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From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity

David Brandt Berg

The Bible and the words of God’s prophets are actually the only real newspapers or news books. Newspapers tell you what happened yesterday, so they’re not really newspapers; they’re history papers! But the Bible tells us what is going to happen tomorrow. It is full of detailed prophecies describing specific people, places, times, situations, and events thousands of years before they came into being (Isaiah 34:16, 42:9; 2 Peter 1:19–21).

Many of these prophecies are about the final period of world history, just before Jesus returns to set up His kingdom of love and peace on earth. These latter days of man’s kingdoms on earth are known in the Bible as the “time of the end,” the “latter days,” the “last days”—the time in which you and I are now living (Daniel 2:28, 8:23, 12:4).

When Jesus’ disciples wanted to know the future and asked Him, “What shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?” He didn’t reply with only one sign, but with dozens. In fact, the Bible gives hundreds of “signs of the times,” signs and signals that we are to look out for so that we can know how close to the very end we are (Matthew 24).

These signs include “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places” (Matthew 24:7), “the gospel being preached in all the world for a witness to all nations” (Matthew 24:14), a drastic increase in international travel, with “many running to and fro, wandering from sea to sea, as knowledge is increased” (Daniel 12:4; Amos 8:11–12). A great “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) from the faith as “evil men and seducers grow worse and worse, deceiving many” (2 Timothy 3:13); “the love of many growing cold” (Matthew 24:12), resulting in “distress of nations upon the earth and men’s hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21:25–26). We are seeing the fulfillment of many of these signs today more than ever before.

One of the most important and final signs of the very end that the prophets predicted is the rise of a totally godless anti-Christ world government led by a dictator who will be possessed by Satan himself. He will come on the scene with a seven-year agreement or covenant in which he will promise the world peace and religious freedom, and he will somehow settle the current crisis in the Middle East by working out a compromise between the Arabs and the Jews, enabling the Jews to rebuild their temple on Mount Moriah, Jerusalem, where their ancient temple once stood and where the Muslim Dome of the Rock mosque stands today (Daniel 8:23–25; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4; Daniel 9:27).

During the first half of the Antichrist’s seven-year covenant, people are going to think that he is wonderful, as he will have brought peace, restored the world’s economy, solved the Middle East crisis, etc. But suddenly, halfway through his seven-year reign, he will break the covenant, invade Israel from the north, and will forbid and abolish all traditional religious worship, declaring that he is God and demanding that all the world worship him (Daniel 9:27, 8:9–12, 11:21–24, 28–31, 36; 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4, 8–9).

At this time he will place an idol, an image of himself, in the temple area in Jerusalem, an “abomination of desolation,” which will probably be some kind of a computerized robot, as it will speak and somehow even cause those who refuse to worship it to be killed. Jesus Himself said that when you see this idol, this abomination of desolation, standing there, then would begin the last 3½ years of man’s rule on earth, a time of “Great Tribulation” (Daniel 11:31, 12:11; Matthew 24:15–21; Revelation 13:14–15).

During this 3½-year period, people won’t use paper money anymore, because the Antichrist government is going to set up a one-world credit system, and all those who worship this Antichrist will be permanently branded with a credit number in their hands or foreheads. The Antichrist government will use this new credit system to try to force everybody to either worship the Antichrist or starve, because no one will be able to buy or sell without this number or “Mark of the Beast.” But God’s children will refuse to worship him or receive his mark, and the Lord will take care of us, even if He has to drop manna from heaven to feed us (Revelation 13:16–18; 12:6,14).

While the Antichrist and his followers are persecuting and trying to get God’s children, God is going to let loose pestilences and plagues and even strange monsters that will attack these followers of the Antichrist. These days of the Tribulation will be like the last days of the children of Israel in Egypt. God’s prophets will be doing great and mighty signs, wonders and miracles to defend the gospel and God’s children (Revelation 7:3, 9:1–11, 11:3–6)!

During this tribulation period, ten “kings” will join the Antichrist and together they will destroy and “devour with fire Babylon, the great whore.”—A final judgment which, according to many scriptures, sounds like it is meted out by the ten leading nations of Europe, and a nuclear first strike that will destroy this modern Babylon in one hour (Revelation 17:12,16–17; 18:1–10, 17–19).

This great atomic war, along with the Antichrist’s worldwide suppression and persecution of all who refuse to worship him, will make this Great Tribulation period a time of trouble such as the world has never known! That’s why God, in His Word, repeatedly tells us how long this period of Great Tribulation will last—exactly 3½ years, or 42 months, or 1260 days from the time that the Antichrist sets up his image in the temple—to encourage His followers to hang on and keep going for Him (Matthew 24:21–22; Daniel 7:25; 9:27; 12:7; Revelation 11:2–3; 12:6,14; 13:5). Because at the end of that last 3½ years, just when the fiendish Antichrist thinks he has the world in his grasp, suddenly like a bolt from the blue, Jesus will return and snatch all of His children out of this world! Just after that darkest night in world history, we are going to have the brightest dawn. Jesus is going to come back and rescue His own, His church, His people, everyone who loves Him and knows Him and has Him in their hearts (Matthew 24:29–31).

All of the Christians who have already died and gone on to be with Jesus will come back with Him to pick up their new resurrection bodies. And “the earth shall cast out her dead” (Isaiah 26:19). Then those who are alive and remain, having miraculously survived and kept witnessing for Jesus throughout the Antichrist’s reign of terror, will instantly be changed, transformed, and receive new, miraculous, supernatural resurrection bodies—just like Jesus’ body after He was resurrected! And up we’ll sail toward the sky, “to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:14–17; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57; Philippians 3:21).

All of the Antichrist’s people will be shocked as they see the Lord coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, lighting up the whole sky like permanent lightning! The powers of the heavens are shaken as the Lord descends with a great shout. A terrific blast sounds on the trumpet of God, and the graves of the saints burst open as the dead are raised! All of God’s children who are still alive will be transformed before their eyes, flying upward to meet Jesus. “Every eye shall see Him, and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” (Matthew 24:27–31; Revelation 1:7).

Jesus will come back to catch His bride, His church, out of the evil clutches of the enemy and then whisk them away to the grandest, most glorious and thrilling wedding party that’s ever been held, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven. Then, right after the Lord rescues and raptures His bride to be with Him, the seven vials of the wrath of God are going to be poured out upon the Antichrist and his people in terrible plagues such as the world has never known (Revelation 19:6–9; 14:14–20; 16:11–21).

God will pour out His judgments and wrath upon the Antichrist and his forces until the final wrath of all, when the wicked gather at Armageddon in Israel to try to fight the very forces of God. Then Jesus Himself, along with His resurrected, glorified, heavenly forces, will return to earth on majestic white chargers out of heaven to utterly defeat and destroy the Antichrist and his forces in the supernatural, catastrophic Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11–21; 17:14; 16:12–21).

Then the saints of God, along with our king Jesus Christ, will take over the world and organize it and rule it and run it the way it should have been run if man had yielded to God. We’re going to set up the kingdom of God on earth and restore the earth to the beauty of the Garden of Eden again. This amazing period will last for one thousand years, and therefore it is known as the Millennium (Daniel 2:44; 7:18, 26–27; Revelation 20:4).

The Bible says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (the Rapture): on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6). Jesus also promised to His faithful ones, “He that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:26–27).

The Devil will be bound and cast as a prisoner into the bottomless pit for this thousand-year period, and God is going to be supreme and Jesus will reign from shore to shore, and His saints will rule and reign with Him. Then and only then, under the supreme and powerful rule and reign of Christ and God’s children, will all wars finally cease and the world will at last be governed fairly and well with true justice, liberty, peace, plenty, and happiness for all (Revelation 20:1–3; Isaiah 2:2–4; Psalm 22:27–28).

The curse will be partially lifted, which will mean a lot of different and better conditions. The earth will be like it was during the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. “And nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all His holy kingdom.” No more automobiles belching fumes, nor smoke-belching factories. The world will go back to animal transportation and carriages and wagons and beautiful, majestic, wind-powered sailing vessels (Isaiah 11:6–9; 65:20–25).

During the Millennium, all the born-again, saved, resurrected saints will be in new supernatural bodies, with miraculous powers such as indestructibility, no pain, sickness, or death. The rest of the people, those who have been spared and blessed enough to survive into the Millennium, are going to still be in their old natural bodies. Everyone on earth will see God’s glorious power and kingdom and everybody will believe then. So there won’t be any unbelievers, but I’m afraid there will still be some unreceivers who won’t yield and won’t obey and will still be stubborn, rebellious, and defiant (Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 25:7; 29:18–19; 32:1; 40:5).

Therefore, as a final test and a final sifting, at the end of the Millennium Satan is going to be released from his prison in the heart of the earth for a “little season,” just long enough to deceive the unconverted wicked. These rebels will again follow him to the full, in open rebellion against the Lord and His government, resulting in the catastrophic Battle of Gog and Magog in which God sends down fire out of heaven to devour them completely (Isaiah 26:9–11; Revelation 20:7–10). In fact, God will cause such a fire to come down that it will completely wipe out the entire surface of the earth, and the heavens shall be rolled back like a scroll and depart with a great noise! It’s all going to explode and be burned up, and the surface of the ball is going to be completely purged, cleansed, burned up and re-created into a beautiful new earth (2 Peter 3:10–13).

After this climactic Battle of Gog and Magog, the unsaved of all ages will be resurrected for the final Great White Throne Judgment. They will stand before God Himself in the final judgment in which “the books are opened,” and they will all be given their final sentences according to their works and will be assigned to their final places in the hereafter (Revelation 20:11–15).

God’s great heavenly city will then descend from above to the beautiful, re-created, garden-of-Eden-like new earth. And God Himself will dwell with us right here on earth. It will be like God taking over the world by invading it from outer space, bringing down His heavenly city and restoring Himself as the King of kings forever! This great space city is 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide, and 1,500 miles high, the greatest space vehicle ever created, the most wonderful spaceship ever conceived (Revelation 21).

The entire “city is pure gold, like unto clear glass” (Revelation 21:18). So you’ll be able to see out of the city through those transparent walls, out onto a beautiful, fully restored and re-created new earth that will be populated by new nations and kings and peoples who shall truly have learned the righteousness, goodness, and love of God, even though they are outside the golden city and its jeweled walls (Revelation 21:1, 24–26). It will be a better world then with better people, who will have learned their lessons of the law of the love of God and will be happier than ever before, because at last they will be purged and purified of their sins of rebellion against Him and healed by the leaves of the trees of life, which we shall minister to them from where they grow by the river of life within the city (Revelation 22:1–2).

Only the most wicked of all, such as Satan, the Antichrist, his false prophet and their most ardent followers will remain in the Lake of Fire to be punished and purged of their diabolical rebelliousness as long as God sees fit, even until such a time as they, too, may have learned their lessons sufficiently for God to forgive them and restore His entire creation to its original perfection where all is well (Revelation 21:8; 22:14–15; Philippians 2:10–11; 1 Timothy 2:4; Ephesians 1:10).

Some of this may be a shock to you, but it’s the truth of God’s Word. You can read it in the Bible for yourself if you truly want to know the things that will come to pass and if you hunger for the righteousness of God and thirst for His living waters that bring eternal life through His love and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 5:29; Acts 17:11; Matthew 5:6). So if you want a new world and a new life under a new good government by God Himself, and would even like to help run it with peace and plenty and happiness for all, why not ask Jesus into your heart today and start telling the world of His love and showing them from the Bible what a wonderful world it’s going to be! (See John 1:12; Revelation 3:20; Matthew 5:16.)

Prepare for the future today by receiving Jesus now. Simply pray, “Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and forgive me for all my sins. Help me to love and live for You, to hunger for Your truth, to learn Your Word, and to tell others about Your love, in Jesus’ name, amen.” God bless you.

For more articles from David Brandt Berg, visit his website.