Did you know that every Christian that overcomes the tribulation – every follower of Christ that remains faithful in these last days – will serve God as a priest in heaven, in his temple and around his throne? Furthermore, as priests in heaven, these Christians will in effect “reign” with God over the earth a thousand years! This is the message of Revelation 20:6.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.Revelation 20:6
The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ is the first 1000 years of the kingdom of God, with Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of David as king of the kingdom (ref. Luke 1:32), and also as the King of kings (ref. Psalms 22:28).
The kingdom of God will be populated by human Jews (ref. Isaiah 4:3), an elect of Judah (ref. Joel 3:20). There will be others as well (ref. Zephaniah 3:12, Isaiah 19:25, etc). But mostly it will be Judah, and everyone there will be filled with the Holy Spirit (ref. Isaiah 4:3, Joel 2:28-29, Zechariah 12:10, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:10-11).
The saints of God, the redeemed of all of the 12 tribes of Jacob, will serve God as soldiers, at first in the vicinity of the kingdom of God, but eventually across the entire world. As the kingdom of God expands into a commonwealth of Israel, the saints will become lords of individual fiefdoms, for Jesus Christ, whose other title is the Lord of lords. In this manner will the saints reign for God over the earth.
So all that explains human Jews and the saints: the elect of modern-day Judah, and the preserved of ancient Israel.
Now, Christians, who are “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (ref. Ephesians 2:19), will also serve God, and in a way “reign” over the earth.
Revelation promises that the slain and redeemed of God in these last days, out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation, will serve God as “kings and priests”, and these two groups will “reign” with God over the earth (ref. Revelation 5:9-10).
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:10
The idea of saints serving God in the capacity of “kings”, or “judges”, on earth needs no further explanation.
To understand the part about priests in heaven that reign with God, you must imagine heaven during this time as a kind of headquarters or high command, with God on the throne as king and also as the one in overall command.
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.Isaiah 45:12
When Jesus Christ or the Lamb is in heaven, he is God the Father. When Jesus Christ or the Lamb is on earth, he is the Son of man and the Christ. God the Father himself exists beyond earth and heaven (ref. John 1:18).
Although I cannot say for sure, I think, each Christian in heaven, being a part of this HQ will assist God in overseeing everything during the Millennial Reign. One of the tasks of a priest in the temple in heaven at this time will be to sort through prayers, not only the prayers of the saints but also the prayers of humans (ref. Revelation 5:8). Bear in mind, the world is immensely large, and there are many things going on all the time. To carry the metaphor of a war room further, these priests of God will contribute to the war effort by looking through reports and intel so that good can prevail over evil. I suppose, it will be in this manner that Christians in heaven will “reign” with God and Christ for 1000 years.
Per Revelation 7:13-15, the Christians that are in heaven at this time are the martyrs of Jesus Christ that came out of the great tribulation.
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.Revelation 7:13-15
So, every Christian that is killed by Satan in these last days will be resurrected and will go to heaven to serve God as a priest in his temple there.
However, every Christian that somehow survives the tribulation will carry on their lives in human form here on earth.
Needless to say, any person that takes the mark of the beast knowingly or otherwise is technically not a Christian at all, and so that person will be damned to the lake of fire (ref. Revelation 14:8-11).
As for Christians that lived and died in the past, I think, they will not be resurrected until much later, the time of the “second death”: the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation (ref. Revelation 20:6, John 5:29).
So, only the dead in Christ in these last days will become priests in heaven for 1000 years (ref. Revelation 7:13-15). So, this is a reward or a compensation from God for having to go through this difficult time.
Now, those who do become priests of God in heaven and reign with him a thousand years (ref. Revelation 20:6) will have an advantage over everyone else in the sense that they have reached the finish line. What I mean is, these Christians will receive their crown of eternal life before everyone else.
By contrast, humans on earth that are Christian, and also the saints that are to serve as soldiers of God on earth, will have to endure further tribulation, which means strictly speaking everyone in these two groups can still fall from grace and lose the prize of eternal life.
Another thing is, humans living on earth will still have to toil for food, to live.
Remember, Adam and Eve were cursed by God for eating the forbidden fruit of the tree in the midst of Eden. For that mistake, all humans after them have had to work to be able to eat bread and thus remain alive.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.Genesis 3:17-19
But Christians in heaven during the Millennial Reign will have been born again, and given a holy and an incorruptible body. For everyone in this group, the curse of Adam and Eve will be no more.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.Revelation 7:16-17
The same goes for the saints.
They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.Isaiah 49:10
Another thing is, in the distant future, by the time of the new Jerusalem, the third bride of Christ (ref. Revelation 21:2), one must have the new spirit body to carry on living.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.1 Peter 1:23-25
Because around then, all flesh, and all carbon based life on the planet, and even the planet earth itself, will have been destroyed by the fire of the sun.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there by any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.Revelation 21:4-5
So, once you have been born again, you are ready for the new Jerusalem. If you are in heaven during the Millennial Reign, you have a head start.
Now, in these last days, if you are a Christian behind enemy lines, especially if you are in Mystery Babylon where the mark of the beast will be rolled out, forget the things that you might have heard from others such as a pre-trib rapture, a one-world-government, that Islam has nothing to do with the Antichrist, and so on. All of that is coming from angels on the opposing side. These spirits are after your soul. They are trying to deceive you, to catch you off guard.
In these last days, at some point, Babylon will target and kill both saints and Christians. This is prophesied in the Bible.
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…Revelation 17:6
A true Christian is someone who remains faithful to God come what may.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?Mark 8:35-36
Something else to keep in mind is that, fundamentally, the Devil is trying to ruin God’s creation. Everything the Devil does is about damaging lives, distorting nature and spreading suffering: this is the very cause of evil. If the Devil ever enriches his servants, he only does so at the expense of others, often through theft and deceptive economics (ref. Isaiah 65:21-23). In a way, he is like a disgruntled employee that has not yet been taken out of the building, always looking for a way to “spoil” (ref. Isaiah 21:2).
Imagine, if you will, building something out of nothing and shaping it meticulously for some 6000 years, only to see someone that despises you try anything and everything to take it in another direction and destroy it. If this were to happen to you, surely you would be furious, and surely you would fight (ref. Isaiah 42:13-17) to save what you have created (ref. John 3:16-17).
Remarkably, a time will come when all servants of the LORD who are alive will play some part in defending the world from evil. Whatever that part may be – kings or priests – it is still something.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.Revelation 1:5-7
Whatever your work may be, you will contribute to the cause of good.
O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.Isaiah 40:9-10