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Bible Commentaries

Larkin's Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scriptures

Revelation 20

Verses 1-3

3

THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE “FOURTH” AND “FIFTH” DOOMS.

1. SATAN BOUND FOR A THOUSAND YEARS .

Revelation 20:1-3.

“And I saw an Angel come down from Heaven, having the Key of the ’BOTTOMLESS PIT’ and a GREAT CHAIN in his hand. And he laid hold on the DRAGON, that OLD SERPENT, which is the DEVIL, and SATAN, and bound him a 1000 YEARS, 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 1000 YEARS should be fulfilled: and after that he shall be loosed a little season.”

Here Satan is called by four different names--“Dragon,” “Serpent,” “Devil,” and “Satan.” From these and from the fact that he can be bound, we see that he is a “PERSON,” because you cannot bind an “influence” or a “principle of evil.” While Satan is the “Prince of the Powers of the Air” (Ephesians 2:2), and the “God of this Age” (2. Cor. 4:4), and the “Ruler of the Powers of Darkness” (Ephesians 6:11-12), and whose position is so exalted that even Michael the Archangel dare not insult him (Judges 1:9), and while he has great power and influence, yet he is not omnipotent, for ONE Angel and he is not called a strong angel, is able to seize and bind him. This Angel, who has the “Key” of the “BOTTOMLESS PIT,” is the same “STAR Angel” that is seen by John when the “Fifth Trumpet” sounded (Revelation 9:1-2), who seems to be the custodian of the “Key” of the “Bottomless Pit.”

The objection has been raised to the possibility of binding a “spirit” with an IRON chain. But the word “iron” is not used, it is simply a “great chain,” and we are told in other scriptures that “Spirit” beings can be chained. In 2. Pet. 2:4, and Judges 1:6, we read of the angels who sinned and kept not their “First Estate,” and who are now “reserved in CHAINS,” in darkness, unto the Judgment of the Great Day (The Great “White Throne” Judgment). What interests us most is, not the character of the chain, but the fact that Satan can and will be bound and confined in a place where he cannot get out for a 1000 years, and while nothing is said of the binding and confining of his angels and other evil agents, as demons and the “evil powers of the air,” the inference is that they too will be power-less during that period.

The Binding of Satan reveals the fact that God can stop his evil work when He is ready, and that without sending the armies of Heaven to do so. When the time has come, God will empower and command a single Angel to seize, handcuff, and imprison him, just as an officer of the law with a warrant arrests and locks up a criminal. Satan is not cast at this time into the “Lake of Fire,” to keep company with the “Beast” and “False Prophet,” because God has further use for him at the end of the 1000 years for which period he is bound.

2. THE FIRST RESURRECTION .

Revelation 20:4-6.

“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. (These are the Tribulation Saints.) And they (the ’Throne Sitters’ and ’Tribulation Saints’) lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead (Wicked Dead) lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This (the resurrection of the ’Throne Sitters,’ and ’Tribulation Saints’) is the FIRST RESURRECTION.

“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.”

In this passage we meet for the first time the expression--“THE FIRST RESURRECTION.” In 1. Thess. 4:16, we read that the dead IN CHRIST shall rise FIRST, but as no wicked are mentioned it is simply a relative statement to show that the living Christians shall not be caught away before the “Dead in Christ” shall be raised. This passage speaks of two separate “Companies of Believers” who are to be raised, each in their own order, at the “First Resurrection.”

(1). The First Company is described by the words--“I saw Thrones, and they sat upon them, and Judgment was given unto them.” Now the only “Company of Believers” that we see sitting on Thrones are the “Four and Twenty Elders” of chapter 4:4-5. These as we have seen stand for the Church, and were resurrected or caught



out before “The Tribulation,” and are the “Harvest” of which Christ and those who rose at the time of His Resurrection were the “First Fruits.”

(2). The Second Company is described by the words--“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.” This Company is made up of those who were slain for refusing to worship the “Beast” or his “Image,” and represent the “Tribulation Saints,” or those who perish as martyrs after the Church has been caught out, and during the “Tribulation Period,” and are the “Gleanings” of the “Harvest.”

Now we read that these Two Companies “lived,” that is, they were dead but lived again, that is, had been raised from the dead, for John saw the Tribulation Saints in their disembodied or SOULISH state between death and the resurrection of the body. This clearly teaches that both these Companies were resurrected and lived and were to reign with Christ for a 1000 YEARS, and not that only the Tribulation Saints lived and would reign with Him during the 1000 Years. Thus both Companies make up the FIRST RESURRECTION SAINTS.

In the next verse (5) we have another class or Company of per-sons mentioned, called the “REST OF THE DEAD,” who are not to live again (that is, raised from the dead) until the 1000 Years are finished. Who these dead are we are told in verse 12, where they are referred to as the “WICKED DEAD.” It is clear then that there are to be TWO Resurrections of the dead, the first of the “RIGHTEOUS,” and the second of the “WICKED,” and that these two Resurrections are to be 1000 YEARS APART.

But some object to the statement that there are to be Two Resurrections, and say that we are not justified in basing such a doctrine on a single statement in a symbolical book. But if we are to reject the statements of the Word of God simply because they are mentioned only once, then we must reject the doctrine of the “Virgin Birth,” for that was only mentioned once in the Old Testament before it was fulfilled, but of the resurrection of the “Righteous” a 1000 years before the “Wicked” we are told in this Book of Revelation three times.

But we do not have to depend on this passage to prove that the “Righteous” shall rise before the “Wicked,” its value lies in the fact that it gives us the LENGTH OF TIME (1000 years) between the Two Resurrections. The Scriptures, while they speak of the Resurrection of the “JUST” and the “UNJUST” (the Justified and the Unjustified), Acts 24:15, and a Resurrection of “LIFE,” and a Resurrection of “DAMNATION” (John 5:28-29), also speak of an “OUT” Resurrection “FROM AMONG” the dead, called in Luke 14:13-14, the Resurrection of the “JUST.” In Luke 20:35-36 a Resurrection is spoken of called a Resurrection “FROM (out from) THE DEAD,” and is an “OUT” Resurrection, because those who rise are called the “CHILDREN OF GOD,” being the children of “THE (First or “out from”) RESURRECTION.” Again in Hebrews 11:35, we read of a “BETTER RESURRECTION,” and all these references to a “SPECIAL” Resurrection are made clear, and the “time element” and its “length” (1000 years) between the Resurrection of the “JUST” and “UNJUST” revealed in the passage we are considering.

There could be no statement more clear than--“THE REST OF THE DEAD LIVED NOT AGAIN UNTIL THE THOUSAND YEARS WERE FINISHED,” to show that the “Unrighteous Dead” will not be raised until the end of the Millennium. This at one stroke does away with the argument of those who claim that all the dead will be raised at the beginning of the Millennium, and shall have another chance to accept the Gospel and be saved.

We read--“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the ’FIRST Resurrection’; on such the ’SECOND DEATH’ hath no power.” What is the “SECOND DEATH”? First, what is DEATH? It is the separation of the “soul” and “spirit” from the “body.” That is the “FIRST DEATH.” At the Resurrection the “soul” and “spirit” are reunited to the “body.” This is true of both the Righteous and the Wicked. But the Wicked after they have been raised are to be Judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and because their names are not found written in the “Book of Life,” they are sentenced to die again, that is, their “soul” and “spirit” are again separated from their “body,” and they go to the “LAKE OF FIRE” without a material body, and as “soul” and “spirit” are incombustible they can remain in the flames of a literal fire for all eternity without being consumed. This is the doom of the Wicked dead. The Rich Man in Hell (Luke 16:19-31) was conscious and tormented in the flame after his death, and he shall remain so until his body shall be raised from the dead at the Resurrection of the Wicked, and when he shall be Judged and condemned at the Great White Throne Judgment, and sentenced to die again, his “soul” and “spirit” will descend to the “Lake of Fire” (the Final Hell), where they will exist in a conscious state and in torment for all eternity. But the “Second Death” has no terror for the Righteous, for the promise is that it shall have no power over them.

Verse 4

4

3. THE MILLENNIUM .

Revelation 20:4.

“And they lived and reigned with Christ a THOUSAND YEARS.”

That there is to be a period of a 1000 years during which Satan shall be bound and Christ shall reign on this earth, is plainly stated in the New Testament. This period is mentioned 6 times in Revelation 20:1-7, and is generally called

“The Millennium,”

from the Latin words “Mille” (1000) and “Annum” (year). It is to be regretted, however, that the word “Millennium” ever supplanted the Biblical word “Kingdom,” for it is this period that Christ taught His Disciples to pray for in the petition--“Thy Kingdom Come.”


Let us drop then for the present the word “Millennium” and look at the word “Kingdom.” In the Book of Daniel we learn that there were to be “Four World-wide Kingdoms” that were to succeed each other on the earth and that they were to be destroyed in turn by a Kingdom called the

“Stone Kingdom.”

As those “Four Kingdoms” were “literal” Kingdoms it follows that the “Stone Kingdom” must be a “literal” Kingdom, for it takes the place of those Kingdoms and “fills the whole earth.” This “Stone Kingdom” is the “Millennial Kingdom of Christ.”

The time when this “Stone Kingdom;” shall be set up is at the “Revelation of Christ,” when He shall come with the “armies of Heaven” and destroy Antichrist (Revelation 19:11-21) and judge the Nations.

“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”;

and before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, and He shall set the Sheep (Sheep Nations) on His right hand, but the Goats (Goat Nations) on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom Prepared for You From the Foundation of the World.” Matthew 25:31-34.

This Kingdom is an earthly, visible Kingdom, and is the “Millennial Kingdom” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

1. The Form of Government.

It will be a “Theocracy.” God will rule in the person of the Lord Jesus, Christ.

“And the angel said unto Mary, thou shalt bring forth a son and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the ’Son of the Highest,’ and the Lord God 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.” Luke 1:30-33.

There are 7 of God’s “shalls” in this passage. Four of then have been fulfilled, for Mary did bring forth a “son,” He was called “Jesus,” He was “great,” and was called the “Son of the Highest”; the other three must and will be fulfilled.

Daniel the Prophet describes the event.

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the ’Son of Man’ came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the ’Ancient of Days’ (God), and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him Dominion, and Glory and a KINGDOM that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him; His Dominion is an Everlasting Dominion, Which Shall Not Pass Away, and His KINGDOM that which Shall Not Be Destroyed.”

Whether Christ shall sit in person on the Throne at Jerusalem, or whether He shall rule through another is not so clear. There are several passages of Scripture that seem to teach that King David will be raised and placed on the throne again, and that the Children of Israel will seek him, or it may mean that the new King shall be named David.

“Afterward shall the Children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David Their King; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the Latter Days.” Hosea 3:5.
“They shall serve the Lord their God, and David Their King, whom I will Raise Up Unto Them.” Jeremiah 30:9.
“And David, my servant, shall be King Over Them.” Ezekiel 37:24.
“I Jehovah will be their God, and my servant David a Prince in Their Midst.” Ezekiel 34:24.
“My servant David shall be their Prince Forever.” Ezekiel 37:25.

As the “Lord of Hosts” shall reign in Mt. Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients “gloriously” (Isaiah 24:23), the inference is that King David will reign simply as “Regent,” and will be called “King” or “Prince” as circumstances may require. It is very clear from Ezekiel that the “Prince,” whoever he may be, is not perfect, and has to offer sacrifices for himself. Ezekiel 45:22.

We have a hint of the manner of government in the Parable of the Pounds. That Parable was spoken to show what Jesus will do to His servants (the Jews) when He shall have “received the Kingdom and returned.” The man whose Pound shall have gained “Ten Pounds” will be rewarded by being placed in authority over “ten cities.” The man whose Pound shall have gained “Five Pounds” will have authority over “five cities.” The man who failed to use his Pound is simply deprived of it and loses all opportunity of authority. Luke 19:11-26.

The promise that Jesus made to His Disciples that

“In the Regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the Throne of His Glory, ye also shall sit upon Twelve Thrones, Judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28.

in all probability does not refer to the “Millennial Age,” but to the “Perfect Age,” the “Age” that is to follow the renovation of the Earth by fire. The use of the word “regeneration” suggests this, as it refers to the time when the present earth is to be “re-created” and made “new.” It has occurred to the writer that we have not as yet the proper perspective as to all the Old Testament prophecies, and that we are putting in the “Millennial Age” some things that belong to the “Perfect Age.” The one just mentioned for example.

Some object to the “visible reign” of King David, or the Disciples on the earth during the Millennium because it involves the anomaly of intercourse between men in the flesh and those who are clad in resurrected and glorified bodies. But why should this be an objection? Did not Jesus appear “eleven” times “after His resurrection,” during a period of “forty days,” to His disciples? Did He not “eat” and “drink” with them during that period? Did they not “walk” with Him to the Mount of Olives and see Him go up in that Same Resurrection Body? Did not angels appear in human form and “eat” and “drink” with men in Old Testament times? Genesis 18:1-8.

We must not forget that they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain “That Age,” and the “Resurrection From Among the Dead,” shall be “Angel like” (Luke 20:35-36), and like the angels can mingle with earth’s inhabitants, having visible bodily forms, can eat and drink, and there is probably more truth than poetry in the Prophet’s utterance that in those days,

“They that wait upon the Lord (as messengers) shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles (Angels); they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” Ira. 40:31.

This can be said of only those who have been “Raised in Power.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-43.

2. The Seat of Government.

The Seat of Government will be at Jerusalem. Jerusalem is to be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the “Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24. Then it will be rebuilt. The Prophet Ezekiel gives us a detailed description of the restored Land and City in Ezekiel 48:1-35.

The “Royal Grant” of land that God gave to Abraham and his descendants extended from the “River of Egypt” unto the “Great River,” the river Euphrates. Genesis 15:18. Ezekiel fixes the Northern boundary at Hamath, about 100 miles north of Damascus (Ezekiel 48:1), and the Southern boundary at Kadesh, about 100 miles south of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 48:28. This “Royal Grant” was not conditional and was never revoked. It is 8 times as large as that formerly occupied by the Twelve Tribes.

This “Royal Grant” is to be divided among the restored Twelve Tribes in parallel horizontal sections, beginning at Hamath on the North with a section for Dan, next comes Asher, then Naphtali, Manassah, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah. Then comes the

“Holy Oblation,”

a square tract on the west of Jordan, 25,000 reeds, or 50 miles on a side. A “Reed,” according to Ezekiel 40:5, is 6 cubits long, the cubit being an ordinary cubit 18 inches long plus a hand-breadth, 3 inches, making the “reed cubit” 21 inches. Six of such cubits make the “reed” 10½ feet long. South of the “Holy Oblation” will be the Tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulon and Gad.

The “Holy Oblation” is divided into three horizontal sections. The section is 25,000 reeds long, from East to West, and 10,000 reeds wide. It is called the “Levites’ Portion.” South of it is the “Priests’ Portions” of equal size. South of the “Priests’ Portion” is the section for the “City” with, its suburbs and farming sections. This section is 25,000 reeds long, from East to West, and 5000 reeds wide. Ezekiel 48:15-19.

In the centre of this section the City (Jerusalem) is located. This helps us to map out the whole of the “Holy Oblation,” as the “New City” is to be located on the site of the Old. The “New City,” however, is to be much larger than the Old. It is to be 9 miles square, and with its suburbs, ½ mile on a side, 10 miles square. It will have a wall around it with 3 gates on each side like the New Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48:15-18; Ezekiel 48:30-35), these gates being named after the 12 sons of Jacob.


The “Temple,” or “Sanctuary,” will not be rebuilt in the “New City,” but in the “midst” or middle of the “Holy Oblation.” Ezekiel 48:10; Ezekiel 48:20-21. This will locate it at or near Shiloh, where the Tabernacle rested after the Children of Israel conquered the Land, and where it remained until the Temple of Solomon was finished. A “Highway” shall lead from the “Sanctuary” to the “New City.” Isaiah 35:8. It will be a magnificent boulevard, 12 miles long, lined with beautiful shade trees.

The “New Temple” or “Sanctuary” will occupy a space of 500 reeds on a side, or nearly a mile square. Ezekiel 42:15-20. The old Temple was not a mile in circuit.

The Prophet Zechariah tells us (Zechariah 14:8), that in “That Day” (the Millennial Day)

“Living Waters Shall Go Out From Jerusalem,” half of them toward the Former Sea (Red Sea) and half of them toward the Hinder Sea (Mediterranean); in summer and in winter shall it be.”

But those “Living Waters” will not have their “source” in Jerusalem. The life-giving spring from which they flow will be located under the “Sanctuary.” Ezekiel tells us how he saw in vision the “New Temple” or “Sanctuary” and how the Lord took him to the eastern door of the “House” or “Sanctuary,” where he saw the waters come forth from under the Threshold of the door, and flow past the “Altar of Burnt Offering” on the south side eastward until the stream was deep enough to swim in.

“Then said he unto me, These waters . go down into the desert (by way of Jerusalem) and go into the sea (Dead Sea), which being brought forth into the sea, the waters (of the Dead Sea) shall be healed (lose their saltness). . And everything shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass that the fishers shall stand upon it (Dead Sea), from Engedi (on the west shore) even unto Eneglaim (on the east shore); they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the Great Sea (Mediterranean) exceeding many. . And by the River upon the banks thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to its months, because the waters they issued out of the ’Sanctuary’; and the ’Fruit’ thereof shall be for meat and the ’Leaf’ thereof for medicine.” Ezekiel 47:8-12. Compare Revelation 22:1-2.

The size of the “New City,” the location of the “New Sanctuary” and the elevation of the Dead Sea, which is now 1200 feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea, call for great physical changes in the land surface of Palestine. How are these changes to come about?

When Christ comes back it will be to the Mount of Olives from whence He went up. Acts 1:9-12. The Prophet Zechariah describes what will then happen.

“His (Christ’s) feet shall stand in That Day (the day of His return) upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east and the Mount of Olives shall Cleave in the midst Thereof Toward the East and Toward the West, and There Shall Be a Very Great Valley; and Half of the Mountain Shall Remove Toward the North and Half of It Toward the South. . . . “All the Land Shall Be Turned as a Plain From Geba to Rimmon South of Jerusalem; and it shall be LIFTED UP AND INHABITED.” Zechariah 14:4; Zechariah 14:10-11.

These great changes will probably be brought about by Earthquakes or volcanic action.

“Behold, the Lord cometh forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be Molten Under Him, and the valleys shall be Cleft as Wax Before the Fire, and as the Waters That Are Poured Down a Steep Place.” Micah 1:3-4.

These great physical changes will level the land surface of Palestine, and make room for the “New City,” and raise the Dead Sea, so its waters can flow into both the Red and Mediterranean Seas. Ezekiel tells us that the name of Jerusalem in that day shall be “Jehovah-Shammah,” the Lord Is There. Ezekiel 48:35.

3. The Temple and Its Worship.

As we have seen the Temple or Sanctuary will be located in the centre of the “Holy Oblation.” A full description of the Temple and its courts is given in Ezekiel 40:1; Ezekiel 44:31. No such building as Ezekiel so minutely describes has ever yet been built, and so the prophecy cannot refer to either Zerubbabel’s or Herod’s Temple, and as there is to be no Temple in the New Jerusalem, it must be a description of the Temple that is to be on the earth during the Millennium. That it does not belong to the New Earth is also clear, for the land in which it is located is bounded by the Sea, and the waters that flow from it, flow “into the Sea,” but in the New Earth there is “no more sea.” Revelation 21:1. This is still further confirmed by the Prophet’s mention of the “desert,” the “River Jordan,” the “Mediterranean Sea,” and other localities that will not be found on the New Earth after its renovation by fire.

The “Aaronic Priesthood” will be re-established, and the sons of Zadok shall officiate and offer sacrifices. Ezekiel 44:15-31. The New Temple, however, will lack many things that were the features of the old Temple. There will be no “Ark of the Covenant,” no “Pot of Manna,” no “Aaron’s Rod” to bud, no “Tables of the Law,” no “Cherubim,” no “Mercy Seat,” no “Golden Candlestick,” no “Shew Bread,” no “Altar of Incense,” no “Veil,” no unapproachable “Holy of Holies” where the High Priest alone might enter, nor is there any “High Priest” to offer atonement for sin, or to make intercession for the people, unless a rather obscure passage in Zechariah 6:12-13 means that Christ (The Branch, Jeremiah 23:5-6) shall be a “King-Priest,” and perform the duties of High Priest conjointly with His Kingly office.

While the Levites as a class shall perform Temple service they shall be barred from Priestly duties for their past sins. Ezekiel 44:10-14. There shall be a daily “morning” sacrifice, but no evening sacrifice. Ezekiel 46:13-15. The offerings will be the “Burnt,” the “Meat,” the “Drink,” the “Sin,” the “Peace” (Ezekiel 45:17), and the “Trespass” offering. Ezekiel 42:13. Two Feasts are to be observed, “The Passover,” but no Passover Lamb will be offered as Jesus fulfilled that Type (Ezekiel 45:21-24), and the “Feast of Tabernacles,” Zechariah 14:16-19. This Feast is to be observed by all the nations under penalty of “Drought” or “Plague.”

The “Feast of Pentecost” will be done away with on account of its fulfillment. The “Day of Pentecost,” recorded in Acts 2:1-4, was only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32. No such wonders in the heavens and the earth as “blood,” and “fire” and “pillars of smoke,” the “Sun turned to darkness,” and the “Moon into blood,” occurred at Pentecost. But all those things will happen before “The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.”

The conversion of the Jewish Nation will be sealed with a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Whether this shall be universal, or only upon Israel is not clear. The original prophecy in Joel was given to Israel, and its partial fulfillment at Pentecost seems to have been limited to them. The knowledge of the Lord, however, will be world-wide, and “it shall come to pass that ten men of all languages and nations shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:22-23. There will be one “universal religion” in that day. Malachi 1:11. The “Shekinah Glory” that departed from the Temple at the time of the Babylonian Captivity (Ezekiel 10:18-20; Ezekiel 11:22-23), will again take up its residence in the “New Temple.” Ezekiel 43:1-5.

4. The Character of the Millennium.

(1.) Satan Bound. Revelation 20:1-3.

That man may be “without excuse” God is going to subject him to a final test under the most favorable circumstances. Man has charged his fall and continuance in sin to Satan. “Take him away,” he cries, “paralyze his power; cripple his malignant activity; bind and imprison him and deliver us from his dominating influence, and then you will see that man is radically good and virtuous and is simply the victim of an unfavorable environment.”

God answers it shall be done. Satan shall be bound and imprisoned so that he can no longer deceive men, and lest man shall say that sinful habits are too deeply rooted to be soon eradicated the test shall last for a Thousand Years, and man shall have during that period of probation all the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Christ Himself.

Man has never known and therefore cannot conceive what this world would be like free from Satanic influence. It would certainly be a marvelously different world. There would be no one to stir up hate and passion, and engender strife and turmoil. True, man would still have an evil heart of unbelief to contend against, but it would be like a magazine of gunpowder without a spark to ignite it. That the evil heart of man has not been eradicated will be evident when at the close of the Millennium Satan is loosed and finds no difficulty in deceiving the nations. Revelation 20:8.

During the Millennium the “Prince of the Powers of the Air” will be “dethroned” and the “Prince of Peace” “enthroned.” When the “Great Red Dragon” (Satan) is cast out of the Heavenlies there will be cast out with him all the “Principalities and Powers” and “Age Rulers of Darkness” (Ephesians 6:12), and the Heavens which now are “not clean” in His sight (Job 15:15), will be “cleansed” of all Evil Powers.

There will be no universal peace until the Lord comes back. Then the nations will beat their swords into “plow-shares” and their spears into “pruning-hooks” (Mich. 4:3, 4), and shall be no longer impoverished by the enormous tax on their revenues for the support of armies and navies and the building of “Dreadnoughts.” Then ships of war and armorclad vessels will rust and rot in the navy yards and guns and cannon will be recast into implements of agriculture. The great armies of earth will be disbanded, and in the pursuits of peace and the tilling of the soil, the depleted treasuries of the world will be replenished. There will be little if any political graft. Corporations and combines will not be run in restraint of trade, and there will be no entailed estates if the law of the “Year of Jubilee” is re-established. Leviticus 25:8-17. Numbers 36:4.

(2.) The Revival of the Land of Palestine.

The Land of Palestine when it was first occupied by the Children of Israel under Joshua, was a land of “milk” and “honey” and of “all manner of fruits,” and its soil brought forth “abundantly,” and this continued as long as the Children of Israel kept its Sabbaths. But God had warned them that if they did not obey Him and turned aside to worship other Gods He would shut up the heavens and the harvests would fail. Deuteronomy 11:13-17. Palestine today has the same fertile soil it had in Joshua’s time, but it lacks rain and irrigation. God has withheld the “early” and “latter” rain, but they are now becoming more frequent and copious. The “early” rain falls in October and November, and prepares the land for ploughing and sowing; the “latter” rain falls in April and May and insures a good crop.

In the Millennium the Land of Palestine will be restored to its former fertility. This will be aided not only by the rains, but by numerous rivers and streams that shall flow from the “New River” that shall have its source in the Sanctuary.

“It shall come to pass in That Day (Millennium) that the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the Rivers of Judah (where the New River will be) shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the House of the Lord, and shall water the Valley of Shittim,” the country about the Dead Sea. Joel 3:18.

The “mountains dropping new wine,” and the “hills flowing with milk,” are figures of speech declaring that the mountain sides will be covered with vineyards from which an abundance of wine shall be obtained, and that the pasture lands will be so productive that they will sustain vast herds of milk cattle.

The harvests will be so great and abundant that the ploughman will “overtake the reaper,” and the treader of grapes him that “soweth seed.” Amos 9:13.

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” Isaiah 35:1.

“Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:13.

“Then shall the earth yield her increase.” Psalms 67:6.

“And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God that hath dealt wondrously with you; and My People (the Jews) shall never be ashamed.”’ Joel 2:24-26.

(3.) There Will Be Changes in the Animal Kingdom.

“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. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (Jerusalem), for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:6-9.

We cannot spiritualize these words. This was the character of these animals in Eden before the Fall, and in the Ark. The ferocity of the brute creation is the outcome of the “Fall of Man.” While the context seems to imply that this change in the brute creation has reference to the “Millennial Earth,” where it may be partially true, yet the fact that the Edenic condition of the earth is not to be restored until the appearance of the New Earth may postpone the fulfillment of this prophecy until then.

The Apostle Paul says--

“We know that the Whole Creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. . . . Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the Redemption of Our Body.” Romans 8:23.

That is, until the human race is redeemed from the results of the “Fall, and fitted to occupy the New Earth, Creation must wait for its restoration to ’Edenic conditions’.”

(4.) Human Life Will Be Prolonged.

“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, for the child shall die a hundred years old.” Isaiah 65:20.

That is, a person dying 100 years old shall be considered only a child. Therefore a man, to be called a man, must live for several hundred years.

“For as the days of a Tree (oak tree) are the days of my people.” Isaiah 65:22.

“Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: There shall yet Old Men and Old Women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand For Very Age.” Zechariah 8:4.

Patriarchal Years will be restored, and men shall live as long as they did before the Flood. This may be due to some climatic or atmospheric change, or to the healing or life-giving qualities of the water of the “New River” that shall flow from the “Sanctuary,” and the leaves of the trees that line the banks of the River, which shall be for “Medicine.” Ezekiel 47:12.

(5.) There Will Be a Sevenfold Increase of Light.

“Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be SEVENFOLD as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Isaiah 30:26.

The “atmosphere” of the Millennial Earth will be of such a character as to make moonlight nights as bright as day, and the days seven times as bright.

“The sun shall be no more thy light by day: neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto; but the Lord Shall Be Unto Thee An Everlasting Light, and Thy God Thy Glory.” Isaiah 60:19-20.

This may refer to that part of the Holy Land that shall be illuminated by the “Shekinah Glory,” where it will make no difference whether the sun shines or not. It will have its complete fulfillment when the nations of the New Earth shall walk in the Light of the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:23-24.

Israel’s Mission during the “Millennial Age” will be that of “blessing” to the Gentile nations. Of the nation of Israel, that has never as yet been a leading nation. God says--

“I will make thee the Head, and not the Tail.” Deuteronomy 28:13.

The nations today are a “Headless” body. There is no “Chief Nation” today. In that day Israel shall be the “Chief Nation,” and the nation that will not serve her shall perish. Isaiah 60:12.

But those nations will only be kept in subjection by the “Iron Rule” of Christ. This is brought out in the “Messianic Psalm,” Psalms 2:6-9. It is very clear that during the “Millennial Age” the “will of God” will not be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The peace among the nations will be more superficial than real. It will only be feigned obedience, more the result of fear than of love. As the “afternoon” of that long “Millennial Day” draws to a close the shadows deepen.

Verses 7-9

9

4. SATAN LOOSED .

Revelation 20:7-8.

“And when the Thousand Years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 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. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the ’Camp of the Saints’ about, and the Beloved City (Jerusalem): and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

As the evening shadows of the Millennial Day fall, the Angel who imprisoned Satan will unlock the “prison house” of the “Bottomless Pit,” and Satan will come forth embittered by his forced confinement to vent his anger upon the people of God, a refutation of the claim that the miseries of perdition will lead to repentance. Satan will still be the same malignant being after his 1000 years of confinement that he was before. His hatred against God and His people will be unquenched.

FIFTH DOOM .

GOG AND MAGOG .

As soon as Satan is loosed from his prison in the “Bottomless Pit,” he will find a vast multitude ready to believe his lie, and to serve and obey him. He will gather them from the “Four Quarters of the

Earth” to battle. They will be in number as the “sand of the sea.” Revelation 20:8-9. The revolt will be Worldwide, and will mean the Mobilizing of Vast Armies. Satan will conduct them across the “Breadth of the Earth” until they compass the “Camp of the Saints” (the Holy Land), and lay siege once more to the “Beloved City.” From this we see that the unregenerate heart is like a powder magazine, all it needs is a match to set it off, and Satan when freed will be that match. This the “last war” that this world shall ever see, will be bloodless, for the vast armies of Satan shall be destroyed by FIRE.

From this we see that the “Millennial Dispensation,” like all the six Dispensations before it, will end in failure. God will have tested man in “Innocence,” under “Conscience,” under “Self-Government,” under the “Headship of the Family,” under “Law,” under “Grace,” and finally under the influence of the “Holy Spirit,” free from Satanic influences, and under them all he will prove himself to be hopelessly, incurably and incorrigibly bad.

If after a 1000 years of the Presence of the King, and of universal peace and blessing, man still persists in rebelling against his Maker, what will there be left for God to do? Humanly speaking, there will seem to be nothing for God to do but destroy the human race. To send another Flood and wipe out mankind. But this He cannot do, for He promised Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood of waters. Genesis 9:11. But do something He must, so He is going to purge the earth with Fire. 2 Peter 3:7.

Verse 10

0

SIXTH DOOM .

SATAN .

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 for ever and ever.”

As punishment for his final act of Rebellion, Satan shall be seized, probably by the same Angel that chained him, and hurled into the “LAKE OF FIRE,” where he will find alive and waiting for him the “Beast” and the “False Prophet” who were cast therein a 1000 years before. This shows that there is no such thing as annihilation. The “Lake of Fire” was prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41), not to consume them in, for God could do that with fire from heaven, but to PUNISH THEM IN; and all those whose names are not written in the “Book of Life” will go to the same place to spend eternity. The reason why Satan does not want people to read and study the Book of Revelation is, because he does not want the world to know that there is to be an end to his power.

Only the “bodies” of those who perish in this last great war will be destroyed by fire, their “souls” and “spirits” will go to the “Hell Compartment” of the “Underworld” to come out at the Resurrection

of the Wicked dead and .appeal’ at the “Great White Throne Judgment,” and be sentenced to the “SECOND DEATH,” which, as we have seen, means that they must spend eternity without a material body in the “Lake of Fire.”

Verses 11-15

5

SEVENTH DOOM .

THE WICKED DEAD .

“THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT .”

Revelation 20:11-15.

“And I saw a GREAT WHITE THRONE, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven (atmosphere of our earth) fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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. 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. And ’Death’ and ’Hell’ were cast into the ’LAKE OF FIRE: This is the ’SECOND DEATH.’ And whosoever was not found written in the ’BOOK OF LIFE’ was cast into the ’LAKE OF FIRE’.”

This is not a “General Judgment,” for there is no such thing in the Scriptures. The Church is not in this Judgment, nor is Israel, for both have been already judged. The Church was Judged at the “Judgment Seat of Christ,” and Israel was Judged during the “Tribulation Period.” This is a Judgment of the DEAD ONLY, and is an entirely different Judgment from that of “The Nations” recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. That is on the earth, this is in Heaven. That is of the “Living Nations,” as Nations, this is of the DEAD. That is for the Nations’ treatment of Christ’s brethren, the Jews, this is for WORKS. There no “books” are opened, here they are. No “Book of Life” is mentioned there, here there is. That Judgment was before the Millennium, when Christ shall sit on the “Throne of His Glory,” and is to find out what Nations shall have a right to enter into the “Millennial Kingdom,” this is after the Millennium when Christ shall sit on the “Great White Throne.” The two Judgments are entirely separate as to time, place, basis of judgment and result.

In this Judgment “Death” and “Hell” are personified. By “Death” we are to understand the “Grave” which holds the “body” until the Resurrection; by “Hell,” the Compartment of the “Underworld” or “HADES,” where the “souls” of the Wicked Dead remain until the Resurrection of the Wicked. That both “Death” and “Hell” are cast into the “LAKE OF FIRE” signifies that Death and Sin will not be found on the New Earth.

The “Great White Throne” will not be on the earth, for the “Great White Throne Judgment” will take place during the “Renovation of the Earth By Fire,” for the “Renovation of the Earth” is reserved or kept until the time of that Judgment, which Peter calls “The Day of Judgment and Perdition of Ungodly Men” (2. Pet. 3:7), because the Judgment of the “Great White Throne” is the Judgment of the WICKED DEAD. All the Righteous dead arose at the “First Resurrection.” If any Righteous die between the “First Resurrection” and the “Resurrection of the Wicked,” or “Second Resurrection,” they will rise with the Wicked dead at that Resurrection. The words--“Whosoever was not found written in the ’Book of Life’,” implies that there will be some, probably very few in comparison, Righteous at the “Second Resurrection.” At the close of the Millennium, and just before the “Renovation of the Earth By Fire,” the living Righteous will probably be translated, and the living Wicked or Ungodly will be destroyed in the flames that will consume the Earth’s atmosphere and exterior surface.

The Wicked or Ungodly will not be judged to see whether they are entitled to “Eternal Life,” but to ascertain the “degree” of their punishment. The sad feature of this Judgment will be that there will be many kind and lovable people there who were not saved, and who will be classed among the “ungodly” because they rejected Christ as a Saviour. The “Books” will be opened in which the “Recording Angel” has kept a record of every person’s life, and they will be Judged every man according to his “Works.” Some will be sentenced to a more severe punishment than others, but none will escape. The worst of all is, that those who were not so bad must spend Eternity with the ungodly, and that in the “Lake of Fire.” Their punishment includes the “Second Death,” which means, as we have seen, that they shall lose their resurrection body, in which they were Judged and become “disembodied spirits” again, and so exist in the “Lake of Fire” FOREVER.

What a Judgment Scene that will be. There will be Cain and the wicked Antediluvians; the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah; Pharoah, Ahab, Jezebel, Judas and all those Scribes’ and Pharisees and Chief Priests who caused the Crucifixion of our Lord, and did not repent, and Ananias and Sapphira, and the great host of the wicked and rejectors of Christ of all nations and ages.

The “Fallen Angels” (not the Devil’s angels) who are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness,” will be Judged at this time, which Jude calls the “Judgment of the GREAT DAY.” Judges 1:6. When this Judgment is over the Devil and his angels, and all the ungodly, will have been consigned to the “Lake of Fire,” and the Universe purged of all evil, and righteousness shall reign supreme on the New Earth.

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Bibliographical Information
Larkin, Clarence. "Commentary on Revelation 20". A Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/clr/revelation-20.html.