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The Reign Of The Saints

SIH STSTA ICON

 

In Revelation 5:8-9, we find the 4 beasts and the 24 elders (symbols of the people of God) praising the Lamb (Jesus Christ) for His great work on their behalf…

 

 

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

Then, in the very next verse, they praise Christ for the blessings they receive through His work …
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Here, we read of the saints being given two positions of great authority (“Kings and Priests”) allowing them to “reign on the earth”. What does this promise involve? Or put another way, In what way do the saints of God reign as Kings and Priests upon the earth? This is the question we will be answering in this Bible study.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Daniel 7:15-22; Daniel 7:26-27; Matthew 19:27-30; Matthew 24:45-51; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-48; Luke 19:11-27; Luke 22:24-30;  1 Corinthians 6:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:4-5; Revelation 22:3-5

THE STUDY:

When we speak of the saints reigning, we are describing several different types of dominion that are granted to the redeemed of God. The following is a description of these types of dominion by subject in outline, form. What follows the outline is a listing of many of the Bible texts which teach these areas of dominion with a brief summary of each event listed in chronological order (when possible).

 

Dominion Over The Nations – The Saints God-Given Authority Involves the saint exercising great authority over the powers of darkness IN THIS PRESENT WORLD and in THE WORLD TO COME:

A) Saints are given DOMINION IN THIS PRESENT WORLD (the existing heaven and earth):

(1) This dominion involves the ability to overcome the control of our sinful flesh and powers of darkness in this present world. This is why the saints are described as “Victors over the world” or “Overcomers”.

(2) This dominion is displayed by the saints’ sharing of victory at Armageddon – the saints accompanying Christ at final defeat of lost mankind in this present world at Christ’s second coming

B) Saints are promised to receive DOMINION IN THE WORLD TO COME (the New Heavens and New Earth) in which we will live eternally:

(1) This dominion will be a reward for the saint’s faithfulness – The future dominion of the saints is given as a reward for victorious living now. This dominion involves dominion over the nations, and dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth…

(a) Dominion Over The World By Judgment – this will take place as the saints share in the final judgment of the wicked men and angels, both Jew and Gentile, both OT and NT lost mankind. This will be the ultimate defeat of the powers of darkness in the world to come lasting for eternity.

1. Judging Israel – Saints will judge Israel (who rejected Messiah and crucified Him) during judgment of the lost. Israel is a representative of all lost mankind due to their rebellion and rejection of Christ.

2. Judging Angels – Saints will also judge the fallen angels (demons) including Satan, himself at this final judgment of the lost.

(b) Dominion over New Heavens and New Earth – Reign on NH & NE in Christ’s presence will stretch from the 1000 year reign into eternity. This will take place from the creation of the NH and NE throughout eternity. This includes both phases of the eternal state (the 1000 yr reign and the finalized eternal kingdom of God)…

1. 1000 Yr Reign – Beginning Of Christ’s reign on NH NE. As believers are judged they receive authority over NHNE during this time period

2.  Eternal Kingdom – This is the ultimate proof of the saint’s victory over this sinful world. Their dominion over the world symbolizing the renewal of the Garden of Eden on the New Earth.

 

Scripture References For Above Outline:

 

Dominion Over The Nations

1. The Lord blesses those who are truly saved (overcomers) with dominion over the powers of darkness of this world….

Revelation 2:26-27 KJV “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

Note: “The nations” are referring to lost mankind (as part of the powers of darkness of this world). In this text, we are given representations of the two types of dominion possessed by saved mankind (dominion in this world and dominion in the world to come).
The phrase “rule with rod of iron” points us to the overcomers dominion over the powers of darkness in this world. This victory finds its completion at the Battle of Armageddon which is the last historic event that takes place on this present evil world.
The phrase “power over the nations” speaks of the dominion which the saints will possess in the future in the New world to come. This phrase speaks of the judgment of lost mankind at the final judgment and consignment to the Lake of Fire. This judgment is the ultimate, eternal defeat of the powers of darkness for eternity.

 

The Dominion Given To Saints NOW: “Overcomers”

1. The ability to escape the dominion of sin (context – false teaching) based upon power of indwelling Spirit…

1 John 4:4 KJV “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

2. Access to Godly power overcoming the dominion of sin (Satan, antichrist spirit, powers of darkness, our flesh) which is received through saving faith (resulting in Spirit indwelling)…

1 John 5:4-5 KJV “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

3. The Saints had overcome the dominion of sin (shown by thrones) and were now in Christ’s presence following their death …

Revelation 4:4 KJV “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

 

Victory At Armegeddon

1. The Lord, accompanied by His saints, returns to the earth and gains the final victory over the lost kingdoms of this current world…

Revelation 19:11-21 KJV “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

Note: The victory at Armageddon is an outward display of the authority given to the saints as Overcomers.

The Dominion Given To The Saints As A Reward For Faithfulness

1. Faithfulness of true believers will result in rewards and blessings of rulership at the believer’s judgment…

Matthew 24:45-51 KJV “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:14-30 KJV “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

2. The truly saved servant was faithful – he was rewarded with rulership. The lost servant was unfaithful and cast into hell.…

Luke 12:42-48 KJV “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

Note: Of those who were lost the greater the knowledge (responsibility) the greater the punishment. (Teaches us that levels of hell exist based upon amount of knowledge and willful rejection of truth)

Luke 19:11-27 KJV “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

Note: Those who are lost servants, who fear Lord as being unjust and hard will have their knowledge of God and hypocritical service made useless and they will be empty handed at day of judgment. The lost, who are outwardly rebellious and immoral, face immediate rejection by God as well.

Dominion Over New Heavens and New Earth

1. Saints, those who are redeemed through blood of Christ, are given authority to rule and enter God’s presence. Both types of dominion will be clearly seen as the saints enter eternity with the Lord, ruling over the New Creation and entering into His presence for an eternity.

Revelation 5:8-10 KJV “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

 

1000 Year Reign

1. This marks the first part of Christ’s eternal reign on the New Heavens and New Earth (immediately following the appearance of the NH & NE following Armageddon) At this point in time the saints are judged and they are given reign over NH and NE for eternity (restoration of Garden of Eden before fall).

Revelation 20:4-5 KJV “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

 

2. This time periods runs from the 1000 Year Reign throughout Eternity

2 Timothy 2:11-13 KJV “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”

Revelation 3:21 KJV To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Judging The World

1. Saints will judge lost world (fallen world) during final judgment of lost…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

2. This judgment also involves fallen angels (including Satan) as well as lost mankind…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

Note: saints will judge fallen angels during GWTH (Jude 1:6) (Satan included?) Saints, as Overcomers were given authority over demons during Bible days pictured saints holding authority over demons (John 12:31). Likewise, angels ministering to believers is a sign of man’s authority over angels as well.

3. A part of this judgment involves the nation of Israel (those who rejected and crucified Christ) picturing all lost mankind.

Matthew 19:27-30 KJV “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Note: “The regeneration” is speaking of the reformation of the Heavens and Earth resulting in the New Heavens and New Earth. The Lord is reigning upon the earth with His saints at this time.

Luke 22:24-30 KJV “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

Eternal Kingdom

1. Saints given “the kingdom” beginning with the end of Armegeddon (appearance of NH and NE) into 1000 yr to GWTH to Eternity

Daniel 7:15-22 KJV “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

Daniel 7:26-27 KJV “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

 

2. The eternal, perfect, dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth. This is tantamount to the blessings of the Garden of Eden restored to mankind. The curse of sin being totally undone…

Revelation 22:1-5 KJV “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “This is the second death.”

SIH TOTT ICON

 

Revelation 20:14

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

 

When we consider what is meant by ‘the second death”, it is important to recognize the context of our passage…  the verses immediately preceding this verse speak of the resurrection of the lost, the judgment of the works of the lost, and the destruction of physical death.

When we are told that ‘This is the second death”, the Bible is referring, in a very general way, to the final judgment and disposition of the lost.  They are resurrected (never to physically die again), found guilty at the final judgment, removed from God’s presence, and cast into the Lake of Fire for an eternity.   This series of events make up what is known as the second death.

 

Although the term “second death” is used four times in the Book of Revelation, it is used nowhere else throughout the Bible.   Let’s look and see what we can learn from the other three Revelation passages of scripture…

Revelation 2:11

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

Here, we are told that those who are overcomers in Christ will not be harmed by the second death.   How very true.  If we have turned from our sins and turned to Christ, in faith, we are overcomers in Christ (1 John 4:4; 5:4-5).  In doing so, we have overcome the powers of darkness and their effects in our lives (1 John 2:13-13:4).

 

Revelation 20:6

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Christ’s victory over Satan, sin, and death has become ours through faith in His name.  Because of this, we have given us escape from the judgment for our sins, an eternity in the very presence of Christ and, then, rewarded with a share of His ruling authority. (Romans 8:17)

 

Revelation 21:8

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Those who will suffer this second death are those whose sins remain upon their account.  They are the ones who stand before God and are found guilty of the sins which they have committed.   Their only possible hope is found in the shed blood of Christ which can secure redemption and Christ’s righteousness on their behalf (2 Cor 5:21, Eph 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19).

 

As Christians, may we all praise and honor our Lord, who has so graciously made a way of escape from the second death and its eternal effects upon sinful mankind.  May we all strive to serve Him in greater ways sharing the good news of Christ and His death with the lost men around us …those who so desperately need it.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4f0

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:14

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

 

 

For us to understand this very important phrase, we need to understand the meanings of the words “death” and “hell”.

 

  1. The meaning of the word “death”…

The word “death” comes from the Greek word “thanatos” which describes the condition of a body when the life has departed from it.    Please notice “thanatos” does not speak of a place, it speaks of a condition.  It refers to the condition of the body that no longer has the spirit of life within it.

The meaning of the word “death” in English carries the same idea.   When a person’s spirit leaves their body, we commonly say the person is now dead, in other words the person’s body no longer has their spirit within it.

 

  1. The meaning of the word “hell”…

The word hell comes from the Greek word “hades”.  Hades describes the condition of the spirit when it is no longer inhabiting a body.  Just like the word “thanatos”, the word “hades” never refers to a place but always refers to a condition.  A spirit that is disembodied is said to be in the condition of “hades”.  It is given this title because, when a spirit is outside a body, it can no longer be seen.  It has entered an “unseen condition”.  This is the basic meaning of “hades”.

Unfortunately, due to the influence of Greek idolatry, false teaching, and the passage of time, the word “hades” is now used to refer to a place.  However, it is extremely important to note that the Biblical use of the word “hades” exclusively refers to a condition.

If we stop and think about it the words “thanatos” and “hades” we can see that they are truly inseparable and basically, two-sides to the same coin.   You cannot have a body without a spirit in it unless you also have a spirit that no longer has a body around it.  At physical death, the body enters the condition of “thanatos” and at the same instant the spirit enters into the condition of “hades”.

Please keep in mind, although the word “hades” does not describe a place of eternal punishment, the Biblical phrase “Lake of Fire” clearly does describe such a place. An eternal place of damnation, The Lake Of Fire, exists and will be the eternal dwelling place of Satan, demons, and lost mankind.

 

 

If we understand the meaning of these terms, we can now come to a sound understanding of what is meant by the phrase “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.”  

Basically, this phrase is teaching us that, following the resurrection of the saved, and at a later time the resurrection of the lost, physical death and its effects have come to a complete end.  Never again will a body be separated from the spirit, nor will the spirit ever leave a body again.  In other words, death (thanatos) and hell (hades) will be utterly destroyed.  This principle of the doing away of physical death is seen in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, Luke 20:36, Rev 21:4 

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.   O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

This text simply tells us, following the resurrection, death will be rendered ineffective, with the Lord gaining the victory over it!

“Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” 

“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.”

 

May we all praise and honor our Lord for bringing an end to physical death, allowing all of His people to enjoy an eternity with Him as a united being body, soul, and spirit!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4f0

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:10

“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.

 

The end of the powers of darkness can be clearly seen in this text…. never ending, consistent, “torment”.    The Greek root word for “torment” is the word for “a touchstone”.  A touchstone was a rough-surfaced stone that was rubbed against an unknown mineral.  By examining the mark that was left by the touchstone, the true identity of the mineral was revealed.

Just like a touchstone reveals the true nature of a mineral, so too, the Lake of Fire reveals many truths about the Lord and those who experience its torments…

  1. Reveals the power of the Lord – Isa 33:14, 2 Thes 1:6-9
  2. Reveals the anger of the Lord – Isa 33:14, 2 Thes 1:6-9
  3. Reveals the need for fear and reverence of the Lord – Mat 10;28
  4. Reveals the lost’s alienation from the Lord – Mat 7:23, Luk 16;19-31, 2 Thes 1:6-9
  5. Reveals God’s curse that is upon the lost – Mat 25:41
  6. Reveals the lost’s alignment with Satan and the sinful powers of the world – Matt 25:41
  7. Reveals the lost’s need of Christ – Luke 16:19-31
  8. Reveals the undoing of the injustices of life – Luke 16:19-31, 2 Thes 1:6-9
  9. Reveals God’s avenging of the abuse of His people – 2 Thes 1:6-9
  10. Reveals the sinful nature of the person and works of the lost – Isa 66:23-24, Dan 12:2, Mat 5: 29-30, Mat 7:23, Mar 9:43-48
  11. Reveals the wages of sinful acts that were committed – Luke 16:19-31, 2 Thes 1:6-9, Hebs 6:1-2

Truly, the eternal punishments brought upon lost mankind are truly a “touchstone” that reveals much about our Lord, the lost, and their great need of Christ.

 

Every time we read of the eternal punishment of the Lord within in the pages of the Bible, may we remind ourselves of these truths and live them out in our lives by taking the gospel message to the lost that are around us.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4f0

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “they went up on the breadth of the earth”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:9

“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.”

 

Lost men from all the ages are led by Satan to oppose Christ.  We are told here that “they went up on the breadth of the earth”, which is a phrase describing their resurrection from the dead, which will allow them to stand before Christ and receive the judgment for their sins.

Revelation 20:12 – “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.”

The resurrection of the lost dead is described elsewhere in the Bible….

Daniel 12:2 – “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

John 5:29 – “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Acts 24:15 – “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”

According to the above verses, the resurrection of the “unjust” will lead to “shame”, “everlasting contempt” and “damnation” for lost mankind.

The judgment of their sins at the hands of a Just, Almighty God will result in them facing great public embarrassment (“shame”), as the Lord reveals their wicked actions as he compares them to the standards found in His Word.

As they are found guilty, and sentenced to eternal punishment, they will find themselves facing the endless revulsion of God (“everlasting contempt”) as they are condemned to punishment (“damnation”).

As God’s people, we too, are deserving of this same end.  However, through the grace of our Lord we have been delivered from the judgment that we deserved.   As His servants, we have been given the great responsibility to reach lost mankind with the gospel of Christ, both as individuals, and especially through the ministry of local churches.

May we all faithfully take the good news of God’s grace to the lost world around us.  May we be motivated from a heart of love and appreciation for the Lord and all He has done for us.  And may we always take the gospel to the lost with a heart of compassion and concern for their well-being seeking to help them escape the wrath that is to come.

Colossians 1:27-28 – “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4f0

Revelation 20: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

In the remaining portion of Revelation, we will be looking at the contents of the sealed book.  This book will reveal what the saints have awaiting them in eternity with Christ.  The contents of the sealed book will be revealed to us in chapters 19-22.  This will bring to completion our study of the Revelation.

 

A very basic outline of the remaining chapters of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord? (background to 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

Here is a short outline of chapter 20:…

  1. The Binding of Satan 1-3
  2. The 1000 Year reign 4-6
  3. The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A War 7-10
  4. The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A Court Trial 11-15

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

  1. The Binding Of Satan (Rev 20:1-3)

John sees an angel sent from God proceed from heaven.  This angel possesses control over the bottomless pit and a great chain that will be used to bind Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit (Lake of Fire).  Satan’s imprisonment would last for the length of the 1000 year time period.

Satan and his work is revealed through the use of 4 titles.  Satan’s temptations are used to fascinate and mislead mankind (Dragon), he knows mankind’s weaknesses and shortcomings (Serpent), he accuses God’s people of wrongdoing seeking to bring them under the condemnation of God (Devil), he is the enemy of God constantly opposing Him (Satan).

 

  1. The 1000 Year Reign (Rev 20:4-6)

With the imprisonment of Satan completed, John sees the saints enjoying the 1000 years with God.  During this time frame John sees the saints being judged and rewarded by the Lord for their faithfulness.

John saw the thrones that were reserved for God’s people, symbolically representing their reward of sharing authority with Him.  We see the Lord handing down His judgment and rewards to them … “judgment was given unto them”.  The saints are described in several ways, each one representing their willingness to sacrifice themselves for Christ as martyrs or as “living sacrifices” whose lives were dedicated to Christ’s use.

We are told that this period of judgment, rewards, and enjoyment of rewards would last for 1000 years.  Symbolically the number 1000 represents a complete timeframe.  This can be clearly seen in many Biblical references including Psa 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8.

As we study the symbolism of the 1000 years, we can come to understand this time of judgment for the saints will be a set period of time set aside as part of the saint’s eternity with God.   This time period will come to an end when the judgment and rewarding of the saints comes to completion.  At that point in time, the last phase of eternity begins, and the saints will be enjoying communion with the Lord without end.

The people (saints of God) involved in this wonderful time with Christ have all experienced “the first resurrection” .  This is referring to the spiritual resurrection of all who have come to Christ, as they are “passed from death unto life” (HJon 5:24-27)

 

III.  The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A War (Rev 20:7-10) 

Immediately following the time of judgment of the saved, John then sees Satan released from the bottomless pit.  Even after his imprisonment, Satan continues to have a desire to rebel and oppose the works of Christ.  In this case, he desires to lead mankind  in a worldwide war against the Lord.

Satan is given title “Gog” which means a high mountain, covering, or roof, which speaks to us of Satan’s prior position as the exalted angel that covered the throne of God prior to his fall.  Those who follow him are described as “Magog” which means the kingdom or nation of Gog, revealing their submission to Satan and his desires for their lives.

Then we see the resurrection of lost mankind from their temporary abode (their spirits from the Lake of Fire; their bodies from the grave)… “they went up on the breadth of the earth’.     They then are encircled around New Jerusalem where the saints and God dwell.  This is all in preparation of their coming time of judgment at the hands of God.

John then jumps ahead and sees the end result of their judgment… fire devours them , removing them from the New Earth, and then Satan and the lost are committed to the Lake of Fire for an eternity. 

 

  1. The Judgment Of The Lost Symbolized By A Court Trial (Rev 20:11-15)

A second set of symbols that are used to describe the final judgment of the lost is presented as a court trial where guilt and punishment are decided.  The Lord Jesus glory is shown as He sits on a shining white throne.   Jesus’ identity is confirmed when we are told the One of the throne is the same one “from whose face the earth and heaven fled away.”

Next, John sees the lost stand before the Lord awaiting judgment.  We are told that Christ will use “the books” (the 66 books of the Bible) and the book of life to complete the judgment process.  The books of the Bible will be used to judge men’s works, thereby assigning guilt to them, and the book of life will be used to see if Christ’s blood has covered those sins and paid their price.

Of course, all the works of the lost will be found sinful, which will render them guilty in God’s sight.  Then their names will be missing from the book of life, clearly revealing they owe the sin debt that they have accrued.    This will result in all of them being sent to the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

We are told that the sea will give up the lost who were lost at sea, emphasizing that, no matter what may happen to the physical body, whether lost at sea, eaten by a sea creature, or decaying in the depths, the Lord is still quite capable of resurrecting the body and reuniting it with the spirit.

We are also told that “death and hell” gave up the dead and then were ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire.  This teaches us that, following this resurrection of the lost, no longer will the bodies and spirits of the lost be separated from each other.  As complete beings, made up of both body and spirit, they will stand before the Lord in judgment and be consigned to the lake of fire for an eternity.

Finally, we are told that this represents those who have partaken of the second death, which is the eternal separation of man from God’s presence throughout eternity.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In Revelation chapter 21, we will see a wonderful description of the eternal dwelling place of God’s people pictured as a glorious city.  Then in chapter 22, we will see this same dwelling place pictured as a glorious garden.

This description will be broken up into several parts:

  1. New Jerusalem descending to the New Earth (21:1-2)
  2. The blessings of citizenship in New Jerusalem (21:3-7)
  3. The immorality of those outside New Jerusalem (21:8)

4   Description of New Jersalem (21:9-27)

  1.   Outside View Of New Jerusalem (21:9-11)
  2. The Walls Of New Jerusalem (21:12-18)
  3.   The Foundation Of the Walls of New Jerusalem (21:19-20)
  4. The Gates Of New Jerusalem (21:21)
  5. The Interior Of New Jerusalem (21:22-27)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation. 

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “Gog and Magog.”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:8

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.

 

 

In this vision we find Satan, attempting to lead all of lost mankind to battle against Christ, given the title “Gog”.  While those he misleads are given the title “Magog”.

What can we learn about Satan and lost mankind through the use of these titles? To answer this question, it is important for us to understand the definition of these words…

 

1.    The title “Gog” has the basis meaning of “high mountain”, “roof” or “covering”.

This word emphasizes the ideas of “highness” and “overshadowing”.  How fitting a title for Satan.  Please remember, prior to the fall Satan held an exalted position as the chosen angel that overshadowed the very throne of God…

Ezekiel 28:14-15 – “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.  Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

 

2.    The title “Magog” holds the meaning “the land of Gog”, “the place of Gog” or “the kingdom of Gog”.

This title speaks of both the land area controlled by Gog and the inhabitants of that land area.  Again, this is a very fitting title for the lost who are under Satan’s leadership.  The lost follow Satan to rebel and oppose Christ.  They make up both Satan’s political and religious kingdoms.  They are the inhabitants of his kingdom, which are ruled by him.

 

 

But there is another aspect of these titles that needs to be considered.  Gog and his Kingdom, Magog, are mentioned in the Old Testament in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

In Ezekiel 38:2, we are told that Gog’s kingdom (Magog) is made up of the nations of Meshech and Tubal (along with Rosh).   Later in this chapter and the following chapter, we see Gog described as the Lord is “against” Gog and his kingdom. Ultimately, Gog and his kingdom (Magog) will be destroyed by God’s wrath.

This account found in Ezekiel 38 and 39 gives example of the principle that the nations of the world will oppose the Lord and His people and, at times, seemingly win the victory over them.  However, when all is said and done, the Lord will defeat all these enemies and take them out of the way.

These are all principles that are revealed to us in both the Ezekiel and Revelation passages, one text complimenting the other.

These are the basic principles that the Lord is showing to us when He gives Satan and the lost the titles of “Gog” and “Magog” in Revelation.

 

It is so important for us to remember that from the Garden of Eden until his final removal from the New Earth, Satan is living a life of rebellion against Christ.  One of the chief ways that he works is by leading the lost to actively oppose the servants of Christ.

May we all be on guard against the workings of Satan and those who oppose the cause of Christ.   As we face the opposition of this world, may we remain faithful to Christ understanding He will be the ultimate victor overs these powers of darkness.

 

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4f0

 

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

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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Video Blog:               http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:           settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “a thousand years”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:6

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

 

As we have seen many, many times, the book of Revelation is rich in symbolism.  Every major teaching found in Revelation is given to us through the use of symbolic imagery.  The thousand years is no exception to this…

What is the symbolism of this period of time described as “a 1000 years”?

In the Bible, the most common usages of the number 1000 is to represent a complete group (“all” of something).  Here are a few examples:

 

  1. Deuteronomy 7:9 – “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”

God is faithful to ALL generations (not just the first one thousand generations and then be unfaithful to generation number 1001)

 

  1. Job 9:1-3 – “Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?  If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.”

Not one man out of all mankind can contend with God (not simply one man out of each group of 1000 men, then with man in group 1001 we find a man who can contend with God)

 

  1. Job 33:23 – “If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:”

There is not one man out of all mankind that can present a case for man’s uprightness (If literal, this is saying that you can find a man in a group that exceeds 1000 that can present a case for man’s uprightness )

 

  1. Psalms 50:10 – “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”

The Lord owns the cattle upon all the hills (not just the cattle on the first thousand hills, so that when we get to hill 1001 the Lord no longer owns those cattle.)

 

  1. Psa 84:10 – “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

A day in God’s court better than all other days (not just better than 1000 days, but 1001 days are better than one day in His courts)

 

  1. Psa 105:8 – “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.”

God remembers the promises He has made over all the generations (not just the promises made over a thousand generations but with the coming of generation 1001, He no longer keeps His promises)

 

  1. Eccl 6:6 – “Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?”

If man would live all the years he would not see good coming from mankind (not just live 2000 years and then finally see good come from a man)

 

  1. Isa 60:22 – “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.”

With God’s power behind him a little one can spawn all the men in the world (the Lord’s power is not limited to allow a small one to give birth to a thousand descendants only)

 

These verses, along with others, helps us to see that very frequently in the Scriptures the number 1000 is a symbolic representation of the concept of “all”, or “every”.  In the above verses, if we take 1000 as a literal number, we cause great harm to the principle that is being presented in each verse.  (I tried to illustrate the harm that can be done within the parenthesis.)

This is a truth that should not be overlooked.  Along with this, when we remember the symbolic nature of the book of Revelation, it makes us hesitate before we accept the 1000 years of Revelation in a literal sense.

 

We need to especially notice the usage of the concept of 1000 years in both the Old Testament and the New Testament…. The Lord uses 1000 years to describe ONE COMPLETE TIME PERIOD in His sight…

Psalms 90:4 – “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” 

2 Peter 3:8 –  “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

 

The 1000 years mentioned in Revelation symbolizes for us that this is one distinct time period recognized by God to judge and reward His saints for their faithful service to Him. It is described elsewhere as “the DAY of judgment” (1 John 4:17, 2 Pet 3:17 etc etc).    Although it is a part of a far greater eternity, it is one complete segment with a beginning and an ending.  Much like a “day” in one complete part of “a week” or “a month” etc.

In other words, the Lord will not be judging His people throughout all of eternity, nor will they hold special authority over others eternally, but this segment of eternity will come to a definite end with the conclusion of the judgment of the saved followed by the judgment of the lost.

 

How long will it take for Christ to judge all men?  We are not told a specific timeframe.  This, along with many other truths, are known only by the Lord and will be revealed to us in eternity.  I believe the timeframe could be as short as the blink of an eye or as long as years, centuries or millennia.. it is all a part of the Lord’s discretion on how long He desires for this period of judgment and rewards to last.

 

May we all be ever-aware of the coming day of God’s judgment.  May we always seek to be faithful to Him knowing that we will be rewarded for our faithfulness. May we never forget the great need of the lost who will stand before Him to answer for the sins they have committed.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4eu

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the first resurrection”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:5

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

 

 

Did you know that Christians experience more than one resurrection?  Most Christians are familiar with the promised future resurrection of their body followed by its glorification…

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

 This resurrection and glorification of the Christian’s body is the second resurrection that the Christian will experience.

 

There is another prior resurrection that every Christian will experience.  This resurrection is talked about in John 5:24-26…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”

This is the first resurrection of the Christian.  It takes place at his salvation experience.  It is the person who is “dead in trespasses and sins” being given spiritual life.  This is the resurrection experience being talked about in Revelation 20:5.   This is brought out clearly in the verse that follows…

Revelation 20:6 –  “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

 

May we all praise the Lord for our resurrection that is yet to come, but especially for our first resurrection.  After all, the first resurrection is the receipt of our spiritual life which enables us to be participants in the second resurrection.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

 

http://wp.me/pU88A-4eu

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “they lived and reigned with Christ”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:4

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

What a wonderful thought…. To live in the very presence of Christ and to see Him in all His glory!

1 Corinthians 13:12 – “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

1 John 3:2 – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. But then, as an added reward for faithfulness, to be given authority to rule with Him.  What a wonderful time that will be for all of His people!”

We will begin to be with Christ and see Him as He is, when He takes us home to be with Him.  But our eternal blessings do not stop there.  By God’s grace, we will be allowed to share in His ruling authority as a reward for our faithful service to Him during our time on earth.

Over which three areas will we be given this ruling authority?

  1. We are promised to take part in the judgment of the lost world… 

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 – “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

During this judgment of the lost, a portion of the individuals judged will be the lost of the nation of Israel will be judged for rejecting and crucifying Christ… 

Matthew 19:27-30 KJV “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”  (see Luke 22:24-30)

Note: “The regeneration” is speaking of the reformation of the Heavens and Earth resulting in the New Heavens and New Earth. The Lord is reigning upon the earth with His saints at this time.

  1. We are also promised to take part in the judgment of fallen angels (including Satan)…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

Both our judgment of the lost world and our judgment of fallen angels will take place during the latter part of the 1000 years as a part of the rewards we received for our faithfulness to Christ.

  1. We are also promised to be given ruling authority over the New Heavens and New Earth…

Revelation 22:1-5 – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.   In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

This authority will be restored rule over God’s creation that was lost at the fall.  It will be as if the Garden of Eden will be present once again and we will be given the dominion over it, much like was given to Adam and Eve in the beginning.

Basically, when we enter into eternity, that which was lost due to sin (dominion over the Garden of Eden), will then be restored to man (dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth).

May we all thank the Lord for His  promises of future blessings during the 1000 year reign and throughout the rest of eternity with Him.  May we all strive to remain faithful to Him now, knowing that we shall reap wonderful rewards of ruling authority in the eternity to come!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4eu

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “judgment was given unto them”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:4

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

As John receives this vision, he is told that during the thousand years the Lord would be giving judgment unto His people…

The main Biblical teaching on the judgment that is given to us is found in:

  1. Romans 14:10-12

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.   For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.   So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.   If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

From these passages we can see that, for the Christian, the final judgment will involve the Lord rewarding the saints for their acts of faithfulness.  If we were faithful, we will be rewarded for that act of faithfulness.  When we were unfaithful, we will lose the reward we would have received.  However, we will not face divine punishment for the unfaithful act.  Why?  This is because Christ has been punished for that unfaithfulness on the cross.  He took the punishment that we deserved upon Himself (1 Peter 3:18).

Once we receive these rewards for faithfulness, what will happen then?

Revelation 4:10-11

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

 

We will lay our rewards back at the feet of Christ in an act of honor, thankfulness and praise.

Why will we do this?  Because any use of our abilities that is pleasing to the Lord, the opening of any opportunity to serve the Lord, and our salvation which allows us to serve Him are all given to us entirely of God’s grace.  There is nothing in us with which we can claim credit for our faithfulness.  It is all due to His grace alone…

1 Corinthians 15:10

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

May we all “labour more abundantly” to please our Lord and Savior knowing our service is all of His grace and with the receipt of rewards we can eternally honor Him for all He has done for us.

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4eu

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 20:2

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

 

 

John now gives us four very descriptive names for Lucifer, the fallen angel.  These four names tell us much about the person, character and workings of this ultimate enemy of the Lord and His people…

  1. the dragon – “the one the fascinates”
  2. old serpent – “the ancient clear sighted one”
  3. the Devil – “the slanderer”
  4. Satan – “the enemy or opposer”

 

In two of these titles we are reminded of the workings of Lucifer in the world around us…  the Dragon and the Devil:

 

  1. The title “The Dragon” reminds us of the method of temptation that Lucifer places before us. He seductively FASCINATES us.

How does this take place?  Lucifer makes that which is harmful to man, appear fascinating to them.  In doing so, he causes it to be appealing to their eyes, flesh and pride (1 John 2:16)….

Genesis 3:6 – “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

 

  1. The title “The Devil” reminds us of Lucifer’s workings behind our backs, attempting to bring harm upon us.

Lucifer slanders the people of God when he accusing Christians of wrongdoing in the presence of God.

Revelation 12:10 – “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

 

 

In two of these titles we are reminded of the person and character of Satan… “the Old Serpent” and “Satan”:  

 

  1. The title “The Old Serpent” reminds us of Lucifer’s ability to recognize much about us, including the times and areas of our lives that we are the weakest.

One of the greatest proofs of this is found in the temptation of Christ.  When Christ had not eaten for 40 days, Satan approached Him with an offer of bread; when He was submitted to God’s will and humbled through fasting, Satan tempted Him to exalt Himself by proving angels would save Him; when He had His mind on God and doing His will, Satan tried to distract Him by looking at the kingdoms and glory of the world.

Matthew 4:3-9 – “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.   But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

 

  1. The title “Satan” reminds us of Lucifer’s disposition and goal of his life… an enemy and opposer of Christ.

Satan is Christ’s rival, desiring the worship, service and glory that Christ alone deserves.  This is the core motivation behind the war that is taking place between Satan and Christ…

Isaiah 14:12-15 – “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!   For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

 

May we all seek to recognize the great threat that Satan holds for each one of us as we come to more clearly recognize the person and workings of Satan.

May we thank the Lord, knowing that He has already won the victory over Satan and that there is coming a day that great victory will be shown to all men….

Revelation 20:10 – “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.”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4eu

 

 

Revelation 20:1-6 “The Imprisonment Of Satan and The Thousand Years”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

Revelation 20:1-6

(1)  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
(2)  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
(3)  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.
(4)  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
(5)  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
(6)  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

 

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

We have already looked at Revelation 19: where we saw the Lord being praised for defeating the powers of darkness under the control of Satan (Rev 19:1-6).  We then saw the Lord uniting eternally with the saints in preparation for living eternity with them (Rev 19:7-10).  Likewise, we saw the powers of darkness, including all of lost mankind, consigned to the Lake of Fire eternally separated from Christ following their defeat (Rev 19:11-21).

In chapter 20:, we pick 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.

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.  Satan and the Lost Loosed For Judgement  (20:7-10)
4.  Great White Throne (20:11-15)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Revelation 20:1-6

Following Christ’s defeat of the kingdoms of Satan (19:11-21), we now see Christ imprisoning Satan immediately prior to the beginning of eternity…

 

(1)  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Following Christ’s defeat of the powers of darkness, John now sees an angel.  The several truths about this angel can be identified using his three-fold description:

  1. come down from heaven – this angel finds his origin in heaven. He is authorized by God to do God’s bidding.
  2. having the key to the bottomless pit – he possesses the control over the inhabitants of the bottomless pit (Rev 9:1)
  3. a great chain in his hand – he is capable of binding Satan rendering him impotent (2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6)

It is interesting to notice that all three of these descriptions previously pointed to Christ and the authority He holds over the powers of darkness. (Rev 1:18, 9:11, 10:1, 18:1).  Once again, it is possible that this angel is the symbolic representation of Christ Himself imprisoning Satan for 1000 years.

The term “bottomless pit” is translated from a word that means “deep place”.  It is simply another term that is used to describe the Lake of Fire.   The Lake of Fire is given this title to emphasize the inability of its inhabitants to affect the events taking place on earth (see Luke 8:31, Jude 6, Rev 9:1,2,11, 11:7, 17:8, 20:1,3).

 

(2)  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

John, then sees this angel seizing Satan and rendering Him helpless during the first segment of eternity (1000 yrs). In this passage, we can learn a lot about Satan based upon the titles he is given by John:

  1. dragon – from word meaning “to fascinate”. Satan’s ability to mislead and keep men’s attention from Christ
  2. old serpent – from words meaning “the ancient, sharp sighted one”. Satan discerns man’s desires and weak areas.
  3. Devil – from a word meaning “slanderer or accuser”. Satan falsely accuses the people of God in the presence of Christ
  4. Satan – from a word meaning “opponent or enemy”. Satan is the enemy of the Lord, constantly opposing Him.

Satan is rendered impotent for a period described as “1000 years”, the initial period of eternity on the New Heavens and New Earth in the presence of Christ.

 

(3)  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.

Now that Satan has been bound, John sees him being thrown into the bottomless pit and shut up so that he cannot escape.

Upon Satan is placed a “seal”, a mark, placed upon him showing everyone that he has been placed in this prison under the authority of Christ.    This seal is much like the seal placed upon the lion’s den in the days of Daniel (Dan 6:7) and the seal placed upon the tomb of Christ (Matt 27:66).  Both of these seals declare that they have been placed there under the authority of the ruling government of their day.

Satan’s imprisonment keeps him separated from the events taking place during the 1000 year reign.  He can no longer intervene among men, nor can he attempt to oppose the workings of Christ.   He will not be released from this prison until the very end of the 1000 yr reign.  At that point in time, he will be loosed to stand before God to be judged for his rebellious, wicked deeds.

 

Satan’s imprisonment is the final event that must take place prior to the saints enjoying eternity with Christ on the New Heavens and Earth.  John’s attention is now turned to the events of the first phase of eternity with Christ… the 1000 year reign.

Please keep in mind, during Christ’s second coming , not only are the lost defeated, but in the process the fiery wrath of God falling upon them also renovated the earth and heavens, making them sinless and prepared for eternity.  This great event is described in 2 Peter 3:7-13…

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  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; in the which the heavens 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 ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,    Looking for and hasting unto 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 dwelleth righteousness.”  

The current heavens and earth are remaining to exist, awaiting the day when Christ will come and remake them as He destroys the powers of darkness and lost mankind at His second coming.  When Christ comes again, it will be unexpected by the lost.  The fire that Christ sends to destroy the powers of darkness, including lost mankind, will also renovate the sinful heavens and earth remaking and purifying them them to be inhabited for an eternity by Christ and His people.    John will symbolically describe this New Heavens and New Earth in great detail in Rev 21: and 22:.

 

It is upon this New Heavens and New Earth the 1000 years takes place…

(4)  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands;

John’s vision now progresses into eternity on the New Heavens and New Earth, specifically, THE FIRST PHASE of the Christian’s eternity in the presence of Christ.

What will take place during this time?

“Judgment was given unto them” – Judgment of the believer’s works is rendered resulting in rewards given based upon their faithfulness.   (Luke 14:13-14; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 4:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Tim 4:8; 1 Ptr 5:4; 2 John 8;)   One of the types of rewards that they receive is authority to rule during this “1000 year” period.  (Matt 25:20-23, 28-29; Luke 19:16-19, 24-26,).  This is the purpose for the thrones.  They are places of authority held by believers after their works have been judged and rewarded.

John then describes those who will stand before the Lord:  “The souls of them that were”…

  1. beheaded for the witness of Jesus, – Those killed due to their testimony (in word and deed) for Christ
  2. beheaded … for the word of God, – Those killed due to proclaiming God’s Word to others
  3. which had not worshipped the beast, – Those who did not submit to the wishes of Satan’s political powers
  4. which had not worshipped… neither his image, – Those who did not submit to the wishes of Satan’s religious powers
  5. neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, – Those who did not submit to Satan in their thoughts and desires
  6. neither had received his mark upon … or in their hands; – Those who did not submit to Satan in their actions

Any one description, or a combination of descriptions, refers to all the different types of genuine believers in Christ.  Whether martyrs, teachers, those who place Christ as their first authority in life, those who guard their minds and actions.  In this vision John is seeing all Christians being judged and rewarded for their various acts of faithfulness and self-sacrifice.    These are the saints that had died on earth and were now reaping the rewards for their faithfulness to Christ.

This is the same group of “souls” are also found in Rev 6:9 where John describes them as Revelation 6:9…  “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:”. 

 

This reminds us of the great sacrifice each and every Christian makes for the cause of Christ.  They are sacrifices given to God for His glory.  In some cases, they are physically sacrificed (martyrs) or they become living sacrifices to God dedicated to serve Him throughout their lives (Romans 12:1).  This is why John describes this group as “souls”, emphasizing the physical life within them.  They have dedicated their entire life (or “soul”) to Christ and this aspect of their earthly life is what is being judged.  These Christians, who are in their glorified bodies are standing before Christ awaiting His judgment.

 

and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  (5)  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.

These are the ones who are now enjoying eternity with Christ.  Although they once were dead, now their bodies have been glorified and they are living with their Lord in this first stage of eternity on the New Heavens and New Earth.  The lost, who have been defeated and consigned to the Lake of Fire, are not enjoying presence with the Lord. They are spiritually dead, separated from the Lord and from this wonderful eternity.

Why is the period that God judges the saved described as “a thousand years ?”, perhaps, it is speaking of a literal 100 year time period, but keeping with the symbolic nature of the book of Revelation,  it probably is symbolic of other truths about this time period.

In the Bible, one of the most common usages of the number 1000 is to represent a complete group (“all” of something):

  1. Deut 7:9 – God merciful in all generations
  2. Job 9:3 – Man could not give God an answer in all divisions of time
  3. Job 33:23 – One among all men
  4. Psa 50:10 – God owns all the cattle on every hill
  5. Psa 84:10 – A day in God’s court better than all other days
  6. Psa 105:8 – God faithful to all generations
  7. Eccl 6:6 – If he lives throughout all the years twice over
  8. Isa 60:22 – If a little one spawns all the men in the world

Please notice especially, the Lord uses 1000 to describe ONE COMPLETE TIME PERIOD in His sight…

Psalms 90:4 – “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”

2 Peter 3:8 –  “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

 

The 1000 years symbolizes for us that this is one distinct time period recognized by God to judge and reward His saints for their faithful service to Him.  Although it is a part of a far greater eternity, it is one complete segment with a beginning and an ending.  In other words, the Lord will not be judging His people throughout all of eternity, but this segment will come to a definite end.

Also, the rewards for faithfulness will be enjoyed during this time period, not necessarily throughout all eternity.  It is very possible that when the second stage of eternity begins, all rewards will have been placed at the feet of Christ and all the saints will then be on equal footing one with another.  All of whom will be sharing dominion over the New Heavens and the New Earth much like was first given to Adam in the garden prior to the fall.

 

This is the first resurrection.   (6)  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

We are now told that participation in the 1000 years is a characteristic of “the first resurrection”.

To help us to understand the meaning of “the first resurrection”, we are then given four characteristics concerning those who take part in this first resurrection:

  1. Blessed and holy – They have received the blessings of God. They have been separated from the enslavement of sin to willing service to Christ.
  2. the second death hath no power – They will not feel the effects of the second death (eternal separation from God, facing God’s eternal against sin)
  3. they shall be priests of God and of Christ – They have direct access to God and Christ.
  4. and shall reign with him a thousand years. – They will participate in the rewards of authority and rulership during the 1000 years.

This helps us to see that clearly “the first resurrection” is speaking about an event that takes place in the lives of genuine believers only.   This makes perfect sense, because we know that these are the only ones that participate in the events of the thousand year reign are all the saints of God who are receiving the judgement of their works and the receipt of rewards based upon that judgment.

 

 

To better understand what is meant by “the first resurrection”, we need to notice the teachings found in John 5:24-27:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

 

but is passed from death unto life

The first resurrection of the believer is a resurrection of His soul. This resurrection gives to the one who is dead in trespasses and sins spiritual life.   Note that Christ tells us that this resurrection takes place as the result of our hearing His word and then placing our trust in the Lord.

Eph 2:1-7  “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;… Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:”

 

“the hour is coming and now is… and they that hear shall live”

The Lord now helps us to understand that the resurrection for the believer has a present age and future age aspect to it…

  1. In this present age (“the hour now is” ) the spiritually dead individual will hear the voice of the Son of God (His call to salvation) and shall live (receive spiritual life). (Eph 5:14, Ro 6:4, Col 2:13, Rev 20:3-6).

This is the first resurrection that the believer experiences, it is A SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION.

  1. At the very end of this age (“the hour is coming”) the dead body of the saint that is in the grave will hear the voice of the Son of God (at His second coming). At that time, the body will be resurrected from the grave, glorified, and meet the spirit of the believer which has been abiding with Christ in heaven. (1 Cor 15:42-54, 1 Thess 4:14-17, Phil 3:21).

This PHYSICAL, BODILY RESURRECTION is the second resurrection that is experienced by the saints of God.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this set of Scriptures, we have seen Christ revealed as the Victor over Satan Himself and the gracious, kind, faithful Lord who will usher His people into eternity.

When we look at these two ideas as a whole, we can see an amazing truth about Christ.  Stop and think about it.  If we were talking about a human being who has just totally dominated and clearly defeated his lifelong foe, leaving him without opposition, we would also see a spirit of arrogance, and a tendency to begin abusing those who are beneath him, knowing that no one can stop him.  This great victory would “go to his head” and “puff up his chest”, as he began to think about the great, permanent victory he had just won.  He would forget about “the little guy” and begin to see how he could best enrich himself through them and their labors.   Not so with Christ.

Even though Christ clearly demonstrated absolute control and supremacy over all His enemies, ridding the New Heavens and Earth of them all, He still remains kind and faithful to those He loves, entering into eternity with them… just as He had promised.

He humbly worked on behalf of His people, prior to this great display of victory…

2 Corinthians 8:9 – “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

 

Even after His wonderful defeat of all the powers of darkness, He continues to humbly work on behalf of His people, finishing the job by bringing them into eternity with Him.   He did not forget His own, nor did His attitude change towards them in any way.   Those upon whom He has placed His redemptive love, He will bring into eternity with Him  …

Romans 8:29-31 – “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.   Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.   What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Philippians 1:6 – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

John 6:38-40 – “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.   And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.   And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all love others as our Lord loved us… with a love that will always keep us humble and working for their good no matter what events may transpire in our lives.

Likewise, may we all follow Christ’s example in being on guard against the Satanic attacks following great victories in our lives.  Many times, immediately after a victory, we have a tendency to become self-reliant, no longer looking to Christ as the great Lord of our life.  In doing so, we become spiritually weak and susceptible to Satanic attack.

 

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 7:3 KJV

(3)  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

 

 

 

The angel from the east (Christ) commands the four angels to “hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees” until He protects His people by taking them to be with Him.

What a blessing it is to understand that any of God’s wrath that is pointed towards the lost will be withheld from His people.  Of course, this is not limited to His wrath that will fall to His second coming but also includes His eternal wrath that will be meted out following the judgment of all lost mankind.

This judgment, and its eternal results, are described in Revelation 20:11-15…

“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.
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.
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.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 

Throughout the Word of God, His people are promised to be protected from this time of eternal wrath that is faced by those who have never trusted in Christ. One such passage is 1Thessalonians 5:6-11 KJV…

“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

 

In our last devotional, we saw that one source of the believer’s comfort concerning future events is the knowledge that the Lord is coming again.  At that time He will take us to be with Him and our saved loved ones who have passed on before us (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Here in our 1 Thessalonians 5 passage, we see another great source of comfort for His people… the knowledge of our deliverance from His eternal wrath that is to come.    What should be the natural result of that comforting knowledge?  A spirit of preparedness and seriousness, as well as a strengthening of God’s people.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-3XK

 

 

The Book Of Life: Can Our Name Be Removed?

SIH STSTA ICONTHE SCRIPTURES:

 

To the best of my knowledge, below is a listing of every verse in the Bible that addresses the subject of  the Book of Life and other related teachings…

 

 

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.   And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.   Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Isa 4:3-4 KJV – And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:   When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Rev 3:5 KJV – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev 13:8 KJV – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – 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.  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.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

 

THE STUDY:

In our study for today, we will be looking at “the Book of Life” that is written by God.  Before we look at our names being removed  from this book, we need to come to a basic understanding of this books contents…

  1. It is a book that contains the names of all the redeemed (those who will live with Christ eternally.)

Heb 12:23 KJV – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Rev 3:5 KJV – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Php 4:3 KJV – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

  1. Those who are written in this book will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Dan 12:1 KJV – And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

[Please note: this prophecy is speaking of the times of the Gentiles (the times we are living in now).  It clearly tells us that those whose names are found written in the book of life will be saved (delivered) from their sins.  None will be lost, none will forgotten.  Everyone written in the book will receive deliverance from their sins.  This time of deliverance will end with Christ’s second coming]

 

  1. Wicked mankind (those who do not repent of their sins nor submit to Christ as Lord) are not included in this book.

Eze 13:9 KJV – And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

[Please note: “the writing of the house of Israel” refers to a listing of all the redeemed of God.  It is referred to as “the writing of the house of Israel” because the redeemed make up the citizens of the “Israel of God” (God’s spiritual nation – Rom 2:28-29, Gals 6:16 etc) and will dwell in the New Jerusalem with Him.]

 

  1. Absence from this book results in being condemned to eternal judgment

Rev 20:12-15 KJV – 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.  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.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

  1. It is a book that is owned (controlled) by Christ and based upon His work on the cross.

Rev 13:8 KJV – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 21:27 KJV – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

  1. It is a book that was written in eternity past.

Rev 17:8 KJV – The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

  1. Gives great joy to those who are included in the book.

Luk 10:20 KJV – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

After looking at these basic principles concerning the book of life, we can see that having our names in this book is the greatest blessing we can receive from the Lord.  If we know our names are written in this book it means that we are counted as a citizen of God’s nation, we have been delivered from our sins through Christ’s work on the cross, we are now safe in Christ as our eternal intercessor, and our eternity is secure.

 

But now to the question at hand…. can our names be removed from this book?  The answer SEEMS to be “yes” based upon three passages…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 

Can we take these verses at face value, or is there more teaching that dwells beneath the surface of all of these?  I think it is very important that we take these verses in the context of the entire Word of God and its teachings on this subject.  Before we draw conclusions about the above verses, we need to look at another verse from Revelation that addresses the subject of name removal from the Book of Life…

Rev 3:5 KJV – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Please notice this book is addressed to “overcomers”.  The Apostle John, the author of Revelation, clearly defines the meaning of this term in another letter that he wrote, the book of 1 John.  He clearly explains that an overcomer is one who has overcome this sinful world through faith in Christ:

1Jn 5:4-5 KJV – “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

 

So in Revelation 3:5, Christ is speaking to those who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.  He promises to them that:

  1. “the same shall be clothed in white raiment” – they will be given clothed in Christ’s righteousness
  2. “and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,” – their name will not be blotted from the book of life. This insures them that they will not lose their salvation, but are safe in the hands of the Lord eternally.
  3. “but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” – They will be recognized by Christ as their Redeemer, Intercessor, Mediator and Lord. He will act as their “defense attorney” before the Father, proclaiming that His work on the cross covers their sin and paid the sin debt that was due.

 

There are many other verses in the Bible that profess the same basic truth.  Those who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ are eternally secure in Him (John 6:39-40, John 10:27-30, Romans 8:29-37 etc etc)…

1Pe 1:3-5 KJV – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

These verses are, in effect, saying that their names will not be removed from “the book of life”.

 

Based upon the context of the entire Bible, we can see that the verses that appear to speak of being blotted out of the book needs to be studied with great care and understanding.  The Bible does not contradict itself.  If the redeemed of God are secure in Him, then their names cannot be removed from the Book of Life.  Therefore, the three texts in question before us must hold another meaning for us.

 

The key to understanding two of these three texts is for us to understand a principle that is presented to us in Isaiah 4:3-4…

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”

[Please note: In those days, a record was kept that listed all living citizens of a city. At their birth they would be added to this list, at their death they would be removed.

In this case, the Lord is telling Isaiah that He would purge out the sinfulness from Jerusalem by allowing great judgments to fall upon them (Isaiah 3:).  These judgments would result in most of the lost being killed and those who were followers of Jehovah being preserved.  At that point in time, the city’s registry of living citizens would be made up of a few lost men and Jehovah’s followers that were yet alive.]

So we can see that another type of book that the OT Jews were very familiar with was this type of registry of those who were physically alive within any given city.

 

In our Psalm 69:26-28 passage we can see that the Lord keeps a similar record of those who are physically alive on the earth.  It is called “the Book of the Living” not the “Book of Life”…

Psa 69:26-28 KJV – For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.  Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Here, David asks the Lord to judge the wicked in two ways…

  1. “Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.”

In other words, let their sins multiply upon them and all them to face the wrath of God that is due them.  This speaks of judgment in ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR SINS.

  1. “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

In other words, bring physical death upon them so they can no longer harm the people of God.  As you punish the wicked of Israel, protect the righteous and allow them to continue to live.  This is the exact same principle that was spoken of in Isaiah 4:3-4.  This speaks of judgment meted out in the PHYSICAL DEATH OF THE WICKED, removing their name from the “book of the living”.

 

This book of the living is also referred to in our Exodus 32:32-33 passage…

Exo 32:32-33 KJV – Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Here, Moses shows to us his great love for the people of Israel.  He asks the Lord to take his name out of the book of the living if Israel will not be forgiven.  In other words, Moses is saying that the pain of seeing the nation of Israel face the wrath of God will be too great for Moses to bear.  He would rather physically die than to see the judgment of God take place against his nation.

The Lord assures him that He will send wrath against the lost members of Israel bringing upon them physical death, but He will spare the righteous men in the nation (including Moses) and allow them to continue to live.

Again we see the same basis theme, the lost of the nation being sentenced to physical death due to their sins while the righteous would survive in their midst (Psa 69:26-28, Isa 4:34 above)

 

The final text that seems to teach that names will be removed from “the book of life” is…

Rev 22:18-19 KJV – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Please notice that “the book of life” is specifically mentioned.  This does refer to the eternal listing of the chosen, redeemed saints of God that are secure in Him.  The important point to notice is that this verse says “God shall take away his PART out of the book of life…”.  The word for “part” means “allocation” or “share”.

In other words, God removes the portion of the book that could contain his name if only he was one of God’s people.   Likewise, his portion of the eternal inheritance and blessings of God described in this book he will miss out on, they will be given to those who are in the book.

 

This verse is not saying his name is there and then taken out… it is saying the place where his name could be is removed and therefore, there is no chance of it being written in the book…

For example, let’s assume that there in one page in the “Book of Life” for each person’s name to be written.  It is as if the Lord is saying, “the page that would have contained your name has been removed. There is no place in the book for your name to appear.”  Their “share” of the book does not exist.

 

It is much like the Lord’s teachings in Luke 8:17-18.  Although these men claim to be Christians and claim to share in the blessings of God’s people, they really have taken from them their “part” in God’s book that they really never possessed (their name not written in it):

Luk 8:17-18 KJV  – For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.   Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

 

By saying this, the Lord is making it plain that those who “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” have no chance of having their names entered into the book of life nor receipt of eternal salvation… they are eternally condemned just as is spoken of in Rev 21:23-27…

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

So what we have spoken of in Rev 22:18-19 is the clear condemnation of anyone who does not hold fast to the teachings found in God’s Word.  If they add to these teachings, the plagues of this book are placed upon them…. If they take away from these teachings, they are removed from all the eternal blessings of God found in this book.   Unless Godly repentance takes place, there is absolutely no hope for these wicked men to share in deliverance from God’s wrath and receipt of the great blessings that God gives to His people.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all praise the Lord for the security that is found in Him.  If our names are in the Book of Life we can rest assured we will spend eternity with Him.  May we all be diligent to make our calling and election sure, by doing so we will be making certain that our names are in His book, and we are safe in the hands of our Lord.

 

2Pe 1:10-11 KJV – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”