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My Objections To   A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 1 )

There is not a single verse in both 1 & 2 Thessalonians that teaches either explicitly or implicitly that some Christians shall be raptured and receive glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies pretribulationally before the antiChrist is revealed. Rather it teaches that that day in which the rapture will take place will not occur until two events take place ( 2 Thess.2:3 ). First, the Man Of Sin, the Son Of Perdition, the antiChrist must be revealed ( unveiled ). Second, there shall be an apostasia ( Hellenistic, Classical Greek: apostasis ), a falling away from the Faith. The massive abandonment of the Christian Faith will be precipitated by the unveiling of the antiChrist as a dead man who ruled over one of the seven previous Beast Empires of Satan, was killed with a military weapon in battle, descended into the abyss, and ascends from there to rule over the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan ( Rev.13:3, 17:8 ). He will demand to be worshipped by all mortals. He will use food and commerce as bargaining chips ( Rev.13:17 ). His unveiling will take place in the yet to be rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. This is the abomination of desolation which will occur at the midpoint of the 70th week ( Dan.9:27; Matt.24:15; Mk.13:14 ). It is concurrent and coincident with the invasion of Jerusalem by the armies of the antiChrist ( Luk.21: 20-24 ). For clarity, consult this article: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=Two+critical+events.

The Holy Spirit as the restrainer is another pretrib mantra. It is not revealed any where in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer. The Holy Spirit cannot hitchhike with the Church at the Rapture. The Holy Spirit as the Third Person Of The Godhead, the Trinity, has always been here. He was here at the Creation. He glided over the waters ( Gen.1:1-2 ). He anointed Moses and the prophets of Israel. Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil Act.10:38 ). That was before Pentecost. At Pentecost, a new relationship between man and God was created within the framework of a new order, the New Covenant. After the Rapture, the Holy Spirit will still be here. As God He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The two witnesses will be uniquely and extraordinarily anointed of the Holy Spirit ( Rev.11 ).

The restrainer is not an NT doctrine. It is Christian scholars who debate about his identity. The restrainer is an OT doctrine. His identity has been known in Judaism for hundreds of years before Christianity. His identity has been revealed by jewish scholars like Rashi. He is archangel Michael who stands for the people of God ( Dan.12:1 ). His identity is known to Paul’s immediate audience in 2 Thess.2:6-8. That is why Paul did not bother to name him in that passage. After he casts Satan down to the Earth at the midpoint of the 70th week, he shall “amad,” that is stop doing what he normally does which is restraining the Devil. Then there shall be Great Tribulation ( Rev.12:7-9 ). When Satan is cast down to the Earth, he shall possess the antiChrist who shall declare himself God ( Rev.13:2 ). Satan has Great wrath when cast down to the Earth because he knows he has a short time. He will go to make war with the remnant of the seed of the woman who keep the commandment of God ( observant Jews who repudiate his authority by refusal to bear his Mark of allegiance, the Mark of the Beast ), and those who have the testimony of Jesus ( the believers who refuse to take the Mark of the Beast ). Who are those who have the testimony of Jesus? Are they not believers in Jesus The Christ? They are some of the greats of the saints at this momentous hour of history. How can they be feeble saints left behind to bear the brunt of the antiChrist’s reign of terror?

There are no Scriptures that teach that there are two phases of the Christ’s Second Advent. The Greek word Parousia translated coming is a compound word consisting of para and ousia which mean coming and subsequent presence with. Like the First Advent, there is a series of events like the annunciation, the birth of Christ, the presentation in the Temple, His temptation, His three year Ministry, arrest, trial and condemnation, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, appearances to His disciples, ascension and session and intercessary ministry at the right hand of the Throne Of The Father at the Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven ( Heb.7:25 ). The Second Advent begins with the breaking of the 6th seal which begins with a massive earthquake, followed by cosmic disturbances that darkens the heavens and freezes the Earth ( Rev.6:12,13 ). This shall be followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, which is the sign of the coming of the Son of Man in the heavens ( Matt.24:29,30 ). When the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the saints are advised to look up, for their redemption draweth nigh ( Luk.21:28 ). If the rapture had already taken place, what is their redemption at this time? The Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the Yahweh of Israel. Every eye shall see Him when He appears in the darkened heavens with an entourage of angels who will blow the trumpet and gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other to meet the Lord in the air ( 1 Thess.4:14-17 ). So the Rapture annot be silent, quiet or secret as pretribs teach. Quite the opposite, the heavens shall blaze it forth.

The trumpet will be blown. Christ will dispatch His angels to gather His elect from the fours corners of the Earth. But before then, the 144,000 must be reconciled to God and sealed for protection with the name of God ( Rev.7:1-8, 14:1 ). God will not leave Himself without a witness. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. The Church will be taken away in the Rapture, and the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel will become God’s witness on Earth. Then the 7th seal shall be broken and the wrath of God begins. After the wrath of God which ends at Armageddon at the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the whole Earth will be renovated during the 45-day Restoration Period, and Christ coronated by the Father in Heaven to reign over the Earth in the Millenium. These series of events constitute the Second Coming Of The Lord. There is no silent or secret rapture anywhere in the Scriptures. That is a pretrib concoction and fabrication. The people of the Earth who see His appearance like lightning in the heavens shall mourn ( Matt.24:29-31; Rev.1:7 ). See article on The Tribulation The Great: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=The+Great+Tribulation.

The Sheep and the Goats are not Christians as you have rightly pointed out. They are Gentiles unbelievers who did not take the Mark of the Beast who survived the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God. The basis of their judgment is how they treated the Lord’s brethren ( Jews and believers ) during the Great Tribulation ( Matt.25:31-46 ). The Sheep shall be justified to enter and repopulate the Earth in the Millennium alongside their Jewish counterpart who survive the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God, specifically the first six trumpet judgments.

Your view of and comment on the 5th seal matters is both fallacious and egregious at the same time ( Rev.6:9-11 ). The pretribs have always denigrated these wonderful saints as spiritual weaklings who could not make the first round up. This is totally false. These were martyred for “the word of God and the testimony which they held.” They were quartered under the the golden altar of incense in the Holy Place in the Temple in heaven from where they make their plea of vengeance to God. They are referred to as souls because they have not received their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies because the Rapture has not yet taken place. They were instructed by God to wait until their fellow believers who were to killed is complete. There is certain number of believers to be martyred before God can interrupt the Great Tribulation with cosmic and celestial disturbances. This number is not revealed to us. The secret things belong to God ( Deut.29:29 ).

The patience of the saints during the Great Tribulation is that if anyone is destined to killed with the sword, with the sword, the one shall be killed; and if anyone is destined to go into captivity, the one shall be taken into captivity ( Rev.13:10 ). The KJV translation of this verse is faulty, and does not reflect the original meaning of the Greek. At the time these saints made their plea to God, the killing was still going on here on Earth under the 4th seal which is the Great Tribulation. The 5th seal is entirely a heavenly scene, a reflection of the killings going here on Earth. It is therefore concurrent, coincident, and simultaneous with the 4th seal. The other seals are progressive and consecutive. There is no distance in the real of the spirit. The souls and spirits of the 5th seal martyrs arrive in heaven as soon as they killed here on Earth. Whatever happens to the saints who are taken captive if the rapture has already taken place? The 5th seal martyrs are raptured with the others in Rev.7:9-17. They are not inferior to the other saints at all. If anything, they are highly honored. If the wrath of God has begun at the commencement of the 70th week as pretribs teach, then God should be held accountable for the death of the 5th seal martyrs. This is utter nonsense. Please read my refutation, a critique and rebuttal of Dr. Dave Williams 20 pieces of counsel or advice to those left behind after the Rapture: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=Critique+and+rebuttal.

Christ will come as a thief for those who do not known the times and the seasons. Those who are in darkness. We the saints are not in darkness. We are of the day being children of light, not of night nor of darkness. That day cannot come upon us unawares ( 1 Thess.5:1-13 ). We cannot know the day and the hour of His coming but we can know the general time period. The Fig tree is a sign of approximation not the symbol of Israel as you taught in your book ( Matt.24:32-35 ). In the Lukan account ( Luk.2129-33 ), it says “and all the trees.” All the trees cannot be the symbol of Israel. When those in the temperate region see the Fig tree and all the trees begin to sprout after the Fall and the Winter and the rain in the Spring, they know that Summer is near. Likewise when we see the events of the 70th week of Daniel begin to unfold, we know that the coming of the Lord draws near. This generation shall not pass till these things be fulfilled ( Matt.24:34 ). The generation of believers that shall enter the 70th week, experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation perpetrated by the antiChrist and his acolytes shall be the generation of believers that shall be raptured alive. That generation shall witness the end of the Ages at which point in the eschatological timeline that the rapture occurs. The end of the Ages is the point of transition from this age to the age to come which is the Millennial reign of Christ. For details, see my article on the Fig Tree: https://mtzionheritage.com/123-2/. See also the article on the parable Of The Wheat And The Tares: https://mtzionheritage.com/the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-the-tares/.

Avraham Shallom.

The Millennium

The Millennium

The Millennium

The word millennium is derived from two Latin words, mille which means thousand, and annum which means year. Millennium therefore means one thousand years. In eschatology, the millennium refers to the one thousand

-year reign of Christ which occurs at the end of the present age after the battle of Armageddon. The word millennium occurs only in chapter 20 of the Scroll of Revelation in the entire Bible. It is used six times in the first seven verses of Revelation 20. It refers to the literal one thousand-year reign of Christ. Although the reign of the Messiah was well known to the OT prophets, the length of that reign was not specified. Therefore its duration was not known to the OT prophets. They knew it would be for a long time; for the prophet Isaiah wrote: ” There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed” ( Is.65:20). If a man who dies at the age of one hundred years is regarded as a child, then certainly the old shall be several hundreds of years of age.

It is part of the mysteries of the kingdom of God.  A biblical mystery is something that has always been part of God’s plan which was not revealed in the OT, but was revealed in the NT, and is always known by divine revelation. We can see that the millennium has all the three characteristics of a biblical mystery. It therefore qualifies, and should be referred to as a biblical mystery; for there is no way John the revelator would have known it other than by divine revelation, inasmuch as it was not revealed to any of the OT or NT prophets who were before him. It was not even revealed to any of his contemporary apostles and prophets. Though they were aware of the millennial reign of the Messiah, none of them other than the Apostle John the revelator specified its duration in their writings.

God created the world in six days. On the seventh day He rested, and He hallowed it ( Gen.2:1-3). After the creation of man, God leased the world to Adam. The heaven of heavens belong to God, but the earth has He given to the sons of men ( Ps.115:16). Adam was to be God’s representative in the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom. God is a spirit being without a physical body with which to relate to the external physical environment . So, He could not rule the world directly. He could only do so by proxy. Adam became His point man. Adam was to reign over the earth for six days, each day corresponding to a thousand years or a millennium ( 2Pet.3:8). The seventh day is the Shabbat of the Lord. Man works for six days, the seventh is the Shabbat of the Lord ( Exod.20:8-11). Therefore Adam’s rule over the earth was to last six millennia. According to Jewish calendar we are in the sixth millennium. This year beginning Tishri 1 is 5776. The Jewish calendar which is lunisolar is dated from day one of the creation of Adam. At the expiry of the sixth millennium, at the commencement of the seventh millennium, the rulership of the earth will revert back to God who is the owner and Land Lord of the earth. ” Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of the heavens and the earth” ( Gen.14:19).

But Adam transferred the rulership of the earth to Satan when he transgressed the commandment of the LORD ” not to eat the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” ( Gen.2:16,17). Satan became the God of this Age. Satan’s rule over the earth will expire at the end of the sixth millennium which is the end of God’s lease to Adam. Adam’s transaction with Satan was legal and binding inasmuch as Adam was God’s representative in the earthly realm of His Universal Kingdom. Adam had the legal right to transfer the lease to Satan inasmuch as he was God’s representative in the earthy domain of His Universal Kingdom, but not the moral right.

In the temptation Satan promised to hand over to Jesus the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them if He would bow down and worship him ( Matt.4:9; Luk.4:6,7). Jesus did not question Satan’s right to the rulership of the earth, simply because it was a legal transaction between Satan and Adam. If it were not so, the temptation would carry no weight. As a matter of fact, Jesus addressed him as the prince of this age ( Jon.14:30). He is the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air ( Eph.2:2). Satan was seeking a subordinate role for Jesus under his rulership in the Millennium. He attempted to trick Jesus into accepting  the crown  without the cross. If Jesus had failed, there would have been no pure human blood with which to redeem man. There would have been no kinsman redeemer or Goel. He very well knew that Jesus was God’s representative in the earthly realm of His Universal Kingdom after the fall of Adam. Satan being the trickster that he is never mentioned to Jesus the duration of his  reign over the earth. It was a limited rule based on the duration of God’s lease to Adam.

Adam never had the Title Deed of the earth. The earth was never sold to Adam. The earth was leased to him. What he had was the certificate of occupancy which would be withdrawn at the expiry of the lease. The Title Deed of the earth belongs to God who is the eternal LORD of the earth. The Title Deed of the earth is the Seven-sealed Scroll which is kept in storage at the Throne Room of the Temple in heaven. Adam was not qualified to break the seven seals and to open the Scroll. No man in heaven nor on earth was qualified to break the seals and to open the Scroll. No angel was qualified either ( Rev.5:1-3). No wonder therefore that John the revelator wept sore ( Rev.5:4). But the Lion from the tribe of Judah has prevailed to break the seals and to open the Scroll ( Rev.5:4-14). Man could play the role of the goel, but he was not sinless. Angels were sinless being locked in righteousness but could not play the role of the goel because they were not human. The goel must be human being the kinsman redeemer. Jesus though God is both human and sinless. So, He has prevailed. He is the kinsman redeemer, the goel.

At the expiry of the sixth millennium, God will recover his rulership of the earth. Because God the father has no physical body, He can only rule the earth by proxy. The first Adam failed. The second man prevailed.  ” The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from the heaven” ( 1Cor.15:47). As the last Adam, Jesus took the whole of humanity to the cross. As the second man, He created a new species of humans. If any man be in  Christ jesus, he is a new species of human being ( 2Cor.5:17). Jesus created a new species of human beings, the 42nd generation ( Matt.1:17). Jesus will be the Father’s representative here. Though He is God, He is also man. He has a physical body with which to relate to the external physical environment. Of all the three persons of the Godhead, Jesus is the only one who possesses a physical body with which to relate with external physical environment. Because He is the Son Of Man He can represent God here on earth. In the millennium, Jesus shall reign over the earth in the behalf of the Father.

Throughout all ages, great men have assayed to establish a kingdom on earth that would last a thousand years. Charlemagne nursed the ambitious plan of a thousand year Holy Roman Empire. Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany, referred to his empire as The Thousand-year Reich. That men had toyed, romanced and grappled with the idea and notion of a thousand year kingdom on earth is evident in history. They could not achieve it because they did not begin to fill the lofty credentials of the Goel. It is the prerogative of the God-man. Jesus is the God-man, the heavenly archetypal man.

The Millennial Reign Of Christ.

The Millennium will begin 75 days after the close of the seventieth  of Daniel, 40 days after Christ physically repossesses the earth at the end of the Battle of Armageddon. At the start of the Millennium, Satan shall be evicted from the earth’s premises, and incarcerated in the bottomless pit throughout the entire length of one thousand year reign of Christ” ( Rev.20:1-3). According to the prophet Daniel, after God recovers His rule over the earth from Satan, The LORD GOD Almighty will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed:

” And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall never be left to another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” ( Dan.2:44).

God Almighty shall reclaim His rule over the earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. The antiChrist and his 8th and final beast empire, the kings of the east, north and south and their kingdoms shall still be in existence at that time. They shall be annihilated four weeks late at the battle of Armageddon.

Prior to the breaking of the seals, God the Father hands over the Tittle Deed of the earth to the Son who then proceeds to break the seals. This is very significant. Adam never had the Tittle Deed of the earth. Therefore Adam was never the sovereign ruler of the earth. As we have pointed out, Jesus is given the Tittle Deed of the earth. In other words, He shall be sovereign over the earth. The Father shall give Him full authority to rule the earth. Nevertheless He shall be subject to the Father in order that the Father may be all in all. ” For He has put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” ( 1Cor.15:27,28).

Although Jesus will be the absolute and sovereign ruler of the earth in the Millennium, He shall still be subject to the Father who is the sovereign Lord of the universe.

David: The King Of Israel

This is a controversial subject. Would it be David, the king of Israel who would be resurrected to rule over the nation of Israel in the Millennium? Or would it be David’s greater son, our Lord and savior Jesus the Christ? We will probably never be that sure until we enter the Millennium.

On both sides of the top of elevated Mount Zion on which sits the millennial temple will be areas designated for the residence of David, King of Israel. The prophet Jeremiah wrote: ” But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I shall raise up unto them” ( Jer.30:9). Whether this is a direct reference to David who shall be raised up to rule over Israel in the Millennium, or David’s greater son, Jesus, is not readily resolved. The prophet Ezekiel added his voice: ” And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall have one shepherd: and they shall walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes , and do them” ( Ezekiel.37:24).

The nation of Israel shall no longer be divided. They shall have one shepherd and one God, and David will be prince over them. There will be no more false gods, and idolatry shall be wiped off from the earth. The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens ( Jer.10:11). ” And I will set up one shepherd over them, and shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it” ( Ezek.24:23,24).

 

Robert Van Kampen, one of my fathers in eschatology is of the opinion that whereas Christ rules over the whole earth, David shall rule over Israel. Christ shall rule over the whole earth from His Throne Room in the rebuilt Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. This will be the fourth and the millennial temple sitting atop the summit of the renovated, expansive and elevated Mount Zion. On either side of the holy area, to the east and to the west, will be areas designated for the prince, from where David will rule over Israel. Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel shall be renovated and so also the whole land of Israel. ” Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the place shall remain after the manner thereof” ( Jer.30:18).

The twelve Apostles of the Lamb shall be rulers over the twelve tribes of Israel. ” Ye are they which have continued with Me in my temptations. And I appoint unto a kingdom, as My Father hath  appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” ( Luk.22:28-30). ” And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son Of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” ( Matt.19:28).

Other Kings And Kingdoms 

During the Millennium, there will still be nations. These nations will be administered by their own rulers. The resurrected saints shall have oversight over these nations. The resurrected saints shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. ” Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” Rev.20:6).  The saints who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast neither his image, who refused to be beast-marked either on their foreheads or in their hands shall also be resurrected on the first day of the Millennium, and shall reign with Christ a thousand years. ” And saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” ( Rev.20:4).

These other nations shall have their own governmental structure and organization under the overall rulership of Christ. During the Millennium, God’s glory shall illuminate not only Israel and her Holy City Jerusalem, but also all the other nations of the world and their cities. ” And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. Solomon, the wise, rich and opulent king of Israel is usually not spoken of as a prophet, but in Psalm 72, he prophesied about the universal reign of the Messiah over the nations and kings of the earth. ” He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness ( the Arab and Asian nations) shall bow before Him: and His enemies shall lick the dust. The Kings of Tarshish and of the isles( European and Asian nations ) shall bring presents: the Kings of Sheba and Seba ( African nations) shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him” ( Ps.72:8-11).

During the Millennium, all the nations of the earth will not only serve and glorify God, they shall also serve and honor Israel. They shall not afflict the Jewish people any more as they do in the present age. ” Thus saith the LORD GOD, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people:  and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: and thou shall know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me” ( Is.49:22,23). The final ingathering of the Jews from the diaspora at the end of the Battle of Armageddon shall be effected by the Gentile survivors of the Day Of The LORD. As they congregate to Jerusalem for the sheep and goat judgment, they shall bring the Jews who survive the wrath of God in the diaspora. The Jews who survive the Day Of The LORD in diaspora shall be witnesses of these Gentiles in the Sheep and Goat judgment of the Gentile nations, either to justify or condemn them: inasmuch as these Gentiles will be judged on the bases of their treatment of the Jews during the Great Tribulation at the hands of the antiChrist.

These nations are the Gentile survivors of the wrath of God. ” The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick dust like the serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear before Him” ( Mic.7:16,17). They shall come out of their fortresses where they were hiding during the wrath of God. They shall come trebling, and in fear and dread of our LORD. They shall assemble in Jerusalem for the Sheep and Goat judgment. ” when the Son Of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He separate them one from another, as the shepherd divideth his sheep from the goat” ( Matt.25:31,32). The sheep shall be justified. They shall enter the millennium and repopulate the earth. The goats shall be liquidated.

During the Millennium, the Jew shall be revered unlike in the present age when they are persecuted. ” Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” ( Zechariah.8:20-23). This should not be a surprise; for Jesus shall rule the world from His Throne Room in the millennial temple on Mount Zion. People shall come from all over the world to see God in Jerusalem. In those days, it shall be fashionable to befriend a Jew in order to facilitate access.

Events In The First Day Of The Millennium 

There are about five specific events that occur on the first day of the Millennium. These events are recorded sequentially in Revelation 20 & 21, with the exception of Rev.20:7-15, which is parenthetic and records the The White Throne Judgment which occurs at the end of the Millennium. The parenthesis of Rev.20:7-15 is a detailed explanation of the second death which occurs at the end of the Millennium at The White Throne Judgment. The second death is the Lake Of Fire. ” And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” ( Rev.20:14,15). The Sheep and Goat Judgment which also occurs on the first day of the Millennium is not recorded in the Scroll of Revelation, but is recorded in Matt.25:31-46.

(1) Satan Chained

God gave Adam a limited control over the earthly domain of His Universal kingdom. This limited but powerful control over the earth was usurped by Satan when Adam fell through transgression. So, Satan became the god of this age. The consequence of the fall was the corruption of the whole human race and the entire creation. Jesus came to reverse the consequences of the fall. The redemption of man and the whole creation occurs in  stages. At the first advent Jesus dealt with spiritual death brought about by sin. At His second advent, He will wrest physical control of the starry heaven and the earth from Satan. He will reclaim God’s rule over the earth. He will receive absolute, divine and sovereign control over the earth. Therefore Satan and his demonic hordes shall be evicted from the dark void and the starry heaven and from the earth’s premises.

Precisely at the midpoint of the 70th seven, Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels were evicted from their abode in the dark void and the starry heavens. ” And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Rev12:7-9).

At Armageddon, Satan’s forces under the command of the antiMessiah shall be totally annihilated. The antiChrist and the false prophet shall be cast into the lake of fire, but Satan and his fallen evil angels shall still be roaming the earth until incarcerated in the shaft of the abyss. To eliminate his influence in the lives of the citizens of the millennial kingdom of God, Satan and his evil demonic hordes must be evicted from the earth’s premises and incarcerated in the bottomless pit.

” And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal of upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years shall be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” ( Rev.20:1-3).

Christ would have none of Satan’s influence on the citizens of his millennial kingdom. Therefore he must be bound and incarcerated. Although it is not mentioned that his demons were bound, it is obvious that they too were bound with him, lest they negatively influence the citizens of the millennial kingdom of the Messiah. Because he will be bound for a thousand years, he will, of necessity be bound on the first day of the Millennium.

(2) The Sheep And Goat Judgment 

With the antiChrist’s army and the armies of the others kings and kingdoms of the earth destroyed at Armageddon, and anyone with the mark of the beast executed, all that will be left would be the ones who do not have the mark of the beast. Before any of these can enter the Millennium to repopulate the earth, they must pass through the Sheep and Goat Judgment to determine their eligibility to enter into the millennial reign of the Messiah.

” When The Son Of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come Ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered , and ye gave me Me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, VerilyI say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, Ye have done it unto Me. Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. Then shall they answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal”  ( Matt.25:31-46).

Jesus shall personally conduct this judgment from His Throne in the Throne Room of the newly built millennial Temple at the center of the holy area at the summit of renovated and elevated Mount Zion. It shall occur when He comes in His glory with His holy angels, just as we have pointed out after the Battle Of Armageddon ( Rev.19:11-21). All nations shall be gathered unto Him in Jerusalem. All survivors of the day of His Wrath who were not immediately executed as a result of being beast-marked shall appear before Him in Jerusalem. None of the Gentiles who appear at the sheep and goat judgment shall have the mark of the beast. Any survivors of the wrath of God who bears the mark of the beast shall be immediately executed.

All His angels will be with Him. It therefore follows these survivors shall be miraculously gathered to Jerusalem, considering the devastation caused by the final wrath of God. It shall take 45 days to gather all surviving Gentiles to the land of Israel for this judgment. It is within this 45-day period, the restoration period, that the earth will be renovated.

Jews who survive the wrath of God would not be required to appear at this judgment, having accepted Him as their Messiah when they see His nail-pierced hands ( Zech.12:10-14), shortly before the sounding of the seventh trumpet when the mystery of God is finished at the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God. Of course, Jews who survive the day of His Wrath, who are beast-marked, shall be executed instantly like all others. But the plain truth is that no one with the mark of the beast will survive the wrath of God; for the wrath of God abides on any one who is beast-marked( Rev.14:9,10). The Greek word translated nations in KJV is ethnos which could also be rendered heathen, peoples, or Gentiles. The Hebrew equivalent is Goyim which is used by Jews to refer to non-Jewish peoples. It is not a reference to independent political states. It refers to individuals of all ethnic groups other than the Jew. So the sheep and goat judgment is the judgment of individuals of all ethnic groups other than the Jew who survive the day of His wrath, rather than independent nation states. No Jew will be judged at the sheep and goat judgment.

God’s wrath would have destroyed anyone who has the mark of the beast ( Zeph.1:17). ” And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” ( Rev.14:9-11).

When the first avenging angel poured his bowl into the earth, it became a noisome and grievous sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon them who worshipped his image ( Rev.16:2). Most probably therefore, no one with the mark of the beast shall survive the Day Of His Wrath which ends with the seventh and final bowl judgment at Armageddon. However if any man who is beast-marked is left alive after the Battle of Armageddon, the one shall be instantly executed; for no man with the mark of the beast shall appear at the sheep and goat judgment much less enter the Millennium.

Besides, those who appear at the sheep and goat judgment do not seem to know why they are being judged. This is not what one would expect of those who have denied Christ and were beast-marked. It is therefore obvious that it will be Gentiles who rejected the mark of the beast, who neither acknowledged the antiChrist as God, nor Christ as Messiah, who somehow survived  the wrath of Satan during the Great Tribulation, and God’s wrath during the day of the Lord, who will be required to make their way to Jerusalem during the 45-day restoration period to appear at the sheep and goat judgment.

The basis of this judgment will be the Gentiles treatment of Jews and Christians in hiding during the great tribulation by the antiChrist. ” And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the lest of these my brethren, you have done it unto me ( Matt.25:40). Their treatment of these Jews and Christians would be considered as their treatment of Christ Himself. ” Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as Ye did it not to one of the least of these, Ye did it not to me” ( Matt.25:45). The witnesses at this trial will be surviving Jews who have just been regathered from the diaspora, and perhaps resurrected saints who will reign with Christ in the Millennium. The reason why I include Christians among His brethren is because the Dragon shall make war with the remnant of the offspring of the woman who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ ( Rev.12:17). Just as Jewish remnants in their mortal bodies gathered to the land of Israel from the diaspora at the end of the Battle of Armageddon shall be present to witness the sheep and goat judgment, so also shall the resurrected saints in their new glorified eternal immortal resurrection resurrection bodies be present to witness; for they shall reign with Christ for a thousand years.

” Bring forth the blind people that have eyes and the deaf that have ears. Let all nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, it is truth. Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen; that Ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there is no God formed, neither shall there be after me” ( Is.43:8-10).

The Jewish witnesses will not be objects of Christ’s judgment. When the nations are gathered, the Gentiles will be permitted to present their witnesses from amongst the Jewish survivors in order that they may be justified. The surviving Jews from amongst the Gentiles are God’s witnesses that He is just in His acquittal or as the case may be His condemnation of the Gentiles. The resurrected saints shall also be witnesses that He is just in His acquittal or else condemnation of the Gentiles as the case may be. Those who have  harmed Jews and Christians or otherwise refused them assistance in their time of distress shall be condemned whether or not they are beast-marked.

” Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, Ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” ( Matt.25:41). Those who befriended Jews and assisted them, the righteous Gentiles shall be spared, and go into eternal life, but those who did not shall go into everlasting punishment ( Matt.25:46).

It is not enough not to take the mark of the beast. It is not enough not to harm believers. Indifference towards persecuted Jews and Christians merits one the status of a goat. Christ shall say to them, ” inasmuch as ye did it  not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteousness into life eternal” ( Matt.25:45,46). The cynical ones who believe that the fact that they are not beast-marked merits salvation shall be condemned. On the other hand, those who are not beast-marked, who lay no claim to salvation shall be justified. Although these gave drink to His thirsty brethren, fed the hungry, clothed those who were naked, visited the prisoners, invited the strangers and destitute amongst them into their homes, they did not believe it was sufficient to earn them salvation, nor did hey believe they were doing it to Jesus. They expressed wonder as to when they did all these. Salvation is by grace alone through faith, and that also the gift of God. These righteous Gentiles were also elected before the foundation of the world ( Eph.1:4,5;2:8,9).

 (3) The Beheaded Martyrs Resurrect

The time of resurrection of the beheaded martyrs is a controversial issue amongst biblical scholars. Were they raised from the dead at time of the rapture of the saints, or were they raised, and given a new eternal immortal resurrection body on the first day of the Millennium? One thing is very clear, this group of martyrs are not the same as those under the altar at the breaking of the fifth seal who were given a new eternal immortal resurrection body at the rapture.

” And when He had broken the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with aloud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” ( Rev.6:9-11).

The fifth seal martyrs were told to wait until their fellow brethren who were to be killed were also martyred. There is a complement of believers to be martyred during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. When that number is complete, God amputates the Great Tribulation with cosmic disturbances associated with the sixth seal. At the rapture of the church when the Shekinah appeared in the heaven, shortly before the breaking of the seven seal, these martyrs were also raptured and received new eternal immortal resurrection bodies. If the beheaded saints were part of the fifth seal martyrs, why were they left out until the first day of the Millennium?

” And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the word of God, which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image , neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” ( Rev.20:4).

As we have pointed out earlier, when they came to life, and received their new eternal immortal resurrection bodies, earlier at the rapture of the church or on the first day of the Millennium is a debated issue in some theological circles. Malvin J. Rosenthal and Robert Van Kampen are of the opinion that these particular souls, beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus, and because of the word of God, must be given their new eternal immortal resurrection bodies on the first day of the Millennium. The Greek verb translated ‘lived’ in the KJV or ‘came to life’ in the NASV is ezesan. It is in the aorist active tense. Dr. Robert Gundry, the noted Greek scholar, in a private communication with Robert Van Kampen, commented:

” The parallelism of the aorist verb in this passage, for sitting, giving, living and reigning, indicate actions that take place at the same time. Naturally it is the context which determines the time referred to by these verbs, clearly at the beginning of the Millennium, because the passage in question ends with ” and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years, ” thus defining exactly when the action takes place.”

We conclude therefore that the beheaded martyrs were raised from the dead on the first day of the Millennium rather than at the rapture of the church.

The First Resurrection 

The first resurrection refers to the general resurrection of believers and saints of all ages unto life. As we have borne the image of the earthy, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly ( 1Cor.15:49). It is accomplished in phases. The first phase occurred when Christ who is the firstfruits of them that slept rose from the dead. ” But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” ( 1Cor.15:20). When Christ rose from the dead, the OT saints and believers also rose with Him. ” And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the city, and appeared unto many” ( Matt.27:52,53).

The second phase is the resurrection of the dead in Christ which occurs at the rapture.

” Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; neither corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality” ( 1Cor.15:50-53).

We shall be raptured to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with Him.

” For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who,sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them that are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rose first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” ( 1Thess.4:14-18).

 

The third phase will be the resurrection of the beheaded martyrs on the first day of the Millennium. 

” And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they live and reigned with Christ a thousand years”

The fourth phase of the first resurrection is the resurrection of the saints who lived in the Millennium. Although it is not explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures, it is logically reasonable that those who entered the Millennium in this mortal body, and repopulated the earth will some day exchange it with a new glorified  eternal immortal resurrection body; inasmuch as flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption ( 1Cor.15:50).

I personally believe that the millennial saints would be the ones whose names are found in the scroll of life at the White Throne Judgment, and therefore would be justified. There are some biblical scholars who believe and teach that all those who appear at the White Throne Judgment will be condemned. Why are there the scroll of life and the scroll of works? If those whose names were not found in the scroll of life were condemned, it therefore follows that those whose names were found in the scroll of life would be justified.

If the millennial saints are not justified at the White Throne Judgment, where then are they justified? The essence of the scroll of works is to show everyone who appears at the White Throne Judgment that by works no man shall be justified. By works every man shall be condemned, because by works of the law shall no man be justified ( cp Rom.3:20). All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God( Gal.2:16,17; 3:11,24; 5:5:4; Rom.3:23 ). And again the wages of sin death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus the Christ ( Rom.6:23)

The resurrection of Christ who is the firstfruits of them that slept, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the resurrection of the beheaded martyrs, and the resurrection of the millennial saints are all part and parcel of the first resurrection which is the resurrection unto life. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” ( Rev.20:6).

The Second Resurrection: The Second Death

The second resurrection is the resurrection unto condemnation. It is the resurrection of judgment( Jon.5:29). It is the second death. It occurs at the White Throne Judgment.

” Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” ( Rev20:14). 

This is in contrast to the first resurrection which is the resurrection unto life. The firstfruits of the second resurrection, the resurrection unto condemnation, will be the antiChrist and the false prophet, who shall be taken captive at the Battle of Armageddon and cast alive into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone( Rev.19:20).

The Identity Of The Beheaded Martyrs

Robert Van Kampen of blessed memory was of the opinion, though not adamantly that the beheaded martyrs of Rev.20:4, are the same as the fifth seal Martyrs under the altar. I personally do not share this view. I do  have some strictures with his view. First, the fifth seal martyrs were told to wait until their fellow brethren to be killed were fulfilled. Then and only then would God avenge their death. There is a complement of believed to be martyred during the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah. When this is number of saints to be martyred is complete, God interrupts the Great Tribulation with cosmic disturbances. And then the church shall be taken away from the scene of persecution, raptured as it were. Second, what will be the reason for leaving those beheaded martyrs behind when their fellow saints are raptured? Thirdly, it is not mentioned that the fifth seal martyrs were beheaded. All we were told is that they were slain for the word of God and the testimony which they upheld. The way and manner in which they were martyred was not revealed. Fourthly, it is highly probable that the beheaded saints were amongst them, but is evident that not all those who were killed for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus had their heads cut off. Rev.20:4 stated unequivocally that these martyrs had their heads cut off. It therefore follows that they are a special group of saints whose testimony were particularly provocative and  insulting to the antiChrist and his evil empire.

However, I do share the view with Robert Van Kampen that these martyrs who had their head cut off were Jewish believers who would bear witness of Christ in the Holy Land during the Great Tribulation. These Jewish believers do not only refuse the mark of the beast but will go about brazenly, from one city to  another in the land of Israel, right under the noses of the antiChrist and the false prophet, proclaiming the gospel and persuading their fellow countrymen not to be chipped with the mark of the beast. Their behavior would be considered subversive to the government of the antiChrist. It is likely that the antiChrist would not see them as religious buffoons who are to be ignored but rather as treasonous felons. The antiChrist will view them as political rivals and anti-governmental subversives.   Hence, the execution by decapitation. The Greek word is cephalizo which means to cut off the head, or decapitation. This is to show the gravity of their offense, and to serve as a deterrent to other would-be subversives. They are indeed anti-governmental and subversive; for they represent the rival government of the Messiah.

We know that they would not have gone all over the cities of Israel before the Son Of Man comes ( Matt.10:23). In other words their job would only be complete when the Messiah annihilates the antiChrist and his armies at Armageddon, and retakes physical possession of the earth. Therefore their number is probably not complete until the end of Armageddon. Hence, their resurrection on the first day of the Millennium 45 days after the Battle of Armageddon. So, some of them who were amongst the fifth seal martyrs would have have to wait till the first of the Millennium to receive their new eternal immortal resurrection bodies, rather than at the rapture of the church. Without the faithful witness of these martyrs, the remnant of Israel who would follow the Messiah into the Millennium would have died in unbelief. Because of their special witness, they shall be raised to life to reign with Christ for a thousand years. They have led many to Christ at the expense of their own lives. They shall shine like the stars for ever ( Dan.12:3).

(4) The New Heaven And New Earth

Before the Millennium begins, the present heaven and earth have to be cleansed from the defilement of sin. The wars, the famines, the pestilences and earthquakes, the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist, the cosmic disturbances asssociated with the breaking of the sixth seal, the seventh seal and its attendant trumpet and bowl judgments and the final Battle of Armageddon will cause a lot of devastation on the earth and its environment and the atmospheric and starry heavens. Therefore the earth and its environment, the atmospheric and starry heavens shall be renovated to make the earth habitable again before the millennial reign of Christ begins. As touching this, the prophet Isaiah wrote:

” For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come mind. But be ye glad and rejoice in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy” ( Is.65:17,18).

The destruction of the present heaven and earth shall be a limited destruction not total annihilation. Apostle Peter in mockery of the scientific uniformintarians who deny that God ever intervened in human affairs in the past nor shall intervene in the future called attention to the Noahic flood.

” Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they willing are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heaven were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the present heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 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. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 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 heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” ( 2Pet3:3-13).

As the world of Noah perished in the waters of the deluge and had to be renovated, even so shall the present heavens and earth perish in the fires of the Day Of His Wrath, and shall be renovated to make it habitable again. It is also comparable to the kind of devastation that occurred in Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain, Zeboim and Adama when they were destroyed with fire, brimstone and sulfur from heaven. Except for the Jewish and Gentile remnants protected by God, the entire earth shall be filled with death and destruction. The destruction caused by the Day Of The LORD, shall be a limited one, not total annihilation. So the new heavens and new earth shall not be entirely new but refurbished heavens and earth. The Greek word translated new here is not naos but kainos, which refers to something old but renewed or refurbished. So this is  not creation ex nihilo, creation out of nothing, which is a primary creative act. It is not a direct creative act. It is and indirect or secondary creative act, that is, creation out of what is already in existence. It does not refer to something entirely new, which has not exited before, but rather the renewal of something that has existed before.

The renovation of the heavens and the earth shall begin on the first day of the 45-day Restoration Period and completed by the first day of the Millennium. It is difficult to imagine how Jesus will renovate the heavens and the earth. The survivors of the wrath of God, and the Sheep and Goat Judgment shall still be in their mortal bodies. They shall repopulate the earth.

The eternal fires shall burn in Edom throughout the Millennium as a momorial of His indignation towards antisemism. 

” Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at the plague thereof. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD , no man shall abide there, neither shall the son of man dwell in it” ( Jer. 49:17,18).

t will take seven months to bury the dead at Armageddon, and seven years to dispose of the wreckages  of war. 

” Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this the day whereof I have spoken. And they that dwell,in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand staves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of the grave sin Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. And they shall severe out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to,cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. The passengers that pass through the land, when they seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. And the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land” ( Ezek.39: 8-16).

There will be a restoration of the edenic relationship between heaven and earth. It will be new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness ( 3Pet.3:13). The evil consequences of the fall of Adam shall be removed. There will be no more erratic weather patterns, no excessive monsoon rains, no hurricanes and tropical storms. There will be no more swelling of the oceans, no more flooding. There shall be no more oceans in the first. There shall be seas or perhaps big rivers. Animals will be restored to their pristine edenic state. There will be no more carnivores. All animals will be herbivorous. The lion will eat straw like the ox. A toddler shall put its finger in the den of the cockatrice. There shall be no hurt and destruction in the Holy Mount of the Lord. There shall be no more poisonous serpents. All animals will be tamed by the glory of God that fills the earth as the waters cover the sea.

” And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and the spirit of counsel and mighty, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek,of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reigns. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the falling together; and the little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” ( Is.2:1-9).

We see here that all creatures shall revert to their pristine pre-fall estate. The rule of the jungle will no more apply. It shall be no more be dog-eat-dog society, the survival of the fittest. All creatures will be tamed. Men will no more be mugged by wild beasts; for there shall be no wide beasts at all. All animals whether domestic or living in the forest shall be tame. There shall be no more poisonous snakes. All snakes shall lose their venom. There shall be no more snake bites let alone envenomation. The rattle snake, the spitting cobra, the constricting boa and the anaconda, the grizzly bear, the lion, the tiger and the leopard, the rhinoceros, the chimpanzee, the buffalo, and all other animals and creatures shall be at peace with one another and with man.

There shall be no poisonous lizards and insects. There shall be no more blood sucking insects. All mosquitos shall feed on fruit juice. All insects shall feed on fruit juice and vegetations. The vampire bat shall no more suck blood either of animals or of humans.

There shall be no more poisonous sea snakes. All fishes shall be at peace with one another. The shark shall become herbivorous, so also,the whale, and all other sea creatures. They shall not hurt no devour in My holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

The deserts of the earth shall be reclaimed. The whole earth will be of one weather, subtropical. There shall be no more torrential downpours. The earth shall be wetted by the dew of the heavens every morning and evening. The Canadian and Siberian permafrost shall be reclaimed. So also the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans shall varnish freeing huge expanse of land for farming and human habitation. In this age scientists tell us that one-fourth of the ice-free surface of the earth can support a population of 40 billion people. Food does not go round because of human greed. In the Millennium the curse on the earth shall be lifted. The earth shall yield her increase. There shall be no more drought and no more famines and dearth. There shall be no pestilences, no earthquakes, no tsunamis, and no volcanic eruptions. Mountains shall no more spew hot ash and larva. There will be plenty to eat and drink. Human greed and corruption shall be things of the past. There shall be no more hoarding of commodities. Food preservation will be at the optimum level. Wastage of food, if any, shall be minimized. There shall be equitable distribution of wealth. Everyone will produce maximally and take what one needs. There shall be no competition let alone cut-throat.

There shall be no more insect vectors of diseases. There shall be no more parasites. All bacteria, viruses, rickettsia and chlamidia shall be non-pathogenic. The river of life from under the Throne Room of the Lord shall water the earth, bringing healing to the land. It will always be planting season and harvest time. There will be natural drip irrigation from the river of life from the Throne of the Messiah in the fourth and millennial Temple on the renovated and elevated Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and the dew of heaven shall wet the earth morning and evening. The tree that shall grow by the banks of the river of life shall yield twelve manner of fruits for the nourishment of the body. The leaves of the tree shall be for the healing of the nations and for the maintenance of health. Citizens of the millennial kingdom shall live out their lifetime. Those who die at the age of one hundred shall be regarded as infants. They shall be no more infants of days. But the sinner being an hundred years old shall be cursed ( Is.65:20).

This shall be the time the whole creation had waited and travailed for.

” For we reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiters for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are save by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it( Rom.8:19).

The whole creation alongside the redeemed of the Lord groan and travail together until the present time, waiting for the redemption of our body, when we shall receive our glorified eternal and immortal bodies, when we shall be free from the frailties and restrictions of our mortal bodies, into the glorious Liberty of the sons of God. The whole creation itself shall be freed from the bondage of corruption into the glorious Liberty of the sons of God.

It is the time of regeneration.

” And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son Of Man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” ( Matt.19:28).

We see here that the twelve apostles of the Lamb shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel in the Millennium. 

It is the time of restoration of all things. ” And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive nail the time of restitution of all things, which God at spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” ( Acts 3:21).

Jesus must remain in heaven until the time of restitution of all things when God Almighty shall regain control of the earth; then shall,He sit upon the throne of His father David, and rule over Israel and the whole earth.

Nations will not learn war any more; for there shall be no more wars. ” And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plow shares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” ( Is.2:4)

Hebrew shall be the universal language in the Millennium. This will ease travels and communications. Because there will be good infrastructure, it will be extremely easy to move around. Though there will be national boundaries, border crossing will be facilitated by one international language and the good intentions of the citizens of the millennial kingdom.

The Lord shall rule the earth with a rod of iron. No murderer will be kept alive at the expense of law abiding citizens of the millennial kingdom.

The nations shall congregate to Israel to worship the Lord in His Temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. ” And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to,the house of the God of Jacob; and He teach us of His ways, and we shall walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” ( Is.2:3).

There shall be no more arguments as to which is the true God; for Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels shall be evicted from the earth’s premises and bound in the shaft of the abyss for a thousand years. There shall be no more idols to worship. “The idols shall be abolished from the earth. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heaven” ( Ps.96:5). “Their idols are silver and gold” ( Ps.115:4). ” The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands” ( Ps.135:15). “The gods that have no made the heaven and the earth, even they shall perish from under the earth, and from under these heavens” ( Jer.10:11). “And the idols He shall utterly abolish” ( Is.2:18). All the idols would have bee done away during the Day Of His wrath.

” And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth. In that day, a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they have made each one for himself to worship, to,the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” ( Is.2:19-22).

Men shall no more practice witchcraft. There shall be no more observers of times nor necromancers nor star gazers. There shall be no more secret societies nor false religions. With Satan and his fallen evil angels bound in the bottomless pit, the antiChrist and the false prophet cast into the Lake of fire and brimstone, and all the idols and graven images destroyed during the Day Of His Wrath, there shall be no more sacrilege. This shall be the state of affairs throughout the Millennium until Satan is paroled at the end of the Millennium, when he shall deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth.

” And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters OT the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” ( Rev.20:7,8).

With the curse on humanity greatly reduced, Satan and his fallen evil angels incarcerated in the shaft of the abyss, the antiMessiah and the false prophet cast into the Lake of fire and brimstone, and the idols utterly abolished from the earth, God, man, and His angels shall have unbounded fellowship and communion. It will be heaven on earth. The heavens and the earth shall be in holy embrace.

The New And Heavenly Jerusalem 

There are some biblical scholars, especially of the pretribulation persuasion that teach that the new and heavenly Jerusalem shall appear at the end of the Mellennium as part of the new heaven and new earth. How long this new heavens and earth will last is not specified. Beyond this, according to them is the eternal state. But a careful examination of the Scriptures will reveal that the new heavens and new earth is synonymous with the millennial reign of Christ. And the new and heavenly Jerusalem and the conjoint fourth and millennial temple on the renovated and elevated Mount Zion is the focal point of the millennial reign of Christ. After the Millennium and the subsequent Whiten Throne Judgment is the Eternal State. Whatever the eternities future would look like, we are not told. The secret things are for God; but the things which are revealed are for us and our children, to the end we may keeps the words of the instruction ( Deut.29:29). Therefore we shall be content with what is revealed, and not venture to thinker and speculate with divine secrets of the future.

Jesus promised His disciples that after the rapture, He will never again be separated from them. 

” Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again , and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” ( Jon.14:1-3).

After the rapture we shall never be separated from Christ again.

” But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them that are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout , with the voice of the archange,  and with the trump of God: and the dead inChrist shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” ( 1Thess.4:13-18).

As we can see, it explicitly clear that the church will never again be separated from Christ after the rapture. And in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established ( 1Cor.13:1; Numb.35:30). This is indeed so because after the rapture of the church, after the end of the 70th, during the 30-day reclamation period, while the forces of God are pounding the antiChrist and his evil kingdom here on earth, the bema seat judgment of the believers at which the saints are rewarded and the marriage of the Lamb to His decorated bride will take place in heaven. The bride who now becomes the wife, will never again be separated from her husband. The new Jerusalem which is now in construction in heaven will descend from heaven to rest on summit of the renovated and elevated mount Zion. At the summit of mount Zion is the fourth and millennial temple described by the prophet Ezekiel ( Ezek. 40-43), built by Christ Himself during the 45-day restoration period. The new and heavenly Jerusalem shall be the residence of the resurrected saints, the wife of Christ and the OT saints and the angels of God during the millennial reign of Christ.

” And I John saw the holy city , new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for husband. 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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son ” ( Rev.21:2-7).

Here the new and heavenly Jerusalem is referred to as a bride adorned for her husband. This is a metaphor. It is no more the bride of Christ as the house of the newly wed is the wife of the man. The house of the newly married man is the bride to extent that the wife dwells in that house. When he is home, he sees the wife who welcomes him. She is the center  of attraction and the joy of the husband, and vice versa. The just decorated church at the bema seat judgment, newly wed at the marriage of the Lamb now abides with Him in the new and heavenly Jerusalem descended from God out of heaven. It is the tabernacle of God amongst men. It is hollow at the base and merges with the Throne Room of the fourth and millennial temple at the summit of Mount Zion. This city has no temple, God and Christ are the temple of it ( Rev.21:22). In reality the city does not need another temple. It is conjoint and contiguous at the base with the fourth and millennial temple on the renovated and elevated Mount Zion, the highest point on earth in the Millennium. The fourth and millennial temple projects upwards in the center of the city.

The inhabitants of this city shall not need the light of the sun ,moon,  and stars to get by. The dwellers of this city are God, His angels and the resurrected saints. God and his angels  have no physical bodies. Jesus and the resurrected saints have eternal immortal resurrection bodies. Neither God and his angels nor Christ and the resurrected saints require the physical light of the sun , moon and stars. They have the life of God, Zoe aeoneis, in themselves. The life of God in them is the light. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The Lamb is the light thereof ( Rev.21:23). The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not ( Jon.1:4,5). The light source of the believer is in his spirit. It is the new life in Christ. In this age, it is eclipsed by the mortal body. But in the regeneration, it shall be unhindered, unhamperd, and unimpeded by the new and eternal immortal resurrection body. The resurrected body is both transparent and translucent. In the resurrection  there are secrets. Everyone sees through everyone and knows what the other person is thinking. Thoughts are loud and transparent. There shall be no night in this city. It shall be always 12 noon.

In that city, there shall be no death, no ache, no pain, no sorrow, therefore there shall be no crying. The former things of pain, sickness, disease, death are passed away. These are the consequences of sin. When sin is eliminated, so are its consequences. The nations of them that serve Him shall walk in the light of it: and the Kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it ( Rev.21:23). These are not earthly kings in their mortal bodies. The risen and glorified saints shall reign with Christ. They are the kings and priests of Christ. They shall be given rulership over nations, peoples, and tongues. They are the ones who shall bring the glories of the nations of the earth in the Millennium into the new and heavenly Jerusalem.

Men in their  mortal bodies cannot approach this city. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incoruuption ( 1Cor.15:50 ). They mortal body cannot tolerate the light of this city. It shall literally melt away. Anyone who ministers in the anointing of the Holy Spirit knows that it wears out the physical body. There is a level of the anointing that this mortal body of ours cannot tolerate. ” There shall in wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s scroll of life” ( Rev.21:27). The unglorified saints living in their mortal bodies here on earth in the Millennium cannot approach this city. They have not experienced consummative sanctification or glorification. There are still intrinsic imperfections in these souls in their mortal bodies. Therefore they cannot approach this city. They can worship In the temple but they cannot enter into the new and heavenly Jerusalem.

In contrast to the earth in the Millennium, though minimized, because Christ shall rule the earth with a rod of iron ( Ps.2:9; Rev.12:5; 19:5 ), there will be pain, ache, sorrow and death. It will be so, because those who enter the Millenium and repopulate the earth, do so in their mortal bodies. They shall still be subject to sin. They still have to come to the saving knowledge of Christ every man on his own. Some will not accept Christ as their personal Saviour. Because they sin, they shall die young. Those who die at the age of 100 years shall be regarded as babies. There shall be no more thence and infant of days, nor an old man that hath not fulfilled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be acursed ( Is.65: 20). There shall still be sin in the Millennium amongst those living in the mortal body. But it shall be reduced to the barest minimum due to the presence Christ, the saints, and the holy angels, and the absence of Satan and his fallen evil angels.

” And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: the leaves of the trees were for the healing of the nations. 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: And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” ( Rev.22:1-5).

As we have pointed out, the new and heavenly Jerusalem which descends from God out of heaven shall be contiguous with fourth temple at the summit of the renovated and elevated Mount Zion. The renovated and earthly Jerusalem shall be the capital of the world. The temple is the center of attraction in the Millennium. It is the seat of Christ’s government, the headquarters of His Administration. Men from all over the world shall flock to it to pray and to see God in the flesh. In this temple, the heavens and earth are in holy union and embrace. In the temple, God, man, the resurrected as well as those in their mortal bodies, and the angels of God are in holy communion. It is the focal point of the Millennium. It is the merging of the spheres. In it, the living in their mortal bodies and the dead and resurrected in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies are in holy communion.

The Throne Room of Christ’s government shall be in the temple. From that Throne Room, the river of life shall flow in two directions. Upwards to the heavenly Jerusalem. Downwards to the earthly Jerusalem and the rest of the world. The river that flows downwards to the earthy Jerusalem and the rest of the world is described in Ezekiel 47. This river shall water the land of Israel and the rest of the world. It shall be teaming with fishes. It will heal the land and make it fruitful. It will make the desert blossom like the rose. It shall flow into the sea ( Ezek.47:8). The seas of the world which have been polluted by human activities and the judgment of God in the day of His wrath shall be healed, and purified by the waters of this river of life. There are some that teach that there shall be no seas in the Millennium because the seas and the fresh water lakes were destroyed by the wrath of God. And there were no more sea (  Rev. 21:1). But it is obvious from Ezek47:8 that the downward flowing river shall end up in the sea. The prophet Zechariah spoke of living waters that shall flow out of Jerusalem: ” And it shall be that in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be” ( Zech.14:8). The prophet Joel predicted that a stream shall flow out of the house of the Lord: ” And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim” ( Joel 3:18).

The trees shall also bear fruits for food. The leaves thereof shall be for the healing of the nations ( Ezek.47:12). The Hebrew word translated medicine here means bruises and minor ailments. That is quite understandable because sin itself and its evil effects on the human body shall be drastically minimized. We shall elaborate on this in our study of the earthly Jerusalem in the Millennium.

Here we are more interested in the river that flows upwards to the new and heavenly Jerusalem. It flows in its Broadway. On either side of the river, and in the midst of it, shall be a tree that bears  twelve manner of fruits. This fruits shall be food for the dwellers of the new and heavenly Jerusalem. The leaves shall be for the healing of the nations of them that are saved. Now, do the inhabitants of this city ever get sick? No. Why do they need healing? They do not need healing. They need the leaves of this tree for the maintenance of health. Angels eat food. Manna is the food of the angels ( Ps.78:24,25 ). When Jesus rose from the dead, He ate broiled fish (  Luk.24:42 ). Resurrected saints also eat food. Food is for maintenance of the body. The leaves of this tree aid in the maintenance of health.

The Dimensions Of The City

” And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof and the wall thereof. And the city lieth four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the heights of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel” Rev.21:15-17).

One of the seven avenging angels with the seven last plagues who talked with John the revelator has a golden reed to measure the city, the wall and the gates. That one of the seven avenging angels was called to measure the city probably indicates that this is not an event that occurs at the end of the Mellennium, that is one thousand years after the wrath of God, but rather prior to it, at the beginning of the Mellennium. The city has the shape of a cube. The length, the breadth and the height of it are equal, about twelve thousand furlongs. A furlong is about one-eighth of a mile. This is about 1500 miles or 2500 km. A reed is a measuring instrument used in the ancient Near East. It is about ten and one-half feet long, about 10 meters. He measured the wall thereof, it was about 144 cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. A cubit is the length of an average man from the tip of the middle finger to the tip of the elbow. 144 cubits is equal to 216 ft, or 72 yards, about 66 meters. This is the thickness of the wall. It is thicker than the wall of Jericho and Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon. It is virtually impregnable. The wall of the city was made of glass, and the city itself of pure gold like clear glass.

A full description of the new and heavenly Jerusalem is given in our commentary on the Scroll of Revelation. In that commentary, the other aspects of the city like the gates of the city, the foundations of the city, the substance of the foundations, the substance of the gates and the lights of the city are described in fine details.

The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb

The timing of this event in the millennial reign of Christ is not specified in Scripture, we know it shall take place in the early stage of the Millennium. The marriage of the Lamb to His bride has taken place in heaven during the 30-day reclamation period after the bema seat judgment of the saints. The bride is now rewarded and decorated with crowns of gold studded with precious stones, jewelries, and gems. The earth has been restored during the 45-day restoration period. The earth and the heavens have been cleared of demons. Satan is bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. The fallen evil angels are sent to hell. The antiChrist and the false prophet have been cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

The new and heavenly Jerusalem has descended from God out of heaven. It is merged at its base with the fourth and millennial temple built by Christ on the renovated and elevated Mount Zion. The 144,000 Jews hidden in Azel during the final wrath of God are now reunited with Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and all mankind. All Israel is now saved. The Gentiles who survived the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God, and were justified in the Sheep and goat judgement have repopulated the earth. The  new heavens and new earth have been created. The earthly and millennial Jerusalem have been renovated, and has become the eternal capital of the earth. Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and all mankind has be coronated King of kings, and Lord of lords. He sits on the throne of His father David, and reigns king for ever from the throne of God and of Christ in the Throne Room on the fourth and millennial Temple on Mount Zion. All is now set for the marriage supper of the Lamb. The bride is united with her husband in the new and heavenly Jerusalem.

The marriage supper of the Lamb is the reception that follows the wedding or marriage of the Lamb that has taken place in heaven earlier. On that day, Christ will drink anew the fruit of the vine with His disciples in His Father’s Kingdom. ” But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom” ( Matt.26:29). It is interesting that here Christ refers to the millennial kingdom as My Father’s Kingdom. Although He is sovereign over the earth, He is subject to the Father who is all in all.

This will be the most glamorous wedding of all ages, with all the pomp and pageantry. God Almighty will make a feast of wines on the lees for all nations.

” And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up,death in victory; and the LORD GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it” ( Is.25:6-8).

Food and drink shall be in excess of everyone’s fill. The bride shall be resplendent in glory, and the scene stupendous. The only thing that shall be compared to it will be the marriage of the Lamb that took place earlier in heaven.

” Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come , and His wife has made herself ready. And to,her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to,the marriage super of the Lamb. And He saith unto me , These are the true sayings of God” ( Rev.19:7-9).

The heavens, the galaxies will display their stupendous glories in magnificent splendor. It will be a lavish banquet unlike anything seen before. Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb ( Rev.19:9).  The bride will be adorned for her husband, gorgeously appareled  ( Rev.21:2). Christ Himself shall be so glorious in appearance that the light of His countenance shall illuminate the whole universe. The marriage supper of the Lamb shall be part of the celebration of God’s victory over the kingdom of darkness, on the same footing as the marriage of the Lamb , and the bema seat judgment of the saints.

The Bride

There are some biblical scholars who believe and teach that the bride will consists of the saints of all ages. I do not share that view for the simple fact that John the baptizer refers to himself as the friend of the bridegroom. He that has the bride is the bridegroom. Jesus is the bridegroom, that is not debatable.

” He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh  from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly , and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from above is above all” ( Jon.3:29-31).

John’s own testimony about himself is that is a friend of the bridegroom. He stands by the  bridegroom and hears His voice. This therefore my joy is fulfilled. He cannot be Christ friend standing by Him at the wedding and the subsequent reception, the marriage supper, and be part of the bride at the same time. My conclusion therefore is that John is Christ bestman.

Christ’s own testimony about John the baptizer is that: ” Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater that he” ( Matt.11:11).

Of all those born of women, there hath not arisen any greater than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. The questions are who are those born of women, and who are the least in the Kingdom of heaven. My understanding is that Christ was referring to the OT saints, and the NT saints. Of all the OT saints there was none greater than John the Baptist, but the least among the NT saints, the church, the bride of Christ, the least is greater then he. My conclusion therefore is that the OT saints are not part of the bride of Christ, inasmuch as John the baptizer who is the greatest of them all is less than the least of the NT saints, is not part of the bride but his friend or bestman at the wedding in heaven and the marriage supper, the reception on Mount Zion in the new and earthly Jerusalem.

The Attendees

At every wedding and the subsequent reception, there are invited guests. At the marriage super of the Lamb there will also be invited guests. The Father and the Holy Spirit though invisible to those in their mortal bodies will be the hosts of the wedding. The OT saints will be the there. John the baptizer will be Christ’s bestman. Some of the greats among the OT saints like fathers  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, David etc will be seated at the table.The angels of God will be there. Some of them, like the archangels Michael and Gabriel will be seated at the table. A good number of the angels will wait on the guests, inasmuch as they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ( Heb.2:14) Those in there mortal bodies who repopulate the earth in the Millennium will be there. The 144,000 of the children of Israel who follow the Lamb wherever He goes will be there. They will most probably be part of heaven’s security details.

How do we know that the marriage supper of the Lamb shall take place on earth? Because there was found there one who did not have a wedding garment ( Matt.22:11-14 ). This is probably one of the survivors of the sheep and goat judgment. This cannot happen in heaven. This cannot happen in heaven because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit in corruption ( 1Cor.15:50).

Summary 

” And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom as of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord , and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” ( Rev.11:15).

The celebration of the marriage supper of the Lamb marks the completion of the defeat of Satan and his fallen evil angels. Satan, the supreme personality of evil, the corrupter of the earth and all mankind has been defeated, evicted from the earth premises and incarcerated in the shaft of the abyss. The antiMessiah and the false prophet have been cast into the Lake Of Fire And Brimstone. All those who gave allegiance to Satan by capitulating the authority of the antiMessiah have be destroyed. God Almighty has reclaimed His rule of the the earth usurped by Satan. Christ has  regained physical possession of the earth at Armageddon. He has received the Kingdom from the Father, and crowned King of kings, and Lord of lords. He has re-established the Kingdom Of God on earth over which He, Christ would rule for ever.

” And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth ” ( Rev19:6).

The Jewish survivors of the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The LORD have come to the saving knowledge of Christ. The gentile survivors of the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God, and the Sheep And Goat Judgment have been brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. They have entered into the Millennium to repopulate the earth alongside the remnants of Israel. All nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues are represented. The church has been raptured, The Bema Seat Judgment at which the saints of all ages are rewarded have been held. The decorated bride of Christ is married to Him. The heaven and the earth have been cleansed from the defilement of sin.

 

“The new heavens and earth earth have been created. Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind” ( Is.65:17). The whole earth is restored and renovated. The new and earthly Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel and the whole earth has been rebuilt. The fourth and millennial Temple have been built on the summit of Mount Zion, the highest point on the new earth. The new and heavenly Jerusalem, the abode of the bride of Christ, all resurrected saints and the angels of God has come down from God out of heaven to merge with the the millennial temple at its base on Mount Zion. Christ is reunited with His bride never to party again.

 

” And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, he 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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” ( Rev.21:3,4).

 

From the Throne Room of God and of Christ, livings waters flow downwards towards Jerusalem and the rest of the earth, bring healing to the earth and the seas. The waters team with fish, and there are lots of fishing activities. The tree by the banks of the river yields fruits which are food, and the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations of them who dwell on earth in their mortal bodies of bruises and minor ailments.

 

From the Throne Room also the rivers flows upwards as it were to the boardway of the new and heavenly Jerusalem. The tree which grows by the banks of the river and in the midst of it yields twelve manner of fruits. The fruits are food for the dwellers of the new and heavenly Jerusalem, some of whom are angels, and others resurrected saints in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. The leaves of the tree also are for the sustenance of health.

 

From the Throne Room, Christ shall rule over the earth with rod of iron. David or his greater son is king over Israel. The twelve apostles judge Israel. The saints reign with Christ over the nations of the earth, and are priests of Christ, and of God. The glories and wealth of the nation are brought into the new and heavenly Jerusalem in which there no night. It is always day. Man, angel, and God are in holy communion. The heaven and earth are in holy embrace. From year to year, all nations come to worship God in Jerusalem and to observe the yearly feast of tabernacles. Jerusalem and its Holy Temple are the focal point in the Millennium. The Jews are revered all over he world, and there is no more antisemism ( Zech.8:23).

 

With this, the earth has been restored more or less to its pristine state before the fall of Adam.

 

 

The Day Of The LORD

The Day Of The LORD

The Day Of The LORD

Chapter 4 of the Scroll of Revelation gives us a description of God’s Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven.  In chapter 5, our Lord Jesus the Christ,  the Son Of God,  who up to now from His ascension and session was seated at the right hand of the Father,  sits up.  The focus now is on the Large Scroll of the Book of Revelation.  The Large Scroll has seven seals.  The seals represent conditions to be met before the Large Scroll can be opened. Jesus The Christ is introduced as the Lion Of The Tribe of Judah,  the only one who has prevailed to break the seals of the Large Scroll and to open the Scroll. The seals which are the exterior of the Scroll must be broken before the Scroll is opened.  He is standing,  because He is about to judge the world,  in preparation to His reclaiming God’s rule over and physical possession of the Earth after evicting Satan and his fallen evil angels from the Earth’s premises. This perfectly fulfills Christ’s word: ” For this purpose came I to this hour;…. Now judgment is upon this world; now is the ruler of this world judged” ( Jon.5:27,31). The purpose which Jesus spoke about was His death on the execution stake at Calvary,  without which He could not administer God’s rule over the Earth. 

The seven seals represent the conditions to be met before the Large scroll can be opened.  The opening of the Large scroll ushers in the Day Of The Lord’s judgement upon the living wicked earth-dwellers. Only the Lion of the tribe of Judah-  Jesus as judge of the Earth- can open the scrolls: “for God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world by a man whom He has appointed,  having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead”( Acts 17:31).

Judgment must begin at the house of God. That is the essence of the great tribulation,  to judge and purify the house of God. If it first begins with us, what shall the end be for those who obey not the gospel of God?  ( 1 Pet.4:17). When the Great Tribulation at the hands of the antiChrist is cut short by the Cosmic disturbances,  and the appearance of the Sign of the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavenlies,  the living wicked earth-dwellers,  those who do not obey the gospel,  shall know automatically that God is about to punish them for their evils. ” Behold,  He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him,  and they also who pierced Him: and all the kindred of the Earth shall wail because of Him.  Even so,  Amen” ( Rev.1:7).  And again when He had broken the 6th seal: …. And the kings of the Earth,  and the great men,  and the rich men,  and the chief captains,  and the mighty men,  and every bondman,  and every free man,  hid themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks,  fall on us,  and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne,  and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the Great Day Of His Wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”  ( Rev.6:15-17).

The first four seals are not the wrath of God.  They are the wrath of Satan. But ultimately God is in sovereign control,  hence the supervision of the first four seals by the seraphim of God.  They are for the purpose of purifying the Church and the natural line of Abraham through Jacob who have not yet come to the saving knowledge of the Christ.  It is now harvest time, and the reapers are the angels. The wheat and the tares which up to this time are growing together, must be separated. The Saints must be tested,  tried and purified. ” That the trial of your faith being more precious than of gold that perisheth,  though it be tried with fire,  might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”  ( 1 Pet.1:7). 

The fifth seal is a heavenly scene,  a reflection of the killings going on here on Earth during the 4th seal,  the Great Tribulation. There is a certain number of saints to be killed here on Earth.  Their souls arriving in heaven,  are kept under the altar of incense,  awaiting the vengeance of God during His Day Of The Lord Judgment of the  living wicked earth-dwellers. We are not told the number of saints to be martyred. It is a divine secret.  Neither are we told who would be martyred or who would not. “The secret things are for God,  but the things which are revealed are for us and our children,  in order that we may do the words of this law” (  Deut.29:29). But one thing is certain,  “if any one is to be killed with sword,  with the sword,  the one will be killed: and if any man is to go into captivity,  into captivity the one goes. Here is the faith and patience of the saints” ( Rev.13:10). We believers must understand that some of us are destined into captivity, and some to to the sword. This understanding will help us to face death and captivity without flagging.

The condition for the sixth seal is the fifth,  which is the completion of the number of the faithful martyrs to be killed for the name of Christ.  The sixth seal initiates the Day Of The Lord judgment.  In the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals,  is the multitude which no one could number arriving in heaven,  out of the Great Tribulation,  as the true church is rescued from the wrath of Satan( Rev. 12:12), and brought into the presence of God, and the 144,000 sealed for protection before the wrath of God is poured out on the remaining living wicked earth-dwellers. It is now time to break the 7th seal.  When the 7th seal is broken,  the large scroll can be opened.  The events of the large scroll, the trumpet and the bowls constitute the Day Of The Lord,  ” for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”  ( Rev.6:17). This is the eschatological End Of The Ages or simply The End. “For lo, I am with you unto the end of the ages.”  ” But he that endureth unto the end shall be saved.” ( Matt.10:22, 28:20 ). ” Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonitions, upon whom the ends of the world are come” ( 1Cor.10:11 ). The Greek word translated world here is better rendered ages. 

The Definition Of The Day Of The Lord. 

What exactly is the Day Of The Lord?  What will this momentous day be like?  Some of the vivid writing in all of the Scriptures are used to describe this awesome period.  There is no event like the Day Of The Lord in all of the history of man upon the Earth,  neither before nor after.  The Day Of The Lord is that period,  after the Rapture of the true Church,  at the End Of The Ages,  when God Almighty pours out His Wrath upon the living wicked earth-dwellers,  adorers and worshippers of the Dragon-Beast. The Day Of The Lord is described in graphic details by eight prophets in the OT. It is mentioned explicitly by three NT writers,  Luke,  Peter and Paul,  and alluded to by all the other NT authors.  The importance of this period can not be overemphasized.  It is crucial that we have a thorough understanding of this period of judgment so that we may have a clear perspective of the end times.  It is the focal point of the end times.  The events associated with the second coming of Christ,  the parousia and the Day Of The Lord are one and the same. For the unbelievers who are ignorant of God’s Word,  it will come as a thief in the night.  It will begin suddenly and unexpectedly when God intervenes in human affairs as in the days of Noah and Lot,  to amputate the Great Tribulation  by the antiMessiah. The deliverance of the righteous –  the day of Christ –  and the beginning of God’s judgment of the wicked –  The Day Of The Lord –  will occur simultaneously at Christ’s Second Advent as both Saviour of the saints and judge of the living wicked earth-dwellers. In other words,  The Day Of The Lord will be initiated by the glorious deliverance of the saints at the appearance of the Son Of Man whom God has appointed as the Judge of the Earth. It is pertinent for us to understand what this would mean for the ungodly who remain on Earth after the Rapture of the true church. 

All the passages in the Scriptures dealing with the Day Of The Lord focus on two separate parts of this great event,  the Rapture Of The Church,  God’s Elect,  cutting short the Great Tribulation, the terrible persecution of the elect at the hands of Satan,  when the object of the Wrath of Satan administered by the antiChist is removed.  On the same day the Church is raptured,  God will unleash His Wrath,  the Day Of The Lord judgment against the wicked who remain,  and against the antiMessiah and his 8th and final beast empire nations in particular. This is the very heart of the Day Of The Lord. It will be the fiery judgment of God  upon the entire Earth and it’s inhabitants who remain after the rescue of the saints. It is an intervention by God in human affairs,  comparable only to the the first judgment of the world,  the Great Flood in the days of Noah,  and on a limited sense to the complete and total destruction of the cities of the plain,  Sodom,  Gomorrah,  Zeboim and Adamah. 

The specific term,  The Day Of The Lord,  is used by the OT prophets a total of nineteen times.  The NT writers,  Luke,  Paul,  and  Peter,  use them in four passages,  all of which refer to the time of God’s wrath upon the wicked earth-dwellers. There are additional passages in the NT,  primarily in Philippians which use the phrase ” Day Of Christ”  or “Day Of Jesus Christ.”  These two phrases,  are generally understood as a reference to the event that initiates the Day Of The Lord,  that is,  the Rapture of the saints. Whilst the Day Of The Lord has the negative connotation of God’s wrath and punishment upon the wicked who remain after the Rapture of the true church,  the Day Of Christ,  or the Day Of Jesus Christ,  has the positive connotation of God’s deliverance of the righteous saints,  the elect of God, that great hope of every believer that initiates the Day Of The Lord upon the living wicked wicked earth-dwellers, adorers and worshippers of the beast-antiChrist. 

Every reference to The Day Of The Lord is primarily a reference to this single end time event,  initiated by the Rapture Of The True Church,  followed by the wrath of God on the wicked who remain.  In every instance in the scriptures where the Day Of The Lord is mentioned,  referred or alluded to,  the language of the text indicates that the context is worldwide and futuristic. Robert Van Kampen has written: ” In the few cases in which the phrase”  Day Of The Lord ” ( or its equivalent)  is not used explicitly of the end times,  a near/far view application of these texts and their contexts do not exclude association with the end times,  as these nonspecific references to the Day Of The Lord contribute directly or indirectly to a better understanding of God’s revelation regarding the last days.”

OT Confirmation. 

As we have already pointed out,  the Day Of The Lord is spoken in several passages in the OT. One of the most powerful  is Zephanaiah  1:14-18. ” The great day of the Lord is near,  It is near,  and hasteneth greatly,  even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.  That day is a day of wrath,  a day of trouble and distress,  a day of wasteness and desolation,  a day of darkness and gloominess,  a day of clouds and thick darkness,  a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities,  and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men,  that they shall walk like blind men,  because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust,  and their flesh as the dung.  Neither their silver no their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of them that dwell in the land.”

We can see here the reason why the Saints are exempt from the day of the Lord.  It is a day of God’s wrath against the unrepentant sinner.  It is a day of trouble and distress for the unbelievers as the Great Tribulation will be a day of trouble and distress for the believers. It is appropriate for God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble us ( 2Thess.1:6).  It will be that climatic event in history when God will pour out His wrath upon the living wicked earth-dwellers. It is a day of trumpet,  and alarm upon God’s Holy mountain. The day of the Lord occurs at the last trump: “for the trumpet shall sound,  and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,  and we shall be changed”- and then the wrath of God contained in the Seven trumpets of the Scroll of Revelation shall be poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers. 

NT Confirmation. 

In response to the mockery of evolutionist uniformitarians,  Apostle Peter wrote: ” Knowing this first,  that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lust, and saying,  Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of,  that by the word of God,  the heavens were of old,  and the Earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was,  being overflowed with water,  perished: but the heavens and the Earth,  which are now,  by the same word are kept in store,  reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 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.  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,  as some count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward,  not willing that any should perish,  but that all should come  to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,  and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,  the Earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,  what manner of persons ought ye to be in all manner of conversation and godliness,  looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord,  wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,  and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” ( 2Pet.3:4-12).

We see here that the believers shall be here till the day of the Lord begins.  It is on that that day that the believers are rescued,  that the Day Of The Lord judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers shall commence,  which shall result in the desolution of the present heavens and Earth and the works that are therein with fire. What manner of persons ought we to be indeed,  seeing that the present Earth and all the works that are  therein shall melt away with fervent heat. 

For a number of reasons,  we can see that the context of the Day Of The Lord spoken of in  2Peter 3, occurs before the Millennium,  rather than at the end of it as taught by some biblical scholars,  especially of the Pretribulation persuasion. Firstly,  the phrase ” the last days”  in  verse 3, is no where used in Scripture as a reference to the end of the Millennium,  but rather frequently used in relation to the Rapture( Jon.6:39,40,54), to the resurrection of the dead( Jon.11:24), and to the end of this present age( Acts 2:17; 2 Tim.3:1). Secondly,  were Peter to be speaking of the Day Of The Lord at the end of the Millennium,  no one would be asking question about the whereabouts of the promise of His coming( v. 4), because He would presently be ruling over the Earth,  just as He did for the previous one thousand years. Thirdly,  were the dual Day Of The Lord view to be correct,  the Day Of The Lord at the second Advent of Lord- the most traumatic event in  history-  would have occurred a thousand years previously. No one living during the Millennium,  most of whom would live a long while( Is.65:20), would make the absurd comment that ” all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” ( v. 4). Fourthly,  In verse 4, Peter refers to the Day Of The Lord coming like a thief in the night.  This parallels Paul’s Day-Of-The-Lord  passage in 1Thess.5:2-4, where he explains that the times and the seasons of Christ’s coming to rapture the Church will be like a thief in the night.  Fifthly,  Peter illustrated his teaching on the end times with the deluge and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah ( 2Pet.2:4; 3:6),  which are abbreviated versions of identical illustrations given by Christ in the Olivet Discourse, the subject matter of both of them being the wrath of God which will be poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers at Christ second advent. Finally,  in conclusion,  Peter made reference to Paul’s teaching: ” even as our beloved  brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles speaking of these things” ( 2Pet.3:15,16). The phrase ” these things”,  obviously refers to the Day Of The Lord.  Paul taught more about the Day Of The Lord  that occurs before the Millennium,  the one that will be initiated by the second coming of Christ,  than any other NT writer,  with the exception of John in the Book of Revelation,  more so in his two letters to the church at Thessalonica. Evidently,  Peter makes it clear,  he and our brother Paul are teaching the same truth about the Day Of The Lord.  There is no biblical evidence that the Day Of The Lord is spoken about in the plural in the NT. 

In summary,  the Day Of The Lord will be unlike any other day in history.  The only comparison in terms of the totality of its devastation,  will be the destruction of the antedeluvian world by a worldwide flood in Noah’s day,  and the awesome destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone in the day of Lot ( Luk.17:26-30). The deluge was the judgment of the world by water,  after which God guaranteed never to destroy the world with water again( Gen.9:12-15). God has never promised not to destroy the world  by fire,  but rather foretold unequivocally and unconditionally that the present heavens and Earth are reserved unto fire,  awaiting the judgment and destruction of the ungodly( 2Pet.3:7).

A Fiery Supernatural Judgment

The Day Of The LORD will be a day of judgment by fire. Although fire is symbolic of God’s judgment, the fire associated with the final outpouring of God’s judgment is to be taken literally. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, ” For behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many” ( Is.66:15,16). 

Joel made reference to fire in speaking of The Day Of The LORD: ” Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let  all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for The Day Of The LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them” ( Joel 2:1-3). 

The prophet Zephaniah served God’s notice to the living wicked earth-dwellers in the latter days, ” Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the LORD until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy”( Zeph.3:8). 

In the NT, John the Baptizer spoke about the harvest at The End Of The Ages, ” Whose winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will born off the chaff with unquenchable fire” ( Matt.3:12). In like manner also, Jesus speaking of the harvest at the end of the Ages said, ” So shall it be at The End Of The Ages: the angels shall come forth, and severe the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” ( Matt.13:49,50). According to  Apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus shall be ” revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not The Gospel Of Our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ( because our testimony among was believed) in That Day” ( 2Thess.1:8-10). 

In the past God used natural disasters as His instruments in the execution of His wrath upon the wicked ( Joel 1:4). He also used nations as instruments in the execution of His wrath. For example, God used Assyria( Is.10:5), and Babylon ( Hab.1:6-10) to punish His people Israel for the sins. But His judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers in The Day Of His Wrath shall be supernatural, administered by God through the agency of His avenging angels. It is shall not be one great power against a lesser power. It shall not be executed by humans or natural means, unlike the events associated with the first three seals of the 70th week. There will be no doubt in any ones mind as to the origin and source of these fiery calamities upon the living wicked. The entire inhabitants of the earth shall know that this is the judgment of God ( Rev.6:15-17), not an offensive strike by hostile nations or so called acts of nature or natural disasters ( Ezek.38:23; cp. Is.2:7). 

The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal

With the breaking of the seventh seal, the large scroll of Rev.5 is opened, and the wrath of God is revealed. The breaking of the seventh seal marks the starting point- terminus-a-quo of The Day Of The LORD. The breaking of the seventh seal shall be awesome as heaven observers in silence( Rev.8:1 ). After the silent period of half an hour, there emerges from the temple of God in heaven, seven avenging angels bearing seven trumpets which are the wrath of God. 

” And when He had broken the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and unto them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thundering, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound ” ( Rev.8:1-6). 

The First Six Trumpet Judgments 

We have given full treatment to the trumpet judgments in my commentary on the scroll of Revelation, and a less fuller and limited treatment in the chapter of this book on the Second Three And One-Half Years. Here we shall give a summary of the trumpet judgments. 

The First Trumpet 

When the first avenging angel bearing the first trumpet sounded, ” there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up” ( Rev.8:7). 

The first trumpet targeted the green vegetation of the earth, destroying a third part of the trees, and all green grass. This will worsen the food scarcity caused by the third seal- famine, pestilences and earthquakes. This will have a devastating effect on livestock that depend on green grass and hay for nutrition. It will also directly and indirectly affect human nutrition. Plants take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, and give out oxygen. The increased carbon emission will worsen climate change, leading to erratic weather patterns, increased temperatures, and swelling of the oceans.

The Second Trumpet 

At the sounding of the second trumpet by the second avenging angel, ” and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed” ( Rev.8:8,9). 

The second trumpet judgment targeted and destroyed a third part of the salt water sources of the earth. This burning mountain, perhaps fragments of a meteorite or disintegrated supernova turned a third of  the  salt water sources of the earth into blood. Since the viscosity of blood is not the same as water, it cannot support biological life, and the floatation of ocean going vessels. Therefore a third of the biological life in the seas and oceans of the world will be destroyed. A third of ocean going vessels of the world with their crews and cargoes will be destroyed. This will include nuclear submarines. The implication is that a third of the seas and oceans of the world shall become toxic with dead and decaying organic matter and toxic biological, chemical and nuclear waste. A third part of the seas and oceans of the world shall be rendered unpliable. There will be scarcity of sea foods, further worsening the famine caused by war (second seal ), and the destruction of vegetation by the first trumpet.

The Third Trumpet 

And the third avenging angel sounded the third trumpet, 

” and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamb, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; the name of the star is called wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter” ( Rev.8:10,11). 

This is not a full star. The sun which is the star in our solar system, The Milky Way or simply The Galaxy, is one of the smallest stars. It is approximately 149 million km away from the earth. Were it to get closer, the earth would melt away. Were it to get farther away, the earth would be frozen. The prophet was using the vocabulary of his day to convey a thought. It is most probably a meteorite or fragment of a disintegrated supernova. Whatever it is anyway, targeted the fresh water sources of the earth, and polluted them. They became wormwood. They were made bitter.

Wormwood is an ancient antihelmintheic. Bitter though, not toxic, except in cases of overdosage. The fresh water sources of the earth were rendered bitter and toxic; those who made use of them died. The mortality from fresh pollution would be very high. We are not told the exact number, but many men died from use of the polluted fresh water sources. 

The Fourth Trumpet 

The fourth avenging angel sounded the fourth trumpet,

” and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise” ( Rev.8:12). 

It is difficult to visualize what kind of celestial phenomenon that would produce this kind of effect on our solar system. Anyhow, the partial eclipse of the sun moon and stars would produce extreme low temperatures in the part of the earth affected which may lead to frostbites and chilblains. 

The Three Woes

” And I Beheld, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound” ( Rev.9:13).

The last three trumpets are the three woes or culminate in the three woes. The seventh trumpet has no judgement of its owns, but opens into the seven bowl judgments. Here we shall look at the fifth and the sixth trumpets. 

The Fifth Trumpet: The First Woe

And the fifth avenging angel sounded,

” and I saw star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of my pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. There came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was power, as scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it: and desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horse prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates as the breastplates iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them , which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter” ( Rev.9:1-12). 

The imagery of a star falling from heaven connotes a fallen angel, but one cannot be dogmatic about that. That the angel is given the key to the bottomless is indicative of the fact that he is a high ranking angel in the service of His Divine Majesty. He is probably the same angel that locked up Satan in the bottomless pit  throughout the entire length of the Millennium ( Rev.20:1,2). 

When he opened the bottomless pit, there came out a thick cloud of smoke, out of which emerged demons clothed with the physiognomy of locusts. These demons are the fallen angels who did not keep their first estate, but left their own habitation to cohabit with human females, giving rise to hybrid humans called nephelim in the Hebrew tongue ( Gen.6:1-4). These demons, in defiance to God, participated in the satanic hybridization programme for the human race. An attempt by Satan to prevent the birth of the Messiah by preventing the existence of a pure human lineage. God ordained a distinction between human and angelic species, Satan and these fallen angels attempted to obliterate the distinction. Just like in our day, some have attempted to obliterate the distinction between men and women. But God will not let man prevail ( Ps.9:19), just as much as He did not permit Satan to prevail. God is supreme. Ultimately, His word will triumph over human will and the powers of darkness.

At the destruction of the hybridized human race during the deluge, the nephelim were reserved in chains under darkness waiting for the judgment of The Great Day ( Jude 1:6 ). Noah and his family were exempted because they were not hybridized. The statement that Noah was just and perfect in his generation is better translated Noah was pure in his descendants. In other words, Noah and his progeny were pure humans.

The allusion to The Great Day here is undeniably The Great Day Of The LORD.  These demons were incarcerated in the abyss because of their vile nature. However, their incarceration in the abyss for thousands of years has made them more vile. They were reserved to be employed by God in The Day Of His wrath judgment of the wicked living earth-dwellers. God has reserved the wicked for The Day Of Wrath ( Prov.16:4). In other words, God will employ the wicked in the execution of His wrath. And again the wrath of man shall praise thee ( Ps.76:10 ).

These demons have a king over them who is the angel of the bottomless pit whose name is Abaddon in the Hebrew tongue, or  Appollyon in Greek. In both languages, the name means the same thing, destroyer or destruction. That they have a king implies order of sort. These horrible looking creatures were to torment men who have not the seal of God for five months. This is selective punishment. The sting of these demonic scorpions would not kill, but would lead to such excruciating pain that the victims would wish they were dead. This horrible episode will last as long as five months. ” The first woe is past; and, behold, and there come two woes more hereafter” ( Rev.9:12).

The Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe

And the sixth avenging angel sounded the sixth trumpet, 

” and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates, And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month,  and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouths, and in their tails: For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the dead which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceress, nor of their fornication, nor of their theft” ( Rev.9:13-21). 

The sounding of the sixth trumpet resulted in the liberation of four fallen angels incarcerated in the Euphrates River for an hour, a day, a month, and a year. The liberation of these demons resulted in the mobilization of mechanized divisions totaling 200 million soldiers . China can field this number of soldiers, so can India. Later on, at the outpouring of the sixth bowl judgment, the same river, the Euphrates River, where those four horrible demons were incarcerated shall be desiccated to make way for the kings of the east to gather their armies at Armageddon ( Rev.16:12). 

These millions of soldiers were mounted on the most sophisticated modern tanks equipped with laser technology and artificial intelligence ( AI). They have the capacity to incinerate and pulverize their victims instantaneously. By these three- the fire, the smoke, and the brimstone-that issued of their mouths were a third of mankind annihilated. Did this horrible death and devastation yield penitence in the hearts of the survivors? ” And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders nor sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” ( Rev.9:21). 

Although the sixth trumpet appears to end here, however, the second woe does not come up until after the death of the two witnesses on the last day of the 70th week of Daniel, and their resurrection, and ascension into heaven on the 4th day of the 30-day Reclamation Period, and the attendant earthquake that devastated a tenth part of the City of Jerusalem, the tactical headquarters of the antiMessiah, with a death toll of seven thousand. ” The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly” ( Rev11:14). 

Divine Purpose For The Day Of The LORD

God has revealed Himself generally in nature. He has also revealed Himself specifically in His word, the Bible. For men to deny the existence of God is to deny the self-evident facts of their own existence. Therefore humanistic evolution is an affront on God. Besides the atheist and evolutionists who deny the existence of God, there are those like the deist and theists who believe there is God, but deny that He has any interest in the affairs of men. Deism says God is dead. That is as bad as saying He does not exist; for God cannot die. He is an eternal being. There are also those who believe that there is God, that he has interest in the affairs of men, but make no effort whatsoever to live a righteous life. These are bloody hypocrites. There are also the phony religionists who tell us that God has mandated them to make everyone to live according to their own pony ideas about God. They are ready to kill those of us who do not agree or conform to their own pony ideas about God. 

There those who believe that God is so loving that He will not punish sin. God is love in deed. ” He that loveth knoweth God; for God is love” ( 1Jon.4:16 ). God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son ( Jon.3:16). God is so longsuffering that He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” ( 2Pet.3:9). This is one side of the coin, the obverse. The reverse side is also true; God is holy and righteous. He is of purer eyes than to behold evil ( Hab.1:13). He is equally a God of justice. He has commanded all men everywhere to repent ( Acts 17:30). Although He is longsuffering, His patience will one day run out. He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world by Jesus Christ whom He has chosen ( Acts 17:31).

In That Day, the wrath of God will be “revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness” ( Rom.1:18 ). The present heaven and earth are “reserved unto fire, kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men” ( 2Pet.3:7). The two fold purpose of The Day Of The LORD will be to judge the ungodly, and to cleanse, purge, and purify Israel.

To Judge The Ungodly

In That Day, God will pour out His wrath upon the ungodly. This is the righteous consequence of His attributes as God of love and holiness. The God of love and holiness will not infinitely continue to permit men to do as they please without calling them to account. All men will one day give account to God ( Rom.14:12). All men will one stand before God. Before that day, God would have given all men opportunity to repent, and call upon Him for mercy. Men would waste these opportunities, reject God’s entreaties through His servants, and choose rather to worship the beast and his image of gold, silver, brass, stone,  and wood which they have made for themselves to worship ( Is.2:20,21 ). God’s justice in punishing the wicked will be self-evident in that despite God’s wrath being poured out on them, they will not repent. “… and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their theft” ( Rev.9:20,21). Therefore the wrath of God will be the necessary and just consequence of man’s intransigence towards God, his blantant sin, and rebellion against God, and the impenitence of his heart. 

To Cleanse, Purge, And Purify Israel

The other purpose that the wrath will serve is to cleanse, purge, and purify Israel. Apart from the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel who would be sealed with the seal of the living God before the wrath of God begins, the rest of the remnant of Israel will go through the wrath of God unprotected as it were, in order to cleanse, purge, and purify them. 

That the rest of the remnant of Israel will go through The Day Of The LORD is proven by the fact that when the children of Israel who are under siege by the antiMessiah during the Great Tribulation see the sign given in the sun, moon, and stars, they will cry peace and safety( 1Thess.5:3), thinking that God is about to deliver them, not knowing that His wrath is inclusive of them too. The destruction will be The Day Of The LORD which God shall unleash at the breaking of the seventh seal. They miscalculated. They did not heed the warning of their prophet: 

” Woe unto them that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light, as if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?” ( Amos 5:18-20).

God will discard the dross, those who have bowed to the image of the beast, while at the same time refining the remnant of the woman that will soon come into a saving relationship with the true Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed:

” Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me on mine enemies: and I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterwards thou shall be called The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed” ( Is.1:24-28).

Jews who worship the antiMessiah shall escape the great tribulation only to witness the wrath of God. In That Day, ” They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity. As for the beauty of his ornament, he set in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set far from them” ( Ezek.7:19,20). 

God will make their idols an abhorrent and detestable thing to them. The prophet Malachi also spoke of the purification of the house of Israel in day of the Lord. ” Who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and a fuller’s soap: And He shall sit like a refiner and a purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as silver and gold, that they offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness” ( Mal.3:2,3). 

The prophet Zechariah added his voice also, ” And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: and they shall call on my name, and I will answer them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” ( Zech.13:8,9). 

We can see that the prophets are unequivocal in testifying of the purification of the house of Israel. Of all Jews who enter the 70th week of Daniel, two parts shall refuse the mark of the beast and be killed by the antiChrist. The remaining one-third shall pass through the fires of the wrath of God to be purified as silver is purified, and refined as gold is refined. The Day Of The LORD shall be as the refiner’s fire and as a fuller’s soap to purge, purify and refine the house of Israel, as He did the 144, 000 in the Edomite wilderness ( Ezek.20:33-38). 

Between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan, only a third of unbelieving Jews who enter the 70th week of Daniel ( Dan.9:24), will survive at the end of it,  when the fullness of the Gentiles is come in ( Rom.11:25). Only then shall ” all Israel be saved” ( Rom.11:26); then and only then will they all as a nation, and as individuals acknowledge, ” The Lord is my God” ( Zech.13:9). Thus will the mystery of God be finished, and the spiritual kingdom of God complete, bringing to a terminal end the rule of Satan over the earthly realm of God’s Universal Kingdom.

AntiChrist Paralyzed

Precisely in the middle of the 70th week, Satan shall be cast down to the earth. He shall exercise “great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time” ( Rev.12:12). Satan’s divinely permitted but restricted presence and power on earth will run throughout his allotted time of 42 months, from the midpoint to the end  of the 70th week . Thereafter, he shall only be permitted to kill the two witnesses ( Rev.11:7-14), and gather his forces for the final battle at Armageddon where he shall meet his Waterloo ( Rev.19:20,21). At the breaking of the sixth, the cosmic disturbances associated with it shall bring about a significant reduction in the amount of freedom and power that Satan’s minion, the antiChrist exercised since the removal of the restrainer, archangel Michael. At the appearance of His coming, the perousia, which also marks the starting point of The Day Of The LORD, or The Day Of His Coming, the antiMessiah shall once again be under restraint. This time around, the restrainer shall be Christ Himself.

Right from the breaking of the sixth seal, and the cosmic disturbances associated with it, as the antiMessiah comes under Christ’s restraint, some of the Jews in the land of Israel who refused allegiance to the antiMessiah, who have been living in hiding up until this time, shall begin to fight back against the forces of the antiMessiah, in and around Israel, more so around the Holy City, Jerusalem. This will be like the Jews who fought in the Maccabean Revolt, in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is the prefigure of the antiMessiah.

The decisive change in the limits of the power of the antiMessiah evident from the breaking of the sixth seal and attendant cosmic disturbances, and the perousia of Christ, prior to his final destruction at Armageddon can be seen in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. 

” 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 one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” ( 2Thess.2:7-9). 

Obviously, Paul seems to be a bit redundant when he says The Messiah will both consume the wicked one and destroy him. Anyone who is consumed is destroyed. When viewed carefully, verse 8 describes a separate and distinct result of Christ’s Second Coming. At the final battle of Armageddon, Christ will ultimately destroy the antiChrist. Initially, by the brightness or appearance of His coming, Christ shall render the antiChrist useless. The Greek word rendered destroyed is katageo. A better translation of this word is given in Rotherham’s Bible, which renders it paralyzed.

The restrictions of the power of the antiMessiah shall occur at the parousia- the appearance of His Coming. It is at the parousia that every eye shall see Him ( Rev.1:7). The brightness or appearance of His Coming is the Shekinah in the heaven. This is the only sign Christ gave to His disciples in the Olivet Discourse, when they asked Him, ” Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the End Of The Ages ( sunteleia)?” There is only one sign (Semeion) of His Coming and of the End Of The Ages. He gave the answer to their question in verse30.

 ” Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son Of Men in the heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son Of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”( Matt.24:29-31).

As we have pointed out, the restrictions will occur at the appearance of His coming. The appearance of His coming is the same as the sign of the Son Of Man in the heaven. It is then that “every eye shall see Him; and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” ( Rev.1:7). “And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.” Then shall “the dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are alive and remain shall be gathered together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words” ( 1Thess.4:16-18). 

At that time the antiMessiah shall be rendered useless, paralyzed. Only the LORD shall be exalted in That Day ( Is.2:17), until the time of his final judgment, when he shall be cast alive into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone( Rev.19:20) alongside his enforcer, the second beast, also called the false prophet ( Rev.13:11-18).

This excellent exegesis by Robert Van Kampen and Marvin J. Rosenthal interprets Jesus’s statement that ” except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects’ sake, those days shall be shortened” ( Matt.24:22). Our brethren of the Pretribulation persuasion interpret those days to mean the entire length of the second half of the 70th week. This cannot be true; for if the 70th is cut short, it is no longer one week in duration. It will make the prophecy of Daniel 9 false altogether. What is cut short is the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. The Greek word translated cut short or shortened is koloboo. It is better rendered amputated. It is a surgical term. The Great Tribulation is the diseased part of the second half of the 70th seven. It is amputated just as a diseased part of the limb is amputated. 

The Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah is terminated when the object of his disaffection, the church is taken away from the earth’s premises, and Christ renders him useless, idle, and paralyzed by the brightness of His Coming at His appearance in the heavens till his destruction at Armageddon. 

This interpretation also fits perfectly into Isaiah’s Day-of-the-Lord prophecy model. ” For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. And upon all the ceders of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day” ( Is.2:12-17). During The Day Of The LORD, the ungodly will be abased. Their leader, the antiMessiah shall be rendered useless, paralyzed, prior to their final judgment and destruction at Armageddon. During The Day Of The LORD, only Christ shall be exalted. Though Satan shall have limited power through his proxy, the antiChrist; it shall be only within narrow limits defined by God until his final destruction at the Battle of Armageddon. 

This excellent interpretation should also put to rest the notion and idea that the cruel and ungodly persecution of the saints at the hands of the antiMessiah could ever be considered part of God’s wrath, which as they teach begins at the commencement of the 70th week. It is inconceivable that the antiChrist could desecrate the temple, declare himself God, demand the worship of all mortals, persecute the saints and elect of God during a period of time when only the Lord will be exalted ( Is.2:17). 

Jewish Counteroffensive 

Following the breaking of the sixth seal and the associated cosmic disturbances, the antiChrist shall be greatly restricted. Persecuted Jews shall be able to fight back since the antiMessiah took control of Jerusalem in the Jerusalem campaign at the midpoint of the 70th week when he relocated his headquarters to Jerusalem. They and the rest of the world shall have opportunity to carry out a resistance movement against the antiChrist. Those Jews who did not take his mark of allegiance,  who have escaped his persecution, shall be able to launch guerrilla war against the antiChrist and the surrounding nations allied to him who have gathered against Israel in the  valley of Jehoshaphat prior to the commencement of  The Day Of The LORD ( Joel 3:11-16). 

This will be like the resistance movement in the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes who attempted to hellenize the Jews. Like them, these Jews will hide in the Judean Hills from where they will launch military incursions against the military installations of the antiMessiah. The prophet Zechariah described this guerilla style warfare embarked upon by the Jewish survivors.

” In That Day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a touch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, and on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem” ( Zech.12:6). 

Obviously, ‘That Day’ is a reference to The Day Of The LORD, during which the antiMessiah shall be paralyzed and rendered useless, by the appearance or brightness of His Coming ( 2Thes.2:8).  Then those Jews who did not capitulate to the authority of the antiChrist, who have been hiding in underground sewers, bunkers, and cellars in and around Jerusalem, shall begin to dwell in their own sites in Jerusalem. In other words, they shall be able to get a foothold in some part of the city. Then the clans of Judah who thus far have hid in the Judean wilderness shall be able to make incursions against the antiMessiah in and around Jerusalem. God will help the clans of Judah by supernaturally destroying the soldiers of the antiMessiah. The prophet Zechariah wrote:

” And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in That Day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, silver, and apparel, in great abundance” ( Zech.14:12-14). 

The word of God calls it a plague, but what kind of plague will cause the flesh of men to rot away while they are yet standing? That will cause the eyes to rot away in their sockets, and the the tongues in their mouths? This will be a sudden catastrophic phenomenon. It seems to me there will be nuclear exchanges. It may be there are some chemical and biological weapons that men might develop prior to that time. Lassa fever, for instance, can kill its victim within 3-4 hours. But to cause the tongue to rotten in the mouth, and the eyes in their sockets while the victim is yet alive, would be extreme virulent organism that men might wake up some day from the Canadian permafrost. Right now scientists are busy in laboratories around the world trying to alter viral genomes through genetic engineering to produce extremely virulent viral biotypes. Whatever  is the case, whether through human genius or entirely by supernatural means, God will intervene to help the sons of Israel, and the men of Judah who, shall be surrounded by extremely hostile and mortal enemies and allies of the antiChrist. Besides this strange phenomenon, the armies of the world shall become mad and destroy each his fellow soldier. Chemical weapon attack can produce this can of effect in humans.

The End Of The 70th Week: The Fulfillment Of Dan.9:24

The death of the two witnesses marks the end of the 70th week of Daniel; for their ministry lasts for three and one half years, which biblical scholars are agreed occurs within and is equivalent in length to the second half of the 70th seven. According to the archangel Gabriel’s word to the prophet Daniel, 

” Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophesy, and to anoint the most holy” ( Dan.9:24 ). 

As we have pointed out severally, six things are to be accomplished within this period of time relating to God’s plan and purposes concerning the children of Israel, and their Holy City, Jerusalem. In other words, within this interim of seventy weeks or 490 years according to the Jewish calendar, the following things shall be accomplished for Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem:  (1) to finish the transgression, (2) to make an end of sins, (3) to make reconciliation or atonement for iniquity, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and (6) to anoint The Most Holy. 

At the end of the 70th week, we discover that only three of these six things, the ones related to sin have been accomplished. At the expiration of the 70th week, the transgression of the nation of Israel will be finished, and their sin against God ended, and atonement or reconciliation or satisfaction for wrong doing in the behalf of the nation of Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem made. When their iniquity before God is satisfied, the jail sentence is over, the requisite right has been performed. This also corresponds with the expiration of the ministry of the two witnesses. It is exactly this same issue that Apostle Paul addressed in Romans: 

” I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I would not brethren that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” ( Rom.11:11-12;25-26). 

The bad news was that Israel make an end of her sins, finish her transgression, and then make atonement for her iniquity. All these come to a climax, and completion at the end of the 70th week, before which God will not be satisfied with Israel. In other words, the spiritual blinders of Israel will not be removed until the completion and expiry of the 70th week. This is the reason why Israel returned to the land of covenant as dry bones ( Ezek.37:7-14). Aside from been decimated by the Holocaust, they were spiritually impoverished. They were still spiritually blinded to the fact the Messiah has already come before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD ( Dan.9:26). There spiritual blinders shall not be taken off until the surviving remnant of Israel, the natural line of Abrahm, have been purged, purified, and cleansed, and their iniquity atoned for. Then and only then will God bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and anoint The Most Holy, which is the enthronement and coronation of Jesus The Messiah of Israel and all mankind as King of kings, and LORD of lords.

The Small Scroll

Rev.5:1-9:21 records the sequence of events of the 70th week in chronological order. The 70 week expires after the sixth trumpet judgment kills a third of mankind, after the first woe associated with the end of the fifth trumpet judgment, but before the second woe that occurs prior to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, after the resurrection of the two witnesses. The seals, trumpets and bowls of Revelation transpire sequentially. The Great Tribulation ( the fourth seal), and martyred saints arriving in heaven ( the fifth seal), are concurrent, and begin at the midpoint of the 70th week. They are followed by the cosmic disturbances ( the sixth seal), and the sign of the coming of The Day Of The LORD, the brightness or appearance of His Coming which is the Shekinah in the heavens. This is followed by the seventh seal which is The Day Of The LORD.

The two witnesses live and minister during the second half of the 70th week. Their ministry which lasts three and one-half years expires at the end of the 70th week. In other words, the death of the two witnesses marks the end, the terminus-ad-quem of the 70th seven. They will be martyred at the end of the sixth trumpet that annihilates a third of mankind, but before the second woe, and the sounding of the seventh trumpet, at which point God Almighty reclaims His rule over the earth. Therefore the 70th week must end before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, followed immediately, on the same day by the martyrdom of the two witnesses , and four days later by their resurrection, after which the seventh trumpet will be sounded.

At the completion of the 70th week, Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem, would have been trodden under foot for forty and two months or three and one-half years or 1,260 days by the Gentiles ( Rev.11:2). The Times Of The Gentiles would have been fulfilled ( Luk.21:24). The purging, purifying, refining, and cleansing of Israel would also have been completed. The fullness of the Gentiles would also have come in. Therefore all Israel is now poised to be saved. The time of their full redemption, to bring in everlasting righteousness ( Dan.9:24), will begin with the opening of The Small Scroll ( Rev.10:2). 

The Little Scroll contains bittersweet truth. ” And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little scroll. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be sweet in thy mouth as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon a s I had eaten it, my belly was made bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” ( Rev.10:8-11). 

The sweetness represents God’s gracious redemption of Israel, which completes the spiritual kingdom of God, and occurs shortly before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, thusly bringing in the physical Kingdom of God over which Christ would rule. The bitterness thereof is the Final Wrath of God, the worst of its kind ever to be poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. It will be swift and devastating on the kingdom of darkness. So, these events, the martyrdom of the two witnesses, the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the subsequent seven bowl judgments, and the climactic Battle of Armageddon shall occur after the completion of the 70th week, during the 30-day Reclamation Period. Whereas The Large Scroll represents the events of the 70th week, The Small Scroll, with its bittersweet content, on the other hand, represents the events that transpire after the completion of the 70th week. 

The 30-Day Reclamation Period 

This period of 30-days that follows the end of the 70th week is aptly named the Reclamation Period by Robert Van Kampen. During this period, Christ reclaims the remnant of Israel that have survived the 70th week: God Almighty reclaims His rule over the earth usurped by Satan at the fall of man; and our Lord Jesus The Christ reclaims physical possession of the earth as God’s representative in the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom.

Scriptural Basis For Additional 30-Days

The prophet Daniel tells us there is additional time after the end of the 70th week before the beginning of the Millennium.

” And from the time 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” ( Dan.12:11). Our Lord Jesus in His Olivet discourse also referred to the abomination of desolation, ” When ye therefore see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy Place, whosoever readeth, let him understand: ” ( Matt.24:15).

The Great Tribulation begins precisely in the middle of the 70th week. It will be sparked by the abomination of desolation or the abomination that maketh desolate. This shall occur when the antiChrist erects an image of himself in the Holy Of Holies of the rebuilt Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The Temple shall be deserted by observant Jews when they see that the man they entered into covenant with for seven years has not only defiled the Holy Place by erecting an image of himself in the Holy Of Holies of the Temple but also reveals himself as a dead man come back to life, and demands worship of all mortals. ” Let no man deceive you by any means: for That Day  shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth exalteth himself above all that is called God, or worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as God” ( 2 Thess.2:3,4). 

It is obvious the the abomination that maketh desolate referred to by Daniel the prophet is the antiChrist who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or worshipped, who takes his seat in the temple built for the worship of Jehovah, displaying himself as God ( 2Thess.2:4). It could appear as though 1, 290 days separates the abolition of the regular daily sacrifice from the abomination of desolation. But it is explicitly obvious from other scriptures that the two events are initiated the same day, same time, at the middle of the 70th week. 

” 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” ( Dan.9:27). 

It is clear that the abolition of the regular daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination of desolation will be initiated the same day, same time at the midpoint of the 70th week. We can see that Daniel was referring to the duration of the abomination, and not the interval between the abolition of the regular daily sacrifice and the erection of the image of the beast-antiChrist which is the abomination that maketh desolate. The desecration of the Temple by the antiMessiah will start at the midpoint of the 70th week, from the time  he puts a stop to the daily sacrifice and grain offering, and last for 1,290 days, until a complete destruction, that is decreed, is poured out upon the one who makes desolate, that is the antiChrist. 

A we have pointed out, the Jewish calendar is lunar. Each month consists of 30 days. The Jewish year is therefore 360 days. The three and one half years of the second half of the 70th week will be 360 x 3.5 = 1,260 days. It therefore follows that there are additional 30 days beyond the end of the second half of the 70th week. C. F. Keil, the noted Hebrew and OT scholar shares the same view and position. 

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” ( Dan.12:12). 

All interpreters are agreed that the 1,290 and the 1,335 days have the same terminus-a-quo ( starting point). Therefore the 1,290 days are comprehended in the 1,335 days, the latter extending beyond the former by 45 days. According to C. F. Keil, the oppression cannot properly last longer than 1,290 days, if he who reaches to the 1,335 days is to be regarded as blessed. The antiMessiah shall be destroyed by Christ at Armageddon, 1,290 after he desecrates the Temple, abolishes the daily sacrifice and grain offerings, and demands worship of all mortals at the midpoint of the 70th week. That is three and one-half years plus additional 30 days. This is in conformity with literal sequential view of the Scroll of Revelation. A literal hermeneutics of Revelation demands that The Day Of The LORD will continue beyond the end of the 70th week, culminating 30 days later at the Battle of Armageddon. It therefore follows that although the antiChrist is given authority to act for 42 months, he will not be evicted from the earth premises until the end of the additional 30 days after the end of the 70th week. This hermeneutics harmonizes the prophecies of Daniel with the sequential movement of the seals, trumpets and bowls of the Scroll of Revelation. 

The Restoration Period

The Restoration Period

The Restoration Period

With the Battle Of Armageddon concluded, the the Day Of The Lord, the Wrath Of God would have come to a close. The antiMessiah and his 8th and Final Beast Empire, and the other contemporaneous kingdoms and kings would have been destroyed. The 30-Day Reclamation Period of the nation of Israel and the Kingdom Of God on Earth will also have come to an end. What now remains will be the 45-Day Restoration Period before the commencement of the Millennial Reign Of Christ as we can see from the following Scriptures.

” 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 the abomination, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” ( Dan.9:27).

” And from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away. And the abomination of desolation set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” ( Dan.12:11,12).

From the time the daily sacrifice was taken away and the abomination that maketh desolate set up to the start of the Millennial Reign of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, there are additional 30-day and 45-day periods at the end of the second three and half years of the 70th of Daniel, according to Daniel 12:11,12. These two periods which run consecutively have been dubbed, The Reclamation Period, and The Restoration Period by Robert Van Kampen. I do not know of any better phrases for naming these periods.

The starting point of these two separate but consecutive periods is the midpoint of the 70th Seven of Daniel; for it is at this point that the abomination that maketh desolate is set up, and the daily morning and evening sacrifices and grain offerings taken away when the antiChrist makes his debut at the rebuilt Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. From the time the daily sacrifice was taken away, and abomination of desolation set up to the time that a complete destruction is poured out on the one who maketh desolate, that is till the destruction of the antiMessiah at the Battle Of Armageddon, there are 1,290 days. Which means that there are additional 30 days at the end of the 70th week of Daniel within which the antiMessiah and his evil Empire are destroyed alongside the other evil Kings and kingdoms contemporaneous with the Beast.

For the one that reaches the 1,335 days to be blessed, the action, that is the wrath of God being meted out on the living wicked earth-dwellers must be over, and that is indeed the case as the end of the 45-day Restoration Period makes the terminus-a-quo of the Millennium.

Events In The 45-Day Restoration Period

During the 45-day Restoration Period, certain events shall transpire. The first of these events shall be the restoration of Mount Zion which was split into two halves during the final seventh bowl judgment( Rev.16:19). After Mount Zion is restored, the Fourth Temple, the Millennial Temple described by the prophet Ezekiel shall be built on the summit of Mount Zion by Christ Himself( Ezek.40-43). Secondly Israel shall be restored to her land which God gave to the descendants of Abraham through Jacob by a covenant of salt which is an everlasting and unconditional covenant.

Thirdly all surviving Gentiles shall be come to Mount Zion, in preparation for the Sheep And Goat Judgment which shall take place on the first day of the millennium( Matt.25:31-46). Fourthly, the whole Earth shall be renovated by Christ Himself; for is written, ” behold, I create a new heaven and a new Earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” ( Is.65:17).

At the end of the 45 days, Christ will receive the reign over the Earth from God Almighty. This marks the point at which the rule of the Earth is returned to its rightful ruler, our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Second Man who is the Lord from the heavens( 1Cor.15:47), by God the Father, for the first time since the beginning of the cosmic conflict. This last event will occur not on Earth but in heaven.

The Restoration Of Mount Zion.

At the seventh bowl judgment, “the mountains were not found” and the great city Jerusalem was split into three parts” ( Rev.16:19,20). In the original Greek manuscript, the definite article the does not occur. It simply reads ” mountains were not found.” It therefore follows that not all the mountains were leveled by the seventh bowl judgment. Besides, after the outpouring of the seventh bowl judgment, the Battle of Armageddon will be fought on the mountains of Israel. antiChrist and his forces will “fall on the mountains of Israel” ( Ezek.39:4). It therefore follows that whatever mountains were destroyed by the seventh bowl judgment, it did not include the mountains surrounding the plain of Esdraelon where the Final Battle Of Armageddon will be fought, about 96km north of Jerusaem.

We have shown that not all the mountains on Earth were leveled by the final seventh bowl judgment. Certainly Mount Zion was one of those destroyed by the Final Bowl Judgment. Hence, the need for Christ to restore Mount Zion before the remnant of Israel can return to Mount Zion to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and Christ can rebuild the Fourth And Millennial Temple on Mount Zion. Concerning the restoration of Mount Zion, the prophet Zechariah wrote:

” And all the land shall be turned as plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepress” ( Zech.14:10).

Mount Zion on which Jerusalem shall sit shall rise and be elevated above all other mountains, at least, in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem. It may perhaps rise above all other mountains on Earth.

” And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the “top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” ( Is.2:2; cf. Mic.4:1).

The newly elevated Mount Zion shall become a very high mountain( Ezek.40:2). ” For God’s holy mountain, on the mountains of Israel, declares the Lord God, there the whole house of Israel, all of them , shall serve Me in the land” ( Ezek.20:40).

The Layout Of Mount Zion.

The book of the prophet Ezekiel, more than any other book in the entire Bible, gives us a very detailed description of the layout of the summit of the renovated Mount Zion, the Temple and the new and earthly city of Jerusalem, and the tribal allotment of the twelve tribes of Israel( Ezek.40-48). Here we present a general outline of the layout of Mount Zion.

1) In all its entirety, the top of Mount Zion will be holy( 43:12).

2) In the middle of this holy area will be located the sanctuary, the most holy place( 45:2,3).

3) South of the summit of Mount Zion, a short distance down the summit, will be the new city of Jerusalem. It shall be located on a very high mountain( 40:2; cf.48:25). This city shall be built by ” My people of Israel” who are restored from captivity( Amos 9:14; cf. Is.58:12; 61:4).

4) On both sides of this holy allotment and the property for the city shall be a portion for the prince( 48:21).

” And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the lands that I gave unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children , and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever” ( 37:24,25).

The identity of the prince is debated amongst biblical scholars. Is it David himself or his greater son, Jesus , the Messiah. Am not dogmatic about any of the positions. There is no need for hair splitting arguments. In the Millennium, we shall know who he is.

The Restoration Of Israel: The Final Ingathering

After the restoration of Mount Zion, Israel as a nation will be restored to her land, the holy mountain of the Lord, Mount Zion, which is now elevated above all other mountains. We must remember that although Mount Zion refers to specific mountain in the vicinity of Jerusalem, it is also a synonym for the whole land of Israel. This time will be a wonderful time of rejoicing when God fulfills His promise that He made to His friend Abraham, the Hebrew, some four thousand years ago. It will be the fulfillment of the unconditional covenant that God made with Abraham.
” In the same day, God made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites” ( Gen.15:18-21).

During this time, Israel will return to the land of Promise, not in disobedience and unbelief, neither in self-reliance nor in shaking her fist at God, nor tin defiance to God, but in faith and obedience. This is the time Israel has waited for, and God has longed for, and indeed the whole creation have anxiously and eagerly awaited, when Israel as nation will return to her land of Promise, and her holy city, with faith in her true Messiah Jesus, the Son Of God. Israel would be save, redeemed by His grace and loving kindness. About three thousand years ago, God Almighty addressed the nations of the Earth, promising to regather Israel.

” Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD had redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him for the hand of him that is stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat , and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priest with fatness, and my people will be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD” ( Jer.31:10-15).

We can see that the Jews will return from all over the world. The gathering will include those Jews who were with the Lord on Zion in Jerusalem when the seventh trumpet sounded, who were subsequently secreted to Azal, and safely hidden, as God Almighty pours out His wrath in the devastating final seven bowl judgments and the battle of Armageddon. They will return to the holy land, and to the heights of Zion, with shouts of joy. The others will be the surviving remnants of Israel from the gentile nations, who were protected by the righteous Gentiles.

The occasion will be one of mixed joy and somber reflection, as they make their way through the horrible destruction left behind by the final bowl judgments. They will be brought to the heights of Zion by the gentile survivors of the wrath of God who had been their protectors in the land of their sojourning. They will trust in the Lord, and will no longer put their trust in man, as they did in the antiMessiah who subverted them.

” And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more stay upon him that smoke them( I.e., the antiChrist); but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. And the remnant of Israel shall return, even the remnant of Jacob unto the Mighty God” ( Is.10:20,21).

As we have pointed out, there will be Jews whom God will sovereignly protect from the fierce persecution of the antiMessiah, those who were graciously hidden and given protection in the Judaean wilderness, and in the foreign Gentile nations where they resided, Jews in Diaspora. They would have been purged, purified, by the fires of the fierce persecution of the antiChrist as well as the six trumpet judgments. They would have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus the Messiah of Israel and of all mankind. The tragic side of the story is that only a small remnant of Jews who enter the 70th week of Daniel will survive the fierce persecution of the antiChrist and the wrath of God.

” For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in the midst of all the land” ( Is.10:22,23).

Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant shall be saved. They shall return from all nation wither the Lord had driven them, to the mountains of Zion, with joy and gladness of heart, unto the Mighty God of Jacob.

” But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel. Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by my name; thou art mine. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. And I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

So, we see that a remnant shall return to enter into the millennial reign of Christ. They shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.

The Surviving Gentiles To Mount Zion.

As incredible as it may seem, there will also be some Gentiles who survive the Day Of The Lord’s Wrath. Concurrent with the regathering of surviving Jewish remnants to Jerusalem, the surviving Gentiles shall also gather to Jerusalem for the Sheep and Goat Judgment. There are some who believe that some of these surviving Gentiles shall bear the mark of the beast. I do not share this view. There are no Scriptures that support this view. Anyone with the mark of the beast shall be executed instantly. What will be the reason for such a person appearing for trial when the verdict is so obvious. Those who appear at the Sheep and Goat Judgment bear no mark of the antiMessiah.

The basis for the Sheep and Goat Judgment is their treatment of the brethren of the Lord, which may be the reason why they arrive in Jerusalem concurrently with the surviving Jewish remnants. These surviving Jewish remnants will be their witnesses who will testify that they are indeed righteous or unrighteous Gentiles though Jesus Christ our Lord who is the judge knows everything. These surviving Gentiles will be brought to Mount Zion for the Sheep and Goat Judgment which will take place on the first of the Millennium or thereabouts. The prophet Isaiah clearly describes the gathering of Gentile survivors to God’s Holy Mountain.

” For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory” ( Is.66:18).

These surviving Gentiles like their Jewish counterparts would have survived the Great Persecution by the antiChrist, the wrath of God, contained in the seven trumpets and seven bowls as well as the final battle of Armageddon. The final seventh bowl judgment would result in a horrible universal earthquake that levels the mountains and the islands of the seas and destroys the cities of the nations. It is incredible how human being could survive all these horrific devastations.

” The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hands upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee” ( Mic.7:16,17).

These peoples who survive shall be afraid before the Lord. There will also be a few Gentiles who survive these terrible destruction from the land of Egypt and Assyria who make the tip to Mount Zion to join Israel in their worship of Jehovah. These are Gentile children of God. It does seem however that this shall be after the Sheep and Goat Judgment. The prophet Isaiah spoke of these Gentile remnants.

” In that day shall Israel be third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the LORD of hosts will bless, saying, blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of hands, and Israel mine inheritance” ( Is.19:24,25).

It does appear though some of these surviving Gentiles who are justified at the Sheep and Goat Judgment shall decide to dwell amongst their Jewish brethren in the land of Israel and serve the Lord amidst His people.

” Also the sons of the strangers that join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful, in my house of prayer: and their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my alter; for my house shall be called the house of prayer for all people. The LORD GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered to him” ( Is.55:6-8).

So, in the millennium, there will be quite a number of Gentiles believers who have made the choice to dwell in Jerusalem, and in the other cities in the land of Israel in order that they mighty serve the Lord and minister to His people.

The Restoration Of The Temple

Every period of the kingdom of Israel is associated with a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Therefore each period of the kingdom is named after the temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. We have the First Temple Period or simply the First Temple. The First Temple was built by King Solomon, the successor and son of King David. This temple was destroyed by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC.

The Second Temple Period, or simply the Second Temple also had a temple built by the returning exiles on the same exact spot as the First Temple on the Temple Mount. This Temple was completed in 515 BC. It was extensively refurbished by Herod the Great. This was the Temple in which Jesus, The Messiah ministered. It was destroyed by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD.

Although the Third Temple Period or simply the Third Temple began in 1948, with the creation of an independent Jewish state in the ancient land grant which God gave the children of Israel, up to now there is no Third Temple. However, before the midpoint of the 70th Seven of Daniel, the Third Temple shall be erected on the same spot as the two previous ones on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Adequate preparations have been made by the Temple Mount Faithful for the building of the Third Temple. All materials necessary for the building of the temple have been garnered, and over $100 million raised in cash for the rebuilding of the Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Members of the high priestly family of Aaron, and the priestly tribe of Levi have been identified by DNA tests, trained and are practicing and doing test runs in preparation for the resumption of temple worship and daily animal sacrifices and grain offerings when the Third Temple is erected. Recently a complete Golden Altar Of Incense was built. With modern technology, The Temple could be built literally overnight at a moment notice as it were.

Following this trend, a Fourth Temple shall also be erected on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Fourth Temple Period, or simple the Fourth Temple. The Fourth Temple Period shall be the millennial reign of Christ. Unlike all the previous three temples, which were built through the feeble efforts of man, the Fourth Temple shall be built by Jesus, the Messiah Himself. This temple shall be built on the summit of Mount Zion which has just been restored by Christ Himself.

” And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH; and he shall grow up, out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” ( Zech.6:12,13).

The BRANCH is no other person than Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David. The prophet Isaiah also referred to Christ as the BRANCH when he described the redeemed remnant of Israel.

” In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that all he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written amongst the living in Jerusalem” ( Is.4:2,3).

His building the Fourth Temple shall be the crowning event during the 45-day Restoration Period. This temple was extensively and exhaustively described by the prophet Ezekiel( Ezek.40-43). The prophet was brought to the nave of them, where he was told by the Lord:

” Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle. After he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looked toward the east. And he said unto me, son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever; and my holy name , shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places” ( Ezek.41:1; 43:1,7).

The Fourth Temple, the millennial temple will be the Throne of Christ here on Earth where He will dwell amongst the children of Israel, and from where He will rule over them and the nations of the Earth. After the Sheep and Goat judgment on the First day of the Millennium, the majority of the surviving Gentile remnants who are justified at the Sheep and Goat Judgment shall return to their own lands to repopulate the Earth. Only a handful shall be retained in Jerusalem, and in the land of Israel in direct service to the Messiah and the children of Israel.

The Third temple which the antiChrist shall desecrate shall also be destroyed during the final seventh bowl judgment when the cities of the nations shall fall, and Jerusalem itself split into three parts. The millennial temple shall far exceed the Solomonic temple in glory. Considering the paucity of time between the Final Battle of Armageddon and the commencement of the millennial reign of Christ, this work shall be done rather very quickly. As a supernatural act of the Messiah who created the heavens and the Earth in six days, building the temple described by the prophet Ezekiel shall pose no difficulty.

The Restoration Of Adam’s Rule On Earth.

Man was not created to dwell in heaven, else he would not need a physical body. “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the Earth has he given to the children of men” ( Ps.115:16). When God created Adam and Eve, he put them in the garden of Eden, and gave them dominion over the earthly realm of His Universal Kingdom. Satan usurped that rule, and became the god of this Age. Adam’s rule over the Earth was to last for six days, the seventh day being the Shabbat of the Lord. Adam never had the title deed of the Earth. It was a lease not a sale.

Satan’s rule would expire at the end of the sixth millennium, the period of the lease to Adam. Thereafter, God Almighty will reclaim his rule over the earthly domain of his Universal Kingdom. Satan, his fallen evil angels and his minions the antiChrist and the living wicked dwellers of the Earth shall be evicted from the Earth’s premises. God will retake physical possession of the Earth, appoint a new human representative, an Adam to rule over the earthly domain of his Universal Kingdom. Neither God the Father nor the Holy Spirit has a physical form with which to relate with the external physical environment. Therefore, God the Father must rule the Earth by proxy.

God unconditionally covenanted to give the rulership of the throne of Israel and the whole Earth to David and his descendants for ever. And we have proven that Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of David.

At this point in our narrative of the last days of this Age’s history, Jesus the Messiah has reclaimed God’s rule over the Earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. Satan and his fallen evil angels, his minions, the antiMessiah, the False Prophet and the living wicked dwellers of the Earth have been defeated at Armageddon and evicted from the Earth’s premises. Christ has retaken physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon. Mount Zion has been restored and elevated above all other mountains. Israel has finally been regathered from the Diaspora to the land God deeded to his friend, Abraham, the Hebrew. The surviving Gentile remnants have been gathered to Jerusalem for the Sheep and Goat Judgment on the first day of the Millennium or thereabouts. The Fourth and millennial temple has been built by Christ supernaturally. God is now ready to restore his rule over the Earth by proxy, through a human representative, an Adam.

This is a very momentous point in the history of man on Earth. It an even of tremendous significance. Incidentally, this glorious event does not take place on Earth but in heaven. On this occasion, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the last Adam, the Second Man, who is the Lord from the heavens shall be given everlasting dominion over ” all peoples, nations and tongues,” by God Almighty. This is the time for God Almighty to restore the rule over the earthly domain of his Universal Kingdom to its rightful king, Jesus the Christ.

After receiving the right to rule over the Earth from God the Father, Christ will return to the Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Then “His kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” ( Dan.7:27). When the archangel Gabriel appeared unto Mary, he foretold the kingship of Jesus over the Earth. ” He will be great, and will be called the Son Of The Most High; and the Lord will give Him the throne of His father David” ( Luk.1:32). This prophecy was not fulfilled during Christ’s First Advent. But it will be fulfilled during His Second Advent, when God’s rule over the Earth will be restored at the blowing of the seventh trumpet, after the victory of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon, after he retakes physical possession of the Earth for the Lord God Almighty, and delivers the physical kingdom of Earth to God the Father, just prior to the beginning of the Millennium. Then God the Father will turn about and ” give Him the throne of His father David, when the time has come “to anoint the Most Holy” ( Dan.9:24).

About seven hundred years before the announcement of the angel Gabriel to Mary, the prophet Daniel saw in a vision the coronation of the Christ as King over the Earth after the destruction of the antiChrist.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the son of man came with clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” ( Dan.7:11-14).

The Apostle Paul also spoke of this stupendously magnificent scene:

” Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father: when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” ( 1Cor.15:24-26). We must note however, that Christ will not put all enemies under His feet, and abolish the last enemy, death until after the end of the Millennium. This Majestic Scene gives us a glimpse into one of the most profound and significant moments in God’s eternal plan. With this, the work of Christ is complete, ” vision and prophecy” will be sealed, and God the Father will ” anoint the Most Holy” ( Dan.9:24). Christ’s kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion will serve and obey Him( Dan.7:27).

Here is a summary of the events that occur during the 45-day Restoration Period.

1) Mount Zion will be restored( Ps2:2; Mic.4:1; cf. Rev.16:19,20).

2) Israel will be gathered from the Diaspora( Is.43:1,3,5,6; 10:20,21).

3) Gentile Survivors will be gathered to Mount Zion for the Sheep and Goat judgment( Is.66:16,18,19; Mic.7:10, 16,17; Matt.25:31-46).

4) The Temple will be restored on Mount Zion( Zech.6:12,13; Ezek.41:1; 43:7; Is.4:2-4).

5) Rule over the Earth will be given to Christ by God Almighty( Dan.9:24;7:11-14).
Author: Avraham Shallom.

The Cosmic Disturbance

The Cosmic Disturbance

The Cosmic Disturbance

The vast majority of Pretribulational writers teach that The Day Of The Lord will begin with the Rapture of the church, encompass the entire 70th Week, the additional 75 days beyond the 70th week, and the millennium. This is the position of The New Scofield Reference Bible. It states that The Day Of The Lord “will begin with the translation of the church and terminate with cleansing of the heavens and the earth.” This was not the original view of Dr Scofield. In the 1909 edition of his reference Bible, Dr Scofield began The Day Of The Lord with the start of the 70th Week. In that edition of his reference Bible, he wrote, ” The Day Of Jehovah ( called also, ‘ that day’ and ‘ the great day’ ) is that lengthened period of time beginning with the return of the Lord in glory.” Others who shared this view were disciples of Dr Scofield through the influence of The Scofield Reference Bible. Dr Louis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, and it’s first president, in his work, Systematic Theology, also started The Day Of The Lord at Christ’s Second Advent to the Earth. He wrote that ” This lengthened period of a thousand years begins, generally speaking, with the second advent of Christ and the judgment connected therewith, and ends with the passing of the present heaven and the present earth.”

Dr Scofield changed his position in the later editions of his study Bible. In the 1917 edition of his study Bible, he made pretribulational rapture a major facet of his work. Students of Louis Sperry Chafer like John F. Walvoord, Charles Feinberg, Charles Caldwell Ryrie and Dwight Pentecost have modified his position to reflect a starting point of The Day Of The Lord from the beginning of the 70th Seven.

In starting The Day Of The Lord from the start of the 70th Seven, they erred. The vast majority of pretribulational writers rightly affirm that the rapture must precede The Day Of The Lord. But they wrongly infer that if the Rapture is pretribulational, The Day Of The Lord must start with commencement of the 70th Week. But there are a few of them however, like Paul Feinberg and Richard Mayhue who acknowledge that The Day Of The Lord starts at or beyond the middle of the 70th Seven. In Spite of this realization, they have attempted to sustain Pretribulational rapture position. In so doing, they put a gap of three and one-half years between the rapture and The Day Of The Lord. But the Scriptures do not permit such an extended gap between the starting point of The Day Of The Lord’s Judgment and the rapture of the church. On the contrary, the word of God teaches that the very day the church is raptured, The Day Of The Lord’s Wrath begins. Our Lord Jesus The Christ addressing His disciples in the Olivet discourse said, ” And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son Of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the Ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” ( Luk.17:26,27). The point of the Lord’s teaching is that the very day that Noah entered the Ark, the flood came, and destroyed them all. In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. For confirmation and emphasis, Jesus gave them another example. ” Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the Same Day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” ( Luk.17:28,29). The point of our Lord’s teaching is very clear here: On the same day that Lot and his family fled Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone, and destroyed them all. On the same day that Lot and his family fled Sodom, God judged Sodom. It is very clear here that the deliverance of the righteous and the immediate judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers is used to illustrate the Second Coming of the Lord. That the Lord’s word, ” Even so shall it be in The Day when The Son Of Man is revealed removes every doubt.

Malvin J. Rosenthal has written: “Deliverance of the righteous immediately precedes the judgment of the wicked. To postulate a period of time between rapture ( deliverance) and wrath ( judgment) is to contradict the Scriptures.”

But The Day Of The Lord begins with the breaking of the seventh seal. And the rapture occurs the same day that The Wrath of God begins. It therefore follows that if The Day Of The Lord begins with the breaking of the seventh seal, the rapture cannot be pretribulational.

Here are some of the arguments that pretribulationists use to defend the premise that The Day Of The Lord begins at the commencement of the 70th Seven.

Firstly, pretribulationists designate the 70th week The Tribulation Period. By that means, they build an a priori case for the Pretribulation rapture position. They also suggest that The Day Of The Lord is a time of God’s Wrath, and that the tribulation period, by its designation is time of wrath. Therefore, The Day Of The Lord must begin at the start of the 70th Seven of Daniel, the tribulation period. This assessment which is assumed repeatedly in most pretribulational literature is fallacious because the Scriptures no where designate or refer to the 70th Week as The Tribulation Period. Besides it cannot be demonstrated that the breaking of the first five seals reflect the outpouring of the wrath of God.

The breaking of the first seal signals the emergence of a multiplicity of false messiahs in the religious circle, and in the political circle, the antiChrist who is the ultimate False Messiah( Rev.6:1,2; Matt.24:5). At the breaking of the second seal, there are wars, commotions and rumors of wars(Rev.6:3,4; Matt.24:6,7a; Luk.21:9,10). At the breaking of the thirst seal, there are famines, pestilences and earthquakes, which are the consequences of wars( Rev.6:5,6; Matt.24:7b,8; Luk.21:11a ). With the breaking of the fourth seal, The Great Tribulation( Rev.6:7,8; Matt.24:9-28; Luk.21:12-24), the time of Jacob’s Trouble( Jer.30:7), a time of distress or trouble( Dan.12:1) begins. The breaking of the fifth seal reveals the souls of the martyred saints under the golden altar of incense in heaven( Rev.6:9-11). The fifth seal is a heavenly scene which is a reflection of the martyrdom of the saints going on here on earth under the fourth seal. It does not necessarily advance the chronology of events here on Earth. It reveals the arrival of the souls of the martyred saints during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist in heaven. Not until the breaking of the sixth seal, which initiates cosmic disturbances does God begin to actively intervene in the affairs on earth at that time. With the breaking of the sixth seal, God’s wrath is about to commence( Rev.6:12-17; Matt.24:29; Luk.21:24-28). God uses the sixth seal, the cosmic disturbances to interrupt and amputate the killing of the saints going here on Earth( Matt.24:22). But the outpouring of the wrath of God does not begin until the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, the sealing of the 144,000, and the rapture of the church which occurs at the breaking of the seventh seal, which is the last trump( Rev.6: 14-17; 7-8:1-6; Matt.24:29-31;Luk.21:25-28).

Secondly, some pretribulationists argue that the second, third and fourth seals of Revelation 6 indicate wars, famines, and earthquakes, which is true as we have shown above. They also go on to suggest that war is a method of God’s judgment( Lev.26:21-28; Ezekk.14:21); famine is a method of God’s judgment ( Deut.11:17; Ezek.4:16,17); and pestilence is a method of God’s judgment ( Num.11:33; 16: 46). And all these seals with the exception of the fourth which is broken precisely in the middle, are broken in the first half of the 70th seven of Daniel. Inasmuch as these Scriptures indicate that these instruments of death, wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes, are expressions of God’s wrath, and The Day Of The Lord is a time of God’s wrath; it therefore follows that The Day Of The Lord starts at the beginning of the 70th week.

There is no doubt that God uses wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes as means of divine wrath and judgment. The question is whether the wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes of the first three seals of Rev.6 originate in Satan’s wrath which are given vent through human expression, man’s inhumanity to man, or are the the wrath of God administered directly by Him? As we have seen, God plays no role in the first five seals of Rev.6. They all originate in human activities orchestrated by Satan through his minion , the antiChrist, although God is in sovereign control as the sovereign Lord of the universe, hence the supervision by the four living creatures. Men also start wars, cause famines and generate pestilences.

If God is responsible for the second and third seals, He must also take responsibility for the first which signals the emergence of the antiMessiah. If the first four seals are attributed to God, it therefore follows that God is responsible for the Great Tribulation during which the saints are singled out for extermination due to their refusal to bear the mark of allegiance to the antiMessiah. If the first four seals are God’s wrath, it therefore follows that God alone must take credit for the emergence of the antiChrist and his counterfeit religious system that is responsible for the martyrdom of His saints.

It is preposterous to attribute the emergence of the antiMessiah to God. That would mean that God has a divided house, and that God is responsible for that division within His house. And we know that a divided house cannot stand( Luk.11:17,18). How can God be responsible for the emergence of the antiMessiah which signals a movement towards the ultimate rebellion against God; the deification of man by man at the Third Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( 2Thess.2:4,5). Having failed with subtle peace diplomacy to gain the whole world to himself, the antiChrist will plunge the whore world into war, the red horse and rider( the second seal). With the heavy equipments of modern military technology, any world war will be devastating on the earth. The resultant devastation of war will cause famines and earthquakes , and the predictable insanitary conditions will lead to pestilences ( third seal, black horse and rider). Famines, pestilences, earthquakes cause death, aside from the deliberate annihilation of those who fail to comply with the antiMessiah by taking his mark of allegiance ( the fourth seal, the pale horse and rider). This is historic pretribulational, and premillennial interpretation of the first four seals agrees with prewrath rapture position which is biblically accurate. But to attribute the first four seals of Rev.6 to God is biblically unfounded. It stretches credulity to think that once The Day Of The Lord’s Wrath begins, the antiMessiah can assume control of the world and wreak such havoc on the earth and humanity.

It is even more egregious to start the commencement of the wrath of God from the beginning of the 70th week when we consider the fifth seal of Rev.6. With the breaking of the fifth seal, martyrs under the altar of incense in heaven are revealed. These are the believing remnants of faithful saints who have not bowed to the antiMessiah, who were killed due to their refusal to capitulate to the authority of the antiMessiah. These are not resurrected saints. They are disembodied spirits. They are souls without eternal immortal resurrection bodies. They are seen under the altar of incense of the Temple in heaven crying out to God for vengeance, with a loud voice saying, ” How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” ( Rev.6:10; cp. Matt.24:9-26).

If the seals are God’s wrath, the implication is obvious. God must take credit and responsibility for the martyrdom of His own faithful children, who refuse to give allegiance to the antiMessiah and bow to the image of the Beast, thereby forfeiting their lives. God must be held accountable for the martyrdom of His faithful saints who are humble and obedient to Him. Preposterous one may say, and that is absolutely correct. The very testimony of these martyrs belies the attribution of their martyrdom to God. They pleaded with God for divine retribution against their persecutors. God told them to patiently wait until their fellow brethren on earth who are to be martyred are also killed. There is a certain number or complement of believers to be martyred. It is a divine secret; it is not revealed to us in the Scriptures ( Deut.29:29). Immediately that number is complete, God will amputate The Great Tribulation. ” Except those days were cut short, no flesh( in context, observant Jews and Christians, and other nonconformists) will be saved ( Matt.24:22). This is the one singular most important reason why the seals cannot be God’s wrath, and The Day Of The Lord Wrath and judgment cannot begin at the beginning of the 70th week, the so called Tribulation Period.

Thirdly, pretribulationists teach that because it is the Lamb of God who has the authority to take the seven sealed scroll from the right hand of Him that sits upon the throne, break the seals, and open the scroll which leads to the unfolding of the events of the 70th week ( Rev.5,6), therefore the entire 70th week is the outpouring of His Wrath.

The Seals Are Not God’s Wrath

This argument does not make a distinction between the active will and permissive will of God, both of which are under His Sovereignty. Furthermore, it rests on an inadequate understanding of God’s purpose for the 70th week of Daniel.

Jesus as the Son Of God and the Son Of Man is given the seven sealed Scroll which is the Title Deed of the Earth. He as the True Adam, the Second Man who is the Lord from the heavens( 1Cor.15:47), is the Father’s representative in the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom. He as the sovereign Lord of the Earth is bringing the history of This Age, Olam Haze to a consummate ending. The termination of this Age is the inauguration of The New Age, the Age to come, Olam Haba. Christ told His disciples, “…. and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the ages” ( Matt.28:20). From the start of the breaking of the seventh seal to the end of the The War Of Armageddon is the End Of The Ages. Jesus will be with His disciples till the start of the breaking of the seventh seal which marks the commencement of The End Of The Ages, which is the beginning of the outpouring of the wrath of God. The saints are exempt from the wrath of God. Therefore they must be physically removed from the Earth before the wrath of God begins. This period of time from the start of the breaking of the seventh seal to the end of the war of Armageddon is The End Of The Ages or simply The End. ” And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto The End, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the World for a witness unto all nations; and then shall The End come” ( Matt.24:12-14).

The persecution, the Great Tribulation is to go on till the end of the ages. He that endures till the end of the ages shall be saved,redeemed or rescued, that is, physically removed from the earth’s premises, the scene of the persecution. This gospel must be preached to the whole world, then shall the end ( the end of the ages ) come. Jesus is in sovereign command of all the events of the End times; everything must work in accordance with preordained plan. Besides, He is working out different plans and purposes during the 70th Week which relate to the distinctive significance of the seals, trumpets, and bowls of the Scroll of Revelation.

In the world of the Bible, seals signify authenticity, protection and ownership. They are also for the purpose of legalization and identification. The believer in Christ Jesus is sealed with the Holy Spirit which is the earnest( initial payment) of our inheritance( Eph.1:13,14). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer is the absolute guarantee that his or her eternal salvation is secure. That He who began a good work in him or her will be faithful to complete it( Eph.1:6); and that no power in heaven and under the Earth will thwart His divine purpose for the redeemed. It is quite comforting to know that nothing can come upon us, even the midst of the worst of man’s inhumanity to man, a time when the antiChrist demands that men bow, capitulate to his authority or be annihilated, except that which has passed the security of His ineffable love. Even in the midst of The Great Tribulation, nothing can happen to the child of God except that which The Almighty God, in His Sovereign will permits. During The Great Tribulation, the believer shall be delivered up to be afflicted and killed( Matt.24:9). ” And when He had broken the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they held” ( Rev.6:9). Under these circumstances, the context of the 70th Week, the profound truth which is revealed in the word of God, becomes very relevant: ” And fear not them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” ( Matt.10:28; Luk.12:5). We should not fear man who after destroying the body has no power over the soul, but rather we should fear God who has power, after destroying the body, to cast the eternal soul into hell fire. The soul of man is indestructible; every soul of man is eternal. The soul and spirit of man cannot be annihilated. When the Bible speaks of eternal life, it the quality of that life that is in view. Some, the saints, the elect of God will spend eternity in the heavenly Jerusalem, but the wicked, the condemned will spend eternity in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

The Scroll of Revelation, the Title Deed of the Earth, has the seven seals of the Almighty, indicating that He is the Lord of the Earth( Rev.5:1,5). ” Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of the heaven and the Earth” ( Gen.24:19). Jesus, thanking the Father for the successful mission of His disciples, addressed Him as “Lord of Heaven and the Earth” ( Matt.11:25). Prior to the commencement of the wrath of, shortly before the rapture of the church, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed with seal of God for identification and protection during the outpouring of His wrath( Rev.7:3); for God will not leave Himself without witnesses on Earth.

The Seals Of Revelation 6

Some pretribulation commentators also are of the opinion that the seals of Revelation 6 are not God’s wrath, but originate in the evil activities of men. John F. Walvoord commenting on the seals said: ” The judgment of war, famine, and death , and the martyrdom of the saints have largely originated in human decisions and in the evil heart of men.” Leon Morris wrote, ” The first four seals form a unity. They show us the self-defeating character of sin. When the spirit of self-aggrandizement and conquest is abroad, all God need do is let events take their course and sinners will inevitably be punished.” William Newell commenting on the fifth seal of Revelation 6 wrote, ” This fifth seal exhibits especially three things….; Third, the utter wickedness of the earth which is plainly expected to go on martyring the full complement of God’s saints.

As we have pointed out earlier, the fact that our Lord Jesus breaks the seals, signifies amongst other things, the assurance of eternal security for the martyred saints. The antiMessiah, under the permissive will of God can touch their bodies, but not their souls. The seals are not God’s wrath. They are God’s promise of eternal protection and security during man’s wrath, which is precipitated and perpetrated by the AntiMessiah who is empowered by Satan( Rev.13:4). This is the ultimate manifestation of the principle, ” surely the wrath of man shall praise thee” ( Ps.76:10). The first four seals affects one-fourth of the earth’s population( Rev.6:8). That the Lord Jesus is in sovereign control of the breaking of the seals guarantees divine protection and eternal salvation for the faithful saints who are martyred.

In a discussion of the seals, Gary Cohen wrote, ” The first four seals are seen to contain providential-type judgments. Such judgments are those which God, in His holy and wise control of all things in the world, permits to rise up out of natural causes.”

David Cooper who is a staunch defender of the Pretribulation rapture position wrote, ” At the breaking of each of the four seals, there appears upon the earth a rider upon a certain colored horse. These horses are symbols of movements and events of that period. This movement brings the antChrist to power….. A martyrdom of Tribulation saints occur at the breaking of the fifth seal. All of the things which occur under the first five seals are brought about and engineered by men who instigate and carry forward these events as indicated in Rev.6:1-11.”

As we have pointed earlier, nothing can come upon the believer except that which God in His sovereign will permits. That God is in sovereign control is elegantly attested by the fact that He breaks the seals, and supervises the sounding of the trumpets and the outpouring of the bowls. To teach that the first five seals are God’s wrath contradicts the evidence of the Scriptures, and the views and testimonies of the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars and commentators on the Scroll of Revelation. Our Lord Jesus spoke of the first five seals as signs of His coming, no where does He say they are His wrath.

The Trumpets

In ancient Israel as well as in the modern State of Israel, the trumpet served two major purposes. Firstly, it was and is still being used to call a solemn assembly, in other words to gather the people of Israel in the presence of God. Therefore it was sounded on Israel’s feast days and at the New moon ( Lev.23:24-25; Num.10:2-3,7,10; Ps.81:3). Secondly, it was blown to sound an alarm for war and judgment ( Num.10:9; Jere.4:19; Joel 2:1). When Israel went to war with its enemies it was to bring judgment on the enemies of God. The trumpet judgments will accomplish precisely these two purposes. At the breaking of the seventh seal which opens into the seven trumpets, the church will be raptured into the presence of God, that is, called as it were into God’s presence. We will meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with Him ( 1 Thess.4:16,17). At the same time, the eschatological Day of the Lord judgment on the Gentile nations that know not God will begin. It will be meted out on both unrepentant Jews ( Ezek.20:30-38), and inpenitent Gentiles ( Is.2:12-22; 24:20-23).

The Bowls

As we have pointed out several times earlier, the Greek word translated bowl in the KJV is phiale. It is from this word that we derive the English word vial. Unlike in ancient Israel and in the Roman world, the vial used in modern medicine is a narrow-throated vessel. In ancient Israel and in the Roman world, it was a wide rimmed shallow dish or saucer, the content of which could easily be discarded with a quick swish. Just as Muslims use kettles, an observant Jew would use such a dish for ritual cleansing of hands before the Shabbat , and for a variety of other religious observances, at the end of which he discards the dirty water with a quick swish because the bowl was wide rimmed and shallow. The rapid outpouring of the dirty and useless content of the bowl became a metaphor, a descriptive language for the outpouring of God’s wrath on the Gentile nations that know not God.

The psalmist pleaded with God, ” pour out thy wrath upon the nations that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place” ( Ps.79:6,7). In the same vein, Jeremiah, the weeping prophet of Israel, made the same plea to God, ” Pour out thy fury upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on the name; for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate” ( Jere.10:25). Both of these passages of the Scriptures speak of the pouring out of God’s judgment on the nations that have not known Him, and that the outpouring of wrath will be based on their treatment of the descendants of Jacob.

God Himself responded affirmatively in Zeph.3:8. ” Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them my indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” The Lord will do this because He is jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great jealousy, because He is sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease; for He was a little displeased with Israel, and the Gentiles helped forward the affliction ( Zech.1:14,15). God wanted to use the Gentiles nations to punish Israel for her sins and disobedience to Him, to correct, cleanse and purge her from her sins, but the Gentiles were overbearing in meting out divine justice to Israel, and exceeded the bounds of divine justice and decency because of their jealousy and hatred of Israel. In return, God shall reward them evil for their iniquities and wickedness.

So, there is a divine judgment of the nations, excluding Israel. For this purpose, the surviving remnant of Israel shall be hidden in Azal, taken to protective custody as it were. In the light of this judgment and the exemption of the Jewish survivors, the prophet Zechariah wrote, ” And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come , and all the saints with thee.” ( Zech.14:5). In the same vein, the prophet Isaiah wrote, ” Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” ( Is.26:20). We can see very clearly here that Israel is exempt from the bowl judgments.

The specific judgment of God upon the Gentile nations from which, as we have pointed out Israel is exempt, shall begin at the end of the 70th Week. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, Our Lord Jesus the Christ shall return literally to the Earth, reclaim God’s rule over the Earth usurped by Satan( Rev.11:17-17). According to Jewish calendar, the 70th week ends on the Day of Atonement( Yom Kippur). This is the occasion of Israel’s national Day Of Atonement ( Zech.12:10). Five days later will be the Jewish feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles. This will be the fifth day into the 30-day reclamation period ( Dan.12:11). On this day, the trumpet shall be blown in accordance with Jewish custom on every feast day. This shall correspond with the sounding of the seventh trumpet, at which instance God Almighty reclaims His rulership of the Earth through His human representative, an Adam, our Lord Jesus the Messiah, over the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom. The Jewish feast of Hanukkah or the Feast Of Lights occurs 75 days after Yom Kippur. Therefore Hanukkah shall fall on the last day of the 45-day Restoration Period ( Dan.12:12). This will be the commencement of the mellinnial reign of Christ.

Therefore, the judgment of the nations will be poured out, beginning with the blowing of the seventh trumpet on the First Day Of Sukkot( Rev.11:18). Concerning that day, the prophet Zechariah wrote, ” And it shall come to pass, in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem ” ( Zech.12:9). The judgment of God on the nations will be swift, encompassing the seven bowl judgments which shall be poured out, emptied upon the Gentiles nations in a brief period of 24-25 days of the 30-day reclamation period ( Dan.12:11).

The Pretribulation Rapture position is built on the premise that the church is exempt from the wrath of God which is biblical accurate, but on the inference that the wrath of God begins at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel which is biblically inaccurate. A cursory look and examination of The Day Of The Lord passages in Scriptures indicate that it is a period of unprecedented, awesome judgment of the nations by direct divine intervention in the affairs of men. What the mouth of the Lord has spoken, His right hand of righteousness will perform. During the wrath of God, the omnipotent arm of God is depicted unleashing God’s righteous indignation and judgment on inpenitent and recalcitrant nations of the world that know not God neither obey Him.

The foundations of this planet earth shall shall be shaken and reel and wobble under the impact of God’s wrath like a drunken man. The proposition that the antiChrist will rise to power, emerge as the ultimate demagogue, establish a worldwide rule, relocate his headquarters to Jerusalem, erect a statue or image of himself in the Holy Of Holies of the rebuilt Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, apotheosize himself, demand worship of mortals, kill multitudes of Jews and Christians who refuse to bow to his authority and comply with his demands ( Rev.13:1-8)- all of these exetending over a period of three and one- half years into the Day Of The Lord- cannot be seriously entertained in the light of the biblical characteristics of The Day Of The Lord. The Day Of The Lord does not last for that long a period. Besides, only the Lord is exalted in that Day, and the haughtiness of men and their lofty looks shall be brought low. Concerning this the prophet Isaiah wrote,

” Enter into the Rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of men shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord shall be on every one that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, and upon the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and The Lord alone shall be exalted in That Day. And the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In That Day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they have made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man , whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? ” ( Is.2:10-22).

The idols of gold and of silver mentioned here are the little images of the antiMessiah which those who have taken his mark of allegiance shall be instructed to make for the purpose of private worship of the beast-antiChrist. At the breaking of the sixth seal, John the revelator wrote,

” And the Kings of the Earth, and the Great Men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the Mighty Men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on The Throne, and from theWrath Of The Lamb: for The Day Of His Wrath is come ; and who shall be able to stand? ” ( Rev.6:15-17).

John the revelator makes it clear that at the breaking of the sixth seal, all the living wicked earth-dwellers will suddenly realize that atheism and evolution are religious and scientific insanity respectively. The Richard Dawkins will throw away all their tons of books on evolution to seek refuge in the caves and tops of the ragged rocks from the Wrath of Him that sitteth on the throne of the Universe and from the Wrath of the Lamb of God, who execute God’s vengeance on the wicked who forsake God. In That Day, all the edifices of human achievements in defiance to God, all the Towers of Babel that men have built for themselves in defiance to God, whether they be religious, educational, whether they be in the realm of entertainment, commerce or industry shall become like the proverbial hill of beans and house of cards. In addition to the men themselves, they shall be consumed in the divine conflagration.

We can see that starting the Day Of The Lord at the start of the 70th Week, not only creates an insurmountable exegetical problem, but also compounds it by standing in opposition to the clear teaching of the Scriptures that the Day Of The Lord begins with the breaking of the seventh seal of Revelation 8 after the cosmic disturbances.

The Breaking Of The 7th Seal: The Start Of The Day Of The Lord

There is a clear evidence and overwhelming testimony that The Day Of The Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances of considerable magnitude. Isaiah prophesied that the day of the Lord will be antedated by cosmocelestial disturbances. ” Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He shall destroy the sinners out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in it’s going forth, and the moon shall not cause it’s light to shine” ( Is.13:9,10).

The prophet Joel testified also that the day of the Lord shall be preceded by celestial disturbances. ” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the Day Of The Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining” ( Joel 3:14,15). He also said, ” And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord” ( Joel 2:30,31).

That The Day Of The Lord shall be preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances, the Scriptures are precise. One cannot but notice the precision that there will not only be cosmic disturbance, but that it shall be before the day of the Lord. The evidential conclusion here is obvious. If The Day Of The Lord begins at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel as the pretribulationists would have believe, it therefore follows that the 70the week of Daniel must be preceded by cosmocelestial disturbances. There is no legitimate biblical alternative evidence. This evidence poses an enigmatic and insurmountable exegetical problem for pretribulationists.

A major facet and pillar of the pretribulational rapture position is the concept and doctrine of imminency. Imminency is the teaching that no prophesied event must occur before the rapture takes place. In other words, the rapture must occur without being preceded by any prophesied event. It can occur at any moment. John F. Walvoord, the former president of Dallas Theological Seminary declared that imminency is the “Heart of pretribulationists,” and so do the majority of pretribulationists after him. However, if the day of the Lord starts at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel, and a prophesied event, cosmic disturbance must occur first, it therefore follows that cosmic disturbance must occur outside of the 70th, before it actually begins. We can see from here that imminency, the central pillar of Pretribulation rapturism is biblically inaccurate, and therefore untenable.

The Timing Of The Cosmic Disturbance

Since the cosmic disturbance is the precursor to The Day Of The Lord, is it possible to know when it will occur? Yes! The Scriptures are very clear as to the precise time when the cosmic disturbance will occur. In the Olivet discourse, our Lord Jesus the Christ said,

” Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son Of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son Of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet , and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” ( Matt.24:29-31). Here we can see that the cosmic disturbance occurs way into the second half of the 70th week, after the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist.

John the revelator lends his voice as the timing of the cosmic disturbances. This should not surprise us as Jesus is the actual author of the Scroll Of Revelation, John the revelator being His amanuensis. So, Jesus is the author of both the Scroll Of Revelation as well as the Olivet discourse.

” I beheld, when he had broken the sixth seal and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood; and the stars of heaven fell into the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind” ( Rev.6:12,13).

We can see here too that a specific cosmic disturbance occurs way into the second half of the 70th week at the breaking of the sixth seal of Revelation 6. Some interpreters of the pretribuation persuasion have tried to negate the significance of this truth by trying to confuse it with the heavenly disturbances of the fourth trumpet judgment ( Rev.8:12). Unfortunately, there is no parallel of thought or language to warrant such association. Besides there is a convergence of thought and language in other passages of the Scriptures ( Is.13:10; Ezek.32:7,8; Joel2:31), as do the evangelists Mark and Luke in the Olivet discourse (Mark 13:24,25; Luk.21:25). Also this particular cosmocelestial disturbance is in perfect conformity with the chronology of the Olivet discourse in Matt.24. How far inside of the 70th week of Daniel the breaking of the sixth seal occurs has been answered by Matt.24:29; after the Tribulation of those days.

Many biblical scholars have recognized and called attention to the similarity and parallelism between Mattthew ( Matt.24:5-8) and the four horses and riders of the Apocalypse ( Rev.6:1-8). That similarity is self-evident, and does not need any stretch of the imagination.

First Seal: White horse and rider

This is false religion personified in the antiMessiah who conquers by subtle peace diplomacy, deception and political intrigue ( Rev.6:1-2). ” For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” ( Matt.24:5).

Second Seal: Red horse and rider

The rider upon a red horse is given a sword, and he went forth conquering and to conquer. This signals war ( Rev.6:3-4). ” And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” ( Matt.24:6-7a).

Third Seal: Black horse and rider

The third seal is a rider upon a black horse who is given a scale to measure the food supply. Food is rationed in time of famine. This signals famine, a natural consequence of war ( Rev.6:5-6). ” And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” ( Matt.24:7b-8). This is the end of the first three and one-half years. Famines, pestilences, and earthquakes are natural consequences of war. With modern military technology, any World War will have devastating effect on our planet.

Fourth Seal: Pale horse and rider

The fourth seal is a rider upon a pale horse who kills with hunger, sword and the beasts of the earth. This is the Great Tribulation when the antiMessiah starves to death , hunts down and kills those who refuse to bow to his authority. The beasts of the earth are the enlivened robotic images of the antiMessiah equipped with AI which identify and cause to be killed those who do not give their allegiance to the antiMessiah by refusing to be beast-marked ( Rev.6:7-8). ” Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sake. And then shall many be offended and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved…..” ( Matt.24:9-28).

Many commentators of the Pretribulation persuasion conclude the comparison at this point. However, a close examination of the Scriptures shows that the comparison continues.

The Fifth Seal

The fifth seal reveals a complement of faithful saints martyred for their faith. They were martyred ” for the word of God, and the testimony which they held” ( Rev.6:9-11). The fifth seal is a heavenly scene, a reflection of the killing of the saints going here on earth. Therefore it runs concurrently with the fourth seal, their disembodied souls and spirits arriving in heaven simultaneously as the killing is taking place on earth. ” Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” ( Matt.:249).

The Sixth Seal

At the breaking of the sixth seal, there are cosmocelestial disturbances. ” And I beheld, when He had broken the sixth seal, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind” ( Rev.6:12,13). ” Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken” ( Matt.24:29).

” But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in the heavens shall be shaken” ( Mark13:24,25).

” And there shall be signs in the sun , and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” ( Luk.21:25).

We can see from the above Scriptures that cosmic disturbance precedes The Day Of The Lord, and that it occurs at the breaking of the sixth seal. The sixth seal is broken after The Great Tribulation, and the The Great Tribulation is cut short or better still amputated, and ends before the expiry of the 70th Week ( Matt.24:28; Mark 13.24; Luk.21:23-25). In Rev.6:12, the cosmic disturbance occurs after the martyrdom of the saints associated with The Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah.

The sixth seal will darken the heaven and frozen the earth. The sign of the coming of the Son Of Man, The Shekinah in the heaven shall dispel the darkness and defrost the earth. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son Of Man in the heavens” ( Matt.24:30; cp, Mark 13:26; Luk.21:27). The appearance of the sign of the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavens occurs after The Great Tribulation, but before the end of the 70th Week. What is cut short, amputated is The Great Tribulation, not the forty and two months allotted to the antiMessiah to persecute the saints of the Most High.

The fifth trumpet judgment alone lasts as long as five months. The first woe corresponds with the expiration of the fifth trumpet judgement. The sixth trumpet judgment is poured out but does not expire until after the end of the 70th week. The second woe which marks the end of the sixth trumpet judgment, after the death and resurrection of the two witnesses occurs on the fourth day of the 30-day Reclamation Period. The seventh trumpet is blown on the 5th or 6th day of the 30-day Reclamation Period. Shortly before it is sounded, the mystery of God shall be finished. At its sounding, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth ( Rev.11:15).

The appearance of the sign of the coming of The Son Of Man is related to the Rapture Of The Church and the Sealing Of the 144,000 surviving remnants of Israel. It occurs before the breaking of the seventh seal which marks the starting point of the wrath of God. The rapture of the church and the outpouring of the wrath of God occur on the same day. Immediately the church is raptured, the wrath of God begins. The rapture and the beginning of the outpouring of the wrath of God occur on the same day. God does not exempt His children from the wrath of Satan administered by man; but He does exempt them from His own wrath which is administered by Him. Noah was told to get into the Ark before the deluge, and Lot told to leave Sodom before God rained fire and brimstone on the cities of the plain. In like manner the church must be taken away to heaven, raptured before the wrath of God begins.

God’s wrath begins with the breaking of the seventh seal. The seventh seal has no judgment of its own. And out of the seventh seal arises the seven trumpets. The cosmocelestial disturbances introduced with the breaking of the sixth seal are preludial to the Rapture of the Church and the commencement of The Day Of The Lord Wrath. In like manner, the seventh trumpet has no judgment of its own. Out of the events trumpet arise the seven bowls. The seventh bowl culminates in Armageddon.

A Great Multitude No Man Could Number

A Great Multitude No Man Could Number

A Great Multitude No Man Could Number

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom , and thanksgiving, and honour , and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these who are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and For shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” ( Rev.7:9-15).

The identification of this special group, a great multitude which no one could number is very crucial to the timing of the rapture. The traditional view of pretribulationists on this great multitude as exemplified by John F. Walvoord is that Rev.7 does not advance the narrative, but draws attention to two major groups of saints in the tribulation. He describes the opening portion of the chapter as picturing the 144,000 representative of the godly remnant of Israel on earth in the great tribulation. The latter part he describes a great multitude of martyred saints in heaven, those who died as a testimony to their faith from every kindred, tongue and nation. However, it is not recorded any where in their description in considerable details that they are martyred saints.

In Rev.6, at the breaking of the fifth seal, martyred saints are described. Their martyrdom occurred during the Great Tribulation at the hand of the antiChrist. ” And when he had broken the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they held.” ( Rev.6:9). They cried out to God for their blood to be avenged on  the perpetrators of their martyrdom ” them that dwell on the earth” ( Rev.6:10). God answered in the affirmative. They were given white robes and told to ” rest yet for a little season , until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” ( Rev.6:11). There is a complement of believers to be martyred. When that number is complete, God amputates the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah with cosmic disturbances. These martyred saints are given glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies on the first day of the millennium. ” And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded( cephalizo) for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had receive his mark upon their foreheads, or in their right hands; and they live and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” ( Rev.20:4).

The great multitude which no could number in Rev.7, is a different group from the martyrs under the fifth seal in Rev.6. For the following reasons.

(1) Innumerability

They are so numerous that they cannot be numbered. This is a figure of speech, a hyperbole, an overstatement.  It simply means that they are a very great and large number of people. Given some time they could be numbered, but it will be difficult to number them in a short while. This is in marked contrast to the 144,000 that could be easily number in short while.

(2) Internationality

They are international in scope. They include all nations, kindreds, peoples, and languages or tongues. ” After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” ( Rev7:9). In contrast to the fifth seal martyrs, they are simply said to be martyrs. No  information was provide on their nationalities. It is most probable they are also international in scope. But that information was not given in the relevant passage of the Scriptures.

(3) Martyrdom

The fifth saints are said to be martyrs under the altar of the temple in heaven. There is no biblical evidence this great innumerable multitude are martyrs. A martyr is a saint, a believer in Jesus Christ who is slain for for his faith. For this great multitude to be martyrs, one must postulate that after the rapture, within the 70th Week of Daniel, in the second half but prior to the cosmic disturbances, a universal multitude of such great magnitude that they could not be enumerated, were saved, baptized, became witnesses for Christ, and were slain for their testimony, appear in heaven, and are now seen before the throne of God. There is no biblical evidence that such evangelistic success occurred. According to Pretribulation rapturism, the 144,000 have just been sealed. There is no indication that the two witnesses have met with any success in their ministry ( Rev.11:3-10). Besides, it is debatable whether the three angelic announcements have been made ( Rev.14:6). If these are martyrs, how can one account for this innumerable international and universal multitude of believers after the church is taken away, and God is dealing primarily with Israel according to pretribulationists.

(4) Resurrection Bodies

In Rev.6, the martyrs are souls under the altar. They have not yet received their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. They are souls “under the altar”( Rev.6:9). They are disembodied souls and spirits without glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies.  What the Apostle, John, the revelator saw was their spirit bodies. The soul is internal to the spirit body. It is fluid and invisible even in the spirit realm. The soul is the constellation of the will, intellect and emotion. The spirit body corresponds more or less to the physical body. There is a physical body. There is also a spirit body, and there is an glorified eternal immortal resurrection body.

In contrast, the great multitude which no man could number in Rev.7, are standing ” before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” ( Rev.7:9). They are resurrected saints; they have received their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. They are clothed with immortality.

(5) Appeal For Vengeance

In Rev.6, the souls under the altar appeal to God for vengeance for their blood ( Rev.6:9,10). In contrast the great multitude in Rev.7, are proclaiming with a loud voice, ” Salvation to our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.” ( Rev.7:10).

(6) Recognition

In Rev.7, the Apostle John the revelator did not know who this great innumerable multitude were. He did not recognize them. When the elder asked him, ” who are these…? ” ( v.13). His response was, ” Sir, thou knowest” ( v.14). The answer is a clear admission that he did not recognize them. In contrast to Rev.6, John the revelator immediately recognized them as those ” slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” ( Rev.6:9).

Conclusion

The question one would ask would be if this great innumerable multitude with universal representation who suddenly appear in heaven, are not martyrs, who are ? The great innumerable and universal multitude, appearing in heaven, clothed with white robes which signal righteousness, and standing in the presence of God with palms  in their hands, signaling justification and triumph, is the raptured church. This event occurs immediately prior to the breaking of the seventh seal which signals the beginning of the outpouring of the wrath of God ( Rev.8:1). The church is raptured before the wrath of God begins. ” For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ ( 1Thess.1:5:9).

John is asked two questions concerning this innumerable multitude by the elder: “who are these arrayed in white robes?” , and ” From whence do they come?” ( Rev.7:13). John did not know the answer to any of the two questions. The elder, the interviewer answered those questions himself. With regards to the question, who are they, he told John they are those who ” washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” And for the question, ” from whence did they come, he told him, ” These are they which came out of the Great Tribulation” ( Rev.7:14). It is therefore most probably that the small, and supposedly insignificantly church of the first century AD have become a Great innumerable multitude.

“And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God” ( Rev.711).

We see here that a heavenly host was worshipping God in the Throne Room in heaven in the behalf of this great multitude, but the church is no where to be found, conspicuously absent as it were. If the church have been raptured pretribulationally, one would expect the church to be present amongst the welcoming heavenly host. We conclude therefore that the great innumerable and universal multitude is the raptured church in heaven. It is the church that entered the 70th week of Daniel, went through the Great Tribulation, some of whom were martyred, emerged triumphant, and were raptured after the cosmic disturbance that interrupted the Great Tribulation, but prior to the breaking of the seventh seal which commences the outpouring of the wrath of God upon the living wicked earth-dwellers, adorers, and worshippers of the antiMessiah.

The symmetry, balance , and timing of Rev.7 should not be missed. It sandwiched between Rev.6:12-17 after the cosmic disturbance which announces the outpouring of the wrath of God, and Rev.7:1-8, which is the sealing of the 144,000, and Rev.8:1, which is the breaking of the seventh, the commencement of the outpouring of the wrath of God. In Rev.8, the wrath of God begins. In Rev.7, the church is raptured. But immediately prior to the rapture of the church, the 144,000 from the twelves tribes of Israel are sealed for protection prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God. God will not leave Himself without a witness and a representation on earth. If at any point in time there is no divine representation on earth, then, Satan has become the sovereign lord of the earth. But that would not be allowed to happen. The 144,000 are sealed for protection to go through the wrath of God in order that the church can be raptured to the Throne Room in heaven.