Presents the Tell
it like it is! series
OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE BY JESUS CHRIST
Chapter 20 begins after the line of red stars ************* below.
"You're going to be gone anyway at that time".
They also say;
"It's not to be understood yet".
This is odd because the
means to "to reveal" or "unveil" something.
When you unveil anything,
you make it known.
The book of Revelation is a sister book to the book of Daniel in the Old Testament.
Both of these books were written to the people who live in the final generation, of the "latter days".
Daniel was told to, "shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end:" [Daniel 12:4].
He was told by God; "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand." [Daniel 12:10]
The wise are those who study God's word, line upon line, chapter upon chapter, and all these words are wisdom from God.
This is why the wise should understand.
As we study Revelation, let us take a fresh look at the book, and allow God's Word to speak through us. Let's permit the Holy Spirit to allow His words to speak to our hearts which is our minds with understanding.
This chapter covers a time period that most people living on the face of the earth today will live through, and the wise Christian should understand these teachings.
So, be very cautious of any group that would tell you not to study, or to throw away part of God's word. Those are words Satan would use.Caution to students of God;s Word - Please remember two things when using our American Wisdom Series studies:
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
published at http://www.theseason.org/
Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.
Now here is our revised study of: Christopherson's Revelation chapter 20
"The Day of the Lord"
Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation covers the first days of the Millennium, when Jesus Christ comes to earth to establish His kingdom. This chapter runs close to the prophecies of Ezekiel in the last eight (8) chapters of the book of Ezekiel. "Millennium" means "1,000 years", and this period is basically a 1,000 years of teaching and learning.
Jesus Christ will be with us here on earth in His kingdom then. There will be teaching and discipline, and many people saved in this Millennium period. Most of the professing Christians who believe themselves saved today will not be reigning with Christ in the Millennium, because they will throw their inheritance away very soon, when they choose to go whoring after the false-christ, Satan. These people are the ones who believe in the rapture theory. They will chase after the first messiah that appears on earth, and not be part of the wedding between Christ and His bride, the church at the sounding of the seventh trump.
Those who fall into the trap of the rapture theory doctrine can repent and be saved in the Millennium age, because their sin of following the Antichrist was committed in ignorance.
You could even look at the Millennium kingdom as the "time of salvation", for many will accept and follow Christ in the Millennium.
However the period of grace is for this age of the flesh only, for in the Millennium age salvation will be by their works only, as we will see in this chapter.
Because of the great apostasy there may well be more saved out of the Millennium, than during any other period of time.
Revelation 20:1 "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand."
When Satan has completed his five month reign here on earth, the battles of Armageddon and Hamongog have already taken place. Jesus Christ is returning with His army to earth here, and this army is those saints that are already with Him. Those saints that died and went to be with Him as recorded in Ecclesiastes 12:7, for though their bodies were laid in the ground, their souls return instantly to the Father, and not though any rapture.
On that first day of the Millennium age, both the beast and the false prophet are destroyed. The beast is in two parts, the first part being the one world political system that gives way to the second beast, Satan's one world religious system. These systems of support will not be brought back to support Satan at the end of the millennium when he is relesed for a short time to test the walking dead. The walking dead being all of those souls who did not receive eternal life at Christ's return (the first resurrection) and therefore; still have mortal souls. [See Revelation 19:20 where both of these beasts are destroyed.]
I believe this angel to be Michael, for it's Michael and his angels that control Satan. This chain that Michael will have is a locking, sealing and confining device. Satan will be locked away, and his influence will be totally absent during this 1000 year time of teaching.
This is why every knee, even the Kenites, will bow to Christ. Satan, their father, will be in the pit and can not influence their thinking.
"Revelation 20:2 "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"
"The dragon" was Satan's title in the world that was, and just as his title of "the Antichrist", or "instead of Christ" during the last five months of this earth age of the flesh. Dragon is the title he wears as he rules over the ten kings and seven regions or continents. [see Revelation 12 and 13]
The "serpent" was his roll in the Garden of Eden when he "wholly seduced" Eve, and she bore his offspring Cain, the father of the Kenites. The "Devil" was his title given in Matthew 13:39 as Jesus identified the enemy as the "Devil". Satan will have no influence in this Millennial time of teaching.
In Isaiah 14:12-16, Satan was given another name,"Lucifer", which means "morning star" or "bright star". It tells us that people will walk by the pit and see Satan bound and say, "Is this the man that deceived the world?" And they will wonder how they could have been so deceived through this earth age into believing Satan to be the true Messiah. They were led by Margaret MacDonald's "rapture theory", which gave them a false hope, and their lack of knowledge of God's full plan led them into believing Satan to be the Jesus Christ.
"Revelation 20:3 "And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
When this time of the great deception is on earth, it will be during the five month period of Revelation 9:5,10, and the Antichrist will then deceive all nations and all peoples of the earth except the elect. When the millennium is over, Satan will be released to try to deceive the people all over again, and many will follow him just as they did in this earth age.
Why would God turn Satan loose a short season? Because this will be a time of testing for those claiming to be Christians who were deceived by him in this earth age. After the thousand year teaching and testing, some will still seek after Satan, and they will be gathered by the angels as tares [see Matthew 13] to be burned with him. (TO BE NO MORE, just as is Satan's fate!)
See Live Link to- Ezekiel 28:18-19 Note read the whole 28th chapter.
Matthew 13:40 "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world."
Matthew 13:41 "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity:"
Matthew 13:42 "And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
God is a fair and just God, and when all have been taught and tested after their changing into their spiritual body, there will be no retardation or sickness to be used as an excuse. Every soul will have a sound mind, with good thinking capacity, while observing Jesus Christ in His reign, and Satan in the pit, then with full under-standing, every soul will choose for himself (herself) whom they will follow. This is not their being given a second chance, for many in this earth age simply have not been taught the truth of God's eternal plan, so they have had no real first chance.
Revelation 20:4 "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Though their bodies are in the tombs and have decayed, millions of Christian brothers and sisters have lost their lives for the witness of Jesus Christ over the past two thousand years. Also receiving rewards are those that have not bowed to the Antichrist in the five month period of deception coming up shortly, nor did they take his mark through the deception, nor accepted his ways (image) in their minds. If you believe in the rapture theory, you will worship Satan. Mark 13 and Matthew 24 makes it clear that the Antichrist will come first. The "rapture theory" teaches that you will be lifted out by the first messiah, and that first person to declare himself the messiah is Satan when he comes to earth as the spurious messiah, i.e. the instead-of-christ.
Ezekiel 3:8, 9 tells us "our forehead" is our mind. The seal that is in our forehead is what we believe to be true in our minds. The "mark of the beast" is the knowledge you will possess in your mind. What you believe as truth will either cause you to be deceived, or prevent you from being deceived by the first (false) christ into thinking he is the true messiah.
Revelation 20:5 "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."
If you are saved and make a stand against the Antichrist and his deceptions, you will be granted eternal life and reign with Christ for 1,000 years.
Those who did take the "mark of the beast", their souls will not, I repeat, will not have eternal spiritual life, and live again until the Millennium age is over and finished. I Corinthians 15:50-52 describes the mystery of the two bodies. They will have a spiritual body the same as everyone else in God's Millennium kingdom except theirs will still be mortal; this is why they are referred to as the walking dead.
What are we talking about when it says "the rest of the dead"? The difference in taking part in the first resurrection or not taking part is hinged on whether or not they were deceived by the Antichrist. Remember, John has been taken in the spirit to the last day before Christ's return. Revelation 20 is talking about that specific day when the last trump sounds, and Jesus Christ our Lord is returning with His saints to earth. This verse is not addressing those who died 50 or 100 years ago, or any time of any century prior to the sound of the seventh trump. It is addressing the generation (our generation) who will live in the time of the seven seals, and take Satan's mark (the mark of the beast) and give service to him. It is those who will spend the 1000 years as souls, waiting for the final judgment at the end of the millennium.
I Corinthians 15:52 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."
The kingdom of God is wherever Jesus Christ is, and flesh and blood cannot exist in that kingdom. When Christ returns for the Millennium age here on earth, flesh and blood bodies will no longer exist.
I Corinthians 15:51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,"
This is a mystery that Paul is going to reveal to us that had been hidden until Paul writing. This mystery concerns what happens at a particular point in time, for at that instant, there will be no more death. "Sleep" as used here, is # 2838 in the Strong's Greek Dictionary; "Koimesis, koy'-may-sis; from 2837, to put to sleep." We read in # 2837; "Koimao, Koy-mah'-o; to put to sleep, to decease, to be dead."
So a time is coming when all the people on the face of the earth will never see death in their flesh bodies. This is the mystery that Paul is going to tell us; when this event shall take place.
I Corinthians 15:52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
On the first day of the Millennium age, the "Kingdom of Heaven" will be with us on earth. You cannot enter that kingdom age in a flesh body. Therefore, it is written in verse 52 that all will be changed, in the wink of an eye, and at the last trump (seventh trump). When that seventh trump sounds, everyone on earth will be changed to an incorruptible body. Yes a incorruptible body, but some will now become immortal and some will still be mortal.
The body a person will then be in doesn't have anything to do with their soul, or its condition. Your physical body and your spiritual body (soul) have nothing to do with the condition of one another. Your soul is your inner man that will exist in your current flesh body, and either at death or at the seventh trump, will be changed and enter into a new body (spirit body) which will not be subject to the decay this flesh body is subject to.
So, to understand what will occur in the Millennium age, you must understand that instantly following the seventh trump, all flesh bodies simply do not have life any more. Not one person will exist in the flesh. Every person will have the same capabilities and all will have the understanding to be taught without Satan's influence.
However, only those saints of God who have died in the flesh, or who lived and stood against Satan will take part in the first resurrection. By that I mean, will have an active part with Jesus Christ in His kingdom and reign, as he rules and teaches the earth for one thousand years, and live in their immortal soul bodies.
I Corinthians 15:53 "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
The word "mortal" as used here in the Greek manuscripts never applies to a physical body, but it applies to your soul. So we see our physical bodies are gone at the seventh trump, and the mortal (soul) must put on immortality. That soul becomes your existence in the Millennium age. When the time of judgment comes at the end of the Millennium, those who were not part of the first resurrection to eternal life, i.e. the walking dead, will then enter eternity with Christ, (the second resurrection), or will cease to exist -- will be destroyed, will be no more. At that time even the memory of their existence will be eliminated. This is serious business, my fellow human being, and you better know it!
If you enter the Millennium with a mortal (liable to die) soul, by following the Antichrist in ignorance, you must be an overcomer in the Millennium, or your soul will not put on immortality, and it will die,
and be no more.
Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
We saw that those who took part in the first resurrection were those who died in the Lord, and those who did not yield to Satan, the Antichrist during his "one world" reign. Those who did not take the Antichrist's "mark of the beast", these are the blessed and holy ones. All of these people already will possess an immortal soul during the Millennium.
The "second death" is after the second time of testing at the end of the Millennium age after Satan is released for a short season. The saints of Christ, and overcomers of the Antichrist's reign in this earth age of the flesh will not go through the second testing, or resurrection, with those who still have mortal souls living in the Millennium age.
What are you going to do in the Millennium as a saint of Christ? You're going to be priests of God, and reign with Him. You are going to teach and oversee, and judge those mortal souls, as they will learn and follow all directives of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 20:7 "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison."
When everyone has been taught who are in their mortal (liable to die) soul bodies, then Satan will be loosed. Those teachings were given under perfect conditions, and all will have bodies with no ailments, perfect thought, and no temptations by Satan. In fact, all will even know he was the deceiver of this earth age. Their understanding will be perfect.
Then Satan is released again.
God is a God of love, and His love is shown by his great patience and understanding of the shortcomings of mankind. There will be no one who goes to hell, and is burned by ignorance. If someone follows Satan then, they deserve hell fire, but, there will be many that will still follow Satan even with the full knowledge of the truth in their minds.
Revelation 20:8 "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."
"Gog and Magog" means from "the east to the west". And we see Satan will cover the earth again for the deception of all mankind. Can you believe that Satan will still have his followers and hoards of unbelievers ready to give battle for him. After 1,000 years of teaching, the tribulation of the seven trumpets, and visually seeing Satan as the fallen one (deceived of the earth) in prison, they still follow him in large numbers.
Think of the great seductive powers Satan has to use against you, when you tend to let your guard down, and disrobe from the armor of God. That armor must be continually in place and cover all your parts that Satan will attack, which Paul tells us to have on and in place in Ephesians 6:10-20.
Revelation 20:9 "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
This beloved city is Jerusalem where Jesus Christ and His temple will be at the close of the Millennium age. It is here where the glory of God is, and God's fire from heaven will come down to devour Satan and all his followers.
This is the "great day of God" when the full god-head comes to dwell on earth with His saints forever. This is different from the "day of the Lord", which started 1,000 years earlier, that took place at the seventh trump when Jesus Christ came and set up His kingdom for the Millennium.
Revelation 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
In Ezekiel 28:16-19, Satan is promised that he will be destroyed from within and turned to ashes. Once a soul is turned to ashes, it is finished. Satan can cause harm to your flesh and blood body but only God can destroy your soul.
Revelation 20:11 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away: and there was found no place for them."
With the God-head present on earth, and the judgment of God on all those lost souls, there was no place for Satan and his hoards of followers to exist.
Revelation 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Notice there are two sets of books here. The first called "The Books" is to judge the unsaved. The second is the "Book of Life" where only the names of the saved are recorded. The saved have had their sins removed from God's judgment and booted out. Though they were committed, the blood of Christ has covered them from being used against us.
Notice how all souls are judged "according to their works". Does it talk about faith here after the Millennium? No. The "great white throne judgment" will not take faith into consideration. The first resurrection takes faith into consideration. That was back on "the Lord's day". That was Jesus Christ's "great day". On the last day of the Millennium age souls are judged by works only.
Why are you judged for works only? Faith is something hoped for but unseen. You don't see Jesus Christ on earth today, you will see his wonderful works, and be led by Him and His Spirit in the Millennium age. Today He is in heaven and not walking on this earth. However, in the millennium, He will be on earth, and all will have full intelligence, with full recall and will be taught. The Heavenly Father honors all those with grace, that have accepted His Son by faith through repentance without Christ's physical presence here on earth, if you believed in His Word.
To those who are not under grace in the Millennium, their salvation will be only through and by their works. For faith doesn't exist to them. There will be no ignorance, physical handicap, for you will see, know, and experience Our Lord first hand.
If you follow the Antichrist, the first Christ to appear, you will have forfeited your salvation in this earth age. You will not be under the grace of God, and your works will be the only thing that matters on the last day of the Millennium, the day of judgment. They will be judged by works alone, for they have seen Jesus Christ, and are without excuse. The "rapture theory" leaves believers defenseless against Satan, for they will be taken in by Satan's deceptions.
American Wisdom Series Editor's Note: Many a preacher, or professing Christian, will tell you that when you confess your sins and accept Christ as your savior, your salvation is sealed. That is true, it is sealed by Christ and will not be taken from you UNLESS YOU BREAK THE SEAL BY WORSHIPING SATAN WHEN HE COMES TO EARTH CLAIMING HE IS GOD, which proves to Christ that you really weren't committed enough to him to study and really know him! You didn't learn to tell the difference between what is Holy (Christ) and what is profane (Satan).
Revelation 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
The sea is the massive number of mortal souls that follow Satan. These are those souls who did not overcome, There it is again! "According to their works."
Don't be frightened by this! For we are now under grace, and the Antichrist has not yet arrived. You are going to face the truth now, or be judged by your works after the thousand year Millennium age. Eternity is a long time, so much so that our minds simply cannot comprehend it.
To refuse Christ at the end of the Millennium age will commit you to destruction.
Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
This "second death" is also the final death and the sinner's soul will be turned to ashes from within. Death and even the thought of death will be no more with us.
I Corinthins 15:54 "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
Following this death of the mortal soul, after the final judgment, only victory remains. Those of the mortal soul will be so blotted out from the minds of their saved loved ones that even the remembrance of their existence will not exist. There will be no tears or sorrow for them by loved ones, because it will be as if that soul had never existed and been created in the first place.
I Corinthians 15:55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
There will be no sting of death following the second resurrection, for all souls living then will be eternal and immortal.
I Corinthians 15:56 "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
I Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Hebrews 2:15 "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;"
Jesus said he came to earth to destroy death, which is the devil.
Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
It is important that we understand the chronological order of the events that will occur, and the physical and spiritual bodies that we will be in during each of these times. The very condition, and life of your soul relies on your understanding of these events. For by not understanding them, and chasing after man's traditions, assures that you will follow the Antichrist and think he is the true Christ. This is a must before we can understand the Millennium age.It's time you learn about it, for you will be in it very shortly
We come now to the 20th chapter of Revelation at which point the 7th Trump has sounded and the true Jesus Christ has returned with great power and glory, bringing with Him His army of saints. Babylon the Great, i.e. the one world political system and the great whore along with Satan's role as the false-christ, the spurious messiah, has been destroyed forever and ever. And as we learned in our chapter 19, ALL flesh has been "changed" and everyone, both the good and the bad are in their spiritual bodies.
So it is the first day of the Millennium and John, who remember in Rev. 1:16 was taken there for an eye witness account, gives us another advanced news report, this time concerning the fate of Satan during the Millennium. Can't you just visualize the headlines?
THE MILLENNIUM PRESS
"SATAN IMPRISONED, BEGINS SERVING 1000 YEAR SENTENCE"
John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was present today as Michael came down from heaven and appeared on Satan's doorstep in Jerusalem with a warrant from the King of kings for his arrest. Satan has been residing in the temple in Jerusalem for the last 5 months (ever since Michael cast him from heaven) where he has been impersonating Jesus Christ and claiming he is the Messiah come. He also is being held responsible for orchestrating the murder of God's two witnesses, a despicable crime, which he has been actually celebrating with his cronies for the last 3 1/2 days. Here's John description of the first thing he saw :
It must have been pretty obvious to John when he saw the equipment, with the "BP" label on it, which the angel had with him, that Satan was about to be shackled and locked back up in the Bottomless Pit. John continues:Rev. 20:1
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
It would seem that Michael needed no assistance as he apparently just grabbed the evil crook by the shoulders, threw him mercilessly up against the wall and shackled him with the binding chain. It has also been reported that because of the manhandling of Satan by this very powerful angel that some folks are referring to him as the "Pit Bull". And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Also, we were not able to determine from John's report whether he was close enough to hear what the angel said to Satan, but we believe it was something like "OK chump, the party's over! Let's go!" John did not report that the angel read Satan his rights because having already been judged and sentenced to die, he has none.
John then gives this account of the actual incarceration:
So as John reports, for the next 1000 years Satan will be imprisoned and not permitted to have any contact whatsoever, either by person or by spirit, with anyone outside his confines. However, we know from a related article submitted thousands of years ago by reporting agent Isaiah that Satan will be visible throughout the Millennium as a reminder to all of what can happen. Here's part of Isaiah's transcript concerning Satan's casting into the pit: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
And so it shall be that people will walk by the "pit" during the Millennium, on their way to Discipline Classes, and shake their heads in unbelief to think that this poor slob could have perpetrated worldwide religious deception and political control. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
Yes, it's fun to imagine how it might happen, but happen it will! We already knew who the dragon and that old serpent was. We also knew from 2 Pet. 3:8 that 1000 years to the Lord is a one day, so that the Day of the Lord is 1000 years.
But the one thing we didn't discuss is "why will Satan be released at the end of the Millennium"? I'm sure you realize if you've studied this Book of Revelation from the beginning with us that Satan is coming to this earth disguised as Jesus Christ (and I'll bet you know that he comes before the true Christ). This final generation then will be tested by the false messiah, right? Those who fail, who do not overcome and who don't partake of the first resurrection, will go through the Millennium and be taught of and with discipline for 1000 years, which is how much time they have to get their act together. After they have been taught there will be another test, a final exam if you will, which they must pass before they can receive their diploma of eternal life. That test is Satan's release once again upon the world, but this time without the political beast and the role of spurious messiah. And no, these souls are not given a second chance because they never came to a full knowledge of the truth in this generation because of the "famine" (Amos 8:11), and as such never had a prayer of a first chance.
Next we will learn what reward comes with being part of the first resurrection.
Thrones, you know, are where rulers, the ones who wear crowns, i.e. the ones in authority who exercise judgment, sit. And there are two groups in this verse who sit upon them. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(1) The first group are the martyrs down through the ages, those who have been beheaded, i.e. killed or executed for the (a) the witness of Jesus, and (b) for the Word of God. It would include the two witnesses also.
(2) The second group are those of this final generation who had the seal of God in their foreheads and who overcame the beast.
Note: In our previous studies we've covered in great detail the beast (Satan), his image (role as Jesus), his mark upon their foreheads (deception), and his mark in their hands (doing his work).
Now, did you read the last phrase in verse 4, "and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years"? What an honor and a privilege! If you ever are in want of some encouragement to continue to fight the good fight, then just refer to Rev. 20:4. For if you are one of God's elect then you will be part of the first resurrection at His coming, and you will reign with Jesus Christ for the entire 1000 years during the Millennium.
But if you are not part of the first resurrection then you are part of "the remainder" who are called "the dead" and you must wait until the end of the Millennium. You will then be tested that short season by Satan who will be released temporarily, and then you will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment when the books are opened (vs. 12). Only then can you be part of the Second Resurrection and also receive eternal life. Until then you are called "dead" because you are still subject to the second death, which is the destruction of your soul in the lake of fire (vs. 14). Here is Christ documenting that there are two deaths, one of the flesh, and one of the soul in the lake of fire: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
And of course to have your soul "destroyed" is to "perish", which is taught in the most quoted verse in God's Word, John 3:16.Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
So you'll either receive eternal life at the first or second resurrection, or you'll suffer the second death, i.e. perish in the lake of fire.John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Let's now go back to Rev. 20:5.
Understand that we are
now in the Millennium! There are no more flesh people! Everyone has
changed. And John is telling us what's going on! The first death (of
flesh) and the first resurrection (to eternal life) is over! So the
(who are alive in their spiritual bodies but still having mortal souls)
in the Millennium means those
who are "spiritually dead". To "live" then is to receive "eternal
So the "dead" cannot "live" until the thousand years are finished, i.e.
non of them can receive the gift of eternal life until judgment day
the Millennium, which is the second resurrection! If you don't quite
yet, wait until we finish this chapter and it should become clear in
mind regarding the "dead".
To be part of that first resurrection is a truly an Unfathomable Blessing! If you have SEEN the PICTURES of heaven and of the glory of our Father and His throne described so far, and if you will follow with us to the end of this great Book of Revelation and SEE the beauty of the NEW JERUSALEM coming down out of heaven, then you still cannot fathom the blessing of being part of the first resurrection. Our feeble brains just cannot imagine how wonderful it is!Rev. 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Now read again chapter 20 verse 6. Since eternal life is granted to those who are part of the First Resurrection, then the second death, the lake of fire, does not apply to them! Their souls cannot be destroyed because they have already received the gift of eternal life. And they shall be PRIESTS and REIGN with Christ throughout the Millennium.
Next we will document from the Old Testament and see in greater detail the reign of these Priests of God and of Christ. But for now, just stop everything and take a deep breath and consider the following:.
If you have eyes to see and ears to hear then you have been and will be reading about YOU, a participant in the first resurrection! And if you can only even briefly comprehend the enormous reality of all this, that it WILL HAPPEN TO YOU as it is written, then your faith will be greatly increased, your fears and anxieties will be greatly decreased, and you will be overcome with love and thankfulness for our Father who loves His children so much.
Now we continue in what is often called the Millennium Chapter, because the events that are being described are happening during and after the 1000 year reign of Christ and His saints which commences with the sound of the 7th Trump.
We learned in Rev. 20:6 that those who are part of the first resurrection will be Priests of God and shall reign with Christ during the 1000 years. But once again, as we have seen throughout Revelation, this is not new knowledge if you are familiar with all of God's Word. You see, the last 8 chapters of the Book of Ezekiel contain more information about the Millennium than does the Book of Revelation. And so we can read even more detail about the 1000 year reign of God's elect, who are called the "zadok" in Hebrew, which means the "just" or "justified ones" (Rom. 8). Here's Ezekiel's account in chapter 44 concerning the Priests during the Millennium:
Live Links to- Ezekiel Chapters 40-44 Within The Millennial Temple
Those being taught by these priests obviously couldn't discern between the false messiah and the true Messiah, the profane and the holy, before the 7th Trump sounded, could they?Ezekiel 44:23
And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
AMAZING! We just read of this: And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.
But here's some detail that we didn't learn of in Revelation. And it answers a very common question often asked: "Will we recognize our loved ones in the Millenium?" The answer is yes, of course. (After all, we were created after the image of God and the angels, the host of heaven, the sons of God, i.e. ourselves. So we will all look like "ourselves" after which we were created in the image of.)Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Again, how many times must we realize that these "dead" people are alive and going to discernment classes during the Millennium? They are "spiritually dead". Even your loved ones if you are unfortunate enough to have some who don't make the "first cut" at the 7th Trump, are called "dead", again because they have mortal souls and are liable to die the second death. You probably call some of them "dead beats" now, though hopefully not to their faces. Well...? Be nice. And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves.
Let's continue with chapter 20 of the Book of the Unveiling, the book that let's us SEE behind the VEIL!
We are now going to be taken behind that veil to the End of the Millennium, and we must "transport" our minds to that time with the understanding of those things which have been revealed to us thus far. Remember, everyone is in an incorruptible, spiritual body. Christ and His zadok have been reigning for the 1000 years during which time Satan has been imprisoned. Everyone now fully understands God Word and they have been taught the "difference" and how to "discern" between the unclean (Satan's ways) and the clean (God's way). They have all seen many times the video replays of the flesh age and the results of following the unclean path.
So you would think that most everyone would SEE and desire in their hearts to follow God and love Him and live the clean way of life that produces happiness and joy. That is our Father's desire, but there is some sad news in the next two verses.
It is soon time for the Great White Throne judgment of God. Christ now let's Satan loose to test those who followed after him before.Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And so Satan shall once again run "to and fro" and "up and down" in the earth gathering together all who will still follow him, although as you will recall he will not be afforded the one world political system or his former role as the false-christ. This beast and false prophet were destroyed for ever and ever (Rev. 19:20). And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
But as incredible as it may seem, and as sad as it is, the reality is that there will still be a lot of people who will follow Satan, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. So this verse documents the justification and the reason for the release of Satan and the "testing". All one can say is that the heart of the wicked and the kenite is a very hard thing to change.
The statements "in the four corners" and "Gog and Magog" simply mean all those nations outside the Holy City. Remember we are at the end of the Millennium and this Gog and Magog is not to be confused with the pre-millennial Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Here it means in both directions, East and West, from Jerusalem into all the earth, i.e. into all four corners. (For further documentation see notes in the Companion Bible on Rev. 20:8 and Ezek. 38:2)
When Satan has gathered all who will join him and they have compassed Jerusalem then it's lake of fire time for them. No need to even open up the book of works on these folks for they have totally and completely failed the final exam. They will not graduate into eternity. Bye! And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Here we come to the favorite verse of Dante, who gave us graphic descriptions, complete with illustrations, of an everlasting Burning Inferno, known as Dante's Inferno, where poor souls who didn't repent weep and wail and writhe in pain and agony and torment forever and ever while the saints sitting on the clouds with their harps look upon them and sing the refrain "Burn, suckers, burn, we told you so, we told you so"! Some concept of heaven, eh? And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Well it ain't so! First of all, it is documented time after time after time in the Bible that the fate of the wicked is to PERISH, to die the second death, which is the DESTRUCTION OF THE SOUL! We've already quoted John 3:16 in the last study as well as Christ's own words in Mat. 10. But let's read again His words:
And how about Satan's soul? Did we just read that Satan will be tormented for ever and ever? No we did not, because we read an idiom of another language translated into our English which completely lost the meaning. It would be like translating the English expression "She got cold feet", meaning "She lost her nerve" to do something, into French. But in the French language there is no such expression and so the best the readers of the expression can determine is that the actual temperature of her feet much approach that of ice!Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The root of the word "torment" in verse 10 is the Greek word basanos from where we get our word "basis", and it means (through the notion of going to the bottom). But the whole expression together simply means that Satan will be consumed, debased, gone, day and night (for all eternity), forever and ever (to be no more).
For further documentation, let's look at a second witness, another account of Satan's ultimate fate, found in the 28th chapter of Ezekiel. Here's how he DIES! He perishes by fire!
Always remember from the last verse in Hebrews chapter 12 that our Father is a consuming fire. He will destroy Satan and turn him into ashes forever and ever.Ezekiel 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
Does that mean he'll burn for ever and ever? Of course not.
Satan will BE NO MORE! You just read it! His very name in Greek is "Apollyon" which means PERISH. That is why he is called the "Son of Perdition", i.e. the son who will perish! All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
The same fate that awaits all of us who don't have part in the first nor the second resurrections.
Do you realize that Satan has succeeded in taking a few mistranslated verses and created an almost universally accepted Christian doctrine so heinous that it even defies the nature of human love. We have laws in human society against torturing both animals and people. Even a parent of a child who became a despicable evil murderer could not imagine nor accept and would certainly never decree that the child be heinously singed with fire, poked with hot coals, and roasted in an oven. What parent, brother or sister could look upon one of their own being treated as such? They could perhaps accept the humane execution of the child, to put him or her out their torment for ever and ever, for the protection and good of society. And guess what? God says in Jer. 32:35 that He never ever thought of torturing children in fire! Such is the doctrine of Molech! NEVER EVER! And yet today it is a doctrine in most Christian churches. But it is a tradition of men like Dante and not of God's Word!
And as it is written, Death is exactly the punishment God decrees for the murderer in the flesh body, and as it is written, Death is exactly the punishment God decrees for the wicked in the spirit body. And just as we don't have to put up with the evil (flesh) person anymore on earth when they are executed (the first death), so we will not have to put up with the wicked anymore for all eternity when they are executed (the second death).
This is the last day of this earth age and the full God head comes to earth. We'll read of it in detail in the next chapter. And this verse should remind us of that which we read in Rev. 6:14 "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." It is the end of this present heaven and earth age, the 2nd heaven and earth age, and the beginning of the 3rd which is for all eternity.Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Do dead people stand? This is not talking about resurrection, this is the coming before the Judge! Stand up and approach the bench please! And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Remember where we are? We are at the end of the Millennium. There are no people in flesh bodies nor are there any souls in the ground. The "dead" referred to here are the spiritually dead who are about to be judged from the books and receive their rewards according to their actions! And their last actions recorded in the books just before the Millennium were to worship the beast and his image! God will pick it up from there.
And so it is more than obvious that these books that are opened are the Books of Works. You see, Almighty God keeps perfect records of all His children's activities? Thank God for this dispensation of grace and for repentance whereby we can have our "activities", our sins, deleted from the books. Also, remember that those of the first resurrection are not subject to the judgment of the second resurrection and/or the second death. We read that in verse 6.
Notice too that the Book of Life was also opened. This book already has the names of God's elect in this generation written in it. In fact, their names were written in that Book of Life a long time ago, before the foundation of this world. Remember we read of it in Rev. 13:8? All those of this generation whose names are not written in it will worship Satan as Jesus.
Let's return to the judgment.Rev. 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
This verse simply says what the last phrase makes obvious. That every single person on earth who is spiritually dead, i.e. has a mortal soul and is subject to the judgment, will be brought forth and judged according to their works. There will be no "plea bargaining" and no "defense attorneys" will be permitted in the courtroom except when it is their turn to stand before the Judge to defend themselves! (That ought to be really something when they try to parse and redefine the Word). NEXT!Rev. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
That's right. It's all over, all death and dying, and all the evil rudiments and wicked people will be consumed by the consuming fire, and they will be gone forever and ever. As Paul would say: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
The only victory comes from having your name written in the Book of Life!1 Cor. 15:55
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Otherwise you will be no more!Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
As for the rest of God's children whose names were written in the Book of Life? They lived happily ever after!
The Millennium is over. The final period, the final time of salvation has come to an end. The great white throne judgment has been concluded and the books have been closed. Our Father has destroyed all evil rudiments and souls in the lake of fire and we shall begin the wonderful, peaceful eternity.
And so the question is often asked "Can anything or anyone rebel again as did Satan in the 1st earth age? In other words, how do we know there won't be another Satan?" The answer is contained in understanding the plan of God itself. No, it can never happen again. Why? Because all freewill souls will have exercised their freewill, i.e. made their decisions as to who they will follow, and will have been thoroughly tested to the point of irreversibility. The wicked will have proven they won't repent and the saints will have proven to always be faithful. Have you not read of the testing of all the saints from Noah to Abraham to Christ Himself to You (well maybe you keep a diary)? So you now know why James says in chapter 1 verse 2 of his book, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;". Hey, you get to "ace" another pop quiz!
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