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Notes for

The Revelation

Chapter Twenty


1. Here on earth is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Here he will be confined, to wander up and down over the broken surface of the earth and see the effects of his rebellion against God's law. He will be alone with his rebellious angels, for humanity is either in heaven with Christ, or in the grave waiting their resurrection (apart from the bodies of the last generation which lie around on the surface of the earth). With no atmosphere (the heavens have departed like a scroll being rolled up, Revelation 6:14) the bodies do not rot but remain a mute witness to his control. For a thousand years he can look at the fruit of the curse which he has caused.

Limited alone to the earth, he will not have the privilege of ranging to other planetary systems, to tempt and annoy those who have not fallen, for none have listened to him since the events of Calvary when their eyes were opened as to his character and design.

During this time, he will suffer extremely.

Since his fall his evil traits have been in constant exercise. But during this time he will be deprived of his power by the death of his subjects, and left to reflect upon the part which he has acted since his rebellion, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future, when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for all the sins that he has caused to be committed.

Isaiah 24:16-22 The bottomless pit

From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, "My leanness, my leanness, woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yes, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth."

And it shall come to pass, that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that comes up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days [1,000 years] shall they be visited.

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2. After the 1,000 years is over and the resurrection of the rejecters of God's mercy has taken place, he is able to take control again. But even this attempt has a finite limit, a "little" season.

Isaiah 65:17-20 The little season is 100 years long

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create [New] Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in [New] 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 there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but [and] the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

Here God tells us about the two groups, saints and sinners, those who have accepted and those who have rejected His offer, on the earth. During this "little season" all will have grown up to be at least 100 earth years old. With the saints this will be a good thing, but for the sinners it only has the effect of confirming them in their ways so fully that not one will change, which is the curse.

But none will perish without understanding fully what they are rejecting, so this period is to enable them to reach that point.

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3. This judgment is the second of three. It is "the time of the dead, that they should be judged" and the saints rewarded. Chapter 11:18.

The first judgment is presided over by God the Father as we have seen in Daniel chapter 7, and it began in 1844. Jesus is the advocate or lawyer at that scene and He stands in for His people who are not present because they are still on earth. After He has received the authority to bring His people (both living and dead) to His Father's house He goes to earth for the resurrection and triumphant return to the final stages of the wedding, as we saw in chapter 19.

Now in the second judgment near the end of the mariage services He and the saints (as His legal partners) have the job of examining the records of the rejecters to see why they have refused to "come to the marriage". Matthew 22:4; 11-12. Many who are there at this employment will not at first understand why their loved ones have taken this step, but all will be revealed during the process.

Proverbs 8:35-36 This is what they will find

For whoever finds Me finds life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sins against Me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate Me love death.

They will see and understand that God is not responsible for shutting anyone out. Those who are not in heaven will have consistently refused to accept the call. It will be obvious to all that the "Light that lights every man" has been pushed aside in contempt, for none can unconsciously refuse to be saved.

See the diagram "The Second Judgment".

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4. This is often called "The millenium" which simply means 1,000 years. During this time all the varying Christian ideas will be coalesced into one under the Master Teacher. Every wrong idea will be erased from the minds of the saints and all will come into eternal harmony. This is the great high and holy "day" that the universe has waited for, the day in which the Sabbath "rest" of God is complete. (See John 19:31; Hebrews 4:9-11).

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5. This refers to the fact that the "wicked" dead are not resurrected until the end of this 1,000 year period. They are called this because they have rejected the pleas of God, not just because they are sinners.

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6. Now is brought to view a little known fact. There are two deaths mentioned in the Bible. Both are literal deaths, meaning that the person ceases to live physically. The first death is the one we all know and which separates us from our loved ones. But it is only a temporary one for there is a resurrection from it. This is why Jesus calls it a "sleep".

John 11:11-14

These things said He: and after that He says to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." Then said His disciples, "Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well." Howbeit Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead."

The second takes place in the "lake of fire" and is permanent.

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7. The thought in The Revelation is taken from verses like the following.

Ezekiel 38:1-10

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog [the leader of], the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say,

Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and I will turn you back, and put hooks into your jaws [as prisoners of war], and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with you.

Be you prepared, and prepare for yourself, you, and all your company that are assembled to you, and be you a guard to them.

After many days you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

You shall ascend and come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your bands, and many people with you. Thus says the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you shall think an evil thought....

Satan is "loosed" out of his prison by the fact of the resurrection of the rejecters. At the end of the thousand years, Jesus and the saints leave heaven and come to the earth for the final show-down, and on the way Jesus calls forth all the wicked dead. When Satan and his followers see this, they prepare them for an all-out attack on what appears to be an easy target, the city of God.

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8. As we have seen before, "for ever and ever" means for as long as the situation being spoken of can last. This particular period is called "a little season" and has no definite length in these verses, although these verses may help in that matter.

Isaiah 65:18-20

But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create [New] Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 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 there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

Not only does their sin react when they enter the area of the life of God which is physically shown by the Sea of Glass in the verses below, but they also change their attitude and attack one another. This "sea" surrounds the city.

Revelation 15:2-3

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand [safely] on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvellous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, You King of saints."

An Old Testament prophet was shown what was going to happen to Satan and his followers when they attacked the city.

Zechariah 14:12-13

And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against [New] Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

The Son of God does not do this to them, but their presence in the area of absolute righteousness, the Sea of Glass, turns it for them into the Lake of Fire which consumes the sin, and them with it. This Sea of Glass extends all around the immediate presence of Jesus (it outshines the sun, Revelation 21:23), and therefore the fire comes from above the attackers also.

Another effect of being sinful in the presence of God is that their bodies begin to fall apart atom by atom. This is a natural result of the absolute rejection of the power of God which has kept them alive all the years of their lives until now. As they slowly "melt" away they will accuse one another of being the cause of their situation and will attempt to kill each other even as they die!

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9. But before the destruction begins, there is the final judgment in which all will bow the knee to Jesus and admit that His judgments are true and righteous in EVERY case.

 

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10.

 

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