Framework of Scripture

In examining the Bible, five distinct periods, administrations, or economies become apparent. They are shown in the chart below. Every believer in Christ should understand this framework since it goes to the heart of understanding the Scriptures and one’s place in them. All of the Scriptures are for the believer in Christ but not all of them are to him. For example, believers in this age need not fear, as David did, that God would remove his Holy Spirit (Psalm 51.9-11). God the Holy Spirit permanently indwells all who have believed the gospel (1 Corinthians 12.13, 15.1-4; Ephesians 1.13-14).

MankindIsraelChurchIsrael ReduxKingdomEternity
Adam to AbrahamAbraham to PaulPaul to Rapture7 Years1,000 YearsNew Heaven and New Earth

The chart shows the five periods: Mankind, Israel, Church, Kingdom, and Eternity. God will revive Israel’s program following His coming for and removing the Church, the body of Christ. This is the return of Christ, phase 1, a.k.a. the Rapture or Resurrection of the Body of Christ or the Day of Christ. Sometime after this, the prophesied Tribulation will begin (Matthew 24.21, 29). Noting Israel’s central role in this event, Jeremiah called the Tribulation the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30.7). Daniel referred to it as Israel’s 70th week (Daniel 9.24-27). To the faithful exegete who uses a normal, historical hermeneutic, these five periods leap out.


As the Genesis reveals, God initially communicated with and revealed Himself to the entire human race. This program lasted from the first to the twelfth chapter of Genesis. At that point, God began a new program. He selected a particular man, Abram (Abraham), and made a sovereign covenant (see Covenants of Israel) with him (Genesis 12.1-3; 15.1-21, etc.). Through God’s call of Abraham, He created a new race, the Jews. From this time forward, God would no longer reveal Himself to all mankind; He would reveal Himself through the Jews.


The period of Israel extended from Abraham to God’s commissioning of the apostle Paul. When one reads the Old Testament, it is impossible to miss the fact that Israel anticipated one great event: the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom. The prophets wrote hundreds of verses (cf. Isaiah 2.1-4; 11.1-11; Zechariah 14.9-11) that detailed this kingdom. Israel yearned for God’s promise to be fulfilled. They would be safe from their enemies and preeminent among the nations (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13. When Jesus began His ministry, He proclaimed He was the Messiah and that the kingdom of God was near (Matthew 3.2; 4.17). Had Israel repented and accepted Him, the promised kingdom would have come. But Israel refused to repent and believe the message of John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the Twelve. Instead, they crucified Him. After Jesus was resurrected and ascended, Peter addressed the nation with a renewed message of repentance–the same message John the Baptizer and Jesus had proclaimed in His earthly ministry (Acts 2.28; 3.19-26). The nation had another opportunity to repent. Had they, God would have established the kingdom. Israel, however, continued to reject the message of Jesus as Messiah.


Since Israel rejected her Messiah and the kingdom of God, did this mean God’s plan was thwarted and that Gentiles had no hope? No, God had a “secret” (μυστήριον) as Paul called it (Romans 16.25; Colossians 1.26-27). God in grace raised a Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, a violent enemy of those who had believed in Christ, through whom He would reveal His grace to Gentiles. But what of Israel? Was God through with the nation? Had they forfeited their blessings? Had they nullified God’s promises to them? The majority in Christendom teach they did and that the Church became the new “Israel.” Tragically, beginning in the second century A.D., most of Christendom abandoned Biblical Christianity and taught that Israel forfeited its blessings through its unbelief and that God supplanted national Israel with the Church. The majority of seminaries and pulpits teach the Church has assumed the promises God made to Israel in an allegorical way. They teach Israel was “typological” of the Church.

The problem with this view is that it is unbiblical. The Scriptures explicitly declare God is not through with national Israel (Romans 9-11). Rather than the Church (the body of Christ) assuming Israel’s promises, God made different, equally valid promises and provisions for both Israel and the Church. God has scores of promises to national Israel that remain unfulfilled. Hundreds of verses proclaim He will establish His earthly kingdom for the sons of Jacob and that they will be preeminent among the nations of the earth. When national Israel repents, which they will do in the future (Matthew 23.39 cf. Psalm 118.26; Zechariah 12.10), God will fulfill all these promises. The promise God made to Abraham 4,000 years ago was sovereign and remains in force. Daniel prophesied a total of 70 weeks of years from the time of the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem and to the time of making an end to sin for the nation of Israel (Daniel 9.24-27). At 69 weeks of years, he prophesied the nation would reject the Messiah. A final week of seven years remains. Jesus called this week the Tribulation (Matthew 24.21, 29). Elsewhere it is known as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (cf. Daniel 9; Jeremiah 30.7) and the day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1; Joel 2). At the end of this week, Israel will recognize her Messiah and repent. When this occurs, He will return (Matthew 23.37-39).

God created Israel to be the instrument of God’s blessing to Gentiles. They failed to fulfill this destiny at the Lord’s first advent. But by God’s grace, blessing came to Gentiles not through Israel’s obedience, but because of her disobedience. Through the fall of Israel Gentiles have become blessed. Paul revealed this matter in Romans 9-11 and declared God’s matchless wisdom (Romans 11.33-36). God’s plan can be delayed but never thwarted by the will of men. God knows the end from the beginning and is sovereign in all His activities. Those who teach that when Israel rejected her Messiah that God rejected Israel and formed the Church as the “new” Israel have rejected God’s sovereignty. They believe man’s will is greater than God’s.

After God called the apostle Paul as “the apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11.13), The risen, glorified Christ revealed to Paul “secrets” (μυστήριον). These revelations constitute Church doctrine. All Church doctrine comes from the pen of the Apostle Paul for to Paul alone did the ascended Lord reveal the secret of the Church, the body of Christ. Peter and the rest of the Twelve knew nothing of the Church or of the other revelations Paul received. This is what we call Christianity.

Before Paul, no one knew that Jew and Gentile were equal “in Christ”(Ephesians 3.3-7). Jesus never mentioned it in His earthly ministry nor did the Twelve. Read your Bible. Apart from Paul, one will find no reference to it. In the Church, the body of Christ, every believer is “in Christ,” “seated in the heavenly places,” and indwelt with God the Holy Spirit. This present time is a time of unprecedented grace and blessing to individual believers–both Jew and Gentile. The Church is under the administration of grace as Israel was under the administration of Law (Romans 6.14). The Church was a secret, not mentioned in the Old Testament.

Israel Redux

God is not through with national Israel (Romans 11.25-26). The age of Israel will be restarted after God removes the Church from the earth. Theologians refer to this event as the Rapture. The Rapture was another “secret” God revealed to Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18). The Rapture was unknown until God revealed it to Paul. Jesus never spoke of it nor did any of the Twelve.


The long-awaited kingdom, unfulfilled in Jesus’ first advent will be fulfilled at His second advent. At the end of the Tribulation, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth to save repentant national Israel, as well as Gentiles who are still alive in those final hours of the Tribulation. The generation of Jews who are alive at Christ’s return will succeed, unlike the Jews of Jesus’ generation, who failed to repent under the preaching of John the Baptizer, Jesus, Peter, and Stephen. The Lord will establish His long-anticipated kingdom and fulfill all the covenants of Israel: Abrahamic, Sabbatic, Palestinian (Land), Davidic, and New. In this kingdom, peace and righteousness will cover the earth and Israel will be preeminent among all the nations of the earth (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13). Jesus the Messiah will rule the entire world (Zechariah 14.9) and Israel will occupy the land promised by God to Abraham from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers (Genesis 15.18).

New Heaven, New Earth

In eternity, God will create a new universe: a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21.1-2; 2 Peter 3.13 cf. Isaiah 65.17; 66.22). The New Jerusalem, the true Jerusalem, will descend from heaven upon earth. Literally, heaven will come upon earth. Death will cease and sin and evil will not be possible. God and man will dwell together for eternity in unimaginable joy and adventure.

©1998 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated, August 21, 2010

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59 thoughts on “Framework of Scripture

  1. linda c

    If everything is going to be fulfilled perfectly during the millenium or messianic age, where does the part of satan coming back fit into this plan? when i read it, it seems as though many will gather together with him to go against God. Or am I understanding it incorrectly because peace seems far from it at the end of it.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      This is hard to understand. The world will have experienced 1,000 years of perfect environment, righteous government (Jesus Himself reigning in Jerusalem), freedom from war, and almost no disease or death. But Satan will come forth to deceive mankind with “the Lie”–“You can be like God.” Some will fall for his deceit and rebel against God. This is God’s final test of mankind and will demonstrate conclusively that man apart from God is no good and has no hope. After this, God will create an whole new universe (destroying the existing one because it has been contaminated by sin). In this new environment, sin will apparently be impossible.

  2. John Gregory

    Again! A great paper! You take a complex
    Subject & simplify it so well! I do consider your site
    The best place to find true teachings in theology.
    John Gregory

  3. Jack S.

    Hello Don,

    On Tuesday evenings in Meridian, ID, I am sharing your articles with our Bible Study group. We then watch 2 30-minute Les Feldick Programs followed by discussion. Most of the Rightly Divided information is “new” to the Christians who have sat through years of teachings of the Gospels and “spiritual Israel.” We are seeing a lot of “light-bulb,” or “Ahaaa” moments….Praise the Lord.

    I am confused about your last paragraph concerning eternity in the present article:

    At the Rapture, isn’t the Body of Christ present with the Lord, in the New Heavens?

    In the Millennium, isn’t the promised Kingdom of Heaven present in the New Jerusalem, in the New Earth?

    Thank you for your teaching; you will never know how many lives you are blessing.

    Regards….Jack S.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Sounds like a great program and wonderful to hear people’s eyes are being opened. I’m not sure I quite understand your question. At the Rapture, the Lord will gather His church and take it to heaven. After the Millennium, the Lord will destroy the existing universe and create a new heaven and new earth. In that realm, the New Jerusalem, (the “true” Jerusalem–heavenly realities have earthly patterns, e.g., God gave Moses the architectural plan for the tabernacle which was an earthly copy of God’s throne complex in heaven) will descend upon earth and heaven and earth will meet. We know almost nothing of eternity other than what John wrote in Revelation 21-22 and a few verses in Isaiah. We know nothing of the role of the body of Christ in eternity other than it will be glorious.

  4. Karen F

    I have recently come out of the Charismatic Movement and do not believe that the so called “tongues” we speak today are the same tongues that the early church spoke. Since reading your blog I have looked into it more and stopped doing it. There is a lot of crazy stuff going on and being taught in charismatic churches. They are teaching another Jesus and I thank my Savior every day for showing me the truth about those things through your blog and several others who are brave enough to speak out.

    I do have some questions about prophecy… Is God still speaking to man in this dispensation of grace through prophecies for the body of Christ? Some in the body believe that they receive words from The Lord for either the whole body or for themselves or for other individuals. Or is He silent during this time? If so does He still speak to us while we pray to Him? Do you have scriptures to help answer these questions? Psalms 50 says He will not keep silent when He returns to judge His people. Does that mean that He is silent now since we have the completed Word of God? He was silent for 400 years before the first coming of Christ and the Old Testament books were complete. Maybe He is silent now before the second coming of Christ or the rapture. Paul says we are to look and wait or anticipate His return.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Based on the Scriptures, no legitimate tongue-speaking has occurred since about 60 A.D. All “miracles” seem to have ceased with Paul’s ministry as recorded in Acts 28.7-10. God speaks through His Word to us today since Paul completed the Scriptures (Colossians 1.25). Our doctrine comes from Paul’s letters. The rest of the Scriptures are for our learning (Romans 15.4; 1 Corinthians 10.11). We have all we need to live a life of faith in the realm of God’s grace.

  5. John Duryea

    I wondered where the nations came from that was talked about in the millennium kingdom. You indicated that repentant Israel and also surviving Gentiles would be delivered/saved at His return. Does this mean that the Gentiles who survived the Tribulation were also repentant?
    How does one locate a group of believers that possess the type of understanding you are sharing in your revelatory articles? I would love to continue my education in the true understanding of Israel and the Church and affiliate with such ones.
    I can’t express the joy I feel with each revelation I receive from reading your works.
    Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The essential matter for salvation during the Tribulation will be believing who Jesus is (the Christ, the Son of God) and to not worship the Beast. This will apply to Jew and Gentile and is the gospel of the kingdom, which will be reinstated according to what Jesus declared in Matthew 24.14. Jesus warned about deception in Matthew 24 and again in His messages to the Jewish assemblies in Revelation 2-3. It explains passages such as “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it (Luke 17.33) in the context of Revelation 13.15-18 and Revelation 14.9-12. The one who seeks to save his life in the Tribulation by taking the mark of the Beast will lose it. The Berean Bible Society may can help with locating believers with these understandings. Thanks for your encouraging words!

      1. John Duryea

        Of course, yes…I have read enough of your articles that I should have gotten that understanding. I am currently reading The Great Prophecies Concerning Gentiles, etc. book that you posted. I am amazed that this was written in the late 1800’s as it seems that it could have been written yesterday. I had to go back and double check the copyright date to make sure it was written that far back. What insight! What relevance! What a find! Thank you for including it.
        Also, thanks for the tip pertaining to the Berean Bible Society.

  6. John Duryea

    I finally finished reading The Great Prophecies, etc. What a book.
    I was wondering, is there a version of the End Times in a form that is concise and easy to read? One that would include the revelations of Daniel, Ezekiel, and the book of Revelation? Though I enjoyed reading Great Prophecies it contains “so much” information that it is a little difficult to put it all together in a clear, logical story-type format. I’m hoping there is.
    Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Pember was an amazing man for his day. He wrote in the 1880s when only a few Jews dreamed of returning and establishing a homeland in Israel. 99% of Christendom thought this was impossible and ridiculed the idea. But Pember was a believer who knew his Bible. I don’t know of a concise, easy to read book that incorporates Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation. Maybe this is something I can do. :)

      1. Lovemore

        Don,you say Christ never gave any hint on rapture,whats the meaning of Matthew 24:39-40 where He says two women will be at the grinding mill,one will be taken away and the other one left?Is this not rapture?Otherwise thanks very much for the website,its an eye opener for anyone willing to open his/her heart to the living truth of the Grace gospel.God bless you!!!

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Thank you. The subject matter of Matthew 24 concerns the advent of the Beast, the Tribulation, and the return of Christ to set up His kingdom. The “one taken” will be removed to face judgment. The “one left” will remain and inherit the kingdom.

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              Water baptism was a legitimate practice under the ministry of John the Baptist and in the earlier years of the Church (1 Corinthians 1.17). Since the time Paul wrote Ephesians (about 60 A.D.), water baptism has been replaced by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.5). The one baptism is the baptism by the Holy Spirit in which all who have believed Paul’s gospel are baptized into Christ. Tongues have passed. No legitimate tongue-speaking has occurred since Paul completed the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 13.8, 10; Colossians 1.25). Paul wrote faith, hope, and love remain, not tongues (1 Corinthians 13.13). See my article on Sign Gifts.

  7. Joe

    At the end of the tribulation the remnant has been sequestered since mid trib in a safe place where they’ve been taken to on eagles wings….are there saved Jews back in Jerusalem? I ask because of the ‘at the grinding wheel and one will be taken and one left’ reference. thanks

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Possibly. Probably. Jesus warned the Jews to flee to safety upon witnessing the abomination of desolation. Some Jews may be able to survive in Jerusalem and not take the mark of the Beast. It will be extraordinarily difficult (far greater than the Shoah/Holocaust) to live under those circumstances.

      1. Doug R


        Just found your website. What a wonderful resource! If I may, I’d like to offer a theory on the “one taken and one left” prophesy with regard to the remnant who fled and those remaining in Jerusalem. The scripture does not specify that the two men in the field and the two women at the mill are in the same field or at the same mill.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Thank you. The simplest explanation is one is taken to judgment and the other remains to enter the kingdom.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul wrote we should pray without ceasing. We have no promise of healing. God may or He may not. He has declared His grace is sufficient.

  8. Bruce W


    So does Enoch represent Grace for the Rapture of the church being Not under condemnation and Noah represents a righteous remnant who God takes safely through Judgement?

    And if the Kingdom message is what must be preached to all living creatures during the Tribulation, it surely won’t be able to be accomplished by man considering the harsh conditions and why angels preach to mankind.

    And if Israel did Repent before or even right after the cross of Christ that would have negated the entire age of Grace, right?

    It’s apparent to me at least that time is running out on the age of Grace & it behooves true believers who know these truths to get them out to whoever they can as the Lord leads…

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Those are fair comparisons. The 144,000 will be sealed, i.e., protected by God (Revelation 7). They will probably be able to travel supernaturally as Philip apparently did (Acts 8.40). Had Israel repented, the Tribulation would have occurred and the Lord would have returned in the lifetime of the apostles (this is why Preterists are so confused).

  9. Joe

    On a late night/early morning national radio broadcast last night the subject was the lost 10 tribes. The guest said the verse in Matthew about going to the lost sheep of the House of Israel was to go to the lost tribes. I’m sure this is wrong but i can’t come up with a reason why. Help?

    thanks, Joe

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The whole notion of the “lost 10 tribes” is nonsense. None were/are lost. James and Peter wrote to the 12 tribes (James 1.1, 1 Peter 1.1). Peter addressed all Israel at Pentecost. In Revelation 7, all 12 tribes are mentioned.

  10. Brad Nitzsche

    Greetings Don, Finding your site has been a answer to prayer. I have been a believer and studying Gods word for 43 years. For the most part I think I have been on track, but I do feel that I have fallen for some false teaching. I thought that the church was considered the “Bride of Christ”, and that the church was mentioned in the gospels in the parables of the ten virgins and the pearl of great price. I know now that is incorrect. thank you for clearing that up. I have one question. Did the preaching of “The Kingdom” die out with the apostles? Were there followers of the apostles that continued that teaching, or did they all move to Pauls doctrine? OR, did the “kingdom gospel die a natural death with the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews? Thank You so much for your teaching. It is making everything clear to me and answering nagging questions I have had for years. In Christ, Brad

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      All three outcomes you mentioned occurred. The gospel of the kingdom ended with Acts 15.11. See my article, The Great Hinge. The Law continued after this and it appears James never understood Paul’s doctrines of grace (Acts 21). Even Peter had difficultly understanding Paul (2 Peter 3.15-16) and he failed miserably in Antioch (Galatians 2.11-14). The whole system crashed with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. I find it particularly interesting baptism was not mentioned in Acts 15, even though it was required for salvation according to Mark 1.4, 16.16; Acts 2.38. Paul had no end of trouble with the Judaizers. He constantly had to defend his ministry. In the end he lost all of Asia to them (2 Timothy 1.15). This was a critical factor for the direction of Christianity after Paul and explains today’s confusion in Christendom. Grace and peace.

  11. Roger Spielmann

    You wrote, “James never understood Paul’s doctrines of grace (Acts 21). Even Peter had difficultly understanding Paul.” The question that comes to mind is: Why were the letters of James and Peter included in the canon of scripture? James and Peter argued that faith and Torah observance were required for salvation, as opposed to Paul’s religion. Luther argued against it being in the New Testament. Are their letters merely meant to show the disagreements that existed in the early church?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The gospels are Old Testament. God’s prophetic plan did not reveal the Church, the body of Christ. So we have a transitional period in Acts. The prophetic program remains valid; it is simply in abeyance while God forms and completes the body of Christ. Luther did not understand this and most of Christendom still does not understand it. All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable. The letters of James and Peter were pertinent for their audiences and we can learn from them. But they are not TO Christians. They will become pertinent again when the Church is removed and the gospel of the kingdom is again proclaimed.

  12. Roger Spielmann

    Thank you for our response. It takes a certain chutzpa to stand in a corrective position to “most of Christendom,” wouldn’t you agree? It’s understandable that the gospels (at least four of the many that were circulating at the time) would be included in the canon, but the question presses: Why include James’ and Peter’s letters? Granted, one can learn about what real followers of Jesus thought, but but by the late fourth century when the canon was finally established, was not Paul’s religion the one being followed? That being the case, wouldn’t the ones deciding on what books to include have known that what James and Peter wrote were no longer true? As you say, “James didn’t get it;” in other words, he was wrong. Why include a letter by a man who “didn’t get it”? Its inclusion certainly has caused much confusion in Christianity over the centuries, to the point where one might declare that “most of Christendom” is wrong. Is saying such, one must make the claim that James, Jesus’ brother, and Peter, the first to be chosen by Jesus as a disciple, were “wrong” in what they wrote in their respective letters. Rather, Christians ought to put their faith in Paul’s gospel based on a vision of Christ. Is that what you’re saying? Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      NT content was recognized long before the church councils which began with Laodicea (336 A.D.). Peter and James were not “wrong.” They were ministers to Israel proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. Paul, however, was the apostle of the Gentiles, proclaiming the gospel of the grace of God. So we have two programs. One only becomes “wrong” if one tries to mix the two. Unfortunately, that is what most of Christendom has done and this is why so much confusion exists.

  13. Charlene Berrie

    What were the Gentiles acquitted of since they were not under the law? If we are not under the law (and I know we are not) is living by the moral precepts Christ exhibited how we say we live?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The moral law operated whether there was the formal Mosaic Law or not. Death reigned due to sin (Romans 2.12). Christ’s work on the cross dealt with the totality of the problem for Jews and Gentiles. Believers of Paul’s gospel are not under the administration of the Mosaic Law but under the administration of the Holy Spirit and love. Morality remains a requirement but we have better management.

  14. Carol Wright

    Hi Don
    It would be so cool if you did write a book which combined Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel & any other Bible books that relate to the End Time Scenerio. And wrote it chronologically so we could see what was happening when from all those view points. I know it’s asking a lot. Love your site. God Bless

  15. Becky


    Two thumbs up! Great article! I had a lot of the same questions but read the comments and most, if not all my questions, were answered.

    I read your article on the Rapture, but I’m still on the fence about the 7 year Tribulation. My pastor teaches a “Mid-Tribulation” rapture citing that either 3.5 years occurred between 67 -70 AD or, if it’s future, the church will be here for the first half of it. His reasoning is that he equates the ‘last trump,’ with the 7th trumpet of Revelation. I don’t really understand what he was saying.


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      1. The trumpet Paul wrote of was the trumpet of God. Those in Revelation are angelic trumpets.
      2. The trumpets in Revelation are associated with judgment. The one of Paul is not.
      3. Paul promised Church believers would not experience wrath (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). The Tribulation is 7 years of wrath, not 3.5.
      4. The Church is nowhere to be found in Revelation. God pours our His wrath on Jews and Gentiles, not Church (1 Corinthians 10.32).

  16. Bobbi

    Hi doctrine,
    Finished E W Bullingers book on the apocalypse last night. Twas a great read. Definitely see how it is for Gods people of old, Israel in the coming times, even a description of those times.
    The clarity comes from all the jewish language, plus one can see that God is coming to fulfill all prophecy to them and to gather all that are His. Most answers to the book are in the old testament, some in places I was not aware of . The interesting thing is, it is apparent the dispensation of grace is fulfilled or completed first, and you can tell that the plan after returns to Israel.
    Of course my favorite part of the book was the ending hee hee, the description and language of the new earth and heaven and that those sweet old testament lovers of God will dwell there too.
    I find it curious there is no language or words to describe if we will live there as well, because not much is said about the church (grace by grace). It does say we will always be with The Lord, and that we will judge angels perhaps. However the word picture in Revelation of the covering (meaning canopy) ,as per the jewish wedding, for Israel after she is returned to God definitely helped me to see her as the bride and us, the church as the body.

  17. Vanessa

    Hi Bobbi and Don,
    Don as you may recall Vernon and I are very interested in end times prophecy.We studied the Book of Revelation for over 5 years, never coming to understand the book. When we found out recently that the Book Of Revelation will be understood by the Jews and those in the 7 years we stopped trying to work it out. Here is my question. After the Rapture it appears we never come back to earth.? Is this correct. In honesty we are saddened by this as we love The Mountains, Rivers, Seasons and especially the animals. We wont miss the sea. Can you shed some light on this.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      We’re just not told, yea or nay. Heaven and earth join with the New Heavens and Earth but there will be no sea (so you’ll really like this but I like the ocean). Whether we will have responsibilities on earth during the Millennium as joint-heirs of Christ is unrevealed. My advice: like you resolved Revelation, don’t worry about it. The Lord ALWAYS has something better for us than what we can imagine.

  18. Bobbi

    Hi everyone! There’s that word “imagine”. It’s so fun to think about that we will see and be with the Savior of the world and that He is our Saviour. And to know God has plans for us ( Lord willing ) :-)
    Just gets me to day dreaming :-)

  19. Bobbi

    Don, one question I have. Why do the late acts dividers put some of Paul’s writings in a different category? I haven’t been able to figure that out. The Bullinger Apocalypse book got me to thinking. Thank you for some insight .

      1. cig

        Was reading the recommended links and saw that some accuse Bereans of belief in death sleep and annihilation of the wicked.

        The article unfortunately does not clearly state what they do believe regarding what happens at death for the Christian.

        What is the belief?

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Some “ultradispensationalists” have taught soul sleep, annihilationism, and universalism. Bullinger is accused of this but I have never read anything Bullinger wrote which indicated he believed this. I have not read a lot about this so cannot point to specifics. The problem with the accusations is that it is an attempt to delegitimize Acts 9 dispensationists and not deal with the issues. I do not know of any Acts 2 or 9 dispensationalists who believe in soul sleep, annihilation, or universalism.

  20. Bobbi

    Hi doctrine,
    Am reading the book by Cornelius Stam called “Things that differ”, am almost done with it. Is an excellent read to explain dispensations. I could tell just reading the Bible that there are different ways God deals out grace through different times in the Bible. This article made me more curious so I got the book. I love how he split it in two first to really help us understand the huge difference between even just Prophecy and the Mystery Paul writes about. This particular division is a big deal to understand. I see that now. If anyone has questions, this is a good book.
    The other thing it laid out is that over all time, people have always been saved by Gods grace through faith, but always involved specific acts of obedience as well as faith that when the sacrifice ( or water baptism or whatever was required)was done, it would take care of the sin. God has always required obedience from the heart, and trust in Him. The mystery in the Greek was an interesting study as well. It helped me to understand why so much bickering over the Grace gospel.
    I’m sure all this was covered but had to share the goodies.
    Thank you for everything.

  21. Sean

    As a gentile I would be really disapppinted if all resurrected gentiles could not come back with Lord to earthly kingdom to be a king as promised. So only Jews have this privilege? Gentiles do not have any earthly blessing?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      We are not given specifics. Paul gave us Romans 8.17, 1 Corinthians 6.2-3. We can be assured that whatever happens, there will be no disappointment.

  22. Bobbi

    I know this subject is on the fringe of normally taught doctrine, but it is important.
    After much studying on the period called the ‘Gap Theory’ , which in spite of what people say, there are many scriptures that prove this theory.
    If one digs and studies it out, it is possible. It explains so much. This period would also be included in the timeline. One thing about it, it does give one a wider perspective on the plan of God. For it would begin outside our time frame, as time was created in our creation account.
    It’s so interesting. Also on the bigger picture maybe man would be much humbler to God, and not be so ready to say ‘I am’ or have everything be about ourselves.
    Rev. 13:8 is an interesting passage.
    There is more happening than men think of in the heavenly realm.
    What is your opinion on this or do you have one?
    Thank you.

  23. Bobbi

    Hi Don,
    Was wondering if you could recommend an article or book that discussed the dating of NT books? There are many opinions but I was wondering if you have an opinion?
    I know Matthew McGee has a good article on Paul’s books but the rest I’m not sure.

    Also Paul did finish off the scriptures didn’t he? Col. 1:25? In other words wrote the last book?
    Thank you :) Hope you are well.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      A scholarly treatment of the subject was done by the liberal J.A.T. Robinson. See and He challenged and exposed the bias and shaky foundation of the existing dates among liberal theology. He also dated books earlier than many conservative theologians, e.g., Revelation. Geisler, one of my profs, has written this:

  24. Joe


    I’ve read (and I can’t remember where of what) that there are facts mentioned in Stephen’s soliloquy before his martyrdom regarding events in the OT that don’t actually appear in the text of the OT. If this is true how could that be? How would those in the first century have known more that what was written?

    If I were to do some heavy research I think I could find examples but I think you know what I’m talking about.

    thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      It’s a good question. Evidently, some truths were known that were not in the text. Stephen spoke under the power of the Holy Spirit so these facts were confirmed.

  25. Ghirmay

    Hi Don
    It’s great article my concern is about the signs that you have mentioned ceased
    I think Paul explains which one is better faith,hope and love with out love nothing we can’t do. the most we have to look at it is Love . I believe since the believer is on the earth all the miracles healing casting out demons it works thanks why He gave us the five offices . I am so blessed by your articles.
    Thanks you are blessed

  26. Richard Grieve

    What about the teachings of Jesus during His life on earth? They were given to the Jews, but what applies to The Body of Christ today?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Jesus’ earthly ministry was to Jew only. Nothing of it concerns the Church, the body of Christ. What concerns the Church is Jesus’ heavenly ministry which He revealed to Paul. This is why ALL Church doctrine comes from the pen of Paul in his letters. See Romans 15.8. Jesus came to fulfill the OT covenants to Israel, not to found the Church. The Church was unknown until the risen Lord revealed it to Paul. This is clear from what Paul wrote in Ephesians 3.1-13 and 1 Corinthians 4.1. Everything Paul wrote in his letters was previously unknown, hidden by God until He chose to reveal it.

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