[i] In part two of my study on Revelation 12 (Identifying the sun-clothed woman), I presented the view that the great multitude of people seen by John will consist of believing Jews who, at the time of Christ’s return, will be scattered all over the earth among the nations (and who, in contrast with the 144,000 Israelites mentioned earlier, will not be sealed). Some of the Jews of whom this great multitude will consist will already be living in whatever nation they’ll be in before the “great affliction” begins (just as there are many Jews living all over the world today). However, in accord with what we read in Luke 21:24, Joel 3:1-2 and other passages, there will be other Jews who will be among the nations at this time because of what will be occurring during the great affliction (for we read that, at this time, the Jewish people will be “led into captivity into all nations”).
[ii] Although this kingdom is frequently referred to in Matthew’s Account as “the kingdom of the heavens” (or “the kingdom of heaven”), this particular expression is simply another way of referring to the kingdom prophesied in the above passages (which, again, is the kingdom that we’re told “the God of the heavens” shall set up). This expression does not, therefore, inform us of the location of the kingdom about which Christ taught during his earthly ministry (for this kingdom will be set up on the earth); rather, it emphasizes the heavenly source and character of this future kingdom.