Millenial (Thousand-Year) Reign of Christ

The “Dead in Christ,” And “After That”

The rapture paradigm taught in Protestant American churches has two main premises:

  1. The rapture happens before the Great Tribulation.

  2. The rapture takes all living and dead Christians.

The Bible knows nothing of either premise. These premises cannot be reached without extra-Biblical help. This help comes in the form of the Bible commentaries upon which American Christianity so heavily relies for its theology.

I have written extensively on this website about how the pre-trib rapture is nowhere in the Bible; and how I have asked my pre-trib brothers and sisters to show me the pre-trib rapture in the Bible and not a single one of them has done it; and how Christians make statements like, “the Bible says the church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation,” and then move on without ever citing the verse in which the Bible supposedly says this; and for the people who don’t believe me, I have told them that even if they go listen to a thousand online sermons by their favorite pre-trib pastors, they will never hear one of those pastors cite the verse that says the church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation, because no such verse exists. I have already asserted all of that and more. But now I will address another unbiblical premise about the rapture– the idea that all living and dead Christians will experience it before the thousand-year reign of Christ.

The “Dead In Christ”

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

I have always been taught that the “dead in Christ” includes all dead Christians. But does the Bible say this? Absolutely not.

Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus [Christian martyrs] and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they [Christian martyrs] lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. [Read that again! Only Christian martyrs rise from the dead at the 2nd Coming of Christ. Everyone else rises after the thousand-year reign of Christ.] ~ Revelation 20:4-5 

“After That” We Who Are Still Alive

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that [But exactly how long after that?]we who are still alive and are left [living Christians] will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

The idea that all Christians alive at the 2nd Coming of Christ will have already been given glorified bodies and raptured (whether seven years before the 2nd Coming, or at the 2nd Coming) cannot be supported by Scripture. There will be a rapture of living Christians. And it will be post-tribulation– just not immediately post-tribulation. So, exactly how much time is represented by the word “post” in “post-tribulation”? As usual, the Bible has the answers.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:50-54

When is this “last trumpet”? It is after the thousand-year reign of Christ.

But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet [This is the last trumpet in the Bible.], the mystery [Here is the word “mystery” again, just as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 in the same sentence as the “last trumpet.”] of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. ~ Revelation 10:7

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet [This is the trumpet referred to in the verse you just read, Revelation 10:7. It is the last trumpet in the Bible], and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord [God the Father] and of his Christ [Jesus], and he [God the Father] will reign for ever and ever [God the Father and his Christ do not reign together on the earth until after the thousand-year reign of Christ.]…”  The time has come for judging the dead [The dead are judged in Revelation 20:7-15, which happens after the thousand-year reign of Christ], and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great — and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” ~ Revelation 11:15-18

So, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 tells us that living Christians will be raptured “after that.” And 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and Revelation 10:7, 11:15-18 define exactly how long the term “after that” represents– one thousand years. There is a one-thousand year jump between these two sentences:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. [—– 1,000 years —–] After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Such time jumps are not unusual in Scripture.

The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary [This destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple happened in 70 A.D.]. [—– 1,915 years and counting —–] The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” ~ Daniel 9:26-27

“They [the Jewish people in Israel] will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations [70 A.D., the worldwide Jewish diaspora]. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled [The “times of the Gentiles” ends when Jesus Christ returns to save the Jewish people, destroy their enemies, and secure their land once and for all.][This next sentence marks the end of the “times of the Gentiles.” Jesus goes from speaking about the 70 A.D. Jewish diaspora, to his 2nd Coming, in a span of just two sentences– a time leap of at least 1,950 years.] “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming [2nd Coming of Christ] in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” ~ Luke 21:24-28

Again, we must not take 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, or any other verse, in a vacuum. We cannot assume unbroken time continuity between verses. We must use the Bible to interpret the Bible. As such, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 explains 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

The Rapture: A Summary

  • No Christians (alive or dead) get raptured seven years before Christ’s 2nd Coming.
  • Christian martyrs (the “dead in Christ”) get raptured at Christ’s 2nd Coming.
  • Non-martyred dead Christians are raptured at the end of Christ’s Millenial Reign on earth.
  • Living Christians are raptured at the end of Christ’s Millenial Reign on earth.

Jesus taught us to pray, “thy Kingdom come,” not “rapture us out of here.” Living Christians will enter Christ’s Millenial Kingdom in human form.

The Bible is always proven true.


For a continuation of this subject, see One Will Be Taken, And The Other Left on alwaysproventrue.com.

13 replies »

  1. hi Tom,

    I’d like to ask you whether there will be a chance for renpenting for gentiles who don’t believe in Jesus after the second coming.

    What will happen to those who are not Christ-believers that are still alive in the millenial kingdom on earth?

  2. ge,

    I will use Zechariah to address your question. There is material in other books of the Bible as well, but I believe Zechariah provides good scenarios to illustrate the scene on earth during the Millenial Kingdom.

    Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. ~ Zechariah 14:16-18

    Since every single nation mentioned in the Bible as participating in the attack on Jerusalem is a majority Muslim nation, it is a safe bet to believe that many non-Christians will be around into the Millienial Kingdom. Will there be a chance for repenting during the Millenial Kingdom? I think the answer is yes.

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'” ~ Zechariah 8:23

    When Muslim-majority nations go into the Millenial Kingdom, there will be an abrupt change in their behavior toward Jews. This, I believe, is a sign that they will have repented out of fear of the Lord. Whereas the verse I just mentioned (Zechariah 8:23) says that people will try to join with Jews to receive God’s favor, watch this short Youtube video of how Jews are treated today, right in Jerusalem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmnHkDX_IVQ. Notice the sharp contrast between how Jews ARE treated today, and how they WILL BE treated during the Millenial Kingdom. I believe the change of heart toward the Jews is a sign that repentance will have taken place during the Millenial Kingdom.

    In summary, I do believe there will be non-Christians on earth into the Millenial Kingdom. And I do believe they will be able to reprent and come to Christ.

    Thanks again for the excellent question!

    • hi Tom, thanks for answering me based on Zecharia. But to me that sign of repentance is driven out of fear instead of needing a Savior, they change their attitude toward Isralites since they realize who their King is. What I am asking you is repentance in general and global for those who don’t reside around the Israel. The repentance because conviction of sin and the need of a saviour in their life. I am not trying to give you hard time to answer me but I do want to know the truth that how we’ll live there in the millenial kingdom.

  3. ge, thank you for drilling down on the question, and I don’t at all take it as you giving me a hard time.

    I do not know that global repentance will come as a result of conviction of sin and the need for a savior. I do know that much repentance will come out of fear. Whereas Zechariah 14:16-18 states a consequence for people who do not go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord, I conclude that there will actually be people who do not go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord, and therefore need the consequence.

    Verse 19 then goes on to specifically call out Egypt in this scenario. I see no reason why this scenario would not extend to the entire world.

    If this does not satisfy your question, I’m willing to keep trying because I am learning as well. Thank you.

    • Tom thank you su much for your passion to answer me.

      Is it going to stay as a mystery? Or have you ever thought in other way round? That there is no chance of repentance in the sense of salvation of the soul.

      What about Acts 3:21. that Christ will not come to this earth until the time of restitution of all things. What do you think about the time
      of the gentiles will be fulfilled? Are those
      verses telling you something the other way
      round?

      Tom thanks for giving me more chance to dig it up. I always believe that Bible has always the answer.

  4. ge,

    Acts 3:21 is an excellent point to raise. In fact, I use Acts 3:21 as an argument against the pre-trib rapture. The logic being that if Jesus must remain in heaven UNTIL the time comes for God to restore everything, then how can Jesus leave heaven SEVEN YEARS BEFORE the time comes to restore all things to meet the church in the air in the rapture???

    https://alwaysproventrue.com/2012/10/06/the-rapture-is-post-tribulation-not-pre-tribulation/

    To your point, there is absolutely a finality to Acts 3:21 that does not seem to match the non-finality of a world that will still have people disobeying God by not going up to Jerusalem to worship the King as in Zechariah 14:16-18. But to your other point, I too believe that the Bible always has the answer. I have found that if something does not click logically, then I have more digging to do. This is one of those cases.

    Now, it is entirely possible that the restoration of all things spoken of in Acts 3:21 is Christ’s reign on earth.

    Of the increase of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
    He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
    establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
    ~ Isaiah 9:7

    Allow me a few weeks to prayerfully consider all of this, and to dig deeper into the Bible. I will try to present an answer because this issue certainly deserves one. I am fallible and I have been wrong before, so I can’t guarantee success. But I can guarantee that I will try!

    As to your question about the times of the gentiles, I believe that the times of the gentiles will be fulfilled upon Christ’s 2nd Coming (the Day of the Lord). In other words, when Christ returns, the times of the gentiles are over.

    “They [the Jewish people in Israel] will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations [70 A.D., the worldwide Jewish diaspora]. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled [The “times of the Gentiles” ends when Jesus Christ returns to save the Jewish people, destroy their enemies, and secure their land once and for all.]. [This next sentence marks the end of the “times of the Gentiles.” Jesus goes from speaking about the 70 A.D. Jewish diaspora, to his 2nd Coming, in a span of just two sentences– a time leap of at least 1,950 years. This time jump is not an isolated Biblical incident, as is elaborated upon above, in the article “The Dead in Christ, And After That.”] “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming [2nd Coming of Christ] in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” ~ Luke 21:24-28

    It is at this point that the nation of Israel accepts Jesus as Messiah. I am not sure that the times of the gentiles being fulfilled has any implication upon the time for soul salvation for the gentiles coming to an end, but I will look into it. I believe that the time of the gentiles being fulfilled means that Israel is regathered (1948), and protected by Messiah personally (a condition coming soon!).

    As of right now, I do not know that the times of the gentiles being fulfilled indicates that gentiles will no longer be able to repent and come to salvation, but I will absolutely consider that as a possibility and try to verify it one way or the other.

    I will respond within a few weeks, but if you have more to include in the mean time, please feel free to do so. Thank you for your questions.

    • I cann’t say something else but thamk you.

      Anyway I had left completely the pre-trib rapture before this conversation started. Reading your web just strengthened me to debunk it. Pre-trib rapture is kind of drug makes you high and then let you fall apart into pieces, once you find out it could be too late to repair.

      Back to the topic, I think just logically, I dont have sound bible verses to support it unless the previous two, the times of the gentiles should be it. Why, it won’t be fair enough for
      Israel if we still have a chance afterward,
      since God had preverted His grace toward us gentiles due to rejection of Jesus as Messiah. So when their King comes, Jesus should be the King of Israel not the King of other nations
      but Israel only. What about us? It is us who
      will have a privilege to reign with Him, not
      Israelites. Israelites privilege is to be served by other nations as to your first reply.

      I am not sure that correct, and in the mean time I will be waiting for your answer. God bless your dedication to find the truth.

      • ge, thank you for your patience. I apologize for the delay. I have come to no definite conclusion on these matters. But my suspicion is that at Christ’s return:

        1) The times of the gentiles are fulfilled
        2) Israel comes to faith in Christ
        3) Israelis enter the church as freely as gentiles have done for 2,000 years

        I am not sure that this means human hearts will be 100% renewed and softened to the things of God. My suspicion is that Christ will rule with perfect justice and righteousness, but that there will still be human disputes over which he will perfectly rule and judicate.

        I tend to suspect that after the thousand-year reign, when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, and the saved live within it, that their hearts at that point will be 100% renewed and softened to the things of God.

        That is the paradigm as I suspect it, but I could be wrong. I am keeping an open mind to these matters.

        Blessings, and thank you.

  5. hi Tom. thank you for your reply. your suspicions are the same as mine. but the questions still remain unanswered.

    my opinion. Jesus’ roles are three: Prophet, Priest and King. The two roles prohet and priest were already fulfilled when He was on earth. But His Kingship is not yet literally enforced until the second coming. Then when His time comes to reign therefore (according to me) no forgiveness of sins shall He granted to us humankind any more. Since His role as Priest and as Sacrificed Lamb has been fulfilled and finished, I assume that that roles will not be done again. Only His Kingship is left.

    Though bad guys or good guys are possibly still there, but I can not see that the mercy of forgiveness still applicable at that time.

    But I dont know either exactly for sure. That is just my opinion that I want to share.

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