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Most Recent Update
June 21, 2012
What About the Universal Church?
Are there separations (divisions) between the Old Testament saints, the New Testament saints, the tribulation saints, and the millennial saints? What about their rewards, are they given in different places? Finally, are they (the Old Testament saints, the New Testament saints, the tribulation saints, and the millennial saints) resurrected at different times, and will they go up to Heaven at different times? These are some of the questions, and more, that I want to answer in this website. I would like to show that the Old Testament saints, the tribulation saints and the millennial saints will not be part of the New Testament saints, who are the Church, the Bride of Christ, the four and twenty elders.
Here is the first group of saints that I want us to look at.
The Old Testament saints: These saints upon death went into the heart (center) of the earth. (Read Ephesians 4: 8 - 10.). No one could enter Heaven, the home of God, until after Jesus was resurrected from the tomb. He paid the penalty/punishment for man's sins. This was a necessity for man to enter Heaven. Those Old Testament saints entered into Abraham's bosom when they died. Though these Old Testament saints were covered by a temporary sacrifice, by the blood of animals, they could not enter Heaven itself. Their bodies are still in the grave. The Bible tells us that Jesus entered into the heart of the earth (Matt. 12: 40), after He died on the cross. Those who were lost (unsaved) entered into Hades, which is also in the heart (center) of the earth. However, there was a great gulf fixed between those who were in Abraham's bosom, and those in Hades who were lost (unsaved).
Luke 16: 16 - 31 talks about Abraham's bosom, and how the beggar Lazarus entered into it (Luke 16: 22). Those who did what the Lord instructed were saved and entered into Abraham's bosom, which is in the heart (center) of the earth. However, it is not Hell itself because these individuals like Abraham and Lazarus were not in a place of suffering and torment. It was not necessarily a place of paradise, but it was not a place of suffering either. The Bible tells us that the beggar was comforted, but the rich man was in torment.
"And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence (Abraham's bosom) to you (the rich man in Hades) cannot; neither can they (those that are in Hades) pass to us (those who are in Abraham's bosom), that would come from thence (Hades, which is a place of suffering)." (Luke 16: 26)
The Bible tells us that, after Jesus' death many saints arose (These were Old Testament saints.). (See Matt. 27: 51 - 53 in the NASB.). However, this is not talking about "the resurrection" of the Old Testament saints. That, I believe, happens in Revelation 11: 18. When Revelation 11: 18 will be fulfilled, at the time of the 7th trumpet judgment, the Old Testament saints will be resurrected, and will enter Heaven. Then they will be judged and receive their rewards. (See "What About Revelation Chapter 11, Verse 18?".).
You will remember that this is exactly what happens to those believers that I Thessalonians 4 (I Cor. 15: 51 - 55) talks about. These New Testament saints will be resurrected, at the time of the Rapture, and then the rewards are given out. (See II Tim. 4: 8, I Pet. 5: 4, I Cor. 3: 8 - 15, II Cor. 5: 10, James 1: 12.). The Old Testament saints, which include the prophets are "the dead" that are spoken of in Revelation 11: 18. (This is not referring to the New Testament prophets who wrote those New Testament Scriptures/passages that have to do with prophecy.).
"...And the nations were angry,...and the time of the dead,..." (Rev. 11: 18)
This cannot be referring to the lost (unsaved) of all Ages. They are judged in Revelation 20: 11 - 15. Nor can it be those who are spoken of in I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18 (I Corinthians 15: 51 - 54) because they are in Heaven in Revelation chapters 4 and 5. Neither can it be the tribulation martyrs for they will enter Heaven in Revelation 7: 9 - 17. By the way, the four and twenty elders of Revelation chapters 4 and 5 are not referred to as being dead. That is because they had been resurrected, as described in I Corinthians 15: 51 - 54, and in I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18, in Revelation 4: 1.
Here is where the Old Testament saints are judged. It is the judgment when God will give them their rewards. Read what John says about it.
"...and that thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints..." (Rev. 11: 18)
The Old Testament saints, that is, their new resurrection bodies, will enter Heaven, rejoining their souls and spirits at the time when the 7th angel blows his trumpet at the 7th trumpet judgment. That is when this all takes place. But the Lord cannot come to earth at this point because the 7 vial judgments have not yet taken place and The War Against Jerusalem has not yet started. It will be in progress when He returns to earth. So, do not put Jesus' coming in the Revelation/Second Coming, at the time of the 7th and last trumpet judgment (Rev. 11: 15). The sequence of prophecy will not allow it.
The Old Testament saints were also washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. No one is saved apart from Jesus, and His shed blood. (Read Heb. 9: 22, 10: 10 - 12.). However, as we shall see in this website, they are not a part of the Bride, who will be married to Jesus in Revelation 19: 7 - 9. That event will take place in Heaven before the Revelation/Second Coming happens.
Now, let's take a look at the second group of saints.
The New Testament saints: They are saved from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 - 8) to the Rapture during the Church Age also known as the Age of Grace. The saints represented by the four and twenty elders here in Revelation 4 and 5 cannot be those saints who are mentioned in Revelation 11: 18 because that group of Old Testament saints are referred to as being dead and are now being resurrected. But the group of New Testament saints in Revelation 4 and 5 are very much alive. These events in Revelation 4 and 5 will take place before the 1st seal is opened. So, they cannot possibly be the same group of saints. Those in Revelation 11: 18 are Old Testament saints. Whereas, this group of mortals in Revelation chapters 4 and 5 are the New Testament saints. Read "The Church in Heaven" for more details. So, the New Testament saints are the Church, the Bride of Christ, which is married to Jesus before the Revelation/Second Coming takes place. See also "The Bride of Christ, the Wedding, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb".
Let's look at the third group of saints.
The tribulation saints: These are the people who were not saved at the time of the Rapture when all the New Testament saints went into Heaven. After the Rapture many people believed in Christ during the tribulation period (the 70th week of Daniel), and they too are called saints, the tribulation saints. Many of those saved during this time will be killed (martyred) for their faith in Christ. However, some of the tribulation saints will live straight through the tribulation period (the 70th week of Daniel), and through those 30 days and 45 days that Daniel 12: 11 and 12 mention. They will be a part of the millennial saints along with a large number of Jews. (The 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7, and a part of the remnant that Revelation 12: 17 refers to, which are also Jews, but not a part of the 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7.). These "tribulation saints" will not be a part of the Church, the Bride of Christ because the Bride of Christ will already have been married to Jesus before the Revelation/Second Coming takes place, and before the millennial reign of Christ starts. (See Rev. 19: 7 - 9, 21: 9, 22: 17.).
The tribulation saints who are martyred enter Heaven, and the scene of this is described in Revelation 7: 9 - 17. I am not sure when their rewards are given out. However, I do know that their rewards are not given out in Revelation 4 along with the New Testament saints. As far as I can tell they are not given out in Revelation 11: 18 when the Old Testament saints are rewarded either.
Now we have a fourth group of saints that I want you to look at.
The millennial saints: These saints will be made up of (will come from) four different groups of people who did not die. The first group are those tribulation saints who did not die during the tribulation period (the 70th week of Daniel). They will enter into the kingdom (Matt. 25: 31 - 33, 34 - 40). The second group of people are the 144,000 of Revelation 7 who did not die. They are Jews/Hebrews. The third group of people are the Jewish remnant of Revelation 12: 17 who did not die. A portion of this remnant will die. However, some of them will live right up to the time when Jesus comes back (Rev. 19: 11) in the Revelation/Second Coming and will accept Jesus as their Messiah. (See Zech. 12: 10, Rev. 1: 7, Rom. 9: 27, 11: 26 - 27.). They will enter into the 1000 year reign of Christ. They too will be a part of the millennial saints. The fourth group of people the Bible mentions but indirectly. They are those who are born during the Millennium and accept Christ and we know that they will get their rewards at the end of or shortly after the millennial reign. These are Jews and Gentiles. All of these 4 groups will live here on earth during the 1000 year reign of Christ and will repopulate the earth.
Note: The 144,000 of Revelation 7 are not part of the tribulation saints. They, instead, are the Jews/Israelites who will be fed and preserved by God during the tribulation period in the wilderness. The Old Testament saints, the New Testament saints, the tribulation saints, and the millenial saints are the universal church.
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||Glen A. Duitman
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