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The little season

Query for the Month

of

September 2012

Next up-date: October 1st 2012 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query: 

Revelation 20:2-3.

And he [an angel] 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. 

What do the words “a little season” mean, and how long is it?

 

Answer:  

To answer that query we need to look back into the Old Testament which is where many of the statements in the book of The Revelation have come from. 

The expression “bottomless pit” in our query text represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness, for this is evident from other scriptures.  Concerning the condition of the earth “in the beginning,” the Bible record says that it “was without form [because it was covered with restless water], and void [of life]; and darkness was upon the face of the deep [because the sun was not alight].  Genesis 1:2.  

Other prophecies teach that it will be brought back at some time, partially at least, to this condition.  For instance, looking forward to the great day of God, the prophet Jeremiah declares: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form [all broken up], and void [of life]; and the heavens, and they had no light [there was no blue atmosphere].  I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled [quaked], and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.  I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down”.  Jeremiah 4:23-26. 

That’s what it will be like during the 1,000 years while Satan is “shut up” and no longer able to deceive the nations because there is no man alive on earth anymore.

So the release of those captives from their graves in the second resurrection will be the signal for the start of “the little season”.  Isaiah declares, concerning the rebels: “They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison [of death], and after many days [years] shall they be visited [resurrected]”.  Isaiah 24:22.

And John wrote: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished”.  Revelation 20:5.

But here is another text in Isaiah:

***************(BeginQuote)

Isaiah 65:

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind [as being important]. 18 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. 

19 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.

***************(EndQuote)

John had reference to that text when he wrote:

“And I saw a new heaven [atmosphere] and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea [or great oceans].  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband [at the end of the 1,000 years]

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle [home] of God is with [redeemed] men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God’.  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. 

“And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new’.  And He said to me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful’. Revelation 21:1-5.

That sets the scene for us – in a happy new world God’s people are to have their Father and Saviour living with them!  The great ocean areas will have been removed and there will be a full earth for them to live on, but of course, there will be lakes and hills to make the world an interesting place. 

This is what it will be like AFTER the “little season” when ALL things are restored to their Edenic beauty.  What a change from what it had been like during the 1,000 years! 

But what is the purpose of the “little season”? 

And what can we make of Isaiah’s next verse?  We have just read; “there shall be no more death” so what can it mean?  And surely, there are no “sinners” in the new world?

***************(BeginQuote)

Isaiah 65:

20 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 a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed [bound for the Lake of Fire].

***************(EndQuote)

One conclusion we can draw in the light of last month’s query answer, is that in these verses we are being given a view at the end of the thousand years when Gog and his multitude are preparing to attack the city after “the little season”. 

During the time that follows the 1,000 years the youngest of the rebels who was resurrected will have attained the age of one hundred years!  So that answers part of the query.  The “little season” is to be one hundred years long – much longer than the majority of rebels have lived on the earth, but “little” compared to eternity.  So by the time the attack forces are ready the youngest babe who came up in the second resurrection will have had many opportunities to demonstrate that what God says of them is true, no one wants to repent and be saved God’s way! 

Therefore no one of the “sinners” who attacks the city will be a youngster, or “an infant of days” but all will be 100 plus!

That then, tells us that all the other rebels will also have lived that long since the second resurrection while they have been preparing for their assault. Therefore this is to be no sudden impulse, but the calculated and well-planned idea of Satan.  The period after he thinks his “evil thought” (see below) will be taken up in military preparation and the manufacture of weapons, for they will not attack the city with their bare hands.

Now Satan will be able to prepare for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy.

While deprived of his earthly power and cut off from his work of deception by the death of the last generation of his subjects, the prince of evil would have been miserable and dejected during the 1,000 years; but as all the rebellious dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes will revive, and he will determine not to yield the great controversy.  He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavour to execute his plans.  The rejecters have always been Satan's captives, for in rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of his principles, even if they were not aware of it. 

So they are ready now to receive his latest suggestions and to do his bidding. 

Yet, true to his early cunning, he is not likely to acknowledge himself openly to be Satan the adversary.  In a clever twist of a teaching that he already has among his false churches, he will claim to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him.  He is likely to represent himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that it was his power that brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny of the anti-christ who lives in the city.  He will be able to work miracles and wonders to support his claims.  He will make the weak strong and inspire all with his own spirit and energy.  He will propose to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God.  With fiendish exultation he’ll point to the unnumbered millions around them who have been raised from the dead with them and declare that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.

What a delusion!  The crusade of all crusades!  And they will all fall for it!

In that vast throng there will be multitudes of the long-lived race that existed before the Flood; men of lofty stature and giant intellect, who, yielding to the control of fallen angels, devoted all their skill and knowledge to the exaltation of themselves; men whose wonderful works had led their world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to allow them to blot themselves from the face of His creation in the Flood. 

There will also be kings and generals of later generations who conquered nations, valiant men (and women) who never lost a battle, proud, ambitious warriors whose approach made kingdoms tremble. 

In death these experienced no change of nature. 

As they come up from the grave, they will resume the current of their thoughts just where it ceased.  They will be actuated by the same desire to kill and conquer that ruled them when they died.

Satan will consult with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors and mighty men.  They will look upon the strength and numbers on their side, and declare that the army within the city is small in comparison with theirs, and that it can be overcome.  They will lay their plans to take possession of the riches and glory of the New Jerusalem.  All will immediately begin to prepare for battle.  Skilful artisans will construct implements of war.  Military leaders, famed for their success, will marshal the throngs of warlike men and women into companies and divisions and train them in “boot camps”. 

What are they planning to fight against?

We might be forgiven for assuming that the next verse in Isaiah applies to the rebels, but God makes it plain that He is speaking of His people.  They have been on the new earth long enough to build houses and plant gardens outside the city, which was what Gog and Magog have been observing. 

Listen to their conversation:

“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions [warriors] thereof, shall say to you, ‘Are you [Satan] come to take a spoil [get some loot]?  Have you gathered your company to take a prey?  To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil’? [We want join you.] . . .

And you shall come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days [the end time], and I will bring you against My land, that the heathen [the rejecters] may know Me [see My character], when I shall be sanctified [shown to be innocent] in you, O Gog, before their eyes”.  Ezekiel 38:13-16.

And so God says of His redeemed:

***************(BeginQuote)

Isaiah 65:

21 And they shall build houses [outside the city], and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 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 My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  

23 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.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

***************(EndQuote)

The phrase “their offspring with them”, refers to the fact that many of the redeemed will have been blessed in seeing their children resurrected in the first resurrection, not to the idea of them having children in the new world, for I believe that the number of redeemed creatures in the universe at that time will be again be just right to satisfy God’s need for companionship. 

Jesus told His disciples that there will be no marriage or childbirth there.  “And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the [first] resurrection”.  Luke 20:34-36.

On the other hand, the rebels will be filled with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow men, but because He whom they see as the anti-christ has apparently conquered.  They will lament that the result is what it is; but, as God has assured His loyal followers during the judgment of the rejecters, they will not repent of their wickedness, for they think they are on God’s side.

The LORD describes their attitude through Ezekiel.

“Thus says the LORD GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you [Gog] shall think an evil thought: and you shall say, ‘I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey’; to turn your hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land”.  Ezekiel 38:10-12.

What will be the result?  As we read last month, the vast throng of the rebel army will end up fighting among themselves after having seen through the delusion, and then they will be destroyed by their separation from the God of life.

Isaiah’s vision ended with:

***************(BeginQuote)

Isaiah 65:

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw [grass] like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat [food]

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the LORD. 

***************(EndQuote)

After the slaughter on the great day of God Almighty (the last few will commit suicide rather than surrender), the living power of Life will transform all the sin through the Lake of Fire, and the “ashes” of rebellious life will “melt” into the surface of the new world.  Thus will be fulfilled the prophecies:

“For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch [they shall be as if they have never been]. But to you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up [mature] as calves of the stall [well protected]

“And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, says the LORD of hosts”.  Malachi 4:1-3.

 

And this one, which has a double application, one at the second coming, and another at the end of the little season;

“The LORD is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night [unexpected to most]; in the which the heavens [the atmosphere] 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 you to be in all holy conversation [conduct] and godliness, looking for and hasting to 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 dwells righteousness”.   2 Peter 3:9-13.

 

Conclusion:

That period called “the little season” in Revelation 20:3 will be 100 years long, and is the time when Satan will bring about his final delusion.  He will persuade all the rejecters of God’s mercy that they can attack and overcome the new Jerusalem which he will claim is harbouring the anti-christ, and in this way they will come to possess the earth.  But, like all his other plans, it will fail because of the weakness which is inherent in all unsaved creatures – the desire to be “king” and control others will not allow them to subjugate themselves to any other person for any length of time.  That’s when they will fight against each other.

 


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,

but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Next query. To be discussed from October 1st 2012,

Exodus 25:8-9

And let [allow] them [to] make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall you make it.  

 Why did God “allow” the Hebrews to build Him a sanctuary to dwell in?  And why don’t we have animal sacrifices today?

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