What Happens To Tribulation Martyrs?

Q. What do you believe happens to tribulation saints during the millennial reign? I loved the description you painted in your “Israel, The Church, and the Hebrew Roots movement” but I could not answer for myself what would happen to the tribulation saints spiritually brought to heaven during the tribulation. Are their bodies resurrected and brought to the earth to live with Israel, or are they brought up to the New Jerusalem with the church?

A. In my opinion, martyred tribulation saints will dwell on Earth during the Millennium. It’s based on several hints in the Book of Revelation. First, the martyrs of Rev. 7:9-17 are described as being destined to serve God day and night in His Temple, but they are never called priests. According to Rev. 21:22 there is no Temple in the New Jerusalem, but Ezekiel 40-47 says there will be one on Earth during the Millennium.

Second, the martyrs who are resurrected in Rev. 20:4 are a different group who will have been beheaded for refusing the mark of the beast. They will reign with Christ but are not called kings. Only the church has the title of Kings and Priests, so I think these martyrs will assist in the administration of the millennial Kingdom on Earth. And finally, Rev. 21:27 says only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will dwell in the New Jerusalem. This phrase is used only of the Church.

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