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The Triumph of Jesus

NR8-01   REV-47

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But God has some great plans for the future of this planet. Have you studied them? The Lord is preparing to restore Paradise on Earth again. He has planned for a whole new World. Far beyond anything we could ever plan or do, He is preparing. Just a few of His plans are:

  •  A complete return to a global climate of mild weather with no storms, droughts and catastrophes.
  • A renewing of the abundant harvests of land and sea
  • The return of animals to non-poisonous, non-carnivorous states
  • The transformation of spiders and snakes to beauty and wonder
  • And dozens of other promised changes until the World blossoms like a rose garden with no blight and no bugs.
  • When?

 

Revelation 20 is the step between Earth, as we know it and Heaven for Eternity.  It declares that the golden age will arrive[1].  The armies of the nations have been disbanded, and the great military academies have fallen into ruin and decay.  The machinery of war has all been smelted down and converted to the implements of peace.  Jerusalem has become the world’s capital.  The throne of David is there, and the twelve apostles are there judging the twelve tribes of Israel, for Israel rules the World.  The millennial Temple has been built to crown Moriah’s brow, and the nations of the Earth come there to worship the living God.  Prosperity is evident from pole to pole.  Poverty is unknown.  Every man has all that his heart can desire.  There are no prisons, no hospitals, no mental institutions, no barracks, no saloons, no houses of ill repute, no gambling dens, and no homes for the aged and infirm.  Such things belong to a past and lesser age.  The bloom of youth is on everyone’s cheek, for a man is a stripling at a hundred years of age.  Cemeteries are crumbling relics of the past, and tears are rare.   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, and the millennium is here.  The golden age, so frequently heralded by the prophets of Israel’s past, has dawned at last, and the Earth is filled with the knowledge of God.  Jesus is Lord, and He rules the nations with a rod of iron.  His reign is righteous, and the nations obey.  The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are the laws of the Kingdom, and men obey them because infractions are not allowed.  Sin is visited with swift and certain judgment.  The era lasts for a thousand years.

 

Let’s read Revelation 20:1-10.

 

In Revelation 19:11- 20:10, we see in three distinct strokes, God’s mighty plan.

First of all 19:11-21 – the return of the King of Kings.

Secondly 20:1-3 – the restraint of the adversary.

Finally 20:4-10 – the rule of the Messiah.  Let’s plunge into the first phase – the return of the King of Kings.

 

Part one: the return of the King of Kings

Revelation 19:11-21

 

Apostle John vividly shows us Christ’s re-entry.  Let’s list off all the biblical elements that burst forth in this moment as Christ returns.

 

Jesus appears in judgment seen by all

 

  • Jesus enters the sky as Heaven opens, and the sign of the Son of man appears (Matt. 24:30);
  • Jesus rides on a white horse, accompanied by the armies of Heaven.  Out of His mouth goes forth a sharp two-edged sword, and He Himself treads the winepress of the wrath of God the Almighty (Rev. 19:11-16);
  • Jesus wears blood dipped garments (Rev. 19:13).
  • Jesus holds a ruling rod of iron (Rev. 19:15; Psa. 2:9);
  • Jesus pours out His wrath on sin as one who treads the winepress (Isa. 63:1-6; Rev. 19:15);
  • Jesus gathers all the rebels as one who threshes the harvest floor (Mic. 4:12,13; Matt. 3:12);
  • Jesus reaps the Earth with the sickle of Divine Judgment (Joel 3:13; Rev. 14:17,18).

 

Jesus appears in judgment feared by all rebels

 

  • Jesus is recognized by the earth dwellers. Thus, will the despised Jesus of Nazareth again appear!  Then will all the families of the Earth wail (Matt. 24:30).  Then has come the Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; 4:14; Amos 5:20);
  • Jesus is visibly angry. “The day of His fierce anger” (Isa. 13:13); The “great and terrible” day (Mal. 4:5);
  • Jesus is like the worst storm imaginable. “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Joel 2:2; Zech. 14:6);
  • Jesus terrifies the earth. In horror – then will they creep into the clefts and ravines (Rev. 6:15).  Then will they hide in the caverns of the rocks and the holes of the Earth (Isa. 2:19).  Then will they call to the mountains, Fall on us! And to the hills, cover us! (Luke 23:30; Rev. 6:16; 9:6).  But there will be no escape.

 

Jesus appears in judgment poured on all rebels

 

  • His arrival is like the swift and blinding flash of lightning the Lord comes (Matt. 24:27), All the chariots of His army sweep the Earth as a tempest (Isa. 66:15);
  • His eyes as flames of fire (Rev. 19:12;
  • His voice as the voice of a lion (Joel 3:16; Isa. 30:30), and the slain of the Lord will be many (Isa. 66:15,16; Psa. 110:6);
  • His vengeance is flaming fire (II Thess. 1:8; Isa. 66:15, 16);
  • His day is as a fiery oven (Mal. 4:1; Matt. 13:41, 42) as an inescapable snare (Luke 21:35);
  • His fear as a sudden destruction will “seize all” (I Thess. 5:3);
  • His wrath is inescapable as the flood in the days of Noah (Matt. 24:38,39), as the fiery judgment overtook Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-32).

 

Jesus appears in judgment glorified by all rebels

 

YES, on the Mount of Olives, whence He formerly ascended (Acts 1:9,12) will the Lord again first appear (Zech. 14:4).

  • Every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:30);
  • Every contradiction will be silenced (Matt. 22:12; Job 9:3);
  • Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the honour of God the Father (Phil.2:11).

 

The king of kings and lord of lords has returned.

 

Part two: the restraint of the adversary.

Revelation 20:1-3

 

Revelation 20:1-3 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the 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 were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

 

The sequence: We first note John’s continued usage since Revelation 19 of the term  “I SAW”.  What he started seeing in Chapter 19, goes all the way to eternity.  It notes the clear chronological nature of the sequence of events-helping to establish the historical 1,000-year reign to come.

 

The Abyss: Satan opened this place last with the key. Now Satan is cast into the Pit. With the naming of the four names spelling the history of Satan’s career, are cast into the abyss.  DRAGON – OLD SERPENT – DEVIL – SATAN.

 

The justice: We are next told the place where Satan is bound.  John says that the angel “cast himself into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him.”  There is a poetic justice in God’s dealings with Satan.  Centuries ago, the evil one saw to it that the mortal remains of God’s beloved Son were shut up in a tomb and sealed.

 

Throughout the tribulation[2] era, Satan has opened the abyss to plague mankind, once with horrible demons and once with the recalled soul of the beast.  Now he himself is consigned to that dark hole and sealed in by an act of God, and there he rages in the most secure prison cell in the universe.  It is the condemned cell, and he knows it.  He has his thoughts to keep him company, and terrible thoughts they are –

  • Thoughts of the day of his creation when he sprang mature, magnificent, and mighty from the hand of God;
  • Thoughts of the wide world that once he ruled as the anointed cherub;
  • Thoughts of the ways in which once he led the worship of the angel hosts;
  • Thoughts of God’s throne and his attempts to seize it for himself;
  • Thoughts of his fall, of his entrance into Eden, of his short-lived triumph over the first human pair;
  • Thoughts of the sentence passed upon him and of his futile efforts to prevent the coming of the promised Seed;
  • Thoughts of Calvary and of his utter defeat;
  • Thoughts of the fleeting moments when he brought the World to the foot of the beast and had seemingly triumphed at last; thoughts of the lake of fire just ahead.  He is given a thousand years in confinement to think.

 

So, we now have the return of the King of Kings and the restraint of the adversary.

 

THREE TIMELESS PRINCIPLES

 

  • God Cares (Hebrews 4:14-16).  He is genuinely interested in this World, its needs, and its inhabitants-now as well as in the future.
  • God Controls (Daniel 4:35; Psalm 139:9).  He hasn’t lost control.  God is sovereign, and He is working all things together for good – even now as well as in the future.
  • God Communicates – The God we serve is not a God of silence.  He doesn’t want to leave us in the dark.  He lets us know what is going to happen down to some very minute details.

 

Part Three: The rule of the Messiah

Revelation 20:4-10

 

But what is the final state of earthly history this rule of Christ?  Well, let’s note three views:

  • The Millennium is God establishing[3] the insignificant stone, which shatters Nebuchadnezzar’s imposing colossus (comp. Matt. 21:44), but afterwards it increases to a great mountain and fills the whole earth (Dan. 2:35, 44, 45).
  • The Millennium is God confirming the Kingdom of the Son of man which prepares an end for the bloodthirsty Beasts of Daniel’s world empire and, for the first time, exalts to the throne of international history true humanity in the sense of Holy Scripture, that is humanity in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27; Dan. 7:13, comp. 2-7; Matt. 26:64).
  • The Millennium is God revealing the Kingdom of Heaven, which comes down from Heaven, and therefore brings into this earthly World heavenly nature and heavenly happiness (comp. Dan. 4:23).
  • The Millennium is God fulfiling the Kingdom of God, which was:

Planned from the very beginning (Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:);

Striven for the ages through (Matt. 6:10);

Founded by Christ (John 18:36, 37);

Preached by His followers (Acts 20:25; 28:31);

Expected by mankind (Romans 8:19) and now

Set up on the old Earth (Rev. 11:15; 19:6), so as after the final catastrophe of the hitherto existing World (Rev. 20:7-15),

To run on into the new eternal creation (Rev. 21 and 22)

 

SO WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE:

 

The Sky changes during the Kingdom (Isaiah 4:5,6; 30:26; 60:19). Around the earth will apparently be surrounded by a new kind of atmospheric light that will accelerate productivity on the Earth.

The world of nature changes during the Kingdom The curse will be removed!  The animal kingdom will find compatibility with human life (Isaiah 11:6-9; 55:12, 13; 65:25). Agricultural production will be abundant (Isaiah 30:23-25; 35:1,2).

The threat of disease changes as there will be no sickness or deformity of any kind (Isaiah 29:17-19; 33:24; 35:3-7). There will be exceptionally long life (Isaiah 65:19-23).

The political climate changes as Jesus brings real peace and justice to the earth during His reign (Isaiah 2:4; 42:6,7; 54:14,15).

The spiritual climate changes as earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord and His Word (Isaiah 2:3; 11:9; 12:4,5; 52:6-10).

 

THEN WHAT?  The King of King’s returns – Satan is restrained – Christ rules.

 

Part Four : Release and Doom of Satan

Revelation 20:7-10

 

When?  Satan’s release will occur immediately at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ.

Why?  Satan will be released to:

  • Demonstrate to man that a perfect environment does not change man’s problem.
  • Illustrate the incurable wickedness of Satan who returns immediately to his deceptive ministry.
  • Justify eternal punishment.  It will show that man, even though exposed to righteousness for an extended period of time, when given the opportunity to accept Christ, will reject Him.

Where?  Satan will be cast into the lake of fire where he will be tormented day and night forever.

 

In this brief moment as all of history flashes before us – Man is absolutely guilty!

 

It is the old[4] story of satanic hatred to God, and man’s frailty told out again; but this time under the most favorable circumstances, so far as man is concerned.  Therefore his sin is absolutely inexcusable.

  • Mankind was Tested in the garden of delight man broke through the one only prohibition laid upon him.
  • Mankind was Tested under conscience (pre-flood), corruption and violence filled the Earth, and the scene had to be cleared by the deluge.
  • Mankind was Tested under the restraining influence of divinely appointed (post-flood) government man went into idolatry, thus turning his back upon his Creator.
  • Mankind was Tested under Israel law; he cast off all restraint and crucified the Lord of Glory.
  • Mankind was Tested under grace (church) in this present dispensation of the Holy Spirit, he has shown himself utterly unable to appreciate such mercy, has rejected the gospel and gone ever deeper into sin.
  • Mankind was Tested under the personal reign (millennium) of the Lord Jesus Christ for a thousand years, and Satan leads the whole world astray moments after his release.
  • Mankind was Tested and found guilty at every level!

THREE PRACTICAL LESSONS

 

God keeps His Word.  If God keeps His Word about the Kingdom, He keeps His Word about today.  Even though today may seem miserable and difficult, God says, “My presence goes with you, and I’ll give you rest.”  “All things work together for good to those who love God,” and “I keep My Word.”

 

External change is powerless. A change on the outside makes no change on the inside.  People often feel that if somehow the outward circumstances can change, they’ll be different on the inside.

 

Seeing Jesus is not enough. Christ’s visible presence on Earth is not ultimately the answer to sin.  He must reign within our lives. Again the multitudes follow only for gain but not for change of their wills.

 

Appendices

A summary of Old Testament millennial promises

 

How’s this compare[5] with the Old Testament promises?  Harry Ironsides traced it like this:

 

ISAIAH: (V 6).  This is the kingdom described in such glowing terms by Isaiah, who throughout his entire prophecy sees, through faith’s telescope, the glorious time when Israel and Judah shall be one people in their own land, restored in soul to God, dwelling in peace every man under his own vine and fig-tree, and the glory of the Lord covering the Earth as the waters cover the sea.  He tells how even nature itself shall respond to Messiah’s rule, and the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.  The brute creation too shall be delivered from the curse.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all God’s holy mountain.  The lion shall eat straw like the ox.  The lamb shall lie down with the lion, and “a little child shall lead them.”  All nations will then ask the way to Zion; and Jerusalem shall become the metropolis, not only of a rejuvenated Palestine, but also of the whole Earth.

 

Jeremiah: takes up the same happy strain, and foresees the God of Israel sending “fishers” out into the sea of the nations, fishing out His people no matter where they may be hidden, and bringing them back to the land of their fathers.  He sees the city built again and inhabited by a peaceful, happy nation under the reign of the righteous Branch whom God has promised to raise up unto David, and “in his days, Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Then they shall no longer need to “teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know Him, from the least to the greatest of them.”

 

Ezekiel: adds to the wondrous story, and tells of the Spirit being poured out from on high, and describes the services of the regenerated Israel, a priestly nation, through whom the law of God goes forth to all the lands of the nations.  He depicts the millennial Temple, and even tells us how the land is to be divided among the tribes, and does not close his remarkable book until he can say, “The name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah-Shammah-THE LORD IS THERE.”

 

DANIEL: All the visions of Daniel’s companion-apocalypse conclude with the bringing in of the fifth universal kingdom; and this he tells us is the Kingdom of the Son of Man, which is to displace every other, and is to stand forever.  This is the Stone cut out without hands that falls upon the feet of the Gentile image and grinds it to powder, and then becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth.  This is the Kingdom conferred upon the Son of Man by the Ancient of Days, when the bodies of the beasts (symbolizing the four great empires that have borne rule over all the civilized Earth) shall be cast into the burning flame.

 

Hosea:  shows how Messiah would come in lowly grace. But He is rejected by Israel, would go and return to His place until they acknowledged their sin, and would seek His face, when He will return to restore their souls and to ransom them from the power of the grave, bringing in everlasting righteousness, and making them a blessing to all Nations.

 

Joel: sees the great tribulation in all its intensity, but beholds the glory that shall follow, and predicts the outpouring of the Spirit, not on Israel only, but on all flesh.

 

Amos:  bears witness to the gathering again of the outcasts of Israel, and their re-settlement in their land under Jehovah’s perfect rule.

 

Obadiah, who wrote the shortest of all the prophecies, though he speaks chiefly of judgment upon Edom, declares triumphantly, “The Kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”

 

Jonah: alone of all the prophetic brotherhood, seems to have no reference to that day of Jehovah’s power; yet we may learn through him how wonderfully God will own the testimony of Hebrew missionaries in the beginning of the Kingdom Age, as they go forth to spread the gospel among those who have not heard His fame, nor seen His glory.

 

Micah:  joins with Isaiah in describing the time when “the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and all Nations shall flow to it,” when “the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”  Then “the Nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks, and shall learn war no more.”

 

Nahum: predicts the judgments that shall befall the enemies of Jehovah in the day of His preparation; while Habakkuk, standing on his watch-tower, sees the coming King bringing in the glory.

 

Zephaniah and Haggai: point onwards to the restoration of Israel, and through them the blessing of the whole world, when the Lord their God is enthroned in the midst of them, and they serve Him with one consent.

 

Zechariah:  the prophet of glory, gives minute details that no others have touched upon, and even tells of the provision to be made for children’s playgrounds in the restored capital of Palestine, for he says, “The broad places of the city shall be full of boys and girls, playing in the broad places thereof”(literal rendering).  He sees every spot in Jerusalem holy to the Lord, and all Nations wending their way thitherward from year to year to keep the feast of tabernacles.

 

Malachi:  completes the series and announces the soon-coming of the King, heralded by the prophet Elijah, to tread down the wicked and sit as a refiner of silver to purify the sons of Levi, and to make His name great from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same.

 

Thus “to Him give all the prophets witness,” not only that through His name remission of sins is now to be proclaimed among all nations, but that He is to reign in righteousness over all the World, when He comes the second time to claim the inheritance which is His by Divine fiat, as Son and Heir of all things.  Then will all the earth rejoice, for the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the tongue of the dumb shall sing, the lame man shall leap as the hart, sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and the Lord alone shall be exalted for a thousand glorious years!

 

Seven Truths from Revelation 20

 

The following seven truths are not what you are likely too ever hear except from the only book that tells always and only the truth, The Word of God! Note these and mark them with me:

 

First, Satan is Stoppable/Vulnerable Revelation 20:1-3

We can overcome him by:

  • The Way of Goodness [a fruit of the Spirit] Rom 12.21
  • The Word of God I John 2.14
  • The Walk of Faith I John 5.4
  • The Blood of Jesus and the Word of our Testimony Rev 12.11

Second, Suffering is valuable Revelation 20:4-6

  • Suffering for Jesus partners us with the Holy Spirit Romans 8:17-24
  • Suffering for Jesus is God’s plan. Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
  • Suffering for Jesus allows us an intimate sharing with Christ’s sufferings Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
  • Suffering for Jesus strengthens our walk in the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 1:4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,
  • Suffering for Jesus prepares us for future service for the Lord in Heaven. 2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
  • Share in it I Peter 4.13
  • Wait through it I Peter 5.10

 

Third, People are so deceivable /gullible Rev 20:7-9

Beware Mt24.4-5, 11,24

 

Christ’s coming and the Lord’s Prayer

 

Turn to Matthew 6, the Sermon on the Mount.  NOTICE V.10. Familiar words in our Lord’s giving the disciples prayer! THY KINGDOM COME!  WHAT KINGDOM IS THIS?  We know it’s not the universal/providential/sovereign rule of God – THAT IS NOW.

 

DAVID SHOUTS – PS. 103:19 Thy Kingdom ruleth over all.

PAUL AFFIRMS – EPH. 1:11 God works all things after the counsels of His will.

 

We don’t pray for that which already is.  No, the key is in the clause that qualifies all three petitions – AS IN HEAVEN – SO ON EARTH.

 

SO, WHAT IS THE PETITION CHRIST SOUGHT TO EVER BE ON THE HEARTS AND LIPS OF HIS OWN PEOPLE – US, CHRISTIANS?

 

THY KINGDOM COME – THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH LIKE IT IS IN HEAVEN.  Do you realize that sin and rebellion exist on earth in a way not to be dealt with like any other?  Christ must come to put this rebellion down.  AND FOR THAT, WE PRAY!

 

LISTEN TO THE DISCERNING ADOLPH SAPHIR in his very able and spiritually helpful treatment[6] of The Lord’s Prayer.  Commenting on the clause “Thy kingdom come,” he says, “The petition refers primarily and directly to the Messianic Kingdom on earth, of which all Scripture testifies.  The King of this Kingdom is the Lord Jesus, the Son of David; the subjects of it are Israel and the Nations, – the chosen people fulfilling the mission which, according to the election of God, is assigned unto them, of being the medium of blessing unto all the Nations of the Earth; the center of the Kingdom is Jerusalem, and the means of its establishment is the coming and visible appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ.  When we pray ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ our true meaning is, ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly![7]

 

Referring to the same petition in the Prayer, Ellicott finds that “Historically, the prayer had its origin in the Messianic expectations embodied in the picture of the ideal king in Isaiah 11:1-6; 42:1-7; Daniel 7:14.  It had long been familiar to all that looked for the consolation of Israel.  Now the Kingdom of God, that in which He manifests His sovereignty more than in the material world or in the common course of history, had been proclaimed as nigh at hand.  The Teacher of the prayer knew Himself to be the Head of that Kingdom.

 

This distinction is also supported by the Greek text of the Prayer.  In each of the petitions concerning God’s name, Kingdom, and will, the Greek verb is not only in the emphatic position but also aorist imperative in form, thus indicating “single or instantaneous” action.  Thus, in harmony with all Old Testament prophecy, the prayer taught by our Lord suggests not only that His Kingdom is to be prayed for, but also that its coming to the “Earth” will be a definite crisis in history, not a long and gradual process of evolution.

 

This brief discussion may well open with the penetrating words of a great Jewish-Christian scholar:

 

“Is not such a consummation of history a necessary postulate of our thought?  Would we not expect such a transition period between the present and the ultimate everlasting condition?  Is there not to be the reign of the Son of Man, and a sphere in accordance with His character and glory?  Is earth simply a failure, abandoned by God to the power of the enemy, the scene of divine judgment, and not the scene of the vindication and triumph of righteousness?  Is not Jesus the Son of Man, the Christ who shall reign on Earth?  We believe that He will come, and with Him the Kingdom, and with the Kingdom the fulfillment of the prayer, “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

 

[1] Here are the headlines of Revelation 20, through the eyes of noted Bible teacher John Phillips as he blends dozens of OT prophecies into a picture for us in Exploring Revelation, p. 251.

[2] Quoted  from John Phillips, exploring Revelation, p. 253.

[3] Erich Sauer, p.

[4] Ironside, p.

[5] Harry Ironside, p.

[6] Alva McClain, p. 34-36.

[7] S. G. Green, Handbook of Grammar Greek New Testament, p. 309-10.

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