In the first two parts of this series I shared we are called 'royal' by the Word in several places, and are further told we will reign on the earth during the 1000 year reign of Jesus. Today we will look at who the rest of the kingdom residents are.
How do we get from heaven to rule on earth?
Zechariah 14:5 tells us of the return of Messiah: "...and the Lord will come, and all the saints with you!", confirming the 'armies of heaven' described in Revelation 19 all riding white horses as the Lord does at His return, are indeed believers who have been in heaven up to that point. Further confirmation is given in Revelation 19.
Revelation 19: 7-8 tells us those in heaven have been having a marriage supper for 'His wife has made herself ready', which tells us our responsibility in this life to live as one preparing for our wedding day. It says of those saints that 'fine linen, clean and white' was given to them, "for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Verse 9 concludes: "Blessed are those invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb", which means in order to have an invitation there must also be those not invited.
Who is invited?
In the Jewish Feast of Trumpets the 'rapture' is taught. In that feast day it teaches a 'catching away' initiated by a specific trumpet called 'the last trumpet' or 'last trump' happens with the dead who died believing in Messiah.
The Feast of Trumpets teaches the dead in Messiah will rise to be hidden in Messiah. This is why it is the only festival that starts on the New Moon phase when the moon is hidden, for the moon in Judaism stands for believers. (The sun stands for God, the moon for believers because it has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun, was made to rule the darkness, etc).
It is why Paul stated in Colossians 2: 16-17 that the new moon is a shadow of something to come. The hidden moon is a type of the Feast of Trumpets blast which causes the dead in Messiah to rise to be hidden in Him.
But Paul adds fresh revelation to the Feast in I Corinthians 15: 51-52 the feast doesn't reveal; that not only will the dead in Messiah arise at what is called 'The Awakening Blast', but also those alive at the time of the blowing of the trumpet will be changed and join them to be hidden with Messiah. (I've recorded several MP3/CD teachings if you want more information, go to our site, click 'store', and search for end times category)
In the Feast the believers in Messiah will be judged (Judgement Seat of Christ) and then immediately take part in a celebratory wedding feast that goes on for 7 years. During these 7 years on earth however, the earth enters 'the days of awe' when the judgement books are opened and prepared for the remaining inhabitants of earth, which is a time of great tribulation, known at the 'time of Jacob's trouble', and culminating in 'the day of the Lord', which is the return of Jesus.
So the ones in heaven participating in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as described in Revelation 19, is limited to those believers who had earlier died, and those alive when the Last Trumpet sounds. Those saved in the Tribulation won't attend because they will have missed the Last Trumpet's blast. Those who survive the Tribulation and Armageddon won't attend. Those born in the Millennium will be born too late to have attended. Only those it says, who were believers who had died before the Trumpet sounded, or were alive to hear it will attend.
In the immediate verses after saying the saints are given fine linen clean and white, in v11-14, the apostle is describing the return of Jesus telling us He is riding a white horse, and so are the armies of heaven, all of them clothed "in fine linen, clean and white" - showing by that context and also Zechariah 14:5 that the Lord returns with us, the saints who have died and gone to heaven in our age.
The survivors of the Tribulation and return of Jesus
After telling us the Lord is coming with all His saints, Zechariah 14:16 says this: "And it will happen that everyone who is left from all the nations which came against Jerusalem to fight (at the return of the Lord in Revelation 19), shall go year by year to worship the King, the Lord of the armies, to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates God living with man, and though they are to come every year to celebrate Jesus physically living with man, there will be people in some nations that will resist the Kingship of Jesus. They resent righteous rule by the Lord and the righteous government of the saints. For verses 17-19 reveal:
"And it will be that whosoever won't come up of all the people of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of the armies, then upon them will be no rain. (For instance) if the family of Egypt will not come up, then upon them will be no rain. That is the plague with which the Lord will hit the heathen that won't come up for the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment on Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that don't come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." Notice, in the next age there will still be heathen that Jesus and we rule over.
Matthew 25: 31-32 describes the scene at Jesus' return once He sets foot in Israel: "...He will sit on the throne of His glory, and all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep (nations) He will set on His right, and the goat (nations) on His left..."
Even at His return there will be (heathen) people and whole nations who don't want enforced righteousness made by the King and His royal family - and that is where we will pick it up next week to close out this series. Until then, blessings!
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