Tag Archives: Revelation 20

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 258/260: Read Revelation 20

How often do you seriously consider eternity? Once this life comes to an end, your eternal existence is established. You will either be rewarded, or punished.

Of the devil, the beast, and the false prophet, John writes, “And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Jesus calls it “outer darkness,” a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12; 22:13).

Hell was not designed with people in mind, though. Jesus says it was “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). God does not want any of His children to go there, but He is just; those who do not repent will perish (2 Peter 3:9).

While we cannot on this earth truly imagine the severity of hell, two things are certain from Scriptures: (1) it is eternal, and (2) no one truly wants to go there. Those who flippantly say otherwise do not believe or understand the nature of the punishment that awaits.

Prayerfully consider your spiritual condition right now. Are you on your way to eternal life, or the lake of fire and brimstone?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Revelation 22:18-19. For I testify to ____________ who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If ____________ adds to these things, ____________ will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, ____________ shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Pray

Pray for wisdom as you consider eternity.

A Study of Revelation: Refuting False Doctrines

Refuting False Doctrines

Max R. King’s “A.D. 70 Doctrine” (also known as Realized Eschatology, Kingism, or the Max King Doctrine)

  • “The Holy Scriptures teach that the second coming of Christ, including the establishment of the eternal kingdom, the day of judgment, the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead, occurred with the fall of Judaism in 70 A.D.”
  • King struggles with the figurative language, and with separating the second coming or final judgment from the coming in judgment upon individual nations
  • King’s debate with brother Gus Nichols can be read online: http://icotb.org/resource/NICHOLS-KINGDEBATE.pdf
  • Brother Garland M. Robinsons refutation of King’s false doctrine: http://icotb.org/resources/AD70-Kingism.pdf

The Jehovah’s Witnesses Literal View of 144,000

  • Literal interpretation of Revelation 7:4
  • Contrast “those who were sealed” in verse 4 (“a definite number”) with “a great crowd” in verse 9 (“without a definite number”)
  • JWs do not believe all Christians go to heaven, but rather that “resurrection to heaven is closely related to an assignment given only to some humans”
  • Easily refuted with 2 Timothy 4:8 and Matthew 25:31-46

Premillennialism

  • Based in part on a literal application and a very twisted interpretation of the “one thousand years” of Revelation 20
  • Has all but disappeared from the Lord’s church, but still very prevalent in the denominational world
  • “The interpretation of the premillennialists is that the thousand years of Revelation 20 comes after the next resurrection, which they say will be a resurrection of saints only, and then, they say Christ will reign a thousand years on earth, and raise the wicked dead at the end of the thousand years. However, the chapter does not say this. Furthermore, hard-to-be understood scriptures should be interpreted so as to have to clash with plain passages whose meaning is not in doubt. Four times in one chapter Christ says he will raise the righteous dead ‘at the last day.’ (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54.) Millennialists deny this, and say the righteous will be raised a thousand years before the last day, and that the wicked will be raised at the last day, or after a thousand years.” (Gus Nichols, “Dangers of Premillennialism.” The Lipscomb Lectures, 1947, Vol. 1, page 127)
  • Refutation: What evidence is there that John was speaking here literally, in a book that was “signified” (Revelation 1:1) to the apostle?
  • “John said, ‘they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.’ The passage says nothing about ‘the thousand years reign of Christ.’ There is a great difference in the two expressions. Revelation 20 says, ‘they lived and reigned with Christ.’ They who? Lived—lived where? Reigned—how, with whom and where? ‘Lived and reigned”—with whom, in what place? It is not the reign of Christ, but the reign of souls ‘with Christ,’ that is mentioned in Revelation 20. There is a vast difference between living and reigning ‘with Christ’ and a millennial reign ‘of Christ.’ So let us be true to the facts in the case. It does not mention the reign of Christ, but the reign of souls ‘with’ him. They not only ‘reigned’ with him, they ‘lived’ with him. They ‘lived and reigned’ with Christ a thousand years. The two verbs ‘lived’ and ‘reigned’ are both limited by the thousand years. If the expression denotes time, then when the reign is over, and they ceased to reign; the living would be over and they would cease to live.” (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., The Book of Revelation, 1966, pages 402-403)
  • In addition to Wallace’s commentary on Revelation, you can read his seminal work against premillennialism called God’s Prophetic Word: http://www.retainthestandard.com/Foy%20E%20Wallace%20-%20God’s%20Prophetic%20Word.pdf

Review
1. Does belief in the early writing of Revelation necessarily lead one to believe the Max R. King “A.D. 70 Doctrine”?

2. How would you show the fallacy of Max R. King’s “A.D. 70 Doctrine”?

3. What Scriptures would you point to in refuting the Jehovah’s Witnesses literal interpretation of the 144,000?

4. Expose as many errors of premillennialism as you can, using the Scriptures.

A Study of Revelation: Revelation 20:11 – 22:21 (All Things Made New)

Revelation chapters 20:11 – 22:21 (All Things Made New)

20:11-15 – The final judgment scene
This passage can bring great joy and hope to some, while others read it with terror (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; John 12:48; 2 Corinthians 5:10)
The Book of Life contains the names of those approved of God
Those whose names are not in the Book of Life face eternal punishment and separation from God (Exo. 32:32-33; Ps. 69:28; Rev. 3:5; 20:15)

21:1-8 – What is the new heaven and new earth? The spiritual rule of Christ and His church
The New Jerusalem is the church – both now and forevermore
The thrust of this passage is the relationship between God and “he who overcomes.” God says, “I will be his God, and he shall by My son.” There is no greater relationship than this; there is no force that can break this bond in eternity.
Sins that will prevent the impenitent from eternity (Revelation 21:8; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:3)

21:9-21 – Description of the glorified church
Twelve = completeness
Precious stones show “the eternal beauty and value of the church of the living God” (Coffman)

21:22-27 – The old temple was a type of the new; it had passed away

22:1-5 – The tree of life (Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17; 3:23-24)
Christ removed the curse of sin (Galatians 3:13-14)

22:6-11 – Return to John’s present time
Judgment upon the harlot (Jerusalem), the end of Palestinian persecution, and then the beast (Rome) would be conquered
Jesus: “Behold, I am coming quickly” – not reference to second coming, but coming in judgment upon Jerusalem in 70 AD
John is told, “Do not seal the words” here; compare to Daniel 8:26 – in one instance the fulfillment would come soon; in the other it would not pass for “many days in the future”

22:12-17 – “Do His commandments” (KJV/NKJV) = “wash their robes” (ASV/NASB/ESV/NIV) [cf. Acts 22:16; 2:38; Rom. 6:3-6]
Contrast with those who disobey – “dogs” and “sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie”

22:18-21 – Warning against changing the Word (cf. 2 Peter 3:15-16; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Galatians 1:6-9)

Review
1. In the final judgment, what will be the standard of judgment?

2. What are some of the things that will be no more, according to chapters 21 and 22?

3. What are some of the sins that will lead men to the second death in chapter 21? What will prevent men from entering the gates of the city in chapter 22?

4. Why are the warnings against tampering with the revealed Word so severe?

A Study of Revelation: Revelation 19:11 – 20:10 (The Defeat of the Beast)

Revelation chapters 19:11 – 20:10 (The Defeat of the Beast)

19:11-14 – White = either purity or victory
These events follow Jerusalem’s destruction; Christ’s war is now against Caesar-worship and heathenism
“Faithful and True” (cf. Revelation 3:14; 21:5; 22:6)
“Eyes…like a flame of fire” (cf. Rev. 1:14; 2:18) – refers to omniscience
Whose blood? Perhaps symbolizes judgment against Israel, or the eternal victory of the Cross
“The Word of God” = Jesus (cf. John 1:1,14)

19:15-16 – “Sharp sword” (cf. Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17)
Striking of the nations and ruling with rod of iron symbolized the impact of the gospel on the world (prophesied in Psalm 2:1-3)
Ogden: “By His powerful word, He either smites, or shepherds, the nations. His word either convinces, or it convicts.”
“King of kings and Lord of lords” (cf. Revelation 11:15) – spiritual, not literal; accomplished by the spread of gospel

19:17-21 – The judgment against Jerusalem was past, but persecutions continued via the Roman Empire (the beast)
Christ will reign victorious; evil will not and cannot defeat the Lord
Ultimately accomplished by 313 AD with Constantine

20:1-3 – Now that the harlot and the beast have been defeated, John sees the binding of Satan himself
The thousand years is not a literal, specific amount of time; it refers to the complete success of Christ’s cause over persecution
Wallace: “There are twenty figures of speech in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters alone. In a series of symbols such as these, it is not reasonable to make a literal application of the thousand years and a figurative application of all the rest of the symbols, without a contextual or historical reason for doing so. The thousand years, like the other parts of the vision, is a figure of speech—a symbol of something else.”
Coffman: “The ‘little time’…beginning at the point after which God shall have finally achieved the full salvation of the total number of the redeemed, and lasting only a relatively short while. Satan will be ‘loosed’ without any restraint whatever during that brief period.”

20:4-6 – The same martyred souls as those who were “under the altar” in Revelation 6:9
According to the false doctrine of premillennialism, this living and reigning is still future, will occur on the earth, and is inclusive of all Christians
          * Note the past tense “lived and reigned”
          * “On earth” is nowhere stated nor implied
          * “They” refers specifically to those “who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands”
Those who have part in the first resurrection are those who overcome (cf. Revelation 2:11)

20:7-10 – The need to evangelize (cf. Galatians 1:6-9; Romans 1:16)
Gog and Magog represent any religion or faith that is not expressly from God
The torment of eternal separation from God:
          * “The lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:10)
          * “Outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 15:30)
          * “Eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41)
          * “Unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:44)
          * “Hell, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48)
Hell is eternal (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41,46)

Review
1. In what four ways is the rider of the white horse identified in chapter 19?

2. What is the sharp sword of Revelation 19:15, and how was it used to strike the nations?

3. What is a possible explanation of the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 that does not contradict other Scriptures?

4. When will the end of the thousand years come?