Volume 3: The Millennium and Beyond
So what now? Now that you’ve seen what the Scriptures have to say about your future, what are you supposed to do about it? The answer depends on who you are and when you’re reading this.
The most fundamental question to be asked is: do you have a relationship with Yahweh? You now know quite a lot about Him, but do you know Him? He would like to “adopt” every human being on this planet—make us all His children. He has already “filed the paperwork” and paid all the outrageous fees. All we have to do is say yes, admit that we’re homeless orphans, admit that we need a place to stay, that we want a loving father who will provide for us, that we can’t make it on our own, and that we choose to be His children. Be very clear on that point: the choice is ours. If you will choose Yahweh, then He will choose you. It’s as simple as that. But if you refuse to come in from the cold, I have no further advice for you. There is no alternate reality that will provide you with the shelter and warmth you seek.
From this point on, then, I am assuming that everyone reading this is a child of Yahweh. (Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone getting beyond the first or second chapter who wasn’t.) The question remains. What are we supposed to do in light of all this prophetic revelation? Again, it depends—this time on the lateness of the hour. If the rapture has not yet taken place, our instructions are the same as they’ve always been. In case you’ve forgotten (or never knew) what these instructions are, I’ll restate them as simply as possible. (But unquestionably more helpful than my list is the book of I John. It’s only five chapters; I’ll wait while you go and re-read it.)
(1) Communicate with your Heavenly Father. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Take the time to learn what He’s all about by reading the Scriptures. Carry on a running conversation with Yahweh, and be prepared to accept what His Spirit tells you, either through His word, through the opening of doors in your life, or even directly (the prophet Joel tells us to expect dreams and visions from the Spirit as the Day of Yahweh approaches). The caveat with dreams and visions, of course, is that they must line up with the truth of Yahweh’s scripture—you shouldn’t base doctrine on the effects of late night pepperoni pizza.
(2) Love each other. When you encounter someone in spiritual or material need, meet that need, if it’s in your power. If it’s not, pray for it. Treat others with the same kindness, respect, and honesty you show yourself. This applies to everyone in your sphere of contact, but especially to fellow believers: our love for each other is supposed to be what sets us apart from the world.
(3) Be holy; that is, separate yourself from the world’s influence. Maintain a pilgrim mentality, for our citizenship is not of this world. Filter everything you hear through the truth of scripture. Don’t confuse earning a living with life itself. Do what you can to improve conditions for your fellow man, but don’t confuse good works with holiness. Read the works of godly men and women, but don’t confuse their writings with holy scripture. Vote if you want to, but don’t confuse your candidate with Christ.
(4) Stop tolerating false doctrine. Tell the unvarnished truth, even if it’s not popular. Loving one’s neighbor doesn’t mean sending him to hell out of “respect for his point of view.” No matter what the politicians and the media say, we do not all worship the same god. Yahweh doesn’t share His throne with Ba’al. I’m not talking about being dogmatic about fine points of scriptural interpretation—like conflicting views on the chronology of the rapture, for instance. But certain truths are foundational: the deity of Yahshua, His atoning sacrifice, our need for salvation. Don’t compromise or dilute your faith in these matters for any reason. But at the same time, don’t confuse guarding God’s truth in the world with forcing the heathen to behave themselves. These are two different things—the first one essential, and the second pointless.
(5) Don’t exalt religious tradition over scriptural truth. Be honest with yourself: if your “religion” depends on rituals and conventions rather than your relationship with Yahweh, then something’s wrong. Question everything that’s not spelled out in Scripture, and be prepared to challenge habits you’ve taken a lifetime to form. Personally, I agonize over things I suspect are wrong but know I’ll never be able to change: man-made traditions like Sunday worship and the observance of Christmas in December. Begin paying attention to the significance of the seven annual Feasts of Yahweh. Trust the Scriptures but don’t trust the translations: look up the Hebrew and Greek words. Dig deep. Spend time. You’ll find that our English translations time and again fail to communicate the full impact of Yahweh’s Word, and far too often they miss the truth all together.
(6) Support Israel. Yahweh wasn’t kidding when He told us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Evangelical Christians are the only real ally Israel has in today’s world. As we approach the end, both of us will find ourselves isolated, misunderstood, and persecuted. But Yahweh’s “exit strategy” for the Ekklesia will predate Israel’s by at least seven years, perhaps longer. What we do for Israel now will come to remembrance when they enter the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. The Battle of Magog will turn them back to Yahweh, but their recollection of our love and support will prepare them for the epiphany of the Day of Atonement—four or five years later—when they will recognize their Messiah as the same One we worshiped when we walked the earth.
(7) Rejoice. No matter how bad things get between now and the end of the beginning, remember that you are a child of the King. Your sins have been forgiven, and a wonderful eternity awaits you. Satan’s pitiful schemes can have no lasting effect on your life, for unlike him and his followers, you are destined for blessed immortality, a participant in the glory of God Himself. So again I say, rejoice!
I know it’s unlikely, but what if the rapture has already taken place when you stumble across these pages? Millions of Christians have suddenly disappeared, leaving the world wondering what happened. You’ll know I got that part right, at least. And having read the rest of the book, you’ve discovered that you’ve now got a problem: you’ve missed the only chance you had to live your life out “normally.” The rapture, having been foretold in the Scriptures, proves that God has at last begun to bring His revealed plan to fruition. The rest of Biblical prophecy will now be fulfilled in quick succession.
As before, the first thing you need to do is repent, acknowledge your sin, and ask God to forgive you and save you. He will, even now. Again, if you refuse to accept the grace of Yahweh, there’s nothing more I can say to you. But assuming you have taken that step, welcome to the Assembly of Laodicea. The good news is that you are now a child of Yahweh. The bad news is that your chances of making it through to the end of the Tribulation in one piece are slim to the point of anorexia—though some will.
The first thing we need to do is review the only instructions God left specifically for you. I’m referring to Yahshua’s letter to the Church at Laodicea, recorded in Revelation 3. You have already heeded His invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” The promise He made at this point is meant to encourage you in the coming trial: “To him who overcomes [that’s you] I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:20-21) That’s a pretty neat promise.
I’ll skip the part where Yahshua reminds you how you got into this fix (beginning in verse 14), and cut straight to His advice: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold [heavenly riches: love, joy, peace, patience] refined in the fire [i.e., tested and purified by the trials you’re about to endure], that you may be rich; and white garments [imputed righteousness, provided by the blood of Yahshua], that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed [i.e., that God would choose not to see your sin]; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see [that is, open your eyes to the reality of your situation]. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. [In other words, your tardiness in repentance has sent you to God’s woodshed, and you’re about to get spanked. The unrepentant world, however, is in for something far worse—a fate worse than death.] Therefore be zealous [once you’ve made up your mind to follow Yahweh: don’t waver in your commitment] and repent [change direction from where you were headed before you found God].” (Revelation 3:18-19)
Now that you’re a believer, the seven goals I listed above apply to you as well, but the list is slanted somewhat to reflect your new situation. The first three (prayer, love, and holiness—being set apart) stand unchanged. Developing a holy intolerance for false doctrine will be simplified somewhat, for such heresies will be easier to spot as the end approaches. The key is the first commandment: “I am Yahweh your God…. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1-2) Indeed, the world will for a time tolerate every point of view but yours, and every god but the real One. Your relationship with Yahweh will classify you as an ultra-right-wing fundamentalist whacko at best, and a dangerous and subversive religious terrorist at worst. The very idea that you have convictions based on a relationship with a God who requires holiness will be seen as antisocial behavior, the worst sort of bigotry—a hate crime. It will only be a matter of time before “your brand” of Christianity is outlawed, persecuted, and punished.
As for refusing to let religion replace relationship, that issue will more or less take care of itself. You won’t find “your kind” welcome in fancy cathedrals with stained-glass windows. The Laodicean Ekklesia will, like some in the early church, find themselves back in the catacombs (so to speak), hiding out from a world that irrationally hates it. But in that, you can still rejoice, for they hated your Savior as well: you’re in good company. Consider it an honor to be reviled by evil people because you are not like them—even though your goodness is only borrowed, derived from the sacrificial blood of the Messiah who died for your sins.
And what about supporting Israel? As you now know, her fate has been foretold by Yahweh’s prophets. If a charismatic world leader has arisen from somewhere in the old Roman empire (nobody’s going to be calling him “the Antichrist,” you understand), the implementation of his plan to guarantee Israel’s security for seven years is what begins the Tribulation. Supporting Israel at this time is no longer a matter of writing to your Congressman or even praying for the peace of Jerusalem. It is now a personal affair.
If you’re a gentile, Yahweh wants you to protect the Jews in your personal sphere of influence from anti-Semitic attacks. If it entails breaking the law to do this, then break the law. Shelter them, feed them, equip them, and console them to the best of your ability, for in so doing, you will be supporting the Messiah Himself, as far as He’s concerned. This kind of activity will, at times, be risky—increasingly so as the Tribulation reaches the mid-point. But you’ve read the scriptures; you know how it all ends. Take courage and do what you know is right—or more to the point, what you know the coming King wants you to do.
If you’re a Jew, the course of action I’d recommend is a bit different. Don’t resist official attempts to repatriate you and your family to Israel. As dangerous as things look there, it’s the safest place you could be. Yahweh Himself will be fighting your battles for you, though things will look unbelievably grim for the final three and a half years—getting so bad that you and your countrymen will have to hide out in the wilderness. As a “believing” Jew, you’re going to be in the minority at first. Do what you can to teach your fellow Jews about God’s plan of restoration for them, and prepare them for the shock of their lives: Yahshua—Jesus—is their Messiah. They will all (i.e., the one third of the Jews who survive) come to know this eventually, on the final Day of Atonement, but there’s no reason to keep the epiphany a secret until the big day.
Whatever happens, do not buy into any plan ostensibly invented to manage commerce and control crime through the implementation of a world-wide system that requires any kind of oath, mark, or personal biometric identifier. It will entail submission to a single man and his government, and will probably include some overt form of Satan worship, whether under the name Lucifer, Halal, or Allah. Even if the authorities promise to hunt down conscientious objectors to this scheme and cut their heads off, don’t accept this system: it’s the mark of the Beast.
You have been warned. As gruesome as the carnage will be during the Tribulation, some will make it alive into the seventh Millennium. Before you are 45 days (cf. Daniel 12:11, 12) into the Millennium, however, the “sheep” who took care of Yahshua’s “brethren” will be separated from the “goats,” who did not, and the goats will be slain. Whoever is left will be the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ—whose job it will be to be fruitful and replenish the earth. This all leads me to the conclusion that Yahweh wants you to at least try to survive the bad times.
Remember, I’m talking to people who have missed the rapture but who have subsequently repented and become children of Yahshua. Knowing how long it will last is going to be important information: it won’t last forever—don’t give up. The Messiah’s reign will begin precisely 2,520 days after the Antichrist “confirms a covenant with many”—i.e., guarantees Israel’s security through a seven-year treaty. What should you be doing to increase your chances of making through to the end alive?
(1) I’d suggest developing some survival skills. Learn how to live outdoors, live off the land. Buy camping equipment and learn how to use it. Stock up on foods packaged to keep indefinitely. Learn how to hunt and trap.
(2) Move away from major population centers and military installations. The war of Magog (precipitating World War III) will hit these places the hardest.
(3) Don’t trust anything you hear through official media channels. Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.
(4) Filter your perception of reality through the plain teaching of the scriptures. Of course, the rub there is that you’re a new Christian and presumably don’t know much. So get a Bible, read it, learn, and listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit.
(5) If you encounter other Christians or Jews, help them in whatever ways you can.
(6) Resist the temptation to strike back against those who are persecuting you. Rather, recognize that Babylon has grown strong. Rest assured, it’s only temporary. Our instructions are to flee, not fight. If you’re caught, speak out boldly in the name of Yahshua. He will give you the right words when the time comes.
(7) Finally, don’t hold onto your mortal life too dearly. Spiritual compromise is far worse than physical death. Many more will die than will live. If you don’t make it alive into the Millennium, you can still look forward to a new, immortal body and the opportunity to live with Yahshua forever. Yahweh has promised you eternal life. He’s never broken a promise. He’s not going to start now.