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Where will the redeemed spend the 7th millennium?
Revelation Chapters 8 & 9, 15 & 16
compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, 2012
Most recent edit: April, 2018
Scripture is from New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
The majority of Christians agree that the “millennium” spoken of in Revelation Chapter 20, will begin with the glorious return of Christ. This belief is called the “pre-millennialist” view. The return of Christ will precede the millennium.
Some believe that Christ will immediately set up His kingdom on the earth where He will “rule the nations with a rod of iron” for 1000 years.
Others believe (as I do) that Christ will NOT remain on this earth, to rule over the nations, UNTIL the 8th millennium (The 8th Day). During the coming 7th millennium, the earth will be deserted, lifeless and desolate.
The faithful will be rescued from the earth at the return of Christ. They will meet Christ in the air (1Thess 4:17), then travel with Him to “the Father’s House”. No one remaining on the earth, will survive the destruction to come at the end of this age.
We will cover:
The place prepared for the redeemed
The prophecy parallels ancient Hebrew marriage custom
A place of safety
The total destruction of this earth
Trumpets and Vials
Satan - imprisoned in “the bottomless pit”
Day of Atonement imagery
MY FATHER’S HOUSE
John 13:33, 36-37 “I’m going away,” Jesus said, “Where I am going you cannot come.” “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow Me afterward.” “Why can’t I follow you now Lord?” Peter asked. Then Jesus explained about the Father’s house.
Here Jesus promised that we will follow Him, to the place where He was going. He was going to Heaven - to His Father. We will follow Him - to Heaven - not at death, but at the resurrection, at His return.
John 14:2-3 “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jesus said he would “come again” - then “receive you”. We are not received as disembodied spirits prior to His return.
John 16:28 “Now I leave the world and go back to the Father.”
(Compare John 16:16-17, John 7:62, John 7:33 and Acts 3:21.)
Many Bible passages support Christ’s return to His Father in Heaven. Heaven is the “Father’s House” (Heb. 9:24). Jesus was going to Heaven, to prepare a place for His redeemed. That “place” would be The New Jerusalem.
The New Jerusalem, is currently located in Heaven. That City will not descend to earth until AFTER the 7th millennium. Look at the sequence of events in Revelation Chapter 20. The New Jerusalem will descend to an earth made new, after all sin, sinners, death and Hell have been consumed in the Lake of Fire.
Revelation 21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John saw the holy city . . .”
Revelation 21:2 “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Revelation 21:10 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.”
Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Jesus called the Temple at Jerusalem, “My Father’s House” (John 2:16). The Temple at Jerusalem was only a miniature copy - a TYPE or representation of the real House of God - which is “Heaven itself” (Exo. 25:9&40, Heb. 8:2).
John 14:2 “In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
The New Jerusalem - the City that Jesus has prepared for the redeemed of humanity - is one mansion - of many. It certainly makes one wonder about other creations, and other sentient created beings. If earth is the one “lost sheep”, then who are the ninety nine in the fold.
AT CHRIST’S RETURN,
THE REDEEMED WILL LEAVE THE EARTH.
Revelation 15:2 “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.” They are singing a victory song.
Look at the CONTEXT! This is just as the 7 last vials (plagues) of wrath are poured out on the earth. WHERE is this crystal sea? That’s right. It is before the Father’s throne in Heaven itself! (Rev. 4:6)
At the end of this age, at the glorious return, all of the “dead in Christ” will be resurrected, and with those still living believers, will be “caught up to meet Him in the air” (1Thess. 4:16-17). Not one of them will remain on this earth during the outpouring of God’s final wrath in the seven last plagues.
ANCIENT HEBREW MARRIAGE CUSTOM
The New Jerusalem is called “the Lamb’s bride” (Rev. 21:9). The New Covenant is a covenant of marriage. Paul said that we are “betrothed” to the One who rose from the dead (2Cor. 11:2). Jesus will return for His bride. He will then take His bride back to the Father’s House, where the “marriage feast” will take place. This sequence of events parallels Ancient Hebrew marriage custom.
Marriage was contracted between the father of the bride to be, and the father of the groom - each accompanied by a “witness” (hence two witnesses). This marriage covenant (or betrothal) was binding. Adultery during this period of betrothal was punishable by death. The period of betrothal lasted about one year, during which time the groom would “prepare a place” for his bride (usually an apartment within the extended family compound). When this “home” was completed - the date was set for the wedding.
The ceremony was simple. The groom’s attendant lifted the veil from the bride’s face. Draping it over the shoulder of the groom he pronounced, “The government shall be upon his shoulder”(Isa. 9:6). The bride then accompanied her husband back to his family home, where the wedding feast took place. (Gower, Ralph, The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times, Moody Press, Chicago, pg65.; Alexander, P.T., The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible, Reader’s Digest, pg.166.)
We are now betrothed to the risen Christ. He is preparing a home for us, within His Father’s House. It’s called the New Jerusalem. He will return for us - His bride - and will then take us to the home He has prepared - in His Father’s house.
A PLACE OF SAFETY
When the earth was covered by the waters of the flood, Noah and his family were safe inside the ark. When the earth is on fire - devastated by the last plagues, the people of God will be safe inside the “place” which Christ has prepared. It is clear that we must be removed from the earth for some period of time. The whole earth will be “burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10), necessitating the creation of a “new earth”. Whatever remains on the earth during the final outpouring of God’s wrath will be consumed!
Please do read the study titled “God’s Wrath - A Different View”.
THE HEAVENS WILL PERISH
Hebrews 1:10-12 [God the Father speaking to His Son] “You Lord, In the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.”
The Son of God laid the foundation of the earth “in the beginning”. This goes back to the Genesis creation. The “heavens” are described as a “cloak” for “the earth”. The heavens “will perish”. They will grow old, just like a garment grows old, and Christ will “roll them up” and change them for a new garment. Now I ask you? If our atmosphere is perished, how could anyone on this planet survive?
Several passages speak of “new heavens and a new earth” which Christ will create (Isa. 65:17, Isa. 66:22, 2Pet. 3:13). To “perish” is to die. If the earth is dead, it will not support life. It will remain uninhabited, desolate and barren - until it is resurrected by the Son of God. My personal belief, is that Jesus will resurrect this earth - from death.
Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (NRS)
2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, . . .” (Lk 21:33, Matt. 24:36).
Hebrews 6:7-8 “For the earth . . . if it bears thorn and briers, it is rejected
. . . whose end is to be burned.”
Deuteronomy 29:23 “The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and His wrath.”
This is the curse which the LORD prophesied would come upon the land of Israel, should they forsake the covenant. Those things which happened to Israel are the type (symbolic) of those things which will come upon the whole of mankind (1Cor. 10:11).
Isaiah 24:6 “Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left”.
NOTE: The “few men” who “are left” will be the redeemed, who are removed from this earth before it is consumed by the last plagues.
Zephaniah 1:14-18 “. . . On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.” NAS
Zephaniah wrote in the days before the Babylonian destruction. When the Babylonians attacked Judea they did not kill every inhabitant. They left the poorest of the people in the land. That fact tells us that this prophecy of destruction is a dual prophecy. It will have another - complete - fulfillment.
Genesis 6:13 “And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’”
Luke 17:26-30 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: . . . the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: . . . on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
In Noah’s day, the flood destroyed every human being who remained outside of the ark. On the day that Lot was led out of Sodom, the fire destroyed every living thing left inside the city. “Even so,” means “just like that.” The last plagues will destroy all life on planet earth.
Jeremiah 4:23-26 [After the great day of the Lord] “I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down at the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger.”
THE “TRUMPETS” (Revelation Chapter Eight)
In ancient Israel, trumpets were sounded to warn of impending attack, or as a call to battle. Trumpets were also sounded on the first day of the 7th month, to warn the people to prepare for judgment day - the Day of Atonement - which would come in just ten days. The trumpet events of Revelation serve to warn the inhabitants of earth, that the “Day of the LORD” - Judgment Day - is fast approaching.
Reviewing the effects of the Trumpet plagues, and the final 7 last plagues (the bowl judgments) will help me to explain why I believe this earth will be rendered desolate and lifeless. The redeemed people of God MUST BE REMOVED from this planet before the final plagues begin.
Just think about the effects.......
First Trumpet: One third of all the trees and all green grass are burned up.
Second Trumpet: One third of all creatures alive in the ocean are destroyed, and one third of all ships are destroyed, probably by an asteroid hit. A “mountain burning with fire” is “thrown into the sea” (Rev. 8:7-8).
Third Trumpet: One third of all rivers are contaminated. Men are made sick and many die after they drink the bitter tasting water.
Fourth Trumpet: One third of sunlight and one third of moonlight is darkened. Dust may have been thrown into the atmosphere by an asteroid hit, blocking the sun OR perhaps by massive volcanic eruptions OR by a massive nuclear exchange. Growth of plants for food will be limited.
Fifth Trumpet: Those without “the seal” of God are tormented for five months.
Sixth Trumpet: One third of mankind is killed by “fire, smoke, and brimstone” (melted earth) after “four messengers headed for the river Euphrates” are released.
This could be a massive nuclear exchange, or an asteroid hit, or cometary hits.
NOTE: Did you notice the words “a third”? It is used over and over, describing the trumpet judgments. It’s just a thought, but Satan took one third of the angels of Heaven with him when he rebelled against the LORD. Do you think perhaps the wording - “a third” - is telling us who is behind the trumpet judgments? Every man on the street has heard of “the 7 last plagues”. But few understand that the 7 trumpet plagues come first. If Satan wanted to stand in the Temple, claiming to be Christ come, he would need to cause 7 plagues first so then people would believe that he is Christ come.
Seventh Trumpet: Christ will return in glory. Those in covenant with Him will be removed from this earth. Only THEN will the 7 vials of wrath be poured out upon the earth.
In the TYPE, Lot (who was in covenant with God) along with his family, was led out of Sodom by the hand of angels BEFORE it “rained fire and brimstone.” Noah (a type of Christ) with his family (the redeemed), was safely inside the ark with the door shut, BEFORE it began to rain. As it was in those days, I believe the redeemed will be removed from this earth before the full wrath of God is poured out.
The 7 trumpet events come BEFORE the Second Coming.
The 7 bowl plagues begin AFTER Christ removes His people..
The 7 trumpet events are limited in scope, except for #7 which is the Second Coming.
The 7 bowl plagues are universal in scope.
NOTE: The Trumpet plagues may affect only the Middle East, and specifically “the land” promised to the “seed of Abraham”.
SEVEN LAST BOWLS OF WRATH - Universal in effect.
The seven vials (or bowls) of wrath are poured out as the 7th trumpet sounds. These plagues ARE universal in scope. These are said to be the full “wrath of God” “poured out without mercy” (Rev. 15:1-7; Rev. 16:1).
Every person (with the exception of young children) will either take the mark, or refuse. Any person who “worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark” “will drink of the wrath of God” (Rev.13:11) which is poured out as seven last plagues, or bowls of wrath (Rev. 15:1).
Only those whose names ARE written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will refuse to worship the beast, or to take his mark. These only will escape the 7 last plagues, because they are removed from the earth on the day that Christ returns. Anyone left on the earth will die.
THE BEAST WILL RULE THE WHOLE WORLD
Revelation 13:7-8 [The Beast of Rev. Chapter 13] “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to over come them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. . .”
If ALL who dwell on the earth will worship the Beast - that is universal.
If everyone who worships the Beast will suffer the last plagues - then the last plagues are universal (Rev. 14:9-10).
Babylon - portrayed as a “great whore”- is the religious system, which rides the Beast (the political system). The whore has endorsed the Beast system, and has encouraged everyone to go along with that system. The “false prophet” is the leader of this false religious system. Jerusalem will become the center of this false religious system (Revelation 11:8). (See also Jer. 51:49, Matthew 23:37, Jer. 23:14.)
Revelation 18:8 “Therefore let her plagues come in one day.”
Revelation 19 details those plagues which will come upon the harlot (Jerusalem - headquarters of the false religious system).
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BOWLS OF WRATH - universal in effect
First Bowl: A plague causing “loathsome sores” (Rev.16:2).
Second Bowl: Every living thing in the sea dies (Rev. 16:3).
If the ocean no longer supports life, there is no food chain.
There is also little oxygen, because sea algae produces 75% of our oxygen.
Third Bowl: All of the rivers and all of the springs of water become like blood.
They will not support life (Rev. 16:4).
Fourth Bowl: The sun gets hotter and scorches men with fire (Rev. 16:8). Possibly a gamma ray burst, or the result of the earth being knocked into a different orbit around the sun. Many will die of the intense heat or of radiation.
The “sores” of the first plague may be radiation burns. John may be describing different effects following the same event. Everything is set in motion on the day that Christ removes His people, His Spirit, and His protection, from the earth.
Fifth Bowl: Darkness will cover the “kingdom of the beast” (Rev. 16:10).
The beast power rules the entire earth - therefore this plague of darkness will be universal.
If a large asteroid were to impact earth, dust would be thrown into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight. Scientists believe a similar “hit” wiped out the dinosaurs.
Sixth Bowl: Demonic powers gather “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” for a global war, against the LORD (Rev.16:14).
The nations of earth will prepare to fight against Christ as if He is an invading alien force.
Seventh Bowl: “Every island fled away and the mountains were not found. Great hail from heaven fell upon men, every hailstone about the weight of a talent [100pds]” (Rev. 16:18-21).
This will be the greatest earthquake ever known! The surface of the earth will be broken apart to an incredible degree - an earthquake with the power to break apart every known fault over the face of the entire earth. I do not see a universal flood of sea water here. If the “sky” is parted, or “rolled up like a scroll” (Rev. 6:14, Isa. 34:4) that suggests our atmosphere may be disrupted. If the oceans are vaporized by an asteroid hit, the water vapor may be dispersed into outer space - leaving the planet dry and lifeless.
With no clean air, no water, no food, severe heat, then darkness, then multiple asteroid showers and hits, while the surface of the earth is broken up - do you really think there could be any human life left on this planet? Many teach that the saints will reign with Christ, during the 7th millennium, over the nations who survive these last plagues. I disagree!
Revelation 6:12-14 “There was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll which is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.”
Imagine the forces it will take! Christ said that He would return, “in the glory of His Father.” This is glory that outshines the sun! If such a massive came between the sun and earth, it could cause an eclipse - making the sun look “black,” and the moon look blood red.
Matthew 24:35-37 [Christ speaking] “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Isaiah 24:18-20 “For the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken. The earth is split open. The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut.”
The stars will not literally “fall” to earth. John may be describing an asteroid shower, or the stars may have the appearance of falling when the earth reels to and fro.
Micah 1:3-4 “For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.”
Isaiah 13:13 “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.”
PLEASE TELL ME!
HOW COULD ANY HUMAN LIFE CONTINUE ON THIS PLANET
AFTER THESE EVENTS?
2 Peter 3:7, 10-12 “But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men . . .”
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
WITHOUT FORM - AND VOID
“Without form and void” (Strong’s # 08414 & #0922) – these are the same Hebrew words that were used to describe the earth on the first day of creation, before God made anything (Genesis 1:2). The earth was dark, and without life.
The prophecy by Jeremiah, was written before the Babylonians destroyed Judea, and Jerusalem. That destruction was a type (a symbolic warning) for us in these last days before the “coming of the Son of Man” (1 Cor. 10:11). The Babylonians did NOT kill every man in Judea, and the cities of that day were not destroyed by “the presence of the LORD.”
Isaiah 2:17-21 “And the loftiness of man shall be lowered down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. But the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.”
All of Isaiah it is claimed, was only a prophecy of the Babylonian destruction of Judea, but these verses speak of the “glory of His majesty” which was not seen at the destruction of ancient Jerusalem. The whole earth did NOT “reel like a drunkard” nor was it “clean dissolved” when Jerusalem fell. Men hid themselves from the Babylonians - yes. At the Second Coming, men will hide themselves from “the glory of His majesty” (Rev. 6:15).
Zechariah 1:2-3: “‘I will utterly consume all things from off the land,’ Says the Lord. ‘I will consume man and beasts; I will consume the birds of the heaven, the fish of the sea, and the shrines with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the face of the earth,’ Says the Lord.”
Zechariah was a prince descended from King David. He was the great, great, grandson of King Hezekiah, and second cousin of King Josiah. He was also a prophet of God. The warning given to Israel before the Babylonian destruction - a warning of impending doom - is a DUAL prophecy. It was for them - but it is also for us.
Zechariah 1:14-18 “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy; for He shall make a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”
After Jesus removes His own people to safety, the plagues which follow WILL “rid” the earth of “ALL” inhabitants. “Walk like blind men” (v.17) might refer to the plague of darkness or to the effect of the intense brightness of His coming, as Saul was struck blind by the glory of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.
Nahum 1:5,6,8 “The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.”
DESTRUCTION OF THE NATIONS
Isaiah Chapter 34
34:1-2 “Come near, you nations, to hear; And heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter.” (See also Revelation 16:14.)
34:3 “Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.”
34:4 “All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree.” (See also Revelation 6:14.)
34:8-10 “For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever.”
(See also Revelation 14:10-11 & Revelation 19:3.)
NOTE: Verses 5-6 of this chapter, tell us that this is a prophecy concerning “Edom” (the kingdom of Esau’s descendants). The LORD calls them “the people of My curse.” But the “land of Edom” is not still burning today. The ancient destruction of Edom by the Babylonians was the TYPE. The rest of the passage tells us that this prophecy concerns the whole earth - burned with unquenchable fire.
34:11 “He shall stretch out over it the line of confusion [meaning ‘without form’] and the stones of emptiness [meaning ‘void’].”
ISAIAH’S DESCRIPTION DETAILS THE EFFECTS
Isaiah Chapter 24
24:1 “Behold the Lord makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants.”
24:3 “The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered; for the LORD has spoken this word.”
24:6 “Therefore, the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate; therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left.”
NOTE: The “few men left” will be those evacuated to safety by Christ.
24:13 “It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.” (See also Rev. 6:13 & Rev 14:19-20.)
24:18 “And the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
24:19 “The earth is violently broken. The earth is split open. The earth is shaken exceedingly.”
24:20 “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.”
24:21 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish on high the host of exalted ones, [Satan and his angels] and on the earth the kings of the earth. They [the kings of earth] will be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit [death], and will be shut up in the prison. After many days they will be punished.”
Note: I included the description of the trumpet plagues and the bowl plagues in this study, to show you why I believe that no one - still left on this earth - will survive. The redeemed must be removed from this earth, before the final plagues are poured out.
THE LAND WILL REST
The Lord commanded that every 7th year the land should rest. No crops were to be planted. Nothing from the field or vine was to be harvested. It was called the sabbath of the 7th year (Lev. 25:2-7). They were to sow again - in the eighth year.
This cycle of planting for six years followed by a year of rest was a prophecy. The earth has groaned under Satan’s cruel domination, for almost 6000 years. The earth will soon rest for 1000 years. The gospel will not be “sown” during that time, and no souls will be “harvested” for the kingdom. We will begin anew, to share the good news of salvation, with those raised to life at the 8th millennium. By that time we will be trained as “priests of God and of Christ” (Rev. 20:5-6).
NOTE: The seventy years of Babylonian captivity during which the land lay desolate, were to fulfill 70 sabbath years (rest years) which Israel had not kept. Israel had been in rebellion for 490 years (2 Chron. 36:21). The “rest” which came to the land, after the Babylonian destruction, is a TYPE (or symbolic prophecy) of the desolation which will come upon the whole earth, because men have forsaken their Creator.
Leviticus 26:33-35 “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest – for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.”
THE EARTH - THE LAND
I need to make a point here about the use of the Hebrew word translated as “earth.” It is the same word often translated as “land.” It is “ ‘erets” (Strong’s #0776). We must examine the context to know whether the word refers to the whole “earth”, as in Genesis Chapter one, OR refers to “the land” promised to Abraham’s Seed. In the Greek Apostolic Writings, we have the same problem with the Greek word “ge” (Strong’s #1093). It is translated as “land,” and as “earth.” (The ancients had no concept of the “earth” as a globe suspended in space.)
You now understand why some folks teach that prophecies of destruction apply only to “the land” promised to Abraham’s seed, not to the entire earth. They site the prophecies of coming destruction by the Babylonians or Assyrians, and say that these prophecies were limited in scope. I believe that clues, within the prophecies, tell us that these are dual prophecy. They applied - yes - to the destruction of the ancient “land” of Israel, but they apply with even greater force to the coming destruction of the entire “earth” at the end of this age.
First: I would point out that Jesus Christ is the “seed of Abraham”. He will inherit dominion over the entire “earth”. Second: “The earth” was cursed with thorns and thistles. Thorns and thistles are not confined to “the land” area promised to Abraham’s seed, and they have continued universally since the flood of Noah. That curse - on “the earth” - was universal. Third: The Lord promised Noah that He would not again destroy all things “as I have done”. The flood of Noah’s day destroyed all things on the land (Gen 8:21-22). It did not destroy all life in the waters. The trumpet and vial plagues do destroy everything that lives in the sea. So the final destruction is not the same as that of Noah’s day. It is vastly more extensive. Noah floated for a year without seeing land. If the flood covered only the small area of land promised to Abraham’s seed, this seems unlikely. A universal flood seems more in keeping with recent geological discoveries. If Noah’s flood was universal, then so is the destruction at the end of this age.
WHERE DOES SATAN SPEND THE 7TH MILLENNIUM?
Isaiah 24:21 “The host of exalted ones” are “gathered in the pit.”
Revelation 20:1-3 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
Revelation 20:7-8 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth . . .”
In the Septuagint (an ancient translation from Hebrew to Greek) the Greek word “abussos” (Strong’s #12 - meaning bottomless or boundless) was used to translate the Hebrew “bohuw” (#0922 - meaning emptiness, void or waste). See Genesis 1:2 & Jeremiah 4:23. The same Greek word “abussos” is translated as “bottomless pit” in Revelation 20:1-2 of our English Bible.
Satan is thrown into the abyss - the emptiness, the void, the waste - a perfect description of earth after the seven last plagues.
THE EARTH HAS BEEN TURNED INTO AN UNINHABITED WASTE.
Satan wanted the earth for his kingdom. He was“cast to the earth” after the war in the heavenly realm. I think it fitting that he spend a thousand years on the dark and desolate earth, bound by those circumstances which he brought about. Everyone and everything will be dead except the Devil and his angels.
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As noted earlier, I have long believed that events connected with Christ’s return will fulfill the ancient Day of Atonement prophecy of a judgment day.
Leviticus 16:21-22 On that day, two goats were chosen by casting lots. The goat chosen as “the Lord’s goat” was sacrificed as a “sin offering” “for the people”. This sacrifice was to “make atonement” for “all the congregation of Israel”. Its blood was sprinkled over the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place. Its blood was also sprinkled in the first apartment, and on the Alter in the Courtyard.
After all of this was done - the High Priest was to confess over the head of “the scapegoat” (or Azazel goat) “all the iniquities of the Children of Israel and all their transgressions”. This goat was left alive. It was taken to an “uninhabited place” (Strong’s #4057) and turned loose.
Do you see the symbolism? The confessed sins of God’s people were transferred to the head of the “Lord’s goat”. The LORD’s goat represented Jesus. Jesus died.
The scapegoat represented Satan. The scapegoat was left alive. The confessed sins of God’s people were transferred (via blood) from the Lord’s goat, to the scapegoat.
After “the LORD’s goat”(Jesus) died and rose again, He then becomes the “fit man” who will banish Satan (the scapegoat) to the uninhabited place.
Some object to this interpretation, wondering how Satan could ever be said to “bear upon himself” all our sins.
I would explain that this is supported by the judgment pronounced in Daniel 7:10-22). (See also Rom. 3:4, Psa. 51:4). Jesus carried our sins, as the Lamb of God. He carried our sins as the priest. He bought us time. He has assumed the guilt. But the judgment will sit and Satan will be declared guilty of all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. He is the prima and original cause. He is “the deceiver”. Jesus Christ (our High Priest) will place those sins on the head of Satan. Then as the “fit man” He will banish Satan to “the uninhabited place” for a thousand years.
Then there will be a great resurrection.
THOSE RAISED FIRST - AND THE REST
Revelation 20:1-6 Satan is bound for 1000 years. “And I saw thrones and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years [7th millennium]. But, the rest of the dead did not live again until the 1000 years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
This chapter is about the 7th millennium. So I must talk about who will be alive during this period of 1000 years, and who will not be alive. Where will the living spend this time?
So far we have:
1. The redeemed: removed from the earth, transported to Heaven
2. Satan: banished alive to “the bottomless pit” - “the uninhabited empty place”
3. The wicked: - confirmed in rebellion against God - judged and left to die by the plagues, their bodies consumed by fire as the earth is “burned up”.
4. The Beast: (a large geopolitical body) who fought against God and His people
The “False Prophet” (a false religious system)
- both thrown into the Lake of Fire, never to be resurrected again
5. The rest: left physically dead through the 1000 years, then resurrected
Just exactly how the redeemed will spend their time with Christ in the Father’s House, we are not told. A great deal of healing will need to take place, for minds and hearts. A great many questions will be asked and answered. We do know that we will become “priests of God and of Christ” which means we must be prepared to serve as priests, for those raised at the end of the 1000 years. Speaking personally, I am not ready to reign over any nation just yet.
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NOTE: Some students of prophecy believe that only those who were martyred will rise in the “first resurrection” and “reign with Him for a thousand years.” While I have no problem believing that those who gave their lives for Christ will be given an exalted place in the kingdom, other Bible passages support my belief that all of the “dead in Christ” will rise when the last trumpet sounds at His return (1 Thess. 4:16, Matt. 24:30-31). When the 7th trumpet sounds, the time has come to “reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great” (Rev. 11:15).
RELEASED FROM HIS PRISON
Revelation 20:7 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth . . .”
When the “rest of the dead” are resurrected after the 7th millennium, they will constitute “nations” - “in the four corners of the earth.” Satan will again have someone to tempt. He was bound to the desolate earth for 1000 years. Now the battle for souls will continue. Each person must choose whom he will serve. Each person must be “tested”.
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The Righteous - The Wicked - The Rest
1. There will be a resurrection of both righteous and wicked at the Second Coming (Dan. 12:2-3).
The wicked will be judged on that day, and will be left to die as the last plagues are poured out.
They will never be raised to physical life again.
2. When Christ returns, the righteous will go with Him to the place He has prepared for His “bride” - in the Father’s House. They will remain with Him there for 1000 years. They will be trained to serve as “priests”, to serve “the rest” when they are resurrected at the end of the 1000 years.
3. The earth will be completely devastated by the seven last plagues.
It will no longer support life.
4. Satan will be confined to the uninhabited earth for the 1000 years of the 7th millennium.
5. The “rest of the dead” (persons who lived in ignorance) are NOT resurrected on the day Christ returns in glory. They will be resurrected 1000 years later, at the 8th millennium - to learn of Him and then to choose whom they will serve.
Christ (with Israel redeemed) cannot rule over these “nations” during the 7th millennium because these people will not “live again” until the 8th millennium - “The 8th Day”.
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
The Comets of God, by Jeffrey Goodman, Ph.D., Archeological Research Books, 2011
Other studies on these topics:
“A Secret Rapture?” “Judgment Day” “The 8th Day”
“Who are Israel?” “The Wrath of God - A Different View”
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