by the same Lord Jesus who predicted that they would be scattered among all nations. He is the one who is speaking here about how they should act in Judea, and how they should act within their own country again at these times, and yet He is the one who, 2,000 years before this, said, "You're going to be scattered all over the world." So obviously he was speaking about something that was to take place and the restoration which was to follow.

    In Zechariah 12 through 14, we see predicted a great invasion of Israel, and of the people who are living near Jerusalem at the time of the Messiah's return. Zechariah 12:1-3 talks about the siege of Jerusalem by all nations. In Zechariah 12:4-9, there's the description of the battle in and around Jerusalem. Then, in Zechariah 12:10, there is the personal revelation of Jesus Christ as the Messiah to the remnants of Jews who are in Jerusalem. In Zechariah 12:11-14, we have the repentance and the faith which occurs at the personal revelation of Jesus Christ. Zechariah 13:1 speaks of the forgiveness to repentant Israel. Zechariah 14 gives the triumphant return of Messiah.

    Now all of this has to do with this one sign that the Lord's return is near: the Jew reborn in Palestine. Well, you see that has taken place, and the Bible has ample evidence and ample substantiation that Jesus, who predicted their dispersion, would also give them guidance on how to act just before He returns. That guidance is such as to indicate that they are no longer dispersed, but they're back in their land. This is exactly what Zechariah 12 through 14 also speaks of.

    Incidentally, the Lord also gave them the warning as to how they were to act in reference to what he calls the abomination of desolation. You find that in Matthew 24:15: "When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place." Now the abomination of desolation is a term which refers to desecrating the temple. Now again, what does this tell you? Jesus says, "Now in the middle of this unique seven-year history period, you are going to see the abomination of desolation take place, and I want to tell you what to do." Well obviously, that tells you a couple of things. One: they have to be back in Palestine. Two: they have to have their temple rebuilt. Three: their order of worship has to be restored.

    The abomination of desolation takes place, and Daniel speaks about this in Daniel 9:27. This took place once before in Jewish history. It was in the year 165 B.C. when the conqueror Antiochus Epiphanes swept down upon Jerusalem; conquered the city; walked into the temple; walked into the holy place; tore the curtain aside; walked into the holy of holies, the inner sanctuary; ordered his men to bring a pig into the altar area; and, sacrifice the pig on the altar. That was the point of contact with the living God. If you know anything about Jews and pork, that's about as low a blow as you could do. That's the most abominable thing you could do: to have taken a pig (there is no more unclean animal in the eyes of the Jew than a pig, in the order of his dietary laws), and to sacrifice that upon the altar of the living God. Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled in a pictorial form what the great abominator, the antichrist, is going to do when he sets his image up in that holy place, and says, "I am God. Now you worship me."

    Now this is of which he speaks. When this happens, he gives them direction. But this again indicates that they have to be back in their land. And they have to be functioning once more within that land. So the Jewish nation has to be reborn in Palestine.

  2. Israel Possesses Jerusalem

    Now there's a second sign. The Jews have to possess, secondly, Jerusalem. We've already indicated where the Scriptures speak of how they will possess this area. They will have Jerusalem. They have been given directions in Zechariah as to how they will meet this siege; how they will be attacked; and, how they will face the abomination of desolation.
  3. Rebuild the Temple

    Finally, the third thing will be to rebuild the temple. Here's where history is going. That's what we're trying to tell you. History is moving in this direction. You can look back in writers, as far back as 100 years ago, men who were pretty pre-millennialist, and who therefore interpreted the Bible in its normal meaning of the words, and therefore were people who had prophetic understanding. They told about Israel being reborn as a nation. They predicted just as we have experienced it. They predicted that the Jew would someday again possess Jerusalem. Well, in the June War, this took place. The next step took place. Here are two big things that have taken place right in your lifetime. In 1948, the nation is reborn. In 1967, they repossess all of Jerusalem when they took the land west of Jordan.

    Now here's the one we're waiting for. Tonight when you go home and you listen to the news, in the back of your mind, wait for this announcement. This is going to pose a problem. As you know, Mount Moriah is the only place where this temple can be rebuilt. That is the sacred site of the temple. But now on Mount Moriah, there stands the Moslem mosque, the Dome of the Rock. Certainly it is the intention of the Arab world, once more, to try what Nasser was not able to pull off, and that is to go in and wipe Israel off the face of the world as a nation. Its allies in Russia and the communist bloc have resupplied the Arab world amply with all that they need to do this. The negotiations are now at a critical stage, and the leader of Egypt has told the United States not so long ago that if you do not get Israel to resolve this problem (give us back the land we lost when we tried to attack them), and restore everything that we lost when they beat the tar out of us when we tried to do them in, it's going to be war.

    You would think that they had learned their lesson once, but they are deliberately planning a second attack. You can imagine, with that kind of an attitude, what would happen if the Jews rolled into Jerusalem some morning and they put the bulldozers on that mosque like they did on those barricades that were separating the city. They ran in there and they ripped that stuff to shreds, and they gave no apologies to anybody. Something is going to happen to that mosque. Something is going to happen. It's going to burn down, or there's going to be an earthquake and it's going to be shaken down to rubble. Something is going to happen. This is the third major indication that the movement toward the Lord's return has taken up considerable speed.

A Time Line of Future Prophetic Events

With this background of the major place that Jerusalem plays as a city which has a rendezvous with destiny, I want to briefly go through with you the calendar of events as to where we are going in the prophetic word--where our history is moving. Here's the direction it's taking. What's the next thing that's going to happen? These are all the indications of the nearness of the Lord's return. But what is the next big thing that God is going to bring about?
  1. The Rapture

    It's the Rapture of the church. The word "rapture" means catching away. One day, the age of grace is going to suddenly end in a moment. The dead Christians are going to be physically raised from the dead. They're going to be joined with the living Christians. The physical bodies of all of us will be changed. Those of us who are mortal, that is who are alive, will be changed to immortal, which means we cannot die again. We will be changed from corruptible to incorruptible, which means we will be changed from sinners to people who can no longer sin. We're going to meet the Lord in the air, and we're going to return with Him to heaven.

    When we get to heaven, we will face the Judgment Seat of Christ, where we will be judged for the human good or the divine good we have produced in our service. For all the divine which is produced under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit, we will be rewarded. For our human good, we will suffer loss. Then the church is going to be united to Christ in heaven as His bride, and we will celebrate the marriage Supper of the Lamb while the seven-year period involving the Jews, as we've been reviewing, will be taking place here on earth.

  2. The Tribulation Period

    The tribulation period is projected by Daniel the prophet. It is the 70th week of his prediction (weeks of years). This is going to fulfill this final period of God's dealing with Israel's history. God told Daniel, "I'm going to deal with the Jewish people for 490 more years." He spoke about this as being a group of 70 weeks (really weeks of years). God said, "In 490 years, all of my dealings with Israel will be completed. Now we don't have time here to go into this thing, but from Daniel's time, 483 years passed, and that brought us to the cross in the death of Christ.

    Then, because of the national rejection of Jesus Christ, the program of God with Israel was interrupted. God stopped dealing with the Jew as a nation, and began a brand new thing (that had no connection with Israel) called the church and the age of grace. That's the ball game that you and I are a part of. It's a very fantastic and exciting place in history and in the program of God.

    Now when God is through with the church, and this rapture takes place, then He goes back to filling out this seven-year period to complete the 490 years. This period is going to be a period of great world turmoil, and it is going to begin with a covenant between the Jews and the gentile ruler of the Roman Empire, which is revived in the form of ten nations. And Palestine is going to be protected as the home of the Jew by this Roman ruler. The sacrifices will be established.

    However, after three-and-a-half years (right in the middle of these seven years), this man, who is descended from the former Roman Empire, is going to break his covenant. He's going to turn on the Jews; set up the abomination of desolation in the temple; and, call upon them to worship him as god. During this time, Russia will invade Palestine and be defeated, as per Ezekiel 38 and 39. Then, the head of the Roman Empire of this revived empire of ten nations, who has been only a dictator over that Mediterranean area, now becomes the ruler of the whole world. Russia is out of the way.

    One of the great rulers of Russia, Mr. Khrushchev, died. When he died, he got a big surprise on the other side--a surprise that he's going to live with for all eternity in the agonies of hell, and from which there will be no return. Russia is going to be in for a big surprise because she thinks she is coming to the place where, while she has made the United States number two militarily, that she will be able to take the world. But, she will not. She will not. Russia will be defeated, and we will be looking at that in some greater detail.

    These last three-and-a-half years will be a hellish time for Israel. It's called, "the time of Jacob's trouble." It ends with the Lord coming back with his bride--you and me--the church.

  3. The Judgment of the Gentiles

    When that happens, the next thing that takes place is the judgment of the gentiles. These are the living gentiles. The gentiles are divided nation by nation. They're gathered and divided sheep to goats. These are not the dead gentiles. These are the people who have lived through the tribulation. They are judged on their fitness to enter the millennial kingdom on the basis of how they treated God's people, the Jews. The disposition is made of each individual accordingly. That's what the Lord means in Matthew 25:31-46 when He speaks about, "My brethren." These are the Jews, and the gentiles will be judged on how they reacted toward them in the time of the tribulation persecution. The believers will be sympathetic to the Jew. The unbeliever will turn his hand against him.

    The sheep are the born again gentiles who enter the kingdom--not the church, but the kingdom. The goats are those who are put to death, and they enter the lake of fire.

  4. The Regathering

    Then the next thing that takes place is the final regathering of Israel from all over the world, and her restoration. They have begun to flock back to Palestine. Now they are gathered together, and the living Jews are judged concerning their salvation. Ezekiel 20:33-38 talks about that. God takes them out into the wilderness and judges them. Those who are not born again are put to death. The living Jews, who have lived through the tribulation period, the godly Jews, they're the remnant. They enter the millennial kingdom.
  5. The Millennium

    The fifth thing that takes place is the Millennium. It's called the Millennium because it's from the Latin, meaning one thousand. It's a thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on the face of the earth. He reigns as king of kings, and he fulfills all the promises that God made to David, and he reigns for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6). During this time, Satan is bound up. He can no longer tempt the nations and deceive them. The old sin nature is there to operate in their hearts. But there is a rule of peace and righteousness. No wars. Nobody hungry. Nobody without medical care. Nobody without a job. Nobody without the necessities of life. Great health programs. Great recreation programs. The golden age of the earth. It's a time of great joy and of great economic prosperity.
  6. The Great White Throne

    But along comes period number six, and this is the Great White Throne. After the millennium is over, Satan is released for just a little while, and a group of people rally to him once more. They're the children of the people who were born in the millennium. When the millennium begins, everybody is born again. The kids who are born go negative. They reject the Messiah Savior who's right there before their eyes. And there is the final Great White Throne Judgment.

    There used to be a time when people would say, "I don't see how anybody born in that kind of a time of the earth's history, with that kind of prosperity and provision of needs and opportunities and expression, why any kid would grow up and rebel against the Savior who made all that possible. It's interesting that, in our day, the kids who are the rebels and the radicals are the ones who come from the wealthiest homes, and those who have been provided the most for. Those are the ones who are anti-establishment and anti their parents. Well, when Satan is loosed, he is able to deceive the nations. Many rally to him. And he again tries to attack the Son of God. The result is fire from heaven and destruction.

    At this time, the unsaved dead who have not yet been raised from the dead are now raised, both Old Testament and New Testament unsaved dead. They are judged, and now cast into the lake of fire when their names are not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

  7. A New Heaven and a New Earth

    Then number seven is the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. This takes place immediately after the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 21:1). The old scenes are completely burned up (2 Peter 3:10-13). The whole thing is burned up, and it's a great adventure as the details of eternity begin.
Now this in brief is where we're headed: rapture, tribulation period, judgment of the Gentiles, regathering of Israel, the execution of the millennium, the final great white throne judgment (which is the second resurrection and the second death upon the unsaved), and the creation of the new heavens and a new earth. Now that calls for some responsible living on your part and my part. Our God is a God who keeps His word. Everything He has ever said He's going to do, He has done in exact detail. If you think you can be indifferent in your response to what God says, and you can be negative to the Word of God, just remember that in time His judgments come, and they are fantastic. They are overwhelming and it would be a great tragedy for you to know the calendar of events and yet to act in ignorance of them. Israel is a reality among us. Jerusalem is in the hands of the Jews. Now we await the rebuilding of that temple, and there are all kinds of efforts already underway for that. Keep this sequence of events in mind, so as you see the things that are taking place, you'll fit them into the pattern and say, "I already knew about that. God took me into his confidence."

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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