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Revelation 20:7-15 “The Final Judgment Of Satan and The Lost ”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Revelation 20:7-15

(7)  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
(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.
(9)  And they went up 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.
(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 for ever and ever.
(11)  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
(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.
(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 INTRODUCTION:

A very basic outline of the final division of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord?
  2. Rev 20 – The opening stage of eternity with the Lord (1000 year reign – a time of judgment)
  3. Rev 21 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as a great city
  4. Rev 22 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as Eden restored

In chapter 20:, we picked up with the narrative that we left in chapter 19.  Immediately following the defeat of the powers of darkness, we find the Lord disposing of Satan in the Lake of Fire just prior to the first phase of eternity, which is called the one thousand years.  Then we saw the Lord judging His people according to their works, rewarding them for their deeds.

Now in this lesson, we pick up with the events that takes place at the end of the 1000 years… the judgment of the Satan and the lost.

In the chapter before us (Revelation 20:), we use a very simple outline:

1.  Binding Of Satan (20:1-3)
2.  The Thousand Years – The first phase of eternity with Christ (20:4-6)
3.  The Final Judgment of Satan Pictured As A War (20:7-10)
4.   The Final Judgment Of Satan Pictured As A Trial (20:11-15)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note that the final judgment of Satan and the lost are symbolized in two different ways.  However, there are several basic truths that are presented to us in both..

 

Basic Principle The War (20:7-10) The Trial (20:11-15)
Lost Resurrected Vs 7 – Satan LoosedVs 9- They Went Up On Breadeth Of Earth Vs 13 – Sea Gave Up DeadVs 13 – Death/Hell Delivered Up Dead
Lost Gathered Before God Vs 9 – Compassed Saints and City Vs 12 – Stand Before God
Lost Made Up Of Multitudes Vs 8 – The Nations In 4 Qrt Of EarthVs 8 – Number As Sand Of Sea Vs 12 – Dead Small and Great
Satan/Lost Disposed In Lake of Fire Vs 10 – Cast In Lake Of Fire/Brimstone Vs 14 – Cast Into Lake Of FireVs 15 –  Cast Into Lake Of Fire
Lord and Lost Shown As Adversarial Parties Vs 8 – To Battle Vs 13 – Judged Every Man

 

Revelation 20:7-15

I.     In verses 7-10, the final judgment of Satan and the Lost are pictured as a war of the Lord versus SATAN and HIS KINGDOMS. This symbol reveals the rebellious nature of Satan and the Lost and the eternal disposition of Satan and His kingdoms … 

 

(7)  And when the thousand years are expired

In other words, when the period of time set aside for God to judge His people, reward them, and to receive their honor and praise for them.  At that point in time, to bring this period to a close, God begins the judgment of the lost…

 

Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Satan is now released out of his “prison”.  In verse 3, this “prison” was described as “the bottomless pit” which is simply another name for the Lake of Fire:

  1. The Lake Of Fire is a title given to the place of eternal separation from God referring to it as a place of torment and wrath.
  2. The Bottomless Pit is a title given to this same place, referring to it as a “deep place” or a place that cannot be filled and its inhabitants cannot affect the events on the earth.
  3. The Prison is a title that helps us to understand that this initial confinement of Satan temporarily rendered him helpless.

 

(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 first act of Satan following his release is to, once again, attempt to lead men in rebellion against the Lord.  This helps us to understand that throughout this entire process, (God’s judgment being placed upon him and his permanent confinement to the Lake of Fire), he will continue to hate the Lord, oppose His workings,  and seek to receive that which only God deserves… the honor, praise and glory of the True God.

Satan’s desire is to lead all of lost mankind that have died throughout the ages, whose bodies lie in all corners of the globe (N,S,E,W),  to unite and war against Almighty God.  Just as in his days prior to his imprisonment (19:11-21) when through his worldly kingdoms led all of the living lost against the Lord at the second coming.

 

Satan and the lost dead are given the titles “Gog” and “Magog” respectively…

The word “Gog” comes from a word that means “high mountain”, “roof” or “covering”.

While the word “Magog” comes from a word that means “the land of Gog” or “the place of Gog”.

 

Why is Satan given the title “Gog”?

It is the perfect title for Satan.  Please remember in Ezekiel 28:14-16 Satan is described as “the Anointed Cherib that covereth”.  This goes hand in hand with the idea of an high roof or a covering, which speaks of Satan’s exaltation prior to his fall and his role covering the throne of God.

 

Why are the lost given the title of “Magog”?

They make up the kingdom of Satan much like the people of God make up His kingdom.  The lost are under Satan’s authority much like a piece of property is under the authority of its owner.  This is why a title such as “the land of Gog” or the “place of Gog” is so fitting for the lost.

 

It is very interesting to note the sinfulness of the land of Magog clearly shown in Scriptures…

1.  The 3 sons of Japheth are Magog, Meshech and Tubal (Genesis 10:2, 1 Chron 1:5).

2.  In Ezekiel 38:2, Gog is ruler over the kingdom of Magog which is made up of the peoples of Meshech and Tubal (along with Rosh).

3.   We read that Meshech and Tubal are described as enemies of the Lord who are destroyed by the Lord due to their sinfulness in Ezekiel 32:26-28 and Ezekiel 39:1-8, this is referring to the Kingdom of Magog which is ruled over by Gog.

Gog, the sinful ruler of the kingdom of Magog, which is made up of the nations of Meshech and Tubal, were a sinful people condemned to face the wrath of God…. the perfect picture of lost mankind under the leadership of Satan.

 

the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

The number of lost mankind that Satan attempts to lead against the Lord is as the sands of the sea.  In other words, there are so many of them, they cannot be counted by man.  Why is this?  Remember this group of lost men includes all the lost men who have ever lived on the earth throughout all time.  This would include the lost that have existed from Adam’s day forward to the second coming of Christ.

These are the ones that are pictured as going to war against the Lord, these are the ones that make up the mighty nation of Magog, under the leadership of their King Gog (Satan). 

 

(9)  And they went up on the breadth of the earth,

The word for “breadth” means “plate”, “surface”, or “open area”.   This verse is saying that all the bodies of lost mankind will be resurrected and go up upon the surface of the earth.   This is the resurrection of the lost’s bodies.  Although they will be resurrected, they will not be glorified, this is a blessing reserved for the saints of God only.

This explains the origin of the rebellious masses, led by Satan, to do war against Christ. 

 

 and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:

As they gather, they surround the city of New Jerusalem where the Lord lives with His saints on the New Earth.  It will be in this city where the final judgment will be rendered upon them.

Psalms 87:1-3 – “A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah. His foundation is in the holy mountains.   The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.  Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.” 

This is a very important point to not overlook.  Fallen mankind continues in a state of rebellion against the Lord, even following them feeling the hand of God’s wrath upon them.  They had already tasted what eternal wrath feels like prior to this resurrection, and yet as soon as they are released, they angrily want to battle the Lord instead of willingly submitting to His Lordship.   Even in the midst of their judgment in the Lake of Fire men will NEVER turn to Christ in saving due to their depraved nature and the absence of God’s gracious intervention in their lives.

John 5:39-40 – “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”

This helps us to understand one of several reasons why lost mankind will face God’s wrath eternally… it is because mankind will eternally be unsubmissive and rebellious against Christ’s Lordship for their lives, even in the midst of the Lake of Fire.

 

But what about this verse, and others like it…?

Philippians 2:10-11 – “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. “

Certainly, as totally defeated foes, the lost will acknowledge the greatness and Lordship of Christ, however, it will not be done willfully, joyfully, with an intent to serve Him and glorify Him with their lives.  That is the difference between simply ACKNOWLEDGING His Lordship and willfully, joyfully ACCEPTING His Lordship in a life changing way.

 

Just one quick note:  although lost mankind will be present on the New Earth, it will not in any way defile the new earth nor its glory.  Keep in mind, Satan, himself was present in the Garden of Eden, and yet, the integrity of the garden and mankind’s relationship with the Lord was not affected at all, until mankind partook of the fruit (Gen 3:1-5)….  The presence of a sinful being in a paradise of God does not necessarily defile the paradise.  It was God’s choice of judgment against the sin of Adam and Eve that brought the curse upon the earth and mankind.  (Gen 3:6-16).

  

and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

 This is God rendering His final judgment unto them due to their sins and continued rebellious attitude against the Lord.  His judgment is pictured by a fire that consumed them.  This is a common picture of God’s wrath falling against lost mankind throughout the Scriptures:

  1. Sodom and Gomorrah – Gen 19:24
  2. Nadab and Abihu – Lev 10:1-3
  3. Complaining Israelites – Num 11:1-2
  4. Korah’s 250 – Num 16:35

 

Also it is a common picture of lost mankind’s eternal dwelling place known as “the Lake of Fire”.   Please keep in mind, the Lake of Fire is also described as the place of “everlasting fire” in Matt 18:8, 25:41.  Also it is described as “unquenchable fire” in Mark 9:43-44-48.

This is what lost mankind has awaiting them for an eternity… the wrath of God falling upon them due to their willful commission of sin.  This is the essence of the Lake of Fire punishment.

 

(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 for ever and ever.

We are now told of the eternal end of Satan… he is also cast into “the lake of fire and brimstone”.   He will be right alongside the lost who make up his religious and political kingdom of this world.   All of them, both Satan and all the lost will be pained and agonized “ages upon ages” (with no end).

 

II.     In verses 11-15, the final judgment of Satan and the Lost are pictured as a court trial with the Lord as Judge and the LOST as defendants. This symbol reveals the individuality of the judgment, the basis of the judgment, and the eternal disposition of the LOST  …

 

 (11)  And I saw a great white throne,

John now sees another symbolic representation of the same event… the final judgment of Satan and lost mankind.   In this part of the vision John sees a massive seat of authority glowing white in color.  This is representative of the very seat of God Himself.  It is massive showing us God’s greatness, it is glowing white showing God’s purity and glory, and it is recognized as a throne, showing us God’s great ruling authority.

 

and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

John now sees a person sitting upon the throne.  This person is described as “the one from whose face the earth and heaven fled away and there was fond no place for them”.   This helps us to understand that this is God Himself sitting on the throne.  God is the ONLY ONE so great that His glory totally outshines and “puts to shame” the glory of the heavens and earth”.  It is saying this God on the throne is the same God that caused the Old Earth and Heavens to be permanently changed though a display of His wrath.

Keep in mind, at the return of Christ (Rev 19:10-21), who is God Himself, with the display of His great wrath, the heavens and earth were totally renovated.  It has already happened prior to the judgment of the lost taking place (Rev 20:7-15).

This verse is not saying that the heavens and earth fled away at the time of the Great White Throne.  It is saying that the same God who sits on the throne, ie Christ, is the same God from whom we saw heavens and earth pass away from His face, previously.  This clearly identifies the One of the throne as Christ, Who is God Himself.

 

Please especially note the past tense of “FLED away” and “there WAS FOUND no place for them”.  The New Heavens and Earth had previously fled away and permanently changed.  Now, during the Great White Throne, it still continues to remain the renovated, sinless, place of God’s abode with His saints.  It has not reverted back to the status of the Old Heavens and Earth.

 

(12)  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;

John’s attention is now turned from the One on the throne to the ones standing before the throne.  They are all the lost mankind who has ever lived on the earth.

John describes them as:

  1. the dead – those who were physically dead and currently are spiritually dead
  2. small and great- those of every social, economic, political statuses

 

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.

Now John describes the basis of God’s judgments that are made.

The Bible does not tell us with certainty the identity of “the books”, but I believe they are possibly the 66 books of the Bible.  They would be the basis of the judgment of the lost man’s works.  They would be used to determine the level of punishment received by the guilt, based upon the sins that they committed.

The Bible clearly identifies the book described as “another book”.  This is also described as “the book of life”.  This is the basis of God’s judgment of their lost condition.  This determines whether the person will be held accountable for their sins or, if their sins have been already paid through the death of Christ on the cross.

If these are the books involved in the judgment, basically the judgment of the lost is symbolized in two steps as follows:

  1. The lost stand before the Lord, while the Lord proves their lost condition. He does this using the absence of their name from the book of life as proof of their lost state.
  1. Once they are proven to be lost, they are proven to be accountable for their sins. The Lord then examines their works, comparing their works with the 66 books of the Bible as the standard for Godly living.  Based upon the outcome of this examination, the Lord then determines the level of eternal punishment they will receive as individuals based upon the wickedness of their lifestyle.

 

(13)  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; 

John now stresses the origin of those being judged.  John is reminding us that all of lost mankind will face the judgment of God.   There will be none lost nor forgotten.  Even those who were lost at sea and those whose bodies were eaten by sea creatures or left to decay at the bottom of the ocean will be resurrected as well.

 

and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:

The terms “death”  (thanatos) and “hell” (hades) are two sides to the same coin.  You cannot have one without the other.

Both death and hell refer to conditions of separation that takes place at physical death:

  1. thanatos (death) refers to the condition of a body after the spirit has left it. When the body no longer houses the spirit it is said to be “dead”.  “Thanatos” is a condition not a place.
  1. hades (hell) refers to the condition of a spirit after it has left a body. When a spirit is no longer encased in a body, it is now in an unseen condition and it is said to be in hades.  “Hades” is a condition not a place.

When we are told that death and hell “delivered up the dead which was in them”, the Bible is telling us that all of the lost were resurrected, their bodies no longer were without spirits and their spirits were no longer without bodies.

 

and they were judged every man according to their works.

Once they were resurrected, they stood before the Lord and were judged and found wanting. 

 

(14)  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

When the lost are resurrected and judged, the conditions of “death” and “hell” are sent to eternal destruction.  No longer will the spirit of lost men ever enter the unseen condition without a body around it.  Likewise, no longer will the bodies of lost men be emptied of their spirit.

 

This is the second death.

Those who are resurrected, judged, and consigned to eternal punishment at this Great White Throne, are those who have partaken of the “second death”.

Lost mankind, those who have suffered spiritual death due to the fall of man (Eph 2:1-3, Col 2:13), now suffers a second type of death… eternal separation from God, being cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev 21:8).  This is what we have just seen through this symbolic representation of the final judgment of lost mankind. 

 

(15)  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

This refers back to the basic result of this judgment of God.  Those whose names are not in the pages of “the book of life” are then thrown into the Lake of Fire, separating them from the presence of God and bringing to them the eternal judgment for their sins.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of John’s vision we see Christ presented as both a Victorious Warrior and A Just, Holy Judge.  In both cases, the eternal wrath of God sent upon lost mankind is in view.   The lost’s consignment to God’s eternal wrath is a issue of both Christ’s defeat of sin (Warrior) and Christ’s justice (Judge).

One of the reasons why lost men are consigned to the Lake of Fire is because Christ has won the victory over sin on the cross (1 Cor 15:55-57).   The lost’s eternal punishment is the outward display of that which has already taken place on the cross.  Christ has won the victory over sin and we have that proved to us throughout eternity with the sinful experiencing eternal defeat in the Lake of Fire.  Sin did not ultimately win the day and this is proved by the lost’s eternal consignment to the Lake of Fire.

Another reason why lost men are consigned to the Lake of Fire is due to Christ’s Holiness and Justice.  Christ, the Holy God, cannot overlook sin nor accept it into His eternal presence.  His holiness dictates that sin must be removed from His presence and punished (2 Thess 1:7-10).    Both of these can be clearly seen in the consignment of the lost to the Lake of Fire.

Christ as Victorious Warrior and Just Judge will punish the lost for their sins.  His very work and nature obligates Him to do so.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we come to understand that both the nature and work of Christ dictates that sin must be judged, we should recognize the great need that stands in the lives of those who are lost.  By remaining in their lost state, the unsaved are destined to face the Lord’s eternal wrath with absolute certainty.  Their only hope is to turn form their sin and turn to Christ in saving faith.

May we all use this knowledge to be more greatly burdened to take the gospel message to the lost around us.  In doing so, we are sharing with them the good news that can lead to their salvation and a wonderful eternity with Jesus Christ.

 

 

Homepage:               http://www.settledinheaven.org

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7 Comments

  1. I love the Book of Revelation-it’s so rich with the activities of Heaven. Some times I think we can over-complicate it. However, my heart leaps every time a read about the worship that goes on: “…never ceasing day and night, shouting…” “….thousands, and ten thousands of thousands saying with a loud voice, ‘worthy is the Lamb who was slain, and who is worthy to take the Book and open it!” Woooooooo! I’m about to have church. 😀

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this study

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