Impact

Part XVII: The Lord of the Scroll – Daniel’s 70th Week (DOM, Cleansing the Temple (CT), The Kingdom Age (KA), Great White Throne Judgment (GWTJ) Revisited)

Revelation Chapters 19 through 20

Review

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Then the twenty-four elders who are seated on their thrones before God threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and worshiped God with these words: “We give you thanks, Lord God, the All-Powerful, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations were enraged, but your wrath has come, and the time has come for the dead to be judged, and the time has come to give to your servants, the prophets, their reward, as well as to the saints and to those who revere your name, both small and great, and the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth.” Then the temple of God in heaven was opened and the ark of his covenant was visible within his temple. And there were flashes of lightning, roaring, crashes of thunder, an earthquake, and a great hailstorm. (Revelation 11:15-19 NET)


The seventh trumpet judgment in Revelation 11:15-19 proclaims that the kingdoms of this world are judged and replaced with the Kingdom of God, which is coming to the earth. The overall story of the book of Revelation is concluded with the blowing of the seventh trumpet. John is then given “backstory” (23) and “flashback” (22) details, which he records in the remainder of the Book of Revelation. (21)

The Book of Revelation provides progressive revelation similar to the creation of man account in Genesis.

Overview of Male and Female Creation:

God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 NET)

Detailed “Flashback” after Overview of Male and Female Creation:

The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7 NET)
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.” (Genesis 2:18 NET)
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:21–22 NET)

Again, Revelation 11:15-19 tells us that the seventh angel blows the seventh trumpet to announce the last judgment. The angel does not give the details; he only announces the judgment. (21)

The announcement is that:

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15 NET)

This same information will be given as a “Flashback” with more details in Revelation 14:6-20.

This same information will be given again in a “Flashback” with the final details in Revelation 15–18 (chapters).

This means we can overlay Revelation 11:15-19 on Revelation 14:6-20 and Revelation 15–18 as they all tell the same story with differing levels of detail.

These chapters outline God’s plan for the ages and the outcome for three groups of humanity:

  • national Israel,
  • the church, and
  • the unbelieving world.

This process of progressive revelation is called “prophetic telescoping.” For example, looking at a distant mountain range through a telescope or binoculars, the mountains look next to each other. However, when you fly over them or check a map, you discover there are often miles and miles between them. Prophetic telescoping is a key principle to interpreting foretelling-type prophecy (i.e., a prophecy that talks about events yet to happen).

In Revelation, chapters 12 and 13, John will outline the entire spiritual history of the nation of Israel. At the beginning of Revelation chapter 14, he will show the 144,000 who are the firstfruit of national Israel to believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah. Thus, he contrasts those who are sealed with the name of God with those who are sealed in the name of the Antichrist.

When reading these parenthetic verses, it must be understood that they are written in the period after the seventh trumpet of God’s wrath is blown, ending the Seventieth Week in Revelation. Since Israel has concluded the Seventieth Week, John gives a brief spiritual overview of how the salvation of national Israel came to pass earlier. John gives greater details on how these events unfolded from the midpoint of the Seventieth Week to its conclusion when the seventh trumpet was blown. (26)



Detailed Description

Revelation Chapters 19 thru 20

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: A Celebration in Heaven (Circa After the Seventh Bowl is Poured Out)
After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, because his judgments are true and just. For he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and has avenged the blood of his servants poured out by her own hands!” Then a second time the crowd shouted, “Hallelujah!” The smoke rises from her forever and ever. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures threw themselves to the ground and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne, saying: “Amen! Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God all you his servants, and all you who fear Him, both the small and the great!” Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns! (Revelation 19:1–6 NET)

After the destruction of Babylon, there is exuberant rejoicing in heaven by the great multitude of the redeemed. (26)

In the Old Covenant, the word hallelujah comes from two Hebrew words: halal and Yah. When combined, the word means “Praise Yah(weh),” or “Praise God,” or the more general phrase, “Praise the Lord.” Yah is the abbreviation of Yahweh, the covenant name of God. Regarding the English spelling of God’s covenant name, there is no letter “J” in Hebrew. Yahweh is mistranslated into English as “Jehovah.” (21)

King David used this phrase recorded many times in the Psalms. Like the voice exhorting the heavenly host to praise God, King David said: (21)

For his loyal love towers over us, and the Lord’s faithfulness endures. Praise the Lord! [Hb. halleluyah] (Psalm 117:2 NET)

In the New Covenant, hallelujah is a transliteration from the Greek expression allēlouia (ἀλληλουϊά). (35)

Hallelujah occurs twenty-three times in the Old Testament (NET) and is found only four times in the New Testament—all in Revelation 19:1-6. (21)

In contrast to the three woes announced upon the earth, we have four “Hallelujah’s” proclaimed in heaven:

  1. The first cry of “Hallelujah” is in gratitude for the salvation that God has provided.
  2. The second, “Hallelujah,” is proclaimed for God’s judgment of the false religious system of Babylon, the harlot whose smoke will rise forever.
  3. The third, “Hallelujah,” is proclaimed in a cry of victory by the Twenty-four elders and the four living creatures.
  4. The fourth, “Hallelujah,” is proclaimed by the redeemed because now God reigns upon the earth. (26)

This is because God’s wrath is complete, and the Lord Jesus will now return to the earth, with His heavenly armies, to set up the Kingdom of God. Satan’s schemes will finally end because he is no longer the prince of the world system. Jesus Christ will now reign as the rightful and legal ruler of the earth and the universe. This will be the single greatest moment in all of human history. As Jesus takes control, He will begin to right all the wrongs of a sinful and fallen world. (26)

The celebration in Heaven that started in Revelation 18 continues in the first six verses of Revelation 19. John hears all of Heaven celebrating the downfall of Satan’s anti-God, one-world system. (21)

As those on earth weep and mourn over her destruction, the redeemed in heaven will shout with joy. The Babylonian system, in one form or another, has persecuted the people of God throughout the ages. God has ended this great city, which was the physical manifestation of the evil world system. (26)

While humans often blame God for their suffering, the great company of worshipers in Heaven acknowledges that God’s judgment on the harlot system is true, righteous, and just. They declare again that God has judged the demonically inspired system for its spiritual fornication and to avenge the blood of the martyrs who cried out for justice. (21)

Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been. (Revelation 6:9–11 NET)

This worship and acknowledgment of God’s righteous judgment are by the Raptured believers who earlier sang,

After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands. They were shouting out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10 NET)

It is some of the same company of people who sang the Song of Moses and of the Lamb, saying:

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and his image and the number of his name. They were standing by the sea of glass, holding harps given to them by God. They sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and astounding are your deeds, Lord God, the All-Powerful! Just and true are your ways, King over the nations! Who will not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name, because you alone are holy? All nations will come and worship before you for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:1–4 NET)

While this was an incredible time of worship and praise, a voice came from the throne, exhorting the great multitude of believers, the Twenty-four elders, and the four living beings to even greater praise. Their response was so loud John compared it to the sound of mighty thundering and the roaring sound of many waters. (21)

Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns! (Revelation 19:6 NET)

This was the original “Hallelujah Chorus!”

FLASHBACK: The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is Announced (Circa after the Seventh Bowl is Poured Out)
Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints). Then the angel said to me, “Write the following: Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God.”  (Revelation 19:7–9 NET)

The great multitude praising the Lord now begins to celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb. What is this about? The Bible tells us that God wants a personal relationship with us. One of the ways God communicates this to us is through various expressions we can understand in human relationships. In our relationship with God, we would not literally understand these figures of speech. (21)

For example, in the Hebrew Bible, God calls Israel His bride-wife. When God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt, He said to them:

Therefore, tell the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I will bring you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians, I will rescue you from the hard labor they impose, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you to myself for a people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:6–7 NET)

God uses marriage talk when He says He will “take” the Hebrews. He means that He will acquire them as a bride. (21)

Isaiah clarifies:

For your husband is the one who made you— the Lord who commands armies is his name. He is your protector, the Holy One of Israel. He is called “God of the entire earth.” “Indeed, the Lord will call you back like a wife who has been abandoned and suffers from depression, like a young wife when she has been rejected,” says your God. (Isaiah 54:5-6 NET).

Some scholars see Israel as the wife of Yahweh and the followers of Jesus as the Bride of Christ [Messiah] as two separate groups. Spiritually God indeed needs a wife to have a Son. From a covenant standpoint, Israel is that wife, and Jesus (Yeshua) is His Son born to Israel. His Son has a Bride, both Jewish and non-Jewish believers. However, these are figures of speech God uses so we can understand that He wants to have an intimate relationship with us. (21)

God’s covenant bride-wife is neither Jew nor Gentile. God has made us one with Him and in Him through the marriage covenant in the blood of Jesus. His Spirit in us joins us to Himself and each other as one company of people. God is in us, and we are in Him in a covenant union like a marriage. (21)

Paul makes this very clear:

But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him. (1 Corinthians 6:17 NET)


Out of His sovereign desire to reveal Himself to us, the Creator of the universe needed a people through whom He could make Himself known. He could not reveal Himself to us in the fullness of His glory without destroying us with His manifested presence. He needed a people group. God could have chosen any people group. As we learn in the Bible, He chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants as the ethnic people through whom He would reveal His redemptive plans and purposes on the earth. (21)

God did not choose the Jewish people because they were better than any other group. He chose them because He found in Abraham a man who believed in the One True God and followed Him. Abraham’s descendants, later known as the Jews, were not unique because of some inherent superiority but because of their high calling:

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. He has chosen you to be his people, prized above all others on the face of the earth. It is not because you were more numerous than all the other peoples that the LORD favored and chose you—for in fact you were the least numerous of all peoples. Rather it is because of his love for you and his faithfulness to the promise he solemnly vowed to your ancestors that the LORD brought you out with great power, redeeming you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So realize that the LORD your God is the true God, the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, but who pays back those who hate him as they deserve and destroys them. He will not ignore those who hate him but will repay them as they deserve! So keep the commandments, statutes, and ordinances that I today am commanding you to do. (Deuteronomy 7:6–11)

While the Jews were the first of God’s people, the Creator made it clear that He would also call a people to Himself from among the Gentiles. In all three divisions of the Hebrew Bible, the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi’im), and the Psalms (K’tivim), the Lord revealed that He would include Gentiles as part of “My people.”

From the moment God called Abraham, He told Abraham that he would be a blessing to all the families of the earth.

I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.” (Genesis 12:3 NET)

God’s covenant people would include “whosoever will” as they responded to the revelation He gave through Abraham.

Before God even brought the Hebrews into the Promised Land, He reached out to the Gentiles and said,

Cry out, O nations [Gentiles], with his people, for he will avenge his servants’ blood; he will take vengeance against his enemies, and make atonement for his land and people. (Deuteronomy 32:43 NET)

The psalmist calls the Gentiles to worship the Lord:

Praise the Lord, all you nations! Applaud him, all you foreigners! (Psalm 117:1 NET)

Isaiah spoke of the Messiah who would come from the seed of Jesse, the father of King David. (21)

He prophesied that the Gentiles would seek Him:

At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic. (Isaiah 11:10 NET).

Luke tells the story of Simeon, a devout Jewish man waiting for the Messiah to appear. The Lord told him he would not die until he saw the Messiah.

When Jesus was presented at the Temple, Simeon prophesied:

“Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32).

Simeon was referring to Isaiah’s prophecy where the Lord said of the Messiah:

he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant, to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and restore the remnant of Israel? I will make you a light to the nations, so you can bring my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6 NET)

It is evident, from the writings of Paul, that God has not called two separate peoples but one people. Paul says that true Israel is made up of those who are the children of faith in Christ, not merely those who are born of Jewish descent:

Now this secret was not disclosed to people in former generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, namely, that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:5–6 NET)
Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh—who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body by human hands—that you were at that time without the Messiah, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, so that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:11–22 NET)

As Western believers, we must understand that Christians are part of “the Israel of God” and have become “one new man” with them. The Church is not Israel but is joined with Jews as the “one new man,” also known as the new “Israel of God.”

But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation! And all who will behave in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:14–16 NET)

Speaking symbolically, Jewish believers are not grafted into the Christians’ wild olive tree, but Christians are grafted into the cultivated Jewish olive tree. Furthermore, the Jewish branches that were broken off will be grafted back into the Jewish olive tree.

Now if some of the [Jewish] branches were broken off, and you, a [Gentile] wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the [Jewish] olive root, do not boast over the [Jewish] branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the [Jewish] root, but the [Jewish] root supports you. Then you will say, “The [Jewish] branches were broken off so that I [a Gentile] could be grafted in.” Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! For if God did not spare the natural [Jewish] branches, perhaps he will not spare you [a Gentile branch]. Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God—harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And even they [Jewish branches]—if they do not continue in their unbelief—will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a [Gentile] wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated [Jewish] olive tree, how much more will these natural [Jewish] branches be grafted back into their own [cultivated Jewish] olive tree? (Romans 11:17-24 NET)

While Abraham is the natural father of the Jewish people, he is the spiritual father of all true believers.

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26–29 NET)

He is “Our Father Abraham.”

For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants—not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (Romans 4:16 NET)
It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel,
 nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” This means it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants. (Romans 9:6–8 NET)
But you, brothers and sisters, are children of the promise like Isaac. (Galatians 4:28 NET)
But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation! And all who will behave in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:14–16 NET)

All Christians are spiritually Jews:

For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God. (Romans 2:28–29 NET)

Zechariah saw this “One New Man” company of people when he wrote:

The Lord who rules over all says, ‘In those days ten people [a representative number] from all languages and nations will grasp hold of—indeed, grab—the robe [tzitzit] of one Jew and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ” (Zechariah 8:23)

Through Messiah, God has made way for all people to be His people, regardless of ethnic or national background, skin color, gender, economic status, social position, education, life achievements, age, language, customs, or traditions. No human barriers keep us from being in God’s Kingdom family. All of His people will be forever in His glorious presence.

Only those who have faith in Christ are considered God’s people. According to Paul, if one is born Jewish and rejects Christ, he is not considered part of God’s people. This is the same for a Gentile who also rejects Christ.

No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known. (John 1:18 NET)
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him. (Matthew 11:27 NET)
So Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does, and will show him greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming—and is now here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. (John 5:19–27 NET)
Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23 NET)
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9 NET)

God has only provided one way of salvation: through the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. (1)

I tell you, many will come from the east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:11–12 NET)
Then one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is more to your advantage to have one man die for the people than for the whole nation to perish.” (Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation, and not for the Jewish nation only, but to gather together into one the children of God who are scattered.) So from that day they planned together to kill him. (John 11:49–53 NET)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! Look, your house is left to you desolate! For I tell you, you will not see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” (Matthew 23:37–39 NET)


On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus explained to His disciples that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine again until He had established His Father’s kingdom. (26)

I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29 NET)

It will be during the great wedding feast of Jesus to His bride, the church, that He will once again partake of the fruit of the vine. This great marriage feast will take place on the earth. The surviving repentant remnants of national Israel and those Gentiles who enter Christ’s kingdom will be invited as guests to witness this great event. This gives great insight into the Lord’s comment at the sixth bowl: (26)

(Look! I will come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition be seen.) (Revelation 16:15 NET)

Those following the Antichrist will be found naked and unworthy to witness the wedding or enter the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. (26)

In the text, it is said of the bride that she “has made herself ready.” The elect of God, who have been the overcomers of all the ages, will be arrayed in white garments indicative of the righteous acts performed in their service to God. They will be presented with these bright linen robes after the judgment seat of Christ has taken place. Although they battle sin daily, the reward will be great for those saints who persevere and overcome. The marriage of Jesus to His elect is one of the great mysteries revealed by the Apostle Paul: (26)

for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is great—but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30-32 NET)
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2)

God has called out an elect group of people throughout human history to have a unique, intimate relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. This bride will include believers of all ages, both Jew and Gentile, who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. These resurrected and glorified saints will forever serve their Lord and Savior as kings and priests in His eternal kingdom. Because of this marriage, God will hold a great celebration, known as the marriage supper of the Lamb. Imagine God Almighty throwing a celebration for His Son and the church. It will be a festival unequaled in all of history. “Blessed are those called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (26)

Overcome with amazement, John falls down to worship the individual speaking to him. Immediately, John is told that he should worship God only, for he is also a fellow servant of Jesus Christ. This fellow servant then informs John that the Lord Jesus is the spirit, or the sum and substance, of all prophecy. (26)

BACKSTORY: A Jewish Galilean Wedding (Circa First Century A.D.)
Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.Jesus told the servants, “Fill the water jars with water.” So they filled them up to the very top. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head steward,” and they did. When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now!” Jesus did this as the first of his miraculous signs, in Cana of Galilee. In this way he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1–11 NET)

Weddings are among the most exciting events of our lives! Weddings point to love, hope, faith, new beginnings, and all the beautiful things in this life, not just for the couple being married but for all of us. Yet even amid all the excitement, the couple must gather and compose themselves so they can adequately handle the planning and preparation for the ceremony itself and the countless details that lead up to the ceremony. (7)

But unlike today’s modern wedding, the 1st-century Jewish Galilean wedding ceremony had very different customs, traditions, and rituals. For us to better understand the words and parables of Jesus, we must first understand the culture He was in. All of the disciples of Jesus, except for Judas Iscariot, were from Galilee. And when it came to weddings, the Galileans’ traditions differed from the rest of Israel. In addition, Jesus spent two-thirds of His time in ministry in Galilee. (7)

In Bible times, a Jewish Galilean marriage had three phases

(1) Betrothal Phase

With help from his father, a young man would prepare a marriage contract for the young woman. This marriage contract was, and still is, called a ketubah. It is a formal written document stipulating the terms of the marriage.

Once the contract was prepared, the young man would meet the young woman near the city gate and present the contract to her (and her father). Realize a Galilean wedding was the most important event in the town, and everyone rushed to witness it. In fact, witnesses had to be present to ratify the covenant.

The written marriage covenant was read by the groom’s father to the bride. (7) We would call this his proposal of marriage. This is not as romantic as our modern way of proposing, but the boy and girl are too young to have a wedding and live together as husband and wife. That will occur later.

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. (John 3:16–18 NET)

The most important part of the proposal was the bride price—the amount of money the young man was willing to pay the father for the right to marry his daughter. Gifts or dowry were exchanged with the most extravagant given to the bride by the groom’s father. The dowry was an insurance policy not for the bride’s purchase but to care for her.

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21–22 ESV)
He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 5:5 NET ESV)
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV)

At the betrothal or engagement ceremony, the big moment comes when the bridegroom pours wine into a ceremonial cup that he presents to the bride.

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. So they came to Jesus and said, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast. But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and at that time they will fast. (Mark 2:18–20 NET)
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my joy, and it is complete. He must become more important while I become less important.” (John 3:29–30 NET)

The cup is called the Cup of Acceptance and the Cup of Joy. It represented the blood covenant union the two would have when they came together as husband and wife.

Once he does this, she has the choice as to whether or not she will accept or reject his marriage proposal. It is completely up to her whether or not the wedding takes place, as she is given all authority for this decision. If she accepts the bridegroom’s proposal, she indicates this by accepting and drinking from the cup of joy and now becomes the bride (Hebrew calah or kallah pronounced kal-law). If the young woman drank from the cup, she was saying “Yes” to the marriage proposal. (2)

The Cup of joy is then passed back to the bridegroom, who drinks from it, thus ratifying the marriage covenant. The bridegroom then says, “You are now consecrated unto me by the Laws of Moses, and I will not drink this cup again until I drink of it anew with you at my father’s house.” (7)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26–29 NET)

The couple was then betrothed to one another. The young woman was legally his bride, although they were not yet ready or able to live together as husband and wife. The bridegroom would give the young woman gifts as tokens of his love. The engagement period is the nearest we come to this tradition in modern times. (21)

Before leaving his newly betrothed, the young bridegroom would tell her he would return to his father’s house and prepare a place for her. This was usually a room added to his father’s house. It was the wedding chamber or chuppah. He assured her that he would come again and bring her to himself that where he was, she would also be.

“Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:1–4 NET)

Once the marriage covenant is ratified, the year-long preparation for the wedding ceremony begins. The bridegroom and bride are technically married, united under a new covenant. However, the bridegroom must live apart from his bride until the day of their wedding feast. The bride still lives at her house, but she is no longer of it, for she belongs to the bridegroom and lives for him now. Everything looks the same but is now different because she belongs to the bridegroom. She is not bound by the old house anymore.

The bridegroom is now responsible for preparing for the day he will be reunited with his bride. He will acquire materials to build a new room for himself and his bride in his father’s house. He will craft new furniture, including tables and stools, and purchase oil lamps, rugs, and dishes for the wedding feast that will take place in their new home. (7)

The young man’s father decided when the room was complete and when it was time for him to get his bride. Whenever someone asked him when he was returning for his bride, the young man would reply, “I do not know; only my father knows.” (21)

But as for that day or hour no one knows it—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son—except the Father. Watch out! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey. He left his house and put his slaves in charge, assigning to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to stay alert. Stay alert, then, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return—whether during evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or at dawn—or else he might find you asleep when he returns suddenly. What I say to you I say to everyone: Stay alert!” (Mark 13:32–37 NET)

The bride must purchase materials and prepare her wedding dress for the hour that the wedding will take place. The bride was to remain always ready, remaining busy preparing for the bridegroom’s return. The bridesmaid must also prepare their dresses. (7)

She used the gifts he had given her to make herself attractive to him. Although she did not know when he was coming, she wanted to be ready. Her every thought was focused on the day she would see him face to face. She would set herself apart and resist all other would-be suitors. She had been bought with a price and kept herself pure for her one true love. (21)

About one year would typically elapse in Galilee for a wedding at the father’s house. However, the bridegroom, bride, bride’s father, nor anyone else knew the day and the hour of the wedding. Only the bridegroom’s father knew the day and the hour of the wedding. It was to be a surprise wedding! (7)

“Learn this parable from the fig tree: Whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “But as for that day and hour no one knows it—not even the angels in heaven—except the Father alone. For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one left. There will be two women grinding grain with a mill; one will be taken and one left. “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:32–44 NET)

At a Galilean wedding, the hour would be in the middle of the night when the bridegroom’s father would tell the bridegroom to go get his bride. Consequently, the bride and her virgin bridesmaids slept in their wedding clothes to be ready with lamps prepared to go out to meet the bridegroom. (7)

https://www.gospelimages.com/paintings/92/the-parable-of-the-ten-virgins?
The Parable of the Ten Virgins by Jan van’t Hoff (27)
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:1–13 NET)

The five wise bridesmaids had “prayed the price (1)” to be born again, as indicated by having olive oil (1) ready for their lamps, thus representing the Holy Spirit within their spirits. The foolish bridesmaids believed in the Lord (even the demons believe in God (James 2:19)) but never repented of their sins and placed their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior to be born again from above, as indicated by no olive oil for their lamps, representing no Holy Spirit within their spirits and thus no salvation. (7)

The human spirit is like the lamp of the LORD, searching all his innermost parts. (Proverbs 20:27 NET)
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 NET)
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:8–13 NET)
(2) Wedding Phase

When the father finally tells his son to go get his bride in the early morning hours, the son grabs his shofar (1) and blows it, awakening the groomsmen sleeping with him. Since she did not know exactly the day or hour when he would be coming, the bride made special preparations. She kept an oil lamp beside her bed with plenty of oil in case he came at night. Her bridesmaids would do the same. (21)

As they set out into the street heading to the bride’s home, the shofar is blown long and loud, awakening the bride and her bridesmaids, who quickly trim their lamps. When the wedding party got close to the house, the young man would shout and blow the shofar to let his bride know he was coming for her. The bride and the bridesmaids rush out into the night air, anxiously awaiting the bridegroom’s return. Other guests who were invited, and were ready, join the bridegroom and groomsmen as the procession makes its way to the bride. (7)

The bridegroom looks upon his bride with love. She and her bridesmaids are dressed in beautiful, brilliant white flowing gowns illuminated by the lamps, contrasting with the dark new moon night sky (1). She is lovely to Him, and to her, He makes the concept of submission sacredly desirable and empowering (Esther 2:15-17). They are now reunited forever to live in the Father’s house.

Groomsmen bring a litter and lower it to the ground before the bride. The bride modestly steps into and gently sits and lowers herself down into the litter, then the groomsmen lift her up to transport her to the bridegroom’s father’s house and their new room, where the wedding feast has been prepared. The ancient Galileans referred to this as “flying the bride to the father’s house.” (7)

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 NET) 

The bridegroom would take his bride back to the place he had prepared for her, and there in the wedding chamber, they would consummate the marriage. In Bible terms, this is called “cutting the covenant.”

(3) Celebration Phase

Once the young couple joined as one flesh, they celebrated their union with family and friends. Part of that celebration was a joyous feast called the marriage supper. The bride and bridegroom enter the new room where the marriage supper has been prepared. All those that joined the procession enter and are seated. (7)

Many couples today have a meal for family and friends after their wedding service. It is a time to honor the new husband and wife and celebrate their marriage covenant.

Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns! Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints). Then the angel said to me, “Write the following: Blessed are those who are invited to the banquet at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God." (Revelation 19:6–9 NET

Those who entered who were not wearing wedding garments were thrown out into the darkness of the night as they were not prepared (i.e., not wearing robes of righteousness, not born again). They did not choose to be the chosen (1). (7)

But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:11–14 NET)

Then the bridegroom’s father shuts the door, and no one else can enter. Those not ready to join the procession when it went through the town will be left in the darkness of the night. (7)

Go, my people! Enter your inner rooms! Close your doors behind you! Hide for a little while, until his angry judgment is over! For look, the LORD is coming out of the place where he lives, to punish the sin of those who live on the earth. The earth will display the blood shed on it; it will no longer cover up its slain. (Isaiah 26:20–21 NET)

John the Baptist said of his relationship with Jesus:

You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but rather, ‘I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my joy, and it is complete. (John 3:28–29 NET)

Jesus said to His followers:

“Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. (John 14:1–3 NET)

His followers asked Him when He would come again for them.

Jesus responded,

“But as for that day and hour no one knows it—not even the angels in heaven—except the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36 NET)

Believers are now in the betrothal phase of our covenant relationship with God through Jesus. He paid the price to make us His Bride. That price was His own blood given for us. When we say yes to Him, we spiritually drink the cup of the New Covenant in His blood, showing our union with Him through His indwelling Holy Spirit.

We become “partakers of the divine nature”:

Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature [of God], after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. (2 Peter 1:4 NET)

Jesus has given us spiritual gifts so we can prepare ourselves for Him at His coming. We commit ourselves wholly and completely to Him. We are not our own because we have been bought with a price. Like the young woman waiting for her beloved to return, we keep ourselves pure and holy until He comes for us. (21)

While Jesus has been preparing a place for us for a long time, we learn from Revelation 19 that our Father in Heaven has determined that it is time for His Son to come for His Bride. The place He has prepared is ready.

We learn later that the New Jerusalem is the place He has prepared for us. John even calls it “the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (R evelation 21:9). The New Jerusalem is our wedding chamber or divine chuppah, where we will ultimately live forever with our heavenly Bridegroom. (21)

Our heavenly Bridegroom has finished preparing a place for us, and the Bride has made herself ready. In Bible times, when people were invited to a wedding, they wore white garments provided for them by the host. Here the Bride is clothed in fine linen, clean and bright, which John says is the righteous acts of the saints. This is wedding talk that means God’s people are now spiritually mature enough for the wedding with Jesus, our divine Bridegroom, to take place. (21)

She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints). (Revelation 19:8 NET)

Jesus used several wedding illustrations to explain how important it is for His Bride and the invited guests to be ready for His coming. In one of His parables, Jesus told about a king who had arranged a marriage for his son and sent out special invitations to many. But the invited guests were too busy to come and even persecuted and killed the servants who called them to the feast. The king destroyed these ungrateful ones and invited others to the wedding. When the king arrived for the celebration, he noticed one person was not wearing his wedding garment. The king removed the man from the celebration. (21)

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to summon those who had been invited to the banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.” ’ But they were indifferent and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest seized his slaves, insolently mistreated them, and killed them. The king was furious! He sent his soldiers, and they put those murderers to death and set their city on fire. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the ones who had been invited were not worthy. So go into the main streets and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ And those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all they found, both bad and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say.Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:1–14 NET)

Again, Jesus told a parable about ten virgins who were friends of the bride. They took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom when he came for his betrothed. Five were wise virgins who took oil for their lamps. Five were foolish. They had no oil for their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all fell asleep. Finally, at midnight the cry was heard that the bridegroom was coming. But the foolish virgins’ lamps went out; they had no oil to light them and could not attend the wedding. (21)

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ (Matthew 25:1–12 NET)

Jesus used this parable to warn us to be ready for His coming.

He said,

Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:13 NET).

As the approaching bridegroom shouted and blew the shofar to alert his bride, even so, Jesus will come for us in like manner. This is the wedding phase in our relationship with the Lord. It is the time that we will be caught up to meet Him in the air, according to the teaching of Jesus. He says this will occur at the last trumpet (or shofar) sound. (21)

“Immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29–31 NET)

Paul confirms this with his comments:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 NET)

Writing about this same event, Paul adds the following:

Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51–52 NET)

The “last trumpet” does not correlate with the “seventh trumpet” of Revelation 11:15 (written Circa AD 64-96), which had not been written when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians (written Circa AD 52-55). Paul drew upon the Roman army’s practice to illustrate the church’s removal from the earth. The “first trumpet” signaled the troops to break camp. The “last trumpet” was the signal to begin to march (Josephus, Jewish War, 3.89-92) (34). The “last trumpet” will signal the removal of the church to heaven. (33) Hallelujah!

We will return with the Lord and experience the third phase of our relationship with Him. We will have the marriage feast or supper of the Lamb. When Jesus had His last meal with His disciples (21)

He said,

I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29 NET)

This was the Passover or covenant meal—what believers call communion, the marriage feast, or supper. Jesus said He would not partake of it again until He did so with His followers in His Father’s Kingdom. His Father’s Kingdom is now coming to the earth. Hallelujah!

Jesus spoke of this again and said:

I tell you, many will come from the east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:11–12 NET)

This celebration is not in Heaven; the Kingdom of Heaven is coming to the Earth! (21)

John clarifies that while the host (Jesus) has provided the wedding garment of salvation, the believers have made themselves ready through their righteous acts. Western believers must understand that while we are not saved by works, we are saved “for” good works of covenantal love.

Paul explains:

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. (Ephesians 2:8–10 NET)

People who profess to be believers but do not live godly lives will not be invited to the marriage supper. People who have “Churchianity” but do not have a relationship with Jesus, as evidenced by their lives, will not be properly dressed for the occasion. These are not my words but the words of Jesus:

For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27).

The works are the fruit of covenantal love produced in us, through us, and out of us by the Holy Spirit. They are the true test of a genuine believer, not meaningless confessions from our lips that do not produce the fruit of the Spirit. (21)

Jesus said,

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:19–20 NET)

The Bible is clear—if there is no fruit, there is no root.

So I threw myself down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “Do not do this! I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10 NET)

John becomes so overwhelmed that he falls at the feet of the angel to worship him. The angel rebukes John with the comment that he is a fellow servant giving testimony of Jesus, which is the heart of all prophecy. We are to worship God and not His heavenly messengers, no matter how glorious their appearance. (21)

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: The Battle of Armageddon (Circa after the Seventh Bowl is Poured Out)
Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. His eyes are like a fiery flame and there are many diadem crowns on his head. He has a name written that no one knows except himself. He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. From his mouth extends a sharp sword, so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11–16 NET)

The moment of truth has finally arrived for planet Earth. Jesus will, again, leave Heaven to battle the armies of the Antichrist in the last war on planet Earth. (26)

Jesus comes as one who makes war. He is seated on a mighty white horse as He heads toward Earth. In His first advent, Jesus came humbly, riding on a lowly colt. This time He will arrive as a warrior on a white stallion to destroy the armies of the Antichrist. Jesus is also said to be wearing a robe dipped in blood. (26)

This is the same robe that became blood-stained as He destroyed Israel’s enemies while leading them from Bozrah (1) to Jerusalem: (26)

Who is this who comes from Edom, dressed in bright red, coming from Bozrah? Who is this one wearing royal attire, who marches confidently because of his great strength? “It is I, the one who announces vindication, and who is able to deliver!” Why are your clothes red? Why do you look like someone who has stomped on grapes in a vat? “I have stomped grapes in the winepress all by myself; no one from the nations joined me. I stomped on them in my anger; I trampled them down in my rage. Their juice splashed on my garments, and stained all my clothes. For I looked forward to the day of vengeance, and then payback time arrived. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was shocked because there was no one offering support. So my right arm accomplished deliverance; my raging anger drove me on. I trampled nations in my anger, I made them drunk in my rage, I splashed their blood on the ground.” (Isaiah 63:1–6 NET)

The fact that this robe is blood-stained as He departs heaven toward Earth proves that this cannot be His first time back on Earth. In His leading of the Jews to Jerusalem, Isaiah states that He will fight alone (Isaiah 63:3). This time, the armies of heaven, who are also upon white horses, will accompany him. It is believed that this army will be composed of millions of angels: (26)

and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. (2 Thessalonians 1:7 NET)

Whether or not the redeemed saints will be included is not made clear by the text of Revelation. The epistle of Jude does seem to indicate that the saints also will accompany Jesus: (26)

Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14-15 NET)

Out of the mouth of Christ comes a sharp sword that He will use to destroy the nations that have gathered to battle Him. It will be through the breath of His mouth that He will destroy the Antichrist, as Paul states: (26)

and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy [Gk, anaireo] by the breath of his mouth and wipe out [Gk, katargeo] by the manifestation of his arrival. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

Paul is not being redundant in this verse. Jesus will, at the battle of Armageddon, destroy the Antichrist by the breath of His mouth. However, when Jesus came for His church, the brightness of His glory covered the Earth, and He “destroyed” the Antichrist. As previously explained (1), the word used here for “destroy” is the Greek word katargeo, which means to render inactive or idle. The Antichrist was rendered inactive at the Lord’s coming, as the Great Tribulation was cut short and the Day of the Lord began. The Antichrist could not do much of anything during the period encompassing the trumpet and bowl judgments of the Day of the Lord. Armageddon will be the Antichrist’s last effort to stand against God. (26)

In this passage, John states that Christ will stomp the winepress of God Almighty. This stomping of the winepress is explained in greater detail (1) in Revelation chapter 14. Contained within this important chapter are the salvation of national Israel (Revelation 14:1-5) and the rapture of the church (Revelation 14:14-16). The fate of those who follow the Antichrist in the battle against the Lord Jesus (Revelation 14:17-20).

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Another angel, who was in charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to the angel who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes off the vine of the earth, because its grapes are now ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes from the vineyard of the earth and tossed them into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Then the winepress was stomped outside the city, and blood poured out of the winepress up to the height of horses’ bridles for a distance of almost two hundred miles. (Revelation 14:17–20 NET) 

This is the outcome for those who have sided with the Antichrist. The imagery here is of a great winepress being trampled by Jesus. This is to occur outside the city of Jerusalem, on the plains of Megiddo. As these men are trampled, their blood will fly into the air up to the horse’s bridle, approximately four feet. The text is not referring to the depth of blood flow but rather how high it splatters as the Son of God tramples these men. Their blood splattering is likened to grapes as they are trampled in the winepress. This decimated army’s blood stains will be seen for 1600 furlongs or 200 miles. Armageddon will be a most terrible and bloody battle.

FLASHBACK: The Supper of the Great God (Circa after the Seventh Bowl is Poured Out)
Then I saw one angel standing in the sun, and he shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying high in the sky: “Come, gather around for the great banquet of God, to eat your fill of the flesh of kings, the flesh of generals, the flesh of powerful people, the flesh of horses and those who ride them, and the flesh of all people, both free and slave, and small and great!” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. (Revelation 19:17–19 NET)

So great will be the destruction of human life in the Battle of Armageddon that God will prepare for it in advance less the stench of the unburied dead should breed pestilence. (21) Consequently, at the beginning of this great battle, an angel will call the birds of the earth to come and feast on the carcasses of all killed. This is called the “supper of the great God.” Those not invited to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” will be forced to attend the “supper of the great God.” (26)

Jesus spoke of this supper of the great God:

For just like the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (Matthew 24:27–28 NET)

As the battle unfolds, John reveals in verse 19 that these armies are gathered for the sole purpose to “make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.”

The text of Ezekiel chapter 38 presents the Antichrist’s (Gog’s) invasion of Israel at the midpoint of the Seventieth Week. (26)

Earlier in this series, Gog was identified as the Antichrist and Magog as the land of the Antichrist (i.e., modern-day Turkey, formerly Asia Minor)(1).

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, turn toward Gog [the Antichrist], of the land of Magog [Turkey], the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against you, Gog [the Antichrist], chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them fully armed, a great company with shields of different types, all of them armed with swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets. They are joined by Gomer with all its troops, and by Beth Togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples are with you. “ ‘Be ready and stay ready, you and all your companies assembled around you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come to a land restored from the ravages of war, with many peoples gathered on the mountains of Israel that had long been in ruins. Its people were brought out from the peoples, and all of them will be living securely. You will advance; you will come like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the earth, you, all your troops, and the many other peoples with you. “ ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled towns; I will advance against those living quietly in security—all of them living without walls and barred gates—to loot and plunder, to attack the inhabited ruins and the people gathered from the nations, who are acquiring cattle and goods, who live at the center of the earth.” Sheba and Dedan and the traders of Tarshish with all its young warriors will say to you, “Have you come to loot? Have you assembled your armies to plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to haul away a great amount of spoils?” ’ “Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog (the Antichrist]: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On that day when my people Israel are living securely, you will take notice and come from your place, from the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a vast army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud covering the earth. In the latter days I will bring you against my land so that the nations may acknowledge me, when before their eyes I magnify myself through you, O Gog [the Antichrist]. (Ezekiel 38:1–16 NET)

As Christ returned to inaugurate the Day of the Lord, the invasion by the Antichrist (Gog) was cut short as God rained down the trumpet and bowl judgments: (26)

“ ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them? On that day, when Gog [the Antichrist] invades the land of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord, my rage will mount up in my anger. In my zeal, in the fire of my fury, I declare that on that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts, all the things that creep on the ground, and all people who live on the face of the earth will shake at my presence. The mountains will topple, the cliffs will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword to attack Gog on all my mountains, declares the sovereign Lord; every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will judge him with plague and bloodshed. I will rain down on him, his troops and the many peoples who are with him a torrential downpour, hailstones, fire, and brimstone. I will exalt and magnify myself; I will reveal myself before many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ (Ezekiel 38:17–23 NET)

After these judgments are ended, God states that the Antichrist (Gog) will be pulled forth again to the mountains of Israel. (26)

“As for you, son of man, prophesy against Gog [the Antichrist], and say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against you, O Gog [the Antichrist], chief prince of Meshech and Tubal! I will turn you around and drag you along; I will lead you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. (Ezekiel 39:1–2 NET)

It will be in this area, in the valley of Megiddo, where God states that He will destroy the Antichrist’s (Gog’s) armies and feed them to the birds of prey. (26)

I will knock your bow out of your left hand and make your arrows fall from your right hand. You will fall dead on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the people who are with you. I give you as food to every kind of bird and every wild beast. You will fall dead in the open field; for I have spoken, declares the sovereign Lord. I will send fire on Magog [Turkey] and those who live securely in the coastlands; then they will know that I am the Lord. “ ‘I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. (Ezekiel 39:3–7 NET)

In fact, the very same words are used by John that Ezekiel employs in the calling of these birds to the great feast: (26)

“As for you, son of man, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Tell every kind of bird and every wild beast: ‘Assemble and come! Gather from all around to my slaughter which I am going to make for you, a great slaughter on the mountains of Israel! You will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—the rams, lambs, goats, and bulls, all of them fattened animals of Bashan. (Ezekiel 39:17–18 NET)

Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 perfectly parallel the Antichrist’s invasion of Jerusalem at the midpoint of the Seventieth Week, the judgments of the Day of the Lord, and the final destruction of him and his armies.

Ezekiel is not referring to some mythical invasion of the Middle East by Russia. If Ezekiel is portraying a battle other than Armageddon, then there must be two suppers of the great God. This is because the supper in Ezekiel has too many similarities to the supper presented in the text of Revelation. (26)

Ezekiel also discloses that Gog (i.e., the Antichrist) is to come to his end on the mountains of Israel. The prophet Daniel confirms this:

He [the Antichrist] will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him. (Daniel 11:45 NET)
Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: The Third Doom – The Beast (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet Are Taken Alive (1290 Days from the Middle of the Seventieth Week)
Now the beast [the Antichrist] was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf—signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur. (Revelation 19:20 NET)

“Take him alive.” This is the instruction often given to warriors when hunting down their leaders’ chief enemies. They want to capture the enemy’s leader so they can be satisfied with seeing justice done. This is the situation at the Battle of Armageddon. John explains that the Beast (the Antichrist) and the false prophet have been captured. While John does not say who captures them, obviously, the Lord takes them captive. (21)

John is also shown that both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire. They cannot resist because they are powerless against Jesus Christ. All the great miracles and power these two will have perpetrated upon the world are nothing more than clever deception by the very hand of Satan. (26)

It is important to note that the Beast is a person, not just the anti-God system. This is the Antichrist John described in Revelation 13:1-10. He is the political leader whom John calls the Beast From the Sea. He is the one who was empowered by Satan to lead the anti-God, one-world system. He is the one whom the people worshiped. He is the one who blasphemed God and made war against God’s people. (21)

The false prophet is also a person, not just the anti-God harlot religious system. He is the Beast From the Earth described by John in Revelation 13:11-18. He is the one who was empowered by Satan to perform signs and wonders to deceive the people. He is the one who instructed the people to make an image of the Beast. He is the one who deceived the people by making it seem that the image of the Beast was speaking. He is the one who promoted the worship of the Beast person and system by requiring people to take the Beast’s mark. (21)

Since God took His two witnesses alive to Heaven, it is appropriate that He take these two false witnesses and send them alive to hell. (21)

Before the Beast (the Antichrist) is seized and cast into the “Lake of Fire,” Satan will exit from his person. (8)

John says they are cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

“Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the flaming fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their ruling authority had already been removed, though they were permitted to go on living for a time and a season. (Daniel 7:11–12 NET)

The Antichrist and the false prophet are the first people consigned to the Lake of Fire. It is the final place of judgment for those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life. (21)

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15 NET)

It is interesting to note that when Satan is finally cast into hell 1,000 years later, the Antichrist and false prophet are still there alive, being continually tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:10). This means that hell is not a place of annihilation or purification (purgatory) but a place of eternal separation from God. (21)

The Antichrist was never any big threat to God, for He is in control of all things at all times. This beast, who brought the world to its knees, comes to a very insignificant ending. He is merely captured and tossed into the lake of fire. He will not be given the dignity of burial, for the earth will cast him out, as Isaiah states: (26)

Those who see you stare at you, they look at you carefully, thinking: “Is this the man who shook the earth, the one who made kingdoms tremble? Is this the one who made the world like a desert, who ruined its cities, and refused to free his prisoners so they could return home?” ’ As for all the kings of the nations, all of them lie down in splendor, each in his own tomb. But you have been thrown out of your grave like a shoot that is thrown away. You lie among the slain, among those who have been slashed by the sword, among those headed for the stones of the pit, as if you were a mangled corpse. You will not be buried with them, because you destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. (Isaiah 14:16–20 NET)

As Jesus was the “firstfruits” of the resurrection to life, the Antichrist will be the “firstfruits” of those resurrected for eternal death. With the defeat at Armageddon, the reign of the Antichrist is ended, and his armies are defeated.

Jesus will begin to restore a nearly decimated Earth and have the dead bodies of this great slaughter buried: (26)

For seven months Israel will bury them, in order to cleanse the land. (Ezekiel 39:12 NET)

It is interesting that Ezekiel says that the weapons of this army will be burned by Israel for fuel for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9).

“ ‘Then those who live in the cities of Israel will go out and use the weapons for kindling—the shields, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears—they will burn them for seven years. (Ezekiel 39:9 NET)

Many struggled with how to explain how Israel could burn modern weaponry. A simple, consistent explanation would be that this army will not be armed with modern weaponry. Remember, incredible destruction will occur to Earth during the trumpet and bowl judgments. Most military weaponry will be destroyed or rendered absolutely useless. It is likely that, given the state of things, this army will be armed with wooden clubs, sticks, arrows, spears, and other simple weapons, against Christ. If this is the case, Armageddon will be one really sad battle. It specifically states that God will cause the army’s arrows to fall out of their hands. Why cannot these be literal arrows? (26)

I will knock your bow out of your left hand and make your arrows fall from your right hand. (Ezekiel 39:3 NET)

Whatever the case, Armageddon will be a very one-sided battle in which the Antichrist will be utterly defeated. (26)

FLASHBACK: The Fourth Doom – The Antichristian Nations are Defeated
The others were killed by the sword that extended from the mouth of the one who rode the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh. (Revelation 19:21 NET)

As some surmise, Armageddon will not be the battle for Jerusalem or a nuclear war of the Antichrist against the kings of the East. This is not a battle in which man is fighting man. The text clearly states that Armageddon is a battle of man against God. Jesus does not return to stop the carnage of the Battle of Armageddon. Rather, He comes to create the carnage and destroy all who dare to oppose Him. It is also clear that this will not even be a battle. Jesus comes down and destroys without any resistance. (26)

Because no one can fight successfully against God, the battle will only last long enough for God to destroy His enemies through His spoken Word and the brightness of His coming. (21)

This scene is certainly difficult for good people to contemplate. War should always be the last resort when trying to resolve conflicts. However, war is sometimes the only way to stop evil. In this case, God’s holy and just war is to save His people on earth and avenge their deaths. God provided one opportunity after another for the world’s people to repent. Instead, they hardened their hearts and cursed Him. When they finally rejected His mercy, God had no alternative but to destroy them. (21)

Paul writes:

For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned. (2 Thessalonians 2:7–12 NET)

An Interval Between the Fourth and Fifth Dooms

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: Satan Is Captured and Bound for 1,000 Years (Circa After the Battle of Armageddon and before the Kingdom Age)
Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. He seized the dragon—the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan—and tied him up for a thousand years. The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.) (Revelation 20:1–3 NET)

The first great event that immediately follows Armageddon’s battle is Satan’s capture and detainment. This passage reveals that this great adversary of God, who has plunged the world into darkness, is locked up by some unnamed angel. Satan, the entity who has dared to take on God Almighty in the battle of the ages, is not even worthy of being captured personally by Jesus Christ. This shows the absolute authority that God has always had over Satan. God, in His divine wisdom, has chosen not to end Satan’s reign until His plan for the redemption of the nation of Israel and mankind has come to a close. Once God’s plan is completed, He will send forth one of His angels to capture Satan and lock Him up in the bottomless pit (the abyss). (26)

Here Satan is called by four different names—“Dragon,” “Serpent,” “Devil,” and “Satan.” From these and from the fact that he can be bound, we see that he is a “person” because you cannot bind an “influence” or a “principle of evil.” While Satan is the “Prince of the Powers of the Air” (Ephesians 2:2), the “God of this Age” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the “Ruler of the Powers of Darkness” (Ephesians 6:11–12), and whose position is so exalted that even Michael the Archangel dare not insult him (Jude 1:9), and while he has great power and influence, yet he is not omnipotent. For an Angel, who is not called a strong angel, can seize and bind him. This Angel, who has the “Key” of the “Bottomless Pit,” is the same “Star (i.e., Angel)” that is seen by John when the “Fifth Trumpet” sounded (Revelation 9:1–2), who seems to be the custodian of the “Key” of the “Bottomless Pit.” (8)

The bottomless pit also called the abyss, is the abode of these demons that God kept chained or bound until releasing them as part of His end-time judgments. John explains that Satan rules over these demons—the (fallen) angel of the bottomless pit. He further mentions that the Beast, possessed by Satan, comes from the bottomless pit. (Revelation 11:7; 17:8.) (21)

We are told in other scriptures that “Spirit” beings can be chained. In 2 Peter 2:4, and Jude 6, we read of the angels who sinned and kept not their “First Estate,” and who are now “reserved in chains,” in darkness, unto the Judgment of the Great Day (The Great “White Throne” Judgment). What interests us most is not the character of the chain but the fact that Satan can and will be bound and confined in a place where he cannot get out for 1000 years, and while nothing is said of the binding and confining of his angels and other evil agents, as demons and the “evil powers of the air,” the inference is that they too will be powerless during that period. (8)

The Binding of Satan reveals that God can stop his evil work when He is ready and without sending the armies of Heaven to do so. When the time has come, God will empower and command a single Angel to seize, handcuff, and imprison him, just as an officer of the law with a warrant arrest locks up a criminal. Satan is NOT cast at this time into the “Lake of Fire” to keep company with the “Beast” and “False Prophet” because God has further use for him at the end of the 1000 years. (8)

God will allow him to be freed for a short period of time. Why God allows this will become evident as John moves forward in his end-time chronology. (26)

Cleansing of the Temple and Earth

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: Cleansing of the Temple and Earth (Circa Immediately after the Battle of Armageddon)

Previously, we learned that the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord will last 1260 days, which is 3.5 years.

So the woman gave birth to a son, a male child, who is going to rule over all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was suddenly caught up to God and to his throne, and she fled into the wilderness where a place had been prepared for her by God, so she could be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:5,6 NET)

This is also referred to as a time, times, and half a time, which equates to 1,260 days or 3.5 years.

But the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness, to the place God prepared for her, where she is taken care of—away from the presence of the serpent—for a time, times, and half a time [3.5 years]. (Revelation 12:14 NET)

In the twelfth chapter of the book of Daniel, the prophet is shown the beginning of the great tribulation. He then hears one of the angels cry out that it will be for a time, times, and half a time until all concerning Israel’s Seventieth Week will be fulfilled. This means the last half of the Seventieth Week will last for a time, times, and half a time or three and a half years

Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river as he raised both his right and left hands to the sky and made an oath by the one who lives forever: “It is for a time, times, and half a time. Then, when the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted, all these things will be finished.” (Daniel 12:7 NET)

The final day of the Seventieth Week will have culminated on the Jewish Day of Atonement. Israel mourns at the end of the seventieth week when she realizes that Jesus, the One she long rejected, is her Messiah (her national day of atonement). (18)

Daniel, being a bit perplexed, asks what will be the culmination of everything that is to occur. In context, the preceding two chapters of Daniel focused on the Antichrist and his rise to power. Specifically, Daniel would now like to know when the Antichrist’s reign would finally be ended. In response to his inquiry, the angel states: (26)

I heard, but I did not understand. So I said, “Sir, what will happen after these things?” He said, “Go, Daniel. For these matters are closed and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made clean, and refined, but the wicked will go on being wicked. None of the wicked will understand, though the wise will understand. From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1,290 days. (Daniel 12:8–11 NET)

The angel informs Daniel that from the time the abomination of desolation is set up at the midpoint of the Seventieth Week until the defeat and end of the Antichrist, it will be 1290 days. These additional 30 days (1,290 – 1,260) are when the Seven Bowls are poured out. They are days of “Mourning” for the Jews as they recognize that Yeshua is HaMashia (Jesus is the Messiah), and they rejected Him when He first came to Earth. Those thirty days may also serve as a time of cleansing and preparation for the people.

Moses was commanded to provide an alternative time for sacrificing the Passover lamb. This provision was for those defiled under Jewish law or away on a journey.

The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites, ‘If any of you or of your posterity become ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, or are on a journey far away, then he may observe the Passover to the Lord. They may observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight; they are to eat it with bread made without yeast and with bitter herbs. They must not leave any of it until morning, nor break any of its bones; they must observe it in accordance with every statute of the Passover. (Numbers 9:9–12 NET)

The alternative date was thirty days after the normal slaying of the Passover (1) Lamb on the fourteenth of the first month of Nisan. Instead of on the fourteenth day of the first month, it was to be offered on the fourteenth date of the second month of Iyar – exactly thirty days later (Numbers 9:10,11). (18)

Hebrew Calendar with Feasts

Concerning the cleansing, the prophet Zechariah wrote:

“In that day there will be a fountain opened up for the dynasty of David and the people of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and impurity. (Zechariah 13:1 NET)

During this last thirty-day period, God will bring to an end the rule of the Antichrist. Although the salvation of national Israel has taken place and the mystery of God’s redemptive plan is complete, Jesus has not yet taken any direct action against the Antichrist. Upon completing the bowl judgments, Jesus will return to the earth with a heavenly army to end the Antichrist. Daniel is also advised by the angel: (26)

Blessed is the one who waits and attains to the 1,335 days. (Daniel 12:12 NET)

This now adds 45 days to the 1290 days given for the end of the Antichrist (45 + 1290 = 1,335). This period is significant in bringing us to the fulfillment of another of Israel’s holidays: Hanukkah. Although not mentioned in Leviticus, this holiday is considered a very special holiday by the Jews.

Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication, was even celebrated by Jesus on His first advent.

Then came the feast of the Dedication [Hanukkah] in Jerusalem. (John 10:22 NET)

Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication, continues to be an important holiday for the Jewish people.

It commemorated when the Maccabees overthrew the rule of the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes, and cleansed the temple. Antiochus was a type of Antichrist who desecrated the temple. He sacrificed a pig and erected an image of Zeus with his face on it in the Holy of Holies. In the same way, after Jesus destroys the Antichrist, the temple will again be cleansed in fulfillment of Hanukkah. This last 45-day period attests to the fact that the Seventieth Week will end on the Day of Atonements. This is because Hanukkah is celebrated exactly 75 days from the Day of Atonement on the twenty-fifth of Chislev (1). Adding 75 days to the 1260 days, it comes to the 1335 days spoken of by the angel to Daniel.

Blessed is the one who waits and attains to the 1,335 days. (Daniel 12:12 NET)

During the forty-five-day period following the defeat of the Antichrist, Jesus will cleanse the Temple and the Earth in preparation for the dedication of His kingdom. This cleansing period and dedication will ultimately fulfill the Feast of Dedication. Again, it is fulfilled exactly as the other Jewish festivals have been fulfilled.

In summary, the seventy-five days of the Book of Daniel speaks of a period of time between Israel mourning Jesus’ physical return at the end of the seventieth week when she realizes that Jesus, the One she has long rejected, is her Messiah (her national day of atonement) and the cleansing and rededication of the temple, in anticipation of the return of God’s glory. For that reason, those who reach that point are said to be “blessed.” (18)

The Kingdom Age

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: Thrones and Judges (Circa the Beginning of the Kingdom Age)
Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge... (Revelation 20:4 a NET)

The next event is establishing the Lord’s government as the kingdom of God gets underway. Believers, those who died and were held in Paradise (1) before the crucifixion, those who were resurrected after the crucifixion, and those who passed through death when raptured, will all have responsibilities in Christ’s kingdom. The most important of these thrones, mentioned by John, will be those set up for the twelve “Apostles of the Lamb.”

Upon these twelve thrones, the twelve “Apostles of the Lamb” will judge the entire house of Israel, deciding who is worthy to enter the kingdom of God. Christ stated this Himself in the gospels of Matthew and Luke: (26)

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28 NET)
Thus I grant to you a kingdom, just as my Father granted to me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29–30 NET)

Again, the thrones that are set up for the judgment of Israel are twelve in number. Twelve is God’s governmental number. What is three? It is a divine number. What is four? It is the earth’s number. What is twelve? It is God ruling and reigning. (36)

One of the most debated questions is who will be the twelfth Apostle, Matthias or Paul? I tend to lean in favor of Paul for a couple of reasons:

  • Jesus chose the first twelve and the Apostle Paul while on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1- 9). Matthias was not chosen directly by Christ but by Peter and the other disciples (Acts 1:15-26). Since Jesus was the one who initially chose the Apostles, and Himself chose Paul, it seems consistent that Paul is the rightful twelfth Apostle.
  • Jesus had instructed His disciples not to do anything but to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49). Peter may likely have jumped the gun by selecting Matthias before the Holy Spirit had been poured out. (26)

Whatever the case, there will be twelve thrones, and the “Apostles of the Lamb” will judge Israel as the Millennium begins. Those Jews who have worshipped the beast, and have survived the Day of the Lord, will not be permitted to enter the kingdom of the true Messiah. This is their reward for following the false messiah. (26)

FLASHBACK: The Resurrection of the Martyrs (Circa the Beginning of the Kingdom Age)
Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4–6 NET)

After setting up the thrones, John concerns himself with the resurrection of the martyrs, who were last seen as souls before the throne of God. (26)

Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been. (Revelation 6:9–11 NET)

The martyrs were then informed to wait until all of their fellow brethren, who would be killed in the same manner as they were, was completed. The last of those who will be martyred in their service to Jesus will be the two witnesses killed on the last day of the Seventieth Week. Their martyrdom occurs after the resurrection and rapture have already taken place. Because of this, the martyrs will not receive their resurrection bodies until the kingdom of Christ begins. As the author of Hebrews states, these martyrs will obtain a better resurrection. (26)

and women received back their dead raised to life. But others were tortured, not accepting release, to obtain resurrection to a better life. (Hebrews 11:35 NET)

John discloses that they also will reign with Christ for a thousand years. This is the culmination of the first resurrection. To summarize, the first resurrection consists of believers who:

  • Died and were held in Paradise before the crucifixion,
  • Died and were resurrected after the crucifixion,
  • Passed through death when raptured, and
  • Were martyred after the rapture.

Those in the first resurrection will never be harmed by the second death.

As Paul confirms:

Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55 NET)

The elect of the ages will all be given bodies that can never die. They will be glorious bodies that never grow old, tired, or sick. Jesus will redeem our bodies from the curse of sin, and we will live and reign with Him forever. Those chosen to be numbered among the redeemed will be the most blessed of all of God’s creation. It will make the enjoyments and pleasures of our current stay on earth pale in comparison. (26)

Then he adds that they will serve as priests of God and of His Christ (Messiah) and shall reign with Him for 1,000 years. This is the fulfillment of the promises in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament that God’s people (including the overcomers of Revelation 1:6 and 5:10) will live and rule with the Messiah in God’s Kingdom on the earth. (21)

FLASHBACK: The Sheep and Goat Judgment (Circa the Beginning of the Kingdom Age)

In addition to those who take the Mark of the Beast and those who are sealed as God’s people, a third group of people will live on the earth when Jesus returns. The Bible refers to them as “the nations.” Apparently, some had escaped the Beast. These “nations” survived the Battle of Armageddon and are alive when the Lord returns. (21)

These Gentiles who have survived the Day of the Lord will be brought before the throne of Christ to be judged by Him personally. This is referred to by Matthew as the sheep and goat judgment: (26)

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31–46 NET)

The Ezekiel verses picture Jesus as the good shepherd who counts and separates His flock according to those who have personally joined Him in the covenant. (21)

I will bring you out from the nations, and will gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm and with an outpouring of rage! I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the sovereign Lord. I will make you pass under the shepherd’s staff, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will eliminate from among you the rebels and those who revolt against me. I will bring them out from the land where they have been residing, but they will not come to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 20:34–38 NET)

The exalted Son of Man is clearly the Judge:

“I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming—and is now here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out—the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation.I can do nothing on my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me. (John 5:24–30 NET)
Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. (Revelation 19:11 NET)

God has also promised His people that they will rule and judge the nations along with their King:

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits? Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters! (1 Corinthians 6:2–3 NET)
And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations— (Revelation 2:26 NET)
I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21 NET)

With the awesome destruction of this period, it is safe to conclude that not very many people will be alive to attend this judgment. Those who do survive will be gathered before the throne of Christ. Jesus will then divide the worthy from those who are found to be unworthy to enter the Millennial Kingdom. Gentiles who have taken the mark, or have worshipped the Antichrist, will immediately be found unworthy to enter. Those who have not taken the mark will then be separated as to how they treated the Lord’s disciples during the great tribulation. The Gentiles who helped to feed, clothe, and shelter the remnant Jews and the Christians during the great tribulation of the Antichrist will be allowed to enter the kingdom of Jesus Christ in their earthly bodies. (26)

Although these “sheep” do not become believers in Christ until after His return, they will still be allowed to be part of His kingdom. They are not saved merely by their works; rather, their works are the evidence of their hearts toward God and His people. By not taking the mark and helping to shelter the people of God during this time, they show the acts of a righteous heart. Jesus states that for these, the kingdom had been prepared “from the foundation of the world.” Therefore, they are found worthy because of God’s election, not because of the works they performed. Their works are merely evidence of God’s election. Paul clearly states that by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified. (26)

yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16 ESV)

God, as He does in every age, will prompt these Gentiles to have saving faith as Christ returns. God is the only one who knows each individual’s heart and how he or she will respond to His free gift of salvation. Obviously, in contrast with the rest of the unbelieving world, these Gentiles will respond positively. They will enter the kingdom of God and begin to repopulate a restored and refurbished planet Earth. The “earth dwellers” who do not respond to God, nor help His disciples during the great tribulation, will be unworthy to enter Christ’s kingdom. They will be consigned to hell to await the final judgment. The earth will be completely rid of all men and women who have not put their trust in Christ. Only those who believe in Jesus will enter as the thousand-year period begins. (26)

Flashback: The Messianic Government (Circa During the Kingdom Age)

The government in the Messianic Kingdom will be a theocracy. This means God Himself will rule over all the earth through Messiah Jesus. This theocracy will unite the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of David through the Messiah Jesus. (21)

Jesus will administer the Kingdom of God through the resurrected believers of all ages as the divine Son of God. This will involve the heavenly aspects of the Kingdom on Earth. Jesus, as the human Son of David, will administer the kingdom of David through the remnant of believing Jews who are alive at His coming and enter into the Messianic Kingdom. This will involve the earthly aspects of the Kingdom.

The holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.’ “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others.While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating them, until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom. “This is what he told me: ‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth that will differ from all the other kingdoms. It will devour all the earth and will trample and crush it. The ten horns mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom. Another king will arise after them, but he will be different from the earlier ones. He will humiliate three kings. He will speak words against the Most High. He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually. His intention will be to change times established by law. They will be delivered into his hand For a time, times, and half a time. But the court will convene, and his ruling authority will be removed— destroyed and abolished forever! Then the kingdom, authority, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be delivered to the people of the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; all authorities will serve him and obey him.’ (Daniel 7:18–27 NET)
And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)—if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:17 NET)

The blessings of the Kingdom of God will come to the Gentiles through the nation of Israel as they live under the righteous rule of Messiah Jesus, who will sit on the throne of David.

he says, “Is it too insignificant a task for you to be my servant, to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and restore the remnant of Israel? I will make you a light to the nations, so you can bring my deliverance to the remote regions of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6 NET)
Nations will see your vindication, and all kings your splendor. You will be called by a new name that the Lord himself will give you. (Isaiah 62:2 NET)
At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic. (Isaiah 11:10 NET)
At that time the city of Jerusalem will be called the Lord’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord’s name. They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17 NET)
Then I said, “Lord, you give me strength and protect me. You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble. Nations from all over the earth will come to you and say, ‘Our ancestors had nothing but false gods— worthless idols that could not help them at all. Can people make their own gods? No, what they make are not gods at all.” The Lord said, “So I will now let this wicked people know— I will let them know my mighty power in judgment. Then they will know that my name is the Lord.” (Jeremiah 16:19–21 NET)

Psalms 2 gives us a clear statement concerning the rule of Jesus in the Messianic Kingdom:

“I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.” The king says, “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me: ‘You are my son! This very day I have become your father! Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property. You will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash them like a potter’s jar!’ ” (Psalm 2:6–9 NET)
In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever. (Daniel 2:44 NET).
I was watching in the night visions, “And with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him. To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13–14 NET).

The prophet Isaiah often spoke about the Kingdom of God. In one of his more well-known statements, Isaiah wrote:

For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The Lord’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6–7 NET)

At the Council of Jerusalem, a crucial occasion for the early church, James, the half-brother of the Lord, proclaimed:

Simeon has explained how God first concerned himself to select from among the Gentiles a people for his name. The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David; I will rebuild its ruins and restore it [i.e., the Kingdom], so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord, namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be my own,’ says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago. (Acts 15:14–18 NET)(cf. Amos 9:11,12; Isaiah 45:21)
“In that day I will rebuild the collapsing hut of David. I will seal its gaps, repair its ruins, and restore it to what it was like in days gone by. As a result they will conquer those left in Edom and all the nations subject to my rule.” The LORD, who is about to do this, is speaking! (Amos 9:11,12 NET)
Tell me! Present the evidence! Let them consult with one another! Who predicted this in the past? Who announced it beforehand? Was it not I, the Lord? I have no peer, there is no God but me, a God who vindicates and delivers; there is none but me. (Isaiah 45:21 NET)

Note the similarity between the phrase “The Lord’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:7 b) and “says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago” (Acts 15:17 b).

His dominion will be vast and he will bring immeasurable prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom, establishing it and strengthening it by promoting justice and fairness, from this time forward and forevermore. The Lord’s intense devotion to his people will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)
so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord, namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be my own,’ says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago. (Acts 15:17–18 NET)

These are just a few of the many prophecies about the Kingdom of God being fully manifested on the Earth at the coming of Messiah Jesus. He will rule over the nations as a descendant of Abraham and the greater Son of David. (21)

Flashback: Jerusalem – the World Capital (Circa during the Kingdom Age)

Jesus will rule from Jerusalem, which will be the capital of the world. The news media and wire services will dateline their stories from Jerusalem, not Washington, Moscow, Paris, or London. The world’s nations will submit to the policies that the Messiah decrees from the holy city of God. The ancient prophets spoke of this time when Jerusalem would be the center of the world government. (21)

Isaiah prophesied the following:

In the future the mountain of the Lord’s temple will endure as the most important of mountains, and will be the most prominent of hills. All the nations will stream to it, many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of the God of Jacob, so he can teach us his requirements, and we can follow his standards.” For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2–3 NET)

Isaiah also declared:

At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic. (Isaiah 11:10 NET)

Jeremiah said:

At that time the city of Jerusalem will be called the Lord’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord’s name. They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17 NET)

Micah wrote:

In the future the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all; it will be more prominent than other hills. People will stream to it. Many nations will come, saying, “Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of Jacob’s God, so he can teach us his commands and we can live by his laws.” For Zion will be the source of instruction; the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1–2 NET)

Zechariah predicted:

Then all who survive from all the nations that came to attack Jerusalem will go up annually to worship the King, the Lord who rules over all, and to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16 NET)

Note: The Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Booths) is the only feast mentioned in the scriptures required by the nations, in addition to Jews, to attend in the millennium.

Jesus warned people not to swear by Jerusalem because:

But I say to you, do not take oaths at all—not by heaven, because it is the throne of God, not by earth, because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. (Matthew 5:34–36 NET)
Flashback: A Unified Government (Circa During the Kingdom Age)

The Messianic Kingdom will be the true and lasting one-world government. This is what the nations are now trying to establish but without God. There will be no need for a United Nations because Jesus will rule with absolute authority and power. No political parties and special interest groups will exist because all nations will submit to Him, and no open rebellion will be tolerated. (21)

In addition to the Scriptures just noted, the following often-quoted references give us further insight:

Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your personal property. You will break them with an iron scepter; you will smash them like a potter’s jar!’ ” (Psalm 2:8–9 NET)
Here is the Lord’s proclamation to my lord: “Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!” The Lord extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies! (Psalm 110:1–2 NET)
He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and order the wicked to be executed. (Isaiah 11:4 NET)
The Lord will then be king over all the earth. In that day the Lord will be seen as one with a single name. (Zechariah 14:9 NET)
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15 NET)
From his mouth extends a sharp sword, so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful.He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:15–16 NET)
Flashback: A Righteous Rule (Circa During the Kingdom Age)

Jesus will rule with righteousness and justice for all. All social problems will be solved. No one will be oppressed, taken advantage of, or cheated. There will be no social workers, discrimination, inequities, or inequalities of any kind. (21)

The Hebrew Scriptures declare:

But the Lord rules forever; he reigns in a just manner. He judges the world fairly; he makes just legal decisions for the nations. Consequently the Lord provides safety for the oppressed; he provides safety in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:7–9 NET)
He will take delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by mere appearances, or make decisions on the basis of hearsay. He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and order the wicked to be executed. Justice will be like a belt around his waist, integrity will be like a belt around his hips. (Isaiah 11:3–5 NET)
Then a trustworthy king will be established; he will rule in a reliable manner, this one from David’s family. He will be sure to make just decisions and will be experienced in executing justice. (Isaiah 16:5 NET)
“The days are coming” —this is the Lord’s declaration— “when I will raise up a Righteous Branch of David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. This is what He will be named: Yahweh Our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:5–6 HCSB)
Flashback: The Kingdom of Peace (Circa During the Kingdom Age)

Because Jesus can rule absolutely with perfect justice and righteousness, peace will finally come to the earth. There will no longer be border disputes between neighboring countries. One nation will not seek to dominate another. The military academies will be closed, and the war machines dismantled. (21)

John says that God’s people will reign with the Messiah for 1,000 years. This period of time is known as the Millennium, from the Latin words milli (one thousand) and annum (year). John doesn’t tell us what life will be like in the Messianic Kingdom. We have to look elsewhere in the Bible for that. We know it is the utopia for which man has so desperately strived but never achieved because he has tried to achieve it without God. Now with God ruling through the Messiah, righteousness, and peace bring the fullest blessing of God on the earth. (21)

We learn from the prophets:

He will judge disputes between nations; he will settle cases for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. (Isaiah 2:4 NET)
He will arbitrate between many peoples and settle disputes between many distant nations. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not use weapons against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. (Micah 4:3 NET)
FLASHBACK: The Kingdom Religion (Circa During the Kingdom Age)

The Messianic Kingdom will also have a one-world religion. But it will not be the World Council of Churches. Both the political and spiritual aspects of the Messianic Kingdom will center on the Messiah. Jesus will rule as the King-Priest, uniting both functions in Himself.

Zechariah prophesied:

Indeed, he will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed in splendor, sitting as king on his throne. Moreover, there will be a priest with him on his throne and they will see eye to eye on everything.  (Zechariah 6:13 NET)

Because of man’s sinful nature, it is not wise for a nation’s political and religious affairs to be under one authority. An ungodly leader who controls both of these could become a ruthless dictator destroying and corrupting lives in the worst ways. This is exactly what the false messiah will do during the Great Tribulation. (21)

But Jesus can function in both capacities because He is the perfect God-man. He will exercise His political authority with perfect righteousness while keeping the spiritual worship pure and free from perversion. Jerusalem will not only be the world’s capital but also the world’s religious center.

At that time the city of Jerusalem will be called the Lord’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord’s name. They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17 NET)
Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the Lord and turn to him! Let all the nations worship you! For the Lord is king and rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:27–28 NET)
The Lord will terrify them, for he will weaken all the gods of the earth. All the distant nations will worship the Lord in their own lands. (Zephaniah 2:11 NET)

Because Jesus (Yeshua) is a Jewish Lord and King, the worship expressions during this time will be Jewish, not Greco-Roman. This is why the prophets describe worship in Jewish terms. Without wanting to cause offense, Western Greco-Roman Christianity, as we know it today, is not taken from the Bible. It was established by Constantine in the fourth century of our era. All the prophets in the Bible are Jewish. Jesus and His first followers in the New Testament were all Jewish. They spoke of a Jewish King and High Priest who would rule and minister in a Jewish way. They would not have had a concept of Western Greco-Roman Christianity. It is not in the Bible and will not exist in the Messianic Kingdom of God. (21)

When Jesus was here the first time, He came as a Jew. When He returns, He will come as a Jew, not a Christian. The Bible is very clear. In Revelation 5:5, Jesus is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.” In Revelation 22:16, Jesus calls Himself “the Root and the Offspring of David….”

Non-Jewish Christian believers need to be prepared for worship when Messiah comes. Unprepared people will be shocked to realize Jesus will not “have church.” He will be a Jewish King ruling over His Kingdom led by the Jewish state of Israel and biblical Jewish expressions of worship. Those who are prepared will be ready to fully enter the experience of worshiping the Lord biblically. Furthermore, Messianic-believing Jews will be shocked when they discover that Jesus will not preside over modern rabbinic services disguised as New Testament worship. (21)

There will be no anti-Semitic, replacement-theology Christians living in the Messianic Kingdom of God. If you are anti-Israel, there will be no place for you there. And if you are resisting God’s sovereign work of restoring Christianity to its biblical Hebraic roots, you will be miserable in God’s Messianic Kingdom. (21)

With a Jewish King and Messiah, Isaiah tells us that the world will function on the biblical Jewish calendar rather than the Greco-Roman calendar. The biblical Jewish calendar (1) is a lunar calendar for keeping the Feasts. The Greco-Roman calendar is a solar calendar based on sun worship.

Furthermore, Shabbat (Saturday) (1) will be universally recognized as the special Day of the Lord for worship and rest.

This is what the Lord says, “Promote justice! Do what is right! For I am ready to deliver you; I am ready to vindicate you openly. The people who do this will be blessed, the people who commit themselves to obedience, who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it, who refrain from doing anything that is wrong. No foreigner who becomes a follower of the Lord should say, ‘The Lord will certainly exclude me from his people.’ The eunuch should not say, ‘Look, I am like a dried-up tree.’ ” For this is what the Lord says: “For the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths and choose what pleases me and are faithful to my covenant, I will set up within my temple and my walls a monument that will be better than sons and daughters. I will set up a permanent monument for them that will remain. As for foreigners who become followers of the Lord and serve him, who love the name of the Lord and want to be his servants— all who observe the Sabbath and do not defile it, and who are faithful to my covenant— I will bring them to my holy mountain; I will make them happy in the temple where people pray to me. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my temple will be known as a temple where all nations may pray.” The sovereign Lord says this, the one who gathers the dispersed of Israel: “I will still gather them up.” (Isaiah 56:1–8 NET)
You must observe the Sabbath rather than doing anything you please on my holy day. You must look forward to the Sabbath and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities, and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. Then you will find joy in your relationship to the Lord, and I will give you great prosperity, and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.” Know for certain that the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13 NET)

Isaiah explains:

From one month to the next and from one Sabbath to the next, all people will come to worship me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 66:23 NET)

We also learn that people will celebrate the Feasts of the Lord, not the feasts of Constantine. We will regulate our worship on the sacred biblical calendar and celebrate God’s holy days rather than Greco-Roman holidays. (21)

Zechariah explains:

Then all who survive from all the nations that came to attack Jerusalem will go up annually to worship the King, the Lord who rules over all, and to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16 NET).

The prophet Ezekiel provides information concerning worship activities during the Messianic Kingdom (see Ezekiel 40–48). In these chapters, Ezekiel describes a religious system that includes a temple, priesthood, and sacrifices. The Feasts of Passover, Unleaved Bread, and the Tabernacles will be observed during the Messianic Kingdom.

“ ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you will celebrate the Passover, and for seven days bread made without yeast will be eaten. On that day the prince will provide for himself and for all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering. And during the seven days of the feast he will provide as a burnt offering to the Lord seven bulls and seven rams, all without blemish, on each of the seven days, and a male goat daily for a sin offering. He will provide as a grain offering an ephah for each bull, an ephah for each ram, and a gallon of olive oil for each ephah of grain.In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, he will make the same provisions for the sin offering, burnt offering, and grain offering, and for the olive oil, for the seven days. (Ezekiel 45:21–25 NET)

None of this is meant to diminish the completed work of Jesus as the perfect human Temple of God and His perfect High Priest. Nor will it diminish His work as the once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice for our sins. The sacrifices at the Temple will not be for sin. Instead, they will be offerings of praise and worship to the Lord. They are memorial offerings. (21)

Although the Messiah will be the center of worship, He will use the religious expressions as physical objects teaching lessons to show in a tangible way who He is and what He has done. The religious teachers will use these object lessons to point people born during the millennium to the Messiah and their need for Him to become their personal Redeemer, Lord, and Savior. (21)

I will bring them to my holy mountain; I will make them happy in the temple where people pray to me. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my temple will be known as a temple where all nations may pray.” (Isaiah 56:7 NET)

Zechariah explains:

The Lord who rules over all says, ‘It will someday come to pass that people—residents of many cities—will come. The inhabitants of one will go to another and say, “Let’s go up at once to ask the favor of the Lord, to seek the Lord who rules over all. Indeed, I’ll go with you.” ’ Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord who rules over all and to ask his favor. The Lord who rules over all says, ‘In those days ten people from all languages and nations will grasp hold of—indeed, grab—the robe of one Jew and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ” (Zechariah 8:20-23).

Because Israel will be the head nation, Hebrew, not English, will be the universal language.

Know for sure that I will then enable the nations to give me acceptable praise. All of them will invoke the Lord’s name when they pray, and will worship him in unison. (Zephaniah 3:9 NET)

Jeremiah explains:

The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns. When I do, they will again say of Jerusalem, ‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain, the place where righteousness dwells.’ (Jeremiah 31:23 NET)

The presence of the Messiah will ensure great spiritual blessings for everyone. All citizens will be able to have full knowledge of God through the Messiah and will enjoy the New Covenant blessings to the fullest.

They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea. At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic. (Isaiah 11:9–10 NET)
Flashback: Kingdom Living Conditions (Circa During the Kingdom Age)

Living conditions in the Messianic Kingdom will be blessed beyond our present abilities to imagine. As just noted, there will be no more wars. (See Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:1-4.)

He will judge disputes between nations; he will settle cases for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. (Isaiah 2:4 NET)
In the future the Lord’s Temple Mount will be the most important mountain of all; it will be more prominent than other hills. People will stream to it. Many nations will come, saying, “Come on! Let’s go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of Jacob’s God, so he can teach us his commands and we can live by his laws.” For Zion will be the source of instruction; the Lord’s teachings will proceed from Jerusalem. He will arbitrate between many peoples and settle disputes between many distant nations. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not use weapons against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. Each will sit under his own grapevine or under his own fig tree without any fear. The Lord who commands armies has decreed it. (Micah 4:1–4 NET)

Because of this, we won’t need to dispatch peacekeeping forces to different global trouble spots. There will be no Iron Curtain, Bamboo Curtain, Berlin Wall, demilitarized zones, revolutions, or terrorist groups. The vast sums of money now spent on the arms race will be used for the benefit of humankind. (21)

Because Jesus will rule with perfect justice and righteousness, social problems will no longer burden society. Each person will have an equal opportunity to work and provide for his or her family with dignity and honor. There will be a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. The rich will not be allowed to exploit the poor. There will be no special interest groups in Jerusalem seeking to gain favor at the expense of others. Kingdom justice will be administered to all citizens without partiality. (21)

There will be great economic prosperity and full employment.

They will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build a house only to have another live in it, or plant a vineyard only to have another eat its fruit, for my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will enjoy to the fullest what they have produced. They will not work in vain, or give birth to children that will experience disaster. For the Lord will bless their children and their descendants. (Isaiah 65:21–23 NET)
The threshing floors are full of grain; the vats overflow with fresh wine and olive oil. I will make up for the years that the ‘arbeh-locust consumed your crops— the yeleq-locust, the hasil-locust, and the gazam-locust— my great army that I sent against you. You will have plenty to eat, and your hunger will be fully satisfied; you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has acted wondrously in your behalf. My people will never again be put to shame. (Joel 2:24–26 NET)

Government housing, welfare, and ghettos will be a thing of the past. There will be no need for food-relief programs. Everyone will have plenty to eat, for the earth will be greatly productive.

“Be sure of this, the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when the plowman will catch up to the reaper and the one who stomps the grapes will overtake the planter. Juice will run down the slopes, it will flow down all the hillsides. I will bring back my people, Israel; they will rebuild the cities lying in rubble and settle down. They will plant vineyards and drink the wine they produce; they will grow orchards and eat the fruit they produce. (Amos 9:13–14 NET)

Management and labor will work together for the common good. There will be no need for collective bargaining or crippling strikes that cut off needed services and goods. Plants will operate at full capacity. The world’s economy will stabilize without the ups and downs of inflation and depression. Goods and services will be freely exchanged for the benefit of all. (21)

Moral conditions will conform to the biblical standard.

many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of the God of Jacob, so he can teach us his requirements, and we can follow his standards.” For Zion will be the center for moral instruction; the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3 NET)

We will not need prophets to raise our moral consciousness nor the Coalition for Better Television to rate the networks. No smut peddlers, drug pushers, drunk drivers, pimps, prostitutes, gambling halls, crime, or violence of any kind will be allowed. (21)

The curse of sin will be partially removed. The result is that life expectancy will be lengthened so that a 100-year-old person will be considered a child. Hospitals, health care, and insurance programs will not be needed, for there will be little or no sickness and death. The world will experience a great population explosion to replenish the earth. (21)

For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of God who subjected it—in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:19–23 NET)
Never again will one of her infants live just a few days or an old man die before his time. Indeed, no one will die before the age of a hundred, anyone who fails to reach the age of a hundred will be considered cursed. (Isaiah 65:20 NET)
No resident of Zion will say, “I am ill”; the people who live there will have their sin forgiven. (Isaiah 33:24 NET)
Yes, I will restore you to health. I will heal your wounds. I, the Lord, affirm it! For you have been called an outcast, Zion, whom no one cares for.” The Lord says, “I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob. I will show compassion on their ruined homes. Every city will be rebuilt on its former ruins. Every fortified dwelling will occupy its traditional site. Out of those places you will hear songs of thanksgiving and the sounds of laughter and merriment. I will increase their number and they will not dwindle away. I will bring them honor and they will no longer be despised. The descendants of Jacob will enjoy their former privileges. Their community will be reestablished in my favor and I will punish all who try to oppress them. (Jeremiah 30:17–20 NET)

Since everyone will speak the same language, we can communicate with one another regardless of our language or country of origin. (21)

Light will be enjoyed around the clock so that more can be accomplished. The land will be fruitful. Even the animals will live together in peace.

On that day there will be no light—the sources of light in the heavens will congeal. It will happen in one day (a day known to the Lord); not in the day or the night, but in the evening there will be light. (Zechariah 14:6–7 NET)
Let the desert and dry region be happy; let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily! Let it richly bloom; let it rejoice and shout with delight! It is given the grandeur of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the grandeur of the Lord, the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:1–2 NET)
‘for there will be a peaceful time of sowing, the vine will produce its fruit and the ground its yield, and the skies will rain down dew. Then I will allow the remnant of my people to possess all these things. (Zechariah 8:12 NET)
A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along. A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together. A lion, like an ox, will eat straw. A baby will play over the hole of a snake; over the nest of a serpent an infant will put his hand. They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6–9 NET)
A wolf and a lamb will graze together; a lion, like an ox, will eat straw, and a snake’s food will be dirt. They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 65:25 NET)
The Messianic Gospel of Peace by Jan van’t Hoff

In every way, life will be better than we can possibly imagine because God Himself will rule the nations through a perfect human King, who is the exalted Son of God-Son of Man, the Lamb of God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: The Fifth Doom – Gog and Magog are Defeated (Circa after the Kingdom Age)

Before John describes the restoration of the earth by Jesus, he pens the final doom awaiting Satan and all his unredeemed followers. John has already introduced the resurrection of life and the fate of the redeemed. He will now speak of the resurrection of the dead and their fate, along with the end of Satan. John will now provide a Flashback jumping near the end of the Millennium to reveal how the end of Satan and his followers will come about. (26)

Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. (Revelation 20:7-9 NET)

Earlier in this series Gog was identified as the Antichrist and Magog as the land of the Antichrist (1). However, the Antichrist was thrown into the Lake of Fire before the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on Earth.

Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf—signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur. (Revelation 19:20 NET)

How is the Antichrist now present on Earth for this battle? Good question, he is not!

Remember that the Dragon, Satan, empowered the Antichrist in human form. Before the Antichrist was seized and cast into the “Lake of Fire,” Satan exited from this person. (8) Furthermore, realize the ultimate Antichrist is Satan himself. Satan is now identified as Gog, and Magog is now the people of the nations that will follow him. Satan will attack Jesus personally even as he personally tempted Jesus in the wilderness (1).

Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22 NET)

At the close of the thousand years, God will let Satan out of his prison in Hell. Why would God spoil it with such a perfect world by releasing Satan from his prison? Living conditions during the Messianic Kingdom enabled people to live long, productive, and fruitful lives. There will be a great population explosion. Over time, human nature tends to lose sight of the fact that all their blessings directly result from God’s goodness, even when living in a perfect environment with the Lord Himself. (21)

Furthermore, because God cut the time short during the Great Tribulation, He is legally obligated by the terms of the Scroll (1) to give Satan the remainder of this time. When he is released, it becomes evident that Satan has not learned any lessons, for he will once again try to lead a revolt against God Almighty. God allows this to put to rest two main arguments that man has often made concerning his sinful nature: (26)

  1. Man has consistently argued that he is not born sinful but a product of his environment. If given a better environment, humanity would not experience sinfulness.
  2. Many also believe that if God were around, in tangible form, they would gladly believe and worship Him. (26)

At the end of Christ’s thousand-year reign, God will show the inaccuracy of these, along with many other arguments man has made concerning his nature. During the Millennium, man will be put into a perfect environment where no more hunger, sickness, disease, war, or famine will exist. All nations will live peacefully under the rule of Jesus Christ. Since Jesus will be ruling from the New Jerusalem, it will be easy for the people of Earth to go to Jerusalem to see the glory of the resurrected Son of God. God’s very presence will be upon the earth in a literal, tangible way. (26)

Despite all of these tremendous blessings, there will still be those who will side with Satan to try and revolt against the government of Jesus (Revelation 20:7-9). (15) As God has often revealed, this shows that man’s sinful nature lies within his very heart. (26)

The nature of unregenerate man is always against God. It does not matter how good his environment is or that he can see God. Man’s sinful nature is in opposition to God. This period also reveals the completely unrepentant and black heart of Satan. Even though he has spent a thousand years in the bottomless pit, Satan has still not changed his evil nature or repented. (26)

Realize because Jesus is ruling with a rod of iron, people must obey His teachings, but this does not mean that their hearts are in submission to Him. Obedience is an outward act, while submission is an attitude of the heart. So it seems that over the long duration of the Kingdom on Earth, many of the Lord’s subjects serve Him out of duty rather than love. The Hebrews did the same thing even when God was in their midst, even when He led them out of Egypt and through the wilderness. They complained and sought a leader besides Moses to take them back to Egypt. That was just during a 40-year period of time. (21)

Even after living in a perfect world under the rule of the righteous King, people still need to make their hearts right toward God. They still need the Holy Spirit to impart the life of God to them. Without this spiritual heart transplant, people are still vulnerable to Satan’s temptations. We are just too easily deceived and led astray. (21)

At the end of the Millennium, all who have served Jesus out of duty rather than devotion will believe the final lies of Satan. Satan will amass a final rebellion and bring millions of people up against the New Jerusalem. This will be the city where Jesus and His redeemed saints will rule. All who were born during the last thousand years, who have not truly put their faith in Jesus Christ for their redemption, will follow Satan. This is God’s way of finally ridding the universe of those who will not truly serve Him. It is important to note that John specifies this great multitude came up against the “beloved city,” or New Jerusalem, during the Millennium. (26)

Again, when Satan is released from the bottomless pit, he makes one last desperate effort to draw people away from God and destroy God’s people. John explains that Satan again deceives the nations and convinces them to join him in throwing off the yoke of God’s Kingdom rule. According to John’s vision, so many join in the rebellion that they are compared to the sand of the sea. (21)

Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city [Jerusalem], but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. (Revelation 20:7–9 NET)

As soon as Satan is loosed from his prison in the “Bottomless Pit,” he will find a vast multitude ready to believe his lie and to serve and obey him as he did during the Great Tribulation. He will gather this rebellious army from the “Four Quarters of the Earth” to battle. They will be in number as the “sand of the sea.” The revolt will be Worldwide and will mean the Mobilizing of Vast Armies. Satan will conduct them across the “Breadth of the Earth” until they compass the “Camp of the Saints” (the Holy Land) and lay siege once more to the “Beloved City” Jerusalem. From this, we see that the unregenerate heart is like a powder magazine, all it needs is a match to set it off, and Satan, when freed, will be that match. (8)

From this, we see that the “Millennial Dispensation,” like all the six Dispensations before it, will end in failure. God will have tested man in:

  1. Innocence,
  2. Conscience,
  3. Self-Government,
  4. Headship of the Family,
  5. Law,
  6. Grace, and
  7. Under the influence of the “Holy Spirit,” free from Satanic influences during the Millennium.

Under them all, mankind will prove himself to be hopelessly, incurably, and incorrigibly bad. (8)

This final rebellion against the city of God will not last very long. John is shown that God will send fire from heaven, destroying the nations (Magog) that participate in Satan’s (Gog’s) final rebellion. (26)

Only the “bodies” of those who perish in this last great war will be destroyed by fire; their “souls” and “spirits” will go to the “Hell Compartment” of the “Hades” to come out at the Resurrection of the Wicked dead and appear at the “Great White Throne Judgment.” (8)

Satan’s first rebellion occurred in the paradise of Eden, where he convinced Adam and Eve to follow his cunning lies. His second rebellion will occur in the paradise of the Millennium, and mankind again will believe his lie. As is often stated, the only thing man learns from history is that he never learns anything from history. These words hold very true as Satan can again get mankind to believe his lie rather than God’s truth. Humanity will believe everything but the truth, which will be no different at the end of the Millennium. This rebellion comes as no surprise to Jesus. (26)

For we are told by Paul that: (26)

 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (1 Corinthians 15:25 NET) 

This period becomes God’s great object lesson to mankind, confirming the fact that he is born with a sinful nature, and only through obedience to Jesus Christ can he be freed. Rebellion only brings death, and following this event, we are shown the final and ultimate death this rebellion brings. (26)

This is a sad revelation of the human heart, as Jeremiah observed:

The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 HCSB)

Fortunately, as Isaiah states, nothing will ever bring an end to the kingdom of Jesus Christ: (15)

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Ezekiel’s chapter 39 perfectly parallels the final destruction of Satan and his armies. (26)

“As for you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal! I will turn you around and drag you along; I will lead you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. I will knock your bow out of your left hand and make your arrows fall from your right hand. You will fall dead on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the people who are with you. I give you as food to every kind of bird and every wild beast. You will fall dead in the open field; for I have spoken, declares the sovereign Lord. I will send fire on Magog and those who live securely in the coastlands; then they will know that I am the Lord. “ ‘I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. Realize that it is coming and it will be done, declares the sovereign Lord. It is the day I have spoken about. “ ‘Then those who live in the cities of Israel will go out and use the weapons for kindling—the shields, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears—they will burn them for seven years. They will not need to take wood from the field or cut down trees from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons. They will take the loot from those who looted them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them, declares the sovereign Lord. “ ‘On that day I will assign Gog a grave in Israel. It will be the valley of those who travel east of the sea; it will block the way of the travelers. There they will bury Gog and all his horde; they will call it the valley of Hamon-Gog. For seven months Israel will bury them, in order to cleanse the land. All the people of the land will bury them, and it will be a memorial for them on the day I magnify myself, declares the sovereign Lord. They will designate men to scout continually through the land, burying those who remain on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. They will search for seven full months. When the scouts survey the land and see a human bone, they will place a sign by it, until those assigned to burial duty have buried it in the valley of Hamon-Gog. (A city by the name of Hamonah will also be there.) They will cleanse the land.’ “As for you, son of man, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Tell every kind of bird and every wild beast: ‘Assemble and come! Gather from all around to my slaughter which I am going to make for you, a great slaughter on the mountains of Israel! You will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—the rams, lambs, goats, and bulls, all of them fattened animals of Bashan. You will eat fat until you are full, and drink blood until you are drunk, at my slaughter which I have made for you. You will fill up at my table with horses and charioteers, with warriors and all the soldiers,’ declares the sovereign Lord. “I will display my majesty among the nations. All the nations will witness the judgment I have executed, and the power I have exhibited among them. Then the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward. (Ezekiel 39:1–22 NET)
FLASHBACK: The Sixth Doom – Satan is Thrown into the Lake of Fire (Circa After the Kingdom Age)
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 NET)

Once God stamps out this final rebellion, Satan will be seized and thrown into the lake of fire, where he will never escape. An important aspect concerning the lake of fire is that although it has intense and tormenting heat, those cast into it are not annihilated. John is told that the false prophet and the Antichrist are still alive as Satan himself is cast in. The false prophet and the Antichrist have already been tormented in the lake of fire for one thousand years, yet they still exist. There are a few observations that can be made concerning the lake of fire: (26)

  • It will be a literal lake of fire that will burn white hot forever and ever. There is no reason to understand this lake as being symbolic since we have attempted throughout to remain consistent with a literal interpretation of Revelation.
  • Those who are cast into the lake of fire will suffer torment. This torment will last forever and ever. There will be no reprieves or pardons, as the fate of those sent there is final.
  • Those within the lake of fire will not be consumed or annihilated by its flames. Instead, they will exist in an eternal conscious state, utterly aware of their torment. (26)

All who have rejected God will be banished to the lake of fire. This judgment is so horrifying that no words are appropriate to describe it. Its fires are so terrifying that the Son of God crossed into our universe, in the body of a man, to pay for the sins of all mankind. Only one who was fully man and fully God could pay for the sins of humanity that were committed against an infinite God. Jesus came so that man would not suffer the second death, for the lake of fire was never God’s intention for man. (26)

The “Lake of Fire” was prepared for the Devil and his angels:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire [i.e., lake of fire and sulfur] that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! (Matthew 25:41 NET)

Not to consume them, for God could have done that with fire from heaven, but to punish them. (8)

Yet, many will suffer the fate that John describes as the books are opened during God’s great white throne judgment. (26)

Daniel’s 70th Week
FLASHBACK: The Seventh Doom – The Great White Throne Judgment (Circa After the Kingdom Age)
Then I saw a large white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened—the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds. (Revelation 20:11–13 NET)

The final fate of those who have rejected God’s gift of salvation is seen before this great white throne. It is stated that no place was found for these dead of the ages. God is the author of creation, and to reject God is to cut oneself from all He created. Since God created all things, there is no place in creation for those who have rejected Him. They will now be eternally separated from their Creator, culminating in spiritual death. Those who are judged here are said to be the significant, as well as the insignificant, of all of human history. Their status while on Earth will mean nothing before God. Each unbelieving person will be brought up individually before the throne of God Almighty, and the record of their lives will be read before them. Each one will be judged according to the works that they have done while in the body. This is not to discover whether or not they will escape the lake of fire, for by works will no flesh be justified before God. (26)

yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16 NET)

Their fate of being cast into the lake of fire was determined the moment they forever rejected Jesus Christ.

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God. (John 3:16–21 NET)

How is it that we are condemned already? Glad you asked!

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment—concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. (John 16:7–11 NET)

Satan has already been judged and condemned for His rebellion against our God and cast out of Heaven before Adam and Eve were created. (1) Therefore, when we, as innocent children, chose to first sin, we identified with Satan and incurred his condemnation. Again, Jesus was not sent by God the Father to condemn us of sin because we were already condemned! We only escape this condemnation by our belief in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior! Hallelujah!

Again, the Great White Throne of Judgment is where those who did not believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior will be informed of the basis of their condemnation and then sentenced to punishment commensurate with their works while in a body. Just as believers receive degrees of status and rewards in Christ’s kingdom at the Bema Seat, these also will receive degrees of punishment. (26)

Jesus stated this in the gospel of Luke:

That servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know his master’s will and did things worthy of punishment will receive a light beating. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked. (Luke 12:47-48 NET)

Daniel saw the Great White Throne Judgment in his apocalyptic vision. (21)

“While I was watching, thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His attire was white like snow; the hair of his head was like lamb’s wool. His throne was ablaze with fire and its wheels were all aflame. A river of fire was streaming forth and proceeding from his presence. Many thousands were ministering to him; Many tens of thousands stood ready to serve him. The court convened and the books were opened. “Then I kept on watching because of the arrogant words of the horn that was speaking. I was watching until the beast was killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the flaming fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their ruling authority had already been removed, though they were permitted to go on living for a time and a season. I was watching in the night visions, “And with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him. To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed. “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed, and the visions of my mind were alarming me. I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him about the meaning of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed to me the interpretation of the vision:‘ These large beasts, which are four in number, represent four kings who will arise from the earth. The holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will take possession of the kingdom forever and ever.’ “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating them, until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.  (Daniel 7:9–22 NET)
“At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape. Many of those who sleep in the dusty ground will awake— some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence. But the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse. And those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:1–3 NET)

Daniel says he saw the Ancient of Days seated on His throne when the books opened. He also saw the Son of Man participating in this judgment. The Scriptures tell us that God the Father and Jesus His Son are involved in the judgment. (21)

For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27 NET)
Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming—and is now here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out—the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation. (John 5:22–29 NET)
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! He will reward each one according to his works: (Romans 2:5–6 NET)
on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:16 NET)
Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12 NET)
I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: (2 Timothy 4:1 NET)
—if so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment at the day of judgment, (2 Peter 2:9 NET)
Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14–15 NET)

God the Father is the presiding Judge, with Jesus confirming the judgment based on His sacrificial atonement for our sins. (21)

For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. (John 5:26–27 NET0

God is just, even in this final judgment of the dead. Those who have known the way of Christ but have refused to follow Him will pay dearly. Those who have not known the way of salvation but have sinned against God will be punished, but not as harshly. It is up to each individual to use what light God has bestowed on him or her. Everyone is personally responsible for their actions and will answer to God concerning their life. It is said by John that the Book of Life is to be opened, and all whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. It will, at this moment, not matter how much money or how successful one was while on planet Earth. All that will matter is whether one puts their faith in the salvation Jesus paid for on the cross. No place for those who have not will be found except the lake of fire, which is the second death. (26)

Concerning the second death, Jesus stated: (26)

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NET) 

There will be no second chances, reprieves, or pardons in the second death. It is the final and ultimate ending for all who have rejected Jesus Christ. On this day, each one will realize that Jesus was God’s only provision for eternal life. (26)

As Paul stated: (26)

As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow —in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

King Solomon wrote about the foolishness of living life without the fear of God and reminded his readers of the consequences: (21)

Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 NET)

John discloses that death and hell will also be cast into the lake of fire, the second death. (26)

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14 NET).

Sin, death, and hell will no longer be a part of God’s universe since all the enemies of God have been vanquished forever. (26)

In the New Covenant, we read:

And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, (Hebrews 9:27 NET). 

This means there is no ongoing process of reincarnation until we evolve into perfection, as some claim. (21)

Continuing with the next verse, we see that those facing judgment will not be those that eagerly await His second coming, meaning Believers, but rather Unbelievers.

so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation. (Hebrews 9:28 NET)

As mentioned in a previous article (1), Believers will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10 NET)
If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12–15 NET)

The Books of Life and Works

John sees two books opened. One is the “Book of Works,” while the other is the “Book of Life.” The purpose of the Book of Life is to confirm who will spend eternity with God. The Book of Life is further identified as the Lamb’s Book of Life. (21)

and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed. (Revelation 13:8 NET)
but nothing ritually unclean will ever enter into it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27 NET)

The Book of Life is Heaven’s registry book of believers—those who have personally accepted God’s provision of salvation and redemption through the innocent, substitutionary blood covenant sacrifice for their sins. (21)

In the Hebrew Bible, beginning with Adam and Eve, God provided animals as the means for the people to draw near Him. They were saved by grace through faith in the blood of the sacrifice that took their place. (21)

for the life of every living thing is in the blood. So I myself have assigned it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives, for the blood makes atonement by means of the life. (Leviticus 17:11 NET)

In the New Covenant, believers accept Jesus as the Lamb of God who has taken away our sins. (21)

On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 NET)

All true believers in the Hebrew Bible and New Covenant era have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (21)

Jesus promised the overcomers at Sardis (1) that He would not blot their names out of the Book of Life but confess them before His Father and the angels. (21)

The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:5–6 NET)

Our eternal life with God is based on our acceptance and identification with His righteousness made available through Jesus. He is the righteous Branch of David who will execute judgment and righteousness on earth. (21)

“I, the Lord, promise that a new time will certainly come when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, a descendant of David. He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding and will do what is just and right in the land. Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety and Israel will live in security. This is the name he will go by: ‘The Lord has provided us with justice.’ (Jeremiah 23:5–6 NET)

This is a matter of faith, as proclaimed throughout the Bible. Habakkuk wrote that the just shall live by faith. (21)

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4 ESV)

Paul quoted Habakkuk and wrote:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” (Romans 1:16–17 NET)

The purpose of the Book of Works is twofold. For believers, it is to determine our rewards based on the stewardship and obedience of our lives as believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ. (21)

The Bible clearly states that:

But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless?Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:20–26 NET)

Jesus said,

In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NET)

God will reward believers based on their works of covenantal love prompted by the Holy Spirit. These Holy Spirit-inspired works of godly love are the only righteous deeds that God will accept because they come from God Himself. Religious activities and other good deeds tainted by our own selfish motives will not be acceptable. (21)

The other purpose of the Book of Works is to judge unbelievers at the Great White Throne of Judgment. Sadly, their good works cannot save them. This is also the clear teaching throughout the Bible. (21)

When Daniel prayed for his people, he based his appeal on God’s righteousness, not the good deeds of the people:

Listen attentively, my God, and hear! Open your eyes and look on our desolated ruins and the city called by your name. For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you, but because your compassion is abundant. (Daniel 9:18 NET)

Isaiah confessed to God the complete unworthiness of his people:

We are all like one who is unclean, all our so-called righteous acts are like a menstrual rag in your sight. We all wither like a leaf; our sins carry us away like the wind. (Isaiah 64:6 NET)

Isaiah clearly did not appeal to God based on the moral or religious merits of the people.

Paul added that salvation and favor with God are:

he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5 NET)

Yet he wrote that our works bear witness to our faith:

They profess to know God but with their deeds they deny him, since they are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed. (Titus 1:16 NET)
showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, because he has nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:7–8 NET)
He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good. (Titus 2:14 NET)
This saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people. (Titus 3:8 NET)
Here is another way that our people can learn to engage in good works to meet pressing needs and so not be unfruitful. (Titus 3:14 NET)

The Great White Throne Judgment is the last act of God that announces the fate of Unbelievers before eternity begins. As humans created in God’s image, we must accept that we are all accountable to God for how we have lived our lives. While we seek to avoid being accountable to others, we cannot avoid being ultimately accountable to God. We will all stand before Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ as a Believer or at the Great White Throne of Judgment as an Unbeliever and be judged for the stewardship of the lives He has given us. While we all know this instinctively, we seek to avoid thinking about it.

Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12 NET)

In conclusion, Believers will not appear before God at the Great White Throne of Judgment, as our names will never be erased from the Book of Life.

The Second Death

FLASHBACK: The Second Death – Unbelievers are Thrown into the Lake of Fire (Circa After the Kingdom Age)
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14–15 NET)

Jesus said He has the keys to Hades and death:

and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive—forever and ever—and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! (Revelation 1:18 NET)

The One who has conquered Hades and death cast them both into the lake of fire as they have served their purpose. From this moment on, there will be no more death, and those in Hell will have gone to the Lake of Fire. Because God made way for salvation, those who have rejected it do so of their own free will. If their names are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life, they are cast into the lake of fire. (21)



How can a good God who is grace, mercy, and compassion pass judgment for destruction and suffering?

Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live? (Ezekiel 18:23 NET)

The answer is that God does not cause this suffering. Mankind causes this due to the hardness of his heart. It is the result of the evil in people’s hearts to live their lives without God. His Great MERCY is extended to all equally, and He waits patiently for all to accept it.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:43-45 NET)
Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4 NET)
The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NET)
How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers! Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night. He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts. 
Not so with the wicked! Instead they are like wind-driven chaff. For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment, nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly. Certainly the Lord guards the way of the godly, but the way of the wicked ends in destruction. (Psalm 1:1–6 NET)

Nevertheless, when the point is reached that a person or persons, by an act of their will, decide to never change from serving evil (Satan) to serving good (God), then the only thing left is a JUDGMENT of WRATH that will keep them that have chosen to serve Satan from affecting the MERCY to be received by those that have chosen to serve God.

An evil man is rebellious to the core. He does not fear God, for he is too proud to recognize and give up his sin. The words he speaks are sinful and deceitful; he does not care about doing what is wise and right. He plans ways to sin while he lies in bed; he is committed to a sinful lifestyle; he does not reject what is evil. (Psalm 36:1–4 NET)
God, the one who has reigned as king from long ago, will hear and humiliate them. (Selah) They refuse to change, and do not fear God. (Psalm 55:19 NET)
Turn away from evil and do what is right! Strive for peace and promote it! The Lord pays attention to the godly and hears their cry for help. But the Lord opposes evildoers and wipes out all memory of them from the earth. (Psalm 34:14–16 NET)

The MERCY for the future of those who have chosen to serve God trumps the present MERCY extended to all, resulting in the removal and eternal incarceration of those who have chosen to serve evil.

It is terrible to show partiality to the wicked, by depriving a righteous man of justice. (Proverbs 18:5 NET)
If the wicked are shown mercy, they do not learn about justice. Even in a land where right is rewarded, they act unjustly; they do not see the Lord’s majesty revealed. (Isaiah 26:10 NET)
The Lord abhors the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness. (Proverbs 15:9 NET)
The Lord approves of the godly, but he hates the wicked and those who love to do violence. (Psalm 11:5 NET)
You reprimand arrogant people. Those who stray from your commands are doomed. (Psalm 119:21 NET)
The wicked have no chance for deliverance, for they do not seek your statutes. (Psalm 119:155 NET)
If the righteous are recompensed on earth, how much more the wicked sinner! (Proverbs 11:31 NET)
Yes, look! Those far from you die; you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you. (Psalm 73:27 NET)
The Lord protects those who love him, but he destroys all the wicked. (Psalm 145:20 NET)
May sinners disappear from the earth, and the wicked vanish! Praise the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 104:35 NET)
Let anyone who has no love for the Lord be accursed. Our Lord, come! (1 Corinthians 16:22–23 NET)

Remember, refusal of the greater MERCY leaves only the WRATH. (1)

The wicked have decided to never change from evil to good, unrighteous to righteous, and wicked to godly.

There is no Mercy for the Wicked



Detailed Description

Revelation Chapters 21 through 22

Please see the following link for a detailed description of Revelation Chapters 21 through 22:

Part XVIII The Lord of the Scroll – Daniel’s 70th Week (KA, GWTJ, and Ages of the Ages (AoA) Revisited)

His-Story (History) Series:



Shalom
(Security, Wholeness, Success)
Peace

Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 NET)


(1) Select the link to open another article with additional information in a new tab.

(2) Note: Those not able to choose for themselves (1) (e.g., aborted babies, mentally challenged, etc.) are also in Heaven.

(3) The Greek word used here for air is “aer,” which refers to the lower denser atmosphere. This contrasts with the Greek word “aither,” speaking of the upper thinner atmosphere. For example, a Greek would stand on Mount Olympus (6,403 feet high) and point up to “aither” and down to “aer.”

(4) Realize God does, at times, approximate by rounding off numbers. For example, Exodus 12:40,42 states that Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years, but Genesis 15:13 and Acts 7:6 approximate this by rounding it down to 400 years. Based on this, the Church Age could last until 2300 AD or whatever the highest number is that rounds down in God’s math (e.g., 2400 A.D.).

(5) Maranatha is the transliteration of the Koine Greek word that means “Our Lord Come!” (KJV 1 Corinthians 16:22). This word captures what our attitude should be concerning our Lord’s return. That is, while we are not to be complacent or anxious about His return, we should live such that if Jesus were to return at any moment, we would not be ashamed but rather prepared, excited, and filled with joy to see Him! (1 John 2:28. Ephesians 5:15,16).

(6) Rogers, A. (2017). Mustard Seeds and Mountains. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Mt 16:27–17:21). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.

(7) https://beforethewrath.com/

(8) Larkin, C. (1919). The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (p. 124). Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate.

(9) Got Questions Ministries. (2002–2013). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Logos Bible Software.

(10) Booker, R. (2012). The lamb and the seven-sealed scroll. Destiny Image.

(11) The addition of “and see” (καὶ ἴδε or καὶ βλέπε [kai ide or kai blepe]) to “come” (ἔρχου, erchou) in 6:1, 3–5, 7 is a gloss directed to John, i.e., “come and look at the seals and the horsemen!” But the command ἔρχου is better interpreted as directed to each of the horsemen. The shorter reading also has the support of the better witnesses

 Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Re 6:1). Biblical Studies Press.

(12) (www.hearthstonelegacy.com/ when the skies turned to black the locust plague of 1875.)

(13) Traditionally, we have called this event “The Rapture,” although this word does not appear in most Bible translations.  The word rapture comes from the Latin, Rapare, which means to “take away” or “snatch out.” The word with the meaning of rapture in the Bible is the Greek word harpozo.  This Greek word harpozo is literally translated as “caught up” and has the following meanings: to carry off by force or rescue from the danger of destruction. 

The catching away or rapture of the Church will occur during the Great Tribulation before God’s wrath is poured out during the Day of the Lord.

Jesus will carry us off by force when He removes us through the territory of the Prince of the Power of the Air (lower denser atmosphere (3)) who will apparently attempt to interfere with our leaving Earth (Ephesians 2:2). Jesus will rescue us from the danger of destruction by taking us to Heaven before the outpouring of God’s wrath during the Day of the Lord.

(14) Matthew, a Jew, wrote primarily to the Jews, presenting Jesus Christ as King of the Jews. Mark, a Jew, presented Jesus as a Servant and wrote to the Romans. John, a Jew, presents Jesus as the Son of God and writes to all men. Luke, a Greek, writes primarily to the Greeks. And because the Greeks were fascinated with Aristotle’s ideal republic and Plato’s ideal man, Luke writes of Jesus as the Son of Man, the perfect Man.

 Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 295). Thomas Nelson.

(15) Booker, R. (2011). The overcomers: series- understanding the book of Revelation. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image.

(16) …The emphasis here would be that the Pharisees confront the kingdom in Jesus. They do not need to look all around for it because its central figure is in front of their eyes…

 Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke: 9:51–24:53 (Vol. 2, p. 1416). Baker Academic.

(17) A Full Circle Rainbow over Australia, Image Credit & Copyright: Colin Leonhardt (Birdseye View Photography)

(18) Rosenthal, Marvin (1990). The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church. World Publishing

(19) “Warren’s findings, together with the discovery of Reich and Shukron described in the recent news reports, fully support Josephus’s statements relating to the tunnels beneath Jerusalem and the use to which they were put during the Roman siege of 70 A.D. These underground passages enabled many inhabitants of Jerusalem to exit the city and flee both south to Masada and, via Nahal Qidron and other wadis heading from Jerusalem eastward toward the Dead Sea, to the Machaerus fort lying just east of that sea, which was actually closer to Jerusalem than was Masada. (Josephus describes the large number of refugees who gathered at Machaerus.). The circumstances as now known leave little doubt that quite likely beginning even before the siege had begun, groups engaged in hiding the Temple treasures, the books, and other items listed in the Copper Scroll — as well as those ancient writings of the Palestinian Jews known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found centuries later in caves near the wadis leading out of Jerusalem. Norman Golb is the Ludwig Rosenberger Professor of Jewish History and Civilization at the University of Chicago and the author of “Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?” (Simon & Schuster, 1995).” Read more here: https://forward.com/opinion/11873/newly-discovered-tunnel-may-once-have-carried-dead-00675/

(20) http://www.livius.org/articles/concept/roman-jewish-wars/roman-jewish-wars-5/

(21) Booker, R. (2013). the Victorious Kingdom. Destiny Image.

(22) interruption of chronological sequence (as in a film or literary work) by interjection of events of earlier occurrence…

 Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Merriam-Webster, Inc.

(23) 1984: a story that tells what led up to the main story or plot (as of a film)

 Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Merriam-Webster, Inc.

(24) Millennium [mə lĕnˊ ē əm] (Gk. chília étē “one thousand years”; Lat. mille “thousand” plus annus “year”).† The “thousand years” of Christ’s eschatological reign (Rev. 20:2–7).

 Myers, A. C. (1987). In The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (p. 719). Eerdmans.

(25) HALLELUJAH (הַלְלוּ־יָהּ, hallu-yah; ἀλληλουιά, allēlouia). A liturgical phrase that means “Praise Yahweh.” Regularly used in the Psalms (e.g., Psa 104:35; 105:45; 106:1; 111:1; 112:1; 113:1)

55 tn BDAG 352–53 s.v. ἐξουσία 2 [potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power] states, “Also of Satan’s power Ac 26:18.” It is also possible to translate this “the domain of Satan” (cf. BDAG 353 s.v. 6 [the sphere in which power is exercised, domain]) Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Ac 26:18). Biblical Studies Press.

(26) Salerno, Jr., Donald A., (2010). Revelation Unsealed. Virtualbookworm.com Publishing, Inc.

(27) https://www.gospelimages.com/paintings/92/the-parable-of-the-ten-virgins?

(33) Hughes, R. B., & Laney, J. C. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary (p. 559). Tyndale House Publishers.

(34) Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 643). Hendrickson.

4. (89) When they are to go out of their camp, the trumpet gives a sound, at which time nobody lies still, but at the first intimation they take down their tents, and all is made ready for their going out; (90) then do the trumpets sound again, to order them to get ready for the march; then do they lay their baggage suddenly upon their mules and other beasts of burden, and stand, at the place for starting, ready to march; when also they set fire to their camp, and this they do because it will be easy for them to erect another camp, and that it may not ever be of use to their enemies. (91) Then do the trumpets give a sound the third time, that they are to go out in order to excite those that on any account are a little tardy, that so no one may be out of his rank when the army marches. (92) Then does the crier stand at the general’s right hand, and asks them thrice, in their own tongue, whether they be now ready to go out to war or not. To which they reply as often, with a loud and cheerful voice, saying, “We are ready.” And this they do almost before the question is asked them; they do this as filled with a kind of martial fury, and at the time that they so cry out, they lift up their right hands also.

(35) Carpenter, E. E., & Comfort, P. W. (2000). In Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained (p. 298). Broadman & Holman Publishers.

(36)  Rogers, A. (2017). Making Numbers Count. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Re 1:4). Rogers Family Trust.

 

(##) For a higher number reference, see: The Feasts of Israel – Passover references

Hal has taught the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home.  DOULOS HAL'S TOPICAL INDEX

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