Chapter 15 Future Ages
Extraordinary events set the stage just prior to the Millennium Age. Satan will be thrown into the Abyss for a thousand years. And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-2; NIV) With Satan bound sin will be greatly reduced, but not completely eliminated. Sin does not always require a deception or enticement from Satan, but can result from flaws in human nature. (James 1:14-151 John 2:16)  

Then Israelis who died during the final 43 months will be resurrected, bringing to life all of God’s people. John describes the family of God in heaven. I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. (Revelation 20:4a; NIV) Believers will be given the authority to judge (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. (Revelation 20:4b; NIV) Throughout the end-time story there are references to martyrs, now they are given unique recognition at the resurrection. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4c; NIV) Every believer will be resurrected and will reign with Christ during the Millennium. 

Inserted is a reference to the fate of the damned, which is a break in the story. Accordingly, this reference is in parenthesis: (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) (Revelation 20:5a NIV). That the rest of the dead are not resurrected until the thousand years are ended—refers to the final and largest harvest, which resurrects persons condemned to the lake of fire. 

Then the story continues with the good fortune of believers. The “first resurrection” is the resurrection of God’s people, which occurs during six distinct harvests. Those who take part in the first resurrection will reign with Christ during the Millennium Age. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:5b-6; NIV)  

The first resurrection is for believers and is comprised of six separate harvests. The seventh harvest is a resurrection of the condemned.

Seven Harvests

The First Resurrection

Harvest

Impacts

1. Rapture

Philadelphia Church

2. Rapture

Two Witnesses

3. Resurrection

Asleep in Christ

4. Rapture

Laodicea Church

5. God’s Wrath

Israeli Martyrs

6. Israeli Resurrection

Israeli Believers

The Second Death

7. Great White Throne

The Damned

The Millennium Age

God restores the earth after the end-time environmental disasters, making it a delightful place to live. Just as the Ark took Noah’s family from the Pre-Flood Age into the Post-Flood Age, there will be Israelis alive at the return of Christ who will transition into the Millennium Age. People who are born during the Millennium Age will live to be hundreds of years old. Jesus will reign on earth as King. His people will reign in subordinate roles.  

The following narrative may seem like the eternal heaven. However because people still die it must be referring to the Millennium Age: See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. (Isaiah 65:17-21; NIV)

The Millennium Age ends with Satan being released to lead the enemies of God into battle. Unlike our current Age, this next Age ends before a single shot is fired, as fire from heaven destroys those who would attack God’s people. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Revelation 20:7-9; NIV)

The Great White Throne

The final harvest follows the Millennium Age. This harvest resurrects people destined for the lake of fire and brings them before Jesus’ throne. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-14)

These unfortunate people will stand in total despair before the great white throne of Jesus Christ. Even after being resurrected, this pathetic group is still described as “the dead”. Decayed bodies are resurrected in no better condition than at the time of their death. The condemned will have bodies that are constantly dying, but unable to die. Jesus said that the lake of fire is a place where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ (Mark 9:48; NIV) The condemned are also tormented with burning sulfur (Revelation 21:8; NIV). Organic sulfur is an odor associated with rotten eggs, and sulfur dioxide is a suffocating odor. 

Eternity

God will judge his people in a kind and gentle manner, featuring rewards. During this judgment, the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. (1 Corinthians 3:13b-14).

The final heaven will be a garden city where God dwells with his people. The tree of life seen the Garden of Eden, will be in this Garden of Jerusalem (Genesis 2:9; Revelation 22:2). And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:2-4)