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The Book of Revelation
“The Final Triumph”
Armageddon is now over, that last great battle of this age has been fought, but it really wasn’t that much of a battle, not like the media plays it out to be, instead Jesus speaks and the forces of the Antichrist are defeated.
Yet, evil hasn’t been totally annihilated, instead it’s been removed for a wile because it still has one roll left before it’s be forever removed.
At Jesus’ return, the Kingdom of God has finally arrived, and peace will reign.
Peace! Since the beginning of time humanity has been desperately looking for peace. There’s been peace rallies, peace movements, peace marches, prizes awarded for peace, and wars have even been fought in the name of peace. People have even been arrested for disturbing the peace, which I find interesting because how can you disturb what has never been?
People long for, pray for, fight and die for peace, but peace has yet to come. But no more, because Jesus has returned and peace will for the first time reign over the earth.
The kingdom of God is coming, and when it does there will be
• No more sin, evil or unrighteousness.
• No more savagery, murder, or war
• No more sickness disease or death
• No more pain or suffering
• No more assaults, abuse or crimes
• No more rejection, denial, or cursing God
• No more hunger, homelessness, or unemployment
• No more enslavement, either human or to substances, that is, alcohol and drugs.
And that’s because the Kingdom of God has arrived, and the earth will once again be like the Garden of Eden, only better, because Jesus Christ is going to ruling and governing the affairs of the world.
He will bring what no human, nation, technology, science, or religion could ever bring, and that is peace, a perfect state of being, a perfect society and culture, a perfect life and future. This will all happen at Jesus’ return as He comes back in all His glory and power to rule and reign in love, joy, peace, and righteousness.
But to accomplish this, Jesus must first remove from this earth the possibility of temptation, hence the removal of Satan.
The Great Removal
Read Revelation 20:1-3
We begin by seeing an angel, and notice it isn’t even a great or mighty angel at that, but the angel comes down from heaven with the power of God and binds Satan and tosses him in the bottomless pit.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
• Satan, once the highest of God’s creation now is in chains in God’s jail for demons.
• Satan, who had such power that not even Michael the archangel could fight against him but could only win though God’s name, (Jude 9)
• Satan who had total access before the throne of God to accuse believers has had his power diminished when he attacked heaven with his demons only to be repelled by God’s heavenly host and kicked out of heaven forever, (Job 1; Revelation 12:7-8)
• Satan then focused his remaining power to build one last army to wipe out the Jews and fight against Jesus’ return, only to be defeated once again.
• And now Satan is so weak that a non-descript angel comes down and binds him up and tosses him into the hoosegow.
Now John doesn’t want anyone to miss out as to just who he is talking about, so he uses four names to make sure we understand just who this person is.
• He is the dragon: fiery, cruel, and brutal, the one who causes people and governments to ravage and destroy one another.
• He is the serpent of old: the one who deceives, seduces, and leads people into sin and evil. He leads people to disobey, ignore, and neglect God.
• He is the devil: the one who slanders, lies, and murders
• He is Satan: the accuser, the one who opposes and stands against everything that is of God.
Today Satan is considered a figurehead of evil or a figment of over zealous imaginations. In educational circles it’s consider quite vogue to deny that such evil exist, and the only devil is that which is in a person’s own psyche.
But the Bible reveals that he isn’t some figment or figurehead, rather he’s a living personage whose sole purpose is to oppose God and doom as many people as he can to spend eternity with him.
• He’s the one who removes God’s word from people’s hearts so they will not repent and be saved, (Matthew 13:19)
• He filled the hearts of Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Spirit, (Acts 5:3)
• The Bible says he roams around like a roaring lion seeking who he can destroy and devour, (1 Peter 5:8)
• It was Satan who filled Judas’ heart to betray Jesus, (John 13:2) and
• It’s because of Satan and his demonic horde that we need to put on the full armor of God to survive and conquer, (Ephesian 6).
And so Satan is real, and his attacks are just as real. So it’s a good thing to contemplate Satan’s final outcome lest we are tempted to follow his ways, and eventual outcome is torment in the Lake of Fire forever.
And so the angel descends and locks him and places upon the door a seal so that he won’t be able to practice his craft and deceptions for a 1000 years.
Satan has for thousands of years seduced nations and people into thinking that they can build a world of peace and love without Jesus Christ. He deceives the world into thinking that education or money or even religion can solve our problems, but these are lies as peace continues to elude us.
During this thousand-year reign vast changes occur.
a. Changes in the Earth
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing for waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:1-2a, 6b NKJV)
Isaiah is speaking of a world transformed and the complete reversal of the Lord’s curse in Genesis 3:17 where the earth was cursed due to humanity’s sin. From that time the earth has been groaning in pain, but now it sings forth with everything God has meant for it to be.
b. Changes in the Animals
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (Isaiah 11:6-7 NKJV)
Animals will be tame and there won’t be need for zoos or wild animal parks. Wild animals will be loving and docile to each other and humans as well.
c. Changes in Human Health
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isaiah 35:5-6a NKJV)
“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old.” (Isaiah 65:20 NKJV)
While there is a lot that can be said about both these verses, the main gist is that aging, sickness, and disease will be done away with.
d. Peace will Reign
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3 NKJV)
The United Nations has this saying over its doors, but that promise will never be fulfilled until Jesus returns. Fear will be a thing of the past as people will be able to walk the streets and travel around this world in safety; terrorism will be a thing of the past.
There are other changes as well, such as in the government as Jesus now rules over the world and His bride and the martyred saints ruling at His side.
There will also be a change in the food supply in that there will be no more famine, but rather this will be a time of plenty.
There will also be a change in overall morality, as people shall flow to Jerusalem to learn of the Lord and to walk in His ways.
Sufficient to say that this will be a time of great joy and peace unmatched and unattainable in the world today, a true utopia as the Kingdom of God has come to earth.
But the question still hangs out there like an albatross, “Why doesn’t God do away with Satan once and for all? Why is he allowed to go free at the end of these 1,000 years for another go at humanity and God?”
The answer is simple; God is giving humanity, this final millennial generation a final choice. You see, while Jesus is reigning on upon the throne, the sin nature is still reigning in the hearts of the people. And so Satan is released to reveal that even under the most ideal conditions, the human heart doesn’t change.
There will be many hearts that still won’t belong to Jesus Christ. They can see Him, hear Him, and see His love and mercy, but still not have that love relationship with Him. Despite the clear and unmistakable evidence, most will reject and deny Him.
A thousand years is a long time, and what will happen, like what happens today, is that people will fall into a routine, and after a while they’ll begin to doubt Jesus, even though they see Him. They will believe Him to be nothing more than a mere man, and will be open to the deceptions of Satan, and will fall into his trap.
Read Revelation 20:4-6
The First Resurrection
The idea of one resurrection is difficult because there are many resurrection referenced in the Bible. There’s the resurrection of the church known as the rapture. There’s the resurrection of the Tribulation saints, and the resurrection of all those who have believed in Jesus during the Millennial reign.
While there are many views, as I see this, the first resurrection is inclusive of all these resurrections and entails all the various resurrections spoken about within the Scriptures.
• The resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14; Acts 24:15),
• The resurrection from among the dead (Luke 20:34-36),
• The resurrection of life (John 5:29), and
• The resurrection to everlasting life (Daniel 12:2).
And for all those who are a part of this resurrection it says that they will experience several things.
1. They will be Blessed
To be blessed here means to have joy and satisfaction. It means being complete and fulfilled, secure and at peace. It’s a life with meaning, significance, and purpose.
Isn’t it interesting that this is what humanity seeks for today? The only problem is that they seek it in all the wrong places. They seek it in possessions, money, power, position, and pleasure. Blessedness, however, can only be found in Jesus Christ.
2. They will be Holy
God tells us to be holy as He is holy. And while that is a process we go through on a daily basis, it won’t become final until we’re in the presence of God.
3. They will miss The Second Death
The second death is defined here as the Lake of Fire
“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14 NKJV)
When we die, this is the first death. It’s when a person is separated from this life and passes over to the next where they will exist forever.
The second death is when after death a person is forever separated from God. And the reason someone finds themselves forever separated is because they have rejected God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
And while hell is their outcome, hell is only temporary, but they shouldn’t get their hopes up. Because they will stand before God at His White Throne Judgment, where they will be judged, and not being found in the Book of Life, they’ll be sent into the Lake of Fire, forever to be in torment.
This is that place the Scriptures describe as outer darkness where there’s weeping, wailing, and a gnashing of teeth. It’s a place where the worm never dies and it’s a place of unquenchable fire, a place where they’ll be forever tormented.
The second death isn’t annihilation, nor does it mean extinction or a ceasing to exist. Rather it’s a life lived forever in agony. And it’s to this place that all those who have rejected this great offering of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ will find themselves.
It begins by showing the destruction of the universe. The word “fled” gives us a picture of a sudden and violent termination of the physical universe. Imagine the picture, everyone is now standing at the White Throne Judgment and they see a massive explosion take place as fire engulfs the entire universe.
The world they lived in is forever gone, and there’s no place found for it in God’s new world. The reason is because it was tainted with sin. All that people lived for is gone in one fell swoop: money, houses, lands, position, power, fame, popularity, pleasure, and possessions all gone because there’s no place in God’s kingdom for them.
But no believer needs to fear this judgment, because believers stand before another judgment seat, the Judgment Seat of Christ.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV)
But for those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, they will face the Lord God, not in mercy, but in judgment. And there the books are opened.
The Book of Life
God has listed out every person’s name, because His desire has always been for everyone to live with Him forever. However, when a person fails to receive Jesus Christ, their name is erased, blotted out, from the book and they lose the right to live in heaven.
Moses prayed to have his name blotted out of this book if the Lord would forgive Israel, but God said, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” (Exodus 32:33 NKJV)
Of the wicked King David prayed, “May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.” (Psalm 69:28 NIV)
But to the faithful believers who overcome, Jesus gives this word of encouragement
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Revelation 3:5 NKJV)
But for those who are not found in the Book of Life, other books are opened, books that contain what a person has thought, said, and done, and they are judged based upon God’s commandments. And since the Bible makes it clear that there’s no one who is righteous enough for God, and have fallen short of God’s holy and righteous standards for life, they will be found guilty.
And I have to go back to the reason why Jesus came. The Bible declares,
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4 NKJV)
Those who chose not to have their sins forgiven by Christ must face the Lord at this judgment seat bearing their own sins, and the Bible says that the wages of sin is death.
What an absolutely heartrending sight this will be. Each person steps forward and God will open up the Book of Life looking for their name only to find it missing. He’ll then open these other books that reveal how they blew it, and without having an advocate in Jesus Christ, they’ll be told by the Father,
“Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41 NKJV)
As He does so I envision the people trembling, frantically trying to defend themselves, only to see the Lord slowly and sadly shake His head saying the saddest words ever recorded in human history, “I never knew you.”
God has done all that He can. He has provided the way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Father paid the supreme sacrifice in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die upon the cross to bear the judgment for our sins, and He did so because He loved us.
God can do no more. It’s now up to us. It’s our decision. No one needs to face the horror of the White Throne Judgment. All a person needs to do is accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and they shall be saved.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study