1 Thessalonians 4:

16 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. 17 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. Jesus comes down.
  2. The first group rises.
  3. The second group catches up.

What's step 4? Will the entire bunch of people go up or down or stay in the air?

  • This is prior to the creation of a new earth. The final state is new heavens and a new earth : an eternal stasis on a substantial creation.
    – Nigel J
    May 28, 2021 at 14:45
  • Given the variety of responses in both answers and comments, I think it's clear that there really isn't any hermeneutical answer to this question. Each person has a unique idea of what will happen (or has happened), and when. Perhaps it would be better to re-ask it in Christianity.SE, with a specifically named denomination associated with each answer. May 29, 2021 at 3:45
  • "it's clear that there really isn't any hermeneutical answer to this question." So your answer is not hermeneutically based?
    – user35953
    May 29, 2021 at 13:03
  • @TonyChan, I think it is, but that's because I always try to take the position of a literal Bible, with explicit symbolism or metaphor (e..g "the stars are", or "the Kingdom of God is like"), or unusual things described from the point of view of a 1st century fisherman (e.g. John's description of the vision he saw and recorded in Revelation). ¶ Other people obviously interpret scripture from a different (not necessarily wrong) perspective, which can result in situations like this where there are so many different conflicting answers. May 29, 2021 at 13:46
  • 2
    I see the conflicting answers as a strength of this site.
    – user35953
    May 29, 2021 at 13:50

7 Answers 7


For anyone that holds even a slightly literal view of the Bible, it's rather apparent that Jesus and the converted saints will then descend back to the Earth, where they will remain throughout the Millennium:

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him … Revelation 1:7 (NKJV)

And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives … — Zechariah 14:4

And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. — Revelation 5:10

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven … He laid hold of the dragon … so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished … I saw the souls of those who had 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. — Revelation 20:1–4

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan … will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth … And fire came down from God out of heaven … — Revelation 20:7–9

… the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … — Revelation 21:2

The word "earth" is used nearly seventy times in Revelation, making it very difficult to argue that the events in John's vision were in Heaven.

Jesus's return is supposed to be blatant and impressive, leaving no doubt as to what is happening. People will arise all around the world, and and then meet at Jerusalem:

But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the eretz will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. He will send out his angels with a great sound of a shofar, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
— Matthew 24:29–31 (HNV)

  • +1 The word "earth" is used 79 times in Revelation?
    – user35953
    May 28, 2021 at 15:08
  • 1
    @TonyChan, It depends on the translation, with most in the upper 60s. I've no idea what I was looking at when I wrote 79. I now see KJV=70, NKJV=68, YLT=45. Perhaps most significantly, HNV has "eretz" 67 times. May 28, 2021 at 15:42
  • Thanks for the info.
    – user35953
    May 28, 2021 at 15:43
  • @Ray I've depicted "His coming with the clouds" (Rev. 1, 1 Thess. 4). "[In] that day [He'll stand on Mount of Olives]" (Zec. 14:4) - that day was Gethsemane. "[Saints are] kings and priests" (1 Pet. 2:9). The "angel coming down from heaven " (Rev. 10:1+) is Christ, who bound Satan's authority over death. So, “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection [baptism]; over these [Christians], the 2nd death [spiritual death] has no power, but they [Christians] will be priests of God and Christ [1 Peter 2:9] and will reign with Him 1,000 years [until Christ’s return]” (20:6).
    – Xeno
    May 28, 2021 at 20:25
  • 1
    @Xeno asked "Is this not exactly the same military and political Figure to whom they also looked?". Yes, how could God's prophesies ever change? Physical Israel could interpret it only as like the physical world they lived in. Spiritual Israel understands that the Messiah and his elect will be immortal spirit beings teaching and ruling a physical Earth. The details of how God's government will operate might be envisioned differently, but the situations are identical. May 29, 2021 at 13:29

There is a Biblical answer to this. The confusion is due to not separating Israel from the joint-body of Christ.

Israel has been held in abeyance until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (Romans 11:25). During this not- prophesied period of time, Gentiles are streaming into the church with a small remnant of Jews.This period of time, called an administration in Ephesians 3:9 where "fellowship" is "oikanomia" and not a "koinonia" which is the word for fellowship. Oikanomia means house-rule literally, or "dispensation."

Christ's return to meet his body "in the air" is different than his return to the earth for Israel. The body of Christ was not yet revealed during our Lord's earthly ministry for it was kept secret by God Himself " from before the eons existed." (See Ephesians 3)

Israel inherits the Kingdom Christ sets up on earth, the body of Christ inherits the celestial realm. They receive a body suited to the earth, while we receive a glorified celestial, spiritual body suited for life in the heavens:

Philippians 3:21,22 - For our conversation (Greek "politeuma) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Our citizenship (not conversation) is in the heavenly realm. We will not live on earth but in heaven where Christ currently lives (besides in his people).

The Word of God even tells us what we will be doing there.

Ephesians 2:4-7 -- But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:9,10 -- And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

God is going to use the first fruits of the church, the body of Christ, to reach the errant spiritual host. He is going to use the first fruits of the Jews who come out of the resurrection of the just (at his return to the earth) to reach the nations on earth. Two different citizenships due to two different inheritances. In this way, Christ will eventually head up all in heaven and on the earth.

Ephesians 1:9,10 -- Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

And it's companion verse...

Colossians 1:20 -- Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him

Praise be to God for His glorious plan!

Now the body of Christ may return to the earth with Christ to secure the earth but that is not our final destination.

Revelation 17:14 -- These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Angels are not chosen!

Ephesians 1:3,4 -- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

Hope this clarifies things.


YLT Matthew 25:

6 and in the middle of the night a cry was made, Lo, the bridegroom doth come; go ye forth to meet [G529] him.

The word "meet" here is apantēsin. The virgins were to meet and welcome Jesus, the bridegroom.

7‘Then rose all those virgins, and trimmed their lamps, 8and the foolish said to the prudent, Give us of your oil, because our lamps are going out; 9and the prudent answered, saying — Lest there may not be sufficient for us and you, go ye rather unto those selling, and buy for yourselves. 10‘And while they are going away to buy,

The foolish virgins went away to find oil. They missed being part of the welcoming group.

the bridegroom came, and those ready went in with him to the marriage-feasts, and the door was shut;

The bridegroom continued in the same direction and reached his destination.

Now, let's go to the OP's passage via Young's Literal Translation, 1 Thessalonians 4:17

then we who are living, who are remaining over, together with them shall be caught away in clouds to meet [G529] the Lord in air, and so always with the Lord we shall be

ἀπάντησιν (apantēsin)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 529: From apantao; a encounter.

Presumably, after the meeting/encounter of the welcoming people, Jesus will continue in the same direction to come down to reach his destination where the wedding banquet will take place.


Do we go "up" or "down" after being caught up in 1 Thessalonians 4:17?

Answer: No saved soul will ever return to earth. We will step out of finite time into Christ's eternal Presence: He will never set foot on planet earth again.

With respect, I am responding to this from an amillennial perspective with the recognition that much of what we read in several texts arises from biblical symbolism. Apparently, that may be unpalatable to some which seems a real shame. I wrote a parallel response to a question of this form elsewhere.

The OP’s query provokes some amazing truths. Suppose we consider the words of Peter for a moment:

2 Peter 3:3-4a: “Know this [that] in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?’” (emphasis added).

Although I strenuously disagree with such mockers (for reasons that I will explore), just how do these skeptics not have a point? Christ promised to His disciples thousands of years ago that He would return to them. Did He?

Recall what is said in dozens of passages, starting with the one from the OP:

1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 5:2: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.”

Luke 12:39: “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.”

Everyone who is saved will meet the Lord "up" in the air symbolically, because heaven is "up" — or "beyond" this material world of space and time. And, this will occur in the same moment from our own individual perspectives, exactly as we’re told, which I’ll describe.

The Lord’s Return represents the eventuality of all the faithful, presumably including Adam and Eve, dating back to the very beginning. Preferential treatment seems especially unlikely; one way or another, everyone is a descendant of our great ancestor, Adam, and “[All] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Moreover, God does not play favorites; it would be egregiously unfair that a single generation, say, in the year 3,000, would be the only one to witness arguably the greatest event in the history of the world (cf. John 14:2-3).

I've included a figure below intended to depict how every faithful soul is immediately ushered into the Presence of the Lord where "up" or "down" is of no significance. As we do so, we will be clothed with immortality; the encounter coincides with Christ's Return: “We will be caught up together [with those who have already departed] to meet Him (and them) in the air.”

As far as we on Earth are concerned, time continues to forge onward while we remain. However, it must be emphasized that, for the saints who have departed this world, there is no longer any passage of time — an irresistible consequence of timelessness. Again, although these conditions represent a future event to us, no saved soul will exist as a disembodied spirit without form. One might conceptualize the proposed circumstances this way: our individual death and Christ’s return are essentially synonymous as far as we experience them.

An analogy might suffice: Suppose we see our close relatives off on a flight to another city. As soon as they arrive at their destination, they are thrilled to discover that we too were on the plane with them. The reason that no one is yet in heaven (Acts 2:34, etc.) is that we are not yet there either. But as soon as we arrive, all of the faithful dating to the end of physical time will be there along with us!

How timelessness in God's realm works at all is another matter entirely. Mark 13:32 states that "[No] one knows about that day or hour" when the event will occur, despite the fiction by many modern-day “prophets” who adamantly claim otherwise. If these considerations are correct — all based entirely on Scripture — "when" Christ returns is irrelevant since all the faithful will experience the event indistinguishably from one another.

To date, I've discovered over 150 passages (I understand there are over 300) detailing the Lord's Return, the central theme of the New Testament. (Mercifully, I have excluded them in this discussion.)

What is crucial to understand is the great distinction between finite time in this world, and the timelessness of eternity. Most are probably aware of the phrase used by the New Testament to describe Christ's Return "as a thief in the night" (Mark 13:32, Luke 12:39, 2 Peter 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Revelation 16:15).

Suppose we think very carefully about that for a moment. What event in everyone's life comes to them suddenly without warning? Think of how you might encounter some fatal accident. Or consider someone who has been bedridden for months, each day expecting everything to be just as it was before without incident. That is until we each experience our last day (John 6:40, 44) — the end of our physical life on earth forever.

This is the day we step "up" or "out" or "beyond" this world into eternity, a realm where time ceases to elapse (certainly, as we now recognize it). Nowhere does the Bible teach that Christ will ever set foot on Earth again; no, we will step into His Presence in the clouds just as Scripture clearly tells us (Acts 1:11, 1 Thess. 4:17, etc.). Some will claim that He will stand on the Mount of Olives, without realizing the symbolism.

What they seem to overlook is that Christ did literally stand on the Mount of Olives throughout His ministry. He had been a guest of Mary, Martha, Lazarus (in Bethany, on Mount Olivet). His ascension was from the Mount of Olives (cf. Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:12). And, He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane as His sweat "became like great drops of blood" — yes, on the Mount of Olives! We should recognize that this is where Christ "stood" or "placed his feet" on the Mount. Christ most definitely planted "His feet in that day upon the Mount of Olives" — as metaphorically described (Zech. 14:4). (This is fantastic symbolism!)]

Note how we might envision 1 Thessalonians 4:17, as we ascend "up into the clouds" as I've illustrated. The Figure is meant to depict the emergence of the human spirit into one of two destinations: Paradise above or Hades below. Note that Earth history proceeds horizontally in increments of approximately 200 years. It seems that those in Hades must continue to experience the passage of time in agony (Lk. 16:19+) — unlike the saints who cross the threshold of finite time into eternity.

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This is the way I believe we might understand our circumstances outside of finite time: the saints enter the eternal realm at the same timeless instant from each of our perspectives. I do not believe this is true for those who are lost and are currently suffering the torment of fire (Luke 16:19+, "spirits [now] in prison": 1 Pet. 3:19, 2 Pet. 2:4).

Note that Lazarus was in "Abraham's Bosom." Where is that, exactly? After all, Noah died long before Abraham was born. I submit that Abraham's Bosom is meant to characterize paradise, just as depicted.

It makes no difference at all whether this is "up," "down," or otherwise as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

  • You wrote ...”No saved soul will ever return to earth” - then who is the new earth for? (REV 21:1)
    – Dave
    May 28, 2021 at 22:50
  • @Dave Thanks. The concept of "new heaven and new earth" is also found in 2 Peter 3:13 (cf. Rev. 21:1). However, this does not mean the present earth will be renovated by fire and ultimately become our heaven. This present earth is to pass away (Matt. 24:35; Heb. 1:11-12; 2 Pet. 3:10-12). Our eternal abiding place is heaven (1 Peter 1:4). Just as our present environment is referred to "heaven and earth" (we derive life from the air and land), even so, our future state of being is figuratively characterized as a “new heaven and new earth.” This is merely an allusion to heaven itself.
    – Xeno
    May 29, 2021 at 1:41
  • Your concept of time being absent from heaven is misplaced. Only God is without beginning or end. The angels are created, Jesus had a beginning, so every moment they get older... don't they? Do you have scripture to support this theory?
    – Steve
    May 30, 2021 at 22:26
  • @user48152 No. The intractable problem is that it's illogical to speak of time in paradise, just as it is nonsensical to believe that an eternal God had a beginning. If there was a time “before” something eternally, then there must have been a time even before that - ad infinitum. But there isn’t any. To misunderstand this is to reject dozens of passages in Scripture and challenge the timeless nature of God's realm. We assume that He has existed for a “really long time.” But this is terribly flawed. We will join Him in an eternal reality, hardly one that our limited, human minds can fathom.
    – Xeno
    May 31, 2021 at 3:09
  • As I said 'God has no beginning', but everything else does - they cannot now NOT have a beginning anymore if they are now in 'paradise' or the heavenly realm. Therefore time continues. There must be a quite different reality of time - no aging etc, but whenever something 'new' happens - as it will in eternity, time is present.
    – Steve
    May 31, 2021 at 3:16

Those caught up in ‘the clouds’ will come down - but not straight away. So the answer to your query is they go ‘up’.

JOHN 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

I will come again and receive you” - “so that where I am you may be also”. Believers need to be taken ‘out of the way’ for a short while. A short while in ‘earth time’. Believers will be ‘away’ from the earth for a period of time - The part, or element that makes this difficult to grasp is ‘time’.

So the answer to your query actually depends on perspective. From the point of view of those on ‘earth’, they go up. But for their perspective, it is as if they come straight down. Let’s outline this ...

Stepping’ into heaven means you ‘step’ outside of time. A ‘day’ is as a ‘thousand years’. We are ‘under time’ - time is what ‘we’ live in, so It’s like you step ‘out’ of ‘time’, then instantly straight back into ‘time’ - so in this case (the verses you reference), on ‘earth’ a period of time elapses between believers departing and returning.(they ‘go ‘up’, or rather ‘away’ [for a short while]).

That’s exactly what happens/happened with Enoch and Moses. They step ‘out’ [away, from the ‘earth’] and [will step] straight ‘back’ to earth, to them ‘instantly’ - but meanwhile on ‘earth’, under ‘time’, 1000’s of years have past.

  • Amen, to John 14:2. Isn't it true also that the place that was prepared for us will come down out of heaven? Revelation 21:2 "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." And as Hebrews 13:14 says "For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come."
    – Austin
    May 28, 2021 at 19:24
  • @Dave I'm impressed with your understanding of timelessness. Where we disagree is that anyone who exists in a realm of perfection will, in my opinion, never be forced to again live in this forsaken world. Per 2 Pet. 3:10: "[The] day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens (stars) will pass away with a roar and the [atomic] elements will be destroyed with intense heat; the earth and its works will be burned up." Given this, why or how can anyone ever return to a world that has been annihilated in this fashion? And, what could possibly be the reason why we would do that?
    – Xeno
    May 29, 2021 at 5:59
  • @Xeno When Adam ‘ate’, he became unrighteous. His ‘spirit’ was separated from God, separated from the ‘righteousness’ man needs. Through this, Adams ‘body’ (flesh) became unrighteous. Through what Adam did, the earth became unrighteous (cursed). Anything ‘unrighteous’ must be ‘made anew’. A believers ‘spirit’ is reborn (re-made, a new creation). A believers ‘body’ will be renewed on resurrection. The earth will be renewed in Revelation 20. As will heaven (it needs to be renewed on account of Satan’s fall.) The earth will be renewed - and we will live on it - as originally planned.
    – Dave
    May 30, 2021 at 4:24
  • Time has to exist if one thing happens after another. The word "eternity" in English does not mean "timelessness" and there is nothing in the Word of God to suggest that. Eternity means "no beginning and no ending." Time just keeps on going. But let's see what that word "eternal" is in Greek. It's "aion" which transliterates into our English "eon" meaning a period of time with a beginning and an ending. Jun 11, 2021 at 21:13
  • @Christian Doulos ?? I didn’t use the word nor concept of ‘eternity’? Could you please clarify which part of my response you are querying?
    – Dave
    Jun 11, 2021 at 21:34

The key to answering this question is what happens during the 1000 years of Rev 20. Theologically, the doctrine of the millennium has been one of the most divisive in modern history. It has created the modern phenomenon of dispensationalism as recently as the 19th century. It has spawned numerous groups, such as “pre-trib”, “mid-trib”, and post-trib” and many others such as premillennialism, postmillennialism, amillennialism, etc.

To understand Rev 20, let us place it in context using the following outline of Rev 17-20.

  1. Harlot in the desert & the beast from the abyss; (17:1-18)
  2. The destruction of Babylon; (18:1-24)
  3. Celebration in heaven and earth over Babylon's fall; (19:1-5)
  4. Celebration anticipating the wedding banquet of the Lamb: bride is ready; (19:6-10)
  5. Judge on the white horse leads heavenly armies to destroy beast & false prophet; (19:11-21)
  6. The 1000 years
  • a. The wicked are dead and the dragon is thrown back into the abyss (20:1-3) [contrast Rev 11:7]
  • b. The righteous enthroned with Christ to judge (20:4-6)
  1. The destruction of the wicked and Satan. (20:7-10)

Now let us put more detail around the the events of the millennium.

Events before the Millennium

From the above we observe the events before the millennium are:

  • Babylon is defeated and the three beast powers that composed the tripartite coalition, the beast from the abyss, the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth, separate (Rev 16:19).
  • The devil, Satan, the Dragon, is bound and thrown back into the abyss (Rev 20:1-3).
  • Jesus “leads the armies of heaven” to defeat and destroy the sea beast and the land beast (Rev 19:11-20). This is the battle of Armageddon anticipated (but not described) in Rev 16:14, 16.
  • All the other living wicked are destroyed by the sword from the mouth of Jesus (Rev 19:21). Compare Rev 6:15-17, 2 Thess 2:8, Ps 68:2. Note that Jesus compared His coming to that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt 24:37-39, Luke 17:28-30 where the wicked are all destroyed as per Matt 13:40. Compare Rev 19:21.
  • All the righteous are raised to life or resurrected (Rev 20:4). See also Isa 25:9.

It is immediately obvious that the main event before the millennium is the great second coming of Jesus, Matt 24:30, 31, 27 and its associated judgement.

Events during the Millennium

  • Satan remains bound on the earth or “abyss” (Rev 20:3) [Compare Gen 1:2 in LXX.]
  • The wicked remain dead on the earth (Rev 20:5)
  • The righteous "judge" (Rev 20:4) or "reign" (Rev 20:6) with Christ in heaven for 1000 years. See Heb 11:16, John 14:1-3, Col 3:1-4.

Events after the Millennium

  • Satan is released for a short while (Rev 20:3, 7)
  • The wicked are evidently resurrected (Rev 20:5, 8, John 5:28, 29)
  • The entire mass of wicked called “Gog and Magog” attempt to march against the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Rev 20:8, 21:2, 3) that has just descended from heaven with the saints.
  • Fire destroys the wicked and Satan (Rev 20:9, 10, 15, 21:8)
  • Death and Hades are also destroyed in the lake of fire (Rev 20:14, 15)
  • The righteous inherit the earth (Rev 21:7)
  • It is quite probable that Zech 14 describes these events of Rev 20. God defeats the nations and His feet create a plain as the mount of Olives splits on which the New Jerusalem settles as it descends from heaven.


Thus, to answer the OP's question, when the saints "meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess 4:17), the wicked are also destroyed by the brightness of Jesus' arrival (2 Thess 2:8) and the saints then continue to to be taken to heaven (John 14:2, 3) to live and reign with Christ for 1000 years (Rev 20:4). Then the New Jerusalem returns to the earth (Rev 20:8, 21:1, 2)

APPENDIX - Rev 20:1-10

Before the Millennium

1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

During the Millennium

4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They a had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

After the Millennium

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. ...

  • Just checking my understanding of your response - So, are you saying that the Millennium reign of 1000yrs takes place in heaven?
    – Dave
    May 28, 2021 at 22:10
  • @Dave - That is Correct. Heaven is where the New Jerusalem descends from at the end of the millennium.
    – Dottard
    May 28, 2021 at 22:11
  • Interesting - so we see that in the ‘fragments’ of the Dead Sea scrolls that the Essenes believed that Jesus (Messiah) will sit on the literal throne in a literal Jerusalem - what do you base your alternative view on?
    – Dave
    May 28, 2021 at 22:16
  • @Dave - my Bible evidence is given above. I agree with the Essene view (as you have expressed it) because Jesus will sit on the throne in the New Jerusalem both during the millennium (in heaven) and after the millennium (on earth). In fact, Jesus is sitting on the throne in heaven even now.
    – Dottard
    May 28, 2021 at 22:19
  • 1
    You're just making stuff up here. "the wicked are also destroyed by the brightness of Jesus' arrival" The context is 'that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will eliminate with the breath of His mouth'
    – Steve
    May 29, 2021 at 11:26

Do we go up or down after being caught up in 1 Thessalonians 4:17?

We go down to the earth.

Psalm 25:13 His soul will dwell in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.

Psalm 37:9 For the evildoers will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

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