God’s Prophecy of the End Times
Jude 3-5 - Revelation 20:1-15
During the 1000 years Satan and his demons are bound in a place called the bottomless pit and are not loosed until the thousand years are finished. (Rev. 20:3)
At the end of the 1000 years, Satan and his demons are once again released to tempt those people born during the Millennium. Those who enter the 1000 years at the beginning are all saved people who survived during the 7 years of Tribulation that follows the Rapture. However, these people will have children and they will have to believe and accept Jesus as their Savior the same as we do today. However, it is clear that all born in the 1000 years will not believe, even though Jesus is ruling the world from Jerusalem. Many in the Millennium will not believe and when Satan is loosed and his demons at the end of the 1000 years they will rebel with Satan. (Rev. 20:7-10)
Satan and his demons are cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented forever.
Following this even there is the Great White Throne Judgment where the unsaved since the beginning of the earth until the end of the Millennial will be judged according to their works...and all cast into the Lake of Fire. (Rev. 20:11-15)
The next period, which last eternally, begins with the forming of the new heavens and earth.
This morning we want to look at the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment.
The term Millennium is used to refer to the 1000 years in which Jesus Christ will reign on earth from Jerusalem. (Millennium means 1000). Revelation 20:4-7 specifically mentions this time frame of a thousand years four times.
In understanding the prophetic future and especially the coming Millennium we must consider the covenants that God made with Israel.
Revelation 20:6 says blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. The first resurrection is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, of the saved who are raptured at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation, and those resurrected at His second coming.
The first person resurrected in this “first” resurrection was Jesus the Messiah some 2000 years ago. Because of His resurrection those who believe in Him and receive His offer of grace will have a part in His resurrection.
Romans 6:5 “For if we are become identified with him in the likeness of his death, so also we shall be of his resurrection”
That resurrection is the Rapture of the Body of Christ. All believers, born again Christians, on earth both the dead and living will be resurrected and caught up to meet the Lord in the air as 1 Thess. 4:13-18 states. Therefore the next prophetic event in history will be the rapture of the Body of Christ which refers to all those saved since Acts 2 and Pentecost. We will be taken to heaven to be with the Lord.
Following the rapture will be seven years of God’s judgment on the earth when God once again begins to work with the nation of Israel. This is called the Tribulation. At the end of the seven years Christ will return to earth, at what we call His Second Coming. He will destroy the Antichrist and the false prophet and remove all the unsaved from off the earth.
This will usher in a new age for the earth we call the Millennium. The Millennium will be the time when God will restore the nation of Israel and fulfill the promises He made to Abraham, David and the Jews. This kingdom is foretold in the Old and New Testaments and is the re-establishment of Israel's fallen kingdom.
God’s Promise to Abraham
God promises Abraham that his seed would be like the sands of the sea and that he would make of his descendants a great nation. (Gen. 12:1-3). Verse 3 is a Messianic prophecy of the coming of Jesus the Messiah.
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
God promised Abraham in Genesis 17:7-8 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Paul identifies who the seed of Abraham is in Galatians 3:16. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
In other words, it was not the Hebrews (Jews), thus Abrahams “seeds,” in whom the earth would be blessed, but in Abrahams “seed” singular.
God promised Abraham in Genesis 15:18 - “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”
History shows that Israel has only occupied part of that land...they have never occupied it all, thus God’s promise has never been fulfilled.
Yet, today the Jews are scattered all over the earth. In Jeremiah 23:3 God promised them “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.”
Israel will serve the Lord in the Millennium
In Ezekiel 36:23-24 God promised: “And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
This also has not happened. In Ezekiel 37 God promised that he would take them from their graves and restore them to their land, referring to saved Jews of the Old Testament and the Tribulation. Isaiah foretold of the promises of God when Israel would rest in peace and the Messiah the root of Jesse would reign in Israel.
Read Isaiah 11:1-10 - Peace promised to Israel.
Jesus the Messiah will rule the world the earth will be restored to a time almost like the Garden of Eden. God promised to David that his kingdom would be everlasting.
READ Isaiah 55:3-5. God restated the promise to Solomon, David’s son who began king after David died.
2 Chronicles 7:18 “Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.”
God said that in this future kingdom that He would make a new covenant will Israel in which the once rebellious people would love the Lord and serve Him. They would wander from God no more.
Thus to understand the Tribulation and the Millennium we must understand that during the Tribulation God is purging Israel and the earth of sin and in the Millennium He fulfills His unconditional promises to His chose people. If we fail to consider this vital truth....the future prophesies of God are only confusing to us.
Sadly, uninformed and those who are biblically unskilled have disregarded these truths have given us such false teachings a Post and Amillennialism, Reformed theology and the current false teaching the Pre-wrath rapture which teaches that Christians in the age will go through part of the Tribulation. All which ignore the biblical truth that God will fulfill His promises to Israel and will restore them to their land in the Millennial.
In order to understand the future prophetic events we must understand that Israel is in the main focus and Israel will become leading nation on earth as Jesus the Messiah sets up the kingdom He promise to His chosen people and rules from Jerusalem.
We believers of this the Church Age will be part of this kingdom, but we will be there as the resurrected saints of God, in a special relationship with Jesus Christ, which the Scripture refers to us a the Bride and Body of Christ.
We will rule with Christ as His administrators over the nations and carry out His will. 1 Corinthians 6:2 states, “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?” To be a judge means to rule over. Therefore the Body of Christ, during the millennial reign of Christ will serve Him as rulers over the nations.
I. What does the Bible say about Heaven?
To understand this we must look at the plans the Lord has for believers.
A. What happens today when a believer dies?
1. 2 Corinthians 5:1 says "For we know that if our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Verse 6 of the passage says " Therefore we are always confident, and know that while present in the body we are absent from the Lord"
Matthew 5:48 tells us plainly "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Our lord is in heaven...so we will be in heaven with Him. Fifteen times in the New Testament says our "Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 6:20 says we are to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven...not on the earth.
The word heaven is mentioned 238 times in the New Testament and a total of 552 times in the Bible.
Philippians 3:20 says, "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." The word "conversation" means the way we live our lives or conduct ourselves as citizens of heaven, or, for obtaining heaven
Hebrews 10:34 "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance."
In Revelation 4:1-2 we see a picture of the saints in heaven after the resurrection. After this there is no mention of Church Age saints until Revelation 19:14 which records the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and it says He returns with His armies which were in heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean. That is a picture of believers who have been saved, washed in the blood of the lamb and made white and spotless.
2. Some misguided churches, cults and individuals try to teach that we are not promised heaven. That is absolutely false.
1 Peter 1:4 tells us of our inheritance in heaven. "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you"
This verse plainly states when a believer dies he goes to heaven and receives a body not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens.
B. At the Rapture of the Church Age Believers the saved who have died and those alive will be resurrected and given new glorified bodies like the Lord Jesus Christ. We will be judged at the Bema Judgment which is for reward.
C. And we will return with the Lord at the end of the Seven Years of the Tribulation and will rule with Him in the Millennium.
III. The Great White Throne Judgment.
A. The name comes from verse 11, which says " and I saw a great white throne. Jesus Christ sets on the throne in judgment.
1. Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth."
2. Sadly, those who refused to bow and received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord in their lives....which bow to Him in the Judgment, but will not be saved.
B. Who is judged?
1. The small and great stand before God. By the way this is a verse that teaches the Trinity. Jesus is on the Throne and here is called God.
2. This is not a judgment to determine if those who appear before the Lord are saved or lost. All here are lost.
3. The Books are opened and another book is opened. The "books" are the record of the works of each man who is there.
4. Another book (singular) is opened which is the Book of Life. This is the record of all the names of the saved. It to verify that there names are not in the Book of Life.
5. The dead were judged out the things written in the books (plural). Note that everyone at this judgment has died. It includes those who died before and during the Millennium and the lost who were destroyed with Satan at the end of the Millennium.
6. Those whose bodies are in the sea...are brought up to be judged.
7. Those in Death and Hell or Hades are brought up to be judged. Everywhere, from all over the earth the unsaved will be brought up to be judged.
C. Verse 14 once again says that "death and hell" gave up their dead and they were cast into the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death.
1. God told Adam and Eve that in the day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall surely die. There are two deaths man faces.
2. He faces physical death and also spiritual death. Here the "second death" is identified as being cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.
D. Verse 15 has the chilling words....Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
This then is the final abode of the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:10 says this is an eternal judgment and that those cast in the lake of fire are tormented forever and ever. This is why it is called the "Eternal Lake of Fire."
Here is the last reference to sin, to the lost and to judgment in the Bible. Here sin and its destructive influences END. The world is now freed from Satan, sin and evil men.
Next week we will look at the New Heavens and Earth and our eternal state with the Lord.
Revelation 21:1 says that John then see a New Heavens and Earth. This Universe is purged by fire and God makes a New Universe and New Earth....without a sea.
Clearly God has gone to great lengths to tell us of the future and warn us of things to come. His offer of salvation and forgiveness of sins is made so much more wonderful when we realize that we will not experience God wrath...
The question for each of us is simple....have we believed God and received Jesus Christ as our Savior. Everyone in this room will be involved in these events.
Everyone in this room will be present in one or more of these events. The events are divided into two groups. For those who believe, repent of their sins, and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior they will be rejoicing in their salvation and experiencing the joys of Heaven and of our Savior forever.
For those who reject God’s offer of mercy and grace, eternity for them will be an everlasting torment in the Lake of Fire, with no hope.
I think to any reasonable person the choice should be clear.