Several years ago my mother, who is in heaven now, asked me if we were going to have to go through the tribulation. I said mom, Jesus told us that our lives would be filled with tribulations merely because we have a relationship with Jesus Christ. However, there is a separation between everyday life, and this seven-year period that is the time of wrath – we seem to have a strange attraction to calling it, the Great Tribulation. I realize where those words come from.
Tribulation is the Greek word thlipsis and it means pressure, affliction, anguish, persecution, trouble, and avoiding the obvious – tribulation.
An interesting thing about translations. I looked at four and got a different word in place of tribulation each time. So let’s look at Revelation 7:14 with some substitute words. Pick a noun from above and insert it below, they all work.
I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great (________,) and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14 NASB)
Pressure works very well here. Honestly, I have been alarmed at how rapidly the move to a global government has come upon us. One could deem it as pressure. We are getting pressured to get several injections of their poison under the guise of a Covid 19 flu shot; although they won’t tell you that it is meant to kill you, or that you can no longer participate in public venues or go shopping, as though you are the problem. Consider using the word propaganda to explain much of this, as we, on a daily basis, get pounded with “information” about the Covid.
All of this is conveyed throughout the Bible, but primarily in the Revelation and in Daniel’s prophecies. Revelation 9:21 and Revelation 16:9, 11, all tell me that these people DO NOT repent of their deeds or their murders.
The thing that I really wanted to talk about happened on multiple occasions, at a men’s bible study I used to attend. Yep, I left that “study” and this was one of the reasons why.
The leader of the bible study, on this particular day, said, no one goes into the millennial reign but Christians! Really? This is not only brash and ignorant, it is racist as he is excluding the Jews. Although he promoted the idea that he was approved by the Assemblies of God, it was obvious that he never read the bible for himself, because if he had, he would know that many Jews survive, turn to Jesus, and enter the millennial reign.
Isaiah 37:32 NASB “For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”‘
You can also find this idea of survivors in Joel’s writings. Notice that I gave you a lead-in that enforces that these survivors are coming out of a time of great distress.
Joel 2:31-32 NASB “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (32) “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.”
The prophet Isaiah also said this.
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:2-3 NASB)
In Revelation 21 we see terminology that should make us believe that we have finally made it to heaven. For example, Verse one states “ I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” Try to explain how heaven and earth can pass away without fire – a fire that burns everything, which should include any mortals.
I want you to think about something. Since we the church will have been changed into a non-corruptible body, free from sin, then what are we?
The answer is easy, though your mind will fight with the idea, we are immortals, like Jesus and the Father.
Anyone surviving, and not going through that change, would still be what?
Mere mortals, and therefore subject to death.
Since we know that death is separation from God, are these mortals, during the millennial reign, still subject to being separated from God?
Yes, and we know this because Satan, having been released at the end of the thousand years, deceives the mortals into attempting an overthrow of God one last time and many follow him to his eternal hell. As we read this story it appears that all of them fall for this ploy and God burns them with fire. Soon thereafter there is a final judgment. You would think that God saw every bit of this “mutiny” and erased any chance of them maintaining a lasting relationship with Him. Even as I write this, I can hear the Holy Spirit saying to me, you don’t know that. Aren’t you the one who proclaims that I am the God of mercy? Well then, leave all that judgment stuff up to Me.
In battles, do you typically see women and children going into battle?
No, and in the Middle Eastern cultures, women have roles and rarely step out of those roles.
So, is it reasonable to see everyone living outside of the New Jerusalem as being completely burned up?
The answer is no. It is also reasonable to think that as the husband of the family goes, so goes the family. How God deals with this is not clear to me, but then there are those leaves on the trees of life, that provide healing for the nations. If no one has told you this, allow me. God is merciful beyond your wildest expectations.
There is no need for another trial when it comes to Satan, as his final sentence has already been proclaimed; therefore, he is immediately sent to his hell along with its eternal separation from God.
Now, where are those who tried to overthrow God in a final mutiny and got themselves burned up?
Ecclesiastes tells us,
For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5 NASB)
They are, at least for a few minutes, laying there on the ground where they fell, without a thought.
So, at this point have we moved on from the millennial reign into the perpetual heavenly kingdom?
The answer is, not yet. For those that would want to argue, I understand that for the believer who was caught up in the rapture, we are, from that point on immortal. That means the world and the sin that continues to exist there, cannot touch us. From the beginning of the millennial reign and forward, there will be peace.
But, there is an obvious catch to this, and that is where Revelation 21:8 comes into play.
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NASB)
If I were to preach that only Christians can enter the millennial reign, then obviously I would have to tear out a few pages of my bible in order to maintain that belief. For the Jew-haters among us, I have already pointed out that they too enter the millennial reign and have every right to be counted among those of Revelation 21:8.
Since the entirety of the Revelation is prophetic and subject to validation through repetition, where else can I find a theme like this?
Students of scripture, in John’s day, would have been very familiar with the prophet Jeremiah
“Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom And her inhabitants like Gomorrah. (Jeremiah 23:14 NASB)
Here, God equates these evildoers to the prophets of Jerusalem. This is speaking of leadership; let that sink in for a moment.
We also have a directive from God to not be fearful.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
When I get to Revelation 21, I get the sense that all this pain is about to end, but, like I said, for those who follow Christ, it has.
Revelation 21:1-6 NASB Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. (2) And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, (4) and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (5) And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (6) Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
As I move slowly through the words I see in Revelation 21:1-6, I see the long-awaited hope coming to pass. However, I keep forgetting that I am one of those who is embedded in Christ and therefore will have already received my kingdom reward. That means that the crowd standing around, perpetuating abominable sins, while living during the millennial reign, will have NO impact on me.
If you think they do, then you too have forgotten that the millennial reign will be ruled by righteous judges who react as swift as lightning. Sure, the mortals will continue to die, but aging will be something like we read about in Genesis, where 900 years was not unusual.
(Kingdom rewards can easily equate to the feared Bema Seat. It is only feared because of lousy teaching, from lousy teachers, who are trying to control a people that is NOT theirs to control. We belong to Christ and it is the Holy Spirit of God that leads us and teaches us all things and shows us things to come.)
So, have we passed from the millennial reign and into the eternal heaven, that is free from sin?
Again, yes and no. No, because there is one more thing that has to happen, and that is the great white throne judgment. This is the same throne we see in Matthew 24. I know that sends many of you off the edge, as you want everyone passing before this “great white throne” to die a fiery death. Sorry, but that does NOT happen.
Guess what, I do not find the Great white throne in Revelation 21 or 22, so I have to go back to Revelation 20 to find it, but I am going to go back to Revelation 19 to understand what is going on here.
Revelation 19:1-5 is a grand announcement, and verse two may encapsulate what is being said.
BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” (Revelation 19:2 NASB)
In short, the people who are shoving this vaccine in our arms are the harlot.
The next announcement is that the marriage of the Lamb has come.
“Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
(Revelation 19:6-10 NASB)
Since the church – the bride has already been in heaven, with Jesus, for seven years, apparently, we have to wait until this moment in time. And then the most unusual things happen.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13 NASB)
You show up to your wedding and the groom is covered in blood! He is actively at war and the armies of heaven follow Him.
And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (Revelation 19:14 NASB)
It only takes a minimum amount of research to figure that this is the church following Him. Hey, I did not sign up for this! Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that I am immortal at this point and cannot be defeated. Besides, Jesus does all the fighting, even though I have a sinister desire to bring some justice to earth.
Note the analogy, a wine press.
From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:15-16 NASB)
If He is treading out people, in a winepress, then what is coming out of the press?
Yep, blood, as deep as the horse’s bridle.
Now it gets gross.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid heaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.(Revelation 19:17-21 NASB)
I thought we were being invited to the marriage supper of the lamb. I must admit I am a bit confused. It matters not as I am now, and forever, permanently with Him; and, I am on the winning side of the battle. But still, the imagery throws me for a loop.
How many people get killed in this battle?
The antichrist and the false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire.
The rest, all those who have come for war, are killed. What, that is NOT what I have been taught. Yeah, more of that lousy teaching encroaching on our sanity.
“so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men, and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.”
Are you telling me, that if they did not assemble for the war they are spared?
Yes, now you are catching on; and the merciful God allows these people entrance into the millennial reign. These non-combatants are not constantly forced to submit to a daily set of religious rules. They are, however, forced to come to Jerusalem once every year and participate in the week-long feast of booths. During this time they must be compliant and bow before God or lose their rainwater for a year. A second offense they immediately turn to dust. Look at it this way, during the days of grace you could turn your back on God and ignore Him, not anymore.
How many people are thrown into the lake of fire?
The answer is right there before you, but, because of, yes you got it, lousy teachers, we think everyone gets tossed and that is not the case, as yet. So far there are only two, and we have covered this already.
Then where are all the dead, and it seems that there are many?
Lying quietly in the ground, another subject we already covered.
Think about this, the earth is filled with corpses, and innumerable plastics that take around 10 thousand years to break down, not to mention the toxic waste we have created and left behind. God has a plan for all that, and it is to burn it all up. When this happens, and the best I can do is to apply some form of broken logic as to when best to do this, would be right after the “great white throne judgment, somehow, someway, this earth will burn. Not to worry as there will be a new one made immediately thereafter.
Why burn the earth up right after the Great White Throne?
Because after the Great White Throne judgment there will be no one left but immortals. There are always people who display their twisted, un-biblical thinking because they see these people as gaining access without Jesus. If we consider Matthew’s account we see the gentle shepherd separating the crowd of dead people into two groups, one is called the sheep and the other, the goats. The sheep are given entrance into the kingdom, while the goats are told:
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46 NASB)
Do you really believe that people, and we will call them sheep for this example, are merely walking into the kingdom by their own selection; who do you think is sitting upon that throne, the Apostle John?
It is Jesus; and, you seem to forget that the trees of life are lining the banks of the river and that the leaves of those trees are for the healing of the nations.
in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2 NASB)
What do you think, especially in the millennial reign, healing looks like?
It looks a lot like salvation.
Think about this, God is not the least concerned with time or laws of gravity and such; Jesus walked through a locked door for crying out loud; and, He is not concerned about your lack of faith and trust in His decision to bring others into the kingdom as sons and daughters.
Chapter twenty of the Revelation shows the dragon captured and put out of harm's way for a thousand years.
You might ask, what does that have to do with Revelation 22. The answer is, there is no one here on earth to promote sin, such as the dragon/Satan.
Don’t you realize that the evil we see in these people are things that they have brought with them in their heads and hearts; and yet, they are still allowed to live outside the New Jerusalem during the millennial reign?
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.” (Revelation 22:14-15 KJV)
So when we get to the great white throne, where are all these dead people coming from?
Revelation 20:5-6 NASB The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Well, we just saw those who came to fight with Jesus killed. Others, outside of martyrdom, have died during the time of wrath (the seven-year period), and then there is everyone that died outside of a relationship with Jesus prior to the catching away of the church. Look, if you were in a relationship with Jesus, and you died, you got caught up, so don’t sweat it.
But I don’t know precisely how to explain everyone prior to the cross of Christ. This is where I throw them into the merciful hands of God, and, I have something to validate that idea.
Matthew 25: 31-46 speaks of a final judgment, that some like to call the sheep and goat judgment. It is the same judgment as the great white throne judgment we see in the Revelation. If you balking at that idea, then you need to follow a logical path. If we start with the premise that Jesus is God, then He is the one seated on both thrones. In the Revelation, He comes as an angry God, but in Matthew’s account, He is a gentle shepherd, (If you have been watching The Chosen on YouTube, then you will understand this better.)