Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Residence of the Church after the Rapture

Where will the Church reside during the Millennium?

By Abraham Israel

One of the most intriguing question which I believe that the Church has not asked itself is ‘Where will we [i.e. the Church] reside during the time when we will rule the earth for a Millennium along with Jesus very soon?’ I believe the Bible gives the answer very clearly if we will only see through the Scripture with the mind of the Spirit like the Berean believers did in the first century when Apostle Paul spoke the word of God to them. They received the scriptures from Paul with all readiness and at the same time searched the Scriptures to find out whether these things were really so. God the Holy Spirit was so impressed with their thirst for Scripture that He commended them by making Luke the theologian and the first historian of the Church to record these events and even call these believers as “fair-minded and noble”. O what a commendation from God! (Acts 17:10-12). If we too are eager to know in-depth about our future residence right from the Scripture, God the Holy Spirit will also teach us now of all great mysteries of God and commend us as He did the first century believers (1 Cor 2:13-14). So tighten your seat belts and get ready for a take-off!

What did Jesus say?

Jesus said, “1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” We know right from the words that Jesus spoke above that He was speaking to the disciples about the future residence of the Church. During the time of Jesus’ ministry, the Church did not come in to existence on earth, but on the day of Pentecost forty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Church was established on earth through the prophetic words and sermon exposition of Peter the Apostle just as Jesus has predicted to him before His death on the Cross (Matthew 16:17-20).

The Church of Jesus Christ is a gathering or assembly of those who believe that He is “the Son of the living God”. Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God are those people who are likened to an unshakeable building on the rock who is Jesus Christ (John 6:40; 20:31; 1 John 5:13). These assembly of people are also those who will hear the sayings of Jesus and do them in their daily life (Luke 6:46-49). Those who do not do the basics of building their day to day life based on what they believe will experience great ruin in their lives instead of the blessings of God which they are entitled to experience (Luke 6:49). Those who hear the words of Jesus and accept it as believers but do not do them will suffer loss of reward for eternity but will be saved based on what Jesus has achieved for them on the Cross (Luke 6:49; 1 Cor 3:11-15). The unbelievers on the other hand will not accept the teachings of Jesus Christ but will resist them naturally because of powerlessness in their lives to fulfill it (John 8:37, 43-45; 6:44). The Lord wants the believers to be influenced by the good things of the word of God that the believer’s stores in his heart. Only the believers has the ability to bring forth good fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives (Gal 5:22-23). The Church is not a material building where people gather to worship God, instead the Church is the people of God who gather in a place to worship God together. Essentially the requirement for a Church is just two or three gathered together in the name of Jesus (Matt 18:20). It can even be a single family of Father, Mother and their Children in a house. So only in the apostolic first century Church, the Church was called by the family name in which the Church was actually conducted, such as "Aristobulus' [household]" (Rom 16:10), "Caesar's household" (Phil 4:22), "household of Onesiphorus" (2 Tim 4:19), "[household] of Narcissus" (Rom 16:11), "household of Stephanas" (1 Cor 1:16), "household of God" (Eph 2:19) and "household of faith" (Gal 6:10) [as a collective universal Church of all other house Churches around the world]. These were all house Churches in which the gathering of believer’s took place.

The word ‘Church’ in Greek is 'ekklēsia [pronounced 'ek-klā-sē'-ä']' and in a Christian sense means ‘1) an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting 2) a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order's sake 3) those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body 4) the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth 5) the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven'. From the various meanings given above for the word ‘Church’, we can conclude that it is the common assembly of the people of God who are on earth and also in heaven who have received Jesus as “the Son of the living God” for the past two thousand years (Eph 3:14-15, 21).

The Arrangement

In the Jewish tradition, the bridegroom would go to the bride’s house and the Father of the bridegroom would pay the father of the bride the bride price as the first step in to ‘the marriage arrangement’. The Father of the Bridegroom who is God the Father, made the arrangement and then paid the bride price to appease the other facet of Himself who is the God of perfect Justice and Righteousness, and also the Owner and Creator of all human beings (Is 30:18; Duet 32:4; Mal 2:17; Ps 85:10-11, 14; Eccl 12:1; Is 40:28; 1 Peter 4:19). The bride price was the blood of His Son. Ephesians 5:25 states: ''Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;'' John 3:16 says: ''For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,'' By giving up the Son and by shedding the blood of the Son the bride price was paid to the God of Righteousness and Justice, and so the marriage arrangement was sealed with blood. This is the reason Apostle Peter clearly said, "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Peter 1:18-19). Once the bride would accept to marry the bridegroom by partaking of the wine that the bridegroom would bring, it seals and shows the acceptance from the bride to marry the bridegroom. This is symbolical of a sinner believing the blood of Jesus and partaking in it as the sign of accepting Jesus Christ as his very own Bridegroom, Lord and Savior (1 Peter 3:1-6; John 6:53-55; Matt 26:27-29; 1 Cor 11:25-26).

Then the bridegroom would promise the bride that he  would prepare a place for her in his father’s house and that he would come suddenly one day and take her to his father’s house to be with him forever very soon. Just before fulfilling the act of redemption on the Cross of Calvary [which is the bride price to the bride's Father], Jesus told to His bride the Church [i.e. the apostles and all believers] and promised according to the same Jewish marriage tradition that He would go to the Father's house in heaven and prepare a place of residence for them all so that from the time of the wedding ceremony of the lamb they would be able to stay in the Prepared place forever (John 14:3; Rev 19:6-9).

The Preparation

The second step in the Jewish wedding system is known as the preparation. That is the period of the betrothal. It lasts for at least a year but could also last for many years especially if the arrangement was made when the bride and groom were only children. During the period of the preparation, the bride will prepare herself to be a fitting wife of love for her mate. Essentially the bride is being trained and prepared to take on the role of a wife, as she prepares herself to be a fitting bride for her mate. The Church as the bride of Christ is being prepared for the future role of Christ's wife (Eph 5:22-32). This is the period of time that she is observed for her purity. That is why Apostle Peter spoke about this 'preparation period' saying, "...Conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were .... redeemed with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:17-19). In other words Apostle Peter is saying, 'Because the bride price for purchasing you has been paid by Christ to marry you in the future, stay pure as His dear bride without defiling yourself with sinful lifestyle and self indulgence through getting washed in the blood of Jesus as much as you can.' 

The bride price will be used to adorn the bride with all ornaments and keep the bride scented and ready for any time exit to the bridegroom's palace which will be prepared during this time. We too as the bride of Christ use the blood of Christ in preparation for the day of rapture which is our day of permanent exit from this earth to the bridegroom's new prepared palace which is in the New Jerusalem. Actually the New Jerusalem is the Father's house that Jesus has spoken in the gospel of John fourteenth chapter verses two and three. Once the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ along with His saints gets over, then we all will get settled once and for all in the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1-2, 9-10). Paul states that the Church has been espoused, or betrothed, to one husband. The goal is that she might be presented a pure virgin to Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:26-27, 29). This preparation process is what we call as 'sanctification or separation'. Jesus Himself has gifted to His bride the Church all the fivefold ministries of Eph 4:8, 11 as a gift to adorn, sanctify and cleanse herself and to make her look glorious with the washing of water by the word, that she should be set apart without any spot and blemishes in character for the day of rapture (Eph 5:26-27; 1 Sam 16:7).

The Fetching of the Bride and additional adornment in the Bridegrooms Father’s house                               

In the Jewish wedding system, on the wedding day the groom would go to the home of the bride exactly when his father tells him to fetch her to his home. On the particular day in which the Father of our Lord Jesus has ordained (Matt 24:36), Jesus will return to the home of the bride which is the earth. The bridegroom would usually come with a great sound of trumpet suddenly and will not enter the house of the bride, but rather he would stand outside it and send His servants to fetch the bride and will return immediately to his prepared place in his father's house. This is what Apostle Paul said will happen to the Church in 1 Thess 4:16-17, "16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." O what a parallel truth! The angels are His servants who will fetch the Lord's bride from her home which is the earth. Our Lord will stay in the air outside the bride's home. Then the Lord through His angels will transform all the dead carcass of all the believers in to the glorious royal body as like Jesus Himself (1 John 3:2). Then like as eagles they will gather together to meet the Lord in a moment of time and in a twinkling of an eye (Matt 24:27-28; Is 40:31).

After the bridegroom takes the bride to his prepared place, he will actually take away what he does not like and will beautify her with more of what he likes. He will reward her with the best of all he has for keeping herself pure and for being ready when he came to fetch her away to his house (2 Tim 4:8). After we are caught up as a Church on the day of rapture, we will be taken straight to the New Jerusalem [i.e "holy Jerusalem" (Rev 21:9-10) and also called as "heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb 12:22-23)] which has been prepared for us as a bride adorned for her husband (John 14:1-3; Rev 21:1-2). This is the reason why Apostle Peter told the Church believers, “Nevertheless we [the believers (2 Peter 1:1-2)], according to His [whose? Jesus’ (John 14:1-3)] promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13). From this above verse we clearly see that the Apostles in the first century understood that the permanent residence of the Church will not be on this present earth after the millennium rule of Jesus Christ, but will be in the new earth and the new heaven in which the glory of Jesus and His righteousness will dwell. Compared to the eternity the Church will be spending on new heaven and new earth, the thousand year rule of Jesus Christ and His saints on earth will pass on as like a single 24 hour day according to Apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:8). When Peter told to Jesus that they as apostles of Jesus Christ has left all and have followed Him, then he said to Jesus, ‘What shall we have? ’To Peter Jesus promised that they as rulers along with Him will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel after the regeneration and restoration of the earth through the glory of Jesus Christ (Matt 19:27-28; Luke 22:28-30). The time of regeneration starts only after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and not after the rapture of the Church. This is also described by Luke the first historian of the Church as “the times of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). Yet Peter clearly understood that they will rule the present earth from the new Jerusalem and also admonished the believers not to look forward to the Millennium rule on this present earth but to the new heaven and earth which is the real inheritance of all the saints for eternity in which the New Jerusalem will finally rest (Rev 21:1-2, 9-10).

In the same way Apostle Paul in Corinthians 3:10-15 describes the Judgment Seat of Christ where the wood, hay, and stubble of what we have decorated ourself with our own effort will be burned away and the gold, silver, and precious stone of His precious glory ornament of submission to His Spirit's Character will be given great reward and accolades (1 Peter 3:3-5). We will be eternally rewarded for all the "walking in the Spirit" that we have done to please Him (Gal 5:16, 25-26). Only the "fruit of the Spirit" keeps us already adorned for the reward of Jesus in the future and nothing other than this will do to please Jesus to give us our prize and our reward prepared for us in advance (Gal 5:22-23; John 8:29; 15:8). This is what Apostle Paul meant when he described in 2 Cor 5:9-11, "9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences." Here in the above verse 11 the word  'terror' of the Lord means 'phobos' pronounced 'fo'-bos' in Greek. It means 'a healthy fear of God, [Spirit's] dread which strikes terror [in our soul against evil], reverence for one's husband'. Knowledge of the healthy fear of God is a byproduct that comes to a believer when he follows God. It can be compared to the healthy fear of one’s husband which comes to a wife out of passion and respect for him. This fear is not a unhealthy fear of going to hell but the healthy fear of love, submission and thankfulness of a wife towards her husband’s unconditional love and provision towards her in spite of her weakness (Eph 5:25, 1 Peter 3:7). The Lord has not redeemed the Church and loved it by giving His own life so that he could strike her with terror on the day of adornment, that too before all angels in heaven on the day of His wedding. But He has redeemed us the Church which is his bride, to show all the angels in heaven of how His ornaments of unconditional love and grace might abound by the one act of sacrifice that He has achieved for His bride the Church and the saints of all ages (Rom 5:18-21; Eph 3:9-11). Praise the Lord!

The Ceremony

The ceremony was conducted in the home of the groom. Only a few, usually the immediate family and two witnesses, were invited to come in and observe the wedding ceremony.

Apostle John says in Revelation 19:6-9, "5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” 6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”" First of all the group that is rejoicing, declaring and loudly proclaiming excitedly that the marriage of the lamb has come are none other than all His servants and those saints small and great of those who fear Him. Because all these saints small and great are all part of the marriage of the Lamb this is why they say, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." All the saints even up to the rapture of the Church are part of the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are the blessed category of saints. Those who do not get raptured will not be able to attend the marriage of the Lamb and will enter in to the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:20-22). This is the reason the Church saints are blessed than the tribulation saints of the end time, who will be either martyred or else will enter in to Millennium with their physical bodies. The family of God are all those saints who have believed God even up to the rapture of the Church (Gal 3:7, 26-29; John 1:12).

Here we should notice three things in the above Rev 19:6-9 verses, 1) The phrase "marriage of the Lamb has come" means, the end of the ages of Satanic rule over the world in which the Church saints lived is over and God who has been waiting to live among His creation will be fulfilled through this ceremony for the first time in all the millenniums right from the time past of the creation of the old earth and heaven to that present time in the New Jerusalem. 2) The saints have already become the wife of the Lamb and so the reward and beautification has already been over and as a result they are clothed in fine linen clean and white which represents the righteousness of the saints. The wife of the lamb is now glorified. There is no spot, no wrinkle, no blemish nor any such thing upon her. 3) The white linen is the righteous acts of the saints which must have been given to them during the Beautification ceremony of the Judgment seat of Christ [i.e. Bema seat Judgment or reward ceremony] (2 Cor 5:9-11).

The Bottom line in Rev 19:6-9 is, Firstly the rapture of the Church has taken place and the multitude of saints begin to praise God for it, Secondly the beautification of the Church follows and the saints are beautified with the glory ornaments of the Spirit which is symbolically said as "granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright". Thirdly the marriage ceremony of the Lamb takes place in which the Church and the Lord Jesus will get united in unbroken union for eternity ahead. Fouthly, because the marriage has taken place the Lamb Jesus Christ will give a supper for everyone present in New Jerusalem. This "marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9) which the Lamb of God Jesus Christ gives to the whole community of saints and angels in the New Jerusalem should not be mixed with the "supper of the great God" (Rev 19:17) which God the Father will give to all those who reign on earth during the inauguration of the Millenial rule of Jesus Christ along with all the saints after the battle of Armageddon gets over (Matt 25:34; 26:28-29; Rev 16:12-16; 19:17-21). Actually when Jesus said "Assuredly I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God" (Mark 14:25) to the Apostles, He was conveying a twofold message of the establishment of the Spiritual kingdom of God on earth from the time of His resurrection and a physical kingdom of God on earth after His Second Coming (Luke 17:21; Matt 19:28). All the Apostles believed and waited for a physical kingdom of God even moments before the ascension of Jesus. But at the point of time Jesus revealed to the apostles that the time of physical kingdom of God on earth is a mystery that will be unveiled to them only later (Acts 1:6-7), which He later revealed  through the Holy Spirit to Apostles like Peter (2 Peter 3:5-15), Paul (Acts 26:14-18; Gal 1:11-12; 1 Thess 4:13-18) and John (Rev 1:1-3, 19) as He had previously promised them all (John 16:7, 12-14) . So the Apostles from that point of time began to understand and expound the Scripture which Jesus had spoken to them as something that has already been fullfilled spiritually (Mark 14:24-25; Acts 1:1-3; 10:41) and also which will happen physically after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this present earth.

The two exclusive witness of the marriage of the Lamb in heaven will be God the Father and the Holy Spirit according to Apostle John (1 John 5:7). This above group of the saints and the Trinity are the only immediate family and two witnesses who will be part of the wedding ceremony. These are the only people who will come in and observe the wedding ceremony. The ceremony will take place in the New Jerusalem which in itself will be prepared "as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:1-2, 9-27; Heb 12:22-23). In other words, the bride which is the Church will be adorned in the Heavenly New Jerusalem because it was actually prepared for the consummation of the long relationship that God had planned with His creation, which will fully be fullfilled only after the New Jerusalem will be lowered in to the new heaven and be made to finally rest on the new earth (Is 65:17; Rev 20:4-6; 21:1-8). During the thousand year rule, Jesus Christ and His saints will rule this present earth from the New Jerusalem which is the real residence of the glorious saints. This Millenium rule of Jesus and His saints will end with a glorious battle of Gog and Magog in which all rebellion against God will be once and for all be destroyed, judged and will be thrown in to eternal hell fire. Immediately after the battle, the old heaven and earth will be destroyed with the fire of God and will melt away and become as gas in the atmosphere (Rev 20:7-15; 2 Peter 3:10-13).

Apostle Peter said that the world system of governance perished during the Noah's flood "with water", but he says that the present earth and the heaven which have been preserved by the eternal word of Jesus are reserved for fire unto the day of White Throne Judgement, before which the present earth and the heaven will be destroyed along with the ungoldly men in the final battle of Gog and Magog at the very end of the Millenium rule of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:6-7; Rev 20:7-10). Note, only the world [i.e. World system of governance but not the earth and heaven] perished during Noah's flood, but the very present earth and heaven will be completely destroyed and the elements of earth along with all the works that are in it will melt and be burned up before the white throne jugment (2 Peter 3:10-13). Apostle John agrees with the above truth by saying in Rev 21:1, "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea." In other words what Apostle John is saying is, as the old heaven and old earth vanishes away by God's prepared judgment of fire in which all the earthly elements will melt completely to become as gas in the atmosphere, only then I saw the new heaven and the new earth. New comes only after the old is passed away. With this event of the passing away of the old heaven and the earth, the word of God which says, "...For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor 4:18) will be thus fullfilled for eternity.

Even the white throne judgment will be conducted in a place other than the present heaven and the earth because at the very appearance of the "great white throne and Him [i.e. Christ] who sat on it", the present earth and the heaven will flee away (Rev 20:11; John 5:22, 26-29). In other words, the moment "the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them" (v13) immediately the fire of God will engulf the present earth and the heaven to melt it completely away to become as gas so that there was no place found to stand on for those rebels who were in direct rebellion to God's rule over them through Christ (Rev 20:11). The meaning of this verse "the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them" (v13) means, the wicked unbelievers and ungodly people who have ever died physically right from the day of the first Adam right through the ages [i.e. 7 Millennium since God created man and a woman] even upto that time of white throne jugment will be resurrected in their natural bodies and then will be judged for all their ungodly evil works and will be thrown eternally in to the lake of fire [i.e Hell (Gehenna in Greek)] where the fire quencheth not and where the worms never die (Mark 9:43-44; Matt 18:8-9; Rev 20:14-15). Jesus also called this resurrection as "resurrection of condemnation" for those who have done evil by having no faith in God's atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (John 5:28-29). This is a real physical resurrection of all unbelievers coming out of their literal grave. The unbelievers will come out of their grave whether they died on the sea or land by the power of the life giving command that Jesus will give to their dead bodies (John 5:28-29; Rev 20:13). Then the unbelievers will be judged in a place other than the present earth and heaven which was prepared for this magnificent white throne judgment. They will be judged for their worthless evil works (Rev 20:13). The Bible clearly reveals that the wicked angels who rebelled against God's authority during the creation of the earth and have continued in the same way ever since even upto the starting time of the Millennium, will be judged by the saints and Jesus Christ in the white throne judgment (Is 24:21-22; 1 Cor 6:1-3).

This final ceremonious consummation of God living with His bride side by side in the new heaven and new earth with men, having the new Jerusalem in the midst of the new earth will be fulfilled on that day (Rev 21:1-7). This fulfillment will be the last nail in the coffin of Satan and his cohorts who would have been thrown in to the eternal fire by then, going through the works based Judgment of angels by the saints in the final WhiteThrone Judgment (1 Cor 6:3; Rev 20:11-15). These fallen rebellious angels who had tried in the ages past to make the earth a demonic Hell will once forever will be destroyed. The marriage of the lamb is the original purpose of God for man that has been disrupted by the rebellion of Satan and his demonic cohorts. The new Jerusalem, along with the coming new earth and new heaven after the millenium rule of Jesus Christ is a proof of God's power to fulfill His plan even after the rebellion of Satan and his cohorts in their much influenced, orchestrated and instrumental fall of man. Once and for all Satan's wisdom will finally be proved by God to be a complete failure and foolishness to himself. Praise the Lord!

The Marriage Feast

In the Jewish wedding system the marriage feast has many more people invited. Whereas a few are invited to the wedding ceremony, many others are invited to the marriage feast to celebrate the marriage of the son. All the angels in heaven will partake and rejoice with the lamb and His wife which is the Church.

The marriage feast will start in New Jerusalem immediately after the Reward ceremony for the saints [i.e. Bema seat judgment of Christ (2 Cor 5:9-11)] and the consumation of marriage of the Lamb with the Bride the Church going through ceremonious union of marriage. This marriage feast will be over before the Armegeddom war after which Jesus Christ will rule the earth with a rod of iron along with the saints (Rev 19:9, 15).

When Jesus went back to heaven at the time of Ascension, one main purpose he went back was to prepare a place for the bride which is the Church (John 14:2-3). The place He is preparing for the bride is known as the New Jerusalem which is the abode of God for eternity, which will be lowered from the present place and will placed in the centre of the new heaven and earth after the millemium rule of Jesus Christ, just as the city of Jerusalem is physically present in the centre of this present old heaven and earth. And God will continue to live among His people as one family, nobody from the present old earth will be able to enter this new earth unless they are written in the Lamb's book of life, so only Apostle John writes, “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life."(21:27) (Rev 21:1-8). In the white throne judgment the Book of life will be taken to search for the names of the Millennium saints who will be segregated away from the unbelievers of the Millennium just as the Goat and Sheep Judgement of the nations at the starting time of the Millenial rule of Jesus Christ (Matt 25:31-46). Then those people whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will be cast in to the lake of fire forever (Rev 20:15) and those people whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter in to the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:27). By entering in to the New Jerusalem they will then be able to inherit, inhabit and have dominion in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev 21:1-8). To have dominion and rule the earth is the original purpose of God for man which will be fullfilled by the nations of those saved saints in the new heaven and the new earth (Gen 1:26-28, 31; 2:1-3; Rev 21:24-26). There will be kings in the earthly saved nations under the king of kings (Rev 21:24; 19:16). The kings will be chosen based on the faithful service that they have done on the old earth for God (Matt 25:14-23; 2 Tim 2:12; Col 3:23-25; Gal 6:9-10; Eph 6:7-8).

The New Jerusalem which is described in Revelation 21:9-22:5, will become the home of the Lamb’s Bride from the time of rapture onwards. After the marriage feast gets over in the New Jerusalem the saints of God will rule the present old heaven and earth from it. Once the thousand years are over the New Jerusalem will be placed in the middle of the new heaven and new earth, and then the new heaven and earth will permanently be inhabitated by the saints of all time and will become the residence of the Church for eternity (Rev 21:1-7). There will be saintly nations in the new earth from which the kings of the new earth will bring their glory and honor in to the New Jerusalem to worship the king of kings (Rev 21:26; 19:16). When the New Jerusalem comes out of present place in the highest heaven of heavens, all the believers will come in it with God and His glory to inhabit the new heaven and the new earth. This is the reason when the Angel carried Apostle John in the Spirit and showed "the great city, the holy Jerusalem", he called this "New Jerusalem" (21:2) as the "the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev 21:9-11)

If we ask the question, 'Why did the saints not occupy the new heaven and new earth before this time?The first reason is because only on the day of White Throne Judgment all the believers who lived on earth after the Second Coming [i.e. first (Rev 20:6; Matt 24:30-31)] resurrection of the Tribulation saints right through to the end of Millenium in their natural bodies, will finally be able to receive their glorious supernatural body exactly like the body that Jesus have had during His earthly rule (Luke 24:36-43; 1 John 3:2; Rev 20:11-15). Only after the Millenium rule of Jesus Christ gets over, during the White Throne Judgment the Millenium saints will be resurrected in their glorious bodies as their names will be present in the Lamb's book of life (Rev 20:15; 21:27). The Millenium saints will live in their glorious new bodies along with the saints of the Old Testament, the Church and the Tribulation saints in the new heaven and new earth forever and ever. The second reason is because only at the end of the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ will all the enemies of God be completely destroyed once forever from the entire universe at the ultimate end of all rebellion in the final Gog and Magog battle and God will completely take control of His creation and will start to inhabit in them as "all in all" for eternity ahead (Rev 20:7-10). This is beautifully described by Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 15:23-28 which says, "23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 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. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." Here we see some important truths of God's word revealed in the  preceding verses. Three orders of resurrection Apostle Paul have revealed here in these above verses. The Greek word used here for the word 'order' is 'tagma' which means 'rank or company'. It is used only here, but it is used in Sept. of a company of soldiers (Num 2:2; 2 Sam 23:13).

The first order of resurrection will be "Christ the firstfruits" on the day of rapture of all the saints which will happen before the "great tribulation" starts (Matt 24:21). How can we say that "Christ the firstfruits" means the Church at the time of resurrection? [Note: It does not say 'Christ is the firstfruit' but "Christ the firstfruits' which means Christ along with the firstfruits of believers whom he will raise at the time of resurrection during rapture] Because the Apostle Paul has clearly told that the believers have the firstfruits of the Spirit and are waiting eagerly for the time of rapture by groaning to God in prayer for it to happen soon (Rom 8:23). Christ who is "the firstfruit is holy" (Rom 11:16) [Note the singularity of the phrase]. "Christ the firstfruits" (1 Cor 15:23) [Note the plurality of the phrase which indicates Paul was speaking about believers]. Usually a family consisting of a singular leader is described as the firstruits to God when pointed out by Paul in the same book of 1 Corinthians as his 'firstfruits' of conversion in area of Achaia (1 Cor 16:15)Then the second order of resurrection will be "those who are Christ's at His [Second] Coming" to the earth. Then the third and the final order "comes [at] the [ultimate] end" after the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ in this present earth. How do we know that Apostle Paul is surely describing about the resurrection order of saints? Because after describing all the orders of resurrection Apostle Paul says, "the last enemy that will be destroyed is death". Apostle John clearly has indicated that only after the great white throne judgment "Death and Hades were cast in to the lake of fire [and destroyed forever]. This is the second death" (Rev 20:14; 20:11-13, 15). This shows that the saints of all ages [i.e. OT saints, NT saints, Tribulation saints, Millennial saints] will only inhabit the brand new heaven and the new earth after all the enemies of God are fully destroyed at the end of the millennial rule of Jesus Christ (Rev 21:1-4, 8). The complete list of the order of resurrection of all saints which includes the third and final order for those who lived during the millennial rule of Jesus Christ on earth will be over only during the great white throne judgment (Rev 20:12-13, 15). Amen. Praise the Lord!

The Church will actively rule this present old heaven and old earth for a thousand years along with Jesus Christ from New Jerusalem, after which the Bridal city of New Jerusalem will be lowered in to the new earth. Then the Old Testament saints along with the Church which is the bride of Christ, Tribulation saints and the Millenium saints will inhabit the new heaven and new earth forever. Praise the Lord!

The ceremonies of the Judgment seat of Christ [i.e. Bride beautification ceremony], and the marriage of the Lamb and the supper of the Lamb will take place after the rapture of the Church and before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this present earth. These are the relationship between the Jewish wedding system and the Church as the Bride of Christ. Some things have been fulfilled, some things are in the process of being fulfilled, and others are still in the future. There is a great future for those who have believed in the Messiahship of Jesus. Watch out saints! You can almost hear the trumpet sound of the Messiah’s Coming!


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