Steps To Eternity
1-Armageddon & 2nd Coming (Zech. 12-14; Rev. 19)
2-Sheep & Goats Judgment (Joel 3:12; Mat. 25:31-34)
3-The Millennium starts with Sheep (Rev. 20:1-6)
4-God’s Temple Visitor Center (Ezekiel 40-48)
5-Final Rebellion Ended by God’s Fire (Rev. 20:7-10)
6-GWT & Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15)
7-Heaven: My Father’s House (Rev. 21-22) Revelation 20 is the step between Earth, as we know it, and Heaven for Eternity. It declares that the golden age will arrive.
Welcome to class 19. Some of the students that have gathered for our virtual classroom said, whoa, we’ve gone way overboard there’s more drawings than ever before. That’s because this is the most fascinating of all the chapters in Revelation. Revelation 20 ties together all the parts everybody wonders about in the underworld, the netherworld, the spiritual world, the Lake of Fire, the Abyss, Tartarus, Sheol, Hades, the grave, paradise, the cross, the empty tomb, Christ seated in Heaven, and the paradise of God.
All of those things are tied into our look at this, this is what chapter 20 is about. It’s probably what young people all over the world, who are hoping to save the Earth from global warming and destruction, need to hear. That is, paradise is coming. Paradise is coming, there is coming a perfect ecologically correct, flourishing, unpolluted, perfect air, Earth coming on Earth. It’s not in Heaven, it’s on Earth. That’s what Revelation 20 is about. This chapter also ties together some of the most well-known events in the Bible. From Armageddon, to the second coming, to the judgment, to the millennium starting, what goes on in the millennium, the final rebellion, which is one of the most insightful parts of this whole chapter, the great white throne, and the Lake of Fire.
All of that is in the most fascinating, fascinating chapter. So, as I read Revelation 20, verses 1-3 and then I’ll pray, as we launch into this incredible fascinating Bible study this hour, it says in Revelation 20,
“Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit.” That’s the abyss right here. By the way, see this circle right here, this is Earth. Jesus was crucified on Earth, buried on Earth. Every human that’s ever lived from Adam and Eve to the last one is either in the presence of the Lord or in this pit called Sheol or Hades, which is on Earth. The abyss, Tartarus, the bottomless pit is on Earth. Whoa. Look, this angel comes down with the key to that pit.
Verse 2, “He laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”
Satan has been, from chapter 12. if you have watched that hour yet, in chapter 12 Satan is bound to live only, not running around Heaven, he is confined to the Earth. So, here he is causing trouble on Earth. Now, he is chained and put here, that’s what verse 2 says, for a thousand years. A thousand years is what this word means, mille is 1000, -ennium is years. That’s what millennium means. It’s a word right there in the Bible.
Look at verse 3 “and cast him into the bottomless pit,” Greek word, abyssos; we get the English word abyss right there, “into the [abyssos] bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years [Mille -ennium, millennium] were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
Wow. Is it going to be amazing to go through all these pieces? Let’s bow for word of prayer.
Dear Father, I pray that more than fascinating and interesting and stimulating to our minds this chapter could be, I pray that you would open our eyes, that we might behold wondrous truths from your word. You are the teacher. Your word is how we learn to know you, to follow you, to feed our souls, to have joy and rejoicing, and to really lay hold of the fact we’re called by your name. I pray this class would deepen us in finding and eating and understanding and living your word. In Jesus name, Amen.
You see the slide; Paradise is Coming on Earth. Isn’t that a picture? Look at that perfect water, all those lush plants, and the clear air. That’s what’s coming to Earth. About 20% of the Old Testament, of 20% of this much of the Bible, is about this time. It’s all the promises, because of the Abrahamic, covenant and the Davidic covenant that God made to Israel are going to happen on Earth. Israel is going to be blessed. They’re going to be the center of the world. This is Jerusalem right here, and Jerusalem is going to have this massive temple, this visitor center from God. Jerusalem is going to be the center of the world. Jesus Christ Himself is going to sit enthroned on the throne of His father, David. In Jerusalem. Wow.
Let’s walk through the seven clear events. When paradise begins and a new age dawns on Earth, all warfare is ended and sickness and disease and horrible things, the murders, and all the evils of humanity are banished. That event is in a sequence. Look what happens,
- Christ Church on Earth – Revelation 1-3.
- Christ Church in Heaven, 4 & 5. Then as we saw again, last hour Christ Church in Heaven in chapter 19,
- Between those events is the tribulation, which we slugged through class after class. All those seals, then all those trumpets, and then all those bowls. All those parenthetical looks at the woman and the dragon and the beast out of the sea. All those things we saw are from chapter 6 to 18. Then in chapter 19, we saw the battle of Armageddon, which actually is described at the end of chapter 16. Then remember what the twin evil agents of Satan are. In 17, religion. 18, materialism. Then we get back to 1,9 picking up with the Armageddon scenario and that final battle.
- Then, the climax of the tribulation as we saw in Zechariah 12 to 14, is Jesus Christ coming to the rescue of Israel. Israel is in Jerusalem, Earthly Jerusalem, surrounded by the antichrist’s armies facing destruction. When two thirds of them have been murdered by the evils of the antichrist warring against them, that one-third, the remnant looks up and they call out to Jesus. He breaks through the sky. That’s the second coming. We’re with Him, all the saints.
- That immediately ushers into an event we’re going to talk about in just a couple of moments. These events are outside of Revelation but fit in to our understanding by seeing expansive scriptures and other places that explain what God is doing. So, between the second coming and the millennium is His sheep and goat judgment. Jesus talked about it in Matthew 25, as well as in Joel 3 and other places. Then everyone that exits the tribulation and enters the millennium are followers of Christ. They’re called sheep. He divides them between the sheep and the goats. So, the only people that populate the millennium are believers.
- Look at this, after 1000 years almost everybody rejects the God who sits enthroned in the visitor center in Jerusalem and the God of their fathers and mothers. All of their parents or grandparents were believers and almost the entire Earth goes in rebellion, marching from every corner of the Earth toward Jerusalem. This final rebellion, it says they come like the sand of the sea and the Lord doesn’t even, put up a battle, it says fire comes down from God and consumes them. That immediately launches the last judgment, the great white throne, and the Lake of Fire right here. Now see, the Lake of Fire is not on Earth and it’s not in Heaven. It’s somewhere else in the universe. God prepared it, it’s already there. Revelation 20:15 tells us about it, no one’s in it right now. It was only made for Satan and his angels, but for all who joined in rebellion against God at the great white throne, they and all who have resisted and rejected the Lord and refuse to call on the name of the Lord, go there.
- Then we dwell in our father’s house.
Those are the seven clear event, the steps to eternity that I’ve just been describing to you in this chart. Remember, this is your handout that I’m giving you because I can’t email it to you as you watch this class, there’s too many of you. I’m just putting it up there for you to see.
Armageddon and the second coming. Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 19.
The sheep and goat judgment is Joel 3:12 and Matthew 25:31-24. That’s the one I want to read to you right now, Matthew 25. Before we jump into paradise on Earth, I’d like to show you Jesus describing who’s going to get to enter this paradise on Earth. This almost sin free, not quite sin free as it’s still present, but sin is pushed back. The curse is pushed back and almost removed from the Earth. In other words, there won’t be thistles. There aren’t poisonous serpents. There aren’t poisonous spiders. There are carnivorous animals. There aren’t Piranhas. There aren’t sharks that are like we see on the news. Were any of you watching the news yesterday? An unfortunate lady was walking in South Carolina and an alligator came up out of the pond and ate her, killed her. There won’t be any of that in the millennium. It’s paradise. It’s God giving man, humanity, a perfect environment for a thousand years.
Here’s what Jesus says in verse 31. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him,” that’s 25:31 right here, Matthew 25 verse 31, the slide has 31 to 34. You notice what it says, all. God clears out Heaven. Every angel in Heaven comes with Jesus, with every one of us. So, it’s going to be the first time that the throne that we see in Revelation 4 and 5, that area is going to be emptied out. All of the saints and all of the holy angels and all of the redeemed of all time, all come back to Earth in the second coming. At the Armageddon second coming, the battle is won by the Lord, we already read about that in Armageddon and look what happens.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him.”
So, people survived the tribulation. You understand that? These are the survivors after seven years of God’s wrath poured out on Earth and after all the angels in Revelation 9 that come out, those locus creatures, and cause death and carnage, there are still survivors. God has been preserving, by the way, Israel. A great majority of those survivors are the ones that, He saves in Jerusalem in Zechariah 12 to 14. Look what He does,
“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides his sheep.” This, by the way is Joel 3:2,12, 14, 18. So, Joel 3 parallels what Jesus is saying here in Matthew, divides His sheep and the goats.
Verse 33, “He will set the sheep on His right hand, the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those in His right hand,” the survivors of the tribulation, Matthew 25:34, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom.” Look at that. Paradise. That’s what Revelation 20 is all about.
Can you imagine surviving the horrors of the tribulation, seeing the Lord on a throne, seeing Him divide all of those that were unbelievers and rebels. They’re the goats and they’re put on the left and then you are put on the right. By the way, Jesus told a parable about this in Matthew 13. He said His angels are going to go and separate the wheat from the tares and cast the tears into the furnace. The wheat is going to be right here, into the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Then, keep going to verse 46. It’s says, “these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
So basically, the goats go to this place of torment, the grave, Hades, Sheol until chapter 20, verses 11-15. It says Death and Hades are brought up at the great white throne. And all of those who, whose names were not found written in the Book of Life are cast in the Lake of Fire. So, those are the steps. I call it, Steps to Eternity.
Now, let’s examine this paradise on Earth in the first six verses of Revelation 20. We already read verses 1-3, look at verse 4,
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus.” This is Revelation 6:9-11. Do you remember the martyrs? The fifth seal? That group, the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus. These are tribulation martyrs. These are saints. The ones that are led to Christ by the 144,000. The ones that are led to Christ by the two witnesses. The ones that are led to Christ through the gospel angel that we covered in chapter 14. All of those that the antichrist kills, are there.
Who had worshiped “for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image.” This is Revelation 20 verse 4, “and had not received his mark on their forehead or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
So, tribulation martyrs are going to live and reign with Christ. This hearkens back to what Jesus said to His disciples. They’re not in the tribulation they are 2000 years ago living on Earth, He said to them, you’re going to join me and be ruling and reigning during the thousand years. During this time of the millennium, we, as well as the martyrs who have died and have gone into the presence of the Lord in Heaven, we are going to get to come down to Earth, like angels visited Abraham or angels visited Samson’s parents or angels came down at various times during Christ’s ministry and comforted Him. They weren’t living on Earth. They were from Heaven and they came down to Earth. They came and went. They would just disappear and come back and be everywhere. That’s what we’re going to be like.
Especially what is profiling is, look at these martyrs, living and reigning for a thousand years, “but the rest of the dead.” Now look at this, the rest of the dead are still here in Sheol or Hades. They “did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” This is the first resurrection.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
What is that? That’s the promise that all the redeemed of all time that have ever come to know Christ, those that were before the cross went to this place, Luke 23:43. Remember how Jesus said to the thief on the cross? Remember there was a thief right here next to Him in Luke 23, as Jesus was dying on the cross. In Luke 23:43, Jesus turned to that thief and what did He say? “Today you’re going to be with me in paradise.”
Now this is fascinating, the sequence, and we’re going to cover it in just a couple minutes, of where did Jesus go after the cross, before His Ascension. We’ll cover that and it will tie together the dead that are on the Earth. The armies of the nations have been disbanded from the tribulation warfare. All the militaries are fallen into ruin. All the machinery of war has been smelted down and converted into implements of peace. Do you remember what it says in Isaiah? That you will forge your swords into plowshares. Remember, the lion and the lamb will be beside each other. That’s what’s happening. All the nations of the Earth are coming to worship God in Jerusalem. Prosperity is evident from pole to pole. Poverty is unknown. Everyone has all that their heart can desire. There are no prisons. Can you imagine in the world during the millennium, during this time? A world where there are no prisons? There are no hospitals. There is no such thing as is a place for the aged and infirm. If we understand what Isaiah says, Isaiah says that people will not die during the millennium. Everyone that enters the millennium will live the entire thousand years.
Unless Isaiah 65 tells us that, they fight against and rebel before this final rebellion. So, if you’re a solo rebel-er and won’t do what God says, He cuts you off. You’ll be considered a child if you’re a cutoff at a hundred years old, because everyone’s going to live the whole thousand years.
It’s just really amazing to think the wolf and the lamb, the calf and the lion, the cow and the bear, the child and the scorpion all are at peace. Jesus has come. The millennium is here, the golden age so frequently heralded by the prophets of Israel. Remember, I told you, 20% of the Old Testament prophecies are about this time period. All that, heralded by the prophets of Israel’s past has dawned. At last, the Earth is filled, Isaiah says, with the knowledge of God. Jesus is Lord. He rules, Psalm 2, the nations with a rod of iron. His reign is righteous, and all the nations obey. Wow.
By the way, what do you do in the millennium? Oh, it’s so interesting. As I was teaching the book of Isaiah, just finished it, did it in Korea a few months back, we talked about this millennial time. Do you know what Isaiah says? It says everybody on Earth has their own farms. So, the whole Earth will have all these farms, your little allotment of land. Everyone gets a section of this no weed, no pests, no spiders, no snakes land. You understand, everybody gets this perfect farm. No thorns, no pollution and everyone lives.
It says they sit under their vines. So, you have this kind of jungle, like everybody’s going to be on Hawaii, living in this beautiful climate. Once, actually three times, but once each season, every Spring, every Summer, every Fall – do you see what these are? These are the feasts of God. The feasts of God are the Old Testament holidays. Guess what happens during the millennium? Not only does the temple return, so does the holiday schedule of Israel. Remember I said, Israel is the center of the world. So, each season, three times a year, everyone is asked to come from all over the world and go through this temple.
Just to show you something, I don’t want to get too far off, but Jesus Christ was crucified on Passover. He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread and He rose from the dead on the holiday of Firstfruits. This is one weekend. This is Passover, crucifixion, buried during the time of Unleavened Bread, arisen at the launch of which was a Sunday of Firstfruits. Then 50 days from Passover, from right here to right here. From Passover to Pentecost is 50 days. Jesus stayed for 40 days after His resurrection. 40 days, He told the disciples to tarry for 10 more days in Jerusalem.
The Day of Pentecost came. Now, guess what? These feasts are written down in Exodus and Leviticus in the Old Testament with Moses.
- Jesus, God chose, that He be crucified on Passover,
- Buried on Unleavened Bread.
- Third feast – He Rose again.
- The fourth feasts – the church, which was born.
There are three Jewish festivals left.
- Most likely the Trumpets will be what we call the rapture and the start of the tribulation.
- The Day of Atonement will be the horrors of the tribulation.
- The Feast of Tabernacles will be culminated by the second coming and then the Feast of Tabernacles will probably be the millennium.
What the Lord does is, throughout the whole thousand years, He invites everybody to come to a Spring gathering. When they come to this temple, what do I call it? It’s God’s visitors center. You ever wonder what you’re going to be doing during the millennium? I know what I’m going to probably be doing. Have you been to anything like the Ark exhibit by Answers in Genesis? You know how they have all those nice people around, that explain the exhibits for all the people that aren’t Christians or don’t understand them. Did you know the saints are going to be here? We’re going to be explaining to the whole world about Christ coming, and dying, and the Church, and that He came at the second coming, and the Day of Atonement.
Right now, they’re in these little farms and all that. What happens if people don’t come? Isaiah tells us that too. If you’re from this farm right there, and it’s the Spring feast and you don’t come, do you know what the Bible says in Isaiah? It says, no rain will fall on your farm. What God says is if you won’t cooperate, I’m going to give you a warning. If you continue to not cooperate, you’re gone. It’s amazing. That’s what it means in Psalm 2, in Psalm 2, it says He rules with a rod. Jesus from Jerusalem, rules with a rod of iron. So, that’s what’s going on, on Earth.
Satan is restrained in verses 1-3. Satan, during the millennium is chained here on Earth. For a thousand years, the lid is locked. He’s chained up and put there. That’s what’s going on. As the sheep enter the millennium, only believers go into the millennium, they can’t wait to go to the temple. In fact, what happens is starting in verse 7. Actually, it’s not verse 7 it’s verse 9, the camp of the saints. It says they go “up on the breadth of the Earth and surrounded the camp of the saints.”
So, Revelation 20 starting in verse 7 through verse 10 says, here is this eight chapter, described millennial temple. Here around it, are the people that just can’t get enough of God, the saints. Basically, people move from their little home that the Lord let them have and they finally say, Lord we don’t want to just come three times a year. Can we camp right here? Gradually all the believers of the whole world migrate, they just can’t get enough of God. These are people, that are the sheep that survived the tribulation, that believed on the Lord, that are living in physical bodies on the Earth for a thousand years. They can’t get enough of God and they stay there around that temple. That place becomes God’s visitor center for the world. That place is described in eight chapters in the Bible, in Ezekiel 40 to 48.
So, what is Ezekiel 40 to 48 say? Basically this, look at the next slide.
It describes the size. It’s 25,000 cubits, this temple visitor center, by 25,000 thousand cubits. So, 25,000 cubits, how much is that? A cubit is a foot and a half, so that is seven miles by seven miles. So, this is a 50 square mile visitor center, planned by God to be the very central focus of the whole world. Ezekiel 40 to 48 explains this, the book of Isaiah repeatedly explains it, and right here in Revelation 20 it’s explained.
The fascinating thing is what it says in verse 9, about the camp of the saints. I think that is a moment we should stop and think about. Do you know, the true believers are drawn toward the things of God and unbelievers are not drawn toward the things of God? The Lord says you’ll seek me, and you’ll find me, when you seek for me, Deuteronomy 4:29. What with? All your heart.
Remember what David said? “With my whole heart have I sought the; Oh, let me not wander from thy commandments! Thy word, have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” That’s the heartbeat of a believer. It’s represented right here in the last days.
For just a moment, look at Ezekiel 40 to 48 with me because. This is really, truly, one of the more fascinating and mysterious parts of the Bible. Ezekiel begins in chapter 40 saying this.
“In the 25th year of our captivity at the beginning of the year,” verse 1, “the 10th day of the month, in the 14th year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the LORD was upon me.”
Verse 2, “in the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel.”
What’s happening is Ezekiel is a priest, he’s carried away to Babylon, he’s off in the captivity, he has this vision. The Lord takes him by vision from Babylon and he starts seeing this temple. Look what it says, a man took me verse 3, “a man who was appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and the measuring rod.”
Verse 4 of chapter 40 and says, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything.”
Verse 5. “Now there was a wall around the outside of the temple. In the man’s hand…”
They start measuring this structure, starting in verse 6, they have an eastern gateway. They start looking at the rooms in verse 17. There are 30 chambers facing the pavement. So, it talks about the structure, the actual structure of this place. Verse 17 has an outer court. Verse 20 has the northern gateway. Verse 24 has a southern gateway. Then it goes to the inner courts of this giant visitor center. He keeps describing it.
Look at chapter 41, it says, “he brought me into the sanctuary and measured the doorposts,” the width of all these. If you just keep reading, he goes to chapter 43 and something happens now. See, Ezekiel was there when the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians. He was carried away as they were destroying the city. He recorded what happened in chapter 11 of Ezekiel, that before the Babylonians destroyed the temple, the shekinah glory cloud went up from the temple, went to the eastern gate and went up toward the north. That was portraying God, leaving the temple. The shekinah, the glory cloud was a picture of the glory of God.
Now, look what it says in chapter 43 of Ezekiel, “Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the Earth shown with His glory.”
Verse 4. “And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the eastern gate.”
So, here’s the Eastern gate. This is the East. What Ezekiel sees in Ezekiel 43 is the other end of what happens in Ezekiel 11. In Ezekiel 11, the glory of the Lord left, departed. In Ezekiel 43 the glory cloud returns and comes into this temple and fills the temple. See that’s Ezekiel seeing what we call the fourth temple. Remember first temple – Solomon, second temple – Zerubbabel and Herod, third temple – tribulation, fourth temple – seven miles by seven miles, God’s visitor center and it’s described. You can read that the priests are described in chapter 44, talking about their lives and their character. What’s interesting is in chapter 47 there’s water flowing out from underneath the throne and it goes to the east, into the dead sea area. If you know anything about Israel, the dead sea is dead, and it brings life.
So, all that is what’s going on in this millennial temple. The people are following God’s prophetic calendar. That’s these feasts that I pointed at here and you see on your slide they are Spring Summer, Fall, Passover, Unleavened Bread, first fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles. Those seven are signposts, each pointing to the cross and death of Christ, His burial, His resurrection, the birth of the Church, the rapture launching the tribulation, the second coming when the children of Israel in Jerusalem call on the Lord to save them as Zechariah talks about, and then the fulfillment of all the promises to Israel in the millennium.
These are called the biblical holidays. Jesus’ death, you can see on the slide, His burial, His resurrection, historically part of His first coming. The Holy spirit coming down at Pentecost, that’s the church age, and then fulfilled are these Fall holidays during the second coming of Christ.
So basically, the millennium and this entire period of Revelation chapter 20, verses 1-6 is all about fulfilling the rule of Jesus as Messiah.
You see on this slide, the millennium, the thousand-year reign. Remember millennium is mille, that’s the Latin word for a thousand; -ennium, that’s the Latin word for years. So Mille is 1000. -Ennium is years. That term millennium, is six times mentioned in Revelation chapter 20 and that time period is described as, see the slide:
- Promised to David in three chapters
- Predicted in the Psalms and prophets in 31 chapters.
- Promise to Mary and to the apostles in five chapters,
- It’s in the Lord’s Prayer
- It’s described in Psalm 2.
There are over 40 chapter of the Bible that describe this period, this event. 40 chapters.
The millennium, what is it like? Those 40 chapters, if I sum them up, would be this:
- There are physical changes on the Earth. The climate change. The animals change.
- The curse is rolled back, lifted.
- Isaiah says in Isaiah 11 creation is redeemed. Do you remember? It says on the slide, Romans 8:20-22, all creation is groaning for the Lord to return and rule.
- The Earth it says in Isaiah 11:9 is filled with the knowledge of the Lord. That’s repeated in Habakkuk, another book about this event. Habakkuk 2:14 says “the whole Earth is filled with the knowledge[…] of the LORD. Like the waters cover the seas.”
So, this is a unique time of God’s presence being seen, but it’s not eternity. Don’t confuse the millennium with Heaven and dwelling in our Father’s house because death and sin are still present. They’re just pushed back. Everyone has their lanes and that’s what Micah 4:15 says. Amos tells us it’s fruitful, but it’s not Heaven. So, what happens next?
The next event, the sixth event of the seven on your prophetic chart is the final rebellion look what it says, starting in verse 7, which I’ve alluded to over and over.
“When the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released.” So, look at this, Satan is chained and now the chains are taken off. The doorway is opened. Satan comes out. Look what he does, to be “released from his prison and he will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the Earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the Earth and surrounded.” Do you remember? I told you they’re coming from everywhere, surrounding the visitor center, the millennial temple. What’s here? “The camp of the saints.” See how it says that? They “surrounded the camp of the saints,” verse 9 of Revelation 20, “and the beloved city,” Jerusalem.
The Lord just does one thing. Look what it says in verse 9, “and fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into,” look at this, the devil is “cast into the Lake of Fire.”
So, Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. He is loosed. He deceives one last time. He’s cast into the Lake of Fire.
Verse 10 continues, “… fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are.” Now wait a minute, when Jesus returns in the Armageddon scene, in chapter 16 and 19, the beast and false prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire. The devil joins them. Wow.
That’s what, you’ll see this on this slide. Let me just review with this graphic, the Church on Earth. The rapture, John 14, Luke 24, Acts 1, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4 the Bema seat. We talked about that last hour, with the whole judgment of our works in our wedding garment. The tribulation. Christ’s second coming. The thousand-year reign. Now or at that brown box there, the rebels and the great white throne.
Then, Heaven is home, life is camping. Do you know what I like? I like the fact that the saints camp. Camping. Do you ever go camping? Camping is where you go out and lay on the ground and get dirty and smell like smoke. You have outdoor toilets, and you can’t wait to roll up your tent and go home. Heaven is home. Notice it says, “camp of the saints.” Note, they stay close to God’s temple, close to each other. That has always been God’s desire that we stay close to Him, that we never get comfortable with the world. Peter and Paul remind us that our lives here are like living in a tent. Heaven is home, life is camping. The best is yet to come, this world is not our home we’re just pilgrims and strangers, that’s what 2 Peter 1 says.
So, the release of Satan and his doom. When Satan is released, Satan deceives the nations. What’s terrible is to think that people could sink so low, that after 1,000 years of every year coming three times to visit God, to see the saints, to meet Jesus Christ, that people still rebel. That’s boggling. There’s perfect justice, perfect peace, perfect health, perfect agriculture and yet, once the old dragon gets out everyone follows him again.
You know what the Lord shows us? I want you to think about this, especially you young people, a perfect environment will not produce perfect people. There’s so many that want to go clean up the Earth and they want to get pure water. Pure water is important, and food is important and cleaning up all the slums is really novel, but its perfect environment will never produce perfect people. Only a new heart. See, that’s why Ezekiel 36, remember chapter 40 is this millennial temple, but Ezekiel 36:26-27, remember yesterday in hour 18 I said the 108 verses every believer should know? That’s another one on that list. A new heart. Also, I will give you a new spirit, I’ll put within you. I’ll take away your stony heart.
Do you know what the millennium proves? That everyone, even though their parents come in as believers, each succeeding generation, if God doesn’t give you a new heart, a new spirit, like He wants to, you’ll just join in the rebellion against God. A perfect environment will never make perfect people. Only a new heart.
One lesson from the camp of the saints I’ll never forget, our dear friends. We went camping on Prince Edward Island many years ago. We took a family with us that never camped in their life. So, of course they went out and bought a tent, and they bought cots, and they just got everything to go camping. It rained most of the time we were there, but I’ll never forget the putting up of our tents.
I came out with this little plastic top mallet that my wife got, and I gently tapped our stakes in. Our friends, Rick was watching. He says, wow. He says you aren’t putting your stakes in very deep. I said, no, no, no camping; you’ve got to be able to pull them up quick. He had one of those mallets with a wooden head that looked like a circus tent. One that you bury stakes about that deep. He came and he buried his stakes. He said, I want it to blow away.
His stakes were so far in the ground you couldn’t even see them. Reminds me of something, I know I should have warned him, I tried to warn him. You know what it says in Hebrews 11, verse 13? It says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims.”
Do you know what Pilgrim are? Sojourner means? It means you go through life, not burying your tent stakes. We’re supposed to realize that we’re pilgrims and strangers on Earth. That are Earthly life, our bodies are like a tent. Soon we’re going to have to fold up this tent and go home. Heaven is home, dwelling in our Father’s house is home. Don’t most believers do like our friends, camping. They bury their tent stakes so deep, that when going to Heaven they back toward Heaven. This world and their possessions and everything, is what they’re longing for. God says this world is not your home and people end up backing toward Heaven. It’s like a tractor beam because they’re 10 stakes are too deep. Remember that we’re pilgrims and strangers.
To conclude, look at Revelation 20, starting in verse 11. This is the saddest part of the scriptures.
“Then I saw a great white throne.” See where we are? Right here, the great white throne and the Lake of Fire. “And Him who sat on it, from whose face the Earth and Heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. “
Who is this sitting here? John 5 tells us; God has committed all judgment to the Son and the hour is coming when all the graves will hear His voice. Jesus said, He’s sitting on that throne of judgment. “I saw the dead,” verse 12, “small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades,” remember this, “the grave gave up the dead that are in them. And they were judged,” verse 13, “each one, according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire.”
So, Death and Hades here, this whole grave is cast into the Lake of Fire. The devil has already been cast in there. The beast and the false prophet are already in there. This is the second death. Remember, it is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgment. ” And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.”
We should fear the holiness of Jesus. No scene in the entire Bible, grips our minds and stirs our souls. As much as these last verses of Revelation 20. Imagine the scene. In one moment, all the angels and all the humans who’ve ever lived on this planet, the billions of souls are assembled. In utter silence, it opens. In the glow of God’s glowing throne stand the redeemed of all the ages. Behind them and countless ranks, the angelic hosts. Then the dead small and great are assembled. Every person who’s ever lived, not one soul escapes this summons.
By the way, Jesus spoke more about this moment than any other moment. He spoke more about Hell than Heaven, two for one. This Lake of Fire is what Jesus constantly warned about in Christian circles. We speak more of Heaven than Hell yet, Jesus warned of Hell from the start of His ministry to the end. In the gospel of Matthew from chapter 3 through 26, there’s a common theme, eternal judgment. Jesus preached continually about the horrors awaiting the last ones.
As I read through the scriptures, I look for scriptures about what I call, the hideous doctrine of Hell. Basically, I’ll summarize it this way, Jesus said the horror of Hell is that it’s eternal darkness. Hell has two aspects that are rarely considered, which are both curious and frightening on Earth. We take for granted two physical properties that keep us physically and mentally stable.
The first is light.
The second is solid fixed surfaces.
Oddly, these two dependables aren’t in Hell. It says, you see on the slide, in Jude 1:7, 13. That Hell is the blackness of darkness. It’s called in Revelation 20 a bottomless pit. So, the people in Hell are in an endless tumble, a bottomless pit, always falling in pitch black darkness.
Think about what Jesus said, Jesus said in Matthew 8:12 that a person who just entered Hell, be it your neighbor or your relative or coworker, friend; after the roar of physical pain blasts them, they spend the first few moments, wailing and gnashing teeth, Jesus said. After a season, they grow accustomed to the pain, not that it’s tolerable, but their capacity has enlarged. As they hurt, they think. Instinctively a person entering Hell starts looking around as they tumble, but all they see is blackness. Impenetrable blackness.
In the past, we learned if we looked long enough, a glow of light will sometimes yield definition. So, this person blinks and strains to focus their eyes, but as they turn and strain their eyes and wait, they see nothing but unyielding black ink. It clings and smothers them. Then they start reaching out their arms and legs and they touch nothing. Then, they realize how it’s what Jesus said, a bottomless pit.
That’s Revelation 20, verses 1-2, where the Devil is put into this bottomless pit before he gets in the Lake of Fire. It’s an endless, bottomless pit. After feverish tries the person in Hell pauses from exhaustion, suspended in the black. Suddenly they scream, they twist, and they tumble onward. They become lost in the blackness.
By the way, everyone in Hell believes, it says that in James 2:19, “you believe there’s one God, you do well even the demons believe and tremble”. People in Hell will be crying out., Jesus saved me but it’s too late.
Revelation 14:11 says that they have no rest night or day. “The smoke of their torment goes up forever; they have no rest night or day.”
God’s word tells us this, there’s no second chance. We’re appointed to die once and after that Hebrews 9:27, to face the judgment.
Jesus describes Hellfire. He said there’s two entrance gates, two roads, two destinations – destruction and life. Two groups of travelers, many who are on the broad road, leading to destruction. Few that will repent and come to Christ.
So back to this chart, I showed you Jesus died and finished the price of salvation for our sin on the cross. When He died, He was buried into this tomb, and it says in Luke 16:22 and Luke 23:43, that He went to this spot called paradise with the thief. After, He took the thief and all the redeemed from paradise, it says in, as you see on your chart there, in the book of Ephesians chapter 4, verse 8, that He takes all of captivity captive. He preaches as 2 Peter 2:4, to the spirits that are in prison. He comes through the empty tomb, ascends to Heaven, and takes all the redeemed of all time with Him. He is seated on the right hand of the throne of God.
Now it’s interesting in the garden of Eden there was paradise, but after man’s fall paradise moves down here to what’s called Abraham’s bosom. Jesus takes paradise from here and we see it in Heaven. When Paul was stoned to death, 2 Corinthians 12:4 says, he was taken to paradise. In Revelation 2:7 it says that those who love Christ in the Church on Earth go to paradise. So, that’s what we call Christ tour of the underworld. The bottom line is, this paradise is coming to Earth, a perfect environment will come, but without a new heart. People rebel. All who rebel faced the judge, are cast into the Lake of Fire and as we’ll see in the next hour, those of us who repent in faith, calling on the name of the Lord, dwell in our Father’s house.
Let’s bow for word of prayer.
Lord, I thank you for the most fascinating chapter of the Bible, Revelation 20. Thank you for your love that sent your son to be the savior of the world. May your love constrain us and compel us to share the good news, so that no one will have to spend their eternity in the Lake of Fire, that we have the privilege of sharing the gospel with. Make us good and faithful servants, sharing your salvation. In the name of Jesus, we pray. All God’s people said. Amen.
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