Q. Re: Rev. 20:1-6. Who are the ones who received authority to judge in Rev. 20:4? And who are the saints who will be priests of God and will rule with Him for the millennium in Rev. 20:6? Are these saints some members from the raptured Church, like pastors of today? If so, won’t the Church will be on earth during the millennium?
A. In Matt. 19:28 Jesus told His disciples, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” I believe Rev. 20:4 refers to them.
Rev. 20:6 says the priests of God and of Christ who will reign with Jesus are part of the first resurrection. The First Resurrection includes all believers of all time. Jesus was the first (1 Cor. 15:20) then comes the Church (1 Thes. 4:16-17), and finally tribulation believers (Rev. 20:4) and Israel (Daniel 12:2). Of these only the church is called kings and priests who rule and reign with the Lord. Some tribulation martyrs serve God in His temple but are never called priests (Rev. 7:15) while others reign with Him but are never called kings (Rev. 20:4) I believe they serve in an official capacity subordinate to the Church.
You can’t use this passage to conclude the Church will live on Earth because the Bible says the Church will live in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27) which won’t be on Earth. But like it is with the Lord, where we live is irrelevant to where we reign.