In the early segment of the Time Line (below), God reached out to a man named Abram. God told this man to leave his home and country and travel where God told him to go. Since this man obeyed God, he was considered as the head of a people God called for himself. These people were the Jews and the nation that God formed was Israel. God worked closely with this nation for centuries, guiding them, correcting them, and blessing them as he wanted them to be his children. At that time there were only 2 types of people on Planet Earth as far as God was concerned – the Jews and the Gentiles. Never mind that the “Gentiles” were comprised of many different races and countries of people. In God’s eyes there were just the two. Those Gentiles who believed God could become as Jews – or his children – through certain rituals but they couldn’t be God’s family apart from that. And every time any of them disobeyed God, they had to kill an animal to pay for their disobedience, because this creative being God was not only loving, but he couldn’t stand disobedience. He created rules for his creation to run smoothly, and that included the people. Just like a parent corrects a disobedient child, God used animal sacrifices as part of correcting his children.
About 2,000 years ago, God decided to do away with those animal sacrifices and provide a final, big sacrifice so that people, if they accepted that sacrifice, could do away with killing animals once and for all. I won’t go into the details at this time, but this creative being God is made up of 3 spirits and the ancients called him Elohim (God plural). God the first spirit sent the second spirit to become born of a pure human and walk this earth to understand first-hand what it was like to be human. It also gave him a direct line to communicate with us. Have you ever so desperately wanted to be able to talk to your cat or dog when you had to take them to the vet? I did when my cat Junior had bone marrow cancer. I wished I could communicate with him and tell him that I was trying to help him, but I couldn’t. That’s how God felt about communicating with us. The second spirit that was born as a human was named Jesus. He was God and man at the same time. He was born for one purpose and that was to become the final great sacrifice to completely pay for our disobedience against God. The animals that were killed could only cover up that disobedience (called sin in the Bible). Jesus’ sacrifice, since he was also God, was able to take it away forever for those who accepted that gift. And God showed Jesus that his sacrifice was accepted when he was raised from the dead.
Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days before he left because he was waiting for the leaders of the nation of Israel to accept and believe him. When they didn’t, he went back to what we call heaven – where God dwells beyond the universe – and will be back at the end of the Time Line.
Now that God’s children of Israel had officially rejected his gift of his son’s sacrifice, God decided to set them aside for a little while and open the door to all people of every race and every nation to accept this gift of his. He started what we call today the church. In the Bible it’s called a mystery, meaning it had never been revealed before. Now this church is a special entity for a certain period of time, then God will deal with his children Israel once again. That graphic chart shows what will happen to God’s nation of Israel – and the rest of the world – during that time right before the Time Line is finished.
God knows everything from start to finish. He loves his creation very much, which is shown in written works – the Bible and other historic works. He has continued to pave a way for human beings to be his children all through the Time Line so that we could spend that final phase of life – future eternity – with him where he lives in great splendor. He knows who will accept his gift of forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice, and he knows who will not, but he keeps trying anyway and will give each person continual chances throughout their lives. There will be only 1 place in all of creation in the future eternity where God will be absent, and that is the place where those people who hated him will be sent when they die. They rejected them when they were alive in this phase of life, so he will allow them to spend the final phase of life without him, just as they wished.
This church that God formed in the first century AD on the Time Line will be supernaturally called out of the Time Line shortly before its end. Israel has been the” bride” of God (the first spirit, or Father), and the church which was formed later is the “bride” of God’s son (the second spirit), Jesus. If you read about the Jewish wedding tradition, you will see what will be in store for the church at the end of its Time Line. The bridegroom usually comes for the bride when she least expects it, and snatches her and her wedding party away with him to join his wedding party at his father’s house, where the two will be married. So, when the last person (that God knows will accept his great sacrifice of Jesus’ death for their disobedience) turns their life over to him, then Jesus will call his bride - the church - away from earth to his father’s house! Most Christians call that the rapture of the church. The word rapture comes from the Greek meaning to snatch away, like a raptor such as an eagle snatches a fish out of the water and takes it away. After that happens, God the father begins to deal with Israel to refine his bride for eternity future. We call that the Tribulation.
Next time we’ll start with the Tribulation graphic.