In my last post we looked at the blessedness of the raptured New Testament saints being part of the marriage supper of the Lamb. Now we will see what God showed to John regarding the raptured saints’ privilege of being with Jesus Christ when He comes to judge the Antichrist, the false prophet, and all those who have been deceived into worshiping, following, and taking the mark of the son of perdition.
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:11-21
We can see that the armies that follow Christ are the raptured New Testament saints by the description of what they wear, which is identical to those who attend the marriage supper of the Lamb.
8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:8
Some within the visible church believe and teach that these are those believers who are martyred during the tribulation period for their faith, but we must make the same distinction between the raptured saints and the tribulation saints that the Word of God makes. These teachers of error couch their lie in the premise that God’s people suffer persecution, which is true, but what makes the tribulation saints unique is they forfeit their lives because they refuse to worship the Antichrist and take his mark. No other martyred saints are thus persecuted, and the tribulation saints are given a special reward for their faithfulness to Jesus Christ and His Word.
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Revelation 6:9-11
The tribulation saints are like all persecuted and murdered saints, they hold fast to their testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and their belief in the literal Word of God. The tribulation saints are believers who come to faith in Jesus Christ under the powerful preaching of the 144,000 Jewish saints who are specially chosen and anointed for this task.
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: 5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed: 6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed: 7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed: 8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed: of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed. 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:4-14
This scene in heaven portends the great harvest that will come when the tribulation saints are murdered for the faith in Christ. They give glory to Jesus Christ for the salvation that is theirs through faith in God’s Son. Anyone who stays faithful to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, through God’s divine election, will be killed by the Antichrist for refusing to take the mark of the beast and worship him.
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Revelation 13:6-10
9 The third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is the patience of the saints, here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them.” Revelation 14:9-13
Only people who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, through faith in His name, will be spared this eternal judgment of God upon those who worship the image of the beast and take the number of his name proving they are apostate and damned. The beast will behead all those who refuse to comply with his demands to take his mark and worship him.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who have been beheaded for their witness to Jesus 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 lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6
Yes, believers in Christ will be persecuted to death during the tribulation for following Jesus Christ and believing what God has said in His Word the Bible. They will be beheaded for their faithfulness to Christ, but they are given the special privilege of eternal life and reigning with Christ during His millennial reign. Notice they are received and assigned this glorious privilege after Christ has returned with His armies, the raptured saints, and cast the Antichrist and the false prophet alive into the lake of fire, and killed the followers of the beast. The armies of Christ are the raptured saints who are delivered from the wrath of God that will come upon the whole world because they reject the gift of His Son and love their sin instead. God bless us.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10