Jesus Christ's Martyrs
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Jesus Christ's Martyrs
(Revelation 20.5-10)
Page 284-286

"But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years. When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations — called Gog and Magog — in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle - a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. 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. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Revelation 20.7-10)

Christian Confessors

Gog and Magog MapGog and Magog appear in Ezekiel 38.1-4 where the word of the Lord says, "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army — your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords." This image of Gog and Magog as a fierce army overcome by God etched itself deeply in Jewish thought. Gog and Magog are thought by scholars to be possibly identified with "Khazars, Huns, Scythians and Mongols" which are all European nomadic tribes. They also appear in the "Qur'an" as "Yakub and Majub." Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal is to launch a great attack upon Israel and is to be utterly destroyed in the end. Originally Gog has connections with the Scythians whose invasions and horsemen everyone fears.

Gog and Magog

Gog statueAs time goes on, in Jewish thought, Gog and Magog come to stand for everything that is evil and against God. The rabbis teach that Gog and Magog would assemble themselves and their forces against Jerusalem, and would fall by the hand of the Messiah. These hostile armies under the Devil's leadership would come up against God's people and the beloved city, Jerusalem.

God's Triumph Complete

Christian ConfessorsIn the event, the hosts are consumed with fire from heaven, the Devil is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone to share the fate of the beast and the false prophet, and the triumph of God is complete.✞

The First Resurrection

First ResurrectionThe first resurrection of those who died and rise after death is described in Revelation. After the resurrection, Christ shall reign. In the "first resurrection," only those who have died and suffered for the faith were to be raised from the dead. The general resurrection, which followed the first resurrection, will not take place until after the thousand years when Christ reigned upon the earth. The "First Resurrection" was a special privilege for those who had shown great loyalty to Christ and they reigned with him. Those who were to enjoy this privilege belonged to two classes. First, the martyrs of Jesus Christ proved by giving up their lives for him that they are loyal to Christ. The word used for how they are killed means "to behead with an ax," and denotes the cruelest death. Second, others are called "confessors" in the Early Church who did not worship the beast and had not received his mark on their hand or their forehead. Professor H. B. Swete (1835-1917 AD) the English Biblical scholar defines "confessors" as, "Those who, although they were not martyred, willingly bore suffering, reproach, imprisonment, loss of goods, disruption of their homes and personal relationships for the sake of Christ."

Martyrs Being Killed

Superior Court JudgesThe twelve apostles judges appointed by Christ will sit on their thrones and judge with the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Martyrs from the Greek word "martys" are "witnesses" like the first martyr Saint Stephen. They are those who are persecuted, suffer and die for their faith. We read in Acts 7.55-60, "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.' At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him." "Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell on his knees and cried out, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' When he had said this, he fell asleep." Martyrs give their lives for the Faith but Confessors, on the other hand, are those who have suffered but not died for their faith. The English king Saint Edward the Confessor (1003-1066 AD) ruled for a long 24 years and his nickname reflects the traditional view of him as "unworldly and pious." Confessors often suffer everything short of death for their loyalty to Christ.

Saints will Judge

Martyrs being killedBoth those who die for Christ and those who live for Christ will receive his or her reward. A chosen group of twelve apostle judges who are loyal to Christ are to receive the privilege of taking part in the final judgment. This is an idea that appears more than once in the New Testament. Jesus says in Matthew 19.28, " 'Truly I tell you, 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.'"

Final judgment

Ancient CorinthSaint Paul in 1 Corinthians 6.2 reminds the Corinthians that the destiny of the saints is to judge the world. He writes, "Do you not know that the Lord's people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?" The idea is that the world to come will redress the balance of this one. In this world, a Christian may be a person under judgment, in the world to come the roles will be reversed and those who thought they were the judges will be "the judged!"

"Jesus Christ's Martyrs"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

^Top Page Next Previous