The Millennial Kingdom - God's 1000 Year Reign
The Arrival of the New Jerusalem - the start of the Millennial Kingdom
WHAT is the Millennial Kingdom described in the Book of Revelation? WHAT is the reason for Jesus' 1000 year reign on earth - surely 1000 years must mean forever? WHY must Satan be released at the end of the 1000 years - would it not be better to leave him where he has been imprisoned for ever? WHY are the dead not raised until 1000 years after Jesus sets up his kingdom on earth?
Does the Bible not say in Thessalonians that they will be "caught up in the air to meet Him"? It seems that Thessalonians and the Book of Revelation are in conflict here! Jesus sets up his Kingdom on earth but in Thessalonians people ascend into Heaven to meet Him.
These are just some of the important questions which Christians are asking but not getting any answers!
Many "Bible Scholars" maintain these are two separate prophecies and should not be confused! But they are one and the same prophecy, which has not been correctly understood, because the so-called "Bible Scholars" are still thinking as people did 2000 years ago and are not applying 21st century knowledge and understanding to the prophecies.
In fact, the two prophecies exactly agree with what must happen for people to enter the New Jerusalem when Jesus arrives! But without 21st century knowledge this would not have been obvious at the time of these predictions!
Let us look again at the proposed arrival of Jesus in the New Jerusalem, with the benefit of our modern knowledge and discover the answers to all the above questions.
Revelation 21v2 says:
2 And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; 3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." 5 And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."
6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. 7 He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."
This clearly says that Jesus will come down in what is described as “The New Jerusalem” but we know that "cities" do not descend from the sky! If we stick to modern-day understanding, we would have to say that a large craft of some kind was seen, descending from the sky.
But this is where most people make the mistake of assuming that John sees it coming down and actually landing on the earth. John doesn't say this. Indeed, he has to be "taken up to a high mountain" to see it at all, which he wouldn't need to do if the craft actually came down and landed on the earth!
This craft is absolutely enormous! - a 12000 stadia cube - which equates to 1,380 miles high, long and wide. To put this into perspective, the volume is roughly the same as the moon albeit a cube rather than a sphere!
It would be impossible for this craft to land on earth because there would be insufficient room to do so and the gravitational effects which two such large bodies would have on each other would cause severe damage on the larger body and the smaller one would probably be torn apart! What would actually happen is that the New Jerusalem woud go into orbit around the earth, as would any large man-made craft coming into the earth's gravitational field.
This now allows us to correllate the dialogue in Thessalonians, where it says that we will all be "caught up in the air to meet God". Since the New Jerusalem is not coming down to land on the earth, if we want to go on board, we will have to go up to it!
This either means taking a "ferry" of some kind up to rendezvous in orbit, or we will have to be "caught up" by something akin to the famous Star Trek facility of "beaming up"!
Does this sound too far-fetched to believe? It is spoken of not only in Thessalonians but also In both Luke and Matthew, where there are references to people being "snatched", or as the bible says, "raptured". ( Matt24:4 - Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.)
This is invariably taken to infer that one is eligible to go to Heaven and is taken, whilst the other, a sinner, is left behind. But Revelation does not say this. It says in Revelation, that all those alive when the New Jerusalem comes, will go into the city and "reign with Christ for 1000 years".
It is only at the end of the 1000 years that judgement takes place, so "one of the two" mentioned in Matthew cannot be left behind because they don't qualify for heaven, because no one has yet been judged!
The reason one is snatched and one left must be because they are not necessarilly transported according to their location at any given time. Maybe they are chosen alphabetically or by family, or some other criteria and the 2 persons standing next to each other are not necessarilly due to be transported at the same time!
But Thessalonians, Matthew and Luke all agree that people will be "snatched" and this will be the only way they can be transported up to the New Jerusalem, without using an armada of "ferries" to transport them and there is no evidence to suggest in the Book of Revelation that this alternative means of transport will be used.
But who is going board the New Jerusalem and why is it here for only 1000 years? Why are the dead not going to be ressurrected until the end of the 1000 years and why must Satan then be released? What is the relevance of the 1000 year period?
The question of who goes into the New Jerusalem is quite straightforward, because the Book of Revelation say that all those who survive the Tribulation will go on board in addition to the 144,000. Bible Scholars almost unanimously agree on this because but misunderstand the identity of the 144,000, who they claim are a small number of important resurrectees, because they are described as the "first fruits" of God; those who have led perfect lives and on whom judgement and the second death will have no effect, because they are perfect".
But although there is no doubt that the 144,000 will be boarding The New Jerusalem with the survivors of the Great Tribulationand and that they will "rule as priests with Jesus" they are not actually resurrectees! Read exactly what the Book of Revelation says about them! The clues to their identity have been highlighted in bold.
The prophecy starts in Revelation 14
Then I looked, and lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps, 3 and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.
No one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth.
The question of being "redeemed from the earth" has not been mentioned before, either by John or by the "angel" who is explaining things to him. Indeed, when the angel asks John who these people are (the great multitude and the 144,000) John confesses he doesn't know!
The angel explains that the great multitude are the ones who have "survived the Tribulation" but does not explain who the 144,000 are. The narrative continues saying that they are the "servants of God" and they have to be "sealed on their heads" before entering the city.
4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste; it is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes; these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.
Anyone who interprets having been "redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb" as "having been resurrected" is making an unjustified assumption! Revelation does NOT SAY they have been resurrected and there is no evidence to suggest that they have been! We will examine the words carefully in a moment, especially the highlighted text already shown above!
Whatever the reason for their having apparently been chosen, these "first fruits" are certainly going to travel in The New Jerusalem and “reign with Him” for 1000 years, because they are said to be going to be "his priests", which means they will help to run things.
So who are these people, the 144,000 dressed in white robes?
The first clue might be that they are dressed in white. John's first description of the scene in Revelation 4:4, when lifted through the “Door into Heaven” is that:
24 “elders” were seated round and about, clothed in white raiment and on their heads were gold crowns”. In another description they are said to be girded with gold bands. It seems that they were wearing headsets and had gold-couloured belts.
So from the description of the 144,000, it appears that they could be dressed the same as the “crew” of the “ship’s control room” Are we seeing here 144,000 crew members? A large ship such as this would need a lot of crew to operate it. But does anything else corroborate this assumption?
These 144,000 are said to be:
a) Those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. (Remember the one seated in the "captains chair" was initially referred to as "the Lamb") In other words, wherever the ship travels, they go with it! They are not freshly recruited resurrectees who have been believers in Christ all their lives, but those who have been with the captain of this ship on all its journeys!
b) They are going to rule in the New Jerusalem with him for 1000 years as “priests of God, in other words as his assistants - his crew!
c) It says in Rev 20v6: "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on 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."
The reference to a "first resurrection" is obviously something which editors/translators have incorrectly inserted over the years because of the "second death", (the fate of those people who are ressurrected in due course, and who fail to pass the test) will have no power over these people.
The editor assumes there will be no "second death" for these people because they are resurrectees who have already been judged as perfect. But this cannot be true because, as already pointed out, no judgements have yet been exercised.
The reason that they are not going to be judged as are the inhabitants of earth when they are eventually ressurrected is because they are from another world altogether and will not be subject to "judgement" at all!
Notice that these people, the 1444,000, each had his name and his Father's name "written on their foreheads".
I suspect that the names were written on their helmets, not on their foreheads! In our armed forces a soldier might have written: "Sgt Jones - USAF" - His name and his "fathers name", as far as John is concerned, written on his helmet.
The 144,000 are certainly not locals because they all sang a song in a foreign language; one which John couldn't understand.
No one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth.
But they were obviously all from the same country because they all sang in whatever the language it was! It would be strange, would it not, if the 144,000 resurrected, perfect people, all came from the same country and it was NOT israel! These are definitely not people "resurrected because they are perfect and without fault".
So the answer to the question of who goes into the New Jerusalem for the 1000 year reign, is that it is just the survivors of the great Tribulation and the crew of 144,000.
But it says in 6. above: But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."
I think you can take this as something added by an over-zealous scribe, somewhere along the way because, as we have said before, judgement does not come until later, so no one will be excluded at this stage because no judgements have been made.
We take a closer and more detailed look here at: The Lake of Fire and Brimstone