THE FIRST RESURRECTION IS FOR THE SAINTS, TO IMMORTALITY!

[And for all you Dispensational Pre-Millennialists (i.e. Calvary Chapels), bear with this interpretation, for it is from fellowships that have the Classic or Historic Pre-Millennial interpretation (i.e. non-rapture).]

I Thessalonians 4:13-17. "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep [die], or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." This apparently is not a "rapture" but a resurrection to immortality, for the righteous dead and a "change" to immortality for the righteous living--to occur at the time of Jesus Christ's second coming!

I Corinthians 15:49-57. "And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable [for those who think we'll be given physical bodies in this resurrection--Paul says "no"]. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: `Death has been swallowed up in victory.' `Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

This trumpet call of God is the Seventh Trumpet blast of Revelation 11:15-18. In ancient Israel the blowing of trumpets was a signal for invasion and war. The 1st Resurrection takes place on the "Day of the Lord," which is represented by the Feast of Trumpets, an Old Covenant commanded Holy Day that God commanded Moses and Israel to keep in the book of Leviticus, chapter 23, verses 24-25. All of God's Old Covenant Holy Days, although no longer commanded for New Covenant Christians, are shadows of events God the Father through Jesus Christ has done or will yet do for mankind. Some have already occurred. Christ was our Passover, if Jesus dwells in us through the Holy Spirit we are observing the reality of Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread 365 days of the year. The Holy Spirit came on the Church on the Day of Pentecost, 31 A.D., just fifty days after Jesus Christ's resurrection. Again if Jesus is in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are observing the reality of Pentecost 365 days out of the year. The Feast of Trumpets points to a future event for the world in general--Jesus Christ's 2nd coming to save mankind from destroying himself in all-out world war. It also represents the day when the saints are resurrected to immortality. And spiritually, the Feast of Trumpets has had it's fulfillment for Christians, for Jesus Christ has had his 2nd coming in us already through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Read John 14. We have come to see that the physical keeping of the Holy Days are mere shadows of what the Holy Spirit accomplishes by dwelling in us. Where the reality has occurred the observance of the shadow is no longer necessary. Just as the wearing of phylacteries was symbolic of the law of God being written in our hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit and is no longer commanded because it is a shadow of what the Holy Spirit has already done in us. Some Christians continue to observe the Holy Day shadows voluntarily, understanding the deep significance and meaning they convey. Others chose not to. Under the New Covenant it is totally up the individual Christian as to which days his wishes to assemble and worship God on.

Leviticus 23:24-25. "The Lord said to Moses, `Say to the Israelites; `On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the Lord by fire.'" (Trumpets were used in the Old Testament nation of Israel to signal important events, and especially to signal war or as a call to arms to fend off an invading army. The camp of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai under Moses would break camp in a specific order when certain trumpet blasts occurred.) Next we find the symbol of Trumpets in the book of Revelation, with the most significant Trumpet blast being the seventh, which is the same one mentioned in I Corinthians 15.

Revelation 11:15-18. "The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: `The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.' And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: `We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth."

Zechariah 14:1-19. "A day of the Lord [k.Js. the day of the Lord] is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones [k.Js. "and all the saints"] with him. [These "holy ones, saints" have just been resurrected to immortality, cf. I Cor. 15:49-57 and I Thess. 4:13-17!]

On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime--a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light.

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter [cf. Ezekiel 47:1-12, Israel gets a new river system].

The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem will become like the Arabah [a plain, k. Js. "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon"]. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the royal winepresses. It will be inherited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot [dissolve, k.Js. "consume away"] while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. Judah [The Israelis] too will fight [on the side of the Lord] at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected--great qualities of gold and silver and clothing. A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all animals in those camps.

Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles." [Apparently the Holy Days of the Old Covenant will be re-instituted after the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. We know they are not binding on Christians living under the New Covenant. But the civil code of Laws Jesus Christ institutes over the whole world may just be the Old Covenant, while the law of the Church in the coming world will probably be the law of Christ found in the New Testament. No one can say for sure. This is one area where we can definitely say we are looking through that darkened glass Paul spoke of. Realize the Holy Days have great symbolic and prophetic meaning, much of which the Jews understand even to this day. We can still learn a lot from them. Don't forget, 95 percent of the world is not Christian even in name. Jesus will need to nudge this group into his Church at that time, bringing them to him and into Salvation through him. More than likely the Holy Days will be part of a civil code of laws over the nations, for it states, "...This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles..."]

Next, what will our new home be like after Jesus returns?

THE JERUSALEM OF THE MILLENNIUM: A NEW HOME AND A NEW JOB FOR THE SAINTS, THE RESURRECTED IMMORTAL CHRISTIANS RULING WITH JESUS CHRIST.

Let us paint a Scriptural picture of the Jerusalem that will be built just after the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Revelation 3:11-12. "Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

At the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, Jesus will cause a massive earthquake. Let's look at the magnitude of that earthquake, so we can properly understand what work it will perform in and around Jerusalem. Revelation 16:17-21. "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning’s; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

The Mount of Olives is not in Jerusalem proper, it is in East Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem, facing the Temple Mount and what is now the Dome of the Rock. This would have been just northeast of the Old City of Jerusalem in Christ's day. Let us see what happens to the Mount of Olives at Jesus Christ's 2nd coming. Zechariah 14:1-4. "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken [militarily], and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

Next let us analyze the effect this massive earthquake has on Jerusalem and its' surrounding countryside. Advance to verses nine through ten of Zechariah 14. It says that Jerusalem is turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon. Where is Geba? Answer: Geba is six miles north of Jerusalem. Geba is modern Al Geba. Next question. Where is Rimmon? Answer: Rimmon is about thirty five miles south of Jerusalem! Let's add the scriptures together. The great earthquake divides the Mount of Olives in half, with half of the mountain removing to the north, half to the south...creating a vast level plain, verse 10, from Geba to Rimmon. Let's get the picture. Jerusalem is sitting on top of a mountain chain that stretches north for about forty miles and south forty miles. This new Jerusalem of the Millennium will be set up on a vast forty mile long plain created by this massive earthquake. This plain will stretch from six miles north of present day Jerusalem (Al Geba) to about thirty five miles south of present day Jerusalem (Rimmon). It will be about ten miles wide. Zechariah 14:9-10. "And the Lord will be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses." [Living Bible: "All the land from Geba (northern border of Judah) to Rimmon (the southern border) will become one vast plain..."King James: "...And it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place..."] So the foundation for the future city of Jerusalem will be on a forty mile long by ten mile wide plain which sits on top of a mountain range. As Jerusalem is rebuilt, it will take up the entire area of this plain. What kind of city can we expect to see rebuilt?

Most of the streets and roads in Jerusalem are crooked, many of them dating back thousands of years to the time of Abraham and Melchizedek. Isaiah 40:4-5 states, "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." The statement "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed" could very well be referring to people being able to see Christ in some of his brilliance, at a safe distance of course. Following Scriptures prove this may be so.

Isaiah 2:2-4. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Most of us as resurrected Spirit Beings will be glowing, lighting up Jerusalem by night. Isaiah 4:4-6. "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense [defense: "a covering"]."

Zechariah 14:7-8. "But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [eastern sea], and half of them toward the hinder sea [i.e. the Mediterranean Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be." Why will it be light at evening time and all through the night? Because we will be glowing! [cf. Dan. 12:1-3.] Jerusalem from a distance will be seen as a massive glowing light in the evening and all through the night. Picture it, a city built upon a forty mile long plain which has been supernaturally smoothed out on top of a mountain chain, glowing in the dark, and covered by a smoking cloud in the daytime, much as the tabernacle was in Moses' day.

What about these "living waters" that verse 8 of Zechariah 14 describes? The living waters (verse 8) will become two great rivers, one flowing east into the dead sea, transforming it into a great inland sea from south of Petra and the Negev to just north of what used to be Lake Hula, north of Lake Galilee. All the land in the Jordan River valley that is below sea level will be flooded and turned into part of this inland sea as this massive new influx of fresh pure water adds its volume to that of the Jordan River [which is over a million gallons a day itself]. The other river flowing out form under the Temple of God will flow west into the Mediterranean, healing those waters.

Ezekiel 47:1-12. "Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles [k.Js. spelling for "ankles"]. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; and the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, withersoever the rivers [margin: two rivers] shall come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi, even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea [the Mediterranean Sea], exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. [Making some active metal pollutants into salts neutralizes them.] And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new [principal] fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf for medicine."

Isaiah 35:1-2. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God."

Isaiah 33:20. "Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken."

Zechariah 14:14. "And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance."

Isaiah 60:9-14, 17-22. "Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night that men may bring unto thee the wealth of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel...For brass will I bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones, iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall the moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time." That was a prophecy about Jerusalem after the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. It gives an indication of why it will glow at night. Spirit Beings tend to do that, as the Bible indicates.

 

Psalm 24:3-6. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O God of Jacob."

Isaiah 33:14-15,17. "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil...Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." Everlasting burnings? Devouring fire? Looks like another reference to the glorified Jesus Christ, and perhaps the glorified saints as well.

Daniel 12:2-3. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise [margin: teachers] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

Revelation 1:13-18. "And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the pap’s with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive evermore..." THAT'S JESUS CHRIST, AND PROBABLY HOW HE AND WE WILL LOOK AT THE TIME OF HIS 2ND COMING!!

Isaiah 52:7-12. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward."

This will be OUR new home! No wonder Abraham kept this picture, this goal ahead of him, in his mind's eye, instead of being mindful of what he might have been able to have then and there. Hebrews 11:8-10. "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of him of the same promise: FOR HE LOOKED FOR A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD."

Ezekiel 40-48 gives a description of the Temple measurements, gates, tables, chambers, chambers for the priests etc.--borders of the land, portions of the tribes. Also read Exodus 25-30 for a description of the original tabernacle and its furnishings. These things are a shadow picture of our new place of employment as we reign with Jesus Christ over the whole world--bringing Salvation to the entire world! [The Scriptures quoted in this section about Jerusalem after Jesus' 2nd coming were taken from the old King James Version of the Bible. Everything that follows will again be from the New International Version (NIV).]

WHEN IS THE 2ND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST GOING TO OCCUR IN THE WORLD ORDER OF EVENTS? WHERE ARE WE TODAY IN THESE SAME WORLD ORDER OF EVENTS?

Daniel 2:31-45. "You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue--an enormous dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like the chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. [a mountain in Bible symbolism represents a government. See Isaiah 2.]

This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

In the time of those kings [the ten toes], the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands--a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

The king being addressed by Daniel is Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful king of the Babylonian Empire. God's prophecy said Nebuchadnezzar was this head of gold on this giant statue in his dream. The Babylonian Empire ruled from 604 B.C. to 539 B.C. The next major empire to come on the scene was the Persian Empire, ruling from 539 B.C. to 333 B.C. when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. This Persian Empire was the breast of silver of this statue. The third kingdom was Alexander's Greek Empire, and it ruled from 333 B.C. until 31 B.C. This Greek Empire was the belly and thighs of bronze in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The legs of iron correspond to the Roman Empire, in its' two divisions, east and west. The western division had its' capitol in Rome and the eastern or Byzantine Empire had its' capitol in Constantinople. This Empire ruled over all the known world from 31 B.C. to 476 A.D. The next part of the prophecy is about the ten toes of this great statue, which corresponds to the last revival of the Roman Empire, which, as we will come to see, is to occur just prior to Jesus Christ's 2nd coming. This becomes clearer when Daniel 7 is added to Daniel 2:31-45.

Verses 41-44 in the King James Version reads, "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall not be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."

Notice that these passages are speaking of kingdoms that would bear rule over people on earth. The prophecy is speaking of governments! It is not speaking of ethereal sentiments "set up in the hearts of men." It is not speaking of churches. It is speaking of governments that bear rule and authority over nations of people here on earth. It is literal. It is specific. There is no misinterpreting here as to what is meant by the word "kingdom." After the Chaldean Empire came the still larger Persian Empire, then the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great, and the fourth, the Roman Empire.

THE WORLD ORDER OF EMPIRES WAS FORETOLD BY GOD THROUGH THE PROPHET DANIEL, FROM BABYLON DOWN THROUGH THE AGES TO THE 2ND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST. The first four main world ruling empires were foretold to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two. In Daniel chapter seven the same four empires are listed, along with a more in-depth description of the last world-ruling empire, the Roman Empire, and also listing its' ten successive resurrections down through history to the present twentieth century!

Daniel 7:1-8, 15-28. "In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: `In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle [the winged lion was one of the symbols of the Babylonian Empire]. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it [possibly referring to the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar, who in later life actually was allowed to write the 4th chapter in the book of Daniel!]

And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, `Get up and eat your fill of flesh!'

After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast--terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully...`I Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this.

So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: `The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever--yes, for ever and ever.'

Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws--the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell--the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

He gave me this explanation: `The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time [three and a half years].

But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

`This is the end of the matter. I Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.'"

Daniel 7 describes in prophetic vision, by the use of different symbols, the same four world ruling empires as Daniel 2 does, starting with the Babylonian Empire [the winged lion was a common symbol of this empire and can be found depicted on some of the walls in the ruins of Babylon], and prophesying that three more world empires will follow one after the other. These four main world-ruling empires are represented as four separate animals or beasts in this prophecy of Daniel 7: a winged lion, a bear, a leopard, and a "terrible iron beast." This last beast (the fourth empire) was predicted to have ten horns representing ten kings. Three of these kings were to be "plucked up" by a separate "little horn."

History tells us that:

1) Including Babylon, these four empires were: the Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Greco-Macedonian Empire, and the Roman Empire.

2) Ten kings in the Roman and the Holy Roman Empire NEVER ruled side by side. History also tells us that three kings (kingdoms) were "subdued" by Justinian, thus the ten horns of Daniel 7:23-24, represent ten "restorations" of the Roman Empire, the fourth beast, "made of iron...dreadful and terrible."

In counting the number of main restorations of the Holy Roman Empire some observations must be made:

1) Every main restoration or resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire was brought on by a king (or person aspiring to be king) of either the German, Austrian or Italian race.

2) This restored Empire-government would continue to be ruled, usually by the restoring kings' blood descendants, until such time as the government of that particular restoration of the Holy Roman Empire grew too weak to defend itself or its' territory from outside forces. Then another aspiring person or king would "carve out" his own restoration of the Holy Roman Empire.

3) Restorations did not always immediately follow the collapse of the preceding restoration. Often times, big gaps appeared between restorations, such as between Otto the Great of Germany and Charles the Great of Austria (962 A.D. and 1520 A.D. coronation to coronation).

Using the above criteria here are the four main world-ruling Empires, and the restorations of the last Empire (nine have occurred, one is yet to come):

I. The Chaldean or Babylonian Empire. 625-539 B.C. Head of gold in Daniel 2, Winged Lion of Daniel 7.

II. The Medo-Persian Empire. 539-333 B.C. Breast of silver of Daniel 2 and Bear of Daniel 7.

III. The Greco-Macedonian Empire. 333-31 B.C. Thighs of brass of Daniel 2, and Winged Leopard with Four Heads of Daniel 7.

IV. The Roman Empire. 31 B.C to 476 A.D. (in two divisions, east and west.) Legs of iron of Daniel 2 and Terrible Iron Beast of Daniel 7.

Restorations of the Roman Empire after 476 A.D.:

1-3: The Vandals. A.D. 429-533. The Heruli. A.D. 476-493. The Ostrogoths. A.D. 493-554. (These three governments, ruling in Rome, were removed by Justinian in 554 A.D. at the request of the ruling pope.) These three "were plucked up by the roots" in Daniel 7.

4: "The Imperial Restoration" of the Empire by Justinian, 554 A.D. This restoration represented the fourth horn of Daniel 7.

5: "The Frankish Kingdom." 774 A.D. started by Charlemagne, a Frank (which is a tribe of German ancestry living in the territory of eastern France and western Germany), crowned in 800 A.D. as Holy Roman Emperor. He is looked upon as the one who first united Europe under the Holy Roman Empire. His empire represents the fifth horn of Daniel 7.

6: The Holy Roman Empire under Otto the Great. Otto the Great was crowned in 962 A.D. This was the German restoration and represents the sixth horn of Daniel 7.

7: The Holy Roman Empire under the Habsburg Dynasty. Charles the Great crowned in 1520 A.D. Seventh horn of Daniel 7.

8: Napoleon's Kingdom. Napoleon grabbed the crown out of the pope's hands and crowned himself Holy Roman Emperor. Napoleon, Emperor of France and its' conquered territories which extended through all of Europe, was a Corsican of parents of possible German ancestry from Genoa. (French restoration under either an Italian or German ruler, depending on Napoleon's actual lineage.) Napoleon’s Empire was the eighth horn of Daniel 7

9: Benito Mussolini was declared to be Holy Roman Emperor in 1935 [crowned by the pope in a secret Vatican concordat], (Italian-German restoration) giving the modern world its' first taste of a Holy Roman Empire. The Hitler salute was a Roman salute that loyal Roman citizens gave to Caesar. Many of the banners of Nazi Germany modeled those of ancient Rome. This short-lived empire was the ninth horn of Daniel 7. [All these "emperors" of the Holy Roman Empire from Justinian onward where crowned by the pope under the authority of the Vatican. Hmm, very interesting.]

10: The tenth horn will be some kind of revived Roman Empire by ten rulers or kings under one strong leader in the territory of Europe. This will be the tenth restoration of the Iron Beast of Daniel 7, the tenth horn, corresponding to the feet and ten toes of iron and potter's clay of Daniel 2.

Comment: For the British in 1814, Napoleon was their taste of a Holy Roman Empire. Rent the movie "Waterloo" to see a graphic depiction of what Napoleon's Empire was like and the threat it posed to Britain. In the 20th century, the United States and British Commonwealth of Nations got their taste of a Holy Roman Empire through the Hitler-Mussolini combine, which brought on World War II. The very next restoration to come is the last and final restoration, which Jesus Christ will have to come to conquer in order to prevent the total destruction of all living things on this planet. This restoration of the Holy Roman Empire is prophesied in the book of Revelation, chapters 13 and 17, which correspond to Daniel chapters two and seven. The United States and Britain undoubtedly will be conquered for prophecy from here on mentions only the cataclysmic battle and counter battle between this Beast Empire and a powerful military force to the east of it--maybe Russia and her allies. It is this final confrontation of this restoration of the Holy Roman Empire with these military forces to the east that will threaten the entire planet, probably with nuclear destruction. That is why Jesus Christ will have to return. Man at this point will have proven himself utterly incapable of ruling over himself with his own forms of governments. Jesus Christ will come and restore the government of God over a war-weary planet of survivors. Ezekiel chapters five and six may be an indication that perhaps two thirds of our respective populations will either starve to death or be killed by the initial Blitzkrieg attack of this power in Europe. The book of Ezekiel also states that Assyria will be the conquering force. The German people are the descendants of ancient Assyria, thus Germany will have a leading role in this European military-political combine. How should we view such chilling information? Jesus tells us in Matthew 25, just after he described much of this in Matthew 24. He tells us that we should be growing in Christian love and service toward our fellow man. He also gave us a major assignment to occupy us while we wait. It was "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…" He nowhere mentions that we should be studying current events fanatically trying to see when this will all come about. As a matter of fact, he stated to his disciples, the apostles, that "no man, not even the angels in heaven, know the day or the hour" of his return. This helps answer the question "When is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ going to be in the world order of events?"

THERE IS A GREAT MYSTERY WHOSE SOLUTION HAS ELUDED MOST CHRISTIANS FOR MILLENNIA. THE ANSWER TO THIS MYSTERY HAS BEEN LOCKED AWAY IN THE SCRIPTURES. IF A PERSON HAS TO ACCEPT THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST, BE BORN-AGAIN, BAPTIZED, AND RECEIVE AND BE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (ROMANS 8:9-16) IN ORDER TO BE SAVED--THEN THE WAY MOST CHRISTIANS LOOK AT THIS DILEMMA IS THAT 85 PERCENT OF MANKIND MUST BE HEADED STRAIGHTWAY TOWARD HELL. IS THIS TRUE?

Why are there so many religions in the world--Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, as well as Atheists--who do not profess the name of Christ? About 14 to 15 percent of the worlds 6+ billion inhabitants profess to be Christians. Are the rest to be condemned to hellfire? Why are there so many other kinds of religions in the world if Jesus Christ and the Bible offer the only true way to true salvation and eternal life in a resurrection to immortality? [cf. I Corinthians 15:49-54.] If Jesus Christ is really trying to save the whole world--as John 3:16 states--how can these things be? Is this the only "day" of salvation, as many teach and believe??? God the Father and Jesus Christ are all-powerful, they could call everyone right now if they desired. What follows is the solution to one of the greatest mysteries in the Bible. Few Bible students are aware of the Bible answers to these questions. And if God the Father (John 6:44) determines who is called and, then it stands to reason that he also determines when everyone will be called. (II Peter 3:9. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.")

NOT EVERYONE IS CALLED TO BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION TO IMMORTALITY AT JESUS CHRIST'S 2ND COMING. NOT EVERYONE IS CALLED TO SALVATION IN THIS PRESENT DAY, OR HAS BEEN IN THE TIMES OF THE PAST. Before the time of Christ, only Holy Prophets and a few righteous people, a few kings, had the Holy Spirit in them, and were called to a saving knowledge. The nations of Israel and Judah--God's very own people--never understood much about salvation. Their only promise from God was to be given physical blessings for obedience to the Old Covenant law of God (which were the civil and religious law of the land all rolled up in one code of laws). Their history is the history of miserable failure to properly implement God's law, the Ten Commandments. What does the Bible have to say about salvation after the arrival and sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Who did Jesus say would be called to a saving knowledge? John 6:44,65. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day…And he said, Therefore I said unto you, that no man can come to me, except it were given unto him of my Father." Jesus is making it perfectly clear here that it is God the Father who determines WHO is called, and WHEN they are called to s saving knowledge. In II Peter 3:9 we saw that God intends to call everyone. But here we see that Jesus indicates that God the Father determines who is called. And if he determines who is called and that everyone will eventually be called, then it stands to reason that he also determines when everyone will be called. (II Peter 3:9. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.")

Let's look at the first large group of people to be called to a saving knowledge by God. The day they were called has special significance relating to God's order of calling also. Acts 2:1-4,36-41. "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them…'Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.' When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call.' [As you can see, the calling is still up to God.] "...With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, `Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.' Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

God's two Holy Day seasons for Old Testament Israel were centered around the two harvest seasons in Palestine--a small first harvest of winter wheat in the springtime and the large harvest of all crops in the fall. This indicates that God's spiritual harvest is to be similar. The early Church of God was small in comparison to the world's population, just as the number of Christians today is a rather small percentage of the total 6+ billion people alive on earth today. Pentecost represents God's first harvest into his kingdom. We will see that another harvest into his kingdom is foretold, a big one. But for now we see that the Holy Spirit came on the Church, NOT the world in general, totally consistent with what Jesus said in John 6:44, 65!

Just one important point I wish to make here about God's calling: Some may get the mistaken idea that just because God hasn't and isn't calling everyone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ right now, that we as Christians shouldn't try to 'make as many disciples of Jesus' as is possible. For one thing this is one of the major or main commissions Jesus gave to his followers--the body of Christ. Matthew 28:18-20 states, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" [NIV] Mark 16:15-18 is a similar quote of the same statement of Jesus.

God does chose not to call the majority, probably for their own good. It is harder to hold on and be faithful to the end (cf. Matthew 24:13) with Satan around as a powerful demonic adversary. If God deems anyone not up to that challenge, he will not allow their mind to be opened to the knowledge of salvation. It is that simple. But on the other hand, God does not tell us who he has allowed to be called in their normal lifetimes, and who he hasn't allowed saving knowledge in their present lifetimes. It is our responsibility to get the Word and Witness out to all whom God does intend to call. Shame on us if we don't do our level-headed best in this area! Some denominations win people over to Jesus Christ and a saving knowledge of Him with both a genuine zeal coupled to wisdom in their approach. That is the key, zeal tempered with wisdom. This paper is designed to help in the area of wisdom in approach--but we must not lose our zeal!

What is the significance of realizing that God has not called and is not calling everyone to a saving knowledge of Salvation in his or her normal lifetime?

And,

How should this knowledge be used to properly direct and tune up our Evangelistic and Christian outreach programs--both to the unconverted world, and to each other?

i.e. If the end of the age is really coming upon us and mankind (kind of a stupid question, "if", isn't it?), then Jesus must want two major things to occur. (I would if I were him.) He would want to see:

1. A spiritual unity [not organizational] within and throughout the various "members" or fellowships which make up the "body of Christ." As a crucial part of this he would want to see the various fellowships start to serve and strengthen each other with their respective spiritual gifts that he has blessed each fellowship with.

2. Jesus wants to see a common unified witness go out to the world, fulfilling the criteria of Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

THE FIRST RESURRECTION IS ONLY FOR THOSE WITH GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM...THOSE ACTIVELY BEING LED BY GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT. Romans 8:11-17. "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." What glory? Read again Revelation 1:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:49-54.

THE BEGINNING OF JESUS CHRIST'S MILLENNIAL RULE STARTS AT THE 2ND COMING WHICH ALSO COINCIDES WITH THE TIME OF THE FIRST RESURRECTION. In Revelation 19:7-21 we find Jesus coming back with the just resurrected immortal saints. "`Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.' (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) [So it appears that fine linen bright and clean, or white and clean is used to identify the saints of God, true Christians. Let's see where they appear next in this passage.] 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.' At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, `Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire [cf. Rev. 1:13-18], and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. `He will rule them with a scepter.' He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in the midair, `Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." This battle is the same battle described in Zechariah 14:1-15. We have seen that the 2nd coming happens at the seventh trumpet blast described in Revelation 11:15-18 and I Corinthians 15:49-54 when the 1st Resurrection to immortality also occurs. In I Thessalonians 4:13-17 it states that the saints rise up to be with Jesus, who as described in Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19 is returning to earth, and as Zechariah 14 points out, he actually touches down on the Mount of Olives and the Mount splits in two. This event takes place within a day, probably within 24 hours. Zechariah 14:9 states that he will then be king over the whole earth. All of these events just mentioned here are represented by the old covenant Holy Day called the Feast of Trumpets.