It Won’t Be Much Longer :: By Daniel Payne

We all know that God does what He does, no matter what we mere mortals may think of what He does.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

He can even shroud what should be obvious to us within a mystery and hide it in plain sight. God clearly says in His Word that after He created the earth He rested on the SEVENTH day (Genesis 2:2)… and one day with the Lord is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8).

“For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4).

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

God calls the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ His rest:

“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into My rest. Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:3-6).

For reasons known only to God, He pre-determined 7,000 years of earthly human history – the first 6,000 years being current human history as we know it, and the last 1,000 years being the blessed kingdom of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, during which He will physically rule here on earth with a rod of iron from Jerusalem:

“Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk” (Genesis 49:9-12).

God held the world’s population in check from the time of Christ until approximately the 19th century. However, from the 1800s until today, God has allowed world population to soar exponentially, as shown by the following statistics:

  • .2 billion in A.D. 40
  • .3 billion in 1000, (960 years later)
  • .5 billion in 1500, (500 years later)
  • 1 billion in 1804, (304 years later)
  • 2 billion in 1927, (123 years later)
  • 3 billion in 1960, (33 years later)
  • 4 billion in 1974, (14 years later)
  • 5 billion in 1987, (13 years later)
  • 6 billion in 1999, (12 years later)
  • 7 billion in 2011, (12 years later)
  • Likely closer to 8 billion in 2019

Today, the world’s population is approximately 35 times greater than it was at the time of Christ. It was not until the technological means were firmly in place to propagate the gospel around the globe that God allowed world population to rocket skyward.

Well, I’m sure you smart people have come to the logical conclusion by now: There will be 6 days of work (6 thousand years) before the final day (one thousand years) of rest takes place during the millennial kingdom.

Here’s an excerpt from “In what year did Jesus die?” – from Got

Much has happened on the world stage since the time of Christ, but nothing has ever eclipsed the magnitude and meaning of what happened in AD 30—the death and resurrection of the Savior of the world. – source

As concluded in the excellent article from Got Questions, the Lord Jesus was crucified in approximately AD 30. As such, the approximate year of 2030 will mark 2,000 years from the time of Christ’s death and resurrection (until the year 2030).

Based upon God’s Word, that means that His rest (millennial kingdom) will begin sometime around 2030. Since the Tribulation is 7 years long (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 11:2-3; Daniel 12:11-12) and… 2030 minus 7 is 2023… that means that the Rapture will very likely take place by 2023.

If the Lord chooses to add the seven years remaining years onto the end of the 2,000 years (Age of Grace), then the Rapture would likely happen no later than 2030. Either way, it’s likely no more than 4-11 years until we meet the Lord in the air.

Side note: Evidence exists that shows that approximately 200 years are missing from the Hebrew calendar currently in use.

Another interesting point is that it may well be that God chose 2,000 years to elapse from the time of Christ’s death until His glorious return and rule in order to represent the fact that Jesus rose from the grave on the third day!

God clearly says that no one knows the day or the hour of His return (Matthew 24:36). However, He did tell us that we could know the season, and a season clearly takes place once a year:

The Parable of the Fig Tree (Luke 21:29-32)

“Then He spoke to them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.’”

Likewise, we should be able to discern the approximate year (all complete by 2030) of the Lord’s return and His judgment upon the earth:

Discern the Time (Luke 12:54-56)

“Then He also said to the multitudes, ‘Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?’”

It won’t be long until we who believe are finally at rest from this weary earth!

“For we who have believed do enter that rest. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:3a, 9-10)

Answering Orthodox Theology :: By Daniel Payne

The following will briefly answer/rebut the theology and theological statements made by the Orthodox Church in America relating to salvation by grace. Posting as a reference for anyone who may need it.

See the original O.C.A. article titled “Salvation Is Indeed by Grace” here:

Excerpt from article: If we were not continually tempted to fall back into sin, there would be no need for such a “synergy.” Then we could declare, with absolute confidence, “once saved, always saved!”

Response: No one is able to overrule salvation that comes through belief. The only way to not be saved is to not believe:

“But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:26-28).

Instantly upon true repentant faith and belief we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the Day of our redemption: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

So… yes, once you are saved you are ALWAYS saved.

Another point – No one can believe unless Jesus Himself reveals the Father and Himself to them: “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Luke 10:22).

Now that is eternal security. Jesus Himself chooses those to whom He reveals Himself and the Father. (I’m absolutely not a Calvinist because I do not believe in limited atonement – but wow… Why would God – Who is all-knowing – waste His time on someone whom He would un-save?)

Excerpt from article: Temptation and spiritual struggle, however, mark every day of our life. And the way we face and, by the grace of God, overcome those forces (demonic powers), is precisely through the “spiritual warfare,” the ascetic struggle that enables us to confront those forces day by day and overcome their destructive influence.”

Response: Beating (disciplining) your flesh will have no sanctifying effect on your spirit: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

How could the weakest link which has no strength (the flesh) give strength to the strongest link (the spirit)?

“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:22-24).

How can beating (disciplining) your flesh result in making your spirit more willing than it already is to love and serve God? The Bible says the opposite. The Bible says that you are to discipline your flesh through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

Please do not be deceived by wolves in sheep’s clothing who attempt to twist the true grace of Christ back into the Law: “How much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:29-31).

Just in case you doubt to whom Paul was referring: “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).

Do you see? Satan is a crafty devil. Satan has been mixing grace with the Law from the day that Jesus rose from the grave. Do not be deceived.

Excerpt from article: And he (Jesus) concludes, “These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Mt 23:23). Those “others” include precisely the sorts of ascetic practices Orthodox tradition calls us and invites us to assume…

Response: We are no longer bound to any part(s) of the old Law (the others mentioned above): “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). “Fulfill” Greek word is pléroó. Definition: to make full, to complete.

The Law was God’s prescription for right fellowship with Him to be followed exactly. OT prophets like Abraham, Moses, David, etc. knew full well that one day God would send His Son to finally do what they could not do, fulfill the Law.

That’s why God required their belief long before the Cross: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

This is also why the Lord Jesus laid out such a strong case (the verses about adultery in the heart, plucking your eyes out, etc.) for fulfilling the Law in the very same sermon in Matthew chapter 5 (Sermon on the Mount). He was trying to get us to understand that we could never achieve what the Law required: TOTAL PERFECTION.

He obviously knew that He was about to fulfill the requirements of the Law (and the Feasts of God: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks) at the cross and beyond, so the very heavy burden He was laying out via the Sermon on the Mount was about to be lifted through faith.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus was saying that we should not be arrogant and proud (for I am gentle and lowly in heart) in our own “good” works as the Pharisees were. This is the exact same lesson God had to teach to Job. Job was a very righteous man but he had a very critical flaw at his core: PRIDE in his own good testimony.

Some final notes: “ascetic practice” does not produce spiritual discipline. In fact, the exact opposite is true: Spiritual discipline will result in obedience in the flesh. If you beat/discipline your flesh with your flesh then you are not using the power of the Spirit, but instead you are using the “power” of the flesh.

It bears repeating: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:9-10).

If “the Spirit of God dwells in you” (above), then you are saved and sealed until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

The subject of grace can be very confusing because Satan (through false teachers) uses the different categories of church groups that Paul had to admonish and teach not to twist grace into different meanings:

“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (but I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (Corinthians 9:19-22).

If a particular group was bent toward using grace as an excuse to engage in all manner of embarrassing sin, Paul would say the following:

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

In the verses above, no doubt Paul was thinking of the Isthmian games that were held not far from Corinth. The Corinthian believers were well acquainted with those athletic contests. Paul reminds them that while many run in a race, not all receive a prize. It should seem obvious that if a believer can run in the race yet be disqualified from service in the millennial kingdom, then this is an admonition to remember:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

What will the good works produce?

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:9, 14-15).

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord'” (Matthew 25:20-23).

Our good works (which only born-again believers sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption will be judged at the Bema Seat of Christ for), will lead to more service in Christ’s millennial kingdom as our reward. If we were ever in danger of “losing” our salvation, why wouldn’t Paul just come out and say that? Instead he said… “he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

More about the two judgments of Matthew 25:30 and 1 Corinthians 3:15…

These are both two separate judgments. The separation of the two judgments happens to prove that the Rapture of the Church has to take place before the Tribulation.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, Paul is referring to the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ—a judgment only for believers saved during the Age of Grace.

During the Age of Grace, salvation is through faith plus nothing else (Ephesians 2:8). During the Tribulation (after the Age of Grace), salvation is based on faith in Jesus plus denying the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 20:4). Those who deny the Mark of the Beast, even unto the point of death, will obviously also at the same time have to be believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. How else could they overcome (Matthew 24:13) such Tribulation?

Both sets of victorious defendants from both judgments will be serving in the millennial kingdom of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:15 proves your works cannot save you. Matthew 25:30 proves that your work of denying the Mark of the Beast and faithful service to the Lord through other works (like helping Christ’s Jewish brethren during the Tribulation) will also be judged to determine your entrance into the Millennial Kingdom after the Rapture of the Church—the kind of works that equal the fruit of a genuine faith (James 2:26).

Now, to get a sense of Paul’s attitude toward those who attempted to incorporate the Law back into grace (i.e. forcing circumcision as a qualifier to salvation) Paul said the following:

“As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!” (Galatians 5:12).

In response to Father John Beck from above – We can indeed have absolute confidence in our salvation: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).