THE CHURCH, THE TRIBULATION, AND CHRIST'S KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH
A chronological study on eschatology: prophecies that must shortly come to pass.
THE WILDERNESS CAMP MINISTRIES
P.O. Box 132, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Pastor Charles Alonso (828) 765.1066 & (828) 775.0009
INTRODUCTION: “THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM, TO SHOW UNTO HIS SERVANTS (all true believers) THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS; AND HE SENT (His revelation) AND SIGNIFIED IT BY HIS ANGEL UNTO HIS SERVANT JOHN…” Revelation 1:1. The apostle John wrote the Gospel of John, three epistles, and the book of Revelation.
THE DEFINITION OF A DISPENSATION: The apostle Paul said: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward…” (I Corinthians 9:16-18; Ephesians 1:5-14 & 3:2-12 & Colossians 1:24-29). In a theological sense - each dispensation/administration is given by God to govern His people – a period of time when God puts all human beings under certain laws and responsibilities specifically given by Him through His prophets. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke (and wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” II Peter 1:19-21. Each dispensation has three characteristics:
1. A RESPONSIBILITY - REVEALED BY GOD
2. A FAILURE - BY HUMANS
3. A JUDGMENT - SENT BY GOD FOR NOT OBEYING
1. THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST FOR EVERYONE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD… THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST (all true believers in Christ) WILL BE HERE ON EARTH FOR ±2,000 YEARS IN ORDER TO SOW THE WORD OF GOD. During this dispensation or administration our great God and our Savior Jesus Christ (already resurrected) continues to call His church, giving them the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to bring the message of eternal salvation to the whole world… "Only by faith, and only by faith in Jesus Christ" Matthew 13:18-23; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 2:1-10 & Titus 2:10-15. All of humanity may receive eternal life by faith alone and only by faith in the sacrifice that Jesus Christ did on the cross to pay for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:1-2). "The Dispensation of the Grace of God" extends almost throughout the entire New Testament, from the Book of Acts until the next to the last book - the epistle of Jude. All these books help us to understand the great love of God toward us, they teach us how to live every day in harmony with the will of God, and they reveal how to walk in all that God has prepared beforehand for all true believers (Romans 12:1-2 & Ephesians 2:10). The Dispensation of “The Grace of God" was introduced to the world when God stopped Israel's prophetic clock (Ephesians 3:1-12). With the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (the gospel of our salvation), God stopped the prophetic time, leaving only seven unfulfilled years from "The Dispensation of the Law of God." The judgment of “The Tribulation” will fulfill these seven years which are still future and will come to pass at the end of this dispensation of “The Grace of God” (Daniel 9:20-27). "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" John 1:17. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes" Romans 10:4. In Ephesians 2:1-10, the Bible tells us that the dispensation of “The Grace of God" takes this responsibility throughout the world: WE ARE SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH FAITH AND ONLY THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. All of us living here on earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century are living at the end of these ±2,000 years of this dispensation of "The Grace of God,” when the seven years of the tribulation judgments will soon be upon the whole world. 2. THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD ENDS HERE ON EARTH… GOD CLOSES THE DOOR – THE TRUE CHURCH WILL BE TAKEN UP TO HEAVEN: Matthew 25:10; I Corinthians 15:50-54; I Thessalonians 4:14-18 & Revelation 1, 2 and 3. All true believers will be translated to heaven in the twinkling of an eye to appear before “The Judgment Seat of Christ.” They will receive their rewards for their good works, and having been placed, they will prepare for the marriage supper of the Lamb: Luke 19:11-27; I Corinthians 3:11-15 & 15:50-58; II Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 2:10 & Revelation 19:7-9. PARENTHESIS: THE SEVEN YEAR JUDGMENT OF the TRIBULATION… (Revelation 6:1 to Revelation 20:15). This judgment is not only the last seven years of “The Dispensation of the Law” for the Jews, but this judgment at the end of this dispensation of “The Grace of God” comes upon the world and upon all the unbelievers for not accepting Christ as the Savior of the world. 3. THE beginning OF THE TRIBULATION AND the great deception… THE TRIBULATION YEARS BEGIN WITH THE MANIFESTATION OF THE MAN OF SIN, THE ANTICHRIST AND HIS COVENANT FOR SEVEN YEARS: This covenant will be established between the nation of Israel and the nations controlled by the antichrist: Daniel 2:40-45 & 9:20-27 & Matthew 24:15-22. At the beginning of this covenant, in the midst of a great apostasy, the antichrist will appear as a great leader, with lying power (strong delusions) and a socialistic system, which will be established on false peace and a forced religious unity. Very soon the antichrist will establish a one-world government (controlled by Satan), and he will control the entire political, economic and religious world: II Thessalonians 2 & Revelation 13. 4. The first half of the tribulation begins... DURING THESE YEARS THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD OVER THE WHOLE EARTH WILL BEGIN: Daniel 7:15-28 & Revelation 6:1-17. During these first three and a half years God's judgments of the seven seals will be opened. The four horses of Revelation chapter 6, with their riders, give us a summary of the terrible events that will come over all of the earth. These judgments are explained in more detail through the seven trumpets and the seven bowls: Revelation 6, 8, & 16. 5. The halfway point and the abomination of desolation... THE DEVIL WILL BE CAST DOWN TO THE EARTH AND WILL BREAK THE SEVEN-YEAR COVENANT OF PEACE, HE WILL TRY TO DESTROY ISRAEL, AND HE WILL SIT IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD IN JERUSALEM, PRETENDING TO BE GOD: Daniel 9:27; II Thessalonians 2 & Revelation 12:3-12. Our Lord Jesus Christ and the prophet Daniel told us that the devil will come with great deceptions, desolations and abominations. The apostle John tells us that the devil will come with great wrath, knowing he has but a short time: Matthew 24:15-22 & Revelation 12:12. 6. THE SECOND HALF OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION BEGINS... THE DEVIL'S DELUSIONS WILL INTENSIFY – “THEN SHALL BE GREAT TRIBULATION, SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO THIS TIME” ALL OVER THE EARTH – AS PREDICTED BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Matthew 24:21-23): Daniel 7:19-27; II Thessalonians chapter 2 & Revelation chapters 13 & 16. Soon the devil will establish his control over all the earth, through the antichrist and the false prophet, when every person will have to receive a mark from the government in order to buy and sell. This worldwide government of the antichrist will be so powerful that it will deceive the whole world, and demand of the inhabitants of the earth to worship the beast and his image. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints (the tribulation believers), and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” Revelation 12:9 & 13:7. The apostle John also tells us that there will be a great multitude of believers who will be killed (martyred for their faith) of all nations, tribes, peoples and languages: Revelation 7:9-17. During these last three and a half years, the judgments of God, as explained by the seven trumpets and the seven bowls, covering the whole earth will greatly intensify. Every person who worships the antichrist and his image, receiving his mark on their foreheads or on their hands, will be tormented with fire and brimstone forever and ever: Revelation 14:9-12. 7. AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION JESUS CHRIST WILL RETURN AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS... THE FEET OF JESUS CHRIST WILL TOUCH THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, TO THE EAST OF JERUSALEM, WHERE THE PRINCE OF PEACE WILL SET UP HIS KINGDOM IN PERFECT PEACE AND JUSTICE: Zechariah 14:4-7. The Bible tells us that the armies of the antichrist and the kings of the earth will be gathered at the Valley of Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon against Jesus Christ (Revelation 16:16). Jesus Christ will come again riding on His white horse with all the armies of heaven (Revelation 19:11-21). The Mount of Olives shall cleave in two, making a great valley, east of Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ will gather all nations of the world and where every person will be judged: Matthew 25:31-46. 8. THE DISPENSATION OF THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST OVER ALL OF HIS CREATION... AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL RESTORE HIS CREATION AND SET UP HIS KINGDOM WITH A WORLDWIDE GOVERNMENT HERE ON THE EARTH FOR A THOUSAND YEARS: Isaiah 11:1-10 & 65:20-25; Daniel 7:9-14 & 7:26-27; Ephesians 1:1-14 & Revelation 12:5 & 20:4-10. Jesus Christ will then establish a theocracy in this world through judges & rulers and He will "rule all nations with a rod of iron" Revelation 12:5. In love, God "predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved (our Lord Jesus Christ), in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of time (this is the 1,000 years of “The dispensation of the Kingdom of Christ” here on earth) He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. In Whom (in Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him (God) who works all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted (having believed) in Christ” Ephesians 1:5-12 & Revelation 12:5. At the end of the Kingdom Age, Satan will be released and again he will deceive the world. Immediately and forever: “the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever” Revelation 20:10. CONCLUSION: GOD CREATES NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH… (II Peter 3:7-14 & Revelation chapters 21 & 22). “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought [we] to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness” II Peter 3:12-13. At the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ here on earth all true believers in Jesus Christ will enter into eternity. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ (by grace are you saved) and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come (His creations & His Kingdoms) He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:1-18). God created the first earth without sin and totally perfect. When Adam and Eve sinned, then God established the second earth, with great judgments, and with all of mankind inheriting the sinful nature. Mankind reached such a sinful state that God brought the judgment of a worldwide flood: "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (II Peter 3:6) thus God then established the third earth. Jesus Christ will come again and establish the fourth earth and His worldwide Kingdom. At the end of the reign of Jesus Christ – for 1,000 years here on earth – God will renew this earth by fire and establish the eternal earth (without sin) the fifth earth in love and in righteousness forever. God created us to live in eternity: "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever." God created everything with eternity in mind: "He built His sanctuary by eminence, like the earth which He has established forever" Psalm 37:29 & 78:69. “He (God) has made every thing beautiful in His time: also He has set the eternal ages in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end” Ecclesiastes 3:11. It is never too late (on this side of death) for a new beginning with Christ… I John 5:11-15.