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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER TWENTY

The Twelfth Revelation of Jesus Christ
 —  The Great Judge
Satan Bound 1000 Years while the Saints Reign with Christ
The Battle of Gog & Magog
The Great White Throne Judgment

The Millennium

Revelation 20:1-6

(1)   Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  (2)  He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  (3)  and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

(4)  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  (5)  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  (6)  Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
(NKJV)


Then I saw an Angel
1. He came down from heaven
2. He has the key to the bottomless pit (the abyss)
3. He has a great (huge) chain in his hand
4. He captured the dragon (Satan)
5. He bound the dragon with the great chain
6. He threw the dragon into the abyss
7. He locked the abyss
8. He put a seal on the dragon (on the locked abyss) so he was powerless for 1,000 years
Some think this angel is an unnamed angel
David Guzik suggests:
The angel that will subdue Satan is anonymous. It is not Jesus Himself, nor is it Michael or Gabriel or any other high-ranking angel.
1.  “The final importance of Satan is perhaps indicated in the fact that it is not the Father who deals with him, nor the Christ, but only an unnamed angel.” (Morris)
2. This is a dramatic declaration that Satan is not God’s opposite or equal; and that God could easily stop Satan’s activity at any time. Yet God allows Satan to continue, because even in his evil, he indirectly serves the purposes of God.
(David Guzik Study Guide for Revelation)
Others think this angel is Jesus Christ
According to Seiss:
Who this angel is, we are not told.
1. The particulars would seem to indicate, as many able commentators have concluded, that he is the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
2. It was Jesus who, in the first vision, claimed to have ‘the Keys of Hades and of Death,’ which would most naturally seem to include ‘the Key of the Abyss,’ which the Angel possesses.
3. The whole achievement of this victory is also so emphatically ascribed to the Savior himself, that it would seem incongruous, if not conflicting, to make the chief of all antagonism the work of a created Angel.
4. When Jesus comes to vanquish and destroy armies, it is fitting that he should appear as a mighty Warrior; but when he appears for the seizure and binding of a fallen angel, it is equally fitting that he should appear as an Angel.
(from The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.)

Satan tried to imprison Jesus in a tomb, but couldn’t. Here, God has no problem restraining Satan, and this incarceration is not for punishment, but restraint.

First, Satan was cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:9), and now he is cast out of earth!

Some Bible students feel that the "chaining" of Satan took place when Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead to ascend to heaven. While it is true that Jesus won His decisive victory over Satan at the cross, the sentence against the devil has not yet been effected. He is a defeated foe, but he is still free to attack God's people and oppose God's work (1 Peter 5:8)

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  (NKJV)

Dr. James M. Gray suggested that, if Satan is bound today, it must be with a terribly long chain! Paul was sure that Satan was loose (Ephesians 6:10 ff) and John agreed with him (Revelation 2:13).

Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (NKJV)

(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Satan at the present time is in control of the world system. In Ephesians we are told:

Ephesians 2:1-2
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (NIV)

Satan is called the prince of this world. Satan is in control. It belongs to him.
Christ shuts, and none can open; he shuts by his power, seals by his authority; and his lock and seal even the devils themselves cannot break open.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.)

The 1,000 Years

For many centuries, man has dreamed of a ‘golden age, a utopia,’ in which the human race will be free from war, sickness and even death. Men have tried to achieve this goal on their own and have failed. It is only when Jesus Christ reigns on David’s throne that the kingdom will come and the earth be delivered from the oppression of Satan and sin. (Seiss)

What will life be like in the Millennium?
1. This kingdom of our Lord will be a worldwide display of Jesus’ glory, when all nature (except human nature) will be set free from the bondage of sin (Romans 8:19-22 " that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay:).
2. The Tribulation martyrs will be raised from the dead and given glorious thrones and rewards. The church will share in this reign, as symbolized by the twenty-four elders

Revelation 5:10
And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation  2:26-28
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.

Revelation 3:21
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

2 Timothy 2:12
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.

3. The inhabitants of the earth will include not only glorified saints, but also citizens of the nations who bow in submission to Jesus Christ.

Matthew 25:31-40
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. ... Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:'

Matthew 8:11-12
And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

4. Because of the earth’s perfect conditions, people will live long lives.

Isaiah 65:20
Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth;

5. They will marry and have children who will outwardly conform to our Lord’s righteous rule. But not all of them will be truly born again as the Millennium progresses; and this explains why Satan will be able to gather a great army of rebels at the close of the Kingdom Age.

Revelation 20:7-8
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.

(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries.)

The First Resurrection

As the context which follows indicates, "the first resurrection" (vv. 5-6) contrasts with the last resurrection (vv. 12-13), which is followed by "the second death" (vv. 6, 14). It is first in the sense of before. All the righteous, regardless of when they are raised, take part in the resurrection which is first or before the final resurrection (of the wicked dead) at the end of the Millennium. This supports the conclusion that the resurrection of the righteous is by stages.
Christ was "the Firstfruits"
1 Corinthians 15:23
But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruit.
Which was preceded by the token resurrection of a number of saints.

Matthew 27:52-53
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Then will occur the Rapture of the church, which will include the resurrection of dead church saints and the translation of living church saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
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.

The resurrection of the two witnesses will occur in the Great Tribulation.

Revelation 11:3-11
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. ...  Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. ...  But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.

Then the resurrection of the martyred dead of the Great Tribulation will occur soon after Christ returns to earth.
Revelation 20:4-5
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 came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(from Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries; Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries.)

All of this is the First Resurrection
This is a resurrection of blessing — (blessed and holy is he)
This is a resurrection of power — (over such the second death has no power)
This is a resurrection of privilege — (they shall be priests of God . . . shall reign with Him a thousand years)

This is the first resurrection: This first resurrection is the granting of resurrection life in resurrection bodies to all those who are dead in Jesus.

David Guzik points out: The ‘first resurrection’ is not an event but an order of resurrection including all the righteous who are raised from the dead before the millennial kingdom begins.” (Walvoord)

The Final Battle

Revelation 20:7-10

(7)   Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison  (8)  and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  (9)  They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  (10)  The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
(NKJV)


Even though they have been living in a near perfect society under the reign of Jesus and His followers, there are multitudes (whose number is as the sand of the sea) who follow Satan when he is released. Why would they do this? There are at least two reasons.

First and foremost, it is because the human heart is not changed by mere circumstances. Mankind is not good by nature.

Genesis 6:5
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;

And secondly, the laws of Christ will stand, with no loopholes. Unregenerate mankind still living when the 1,000 year reign of Jesus begins will chafe under such rule. Children born during this 1,000 years will still be born in sin even as they are today. Those who do not accept His blood sacrifice and allow His Spirit to change them will be more than ready to rebel when the time comes.

Revelation 2:27
He shall rule them with a rod of iron;

Revelation 12:5
She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.

Revelation 19:15
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.

Zechariah provides an example of His iron rule:

Zechariah 14:16-18
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.


Gog and Magog

The Holman Bible Dictionary points out that the identity of Gog and Magog has been the subject of an extraordinary amount of speculation.

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary suggests that Magog represents northern nations of Japheth's posterity, whose ideal head is Gog (Genesis 10:2 "The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras")

Gog, king of the land of Magog, who it is said in Ezekiel 38 will come from the remote north, with innumerable hosts of his own nation as well as of allies, and will attack the people of Israel, re-established after the exile; but by divine interposition he will be utterly destroyed. Hence, in Revelation 20:8 Gog and Magog are used collectively to designate the nations that at the close of the millennial reign, instigated by Satan, will break forth from the four quarters of the earth against the Messiah's kingdom.
(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, PC Study Bible formatted Electronic Database. Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

David Guzik says that these are prophetic enemies of Israel in Ezekiel 38-39, but the battle described in those chapters of Ezekiel seems to be distinct and different from this final battle. John seems to borrow the term and using it as a symbol. Seemingly, the battles described in Ezekiel 38-39 take place before the return of Jesus, perhaps right before or during the tribulation. This final battle clearly takes place at the end of the thousand-year reign of Jesus.

Like the battle of Armageddon, the followers of Satan from all around the world gathered together surrounding Jerusalem, prepared to wipe it from the face of the earth.
Unlike the battle of Armageddon, this battle did not even get started. As Seiss says: "It is simply a march into the jaws of death."

As at the beginning when Satan was able to deceive Eve, so at the end are her descendants deceived.

They will be convinced that joining Satan in battle against God and His people will be the "smart" thing to do.
They will be convinced that they will actually be able to win this battle.
They will be convinced that life will be better after they have won the battle.
The release of Satan is viewed in Scripture as the final test that demonstrates the corruption of the human heart.

This entire scene confirms what God was telling us in Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 3:19-20
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The Great White Throne Judgment

Revelation 20:11-15

(11)    Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.  (12)  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  (13)  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  (14)  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  (15)  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
(NKJV)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ as The Lord of lords and King of kings

We know that this Judge is Jesus Christ because all judgment was given to Him.

Matthew 19:28
So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  (NKJV)

John 5:22
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. (NKJV)

Acts 17:30-31
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (NKJV)


This was an awesome sight. Daniel describes the scene:
Daniel 7:9-10
"I watched till thrones were put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
A fiery stream issued
And came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated,
And the books were opened.
(NKJV)

Do not confuse this judgment with the "Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ," where believers will have their works judged and rewarded or not. At this judgment, there will be only unbelievers; and there will be no rewards.  Jesus gave us an example of what will be said on that day,

Matthew 7:21-23
Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'  (NIV)

Remember if we turn from following Jesus, He will forget all that we have done for Him, the same as when we ask Him to forgive us, Jesus forgets the sin.

The Books
The Books of God's Remembrance (evil and good)

Psalms 56:8
You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?

Psalms 139:4
For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

Malachi 3:16
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.

The Books of The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Romans 2:14-16
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

John 12:48
Jesus said: He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

The Book of The Law

Galatians 3:10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them."

The Book of God's Eternal Council

Psalms 139:16
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written


The Book Of Life

Those whose names are written in the Book of Life have the following privileges:
The promise of Deliverance

Daniel 12:1
And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.

The assistance and prayers of fellow believers

Philippians 4:3
And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

Jesus will acknowledge them before the Father and His angels

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Freedom to enter the holy city, the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:25
But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.


Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life have the following promises:
Those living during the reign of the Beast will worship him

Revelation 13:7
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

They will be surprised and astonished at the Beast's resurrection

Revelation 17:8
And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Their final end will be in the lake of fire

Revelation 20:15
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.


It is possible to have your name removed from the Book of Life:
Moses praying for Israel

Exodus 32:32
Yet now, if You will forgive their sin — but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."

The enemies of the Lord

Psalms 69:28
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Those who do not remain faithful and so does not overcome

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;

Those who take away or add to the words of this prophecy

Revelation 22:19
And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life.


They are judged according to their works
There are degrees of punishment for unbelievers, according to their works (Matthew 11:20-24). Here is where they are sentenced to their specific eternal punishment. All are cast into the lake of fire, but the intensity of their punishment can vary.

Matthew 11:20-24
Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."


The Lake of Fire

When a person refers to “Hell,” the lake of fire is what they usually have in mind. The Bible uses three main words to describe where the ungodly may go when they die.
Hebrew Sheol The place of departed spirits; Hades
Translated in the Old Testament as: the grave, the pit, hell
Greek Hades The abode of the dead; Sheol
Translated in the New Testament as: hell
Greek Gehenna Transliteration from the Aramaic form of the Hebrew ge-hinnom, "valley of Hinnom," a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment.
Translated in the New Testament as: hell, and often followed by the word "fire" - "hell fire."
This valley was a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to Molech (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:2-6). This valley afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction.
Of these three, Gehenna would come the closest to the Lake of Fire, the final end and eternal punishment of all that is evil.

This is the second death: “As there is a second and higher life, so there is also a second and deeper death. And as after that life there is no more death, so after that death there is no more life” (Alford)



 

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