Bible Topics

My system of Eschatology has the following features:


Kingdom of Heaven ...

The Kingdom of Heaven is only for humans. Angels are not a part of this kingdom; they already reside in heaven with God.

There are various names for the Kingdom of Heaven:


At Hand...

John the Baptist and Jesus preached that the Kingdom of Heaven is "at hand",and Jesus sent the twelve disciples off to Israel to preach the same message. The phrase "at hand" means that the kingdom is a present reality for those who accept it in faith (and who repent of their sins).

Many interpret Matthew 11:11 as teaching that John the Baptist died before the Kingdom of Heaven was established, but in context we see that Jesus was comparing the greatest prophet who ever lived (John the Baptist) with anyone and everyone in the new heavens and new earth.

Matthew 11:12 seems to state the Kingdom of Heaven began at the time of John the Baptist.

In many of the verses in Matthew, the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven" seems to refer to a present reality of all believers for all ages; or if not for all ages from the beginning of humankind, at least starting at the time that Jesus (or John the Baptist) began his ministry.

See Luke 9:27.

New Heavens and New Earth...

The fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven is the New Heavens and New Earth. All believers, all the faithful of all ages will inhabit the New Heavens and New Earth.

Chronology...

The various stages of the Kingdom of Heaven:


3–1/2 ...

Periods of judgment and/or persecution.

There are 7 different uses of this time period:

  1. The drought in Israel during Elijah's ministry.
  2. Temple sacrifices taken away by Antiochus Epiphanes.
  3. From Christ's ministry until his crucifixion.
  4. Nero's persecution of Christians.
  5. The bodies of the two witnesses lie in the street during thre Jewish War of 66–70 A.D.
  6. The Jewish war ending in 70 A.D.
  7. Domitian's period of persecution lasted for 3–1/2 years before he died.

3–1/2  (1260 days = 3–1/2 years)

42 months

1290 days

1335 days

1150 days  (3 years plus 70 days or 55 days)

(depending on the number of days in a year)

1150 x 2 = 2300


Antichrist 

There are few if any passages in the New Testament referring to the Antichrist. The early church fathers had no consensus on who the Antichrist was or when he would be active. This is strange; if the apostles taught about the topic the early church fathers should have been informed of this teaching.

The only commonality between the various writings of the early church fathers on the topic is that many agree that the following passages refer to the Antichrist, whoever or whatever he was deemed to be.

Although these passages are commonly used to refer to the Antichrist, none of them clearly refer to the person we moderns refer to as Antichrist; in fact they can easily be explained in other ways.

Those who were considered Antichrist by the apostle Johnwere Christians who were teaching various heretical views.

The various views of Antichrist by the writers of the New Testament:

(Revelation 11:7) And when they [2 witnesses] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Some say this is the from-that-time yet-future Antichristbut how is it possible for a spirit being (in fact, Satan) to be the Antichrist or how is it possible for a man (the Antichrist) to arise out of the bottomless pit?

Read more


I think this is the strongest evidence for a yet-future Antichristbut I reject this notion.

(2 Thessalonians 2:1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

(2 Thessalonians 2:3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [destruction];

(2 Thessalonians 2:4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

(2 Thessalonians 2:7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

(2 Thessalonians 2:8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

There was still a temple when this was written.

In this passage Christ comes and destroys this man of sin. Premillennialists teach that this coming of Christ is the rapture but there is no evidence for such an event in the writings of the early church fathers.

At the time Paul wrote this the mystery of iniquity was already at work. The Jewish revolutionaries were struggling against the Romans. When the time was ripe (when the restrainer was taken out of the way) one of these false Messiahs would lead the Jews to their destruction and the Romans would destroy the temple in 70 A.D. Christ's second coming would not occur until after this event; Jesus taught this (Matthew 24:30)and so did Paul (v. 5).

When Jesus comes again he will judge everyone including this false Messiah.


(Revelation 13:1) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

(Revelation 13:2) And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

These images are from Daniel which refer to kingdoms, not people.

(Revelation 13:3) And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

The Nero Redivivus myth.

(Revelation 13:5) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Nero persecuted Christians for 3–1/2 years.

(Revelation 13:6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Notice there is a temple. The temple was not destroyed until after the time of Nero.

(Revelation 13:7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

(Revelation 13:8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

These were true for the Roman emperors who demanded worship.

Evidence that this beast is not the Antichrist:

(Revelation 13:18) Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six [666].

666 = Nero. Therefore the beast is the spirit behind the wicked Roman emperors who demand emperor worship and who persecute Christians.

(Revelation 19:20) 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.

(Revelation 20:10) 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 20:15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The beast and false prophet are spirits, not humans. Humans are not cast into the lake of fire until after the great white throne judgment. Humans are not cast into the lake of fire until after Satan is.


(Daniel 7:24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Read more here and here. The 10 horns are the first 10 emperors of the Roman Empire. The little horn refers to the Domitian, 11th emperor of the Roman Empire, not the Antichrist.


Temple ...

The usual interpretation of the following verses:



Temple rebuilt in the future

Some claim that this will occur on earth during the yet-future the time of the Antichrist — perhaps he will assist them in building it (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9). However I find no convincing biblical evidence for such an event.



Temple in New Heavens and New Earth

In the new heavens and new earththere will be a literal temple with animal sacrifices, priests, rituals and rites.


Ezekiel 40 — 47

(Joel 3:18) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

(Isaiah 2:3) 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.

(Isaiah 56:6) Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

(Isaiah 56:7) Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

(Isaiah 60:7) All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.

(Isaiah 60:13) The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

(Haggai 2:7) And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

(Haggai 2:9) The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

(Jeremiah 33:18) Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

(Zechariah 14:16) And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

(Zechariah 14:17) And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

(Zechariah 14:18) And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

(Zechariah 14:19) This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

(Zechariah 14:20) In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

(Zechariah 14:21) Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.



New Heavens and New Earth ...

New Heavens and New Earth (read more here).

The same as the current heavens and earth with some important differences:

The phrase "heavens and earth" refers to the physical universe and the phrase "new heavens and new earth" also refers to the physical universe.

For more...

These passages refer to our powers in the new heavens and new earth:

(Matthew 17:20) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(Matthew 21:21) Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.


There will be marriage in the new heavens and new earth.

Articles about this topic:


Bible references...

(Luke 21:33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

The current heavens and earth will become transformed into the new heavens and new earth.

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

God will continue to create the new heavens and new earth moment by moment just as he now creates the current heavens and earth (the former) moment by moment.

Isaiah is discussing the troubles of this current world; these are what will pass. We will still be able to remember what happened in this current world (but our perspective of the sinful aspects will be changed to the way God views it).

(Isaiah 66:22) For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

In the new heavens and new earth Israel will be a nation and David will be their king.

The verses immediately following are telling:

(Isa 66:23) And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

In the new heavens and new earth we will have physical bodies and will come before the Lord in various liturgical worship celebrations. The new heavens and new earth are not in heaven.

(Isa 66:24) And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Those in the new heavens and new earth will look upon those who are not. A similar example is in Luke 16:20 in which the rich man who died could see and converse with Abraham and Lazarus who were redeemed (but this example does not occur in the new heavens and new earth.)

(2 Peter 3:13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This current heavens and earth will be replaced by the new heavens and new earth.

(Revelation 21:1) 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.

Since the earth was created for humans and humans are not at home in the sea, there is no need for there to be a sea. Likely there will be lakes (basins) to which the rivers drain, perhaps to feed underground aquifers.

The new heavens and new earth will be a miraculous world in which the natural laws no longer apply.


Destruction of Temple



(Luke 19:44) And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Jesus came to save the temple and the city of Jerusalem. It is only because the Jews rejected him as the Messiah that he was unable to save them, much as those in his home town were not able to receive miraculous blessings of healing.

Therefore it is reasonable to assume that there will be a temple complete with sacrifices in the new heavens and new earth.


Imminent ...

My articles about the topic of Imminency:  Imminent | Imminency | Jesus Is Coming Soon | Imminency | Preterism | This Generation

There are many passages in the New Testament that seem to imply the apostles believed the second coming of Christ would occur in their lifetimes, or in the lifetimes of the Christians they preached to.

My explanation for this:

See also: Revelation 22:7, Revelation 3:11, Revelation 11:14

Bible verses:

Matthew 10:7 — "The kingdom of heaven is at hand"; meaning it is near — all that is required is that a person receive it in faith.

Matthew 10:22 — "he that endures to the end will be saved"; meaning that once someone dies(after enduring) they won't have to endure any more — their salvation is complete.


At Hand

The phrase "at hand" is usually interpreted as "in the future" but it actually has many meanings:

See also Imminent

A present possession or a present situation

(1 Samuel 9:8) And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.

A present possession.

(Jeremiah 23:23) Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?

God is near to us at all times.

(Matthew 3:2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

(Matthew 4:17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

(Mark 1:15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Both John the Baptist and Jesus had the same message.

(Matthew 10:7) And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Jesus said this toward the end of his earthly ministry. He also said this at the beginning of his ministry (Matthew 4:17)

(Luke 21:31) So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

(Luke 21:30) When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

These verses are typically interpreted as meaning that sometime soon after the prophesied events occurred, then the kingdom of God would begin. I prefer to interpret them as meaning that the fulfillment of these events would remind them that the kingdom of God is already present. God uses miracles, signs, wonders, and fulfilled prophecy to encourage us in our faith.

(2 Thessalonians 2:2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

The only explanation for why these Christians were troubled is that they believed that something had already occurred, not that it would occur soon — the apostles clearly taught it would occur soon so this was not troublesome to them.

In close proximity

(John 19:42) There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

It was in close proximity.

The Lord is present as judge

(Philippians 4:5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

(1 Peter 4:7) But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

(Romans 13:12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

We are to live holy lives because God judges our actions. He is a witness to everything we do.

Death

(2 Timothy 4:6) For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

Paul is referring to his death which he expected to occur soon.

In the next couple of hours or minutes

(Matthew 26:45) Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

(Matthew 26:46) Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

(Mark 14:42) Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.


In the next couple of days

(Genesis 27:41) And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

(Matthew 26:18) And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

(John 2:13) And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

(John 7:2) Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.

(John 11:55) And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.


In the next year or so

(Deuteronomy 15:9) Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

 

(Revelation 1:3) Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

(Revelation 22:10) And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

The period of extreme persecution of Christians would soon begin.

Some indeterminate future time

(Deuteronomy 32:35) To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

(Isaiah 13:6) Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

(Ezekiel 12:23) Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.

(Ezekiel 36:8) But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

(Joel 1:15) Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

(Joel 2:1) Blow ye 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 cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

(Zephaniah 1:7) Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.


Prerequisites for Second Coming

Another aspect of imminency is the question of whether Jesus can return at any time or whether there are certain events which must first occur.

I believe the second coming of Christ can occur at any time. Based on this it must be possible to discover a fulfillment of every prophecy concerning yet-future events. These events considered to be yet-future events by some...


Christ could have returned in the early years of the church

It is clear the apostles believed and taught that Jesus could have returned at any time. For this to be true requires that even back then there were no prerequisite events that had to occur.

Once the book of Revelation was written the second coming of Christ could not have occurred until about 1054 A.D.since that is when the1,000 years of Revelation 20 ends.

(2 Thessalonians 2:2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

The key to this passage is understanding what the phrase "day of Christ" means. Some possibilities:

Note that this forged letter stated that the "day of Christ" was "at hand" — it had not yet occurred but was about to occur.

Paul describes events that must occur before this event called the "day of Christ":

In 2 Thessalonians 2:8 we read that this man of sin will be destroyed by Christ at his second coming. This implies that these events occur immediately before the second coming. In fact, since the second coming of Christ is not a single quick event perhaps all these prerequisite events occur as part of the second coming; perhaps the second coming triggers the other events.

The early Christians had experienced some persecution, mostly from Jews, but the Romans had not yet begun their full-scale attacks on Christianity. The forged letter from Paul may have predicted that persecution was about to begin and this disturbed the readers. In this case Paul's letter would have comforted them. However, it seems odd that Paul would comfort them by telling them that the persecution was not happening since in later years the church exhorted Christians to be strong when persecuted. But if the persecution had not yet begun Paul was correct in informing them of this fact.

(Matthew 24:3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

It's tempting to use Matthew 24 to prove that Jesus could not have returned until after 70 A.D. but we can only do this because we now know that Jesus did not return before this. The events described in Matthew 24 all could have been fulfilled earlier if a different set of circumstances had actually occurred, especially if we consider that Jesus' second coming triggers the events.

Events described in Matthew 24:


1,000 Years of Revelation 20 ...

I believe the 1,000 yearsis a literal time period but I reject the notion that this time period is a yet-future 1,000 year kingdom of Christ on earth in which resurrected believers rule and reign over mortal humans.

The 1,000 years ended about 1054 A.D.


Begins...

(Revelation 20:2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

(Revelation 20:3) 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.

Satan is bound in the bottomless pit.The bottomless pit is that spiritual realm closely associated with us here on earth but having limited access to earth.

Satan's fall from heaven occurred before Jesus was crucified. It probably occurred during his baptism or immediately after his encounter with Satan at the end of his forty day fast.

(Luke 10:18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

The Bottomless Pit 

(Revelation 9:1) And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

(Revelation 9:2) And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

(Revelation 9:3) And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

(Revelation 9:11) And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

(Revelation 11:7) And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

(Revelation 17:8) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

When Satan was confined in the bottomlesspit he could not corrupt the gospel.

(Revelation 12:9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

(Revelation 12:10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

(Revelation 12:11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

(Revelation 12:12) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

(Revelation 12:13) And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Before Christ came to earth, Satan's goal was to prevent the coming of the Messiah. Once the Messiah came (and Satan was cast down to the earth) Satan persecutes the woman (the church). A main theme of the book of Revelation is the persecution and martyrdom of Christians.

During...

(Revelation 20:4) 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 20:6) 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.

There are martyrs during the 1,000 years. After death they live and reign with Christ for 1,000 years. Presumably this refers to the same 1,000 year period. Thus, someone who was martyred in 300 A.D. would live and reign with Christ during this period for 700 years. This does not mean that they no longer live and reign with Christ after this because they certainly do.

The reference to thrones and judgment occurs after Satan is loosed,at the second coming. The sentence beginning "I saw the souls..." begins a new thought.

An important topic in the book of Revelation is the fate of the Roman Empire (the eastern Byzantine Empire is ignored) and the capital city of Rome. The mark of the beast refers to Emperor worship which ended with Constantine. The western Roman Empire was destroyed in 476 A.D.

Christendom became stronger as Christianity became the state religion. Finally, in 1054 A.D.the eastern and western portions of Christendom split and Christianity was divided. One could no longer look to the institutional church as the "true church."

Ends...

(Revelation 20:3) 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 20:5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Two events occur at the end of the 1,000 years:

I have never heard of an interpretation in which those two events occur at the same time, at the end of the 1,000 years. Usually it is interpreted as follows:

In my view these two events occur at different times...

  1. Verse 3— Satan is loosed to deceive the nations about 1054 A.D. for a short time (lasting thousands or millions of years).
  2. Verse 5— This verse is a follow-on of verse 4,not of verse 3.The topic is redemption, specifically the martyrs (a common theme of Revelation). Those Christian martyrs living at the time John wrote the book of Revelation and afterwards during the time of Roman persecution (still during the 1,000 years) would enjoy the first resurrection, the promise of eternal redemption which lasted for the entire 1,000 year period (and, in fact, will continue until the end of the world). They sit on thrones and reign with Christ from heaven, interceding as Saints for those on earth.
    John doesn't want to forget those not martyred or those not living during the 1,000 years so he adds on verse 5as an afterthought. Now he is referring to the general resurrection which occurs at Christ's 2nd coming. All these are the benefits of the 1st resurrection, of faith in Christ leading to eternal redemption.

I admit these interpretations are awkward but the standard millennial and rapture views are even worse.

After...

(Revelation 20:3) 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.

When Satan is loosed he deceives the nations.

Loosed a little season — from about 1054 A.D. to the end of the world occurring perhaps hundreds, or thousands, or millions of years from now. It might seem the phrase "little season" demands fulfillment within a decade or two but remember, Satan has been at his corrupting of the creatures of the world for 4+ billion years.

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

(Revelation 20:7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

(Revelation 20:8) 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.

(Ezekiel 38:18) And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

Satan's deceiving of the nations includes preventing Jews from recognizing Jesus as Messiah.

The "rest of the dead" = other Christians besides those martyred during the 1,000 yearsending about 1054 A.D.

What became of those martyrs who had been ruling and reigning with Christ during the 1,000 years? The answer: they continue ruling and reigning with Christ until the end of the world.



Revelation 8:13 — The first woe / fifth trumpet. Timeline of events regarding Satan's influence in human affairs (after the fall of Adam and Eve):

  1. Satan lived in a heavenly realm where he interacted with God and other angels (Job 1:6).
  2. Satan fell to a lower spiritual realm associated with the earth (Ephesians 2:2). This occurred before the time of Daniel (Daniel 10:13).
  3. Satan was cast into the bottomless pitand chained there (Revelation 20:1-2, Revelation 12:10). This occurred sometime during Christ's ministry on earth (Luke 10:18).
  4. After 1,000 yearsSatan was released. This occurred just before 1054 A.D.This coincides with the first woe / fifth trumpet (Revelation 9:1).

The essential distinguishing characteristic of the 1,000 years is that Satan is bound during this time. The 1,000 years ends when Satan is loosed.

The 1,000 years is a literal time period of 1,000 years.It began when Jesus began his ministry and ended about 1054 A.D.when the eastern and western portions of the church became divided. Conditions in the spirit realm where believers who have died reside did not change after the end of the 1,000 years. The events that occur after the end of the 1,000 years (invasion of Israel, etc.) do not occur immediately — in fact, they are yet-future.

The period of the 1,000 years is the attempt to have a political, institutional church rule over the secular powers — Christendom. This attempt ultimately failed but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now we have secular rulers ruling and it creates difficulty for Christians.

The image of 1,000 years comes from Jewish ideas at the time the book of Revelation was written. There are two views:

I am not able to find information about what the Jews believed at the time the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation. Some of the Jewish ideas appeared after that so perhaps they were influenced by the Christian teachings.

The early church fathers held a variety of views about the 1,000 years.


When does the 1,000 years start?

The 1,000 year time period begins when Satan is cast to earth at the beginning of Jesus' 3+ year ministry. Each believer enters in to this 1,000 year kingdom when they die. The events of the 1,000 years occur in the spiritual realm, not on the earth.

What occurs during the 1,000 years?

Satan cannot prevent the truth of the gospel from being preserved and shared. Those believers who have died are interceding as Saints for those on earth.

When does it end?

The end of the 1,000 years doesn't coincide with the second coming of Christ — there is a gap, perhaps a very long gap between the end of the 1,000 years and the coming of Christ.

The 1,000 yearsended about 1054 A.D.when the eastern and western parts of the church became officially divided. They have remained divided to this day. During this literal 1,000 years the essential doctrines of Christianity were developed accurately because Satan was not able to deceive the nations.

What happens after?

Satan attempts to corrupt the Christian message and destroy the church.

The events of Ezekiel 38 and 39 do not occur immediately after the end of the 1,000 years — in fact, they are yet-future.

Believers who have died still enjoy the same conditions in the spiritual realm after the 1,000 years are over.


(Revelation 20:2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

The binding of Satan is when the 1,000 years begins.

(Revelation 20:3) 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.

When Satan is loosed the 1,000 years are over (verse 7).

Satan cannot deceive the nations for 1,000 years

Loosed a little season — from about 1054 A.D. to the end of the world occurring perhaps hundreds, or thousands, or millions of years from now. It might seem the phrase "little season" demands fulfillment within a decade or two but remember, Satan has been at his corrupting of the creatures of the world for 4+ billion years.

(Revelation 20:4) 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.

The souls of believers who have died reign with Christ as Saints during the 1,000 years. Presumably this is true only for those who are released from their time in purgatory or those who didn't go to purgatory (such as the martyrs).

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

Unbelievers who have died do not enjoy the benefit of living and reigning with Christ during this time.

This time in the spirit realm for believers after they die is referred to as the first resurrection — their souls still live (come to life) when their bodies die.

(Revelation 20:6) 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.

The second death is eternity in the lake of fire.

(Revelation 20:7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

(Revelation 20:8) 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.

 

(Isaiah 2:11) The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

According to the Jewish Talmud, refers to the 1,000 years.


Verses that are not about the 1,000 years:

(Matthew 22:30) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

The souls of believers who have died do not marry because they are like the angels and have no bodily form.

(Matthew 22:32) I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Includes before the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because they were alive before Jesus' crucifixion.


Resurrection ...

What is the first resurrection of Revelation 20:5,6?

(1 Corinthians 15:20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

The word slept refers to death.

(Revelation 20:4) 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.

The previous verse refers to the death of believers.

(Revelation 20:6) 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.

Those who are redeemed will be blessed when they die because they do not end up in the lake of fire.

See also...


Those in Old Testament times believed in the resurrection. Therefore, we should not be shy about interpreting Old Testament passages as referring to the new heavens and new earth.

(Isaiah 26:19) Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Physical, bodily resurrection.

(Job 19:25) For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

(Job 19:26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

(Job 19:27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Physical, bodily resurrection.

There is a gospel passage that seems to refute the view that there is marriage in the new heavens and new earth but as I demonstrate, Jesus is not using the word resurrection to refer to the new heavens and new earth. Marriage requires a physical body — disembodied souls cannot be married, nor can they get married.

In this short passage Jesus is not giving a full teaching about the conditions of life after the resurrection in the new heavens and new earth; rather, he is merely refuting the false views of the Sadducees using their own terminology.

Based on the passage from Revelation 20:4-6 (see below) it is clear that the term resurrection refers to both the first resurrection (at the death of a believer) as well as to the second resurrection (the bodily resurrection after the second coming of Christ). It is clear from the context in Jesus' debate with the Sadducees that he uses the term resurrection to refer to the first resurrection. Since they reject the notion of life after death Jesus doesn't need to move on to the topic of the bodily resurrection at his second coming — he wins the debate without even mentioning that aspect of the term resurrection.

(Matthew 22:23) The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, . . .

(Matthew 22:28) Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

The Sadducees believe that the human soul dies at the time of physical death. In verse 32 Jesus demonstrates from the Torah that this is not correct, that humans live on after death.

The Sadducees are trying to trip up Jesus by demonstrating the logical absurdity of the resurrection. But their view of the resurrection is not the same as Jesus' view — their concept of the resurrection is flawed:

(Matthew 22:30) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Jesus used the term resurrection just as the Sadducees used it — to refer to the after-death state.

After death the soul lives in a disembodied state in a spiritual realm. In this state people do not get married. They are spirit beings just as the angels are and there is no marriage. Marriage only exists in the physical world; in the current fallen world and again in the new heavens and new earth. Jesus is not addressing this topic in his discussion with the Sadducees. Rather, he is refuting their false views.

(Matthew 22:31) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

(Matthew 22:32) I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

In Moses' day Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died and were in Abraham's bosom. Jesus states that they were at that time living but in verse 31 he refers to this as referring to the resurrection of the dead. Therefore, Jesus is not addressing the topic of whether or not there will be marriage in the New Heavens and the New Earth after the bodily resurrection of the dead at the second coming of Christ.

(Mark 12:23) In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

(Mark 12:25) For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

(Mark 12:26) And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

The parallel passage in Mark provides another clue: the Sadducees clearly used the word resurrection to refer to what had already occurred to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Sadducees were contrasting two opposing views:

(Matthew 22:34) But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

Jesus targeted the essence of the Sadducees' objection in a way they could not refute.

The term resurrection refers to both the life of the soul of a believer after death (the first resurrection) and the bodily resurrection of these believers after the second coming of Christ (the second resurrection).

(Revelation 20:4) 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.

After death the souls of Christians reign with Christ until his second coming. This time period is called the first resurrection.

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

The first sentence interrupts the flow of thought by mentioning what happens to unbelievers. The second sentence refers to the events that occur after the death of believers and up to the second coming of Christ. This time period is called the first resurrection.

(Revelation 20:6) 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.

The second death refers to final judgment of unbelievers who will spend eternity in the lake of fire.


Signs in the Heavens ...

These images refer to judgment. God's judgment of the wickedness of the nation of Israel by taking them into captivity at the hands of the Babylonians was accompanied with the usual brutal effects of war. The same is true in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Romans.

The images:

Just as there are horrible effects of judgment by war and captivity, so also there will be horrible effects upon those who will be judged to eternal damnation at the final judgment, the white throne judgment after the second coming of Christ.

At each of the comings of Christin judgment there are signs in the heavens (sun dark, moon red, stars fall, etc.)

(Joel 3:16) The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

(Joel 2:30) And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

(Joel 2:31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

(Joel 2:10) The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

(Matthew 24:29) 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:

(Luke 23:44) And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

(Luke 23:45) And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

(Revelation 6:12) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

(Revelation 6:13) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

(Revelation 6:14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

(Revelation 8:12) And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

(Revelation 9:2) And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

(Revelation 16:8) And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

(Revelation 16:9) And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

(Luke 21:25) And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

(Acts 2:19) And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

(Acts 2:20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

(Isaiah 24:23) Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

(Isaiah 13:10) For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

(Isaiah 13:13) Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

(Isaiah 14:16) They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.

(Haggai 2:6) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;

(Mark 13:25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

(Luke 21:11) And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

(Hebrews 12:26) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

(Hebrews 12:18) For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

(Isaiah 24:20) The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.


Comings of Christ 

(Luke 21:26) Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

There is a sense in which judgments of God on wicked nations are comings of Christ. But these comings are invisible.

(Matthew 10:23) But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Several meanings the coming of Jesus (see also):


Elijah ...

The question is, "why did the Jews not recognize John the Baptist as Elijah?"

(Matthew 17:10) And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come?

Even the disciples of Jesus knew that Elijah would appear before the Messiah.

(Malachi 4:5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

(Malachi 4:6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

The Jewish leaders expected Elijah to come before the Messiah.

(John 1:21) And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias [Elijah]? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

The Jewish leaders asked John the Baptist if he were Elijah and he said he was not.

There are clues to the answer in the ministry of Elisha.

(2 Kings 2:9) And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

(2 Kings 2:15) And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

Elisha asked for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.

(Luke 1:17) And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias [Elijah], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The angel tells Zacharias that his son (John the Baptist) will go before the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah, similar to the way that Elisha went in the spirit and power of Elijah.

(John 1:23) He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias [Isaiah].

John the Baptist went before the Messiah.

(Matthew 11:14) And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

(Matthew 17:11) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things.

(Matthew 17:12) But I say unto you, That Elias [Elijah] is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

(Matthew 17:13) Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

After seeing Elijah at the transfiguration the disciples Peter, James, and John ask about this matter and Jesus tells them that Malachi's prophecy is fulfilled in John the Baptist.

So the answer to the question "why did the Jews not recognize John the Baptist as Elijah?" is "because they didn't recognize Jesus as the Messiah."

(Revelation 11:3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

This occurred already during the Jewish War of 66–70 A.D.


This Generation ...

Read conclusion...   |   Read more...

(Genesis 7:1) And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Refers to more than 40 years; it refers to the long era from the time of Adam in which people lived wickedly. It specifically refers to the time of human history in which Noah lived because he was chosen by God.

(Psalms 12:7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Refers specifically to the wicked people of the time the speaker was alive.

(Psalms 71:18) Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

Refers to those who were alive while the speaker was still alive, but specifically the wicked.

(Psalms 95:10) Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

Refers to that group of people who were not allowed into the promised land because of their unbelief.

(Matthew 11:16) But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

Refers to those who were alive at the time of John the Baptist who heard his preaching but who ignored him.

(Matthew 12:41) The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

(Matthew 12:42) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

(Mark 8:12) And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

(Luke 11:30) For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

(Luke 11:31) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

(Luke 11:32) The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

(Luke 11:50) That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

(Luke 11:51) From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Refers to those who were alive at the time of Jesus who heard his preaching but who ignored him.

(Matthew 23:36) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

(Luke 7:31) And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?

Refers to the wicked religious leaders of Israel who heard the prophets but killed them just as they would do with Jesus. A long era of wickedness.

(Luke 17:25) But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

Refers to those, specifically the religious leaders, who were alive at the time of Jesus who heard his preaching but who ignored him.

(Matthew 24:34) Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

(Mark 13:30) Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

(Luke 21:32) Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

These are the passages in question. Does the phrase "this generation" mean something different here than in other passages?

The phrase "this generation" refers to the wicked and unbelieving people who rejected Jesus, as well as those into the future who will continue to reject Jesus.


Marriage in the New Earth

There will be marriage between one man and one woman in the new heavens and new earth. Not everyone will be married but those who are will remain married to the same person for all of eternity.

Not only will there be marriage in the new heavens and new earth but there will also be procreation, conjugal relations, childbirth, and childrearing. This implies that the universe will grow forever and that God will continue to create matter to fill the voids as it grows.

For those who have had multiple spouses through divorce or death, only one of these (at most) will be their spouse in the new heavens and new earth. For this reason it is desirable that people don't remarry if their spouse dies (just as it is desirable that they marry the bride of their youth — that they don't have multiple partners before finally getting married).

(1 Corinthians 7:8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

Apparently Paul's wife had died and he did not remarry.

(1 Corinthians 9:5) Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

Paul asserts his right to have a wife, implying that he had been married. Apparently his authority as an apostle was under attack and one objection was that had been married. The Corinthians seemed to have one standard for Paul but another for Peter and the other apostles.

There is a gospel passage that seems to refute the view that there is marriage in the new heavens and new earth but as I demonstrate, Jesus is not using the word resurrection to refer to the new heavens and new earth. Marriage requires a physical body — disembodied souls cannot be married, nor can they get married. Read more...

(1 Corinthians 7:11) But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

A woman should not divorce or remarry if she becomes estranged. The same applies for a man.

(1 Corinthians 7:39) The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

(1 Corinthians 7:40) But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

Remarriage by a widow is acceptable but she will be happier if she does not remarry. The same applies for a man.


Events of Second Coming

The second coming of Christ is not a single quick event; there are various phases to it.

Events which are part of the second coming:

(2 Thessalonians 2:8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Two events of the second coming:


Great Tribulation

There is no 3–1/2 or 7 year Great Tribulation.

(Matthew 24:21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Read more ...


Apostasy ...

2 Thessalonians 2:3 — "Falling away".

2 Thessalonians 2:11 — "The lie".

Matthew 24:10-12 — "The love of many becomes cold" (Revelation 2:4).

(Luke 18:8) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

This implies that there will also be a time of apostasy immediately before the second coming of Christ; that he comes back during a time of apostasy (much as Noah preached during a time of apostasy — Matthew 24:37). This doesn't imply that the time of apostasy will be a short time; this apostasy has already been going on since the beginning of the church and there is no hint that it will ever end.


Times of the Gentiles ...

(Luke 21:24) And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

In the preceeding verses Jesus referred to the Christians living in Jerusalem who fled for safety (vv. 20-21) and the "days of vengeance" (v. 22) upon God's chosen people, the Jews: they are the ones who were "led away captive", the ones who were "trodden down of the Gentiles" (the Romans).

The Times of the Gentiles began with the Babylonian captivity and ended with the final judgment of the nation of Israel by the Romans in 70 A.D.

(Romans 11:25) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

(Romans 11:26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

The phrase "until the fulness of the Gentiles come in" could be read as "so that the fulness of the Gentiles will come in." God used Israel's apostasy to save the world through the coming of Jesus the promised Messiah, the redeemer of Israel. If Israel had not failed spiritually there would have been no need for a Messiah.

The phrase "all Israel shall be saved" refers to true, faithful, believing Israel; the olive tree. Believing Gentiles are grafted in and are included in this true Israel. Believing Jews can easily be grafted in to this olive tree since the gospel is founded on Judaism.

Two possibilities for the meaning of "fulness of the Gentiles":

(Revelation 11:2) 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 [42] months.

42 months = 3–1/2 years. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. took 3–1/2 years.

(Daniel 12:7) And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

The Jewish war ending in 70 A.D. which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple lasted for three and a half years (1,260 days). The Jews were scattered after this.

(Luke 21:32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

Refer to this generation.

(Luke 9:27) But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Refer to Luke 9:27


Abomination of Desolation ...

There are many references to the Abomination of Desolation and they refer to various events.

(2 Chronicles 33:7) And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:

The first example of the abomination of desolation.

(Jeremiah 44:22) So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.

(Ezekiel 33:29) Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.

When the people perform abominations, the result is desolation.

(Daniel 9:27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This refers to the crucifixion of Jesus and the resultant destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. Read more here.

(Daniel 11:31) And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

This is a reference to Antiochus Epiphanes. Read more here.

(Daniel 12:11) And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

In Matthew 24:15 Jesus refers to this as the destruction of the temple.

(Matthew 24:15) When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

(Matthew 24:16) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Read about this here.

(2 Thessalonians 2:3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [destruction];

(2 Thessalonians 2:4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Read about this here.