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The Thousand Year Reign PDF VERSION

The book of Revelation, chapter 20, is the only New Testament account of the “Thousand Year Reign of Christ.”  It is only found in this passage within the book of Revelation.  It is found in no other passages within the book of Revelation.  It is not found in the words of Jesus in the Gospels, neither is it found in the epistles written by Paul and the other Apostles, nor is it found anywhere in the entire Old Testament.  All of these writings never once mention a mathematical thousand year reign. Can we build an entire foundational doctrine (eschatology, which is about one half of the N.T.) upon one passage of scripture without connecting it to the rest of the Bible?   We must also ask ourselves, does John draw from the Old Testament with this usage of the phrase A THOUSAND YEARS? He does, and we will understand this as we realize that the book of Revelation consists 404 verses, with 278 of them quotes from, or references to, the Old Testament. So, we must ask ourselves, How does the Old Testament use the metaphorical phrase “A THOUSAND”? With the book of Revelation, we must relearn to interpret scripture with scripture, and not attempt to interpret scripture with newspaper headlines.  It is not the book of speculation, imagination, or hesitation.  “Revelation” means to be revealed, full disclosure, to take the cover off, and manifest the light within.  It is to be seen clearly, not vaguely through much murkiness, with hidden occult messages.

     HOW DO THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES OFTEN USE THE PHRASE A THOUSAND? Remember, that the book of Revelation uses numbers in a highly symbolic manner.  As we see with the number twelve, for the government of God, which can be seen with the twelve tribes, and the twelve apostlesSeven is used figuratively for completeness, as in seven days in the week.  We see the seven Spirits of God, that is, the seven complete workings of the Spirit of God. (Revelation1:4)

      In Genesis, Adam's line never reaches to the age of A THOUSAND, but only up to 969.  Adam is incomplete, and does not measure up, but falls short of being totally complete. (Romans 3:23) The totality of a complete measure, which measures to the fullest of something, is how A THOUSAND is used throughout THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES. The figurative use of the phrase simply communicates the idea of utter completeness, to the highest degree, or utmost amount.  This is the message being conveyed, not numerology.  Even today we will say, “I've told you a thousand times about this, or that.”  Or, “Yea, we've got a thousand of those in the back.”  The Old Testament is no different.  Again, “This thing weighs a ton”, does not communicate 2000 pounds!

 

Deuteronomy 7:9  “…the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to A THOUSAND GENERATIONS;”  If God were communicating here mathematically, then with this being said close to 4000 years ago, one would have to conclude that these descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would continue with offspring for another 36,000 years. This would mean that the “last day's” are nowhere in sight for another 36,000 years. The math used here, would be multiplying a generation, which is 40 years, multiplied by 1000, equaling 40,000 total years. Mathematics is out of the question here.  

1 Chronicles 16:15 “…the word which He commanded to A THOUSAND GENERATIONS.” 

Job 9:3  “If someone wanted to take God to court, would it be possible to answer Him once in A THOUSAND TIMES.”  If a thousand is meant to communicate mathematics, then perhaps God could be answered and confounded after a thousand attempts.   

Psalm 50:10 “For EVERY beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon A THOUSAND HILLS.”   Again totality is the point being communicated, not mathematics.  Does God not own ALL of the cattle?  Does He not own ALL of the hills, including the thousand and first hill as well?  This passage has nothing to do with “cattle”, nothing to do with a mathematical “thousand”, and nothing to do with “hills”.  So likewise, neither does “A THOUSAND YEARS” have anything to do with the numeric value of “a thousand”, and the multiplication of 365 day periods of time.  Do we follow the now popular method of interpretation of, “It says what it means and means what it says, that is, the Texas Ranger Translation of the Bible made popular through Dallas Theological Cemetery?”  I think NOT!  My ten year old daughter went bowling and told me that a bowling ball weights a ton. This is a common expression, a figure of speech.  If you put the bowling ball on a scale, it might weigh 10 pounds, nothing close to 2000 lbs.  We must recognize an expression, when we hear one, and not approach everything from the standpoint of physics and the analysis of facts, figures, and numeric calculations.  We must understand the nonwestern and ancient cultures communicate by using much more hyperbole than do twenty first century Americans.  The scriptures were not written to us Americans, but for us (Romans 15:4, Corinthians 10:6). 

Psalm 84:10   “Better is one day in your courts, than A THOUSAND ELSEWHERE…”  Will a thousand and one days elsewhere perhaps be better?  No, “it is completely better than anywhere else”, is the comparison being made.  Again, mathematics is ruled out here.   

Psalm 105:8  “…the word which He commanded to A THOUSAND GENERATIONS.”  

Now interpreters must make a choice.  One of the following is to be taken literally, we cannot have both to be taken literally!  The time indicators of Revelation, “shortly” (Greek:Tachos) in Revelation 1:1, 22:6, “quickly” (Greek: Tachu) in Revelation 2:5, 2:16, 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20, and “at hand/shortly” (Greek: Eggus) in Revelation 1:3, 22:10, are to be taken literally, or “A THOUSAND YEARS” is to be taken literally.  So let's build our case on the principle of “Interpreting Scripture with Scripture”.  How does the rest of the new testament use the words Tachos (shortly/quickly), Tachu (Quickly, speedily, without delay) and Eggus (at hand/near), and how does the rest of the new testament use the words, “A THOUSAND YEAR YEARS”?  To answer the latter, the new testament does not use the term “A THOUSAND YEARS” anywhere, but in Revelation chapter twenty.  It is found nowhere else in Revelation, nowhere in the epistles, and nowhere in the gospels!  If that's not enough, it is found nowhere in the law, nowhere in the Prophets, and nowhere in the Psalms!  Yet pre-millennialism has built their entire doctrine of eschatology, which consists of about 2/3 of the new testament's contents, on taking this one phrase, “A THOUSAND YEARS”, in a wooden literal sense!!!

Now for the words, “Tachos” (shortly/quickly), “Tachu” (quickly, speedily, without delay), and “Eggus” (at hand/near). To begin with, I dare anyone reading this to do a study, you can go to www.crosswalk.com, there is a link on our homepage as well, on these two Greek words and their literal definition, and their new testament usages!!!  Tachos (Revelation 1:1, “shortly”) is literally defined as: “Quickness, speed”.  That's it, no fudging around to add to this literal definition to try to make it say something that it is not saying.  Nowhere in the definition is there a syllable, or even a letter, that would suggest that the word means something like, “When it begins to happen, then it will happen very quickly”, etc.. These are outright lies added to the clear, simple, and literal definition of the word, in order to force them through a premillennial grid of interpretation!  Did Paul hope to come to Timothy “shortly” (Tachion) delaying for an unspecified amount of time, up to 2000 years later, and then once he began the voyage he would sprint to Timothy, rather than just walk… (1 Timothy 3:14)?  Nonsense, no sense, we must take the literal sense!  You will see, conclusively, that “Tachos” and it's variations, Tachu, Tachista, Tachion, Tachinos, Tacheos, etc., never once hint toward the possibility of the idea of the words to somehow be communicating something that would occur some two thousand years later in the distant future!!! The word Tachu (Revelation 2:5, 2:16, 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20) closes the possibility of any loop holes here.  It is defined as: “quickly, speedily, without delay”.  Without a 2000 year delay!  How many in our dispensational day of delusion contend that Our Lord delayed his coming (Matthew 24:48)?

Now, for the definition of Eggus (Revelation 1:1, 22:10, “at hand”/ “near”).  It is simply defined as: “near, imminent, soon to come to pass”.  Did this word mean the same thing in the first century as it does today?  Of course it did, therefore, it was near, imminent, and soon to come to pass, in the first century, not in our century!  Dispensationalists claim that “The Doctrine of Imminence”, means that the first century readers were to be always ready for the events of Revelation and the coming of the Lord, as are twenty first century readers.  For one thing, audience relevance, the original hearers, is something that is completely thrown out by dispensational pre-millennialists. The book was not written to us, it was written for us (Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:11) in the twenty first century.  It was written to those in the first century, enduring and suffering the world's worst persecution.  They were being fed to lions, persecuted and on the run, families torn apart, facing Roman civil wars (Roman generals attempting overthrows), economic collapse, with Roman armies eventually surrounding and invading ,viciously, the Jewish capitol city!  All of this accompanied by famines, pestilence, and earthquakes, which were leveling entire cities to rubbish.  They needed the encouragement and understanding as to what was going on and what would eventually become of it all.  They were instructed to apply wisdom and attain the understanding as to who the beast was, which was Nero Caesar, using the Hebrew letter/number calculation (Revelation 13:18).  Why would God exhort first century readers to apply themselves to understanding this enigmatic passage concerning Mr. six hundred and sixty six, in the midst of their suffering, if it were really meant for readers some two thousand years later to figure out?  “Spend your precious time, as you're being fed to lions, trying to figure out who this beast is, who will be on the scene some two thousand years from now.”  This would be nothing less than a cruel hoax!  However, if they were assured that the beast would be defeated “soon”, and that they should continue to persevere (Matthew 10:22, 24:9,13) to the end of the age (old covenant age, Hebrews 8:13), leaving an example, and laying down a foundation for the faith, with their blood being the seed of the church, then the book's (Revelations) contents would make sense!  If they would not deny His name (Revelation 3:8), and be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10, 12:11), things were going to change shortly and soon, because Jesus was going to come in judgment to set things right!  Jesus would come (Come, Greek: Parousia: coming presence, not coming bodily, physically, visibly!), in clouds of judgment (see the figurative language for this in the verses listed below) within their generation (Matthew 24:30,34, 16:27,28, 10:23, 26:64, Isaiah 13:9,10, 19:1, Ezekiel 30:3,4, 32:7,8)!

So the dilemma of which is to be taken literally, “A THOUSAND YEARS”, OR “SHORTLY”, “QUICKLY”, and “AT HAND” or “NEAR”, is resolved! “A THOUSAND YEARS” is not backed by scripture to be used mathematically and literally, while “shortly” (Tachos), “quickly” (Tachu), and “at hand/near” (Eggus), are ALWAYS found to be used in a literal manner!  We understand that 1000 mathematical years goes way beyond the realm of reality, when it is prohibited by the time indicators shortly, quickly, and at hand or near.  These are the time indicators as to when the contents of Revelation were to be fulfilled.  The definition of these words, and their new testament usages forbid them from communicating something figurative.  We must interpret these timing words literally! Therefore, it is “A THOUSAND YEARS”, which must be understood in a figurative manner, not SHORTLY, QUICKLY, AT HAND or NEAR.  Scripture forbids these timing words to be interpreted figuratively! 

Timing is everything!  The timeline of the events contained in Revelation are synonymous with those of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, AND Luke 21).  Simply put, the Olivet Discourse is a highlighted version of the book of Revelation.   What is the timeline of the Olivet Discourse's events?  “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:20, Luke 21:32).”  The words “THIS GENERATION” are used together over a dozen in half times in the new testament, and every time they're used together, they are referring to the first century generation to whom Jesus, and one time Peter, is addressing.  Futurists will agree with this, “Except”, they maintain, “in the Olivet Discourse, there it means something else.  We must consider the inconsistency here. Over a dozen in a half times, including a few verses before the Olivet Disourse (Matthew 23:36), it is referring to a first century generation.  Yet, the one time when “This Generation” is used in the Olivet Discourse, it means something entirely different?  There, it is referring to a future distant generation some 2000 years off into the future.  Futurists even change the wording to fit this understanding!  They quote it by saying, “The (changed word from “this”) generation that sees (added words) these things will not pass away…”  They have to change and add words in order to change and add to the meaning given by Jesus!   Other futurists continue, in this Watch Tower manner, to say that the word for “generation” (Greek: “Genea”) can mean “race”, therefore, it is to be read in the following manner, “This race will not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled”.  This doesn't even make sense in English, never mind the Greek.”  So, this race will pass away after these things are fulfilled?  In the new testament, the Greek word for “race” is always “Genos”, and never “Genea”.  These same futurists will admit that “Genea” is always referring to the first century generation in the new testament every time it is used, which is nearly forty times. However, they maintain, the one time it's used in the Olivet Discourse, it refers to a distant generation, some 2000 years later, or to a race of people.  This contorting of the scriptures to fit their mold has perverted the clear, simple, and literal meaning of Jesus' words.  By the way, the word literal is rooted in the word literature, therefore, we may apply the word, when interpreting scripture, by asking ourselves, “How does the rest of the literature we're reading (The Bible) consistently interpret the word, phrase, or idea, in which we are examining?”  Thus, interpret scripture with scripture.  Many will refer to this method as being true on the one hand, while holding a newspaper in the other and following the method of interpreting scripture with newspaper headlines, newspaper eschatology.  I suppose that we should do as they say and not as they do (Matthew 23:3).   Read the following list of “This Generation” references in the new testament, and then try to keep telling yourself, because your pastor and Tim Lahaye can't be wrong, that the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, and Luke 21:32) changes the meaning of the words, while the rest of the new testament consistently interprets them to be referring to a first century generation.   Here is the list; Matthew 3:7, 11:16, 12:41, 42, 45, 16:4, 23:33, 36, 24:34, Mark 8:12, 38, 9:19, Luke 7:31, 9:41, 11:30, 31,32, 50, 51, 17:25, Acts 2:40!!! 

Therefore, given the literal definitions of the timing words, shortly, quickly, and at hand or near, and their new testament usages, we must conclude that scripture forbids the figurative meaning given to them by dispensational teachers of our day.  Therefore, it is “A THOUSAND YEARS”, which must be given the figurative meaning, due to the rest of scripture's understanding of such a phrase. Remember, only one can be taken literally, while the other has to be taken figuratively.  We must literalize shortly, quickly, at hand or near, while not doing so with the phrase “A THOUSAND YEARS”.  This is due to the literal definitions of shortly, quickly, at hand or near, and their new testament usages.  A THOUSAND has to be interpreting according to the consistent usages of it throughout the scriptures.  As well as for the fact that such a mathematical understanding of it contradicts the clear definitions and new testament usages of shortly, quickly, and at hand or near!  
 
 

Revelation 20:6  “… and shall reign with him A THOUSAND  YEARS.”   A time of complete reigning with Christ.  The book of Revelation, drawing upon the Old Testament, more than any other New Testament book, uses a thousand” without the use of mathematics in the same way as the Old Testament does.  This complete reign of Christ was the foretold of stone, that would strike at the feet of “the great image” in Daniel. This stone would strike at the time of the Roman Empire, which was the feet of the image. The image was struck by the stone cut out without hands.  (Daniel 2:34, 35, Psalm 2:9)  The Church reigned with Jesus as they turned Satan's world upside down, by binding him, and putting his head under their feet. Satan had been on top of the world, ruling it.  At this time, in the first century, his rule was beginning to be turned upside down, as he was being dethroned from his place of ruling authority.   

Acts 17:6 “…UNTO THE RULERS of the city, crying, These that HAVE TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN ARE COME HITHER ALSO.”

Romans 16:20  “And the God of peace SHALL CRUSH SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET SHORTLY It does not say their feet, thousands of years from now!   It says, YOUR FEET SHORTLY.  Does the word shortly mean anything to anyone today?  These “feet” were in His body, the Church.  This defeat of Satan was promised back in Gen.3:15 and was fulfilled here in the first century.  This is also mentioned to the Church in Thyatira, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end,  TO HIM (THE BELIEVER) WILL I GIVE POWER OVER THE NATIONS, AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON; AS THE VESSELS OF A POTTER SHALL THEY BE BROKEN TO SHIVERS…” (Revelation 2:26,27)   This is a quote from Psalm 2. This is, therefore, the time of its fulfillment, as well as the nature of its fulfillment.  It's not referring to Jesus performing it in a physical kingdom reigning from the Old Jerusalem someday thousands of years in the future.  It's Jesus doing it with a spiritual rod of authority through His body the Church, right here in the first century!  The Power of Satan was being overthrown as he was having his world turned upside down (Acts 17:6) by the power of God, THE GOSPEL!  It is the POWER OF GOD!  (Romans 1:16) “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and,  from THE POWER OF SATAN UNTO GOD!   (Acts 26:18)  “…I beheld Satan as lightning (quickly) fall from heaven. (The place of ruling authority)  Behold, I give unto you POWER to tread on serpents and scorpions, and OVER ALL THE POWER of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  (Luke 10:18,19)   “Who hath delivered us FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS, AND HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON.” (Col.1:13 “To the intent that now unto the principalities and POWERS in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”  (Ephesians 3:10)   For His is the KINGDOM, and the POWER, and the GLORY FOREVER!   (Mt.6:13)    “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME UNTO YOU.  Or else, how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first BIND THE STRONG MAN? And then he will spoil his house.” (Mt.12:29,30)  The gospel of the kingdom binds the strong man, which results in spoiling his goods/people.  The strong man was bound by the kingdom of God's spreading influence and light.  (Mt.13:33 The manifold wisdom of God was being made known by the church unto to the principalities, and powers in heavenly places. (Eph.3:10)  Both the invisible and the visible rulers were being shaken from their place of authority. Now, let's go back to Revelation chapter 20. 

     Revelation 20:1 “And I saw an angel /Jesus, (Rev.10:1) come down from HEAVEN, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.” 

      The KEY speaks of  AUTHORITY that Jesus exercises from Heaven  on earth.ALL (complete) POWER is given unto me in HEAVEN and in EARTHGo YE therefore, and TEACH ALL NATIONSI AM WITH YOU ALWAYS…” (Mt.28:18-20How is JESUS' POWER  being spread to turn Satan's world and rule upside down here in the first century?  And how is Satan bound and stripped of his authority and power? Through the TEACHING OF ALL NATIONS.  Not just the gospel, but THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, WHICH MAKES/TRAINS KINGS TO RULE (Rev.1:6, 5:10, Mt.24:14) It's not the gospel of death, that focuses on when you die, you get to go to heaven.  In the gospel of the kingdom, King-Priests are made, through a process of training/teaching and testing, to become responsible and mature.  His power “HAST MADE US UNTO OUR GOD KINGS AND PRIESTS: AND WE SHALL REIGN ON THE EARTH.” (Rev.5:10)  This reign comes through Jesus using His disciples as His vehicle in administering the POWER of the gospel of the kingdom!  (Romans 1:16)  It is His POWER ,and it is He that is with us, operating through us, exercising power over the nations, and REIGNING  with us, and we with him “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, TO HIM WILL I GIVE POWER OVER THE NATIONS.  AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON; AS THE VESSELS OF A POTTER SHALL THEY BE BROKEN TO SHIVERS: EVEN AS I RECEIVED OF MY FATHER.”  This rod of iron/authority is not exercised by the individual Jesus, but by the corporate Jesus!  (Rev.2:26-27, Ps.2, Rev.20:6, John 14:23, 17:10,21,23, 26)  We see this reign through the gospel of the kingdom very clearly in Romans 15:12, “And again, Isaiah says, “There shall be a root of Jesse, and He that shall rise TO REIGN over the Gentiles (the nations); to Him shall the Gentiles trust.”  Paul goes on to explain this reign over the Gentiles (the nations), “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (the nations) MINISTERING THE GOSPEL OF GOD, that the offering up of the Gentiles (the nations) might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:16)  So, is this passage in Isaiah 11:10, quoted in Romans 15:12, where Christ SHALL RISE TO REIGN OVER THE GENTILES (THE NATIONS), a reign in the distant future, or was this passage being fulfilled at that very moment?  We're looking at a “this is that” use of Old Testament scripture being fulfilled in and through the New Testament!  I don't think any would say that Paul is quoting this passage from Isaiah 11, and that it was not being fulfilled right then and there in the first century. Paul is not saying, “Wow, this is going to be great someday”. When an apostle quotes an Old Testament passage and reveals it's fulfillment in the gospel, stick a fork in it, it's done, it is fulfilled!  Let's look further into what was being fulfilled from Isaiah 11:10, “IN THAT DAY there shall be a root of Jesse….,” again, this is what Paul is quoting is Romans 15:12, speaking of CHRIST REIGNING OVER THE GENTILES (NATIONS)!  Let's look further into what would be going on “IN THAT DAY”, according to the passage in Isaiah 11.  “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (1 Corinthians 9:9 - Does God care for oxen?  Is He communicating livestock etiquette here?)  And the suckling child shall play on; the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.  And the suckling child shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. AND IN THAT DAY there shall be a root of Jesse...Gentiles…”  This is THAT DAY which Paul says is happening here and now in the first century through the gospel of the kingdom bringing THE REIGN OF CHRIST OVER THE GENTILES (THE NATIONS)!  Miraculous peace between Gentile people groups, nations, is brought through the Prince of peace in the gospel. It is defined as the gospel of peace in Ephesians 6:15.  And we become its blessed agents as its peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). Gentile peoples are metaphorically portrayed here as various wild animals.  In the natural, these wild animals (people groups) would be at the throat of one another, biting and devouring, with fangs, claws, and horns unleashed.  The new covenant instills a new nature, a peaceful nature, through the Prince of Peace Himself living within! Noah's ark gives us a type and shadow of this same phenomenon. Note also, that Peter refers to Gentiles metaphorically being likened to various animals as well in Acts chapter 10.  The text tells us when this reign of Christ would occur, In that day, but we should also look into where this reign of Christ would be.  “They shall not hurt nor destroy IN ALL MY HOLY MOUNTAIN…” (Isaiah 11:9)  Where is this mountain?  “But you are (not you will someday) come unto MOUNT SION, and unto the city of the living God, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and CHURCH of the firstborn…”(Hebrews 12:22,23) 

      So as we continue in Revelation 20, lets renew our minds to the mind of Christ, which understands the things of the Spirit, and come out of our natural minds (1 Corinthians 2:13-15). Is the key a “literal” key?  Is the chain a “literal” chain?  Is it perhaps made of titanium, or alloy?  Would such a chain bind Satan, a spirit being? Just as these descriptions are used in a metaphorical since, so too is the reigning of Christ for a thousand years.

     Revelation 20:2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him A THOUSAND YEARS.” A complete binding and stripping of Satan's authority resulted in his house, family, and children being spoiled and plundered!   They “went everywhere preaching the word.”  (Acts 8:4) Not in the four walls of a church building, something they didn't possess (Acts 20:20),but everywhere!  In the market place, on the streets, everywhere they went as they lived out their lives for this purpose.  The gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14), which they preached, was a release of the power of God, which did BIND THE STRONG MAN/SATAN (Matthew 12:28,29)!!!  Here is the revelation of Revelation 20:2 and Satan being bound!!! Satan's goods being spoiled are those who are turned, “from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18)!!!   Again, the “Thousand Years” here is to be taken mathematically, as much as the key is to be taken physically, that is, a metal key locking the lock of metal chains binding a slithering reptile (serpent). 

      We must remember that the book of Revelation begins and ends with clear guidelines for the timing of the unfolding events described within.  In the first verse of the first chapter, it says that the books contents are “things which must shortly come to pass…”   In verse 3 it says, “for the time is at hand”.  In  chapter 3:11 it says, “Behold, I come quickly.”  At the end of the book it says, “the things which must shortly be done.” (22:6) The next verse says, “Behold I come quickly(22:7)   22:10 says, “ Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”  22:12 says, “And, behold, I come quickly…”  And finally, “Surely, I come quickly. (22:20) Is God maybe trying to say something here?  Perhaps he is stating the same thing over and over again, so as to emphasis the importance of the timing of the books content?  Or, should we use the “day is as a thousand years” model of interpretation for these passages?  Remember, that that's God's perspective of time. God always relates to man, who is in time (Time, which God created), in a precise manner.  The following scriptures use years, as God is communicating to man about how long it will take for specific events to transpire.  These numbered years reveal God's use of time in a very precise manner: 1,3,7,15,40,50,65,70,80,100,120,400,483,490.  God can tell time!

     The “thousand year model” fails embarrassingly in the following scripture as well.  In Ezekiel 12:22-28, certain events we're thought, by those under the pronounced judgment upon Israel, to be “prolonged” and  times that are “far off.”   God corrects them and says that, “The day's are at hand. ” (vs.23)  And concludes to say that, none of my words shall be prolonged.”  If we applied the “thousand year model” then shortly”, “quickly”, and “at hand”, could really mean “far off.”  Then the opposite would be true as well, and far off” could really mean “shortly”, “quickly”, or “at hand.”  The bottom line is that these timing words could mean whatever you want them to, if you don't take them literally.  We must not spiritualize (spiritual lies) them. They are put there as book ends in the book of Revelation, at the beginning, and at the end for a reason.  These timing words have to mean something, because the rest of scripture tells us that they do.  THEREFORE, BECAUSE THE SAYINGS OF THIS BOOK WERE TO COME TO PASS “SHORTLY” , “QUICKLY” , AND THEY WERE “AT HAND” , THE SAYINGS WITHIN COULD NOT EXTEND INTO THE FUTURE BEYOND THAT IMMEDIATE TIME.  THAT IS, THEY COULD NOT GO ON FOR ANOTHER “THOUSAND YEARS” INTO THE FUTURE.  THAT “COMING TO PASS” WOULD BE “FAR OFF.”

     Furthermore, the “thousand year model” fails miserably again when we examine the following passage.

Revelation 22:10  “…Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”  To “Seal not the book, is one of Revelation's final instructions to us. The books ending instructions are that the prophecies within it  are not to be delayed

Daniel 12:4  “…Seal the book,  until the time of the end…”  Daniel informs us that his book's ending instructions are that the prophecies within are to be delayed. (For nearly six hundred years.)

Five hundred plus years, are a delayed time span in Daniel's prophecies, which call for the book to be Sealed.  That is, it did not immediately apply, because events were “far off.” Things were to be put on a shelf for some time, so seal the book, until…

     If Revelation's prophecies were intended to speak of events thousands of years in the distant future, then Revelation's prophecies would be Sealed as well But they are not sealed, for the time was at hand Therefore, none of the sayings of the book of Revelation were speaking of events that extend into the distant future, that is, 1000 years into the future, such as would be the case with a mathematical 1000 year reign.

     So, when this chapter refers to A THOUSAND YEARS,  it is no more to be taken mathematically than is the invading army with “the NUMBER of whom is AS THE SAND OF THE SEA , as we see in Rev.20:8.  Is there even a number that goes so high?  Shouldn't it be taken about as “literal” as the key and chain are be taken literally, in Rev.20:1.  Of course, there is no physical chain, as there is no PHYSICALLY OVERSIZED WOMEN standing on the moon reaching to the sun in chapter 12.  There is no physical SEA BEAST rising up out of the physical sea, WITH SEVEN HEADS in chapter 13.  It is all prophetic language and imagery. It's not in the style of Western minded peoples, relating to the world in hard, cold, mathematical, and scientific measurements.  The Book of Revelation is prophetic in nature, and is the most symbolic and figurative of books.  Yet, it is clearly speaking to events that were at hand, and were ready to come to pass shortly, and quicklyA THOUSAND YEAR REIGN WAS A TIME OF COMPLETE, AND UTTER AUTHORITY UNLEASED UPON THE god OF THAT AGE, SATANHIS RULE OVER THE WORLD WAS BEING TURNED UPSIDE DOWN  (Acts 17:6) , DETHRONING HIM FROM HIS PLACE ON TOP TO THE BOTTOM, UNDER THE FEET OF JESUS.  JESUS' FEET ARE IN THE BODY! (Romans 16:20)  “HER SEED, IT SHALL CRUSH THY HEAD.” (Gen.3:15) “THE LORD SAID UNTO MY LORD, SIT THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES THY FOOTSTOOL.” (Ps.110:1)  “A PLACE CALLED GOLGATHA, THAT IS TO SAY, A PLACE OF A SKULL.” (Mt. 27:33) (Satan's head under Jesus' feet.) 

     Revelation 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.”  This loosing is also described in verses 7-9.  This was a last ditch effort, a final counter attack, if you will.  Truly a battle of the bulge took place. Satan had been overthrown and overturned (Act 17:6), especially during the reign of Claudius Caesar (41A.D. to 54 A.D.).  Claudius Caesar puts into Roman Law, “Religio Licita”, which permitted religious rights throughout the empire.  The proclamation of the Gospel was given this open door (2 Thes.3:1), until the “man of sin” was revealed. Claudius had been the restrainer of the “man of sin”, until the “man of sin” had him poisoned. (2 Thess. 2:7)  Claudius' name is of Latin origin, meaning;  TO LIMP, TO BE LAME, HALT, TO RESTRAIN, CONFINE, SHUT UP, BLOCKAGE, BOLT, BAR, PRISON.  Satan remained bolted up, behind bars, in prison, shut up, restrained, confined, and blocked under Claudius' reign. Nero began closing this open door, which had allowed the word of God to have free course, and slammed it shut in 64 A.D. when he blamed the Christians for the fire in Rome. From 64 A.D. to 70 A.D, the world's worst and only worldwide persecution exploded.  This persecution was Satan being LOOSED A LITTLE SEASON.”

     Revelation 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ A THOUSAND YEARS.”  

     What does the rest of the New Testament tell us about thrones, and judgment given to individuals.  Matthew 19:28 states, “…ye which have followed me, in the REGENERATION when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  The timing of this verse is quite clear here.  The word “regeneration” is only used twice in the New Testament.  Here in Matthew 19:28, and also in Titus 3:5. “Not of works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”  Can you say “this is that” scripture's fulfillment. These clear connections, are speaking of the same reign, upon the same thrones, in the same regeneration Revelation 20:4 is therefore, fulfilled here in the first century as well.

Revelation 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”  These first century believers were promised conditionally, to sit with Jesus in His throne.  That is, they would take part in ruling and reigning with him. That is what Revelation 20:4 is saying as well.  They would have to overcame the temptation to pronounce Caesar as Lord, which was a pronouncement of worship. (John 19:15) They would have to overcome the command to worship the many statues and images of Nero.  They would have to overcome and not give their minds (“mark” of ownership upon the forehead), or their service (“mark of ownership upon the hands) as well, and be faithful unto death.  (Rev.2:10)  They would then take part in reigning with Christ.  Even if they died, yet shall they live (John 11:25), and neither would they miss out on reigning with Him.

     *For more on the mark,” examine these passages of scripture: Ezekiel 9:4-6, Numbers 6:6-8, Rev.14:1,7:2, 3, 9:4, 22:4, Gen. 4:15, Exodus 13:9,16, 28:36-38, Isaiah 44:5. The mark's in all of these passages are clearly speaking of a figurative, nonphysical “mark.”  Even today, we will say, “He's a marked man.”  It was a mark of ownership.  In Revelation 13:16,17, one's thoughts (forehead), and service (hand) was given in  loyalty to Emperor/state worship. This occurred as allegiance was made by believing in one's heart, and confessing with one's mouth that, “Caesar is Lord.”  To buy or sell, one would be required to state their allegiance to this worship by saying, “Hail Caesar.”

     Finally, Revelation 20:4 ends as they “reigned with Christ A THOUSAND YEARS.”  Again, throw the mathematics out here.  It was absolute and complete rule, which transpired from about 30 to 64 AD.  In 64 A.D., Satan gave it one last shot, as did the Nazi's in the Battle of the Bulge.  This wrecked some serious havoc, but shortly there afterwards it was all over for any of Satan's authority over the saints!   

     Revelation 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the THOUSAND YEARS were finishedThis is the first resurrection.”  The previous verse had physically dead people, who were actually alive, that is, alive in Christ.  This was the case, even though their physical bodies had been beheaded.  Beheading was a method of execution used by Rome.  It is believed that Nero had Paul beheaded.  This verse has the opposite dynamic taking place, with people whose bodies were alive, but these people were spiritually  dead, not alive in Christ.  Not alive, UNTIL after the complete rule (THE THOUSAND YEARS) was finished.  They came to faith under fire, during the besieging of  Jerusalem, in a death bed conversion.  Remember, these are Jews in Israel, the epicenter of this tribulation period. (Mt.24:16)  These Jewish Tribes, would “SEE” / DISCERN, PERCEIVE, and UNDERSTAND, that this coming judgment proved that Jesus was the messiah! (Rev.1:7 The main reason for this “SEEING,” was because He had for told of it plainly and clearly.  The leader of these tribes , Caiaphas, did SEE the coming judgment, and perceived that Jesus was THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST exercising His POWER! (Mt.26:64)  Every eye did SEE/PERCEIVE that Jesus was the messiah, and the tribes mourned in repentance.  (Rev.1:7, Zech.12:10,11) “THE REST OF THE DEAD, had the blinders taken off at that point, (Romans 11:25), and subsequently ROSE FROM THE DEAD (Romans 11:15, Eph.2:1) in the FIRST RESURRECTION!

     Revelation 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him A THOUSAND YEARS.”  The first resurrection is the Spirit's quickening, and raising up those who were dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)   The second death is the death/judgment that would fall upon the heads of those who have rejected the Good news, and life giving spirit. They would not heed the words of Jesus to be born of the Spirit, neither would they heed His words to get out of the Old Jerusalem/Old Covenant system.  Therefore, they would receive DOUBLE, THAT IS, TWO HORRIBLE DEATHS for all her sins.  Those who had rejected the blood sacrifice continued in their corrupt, manipulative ways under that works based system.  As we read 'according to her WORKS.”  (Rev.18:6) The first death would be their current state of being spiritually dead in this life, and forever separated from God in everlasting punishment.  The second death would be going through the physical and emotional horrors and death of the tribulation period. This death was invoked by invading Roman Armies, bringing about physical death, which propelled one into eternal spiritual death, if repentance  toward Jesus had not taken place. Therefore, “they that had done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation”. The Old Covenant, works based system, and its ministry of DEATH was judged. (2 Cor. 3:7,20:12-14 We will see the “WORKS”/“DEATH” connection in this passage later. The judgment of “fire” is described metaphorically as the lake of fire. (20:12-14)  It is not a physical lava lake here!  Such a thing could do no harm to a spirit being like Satan, who was to be cast into it. (20:10)

     “Shall be priests of God and of Christ.” Being born of the Spirit in the first resurrection positions one as a priest  with  the right of access to come boldly to the throne of Grace. This priesthood for believers took place in the true spiritual temple, not in the old physical one about to be destroyed.  (Heb.4:16) The throne is the place to bring men to God (In petition for mercy, or judgment) , and to bring God from the THRONE/HEAVEN  to men on the EARTH. ( Isaiah 66:1/Acts 7:49, Mt.6:13, 16:16-19, 18:15-20)  “The most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands,” (The temple is the central theme of Eschatology. Mt 24:1,2, Heb. 9:8, Rev. 21:3, and if you can handle it, examine all of the “heaven” and “earth” talk in Rev.21:1, which is covenant language.)  as saith the prophet, HEAVEN  is my THRONE, and EARTH is my footstool: what house will ye build me? Saith the Lord:”  (Act 7:48,49)  This is the same throne that believers are to minister from, as the we read  in Rev. 3:21 , To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my THRONE, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his THRONE.”  This throne is a place for believers to exercise judgment.  It was also the same place of authority given to believers in Rev. 20:4Chapter one of Revelation says this very thing.  “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.  (Rev.1:6)  In Revelation 5:10, we read, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

     “Reign with him A THOUSAND YEARS.”  Kings reign!  This reign is spoken of throughout the rest of the New Testament.  It is never mentioned in a numeric since, that is, in relation to a mathematical THOUSAND YEARS.  It's not even so used in any other chapter in Revelation.  Scripture is always confirmed in at least two or three other passages.  The entire Old Testament, John in the rest of Revelation, Jesus in the gospels, and the apostles in the epistles, never mention a mathematical THOUSAND YEAR  reign.  But they do mention a complete reign 

     Isaiah 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever.”  Notice that there is only an increase and an expansion of the kingdom as leaven. (Mt.13:33) Not a decrease and contraction, as we're being led to believe today by the futurist view.  In reality, this evil report is not the current state of affairs in our world today.  This self-fulfilling prophecy is being fulfilled in American culture though.  This is due to the eschatology of the evil report, which says, “worse and worse, and darker and darker unto the imperfect day.”  BIBLE PROPHECY MATTERS!

     Matthew 19:28 “…in the regeneration (Titus 3:5) when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

     Luke 1:32, 33  “…the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (times)

     Acts 2:30  “…of the fruit of his loins (David's), according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.”

     Romans 15:12  “There shall be a root of Jesse, and He that  shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.”

     Romans 16:20  “And the God of peace shall crush Satan under YOUR FEET shortly” . Your feet shortly, in the first century!  Nottheirs” , thousands of years away.  These feet are in Jesus' body, the Church, with Himself being the head.  (Col.1:24, Eph.5:23, Gen.3:15)

     1 Corinthians 4:8  “…I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.”

     2 Timothy 2:12  “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”

    

     This passage in Revelation 20 is the only passage in all of the Bible referring to “A THOUSAND YEAR REIGN.”  Therefore, it cannot be taken by itself, in a nonfigurative since to substantiate an entire doctrine.  A doctrine which files one third, to one half of the New Testament into the wrong filing cabinet!  Even the rest of the book of Revelation speaks of this REIGN, without using the phrase “A THOUSAND YEARS.”  Look up the following such verses in Revelation.  (1:6, 2:26,27, 5:10, 11:15, 22:5)

Also, the numerous examples of “A THOUSAND” being used in the Old Testament, makes it clear that it is a figurative expression.   

     Revelation 20:7  And when the THOUSAND YEARS are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,”  Satan could now be loosed from the binding effects of the Gospel, to go on the attack against the messengers of the Gospel.  The Gospel had taken free course, and was proclaimed throughout the empire. By preventing such freedoms, through his man, Caesar Nero, Satan was loosed for a short time.  (verse 3)  Claudius Caesar had allowed the gospel to be freely proclaimed,   “Religio Recita” assured this.  Claudius had restrained the man of sin (2 Thes.2:3-8) from coming to power, until Nero had him poisoned to death.  Nero began to close the open door for the Gospel, and then slammed it shut in 64 A.D. by beginning the persecution.  At this point there was to be no proclamation of any God but one, CAESAR NERO!  He proclaimed himself to be the son of god, and commanded all to hail him, or else.  This began after the Fire that burned Rome was blamed on the Christians, by Nero.  Afterwards, the resulting public opinion was used as the momentum to carry out the persecution.  This loosing would only be for a short time (Verse 3), but it would be a time of horrible tribulation, particularly for those living closest to the epicenter, Jerusalem. 

     Revelation 20:8 “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth/land, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea

     Let's back out of the trees for a second.  We must remember that John is instructed to Seal not the sayings (Not some of the sayings) of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” (Rev.22:10)

      Rev.20:8  “And shall go out to deceive the nations   Rome ruled over all the nations within the empire's grasp.  This did not include, for example, North America, Australia, China, Japan, etc..  “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5)  That is, every nation under Rome's rule. It's a fact, that none of the above listed nations were represented at Jerusalem.   Nero's edict to hail Caesar as Lord, was a deception that was placed upon the nations within the empire.  (2 Thess. 2:10)

     Gog and Magog: Let's identify these players.

Gog; A SYMBOLIC NAME , prince, head, an antichrist.” 

Magog; a nation, an Antichristian party.” 

     We are left to conclude only that the symbolic name here is describing one who is against Christ, an Antichrist.  They would be A PERSECUTOR OF CHRISTIANS.  Who does the New Testament say were the persecutor's of Christians in the first century?  “…The Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have PERSECUTED US;…Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles…for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”  (1 Thes.2:14,16)   “But as then he that was born after the flesh PERSECUTED him that was born after the Spirit, EVEN SO IT IS NOW. (Galatians 4:29The Old Jerusalem that now is (In the first century, now is.), is the Old Covenant people, in bondage, after the flesh, persecuting the New Jerusalem which is above, the New Covenant and its people. (Galatians 4:22-31) How could they carry out a persecution without a military.  “We have no King but Caesar”. (John 18:15)  An alliance with Rome was formed as Babylon/The Harlot, THE GREAT CITY”, where our Lord was crucified, Jerusalem, rode, manipulated, and controlled the Beast that was Rome. (Revelation 11:8, 14:8, 16:19, 17:5,7,9,18, 18:2,10,18,19,21, 19:2  ,Isaiah 1:21, Jeremiah 2:2,20, 3:1,3,6,8, 22:8)  To identify THE GREAT CITY”,  is to identify  Babylon/The Harlot!  This harlot rides the Beast that is Rome. (17:7,9)  To ride a beast, one is in complete control, so as to direct it's every move. This point can't be made any clearer.  With the exception of perhaps the timing verses, this is the single greatest key to understanding the sayings of this book. (1:3) 

     What city was our Lord crucified in?  It's clearly JERUSALEM (Mt.16:21,Lk.13:33, Is.1:1,10), “THE GREAT CITY.”  Revelation 11:8   Therefore, the Great City/Babylon/The Harlot is Jerusalem.

     Revelation 11:8  “ …THE GREAT CITY, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where  also our Lord was crucified.”  (That is, Jerusalem)

     Revelation 14:8BABYLON is fallen, is fallen, THAT GREAT CITY.”

     Revelation 16:19 THE GREAT CITY…and GREAT BABYLON  came in remembrance…”

     Revelation 17:1 THE GREAT WHORE that sitteth upon many waters. (17:15)

     Revelation 17:5  “…BABYLON THE GREAT, the mother of HARLOTS.”

     Revelation 17:18  “the woman/HARLOT, which thou sawest is THAT GREAT CITY,”

     Revelation  18:2  BABYLON THE GREAT is fallen…”

     Revelation  18:10 THAT GREAT CITY BABYLON…”

     Revelation 18:18 “What CITY is like unto THIS GREAT CITY.”

     Revelation 18:19 “Alas, alas, THAT GREAT CITY!”

     Revelation 18:21 “…THAT GREAT CITY BABYLON…”\

     Revelation 19:2 “…THE GREAT WHORE…”                                                          (Acts 15:2,7)

     1 Peter 5:13  “The church that is at BABYLON , elected together with you, saluteth you… (Jerusalem)

      The book of Revelation is clearly identifying ONE GREAT CITY, which is also referred to as BABYLON, THE HARLOT, THE WHORE, WHICH IS JERUSALEM Revelation draws from the Old Testament more than any other New Testament book.  Does the Old Testament speak of JERUSALEM  in these same terms? (Rev.17:5)

                                                                                                                         

     Isaiah 1:21 “How is the FAITHFUL CITY  become an HARLOT!” (An UNFAITHFUL  HARLOT )

     Jeremiah 2:2,20 “…Jerusalem…, playing the HARLOT.

     Jeremiah 3:1  “…but thou hast played the HARLOT…”

     Jeremiah 3:3  “thou hadst a WHORES FOREHEAD…” (“upon her FOREHEAD”, Rev.17:5)

     Jeremiah 3:6 “…hath played the HARLOT.”

     Jeremiah 3:8 “…went and played the HARLOT.”

     Jeremiah 22:8 “Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto THIS GREAT CITY? 

     *Nineveh, who came into relationship with God, is once referred to as that great city. (Jonah 4:11) They would “rise in judgment with this generation (as well), and did condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas was there.” (Matthew 12:41)  Nineveh repented in 40 days to much less of a messenger. “This generation” in Jerusalem was given 40 years to repent, after rejecting a message from the creator of the universe. Oh, the severity of this judgment! “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation!  (Luke 11:50)

     Therefore, the HARLOT rides upon the BEAST/ROME to use Rome's power and armies to assist in carrying out the persecution.  GOG AND MAGOG are the symbolic name for this antichristian party.  In the Old Testament Magog was known as the land of the world's most feared savages, the “Scythians.”  Just the mentioning of them brought fear upon listeners residing in the more civilized world.  This imagery would bring up this same fear of an invading barbaric army, to listeners in the first century. 

     Remember, that the book of Revelation uses many Old Testament types, such as Egypt, Sodom, Babylon, and Jezebel Gog and Magog are simply one of those types.  All of these types are now being applied to Jerusalem, “…the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt (Ch.16), where also our Lord was crucified.” (Rev.11:8)  This judgment of Jerusalem was to be a Judgment of Judgments.  “That upon you may come all the righteous blood upon the earth! (You will pay the death penalty required for that shed blood.)…  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon THIS GENERATION! (Mt.23:35,36)  The same THIS GENERATION”  is mentioned in the very next chapter, in Matthew 24:34 That generation, which at the time would have been referred to as this generation in the first century, is being addressed.  Jesus is not addressing  this generation today, which would have been a future that generation.  Also, note that generation is not referring to race a single time in the entire New Testament. 

     This invading army is described, size wise, as “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”  Should we approach this number mathematically?  I think not.  Similarly, we would not take Abraham's descendants, being as many in number “as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore, to be speaking in terms that require a mathematical understanding.  (Gen.17:22)  Neither should we approach A  THOUSAND YEARS  with a mathematical understanding.  Such a conclusion would be our leaning unto our own western understanding. 

     Revelation 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.”

     “… compassed the camp of the saints, about, and the beloved city.”  The compassing, is the surrounding forces of persecutors.  These were persecutors of the beloved city, the New Jerusalem, The New Covenant. (Gal.4:22-31) The Old Jerusalem, and the Old Covenant Jews were the surrounding persecutors. The Harlot persecutes the Bride, as Hagar persecuted Sarah.  Even when it was Rome persecuting, it was the harlot rider (17:7, 9) of the beast, who was responsible for the actions of the beast. They manipulated Rome, and got burned in the process.  This occurred when Rome turned on the Jews in 66 A.D..  History tells us through Titus, that Rome's strategy went as follows. “The temple is distinguished above all human achievements.  It's destruction will take care of the root, and the offshoot.”  The root being Judaism, and the offshoot being Christianity.  “And the ten horns  (10 provinces of the empire, each with a king)  which thou sawest upon the beast, these SHALL HATE THE WHORE, and shall make her DESOLATE  (Mt.23:38, 24:15)  and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and BURN HER WITH FIRE.”

     Jerusalem was now a harlot, not a beloved city.  “THE WHORE…she shall be BURNT WITH FIRE.(Lev.21:9 In the parable of the Marriage Feast, Jesus for told what would become of their city.  “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth HIS ARMIES, and DESTROYED those murderers, and BURNED UP THEIR CITY.” (Matthew 22:7The Roman Armies were used by God's sovereign rule over  the kingdoms of men. (Dan.4:17)  The tares were separated from the wheat, “gathered and BURNED IN THE FIRE, so shall it be in the end of this age.”  (Mt.13:40)  The goats were these same tares, who were commanded to “Depart from me, ye cursed, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE.” (Matthew 25:41)

     Revelation 20:10  “ And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

     The unholy trinity consists of Satan, Caesar, and the Circumcision.  The devil is of course, Satan.  The beast is Caesar, and Rome's authority.  The false prophet is that corrupt religious system of Old Covenant Judaism and the law.  The devil had joined Caesar and Rome's authority, along with Jerusalem's authority, using both Rome's and Jerusalem's law to bring about much death.  (2 Cor. 3:7)  The accuser was then most empowered.  “The power of sin is the law.” (1 Cor. 15:56) Satan now would join his puppets in the lake of fire.  (Rev.19:20)

     The lake of fire and brimstone is metaphorical language for judgment, not for annihilation. The devil faced this fiery judgment, and is now in torment, and regret. (1 Cor.2:8)  His head has been crushed. (Gen.3:15, Mt.27:33 ) Did not Jesus stand on the place of the skull. (Rom.16:20) Satan's authority has been stripped (Lk.10:18), and he's been ousted from ruling the world. (Jn.12:31)  Satan has been judged, dethroned,  and defeated, but not exterminated.  There has not been a destruction of his being, but of his wellbeing. NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31)  It was a forty year “mop up period, from 30 A.D. to 70 A.D.. At this time (70 A.D.) the title deed to the earth was established in the New Covenant, in the New Man, the last Adam. (Revelation 5, 1 Cor.15:45)

     He is the accuser and slanderer, who is most empowered through the administration and manipulation of law.  First century Jerusalem and Rome, were the most corrupt, brutal, and deadly cities in the world.  They used law to bring about this death.  It was through an iron fist, with the ministry of death, through the manipulation and condemnation of law, that the most crafty within these cities maintained their position of power.  Satan, who was more crafty than even the beast (Gen.3:1), was the ruler of these most influential of cities. City's who's influence truly ruled the world. They were, as history makes clear, also filled with much corruption and immorality.  Rome's immorality was external and paraded, while Jerusalem's was worse, in that it was hidden within the heart and craftily disguised.  The reality of why, and how these systems operated is found in 1 Cor.15:56, “The sting of DEATH is sin; and THE POWER OF SIN IS THE LAW.”  Satan has full power to accuse, using law.  He then brings forth death thru administering law.  Without the law, and it's most detailed enforcer overseeing Judaism in the temple, Satan is dethroned from his place of authority and rule. 

     At a certain point in World War Two, it was academic, that the war had been won. The rest of the time would be spent on Mop up.” There would be a final dethroning of Japanese, and Nazi authority, yet rulers of these defeated systems would continue to exist, but not empowered so as to oppose the victors.  Christ in His Church, and over the kingdom's of men is the victor!  The gates/strategies of hell, cannot prevail against Him in His Church! (Eph.3:10

     In the World War Two analogy, Japan and Germany faced a fiery judgment, yet did not cease from functioning as nations.  They became very limited in what they could and couldn't do, all under the authority of the victors.  Satan can still function, but is a defeated foe.  He is literally powerless before Jesus' authority in His Church.  His rights have been stripped away from ruling the world. He is not the god of this “age.”  Only those nations who honor Jesus, the ruler of all nations, will be exalted as the most powerful amongst nations.  In every way, economically, militarily,  politically, and morally, those nations who remain the most faithful to the gospel/word of God will be exalted in all these arenas.  This exaltation, involves ruling over the nations who become unfaithful to Christ, or over those who reject His grace altogether.  “(His) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”  (Prov.14:34,)  Without Jesus there is no sin remedy, therefore there is no righteousness for the nation which rejects Him. Any nation opposing this rule, shaking their collective fist at Christ, will experience a very limited, cursed ,or short lived kingdom.  “Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against HIS ANOINTED/CHRIST, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.  Yet have I set MY KING upon my holy hill of ZION. (Heb.12:22 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE. (John 3:16) Ask of me, and I shall give thee THE NATIONS for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (Mt.13:44, The real land promise.) Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.  (Rev.2:26. 27 says that Jesus would accomplish this ruling with a rod of iron, which is spiritual authority, through His church in the first century.) Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”  (Psalm 2 This Psalm and Psalm 110, are the most quoted passages in the New Testament taken from the Old Testament.  Perhaps they are of importance to God, in his revelation of the New Covenant within the New Testament Scriptures.  In Jesus' rule over all nations (Rev.11:15), adjustments of grace, mercy and judgment, are going on constantly to bring about repentance, rewarding righteousness with blessing, and unrighteousness with cursing.  Keep in mind that when dealing with corporate nations, we must think of each nation as a whole, not what factions, or groups within are doing and saying.  This empowerment and blessing comes outwardly, only after the first place priority of seeking  the spiritual kingdom takes place inwardly.  Then the blessings follow. (Mt.6:33, Psalm 35:27, 3 John 2)

     But, I thought after Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, there would be no more evil in the world.  If that were the case, then we cannot explain why people are still dying after the “New Heavens and New Earth” of The Book of Revelation, chapter 21.  Revelation is quoting from Isaiah 65:17-20, when after the New Heavens and Earth in 65:17, “a child shall die at an hundred years old, but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”  Both die at one hundred, the one as a child, blessed and happy, while the other is cursed and miserable. (65:20)

Nevertheless, people are dying after the New Heavens and New Earth.  How's that wrench?  Thank Terry Kashian for this point.  By the way, the New Heavens and Earth supposedly brought in after nuclear war takes place in 2 Peter 3, coinciding with Rev.21's New Heaven and Earth, transpires AFTER the millennium. Another wrench for doomsday prognosticators. 

     No physical utopia is seen further after the “New Heavens and Earth” , as there are “nations” in Revelation 21:21,25, who are walking in the light of the New Jerusalem.  In heaven, there are no nations, but only one nation. (1 Pet.2:9)  If there was a physical utopia, why then is there a need for healing of these nations?  (Rev.22:2)   If this is a physical utopia, then what nations, and what healing would be needed?

     Finally, if all evil has been removed, then where did the dog's, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and those that love and make a lie, come from? (Rev.22:15)  These are WITHOUT the city.  They are not in the New Jerusalem, New Covenant (Gal.4:22-31, Heb.12:22, Mt.5:14, City of light), but outside in darkness.  That is why the gates of the city are always open to those outside in the darkness.  Open for them to come into the city with constant light and no night.  (Rev.21:25) “The Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.”  (Rev.22:17)  There was darkness and light spiritually before the creation of the physical light in Genesis.   (Gen.1:2,3,14)  This dividing of the darkness and light was from the beginning, so as allow for an antithesis to God's way's.  This also allows for the opportunity to choose love.  “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)  He will not take away our ability to choose. Therefore, whosoever will let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17) Also note, that AFTER the NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH in Isaiah 65:17-20, which is quoted in Revelation 21:1, there are people dying (Isaiah 65:20).  No physical utopia here.  Also note, that the New Heavens and New Earth are the bride, the Lamb's wife (Revelation 21:1,2,9)

     This concept of a carnal kingdom (Luke 17:20), or physical utopia, is rooted in the misunderstanding of Adam's sin and death in the Garden.  Would Adam have lived physically forever, if he had not sinned?  The answer is very clearly inferred. He chose between  “every tree of the garden” (Gen.2:16), and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  In the day that he chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he surely died. (Gen.2:17)  Did he die physically? No, because that's not the kind of death God was talking about.  Amongst every tree of the garden was “The tree of life.” (2:22)  It was of this uneaten tree, that if he had eaten from it, Adam would have lived forever. After sinning, he could not eat of this tree, because things would have to unfold in the redemptive plan of God. That is, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world/kosmos” (Revelation 13:8). This was the plan all along laid out by Jehovah sneaky.  It was always His plan to bring mankind out of Adam and into Christ.  Adam had to fail, because he was of a corruptible nature not able to resist sin.  Christ is of a nature that cannot sin!  This is how the inspired Apostles handled the Genesis account of Adam!  Now, we who are born into Adam can partake of this tree, and be transformed from Adam into Christ.  The tree of life is Christ. (Rev.2:2)  It was Calvary's tree of death, that brought about the New resurrection life of Christ that we all can partake of!  “Cursed is he that hangs on a tree, that the blessing  of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” (Gal.3:13)

     We must ask ourselves, does the word of God change?  When it says, “…the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor.4:18) , was this truth different back in the garden?  Was Adam seen physically before the fall? Yes, therefore, he being a natural man, and not a spiritual man, was temporal. (1 Cor.15:45,46, 1 Cor.2:14))  Has this truth changed in the current “state of things” to mean that physically seen things now are temporal, but physically seen things “in the future utopia” will be eternal?  How many time does God's word change?  Never!  Man did live a shorter and shorter lifespan after sin, because his body was not designed for sin.  We now have eternal life through Christ.  Eternal, invisible to the natural eye, that is Adam's eye's, but this life can be seen by us who are born of the Spirit. (John 3:3, 1 Cor.2:13-16)

     Remember, that John is instructed to “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Rev.22:10)  The time was at hand for all of the sayings of the prophecy of this book, not for some of the sayings of the prophecy of this book to unfold.   

     Revelation 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.”

     “And I saw a great white THRONE…” First off, we must understand that God's throne is a none physical throne.  We come to this same throne of grace today. (Heb.4:16) It is from this throne also, that judgment is carried out.  It's a throne that seats the highest authority in the universe.  On earth ,Moses' seat was a figurative “seat” that was the “place” of authority for Old Covenant leaders. (Mt.23:2)  Rome also had a place referred to as a judgment seat, even one for Caesar himself. (Acts 25:6,10) Therefore, we must establish that God, who is Spirit, sit's upon a nonphysical throne. 

     In Matthew 25:31 we see this same great white throne judgment.  “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall He sit upon THE THRONE of His glory:” Is he referring to one made of Cherry Wood, perhaps?  No, it's the same one that he says of, “I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His THRONE. His Father, who is Spirit. (Rev.3:21, John 4:23,24)  By the way, Jesus is now glorified in heaven, and is therefore not of flesh and blood, because flesh and blood cannot enter into heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50). After His ascension, we see Him appearing as a bright light to Paul in Acts 9:3, and as, “…the Son of man…His head and hairs white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters…in his hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:13-16). Now John is seeing Jesus in the Spirit (Revelation 1:10), recording a vision, “What thou seest, write in a book…” (Revelation 1:11).  John is not interacting with the incarnated Jesus, but rather the glorified Jesus after His ascension.  He is relating to Jesus in the Spirit, not in the flesh.  Think about it, “…though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now hence forth know we Him NO MORE.” (2 Corinthians 5:16) The natural man longs to cling to the physical Jesus in His physical state before the ascension (John 20:17, Luke 17:22).  This is exactly what Jesus was preparing His disciples for in John 13-17.  It is exactly what He was teaching them for 40 days as He weaned them off of the physical relationship to Himself (Acts 1:3).  If you're wondering about Acts 1:9-11, just know that His coming “in like manner” (Greek: “Tropos”), is His coming in a figurative manner, that is, figuratively coming in a cloud (of judgment) in verse 9. For one such example of tropos' usage, see it in Matthew 23:37 with “…as a hen.”

Jesus is now in His eternal state, as the eternal Son of the trinity.  The one who spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1:1, Colossians 1:16), the great I AM.  In order to be eternal, one has to be invisible, “…things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).  In the incarnation, we see that this was not the eternal state of Jesus, but a temporal one.  Jesus, “WHO IN THE DAYS OF HIS FLESH…” (Hebrews 5:7)  The clear inference here is that Jesus is not presently in His flesh.  There was one reason, and one reason alone, for Him to become flesh (John 1:14), “…a body has thou prepared me”.  The clear context of Hebrews 9 and 10 here, is the sacrifice of Jesus fulfilling the types and shadows of the sacrificial system.  This was the sole reason for the incarnation.  Therefore we must understand that THE THRONE is in the Spirit.  Remember, it is the throne of  kingdom that comes not by observation (Luke 17:20,21). It's no more physical than the “books” in the next verse (Rev.20:12), or the key and chain in the first verse, or the old serpent in the second verse, which is not an aged slithering reptile!  Consider also that, “Thy THRONE, o God…”, is not in the plural, “Thy THRONES o God…”  (Psalm 45:6, Hebrews 1:8)  That is, He does not have both a spiritual throne, which is invisible, as well as a physical throne (Luke 17:20-22).  “The heaven is my THRONE (singular), and the earth is my footstool” (Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49,50). These feet are in the body by the way (Genesis 3:15, Romans 16:20). 

     Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations…”  Josephus refers to the Nation of the Samaritans, the Nation of the Botanaeans, and the Nation of the Galileans.  He says that Judea is a nation with its own king.  Peraea, Idumea, Trachonitis, Iturdea, Abilene, are all described as having princes, or a ruler of a nation. That is with the title “Ethnarch.”  Again, we must understand that Rev.1:7 says that, “all the TRIBES (of the Jewish nation) of the land shall wail because of him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zech.12:10)  In that day shall there be a great mourning IN JERUSALEM! (Zech.12:10, 11) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!  Where is this all taking place? IN JERUSALEM!  (Mt.24:16)  “…Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”(Mt.10:23) The “nations,” consist of the nation of Palestine, and those nations throughout the empire where Jews were scattered. The Gospel went out into all the Roman world  (Mt.24:15, Col.1:6,23) , every nation under heaven  heard  (Acts 2:5), nations where Jews had made a decision concerning Christ one way, or the other.  With Jesus, or against Him, wheat or chaff, wheat or tares, and in this passage sheep or goats, true Jews, or false Jews (Revelation 2:9, 3:9, Romans 2:28,29).  The end of the age would gather the elect, and judge those who were against Christ.  ( Mt. 12:30, Mt.3:12, Mt.13:40 He would reveal the wheat  (Manifest the true son's of God, Old Covenant Jews, or New Covenant Jews-Rom.8:19)  , and “burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  The “tares were gathered and burned in the fire.” And to the goats He said, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Mt.25:41) What is the timing for this fiery judgment? At his coming at the end of the age. (Mt.13:40)  His coming in judgment upon “that generation”, at the end of the age.  (Mt.23:36, 24:34Not the end of the globe, but the end of the Old Covenant age.  It was His coming in judgment upon that Old Covenant system, and it's corrupt leaders!

     “All nations” is truly in reference to the Tribes of the Jewish Nation within Palestine, and those who were scattered throughout all the nations. (Acts 2:5, Romans 16:26 “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the land mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)   The “gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ…the mystery…made manifest by the scriptures…(was) MADE KNOWN TO ALL NATIONS for the obedience of faith.(Rom.16:26) As the gospel went out to the Jew first (Rom.1:16)  and into all the “world”, many gentiles were, as we know, converted. (Acts 11:18) Then at the end of the age, “lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before THE THRONE, and before the lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.”   (Rev. 7:9)  All nations and tribes were divided within themselves, having those with him/gathered to him, and those against him.  The tribes, most of which were in Jerusalem, at the time of His coming in judgment upon the city, repented and mourned for Jesus, and saw/perceived that He was The Messiah. Even those who were scattered into all the nations, would have mourned their city's' and temples' destruction.  They would, for the most part, acknowledge that Jesus' words concerning the city and temple had come to pass.  Therefore, His words were true, and He was The Messiah!  (Rev.1:7, Mt.26:64, Rom.11:25,26, Jn.3:3) Those who were already believers had heeded his words to get out of the city.  “And when YE shall see JERUSALEM compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.  Then let them which are in Judea  (Not Georgia, it's not a global tribulation.) flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter there into.  For THESE be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Lk.21:20-23)  To these sheep he says, “Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you…(Mt.25:34To the unrepentant goats facing the second death, He says to, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels.”   

     There is a visible side, and an invisible side, to Jesus' coming in judgment upon Jerusalem.  The throne, as we have established is invisible, the invading army and burning city is not.  (Mt.22:7)  However, the fire has another aspect here.  First the natural fire, then the spiritual fire as those murderers stood before the all-consuming fire after physical death (Hebrews 12:29, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).   

     “HEAVEN AND EARTH fled away.”  This is the same OLD HEAVENS AND EARTH to be dissolved in 2 Peter 3.  For details on this, read the article, Are we living in the last days?”    It's also the same passing of HEAVEN AND EARTH in (Revelation 21:1-5) For a brief look at HEAVEN AND EARTH, and how these words are used throughout the scriptures, we need first to look to the Old Testament.  When Daniel says that, “the HEAVENS DO RULE (Dan.4:26), he is not referring to anything physical.  God, who is spirit, is the HIGHEST AUTHORITY, thus “HEAVENS” is used.  Also, the glory of the HEAVENS, speaks of HIS GLORY. (Ps.19:1-6)  “His is THE KINGDOM, and the POWER, and the GLORY, forever. Amen.” (Mt.6:13)  Therefore, His rule from HEAVEN on EARTH is the plan of God.  “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in HEAVEN.  This is the covenant relationship between the perfect, infinite, all powerful, holy and pure God of the universe, coming to flawed man upon the EARTH.  Old Covenant Israel was in this covenant relationship with God.  We see these same terms, HEAVEN and EARTH, used to communicate God's covenant people on earth, in ISAIAH 51:16. “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant THE HEAVENS, and lay the foundation of the EARTH, AND SAY UNTO ZION, THOU ART MY PEOPLE.” The covenant people would have God's presence with them on EARTH, as a covenant people in relationship with God from HEAVEN.                      

     The HEAVENS are often used in a nonphysical way throughout scripture.  They are exclusively used this way in prophetic passages.  The HEAVENS BOWED, as God fought on David's behalf, in delivering him from Saul. But, none of this transpired in the physical realm.  (Ps.18:9)  Rather, ruling authority (THE HEAVENS) was being taken from Saul, and given to David. That is the “HEAVENS BOWED”, and Saul's authority was brought DOWN.  We see the same thing with Joseph as the Sun, Moon, and Stars were referring to his family members that ruled over him, and how they would someday BOW to his authority and rule.

      In a judgment upon Jerusalem, there was “darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in THE HEAVENS thereof.” (Isaiah 5:30)  In another pronouncement upon Jerusalem God says, “For this shall THE EARTH mourn, and THE HEAVENS above be black…”  Nothing happened in the physical HEAVENS here as well. 

     In Ezekiel 32:7, a prophecy is given to Pharaoh , “And when I shall put thee out, I will cover THE HEAVEN, and make the stars thereof dark.” Yet again, nothing in the physical HEAVENS happened here either.

     Matthew 5:17,18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come do destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, TILL HEAVEN and EARTH PASS, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED.”  DID JESUS FULFILL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS?  YES, THEREFORE, HEAVEN AND EARTH HAVE PASSED. THE OLD HEAVENS AND EARTH, THAT IS, THE OLD COVENANT RULE, HEADQUARTERED IN JERUSALEM, HAS PASSED AWAY.  THE NEW JERUSALEM HAS NOW TABERNACLED GOD WITH MAN, AND ALL THINGS ARE NEW, IN THE NEW JERUSALEM, NEW COVENANT, NEW MAN, NEW WINESKINS, NEW BOTTLES, NEW GARMENTS, NEW TEMPLE, NEW CREATION, AND NEW ISRAEL. (Rev.21:1-5) YES, THE NEW ISRAEL! GO SEE WHAT THESE SCRIPTURES MEAN! (Mt.3:9, 21:43, Jn.8:33, 39, 41,44, Rm.2:28,29, 4:3,11, 9:8, Gal.3:16, 6:16, Col.3:10,11, 1 Pet.2:9, Rev.2:9, 3:9)

    This same reference to “HEAVEN and EARTH” in relation to A COVENANT, is what we are looking at in Revelation 20:10.  “HEAVEN and the EARTH  fled away.”  “FLED AWAY” is the same thing that is in 2 Peter 3:10, when it says, “the HEAVENS SHALL PASS AWAY.”  And as we have just read above, the word's of Jesus tell us the same thing, “Till HEAVEN and EARTH PASS.” (Formal farewell in 70AD.)

     In Revelation 21:1-5, “And I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH, for “the first heaven” and  

first covenant”(Heb.8:7)

the first old”(Heb.8:13)

“the first.. murmured” (Mt.20:10,11)  “the eleventh hour”, the last hour of the Old Covenant! “It is the last hour.” (1 Jn.2:18)  The new day of The New Covenant's establishment was at hand!  The night was far spent, the new day of the new covenant. was at hand.”  (Rm.13:11), (2 Pet.1:19)

“first man Adam”  (1 Cor.15:45) “first …that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual.”  (1 Cor. 15:46) “first manearthy …second man…from heaven.”  (1 Cor. 15:47)first son of Abraham…Old Covenant bondage…Old Jerusalem.” (Galatians 4:22-31)  “first covenant”  (Heb.9:1) “first tabernacle”  (Heb. 9:8) …the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while   as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” first testament”  (Heb. 9:15) first testament”  (Heb.9:18) the first”  (Heb.10:9) “He taketh AWAY “the first,”  that He may establish the second!  

          

the first EARTH PASSED AWAY…And I John saw the HOLY CITY , NEW JERUSALEM, coming down from God out of HEAVEN  (Gal.4:26, “New covenant.”)  prepared as  A BRIDE adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2 Who is the BRIDE of Christ?  The NEW COVENANT PEOPLE, THE CHURCH , are now established with God's HEAVENLY authority on EARTH.  Now that the OLD TEMPLE and it system is removed,  the new can be made manifest, clear for all to see.  “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest (clearly seen), while as the first  TABERNACLE was yet standing.” (Heb.9:8

     “…The TABERNACLE of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his (covenant) people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3“…For the former things are PASSED AWAY.”  And He that sat upon the throne (none physical) said, Behold, I make ALL THINGS NEW.” (Rev. 21:5The CORPORATE NEW CREATION is now established, and the CORPORATE OLD MAN ADAM, THE OLD COVENANT, IS NOW PASSED AWAY!  Remember, that both Covenant's headquarters were in Jerusalem.   The Old in the physical Jerusalem that “now is” (Now is in the first century.), and the New Covenant in the Jerusalem which is above.  Also, both have a temple, one of stones made by hands, the other of living stones made by the hand of God, forming the temple/body of Christ, the Church. (Gal.4:22-26, 2 Cor.5:1) 

Revelation 20:11“The Earth and the Heaven FLED AWAY; and there was FOUND NO PLACE for them.” Revelation 16:20  “And every Island FLED AWAY, and the mountains were NOT FOUND.”

     The book of Revelation uses an Eastern/Asian (1:4) style of communicating, saying the same thing again and again in many different ways.  These two verses are a perfect example of this.  

     “And every ISLAND FLED AWAY…” What  do we know from the rest of scripture about ISLANDS?  

Gen .10:5  “…the ISLANDS of the Gentiles, divided in their lands;”

Psalm 72:10 “The kings of Tarshish and of the ISLANDS shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.”

Isaiah 11:10,11 “…a root of Jesse (The Messiah), …to it shall the Gentiles seek…to recover the remnant of his people,…from the ISLANDS of the sea.”

Isaiah 24:14-16  “…they shall cry aloud from the sea.  Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the ISLANDS of the sea.  From the uttermost part of the earth.” (Sounds like Acts 1:8 to me.)

Isaiah 60:5 “Because the abundance OF THE SEA shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.”

Revelation 21:1 “…and there was NO MORE SEA.” 

      Perhaps the father of Preachers could some up the clear meaning of Islands referring to Gentiles throughout the scriptures.  On Revelation 21:1 He says, “Is not the text to be read as a metaphor, tinged with the prejudice with which the Oriental mind universally regard the sea in olden times? There must be a spiritual meaning here.  In the new dispensation (He no longer shares this dispensational idea) there will be NO DIVISION--THE SEA SEPERATES NATIONS AND SUNDERS PEOPLES FROM EACH OTHER.  To John in Patmos the deep waters were like prison walls, shutting him out from his brethren and his work: There shall be NO SUCH BARRIERS in the world to come.”  -Charles Spurgeon.

 

       The Old Covenant barriers and boundaries were now removed.  But now in Christ Jesus “ YE WHO SOMETIMES WERE FAR OFF  (ISLANDS OF THE GENTILES) ARE MADE NIGH BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.” FOR HE IS OUR PEACE, WHO HATH MADE BOTH (Jew and Gentile) ONE, AND HATH BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL (Barrier) OF PARTITION BETWEEN US…TO MAKE IN HIMSELF OF THE TWO, ONE NEW MAN, SO MAKING PEACE; AND THAT HE MIGHT RECONCILE BOTH UNTO GOD IN ONE BODY BY THE CROSS, HAVING SLAIN THE ENMITY THEREBY: AND CAME AND PREACED PEACE TO YOU (GENTILES) WHICH WERE AFAR OFF, AND TO THEM THAT WERE NIGH (JEWS). (Ephesians 2:13-17)

“FOR THE PROMISE IS MADE UNTO YOU (JEWS), AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL (All flesh, not just Jews within Israel now. Joel 2:28-32, Rom.10:11,12) THAT ARE AFAR OFF (GENTILES), EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL.” (Acts 2:39)

    

     The sea is removed, and the only waters in the New Covenant are found in the pure river of the water of life!  It's available to WHOSOEVER (Rom.10:11,12-Jew and Gentile) will let him take the water of life freely.”  Freely received, with no works required!  (Revelation 22:17) These waters are clear as crystal and stable as transparent glass.  Unlike the unstable sea, and the darkness of its divisions, which ascend from the abyss!  For such divisions between Jew and Gentile FLED AWAY with the Old Covenant's passing away!   

     Revelation 16:20 …and the mountains were not found.”  What do we know about MOUNTAINS from the rest of scripture? 

Psalm 46:2-6  Verse 2 “…though the MOUNTAINS be carried into the midst of the sea:”  Verse 3 “…though the MOUNTAINS  SHAKE…” Verse 4 “…THE CITY OF GOD…(Verse 5) …She shall NOT BE MOVEDVerse 6 “…The heathen raged, the KINGDOMS WERE MOVED.” He uttered his voice, the earth melted.”  Hebrews 12:22, 27, 28 clarifies the above. “But you are come to MOUNT ZION, and unto THE CITY OF  THE LIVING GOD, the heavenly Jerusalem,…”, “…things which CANNOT BE SHAKEN…”“ Wherefore we receiving a KINGDOM which CANNOT BE MOVED!”  Galatians 4:24- 26 Speaks of two covenants, one from MOUNT SINAI (vs..24), the PHYSICAL CITY OF JERUSALEM in the first century (vs.25), which was the host city of the Old Covenant, and it's bondage. Then, it refers to the New Covenant, with its host CITY, the JERUSALM WHICH IS ABOVE. (vs.26)  Hebrews 12:22 calls this same city and covenant, MOUNT ZION, the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM 

     We see above that a mountain /kingdom is synonymous with the capital city of that kingdom.  The Kingdom of God's capital city is the above, heavenly, New Jerusalem.  Even today, “Washington (DC)” is referred to around the world synonymously with the United States.  Similarly, Moscow, London, Perris, and Peking are synonymous with the nation with which they are the capitol city of.

     Below, is a list of scriptures that all confirm the use of the term MOUNTAIN in relationship to a KINGDOM.  

Isaiah 41:14-16 “…Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord (vs.14)…I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh THE MOUNTAINS, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as CHAFF.  Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away…”  This was not speaking of the newest John Deer Earthmover.  But, as we read in Daniel 2:35, KINGDOMS 'became like the CHAFFand the wind carried them away THAT NO PLACE WAS FOUND FOR THEM.”  Daniels CHAFF was the remains of KINGDOMS crushed by God.  So is Isaiah's CHAFF , the remains of KINGDOMS/MOUNTAINS“THAT NO PLACE WAS FOUND FOR THEM.”  

Revelation 20:11 …“the earth and heaven fled away, AND THERE WAS FOUND NO PLACE FOR THEM.”  Revelation 16:20 “And every island fled away, and the MOUNTAINS WERE FOUND NOT.”

     Clearly the MOUNTAINS or KINGDOMS CANNOT BE FOUND This would be because they've been blown away by the wind of the Spirit.  

Isaiah 64:1-3 “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that THE MOUNTAINS might flow down AT THY PRESENCE, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that THE NATIONS may tremble AT THY PRESENCE!  When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, THE MOUNTAINS flowed down AT THY PRESENCE.”  Clearly here as well, “NATIONS are used interchangeably with MOUNTAINS.” 

Jeremiah 51:24,25 BABYLON…Behold, I am against thee, O DESTROYING MOUNTAIN, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and WILL MAKE THE A BURNT MOUNTAIN.”

    

     Speaking of a BURNING MOUNTAIN let's look at one in the book of RevelationRevelation 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a GREAT MOUNTAIN BURNING  with fire was cast into the sea…”  “Fire, of course, is in reference to judgment upon this MOUNTAIN/KINGDOM.  In the beginning of this chapter, Revelation 8:2-4, we read of prayers ascending as incense before God.  Revelation 6:10 says, “And they CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and AVENGE OUR BLOOD on them that dwell on the earth?”  Luke 18:1-8 say's, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;…The widow then approaches the judge saying  AVENGE ME OF MINE ADVERSARY.  Jesus asks, “And shall not God AVENGE HIS OWN ELECT, WHICH CRY DAY AND NIGHT UNTO HIM.”…I tell you that he will AVENGE THEM SPEEDILY.  Nevertheless WHEN THE SON OF MAN COMETH, SHALL HE FIND FAITH IN THE LAND?  These martyred saints were not on the earth, but did  have this faith in calling for their blood to be AVENGED. This is the same VENGEANCE  we read of in Luke 21:20,22 “And when YE shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”  “ For these be the DAYS OF VENGEANCE, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”  Perhaps it was their same prayers in Revelation 6:10, that ascended up to God, and SPEEDILY we see the MOUNTAIN / NATION BEING JUDGED WITH FIRE, and being cast into the sea.”  (Rev. 8:8)  Where in the Bible do we read about FAITH, and A MOUNTAIN being CAST INTO THE SEA? 

     Matthew 21:19 Jesus cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit.  He says, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward FOREVER.  At times, in scripture the fig tree can be in reference to the nation of Israel. This clearly seems not to be the case in Mt. 24:32  Jesus says in Lk. 21:29, Behold the “fig tree”, and all the trees.”  In this passage these things (vs.31) is the point of emphasis, not the fig tree, or else Jesus wouldn't have added “and all the trees.”  However, if one maintains that “the fig tree” is Israel, it's cursed to bear no fruit forever.  It could only be headed toward the inevitable season of becoming tender and putting  forth leaves, preceding it's fully ripe stage.  Fully ripe for judgment! The timing of which was within THAT generation!

      Matthew 21:21  Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, IF ye have FAITH, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto THIS MOUNTAIN,  Be thou removed, and be thou CAST INTO THE SEA; it shall be done.”  The Mount of Olives was in plain view here. The Living Bible, though it's not a translation, even says, “say to this Mount of Olives.”  Also, Paul refers to Israel as the Olive tree in Romans 11.  It's also referred to as the vineyard.  This was the OLD COVENANT NATION/MOUNT SINAI (Gal.4:24This MOUNTAIN /  NATION of  ISRAEL was not  rendering him the fruits in their seasons. (Matthew 21:41)  Jesus responds to this by saying, “Therefore I say unto you, THE KINGDOM OF GOD SHALL BE TAKEN FROM YOU, AND GIVEN TO  A NATION  BRINGING FORTH THE FRUITS THEREOF.” (Matthew 21:43)

    

     No one believes that any of the “MOUNTAINS” listed above are in reference to physical MOUNTAINS.  Except, many would say that the passage in Revelation 16:20, which refers to Mountains not being found,” is referring to physical mountains.  Why, in this most symbolic of books in the Bible, would we not line this passage up with the figurative uses of MOUTAINS , which are throughout the Old, and New Testament.  Remember, that Revelation draws from the Old Testament, more than any other New Testament book. For the hard core literalist, here's a begging question.  If all the physical mountains are removed in Revelation 16:20, then how can Jesus physically return to the Mount of Olives after this event?

     Furthermore, in the New Testament we see not only this figurative MOUNTAIN in Matthew 21, and Mark 11, but also in Luke.  Luke 3:5 says, “Every valley shall be filled, and every MOUNTAIN and hill shall be brought low…” Mountains are those things that stand out above the rest of the landscape.  That exalt themselves above all else.  All majesty, glory, and honor are God's alone.  All the kingdom's of men that compete with His majesty, glory, and honor, shall be brought low.  “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”  (Mt.23:12)  “For thine is  the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.”  (Mt.6:13)  “…My glory will I not give to another.” 

(Isaiah 42:8)

     Finally, in Daniel we see a stone was cut out without hands, breaking up all other kingdoms to pieces,     A STONE  THAT BECAME A GREAT MOUNTAIN, AND FILLED THE WHOLE EARTH!      (Daniel  2:34, 35)  All other MOUNTAINS/KINGDOMS are consumed by the vastness of this kingdom's power, and glory, forever.  Amen.”

     So why this scenic route through the mountains.  If we can see that all other kingdoms are now under the authority of this one KINGDOM / MOUNTAIN that covers the whole earth, then we can understand that  the book of Revelation says, “… the HEAVEN and EARTH of the Old Covenant MOUNTAIN/ KINGDOM  (Gal.4:25,26, Heb.12:22) have fled away; and  there was found no place for them.” (Rev. 20:11)  And, that it's saying the same thing when it says, “And every ISLAND fled away, and the MOUNTAINS were not found.” (Rev.16:20) Not only is the Old Covenant crushed to pieces by this KINGDOM, but all KINGDOMS are under its authority!  And, no it's not a KINGDOM without a king.  I think the kings name starts with a “J” , or something like that.  If we could see this, then we might be able to grow up and come of age to receive the inheritance of the kingdom. We then might SEE the real land promises of the kingdom!  (Mt.13:44)  “THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER!  He is reigning, if we would but believe this and let him do so in us, we would enter into this reign.  Let's begin by letting Him renew our minds to understanding that this reign is here, now, and will never be more accessible than it is right here, and right now!  Does eschatology matter?  Is this scripture fulfilled, or is it something that we might get a taste of now, but it's really referring to someday in the sweet bye and bye,  pie in the sky, someday when I die?  BIBLE PROPHECY MATTERS!

    

     Revelation 20:11 “So HEAVEN and EARTH fled away, and there was found no place for them.” This is the wind of the Spirit blowing away the Old Covenant, which was God's highest (HEAVEN'S) authority on EARTH.   The Old passed away, so that The New Covenant would now be established on EARTH as the highest (HEAVEN'S) authority on EARTH.    

     Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”  After the Old Covenant system of death, under the law was destroyed, all who stood before God according to the law's standard, stood condemned!  That whole system was dependent upon the expectation and hope of The Messiah, who would end it.  He would then begin His reign in His Kingdom.  To now approach God by one's own works, without the shedding of blood (Lev.17:11), brings the required death penalty upon those who present  their own works.  “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  and in thy name have cast out devils?  And IN THY NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, Ye that WORK iniquity.” (Mt.7:22,23What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? This is the WORK of God, that ye BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.”  (John 6:28,29) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Eph.2:8,9)  With this New Covenant economy instated, now all men stand before God, either condemned under their own self condemning works, or justified by the grace of His own sacrifice.  It's interesting that Cain/Adam is still at work today presenting his own works, with murder in his heart towards Abel's/Jesus' blood sacrifice, which is an act of mercy and grace.  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom.3:20)  “NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5) It's either a work of the Spirit producing fruit, or the flesh working under the law, straining to offer works of righteousness which are as filthy menstruation rag's. (Isaiah 64:6)  Thanks, but why don't you hold onto those yourself, says the Lord. Get that stench out of my presence!  You've thoroughly offended me by bringing this filth into my presence, depart from me, Ye that WORK iniquity!

    

     The dead  in Revelation 20:12, are those who are “dead in trespasses and sins”  (Eph.2:1)  Those who had been resurrected out of Adam's sin-death, through the resurrected life in the Spirit, had their names written in the book of life. (vs. 15)  Those dead, who hadn't been resurrected by the Spirit in the New Birth, would be judged under the condemnation of their own works.  Again, those written in the book of life, had been raised to life in the spirit, producing fruit/works of HIS righteousness.  “And their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17I am the vine, ye are the branches: HE THAT ABIDETH IN ME , AND I IN HIM, THE SAME BRINGETH FOR MUCH FRUIT: FOR WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING.”  (John 15:5 An example of such fruit can be seen in the following passage.  “…help those women which LABOURED with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my FELLOWLABOURERS, whose names are in THE BOOK OF LIFE.” (Philippians 4:3, The same book as Rev.20:12.) Remember, that this is a non physical book, in a judgment at the end of the age, which is both  visible and non visible.  This passage in Revelation 20:12 is none visible.  

     We must remember that all of this scene is happening in the invisible realm, with the invisible God, sitting on an invisible throne.  It can also help to remind ourselves that the sayings of the prophecy of this book were AT HAND.  (Rev. 22:10) 

Revelation 20:13And 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 SEA, DEATH, and HELL  are all in reference to the underworld and spiritual darkness. 

THE SEA is that unstable place, absent of faith (James 1:6, Mt.14:30, 31).  It's dividing of peoples is seen as the lowest, and darkest of places.  The most hideous of creatures are manifested as one descends.  More and more grotesque do these creatures become as one descends.  They make the latest Hollywood horror creatures look quite friendly and kind.  This is to testify in the natural, of the same reality that exists in spiritual darkness.  It also contrasts the height of God's ways, glory, light and beauty, which we all cannot ascend to. (Rom.3:23)  It's a place for real lowlifes, as opposed to the place of the highest heavenly life available as a gift for all.  (John 10:10, Rom.6:23, Rev. 22:17)  Why not trade in that miserable wreck of an old, dark, scary, and hideous life, in for a new life paid in full, with no hidden payments in the fine print.  It comes with top of the line spiritual engineering, that can turn on a dime, endures forever, and offers a life time of free maintenance, oil, and fuel.  What's the catch?  None, only leave that old piece of dung behind.  The new will get you to see places you never could have imagined.  The old may break down before you can even get out of town, and will definitely not last forever. 

     “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:8,9) The contrast in Revelation 20:13 is shown in how low can one go.  The lowest of lows is the abyss.  “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep/abyss.”  (Luke 8:31) Even the demons are afraid of going to this dark, and creepy place.  The “deep” is the Greek word Abussos, meaning abyss, bottomless pit. 

     Death and hell is the sin-death brought upon all in Adam, who was under the death penalty of  law. Yes, Adam was under law, not grace.  Of course, He was not given the same details involved under the law given by Moses, yet he was still under the law. “Thou shalt not”, is law. Sin was not imputed until Moses, that is, the clear legal case had not been spelled out, nor was blood being offered as the propitiation for sin. Yet, the animal skins were immediately seen as types pointing towards the sacrificial system. (Gen.3:21)  And sin-death was reigning from Adam to Moses.  (Romans 5: 12-21Hosea 6:7 says, “But LIKE ADAM they have transgressed THE COVENANT…”  That is, The Covenant based upon works. Again, he did not eat the grace from the tree of life, which gives eternal life. (Romans 6:23, 2 Cor. 3:7

     In Matthew 25:46 , everlasting punishment” uses the Greek word “aionios”  for everlasting.  It's the same word we find in John 3:16 for “everlasting life.”  This would mean that everlasting punishment is as enduring as everlasting life. I wish I was wrong about this. Some maintain that this really means age enduring punishment.  But, if we're in the age of the everlasting covenant, then I don't see an end to this punishment. I know one thing, and that's that  I wouldn't want to try and assure someone that they need not be concerned about everlasting punishment, and then find out that I was in error about it and had misinformed them.  On the other hand, I know that condemnation preaching is fruitless in reaching those who are condemned already.  (Jn.3:18)  So, I just stand for the conveyance of the goodness of Jesus to lead one to repentance, to come out from under the wrath of God that abides on them. (Jn.3:36  Rom.2:4)

     Hell here, is the Greek word “Hades”, which Strong's first describes as being something “UNSEEN”.  Clearly, we must understand that this seen in Revelation 20 is taking place in the UNSEEN realm.  Strong's goes on to say that hades is the place/state of departed souls, the grave, and hell.  Other scholars say that the term is related to Pluto, god of the lower regions.  Also related to Orcus, the nether world, in a dark and dismal place. “Hades” is the same forces and powers of darkness that oppose The Church, the light of the world. (Mt.5:14)  But “the gates/strategies/leaders of “hades” will not prevail against it.” (Mt.16:18)  Gates,” or a cities entrance, was the place for the city's wisest and most influential leaders to be gathered.  Here they applied their wisdom toward the ruling of that city.  (Prov.31:23)  In contrast, we see the churches prevailing wisdom and authority.  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” (Eph.3:10But these forces here are “heavenly”, not from the lower world.  Again, words are used to describe happenings in the spiritual dimension.  Both descriptions are describing the same thing in different ways.  We must see that heavenly authority and powers are people (Rom.13:1), who can be influenced by the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of darkness.  Jesus saw the power of God through the disciples as it was bringing down Satan's authority. (Luke 10:18,19) Heaven is used throughout scripture to convey ruling authority, which when taken away is described in terms such as falling/bowing stars, heavens bowing and their darkening etc… (Gen.37:9, Is.13:10, Ps.18:9) “I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven.  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”  This is what  we just read in Revelation 20:12,  about this same book of life.  On one side, you have eternal life and light, through the work/fruit of the spirit and grace upon individuals.  On the other hand, you have eternal death and darkness through the works of the flesh and the law  upon individuals.  

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.”  The  sin-death system of the law, being ruled by hell/hades  (Mt.20:13, 23:15,33) ,and it's corrupt and manipulative rulers, is now to face judgment/fire. The language for judgment usually always involves fire.  “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast (Rome), these shall hate the whore (Jerusalem), and shall make her DESOLATE (Lk.21:20) and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and BURN HER WITH FIRE.  (Lev.21:9)  “THE WHORE…she shall be BURNT WITH FIRE.  The very law they stood so proudly under, condemned them to this judgment.   Jesus asked these same leaders, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Mt.23:33)  He condemns them as well when He says, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,  hypocrites!  For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold the child of hell than yourselves.” (Mt.23:15)  And again He says, “ But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth HIS ARMIES, and destroyed those murderers, an BURNED UP THEIR CITY.” Not only was their city, temple, (Sin-death system.) burned to the ground, but it and they would be judged in the lake of fire forever. “This is the second death”, the judgment forever upon each individual (Rev.14:11), and the judgment of their city and temple, which meant more to them than life itself. The fire/judgment upon that system, city, and first century leaders would continue forever, with its smoke ascending forever.  THE GREAT WHORE…her smoke rose up forever and ever.” (Rev.19:2,3) Anyone in our day and age involved with attempting to rebuild that condemned system/temple in that city, better have good fire insurance!  Adam's sin-death and the ensuing system, which was only a type intended only to point to the blood sacrifice of Christ, is now completely judged.  (Rom 5:12-21)

     If this was the second death, what is the first death?  Being dead in sins and trespasses.  (Eph.2:1)“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…” (Revelation 20:6 )    Having taken part in the first resurrection, being born of the Spirit to a new life in Christ, these individuals would have heeded the words of Jesus to get out of the city (Lk.21:20, 21).  In so doing they would not have had to face the horrors of the city's besieging.  Much more importantly, they would have avoided the ultimate horror of eternal torment .  (Rev.14:11) Those in the first resurrection would also have received the PRIESTHOOD of God in a temple made without hands, rather than remaining in the old temple system, with its corrupt and doomed priests.  (1 Peter 2:5, 9)  It had become a system being empowered by Hades, and would go down in judgment taking down with it it's evil overseers.  “For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the CHILD OF HELL/HADES  than yourselves.”  (Mt. 23:15) The system run by Hades,  it's leaders and their followers, would be judged by fire, forever.  “For our God is a consuming fire.”  (Heb. 12:29) Also, all that continue to be under the condemnation of the law, with their condemned works, will face this same fire.  “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment/fire”  (Heb. 9:27

     As an individual, a person can have their body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, with Jesus dwelling in them.  This building can be built on the rock of Christ, with the solid foundation of responding in faith to His words, as its foundation or not.  If not, it's built upon nothing but sand.  It's destruction is sure, in facing the storm of physical death.  (Mt.7:24-29)  This solid foundation in Matthew 7 is also in the context of a tree producing either evil fruit/works, or good fruit/works. (Mt. 7:18)  This tree's fruit is then related to false prophets, which Judaism and it's under law, works based system, lead the way in professing falsehood.  It was the False Prophet of Revelation which faced the lake of fire's judgment.  (Rev.19:20)  So it is with an individual who is approaching God under a works based system.  They face this same consuming fire.  No other foundation can ANYONE  lay (Except for “Jews”, according to John Haggee.) than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  (1 Cor. 3:11)  A life/house/temple not built on this rock foundation, will experience the words of Jesus, “and great was the fall of it”. A great fall descending in the bottomless pit. Again, nothing solid under the feet of that individual.  Only Jesus is solid enough to stand upon, with no other foundation.  There is no other name whereby we must be saved.  (Acts 4:12) Upon this foundation can be built fire enduring gold, silver, and precious stones, or the very flammable wood, hay, and stubble.  Rewards can be abundant, or none at all.  Only the inflammable Rock of Christ can get one through the fire.  Without the inflammable Rock, nothing gets through the fire, but only remains in the fire.  The smoke of this fiery torment ascends forever (Rev.14:11), in everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his messengers.  (Mt.25:41 

Revelation 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”  The decision is for whosoever will take and receive the satisfying water of life. (John 4:14, 7:38)   One may live on a street that's described as a crystal clear, transparent glass river. (Rev. 21:21, 22:2) This address is in the Holy Spirit, and written in the Book of Life.  The other location is found in another book, located on a dark, unsafe, and condemned street.  It is the old factory building of Adam's productions.  A condemned building producing nothing worthy, only vagrant criminals.  It's a very dark and lonely place.  Residents at this address also suffer continual thirst, with no relief.  (John 4:13, Luke 16:24)  This lake front address has only the fire of judgment, with no accessible water.

     “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”   “And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.”     (John 3:36, Revelation 22:17)  

 

      In conclusion, the “THOUSAND YEAR REIGN” of Jesus, was the complete and total authority of ruling with a spiritual rod of authority given to the first century church.  (Rev. 2:26,27, Acts 17:6, Romans 16:20)  The use of the term “A THOUSAND” is not once used in scripture numerically, but rather always in a figurative sense to convey the meaning of totality and completeness.   This time of complete authority and the turning Satan's world (2 Cor. 4:4) upside down, was brought to a halt when a final counter attack occurred.  This counter attack was the tribulation period, from 64-70A.D.. The harlot system of Judaism, the law, the temple, and the city of Jerusalem, were all judged in a final conflagration.  I can only end this study by saying, I've told you “A THOUSAND”  times, that Revelation 20 is not about mathematics!  “If someone wanted to take God to court, would it be possible to answer him even once in A THOUSAND times?”  (Job 9:3)  If  “A THOUSAND” is to be taken mathematically here, then God may be limited to only defending himself  A THOUSAND  times.  After  “A THOUSAND” attempts, one could challenge Him.  That is,  if “A THOUSAND” is being used in a numeric here, or in the Book of Revelation!  In the first century, the “THOUSAND YEAR REIGN”, which is included within “the sayings of the prophecy of this book”, was one of the sayings which must shortly come to pass, and be DONE , for the time was   AT HAND!  (Rev. 1:1,22:6,10)  Therefore, the battle for the credibility of  Scripture is AT HAND!  The Revolution is  AT HAND! 

By GARRET PAUL PARRISH

www.BibleProphecyFulfilled.org     
 

EPILOGUE 

     Eusebius Pamphilius,   (263-339 A.D.) Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine.  Here are some of his thoughts on  “THE THOUSAND YEAR REIGN.”   The following are excerpts from comments made concerning the Writings of Papias, in Book 3, Chapter 39. 

     “This same historian (Papias) also gives other accounts, which he says he adds as received by him from unwritten tradition, likewise certain strange parables of our Lord, and of His doctrine and some other matters rather to fabulous.  In these he says there would be A CERTAIN MILLENNIUM after the resurrection, and that there would be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very earth; which things he appears to have imagined, as if they were authorized by the apostolic narrations, not understanding correctly those matters which they propounded mystically in their representations.  For he was very limited in his comprehension, as is evident from his discourses; yet he was the cause why most of the ecclesiastical writers, urging the antiquity of man, were carried away by a similar opinion; as, for instance, Irenaeus, or any other that adopted such sentiments.”  

      Epiphanies(315-403 A.D.) Early Church father states the following;  

      “There is indeed A MILLENNIUM by St. John; but the most, and those pious men, look upon those words as true indeed, but to be taken in a spiritual sense.”   

     Charles Spurgeon, known as the Father of Preachers seems to have adjusted his view of “THE THOUSAND YEAR REIGN over the years.  Perhaps this resulted after his reading of “The Parousia,” by James Stuart Russell.  Spurgeon states concerning it, “Though the author's theory is carried too far (He doesn't believe this today), it has so much truth in it, and throws so much light upon obscure portions of the Scriptures, and is accompanied with so much critical research and close reasoning, that it can be injurious to none and may be profitable to all.”  As we will see, Spurgeon seemed to move more toward what's referred to today as a “pan-millennial view”, meaning that it will all “pan out” in the “end.”  One can see this as he discusses the writings of B.C. Young.  B.C. Young argues “that the coming of Christ will not be pre-millennial: that His reign will not be personal.”  “Personal” here, of course, means “bodily”,  “physically”, or “visibly.” This argument can be read in full within Spurgeon's writings, “In The Sword and Trowel,” 1:470.  (October 1867)   Spurgeon states, “Those who wish to see the arguments upon the unpopular side of the great question at issue, will find them here; this is probably one of the ablest of the accessible treatises from that point of view.  We cannot agree with Mr. Young, neither can we refute him.  It might tax the ingenuity of the ablest prophetical writers to solve all the difficulties here stated, and perhaps it would be unprofitable to attempt the task…”