A Bible Study of Revelation Chapter 20|
Thousands of Years (during) This Earth Age
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This study is to share my understanding of scripture concerning the book of Revelation Chapter-20 verses one through fifteen. I am including an important research from early documents by 'Hasten The Light Ministries', describing a man named Cerinthus as founder of one of the earliest first century heretical Christians teachings, the beginning of many versions of a later Latin translation called the Millennium. It is obvious these early form of Millennium are a carry over believed and taught by some few Kabbalah Judaic, involved in Chasidic Judaitic mysticism. About this the Hasten The Light documentary shows this false belief was rejected by earliest Christian leaders including disciple John. It would be well worth your time reading this short article being included, to read the article click here, after reading the article return by clicking on "Return to Millennium" found at the bottom-end of the article.
The book of Revelation within the Bible is literally the testimony of Christ, prophetic within spiritual context, and so written with symbolic discernment for man. It is within Revelation chapter 20 that some believe a Millenarian (Chilaid) theology is found, a belief fulfilling desire of such as Dominionist, Reconstructionist, and Dispensationalist, these among others believing they will one day rule over others. Those wishing to rule others should first learn what this Greek 'poimaino' describes, and not the common misinterpretation (see NT4165/4166 for explanation). Bible scripture throughout this study will reveal how error in interpreting Greek math theorem and specifically Revelation 20:1-6 numeric 'Chilioi' (Greek unit of Thousands), has led to altering and misinterpreting context and purpose as found in earliest bible manuscripts. The New Covenant (Testament) does not tell of Christ coming to establish His Kingdom on earth, a Kingdom that you can see, scripture instead tells of His Spiritual Kingdom on earth that you cannot see, as Christ revealed is within His faithful.
The question concerning the exchange of the Greek numeric 'Chilioi' with 'Chilia (or) Chilias' in 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation-20, apparently began with modern translater's. Strong's provides for these above two verses the Greek term "chilioi", while Zondervan's substitutes them (as do other translators) with the term "chilia". Regardless accredited scholars and translators readily agree the numeric term is "chilioi", which they say is found in the best manuscripts of the Greek. Nestles and Wescott & Hort are the translators who are mainly cited for insertion of "chilia" in place of "chilioi." Excluding these translaters mentioned, most Greek scholars agree that "chilioi" is the correct numeric term. Among these however some may also accept "chilias", and some accept "chilia" within these same verses.
Scripture Study of Chilioi Translated as 'Thousands' (aka Millennium)
What you will find need understood in this study, true within the bible, obvious is language with it's grammatical regimen. Most important as instructed within the bible, the word is spiritually discerned. Yet there is another necessity for understanding the word of God, for simplicity I will call it the theorem of mathematics. Languages in translation are complex, just as complex within God's word and needed to understand are numeric's or numbers, both figurative and symbolic, this can be as necessary for understanding as is language. This will be proven true in the study of Revelation chapter twenty, specifically verses one to six, needed in this specific case to understand the meaning of Greek numeric's, more specifically the Greek numeric Chilioi.
Let me first clarify an importance difference between the composition of language, and the theorem of math. We could speak of thousands of hills, or thousands of cattle, perhaps thousands of warriors or thousands of tears, but language has in no way changed the sum of a number. Language may be of case gender, of case being past, present, or future, or certainly many of other uses within language. Will this mean language has in any way changed the theorem sum of the Greek root 'Chili' representing thousands. No, it simply explains how within language a sum is employed concerning full context of verse and paragraph, often requiring validation from within that covenant period of the bible... note there is significant difference between Old and New (Hebrew and Greek) Covenant teachings relating to language and numeric's. Concerning the Greek numeric Chilioi, Thousands, it needs be understood the level of sophistication by 450BC, when the theorem base-10 'multiple unit' (10x3rd power) used by John of Patmos about 95-97AD in the book of Revelation, was addressed as (plural) 'Thousands'.
Validating numeric within the New Testament regarding the Greek root-Chili, the following will be variations found, as Chilia, Chiliai, Chilias, Chilaids, Chiliades, Chiliasin, Chloiadoon, and Chilioon. Validating the numeric Chilioi as found in verse, including when having additional alpha character added to it, or found included with additional alphanumeric's present, they will all be the same stem-Chilioi. The exception is Matt 16:10 as 'Chilioon', and Mark 8:19, Act 21:38, and Rom 11:14, as "Chilious".
The Greek composed or built a sum of a numberic expression somewhat like the Latin, Latin examples are, I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000. The Latin also had compositions of alpha characters to represent numbers, examples are, One Hundred=Centum, Two Hundred=Ducenti, Three Hundred=Trecenti, Four Hundred=Quadringenti, Five Hundred=Quingenti, Six Hundred=Sescenti, Seven Hundred=Septingenti, Eight Hundred=Octingenti, Nine Hundred=Nongenti, One Thousand=Mille. The common expression of example in Latin of our year-2014 would be, 2014 = M + M + X - I + V. With this in mind, the Greek number (not a word) "Chilioi" needs be understood as how used in our bible.
And so what will be thoroughly covered in this study is the Greek alpha numeric 'Chilioi', a numeric of which both scholar and theologian agree was found in earliest manuscripts of both Revelation chapter-20, and 2 Peter 3:8. There will be repetition noted as this study progresses, necessary because of the complex use of Greek numbering system found within the New Testament. It will also demonstrate how using English grammar and modern math theorem's in translation of more ancient Greek numeric's, has corrupted important numeric conversion. The focus will be upon a series of Revelation chapter twenty events beginning with 'Satan bound and sealed in the Abyss', secondly the 'First Resurrection of Saints', (both) conjointly described as Greek 'Chilioi's'. At this point a reminder as the bible admonishes, that you test every spirit and word to be validated within the word of God, and I would encourage validating from the original language. Our English bible has much that is translation from the Latin Vulgate, only the later English translations came properly from the original manuscript then accepted and available, however teaching for some unknown reason still uses Latin numeric and words.
You will hear from almost every source that the Millennium theology is based upon the Greek word
'Chilia'. From the start this is incorrect, both 'Chilia and Chilioi' are not Greek word's, they instead are alpha character representing numeric
. Both composite numeric Chilia and Chilioi are derived from the root 'Chili' in which the Greek Math Theorem expresses the (10x3rd power) unit of (plural) 'Thousands
'. Concerning the amount that would be expressed within these stem numeric such as Chilioi, Chilias, Chiliades, Chiliadoon, and other composition of this root Chili, it would require understanding contextual purpose, or additional numeric notation expressing the sum within the unit of thousands. Without this additional numeric providing quantitative sum, as is the unusual case for Rev-20 and 2 Peter 3:8 where Chilioi is used singularly and meaning 'thousands', it would then rely on cognizance from other related bible scripture to provide quantitative answer, or as undefined then describes an unknown sum of thousands, as apparent in Rev-20 and 2 Perer 3:8.
Next you will hear the Greek numeric Chilioi (103
) reads as 'one
Thousand', this also is incorrect. The Greek numeric Chilioi when found by itself without additional notation for integer sum within thousands, in this unique condition simply expresses an undefined 'unit of Thousands', and as a result could be any number or sum within 'Thousands'. Proof to be expanded upon later, specifically concerning 2 Peter 3:8 and the two events of Revelation 20:1-6, is by validating these undefined 'unit of Thousands' where described within the bible. Verse describing 2 Peter 3:8 in presentation describes a vast yet undefined (as like) definition. Revelation 20:1-6 involve two events having conjoined beginning, evident then having near same time duration's, and these two event time period's each called a Chilioi, these concluded or ended when Satan is released from the abyss. After Satan released follow additional time and event's, ending in apocalyptic final judgment. Proving as full bible describe these Revelation 20:1-6 Chilioi years as 'Thousands Years', certainly the 'first resurrected saints' have already exceeded the claimed 'one thousand years' time limit... note also verses of Rev 20:1-6 are written as past tense, however verses 7-15 beginning with release of Satan are written in future tense.
From this point, observe how the Greek have composed or build with alpha character to represent a complex numeric, such as found when the numeric 'Chilioi and Chilia' are found in verse. Note how altering these forms of Chilioi or Chilia, by attaching additional alpha numeric, or by including with Chilioi or Chilia additional numeric, this is needed to provide a sum within the unit of these thousands. Keep in mind it is not grammar or language that will change a numeric value or sum, Greek language will instead have alpha-numeric's imbedded within a verse and passage for purpose to express numeric sum, being interpreted according to purpose or implication of (value or sum) within the Chilioi or Chilia 'thousands'. However it will be shown how composite numeric such as 'Chiliades & Chiliadoon' are said express a (plural) 'Thousands', however when found in verse with additional numeric included, now is said changed to express a (singular) 'Thousand'. This multiplicity is not supported in Greek theorem of numeric's, no matter whatever language the Greek numeric is translated.
When John of Patmos wrote the book of Revelation, Greek letters of the alphabet were used as both words, and also as numbers, modern Arabic numeral's 1, 2, 3, etc were not used until much later. The Greek Differentiated an alphanumeric number from a word by placing a small accent-mark (keraia) at the upper-right ending of the numeric. This mark was used to mean, "this is to be read as a number, not a word". There were other code-marks related to alpha-numeric, however not significant for this study. As stated earlier, most scholar and theologian agree the numeric 'Chilioi' was found in earliest manuscripts of both 2 Peter 3:8, and Revelations 20:1-6, at some later date another Greek numeric 'Chilia' was substituted in both Revelation 20:1-6 and 2 Peter 3:8, but note also without a quantitative notation for sum involved. The Greek numeric 'Chilioi' as such then without quantitative sum reads as two plural's (Chilioi etee), translated as 'Thousands Years', and as such in English should translate as an undefined yet obviously implied 'Thousands (of) Years'.
When numeric's Chilioi/Chilias are found within the NT, with exception only of 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation 20:1-6, they will be found in one of two conditions. One condition will have a numeric extension added to Chilioi/Chilias, the second condition will be a group of numeric's included with Chilioi/Chilias, in both conditions describing a composite sum within the unit representing thousands. The exception concerning Chilioi, found used uniquely alone without numeric extension nor within group of numeric, in this state found alone only eight (8) times within the entire NT, found 6-times in Rev 20:1-6, the remaining 2-times in 2 Peter 3:8. Certainly this very unusual condition should indicate need for further understanding. Strongs lexicon/dictionary is one of very few trying to make this effort. When 'Chilias' (NT5505) is found substituted for the correct Chilioi (NT5507) in 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation 20:1-6, Strong instead directs you immediately to dictionary "NT:5507 Chilioi (khil'-ee-oy); plural of uncertain affinity; a thousand".
Why in English we have truncated the Greek Chilioi as a singular 'thousand', is apparent the result of French adopting the Greek Base-10 math theorem, producing in year-1795 what has been accepted as an international measure called the 'Kilo' (at first called quilo), expressed as a (singular) 'Thousand'. Today we use this 'Kilo' thousand predominantly, as a result it is natural to mispronounce the Greek Chilioi as a singular 'thousand', from this by truncating thousands, believing it is grammatically understood within our English language. Yet in translating Chilioi truncating it as a singular (one) thousand violates the obvious purpose of Chilioi in both 2 Peter 3:8, and Rev 20:1-6. There was in John's time as continues today related to Rev-20, no known ending of these two events, both of which have yet to be ended. It is obvious Satan has yet to be released as ruler and conquer of all, all but a remnant faithful that fulfill the last witnessing on earth. Obviously with our Western language and grammar, it would seem archaic for some to read Chilioi as 'Thousands', yet this is exactly how Chilioi was pronounced as plural in the era that John wrote the book of Revelation.
Those within the field of Base-10 mathematics will admit that Chilioi is a plural article and cardinal numeric, and this is correct, considering it expresses the numeric unit of (plural) 'Thousands'. Within Rev 20:1-6 according to Greek grammar, it must agree with (plural) 'years' that follow. Yet some relate the Greek Chilioi (plural) with an ordinal (singular) 'year', as though proving Rev 20 Chilioi now must be read as 'one thousand year'. Despite such confusion, it is acknowledged for Chilioi to be a multiple two, three, or any sum within 'Thousands', would require quantifying numeric included with Chilioi, or specific language clearly designating a singular 'one' thousands... and certainly the Greek (na) translated 'the' as found in Rev 20:3 "deceiving the nations", is not intended to describe 'deceiving one' nations. Also in verse 4 Greek 'the' has been substituted with 'a'. Some claim to have found a 'one', or 'a', within the original Greek verse, in truth these are instead an addition from translation to fit English grammar. Also altered within verse-6 concerning "Years" (etee), it is found twice redefined as "aYears".
We (English language) identify Chilioi as an adjective, Chilias as a noun, also commonly taught that Chilioi is the plural of Chilias. However concerning the 34 times (singular English translated) 'Thousand' is found in the New Testament, they are found in original Greek with additional numeric's expressing the sum within thousands. An unqualified exception is Luke 16:7 translated as thousand, however the original Greek quotes the sum as a hundred (hekaton). Of the eight times (plural) 'Thousands' are found in the English version of NT, these will use a form of Greek expressions Murioi or Murias. Chiliades and Chiliadoon are used singularly in Revelation 5:11, being translated into English as plural "Thousands", however these same when found in other verse's but with additional numeric, are stated instead as a singular "thousand". This will be covered later in detail.
Many are familiar with the Interlinear Bible, also Strongs lexicon/dictionary. Strongs from subject bible passage identifies Chilioi as a plural article. This could be taken to mean greater than one, but in fact identifies Chilioi is plural Thousand(s). Vines takes an opposite stance, note however Vine agrees it is Chilioi and not Chilias being the correct numeric (found singularly) in 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation 20:1-6. At the same time Vine's in item-1 also mentions Rev chapters 11, 12, and 14, these however beside using Chilias, also include additional numeric notation expressing a composite sum within thousands, remembering we are dealing with Chilioi used singularly without these numeric quantifiers. This is what Vines has to say about both Chilioi and Chilias:
From Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
1. chilioi NT:5507, "a thousand," occurs in 2 Peter 3:8; Rev 11:3; 12:6; 14:20; 20:2-7.
2. chilias NT:5505, "one thousand," is always used in the plural, chiliades, but translated in the sing. everywhere, except in the phrase "thousands of thousands," Rev 5:11.
It was later around 382AD that the Hebrew and Greek manuscript's were translated (to include additional books) into a Latin language called the Catholic Vulgate Bible. In Latin the Greek numeric Chilioi was translated as 'Mile' (often written as 'Mille') giving impression the original numeric was a fixed value of a thousand. This Mille combined with the separate word 'years' resulted in the now famous 'Millennium'. This is not true in the original Greek of the New Testament, the Greek numeric 'Chilioi' being a plural article by itself from 'base-10 unit of Thousands', and as found in Revelation 20:1-6 absent a quantitative notation, translates in context of original Greek language as "Thousands (plural), Years (plural)". Note also in Vine's item-2 statement of above, he says a form of Chilias as 'Chiliades' is always a plural thousands (as in Rev 5:11), and everywhere else a singular thousand. The confusion he glosses over will be revealed later in detail.
The Greek root Chili base-10 (10x3) when found as the stem-numeric's Chilioi and Chilia, are predominately found in our English bibles expressing a composite sum within thousands. These verse's within the original Greek will have included additional numeric to describe not just a thousands, but the sum or number within thousands. In our English bible a stem-form of Chili will be found describing both multiple 'thousands' (1-2-3000, etc), also describing a sum within 'thousands' (1260), these found 42 times in the New Testament. The composite form 'thousands' will require additional alpha added as extension to Chilioi/Chilia, such as Matthew 14:21 with the Greek ( pentakischilioi ), and this translates as a number of (pentakis=5, chilioi=thousands) in verse-21 as about five thousands. The second composite form will have included additional numeric's as found in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6, describing a symbolic ( chilias - diakosias - hexekomta ), representing a composite numeric of "thousands, two hundred, and threescore days" (Chilias=thousands, diakosias=200, hexekomta=10x6=60), meaning about 1260 days (as 3½ years of a 360 day calendar).
There is little doubt the day and night within creation by God is an unknown duration of time, and certainly when the term "is like" is used in description, it describes in no way a day being an exact one thousand years. Read carefully what this verse says in 2 Peter 3:8 "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand(s) years, and a thousand(s) years are like a day". Copied directly from an Interlinear bible source, a more accurate translation is 'One day with the Lord as thousand(s) years, and thousand(s) years as a day one'. In both above verse I've added (s)'s to indicate a more literal Greek translation. This similar to Psalms 90:4, however again expressed metaphorically as an undefined quantitative similar to 'as like', stating 'a thousand years in God's sight, being (as) a day having passed'.
Revelation 20:8-15 continues describing the last day events, ending the last days of this earth age as a time of Apocalyptic wrath and final judgment. Final judgment is described as Satan and all wicked cast back into Sheol called the Burning Lake of Sulfur (where the Beast and False Prophet cast earlier awaited Satan), this composite of all wicked then called (death and hades) is cast into and destroyed within the Lake of Fire. Note in this last verse the important difference between the Lake of Sulfur, and Lake of Fire. The reign of saints with Christ continue after this present earth age, continuing within new creation's described by Isaiah 65:17-19 as creation's of the new Jerusalem, also called the eternal new heaven and new earth, the home of righteousness. At the return of Christ after all wicked in judgment are destroyed called the second death, we are told in Rev 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!".
Validating words and numeric's within the bible is done with an Interlinear bible and using a lexicon for original Hebrew/Greek verse and passage. One of the most trusted sources for translation of original Hebrew and Greek concerning this Greek 'chilioi' is the New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordant with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. The following translation is given for the numeric xi/lioi or chilioi [KJV]:
NT:5507 'xi/lioi', in Greek 'chilioi' (khil'-ee-oy); plural of uncertain affinity; a thousand.
A valid observation concerning "plural of uncertain affinity", is that in the Greek math theorem whole numbers above '1' (from 2, 3, etc), being more than singular one, are therefore all plural article's. However it is not numeric's 2, 3, etc that is being addressed, it is the Greek numeric "Chilioi" (Base-10 as ten to the third power) called the plural article. We are also advised this Greek numeric Chilioi being an adjective must agree with the noun that it describes. This is saying within Greek language and grammar, within sentence chilioi etee
as 'thousands years', this must be read as "thousands" (plural), "years" (because also plural). Instead as mentioned earlier, we in English language express Chilioi years truncated as "thousand years", allowing our translation to conform to the rules of English grammar, and corrupting purpose of Chilioi.
Another form of Chilia as 'Chiliades' will be found rendered in context of full passage as a multiple of thousands in Revelation 7:5 "Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand (doodeka chiliades). Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand (doodeka chiliades). Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand (doodeka chiliades)..." In this later case rendered in English, the word Chiliades (previously claimed as "thousands") is now claimed as a noun, rather than the adjective. Thus, for us it does not need to agree with another word grammatically, even though (we understand) it to be referring to a plural number of Israelite. The word as is translated as a collective noun, and as such, is written in the singular, even though technically in context there are TWELVE of these "thousands". This above appears a fault of language teachings, beleiving language regimen may alter a numberic sum, however as 'a rose is a rose is a rose', a numeric remains it's designated sum.
The two Greek numeric's 'Chilias' and 'Chilioi' with English interpretation and used in this confused manner are:
NT5505 - Xilias: (English spelling) chilias, pronounced, khil-ee-as' a feminine noun, plural, meaning "thousands," although put into English as a "singular," i.e., "thousand."
NT5507 - Xilioi: (English spelling) chilioi, pronounced, khil'-ee-oy an adjective, plural, meaning "thousands," although put into English as a "singular," i.e., "thousand."
An example of this confusion using a form of the Greek Chilia as (Chiliades and Chiliadoon) is found in the English bible expressing plural... 'thousands upon thousands of angels'.
This verse is Rev 5:11 "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands (Chiliades) upon thousands (Chiliadoon)..."
This is not the only confusion concerning 'Chiliades', in which Vines admits used singularly is translated 'Thousands' (in Rev 5:11). This error is evident when Chiliades is found in other verse's having additional numeric describing a composite sum within thousands, however now translated as a single thousand, as in Acts 4:4 "...and number of men grew to about five thousand (chiliades Pente)", in I Cor 10:8 "...and in one day twenty three thousand (eikosi treis chaliades) of them died", and in Rev 11:13 "...seven thousand (chiliades hepta) people were killed in the earthquake".
Also similar is the numeric 'Chiliadoon', also being expressed as a singular thousand in Luke 14:31 "...able with ten thousand (deka chiliasin) men to oppose twenty thousand (eikosi chiliadoon)..."
Departing from "Chiliades and Chiliadoon" described in Rev 5:11 as plural thousands.
This same confusion also obvious with similar translation of Greek quantities 'Murias' and 'Murioi' as:
NT:3461 muri/a$ murias from NT:3463; a ten-thousand; by extension, a "myriad" or indefinite number:
The first four New Testament books of the bible use exclusively 'Chilioi' for all numeric's translated as thousand (one exception Luke 14:31 where the quantity is greater at 10,000 and 20,000). The two books of 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation 20:1-6 use 'Chilia' exclusively for the numeric 1,000. The rest of the NT is a mixture and various forms of Chilia, Chilioi, Murias, and Murioi (Murias and Murioi generally for numeric's ten thousand and greater).
The above will be contended however as periods after the 'Return of the Lord (or) Day of the Lord', and only then when their Millennium (one thousand years) is theorized will begin... and the Millennium reign ending when Satan is later cast into the abyss. But this theory is not valid or supported within the Old Testament (some verse of past events are used out of context), nor is this theory supported anywhere within the New Testament, most obviously not supported within Revelation chapter-20 where these various Latin Millennium "Golden Age and Millennium Temple" teachings have origin... consider how often you've heard preached by almost all clergy, that the end or last days (when Satan is released) is near. From such confusion, it is evident why I implore all to read and validate from their bible, certainly Revelation chapter twenty concerning 'Chilioi' event's.
I have based my study of 2 Peter 3:8 and Revelation 20:1-6, concerning the Greek numeric 'Chilioi & Chilia', as a truth proven primarily by math theorem and the context it represents. Another author in this same study has drawn the same understanding of these same verse and Greek numeric, following a linguistic perspective. His thesis and writing gives meaning where my own may have been less understood. For this reason I am including his very good study by author Kenneth Fortier, he goes deeply into the linguistic related to the purpose of these Greek numeric. If you are interested, click on this link to Fortiers article.
The following is a seperate study 'The First Resurrection of the Saint's/
Rev 20:4-5... The First Resurrection of Saint's
KJV - ten thousand.
NT:3463 mu/rioi murioi (moo'-ree-oi); plural of an apparently primary word (properly, meaning very many); ten thousand; by extension, innumerably many:
KJV - ten thousand.
At the end of Christ's ministry with His death upon the cross, after three days in the depths where He preaches or proclaims, Christ rises in victory over death. In His victory Christ then brings captives from Sheol beginning the first resurrection of saints having a part to reign with Him for a chilioi-Thousands (of) years. Other scripture relates saying death (being also Satan) no longer has hold (literal control) over saints described in Eph 2:2 "the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient...".
Although Satan and his fallen angel's are now bound in the Abyss, throughout the NT Satan and these dark angels are described only in spiritual form as liar and deceiver, tempting and possessing those they may. Of these fallen angelic now active in spiritual form, verse says these spirits must answer to us. Of Satan, we are assured when we resist Satan as spirit, he will flee from us. At Satan's release from the abyss yet in the future, we are told both events of Revelation 20:1-6 'Thousands' (aka Millennium) end, yet both Satan and saints in following scripture continue described in prophetic purpose of both. What becomes obvious from this, these two events beginning at different periods and lasting different durations, these are one and same ' Chilioi Years (or) Thousands of Years'.
About the first resurrection of saints raised by Christ from Sheol, it needs be remembered how they are described in Revelation 20:4-5 "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years". NOTE: I have removed the second "I saw" from verse-4, that is not found in the original manuscripts of this verse, added by an author unknown.
John describes two groups of "I saw", this first group on thrones are 'given authority to judge', about this every Christian professing Christ Jesus as savior should remember 1 Corinthians 6:2 "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?", and concerning thrones in Matt 19:28 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, 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". Also given authority during a saints lifetime told of in 1 Corinthians 2:15 "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment...". Some see only the second group (I saw)" about saints that had been martyred, believing apparently only a few of the upright and righteous will be raised to reign (eternal service) with Christ, missing entirely Old and New Testament promises of the bible.
Now that you know who John "saw", read about what happens when "they had not" received the mark of the Beast, John announces concerning both of these two groups that, "they came to life and reigned with Christ" for a Thousands (of) Years. Do you think there is a single Christian (saint past) or yet alive that does not claim having a part in the 'first resurrection', with no worry about seeing the 'second death'? The goal of our salvation in this life will require fighting a spiritual war, not all those victorious will be physically beheaded, although some could show serious scars. An addendum concerning Mark 1:1 'Do not judge', taught often in error, speaks instead of judging in carnal or flesh nature rather than within the will and serving the purpose of God.
Apostle Paul gave assurance to those yet living, that Christ now is restraining Satan within the abyss (yet Satan spiritually active), saying in 2 Thess 2:5-7 "Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time". Certainly also Christ's Kingdom exists after Satan cast into the abyss, and about the everlasting Kingdom now found in heaven revealed in the prayer given us as example in Matt 6:9-10 "This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Christ describes the (new) and eternal earth we are to look forward to in John 14:3-4 " In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going". Ask yourself about the souls described waiting below the alter in heaven, are these not the bride within the New Jerusalem, that comes down (or is revealed) from heaven?
Christ comes for each saint in their turn when they pass into death, described as the dead shall rise first. Later Satan is released from the abyss as ruler of earth, however before the wrath of God, there is the 'Coming of the Lord' Christ Jesus to gather saints yet living. Paul assures that before God's wrath and judgment, Christ comes first for those yet living, to happen before judgment Day or Return of Christ for judgment, described in 2 Thess 2:1-2 "Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come". This verse assures that first Christ Coming is for saints yet living, and it is later called the 'Day of the Lord' (that day) when Christ returns for end times Final Judgment, explained by Paul in 2 Thess 2:2-4 "Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God".
Don't believe for an instant Satan will rise up into Paradise/Heaven, and sit on the Thrown of God, look instead for this border area or wing-edge of a Herod remnant-temple as described in Dan 9:27 "...And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him". ('of the temple' is implied but not found in the original manuscripts). Remember also in all man made temples past, the sacrificial 'altar' was found in the very center of the temple, before the stairs leading up to the Holy of Holies. Note this altar involving Satan is in a border or wing edge [of temple], where also this abomination that causes desolations is to take place.
Satan will be released from the abyss, after an interval he will commit an abomination, Satan then gathers Gog and Magog for battle against Jerusalem the city of God. Certainly at this time being spiritual, fire then comes down from heaven that destroys them. Note however before destruction as final judgment of all wicked, Satan will first be cast back into the Lake of Sulfur or Burning Lake of Sulfur, where the Beast and False Prophet were cast earlier and awaited Satan. This Lake of Sulfur or Burning Lake of Sulfur is a holding place where the wicked must wait for final judgment and destruction.
Satan is now returned to grave-Sheol also called the abyss or Lake of Sulfur, or Burning Lake of Sulfur, this same Lake of Sulfur where even church leaders that succumb to pride, and all wicked are said will share Satan's fate. This according to scripture being all the wicked destined for destruction. The very last event of Revelation-20 verse-15 describes this destruction happening within the 'Lake of Fire', it is this later called the 'Lake of Fire' being the last place where final judgment and destruction is carried out called an eternal punishment. Concerning the eternal suffering day and night yet in this present earth age, now saying the smoke (being all that remains) of their suffering rises forever, surely this indicates the former no longer exists along with the old order, much like heaven and earth fleeing at the return of Christ, described as there being no place found for them.
Some however teach that when Christ Returns (a second time and not to bear sin again) it is to begin the first resurrection of saints to reign a thousand years with Christ, and after this Thousand years Satan is cast into the abyss. Read carefully what Revelation chapter-20 tells us, that Satan had already been cast from heaven being bound and sealed into the abyss for a Thousands years. Followed with Christ rising in victory from Sheol, Christ then brings the first resurrection of saints from Sheol/grave to reign with Him a Thousands (Chilioi) years. When Satan is released from the Abyss, scripture says after 1335 days into Satan's rule Christ comes to gather the last saints still living on earth called the remnant elect, John is told by an angel about these soul's, Rev 7:14 "these are they that came out of the Great Tribulations". About this 1335-days into Satan's rule on earth, in the above verse is shown to be a period immediately after the first 3½ (of Satan's seven year rule), this first half (1260-days) is referred to as (coming out of) the 'Great Tribulation'.
Satan is cast out of heaven but once, this we are told in Isaiah 14:12-15 "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High". But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit". The grave being Sheol, and the pit being the Abyss. Satan is also released once only from the abyss to become ruler of earth told of in Daniel (see Matthew 25:15), and neither before or after does Christ appoint kingdoms or saints to rule over an unsaved for a thousand years. Instead the Return or Day of the Lord begins the apocalypse ending the final verse of Revelation chapter-20 with Final Judgment.
An encapsulation of this Revelation chapter-20 is made clear within Revelation 12:8-10 "The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down". Salvation before promised arrived as the savior who is Christ Jesus, immediately in Revelations 12:12 symbolically describing the spiritual war of Satan, and now Satan and his dark angels bound in Sheol/Hell in chains is called Eph 2:2-3 "...the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient." , not yet released as ruler of the world. During Christ's ministry He describes to those around Him of having already seen the fall of Satan from heaven in Luke 10:18 'He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'", Paul also assures us that Satan (bound and sealed in the abyss) is now restrained in 2 Thess 2:5-6 "Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time".
About the Old Testament times involved in promise of salvation and resurrection, this is described in Hebrew 11:39-40 "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect". Scripture tells of the redeemed anointing or confessing Christ as Messiah, in salvation being dead to sin, both those having passed on including saint's yet living, these saint's will serve (meaning reign eternally) as predestined with Christ, understood within the spiritual realm, given assurance in Heb 12:28 "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken..." Remembering as Christ told the Pharisee in Luke 17:20-21 "Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you". About His eternal Kingdom we are told in John 18:36 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place". In this last verse Christ speaks of Jews, He instead was speaking of the Judean, Judaean or House of Judah (two tribes) that had returned to the land, this English word 'Jew' did not exist in manuscript nor bible before the 17th century... a time of many teaching error's.
Following the Thousands events listed in Revelation-20, it becomes obvious today these events have already past a time scale of a thousand years, this despite Satan must still be released from the abyss. In attempt to give the Latin-Millennium theology legitimacy as taught today, scripture is taken out of context or non-related scripture is often used, these often ignoring or drastically rearranging events described throughout the Bible and within Revelation-20.
The only people that seem to want a Millennium, giving them power to rule, appear to be such as Reconstructionist, Dominionist, Dispensationalist, and those wanting to 'rule' over other's for a thousand years. They will use verse such as Rev 2:25-28 'And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father..."
But look at this translation of "ruling" (NT4165) as described in original Greek language...
NT:4165 poimaino (poy-mah'-ee-no); from NT:4166; to tend as a shepherd of (figuratively, supervisor)
This later part of Rev 2:25-28 stating, 'and He shall rule them with a rod of iron', is written like a sub sentence, and as found in Rev 19:15 "He will rule them with an iron scepter"., He in this case with authority to rule is Christ, only the Lord God as King has authority to rule over His creations. In this context we are taught the King will send His servant, the authority of the servant is found in obedience and serving the King, however at no time is a servant the ruler, better understood as the shepherd.
Christ warned about such egregious authority among men, likened to the Gentile authority that ruled at that time, saying we were not to be as such, instead we are to do as Christ, to reign (not rule) as servants. God tells of the only one with power and authority to rule, the bible saying in Eph 1:19-22 "That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come". This Latin Millennium at best only confuses and misleads Christians, similar to another Latin translation from the Greek word 'harpageesometha' (in English translated as 'caught up' and also referenced as 'gathered together'), being translated into Latin as 'rapturo', apparently where we get the teaching of the 'Rapture'. This rapture taught often with absents of 'works predestined', leaving immature Christians believing all that is needed is to sit and wait upon the Lords rescue.
The Bible tells us there is only one Day of the Lord when Christ returns a second time, not to bear sin again, this described in Hebrew 9:28 "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him". In this verse Christ is salvation awaited, and certainly Final Judgment finalizes the salvation earlier guaranteed when those that believed received the Holy Spirit. Before the 'Return of the Lord' for final judgment, there were earlier and continue uncountable spiritual 'Coming of the Lord' to gather those saints at death. Certainly the 'Coming' as spiritual 'Presence' of the Lord is not all that unusual, consider scripture describing very simply such an event in Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them".
Millenarian theologies have arisen and ended many times since the first century, one of the earliest when a man named Cerinthus who was denounced by Apostle John, taught his version in the Christian church. Cerinthus taught a number of apostolic doctrine about Christ, also it being a time of sensual indulgences. Since then sensual indulgences has been dropped, with later variations as example based upon scripture concerning Creation theology as six days (six thousand years), leading to the seventh day (Millennium). Regardless of the different versions, the primary source for these Thousand theories comes from Revelation-20. These often using other scripture whose context does not support their thesis, and is apparently why in relating to scripture of creation, many believe earth is approximately 6000 years of age from the time of creation. At best the only scripture describing a short period of ruling, and this rule over an unsaved, is described in the fifth trump when Satan is released from the abyss to (gather/conquer) his people.
This earth taught as only 6000 year from time of creation then is based upon genealogies of man born from Adam and Eve, however this omits or does not account for the period of Adam and Eve within the Garden of Eden nor the six days of creation, and for this reason departs from the entire Biblical scale of estates and times relating only to some small part of this present earth age. Within Genesis chapter-1, between verses 1 and 2 for instance, some interpret this as saying earth had been previously created in complete form, yet verse-2 describing again in void form, and this explaining need of God to instruct 're-populating' the world. This if having any validity would also indicate an additional period that may have transpired. In creation of day and night as described by God, it does not say one followed immediately another, also the 'early-earth theory' seems to have merit only in discrediting evolution theory.
Throughout the New Testament I have found no teaching for saints to have earthly rule during this lifetime, either within or without the church, except in holding Office with Authority. Here also going out into the world we were not instructed to be rulers, instead we were to disciple as witness in the world for our Lord. Christ gave warning about the mis-application such as by Gentile rulers, admonishing the saints not to become as such, instead to reign we must serve, and to be greatest would become as a slave. Nor does scripture teach of ruling over the spiritual world, instead being power and authority over the spiritual realm in context that to reign with Christ is to serve. Scripture teaches that with exception of certain permission's by God, only God is able and capable to rule over His creation and earth ages. And about these new creations we are told in Isaiah 65:17-18 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy". Our chronological day and night for division of time is not only different than Gods day and night, but it was not until the forth day and night of Gods creation's that God created our sun and moon, as divisions in calendar, seasons, and time for man.
Some will say that to properly understand the word (Bible), it must be divided properly, more accurately it must be discerned properly. The Bible as the word (and not text) will not contradict itself in any division, instead it may be misunderstood from not having full HS discerned background study providing important verse at hand that gives full context and condition for understanding. For instance it is immediately announced from heaven after Satan is bound and sealed in the abyss, that "now has come the salvation..". From this do we understand salvation coming before or after Satan is bound in the abyss, and of course it is after Satan is bound in the abyss. Paul announces that the promised 'day of salvation is now', Christ the Messiah has then already begun His ministry and established His church. Satan according to Revelation-20 is released from the abyss to become ruler over earth for a short time, however Christ then returns 'not to bear sin again' but to bring final judgment, and Satan with all the wicked are cast into the Lake of Sulfur where final judgment is fulfilled. Remember that God is the 'Consuming Fire', only God being the Lake of Fire may destroy completely (the composite Death and Hades) that He had created.
Before Christ rescued these Old Testament saints from Sheol, at death of their flesh body it was not the body as Lazarus that went into Sheol, nor the spirit of Stephen surrendered back to God, during the Old Testament it was the soul that entered the bosom of Abraham in Sheol or grave. It is the soul that has always received salvation told in 1 Peter 1:8-9 "...for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls". It was neither flesh body or spirit John saw in heaven beneath the altar, but again souls, described in Revelation 6:9-11 "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain..." At the end of life it is death that slays the body. These souls as example the thief on the cross next to Christ, told today you will be with me in Paradise, were it that day like a thousand years now passed, means Christ now sits at the right hand of God in heaven, evidencing the thief as one of the souls John saw below the altar.
Before the return of the Lord, Christ comes for saints yet living, this described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory". Where these saints are found is not in the grave called Sheol where once the righteous and unrighteous found different abode, instead the Lord at His Return sends angels to gather the souls of the saints no longer in Sheol, all are gathered from a new abode described as from one end of heavens to the other (described by John as beneath the Throne) as told in [NIV] Matthew 24:31 "...They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other". These 'four winds' are described only within heaven or as heavenly, with exception of the last days when symbolically upon the earth in judgment.
Next to understand resurrection of the saints, this does not mean we must be dead in the grave, or that it occurs only at the second return of Christ, or after final judgment. Before in the Old Testament, Sheol/grave was the destiny of both righteous and the wicked, happening after having passed away into death of the body. In the new covenant, resurrection of the saints is made possible when receiving life as the Holy Spirit. Christ said you must be born again, but why be born again into life again, it is because you must die to the flesh. Paul gives answer to this resurrection by Christ, having died to flesh receiving saving grace, saying in Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me". This is what was meant in the promise of Hebrew 7:22 "Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant". And to those that remain in the Lord, the promise is fulfilled, 2 Cor 1:21-22 "He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come".
Finally after the last of saints still living are gathered (spiritually) into the air, to be with those that had gone on before, these all having a part in the first resurrection now are described in [NIV] Matt 24:31 "And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other". About resurrection, the Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary says:
Concerning our dying to the flesh and becoming spiritually alive reigning with Christ, this is described in 2 Tim 2:11-12 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him." About enduring to reign with Christ we are told in 1 Thess 5:10-11 "He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him", awake spiritually is yet within flesh body, asleep meaning death of flesh body yet spiritually alive in Christ. About this death of the body described in Rom 6:8-9 "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him". This does not say everyone (meaning the wicked that must wait judgment) will be resurrected immediately after death. From this we may understand what Paul said in Acts 24:15-16 "...and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked". Simply saying there are two resurrections, one for all saints, and a second for all wicked... within this lifetime or earth age.
The resurrection promise to be with Christ began as told in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 "...and the dead in Christ will rise first..." The Old Testament dead called the 'upright and righteous' rose first in resurrection, continuing as those born again who reign with Christ on earth will in their turn pass away, until finally saints yet living in the Last Days are gathered up, described in 1 Thess 4:17-18 "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air". Scripture promise is now fulfilled for each in their turn having a part in resurrection told in 1 Corinthians 15:23 "But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him". Christ comes for each saint at death. All mankind are appointed one time to be born, and after death to face judgment described in Hebrew 9:26-28 "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him". Salvation of all saints is now finalized and completed at the Return of the Lord. What all this has said, is that God is not God of the dead, but of those Spiritually alive, and it is those with Holy Spirit who have died of flesh body, are these dead that rise first to be with the Lord. Next it says, then those yet alive with Holy Spirit, are later gathered up within a twinkling of an eye to be with those that had (in death of the body) gone before, and all now meeting in the air (heavenly realm) are forever with the Lord. Salvation is now finalized and completed at the Return of the Lord.
The resurrected saint now will be found not on earth but a heavenly realm, about this Christ said He went to prepare a place for us, and it was to this place within the Fathers Kingdom that He would return and take us. This will be a Kingdom and new age as described in Eph 1:21-22 "...far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come". Our present earth age and kingdom will be far different than Gods Kingdom to come, where exists the Temple of God made by the hand of God, this to be found in the new creations of heaven and earth which the believers looked forward described in 2 Peter 3:11-13 "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness".
Christ comes then for each at death in their turn, these being the saints in faith that belong to Christ. And this all began with salvation and the resurrection from Sheol by Christ of Old Covenant saints having a part in the first resurrection. Thereafter each saint at death have a part in the first resurrection, each going to be with the Lord. Finally Christ will come for saints yet living as told of in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever". This certainly includes the faithful chosen yet living but scattered among the nations, finding refuge (anointing the most Holy), called sanctuary in Daniel 12:11-12 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days". Upon reaching the prophetic 1335 days the scattered are gathered into the wilderness of the nations, Ezekiel 20:35-38 tells of this conditional re-gathering when the scattered are gathered into the wilderness and into a new covenant. Here they will be judged, those in rebellion refusing to anoint the most Holy and revolting against God are purged, this leaves a remnant elect to be gathered into eternal Israel, the purged said will not enter Israel.
All saints before the Return of the Lord (or Day of the Lord) for final judgment; including those still living, all saints by now will have been gathered into a heavenly realm, at this time described as beneath the alter. There will be chosen still living and scattered that as described above must wait for the last prophetic 70th week (7 years), these must remain faithful reaching the end of the 1335 days. After all of these saints have been gathered progressing into the last 3½ years, the very last of this earth age ends in final judgment and destruction called the second death, with wars until this end. The Kingdom for eternity is the new creations (see Isaiah 65:17-19) called the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem. Within the New Jerusalem is found the Sanctuary or Temple that scripture tells us is both established and made by the hand of God, and here all saints will reign and serve God forever.
The Bible clearly teaches that after final wrath and apocalyptic judgment the old order passes away, understood as destroyed. No where in the Bible does it teach that after final judgment the saints are still found among the wicked that were destroyed in final judgment, or with Satan also destroyed in final judgment. Within the very last verse's of Revelation-20 Satan is cast back into the fiery Lake of Sulfur (in grave/Hell), following verses then concludes this composite of Sheol/Hell (fiery Lake of Burning Sulfur, abyss, deepest/darkest/bottomless pit, Gehenna and Hades) saying in the very last verse that Death and Hades are finally cast into the Lake of Fire where they are destroyed.
After final judgment the saints having been gathered into the air (heaven) with the Lord, now come down out (some read... revealed in) heaven within the New Jerusalem as the bride, then and forever to reside in the Kingdom of God. Scripture calls this New Earth as the home of righteousness. Revelation-20 tells us that all saints in the Thousands or present earth age who have a part in the first resurrection will not see the second death, described in Revelation 20:5-6 "This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection..".. Those having a part are the entire church (family or assembly of) Christ described in Revelation 2:11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death". This resurrection was made possible in Salvation through Christ described in Revelation 5:9-10 "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priest's to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth". Christ will reign both in this present earth age or Thousands with His saints, and after this earth passes away Christ and His saints shall reign on the New Earth where is found the New Jerusalem and Temple of God for all eternity.
There are two other very important words that need be understood having significant difference, these two words are 'Tribulation' and 'Desolation'. Tribulation of catastrophic proportion refers to conditions within the very End Days or Last Days described as the 70th week prophecy. This is not the normal tribulations found within each individual's lifetime, Christ describes these lesser tribulation's in part as a test of our faith. The catastrophic Tribulations of the very Last Days is also called Desolation, when a last remnant of saints come out of the Great Tribulations by the grace of God, leaving certainly only the lost soul's who will experience all of the last prophetic 3½ years of Desolation. This Desolation is the 70th week prophecy of 7-years as described in Daniel, the first half of Desolation also called the 'Great Tribulation'. Here are the two words and Bible dictionary description:
NT:386 'na/stasi' anastasis (an-as'-tas-is); from NT:450; a standing up again, i.e. (literally) a resurrection from death (individual, genitive case or by implication [its author]), or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth):|
KJV - raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again.
(desolation) NT:2050 KJV - desolation.
When you hear spoken about the "Great Tribulations" it is necessary to understand what is being referred to. It is not the normal Troubles or Tribulations Christ describes to be found within everyone's lifetime, instead it is to describe a time of disasters far exceeding normal tribulation's, it concerns instead the last days prophesied as the 70th week. Concerning this time and the end of this earth age, Christ in Matthew-24 describes the sign of the end, referring to the abomination that causes desolation as spoken of by Daniel. In the Bible our 'normal trials and tribulations' described by Christ are wars, earthquakes, disasters and pestilence, nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom, these Christ call birth pains that although horrendous become ever more severe toward the end time before final desolations. In Revelation 2:22 Christ speaking of the church Thyatira tells of Jezebel that seduces some within the church, and that unless they repent will be cast with her into the Great Tribulations. These words used are (Great) NT3173 megaleen, and (Tribulation) NT:2347 thlipsis. These two complex word grouping's are the same used in each mention of the Great Tribulation [KJV] (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 2:22, Revelation 7:14). Regarding Revelation 7:14 'And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,'" these surely would not be part of the last apocalyptic 3½ years of desolation.
During these last Desolations with Satan as ruler, most will require the mark of the beast needed in commerce and living. Disasters of unusual proportion will become common along with suffering and death. During the last 3½ years these events become unimaginable, no longer normal tribulations or even Great Tribulations, instead in verse called Desolations not seen literally since the turmoil during creation itself (never to be seen again), described in Mark 13:19-20 "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be". The Bible describes this later 3½ years as being events surpassing the Great Tribulations. All will experience tribulations in life, only the wicked will experience all of Desolation and Wrath of God, and during Desolation wars are decreed until the end.
When Christ is finally observed Returning (for the purpose of final judgment), he sends angels to gather (all) of the saints both Jew and Gentile described by John as beneath the Throne and now found only in the heavens, as told in Matthew 24:30-31 "...they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other". But revealing is the first part of this verse in Matthew 29:30 says "...and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in the heaven; and then shall the tribes of man mourn...", can you see here a single saint remaining on earth... mourning the return of the Lord?
One last distinction needs be made between our resurrection from death, receiving the Holy Spirit of eternal life, with the additional promise to be fulfilled in the 'last day', when all the saints shall be 'raised up' into the home of righteousness, called the Kingdom of God. The Lord promises that those that receive the Holy Spirit as deposit and guarantee, remaining faithful in the Lord, these are assured eternal life. Christ also gives promise to those faithful unto the end, these saints in the 'last day' will be 'raised up into eternal Kingdom of God. These promises are assured in John 6:40 "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day". And so the promise to those resurrected is fulfilled in the 'Last Day'.
Importance of Salvation and Resurrection regarding the Thousands
(tribulation) NT:2346 KJV - afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble.
The theme of the events described in Revelation-20 is the plan of God for redemption and judgment. In Revelation-20 the plan of God begins with Satan and his angels cast into the pit of Hell also called the abyss, now beginning Salvation and redemption of the saints told in Revelation 12:9-10 "The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." Read this verse again, if you did not note that the 'Salvation Promise' began (after) Satan was cast from heaven into the grave and pit, these being Sheol and the Abyss. Certainly Satan will be released from the Abyss for a short time, this beginning the last of this earth age.
The purpose of salvation comes at the end of Revelations 20, this is described in John 14:1-4 "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am". At the end of this time for salvation during this thousands (events) years, Satan is released from the Abyss or Hell and after revealed he gathers Gog and Magog to surround 'the camp of Gods people' or Jerusalem, scripture says this concludes events of this earth age described in Luke 21:20-22 "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written."
Revelation 20:5 begins saying, "(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended)". Now remember when the 'Thousands of Years' are ended, Satan is released from the abyss. This is not saying the 'saints reign' has ended nor that 'Satan as an entity ends', it describes the 'thousands of years' during these two event ends, however the saints that endure and reign, and Satan as prophesied continue in events fulfilling Gods prophetic purpose continued in Revelation 20:8-15. Continuing the testimony of Christ in Revelation chapter-20, after Satan is released from the abyss he raises his army, an army as numerous as the sand on the sea shore. What more obvious description of the second resurrection, as Paul describes in Acts 24:15-16 "...and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked", simply describing two resurrections, and those of each having a part. From this we may understand, John 3:6-7 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit".
When Satan's armies begin to surround Jerusalem we are told it's desolation is near, yet here also Luke would strongly indicate the 'time of fulfillment for the Gentiles' ends before the time of Desolation, describing first the chosen scattered, leaving the city of Jerusalem 'trampled by Gentiles' until the 'Times of the Gentile is Fulfilled' told in Luke 21:23-24 "...There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." After this is described Desolation and Gods wrath on earth saying in Luke 21:25-28 "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." This later description of disasters never before seen causing great apprehension, would certainly be the beginning of the last part of the prophetic 70th week, when the scattered remnant (1335th day) are finally gathered into sanctuary followed with Gods wrath and final judgment the conclusion.
This salvation was also understood in Old Testament times by the upright and righteous as a promise to come, a time that would bring their resurrection from the grave. Many places in the New Testament tell of this salvation or saving grace administered to those yet living, and these in Christ having died to sin, also sharing in His resurrection told in Romans 6:5 "If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection". Some confuse this resurrection to be of our spirit, scripture tells us in Romans 8:10 "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness..." meaning Christ, and our righteousness of soul is from the Holy Spirit in Romans 5:16-17 "...how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ". During life by grace as the new man that has died to flesh, those in Christ are those who reign with Christ as told in 2 Timothy 2:11-12 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him". We reign with Christ as long as we remain in Christ, we do not rule either in this earth age or in eternity to come, only our God rules.
Paul states clearly as do other verses of scripture that the righteous at death go to be with the Lord in the heavenly realm, this is understood in 1 Thessalonians 4:14,17 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him... After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air". This tells us the saints still living at the Coming of Christ are gathered to be together with those in the air who had passed on before, and here in the clouds meet the Lord in the air. Scripture describes only one gathering of those remaining or still living upon earth, otherwise adequate scripture exists telling of the redeemed at death going directly to the Lord. This does not mean together with the Lord in the grave or Sheol. Christ described this place in John 14:1-4 "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going".
Our salvation, our redemption, and our resurrection according to the Lord is for now as told in 1 Peter 1:18-19 "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ..." These saints redeemed by the Lord have all their promises fulfilled through the Holy Spirit as told in Galatians 3:14 "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit". The Holy Spirit is not a Hope to come, we can be certain today and tomorrow because the Word guarantees our redemption being more than hope in Ephesians 1:13-14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory". Are we all today in this heavenly realm, cavorting around the heavenly realm of the air, no, but ask me again tomorrow.
A serious Bible student should ask themselves where this 'Great Tribulations' comes from. It is found once in Revelation 7:14 relating to saints in heaven that were gathered during the prophetic 70th Week (7-years) of desolation, described as faithful 1335 days past the Great Tribulations (first 3½ years), saying about these saints "these are they who came out of the great tribulations". Those coming out of the Great Tribulations would certainly be the remnant Jewish (House of Israel and House of Judah) who must wait for fulfillment of 70th week prophecy against Jerusalem, when the scattered are finally gathered from the nations and saved by Gods grace. It is described in Dan 12:11-12 "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days". These saints are gathered before Gods Wrath and curses will be poured out by the heavenly angels of God, this is promised in Romans 5:9 "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" The Great Tribulations is also found in other verses like Matthew 24:20-22 "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall." Note that this verse describes the 'great tribulations' occurring before the last 3½ years of indescribable Desolations, the later 3½ years of Desolation described in Matthew 24 as events much like those at the beginning of creation, having not been seen since creation, nor ever to be seen thereafter.
Comes the day of Final Judgment
It promises righteous judgment.
"He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."Acts 17:31
And after judgment fulfilled are the promises
It promises peace.
"They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."Isaiah 2:4
It promises health.
"And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick."Isaiah 33:24
It promises happiness.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."Revelation 21:4
It promises life.
"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. "Luke 20:36
It promises security.
"But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it."Micah 4:4
It promises a new heaven and a new earth.
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."John 18:36
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