Friday, May 30, 2014


I think of the opening scripture of this post as a reading of the will, the official declaration of our inheritance in Christ.

Revelation 21:6–7 “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

This is a declaration that God’s plan has been fulfilled—It is done!  He declares Himself to be the “Alpha and Omega”—the beginning and the ending, the originating Source and the One who brings things to fulfillment, the One in whom we have our being. 

Jesus follows this statement with a declaration that He is the Source of the water of life and freely gives to all who thirst.  When looking at the Jewish New Testament Commentary, I was reminded that just as with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, I think the reference is to spiritual life in response to spiritual thirst.

John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

This fountain is a free gift for the use of all who dwell there. 

I liked my friend Dixie’s thoughts in reference to this section:  “We cannot be overcomers unless we are thirsty—for righteousness, for Jesus, and for the filling of the Holy Spirit.  If we are truly thirsty for these, we will be overcomers—and we must be overcomers.”

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

John 7:37 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit….”

The terminology used in this section takes us back to the thoughts in the letters to the churches.  In those verses we learned that the overcomer is one who listens to and heeds (acts on) the message of God’s truth.  One who has true faith will ACT accordingly. 

1John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

1 John 2:15–17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

It is our faith in God that equips us to overcome the world and all that is associated with sin—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  As overcomers, we get to enjoy God’s blessings as part of His family.

Sadly, there is a contrasting truth.  There will be those that choose the ways of the world and reject the authority and salvation of God in Jesus and are described in the next verse.

Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Frankly, as I look over the list, all who end up in hell would fall in the categories of the fearful and unbelieving (faithless—as shown below).  What is the difference between them?  Maybe those who are fearful are those who knew the truth but were afraid to go against the crowd, and the unbelieving are those who just refused to believe the truth at all.  Sadly, that number will be far more than those who choose Jesus.

Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Once you choose not to accept the truth, you open your life to the development of the other sins mentioned.  All the other sins we consider heinous (or at least used to) follow after the first two because they are actually rooted in one’s rejection of God. 

Fearful – timid, faithless.
Unbelieving - that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever.
Abominable - from a (presumed) derivative of bde÷w bdeo (to stink); to be disgusted, i.e. (by implication) detest (especially of idolatry):—abhor, abominable.
Murderers - a murderer (always of criminal (or at least intentional) homicide.
Whoremongers - a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e. (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine):—fornicator.
Sorcerers - a druggist (“pharmacist”) or poisoner, i.e. (by extension) a magician.
Idolators - an image- (servant or) worshipper (literally or figuratively):—idolater.
Liars - untrue, i.e. erroneous, deceitful, wicked:—false.

No matter how often or how foolishly and boldly the Rob Bell’s of this world deny its reality; those who reject the provision of God in Jesus will have their part in hell—“the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.”

(to be continued…)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


In the last post John records the creation of the new heaven and earth.  Amazing as that must be, John doesn’t even stop to give us a description.  It seems that the appearance of the New Jerusalem is even more beautiful, the central gem of beauty of the new creation.  Fittingly, John compares the holy city to a “bride adorned for her husband.”

Revelation 21:2–3 “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Jerusalem of old had been chosen as the dwelling place of God with men…

Isaiah 2:3 “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

Joel 3:16–17 “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.”

…and the new Jerusalem is to be God’s eternal dwelling place with man.  Though we will get to enjoy the whole of God’s new creation, the new Jerusalem will be our “home address” so to speak.  This is the city for which the patriarchs identified in the “hall of faith” were looking.  It’s a city for all believers.

Hebrews 11:8-16 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God…. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth….But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

Finally, we will experience the kind of fellowship with God that was intended from creation—except this time fellowship will not be broken.  We will enjoy the never-ending joy and blessings of true fellowship with God rooted in a relationship of unconditional love.  His people will finally understand and completely embrace the truth that God’s way is the best and His will an expression of His love.   

“God himself”— Moses wanted to see God and was only allowed to see His backside.  I think this is the point where ALL men will be able to see and fellowship with the Father—face to face.

Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

John next reveals a precious promise; God will wipe away all tears.  What a wonderful promise!  No more tears—no death, no sorrow, no pain, no regrets!  I can hardly wait!! 
Isaiah prophesied of this blessing:  Isaiah 25:8 “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”

Revelation 21:5 “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

The next person to speak from the throne I think must be Jesus, the Creator, as declared by scripture. 

Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him….”

John 1:1–3 & 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Jesus declares that He has made everything “fresh.”  Then He speaks directly to John and tells him to “write.”  He didn’t have to go into more detail.  John knew He was being told to describe for others what He had witnessed.  John is told to emphasize that all he has heard and witnessed is true (not concealing) and faithful (trustworthy, sure).

(to be continued…)

Saturday, May 24, 2014


This post introduces a section that begins to describe the wonderful onset of an eternal existence with no taint of sin allowed.  It will be a time when God’s will is done “on earth as it is in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:9-10 “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”)  As you will see, however, its onset follows a spectacular beginning.

Revelation 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

The expanded Greek by Kenneth Wuest adds insight:  “…a heaven new in quality and an earth new in quality….”

The following verses appear to be referencing the same event:

Isaiah 51:6 “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.”

Isaiah 65:17 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

Hebrews 1:10-12 “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

2Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

In Isaiah 51 the Hebrew for “vanish away” describes it as “to rub to pieces or pulverize; intransitively, to disappear as dust.”  The earth, according to the Hebrew, will “wear out, decay, waste” just like a piece of clothing will over time—just like our own body does.  In fact, the verses in Hebrews support this thought.

Isaiah 65 emphasizes the thought in verse four (upcoming)—things from the original creation and time on earth will be erased from our memory.  How comforting!

Peter’s words bring to mind many questions regarding the previous thoughts about heaven and earth’s passing.  He indicates that the heavens will disappear “whizzingly, with a crash” and that all the elements that make up the heavens and earth will melt (to the point of liquid) because of great fire.  In the new heavens and new earth righteousness will dwell—be a permanent resident.  The description here is much more violent in description as compared to the other verses.

Noise - whizzingly, i.e. with a crash:—with a great noise
Melt -  to “loosen” (literally or figuratively):—break (up), destroy, dissolve,
(un-)loose, melt, put off
Heat – to set on fire
Dissolved in v 11- same as melt in v 10
Melt in v 12 - to liquefy:—melt.
Dwelleth - to house permanently, i.e. reside

Because of the decay and wasting away of the heavens and earth caused by the curse of sin, God will destroy the old one by fire and create a new one from its ashes.  At least, that is how I rectify these ideas.  Maybe this will be the same type of creation as occurred in Genesis between the time of Satan’s fall and the creation of earth for mankind.  (See my notes on Genesis 1 at

Again, Joseph Seiss provides some food for thought:  “The dissolving of which Peter is made to speak, is really a deliverance rather than a destruction. The word he uses is the same which the Savior employs where he says of the colt, “Loose him;” and of Lazarus when he came forth with his death-wrappings, “Loose him, and let him go;” and of the four angels bound at the Euphrates, “Loose them;” and of the Devil, “He must be loosed a little season.” It is the same word which John the Baptist used when he spoke of his unworthiness to unloose the Savior’s shoestrings, and which Paul used when he spoke of being “loosed from a wife.” It is simply absurd to attempt to build a doctrine of annihilation on a word which admits of such applications. The teaching of the Scriptures is, that the creation is at present in a state of captivity, tied down, bound, “not willing, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope;” and the dissolving of all these things, of which Peter speaks, is not the destruction of them, but the breaking of their bonds, the loosing of them, the setting of them free again to become what they were originally meant to be, their deliverance.”

There is a verse in Colossians that tells us that God is the glue that holds everything together.

Colossians 1:17 “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.”

Maybe this is a reference to God letting go for a moment only to speak the word to bring it back together as a “new” creation.  I found an article by Lambert Dolphin who reasons it as follows:

The nucleus of the atom contains positively charged and neutral particles-to use a simplistic model. Mutual electrostatic repulsion between the like-positive protons would drive the nucleus apart if it were not for the "strong force" which binds the nucleus together….Similarly, accelerated electrons circling the nucleus should quickly radiate all their energy away and fall into the nucleus unless there exists an invisible energy source to counteract this.

The third New Testament creation-related passage which talks about atomic structure and physics is found in the Apostle Peter's Second Epistle:  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise [rhoizedon, a rushing roar] and the elements [stoicheion, atoms] will be dissolved with fire and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)  The Greek word translated "elements" in the above- mentioned passage from Colossians (and in 2 Peter also) is stoicheion, which can mean "the building blocks of the universe," or "the ordered arrangement of things." It can also mean the "atomic elements." The word translated "dissolved" in 2 Peter 3:10 is literally (in Greek) luo, meaning "unloosed." This language suggests that there will come a time in the future when God lets go of the nuclear forces which hold the atom together. This passage, like the one in Colossians, strongly suggests that the active power of God is behind the mysterious strong force that holds every atomic nucleus together. If this is so, all the other fundamental forces of nature are likewise forces that originate with Christ and His sustaining direction of the old creation.

If God "sustains the universe by His mighty word of power," moment by moment, were He to merely relax His grasp on the universe, every atom would come apart "by fire" (that is, by nuclear fire). It is inescapable that the Bible claims that God dynamically sustains the universe, including the very atoms themselves. Atoms, it would seem, are "stable" only because force and energy are being supplied into their physical nuclear binding fields from "outside" the system.  [end quoted article excerpt]

In light of the above, I think it is interesting to note that “earth and the heaven fled away” from the great white throne and then suddenly appear as a new heaven and new earth after that judgment has taken place.

John also observes that there was no more sea; the Greek indicates that this is referring to the salt waters.  I think this is probably because fresh waters will be all that is needed for the environment of the new earth.  I would assume that earth will once again be characterized by Eden-like conditions and that man will enjoy the bounty of its provision in the same way as Adam and Eve did before they chose to sin.  Everything in the new creation will be for the benefit of man just as it was in Eden in the beginning.

(to be continued…)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


The last post ended with the judgment of Satan and this post opens with the judgment of the wicked dead.

Revelation 20:11–13 “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. 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. 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.”

This must be an amazing sight to John; heaven and earth are not in the picture.  John sees Jesus sitting on God’s great white throne of judgment positioned in a dimension outside the confines of our universe.  We know it is God in the person of His Son Jesus because He has delegated all judgment to the Son.

John 5:22–23 “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”

The dead referred to here are those who could not participate in the first resurrection.  Though they are “dead,” they are “standing” before God; their destiny is certain.  Still, each one is going to have his/her time of reckoning before God. 

“The books were opened” – It would seem that it required many books to record the deeds or works of the dead.  Twice John records that these people are judged according to their works, and scripture reveals that will result in eternal condemnation.

John 6:28–29 “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

John 3:17–18 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

2 Thessalonians 1:7–9 “… the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power….”
“according to their works” – Small comfort though it be to those eternally damned, there does seem to be an indication that there are different levels of eternal punishment just as there will be different levels of reward for the believers.

Matthew 11:21–24 “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, 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 unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” 

Though the reference is to the cities, it is obvious that the message is intended for the people of those cities.

The other book used is the Book of Life.  It is called the Book of Life, so it stands to reason that every “life” be recorded there until he/she has rejected God and the eternal life that He has provided for each and every person.  God has provided for our salvation, our eternal life; but He has sovereignly decided to allow us the choice of accepting His gift or not.  Those who reject Him have their names blotted out of the Book of Life.  Only those whose names are missing will be judged based upon their own works.  Those who have placed their faith in the Savior are judged based upon His work on their behalf.

Romans 5:1–2 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Through Christ the believer is “justified”—declared righteous, innocent—just as if I’d never sinned.

No one who has rejected God’s gracious gift of salvation escapes judgment.  ALL those who have died through the ages who have rejected God as LORD will be present.  It is important to remember that God is not willing that any should perish.  His desire is for every human being to accept His provision through His Son Jesus Christ and choose eternal life by placing their faith in Him.  That is the whole reason He has waited as long as He has to send Jesus back to set up His kingdom.

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

After the final judgment, every person not recorded in the Book of Life is cast into the lake of fire along with death and hell.

Revelation 20:14–15 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

The fact that “death” is thrown into the lake of fire speaks to the truth that death will no longer be allowed to affect God’s creation.  “Hell” only served as the holding place for the souls of the wicked dead until judgment; it will no longer be needed. 

(to be continued…)

Sunday, May 18, 2014


With this post John’s record jumps to the end of the Lord’s 1000 years of rule from the throne of David in Israel.

Revelation 20:7–10 “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 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. 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. 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.”

After the thousand years, Satan will be let out of his prison.  The Greek for “loosed” is from the word that means to “break forth, burst, tear.”  He is eager for one more parting shot.  I believe it will be a time of proving for all those that have professed allegiance to the Lord similar to that referenced by Moses in Deuteronomy. 

Deuteronomy 13:1–3 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Frankly, I believe the purpose for some of things that the Lord allows in our lives is for that very purpose—to prove us.  Those times of “proving” tell the Lord nothing; He can see right into our hearts.

1 Samuel 16:7 “…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Those times of proving serve to reveal to us the true condition of our hearts before God and give us the opportunity to respond according to that revelation. 

The fact that Satan is able to gather together an army that is innumerable (“as the sand of the sea”) just boggles the mind.  It is one of the most unbelievable truths in all of scripture.  It is just so hard to believe that so many people will once again be that stupid—especially after experiencing the peaceful, prosperous and righteous rule of Jesus Christ.  

I have no clue who is being referenced as Gog and Magog, except that it appears to be the same spiritual entity who led the invasion described in Ezekiel 38-39 and I would assume to be from the same area.  I do not believe this is a reference to the battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39 because of the things that are ascribed to the aftermath of that battle (e.g., using the weapons as fuel for 7 years, burying the dead, etc.)  

Side note:  I have to admit that it is very interesting to see how Putin seems to be growing in confidence and in asserting his power on the world stage.  I think it is highly possible that he could be the vessel that Gog uses to lead the first attack against Israel described in Ezekiel 38.  Interestingly enough, I read an article on the web today that talked about a prophecy made by Vilna Gaon, an 18th century Jewish expert on the study of the Talmud, that seems to reference recent headlines.  He was quoted in an article dated March 29, 2014, at as saying, “When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”  Though I do not consider this man a prophet, I am reminded that the Lord has often chosen the unlikely, e.g., Egypt’s Pharoah and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to reveal things about the future. 

Side note 2:  It’s also interesting to note how the revelation of now deceased Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri again recently resurfaced in light of the death of Ariel Sharon in January of this year.  According to Israel Today, he wrote the name of the Messiah on a note that he requested remain sealed for a year after his death—that name, Yehoshua or Jesus.  Quoting from the article dated April 2007:  A few months before Kaduri died at the age of 108, he surprised his followers when he told them that he met the Messiah. Kaduri gave a message in his synagogue on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, teaching how to recognize the Messiah. He also mentioned that the Messiah would appear to Israel after Ariel Sharon’s death. (The former prime minister is still in a coma after suffering a massive stroke more than a year ago.) Other rabbis predict the same, including Rabbi Haim Cohen, kabbalist Nir Ben Artzi and the wife of Rabbi Haim Kneiveskzy.”

I only include these notes because there seems to be a sense across the world that something big is on the horizon.  Moslems are expecting the soon arrival of the Mahdi, Saint Malachy’s prophecy of the popes indicates that the current pope is the last, a series of eclipses on Jewish holidays both this year and next are considered portents of momentous events in Israel, Christians are connecting events in the world to the signs of the times recorded by Matthew in chapter 24, etc.  The only one of the preceding with scriptural validity is the record of Matthew.  However, the other things in my list pique my curiosity because of how they are all connected to the same time period as those “signs of the times” recorded by Matthew.  Only the future will reveal the truth.

Back to the commentary—It would seem that the primary target of attack of Satan and his armies will be the city of Jerusalem.  I’m not sure what is meant by the “camp of the saints.”  I would assume that all those who Satan was not able to recruit would compose the camp of the saints.  “They went upon the breadth of the earth” seems to indicate that there are several attack points across the planet.  It really doesn’t matter because Satan and his armies are destroyed by fire from God out of heaven.

Finally, John sees the deceiver, Satan, cast into the lake of fire and brimstone to join the beast and false prophet (who have already been there 1000 years) where he will be tormented day and night forever.  Eternity—I can read it and understand it, but I’m just not sure I can really comprehend it.

(to be continued…)

Thursday, May 15, 2014


In the last post we saw the armies of Antichrist destroyed by the power of God’s word and the Antichrist and his false prophet thrown into hell.  The next thing John sees is the imprisonment of Satan.

Revelation 20:1–3 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 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.”

John sees an angel come down from heaven (the abode of God)—another affirmation that heaven is up in relationship to the earth.  This angel has the key, the device controlling the entrance and exit, to the bottomless pit.  He also carries a great chain.  He seizes Satan, binds him with the chain and throws him into the bottomless pit where he will remain imprisoned for a thousand years.  He will not be able to accuse, deceive, or tempt mankind during the first thousand years that Jesus rules.  He is locked up and sealed with a special mark to preserve him until his “last opportunity” to deceive mankind once again.

Note that an angel is given the key to the bottomless pit in chapter 9 and the angel in chapter 20 comes out of heaven with the key.  The One in control of the key is obviously the One in control of heaven—and the rest of creation—God.  He is permitting use of the key in accordance with the fulfillment of His purposes.

After allowing man to experience the wonder of a thousand years of righteous judgment and peaceful existence, Satan will be given one more opportunity of short duration to deceive men and prove the true allegiance of the hearts of men. 

The wording in verse two is almost identical to the wording found in chapter 12, verse 9:  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 20:4–6 “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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.”

These verses mark the establishment of the government that will characterize the Lord’s kingdom.  Jesus will appoint rulers to assist Him from those who had proven their faith and died as martyrs during the tribulation period.  They had been beheaded during the tribulation because of their witness of Jesus and the Word of God; they had not worshipped the beast or his image or received his mark in their foreheads or hands.  These saints are going to live and reign with Christ a thousand years.

We also know that the 12 apostles will rule the 12 tribes of Israel, so these saints must rule outside the kingdom of Israel.

Matthew 19:28 “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

John then explains that the rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are completed.  The resurrection of the tribulation saints completes the first resurrection.  This tells me that everyone who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior during the millennial kingdom will experience the same transformation to immortality that the raptured saints experienced prior to the tribulation.

Verse six goes on to tell us that those who have part in the first resurrection will not be affected by the second death—spiritual death, separation from God forever.  Those who are part of the first resurrection will be priests of God and of Christ AND shall reign with Him for the thousand years.

There appears to be a distinction made between those on the thrones in verse 4 and those identified in verse 6 who will be priests of God and Christ and will reign.  This seems to be a description of the “royal priesthood” referenced in Peter’s letter.

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 

This is the position of those in the church as referenced in Revelation 1:6:  “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

We also have to remember that Israel was promised a position as priests.

Isaiah 61:6 “But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.”

We can’t all be on thrones, but we will all be in positions of service and leadership in the millennial kingdom it would appear.  It would seem to me that a “royal priesthood” would be in positions of spiritual leadership as opposed to governmental leadership.

Revelation doesn’t tell us much about the millennium; we have to go to other scripture for that.  Some of the verses that describe this time are:

Isaiah 2:2-4 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Isaiah 11:6-9 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Isaiah 65:19-25 “And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”

Ezekiel 34:22-31 “Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.  And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.  And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.  And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.  And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.  And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.  And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.  Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.”

Mic. 4:1-7 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.  For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.  In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.”

Zechariah 14:8-11 “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.  And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”

Zechariah 14:16 “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even 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 whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

Matthew 19:27 “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Some of the observations from the above scriptures are:
·      The Lord will be King over the earth.
·      Obedient Israel will be regathered to the land God promised Abraham and will be respected and prosperous.
·      Creation will live in peace and harmony with one another (wolf with lamb, calf with lion, etc.)
·      The nation of Israel will be honored among the nations.
·      The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.
·      The wilderness and desert will bloom; the earth will be fruitful.
·      There will be a true new world order of worldwide peace enforced by King Jesus.

Most of the verses about the millennium center on the blessings of restored Israel, but there is certainly enough stated to know that it will be a time of peace and righteous judgment such as has never been experienced on planet earth.  This will mark the complete fulfillment of God’s covenants with Abraham and David.

(to be continued…)