why I became a scientist who is a creationist

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Mike's Origins Resources: A PhD Creationist's view of science, origins, and the future hope of the human race; by looking at Creation Science, Biblical Evidence, and Prophecy Molecular History Research Center What happens when we die? Do we go to Heaven or Hell right away when we die? What does Jesus mean by sleep?
Hell Fire, Does it last forever? Is Satan in charge of Hell? Do people really moan and groan forever in agony and pain?
What happens when we die? Do we go to Heaven or Hell right away when we die? What does Jesus mean by sleep?
Are the Wicked Tormented Day and Night for Ever and Ever as mentioned in Revelation? What then is the second death?

why I became a scientist who is a creationist
The 1000 Year Millennium
Following Jesus' Second Coming


Most people who read the Bible know that the righteous people are the ones who will inherit eternal life and go to Heaven but the wicked people will not get either gift. The future of the wicked is not good. However, there are many different ideas on what will happen, especially to the wicked. But if we look at what might be the most famous verse in the Bible, we can see that it clearly indicates what is going to happen to both the righteous and the wicked in the end.

  1. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

We can see that the two outcomes are clear. People will either perish and no longer exist, or they will live forever! On this page, we will study this 1000 year millennium period following the second coming of Jesus from the Bible, and we will see that these same two options are clearly described throughout the Bible and with greater detail.

So, let us look at the Bible to see what specifically happens to the people of the world. We will do this in three stages: First we will see what reward God gives the righteous; Secondly, we will look at the fate of the wicked; Finally, we will look at how the righteous will inherit the earth after the wicked are completely destroyed at the end of the millennium.

Reward for the Righteous, Eternal Life
God's People will Inherit the Earth

It is the meek, those who are blessed, who wait on the Lord; They are the ones who will inherit the earth.

  1. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
  2. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.
  3. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
  1. For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off. Psalm 37:9-11,22.

Yes, the righteous will inherit the earth! But the wicked will be cut off. In verse 10, we see that they will be no more and if you look very carefully you will still find no wicked left because they are gone!

So, only the righteous will be on the earth to inherit the world. But, if we compare the various promises of the Bible about the reward of the righteous, we will find that God's people will inherit the earth only after the wicked are fully destroyed and sin is completely wiped out.

In the Bible we will find that the righteous will be going to heaven before they come back down to inherit the earth. Lets look at the Bible to see the actual evidence.

Since Christ's kingdom is not of this world
The Saints Enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

When Jesus was on earth he said that His kingdom was not of this world:

  1. Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
  2. Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?"
  3. Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"
  4. Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." John 18:33-36.

Pilate had asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews. After a few things were spoken, Jesus then said that His kingdom is not of this world. He was not an earthly king but His kingdom was not from this world.

Notice the qualifier that Jesus adds to His answer. He says "but now" My kingdom is not from here.

So, Jesus is essentially saying that at that time His kingdom is not of this world. This suggests that at some later time, this world will indeed become His world. This point agrees with what we already saw written about the righteous, that the meek shall inherit the earth. We will see more evidence on this subject later on this page.

But for the present time Jesus has another message that He gives to His followers:

  1. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20

Jesus tells His followers not about the earth but about the kingdom of heaven!

  1. Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Matthew 7:21

When Jesus was on earth He did not say anything about a kingdom of the earth. Jesus talks about the kingdom of heaven in all His promises.

  1. and said, Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:3

Jesus speaks about the righteous entering into the kingdom of Heaven!

  1. Then Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you that a rich man will with great difficulty enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
  2. And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:23-24

The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not just figurative language, Jesus is describing a physical event! When Jesus takes His Saints to heaven, there will be a big supper where all will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

  1. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 8:11

I believe that Jesus was speaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb when He talked of sitting down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The marriage supper is mentioned in Revelation 19:9.

  1. And he said to me, Write, Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God. Revelation 19:9

We are to rejoice because of our reward which is in Heaven.

  1. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:12

I want to have treasure in Heaven rather than on earth where nothing is secure.

  1. Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
  2. But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Matthew 6:19-20

Our hope is tied to heaven!

  1. for the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, of which you heard before in the Word of the truth of the gospel, Colossians 1:5

There is an inheritance that is reserved for us in Heaven.

  1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
  2. to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in Heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4

As we keep looking in the Bible we will see that Heaven plays a large part in the reward for the righteous.

In My Father's House are Many Mansions

What does Jesus say He will do for His Saints who follow Him? Lets look into where He is and what He says He will do.

When Jesus was in our world, He said that He came from the Father in heaven and He also said that afterwards He will again go back to the Father which is in heaven.

  1. I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world. Again I leave the world and go to the Father. John 16:28.

So, Jesus is now in Heaven. Jesus has left the world because He is not of this world:

  1. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:16.

It makes sense that Jesus' place would be with His Father in heaven because He is not of this world. Now Jesus is saying that the righteous are also not of this world. So, it should not surprise us if we were to find that Jesus is also preparing places for the righteous to live with Him in heaven. Lets look to see what He says.

In a discussion with His disciples, Jesus helps to confirm that very idea; Jesus tells them that He will be leaving them and they would not be able to follow Him at that time. But they would follow Him a little later. Then Jesus told them that He will come back to take them all home with them to His Father's house where there are many mansions. Then they will all be together again:

  1. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
  1. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
  2. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
  3. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
  1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
  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.
  3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 13:33,36-14:3

So, Jesus tells His disciples that, yes, He is leaving them and they can not follow Him just then. But then He specifically says that He will prepare places in His Father's mansions so that when He comes again, He will be able to take them with Him to heaven to live. That way they will always be together.

The places in His Father's house are in Heaven, not on earth. Nowhere in the Bible does it says that the Father's house or the mansions are on the earth. Also, we must remember that Jesus Himself said that He is not of this world and that He would return to His Father in heaven. So, those who will follow Jesus, whom He also says "are not of this world," they will also be taken to Heaven to be with Him.

As we will see later on this page, there is nothing on earth for the saints at this point. Because the earth itself will be broken up. So, Jesus will be taking His saints to Heaven, to His Father's house, when He comes again.


Jesus Gathers His Elect and Brings Them With Him

When Jesus comes at the end of the world to collect His Saints, He gathers them together from all the parts of the earth. Here we have two parallel accounts of what Jesus told His disciples about His second coming.

I have placed Matthew and Mark side-by-side so you can more easily compare them. Look at the portions of Scripture with the same color (orange, green or red) because they are saying the same things:

29.  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30.  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31.  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31.
24.  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25.  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26.  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27.  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Mark 13:26-27.

When Jesus comes with power and glory, just after the tribulation, the wicked will be extremely anxious, perplexed, and they will be fearful of what is to happen to them. The righteous, on the other hand, will look up to see their redemption come. At that time, the righteous will be scattered over all the face of the earth. So His angels will gather His elect and bring them together when the trumpet sounds. (Elect means: His chosen ones)

So, the living righteous will be brought together; But what about those who are dead? Is Jesus having the angels gather the righteous dead at this time as well?

Below, Paul comforts the Christians in Thessalonica who were concerned that people were starting to die who had expected to see Jesus come in their life-time.

  1. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
  2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

So, Paul tells the Thessalonians that God will not forget those who have died. If we believe that Jesus has risen from the dead, we can believe that God will bring them with Him.

Now, let's stop before we go any farther; Because, people take these verses two different ways. What does Paul mean when he says: those "which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him"? There are two possible choices:

  1. Does he mean that Jesus is taking the dead back from heaven to the earth when He comes? This would mean that the dead are already with Jesus when He comes in the clouds of glory. This would also mean that dead people are already in heaven before His second coming. (People would go to heaven when they die. They would not sleep in the grave.)
  1. Or does it mean that Jesus will take those, who have fallen asleep, back to heaven with Him? This would mean that Jesus would raise the dead from their graves when He comes again and not before. Then He would bring both those who have died and also those who were yet living, back to heaven at the same time. Both groups would be going to heaven for the first time. (People would not go to heaven when they die; but rather, they will sleep in the grave until Jesus comes, then the people will be raised up in the resurrection at Christ's second coming.)

Now, let's look at the evidence: Scripture is clear showing that Jesus will raise the righteous dead when He comes again and not before. He raises the righteous dead at His second coming, at the trump of God. Then He will take both groups back to heaven:

  1. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
  2. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  3. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

Concentrating on verses 16 and 17, we see that Jesus Himself comes down from heaven at His second coming. This is the big event at the end of the world when Jesus comes to get His people and take them back with Him. Then, with a shout of the archangel's voice and the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ rise up first. Then, all who are still alive in Christ, are brought up together with those who had died in the clouds and they meet the Lord in the air to be always with Him.

So, it is at the second coming of Jesus, the time of the end, when both those who died and those who are yet alive, will be taken up into heaven together. This now helps us to understand what Paul meant in verse 14; It is clear that Paul is saying the dead in Christ, even those who sleep in Jesus will God take back to heaven with Him and so will we ever be with the Lord!

This makes it very clear: Jesus comes down with a shout to raise the righteous dead and once the angels gather the righteous together in the air, Jesus will then take all of them back to heaven. This includes those who were dead and those yet alive! Thus they will ever be with the Lord!

There is another point to consider. Lets look at verse 17:

  1. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Paul does not say they get together on the earth. But instead, He says they will be caught up together in the clouds! This is additional evidence showing that they are going to heaven; Not the earth. They are meeting the Lord in the air!

Looking at 1 Corinthians, we find that Paul is consistent. Jesus is the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep in Jesus and here again Paul says that the dead in Christ will be raised at the time of His coming:

  1. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
  2. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
  3. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
  4. But each one in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

All who have died in Christ, shall be made alive at Christ's second coming. It doesn't happen before His coming at all.

Now let us look again, when will Christ's second coming take place?

  1. "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
  2. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
  1. Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.
  2. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
  1. Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
  2. "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:39-40, 43-44, 53-54.

Many times Jesus has said that He will raise his people up on the last day. So it should not be surprising to see that Martha repeats what Jesus says when Jesus says to her: "your brother will rise again."

  1. Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
  2. Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." John 11:23-24.

The righteous will all rise together in the resurrection at the last day and it will be Jesus who raises them. And it is at that time that He will take all of His saints back to heaven with Him.

Jesus has to be taking them to heaven for the very first time! Because it is the last day that they are raised. Jesus says that He will keep His promise when He comes, not before. So, nothing happens before Christ' second coming!


The Righteous Reign with Christ a Thousand Years

God has very definite plans for the righteous in heaven. In the Bible there are many clues showing what these plans are. In Romans and 2 Timothy, we find interesting bits of information.

  1. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  2. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
  3. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
  4. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:14-17.
  1. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
  2. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
  3. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2 Timothy 2:10-12.

The righteous have now become the children of God by adoption. They were led by the Spirit of God and were able to obtain their salvation through Jesus. So now, they can call God their father or daddy because they have become adopted into the family of God!

In addition, God has allowed His chosen ones to be covered in eternal glory and to live with Him. They will become joint-heirs with Christ and they will actually be glorified together with Christ.

In this amazing experience, the righteous will actually reign with Christ! In 1 Corinthians, we see that the righteous will even act as judges:

  1. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
  2. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.

The righteous will judge the wicked, both those who lived on the earth and also the evil angels that had tempted people to go against God.

In Revelation 20, we find that it is during the 1000 year millennium that the righteous live and reign with Christ. It is during this 1000 years that judgment is given into the hands of the righteous. So, it is at this time that they will judge both the wicked angels and people:

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  2. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
  3. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.

So, the righteous live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. They judge the wicked and they will be priests of God and of Christ. They are blessed and holy because they were raised in the first resurrection. This is the resurrection of the righteous when Jesus came. The wicked will not be resurrected until the 1000 years are finished. That is when the wicked will be judged and they will experience the second death from which they will never live again. They will cease to exist.

The righteous, as it says in verse six, will never experience the second death. The second death is only for the wicked, not the righteous. All through the Bible, the first death is described as a sleep because God will resurrect all people from the grave. (Click on: "What happens when people die?" to better understand the first death that almost all people will experience.) Only those who are living when Jesus comes will never see death.

As we will soon see, it is the wicked, who will not only die the first time, but they will be raised up at the end of the 1000 years to receive judgement and then they will die the second death from which there is no returning. They will cease to exist. But the second death has no power against those who took part in the first resurrection of the righteous, at Christ's second coming, at the beginning of the 1000 years.


At the End of the 1000 Years God's People Come down with the New Jerusalem to Earth

At the end of the 1,000 years, the wicked will be judged. Out of necessity we will talk about certain aspects of their judgment; However, we will later study this subject out much more thoroughly when we specifically look at the reward of the wicked. Right now, we will concentrate on the righteous while the wicked are destroyed.

We have seen that the righteous have been in heaven for the 1000 year millennium where they were judging the wicked. We will now look at the evidence showing that both Jesus and the righteous people will come back to the earth when the 1000 years are finished.

The first Scripture we will look at to show this return is Jude 14. Many have taught that verse 14 describes the second coming of Jesus. But we will see that it is really describing the third coming of Jesus that occurs at the end of the 1000 years when Jesus and the saints both come back to the earth.

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Jude 1:14

There has been a lot of interest in Jude's use of the word: "saints". Some have supposed that the word "saints" should really be "angels", or that it should be understood to be talking about the angels; Because, everyone knows that Jesus is coming with His angels at the second coming:

  1. For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16:27.

However, Jude probably meant saints instead of angels because he has no trouble in using the "angels" word in verse 6. It is there that Jude uses the word "angels" to describe the wicked angels who left heaven. He says that they will eventually face judgment.

  1. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; Jude 1:6

Others have used this text to help support the idea that people go up to heaven when they die. So they think that Jude 14 teaches that the saints, who have already died, are coming back to the earth with Jesus at the second coming.

However, this goes against basic Bible truth. The Bible is very plain. We have already seen that Jesus will raise the righteous dead when He comes again on that great day of the second coming and not before. He raises the righteous dead at His second coming, at the trump of God. Then He will take both groups back to heaven:

  1. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  2. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

Jesus Himself comes down from heaven at His second coming. This is the big event at the end of the world when Jesus comes to get His people and take them back with Him. Then, with a shout of the archangel's voice and the trumpet of God, the dead in Christ rise up first. Then, all who are still alive in Christ, are brought up together with those who had died in the clouds and they meet the Lord in the air to be always with Him.

Jesus makes the rightous dead alive! Up till that time, the Bible clearly says that the dead do not know anything when they die; Because in the very day that they die, their thoughts perish:

  1. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
  2. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

"The dead know not any thing!" Everything about them is gone, their memory, their love, their hatred, their envy, and they no longer act. They are asleep. They are nonexistent.

  1. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Psalms 146:4.

Again we see that when the breath of life goes back to God and the body returns to dust, their thoughts perish. It should be clear that the dead cannot talk, or think or do anything. They essentially no longer exist as a living thinking person.

All through the Bible, it talks about death as a sleep. To learn more about what happens when we die click on the link to the right (A new window will appear).

What happens when we die? Do we go to Heaven or Hell right away when we die? What does Jesus mean by sleep?

Getting back to Jude 14, the dead in Christ are not coming back with Jesus at the second coming, as some think Jude 14 says, because the righteous dead are not alive yet. They do not get resurrected to life until Jesus comes at the second coming. So, they cannot come back with Christ until after they are resurrected, which must be some time following the second coming of Christ.

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Jude 1:14

The only explanation that fits is that Jude 14 must be describing Christ's third coming, following the 1000 year millennium. The righteous have been in heaven judging the wicked. Now they will come back to witness God execute judgement on the wicked before the righteous inherit a newly made earth.

Let's look at more evidence. In Jude 14-16, it actually says that the Lord is returning with His saints to execute judgment on the wicked!

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  2. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  3. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:14-16

In this judgment, all the ungodly will be convicted. So the wicked will be convicted and sentenced as in a court setting. Other texts show that the judgment of the wicked will indeed happen at this time:

  1. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
  1. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
  2. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:11,13-14

However, when it says the ungodly will be convicted, could it also mean that the wicked will also be convinced of their own wickedness?

This is interesting. Why would the wicked need to be convicted of all their ungodly deeds if they will just be destroyed? Is there any reason for it?

Maybe the righteous will need to experience the process of the conviction where they see that the wicked themselves are actually acknowledging their own sins. But the promise has been given that: "Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Maybe the righteous will need to see that the wicked really do acknowledge their own sins; That they are convicted of their own sins. But, we do have this verse that says: "Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

  1. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
  2. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
  3. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

It says those under the earth, that must be the wicked; It says the wicked will bow down to Jesus and they will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Satan has attacked God on this very point. He is the one who has contested against Jesus and even the Father. Yet, at the end even Satan will acknowledge that God was fair in dealing even with him. To learn more about this issue click on the link to the right (A new window will appear).

The legal battle that Satan is Waging against God. How is it that Satan figured he could win against the Creator of all things?

So, as part of the judgement process of the wicked, sometime before they are destroyed, the wicked will praise God and bow the knee. Even Satan will bow before Jesus and the Father! They will know that it was their failure that they did not become saved for eternity.

Getting back to Jude 14-16:

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  2. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  3. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:14-16

Verse 16 reminds us of the group that is judged; Because, we can easily compare the description of that group to the group described in Revelation 22:15. These are the wicked which are to be destroyed:

  1. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
  2. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:14-15

The wicked are grumblers and complainers who walk according to their own lusts. Thus they speak great swelling words which flatter people so they can gain the advantage over others. It is no wonder that these people are now called sorcerers and are sexually immoral. They are murderers and idolaters who love to lie.

The wicked are now the ones who are confirmed sinners. They do not want to change. Thus, they are found outside the city, the New Jerusalem, where they will be destroyed.

We have ignored the first part of Jude 14. But if we look at it now we find that Jude is actually talking about some men:

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, Jude 1:14

Who are these men? If we look at verses 10-13, we can see that Jude is really talking about the wicked all along and their destruction at the end!

  1. But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.
  2. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
  3. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;
  4. raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
  5. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  6. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  7. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:10-16

The men that Jude is talking about are those who speak evil and who corrupt themselves. They are the wicked. Jude describes them as being wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. So in verse 14 Jude speaks of the time when the Lord comes with His saints to execute judgment on all these ungodly wicked.

We know that the wicked will experience definite woe. It is blackness of darkness forever! So, it is clear that Jude is speaking of eternal death! They will experience the second death from which there is no return. This is spoken of in Revelation which we will soon see when we speak of the wicked.

In verse 14, we see that Enoch prophesied about these wicked men specifically. He said that the Lord, with the righteous saints, will come back, at the end of the 1,000 years of the millennium, to execute judgment. This is when the wicked will be destroyed and experience the blackness and darkness of death forever.

So, it is clear that Jude 14 is not describing the second coming; But instead, Jude 14 is speaking of Christ's third coming. It is actually describing when the wicked are destroyed, at the end of the millennium.


The Righteous will be on the Earth and in the New Jerusalem when the Wicked are Destroyed

In Revelation, we can easily see that this judgement of the wicked happens at the end of the thousand year millennium. Jesus comes down with His saints to inhabit the city. But the wicked are destroyed outside the city.

  1. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
  2. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
  3. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. Revelation 20:7-9

As we will see, when we look at what happens to the wicked, Satan is let loose from his prison and he then goes out to deceive all those who were raised up at the end of the thousand years. And Satan convinces them to attack the beloved city of Jerusalem, where the righteous are located. But as they surround the city, fire comes down from God and devours them.

At this time, the righteous are in the New Jerusalem, the beloved city. Look at the following two Scripture concerning the New Jerusalem and the righteous:

1.  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2
13.  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
14.  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
15.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:13-15

So, we see that the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven and it is only the righteous who have the right to enter the gates of the city.

These verses from Zechariah 14 especially relate to the time when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven:

  1. . . . the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
  1. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
  1. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be--"The LORD is one," And His name one. Zechariah 14:5,4,9

So, when Jesus' feet stands on the Mount of Olives, the mountain will split making a very large valley, the New Jerusalem will then settle down in this newly made flat area.

Since it is only the righteous who have the right to enter the gates of the city, the only ones that are left outside the city are those who are wicked. As we saw earlier, the wicked surround the people of God and the city and then fire comes out of heaven to destroy them. But all the righteous are safely inside the city.

For the 1000 years, we have seen that the righteous live and reign with Jesus. This must be a healing time for them because God waits for a 1000 years in order to judge the wicked. This is a long time. It must be for the righteous that God waits so long.

We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, that during the 1000 years, God puts the righteous at the very heart of the judgement: Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? . . . Know ye not that we shall judge angels? God actually gives the judgement of the wicked to the righteous!

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:4.

So, it looks very likely that God gives the righteous the judgment of the wicked to help them heal. What better way to show the new sons and daughters of God about the righteousness of God, and that all things that He does is righteous? During this 1000 years, the righteous will judge the wicked, and they will live and reign with Jesus; They will be where God is! What better way to learn of God than to be with God personally?

God has now put all the questions that the righteous might have had, out of their minds, because they have all been answered during the 1000 years. There is no longer any reason for any of the righteous to question God or to wonder why He does things the way that He does, because, God Himself has laid Himself open, showing what He has done so that the righteous can judge the wicked.

Now, the righteous see the wisdom in the complete destruction of the wicked at that time. After all, they took part in the judgement themselves! So, with their complete trust in God, having seen how God has conducted the whole proceedings, they are able to praise God for His victory and for the destruction of the wicked. And now, God will wipe away all tears from their eyes and the former things will not be remembered nor come to mind any longer. They are completely healed of the heartache they went through.

After we look at the reward of the wicked, we will then look at the verses of the Bible that show us what the new world will be like after the wicked people are destroyed.

Reward for the Wicked, They will Perish

All The Wicked are Destroyed by the Brightness of His Coming

When Jesus comes to pick up His righteous people at His Second Coming, which is at the beginning of the 1000 years, all the wicked people, who are alive at that time, will be killed by the brightness of His coming. So, during the thousand years following the second coming, there will be no one left alive on the earth.

  1. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
  2. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
  3. and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thess 2:8-10.

I like how NIV puts it:

  1. and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thess 2:8-10 NIV.

See who it is that perish; It is those who refuse to love the truth! They are the ones who are deceived by Satan.

In Revelation 19 we also see that all the wicked will be killed when Jesus comes:

  1. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
  2. "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
  3. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
  4. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
  5. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:17-21.

When Jesus comes again, we see that the beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. We also see that the kings of the earth, its army and also all the wicked people of the earth will be slain by Jesus who sits on the horse having his sword proceeding out of His mouth. All the wicked are destroyed!

In Revelation 6 we see that all the wicked people, including the human army that said they were going to make war against God (as described in Revelation 19 above), are actually hiding in the caves and rocks as God approaches asking for the mountains and rocks to fall on them.

  1. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
  2. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
  3. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17.

They cannot stand to even look at the face of God the Father nor can they look into the face of Jesus, the Lamb of God. They are asking to be killed before they are forced to see God!

In addition to the army, we can see that every bondman and every free man are calling for the rocks to fall on them. This includes all people!

  1. . . . Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
  2. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
  3. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.
  4. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
  5. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jeremiah 25:29-33.

At the second coming of Jesus, He will kill the wicked. At that time, the slain of the LORD will be from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth and there will be no one left to lament over them. No one will be left to bury them and they will be left to lay on the ground. All will be dead. There will be no one left!


Jesus Himself tells us that all the wicked will die when He comes at His second coming

So, what does Jesus say will happen to the wicked when He comes?

  1. "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
  2. "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
  3. "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
  4. "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
  5. "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30.

Jesus said to look at Noah's day. Noah and his family went into the ark and the door was shut; Then the flood came and killed everyone who had not gone into the ark. All the people in the world were killed in the flood except for Noah and his family.

Jesus also said to remember lot. The same day that Lot left Sodom, fire came out of heaven and destroyed everyone who was in the city.

Jesus says that this is exactly how it will be when the Son of Man is revealed, at His second coming.

Some people believe that when Jesus comes that all the people of the world who are not saved, that they will get another chance.

But this idea is not found in Scripture. As we are seeing, the Bible says that the wicked will all die when Jesus comes. There will be no one left alive because the wicked are all killed and the righteous are all taken to heaven.


No Person is Left Alive on the Earth in the Thousand Years

Jeremiah also helps to show that there will be no one left on the earth after Jesus comes. It is interesting that he uses the same words used in the book of Genesis to describe the Earth. The Earth was without form and void.

  1. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jeremiah 25:33.
  1. I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.
  2. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth.
  3. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
  4. 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. Jeremiah 4:23-26.

All that is left on the world are broken down cities, and dead people are also left to lay on the ground from one end of the earth to the other. The ground is extremely unstable and trembles. Even the hills move back and forth. There is no man left! This is the result of God's fierce anger, and at the presence of the Lord, all this was done to the earth!


Satan will be Under Lock and Key.

When Jesus comes, we saw that the righteous will be taken to Heaven to be with Him. We also saw that all the wicked will be killed by the brightness of His coming, and we saw that the earth will be destroyed to the extent that Jeremiah said the Earth "was without form and void". No man will be left alive on the earth. In fact, the dead bodies of the wicked will be found over the whole surface of the earth. Of course there will be no one to bury them because no one is left alive.

Now, we see that Satan is put into a bottomless pit and is bound for a thousand years.

  1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
  2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
  3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Revelation 20:1-3.
  1. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Jude 1:6

Some believe that the righteous people will reign with Jesus on earth during this time, so they think Satan must be somewhere else. However, it is very clear from the Bible that no one will be left alive on the earth during the thousand year period. In fact, the whole earth will be strewn with the dead bodies of the wicked. There is no one that Satan could deceive or tempt because they are all dead. So the earth could very well be the pit that Satan is placed in. It would be a fitting place for Satan to view the destruction of cities and man and think what he has done. This will also help Satan to think about his own lack of a future!


The Wicked Experience the Second Death! at the End of the 1000 Years

Later, after the 1000 years are finished, the rest of the dead will be brought back to life. These are the wicked dead, who do not live again until after the thousand years are ended. This is the second resurrection, the resurrection of damnation which occurs a thousand years after the righteous are raised.

  1. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. Revelation 20:5 (first part).

Since the wicked experience the second death, they will be killed by the judgement of God. However the righteous will never again experience death. Only those who are raised in the first resurrection of the righteous will the second death have no power!

  1. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Revelation 2:11.

The second death is only for the wicked. Those who overcometh will not be hurt at all.

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  2. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
  3. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.

Also, if we look at verse 6, above, we see that all those who were taken by Jesus, all those who were raised by Jesus in the first resurrection, would never experience death again. They will not experience the second death. Only the wicked who were either killed by the brightness of Jesus' coming or who were already dead (they did not experience the first resurrection) will eventually experience the second death.

The following verses describe the wicked being raised to life, those that are still in the grave, and they are thrown into the lake of fire once they are judged.

  1. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
  2. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
  3. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:13-15

Notice that the second death is connected with the wicked being put in the lake of fire. The wicked cannot be tormented day and night for ever and ever if it is suppose to be when they die the second death.

In the following verses, we see the future of both the righteous and the wicked are described:

  1. "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
  2. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8.

The righteous inherit all things but the wicked will burn with fire and brimstone. Again notice that the second death is connected with the wicked being put in the fire. The wicked cannot be tormented day and night for ever and ever if it is suppose to be when they die the second death.

Since the wicked will experience the second death it makes very good sense when we see that Jude 13 reminds us that the death of the wicked is permanent!

  1. raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
  2. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  3. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  4. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:13-16

It says that there is reserved for the wicked the blackness of darkness forever! So, it is clear that Jude is speaking of eternal death! A death where blackness and darkness lasts forever! This is the final judgment of the wicked and it is the second death from which there is no return.

Now to give you a better overview of the final destruction of the wicked, lets expand our look in Scripture. Below, I have placed four parallel accounts of what will happen when the wicked are judged.

We already know that he wicked will experience the second death; But there are other parts of these verses that seem to suggest that the wicked will suffer in the flames forever. So lets look into this to see if there is an answer that will harmonize these Scripture.

These parallel accounts are color-coordinated to help you see how the four accounts relate to each other. By looking at the same colored text in the different columns, you might be able to piece together more of the ideas presented in these verses.

Green - The thousand years
Orange - Satan released from the bottomless pit
Blue - The second resurrection, the resurrection of the wicked.
Dark Blue - Satan tempting the wicked.
Red - If any man follows Satan. . .

Blue/Green - The New Jerusalem, the beloved city, coming down from God out of heaven.
Light Blue - The resurrected wicked surrounding the saints in the beloved city.
Pink - God Judging the wicked
Brown - The second death
Purple - The lake of fire and brimstone
Grey/Blue - Tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Gold - The beast and the false prophet

Revelation 20:11-15

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:7-10

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 14:9-11

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Revelation 21

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 22

11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.



Tormented Day and Night for Ever and Ever

The above selection of Scripture, that is organized into parallel accounts, is a lot to read. Lets concentrate on the specific parts where the controversy is found.

Notice that some parts of Revelation say that the wicked will suffer torment for ever and ever while other portions of Revelation say that the wicked experience the second death.

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Revelation 14:11

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:6

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8



How can the wicked experience the permant second death if they are to have no rest day nor night since they are to burn for ever and ever?

This is a problem! How can these Scripture fit with each other so that they will agree? We can't ignore one group of Scripture and only use the group that support our beliefs. Not if we believe that the Bible is the word of God! I am not satisfied with majority rule. I want to understand these verses better so that I can see that they do indeed harmonize like I know the Bible actually does.

Some people become confused about these verses because it says that the wicked will be tormented forever and ever. But, the Bible does indeed say that the wicked will be destroyed and the Scriptures are consistant in saying it. Jesus Himself says we should fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, when the wicked are destroyed!

  1. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

Over and over again, The Bible says that the wicked are destroyed. They will perish. They will be burned up until they will be ashes under the soles of your feet. They will be no more. They will cease to exist, etc.

So, does Scripture disagree with itself? No, Scripture does not disagree with itself.

So, which is it? Are the wicked destroyed or will they burn for ever and ever?

The answer to the problem lies in our understanding of the word forever. "Forever and ever" actually does not always have to mean "forever", but it can also mean as long as a person lasts. Forever can be "as long as you live".

This page is already too long to have a complete study on "forever and ever". So click on the icon to the right to see more:

Do the wicked get tormented day and night for ever and ever? To see the Bible evidence click on the link to the right (A new window will appear).

Are the Wicked Tormented Day and Night for Ever and Ever as mentioned in Revelation? What then is the second death?

The next link is a more general study of Hell fire. It looks at the proponderance of evidence all throughout the Bible saying that the Wicked will not burn forever in the flames.

Hell Fire, does it last forever? To see the Bible evidence that the wicked will be destroyed click on the link to the right (A new window will appear).

Hell Fire, Does it last forever? Is Satan in charge of Hell? Do people really moan and groan forever in agony and pain?

After the Wicked are Burned Up
The Wicked will be Completely Burned to Ashes

There are many Bible texts which show that the wicked will be completely destroyed and burned to ashes. The simple Bible verse that we started with on this page is a good verse to begin with:

  1. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

This simple verse agrees with each one of the following verses by saying that our options are either the everlasting life of the righteous or to perish with the wicked.

  1. The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. Psalm 145:20.

The LORD preserves all who love Him by giving them everlasting life, but all the wicked He will destroy and they will perish.

  1. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
  2. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.
  3. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
  1. But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the LORD, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away. Psalm 37: 9-11, 20.
  1. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37: 9-11, 20, 38.

All the enemies of the LORD will vanish into smoke. They will be destroyed all together and they will be no more. They will disappear off the face of the earth. But of course, the righteous, who are meek and wait on the LORD, they will inherit the earth.

  1. May sinners be consumed from the earth, And the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD! Psalm 104:35.
  1. Behold, they shall be as stubble, The fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves From the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before! Isaiah 47:14.
  1. For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, Says the LORD of hosts, That will leave them neither root nor branch.
  2. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
  3. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this, Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 4:1-3.

So the wicked will be fully consumed and be no more. They will be as stubble or ash and even the warmth of the fire will go away. So the wicked will literally be ashes under the soles of the righteous' feet!

The Righteous Inherit the Earth!


At the End of the 1000 Years God's People Come
down when the New Jerusalem comes to Earth

We already saw that the righteous will be in the New Jerusalem when the wicked are destroyed. But in addition, the New Jerusalem will also be part of the new world once sin is fully destroyed.

1.  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2
13.  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
14.  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
15.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:13-15

The Earth is Completely Made New

Once the wicked are destroyed, God makes new heavens and a new earth and all weeping will be no more.

  1. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65:17

Now we will see the reward of the righteous!

  1. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
  1. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
  1. For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off. Psalm 37:9,11,22.

It is the righteous who will inherit the Earth and they will be delighted with the peace that has finally come to them. now that all evil has been destroyed!

  1. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. Malachi 4:2.
  1. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
  2. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
  3. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Isaiah 65:17-19

With descriptions like being calves growing fat and having Jesus with healing in His wings, it is no wonder that there will no longer be a reason to weep for any cause. The old things will not be remembered anymore.

  1. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13

The very last part of the book of Revelation speaks of the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven to the New Earth:

  1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
  2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
  3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
  4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
  5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:1-5.

With everything being new with the things that the God of Heaven can provide, it is no wonder that the following verse is a true description of the wonders planned for us!

  1. But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

A Description of the New Jerusalem

If you want to look further into what the new world will be like then you might want to read Revelation 21:1-27; 22:1-5. It speaks of everything being made new and all tears being wiped away. It also describes the New Jerusalem and the river of life that will be in the world made new.

God Encourages us to be with him, He wants us with Him!

There is a lot to encourage us when we read about the new world. Revelation 21:6-8; 22:6-20 specifically encourages us to look forward to this time. It encourages us to make every effort to be part of the blessed at that time!


Difficult Bible Passages About the 1000 Years Explained.
I Will Try To Answer Any Question You Ask.
Presently there are eight questions.

 

We are not immortal now, but does it not say in 1 Corinthians 15:22 that all people will be made alive?

 

Let's look at the verse:

  1. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22.

It does seem like the verse says that Jesus shall raise all people! However, let's look at more of the surrounding verses:

  1. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
  2. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
  3. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
  4. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
  5. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

If we look at verse 23, we see that it tells who the "all" are. All will be made alive, first Jesus, who is the firstfruits, then those who are Christ's at His coming. It is only those who belong to Jesus, they alone will be raised to life and be made immortal.

So, all sons of Adam will die, but all those who are Christ's at His coming will be made alive!

 

The second question:

Can you help me to understand the meaning behind Mark 9:48

"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched"

To me this does indicate that punishment is eternal. And from my logic and reason perspective it would serve Hitler and Stalin right to spend eternity paying for their crimes against humanity. Seems like a pretty light sentence to think they would eventually get off.

 

Before I answer your question I wanted to comment about your remark on Hitler and Stalin.

I believe that there may indeed be questions among the righteous concerning the punishment of the wicked. Is what God does in destroying the wicked too harsh? Or maybe; Is the punishment of the wicked insufficient to pay for their crimes?

What could God do to answer these kinds of questions?

God will do something very special for the righteous. He will treat the righteous in a way that we might not automatically think that God would do. From looking at Scripture, it looks like God will open Himself up to the judgement of the Righteous! This is an amazing thing to say, but lets start looking at Scripture for some clues.

Below in Romans 8 and II Timothy 2, we see that the righteous will become sons of God. They are actually adopted into God's Family! They receive a gift from God that would never be theirs if Jesus didn't give it to them. Through Jesus, the righteous become joint-heirs with Christ! Jesus inherits the kingdom, so the righteous will also inherit the kingdom along with Him! The righteous will then be glorified together with Jesus! And so, Jesus actually gives the judgement to the saints!

  1. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  2. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
  3. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
  4. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:14-17.
  1. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
  2. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
  3. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2 Timothy 2:10-12.

I am not sure what all this means, but the righteous become the children of God by adoption and they actually become joint-heirs with Christ?! And to be glorified together with Jesus?! I do not think it is possible to imagine the degree in which God and Jesus will honor the righteous. It will be that they will be able to call God their father or their daddy because they have become adopted into the family of God!

In this amazing description of the righteous' experience, the righteous will actually reign with Christ! Not only do they become joint heirs with Jesus and glorified together, but they are also allowed to reign with Him as well. In 1 Corinthians, we see that the righteous will even act as judges:

  1. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
  2. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.

The righteous judge not only the wicked but also the wicked angels.

In Revelation 20:4-6 below, we see that the righteous live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. They judge the wicked and they will be priests of God and of Christ. They are blessed and holy because they were raised in the first resurrection. This is the resurrection of the righteous when Jesus came. The wicked will not be resurrected until the 1000 years are finished. That is when the wicked will be judged and they will experience the second death from which they will never live again. They will cease to exist.

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  2. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
  3. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.

Yes, it is true that God knows who is righteous and who is wicked; He has already separated the righteous from the wicked. But remember, it says in Revelation 20:4 that "judgment was given unto them:" Remember, God is allowing the righteous to be joint-heirs with Christ! He is allowing them to be glorified together with Christ! So, God is giving this special privilege to the righteous, to judge the wicked.

Lets not forget that it is after the 1000 years that the wicked will be raised to life again. This is when they will be judged.

  1. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. . . .
  1. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
  2. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
  3. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:5(first part), 13-15

So, just as soon as the 1000 years are finished and the righteous are finished with their judgement, then the wicked are raised to life, only to be destroyed by the fire according to their judgement. They will be judged according to the judgement of the righteous at that time.

So, there is a special judgment that occurs to the wicked. Since the wicked are judged according to their works at this time, it looks like the righteous themselves will determine the amount of suffering that is metered out when the wicked are placed in the lake of fire which is their second death.

The following verses help confirm the fact that the actual judgement will be given into to His people, the righteous:

  1. "But hold fast what you have till I come.
  2. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--
  3. 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; Revelation 2:25-27.

God will give His people power over the nations and they will rule the wicked with a rod of iron! Then the wicked will be destroyed like potter's vessels. This means that this ruling with a rod of iron is connected with the destruction of the wicked! The righeous will determine the amount of suffering that is to be metered out when the wicked are placed in the fire, which results in the second death.


OK, The point is this: While you may presently wonder whether Hitler and Stalin will sufficiently pay for their crimes; At that time, you will personally be able to look into their judgement to check for yourself whether it is sufficient and just. You may personally take part in the judgement of them yourself. Obviously we don't know the specifics of how it will be done.

But this process does suggest that God will be opening Himself to us in such a way so that we will more fully understand the reasons why God has done what He has done. I think it possibly that this whole process will be a way to help us become healed. Lets face it, we are all sick and damaged individuals. In addition, we might have friends and family who are among the wicked. How will we be able to face the reality of the situation and know that God was always fair?

But God will help us take a 1000 years to consider all these things so that when all the wicked are raised up again to receive their final punishment; The righteous will be able to say with a much fuller understanding and knowledge: "Just and true are your ways oh LORD"!

The fact that God actually takes 1000 years to allow the righteous to see and judge everything for themselves, shows the value that God places upon the righteous and their understanding of God and the whole process of judging the wicked.

How could the righteous ever be happy if they were to watch the wicked being destroyed while still having serious moral questions about their destruction? Could they truly say with honesty: "Just and true are your ways oh LORD"?

The righteous will not be forced to say things in heaven. Force is what happens in today's world where satanic powers try to force conscience against their will. No, But rather, the righteous will be able to talk about God from their personal experience.

I believe that this is the time, when the wicked are fully destroyed, that the real fulfillment of the New Covenant that Jeremiah spoke about in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (See also Hebrews 8:7-13) will take place. This is the time when God will be able to write His law in the hearts of the righteous!

  1. "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah--
  2. "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
  3. "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
  4. "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34

When the righteous go to heaven, the Lord will have forgiven their sins and He will remember their sin no more. At that time no one will teach his neighbor and brother to "know the LORD"; Because, God's law will be fully in their minds and written in their hearts. They will be the children of God!

God will write His law on the righteous' hearts and minds because their God opens to them the reality of who He is and what He has done for them. They will know the LORD. Not one of the righteous will be left out.

So, with their complete trust in God, having seen how God has conducted the whole proceedings, they are able to praise God for His victory and for the destruction of the wicked. And now, God will wipe away all tears from their eyes and the former things will not be remembered nor come to mind any longer. They are completely healed of the heartache they went through.

  1. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. Malachi 4:2.

Lets Look at Mark 9!

The phrase "Their work does not die, and the fire is not quenched" is repeated several times. Also it is mentioned that the fire will never be quenched:

  1. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched--
  2. "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'
  3. "And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched--
  4. "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'
  5. "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire--
  6. "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'
  7. "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
  8. "Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another." Mark 9:43-50

The "hell" is translated from the Greek word "gehenna." This is identified as the valley of Hinnom which is just outside the walls of Jerusalem. Garbage was thrown into the fire and what was not destroyed by the fire was eaten by maggots (worms). So gehenna symbolizes hell which is a place of total destruction.

In this verse, Jesus is saying that the fires of hell cannot be quenched or put out by anyone. The phrase "Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'" obviously comes from Isaiah 66:24 which says:

  1. And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD.
  2. "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." Isaiah 66:23-24

If they are looking at the dead corpses of the wicked, then the wicked are actually dead! They are looking at the dead bodies of men! This means that the worm that does not die, must NOT refer to the wicked themselves. The wicked cannot both be dead and continually alive!

So it must be that the worm, that does not die, refers to the actual worms that eat the bodies. The two activities that destroy the trash in gehenna, which are the fire and worms, they do not stop until the trash and bodies are completely destroyed. Historically, since the trash is continually added to gehenna outside of Jerusalem, the process never ends. So the worms do not die and the fire is not quenched.

However when the wicked are fully destroyed at the end, they will be destroyed all together in one place, all at the same time:

  1. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37: 38.

So the worm will not stop doing its eating and the fire will not stop consuming until everything is completely destroyed.

Here is another verse that refers to the wicked as being eaten by both moths and worms:

  1. "Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.
  2. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation." Isaiah 51:7-8

I think this relates to what Isaiah said:

  1. Behold, they shall be as stubble, The fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves From the power of the flame; It shall not be a coal to be warmed by, Nor a fire to sit before! Isaiah 47:14.

The wicked will NOT be able to deliver themselves from the fire that destroys them. However, then Isaiah is quick to say that there will not be a coal to be warmed at nor a fire to sit before. So, the fire will not be quenched while the wicked are yet burning but it will go out only when there is nothing left to consume.

It is a fire that is not quenched. I am also reminded that Jeremiah said Jerusalem will be burned with a fire that will not be quenched:

  1. "But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched."'" Jeremiah 17:27

Yet we know that the city was totally destroyed just as Jeremiah said it would:

  1. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.
  2. And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia,
  3. to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. 2 Chronicles 36:19-21.

That fire was not stopped. It was not quenched. So, the fire was allowed to finish its job. Only then did the fire go out on its own. So, the fire was never quenched by anyone or put out; But rather it was allowed to naturally go out when all the fuel was consumed. Thus the city was fully burned with fire.

So when Jesus says that the fire will never be quenched He means just that. The fire will not be put out, so the wicked will be fully destroyed. It is only when there is nothing left to burn will the fire go out. Then the fire will go out naturally. But the fire will never be quenched before it does its job.

This issue reminds me of another text of Scripture that relates to what "forever" can mean:

  1. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Revelation 14:11

"The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever", from Revelation 14:11 obviously comes from Isaiah 34:10. It is the description of the destruction and desolation of Edom. Most of the book Revelation actually is connected with the Old Testament.

  1. 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. Isaiah 34:10

It is clear that Isaiah was not saying that the smoke would be ascending forever since he also says in the very next few verses that the land would then become a waste for generations. He says that it would be a place that only wild animals would inhabit. The animals would take over the land:

  1. But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And He shall stretch out over it The line of confusion and the stones of emptiness.
  2. They shall call its nobles to the kingdom, But none shall be there, and all its princes shall be nothing.
  3. And thorns shall come up in its palaces, Nettles and brambles in its fortresses; It shall be a habitation of jackals, A courtyard for ostriches.
  4. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals, And the wild goat shall bleat to its companion; Also the night creature shall rest there, And find for herself a place of rest.
  5. There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs And hatch, and gather them under her shadow; There also shall the hawks be gathered, Every one with her mate. Isaiah 34:11-15

The description of the smoke, is only a temporary action. Once the smoke is gone, then the animals take over. So, this text really speaks of complete destruction, not that the smoke would be forever rising, but that it would become a wasteland. The fire would do its job and then nothing would be left. If the area would be forever burning and smokey, the wild animals would never inhabit the area. Animals run away from smoke and fire.

The destruction of Edom matches the destruction of the wicked at the end. They will also vanish away once the fire does its job of destroying the wicked.

  1. But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the LORD, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away. Psalm 37: 20.

The fire will not be quenched and everything is burned up into smoke which vanishes away.

I have another web page that looks at this very problem in more detail. Click to see: Are we tormented day and night for ever and ever?

Do the wicked get tormented day and night for ever and ever? To see the Bible evidence click on the link to the right (A new window will appear).

Are the Wicked Tormented Day and Night for Ever and Ever as mentioned in Revelation? What then is the second death?

 

The third question:

People will be left alive when Christ comes again. The verses that you quote in Revelation 19 does not say that there won't be anyone left alive when He comes. Let's look at them closely:

19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

Verse 19 describes a state of war where the armies on earth headed by the beast are gathered for war against Christ and his army. It does not say the entire population of the earth.

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.


In verse 20 the beast and false prophet are thrown into a lake of fire then in verse 21 it says the remnant were slain. Who is the remnant here? - it is the remainder of those armies that were gathered to fight. Don't you agree?

John did not mention anything about the peoples of earth. He was specific in mentioning the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies.

 

If we just look at verses 19 to 21, it would seem that you are right. However if we include verses 17 & 18 to our study, we will see right away that the remnant is the flesh of all people:

  1. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
  2. "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
  3. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
  4. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
  5. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:17-21.

It says in verse 18: "the flesh of all people". Thus the remnant that is slain includes the flesh of all people, both "free and slave, both small and great".

In verses 17 and 18, the birds are told to come and eat. They are to eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses, then the flesh of all people is included, free and slave, both small and great. So, the birds are promised the flesh of all people!

Now in verses 19 - 21, God provides the flesh to the birds. The beast, the kings, and their armies are all captured. Once the beast and false prophet are thrown into the fire, all the rest, which are the remnant, were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse.

Now, in verse 21, we see that all the fowls are filled with their flesh. So, since the birds are promised the flesh of all people in verse 18, "the remnant" has to include the flesh of all people.

Everyone on the earth is killed except the righteous. Since the birds are promised the flesh of all the people on the earth, it makes sense that the righteous are already being taken up into the sky to be with the Lord. So the righteous are no longer on the earth at this time. They are with Jesus from this point on and are taken to heaven as many verses indicate.

Here is another verse of Scripture that describe the destruction of the wicked:

  1. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.
  2. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,
  3. and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thess 2:8-10 NIV.

Those who are deceived by Satan will perish. See who it is who is perishing; It is those who refuse to love the truth! Again we see that it is the wicked who are destroyed.

So, when Jesus comes again all the wicked are destroyed!

  1. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
  2. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
  3. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17.

In Revelation 6 we see all the wicked were reduced to the same level. Not only were every bondman and free man hiding but also the human army that said they were going to make war against God (as described in Revelation 19 above). Now they are all hiding in the caves and rocks as God approaches asking for the mountains and rocks to fall on them. They cannot stand even to look at the face of God, the Father nor can they look into the face of Jesus, the Lamb of God. They are asking to be killed before they are forced to see God!

 

The fourth question:

I'm confused please help.

If all the people other than the righteous are dead, the righteous are in heaven with Christ in the New Jerusalem, whom or what are they judging or reigning over during the 1000 yrs. ???

You say the righteous judges the wicked
But I thought that you said that the wicked are dead. How can they judge people who are dead and already deemed wicked by God ???

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie." Revelation 22:13-15

How can there be an outside with wicked people, if they are dead or creation has been made new with no wickedness ???

"As we will see, when we look at what happens to the wicked, Satan is let loose from his prison and he then goes out to deceive all those who were raised up at the end of the thousand years. And Satan convinces them to attack the beloved city of Jerusalem, where the righteous are located. But as they surround the city, fire comes down from God and devours them."

So does this mean that the wicked have a chance to escape the second death, if they are not deceived ??

 

We need to look at all of Scripture in order to find the truth of what is to happen. We cannot use a few texts of Scripture in a way that makes it go against other very prominent verses. We must work to understand what Scripture says until we find that it is true; All Scripture does indeed agree with each other.

Lets review a few major points about the 1000 years.

  1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
  2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
  3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Revelation 20:1-3.

We find that Satan is bound for the 1000 years. But after the 1000 years he will be released so he can tempt the wicked who will be raised at the end of the 1000 years:

  1. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
  2. "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
  3. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
  4. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
  5. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:17-21.

Revelation 19 describes the second coming of Jesus in terms of the destruction of the wicked. We find that all the wicked are killed by the brightness of His coming at the second coming of Jesus. A sword proceeds out of Jesus' mouth and the remnant were slain. So, the flesh of all people were given to the fowls in the midst of heaven.

  1. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jeremiah 25:33.

Jeremiah describes what the condition of the wicked will be during the 1000 years. Their dead bodies will be laying from one end of the earth to the other and there will be no one to bury them at all.

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  2. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
  3. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.

We know the wicked are dead during the 1000 years because it says that the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the wicked!

Much of Revelation 20:4-6 is really talking about the righteous. They are the ones who experience the first resurrection at the beginning of the 1000 years! They are risen up when Jesus comes as we saw in 1 Thessalonians 4.

  1. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  2. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The righteous meet the Lord in the air, in the clouds to go to heaven with Jesus:

  1. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
  1. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
  1. 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.
  2. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 13:33,36;14:2-3
  1. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20

In Revelation 20:6 we find that the second death will have no power over the righteous.

  1. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.

It is only the wicked that will experience the second death.

  1. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
  2. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
  3. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:13-15

When the wicked are raised up in the second resurrection following the 1000 years as is described in Revelation 20:13-15, we see that they are judged and then thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. the death for which they will never awake again.

So let's answer a question:
You say the righteous judges the wicked But I thought that you said that the wicked are dead. How can they judge people who are dead and already deemed wicked by God ???

So, how can the righteous people judge people who are already dead? And why would the righteous judge the dead who are already deemed wicked by God?

Lets begin by looking how God treats the righteous so we can understand what is happening. It will help answer your question.

  1. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  2. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
  3. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
  4. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:14-17.

The righteous become sons of God. They are adopted! They receive a gift from God that would never be theirs if Jesus didn't give it to them. Through Jesus, the righteous become joint-heirs with Christ! and they will be glorified together with Jesus! And so, Jesus gives judgement to the saints.

  1. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
  2. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.

The righteous judge not only the wicked but also the wicked angels.

Yes, it is true that God knows who is righteous and who is wicked. But remember, it says in Revelation 20:4 that "judgment was given unto them:" Remember, God is allowing the righteous to be joint-heirs with Christ! He is allowing them to be glorified together with Christ! So, God is giving this special privilege to the righteous, to judge the wicked.

Lets not forget that it is after the 1000 years that the wicked will be raised to life again. This is when they will be judged.

  1. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
  2. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
  3. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:13-15

Just as soon as the 1000 years are finished and the righteous are finished with their judgement, then the wicked are raised to life, only to be destroyed by the fire according to their judgement.

So there is a special judgment that occurs to the wicked. Since the wicked are judged according to their works at this time, it looks like the righteous will determine the amount of suffering that is metered out when the wicked are placed in the lake of fire which is their second death.

Now the next question:
"As we will see, when we look at what happens to the wicked, Satan is let loose from his prison and he then goes out to deceive all those who were raised up at the end of the thousand years. And Satan convinces them to attack the beloved city of Jerusalem, where the righteous are located. But as they surround the city, fire comes down from God and devours them."

So does this mean that the wicked have a chance to escape the second death, if they are not deceived ???

No, the wicked do not have a second chance to live. The wicked have already rejected God and God brought them up in the second resurrection. The righteous have already judged these people and there is no second chance. The Bible says nothing about a second chance, only that all who are raised in the first resurrection will not experience the second death. That means the wicked are the ones who will experience the second death. That means all who are raised in the second resurrection, who are outside the city are thrown into the lake of fire.

They have already rejected God and they have no real love for God. They might know that all is lost. So, when they are tempted by Satan, one last time, to try to attack God; They might reason that there really is no alternative.

But another possibility is that Satan will not identify himself as Satan. He might claim to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully taken from him. Satan might even tell the wicked that it was he who raised them to life so that they could be victorious in their attack against the city.

At this point the wicked are Satan's captives. they have already rejected Christ and they no longer have a conscience. The Holy Spirit is no longer working on their soul and there is no good angel telling them to do what is right. They only have Satan and all the evil angels telling them in their mind that they can do it.

Look at these texts:

  1. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Revelation 2:11.
  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  2. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
  3. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6.
  1. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
  2. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
  3. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:13-15
  1. "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
  2. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8.

There is no second chance. These are the wicked who are cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars. Even now, they choose to attack God! They have become enemies against God just as Satan is an enemy of God There is nothing in common with God on the outside of the city!

Now the other half of the question:
If all the people other than the righteous are dead, the righteous are in heaven with Christ in the New Jerusalem, whom or what are they reigning over during the 1000 yrs. ???

So, who is the righteous going to rule over if the wicked are all dead during the 1000 years?

How are Jesus and His saints going to rule over the wicked. Lets study into it a little bit.

  1. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:15.

When we see the word "rule", we somehow pickup the idea that He will rule over the wicked, meaning that the wicked will be alive and they will be governed by Him. This is what many think of when they think of Jesus as ruling over the wicked, or even the righteous people of God as ruling over the wicked. However, Scripture says that Jesus will strike the nations and He will rule over the nations of the world with a rod of iron. Why would He use an iron rod if it wasn't for some violent act?

The rod of iron actually means He will destroy the wicked! look at the next part of that verse: It says: He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. The wicked will receive the wrath of God in that they will be utterly destroyed. That is how He will rule the wicked.

Sure enough, if we continue reading in Revelaton 19 we find that all the wicked are destroyed in verse 21:

  1. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
  2. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
  3. "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
  4. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
  5. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
  6. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:16-21

Now, let's look at the next verse which refer to God's righteous people who will rule with Jesus:

  1. "But hold fast what you have till I come.
  2. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--
  3. 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; Revelation 2:25-27.

Again we find that they will also rule with a rod of iron, and the wicked will be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels.

So, to rule over the wicked with a rod of iron means to utterly destroy the wicked! This is definitely NOT depicting a quiet rule where the wicked are living under the rule of the righteous.

This rod of iron idea matches with other verses that we have already seen, such as 1 Corinthians, where the righteous will act as judges:

  1. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
  2. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.

In Revelation 20, we also saw that during the 1000 years that judgment is given into the hands of the righteous. So, it is at this time that they will judge both the wicked angels and people:

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  2. Revelation 20:4.

So, the righteous live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. They judge the wicked with an ion rod and they will be priests of God and of Christ. So, when the wicked will be judged, at the end of the 1000 years, they will experience the second death from which they will never live again. They will cease to exist.

Now the last question:
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:13-15"

How can there be an outside with wicked people, if they are dead or creation has been made new with no wickedness ???

The wicked dead, which we know from the previous questions, are resurrected after the 1000 years. So they are no longer dead. They are alive for a short time but they are outside the city. They are tempted to attack the city so they surround the saints and the city.

  1. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
  2. and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
  3. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. Revelation 20:7-9

Only the righteous had the right to "enter through the gates into the city."

  1. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
  2. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:14-15

It is after they surround the saints and the city that the wicked are destroyed:

  1. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. Revelation 20:9

If we look at Revelation 22, we see that the first five verses is a continuation of the discussion of the New Jerusalem and the river of life. This is a description of the new world!

But starting with verse 7, we have a recap of warnings. Jesus starts repeating the important warnings that we need to hear.

7 Behold, I am coming quickly! . . .
11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still . . . he who is holy, let him be holy still
12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me . . .
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments. . . .
15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and . . .

So we can see that these are general statements of warning. The wicked will not always be outside the walls of the city. As we saw before; The wicked, that are outside the city, are destroyed and they experience the second death.

It is only after all sin is destroyed that the whole earth is made new. It is then that the righteous will inherit the earth!

 

The fifth question:

The Bible is very plain. There will be a millennial kingdom on the earth. It will not be in heaven. Look at the following verses: Zechariah 14; Isaiah 24:6; Acts 1:11; Revelation 5:10, 2:26-27, 20:6, etc.

Also Isaiah 24:6 cannot be used to "prove" that all the wicked will be destroyed on the earth, at Christ's coming, leaving the earth desolate during the millennium.

The Saints will rule the earth under Christ and it will be restored to its Edenic glory: Isaiah 2:2-4, 11:1-9.

God has created the earth to be the home of mankind, not to be destroyed: Isaiah 45:18.


 

I am a firm believer in studying all of the Bible to know what the Bible says on a particular topic. We need to look at all of Scripture in order to find the truth of what is to happen.

Also, we cannot use a few texts of Scripture in a way that makes it go against other very prominent verses of the Bible! We must work to understand what Scripture says until we find that all the Scripture does indeed agree with each other.

I have tried to do that on this web page. However there are some people who use a very different set of Scripture and they use it in such a way that make it go against very plain Biblical statements such as is found in Daniel and Revelation which are devoted to the last days!

I have not used many of these other text of Scripture because I did not think they were as clear as the ones I have already used. However, I do think we now should look at these other Scripture since there is such a following that believe these say something very different.

Can we find a way for all these Scripture to agree with each other or are we doomed with the idea that the Bible does not even agree with itself?

If the Bible actually disagreed with itself, then we would always disagree with each other because we use a different part of Scripture!

But I believe we can find an answer! I believe that all Scripture does agree with itself!

Here is the list of verses we will look at:

List of Scripture Verses
For Question 5
Acts 1:11
Isaiah 45:18
Revelation 2:25-27
Revelation 20:6
Isaiah 11:1-9
Isaiah 24:6
Revelation 5:10
Question 7 Will Look At:
Isaiah 2:2-4
Question 8 Will Look At:
Zechariah 14:1-21

Lets tackle one verse at a time:

  1. who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11.

It is true that Jesus is coming back in a similar manner: Jesus was taken up into Heaven and He was taken up through a cloud.

  1. And saying these things, as they watched, He was taken up. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:9.

When Jesus comes back He will be coming with clouds:

  1. Behold, He is coming with clouds. . . Revelation 1:7 First Part.

But there is other Scripture that tells us that it will not be exactly the same. When Jesus comes back, instead of being by Himself, He will be surrounded by His angels and He will have all the glory of His Father. Also, instead of having a small group see Him go up, the whole world will see Him come the next time. When He left, only a small group even knew that He was leaving; However, when Jesus comes back every eye will see Him!

  1. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7.

Another thing to consider is that none of the second coming descriptions describe Jesus as actually touching the earth at the second coming. Only that He will be coming down through the clouds.

  1. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
  2. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
  3. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31.

The next verse show that God's people actually meet in the air with the clouds, not on the ground:

  1. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
  2. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  3. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

These verses show us that the angels will gather together God's people from the four winds, from all over the earth and they will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

So, instead of having Jesus touch down on earth to stay, the righteous actually come up to meet the Lord in the air. Nothing is said about Jesus being on the ground nor staying on the ground.

Not only does Jesus not touch the ground and all the righteous meet the Lord in the air, but the Bible also teaches that Jesus is taking all His people all back to Heaven with Him:

  1. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
  2. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
  3. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  4. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

By connecting verse 14 to verses 15-17, we can really see that Jesus will be taking His people back to heaven with Him. Paul did not mean that Jesus would be bringing the dead people down from heaven because Jesus comes at His second coming in order to wake up the dead so He can bring them with Him back to heaven. So clearly, verse 14 is saying that even those who sleep in Jesus will God take back with Him to heaven.

The dead in Christ are still sleeping when Jesus comes down, so they can't come down with Him at all. It is only when Jesus wakes them up at His second coming can they be with Him and to go with Him into Heaven.

Also, verse 15 says that those who are living will not prevent those who are asleep, and verse 17 says they will be together; So, Paul is saying these things he is indicating that both those who were dead and those who are yet alive will all be together (verses 15-17) when they rise to meet Jesus. So, both those who were asleep and those who are yet alive will Jesus take back with Him to Heaven at that time!

All this shows that Acts 1:11 cannot be used to stipulate that Jesus' return will be exactly like when He left the earth. While some things are the same, such as the clouds; Acts 1:11 cannot be used to say that Jesus will also return to touch the ground.

Acts 1:11 does not even mention that Jesus actually touches the ground, but we do have 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 which specifically says that the righteous will be meeting Jesus in the air and also that Jesus will take them back to heaven with Him.

Let's look at the next verse from the question:

  1. For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:18

When we look at a lone verse of Scripture, we must not make it say something that would go against the rest of Scripture. Instead, what works best is when we look at all the verses on a subject and then we can put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

It is true that God did not create the earth in vain, He formed our world to be inhabited. However, This verse does NOT say that the earth has to be inhabited during the thousand years. It only says that the world was made to be inhabited and that it was not created in vain.

God definitely did not create the earth in vain! Mankind will inherit the earth for all of eternity, but the Bible is clear in saying that it is only after God makes all things new will the earth be inhabited again.

  1. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65:17

It will be after the wicked are fully destroyed for the last time that man will inhabit the world.

  1. For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, Says the LORD of hosts, That will leave them neither root nor branch.
  2. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
  3. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this, Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 4:1-3.

Thus the wicked will be ashes under the soles of the saint's feet when they inherit the earth.

Lets look at a simple outline that takes into account all the verses on this subject. This outline shows where God's people will be and what they will be doing during the 1000 years, as discussed on this web page.

  1. God's people, who are the saints, will be taken to heaven when Jesus comes. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 The wicked, on the other hand, are destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Revelation 19:16-21
  2. The Saints will live and rule, under Christ, in God's kingdom in heaven for 1000 years. During this time they will judge the wicked dead for their final punishment that will occur at the end of the 1000 years. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Revelation 20:4.
  3. The wicked are all dead during this time. Jeremiah 25:33; Jeremiah 4:23-26.
  4. Then after the 1000 years, Jesus and the righteous come back down to the Earth. The wicked are now brought back to life in the second resurrection to face their final judgement. In the mean time, the wicked are tempted to attack the city, so they surround the city. But almost immediately they are destroyed in judgement. This is when they face the white judgement throne. Once they are destroyed for the last time, the earth will be made new. Jude 1:14-16.
  5. Then the righteous will inherit the earth. The righteous will rule under Christ and live on the earth for the rest of eternity. Isaiah 65:17; Malachi 4:1-3.

One point to realize when we look at this outline; The righteous will not stay in heaven forever because God will "make all things new" Revelation 21:5. They will inherit the Earth but only after the thousand years are finished. This is when all sin will be done away with. So, the righteous will live in heaven for the thousand years, then they will inherit a new earth.

  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. Revelation 21:1

In our world made new, the righteous people will live with Christ on the earth. This is after the thousand years and after the wicked are fully destroyed (The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. Psalm 145:20. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 4:3).

So, what Isaiah 45:18 says agrees with the rest of Scripture! God did not create our world in vain. He formed it to be inhabited and it is the righteous who will inherit the earth and inhabit it.

Now, lets look at Revelation 2:25-27:

  1. "But hold fast what you have till I come.
  2. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--
  3. 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; Revelation 2:25-27.

To figure out what it means to rule with a rod of ion lets look at Revelation 19:15. In fact, let's look at verses 15 to 21. Revelation 19 describes the second coming of Jesus, but instead of describing how Jesus saves His own people; It describes how He will come to destroy the wicked. The beast and false prophet are burned and all the rest of the wicked are killed.

  1. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
  2. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
  3. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
  4. "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
  5. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
  6. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
  7. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:15-21.

When we see the word "rule", we somehow pickup the idea that Jesus will rule over the wicked that are alive, or that the righteous people of God will also rule over the wicked who are still alive.

However, Revelation 19:15 says that Jesus will rule over the nations of the world with a rod of iron. Why would He use an iron rod if it wasn't for some violent act?

The rod of iron means He will actually destroy the wicked! look at the next part of that verse: It says: He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. The wicked will receive the wrath of God in that they will be killed when He comes. That is how He will rule the wicked.

This point can clearly be seen in the rest of the text: The supper of the great God will include "the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great"! The beast and false prophet are thrown into the fire and the rest were killed outright.

So, Instead of ruling over a living wicked, we find from the text itself, that Jesus is exercising the wrath of God against the wicked. When Jesus comes, He will kill all the wicked!

Now, let's go back to our text in question. Revelation 2 refers to God's righteous people who will rule with Jesus:

  1. "But hold fast what you have till I come.
  2. "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--
  3. 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; Revelation 2:25-27.

Jesus now promises that all who overcome, keeping Christ's works until the end, Jesus will give power over the nations.

So, now it is the righteous person who shall rule the wicked with a rod of iron! Then the wicked will be destroyed like potter's vessels. Again, ruling with a rod of iron is connected with the destruction of the wicked!

Jesus gives us an additional clue of what is to happen. He says that in the same way that He has received from His Father, the righteous will also have power over the wicked to destroy them. This is amazing!

So, how will the righteous have power to destroy the wicked? Let's look at 1 Corinthians 6:

  1. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
  2. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:2-3.

The righteous will act as judges to determine how the wicked will be destroyed. Jesus has given judgement into the righteous' hands!

We are now ready to look at Revelation 20:6:

  1. 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. Revelation 20:6

I want to add verse four to help give us a better perspective:

  1. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
  1. 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. Revelation 20:4,6

Earlier, we saw in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, that the righteous will judge the wicked. Now in Revelation 20:4 we have the description of the righteous sitting on thrones and having the power of judgment given to them.

So, the righteous will reign with Jesus a thousand years. Their reign is that of judgment. Judgement is given into their hand and they will sit on thrones and pronounce judgment on the wicked. They judge the wicked with an ion rod and they will be priests of God and of Christ and their reign will result in the complete destruction of the wicked and they will indeed judge with a rod of iron.

At the end of the 1000 years the wicked will be raised to life to receive their judgement. When the wicked do receive their judgement, they will then experience the second death from which they will never live again. They will cease to exist.

Revelation 20:6 talks about the fact that the wicked who are part of the second resurrection will experience the second death. They will never live again. But Blessed and holy is he who is raised in the first resurrection. He will never experience the second death and they will reign with Jesus for a thousand years. As we have learned from the other verses, they will take part in the judgement of the wicked.

Lets look at Isaiah 11.

  1. There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
  2. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
  3. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
  4. But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
  5. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
  6. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.
  7. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
  8. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den.
  9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:1-9

This Scripture is said to say that the Saints will rule the earth under Christ during the 1000 years. However nothing is said about the 1000 years at all. Instead, we see that Jesus who is from the stem of Jesse and also called a Branch, is called a Rod. In verse 4, Jesus is described as destroying the wicked. From the other verses we have already looked at we know that He will rule with a rod of iron!

After the wicked and all wickedness is destroyed it is then that the wolf and lamb will live together and all the other descriptions that describe the new world. These descriptions are in Isaiah 11:6-8. From all the other verses that we have seen, the wicked and all wickedness will not be destroyed until the 1000 years are done.

So Isaiah 11 is a description of Jesus who fully destroys the wicked so that the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the young goat and all the others can all live harmoniously together. Jesus says that there will be none that hurt nor destroy because the whole earth will be full in the knowledge of the Lord. This could only be true once the wicked are destroyed. Then and only then will all live harmoniously together because the world will be made new and it is only the righteous that can live harmoniously!

Now we are ready to look at Isaiah 24:6

  1. 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. Isaiah 24:6

It is said that Isaiah 24:6 cannot be used to "prove" that all the wicked will be destroyed on the earth when Jesus comes, and that the earth will be desolate during the millennium.

Sure enough, after saying that the earth is cursed and the inhabitants of the earth are burned, the Scriptures say that few men are left. This is different from saying that no man was left as we see in Jeremiah 4:25:

  1. I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.
  2. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth.
  3. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
  4. 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. Jeremiah 4:23-26.

Also, in Jeremiah 25 we again see that the wicked are fully destroyed:

  1. . . . Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
  2. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
  3. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.
  4. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
  5. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jeremiah 25:29-33.

Jeremiah 25:31 says that He will kill the wicked with the sword and in verse 33 we find that the slain of the Lord is all over the earth. And there is no one to lament over them nor bury them. This is during the 1000 years. So both Jeremiah 4 and 25 are very definite that all the wicked are completely destroyed

So, why would one or more texts say no one was left and other one say few men are left?

The answer is that Jeremiah 4:23-26 looks at the earth after God has kills the wicked. No man is left since the righteous are all in heaven at that time. But Isaiah 24 describes the actual destruction of the wicked:

Jeremiah 25 like Jeremiah also says that all who are wicked will He kill with the sword

Lets look at Isaiah 24:6 more closely: we can see that the wicked are not really mentioned, only that the inhabitants of the earth are burned:

  1. 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. Isaiah 24:6

It does not say that a few of the wicked are left; But rather, it says that a few of the men are left. This is different from saying that a few of the wicked are left.

Since the righteous are just a few when compared to the wicked. The saving of the righteous could easily be equated with a few men being left.

Lets look at the whole chapter of Isaiah 24. I know its a lot to look at. Please note the parts highlighted in Red, showing that God destroys the wicked utterly; Orange, showing a few men are left possibly the righteous; Green, Fear, the pit and the snare are to destroy the wicked.; and Blue, in the world made new God will reign on the earth.

  1. Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste, Distorts its surface And scatters abroad its inhabitants.
  2. And it shall be: As with the people, so with the priest; As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress; As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the creditor, so with the debtor.
  3. The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, For the LORD has spoken this word.
  4. The earth mourns and fades away, The world languishes and fades away; The haughty people of the earth languish.
  5. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant.
  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.
  7. The new wine fails, the vine languishes, All the merry-hearted sigh.
  8. The mirth of the tambourine ceases, The noise of the jubilant ends, The joy of the harp ceases.
  9. They shall not drink wine with a song; Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
  10. The city of confusion is broken down; Every house is shut up, so that none may go in.
  11. There is a cry for wine in the streets, All joy is darkened, The mirth of the land is gone.
  12. In the city desolation is left, And the gate is stricken with destruction.
  13. When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.
  14. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; For the majesty of the LORD They shall cry aloud from the sea.
  15. Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light, The name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea.
  16. From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: "Glory to the righteous!" But I said, "I am ruined, ruined! Woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously."
  17. Fear and the pit and the snare Are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.
  18. And it shall be That he who flees from the noise of the fear Shall fall into the pit, And he who comes up from the midst of the pit Shall be caught in the snare; For the windows from on high are open, And the foundations of the earth are shaken.
  19. The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly.
  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 will fall, and not rise again.
  21. It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth.
  22. They will be gathered together, As prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished.
  23. Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously. Isaiah 24:1-23.

In verse 1, 3, and 6 we see that God makes the earth empty and makes it a waste. The land will be entirely emptied and utterly plundered and the inhabitants of the earth are burned. these follow the descriptions of the other Scripture that we have just looked at.

But we also have the earth split open and shaken like a drunkard. In verse 21, it says that God will punish the exalted ones and also the kings of the earth. This could be where the wicked leaders and possibly evil angels are punished.

Verse 22 says they will be gathered together and put in the pit to be shut up in prison. It is after some time that they will be punished.

This matches what we saw described in Revelation where Satan is put in the pit for 1000 years before he and all those who follow him will be destroyed.

It is only following the description of the final punishment is the description that God will reign in Jerusalem. It is placed following the destruction of the wicked!

Now, if we were to say that verse 6 said that not all the wicked were to be burned, then we would make verse 6 go against even the chapter it is in. Verses 1, 3, the first part of 6, and 19-23 all describe the utter destruction of the wicked.

So, Isaiah 24 does indeed agree with the other Scripture we have looked at on this web page. Because the few men that are left are actually the righteous! Because of what verse 1, 3, 6, 22, etc. says, it is clear that all the wicked will be destroyed. So verse 6 must be referring to the righteous who are saved.

Now lets look at Revelation 5:10.

  1. And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." Revelation 5:10

If we read this verse alone we may get the idea that the righteous will rule on earth for the thousand years. However, this verse is not talking about the thousand years at all. Nor is it talking about the righteous who inherit the earth.

This verse is talking about another group that is in the throne room of heaven. Let's look at a few more verses to get a better understanding of what is happening.

The colors will help us identify what we need to find. Red - refers to Jesus Christ Green - refers to the 24 elders Orange - helps identify who the 24 elders are, in the throne room in heaven.

  1. And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
  2. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
  3. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
  4. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
  5. And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." Revelation 5:10

In the throne room Jesus the lamb takes the scroll out of the right hand of the Father. At this point the four living creatures and the 24 elders start exclaiming that Jesus is worthy.

Within the speech, the elders say something that helps us know who this group is. "You have redeemed us . . out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation". These 24 elders seem to be special representatives from the earth, they are human.

Now something very interesting, they say that they have been made kings and priests to God and that at some future date they will reign on the earth.

This could easily be referring to the time after the 1000 years, not the 1000 years itself. They are already kings and priests but they are not yet reigning on the earth.

The 24 elders are not "all the righteous of God", as the other Scripture text that we have looked at. This is a special group. It is possible that since these 24 have represented us in heaven, they may become kings and leaders over God's people on earth, but under Christ.


    Isaiah 2:2-4 and Zechariah 14

Isaiah 2:2-4 will be studied in the seventh question and Zechariah 14 will be studied in the eighth question. Zechariah 14 has been addressed by at least four people (Question 5, 6, 7 and 8). It is definitely an important text to look at, probably the most important of all the text. Make sure you look at both the seventh and eighth questions below:

 

The sixth question:

How can Jesus be coming to get us at His 2nd coming if the bible says in Zechariah 14, Jude 14, and 1 Thessalonians 4:14 that we come back with Him?

How can He keep the promise of John 14 where He takes us to heaven if He does not take us until the 2nd coming? Zechariah 14 says He comes back in His 2nd coming and sets foot on the mount of olives and takes over His temple to rule for 1000 years.

So Jesus cannot take us to heaven at His 2nd coming, because He will remain on the earth. Jesus cannot come back with us at the 2nd coming if He has to come get us first. Please help me understand these things.

 

So you are suggesting:

Since Jesus has promised to take us to heaven (John 14);

And since Zechariah 14 says Jesus will rule on the earth when Jesus comes;

That Jesus cannot both take us to heaven and also setup an earthly kingdom at the same time when Jesus comes at His second coming.

So, you are suggesting that the only way for Jesus to keep both of His promises is for Jesus to take us to heaven when we die. The dead in Christ would have been in heaven already, before His second coming. Then, at the second coming of Christ, at the end of the world, Jesus would bring the righteous dead back with Him to the earth to begin His rule on earth.

Let's look at the promise in John 14 to see what Jesus' promise is about.

  1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
  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.
  3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3

This promise centers on the fact that Jesus will come again and take God's people with Him to the place of His Fathers House where there are mansions just waiting for them. So, Jesus says that He will keep His promise when He comes, not before. Because He says that when He comes, He will receive us unto Himself.

So, when does Jesus come for His people? Is is when His people die? Or is it at the Second Coming, at the end of the world, the last day? Let's look more closely at the verses which clearly show when Jesus will raise His righteous ones from the grave:

  1. "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
  2. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
  1. Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.
  2. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
  1. Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
  2. "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:39-40, 43-44, 53-54.

Many times Jesus has said that He will raise his people up on the last day. So it should not be surprising to see that Martha repeats what Jesus says when Jesus says to her: "your brother will rise again."

  1. Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
  2. Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." John 11:23-24.

The righteous will rise in the resurrection at the last day and it will be Jesus who raises them.

In the book of John, there is a discussion that Jesus had with His disciples about His leaving them. In that discussion, Jesus told them that they could not go with Him then, but that they would be able to follow Him later. Jesus specifically tells them that He will personally come back to take them back with Him to His Father's house:

  1. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
  1. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
  2. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
  3. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
  1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
  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.
  3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 13:33,36-14:3

Jesus was going to heaven. So He told them that they could not go with Him at that time, but that they would follow Him at a later time. Finally in verse 3 of John 14 He says that He will come again to receive them unto Himself.

This promise centers on the fact that Jesus will come again and take God's people with Him to the place of His Fathers House where there are mansions just waiting for them. So, Jesus tells us that He will keep His promise when He comes, not before. Because He says that when He comes, He will receive us unto Himself.

Let's look more closely at other verses which clearly show when Jesus will raise His righteous ones from the grave:

  1. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
  2. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
  3. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
  4. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23.

In verses 21 and 23 we see that Jesus is the firstfruits of those who slept in the grave. Jesus rose from the dead. Now in verse 23 we see that the righteous will be made alive at his coming.

Now, lets look at Thessalonians 4 where Paul describes with more detail how Jesus will wake up His people when He comes:

  1. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
  2. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  3. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

In verse 16 we see that Jesus descends from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God. The very first thing that now happens is that all those who were dead in Christ are brought to life.

If everyone wakes up from the dead when they die, they would all wake up at different times since people die at different times. But that is NOT how it happens in verse 16. All the dead wake up at the same time! So it is when Jesus descends from heaven with a shout that the dead rise, not when they die.

Then in verse 17 the very next thing that happens is that all the rest of the righteous, the ones still living at that time, they are brought up together into the clouds. So all those who are dead in Christ and also all those who are yet alive, they are all brought up together in the air at the same time and in the same event, when Jesus comes!

The rising of the dead in Christ does not happen when God's people die. It happens only at the end of the world when Jesus comes to pick up all His people at the same time, both the dead and those who are yet alive.

This was wonderful news to those in the Thessalonian church because they were crying for the dead as if they had no hope of the future!

Now, lets look at the verse that many people think says that Jesus will bring the dead in Christ back with Him from Heaven to the earth when He comes:

  1. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
  2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Clearly, verse 14 is saying that even those who sleep in Jesus will God take back with Him to heaven. Paul did not mean that Jesus would be bringing the dead people from heaven because Jesus comes at His second coming in order to wake up the dead and bring them with Him back to heaven. We have just looked at these things in verses 16 and 17 above.

Near the beginning of this page we also saw that Jesus preached that the Saints will enter the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is part of our reward. Here is a quick list of the verse that we covered:

    . . ."My kingdom is not of this world. John 18:33-36

    . . .unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20

    Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Matthew 7:21

    . . . Unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:3

    . . . Truly I say to you that a rich man will with great difficulty enter into the kingdom of Heaven.. . . It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:23-24

    . . . many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 8:11

    . . . your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:12

    . . . lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Matthew 6:20

So, Scripture clearly shows that the righteous will enter heaven. Also, Scripture clearly shows that at the end of the world, the second coming of Christ; That Jesus will come with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then God's people that are alive will be taken up into the clouds to be with the Lord in the air with those who had died.

We are not being gathered on the earth but rather in the air to be taken to heaven where Jesus says: In my Father's house are many mansions. Jesus has prepared a place for us so that He could take us with Him.

So, Scripture shows us that we go to heaven when Jesus comes again, not when we die. Everyone is taken to heaven at the same time to receive their reward.

To answer your question: God cannot start an earthly kingdom and take us all to heaven at the same time. Jesus spoke of heaven as being our reward over and over again. He did not speak of an earthly kingdom.

These points of Scripture add up to one important point: Zechariah 14 must be talking about another time, not during the 1000 years after Jesus comes because the Bible is clear that Jesus takes His chosen people to heaven when He comes.

On the other hand, the Bible is also clear that God's people will inherit the earth after the 1000 years. So, Zechariah 14 could be referring to the time following the 1000 years.

In the eighth question we will look into Zechariah 14 in more detail.

But let's look at the other verse that you mentioned. You also said that Jude 14 said Jesus would be bringing the dead back from Heaven!

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  2. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  3. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:14-16

I have seen people say that Jude 14 is the second coming of Jesus but that the word "saints" should really be translated as "angels". However, in Jude 6, Jude uses the actual word "angel". So, Jude must have meant "saints" and not "angels" for Jude 14, because he used both words easily.

I believe that Jude 14 is actually describing the return of Christ at His third coming, which is following the 1000 year millennium.

The reason is related to verse 15 and 16. It really is the third coming when Jesus will come down with His saints to execute judgment on all the wicked. The wicked will receive their judgment and be destroyed.

However, there is something very interesting to note in the 15th verse:

  1. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Jude 1:15

When it says the ungodly will be convicted, does it mean that the wicked will be convicted and sentenced as in a court setting? We can see this happening at this time:

  1. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
  1. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
  2. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:11,13-14

However, when it says the ungodly will be convicted, could it also mean that the wicked will also be convinced of their own wickedness?

This is interesting. Why would the wicked need to be convicted of all their ungodly deeds if they will just be destroyed? Is there any reason for it?

I don't know why. Maybe the righteous will need to see that the wicked themselves actually acknowledge their own sins. But, we do have this verse that says: "Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

  1. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
  2. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
  3. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

It says those under the earth; That must be the wicked. The wicked will bow down to Jesus and they will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So, as part of the judgement process of the wicked, sometime before they are destroyed, the wicked will praise God and bow the knee. They will know that it was their failure that they did not become saved for eternity.

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  2. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  3. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:14-16

Now, verse 16 reminds us when this happens and who it is that we are talking about:

  1. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
  2. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:14-15

The wicked are the ones who are confirmed sinners. They do not want to change. Thus, they are found outside the city, the New Jerusalem, where they will be destroyed.

So, it is clear that Jude 14 is not having the Saints come back with Jesus at His second coming to live on the earth for a thousand years; But instead, Jude 14 is speaking of Christ's third coming. It is actually talking about the destruction of the wicked when the New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven at the end of the 1000 year millennium. Jesus comes down with His saints to inhabit the city. But the wicked are destroyed outside the city.


    Zechariah 14

Because there are some interesting simularities that Zechariah 14 has with Isaiah 35 and Joel 3, we will first study these other verses in question 7 before Zechariah 14 is studied in question 8.

 

The seventh question:

An addition person wanted to expand the list of Bible texts that were explained in the last question:

I'm searching for answers to scriptures like Zechariah, chapter 14 where it appears that the 1000 years is on the Old Earth where the Lord rules from Jerusalem and doesn't send rain to the nations that don't come to worship Him. I really like the idea that we will be in the New Jerusalem for 1000 years but there are too many scriptures that suggest this isn't so.

The list you have [from the other person] is great and I suppose you could add Joel-chapter 3, Isaiah 11, Ezekiel 36:35-38, Micah 4, and Isaiah 35. I'm sure there are more but I would imagine that once we get these resolved the others will also be explained.

Thanks for all your efforts and I'll try to find the answers also.

 

Here is the list of verses we will look at:

List of Scripture Verses
For Question 7
Micah 4:1-7 + Isaiah 2:2-4 from Question 5
Ezekiel 36:35-38
Isaiah 35
Joel 3:1-21
Question 5 Already Looked At:
Isaiah 11:1-9
Question 8 Will Look At:
Zechariah 14:1-21

Let's begin by looking at Isaiah 2:2-4. (We will expand our study to include Micah 4:1-7.)


  1. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
  2. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  3. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:2-4.

It sounds peaceful doesn't it? It sounds too good to be true that there could be a time when there will be no war. When the Lord's house will be established in the top of the mountains and all nations will flow to it. It also says that people will destroy their tools of war making them into tools that will help them live in peace and their will be no more war.

This Scripture fits very nicely with the idea of an earthly millennium of peace and many people see it that way; However, is that really what it is teaching? We need to remind ourselves that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron and wicked will be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels:

  1. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:15-21.
  1. 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; Revelation 2:25-27.

Somehow these verses agree with each other. We can not have a millennium of peace when they are ruled with a rod of iron!

So, let's study Isaiah 2 more closely. Now, it may surprise some but Micah also wrote almost the same words. These two prophets, Isaiah and Micah, were contemporaries because they served under the same kings.

  1. The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Isaiah 1:1.
  1. The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. Micah 1:1.

We need to look at both Isaiah 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-3 together so we can see that they are virtually identical. It really is the same prophecy! In addition, we will see that the added detail found in Micah will help us determine what this prophecy is really describing.

Let's first compare these three verses together side-by-side:

  1. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
  2. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  3. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:2-4.
  1. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
  2. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  3. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Micah 4:1-3.

What makes Micah more interesting than Isaiah is that Micah presents more detail in this prophecy.

Verses four and five add to the idea of peace:

  1. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
  2. For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.
  3. "In that day," says the LORD, "I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;
  4. I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever. Micah 4:4-7

So, is Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 describing a future time when the great multitudes of the world will say to each other: Come, let's go to the mountain of the Lord and the house of the God of Jacob?

Will there be a time when the Lord's house will be established for all the people of the world, so that all people and nations will flow to it? Will people destroy their tools for war and turn them into tools for peace and farming? Will everyone sit under his vine and fig tree; An act that says they all want to live in peace and harmony? Will nations no longer war against other nations and will they no longer learn war any more?

These descriptions obviously fit with the earthly millennium of peace that many people expect to come on the earth; However, there are indications, within the prophecy itself, that peace is not what the prophecy is depicting.

  1. It is the last days before Jesus comes, not the 1000 year millennium.
  2. Neither Micah nor Isaiah identify this prophecy as occurring during the 1000 year millennium. Rather, they say "it shall come to pass in the last days" The last days are the days just before Jesus comes not after He comes.

  1. While it is said there is peace; Why are there outcasts when everyone is calling for peace? And why is God supporting the Outcasts and not the ones calling for peace?
  2. At the very time when peace is proclaimed, there will be some people who are driven out!

    In the earthly millennium of peace, it is said that the righteous will rule over the wicked; However, in this Scripture, at the very time when it is said that peace is proclaimed, this prophecy says there will be some people who are driven out and these driven-out-ones seem to be the people of God!

    In this Scripture, it does not sound like the righteous are ruling over the wicked. But rather, it sounds like they are being afflicted:

    1. "In that day," says the LORD, "I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;
    2. I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever. Micah 4:6-7

    The idea that this Scripture points to a worldly conversion or a gathering of all the nations for peace during the millennium, goes against what is stated in this Scripture; That there are outcasts, and these outcasts are identified as the remnant of God's people.

    If there is to be true peace, there would be no remnant group that is to be cast off or driven out, or even afflicted. How could there be any that would be driven out if everyone is sitting under their vine and fig tree? Remember, there is suppose to be no one to make others afraid and none who will make war anymore!

    God specifically says in this prophecy that He will gather those who are outcast! He does not gather those who call for peace but it is the lame and the afflicted.

    In Daniel and Revelation, we see that the righteous are indeed afflicted in the last days:

    1. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17

    Satan, which is the dragon, is enraged. He makes war with those who keep God's commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ!

    1. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. Daniel 7:25

    God allows the saints to be given into Satan's power, his hand, in the last days and he will persecute the saints of the Most High.

    So, Micah 4:6-7 agrees perfectly with Daniel and Revelation because God afflicts His people by allowing His saints to be given into Satan's hand to be persecuted.

    1. "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them,
    2. "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22

    As we saw in Micah 4:7, the saints are the outcasts! They are afflicted and Satan's power actually prevails over them. However, God will make the lame a remnant and a strong nation; Because, judgment will be made in their favor.

    These different Scripture texts do fit together and they make sense!

    So, Micah 4 is not talking about the 1000 year millennium since it speaks of the righteous as being outcasts and afflicted; rather than to be ruling over the wicked as many think will happen.

    Micah 4 is really describing a false movement of peace before Jesus comes.

  1. It is not God saying there will be peace but it is the people of the world, the nations of the world who are speaking.
  2. It is the people of the nations who do the speaking in Isaiah 2:3-4 and Micah 4:2-5!

    1. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    2. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:3-4.

    Continuing with verses four and five of Micah, we see that the people of the world are still presenting their idea of peace:

    1. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
    2. For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever. Micah 4:4-5

    This prophecy does not teach that there will be a time of peace in the last days. It only teaches that many nations or peoples will say that there will be peace. These people will even say that the Lord has even said there will be peace: "For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken".

    Also, this peace does not seem to be affected by the fact that everyone is walking after their own god. That is, unless you are an outcast! Verses 6 and 7 mentions that there will be outcasts who don't fit in with the peace peace message.

    In verses 6 and 7 God starts speaking and He says something very different from what the nations of the world are saying!

    1. "In that day," says the LORD, "I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;
    2. I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever. Micah 4:6-7

    How can the righteous rule over the wicked if they are the outcasts whom God protects?

    It only makes sense when we realize that the saints themselves are the outcasts! They are afflicted and Satan's power actually prevails over them. However, God will make the lame a remnant and a strong nation; Because, judgment will be made in their favor.

    1. "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them,
    2. "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Daniel 7:21-22

This is not a prophecy of peace but it is a prophecy of a false revival movement in the last days! It will be popular to proclaim peace peace when there is no peace. This movement will teach peace and safety in this present world.

The nations of the world will say you will sit under your own vine and fig trees saying that we are going to have peace and safety. In addition they say that the law will come from Zion and Jerusalem.

However, there are many other prophecies that do not match up with this prophecy of peace and safety. Because everyone seems to be lying to one another and acting selfishly, how can there be any peace:

  1. "Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely.
  2. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, 'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace. Jeremiah 6:14

It also seems that when nations are preparing for war others are calling for peace. In 1 Thessalonians, we read that when they say "Peace and safety", then sudden destruction will come:

  1. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
  2. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3

The last days will not be peaceful.

  1. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 Timothy 3:1

God Himself will be calling for war. While the world will be crying for peace, there will be perilous times for the wicked for God tells them they better be prepared for war for the future!

  1. Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.
  2. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'" Joel 3:9-10

Just listening to the news, it seems that conditions are becoming much more shaky. War seems to be in the very air that we breath. Nation after nation could be facing riots, overthrows, and revolutions. It seems to be evident that conditions are escalating into war and bloodshed around the world.

  1. "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
  2. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
  3. "All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:6-8

The Bible is clear in saying that there will be no peace in this world before Jesus comes. Not until the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His coming will there be peace!

Now, let's look at Ezekiel 36:35-38

  1. "So they will say, 'This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.'
  2. "Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it."
  3. 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.
  4. "Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the LORD."'" Ezekiel 36:35-38

I can see why some might believe Ezekiel could be talking about the 1000 years on the earth because it says the land will become like "the garden of Eden". However, there is really nothing else in the text that would help support the idea.

In verse 36 we have the ruined places being rebuilt, and in verse 37, we have God letting the house of Israel inquire of Him! That means God will let Israel ask Him questions. He will talk to them. This seems to be a very limited blessing when compared to what God's people will experience when God lives in our midst at the end of the thousand years of the millennium.

We are also told that the ruined cities will be filled with men again and they will know that God is the LORD! Are the righteous going to live in ruined cities or in repaired cities that were once ruined? Or is everything going to be made new?

This Text specifically applies to historical Israel. God promises that He will listen to them and their cities will be safe and rebuilt. The reference to the garden of Eden could be a way of expressing the idea that things will be green again. But there are no additional comments that would allow us to believe that the text describes the new world. Nor does it indicate that it is a time when God would be living with man.

This prophecy was at least partially met when God's people were allowed to come back from Babylon after the 70 years. But to some extent this was a conditional prophecy. They had to obey God in order for God to bless them in their day. The more they followed God, the more blessing they would receive allowing them to be living safe in their own land again.

However, because they did not follow God, the fulfillment was probably minimal.

The next Scripture is different because of specific things promised:

Now lets look at Isaiah 35:1-10.

  1. The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
  2. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God.
  3. Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees.
  4. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you."
  5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
  6. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.
  7. The parched ground shall become a pool, And the thirsty land springs of water; In the habitation of jackals, where each lay, There shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
  8. A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray.
  9. No lion shall be there, Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there,
  10. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:1-10

Unlike Ezekiel 36, where we had a lone reference to the garden of Eden, there is a lot to Isaiah 35 that shows when Isaiah 35 will happen.

At this time the deserts will blossom abundantly. Also, people will be healed: because we can see that both the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf will be opened. The weak will become strong. The lame will walk and jump and the dumb will talk and sing. All disease will be done away at this time.

In addition, God says He will come and save us and He will come with vengeance to our enemies!

So, when is this to happen? Is this speaking of a time on earth when we will live with Jesus over the wicked during the one thousand year millennium?

No; Instead, there are strong indications within the text of Isaiah 35 that it points to the time after the wicked are destroyed which is the time that follows the thousand year millennium.

In verses one, two, and seven we see that the desert suddenly has abundant water and it begins to blossom as the rose. And it blossoms abundantly. Parched ground becomes pools and there are springs of water with grass with reeds and rushes. This represents a dramatic change from the way things are today. It sounds like a new world to me.

In verse nine, we see that there will be no lions nor any ravenous beast. This again indicates that nature will be turned back to how it was before sin entered our world. Animals will no longer eat other animals! In addition, verses 8 - 10 tell us that the wicked (which are the unclean) will not be there. Only the redeemed, the ransomed of the Lord, will walk there (verse 10). So, only those who are righteous will be living at that time.

These statements show that the wicked will not be there. They will be gone. Only the redeemed will walk there! The wicked will be destroyed at the end of the thousand years, when the world is made new.

When people speak of the thousand years where the Lord and the righteous reign over the wicked; The wicked are always part of the picture. However, in this prophecy of Isaiah 35, there is no wicked left! Only the clean, only the redeemed will walk there.

Verse ten is especially interesting: It says that the ransomed of the Lord will return. We might ask: "From Where? Where are they going to return from?

  1. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10

Isaiah is not the only place in the Bible that talks about Jesus coming back with the righteous. Zechariah 14:5 clearly refers to the same event:

  1. . . . the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
  1. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
  1. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be--"The LORD is one," And His name one. Zechariah 14:5,4,9

We can see that the description of having Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives to prepare a flat area, fits very well with the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven.

  1. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2

Thus, verse 5 does fit very well with the time when Jesus comes back after the 1000 years with His saints.

But of course, the best text telling us where the righteous return from is Jude:

  1. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
  2. "to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
  3. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. Jude 1:14-16

In Jude 14-16 we see that the saints will indeed return. When the Lord returns to the earth the third time, at the end of the thousand year millennium, He will be returning with His saints. They return to the earth at the end of the thousand years to judge the wicked.

  1. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
  1. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
  2. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:11,13-14

In the previous question we saw that in the judgement process, the ungodly will be convicted of their own wickedness.

  1. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
  2. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
  3. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

On this web site, we have already seen that it is the righteous who will be in heaven for the thousand years. They judge the wicked at that time. Then, at the end of the thousand years, they will return to the earth to receive the earth as their own. This fits in with Isaiah 35:10 and with Jude 1:14. As we will see, this will also fit in with Joel 3 and Zechariah 14.

So, there is nothing in Isaiah 35 that points to the time of the millennium. But rather, the specifics show us that it is speaking of the time following the millennium when all the wicked are destroyed and only the redeemed will inherit the earth. It also speaks of a time when the world is made new. So there will be no trace of sin left on the earth.

Now lets look at Joel 3:1-21.

On this web page, virtually every Scripture that we have seen, pays special attention to the time of the end and the millennium. Even most of the Scriptures that we have studied in the questions section have also addressed the last days.

But now, we are about to look at Scripture that has, as its main purpose, a historical application. It seems to relate to what has happened in Old Testament times, yet, at the same time, there are elements that seem to link it to the end of the world as well.

In addition, we find that it is not always easy to determine what is past and what is future. Let's look at a quick example:

The prophecies concerning Jesus are everywhere yet, when you read the text, they relate to the original time it was written. One famous example is:

  1. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
  2. O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. Psalm 22:1-2

If you read Psalm 22 you might find that most of the chapter applies to David because this is a psalm of David. Maybe all of the psalm is about David. However, some parts of this psalm definitely applies to Jesus in a specific way. Only by reading can you then start judging which parts describe Jesus and which parts do not.

Joel 3 is also a mixture. It is a mixture of end time prophecy and also historical prophecy as well. Let's look at the actual text to see what fits with the future and what fits with the past, because we have read the rest of the Bible and we are able to understand what fits and what does not fit.

Of course the reason why we have confidence in doing this, is that we know that the Bible will at least agree with itself. Let's look at the text:

  1. "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
  2. I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
  3. They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.
  4. "Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head;
  5. Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions.
  6. Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders.
  7. "Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head.
  8. I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a people far off; For the LORD has spoken."
  9. Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.
  10. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'"
  11. Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD.
  12. "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
  13. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow--For their wickedness is great."
  14. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
  15. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
  16. The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.
  17. "So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again."
  18. And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD And water the Valley of Acacias.
  19. "Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
  20. But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
  21. "For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the LORD dwells in Zion." Joel 3:1-21

Let's make a quick look at the historical story: In the time of Joel, there was a terrible locust invasion and a severe drought.

  1. Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?
  1. What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
  1. The vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree, The palm tree also, And the apple tree--All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men. Joel 1:2,4,12

So God, through Joel the prophet, calls for the nation to repent:

  1. "Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning."
  2. So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Joel 2:12-13

In Chapter 2 and 3, God uses the locust invasion to warn of the Great Day of the Lord!

  1. Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: Joel 2:1

But what day of the Lord is it? Is He speaking of the big day at the end of time or is he speaking of the invasion of Babylon that would eventually destroy Jerusalem?

There are some portions that clearly point to an earthly army:

  1. A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations. Joel 2:2

Initially, we read: "A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them" we might think of angels and God's army. However with the next part of the sentence: "Even for many successive generations." We clearly see that the verse is speaking of some historical event. It is just the biggest event of several generations and not of all time.

The next few verses continue to point to this earthly army bringing on distruction:

  1. Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color.
  2. They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks.
  3. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down.
  4. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. Joel 2:6-9

However, the next two verses suddenly seem to point to the Great Day of the Lord at the end of time:

  1. The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness.
  2. The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it? Joel 2:10-11

So, some aspects of the prophecy seem to point to some historical earthly event that is terrible such as the invasion of Babylon. On the other hand, other parts of the prophecy direct us to the final Day of the Lord!

In Joel 3, we find the same kind of thing. Some aspects of the chapter definitly point to historical events and problems while other parts of the chapter definitly point to the final end where Judah and Jerusalem will abide forever in peace.

When God says: "I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;" it sounds like the Great Day of the Lord. However when the surrounding verses are studied; We find that the meaning of this was to be of some historical time:

  1. "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
  2. I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
  3. They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. Joel 3:1-3

We know that Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and took the captives out of Judah into other lands. These could be the captives that are spoken of. In addition, in verse 2, it mentions the scattering of the captives among the nations. It also mentions what was done to boys and girls as payment.

In addition, they sold the people of Judah to the Greeks to get them as far away from their homeland as possible. The gold and silver were taken from God's house and put in the temples of other gods.

  1. Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions.
  2. Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders. Joel 3:5-6

All these verse point to historical events and even the language of judgment can be historical as well. Babylon was judged and the rememnant of the people did return.

  1. "Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head.
  2. I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a people far off; For the LORD has spoken."
  3. Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.
  4. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'" Joel 3:7-10

God said that He will return their retaliation upon their own head. So God will sell their sons and daughters into the hands of the people of Judah. God tells them to prepare for war.

However, some of this language does not totally fit the historical example:

  1. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'"
  2. Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD.
  3. "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
  4. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow--For their wickedness is great."
  5. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:10-14

God Himself will sit as judge. The language in verses 12 and 13 especially points to the Gread Day of the Lord at the end of the 1000 years when the wicked are judged.

Now, looking at verse 15:

  1. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
  2. The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. Joel 3:15-16

It is true that the language is very similar to Matthew 24 which speaks of the second coming of Jesus:

  1. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
  2. "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-30

However, the second coming is not the only time that the heavens are darkened. During the 1000 years, the earth will be dark because there is no light in the heavens:

  1. I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.
  2. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth.
  3. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
  4. 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. Jeremiah 4:23-26.

In addition, When Jesus comes at His third coming to reign on Mount Zion the sun and moon are still dark:

  1. 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 will fall, and not rise again.
  2. It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth.
  3. They will be gathered together, As prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished.
  4. Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed; For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem And before His elders, gloriously. Isaiah 24:20-23

Isaiah 24 is interesting. At the second coming of Christ, the earth will reel to and fro like a drunk man. The wicked are shut up in prison, the prison of death, and after many days, 1000 years, the wicked will be punished. They will be completely destroyed. It is when the wicked are destroyed, that the sun and moon will be darkened as well.

I believe that Joel describes the same event. The Lord will roar from Zion, His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and earth will shake. Sounds like swift and utter destruction to the wicked:

  1. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
  2. The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.
  3. "So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again."
  4. And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD And water the Valley of Acacias.
  5. "Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.
  6. But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
  7. "For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the LORD dwells in Zion." Joel 3:1-21

A recurring point is the sun and moon growing dark. As we saw, the lights will not only be affected at Christ's second coming, but it also occurs during the 1000 years and also at the time of Christ's third coming when the wicked are destroyed. We will see this same phenomenon later in Zechariah 14 in the eighth question.

  1. It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. Zechariah 14:6

Key points is that God's people are sheltered, also that they will live forever. In addition, no aliens will ever pass through Jerusalem. Verse 18 speaks of the land being different and abundant in nature.

Since there are no aliens present in Jerusalem, this prophecy speaks of the judgement of the wicked. Thus they are destroyed and only the righteous will be in Jerusalem.

So, Joel has aspects of both the past and the future. But it can be somewhat confusing at times to know what it really points to in its prophecy. Some parts are clearly historical, some parts clearly speak of the day of the Lord when the wicked are destroyed; However, many parts fit both.

So, because of the confusion of having both historical and future aspects in the same prophecy; This Scripture cannot be used with confidence to say that there will be an earthly millennium. There are too many unknowns. Instead, this Scripture must be compared with those portions of Scripture that are dedicated to the future events of the last days of this world.

In addition, the portions that look to be future, when compared with other portions of Scripture, can be seen as pointing to the destruction of the wicked and the formation of the new earth which is a time that follows the 1000 year millennium.

Thus, Joel cannot be seen as pointing to an earthly millennium rule of Christ and the righteous over the wicked!

 

The eighth question:

I have enjoyed your website as it appears insightful and scriptural. I have come to many of the same conclusions on Prophecy. However, the one verse that seems to be of confusion for many is in Zech 14.

If the 1000 year reign is not on earth (as I believe) then when does the time of Zech 14 take place. Zech seems to mention that Jesus is in the temple and that those who do not observe the Festival of Booths will not have rain.

Many people use these verses to determine that the 1000 year period is on earth and when His rule is being restored.

Thanks for your insights..


 

Many people believe that Zechariah 14 speaks very clearly of a time just following Jesus' second coming; They believe it says Jesus will set up an earthly kingdom during the 1000 year Millennium period. They say that Jesus will not take the righteous to heaven at all; But instead, they say He will rule over them on the earth. They also believe that many of the wicked people will also be living during this time under Christ's rule.

They also believe that there are a number of additional texts of Scripture which agree and support the 1000 year earthly kingdom idea. The list that has been brought to my attention are these verses: Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9; 24:6; 35; 45:18; Ezekiel 36:35-38; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Jude 14; and Revelation 2:25-27; 5:10; 20:6. In the last three questions (question 5 through 7), we have looked at all the Scripture on this list.

But there are some very troubling aspects about the Zechariah 14 scenario that includes Jerusalem being attacked and taken, the houses plundered and even women being raped! Also, half of the people in the city are said to be forced into exile! (According to their understanding of this chapter; This would mean that war and bloodshed would continue even after the second coming of Jesus!) In addition, the wicked nations will be forced to come and keep the Feast of Tabernacles with a threat of punishment in case they do not come!

Is this description part of the better time that Jesus has promised for the righteous? Is this the reign of peace that the 1000 year earthly millennium is said to be? Are these women who live in Jerusalem and are raped, are they of the righteous? And is Jerusalem, the city of the righteous, to be taken by the wicked and have them rifle their houses and force half the city to go into exile and captivity?

These troubling points of Zechariah 14 are the result of having the wicked live with the righteous! If the wicked were allowed to live when Jesus comes there would indeed be a lot of trouble.

However, this idea of an earthly millennium with death, rape, punishment, and the enforcement of the Feast of Tabernacles, goes against multiple statements in the Bible that are very plain in stating that God's people will be in heaven and not on earth during the 1000 years. Only after the 1000 years are ended do the righteous come back to the earth. Also, we have seen on this page that the Bible definitely teaches that all the wicked will die when Jesus comes!

It is only after the 1000 years are finished that the wicked are brought to life again to receive their punishment; And the righteous will inherit the earth at that time. Here is an outline of the events we have already covered on this web page:

  1. The dead in Christ will be raised up to life at the second coming. Also, those who are righteous, who are still alive, will be caught up with them ever to be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
  2. God's people, who are the saints, will be taken to heaven when Jesus comes. Jesus clearly speaks of Heaven as being the reward of the righteous. They will not come down to the earth until after the 1000 years are finished. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15; John 18:33-36; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 7:21; Matthew 18:3; Matthew 19:23-24; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 5:12; Matthew 6:20.
  3. The wicked, on the other hand, are destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Luke 17:26-30; Revelation 19:16-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10; Revelation 6:15-17.
  4. No person is left alive on the earth in the 1000 years. All there is left are broken down cities, and dead people are left on the ground from one end of the earth to the other. Jeremiah 25:33; Jeremiah 4:23-26.
  5. The Saints will live and rule, under Christ, in God's kingdom in heaven for 1000 years. During this time they will judge the wicked dead for their final punishment that will occur at the end of the 1000 years. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Revelation 20:4.
  6. Then after the 1000 years, Jesus and the righteous come back down to the Earth. The wicked are now brought back to life in the second resurrection to face their final judgement. In the mean time, the wicked are tempted to attack the city, so they surround the city. But almost immediately they are destroyed in judgement. Once they are destroyed for the last time, the earth will be made new. Jude 1:14-16.
  7. The wicked experience the second death from which there is no return. They will never live again!
  8. Then the righteous will inherit the earth. The righteous will rule under Christ and live on the earth for the rest of eternity; But only after the wicked are destroyed.

Zechariah 14 is Used to Interpret Other Scripture
But Should it be Used That Way?

For those who believe in an earthly 1000 year Millennium kingdom, Zechariah 14 is extremely important because they believe that it especially teaches of that earthly millennium. We have already seen that Zechariah 14 is also used to interpret a set of Scripture saying that these verses also support the earthly millennium.

On this web page we have sequentially studied each one of these Scripture ( Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9; 24:6; 35; 45:18; Ezekiel 36:35-38; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Jude 14; and Revelation 2:25-27; 5:10; 20:6. ) and in the last three questions (question 5 through 7), we have seen that each of these texts either agrees or supports what the rest of the Bible teaches, that the righteous are going to heaven for the 1000 years and the wicked will be dead during that time.

Because Zechariah 14 is used to support an earthly millennial kingdom, the chapter seems to stand alone against all the rest of the Bible. But, is that how we are to understand Zechariah 14? How can we understand Zechariah 14 so it will agree with the rest of the Bible?

I believe that Joel 3 should be used as a model for understanding Zechariah 14! Joel seems to be a confusing mix of historical and future applications; Not easy to interpret. In much the same way, Zechariah can also be seen as a confusing mix of historical and future applications!

Since Daniel and Revelation are dedicated to the description of the last days and the very end; Should they not be used to explain and interpret the more confusing books? It is a hard thing to know with confidence what was past, present, or future in Joel 3 and Zechariah 14. We cannot be certain on any interpretation without outside help from another book of the Bible.

So, I want to study Zechariah together with you to determine if this earthly 1000 year Millennial kingdom is the only and correct interpretation, or whether there is a better interpretation that would allow Zechariah 14 to agree with the rest of the Bible as we saw in the last question concerning Joel 3.

Some Promises that God makes are
Conditional and May have Never Happen

While there is definitely a clear future aspect to some of Zechariah's messages, and we will be exploring these future applications together, a good portion of Zechariah's writings actually have as its main purpose the historical application. It relates to what has happened in Old Testament times.

One aspect of the historical application which we need to look into are the promises of God. We will see that there are specific promises that were meant to happen historically for the people of God in Old Testament times.

Some or all of these promises may actually be conditional in nature. This means they were meant to occur historically but they may have had only a partial fulfillment or maybe even no fulfillment at all.

Conditional prophecies may never actually happen. Is that possible? Many people believe that if God promises something, they believe that it will happen one way or another. They believe that God's promises are not conditional. But is that true?

Let's look at an example of how God changed his mind on the promises He gave to His people. God's people were slaves in Egypt so God came to deliver them and He promised them a land that is flowing with milk and honey:

  1. And the LORD said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
  2. "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Ex 3:7-8
  1. "Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
  2. 'I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
  3. 'And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.'" Ex 6:6-8

God made an oath that He would do what He was promising:

  1. "Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, 'I am the LORD your God.'
  2. "On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, 'flowing with milk and honey,' the glory of all lands. Ezekiel 20:5-6

These promises were well known by Moses. It is clear that he believed them. So, when Moses brother-in-law came to visit, Moses asked him to stay with them because God had promised good things for the children of Israel:

  1. Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel." Numbers 10:29

In spite of the promises that God had given His people, Israel rebelled against God. So, God changed His mind about His promises and said He would not bring them into the land:

  1. "So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, 'flowing with milk and honey,' the glory of all lands,
  2. "because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.
  3. "Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness. Ezekiel 20:15-17
  1. "Also I raised My hand in an oath to those in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them throughout the countries, Ezekiel 20:23

God even called His change of mind His breach of promise:

  1. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. Numbers 14:34

Breach of promise means altering of My purpose. God took away His promise from them.

  1. Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you.
  2. 'And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?
  3. "Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'"
  4. So it was, when the Angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. Judges 2:1-4

This is an example of a breach of promise that God made to the Children of Israel. As we saw, God promised the Children of Israel many things. He actually made an oath

As we study Zechariah, with Joel in mind, we will especially look for indicators of conditional promises.

Historical Background of the book of Zechariah

So, let's look at what was happening when Zechariah wrote His book. Almost at every stage of history, Israel and later Judah had rebelled against God.

Because Judah rebelled against God by worshipping other gods; It eventually came to the place where God chose to use Babylon in order to conquer Judah by destroying Jerusalem. Many were killed and a few were left behind, but the rest were taken back to Babylon.

God said they would be taken away for 70 years (Jeremiah 26:6-7; 2 Chronicles 36:20-21). So, when the 70 years were up, Cyrus the Great made a decree allowing them to return to Jerusalem and to actually start rebuilding the Temple. During this time the foundation of the Temple was laid; However, because they had enemies on every side, the construction eventually stopped. (The Samaritan enemies even managed to convince Smerdis, one of the Babylonian kings after Cyrus, to make a decree to stop the work of the Temple.)

However, when Darius came to power, he confirmed and strengthened the original decree of Cyrus allowing the work to continue. This is the time when Zechariah enters the picture. The prophecies of Zechariah, along with Haggai, were written to encourage the people with promises to finish the Temple, which they did in a short time.

It was very important that they have God's temple so they would be encouraged to worship God rather than the false gods of the surrounding countries.

Much of Zechariah is Conditional Prophecy

The very first message Zechariah had from the Lord was:

  1. "The LORD has been very angry with your fathers.
  2. "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Return to Me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts.
  3. "Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds."' But they did not hear nor heed Me," says the LORD. Zechariah 1:2-4

God reminds His people how their fathers chose evil in rebelling, and thus they have received destruction (later in verse 6). But God is now saying that if they return to Him that He will return to them.

Zechariah starts to have various visions showing that God is again choosing Jerusalem as His own again. But the phrase: "Return to Me, and I will return to you" shows that the outcome is dependent on them. God will return to His people only if they will return to Him!

  1. . . . I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
  2. And with great anger I am angry at the nations at ease; in that I was but a little angry, and they gave help for evil.
  3. Therefore so says the LORD: I have returned to Jerusalem with mercies. My house shall be built in it, says the LORD of hosts. And a line shall be stretched over Jerusalem.
  4. Cry out again, saying, So says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall yet be spread abroad through good, and the LORD shall again overflow with goodness, and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. Zechariah 1:14-17

Toward the end of the first chapter (verses 19-21), God talks about punishing the nations and powers who had gone too far in scattering Judah. So, God has sent powers to terrify and overthrow them. Now, God says that He will be a wall of fire all around Jerusalem and it will be a city without walls:

  1. who said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying: 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.
  2. 'For I,' says the LORD, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.'" Zechariah 2:4-5

This prophecy is very interesting. We can look through history and see that it never really happened. The people never did fully choose God and eventually when Jesus appeared, they even rejected Him outright.

We have seen in the language of Zechariah from the start that God was asking His people to come to Him again so He could bless them. In this light we can also see that the whole book of blessings in Zechariah writings are conditional. The people read these promises as being for them. So, thy knew that if they would come back to God, then God, who is very jealous for Jerusalem, will be able to bless them.

Today we can look at their history, and we can easily assume that they never really came back to God as a people. So, these prophecies can only be thought of as meeting a partial fulfillment in the past.

But, what about the future? In the new world following the 1000 years, after the wicked are fully destroyed, being ashes under the feet of the righteous, Jesus will be the glory in Jerusalem's midst in the fullest sense of the word. So, Jerusalem will have its own light. It will not even need the light of the sun!

  1. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
  2. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; Revelation 21:10-11
  1. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:5

But even at that time there will be walls with gates:

  1. And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: Revelation 21:12

So, Zechariah 2:4-5 seems to be partially fulfilled when all the wicked are destroyed. But at least the walls will not be there to keep an enemy out. So, even though the New Jerusalem will have walls, it will be inhabited as if it did not have walls! Thus we can see that this prophecy could have a complete future following the 1000 years.

However, I believe that if God's people had followed God fully in the past that this and many of the other prophecies could have met a full fulfillment in the past as well. These people were looking for hope, immediate hope and that is what Zechariah gave them. He told them what would be possible if they had chosen to follow God fully. So, in a very real sense, these prophecies were God's promises to them at that time.

  1. "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," says the LORD.
  2. "Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
  3. "And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
  4. "Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!" Zechariah 2:10-13

Jesus did come and He dwelt in their midst physically. However He was rejected and so this prophecy was never really fulfilled. However, there will be a future time, again when the wicked are fully destroyed, that God will live in their midst. People from all around the world will also be included as the righteous of God.

So this prophecy definitely has a future application. But there is nothing in these prophecies that specifies that it must be during the 1000 years. It will occur following the 1000 years as is described in all of Scripture. When we compare all of Scripture, we find that a clear picture appears showing what will happen in the future.

In Chapter 3, we see that Joshua was made clean in spite of the accusation made against him by Satan, but then the Lord tells him that only if he walks in Gods ways will he be blessed:

  1. Then the Angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying,
  2. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'If you will walk in My ways, And if you will keep My command, Then you shall also judge My house, And likewise have charge of My courts; I will give you places to walk Among these who stand here. Zechariah 3:6-7

So, we can see that the conditional nature of prophecy continues to be an overwriting aspect of Zechariah's prophecies for God's people. Now, in the 6th chapter, we again see that the conditional nature is still a central aspect of the prophecy. God wanted to lead His people but the people themselves must both listen and obey God's word:

  1. "Even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the LORD. Then you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God." Zechariah 6:15

If the people of God had diligently obeyed the voice of the Lord, then others would have come to build the temple of the Lord.

In Chapter 7, various leaders came to Zechariah, asking him when they should fast each year. It came out that they were not really eating and fasting for God, it was only for themselves that they did what they did.

Then Zechariah told them what they should have done:

  1. 'Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?'" Zechariah 7:7

It is clear that obedience is very important to God and to the fulfillment of His promises.

In their past God had given His people various instructions but they refused to listen:

  1. But they refused to listen, and gave a stubborn shoulder, and made heavy their ears from hearing.
  2. And they made their hearts adamant from hearing the law and the words which the LORD of hosts has sent through His Spirit, by the former prophets. And great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 7:11-12 MKJV

Since they would not listen to God, God did not fulfill His promises. Instead He scattered them among the nations (verses 13-14).

Chapter 3 and 6 both talk some about the BRANCH which we know is Jesus. Some of the description fits the first time when Jesus lived among His people. However there are some portions which definitely point to some future event:

  1. "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
  2. Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."' Zechariah 6:12-13

This prophecy also has a definite future application. But again, there is nothing in these prophecies that specifies that it must be during the 1000 years. It will occur following the 1000 years as is described in all of Scripture. When we compare all of Scripture, we find that a clear picture appears showing what will happen in the future.

Chapter 8 is a chapter of promises, saying that He will not treat the remnant of God's people as He did before and the people will seek the Lord:

  1. Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.'
  2. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'" Zechariah 8:22-23

These things could have happened in the past. But they did not happen. God's people in those times did not choose to follow God fully.

Jerusalem will be Attacked but God will Save His People

Zechariah said that Jerusalem will be attacked by the surrounding nations but that God will help protect the city:

  1. "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
  2. "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. Zechariah 12:2-3

It seems to be clear that Zechariah prophesied that there will be a massive attack on Jerusalem:

  1. "The LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah.
  2. "In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.
  3. "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:7-9

The question is: When is this to happen? I think it was clear to those whom Zechariah addressed, that there was great danger for Jerusalem from the surrounding nations. So there is a very definite historical application.

In today's world, it seems that a similar situation for Jerusalem is building up. So it is also possible that there is at least a partial application for the last days as well, before Jesus comes. As we saw in Joel, it is often hard to nail down exactly what is being described.

Will God do a work for Israel in the last days that might help fulfill this prophecy in Zechariah 12? In Revelation 11, the two witnesses will prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem for 42 months or 1260 days?

  1. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
  2. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. Revelation 11:2-3

Is this an indication that God will again reach out to the Jewish people at the end so He can destroy the nations that come against Jerusalem? Maybe, this prophecy in Zechariah 12 points to events just prior to the second coming of Christ?

There are also some prophecies involving Christ, when He was on earth the first time; This is also interwoven into the mix of prophecy:

To suggest that Zechariah or even Zechariah 14 could be a straight forward description of the earthly millennium, ignores the patchwork mannor in which different parts of the text is fulfilled. So, the application patterns of Zechariah matches what we saw in Joel. We have already seen that Joel is not always easy to determine what is past and what is future. The same can be said concerning Zechariah.

Now lets look at Zechariah 14:

  1. Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
  2. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
  3. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.
  4. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
  5. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
  6. It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish.
  7. It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD--Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light.
  8. And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.
  9. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be--"The LORD is one," And His name one.
  10. All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin's Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses.
  11. The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
  12. And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.
  13. It shall come to pass in that day That a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor's hand;
  14. Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations Shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.
  15. Such also shall be the plague On the horse and the mule, On the camel and the donkey, And on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.
  16. And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
  17. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
  18. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
  19. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
  20. In that day "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
  21. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 14:1-21.

Zechariah 14:1-2 Jerusalem is Attacked!

The first two verses of Zechariah 14 actually described an attack on Jerusalem. These two verses continue with the same subject as is found in Chapter 12.

  1. Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
  2. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Zechariah 14:1-2

We can see by the description that violence is still the order of the day. God's people are being attacked and half of them are taken captive. Does that mean that some also die?

Just a few verses before there is an indication that some do indeed die:

  1. And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it:
  2. I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Zechariah 13:8-9

The first two verses of Zechariah 14 are easily connected to the messages found in Zechariah 12 and the two-thirds and one-third description which is found near the end of chapter 13. Certainly it does sound like Jerusalem will be taken in a violent manner.

This kind of punishment by God makes sense in our world of sin. God has often had to seek for a remnant that would be loyal to Him because all the others have accepted other gods. Thus God refines His people as silver is refined. He tests His people to see who will follow Him.

Will the Saints Continue to Experience War and Bloodshed
after they are Changed and are Made Immortal?

But what happens after Jesus comes? Will God continue to punish His people for various reasons in order to refine and test them?

Let's look at some of the promises that Jesus has given us. What will Jesus give His people when He comes? One thing Jesus does is to change His people:

  1. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
  2. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
  3. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
  4. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
  5. "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
  6. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
  7. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

When Jesus comes at His Second Coming there is victory for the righteous. From then on, God's people will have immortality. God will not allow His people to die any longer. In addition they will no longer be corrupted by sin because they have put on incorruption!

How can the righteous be killed when they are already immortal? They cannot! So, what this means is that God will no longer be looking for a remnant after the second coming. He already has His remnant and He has given them immortality. Thus they no longer have the corruption of sin in their bodies.

This is why the saints praise God by saying: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! They have been given their victory.

The people who join Jesus at Christ's second coming are His chosen elect. They go to heaven with him during the 1000 years to judge the wicked. Then when Jesus and His saints come back to earth at the end of the 1000 years, the wicked dead will be raised to life to receive their judgement. As we will soon see, part of Zechariah 14 describe this time when Jesus and His saints come back to earth.

The Sinful Conditions Described in
Zechariah 14:1-2 are the Same as Today!

So, the two verses of Zechariah 14:1-2 must be speaking of a time before Jesus comes again. It is a war that occurs when Satan is still trying to control the world. It is a war that God uses to test and refine His people as silver is refined in the fire.

It is the same world we have right now! Not the conditions that will exist after Jesus comes to take His people with Him:

  1. and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
  2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
  3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:1-3.
  1. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:25-28.
  1. And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isaiah 25:9.

God's people are delivered at Christ's second coming! They are redeemed from the earth because of His salvation. Their trouble is all over. It is not to continue with more death, tests, and punishments! That is past.

Jesus Fights As He Fights in the final Day of battle.

In the third verse, a comparison is made. The Lord is going to fight against the nations which attack Jerusalem in the same way as He will fight in the day of battle.

  1. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. Zechariah 14:3

A comparison is being made. God will fight those people who attack Jerusalem just like He will in the final day of battle. We know this because what is mentioned in the next few verses. God will destroy these wicked just like He will finally destroy the wicked at the end:

Some Parts of Zechariah 14 do Fit the
Descriptions of the Final Day of Battle

In Revelation, we see the New Jerusalem coming down following the 1000 years.

  1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
  2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2

In the 5th verse of Zechariah 14:5 we can see the promise that God is coming, and all the saints will be with Him. This must be following the 1000 year Millennium when the Saints will come back to the earth with Jesus to occupy the world again.

  1. . . . the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You. Zechariah 14:5

When Jesus comes that time, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and the mountains start moving so that a large plain develops. Thus, a place is prepared for the city of God on earth!

  1. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Zechariah 14:4

It is very plain that the wicked will not be able to enter this city! Only God's people who do His commandments, they only will have the right to enter through the gates into the city. The wicked will be outside the city.

  1. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
  2. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
  3. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:13-15

The wicked on the outside of the city will be destroyed with fire and brimstone. This is known as the second death from which there is no return. They will never live again.

  1. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

It is at this time that the prophecy in Zechariah 14:9 will be fulfilled. Jesus will be King over all the earth.

  1. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be--"The LORD is one," And His name one. Zechariah 14:9

But in Zechariah 6 we see that both the Father and Jesus will and the counsel of peace will be between them both. There will be no war at this time!

  1. "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
  2. Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."' Zechariah 6:12-13

It is only those who overcome the world and its sins; These are the ones who will be granted to sit with Jesus on His throne.

  1. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21.

It is at this time that there will be no temple. There will be no need of a temple because God almighty and the Lamb will be there. They are its temple!

  1. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
  2. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. Revelation 21:22-23

There will no longer be any curse of sin. But a pure river of water of life will come out from the throne of God and the Lamb. And all will serve Him because they choose to serve Him.

  1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1.
  1. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. Revelation 22:3.

Zechariah 14 cannot be used to interpret the rest of Scripture because it is a confusing mixture of past and future applications. We must use the sure prophecies of Daniel and Revelation to help solve the mixture found in Zechariah.

Much of the violence and bloodshed involving Jerusalem being attacked could either be describing last day prophecies or they may very simply never happen because of the conditional aspect of the prophecies of Zechariah.

Especially are the descriptions in verses 12 to 21 suspected of things never to happen because Israel did reject God. The conditional aspect of these prophecies make these prophecies especially troublesome to interpret. It seems to reflect a time when the feast services where still to be observed. Now, because Jesus is the one that all these services represented, and Jesus has already died on the cross for us; these feast services are no longer seen as serving a purpose for God's people.

Thus, these last verses of Zechariah 14 reflect a time in the past. So they probably do represent things that could have happened but because of their rejection of God's leading, they will never happen.


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Mike's Origins Resources: A PhD Creationist's view of science, origins, and the future hope of the human race; by looking at Creation Science, Biblical Evidence, and Prophecy Molecular History Research Center What happens when we die? Do we go to Heaven or Hell right away when we die? What does Jesus mean by sleep?
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Officially posted December 2, 2006
last revised October 29, 2014