David Reagan - Tommy Ice and Don Perkins on the Rapture and Millennium
Is the Rapture the same as the Second Coming? And, if not, then when is it most likely to occur? And what about the Millennium? Are we in it now, or is it a period of one thousand years that still lies a head of us? And why should the promise of these two future events give us a sense of overwhelming hope right now? Stay tuned.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Each year our ministry sponsors a Bible conference that is held in the Dallas, Texas area in mid-July. In 2017 our conference theme was “Living with Hope in the End Times.” Our keynote speaker was Dr. Ed Hindson, who presented an overview of God’s promises for the future, promises that should give us great hope in the present. He was followed by Dr. Tommy Ice and Evangelist Don Perkins. Dr. Ice spoke on the glorious promise of the Rapture of the Church, and Evangelist Perkins spoke about the wonderful promises of the Lord’s Millennial reign.
I want to provide you with excerpts from both of their presentations, and we are going to start with Dr. Ice and what he had to say about the Rapture of the Church. The segment I want to share with you is where he goes into detail proving that the Rapture is an event separate and apart for the Second Coming. Dr. Tommy Ice founded the Pre-Trib Research Center, together with Tim LaHaye, in 1994, and he serves today as its director and spokesman. Here now, Is Dr. Ice.
Dr. Ice: So, when you look at the Rapture if you put all of the passages on the Rapture on one side, and you put passages that relate, and these are only some of them to the Second Coming, and you compare, you summarize and then compare them you’ll see that there are differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming. As illustrated by the graphics. You see that the Rapture is Christ coming in the cloud, not all the way to planet earth, and we go up to meet Him, and then we are taken to the Father’s house to heaven. The Second Coming is where the Church is already up there returns with Him all the way down to terra firma, to planet earth and we remain and reign and rule with Him for 1,000 years. So, those are two totally different events, qualitatively when you start analyzing them. At the Rapture you have the translation of all believers. You know whether they want to or not, right, kicking and screaming. And there is no translation mentioned in Second Coming passages, they are all staying here on planet earth. By the way it’s the unbeliever who’s removed and prevented from going into the kingdom. And at the Rapture you have translated Saints that go to heaven, but translated Saints return to the earth at the Second Coming. The earth is not, there is not judgment language in Rapture passages. But there’s all kinds of blood and guts and judgment and stuff at Second Coming passages, that’s the purpose.
See God’s not going to set up any old kind of kingdom. He’s going to set up a righteous kingdom, so that means unrighteousness has to go. You know these people who says, “Oh, I wish God, why does He allow evil?” They don’t realize that if He didn’t allow evil they would be the first to go, unless they knew Christ. The Rapture is said to be imminent, any moment, and signless. There are no signs, it could happen at any moment. And this is why you can’t date the Rapture. I mean I asked it out for a date once, and it said, “I don’t date.” You know. But nevertheless is because you’re always to be anticipating Christ.
Just like the bride didn’t know when her groom was coming in the Jewish wedding, you’re always to be ready. If you had a date then you’d be a slacker at times. You know He’s not coming until October you know, because of the fall feast stuff. Those fall feasts I think all relate to Israel. You know, you can’t pick the times or the seasons as Jesus said in Acts 1. And so the Rapture could happen. So, we’re always to be ready. We’re always to be waiting, watching. And then we see that the Second Coming follows all kinds of signs. I mean you’ve got the Seal Judgments, the Trumpet Judgements, Bowl Judgments, Antichrist, signing of the covenant, the rebuilding of the Temple, you know the angelic witnesses, 144,000, you know all of these things proceed this. It says in in Matthew 24:29 it says, “After the tribulation of those days then the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light.” You know He darkens the stage, and then He comes back with His sign, the Shekinah Glory in some way that floods the sky. And so, it follows, there are all kinds of events leading up to the Second Coming.
But at the Rapture it’s not predicted in the Old Testament as we’ve said but the Second Coming is predicted often in the Old Testament. It’s for believers only, the Rapture is, true believers. The Second Coming affects all mankind. We see the fact that it is before the Day of Wrath as we’ll point out here in a moment, before the Tribulation period. There are 22 terms in the Old Testament, many are carried over in the New Testament that describe the 70th week of Daniel, it’s called the Tribulation, the Wrath, Great Tribulation, Day of God’s Judgment, etcetera. But the Second Coming concludes a day of His Wrath as I just quoted in Matthew 24:29. And then we see there is no reference to Satan, he’s not found in relation to the Rapture, but Satan is bound at the Second Coming. And we see that Christ comes for His own, but He comes with His own at the Second Coming. And Christ in the Rapture comes in the air, He doesn’t come all the way to planet earth, it is totally qualitatively different event as we’ve been saying. But Christ comes to the earth with His bride as Revelation 19 describes. Then we see Christ claims His bride at the Rapture. And then Christ comes with His bride at the Second Coming. And only His own will see Him at the Rapture, but every eye will see Him at the Second Coming. And then the Tribulation begins at the Rapture–after the Rapture, and the Millennial Kingdom begins after the Second Coming. So these are qualitative difference, and the more you see the differences obviously the more you are going to be Pre-Trib.
And I believe there needs an interval of events between the Rapture and Second Coming. You have the 24 elders in heaven. You have the Bema Judgment. You have the bride is prepared. We are going to have a whole lecture on that, leading up to then the Second Coming. So there has to be some kind of time interval between the Rapture that gets the Church up there, and the preparation for the bride to return with Christ.
And you have the doctrine of imminence, another Latin world. I think it’s never used in the King James, but it is I think once used in the New American Standard in Philippians or something. But, and it means an event that could but not necessarily take place at any moment. So a soon, is not the same as imminent. An imminent event could happen soon, or it may not occur for 2,000 years. No prophetic event must take place before an imminent event can happen. You know Israel’s back in the land. Hundred years ago Clarence Larkins speculated there’d be a 50 year interval between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation because he said, “Well, Israel’s not back in the land, Babylon has to be rebuilt, etcetera.” And he gave a lot of reasons. Well, some of those things have already happened, but they didn’t have to happen, you see. So, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Are they going to rebuild the Temple before the Rapture? We don’t know. So, the Rapture is imminent, while Christ’s Second Coming is not. And some of the passages that teach imminence is 1 Corinthians 1:7 for example, “Awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” See, we are waiting for Christ. In fact the leading Post-Tribulationist Robert or Bob Gundry wrote a book in the 90’s entitled, “First the Antichrist.” See he’s waiting for the Antichrist because he is Post-Trib. And he’s right if the Rapture is Post-Trib then the Antichrist has to come first. But since the Rapture is not Post-Trib. And this means that they cannot follow these imminent passages. We’re waiting for Christ, not the Antichrist. That’s why we can comfort one another with these words.
Then we see the word Maranatha, means our Lord come. It is an Aramaic term but it also anticipates an eager expectation of that. And then we see Philippians 3:20, our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And we see the Lord is near. That’s the Greek word “eggus” meaning at hand, like you can reach out and grab it. And I use, I like the use the illustration, you know the Minnesota Vikings have been in the Super Bowl four times. The NFL championship has been at hand, within reach, along with the Buffalo Bills, they were there four times and lost all four times. But they’ve never achieved that, you see, so something is near, meaning at hand is the idea there. But it doesn’t mean something has arrived yet. So the Lord is near.
We see in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 how they turn from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven. This is in the second epistle that Paul wrote. They’re waiting for His Son from heaven. See why are you waiting? Because there is no signs, there is nothing to look for. The looking passages occur like in the Olivet Discourse leading up to the Second Coming and all of that where you can see events if you were in the Tribulation. And we see looking for the Blessed Hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus. Actually that should be translated it is the same word for waiting, but it was translated looking for the Blessed Hope, but actually it means waiting for the Blessed Hope and appearing of the glory of our great God. We are looking for Christ. And so this idea of eagerly waiting pictures eager expectation indicated by the head bent forward to catch the first glimpse of an advancing procession. It also notes one staying up late in eager expectation of seeing a late arriving guest.
You know how you were when you were a kid, at least we were. Oh, your cousins are coming today. You know at 7 o’clock you are up waiting, and about 9 or 10 PM they show up. And every time a car goes by, you know, is that them? Is that them? You know? Well, that’s the picture. In James 5:7-9 the oldest book in the New Testament, the first one ever written says, “Be patient therefore brethren until the coming of the Lord. For the coming of the Lord is at hand, behold the Judge is standing right at the door.” So, this idea of standing right at the door means it’s the next event.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our review of excerpts from the presentations that were made at our 2017 annual Bible conference, whose theme was “Living with Hope in the End Times.”
Dr. Ice proceeded in his presentation to present detailed biblical evidence in behalf of his contention that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation begins.
I want now to share with you an excerpt from Evangelist Don Perkins’ presentation about the Millennium. Don is the founder of a Bible prophecy ministry called According to Prophecy. It is headquartered in San Diego, California. Here now is Don Perkins speaking about the promise of the Millennium.
Don Perkins: Now, I’m a topical teacher. I’m going to give you seven topics. We are going to cover them pretty fast. But I am going to give you seven topics regarding the Millennium. First we are going to see what is the Millennial Reign of Christ? I like to define the study. Then we are going to see the order of events leading to Christ’s rule. Then we are going to look at different views taught regarding this period. There are different views out there and I want you to understand that there are some views out there. Then we are going to see promises of His reign in the scriptures. We are going to see that the Word of God declares that Christ our Savior must reign. Then we are going to see promises of the Saints to reign with Christ. And I love this part because it talks about we, the redeemed, we are going to literally reign with the Savior, and I love that. Then we are going to see the living conditions of the 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom. We are going to see that the Millennium will affect the world in a way like no other event. Then last we are going to look at the scripture text of the Millennium in the book of Revelation. What we are going to do is we are going to see some amazing things as we look at the text, Revelation chapter 20 we’re going to see what is going to happen. And then I’m going to sum it up.
So, first of all what is the Millennial Reign of Christ? Now, I know in a conference like this I am talking to a lot of prophecy buffs. But I know we have a lot of people that are listening, or maybe first time here who don’t know what the Millennium is. So what is the Millennium? What is the term Millennium? Let me first define that. The term Millennium is taken from two Latin words, “mille” which means a 1,000, and the word “annum” which means years. When the words are combined, the words simply means 1,000 years. So, we are going to see this Millennial Kingdom is a 1,000 years event that the Word of God has predicted in prophecy.
Now, this will be a period of time in which Jesus Christ will reign on the earth for 1,000 years in fulfillment of many prophecies. During this rule Christ, Satan will be bound and sealed in the bottomless pit, so he will have no influence in the earth to deceive mankind. That is going to be a wonderful event! A wonderful time, the binding of the Devil, and I am show you that as we go forward in the teaching. At this time Jesus Christ will rule the entire world, and He will be King of kings, and Lord of lords. He will sit on the throne of King David ruling over Israel, and again the entire world. This is a wonderful event that we are going to see in the scriptures. Again they all kinds of wacky views out there. Some people believe that the Millennium will never come, and again we are going to talk about that in a little bit. I am going to show you, it’s a promise, it’s going to happen. Just like Ed Hindson, Ed talked last night about the Rapture, you know a lot of people they say the Rapture will never happen they’re really coming against the scriptures. I mean their problem is the timing of the Rapture. If you deny the Rapture you’re denying the Word of God. We are going to see the same is true with this 1,000 year Millennium Kingdom.
Now I’m going to quote Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost from his book, Things to Come. Listen to what he says about the Millennium, he says, “The Millennium will be the period of the full manifestation of the glory of Jesus Christ. There will be the manifestation of the glory associated with the glorious dominion in which Christ by virtue of obedience unto death is given universal dominion to replace that dominion which Adam lost. There will be the glory of the glorious government in which Christ as David’s son is given absolute power to govern. There will be the glorious–there will be the glory of the glorious inheritance in which the land and the seed promised to Abraham are realized through Christ. We are going to see again that Israel will experience everything that was promised to Abraham. We know Israel never experienced the full land grant that God promised them. But, Israel will have it during the time of the Millennial Kingdom.
I also want to quote John F. Walvoord from his book, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Listen to what he said, he said, “Advocates of this view hold that the Millennium is a period in which Christ will literally reign on earth as its supreme political leader. And that many promises of the Old Testament relating to the kingdom on the earth in which Israel will be prominent, and Gentiles will be blessed, will have complete and literal fulfillment.” I love that. We are going to see prophecies that must be fulfilled. Christ the Bible is going to give us that He will be the political leader of the world. Now, how many would agree with me that we need a political leader like Christ? Oh, yes, we do. We do.
As a matter of fact right before my session I was watching the news this afternoon and one of the federal courts just said that prayer before a civil council meeting, they said that it was unconstitutional. I’m thinking, yeah, we definitely need the Millennium. We need Christ on the scene because we’ve got wacky leaders in power. Now, let’s look at some of the order of events leading to the Millennium, and what I am going to do I am just going to hit a few of those things. But, I am going to show you there are some significant events that must take place before the 1,000 years millennial reign coming to the earth.
So, I bring you back to our prophecy chart and the first one well we are in the Church Age here, but I want to first deal with the one called the Rapture. The Rapture again is one of those events that must take place before the Millennium. First Thessalonians chapter 4:13-18, I’m looking for that. I preach all across the country. I believe in the Rapture. I have Rapture dreams, you know I’m looking for the Rapture. I’m ready for this event to take place. You know we are going to be changed as Tommy shared. I love it. I cannot wait for this wonderful event. You know the Rapture is going to deliverer us from backaches, pain, Tylenol, Advil. I can’t wait for the Rapture. But one of the blessings of this event that we’ll have a glorified body, we will be delivered of that sin nature. We are going to find out a little more about that in reference to being tied to the Millennium.
Now going a little bit further with the chart, another event is that seven year of great tribulation. Now, the Bible predicts this event, 21 judgments, 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 vial judgments, plus Antichrist and his economic system with the Mark of the Beast. A lot of things will happen, but these events must happen. God will allow the Antichrist a season to wreak havoc in the earth, but God has put a time limit on his reign. And what is going to happen Christ will come back in that Second Coming. Here in the Second Coming at the Battle of Armageddon Christ will bring an end to the Antichrist’s kingdom, and then He’s coming to set up His kingdom. But look at this, I love this, Revelation 19:11-16 it talks about the literal return of the Savior. And I love it saints. I love the Rapture, and I love the Second Coming. Both of these events will be a blessing for the redeemed.
And I love this picture, everywhere I go I talk about this picture because I really like this picture. Let me show you something. Follow the arrow on this picture, you see that, see right there where I am pointing right there that is Brother Perkins riding that horse. Yeah, I believe it saints. I’ve said from coast to coast you know it is time to name your horse’s saints. Christians need to name their horses. Well I believe that Christ is coming back, and we are going to come back with Him. We are going to come back as the glorified. We are going to help Christ govern. We are coming back to go into His government as His administration. And we’re going to see some beautiful things.
Again as a result of the Second Coming the Bible talks about the Battle of Armageddon. Christ will come back as a man of war to take authority in the earth. He is going to take authority in the earth. Christ is coming back in a different capacity. He’s coming back to take full authority. He’s going to deal with Antichrist. The Bible says the Antichrist and False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire, and then God is going to bind the Devil in the bottomless pit. We’re going to see it in a little bit. But we are going to look here at this wonderful 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom of our Savior. And again saints, I long for this wonderful event.
Now, before we get to those different aspects of it I want to show you some different views that are taught regarding the Millennial Kingdom. And you must understand that these are views out there. The first view is called the Amillennial view. The Amillennial interpretation is a denial that there would be a 1,000 years reign of Christ after His return to earth. It is an Amillennial, or non-Millennial view because it denies such a literal reign of Christ on the earth. This view was developed in 400 AD by Saint Augustine. It was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 431 AD at the Council of Ephesus. So, they don’t believe in a Millennial Reign, or a Millennial Kingdom. A- is no Millennium. Well, to do that you have to get rid a lot of scripture that I am going to give you in a little bit. Yeah, the Millennium we’re going to see it’s biblical. We’re going to see that the Millennium is an event that we must talk about, and it’s a promise that we must look for and expect. So, this is one of the views the Amillennial which does not stand the test of scripture.
Here’s another view it is called the Post-Millennial view. This view basically suggests that the world will get better and better until the whole world is Christianized, at which time Christ will return to a kingdom of peace. This view was originated by Daniel Whitby in 1638-1726, a Unitarian in England. Although he was censored for some of his heretical views, many conservative theologians rapidly embraced, and propagated his viewpoint on the Millennium. Now, again, this view again has a lot of problems because they are depending on mankind to cause the world to become better, and better, and better, and then Jesus will come back. Well, you know if man could fix the problems Jesus didn’t need to come. God understood that mankind could not fix this world. Mankind cannot handle it. You look at all the world governments today, all we see is the arm of flesh, men trying to do it but they can’t do it. Yeah, this Post-Millennial view has a lot of problems, a lot of problems.
Now this is a view that I hold to and I teach and I believe it stands the test of scripture. It is the Pre-Millennial view. This view hold that Christ will return to earth, literally and bodily before the millennial age begins. And that by His presence a kingdom will be instituted over which He will reign. And all that of Israel’s covenants will be literally fulfilled. It will continue for 1,000 years after which the kingdom will be given by the Son to the Father when it will merge with His eternal kingdom.
Generally speaking ones view of interpreting of scripture determines whether or not he or she is a Premillennialist. For the most part all who believe the Bible to be literal are Pre-Millennialist. Now I am a Pre-Millennial teacher. I believe in it. I believe in a literal text of the scripture. This view stands the test of scripture and gives a clear and balanced perspective on God’s end time program. With clarity it makes plain sense of the scripture. As a colleague once said, and we’ve heard it many times, “When the plain sense makes sense, there is no other sense lest you wind up with nonsense, or confusion.” And again there is a lot of confusion out there. I meet people all across the country. I’ve debated with people who tell me, “Man, we’re in the Millennium now.” And I show them we’re not in the Millennium now, and we’re going to see that in a little bit too. But there is some wacky stuff out there. And again I like to stick with the authority of the Word.
David Reagan: Don’t you just love Don Perkins’ enthusiasm for God’s Word and the promises contained in it? Don proceeded to discuss the biblical promises of the Millennium, the fact that the saints will reign with Jesus during the Millennium, the living conditions that will characterize the Millennium and what the book of Revelation has to say about the thousand year reign of Jesus. The complete presentations by both Dr. Ice and Evangelist Perkins are available on our 2017 conference album, titled, “Living with Hope in the End Times.” In a moment our announcer will tell you how you can get a copy of this video album.
Well, folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope, the Lord willing, that you will be back with us next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”