Who will populate the Millennium?: The Jewish remnant, those who take the mark of the Antichrist
Over the years, I have challenged post-tribulationalists (pre-wrath, 7th trump, post-tribbers) to answer a question that I pose in my article,
You may also want to look at this article as well before you read on: Question# 1177:
The premise for asking the question is simple. Whether the rapture happens pre-, mid-, pre-wrath, or post- tribulation, when the tribulation period is finished at the Second Coming of Christ, there must be humans with reproductive organs left on the earth who are permitted to enter into the Millennium. If any of these rapture theories are unable to meet this absolute prerequisite they must be eliminated from consideration.
I have made it plain in my articles that the only rapture theory that clearly meets this prerequisite with direct Scripture is the pre-tribulation rapture. With that said, I always welcome those who can present direct scriptural proof that the rapture theory they represent does leave childbearing humans on the earth after their rapture takes place. I also ask them to outline their tribulation period scenario at the very beginning of the discussion making sure they include when their rapture will take place and who will be the specific human individuals who enter and populate the Millennium.
Here is one of the more common answers that was sent to me addressing the above question "who will populate the Millennium?":
The answer is...Revelation 12:6 which states, "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." This is the remnant of Judah, who will inherit the country of Israel promised to Abraham (and everywhere that Moses led the Hebrews too)... in the flesh (and blood). We also know that there will still be nations because they are alluded to during the millennial time. Evidently, those army's will be killed but not all will die from the bowls.
The writer also wrote, that neither the Jewish remnant nor those who were left alive from the nations that participated in the battle of Armageddon were saved. The writer believes these survivors did take the mark of the Antichrist but did not participate in the Battle of Armageddon. His premise is that they will enter into the Millennium and Jesus will rule them with a rod of iron. The fact that Jesus must rule them with a rod of iron, and that some nations ( Egypt) will not come to Jerusalem and worship the Lord yearly (Zechariah 14:16-19), proves that unsaved people (not killed at Armageddon) will enter into the Millennium.
The writer continues, when the rapture takes place toward the end of the tribulation period (pre-wrath, 7th trump, post-trib), all Christians dead and alive will be raptured and will return with the Lord at His Second Coming. The u remnant and those who took the mark, but non-participants of Armageddon, will be left on the earth to enter the Millennium. They will be the humans that will populate the Millennium. Lastly, the writer concludes by saying, at the end of the Millennium, when Satan is released back onto the Earth, it will be those who took the mark of the beast (or their offspring) worshiped the Antichrist during the tribulation period, who will join with Satan to rebel against Christ. This will be the time when God finally makes good on his promise (1000+ years later) by squashing this rebellion and throwing them into the lake of fire. The writer also states it is possible that those who took the mark (who enter the Millennium) will die early in the Millennium. Upon their death, they will immediately be cast into the lake of fire.
To make things clear for those reading this article, the writer is stating there will be two distinct groups of people on the earth who will populate the Millennium. One, the Jewish remnant who will flee to Petra where they will be protected by God for the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period. Two, those who have taken the mark of the beast, but did not necessarily participate in the Battle of Armageddon. This person is saying they will be citizens of the nations that did participate in the Battle of Armageddon and they did take the mark of the beast/worshiped the Antichrist.
One thing should be made clear. In determining the truth of the Bible, direct scriptural accounts must always take precedence over indirect scriptural accounts.
For example, let's take the writer's belief that survivors who take the mark and worshiped the Antichrist (but do not necessarily participate in the Battle of Armageddon), will enter into the Millennium based on his/her interpretation of Zechariah 14:16-19.
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
If one were to look at this Scripture in and of itself, it would seem that this is saying that the survivors following the Battle of Armageddon are coming out of hiding and surrendering to Christ's Holy Army. They will be made to follow the rules that the Lord lays down, and if they refuse, He will exact a swift punishment on them.
However, that's not what these verses are saying at all. Yes, Jesus will rule with a rod of iron during the Millennium, but rebellion won't set in for many generations into the Millennium. This passage clearly states that following the Battle of Armageddon, men, women and children, who do not take the mark, but obey the voice of God through the many Gospel witnesses He will send (two witnesses, 144,000 witnesses, Gospel preaching angels, etc.), will hide themselves while the Battle of Armageddon is raging. When the battle is over, they will come out of hiding. Frankly, I doubt many of these individuals will even have much knowledge of the Bible other than what is presented them through the witnesses and the preaching angels. They simply made a choice to worship God, accepted Jesus as Savior (prerequisite), and certainly will not take the mark of the beast or worship him.
How do I know all these individuals who come out of hiding in Zechariah 14:16-19 did not take the mark or worship the Antichrist? The Bible gives direct Scripture that lists the offense (taking mark and worshiping Antichrist), the punishment if you take the mark (cast into the lake of fire), and the precise time when the Lord will execute judgment on those who take the mark and worship the Antichrist.
This Scripture is found in Revelation 14:9-11:
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
It's clear from this passage, if anyone worships or takes the mark of the Antichrist, their fate is sealed and they will be cast into the lake of fire. The only question is, when will these individuals who do take the mark (or worship Antichrist) be cast into the lake of fire? The answer is clearly stated in verse 10. It says, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation". We don't have to do much research to know precisely when those of the Earth, who take the mark, "shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God".
This is clearly a direct description of the Second Coming of Christ and His ensuing judgment on the nations at the Battle of Armageddon found in Revelation 14:14-20:
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
So we can see from this Scripture, when the Lord comes back (Second Coming), He will execute judgment (great winepress of the wrath of God) on those who take the mark or worship the Antichrist, and they will be cast into the lake of fire immediately as Revelation 14:10 states. In Matthew 25:41, at the judgment of the nations, it states clearly those on the left (those who did not worship God) will be cast into the lake of fire, "prepared for the devil and his angels". And it won't matter if you participate or not in the Battle of Armageddon. This Scripture is clear, if you worship the Antichrist or take his mark (offense), you will be cast into the lake of fire (punishment), and it will be at the Battle of Armageddon (time punishment will be executed). You will be hunted down and executed.
Therefore, this direct scriptural account found in Revelation 14:9-11 and Revelation 14:14-20 renders your proposed interpretation of Zechariah 14:16-19 impossible. Zechariah's account of the individuals who come out of hiding, who will enter the Millennium, can't possibly be made up of those who took the mark or worshiped the Antichrist. We also know that God does not lie and He will do exactly what He says at its precise appointed time.
Now, I will address the second group of individuals who the writer believes will populate the Millennium...the Jewish remnant who will flee to Petra and be protected by God for the final 3 1/2 years of the tribulation period.
The writer's premise for claiming the protected Jewish remnant will remain on earth when the post-tribulation rapture occurs is based on the belief that these individuals, although protected by God, still will not believe Jesus is the Messiah. When the Lord returns (Second Coming), the eyes of the Jewish remnant will finally be opened and they will at long last embrace Him as Messiah and King. A national Jewish revival will breakout and lead right into the Millennium.
Zechariah 12:10-11 is the passage most quoted to emphasize that the remnant will not turn to the Lord until after they "look upon me [Jesus] whom they have pierced". It further states in verse 11, that there will be great mourning in Jerusalem upon the return of Christ. Most post-tribulationalists would have you believe this Scripture indicates this is when the Jewish conversion will begin (Second Coming). Therefore, when the post tribulation rapture occurs toward the end of the tribulation period, this Jewish remnant will still be unconverted (not saved) and will be left on the Earth. But, when they "look upon me [Jesus] whom they have pierced" upon returning with the Saints at the Second Coming, their eyes will be opened and a great revival will begin. Once Jesus puts down all earthly opposition at the Battle of Armageddon, the newly converted Jewish remnant will be ushered into the Millennium to repopulate the Earth.
This would be a perfect theory if Scripture to the contrary did not stand in the way. Remember, direct Scripture always takes precedence over indirect "what if" Scripture. Let's be clear, nowhere in the Bible does it say the Jewish remnant that flees to Petra are unsaved. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite. Here is a Scriptural account that more than proves, when the Jewish remnant does flee, they will flee as believer's in Christ.
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:13-17).
At the beginning of the tribulation period, God will send two special witnesses to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the streets of Jerusalem for the first 3 1/2 years. They will perform miracles and will not be able to be killed for the length of their ministry (Revelation 11:3-7). From their ministry, 144,000 male virgin witnesses will receive Christ as Savior. They will be sealed by God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Like all revivals throughout history, this revival will start at its epicenter (Jerusalem) and will spread quickly throughout the rest of Israel, and finally, throughout the world. But the Jews will be converted first.
When the Jewish remnant flees to Petra at around the midway point of the tribulation period, verse 17 above says, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." This verse plainly says that the Jewish remnant are already believer's in Jesus Christ before they get to Petra.
The remnant will also hear the Gospel preached through angels. Just after the Antichrist introduces his mark (Revelation 13:1-17), God will send angels flying throughout the entire world to preach the Gospel to every single person in their own language:
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people (Revelation 14:6)."
This Scripture here tells me that absolutely no one on the earth will escape from hearing the Gospel including the Jewish remnant.
The Bible says, following the introduction of the Antichrist's mark, there will only be two types of people on the earth, those who take his mark and those who are saved and have refused to take his mark:
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)."
According to this Scripture, everyone on earth will make a conscious decision to either take the mark and worship the Antichrist or refuse his mark and turn to the "Lamb (Christ) slain from the foundation of the world."
This scenario makes absolute perfect sense that everyone worldwide would make a decision for either the Antichrist or Jesus Christ. After seeing angels flying through the air proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and warning all not to take the mark or face the lake of fire, there will be no doubt who the real Christ is. The penalty for doing so will also be crystal clear. This is Biblically consistent with how God has always sent plenty of prophets, preachers, and witnesses to pre-warn mankind not to take a specific direction and the consequences if they disobey. However, even with these warnings, the Bible is clear that many will be deceived and believe the lie of the satanically possessed Antichrist despite God's message of warning (II Thessalonians 2:3-12).
Yes, the Bible is clear that everyone on the face of the earth will make a conscious decision to either take the mark or serve the Lord... including the Jewish remnant. Just believing in God isn't enough to get you to heaven now and certainly won't be during the tribulation period either.
And speaking of God's prerequisite that everyone (including Jewish remnant) must accept Jesus as Savior and Coming King. Since we proved previously with direct Scripture that the individuals that will come out of hiding (Zechariah 14:16-19) from the nations which fought in the Battle of Armageddon did not take the mark of the beast, then who are they? If they did not take the mark of the Antichrist then they are a part of the number that refused his mark and turned to the "Lamb (Christ) slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)."
So if the post-tribulation rapture theory is correct (we've already eliminated those who took the mark), we will have a group of individuals from the nations that did not take the mark, but listened to the Gospel warning of the angels and a group of unsaved, unredeemed Jews.
Here's my problem. The individuals out of the nations will be held accountable for taking the mark and not accepting Jesus as Savior and King (thrown in lake of fire). Why in the world would not the Jewish remnant be held to the same accountability? After all, they will be exposed to the preaching of the two witnesses, 144,000 witnesses, and the flying angels presenting the Gospel just as the nations will. In no time during church history has anyone died and gone to heaven without knowing Jesus as Savior. If the witnesses and the angels are preaching salvation through Christ during the tribulation period I have no reason to believe God's rules have changed for a remnant of Jews.
Which brings us again to my question. "
We've proven with direct scripture it can't be those who take the mark of the Antichrist. They will be executed at the Battle of Armageddon/judgment and sent to the lake of fire regardless if they physically participate in the battle.
It can't be the Jewish remnant. According to direct Scripture they will know Jesus as Savior (Revelation 12:17). When the alleged post tribulation rapture takes place, they will be taken along with all Christians (and with dead in Christ) to meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). And if they don't know Jesus as Lord (unconverted), the Bible is clear they will have taken the mark of the Antichrist. According to Scripture, God provides no middle ground...not even for the Jewish remnant (Revelation 13:8).
With that said, who will populate the Millennium?
Are you ready to meet the Lord? If not, your time id running out!
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