End Times Revealed

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 Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-Seven

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Male Number of posts : 250
Age : 68
Location : Northern Arizona
Registration date : 2009-01-12

PostSubject: Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-Seven   Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:44 am

Revelation 20

The millennial reign of Christ (Rev_20:1-10)

Revelation chapter 20 is one of the most controversial chapters in the Bible, not because it contains anything essentially complex, but because it touches on a subject of preconceived bias.
Now is the time when Satan will be taken, bound and put into the bottomless pit (abyss) where his influence will not have any effect on the Tribulation Saints who have lived through the seven years of Tribulation. Can you imagine a life where Satan isn't around to temp anyone? Do you think that the 1000 year millennium will be a time of paradise? That nothing bad will happen?
No one will enter into the 1000 year millennium unless they are a believer. Most will live for the entire one thousand years and will procreate and have children. Yes even the curse on the animals is lifted and the wolf will lie down with the lamb and will live in peace with each other.
But human nature is what it is. The children of those Saints will still have to be taught about Jesus, even though He will be with them constantly. Many will not accept Him. Remember, the heart is very wicked and unfortunately, that is the nature of man. Many of those children will be rebels and with a tremendous population explosion during those one thousand years, there will be probably billions of people at the end much like it is now. However the unbelievers at that point will be as "the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea", verse 8.
The Binding of Satan (Rev_20:1-3)
Rev_20:1-15 begins with the familiar phrase, And I saw an angel (cf. Rev_7:2; Rev_8:2; Rev_10:1; Rev_14:6; Rev_18:1; Rev_19:17). The “and” with which this chapter begins suggests that it continues the sequence of events begun in Rev_19:1, which is introduced with the words “after this.” In Rev_19:1-21 the Greek has “and” at the beginnings of 15 verses (but it is omitted in the NIV in Rev_19:4, Rev_19:8, Rev_19:10-11, Rev_19:13-16, and Rev_19:21 and is trans. “then” in Rev_19:5-6, Rev_19:9, and Rev_19:19 and “but” in Rev_19:20). The use of the word “and” (kai) often indicates action that follows in logical and/or chronological sequence. Accordingly there is no reason why Rev_20:1-15 should not be considered as describing events which follow Rev_19:1-21. “And” (kai) continues throughout Rev_20:1-15, beginning each verse except Rev_20:5. There is thus no linguistic or grammatical suggestion that these events are anything other than events following the second coming of Christ and occurring in sequence.
In addition to the grammar which connects these incidents, there is also the causal connection of the events which follow naturally from the fact that Christ will have returned to the earth. In Rev_19:1-21 these events include casting the beast and the false prophet into the lake of burning sulfur and destroying their armies. Having disposed of the world ruler and the false prophet as well as the armies, it would be only natural that Christ should then turn to Satan himself, as He does in Rev_20:1-15.
Accordingly John saw an angel descend from heaven holding the key to the Abyss and a great chain. The angel grabbed Satan, the dragon (cf. Rev_12:3-4, Rev_12:7, Rev_12:9, Rev_12:13, Rev_12:16-17; Rev_13:2, Rev_13:4, Rev_13:11; Rev_16:13), that ancient serpent (Rev_12:9, Rev_12:14-15), bound him, and threw him into the Abyss, and locked it, in order to prevent Satan’s work of deceiving the nations any more for a thousand years. This "angel" is not Jesus Himself but is a ministering spirit that Jesus has given authority to. This angel comes from heaven (near the throne). We can assume from this that Jesus has turned the key to the bottomless pit over to this specific angel and has given him power and authority for this job. This "great chain" in this angel's hand, shows the power God has given him over the devil for this task, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.
The key shows authority, and the chain depicts imprisonment and binding. Before the millennial kingdom begins, Satan is bound in the Abyss.
When he bound the devil for the 1000 years, the angel put him in the abyss, not in the burning hell. This burning hell was reserved for his final punishment.
Here we see the devil spoken of as the dragon which we read about in a previous lesson. We also see him recognized as the serpent. You see, he was the one who deceived Eve in the garden. The devil will not be here on the earth to harass the Christians until the millennial 1000 year reign of Jesus is over.
If Satan is actually deceiving the nations today, as the Scriptures and the facts of history indicate, then he is not now locked in the Abyss, and the thousand-year Millennium is still in our future. This interpretation is also supported by the final statement that after the thousand years, he must be set free for a short time (Rev_20:3). Here expositors again are at a loss to explain this except in a literal way, making possible a final satanic rebellion at the end of the millennial kingdom. The seal indicates god's authority and guarantee that Satan will not be released until a thousand years have passed. During the Millennium (Latin for "one thousand years") Satan will not be able to tempt or deceive the nations. Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It must be assumed that all of Satan's demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24: verses 21-23). Christ will reign on earth without opposition, and His kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, peace, and love (Isaiah 2: verses 3 and 4; 11: verses 3-5, 2; Dan 7: verse14; Zech. 14: verse 9). However, after the thousand years Satan will be released for a short while (v.7-9).
At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will once again be released to deceive the nations. He will find many unsaved descendants of those who lived through the millennium. There will be a very large number as we are told in verse eight as they will be like the sand of the seashore or a vast uncountable multitude.
Satan's deceptive way of getting those sinners to revolt against God is not revealed, but it will fit into God's plan when He destroys those rebels. These rebels will come from the four corners of the earth is and this is also known as Gog and Magog. The first mention of Gog and Magog was in Ezek. Chapters 38 and 39 (which I suggest reading), and is mentioned here in verse eight.
Revelation 20:4

The Resurrection and Reward of The Martyrs (Rev_20:4-6)
Next in the series of revelations John recorded that he saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. In addition he saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their standing true to the Lord and His Word in the Great Tribulation. The fact that John could see them implies that they had received intermediate bodies in heaven and were awaiting their resurrections.
A distinction should be made between what John saw and what he received as revelation. Though he could see the souls, he was informed that they had been beheaded because they had refused to worship the beast or his image and would not receive his mark. What John saw was not all the souls in heaven but a particular generation of martyred dead who had been contemporaneous with the world ruler, the beast out of the sea (Rev_13:1). If the church were raptured prior to this event, as premillenarians teach, it would make sense to single out these martyred dead for resurrection. But if the church were not raptured, it would be most unusual to ignore all the martyrs of preceding generations, the church as a whole, and to specify this relatively small group.
John apparently was not told the identity of the individuals seated on the thrones. They evidently do not include the martyred dead themselves. Christ had predicted (Luk_22:29-30) that the 12 disciples would “eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.” As the disciples are also a part of the church, the body of Christ, it would be natural for them to sit on these thrones.
According to the Scriptures a series of judgments is related to Christ’s return. The beast and the false prophet will be cast into the fiery lake (Rev_19:20), Satan will be cast into the Abyss (Rev_20:1-3), and then the martyred dead of the Great Tribulation will be judged and rewarded (Rev_20:4). In addition, Israel will be judged (Eze_20:33-38), and the Gentiles will be judged (Mat_25:31-46). These judgments precede and lead up to the millennial kingdom.
John stated that these martyred dead came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Their coming to life suggests that they will be given resurrected bodies. In addition to receiving the visual revelation, John was informed as to the meaning and character of the judgment that was here taking place. Many of the writers do not believe that this thousand years is a literal time. I personally do. They believe that this is spiritual, and that Jesus bound the devil when He defeated him on the cross. If that were so, who is this terrible thing that has been nipping at my heels all the time that I have been working for God. The devil is real. Just as he brought trials and tribulation (with permission from God) on Job, Christians are allowed to go through tribulation here on this earth to make them strong. Believe me; the devil is not locked up now.
In these scriptures, we find that the martyrs and those who refuse to take the mark of the beast will reign with Christ right here on this earth. Christians, from all generations, will live here on this earth during the millennium and will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus. We will rule with Christ during those years but we will not be equal as we will reign as His subordinates. Won't it be wonderful to reign with the martyrs like Stephen?
The thrones represent the administration of the messianic kingdom. Those whom John sees come to life are the Tribulation martyrs, who refused to worship the beast.
Christ will rule through three classes of kingdom administrators:
1. Old Testament saints (Isaiah 26:19; Dan. 12:2), who will be resurrected at this time;
2. The apostles and the church (Matt. 19: verses 28 and 29); and
3. Tribulation saints (Luke 19: verses 12 to 27). Only believers will enter the Millennium at its beginning (John 3: verses 3 - 5).
God's promises to Abraham (Gen. 12: v.2-3) and David (2 Sam 7: v.16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1: v.31-33; Rom. 11: v.15 and 29). After the Millennium, Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father and will then be appointed Ruler forever (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
Revelation 20:5

John was also informed that the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This refers to the resurrection of the wicked dead, discussed later (Rev_20:11-15).
John stated that what he was seeing is the first resurrection. Posttribulationists refer to this as proof that the church will not be raptured before the Tribulation and that no resurrection has taken place prior to this point in fulfillment of God’s prophetic program. It should be obvious, however, that in no sense could this be the number-one resurrection chronologically because historically Christ was the first to rise from the dead with a transformed, resurrected body. There was also the resurrection “of many” (Mat_27:52-53) which took place when Christ died. In what sense then can this resurrection in Rev_20:5 be “first”?
As the context which follows indicates, “the first resurrection” (Rev_20:5-6) contrasts with the last resurrection (Rev_20:12-13), which is followed by “the second death” (Rev_20:6, Rev_20:14). It is first in the sense of before. All the righteous, regardless of when they are raised, take part in the resurrection which is first or before the final resurrection (of the wicked dead) at the end of the Millennium. This supports the conclusion that the resurrection of the righteous is by stages. Christ was “the Firstfruits” (1Co_15:23), which was preceded by the token resurrection of a number of saints (Mat_27:52-53). Then will occur the Rapture of the church, which will include the resurrection of dead church saints and the translation of living church saints (1Th_4:13-18). The resurrection of the two witnesses will occur in the Great Tribulation (Rev_11:3, Rev_11:11). Then the resurrection of the martyred dead of the Great Tribulation will occur soon after Christ returns to earth (Rev_20:4-5). To these may be added the resurrection of Old Testament saints which apparently will also occur at this time, though it is not mentioned in this text (cf. Isa_26:19-21; Eze_37:12-14; Dan_12:2-3). The first part of verse 5 is a parenthesis, and comes chronologically after verse 11.
A parenthesis is defined: A qualifying or amplifying word, phrase, or sentence inserted within written matter in such a way as to be independent of the surrounding grammatical structure.
The first resurrection is the resurrection included in verse 4. It has three principal phases:
1. The resurrection of Christ (the firstfruits-1 Cor. 15: v.23; Rev. 1: v.5);
2. The resurrection of the church (the dead in Christ - 1 Cor. 15: v.23; 1 Thess. 4: v.16); and
3. The resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (v.4; Isaiah 26: v.19; Dan. 12: v.2). The rest of the dead (unbelievers) will be raised in the second resurrection, described in verses 12 and 13.
The first resurrection is a resurrection to life (John 5:28, 29), whereas the second resurrection is a resurrection to death. The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire (see verses 14).
Revelation 20:6

All those who share in the resurrection of the righteous are said to be blessed and holy, and the second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. While all the righteous will be raised before the Millennium, individuals will retain their identities and their group identifications such as Gentile believers and believers in Israel in the Old Testament, the church of the New Testament, and saints of the Tribulation.
It should be noted that the term “a thousand years” occurs six times in Rev_20:1-15. This was not something that could be seen visually; John had to be informed of it and the vision had to be interpreted as relating to a period of a thousand years. While amillenarians and others have tended to view this as nonliteral, there is no evidence to support this conclusion. This is the only chapter in Revelation where a period of a thousand years is mentioned, and the fact that it is mentioned six times and is clearly described as a period of time before which and after which events take place lead to the conclusion that it means a literal thousand-year period.
Since other time designations in Revelation are literal (e.g., “42 months,” Rev_11:2; Rev_13:5; “1,260 days,” Rev_11:3; Rev_12:6) it is natural to take “a thousand years” literally also. If the term “a thousand years” designates a nonspecific but long period of time, the present Age between Christ’s two advents, as amillenarians hold, then one would expect John to say simply that Christ would reign “a long time,” in contrast to the “short time” of Satan’s release (Joh_20:3).
Events which precede the thousand years are (a) the second coming of Christ, (b) the beast and the false prophet thrown into the fiery lake, (c) the armies destroyed, (d) Satan bound and locked in the Abyss, (e) thrones of judgment introduced, and (f) the martyred dead of the Tribulation resurrected. These events revealed in their proper sequence make it clear that the thousand-year period follows all these events, including the second coming of Christ. The conclusion that the Second Coming is premillennial is clearly supported by a normal, literal interpretation of this text. We Christians are the blessed. You can easily see that the wicked dead have no part in this resurrection. We believers in Christ (the redeemed) are not subject to death because we have life (which Jesus breathed into us), when we were born again. We will never die. This second death mentioned here is for the lost. Not only will the Christians reign on this earth with Jesus for 1000 years, but we will live for all eternity in heaven with Jesus, because we have eaten of the Tree of Life which is Jesus Christ our Lord.
What is the Millennium - Christ's 1000 year reign upon David's throne is the fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and to David, but its more than that. It is the final proof of the incorrigible nature of man's sinful heart. Christ is present in Jerusalem, ruling the world, and the saints of all ages in resurrected bodies administer the kingdom righteously under His direction. All evil is prohibited and punished immediately. Even Satan is locked away so that he cannot in any way influence mankind.
Revelation 20:7-8

The Final Doom of Satan (Rev_20:7-10)
Apart from frequent mention of the thousand years, no details are given concerning the reign of Christ on earth except that it is a time of great blessing. Many Old Testament passages supply additional information about the Millennium. The main point of the revelation here is that the Millennium follows the Second Coming.
John was told what would happen at the conclusion of the thousand years. Satan will be released from the Abyss, his prison, and will make a final attempt to induce nations — called Gog and Magog — to come and battle with him against Christ. Satan’s release will produce a worldwide rebellion against the millennial reign of Christ. The armies will be so vast in numbers that they are said to be like the sand on the seashore.
Who are these who will follow Satan? Those who survive the Tribulation will enter the Millennium in their natural bodies, and they will bear children and repopulate the earth (Isa_65:18-25). Under ideal circumstances in which all know about Jesus Christ (cf. Jer_31:33-34), many will outwardly profess faith in Christ without actually placing faith in Him for salvation. The shallowness of their professions will become apparent when Satan is released. The multitudes who follow Satan are evidently those who have never been born again in the millennial kingdom.
The question has been raised as to whether this war is the same one discussed in Ezekiel 38-39, where Gog and Magog are also mentioned (Eze_38:2). These are two different battles, for in the war of Ezekiel 38-39 the armies come primarily from the north and involve only a few nations of the earth. But the battle in Rev_20:7-9 will involve all nations, so armies will come from all directions.
Furthermore nothing in the context of Ezekiel 38-39 is similar to the battle in Revelation, as there is no mention of Satan or of millennial conditions. In Rev_20:7 the context clearly places the battle at the end of the Millennium, whereas the Ezekiel battle takes place in connection with end-time events.
Why then is the expression “Gog and Magog” used by John? The Scriptures do not explain the expression. In fact it can be dropped out of the sentence without changing the meaning. In Eze_38:1-23 Gog was the ruler and Magog was the people, and both were in rebellion against God and were enemies of Israel. It may be that the terms have taken on a symbolic meaning much as one speaks of a person’s “Waterloo,” which historically refers to the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Belgium, but has come to represent any great disaster. Certainly the armies here come in the same spirit of antagonism against God that is found in Eze_38:1-23. Satan and his demons will be imprisoned in the abyss for 1000 years while Christ rules with unopposed sovereignty. They are not permitted to interfere in the affairs of the kingdom in any way.
All those who initially went into the kingdom were without doubt redeemed sinners who had turned to Christ in faith. The bad news is that they still will possess a sinful human nature. That sin nature is passed on to their children, grandchildren, etc.
Thus each generation born in the millennium will have need for salvation. Many will come to salvation but amazingly despite the most moral society the world will ever know, a great number will love their sin and reject Him.
When Satan is loosed, he provides the leadership needed to bring the latent sin and rebellion to the surface of those unrepentant sinners. This act of rebellion will start immediately when he is released. Gog and Magog: The use of these names here and in Ezekiel 38 - 39 has confused some readers. A thorough reading of the two passages will reveal that the events are not the same. The one thing these events have in common is that both national entities (Gog and Magog) are driven by the spirit of rebellion against God. In these two cases, God uses the same names because of the deceptively satanic spirit that motivates them both.
They will muster their forces from one corner of the globe to the other and will march on Jerusalem, where they will "surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city." But there will be no battle. No call to arms. No defensive strategy or late night negotiations or propaganda campaign or deploying of gigantic nuclear weapons.
The four quarters of the earth refers to the entire globe. Gog is used as a title for an enemy of God's people, not a particular person. Magog seems to be the term used here to describe area where the sinful rebels of all the nations come from that gather together for the last war in human history.
The number of these rebels will be like the sand of the seashore which is a figure of speech used in the bible to define a vast and uncountable multitude.
Consider how when Joseph sent for his father and family that a total of 70 people came to Egypt. A little over 400 years later there were millions who God lead out of Egypt. There will be a lot more people left than 70 that will go into the millennium and there will be 250% more time for procreation. There will probably be many billions of people at that time so Satan could have a huge gathering that will join together for that final battle. "The number of who [is] as the sand of the sea."
Revelation 20:9

The armies will surround the camp of God’s people, the city He loves. This could mean only Jerusalem, which will be the capital of the world government of Christ throughout the millennial kingdom (cf. Isa_2:1-5). The result is immediate judgment. Fire will come down from heaven and devour them. These enemies of God here come against Jesus and the saints. In fact, they surround the saints. The "beloved city" here mentioned is New Jerusalem. When the devil thinks he has won, fire comes down from heaven (from God) and devours them.
Again like in the battle of Armageddon before the millennium started, this battle too will in all reality be an execution. As the rebel forces moved in to attack, they are swiftly and totally exterminated. They will be physically killed and their souls will go into the realm of punishment awaiting final sentencing to the eternal hell that will shortly take place.
In contrast with Eze_38:1-23, there is no mention of earthquake, hail, or other disasters. The only similarity is that in both cases there is fire from heaven, a frequent method of divine judgment on the earth (cf. Gen_19:24; Exo_9:23-24; Lev_9:24; Lev_10:2; Num_11:1; Num_16:35; Num_26:10; 1Ki_18:38; 2Ki_1:10, 2Ki_1:12, 2Ki_1:14; 1Ch_21:26; 2Ch_7:1, 2Ch_7:3; Psa_11:6; etc.).
Revelation 20:10

After Satan’s followers will be destroyed, he will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. Being cast into the lake that was prepared for him and his angels is the final judgment on Satan (cf. Mat_25:41). Most significant as a support of the doctrine of eternal punishment is the concluding statement, They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. The word “they” includes the devil, the beast, and the false prophet. The lake of burning sulfur is not annihilation, for the beast and false prophet are still there a thousand years after they experienced their final judgment (Rev_19:20). The beast and false prophet have been waiting for Satan in the lake of fire and brimstone for the last one thousand years. Now their deceiver joins them.
There will not be a moment's peace for them all the rest of eternity.
Revelation 20:11

The judgment of the great white throne (Rev_20:11-15)
The Resurrection and Judgment of The Wicked Dead (Rev_20:11-13)
The final five verses of Rev_20:1-15 introduce the judgment at the end of human history and the beginning of the eternal state. John wrote, I saw a great white throne. The events here described clearly follow the thousand years of Rev_20:1-6. The great white throne apparently differs from the throne mentioned more than 30 times in Revelation beginning with Rev_4:2. It apparently is located neither in heaven nor earth but in space, as suggested by the statement, Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. It is not indicated who sits on this throne, but probably it is Christ Himself as in Rev_3:21 (cf. Mat_19:28; Mat_25:31; Joh_5:22; 2Co_5:10 — though the throne in these references is not necessarily the same throne as in Rev_20:11). While Christ is now seated on the throne in heaven and will be seated on the Davidic throne on earth in the Millennium (Mat_25:31), this white throne judgment is a special situation. This is judgment day. Now John describes the terrifying scene set before him. He sees the Judge who is seated on His throne of Judgment and all of the accused standing before Him. The verdicts handed down from this throne will be equitable, righteous and just.
We also remember Ecclesiastes 12 verse 14, which promises, "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" as well as Romans 2 verses 5 and 6, where Paul speaks of the day of God's wrath "when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done". It is a fearful thing even to imagine standing before God "from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away", and have nothing but your own wicked works to show for the time on earth the Almighty had given you. On that day the words of Paul the apostle will come true: "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God". (Rom 3 verse 19) The final word, of course, will be God's.
This vision follows those of the Second Coming and those of the Millennium, immediately preceding that of the new heaven and new earth.
The use for the earth is over. The earth, heaven, and everything in them are under control of God, and if He tells them go they will have to. This is an amazing, incredible statement that is describing the un-creation of the universe. The earth was reshaped by the tribulation judgments, restored during the millennial kingdom, now God will create a new heaven and a new earth as it states in 2 peter 3, verse 13. "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness"
The question has been raised as to whether the earth and the starry heavens as they are today will be destroyed at this point in the future or will be simply restored to a new state of purity. Many references in the Bible suggest that the earth and the heavens, as now known, will be destroyed (cf. Mat_24:35; Mar_13:31; Luk_16:17; Luk_21:33; 2Pe_3:10-13). This is confirmed by the opening statement of Rev_21:1-27, “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”
The present universe was created like a gigantic clock which is running down, and if left to itself, would ultimately come to a state of complete inactivity. Inasmuch as God created the universe and set it in motion for the purpose of enacting the drama of sin and redemption, it would seem proper to begin anew with a new heaven and a new earth suitable for His eternal purpose and built on a different principle. The new heaven and new earth described in Rev_21:1-27 has no similarity to the present earth and heaven.
Revelation 20:12

The purpose of establishing the great white throne is to judge the dead. John wrote that the dead, great and small, stood before the throne. From other Scriptures it seems that all the righteous dead have been raised, including Old Testament saints, the dead of the Great Tribulation, and the church saints, the body of Christ. Thus it may be assumed that Rev_20:11-15 refer to the judgment of the wicked dead, who according to Rev_20:5 would not be resurrected until after the thousand years and will have no part in what is called “the first resurrection.”
At that judgment John saw books… opened, including a book called the book of life. The text does not state clearly what these books are, but the first opened books may refer to human works and “the book of life” is the record of those who are saved (cf. Rev_3:5; Rev_13:8; Rev_17:8; Rev_20:15; Rev_21:27). The fact that these dead have not been raised before is evidence in itself that they do not have eternal life and that their judgment is a judgment of their works. The "dead" are those who are spiritually dead because of their rejection of Christ. They will stand in their resurrected state before Jesus to be judged by Him.
The books contain the record of every unsaved person's life. Each unsaved person is judged in accordance with his works (Rom. 2: verses 6 and 16), which clearly show that each one is a guilty sinner (Rom. 3: verses 9 to19) deserving of eternal death (Roman 3: v.23; 6: v.23).
These statements immediately call our attention back to the words of the Lord Jesus: "What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs" (Luke 12 v.3). And "There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open" (Luke 8 v.17)
Remember that the Christian dead have already won their victory. Those are judged by Jesus at the Bema Seat. Now is this final fearful scene, where these include all unbelievers who have ever lived. This is the resurrection of judgment and they stand before Christ now at the White Throne Judgment.
The scope of the scene is chilling. The great mass of these unbelievers before God's throne includes everyone from presidents and kings, to paupers. There is no partiality with God as all will now face judgment.
"Books" is plural here. There are books which contain a person's every thought, word and deed. Nothing will be hidden. Think about the fact that God knows the secrets of one's heart.
God has kept perfect, comprehensive and accurate records of every person's life (deeds), and those will be measured against God's perfect and holy standard.
Those who didn't accept Jesus will have to stand or fall on their deeds. Of course, they will all fall if they didn't accept Him, because scripture clearly tells us that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
The Book of Life is the Lamb's Book of Life where the names of all believers are written who have accepted, believed and followed Christ. The Christian's sins have been done away by the blood of Jesus. Those Christians all have their names written in the Lamb's book of life and will not taste of the second death.
All final judgments deal with works, whether the works of Christians rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ or the works of the unsaved which are in view here. The question of who is saved is determined not in heaven but in life on earth. What is revealed here is the confirmation of one’s destiny by means of God’s written records.
Some view the book of life as the record of all the living and that when the unsaved die their names are deleted from it. A better view is that the book is the record of those who are saved whose names were “written in the book of life from the creation of the world” (Rev_17:Cool. Regardless of which view is taken, at this time only the saved are in the book of life.
Revelation 20:13

In order for the wicked dead to be judged… the sea… death, and hades will give up their dead. Those who are unsaved at the time of death go immediately to a state of conscious punishment described in the Old Testament as sheol and in the New Testament as hades. Neither sheol nor hades ever refer to the eternal state and should not be considered equivalent to the English word “hell,” which properly is the place of eternal punishment. The lake of fire (Rev_20:14-15) referred to as “the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Rev_19:20) is the same as gehenna (cf. Mat_5:22, Mat_5:29-30; Mat_10:28; Mat_18:9; Mat_23:15, Mat_23:33; Mar_9:43, Mar_9:45, Mar_9:47; Luk_12:5; Jas_3:6) and is translated “hell” in the NIV and KJV with the word “fire” added in several passages. Actually gehenna was originally a name for the place of burning refuse, located in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem. The term, however, goes far beyond this geographic background and refers to eternal punishment.
The statement “death and hades gave up the dead” means that the physical bodies of the unsaved will be joined with their spirits which have been in hades. The mention of “the sea” giving up its dead makes it clear that regardless of how far a body has disintegrated, it will nevertheless be resurrected for this judgment. Those who are lost wait in torment in a place of punishment until judgment day. The thing is that they are aware that they will be thrown into the lake of fire on judgment day terrible. These are all of the unbelievers though all ages who have died. They will be raised up by Christ for judgment called the second resurrection.
Before the sea was uncreated and disappeared out of existence, it gave up the dead that were in it. The sea may be mentioned as it is seemingly the most difficult place from which dead bodies could be resurrected. But God will summon new bodies for all who perished in the sea throughout history.
Death symbolizes all of the places on land from which God will resurrect new bodies for the unrighteous, unrepentant dead.
As the next scene in this courtroom drama unfolds, the lost will be summoned to appear before the judge. Since their deaths, their souls have been tormented in a place of punishment, now the time has finally come for them to be judged and sentenced.
Revelation 20:14-15

The Lake Of Fire (Rev_20:14-15)
Following the great white throne judgment death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death, the final destination of the wicked. The doctrine of eternal punishment has always been a problem to Christians who enjoy the grace of God and salvation in Christ. The Bible is clear, however, that the punishment of the wicked is eternal. This is confirmed in Rev_20:10, where the beast and the false prophet are still in the lake of fire after the thousand years of Christ’s millennial reign. Though the wicked dead will receive resurrection bodies, they will be quite unlike the resurrection bodies of the saints. The former people will continue to be sinful but will be indestructible and will exist forever in the lake of fire.
Though many have attempted to find some scriptural way to avoid the doctrine of eternal punishment, as far as biblical revelation is concerned there are only two destinies for human souls; one is to be with the Lord and the other is to be forever separated from God in the lake of fire. This solemn fact is motivation for carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth whatever the cost, and doing everything possible to inform and challenge people to receive Christ before it is too late. The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire, experienced only by the unsaved. Once this final judgment occurs, there is no further need for either death or hell (Hades) (1: v.18; 6: v.8, Isaiah 25: v.8; 1 Cor. 15: verses 26 and 55). An eternal separation is now made between those who have life and those who have "death" (Dan. 12: v.2; John 5: v.29).
It does not mean these places are thrown into the lake. It means the inhabitants of these places.
This final hell is described as the lake of fire. It may already exist but presently is not occupied until the beast and the false prophet is cast into it. They don't arrive there until the end of tribulation.
Those who die in their sins in this world will die a second death in eternity. They will be sentenced to the lake of fire forever at the great White Throne Judgment.
Whether this fire is symbolic, the reality it represents will be even more horrifying and painful. The bible also defines hell as a place of total darkness, which not only separates the unbelievers from the light, but from each other as well.
What is written in these last two verses should drive each of us to continue to spread the gospel as long as there is breath in your body. I cannot bear to think of anyone I know going to this terrible place of torment.
And that's it. In a ball of celestial flame, the rebellion is over. There will be no repeat of the plagues of the Tribulation, nor of the judgments of the Great Tribulation. Once and for all, human rebellion will have been wiped out of existence. And once and for all, it will be crystal clear to a watching universe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is absolutely essential for making the unrighteous human heart into a receptacle of God's holiness. The Millennium will prove that even the best of conditions, a thousand years of peace, prosperity, safety, long life, health, abundance, cannot change the wickedness of the unredeemed human heart. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can do that!
Awesome is the Word - It probably is not humanly possible to meditate on these awesome truths for extended periods of time. Who can long ponder the lake of fire, an eternal place of torment, possibly billions of unredeemed souls, a divine Person "from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away," or fear some books of judgment that seal the fate of the unsaved?
And yet our Lord tells us of these awesome events. Why? To give us every opportunity to escape the terrible judgment that is to come. Remember, no believer in Christ will stand before God at the great white throne. That terrible spot is reserved only for those who have rejected Christ as Savior, who have decided to crown themselves king, and who have refused to accept Jesus Christ as their true Lord.
Do not make that terrible mistake! Instead, place your faith in the Lord Jesus and ask Him to forgive your sins; then you will be ready "to stand before the Son of Man" at the judgment seat of Christ. (Luke 21 v.36) One thing is certain: You will stand in one place or the other. Hell or heaven. Make sure its the latter. And don't think that you can choose not to believe there is such a thing as heaven or hell. Makes no difference. Everyone will be judged and assigned to one place or the other. As on earth, it is the same there, ignorance is no excuse of the law!
Sometimes, when I am with a group of people who I feel are lost, I cry for hours. I am not a crier, but I remember this Scripture. It is so easy to get your name written in the Lamb's book of life. In chapter 10 of Romans verses 9 and 10 tell you how.
• 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
• 10:10: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
You see, Jesus must be our Lord as well as our Savior. If you truly believe, you will repent and be baptized. If your name is not written in the book of life, do not delay, do it today.
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Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-Seven
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