Revelation Chapter 20
Please take your Bible and turn to the Book of Revelation chapter twenty. We will now look at this whole chapter concerning the period called the Millennium. Whenever we look at Revelation chapter twenty we must always keep in mind that it fits perfectly between chapter nineteen and chapters twenty to twenty two of the Book of Revelation. There are no chapter divisions in the Bible so chapter nineteen through to chapter twenty two fit into a chronological framework and these passages of scripture are consecutive and not to be understood in isolation from each other. The period covered in Revelation chapter twenty commences with the events immediately following the return of our Lord Jesus Christ through to the last judgement and the inauguration of the final and eternal state. The thousand years mentioned (Vs.2, 4-5) is the period where the earth is renewed under the rule of the Messiah and the conditions of the earth are radically transformed. Revelation Chapter twenty deals with what happens at the commencement of the Millennium and at the end of the Millennium. We have already discussed the events and conditions prevailing during the Millennium itself in the previous two studies.
In dealing with the Millennium we cannot ignore this chapter in Revelation as it completes the overall picture the Word of God gives us concerning the whole period of the Millennium. When looking at this chapter it is very difficult to interpret it any other way other than as a literal description of a thousand year period of time. There are too many literal descriptions to allegorise the text.
For example we know that the first resurrection implies the new birth (John 11:25-26) however, it does not negate the physical resurrection of which the spiritual rebirth is the harbinger of that ultimate reality. Our spiritual resurrection that occurs when we are born again guarantees our physical resurrection at the rapture. The physical resurrection and the rapture are the same event (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). To imply that the resurrection mentioned here in chapter twenty is only a spiritual resurrection is to diminish the full meaning of the text itself. The martyrs mentioned were literally beheaded for their faith and the text itself clearly describes their physical resurrection to reign with Christ on the earth. In fact this is the destiny of all the saints, namely, to co-reign with Christ in their resurrected glorified bodies over the nations that have survived the Great Tribulation.
In chapter nineteen we see the return of Christ to fight the armies of the antichrist and to inaugurate His Millennial reign. The saints are with Him, having been resurrected and caught up to meet Him in the clouds at His Coming. The chapter closes with the annihilation of the armies attacking Jerusalem and sees the beast and the false prophet thrown alive into the lake of fire. All who follow them will also be killed with the sword (of the Word of God) coming out of the mouth of Jesus. At Jesus’ command the saints and the angels will go to work annihilating the armies of the Antichrist. We are told that their blood will flow up to the height of the horses bridles for a distance of about 180 miles (Revelation 14:20).
This future battle is described elsewhere in the Prophets. (Ezekiel 38-39) (Joel 3) (Zechariah 12 &14) In fact Revelation 19:11-21 fits like a glove with Isaiah 63:1-6. (Check this out they are amazing parallel passage of scripture). These passages describe a literal battle with literal armies and even the nations involved are specifically mentioned (See Ezekiel 38) and they are all Islamic nations. When the Lord Jesus comes back the Beast Empire of Islam will be annihilated. Instead of broken crosses there will be broken crescents! These cataclysmic events recorded in chapter nineteen set the stage for the commencement of the Millennium in chapter twenty. Therefore Revelation chapter twenty must also be taken literally.
Having established the context of Revelation chapter twenty in relation to chapter nineteen now let’s look at the text itself…
(Vs1-3) “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 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.”
In the Bible we are told that God’s Angels are the “mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His Word…all His heavenly hosts, you his servants who do His will.” (Psalm 103:20-21) This angel has the authority to imprison Satan. He grabbed him by the “scruff of the neck” and threw him into the Abyss and chained him in that dark pit. Praise the Lord for His Angels, especially those who are sent to minister to the saints the heirs of Salvation. As it is written of them, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Like Satan Angels are spirit beings that have form but are not flesh and blood. Angels are eternal beings. They operate in the unseen eternal realm but can manifest themselves in human form and talk to human beings. They are capable of dwelling in time as well as eternity and move frequently between the two worlds. There are numerous examples in scripture where angels appeared to humans and spoke with them.
Now this angel mentioned had the keys to the Abyss and the authority to imprison Satan there. This angel was more powerful than Satan himself. It is clear that it was Satan he imprisoned. The two titles given to Satan are “the Dragon” and “the Serpent” both metaphors describing his nature and character.
Now the Amilleniallists will tell you that this binding was a spiritual one only and that it occurred at the cross and they are right in this as Satan did experience his first defeat at the cross, however, this binding mentioned here in Revelation chapter twenty is not only applicable to a spiritual binding only but sees Satan actually removed from human contact. Right now he is certainly not bound in relation to his involvement in this world. Just look at the sickness, diseases, natural disasters, poverty, violence, bloodshed and suffering and death engulfing the whole world. Is Satan bound or is he loose? Now we know from the book of Job that God does not let Satan get away with anything he likes on earth. In the case of Job God allowed Satan to take everything Job had except Job’s life.
In the Great Tribulation Satan will be allowed to have dominion in this world for three and a half years. During this time the world will experience a time of distress and upheaval unequalled in past history and never to be equalled again (Daniel 12:1, 7) (Matthew 24:21-22) (Revelation 13:5). The Great Tribulation for the most part is the wrath of Satan and only right at the end does it become the wrath of God. God’s judgements will be happening during the Great Tribulation period; however, His wrath will occur right at the end of the three and a half year period of the Great Tribulation. In the Bible when we see God’s judgements He is trying to bring about repentance and restoration, however, when we see His wrath there is no reprieve! The flood in Noah’s day is a prime example of the wrath of God. Genuine born again believers will experience tribulation but never experience God’s wrath. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
Also we notice in our text that Satan is imprisoned and no longer has the power to deceive the nations. Again if this binding was strictly a spiritual one only then how come spiritual deception is rampant in the world, in Israel and more so in the professing Christian Church? In the Bible we are told that spiritual deception and spiritual blindness come from the Devil and that the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one (2 Corinthians 4:4) (1 John 5:19). Furthermore we are told elsewhere in Revelation that Satan will be cast down to earth and at this time all hell on earth will be escalated in intensity and frequency. As it is written; “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12).
Spiritual deception is a conspicuous feature in the world today. Satan is certainly not bound at present. This binding is a future event yet to take place. This binding will not be permanent as he will be loosed again at the end of the Millennium to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth who have outwardly submitted to the rule of Jesus but in their hearts have remained rebels. The sinfulness of their hearts will again be stirred up by Satan, released from his prison, consequently leading those nations to rebel against the Lord Jesus and the city of Jerusalem where He reigns with His saints on earth. So then once Satan has been removed from human contact what happens next?
(Vs.4a) “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.”
In the New Testament Paul the Apostle tells us that as saints will have authority to judge the world after we have been resurrected with our glorified bodies. As he writes; “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? “Do you not know we will judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3) Furthermore in the Millennium we will also share in Christ’s authority over the nations. As it is written; “To him who overcomes and does My will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-‘He will rule over them with an iron sceptre; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ just as I have received authority from My Father.” (Revelation 2:26-27) During the Millennium the resurrected saints will be judges over the nations. They, along with the Lord Jesus, will judge and administer justice and righteousness in the earth and maintain His law and order in society. Now let’s continue…
(Vs 4b) “And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Amillennilists will tell you that this resurrection is only a reference to a spiritual resurrection that we receive when we are born again; however, these saints mentioned here were physically beheaded for their faith because they had refused to go along with the beast empires agenda, worship its image and received its mark. It is clear that this is a reference to the rapture and resurrection, however, the emphasis here is on those who were martyred and they receive a special honour at the rapture and resurrection. They will reign with Christ! Even though every believer will reign on the earth with Christ these martyrs will be assured of that privilege. It will be guaranteed to them.
Today there is a beast empire that beheads people and it is Islam. In a very real sense the beast empire is already beheading Christians who refuse to submit to Islam. However, before the Lord Jesus comes back millions of faithful Christians will be killed under the beast system of government. We are told in Revelation that multitudes of faithful saints will be martyred during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 13:7, 15). During this time escape from martyrdom will be the exception and not the rule although there will be places of refuge for the saints as God will see to it personally. Millions are being martyred now in Islamic countries today, however, it will take on epidemic proportions during the last three and a half years of this present age. It is interesting that in America right now it has been reported that the government is manufacturing guillotines and storing them in High Security Military Facilities.
With the advance of technology and the power of the media this whole end time scenario for believers will become a reality. Islam is invading the western nations. Europe and Great Britain have been inundated with Islamic ‘refugees’ and America is also being invaded by Islam as we saw with Obama and Clinton with their open immigration policy for Muslims was concerned. Obama entertained members of the Muslim brotherhood, and appointed some of them to key government positions. His previous administration like the Bush administration before him, bowed down to the Oil Sheiks of Saudi Arabia.
Just think of it what kind of world will you have if you combine Islamic ideology with western technology? It could well produce the final beast system with its image and its mark. We cannot ignore the power of microchip technology. However, the hope and comfort we have as believers is that if we are martyred for our allegiance to the Lord Jesus and to His Word the Bible we will be guaranteed a bodily resurrection and a position of authority over the nations. Most probably the beast system is already here in the Empire of Islam and there is no doubt according to scripture that the Antichrist will be a Muslim and not a European potentate. Having said this, his empire will expand into Europe making him both a Middle-Eastern as well as a European potentate. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.5-6) “(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part 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.”
There are two resurrections from the dead. The First resurrection is the rapture of the living and sleeping saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Second Resurrection is of all those who have died without Faith in Christ. These will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium (Vss.11-15) Daniel the Prophet also mentioned this. “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2) The Lord Jesus also mentioned this when He said, “For a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice (Jesus) and come out-those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”(John 5:28-29)
Now those who take part in the first resurrection are blessed and holy as they have been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Himself through faith in Him alone for their Salvation. They have their garments of Salvation on and have their entrance to the marriage supper of the Lamb guaranteed. They are dressed in fine white linen and clean and bright and are blameless. They are pure virgins to Christ. They are as a pure bride beautifully adorned for her husband. They are fair and without spot or blemish. Indeed Solomon expressed the Love Jesus has for His bride the Church when he wrote; “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Songs 4:7) The only ones who will share in the first resurrection are those who have the Lord Jesus as their personal righteousness, holiness and redemption. As it is written; “It is because of Him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) They have a right to enter the city of the New Jerusalem as it is written; “Blessed are those who wash their robes, (washed in the blood of Christ) that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs (unbelievers) those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Revelation 22:14-15)
There are only two cities and you belong to one or the other. There is the City of God and the City of Satan. You cannot be part of both at the same time. If you have been clothed with the garments of Christ’s righteousness through faith in Him then you have a right to enter the City of God and partake of the first resurrection. However, if you still belong to the Kingdom of this world and to its overlord Satan then you will not experience the first resurrection but die and go to hell to await the final sentencing at the Great White Throne where you will be consigned forever to the lake of fire which is the second death. From the flames of that place you will see the righteous in Christ going into that eternal city and yourself shut outside. This in itself will be torment. You will see what you could have been and should have been and should have had but know you forfeited it all because you chose Satan, sin and rebellion instead of choosing Christ, righteousness and obedience to Him.
The Second death is the lake of fire, however, if you have repented of your rebellion and sins against God and have turned to the Lord Jesus for mercy, pardon and forgiveness for your sins and availed yourself of His cleansing blood then you are born again and have a right to enter the Eternal City of God. You have a right to experience the first resurrection over which the second death has no power. Not only that but you will be a priest before the Lord and have the privilege to minister before Him and reign with Him for a thousand years. This is the destiny and reward of every born again believer in our Lord Jesus Christ.
You may be a believer and are experiencing trials and tests and temptations here right now, you may not have any money or be sick in mind or body, you may have little or no fellowship here or you may be suffering for your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ yet in all of these things you are still clinging to Him by faith. It may be that you have only six months to live but you faith in the Lord Jesus for your salvation has not wavered well the good news is that you have six months to live followed by another thousand years to live and then to live on into eternity. This is our hope as blood washed, born again children of the Living God. The moment you fall asleep in Christ the first thing your eyes will see will be the coming of the Lord Jesus in great power and glory.
Down here on earth there is time as we know it but in eternity there is no time so it is indeed true when Paul said “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” The moment you die you enter into the first resurrection! There is no time gap in eternity. Your body may lie here in the ground for hundreds of years or more but in eternity where time as we know it does not exist the past and the present and the future are all realities at the same time.
It is much like when you fall asleep. Your body sleeps for 7-8 hours in physical time however your mind is alert and you see events from the past and the present and possibly into the future that have no time divisions and they all run together at once. In an instant you can be in the past or in the present or even seeing yourself in the future. When you awake from sleep it seems a very short time from when you closed your eyes to sleep and opened them again. It’s like you closed your eyes and opened them again in an instant, however, your body has been physically sleeping for 7-8 hours in physical time. In eternity there is no time between your death and resurrection but down here in physical time your body lies in the ground awaiting its resurrection when the Lord Jesus comes back. The rapture and the resurrection are the same event!
This is why Paul tells us that at the rapture and resurrection of the saints that “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. 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. Therefore encourage (comfort) each other with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4: 15-18)
So then in verses 1-6 we see that The Millennium has commenced and the conditions that will evolve over the thousand years have been covered in the other two studies but now we come to the end of the Millennium. What happened in past history happens again for one last time. Jerusalem and the saints are surrounded by armies. However, fire comes down from heaven to devour those armies. Now let’s look at the text…
(Vs.7-8) “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. “
The fact that the Lord Jesus rules the nations with a rod of iron tells us that there will be people within nations that do not like being ruled over by the Lord Jesus and His laws of righteousness and justice. They have been forced to submit and even though they have rebellious thoughts and inclinations they have no devil to empower their desires. However, when Satan is loosed from his prison he will use deception to empower the leaders of those nations that have resented the rule of Christ but have been powerless to do anything about it.
Once more armies will move on Jerusalem. Gog and Magog surface again but this time they represent all of the nations gathered from the four corners of the earth. The Apostle John recounts the same scenario that happened at the end of the Great tribulation when Gog (the Antichrist) and the armies of Magog and the other Islamic nations attacked Jerusalem but were consumed by fire from heaven. What will happen at the end of the Great Tribulation will happen again at the end of the Millennium. As King Solomon said; “What has happened will happen again, there is nothing new under the sun.” Once he is loosed from his prison Satan will make one last all-out attack but it will be to no avail. This army following him will be a global one bigger than the one that attacked Jerusalem at the end of the previous age. And so John writes…
(Vs9.) “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.”
This mighty Army led by Satan personally will spread across the breadth of the earth. Every nation will be involved. This army of the nations will be far more numerous than the armies that will surrounded Jerusalem at the End of this present age. This last rebellion at the end of the Millennium will be the final and ultimate rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be no battle this time just fire coming down from heaven to consume them all!
In the final battle for Jerusalem that will take place at the end of this present age there will be a series of battles in which the Messiah our Lord Jesus Christ will be leading the resurrected saints and the armies of heaven in fighting with and defeating the armies of the Antichrist. However, in this last invasion of Israel at the end of the Millennium God Himself will put an end to it suddenly. God can do this. As it is written of Him; “He fills His hands with lightening and commands it to strike its mark.” (Job 37:32) Can you imagine great lightning bolts flashing forth from the hands of God? Furthermore, keep in mind that Jerusalem has always been the city that God loves and never forgets. As God Himself testifies when He says; “Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of My hands.” (Isaiah 49:16). Now let’s move on…
(Vs.10) “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
Notice that the Devil is thrown alive into the lake of burning sulphur to join the beast and the false prophet. They are already there having been thrown alive into that fire prior to the Millennium commencing. They are already there. This clearly indicates that the Millennium has to be a period of time that comes after the end of this present age. To mention that the beast and the false prophet had already been cast into the lake of fire previously indicates that Revelation twenty follows Revelation nineteen consecutively. The Beast and the False Prophet go into the lake of fire at the end of chapter nineteen but the devil goes to the same place at the end of Revelation twenty a thousand years later! Therefore the Millennium cannot be strictly defined to a spiritual binding that only applies to the time period from the cross to the Second Coming. According to the plain meaning of the text Revelation chapter twenty chronologically follows Revelation chapter nineteen. The meaning of the text is perfectly clear. Why seek another meaning?
(Vs.11) “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.”
At the end of the Millennium time ceases as we know it. Earth and sky will flee from the presence of God. Time as we know it now on earth will dissolve into eternity. This will be the final transition from the temporal to the eternal. We know this because of what comes next, namely the Great White throne Judgement where every living soul that has ever lived will be bodily resurrected to be judged out of the books. The only ones who will not be standing before the Great White Throne will be all of the redeemed. They will have already stood before the Judgement Seat of Christ.
(Vs. 12) “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
On this day all will be revealed! The innermost secret thoughts and desires and motives will be revealed. Nothing will be hidden from the eyes of Him to whom we must all give an account. Nothing in thought word or deed will escape His fiery gaze. Every soul that has ever lived will be laid bare. Every thought, every intention, every motive, every desire, every word and every action will be judged out of the record books. Heaven’s computer bank has it all recorded. Remember the Lord Jesus Himself said; “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Idle words are those words that are useless and have no real meaning or substance to them at all. They are barren words without thought given to them. Millions on that day will have to give an account for what they have said especially those who use the name of Jesus as a swear word. The Bible says that “the power of life and death is in the tongue.” It also tells us that our tongue is like a small rudder that steers a large ship. Our words can be set on fire by hell itself.
Words are involved in our Salvation! As it is written; “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13) The Lord Jesus Himself also said; “Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown Him before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
The only words spoken that are acceptable to God are those that line up with His Word and with His will. So then the words we speak will reveal what is really going on deep down on the inside of us. Listen to the words people speak and you will see what is in their heart and what is most important to them. Words we speak are all recorded in heavens records. This is why confession of our sins to God is important. When we confess our sins it is then that we are cleansed from them by Jesus blood. (1 John 1:9). When we do confess God Himself pushes the “erase button.” So often even as born again believers we have to confess our idle words spoken in anger or in haste or without due thought, foresight or consideration. It is a sobering thought that everything is recorded in heaven! At the Great White Throne the unsaved will only appear for sentencing as they will have already been judged. Now let’s move on…
(Vs.13) “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.”
No unsaved person that has ever lived can escape this final appointment with God. People will say, usually without thought, that two things are certain in life namely death and taxes. But they do not consider that “it is appointed for man to die once and after that the judgement.” Physical death is not the end of existence. Those who teach annihilation at the time of death teach a false doctrine that goes contrary to the Word of God. There are many references to life after death recorded in scripture. The sea will give up its dead. All those who have died at sea in battles or by drowning or by Tsunami’s will be physically resurrected. People in hell will be resurrected to stand before God for final sentencing. Hell is a holding cell. People are incarcerated there awaiting the final judgement. What is final and eternal is the lake of fire. God must imprison rebellious and sinful souls in hell otherwise heaven would become as bad as things are on the earth. God must incarcerate sinners and rebels against Him! At the end of the Millennium all the people that have died will be physically raised to life again. People in hell might think their torment has come to an end when hell spews them out of its clutches only to be faced with an eternal sentence in the fiery lake of burning sulphur which is the second death.
The only way for anyone to avoid the second death is to be born again by the Spirit of God. Only those who have been spiritually reborn from above by the Holy Spirit will see the Kingdom of God and enjoy its eternal rewards. Religion cannot save you, good works cannot save you, good intentions cannot save you, morality cannot save you, ethical behaviour cannot save you, even going to church cannot save you, even being born to Christian parents cannot save you in fact no-one can save you other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the only way, the truth and the life and no-one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved! Call upon the name of Jesus now. He is willing to save you completely and all who will come to Him in faith and obedience. As it is written; “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-8) (See “The Way of Salvation” on this website)
(Vs. 14-15) “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
By implication it would seem that some that stand at the Great White Throne will have their names recorded in the book of life. Only those whose names were not recorded will be cast alive into the lake of fire. If we look at the text itself there is an implication, although not clearly stated, that there may be some whose names will actually be recorded in the book of life. To open the book of life would be to look at the names recorded there. If there were no names recorded then why would it be necessary to look at the records in the book? A fair question?
We know that during the Millennium people will believe in the Lord Jesus and have faith in Him and obey His laws even though they will not have glorified bodies and they will ultimately die physically. However, longevity of life will be the norm during the Millennium. Those who die in faith and obedience will be saved but find themselves standing at the Great White Throne. Their names will be recorded in the book of life. After the judgement and sentencing has been carried out God Himself will throw death and Hades into the fiery lake. Hell of course was not originally made for man but for the devil and his angels so it is appropriate hell and death are consigned to the lake of fire. The question remains “Is your name in the Lamb’s book of life?” Is it recorded there? Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Have all of your sins been forgiven? Remember only the Lord Jesus has authority to forgive sin!
Yes there is a time coming when the earth will be renewed and live under the rule of our Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ. There is coming a Golden Age of peace and prosperity and well-being for man. However, this present age must pass through the Time of Jacob’s Trouble also called The Great Tribulation. Millions upon Millions will not make it through to the Millennium. Wars, diseases, earthquakes, famines and war will decimate the world’s population. The conditions will deteriorate to the point where Jesus will need to come back to save the world from annihilating itself. Who can imagine nuclear fallout and its ramifications for the population of the world? Who can see the red horse of war, the black horse of famine and the pale horse of death and hell riding across the face of the earth? Who can imagine the devastation, the destruction and the darkness that will prevail in the earth just before Jesus comes back?
Right now you can be spared the wrath of God. Scripture is clear that all who trust Christ to save them will escape the wrath of God. As it is written about “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 110). And again it is written, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9) Right now you can run into the ark of salvation that is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ and be rescued from the God’s Wrath which is coming soon. Indeed it is written; “The Lord is a high tower and the righteous run into it and are safe!” By faith in the Lord Jesus and in His shed blood that has made atonement for sin you can be made righteous in God’s sight, not with a righteousness you have produced, but clothed with the very righteous nature of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Indeed this was Paul’s first and foremost desire. “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9)
To conclude we must briefly mention again that chapters twenty one to twenty two follow on from chapter twenty. In these passages of scripture we have the final and eternal state described. We see a brand new heaven and earth. We see eternity where the new heaven and the new earth are one eternal timeless existence for all of the redeemed. If you are a born again, blood washed child of the Living God then you are now part of the New Jerusalem. Long after the Millennium is over you will shine like the stars in the universe and be marvelled at by every being in the universe. For eternity the whole universe will be lit up with the glory and splendour of the City of God. Indeed who can imagine what this will be like? After you have lived for a thousand years you will then have all eternity to live and to discover the secrets of the universe itself and to know as you are known by God! Indeed the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and you will be a part of that wonderful and magnificent city.
As John writes; “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4) As it is also stated; “Even so “Come Lord Jesus!”