Revelation Chapter 20
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 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.
For those that believe the rapture is here at the end of the tribulation period, I would say, where would they be? Who is left to rapture? The dead will be raised at this point if they have been killed during the tribulation but Christ comes back to the Jews, they do not go up to Him. Those that were taken in the rapture will come back with Christ. The only ones left are natural people who were not killed during the tribulation and Jews. This resurrection here will complete the first resurrection.
Here are a list of groups that were resurrection:
1. Jesus Christ
2. Old Testament saints (who had previously died)
3. The faithful church (Both those that had died and those who are alive at the rapture)
4. The 144, 000 ( I believe these were raptured still alive)
5. The two witnesses (resurrected)
6. Martyrs at the end of the tribulation
Now we see the devil who we also know as Satan, bound for 1000 years. We may wonder why God doesn't bind him forever at this point. The purpose of the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ is to show the world that is living at that time, what it is like to have a righteous government. This will be a time when there is peace, no war, no famine, no suffering and even the animals are at peace. There are natural people living who have not yet been saved but will have that chance during this time. For babies will be born during this time and they will need to hear the gospel. They will not be deceived by Satan and will have understanding of what the gospel is.
Here is a description of this time in Isaiah.
Isaiah 65:19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
Isa 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.
Isa 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
Isa 65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
Isa 65:23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
So we see that there will be death but not any tragic deaths or any that die ahead of time. The people seem to have a free will to choose to believe or not for it says that a if a sinner dies at 100 years old he is accursed. As long as they are in their natural bodies, they will have a free will to say yes or no to Christ even during the 1000 year reign. The ones who are ruling with Christ who have already received their new bodies will of course are not affected by any death again.
Even though Christ will rule with a rod of iron. Law enforcement will be perfect with no crime. Everyone will be forced to obey the law of the land under Christ but in the spiritual realm, no one is forced to repent of sin and accept Jesus as savior from sin. They will still have to be saved that way to have eternal life and escape the judgment of God but no one will be forced to accept Jesus into their lives. There will be many that accept Jesus during this time and there will be many who ignore the way of salvation. If they reject Jesus they will be judged by the law for without Jesus we will be accountable every time we have broken the law both past and present.
The days that they live will be longer perhaps just like it was before the great flood in the time of Noah when they lived hundreds of years. If someone dies at the age of one hundred it would seem like a child dying. If one dies as a sinner, he is accursed just like those that die now without Christ.
This is the only time, past, present or future where we will have a theocracy that will work. We will finally have a theocratic government under Jesus Christ. All who have tried before this have failed. It can't be done without Christ. The best government man can come up with is a Democracy similar to what we now have in the United States. Yet this type of government has its problems. We are free to do both good and evil. (Abortion, sexual immorality for instance.) It will take Jesus to have a government that is perfect.
Rev 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 worshiped 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.
The first resurrection and those that were raptured without dying will be judged at this time. They will live and reign with Jesus Christ. If saints are reigning with Christ then it stands to reason that there will be natural people still living upon the earth for believers to rule over.
We know that no one who had received the mark of the beast will be among these for they would have been judged by God according to previous chapters so the natural people in the reign of Christ are those that were not affected by the kingdom of the beast. They were not previously born again believers to else they would be among those reigning having been raptured or martyred for their faith so they had to be people that were not in the vicinity of the anti-christ's reign of terror. Perhaps his reign was not world-wide as we usually think but only within the confines of the Old Roman Empire territory. If he rules all the earth we might assume that in 3 and 1/2 years he did not have time to force the mark upon every single person.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
We see that there are 1000 years between the 1st and 2nd resurrection. Our goal should be to make the first one.
Rev 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.
This is why it is important to get ready spiritually now and make sure that we are in the first resurrection. If we ignore the gospel now and think to accept Him during the tribulation period it is a very foolish idea. If we can't stand for Christ now, how can we make it with the treat of death, torture or starvation? We might hope we are in a remote part of the world that escapes the reign of this anti-christ but what if his rule is world-wide and we do not escape?
Whoever makes the rapture or is martyred during the tribulation, is safe for eternity. When the devil is released they can't be tempted anymore, suffer hunger, thirst, death or sickness. They have new bodies that will last for ever. The devil can't tempt them or touch them and upon them the second (eternal) death has no power.
Old Testament saints are also included. The angel who spoke with Daniel promised him that he would be among those here.
Daniel 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Dan 12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 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.
There will be some that live on the earth during the reign of Christ who will not desire to live righteous and holy. They will rebel when Satan is loose to deceive them. This will show who is of the truth and who is not. The devil will deceive them into thinking they can win and take back over the world. I'm sure Satan knows that he can't win but he desires to take with him every last one he can deceive. These may be in the area of Russia where some believe Gog and Magog reside right now. This also could be in the area of Syria and Iraq where the anti-christ from 1000 years before originated from. It doesn't say how long Satan will be allowed to be loose. He will find some that will follow him even after seeing what it is like to have perfect peace.
Believe it or not, some will desire the old ways of the flesh. Some will miss the lust, filth and sin of the past which was suppressed when Satan was bound but will come to the surface when he is released. When Noah and His Sons started all over after the first world was destroyed by the flood, we see that the evil perished in the flood but it did not take long to start up again.
Now is the time to escape all these things and stand before the throne of God safe and secure for all eternity. The blood of Jesus can cleanse us from all sin and make us safe in the shelter of His salvation. We do not have to be lost and miss the first resurrection. We can be partakers of His holiness by receiving His salvation this day. Why take a chance and wait? Now is the day of salvation.
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
God's got something better than the hate, misery, lust, corruption and filth that Satan offers us. Satan promises us liberty but in reality we are children of bondage. We can be free of that bondage by just simple child like faith in Jesus Christ.
Rev 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.
All their efforts to take over the world and return the world to the sinful state it was in before the return of Jesus is in vain. They are all devoured and destroyed suddenly and all rebellion will at last be put down. It would seem that there are two great battles, one with the armies of the anti-christ before the tribulation and the other at this point after the 1000 year reign of Christ.
Rev 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 forever and ever.
Notice that the anti-christ the and the prophet who exalted the anti-chirst by deceiving people into worshipping him are in this lake of fire where they were placed 1000 years previous to this time. This shows us that our souls are eternal. We will spend eternity somewhere either in torment or in peace.
Rev 20:11 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.
This is the day that all will dread whose name is not written in the lamb's book of life. If the blood of Jesus does not cover our sins and we are not clothed with His righteousness by our faithfulness to Him, we will be judged for every single time we have ever broken every last commandment in the law of God.
Every lie, every deed and every thought will be brought before the judgment of God. Christ died for our sins so that we would not have to face this day of judgment. He died that we might have eternal peace and joy with bodies that can never die again. We do not have to stand before this white throne judgment if we only come to Christ now and do not hesitate.
All we have to do is pray with sincerity, "Lord please forgive me and cleanse me of all sin so that I can become your child and enter into eternal life with you." "I believe that you died for my sins, I believe that you rose again so that all who believe in you can also rise and reign with you." I'm tired of living my own life and please cleanse me and fill me with your Holy Spirit."
Rev 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.
Rev 20:13 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.
The bodies were dead but the souls were in hell or Hades awaiting the final judgment of God. The soul does not physically die but exists in some form at some place. No matter whether their bodies were burned, drowned at sea or buried, they are resurrected to face this judgment if they did not make the first resurrection.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
As Satan, the anti-christ and the false prophet are here and alive so will all those that ignored God's free gift of salvation and chose to keep their sin and follow Satan. They will go where he goes. This is what he has wanted. He knows this is his fate and wants to take everyone he can with him. We do not have to follow him to this place. Jesus Christ made a way to escape. Come and learn of Him and be saved from sin this day.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
This is a sad ending but beloved, it doesn't have to be a sad ending for you. Nothing we are trying to hold onto is worth it. Once you come to Christ you then learn to love Him and we now serve Him because we love Him, not because of any fear of hell. That fear may get us moving in the right direction but then when we meet Him who saved us by His grace, we serve Him because we love Him. Even if there was no hell and no eternal death, after knowing Jesus Christ, I would still love Him and want to follow Him. I will not promise riches in this life, a good job or success in business. I will not promise a life without pain, sorrow or disappointment. but I will promise a life of love, joy, peace and continual fellowship with Jesus as we walk in the spirit that He gives to those who ask Him. I will promise that no day will come that you ever regret receiving Jesus Christ into your life.
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