Taken from "Up, Up and Away!" --by R.B. Yerby, 1976.
( A Humorous
Look at a Serious Subject )...
The account of my efforts to straighten out
my family regarding events at the end of time is very
interesting. It all happened one evening when we were sitting
around the living room, my wife, my four children and I. For
some time I had been concerned about their unwillingness to
devote the majority of their time to a study of end-time
do you think is going to happen at the end of time?" I
casually asked one of my daughters.
think the Lord is coming back to earth to judge the quick and
the dead, Daddy," she replied, barely looking up from her
yes," I replied impatiently, "but what about the details?"
the angels said He'd come again in the same manner in which He
left, and since he went from earth to heaven at that time, I
believe He's coming from heaven to earth this time."
now I see where you're confused," I said, with a sigh of
relief. "That's at his second coming. I'm referring to his
one-and-a half coming."
what?" asked my wife.
know, I said, with a touch of irritation. "When He comes at
the Secret Rapture. This book I'm reading says only the
Christians know about that coming of the Lord. It's all in 1
Thessalonians 4:16 and 17."
16th verse says He'll come with a shout, with the voice of the
arch-angel and with the trumpet of God," my wife said with a
yawn. "How could an event that noisy be kept a secret?"
because it all happens so fast," I protested. "The book quotes
1 Corinthians 15:52 which says it happens in a moment, in a
twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. After that there's a
seven-year period called the Great Tribulation when the people
who are left on the earth have to go through all those
horrible things in Revelation 6 through 19."
thought you said all those horrible things happen after the
last trumpet, Daddy," my second daughter said.
right, that's right," I said excitedly.
seven more trumpets sound during those chapters in Revelation
that you say take place after the last trumpet," she replied
with a puzzled look.
I said, "Let's forget about the trumpets and whether it's a
secret or not. That's probably too deep for you. Let me show
you how the Rapture works. There are going to be two in a bed,
or grinding together, or in the field, and the one will be
taken and the other will be left. The one that's taken goes to
be with the Lord and the other is left to go through the seven
about that in Luke 17:34-36," my wife said, "but a few verses
before that, it said it would be the same as when Noah entered
the ark and when Lot left Sodom."
it," I said. "Noah and Lot were taken out and the others
dear," she replied, "but if it's going to be like it was then,
Luke says those that remained were all destroyed, not
consigned to seven years of hardship."
have the same problem with 1 Thessalonians 4, Daddy," my third
daughter said. "You said the taking away of the church is
described in verses 16 and 17 but, as I recall, just a few
verses later it says sudden destruction comes upon those who
are left. And sudden destruction sounds a lot different to me
than seven years of suffering."
never could see where it says in which direction the believers
go with the Lord after meeting Him in the air," my wife said.
"To me it's always been the same as if an important person
were coming to visit our city and the mayor and other
officials met him at the airport to escort him downtown. It
looks to me as if the Christians are meeting the Lord to
escort Him back to earth."
moments of silence passed while I regrouped. Then I returned
to the attack.
about the four resurrections that are coming?" I said with a
five members of my family exchanged anxious glances.
get this," I said, leaning forward in my chair. "This is a
very important doctrine. You've got to be right on the
resurrections or you're nowhere. Now here's the way it's going
to be, right out of the books I've read. First, when Christ
comes for the church there's the resurrection of all the
believers of history--right?"
nodded in tentative agreement.
seven years later there's the resurrection of those new
believers, who were somehow converted after the church and the
Holy Spirit were gone, and who were killed during the Great
Tribulation. You've got to get them out of the ground to enjoy
the Millennium that follows--right?"
time there were no nods of agreement, and I realized with some
disappointment that it was getting too deep again for their
shallow spiritual understanding. But I plunged on; they had to
learn sound doctrine.
is the third resurrection, this time of those mortals,
believers, who die on earth during the Millennium. You've got
to get them out of the ground to enjoy eternity--right?" Again
only hopeless confusion on their faces.
finally," I said in triumph, "the fourth resurrection is
necessary to resurrect all the wicked of all time for
back to relish their enlightenment. I knew I had stuck to just
what the books said, and that it would bear fruit.
think there are only two resurrections, Daddy," one of my
daughters said cautiously. "First, the spiritual resurrection
or new birth that makes us alive in Christ after being dead in
sin, like it says in Romans 6:13 and the first five verses of
Ephesians 2, and second, the general resurrection at the end
of time when all the saved and unsaved who ever lived will be
raised together at the same time."
true, dear," my wife added. "John 5:24-29 speaks of one
resurrection which even 1,900 years ago was a present one,
when some of those who are spiritually dead hear the voice of
the Son of God and receive eternal life, and then of another
resurrection, sometime in the future, when all shall hear His
voice and come forth, some to life and some to condemnation."
Daddy," another irritating voice said. "In John 11:24 Martha
told Jesus she knew her brother would rise in the resurrection
at the last day but you said he'd rise at the Rapture which
you say takes place 1,007 years before the last day."
you people wouldn't be able to understand these things!" I
said with great agitation. "How can you refute the clear
statements of all the books and commentaries I've read?
Listen, when I became a Christian I believed what people told
me, and the books they gave me, and I wasn't argumentative
like you are."
was silence about the space of half a minute. Then my little
boy apprehensively raised his hand and I graciously encouraged
him to speak.
you say there were mortals living on earth during the
Millennium, sir?" he asked hesitantly.
my boy," I said tenderly. "Let me tell you what the books say.
At the start of the 1,000 years the unbelievers who survive
the Great Tribulation are cast off the earth and the surviving
believers inherit the Millennial Kingdom, and they live and
prosper on a peaceful earth." "And are they mortal people just
like us, sir?"
my boy," I said warmly, "just like us."
Mom," he said, "didn't you tell me flesh and blood can't
inherit the kingdom of God?"
dear," she replied. "1 Corinthians 15:50."
gnashed my teeth, ignoring repeated warnings from my dentist,
and resolved to start again from the beginning.
I said, after my breathing returned to normal, "Let's get down
to basics. You've got to understand that God has two people
and you've got to keep them apart. That's why the Church goes
up in the Rapture, so that those Scriptures that apply only to
the Jews, like almost all of Revelation after Chapter 5, can
work themselves out. God started out working with the Jews and
His Son came to sit on old King David's throne in Jerusalem
but when the Jews surprised God by rejecting Jesus, God had to
change His plans and allow Jesus to be crucified. Then God set
up the Church to fill in the gap between the first and second
coming of Christ. At the second coming, Christ will finally
sit on David's throne."
don't understand about God having two different people," one
of my stubborn daughters said. "There is no difference between
the Jew and the Greek, it says in Romans 10:12."
said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, Galatians 3:28."
similar insolence was forthcoming from my son I turned my gaze
on him. He had been thinking hard, and finally he turned to
his mother and asked, "Mom, what was that about the wall being
Ephesians 2:14-16, dear," she said, smiling sweetly at him.
"It tells how the Lord at Calvary broke down the former wall
of partition between the Jew and the Gentile and made of the
two one new man, one body."
isn't Dad wrong then? my only son asked.
he has studied a lot of books and charts, dear," she said.
"The girls and I are only going by the Bible."
I said impatiently, "If you don't understand that, do you at
least see that the Jews are God's special people, a peculiar
treasure to Him?"
that in Exodus 19:5,6 the Lord told the Israelites that if
they obeyed and kept His covenant they would be a peculiar
treasure to Him, and a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation,"
my wife said.
yes," I cut in, "that's it!"
haven't finished, dear," she said. "I think they must have
disobeyed and then God found a new people to replace them
because Peter uses those same verses to describe everyone who
has been converted to Christ."
never saw that," I snarled.
in 1 Peter 2:9, dear," she said.
gnashed my teeth some more, audibly this time. When the noise
died down, one of my daughters said she thought the church had
succeeded to the promises originally made to the Jews.
"Listen, kid," I snapped, "Those
promises were made to Abraham and his descendants through his
son Isaac and through Isaac's son Israel."
clear from Genesis 12:7 and 22:18, Daddy, but viewed in the
light of the New Testament it seems that we--all who are
Christ's through the new birth--are in fact the descendants of
Thinking that I was rising from my chair
to strike the child, my wife threw herself between us. When
she saw that I only intended to pace the floor, she sat down
again and asked her daughter to continue.
Mom, as you pointed out to us long ago, the third chapter of
Galatians makes it all very clear. Verse 7 says they which are
of faith are the children of Abraham. Verse 16 explains that
the seed of Abraham to whom the promises were made was Christ.
Verse 27 says we who have been baptized into Christ have put
on Christ. And therefore verse 29 says that if we are Christ's
then we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the
quote scripture too!" I shouted. "How about, children, provoke
not thy father to wrath! That's in there some place, too, you
Ephesians 6:4, dear," my wife said gently, "but you've got it
backwards. It says fathers, provoke not your children to
how can I help it?" I exploded. "She takes one isolated
passage of scripture and uses it to tell me I'm an Israelite!"
spiritual Israelite, dear," my wife said, watching with
compassion my spastic ambulations across the living room
floor. "But she didn't really take an isolated passage. That
one was about Abraham but you also mentioned Isaac and Israel.
Well, Galatians 4:28,29 says that we who are born after the
Spirit are, as Isaac was, the children of promise. And Romans
9:6-8 makes the same point, saying they are not all Israel
which are of Israel."
more?" I asked sarcastically.
yes, she replied. "Romans 2:28,29 says that a person is not a
Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which
is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew which is one inwardly
and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit. Oh, and
Philippians 3:3 says we, that is, all the saints in Christ
Jesus, are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit and
rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh."
if you're going to favor all those New Testament scriptures
above the Old Testament you certainly won't reach the
conclusions my books reach," I said, again striving for
sarcasm. Somehow my remark didn't seem to make the point I
intended so I hurried on.
you at least see that Jesus came to set up a restored Jewish
Kingdom but that His rejection by the Jews made it necessary
to postpone His kingdom for a couple thousand years?"
my daughters immediately said that John 6:15 shows that when
Jesus saw that the people wanted to make Him a natural king He
departed from them and went off to be alone in the mountains.
Another said that if Jesus had sought such an earthly kingdom
in Israel He would have been technically guilty of the
accusation brought against Him by the high priest and rulers
of the Jews, and His crucifixion would have been justified by
law. The third added that Jesus himself said, "My kingdom is
not of this world" (Jn. 18:36).
said my statement implied that Christ didn't complete the task
that was given Him at His first coming while in fact John 4:34
and 17:4 quoted Jesus as saying that He came to do His
Father's will and did it.
Luke 24:25-27 says that the risen Lord told His disciples that
the Old Testament prophets clearly foretold His suffering and
"Maybe," I said, "but what about His
kingdom? At some point that's got to be set up and I don't see
Daddy," one of my daughters said, "you know Luke 17:20,21 says
the kingdom of God doesn't come with observation, or visual
evidence, but the kingdom of God is within you. It's the
Lord's rule in the hearts of His people."
can't see or enter it except by the new birth, it says in the
third chapter of John," another said. "Yes, Daddy, we've
already been translated or transferred into the kingdom of
God's dear Son, according to Colossians 1:13," the third
Romans 14:17 says the kingdom of God isn't physical things
like meat and drink but is actually righteousness, peace and
joy in the Holy Ghost," my wife said.
man's enemies are those of his own house!" I shouted, and then
a brilliant thought occurred to me. "Look," I said, thumbing
eagerly to Revelation 12:10, "here it shows exactly when the
kingdom of God is going to be set up. Isn't that something
that's going to happen at the start of the Millennium? See,
it's in the next chapter after the seventh trumpet sounds."
turned to my proof text and smiled as she read it to herself.
Then she read it aloud: "Now is come salvation, and strength,
and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ, for
the accuser of our brethren is cast down."
chorus of giggles and shrieks came from the children. My wife
shook her head at them tolerantly, and said, "What they're
trying to say is that all of those things took place at
Calvary more than 1,900 years ago. In John 12:31 Jesus
predicted that at His crucifixion Satan would be cast out, and
in Colossians 2:15 Paul confirms that through the cross Christ
triumphed over all His enemies and made a show of them
wouldn't you think salvation and strength and the power of
Christ came long ago, Daddy? one of my youthful tormentors
asked me. "We all know when salvation came, and we know where
our strength comes from, and in Matthew 28:18 Jesus said all
power, or authority, in heaven and earth had already been
given to Him."
young son twisted the knife. "If the other three have come,
then I guess the kingdom has come, too, Dad."
kingdom couldn't have come yet," I raged, "because when it
does come then finally we're going to reign with Christ."
the children laughed. "Daddy we're already reigning with Him,"
one of them said. "Romans 5:17 says that we who have received
abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign
in life by one, Jesus Christ."
true, dear," my wife said. "If you read Peter's speech on the
day of Pentecost, particularly Acts 2:30-33, it seems clear
that Peter felt that Christ's resurrection and ascension to
the right hand of God fulfilled the promise that a descendant
of David would occupy his throne."
see that," I grumbled, picking up my Scofield Edition. "God
had sworn...of the fruit of his loins...would raise up Christ
to sit on his throne...he, seeing this before, spoke of the
resurrection of Christ...this Jesus hath God raised up...by
the right hand of God exalted..."
scratched my head over these verses, my wife added: "And, of
course, Ephesians 2:6 says God has already raised us up to sit
with Christ in the heavenlies. So we're already reigning--or
should be-- over every difficult problem or situation or
better talk to him about 1 Corinthians 15, too, Mom," one of
the kids said.
I exclaimed, mopping my brow. "I've already covered that, I
told you that verse 52 says all the dead believers will be
resurrected to meet Christ in the air along with all the
dear, we know," my wife said, "but the point is that verse 54
says that the resurrection described in verse 52 fulfills the
saying of Isaiah 25:8 that death is swallowed up in victory."
what?" I thundered.
don't you see, dear? Verses 25 and 26 of chapter 15 say that
Christ's present reign must continue until He has put all His
enemies under His feet, and the last enemy to be destroyed
will be death. So, since verse 54 says His last enemy will be
destroyed when the saints are resurrected, that means His
reign ends then. At that time He delivers the Kingdom up to
the Father (verse 24) and the Son Himself becomes subject unto
God in order that God may be all in all (verse 28). So if
you're going to reign with Christ, you've got to reign with
His reign ends at the time He comes for the church that would
mean there would be no 1,000-year reign later on the earth," I
said, with exasperation.
true, dear," she replied.
excused myself from my oppressors and, determined to rebuke
and admonish them scripturally, took my Scofield Edition with
its concordance into the next room. I found that Proverbs
19:13 took care of both my wife and my son ("A foolish son is
the calamity of his father, and the contentions of a wife are
a continual dropping") but the only verse I could find about
daughters was Proverbs 31:29 ("Many daughters have done
virtuously, but thou excellest them all"). Obviously that
wouldn't do so, disappointed, I postponed my thoughts of
revenge and returned to the living room.
I said as calmly as I could, "I believe most of your confusion
occurred right at the beginning of our discussion. After
explaining the Secret Rapture I should have told you about the
Antichrist because during the seven years after the Rapture
he's going to do some incredible things."
he's not, dear," my wife said quietly.
do you mean?" I sputtered. "My books spell it all out. He'll
be a beast, and put marks on people, and they'll have to
worship him, and he'll execute people, and... and... and..."
just relax, dear," my wife said soothingly. "Some of the other
ladies and I have looked into that situation and found out
that the Antichrist won't be around to do anything after
Christ comes for his church."
can't prove that!" I yelled, but I feared she could.
dear," she said calmly, "one of the ladies had an Interlinear
Greek-English New Testament that shows each of the original
Greek words and the English equivalent. The Greek word for the
coming of the Lord for his church is parousia and that's the
word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:15. Then in 2 Thessalonians 2:8
this same word is used for the coming of the Lord, and in that
verse it says the Lord will destroy the Antichrist with the
brightness of his parousia. So when the Lord comes for the
church, He simultaneously destroys the Antichrist."
ridiculous," I said, but I was perspiring freely now. "Listen,
if you don't believe anything I'm telling you, suppose you
tell me what you do believe."
believe that Jesus Christ is coming again, all the way to
earth," my wife said, "and that when He comes, all the dead
will be resurrected, and they and the living will be judged
worthy either of an eternity in the presence of the Lord or an
eternity of punishment. Satan will be eternally punished. The
kingdom will be turned oever by Christ to God the Father, and
there will be a new, or probably renewed, heaven and earth.
Every person will be as close to the Lord throughout eternity
as he or she is in this life."
mean that's it?" I said. "That's the whole thing?"
"Basically, yes," she said.
that's all there is to it," I said, "people wouldn't need all
those books and charts to figure it out. Why, it's so simple
that even a child could understand it."
"Precisely," said my wife.
"Exactly," chorused my daughters.
understand it," said my son.
our neighbors said the smoke from the pile of books and charts
I burned in the back yard could be seen three blocks away. [
the end...that's it folks! ]