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Sabbath of Desolation - Satan imprisoned
Where will the redeemed spend the 7th millennium?
compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, 2012
Most recent edit: August 22, 2021
Scripture from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
The majority of Christians agree that the “millennium” spoken of in Revelation Chapter 20, will begin with the return of Christ in glory. Some believe Christ will immediately set up His kingdom on the earth where He will “rule the nations with a rod of iron” for 1000 years.
Others believe (as I do) that Christ will not remain on this earth when He returns in glory.
AT CHRIST’S RETURN,
THE REDEEMED WILL LEAVE THE EARTH.
Revelation 15:2 “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.” [They are singing a victory song.]
Look at the CONTEXT. This is just as the 7 last bowls of wrath (the 7 last plagues) are poured out (released) upon the earth. Where is this crystal sea? That’s right. It is before the Father’s throne in Heaven! (Rev. 4:6)
At the Glorious Return, all of the “dead in Christ” will be resurrected, and all of the living will be “changed.” Each will receive the immortal spiritual body. They will be “caught up to meet Christ in the air” (1Thess. 4:16-17). Not one of them will remain on this earth during the outpouring of God’s final wrath. No one remaining on the earth, will survive the coming devastation.
The Redeemed Will Leave the Earth . . . pg1
The Place Prepared . . . pg3
Ancient Hebrew Marriage Custom . . . pg4
A Place of Safety . . . pg5
Total Devastation . . . pg5
The Heavens will Perish . . . pg5
Burned Up . . . pg6-7
The Trumpets . . . pg8-9
The Last Trumpet . . . pg10
Bowls of Wrath - Universal in Effect . . . pg10
The Beast will Rule The World . . . pg11
The Bowls of Wrath . . . pg11-13
7th Bowl - other passages agree . . . pg13
Without Form and Void . . . pg15
Destruction of the Nations . . . pg16
Isaiah’s Describes the Effects of the Last Plagues . . . pg17
Will the Earth Remain? . . . pg18
The Land Will Rest . . . pg19
The Earth vs. The Land - word study . . . pg20
Satan Bound . . . pg21
The Bottomless Pit . . . pg21
The Day of Atonement . . . pg22
Those Raised First - and The Rest . . . pg23
Time Line . . . pg24
When Will the Redeemed Return to the Earth . . . pg25
Satan Released from His Prison . . . pg25
Study Summary . . . pg26
Links to Related Studies . . . pg27
The Place Prepared in Heaven
John 13:33, 36-37 “I’m going away,” Jesus said, “Where I am going you cannot come.” “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow Me afterward.” “Why can’t I follow you now Lord?” Peter asked. Then Jesus explained about the Father’s house.
Where was Jesus going? Answer: to His Father, to be seated at the Father’s right hand. Believers will follow Jesus to the Father’s House at the resurrection - at His glorious return. See our study, “Where are the Dead?”
In His prayer to His Father just before the crucifixion, twice Jesus said, “I come to you” (John 17:11,13). He prayed, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may see my glory. . .” (v.24).
The “great multitude” will stand before the throne dressed in white robes, carrying palm branches of victory. They will serve “before the throne of God,” “day and night in His Temple” (Rev. 7:9,15). The “two witnesses” are resurrected and then called up to Heaven (Rev. 11:11-12). The 144,000 sing a new song before the throne (Rev. 14:3).
John 14:2-3 “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
John 16:28 “Now I leave the world and go back to the Father.”
(Compare John 16:16-17, John 7:62, John 7:33 and Acts 3:21.)
Many Bible passages support Christ’s return to His Father in Heaven. Heaven is the “Father’s House” (Heb. 9:24). Within the “Father’s House” there are many large dwellings (mansions). Yeshua (Jesus) was going to Heaven, to “prepare a place” for His “bride” - His church (or congregation). That “place” would be the city - New Jerusalem.
John 14:2 “I go to prepare a place for you.”
Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
I believe that Christ will transport His “bride” to “the place” He has prepared for her in the Father’s House. The New Jerusalem is currently located in Heaven. During the 7th millennium, the New Jerusalem will still be located in Heaven.
The New Jerusalem will not descend to the earth made new, until all sin, sinners, death and hell have been consumed forever in the Lake of Fire. That doesn’t happen until after the Battle of Gog and Magog, which battle does not take place until after “the rest of the dead” are resurrected at the 8th millennium.
I believe the “bride” of Christ will spend the “honeymoon” millennium, in the place that He has prepared for her.
Revelation 21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John saw the holy city New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Revelation 21:10 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.”
Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.”
Jesus called the Temple at Jerusalem, “My Father’s House” (John 2:16). The Temple at Jerusalem was only a miniature copy - a TYPE or representation of the real House of God - which is “Heaven itself” (Exo. 25:9&40, Heb. 8:2). Within the “Father’s House” is the place that Christ has prepared for His “bride.”
ANCIENT HEBREW MARRIAGE CUSTOM
The New Jerusalem is called “the Lamb’s bride” (Rev. 21:9). The New Covenant is a covenant of marriage. Paul said that we are “betrothed” to the One who rose from the dead (2Cor. 11:2). Jesus will return for His bride. He will then take His bride back to His Father’s House, where the “marriage feast” will take place. This sequence of events parallels Ancient Hebrew marriage custom.
In ancient Judea, marriage was contracted between the father of the bride to be, and the father of the groom - each accompanied by a “witness” (two witnesses). This marriage covenant (or betrothal) was binding. Adultery during this period of betrothal was punishable by death.
The period of betrothal lasted about one year, during which time the groom would “prepare a place” for his bride (usually an apartment within the extended family compound). When this “home” was completed - the father of the groom would tell his son to go for his bride.
A simple ceremony took place, usually at the home of the bride’s parents. The groom’s attendant lifted the veil from the bride’s face. Draping it over the shoulder of the groom he pronounced, “The government shall be upon his shoulder”(Isa. 9:6). The bride then accompanied her husband back to his family home, where the wedding feast took place. The father of the groom would have a lavish feast prepared to celebrate his son’s marriage.
(Gower, Ralph, The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times, Moody Press, Chicago, pg65; Alexander, P.T., The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible, Reader’s Digest, pg.166.)
We are now betrothed to the risen Christ (2Cor. 11:2). He is preparing a home for us, within His Father’s House. Our groom will return for us - His bride. He will then take us, to the home He has prepared.
A PLACE OF SAFETY - FROM TOTAL DESTRUCTION
When the earth was covered by the waters of the flood, Noah and his family were safe inside the ark. When the earth is on fire - devastated by the last plagues, the people of God will be safe inside the “place” which Christ has prepared. It is clear that we must be removed from the earth for some period of time. The whole earth will be consumed by fire (2 Pet. 3:10), necessitating the creation of a “new earth.” Whatever remains on the earth during the final outpouring of God’s wrath will be consumed!
Please do read the study titled “God’s Wrath - A Different View.”
THE HEAVENS WILL PERISH
Hebrews 1:10-12 [God the Father speaking to His Son] “You Lord, In the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never end.”
“In the beginning” - takes the reader back to the Genesis creation. The Son of God laid the foundation of the earth. “The heavens” - described as a “cloak” for “the earth,” (Ps 102:25-26) were the work of His hands. These same “heavens, will perish.” They will grow old, just like a garment grows old, and Christ will “roll them up” and change them for a new garment. Now I ask you? If the earth is consumed in fire, and our “heavens” are perished, (which would include our atmosphere) how could anyone on this planet survive?
Several passages speak of “new heavens and a new earth” which Christ will create (Isa. 65:17, Isa. 66:22, 2Pet. 3:13). To “perish” is to die. If the earth is dead, it will not support life.
Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more” (NRS).
Isaiah 65:17 “For look, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered and will come no more to mind” (NJB).
2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, . . .” (Lk 21:33, Matt. 24:36).
Hebrews 6:7-8 “For the earth . . . if it bears thorn and briers, it is rejected . . . whose end is to be burned.”
Deuteronomy 29:23 “The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and His wrath.”
This is the curse which the LORD prophesied would come upon the land of Israel, should they forsake the covenant. Those things which happened to Israel are the TYPE (symbolic) of those things which will come upon the whole of mankind (1Cor. 10:11).
Isaiah 24:6 “Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.”
The “few men” who “are left” will be the redeemed, who are removed from the earth before it is consumed by the last plagues.
Zephaniah 1:14-18 “. . . On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth” NAS.
Zephaniah wrote in the days before the Babylonian destruction. When the Babylonians attacked Judea they did not kill every inhabitant. They left the poorest of the people in the land. That fact tells us that this prophecy of destruction is a dual prophecy. Yes. It was partially fulfilled by the Babylonian destruction. It will have another - complete - fulfillment at the end of this age.
Genesis 6:13 “And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’”
Luke 17:26-30 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: . . . the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: . . . on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
In Noah’s day, the flood destroyed every human being who remained outside of the ark. On the day that Lot was led out of Sodom, the fire destroyed every living thing left inside the city.
“Even so,” means “just like that.”
The last plagues will destroy all life on planet earth.
Jeremiah 4:23-26 [After the great day of the Lord] “I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down at the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger.”
Please see PVP study “Cursed.” The Hebrew word translated as “cursed” in our English Bible, means “doomed to destruction,” or simply “doomed.” The last plagues are God’s “curse” poured out. This earth is “doomed to destruction” because of rebellion and wickedness.
The material from PVP study “Trumpets and Bowls,” is here incorporated into this study.
THE “TRUMPETS” (Revelation Chapter Eight)
In ancient Israel, trumpets were sounded to warn of impending attack, or as a call to battle. Trumpets were also sounded on the first day of the 7th month, to warn the people to prepare for judgment day - the Day of Atonement - which would come in just ten days.
The trumpet events of Revelation serve to warn the inhabitants of earth, that the “Day of the LORD” - Judgment Day, is fast approaching.
Reviewing the effects of the trumpet plagues, and those of the final bowl plagues, will help me to explain why I believe this earth will be rendered desolate and lifeless. The redeemed people of God must be removed from this planet before the final plagues begin.
Just think about the effects.......
First Trumpet: One third of all the trees and all green grass are burned up.
Second Trumpet: One third of all creatures alive in the ocean are destroyed, and one third of all ships are destroyed, possibly by an asteroid hit. A “mountain burning with fire” is “thrown into the sea” (Rev. 8:7-8).
Third Trumpet: One third of all rivers are contaminated. Thousands are made sick and many die after they drink the bitter tasting water.
Fourth Trumpet: One third of sunlight and one third of moonlight is darkened.
Dust may have been thrown into the atmosphere by an asteroid hit, blocking the sun, OR by massive volcanic eruptions, OR by a massive nuclear exchange. Growth of plants for food will be limited.
Fifth Trumpet: Those without “the seal” of God are tormented for five months.
Sixth Trumpet: One third of mankind is killed by “fire, smoke, and brimstone” (melted earth) after “four messengers headed for the river Euphrates” are released.
Probably a massive nuclear exchange.
Of course you notice the words “a third,” used over and over, describing the trumpet events. Satan took one third of the angels of Heaven with him, in rebellion against the LORD. Do you think perhaps the wording - “a third” - is telling us who is behind the trumpet events? I believe so. The trumpet plagues are Satan’s plagues.
Every man on the street has heard of “the 7 last plagues.”
Very few understand that the 7 trumpet plagues come first.
If Satan wanted to stand in a rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem, claiming to be Christ, he would need seven plague events to precede his “coming.” I believe that he will appear, and claim to be Jesus Christ, because 2Thess. 2:4 says “he sits” (the “wicked one” or “lawless one”) “as God in the temple of God.” Only the king - the “anointed Son of David,” was allowed to sit within the Temple court. The Jews - who allow him to “sit,” believe that he is Messiah - the Son of David.
Seventh Trumpet - Dominion over the earth is taken from Satan and given to the Son of Man (Daniel 7:9-14). The time for judgment has come. Christ will return in glory. Those in covenant with Him will be removed from this earth. THEN the final plagues of wrath can be poured out.
In the TYPE, Lot (who was in covenant with God), was led out of Sodom by the hand of angels BEFORE it “rained fire and brimstone.” Noah (a type of Christ) with his family (the redeemed), was safely inside the ark with the door shut, BEFORE it began to rain. Jesus repeatedly said, “As it was in those days.” I believe the redeemed will be removed from this earth before the full wrath of God is poured out.
The 7 Trumpet Events come BEFORE Christ returns in glory.
The 7 Bowl Plagues will begin AFTER Christ removes His people.
The 7 trumpet events are limited in scope, except for #7 which is the Glorious Return.
The Trumpet plagues may affect primarily the Middle East, and specifically “the land” promised to the “seed of Abraham.”
The 7 bowl plagues are universal in scope.
THE LAST TRUMPET
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--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.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “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.”
Matthew 24:31 [Christ describing His glorious return] “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The last trumpet of this age, will be the 7th trumpet. When the 7th trumpet of Revelation sounds, it will be time to reward God’s servants, time to pour out His wrath, and time to judge the wicked dead (by resurrecting them to face that judgment). See Revelation 11:15-18.
BOWLS OF WRATH - Universal in effect.
The Seven Bowls (or vials) of wrath are poured out as the 7th Trumpet sounds. These plagues are universal in scope. They are called the full “wrath of God” “poured out without mercy” (Rev. 15:1-7; Rev. 16:1).
Every person on earth will receive the mark, or refuse. Those who refuse “the mark,” will suffer the wrath of the Beast power. Those who receive the mark of the Beast, will suffer “the “wrath of God,” poured out as 7 last plagues (Rev. 13:11, Rev. 15:1). Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will refuse to serve the Beast, or to take his mark. These only will escape the last plagues, because they will be removed from the earth on the day that Christ returns in glory. Anyone left on the earth will die.
THE BEAST WILL RULE THE WHOLE WORLD
Revelation 13:7-8 [The Beast of Rev. Chapter 13] “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to over come them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship (serve) him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. . .”
If ALL who dwell on the earth will serve the Beast (except those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life) - then worship of the Beast will be worldwide.
If everyone who worships the Beast will suffer the last plagues - then the last plagues will be universal (Rev. 14:9-10).
A harlot rides the Beast (the political system). A “harlot” or “immoral woman,” sold her body for money or favors, outside of marriage. I believe “the harlot” of Revelation, is Jerusalem. She was once a “faithful city” but she became a harlot (Isa. 1:21). She was once “married” to the LORD. He finally divorced her (Jeremiah 3:8). She gave herself to foreign powers in exchange for trade, and advantageous treaties (and billions in foreign aid). She adopted the worship of foreign gods (money and power). Rome was never a “faithful city.”
In the last days, the “whore” will endorse the Beast system. She will encourage everyone to go along with that system - to accept “the mark.”
Revelation 18:8 “Therefore let her plagues come in one day.”
I believe that DAY will be the day that Christ returns in clouds of glory. The Ten Kings will turn on her, when the real Christ shows up. They will see that she has deceived them. Revelation Chapter 19 details those judgments which will come upon the “great harlot.”
THE BOWLS OF WRATH
First Bowl: A plague causing “loathsome sores” (Rev.16:2).
This could be biological warfare, or perhaps radiation burns.
Second Bowl: Every living thing in the sea dies (Rev. 16:3).
If the ocean no longer supports life, there is no food chain.
There is also little oxygen, because sea algae produce 75% of our oxygen.
Third Bowl: All of the rivers and all of the springs of water become like blood.
They will not support life (Rev. 16:4).
Fourth Bowl: The sun scorches men with fire (Rev. 16:8).
Possibly a gamma ray burst, or the result when the earth is knocked into a different orbit or a different orientation towards the sun. Jesus said, “The powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Matt. 24:29). The heavens and the earth will “tremble” (Joel 2:10, Joel 3:16, Hag. 2:6, Hag. 2:21). The earth “will reel to and fro” (Isa. 24:20). The earth will be shaken from its place (Isa. 13:13). This probably happened at the time of Noah’s Flood (Job 9:6). Many will die of the intense heat or radiation.
John may be describing different effects following the same event. The “kings of the earth” will fight against the returning Christ. Imagine the warfare they will unleash! Everything is set in motion on the day that Christ removes His people, His Spirit and His protection, from the earth.
Fifth Bowl: Darkness will cover the “kingdom of the beast” (Rev. 16:10).
The sun will be darkened and the moon will give no light (Matt. 24:29). “He will clothe the heavens with blackness” (Isa. 50:3).
The Beast rules the entire world - therefore this plague of darkness will be universal. If a large asteroid were to impact earth, or multiple super volcano were to erupt, dust would be thrown into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight. Scientists believe a similar event wiped out the dinosaurs. I believe this happened at the time of Noah’s Flood.
Sixth Bowl: Demonic powers gather “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” for a global war, against Christ returning (Rev.16:14).
The nations of earth will prepare to fight against Christ as if He is an invading alien force.
Seventh Bowl: “Every island fled away and the mountains were not found. Great hail from heaven fell upon men, every hailstone about the weight of a talent [100pds]” (Rev. 16:18-21).
This will be the greatest earthquake ever known! The surface of the earth will be liquified. The earth’s surface will melt, at the presence of the LORD (Psa. 46:6). It will be broken apart to an incredible degree - an earthquake with the power to break apart every known fault over the face of the entire earth. Mountains and islands will sink down.
I do not see a universal flood of sea water here. If the “sky” is parted, or “rolled up like a scroll” (Rev. 6:14, Isa. 34:4) that suggests our atmosphere may be disrupted. If the oceans are vaporized by an asteroid hit, the water vapor may be dispersed into outer space - leaving the planet dry and lifeless.
With no clean air, no clean water, no vegetation on land or sea, severe heat, then darkness, then multiple asteroid showers and hits, while the surface of the earth is liquified - do you really think there could be any human life left on this planet? Many teach that the saints will reign with Christ, during the 7th millennium, over the nations who survive these last plagues. I don’t see that!
THE 7TH BOWL - other passages agree
Revelation 6:12-14 “There was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll which is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.”
Imagine the forces it will take! Christ said that He would return, “in the glory of His Father.” This is the glory that created a billion stars!
Isaiah 13:13 “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger.”
I have thought perhaps the “new heavens” would be those we see because the earth has been re-oriented in space. The constellations that were once worshiped, will no longer be seen - at least with the same shapes. We do know that the moon and the sun will still be above us. The prophecies of the new earth mention them.
Micah 1:3-4 “For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.”
Isaiah 24:18-20 “For the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken. The earth is split open. The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut.”
The stars will not literally “fall” to earth. John may be describing an asteroid shower, or the stars may have the appearance of falling when the earth reels to and fro.
Matthew 24:35-37 [Christ speaking] “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
PLEASE TELL ME!
HOW COULD ANY HUMAN LIFE CONTINUE ON THIS PLANET
AFTER THESE EVENTS?
2 Peter 3:7, 10-12 “But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men . . .”
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
WITHOUT FORM - AND VOID
“Without form and void” (Strong’s # 08414 & #0922) – these are the same Hebrew words used in Genesis 1:2, to describe the earth on the first day of creation, before God made anything. The earth was dark and without life.
Jeremiah’s prophecy was written before the Babylonians destroyed Judea, and Jerusalem. The prophecy will see its complete fulfillment at the end of this age. The Babylonians did NOT kill every man in Judea, and the cities of that day were not destroyed by “the presence of the LORD.”
Isaiah 2:17-21 “And the loftiness of man shall be lowered down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. But the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.”
All of Isaiah it is claimed, was only a prophecy of the Babylonian destruction of Judea. These verses speak of the “glory of His majesty” which was not seen at the destruction of ancient Jerusalem. The whole earth did NOT “reel like a drunkard” nor was it “clean dissolved” when Jerusalem fell.
Zephaniah 1:2-3: “‘I will utterly consume all things from off the land,’ Says the Lord. ‘I will consume man and beasts; I will consume the birds of the heaven, the fish of the sea, and the shrines with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the face of the earth,’ Says the Lord.”
Zephaniah was a prince descended from King David. He was the great, great, grandson of King Hezekiah, and second cousin of King Josiah. He was also a prophet of God. The warning given to Judea and Jerusalem, before the Babylonian destruction - a warning of impending doom - is a DUAL PROPHECY. It was for them. It is also for the whole world.
Zephaniah 1:14-18 “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy; for He shall make a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”
After Christ removes His own people to safety, the plagues which follow will “rid” the earth of “ALL” inhabitants. “Walk like blind men” (v.17) might refer to the plague of darkness or to the effect of the intense brightness of His coming, as Saul was struck blind by the glory of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.
Nahum 1:5,6,8 “The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? . . . His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. . . . He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.”
DESTRUCTION OF THE NATIONS
Isaiah Chapter 34
34:1-2 “Come near, you nations, to hear; And heed, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter.” (See also Revelation 16:14.)
34:3 “Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.”
34:4 “All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree.” (See also Revelation 6:14, and Hebrews 1:10-12.)
34:8-10 “For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever.” (See also Revelation 14:10-11 & Revelation 19:3.)
NOTE: Verses 5-6 of this chapter, tell us that this was a prophecy concerning “Edom” (the kingdom of Esau’s descendants). The LORD calls them “the people of My curse.” But the “land of Edom” is not still burning today. The ancient destruction of Edom by the Babylonians was the TYPE. The rest of the passage tells us that this prophecy concerns the whole earth - and all enemies of God and His people - burned with unquenchable fire.
34:11 “He shall stretch out over it the line of confusion [meaning ‘without form’] and the stones of emptiness [meaning ‘void’].”
ISAIAH’S DESCRIBES THE EFFECTS
of the last plagues.
Isaiah Chapter 24
24:1 “Behold the Lord makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants.”
24:3 “The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered; for the LORD has spoken this word.”
24:6 “Therefore, the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate; therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left.”
NOTE: The “few men left” will be those evacuated to safety by Christ.
24:13 “It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.” (See also Rev. 6:13 & Rev 14:19-20.)
24:18 “And the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
24:19 “The earth is violently broken. The earth is split open. The earth is shaken exceedingly.”
24:20 “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.”
24:21 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish on high the host of exalted ones, [Satan and his angels] and on the earth the kings of the earth. They [the host of exalted ones] 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.”
“The abyss,” where Satan and his fallen angels are cast, seems to be located somewhere “on high.”
WILL THE EARTH REMAIN?
Most believe this planet will remain, though in a severely burned condition after the last plagues. They believe this earth will be healed and restored by Christ, to then become the home of the redeemed forever. Some believe Christ will heal this planet soon after His glorious return. Others believe He will restore this planet 1000 years later, or perhaps half way through the 7th millennium to fulfill the Jubilee. Still others believe that Christ will create a “new earth” within a “new heavens” - an entirely new creation.
Hebrews 1:10-12 strongly suggests this present earth with its present “heavens” will one day be gone. The words “roll it up” may allude to a black hole - perhaps after our sun goes supernova. Scattered through our galaxy are lots of man made things. Those would need to be destroyed along with the earth. Some believe our galaxy will be gone.
I personally believe this planet will be left intact, though severely burned and without inhabitant following the Glorious Return and the last plagues. All the space junk can be vaporized in an instant. After some period of time, I believe that Christ will restore this planet to life. If that means recovering the earth from the event horizon of a black hole, He can do that. He promised, “The meek will inherit the earth.” How could His promise come to pass, if this planet was disappeared?
At the 8th millennium, the “rest of the dead” will be raised to continue their lives. (They lived and died in ignorance or physical immaturity, and did not have the information or the mental maturity either to choose Christ, or to reject Him.) They will be governed by Christ with His redeemed from the first resurrection. Those delivered at the Glorious Return will return to this earth from heaven to act as priests (Rev 20:5-6). See PVP studies “A Kingdom of Priests” and “The 8th Day.” The “heavens” may be “new” because the earth is oriented differently in space, but there will still be a moon and sun and stars. We read about the “new moon” and the Sabbaths, in Isaiah’s prophecies of the “new earth.”
After the Gog/Magog Battle of Revelation Chapter 20, it is possible that Christ will again heal the damage done, to retain this planet forever as the home of the saved. It is also possible that He will create an entirely “new heavens” and a “new earth.” Both scenarios are possible. I am personally more convinced of the first - that this earth will remain the home of the saved. The New Jerusalem, when it descends to earth, will cover the land area promised to the Seed of Abraham.
The Land Will Rest
God commanded a “rest” for man and beast every 7th day (Exo 20:8-11). He commanded a “rest” for the land every 7th year. During the sabbath of the 7th year, no seed was to be sown, and no crops were to be harvested (Lev. 25:2-7). Israel was to sow again - in the eighth year.
This cycle of planting and rest was a prophecy. The earth has groaned under Satan’s cruel domination, for almost 6000 years. The earth will soon rest for a thousand years. The 7th millennium will be a sabbath (a rest) for the earth. The gospel will not be “sown” on the earth during that time, and no souls will be “harvested” for the kingdom. Sowing will begin again in the 8th millennium, when “the rest of the dead” are raised to live again (Rev. 20:5).
We see a TYPE in the seventy years of Babylonian captivity during which the land lay desolate. This “rest” for the land, was to fulfill 70 sabbath years (rest years) which Israel had failed to keep. Israel had been in rebellion for 490 years (2 Chron. 36:21).
The “rest” which came for the land, after the Babylonian destruction, was an acted prophecy, of the destruction and desolation which will come upon the whole earth, because men have forsaken their Creator and His Sabbaths for 6000 years.
Leviticus 26:33-35 [The LORD’s warning to Israel] “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest – for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.”
THE EARTH vs. THE LAND
I need to make a point here about the use of the Hebrew word translated as “earth.” It is the same word often translated as “land.” It is ‘erets (Strong’s #0776). We must examine the context to know whether the word refers to the whole “earth”, as in Genesis Chapter one, OR refers to “the land” promised to Abraham’s Seed. In the Greek Apostolic Writings, we have the same problem with the Greek word “ge” (Strong’s #1093), which is translated as “land,” and/or as “earth” depending on passage and version.
You now understand why some folks believe that the prophesied destruction will effect only “the land” area promised to Abraham’s chosen descendants, not to the entire earth. They site the prophecies of coming destruction by the Babylonians or Assyrians, and say that these prophecies were limited in scope. I believe that clues, within those prophecies, tell us that they are dual prophecy. They applied - yes - to the destruction of the ancient “land” of Israel, but they apply with even greater force to the coming destruction of the entire “earth” at the end of this age.
First: “The heavens and the earth” created “in the beginning” “will perish” according to the LORD, speaking in Hebrews 1:10-12. This is not just the portion of the earth’s land area promised to Abraham’s seed.
Second: I would point out that Jesus Christ is the “Seed of Abraham” (Gal 3:16). He will inherit “the land” promised to Abraham’s Seed. He will also receive dominion over the entire “earth” - the earth that He created, not just a small portion of it. In Daniel 7:14, dominion is given to the Son of Man, over all peoples, nations, and languages.
Third: “The ground” (the earth) was cursed with thorns and thistles (Gen 3:17-19). At no point have thorns and thistles been confined to “the land” area promised to Abraham’s seed.
Fourth: The destruction at the end of this age will be like that of Noah’s day, and like that of Sodom (in the days of Lot). Sodom was completely destroyed by fire. The flood of Noah’s day was universal - worldwide. The water rose 15 cubits above than the highest mountains (Gen 7:19-20). It is unrealistic to think that high water could have been contained within a limited area. And the very high mountains we know today, did not even exist before the drifting continents pushed them up during, or shortly after, the flood. The Ark floated for a year without seeing land. It seems very unlikely that the flood was localized to the small area of land promised to Abraham’s seed. Continuous sedimentary layers run around the planet. They testify to a universal flood. If Noah’s flood was universal, then so is the fire at the end of this age.
THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
Isaiah 24:21 “The host of exalted ones” are “gathered in the pit.”
Revelation 20:1-3 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
Revelation 20:7-8 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth . . .”
In the Septuagint (an ancient translation from Hebrew to Greek) the Greek word “abussos” (Strong’s #12 - meaning bottomless or boundless) was used to translate the Hebrew “bohuw” (#0922 - meaning emptiness, void or waste). See Genesis 1:2 & Jeremiah 4:23. The same Greek word “abussos” is translated as “bottomless pit” in Revelation 20:1-2 of our English Bible.
Satan is thrown into the abyss, the emptiness, the void, the waste. He was “cast to the earth” after the war in the heavenly realm. He has made this earth his kingdom. He is called “the ruler of this world.” He presently holds dominion. I think it fitting that he may spend a thousand years on the dark and lifeless earth, perhaps circling a black hole, bound by those circumstances which he caused. I say “may” because noone knows for sure where the abyss is, or will be located. I am not fully convinced this earth will be “the without form and void.” I do think it possible.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
I believe that events connected with Christ’s return will fulfill the ancient Day of Atonement prophecy of final cleansing and final reconciliation.
Leviticus 16:21-22 On that day, two goats were chosen by casting lots. The goat chosen as “the Lord’s goat” was sacrificed as a “sin offering” “for the people.” This sacrifice was to “make atonement” for “all the congregation of Israel.” Its blood was sprinkled over the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place. Its blood was also sprinkled in the first apartment, and on the Alter in the Courtyard.
After all of this was done - the High Priest was to confess over the head of “the scapegoat” (the Azazel goat) “all the iniquities of the Children of Israel and all their transgressions.” This goat was left alive. It was taken to an “uninhabited place” (Strong’s #4057) and turned loose.
Do you see the symbolism? The sins of God’s people were confessed over the head of the “LORD’s goat.” The LORD’s goat represented Jesus. Jesus died as the sin offering for the confessed sins of God’s people. His death brought reconciliation. He carries our sins. He will carry them UNTIL the final day of judgment, when those sins will be transferred to the of Satan.
“All the sins” of Israel were confessed a second time, over the head of the scapegoat, which was NOT killed, but was rather banished to an “uninhabited place” carrying the confessed sins of God’s people. He would carry those sins forever. The scapegoat represented Satan.
After “the LORD’s goat”(Jesus) died and rose again, He became the “fit man” of the prophecy, who will soon banish Satan (the scapegoat) to the uninhabited place (the abyss).
Some object to this interpretation, wondering how Satan could ever be said to “bear upon himself” all our sins. I would explain that this is supported by the judgment pronounced in Daniel 7:10-22. (See also Rom. 3:4, Psa. 51:4).
Jesus carried our sins, as the Lamb of God. He assumed the guilt. He now carries our sins as High Priest. He bought us time. But why would Jesus carry those sins forever? He is innocent. Satan is guilty. When the Heavenly Court rules, Satan will be found guilty of all the sins which his temptations and deceptions caused. He is the prima and original cause. He is “the deceiver.” At this point, Jesus (as High Priest) will transfer all the confessed sins of His people to Satan (the scapegoat). Dominion will be taken from Satan and given to Christ - The Son of Man. Just as soon as the Heavenly Court has ruled, Jesus will carry out the judgment of that court. He will recover His own from this earth, and will release the last plagues. He will finally banish Satan to the bottomless pit.
Some object to this interpretation of Daniel Chapters 7 and 8, saying that Christ went before the Heavenly Court immediately upon His ascension. I disagree. Consider the context.
Daniel 7 and 8 describe events taking place on the earth at the time of the Heavenly ruling. The Little Horn on the Terrible Beast, has pushed up three of the ten horns. He is speaking pompous words against the Most High. He is making “war against the saints,” right up to that judgment by the Heavenly Court, right up to the time for the saints to possess the kingdom (verse 22, 26, 27). These are the final events of this age! The Day of Atonement was the final judgment of the yearly cycle - the cycle which told the story of Christ’s work for our redemption.
The Feast of Tabernacles - a great reunion at Jerusalem, follows just 5 days after. It is the final feast of the prophecy. It tells of our reunion at the New Jerusalem, in Heaven - the City that He has prepared for us.
THOSE RAISED FIRST - AND THE REST
Revelation 20:1-6 Satan is bound for 1000 years. “And I saw thrones and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years [7th millennium].
But, the rest of the dead did not live again until the 1000 years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
This study is about the 7th millennium. So I must talk about who will be alive during this period of 1000 years, and who will not be alive.
So far we have:
1. The redeemed: removed from the earth, transported to The Father’s House.
May be returned to the earth to restore and repair part way through 7th millennium.
2. Satan (with his angels): banished to “the bottomless pit” - “the uninhabited emptiness.”
3. The wicked: confirmed in rebellion against God: judged and left to die by the plagues, their bodies consumed by fire as the earth is “burned up.” Never again resurrected.
4. The Beast and the False Prophet: Satan’s powerful geopolitical force spanning thousands of years, and involving millions. And Satan’s system of spiritual and religious falsehood. Both are thrown into the Lake of Fire, never to be resurrected again.
5. The rest: left physically dead for 1000 years, then resurrected at the 8th millennium.
They will then learn of the LORD, and then must choose whom they will serve.
Just exactly how the redeemed will spend their time with Christ in the Father’s House, we are not told. Much healing will be needed, for minds and hearts. A great many questions will be asked and answered. We do know that we will become “priests of God and of Christ” which means we must be prepared to serve as priests for those raised at the end of the 1000 years. Speaking personally, I am not ready to reign over anyone just yet.
NOTE: Some students of prophecy believe that only those who were martyred will rise in the “first resurrection” to “reign with Him for a thousand years.” While I have no problem believing that those who gave their lives for Christ will be given an exalted place in the kingdom, other Bible passages support my belief that all of the “dead in Christ” will be raised when the last Trumpet sounds at His return (1 Thess. 4:16, Matt. 24:30-31). When the 7th Trumpet sounds, the time has come to “reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great” (Rev. 11:15).
WHEN WILL THE REDEEMED RETURN TO THE EARTH?
The redeemed may remain in the heavenly realm (the Father’s House) for the entire 1000 years. It is also possible they may return to the earth part way through the 1000 years. This may be the meaning of the Jubilee year prophecy, which began half way through the 49th year (Leviticus Chapters 25 and 27). At the Jubilee, each man of Israel was free to return to his inheritance. If Christ has healed the earth, then it will definitely support life. Some of the prophecies speak of rebuilding and restoring what was broken down (Isa 61:4). If the “bottomless pit” for Satan is not this earth, then the saints of God can live on this earth, undisturbed by Satan or his angels.
I personally lean towards 1000 years for the redeemed in the Father’s House, because of the commands concerning the priesthood. Each man to be consecrated, was to remain within the Tabernacle for seven days (Lev. Cpt 8). They would begin their ministry as priests on the 8th day. The redeemed of Christ will become “priests of God and of Christ.” They will begin their priestly ministry at the 8th millennium. “With the LORD a day is as a thousand years” (2Peter 3:8).
The Tabernacle was a copy of “Heaven itself,” the “true Tabernacle” where Christ ministers (Heb. 8:2). That being the case, it would mean that the redeemed (who are to be “priests of God and of Christ” Rev. 20:6) would remain in Heaven until the 8th Day (the 8th millennium). I personally lean towards this interpretation, but I’ll be very happy with God’s plan, regardless of timing.
SATAN RELEASED FROM HIS PRISON
Revelation 20:7 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth . . .”
When the “rest of the dead” are resurrected after the 7th millennium, they will join together to form “nations” - “in the four corners of the earth.” Satan will be released from the abyss, and will be allowed access to these human beings. They have not yet chosen to serve either Christ or Satan. These are people who lived and died in ignorance or immaturity. The battle for souls will continue. The redeemed from the “first resurrection” will serve as “priests” under Christ, to teach and govern those raised last. Each person raised to continued life must choose whom he will serve. Each person must be “tested.”
The Righteous - The Wicked - The Rest
and a Thousand Years
1. There will be a resurrection of both righteous and wicked at the Christ’s return (Dan. 12:2-3).
The Beast and the False Prophet will be judged on that day, and will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Many will be slain quickly by the glory of God. Others will die as the last plagues are poured out.
2. When Christ returns, the righteous will go with Him to the New Jerusalem - the place He has prepared for His “bride” - in the Father’s House. They will be consecrated to serve as “priests” - to govern and teach “the rest of the dead,” when they are resurrected at the end of the 1000 years.
3. The earth will be completely devastated by the seven last plagues.
It will no longer support life.
4. Satan will be confined to the “bottomless pit” for the 1000 years of the 7th millennium.
5. The “rest of the dead” (persons who died in ignorance or immaturity) will NOT be resurrected on the day that Christ returns in glory. They will be resurrected 1000 years later, at the 8th millennium - to learn of Him and then to choose whom they will serve.
Christ (with His redeemed) cannot rule over these “nations” during the 7th millennium because these people will not “live again” until the 8th millennium - “The 8th Day” (Rev 20:5-6).
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
Links to other studies on next page
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
The Comets of God, by Jeffrey Goodman, Ph.D., Archeological Research Books, 2011
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