One of Peter Ruckman’s teachings is so outlandish that we didn’t hesitate to refer to it as a fairy tale in the title of the article. Ruckman’s views on this topic are very strange and hard to follow, but in the following paragraph we will summarize our understanding of his teachings on the matter as well as we can after piecing together many statements scattered throughout his writings. Then throughout the article we will provide quotes from his writings to prove we are not misrepresenting or taking Ruckman out of context (at least not knowingly). Ruckman teachings comes from a pretribulation rapture, premillennial return of Christ view, but he goes way beyond the beliefs of many who hold such views. Here are how we understand his views summarized in one paragraph:
According to Ruckman, people can be saved by works during the tribulation after the rapture; however, for those who are not martyred, there is a penalty. They will never experience the resurrection; therefore they will never receive glorified bodies. They can only gain immortality for their natural bodies by eating from the Tree of Life on their birth month. Their descendants during the Millennium will also have to be saved by works, will remain in a natural body, and must also partake of the Tree of Life on their birth month to live forever. Due to overpopulation (because of painless childbirth, no sickness, etc.) within a few hundred years of the start of the Millennium, these saved people in natural bodies will populate outer space infinitely with a new race. The Christians who are in 33 year-old male glorified bodies will be called upon to transport couples in natural bodies to other planets where these couples are placed in gardens and commanded to be fruitful and multiply. They first populate the twelve constellations or “houses” of the Zodiac and then outer space. This goes on infinitely and forever. The Bible tells us very little about those who get saved during the tribulation who are not martyred, as well as their saved descendants during the Millennium. Ruckman tries to fill in the blanks with his twisted imagination by treating them as second-class believers in eternity, who are stuck with a natural (howbeit immortal) body, continue the earthly practice of reproduction, many forced to live on other planets because of overpopulation, and in this and other manners are denied some promises and privileges of Old and New Testament saints who receive a glorified body and remain in God’s presence for all eternity. The Bible does not teach nor hint or suggest that there will be second-class believers for whom some promises of heavenly bliss in eternity do not apply. There is no biblical reason to suggest some in eternity will be forced to be involved in earthly activities that are inferior to God's plan for us in His presence as described in the Bible. As to Ruckman’s teachings of works salvation in other ages, see Ruckman’s multiple plans of salvation for different ages.
In his own words
The most concise quote that summarizes Ruckman’s view that we could locate in his own words on this matter is as follows:
The gist of Revelation 22:2 is that on the new earth, in eternity, there are twelve nations divided off by twelve boundaries, and these nations are composed of nations who were saved during the Tribulation (Matt 25) and during the Millennium (Rev 19). These "saved nations" go into the city, partake of the "tree of life" to get their eternal life, and then they spend eternity reproducing and multiplying infinitely and going out into outer space, and populating first the twelve constellations that make up the zodiac, and then from there they move on out into outer space. (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 592)
Ruckman does not restrict his views on populating outer space to the millennial kingdom. Most, if not all who believe in a literal millennial kingdom starting with believers from the tribulation period, believe reproduction will take place during the millennium, resulting in many of the offspring rebelling against God (Rev. 20:8). However, as just quoted, Ruckman offers a Mormon-like teaching of those saved during the tribulation and millennium reproducing for all eternity in outer space.
In Ruckman's version of serving God in eternity, it will consist mostly of transporting members of a sinless race to outer space to enable them to fulfill their commission of endless sexual reproduction:
God’s purpose, according to Deuteronomy 32:8, 4:19; 2 Peter 3:13; and Isaiah 9:7, was to populate the universe with a sinless race of Christ-honoring, God-worshipping duplicates of Adam and Eve with the commission they had (Gen. 1:28). Not one “Christian” reading this article will be involved in this endless sexual reproduction, for every one of you now will have been a sinlessly perfect male 1,000 years before this process begins (Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:1–3). … If you “serve” God in eternity (Rev. 22:3), most of it will be universal transportation of couples to planets. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Jan. 2009, pp. 7-8)
If we are to believe Ruckman, what we have to look forward to in serving God throughout eternity will consist mostly of transporting couples into outer space for them to enjoy endless sex. What blasphemy! The passage that Ruckman used as a pretext to teach this was one of which he declared had an "advanced revelation" in the King James Bible.
More than one type of eternal life
In order to try to make the Bible match his predeterminations, Ruckman comes up with more than one type of eternal life. Notice his choice of words in the following quote:
But the eternal life that these Gentiles get from the Tree of Life is different from that of the Christian. Christians don’t bear children in Eternity (Matt. 22:30); these Gentiles do (Isa. 9:7; Psa. 103:17). When these children reach a certain age (probably 33 ½ years old—see 1 John 3:2), they enter into the city on the month each of them was born (Isa. 66:22-23) through the gate assigned to the nation to which each of them belongs. They then eat from the Tree of Life the specific fruit that grows on it for their nation (Rev. 22:3). As these “nations” grow in number and become too many for the earth to sustain, God transports them to one of the twelve “houses” of the Zodiac to populate outer space (see note on Deut. 4:19). (Ruckman, Peter. Ruckman Reference Bible. First edition, p. 1669)
As for Deut. 4:19, the context of the three previous verses leading up to verse 19 is all about the idolatry of things on the earth and under the earth. In verse 19 the focus then changes to warning about not worshiping what is above the earth. The stars were only mentioned in a list that included the moon, the sun, and to make it all-encompassing, “all the host of heaven.” So the context is the prohibition of worshipping objects in space. With this context in mind, when the verse ends saying “which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven,” it is giving God the credit for placing them where they are so all people everywhere can benefit from them. God is the one who has distributed them in a way that we can all benefit equally, so all worship should be directed to the One who created and divided them for all to enjoy. There is not a hint of space travel or outer space habitation in the context, but rather a prohibition of idolatry involving everything in, below, and above the earth.
Second class believers Notice in the following quotes how Ruckman continues to develop what we call a second or inferior class of believers:
The indication is that the only people who get a glorified body like Jesus Christ are people in the Church Age. The only people who get a 33-year-old sinless body are people saved in the dispensation of grace. All others get their eternal life by partaking of a tree, and they go into eternity male and female, exactly like Adam and Eve were before they fell. (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 587) Only saints in the Church Age ever receive bodies like Jesus Christ, and there is no indication that any man saved in the Tribulation, or the Millennium, ever gets a “glorified body.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 552) Since no glorified bodies are given out after the rapture, all future saints are subject to death unless they eat of the tree of life denied to Adam. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Study Charts and Outlines. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1997, p. 10) As I’ve said before, if these passages deal with eternity, it means that there will be flesh-and-blood people on the earth during eternity, and they would die unless they partook of the “tree of life,” which is how they get their eternal life—not by believing on Jesus Christ! (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 579)
Ruckman’s plan for the population of outer space
Christ is going to come back and sit down on the throne of David, and reign over a political, visible, Messianic, Davidic, earthly, Palestinian kingdom over the house of Jacob. This kingdom is going to branch out – with its branches named after the sons of Jacob – and go out to the solar system and galaxies, infinitely, and go out to the stars forever and ever and ever (Heb 1:14). This is God's plan for the "population of outer space." Of course, it runs contrary to everything that Cape Kennedy, Redstone, etc. plan to do. But God has no intention of populating outer space with a bunch of Christ-rejecting, Bible-denying, God-hating, drunken, slovenly, lazy, envious, jealous, self-righteous, cantankerous, griping, complaining, puffed-up, egotistical, murdering, wicked men, when He can populate it with reproductions of His Son! (See Hebrews 1:9-13.) (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 590)
2 Peter 3:12, 13 – "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Then righteousness is not just going to dwell on a new earth, but in the "new heavens," too. The implications are staggering. It means that God is going to spread mankind out and fill out the whole universe indefinitely. (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 590)
This Scriptural passage Ruckman quotes ruins his arguments about interplanetary travel. One who takes the Bible literally would not expect the planets as we know them to survive God’s plans as described in 2 Peter 3:12-13. However, notice how Ruckman ignores this prophecy in specifying planets by name:
He is called out on trips, and these trips take him to Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, etc., transporting couples into gardens, placing them down and saying, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (!) (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 596)
Notice Ruckman's science fiction approach to Scriptures in this bizarre description:
This new earth is populated by 12 nations of men who are segregated and bounded, as God originally intended (Deut 32:7, 8). Over them stands Israel, reigning supreme, in the pyramid tract of land stretching from Babylon to Cairo, and from Mt. Ararat to the base line. These all live in natural human bodies. They are born and they grow, and then at the point of 33 ½ years of age—oh brother!—they enter the New Jerusalem on the appointed month, and are healed of the old sin-cursed Adamic nature. Where any refuse to go, or rebel, they die off. Where they obey they live forever; in a few thousand years (probably 33,000), all are living forever. They reproduce, they are fruitful, they multiply, they replenish the earth. In 5000 years they over-run the earth. CALL IN THE ASTRONAUTS!!! Call in the interplanetary airlines! Call in the “Sons of God,” who as Angels, are “sent forth to be ministering spirits to them who shall be HEIRS of salvation.” Out go the earthlings, carried two at a time, each to be placed on a new home—a new “garden of Eden.” Eden, restored a million times! Ten million times! Ten billion times! One hundred trillion times! Oh, Lord my God, how great Thou art! Ruckman, Peter. The Sure Word of Prophecy, Pensacola: Pensacola Bible Institute, 1978 printing, p. 232
Ruckman’s excuse for others not discovering his teachings in the Bible
There will be men and women on the new earth (Rev. 21-22) in the Tribulation and Millennial age and they will populate outer space (Isa. 9:6-7; 2 Peter 3). But this is another one of the "unsearchable riches" in the "archaic, Elizabethan English" carefully concealed from Price, Salem Kisban, Hal Lindsay, Willmington, Hindson, Farstad, Afman, Martin, Faulkner, Newman, MacRae, and other poor, Bible-rejecting Fundamentalists who "USE" the Book because they have to and not because they believe it. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers' Bulletin. May 1986, p. 3) God’s plan is the occupation of the constellations with perfect human beings. God has a plan to populate outer space with sinless beings, which was His original intention in Genesis 1–2. Now there isn’t one scholar with a master’s degree or a Ph.D. that you ever met in your life—not one of them, including the saved ones—that knows that because they all went to the wrong place for “wisdom and knowledge.” “Wisdom and knowledge” are hidden in Jesus Christ (Col. 2:3), and He told you to “search the scriptures” (John 5:39). (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers' Bulletin. March 2011, p. 3 The truth is, there are twelve constellations for twelve nations to inhabit in eternity, after the Millennium is over. Each nation has been assigned a constellation, exactly as each nation has to have a matchmate from the twelve tribes of Israel (Deut. 32:8). All of this is obscure and hidden from “the wise and prudent” (Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21) because they mess with the Book. (Ruckman, Peter. Ruckman Reference Bible. First edition, p. 290) The Body of Christ has rejected the King James Bible as the Word of God, and God has refused to show them what it says about outer space. (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 577)
Do the Scriptures back up Ruckman? A test case.
The simple reason Ruckman comes up with tired excuses why others can’t discover what he comes up with is because it comes from his imagination, not the Bible. Anyone can string together a long list of references after making a statement, but it proves nothing if the references do not clearly back up the statement, or lack an obligatory methodical explanation as to how a conclusion was reached from such references. As an example of how references Ruckman uses are weak or outright do not teach what he says they do, we provide the following paragraph in which he mentions a total of seven verses:
But the eternal life that these Gentiles get from the Tree of Life is different from that of the Christian. Christian’s don’t bear children in Eternity (Matt. 22:30); these Gentiles do (Isa. 9:7; Psa. 103:17). When these children reach a certain age (probably 33 ½ years old—see 1 John 3:2), they enter into the city on the month each of them was born (Isa. 66:22-23) through the gate assigned to the nation to which each of them belongs. They then eat from the Tree of Life the specific fruit that grows on it for their nation (Rev. 22:3). As these “nations” grow in number and become too many for the earth to sustain, God transports them to one of the twelve “houses” of the Zodiac to populate outer space (see note on Deut. 4:19). (Ruckman, Peter. Ruckman Reference Bible. First edition, p. 1669)
We don't disagree with the statement preceding Mat. 22:30, so we will not quote the verse here. Now notice how the remaining six verses from the statement above do not say what he says they do:
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Psa 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Isa 66:22-23 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
If one can take a verse like Isa. 9:7 that is plainly teaching about Christ the King’s power and authority that will increase and know no limits (it contains keywords such as government, throne, kingdom, order, judgment, justice) and sexualize and sensationalize the verse into inhabitants procreating so much as to overpopulate the earth and forcing them off to other planets that God already said would be destroyed, it is utterly absurd and makes a total mockery of Bible interpretation!
Of six verses, Isaiah 66:22 is the only one that remotely approaches something that Ruckman says, but that verse could be subjected to diverse interpretations. Seed remaining could be interpreted as spiritual seed, but even interpreting it as physical seed, it does not specify how long, or if it will extend beyond the earth or many other details of Ruckman’s fairy tale. Notice that when Ruckman provides a reference that supposedly backs up something unusual he is saying with the Bible, he often does not quote the very verse or even a phrase or as much as a key word to exegete the Scriptures. He does not attempt to “draw out” the meaning from the Scripture. Perhaps because a balanced exegesis would reveal the weaknesses of his proof texts!
First-class believer duties in eternity according to Ruckman
The Bible would indicate that our job is inter-planetary space transportation and communication! (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 596) In this condition, the Christian throughout all eternity is in a 33 year-old male, sinless body, just like Jesus Christ, and he enjoys fellowship with God and the saints forever. He is called out on trips, and these trips take him to Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, etc., transporting couples into gardens, placing them down and saying, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (!) (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 596)
So different from what the Bible describes in the book of Revelation!
Dabbling with Astrology
God puts a particular fruit on the Tree of Life each month which gives eternal life to the citizens of the particular Gentile nation that enters the city that month. From there each Gentile nation is given one of the houses of the Zodiac. The astrologers at least have that part right. The second heaven is divided into twelve “houses” with a constellation of the Zodiac dominating that “house.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Romans: The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series. Pensacola, FL: BB Bookstore, 2003, p. 178)
God’s plan, then, must be connected with the constellations and the galaxies. As sure as there are twelve nations, twelve months, and twelve gates, there are twelve groups of constellations in the heavens called “the zodiac.” These are set for “signs and seasons” (Gen. 1:14), and have a bearing on the events that will take place on this earth. The twelve signs of the zodiac are as follows: 1. Aries 2. Taurus 3. Gemini 4. Cancer 5. Leo 6. Virgo 7. Libra 8. Scorpius 9. Sagittarius 10. Capricornus 11. Aquarius 12. Pisces You’ll find these 12 constellations in any book on astronomy or any book on astrology. They match the months, which means (and the thought is tremendous) that God has ordained on this earth twelve boundaries, with twelve nations, who are destined to leave this earth (transported by angels – Luke 16:22), and populate outer space infinitely and forever, beginning with the twelve constellations that are seen on the earth once every twelve months. We will find a confirmation of this teaching in Isaiah. (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982 printing, p. 588)
The truth is, there are twelve constellations for twelve nations to inhabit in eternity, after the Millennium is over. Each nation has been assigned a constellation, exactly as each nation has to have a matchmate from the twelve tribes of Israel (Deut. 32:8). All of this is obscure and hidden from “the wise and prudent” (Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21) because they mess with the Book. (Ruckman, Peter. Ruckman Reference Bible. First edition, p. 290)
Granted, there is much about prophecy over which good Christians disagree. However, towards the end of Revelation we are assured that believers will dwell with God, and that God himself will be with them, not spread out everywhere reproducing between the new earth and planets of outer space!
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Rev. 21:3)
What Ruckman is saying about prophecy involving space travel and reproduction –not just during the millennium but beyond into eternity– is silly and baseless, and a product of his big imagination that is not restrained by the plain teachings of the Word of God. We have noticed that even Ruckman’s biggest promoters tend to be silent about this matter. Once again, Ruckman is demonstrated to be unworthy of being taken seriously and his teachings should be discarded by those who take the Biblical admonition of 1 Jn. 4:1 seriously: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.