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Rapture of the Church
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Th. 4:16–17; cf. Jn. 14:2–3; 2 Th. 2:1–3; Rev. 4:1–2).
This event, reserved for the church only, is when all believers throughout the entire Church Age receive their resurrected bodies (1 Cor. 15:51–58). The Rapture concludes the church’s presence on Earth, and God again focuses on Israel.
Then he [Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate (Dan. 9:27).
The “week” refers to seven years. This covenant marks the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation, which the prophet Jeremiah called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7).
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake (Mt. 24:7–9).
First three and one-half years: God’s seven seal judgments afflict Earth (Rev. 6:1–17; 8:1–6), 144,000 Jewish male believers are sealed (7:1–8), martyrs stand before God’s throne in heaven (vv. 9–17), God unleashes seven trumpet judgments (8:7—9:21; 11:15), and God’s two witnesses appear (11:3–14).
Second three and one-half years: The Antichrist breaks the covenant, revealing his true, satanic nature and determination to exterminate the Jewish people. Satan is denied access to heaven, there is war in heaven (12:7–12), the Dragon (Satan) attacks the Jewish people (vv. 13–17), and the Antichrist and False Prophet institute the mark of the Beast and dominate the world (13:1–18). God unleashes seven bowl judgments (chap. 16) and judges religious and commercial Babylon (chaps. 17—18). Jesus Christ returns to Earth (19:11–16), and the Antichrist and False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire (vv. 17–21).
Millennial (1,000-year) Kingdom
The mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isa. 2:2, 4; cf. 11:6–10; Rev. 20:4–6).
Other characteristics: Satan is bound and cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1–3), Tribulation and Old Testament saints are resurrected to enter the Kingdom (vv. 4–6; cf. Dan. 12:1–2), believers reign with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:26), and Earth returns to an Edenic-like state (Isa. 11:1–16; 19:23–25). “When the thousand years have expired,” Satan is set free (Rev. 20:7). Satan leads a rebellion against King Jesus, fire from heaven destroys the rebels (vv. 8–9), and Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire forever (v. 10).
Great White Throne Judgment
Then I [the apostle John] saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it. . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. . . . And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Rev. 20:11–12).
Other characteristics: The sea, death, and Hades give up their dead, who then are judged and found guilty based on their works (v. 13). Death and Hades are cast into the Lake of Fire, along with “anyone not found written in the Book of Life” (v. 15).
Now I [John] saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . [and] the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21:1–3).
Gone are: tears, death, sorrow, crying, pain (v. 4); “the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars”—all of whom will “have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (v. 8).