A Shadow Of Things To Come


A commentary on the Book of Revelation

Table of Contents

Preface .


The Vision of the Heavenly Sanctuary

The First Six Seals

The Judgment of the World

The Sealing of the Saints and a Vision of Hope

The Day of Yahweh (First Six Trumpets)

The Seventh Trumpet

The Resurrection of the Dead

The Second Coming of Yeshua the Messiah

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17

Will Any Saints Go to Heaven?

The Beast and Its Mark

144,000 Firstfruits

The Seven Last Plagues

The Millennial Kingdom

Appendix #A


Without a doubt, the book of Revelation is the most misunderstood of all the Holy Scriptures. Many people throughout the ages have tried to understand its meaning and failed. Many have not even attempted to understand the book, choosing instead to ignore it. Others have become so discouraged and confused by the vast array of interpretations that they have given up on trying to comprehend it for themselves.

Are these actions and attitudes in keeping with Yahweh's will for the readers of Revelation? His will is clearly evident in the first three verses of chapter one. The word "revelation" is a translation of the Greek word "apokalupsis" meaning; unveiling, uncovering, to expose to open view what was once hidden. From the day this book was written its prophecies were to be understood. Rev.22:10 confirms this by commanding that these prophesies not be sealed. They are to be read and understood by Yahweh's servants. In fact, readers, hearers, and keepers of these prophesies are to be blessed. The word "keep" in Rev.1:3 means to observe attentively or keep an eye on. Watching Revelation being fulfilled increases our faith and hope in Yahweh. However, it is difficult to discern its fulfillment if we don't know in advance what is to occur. That is one reason this book was written; "to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev.1:1).

The purpose of this study is to understand escatology in light of the book of Revelation. It is not my intention to give a detailed analysis of all the symbols and events of Revelation but to bring to light the time sequence of events which will, in turn, help to clarify other beliefs such as when Messiah will return; will there be living saints caught up into the air before they die a physical death; will the saints go to heaven for any length of time; etc.

It is my hope that the reader will not discard this study when confronted by a belief they are unfamiliar with or don't agree with. Read it through entirely before drawing your conclusions and base those conclusions on the preponderance of scriptural evidence.

This study is in no way "the final word" on escatology. New light is constantly being provided by Yahweh through various means and one should always be aware of its shining. This study does, however, provide a firm foundation on which to build our escatology as far as when, and in what order, certain events are to occur in time.


Before we can begin building on our understanding of Revelation we must first lay a firm foundation. New Jerusalem has twelve foundations, however, we will only need three to begin our study.

Foundation # 1 - The book of Revelation reads as any novel would. It has a definite time sequence that must not be altered by rearranging chapters to suit ones needs, particularly those that result from seals being opened, trumpets being blown, and vials being poured out. There are also a few parenthetical or insert chapters that do not change the time sequence of the story flow. For example, Rev.17 is a description of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. Her destruction begins in Rev.16:19 and is pictured in Rev.18. It is not that Babylon comes into being after Rev.16:19.

Foundation # 2 - The seven seals are the main events of the book and must take place in succession. The seventh seal, for example, cannot precede the fourth seal and the second seal cannot occur after the sixth seal, etc. Otherwise the purpose of numbering each seal would be meaningless. The seventh seal contains all seven trumpets which means no trumpet can take place before the opening of the seventh seal. The seventh trumpet contains the seven last plagues which means none of the plagues can occur before the seventh trumpet or before the seventh seal.

Have you ever received a gift box and, upon opening it, found another box inside, and another inside that box, etc.? Try to understand the seven seals in that sense. You are given six gifts, one after the other (the first six seals). Then you are given a seventh gift (seventh seal) that you open and, inside, find seven more boxes (seven trumpets). After you open the first six and then the seventh, you find seven more boxes inside (seven last plagues). After you finish opening the seventh and last box (seventh plague) you have finished opening all your gifts. There were fourteen boxes altogether in that seventh gift box you received. There are seven trumpets and seven last plagues contained in the seventh seal that cannot occur before the seventh seal is opened.

Foundation # 3 - Let the scriptures interpret themselves.
2 Peter 1:20 says, "no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation." We are not to give our own understanding of what we think the prophesy is saying.

The Vision of the Heavenly Sanctuary

Chapters 1-3 are not part of the vision about future events, which is our main concern. Chapter 1 is the introduction to the book of Revelation and it includes a vision of the glorified Messiah. In verse 19 John is commanded to write three things; that which he has seen (Rev.1:10-20); things which are (Rev.2:1 - 3:22); and things which shall be hereafter (Rev.4:2-22:21). Chapters 2 and 3 contain letters to the seven literal assemblies that existed in Asia Minor at the time Revelation was written. Although these assemblies no longer exist their characteristics are strikingly similar to those exhibited by assemblies, churches, and individuals that today. The letters contain prophetic warnings to all who read them throughout the centuries in the hope that those who have ears to hear will emulate the positive characteristics and repent of the negative characteristics described therein.

The prophetic narrative begins in Rev.4:1 where the Apostle John is told to enter heaven (via a vision) to behold "things which must be hereafter." Therefore, all that John is shown from Rev.4-Rev 22 must occur after John received the vision in approximately 96 C.E.. That means Rev.12 occurs after 96 C.E. and not before, as we will see later.

In Rev.4:1 we read about a voice, sounding similar to a trumpet, calling to John. Some theologians have interpreted this to be the fulfillment of 1 Thess.4:16,17 where Yeshua returns at the sound of the trumpet to resurrect the dead. It is a foundational belief to the secret rapture doctrine. This is erroneous, however, based on 1 Cor.15:52 which states that the resurrection trumpet is the "last" trumpet. The last trumpet in all scripture is the seventh trumpet of Rev.11:15. As we shall see later, it is that trumpet that heralds Messiah's return. Verse 1 does not say a trumpet sounded. It says a voice sounded like a trumpet.

The scene taking place in Rev.4 is that of Yahweh's throne room in heaven. Notice verse 6, which shows a "sea of glass" directly in front of Yahweh's throne. It is the same sea of glass that victorious saints will stand upon, in heaven, after their resurrection (Rev.15:2-4).

In verse 4, 24 elders are sitting around the throne of Yahweh. They are clothed in white raiment with crowns of gold on their heads. Who are they? They are the saints that resurrected shortly after Yeshua in Mt.27:52,53. They did not simply die again after their resurrection. They were taken to heaven at the same time Yeshua ascended to the throne of Yahweh to be accepted as the wave sheaf. Yeshua returned to earth for forty days; they remained in heaven to begin their anti-typical work in the heavenly sanctuary. The type is found in 1 Chr.24:1-19, especially vs.19. They are dressed in white to represent their righteousness (Rev.19:8) and their crowns were given to them just as the Apostle Paul, James, and Peter had said (2 Tim.4:8; Ja.1:12; 1 Pe. 5:4). Proof that some saints will go to heaven for a period of time is given later in this study.

The scene continues in Rev.5:1 with a book (scroll) sealed with seven seals. This scroll contains the events to occur during the great "Day of Yahweh." That day will begin once the seventh seal is removed allowing the scroll to be opened. Only the Messiah, the Lamb of Yahweh, has the power to open the seals and the scroll (vs.5). Since this is true, we should look to Messiah to tell us what these seals mean.

The First Six Seals

In Rev.6 we see the results of opening the first six seals. Each seal is opened in consecutive order starting with seal #1 and ending with seal #6. The first seal speaks of a conqueror on a white horse; the second of war; the third of famine; the fourth of death by sword, hunger, and wild beasts; the fifth of slain saints and saints that will be slain; and the sixth seal speaks of an earthquake followed by certain heavenly signs. Has Yeshua ever spoken of such things? In Mt.24, known as the Olivet Discourse, Messiah foretells the conditions that will arise shortly before his return to resurrect the dead. Each seal is spoken of by Yeshua in that chapter. In verses 3-8 he foretells of false messiahs and deceivers, wars, famines, and diseases that will lead to the death of many. Each of these events parallels the first four seals.

In seal #1 the rider is not Yeshua the Messiah going around conquering evil. It represents false messiahs deceiving many. Yeshua has not been conquering anyone. Heb.1:13 says Yahweh has been conquering and Yeshua has been sitting at His right hand until all his enemies have been conquered by Yahweh. It is Satan that can be transformed into an angel of light (2 Cor.11:14), or a rider with a crown on a white horse, or a false messiah. It is Satan who is now conquering those that will be conquered while the saints endeavor to overcome. It is the adversary, the great counterfeiter, who tries to deceive the very elect but fails because the elect have the plain words of the true Messiah concerning these false messiahs.

Wars and rumors of wars have been with us for centuries. They have continued to grow progressively worse until it is now questionable whether we can survive another world war. These wars are symbolized by the red horse and rider of the second seal.

Famine is symbolized in the third seal by the black horse of Rev.6:5,6. A balance is being used to provide exactly one "choinix" of wheat (one quart) for one denarius (one penny). A denarius was the usual salary for one days labor back then. The usual price of a quart of wheat was 1/8 of a denarius. This shows the severity of the famine predicted since a measure of wheat costs eight times what it usually costs.

According to Mt.24:7-9, following false messiahs, wars, and famines is death (pestilence or plagues resulting in death). Wars result in famine, famine results in death and diseases, and the death of one fourth of earths population, which kept the population of beasts in check, would cause the animal kingdom to increase tremendously. All these are the result of the fourth seal. Despite these calamities, Yeshua says that they are only "the beginning of sorrows" (vs.8). Things will get progressively worse after these four seals. The word "sorrows" is from the Greek word "odin" meaning, "a pang or throe, especially of childbirth." Remember that point, for it will have greater meaning in our study of the resurrection of the dead.

The fifth seal pictures the martyrdom of the saints spoken of in Mt.24:9. The original assembly, the early saints, experienced terrible persecution at the hands of both Romans and Jews. Those that lost their lives cry out (figuratively speaking) for justice but they are told to wait until the full number of believers are killed. In other words, the number of saints to be killed is fixed. Once this number is reached the "great tribulation" ends. How do we arrive at that conclusion? Mt.24:21 mentions a period of tribulation that will never be exceeded in intensity. Immediately after that great tribulation the heavenly signs of the sixth seal will occur (Mt.24:29). Therefore, the great tribulation ends between the fifth and sixth seals. Those that believe in a secret rapture allowing saints to escape the great tribulation are without foundation. Just the opposite occurs. The great tribulation leads to the death of almost all the saints in preparation for the resurrection at Yeshua's coming.

Some might ask why these saints have to die. Is.57:1 gives us the answer; "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come." Almighty Yahweh, in His great mercy, will spare them from undergoing the tremendous persecution and trials that Satan and the Beast will subject the end-time 144,000 to during the Day of Yahweh.

The heavenly signs of the sixth seal are only figurative. Since the earth is tiny in comparison to most stars it would be destroyed instantly if hit by one. The stars of heaven are symbolic of all the seed of Abraham who live by faith (see Dan.8:10). This would be the fulfillment of Rev.6:11 where all but 144,000 saints were killed or "fell unto the earth." Rev.6:12, referred to in Mt.24:29, is understood as a great shaking and removal of the powers of this world or its governments as we know them. It is not literal just as the heavenly signs prophesied by Joel were not literally fulfilled in Acts 2. Acts 2:16-21 was a partial fulfillment of Joel's prophesy and Rev.6:12 is its dual fulfillment.

Rev.6:14b needs to be interpreted in light of Ezek.6:1-6. There Yahweh is addressing the leadership of Israel, not literal mountains, hills, etc. See also Is.2:10-22 where cedars, mountains, high towers, etc., are symbols of men exalted into high positions. These will all be humbled as a result of the sixth seal. This prophesy in Isayah goes on to describe the events of the sixth seal as stated in Rev.6:15. These men now realize that all that has happened during the sixth seal is only a small sample of the fearful judgment to come. They attempt to hide from the wrath of the Lamb but their attempts will be futile.

To sum up the events, the first five seals are the great tribulation. Once the great tribulation ends, the fifth seal ends and the sixth seal begins. After the sixth seal ends the great day of Yahweh's wrath will soon begin (Rev.6:17). This is known as the "Day of Yahweh" throughout scripture and it is not to be confused with the great tribulation. Joel 2:31 shows the heavenly signs occurring
before the Day of Yahweh and Mt.24:29 shows them occurring after the great tribulation. Therefore, the heavenly signs are the dividing point between the great tribulation and the Day of Yahweh.

The Judgment of the World

The great tribulation is the judgment or punishment of Yahweh upon His disobedient and/or backslidden children. Ezek. 14:12-23 has a dual fulfillment. The calamities mentioned there happened to backslidden Israel and it will happen again to backslidden believers in the great tribulation. Notice the second, third, and fourth seals of Revelation in Ezek.14:21.

The Day of Yahweh is His judgment and wrath upon the wicked. 1 Pe.4:17-19 tells us judgment begins at the house of Yahweh. Therefore, believers are judged before the wicked are judged. Once Yahweh's people are judged, the judgment of the world will begin. "But what about John 12:31, you may ask?" "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." Yeshua is undoubtedly speaking prophetically since Satan could not be cast out of heaven before Yeshua's death and resurrection. Did these scriptures have their fulfillment at Messiah's death? Rev.12:7-9 speak of a war in heaven resulting in Satan being cast out of heaven. That event takes place after the resurrection of the saints pictured in Rev.12:5. That Rev.12:5 pictures the saints and not Yeshua will be proven later.

If the judgment of the world took place at Yeshua's death then it would have preceded the judgment of the House of Yahweh, contradicting 1 Pe.4:17. It is also stated in 1 Cor.6:2 that the saints will judge the world. Since that is true, the saints must be judged righteous and made perfect (via resurrection) before the world is judged. The saints cannot judge the world while they are yet flesh. This means the saints cannot judge the world until after the resurrection.

Rev.3:21 says overcomers will sit with Yeshua in his throne. That throne is not only his throne as King, but also his throne as judge of the world. Overcomers will sit as kings (Rev. 2:26;5:10) and judges (1 Cor.6:2) after they finish the race and attain the crown of eternal life. This honor of judging the world and executing vengeance upon the wicked is proclaimed in Ps. 149:5-9 as well; "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of Elohim be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye Yahweh."

1 Cor.4:5 gives us the time when the saints will begin judging. It is after Yeshua returns to resurrect his people at the seventh and last trumpet. "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Master come..."

This world or social system was judged once before. Yahweh brought the destructive flood of Noah's day upon the world because of their great wickedness. However, we read in 2 Pe.3:6,7 that the world will be judged once again because of their great wickedness. The instrument of destruction will not be water, as in the past, but instead will be an assortment of destructive plagues (trumpets and vials of Revelation) symbolized by fire. That this fire is symbolic is clearly understood from the following scriptures;

Jer.31:35,36 declare that the sun, moon, and stars will exist as long as Israel does. Therefore, when 2 Pe.3 says, "the heavens shall pass away" or "shall be dissolved," it cannot be literal for they are ordinances forever.

Jer.5:14; 23:29 & Ps.18:7,8 all show Yahweh's word to be like a devouring fire. That fire is kindled because of Yahweh's jealousy (Ezek.36:5) and wrath (Ezek.38:19; Deut 32:22). That same fire of judgment burned against Yacob and yet it was not a literal fire (Ps.78:21,63).

The seventh chapter of Daniel tells us a little more about the judgment of the world that is administered by Yeshua and the saints. In verse 9 "thrones" are set in heaven. The KJV erroneously reads "cast down" instead of "set." What thrones are these? One throne is that of the Almighty Judge, the Ancient of Days, Yahweh. A second throne would be Yeshua's who Yahweh appointed judge of the world. A great multitude of additional thrones are set for the resurrected saints who are also appointed to judge the world (1 Cor.6:2; Dan.7:22). It is incorrect to interpret Dan.7:22 to mean "judgment was made in favor of the saints" or "the time came that they were judged to be righteous."
Rev.20:4 uses the same language which clearly reveals that the saints sit upon these thrones and begin judging.

Dan.7:10 shows the books of judgment being opened and all the judges seated and prepared to judge. The result of their judgment is shown in verses 11 & 12. The fourth beast along with the little horn of Dan.7:20,24 are destroyed. This is the same beast of Rev.13 that is destroyed after the resurrection of Rev. 12:5 and before the binding of Satan in Rev.20:2. The length of this period is shown to be 42 months (Rev.13:5; Dan.7:25). Dan. 7:25 states that, during this 3 1/2 years, there will still be saints on earth that the little horn will be persecuting. They are the remnant that are left after the resurrection of Rev.12:5. They are pictured in Rev.12:17 as the "remnant of her seed." They are also mentioned in 1 Thess.4:17 as those that "are alive and remain" after the resurrection of the dead. These saints will eventually die at the hands of the beast (Rev.13:7) and be resurrected and caught up into the clouds to be with their brothers and their Master. (See the chapter on 1 Thess.4:16,17).

The Sealing of the Saints and a Vision of Hope

The prophetic account continues in Rev.7:1 with four angels holding back the four winds of the earth. Verse 2 tells us that the purpose of this wind is to hurt the earth and the sea. Verse 1 also includes trees. These may be symbolic of fleshly Israel, gentiles, and world leaders respectively. Regardless of whether they are symbolic or not, what is clear is that the great Day of Yahweh's wrath is being held back temporarily until His 144,000 servants are sealed in their foreheads and thereby protected from His wrath upon the wicked. This sealing does not protect them from the wrath of Satan.

As a result of the great tribulation there will be no saints left on earth except these 144,000 servants. More will be said about this group further into this study. Suffice it to say that 144,000 is a literal number and that these servants are not necessarily literal Israelites according to the flesh but are spiritual Israelites through Messiah. This is evident by the absence of the tribes of Dan and Ephraim and the inclusion of Joseph and Levi. We see Joseph listed first, before Reuben, since Reuben lost his birthright because of sin. Since the 144,000 of Rev.14 have the names of the Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Yeshua) in their foreheads as a seal of whom they belong to, it must be understood that the 144,000 of Rev.7 are also sealed in the same way. Since they also have Yeshua's name in their foreheads they cannot be Israelites by birth unless they have accepted Yeshua as their savior.

Rev.7:9-17 are parenthetical verses inserted into the prophesy. They do not occur directly following the sealing of the 144,000 when that literally happens in the future. Verses 9-17 are merely a vision of the redeemed saints that literally takes place after their resurrection. It is a vision of hope sandwiched between what appears to be two hopeless calamities, the great tribulation and the great Day of Yahweh. Yahweh has not left us hopeless as we see by this vision. Overcomers will be resurrected and given eternal life.

The Day of Yahweh

The first six seals have concluded in order and the seventh and final seal is now opened in Rev.8:1. The results of opening this last seal are many beginning with the first trumpet and ending with the seventh last plague. Everything that takes place between Rev.8:7 and Rev.19 is the result of the seventh seal being opened. It opens with silence in heaven because the inhabitants of heaven realize what is about to take place; the great and terrible Day of Yahweh's wrath. The prayers of the saints for their delivery from the wicked have ascended up to Yahweh long enough and now His vengeance begins.

The First Trumpet

Yahweh's first act of vengeance is recorded in Rev.8:7. It is my belief that at least the first four trumpets are to be taken literally. Yahweh literally rained hail mixed with fire upon the Egyptians before the Exodus so He can easily do the same again with the addition of blood. The destruction of 1/3 of the trees will result in a shortage of fruit, lumber, paper products, etc.. Without any grass there will be no place for cattle to graze leading to a massive destruction of livestock, resulting in famine.

The Second Trumpet

Having 1/3 of all sea life destroyed will lead to famine among those that rely on the sea for food. One third of all ships being destroyed will lead to chaos and hardship among merchants and among those that rely on the shipping of goods to overseas markets.

The Third Trumpet

The word "star" in Greek can mean a fixed star, planet, or meteor. A meteor would be the most likely meaning based on the context of this verse. The earth has been hit by many meteors in the past, but this one will be the most destructive. The poisoning of 1/3 of the water supply will result in dehydration and death among animals and people. It would also have major repercussions in the food processing industry.

The Fourth Trumpet

Without sufficient sunlight the remaining 2/3 of plant life would suffer and they may not be able to produce enough oxygen for living things to breathe (plants take in CO2 and give off O2).

We can look back and see that these four trumpet judgments affect natural objects, the necessities of life; water, food, air. The last three trumpets, called "Woes" in Rev.8:13, affect men's lives directly with pain and death. "Woe" in Hebrew and Greek is an exclamation of grief.

The Fifth Trumpet

The fifth trumpet sounds in Rev.9:1 beginning the first woe. We can see that this trumpet is not to be taken literally because a key is given to a star falling from heaven which is literally impossible. Therefore we must view it in a symbolic sense. A star represents an angel in Rev.1:20b. The word "fall" is in the past tense in Greek so it should read "fallen." The fallen angel represents either Satan or one of his demons. The "bottomless pit" is the "pit of the abyss" in Greek. This abyss is spoken of in Lu.8:31 as a place where a demon called Legion didn't want Yeshua to send him and his fellow demons that were possessing a man from Gadara. This abyss is also spoken of in 2 Pe.2:4 and Jude 6 where the "judgment of the great day" is the "Day of Yahweh" or the "Day of Judgment" that has recently begun. Satan is permitted to loose these demons for the purpose of afflicting men, but not killing them, just as Yahweh permitted him to afflict Job and yet not kill him.

Rev.9:2,3 describe these demons as locusts. We know they are not literal locusts based on their description in verses 7-10. Their power is given to them by Almighty Yahweh to carry out His will. Real locusts would destroy anything green, however, these locusts only hurt wicked people. The 144,000 who are sealed will remain safe (vs.4).

We read in verse 5 that they will torment men for five months. The word "month" in Greek means to "measure the moon." So these symbolic locusts will torment men for five months beginning on a new moon and ending five moons later. Some people use the "day equals a year" theory converting this to 150 years. If that is the correct procedure when dealing with prophetic time then Ezek.39:11-15 would be hard to imagine. There will be many wicked people destroyed at the Battle of Armageddon, but it certainly will not take 210 years to bury them, working full time to do it. (Seven months equals 210 years using that theory). Remember, this trumpet takes five months to complete. It will help in understanding that when the seventh trumpet sounds to resurrect the dead, it will not stop sounding, or it will not end until seven years later.

It is important to note verse 12. When the fifth trumpet ends, the first woe ends. Two more woes are yet to come. This brings us to the sixth trumpet.

The Sixth Trumpet

Most fallen angels were imprisoned in the abyss, some were free to possess men and four were imprisoned in the Euphrates River. They are set free at the appointed time for which they were prepared to carry out the Almighty's end time judgments. Rather than just hurting the wicked as in the fifth trumpet, they are commanded to kill 1/3 of them.

A parallel prophesy is found in the book of Joel. Joel 1:4 begins by speaking about locust. They are said to be innumerable and with the teeth of a lion. Joel 2:1-4 calls them a nation that burns up everything in their path with fire and that appear like horses with riders mounted.

Returning to Rev.9:16, 200 million may be a literal number or it may be an innumerable number as in Joel 1:6. Notice they appear as an army of horsemen as in Joel 2:4. These horsemen sit atop horses that have heads like lions as in Joel 1:6. They snort out fire as in Joel 2:3. We also saw the demon locusts of the fifth trumpet having bodies like horses and teeth like lions (vss. 7 & 8).

As in the fifth trumpet, these horses have tails that can hurt although one is pictured as a scorpions tail and the other as a serpent's head. Joel 2:8 states that these locusts cannot be wounded. They are unstoppable until their job is complete. They are said to be Yahweh's army in Joel 2:11, for He raised them up to do His will just as He used the Assyrians and the Babylonians as His instruments of destruction against Israel.

It is my belief that Joel's locusts, the fifth trumpet locusts, and the sixth trumpet horses are all referring to the same demonic nation that was let out of the bottomless pit. They all refer to the fallen angels. The four angels that were freed from the Euphrates River will lead this nation in battle against the wicked. Despite all the ensuing plagues from this nation, the wicked still won't repent of their idolatries and other sins (vss 20 & 21).

Notice that the second woe or the sixth trumpet does not end until after the events of chapters 10 & 11 (Rev.11:14). That means Rev.10 & Rev.11 are part of the sixth trumpet. Since Rev.11 occurs over a period of 42 months or 1260 literal days (Rev. 11:2,3), we now know that the sixth trumpet will last at least 3 1/2 years. Rev.10:7 speaks about "the days" when the seventh angel shall begin to sound the seventh trumpet. Those days will last for seven years beginning with Rev.11:15 and ending with Rev. 19.

Since the utterances of the seven thunders of Rev.10:4 were sealed, there is no use in conjecturing what was said. Therefore, let us go directly to the account of the two witnesses of Rev.11.

The time element of Rev.11:2,3 is to be understood literally as was mentioned previously. The events do not necessarily take place in Jerusalem, "where also our Master was impaled" (vs.8), however, they do conclude there with the death of the two witnesses. These witnesses are literal men who will come upon the scene during the time of the sixth trumpet. They will eventually be killed and left unburied in the streets of Jerusalem. Three and 1/2 literal days later they will resurrect from the dead, in sight of the people in the area, and ascend to heaven. Notice they are resurrected before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. This sets a precedent in understanding Heb.11:39-40 which says, "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [Yahweh] having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." These verses do not teach that those who lived by faith prior to Yeshua's first coming will be resurrected at the exact same time as those who lived by faith after his death and resurrection. The word "without" should have been translated "apart from." In other words, Yahweh will not perfect one group unless He also perfects the other group, though that perfecting can occur at different times as is the case with the two witnesses.

The termination of the sixth trumpet woe coincides with the termination of the 42 months or 1260 days of Rev.11:2,3. The question is, "Does that 3 1/2 year period begin at the start of the sixth trumpet or can it begin earlier; perhaps at the start of the first trumpet?" Since the two witnesses "have the power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will," it is not unreasonable to believe the six previous trumpet plagues were the result of their power. Therefore, the 3 1/2 year period of Rev 11:2,3 may begin in Rev.8 upon the opening of the seventh seal. Shortly afterward the first trumpet plague would be called down by the two witnesses. You may choose to reject this possibility, however, you must agree that the sixth trumpet woe ends at the same hour the two witnesses are resurrected and ascend to heaven. Therefore, the two witnesses prophesy before Messiah's return, before the beast of Rev.13 reigns, and before the seven last plagues are poured out.

The Seventh Trumpet

Rev.11:14 says, "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly." Upon the sounding of the seventh angels trumpet in verse 15, the third woe begins. Many events will take place as a result of this trumpet beginning with the opening of the temple in heaven revealing the ark of the covenant. As mentioned previously, seven years remain between the blowing of the seventh trumpet and the return of Messiah in Rev. 19. Since the return of Messiah to set up the Kingdom of Yahweh directly follows the seventh plague, this will be the last seven years of earth's history under the rule of man-made governments. From then on Yeshua will be King over all the earth.

Three main reasons why this heavenly temple is now opened after 19 centuries are;

1) To allow Messiah to return to resurrect the dead.
2) To allow the resurrected saints to enter the temple in
heaven and stand before Yahweh's throne. 3) So Yahweh's High Priest can fulfill the next portion of
the Day of Atonement. That is, to come out of the
sanctuary to make an atonement for the altar (Lev.16:17

Since the first two reasons involve lenghty discussions, let's begin by explaining point #3.

As the Apostle Paul revealed in Col.2:16,17, each of Yahweh's holy days are a shadow of something to come in the future. The seven trumpets of Revelation, for example, are foreshadowed by the Day of Trumpets spoken of in Lev.23:24,25. Ten days after the Day of Trumpets is the Day of Atonement. It is considered to be the holiest day of the year. It was on that day that the earthly High Priest entered the Most Holy Place of the earthly tabernacle to cleanse it with the blood of Yahweh's goat that was chosen by lots (Lev.16:7-16).

The book of Hebrews tells us that the heavenly tabernacle was also in need of cleansing but with better sacrifices than that of animals (Heb.9:21-23). It also says that Messiah's blood is the cleansing agent (Heb.9:12) and that he now acts as Yahweh's High Priest to do the cleansing (Heb.9:11,24-26) that fulfills the shadow of Lev.16:7-16. But what was the earthly High Priest to do next? He had to leave the earthly sanctuary, "go out unto the altar that is before Yahweh, and make an atonement for it;" (Lev.16:18). This portion of the shadow, as well as the events that follow it, has not yet been fulfilled by Messiah, the new High Priest. Yeshua has been sitting on Yahweh's right hand since entering the Most Holy Place and has yet to leave the heavenly sanctuary (Heb.8:1,2;10:12).

The earthly High Priest had to sprinkle the blood of animals upon the horns of the altar with his finger "seven times" to cleanse it and restore its holiness. This will be fulfilled by Messiah during the last seven years of earths history under man's rule.

As in Dan.4:16 & 23 and Rev.12:14, a "time" is understood to equal one year. Therefore, "seven times" in Lev.16:19 can be understood to mean seven years as the reality of the shadow. The symbolism of the "finger" is similar to that spoken of in Lu. 11:20 and Mt.12:28 where the "finger of [Yahweh]" equals His Holy Spirit power. Yahweh's High Priest, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will cleanse the altar for seven years. What is the altar? Traditionally, the altar was the location where animal sacrifices took place. It was located directly outside the entrance to the Holy Place. If Yahweh's throne is located in the "Holiest of all" (Heb.9:3,4) and heaven itself is said to be the Holy Place (Heb.9:24), then the area directly outside the Holy Place (or heaven) would be earth (or the altar). In Rev.6:9, John saw the souls of slain saints "under the altar." Where are slain saints now? All sleep in the grave until the resurrection, therefore, all are under the earth.

Before the earthly altar was put into use it had to be sanctified. This was accomplished by making an atonement for it seven days at which time it would become "most holy" (Ex. 29:36,37). This can also refer to a seven year prophetic meaning using the "day equals a year" theory. But what is even more interesting is the designation "most holy." Once the altar was cleansed for seven days it became "most holy" and was then "anointed." Is it possible that Dan.9:24, "and to anoint the most holy" is a reference to the final act of cleansing the earth for seven years to conclude the "seventy weeks?" Once the seventieth week is concluded, which coincides with earth's last seven years under man, Messiah will establish the Kingdom of Yahweh on a sanctified, cleansed earth.

The reference to the "horns of the altar" in Lev.16:18 pertains to the four horns that were constructed on each corner of the earthly altar (Ex.27:1,2). The symbolic meaning would be a cleansing of all the earth, from north to south and from east to west.

The Resurrection of the Dead

We now return to point #1 concerning why the heavenly temple was opened in Rev.11:19. Verse 18 makes mention of "the time of the dead, that they should be judged . . ." This pertains to the resurrection of dead saints who are called out of their graves at the sound of Yeshua's voice and the sound of the last trumpet. 1 Cor.15:51,52 and 1 Thess.4:13-16 both mention a trumpet that is blown to signal the resurrection. 1 Cor.15:52 is more specific in that it tells us it is the "last" trumpet. As we saw earlier, the last trumpet in all scripture is the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:15. Notice that a trumpet is not blown at Yeshua's coming in Rev.19 because those verses do not pertain to his coming to resurrect the dead. They concern his coming to destroy the wicked at the battle of Armageddon.

Some escatologists believe Messiah returns once to resurrect the dead, destroy the wicked, and establish the kingdom. This is impossible unless they choose to rearrange the chapters of Revelation to suit a particular escatology. This means they must remove Rev.11 from the time sequence and place it back with Rev. 19. Since they do that, they have no choice but to put Rev.12 in the past, saying it refers to Yeshua's earthly birth, since it is unexplainable otherwise. However, as we shall see, Rev.12 is yet future.

Upon opening the temple of Yahweh in heaven there were lightnings, an earthquake, great hail, etc. These are distinct events that are independent of other similar events mentioned in various plagues and trumpets.

This brings us to Rev.12:1-5, which is a perfect picture of the resurrection of the saints. The word "wonder" in verse 1 means a sign or indication, in Greek. This sign takes place in heaven, not on earth. The sun represents "the sun of righteousness" of Mal.4:2 that is a reference to Messiah. The moon is said to be "the lesser light to rule the night" or the darkness (Gen. 1:16-18). So this sign appears to represent Yeshua clothing the woman in his glory and light as they outshine and rule over the forces of darkness. The moon is under the woman's feet as a symbol of subjection. The twelve stars comprising her crown represent the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen.37:9). Verse 2 is especially noteworthy. The woman is having labor pains
before she gives birth to the child of verse 5. Keep that in mind for future reference.

The great dragon represents Satan (vs. 9). His seven heads represent seven empires through which he dominates the world. Daniel saw four of these; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Two were before Daniel's time; Assyria and Egypt. The seventh is yet future and represents the empire of the Anti-messiah. The ten horns represent ten nations of the Roman Empire that, according to Daniel, would remain until the coming of the kingdom of heaven. They form the base of Anti-messiah's kingdom.

Verse 5 is usually misunderstood to mean Yeshua because Rev.19:15 states that Yeshua will rule with a rod of iron. However, Rev.2:27 states that the saints that overcome will also rule with a rod of iron. This means we need more evidence to prove the identity of the male child. "Caught up" comes from the Greek word "harpadzo" meaning to seize, to snatch away, to carry off (suddenly and by force). This forceful seizure of the child needs to be done because Satan is ready to devour it. In Lu.24:51 Yeshua is said to be "carried up into heaven." The Greek for "carried" is "anaphero" not "harpadzo" and it means to take up; to bear upwards. It is not a forceful carrying away. It is a slow, victorious ascent. However, in 1 Thess.4:17 it does mean a forceful snatching. This would put more evidence in favor of the child representing the resurrected saints than Yeshua.

A similar occurrence of the birth of a male child takes place in Is.66:7-10, "
Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed , she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Yahweh: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy mighty one. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her": Here we see Jerusalem or Zion giving birth to a son before her labor pains came (vs. 7). Then in verse 8 we see her delivering children after having labor pains. We know these births are speaking about a resurrection because verse 8 says, "shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?" Then we can say, "Shall a nation be born (or resurrected) at once?" What nation is referred to here?

1 Pe.2:9 says the believers are "a holy nation." When all believers are resurrected they will form a holy nation that dwells together all in the same place, not as we do now, each from different nations. Who is the mother of this nation of believers? Gal.4:22-28 says that "Jerusalem which is above" is our mother. In the very next verse Paul quotes Is.54:1 proving that the barren woman, Jerusalem or Zion, would be the mother of a great nation of children. The first child she had that was born or resurrected was Yeshua. He is the male child that is spoken of in Is.66:7 who was delivered
before labor pains. In Is.66:9 we see that after Yeshua was born into the kingdom of heaven, Zion's womb was left open because another birth had to occur after labor pains began. Those labor pains symbolize the great tribulation.

The prophets often compare the suffering of judgment and war with the pain and anguish that accompany childbirth (Jer. 6:24,25). So if labor pains equate with the great tribulation, which ends before the seven trumpets of Revelation sound, then the birth in Rev.12 occurs
after the woman's labor pains start. In Rev.12:2 the woman is in labor which means she cannot be in labor with Yeshua because he was born without labor pains or before the great tribulation. Chapter 12 is a picture of the saints being caught up into heaven at the coming of Yeshua after the seventh trumpet sounds. It is not a picture of Yeshua's earthly birth.

Let's look at two more references that deal with the same subject. Mic.5:1-3 reads, "Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [ancestry] have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel."

The entire story of Israel is summed up in these verses.

1) The birth of Yeshua in Bethlehem (vs. 2).
2) His rejection (vs. 1).
3) Israel temporarily set aside (vs.3), (blinded by Yahweh).
4) Israel given up until the saints are resurrected (vs.3).
5) The return of the remnant of Yeshua, after the resurrection, to preach the evangel to Israel (vs. 3).

The second reference is Is.26:16-21; "Yahweh, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them. Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Yahweh. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 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. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, Yahweh cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." After the resurrection of verse 19, the saints are hid for a short time while Yahweh punishes the wicked with the seven last plagues.

Some may ask why the saints go to heaven if the millennial kingdom will be established on earth. One reason is that, just as Yeshua needed to appear before Yahweh upon his resurrection to fulfill the wave sheaf of Lev.23:10,11, so must the saints appear before Yahweh to fulfill the wave loaf offering of Lev.23:17. More will be said about that later in this study.

The Second Coming Of Yeshua the Messiah

A major mistake was made by people who lived during Yeshua's earthly ministry. When studying the prophetic scriptures concerning the coming of Messiah they erroneously grouped them all into only one coming. They did not understand that Messiah had to come first as a suffering servant and again as King. When Messiah finally appeared on the scene, working miracles in the eyes of the people, they intended to make him a king right then (John 6:14,15). He was eventually rejected because he did not fit the description of the Messiah they had envisioned. The same mistake is being made by those awaiting Messiah today. They are expecting him to return to resurrect the dead and, simultaneously, transform the living into spirit beings without having to die a physical death. They believe that he only returns once to accomplish this and establish the kingdom on earth. When Yeshua finally does return to resurrect the dead and then returns to heaven without the living, the faith of many may be destroyed. (See Appendix A).

One reference to Yeshua's coming to set up the Kingdom is found in Rev.16:15-16, "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Messiah shall come suddenly, without warning, sometime after the start of the battle of Armageddon. These verses occur after the sixth vial or sixth of the seven last plagues is poured out. However, we know that Messiah also returns at the sound of the seventh trumpet that is blown before any of the seven vials are poured out. Therefore, we see two separate returns to earth.

The following scriptures all pertain to Yeshua's coming to resurrect the dead in him:

Mt.24:29-31 - Verse 29 is fulfilled during the sixth seal of Rev. 6:13. The "powers of the heavens" (world governments) will be shaken as a result of the six trumpets of Revelation. Then the seventh trumpet will sound signaling the resurrection of the dead in verse 31. At that time, the tribes of the earth shall mourn and see the Son of Man coming. What does that mean and who are these tribes? The word "tribe" in Greek is "phule" and it is used only in reference to the tribes of Israel. All the tribes of Israel throughout the earth will see this event and mourn.

Zech.12:10-12 - The location of this sighting will especially takes place over Jerusalem, Israel. Note that it is the inhabitants of Jerusalem that pierced Yeshua. That will help us to understand the next scripture.

Rev.1:7 - "Every eye" does not mean every person in the world will see Yeshua's coming but every eye that YHWH allows to see it. This event is not something that the world shall see. The Greek word that was translated "see" in this verse is "optomai." "It denotes, not the action of seeing, but the state of him, and the affection of the mind of him to whose eye or mind the object is presented, to truly comprehend and know." 'A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament' by Ethelbert W. Bullinger, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1975.

Yahweh will allow certain people, especially the tribes of Israel, to behold the return of Yeshua. Yahweh allowed the servant of Elisha to see the horses and chariots of fire surrounding the city in 2 Kgs.6:17. If Yahweh did not allow him to see the chariots, he would not have seen them. Yahweh will not allow the wicked to see the return of His Son. Yeshua was never seen by the world after his resurrection. He was only seen by his brethren.

Jn.14:19,22,23 - Why won't the world see Yeshua again? Because they do not love him, nor do they look for him to return.

Heb.9:28 - The word "appear" is "optomai" which we saw in Rev. 1:7. This verse means he will be seen only by those who look for him to appear. The world will not be looking for him and therefore, will not see him. In Rev.1:7 the phrase, "he comes with clouds", is used. It means that Messiah's return will be hidden from the world by clouds. This can be seen more clearly in the next reference.

Acts 1:9-12 - Yeshua's return will be in like manner as his ascension. Since he ascended from the Mount of Olives he should return there as well. That is why every eye in Jerusalem will see him. Notice, in verse 9, that part of his ascension was obscured or hidden by clouds. Messiah's return will also be hidden by clouds except to those who love him and look for his return. Though the Israelites didn't accept him during his ministry on earth they are still looking for their Messiah to come and will therefore see him.

Acts 10:40,41 - The phrase, "showed him openly" is translated "permitted him to be manifest" in the Emphatic Diaglott. Yahweh chose certain people to see Yeshua after his resurrection. He would not allow just anyone to see him.

The evidence is overwhelming that Yeshua will return at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, unseen by the world, to resurrect the dead saints and that this event takes place prior to his return to establish the Kingdom of Yahweh on earth. This view is not to be equated with the secret rapture doctrine that includes living saints ascending into heaven without first dying a physical death.

Let us resume where we left off in Rev.12:6. During the resurrection, as the saints are being caught up to Yahweh's throne in heaven, a great war takes place unseen by the world. Satan and his angels do all they can to prevent the resurrected saints from reaching their destination, but are confronted by Michael and his angels. Michael prevails and Satan is cast out of heaven (vs.9). He no longer has access to heaven as he did from the creation of man, through the time of Job, until the resurrection.

This casting out of Satan was spoken of by Yeshua in Lu. 10:18, "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Here he speaks prophetically of a future time in which Satan falls as lightning from heaven. Again, in Jn.12:31, Yeshua speaks prophetically of Satan, the prince of the world, being cast out (of heaven). Until Rev.12:9, Satan had access to Yahweh's throne to accuse the brethren. He is the prosecuting attorney in this great courtroom drama. Yeshua is the defending lawyer or our mediator and advocate. Yahweh is the judge. Once the saints are found or judged innocent through Yeshua's blood and are given eternal life through the resurrection, there is no longer a need for the prosecuting attorney. The verdict is in; the Adversary has lost the case and must be forcefully thrown out of the courtroom (heaven).

After Satan is cast down, his anger is at its peak for he knows he only has a short time left (seven years). Notice in Rev. 12:12 the word "woe." This refers to the third and final woe that began at the sounding of the seventh trumpet proving that Rev.12 is not fulfilled at Messiah's birth or resurrection.

Upon being cast out Satan pursues the woman who brought forth the child. The woman is not persecuted at this time as the KJV states, only "pursued" according to the Greek. For 3 1/2 years she is nourished and protected from the dragon. This nourishment or feeding is a spiritual meal in which the saints that were alive and remained at the coming of Messiah are taught the true evangel in preparation to go out and preach the evangel to the whole world, paving the way for the end to come (Rev. 12:14; Mt.24:14).

Rev.12:17 mentions "the remnant of her seed." The woman gave birth in verse 5. Those saints who were born (again - Jn.3:7), or resurrected, returned to heaven with the Master, Michael, and his angels. However, there is a remnant of her seed that were not resurrected. They are those who were "alive and remain" at Messiah's coming (1 Thess.4:17). Yeshua has returned to heaven without them for now. At the appointed time, they will also die and be resurrected as their brothers were before them.

How can that be true based on the normal interpretation of 1 Cor.15:51,52 and 1 Thess.4:16,17? First, the two references mentioned are the only two passages in all of Scripture that even remotely suggest that there will be people who do not die a physical death. Since that is so and since all other Scriptural references to death prove it to be appointed to all who ever lived, we must question how those two verses can contradict all other scriptures on the subject. The false belief that some saints will not die, but will be transformed alive is a crucial obstacle to accepting the belief that Messiah returns twice, once to resurrect the dead and again to set up the Kingdom. Therefore, I will go into some depth to prove it false.

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17

"For the Master himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of [Yahweh]: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Master."

All believers understand these verses to mean that some saints will not see death. Instead, they will be taken up to the clouds alive and never die.

This view is in direct contradiction to many Scriptures that clearly indicate all men must die at least once. Based on the following study it seems clear that the common understanding of these verses needs to be reviewed and interpreted in another way.

Gen.3:16-19 , " Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." The curses that Yahweh put upon the serpent (vs.14), women, and men have not yet been lifted. The serpent still crawls on its belly; women still give birth in pain and sorrow and must be ruled over by their husbands; the ground does not yield as it did before sin; man must still work hard for his food; and, above all, man must return to dust. It is part of the curse that has fallen upon all, from Adam to today, and that will continue until death is thrown in the Lake of Fire.

Rom.5:12 , " Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Death passed upon all men as a result of Adam's sin. The gift of eternal life has not literally been given yet, so all continue to die and indeed must die.

Num.16:29 , " If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then Yahweh hath not sent me." Death is common to all men, no exceptions.

Job 30:23 , " For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living." The grave is appointed for all the living, no exceptions.

Ps.89:48 , " What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah." The answer to the first question is not, "Those that are alive and remain unto Yeshua's coming." There is no man that shall not see the first death.

Ecc.3:1,2 , " To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;" Yahweh's purpose for the death of men is punishment for sin. As we shall see later, it is an appointed time.

Ecc.3:19,20 , " For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of dust, and all turn to dust again." Once again, there are no exceptions.

Ecc.9:5a , "For the living know that they shall die:" Those that are "alive and remain" unto Yeshua's coming know this too.

Is.65:20 , " There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed." Death will continue to befall men during the millennium as well.

Jn.6:39,40 , " And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." Yeshua will resurrect all those that Yahweh has given him. Every believer, including those that are "alive and remain" will be resurrected. "The last day" in vss.39,40 is not the particular day of the week that Messiah returns but pertains to the Day of Yahweh that begins prior to the resurrection and is an extended "day."

Jn.12:24 , " Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Yeshua equated himself with a grain of wheat that must die to bear fruit. Believers are also symbolized as wheat and must die to bear the type of fruit Yeshua meant. (See I Cor.15:35-37).

Rom.6:5 , " For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:" If our symbolic resurrection out of the water will become a literal resurrection one day, then our symbolic death and burial will also become a literal death and burial one day. Those that are "alive and remain" will also undergo baptism so this applies to them as well.

Ph.3:10,11 , "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." Paul's desire was to be conformed to Yeshua's death and resurrection by undergoing these things himself though he included himself among "we which are alive and remain."

Heb.9:27 , " And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" All men are appointed to die the first death at least once. These appointments are as sure as Yahweh's appointments of the sun, moon, feast days, etc.

1 Pe.1:24 , " For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:" Again, there are no exceptions.

The previous scriptures are irrefutable proof that all men must die because of sin. Why, then, do we have a misunderstanding of 1 Thess.4:16,17? There is only one other verse in all Scripture that seems to support such an erroneous belief, 1 Cor. 15:51,52. "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

The context of this chapter is clear. Paul's intention was to refute the belief that there is no resurrection of the dead (vss. 12,32). He states that all die as in Adam (vs.22) and since all must die, all must be made alive or resurrected. All must follow Yeshua in the resurrection since he led the way as firstfruits. Paul then states in vss. 36-38 that unless a person is sown in death he cannot be raised to life (see Jn.12:24). Unless he is raised from the dead he will not be given a heavenly body from Yahweh. Verse 42 says the dead are raised incorruptible; it does not say the living are made incorruptible.

This brings us to verse 51. "We shall not all sleep" does not mean "we shall not all die." It means, "we shall not all remain sleeping in the grave." A word study of "koimao," number 2837 in Strong's Concordance, will reveal that it refers to people that are already dead and sleeping in the grave. If Paul had meant living saints he would have said, "We shall not all fall asleep" which refers to the act of dying. There is no mention of any living saints being transformed in this verse.

Paul makes his statement, "we shall not all sleep" as a summation of his refutation to the false teaching of no resurrection. The false teachers said, "No one resurrects. Everyone sleeps." But Paul opposes them and says, "we shall not all sleep" or "we shall not all remain dead."

This leaves us with one verse unexplained, 1 Thess.4:17. Notice the first word, "then." The Greek word is "epeita" also meaning afterward or next. The Greek word "tote" means; then, at that time. "Tote" would have been more appropriate if the living were caught up at the same time as the dead or even shortly after. But "epeita" was used instead. This same word was also used in Gal.1:18 meaning three years later; in Gal.2:1 meaning fourteen years later; and in Ja.4:14 meaning an indefinite number of years later.

The proper understanding of this verse, 1 Thess.4:17, is that Yeshua will come to resurrect the dead when the seventh trumpet is blown (Rev.11:15). This resurrection of the saints is pictured in Rev.12:5. Those that are "alive and remain" are pictured in Rev.12:17. They are eventually killed by the beast and resurrected at some point before Armageddon which takes place years later. It is then that Yeshua will come with all the saints to set up the Kingdom of Yahweh.

The current understanding of these verses is incorrect and must be changed to understand the truth of Revelation and end-time prophecy.

At this point we should review the important events that have occurred since the seventh trumpet sounded. First, the temple in heaven opens, then Messiah returns to resurrect the dead in him. As the saints ascend to heaven war breaks out between the forces of good and evil with good triumphing. Meanwhile, those that are "alive and remain" go into a place of safety for 3 1/2 years while the dragon pursues them. While safe, they are fed the true evangel. Once the 3 1/2 year period ends, the beast kingdom of Rev.13 will be fully active and seeking to make war with the saints that remained after the resurrection. There remains only 3 1/2 years, after Rev 12:17, before Messiah's next return at Armageddon.

Will Any Saints Go to Heaven?

The last point concerning why the temple in heaven was opened in Rev.11:19 concerns allowing the saints to enter the heavenly sanctuary. There are many people who would consider this a false doctrine. They do not believe that any saints will ever go to heaven because the Kingdom will be on earth. Therefore a wealth of proof will be offered to support my belief and the clear words of Scripture.

For hundreds of years Christians have believed that saints go to heaven immediately upon their death. When Seventh Day Adventism arose, the truth that saints sleep in the grave until the resurrection began to be taught. It was also believed that, upon their resurrection, they would spend the next one thousand years in heaven. Many years later the truth about the "Kingdom on Earth" was revealed. This doctrine taught that the millennial kingdom would reign on earth, not in heaven. As a result, many believers forsook the belief that saints go to heaven. "Since the kingdom will be on earth it would make no sense to go to heaven," they reasoned. From that point on, Scriptures began to be misunderstood and deliberately twisted to support that belief. The following is the correct Scriptural teaching concerning this subject.

Perhaps one of the clearest references to support the belief that at least some saints will go to heaven is found in Jn.14:2-4 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And where I go ye know, and the way ye know." To understand these verses you must view them in context which includes Jn.13:33; "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Where I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you." It is very important to know what Yeshua meant by this. He says he said the same thing to the Jews in the past. Let's go back to that statement to the Jews.

Jn.7:32-36 - " The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. Then said Yeshua unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Where will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there ye cannot come?" Yeshua told the Jews that he was going to the Father in heaven (vs.33) in a short time and that they could not go where he was going. He repeated similar words in Jn.8:21-27.

Yeshua made the same statement to the disciples in Jn. 13:33 which means he told them that they could not go to the Father in heaven. But let's read on.

Jn.13:36-38 - "Simon Peter said unto him, Master, where goest thou? Yeshua answered him, Where I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards . Peter said unto him, Master, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Yeshua answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." Peter didn't know where Yeshua was going but it didn't matter to him. No matter where he went Peter was willing to follow even if it meant losing his life. But notice Yeshua's response to Peter's question (vs.36). In other words Yeshua was saying, " you cannot follow me to heaven now, but you will follow me to heaven later."

The conversation continues in chapter 14. In verse 2 Yeshua says he is going to his Father's house (in heaven) to prepare a place for his disciples. It doesn't matter whether "house" means "kingdom" or "place" means "position." What is important is that Yeshua was literally going somewhere. Based on the context of Jn.13 & 14 we can see that he was literally going to the Father in heaven. And so in verse 3 it says he will return (from heaven) and receive them so that they will be where Yeshua will be. Since he will be in heaven after the resurrection, that is where he will take the disciples.

Verses 4-6 confirm the fact that Yeshua was not speaking about the kingdom on earth. He was going to heaven and the disciples knew the way. In verse 6 Yeshua says, " I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me." Yeshua was the first to go unto the Father in heaven. He paved the way and his disciples will follow him at their appointed time.

This truth is made evident in Heb.6:19-20 - "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Yeshua, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." "Forerunner" in Greek is "prodromos" meaning, "one who comes to a place where the rest are to follow." This is the only time it was used in the New Testament. It was also used in the Septuagint in Is.28:4 where it talks about the first fig that appears on a fig tree. Eventually many figs appear on the fig tree. So it is with Heb.6:20. Yeshua is the firstfruit that has entered the heavenly temple. We must follow him, after we are harvested or after we are resurrected, into the heavenly temple.

Eph.2:4-6 - "But [Yahweh], who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Messiah, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua:" In Yahweh's eyes we are already resurrected with Yeshua even though we haven't literally been resurrected yet. So too, in Yahweh's eyes we are already seated with Yeshua in heavenly places even though it literally hasn't happened yet. But it will!

1 Cor.15:42-50 teach us about receiving a spiritual, heavenly body. There is absolutely no sense in receiving a heavenly body if we are going to be tied down to this earth. There must be a reason why we are going to be given heavenly bodies. One reason is so that we can appear before the throne of Yahweh in heaven. We must all become like Yeshua, incorruptible, heavenly, born again from above, to inherit the kingdom of heaven.

In 2 Cor.12:2-4, Paul mentions a man that was caught up to the third heaven. The first heaven is earth's atmosphere; the second heaven is outer space; and the third heaven is where Yahweh dwells, also known as paradise. The question is, what does "in the body" or "out of the body" mean? It means Paul did not know if he went to the third heaven physically as Yeshua did or if he went in a vision as John did in Revelation. This shows that the Apostle Paul thought that it was possible to ascend to heaven even while yet mortal. How much more would it be possible to ascend into heaven after ones resurrection and transformation?

Some will quote Yeshua's statement in John 3:13 as proof against going to heaven. It is true that, at the time Yeshua said this, no man had ascended to heaven. That does not preclude the possibility of saints going to heaven in the future. The same is true of Acts 2:34 concerning David.

Now let's look at some prophetic scriptures that clearly show saints in heaven. One of the main reasons why there is confusion concerning this subject is because people do not understand that the book of Revelation must be read in consecutive order. You cannot place various chapters in any time order you want. Reading Revelation correctly will reveal the truth about future events.

Rev.7:9-17 - "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our Elohim which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped [Yahweh], Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our Elohim for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of [Yahweh], and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and [Yahweh] shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

First, we know that this scene takes place after the resurrection of the tribulation saints (vs.14). Secondly, they are standing before Yahweh's throne (vss.9,15) and before Yeshua who is also seated on a throne (vss.9,17). This cannot be a vision of Yeshua on the throne of the kingdom on earth during the millennium because Yahweh is not on earth during that 1,000 years. He is still in heaven (Rev.21:2). It cannot be a vision of New Jerusalem after the millennium because there is no temple in New Jerusalem (Rev.21:22). Yet these saints are said to serve Yahweh day and night in his temple (Rev.7:15). Therefore, This seen must take place in heaven sometime between the resurrection and the end of the millennium.

Notice also, in Rev.7:9, that these saints are called a "great multitude." The Greek word for "multitude" is "ochlos" which is also used in Rev.19:1 & 6. Rev.19:1 - "And after these things I heard a great voice of much
people in heaven, saying, Halleluyah; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto [Yahweh] our Elohim:" Rev.19:6 - "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 thunderings, saying, Halleluyah: for [Yahweh] Elohim omnipotent reigneth." Many people say that "ochlos," underlined in these verses, refers to angels. First, the word "ochlos" is never used throughout all Scripture in reference to angels. It was translated as; company, multitude, number, people, and press. If you check each verse where these words are used you will find that it always refers to people, not angels. When the Scriptures talk about angels it uses the Greek word "playthos" as in Lu.2:13, "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising [Yahweh]."

Secondly, in verse 6, John heard this great multitude sounding like "the voice of many waters." Rev.17:1,15 tell us that "waters," in prophetic scripture, means people, not angels. Rev. 19:8 shows this multitude dressed in fine linen which represents the righteousness of the saints. Then, verse 14 shows these same saints dressed in fine, white linen coming out of heaven with Yeshua to fight at Armageddon. Verses 8 & 14 certainly do not represent the angels dressed in the righteousness of the saints.

Rev.4:2-6 - "And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of [Yahweh]. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind." This is a description of the heavenly temple with an empty sea of glass. This sea of glass is the transparent floor in front of Yahweh's throne in heaven. The scene takes place before the resurrection that occurs at the seventh and last trumpet of Rev.11:15.

Now let's see that same sea of glass after the resurrection. Rev.15:1-3 - "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of [Yahweh]. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of [Yahweh]. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of [Yahweh], and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, [Yahweh] Elohim Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." We now see the saints standing on the sea of glass before Yahweh's throne in heaven. This scene will literally take place between the resurrection and the first of the seven last plagues of Rev.16.

Rev.14:1-3 - "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his name and his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth." This scene also takes place after the resurrection of Rev.11:15. And what do we hear in verse 2? The voice of many waters that were shown to mean "people." Verse 1 is a picture of the 144,000 standing on Mt. Zion with Yeshua. Is this the earthly Mt. Zion that the city of Jerusalem is built upon? Or is it the heavenly Mt. Zion spoken of in Heb.12:22 where the heavenly Jerusalem sits? It must be the heavenly Zion because the 144,000 are singing their song before Yahweh's throne in heaven (vs.3).

The Scriptures clearly show certain saints in heaven. That does not mean all saints will go to heaven. However, we certainly cannot dismiss these clear visions, nor can we ignore the words of Yeshua and Paul on this subject.

The Beast and It's Mark

Continuing in Rev.13:1 we see a beast "rise up out of the sea." Since the beast of Rev.11:7 ascended out of the bottomless pit and not out of the sea there is no reason to assume they are the same beast. The beast in Rev.13 has seven heads and ten horns as does the dragon of Rev.12:3, however the dragon has crowns on his heads whereas the beast has crowns on his horns. The horns represent the nations that will comprise the heart of the beast's kingdom. Conjecturing about who or what the beast will be is a fruitless endeavor. The important thing to know is that this beast will not only war against the saints but will be victorious. He will overcome or kill every saint that was alive and remained at Messiah's coming (vs.7; Rev.16:6). This will leave the earth totally void of the Holy Spirit since no true believers are alive. That is why the beast can cause "all" to receive his mark (vs.16). Those that will be spiritually wise enough to reject the worship of such a beast are killed (vs.15). The spiritually blind that remain lack wisdom and understanding and therefore will accept the mark of the beast and worship his image.

The Master Yeshua once asked the question, "Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, shall he find the faith on earth?" It would be meaningless to ask such a question in the context of Luke 18:1-8 if the answer was yes. The truth is that the true faith will not exist on earth because Satan, acting through the beast, will kill every saint. It is impossible for the saints to receive the promise of a "better resurrection", which is what all the faithful hope for, unless they die first. Such a death is appointed unto all men, without exception (Heb.9:27).

The beast will continue to exist throughout the remaining years until Messiah returns with all his saints at the battle of Armageddon in Rev.19:19-21. During those remaining years the seat of the beast will be the prime recipient of the fifth vial or the fifth of the seven last plagues (Rev.16:10,11). It's kingdom, or all those that dwell on earth, will receive all seven plagues directly or indirectly.

144,000 Firstfruits

This brings us to Rev.14 which is a difficult chapter to understand as far as how it fits into the story line. Let's begin with verses 1-5. The scene takes place in heaven as the 144,000 stand upon the heavenly Mount Zion spoken of in Heb.12:22. It cannot be taking place on earth because they are singing before the throne of Yahweh in heaven (vs.3). Yeshua will not stand upon a defiled earth until it is consecrated and anointed after seven complete years as we saw in our study of the Day of Atonement.

The 144,000 have the Father's name (Yahweh) and the Son's name (Yeshua) written in their foreheads. It is Yahweh's mark as opposed to the mark of the beast. It is impossible to be a member of this elite group unless you call upon those two sacred names. However, calling upon those names does not necessarily make you a member of the 144,000.

Contrary to popular belief, the 144,000 saints pictured in Rev.14:1 are not the same saints pictured in Rev.7:4. To understand why this is so we must first understand why the 144,000 in Rev.14 are called "firstfruits unto [Yahweh] and to the Lamb" in verse 4. We must also understand the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Weeks, or the day of the firstfruits (Nu.28:26).

Yahweh has a specific timetable that He is following. That timetable is depicted by His feast days that are listed in Lev. 23. They are based on the literal agricultural harvest of Israel that is a type of the resurrection or harvest of souls (Mt. 13:24-30,36-43). The first stage of the harvest takes place with the offering of the first of the firstfruits of barley (Lev.23:10,11) . That was fulfilled by Messiah's resurrection and ascension. The second stage takes place with the barley harvest itself. That harvest precedes the wheat harvest. It was fulfilled by the resurrection of many saints of old (Mt.27:52,53). The third stage is the offering of the first fruits of the wheat harvest (Lev.23:17). That will be fulfilled by the resurrection at the sound of the seventh trumpet. At that time only the firstfruits of the harvest of souls in Messiah will be resurrected and offered up to Yahweh. Since two loaves of bread were waved in Lev.23:17, each loaf is a separate stage of the resurrection. Therefore, the second wave loaf will be called stage four of the harvest. It will be fulfilled before the end of the seventh trumpet whereas stage three is fulfilled at the beginning of the seventh trumpet. Stage five of the harvest takes place at the reaping of the wheat fields (Mt.13). That will be fulfilled after the destruction of the wicked at Armageddon.

The Five Stages of the First Resurrection

1) First of the firstfruits of the barley harvest
2) The barley harvest
3) First loaf representing the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.
4) Second loaf representing the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.
5) The wheat harvest.

The parable of the wheat and the tares of Mt.13 deals with the entire wheat harvest whereas the Feast of Weeks deals with only the firstfruits of the wheat harvest (Ex.34:22). If the wheat harvest pictures the resurrection of all believers, then who do the firstfruits represent? As we saw in Rev.14:4, the firstfruits are the 144,000. We can learn more about the firstfruits in Lev.23:15-21 where it deals specifically with the Feast of Weeks.

In verse 17 of Lev.23 we are told that two wave loaves of leavened bread represent "the firstfruits unto [Yahweh]." Leaven is symbolic of sin. Therefore, these wave loves represent people, not Messiah. If the 144,000 are also the firstfruits, then either one loaf equals 72,000 people or each loaf consists of 144,000 people totaling 288,000 believers. The latter is true; there are two groups of 144,000 believers representing the firstfruits.

The group in Rev.14:4 was not "defiled with women." What are women symbolic of in scripture? Babylon the great is spoken of as a mother that has harlot daughters (Rev.17:5). These women (the mother and her daughters) represent false religious systems. Therefore the 144,000 in Rev.14 were not defiled by false religions. This could only speak of the early assembly before corruption set in. This corruption was just beginning in the Apostle Paul's day since he spoke about wolves and false teachers within the assembly. This early group of 144,000 saints kept themselves pure and undefiled by that corruption.

They are called "virgins" in verse 4 which has an even deeper meaning than not being defiled by false religions. According to Lev.21:10,13,14, the high priest was only permitted to marry a virgin of his own people. Yeshua is now Yahweh's High Priest. Therefore, his bride must be a virgin Israelite. Since this group of 144,000 are virgins and since they are from the early assembly that was comprised of only Israelites, they must be Yeshua's bride.

Yeshua was speaking to part of his future bride (his disciples) in John 14:2-4. They will be among the 144,000 of Rev.14. What is even more interesting is how a literal Israelite wedding is symbolized in Yeshua's prophesy. Reading from the "Aid to Bible Understanding," Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Pennsylvania, 1969, pages 114,115; "As to the wedding itself, the central and characteristic feature was the solemn bringing of the bride from her father's home on the date agreed upon to her husband's home, in which act the significance of marriage as representing admission of the bride into the family of her husband found expression. ... The bridegroom took the bride to his house, or the tent or house of his parents." Yeshua, the bridegroom, will return to his brides home, earth, and take her back to his father's house, in heaven, where they will spend seven years celebrating. Seven days was the usual time for an Israelite wedding celebration.

Now let's look at the 144,000 of Rev.7:1-4. As we saw previously, the winds that are being held back represent the wrath of Almighty Yahweh that begins the Day of Yahweh. Since that is a future end-time event, this group of 144,000 is sealed about 1800 years after the group in Rev.14. The group in Rev.7 are alive in the latter days and the group in Rev.14 were alive in the Apostolic days (the former days).

There is another instrumental factor involved in the development of a successful harvest; that is, the former and latter rains. Without these two rainy seasons, the harvest would not be fruitful. Let's read a few verses concerning this.

Hos.6:3 - "Then shall we know,
if we follow on to know Yahweh: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."

Ja.5:7 - "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Master. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."

When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers in Acts 2, it was the fulfillment of the former rain; the Holy Spirit being "living waters" (Jn.7:38,39). The former rain was instrumental in the development of the 144,000 of Rev.14. The latter rain will be poured out in the latter days and will be instrumental in the development of the 144,000 of Rev.7. That latter rain, incidentally, will be poured out on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) at some point in the future. It will only be poured out on those obedient saints that are keeping that feast on the correct day.

There is one other scriptural reference to these 288,000 saints. It is found in 1 Chr.27:1-15. We know that Aaron, for example, was a "type" of Yeshua our High Priest; that the Israelite passage through the Red Sea was a type of baptism, etc. The 288,000 firstfruits are also the fulfillment of a type. They are the antitype of that which is spoken of in 1 Chr.27. The captains and officers of verse 1 were to serve King David in any matter that arose throughout the year. This statement is fulfilled by that in Rev.14:4, "These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes." King David is a type of King Yeshua, the antitype. Just as these servants in 1 Chr.27:1 served King David in all matters of his kingdom, the 288,000 firstfruits serve King Yeshua in all matters of his kingdom.

Verses 2-15 tell us there were 24,000 officers that served the king each month for 12 months (12 x 24,000 = 288,000). Two wave loaves with 144,000 representing each loaf = 288,000. King Yeshua has a government to run. His saints will rule with a rod of iron by his side (Rev.2:26,27; 12:5). The 288,000 firstfruits will be the highest ranking officers in that kingdom government. Everyone else resurrected in the main harvest will be reigning in a position of lesser importance in the kingdom (Rev.20:4).

In summation, Rev.14:1-5 is a vision of the first group of firstfruits to be resurrected. These saints were resurrected during the third stage of the first resurrection that is pictured in Rev.12:5. The fourth stage of the first resurrection will occur in Rev.14:14-16. Then the second group of firstfruits representing the second wave loaf of Lev.23:17 will be resurrected. This group includes the 144,000 that were sealed in Rev.7 and have since lost their lives at the hands of the beast.

Rev.14:1-5 does not necessarily follow Rev.13 in the story flow since it concerns heavenly events that may not coincide with the earthly events that are spoken of.

This brings us to the famous "three angels message" that many claim to be preaching at this time. These messages, however, will not be preached until after the resurrection of Rev.12. Rev.14:6-13 must precede the events they speak of since they are prophetic warnings. Therefore, for example, the third angel's message must be given before the mark of the beast is given in Rev.13. This shows that Rev.14:9-11 is not in the story flow. Neither are verses 6-8 or 12,13. They all precede chapter 13 and begin after Rev.12:5. The saints that die in Rev.14:13 die at the hands of the beast. Once they are all dead, the fourth stage of the first resurrection will take place pictured by verses 14-16.

The reaper of verse 14 is not Messiah. The scriptures refer to the angels as reapers (Mt.13:30,39-41; 24:31) not Yeshua. The phrase "like unto the Son of Man" means similar in appearance to the Son of Man but not he himself. Just as "like the Son of Elohim" in Dan.3:25 does not refer to Yeshua but was proven to be an angel (vs.28), so too, in this case. Also, Messiah does not take orders from angels that are in subjection to him (vs.15).

The saints that are harvested in Rev.14:14-16 are then seen standing on the sea of glass in Rev.15:2. They have been resurrected and brought before the throne of Yahweh in heaven. Again,
they are the 144,000 that were sealed in Rev.7, later persecuted by the beast of Rev.13 and killed because they would not worship it nor receive its mark.

Rev.14:17-20 does not deal with the same type of harvest as verses 14-16. The former concerns the harvest of grapes representing evil men whose great wickedness is symbolized by the term "ripe." This harvest of grapes, the grapes of Yahweh's wrath, are spoken of in Joel 3:13 and Is.63:1-6. The context of those chapters show that Israel is the recipient of Yahweh's wrath. The reference to "the city" in Rev.14:20 refers to Jerusalem whose destruction and future captivity is written in Zech.14:1-4. Shortly before the return of Messiah upon the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem will be attacked and destroyed and her people taken captive.

The Seven Last Plagues

The prophecy continues in Rev.15:1 as the seven angels bearing the seven last plagues prepare to pour them out. The words "filled up" in verse 1 mean to complete, end, or perfect, in Greek. We know that the number seven in scripture is associated with completeness or perfection. So when these seven last plagues are finished, Yahweh's wrath against the wicked will also be completed or perfected.

As mentioned earlier, verses 2-4 show the second group of 144,000 that were resurrected. They have been victorious over the beast that only came into existence about 3 1/2 years before. This proves that these saints are end-time saints who died less than 3 1/2 years ago. The early Apostles and disciples who died in the first century after Messiah certainly cannot be included in this group since the beast of Rev.13 did not exist at that time.

The seven angels now exit the temple in heaven to carry out Yahweh's will, the destruction of the wicked. Rev.15:6 - 16:11 are relatively self-explanatory. Each of the events resulting from these vials being poured out are to be taken literally.

The sixth angel's vial in verse 12 needs some clarification, for certain aspects of it are figurative. For example, the river Euphrates would not need drying up in order for modern day armies to cross it. This should be understood in the same sense as Is. 8:7,8 where "the waters of the river, strong and many" are symbolic of the King of Assyria and his armies. This does not mean that the waters of the Euphrates river are armies. The Euphrates here, is figurative of Babylon. The city of Babylon was situated directly in the path of the great river with its waters forming a deep moat encircling the city. A network of canals were also formed within the city's walls. This great city was in control of most commerce on the Euphrates river.

At the time of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus diverted the river so that his army could enter the unsuspecting city through the dry waterbeds. Symbolically, the same thing is prophesied to happen as a prelude to the fall of spiritual Babylon. Rev.17:1 & 15 tell us that symbolic Babylon "sits upon many waters" meaning people from all nations. Since Babylon the Great is comprised of apostate churches (of which Rome is chief), the waters of the Euphrates would represent the people that feed her with wealth. This river will eventually dry up as a result of the sixth angel's vial, preparing the way for the kings of the east. These kings are Yeshua and his saints, who are also kings and priests, that return to earth in Rev.19 to destroy the wicked. They are not the same kings spoken of in Rev.16:14, that are eventually gathered at Armageddon, for they are from all the earth.( Consider Mt.24:27 and Ezek.43:2).

The unclean spirits of verses 13 & 14 are literal and will accomplish their objective, that is, to deceive world leaders into believing that they can retain their power and leadership by being victorious at the battle of Armageddon.

Verse 15 is not part of the story line. It is a prophetic warning to all who read Revelation throughout the ages. It is placed there, in the midst of Yahweh's wrath upon the wicked, in the hopes that some will heed it, repent, and thereby keep themselves from being recipients of such great calamity. It is not a warning for those living between the sixth and seventh vial for at that time the wickedness of all men will be so great that they will not repent (vs.11). Besides that, all have received the mark of the beast (Rev.13:6) and therefore must drink of the wine of the wrath of Yahweh (Rev.14:9-11).

After the seventh angel pours out his vial a voice proclaims, "It is done." This does not mean the seventh last plague is finished for we see the results of this plague in verses 18-21. It means the culminating act of Yahweh's wrath has begun and, once it is completed, peace will reign on earth.

The results of this plague should also be taken literally except verse 20 that has the meaning of earthly governments not being found anymore. Verse 19 states that the destruction of Babylon is part of the results of the seventh vial. After a description of Babylon is given in Rev.17, its destruction is described in Rev.18. The warning of Rev.18:4 does not literally occur during the destruction of Babylon. It is a prophetic warning, for all who read Revelation, to come out of Babylon from its very inception until it is too late to come out. It is too late when a person accepts the mark of the beast.

Neither Rev.17 nor Rev.18 are a part of the story flow. The flow ends in Rev.16:21 and begins again in Rev.19:11 with the return of the King of Kings and his army of resurrected saints (288,000 in all) to do battle against the kings of the earth and their armies. Since we already discussed Rev.19:1-16 in the section on saints going to heaven, let's continue with the concluding verse in this chapter.

In verses 19-21 we see the outcome of the battle of Armageddon. The beast and the false prophet are both cast into the Lake of Fire which proves, incidentally, that the fire coming down from heaven in Rev.20:9, 1,000 years later, is not the same as the Lake of Fire. The kings of the earth and their armies are destroyed by the sword of King Yeshua which symbolically represents his spoken word.

The Millennial Kingdom

As a result of all the death and destruction that has occurred since the Day of Yahweh began seven years ago, including the final battle of Armageddon, the earth will be almost totally void of inhabitants. Some people teach that the earth will be totally void of people throughout millennium based on Jer.4:23-26. However, as Yahweh says in verse 27, "yet will I not make a full end" (see also Jer.5:10,18). Several scriptures make it clear that there will continue to be nations of people dwelling on earth throughout the millennium that the Messiah and the saints will rule over (Rev.20:3,6,8; 2:26,27; Ezek.39:17-23; Zech.14:16-19, etc.). The people that remain alive after Armageddon will enter the millennium and be subject to all the laws of the Kingdom of Yahweh.

Before peace can be established on earth, the dragon, or Satan, needs to be cast into the bottomless pit (Greek - abussos, as in Lu.8:31 & 2 Pe.2:4). The purpose of confining him in the abyss is so he will be unable to deceive the nations that dwell on earth during the millennium. If there were no human beings alive on earth throughout the next 1,000 years there would be no need to confine Satan. He certainly cannot deceive those in heaven because he no longer has access to it. Ever since the resurrection and ensuing battle in heaven in Rev.12, he has been cast out of heaven forever.

Rev.20:4c reads, "and they lived and reigned with Messiah a thousand years." The correct translation is, "and they came to life and reigned . . ." Verse 5 should read, "But the rest of the dead did not come to life again until the thousand years were finished." Verse 4 marks the resurrection of the main harvest of wheat (stage 5 of the first resurrection). So far, only the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were taken symbolized by the two wave loaves of Lev.23:17. Now is the fulfillment of the parable of the wheat and the tares (Mt.13:24-30,36-43). The tares, or the wicked, have all been gathered and burned leaving only the wheat to be harvested. The saints who are resurrected in verse 4 will also be given eternal life, as were the firstfruits, and will reign with Yeshua in the kingdom. They will not have a position as close to King Yeshua, as do the 288,000 firstfruits, but they will reign over those that entered the millennium in the flesh.

When the main harvest of souls is completed, the millennium will begin. It is then that the shadow of the Feast of Tabernacles will begin to be fulfilled. That particular feast, spoken of in Lev.23:39, was a celebration of the completion of the literal agricultural harvest in Israel. The millennium begins the celebration of the completion of the spiritual harvest of souls.

After the thousand years are finished, Satan will be set free for a short time. He will attempt to deceive the servants of Yahweh's kingdom, those that entered the millennium in the flesh. He will not attempt to deceive the saints that have been resurrected unto eternal life for that would be impossible. Satan will manage to deceive many people, all of whom will be burned by fire out of heaven. At that point Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire from which there is no return.

The great white throne judgment of Rev.20:11-15 marks the resurrection of all human beings who were not in the first resurrection. They will be judged according to their works and thrown in the Lake of Fire if their names were not found in the book of life. New Jerusalem, spoken of in Rev.21, appears to come down from heaven after the great white throne judgment.

" Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps
the sayings of the prophesy of this book." Rev.22:7

" Blessed are they that do his commandments, that
they may have right to the tree of life, and may
enter in through the gates of the city." Rev.22:14

Appendix A


Scriptures Pertaining to Yeshua's Return

The following is a partial list of scriptures concerning the return of Yeshua the Messiah. It is compiled as an aid in understanding which verses refer to his coming to resurrect the firstfruits at the sound of the seventh trumpet and which verses refer to his return at Armageddon.

Return at Seventh Trumpet ..............................Return at Armageddon

Is.26:19-21....................................................... Zech.14:4

Mt.24:30,31 ......................................................Mal.3:1-3

Mt.24:36-39 ......................................................Mt.13:29,30

Mt.24:42 ..........................................................Mt.16:27

Mk.13:35-37 ......................................................Mt.24:27

Lu.21:27 ...........................................................Mt.25:31

Lu.21:34-36 .......................................................1 Thes.3:13

Acts 1:11 ...........................................................2 Thes.1:7,8

1 Cor.15:52-54 ....................................................2 Thes.2:8

1 Thes.4:16 ........................................................Jude 14

1 Thes.5:3 ..........................................................Rev.16:15

Heb.9:28........................................................... Rev.19:11-21