Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4(NASB)
The most amazing revelation of Jesus Christ was given to the apostle John, for our learning.. when he was banished to the inhospitable Isle of Patmos.
The final chapter in God’s plan of redemption is played out in graphic detail, until the Lord Jesus, the supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, bursts through the clouds, accompanied by the armies of heaven – with “King of kings and Lord of lords”, written on His robe and on His thigh.
Once the evil beast and blasphemous false prophet, have been cast alive into the fire, burning with brimstone, and Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit, John turns his attention to the people he sees, enthroned in heaven – who are the Church age saints of God, (the bride Christ).
He also records a great company of martyred tribulation saints, who refused to take “the Mark of the Beast”, during the troublesome, tribulation period, when satanic forces of evil seek to overthrow the omnipotent, eternal and righteous God of the universe.
Then I saw thrones, John wrote as he recorded the awesome scene, and those who sat on the thrones, were given the authority to rule and to pass judgement. The Church, which is the body of Christ, are to be kings and priests, who rule and reign with Him on earth, for 1000 years.
After describing these Church-age saints, John then sees a multitude of Christian martyrs. He saw the souls of those who had been beheaded, in the tribulation, because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God. He saw those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand.
Following the rapture of the Church, the wrath of God will be poured out, in full measure, on a God-hating, Christ-rejecting Jew-loathing sinful world. This is the 70th week of Daniel’s prophetic vision. It is the start of the “Day of the Lord” – when God Himself, rather than fallen man, will begin to rule and reign on earth – through Jesus Christ, the righteous God-Man.
As John watched the awesome scene, in heavenly places, he saw countless martyred, tribulation saints resurrected to life. It was a multitude which no-one could number, and they came from every tribe of Israel and from all the nations of the world. They were made up of every people group – and they spoke every conceivable language.
John records that like the Church-age saints, this second group of martyred, tribulation saints, also reigned with Christ for a thousand years – they took part in the FIRST Resurrection – the resurrection of all believers. However, all those who rejected God’s offer of salvation before the cross and, throughout the Church-age, as well as during the 7-year Tribulation, will be confined in hell for a further 1000 years – and must partake in the SECOND resurrection – the terrible resurrection of all unbelievers, at the great white throne of the living God – which must result in eternal separation from God.
Let us increase our effort to tell the good news of the gospel of Christ to as many as we can, before the great and terrible day of the Lord – for the Word of God through the revelation of Jesus Christ will not fail, and all who believe will not be condemned BUT those who do not believe, will be eternally condemned – because they have not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for telling us the end from the beginning, so that we do not have any excuse to reject Your gracious offer of salvation – by grace through faith in Christ’s atoning work on Calvary and His glorious resurrection from the dead. Lord there are many that remain dead in their trespasses and sins and will face this terrible time of Jacob’s Trouble if they do not turn from their sin and trust in Christ for salvation. Use me to spread abroad the glories of His name and the serious consequences that await those who reject Your offer of redemption. May Your holy name be praised, and we pray in unison – Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus, in Whose name we pray, AMEN.