Revelation 19-20

Sunday Evening Bible Study

July 1, 2001


Last week we looked at the destruction of Babylon, that great world system that has deceived the world away from following God through false religion and commercialism.

We saw that the destruction of Babylon, though decreed by God, appears to be carried out by the ten nation confederacy of the antichrist (Rev. 17:16).

The destruction of Babylon to me seems to be a separate event from the Battle of Armageddon, though they may occur relatively close to each other.
The destruction of Babylon takes place in chapters 17 & 18, the actual battle of Armageddon takes place at the end of chapter 19.

Revelation 19

:1  And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

Alleluiaallelouia – praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah

This is the Greek form of the Hebrew word “Hallelujah”.

Hallelujah is a compound of two words, “hallel”, meaning to “praise”, and “Jah” (pronounced  “Yah”), a shortened form of “Yahweh”.
It means “Praise Yahweh” or, “Praise the Lord”.

This Greek word only appears in the New Testament four times, all in this chapter (19:1,3,4,6)

In the Old Testament, the two words “hallel” and “jah” are found together 26 times, all in the Psalms, and are simply translated into the English as “Praise the LORD”, or something very similar (“praise ye the LORD”, etc.).

Salvation – our salvation from the consequences of our own sins can only come from God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Glory – all respect and admiration should go to God and God alone.

Honour – the Greek word (tim-ay) speaks of the price of value of an object.  The only true value and priceless thing in the universe is God alone.  He alone should have the highest value in our lives.

Power – the Greek word (dunamis) speaks not only of strength, but mostly of ability.  Only God is able to do everything.  Only God is able to give us the power to live as we ought to live.


Add content to your worship.

I think that for some of us, worship can be nothing more than just a bunch of “praise the Lords” or “I love You Lords”.
Perhaps it’s because we don’t see Him as the multitude in heaven does.
But I think our worship time will be much more valuable if we take time to put a little more content into our praise.
What is it about God that makes you praise Him?
What has He done in your life to demonstrate that He is worthy of your honor?
I think that sometimes in a marriage, we cheat each other in much the same way.
We can get used to saying “I love you” so much that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore.
When was the last time you sat down and really thought about some of the reasons you love your spouse, and then told them?

:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

true and righteous are his judgments – God doesn’t make mistakes.  All heaven knows that God always does what is right.  Though the world will be sitting around and mourning the loss of Babylon (Rev. 18), heaven knows that it’s the right thing.

the great whore – Babylon the Great, the world system that leads people away from God both with false religion and commercialism.  It’s destruction was described in Rev. 17-18.

did corruptphtheiro – to corrupt, to destroy

hath avengedekdikeo – to vindicate one’s right, do one justice; to avenge a thing; to punish a person for a thing

:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

This is the second “alleluia”, there will be four altogether.

:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

elders – the group of leaders of God’s saved people.

beasts – these are the four cherubim, angelic beings that surround God’s throne.

fell downpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to descend from an erect to a prostrate position; to fall down

worshippedproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

praiseaineo – to praise, extol, to sing praises in honour to God

:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

omnipotentpantokrator (“all” + “power”) – he who holds sway over all things; the ruler of all; almighty: God

:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

be gladchairo – to rejoice, be glad; to rejoice exceedingly

rejoiceagalliao (“much” + “leaping”) – to exult, rejoice exceedingly, be exceeding glad

the marriage of the Lamb

The Hebrew Marriage went through several stages (see if any of this sounds familiar):

1)  The Betrothal (shiddukhin)- the prospective groom’s traveling from his father’s house to the home of the prospective bride, paying purchase price, and thus establishing the marriage covenant (ketubah).  Usually arranged by the parents.  Binding and could only be broken by a form of divorce.  Any unfaithfulness during the engagement was considered adultery.
2)  The groom returns to his father’s house and remained separate from his bride during which time he prepared the living accommodations for his bride in or near his father’s house.
3)  The groom comes for his bride at a time not known exactly to her; she lived in expectation until he surprises her on his return.
4)  His return with her to the groom’s father’s house for the wedding ceremony (huppah), to consummate the marriage and to celebrate the wedding feast for the next seven days (during which the bride remained closeted in her bridal chamber).

Technically, we’re at the end of the entire ceremony.

When the Rapture takes us to heaven, the feast is going to start.

wifegune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow; a wife

hath made … readyhetoimazo – to make ready, prepare; to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready


Get ready for His return.

Peter wrote,
(2 Pet 3:11 NLT)  Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living!
Does your life show how much you believe Jesus is coming back soon?
It certainly does.  One way or the other.

:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

was granted didomi – to give; to give something to someone; to bestow a gift

There is a touch of “grace” here.  Grace is when we are given something that we don’t deserve.  Even though this gift is made up of what each person “does”, even the works we do have been “given” to us in the first place.

fine linenbussinos – a fine linen (garment); made of fine linen

clean katharos – clean, pure; in a levitical sense clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness; ethically free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt

white lampros – shining; brilliant; clear, transparent; splendid, magnificent; from lampas, a torch; a lamp, the flame of which is fed with oil

(Mat 5:14-16 KJV)  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. {15} Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. {16} Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This is probably where we get the idea of dressing our brides up in white wedding gowns.

the righteousnessdikaioma – that which has been deemed right so as to have force of law; a righteous act or deed

Remember Jesus’ words to the church –

(Rev 16:15 KJV)  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.


Dress for the occasion.

1) Do what’s been given you to do.
Be careful to ask God what He wants you to do.
God actually has a special plan for each of our lives, made up of special things He wants us to do, and He designed it long before we ever did them –

(Eph 2:10 KJV)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Don’t just copy others around you. Ask God.

(Prov 3:5-6 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. {6} In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

2) Do what is pure (clean)
There should be a purity about the things we do for the Lord.
I get concerned when I see guys “called” to minister to the gals.  Leave it to the women.
Some people want to “serve the Lord” just so they can get up in front of a lot of people and get all that attention they crave.
Some people like to “minister” to others just so they can get a thrill of telling others what to do.
Our “righteous deeds” ought to be spotless, pure, clean.
3)  Be a light.
When we do what God wants us to, people will see God’s hand, God’s love, God’s purpose.
Jesus said,

Mt 5:16  Let your light so shine (same word as “white” here in verse 8) before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Let others see what God wants to do in their lives.

:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

supperdeipnon – supper, especially a formal meal usually held at the evening,; used of the Messiah’s feast, symbolizing salvation in the kingdom; food taken at evening


Send out the invitations.

Witnessing is simply extending an invitation to the party.
(Rom 10:13-15 NLT)  For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." {14} But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? {15} And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him.

I fellpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to descend from an erect to a prostrate position; to fall down

worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

Who’s the “him”?

Some have suggested that there has been a single angel that has been escorting John through the entire Revelation.

Others think this could be one of the seven bowl angels, the one that came to talk with John back in 17:1.

Somehow, in a moment of weakness, John falls on his knees before the angel.

:10  And he said unto me, See thou do it not:

or, literally, “see not”, another way of saying “STOP THAT!”


Don’t worship angels.

Men are not to worship angels.
Today there’s lots of interest in angels.
They’re pretty cool creatures, but they are not to be worshipped.
(Col 2:18 KJV)  Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels …

:10  I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God:

fellowservantsundoulos – a fellow servant, one who serves the same master with another


Worship God alone

There is only one worthy of our worship.  God.
The interesting thing is to notice how many times Jesus is worshipped, and yet He never once tells anyone to stop.
When the leper asked Jesus for help
(Mat 8:2 KJV)  And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
When Jairus came and asked for help
(Mat 9:18 KJV)  While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
The disciples worshipped Him after calming the storm?
Mt 14:33  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
The woman of Canaan who wanted her daughter delivered from demons
(Mat 15:25 KJV)  Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Or when the blind man worshipped Him?
Joh 9:38  And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Or when Thomas worshipped Him?
Joh 20:28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

What does this all tell us?  Of course, Jesus IS God.

:10  for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

testimonymarturia – a testifying; what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge

We could say, “The testimony about Jesus is the essence of prophecy”


It’s all about Jesus.

That’s what prophecy is all about.  It all points to Jesus.  Jesus said,
(John 5:39 KJV)  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
We see this over and over again as we’ve studied the Bible, that some of the smallest little details are important, because they talk of Jesus.

:11-16  Jesus returns

This is the moment that we’ve been waiting for, the moment that all creation has been waiting for.

Billy Graham writes,

There is an inscription in the dome of our Capitol in Washington which few people know about.  It says:  "One far-off divine event toward which the whole creation moves."  A visitor saw this inscription and asked the guide what it meant.  He said:  "I think it refers to the Second Coming of Christ."  When the dome of our Capitol was erected, some God-fearing official ordered that inscription to be etched in the dome of our seat of government, believing that its truth was vital to the concern of our nation.

:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Some have used this verse to suggest that there will be animals in heaven.  Perhaps.

heaven opened

(Gen 7:11 KJV)  In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

(Psa 78:23 KJV)  Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,

(Mal 3:10 KJV)  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

(Luke 3:21-22 KJV)  Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, {22} And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

(John 1:51 KJV)  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

(Acts 10:11 KJV)  And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

(Rev 4:1 KJV)  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

(Rev 11:19 KJV)  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

(Rev 15:5 KJV)  And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

whiteleukos – light, bright, brilliant; brilliant from whiteness, (dazzling) white; different word than the “white” garments that the saints wear (19:8 lampros)

faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties; one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust; that can be relied on

truealethinos – that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine; opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended; true, veracious, sincere


You can count on Him.

righteousnessdikaiosune – in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God; integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting

This is how Jesus judges and makes war.  He does it completely correctly.

:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

flamephlox – a flame; from phlego (to “flash” or “flame”)

crownsdiadema – a diadem; a blue band marked with white which Persian kings used to bind on the turban or tiara; the kingly ornament for the head, the crown; a crown as a badge of royalty as opposed to the “victor’s crown” won in battle (stephanos).

The “dragon” (Rev. 12:3, Satan) and the “beast” (Rev. 13:1, antichrist) will be wearing “crowns” (diadema), but Jesus is the one who is truly worthy to be wearing the crowns.

manypolus – many, much, large

a name – What’s the “name”?  Only Jesus knows.

:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

vesturehimation – a garment (of any sort); the upper garment, the cloak or mantle

dippedbapto – to dip, dip in, immerse; to dip into dye, to dye, colour; this is not the word for “baptize” (baptizo) though it’s close.

Why is Jesus’ robe dipped in blood?

Don’t think that it’s His blood here.  It’s not.

It’s because He’s been treading the winepress of the wrath of God.

(Isa 63:1-6 KJV)  Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. {2} Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? {3} I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. {4} For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. {5} And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. {6} And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

We believe that this is talking about Jesus rescuing the Jews who have fled into the “wilderness” (Rev. 12:6; Mat. 24:16).  When He does so, He stains His robes with the blood of the people He has slain in battle.

the Wordlogos – word

(John 1:1-4 KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} The same was in the beginning with God. {3} All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. {4} In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

(John 1:14 KJV)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

armiesstrateuma – an army; a band of soldiers; bodyguard, guards men

white horses – just like Jesus’ horse.

There’s a biblical word often used that refers to the armies of God, the word being “hosts”, or “Sabaoth”.  This army includes both us and the angels.

One of the earliest prophecies of the Bible, referred to by Jude, refers to this event:

(Jude 1:14 KJV)  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

In other words, WE’RE with Jesus!!  Perhaps we ought to take lessons on riding horses.

clothedenduo – to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self

fine linenbussinos – a fine linen (garment); made of fine linen

whiteleukos – light, bright, brilliant; brilliant from whiteness, (dazzling) white; different word than the “white” garments (19:8 lampros) described earlier, but could still be the same things.

cleankatharos – clean, pure; in a levitical sense clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness; ethically free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt


The Battle will be over.

Even though Jesus’ robes will be stained with blood, our uniforms will be clean and white because Jesus will do all the fighting.
Right now, we’re in the midst of intense warfare.
But then, the battle will be over.  In a way, we’re kind of following Jesus just for show, because it doesn’t appear we’ll be doing any fighting.  Jesus is only going to have to open His mouth, and the enemies will be vanquished.
I kind of wonder if we’re all dressed up in those white, military dress uniforms, the kind with the white gloves and such.

:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

swordrhomphaia – a large sword; properly a long Thracian javelin, also a kind of long sword wont to be worn on the right shoulder

sharpoxus – sharp; swift, quick

There are actually two different kind of swords mentioned in the New Testament.

The one that is usually used to describe the Word of God is machaira, which was a small sword used in hand-to-hand combat. (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17)

That’s what we use daily in our battles, pulling out the Bible and using our Swords!

But the word used here is rhomphaia, a large sword, like that one in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indiana Jones faces that big guy with the HUGE sword (and Indiana pulls out a gun and just shoots the guy).

It’s still His Word, it’s just the Industrial-Strength version, the one that comes right from His mouth.
When Jesus comes back, He ain’t someone to be messing with!  He’s going to use His BIG sword!

smitepatasso – to strike gently: as a part or a member of the body; to stroke, smite: with the sword, to afflict, to visit with evils, etc. as with a deadly disease; to smite down, cut down, to kill, slay

Jesus will “smite” the nations with His sword, His word.  All He will have to do is speak a word and it will be over.

rule poimaino – to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep; to rule, govern; to furnish pasture for food

rodrhabdos – a staff, a walking stick, a twig, rod, branch; a rod with which one is beaten; a staff; with a rod of iron, indicates the severest, most rigorous rule; a royal sceptre

It’s kind of a shepherding picture given here, yet rather than a rod of wood, which might not hurt quite as bad, or which could be broken, Jesus is going to shepherd the nations with a rod of iron, the idea being that it will be inflexible and absolute.

This metaphor seems to be taken from Psalm 2 –

(Psa 2:9 KJV)  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

treadethpateo – to tread; to trample, crush with the feet

winepresslenos – a tub or trough shaped receptacle, vat, in which grapes are trodden; the lower vat, dug in the ground, into which the must or new wine flowed from the press

fiercenessthumos – passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again; glow, ardour, the wine of passion, inflaming wine (which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength)

wrathorge – anger, the natural disposition, temper, character; movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger; anger, wrath, indignation; anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself

:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

vesturehimation – a garment (of any sort); garments, i.e. the cloak or mantle and the tunic; the upper garment, the cloak or mantle

thighmeros – thigh

There is no higher authority.

He is the king over all the other kings.

He is the Lord over all other lords.

:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

fowlsorneon – a bird

supperdeipnon – supper, especially a formal meal usually held at the evening,; used of the Messiah’s feast, symbolizing salvation in the kingdom; food taken at evening

The birds are all invited to a supper.  This isn’t the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, this is a supper of dead bodies at the Battle of Armageddon.

:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

captainschiliarchos – a chiliarch, the commander of a thousand soldiers; the commander of a Roman cohort (a military tribunal); any military commander

mighty menischuros – strong, mighty

the flesh of all – sounds like something out of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds”.

:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

gathered – perfect passive participle, they had gathered before Jesus had arrived and had been waiting for Him.

Isn’t it amazing that they are waiting for Jesus to return?  And they think they can win.

:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

was takenpiazo – to lay hold of; to take, capture; of fishes; to apprehend; of a man, in order to imprison him

lakelimne – a lake

burningkaio – to set on fire, light, burning; to burn, consume with fire

brimstonetheion – brimstone; divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off disease; sulfur

cast alive into a lake of fire – These guys aren’t even allowed to die, they are thrown straight into the Lake of Fire.  It appears that they will be the first inhabitants of this place.  They will still be there at the end of the thousand years.

:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

the remnantloipoy – remaining, the rest

I think this means that every other unbeliever left on the planet will be slain.

were slainapokteino – to kill in any way whatever; to destroy, to allow to perish; metaph. to extinguish, abolish; to inflict mortal death

fowlsorneon – a bird

were filledchortazo – to feed with herbs, grass, hay, to fill, satisfy with food, to fatten; to fill or satisfy men; to fulfil or satisfy the desire of any one


Hang on, Jesus is coming soon.

I know that some of you are going through some really hard times.
Hang on, it’s almost over.
(Rom 8:23 NLT)  And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
In the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, a Japanese gymnast, Shun Fujimoto, was competing in the team competition. Somehow, during the floor exercises, he broke his right knee. It was obvious to all reasonable observers that he would be forced to withdraw (from competition). But they reckoned without the determination of a true competitor. On the following day, Fujimoto competed in his strongest event, the rings. His routine was excellent, but the critical point lay ahead - the dismount. Without hesitation, Fujimoto ended with a twisting, triple somersault. There was a moment of intense quiet as he landed with tremendous impact on his wounded knee. Then came thundering applause as he stood his ground. Later, reporters asked about that moment and he replied, "The pain shot through me like a knife. It brought tears to my eyes. But now I have a gold medal and the pain is gone."

Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence, Discovery House, 1992, p. 152.

Hang in there.  The time for gold medals approaches.

Revelation 20

:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

keykleis a key; since the keeper of the keys has the power to open and to shut; metaph. in the NT to denote power and authority of various kinds

bottomless pit abussos bottomless; unbounded; the abyss; the pit; the immeasurable depth

About the abyss, we’ve seen –

1.  It’s where the demonic locust creatures come out of to torment the earth.  (Rev. 9)
2.  It's the place of origin for the antichrist. (Rev. 11:7; 17:8)
3.  It's a place of imprisonment for demons. (Jude 1:6; 2Pet.2:4)
4.  It’s a place of torment  (Luke 8:26-33; Mat. 8:29)

chainhalusis a chain, bond by which the body or any part of it (hands, feet) is bound

I think it’s interesting that it’s a single angel that is sent to bind Satan with this chain.

:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

he laid hold onkrateo to have power, be powerful; to be chief, be master of, to rule; to get possession of; to become master of, to obtain; to take hold of; to take hold of, take, seize

serpentophis snake, serpent

bound deo to bind tie, fasten; to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains

Can you imagine a world where there is no tempter to tempt us?

There are three foes we face in the battle against temptation, 1)  Satan, 2)  the world system, and 3) our own sin nature.
There will be human beings who have believed in Jesus, who actually survive the Tribulation alive, and who enter into the Millennium in their natural bodies.
Though they will have a sin nature, they will not have a world system to face, neither will they have Satan to orchestrate the temptations.


We too have minor binding and loosing abilities.

I say minor, because our binding and loosing doesn’t appear to last 1,000 years as this chain will.
Jesus has given us authority to bind and loosen things in the realm of the Spirit.
Mt 18:18  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
We may, in prayer use the authority Jesus has given us to bind demonic spirits from hindering people, as well as loosen people from bondage.
There also may be a sense in which we “loose” the Holy Spirit upon people as well.
These bindings and loosings affect heaven because the demons still have entrance to heaven.

a thousand years – or, for a “Millennium”

Some have suggested that the 1,000 year reign of Christ has already begun on earth, through the church.

If this is the case, then Satan’s chain must be pretty long.

: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.

bottomless pitabussos bottomless; unbounded; the abyss; the pit; the immeasurable depth

shut him upkleio to shut, shut up

set a seal sphragizo to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal

Even as the 144,000 were sealed (Rev.7) to show God’s ownership, and God’s protection, the abyss will have a seal on it to keep anybody from messing with it.

deceiveplanao to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way; to go astray, wander, roam about; to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive

should be fulfilledteleo to bring to a close, to finish, to end

loosedluo to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened; to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free

littlemikros small, little; of time: short, brief, a little while, how little!

seasonchronos time either long or short

:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:

This is us. How do we know that it's us?  Because of the promises made to the churches –

(Rev 2:26-27 KJV)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: {27} 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. (also Rev. 3:21)

:4  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;

beheadedpelekizo to cut off with an axe, to behead

the witnessmarturia a testifying

These people have lost their lives for three reasons:

They talked about Jesus.
They followed God’s Word.
They did not worship the antichrist.


How important is it to you?

These people will loose their lives because of what they say about Jesus, and because of the importance of the Word of God.
I sometimes wonder why I’m so unwilling to risk friendships with people, when others are willingly loosing their lives.

:4  and they lived

they lived zao to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead)

These are the people that had been martyred during the Tribulation.  These were believers.  They will be resurrected and will reign with Jesus during the Millennium.

Prior to this, all those who believed in Jesus prior to the Tribulation were resurrected at the Rapture.

(1 Th 4:16-17 KJV)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

So, at this point in history, the only people who have been raised from the dead and given new bodies are those who believed in Jesus before the Tribulation (at the Rapture) and those who believed in Jesus during the Tribulation but were killed.

This leaves two more groups of people – those who have not believed in Jesus (all of whom are dead now) and those who believed in Jesus but somehow survived the Tribulation without being put to death.

:4  and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Some facts about the "Millennial Kingdom":

1.  This is the kingdom of heaven.

This is the kingdom referred to so much in scripture. It’s there much more than we are aware of.
In the book of Matthew alone, the word "kingdom" appears some 52 times, most of which could and does apply to this kingdom.

There is a sense in which "the kingdom of heaven" refers to that territory that God has staked out in your life, almost as a foretaste of heaven itself, but I believe most references apply to this kingdom.

Here's some samples (just from the Sermon on the Mount!):
(Mat 5:3 KJV)  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 6:10 KJV)  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
(Mat 6:33 KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

2.  The capitol city will be Jerusalem.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that this kingdom is in fact the Israel that God intended it to be.
(Isa 2:3 KJV)  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Much of the problems that people get in with interpreting these passages is that they think that somehow Israel no longer is going to receive all the promises that God had for it, but that somehow the church has taken it’s place. 
Nonsense!  Read Romans 11, God isn’t done with Israel (especially Rom 11:25-26)

Jesus will be ruling in Jerusalem, on the throne of David.

Many nations of the world will still be intact through the Millennium, but Israel will be ruling the world through Jesus.

3.  The curse will be lifted from nature.

(Isa 11:6-8 KJV)  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. {7} And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. {8} And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
This is why all creation groans for this day to come (Rom. 8:19)

4.  There will be long life and health.

(Isa 65:20-22 KJV)  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. {21} And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. {22} They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
If someone dies at age 100, they would be considered a child.  I believe that people will be living the entire length of the millennium, just as those in Adam’s day lived almost to be 1,000 years.

5.  There will be material prosperity.

(Amos 9:13 KJV)  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
The harvest will be so great, that the reapers will still be harvesting the fields, when the plow comes along to plant more crops!

6.  There will be true justice.

(Isa 11:4 KJV)  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
There won’t be any questions about justice.  Everyone who does wrong will be punished.

7.  There will be peace.

(Isa 2:4 KJV)  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
This is inscribed on the United Nations building, but it won't happen by man's efforts, only when Jesus comes back on His white horse.

:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

lived … againanazao live again, recover life

resurrectionanastasis a raising up, rising (e.g. from a seat); a rising from the dead

This is referring to all those who have not believed in Jesus.  They will stay “dead”, without a body, in hell, until the end of the Millennium.

Remember what's happened up to this time:

Jesus was raised from the dead nearly two thousand years ago.

Believers who die before the Rapture receive their resurrection bodies at the Rapture.

Believers alive at the Rapture receive their resurrected bodies at the Rapture.

Some seven or so years after the Rapture, people who became believers during the Tribulation period have just received their resurrected bodies (vs.4)

All that leaves are the dead UNBELIEVERS.  They won't be raised until after the thousand years are over (Rev.20:12).

This “first resurrection” is not the “first” in the sense of first to ever have occurred.  The “first” is simply in regards to the two resurrections mentioned here at the end of Revelation.

: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 second death – this will be described at the end of the chapter.  It is when a person is thrown into the Lake of Fire forever.  They will have died physically as the “first death”, and being thrown into the Lake of Fire is the “second death”.

:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Why will Satan be “loosed” one last time?

Satan has been a “tool” used by God to give people a choice.  God desires that we love Him with a free will, that we choose to love Him. 

(Deu 6:5 KJV)  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
In order to love someone with your whole “heart”, you must be able to “choose” to love them.  And that requires that there be someone else to serve and love other than God.  This is the part that Satan has played.  He has been the other choice.

Remember that there are still people alive in their natural bodies who have believed in Jesus, but were not killed by the antichrist during the Tribulation.  These people will enter into the Millennium in their natural bodies and repopulate the earth.  But this also means that there will be a whole generation (or ten generations!) of people who will be born and grow up in a world where the only choice is to serve Jesus.  These people, the children of the believers that made it through the Tribulation, will need to be given a choice some day.

And so Satan is loosed one last time to give these people an “option”.  Will they willingly serve and love God, or Satan?

For those of us in our resurrected bodies, we won’t be tempted by Satan’s deceptions.  It’s only those who have grown up during the Millennium.

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

to deceiveplanao – to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way; to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive


The kingdom that Jesus establishes on the earth is not a single, world-wide kingdom.  It is the kingdom of Israel, as it was meant to be.

Israel will be the dominant nation over the other nations of the world, but there will still be other nations in existence during the kingdom age.

quartersgonia – corner

Gog and Magog

If you are familiar with Ezekiel 38-39, you will recognize these names.  The question is, is the battle described in Ezekiel 38-39 the same as the one here?

I don’t think so.  I think the battle in Ezekiel will take place before the Tribulation period.  At the end of the battle in Ezekiel, they will be taking seven years to burn the weapons:
(Ezek 39:9 KJV)  And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:

That could happen before the Tribulation, but it couldn’t happen here.  After this particular battle in Revelation 20, the earth will be destroyed and there will be a new heaven and new earth, there isn’t time to burn the weapons for seven years.

as the sand of the sea – Under the reign of Jesus, the curse on the earth will be lifted.  There will be no more problems with wild animals, thorns, weeds, etc.  The earth will be like the Garden of Eden.  People in their natural bodies will probably live the duration of the 1,000 years.  With conditions like this, the earth will have repopulated, and the number of those willing to rebel against Jesus and follow Satan will be a huge number.


Man is basically … bad.

There are many people who think that man's sinfulness is simply a matter of his environment.  If you only clean up man's environment, give him a better place to live, give him a better education, etc., then man will be better.
This final deception of Satan will prove once and for all that man's heart is basically evil, not good.
After being under Christ's wonderful rule for 1,000 years, mankind will once more be deceived by Satan, multitudes of them.

: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.

compassedkukloo – to go around, lead around; to surround, encircle, encompass; of besiegers

the campparembole – an encampment; an army in a line of battle

belovedagapao – of persons to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly; of things to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

devouredkatesthio – to consume by eating, to eat up, devour; by fire, to devour i.e. to utterly consume, destroy

It appears that there isn’t even a battle.  As soon as the enemy army surrounds Jerusalem, God send fire down from heaven and consumes the enemy army.

: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 for ever and ever.

tormentedbasanizo – to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal; to question by applying torture; to torture; to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment

The Lake of Fire now has a third inhabitant, the devil.


The Lake of Fire was built for Satan

The main purpose behind the design of the Lake of Fire was as a place for Satan and his demon hordes.
(Mat 25:41 KJV)  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

: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.

whiteleukos – light, bright, brilliant; brilliant from whiteness, (dazzling) white

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away – At this point, the world as we know it will cease to exist, probably along with the entire universe.

Peter describes this –

(2 Pet 3:10 KJV)  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

: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.

This is what we call the “Great White Throne Judgment”

This is the final judgment for mankind.

small and great – no one escapes this judgment.  No one is too important to be judged.  No one is too insignificant to be judged.

beforeenopion – in the presence of, before; of occupied place: in that place which is before, or over against, opposite, any one and towards which another turns his eyes

Everyone will one day stand before God.  Everyone.

the books biblion – a small book, a scroll, a written document; a sheet on which something has been written

What are the “books”?

We are told that one of the books is the “book of life”.

This is a book that is mentioned eight times in the New Testament, seven of them being in the book of Revelation.
It is usually called the “Lamb’s Book of Life”.
We believe that this is a book containing the names of all those who have believed in Jesus, all those who have received Jesus’ payment for their sins.  In other words, it is the book of those who are saved.

What are the other books?

We can only guess.  Perhaps there is a book for each person, containing their life’s history.
We are told that these books will be a basis for the judgment of God.

:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

according to their works

Are we judged by our works, or are we judged based on believing in Jesus?

Eternal judgment has ALWAYS been based upon man’s deeds.  God has given us life and He expects to see what we’ve done with it when we’re through.  But the problem is that if we are to be judged on our works, there will be none saved because we are all sinners (Rom. 3:23) who have fallen far short of what God requires of us.

That’s why God sent Jesus, to die on a cross and pay for our sins.  We receive His payment for our sins and will pass out of judgment to life because we have believed in Jesus.

(John 3:16-18 KJV)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. {17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {18} He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If you believe in Jesus, you have already gone through the judgment, your sins have been paid in full, and you have come out forgiven.
There will be no believers standing at the Great White Throne Judgment, only unbelievers.
The unbelievers will be judged according to what they’ve done, which will send them to the Lake of Fire to pay for their sins.

:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


The Lake of Fire is forever

Some people like to think that after the judgment that the souls of those who haven’t believed in Jesus will just somehow be evaporated or something, that they will somehow just cease to exist.
Not so.
Even as the believers will receive new bodies that are able to enjoy heaven forever, the unbelievers will also receive new bodies where they will endure the torment of the Lake of Fire forever.
God doesn’t want anyone to go there.
(2 Pet 3:9 KJV)  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
You don’t want anyone to go there.
A farmer was walking home one day along the railroad tracks. Evening was approaching and he lit his lantern. As he was walking along, he came to a section of the track where the rail was split and broken. He looked at his watch and realized that a train with several hundred passengers heading towards Chicago would be passing by in a few minutes. He knew that, if the train hit the broken section of track, many people would lose their lives. He started running down the tracks in the direction from which the train was coming. After a while he heard the whistle of the train in the distance. He increased his speed, even though he was almost totally exhausted. Finally, he saw the light of the train as it approached. He went running right down the middle of the tracks towards that onrushing train waving his lantern. At the last moment he jumped aside and threw his lantern up through the cab of the locomotive and hit the engineer right in the face. The engineer pulled on the emergency brake and the wheels began to throw fire. The train was brought to a halt a few feet short of the broken rail.
We know people who are on a train headed for destruction.  God wants them to stop and turn around before they derail.  Would you be willing to run into the face of the train and risk being called a lunatic for the chance of saving a few?