Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Bride & the 1,000 Year Reign

 

The Bride & the 1,000 Year Reign

After God pours out His wrath upon mankind, our Lord will rule, as it is prophesied:

And He shall judge between the nations and shall decide [disputes] for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4 AMPC)

We must investigate more of the Book of Revelation to find some clues, though much may remain a mystery unless the Lord gives us a vision of that time. 

The scriptures addressed are:

Isaiah 2:4
Revelation 2:18-29
19:6-21
20:1-15

The Bride

After God’s wrath and the fall of Babylon, we see a wonderful sight in Heaven!

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Revelation 19:6-8 AKJV)

It is celebration time in Heaven as the long-awaited ceremony takes place. We must know how God’s people conducted marriages in biblical times, to fully understand what is happening at the marriage supper. 

Marriage often began with match-making, called shiddukhin or a “marriage proposal.” The initial proposal could come from the prospective groom or the father of the groom. According to Ruth, chapter four, a man would acquire the bride of his choice in the presence of witnesses in one of three ways: 

  1. money or its equivalent (Genesis 29, 34; Exodus 21-22)
  2. deed (Genesis 24; Judges 14; Ruth 4)
  3. intercourse (Deuteronomy 22)

Jewish betrothal is not like the Gentile concept of engagement, which is only a promise of marriage. The betrothal stage was also called kiddushin which literally means “sanctification,” because from that point the woman belonged to the man. The word kiddushin comes from the same root word as kadosh which means “holy.” Just as holy things are forbidden to all but those for whom they are designated, so too does this woman become forbidden to all men but to the one whom she has now been designated. Betrothal made the woman a legal wife and her status could only be changed by divorce or death. 

When we accept the offer of Jesus to purchase us, we become His bondservant and it is up to us to sanctify ourselves, to be holy unto Him, so that we are suitable to become His bride. Much of Revelation warns Christians that they are on the verge of dying. We can now see that this would remove them from the agreement. 

After the betrothal, the bride might be taken to her husband's house and the nuptials celebrated either immediately or later (Genesis 24; Judges 14). This is why some who go through a time of testing are taken into the Secret Place, a room within God’s mansion, prepared for us to meet with our Lord (John 14:3-4). 

At the time of the marriage, the bride would be dressed in bridal garments (Psalms 45; Isaiah 49 & 61; Jeremiah 2). From this verse in Revelation, we know that these garments are not immediately given when we take Jesus as Lord, they must be earned through our good deeds: the job that God has designed and created us for. Not every Christian who accepts Jesus as Lord will become part of the bride, only those who have sanctified themselves and earned a wedding gown. The rest will be guests at the marriage supper!

And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:9-10 AKJV)

The marriage dinner happens after the actual ceremony. The bridegroom prepares for a three-day marriage feast: three days at his house, beginning on the first day of the week (our Sunday), continuing on the second day of the week (Monday), and then the third day in the week (Tuesday). On the fourth day (Wednesday), he would consummate the marriage with her. 

This fits perfectly into the timetable of the return of Jesus, for one day will be one year. For three years, Heaven rejoices after the wrath is poured out. Those who have not dedicated their lives to Jesus and the work of their Lord will attend as wedding guests as He showed us in another vision in the Revelation series.

While preparing for this message, Jesus brought me to my heavenly home and spoke to me about what it takes to become His bride. He presented me with a huge clam that had an enormous pearl in it. 

The Lord urged me to look closely at the pearl and I could see reflected on its surface, an image of us dancing. “This is why you are My bride and able to visit Me in the Secret Place; you see our relationship as a pearl of great price.”

In a parable in the book of Matthew, Jesus likens Heaven to a man who finds a pearl of great price and sells all he has to claim that pearl (Matthew 13:45-46). To be part of the bride of Christ and visit with Him in the Secret Place, you must consider your time with Him more valuable than anything else, whether it is reading the Word, meditating on it, or in worship, led by the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus Returns

And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. 

And the armies which were in Heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His clothing and on His thigh a name is written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16 AKJV)

Directly after the wedding feast, Jesus returns to take rightful possession of His earthly kingdom. The description is one of power and might. It is not the Lamb coming this time, it is the Lion of Judah! This is further confirmation that His bride was removed from the Earth before His return.  

Is it the bride of Christ who comes with Him to conquer the enemy? Most versions of the Bible have the same words to describe the clothing of the bride and the army: “Clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” There is a very minor difference in the Amplified Classic version which adds the word “radiant” to the bride. Let’s look at this a little closer.

Both descriptions contain the Greek words: 

  • byssinos (boos’-see-nos): “fine linen” 
  • katharos (kath-are-os’ ): translated as “pure and clean” but has a connotation of refined by fire. 

This means that both have earned a covering by holding to God’s ways and have responded to correction (fire) brought by Him. The difference is in the third word added to this description:

  • Bride
    • Lampros (laum-pros’): luxuries or elegancies in dress or style
  • Army
    • leukos (loo-kos’): of the garments of angels, and of those exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state

Each member of the bride earned their position by actions rightly aligned with God. Their position is one of royalty and elegance. The army is arrayed like the angels in heavenly white apparel. This would most likely be the guests at the wedding, not the bride who rides forth with Jesus to conquer the enemy. 

End of the Beast and of the False Prophet

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the middle of Heaven, Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God; That you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the Earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. (Revelation 19:17-19 AKJV)

The armies of the enemy will gather in a particular place at the end of time which is referred to as the battle of Armageddon:

And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” (Revelation 16:13-17 AMPC)

While Satan’s army is gathered, the seventh trumpet is blown and Babylon is destroyed. This chapter in Revelation began by rejoicing over the destruction of that city. All of these chapters give us a precise order of events:

  1. Armies gather at Armageddon
  2. Seventh Trumpet: every city in every nation is destroyed, including Babylon
  3. Marriage ceremony and supper
  4. Jesus and His armies arrive on Earth 

 It may seem impossible for all these events to happen so close together unless you remember that a day is like 1000 years in Heaven. Think of it like this: as the armies are gathering, the seventh trumpet blows. Seconds after this, in Heaven it is years later, the marriage and celebrations happen. The conclusion of this battle is inevitable: 

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat on the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:20-21 AKJV)

The Beast was created in the likeness of the AntiChrist who is the one controlling the Beast’s power on the Earth. The False Prophet is the one enforcing the mark of the Beast and supporting the worshiping of the Beast. Babylon, the ruling city, fell before the return of Jesus, but the leaders survive and gather the armies of the Earth to battle the Lord when He leads His army to Earth.

The 1000 Year Reign

Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. (Revelation 20:1 AKJV)

After the Lord clears out the AntiChrist and the false prophet, destroying the army of the AntiChrist, He addresses the spirits behind this attack. This is not the end of the Earth, nor of all the people of the Earth, only a brief respite from Satan and his followers:

And He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on 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 20:2-3 AKJV)

For 1000 years Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit while Jesus reigns on Earth. Who will rule with the Lord?

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to 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 worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, nor in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4 AKJV)

This group should not be confused with the 144,000 who were beheaded and part of the rapture. They “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:1-5). The reward for being beheaded, because you missed the rapture and refused to take the mark or worship the beast, is that you get to rule with Jesus for 1000 years. This includes the part of the body of Christ that is in a Jezebel church but resists this spirit:

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These things said the Son of God, who has His eyes like to a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass:

I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols… I am He which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give to every one of you according to your works. But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put on you no other burden. But that which you have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcomes, and keeps My works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches. (Revelation 2:18-29 AKJV)

The churches who have allowed Jezebel a place will not go in the rapture, they will not be part of the bride, but if they make it through the devastation that comes, they will rule the nations of the world. What about those who do not survive until Jesus returns? Unfortunately, all who die after the rapture will not be “resurrected.” 

The remainder of the dead were not restored to life again until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:5-6 AKJV)

This is wonderful news for some: If you give your life to the Lord, literally, as you are beheaded for not worshiping the Beast, or if you are part of the bride and experience the first resurrection you are good for all eternity! 

I don’t believe the bride is part of the ruling class for several reasons. First, in Israel, the Queen of the King never ruled. Second, and most importantly, scripture shows us where the bride is located after the marriage supper:

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God… (Revelation 21:9-10 ESV)

This takes place after the 1000 year reign. The bride is in Heaven, in the New Jerusalem. It is a place of intimacy and honor with the Lord to be taken as His bride! Let’s recap the hierarchy in the very orderly Kingdom of Heaven:

  • The Bride: Has a place of intimacy with Jesus and God. Lives with God and has access to Jesus and Abba at all times. Will have special abilities.
  • Heavenly Nobility: the 144,000 who remain close to Jesus, as part of His entourage.
  • Earthly Nobility: those beheaded for refusing the mark before and after the rapture will rule on the Earth. Also, those who do not follow Jezebelic teachings and survive until Jesus returns.
  • Heavenly Commoners: Those who die before the rapture and have taken Jesus as Lord but didn’t seek God’s will for their life. These are the farmers, bakers, and such of Heaven. Must petition and wait to see Jesus and God.

Your placement within each class will depend upon how you lived your life on Earth. You may think that just being in Heaven is enough, however, eternity is a long time! You may want to consider investing in your future. 

There isn’t a lot of information about what happens next, but we have a few facts:

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from Heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10 AKJV) 

We know that there will be 1000 years of peace, then Satan will once again be loosed for “a little while” to test and deceive mankind. Jesus said He would only be gone “a little while” when He left (John 16:16), so this could be thousands of years. Gog is a land hostile to God and Magog the people from that land that don’t exist yet. In other words, the world will now rebel against the rule of our Lord. 

Once again, we know that God has a plan and knows the outcome. This is the final fate of Satan, he is thrown into the lake of fire. Mankind’s destiny is, likewise, sealed at this time:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His presence, earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15 AMPC)

If you die after the rapture and are not beheaded, there will be a judgment day where you are held accountable for what you have done. The “Book of Life” was mentioned to the Sardis Church who had “no perfect works” and was dying for lack of attachment to Jesus. Their names were being blotted out of the Book of Life. It should be our goal to ensure that our names are in that book now that we know how serious this is! There is a great reward for living for our new kingdom and our Lord in this life, and it will determine our destiny for all eternity.



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