Rev 20 part 2
IT’S YEAR 1001, WHERE IS THE ENEMY
We left last time with a question (o.k. I know I do that quite often!) BUT……. This time we have more than one question that needs answers. I'll explain!
I will also be giving you quite a few scripture references. I suggest that you read these carefully so that you might be able to explain to other people what the scriptures really mean. I assume you're going to want to tell others about what you are reading and what you are learning, at least I hope so.
Are you ready to see what happens next? Brace yourself, it isn’t pretty. Let’s start this week’s lesson by going straight to our scripture. Look at chapter 20;7-9
v.7 and when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
v.8 and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
v.9. and they went out on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the Saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
This is the last rebellion of Satan and man against God. The Millennium is a time of testing of man under ideal conditions. As soon as Satan is released, a great number, who have been under the personal reign of Christ, under ideal circumstances, goes over to Satan.
Now, questions #1and #2. Just who are these people; those who follow after Satan, even though they've lived under the rule of Jesus Christ for 1000 years? And where do they come from ? Not only do multitudes enter the Millennium as mortals, but a multitude also are born during the Millennium. (See Isaiah 11:6; 65:20.) Remember disease will be eliminated during the Millennium, no one dies; earth's greatest population explosion will take place. The curse of sin having been removed from the earth, and it will produce enough food to feed its greatest population. The human heart alone remains unchanged under these circumstances. Unbelievable? But what about today. Jeremiah 17: 9 says the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
And Romans 8:7 says, “Because the carnal mind is in enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”.
Next question: Who are Gog and Magog? These are not the same as in Ezekiel 38 and 39. But they possess the same type of rebellion with godless forces. It is like World War I and World War II. The war in Ezekiel 38 and 39 was Gog and Magog I, and here in Revelation, we have
Gog and Magog II. Although the names are the same, this is a different war, the last rebellion of Satan. Just because the two events involve the same names, does not mean they are the same.
The natural forces that destroyed Gog and Magog I will destroy Gog and Magog II as well. Nothing remains now but the final judgment.
10 and the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Several things I want you to see here. First of all, the devil is not in hell today. He is the prince of the power of the air, the one who controls this world to the extent that God allows. During the tribulation he will have full reign for a while. Second, the devil is not the first to be cast into hell. Notice also that the beast and the false prophet “are”. They are already in hell and have been held there for 1000 years, so far.) How long will they be there? Our scripture tells us “Forever and ever”
By the way I'm sure that all of you know by now that Satan is the devil's name, so they are one and the same.
Finally, we see a description of hell: it is a lake of fire and brimstone. (See Matthew 25: 41 and Matthew 8:12 for a further description of hell.
Another question. How can hell be outer darkness and also a literal fire? We can know the answer to this question by looking at the same two scriptures in Matthew. You can also look up Matthew 13:42 and Matthew 8:13 for more descriptions. I urge you to look up the scriptures so that you can be fully informed. Fire is the best symbol that could be used for the reality that is hell. But fire is a very poor symbol of the reality of what it means to be lost. To be separated from God for eternity. The reality far exceeds the description. Hell is a place; It is also a state of mind. It is a place of conscious torment. And you cannot escape it.
11. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heavens fled away; And there was found no place for them. All the lost of all ages are raised to be judged here. All who are saved have been raised in the first resurrection. This is the second resurrection in which the lost are raised to be given and equitable, fair and just evaluation of their works in respect to their salvation. They will find out then, that their works were insufficient to save them. Now, who is doing the judging, God the Father, or God the Son? It is the Son. (See John 5: 22) “from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away”.) earth and heaven are destroyed. The saved man is spared this scene. We cannot look upon it. If you are saved you are not going to stand before this judgment. Your works are to be judged for the purpose of rewards, not salvation. (2 Corinthians 5:10.)
12 and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Galatians 3: 10 tells us that the book of law tells man what is required of him by God. Ecclesiastes 12:14 says the book of works tells how man failed to live up to the law. The final book is the book of life which proves that he never knew Christ.Those who have died at sea will be raised. Those who have been buried will be raised. And the spirits of the lost will be raised from a place called hades, the holding place of lost spirits.
14 and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The word hell here is an unfortunate translation. Hades is a better translation. Sheol, in the Old Testament is not hell. Hades in the New Testament is not hell either. Both are names for the same place that is a holding place for the dead souls. Now follow me: Shoal or hades is divided into two compartments: 1 is paradise and 2 is the place of torment. (Read Luke 16:19-31).
Paradise was emptied when Christ took the Old Testament believer’s souls with Him at His ascension. Ephesians 4:8-10. Today, those who die in Christ go immediately, in the spirit, to be with him in heaven. Christ did two things. He gave gifts to men down here and he also took with him to heaven the souls of those Old Testament Saints who had died and were in a place called paradise. Their bodies were not raised until after the tribulation then and only then will they be given glorified bodies. But the place of torment will deliver up the lost for judgment at the great white throne. So as of now Shoal and hades have only one occupied compartment, the place of torment. Death is finally removed from the scene. No more death. The lost are no longer in hades, but now in the lake of fire, which is hell.
If man will not accept the life of God, he must accept the only other alternative: eternal association with Satan. God never created man to be in this place, but there is no other place for him. Hell was created for the devil and his angels. While revelation is full of symbolism, it also is filled with literal things. Literal things are Thrones, martyrs, Jews, the word of God, beast and his image, the mark of the beast on the literal foreheads and hands, the 1000 years. There are things that will not appear in heaven: tears, death, pain, memory of the past, sorrow, sickness, fear, and sin. These things will no longer affect us.
In our next chapter, we will see just what heaven will be like and what it will contain. I can't wait to get to this one. See y'all next time.