God’s Plan For The Ages 44 – Revelation 20 – The Millennium

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How Can Someone be Sure They Will Live for Eternity with God in his New Kingdom?

A millennium (plural millennia or millenniums) is a period equal to 1000 years.

1 Corinthians 6:9 NET Bible

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,

Revelation 20 – NASB 1977

Text

Satan Bound

1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Satan Freed, Doomed

7 And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Judgment at the Throne of God

11 And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

What does 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 tell us about
(Note: 1 Thes 4:16, “the dead in Christ:” they are those who are dead, and knew Christ as their Lord and Savior before their death. They are the “righteous dead;” they had been born again prior to their death. Rev 20:12, “the dead:” they are those who are dead, are the unrighteous dead, and had not been born again. The “dead in Christ” will not stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. The “dead” will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment.)

Comments: Revelation – MacArthur Study Bible (Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible).

20:1—22:21 Chapter 19 ends with the Battle of Armageddon and Christ’s second coming—events that mark the close of the Tribulation. The events of chap. 20—the binding of Satan, Christ’s 1,000 year earthly kingdom, Satan’s final rebellion, and the Great White Throne Judgment—fit chronologically between the close of the Tribulation and the creation of the new heaven and the new earth described in chaps. 21, 22.
20:1 bottomless pit. The place where demons are incarcerated pending their final sentencing to the lake of fire (see notes on 9:1; 2 Pet. 2:4).
20:2 laid hold. This includes not only Satan, but the demons as well. Their imprisonment will dramatically alter the world during the kingdom, since their destructive influence in all areas of human thought and life will be removed. dragon. Likening Satan to a dragon emphasizes his ferocity, and cruelty (see note on 12:3). serpent of old. A reference to Satan’s first appearance in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1ff.), where he deceived Eve (cf. 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14). Devil…Satan. See note on 12:9. a thousand years. This is the first of 6 references to the length of the millennial kingdom (cf. vv. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). There are 3 main views of the duration and nature of this period: 1) Premillennialism sees this as a literal 1,000 year period during which Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of numerous prophecies (e.g., 2 Sam. 7:12–16; Ps. 2; Is. 11:6–12; 24:23; Hos. 3:4, 5; Joel 3:9–21; Amos 9:8–15; Mic. 4:1–8; Zeph. 3:14–20; Zech. 14:1–11; Matt. 24:29–31, 36–44), reigns on the earth. Using the same general principles of interpretation for both prophetic and non-prophetic passages leads most naturally to Premillennialism. Another strong argument supporting this view is that so many biblical prophecies have already been literally fulfilled, suggesting that future prophecies will likewise be fulfilled literally. 2) Postmillennialism understands the reference to a 1,000 year period as only symbolic of a golden age of righteousness and spiritual prosperity. It will be ushered in by the spread of the gospel during the present church age and brought to completion when Christ returns. According to this view, references to Christ’s reign on earth primarily describe His spiritual reign in the hearts of believers in the church. 3) Amillennialism understands the 1,000 years to be merely symbolic of a long period of time. This view interprets OT prophecies of a Millennium as being fulfilled spiritually now in the church (either on earth or in heaven) or as references to the eternal state. Using the same literal, historical, grammatical principles of interpretation so as to determine the normal sense of language, one is left with the inescapable conclusion that Christ will return and reign in a real kingdom on earth for 1,000 years. There is nothing in the text to render the conclusion that “a thousand years” is symbolic. Never in Scripture when “year” is used with a number is its meaning not literal (see note on 2 Pet. 3:8).
20:3 bottomless pit. All 7 times that this appears in Revelation, it refers to the place where fallen angels and evil spirits are kept captive, waiting to be sent to the lake of fire—the final hell prepared for them (Matt. 25:41). released for a little while. Satan will be released so God can make a permanent end of sin before establishing the new heaven and earth. All who survive the Tribulation and enter the kingdom will be believers. However, despite that and the personal presence and rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, many of their descendants will refuse to believe in Him. Satan will then gather those unbelievers for one final, futile rebellion against God. It will be quickly and decisively crushed, followed by the Great White Throne Judgment and the establishment of the eternal state.
20:4 the souls of those who had been beheaded. These are tribulation martyrs (cf. 6:9; 18:24; 19:2). The Gr. word translated “beheaded” became a general term for execution, not necessarily a particular method. his mark. See note on 13:16. Tribulation martyrs will be executed for refusing the mark of the beast. reigned. Tribulation believers, along with the redeemed from both the OT and NT eras, will reign with Christ (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12) during the 1,000 year kingdom.
20:5 the rest of the dead. The bodies of unbelievers of all ages will not be resurrected until the Great White Throne Judgment (vv. 12, 13). first resurrection. Scripture teaches two kinds of resurrections: the “resurrection of life” and “the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29; cf. Dan. 12:2; Acts 24:15). The first kind of resurrection is described as “the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14), the resurrection of “those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Cor. 15:23), and the “better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35). It includes only the redeemed of the church age (1 Thess. 4:13–18), the OT (Dan. 12:2), and the Tribulation (v. 4). They will enter the kingdom in resurrection bodies, along with believers who survived the Tribulation. The second kind of resurrection, then, will be the resurrection of the unconverted who will receive their final bodies suited for torment in hell.
20:6 Blessed. Those who die in the Lord (14:13) are blessed with the privilege of entering His kingdom (see note on 1:3). second death. The first death is only physical, the second is spiritual and eternal in the lake of fire, the final, eternal hell (v. 14). It could exist outside the created universe as we know it, outside of space and time, and be presently unoccupied (see note on 19:20). thousand years. See note on v. 2.
20:7 Satan…released. He is loosed to bring cohesive leadership to the world of rebels born to the believers who entered the kingdom at the beginning. He is loosed to reveal the character of Christ-rejecting sinners who are brought into judgment for the last time ever.
20:8 Gog and Magog. The name given to the army of rebels and its leader at the end of the Millennium. They were names of ancient enemies of the Lord. Magog was the grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:2) and founder of a kingdom located N of the Black and Caspian Seas. Gog is apparently the leader of a rebel army known collectively as Magog. The battle depicted in vv. 8, 9 is like the one in Ezek. 38, 39; it is best to see this one as taking place at the end of the Millennium. For the difference, see notes on Ezek. 38, 39.
20:9 beloved city. Jerusalem (cf. Pss. 78:68; 87:2), the capital city during Christ’s millennial reign (Jer. 3:17). The saints will be living around the city where Christ reigns (cf. Is. 24:23; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 14:9–11). fire. Frequently associated in Scripture with divine judgment of wicked men (Gen. 19:24; 2 Kin. 1:10, 12, 14; Luke 9:54; 17:29).
20:10 deceived. Just as his demons will entice the world’s armies into the Battle of Armageddon, Satan will draw them into a suicidal assault against Christ and His people (16:13, 14). lake of fire and brimstone. See note on 19:20. tormented day and night. See note on 14:11. Continuous, unrelieved torment will be the final state of Satan, fallen angels, and unredeemed men.
20:11–15 These verses describe the final judgment of all the unbelievers of all ages (Matt. 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; Luke 10:14; John 12:48; Acts 17:31; 24:25; Rom. 2:5, 16; Heb. 9:27; 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7; Jude 6). Our Lord referred to this event as the “resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29). This judgment takes place in the indescribable void between the end of the present universe (v. 11) and the creation of the new heaven and earth (21:1).
20:11 great white throne. Nearly 50 times in Revelation there is the mention of a throne. This is a judgment throne, elevated, pure, and holy. God sits on it as judge (cf. 4:2, 3, 9; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:10, 15) in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. See 21:5, 6; John 5:22–29; Acts 17:31. earth and the heaven fled away. John saw the contaminated universe go out of existence. Peter described this moment in 2 Pet. 3:10–13 (see notes there). The universe is “uncreated,” going into non-existence (cf. Matt. 24:35).
20:12 standing before God. In a judicial sense, as guilty, condemned prisoners before the bar of divine justice. There are no living sinners left in the destroyed universe since all sinners were killed and all believers glorified. books. These books record every thought, word, and deed of sinful men—all recorded by divine omniscience (see note on Dan. 7:9, 10, the verse that is the source of this text). They will provide the evidence for eternal condemnation. Cf. 18:6, 7. Book of Life. It contains the names of all the redeemed (Dan. 12:1; see notes on 3:5). judged according to their works. Their thoughts (Luke 8:17; Rom. 2:16), words (Matt. 12:37), and actions (Matt. 16:27) will be compared to God’s perfect, holy standard (Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16) and will be found wanting (Rom. 3:23). This also implies that there are degrees of punishment in hell (cf. Matt. 10:14, 15; 11:22; Mark 12:38–40; Luke 12:47, 48; Heb. 10:29).
20:13 Death and Hades. See note on 1:18. Both terms describe the state of death. All unrighteous dead will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment; none will escape. All the places that have held the bodies of the unrighteous dead will yield up new bodies suited for hell.
20:14 second death. See note on v. 6.
20:15 lake of fire. See note on 19:20.

What does 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 teach about who takes people out of the world?

Consider the following verse very carefully. Words are very important.

Matthew 24:14 NASB 1977 – Notice: “the gospel of the Kingdom; not the gospel of Christ.”

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”

Are the “rapture” and the “second coming of Christ” the same event, or are they two separate events?

Consider the blessed hope of the appearing of Christ for the rapture of the church. (Titus 2:13).

NASB 1977

13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

The blessed hope of the appearing of Christ for the rapture of the church is that believers in Christ will not be subject to the judgments of God on those “who dwell on the earth” during the tribulation (Revelation 6-19; “seal judgments, trumpet judgments, bowl judgments.”), and will not be subject to the persecutions of the anti-Christ, as they also occur during those Revelation chapters. There is no blessed hope in the appearing of Christ, with His judgments being readied, for the earth dwellers who will be left behind after the rapture occurs.

Consider the Earth Dwellers

It is important to know the identity of the people who will undergo the judgments of God, which will be poured out on “all of those” that are living throughout the whole world. These people, which were “left behind” from the rapture of the church, will not have been born again at the time of the catching up of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). They will be present during the time of the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel” (the time when the tribulation occurs) and will endure the judgments of God and will suffer from the oppressiveness of the anti-Christ” (Seventieth Week of Daniel – Daniel 9:27).

The events of this passage take place when the Great Tribulation is taking place, with the Judgments of God being poured out on the earth, during which time the anti-Christ is persecuting those left-behind people who have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior; their identity is “earth dwellers,” and “those who dwell on the earth,” (identifying scriptures are listed below in the comments section).

Notice in Rev 14:6 that the angel is proclaiming the gospel of Christ to “those who dwell on the earth.” Let’s consider the belief of many people who the church will not be raptured from the earth, but will remain on earth during the tribulation. But, here is the problem with such a teaching. If those people who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have been born again, and find themselves on earth during the tribulation, but still must have the Gospel preached to them during the tribulation, they are having to accept Christ a second time. None of this scenario makes any sense. Those who will have already accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, prior to the rapture of the church, will have no reason to have the gospel preached to them again. Here is the truth of the matter. Believers in Christ, who have believed the gospel, prior to the rapture, will be taken from the earth, and will not be present during the tribulation. Those people, who have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, will stay behind on earth when the rapture of the church takes place. Those unbelievers will undergo the judgments of God and the oppression of the anti-Christ. God’s mercy will cause the angel to “proclaim the Gospel to those who dwell on the earth,” those of “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6), which are those who are left behind.

The words, “dead in Christ,” (1 Thes 4:16) are key. “Dead in Christ” represents those believers in Christ who died, prior to the catching up/rapture of the saints (believers in Christ). The “dead in Christ,” will be caught up immediately before “we who are alive and remain,” (living believers in Christ) (1 Thes 4:17) who will also be caught up to be with Christ, “and shall always be with the Lord,” (1 Thes 4:17). In Rev 14:13, we see the words, “blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on.” Such a statement refers to the ones who were “left behind,” those who had not accepted Christ as Savior, and had not been born again, prior to the rapture of the church, but who had come to accept His gospel while undergoing the Judgments of God and the torture and oppression of the anti-christ, during the Seventieth Week Of Daniel.

The events of this passage of scripture will take place during the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel.” We have discussed that subject, and will go back to it later, for greater understanding.

It is important for everyone to understand that anyone who has not been born again, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirit, anyone who does not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be among those people who are known as “earth dwellers,” and will be subject to the effects of the bowl judgments. There is no purpose for those of us who have been born again to endure the Judgments of God. Christ is the “bridegroom of all bridegrooms.” No bridegroom, such as Christ, will put His bride (the church/the born again believers in Christ) in the midst of such judgments of God. If there is no rapture of the church, consider the fact that every child will also be the subjects of the judgments.

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Biographies

Signs of the Last Days – Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml

Dr. Renald Showers

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Dr. Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc.

MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Bio – Dr. John MacArthur – https://www.gracechurch.org/Leader/MacArthur/John?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Dr. John F. Walvoord, (1910-2012) long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. He is considered perhaps the world’s foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.
Bio – https://bible.org/users/john-f-walvoord

Dr. Ed Hindson, http://thekingiscoming.com/about-dr-ed-hindson/
Dr. Ed Hindson is the Bible Teacher on The King Is Coming telecast. He is also the Assistant Chancellor, Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies and the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia.

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