Are you sure there will be a "rapture" someday? Only ONE rapture, if so? Are you absolutely certain WHEN one (or more?) will
occur within the Bible prophecy timetable?
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.
Mark 13:35 Watch therefore, because you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning...
No one knows the day nor hour when you or I will drop dead from a massive heart attack, massive stroke, gunshot wound to the heart or head, blown to bloody bits in a car-bomb explosion, etc. -- and thus meet God plus be consigned to either Paradise or Hades.
No one knows the exact moment when Christ Jesus bodily returns at Armageddon to slay the antichrists and their armies, and no one knows the exact instant heavens and Earth pass away with a loud noise, concurrent with the rapture of then-living saints with the concurrent resurrection of both righteous dead and wicked dead to appear before The King in Judgement described in Matthew chapter 25.
WILL Christ bodily return in glory to slay The Beast and False Prophet antichrists and their armies....today or tomorrow or within the next two or three years....when The Beast and The False Prophet have not even come on the scene yet and there is not yet any mandate to get Marked to be able to buy and sell commercially?
Of course not.
Is it true that there presently are "church" Christians who are NOT gentiles, but instead blood-descendant-of-Jacob Jews (as, for instance, Jan Markell and Anita Dittmann)?
If true, and Replacement Theologists purport that only "the" [non-prepared-for-intense-persecution and arrogantly-complacent, pseudo-vigilant] "gentile" "church" will be whisked up in some sort of cowardly and wannabe-escapist pre-Great-Tribulation fly-by rapture....leaving only Jews and their gentile converts to suffer within and through the 42-month Great Tribulation spoken of in Revelation chapter 13....then obviously neither Jew Jan Markell nor Jew Anita Dittmann are going to pre-flee in pre-Trib snatch-up the one and only holocaustic "hour of trial" wrath of God (whatever that will be and will include) coming on "the whole world."
However, like the segregated Hebrews in Goshen who did not experience the wrath-of-God plagues the Egyptians suffered at the hands of pre-Exodus Moses and Aaron, perhaps neither Jan the Jew nor Anita the Jew will have medical problems associated with those who receive an actual 666-stamped or embedded-tattoo Mark on their foreheads or right hands:
Revelation 16:2 So the first angel went and poured his bowl on The Earth, and foul and evil sores came upon the men [and women?] who bore The Mark of The Beast and worshiped his Image.
And they will stay out of and hide from an out-of-control Sun spewing out abnormal amounts of ultraviolet radiation [against males only?]:
Revelation 16:8 The fourth angel poured his bowl on The Sun, and it was allowed to scorch men [only?] with fire;
Revelation 16:9 men [not women?] were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory.
And will ALL the wicked dead of past history be physically and bodily resurrected for sheep-and-goats Judgment [study Matthew 25] BEFORE the Millennial Rule of Christ on this planet and logically thus before the heavens and Earth disintegrate in fervent heat as mentioned in Second Peter chapter three and Revelation chapter 20?
WILL the resurrected wicked stand interspersed within and alongside the resurrected righteous during The [sheep-and-goats] Judgment, or instead segregated and separated into left and right groups?
Psalm 1:5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous...
Will "not standing" be equivalent to them not being acquitted but instead being condemned?
WILL there be a Rapture of saints alive after the Millennial rule of the glorified Jesus on Earth, after which Thousand-Year-Reich of Christ Satan will been released to again deceive the nations of Earth and gather them to battle against those in the holy city......all to be destroyed as mentioned in Second Peter chapter three, simultaneous with the dead righteous caught up in the air and clouds of Heaven simultaneous with all the wicked of history past also resurrected, to experience Judgment Day [again, described in Matthew chapter 25]?
John 11:24 Martha said to Him: "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at The Last Day."
What did that Jewish woman mean: "...the LAST Day?" After The Millennium?
First Corinthians 15:51 Wow, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all "sleep," but we shall all be changed, [after The Millennium?]
First Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at The Last Trumpet [or shofar]. For The Trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
What is meant by: "...The LAST Trumpet?"
WILL all the wicked in past history also be resurrected at "the LAST Trumpet" and "The LAST Day?" If not then, when?
John 5:28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when ALL [all!] who are in the tombs will hear His voice
John 5:29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment/condemnation/damnation (depending upon your Bible translation).
Daniel 12:2 And many of those who "sleep" in the dust of the earth shall awake -- some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
To repeat, WILL the wicked dead also "be changed?" To be "imperishable?" Or instead be unjustly and simply annihilated out of existence after all the horrendous and diabolical damage they are done against God's elect?
Second Thessalonians 1:9 They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might.
Did most of the early Church, most of the Church during and through the Middle Ages, most of the Church during and through the Renaissance, most of the Church during and through the Reformation, superstitiously embrace the heretical myth of a PRE-Tribulation Rapture?
But, perhaps I am getting ahead of myself for beginners in Bible prophecy.
Words are either representations of symbols, direct descriptions of reality itself.....or both.
Some reviling blasphemers would promptly dismiss the words of the New-Testament book of Revelation as bizarre religious-connotation hallucinations of either a drunk or someone besieged with solitary-confinement-exacerbated temporary insanity.
Some would insinuate and infer that the words and phrases within Revelation are a hard-to-differentiate mixture of references to perhaps previous history combined with observational descriptions of natural entities and phenomena seamlessly integrated into imaginary and fanciful parables, metaphors, euphemisms, and allegories.
Take for example the Revelation reference to the "1000 years."
MUST that millennium be exact down to the last second (i.e. 1000.000 years precisely) .....or could it be instead taken to mean 998, 1200, or 75 years? Is that number to be taken literally?
ARE the entities, events, and timing specified in Genesis chapter one to be taken literally or instead figuratively?
Is what is intended to merely prove some vague theological premise, despite the details?
Notable and vital it is that the Inspired human author of Revelation was directed by the LORD to state an ominous and frightening, Spirit-enforced, do-NOT-change-NOR-omit-NOR-add-ANY-words Copyright Warning in the last chapter of Revelation.
Revelation 22:18 I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,
Revelation 22:19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
So much for anyone pseudo-believably presuming that one religious-text revision is as good as the next, and for vital words the English language has changed, continues to change, and is anyone's guess what meanings are supposed to be construed as presently associated with whatever words.
It's not unusual for prejudiced bigots to mis-think and misconstrue contents of any part of sacred Scripture. In our present modern age of sliding through stop signs, doublespeak, loaded statements and loaded questions based upon false premises in the first place, people saying what they do not mean and not meaning what they say, such misrepresentation is expected (but, of course, is non-acceptable).
To wit, does a 35-mph road sign with two orange flags or an orange bar on it merely mean "don't go too fast" or "don't go too slow?" And what exactly is "too fast" or "too slow?" Is such to be taken literally.....or instead symbolically, figuratively, allegorically, metaphorically, contextually, interpretively? Could such a specific speed-sign number be instead taken to mean 50 or 70 or 10?
The experimentational literally discover what was intended by the authority who posted it and enforces it -- by the presence or absence of flashing red-and-blue squad-car lights behind them!
Does it really matter WHAT exact letters-and-numbers-combination computer-BIOS passcodes are (not to mention what precise order and sequence they are typed in)? Can we instead have a whatever! or does not matter! attitude and resultant action in attempting computer entry? Isn't the OVERALL figurative, metaphorical, allegorical, contextual, interpretative POINT merely to get into the computer - regardless of the purportedly "nitpicky" details of the code? Try it, if you are so inclined.....and frustrate yourself into utterly ludicrous self-imposed madness!
When cornered by superior-reasoning confrontation, disbelievers hem and haw, quickly divert off on tangents to not-on-the-specific-topic-at-hand cultic conjectures and different-opinions controversies, then continue to irrationally convince themselves that their own (and/or someone else's) deliberately or ignorantly-misinformational presumptions are infallible truth and unquestionable fact.
Much controversy exists regarding (or instead concerning - depending upon your point of view!)
The not-specifically-found-in-Scripture word 'Rapture' is a euphemistic word for both:
Biblical PRE-millennialist POST-Tribulationists assume (not presume) that
The First Resurrection (but no massive living-saints Rapture) will occur at the end
of the forty-two month Great-Tribulation period referred to in Revelation chapters 13 through 19...being that (according to
Revelation chapter 14) elect saints go through parts or all of that 42-month Tribulation [being spared the 'hour-of-trial'
described perhaps in part by Revelation 18:10,17,19.
Revelation chapter 13 indicates that some of those Tribulation Saints "will go into captivity," and others "will be slain by the sword."
Revelation chapter 14 clearly mentions those saints (both Jewish and non-Jewish) suffering during and in The 42-Month Tribulation Period:
Revelation 14:9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice: “If any one worships The Beast and his Image, and receives a (666) Mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of His anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever; and they have no rest, day or night (time periods), these worshipers of The Beast and his Image, and whoever receives the (666) Mark of his name.”
12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a Voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their (good) works (and not simply faltering faith alone) follow them!”
It is clear that such genuine and authentic saints of Jesus Christ are not pre-Trib-heresy-espousing cowards despising the cross of Christ by being unwilling to suffer their share of to-the-death persecution supposedly presumed by some never-never-land premature fly-by-in-the-sky-by-and-by escapist superstition.
Chapter 20 of Revelation reveals that some of those slain by the sword will be beheaded, who "will rest from their labors, for their works follow them (Rev. 14)....and they ALONE will be part of that First Resurrection spoken of in Revelation 20:4.
So much for persecution-despising cowardly pre-Trib-heresy escapism!
Even though there will be a resurrection of ONLY dead bodies of beheaded saints who did not worship The Beast nor received his Mark (and NO other saints resurrected at that time), it is not certain whether or not - at the time of Christ returning at Armageddon - yet-alive Christian saints at that Second Coming of Jesus Christ at Armageddon to slay the Beast and False Prophet will be instantaneously and physically relocated [or "raptured?"] over to Jerusalem (similar to Philips being mysteriously caught up, transported and relocated, after baptizing the Ethiopian mentioned in the book of Acts) up in the clouds of Heaven to descend along with the descending glorious-conqueror Christ at that time but remain suspended in mid-air as the feet of Jesus touch down on the Mount of Olive in Jerusalem, Israel.....at which time that First Resurrection of only the beheaded saints occurs at the END of The Forty-Two-Month-Great-Tribulation Period within The Seven-Year-Antichrist Period.
Perhaps the following verses will apply to yet-alive to-be-physically-relocated saints at the Second Coming of Christ at Armageddon, and not only for yet-alive saints after The Millennium flying up through the cataclysmic end-of-the-heavens-and-Earth fire described in Second Peter chapter three:
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:28 Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
Matthew 24:31 And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send His angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
Those [decapitated] dead who are in that First Resurrection (not Rapture) occurring at the end of THE 42-Month Tribulation Period within the 7-Year-Antichrist Period are identified in Revelation chapter 20 verse 4.
Again, how Christian saints in Revelation-13-mentioned "captivity" or whatever who have survived living through the 42-month Holocaust and who are scattered all over planet Earth (especially on the other side of the globe pertaining to their remote-distance proximity away from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem which is The Touchdown Point for Jesus when He returns at Armageddon) are going to be "assembled" or gathered [perhaps by helicopter, jet travel, or oceanliner] is not clear to this web-author:
Matthew 24:28 Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of The Son of Man.
Matthew 24:31 and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call (but not The Last Trumpet?),and they will gather His elect from the four winds [east/south/west/north], from one end of heaven to the other.
Mark 13:27 And then He will send out the angels, and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
Luke 17:24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will The Son of Man be in His day.
Luke 17:37 And they said to Him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
Second Thessalonians 2:1 Now regarding (and not "concerning") THE Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Assembling to meet Him, we beg you, brethren,
2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that The Day of Christ has come.
As to any specific EXACT-end-of-42-month-timing countdown the saints would perhaps be able to do to predict THE exact day and hour of Christ's return (being that "no one knows the day nor the hour except the Father only"), such cannot be done even by carefully considering the following timing prophecies of the Old-Testament book of Daniel, which -- although they give a beginning time -- do not state a specific ending time for the periods alluded to:
Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the continual burnt offering is taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate is set up [to what??], there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Daniel 12:12 Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days [to what??? What happens then?].
The saints throughout previous history who are not specified in Revelation chapter 20 verse 4 First Resurrection (most of whom will not have lived at nor during the time of the 666 Mark of the Beast mentioned in Revelation chapters 13-20) but whose souls have been, are now, and will at that time be in Paradise will neither be resurrected at the Armageddon return of Christ (mentioned in Revelation chapter 19) to receive their glorified bodies NOR bodily reign with Christ on Earth at the beginning of nor during the Millennium.
They instead will be raised up (and snatched up) resurrected from the dead for the Second (and Final) Resurrection after The Millennium at The Last Day, joining any yet-alive-at-that-time raptured saints in the fiery air, when the Father's Great White Throne descends from Heaven after the Earth has been incinerated (which incineration is alluded to in the Second Epistle of St. Peter).....in which Last Judgment the King will separate [good] 'sheep' from [wicked] 'goats' (Matthew chapter 25).
For the sake of dissipating and dissolving confusion, there is NO Scriptural basis for presuming that there will be a 'fly-by' snatching-away rapture of "church" (whatever is supposedly meant or not meant by that!) living saints anytime before the beginning of, nor during, THE 42-month Great-Tribulation.....period!
As alluded to in the beginning of this piece, regarding both resurrections and regarding rapture, Revelation does not distinguish nor differentiate between "gentile" "church" saints compared to "Jew" "church" saints.
Such differentiation of "the" "church" neither occurred in early New-Testament history, nor will it occur at the end of human history...even though the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation definite are genetic blood descendants of not merely Abraham but both Isaac and Jacob (according to Revelation 7:5-8).
That is not to infer that "jews" and "gentiles" cannot be differentiated, but as to who comprises "the" "church," refer back to the book of Acts as to who that included, who was and who was not persecuted according to that record.
If there is a physical-building jewish Temple built on the Mount of Olives, particularly over the present Arab Dome of the Rock location, will Christ-rejecting jews actually begin sacrificing animals before Antichrist invades that physical? Temple to blaspheme by calling himself "God?"
First Corinthians 5:7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed.
When will be "THE Day of Christ" in which Christ Jesus will bodily return, and what will happen after that?
Being that no one knows the day nor the hour (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32, and Luke 12:40), when Jesus Christ will bodily return, is quite a question.
The Old-Testament prophet Daniel gave us some numerical figures of "2,300 evenings and mornings" (Daniel 8:14), "1,290 days" (Daniel 12:12), and "1,335
days" (Daniel 12:13)......without specifying exactly from what to what.
However, the inspirational Holy Spirit dictated such to that Hebrew/Jewish Scriptural author Daniel for the sake of modern-day wise prophets of bloodline and other spiritual Israel to contemplate and benefit by (Daniel 12:9-10).
"The day of Christ" is a phrase from Second Thessalonians 2:1-8 which apparently is of simultaneous occurrence with the additional phrase that follows in that passage: "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" along with the phrase following that which reads: our assembling to meet Him."
That Event clearly occurs at the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the 42-month Great Tribulation period.
A completely-different Event occurs almost instantaneously after the Millennium, which is known as The Last Judgment or The Last Day.
Of THAT Event, we, in First Corinthians 15:51, read that "We shall not all sleep, but we shall ALL be changed....at The LAST
Trumpet...the dead will be raised imperishable." The Great Judgment event occurring at that time is found in Matthew chapter 25 describing The King
separating the euphemistic blessed "sheep" from the euphemistic accursed (or damned) "goats."
That event is the same as mentioned in Daniel 12:2 ("...some shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt") which is the same Last-Judgment event recorded in Revelation 20:11-15 in which ALL the wicked plus those righteous dead not raised in The First Resurrection spoken of in Revelation 20:4-6....are resurrected to be separated into two groups of [wicked] "goats" in the same Judgment with but apart from [righteous] "sheep" (refer to Matthew 25:31-46) immediately after the Earth and heavens have "fled away" (Revelation 20:11) being "dissolved with a loud noise" and "fervent heat" (Zephaniah 3:8 and Second Peter 3:7-12) because of the (Gr. epiphanaous/parousea/apocalypsus) brightness/presence/terrifying coming of the Awesome Judge on His Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).
So, Scripture refers to two separate different-occurrence bodily "comings of Christ" for judgment (one against
The pre-Millennial Beast and The False Prophet, and the other a thousand years later on The Last Day).
[Note that I prefer to use the clarifying word "judgments " in the plural instead of the confusing buzzwords: "Christ's comings" and "Christ's returns."
First Thessalonians 4:13 (KJ21) But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others
do who have no hope.
14 Being that we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first;
17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up [in the microsecond/millisecond "twinkling of an eye"] together with them in the [cataclysmic-fiery?] clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Another reference to the POST-Millennial Last-Day Judgment (NOT the PRE-Millennial Second-Coming-of-Christ Judgment) is:
First Corinthians 15:39 (KJ21) All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead: It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.
43 It is planted in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is planted in weakness; it is raised in power.
44 It is planted a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written: "The first man Adam was made a living soul." The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit.
46 However that which is spiritual was not first, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Lord from Heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Hey, I tell you a mystery: Not all of us will die, but we shall ALL be changed
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at The LAST trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Revelation 1:7 (KJ21) Hey, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, every one who pierced Him; and all tribes of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so. Amen.
But no one should presume that certain stubborn jews will finally believe in Jesus when they actually see Him physically and bodily appear, because by then it will be too late for them. Jesus must be believed in by faith without seeing Him. Without faith in Him as Redeemer and Lord, not having seen Him and yet believing in Him, is what saves. That which is seen does not need faith for belief. Those who crave physical observation signs of Christ in the flesh do not and will not qualify for salvation.
That is one reason why Christ Jesus did not physically appear, after His crucifixion and resurrection, to disbelieving pharisees and scribes.
Interestingly, both the righteous "sheep" and the wicked "goats" will have non-annihilatible bodies given to them at the Last Judgment at the Great
White Throne scene after the Millennium.
The righteous will experience no pain, no death, no tears, but blissful joy with the new bodies, but the wicked will experience continuous torture forever with their new bodies what is described in the following passages of Scripture:
Matthew 8:12 But the sons of the kingdom shall be thrown out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness." There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:30 And throw the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Luke 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'
25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a Great Chasm has been fixed, so that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
Second Thessalonians 1:9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction [NOT annihilation!] away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power ...
Jude 1:7 even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Revelation 19:20 And The Beast was captured, and with him The False Prophet who in his presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received The Mark of The Beast and those who worshiped his Image. These two were thrown alive into BrimstoneSulphur where The Beast and The False Prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night [24/7] to the ages of the ages.
Revelation 20:14 Then [the spiritual beings in charge of, and not mere abstractions] Death and Hades were thrown into The Lake of Fire. This is The Second Death, The Lake of Fire;
Revelation 20:15 and if any one's name was not found written in The Book of Life, he was thrown into The Lake of Fire.
Some Biblical prophecies contain multiple applications, and refer to more than one event.
Case in point are the Two Separate Battles coming in the future -- ONE of which will occur at the BEGINNING of the Millennium (which beginning occurs after the 42 months of Great Tribulation)....and the OTHER which will occur at the END of the Millennium.
(1) the First will occur near Jerusalem at Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) prior to The Thousand-Year Millennium of
Christ's earthly "rule with a rod of iron" (Revelation 19:15), and
(2) the Second, and Last will occur near "The Beloved City" (Revelation 20:9) after the thousand-year millennium of Christ's earthly "rule with a rod of iron."
In both cases, Jesus comes "with the clouds" to:
(a) save those eagerly waiting for Him, and
(b) destroy impenitent hordes destined to be damned to never-ending torment in the black flames of Outer Darkness.
In the first case, those targeted before the Millennium are the Antichrist Duo comprised of "The Beast" along with "The False Prophet" (described in Daniel 7:7-12, 24-26, 8:9-14, 23-25, 9:27, 11:21-45, II Thessalonians 2:3-12 and Revelation chapters 13-19).
In the last case, after The Millennium, Satan [a.k.a. The Devil himself] and his demonic and human allies will be the final villains who are THEN thrown into The Lake of Fire and Brimstone where the Beast and The False Prophet were already being tormented, and all three will then be tormented day and night 'to the ages of the ages' (i.e. eternally).
To put it another way, the Dragon (i.e. Ancient Serpent) will then finally be forever confined -- suspended in the deep-cave-like blackness with nothing to stand on, sit on, lie down on, pull, or push against -- in the solitary-confinement/torture-chamber-like 'Outer-Darkness' "Lake of Fire" (Luke 16:23 & 28, Revelation 14:10-11 and 20:10, Matthew 8:12, 22:13 and 25:30).
To repeat, between the TWO Appearance-of-Christ Judgments, there will be a period of 1000 literal years during which
this planet Earth will continue to exist somewhat normally (see Genesis 8:22) but as defined in:
Isaiah 11:8 The sucking child shall play over the hole of the wasp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
Isaiah 65:20 No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
During that time, Christ Jesus will be BODILY present in His marvelous appears-here-then-appears-there indestructible post-resurrection body during which He will "rule with a rod of iron" (Revelation 2:27) while "the Lord will be King over all the Earth, and water will flow from the eastern sea to the western sea out of Jerusalem" (Zechariah 14:1-21).
There will soon come a couple of human dictators having a satanic spirit of antichrist far worse than previous antichrists of decades and centuries past.
This demonic duo and chiefly "the man of lawlessness," described in Second Thessalonians 2:3-12 and Revelation chapters 13-19 will persuade the immoral-majority blasphemous (whether democrats, republicans, union workers, plus feminist-sexist and homogay and abortionist and evolutionist and atheistic and porno-exhibitionist groups along with their direct and indirect supporters plus military, corporate and small-business scientists, technicians, and engineers) to construct a super-graven-image soul-less speaking-and-breathing, FAR-more robotic wonder which (NOT "who") few (if any) will be able to differentiate from a real live human being -- the epitome of raised-3rd-finger thumbing-the-nose rebellious disobedience against the first two of the Ten Commandments prohibiting building and worshiping a graven-image idol.
This morality-free Thing not subject to any human court nor laws of criminal accountability will give the Demonic Duo total global control for 42 months, which is also described as "a time, two times, and half a time" (that is: a year, another year, plus half a year per Daniel 7:23-27, 9:26-27, 12:6-12, Revelation 11:2 and 13:5).
That 42-month span of worse-than-Nazi-holocaust is called The Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:1, Matthew 24:9-31, Mark 13:9-27, and Revelation 7:14) during which will be a time of Christians being grossly misconstrued and misrepresented as the bad guys and illegalized as such with all law-enforcement permission, authorization, and aggressive assault, involving libel and slander, vandalism, looting, lawsuit constrictions, jail captivity and decapitation described in Revelation 13:7 & 10, 14:13 and 20:4.
Contrary to pre-Tribulation-Rapture heretics with their worldly-hyped religious false-prophet authors, before that Great Tribulation occurs
there will be NO [cowardly-escapist] Pre-Trib snatching up (of all nor any dead saints) nor of all nor
any yet-alive saints) at any time before Christ Jesus returns bodily for the Battle of
[However, there will be a special First Resurrection (and Rapture!) of 'The Two Witnesses' murdered by the Antichrist prior to Christ's bodily return at Armageddon per Revelation 11:3-13].
As Revelation 20:4-5 clearly and plainly indicates, not all Christian-Church saints will be resurrected in that First
If the now-dead-for-two-millenia original-eyewitness Twelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, Timothy and Barnabas and Dorcas, then later on Augustine and Jerome, Erasmus, Luther and Wesley and Knox, Stephanus and Beza and Scrivener, Barnhouse and Billy Sunday and Dwight Moody, Riley and Clearwaters, etc. (to name a tiny few of the many applicable) qualify as true saints.....such will have to wait through the entire Millennium of Revelation 20 before receiving their resurrected glorified bodies at the Great White Throne General Resurrection of All Remaining (Revelation 6:9-10).
When Sword-Issuing-From-His-Mouth Jesus the Conqueror (Revelation 19:15) descends with saints in or out of their bodies at Armageddon, He will decisively
overpower The Beast and False Prophet, besides exterminate their useless [laser-guided? computerized? rocket-launcher? nuclear-arsenal?] armies (Revelation
Promptly thereafter will begin the literally-timed 1000 year rod-and-iron-"reich" (rule) of true and real justice worldwide with Jesus Christ and His disciples the head of any NATO, EU, United Nations or whatever - actually and decisively weeding out and eliminating evils of all sort everywhere and enforcing every aspect of Biblically-legitimate human behavior and activity, as the Lord suddenly appears wherever and whenever He wants with His post-Easter-like body as will appear His select group of similarly-glorified-body supernaturally-armed saints...[devoid of justice-thwarting endless defense-attorney appeals, paroles, and criminal! judiciaries].
At the end of that literal 1000-year reign of true and lasting peace and lawfulness, and immediately after the destruction occurring at
The Second Judgment battle, the LORD - in His Divine Father/Son/Spirit Trinitarian majesty - will incinerate everything in the entire
universe and commence that heralded-by-The-Last-Trumpet Final Judgment on The Last Day......when The King
shall indeed separate the proverbial 'sheep' away from the 'goats' (Matthew 25:31-46) in indescribably-embarrassing but exhilarating sacred fairness
and frankness, impeccable accuracy, plus perfect holy honesty.
Second Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come [non-expectantly and shockingly] 'like a thief,' and then 'the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.'
Second Peter 3:11 Being that all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
Second Peter 3:12 waiting for and speeding up the coming of The Day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and disintegrate, and the elements will dissolve with fire!
Again, contrary to pre-Tribulation-rapture heretics with their worldly-hyped religious false-prophet authors,
before that 42-month-and-not-7-year Great Tribulation occurs there will be NO [cowardly-escapist] Pre-Trib snatching up (of
all nor any dead saints) nor of all nor any yet-alive saints) at any
time before Christ Jesus returns bodily for the Battle of Armageddon.
Jewish and non-Jewish church saints currently living (as of this writing it is the year 2015 A.D.) are destined to seamlessly cruise, glide, or drift into The Seven Year Antichrist Period, and we already see, even now, the identification-by-SS-number, RFID-implanted-chips, heathen-love-being-tattooed-and-body-pierced, cannot-reenter-the-fair-without-getting-hand-stamped preliminaries presently operational.
Speaking of tattoos, it might initially seem that God approves of persons being tattooed:
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart;
7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
8 And you shall bind them [all the entire contents of The Torah in exhaustive completeness in tiny print?] AS a sign upon your hand, and they shall be AS frontlets between your eyes.
Deuteronomy 11:18 You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them [all the entire contents of The Torah in exhaustive completeness in tiny print?] AS a sign upon your hand, and they shall be AS frontlets between your eyes.
Yet, God forbids a person tattooing themselves at all or getting tattooed at all (not merely with 666, but anything - including martial-status spots marking on women of India):
Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
The Restraining Power, manifested in all sorts of types and ways, is both flagrantly and gradually being removed, and will even more so:
Second Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
Part of what is restraining him [and "them" as the demonic duo of Beast and False Prophet] now is the current ability of the saints of Christ to be able to freely buy and sell commercially, whenever and wherever to whoever - even with the meager money of whatever types they have. A little non-named and non-identifiably-sourced Crazy Glue goes a long way to prevent key access into a lock, and an anonymous single BB from a BB gun can destroy a city street light. So until the Beast and False Prophet concoct and implement the Commercial-Transactions-Regulating Mark, Christians use whatever monies they have to seriously and rather successfully cripple and thwart Satan and his diabolical human cohorts.
Who and what are now restraining his appearance and imposition of his 42-month tyranny on planet Earth are Spirit-filled saints of Jesus Christ saints and their godly influence in general society who obey their enlightened and non-rebellious conscience by not engaging in the sex abuse of pornographically flaunting immodest mopheaded hairstyles, nor baring their naked arms with sleeveslessness and/or their nude legs with slackslessness and/or their soxless feet in toes-exposing sandals in general public view during warm weather.
But their holy and sacred influence is, more and more, being hideously overridden in society by worldly defiant digging in their heels and doubling down in mis-choosing to deliberately defile themselves and one another in shamelessly lurid and lewd quasi-nudist-park exhibitionism on public streets and roads and highways, in shopping malls and centers, on cable TV, even in churches -- despising God's clear Biblical directives of modesty by imposing their concocted and demented conglomeration of doctrines-of-demons excuses and irrationalizations.
Politicians compromise on the abortion and homosexual and especially modesty-of-attire issues to get elected and stay in power. Pastors avoid preaching on modesty-issues morality for fear of losing congregants and their offering-plate money. ACLU, PAW, SLPC, AUSCS, FFRF, HRC, PP, ERA, and other atheist and abortionist and feminist-sexist and homosexual activists actively promote sexual-immodesty aberrations and far-reaching ramifications of such, and overwhelmed police can do little or nothing about it. Obamanation promotes cultic perversions while stifling and suppressing true-Christian-religion righteousness.
During the 42-month Great Tribulation, it is predicted that that Divine Restraining Power will temporarily be actively working in and by the Two Witnesses [perhaps never-having-yet-died Enoch and Elijah?]:
Revelation 11:1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told: "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there,
2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months.
3 And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth.
5 And if any one would harm them, fire pours out from their mouth and consumes their foes; if any one would harm them, thus he is doomed to be killed.
6 They have power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the Earth with every plague, as often as they desire.
7 And when they have finished their testimony, The Beast who ascends from The Abyss will make war upon them and conquer them and murder them,
8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which is allegorically called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
9 For three days and a half men from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb,
10 and those who reside on the Earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who reside on the Earth.
11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here!" And in the sight of their foes they went up to heaven in a cloud.
13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe has passed; hey, the third woe is soon to come.
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign forever."
16 And The Twenty-Four Elders [the husbands of one wife, per First Timothy chapter 3?] who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17 saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who are and who was, that you have taken thy great power and begun to reign.
So, there will be a special resurrection of The Two Witnesses murdered by the Antichrist prior to Christ's bodily return at Armageddon per Revelation 11:3-13.
As Revelation 20:4-5 clearly and plainly indicates, not all Christian-Church saints will be resurrected in The First Resurrection:
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for The Word of God, and who had not worshiped The Beast or his Image and had not received his (666) Mark on their foreheads or their hands. They (and NOT all saints!) came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Many (actually: most) of past and current saints (not yet living during the 42-mouth Tribulation spoken of in Revelation chapter 13 within The Seven Year Period of Antichrist) will be raised back to life (i.e. resurrected and not raptured) ONLY after the Millennium when "the heavens and Earth are dissolved (or disintegrate, or are annihilated) with a loud noise in fervent heat" (as Saint Peter put it in chapter three verses ten through twelve of his second New-Testament epistle).
Not only that, but ALL evil persons (with the exception of The [Antichrist] Beast and False Prophet humans consigned before the Millennium to The Lake of Fire, and of course the souless-but-having-breathed near-human/robotic-like graven Image of The Beast plainly without any eternal destiny in either Heaven or Hell) will be resurrected at that time and be judged as wicked "goats" in contrast to righteous "sheep" before The Great White Throne of The King (see Matthew chapter 25):
Note the post-Millennium-but-pre-Last-Day-Resurrection/pre-White-Throne-Judgment timing:
Revelation 20:10 and The Devil who had deceived them was thrown into The Lake of Fire and Brimstone where The Beast and The False Prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night (continuously) to the ages of the ages.
At the end of that literal 1000-year reign of true peace and lawfulness, and immediately after the destruction occurring at The Second Judgment battle, the LORD - in His Divine Father/Son/Spirit Trinitarian majesty [YHWH]- will incinerate everything in the entire universe and commence that heralded-by-The-Last-Trumpet Final Judgment on The Last Day......when The King shall indeed separate the proverbial "sheep" away from the "goats" (Matthew 25:31-46) in indescribably-embarrassing but exhilarating sacred fairness and frankness, impeccable accuracy, plus perfect holy honesty.