The Great Mystery Lesson Two

The Great Mystery*

(Before and After the Rapture)

*1 Corinthians 15:51

Dr. Roger G. Ford, Ph.D., P.E. (




Three lessons on the End Times, the Rapture, and some prophecies that do not seem to fit into the generally accepted explanations of what God has in mind for the end of the Age of Grace.


Lesson One:


  1. What is the Rapture? Why is it important or why do we care?


  1. When will the Rapture happen? How do we know when? Why do we care?


Lesson Two:


  1. What has to happen before the Rapture? Why do we think it is very close? What about America?


  1. What happens after the Rapture? What becomes of those “Left Behind”?


Lesson Three:


  1. What is the Tribulation? Why is it necessary? Who is it for?


  1. When does the Tribulation start? What leads into the Tribulation?


  1. How does the Tribulation end? What happens after the Tribulation?

















Lesson Two


We have nearly always been told or assumed that the Rapture literally kicks-off the Tribulation and the Antichrist. But, Scripture tells us in Daniel 9:27 that the Tribulation will start when the Antichrist signs a mysterious peace treaty with Israel. This peace treaty is a seven year covenant which defines the timeframe of the Tribulation which must coincide with Daniel’s 70th week prophecy which is the Tribulation (Daniel 9:24-26).


The Rapture is an unexpected event, an imminent event, meaning it will happen without a precursor, without a signaling event; in other words, a surprise that “no man knows the day or the hour” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus said we would not know the exact day or hour of the Rapture, but he admonished us all to be watchers and to discern the times. So, does that mean we may know the general timing of the Rapture? Of course it does!


So, the third question we ask: What has to happen before the Rapture? Why do we think it is very close? What about America?


There are several things that need to be in place and take place before the Rapture. These things foretell that the End Times are upon the Earth meaning that the return of Jesus is near. The main “key” to the End Times prophecies coming to pass is Israel. How do we know Bible prophecy and the end times are for the present times? Israel! Israel! Israel!


Once God’s key to the End Times, Israel, is back in the land, Bible prophecy for the End Times becomes extremely, supernaturally, and excitingly relevant, and not before! That event occurred, Israel back in the land, almost 70 years ago, so we should expect the Rapture ANY DAY! Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 24: 34, “Truly, I tell you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place.” “All these things” are the signs of the times or the signs of the End Times, and they are upon us now and have been getting stronger and stronger the past very few years! There is a mathematical principle called “exponential” meaning that when certain data is plotted on a graph, the trend or the behavior of the data grows at an exponential rate. This is like saying instead of things growing at a fixed rate like 5% each year (this would be a target for a business to grow 5% a year), the data is growing exponentially or growing 5% the first year, 25% the next year, 125% the third year, 525% the fourth year, and so on. This is what is happening with earthquakes, world population, terrorism, economics, pestilences, and other things. When this type of explosive growth takes place with bad things, some sort of colossal failure, massive collapse, or catastrophic occurrence is inevitable sometime in the near future.


So, just why is Israel the “key” to Bible prophecy?  Jesus said that Israel (the fig tree) was to be watched in Matthew 24: 32-34, “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near. So also when you see these signs all taken together coming to pass, you may know of a surety that He is near, at the very doors. Truly, I tell you, this generation [that sees these things coming to pass] will not pass away till all these things taken together take place.” The Old Testament prophets referred to Israel as a fig tree. Hosea 9:10 says, “…I saw your fathers as the first ripe fruit on the fig tree in its first season…’. Jeremiah said in 24:5, “Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.”


And what are the “things taken together” that we are to see? Matthew 24:3-14 and Mark 13:4-8 and Luke 21:7-13 all say wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, mighty earthquakes, famines, pestilences, signs in the heavens, birth pangs as a woman in labor – exactly what we are seeing today! That is why we think that the Rapture and the Second Coming are really very close.


During the 20th century, we all witnessed God fulfilling all or, in part, seven prophecies concerning the Jewish people:


  1. The regathering of the Jews from the four corners of the Earth (Isaiah 11:10-12). Theodore Herzl’s book, “The Jewish State”, published in 1896 started the Jews returning. In 1900, 40,000. Today, over 1/3 of the world’s total Jewish population – over 6,000,000 – are in Israel.
  2. The re-establishment of the State of Israel (Ezekiel 37:21-22). 1917 British Foreign Minister Lord Arthur Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration which supported a “Jewish National Home in Palestine”. Palestine, from the Greek word “Philistia”, is the land of the Philistines. The Bar-Kochba Revolt in 135 A.D. ended the Jews in the area, and Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, renamed Jerusalem ‘Aelia Capitolina” (Aelia was one of Hadrian’s names – Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus Augustus) and Israel he named “Syria Palestina”. So, from 135 A.D. until 1948, the land was Palestine for 1,813 years! This fulfills the prophecy in Micah 3:11-12, “Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the Temple like the bare hills of the forest.”
  3. The reclamation of the land (Ezekiel 36:34,35) from a malaria-infested swampland denuded of trees to the breadbasket of the Middle east with many forests
  4. The revival of the Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:9 and Jeremiah 31:23). Jews were driven out of their land by the Romans in 135 A.D. Hebrew stopped being spoken. But, almost 1800 years later, in Lithuania, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda devoted his life to resurrecting the dead Hebrew language. Britain declared Hebrew to be one of the three official languages of Palestine in 1922 along with English and Arabic. Ben-Yehuda died a year later.
  5. The re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:4-8) on June 7, 1967, during the Six Day War, taken from Jordan some 1832 years after the loss of Jerusalem to the Romans in 135 A.D. This also completed Jesus’ comment to His disciples that, “…Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).”
  6. The resurgence of the Israeli Military (Zechariah 12:6) from one of the smallest countries in the world (about the size of New Jersey). The Israeli Military is regularly ranked in the top ten militaries in the world
  7. The re-focusing of world politics on the nation of Israel and its Capitol city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:23)

Israel also is the focus of the end times because the Tribulation is the “time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) [NOT the Church’s trouble!] Daniel’s 70th week of seven years (Daniel 9:26,27) has never even started. But, the 69 weeks of years or 483 years (Daniel 9:25) started with the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C. and ended with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (Zechariah 9:9), a fact that can be calculated to the exact day! The 70th week is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” and it corresponds to the Tribulation of Revelation 6 to 19.


Prior to the Rapture, it is logical to look for the world nations to align themselves into the patterns necessary for the coming prophecies to actually take place. We will study two great wars that have to happen before the Tribulation since they are not mentioned in the Book of Revelation in detail later, but these wars, the Psalm 83 war and the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war, have to have the enumerated countries aligned per their respective prophecies.


In reading today’s headlines or listening to newscasts we hear of the many strange and dangerous things happening around the world and here in our own country. Brexit may cause the revived Roman Empire to rise. Turkey’s recent coup resulted in Turkey and Russia aligning (as Ezekiel prophesied) when, up to that time, Turkey was desiring alignment with the EU. Russia is showing aggression towards the Ukraine and has already moved into Croatia. Russia was reduced to a third world country after the fall of the Soviet (communist) Union collapsed in the ‘80s. But, now, Russia is making aggressive moves which will lead to the invasion of Israel according to Ezekiel. Iran, or as it was called biblically Persia, is aligned with Russia exactly as Ezekiel says it would. Every single country surrounding Israel, those that share a border with Israel, are Muslim countries and have called for the elimination of Israel per Psalm 83. The entire world is against Israel, even the present government of the U.S. just as Zechariah 12:3 prophesied.


All of these things, and many more, have fallen into place just since the turn of the 21st century. What this means to Bible believing, Christ accepting Christians in this very moment is that the Rapture is imminent as it has never been before. How much longer can we see exponential growth in problems and evil before God reaches His limit, the last Gentile or Jew accepts Christ, and the Rapture takes us all out of here?

And lastly, the next logical question to ask is what about America. Is America in prophecy? Many have said over the years that America is not to be found in Scripture prophecy. And, by name, America is not in Scripture. But, Isaiah 18:1-2 could very well be referring to America due to the sad condition that our country has fallen into because we, as a nation, have turned our collective back away from God.


Isaiah 18:2 from the Amplified Bible says, “Ah, the land whirring with wings of an eagle which is beyond the rivers of Cush and Ethiopia: That sends ambassadors by the Nile, and in vessels of papyrus upon the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and polished, to a people terrible from their beginning – feared and dreaded near and far; a nation strong and victorious, whose land the rivers divide!” That same verse in the King James reads, “Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!”


So, why is this, perhaps, about America? For the following reasons:


  1. First of all, the opening word here is “Woe” or “Ah” with which the Bible always associates God’s judgment. This nation referred to in this verse is in big trouble with God. Our symbol of the eagle, our insignia of outstretched wings, whirring wings seem to describe the U.S. Plus Revelation 12:13-17 state that in the middle of the Tribulation God will provide a means of escape for the Jewish remnant in Israel. They will be carried into the wilderness to a hiding place on the “wings of a great eagle.” Some people have seized on this imagery to teach that the U.S., whose national symbol is the eagle, will supply the end time air lift that will save the Jewish remnant. Of course, the “wings of an eagle” also refer to God in Ezekiel 19:4.
  2. This nation sends forth ambassadors to the world in ships traveling great distances
  3. This nation is, indeed, a nation beyond the rivers of Cush and Ethiopia. These are far away rivers in Sudan and Ethiopia, far away from Israel that is. Since Israel is always the focal point geographically in the Bible generally and in prophecy specifically, this message is warning a nation beyond the rivers from Israel. So, this verse cannot be speaking of Europe, Asia, or Africa.
  4. This nation is tall and polished meaning spread out, having great land mass that is cultivated and organized.
  5. This nation is meted out and trodden down or, in other words, measured or has cities, counties, states, all with boundaries. Think of what our land looks like from the air.
  6. This nation has spoiled rivers or pollution that pollute the land, even water tables and aquifers.
  7. This nation is a land divided by rivers like the Mississippi and Missouri.


Isaiah 5:20-21 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Sounds like the prevailing attitude of our politicians, our judges, our society as a whole.


Meanwhile, our Supreme Court became determined to secularize our nation. The Supreme Court had ruled in 1892 (in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States) that, “No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people…this is a Christian nation”. In the last half of the 20th Century, however, the Court made several crucial decisions designed to put a wall of separation between Christianity and society. Prior to the mid–20th Century, the ruling principle had been separation of church and state, in the sense that there could be no official state church keeping government out of the church as the Founders enumerated in the First Amendment of the Constitution. But the Court suddenly reversed itself and began to interpret the Constitution to mean there must be a separation of religion from the state or keeping religion out of government. This reversal was never in the Founding Fathers intent for this country since ALL of the Founders were educated in schools that used the Bible as a textbook, a large percentage of the Founders were actually trained theologians and ministers, and over 90% of them were professing Christians. The crucial decisions were as follows:


  1. Engel v. Vitale in 1962 — The Court outlawed prayer in the public schools.
  2. Roe v. Wade in 1973 — The Court legalized abortion.
  3. Stone v. Graham in 1980 — The Court outlawed the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools.
  4. Lawrence and Garner v. the State of Texas in 2003 — The Court struck down anti–sodomy laws and thus legalized homosexual behavior.
  5. Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 — The Court legalized same-sex marriage.


The Court, in effect, declared war, starting in 1962, on the Judeo–Christian heritage of our nation which is the reason we became “a shining city on a hill” in the first place. The characterization of America as the “shining city upon a hill” has been traced to the Puritan leader, John Winthrop. He used the phrase in a sermon he delivered in 1630 on the ship Arbella while it was en route to the New World. He told his future Massachusetts Bay colonists that their new community would be “as a city upon a hill,” that would be watched by the world. It was one of the earliest examples of what would come to be known as the concept of “American Exceptionalism.”


The clear intent of the Court was made plain in its declared reasoning for outlawing the posting of the Ten Commandments: “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps venerate and obey the Commandments. This is not a permissible state objective under the establishment clause of the First Amendment”. Unbelievable! The Ten Commandments have served as the cornerstone of Western civilization and law, and yet our children are denied exposure to them on the basis that they might obey them! This decision and many others reflect the loss of what the Founding Fathers called “originalism” or “intended purpose”. Supreme Court Justices, and all judges for that matter, should discern the intended purpose of laws passed by Congress or state legislatures and the intended purpose of statements in our Constitution of the United States in order to justly rule on specific issues. Applying modern, societal interpretations to statutes, amendments, or documents betrays the intended purpose of those items resulting in completely reversed rulings that are unjust. The obvious intent of the First Amendment, when studied from the Founding Fathers perspective, was to keep from repeating what Great Britain had done in making the state (the King or the Queen) head of the one and only approved by the government church thus destroying the church’s sovereignty over spiritual matters in which the government has no right to intervene. It is illuminating to consider the fact that ever since prayer and the Ten Commandments were banned from our schools, our educational institutions have become jungles of violence.


Romans chapter 1 seems to be talking directly at the U.S., especially verses 24 through 28. Homosexuality, transgenderism, and confusion of the sexes have become seemingly unexplainable obsessions, when in reality they are rather easily explained. Ever since the early ‘60s, God has been relegated to the “Radical Right”, those Bible-thumping, buzz-killing, fundamentalists, but not to the liberal-thinking, pot-smoking, drug induced majority that keeps on demanding their “rights” that they “deserve” that simply add up to an “anything goes” philosophy the Bible calls being “right in their own eyes”.


What they, and all of us, really “deserve” is eternal Hell, so I guess some will get their wish. But those of us who have turned from our wicked ways, those things in the Word that God says are wicked, and sought out and accepted the Savior, Jesus Christ, will get something we certainly do NOT deserve, God’s Grace and Mercy, instead of God’s judgment that we certainly do deserve. The abominations of the gay lifestyle and transgenderism are really just sins like stealing and lying. It’s all acting in one’s own self-interest instead of recognizing the Benefactor, the Source of life, the Source of strength that individually and as a nation we have abandoned or forgotten or never been taught about or lied to about.


Joel 3:2 says, “I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for their treatment of My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and because they have divided My land.” Woe to a nation who stands against the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8) and wishes to divide up her land. This desire is now spread to all nations including the U.S. Those Christians in the Federal Government, like George W., are nearly all Replacement Theology people meaning that they consider the Church as a replacement FOR Israel (as if God’s promises are not FOREVER!)


And, woe to a nation that creates a dependent class of citizens totally reliant on the government instead of God. That is exactly what both Democrats and Republicans have engineered over the last 60 years, and it sure has worked well, hasn’t it?? Plus, the churches have allowed themselves to be supplanted by the government, taking away their duty and obligation to meet the needs of believers. On top of that, many churches today preach the “feel-good” gospel of man, entertaining their congregations, and teaching their kids to ignore what the Bible wants them to know and obey.


There is another troubling possibility for judgment on America. I believe 9/11 was a result of God’s judgment on America signifying the removal of His protection and blessing because of our stance on Israel, our rejection of him from schools and from society, and our continual killing of the unborn. Since we, as a nation, learned nothing from that horrible devastation, and the fact that we have gotten worse in the years since, God could judge America another way. Vladimir Putin IS Gog! He has ruled as a dictator since the turn of the century. He and his ruling class ALL come from the KGB of Soviet union days. Putin has his mind set on restoring the Soviet Union having claimed publically that the demise of the USSR was the greatest “tragedy” of the 20th century. Putin has and has bragged about his EMP capability being used as a weapon. Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is a specially designed missile-born explosion set off some 100 miles in space above a country like the U.S. The result of the EMP is a TOTAL disabling of electronics in a 2,000 mile radius. So?, you may ask. An EMP would stop all water, electricity, transportation, phones, distribution of food and supplies, and end life as we know it COMPLETELY! It has been estimated that within one year of an EMP attack on the U.S. 90% of the population would die! Could it happen? Yes! Will it happen??????


There is still another possible fate for the United States. If the Rapture were to occur today, we would be devastated because our nation contains more born again Christians than any other nation in the world — more than all of Western Europe combined. Further, we have many born again Christians in high positions of commerce and government. The Rapture would reduce our nation to chaos, removing us from the international scene as the world’s dominant power. And this does not even mention the destruction that would result from millions disappearing from their cars, planes, trains, buses, trucks, subways, and so on. Without drivers in control, all of these would crash and clog up the nation’s roadways for months. Chaos would ensue without deliveries of food, supplies, and energy. We can hope and pray that this rather unpleasant scenario will be the destiny of our nation, because if it is not, we are headed toward outright and total destruction due to our rebellion against a gracious God who has blessed us more than any other nation.


So, is America in Bible prophecy? Is America the subject of Isaiah 18:1,2? Is God’s “Woe” aimed directly at America? Are we really in the crosshairs of God’s Wrath? Powerful and fearful questions, indeed, but questions that can be answered with the answer, the certain answer, “YES!” Whether we are really the target of the Isaiah scripture or not, the U.S. is guilty of all that Paul describes in Romans 1. And, we are in favor of dividing up Israel, something God hates. We are in God’s crosshairs! Therefore, what do we do? We pray! (II Chronicles 7:14) We obey! (Acts 5:29) We seek the Lord’s Will in our lives and our country’s life! (Hebrews 3:12) We vote for candidates that are righteous, that are humble, that show common sense, and that are worthy of respect (1 Timothy 3). And, most importantly, we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ because, “no man cometh to Me, unless the Holy Spirit draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.’ (John 6:44)


Now we come to the fourth inquiry: What happens after the Rapture? What becomes of those “Left Behind”?


What happens to the Saints after the Rapture?


There were some philosophers in ancient times who taught there was an afterlife.  The common teaching was, in contrast, that this was all there was.  Catullus wrote of the common view when he wrote, “The sun can set and rise again, but once our brief light sets there is one unending night to be slept through.” People live with hopelessness and even people who were believing philosophers who taught an afterlife or who were in mystery religions that taught an afterlife could never be confident about their wish for an afterlife because they had no indwelling Holy Spirit to confer that reality to them.  And so, their hope was subject to the whims of their flesh and a whimsical kind of hope that’s dependent upon the flesh is no firm hope.  Non-believing but religious people who are taught there’s a life after death cling to the wish without having the affirmation of God that it’s true. People live with hopelessness, and the fear of never being together again, no reunion.


When Stephen was dying he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  And he had the anticipation of entering into the conscious presence of Jesus Christ.  Nowhere does the Scripture ever teach that at any time does the spirit of a person sleeps or remains unconscious. That’s what makes hell so terrible because it’s consciousness in the absence of God forever.  That’s what makes heaven so wonderful because it’s consciousness of the presence of God forever.  In Luke 16 Jesus told the story of Lazarus the beggar and the rich man. When Lazarus died he was immediately and consciously in Abraham’s bosom and comforted.  When the rich man died, he was immediately and consciously in torment and cried out for someone to give him water to touch his tormented tongue.  In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, the apostle Paul looks at death for a believer, and in verse 8 he says, “To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord.”  There’s no purgatory, there’s no intermediary condition, there’s no state of unconsciousness or semi-consciousness, there’s no spiritual coma.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  And in Philippians 1:23 the apostle Paul says, “Far better to depart and be with Christ.” There’s no intermediary condition for the saved.  They go to be received into the presence of Jesus Christ.  There’s no intermediary place for the damned.  They go into conscious punishment and torment.


Even for pagans there will be a resurrection.  Pagan bodies only sleep, for they, as with believers both Old and New Testament, too will be raised.  However, they will be raised to eternal damnation and death at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.  The Bible’s term “sleep” or the concept of sleep does not refer to the soul.  There is no such thing as souls sleeping.  But while that spirit of that dead Christian goes immediately into the presence of Christ, that body is asleep until the Rapture.


Where do the Saints live and what do they do after the Rapture?


When our Lord Jesus Christ comes at the rapture to gather all saints to himself in the glory of our resurrected bodies, he takes us to heaven with Himself and presents us before the Father. Thereafter, we continue to live in the New Jerusalem in heaven while the tribulation is running its course on the earth as written in the scriptures (1 Thessalonians 3:13, John 14:1-3, Isa 26:20-21). At the rapture, all living saints of the most high God will be translated, taken to heaven, and will remain in heaven until the end of the Tribulation. We shall return with Christ at His second coming to the earth at Armageddon to establish His Millennial Kingdom and reign with Him (Revelation 2:26-28). Our return with our Lord to the earth begins the Millennial reign of Christ and His Saints. During this time (the Millennium), we will reign on earth with Christ (Rev 20:4-10) but continue to live in the New Jerusalem in Heaven. We (saints) will go back and forth from heaven to earth during the 1,000 years of our reign with Christ on the earth. Saints never live on this present Earth again after the rapture! We reign on the Earth (Revelation 20:4-10, 21:9-10, Hebrews 12:22-23). Paul declared that after the Rapture, we shall ever be with the Lord and never separated again from Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). How shall we reign on the Earth and yet not live there? The holy angels walk to and fro from the Heaven to Earth day and night to ensure that the will of the Father is being done on the Earth. Do these angels live on the Earth? No. But do they enforce the will of the Father so that all His prophecies concerning the nations and all creation are fulfilled? Yes. Likewise, so shall we be during our Millennial reign with Christ on the earth. After the 1,000 year reign, we will move with our residence, the New Jerusalem, to the Earth to live on the New Earth with God, our Father Himself, forever (Rev 21-22). The saints of God shall never be separated from the New Jerusalem forever, starting from the day of the Rapture.


For those of us who are raptured up to Heaven, we have a different series of things coming to us there while the Earth faces the Tribulation.


  1. The Judgment Seat of Christ

This can also be called the Judgment of the Just. The Judgment of the Just is for believers to receive their rewards for the good works we did while on Earth. Now, remember that we are already saved. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus is the only way to get saved. So, when we get up to Heaven, this judgment isn’t for our salvation as that’s already been accomplished by Christ. This judgment is only about receiving the rewards that we will receive in the service of Christ. We can find out more about this judgment in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Revelation 19:6-9.

“If any man builds on the foundation,” that is Christ, “with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident.” (I Corinthians 3:12-15) We will all be rewarded but we will be rewarded differently. Some of our works will be gold, some silver, some precious stones, some wood, hay, and stubble. Wood, hay and stubble aren’t bad, they aren’t wicked, they aren’t evil, they just aren’t as valuable. In fact, they tend to get burned up. We will all be rewarded and receive praise from God, but we will each be rewarded differently according to the service we have rendered. And the reward will be the capacity for serving God in glory. And that, I think, is pointed out to us in those parables where those who were faithful over little were given more. That servant who took care of a few talents was given twice that many by the rewarding lord. That servant given five talents was given twice that many by the rewarding lord. What we do with our privilege to serve here will determine what God does with us in letting us serve Him there. And in those parables of the servants that we find in Matthew and Luke, we remember that in each case when the lord came back to reward his servants, he rewarded them in proportion by giving them greater sphere of service or greater sphere of rulership. And so, we will rule and we will serve in relation to how faithfully we have fulfilled our ruling responsibility here and our service here.


  1. The Rewards We Receive


While the Tribulation rages over the earth, in Heaven the Church will receive our rewards for the good things we’ve done for Christ in life. We will be judged based on our motives, the quality of our work, and the quantity of our work. How we actually use the gifts that God has given us to serve Him while we are on the Earth is what  really matters. We are all destined to die once and then face judgment, the Bible tells us that. But this is a celebration. This is a time of gift giving from the Lord. But, there will be regrets. The Bible gives us the example of chaff. Threshers would remove the chaff, that is the weeds and stuff that dried with the grain, out of the grain. Chaff is the works that we just failed to do from wasting our time, or time we spent pursuing money, clothes, cars, or being selfish with the gifts God has given us. We just didn’t do the works we were supposed to do all of the time here on Earth. The natural and spiritual gifts that God gave us for service to Him we didn’t utilize properly. Those lapses will affect our eternal gifts.


Some verses talk about achieving our rewards already on Earth, like when we seek attention for the things that we do, and that attention is the only reward we can expect. But, our eternal rewards are works that we did for Christ out of our heart and love for Him. Those rewards last forever. The rewards, beyond the spiritual reward of just how amazing it is to be with God finally face-to-face, that the Bible reveals are special crowns and white robes. We’re told we’ll be given new names to go along with our new bodies. But, somehow over the years Christians have gotten the idea that Jesus is dull and God is stuffy. Many times when we read about Jesus during His earthly ministry He was attending a party. Jesus loves to celebrate good things. Jesus is going to celebrate that His Church after 2,000 plus years is finally up with Him in Heaven at an event called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7-9 says concerning the Marriage Supper, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory. For the wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made themselves ready; fine linen bright and clean was given her to wear. Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints. Then the angel said to me, ‘Write blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb,” and he added, ‘these are the true words of God.'” Our rewards in Heaven are eternal reminders of our worship of the Lord, and we will use those to worship Him forever.


  1. We Serve Christ


Another thing that we’ll be doing while we are up in Heaven is preparing to return with Christ back to earth. We return with Christ at His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation. Until then, whatever priests do, we’ll do it in heaven. In the old covenant, the priest, the descendant of Aaron, had a unique relationship to God. In fact, the Old Testament taught that no common Israelite could get too near to anything that symbolized God. No common Israelite could come near things which were symbols of the presence of God. And even the Levites could only come close. They attended to the things of worship, but they couldn’t come as close as the priests could come. The priests alone served God in intimacy. Certainly, the Levites served God. The Kohathites served God in transporting the Ark of the Covenant.  The Gershonites transported the curtains and skins and instruments. The Merarites carried the supporting boards and bars and pillars. But only the Aaronites could touch the things in the Holy Place or the Holy of Holies. All of the people of Israel served God in many, many ways, but the priests served God in intimacy. Anyone other than a priest who touched sacred things died; only the priests could come near to God and even then is specific order. Only the High Priest could come into the Holy of Holies, and only once a year, only for a brief time, and only after going through great ceremonial cleansing and true heart cleansing could he come into God’s presence.


When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, the Holy Place in the Temple in Jerusalem was exposed, the Holy of Holies was exposed to everyone, and God was by graphic illustration saying all those who believe in My Son now can come into My presence. So, in the New Covenant, every believer is not only a saint but a priest. And we all have access to God. We are a royal priesthood. We are literally, 1 Peter 2:9, “called into God’s marvelous light”. That would be like stepping into the Shekinah which in the Old Covenant would have consumed them. But in the New Covenant because Christ has made our way open, we literally step into His marvelous light because God calls us into His light. Peter says, we are a people for God’s own possession, a royal priesthood, a people of God’s own possession called by God into His marvelous light. That’s why the writer of Hebrews says, “Let us come boldly before the throne of grace.” We boldly enter the presence of God to commune with Him. And out of that intimate communion we serve Him. Leviticus chapter 16 tells us that the High Priest alone could come nearer than the rest of the priests and only once a year. In the Old Covenant, the characteristic that sets the priest apart is intimacy, communion, nearness to God. In the New Covenant, believers’ rewards are not necessarily something you wear on your head like a crown. They’re not stripes on our white robes. They’re not rooms in our mansions, so that the more service we did here the bigger our mansion. It’s not that our chariots will be bigger and faster than anybody else’s, or our white horses faster and sleeker. At least some of our reward in Heaven is going to be a capacity for service. The greater our commitment to service here, the greater the capacity God will give us there so that we can express in a greater capacity our service to God. Capacity for eternal service is the essence of what our reward will be.


Now, the Bible promises a crown of life, a runner’s crown, and all of those things. All of those are capacities of service, or simply refer to eternal life. The crown of life is eternal life. The imperishable crown is, in a sense, eternal life. The crown of joy, that’s eternal life, but it’s eternal life filled with joy and glory and privilege for service. Paul writes in 2 Timothy chapter 4: 8, “In the future there’s laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge will award to me on that day, not only me but all of those who love His appearing.” What’s the crown of righteousness? That’s eternal righteousness. The crown of life is eternal life. The crown of joy is eternal joy. So, the crown is not something you wear, it is something you experience; eternal life, eternal joy, eternal privilege to serve, eternal blessedness.


Revelation 22:12 says, “Behold, I’m coming quickly. My reward is with Me,” listen, “to render to every man according to what he has done.” Our capacity for eternal joy, eternal glory, eternal reward is related to what we have done: gold, silver, precious stones or wood, hay, stubble. What are we going to do in heaven? We’re going to worship. We’re going to reign. We’re going to serve. The capacity for our reigning will be related to how faithful we were with our responsibility and stewardship here. The capacity of our service will be determined by our faithfulness to serve here. The crown of life will be proportionate to our obedience here. We will enjoy eternal life to the maximum of our capacity, but that capacity will be determined by our life here. The crown of rejoicing will be eternal rejoicing in a capacity determined by the faithfulness we exhibited here. The crown of glory, the same thing.


  1. Refreshed by God


We will be continually refreshed by God. Let’s call it rest, we will rest in heaven. Hebrews 4 talks about entering into rest. There is a rest for the people of God. Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly and you shall rest for your souls.” One of the promises the Lord has given to those who believe in His Son is that we will know rest, rest from our labors, the labors to try to find God on our own, the rest from works, rest from striving for righteousness in the world. But not the rest from duty. In Luke 13:29 says we’ll recline at a banquet table. That doesn’t mean we’re just going to sit around all the time. In Hebrews 3 and 4 when it talks about the rest that is there for the people of God, it means that we will never be weary. It means that we will never be weak. It means that we will never be unfulfilled. It means that we will never be interrupted. It’s a unique kind of rest. In Revelation 14 verse 13, here’s the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus, “I heard a voice from Heaven saying, write, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, from now on, yes says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors for their deeds follow with them.” Second Thessalonians 1:7 calls it relief. It says that when Jesus comes He gives relief to the afflicted. It means spiritual rest. It means rest from weariness and weakness. There’ll never be any hunger. There’ll never be any thirst. There’ll never be any weariness. There’ll never be any heat to tire us out. That’s the eternal rest. It doesn’t mean we don’t serve. We reign, we serve in unceasing duty coupled with perfect rest.


  1. Christ Serves Us


Luke 12, verse 35 says, “Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps so lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast so that he may immediately open the door, so that you may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes. Truly, I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve and have them recline at the table and will come up and wait on them.” The Lord Jesus Christ will serve us. God the Son will render service to the redeemed. Jesus here takes the human imagery of a great lord returning to his palace. His slaves are there waiting. Everything is prepared. They have been faithful to their lord. And upon his arrival he calls for a wonderful gathering together. Then he says, I want you slaves to sit down, and I’m going to serve you a meal out of gratitude for your service to me and your preparedness waiting for me until I came to you. The Lord doesn’t order other servants to serve them, He does it Himself! Incredible!


The “in-between” or “out-of-place” prophecies


We have nearly always been told or assumed that the Rapture literally kicks-off  the Tribulation and the Antichrist. But, Scripture tells us in Daniel 9:27 that the Tribulation will start when the Antichrist signs a mysterious peace treaty with Israel. This peace treaty is a seven year covenant which defines the timeframe of the Tribulation which must coincide with Daniel’s 70th week prophecy which is the Tribulation (Daniel 9:24-26).


The Rapture is an unexpected event, an imminent event, meaning it will happen without a precursor, without a signaling event; in other words, a surprise that “no man knows the day or the hour” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus said we would not know the exact day or hour of the Rapture, but he admonished us all to be watchers and to discern the times. So, does that mean we may know the general timing of the Rapture? Of course it does! We have already covered that in detail.


Satan has always had an antichrist ready and waiting in the wings (or center stage), ready to assume the control of the world. But, he does not know when the Rapture will happen just like we do not know exactly when. He is ready now with a candidate since he can read the signs of the times probably better than we can. The past gave us all kinds of dictators, tyrants, and despots any one of which could rise to the level of antichrist. But, Israel had to be back in their land for the real Antichrist to appear. And Israel has been back in their land since May 14, 1948. However, many Bible prophecies must take place before this Antichrist, whom I believe is alive and well today, can assume world domination. There is a problem, however. How could such a man overcome Islam and its caliphate or Roman Catholicism and its Pope, or the U.S. still being a world power to assume world domination and probably be asked or pleaded with to do so? Much has to occur to set up the rise of the Antichrist, and we will talk about those things next.


There are many prophecies that seem to be “out of place” in the scheme of the End Times. They seem not to belong within the Tribulation itself as the book of Revelation describes the Tribulation. Revelation begins with the appearance of the rider on the white horse, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Antichrist himself (Revelation 6:2). If the Rapture triggers the Tribulation immediately, wouldn’t we see the Antichrist’s rise to power before we depart? Wouldn’t we have a pretty good idea just who this Antichrist really is? But, how does he gain power and rise to a position akin to world president at the same time as Islam establishing a world caliphate through terrorism and fear? How does he overcome the EU and the U.S. who have for decades and even centuries been independent and resistant to world or global government? What does he do to convince China to want him to lead them? It doesn’t seem possible for his rise to power without a lot of changes. Those changes are the subjects of the “out of place” prophecies.


These “out of place” prophecies fit clearly after the Rapture and before the Tribulation begins or, in other words, “in-between”. Why do I say that these prophecies must come after the Rapture and before the tribulation begins? Because these prophecies could not occur before the Rapture because they would be perceived as obvious lead-ins, precursors, or signs of the Rapture, and we know that the Rapture is sudden, imminent, without such signs that would announce its timing and occurrence. And we know that the Tribulation starts with a mysterious peace treaty that an established Antichrist makes with Israel. That establishment takes exact circumstances and a time period for events, people, nations, and attitudes to fall into place so that the Antichrist can assume power. Therefore, there must be a gap between the Rapture and the actual start of the Tribulation for these prophecies to happen.


First, the Rapture is unmistakably before the Tribulation, a pre-Tribulation event. The Bible is clear that we, the redeemed, will be kept, not away from, not protected from, but “OUT OF” the Wrath of God, not appointed to suffer wrath (Revelation 3:10; I Thessalonians 1:10; I Thessalonians 5:9). The Rapture assures that we see no wrath. God does not want His people to experience His Wrath. The Word promises over and over that the Church will be delivered from God’s wrath. Romans 5:9 says that “we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him [Jesus].” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 states that we are waiting “for His Son from heaven… who will deliver us from the wrath to come.” The promise is repeated in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 — “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And, the Bible provides precedent for His people being kept out of His wrath. Noah, his family, and the animals were kept out of the flood. Lot and his daughters were kept out of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Chosen People were kept out of the Red Sea in order to cross over to Midian; then, after they safely crossed or were kept out of the water, God released the sea and destroyed Pharaoh and his army. So, when God says we will be kept out of His coming wrath in the Tribulation, He is referring to the Rapture.


Second, the Antichrist must rise to power somehow before he could ever sign a treaty with Israel. Won’t that rise to power take a little time? Is the world today ready for a world dictator with Islam in competition, with the U.S. still a world power, with the EU still prominent, with the Catholic Church led by the Pope, with China still a Communist power, etc.??? So, there must be some passage of time for the world situation to morph into an atmosphere when the Antichrist will be accepted, even welcomed into world domination. And, this is a time gap between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation. And, some significant things must happen to change the world situation so dramatically.


And, third, the Antichrist, in a world that is free from neighbor nations lobbing rockets at Israel and threatening invasion because of God’s Psalm 83 war, a world that is free from Islam and ISIS because of God’s Ezekiel 38 & 39 war, and a world that is free from dominating countries like Russia, China, and the U.S.(probably as a result of the Rapture or an EMP), the Antichrist will offer the world a peace treaty signed by Israel that will NOT protect Israel from the world, as so many have speculated over the years, but protect what is left of the world FROM Israel and Israel’s God. Why? Because God has obviously demonstrated to the entire world His protection of Israel from her enemies in the Psalm 83 war AND the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war, broadcast to the nations via satellite as it happened! Under these circumstances, it is easy to see that this coming treaty is a treaty that Israel signs with the Antichrist promising that they, Israel, will not destroy any surviving nation and their God will not come after any more countries. Israel has demonstrated to the world that they are a country not to be fooled around with or threatened in any way because their God is capable of anything – even destroying massively superior forces. Israel will presume to think they are pleasing God by signing such a treaty, but all the treaty will do is confirm the Antichrist’s rise to world domination and seal Israel’s fate as an enemy of the most powerful dictator and tyrant the world has ever seen. This fits into God’s plan for the reconciliation of the Jews with Him, but, great tribulation will have to happen to accomplish this desired outcome.


What are the “out of place” or “in-between” prophecies that fit into this time gap? Two have already been mentioned, but there are several others as well. They also seem to be sequenced, falling into place to produce the needed and necessary atmosphere in the world for Antichrist to rise to power globally. Among the several prophecies immediately following the Rapture that will occur, as we have already mentioned, is the close-in to Israel Psalm 83 war, the far away from Israel Ezekiel 38 and 39 war, and other prophecies such as Iran’s nuclear capability destruction in Jeremiah 49, the destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17, the destruction of Syene or the Aswan Dam in Egypt, and the “mysterious” peace treaty with Israel in Daniel 9:27.


So, just how long is this gap between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation? Three of the most repeated and significant numbers in the Bible are the numbers three, seven, and ten. The number three is the most significant number simply because of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and God’s design in creation where so many things were designed with three parts like an apple (skin, meat, seeds) or water (liquid, solid, steam and H2O) or humans (body, mind, spirit). The number seven represents completion, perfection, and fullness. And, the number ten is found in the Ten Commandments, the ten plagues of Egypt, the ten kings of Revelation, ten generations from Adam to Noah, and refers in many locations to law, judgment, and testing. In summary, the Tribulation is seven years, and adding three years after the Rapture and before the Tribulation totals up to ten years from the Rapture to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! It is just an educated or biblically oriented guess at the time span between the Rapture and the Tribulation.


Refer to the “End Times Biblical Chronology” chart to see the sequence of these “between” prophecies.











Daniel 9:25,26 – 70 “Weeks” prophecy where Christ “cut off” after 69 weeks of years (483 years) leaving the last week, which is seven years of the Tribulation, yet to be fulfilled “Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30)


Ezekiel 25:6&7 – God’s warning to Moab, but applicable to all who rejoice in evil against Israel


Genesis 12:3 – God will bless those that bless Israel and curse those that curse Israel


2 Thessalonians 2:3,6.7 – The Holy Sprit’s influence through Christians removed  in the Rapture so that Antichrist can ascend without opposition


1 Thessalonians 1:10 – God will keep us from the wrath of His Son


Revelation 3:10 – God will keep us “out of” the wrath to come


Isaiah 26:17-21 – hide yourself (in the Lord) until the fury has passed by (OT wrath avoidance)


Luke 21:36 – Watch and pray to be counted worthy to escape the wrath and stand before the Lord


1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – The Rapture, the dead in Christ first, then we who remain


1 Corinthians 15:51-58 – Rapture to make the corruptible incorruptible


1 Corinthians 3:11-15 – wood, hay, stubble burned up; gold, silver, precious stones remain


2 Corinthians 5:10 – Bema Judgment Seat of Christ – rewards for His Church


Isaiah 17:1 – Damascus a ruinous heap probably by Israel and tactical nuke


Ezekiel 29 and 30 – The Tower of Syene – Aswan Dam today and destruction that will devastate Egypt (entire Nile Valley flooded with nuclear contaminated water from the nuclear weapon-caused destruction) and keep them out of the Ezekiel 38 & 39 coalition against Israel


Psalm 83 – Close In enemies of Israel manifest exactly as today – first coalition to attack Israel and be totally defeated resulting in the “Israel at peace” needed for the Ezekiel war to take place


Jeremiah 49:34-39 – the destruction of Elam which is the Iranian coastline of the Persian Gulf where their nuclear installation of Bushehr is located – this destruction by Israel might trigger the Ezekiel 38 & 39 war


Ezekiel 38 & 39 – The 2nd coalition war against Israel from those far away: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Ethiopia, and others which will result in the elimination of Islam and result in strong delusion


2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – Strong delusion to not see God in all that is taking place so that the antichrist can rise


Daniel 8: 23-28 – the rise of the cunning and very destructive antichrist in the end times, in the latter days


Daniel 9:27 – antichrist sees his opportunity to gain recognition and dominance by posing a peace treaty that primarily assures the world that Israel and Israel’s God will leave them alone, now after seeing all the Psalm 83 countries and the Ezekiel 38 & 39 countries totally defeated, thus starting the Tribulation and antichrist’s constantly increasing power lasting seven years and ending in Christ’s Second Coming



Remember, my intent is to fit together the Lord’s events foretold in prophecy in light of the world situation as it is today to show just how close we really are to the Rapture and the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Messiah. So, here is the sequence as I see it:


  • First, since the Rapture has happened, the Holy Spirit’s influence through all believing Christians will be removed thus allowing things to spin out of control all over the world. Chaos results! 2 Thessalonians 2:7


  • The Syrian civil war has been on-going now for over five years. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed by their own “leader”, Bashar al-Assad, through chemical weapons and conventional weapons, some supplied by the Obama Administration. Really? Yes, recall Benghazi? Do you know why our ambassador was in Benghazi instead of in his official embassy in Tripoli? Guns were being supplied to Syria to oppose Assad and Obama and Hillary Clinton were totally behind it all. Judicial Watch has proven this. So, what will be the outcome? Sometime during the interim time between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation, some country (Russia? Israel? Iran?) will set off a tactical nuclear weapon and level Damascus, the oldest continuously surviving major city in the world. Isaiah 17:1.


  • Syene is the ancient name for Aswan. The 230 ft. Tower of Syene was constructed by Russian Engineers next to the Egyptian Aswan High Dam in 1970. The “Tower of Syene” is located at the site of the ancient village Aswan or Syene in Hebrew. It is located 600 miles upstream from Cairo (South). The Russian hydroelectric project was amazing in its scope. It is huge, measuring 360 Feet in height, 10,200 Feet (almost two miles!) long and 3,200 feet wide at the base. Backed up behind it is the vast Lake Nasser, and the waters of the Nile that pool all the way into Ethiopia.


The Aswan Dam holds back the waters of the enormous Lake Nasser, 340 miles long and 22 miles wide at its widest. The dam is fed by both the Blue and White Nile rivers and it backs up water 125 miles into Sudan and 310 miles in Egypt. Shortly after Ezekiel wrote his Prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon conquered Egypt and took some of the Egyptians hostage and they were allowed to return home later. But never has the land of Egypt been so utterly desolate that no foot of man or beast shall pass through it for 40 years. Therefore this prophecy must be fulfilled in the future.


So How might Ezekiel’s Prophecy be fulfilled. Ezekiel prophesies that the Lord will set a fire in Egypt. “Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cites shall be in the midst of the cites that are wasted. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. (Ezekiel 30:6-8).


The dam’s dimensions are so massive that it is considered indestructible. Saboteurs using ordinary explosives wouldn’t make a dent. However, experts have said that one or two well-placed nuclear bombs could blow it wide open. This would result in flooding of the Nile from Aswan to the Mediterranean. Could this be what Ezekiel speaks about when he says a fire (or nuclear bomb) has been set in Egypt? Nuclear blasts would contaminate the waters of the Nile across the full length of Egypt and make it uninhabitable by man or beast.


  • The Psalm 83 war begins the neutralization of the Arabs/Islamists that must occur to remove the most militant roadblock to the rise of the Antichrist. The Psalm 83 opponents to Israel are the “close-in” enemies of Israel – those in direct or very near contact with the State of Israel:


  • The tents of Edom: “Palestinians” of the “West Bank”
    and southern Jordan
  • The Ishmaelites: Saudi Arabia, Syria
  • Moab: central Jordan
  • The Hagarites: Egypt
  • Gebal: northern Lebanon
  • Ammon: northern Jordan and part of Syria
  • Amalek’s descendants are in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia
  • Philistia: “Palestinians” from Gaza, south into Egypt
  • Tyre: southern Lebanon (which Hezbollah controls now)
  • Assyria: Syria and northern Iraq
  • Lot’s descendants: Jordan


These enemies have a goal: Psalm 83:4, “…let us wipe them (Israel) out as a nation; and let the name of Israel be in remembrance no more.”




Asaph, the author of this Psalm, lives up to the category of this psalm as imprecatory (to invoke calamity, judgment, or curses) by saying that God will, “…make them like whirling dust, as stubble or chaff before the wind.” (Psalm 83:13) The Jews will be so elated that all opposition, certainly all opposition in a radius of 300 miles around Jerusalem, has gone, they will begin rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with every intent of beginning sacrifices and Orthodox Judaism as it was in the days of Jesus and His disciples. (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)


  • Jeremiah 49:34-39 speaks of the destruction of Elam which is the Iranian coastline of the Persian Gulf where their nuclear installation of Bushehr is located. This prophecy is probably the least known of all the pre-Tribulation prophecies. Yet, this prophecy should be on the minds of all believers since it deals with the present reality of Iran and their obtaining nuclear weapons capability. This destruction of Elam and the scattering of its peoples is to happen in the “latter days” in which we now live. The nuclear development laboratories are located in Bushehr which is on the Persian Gulf along with Iran’s fissionable material manufacture in their nuclear power plants there. God knows that Iran hates and has threatened Israel, so this destruction, probably by a nuclear strike from Israel or fire and brimstone from Heaven, will come resulting in the mass exodus of survivors to the “four winds”. This destruction by Israel just might trigger the Ezekiel 38 & 39 war which is next.


  • The Ezekiel 38 and 39 war is composed of those enemies of Israel that are far away from Israel’s borders:


  • Gog of the uttermost parts of the North, is Russia.
    If you take a ruler and start at Jerusalem going north,
    the line goes right through Moscow
  • The land of Magog: Southern Russia near the Black Sea
  • Meshech: the area where the borders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey merge
  • Tubal: central Turkey
  • Persia: Iran
  • Ethiopia of that day is now called Sudan
  • Libya: present-day Libya
  • Gomer and Togarmah: parts of Turkey perhaps extending into Eastern Europe
  • The north Africa nations:
    Cush: Sudan and Ethiopia
    Put: part of Libya, Algeria, Tunisia
  • “Many peoples with you:” most likely the other Islamic nations


These countries are motivated by God to invade Israel (Ezekiel 38:4), but they will think they are invading to take spoil and to plunder (38:11, 12). Israel has found the largest natural gas reservoir in the world just off their Mediterranean coast. Israel is about to discover oil (Genesis 33:24, “And of Asher he said, Blessed above sons be Asher; let him be acceptable to his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil”). Could these be motivation for Russia and her allies to invade? Today, Russia is allied with Iran (Persia), an alliance once thought never to occur. And just recently, Turkey has aligned with Russia.


God will by His Hand and Israel wipe out about 85% of all Islamic people thus destroying any opposition to the Antichrists rise. Ezekiel 39:2, “And I will turn you about and will leave but the sixth part of thee…”. Ezekiel 39:4, “You shall fall dead upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your hosts and the peoples who are with you.” God will demonstrate to the world that He loves Israel and that He is responsible for this amazing victory!


Why do I think this war must be in the interim time before the peace treaty? Ezekiel 38:11 says that this Russian coalition will say, ‘I will go up against an open country – the land of un-walled villages; I will fall upon those who are at rest, who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates.” How can these conditions exist in Israel? They do not today! Because of the previous close-in Psalm 83 war that wiped out all of Israel’s neighboring enemies! The result will be a perceived peace within the immediate area around Israel.


With most Muslims gone, with great fear that Israel’s God (our God, God Almighty, Jehovah) might continue to remove Israel’s enemies in like manner, the world including China and, perhaps, America, IF we are still a world power then (we may not be depending on the election of 2016 and on what devastation that the Rapture has on our nation) will be very interested in a peace treaty with Israel. But not a peace treaty like all Bible prophecy teachers expect. It will NOT be a treaty to keep Israel safe from her enemies because most of the bad ones will no longer exist. It will be a peace treaty to keep the world safe FROM Israel and Israel’s God!


Israel will be motivated to sign this peace treaty because of the Antichrist’s charisma and his salesmanship for bringing a chaotic world under control once again. Nuclear weapons, unimaginable loss of life, devastating destruction, and polluted atmosphere the world over will be the motivating factors for Israel to sign the peace treaty which specifically gives the Antichrist world influence and power plus starts the Tribulation, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Exactly seven years from the signing of that treaty, Christ returns to stop Armageddon and begin his Millennial Reign on the Earth!


What about the people of the world during all of these wars and chaos?


Because of the wars and world unrest in general, many will die even before the Tribulation starts mostly centered in and around Israel and the countries doing the attacking of Israel. The Bible says in Ezekiel 39:6 that the wrath of God will extend to those who “dwell securely in the coastlands.” This means that Islamists even far away will suffer God’s wrath, so virtually no one is safe after the Rapture. It is interesting that nuclear weapons can be seen in some of the scriptures, especially in Ezekiel 39:6 where God says He will send fire on Magog (Russia), and in Ezekiel 39:12-15 where is seems to describe the aftermath of nuclear war because of the need to bury the radiation contaminated bodies.


It is certain that during the Tribulation, even if one survives the in-between time, Revelation says that two-thirds of the world’s population will die during the Tribulation. And, during the gap years between the Rapture and the Tribulation, the result of the Psalm 83 war and the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war will be a massive amount of death as well. All the more reason for all of us to tell everyone we know about the coming events prophesied so long ago so that those people can accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior in order to escape the terrible wrath of Almighty God that is very, very near.





















The Great Mystery*

(Before and After the Rapture)

*1 Corinthians 15:51

Dr. Roger G. Ford, Ph.D., P.E. (


Lesson Two


  1. What has to happen before the Rapture?
  • The “key” to Bible End Times prophecy is Israel


  • The world is aligning itself against Israel – Zechariah 12:3


 Why do we think it is very close?


  • The fig tree represents Israel and Jesus said when you see the fig tree leaf out, you know that summer is near. So will we know Jesus’ Second Coming is near


  • The Tribulation is the “time of Jacob’s trouble” – Jeremiah 30:7

What about America?

  • Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil…”


  • America is a Christian nation that affirms that government is to stay out of the church – First Amendment to the Constitution


  1. What happens after the Rapture?


  • There are several prophecies that take place after the Rapture but before the Tribulation


  • A “close-in” war with Israel and a “far away” war with Israel – Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39


  • A treaty that Israel signs with the Antichrist promising no more war starts the Tribulation – Daniel 9:27


  What becomes of those “Left Behind”?


  • Because of the wars and world unrest in general, many will die even before the Tribulation starts


  • Even if one survives the in-between time, Revelation says that two-thirds of the world’s population die during the Tribulation








The Great Mystery*

(Before and After the Rapture)

*1 Corinthians 15:51

Dr. Roger G. Ford, Ph.D., P.E. (


Lesson Two


  1. What has to happen before the Rapture?
  • The “______” to Bible End Times prophecy is ______________.


  • The world is aligning itself against ______________ – _______________ 12:3


 Why do we think it is very close?


  • The ___________ represents _________ and Jesus said when you see the ___________ leaf out, you


know that summer is near. So will we know _________________________________ is near


  • The ____________________ is the “time of __________’s trouble” – _______________ 30:7

What about America?

  • _________ 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call ______________ and _______________…”


  • America is a ______________ nation that affirms that ___________________ is to stay out of the


_____________ – ______________ Amendment to the Constitution


  1. What happens after the Rapture?


  • There are several prophecies that take place_______ the Rapture but ________ the Tribulation


  • A “__________” war with Israel and a “__________” war with Israel – ________ 83 and


_________ 38 & 39


  • A _________ that _______ signs with the _________ promising no more war starts the Tribulation –




  What becomes of those “Left Behind”?


  • Because of the ______ and world ________ in general, many will _______ even before the Tribulation starts


  • Even if one survives the _______________ time, Revelation says that ___________ of


the world’s population ________during the Tribulation