Tag Archives: Resurrection

The “A-B-C’s” of the End of the World (Originally “It’s the Final Countdown”

According to Jesus, the “end of the age” will be the conclusion of this current age – era or world – with the Great Judgment and the creation of a new heaven and earth. According to the apostle Paul, we’re already in the “last days” leading up to the end.

The final countdown to the grand finale of our world as we know it has begun and the clock’s ticking is getting louder as we see signs of the times and anticipate the conclusion of God’s creation in its current form. A glimpse of what’s to come:

  • Increase in the frequency and intensity of false saviors, wars, and earthquakes & famine/financial disaster.
  • An evil authority we call the Antichrist and an agreement with Israel, kicking off a final seven-year epoch.
  • Breaking the agreement in the middle followed by a three-and-a-half-year reign of terror like never seen before or again.
  • Jesus’ highly-anticipated appearing and the gathering of the spirits of those who are His, and the wrath of God against the rest of the world.
  • The 1,000-year reign of Jesus following God’s incredible wrath.
  • Destruction of Satan and final judgment.
  • God’s new and never-ending heaven and earth.

Looking for guidance? Many man-made theories propped up by a few, specific Biblical verses (usually taken out of context) abound.  So, find out for yourself!  Here’s how to begin:

  1. Read Matthew chapters 24 and 25 together.
  2. Read Revelation chapter 6. There, you’ll see that the signs revealed by Jesus to John in about 90 AD in a vision match what He told His disciples on the Mt. of Olives decades earlier as recorded in Matthew 24 up to the appearing of our Lord at the future, complete darkening of the sun, moon, and stars.
  3. Compare what you read in Matthew 24 and 25  to the entire book of Revelation. You’ll find corroboration between the two and a sequence resembling that given here.
  4. Look for unbiased and complete studies such as my “Finding the End of the World” (available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and ronbraley.com) to broaden your knowledge and faith.

Remember: a countdown is no good if you don’t know when it began or what time it is!

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

Where will we go when we die?

The spirit of a deceased human will go into a holding place upon death. That location will depend on whether their name is recorded in heaven as being among the righteous. The unrighteous will await judgment and a fiery consequence at the end of days. On the other hand, the spirits of the righteous will await their bridegroom – Jesus – to gather them and ascend to the “third” heaven, where God exists, at His appearing.

One of only two earthly choices will affect us after death (at least for those who’ve had a choice): follow God and His Christ and live; choose not to follow and die. Each choice will result in a consequence. The spirit of Jesus’ deceased followers (following implies action and obedience, by the way) will rest in a holding place Jesus called Paradise. They’ll wait there for His return and their gathering, often called ‘the rapture’. I know this is generally contrary to what many churches and their doctrines teach, but you’ll discover that it’s what the Bible reveals.

We’re usually told that our spirit goes to heaven at the time of physical death, yet we won’t find a single biblical reference (in context) to support that idea and plenty to the contrary. The Book of Enoch tells of a holding place for the spirits of the righteous. Jesus told the thief on the cross that He would see him in Paradise that day (Luke 23:40-43), yet Jesus didn’t ascended to heaven until three days later (John 20:17). Paul explained to the Thessalonians that the spirits of the righteous deceased will ‘rise’ to meet Jesus at His appearing and that the living followers will be ‘translated’ to join them.

Also, we know from the story of Lazarus and the rich man that spirits of both were in locations apart from heaven – Lazarus in ‘Abraham’s bosom’ and the rich man in Hades – and yet they could see each other (Luke 16:19-62).

Finally, Jesus told His disciples that we’ll be gathered and taken to heaven – to His Father’s house – upon His return. This supports what Paul said later (e.g. 1Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1Corinthians 15:52). Paul explained to the Thessalonians that spirits of the righteous deceased will rise to meet Jesus at His appearing and that the living followers will be changed to join them. While on earth, Jesus had told His disciples about the future time when that gathering Paul mentioned will happen (cf. Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28).

I realize some readers may still be holding onto traditional church dogma that insists our spirit goes to heaven immediately upon death, so allow me to ask a rhetorical question based on Paul and Jesus’ statements: “Why will Jesus need to return to earth to gather the spirits of the righteous deceased if they’re already in heaven?

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. —John 14:2-3. (See also Matthew 24:30-31 for a reiteration of this gathering)

 

Summary: Our spirit will go to one of two places when we die: a holding area where we’ll await escort to heaven or to an unpleasant holding place where the spirit will await judgment and wrath.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

144,000 Raised & Perfect!

Little is known about this group that will be redeemed from among men in the last days (cf. Revelation 14:14), but God will clearly set them apart and protect them during the time of His wrath. They’ll be in Jerusalem with Christ at the onset of His kingdom.

The following are key points regarding the 144,000:

  • Sealed for protection against God’s impending wrath (cf. Revelation 7:3-8 & 9:4).
  • Seen with Christ on Mount Zion during the time of God’s wrath, but before the seventh trumpet when Christ will gain His kingdom and enter Jerusalem. They “follow Him wherever He goes” (cf. Revelation 14:1).
  • There’ll be a new song in heaven that no man can learn but the 144,000 redeemed from the earth (cf. Revelation 14:2-3).
  • Redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb (cf. Revelation 14:4).
  • They’ll be virgins and without fault (cf. Revelation 14:4-5). I remind those who ask “How will this be possible?” that this group will have been redeemed from the earth and will be first fruits unto the Christ, implying resurrection for the purpose of serving with Him in His kingdom (see the references above).

What we know

  • The group will be 144,000 first-fruits unto Christ redeemed from the earth.
  • They’ll be protected against God’s wrath (e.g. the sixth trumpet judgment in Revelation 9:4). They’ll also be seen with Christ during the time of God’s wrath and will be with Him as He gains His kingdom at the seventh trumpet.

What we don’t know:

  • Where the ten lost tribes of the kingdom of Israel are today (although there’s much speculation on the subject). However, God has promised Israel to bring a remnant from the tribes back together at the end and protect them.
  • Specifically, why Christ will select them—unless their purpose is to reign with Him.

Unsupported Theories:

  • The 144,000 will be Jews for Jesus evangelizing the world.
  • The 144,000 won’t be Jews but special evangelizing Christians.
  • The 144,000 are symbolic and represent particular Christian denominations.

A new age is coming . . .