Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's a combination thereof...that's why!

I am understanding, and can see how and why 'Matthew thru John' are for a past time and not for us, and also that 'Hebrews thru Revelation' are not for us.  But, I still am confused about Acts 1-9 (probably due to the typical Baptist teaching in my upbringing).

The book of Acts (especially chapters 1-9), like every book of the bible, serves a purpose in teaching doctrine to a particular group of people—as like the Four Gospels, the book of Acts speaks directly to and about the nation of Israel. The word "Acts" is short for the "actions," or "activity" of God the Holy Ghost through all His apostles.  Starting the book out first with the actions and activities of the twelve Apostles of Israel; and then transitioning from them and ending up exclusively with the actions and activities of that one unique, distinct Apostle Paul, God's Apostle to and for us gentiles!

Therefore, the purpose of the book of Acts is to first explain to Israel their fall as a nation, corporately; then secondly, to explain that now God's salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ is available to all individual gentiles through Paul's ministry.

Romans 11:11
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall [Israel’s] salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

So all the chapters in the book of Acts serve as a ‘bridge,’ transitioning between God's Prophecy program in the earth with the nation of Israel…

Acts 3:21
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

…and his Mystery program with us gentiles today…

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

 …in the dispensation of grace for the heavenly places.

Ephesians 3:1-20
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church [the Body of Christ, not the Jewish Jerusalem church] the manifold wisdom of God,

That is why the very next book after Acts is the book of Romans!  The Romans were the gentile power of that day. God now has a word to them/us through our Apostle Paul! The 13 letters of Paul are for us, speaking both to us and about us today. But the doctrine of the book of Acts—a book NOT written by our Apostle Paul, although for our learningis NOT directly written to us today, nor is it written about us who are living today in this present dispensation of the Grace of God!

Again, therefore, that is why there is a lot of Jewish references of activities, terminology and customs in the book of Acts—that being, because it is written for, to, and about those Jewish people—and also that we would have the learning (knowledge) and understanding.

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

More to come on the subject of terminology, according to the various dispensations ...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kingdom of God

If Paul didn't teach the gospel of the Kingdom what did he mean when he said…

Acts 20:25
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Could you explain this to me?  Is it talking about him preaching the gospel of the kingdom, or what? 

When the bible talks about "the kingdom of God," one must remember and be aware that the kingdom of God has two spheres or dimensions! The very first verse of the bible explains that in the beginning God created "the heaven and the earth." That first verse of scripture sets the tone of what God's kingdom consist of. The word "kingdom" simply means "a king's dominion,” or a “king's domain."  Therefore, God, who is a King, has dominion over both heaven and earth, both are his domain.

So with that said, when our Apostle Paul, the Apostle of this present dispensation of Grace uses the term "kingdom of God," he is not focusing on the earthly sphere...(that is what Peter and the other 11 Jewish Apostles focused on).  Paul, our Apostle, is focuses on the "heavenly places...Ephesians 1; 2; 3), of God's overall kingdom.

Notice that although Paul uses the term "kingdom of God" in Acts 20:25, he first explains in the previous verse that his gospel is not Peter's gospel of the earthly kingdom, but the one, new, unique, distinctive gospel of the grace of God, called "my gospel" by Paul in Romans.

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me , neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Lastly, remember, the book of Acts is not given by God for us today to build doctrine upon (that's what Paul's 13 epistles Romans through Philemon are for), but it is in the bible to teach Israel first, then secondary us gentile readers both see and understand the fall of Israel, and God's salvation in Christ Jesus coming to us gentiles through Paul!

Acts is a transitional book, and therefore there is some "overlap" between what he was doing with Israel, and what he was doing in the early stages of the church, the body of Christ...and that includes the terminology used in Acts that Jews would be familiar with, but that can also be confusing to unlearned gentiles.

Hopefully this helps! 


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nuts and bolts of the matter

I've been studying, but need some clarification. You wrote, “But Paul says that we living today are under grace and not law!”  What does 'not under the law' versus 'but under grace' mean? What is the nuts-and-bolts, practical application of that statement?  Please give some examples.

What Paul is referring to when he sums up the Christian life today in the present dispensation of grace, by saying that we "are not under the law, but under grace" [Romans 6:14], is that the operating principle that God uses to deal with his people is one that does not rely on our own works in order to stand righteous before him! Rather, God deals with us graciously because of the finished work of the Cross, and therefore he does not deal with us today based upon our performance, but based upon what Christ himself has done on our behalf!

Ephesians 1:6
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

In short, God's Grace message is the message given to our Apostle Paul! Up until the salvation of our Apostle Paul in Acts 9, the way that God dealt with his people (the Nation of Israel) was by the Law, or in other words, a performance-based acceptance system! The entire dispensation in which God's people, the Nation of Israel, lived under was the Law! Both Israel and the Lord Jesus Christ lived under God's Law of Moses; it was the operating principle that God had Israel to function under in order to get his acceptance.

Galatians 4:4
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

This performance-based acceptance system would not be done away with “for Israel” until Christ sets up his earthly kingdom in the future.

Luke 16:16
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Again, that Law would be in effect for Israel until the kingdom....

Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

God chose John the Baptist's parents because they kept the law...

Luke 1:5-6
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

It will not be until the kingdom that God takes away the performance-based acceptance system for that nation and he, himself, makes them keep his law...

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

But until then, God's people Israel must perform in order to get his blessing, and if they did not perform they got his cursing! Please read Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28 today as well, to see this principle. God also says it in Ezekiel--even if that Jew started out right but did not keep it up, and died in his sins, God would send him to hell!

Ezekiel 18:24-26
But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

It is this performance-based acceptance system of the Law of Moses that God dealt with his people on, and based on their performance, God would either accept or reject them. It was the motivating factor for them to walk pleasing to God!

Here is a practical example of it...one passage from our Lord to Israel during His earthly ministry, and another from our Lord Jesus Christ through his Apostle to us, the Apostle Paul. In this example the subject is ‘forgiveness’ by God. How God forgives us! Look at the difference...

Matthew 6:14-15
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Notice in his sermon on the mount, our Lord tells those Jews plainly (only a so-called scholar can mess this up) that if they forgive others their sins against them, then God will also forgive that person their sins against him. But our Lord goes on to say that if they did not forgive those who sinned against them, neither will God forgive them.

This verse is ‘cut and dry!’ If you forgive others, God will forgive you! But if you don't forgive others, God won't forgive you!

But this is not how God deals with us today. This is the law, a performance based acceptance system. And you even see it in Israel's so-called "Lord's Prayer." In fact, it comes right after the Lord showing them how to pray!

Matthew 6:9-13
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Another example is how God ‘justifies’ a man.  In the past with Israel, it was by works!

James 2:24
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

But this is not how God deals with us, his people in the church the body of Christ today. That is why we must rightly divide God's word! Although God justified (declared righteous) the Jew by works, he declares us righteous [justifies us] by faith alone!  That's grace!

Romans 4:4-5
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

When we divide God's word right we see that with the salvation and commissioning of Paul to us gentiles, those of us who trust the shed blood of Christ for our sins, we are justified eternally the very moment we believe! God does not use the fear of the law to motivate us to serve him, he uses his grace, or the free gift program; or, in other words, faith that is motivated by his love! Today, it is God's grace, not his law that teaches us!

Our sins have already been forgiven eternally by God, and we forgive others because we have already been forgiven. But even if we don't forgive others, unlike Israel, God has forgiven us!

Colossians 1:14
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

All of our sins are paid for by the blood of Christ.  So whether we forgive others or not—although we should, God will always accept us [Romans 11:29].  That’s grace!  And that is how grace works to teach us to show the same kindness towards others that God shows towards us. But even if/when we don't, God still is kind to us and accepts us!

Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The book of Galatians clearly and thoroughly explains the difference between God's law program (Prophecy) with Israel and his grace program (Mystery) with us today.  I would beseech you to read the book of Galatians about 10 times straight because God's word can teach you this issue of grace better than I can! So read Galatians over and over tonight and God will show you more light.

Being under grace is being under the sound doctrine that God gave us in Paul's 13 books Romans through Philemon. Grace is G.R.A.C.E., or God's Riches At Christ's Expense! It the freedom that we have in Christ and the rest (peace of mind) that God will never cast us away based on our performance! It is a life motivated—not by fear under the Law, but one—motivated by the love of Christ!

Galatians 5:1-6
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Prophetic time clock

I looked on the internet for clues as to what is happening in Israel concerning their Temple and I found a couple of things, after which a question arose concerning Israel's prophetic time clock given in Daniel 9:27.  Is the covenant mentioned in that verse having to do with land or a rebuilt temple. I've always heard temple, but isn't the covenant actually about the land?

It is interesting that you looked on the internet to see what was going on with the nation of Israel, especially concerning the issue of their long-awaited temple. I too have, over the years, kept abreast on the developments of that issue. Although we do live in the dispensation of grace, and know that God is not actively fulfilling his prophetic program with that nation, I do however believe (just like I see that God is counting these years in which we live into his overall time schedule for the earth) that as we get closer and closer to our rapture, we are also in reality getting closer and closer to the resumption of his Prophetic program. Therefore what we will see is a growing focus on the Middle East in general; and the people of Israel in particular, including their desire to rebuild their temple—something you see growing by the day. So with this desire growing, we are getting closer to the resumption of their program, which means ours will need to come to an end first!

(Not too long ago, one could go to a website where you could actually see Jews in Israel talking about having already formed certain things that will be used in the temple once "Messiah" (Anti-Christ) allows. However, it has since been changed and one must be able to read Hebrew. Even so, it's interesting to know that they have plans for these things already in motion, and have already set aside a group of young Jews to learn the Law to be priest, etc.)

In the article that you included, we see that there is a great movement of "Orthodox" Jews actively seeking the building of the Third Temple. Now what does this article, as well as all this media focus on the Middle East mean regarding the Jews, the Muslims, the re-building of the Temple, etc.? Well our Apostle Paul (as well as Daniel, the Jewish prophet, and others) says that it is a signal of Israel's last days, including the long-prophesied day of the Lord's wrath!

2 Thessalonians 2:3-8
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Daniel 8:11
Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

Daniel 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 11:31
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Daniel 12:11
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

So we see that obviously since the last Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., therefore another temple must be built. So since much preparation and cries among the Jews in Israel are taking place in our day, we can speculate that these things will come to pass in the very near future. And obviously for their program to resume, ours must end first!

Now then, regarding your question as to if the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27 is concerning the land or rebuilt temple, my comment is both! When it comes to the bible, there is a direct relationship with the Temple and the land—they go hand in hand in the mind of God.

Daniel 9:27
And he [Anti-Christ] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Notice that verse 27 is part of the larger context on chapter 9, especially the verse that precedes it...

Daniel 9:26
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Notice that if you read the entire chapter, including verses 26-27, the focus is on both the land and the temple. In verse 26, the Anti-Christ and his people will destroy both the city (Jerusalem), and the sanctuary (the Temple). So when it comes to Dan 9:27, the issue with the covenant is both the land as well as the Temple in the land...they go hand in hand.

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time will tell

I was thinking about the scripture in Hosea 6:1-2.   Now, I'm not good with historical dates and time lines, nor am I well versed in Israel's history, so I'm wondering when this verse was written and how it might pertain to 2 Peter 3:8.  I was thinking that there is another scripture in the Old Testament that speaks to the thousand years being as a day?  Going back to the Hosea verses mentioned above, at what point was Israel torn and smitten?  Is Hosea speaking of the future here, or has it already taken place when Hosea speaks this?  I see back up in chapter 5, vs.9 it speaks of the day of rebuke, vs.10, a reference to God's wrath, and in vs.15, a reference of the Lord returning to his place till Israel acknowledges their offence and they seek his face during their affliction. 

So my question then becomes when are the two days being fulfilled?  I believe I can see, if I'm not mistaken, that the third day would be the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth with Israel.

As far as when that passage was written, no one living today can say for sure (because no one living today was there, and therefore only God knows. But, with that said, there are so-called scholars, who specialize in biblical dating who put the date at 785 B.C.—that, according to the dating of the Scofield reference bible; and it seems to be the consensus. So take it for what it's worth.

Anyway, like you said, "Come let us return" is in response to the last verse in chapter 5, where the Lord leaves them and goes back to his "place."

What I see there is that that is a prophecy of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ when he was rejected as their King and returned to Heaven on exile until they call out for him in the future.

Matthew 23:37-39; 24:1a
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. or I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord…And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple:

So it is my understanding that this is the where that prophecy begins and culminates with the Lord's ascension to the Father until He returns. But during that time away, Israel will be "torn and smitten" by the Lord by both using and allowing the gentiles around them to destroy them. This will happen during the tribulation period.

Now when it comes to the "days" referred to by Hosea, it could very well be, and I believe it is in my own study, that it could be a period of two thousand years. God set a pattern of seven days in Genesis, and he uses that same pattern of ‘seven’ to do things throughout scripture. There could be a correlation between the seven days of creation and a seven thousand years of creation before God brings a new Heaven and Earth.

Psalm 90:4
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

So we can see that there could very well be a correlation between the seven days of creation and seven thousand years of creation before eternity sets in. Interestingly enough, when the book of Hebrews talks about Christ's Millennium Kingdom, it uses the words "his rest." That is eerily similar to the book of Genesis...

Genesis 2:2-3
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rest from all his work which God created and made.

Hebrews 4:1-11
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 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 spake 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 remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

So to your question about what's going on in the book of Hosea, I do believe that that was a prophecy of Israel’s rejection of the Lord nearly 2,000 years ago, that that is what is in view with the "two days!" And then His return "early" on the 3rd day! Christ came on the 4th day of Creation, or 4,000 after Adam's creation, and it's been nearly 2,000 years since He left, so we are coming up to the end of the 6,000 years of "man's day," and will soon enter the "Lord's day," or the "day of God," which I believe will be the 7,000th year of creation since Adam, the Millennium Kingdom. By the way, for what it's worth, the majority of Jewish scholars see this seven-day/7,000-year correlation from Adam to Messiah's kingdom as well.

Although the dispensation that we live in is a mystery as far as prophetic scriptures in concerned, I do believe that God is still using the time and years that make up our present dispensation of Grace as part of his overall 7,000-year plan. In other words: he, knowing that he would do this, still counts our 2,000 years towards the 6,000 years of creation from Adam to the Lord's return. Here's something cool to consider. Notice how Paul talks about our gospel...

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

It is interesting that Israel's Messiah "dies" (his rejection on the cross), he is then buried (put out of sight for two days/2,000 years), and then comes back ("rises") on the third day (His millennial kingdom).  Similar to Hosea, wouldn’t you say? 

What is bad news for Israel, is gospel for us!

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Judgment ready, but first things first

I've been thinking on the last days for the past few days, as I do every now and then, wondering if there is some clue in God's word to tell us that the time of judgment is drawing near. 

The "prophetic" last days is the time period in the bible right before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set up his earthly kingdom. This particular time period involves a "judgment," known as the day of the Lord's wrath! In your email you included that very interesting about those Jews in Jerusalem seeking their temple, which is something that will take place when God begins his prophetic clock again and his program in the earth with Israel. So, I will be trying to explain both what I see from scripture and how I see it playing out today in our time—in God’s current mystery program.

A couple of things to know is that right after we are raptured out of  this world, although God's prophetic clock begins again, the actual day of the Lord's wrath, also known as the time of Jacob's trouble (that 7- year period in the which the Lord Jesus Christ is actively involved in what's going on) does not begin!

I say that because once we are raptured out, there is another event on our calendar called the "Judgment seat of Christ" and that event will take some time.

Romans 14:10-12
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Notice that the focus of this judgment has to do with what every one of us has built up in Christ! Paul makes it clear that each and every member of the body of Christ will stand before the Lord Jesus and be judged. I see this as an individual thing, and therefore it will take some time to accomplish. My own personal opinion is that it will take ten years to accomplish. I say that because ‘ten’ in the bible is the number of "responsibility and judgment" (e.g., the Ten Commandments, etc.  A great study is to check out the number ten in scripture and see how much it is associated with "responsibility and judgment," whether it is ten days, months, years, etc. Interestingly enough, the term "judgment seat" is mentioned TEN times in scripture!)

Anyway, also we know that while the Lord Jesus is judging us, he cannot at the same time begin the day of wrath, because it is clear that he is the one who begins it in Heaven.

Revelation 5:1-8
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Here we see a look at the future day of the Lord where the "Lamb," the Lord Jesus Christ, takes the scroll. When he does, he opens the first scroll to begin the 7-year tribulation period, and the very first thing that happens is that the Antichrist is manifest.

Revelation 6:1-2
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

So the 7-year tribulation cannot begin until our Lord Jesus breaks the seals. And he cannot break the seals until he is done judging us! So there has to be some time in between the raptured and the beginning of the "70th week of Daniel," the time when the Antichrist makes the covenant with Israel and rebuilds their temple. I believe that gap/transition will be 10 years.

Daniel 9:27
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate

Another reason that we can see that there will be some time (years) between the end of our mystery dispensation and the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel is because Daniel prophesies that there will be.

Daniel 11:13-14
For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.

Here we see what will go on in the Middle East as the Antichrist gains his power/prestige, etc. (later on in chapter 11). This will all take years to accomplish, and therefore he cannot be made manifest the day after the rapture. All this is prophecy and is not going on during our present mystery dispensation.

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?