Summary: A brief look at those who are lost and rebel against God during the Day of the Lord
The Earth Dwellers
This certain people group called “them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10, 6:10, 11:10, 13:8, 12, 14, 14:6) are also known as “people and kindreds and tongues and nations” (Revelation 10:11, 11:9, 13:7). These two vivid descriptions identify those who are spiritually lost and act in direct opposition to the Lord and His people during the end times.
(1) The first time they appear in the book of the Revelation is when the church in Philadelphia is given this promise:
“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
While some apply this verse to teach that the time of Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) will not come upon the Church saints it must be remembered that it (the Great Tribulation) will not be focused upon “them that dwell upon the earth”. Instead, the Great Tribulation is in fact described as Satan’s “great wrath” or “war with the saints” (Daniel 7:21; Revelation 12:12; 13:7).
According to the Apostle Paul those who are lost, the earth dwellers, will be saying “peace and safety” when “the day of the Lord” (I Thessalonians 5:2) overtakes them as “as a thief”
(I Thessalonians 5:3, 4).
While the Great Tribulation upon the saints is in process, the earth dwellers will be experiencing relative peace and safety until “the hour of temptation” God’s wrath, the Day of the Lord “comes upon them” (I Thessalonians 5:3).
Revelation 3:10 provides an assuring promise to the church in Philadelphia of being kept from God’s wrath, which agrees with the Lord’s multiple promises given by the Apostle Paul:
“Much more then, being now saved by His blood, we shall be saved from [the] wrath through Him.”
“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (I Thessalonians 1:10)
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation [deliverance from the Day of the Lord] by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:9)
The saints will be raptured/rescued out of the Great Tribulation and received into heaven:
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number…these are they [raptured saints] which came out of [the] great tribulation.” (Revelation 7:9, 14)
(2) The earth dwellers are also seen as the ones responsible for martyring God’s people:
“And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain [martyrs] for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”
(Revelation 6:9, 10)
Those who dwell upon the earth have killed these martyrs who appear in heaven. They, the fifth seal martyrs, are calling for God’s judgment upon those responsible. They want to know exactly how long it is going to be before He executes their deserved judgment. This question is asked prior to the Day of the Lord judgment, during the Great Tribulation.
The time of their inquiry is determined by the next event, the opening of the sixth seal which reveals the sign of the Day of the Lord (Revelation 6:12-17) that occurs just “before” (Joel 2:30, 31) the Lord begins His Day of the Lord wrath and “after that tribulation” (Matthew 24:29). His wrath begins when the seventh seal is opened (Revelation 8:1) revealing the contents of the scroll which contains the seven trumpet judgments and the seven vial judgments (Revelation 8-11, 15, 16).
(3) Then, after the first plagues or series of judgments, the seven trumpets, are almost complete, John is told:
“And he [the voice from heaven] said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” (Revelation 10:11)
Although intense global devastation has been poured out upon the earth and its inhabitants (over 1/3 of world population has died), John is told that he will have to continue his prophesying as he oversees the full and complete Day of the Lord judgments. This includes the seven vial judgments (Revelation 15, 16), the judgment of Babylon (Revelation 17, 18) and the final climactic conflict of the Day of the Lord, the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21).
(4) “And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies [two witnesses] three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 11:9, 10)