The Chronology of Revelation
 Part 3 

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Quotes by Jesus are in orange.

return of Jesus

Jesus will appear and be seen, in the sky, during both phases of His Second Coming:

  1. in the clouds of earth’s atmosphere, at the Pre-Wrath Rapture, following the opening of the Sixth Seal (Matthew 24:30,31; Revelation 6:16), and
  2. at His Second Advent (bodily descent) to earth, in association with the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:13-15; 14:14-16).
I feel that, at both  times, saved believers will be caught up to be with Jesus in the clouds.  The most notable difference between these two catching-up events is that, in the first case, Jesus’ angels will gather the believers (Matthew 24:31); whereas, in the second case, Jesus Himself  will gather or “harvest” the remaining believers on the earth (Revelation 14:16).  Essentially, the latter will be a “Post-Tribulation” catching up of “stragglers” or “over-ripe grapes,” occurring at the end of the 70th Week.  However, this will not  be the principal  Rapture event (the “Pre-Wrath” Rapture), which most likely will have taken place about a year earlier, following the opening of the Sixth Seal (see The Seventh Year).

After Jesus gathers the final harvest of believers out of the world (Revelation 14:14-16), He will descend from the clouds to the earth as the Rider on a white horse.  Then there will be yet another harvest, only this harvest, by an angel, will be of unbelievers who are attacking Jerusalem—leading to “the great winepress of God’s wrath” (14:17-20).

the winepress

Figuratively speaking, the armies of the nations attacking Jerusalem will be thrown, like ripe grapes, “into the great winepress of God’s wrath,” where they will be “trampled” (Revelation 14:17-20) by Jesus, the Son of Man.  On the day He returns to earth, He will travel from Bozrah, in Edom or southern Jordan (Isaiah 63:1-6), all the way to the Mount of Olives just east of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4), destroying the enemies and attackers of Israel as He goes.  Evidently, the carnage will be quite real, as Jesus’ robe is shown to be spattered with blood in another account of His coming (Revelation 19:13,15c).

Many believe “treading the winepress,” when Jesus makes His glorious return to earth, to be descriptive of the destruction of the Antichrist and his armies at the Battle of Armageddon.  I disagree completely.  According to the ancient prophet Joel, the “trampling” of the “grapes” in the “winepress” will take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:12,13), which is a valley in Jerusalem, next to the Mount of Olives.  This is not  Armageddon, nor is it associated with the Plain of Megiddo where the Battle of Armageddon will take place.

The Valley of Jehoshaphat is on the eastern edge of Jerusalem, which is the primary location where Jesus will destroy the armies of the nations (not  followers of the Antichrist but, rather, of Gog), which will be attacking Jerusalem when He returns (Ezekiel 38:14-16,22a; Isaiah 29:5-7; Zechariah 14:2,3).  The carnage of the Gog/Magog forces will be a bloodbath all the way from Bozrah (Isaiah 34:6) to Jerusalem (see treading the winepress, great supper of God and the Lord known by all).  Later that same day, Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives, which will be split in two by a great earthquake (Zechariah 14:4).

final plagues: Bowl Judgments

After the physical return of Jesus to earth, and His destruction of the Gog/Magog forces who will have been ransacking Jerusalem, survivors from nations that attacked Jerusalem will go to Jerusalem to worship Jesus, the Lord and King of the whole world (Isaiah 27:12,13; Zechariah 14:16; Revelation 15:4).  For those who do not go to Jerusalem to worship the earth’s King, the plagues of the Third Woe (see three Woes) will transpire (Zechariah 14:17-19; Revelation 16:2-21).

The events of the Third Woe also are known as “the seven last plagues” (Revelation 15:1) or “the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth” (16:1).  Just as the seven Trumpet Judgments were blown out  by seven angels (8:2,6), the seven last Plagues or Bowl Judgments will be poured out  by seven angels (15:7,8).

The final plagues will be doled out upon those who have the mark of the beast and worship his image, who will belong to the kingdom of the beast (Revelation 16:2,10).  Because they are unsaved, they will curse God and will refuse to repent (16:9,11).  They will have no interest, whatsoever, in going to Jerusalem to worship Jesus, the King.

I believe that the seven plagues or Bowl Judgments will take place during the 30 days following the return of Jesus Christ to earth, in fulfillment of Daniel 12:11 (see extensions to the 70th Week, 30 days, and Bowl Judgments).  The first angel announcing final warnings to the earth said that “the hour of his judgment has come” (Revelation 14:7a).  I consider the word “hour” here to speak figuratively of a certain period of time.  One hour is one-twelfth of a clock face, and one-twelfth of a year (if  a year is about how long the day of vengeance period will last—see The Seventh Year) is one month, or 30 days (although this month of days will extend beyond the 70th Week).

final battle

Long ago, the great King David of Israel wrote,

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.  “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill” (Psalm 2:1-6).
I believe this insightful passage by David is descriptive of how the armies of ten kings and the beast will gather at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) to come against the Anointed One, which means “Messiah” or “Christ.”  They will “make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings...” (17:14).

After having angrily endured weeks of torment, caused by the plagues of God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth (Revelation 16:1-12), the head of the beast—the Antichrist—and the kings of the earth will gather to come not  against Jerusalem (as the Gog and Magog forces will have done a month before) but, specifically against Jesus the Lamb, who will be sitting as King in Jerusalem (Psalm 2:6).

Finally, after the seventh angel has poured out his bowl, God’s voice from His throne in heaven will proclaim loudly, “It is done!” (Revelation 16:17), meaning that the final bowl of God’s wrath will have been dispensed.  Among the recipients of this final expression of God’s wrathful fury will be “Babylon the Great” (16:19b).

Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation are a description of Babylon the Great and of the “final battle.”  Chronologically, they are a detailed restatement of the Revelation 16:16-19 passage.

the woman and the beast

I have said how I believe that the woman described previously by John was symbolic of Israel, the “embodiment” of the Law/Torah, which consists of God’s eternal commandments, rules, and guidelines.  Similarly, I believe that the harlot woman, “sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:3b), is symbolic of another religious system, which actually may be a perverse mixture of religions.  Spiritual “prostitution” involves ignoring or rejecting the one True God and “lusting” after false idols and gods instead.

This second “woman,” dressed in a worldly garment of purple, scarlet, gold, precious stones, and pearls (Revelation 17:4a), is in stark contrast with (and in opposition to) the first “woman,” dressed in a heavenly garment of the sun, moon, and stars (12:1).  The primary agonist and antagonist of Israel is Islam, whose holy book is the Qur’an or Koran.  (You can read it here: The Noble Qu’ran.)  During the reign of the Antichrist, it may be that Islam will be merged with distorted perversions or “prostitutions” of other religious systems (for instance, errant forms of Catholicism, Protestantism, Chrislam, New Age, and/or even Judaism, the latter possibly exemplified by 2:9b).

On the woman’s “forehead” is written Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:5), which could imply that she belongs to Babylon the Great (just as God’s servants from the tribes of Israel will have God’s seal on their foreheads—7:2-8) and/or that she is representative of  Babylon the Great.  It also could be that the “mark” or “number” of the beast (13:16-18) will be a confirmation, on the foreheads or right hands of those who have received it, of their submission to the religious and political systems of the “woman” and Babylon the Great.

There are connections between Islam and Allah and the number of the beast: 666.  In Arabic, 666 may be an encryption for “In the Name of Allah.”  Furthermore, many Muslims will not do business with anyone who has not embraced Islam.  Therefore, the idea seems plausible that, during the time of the Great Tribulation, people who do not have the mark of 666 embedded into their skin, identifying themselves as having embraced Islam, will not be able to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17).

The beast, on which the woman rides, will have been “given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them” and will have been “given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:7).  Wherever the beast goes, the woman will go.  It is very likely that the beast, drunk with the blood of the saints who bear testimony to Jesus (17:6), will conquer, destroy, and kill Christians and Jews in the name of Allah or Islam:

He who has an ear, let him hear.  If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go.  If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed.  This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints (Revelation 13:9,10).
It is a fact that some fundamentalist Muslims are known for taking prisoners captive and killing them with the sword.  One of their primary means of killing with the sword is beheading (Revelation 6:9 <--> 20:4b).  Evidently, those who embrace this woman’s extremist theology, like murderers on a wild rampage, will become “drunk” with a frenzied euphoria from the massive, widespread killing of those who bear testimony to Jesus (17:6a).

The Antichrist, who will be highly influenced by the religious system represented by the “woman,” is described well by the following passage, written by the ancient prophet Daniel:

The king will do as he pleases.  He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods [Revelation 12:6a].  He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.  He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers [Chemosh and Molech] or for the one desired by women [Ashtoreth—see 2 Kings 23:13], nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.  Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.  He will attack the mightiest fortresses [see Habakkuk 1:10b] with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him (Daniel 11:36-39a).
Allah, the god of the Islamic faith, is the “god of fortresses.”  It seems that he will be honored with many of the same riches worn by the “woman” (compare Daniel 11:38 with Revelation 17:4a), which also will be riches and costly gifts traded by the earth’s merchants (18:11,12,16).  It also seems that it will be those in the land figuratively known as Babylon who will be raised up and who, led by the Antichrist and in the name of their god of fortresses, will sweep across the whole earth, capturing its mightiest fortified cities (Habakkuk 1:6,10).

The Antichrist (leader of the beast empire) will believe himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).  Ultimately, then, he will have no need for any religious system (such as that of the “harlot woman”) that extols and exalts any god—including Allah—other than himself.  As a result, once he has exploited the religious system of the “prostitute” for his own benefit and gain, he and the ten kings will bring the “prostitute” to ruin and will “burn her with fire” (Revelation 17:16).  This is different, however, from the final destruction and utter desolation of Babylon the Great, by God (16:19b).

seven kings, seven kingdoms

The seven heads of the beast on which the woman sits are seen to be “seven hills” (Revelation 17:9b).  A common speculation is that these hills are Rome or the Vatican, since Rome was built on seven hills.  However, the verse adds that the seven heads, besides being seven hills, also are seven kings (17:10a).

The ancient prophet Jeremiah referred to Babylon as a “destroying mountain” (Jeremiah 51:24,25).  From King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, it is seen that the “rock” (Jesus, the coming Messiah) struck and smashed the statue in the King’s dream (Daniel 2:31).  This is a future event, when that “rock” will become a “huge mountain” that will fill the earth (2:34,35) and will become the kingdom of God on earth (2:44,45).  Prophetically, then, a hill or mountain represents a kingdom or king, such as is described in the seven heads of Daniel’s four beasts and the four heads of Daniel’s third beast.

John was told that, of the seven kings, “Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come...” (Revelation 17:10b).  As described in John’s beast out of the sea, I believe those kings headed these seven kingdoms:

  1. Egypt,
  2. Assyria (modern-day Syria),
  3. Babylon (modern-day Iraq),
  4. Medo-Persia (modern-day Iran),
  5. Greece,
  6. Rome, and
  7. Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey).
At the time that John was writing the Book of Revelation, the first five kingdoms had fallen, the sixth kingdom was in power at the time, and the seventh kingdom had yet to come.  (Note that the Ottoman Empire, the seventh kingdom, was Islamic, as is modern-day Turkey.)  The eighth and final beast or kingdom (Revelation 17:11a) will be that of the Antichrist, who will head a final conglomerate of nations, which will emerge from both the western and eastern sections of the old Roman Empire (represented by the two iron legs of the statue in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream).

Babylon the Great

Much speculation has been made over the centuries, beginning with the earliest interpretations of the Book of Revelation, about the identity of “Babylon the Great” and the “Mother of Prostitutes” (Revelation 17:5).  Some candidates, among many, have been Rome, the Vatican, the Church, New York City, the United States, the United Nations, and even Hitler’s Third Reich.  I agree with none of these choices, specifically, although some of them very well may have intimate associations and connections with the end-time “Harlot of Babylon.”

Rather, I feel that Mecca, the center and focal point of Islam in the world, is the most likely candidate to be “Mystery Babylon.”  (Another possibility might be the futuristic city of Neom.)  It very well may be, in addition, that cities all over the world will be closely connected to the Babylon system.  To some extent, all will share in the end-time punishment of the “Harlot of Babylon.”  This is because when the “great city” is given “the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath,” part of the final judgment will be a gigantic earthquake—the greatest quake in human history—presumably shaking the entire earth, in which every island and mountain will be removed from its place (Revelation 16:18-20).

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

There are several criteria, found mostly in Revelation 17 and 18, that are used to identify Mystery Babylon the Great.  The most common “candidates” to be the end-time Babylon meet some of the criteria.  However, the true Mystery Babylon must satisfy all  of the criteria, not just some of them.  Some of my thoughts about why I feel that Mecca best qualifies to meet these criteria are in Mystery Babylon the Great.

cities of the world

John indicated that the harlot “woman” is “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:18), and that the great city is Babylon (18:10).  This city, “dressed in purple and scarlet, and...glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls” (17:4), is a counterfeit of the heavenly City, the New Jerusalem, whose brilliance is “like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal,” with foundations “decorated with every kind of precious stone,” and with twelve gates, “each gate made of a single pearl” (21:11,19-21).  The prostitute “sits on many waters” (17:1), and she also rides the beast (17:7b).  Furthermore, the waters where the prostitute sits “are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages” (17:15).

One definition of “city” includes the actual people inhabiting the city.  Another definition is “city-state,” which is a sovereign state consisting of an autonomous city with its dependencies.  As such, it may be that Babylon the Great will be, collectively, the up-and-coming capital of Islam (perhaps Mecca, Saudi Arabia), along with all the (dependent) cities and nations of the world over which it will have gained control and dominion.

At the time that the Antichrist and the kings of the earth gather together to come against the King of kings (Revelation 17:12-14) at Armageddon (16:16), the Seventh Bowl Judgment will be poured out (16:17).  After the most severe earthquake since mankind has been on the earth has occurred (16:18), John saw this:

The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed.  God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.  Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found (Revelation 16:19,20).
Evidently, the entire earth will shake violently when this colossal earthquake occurs (Isaiah 24:19,20see Sixth Seal and Seventh Bowl).  It may be, then, that the destruction of Babylon the Great includes the final, complete, and utter destruction of the center of Islam (which, seemingly, will be split into three parts), as well as the collapse of all the cities which are part of the worldwide “city-state” of Babylon the Great.

In this scenario, every international city—such as New York City, Rome, Jerusalem, all of which are guilty of embracing the ancient Babylonian system of false worship—will be brought into submission under the rule and authority of Jesus, the Messiah.  He will sit in Jerusalem to reign, and He will lead the operation of restoring the earth to a state of spectacular and unprecedented beauty and splendor.  The main seat or center of Babylon, on the other hand, will be obliterated, never to be inhabited again.

Babylon, Iraq

Just as, in one sense, the first “woman” was literal Jerusalem, Israel (and, ultimately, will be the New Jerusalem from heaven), some feel that the wayward “woman” or “prostitute” could be literal Babylon, Iraq.  This woman is said to be “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:18).  Six places in Revelation, Babylon the Great seems to be referred to as a “great city” (16:19, 18:10, 18:16,18,19,21).

In fact, prior to his demise and execution, Saddam Hussein had undertaken the very substantial and extravagant task of rebuilding Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace and other structures in Babylon, Iraq:

Great Palace--View #1
Great Palace
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Great Palace--View #2
Great Palace
View #2
Great Palace--View #3
Great Palace
View #3
Palace Wall--View #1
Palace Wall
View #1
Palace Wall--View #2
Palace Wall
View #2
Ishtar's Gate
Palace Arches--View #1
Palace Arches
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Palace Arches--View #2
Palace Arches
View #2
Nebuchadnezzar's Throne Room-a.jpg
Throne Room
Saddam Hussein's Face on the Palace
Saddam Hussein’s
Face on the Palace
Unfinished Buildings
'Babylon Rising' Inscription on Brick
“Babylon Rising”
Inscription on Brick

Babylon began as the ancient city of Babel.  There, the pride of early mankind was epitomized in these ways:

  1. striving to make a name for themselves before God,
  2. demonstrating that they could gain access to God on their own merits and terms,
  3. refusing to humble themselves and to allow God to raise them up in His own time, and
  4. attempting to work themselves “up” and “out” of their realm of sin, which had been present on the earth since the time of Adam and Eve.
These are basic tenets of virtually all  world religions.  They are diametrically opposed to the bedrock precepts of Christianity, which affirm that eternal salvation (and ultimate access to God) is obtained through faith in God and by God’s grace alone, not  by works done to gain God’s approval (Ephesians 2:8,9).  Jesus Himself made this claim:
I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
Because of this:
  1. Satan (the “dragon”) hates the first “woman”—because Jesus came from her (Revelation 12:4b,5a) to begin the destruction of the devil’s work (1 John 3:8b).  During the Great Tribulation period, Satan will go after the woman’s “offspring,” both Jews and Christians (Revelation 12:17), seeking to kill as many of them as possible.
  2. Those who are deceived by the second “woman” already hate and will continue to hate Christianity and Christians.  They will shed the blood of those who bear testimony to Jesus (Revelation 17:6a) during the Great Tribulation: Fourth/Fifth Seals period—up until the point that the distress of the Great Tribulation is “cut short” (Matthew 24:21,22) by the Pre-Wrath Rapture event.

It was in literal Babylon, Iraq, where false religion, as well as a fiercely dominating political system, began millennia ago.  Perhaps the forces of the Antichrist may come to occupy this place, either as a primary or a secondary location.  It could be that al-Qaeda, ISIS and other militant Islamic forces, gaining footholds in Iraq ever since Saddam Hussein was deposed and hanged, will be promoting this.

The Antichrist (leader of the beast empire) will believe himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).  Ultimately, then, he will have no need for any religious system (such as that of the “harlot woman”) that extols and exalts any god—including Allah—other than himself.  As a result, once he has exploited the religious system of the “prostitute” for his own benefit and gain, he and the ten kings will bring the “prostitute” to ruin and will “burn her with fire” (Revelation 17:16).  This is different, however, from the final destruction and utter desolation of Babylon the Great, by God (16:19b).

According to Isaiah, after Babylon ultimately is devastated, no person ever will dwell there again:

Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.  She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there.  But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about.  Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces.  Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged (Isaiah 13:19-22).
Similarly, Jeremiah predicted an annihilation of Babylon that would result in its never being inhabited again:
“A sword against the Babylonians!” declares the LORD—“against those who live in Babylon and against her officials and wise men!  A sword against her false prophets!  They will become fools.  A sword against her warriors!  They will be filled with terror.  A sword against her horses and chariots and all the foreigners in her ranks!  They will become women.  A sword against her treasures!  They will be plundered.  A drought on her waters!  They will dry up.  For it is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.  “So desert creatures and hyenas will live there, and there the owl will dwell.  It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation.  As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah along with their neighboring towns,” declares the LORD, “so no one will live there; no man will dwell in it” (Jeremiah 50:35-40).
It may be that the forces of Gog and Magog, who will attack Jerusalem near the end of the 70th Week, also will attack the Antichrist and his forces at Babylon (Jeremiah 50:41,42; Daniel 11:40bsee also Gog vs. Antichrist).  Indeed, in ancient times, Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians, and there are biblical passages prophesying this.  However, many prophetic passages, such as those portending the devastation of Babylon, describe events that have occurred in the past, as well as those which will occur in the future.

Jerusalem, Israel

It has been noted, six places in Revelation, that the term “great city” is applied to Babylon the Great (Revelation 16:19, 18:10, 18:16,18,19,21).  There is yet another occurrence of “the great city,” as the place where the bodies of the two witnesses will lie after being killed by the beast from the Abyss (11:7,8).  It is noted that this city is “figuratively called Sodom and Egypt” and that it is the location where the “Lord was crucified.”  Old Testament prophets have likened Jerusalem’s and Israel’s adulterous religious practices and rebellion to Sodom and Egypt (Isaiah 3:8,9; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 20:7,8a).  And, of course, Jerusalem was where the Lord Jesus was crucified.

As such, some have inferred that Babylon the Great is Jerusalem, Israel.  Indeed, during the last half of the 70th Week, Jerusalem will be experiencing major troubles from being occupied and attacked.  In the midst of the 70th Week, the Antichrist will enter the “holy place” in Jerusalem to put an end to sacrifice and offering and to set up the “abomination that causes desolation(Daniel 9:27c; Matthew 24:15), after which, presumably, he and his forces will occupy Jerusalem for an unspecified period of time.  Then, near the end of the 70th Week, the forces of Gog and Magog will attack Israel and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 38:15,16); but the Lord Jesus will return to save them (see destruction of Jerusalem and redemption of Jerusalem).

Babylon will be destroyed, never to be inhabited again (Isaiah 13:19,20; Jeremiah 50:39,40; Revelation 18:21-23ab).  However, Jerusalem will not  be utterly destroyed but will  be inhabited and secure after Jesus’ return (Zechariah 14:10b,11).  In fact, the Temple of the Lord will be in Jerusalem, and the Lord will sit there on His throne to rule and reign the world in righteousness and faithfulness (Isaiah 2:1-4, 16:5).

Jerusalem will be one of the cities of the world which will comprise the “great city,” Babylon the Great, as a whole.  It will have its share of earthquakes and other devastation, but it will not be utterly and totally destroyed; in fact, it will be cleansed, spiritually purified, and restored (Zechariah 13:1,2).

praising in heaven

As noted before, I believe Chapters 17 and 18 are a lengthy, detailed restatement of the brief Revelation 16:16-19 passage (referring to the final battle = Battle of Armageddon).  Chronologically, the first half of chapter 19 of Revelation continues after this.  Great shouting, worshiping, and praising is heard in heaven (19:1-6).  This adulation of God primarily will be for His having judged and condemned the kingdom of “the beast” and the “prostitute,” Babylon the Great.

The great multitude seen in Revelation 19:1-4—not from the nations, nor wearing white robes—should be differentiated from the great multitude in Revelation 7:9,10.  The latter are crying, “Salvation...!” because they have been saved out of the Great Tribulation (7:14) and from the day of vengeance to come shortly.

On the other hand, comparing Revelation 19:4 with 7:11,12, we see that both of these include the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures.  In both places, they are shouting “Amen!” as well as “Hallelujah!” meaning “Praise God!”  So the multitude of supernatural beings in Revelation 19:1-4 is the same as those in 7:11,12.

The multitude of believers in Revelation 7:9,10, having been caught up in the Pre-Wrath Rapture, will have returned at a later time with Jesus at His Second Advent to earth.  They will not return to heaven; rather, they will be on the earth when a different multitude of elders and living creatures are shouting and praising God in heaven in 19:1-4.

wedding supper of the Lamb

An announcement and description of the “wedding supper of the Lamb” also is heard (Revelation 19:7-9; Isaiah 25:6; Luke 13:29).  This is the time to which Jesus was referring when He told His disciples, at the Last Supper, that He would not eat or drink with them again until the kingdom of God comes (Luke 22:16,18).

In ancient Israel, a man who was recently married would not be sent to war at that time; rather, he was to stay at home and bring happiness to his wife for a year (Deuteronomy 24:5).  Likewise, after Jesus the Bridegroom takes His Bride of believers to be with him at the Rapture, and they all celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9), they will spend a year of time together in heaven.  After this, Jesus will mount a white horse and return to earth to judge and make war (19:11).

the Rider on a white horse

John’s description of Jesus’ Second Advent to earth—to conquer, rule, and reign—is paralleled in these three passages (see also Seventh Trumpet, final harvest, and return of Jesus):

  1. Revelation 11:14-17,
  2. Revelation 14:14-20, and
  3. Revelation 19:11-16.
The second half  of chapter 19 of Revelation recaps the physical return of Jesus—the “Faithful and True” and the “King of kings and Lord of lords”—riding a white horse back to earth.  First, He will trample Jerusalem’s enemies in the winepress; then, He will destroy His enemies at Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21).  He is the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29,36), but at that time He will be taking action as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5b), first by rescuing Israel and Jerusalem from their attackers (see redemption of Jerusalem).

Some surmise that Jesus’ blood-stained robe (Revelation 19:13) is symbolic of the blood He shed the day He was flogged, pierced, and crucified.  Many believe that upon Jesus’ return, the bloody Battle of Armageddon immediately will take place.  I disagree with both viewpoints.

When He returns to earth, the Lord initially will set foot in Bozrah, Jordan; and on His way to Jerusalem, His robe will become stained crimson red because He will be treading the winepress of His wrath, spattering His garments with the blood of the nations’ armies and shedding their blood on the ground (Isaiah 63:1-3,6; Revelation 14:19,20, 19:13,15c).  He will be returning to Jerusalem, presumably on His white horse, to rescue the city from its attackers: the hordes of Gog and Magog.  (To understand the difference between the massacre of Gog and Magog in the bloody “winepress” of God’s wrath, versus the climactic destruction of the Antichrist in the plains of Megiddo, read my commentary The Final Battles.)

Jesus will “fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:2,3).  I feel that the phrase “as he fights in the day of battle” refers to Jesus’ involvement in the subsequent Battle of Armageddon: a separate battle 30 days after His return to earth.  After their destruction, the “trampled” bodies of Gog and his hordes will be eaten by the gathering birds and wild animals (Ezekiel 39:17-20; Revelation 19:17,18).  Then the man who was inhabited by the demon spirit Gog will be given “a burial place in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:11).

After this, chronologically, the seven final plagues: Bowl Judgments will be poured out upon the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 39:21), specifically onto the kingdom of the beast/Antichrist (Revelation 16:1,2,10), for 30 days.  This will be while Jesus is on His throne and reigning in Jerusalem.  (These 30 days will fulfill the prophecy in Daniel 12:11: 1,290 days – 1,260 days = 30 days—see extensions to the 70th Week and 30 days.)  The 30-day period will end with the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) and the destruction of the beast and his armies.

The beast (Antichrist) and his armies will be gathered to make war against Jesus the Lamb, “the rider on the horse and his army” (Revelation 17:14, 19:19-21), because of the plagues Jesus’ angels will have been pouring out upon those in the kingdom of the beast (16:2,10,11).  Then the man inhabited by the Antichrist spirit (1 John 2:22,23, 4:3) will be “thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 19:20c)—unlike the man possessed by Gog, who will have been given “a burial place in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:11).  The rest of the dead will be eaten by the birds, which already will have eaten the bodies of the Gog/Magog armies 30 days before.

the Millennium

Kingdom of God

Some believe that God’s final Kingdom is on earth right now (Matthew 12:28; Luke 17:20,21; Romans 14:17) and that Jesus has been sitting on the throne of David since His resurrection and ascension, almost two thousand years ago.  For these, the phrase “thousand years” in Revelation 20:2-7 indicates a figurative period of time encompassing the Church Age.  However, since the “thousand years” is mentioned six times in those six verses in Revelation 20, it is worth considering that God, through John, was stressing a literal  denotation of that time period.

At the end of this present age, following the defeat of evil forces coming against Jerusalem and against Jesus, Satan will be cast into the Abyss, bound and imprisoned for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3; Isaiah 24:21,22)—a millennium of time.  This never has happened in the past.  Although Satan’s defeat was settled and his fate was sealed when Jesus rose from the dead, and the Kingdom of God has been in the hearts and minds of believers for nearly two millennia, there is no question that Satan still has a significant influence over humanity.  Evil and lawlessness continue to pervade world affairs, and this only will get worse (2 Timothy 3:1-7).

Certainly, God is in ultimate control of everything, but Jesus has not  yet come to sit on His throne in Jerusalem to rule as King over the whole earth (Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:8,9).  His reign, in person, will begin on the day that His feet literally stand on the Mount of Olives (14:4).  He will sit on a physical throne only after He comes in His glory (Matthew 25:31).  This is when the words of Jesus to our heavenly Father, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven(Matthew 6:10), literally will come to pass.

The Millennium will be the prophesied period of “Sabbath-rest for the people of God.”  During that time, His people will rest from their work, just as God rested from His (Hebrews 4:9,10).

rule and reign

At the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, the kingdom of the world will become the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:10), as Jesus returns to earth and begins to reign:

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:  “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”  And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:  “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign(Revelation 11:15-17).

During the Trumpet Judgments, a great deal of destruction and devastation will occur throughout the earth.  After Jesus returns, at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, He will renovate and reconfigure the world into a glorious, magnificent, “Garden of Eden” utopia that will last for 1,000 years—the Millennium.  However, this will not  be an act of “creation” but, rather, of “remodeling” and “transformation” (see old and new Creations).

Jesus also will obliterate those who have attacked and transgressed against Israel.  Then, along with resurrected believers who will be given authority by Him, He will rule and reign over the world for a thousand years (Revelation 2:26,27, 20:4,6).  Jesus and His saints will rule in absolute and unconditional righteousness, justice and fairness.  It will be a demonstration to all of humanity, as well as to the spirit realm, of how wonderful the earth could  have been, throughout human history, had its inhabitants submitted willingly to the regulations, statutes and decrees of God.

At the commencement of the Millennium, Jesus the Messiah and only Lord will become the King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9) and will sit on His throne in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 3:17).  Then this world finally will experience the reign of Jesus (Revelation 11:15,17), who is the beautiful and glorious “Branch of the Lord” (Isaiah 4:2).  Jesus and His glorified resurrected saints will rule, in righteousness and justice (Isaiah 32:1), for 1,000 years.

Furthermore, it appears that God will resurrect (“raise up”) Israel’s King David to rule again over Israel (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23,24, 37:24,25).  Jesus will be the God of Israel; and David, the king, will be the prince and shepherd of Israel.  David will be in submission to none but Jesus, who is Lord and God (see Was Jesus God?).  Within the sanctuary of the Millennial Temple to come, David the prince will be the only one permitted to “sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD [Jesus]” (Ezekiel 44:3).

During the Millennium, sin will not  be absent, as many have supposed that it will be.  Otherwise, it would not be necessary for Jesus to rule over the nations “with an iron scepter” (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15b), which will be “a scepter of justice” (Psalm 45:6).  Even with Satan bound in the Abyss (20:1-3)—which never has happened before—the sin nature of mortal humans will continue to be present and active.  It is a fact that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23); but death, the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26), will not be eliminated until the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:14).

Throughout the Millennium Jesus will reign, as earth’s King, over both the righteous and the unrighteous.  He will love and help the weak, the needy and the righteous, who will flourish with prosperity and peace.  On the contrary, He also will severely judge those who are oppressive, violent and unrighteous.  All of this, and more, will continue during His reign on this earth, as described in Psalm 72:1-19, and His reign will endure as long as the sun and the moon (72:5).  This is because the present earth, moon, sun and universe will continue to exist only until the end of the Millennium (see forever vs. eternity).

The mortal people who will enter the millennial Kingdom of God on earth will be many of those who were able to survive the dreadful and cataclysmic Great Tribulation and day of vengeance periods.  They will not have obtained glorified bodies in the Pre-Wrath Rapture, since they will not have acknowledged Jesus as Savior, Lord and Messiah before that point.  It is conceivable that those who repent and turn to Jesus/God after the Pre-Wrath Rapture may be glorified and changed into their spirit bodies at a possible Post-Tribulation Rapture when Jesus returns.

There will be many people at that time who will not be violent criminals and who will not hate Israel or other believers in God, even if they happen to live in nations that generally are anti-Israel (Zechariah 14:16) and anti-Christian.  They will be caring for and supportive of others (as in Matthew 25:34-40), including Israel and Jews, the “brothers” of Jesus (25:40).  Basically, these individuals will be benevolent to others and will not be cultural “trouble-makers.”  However, prior to Jesus’ return, for various reasons they will not yet have acknowledged and accepted Jesus as Savior, Lord and King.  Some will be lawbreaking miscreants who have the potential to repent and become positive members of society, at least for awhile.

Presumably, these “sheep” will not  be vanquished and eliminated by Jesus and His armies but will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God on earth.  As mortals with an intrinsic sin nature, they and their offspring naturally will continue to be sinners requiring correction by the law.  However, many or most of them will embrace and willingly receive Jesus as Lord, enabling them to obtain eternal life after eventually experiencing physical death during the 1000-year reign of Jesus.

During the millennial period, mortal people will multiply rapidly on the earth, since there will be no more war among nations (Isaiah 2:4c).  There will be true peace, as well as prosperity and excellent standards of living, for all nations who acknowledge Israel as God’s chosen nation and Jesus as King over the whole earth (Zechariah 14:9).

Some might think that overpopulation of the earth could become a problem, since death will be greatly decreased and human life spans will be immensely increased.  However, the earth has more than ample room for countless billions of people; moreover, under the reign of Jesus, there will be plentiful amounts of food throughout the earth to feed them.  Furthermore, there is a desire in the human spirit to explore the moon and planets, such as Mars, in this solar system.  As such, it is conceivable that, perhaps, Jesus might  make these other worlds habitable and provide the technology for humans to live there, although there does not appear to be anything in the Bible establishing that this will happen.

Given that death will remain until the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:14), mortal people will continue to die for their own sins (Jeremiah 31:29,30).  Paul explained,

Then the end will come, when he [Jesus Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).
Very often in the present age, the arm of the law is too short.  Court trials drag on and on, the rights of too many innocent people are violated, they are not recompensed properly, and too many criminals do not have to pay adequately, or at all, for their crimes.  During the Millennium, however, impartial and immediate justice will be swift, perfectly fair compensation for all wrongdoing will prevail, and just punishment always will be dispensed.  Isaiah wrote,
The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice (Isaiah 29:20,21).
In the world now, deception and lies run rampant, virtually unchecked.  They infect individuals, businesses, and governments; nothing seems to be exempt.  Furthermore, there is not sufficient deterrence against doing evil because, for one thing, not enough people are caught and exposed.  Under the worldwide rule and reign of Jesus Christ and the saints during the Millennium, though, all of this will change.  The saints, along with Jesus, will rule “with an iron scepter” (Revelation 2:26,27, 12:5a, 19:15b)—dashing incorrigible evildoers “to pieces like pottery” (Psalm 2:9), figuratively speaking.

All  criminals and their crimes will be revealed publicly, making people think twice before committing misdeeds.  No one will “get away” with anything.  Misleading advertising will be shown to be false, ungrounded scandals and scams will be disproven, attempts at delusion will be unveiled, underhanded motives will be disclosed, and the nature of false dealings will be divulged.  This is because Jesus is “truth” (John 14:6), and He will be the “light of the world” (8:12) when He comes—illuminating all darkness, uncovering all evil, and dealing with all sin immediately, firmly, and straightforwardly.  In effect, righteousness and justice will flourish, unbounded.

I do not see the heavens and earth during the Millennium as being equivalent to those in the new Creation to come (see old and new Creations).  However, Jesus’ righteous and lawful reign, during the Millennium, will prepare those who are appointed to eternal life for the new, everlasting Creation to come, after the present heavens and earth perish and cease to exist (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12; Revelation 20:11b, 21:1a).  After the millennial period has ended, only those who accept Jesus as God and Supreme Ruler will be able to enter that new Creation in their imperishable, incorruptible, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).


Thrones will be granted to those—I believe saints glorified at the primary Rapture event, plus at other possible resurrection and catching-up events—who are given authority to judge, rule, and reign with Christ for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4ad,6b).  It has been shown that “a great multitude that no one could count” will be seen in heaven (7:9), prior to the opening of the Seventh Seal (8:1).  They are described as having “come out of the great tribulation” (7:14b).

Apparently, only those who are beheaded  after the opening of the Fifth Seal (Revelation 6:9) will be resurrected after the Millennium has begun (20:4bcd).  Perhaps the latter group will be beheaded because they will refuse the mark of the beast on their foreheads or hands, and their resurrection will be postponed until this point to present them as the best examples of those who will have maintained their testimony for Jesus in the worst of times and in the face of a humiliating death.

All  who will be resurrected up to this point, collectively, will be part of the “first resurrection.”  It will consist of those who have experienced physical death (the “first death”) throughout the ages but who will not experience the spiritual death of the unsaved (the “second death”).  During the Millennium, all  of the resurrected, immortal saints will co-exist with and will instruct the mortal people who will live and die (Isaiah 65:20) during that time.

The unsaved dead of all the ages, including those who die during the Millennium without having acknowledged the authority and rule of Jesus/God over the world and in their lives, will come to life in the “second resurrection,” after the 1,000 years are over.  They will be judged at that time (Revelation 20:5a,12,13).

At the latter time, anyone whose name has been blotted out of the Book of Life (Psalm 69:27,28) will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is the “second death” (Revelation 20:14,15).  One might wonder if this will apply to all  unsaved mortals who have died, including those during the Millennium.  The fact that John writes how those not  found written in the Book of Life, at that time, will experience the second death leaves room for the possibility that there will be many who are found written in the Book of Life.  Presumably, these will include mortals who accept and embrace Jesus as Lord and who die during the Millennium.

We cannot fathom the boundless limits of God’s mercy.  Thus, I feel it is possible that at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11), some of those who come to life at the “second resurrection” will accept and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and will ask God for forgiveness of their sins.  If so, they may be deemed “not guilty” of their crimes and transgressions and not  be blotted out of the Book of Life (3:5).  As such it would seem that, rather than experience the second death, they will inherit eternal life.

millennial Temple and Holy Mountain

Ezekiel provided a lengthy description of the Lord’s Temple (Ezekiel 40:5–43:27), which will be present during the Millennium.  On the day that Jesus returns, He will travel from Bozrah (Isaiah 63:1a) to Jerusalem and will stand on the Mount of Olives, which will rise up to become a high mountain with a valley between the northern and southern halves (Zechariah 14:4).  Jesus will be installed as King atop this holy hill or mountain (Psalm 2:6, 48:1), where all will come to worship Him (Isaiah 27:13; Zechariah 14:16).

Atop the mountain, the millennial Temple will sit (or possibly hover), straddling the chasm in the middle and facing east (Isaiah 2:2; Ezekiel 40:2, 47:1a).  The Temple will be the Lord’s sanctuary and dwelling place among the Israelites forever (Ezekiel 43:6,7), that is until the end of the Millennium (see forever vs. eternity).  He will be their God, and they will be His people (Ezekiel 37:26c-28).  People from all the nations will stream to Jerusalem so that they can be taught the ways of the Lord.  Evidently, the Messiah (“Branch”) will build the Temple, supernaturally, Himself:

Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD.  It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne.  And he will be a priest on his throne.  And there will be harmony between the two (Zechariah 6:12,13).

Many will come to Jerusalem, after the Great Trumpet of Yom Kippur (the Seventh Trumpet) has been sounded.  They will worship the Lord Jesus on His Holy Mountain, learning His ways so that they can walk in them, and He will judge and settle disputes among the people of the nations:

And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem (Isaiah 27:13).

And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel (Isaiah 30:29).

In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.  Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”  The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.  They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore (Micah 4:1-3).

Moses went up to the top of Mount Sinai to meet God face-to-face, and there God gave him the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 9:9,10), which was the Law by which people were to live.  Similarly, during the Millennium, from the Holy Mountain of the Lord in Jerusalem, “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3c).  According to Zechariah,

This is what the LORD says:  “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem.  Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.” ... And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him (Zechariah 8:3,22).

Out of the Lord’s house (Temple), a fountain will flow (Joel 3:18b).  From the Holy Mountain, water will flow into the Jordan Valley and enter the salty Dead Sea, making the water fresh and enabling swarms of living creatures to live there (Ezekiel 47:8,9).  Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on each side of the river (47:7), and their fruit and leaves will serve for food and healing (47:12).

I suggest that the millennial Temple will be dedicated during Hanukkah, beginning 1,335 days after the abomination that causes desolation is set up, thus fulfilling Daniel 12:12 (since 1,335 days – 1,260 days = 75 days).  I am convinced that Jesus will return to earth on a Yom Kippur, at the end of the seventh year of the 70th Week.  Adding 75 days to Yom Kippur in any year will bring us to the beginning (first or second day) of Hanukkah (Chanukah).  This accounts for the 45 days beyond the day of the Battle of Armageddon (1,335 days – 1,290 days = 45 days), with that battle taking place 30 days following Jesus’ return to earth (1,290 days – 1,260 days = 30 days).

Satan’s brief return

At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released from the Abyss (Revelation 20:7), where he will have been imprisoned for 1,000 years (20:2).  In his final effort of all time to defeat and overcome Jesus, once again he will deceive multitudes in the world’s nations and use the evil spirit or angel Gog to gather them to battle against Jesus in Jerusalem (20:8,9a).  This would not be possible unless the human sin nature and the ability to be deceived were still present in the world of mortals during the Millennium.

However, an actual “battle,” per se, will not take place.  That is, this will not  be the battle described in Ezekiel 38 & 39 (see The Final Battles).  Instead, in a flash, fire will come down from heaven and destroy them (Revelation 20:7-9).  Ultimately, Satan will meet his doom by being thrown into the lake of burning sulfur and tormented forevermore (20:10).

final judgment and end of death

Finally, the Great White Throne Judgment will take place.  All the dead who have not been resurrected during any of the Rapture events of the 70th Week, prior to the Millennium, nor during the resurrection at the beginning of the Millennium (Revelation 20:5b), will stand before God to be judged (20:11-13).  Their Judge, with all authority given to Him by the Father, will be Jesus Himself (John 5:22,30).

Books will be opened which show all the deeds, good and bad, performed by every person throughout human history; and each person standing there will be judged by what he or she did in life.  The Book of Life also will be opened; it will contain the names of all those who have acknowledged that they are guilty of disobedience and sin in the eyes of God and have looked to God to save them from damnation or eternal separation from Him because of their sins.  They wisely will not have depended on their own “good deeds” to save them.  Before God, even our most “righteous” acts are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).  The only way to please God is by faith (Hebrews 11:6).

Then death and Hades will be thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, as will anyone whose name will not be found written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:14,15).  This will be the “second death.”  The ultimate and final destruction of death  itself will fulfill the prophecy,

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:25,26).

To read more about my beliefs pertaining to this 1,000-year period of time in the future, go to The Millennium, which includes these three parts:

the eternal realm

Prior to the final Judgment, at the end of the Millennium, the present “earth and sky” will “flee” from the presence of God, because there no longer will be any place for them (Revelation 20:11b).  After his view of this Judgment, John “saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (21:1a).  Evidently, there will be no oceans or seas on the brand new earth to come (21:1b).

Ultimately, it appears that this present Creation will cease to exist, and a brand new universe (“heavens and earth”) will be created by God (see old and new Creations).  In the eternal realm, all that will be created will be altogether different than the existing universe, which is bound by length, width, and height, as well as a one-dimensional, uni-directional time line.  Unlike on the present earth during the Millennium, on the new earth in the eternal realm there never again will be any death, tears, sorrow, or pain (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 21:4), nor any form of sin (21:8).  Furthermore, nothing in it ever will decay or waste away.

It may be that in the new earth and sky, the laws of physics, thermodynamics, and entropy that we presently know about will be altered completely, or even will be absent altogether.  In fact, since time itself was created by God, who existed before time began (2 Timothy 1:9b; Titus 1:2), time probably will not be limited to what it is now, or possibly time as we conceive of it simply will cease to exist.  At the very least, our present understanding of time very likely will be an extremely primitive notion in eternity.

New Jerusalem

John was able to view far down the corridor of time and see the Holy City of heaven, the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven (Revelation 21:2).  Long ago Abraham, by faith, went to a new land and received his inheritance; but he also was able to look forward through time, far into the future, to the “city with foundations” (Hebrews 11:8-10)—the New Jerusalem.  Similarly, all those who, by faith, have accepted salvation through the blood of Jesus look forward to this same “city that is to come” (13:14).

The foundations, walls and gates of the New Jerusalem will be 12,000 stadia (approximately 1,400 miles) in length, width, and height (Revelation 21:14-16).  Interestingly, the Most Holy Place or inner sanctuary of Solomon’s temple in ancient Jerusalem also had a length, width, and height that were equal (1 Kings 6:20).  Essentially, then, it may be that the New Jerusalem will be a gigantic version of the Most Holy Place.

The golden city’s “foundations,” which John and Abraham perceived, are the twelve foundations “decorated with every kind of precious stone”; and the City has twelve gates, each gate being one pearl (Revelation 21:19,20).  In effect, this radiantly-adorned city can be thought of as the “wedding gown” encompassing the true Bride of Christ.  Incidentally, this beautifully-dressed “bride” (21:2) will be cheaply counterfeited by the “harlot woman,” Babylon the Great (17:4,5), during the latter half of the 70th Week.

The New Jerusalem, and the whole host of glorified saints within, will be the beautiful “bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9,10).  The Bride will consist of a conglomerate of all the saved believers in Christ throughout human history, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (21:27).

It appears that the “wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7-9) will take place at the beginning of the Millennium.  However, the ultimate and eternal “marriage” of the Lamb—with the Bride being the completed Church of believers—will become manifest 1,000 years later.  Presumably, believers will be transported to the New Jerusalem upon the creation of the new heaven and new earth (21:1).

In essence, during the millennial period, the Bride will be “betrothed” or “promised” to Jesus, the Lamb of God.  I do not believe that our complete, total, pure, unadulterated union and communion with God/Jesus can take place until the new Creation has come, at which time we will enter into a supreme and ultimate “marriage” relationship with Him.

There will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22).  There will be no need for the light of the sun or the moon inside the New Jerusalem, because “the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (21:23).  Nothing impure, shameful, or deceitful will enter the City—“only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (21:27).

River of the Water of Life

During the Millennium, a river with fruit-bearing trees on both sides will flow from the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem into the Dead Sea, giving it life again (Ezekiel 47:7-9).  Just as many things on earth are “copies” or “shadows” of things in heaven (Hebrews 8:5a, 9:24), so the river that will flow from the millennial Temple in Jerusalem will be a “copy” and a “foreshadowing” of the River of the Water of Life, in the New Jerusalem, that will flow from God’s throne down through the middle of the City (Revelation 22:1,2a).

The trees on either side of the river, emanating from Jesus’ millennial Temple, with fruit for food and leaves for healing (Ezekiel 47:12), will be copies of the Tree of Life in the heavenly City.  This ultimate Tree of Life will be “bearing twelve crops of fruit” and with leaves “for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2bc).

God in Person

Only a few select people in the past, other than Jesus, have seen or been in the presence of the eternal God.  In the eternal realm, with no more curse on the earth, the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in plain sight of all who are in the New Jerusalem; everyone “will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3,4).  Since God will be the light of the City and always will be in full view of everyone (22:5ab), there will be no more night there.

Revelation completes Genesis

To understand the Book of Revelation, it must be read in its proper perspective and context.  The Apocalypse completes what Genesis began.  Genesis presents this present Creation, while Revelation presents the new Creation to come.  Together, they describe the old and new Creations.

In Genesis, the sun, moon, and stars were made to serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years (Genesis 1:14); however, in Revelation, the sun, moon and stars are associated with earth’s judgment (Revelation 6:12, 8:12, 16:8).  The sun governs the day in Genesis 1:16; however, there is no need for the sun in Revelation 21:23.

Darkness is called night in Genesis 1:5; but, in Revelation 22:5, there is no night.  Waters are called “seas” in Genesis 1:10; but, in Revelation 21:1b, there is no more sea.  Sorrow and suffering entered in Genesis 3:17; but, in Revelation 21:4, sorrow is no more.  The “curse” is pronounced in Genesis 3:14,17; but, in Revelation 22:3, there is no more curse.

affirmation and invitation

Jesus affirmed to John,

Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city (Revelation 22:12-14).
Was Jesus God?  Did He have the right to claim that He was “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”?  Indeed He was and did!  Jesus, as God, created the present universe and everything in it (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2); and He will take part in creating “a new heaven and a new earth,” after this present Creation has passed away (Revelation 20:11b, 21:1).

Various interpretations (including as mine) of some of the events in the Book of Revelation may not be perfectly accurate.  However, since the events were stated by Jesus to John, the real meanings are factual  and they will occur—because Jesus is the “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11a) and cannot lie.

An invitation is extended to all who hear and understand the truth:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”  And let him who hears say, “Come!”  Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17).
John’s final acknowledgment is my desire as well:
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.  Amen (Revelation 22:20,21).

The 70th Week and Extensions: “Pre-Wrath” Rapture

The 70th Week and Extensions*: 'Pre-Wrath' Rapture

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Ted’s Bible Commentaries
and Other Links

Summary of Commentaries
Who Is God? Was Jesus God? Good Thursday
The Rapture  The Chronology of Revelation 
 Part 3 
The Endtimes
The Final Battles The Beasts The Creation
God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church? End of the Age: 2024 – 27?
My Beliefs and Faith
Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
The Holy Bible
Pride Island
(a novel by Ted)
Creation ... Counterfeits ... and the 70th Week Bible Study
Ted’s Homepage Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology
of the Human Eye

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