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Death/Rapture Timing

The subject of this commentary title is admittedly among the hardest I’ve tried to wrap the aging gray matter around. This, of course, is because it isn’t a provable thing to consider by mere intellectual endeavor. And it is so deep in its implication that it is too labor-intensive if we can’t just allow that we can only look at matters involved with self-agreement that we can’t for sure know the truth about it.

Although I’ve thought about the question/possibility many times, especially since my Good Friday clinical flat-line experience on April 22, 2011, it was a friend of our Rapture Ready website who prompted me to write this article.

The gist of her email to me follows.

“Something you wrote in your ‘Home Going’ blog post was extremely intriguing to me. You stated: It has been conjectured, and I believe, that when Jesus calls us to Himself (Revelation 4:1), those still alive will somehow arrive at that face-to-face meeting with our Lord and Savior at precisely the moment those who have gone through the portal of death will see His wonderful face. God’s eternal realm is outside of the thing called time that He created for man. Anything is possible in that eternal sphere.
If you are saying what I think you are saying, those who have passed on before us, no matter how many years they died prior to that blessed event, could possibly arrive to see Jesus and thus enter Heaven at the same time we who are raptured see Him.”

It is a fascinating question to be sure. Will my dad, who went to the Lord in October of 1992, and my mother, who passed away in February of 2020, arrive at the same twinkling-of-an-eye moment as will I when the Lord Jesus calls us in the Rapture?

This might be a bit presumptuous of me—but you get the question. Like you, I fully expect to hear that call at any moment.

But the question involves further asking whether it makes any difference in terms of God’s timing regarding those who have died arriving in Christ’s presence more than a split second before those who are still living at the moment of Rapture.

The Rapture Ready friend who emailed asked if I could provide more information about my statement. I suggested that she check my late friend Chuck Missler’s website. I know he did lots of things in this area. Sure enough, she found some fascinating studies, learning that another great prophecy scholar, Lambert Dolphin, has done tremendous writing on the topic. She sent me the link to one of Lambert’s articles; here it is if you want to get really deep into the subject of God’s timing in regard to death, the Rapture, and many other areas: http://www.ldolphin.org/time.html.

Our column space here is much too limited to give this subject the treatment it deserves, but the article above will certainly give more than one needs to delve as deeply into these questions as one could want. Here are a few excerpts from Lambert Dolphin’s major study.

“In the experience of the Christian, one’s personal death corresponds exactly with the Second Coming of Christ, though this event will also happen on earth at the definite date and time in recorded human history. This is what Paul meant when he said to be absent from the body was to be at home with the Lord, not as a spirit, but in a resurrection body along with everyone else who knows God. This can be seen at the Martyrdom of Stephen in the book of Acts.

‘Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’ (Acts 7:56–8:2)

“As Stephen died he saw heaven opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Throughout the New Testament Jesus is ordinarily pictured as seated at the right hand of God. Evidently He stands to receive His bride, the church, at the rapture. Thus all Christians get to heaven at the same moment. In one sense, then, heaven is now empty. There is no value in praying to the Virgin Mary or St. Jude since they aren’t there yet! But as will be seen shortly, there is another sense in which all believers are already in heaven…

“Although our spirits and souls are made new if we know Jesus Christ personally, our bodies are not yet redeemed. It is our present mortal physical bodies (connecting us by the five senses) which link us to the ‘old creation.’ In spirit we already have been ‘raised’ from the dead, we are dwelling in the heavenly places—we are already seated with Christ at the right hand of God. If we had our resurrection bodies ‘put on’ instead of our old earth-tents, we would immediately perceive that we all had arrived in heaven together…

When Time Ends

“All this may sound quite confusing, and it is true it contains great elements of speculation. But let us return to the Scriptures and the problem of what happens to the believer when he dies. Holding firmly to the essential point that time and eternity are quite different, then when a believer steps out of time, he steps into eternity. What was perhaps a far-off distant event in time is suddenly present in eternity if one is spiritually prepared for it. Since the one great event for which the Spirit of God is now preparing believers here on earth is the coming of Jesus Christ for his own, that is the event which greets every believer when he dies. It may be decades or even centuries before it breaks into time, but this particular person is no longer in time. He is in eternity. He sees ‘the Lord coming with ten thousands of his saints,’ just as Enoch did when he was permitted a look into eternity, and at a time when he was the seventh from Adam and the population of the earth was very small (Jude 14).

Where The Ages Meet

“But what is even more amazing is that in the experience of that believer he does not leave anyone behind. All his loved ones who know Christ are there too, including his Christian descendants who were not even born yet when he died! Since there is no past or future in heaven, this must be the case. Even those who, in time, stand beside his grave and weep and then go home to an empty house, are, in his experience, with him in lorry.

“Dr. Custance carries this even further.

‘The experience of earth saints is shared by all other saints, by those who have preceded and those who are to follow. For them all, all history, all intervening time between death and the Lord’s return is suddenly annihilated so that each one finds to his amazement that Adam, too, is just dying and joining him on his way to meet the Lord: and Abraham and David, Isaiah and the Beloved John, Paul and Augustine, Hudson Taylor and you and I–all in one wonderful experience meeting the Lord in a single instant together, without precedence and without the slightest consciousness of delay, none being late and none too early.’ (Doorway Paper No. 37, p. 28)

“This truly astonishing quality of eternity is the reason Jesus could promise his disciples with absolute certainty, ‘And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also’ (John 14:3). That promise not only applied to that generation of Christians, but would apply to all, directly and personally, through all the intervening centuries. This also explains the strange promise at the close of Hebrews 11. Speaking of Abraham, Moses, David, Jacob, Joseph, and others the writer says, ‘All these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.’

“To be ‘made perfect’ is to be resurrected, so this passage specifically states that the saints of old will not be resurrected without us. Either they are disembodied spirits waiting for the resurrection (which we have already seen is not likely) or there is some way by which we can leave time one by one and yet participate together in one glorious experience of resurrection. The proper understanding of eternity supplies the answer.

Eternity Invades Time

“There are other references in Scripture that present this same phenomenon of the apparent eclipse of time. For instance, in Revelation 13:8, Jesus is referred to as ‘the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.’ Now the cross occurred at a precise moment of history. We know when the Lamb of God was slain. But the Bible says it occurred before the foundation of the world. How can an historical event which occurred at a certain spot on earth, in the biblical reckoning be said to have occurred before the earth was even made? The passage does not say that the Lamb was foreordained to be slain before the foundation of the world, but it says he was actually slain then. Surely it means that the cross was an eternal event, taking place both in time and eternity. In time, it is long past; in eternity, it forever occurs. So also would the resurrection, and in the same way, the second coming of Christ. When any Christian dies, he passes from the realm of time and space into timelessness, into the NOW of God when the full effect of these timeless events is experienced by him to whatever degree his spiritual state requires. But the Lord’s return is an event yet to take place in historical time when the Church is complete and the end of the age has come. Perhaps this is the meaning of the Lord’s words: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live’ (John 5:25). (“Complexity of Time,” Lambert Dolphin, http://www.ldolphin.org/time.html)

*************

Again, Chuck Missler always stressed that God created time for mankind on earth. Time, in that regard, is linear. It stretches from one of its ends to the other. God is outside of time, thus we can’t put death and the Rapture within linear time constraints. Both death and the Rapture, for the Christian, is not an ending, but a beginning. I, like my great friend, Chuck, believe that both portals are somehow, inexplicably to the finite mind, infinitely inseparable wonders of the homeward going.


40 Comments

  1. Camilla Smith says:

    Hi Terry! What a blessing Chuck Missler was to us all! This is indeed a fascinating subject and I truly believe the answer is found in an Apocryphal book, 2 Esdras (Ezra), which was in the 1611 KJV and also in many older versions of the Father’s Word. My parents have a mid 1800s KJV which contains some of these Apocryphal books, including Enoch, Esdras (Ezra) and Baruk and Jubilees. Anyway—you can google it online—2 Esdras 7:75-100 tells us exactly what happens to the righteous and the unrighteous when we pass away. It has brought me great shalom to read this and understand it, of course, holding tightly to the Father’s Hand as HE shows me what HE wants me to know. I always make it a practice to pray and ask for His Guidance and His Wisdom before I read or watch ANYTHING. But it sure does make sense—and also makes sense as to why the word “sleep” is used so often in our Scriptures. Much love in our Adon, Yahshua/Jesus.
    Your sister in Him,
    Camilla

  2. Hey Terry, Dave W. Here! What a great post. I have spent a lot of time considering the subject and trying to discuss it with friends. We of the finite mind cannot grasp but a tiny bit of the concept of eternity. That’s fine with me. An exciting experience awaits us my friend. Closer today than yesterday. Love in Christ, Dave

  3. CAROL COLE says:

    I am challenged, however, this is what I read : no matter when a person dies, that person lies in the grave or in a holding place……until the rapture, and then, everyone meets at the same time. This is causing me great stress and lots of pain. ESPECIALLY, because the very reason I gave myself to Jesus turns out to be a lie. I had a vision of my husband and he told me how happy he was, that it was “ different “ there, and that he did not want to come back. So…….that whole vision was a lie. Yes, I am extremely stressed.

    • Ed Wood says:

      Hello,Carol. Maybe this will help. First, you are NOT believing in vain because Jesus always keeps his promises. When he said he was preparing a place for all believers, you can count on it to be true.

      Now, to offer a possible explanation of your vision of your husband. I have heard similar stories from people I have personally known and so I am very much inclined to accept them as being true.

      I am not a physicist, but our day-to-day experience of time as something fixed is not correct. Even in our limited universe (compared to God who is unlimited and infinite) the passage of time is affected by both acceleration and a gravity field which operates exactly like an acceleration. It’s called time dilation. There is solid scientific evidence which backs this up.

      So, if time is variable even in our realm, imagine how much more so in God’s realm! That being said, if there is some kind of “suspension” of someone at the point of death and their entering heaven, it is only from our point of view. From their perspective, the transition is instantaneous. If we can accept this possibility, it isn’t a big leap to imagine for someone to send a message back, because time, as we perceive it, is not how it really is in eternity. After all, could prophecy exist if time was indeed fixed, as we perceive it to be? God and his realm exist far beyond our three spatial and one temporal dimensions.

      So, take heart, you have not believed in vain!

      I hope my limited attempts here give you comfort.

      • Carol Cole says:

        No, but thank you for trying. This has devastated me.

      • Ed Wood says:

        This just came to mind, Carol, and it might be the answer you are looking for:

        Luke {23:42} And he* said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. {23:43} And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. *he = the repentant thief

      • Carol Cole says:

        Now, watch all the intellectuals come forth, Ed, disagreeing,

      • Ed Wood says:

        I’ve been challenged before and that’s okay if it happens this time, too. I am certainly not an expert and I’m here to learn.

        When it comes to “intellectuals, I always remember that the “intellectuals” of Jesus’ time got it totally wrong about him. Only Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemas got it right out of the 71 Sanhedrin members. That puts it in perspective for me.

        Something that I have come to believe is that all the answers to the important questions are in the Bible and the search for them in itself is a lifelong and worthy endeavor. It often answers questions you didn’t even know existed!

  4. Carolyn Moore says:

    Dear beloved brother Terry,

    I am no theologian, but I personally believe that when a believer dies, he/she goes into the presence of the Lord immediately. I do not think there is any reason to believe our spirit lies in the grave with our bodies. I do believe I go into His presence in my spirit, and later, at the rapture, my redeemed body will rejoin my spirit in heaven. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

    That’s all I need to know. I suspect I will recognize other loved ones there as we await the redemption of our bodies, too. And if I am still on earth at the rapture, it will be the same except that both body and spirit will be taken to heaven in a moment of time.

    I read all your articles as you share them here, but I am getting too old and weary so that, if they are by another author, I don’t have the mental energy to read them through.

    God bless and comfort you, dear brother, and give you His strength in these “last days.”

    Judy Moore

    • CAROL COLE says:

      I concur with Carolyn and Judy Moore. Terry has always been my “ go to guy “ whenever I did not understand something. He has always been an encourager for me. But today…….I am disappointed in my Southern Christian brother.
      Carol Cole
      Atlanta

      • Ed Wood says:

        Hi, Carol.
        I am sure you know of Terry’s experience during his heart attack. His journey to heaven was instantaneous from his perspective. And, as I mentioned above, Jesus promised the repentant thief that he would be in paradise with him “today.”

        Don’t lose heart, my friend.

        God always does what’s right.

      • Carol Cole says:

        YES, YES, YES ! So, how can he be changing his mind after having the experience that HE had ?

      • Ed Wood says:

        Here’s another thought that just occurred to me: If past, present future are all the same to God, then, we are ALREADY in heaven with him and our loved ones, from his point of view.

        What we see as a time gap between now and then is only because of our limited frame of reference. Kind of like the difference in viewing your surroundings from a car or an airplane. It’s all a matter of where you are looking from.

  5. Dave Michaelson says:

    Hi Terry/Ed, I see why you wrestled with this because there’s so many “components” to consider!
    I have a personal testimony from the nurses who were witness to my grandmother’s final moments.The nurse told my aunt at the time(1983) the last words before my Grandmother passed was,” I see the angels, where is Jesus?” Several nurses were present, my aunt later told me they were all moved by her remarks. I remember pastors who preached in the 1970s and 80s that the “old testament” saints who died before Jesus came to earth resided in Abe’s bosom until Christ’s resurrection at which time they each went to Heaven and are NOT still asleep, apart from the Lord! I agree our “finite” minds cannot grasp the thresholds that divide our earthly time portals from Eternity. We read in the book of Revelation this will be our final destination for all believers. I believe this refers to the imperishability of God’s new creation! Whereas, everything currently in the known universe is born ,it lives, then eventually dies, even the stars! We are told when Jesus appeared to the Apostles during Pentecost, He told them to feel his hands, arms etc, as to the reality of His flesh being real. We are told the Apostles saw Him pass through walls, and still being of immutable matter! This is what I believe will be our Glorified, imperishable bodies one day! Then we’ll all be like Him! The same goes for the New Heavens & new Earth the Bible speaks of.

    • Ed Wood says:

      I, too, believe that we will have expanded intellect and physical abilities far greater than those that we now have. As for the “mechanics” of the transition between life in this world and that of the world to come, I don’t think that can be understood with our present limitations.

      Regarding time, we can get the briefest idea of it from Einstein’s discoveries that the passage of it, even in our reality, is not a constant. It is affected by both acceleration and gravity but that’s the best we can do down here.

      What I do believe is that God’s time reference is totally different than ours – the “thousand years is as a day and a day is as a thousand years” principle. It explains why accurate prophecy revelation of future events is possible because the past, present, and future are all the same for God.

      Fascinating subject!

      • Dave Michaelson says:

        Thanks-Terry or Ed, can you do a writing(maybe you already have prior to my getting your raptureready emails)on the apocryphal books-not in the Bible.
        apocrypha, (from Greek apokryptein, “to hide away”), in biblical literature, works outside an accepted canon of scripture. The history of the term’s usage indicates that it referred to a body of esoteric writings that were at first prized, later tolerated, and finally excluded.
        *This has been an area of interest to me considering it was once determined by a group of clergy/educated at the time) men that these particular works were not valid in the quote ‘biblical’ sense to be included in Holy scripture. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts regarding this-thanks much!

      • Ed Wood says:

        My knowledge is limited on this, Dave, but I’ll pass along what I do know (or what think I know, anyway!).

        The “apocryphal books” were written in the time between those of the Old and New Testaments. They are included in the Roman Catholic Bible, but they are not recognized as authoritative in the Protestant versions such as the King James Bible.

        Some of the reasons, as I understand them, are as follows:

        First, Jesus never directly quoted from them nor based any of his teachings on them.

        Second, their authorship is questionable or unknown.

        Third, some contradict what the Old and New Testaments express. If you enter “contradictions in the Apocrypha” in your search engine, you’ll see what I mean.

        Fourth, they were never part of the Hebrew Bible nor accepted as authoritative by the early church fathers. So, outside of Roman Catholicism, I’m not aware that they ever gained prominence.

        Hope this information is useful to you.

      • Dave Michaelson says:

        Thanks Ed for explaining– please pardon my confusion here re:raptureready.com with terryjamesprophecyline.com websites. I see where I included this in my question-email to you. I assume you send your publications to raptureready.com, but are not affiliated directly with their organization? Anyway, yes, I’ve briefly read excerpts from the Book of Enoch, Maccabees, etc years back, and often wondered why these were never canonized in Holy writ. What you say makes sense especially since Jesus never referred to them in scripture.

      • Ed Wood says:

        You are welcome, Dave.

        I’m glad to have given you a little background on the Apocrypha.

        Terry is a partner with Todd Strandberg at RR, while Prophecy Line is Terry’s alone. What appeals to me most at this website is that it lets people comment on the articles and this is a great way to learn new things.

        Over the years, Terry has greatly encouraged me and we’ve had some great exchanges. This includes being there for some really dark times of my own. Dana, who expertly keeps this site running, has also been very supportive in every way as well. I am very fortunate to have her and Terry as good friends.

        I do submit occasional articles to Prophecy Line and, in the past, some have appeared at Rapture Ready. I used to be more prolific but have had a very long dry spell. I am hoping that my “writing well” is starting to fill again. You’ll see a heading “Issues and Events in others’ words” which invites people like myself to submit articles. This is a really great opportunity that Prophecy Line offers. I am honored that mine have been warmly received.

        Best regards, God bless.

  6. Doren says:

    To read all this at one setting was so important for me. The shalom, the ahhhhh, the peace of mind, to absorb and weep in admiration for our God. ONLY He can put it all together, such as this.
    What an awesome God we serve.
    Regards,
    Doren Renfrow

  7. CHRIS HANSON says:

    Hi Terry. After reading your article, I felt compelled to provide brief comment. First, I greatly appreciate your ongoing dedicated efforts to help further our biblical understanding on a variety of topics. And I will definitely continue to read your inspiring work. This article however, in particular, although thought provoking, I found honestly to be a bit disturbing. I, like a few others on this post, are a bit disappointed in the argument presented – albeit your cited support was not your own. Nevertheless, as a brother in Christ, I would recommend that any such articles in the future receive better scrutiny prior to dissemination. It appears by the responses from several others on this post that it came up short, unlike your other articles to date, to provide better understanding and encouragement. I concur. Thanks again for your continued support. A brother in Christ. Chris H

  8. Harvey says:

    I admit that it is too much for me to fully take in, but I remember my sister saying that after my brother-in-law (her husband) died, some years ago now, she was given the understanding that somehow he was not beating her into eternity as she was praying, but that they would be entering at the same time. She did not understand it fully but it seemed right. Since she told me about that, I have been more careful about reading the scriptures. Our thinking is all too often clouded or limited by popular talk or expectations. However, it really does not seem to matter. When we die or when we are Raptured we will no longer be governed by earthly time though there may be years in between. We have not had that experience yet but are conditioned by present understanding.

  9. A Clark says:

    Like you said Terry, a lot of speculation. I don’t know that eternity necessarily is timeless. The scripture quoted is not that clear on the topic. Besides, arguably, we see hints of time existing in the kingdom of God in the progression of events and movement between points in space which would imply some passage of time. For example, it says that the kings of the earth will bring in the glory of the nations into the holy city. So they clearly are moving from some part of the new earth into the new Jerusalem which requires some amount of time.

    Something else to consider, is that without time, all reality collapses into a single point, no past or future. This logically makes no sense given the depictions of the new heavens and new earth. The concept of eternal life does not exclude the passage of time. It could be that it goes on without end.

    I also don’t believe there is any evidence that we arrive in the presence of God simultaneously whether dead or alive at the rapture. The argument is somewhat self refuting in that we are using a temporal argument to prove a nontemporal hypothesis.

    Time is a normal part of biblical reality and there isn’t much reason to believe otherwise.

    • Harvey says:

      This is a hard concept to understand, I agree. However where God is, in our present time (which He is not) He inhabits eternity. We know we are in time because it consists of matter. We cannot pass from A to B without it taking time, but what if there was no A or B or anything else. How would you measure time? We do not understand the new earth because it does not exist yet so you are jumping the gun a little, I think. Even our bodies, which are earthly, age. We can measure time through the aging process and the changes we can observe but what if we had spiritual, imperishable bodies that never changed. I am content to wait and look forward to what we will discover. I have heard Chuck Missler explain it much better.
      Don’t forget too, that ” with the Lord a 1000 years is as a day and a day is as a 1000 years”

      • A Clark says:

        But my contention is that we are given a lot of information in scripture about the new coming reality and it indicates there will be space – time. So I don’t think I’m jumping the gun. I’m simply looking at the text and what is described. Saying there won’t be anything in eternity seems to agree with my point that, without time, existence had no meaning. Time seems to have begun at creation and so it’s logical to conclude that time itself is part of creation whether it be the current creation or the new creation.

    • Ed Wood says:

      Hello, A.Clark.
      I think that space and time certainly do exist in the life to come, but that they all exist in a much different way – especially time.

      In our universe, our progression through time causes things to “run down.” The fancy term is that entropy in increasing. Some define it as increasing disorder, but I like my “running down” definition better. Things just plain wear out. New stuff gets old – and I speak from personal experience every time I shave the face of that now-old guy in the mirror. Usable energy decreases. Hot things cool off, cool things warm up. Left on its own, the universe would become a featureless “nothing.” But we know God will remake it after the Millennium – a new universe with new rules

      For eternity or “forever” to be possible, this can’t be the case, therefore time has a whole new meaning in God’s realm already, and that one day the whole universe will be like that.

      Anyhow, that’s the best I can figure it.

      • A Clark says:

        I think that is a better alignment with scripture than a universe without time. Space – Time is God’s fabric for reality. Sin corrupted it but like you say, it will all be made new. I’m not saying there won’t be other remarkable features to existence in the New creation but space – time works really well and seems to be retained as a design feature.

      • Carol Cole says:

        I really feel that it is waaaay past time for me to unsubscribe these comments, Terry. I feel that other than a couple of comments, that you folks are getting me more and more upset.

        Carol Cole

      • A Clark says:

        If that was directed at me, then apologies. Just having a discussion. No intent to upset anybody

      • Ed Wood says:

        Well, A. Clark, I am enjoying our present discussion and the ones we’ve had before. Hope we’ll have more in the days ahead.

  10. Dave Gatehouse says:

    For years I have discussed this topic with my Christian friends and have come to basically the same conclusion, but from this perspective. If God created everything that means everything including time and space. If God created time, He is by definition, outside of time. The creator of anything can not be in the object itself. That is why He is described as the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, which still doesn’t quite do justice to the topic within our finite minds.

    Looking at the dimensions: the first dimension is like a straight line -direction only, no width or height. The second dimension is therefore width. Combine the two and you can calculate an area, but with no height. Add with the third dimension and you can now calculate volume or space if you like. God created space, the universe and all three dimensional objects within it, both inanimate and living.

    So what is the fourth dimension? Time. You can take an object, tell someone to look at it, then tell them to close their eyes for 3 seconds, reopen their eyes and look at it again. You can move it, the wind can move it or any number of other factors can move it, but what was in one place has now ‘disappeared’ supposedly, and reappeared elsewhere. And the difference of location is a function of those three seconds: Time.

    So if God being outside of time, created time, what is its main purpose? I fully suspect God created time in order to give us all “time” to accept or reject His Son. God wishes a relationship with His highest creation, mankind, and without choice through time, we would be nothing but robots.

    So (ipso facto) eternity is not a very long time, but indeed the absence of time. We who have accepted Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer will be in the eternal “now” with the Father and the Son in the eternal state. We will be with the Great I Am; both Father and Son.

    God told Moses to tell the people His name is “I AM”. (not I was, I am now, and in the future I will be). Jesus referred to Himself also as the “I AM”. (timeless). But for a period of time (about 33 years), the Son of God entered into our time continuum to save us, but has now been united again with the Father in the eternal “I AM” state.

    So it makes logical sense that the living and the dead will rise, not just in the twinkling of an eye (that is another metaphor for our finite minds) but instantaneously, in the eternal state. And so we shall ever be with the Lord. (oh there we go again with that time laden term ever).

    Come quickly Lord Jesus, (it is time we are out of here and eternally with the Father and Son)

    • Carol Cole says:

      Dear Terry,

      I WANT to continue receiving your emails of different thoughts about Prophecy from you…….just as I always have.
      However, CLEARLY I stepped off in a rabbit’s hole when “ commenting….. and then signing up for all comments “.
      I have been totally bent out of shape ever since. I have ATTEMPTED to get off that “ comment “ section “, but they just KEEP COMING. And these wild words of time, space, etc. is ENTIRELY too much for my simple Christian mind to take.
      Will you PLEASE PLEASE get me OFF of receiving everyone’s far-out intellectual rambles ?

      Thank you, Carol Cole

      Sent from my iPad

      >

    • Ed Wood says:

      Very interesting comments, Dave G. and you did a great job describing the four dimensions.
      As for eternity, I don’t think it is the absence of time, just time with completely different characteristics than we are familiar with in our reality.

      Here, time has an arrow, moving from past to present. In the world to come, I don’t see how that could be the case. Events will still occur, but the aspect of time here which causes things to “wear out” or “run down” will no longer exist in the new heaven and new Earth. These are the kind of conditions that already exist in God’s realm – which makes prophecy history which has not happened yet for us, but is all known to God.

      Really liked the “I AM” paragraph – where our eternal God stepped into our space-time, became incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth, thus partially limiting himself temporarily to the laws of our universe. I say only partially because he could still perform miracles which go beyond what’s normally possible in our universe. Even so, he let himself become subject to scorn and the most painful death imaginable – and all for a fallen race that didn’t deserve such a sacrifice.

      Of everything, I find God’s mercy for us to be the greatest mystery and miracle of all.

      • Harvey says:

        Actually, I recall Chuck Missler once explaining that there were at least 10 dimensions. Others have confirmed this also. We speak as if there were only four now and at one time only 3 were considered. I don’t know what relevance they would have on the present discussion. My point being that we really do have limited understanding and cannot possibly deal with questions like eternity when we lack the data. We don’t know what we are lacking which may be germane to the subject.

      • Ed Wood says:

        The “ten dimension” concept is also something I’ve also heard of before. I don’t know much about it, but it certainly indicates much more to reality than we realize, something the Bible verifies over and over.

  11. Lee Merrick says:

    “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” I have always thought that Jesus will return with the souls of all those who have died believing He was God-in-the-flesh and died on the cross to take our sins away and make things right again between us and His Father. Then, the dead and those of us who are still alive in Christ will be gathered together, given perfect bodies that will survive leaving the Earth, and be transported to the place He has prepared for us in heaven. Is that too simplified?

    • Ed Wood says:

      Hi, Lee.

      I think the sequence of events goes like this:

      1) Jesus calls all believers, past and present, to meet him in the air in their glorified and immortal bodies – just as you said. This is the Rapture.

      1 Corinthians {15:51} Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, {15:52} In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

      1 Thessalonians {4:16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise
      first: {4:17} Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. {4:18} Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

      2) They all return with him and angelic hosts when he comes back to put a stop to Armageddon seven years after the Tribulation begins and to initiate the Millennium following that. (see Zechariah, chapter 14)

      I also think each believer will play a role in Jesus’ Millennial administration, one that will be perfectly suited to each one’s abilities.

      Matthew 25:14} For [the kingdom of heaven is] as a man travelling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. {25:15} And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

      • Harvey says:

        Ed, that was a great summation. It occurred to me, while I was noting a change which was indicated by the comments of various contributors. “Here a little, there a little. Line upon line, precept upon precept. ” That is the Lords way. He always gives us something to puzzle about, but as we get closer, understanding dawns. If He unloaded it all at once it would literally ‘blow our minds’ but as we get closer we can see better. Awesome, isn’t He?
        When we see something on the horizon, we start to think, but we can’t see enough to make it out, but slowly, gradually, things take shape. By the times it arrives we are ready for it.

      • Ed Wood says:

        Thanks, Harvey. I think you are right about how God reveals things to us. It’s goes along with what he told Daniel:

        Daniel {12:4} But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

        As we closer to the last of the last days, we begin to understand more and more. Your analogy about how that works is a very good one.

        I also agree that we couldn’t handle everything all at once. It would be a massive overload.

        Jesus really is coming soon!

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